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.
Just from my friend feed today....
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.
Friday, August 20, 2010
My former boss used to compare me to "Chinese water torture" when people would ask if I was focused. 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!
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. 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!!!!
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!
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.
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)
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.
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!)
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!
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
In two days, two firsts!
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.
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.
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!
And 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... )
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
I can distinctly remember writing in several places here on SP that I am not a "goals person." I think I stated this on a poll, in blog comments on pages and in my own blog postings. I guess I have to take back those words. If I look at my page I see several spots where I say early on that I was shooting for a big race (my tri) quite early on. I have been tracking my goal for weeks now, ticking off the days of training with 100% consistency. Hmmm, for a person who does not do goals, that seems rather odd.
Having my TRI up there ahead of me has been a major motivator. When I have not felt like eating the most nutritional foods, when I have wanted to just skip a day of activity, when that feeling of wanting to be a slug all day was gnawing at me, I would see the TRi glowing at the end of that tunnel, persistent in its ability to remind me that I had promised myself I would run the race and being a slug was not going to help me get any closer to even starting that race let alone finishing the race.
Well that's all fine and dandy, but what happens when the TRI is in the rear view mirror? Then what? Do I stop there? Answer: No way! I've been bitten by the '"event" bug. In the past week or so I have had a flurry of signing up for events for the next year: another TRi in Seattle later in September, a charity bike ride in October and last night, propelled by that little seed that I planted a few days ago about a half marathon, I signed up for my first HM in June 2011. I find myself cruising the sport calendars for more triathlons, bike rides and other fun events. I'm looking now more at how to support charities with some of my events. And I am looking for just plain ole fun events. I was excited by two events my neighbor mentioned last night..
As I marked up my calendar with all of those dates, I realized that these new events are serving a fantastic GOAL POSTS for me. Out there ... down the road... I can clearly see the way. Off in the distance are the events serving as very solid goal posts. They shine as bright reminders of what my ultimate goal is: my health. They mark the trajectory from here to "there." I have moments of not always wanting to do what it takes to stay healthy and then I remember my goal posts... and I straighten up, line myself up and shot for the middle of the goal posts.
So I take it back. I guess I am a goals person. My ultimate goal is to enjoy my health. My goal posts are the events I have signed up for in the close and more distance future. I'm a little slow on the uptake sometimes but glad that I finally figured this one out!
And you? Do you have something that serves as your GOAL POSTS? Something that you shot for as you move towards your ultimate goal?
QUOTE: "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 81. Days til race #1: 18...It's getting so REAL!
Training: 25-mile bike ride..in the heat! I was famished after this one! Tried an electrolyte tablet in my water.. ICH!!!! I'm going to have to figure something else out. That was nasty.
PHOTO OF THE DAY: My mountain at day break...
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