fitness and nutrition

Run Forrest Run

Oh how I wish I was Forrest Gump some days. Like the days my gym programs a running workout or when my friends do a trail run. I’m just not a motivated distance runner. I’m more of a short sprint girl. 

Hill sprints off and on, no problem. 200 meters, no problem. 400 meters may push my limit. 800 meters just seems overwhelming on most days early in the morning when it’s dark out.

A few weeks ago I strolled into the gym at the wee hours of the morning or more specifically 6 am. A friend called out what are you doing here? It’s a running day she shouted. I giggled because I knew it and still showed up. I had my running shoes on instead of my CrossFit shoes. I felt prepared. I knew I wouldn’t do the run as prescribed for many reasons but I committed to walk/jog/run the entire time. Just keep moving, that was my goal. Lo and behold I did it and felt accomplished.

I had a week off for spring break so I missed the next running segment. Of course I didn’t care because most know I am not an avid runner. Then today came. Another running day. Do I even go to the gym because I could run at my house or the park? Unfortunately, I know I won’t so I go to the gym for accountability and my routine. Sure I was tired. Sure I was not excited about running, but I somehow put my mind to it.

This time was different. We had three options today. Mostly the options had to do with pacing. Meaning I run a lot slower than a 22 year old guy thus I could elect to run for the same time he would and not worry about my distance per se. This was brilliant for me. I didn’t feel discouraged for me slower and I still got my rest time allowing me to maintain my pace.

I got to choose my path or route outside. I had a set run time and off time. I chipped away at the task. I even enjoyed it. Partly because of my music selection but nonetheless this was a big win for me. I even opted for hill sprints for my last 45 second sets. The picture above was snapped for me to hold on to. First I am confident I can do this workout again and improve my pace and distance. Second it’s a starting point for me to say I came back to running this way. 

Who knows where my running will take me now but just a few years ago I was able to run a half marathon. That may be ambitious today but everyone starts somewhere. Today I’m celebrating my little run progress and the fact I enjoyed it.

challenges, dare to be different

Experience

I recently gave up control to gain control amidst a new experience as a parent. Sometimes we need to go with the flow and trust the process to encourage learning. 

Learning through experience is extremely valuable in my book. The reason I state this is because books can teach us lessons but experiences allow us to live the lesson. We need both to understand how to navigate our complicated world.

As a young adult one must fail. Sometimes repeatedly. As sad as it is, it’s part of living experience. Living may be different than what was learned in a book. For instance they may teach you in school how to balance your bank statement but they may not drill an available balance on an atm receipt. This experience may be valuable to find out about insufficient funds.

Financial experience is super important. Many young adults know how to use Apple Pay or Venmo but can’t write a check. Many don’t know how to properly address and mail an envelope. These are cherished skills I learned early on that seem to be the distant past yet young people need this skills to solve problems when the digital age isn’t functioning at 100%.

Farm life is another experience. One I was exposed to as a youngster but not one I embraced. However today I see the value of the experience a farm can provide. Hard work. What nature can provide. So many transferable skills can be learned on a farm. Oddly enough farming 101 isn’t a high school requirement. Neither is basic auto maintenance. Additionally, life skills 101 really isn’t a class either.

My blog today is about what we have to do to nuture those around us. The young kids. Our kids. Children who lack resources to give these basic foundations. We may need to offer experiences to others. Coaching of sorts. Non traditional opportunities for as many as one can impact.

Another experience is sitting down with an elderly person. Chatting with them. Listening to stories about their youth. Learning about what life was like without an iPad. Without dual income households. It’s an experience many need to have.

Today I want you to think about experience. The word itself. What it means. How you can integrate experiences to those around you.

For me, I grew up as an athlete. I understand a team dynamic. However many adults I know missed this experience. They lack certain competitive components or teaming characteristics. That’s a teaching opportunity. Similarly that non-athlete may be able to pass on another experience to you that you missed along the way.

In the next 30 days I am going to think about the word experience and see how I can impact others or how I can be impacted by absorbing new knowledge via an experience. Most recently I learned about camping through experiences. Some good. Some not so good. I still learned and observed through the experience.

Now I am off to experience my life some more.

adventure, fitness and nutrition, friendship

The Season Is Over

My first tennis season in the senior league (over 50) is over. Done. Finished. Kaput. Five weeks went by fast and I learned so much this time around. Maybe I was ripe for learning. Maybe it was a good stress reliever. Maybe it was just good timing.

Nonetheless my partner and I lost every match, but we worked together and achieved our goals for the season. We won a game. We won her serve. We made it to deuce many times. We won single games. We won multiple games, but never a match. We took a tennis lesson. We learned to work together. We had fun. We exercised together. We even had a cheering section for some matches.

It was my partner’s first tennis experience. She never served or knew how to score in tennis. She didn’t even have a racquet. From the start she learned. She adapted. She got better. She faced her fear of not wanting to try. She was a great partner for me this season. She can look back at herself and I say look what I did now. And what a great feeling it is for me to know I encouraged her the same way another encouraged me. 

We met some people we never would have met before had we not joined tennis. We traveled to some neighborhoods that were new to us. We played in the cold. We played in pollen-filled spring air. I’m pretty sure my eyes looked like I was crying in the last match however it was really all the pollen that was getting to me. We heard some great comments from seasoned players. Just keep playing. The more you play the better you will get. Ya’ll are doing great. 

Lo and behold we signed up again for the next season. It is not the senior league this time around so we shall see how the new adventure goes. For now I will remember this season as my first in the golden years age group. Where teams don’t physically move as much but they are well trained to place the ball where you just can’t hit it back. I guess that’s what I like about tennis. No two games are the same. No opponents are the same. The weather is never the same. 

You just show up. Do your best. Win or lose, you live on. Pretty simple way to get some fitness in for a day. I can happy that my body allows me to step onto the court each week to play again. Some don’t have that ability. I treasure the fact that I can compete at any level.

fitness and nutrition

Fresh Eyes

Sometimes a pair of fresh eyes can make you see yourself differently.

We had a new coach at my CrossFit gym.

First of all, I got to class late. I’m ashamed to admit this has become my norm over the past few months. I haven’t stopped to unpack why yet, but it was still embarrassing to make a first impression that way.

Next, he had already explained the workout by the time I got there. Every coach does things a little differently, but I wasn’t expecting to miss the whole description with my lateness. Yikes! And as a teacher myself, I knew better than to ask him to repeat it.

I kinda got the hang of what was happening, and launched into my usual scales. One of the movements was pullups. For some reason, the modifications I have become some comfortable with suddenly felt “less than.” I’ve been doing CrossFit for several years now and I am no closer to a pullup than I was two years ago. In fact, I’ve stopped trying to progress in that area. I just don’t really care…but in that moment, I felt a little bit lazy for giving up on it. Should I be content to just be a beginner in certain things for the foreseeable future? Does it matter? Why should I give up on it? Should I really be doing CrossFit if I don’t care about making progress and don’t even bother to get to class on time?

All these thoughts from a pair of fresh eyes on me. My usual coaches have gotten used to my actions, and maybe they just don’t try to argue with me anymore. They joke about my tardiness. They don’t tell me to pick up more weight or try something that will help me move forward. I’ve kind of stalled out.

Not sure why it left me rattled and thinking hard. No conclusions yet, but something I need to think about moving forward. What direction am I heading?

challenges

Wordle Sucks

I love a good word search. I love a clever word. I enjoyed Wheel of Fortune when I was a kid. I even like Scrabble. I generally like words, but my word depth is average at best. Now my writing partner is more of a word wizard. The one who knows all the words and their meaning in the English language. Me not so much.

About 15 days ago my word wisdom was tangled with my writings not with games.

Enter the stupid game of Wordle that I now play daily because I’m a bit neurotic. Yes, my oldest man child tossed me to the wolves on day one with the introduction. Didn’t really go over the rules but I muddled through it. I felt like I was playing Wheel of Fortune minus the fortune. He said he does it first thing in the morning to stimulate his mind. Okay, I said I will give that a try. I think he tricked me.

Those who know me, understand how much I dislike phone games. However, this was a way to stimulate my mind and enhance my word library possibly or that was how he pitched it. I fell for it. Well, I don’t have time to stare at a screen and get angry especially at the beginning of each day. This is mainly why I don’t turn on the news. 

Wordle has sucked me in and if I forget to Wordle I get that text reminder from 1 of 3 pals. It’s either a success or failure text. That sparks my curiosity. I have to try. Then when I complain about them contributing to my delinquency I get this.

Gal pal text:

It’s not a waste. You’re using brain power.

My reply:

I will add your commentary to my blog post. Input sarcasm.

The smarty pants friend chimes in:

I tell my students if they spend their days only doing things that are easy they aren’t growing much. Productive struggle is worth it.

Me:

Begins to pout silently.

Here I am about 15 days later scratching my head at why do I torture myself on the daily. Today was the same five letters and I had the last three. Sitting at the kitchen table on a rainy day. I actually went old school and took out my paper to eliminate options and I couldn’t see it. I knew it was obvious but just could get it. I had to put it aside and circle back.

I asked a family member if they could see the word and they said yes. Boy did that irritate me. Don’t give me any hints. I stewed and stewed. Giant. Grant. Plant. None of which would be correct. R wasn’t in the word bank. L wasn’t in the word bank. I wasn’t available. Stupid game. Stupid me. Why oh why do I continue.

Chant was the word. As annoying as it was, it was done. Now I will rise again tomorrow to start again. The madness. The annoyance. The challenge. The awaking. The brilliance. I am sure I will chant over and over how stupid this game is. 

Do you Wordle? Do you get frustrated? Who put you on the Wordle path? If you are not on it, I hope this post triggers you to try it. May you become as addicted to Wordle as me. I mean there could be worst things to be addicted to, right?

Wordle now makes me think of words differently. It’s also funny how Wordle makes it’s way into my writings. I guess we will categorize this as current events, the word edition since Wordle is all the hype at the moment.