Monday, September 20, 2010

Making Progress

I can tell I'm moving forward toward my fitness goals. Tonight, on a 2 mile walk with Lucy, we climbed an approximately 20 degree uphill route out of Unionville - had me huffin' and puffin' a bit as I tried to keep my pace at a decent clip. As we leveled out, I saw a rather nice downhill, maybe at a 35 degree drop, just ahead of me. The old me, even just two weeks ago, would've said "forget it - I've done one hill, I'm tired, I'm turning around!" But the "new" me said "OK, I'll go down this big hill plus a bit further, even though it means I'll have to climb the incline to head back home." I pushed myself further than I thought I could go, and when I turned around and approached the base of that 35 degree hill, instead of whining about it, I chanted "the hill is my friend" over and over until I reached the top. Then, baby, it was all downhill from there! SUCCESS!

Poor Lucy was panting, her tongue lolling out the side of her mouth. But she seemed overall energized by the exercise, too. My legs didn't feel numb or heavy when I was done, either. So I'm more confident about tomorrow night's workout now that I challenged myself a bit and survived.

I'm starting to see this challenge as a metaphor for my life post-divorce and only child off to college. I am not just going to survive - I am going to thrive. I am not going to let sore muscles, wind sprints, or hills defeat me, damn it! I am going to conquer my fears and my attitude that I am too old, too out of shape, to become healthy. I am going to WIN!


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Frederick Wellness Challenge, Week 1

So, the 2010 Fall Frederick Wellness Challenge began on Saturday, September 11th up at Upward Enterprises on the grounds of the Bishop Claggett Center. We went, we saw, we conquered the steep woodland trails, the meadow-based team sprints, and, finally the zip line (and the hike back up that damn steep woodland trail - again!). I hadn't known to expect such an intense physical experience, which is a good thing - I doubt I'd have signed up if I had!

Session 2 with Evy, our trainer, I had to miss due to electioneering for Michele on Election Day. When I got to Session 3 this evening at Baker Park, it was raining a steady, cool rain. I was the 3rd person to arrive, and the other two people were talking about how sore they were from Tuesday. Grrrrreeeeaaattt....I thought. And they're both fit-looking. Crap. Am I going to be able to do this?

As others arrived, all were talking about how much pain they were in. Their quads, their calves, their backs, their abs....hurting. I started to panic. Seriously, what was I DOING there?!??! Evy arrived, and confirmed that yes, we would be exercising in the park in the rain from 7-8 p.m. No crybabies allowed (she didn't say that, but I knew that to be true!).

Sure enough, we started with a warm-up walk in the rain, around the perimeter of Baker Park. Many were running, some jogging. I started out trotting, and finished up walking at a race pace. Then time for wall squats and jumping jacks. Oh joy. Then over to the tennis courts, where the REAL fun began. We had to do sprints, in teams of two...but then, we had to lay down - YES, IN THE PUDDLES IN THE RAIN! - and do planks. We were all soaking wet, and my glasses were impossible to see through. we continued - squats, squat side shuffles (football style), push ups, and lat push ups. I couldn't see anything at all and I was pretty damn miserable. BUT, I was doing it!

We finished up with a walk back to the bandshell all around the park as a cool down, then some stretches. It was probably the most miserable hour of exercise I've ever completed, yet somehow I feel a huge sense of accomplishment. My hair was dripping, my clothes were sopping wet, and my ego was drowning because I saw just how behind the group I am in terms of keeping up. But I was out there. I WAS OUT THERE!!!

On my drive home, I had to give myself a major pep talk. I know I'm going to be wicked sore on Saturday morning when the next workout is scheduled. I know my bed is going to be awfully comfy at 6 a.m. when I will have to get out of it to head to the 7 a.m. workout. I know that I am going to be cursing Evy up one side and down the other. I know I am going to still feel intimidated by the abilities of the others in the challenge.

I also know, and I am telling myself every 10 seconds, that I AM NOT GOING TO BE A QUITTER ON THIS!!! I have quit so many things. I have a reputation in my family and among my friends as someone who starts a lot but finishes few things. Quitters don't reach goals. I am going to succeed during this challenge and finish it. I am NOT going to quit!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

some observations

Driving through Virginia & North Carolina last Friday on my way to Myrtle Beach, I couldn't help but notice several things:

  • There's a church every 10th of a mile, I swear. I have to agree with my friend Martha's son who opined, when they moved down to Florence, SC 6 years ago, "Mom, the Christians here must not get along very well since they have so many different churches - can't they just worship together?!?!?"
  • People down there drive fast - REALLY fast! And very recklessly. People were passing me on double yellow lines on two lane roads with blind spots. Scary!
  • The best route, as noted by Google Maps, really is through some of the most quaint little towns I've ever seen - it was a beautiful drive (when I wasn't in fear for my life from the insane drivers!)
  • Myrtle Beach is a looooonng way from home, but every mile became more than worth it when I got hugs from Manny & Martha!
Good friends are absolutely the best tonic for what ails you. We laughed, reminisced, looked at old photos Manny had the forethought to bring along, took lots of new photos with three cameras AND three camera phones, and drank lots of wine & tropical drinks - but never got drunk!

I also came to the very sharp realization that what I miss about having a spouse, what I miss about being in love, about being in a relationship, is affection. I miss someone looking at me with love in his eyes. I miss knowing that if something happened to me, I'd be mourned by the person with whom I am more close than anyone else on this earth. I miss cuddling while watching a DVD, sweet soft kisses, and the anticipation of reuniting when one of us has been away for awhile. All of those things had been missing for so very many years during the last half of my marriage, at least. How sad that is, now that I see it in black & white.

That being said, the realization of what I have was just as jarring - I have friends with whom my relationship, despite many years apart, has blossomed and bloomed as beautifully as ever. I had that last summer when George reunited with Sam and me for our MSG reunion, and I experienced it again in living color this past weekend. My friendships, both long-term and newer, are my salvation.

I have friends of all ages, ethnicities, spiritual beliefs, body types, and orientations. I have friends who give THE BEST HUGS in all the universe! I have friends who love me for who I am, despite the fact that I'm 100 lbs overweight and I snore monstrously at night (and Martha managed to share a room with me for three nights!). I don't need a spouse who scorned me because of these things, who abandoned me when I wasn't the 23 year old girl he married. I don't need to feel guilty for being me. My friends love me no matter what. What a relief! What a blessing! What a gift!

So, though I miss romantic affection and some of the trappings of a serious romantic relationship, I don't miss love. Because it surrounds me, always, near or far. If you're reading this and I am fortunate enough to call you my friend, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love you!!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Phone call from a candidate for Delegate!!

I just got off of the phone with Ryan Trout, a very enthusiastic candidate for Delegate in District 4A here in Frederick County. He told me about his platform, which can be seen on his website at

Think about voting for him if you want small businesses to prosper, our children to graduate from high school with a strong foundation and confidence to pursue the career of their choice (be it a trade or a field requiring a 4-year degree or more), and accountability of elected officials to the people who elect them.