awareness, challenges

Jail Time Revisited

Recently I had the opportunity to experience a county jail with an added twist. I’ve written about visiting the jail before as a contractor recounting an inside view. I visited the exterior as part of a jail run a few years back that included running the officer obstacle training course (so much fun) and the campus which bordered the barbed wire fences and guard towers. Both experiences were memorable and offered different views of the same place.

Over the past week I had yet another view. An unexpected view. I needed to try to visit an inmate. What started out as a simple endeavor ended up extremely complex. So many things I didn’t know, didn’t expect or just couldn’t wrap my arms around.
The first big blow is no in-person visitors which is the exact opposite of the county website, which states visitation Mon-Fri and Sat/Sun for under 18. I guess they are still under COVID protocols even though most other places are not. This was funny in itself as you don’t  need a mask to enter the jail but you can’t visit. The next option is a fee-based video visit, but figuring this option out almost requires an IT degree and a lot of patience.

That’s right. Get the app. Download the app. Set up a user ID. Add funds. Upload identification documents to prove who you are. Now wait. Wait until somebody in an office somewhere approves you. This took three days in my case. Once you have access, you can schedule a call. I almost forgot you need to deposit more money for the call and pay more service fees. Just when you think you are at the finish line you have to be patient again. It seems the schedule is not the same day. That means you wait longer and the person inside has no idea how hard you are trying to make contact. Big sigh.

What’s the other option? Send a letter. I was told happy mail is very uplifting. Okay, what’s the address? Well the address you mail to is far away. It has to be sorted to make sure there is no contraband. Well over the holiday, mail delays, etc. would lead me to believe this would be another dead end.

How about a phone call? Can the person make a call? Only if they have money they tell me. How do they get money? Glad you asked. There is a jail ATM. Never seen one of those before. You have to upload your picture, your social security number, address and so much more. Then you can pay money and exorbitant fees. Again, it’s not instant. It takes a day to process and the funds need to be deposited by 8am. That means if you put money in the ATM on Sunday at 4pm the inmate won’t see it until Tuesday after 8am. Delays galore.

Four days it takes to get any form of contact. This provides so much insight into what folks deal with when they are immersed in the jail system. I can’t even imagine if my parent was in jail, how a young adult could handle all the chaos associated with saying hi to somebody who probably needs some extra support during their incarceration.
This experience has taught me I for sure don’t ever want to spend time in jail. I also don’t want to have to visit anyone I know in jail. I like my freedom too much. I like to choose what I do and when I do it. I thought visiting somebody in an assisted living facility was hard in the heart of the pandemic however I would definitely say visiting a jail is 1000x harder current day. 

With mental health issues challenging society today, it is bothersome to me that inmates lose not only their freedom but their ability to get compassionate care. I define compassion to include communication with willing visitors vs. starving them of hope and friendly faces.

in summary, I’d always tell somebody think carefully about actions or inactions that can land one in jail. It’s not a place I’d recommend at all.

adventure

Damn Near Perfect

I was aiming for a damn near perfect day away. Okay is there such a thing? Probably not but I’m going to make today a priority.

I’m going to see if I focus on the day if I can make it damn near perfect. I’m not sure what I will do yet. But I’ll write about it. I also know if it’s not perfect I’m going try again the next day. I’m on vacation. Why not try to aim for a near perfect day. I have time. I have a break from the chaos. I don’t have any have-tos on my list today.

The funny part about thinking about this is I have nothing to model my perfect day after. It’s what I make of it. It’s what I decide is near perfect. No benchmark for this stats girl. I guess I’ll just throw shit on the wall or the mountains and see what happens. 

I was struggling with altitude adjustments in the Rocky Mountains on this day. Too many quirky “offs” to list them all but I was off in many ways. With such a rough start to how I feel today, could I even aim for perfect? 

I hit the local village coffee shop first thing. I wasn’t expecting much as I had never been nor had I previewed the menu. What I did know is I was starting out local. I got a smile just by the name of my drink. Milky Way was a mix of coffee, chocolate and caramel. A hot treat on a cool and drizzly morning. A little local paper tucked in the corner to read while sipping and enjoying the coffee shop vibe.

I was slowly dusting off my morning crud. The tired eyes. The chilled body. The day’s adventure called for an outdoor activity. Miles away by car. Rain rain go away is all I could say in my mind. We were going to raft the Arkansas River and it was raining. Well I guess it wasn’t going to be perfect but I was going to get wet anyway so I wasn’t going to let the rain sour my outlook for the day.

The ride was amazing. More than I could have expected. From fog to clouds to misty air, the scenery was illuminated. A blink of sunshine. A fierce downpour. A spurt of hail. The mountains are full of mystery. So much beauty right in front of me.

Just before the Continental Divide I spotted a mountain camp or town around a factory. It was spray painted and desolate. I wondered about its history. What once lived there. Why did it shut down? Will it ever be reborn? So much to think about for my curious mind.

A quick pit stop in a quaint town with the oldest saloon I ever did see. The floors creaked. There were many old-time artifacts within. The saloon was bustling with locals and tourists. A cool sight to observe. So much fun to shop in the town stores. From the thrift store to the local homemade good store. The experience was one of a kind. New people. New places. Off the beaten path. My kind of perfect. Leadville, CO was the stop. Home of the Leadville 500 race. Another first experience for me. A race across the sky.

The road was empty yet mystical form of nature. My road to nowhere or somewhere. Just around the bend I would land at my destination. This is where I would meet my guide. His name was Joaquin and he was from Chile. His accent was cool and so was he. Joaquin spends his off seasons working in other countries while his homeland isn’t at peak season. Away from his wife and family. So fun to learn about his adventures. He has worked the rivers in California, Chile, Colorado and Italy to name a few. I felt honored to meet him. I enjoyed my time on the raft drifting and exchanging stories. Oh how we laughed. Oh how we paddled hard. Left forward. Right back. Paddle fast. We even rocked and rolled in the harsh rapids. A few rock jumps. Picnic by the waterside. Views of an abandoned railroad on the river side. So much history. A great experience for all.

My day was unknown at the start. My day could have been altered many times. I had a positive outlook amidst the bad weather and other variables. My attitude reflected my outcome.
The road back was another rainy one but we stopped in the towns along the way to catch a glimpse of local life. I’m pretty sure I was in bed by 8pm. I would say this was a near perfect day for me.

perspective

Opportunity Driven

Are you driven by opportunity?

I am, or I have been categorized as such recently.

This made me think a lot about the word opportunity and what it means to me, to others, or what it could possibly lead to in many instances. Oh how I love to stimulate my mind with possibilities.

I am definitely driven by opportunity. The opportunity many would shy away from. The diamond in the rough, however normally hidden from plain sight. The chance many won’t take.

I like a challenge. Most opportunities involve challenges. I grow the most through challenges thus the challenge is an opportunity in itself.

Just a Tuesday tidbit for you as I sit outside in the heat of the sun contemplating my next opportunity and challenge. This is a typical Tuesday. No matter the season, the mind is always in overdrive. The warmth of the outside air warmed me up from the a/c of the office allowing me to defrost my mind. Relax and drift into the peaceful thinking space I like to visit often.

mental health

Power

Who has the power?

Is it me or is it you?

Is it physical strength? Is it mental strength? Do you even know?

If one thinks they have mastered the power of words and the power of persuasion, does that make him or her strong?

The ability of strength can be determined by how long one can endure. Maybe endure the battle. Maybe it’s the power to endure pain. It could even be the power of patience. Waiting. Sitting idle. A sleeper cell of sorts.
Sometimes people mistake physical strength for power. Sometimes people overlook the strength required to endure a long battle. Maybe even a battle of the minds. 

Patience. Persistence. Consistency. Loyalty. These are all words that develop a powerful individual. Add a little street smarts and power is magnified. One may be little but still be fierce.

People should always be aware of the underdog. One should never underestimate the power or strength of a determined underdog. I admire many who battle daily as the underdog. I may even enjoy being named an underdog.

Push my buttons. I dare you. I am built to endure on many levels. I welcome a challenge. I also cheer for underdogs near and far. I advocate for those who lack strength when a bully is in sight.

Just a random rant worth a read. Life is full of shitheads. Are you a person I may refer to as a shithead or are you an underdog I may fight for?

challenges, fitness and nutrition

Finish Line

It’s about the finish line. The final climb. The painful line that I see in the distance. How far away is it? Am I even gaining on it?

The answer is yes. I’m gaining on it. One burpee at a time but these past few weeks have been brutal. Once you get to 70 burpees a day, the time commitment just seems to eat away at you.

I mean it’s not the task that’s so hard it’s just the desire to do the burpees after a workout, a workday, stress, and and and. The holidays and the break in the cycle of consistency just got to me.

Also the fact that my programming changed at my gym for 1/1/21 in which it seems there were 40+ burpees in each workout. That leads to lack of motivation. Geez I think I’ll add another 70 on top of those 40 but then it takes your desire to a whole different level of no thanks.

Then if you miss a day, the catch up phase is relentless. For me I tried chipping away. 5-10 at a time. Then I tried bigger chunks just until I could check off another day. I didn’t care if my days were in order. I just want to get to the damn finish line.

Here we are with two weeks left but with my holiday lazy days and mental break it looks like I will be pushing over that set time. I will get over 5,000 burpees no problem. I will just stretch the days to slightly over 100. It’s not ideal but it’s what’s going to work for me. I’m not quitting just just delaying my finish a bit. Similar to tying your shoe on race day.

Keeping in mind if I add up those extra in workout burpees I am adding another 710 as of today. So if I look at the initial 100 days of burpees I can say I met my goal however I want to be sure that I complete the 100 days of burpees independent of any programmed in my workout. Yes I’m a little nuts but that’s what I’m doing.

Just about 6,000 burpees will be under my belt from late Oct 20-late Jan 21. 100 days or so towards being a fitter version of me. A daunting task. A personal best. A sigh of relief.

Today I did make a big flub up! I actually added up how many burpees I had left instead of days. That wasn’t a good idea. When you add up the 90-100 days that’s over 1,000 burpees. What in the heck. I guess it randomly just hit me. Now it’s a mental game. I think I can. I think I can.

And as I was wrapping up the blog my new gym programming included 100 burpees to a plate on Saturday. What kind of sick twisted form of cruelty this is. Of course I can’t count any of them so they will just make me slide over that damn 6,000 mark. That is insane! But yes I am not counting on workout burpees.  

Here we go again. A new burpee version in our wod to focus on singling out a muscle group with a special jump. Just what need now at the finish line. More burpee specific work (joking). Also we are down to just me and another faithful pal on the last group of burpees. She pulled ahead. Another friend dropped and I’m just stalled. I do a few here and there but not enough to wipe 91 off the checklist. So the ending is a long one.  

i guess my symptoms are lingering just like covid. I will diagnose myself with burpeeitis. The only cure is hard work. The only person who can cure it is me. Off I go to the hamster wheel of burpees. My job is done for now. Onto the next fitness project to keep me grinding. Just say no to burpees!