Wednesday, August 31, 2011


People who have never struggled with obesity might not understand the physical pain that is involved with daily living.  Today, I watched a gentleman “rev up” to get going.  He was intentional in his movements, as he made sure he was balanced before he took off across the room.  I know all too well the effort it took for him to do a minor daily task – I was there myself a year ago.

After a very exciting time at Warrior Dash Boot Camp last night, I am thoroughly amazed at my lack of pain.  Those who knew me two years ago know that I spent an entire summer (Memorial Day to Labor Day) in a cast, due to severe plantar fasciitis.  Never have I been able to enjoy day after day of rigorous exercise and wake up pain-free (knees and feet).  This morning, I feel my muscles – knowing I had a tremendous workout – but I have NO PAIN! 

I realized this at the grocery store the other night, too.  I’d played in the river with my pup on Friday night, played in the ocean with my nephew on Saturday night – and grocery shopped Saturday night when we got home.  Years past, I’d have been a major crabapple – if I’d have even gone to the store at all. 

I’m excited and amazed, too, that I made it through boot camp without any injuries!  It seems to always be an injury that sidelines me.  I’ve become more confident in my abilities, and have learned what to do to protect myself – while still having fun.  Warrior Dash is only 11 days away, and I can truly say I’m going to rock it!

Living my fit dreams – and knowing I’m truly blessed!

Thursday, August 25, 2011


For the record, I’m sitting comfortably at my desk typing – WITH MY LEGS CROSSED!  Not sure if I’ve posted on this topic before, or not…but those who currently can’t, or have been in my position in the past, will understand the magnitude of joy it brings me to do it mindlessly these days.

Forgive my ramblings here, but I have “stuff” to write about today!

Another thing that brought me joy this past week was a visit home to see my best friend.  On Friday night, we took a LONG walk along the railroad tracks & river, and really enjoyed being a couple of moms/wives chatting.  I doubt we’ve ever walked together before – as it was something I’d just not have done.  The next morning, we went from garage sale to garage sale…again enjoying the fact that I got out at EVERY stop…not hiding in the car to recuperate, scoping out the goods from my seat. 

But, the culminating “I did it” for the weekend was a visit with her and her children to visit my mom.  I didn’t realize that, though the kids live in the same rural town as my parents, they don’t take for granted “farm life” as I had grown up with.  They enjoyed wandering the big garden, picking up the fallen apples to feed the calves, and realizing that Mom has horses.  My “niece” stated to Mom that she had never ridden a horse.  Mom proceeded to halter her older gelding and each kid rode bareback with Mom on the lead.  It was so much fun enjoying their excitement.

After their ride, Mom told me to head over to a “perch” – it was MY turn.  She knew, as we had discussed it a couple of months ago, that one of my weight-loss goals has been to ride again.  We can’t remember exactly how long it’s been – but it was in jr. high or high school – so it’s been at least 20 years.  I know my weight is down to where I’m not a hazard to the horses, and I was excited and scared at the same time.  The horse wasn’t standing very still for my climb on, and it wasn’t very easy without a stirrup to step into, or a saddle horn to hang onto.  (Thankfully, God thought to equip the horses with handles!  - The mane.) 

My friends & family knew what a big deal this was for me, and had their phones to snap photos.  Unfortunately, after a few minutes, they put them away – so we only have photos of my mom holding the lead rope – making it look like I’m on a pony ride! J  But, I know better.  After a few circles around, mom gave me the lead, and let me go.  I rode around the pasture – enjoying the time.  Bareback riding is very good exercise…using core muscles, and thigh muscles that hadn’t been engaged in years.  Sunday morning I felt like Jillian Michaels had put me through my paces!

I look forward to having a “real” ride – saddled – with my mom in the spring!

In the Northwest, we are rarely as sun-blessed as the past weeks have been.  The spring rain seemed to drag on and on, and since then it’s been hard to head to the gym – opting, instead, to find a place to work out in the fresh air.  Yesterday was no exception.  We had a particularly humid day, and though Wednesday is usually my Aqua Zumba night (in an already muggy pool), none of my friends were going, so I decided to head out.  I did a good, long bike ride – and rode to the gym.  (My first time riding to the gym.)

At the gym, I jumped on the elliptical for 20 minutes (when I started I couldn’t do five!), and headed to the weight room.  I could hear the STEP class going on upstairs, and was surprised to hear the “Monday night” guy’s voice.  But, as I said, I haven’t been to the gym much this summer, so apparently, they had added his class on Wednesday, too. 

This guy is a fairly new teacher, and had harassed me a few times earlier in the year about trying it out.  I kept telling him that I wasn’t ready – at the time I was still mostly biking, with just 10 minutes, or so, on the treadmill.  My knees truly couldn’t have handled it.  He told me that he’d keep on me.

Well, while I was in the weight room, his class finished up.  He came down to do his strength training, and we passed each other for 30 minutes, or so, never speaking.  I thought, “He doesn’t have a clue who I am!”  But, of course, I wasn’t going to tell him – I’m not ready for this class!  LOL!  I finished up my workout, headed out to put on my bike gear, and as I was climbing on, he came out the door.  I smiled, and he said, “Wow!  You look great!  Don’t tell me you’re not ready for my class now!”  He’d figured it out!  I told him I’m saving myself for Warrior Dash and the bridge crossing, and he understood – but made me commit to trying his class after those events.  I don’t think I really want to do a STEP class – I’d rather go back to “regular” Zumba, but I’ll give it a shot!  We did talk about how much weight I’ve lost, what I’ve been doing for training, and such – and he was glad we’d talked.  Apparently his wife has had some injuries, and he thinks Aqua Zumba might be what she’s looking for.

I safely arrived home, realizing that I’d been gone more than 2 hours – and it was the hottest, sweatiest, most advanced workout I’ve done so far! 

Still living my fit dreams!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

New things to celebrate

Last weekend, I spent time with a WLS buddy.  She's four years out, and has done some of the fun things I have my eye on.  (Particularly a RnR 1/2 marathon and the SF Women's 1/2.)  She knows my heart's desire to be an athlete!

Her idea of fun was to introduce me to kayaking - and having been a former white-water rafting lover, I was looking forward to the adventure.  I was thinking of an hour or two exploring some calmer waters, and back home for the day.  Boy, was I out of my head!

We put in the water (at the mouth of the Columbia River), and headed upstream for an hour or so, thinking the current would carry us back when we were tired.  We kept going and going, and after only a few minutes, any fears I had of being too upper-body weak were gone.  It was quite easy - and so much fun!  I have to admit, I'm still in the "get 'er done" frame of mind...I have trouble enjoying the journey.  After some discussion, we decided to go "around the island," but - thankfully - decided against the second island (which turned out NOT to be an island...that would have been frustrating!).

As we headed back DOWNSTREAM, the wind picked up, the sun hid behind a cloud, and it got HARD to paddle.  Low and behold - two people who should have known better (she a beach-town dweller, and I an ocean-loving freak) failed to consider the TIDE, which was full-force coming in.  It was actually harder paddling downstream than it had been going up.  We had to keep paddling full-time in order to not get pushed back.

There was never a time I was afraid - afraid I couldn't do it, afraid of tipping over - but, boy it was WORK.  As we neared the rental shop, we did get into a little inlet protected from the wind, and were able to slow down a bit.  We started smelling burgers grilling at a local eatery, and knew we were almost home.  (We both discussed how GOOD the burgers smelled, but how it would make us sick to actually eat one.  That is a nice thing to have in common!)  All told, our trip lasted three hours - three hours of mostly paddling.  We fared better than Gilligan, too!

The thing I gained the most was the fact that in spite of my "weak" upper body - I now have the confidence to know that the Warrior Dash is definitely do-able for me.  If I can paddle for three hours, certainly I can climb a few obstacles!


Today, I had another "fun" thing happen!  The first day I was able (May?), I signed up for the inaugural Portland Rock N Roll 1/2 Marathon - on May 20, 2012.  I paid $50 (or $55) for my registration - it was a one-day-only special.

Well, low and behold, they've been drawing monthly for prizes, and I am one of three August winners!  I got a call today, and was told that I could pick any pair of sneakers I wanted from the Brooks Running web site!  My $100 Brooks Dyad 6 (pink/silver) shoes are on their way, as is my Brooks Running tech tee!  Pretty good deal, all in all...and if the shoes are comfortable they gained a customer, too!

Have I mentioned lately...I'm living my fit dreams?!?!?!

Monday, August 8, 2011


Life – daily living – is becoming easier.  What does this have to do with being a WLS athlete?  Well, I think it’s a direct result of the changes I’ve been making.

I’ve had a couple of rest/recovery weeks.  It was supposed to be one week – but turned into two.  Week two, I was purposefully active, but didn’t really stick to “the plan.”  However, life itself is more active these days…more walks, more purposeful movement, etc…and it adds up.

This weekend, I had the privilege of helping some friends unload their moving truck.  I say privilege, because it is truly a blessing to be ABLE to help.  (Not that I WANT to help everyone move – I do have a life!…but this one was exciting – discovering I could!)  I found myself going up and down stairs with armloads of boxes, racking up steps on the old pedometer.  Lifting and moving furniture with the guys.  Bending down picking up armloads of hangers stowed in every nook and cranny.  And, today, I’m not down in bed unable to move!

I’m now less than five weeks away from my season’s BIG race – Warrior Dash – and having no second-thoughts about my ability to finish strong.  Oh, it will be work, I will be worn out, and I’ll cry!  J  I won’t break any records, but, I will finish…something I wasn’t so certain of on the day I signed up.

Four weeks of strength training are ahead, which will be a new endeavor for me.  But, these guns are ready for work – and I’m going to give it 100% each and every workout. 

In case you didn’t know – I’m LIVING MY FIT DREAMS!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Back to reality

Vacation is over!  Yes, that is "over!" - not "over :("

While I loved every minute of the time spent with friends, I'm a sucker for routine.  Work routine, home routine, eating routine, and exercise routine.  Without routine, it's too easy to not do what I need to do.

But, this vacation was a success!  Without "planned exercise" (it was "planned recovery" before embarking on my next training phase), I still managed to get as many steps each day as I do on "workout" days.  In fact, some days were more than I get on RACE days.  It felt good to be able to keep up with our friends, and to know that an active lifestyle is possible - even on vacation!

Food-wise, too, I was successful.  We daily had "treats," but I managed to enjoy them...and to be fine with the fact that when vacation is over (now) that they are gone, too.  In fact, I was just savoring my pineapple a few minutes ago...and realized it was more enjoyable than some of the other things I'd chosen last week!

Up to this point, training-wise, I've been in the "endurance-building" phase.  This week, I move to "strength-building."  It's only FOURTY-ONE days until Warrior Dash...and these "guns" aren't ready.  

I'll keep you posted on the new phase of progress...and you can cheer for me!  In case you can't find me in the gym, look for me in the park.  I'll be the cute blonde climbing the jungle gym! :)