Look At Me, I’m Sandra B.*

*Sung to the tune of Look At Me, I’m Sandra Dee, the catchy Stockard Channing ditty from 1978’s Grease.*

However, the Sandra who I know and am fond of, Sandra B., is likely not “lousy with virginity” considering that she has five adult children and several grandbabies, but I digress . . .

Sandra B., who I have now known for nearly five years, is a woman I not only respect and appreciate, but I admire her and aspire to be like her in one particular way.  Sandy is the epitome of the expression:

fountain

Sandy is a REAL runner!  <~~BTW, this is not me downplaying my abilities, but I am describing her this way to provide some insight into my perspective and image of her.  Sandy has been running for years and years and years; a “leisurely” eight-ish miles is how she begins most days, and I doubt she even breaks a sweat, tbh.  As seasoned and capable a runner as she is, from day one, Sandra B. has been one of my supporters.  When running 1/4 mile non stop was an accomplishment, when I finished my first 5k, even though I walked most of it, and when I did my first Torch Run and had to ride part of the way in the struggle bus, Sandy was supportive, encouraging, and motivating.  When I entered my first Dempsey Challenge 10K in 2016, I kept pace with Sandy and her sister for the first mile or so, and I use the term “kept pace with” loosely; when they finished long before me, they waited for me at the finish line.  When Sandy and I went running in the park together a few times last summer, during breaks, and the heat was so oppressive that I had to walk, she never once made me feel bad about myself, nor did she make me feel like I was holding her back.

Sandy is a force to be reckoned with as far as fitness and athleticism, but in addition to this, she is truly a model of empowerment.  I wish to and strive to be that person to others.  I doubt that Sandy envisions herself in the same manner that I visualize her, but I hypothesize that nobody sees themselves from the viewpoint of others.

Last week, while in my office, I overheard a colleague say that she didn’t want to go for a walk outside because it was torrentially raining.  I stuck my head out from my doorway and told her that I was going to go downstairs and use the gym if she wanted to join me.  She exclaimed, “No way!” and indicated that she can’t keep up with me; as of late, she’s been pushing herself harder and harder to get her 10k steps in before she goes home for the day, and I always give her an attaboy for her efforts.

Just this week, I received an email from my best friend, Callie, that reads, “You are the only reason I have been pushing myself.  If not for you, I would have been much lazier this summer 🙂 Glad to have you beside me :)!”

Holy shit!  I’m someone’s Sandy!

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Radio Flyer

So, I am back on the exercise wagon!  Granted, it’s a Radio Flyer, but it’s a wagon nonetheless!  For quite an extended period of time, working out was my priority before all else.  Somehow though, I allowed life’s other tasks to creep to the top of my ever famous ‘to do’ lists.  I was still working out consistently, but life’s tasks are stealthy ninjas and eventually, they coordinated a complete and utter takeover.

What I’ve learned after several sedentary months: the first few steps of the journey are the most difficult to take, even when it’s a journey you have been on before.  I have a little over a month to prepare for the Special Olympics: Law Enforcement Torch Run; our leg is the longest.  Therefore, I have found my most immediate goal to work toward.  Tough Mountain is a mere three months away, and so, in addition to honing my cardio abilities again, I must get my other muscles in tip-top condition as well.

Tomorrow will be my first “hard” workout in at least two months!  (Not hard in difficulty but hard as in intensity).  Who am I kidding though?  It is likely going to be all-around difficult because let’s face it, I’m not the machine I was before the winter months settled in.

So, on tomorrow’s agenda:

*3-5 cumulative miles.

*Body weight exercises: squats (weighted), lunges, pull-ups (modified), push-ups (modified), Russian twists (weighted), and sit-ups (weighted).  3 sets: 1st – 20, 2nd -15, and 3rd – 10.

*Wall sits, planks. 2 cumulative minutes.

*Agility ladder drills.  At least 5 drills, 10-15 times each.

I shall name this back to business workout … Bobby.  As in, “Damnit, Bobby, I’m gonna f*** you up!”  Bonus points to whomever names the movie that this quote is from, sans Google! 🙂

 

 

 

Bot O’ Swap

Probably the most difficult aspect of maintaining my health and fitness blog is that I am attempting to keep it health and fitness oriented.  I am multi-faceted, as are most . . . OKay, ALL individuals.  I do not think it is feasible for me to not include other aspects of my life within my blog.  I think health and fitness are influenced largely in part by the well-being of our mind and spirit, not only a healthy BMI.  I have so many hobbies, and one of my greatest passions is snail mail.  I am a pen pal extraordinaire, a snail mail connoisseur!  I have intermingled my love for tangible mail with my love for a healthier lifestyle.  How?  With a swap-bot group named Health & Fitness Foray.  Note: Anyone who is currently using swap-bot is more than welcome (and encouraged!) to join either my HFF group AND / OR my other, quirkier group, Idiosyncratic Unicorns.

About Health & Fitness Foray 

“I have recently made several lifestyle changes in order to pursue a healthier, fitter life. Despite every calorie I have counted and every step I have taken, I have found that the most motivating aspect of health and fitness has been the support system(s).

Join this group to meet and swap with others who have similar lifestyle change goals. Goals can range from drinking more water to eating less carbs, from losing weight to taking more steps, from starting to exercise to joining a 5K. Etc., etc., etc. 🙂 This group is not only devoted to health of the body but also to the health of mind and spirit.

By definition, a foray is, “a sudden attack or incursion into enemy territory, especially to obtain something.” Our goals do not necessarily need to be our enemy, but we can conquer them nonetheless!

Disclaimer: This is a group with the overall intent of being supportive, motivational, and influential. Kindness is imperative here. Anyone who is negative or degrading will be removed; bullying will not be tolerated.

I will accept all individuals, with a 4.95+ rating, who request to join the group. I do not want to exclude anybody who has a goal, but the group must be able to depend on each of its members to follow through with swaps. Therefore, a rating lower than 4.95 will not be accepted. However, consider requesting membership once you’ve improved your rating.

I am accepting of newbies as we ALL started somewhere, amiright!? However, any member who does not have any rating(s), within 3 months of joining the group, will be removed. In three months’ time, there is ample opportunity to gain ratings. 🙂 If you wish to earn some ratings ASAP, join the group’s swaps or PM me for a private swap.

I will be monitoring members’ ratings. Any members whose ratings begin to drop will be evaluated. I don’t expect every member to have a perfect score, but if there begins a pattern of flaking or complaints from partners, membership may need to be reconsidered. Note: I am well aware that life, forgetfulness, chaos, stress, postal error, etc. happen so no one will ever get the boot from the group for a mistake, especially when it’s obvious the situation is being rectified. If your account becomes suspended, partially suspended, or you have not logged in for a month or more (with no communication), you will be removed. However, once your account status is rectified, you are encouraged to re-join the group.

There will be type 1, 2, and on occasion, type 3 swaps hosted at HFF. If you have swap ideas, please do not hesitate to reach out to host! I love to have an active group!

Let’s reach those goals, ladies and gents!

Because I want this group to be as active as possible, ALL members will upgraded to officer status. Officer status allows you to invite fellow friends/swap botters AND host swaps. You are encouraged to do both as much as your heart desires!”

Current HFF Swaps

Kick The Bucket

“Kick The Bucket . . . but not really! Here’s the thing . . . we ALL have something we put on the back burner. We all have a “bucket list” of sorts or just a bunch of “stuff” we want to do, but somehow, we never quite get around to it.

For this swap, pick something from your bucket list, and do it. At the very least, start it. (Some tasks are far more time consuming than others).

Send your assigned partner a two page letter (letter set), one page if you write on 8.5″ x 11″ paper, outlining what you chose to do, how you feel now that you can cross something off your list, and maybe throw in a few other things you have on your bucket list 🙂 If you don’t have a bucket list, feel free to come up with something you’d like to do, just for the sake of the swap. What you choose to do can be WHATEVER you like; it is not required to be health / fitness related.

Who can join: ALL members with no recent 1s or 3s (current / previous month). Swap is open internationally.”

Profile Deco_April

“We have done this one before, and I think it’s time to do it again, perhaps on a monthly basis! Let’s decorate our partner’s profile with something motivating / encouraging. This can be a quote, a meme, a photo.

ALL members are encouraged to join. This is an electronic swap, but the same expectations of tangible swaps apply – decorate your partner’s profile by the deadline AND recipients are expected to rate in a timely and appropriate time frame.

Please decorate your partner’s profile with a MINIMUM of 2 of the aforementioned.

Anyone who needs help / instruction on how to post images to a profile, I will gladly assist you and offer up my profile for practice – just PM me.”

Give Up

“For this swap, send your 1 partner a PC outlining at least 1 thing you are giving up,or at least TRYING to give up, for the month. The thing you are giving up should be something that will benefit you in regards to your health / fitness. A short explanation as to your choice is also required. If you are not trying to give anything up but trying to ADD something to your life / lifestyle, that is applicable also! Don’t forget to explain why 🙂

PC is sender’s choice, all members of HFF are welcome to join. PC can be sent naked or in an envie. 🙂

I can angel, but I don’t expect I will need to.”

Bullet Journal Fun Swap

“For our first HFF:Bullet Journal Fun Swap we will exchange a letter telling our partner what drew you to bullet journaling and one flat bullet journal surprise!

The letter can be typed or handwritten. You can write it on pretty paper or a card or plain paper. Be as creative as you want. Just be sure to tell your partner why you started bullet journaling. For the flat surprise it could be anything you can use in a bullet journal. Stickers, washi tape, tags, etc.

I will angle if necessary!! And don’t forget to put the swap name and your user ID.

Have fun and happy swapping!!”

Move It #1

“This is the first in a series I hope to host monthly, with the mileage increasing (at least over the summer months!).

For the month of April, move an intentional mile every day. Take a walk. Go for a quick run or light jog. Bike. Swim! Row! Elliptical. Change it up. Maybe you can’t get out every day–just make an effort to reach 30 miles by the end of the month.

Track your progress each day (or each mile, if you prefer).

Around the middle of the month (April 13-17th), send a Swap-Bot message to your partner letting them know how far you’ve come. This is meant to provide mid-month accountability and allow you to course correct as needed. This is part of the swap requirements.

At the end of the month, send your partner your tracking log and at least a few sentences about the swap experience. Also include a flat surprise such as a postcard, notecard, stickers, tea, etc. Check your partner’s profile for ideas and avoid allergies, but this is sender’s choice.

In sum:
1). Move a mile every day (average)
2). Track your progress
3). Send a mid-month check-in of your mileage to your partner via SB message
4). Mail your log, reflections, and flat surprise at the end of the month

Hope we all enjoy this and come back next month! Let me know if you have any questions.

Looking Ahead
In May, we’ll attempt 45 miles.”

Needless to say, I intend to update my blog with HFF’s swaps each month.  Why not spread the word?  After all, these swaps are assisting me along my path to achieving my goals!

 

 

My ‘Give A Damn’ Is Busted

Ugh, I am so very frustrated with myself as of late.  “My give a damn is busted” is not entirely accurate as I DO care; I care a great deal.  However, my motivation has been seriously lacking.  I have not been working out consistently, I have not put any new miles on my running shoes, and I have been lackadaisical, at best, with calorie counting.

With my first 5K in less than 3 months, I really need to shift my butt into gear.  I tell myself that “today is a new day,” and then I proceed to fall flat on my face.  I then tell myself that “tomorrow is a new day,” and I try my very best to not be too hard on myself.  I am still hard on myself, but the key word / phrase is “‘too’ hard on myself.”

I wanted to be at my goal weight by June 3rd, my first 5K.  Coincidence?  No.  And just the fact that I wrote ‘wanted’ . . . as in the past tense, this is an indication that I am constantly self sabotaging myself.  I want to be at my goal weight by June 3rd, and I know that with a lot of hard work, I can achieve this.

So, why do I continually strive along my path of self-sabotage?  How can I motivate myself again?  My journey has been a long one, and I have made it this far.  Why am I so hesitant to throw myself back into the lifestyle I had grown to love?  Why have I seemingly given up, yet have not truly given up?  It’s time to go from 0 to 60, and not tomorrow, not with the new week, not with the new month, but N-O-W.

A stumble is not a failure.  The only failure is quitting, giving up on oneself.

 

Why Write?

So, why start a blog now?  It’s a question I have been asking myself since I’m a serial blog starter.  I’m fantastic with the good intentions, but I dwindle when it comes to the follow through.  In order to understand how I can be successful in maintaining a blog, I have had to soul search and analyze what keeps me from doing so.

First, I get hung up on writing style, grammar, punctuation, so on and so forth.  I am letting that go.  I am going to write how I think, just put ME on virtual paper.  I’ve reminded myself, and I undoubtedly will need to continue to remind myself, that I’m not attempting to publish a professional piece of writing; I’m merely trying to connect with others who are on the same journey that I am.  I want to connect with those who are struggling with taking the first step of their journey.  I want to connect with others who have stumbled along their way.  I want to connect with people who have had nothing but the utmost success.  I just want to connect, and so, to do so, I’m letting go of my need to be “perfect,” to write perfectly, that drive to abide by all of the literary rules.  I want my blog to be a place where I can be candid, open, and just ME, not bound by any confines, even those that I have set for myself.  I am the one that puts myself in the box, and I know it.

Second, I always write thinking about my audience, even when I do not have one.  In order to be successful in keeping this blog, I am accepting that it is perfectly acceptable to do it just for me.  Write because I want to write.  I have spent the majority of my life doing for others.  It’s who I am.  I am a giver – giver of gifts, giver of myself, whatever I can possibly muster to give to someone else, I do.

Finally, my own accountability and motivation are worth the effort.  Daily, I spend the majority of my time in my own head, my own thoughts.  I have come to the realization that I am not learning from my mistakes, my bad days, by letting these thoughts just roll around and bump along in my head.  My fear of writing about my bad days (food fails, lack of exercise, no “fox” left to give) is that it will make the bad days ever more real.  Well, the trips and stumbles are just as real, even when they are merely jostled about in my own brain, yet I am not learning from them.  The missteps are important strides along the path to success, and I will no longer hide them, not even from myself.  I am the very first person to tell others NOT to give up, that stumbles along the way are OKay, and that tomorrow is a new day, an opportunity to try again.

Epiphany: I do not afford myself the same kindness that I invest in others.

Goal: I will learn to be kind to myself, for I am worthy of the same kindness I bestow upon others.