Tag Archives: exercise

Vocabulary Lessons

We are going backpacking as a family.  I’m not sure what has come over us but I guess we’re trying to force nature on our children.  It makes me feel better about letting small electronic devices occupy their time when I want a nap.

And to be honest, Kevin originally asked me if I wanted to go HIKING as a family.  Then he told his friend we were going BACKPACKING.  He didn’t think his change in vocabulary was that big a deal until I said I was going to buy a 2k cubic zirconia but was actually going to buy a 2k diamond.

I’m nervous about the backpack I’ll be wearing.  Kevin has said it’s a horrible bag but now that we need me to wear it, he is now saying it’s horrible because it’s too small not because it’s a horrible bag.  I’m usually not as picky on vocabulary as I have been recently.  But if I have to carry all of my possessions on my back, I need an amazing backpack and I think that’s why the story has changed.  Amazing backpacks come with an amazing price.

And we can’t afford it anymore.  Not after my previous vocabulary lesson.

(Dear prospective thieves: I didn’t REALLY buy a 2k diamond.  But it made for a better ending.  If you look through my jewelry box, you will find the cubic zirconia.  What if I just leave you a $20 on the front door?)

Arches: the Gateway to Patience

I took my kids to Arches National Park.

Here’s how it went in their words:

We hiked Park Avenue (so named because the red rock is as high as sky scrapers on both sides of the path).  It is down hill at the beginning but flattens out quickly.  The hike is .9 miles one way.  We probably did .75 and turned around due to lack of shade.

10 yr old son:  I like this place way better than New York City.  There are too many people there.

8 yr old daughter:  New York City is WAY better.  I hate this place.  There’s too much sun.

We had water.  I may forget lunch for school but I don't forget water in the desert...

We had water. I may forget lunch for school but I don’t forget water in the desert…

We’re almost back to the car:

8 yr old: I’m gonna die of a heart attack.

She sits down on a rock.  I tell her I’m going to take her picture.  She poses.

We hike The Windows.

Me:  This is Turet Arch.

8 yr old:  It should be called Tiring Arch.

We approach a little hill with slick rock.

8 yr old: We’re going there?

   5 yr old son: Look! No hands!

We go to the visitors center to watch the introductory film so everyone can become Jr. Park rangers.

5 yr old: Is this 3D?

We only hiked Park Avenue and The Windows.  We walked around Balancing Rock and then headed back to Moab.  We went to Milt’s for burgers and shakes, swimming at the pool, and a chuckwagon dinner.  The next day we hiked Delicate Arch.  On the way out of town we drove 3 miles to the middle of nowhere to see fossils still in the rocks.  I almost got stuck in sand.

I asked my kids if they liked the trip.

10 yr old:  I liked the arches.

5 yr old:  I liked the dinosaur fossils.

8 yr old: I liked everything.  Except the hiking.

This is not "almost there."

This is not “almost there.”

Cross Chaining

Follow me on a journey where I take a very small lesson in life and twist it to where it applies to life principles found everywhere in the universe.

I recently took my bike in to be fixed because I was pretty certain my husband had messed with it.  I showed the bike store owner (I believe it adds to the story if you know he is about my age, very buff, and very, very knowledgeable about bikes and all things bike related.  Included padded shorts.)  I showed him what was wrong.  He looked at me and told me, “It’s time for some tough love.”  And then he told me I was cross chaining.

(You should google what this is because I’m about to destroy the definition.)

If your chain is on the front large wheel then it should be on the back small wheels.  If your chain is on the front small wheel then it should be on the back large wheel.  If your chain is on the front small wheel and the back small wheels then it is on an angle, or ‘crossing.’  So you shouldn’t ride your bike in every possible gear or you will cross chain and bring your bike into the bike shop thinking it’s broken when you really just don’t know how to ride a bike that has more than 3 gears or wasn’t purchased from JCPenney’s in 1988.

It’s tough love to be told something so basic and yet not exactly obvious knowledge.  If I shouldn’t do something, my bike shouldn’t allow me to do it.  That makes sense to me.  I need my margin for error shrunk to the smallest possible gap.  So that I don’t fall into that gap.

And here is where I enlarge this story to create a metaphor that only works if you read it while squinting.  Learning any basic lesson that you think you should just know is embarrassing.  But we gotta do it.  Because no matter how much we wish we could, we just can’t cross chain through life.

(Ok.  It’s at the very end it kind of comes a part.)

Mine is the one with a first aid kit.

Mine is the one with a first aid kit.


The Triathlon that Almost Wasn’t

I finished my second triathlon sprint.  I finished 20 minutes faster than I did last year, but it should’ve been 30 minutes.  After I’d swam 1000 yards, biked 12 miles and ran 1 mile, I got a migraine.
I started with denial.  I figured the aura in my eyes was from the brisk swimming pool water.  (The boiler had broken the night before and the water was only 75 degrees.  You usually swim in 78 degrees.  3 can be a very large number.)
Then I decided maybe my shoes were too tight and I loosened my shoe laces.
Then I started counting my breaths, thinking it would ease any stress in my head if I breathed in 4 counts and breathed out 5.
Then my eyesight really went crazy and I got slightly lost on the the run.  Then I found the path again and had to walk, while concentrating on florescent red markers.
As I walked across the finish line, I completely lost it and broke down as a friend led me to my car.
Now some would read this and think how strong I was to continue, although I didn’t have much of a choice because I was kind of in the middle of nowhere without much sight so the only way to get to Kevin was to follow the path.
But I don’t feel strong.

All I’m focusing on, for some odd reason, is how bummed I was I couldn’t celebrate all I’d accomplished.  I had really been looking forward to that burger and ice cream.  I had the flavor picked out and I was going to eat fries.  All without guilt.
There were tons of people there I knew.  It was going to be awesome.  I’m pretty sure someone would’ve lit fireworks.
Instead, I came home and took meds and closed the blinds and climbed into bed.  I stayed there for the next 24 hours.  I tried getting up Sunday and ended up back in bed.  My husband marveled at how much I slept.
So there ya have it.  I followed my own training advice: I kept going until they told me to stop.  And then I fell down.
LUCKILY, I’m the type to buy myself a reward for almost anything of significance I do and so I already had these babies:

The perfect reward!

The perfect reward!

I’m trying very hard to see what I accomplished and wear my bacon and egg earrings with pride and I honestly do.  But for some reason, without the celebration, it just doesn’t feel complete.  Sometimes things just need an end and this one didn’t have one and I have to learn to be OK with it.

(This does NOT mean I feel the need to do it again.)

Triathlon Advice

I’m about to do my 2nd spring triathlon.  Due to my experience, I was given the status of triathlon master by parenting experts who don’t actually have children.

There is a lot of advice out there:
-focus on your hamstrings on your bike to save your quads for running.
-only drink while on your bike and only at the beginning for bathroom and cramping reasons.
-eat what you would normally eat so you don’t get sick
-eat carbs the night before
-eat carbs the morning of
-eat carbs so that you can be happy
-don’t eat carbs

I thought I would add my own two cents.  This is what I do for a race:
I keep going until the finish.

I hope you find this helpful.  If you do not, talk to the parenting experts.

My other tip: wear matching shoes.

My other tip: wear matching shoes.

I’m a Wanna-Be Outsider.

I am enraged.  Can you tell?

I tell everyone and anyone they should do a race with me.  Mostly I do this so I have someone to hang out with after a race and because I like my friends and I to have matching clothing.  So everyone knows that I did the YMCA triathlon training last year and I was going to do it this year.

My husband is doing it this year and he told a couple people.  5 of his friends are the in the class.  My numbers aren’t that good.  One of my friends who took it last year is taking it again (so I’m not counting her even though she really and truly does count in every way.  Especially if she reads this) and another friend I swim with is taking it.  But that  means that my husband won 5-1.  He’s going to have 5 friends he can wear the same shirt with.  How cool is that?  They’ll be able to re-enact The Outsiders.

I think I need to change my tactics.  Maybe if I tell women we can re-enact The Outsiders they’ll be more willing to go.

Or maybe not.

Luckily, Tap Class isn’t Graded

When I am nervous, I either talk and share too much to make myself feel better or I am silent and pretend no one can see me.  I think during my first tap lesson, I did both.

There were two students including me and the teacher.  That is all.  And the dance studio had a window in it.  If I had been naked, it would have completed the humiliation.

We learned six steps, I think.  That’s all.  Six. Seis.  Sechs. 6.  I could do them alone.  I was great doing them over and over with one foot at a time, but then the teacher tricked me.

He put them together.  I had to shuffle and dig and remember which part of my foot is the ball and which is the heel.  This is hard for me because I think my heal looks round like a ball.  Why did I take this class?

Because I always wanted to dance.  And because I want my kids to see me struggle with something and keep at it and practice and enjoy it even though I will never be great at it.

Since being an adult, I don’t do that thing called risk very often.  I hang out with people I know and try things I know I will succeed at.  And so I know this is good for me.

I was still embarrassed though and I had to tell the two other people in the room whose opinion I really shouldn’t even care about that I am good at something.  So I told my ballet story.

I said that I got one grade in college –which isn’t true.  I really got A’s, A-‘s and B+’s but I was so embarrassed I couldn’t even admit a B+ so I said I got all A’s except for ballet.  I got a C+ because my body was not meant for movement.  It was meant to lie on a sofa and read.  I pretended to tell the story so my teacher would know I was scarred; but I really told the story because I wanted him to know that I am good at something even if I can only do a 2 step combo and if you add a shuffle to the 2 steps, you might as well give up on me.  (That’s not true.  If I wanted him to think I was good, I would have admitted B+’s.  I wanted him to think I excelled at something.)

The best part is that he completely turned my story around on me.  His response: “That is so great that you are going to forget that C+ and take this class.”  He didn’t care about the A’s; he was just excited I took his class. (I’m thinking of asking him to be my life coach.)

So here’s to an upcoming week of practicing tap while washing the dishes and learning to admit that I’m ok with the fact I’m not that good!

I don't think this will be me (image from internat'l tap assoc.)