Tuesday, August 13, 2019

When Motivation Just Isn't There...

How is it that when I'm in the depths of being super busy and stressed, and feeling overwhelmed, I manage to get a lot of stuff ticked off my list? But when I slow down, and have plenty of time, I get super behind because my motivation just collapses? You'd think having less stress and more time would make me feel like I could tick so many things off my to do list. 

Nope. This doesn't work for me, as I'm discovering lately. I have days, even whole weeks, where I don't have any commitments, other than going to work. Weekends evenings are for Bud, but other than that I really don't have to be anywhere or attend any events. At first, this feels great! I get a breather! I don't have to feel rushed all the time. I get to read more. Tackle all those cleaning projects I've gotten behind on and now I've got the time. 

Except I don't do any of those things. I dink around on my computer, watch tv shows I don't really care about, and waste a lot of time. Last weekend I had a whole weekend where I just had one place I had to be, for a few hours. Okay. That left me with a lot of time to mow, clean the house, run some errands, and yes, even have time to dive into my reading list. I ended up just reading most of the weekend. No mowing when I should have, no house cleaning. So on Sunday night, I found myself happy I'd managed to finish 3 books, but still looking at an unmowed yard (which now looks bad thanks to the recent rain!) and a messy house. Frustrated and annoyed at myself for not getting my ass in gear and accomplishing something, anything, over the weekend. Pile the guilt on even more, when I know Bud worked at his projects all weekend. 

I'm still trying to find that middle ground. For so many years, I was so busy. Now not so much. I could make myself busy, seeing friends, going places, creating projects around the house.  But I don't want to be busy just to be busy. Busy should have a purpose. 

I've known for years that too much time is not my friend. In school, too much time to write a paper didn't spark that creativity-it was the hammer time that got the juices flowing, and ideas moving along. That's the fun of NaNoWriMo (you have 30 days to write a 50,000 word novel); you have to consistently work every day to put in the words or you get so far behind it's a bitch to catch up. Having friends over usually makes me clean in a frenzy the day before, even when I know a week ahead of time it's coming up. A deadline for reading a book usually has me dropping everything to meet that deadline. 

I'm in the middle of a motivation slump. How do you keep yourself moving, when sometimes all you want to do is just sit and do nothing? 


Saturday, July 20, 2019

CrossFit Journey, Part 2

My few days turned into weeks before getting back to this post! Yikes! 

So, back to May 2016. I finally had a job where I wasn't working nights, so I could actually join FitKamp at my local Crossfit gym. To say I was terrified is putting it lightly. But I felt that this just might be the one thing that helped me on my journey to being fit. 

My first workout? I was the only one in the class of about 20 people who couldn't finish it. As in, I had to stop, sit down, and try really hard not to pass out and throw up all at once. My heart rate jumped so high, so fast, that I just couldn't cope. I felt like a total loser. This still happens every once in a while, but I pay attention to it, and slow the hell down. It happens most especially on the assault bike, which kicks your cardio into high gear in a very short amount of time. 

But I kept going back, three nights a week for 6 weeks. The food, I really struggled with that. We weren't on a diet--more of paying attention to what we ate, making sure we drank so many ounces of water a day; eating a lot more veggies, lean protein, and good carbs. It's called clean eating, which has many variations, depending on how strict you want to be with yourself. 

Because of Crossfit, I actually eat so many more vegetables that I ever did in my entire life. I hated veggies as a kid--we ate mostly canned or frozen, and I loathed them all. To this day, I don't buy any canned veggies, and very little frozen. I buy fresh because they just taste better. I learned that eating a salad wasn't always the best option, if you loaded your salad with fatty dressings and lots of croutons, cheese, dried fruit, all that stuff. My favorite salad is now pretty simple: arugula, a sprinkle of salt & pepper, and a dash of a flavorful olive oil. 

I made some good strides that first FitKamp-I lost fat and gained muscle. Enough to have me sign up two more times for FitKamp, even though I could have just joined the gym and started on my journey. But my fear kept me in FitKamp longer than it should have, and even my coaches said I was ready to move on into a regular CrossFit class. I was still intimidated, and afraid of failure. I stopped myself and I've learned from that episode that sometimes you just have to take a leap. 

I've been with Crossfit for three years. I usually aim for 3-4 classes a week, and after a year of trying to achieve some of the more ambitious moves: strict pull ups, handstands against the wall, box jumps--well, I've learned to love what I can do, and understand the limits my body has and be okay with that. I don't look at others and compare myself; I remind myself that I'm working out with folks who are anywhere from 10-20 years younger than myself. I'm proud of the gains I've made in strength, but not so proud of my continual struggle with eating right. I still need to lose a good chunk of weight. That weight is the result of years of eating my emotions and making bad food choices when I could have made better food choices. As they say, you can't outrun a bad diet. You can workout all you want, but until you dial in your food and eat healthy, you're missing a huge part of the puzzle. 

One gift Crossfit has given me: courage. Everyday I walk into that gym, I'm still nervous. I don't look at the workout before, so I have to do whatever it is! I've actually done a few competitions which absolutely terrified me so much that I was shaking. But I did them. I'll never be the fittest person around, and that's okay with me. I'm stronger than I've ever been in my life, and I know I can keep adding muscle, which is so vitally important to women as they age. I'm battling hormones, aging, and the fact that I have to work twice as hard to see results I would have seen much quicker if I was 20 years younger. 

I get a lot of satisfaction out of working out early in the morning. It gives me a feeling of accomplishment--I've already done something that day, so no matter what else happens, I feel good about that. Every week it can be hard to get up and get to the gym, but I keep telling myself to take it one day at a time. I look ahead at my week and try to plan out what days I'll workout. If I get to bed too late, or I wake up and I'm just dead tired, I give myself the grace to rest and workout another day. 

So that's my Crossfit journey. I may someday put down the barbell, and move onto something that works for me as I move into my 60's. All I know is for now, this makes me happy.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Working Out: Why I Started CrossFit at 49 and Lived to Tell the Tale

For most of my life, I didn't work out. That means from infancy through my mid-30's, I didn't do any kind of purposeful exercise, except the kind I had to do in school. And for the most part, it all worked pretty well for me. I was blessed to inherit some good genes from my parents, and myself and my siblings were always skinny. Skinny for me meant slender but not overly slender; I had what someone once described as "chicken legs". I could eat what I wanted without a care in the world. It also helped that my parents weren't flush with money, so we didn't eat out, didn't have much junk food, and I don't think I drank much pop at all until my mid to late teens. It helped that the proliferation of crap food we have today didn't really exist much when I was growing up. 

All that: genes, the era in which I grew up, and my parents lack of money for "fun stuff" all helped me stay thin. But I did, of course, also suffer from feeling fat; after all, my sisters were all smaller than I was--95 pounds to my gigantic 105. I look back now and shudder at how dumb I was ever thinking less of myself. 

In my mid-30's I started running, mostly because I was tired of walking and I wanted to move faster. That lead to running races, and winning a free year's membership to the local YMCA. That started me on the path of having a personal coach help me with the machines and getting some muscle. But I didn't get very much muscle, actually. I went to the YMCA for about 7 years, all the while running on the side. I wasn't a fast runner, but I did all sorts of races, and actually challenged myself to complete a marathon when I was 42. It took me 5 1/2 hours, but I did it. The last big race I ran was a half-marathon in Savannah, Georgia in 2011. I trained hard and ran my best race. I was pretty proud of myself. All that running helped me lose some weight, because by then my metabolism had slowed down, and I was gaining weight. The weight creep--every year, another 5 pounds or so, until I was about 30 heavier.  Eek! 

Flash forward to 2016. By now, I'm 49...turning 50 in November. It's the summer. I've got a new job, regular hours, and I'm finally able to do something I've wanted to do for a few years: try CrossFit. Why CrossFit? Mostly because my niece and nephew had joined a CrossFit box in their city and had amazing results, and said how much they loved it. I had quit the YMCA- I needed something that had someone there to push me, help me, and encourage me. I didn't find that in random classes at the YMCA, and I always felt a bit lonely and unhappy by myself at the gym. 

In May of 2016, I got up the courage to sign up for a 6 week FitKamp. I was about to get my ass handed to me on a plate...

I'll continue this story in a few days!  Stay tuned...

In the meantime, tell me what your fitness journey has been-or if you've never even had one! Everyone is different, and everyone finds what works for them. Walking, biking, running, weight lifting, yoga. What works for you?


Sunday, June 9, 2019

We Skipped Spring and Went Directly to Summer

I've lived in my little house for 18 years. I can't believe it. I bought it in May of 2001, thinking it would be the place I lived for the rest of my life. 

2019, I'm still here, but I know it won't be the place I spend the rest of my life. Bud and I will have our own place (or a few places) and we've been discussing our wish list for some time. It's a given I'll have a large kitchen, a big island with a sink, and plenty of spaces for folks to gather. Of course, we'll have a bar. Just goes to show you're never too old to dream about your perfect home. 

For now, my little home is still my favorite place to be. Years ago, I had a blank slate in my back yard. It just had a big tree next to the neighbor's fence, and nothing else. Over the years, I worked hard, putting in flower beds, lots of hostas, rocks...and it looked so beautiful for years. 

But times have changed; I'm busier and I just don't have the energy or drive to keep up big flower beds. We've taken out the largest bed and it will now revert to lawn. But that side bed...the one next to the fence--it needed an update. Bud built me a beautiful deck a few years ago, and it sits right next to that long, narrow bed. Sit on the deck, and see that fence and the hostas. Try and mow between the deck and the hostas and there's not much room. Last weekend we dug up a HUGE hosta (it started from one leaf all those years ago! One leaf!) and I rearranged the brick border, brought it in closer to the fence, so I can get my mower through. It's all Bud's idea...but once he talked about it, I saw the wisdom of a little makeover. It was also a chance to dig up the bricks and reset them. I found bricks in spots I had completely forgotten about. 

The makeover started like this:

Then, I had to shop for flowers:

Flowers are my weakness. Even having just a small space, they still managed to add up quickly! 

After all my running around yesterday, I was sweaty, tired, crabby, and swatting gnats. But I got a start:

It's a small change, and most of the side garden has stayed the same. Bud suggested annuals in the one clear space I have, so I planted purple petunias. I added the fun flowers on the fence after my plan to hang potted flowers literally fell through. I hung all five little pots, turned around, and they all fell off the fence. 

I've still got a lot to do to a few other spots: the front yard and my little side garden next to the house. I've run out of energy, however. The late start to flower planting has left me less than enthused. Stay tuned as I watch my little garden flourish! 

Sunday, June 2, 2019

I'M BAAAAACK: It Took Four Years, But Here I Am

Life decisions can turn on a dime. Or in my case, laundry. 

Today is a beautiful day: sunshine, slight breeze, and birds are chirping. It's perfect. A day to hang laundry outside. As a kid, I absolutely despised hanging up laundry, and most of all, taking it down. But we all know that as adults sometimes we realize stuff we disliked as kids turns out to be alright. Hanging laundry outside is one of them. It also helps that I'm only hanging up laundry for one person; as a kid, well, there were so many of us! It truly was a chore. 

I sent a photo to Bud of my laundry hanging outside, mostly to thank him for stringing up new clothes lines so I could actually hang laundry outside. There's something very satisfying about laundry blowing in the breeze; somehow it anchors me to my house and my yard in a very good way.

This all leads me to a moment very soon after pegging my last sock on the line, when I was thinking about this blog, and how long it had been since I'd posted or even though about it. I realized the simple act of hanging laundry gave me the answer to begin again with my blog. 

I have no idea what I'll post; mostly musings and odd little happenings. Successful recipes and cocktails. Mostly life as a fifty-something. So I hope you'll join me in my journey. And if you get a chance, invest in some clothesline for your backyard, and hang some sheets and towels out to dry. It may inspire you, too. 


Photo courtesy of: Image by Ryan McGuire from Pixabay 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Catching Up Since Christmas....

So, this happened in May:

Two years of hard work, very little sleep, and not seeing much of Bud!  I'm still trying to relax a bit, and just "work" full-time.  Life has been very hectic so far this summer.  My plan to de-clutter my house hasn't happened just yet, but I guess there's still July and August, right?  And my itch for school is done for awhile....unless I decide I need another MA or even perhaps a PhD?! 

I'm going to try and keep posting to this blog, now that I have some time.  Once again, stories of life, food, flowers, and stuff I want to share. In the meantime, Hello everyone!  Glad to be back.  I'm still working on healing my left foot and the plantar fasciitis that has plagued me for two years.  Now I'm visiting a chiropractor and so far one week in and a few adjustments have meant that I've been able to have days where my foot doesn't hurt at all.  Downright amazing.  There's hope for me getting back into some running, even though I'll never probably be super serious about it.  I do miss running early in the mornings in the summer.  The best time time to run, in my opinion. 

Stay tuned, and I'll be bringing you more stuff from the great Midwest!  

Happy Summer everyone :)

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Hello! I'm Back! 2014 in Review

I have missed writing this blog so much in the past year.  My book blog, The Bookalicious Babe has taken off and I'm so happy about that!  So many good things happened in 2014 because of that blog that I can't imagine what 2015 has in store for me. 

Another year is coming to a close, and what a whirlwind it has been for me.  It is certainly true that the older you get, the faster time flies.  It seems like I just started school yesterday, and now I'm entering my last semester.  I am counting down the days until May, when I will graduate with my MLIS (Masters in Library and Information Science).  I have learned so much--most importantly, that I don't know so much and there's always room for more knowledge in my life.  

School and work have taken up so much of my time that I tried and failed at CrossFit this past summer.  My plantar fasciitis is still very painful and has pretty much hobbled me this year.  Weeks of physical therapy didn't help much at all.  It is frustrating.  I am hopeful I will be able to start running this Spring again.  It was such a stress reliever (and sometimes gave me stress) and I desperately need it back in my life.  Bike riding and running for fun are two top priorities for me in 2015.  Maybe, just maybe, I will have time this summer to try CrossFit again.  Fingers crossed.

My honorary Auntie status has awarded me with a wonderful little picture that I am going to hang up in my study room at home.  It will remind me that there is a pot of gold at the end of this long haul, and that this year will be full of new beginnings, sunshine, and rainbows.  I feel like I am finally coming out of a dark tunnel and my soul is finding some peace.  But first, I have to finish those last 6 miles of this marathon I'm on, so I will be attending to this blog more often to chronicle my triumphs and crash-n-burns this year.  I hope you join me!


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