Tuesday, December 18, 2012

MORE things to give up. Stay with me!

Almost done with my #FitFluential related "10 Things you must give up to move forward". Today I share with you my take on items 8 and 3.

Number Eight: Making excuses rather than decisions.
(ring...ring..."hello, kettle? this is the pot. you're black." -Pheobe) I have done this. As recently as today, actually. Yesterday I walked to work. Fresh snow covered the roads combined with my tires that are almost as bald as Robin Tunney's head in "Empire Records" didn't add up to much safety. Before you go giving me kudos for the walk, it is only about 3/4 of a mile. Seriously. During the walk, I had enough time to say to myself that I would now walk to work everyday for the next week. On the way back, I walked nearly a mile in the other direction to get mail, then tagged on about a mile walk though the woods to get back to the house. The weather was great, and it was wonderful to be alone in the woods making fresh tracks in the disappearing daylight.
This morning I woke up with plenty of time to get ready. I sat on the edge of my daybed, stretched my core a bit, then went right back under the covers. I made excuses like, "bah. it is raining out" and "really, how is a 3/4 mile walk going to benefit me, anyway?" So I fell back to sleep. I awoke at the last mintue, rushed through getting ready, and made it to work with 10 minutes to spare. How? I DROVE.
If, instead of making excuses this morning, I had just stuck with my decision to walk every day, I would have been 15 or more minutes early, not rushed, gotten some exercise, and STILL had plenty of time to make coffee in the office.

Number Three: Being indecisive about what you want.
This one plays hand in hand with #8. (side note: anyone remember "The Postman" with K.Costner? love that movie, especially Tom Petty's cameo at the end). I've been famous for this. A running example of this is that in the past I've decided to run a race, trained for a race, then at the last minute decided that no, I'm not going to run the race. I've come up with reasons that range from the very rational (can't afford it) to the not so rational (can't afford it...). This has been very frustration for other people, as they've altered their schedules and plans to accomodate my original decision to race, only to find out a week before the event that I no longer plan to do it. Part of the frustration comes from my lack of communication about my indecisiveness, but that's a topic for another day.
I need to focus on carrying out my decisions once I've made them. No more being wishy-washy.

This new year will see a new me, being MORE decisive and making FEWER excuses. Hell, there are still almost TWO WEEKS left this year. Why wait, right? RIGHT. Starting today, starting NOW, I will be more decisive and make fewer excuses. Boom.

What about you? How do numbers 8 and 3 apply to you?

Saturday, December 15, 2012

My #Wellness List, Numbers 2 and 6

Continuing with the theme I started earlier this week, I'm sitting down in a Burger King (don't judge: cheap coffee and FREE WiFi...) and cranking out this post. Lots of tragic things are happening in our corner of the world today. Some are closer to home than most of you know, but I refuse to let the jackwagons win. I have 7 more things to write about from my list, and it took me a few minutes to think about which ones I wanted to write about tonight. Kinda funny, too, that #3 on the list is "Being Indecisive About What You Want". Needless to say (errm....too late for that now...) I won't be opining on #3.  Today I will delve into 2 and 6, which are "The Shame of Past Failures" and "Your Need to be Right", respectively. Right. (I can't help it. "Who does Number Two work for???!!" ok. done. moving on. As far as past failures go, I certainly have a lot of them. Let's see...I did really poorly at my one and only )Pinewood Derby (Dad built a great car, but I kept rolling it around on the floor, which made it pick up grit that made it slower on the track. whoops), I misplaced tools as a kid, and nearly failed out of high school during my last semester. One could say that none of those things really is a failure, but in my wee little mind they all add up toward the big picture. As an adult I've made some poor decisions that have impacted not just my life but the lives of others as well. I'm getting better at that, but I am still a work in progress. Which I suppose, in its own little way, is a sign that I am doing alright with letting go of past failures. I have difficulty with the words pride and shame. As opposites, it makes sense in my brain that you can't have one without the other. Or at least you probably shouldn't (you=I). I don't feel much in the ways of pride, so I try not to feel shame, either. I feel remorse, for certain, sprinkled with a heavy dose of guilt, but not so much shame. huh... Number SIX is "Your Need to be Right". Do you? Do you need to be right? There are a few out there who would argue long and hard (believe me, i've been involved in some of those) that I (me) have a NEED to be right, and that I believe that MY opinion is the only one that matters. Naturally, I disagree. I mean, I could agree, but then we'd BOTH be wrong. Ummm wait just a tic.... Seriously, though. I don't have a need to be right as much as i have a need to be HEARD. To know that my voice and my opinion matter to someone. Know what I mean? I'm sure there are some of you who know exactly what I am talking about. When I don' think that I matter, I begin to feel (yes, FEEL) that I am invisible. My presence or absence in the room has no bearing on the outcome of events. I might as well be a piece of furniture. I've been feeling that way for far too long, and I'm taking action to help ensure that I don't feel that way much in the future. Seems like Number THREE would be a good place to start next time, no?
Food for thought: what are some things from your past that you are still clinging onto that you should probably let go? Are they anchoring you down, preventing you from reaching your true potential? If so, find a way to let them go. Some people write them down on paper and burn them. (The paper, not the things. Holy Crickey that could get messy.....)  Additionally, do you need to be right, or just heard? To have some sort of validation of your thoughts, moods, fellings? How can your online community or IRL community help you become visible? I encourage you to reach out.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Numbers 4 and 10

As part of my movement to more things #FitFluential, earlier this week I posted a new list of "10 things you must give up to move forward". I'm also all about #relentlessforwardmotion, and this posting is a continuation of the other.

Number FOUR is "Procrastinating on the goals that matter to you"
Lawdy, I've been doing this for years. Don't worry, I'm not going to go to the wayback machine. I'll use an example from 2012. Early in the year I set a goal of becoming a CPT by my birthday. Looking around the room, I can't see my framed certificate hanging on my wall. Nor is there a card in my wallet. In essense, i have NOT achieved that goal. And it mattered A LOT to me; enough so that I wrote it down in three different notebooks and created a folder in Evernote about it. I chatted online with several people about their experience, their choices about which company to use for training and certification, and their trials and tribulations along the way. I made numerous phone calls to various companies, getting tuition and time frame information. I even wrote all of THAT down and kept those sheets readily available. The one I decided to go with offers discounts to Veterans. I've written down and colored in their info, and posted it on my bulletin board at work.And that's as far as I have gotten. I have no one to 'blame' except myself. 2013 will be different, and I WILL achieve my goal. Come hell or high water.What have YOU been putting off? How would your wellness benefit by just DOING IT?

Number 10 from the list is "Not appreciating the present moment". Ooofff. This one is a toughy for me. I've been in many a 'meeting' over the past few years that centered on being "mindful". WTF does THAT mean? Seriously. I have no real idea. I mean, of COURSE I am mindful and in-the-moment. If i wasn't, i'd fall down stairs or crash my car or get into the shower with my clothes on (i've never actually done this, btw. oh, wait. that isn't true. I did it on my 21st birthday, right after I was jumped in the hall and covered with shaving cream by my Platoon mates at Fort Jackson, SC. but I digress....) I have a propensity for not being able to turn my brain off. I'll lie in bed, tossing and turning, thoughts of what to do tomorrow, next week, next month racing through my mind. Sometimes I'll zone out while watching a TV show and let my mind wander to the next thing on my to do list. More often than not I'll get up and go DO that other thing. I've been trying to work on settling down at the end of a day, but still struggle with the guilt of doing nothing (#5 on the list, btw). Several years ago started indoor rock climbing. I thought it would be a good winter-time hobby, and I was right. I loved being in the gym, watching and learning from others before I tried to send (do) a route. One thing that I noticed about it was that once I was on the wall (and later outdoors on rock)...my mind was void of ALL other things. I was able (forced?) to be in the moment. And you know what? I LOVED IT. I have found the same clarity of mind through trail running. If i need to clear my head, I go for a run in the woods. The trails around here are almost all single track, with the occasional sprinkling of either a jeep trail or snowmobile trail. On the trail, I need to focus on my footing. I need to alter my stride so I don't jar my knees or twist an ankle.And I am appreciative of not twisting an ankle or a knee. Somehow, though, I don't think that this is what is meany by Number 10. This is going to be a work in progress for a while. What does mindfulness or 'appreciating the present moment' mean to you? Do you work at it, or does it come naturally for you?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Another "Top 10" List #Wellness #FitFluential

As my 44th birthday (technically my 45th; seems nobody ever counts their original birthday as 1, as it should be. even though i will be 44 years old, it is technically my 45th birthday) rapidly approaches (unlike the end off this sentence), I have decided to divulge some information about myself based on a list of "10 Things You Must Give Up to Move Forward" which I found on the interwebs that were created by someone much brighter than I am (as indicated by the fact that I cannot recall the source). <~~thought you'd never see that period, didn't you?!

10 Things You Must Give Up to Move Forward
1. Letting the opinions of others control your life
2. The shame of past failures
3. Being indecisive about what you want
4. Procrastinating on the goals that matter to you
5. Choosing to do nothing
6. Your need to be right
7. Running from problems that should be fixed
8. Making excuses rather than decisions
9. Overlooking the positive points in your life
10. Not appreciating the present moment

Worry not, intrepid reader. I will not be going through all of these in one fell blog post. Nope. For your continued reading pleasure I will drag these out for a few posts. Perhaps 3. Or maybe 5. You'll just have to tune in later to find out. Let's jump right in with number

5. Choosing to do nothing
This is, as present, nearly impossible for me to do. I am in motion most of the time, and when I seem idle, my brain is still trying to glom onto at least one or two of the ideas that are flying around in my head. This makes it difficult for me to fall asleep, or to return to sleep should I be lucky enough to awaken during the night.
This past Saturday I chose to try to do nothing of import and drove 30 minutes to go window shopping at stores that are 5 minutes away. My intent was to use the drive time and the different location as a mini-escape. Turns out that it was an impromptu lesson in doing nothing, as I had to stand around and wait 25 minutes for a nice mechanic named Mike to come along and rescue my keys that I had locked in my car for safe keeping. Good times.
In the coming year, I will, unfortunately, have plenty of time do do nothing. Which I will promptly put to use by working out more, being more creative, blogging more, and continuing to chase after that dream of inventing a perpetual motion machine (ok, maybe not that one). Does it count as "choosing to do nothing" if I schedule time to do nothing? I think it does.

As I have used up my comma quota (quotient?) for blogging today I will leave you with this: Which one of those 10 Things do you think would give you the biggest challenge? The least? Start with that one and work your way toward the biggest. I will be.


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Virtual Review of Virtual Running Coach

my buddy Adam (@theboringrunner and The Boring Runner) has teamed up with some guy named Chad to create a Virtual Running Coach. No, seriously. Who knew that Adam could do this sort of thing?
Well, I had a sneaky suspicion that he is capable because he was my online running coach last winter/spring, and he's also been very quick to answer my techy questions about Access, Excel, and how to open a bottle of wine with your teeth.
I had seen a posting on The Twitter about his latest creation, but kinda ignored it because it is only available on the iOS. I don't have any of those machines, so why would i look into it? I mean, it isn't like I'm going to go drink the iKool-ade anytime soon. Since some of you already have, I thought it would be a nice gesture if I gave you a virtual review. By this i mean that I have taken the time to read through the product information enough to tell you that you would be silly NOT to download this app. I mean, it is cheaper than a Venti double de-caf half calf with a twist of lemon, and it will stay with you much longer to boot. For the low low price of $1.99 (that's right!) you, too, can own this gem of an app.
Here's what your hard earned greenbacks will get you (from their site http://www.virtualruncoachapp.com/):
App Features:
-- Customizable half and full marathon plans
-- Specify specific race date and plan will generate based on that
-- Select base miles/KM per week
-- Adjustable difficulty level / speedwork
-- iPhone reminders available to remind you when to run
-- Specific detailed description of each run
-- Running tips to help you be your best
-- Store run results inside the app
-- Share runs on Twitter
-- Analyze runs with reports on weekly, monthly, yearly basis
-- Calculate pace
-- Metric Distance Support

HEYOOO~! All that? (hmmm...i am a bit thirsty...)
What? You want screen shots? How about Jell-o shots? I can't help you with those, but here are some screen shots, again, from their site:

What more could you want from a Virtual Coach? I can't think of anything, really, and I can't wait until this comes out in Droid. I hear tell that the code isn't translatable into the Droid OS (whatever the hell THAT means), so the developer (Chad) would have to rewrite the code from scratch. So we'll just have to wait.
To sum it all up, if you are searching for a Virtual Running Coach for your i(insert product here), I strongly suggest that you go download this app NOW. Since this is the season of giving, if you know of someone on your list who is a runner and iKool-ade drinker, why not gift this to them (is 'gift' really a verb, or is that just some recent bastardization of English. like "work", as in, "He stopped by my work to give me some flowers.") In either case, GET THIS APP. you'll be glad you did.
Be Well,

Saturday, December 8, 2012

A little help from my friends...

lately I have leaned on my friends quite a bit, and i imagine i will be doing more of it. Like now, for instance. But this one isn't for me, it is for my parents.
On the 16th they will celebrate 45 years of marriage. Wow. To me, that's just amazing. I have no chance at improving on that record, so kudos to them! Here's where YOU come in.
I would like you all to send them a post card from your area. You know, go to the local gas station and get one of those cheesy post cards and then send it to them, with a note like "Happy Anniversary from ......" I think it would be really cool to flood their mailbox with post cards from all over the place.
Rather than post their mailing address here, if you are interested, please send me an email to let me know you are interested, and I'll forward you their address.
Thanks! I think this could be really fun.