change

The Alarm Went Off

It was a weird chirp sound. One I wasn’t familiar with. What is it? Where is it? The hunt was on. It was my countdown clock for 1095 days. Tucked in behind a few things on my closet shelf. Waiting for its special day to chirp. 

3 years gone by in a blink or two. Just like that 1095 days is a part of the history book. I blinked. A pandemic. A few birthdays. A cool countdown with a bunch of crud and coolness intertwined in those three years. All categorized in journals, online and in the vault. Many thoughts for future books but also many shifts due to environmental changes over time.

I certainly would not have thought three years ago that today would be what it actually is today. I guess my crystal ball is foggy at best. Worst plans, best plans, who lived, who died, and so on. Change is the the one word that keeps coming to mind when I think of these past 1095 days.

Changes of many kinds. Bend. Flex. Adapt. Reframe. The words that I seem to say over and over these days. Looking forward to the next 1095 days. Maybe I’ll have a comparison post when my alarm rings again. Maybe not. Time will tell but for now I’ll just say change is the only constant in life.

Welcome to 2022.

adventure

Just Wanna Have Fun

We are in year 10 or 11 of my daughter playing lacrosse. From the little kid beginner leagues to top-tier national tournaments in front of college scouts, she has competed at nearly every level. Many of our summers have been organized around lacrosse travel. It has taken us from the New York to Colorado and many states in between. We have had joy and laughter and lots of learning. Extended car trips have given us loads of time to connect.

She is a great lacrosse player. She may not score a ton of goals, but she excels at her position which often helps set her team up for success. She is a leader.

At some point in the last year, she decided that playing competitive lacrosse in college was probably not her path. She has had opportunities and offers, but never really followed through on them. She likes to play a lot of different sports and doesn’t want to eat, breathe, and live lacrosse in college.

It has taken me time to get my own ego out of the way and listen to what she is telling me. She highlighted this revelation in her college essay. Stepping back from all-lacrosse-all-the-time has helped her appreciate both lacrosse and other parts of life like travel and other sports she enjoys. Stepping back doesn’t make her any less of an athlete. It just means she knows what she wants and the life of a division-level athlete isn’t it. She has her heart set on our amazing state school, and we are waiting to hear if she gets in. In the mean time, we both know this may be her last go around with lacrosse, and as a senior it is definitely a farewell year with many of the girls who have shared her path along the way.

One of her wishes for this fall was to play a couple of “fun” tournaments with her friends. They are all amazing athletes and naturally want to win, but for this, winning wasn’t really the main goal. They didn’t really want to practice. They wanted silly outfits and giggles. They wanted to coach themselves. They just wanted to pick up and play the sport they love. So my job became to make that dream happen.

Weeks of planning. Most of these girls have played together at the same school across a number of years, but a few extras helped round out the roster…a couple of freshmen who were looking for a team, a friend who had moved to another district. After the roster, we started on the details….a cheeky, punny team name: “Halloweeners.” Goofy custom tie-dye shirts with unlikely numbers on the back (how does the ref call 911? 8008? Infinity? Pi?) Silly socks. Then the girls added funny face paint and onesies / costumes / tutus and we were the merriest band of misfits taking the field that Saturday. Even the refs smiled at our names and could see how much fun they were having.

I got to be the adult on the sideline, but I wouldn’t know how to coach them really. They took care of all that. They laughed, they complimented each other, they pointed out things to work on. They fought like hell during the games and laughed like hell during the breaks. It was pretty awesome to witness the level of positivity these girls shared with one another. They trusted each other and gave their best. Every single girl had moments of brilliance. After four wins they lost to a respectable team playing high level lacrosse in semi-finals. No one hung their heads. They had a great day.

As we got in the car to head home, I asked my daughter if she had gotten her wish? She said yes. It was fun. It was friends. It was laughter and low-pressure. Since she knows she is not committing to college lacrosse, this is her time and her group to enjoy the sport she loves.

fitness and nutrition

Leather or Lace

What a title, right? Leather or lace what? Are we talking panties or tennis? Could it ever be both? 

Let’s start with tennis. I picked up a racquet a couple of times as a kid. Maybe at a summer recreation spot to try a new sport. It was meh at best as I never pursued it at that point.

I picked up a racquet again around the age of 20. Played a little. Learned a little but moved on after a very short stint for whatever reason. I maybe picked up a racquet with a friend 8-10 years ago and played a couple of rounds of tennis. Fun. Exercise. Time with a few pals. Nothing fancy but I might have learned to keep score.

Fast forward to sometime this year. I was invited to play pickup tennis on a weeknight. I dusted off the racquet and headed to the court with low expectations. I’m old. I’m rusty. To my surprise I had fun. I was into it. How could that be? I opted to play a short season of tennis with one of my gym competition partners. We weren’t great but we won more than 50% of our games. In the process we got some cute skirts. I bought some new tennis shoes so the fancy tennis ladies were not bugging me about my CrossFit shoes on the court. I was set to play again.

This time it was a team. A whole new element. More to learn. New partners to adjust to. Outfit matching, it is a thing?  More games to fit in the schedule. A new fitness routine that makes me take a day off regular training for tennis. A big mindset shift for me. New racquet this season to be all fancy and a friend got me an accessory for it. The butt sticker! Oh boy did I love the butt sticker gift.

Of course it couldn’t be an ordinary butt sticker. It had to have flair. She found the best one for me. Leather or lace. Now as match begins and the racquet is spun for court decisions, I ask leather or lace. What an ice breaker. A personally intrusive question for the ladies on the other side of the court. Giggles. Eye rolls. Game on ladies. So much fun to set the tone early for the crazy of the matches ahead. Now I haven’t had to spin the racquet for a guy yet but I can’t wait for that response as well. 

Each response is unscripted and so fun to watch. Just like tennis. Unpredictable. Unscripted. Maybe this is what I like most about tennis right now. It’s just a go with the flow game. Sure there is a format and scoring but the court play is dynamic. It’s ever changing. It’s unpredictable. You have to be thinking on your toes. I win. I lose. I sometimes play a tie breaker or go into overtime. It’s all a fun experience for now.

Competition is good for me. Trying new partners is good for me. Making room for tennis in my schedule is good for me now. The real question is am I leather or am I lace? Or maybe nothing as the last lady responded. Absolutely nothing. I’ll let the mic drop there and just say I can’t wait to get the guys responses on my butt sticker.

Just a tennis tidbit for you today.

health

Surgery 2.0

8-10 years was the time the battery would last depending on usage, the doctors said. Every 3-6 months the battery is checked and the volume gets adjusted. The volume is kind of like a shock level.

The device was implanted about 7 years ago. It was a big decision back then and an even bigger decision now. Living life in a robotic way. A little zap here and there is what it takes to get by. 

It’s time to start the preparations for surgery round 2. It’s time to take out the old device as the battery juice is running low. Time to put in a new device which means new technology. Maybe even a few more zaps? Maybe an extended life battery?

How will the body react? How much scar tissue will build up on round two? Is one’s body in tip top shape for any setbacks of surgery? So many questions.

Having health challenges is never easy. Being an adult making tough choices isn’t easy either. I wonder how many others live life with assistive devices inside their bodies just to make life somewhat normal or maybe I should say tolerable.

Remember some people have issues you can’t see on the surface. They are tucked away. Sometimes it’s beneath the skin. How many of your friends are part bionic?
Can you guess what kind of device I’m referring to you?

author moments

Playing In the Woods

I was in the woods with my dog just checking things out. Its was a dreary day after a lot of rain which led me to the wooded area by my home for a stroll. I opted for the less traveled path on this day. Not sure why, but I’m glad I did.

The pine straw covered ground seemed a little less muddy than the grass.  It seems to have had shelter from the rain due the trees above that created a natural canopy. The smell of rain was in the air and the dog was curious about the the surroundings which intrigued me and maybe sparked my curiosity.

Sniff, sniff. A slight tug on the leash to guide me to a structure. Hidden in the trees, I stumbled across this old shelter that appears to be a dog house or shelter for some type of critter. I wondered what time period this was from? What was the history behind such a creation? So many questions that I will never know the answer to. It was still cool to think about the history.

Just beyond this structure were a couple of dilapidated barns or outbuildings. Again I was curious on their history. Who lived there? When were they built? What were they used for? I took a couple of pictures and used different filters to see how they might have looked some time ago with old photo technology.

Just beyond the trees were some over grown weeds that gave these photos a little mysterious look. I enjoy taking pictures and writing about them. It’s a great opportunity to drift off from today and imagine what was before and how things have changed.

Barns in my suburban area are not so popular which means these are a piece of history. Maybe momentous to somebody. How long will they endure? Will a contractor tear them down? Will somebody want to reclaim the wood for a home project? So many questions.

My normal walk took a little turn. Some might not think a walk in the woods is exciting enough to write about but somedays you stumble across and object or a place that inspires you to share your moment. Your snapshot in time.

My moment today was all about the walk. The stroll in the woods. Listening to the bird chirp. Hearing the drips of rain drops sliding off the tree leaves. The crunching sound of pine straw crackling at your feet. Tree branches snapping back and forth as squirrels jump around which also makes the dog bark. 

Some days it’s about the climb. Some days it’s about the falls. Other days it could be about ignorance. You just never know what’s coming next on this blog. That’s the beauty of writing. It’s an artistic expression that we share with the world now and then. Variety is our spice of life. You get a sampling not an exclusive view. A tidbit of sorts. As our readership grows we know you hear our voices. This inspires us to spread our wings and write for depth.

Enjoy the week.