challenges

A New Wall

I hit a new wall today. A mentally exhausting wall. One I didn’t initially bounce off and spring ahead like normal.

This wall was different. It started out as me being tired. Then it shifted to me being irritable. Then technology flipped a few switches that set me off kilter.

Moving on to mid-day a teenager rattled my cage. Then the rain hit. All the while work was super busy. It’s the end of the month. The end of the fiscal year. Emergencies by phone and mail.

I wanted to dish out numbers like they do at the meat counter but that’s not reality. It all needs to get done. You need to be four places at one time. It doesn’t matter if it’s pouring rain let alone if you are tired. 

When you are in the hot seat. The driver’s seat. The most relied upon seat, nothing matters. You are just expected to balance it all. But what happens when you hit the wall and don’t bounce back?

For some it may take one into a dark place in mind and body. Luckily for me I have some friends who can crack me up during the day with a funny text to lighten the load. I have some go-to gals who can be a listening ear when I want to punch everyone.

And then I can always change my scenery. For me, today I took a car ride. Got a coffee. Drank it away from people. Talked to a friend by phone. Took some deep breaths. Ordered dinner to-go. Planned an early bedtime to mentally let my brain rest.

I took to writing. This blog of course. Writing is a therapeutic outlet for me for many reasons but sharing stories of walls is important for people to read. It’s life. It’s real. It’s not filtered. There are no amazing pictures.

My wall is the beginning of what may be a long road of walls. It’s midlife womanly adjustments. The yucky m word. The one you want to be over so your cycle is history but the one you dread because of its uncertainty.

Let me just type the damn word. Menopause. Menopausal. Resident psycho to some. Bitch to others. I’m sure I’m missing a few descriptions but owning the word and its side effects is step one. One of God only knows how many steps.

Pray for me. Think of me. Lift me up in spirits if you see me against the wall. Plastered to the wall. Mentioning the wall. Or anything resembled the wall symptoms. Baggy eyes. Disheveled look. Short fuse.

The worst thing you can do is ignore my hot mess as that will make me want to isolate you. As a giver and doer I help many. Unfortunately many won’t see that need for help. That struggle at that damn wall. 

Is there a magic tea for menopause? And why the hell is the word “men” embedded in the word itself. That is just crazy because they are clueless when it comes to dealing with a menopausal woman. Just sayin’.

mEn-oh-PAuse: your lady friend is about to go batshit crazy. Clear the fuck out now. Don’t pause. Run. Hide. It’s safer that way.
If the DICtionary doesn’t say that it really should. Fun fact!

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.
perspective

It Just Happened

Just like that. I looked up and the calendar is showing September first is right around the corner. What in the heck!

Have I been in a coma? Did I get amnesia? Did I get hit by a Mack truck? No, I sure didn’t. I’ve been living in what seems like a a time warp of sorts. The corona blah.

I see some sense of normalcy on the horizon. School is back in session. A digital start moving on to in-person tomorrow. What a whirl wind for my new high schooler.

One way hallways, masks required, one way stairwells, limited social activities, no fun bus rides, just a bunch of rules, rules and more rules. In her world it’s still better than being stuck at home on a computer for hours. For me it’s a break from the insanity of the last 6 months.

Work adjustments, life adjustments, school adjustments. Just another day of change management. Grind, grind, grind.

September is here. Fall is in the air. Sweaters, sweatpants and blankets ahh how I love me some fall fun. Looking forward to hikes, toasted marshmallows, pumpkin seeds and maybe if I’m lucky a trip for a quick getaway if travel restrictions are lifted. Starbucks coffee in the famous red cup is a must as well. Caramel brûlée I hear you calling my name.

Here’s to hoping this fall is a giant leap forward into normalcy. May the leaves falling be a symbol of corona being a topic of the past vs. the present. May sports this fall be memorable for my child as she begins her high school career. May there be school dances and football games. May there be activities to look forward to that involve people and socializing.

Bring on September, October and November. Let these three months be ones for the record book. I want to look up and say “wow, I’ve had the best three months” instead of “wow, did I just wake up from a coma the last six months?!”

Fabulous fall here we come!

fitness and nutrition, friendship

Peachtree Road Race, 2019

 

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It’s an Atlanta Independence Day tradition. The largest 10K in the world.

Growing up, I watched my ultra-fit older brother run the Peachtree.  Other members of my extended family have run it at times throughout my life.  Five years ago, inspired by my sister-in-law, I decided to join in.

The Peachtree is a festive, social event as much as it is a fitness test. I look forward to running the Peachtree with family and friends.  Sometimes our running partners shift a bit.  Every year, I’ve had my youngest daughter with me.  How we both have changed since that first run!  See the pics below for glimpses of us through the years.

Some years are harder than others.  My first year, I was doing some walking and jogging at home when race day rolled around.  We completed that race during a thunderstorm.  I knew I had to do it again since I didn’t really get the “Peachtree experience” of silly signs, live music, and fifty-nine plus thousand other runners and revelers along the way due to the weather.

Other years presented challenges due to heat, travel schedules, and my level of training.  My time has gone up and down. In 2018 and 2019 I didn’t train specifically to run the race.  I just relied on my overall CrossFitness to carry me through.

This year I felt as strong as I ever have throughout the race.  I am still slow and steady, but I ran for much longer stretches than I have before, and my slow may be slightly less slow than my previous paces.

My goal this year was to complete the race in less than 1 hour 30 minutes, and I beat that goal by over 3 minutes.  I shaved over 8 minutes off my time from last year, and more than 23 minutes from my very first Peachtree result.

Even better…at the end of the race this year I felt like I could keep running, another first! And afterwards, I was ready to walk back up the very long hill to catch our ride back to the car.  The stairs we I to go up and down didn’t bother me. I’m usually stiff and spent for the rest of the day once I cross the finish line. I was a little sore the next morning, but not too bad. I got up, went to the gym, and went on about my daily routines.

Overall, this year’s Peachtree was a great personal success. Having a benchmark to look at makes a big difference in seeing how I’m coming along, year after year.  What fitness traditions do you enjoy?

 

adventure

Summer Adventures, Part 2

Sarasota, Florida was the destination and adventuring was the name of the game.

Girls trip time. 5 girls in tow. 3 teens and two mommas ready to see what they can cram into a few days at the beach destination.

Roof top swimming upon arrival. What a blast to see the sun set and enjoy the atmosphere after some time in the car. Some quick photos for the girls by the moonlight. Early rise to travel the town by bike the next day. The bike seat was nothing short of uncomfortable but it was a beach bike and it was on our must do list. We rode to the bay and explored away. Uncomfortable? Maybe, but adventure nonetheless.

We unexpectedly found a bike decorated at the bayfront near a tiki bar. We were not sure if it was a symbol of death by the water as it was decorated in white and was somewhat angelic. Boy, were we wrong! It was a symbol of peace and and we discovered this after asking about the history of the bike at the hotel. And then our unexpected adventure began…

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How many of the randomly decorated bikes could we find in the next few days? The next one was the mustard yellow one on the corner and then the old school ten speed adorned with flowers in the park. How many more will we find?

 

 

We stumbled on a kids bike decked out in print but somebody actually wrote junk not art on this one…check out the seat in the pic. Each bike is chained to a post of some sort and they are randomly scattered across the city. Next up was pink cheetah print. This one might have been one of my favs but that’s because we found this while driving and had to make a u-turn to snag a photo.

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We were on a scavenger hunt of sorts. We found a baby blue bike on the shore just over the bridge after a day on the beach. We made this a photo opportunity for our crew at sunset. We had to bang another u-turn again to catch the butterfly bike and then we caught the odd bird house bike at red light the last day we were in town.

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Unexpected adventures can yield to unexpected fun, just like the group of new friends we had dinner with one night. All types of backgrounds came together to chill and enjoy some conversation, cocktails and food. Unplanned, unexpected good times.

And the last bike we found was a scary octopus looking bike full of scales of some sort. What a whirlwind adventure that was unplanned. We got to learn a little about a local artist while on our trip and just got to share in some sleuthing with the girls as we were out and about each day.

Fun Friday was set aside for the beach and I was on a mission. I had to complete a handstand challenge. A handstand unassisted on the beach. In public. In my bathing suit. Feet kissing and no assistance. Can miracles happen? Well I had been practicing in the weeks approaching the trip and I was confident, but I never even attempted a handstand on a soft surface like the sand. Would I fall over? Would I chicken out? Would my friend capture the moment for proof?

Well, I am happy to report it’s a done deal. I sealed the deal and can officially take this off my bucket list. It might not be the prettiest handstand but it’s a freestyle handstand. No wall to catch me. No support. Just me putting in work. My day, my week and my month was complete in that very moment.

 

#goalgetter even on vacation. I mean, my pal David told me it’s not a beach trip until you do a handstand on the beach so hopefully I will continue to be fit enough as I age to continue this new beach tradition with whomever my travel mates are.

And then there was the cherry on top…. the young girls did handstands with me. A triple threat. A handstanding trio. That’s modeling, folks. Lead by example and people around you will want to level up and see what they can do, too. None of us were gymnasts. We just wanted to do beach handstands. And handstands we did.

Done and done. A few short days of rest and relaxation along with car ride giggles and snacks and of course late night chats and tropical frose drinks. Can’t complain about the adventures I had these past few days.

Wonder where my summa adventures will take me next time. I bet it will be stateside but you never know. Stay tuned!

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