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Feeling Normal (Blog #245)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

After all these months here in SP, I have come to appreciate the fact that most of us at some point or another in life don't feel like we fit in. We don't fit into the weight group, the peer group, the work group, the study group, or the family group. We struggle to see ourselves as perhaps others see us. And I have felt all of those... never quite fitting. Never quite fitting into my own skin. Even when thin, I felt fat, frumpy, ich. I've never ever worn a two-piece bathing suit for fear of looking horrible, even when I weighed about 107...

I look back at photos (and they are rare because I dislike me in photos- still do) and realize I really was not overweight. I wonder where the internal expectation to be thin came from. I did not grow up with television, so I did not get the media expectation of "thin." I did not grow up with magazines, so it was rare that I saw the airbrushed images of the "perfect" girl or "perfect" woman. But I do remember from very very young not feeling comfortable in my own skin. Ears too big. Nose too long. Awkward smile. Tummy too big. Back too slouched. etc. I also remember comparing myself with my two oldest sisters who were beautiful and my mom who had the most beautiful blue eyes and gorgeous face. People used to talk about them a lot and maybe I just started comparing myself way back then.

This may sound rather odd but one of the reasons I never wanted a big wedding was to avoid being looked at. I just did not feel like all those other pretty people. Makes me kind of sad now to realize that I stopped myself. No one else stopped me. Just me. (Well, I am also pretty practical and would much rather spend money on tools or garden stuff and now... on a bike!! but under that is that major fear of being the object of attention.)

Yesterday though... I felt "normal" -whatever that really is.

On my training schedule, I have a massage scheduled for Monday. But I had been out visiting my daughter in Portland and on my way home when I saw a sign for a massage place that looked interesting. I decided to at least walk in to see if I felt comfortable there and made a spur of the moment decision to enjoy an hour or so of relaxation. They had a sauna, ice bath and steam room that one could enjoy prior to the actual massage as part of the whole package. Sounded interesting! But I did not have my bathing suit with me, so I did not think I would do it. However, the girl at the counter said she had laid out two bathing suits for me and that I could use either one. UHHHH... The first very slight thought was: How do I get out of that? But then, another quick decision in my head was to just go for it. I'd be fine.

I went downstairs, and found the suits. How in the heck did she know my size!! Oh dear... one was a tiny two piece and the other one was ... another two piece. The first was a definite bikini and I did not even try it on. But the other was more like a tankini (sp??) and I really did not think about it much when I put it on and it fit! I did not talk myself out of enjoying the spa baths. Instead I actually looked at myself in the mirror and thought "Go for it and have fun." And I did. And I felt normal.

The weird thing is that I am not 107 anymore. I am not tiny-thin anymore. And yet, I feel more normal now. I still have a tummy. I still have unhealthy rolls around the middle.(Have to keep working on those for my health- not for my looks.) And yet, I FIT INTO ME. I don't feel like I have to slink into a room hoping to not be noticed. Best of all, I enjoyed my treat yesterday just being ME.

When did that happen? I know actually! It happened when I began to take charge of what I CAN change about my appearance through nutrition and exercise. I can't change my genes or my ears or my long-nose, but I can change the way I keep myself in good health. I now concern myself about that which I can affect and I make changes as appropriate. And you know, it feels dang good to feel "normal."

QUOTE: "There is nothing impossible to him who will try." ~Alexander the Great
MANTRA: Faith. Fit. Focus.

TRI-ing: A total of 99 days to train.
Today is Day 86. Days til race #1: 13... YEAH!
Training Yesterday: Light walking. Ready for today's 6K Race at Sunset.

PHOTO OF THE DAY: My special mountain never disappoints!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SEXYVIXEN2 8/24/2010 9:43PM

    I'm glad that you now feel comfortable in your own skin and "normal".
Best wishes with all your training and Tri races.
Good for you and congratulations on all your achievements to date emoticon emoticonAngela

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DEFIANTVEGAN 8/24/2010 10:34AM

    emoticon emoticon

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TRAVELNISTA 8/23/2010 10:06PM

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CRAZYGAGRANNY 8/23/2010 8:53PM

    WOOHOO! There are in fact so many beautiful mountains in our lives, but they are here for us to enjoy, not to move!
So glad you shared this with us today. We are all beautiful...we just have to look within ourselves.

Have a great day y friend.
Barbara

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SALLYSEAGULL1 8/23/2010 11:21AM

    Feel the Fear and do it anyway. I've also felt like you, with 2 younger sisters, but have talked myself into just doing it anyway. Why miss out on life?

Thank you for the reminder.

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MCINTYJ 8/23/2010 10:11AM

    Thanks for a great perspective on self-image. Still working toward that, but it's a goal to strive for!

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DENI_ZEN 8/23/2010 9:02AM

    No, that mountain never disappoints, especially today - with its rich-hued strata! Thanks for another soothing, inspiring photo!

But YOU never disappoint, either, dear Di! Convention defines what is valued, appearance-wise, and I've always wondered how much credence I should give to convention :) Years ago in college, a very good friend of mine, who'd been blind since birth, taught me that what was inside the "package" - that exterior "wrapping" society stresses so much - has nothing to do with the inner person, where the only real beauty can be found. And, I would say that your inner beauty is radiant! Another friend where I used to work always commented on all the "handsome" men and wondered why I didn't give a fine-feathered crap about them.

Beauty always is as beauty does! Lotsa emoticon to someone whose life has true value and meaning, Sandi emoticon

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MBSKIT 8/23/2010 8:34AM

    What a great blog! Thanks so much for sharing.
I'm glad that you enjoyed your day!

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PRI6909 8/22/2010 10:29PM

    Excellent that you fit into you. Beauty is on the inside. The outside is fluff. Having inner peace is the most beautiful thing of all. emoticon on your journey.

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REJ7777 8/22/2010 10:15PM

    "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Eleonor Roosevelt

In the same way, I think it's when we start to accept ourselves that we start to feel accepted. It's a bit like Dorothy and the ruby slippers in the Wizard of Oz. We've had the power all the time, we just didn't know it.

That's a beautiful blog about your growth into wholeness and self-acceptance! emoticon

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KALIGIRL 8/22/2010 10:10PM

    I am so glad you 'fit into you' and sad to hear you didn't for so long. I don't understand why our culture teaches negative self talk. Perhaps it's the quest for more?
I've been delighted to follow your journey for more health -it seems very self fulfilling, enlightening and engaging.

May you have more revelations of self-fit.
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LINIS_THIN 8/22/2010 9:36PM

    I'm grateful to New Caz for directing me to this blog.
I have shared that feeling alot!

I am an independent thinker so conformity never fit me well... but I cannot explain the desire to just fit in!! At least sometimes!

It is good to be at that place... ACCEPTANCE!!

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LIBBYFITZ 8/22/2010 9:10PM

    emoticon

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COMPUCATHY 8/22/2010 8:12PM

    Wow...very impressive. You are comfortable being you. I think that is what SP is doing for me, too. Thanks so much for sharing this. And thanks for your comment on my blog post analogy about the SP Train. I appreciate your encouragement. Keep sparking! emoticon emoticon

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OPAL50 8/22/2010 6:04PM

    Excellent blog so many of us can relate to. I'll be 60 years old in a couple of months and only recently "got it" that No one can make us feel any way...we allow ourselves to feel bad and therefore CHOOSE how we feel. We are all unique and special. emoticon
I looked at your photos...YOU are beautiful and healthy. And I would LOVE to have the view of your special mountain!

Comment edited on: 8/22/2010 6:05:02 PM

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SEEHOLZ 8/22/2010 5:16PM

    Diane,

I never felt like I fit in... just yesterday that thought crossed my mind. I know that part of me is that I don't really want to fit in, because that would be saying that I should/have to do things the way others do and I want to do things the way I do, even if it turns out that it's the same way others do it, hahaha. I hate getting attention, not because I feel ugly, but because I don't think I'm as funny or know what to say or how to talk to people.

I think it's liberating to get out of the comfort zone and do things that you really want to do instead of hiding behind the insecurities. I love that about your journey and that you are still enjoying that. So yeah for going to the spa... on a whim.

Hope you had fun at the 6K today!

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ELSEEBEE 8/22/2010 4:31PM

    All of us who are struggling on this journey can gain great wisdom from this blog! You have said so beautifully what this process is all about. I am so happy you were able to enjoy such a nice treat for yourself.

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WALKINGANNIE 8/22/2010 4:14PM

    I found myself nodding as I read this.

You have come such a long way and not just in the distance that have covered in running, cycling and swimming.

You are such an inspiration.



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THIAGRAM 8/22/2010 3:32PM

  Just as your special mountain never disapoints neither do you!You are even more special, just because you are human! Just as your mountain is always there and standing in it's normal self so are you! What a blessing that you can see and write such things as this. We are all unique and normal in our own little way. We all have these feelings of hoping to feel normal and wondering how we fit in. We are all so human and we are all so unique in so many ways. When we feel these feelings, we are not alone. Because they are normal and deep human feelings. Just as surely as your mountain is unique and glorious, it is normal in that it is dirt, rock, and trees! People are the same. A unique nose, yet normal in that it is a nose, takes in air, and fits nicely in the middle of the face while enjoying the fragrance of the day! Unique ears, but normal also! I like to take pictures of people. There are a few,(who I would say are very good looking) who hide their faces and show me thier hands. Is it because they think their nose or ears or eyes are not normal enough? Your mountain is unique and beautiful and yet normal as all other mountains. Just as any human is unique, beautiful and normal all at the same time! Smiles and unique beautiful long noses make so much better pictures than elbows and hands and a big blurr. The majestic mountain just stands there and looks beautiful for you to take a very awesome picture. Every human is just as beautiful! Is it because it's their face, and not someone else's that they want to hide behind their hands? Is it their uniqueness they want to hide or their normalness? Is it because they don't want to admit that they are beautiful?(I'm thinking of my niece)or as you said the fear of being the object of attention. Whatever the reason, they are not alone, there are many who do not like to smile at the camera. And guess what, there is nothing wrong with that! It's all part of being normal and unique at the same time! You are right it feels dang good to feel normal!
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-POOKIE- 8/22/2010 2:39PM

    New_Caz sent me the link to your blog to come read it, and so many things in there make me think, so many of your thoughts are how I have felt... or DO feel still.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts so eloquently. I enjoyed reading this.

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NEW-CAZ 8/22/2010 1:42PM

    Hi Diane how I know that feeling of never fitting in- I am the one without a driving licence, without a wedding ring and without kids!
I also retired early and have a disability which meant some solitude!
Now I've had my op and I've got myself fit and I eat well and I'm getting out there.
I am me and I am proud to inhabit the skin I'm in.
Your blog will ring true for so many people Diane

13 days and counting! emoticon emoticon

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CHAS1949 8/22/2010 1:02PM

    I have never thought my body was OK. Even when my measurements would be "perfect" I picked myself apart. Sooo now that I do NOT have those perfect measurements, I REALLY do not like what I see. This Spark journey is not just weight loss or physical health...it's a journey to accept ourselves as well. I know that being comfortable in my own skin is a huge thing, one that may or may not ever happen, but as I Spark along, I feel better. As I find others who share my feelings and dilemmas, I know I am not alone. When I read blogs like yours it gives me hope!! Thanks for sharing your TRI journey with us!! 13 lucky days left!! emoticon

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DEVORA4 8/22/2010 11:50AM

  I always thought that who in the heck determines normal and what I consider normal the next person might not. Therefore, I please myself and hopefully others will be pleased. If not, that is there problem.

Great blog I am still waiting to hear what and where your mountain is. Info please.

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SLENDERELLA61 8/22/2010 11:49AM

    Wonderful blog. Clearly you are progressing and growing in wisdom. The issue of fitting in is a profound one. Maybe you are right that everyone feels like they don't fit in sometime. I never thought about that before. And where do we get all that pressure to conform in weight and appearance? Especially for those not exposed much to media. I guess they are exposed to other people who are exposed to the media, so I'm not sure we should let media off the hook. Family expectations are maybe harder to deal with because they run deeper.

Congrats on enjoying your massage experience. Sounds wonderful. And it is just wonderful that you went with it and enjoyed. Well deserved!

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MONTY68 8/22/2010 11:31AM

    Hi Diane
Awesome blog. What is normal? You brought out ideas that probably clicked for a great number of us. I can think as far back as grade school, and being picked on because of weight, ideas of who we are start young, we lose our self confidence and start judging who we are compared to the "norm" we have set up as what is. We really do in life compare what we are in life with our education, our jobs, our families and of course the big one our appearance. We accept the fact that we are nothing compared to the "group". We don't even think of the possibility that we are a unique and wonderful human being and for a number of us, we end up in a shell of unhealthy , overweight failures in life. I really believe that if people who find Spark and really get involved with healthy living, start to see a different picture of life, mostly for the ones we read about. Slowly as we change, our weight, our exercise and then one day a blog appears on Feeling Normal. In reading it one might relate to the idea that just maybe, perhaps, that who we are is exactly who we should be, living a new life that its only purpose is to be healthy and happy with who we are.
Diane, Your blog will turn on the light for a number of people who can finally accept the fact that they are someone special. It will perhaps be instilled within , the long needed self confidence that we are indeed successful and what we have done with our life is awesome and no longer a need to compare us to anyone or anything.
Thank you so much for sharing this great news for all to use.

Monty emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MSWEEZER 8/22/2010 11:05AM

    I think what you feel/felt is normal for many of us. It takes us some years to grow into the people we are and 'accept' that we're okay. My Dh and I talk about this often as he too had the same issues and he's got no weight issues but is a brainiac. So I guess a nerd a better description but he's okay with who he is now as am I. I'm far from perfect. I've lost weight but still see myself as a work in progress but for many reasons.

So happy you enjoyed your 'me' time as you deserve it and you're doing great on this journey. The only thing we have control over is ourselves and once we accept that and take charge of what it is that is important to us for good health, we WIN!



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LILPAT3 8/22/2010 10:28AM

    Beautiful! It is so fun to watch a persons confidence grow! I was self-conscious all my life except when I was competing. I guess it was because I knew I was "good" at the sports I participated in. I am also learning that I am capable of doing most anything now. I don't like the way I look now, but I believe I accept the way I look because I know I am a work in progress.
I signed up for another Triathlon this morning so I can keep working on "me". emoticon

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ONEKIDSMOM 8/22/2010 10:22AM

    I love this blog! I voted for it and hope everyone else does, too... because being comfortable in our own skin... feeling "normal" is at the root of so much a human being is wired to want. Belonging is right up there after air and food on the hierarchy of needs... and you found a place of comfort!

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Way to go, Diane!

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VALERIEMAHA 8/22/2010 10:03AM

    You are an exceptional woman, Diane. I'm so glad to be getting to know you. Your CAN DO attitude is just what I need to be around right now...since I'm in a bit of a funk. Thank you for your contagious spirit!

What fun to offer your body that loving attention as a reward for all the challenges you are making of it! But I warn you -- desiring to be NORMAL in this crazy world is not a worthy goal for you. (Said partially with tongue-in-cheek, but I'm sure you get where I'm *coming from*!)

I too LOVE Mt. Hood and recal my joy in spending time with friends from whose cottage porch it loomed LARGE and BEAUTIFUL each time I see a shot of it on your blog.

Blessed be!
xox
Maha

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IMSMILEY88 8/22/2010 10:03AM

    What an incredible post. I have always been self-conscious, too. I prefer to blend in than to stand out. And, this isn't just a weight thing, either. Actually, for me it is a self-esteem issue.

Anyway, I love your mountain... as always! And, I love your posts. They make me think! I'm glad you went ahead and had a great day!

Just 13 days until your big race... wow! And enjoy your sunset 6K!

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WINDLEG 8/22/2010 9:56AM

    I think many people live their entire lives without feeling at ease with their body or their looks. Fitting into your own skin is such a blessing. I pray you will continue to have that comfort in your life!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 8/22/2010 9:51AM

    The mind can play lots of tricks on us. All through high school I was very self-conscious of how fat I was. I look back at photos now and see a really nice, slim girl. What's up with that? And now, even though I acknowledge I am way overweight, what I see when I look at myself in the mirror is someone who is overweight. But what I see in photos (I hate having them taken too) is someone much larger than the person I see myself as. Very strange, indeed.

But I think with age, we're much kinder to ourselves and more accepting. At least we understand that there are some parts of us we cannot change. And if we choose those we can, well, that's in our control.

I'm glad you're at that happy "I fit me" place. Now nice is that?

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TODAY-RIGHT NOW someone is... (Blog # 244)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

We tell our kids all the time that the life you lead is often impacted and influenced by the friends you choose. As young people, we don't want to listen to that. We want to be INDIVIDUAL and choose whomever we want as friends. We are sure that their habits will not influence us. And perhaps they do not always blatantly influence us, but the undercurrent of their habits changes something in us. Choices of one kind or another are easier or harder because of that undercurrent.

What I've liked about SP is the POSITIVE PEER PRESSURE to make excellent choices... on an every day basis. It's hard to escape someone who is making a good choice TODAY-RIGHT NOW.

emoticonJust from my friend feed today.... emoticon
TODAY-RIGHT NOW someone is eating a healthy breakfast.
TODAY-RIGHT NOW someone is running their first 5K.
TODAY-RIGHT NOW someone is having a binge-free day.
TODAY-RIGHT NOW someone is being grateful.
TODAY-RIGHT NOW someone is experimenting with a new food.
TODAY-RIGHT NOW someone is struggling to get started and DOES.
TODAY-RIGHT NOW someone is crossing 47,500 minutes, 103,750 minutes or 3,000 minutes.
TODAY-RIGHT NOW someone is posting their 9-mile run results with an average pace of 10 minutes.
TODAY-RIGHT NOW someone is planning a super workout at the gym.
TODAY-RIGHT NOW someone is posting their very first blog.
TODAY-RIGHT NOW someone is posting pictures of their before and after body. TODAY-RIGHT NOW someone has lost 1 pound.
TODAY-RIGHT NOW someone is patiently dealing with a plateau.
And on it goes. ...

Interestingly... we are bombarded with "peer" messages on the television. Set to heart-pounding music, we watch as the Jones' doing XYorZ or the Jones' are buying XYorZ. Unfortunately, the Jones messages really do not have our best interests at heart. It is all so well couched and well choreographed. We are swimming in messages about foods we don't need. We are drowning in messages about quick fixes for lifestyles that are sure to trim years from the lifespan we were born with. The tube draws us in with messages and lull us into complacency.

BUT if we are fortunate enough to have the positive peer pressure of friends and family on and off SP, we find ourselves swimming in messages of hope and possibility.

TODAY-RIGHT NOW I am surrounded by the buoyancy of positive choices from all of my fellow sparkers. I know that this buoyancy will make my own lifestyle changes that much more possible. Thank you to all of you... you make MY journey that much more possible. Thank you for the positive peer pressure. My mom would be proud of my choice in friends these days!

QUOTE: "Your goal should be out of reach, but not out of sight." ~Anita DeFrantz

MANTRA: Faith. Fit. Focus.

TRI-ing: A total of 99 days to train.
Today is Day 85. Days til race #1: 14... GULP!
Training: 45-minute bike ride. 35-minute run. Walking. Looking forward to the 6K event on Sunday! Walking with two former employees.

PHOTO OF THE DAY:

P.S. I have been slow to comment on blogs this week and even slower to stop by to say thank you for comments on my blogs. I'll be working on catching up this weekend.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUGIRL06 8/29/2010 9:29PM

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VALERIEMAHA 8/21/2010 11:28PM

    WALKING ANNIE said what a wonderful blog you had posted this morning with "text of various friend feeds on SP. She described how in reading these short messages, 'we find ourselves swimming in messages of hope and possibility'."

I'm SO GLAD I was tempted to come over and check it out for myself, Diane, because Annie was SO RIGHT about the exceptional nature of your offering. The encouragement of like-minded souls is such an important component in our success. SparkPeople has designed such a forum and it REALLY works. You have beautifully described the process.

Thanks so much!
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Maha
P.S. I've really given up trying to respond to everyone who posts on my blogs. I think the shared gratitude among us is apparent.

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PENNYAN45 8/21/2010 10:57PM

    You are so right - there is positive action and positive energy all around us here on SP. That is what keeps us coming back - and that is what keeps us moving forward.

We help each other!!

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MSWEEZER 8/21/2010 9:56PM

    Another great blog. Thank you!! And if you don't make it to all to say thanks, I don't think anyone will mind. It is time consuming and I know I appreciate your uplifting blogs and photos you share.

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KALIGIRL 8/21/2010 4:00PM

    Here's to our buoyancy! May we continue to bob toward health!
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ROOT4HOME 8/21/2010 3:52PM

    Thank YOU, Diane, for your continued Positive Peer Pressure on me!! emoticon

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AELARLEE1 8/21/2010 12:35PM

    Thanks for the positive post.

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REJ7777 8/21/2010 12:26PM

    I also am very grateful for the positive influence of my SparkFriends. I think this is what we call "win-win". emoticon

The sky over your mountain is very intriguing. Dark, ominous clouds with pink light reflected beneath them. Maybe the saying should be revised to: "Every cloud has a pink lining." emoticon

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TIPPINGPOINT 8/21/2010 12:07PM

    Yesterday I loved the hat, today right now I love the list emoticon emoticon

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GERBALMAMMA 8/21/2010 11:56AM

    And right now someone read about positive choices and was glad she did and that she made one this moring and knows she'll make a bunch more because people keep sharing theirs and it's motivating. So there :) how's that for a run on sentence??????

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DENI_ZEN 8/21/2010 11:22AM

    Wow...with its strata of gorgeous colors, the mountain looks especially amazing in this picture, Di!

It's powerful medicine, isn't it? I've struggled for years to even be at my current weight, but after a rough beginning, I finally got my motor running. You put your finger on that elusive quality that lends Spark its magic: positive peer pressure! Makes all the difference, doesn't it? It was exciting to read the list of amazing beginnings you put together, too! And TWO WEEKS!! :::gulp!::: - Sandi emoticon

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ANDI571 8/21/2010 11:09AM

    So true! emoticon

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MONTY68 8/21/2010 11:07AM

    Hi Diane
Great blog and you always are able to put it in words that allow others to become aware of ideas.
I agree with you that all things we get from our peers have an effect on our lives and the choices we make, even years later.

I came to Spark with a need to have motivation at that time to "maintain" and got so much from it. All the ideas that Spark provides for our journeys are great but the true results come from the blogs that share the experiences from people like our selves. You really outlined a typical day in Spark. I read a lot more blogs than I respond to, as one never knows that one sentence, that one idea that the blog contains could change our day and life, the encouragement that the responses have , should also be read, so many valuable ideas come from those comments.
I also feel it is more than just reading words, It is a real person sharing their life and their success and their desires. For most of us, it is as close to being with that person, unless like my opportunity of going to a rally, we rely on the blogs and comments.
Your blogs always inspire me and motivate me for the day.
Thank you for sharing again your awesome thoughts.

Monty emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JUNEPA 8/21/2010 11:03AM

    That is interesting that you end "my mom would be proud of my choice in friends these days."

I remember paying attention to whom my kids made friends with from kindergarten on. Several psychologists have said that people make friends with peers of their own level of self-esteem. I am happy with the friends choices my kids have made, and also believe that while we want to be individuals (and are), it is easier, more satisfying, and more fun to thrive among like-minded friends. (So many unhappy and even violent people feel alienated, human beings need social bonding to thrive).

On a more negative note, I remember my dad disapproving of some of my friends, and the reason he gave, (which just made me defend and stick to my friends because I thought it was snobby) was that people act to the average of the group and one should strive to have friends that are better than we are to inspire us, not lower than we are to drag us down.
Well he is an engineer with an excellent education including training in the classics (latin, greek, debating, classic philosophy) and he lived a middle-class life before he moved our family from Italy to Canada, to develop his own dairy farm ( after managing his family's lands until they sold them (parcels inherited from their grandfather's single holding) because they preferred the cash at which point he no longer had enough land to make a living) and then he would comment that our neighbours were not the social or educational level he was used to. Well, in Canada, farmers work their own lands, there are not too many gentlemen manager farmers, (my dad himself was hands on, (something he wasn't in Italy) although he had employees as well) a lot of my school class mates were Dutch immigrant kids whose parents had the minimum education but who worked hard to own and farm land of their own, something they never could have had in Holland. Great, innovative, hard-working people. So this is my peer group and where I pick my friends. What does Dad expect, that I have no friends until I go to university? BTW most of the farm kids now go to university as well (although a generation later, the kids of the kids I went to school with). Social bonding and acceptance are a basic need, trying to deny it results in all kinds of unhappiness. That doesn't mean we have to bow to peer pressure, or lose our individuality, it just means that we can find a happy balance. I am not trying to say my dad was a bad dad, that was his life view and he thought he was directing me to make better life choices. Seeing the whole picture now gives me an appreciation for who he was and who I am.


I came back to write this, as this says below, clarifying my thinking.
One thing I like about spark is how others' opinions helps me clarify my own thinking, probably not an interesting read, but helpful for me.



Comment edited on: 8/22/2010 6:03:54 PM

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LILPAT3 8/21/2010 9:47AM

    Beautiful...dead on!

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IMSMILEY88 8/21/2010 9:43AM

    I love your post! And, when I feel like I "can't" (which has been a LOT lately), this is a great reminder that someone else IS!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 8/21/2010 9:40AM

    Thanks, Diane -- I really needed the "lift" this blog gave me today.

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CKDC90 8/21/2010 9:26AM

  JUST STARTED WITH SPARK AND CAME ACROSS YOUR BLOG. FANTASTIC GOAL! I LOVE TO BIKE (HATE TO RUN) AND MOST LIKELY WOULD FAIL MISERABLY AT SWIMMING (IF IN OCEAN). I ALSO HAVE DAUGHTERS WHO INSPIRE AND ENCOURAGE ME TO GO TO THE GYM, MY OLDEST DAUGHTER LOVES TO GO WITH ME. THIS "BONDING" HAS HELPED OUR RELATIONSHIP AS WELL AS ALLOWING ME TO SEE HER AS A RESPONSIBLE ADULT, A VIEW I HESITATED TO GRASP AS THIS INDICATES MY CHILD IS GROWING UP.
HAVE THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME THE DAY OF YOUR ADVENTURE, MAKE SURE YOU SAVE YOUR MEDAL OR T-SHIRT TO REMEMBER AND RELIVE EACH MOMENT OF YOUR SPECIAL DAY.

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LKEITHO 8/21/2010 9:05AM

    You are so right about how SP surrounds us with support and inspiration everyday. We can feel it and build on it every day!

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GREEKGAL1 8/21/2010 8:54AM

  Thank you for an inspiring blog. Good luck with your races.

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WINE4GIRL 8/21/2010 8:38AM

    I once read, and still believe, that you are the sum total of the five people you hang around with the most. Before I moved, I had an incredible group of friends that were all older and much smarter than me. No one ever made me feel inferior or that I didn't belong. I am still so close to several of them.

I log in to SP first thing in the morning to get my day jump started. I used to log on to FB, but there is too much negativity there. On SP, I find encouragement for my journey and can offer encouragement to others. How cool is that?

Thanks for the blog and of course - loved the mountain!

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LENA79691 8/21/2010 8:27AM

    emoticon

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ONEKIDSMOM 8/21/2010 7:03AM

    Another great way to start my Saturday! Surrounded by positive thoughts and supportive Sparkers!

I'm so excited for your TRI! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SBG842 8/21/2010 5:35AM

    The photo is gorgeous,,, beautiful start to the weekend. And thanks for the reminder on Peer Presure... love the positive peer pressure of SP and that just reminds me to get off my keester and get active. Thanks! emoticon

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SCREWIE 8/21/2010 5:18AM

    What a wonderful blog!

Thank you :)

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GOLDFISHLIZ 8/21/2010 4:59AM

    Such an inspiring blog - emoticon I too would like to know which mountain we are looking at! Good luck with your goals
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THINRONNA 8/21/2010 4:55AM

    I love the sentiment of your blog and agree that the Friend Feed is a wonderful and positive way to receive inspiration and positive peer messages! Great Blog! emoticon

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WALKINGANNIE 8/21/2010 4:51AM

    What a great way of gathering friend feed thoughts. 'I liked it'. They make a great snapshot of Sparkworld. You summed things up so well by saying that, "we find ourselves swimming in messages of hope and possibility." That's probably what has kept me on track for so long.

Reading friend feeds are an important part of my daily Sparking but you have made them seem even more extraordinary.

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DRASADAF 8/21/2010 4:41AM

    nice blog...simply loved it..

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NEW-CAZ 8/21/2010 4:06AM

    A very positive message Diane, loving the support on SP too.!

14 days and counting OMG 2 weeks! Keep training hun!

How's the propeller this morning emoticon

Have a great weekend hun emoticon

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LIBBYFITZ 8/21/2010 3:55AM

    emoticoncomments and photo of you're beautiful mountain! Have a great weekend!

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BAGGYPANTS5 8/21/2010 3:31AM

    You're right. It's the comments and encouragement from others that keep us on track.
2 weeks to go! You can do it!
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DEVORA4 8/21/2010 3:12AM

  excellent blog. I, for one, would love to know where the mountain you photograph so beautifully is. emoticon

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BIG GRIN: I FOUND it!! (Blog #243)

Friday, August 20, 2010

My former boss used to compare me to "Chinese water torture" when people would ask if I was focused. emoticon LOL. I don't really think of myself as focused per se because I flit from thing to thing so quickly. I can get myself side tracked by simply blinking. But, I do admit, that when I want to get something done, when the inspiration hits me, I do get hyper focused. I can spend hours on something and not get tired of it. I remember once I sat down to do a jigsaw puzzle with a friend. It was a 1000 piece project that took us about 8 or 9 hours to do... and we started at about 9 in the evening and did not stop until we were done when the sun came up the next day. I guess that is kind of focused. DH puts up with me when I get like that in the garden. "One more minute" often turns into hours without my realizing it.

Same goes with trying to find something that I really want. I'm pretty good at finding what I want, but sometimes I just get stumped and come up empty handed. I was rather disappointed when back in July I had been decorating my bike helmet and my TRI bucket for my practice triathlon. I had gotten it in my head that I wanted a propeller for my helmet. I wanted a fun reminder that my journey is about enjoying the ride, enjoying the moments, enjoying the grins. So I looked and looked and looked for my propeller:


I searched high and low and all around for a propeller... every craft store around, every bargain store I could think of, second hand stores were visited... I even decided that a pinwheel might serve as a good stand-in and came up empty handed there too! emoticon

Not to be completely defeated, I decorated my helmet with little butterflies... a good temporary stand-in for the first practice run, but I never let the thought of the propeller fade too too much.


Each time I was out doing errands, I would look for little stores that just might have the object of my focus. Sadly, nothing....... until yesterday! I am excited to report that I FOUND IT!! YessireeBob, I finally got myself a propeller!!!!!!

Here's what happened: I was on my way home from an errand with my daughter when I spotted a party store. Hmmm. I wonder if they have a propeller? I wandered in, with my honing beacon on high alert. Up and down every single aisle with one singular purpose. Aisle #1.. nothin'. Aisle #2... same. Aisle #3... nope. Aisle #10... what? nothing still? ARGH!

I spot a salesperson who looks barely out of 8th grade but she smiles and I hope. I ask her if she might know if somewhere in this huge store they carried little hats with little propellers. (No, I did not explain why!) She ponders a moment and says that last year they had some for Halloween but the Halloween items are not out yet. Maybe I looked desperate but this nice young lady said she would go in the back to look, just in case. REALLY?? For me? What a hero!

My hero went in the back and FIRST thing she runs across are the funny little hats with propellers... and not just ONE but dozens of them. emoticon I had my PICK of colored hat! Well, the hat is not the point for my so I just picked the first one she found. LOL... I left that store with the biggest grin and of course, I had to call DH to report my golden find for the day. I'm sure he shook his head because of my silly focus on this dang propeller... but I told you, when those thoughts get in my head, I don't let them go!

I got home late and of course had to show DH my treasure. And only as a retired Boeing engineer can do: he inspected it. He asked me to take a quick run around the kitchen so he could see how the air would make the propeller spin. Oh the things that make him happy! Unfortunately, it did not make him too happy since the prop was scarcely moving. Actually that was not my point, but he is a retired engineer from Boeing, so it DOES matter to him! So he is on his own mission now: how to alter the propeller so I will get the best spin on the entire TRI course!! He already describe how a simple clip here and nip there will give the propeller a more aerodynamic design. LOL!!!! emoticon



it is that silly grin that I had leaving the store and reporting in to DH about my little treasure that I want to have when I start my TRI, do my TRI and conclude my TRI. This journey for me is about enjoying the ride. And .. I'm down to the wire. I can feel the excitement beginning to mount. I have to get a few more good training workouts in before the big day in FIFTEEN days but I can now relax on the propeller goal!


QUOTE: (repeat but today it seems to fit nicely)
"The most wasted of all days is one without laughter." ~ E E Cummings

MANTRA: Faith. Fit. Focus.

TRI-ing: A total of 99 days to train.
Today is Day 84. Days til race #1: 15... YEAH!
Training: 5K run.

PHOTO OF THE DAY: Wouldn't you like to see the paint brush that does this every morning!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUGIRL06 8/29/2010 9:22PM

    OMG you are hilarious. Love the propeller! And I think my hubby would be sitting there doing the same thing as yours. Trying to make it "fly" better!
~Ang

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SHERLYN-WILL 8/21/2010 10:04AM

    That is a funny little hat that propeller came on...propeller beanie? LOL

When I first started reading... I thought I have lots of propellers on the kids toys... I wonder if she look in the toy isles..anywhere?

I prob. have 8 toys with propellers LOL may not be the right kind though
So glad you found one and now you can move on to the next thing.

Loved this blog... love your energy!

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GOLDFISHLIZ 8/21/2010 5:03AM

    Now we want to see some pics of the hat in action, with you underneath it! Good luck with it all.
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DRASADAF 8/21/2010 4:43AM

    me too i love ur spirit...

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0309COOKIE 8/20/2010 11:50PM

    Your blog today was sheer fun. It gave me such a chuckle. I'm so glad you found your propeller.

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CHAS1949 8/20/2010 10:53PM

    Your blog was so much fun to read today!! I'm glad you completed your propeller quest!! You will be "stylin' at the TRI.

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LKEITHO 8/20/2010 10:37PM

    Well now you are officially ready for your race! You're going to have a great time! And I love your picture of your mountain today.

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BSTAKINGACTION 8/20/2010 6:58PM

    I'm a year out from my first tri...just want to make sure I have time to ease into it. One thing I know for sure...I'm going in with my own form of "propeller"! Thanks for the smiles.

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TRICIAN13 8/20/2010 6:42PM

  What a delightful, light-hearted blog today! Such fun!

I'm like that too--if I get an idea in my head about something I want or want to do, I don't let it go. If I can't find my "propeller," I MIGHT settle (at least temporarily) for "a pinwheel" or a "butterfly," but only the "propeller" will really do. Good for you for sticking to it.

Loved the picture of your mountain today. Not only would I like to see the paint brush--I want to see the whole palette! Such magnificent, unbelievable colors!


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SEEHOLZ 8/20/2010 5:01PM

    15 days! Wohoo!!!

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LILPAT3 8/20/2010 3:40PM

    So glad you found your propeller and I guess you have checked all the rules and they will let you glue/fix stuff to your helmet? I think it is a very cool idea, I just have never seen anyone in a race with a "decorated" helmet. Gotta love you and your determination to be "YOU"! emoticon

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REJ7777 8/20/2010 1:49PM

    What a delightful blog! I had my own silly grin while reading it. emoticon

Your enthusiasm and child-like, fun-loving attitude are catching. I think I was as happy as you were (well, almost) when you finally found your propeller! emoticon (Happy dance!) And to have a Boeing engineer working on the mechanics of it, what more could you ask for! It surely is the BEST propeller there EVER was! emoticon

Focused like "Chinese water torture"? emoticon Well, it sure paid off with your propeller. And it will also pay off with your tri! I am SO looking forward to reading about your "silly grin" there too!

BTW, yes, I WOULD like to see the Artist who painted that sky over your mountain!

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WALKINGANNIE 8/20/2010 1:29PM

    You added laughter to my day. You certainly stuck with your mission until you got the result you wanted!

emoticon emoticon

Your mountain is even more awesomely beautiful than usual.



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KALIGIRL 8/20/2010 1:09PM

    "Faith. Fit. Focus." Love it.
AND your wonderful grin. emoticon

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PTREINER 8/20/2010 1:05PM

  The photo takes my breath away -

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NEW-CAZ 8/20/2010 1:01PM

    The number of times my DH says "I thought you were only going to be five minutes" when I'm researching family history- Diane, if I had a pound for every time I'd be a millionaire hun.
When I focus I even forget loo breaks emoticon
And I'm the same as you- go after what I want I mean.
I also see your DH had another habit mine has- if something has a purpose, it had better serve that purpose....love his toying with your propeller emoticon emoticon emoticon


So pleased you found what you wanted Diane.......everything comes to he who waits
15 days and counting good luck with the remaining training
Have a great Friday and weekend hun emoticon

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HAWKEYERANT 8/20/2010 12:58PM

    LOVE the helmet --- TOO funny!!

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SOME_BOOKSTORE 8/20/2010 12:33PM

  I totally agree with your DH . . . I mean what good is a propeller that doesn't propell?

He'll probably need to make a trip to Home Depot to get a special tool to make it work properly.

But then it seems to have already has propelled you considerably.

df

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 8/20/2010 11:48AM

    I just LOVE the propeller and so glad you didn't have to "settle" on a pinwheel or butterflies, thought the butterflies were cute on the helmet. Focus, focus, focus -- you certainly have that, Diane. (And now I'm wishing I had read this blog before I posted mine today -- I would have chosen "focus" as my F-word.)

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THINRONNA 8/20/2010 11:17AM

    How great! It is so nice when all the pieces ...er ...propellers fall into place! Wow 15 days to go! How exciting!

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ROOT4HOME 8/20/2010 10:58AM

    YAY!!! I'm so happy you found your propeller hat and the story of how your DH wants to "fix" it up is too funny! Reminds me of something my DH would do! So sweet!! Wow...only 15 more days?!? That seemed to go FAST!! You'll do great! So excited for you!!

PS: LOVE today's mountain photo, btw!! Just beautiful!!

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JUNEPA 8/20/2010 10:56AM

    Love it that you got your propeller hat. Too funny that your DH wanted you to run around the kitchen so he could see it spin. Everything is coming together for the big TRI, awesome!!!

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BBAHONORS 8/20/2010 10:32AM

    Your helmet is going to look emoticon for your Tri! Have fun!

Love your picture today! When I lived in Port Angeles, WA, I had mountains on one side and the ocean on the other side of the house. I sure do miss those views!

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PATRISNA 8/20/2010 9:52AM

    I always love the photos of your mountain. This one is so beautiful. Another one of God's paintings.

I hope DH makes the propeller more aerodynamic. I seems important to him. You are grinning every time you think about your find aren't you?

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MONTY68 8/20/2010 9:49AM

    Diane
I love it, you are so much fun. I can remember when you had your blog on the propeller. Sometimes, I think of it as a burning desire that just won't go away. So, now you have it and one more joy in your life.
Your picture this morning made me a little emotional, I have tried so many times to paint a sunrise that looked like that but really can't match nature. It is awesome.
Thank you for sharing.

Monty emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LIBBYFITZ 8/20/2010 9:47AM

    emoticon emoticon

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DEVORA4 8/20/2010 9:33AM

  enjoyed your blog and sense of humor

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Two New Recipes- Yum! (Blog #242)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

It was my turn this week to try something new from Cooking Light, my all-time favorite food magazine. It never disappoints. Well, it did once, but that is a different blog about chocolates cakes that should NOT look like crepes! I digress. I needed a refreshing sounding dinner, so I fixed up a coconut rice dish and a salmon topped with refreshing yoghurt. I tweaked the recipes for things I had in the house. It is a fast recipe, taking about 35-40 minutes counting all prep.

emoticon I had just a little more Arborio rice (a white rice that is good for risottos) to use up. So I used it instead of the jasmine rice that the recipe listed. I toasted it lightly and then added red pepper flakes, lite coconut milk and a smidgen of water. It cooked (covered) for about 20 minutes. Once it was done, I was supposed to add diced rep bell pepper. I did not have any, so I added a diced fresh tomato right at the end. It sat in the rice, covered, until dinner was ready. (About 140 calories for a 1/2 cup cooked)





emoticon While it was cooking, I made the yoghurt sauce for the salmon. Basically I mixed together some Light Greek Yoghurt, juice from one lime, tomatoes, peaches, fresh parsley and cucumbers. It was super refreshing, perfect for the 100F degree weather we were having.









emoticon The last part of the recipe called for fresh salmon. I grilled it with just a touch of lime juice, salt and pepper. Pretty simple! I wanted to fancy up the plate, so I sliced some of the cucumber and placed it on the plate. I also added some fresh peaches. I served the salmon on top of the cucumbers and then topped off the salmon with the refreshing yogurt sauce. (About 275 calories for 1 fillet and 3 tablespoons of sauce.)











All in all, a nice dinner for a hot summer evening. Still need to get a small outside table so we can enjoy dinner on the porch. (I've been saying that for 7 years now!)

emoticon And you? Any tempting recipes for hot summer evenings?

QUOTE: "Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase." ~Martin Luther King,

MANTRA: Faith. Fit. Focus.

TRI-ing: A total of 99 days to train.
Today is Day 83. Days til race #1: 16... UYYYYY
Training: 6K run. ~5K walk.

PHOTO OF THE DAY: This splash of orange on my mountain is as refreshing as any great summer dinner!


  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WINE4GIRL 8/21/2010 8:43AM

    You really could be a food stylist or a food photographer! Love the plate presentation! You have some amazing skills, lady! I bought salmon and shrimp yesterday. Shrimp last night... I have coconut milk in the cupboard, and most of the other ingredients. Guess what I'm having for dinner! emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 8/21/2010 8:48:46 AM

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MELTEAGUE 8/20/2010 1:02PM

    Loved your quote, I feel like I am standing on the first step...nice to see someone else who likes to take photos of food!

loved your blog

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BAGGYPANTS5 8/20/2010 3:53AM

    Wow! That looks like something from a posh restaurant!
Love the mountain pic too.
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CHAS1949 8/19/2010 8:52PM

    YUM!!
You are such a talented person!! Thanks for sharing these recipes with us!

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JUNEPA 8/19/2010 6:35PM

    What a simple-to-make and tasty nutritious beautiful meal. I love the way you include the fruits and veggies into the meal and came up with a light and tasty, and nutritious sauce for the fish. This dish looks awesome.
And your mountain is back in the picture, yay.

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WALKINGANNIE 8/19/2010 4:53PM

    That sounds very refreshing and a tempting mix of tastes, smells and textures.

Your mountain looks beautiful today as well.

emoticon emoticon

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TREKKSTER 8/19/2010 4:47PM

  Looks yummy.

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SEEHOLZ 8/19/2010 4:41PM

    I had salmon last night myself-- mine tasted really good, but didn't look as great-LOL. I put terragon and onions with salmon in foil and baked it.. I should have grilled it, but was too lazy. Anyways, when it was done, I ate it with a yogurt, a bun and a salad. Nothing fancy, or time consuming. If I cook anything, it's quick and easy and definitely looks quick and easy, but it works, so it's okay. Cooking Light is too "complex" for me-LOL- unless I'm making something for an occassion, haha

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GEINAHG0757 8/19/2010 1:57PM

    As Martha Stewart says, "Presentation is EVERYTHING!" What a beautiful meal! You are having weather as hot as my neck of the woods. Drink LOTS of water when working or exercising outdoors. The heat has a way of sneaking up and whacking you!

And that mountain...sigh...

Geinah

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BBAHONORS 8/19/2010 1:33PM

    Your dinner looks absolutely delish!

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MEGANGOWENS 8/19/2010 1:25PM

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Cooking Light Magazine too! And that sounds delicious!!!

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REJ7777 8/19/2010 1:21PM

    What a nutritious and delicious-looking meal! You've got just the touch to make your meals look so appetizing!

About your quote: I agree, but it's not easy! Also, better be careful "who" or "what" you're putting your faith in, because the rest of the staircase might not even exist.

Beautiful, heart-warming photo of your mountain!

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KALIGIRL 8/19/2010 1:05PM

    Sounds wonderful and pictures are fantastic.
Our days have been so full that we have barely thrown something on the grill to be served with fresh fruits or vegetables. We are so thankful for the bounty this summer has provided, I am looking forward to the day we can celebrate our meals as you do!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 8/19/2010 1:02PM

    You know, Diane? I am definitely not a fish or veggie person, but I have to admit that as I read your blog, my mouth watered and I found myself wishing "if only." Sigh. . . . Sure wish I could get over my dislike for vegetables and any fish that is not deep fat fried.

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GOHUSKERS2 8/19/2010 12:45PM

    The picture of the finished meal is awesome...mouth-watering as I love salmon. And the pix of the sunset on the mountain was wonderful too. Thanks for both.

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NEW-CAZ 8/19/2010 12:32PM

    emoticon thanks for some great ideas DIane...........and for visiting my blogs emoticon

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SOME_BOOKSTORE 8/19/2010 11:39AM

  I only have one question about the salmon dinner . . .
When are you gonna make it again ??!!

df
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LILPAT3 8/19/2010 11:32AM

    Yummy, and someday I will have 10 extra minutes to attempt this. Daughter might even help. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DEBBIEKAY1 8/19/2010 11:25AM

    emoticongreat pictures Oh my you had my mouth watering

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DEVORA4 8/19/2010 11:21AM

  great pixs

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HAWKEYERANT 8/19/2010 11:16AM

    Yum yum yum! Looks delicious!

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LKEITHO 8/19/2010 11:08AM

    Wow, that looks great! I really need to take the time to cook more often.

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LIBBYFITZ 8/19/2010 11:06AM

    emoticonMmm I have salmon and I have tomato, might give this a try.
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SUZANL 8/19/2010 11:04AM

    Oh my mouth is watering! I ate seared tuna last night (at a lovely restaurant) but it was expensive. I think I would have rathered stayed home and made this it looks amazing! I will try it soon!
Thanks! emoticon

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AELARLEE1 8/19/2010 11:01AM

    I like salmon, but when you first described this I wasn't too intrigued, then I saw the pictures and I was really surprised at how wonderful it looked! I LOVE cooking light as well but didn't like their latest magazine layout change so simply visit the website like a groupie :) Thanks for sharing this.

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JENNY888 8/19/2010 11:01AM

    Great sounding recipe. Thanks for posting your version. I always look forward to getting my Cooking Light magazine.

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MONTY68 8/19/2010 10:57AM

    Diane

They sound so yummy, great pictures showing the process, I am sure it was delicious.
What an awesome shot of the mountain.

Monty emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FATROCKSTAR 8/19/2010 10:51AM

    Sounds fantastic! Normandy

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Open-Water and Changing Flats (Blog #241)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

emoticon In two days, two firsts!

emoticon Yesterday I spent the day with my 24-year old daughter, the one who started me on this particular path of TRI-ing. She is the one who knows quite a bit from her experiences but we have not had a chance to do much together in terms of passing the information on. But finally yesterday, we decided to meet at a lake so she could "supervise" and coach me in open water while I used my wetsuit for the first time. I had not worn the wetsuit that she had used last year because it still felt a bit snug around the neck and I was worried that I would not be able to have sufficient range of motion. I had wanted her to inspect it before I made a fool out of myself at the real race... I could just hear the jeers in the back of my head "Hey, did you see that lady... She looked like a sausage in her wetsuit. Doesn't she KNOW??" So, I wanted my daughter's critical eye and believe me, she would let me know! "MOM!!??"

We met at the lake at about 10, perfect for this very hot day. As I got the wet suit out, my daughter gasps and laughs, "Mom! THAT is NOT my TRi wet suit!!!"
"What? Whose is this? Are you sure?"
"Yeah, Mom. That is my wet suit from middle school when I went to that summer camp at the lake."
"OMG!!!!!! Really??? Dang! Well, let me try it on anyways."

.... I get it on. Get the zipper up... and...

"HEY Mom! It's fine! It's actually a little big in the arms." (Here is where I think she has become a little more kind to me because that might have been a SLIGHT (!!) exaggeration on her part... but I'll take it and it fit well enough to do the practice swim.)

Then I notice that the buoys seem awfully close to the shore. I read the signs and find out I can't go beyond the buoys lest I want to risk getting plucked from the water by the lake police. I ask the guy in charge and find out that indeed I would get in trouble for going beyond the two-foot mark where the current buoys are floating. DANG! And we paid to get into this park. Oh well. My daughter had a back-up plan and we went up to Vancouver Lake (about 45 minutes away) where she had practiced with her team last summer. The weather was fantastic and she coached me for sighting and better form. I have a long ways to go in form but I did about 45 minutes in the open water and enjoying the fact that when I wanted I could just float with the wetsuit on. Kind of a fun feeling! And I picked up lots of good information and feedback from my daughter. emoticon

emoticon And today.. another first. I had taken my "how-to-fix-a-flat" class a couple of weeks ago but I have never actually fixed a flat. I decided that fixing a flat for the first time on the side of the road was not a brilliant plan so I practiced in the living room today. DH was there as a back-up coach. I followed the GREEK (!!!) directions that I got from the class and managed to only bang my knuckles on the rim a few times, get grime on only half my face and, fingers crossed, I did not CAUSE a flat in a perfectly good tire! I'll know later today when I take my little trekster out for a spin. I just did the front tire today. I'll take on the back tire tomorrow. I was imagining doing this process while in a race with adrenaline coursing through my body. It won't be as easy as it was today, for sures, but at least I know I can do it now.

emoticon emoticon In two days, my brain cells got a a good workout. I keep learning that I can do more than I thought I could. Another benefit about this journey, I have to do some good problem solving and critical thinking. I LIKE imagining my little brain cells with little tiny weights, pumping their own iron! Feels healthy!

emoticonAnd you? Any good new firsts recently?

QUOTE: "Get excited and enthusiastic about you own dream. This excitement is like a forest fire - you can smell it, taste it, and see it from a mile away." ~ Denis Waitley

MANTRA: Faith. Fit. Fitness.

TRI-ing: A total of 99 days to train. Today is Day 82. Days til race #1: 17...It's getting REALLY REAL!
Training: Open-water swim.

PHOTO OF THE DAY: (SP connection acting up and not permitting to add one yet... )

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ALEXCOOKPDX 8/19/2010 9:09PM

    Congratulations on fixing a flat! It's always really difficult for me.

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SUNNYBR 8/19/2010 12:32PM

    Hi Diane - woohoo! Way to go for the swim, wetsuit and flat tire changing. You had a busy day!
My first triathlon of the summer was Sunday - i just posted a blog about it - fun race. And fun to medal for the first time! I think there were fewer athletes in my group than in past year, but I'll take a medal any way i can get it! emoticon

I am excited now to start training for the half marathon....and thinking about the next tri to sign up for. Still not sure if an oly is in my future. That run felt ok, but twice as long is still very daunting.

Keep up the great blogs!


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KALIGIRL 8/19/2010 9:00AM

    What an inspiration - I'm fearing changing that first tire - may have to emulate you!

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MONTY68 8/19/2010 12:46AM

    Hi Diane
I have to say, I laughed through most of the blog, You do have a great sense of humor. However you did get accomplished what you set out to do.
You gave something to think about , I don't think I ever think of my brain cells and certainly never thought of them pumping iron. I think that is a brilliant idea.
Thank you for sharing emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LKEITHO 8/18/2010 10:30PM

    Great job on the swim! I have yet to get out in the open water, or try on my wetsuit, so I guess I'm going to have to do that soon. Changing a flat I have had lots of practice with - three times in the first two weeks with my bike! Looking forward to hearing your race report about how you mastered the course!

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CHRYS13 8/18/2010 8:21PM

    I'm so enjoying your amazing adventure and progress! What a wonderful day: learning new skills, perfecting some, and spending time with your daughter!
WooHoo to 17 days to go!

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LIBBYFITZ 8/18/2010 7:30PM

    The wet suit sounds interesting, I have never worn one! And changing a bike tyre!
That is fantastic accomplishments in 1 day. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FIGHT2SURVIVE 8/18/2010 5:25PM

    I would kill to be able to just get in the water some place. There are no lakes in or around my area where you are allowed to swim. Two firsts in one day is wonderful. Good for you!
Erin

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JUNEPA 8/18/2010 5:16PM

    It feels sooooooooo good to challenge the mind in a new direction and to do something hands-on.
I am hearing from other quarters that photos uploads are a problem today, no view of sister mountain Hood today, waah. Oh well, I am sure things will be back to normal soon.

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SUZANL 8/18/2010 5:03PM

    Great post again! I had my "fix a flat" training also but I havent' yet tried doing it. I think I'm going to hope I don't get a flat!


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HAWKEYERANT 8/18/2010 4:55PM

    Can't believe you fit into a middle school suit! AMAZING! Way to go you! That had to feel good!

I also practiced in front of a man when I did a flat tire... in my old car... Then recently got a flat (two weeks ago) (am having an expensive month) and couldn't do it by myself in my newer bigger SUV. Go FIGURE! I had to call back up from friends and when they couldn't do it either, called road side assistance. Proud of you for practicing!!!

I can't think of any firsts lately -- but going on my first cruise ever soon! Yay!! Can you tell I'm getting excited?

GREAT blog!

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WALKINGANNIE 8/18/2010 4:24PM

    How good to spend time with your daughter in such an active day.

emoticon on getting into the wetsuit.

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THINRONNA 8/18/2010 3:25PM

    You are on SUCH an amazing adventure in life!

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BUGGYS 8/18/2010 3:22PM

    Diane...I haven't felt very motivated in the last couple of weeks but after reading this blog, I am inspired to go out and do my thing, which is either walking or riding my bike. Funny thing happened to me a couple of years ago. I was up at our cottage on Lake Michigan and I was out riding my bike in the farmlands up there and I got a flat...went to get my cell phone and realized that I left it and my spare tube in my pack at the cottage...so I ditched my bike (it was new and didn't want anyone taking it) and I began to walk and walk and walk...about 2 miles to the nearest farm...no one was home so I walked again...I had to pee really bad so I went into some bushes and sure enough I heard a voice asking me if I needed any help...I was so embarassed...it was a young kid on his farming equipment...I think they were doing hay at the time...he gave me a really nice ride back to my bike and then took me home...found out he was an biker and could relate. On top of being a sweetheart, he taught me how to change my tire. Now I always double check to see if I have my cell phone, spare tube and some TP just in case!!!

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BAGGYPANTS5 8/18/2010 3:21PM

    My grand daughter has something like self-healing tyres. If you get a thorn the hole just closes up. Or you can get gel to put in them that seals the hole. I expect you know that.
emoticon

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NEW-CAZ 8/18/2010 1:57PM

    New experiences and doing things out of our comfort zone for the 1st time can be exciting and scary and then to succeed in a task is truely exilerating and confidence building.

Diane 2 words! you rock

Love the wetsuit tale emoticon and love that you have the support of your daughter.

Have a great Wednesday Diane emoticon

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MARENAMOO 8/18/2010 1:31PM

    It is amazing what happens when you open yourself up to trying something new. Often times the learning goes far beyond the original thing. Suddenly you are doing things that are spatial, practical, analytical - you are making all kinds of interconnected brain patterns. The day to day things that you are adding to your "common-sense"repertoire will probably come in handy in the future. I just love added bonuses.

Love the fact that you have this fun thing connecting you to your daughter.

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 8/18/2010 1:06PM

    What a great mother/daughter day you had! Love the wetsuit story.

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 8/18/2010 1:04PM

    Here's a funny story about wetsuits in a Tri:

My young trainer (then age 24) was in the top 2 of his age group for last summer's season. He was determined to win. He hadn't been using a wetsuit (they are only allowed here when the water temps drop below a set amount), but toward the end of the season, he bought one for the first time and planned to use it in the next race.

When I saw him the next week at our session, I asked how the race had gone. His face fell, but he smiled ruefully and said, "I forgot to take my wetsuit off." He didn't realize until part way into his bike ride (his best event) that he still had it on. At that point, there was no good way to take it off without losing it, and he couldn't afford that. In case you are wondering, wearing a wetsuit while biking will really kill your time!

So, don't forget to take your wetsuit off!
emoticon

Comment edited on: 8/18/2010 1:05:41 PM

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LITMAH 8/18/2010 12:44PM

  Wow! Talk about inspirational! I liked your mantra. I have always told people that I have my priorities in "F" ing order (dont' panic it's not bad): Faith, fitness, family, friends, finances, fun. If I don't have faith and work on fitness, I won't have a life to share with family and friends. But, fun isn't really a last priority. It's just that it happens as I work on the other four.

Thanks for the great reminder of my priorities and good luck on the TRI.

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