Wednesday, September 30, 2009
I was recently contacted by David at Inspire Designs (http://www.inspiredesignsonline.com/) and am already anxious to purchase a "Calm Your Thoughts" shirt! Check out some of the stories people have shared on their website. Their motto? "The simplest of things can make a difference in someone's life." How true. If only we could remember that the simple acts we make each day have an influence on our own lives as well as others. (Remember that Energy!!)
I also want to point out the blogs that are down there on your left...that list of blogs that I follow as well. There are some AMAZING people out there doing life-changing things, one day at a time.
Keep in mind, we are all REAL people doing real things in this world. When you turn off your computer, we are still here. Each person reading this has the opportunity to live as deeply, kindly, juicy, & joyfully as those who exude life through their blogs.
Check out the links, get inspired, and GO LIVE!!
I do. Often.
I thought you might enjoy a li'l listen of what a typical evening at our household sounds like. (The video is blank - better to just focus on the sounds.)
Mmmm...don't you wish you were here?!
(I'll try to add more of a happy blog later this evening -- but hopefully you can understand why I'm a bit frazzled right now. These lovely sounds are brought to you courtesy of the mean mommy who asked her kids to clean their rooms.) :)
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Just a little digital creative fun I had this evening after running across and AMAZING site (robenmarie.com).
This is photoshop work (CS2) - the background texture is one that is offered for FREE at Roben Marie's site - "Every Life Has a Story"! (How cool is that?!) She is quite gracious in all that she offers and a very talented artist...I highly recommend a peek.
I've also printed this image & am going to add some texture through stamps & the like...
Really, it is time that I get off of the computer for the night. Darn addictive thing.
Really - take just a minute & check out this video:
A lot of deep thoughts have been building one on top of the other recently. Leave it to beautiful fall to bring about deep thinking! Here's something to ponder.
a) Down to the teensiest, tiniest bit of matter that scientists can study, everything is made up of pure energy. Not solid stuff like we imagine we see & feel each day, but vibrating energy. A fun way to be introduced to this concept is through the film, What The Bleep Do We Know. (Controversial film but a great thought-provoker.) There are countless other resources (feel free to leave a comment or email me if you'd like to know more). Based off everything we know & feel through all forms of truth searching (religion & science), everything is vibratory energy. (What we call it & where we feel it came from is a whole other life-long topic.) Ok with that?
b) Energy is flexible & malleable. (Malleable: adj. 2 a : capable of being altered or controlled by outside forces or influences b : having a capacity for adaptive change) It can be played with, moved around, squished & stretched, quickened & slowed.
b1) If you want to get really freaked out, do a quick glance into quantum physics. Here's a 10 minute You Tube video of clips from the above movie. Suddenly time & space have little meaning...it's weird. I warned you.
c) If thoughts are energy & our body is energy & our environment is energy, each of these things can play around with the other. Each of these things is flexible & malleable. Independently we accept this on a daily basis - sure, my thoughts change all the time. Yep, this aging body is changing quicker than I want it too. The environment is changing all around me - just look at this idiot speeding past me in his car!
But what about the interplay between each of these? The green movement is trying hard to show our body's impact on the natural environment. Recent pop trends have played up the effect of thoughts on our body or environment. (The Secret, anyone?)
Let's just narrow it down to one direction to keep things simple. Our thoughts influence our bodies influence our actions influence our being influences our environment influences the flow of our world. WHEE!
I am only one of millions who have explored this concept throughout time. Yet I am ONE. One of my simple little thoughts can turn into a flurry of actions that could potentially influence the world. (Butterfly Effect)
d) If we can accept all of the above as truth (if only while reading this blog), let's take it one step further. If everything is energy - vibrating, moving, bouncing, playing - what is the distinction between one form of energy & another? Its shape? The speed at which it moves?
But if energy is malleable, can't one form of energy turn into another? (Like with water...if we slow it down, it freezes & turns into ice...if we heat it up, it speeds up & turns into vapor)
And if energy is interchangeable, aren't all things in theory, one? Call it energy, consciousness, illusion, God, Goddess, whatever...but this vibrating, pulsating, playful energy that comprises everything we know is what we are made of, what our thoughts are made of, what the plant we eat is made of, what the person we hate is made of, what our mother is made of, & what Pluto is made of. (Poor Pluto.)
p.s. YOGA delves into all of this...if you only know it as poses, definitely look into it more - as a yoga teacher, I'd be happy to walk the journey with you!
OK. You have either stopped reading, skimmed ahead to this part, or are wondering - so?!
Here's the fun part. This isn't just theory that we can ponder & then forget in the shower tomorrow morning. It is potentially life-changing. Or not. Or maybe....just maybe....
What IF your thoughts - the ones about the kids while they are fighting, about how your creative work isn't good enough, the guilt about exercising or how you feel about your body - were creating your reality? What if you decided you ARE an artist or a runner or a beautiful person or a serene parent? Could that bouncy, feel-good energy really make a difference in what you see, feel, & experience all around you? Could it really be that easy (or that difficult)?
But I challenge you to Think About It.
Monday, September 28, 2009
I’d hoped to have time to blog about my deep thoughts & recent creative endeavors this afternoon. Instead, I journaled, cleaned up the floor, dealt with fights and unpaid bills, prepared dinner, and listened to the family jamming away on guitars & drums. Overall a good day.
(Non parents be warned: Only parenthood increases the cuteness factor of this. Otherwise it’s kinda icky.)
Dilana did make it to the potty 2 out of about 6 times today! She’s back in her diaper for the night and for another attempt tomorrow.
(After 15 or so “I have to go potty”s with no results in 5 minutes, I let her venture to the bathroom on her own. This is her version of going to the potty.)
(Dilana’s excitement after a successful trip)
I am still amazed at what makes the kids argue. Today, it was over which cup they would get once Tyler got off the bus. (Both held the exact same drink.) I held them behind my back & had Tyler pick a hand. He picked the cup he didn’t want. This led to both kids screaming all the way back home. (I took photos but am not surprised by phone isn’t working to be able to email them to myself.)
We did have a fun time tonight while I was trying to catch up on emails. The kids & Chris each chose and instrument & jammed away.
Another successful day. I feel so fortunate to have this life … messes & all.
First, this morning is quite the example of blending. We've decided that it is time that Dilana is potty trained. We waited far too long with our eldest. We eventually tried the all-or-nothing approach with him...and it worked! So today I throw caution & clean floors to the wind and am letting Dilana run around au naturel. The theory is that she'll feel the discomfort if/when she goes & will learn to run to the potty the next time. It's a bit messy but it worked the first time around!
It definitely forces me to re-arrange my schedule. Today is a weight/superset day (in home) which makes it a bit easier. We're carrying her princess potty-top all around the house & have already been through around 133 false runs. Hey, even 1 real success will make it worth it.
So much creativity & totally funky energy bursts I want to share! *sigh* For now, here's an update on the training:
What I Did:
*(Saturday a.m.) (level ground) Walk 2 minutes, Run 5 minutes.... (see follow up in What I Learned)
*(Sunday a.m.) (hills & level ground) Amazing 34 minute walk/jog/run. Did sets of 6 minute runs with 90 second walks in between. Finished with a very strong 1 minute sprint.
*(Monday a.m.) Superset with weights. I vary this so I don't get bored but often follow this great one at the Women's Health Magazine site.
What I Learned:
*(Saturday a.m.) I need to eat in the mornings before I workout. Fortunately Chris was with me that morning. We're on different training schedules so I started my run before he did. Around 5 minutes into the run, my heart started feeling like an over-inflated water balloon that was about to pop & those little black dots started dancing before my eyes. I slowed & eventually stopped to turn around and start heading towards Chris. I was sitting down by the time he got to me. It all turned out with a happy ending but I will certainly remember this for next time. Makes me kinda nervous about the morning of the actual triathlon.
*(Sunday a.m.) Chris discovered a nearly 3-mile path that we can take by our house that keeps us on fairly level ground (once we are out of our neighborhood). It takes us along a busier road for a short bit. No biggie...I've also learned I'm getting a lot less self-conscious about my running. I think I'm actually starting to think of myself as a runner (more on this lovely insight later!!) which makes me not care what someone else driving past is thinking.
*(Monday a.m.) This whole potty training thing is tiring. Since I've started typing this, we've had 5 ...no wait, now 6....more false alarms. I guess at least she's telling me.
Thank you SO SO much to all those who are leaving comments on the blog - you honestly make my day!!
Here's to more this afternoon (I hope)!!
Friday, September 25, 2009
One I'm running with is comfort. So many things are designed to make us comfortable - physically & mentally. We all strive for it (just the right temperature, tasty if even not-so-healthy foods, finding the closest parking spot, etc., etc.). When something interferes with our comfort we get frustrated or even angry.
What if we embraced being uncomfortable?
One thing I've pondered: It seems the more we allow ourselves to explore what is uncomfortable (new foods, back roads, fears of failing, ...) the more the uncomfortable becomes comfortable. It's kind of like moving or starting a new job. The more we stick with it & explore our new surroundings, the more comfortable it becomes.
Suddenly, even though fear may still be there, the sensation of fear itself becomes comfortable and the possibilities for exploration are endless.
If we stick with only what is comfortable & known we greatly limit ourselves in what we can experience during our lifetimes. By even taking one step outside of our comfort zone and sticking with it, we increase our comfort circles just an itsy-bit more. It is exciting to even think about it!
I challenge you to pick one thing this weekend that is even a tad uncomfortable. Start small, start private if you'd like. Run a bit futher than you normally would. Visit that museum that you've wanted to visit but feel odd going to. Eat something you wouldn't otherwise. Smile at someone that you would otherwise ignore. Create something even though you don't consider yourself creative. Play. Laugh. Live...if just a little.
Let me know what you find.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Amazing thoughts right now - yet I feel like I need to sit with them, be with them to let them fully develop.
I don't think I ever thought I'd have a day like this:
Drop my son off at the bus stop. Take my daughter in her jogging stroller from the bus stop, walk/run 25 minutes. (I ran for 10 min straight today - an accomplishment for me!) Take a very quick 15 minutes to get ready. Take my daughter to Kindermusik.
Come home, switch laundry, go out to eat with my husband (who is on vacation) & my daughter. Come home for a nap. (Don't sleep because my daughter won't). Spend an hour working on the art journal while hubby cooks brinner (breakfast food for dinner). Eat with our son & daughter at our dining table while the rain falls gently outside. Decide I should go to PTO meeting. Leave right after dinner for meeting. Glad I went.
Come home again, watch a few shows, blog.
Hopefully sleep soon.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
1) Playing with Levels (usually if any adjustments are done to a photo, this is my first stop). Maintaining the realism of the photo, just bumping it up a notch:
2) It's also great fun completely changing the colors & feel of a photo. It's great using filters to create "drawings" and other surreal images but also interesting to try and maintain some realism while drastically altering the photo. Again, I just played with Levels in this photo.
After playing with Levels:
Fun stuff, eh?
Photos often say so much, though, and today I had an opportunity to experience & photograph so much beauty.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Goal: 108 Sun Salutations.
What Happened: Approximately 54 Sun Salutations completed, impossibly good weather (gentle breeze, sun setting, couple of thunder rolls, no rain. Beautiful dinner after. Had to stop salutations & meditate because of a strange pressure in my head (didn't seem like sinuses) that kept getting worse.
Also had a lovely day with Chris & Dilana - he walked/ran 2 miles with Dilana in the jogging stroller - I biked ~5.4 miles - all on the Clear Creek Trail.
Stunning, but I'll have to describe more tomorrow. I am EXTREMELY sore and exhausted.
Monday, September 21, 2009
One woman I've been following for awhile just completed a HALF-MARATHON and did an AMAZING video about it. You really should view it here (http://donnadowney.typepad.com/) - regardless of whether you think you'll positively never run a step in your life unless you are being chased by wild hyenas or whether you've completed your 99th full marathon.
I had Chris watch it with me as it is perfect motivation for the process we are going through. I Felt her energy through the video and am already giddy thinking about having that feeling on our own when we complete our first event!
Gotta go do a little yoga and star-watching to calm me down before bed.
I purchased and subsequently used Gesso, a material I've been reading about for eons but never used. (Economy bottle - I'm totally cool with going the inexpensive route!) I've primed a journal page and am dreaming of what it will turn into.
I watched Who Does She Think She Is? (http://www.whodoesshethinksheis.net/), a wonderful documentary I picked up from the library on women artists & balancing motherhood & societal expectations. At points it felt a bit judgmental (overly feminist), but was overall tremendously inspiring. I LOVE that I can pick up something for free and get so much out of it.
Speaking of, I listened yesterday to an interview between Connie (at Dirty Footprints Studio) & Jamie Ridler (jamieridlerstudios.ca). I absolutely ADORE Connie, her work, and her energy...and found a new beautiful person to admire as well in Jamie. You can listen to the interview at Connie's website here. (Live On PURPOSE.)
I also played around yesterday with a journal page. I'm getting a bit bolder in mixing media, letting go of the pristine nature & perfectionism I'm so used to pursuing. I'm fairly happy with the results though I know that the struggle between trying to clearly & organizationally express myself (after all, I love organization!) and fully make use of wild exploration is evident...and as a result, the page is neither all me nor all not me. The tension keeps the page from being all that it could. I LOVE though that I can constantly revisit this and examine what makes it not all me....and make the next one even more so ME!
I played with paints, a printed photo digitally altered (thanks to Connie for her inspiration!), stamps, ribbon, Mod Podge, & glitter. Here's the result:
(Step 1 - painting the background)
We just spent a bit in the hot tub to ease sore muscles (and it once again shut completely off...eventually we'll get around to contacting the electrician). We stayed in until the temperature of the water dropped significantly, but I'm still dreaming of the stars out there. So I'm going to leave the computer and go watch me some stars!
Chris & I both stayed up in Indy and were able to get a walk/run in Sunday morning. We're on a little bit of different training schedules but had fun "running" into one another through the neighborhood. We got to run on level ground which makes a TON of difference. I still did interval training (I don't want to push my body too hard at this point) but had a MUCH easier time running.
It was even (lightly) raining that morning! I'm proud of both of us for getting out. Because I'd forgotten my Ipod, I ran with no music (which was more difficult), on level ground (which was way easier), and in tune with the rain (which was blissful).
This is us, quite happy after our outing (note the wet shirts from the rain!):
(And yes, it is another sign of me letting go that I'd post such a picture of myself. I may not look that good on the outside after a rough workout, but oooh my did I feel good on the inside.)
I'm quite proud of my hubby.
Today we are off to the YMCA to find out why they haven't called us about our private swim lessons for which we signed up (and paid)! After 2 days of running I'm letting my body rest this morning - possibly doing upper body weight training this afternoon. Bikes or swimming tomorrow....yea!
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
First, I've got a lot of love coming my way. It is absolutely beautiful. I want to thank YOU, yes YOU. Whether you read this and comment from time to time, or remain anonymous and just follow quietly, I am so grateful for you. Knowing that someone out there is sharing in this life I am creating and touched by it is a beautiful thing.
Second, I discovered....dun, dun, dun.....MORE FEAR. Later in the day yesterday, I started thinking about the logistics of the cruise. It left on a Friday and returned on a Monday. That meant we'd have to find childcare for our two kiddos for 4 days AND figure out how to get Tyler to and from school on both Friday and Monday. This would be a huge impostition on several people. We are also quite tight on moola and I knew there would be additional expenses (taxes, souveniers, etc). While I'd started just trying to calm myself down and prepare for the reality of not winning, I was now almost regretting having gotten registered at all.
The little voice inside suddenly cried out, WHAT?! You are seriously doubting that you'd want to take a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, an (almost) free excursion that others are paying $8000+ for (I saw an online auction that had closed - yup, people paid over $4000 a ticket), go on a cruise with your hubby...all because of a few logistical details? WHO ARE YOU?!
I love my little voice. She keeps me who I am.
With all of the excitement and the simultaneous encroaching fear, I wasn't about to sleep. So I journaled. Ah how I love that release. And even more, I love what came out last night.
Here's a snippet:
"...This is tapping into every fear that holds me back from a true, free life. The constrictions of reality are all too often reinforced. And sometimes they are all I can hear. (Money. M-O-N-E-Y. "Real life". Schedules. Committments. Shoulds.)
I've let go a lot less than I'd like to think I have.
...Yes, BUT...childcare is important / money is important / you won't always have someone to watch the kids / you love things too much to let go / you can't live without money / whats more important the kids or a concert / we don't have additional money for this /....
...creating requires buying things & you need to start making money to justify the expenses / you should be contributing to your family to society / what if something happened to Chris? / I'm physically hurt / I'm too tired /
I'M AFRAID of losing. of being judged. of having my course changed. of death. of finanical stress. of not being able to afford what I want and even more so of wanting what I can't afford. of saying no. NO. of failing. being made fun of. being JUDGED. of not being in control. that my values don't match that I like money more than I'll admit that I'm materialistic. That I'll be called out as a fraud. You aren't a yoga teacher / artist / fit person / photographer!
I am amazed at the depth of self union I had simply from being caller number 9.
I've known all of this for quite some time, logically at least. But last night, for whatever reason it really tickled my soul. I FELT it. And I Feel the fears that hold me back. I'm not quite ready to let them all go. But I realize they are there - I know my grip on shoulds, "reality", etc. I'm not going to get angry and fight (that is counterproductive). But gently, slowly, I'm going to keep trying to accept that fear really is the only thing holding me back.
Right now I fear I'm probably ticking off my hubby because I told him I'd be upstairs probably half an hour ago.
Funny the way it is, when you think about it....
(By the way, I heard on the radio the woman who did win the contest. She sounded very excited. I am so so happy for her and wish her a beautiful trip.)
I promise to you I'm not copping out of my triathlon goal, but I realized that my whole intention is to develop a healthy and productive lifestyle (and hopefully bring Chris & the kids along with me). I am getting in the habit of waking each morning and being physically active - incorporating cardio & weights (as well as yoga, of course!) - into a daily routine. My intention included finding discipline. I am succeeding in that. Therefore, if I can get over my guilt of not running, I can realize that my goal of the triathlon is still there. My intention of living a healthy and productive lifestyle was still met this morning through a very healthy and productive time outside!
Thursday, September 17, 2009
I LOVE the energy I've been feeling today. I am so thankful for all of my friends & family on Facebook who have been sending positive vibes & good luck wishes my way! And let me tell you - I'm feeling it. On top of my own anxiety I can feel the additional vibes pulsating all around me. Lest I get to new-agey allow me to phrase this that I can feel the love, man.
The day certainly didn't start out this way. Ok, I'm going to admit it: As far as workout out/training, I've done Nothing today. Nada. Zilch. Zero. And it doesn't feel good. I'm planning on taking some time after the kids go to bed tonight to do a blissful, relaxing, grounding yoga practice. (I'm going to need it to fall asleep!) That will have the added benefit of stretching me out. I'm planning on trying to run tomorrow morning...and while I'll get my shoes on & get out of the house, it's my body that will determine how far & fast I go. Here's hoping my joints are as ready for this as my mind is!
The fun thing about energy is that it doesn't have just one form. It permeates everything. I've been riding the energetic waves by cleaning the back deck, picking up around the house, journaling, & even creating with my art supplies - yea!! (I had to throw a nap in there - I got so excited after the call this morning that it was like having 5 cups of chai all in a row. My body had to crash at some point.)
I'm trying to let the results of tomorrow's drawing be on my mind but let go of the results. Again the lessons pass beyond the contest. I've finally let myself work with a beautiful magazine photo I've had hanging on my fridge for quite sometime. The photo speaks to me for whatever reason and while I've known I want to hang onto it, I've not known what to do with it. I've also had a journal I bought that I love (so many colors!) but also not known where to start.
So this afternoon, I pulled the magazine page off the fridge and popped open the journal. What better way to start this journal than with an image that I love?! I just used Mod Podge and decoupaged the picture to the page. First time I've done this process - fun!
I have plans to decorate this page more, but for now I love that I've taken the bold step of permanently adhering my beloved photo to something. I'm just keeping it on my desk and staring at it until she tells me what to do next!
My heart just started racing again as thoughts of DMB, a cruise, and the sound of ocean waves just crossed my mind. And the kids are apparently "STARVING". Until tomorrow morning....
I was just caller # 9 to a local radio station (i.e. the winning caller). I am now registered - alongside 9 other people who will be registered today - in a drawing to take place tomorrow morning.
A Royal Caribbean 3-day cruise to a private Caribbean island for a PRIVATE DAVE MATTHEWS BAND CONCERT!!
I have the chills EVERY time I think of it.
See info on WTTS's website here.
I fully believe in positive energy. While I don't want any negative energy going towards the other 9 individuals who will win today, I don't think it'll hurt for an abudance of positive vibes my way!
So if you have any to spare, I'd really appreciate a few winning thoughts sent my way. BLESS YOU!
(I'll blog more tonight once I can type better.) :)
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
I checked our bank account and got depressed. If I had to guess I'm not alone in this, but there is nothing like financial stress to drain me of all positive energy.
Fortunately, life goes on. The day's activities continued and I found myself taking a couple of steps towards completing the gift I mentioned. Lo and behold, I finished! Not only that, but I got a couple of thank you cards done as well. Whee!
The gift is a small birthday book with a few facts about the giftees birth year and some updates of the kids throughout the years on the giftees birth month. (It's a grandma gift - I know grandparents love photos of the kids just as much as I do!)
I loved the process of creating each page and the binding. I used a paper bag to cover the chipboard covers, (first having embroidered on the paper...I love the textural feel of that!), the computer to print quotes & some dates throughout, printed photos on vanilla paper instead of photo paper (to give a more aged feel instead of the glossy look), tons of stamps & distressing materials (ink & distressing edger) on the scrapbooking paper throughout, and my new tool....the Crop-A-Dile Big Bite! (Fun name, eh?) For those not into crafting, it is kind of like a binding machine...it cuts holes, puts in eyelets, etc.
Here are a few photos of the finished product:
And as I get time to write/create them, I love the gratitude expressed by a beautiful thank you card. I finally decided to try one with ribbon that you have to untie to open the card - kind of like a gift in itself!
I should workout at a designated, routine time in order to maintain discipline. I slept in a bit. Ooops. So I threw on my tennies and, while walking my son down to the bus stop, did one set of lunges up hill, one set of lunges at the bus stop (which intrigued the other kindergartener waiting there), and one set of lunges back down the hill. One part of workout - check.
I should be running, swimming, or biking in order to train for the triathlon. I got home and jumped on the eliptical. Part psychological avoidance of running, part logistics (haven't put the jogging stroller together), part health-awareness (I'm still nursing the sore ankle)...I chose to do my workout this morning focused on endurance. Thirty minutes strong of working out. An accomplishment no matter how you look at it.
I should do weights prior to cardio for the most effective workout possible. Music is such a motivator for me. Push by Madonna got me through my 16min slump that I almost always inevitably hit. When I reached 30 minutes, Fighter by Christina Aguilera popped up on my playlist. I decided to do about 5 minutes of weight training for upper body. I got weights in, regardless of when it happened.
No more monkeys jumping on the bed! Generally I don't allow jumping on the bed. But Dilana had so much energy this morning while I was working out that she was letting it out by bouncing around on the futon while the music pumped. She was cute. She didn't fall. All is good.
I'm off to a creative day - cleaning and organizing creatively & completing my gift. I can't wait to post some pictures of the endeavors! I'll post more soon....
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
I'm not necessarily getting up that much earlier, but getting out of the house during hours that I'd otherwise be on the eliptical makes a huge difference.
This morning I took the bike out and ventured through a developing neighborhood attached to ours. In the midst of a heavily wooded area, I came across 2 deer and a group of wild turkeys on the side of the road! I cannot describe the spiritual thrill of being so close to those animals and not separated by a car door and window. They quickly jaunted back into the woods as I giggled right past.
I've spent the rest of the day in the house mainly cleaning while they set the tile for our fireplace (finally - yea!).
I am thrilled to share that I am also getting back into the creative swing helped, in part, by inspiration from my birthday visit to Papertrix and Borders. I can't share yet on what I'm working (it's a birthday present for someone who might read this!) but I LOVE LOVE LOVE the process.
What a day - exercising in the morning, sending my son off to school, cleaning the house and playing with my daughter, responding to various emails and catching up on some computer organization, meeting my son at the bus stop, admiring the tile work on the fireplace, doing some heavy-duty creating, giving the kids a bath and going through the bedtime routine, preparing a few meals in between it all...and now blogging. Lovely!!
So here's for my triathlon update:
What I did:
(a.m.) ~21 min. bike ride (~3.5 mi.)
*I accomplished making it up a hill that I wasn't able to before!
What I learned:
*Chris also took his bike out (for the first time) this morning. He said he loved riding, but was frustrated by the hills. He brought up a good point - while we are certainly huffing and puffing, we are forced to do interval-type training in our neighborhood (which is ALL hills). The hills are too steep on the down-hill to pedal and the up-hills are just a struggle. We aren't really learning how to ride on level terrain. We'll need to rethink how and when we will get to the local trails to train.
*Cars are scary when you are on the road and not in one. I tried to venture out of the neighborhood and was passed on a hill by a large truck (who had gotten over, but still scared the be-jeeb-ez out of me). I need more practice riding before I try non-neighborhood roads.
*Biking isn't hurting my ankle (see previous post) but it is hurting my back. I am constantly working on core control (while biking and otherwise) but may still need to make a trip back to the doctor if this continues. Bummer.
*I love life. :)
Monday, September 14, 2009
It'll have to start slow, though...while lugging a box of food & drink from a family picnic yesterday I stepped on a tiny little stick and have pulled something in my ankle. I'm able to walk on it but a slight mis-step (i.e. not walking fully mindfully) and the pain reminds me what I've done. So no training today...gotta listen to my body! I'm keeping it iced & elevated when possible but am not going to let it get in the way of my birthday celebration.
Slight note from this weekend: I went on a walk/run yesterday morning (before the mishap) through our neighborhood. On making the turn onto one street, I literally had my breath taken away. I actually jogged back home, asked Chris to stick the kids & my camera in the car, and meet me over there. The photo doesn't do it justice, but oh my was it beautiful.
Poor Chris was trying to get ready for work. He wasn't as amused.
My birthday has been beautiful. Here's what it included: (Not necessarily in this order. I'm tired of trying to scoot the photos into the correct order.)
Friday, September 11, 2009
My day started out with a disappointing change of plans. After actually making it out of bed at 6 a.m., Chris headed downstairs to do weights and temporarily helped me get my bike ready. It took about 10 minutes to get the tires re-inflated, the safety lights on, etc. I headed down our driveway into a stunning morning lit only by moonlight and the bright beam of light from my bicycle.
I made it up a hill I didn't the other day and approximately .75 miles before my plans changed. Apparently I hadn't gotten the light properly attached to the clip and it flew off. When I went back to pick it up (lit by the bright red light on the rear of the bike!), I found that it would only work if the button on the light were held down. I tried to honor my original plans and continued on in only moonlight. (Our neighborhood doesn't have street lights.) After a few potholes and a racing heart, I decided to head home.
Sometimes we need to learn when to allow plans to change.
My entire day seemed to be lesson after lesson in allowing plans to change. Without my morning workout, the day just didn't have the same vibe. (After the struggles with the bike it was too late to do much when I arrived home.) Honestly, I was in a pretty foul mood throughout the day.
This evening I've been trying to take it slow - partly because I have zero drive to clean, switch laundry, etc. and partly because I want to allow myself time to renew....that tomorrow may be better.
Each year the amount of media coverage on 9/11 seems to get less and less. But each story is just as powerful as it was 8 years ago. For an interesting perspective, see this story on teaching 9/11 to those who are too young to actually remember 9/11/01. (It is so odd to me that my kids will study 9/11 as I did other historical events with a great disconnect...that I may be interviewed for some extra credit about my memories of that day.) EVERYONE'S plans changed that morning. Some more drastically than others.
I have a lot of reflection on death but too much to add to this post. It seems enough now to quietly type, to reflect, to honor the emotions that change brings. May we re-member.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
We all live with it. It is one of the primary obstacles named in yoga. No matter what its form, we are all afraid of something (many things actually). Generally we find ways of avoiding dealing with it. If we fear snakes, we avoid hiking through the tall grasses. If we fear public speaking, we make sure we don't pursue an acting career. If we fear failure, we constantly choose the path that is well traveled -- safe.
I don't know what it is about water, but it is both a symbol of my deepest love and in practicality one of my deepest fears.
I remember back in high school when I was really, truly a goodie-two-shoes. Lying to any of my teachers was simply unheard of in my life. Yet I vividly remember a swimming/diving class during high school where the coaches/teachers were making us try to jump in the pool without holding our nose. I was terrified of this....and came up with a story that my doctor had advised against it due to some condition I had. Of course, they knew I was lying but must have picked up on how thoroughly against doing this I was (to lie!)...I'm pretty sure I didn't have to do it.
Fast forward to today. We had a quick snack when Tyler got home from school and headed over to the YMCA. I've been so anxious about getting into the pool and have just wanted to get over that first step. The first step wasn't so bad. The second? Not so good.
I honestly tried a couple of times to do the breathing that you are supposed to do while swimming (turn head to side, breathe in through mouth, face back in water). Because I don't have a nose plug yet, I tried exhaling through my nose. The feeling of trying to breathe like this made me so anxious that my breath rate increased, making it even more difficult to try this technique. It only took a few drops of water up the nose before I had to stop.
I was embarassed (seriously, others were doing laps all around me), angry at myself (I use the freakin' neti pot for heaven's sake - I PURPOSEFULLY poor stuff up my nostrils!), and still anxious. All of this was covering up that deep fear that has been ingrained since that little high schooler lied to her teachers. I did a few more laps with keeping my face out of the water and decided to move onto the track. (Only had an hour for child care and I wanted to get some cardio in.)
And yet....I have signed Chris & I up for private swimming lessons. I am NOT going to let this get the best of me. Honestly, my pulse is quickening even thinking about putting my face in the water again. Yet I know deep down that someday I will be over this. Someday I will look back and smile a knowing and sympathetic smile at the person next to me struggling with proper breathing. I will still have fears, but proper breathing while swimming won't be one of them.
(And of course, I'm still a little fearful of those reading this going, really?! Afraid of that?! Wow. But I know for each person that might feel that way, there's another breathing a sigh of relief that someone else at this age shares that fear.)
Perhaps the biggest thrill I get from all of this is the fact that I am facing one of my fears head on. I could go the rest of my life never really knowing how to swim. I could even do a team triathlon situation if I so desired, only doing the cycling or running part. But I'm tired of ignoring life.
I'll get my nose plugs, practice breathing in the bathtub at home (where at least I don't have to worry about others watching me), and learn along the way. I have a long way to go and thats the way I like it. I'll be able to look back at this post in a year and realize just how far I've come.
I'm diving right into it.
What I did:
*(a.m.) 30 min. yoga (helped with aches from yesterdays bike ride!)
(*Dr.'s visit - got physical therapy routine to be done at home for knee issue, received call back from primary physician saying to check in with "back doctor"...got call back from "back doctor" saying to keep working on core strength but ok to train. If pain too bad, I'll head back into doctor.)
(*Purchased Mizunos that I will pick up tomorrow in Greenwood. Anxious to see if these will help)
*(p.m.) 20 min. "swimming"
1.5 miles / 20-25 min. walk/run (walked one lap, ran one, etc....ran the last two)
What I learned:
- My son is a great friend....(he sympathized on our way home that he hates water up his nose too.)
- Heat pads are a god-send.
- Other people can be a huge motivator even without knowing they are doing so. This is both good and bad. Someone staring at me in the pool might have just been admiring my sexy swimmers cap (oh yeah, that capped off bald-look is back in style now) but it motivated me to fear (they must be thinking I should be swimming instead of hanging on the wall in the lap lane!). Later, someone running behind me on the lap motivated me to run yet another lap...hey, a little competition can be healthy!
- Child care is expensive. 1 hour at the YMCA cost me $6 in child care for both kids. I know this may seem relatively cheap, but whether I spring for the $50 monthly pass or keep paying this amount, this is going to add up!
- I'm stronger than my fear. I AM STRONGER than my fear. SO ARE YOU.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
I don't know about you, but a (massive) financial output is a tremendous motivator to stick with something. We outfitted ourselves today after a four hour (!) visit to the Bicycle Garage in Indy. (By the way - for anyone local and looking to do anything with cycling, I would HIGHLY recommend the Bicycle Garage. At both locations we received excellent service - and they don't work on commission!)
Chris & I both now have beautiful bikes and all the accoutrements to go with them. I will say I am already praising the sales person at BGI for recommending good bike shorts. I literally rode up and down our street to try out the new bike with my regular shorts on and .... let's just say it eliminated any chance of serious intimacy tonight. An hour or so later, I donned my bike shorts, helmet, and gloves...and thoroughly thrilled myself with a 21 min. bike ride up and down several hills throughout our neighborhood. (My li'l bike computer said I went a total of 3.5 miles, but it certainly didn't feel that far.)
Lest anyone think that my life and this blog is all triathlon now, please be assured that other aspects will start to reappear once the training finds a habitual path. I will continue to update on my progress for those interested and just to keep myself accountable. I don't know what format it will take, but here's a shot at one way:
What I Did:
(a.m.) approx. 10 minutes yoga outside in heavy fog & under a beautiful moon
15 minutes superset (weights, lunges, etc w/o resting to increase cardio)
25 minutes elliptical
(p.m.) 21 min. bike ride - 3.5 mi.
What I Learned:
(Ok - I'm totally putting my ego in the closet here. I am going bare bones and admitting any and all ignorances because I'm guessing/hoping someone else out there reading this didn't know the same things...and will hopefully feel more comfortable knowing there's someone else out there just as ignorant! What's the quote: something like, "there's no shame in not knowing. the only shame lies in not finding out.")
- There is a huge difference in bikes. Fit (i.e. how the bike fits you) is one of the key components. We ended up with road bikes instead of hybrid, but there are so many choices and it is ultimately a very personal decision. (Our bikes are the brand Giant - Lisa's is the Avail, Chris's is the Defy)
- Grown up bikes don't have kick stands. Who knew?! (Ok, don't tell me if you did.)
- Road bike seats can H-U-R-T some very girly parts that don't by any measure deserve pain. Bike shorts not only make you look professional, but they are worn for a reason. If you invest in a bike, invest in your reproductive future (& cover your butt) & get a good pair.
- Hills suck. Honestly, though, I'm glad to have the training opportunity right off the bat, but I'm still learning the gears, switching them, and how to best navigate up the hill without looking like I'm drunk and down the hill without looking and feeling like I'm about ready to take off. Scary (and embarassing) both ways.
- There is something fun about a helmet, gloves, & bike shorts that seem to excuse any minor faux pas. However, I'm still overly-concerned about how I look...and will work on getting over this. At the top of one rather large hill as a car approached behind me (and I knew there was no way I was going to make it to the top), I just stopped for a moment and pretended to be surveying the house to my right. Yeah, pathetic. Admit it, though...you would've done the same thing.
- Steering is harder than it looks on a bicycle. I have a lot to learn before I head out on roads where cars aren't necessarily watching for me.
Ok ... there's a lot more, but the kids are begging to watch Simpsons before bed. If we have time (the swimming gear we got didn't fit me so we're back to Dicks Sporting Goods once again to find a long-hair swimming cap and different goggles), we're going to try and brave the pool tomorrow. Wish us luck.
(I promise I'll try to throw in a few creative endeavors made of my poor art supplies tomorrow!)
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Such an interesting life path this is. I've received a lot of encouragement and positive energy from friends and family for this huge decision I (and hubby) have made. It is bringing hubby & I closer as we challenge each other to pursue healthy lives. And yet, as always, life goes on.
I still have my creative pursuits, sitting silently in the basement, waiting for me again to bring life to their beautiful form. The kiddos still grow more each day with stories from school or new excitements (Dilana was thrilled today when we explored the YMCA pool area!). And the laundry still piles up, getting tackled one load at a time.
It is great fun having so many energy paths to ride, from triathlon planning to yogic growth to creative exploration to motherhood...I know the cycle of life will bring me back to financial woes, stress over household chores, physical complications as I push my nearly 32-year old body. But baby, I'm going to keep right on searching for the life in it all and lovin' the ride.
Monday, September 7, 2009
I'm not an unfit person, but I'm very quickly learning my limits. (I work out almost daily with the elliptical & / or weights, but ran outside yesterday...and am still feeling the pain!) A lot is also going to hinge on a dr.'s appointment I will make tomorrow. With spinal injury & knee problems, I have pain almost daily. And yet, I still want to pursue it. (Making sure I use all available resources to do it correctly.)
Our family randomly drove past a huge sale on bicycles at a specialized shop while out of town today and ended up stopping to check it out. We learned a great deal and appreciate the message from the universe that this could be the right time! (Oh, my husband has expressed a desire to train with me...yea!)
We're asking friends, medical professionals, and researching all over the internet as to the best way to proceed. I'll be visiting the YMCA tomorrow to check out the pool schedule & possible availability of any free training sessions (primarily for swimming). I am terrified of all of the things I am going to have to learn, what this may do to my body, the financial investment (WOW are bikes expensive!), and the ultimate lifestyle change this committment entails. And yet, I still pursue it.
It is the excitement, the discipline, the challenge, the fitness, the friends who've been there, done that, the coolness of saying "I'm training for a triathlon", the unexplainable joy of saying "I've completed a traithlon"...the sheer magnitude of it all that keeps me going.
Once I've got the ok from the doc, I'll start posting updates here (to keep me accountable to the faceless beauties who read this blog).
I'm a mommy, a wife, a goddess, a yogini, a crafter, an artist, a photographer, an avid reader, a wine lover, a philosopher, a detail-oriented freak, a magnet-for-all-kinds-of-deeper-wonderment, and hopefully, oh-so-hopefully, soon......a triathlete.
Friday, September 4, 2009
Thursday, September 3, 2009
I did hit the snooze a few times, but when I woke I did so with a slight spring in my step. (That never happens.) I woke my son and got him started on breakfast then went out and did some yoga out on our back deck. It wasn't a long practice, but it was exactly what I needed. Every step after felt blissful.
It lightly rained on our walk to the bus stop this morning but the sun was also peeking through the fluffy clouds. It was enough to make me giggle. We even tried to taste the rain.
Tyler is off to school, Dilana is at Kindermusik, and I am at Starbucks with my iced chai blogging and working on the to-do list for our busy weekend with family.
Seriously, am I not one lucky and very blessed girl?
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Being a stay-at-home mother, my life soars or is a bore depending on my self-discipline. I could spend the whole day in front of the t.v. or over-scheduled running from one place to the other. I really don't like either extreme. Most days I have plenty that needs to be done but nothing scheduled on the calendar. It is up to me what steps I take to get each thing done...and on what I procrastinate.
I've found that with those things I dread doing (several loads of laundry, picking up the miscellaneous kids toys, waking up early to get all of my working out/showering done before getting the kids up, etc), all it takes is one small step to get the job done. If I just swing my feet onto the floor instead of hitting the snooze, then all I have to do is stand up. Once I stand up, all I have to do is walk to the closest. Next thing I know, I'm back home from the bus stop, showered, and ready to go. If I just pick up one toy, it is that much easier to get to the next. And if, at any point in the process, I decide to stop....at least I've done more than I would have if I wouldn't have taken any steps.
I also had a deeper insight about letting go. Without anything on the calendar (see above), there is a deep faith that if I keep moving, doing what I feel needs to be done, life will take care of itself. It will blossom into the passionate path I am to follow to support my soul. If I OVERTHINK (a common faux pas of mine), over plan (spend hours on a to-do list instead of actually doing things), things get done – sometimes – but in a constricted, forced manner. My mind can’t read my soul.
Sometimes, I just have to let go. I have to have the passion, the faith, the constant communication line open with others around me & the goddess within me, letting everyone talk, and get my butt out of the way. Yoga, balance, sleep, good health…all gives me the energy to keep me moving as the winds blow me along so I don’t miss an opportunity.
Today has been a wonderful example of everything above. I had several things on the "To Do" list. If I would have thought about it in the morning, I would have gotten overwhelmed and probably just camped out in front of the computer. Instead, I just put one foot in front of the other. I didn't worry that getting groccery shopping done might be more important than taking recycling so I should probably do that first....I just went. And I got both done.
I've done chores, gone shopping, cleaned the house, ran with Dilana, worked out, paid bills, done the blog (yea!), and come up with some more ideas for art work that I will dive into tomorrow morning. I have a short bit to prepare dinner then we are off to the parent-teacher open house at Tyler's school.
It has been a tremendously productive and inner-rewarding day because I took it step-by-step, and just let go (of expectations, "shoulds", worries, etc). Ahhhh......feels good.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
I've a lot planned this month - the creative energy is swelling.
Here's to a beautiful morning, a beautiful day, a beautiful month...and more of the same after that!