Category Archives: Goals

THE YEAR OF YES: Choosing to Live Positive

Saturday evening I was on Facebook, laughing at status updates, clicking on shared links, reading blog posts when I saw that a gym in Sacremento was holding a 2 hour Intro to Kettle Bells workshop next week.  I’ve wanted to learn about KBs, wanted to get up to this gym, and before I gave it a thought, told myself I’m going.

And told the owner-an internet friend I’ve wanted to meet for a couple years- the same thing.  His reaction:  NO WAY!  That is so cool!

My reaction: I woke up Sunday morning happy, realizing I had said YES before I thought too much about it.  I am looking forward to this class; looking forward to the weekend.  Looking forward to making new friends with like-minded spirits.

How cool is that?

It was then that I realized a response before I could think my way out of the situation led to serious happiness.  All I had to do was say YES.

So I’ve determined that this shall be the YEAR of YES.

Not maybe.  Not We’ll see.

The year of ball games, and camps and please god white water rafting!  The year of special sunrises, all night talks. Accomplishments and adventures.

The year when someone asks me to do something -or I read something great I want to do- and instead of thinking “I can’t” I will say YES!!

What will you say Yes to this year?

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When it comes to Sport Team Loyalty- I am a Sheep

Wednesday evenings promises to be the beginning of an epic World Series-one of the most watchable competitions in years.  Yet I know that many baseball fans feel completely uninterested.  Why?  Because the biggest series in baseball is being played between two of the smaller teams in the league. Absent for the fall classic this year are: The Yankees, Red Sox, Phillies, Braves and the Dodgers. There are no teams east of the Mississippi playing, no huge payroll clubs, none of the darlings of the media.

I pity anyone who thinks just because a “big name” team isn’t playing, they have no stake in this series.  I want to suggest that this year you remember the rule of the sheep from BABE (the movie, not Ruth) and embrace the series for the pride of your league.

What? Sheep? Babe? Before I completely lose you here, let me remind of the super-secret sheep oath shared in the movie:

BAA, RAM, EWE.
TO YOUR BREED, YOUR FLEECE,
YOUR CLAN BE TRUE.
SHEEP BE TRUE.
BAA, RAM, EWE.
(from the movie: Babe)

Let me rephrase this for you:
BAT, BASE, BALL
LET YOUR TEAM,
YOUR DIVISION,
YOUR LEAGUE BE ALL.
FANS BE TRUE.

Growing up as a Cleveland Indian fan, I have had to embrace this philosophy most of my life like so many other team fans.  To give up watching post-season baseball simply because my team was not playing meant I would NEVER watch a game.  (OK – there have been a few exception years… but not many).  I learn new things about the sport I love and the players.  With free-agency meaning that players scatter around the league like dandelion seeds this knowledge often come in handy.

So no matter which team holds your heart, remember – they play in a division and a league.  And the best team in your league is playing for LEAGUE PRIDE.

The American League is the power league at the moment -where every great player wants to be.  If your team plays in the AL, then you HAVE to get behind Texas Rangers.  They truly represent the idea of a team.  Because one of their stars (Josh Hamilton) is a very public recovering drug and alcohol addict, the TEAM celebrates with ginger ale. (stops for a second and tries to imagine the Yankees doing the same.   —Nope.  Can’t see it.) How could an American league fan NOT want to watch and root for this team to win?

National leaguers?  The best pitching squad in baseball -maybe one of the best squads EVER.  Be proud that this pitching staff is representing your league.

Facts to make the game more interesting:

  • Benjie Molina played the first half of the year with SF Giants, before being traded to the Rangers.  As he bid his teammates fairwell, he told them they would see each other again in October.  Because he played half the season with both teams- he will receive a ring no matter which team wins.
  • Giants players Pat Burrell and Audrey Huff (college roommates) were AL “discards” who many thought were at the end of their careers.  They were instrumental in igniting Giants bats this year and have shows NL managers that they have a new source of short term talent to watch in the future.
  • Brian Wilson decided to grow his beard on a 2 week long road trip in August as part of a sign of bullpen solidarity.  Wilson’s is colored (in case you couldn’t tell).  But why?  He wears shoes with bright orange cleats -that used to have more bright orange on them.  Then MBL informed him that his shoes must be at least 51% black.  And Wilson, following his own logic, is making sure that his beard is covered under a 51% black rule too -just in case.  Although he claims his beard color is Just For Men’s medium brown.

Although my childhood in Cleveland means I should be cheering for the Texas Rangers (and during the regular season I DO cheer for the local Oakland A’s), I have indundated daily with the quirks and charms of the San Francisco Giants.  The personalities have charmed me – so I am betraying my league and being true to my “home region” this year.   May my league forgive me.

Gratitude – How Do You Feel It?

Are you Grateful?

Do you spend a short period of time each day considering the things in your life that you are grateful for?  Or do you blithely travel through your life kind of acknowledging when good things happen, but never taking the time to sit and consider their impact on you?

I’m asking this because this month I’ve begun taking part in a social experiment called Health Month created by the Buster Benton (of 43 Things, 750 Words, and a few other websites) with the purpose of having it’s participants commit to follow rules for the month that should in some way improve our lives- committing to eat out only X times a week, limit personal internet time, read more, floss, etc.

One of the rules I made for myself is the list 3-5 things I’m grateful for at least 4x a week.

I’ve never been successful at gratitude exercises and would give up within the first 10 days.  This commitment to a month-long try is making me examine WHY I have difficulties with this challenge.  I’ve been putting a fairly strict definition on the term “gratitude” – in that I believe these are things that I NOTICE I’m thankful for during the day.  I have had very few things where I notice this.

Looking at the definition of “grateful” it says thankful for the benefit received. So in my head I can appreciate the colors of the sunset from my house – but not be thankful for the colors, nor feel that I am receiving any benefit from the sunset. Though, thinking about it at this moment those sunsets usually make me feel something positive and emotional.

How do I word that I’m thankful/grateful for the emotional reaction to the sunset??  I’m NOT thankful for the sunset itself – but for the way it changed/altered my emotional state if even for a moment.

I can also be thankful about something – like the trite Thank Goodness it’s Friday – without feeling that I’ve gained any benefit from it. It’s Friday and that is unalterable. The emotion is more superficial than I was searching for when I took on this rule.  When I say TGIF, what I am really being thankful for?

So-FOR ME- the key to something I’m grateful about is that I perceive a benefit- a positive emotion- from the thing at the time it occurs. And I’m discovering that I rarely take the time – mere seconds really- to be in the moment enough to register my emotional reaction to most of my day.

This week, I shall try to be present, shall try to be “in the moment” so I can recognize those positive emotions.  This is all babysteps, right?

How about you?  Do you do the gratitude thing?  Let me know in comments -and take the short poll about Gratitude.

Is Gratitude Part of Your Day?

(polls)

Now what have I gone and done??

I teased you with a promise of some exciting things to come here. (admittedly not fully formed in my head – but close).

And now? I’ve gone and gotten a full-time job in a gym that begins in a just over a week. A gym without wifi. So the very many hours I’ll be spending there hanging around waiting for work? I’ll be thinking about you. Will I be writing in long hand a waiting to convert when I get online? Will go black again?

Only time shall tell. What is most likely to happen is that I’ll spring for a smart phone (probably a ‘droid) and connect that way.

I’ve Got Issues. Corrective Exercises- pt. 1

There is this piece of knowledge among fitness professionals: everyone has movement impairments.  These are weak or tight muscles somewhere along our body that we long ago learned to compensate for without even thinking.

These impairments might be immobile ankles (ever have a sprain?), poorly firing glutes (sit much?), or overactive lats (spend hours at the computer?).  We are often completely unaware of these movements impairments, yet wonder why we have lower back pain, headaches, TMJ, knee pain.  The whole kit and kaboodle of non-specific aches and pains that seem to come from no specific place can be attributed to movement impairments.

I’m working on an at-home study course to identify these impairments and learn how to bring the body back into a more natural alignment.  It involved foam rolling, and stretching, gentle exercises to stretch and strengthen muscle pairs, and exercises to get the body working as one again the way it was designed.

For the heck of it- and because I am always my own laboratory-I will be going through the steps on myself.  As much as I can, doing a full assessment and then working through my personal set of stretches and exercises to address my issues.

Having just watched my own movement assessment video tape, lordy I’VE GOT ISSUES.

-First, I have Hallux Rigidus.  This is extra bone growth around the first (big) joint in the big toe.  This extra bone limits the range that the toe can bend.  Guess what? When you can’t bend your toe, you can’t bend your foot.  When you can’t bend your foot- imagine the compensations that occur in your body every time you take a step.

Now the long time readers may remember that I had my left toe surgically repaired for this a few years ago.  Repaired so that I can now bend that foot.  But repaired is not the same thing as eliminated-and I apparently still have rather severe problems because of this issue.

Add to that: I’ve sprained my ankles 9 times.  Five on the right side, four on the left. Three severely- two on the right and once on the left.  Enough about that for now.

And then: I also have shoulder issues.  Lack of mobility on both sides, thoracic outlet syndrome and a strained/torn rotator cuff on the right.

Like I said, I have issues.  I’m going to post the video in a few days along with my initial assessment.

In the meantime, do you nagging aches and pains that you don’t understand?  Knees that hurt on squats or lunges? Lower back pain, head aches?  Start thinking about how you move every day.  We’ll take this discussion further.

Running Woman

Don’t look now, but I’m (sorta, kinda) running.

At least I’ve finished my version of week 2 of C25.  It really wasn’t challenging me too much so I adapted it:

Original week two: jog for 90 seconds/ walk for 2 minutes for a total of 20 minutes.        Mine: jog (5.0-5.5 mph) for 2 minutes/walk for 3 minutes.  Since the weather has not been conducive to running outside, this is easier to deal with on a treadmill.

Next week is supposed to be jog/walk for 90 seconds; jog/walk for 3 minutes.  I will probably just do the jog/walk- aiming for jogging for 3 minutes, walking for 2.  Four rounds of this is the 20 minute training prescribed.

By the end of these workouts, I’m sweaty and winded and all those things I’m supposed to be.  Trying to imagine myself doing this -voluntarily- for much longer than a couple months.  I think I better sign up for a 5K soon to keep me on track.

Accountable Eating For A Week

When I hit my goal weight back in January (well, maybe my goal weight.  I’ve rethinking this…), one of my promises to myself was to continue to monitor my success by returning to FitDay once a month and write down what I eat for a whole week.

It’s something I’ve done off and on for about 6 years now. Granted, I’m out of the habit and still find it frustrating sometime (does anyone know the nutritional value of a dish of Thai eggplant?  Yeah, neither do I!)  I’ve started to journal my food almost weekly now; I get as far as the middle of the first afternoon and then slip.

So Ali Hale’s post on Dumb Little Man (5 Reason to Write Down Everything You Eat for a Week) is one that was written for me.  The spousal unit is out of town all this week, so it should be an easy case of simply monitoring what I stuff in my mouth.

Someone suggested a website (I have not found it in either of my bookmarks) that can analyze a number of commercially sold foods.  Was that Kalorie King?  Something else?  Anyone have a suggestion for me there?

I’m doing it this week.

FYI: my nutritional goals are to eat approximately 1500 calories (up to 1800 calories on workout days), with a general nutritional breakdown of: 40% carbs (veggies, fruit and small servings of whole grain), 40% protein (fish, chicken, lean beef, soy and protein powders) and 20% fat(fish, olive oil and nuts).  This is NOT a breakdown I’d recommend for someone trying to lose weight.  I am trying to build more muscle and in doing so, burn off some my stubborn abdominal fat.

Well now, that’s interesting!  My first day of recording what I eat and I discover that I’m way way up on the fat for the day.  And way way down on the protein and carbs.  And I thought I was eating well!  This might explain a lot.

Anyone want to play along?