healthy hacks

Backup Plans

I am a “just in case” kinda gal. Belt and suspenders, as it were (and probably a safety pin or two in my pocket for good measure). (And a carabiner clip). I like to have extras, options, backup plans. Leaving things to chance makes me skittish. I can easily spin out on worst case scenarios. I can think down too many rabbit holes. But I like to be prepared for as much as I can imagine.

Sometimes this comes up in my fitness life. I have been working, slowly but surely, up to #35 dumbbells in different movements. I wrote it in my goal book. Maybe a year ago I still had a hard time picking one #35 up. But I have been working on it, ever so slowly, over the year. When dumbbells come up in workouts, I will usually grab two sets. One I will start with, and then one that is 5 pounds lighter, just in case. Usually, if I have the lighter set, I don’t use them. They just sit there. But if I need them, I can grab them without wasting too much time. They’re my backup plan. My insurance policy.

I carry around too much stuff in my car. I bring my computer places in case I have extra time to work or write. I keep an extra set of workout clothes and shoes in my trunk in case an emergency bro sesh or walk / hike with friends breaks out. I carry emergency protein often. I have camp chairs all the time (and recently, a dear friend did actually need one and I happened to be passing by! Ta Da!)

Some succeed in life by traveling light. They will figure things out whatever happens. I admire that quality…I work on adopting that effortless approach sometimes but mostly I don’t. I usually have a backup plan, even if I never tell anyone about it. Do I waste time and energy overpreparing? Sometimes. Do I get satisfaction out of being ready, come what may? To some degree, yes.

Just a bit of life in my corner of the world.

healthy hacks, inspire

Karma and Kindness

When you are kind many things follow or fall into place. I always choose to fear less and progress forward. When I do so I seem to carry no extra weight or baggage in life.

It’s funny to think about but it’s an important rule to consider. Fear less. Focus on forward. Don’t let life’s dead weight halt your progress.

Kindness matters as well. When you explore a kindness matters motto in life good karma seems to follow. Not really sure how to articulate this other than using a key phases I have heard growing up:

You can fall in a bucket of shit but still come out smelling like roses. Is this really possible? Not physically possible but in life it is entirely possible. One’s life can be shaken to the core and disrupted yet one can still choose happy, kind, and so on. Making that choice is a conscious decision. Sometimes a daily decision.

Nevertheless the choice to be kind normally sets a tone for life. You end up around similar mindset people. You tend to live with good karma/juju. You tend to be open to new environments, people, cultures, opportunities, and so on.

Kindness and karma. Think about how both sit in your life path today. See if you need to change things up a bit to test my theory. See if life throws you sunshine and rainbows or not.

dare to be different

Let Your Freak Flag Fly

I love a theme.

And I love that I have friends that will embrace a theme.

For birthdays, Christmas parties, the CrossFit Open, or just a February Saturday, we choose a theme and run with it. 80s, Superheroes, Country, 70s, Retro Fitness, Fancy Tea Party, College Colors, ‘Merica, Roaring 20s, 80s Prom, themes make it fun, at least for me. They let my imagination run out to play.

When I first started CrossFit, I was a capri and very long flowy 2XL tank top kind of girl. I tried to hide in plain sight. I wouldn’t wear shorts at all. Now I’m all about patterned booty / bicycle shorts, even in the dead of winter. I like some color, I like some spice. They make me smile. My friends at the gym inspired me to just wear them, be comfortable, and have fun. I don’t really care what anyone else thinks. If you’re offended, look elsewhere!

Do I get looks when I go to the grocery store wearing my mermaid shorts and open-back tank? Yup. But, what other people think of me is none of my business. This is a huge mindset shift for me.

Same goes for our theme parties. When it was time for roaring 20s night, I tried on so many flapper dresses and none of them felt right. So I dragged out my high school drum major uniform. We did a Cole Porter show way back in 1995 and I wore a pinstriped zoot suit with paisley suspenders. Miraculously it fit, so in a sea of flapper dresses I was the woman in a suit. I held my breath when I walked in to the restaurant, wondering what other people would think when they saw me. Then I walked through the tables and realized it didn’t matter. How did I feel? Honestly, under the nerves I felt kinda sassy, a little fresh, and way more comfortable than in a dress. Now I embrace being different in situations like this.

The other night at a birthday party our theme was retro sports / fitness. We were going out to play a physical and competitive game. Most of us are CrossFit folks, so we all have our share of fitness wear. But retro…hm. Then conversations led to “athletes vs. mathletes” (and I clearly fall into the latter category.) As with many themes, I just like to have fun with them. Thinking of the 70s and bright colors, I picked some rainbow sweatbands, white shorts with rainbow trim, and a retro NASA shirt (for the mathlete) with a rainbow background. Oh yeah, and tube socks. Did I look silly? Yes. Did I fit the theme? Yes. I felt eyes on me in the restaurant but after my initial self-consciousness I didn’t really care. Yes, I realize that some people identify rainbows with the LGBTQIA community. I am an ally and have no fear of being seen or known that way. And again, what other people think of me is their business. I honestly do not care. Let em look! Let em think whatever! Moving on!

It brought back memories…I had a wild streak in high school and college that eventually faded away under piles and pounds of conformity and conservatism. Only in the past handful of years have I started to embrace my individuality again. My personality and identity not just in relation to others…as a mom, as a daughter, as a spouse…instead, really just my personality within myself. Who I am. Me.

I ran around and looked silly. I had fun and embraced my goofy side. I was just in the moment, letting my freak flag fly! Thankfully I have friends who join me in that.

Be who you are! As unconventional and unique as that might be. Be yourself out loud! You never know who is watching and feeling encouraged, emboldened, even a little less alone. Someone in your circle may be buried under the weight of other people’s expectations. Hiding their light. You never know who is inspired by you embracing who you are. Many don’t have that courage or are looking for it.

Let your freak flag fly!

3Splitz Farm, health

The Rare Snow Day

Sometimes snow days are forecast and nothing happens. All the hype but no results. Nowadays I just go with the flow. If it snows I play, if it doesn’t no worries.

Today it snowed. Big fluffy snowflakes. Just the right temp to play outside without freezing to death. Just enough to add smiles for the variance in the weather.

I was hanging at the cabin in the woods this day which gave me a little extra down time to enjoy the snow. In the mix of it all I forgot to make a tiny snowman as a memory. I can try tomorrow I told myself knowing the rain may turn the perfect snow into ice.

I enjoyed a peaceful night’s sleep in the cabin. A little cooler, crisper air than the usual homefront but that’s part of life in the mountains. The cool crisp air. It’s very refreshing.

The snow is still there in the morning but it’s the ice-packed snow. The kind that crunches when you walk. Nevertheless it’s my little winter wonderland. The one day of wonder for me before I head back to the home front.

As the temps warm up with each hour of the day the icy snow turns a little slushy. I am able to make a tiny snowman for my snow day memories.

It isn’t too big and isn’t perfect but it is hand made. It’s been years since I made a snowman by myself. The snow is perfect for snowballs right now. Oh how I wish I could throw them at all the people who make me salty. Sadly I can’t so I will lurk and wait for the moment to toss one at somebody on my property.

It was a wonderful setting to write this post in the midst of my little winter wonderland. Snow covered porch looking out into the fields of snow.

A little snow. A little play. A little time to enjoy nature. My snow day was simple. I didn’t use a sled. I took photos instead.

My rare snow day is one to remember. A simple snow day for this girl. 

dare to be different

52 pickup

When I was a kid, I was one of those gullible types. (Ok, I still am, but that’s a different post). My older brothers enjoyed playing tricks on me. “Wanna play cards?” Of course, as the youngest, I always wanted to be invited to play by the older kids.

“Sure!” I replied.

“How about 52 pickup?”

“How do you play?”

Suddenly the whole deck of cards was thrown in the air. Jacks, deuces, aces all fluttering to the ground. “Thats 52 cards, now pick them up!” they’d say, laughing as they walked away.

And with a frown like a sad clown, I did.

Fast forward to adulting. Life is full of chores, duties, commitments. Most days are full of them.

For me, chores tend to become routines.

Grocery shopping Saturday. Meal prep Sunday morning. Cleaning Sunday afternoon.

Even little things have their routines. Every night when I get home I set up the coffee pot for the next day and either set out my gym / work clothes or pack my gym bag before I settle down.

Sometimes it’s almost like a challenge: Laundry goes in first thing when I get home from work on Friday. The challenge? I have to have all my clothes hung to dry by the time I leave for my gym class on Saturday morning. I have to stay alert to get this one done while I’m tired.

Edit the week’s blog posts on Sunday afternoon / evening so “publish” is all that’s left during a busy week.

At times, even my fitness routines become a part of it. 5:30 am CrossFit basically every day for a year. Before that it was working out after work. For a while it was run a 5k after work every Friday. 10 mile bike every Sunday morning.

For many parts of my life, I like routines. I like predictability. It keeps me on track. I get things done. When my meals for the week are packed and in the refrigerator Sunday afternoon, I feel calm and prepared.

Life isn’t stationary. Even in writing this I can see there are routines in my life that have come and gone. Commitments on Sunday afternoons shift cleaning to another slot on the weekly calendar. Waiting at sports practice provides opportunity for exercise of different times and types. Life keeps evolving and I shift and change and adapt. Small changes, small adjustments. What is important still usually gets done one way or another.

Once in a while life is more like a big brother and just asks you to play.

Next thing you know all your routines and commitments are tossed in the air and you get to pick them up, reassemble them into some sort of deck to play with. Chores to shuffle, meals to make, work to be done. But this time I was the one who tossed it all, and by choice.

Joys of weekend farm life shift Sunday’s chores further back. Editing blog posts later weekday evenings. Exercise as early in the morning as possible, sometimes at home. Laundry on Wednesdays and Sundays. Grocery shopping on Thursdays. Those cards are still the same, just shuffled differently.

Then there are the new cards. Furnishing a house. Farm chores. Helping run a new business. And don’t forget a couple of growing volunteer commitments, too. Some of these are wild cards, but they keep the game exciting.

I’m not usually one to gamble, but this new shuffle is keeping me on my toes. Learning, growing, creating a hand I’d bet on in spades.