Check Out My Book

This past weekend, our church allowed authors and artists in the congregation to display and sell their works. I am very pleased that I was better prepared than last year (my books did not arrive on time) and as a result, felt so much calmer. It was great talking to everyone who stopped by and getting “congratulations!” from those who did not know that I am a writer. It is so encouraging when others offer appreciation for what you do and that is just one of the things that I love most about my church – the support and thankfulness for each others’ contributions. Anyway, if you are interested in checking out my book – it’s a Bible study journal for children, here is the link Bible Basics for Kids

Trying something new

After completing two half-marathons in the spring, I was sure to be on track for at least two more this fall. Well, life happens and often plans get scrapped. While I have been able to run a couple of times each week, my training routine has sadly gone by the wayside. It has been strange to not have a goal race in mind right now. I toyed with the idea of planning a trip during the winter to a warmer climate – a destination race (!) but I know that as soon as it gets cold, my motivation for running outside will lessen. So, while a winter marathon does not have much appeal, I have been wracking my brain to come up with some type of goal for myself.

Reading an email gave me the idea of a ‘staged marathon’. This sounds really cool! Over the course of a week, you run various distances that total up to 26.2 miles. I have my husband almost convinced to join me in our own little adventure in different parks around our city. Maybe a few of our running buddies will be interested. The more, the merrier! I’m looking at the last full week of October for this.

Anyway, I have also been mixing new things into my cross training days. Zumba has been a weekly event for me this summer and it really did put more spring into my running stride. My daughter joined me yesterday to try TRX – kind of like Pilates on suspension straps. It was very interesting and is not supposed to bulk you up. It felt relaxing and challenging at the same time. This may be our new thing for the fall. It helps to change up a routine every few months so your body doesn’t get too comfortable.

Why don’t black people swim?

This is a question I heard a lot during the Summer Olympics this month. While I do know that many African-Americans do swim, it is not as popular as basketball or football. Why? I believe it is mostly due to how easy it is to access what is needed. A pick-up game can happen almost anywhere, and football only requires some open space. A swimming pool is a different matter. My high school had an Olympic-size pool and swimming was a required PhysEd class for graduation. Not many schools have facilities to support this requirement.

However, not being able to swim can be dangerous. Cullen Jones (Olympic swimmer) has been promoting basic swimming skills for all children through the Make A Splash campaign (www.makeasplash.org). The site reports that Black children are 3x more likely to drown than White children,and that drowning is the 2nd leading cause of childhood accidental death. In fact,10 people drown every day in the United States. Seven out of ten African-American children and six out of ten Hispanic children do not know how to swim.

So, let’s keep our kids safer by making sure they have basic swim skills. Check out the neighborhood YMCAs and gyms. And, it’s okay ot take lessons with your children.

Adding activity to your life

I have been involved with Herbalife International for three years and have so pleased with my results that I recently added the products in my practice. I have been using the shakes for healthy (and great tasting) quick breakfasts. Last year, Herbalife introduced a new line of products (H24) for athletes, recreational as well as serious/professional. and I used them in my marathon last fall with great results. Check out my site at www.GoHerbalife.com/personalwholeness for more info.

This year FitClubs have become all the rage. These are casual activities with open invitations to anyone (families welcome) who wants to join in. We’ve had free Zumba classes, walks and bike rides in various parks, and some soccer and baseball games. For the next two weekends, I will be leading some interested folks in a walk/run workout for 30-40 minutes. These gatherings are meant to help encourage people to lead healthy, active lifestyles. So, if you happen to see a flyer or get an invite, join in – it will be a blast!

Our greatest wealth is our health.

 

Off my routine

It happens to all of us. Our schedules get out-of-sync and before you can blink, you’ve missed a week of working out. Maybe it’s because you are on vacation. Or you’ve come down with the flu. Sometimes it’s an injury. But, usually, it’s because the honeymoon is over. The excitement you felt for a new activity has waned a bit. Considering how hot this summer has been, the weather certainly has had an effect on many outdoor activities.

I spent most of the past week caring for my DH after he had some problems due to hypertension. Sitting up all night in the hospital is not good for one’s body but it had to be done. He is doing just fine now, but I have not returned to my routine yet. I did manage to get in a good 5 mile run last Saturday morning (it felt great to be outdoors) but had to be flexible with the rest of my time. We did take a few walks this week and I made it to Zumba last night. A little yoga and some weights rounded out the week.

While most people would be happy with what I did this week, I know it falls short of my training schedule. But, these things happen. I am not going to worry about trying ‘to make it up’. That is a sure way to get injured, been there, done that. I will total up the miles I completed and focus on making next week better. So, what would I suggest when life gets in the way? Here are some easy tips to keep moving, even a little…

1. Take some extra time and stretch before you get out of bed.
2. Walk as much as you can, including the stairs.
3. Use the internet for quickie routines from various instructors
4. Get out in the fresh air, and breathe deep
5. Don’t worry about it, count it as a rest day.

My own race!

For the 4th of July, my husband and I ran our own little 4 miler. Since he is way faster than me it wasn’t really a race. We were pleasantly surprised at how many other crazy people were out running and walking in the hot and humid weather at our favorite park. He even made a little race bib for himself “007”. I made medals for us. (Hopefully I can add pictures later).

It was pretty miserable out but we had agreed to no whining. We got our 4 miles in, the time was slow but we finished smiling! With high fives, and the last bit of water, we treated ourselves to Bomb pops and chocolate cupcakes afterwards. It was a great way to start our celebration, and will probably be a new tradition for us.

Sport as a way of life

Over the past several years, I have learned to love my running life. My childhood did not include any encouragement to participate in sports. Those kinds of activities were for my two younger brothers. I was the bookworm, always reading and daydreaming. Well, now it’s my turn! It has taken me awhile to be able to consider myself a ‘real’ runner since I am not fast. But I have learned that it is not about the speed, but believing in yourself enough to choose and follow through.

In recent years, I have seen surprising benefits from running that I never really expected. Sure, I would lose some weight and get to travel a bit. I was blown away by how competitive I am (with myself, remember, I am not fast) and how much I crave that adrenaline rush and the calm afterwards. It is addictive, in a good way because I can say that it adds to my life, rather than take away. So, I have decided to change this blog to fit my life and interests in being an active woman, who just happens to be middle-aged and slimming down!

This summer, my husband and I are training for two half-marathons in the fall. Despite the heat, we will keep going. Afterall, we did a full last year and the summer training was truly miserable. What helped us the most was our running group. We kept each other focused, laughing, and encouraged.It wasn’t a matter of misery loving company. We can say honestly say that each difficult step with friends was less painful over time. And this year will be even better!

“Always do your best. Never quit. And have fun.”

July 2nd – I’m grateful for: Massages by my hubby, iced tea, fresh tomatoes

 

Did too much?!?

Well, I had been booking along with my exercise plans, adding in a few different classes over the last month, just to keep things interesting. My running was great, mileage was up since we’ve had a fairly mild winter so far. Monday morning I got up extra early for a Spin class I had been considering (6am start). Well, that particular morning, there was a sub and I was the only participant. While the idea of a private Spin class was appealing at the start, it wore off. There were no breaks, couldn’t hide in the back and sit down for a sec, and so on. As a result, later that day I noticed my left knee stiffening up. By that night it was sore and swollen.

Being the stubborn person that I am, I was up early again on Tuesday (after all, I had set a goal for the week) to run. Despite the knee I cranked out 3.2 miles and felt great. However, my the time I got home, I could not bend me leg and had to ice it before getting upstairs. UGGGHHH!!! Needless to say, I skipped that night’s Zumba class. I hate being injured, especially when I do it to myself. So, I’ve been doing more yoga and upper body weights stuff. I’ve definitely been a cry baby about this, knowing that I’ve probably set back my training a good week. Live and learn…I hope. How do you handle injuries? Does it bum you out when you can’t get your workout in? Send me some tips to read while I ice this week.

Cooking more…

One of my goals for this year is to save money by eating lunch at home or packing) at least three days a week. Since my DH and I work less than a mile from home it just makes sense to go home rather than a fast food restaraunt. So, today makes the third day this week that we had lunch at home. Pros: easy, cheaper, less fat and sugar. Cons: I do all the cooking and cleaning. Must plan better so I can relax a bit during lunch. For some reason, there are not a lot of leftovers at our house outside of holiday time. I will work on planning ahead more and cooking ‘double’ when possible.

Starting the New Year!

Welcome 2012! Last year I bought a book “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin that I just started reading. This gave me the idea to use this blog this year as my own Happiness Project. So, while the title will remain the same, the focus this year will be practicing various ways to make my own life happier. In my work, I assist people with their goals and outlining ways to make positive changes. Here, I will do the same with myself.

The first step is to outline your personal goals, and I am breaking mine up over the 12 months of the year. For January, I want to work on: clearing clutter & getting organized, eating clean and making meat-free meals two days/week, and eliminating negative self-talk. I’ll post how I’m doing and add to mu list each month. Let me know what you are doing for yourself to make this year a great one! Of, yeah, in the book, there are several lists of tips for various subjects. On exercise, I love the first three:
1. Always exercise on Mondays
2. Never skip exercising two days in a row
3. Don’t link exercise to weight loss. Exercise for sanity, not vanity.