perspective

Voting

Voting is kind of a big deal to me.

Don’t get me wrong…I hate the politics, the mud slinging, and the animosity. The ads, the flyers in the mail, and all that other garbage isn’t my thing. Still, I get a little choked up when we stand in line and wait our turn to cast our ballots. My parents taught me it was a big deal. I’m not perfect in voting in runoffs and other local things, but I do show up for many voting opportunities.

This time around, we’ve already been inundated with media about long lines and voting issues. I opened the “wait times” webpage for my county on the first day of early voting. The first day had the lines at 7 hours at one polling place! My husband got it in on the third or fourth day. When I saw “15 minutes” one Friday after work, I pointed my car in that direction.

It was a beautiful fall afternoon. A bit of chill and breeze in the air. People waited in a long line that stretched around the fairgrounds. Everyone had masks on. People gave each other space. The man in front of me had scrubs on and had his wife and small kids in tow. People brought lawn chairs just in case. It was peaceful. The line moved along. People of different races, different backgrounds, different experiences and belief systems. We all just waited our turn.

Clipboard man came out with armloads of 10 at a time. Instructions were shouted. People followed along. No drama, no fisticuffs. A sharp contrast from the mutiny and anger we see in the news. I will say there were several armed officers standing by. Hopefully they were not the cause for the calm. An insurance policy I’d hope we would never need.

I waited maybe 30 minutes. We moved through the stations quickly. The poll workers were as diverse as the line waiting. All ages, genders, races. People I wouldn’t envision sitting together at a restaurant table or bar working in concert, communicating, even laughing. Filling a role to keep this democracy thing going.

I got my card and my “voting stylus” – a new pandemic souvenir. I voted. I scanned my ballot, which I don’t remember doing before. I took my sticker. Almost 10,000 votes had already been cast at that one voting place in day 5 of early voting.

I guess I’m just nostalgic, but my chest swells when I think that I get a voice in making these decisions, and my voice is just as important as any other. There are always problems. Voter suppression. Intimidation. I’m not naive enough to think there aren’t people actively trying to undermine something so important, powerful, and influential. But for the moment, I am celebrating the fact that I get to play a role in the process.

If you can, VOTE! And tell the people that matter to you to do it, too.

family, fitness and nutrition, friendship

Grind It Out

The showdown took place today. A competitive event. A grind session of sorts. A last-minute change-your-weekend-plans type of gathering. Of course, sometimes the best ideas and memories are made on short or no notice. I mean you really can’t guarantee fun, it just happens when I have a bad idea. Like this one, of course. 

Really, it was just a local CrossFit competition but there were friends that were teammates and competitors. That’s kind of the thrill of the event. The more. The merrier. The crazier.  There was even family competing against family. Talk about a shit storm and I didn’t even mention the judging. Those judges that you know who no rep you for your error and you get mad about it. They are just doing the job they volunteered for.

No matter which way you look at it, the group was getting their fitness on. No matter who was on each team. Recharging their competition batteries. They were putting Corona and all its cancellations in the back seat. A much needed mindset for me anyways.

99 Problems and a Lift Ain’t One of them

Purple Reign

Cheet Cheat Never Beat

The crazy names above are three of the teams I’m highlighting in this post. My friends and family. We all showed up and we worked our asses for four grueling workouts. See below for proof. Close to 30 teams participated overall. A great turnout with today’s restrictive environment.

We all battled hard to overcome injuries, movement challenges and our minds. Our minds are a powerful tool and I have written about its power and complexities in the past. Today I saw both in action across many people.

The power of I can vs. I can’t. The power of persevering. The power of overcoming self-doubt. The power of taking action when you really don’t want to. I saw personal firsts. Personal bests. Injuries-some temporary, some sidelining and some just irritating. Wherever my fellow athletes fell on the spectrum there was always somebody there to pick them up.

A hug, a high five, a fist pump, a sign, a cheer, a roar, and so much more. This is what CrossFit is about. Community. Challenges. Digging deep. Mental toughness. Pushing yourself beyond your perceived limits. Why doesn’t everyone do it? Because it’s hard. It’s physically hard. Emotionally hard. Mentally draining. All of those factors are magnified in a CrossFit competition! Magnified beyond recognition.

You are physically fatigued. You are mentally weak. You are low on gas in the emotions tank. None of that matters though. You are an athlete. You are competing for a spot on the podium or some other significance. Whatever your reason, you are there competing. Doing your best. No time for excuses. You are on a stage. No matter how big or small the stage, you are in the spotlight as a competitor.

I loved this competition. Not because I won because I didn’t. I watched my daughter compete in her first competition. I watched her achieve things she didn’t think she could. I saw her embrace new relationships and partner through adversity. I saw her cry when she felt defeated. I heard her say at the end of it all that it was fun. I can’t wait for the next one. I’m going to be better next time. How awesome is that? The lessons she learned today will springboard her in many parts of her life and I get a front row seat to watch that growth. Simply amazing!

Whenever I can compete with my kids in a CrossFit competition, race, or business I will jump at the chance. I will put so much to the side to do it. It’s memories like these I will cherish for a lifetime. It’s an opportunity that everyone has. An opportunity many won’t seize. An opportunity I desire. 

My fitness journey is a work in progress. It has been for most of my life and it will be for many more years. In light of the recent passing of notorious RBG, I hope to still be CrossFitting my way when I’m in my 80s. Hats off to some of my competition pals. This photo isn’t all-inclusive but it is a glimpse. All warriors in a way battling their own fitness journey and I’m happy to part of their story as much as they are a part of mine.

My emotional tank is overflowing.

My mind is dancing to an amazing anthem.

My physical aches are temporary and none required a bandaid.

Big win here. Today was a success and then some.

Last minute decisions do indeed make for amazing memories.

challenges

When the Call Comes…

The phone rings and orders are assigned. No choice you are under contract by the military to do the job you have trained for. It doesn’t matter if you have a civilian job. It doesn’t matter if your closing on a house. It doesn’t matter if you have an exam in college. It doesn’t matter if you have pets. It doesn’t matter if you have a newborn.

You have orders to serve. Less than 48 hours to arrive fully packed and ready to go. You need to hit pause on your life and report for duty. Pandemic or not, you have to go. No excuses. This is the life in the fast lane as a soldier called up on orders.

Final destination may be unknown. Total timeframe may be extended. The unit is ready. Now it’s time to see the execution of the practice plans. 

The above is a snapshot of a whirlwind experience with a loved one. The many pieces that need to be handled while the soldier is serving. Mock missions or real missions, they are all the same. Time away. Unknowns. Feeling like a government-issued piece of property.

Some love the life. Some hate the life. Some get bored over time but a contract is a contract and those who commit to serve must honor their commitment even if it means being ripped from normal life in the blink of an eye. Soldier boots are not for the faint at heart.

Deployed is the official word to some. Active orders to others. It’s all time you miss your loved one and wonder when they will return and if they will return safely. Add in a pandemic and stress levels elevate. How does a military unit assemble and socially or physically distance? How do soldiers adapt and modify field training? Is travel safe for soldiers but not the public? Is there a quarantine period upon return?

For me I’ve been fortunate with my experiences over the past 10 years. My loved one however has lost close friends while serving. It’s never easy in my mind to adjust but there is always a worse situation aside from yours.

For now I wait. For now I cover the home front until said return. Luckily we have technology for the times when it’s available.

Keep my soldier in your thoughts. The final stretch is nearing and any extended cycle would not be fun at this point in the military career. Military life extends beyond the solider. It includes the support system. As I said before a mother’s worry never ends. Some days are just harder than others.

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.

family

What’s Missing Today?

Today I went to the bathroom to spray some perfume. The new bottle of perfume that only comes out annually. It’s missing. Gone. It wasn’t even in my bathroom finishing section for less than 24 hours.
 
I thought, where did I put it? As if I was in the wrong or a state of confusion. Nope, furthest from the truth. I realized it was back to school time and a little mini me must have helped herself to my stash of scents. Of course she did. She needs to smell fresh at school all day and it seems you get sweaty running up and down the halls. Smelling good combats the sweat I guess. Wow just wow. Oh the bright teenager mind.
 
Then it got me to thinking. My missing tank tops for the gym. My missing gym socks that I thought got eaten in the dryer mysteriously. I literally took inventory and I was missing a lot.
 
T-shirts, booty shorts, shoes, jewelry and so on. Basically the only exclusions were bras and panties. Does this happen to anyone else? I thought I had a private room/bath but apparently there is an invisible sign that says come in, help yourself, stay until you find what you need, smell good and feel fabulous. 
 
I am a bit speechless. A bit flattered. A bit annoyed. Does this happen to anyone else? Fall is fast approaching and why do I think I won’t even find a cute sweater or sweatshirt when the need arises. Oh well that’s because lady hot fingers has probably helped herself for all the good stuff.
 
Then there lies the problem. I can’t go shopping for replacements because I like to try things on for the perfect fit and thanks to corona I can’t. Go away Corona. I need to replenish my closet. 
 
Invasion of the teen has happened and I guess she is missing her spontaneous trips to the mall for her own retail therapy and I guess my closet is at least new to her.
 
Rehome, reinvent, recycle. Oh the words I have that sum up the year we call 2020. 
 
Life is tough in my world. Clearly some teen girl has it made though.