Hula-Hoop

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My work out has been rather limited. I am mostly relegated to doing the exercises I learn in physical therapy. Simple exercises that increase range of motion in my ankle and help to strengthen the muscles in my lower leg. My workout is mentally exhausting because I am trying to get my body to do things that it doesn’t want to but I know it should be able to. The physical exertion is almost nil. That is until today.

Today, I found a work out that raises my heart rate, works my core, and has virtually no impact. And no it is not swimming. (I’ve decided against swimming for the time being because I really don’t want to tax any muscles that we are just now starting to strengthen.) Today I went in the garage and pulled out the hula-hoop.

 

My guess is the warm weather and spending some time outside triggered something child like in me. Jim, Kia, and I went down to the beach today to soak up some sun and break up the monotony of doing homework, studying for the advancement exam, and grading discussion board posts. While we were on the beach we saw kids doing what kids do best, playing.

 

When we got home I intended to grab my book and read outside. Instead I went to the garage and pulled out the hoop. The hoop has a temporary home in the living room. My plan is to use it from time to time so I can do a mini work out. I know it’s no 5k, crossfit, or surfing but I have to say it is far better than what I have been doing the past 7 weeks.

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Those who can’t play….coach

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The latest word on the ankle injury (and keep this in mind it is very official) “boy you did a number on this.”  On a happy note I start physical therapy next week. Hopefully I can start to get some range of motion. After the assessment visit to the therapist I found out the range of motion on my ankle is in the negative range, it doesn’t quite reach neutral.

 

I have a long road of work and healing ahead of me. It sounds like I may still be pretty much sidelined in about six weeks.

 

So in the mean time what can a girl do? I can’t play, but I can coach.

 

Some folks at my work have decided to join the base volleyball league. We are the SEA Avengers, my jersey says coach 3.5. (3.5 because it was the first number I thought of but it seems right since I am not a whole player yet.)

 

Of course there is some level of frustration watching instead of playing, but it is more fun than frustration.

 

We’ve played 2 matches so far, won one and lost one. Our objective isn’t to win (but we have no objection to winning) we just want to have fun. And I think I need a little fun right now.

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Funnest Race

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2013 is almost over and the last few months have been tough on me because of my injury. As I reflect back on my year I realize I did quite a few races. Not as many as I have in years past but I ran the Disney Princess Marathon to maintain my status as a perfect princess. I also did the Newport 10 miler and a few other races.

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Of all the races I did there was one that really stood out. It wasn’t a big race or a long one. But it was probably the funnest race I have ever done. I ran start to finish with Kia. It wasn’t just running, we paddled, rode a tricycle, climbed a rock wall, ran in heels, hula hooped, and slid down on oversized inflatable slide.

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It was the inaugural run hosted by Women Run called the sanity chase. The race was hosted at Fort Adams in Newport, RI.

 

 

 

This was the first race I did where there was no clock. So it was less of a race and more of a run. And it was women only.                               

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Women were encouraged to run together. It was a time for bonding and playing. Kia and I got to be silly together (though I think I acted more silly than she did, she is a teen and has to maintain her coolness.) 

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As I continue my recovery I am hopeful for next year. While my goals include a sub 27-minute 5k, half marathon, and an adventure race, I think I need to remember to have fun and be silly too. Racing and accomplishing goals sometimes zaps the fun out of running, especially when you are recovering from an injury. I need to keep perspective and be appreciative of the fact that my legs and in particular me knee is still working. If I do, 2014 will be a great year of fun runs and achieving some goals.

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What are your running goals for 2014?

What was the best race you did this year?

How Surfing Made Me a Better Mom

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Surfing and being a mom are two unrelated activities. While they aren’t really related, I realize I have learned a lot about being a mom from surfing.

Surfing is very much dependent upon Mother Nature. Her mood sets the tone for the waves. They range from calm and peaceful to turbulent and violent. My daughter Dominique has moods that can swing in much the same way. Some days she is sweet and charming other days, she is not. But the beauty with Mother Nature and with teens, there is a time and place for all moods. The violent waves will eventually subside in the same way the “I hate you moments” do. Eventually things will be calm and peaceful, even if it is just for a moment.

In the lineup you have to sit and wait for the next set of waves. In the moments you wait, you have to be patient. If you rush and paddle for something that isn’t a wave it can put you in the wrong spot when the real waves to come. As a mom I need patience too. Dominique acts like she isn’t interested in anything, she ignores pleas to do her homework, she forgets to do her chores, she has a messy room, she doesn’t always listen, she thinks she knows everything, she gets frustrated when we talk, she gets a D in chemistry………….the list could go on. In these moments I have to remain calm and have patience. If I overreact, she might shut down and not want to communicate with me at all. Instead I have to be present, be patient, and wait so when the really big issues come, she will come to me.

There are days when the waves are small and gentle and there are also days when the waves are much bigger. On the days that the waves are bigger, it is hard to paddle out. And when you do paddle out and hit the lineup the waves appear to tower over you like a skyscraper. It takes a lot of courage to go out when the waves are big. Parenting also takes a lot of courage, especially when you are raising a teenager. Over the past few years Dominique has put Jim and I through the ringer. We have faced her exploring her sexuality, being afraid to drive, watching her play sports where she can get hurt, watching her get hurt, flirting with boys, learning about Facebook, going to movies and dances by herself…………again the list could go on. But through it all you have to be courageous because she is learning to become and adult, she has to learn to explore the world without your guidance. It is terrifying, but it is part of being a parent.

When you surf you will wipe out. But when you wipe out, you have to get back up on the board and go out again. In order to surf you need to be resilient. In parenting you will sometimes fail. But you have to get back up and keep being a mom.

The most important thing, surfing is fun. Riding a wave is exhilarating. It makes me smile and fills me with joy. As a mom, I have to remember to have fun and enjoy it. It can be challenging and tough, but most days being a mom makes me smile and fills me with joy. There are few things as exhilarating as watching your baby girl grow up to a beautiful woman.

Thank you for being such a great kid Dominique.

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Happy Mother’s Day.

Working out on Vacation

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During our two-week family vacation, we traveled to Durango, CO. During our trip we needed to portion our time in a way to we could spend time with family and sight see. This meant not dedicating the time we wanted to our normal running and workout schedule. We found a way to keep active by choosing activities that enhanced our vacation and family time while allowing us to get a work out.

 

Durango is filled with lots of outdoor sports. We took full advantage of this. On our trip we discovered rock climbing, rappelling, and water rafting. Each one of these sports gave us the chance to try something new yet still get in a good workout. The best part is the sports we chose targeted body parts we don’t normally use in our regular workout routines.

Rock climbing is a great total body workout. We had to make a short hike which gave us a short cardio workout. We did a half-day of climbing that is geared to all fitness levels. We quickly discovered climbing works legs, arms, and core.

Our day on the Lower Animus River was another great opportunity for fitness. We opted to use the inflatable kayaks. This gave us the freedom to navigate the river in a way the raft didn’t. Kayaking is another great upper body and core workout.

We finished our trip with rappelling at Cascade Canyon. While rappelling itself isn’t much of a workout, what goes down 150 ft must come back up. After getting down to the bottom of the canyon we made a 20-minute hike back to the top to do it again. Two hikes in elevation is quite a workout.

A vacation is about spending time with family and having fun. It also gives you a great chance to try new things. Have fun and find a way to keep moving on your vacation!

 

 

To push or not to push.

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My daughter decided to try out for track and field. I have to tell you it makes me so proud. I’m so pleased that she is trying something new. I am pleased that she picked a tough sport. I did track for one season in high school and I really wish I had done more so I guess I am living vicariously through her too.

 

As my daughter embarks on her sports career (she is a three sport athlete right now) I am equally proud of her and equally terrified I am going to push her away from her interests. I don’t think I am a parent who feels the need to push my daughter to make her perform better and better. But sometimes I see how much potential she really has. On those occasions I try to bite my tongue and tell her if she put more effort into what she was doing she would be so much better.

 

For her sports is a social activity. I’ve watched her in practice, laughing, giggling, and playing around with her teammates. All the while not listening to a word that the coach is saying. It infuriates me to no end. But then I have to force myself to take a step back. She is having fun. She is out there enjoying what she is doing.

 

I see how talented my daughter could be if she really applied herself. If it becomes something she is truly passionate about I’m sure the talent will come out on it’s own. I just have to wait patiently for her to decide if it is something she wants. In the mean time, I just need to appreciate that she is out there playing sports.

Spring!

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The weather across the country is BEAUTIFUL. Today it was 70 degrees. I’m still in shock that it’s that warm. I feel lucky that this has all happened in our first year living in New England.

The warm weather has drawn me to the beach to look at the water. I have this urge to get back in the water and start surfing again. Just looking at the water, inspecting the waves, has made me yearn for the feel of being one with the ocean. The past two days have been flat. Which is probably good, because I’m not sure I’m ready to get in the not quite freezing water. (Then again that is what a wet suit is made for.)

The weather has also got me wanting to run again. I’m happy to report I am back to exercising again. I haven’t made the full leap into things, but I have gone on a few runs with work and on my own and also done some other workouts. So far the pain has not returned but I keep waiting for it.

But with the warm weather coming back in full force be sure to be safe outside. Wear sunscreen so you don’t get a burn. Drink lots of water so you don’t dehydrate. And most importantly enjoy and have fun!