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LIVIN' Mi Vida Loca! (Snowshoeing!)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

I wrote the following in May, 2009:

"If I'm going to maintain my achievements I need to figure out what it might feel like to live in a fit and active way.... and I need to start baby-stepping my way toward that lifestyle NOW... it has to be how I get fit and healthy. I can't spend my life simply exercising... I need to feel like I am LIVING while keeping my body healthy. To that end, I've collected some pictures of my 'inner athlete'! My face literally breaks into a HUGE grin every time I scroll through them. I'm looking for a balance between what I need to do for myself, and activities that keep us moving and enjoying each other as a family. These are some of the things calling my name:"

Meet my 'inner athlete'!

Our city is built on a river and has a rowing club... I need to look into what is available for 'newbies'.

My husband and I are organizing a 'dragon boat' team with people from his company! There is a Dragon Boat Festival here every year in August! We'll attend this year and train through the winter for next year!

Calm, flexible and balanced!

Win-win... work out all my pent up feelings and get an amazing cardio workout... not to mention the awesome shoulder and back sculpting potential. I can't tell you how many times in a day I want to hit something! THIS should take care of that! LOL!

...and should I fall, the landing is a lot softer than on ice!

I want to be THIS STRONG! (The beautiful gal on the weight machine is KAREN7360, who didn't start training until she was over 50!)

Hiking/geocaching year 'round! We all LOVE back-roading in our house, and my wee girl thinks maps and treasure hunts are THE BEST!

Power-kiting: you can do it all year 'round using a buggy, snow skis, snowboard, water skis... we already have the equipment... my husband is an enthusiast! Even though I've always wanted to, I've been reluctant to join him because of my lack of physical fitness... no more! All of you Sparks in Kansas, look up... you may see me there one day! LOL!

I need to be able to swim MUCH better if I'm going to get my dive certification... again, husband's passion! (Even though I rarely FEEL like swimming!) I LOVED my one dive experience... and the promise of LOTS of warm holidays... I want to swim with the sharks! :D

Can you tell I'm an Aquarian? LOL! I don't care for swimming all that much, but I LOVE activities involving water! It's always been a dream of mine to raft white water... anyone see 'The River Wild' with Merle Streep? I've seen the movie eight times, and I'll see it eight more... the power of the river compels me!

One of my goals is being able to dance (a PASSION!) for a whole evening (3 hours) without sitting out a dance! Our favourite dances are Swing (West Coast) and CHA! CHA!... then again the Jive and Waltz are wonderful, too!


This past Sunday, we made one of the above pictures a reality... we went SNOWSHOEING for the first time ever! Santa always brings us a family gift to promote family closeness, and this year it was the snowshoes.

We drove 30 kilometres out of the city for our adventure at the site of St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Catholic Church. The park is closed up tight for the winter... SHHH... don't tell anybody we were there!

The church is built on the highest point of land for those 30 kilometers, with a summer camp facility and ballpark about a mile (and a half? ...I so wish I had remembered my pedometer) away at the bottom of the ravine (part of the river valley). In the summer it hosts a naturally fed hot mineral pool... which was, of course, completely snow covered this trip, LOL.

We hiked down and in, and back out, through knee to hip deep virgin snow... about an hour steady walking round trip. All in all, we were out for about 3 hours.

St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Catholic Church - about a quarter mile from where we had to leave the car, just before we headed into the ravine.

The Divine Miss O at the the top of the ravine...

...heading down (this is about a half mile descent into the ravine... in the summer this is a rough road through the bush into the camp)...

...with her dad (I carried the camera and took most of the pictures, my Mr. carried everything else, LOL).

My Mr. at the bottom, heading toward the camp site... about another quarter mile (The divine Miss O and I 'raced' ahead).

Made it!!!!! I tipped over and decided to stay there a bit, LOL! I truly LOVE that I am wearing a full set of heavy clothes (and winter woolies) under my outer wear and they are still baggy (notice how the pants bunch up all around my legs and hips, and they're tied just under my bust, rather than at my waist)!!! Last time I wore these (and they just fit) was 10 years ago!

...The Divine Miss O decided to join me (not that she needs an excuse to wallow in the snow).

Now we're settled in for a bit...

...with playing to do...

...and "the biggest slide ever, Mom!" with a snow bank at the bottom to slide into! It doesn't get much better...

...unless there's a picnic in the offing, LOL!

So, we started a fire (we split the wood at home and carried it in... the best use ever for the destroyed walls of our once flooded basement, LOL)...

...sharpened some roasting sticks (this picture amazes me... my Mr. also has several layers of clothes under that jacket, and it's still very loose... whereas eight months ago he filled it out well all by himself... and he would have never been able to manage the walk, let alone carry the provisions)...

...set the table (and offered THANKSGIVING for such a glorious day), and enjoyed our feast of gluten-free wieners and wraps, nuts, apples and V8 juice! I don't believe I have ever enjoyed a winter adventure so much!

What do you mean, "It's time to go NOW?!" Seriously?!?
None of us really wanted to leave, but it was overcast, the wind was picking up, and the sun/temperature was dropping.

Reluctantly heading home... on the way in The Divine Miss O was our fearless leader, heading back dad had to nudge her all the way, LOL. I, on the other hand, decided to try seriously running in my snowshoes...

...it was surprisingly easy, and I got quite a ways ahead (though I'm not sure I looked as graceful and strong as the people in my 'inner athlete' picture above, LOL)...

...so I waited at the base of our climb back and enjoyed the flock of TINY little birds (I so do not understand how they don't freeze to death in winter here) that decided to finally grace us with their presence, and perform an aerial ballet (they flew too fast for me to get a picture). The only disappointment of the afternoon was the general lack of wildlife... we saw LOTS of tracks... rabbit, deer, mouse, but no critters. I was concerned about the hike back up that hill... I wasn't sure my knees would hold up as I could feel the tired in my legs some (especially after my quarter mile dash, LOL)...

... but it was no problem... not then... and not since! My 52-year-old, formerly inflammed, needing braces for simple exercises knees (I could barely do my own basement stairs anymore) took it all, and then some! I haven't had any real soreness to speak of anywhere, though my core knows it had to balance more than usual, LOL! This is me, back in the car!

Even though she didn't want the adventure "in the middle of nowhere" to end, being back in the car felt pretty good to the Divine Miss O, too.

And... we're all ready to do it again, SOON!


At this point some of you may be asking... what's the point of all of this, LOL?!?

Well, the point is that when I started this journey five years ago, I had no idea how long it would take me to get here (I envisioned something MUCH shorter... eight months tops)... that, between then and now, I'd sustain and recover from a brain injury (and my body would become terribly weak and wasted), that my daughter would become seriously ill and well again over 18 months, that my house would flood, that my husband and I would both be all but overcome by MRSA and have to spend six months in and out of doctors' offices daily for wound dressings, that I would spend very little of my time actually working at why I ended up here in the first place.

And, had I not had such a clear vision of what I wanted to GAIN from this journey (for me it has NEVER been about losing anything), I would not have found myself 70 pounds lighter, and fitter, and on snowshoes this past Sunday.

The point is, no matter how much fat you need/want to eliminate, you can't wait to start living your life. You have to find ways, no matter how limiting your circumstances seem, to live your life NOW.

The point is, in small ways you have to begin seeing yourself and your life as you a want it to be, and then do something, no matter how small, every day to honour that.

The point is, if I had not written any of this down, I would not have had a beacon by which to compass my journey... every time I had an obstacle take me off course and disrupt my stride, I could still find my way back here and keep going... because I had a map outlining where, with all my heart, I want to go.

The point is, the best thing you can do for yourself is dream a vivid dream of how you want your life to be, and then hold onto it for dear life.... daily caress those images in your mind, like precious jewels... my 'inner athlete' images STILL make me GRIN HUGE and percolate with ENERGY daily!

The point is, if *I* can get here, anyone... YOU... can!

Because of all my 'inner athlete' pictures, I am now doing yoga, I use a balance board with weights, I have found a women's boxing gym and plan to register in the Fall, I've now been snowshoeing, I am hiking regularly, my Mr. and I are strength training by doing the hard work to put our house back together (work we were both incapable of two and a half years ago when we first flooded), we're making plans to start dancing again in the Fall, and the other stuff will come to fruition as well.

So, make that vision collage, buy a realistic goal weight outfit, start having fun, and daily celebrate who you truly are in your heart of hearts, while reaching for the life you desire!

Whether it seems possible, or not, I know one thing for sure... if you don't take the time to dream it, it will never be.

For a little more inspiration:
What's your dream?

(...and never mind the article, read the comments section... WOW!)




'BEFORE' Pictures (May 31, 2009 - September, 2011) & Continuing PROGRESS (February 2012)! Next pictures DECEMBER 1, 2012!

(I'm now keeping these right under my nose... in addition to being part of every blog I post, they are printed off and taped to my bedroom mirror... and I update whenever I feel the need - likely early February, 2013... to either see for myself what feel like significant changes, or to encourage myself to keep the faith when I feel no change at all despite my efforts)

Measurements, Musings & Motivation to MOVE!

(UPDATED/rewritten: JUNE, 2012)

I've Reached My Goal Weight!!!!!!!

NOTE: My weight tracker is NOT a truthful representation of my weight. Instead, I am using it as a tool to help me visualize my goal as though it's already been achieved!
(Tom Venuto)

UNTIL. (My 'Just Do It' blog)

DONE Girl Love...

(the footsteps into which I place my own feet)

Leaving NORMAL... In Pursuit of Happiness

Why I'm STILL here... my SparkJourney Saga


Words CAN Be Enough... page 3

Paleo... Do you really know what you're talking about?

Breakfast is Served! (RECIPES)

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • KNH771
    I always love your blogs... Congrats on the snow shoeing! Pictures are a great way to track your journey. Several years ago I had a "vision poster" and when I actually did some of those items it was such a great sense of accomplishment. You look like you had a great time as well!
    1897 days ago
    So great to have pictures for inspiration!

    I miss snowshoeing! Thanks for sharing your adventure!
    1911 days ago
    WoW! Thanks for the amazing pics too!

    1914 days ago
    as usual, I am overcome with such amazing emotion when I read your personal blogs. You are such a beautiful person and you have a beautiful family. You are amazing for persevering through it all to make your life beautiFULL!
    1914 days ago
  • _NONNIE02
    WOW! What a great, great adventure! I LOVE SNOWSHOEING!! You have come so far and I loved seeing all of your pictures (and your cute little face!!)

    Doesn't matter how long it takes, Ramona. 11 years ago I weighed 285. I am now 110 pounds lighter. My mantra is "Baby steps, Baby steps" and trusting God through each of those steps.

    Love you emoticon
    1914 days ago
  • BERRY4
    Thanks for sharing your amazing day! What a LOT of fun!

    Your daughter is so blessed to have a mom w/ vision & life running through her veins...because God has so blessed her! Yeah!

    1916 days ago
    Thanks for sharing your outdoor adventure and your journey.
    1918 days ago
  • JUNEAU2010
    Thanks for sharing the photos from your wonderful outing, the inspirational workout shots. I cannot wait to hear about the dragon festival and hear how the water stuff works out! I am a Norwegian with salt water in my veins (LOL!) but I cannot ski....
    1918 days ago
  • -LINDA_S
    Sounds like a magical outing! I really need to learn to do the photo thing! I'm probably nowhere near my true goal weight, but I'm lovin' my new "skinny" jeans and are taking them for a test drive tonight!

    1918 days ago
    Looks like a fun outing in a winter wonderland.
    1918 days ago
    You are so freaking amazing.
    1918 days ago
    Loved your story. Loved your accomplishments over adversity in the last few years. Congratulations. I also say thanks for the inspiration!
    1918 days ago
    emoticon thanks for the inspiration!!
    1918 days ago
    WONDERFUL ADVENTURE! emoticon emoticon
    1918 days ago
    Beautiful, happy, healthy faces emoticon emoticon The Ukrainian church was a perfect point to fulfill the snowshoe dream. emoticon
    Quality of life, with 10 being the highest score, was TEN!

    1918 days ago
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