Re-introduction to movement

Saturday I was re-introduced to movement.

Our TKD studio had a free workshop about movement and health.  It was a 2.5 hour workshop.  First, you must understand how much this TKD group has become a family, because only love for a family would draw me out in wind gusts up to 30 miles an hour and near white out conditions.  But out I went and move I did.

It started out with some yoga.  I am new to the world of yoga.  It is something that I have never fully investigated or had a place where I could take a class.  I have tried it on video and decided that I would only do it if no one else was home.  The cubs would have a hey day laughing at my chubby body contorting into those positions.  Imagine my discomfort when I realized that I was going to assume some of these poses in public!  So I tucked myself into a corner and got into the task of twisting myself into a mis-shaped pretzel who was unable to balance on one foot for longer than .3 seconds.

Next came an introduction to X-Fit.  This is a cross between punching at invisible people, kicking at them and then running from them in place in time to music in a particular order under the leadership of your instructor.  So far have you noticed that this could be a recipe for disaster for my uncoordinated, already out of breath from simple stretching in the yoga, self?  Well, other than being about 2 beats behind and doing things mostly backwards I actually held out pretty well.  I made everything as low as I could make it so I didn’t ratchet up my heart rate too much, but I kept up.  At least I did not crash into my neighbor who was doing a much better job of staying up with things than I was!

The day proceeded to core strengthening.  The instructor shows us some very valuable abdominal exercises that I can actually do and not feel like old surgical sites are tearing, or irritate my GERD.  The instructor was terrific except he forgot to tell us the breathing we are supposed to do, so for a lot of it I was turning blue.  Once I got the breathing down, though,  those exercises were amazingly effective.

The last part of the day was the final section of X-Fit.  We punched on  bags and then moved to the floor.  I did the bag work, but I passed on the floor work as my abs were already screaming with delight that they had been found again.

The final segment of the day was a cool down, a much shorter and faster yoga session.  I was able to do most of this as well.  Some of the moves were simply no possible for me to do with the extra mega weight around my middle, but I gave it the good old college try.   I wandered around the studio for a few minutes to make sure my rubbery lets would carry me out to the car, fell into it, and proceeded to drive home through mostly clear streets, though I ran into a few major drifts and a couple of white outs where the road went between fields.

It was fantastic to spend time with my “extended family” and share stories between panted breaths.

It was good to re-engage my long neglected muscles.

I really enjoyed feeling my blood surging through my body.

I went to bed feeling tone in my muscles.

Then I woke up…..

I will leave the amount of pain that coursed through my  body for the next 48 hours up to you imagination.

But even with pain in my legs (have yet to figure out why my hamstrings were so tight) and the tightness in my shoulders (hate that my shoulder has never regained full strength from surgery, even with PT and continued exercise), I hand mixed 2 loaves of bread and then kneaded the dough for 10 minutes on Sunday.  On Monday I got up and walked through the grocery with Baby Cub and lifted and toted the bags.   Tuesday is my day of nothing.  Then tomorrow I will drag out the exercise videos, close the blinds, make sure the Cubs are safely tucked in the office doing their school work and then once again partake in foolish looking exercises in my living room and continue what I started on Saturday!

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Here we go again…

We are now half way through January and there have been only a handful of days that have been pleasant enough to stick my nose out the door, let alone walk.  The result…I ain’t moving much.  Add to that a lovely case of Whooping Cough there are moments I feel like I am doing good to breathe.  That being said, those are just excuses.  I have not been active and that is my fault.  It is a mind set I need to get through.  I have been making hugs strides in my emotional well-being.  Now I need to keep that trend going by progressing in my physical well-being. 

That being said, here are some action steps I have taken….

1) I have joined the Presidential Fitness Challenge Group setup by the TKD school. 

2) I have set my first nutritional goal (drink more water instead of sugary drinks)

3) I am making the public statement that I am going to move continuously for 15 minutes today.  Tomorrow I am going to increase that to 20 (i have to bake some bread and my mixer is not working so I am going to be hand kneading – trust me that is a workout).  We will see how sore I am from that and move forward from there…..

I have my glass of water in front of me (I am on my 2nd 32oz glass).

I have no sodas in the house (sob)

I have only had one cup of slightly sweetened coffee today 

One Word

One Word

This year I put a lot of thought into what I want to do in 2014.

I do have some fitness goals, though I have not sat down and really determined how I am going to meet them….that will be in a future post.

I did think about what I want to do with this year on my other blog.  Please come on over and tell me what you think!

I have learned….

Tomorrow will be the one year anniversary of the death of my father.

He was and will always be a lot of things to me.

He was my hero.

He was the first man I fell in love with and wanted to marry (he informed me he was already taken, but would always love me)

He was the man who understood me, often times better than I understood myself.

He was the person I went to for advice with all sorts of issues – personal and professional.

He was gentle.

He was kind.

He was fair.

He understood people in ways I can only dream, and usually his understanding was within minutes of meeting them.

He was quiet, until he did not want to be.

He a laugh as big as the sky.  It was a laugh that make you smile because it was just so full of joy.

He had blue eyes that could be cold when he was in his cop mode, but more often were twinkling with his latest practical joke or love.

His hugs were strong and long.

 

I miss him. I miss him a lot.

I miss all those things I wrote about.  But I just miss his presence in the world.  One of the biggest feelings I had those first few weeks after his death was anger and disbelief that the world did not realize what was gone.  The world should have stopped, even if only for a day, an hour, to mourn a man who impacted so many people.

 

There are parts of this past year that I don’t even remember.  I feel like I have lost time. I was wading through a muddy fog that sucked at my legs and blocked my vision of everything around me. There were times I would get angry with myself because I could not “just get over it”.  Sometimes I would feel so overwhelmed by the rawness of my emotions that I felt as if someone was pouring salt and sand on blistered feet and forcing me to walk miles without end.

 

As the year progressed I would forget for a moment what I had lost.  I could see a break in the fog.  I could laugh and joke.  I could sing and play games with the Cubs.  And I knew that is what he would want me to do.  He would not want me to wallow in grief.  He would be angry that I had lost even one precious moment with my Cubs and with Papa Bear.  This was the man who always told me “I did not make much money when I was in this world, so you better have a cash  bar over my coffin so that you can make some money off me once I am dead”.  He called his 8 year battle with cancer “just a bump in the road”.  Those are things that he would want me to remember and cherish.

 

As 2013 ended and I contemplated this upcoming anniversary and the beginning of a new year I knew I had some choices to make.  Before I could make those choices, though, I needed to reflect on what I had learned this past year.

 

I learned that grief can be so overwhelming that it almost becomes a physical entity.

I learned that there are people who truly love me for me and are willing to sit by my side (physically, in cyber space and on the phone) and pass me tissues as I cry.

I learned I could cry and laugh at the same time.

I learned that no amount of preparation can reduce the pain of loss.

I learned that grief is definitely not a straight path.

I learned to be vulnerable.

I learned there is strength in vulnerability.

I learned that even in the midst of the deepest sadness God is there, waiting with open arms.

Still Struggling

I have taken a long hiatus from  blogging.  Part of it is because I have been trying to stay focused on the important people in my life and spending time with them.  The other part is because I don’t want to sound like a broken record.  I am still grieving.  I am still hurting.  I am still struggling to find that “new normal”.   I realize that it has not been a year yet, and because of that I am trying really hard to cut myself some slack.  But there are times that the fog still makes it hard to move forward.

We are in the middle of Advent, the time of preparation for Christmas.  I am terrified of that holiday this year.  Honestly, I have been scared since Thanksgiving.  This has always been my favorite time of the year.  I love everything about it – the decorations, the music, the specials on TV, the family traditions.  One tradition was that Dad and I always went out on a “booming around” day.   It was a shopping day where it was just the 2 of us (until the Cubs came along and then they came with us) and we went shopping for mom and whoever it was I needed to buy a special present for (boyfriends as I was growing up and then gifts for Papa Bear as we started dating and throughout our married life).    The day would always include Dad taking me out for lunch.  As I got older the day became more about the lunch and the conversations we shared than about the actual shopping.  When I graduated from Nursing School and started working he would pull out his date book on Thanksgiving weekend and say “we need to plan when we can do our day”.   We always aimed for weekdays since the stores would be less busy.   Until I was in my late teens the man had me convinced that he did not know how to wrap a gift, so I always wrapped the gifts for him after we got home from shopping.  Once I was living on my own I would always have a big pot of chili waiting for us so we could warm up while I wrapped.   This will be the first year in 46 years that we have missed a shopping day.   I have tried to think of so many ways to “honor” that tradition and create a new one.  I have yet to come up with one that feels right.  I thought about doing a spa day, but money and scheduling just did not work out.  I have tried to think of other ways….go out with the Cubs for a shopping day,  make it a family day of shopping, do some sort of service project with the family.  Nothing has worked out from a scheduling standpoint, and honestly, nothing has worked out from a feeling “right” standpoint either.

But this is just one of the things that have changed.  There are some not so great memories of last year’s Christmas that I have to work through.  Mom and dad usually came up to decorate our tree with us, but last year dad did not feel good enough for long enough to come up, so our tree did not even get decorated until 2 days before Christmas.  I am not even in the mood to decorate the tree this year.   After Christmas Eve Mass last year is when dad took a very bad turn for the worse and they had to leave our home in the wee hours of Christmas Morning while the cubs were still asleep.  It was the 1st Christmas morning that the Cubs did not spend with my parents.

During this precious time of the year I am just sitting in a low spot.  I know I have to work through the pain.  I know that have to just survive until the healing starts to occur.  I know that eventually there will be a “new normal”.  But right now, at this moment, it hurts.  And I want things to “old normal” again.  But normal would mean he would be in pain again.  Normal would mean that the loss was still going to occur.   Neither of those things would I want for him or my family.   But that does not stop what I am feeling right now, at this moment.   All I do right now is to cry out to the only one who knows completely about my pain and hang on to the faith that has been given to me.

Thankful for Pinterest (day 8)

This may sound like a really weird to be thankful for, but it has saved me a lot of money, and allowed me to enjoy crafting and cooking things for my family that I would never have tried otherwise. While my grocery bill has increased, our eating out has decreased and our time together in the kitchen and around the table has increased.  The Cubs are learning how to plan and prepare meals.  I am getting patterns for things that I love to do like knit and crochet.  I have come up with fun crafts for us to do.

So while it may be something that is not a traditional thankful topic, it has really enriched our family.

Thankful for a partnership (Day 7)

Today I am thankful that I have a husband with whom I can sit down and discuss and work through issues.  We have had a really rough week.  Tonight we sat down together and discussed what had been bothering us and how to fix it in the future.  While any discussion about emotional issues can be stressful, we were able to work things through peacefully and come through it even stronger.  I am so thankful for the man that God gave me for my husband.