Fifty- seven years ago today was a happy day for a hard-working man in law school and his beautiful college sweetheart. This young married couple welcomed their first-born, a son, into the world. He was a gorgeous child, and the parents had such hopes and dreams for him. He grew up in a "normal" American household. His father worked hard, and his mother stayed at home raising him along with his two younger sisters. They were a happy family. This young boy grew and grew- he became a tall man at six foot, three inches. He was a very handsome man and he was a nice guy. But somewhere, somehow, he made some wrong choices. For a bigger thrill? Boredom? Peer pressure? Self-indulgence? Depression? No one really knows what goes on in someone's head and why certain choices are made. But have no doubt that the choices that one makes affect others in a profound way. As a result of this man's drug use, the damage to his brain and finally his heart and arteries became the death of him. I don't know who will read this....but remember my words....smoking pot- the prelude to doing meth. Doing meth- the death of your brain, your arteries, and finally your heart. Like I said, your choices do affect others- especially those who love you. Although I don't want to forget his last days because it has made such an impact on my life, when I think of my brother, I would prefer to think on happier days. And this day, I have thought of you Jeff and those happier days.
April 30, 1951-January 29, 2001
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Yippee, today I reached a milestone! You know I have mentioned in my spinning class that I do not do everything Xand tells us to do. When he says give it a turn to the right which creates a harder ride, sometimes I do it and sometimes I don't. Remember, I am listening to my body and know what I can and cannot do. Likewise, when he says out of the saddle which means start peddling standing up like you are on a stairmaster, sometimes I do and sometimes I stay seated. Well today..... every time that Xand said out of the saddle, I was up and going. Usually the last couple of songs I just have to ride at a decent pace without lots of tension and be seated. But not today! I say all of this not to just sing my praises (yes, I was proud), but to say over time you will have these milestones of improvement. And you all know how long I have been doing this. But remember those important words- perseverance and consistency! Don't give up! Even when you feel like you are not getting those results you desire. Exercise just gives you that feeling of accomplishment and helps you to be a better you. I wish I had a photo of how I looked when I finished. I do believe this is the reddest my face had ever been. I was off work today so I decided to go on over to the pool. I mean it was 6:45 am. I planned to later visit my father-in-law in ICU so I had to kill some time anyway. I mainly swam today to cool myself. I did not get strenuous with my swimming- I went 16 laps, and you talk about feeling good. That cool water on my hot red face totally refreshed me. Double duty was great today. I hope you are all enjoying your exercise like I am mine. If not, then find something you like to do or fake it until you do like it.
Monday, April 28, 2008
Yeah, no doubt about it, Mondays are hard. And they will continue to be hard when you slack off of your exercising on the weekend (Like I did). Today we were small in number in FF- only 4 of us. A small group meant we had ample room to work with the ball. We worked shoulders, biceps, and back along with some lunges and squats. Our work on the ball was again DIFFICULT!!!!! We walked our hands out while planking with our shins on the ball, and then we walked our hands back in. But... after we finished this, we did a plank where we began in a pike position, walked our hands out into a pushup position without the ball, and then walked them back to the pike position. Two weeks ago I could barely do this, and today it became much easier. What I can deduct is this- do those very difficult exercises, challenging yourself, even if you can only do one, two or three. In time, you will continue to get stronger. It just feels great to have that sense of accomplishment. Just keep pushing yourself, and you will go farther than you thought you could. Tomorrow is spinning for me, what are you doing?
Sunday, April 27, 2008
This is a photo taken last fall when I participated in my first organized bike ride. I went 25 miles. They had stops along the way, but I wanted to see how long it would take me without stopping. I had alot of fun. I hope to go for longer rides in the future. Right now, I have a comfort bike, but maybe as I get more into bike riding, I will get a road bike. For what I do, this is fine right now. I have not been able to go ride for almost two weeks. I should have gone this weekend, but home responsibilities have kept me busy. I am finding that with exercise, sometimes you just have to schedule it in just like you do a doctor, dental, or hair appointment. Time for me to do that with a bike ride!
Friday, April 25, 2008
Today I mentioned that my camera was broken. Well... it is broken. I was only able to view part of this image when I took this photo this morning. Somehow I have been careless with my camera, and as a result the window that you view the image through is partially broken and I can only see some of what I am photographing. I knew that I would be able to transfer this photo, but I am going to have to get this repaired. I spoke to Olympus, and they can repair it. So be careful with your camera. This is my trainer Xand (in the middle) and a couple of my fitness fusion friends. Although I joined FF in January, I might say that I rejoined. They were at another location ( my gym that shut down), and I was in a class last Feb-June and Xand was beginning his career as a trainer. What a transformation Xand has made! He is a great trainer- he is fit, muscular, he speaks loud and clear (for us older people), he challenges us, he mixes it up and makes the class interesting, he is confident, he encourages us, he is nice and instructs with tact. I just love him and hope we never lose him. My fitness fusion friends are great- they are struggling some days just like me, they are committed to this class and they work hard. We all greet each other every MWF and miss each other when we are gone. If you can work out at home and have lots of discipline that is great, but if you can't, it is great to have a knowledgable trainer and nice people to work out with.
Today at Fitness Fusion was more planking on the ball. We were facing the ground walking our hands on the ground and as we walked out, our knees left the ball and then our feet were on the ball. Then we had our hips low and held a plank and then walked our hands back in. Then we did the same thing only we did push-ups. Then we walked out, but this time we brought our hips up keeping our legs straight so that when we finished, our toes were on the ball. Whew!!!! Talk about hard. All of us in the class were struggling with this new exercise. We were definitely working our core. Several of us decided we would try to do this at home so we would not be grunting, groaning, and complaining so much when we did it again in class. I tried to get a photo of the group. Maybe I did, but my camera is broke under the screen so that I can not see what I am taking a photo of. Wah.... I am so upset that my camera is broken! I will have to see if I can get it repaired; otherwise, it is buy a new camera. This is not what I want to do!! The weekend is here- get outside and do something so Monday is not so hard.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
By the way, I must mention that I did finally make it to the pool on Wednesday. I got to the pool about 6:15 am and swam for 24 laps. I had a hard time since it was my first swim in 3 weeks. You know when you are swimming and you get your heart rate up in the pool, you just don't know how hot you are. When I would stop briefly and rest, and then start again, the moment I put my face into the water I would feel the coolness of the water to my face, knowing that my face was red and sweating. Then when I finished and went to get my shower in the dressing room, I saw that yes, my face was red. I only took a shower because I had to wash the chlorine from my hair. It was then on to fitness fusion. My muscles were warmed up and I was continuing to sweat before we even started. I had a great workout. We worked on doing planks. First, with our forearms on the mat and up on our toes. You have to remember to keep your hips down so your core gets the maximum workout. We held this pose for one minute. Then we planked where we were up on our hands further than shoulder width apart. We had to lift one leg for 30 seconds and then switch them out for another 30 seconds. I had to put a knee down and start over a couple of times with this. Maybe I was tired from the swim, maybe I just am not there yet. Regardless, it was very hard for me to do. So... I did a double duty. Maybe I can do that again before too long. You all keep working hard too!!
This morning when I woke up ( 4:30 am) I hit my snooze button.... repeatedly. Okay, in no time at all it was 5:00 am, and I would have to leave my house by 5:30-5:35 to make it to my spin class on time. It was like that old cartoon where you had an angel on one shoulder telling you what to do, and the devil with his pitchfork on the other shoulder shouting orders. I would hear- you need to go, you will regret it if you don't, it is good for you... and then ... you don't want to go, this is the only place you have to go this morning and you'll burn that gasoline, stay home, you're doing fine. Finally, the battle in my mind was over- good won out! I did not have to prepare my breakfast or lunch, nor did I have to take an extra change of clothes, so I had no preparation in getting there this morning. I had a great spin workout! I sweated up a storm, got my blood going, and my muscles warm, and had a great cardio session. So, when you start that yes, no, yes, no, of going or not, make yourself say yes to exercise!
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Let me tell you a story that happened thirty years ago today. There was this skinny brown-headed girl. This girl was in her early 20's, and she was quite a hellraiser. She was a big tomboy and she loved to play sports. But this day she gave up her cutoffs and tube top to be dressed in a flowing white wedding dress. She was marrying the man of her dreams. After all, wasn't that what the fairy tale said? That she would find her handsome prince and live happily ever after. Well.... that was thirty years ago today. She is still living the dream... only sometimes she wants to wake up.... and her handsome prince? yeah, he is still handsome, just more of him (as well as her), and happily ever after??? well.... almost...
Glen and Dee married on April 22, 1978.
Glen and Dee married on April 22, 1978.
Monday, April 21, 2008
This is a great group of women known as the Unomes. We all graduated from the same high school and we began meeting regularly on our 50th birthday. That was just a "few" years ago. How blessed I am to have these women in my life. They are all so different and I am able to glean from the many experiences they have had in their lives. We all still live in Texas, though not all in the same city. We are a diverse group- married, single, divorced, widowed. We are career women, stay at home moms, empty nesters, grandmothers, serious, fun-loving, compassionate and straight forward. We love getting together and never run out of things to talk about. I could go on and on. So this post is to honor all you unomes! I love you all!
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Now how about this for a group of healthy women? We are a group of women 19 years to 80 years of age. We are all committed to being the best we can at whatever age we can. Whether it be kickboxing, jogging, walking the dog, running up and down stairs, working in the yard, walking at the mall, fitness fusion or spinning- we have three generations of women working to stay healthy!
Here is another photo at Palo Duro Canyon in Canyon, Texas which is near Amarillo. This was on September 1, 2007. It was cool that morning, and it got hot pretty quick. The trail was easy to hike... that is until I tried to climb up that to that lighthouse formation. I do hope to go on another "adventure trip" soon. If you ever get the opportunity to be around Amarillo, then take the time and drive into the park and look around. It is very beautiful scenery, and it is the second largest canyon in the U. S.
Hey, I was just experimenting; I am learning how to upload photos to my blog. Here is a photo of The Lighthouse formation at Palo Duro Canyon. This is when I went on my "adventure trip" last fall. I am sitting at the bottom of this formation after hiking the 6 miles to get to it. I had to scoot down on my rear end to get down. It was kinda scarry. I will post more photos since I now know how to do it. Bear with me!
Friday, April 18, 2008
You know that my primary purpose in writing this blog is about exercise and motivating couch potatoes, but sometimes I just like to write some of my thoughts and opinions. I realize that an opinion is like a belly button, everyone has one. Today after I got home and wrote my post in this blog, I began cleaning my house. While I was doing this, I had the TV on, and it just happened to be on "Leave It to Beaver" which I never watch. This episode was from 1958, fifty years ago. I just kinda had the TV on and was doing my dusting and my attention was caught when I saw Wally and Beaver rolling on the floor of their bedroom fighting as brothers often do. We all know that June is the perfect mother, and Ward is the perfect father. So... I wanted to see how June handled this. She made the brothers sign a "friendship pact". Ward and June are alone at lunch and she is explaining how she has solved this problem of the two fighting brothers. One very profound comment that Ward made was, "June, you cannot force friendship on anyone." This definitely shows how very smart Ward is. Another very important point I noted was this- it was a pact and the brothers made great sacrifices to keep this pact. Granted, they did not want to get in trouble with their mother for being the one to break the pact, but nevertheless, they kept their pact. Both of them were offered other opportunities for fun that day that they both turned down- because... they made a pact. Now, when it was all said and done, the brothers were quite angry with one another for having to miss the fun they would have had. They are fighting again. June is taken aback that these brothers who had been getting along so well were now fighting up a storm. June had no idea that the boys were both invited to do something else, she is clueless. Ward knows all about it, and he gently tells June that the reason they were fighting was because Wally gave up going to a football game with a friend, and Beaver gave up going fishing with Gus, and they were both mad about it. At the end of the show, June was eating humble pie, and realizing that Ward was right and she was wrong about forcing her two sons to sign this pact. She even admitted to him that she was wrong. Now that was fifty years ago. Fast forward- a TV show now would in no way ever depict the father being right about anything. I mean.... he is stupid, fat, and slinks back, making no decision or comment. This is all left either to his wife, or probably more true to the kids. Today's Wally and Beaver would know much better than either one of the parents. They would be telling June, no way would they ever sign any pact. And... if they felt like they had to, in no way would they ever plan on honoring it. I know that fathers are not always right, and mothers are not always right, and sometimes kids do make lots of sense, but today's TV show would never have the father coming out being smart, confident, and sensible. Hmmm... who changed?
I say, "Lucky me?" My point is was I lucky or not. At my fitness fusion class there are 6 members. Usually, there are always 5 of us there. Today I again wanted to go swim and do my FF class, but I just kept shutting that alarm off. And then I wanted to skip my class altogether. What am I thinking? Am I forgetting my goals? My talks to all of you? Am I just really a dang hypocrite? No! No! No! I am resolved... I will keep pushing forward. So... I jumped out of bed, got dressed, rushed out the door, got a breakfast at Chik-filet ( I know I gotta work on that), and made it to my class. Now here comes my question of being lucky or not. I was the only one there! So... I got my own private session with my own personal trainer. Yeah.. this is normally $55. And I got it for no additional charge added to my monthly fee. So, yes in this respect I was lucky. Now the part about not being lucky is that I got such a workout!! Oh my gosh.. I sweated, and panted, strained, and groaned. Whew! We went into the workout room where the equipment was. I got alot of new ideas that I can use at home with the medicine ball and the Swiss balance ball. Xand worked me to death! My hair was soaking wet, my face was red, and I knew I had been worked out. So... I ask you... would you say lucky me?
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Gosh, I don't know what is going on, but I just felt plain tired today. I got up at my usual 5:00 a.m. to go to spinning, and while I was making coffee and getting my breakfast ready, I just made the decision to skip it. Do you know what I mean? I think it is all this pollen in the air or something. I am just feeling tired. But... tomorrow I hope to get back on the bandwagon and get going. Yesterday T and I made it 20 miles on our ride. It was cool enough that we did not really work up a big sweat even though we did expend energy going up and down some small hills. It really was a nice day and I enjoyed it.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Gorgeous! Beautiful! Cool! Breezy! Sunny! It is the perfect day for a bike ride, and that is exactly what I intend to do. My friend T and I are headed uptown meeting close to the high school and taking off down several FM country roads. This will be a new route for both of us. We will probably ride around one or two hours. I guess it will depend on how tired we get or how much traffic there is. This morning I wanted to go to swim and to my FF class. Well, I did my typical thing and that was slept too late to do both. So... I made it to FF and missed the swim. That means it is going on two weeks since I was in the pool. Ugh! I do miss it and need to get myself revved up and going. Hopefully I can make it there on Friday. The weather has been unusually cool for east Texas weather, but I certainly won't complain. Those hot days of summer will be here sooner than we think. I was checking out "adventure trips" last night on the internet (which is why I was up so late). For those of you who know me, you know all about my adventure trip last fall. I want to go on another one, and I am checking out different things. I have never backpacked and I am very interested in this. I would have to do lots of preparation for this, but I do think I am up for this task. So... I may soon be able to add this to my list of workouts. What about you, any new modes of exercise? Don't be afraid to jump out there and do something new. Life is moving on, and we better get in there and move with it!
Monday, April 14, 2008
No doubt about it, working your core is not only hard work, but so good for you. Today that is what we did. We did lots of squats- on flat ground, on a half styrofoam roller, to the side, to the front, at an angle, without weights, with dumbbells, with the bar. Whew!! My core definitely got a workout. We not only worked our core today, but also our shoulders, back, biceps and triceps. We only did a small amount of chest with some presses and flyes. Also, just a small workout today on the abs. Our essential core workout today was the back. I told Xand though that today he definitely had me sweating!! When doing upper body and lower body workouts, don't forget to work your core!
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Yesterday I had to miss my fitness fusion to go to a dental seminar. I thought about a swim that morning, but it was only a thought. I got home late in the afternoon and then my husband and I made a trip to the lake to spend the night. So today, I made up for yesterday. There were all these country roads that I explored today on my bike. The weather was gorgeous. I started out with a sweatshirt, and after going up hill after hill, it came off! One hill I even had to get off my bike and walk it up the hill. I probably rode an hour and a half. I was alone, and I could set my own pace. What a great day and what fun I had! So.... miss my exercise? Not today!
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Day after day I work out and sometimes I feel sluggish, tired, and OLD!!! But not today! Today at FF, I was able to easily handle the 12 lb. bar instead of the 9 lb. bar. So yes, yes, yes, I am getting stronger. What I find out works best which I think I have mentioned before is to challenge yourself with a heavier weight. Use it only long enough that you do proper form, and when you start to give in and slouch, go to the lighter weight. Over time as your muscles tear down and rebuild, you become stronger. Today I was able to complete the entire series of exercises with the heavier weight. I say this not to brag, but just to encourage you to continue to make it a habit of challenging yourself to do more- either more weight, more reps, or working out for a longer time. You learn to know when you are helping your body and when you are hurting it. So try it today- go for that heavier weight and see yourself become stronger!
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
I do keep improving in my spinning class. I mean... I do come up out of my seat and do a standing climb more often than previous classes. But.. I just cannot do everything that all the members in the class are doing. However, I must say that I believe all spinning participants would agree that they want me to finish the class rather than go to the ER. I can tell when my heart rate is too high. That means that I must slow things down and get back in my zone. When I finish the class, my face is beet-red, and I am sweating for an hour after the conclusion of the class. But, I am not wiped out. So remember to stay in your zone which is 65-80% of your maximum heart rate. Also, as a sidebar- last week Jodie Foster was on Regis and Kelly. They asked her what she did for exercise. She said that she did lots of things, but her favorite was her spinning class. If you have not tried it, try to get in a class and give it a shot. It goes pretty quick, it is hard work, it makes you sweat, it builds muscles in your legs, and it is a great cardio workout. And remember, whatever you are doing, it is more important that you do it often rather than going all out and burning out and quitting. As time goes on, I may change some of the exercises that I do, but I never ever plan to quit!
Friday, April 4, 2008
I like getting my exercise done early. This way I can know that I have it done. Otherwise, there are distractions, interuptions, and surprises that happen during the day that can keep me from it. I do realize that this is not possible for everyone because of their schedules. But for me, it is great because this way I don't neglect to do it. It has been pouring rain for several hours so right now it looks like no walking or riding a bike outdoors. However, this should not hinder anyone from exercising- you can always walk at the mall or on a treadmill. And you can go to the gym or to the indoor pool. Forget the excuses. I mean... we can always find plenty of excuses not to exercise, can't we? So forget it... no one wants to hear your excuses for not exercising. You can be creative and work it in even if you have to do it in small increments. Anything is better than nothing. And take it from me.... get it done early and you are done and you feel good physically and mentally because you have accomplished something. And then if you want to do more you still have the rest of the day to do it. Remember, no excuses!!
Thursday, April 3, 2008
Have you ever been last? The last in a race? The last one picked to be on a team? The last one to make the cut? Do you know what it feels like to be last? Well.... I do know what it feels like to be last. I am the last in this spinning class. In other words... I am the worst! Yes, if we were moving I would come in last. Now, I am not looking around the room, but I can tell that everyone is doing what Xand tells them to do except me. And why? Because my heart rate is already up sky high and I know my zone. So sometimes when he says turn it up a full turn or come up out of the saddle, I ignore him and do my own thing. I am not letting peer pressure bother me either way- to hurt myself by going out of my zone, or by giving up and quitting. I am last and I am just proud to be in the running. So when you feel discouraged because you are last, think of me, and think of persevering. I intend to keep getting better and improve with my stamina and my strength in this spinning class. I know I am achieving these goals because when I go for an outdoor bike ride, I am finding that I am much stronger and give out less. This morning I began my day with my spinning class, and this afternoon I ended with a 15 mile bike ride. The wind was tough on this country road, but the breeze felt good and it was nice to enjoy the outdoors. Tomorrow is FF and I can hardly wait since I missed on Wednesday. And who knows what Saturday will bring? Rollerblading? Swimming? Walking? Biking? So many fun things to do. Fitness can be fun!
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
I do think that my exercise is a habit. I've mentioned before that for something to be a habit you do it for 21 days. Some people say 28 days. Well, I have been doing FF and spinning now for 10-11 weeks. That means close to 75 days. And I would say that my exercise is definitely a habit. I think the hardest part of exercise is being consistent and doing it everyday. When it does become a habit, you almost are compelled to do it. If you miss, you mentally feel bad. I mean you feel guilty, like you have let someone down. Today when I woke up, I had a headache. I debated back and forth am I going or am I staying? I decided to stay at home and I took some Advil and laid in the bed awhile longer. Yes, I felt kinda guilty, but I still knew it was the right thing to do because I knew had I gone, my headache would have gotten worse and I would have really just been spinning my wheels and not had a good workout. So what about my exercise today? Did I miss? No way! In fact I did double duty later in the day. I swam for 36 laps which took close to an hour and then I went for a 10 mile bike ride. Now I do realize that some days I have more time than other people do. My point is- make it fit your schedule. And always aim for 6 days a week and then if you make 4 or 5 you are still doing good. No matter how often you do it, some is better than none. Don't beat yourself up if you miss, but just keep trying to make it part of your life- just like brushing your teeth. It is something that you do. It is just a habit!