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Asleep at the Wheel

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Music is one of my greatest loves in life. When people ask what’s the best thing about living now, my answer is always “that I can have music at the touch of a button.” Think about that. Think about the days when you either had to make music yourself, or had to go somewhere to hear music. You couldn’t have a string quartet follow you down the road, or out in the fields. Music had its own place and time
Now we can listen to what we want when we want. It really is a miracle.

Some people don’t like running with music. Sometimes this is for practical reasons like the inability to hear what’s behind you, and some just like the silence. Some believe that music restricts their efforts at better run times because of our tendency to run with the beat.

I can run without music, but I find that hamster wheel unappealing. I’ll either get a musical phrase stuck in my head (and I dare you to get “Straight up now, tell me do you really wanna luv me for-ever –oh, oh, oh!” out of your head once it’s there!) or I grab a metaphorical stick and pound away and a metaphorical dead horse. And THAT’S usually about work which is one of the things I really try not to think about when I run.

I have always lost myself, and found myself in music. Oh and lyrics. The music reels you in, and in some cases that’s enough to catch you, but lyrics, words sculpted into rhythm, that’s the true hook that will keep you on the line.

10 Years is one of my favorite groups to run to. The urgency in their songs lends itself to pumping legs and driving adrenaline, and the under-line, if you get my drift, tends to follow my natural breathing patterns. Oh, and then there are the lyrics.

Running yesterday the song "Soma" came on. I've heard it a million times, a billion times, but never really heard it. Or at least, never really took the words on board. But yesterday they got through. Yesterday the song hit my headphones about the same time I realized that I’d made the appointment at the vets for that very day even though I knew I was working and that I couldn’t get to the vet’s that day. My dogs’ jabs are overdue and they need them, like, NOW! And right then 10 Years sang :

“Stay asleep at the wheel and never
Care enough.
The crash is coming.
Are we destined to see a tragedy?
Look away.
The crash is coming”

And as often happens when music and lyrics join hands, an epiphany occurs.

At that very moment I realized that I have been “asleep at the wheel” for a long time. Really, that part of it wasn’t like being struck down on the road to Damascus. I had figured out that I was just treading water in my life in a lot of ways long before, but that metaphor of what happens to us when we ARE asleep at the wheel, that was the light bulb moment.

Life is dangerous, scary and sad enough without abdicating what control we do have.

If I am not doing the things I know I should be doing to get out of the situation I’m in; if I’m willing to let things go undone knowing it will be more work down the road, or letting someone else choose my course, then I have no one to blame but myself when the crash occurs. And no one else to blame if, as often happens, others are hurt as well.

It is time to get back to basics. Back to Mindfulness. Back to Thornton Wilder and living life ‘every, every moment while we live it.” It’s time to wake up and take back control of my life.

Or as 10 Years might put it “Wake up dead fly!”

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAROLJ35 9/26/2014 9:45PM

    Very interesting thoughts!
I know nothing about modern day music, I still listen to old songs, instrumentals, or classical. You can tell I am OLD!!!

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Scientific-ish study

Friday, May 23, 2014

Okay, so I’ve had a bit of a zeitgeist here. I’ve read the information. I’ve understood the information, I just didn’t put 2 and 2 together.

I have been part of a Biggest Loser type competition at work off & on for the past year. (The competition has been off & on, my participation has been consistent.) Any road, since not everyone at work wanted to lose weight, and since some of the people in the challenge wanted to boost their weight loss by setting and meeting specific goals, we also have had what we call a ‘lifestyle’ challenge wherein we set two specific goals and then record how we do.

Piece of cake, right? Well, one of my specific goals has been to eat my full 5 servings of fruit and veg. I could do 4 no problem, but sometimes getting that 5th serving was pulling teeth. So I found a way to rectify that. Fruit. Because fruit is easier to eat than veg for the most part. Grab an apple. Grab a peach. Throw some berries in a bowl. Easy, peasy.

Over the past year, my 5 helpings of fruit and veg have become more like 4 servings of fruit and 1 of veg. And over the past year, not only have I NOT lost weight, I have steadily re-gained 20 of the pounds I had already so laboriously shed.

But this week all the nutrition reading and advice and thoughts just percolated in my head and, like that proverbial lightning bolt, I thought, “Hang on!” Fruit is good for you, yes. But fruit has fructose. Fruit has sugar. Lovely fiber, yes, but lots of sugar.

So I started looking into it and sure enough the literature is very clear. 4 veg and 1 fruit is going to do much better for you than 4 fruit and 1 veg.

Here’s the deal : If you are giving your body sugar, whether it’s sugar straight from fruit or sugar derived from fruit (or cane or beets or a chemical lab) or whatever, then your body is using that quick sugar for energy and never has to tap into your fat stores. Why bother using that stored fat when you keep feeding it all the quick sugar it needs?

So. I am going to do a scientific-ish trial. Over this weekend I am going to start the transition to 3-4 veg and 1-2 fruit servings a day. On Monday, 26 May, I am joining Running World’s streak challenge to run at least one mile per day from the Memorial Day holiday through the 4th of July. That Monday will be the start of my trial as well.

I am going to measure, weigh, and take pics at the start. Then I’m going to continue to eat as healthily as I have the past year, with the only changes being that flip to more veg and less fruit, and if I DO eat 2 servings of fruit, one of them must be accompanied by protein to help slow the effects of the sugars. (nuts or yogurt with the fruit, for example)

To help on this, I am going to check in here weekly with all results.

I really (REALLY, REALLY, REALLY) hope this is where the problem is. If not, I’ll keep searching, but one trial at a time!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    I like to do experiments too! I think you probably have something....all other things being equal.

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BECCAZEN7 5/24/2014 12:19AM

    This will be interesting. I hope it works. Keep us posted - I have a hard time getting all the veggies in. I love many of them, it is just a chore to wash, chop, pack and remember to eat them. LOL. Good luck with your scientific-ish study.

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Reflecting on Boston

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Everyone, runners and non-runners alike, everyone knows what the 2014 Boston Marathon meant. It meant redemption. It meant strength. It meant purging demons. It showed us all what can be done if you want something badly enough. It showed us that the more people try to tell us we can’t, the more likely we are to prove we can.

Yesterday I did my short run. 2.6 miles on a wicked up and down trail, a short run that is part of my training for my first marathon this fall. Like the participants in Boston, I ran for those whose chance to run was taken away from them last year. I ran for those whose courage got them back into the Boston Marathon despite injury and fear. I ran as Meb Keflezighi for a way, channeling his determination to finish first. I ran as Mark Remy for a way, channeling his philosophical bent. I ran as everyone who was forced to turn away from the finish last year, yet found the strength to return this year. I ran as all the people who ran Boston just to prove they can. And I ran as myself, knowing that although I will never run the Boston Marathon, my being a runner, on even the small tracks I travel, I am part of a community that is more open, giving, respectful, supportive and loving than any I know.

I am blessed.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

COOP9002 4/22/2014 12:32PM

    Thanks for sharing.

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GENEALOGYGAL 4/22/2014 10:36AM

    emoticon emoticon

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RIDLEYRIDER 4/22/2014 7:34AM

  emoticon emoticon

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Because I can

Monday, April 14, 2014

This isn't really my blog today. This was written and posted to Facebook by my daughter. If you would like to see the article she mentions, you may find it here :

With the price increase deadline for the St Louis Rock n Roll approaching, and after a fairly uncomfortable 5K this morning, I began to have doubts about running a full marathon this fall. The race today was only 3.1 miles. But it was hard, there were hills, it was windy, and I'm sore. I thought, "Maybe I should register for the Half instead." I've done a Half. It's comfortable. It's safe.

Then I saw my mom's facebook post, showing photos of Boston Marathon bombing victims returning to the finish line for the anniversary of the race. I began to realize just how lucky I am. I have my legs, my arms, my health, my sight, my hearing, every physical ability necessary to accomplish this goal. I am lucky enough to live a life that's culturally, socially, and economically stable enough to afford me the luxury of running for recreation. I have an amazing support network of family and friends who will be there for me and hold me accountable as I reach for any goal I can imagine.

There are so many people who would love to begin to entertain the idea of running a marathon. For them, I will run that marathon. Every single step, I will think of those who can't be there due to age, illness, disability, or because they've already crossed that big finish line in the sky. I will run, lift, train, fuel, sweat, cry, and get up the next day to do it all over again.

In October, I will cross that finish line.

I will do it because love conquers terror. I will do it for the people holding up signs on the side of the road. I will do it for my mom, as we accomplish this goal of a lifetime together. I will do it for my friends and family who have loved me and cheered for me along the way. I will do it for everyone who can't. I will do it, because I can.
[Rose Chapman]

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RX_2_RV 4/14/2014 11:07AM

    Ya done good mom...raising a thoughtful, compassionate, and goal driven human being...THAT is a major accomplishment.

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GENEALOGYGAL 4/14/2014 10:37AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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19DIAMOND54 4/14/2014 8:10AM


Comment edited on: 4/14/2014 8:11:37 AM

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ELRIDDICK 4/14/2014 7:17AM

  Thanks for sharing

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Using your head

Friday, February 21, 2014

In Tai Chi we teach that we "Use the yi, not the li" which means to use your head, and not to react to things with brute strength, or without thought.

In commenting on someone’s page today that thought came to mind, and it makes me think about how often we eat in response to something. About how much we eat is in response to something. Although not a big emotional eater, I have let the cold weather around me be an excuse for poor choices lately. “Ar, it’s freezing out. Have another cookie!”

There is a meme going around Facebook, a quote really, by Heather Morgan, a life coach and nutritionist. It says, “Every time you eat or drink, you are either feeding disease or fighting it.”

This one really caught my attention. Deep down. Not just a passing thought. We’ve had a few health crises around here over the past few years. As many of you know, my husband’s colon exploded nearly three years ago, putting him into ICU for three weeks. His reconnection surgery didn’t take so he was back in the hospital two years ago for another extended stay. Fortunately, last May he was able to be put back together again and is doing well.

While we were going through all this, my son-in-law was diagnosed with testicular cancer, my mother went into the hospital, first with blood clots in her legs, and more lately with blood clots in her lungs.

My brother was diagnosed with breast cancer, although newer doctors are debating that diagnosis, and my father has Alzheimer's Disease.

Now, I know that not all of this is a direct link to what we eat. My mom has a genetic disorder that pre-disposes her to blood clots, for example. But the fact that she started just sitting around and not getting up and exercising made that propensity a reality.

My husband’s colon had some physical problems, and we will never know how much of that came from poor food choices over the years. Eating better could have saved him that ER and ICU visit, however.

And cancer? It just sucks the big one. There still seems to be some debate about how direct the correlation between food and cancer is, but I will say that the better shape you are in, the better your body will be able to tolerate the cancer treatments.

And the evidence is mounting that nutrition can play a huge role in staving off Alzheimer's, or make it less severe.

This thought is haunting me a little. Not in a bad way. I’ve written a lot on here about choice, about will, about taking charge. Since reading that quote, every time I start to cook or eat something I stop and take a second thought. I do not just make something because it is simple after a long and stressful day. I use my yi : Will this meal feed disease? Will it nurture the dark side? Or will it help me fight off any potential for disease? Will it keep me strong? Will it add to or aid my fitness?

I want to be fit to live my life. I want to be fit to face the future. I want to be fit for me.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HYDROQUEEN 4/7/2014 6:48PM

    Fantastic blog! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and giving me a new mantra. emoticon I love the quote! Happy, healing thoughts to you and your family.

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NOLAZYBUTT110 3/3/2014 11:11AM

    Thats so true! But as my Dad used to say, we have to eat a bushel of dirt before we die, just dont eat it all at one sitting. lol My aunt had a better response , YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT! " I liked that beter. I was a vegetarian and gardener and knew were I was getting my food, but had to include meat as I became hyperglycemic and would pass out! I had no choce but to include and eat meat to sustain my life force.

But I love what the Bible says better....what we sow, we reap; and it drives me to eat better! I garden to make sure I eat and get healthier. So my saying is, "what your garden grows, you become". I am adding a lot of greens to my diet! And I already see I am healthier than my own siblings; who eat trash and I am healthier than my own mother who ate too much beef! (I was the weird one and ate to live!)
I am with you, " think before you eat". And I have slowly removed a lot of trash from my past foods! I expect its why I am healthier than my own siblings! Love your Blog! susana

Comment edited on: 3/3/2014 11:46:14 AM

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ANIHAKA 2/21/2014 1:26PM

    I agree with you regarding food as a medicine or a poison. Good luck on your journey to both you and your family who have suffered so much.

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SIERRAGOLD 2/21/2014 12:56PM

    I'm sorry your family has gone through so much lately. I have to say, you sure have the right attitude and proud of you for taking action.
emoticon emoticon

I'm the in same place. I see others around me how are sick in some way or another, and I want to do all that I can now, to not get myself in the same situation.

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COOP9002 2/21/2014 12:04PM

    Blessings upon you and your family.

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ELRIDDICK 2/21/2014 10:07AM

  Thanks for sharing

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