Category Archives: Fitness

A Perfect Weekend

I try not to let my anticipation get the better of me. It’s been my habit to keep my expectations down so it was a little worrisome how much I was looking forward to this past weekend.  What if it wasn’t up to snuff?

I got up early on Saturday and went to Great Harvest Bakery for three-cheese bread and monster cookies. Gym and then coffee and some reading until it was time for a stamping workshop.  Then some serious yardwork, doing clean up all along the south side of the house and the front with YA.  Chinese take-out for dinner.

More sleeping in on Sunday, Brueggers for heart-shaped bagels, gym and then once home, made peanut butter cheesecake brownies while watching James Bond. Then more yard clean up and the planting of the bales and flower baskets.  More time with YA.  Then a funny card and cookbook from YA for Mother’s Day.

In between all this, some assorted chores also got done and now I’m reading while I wait for Colombo to come on at 7.   I can’t think of what could be added to make a more perfect weekend, although it would be nice to not have all scratches on my arms from cutting back the raspberry canes or the splinter in my finger that I haven’t been able to get at yet.

What would be your favorite weekend? (Two days only however money and physics are no object!)

Keto!

I have two friends who have gone Keto, one almost a year ago and one this past January. Since these are friends that I occasionally cook for, I’ve looked into the diet and worked on some recipes.  Keto doesn’t appear to be much different from its low/no carb predecessors; you eat a lot of high fat, high protein and basically no carbs (fruit, grains, sugars).  Inuits and Masai have been doing it forever.  But both of my friends swear by this diet and the friend who has been doing this for over a year has lost a lot of weight and says he has a ton more energy.

So while I have been investigating Keto, I haven’t seriously considered trying it out. I haven’t had much luck in adopting diets where whole swaths of food have been eliminated.  Most folks say that once you make it through the first couple of hard months, deprivation gets easier, but I’ve never found that to be the case.

Yesterday as I was coming out of the hardware store, the strong aroma of garlic bread wafted out of the restaurant next door. It made my eyes tear up and my mouth water;y very first thought was “I can never do Keto.”

You are stuck on a deserted island with just two foods, what are they?

I’m Melting!

For most of my life I have felt too tall. I reached 5’9″ in Grade 6.  I felt like a giantess, even though I was one of the shorter women in my extended family. My mother was 5’11 and her mother was 6 feet tall.

Husband and I remodeled our kitchen about 15 years ago, and the contractor was concerned when we replaced the soffits with cupboards extending to the ceiling that it might detract from selling the house in the future.  “Not everyone is as tall as you and your husband” he warned. “Some people could have trouble reaching those top shelves”.

Well, “some people” now includes me. I am 1.5 inches shorter than I was 15 years ago and the top shelves are a real stretch.  For the first time I regret losing some of my height.  That inch and a half has made quite a difference in my reach. My doctor isn’t too concerned. I have a good diet rich in calcium.  I get exercise. I often call on husband to get down the things I need. I make good use of tongs and grabbers. I haven’t yet resorted to a kitchen stool.  For some reason, a Joni Mitchell song keeps going through my head whenever I have to get something down from the top shelves in the kitchen:

What didn’t you know you had until it was gone? Ever done a remodel you regretted? What is your favorite Joni Mitchell song?

Up Up & Away

Found this video clip online today. Apparently this took place a few days ago, in celebration of the last super moon of 2019.  I’m pretty sure I would have thought it was a meteor or meteoroid (apparently there is a serious difference in the scientific world) if I had seen it live.  Glad to know the police had been forewarned.

But seriously, jump out of a helicopter at 4,000 feet? Obviously the jumpers could breathe at this altitude, since Mount Everest is a lot higher, but still….jump out of a helicopter at 4,000 feet?  Gives me the wilies.

I’ve done two really scary things in my life. Both of them within 3 days of each other.  When YA was just a year old, I was offered the trip of a lifetime to Kenya and Tanzania.  We started in Nairobi and traveled around for 8 days, staying at a different lodge every night.  We had early morning and late afternoon safari runs, entertainment and massive amounts of great food.

I knew prior to the trip that an option hot-air balloon ride would be offered and I convinced my boss that I should be allowed to expense it. If you had asked me before this if I would EVER get in a hot air balloon, the answer would have been an unequivocal “no”.  When faced with this option however, I couldn’t get past the idea that I would be sorry to let an opportunity like this pass me by.  I was correct – it was fabulous and nothing like I expected.  We even had a wonderful breakfast cooked for us in the bush after we came down, complete with champagne.

Two days later, the group met a pilot who was doing open-air biplane tourist flights around Mount Kenya. He came and spoke to our group at a cocktail reception and at the end of his talk, he mentioned that the group leader had said there would be time for one flight in the morning before we left; was anyone interested?  I had my hand up so fast that I almost pulled my arm out of my socket.  Again – fabulous, complete with leather jackets and silk scarves and Out of Africa music playing in our headphones. I felt like Dennis Finch Hatton.

So I’ve overcome my fear twice for experiences that were over the top. But I’m still fairly sure no one will ever convince me to bungee jump.  Or fling myself out of a helicopter at 4,000 feet.

What scary things have you done?

Attention Span

While I was standing next to my car last week, filling up the tank, I realized that the screen embedded in the fueling station didn’t just have some pop-up ads showing but an actual video stream of a basketball game. TV.

At my gym, there is a speaker OUTSIDE that plays music as you are approaching/departing the building. Equipment like bikes and treadmills all have individual tv screens and for the weight-lifting machine there are big screens hanging from the ceiling.  There is even a TV in the locker room.  In most airports you can’t find a space that doesn’t have something blaring at you. With everyone glued to their phones these days, it seems a waste of electricity.

It made me think that we have become a society with such a limited attention span that we need 24/7 entertainment. There are several folks here at my office who use earbuds all the time – even when they are away from their desks and I often see people walking along, looking like they are talking to themselves, but of course they are on their phones.

In college I had a professor who had memorized all of Paradise Lost by John Milton.  Today he’d have it downloaded to his phone so he could access it whenever he wanted!

What the largest thing you have memorized?

February Adventure

Today’s post comes from cynthiainmahtowa.

The First of February 2018 was a beautiful, sunny, crispy -10 F day. There was enough snow to snowshoe and I hadn’t been in the woods since I couldn’t remember when…years before my hip surgery. It was a Thursday, and Sunday afternoon our book club was meeting at my house to discuss “A River Runs Through It” by Norman McLean. As our group often does off- book things like skiing, hiking, canoeing, I thought it would be fun for people to ski or snowshoe down the Moose Horn River that meanders through my land.

But first to check it out.  Friend Daina and her Corgi, Jack, were willing to go through the woods, to the marsh and over the river with me. When we got to the marsh, however, Daina was afraid Jack would go through the ice and not be able to get out so she decided to take him home. I decided to travel on.

When I got to the river, I ventured on to the ice for about half a dozen steps when the ice gave out under me.  Suddenly, I was up to my armpits in ice-cold water. I don’t know how deep it was, my metal and rubber snowshoes wouldn’t let me get my feet under me.  Alas, I thought, “This is how I die.”

Though somehow I must not have believed that because I was hanging on to my Icelandic wool hat that I love and was NOT going to let it go! After a brief struggle, I floated myself over to the side of the river where there appeared to be a solid snow covered something. When I got to the embankment I saw a block of ice below me that I managed to get my snowshoes on.  With my one pole (I had hiking poles with me) I managed to pull myself back onto the ice, get standing up, pick up my other pole that I had left on top of the ice and headed back home.

Fortunately, I had on my polyester down parka and nylon ski pants. So I was not weighted down with water-soaked clothing. The worst was the water in my boots. I figured if I kept moving as fast as I could, I wouldn’t succumb to hypothermia. I was about 15 minutes through the woods and up the pasture from the house. At the power easement I considered going back on the road so someone would see me, but it was farther and open and the wind was bitter.

With some difficulty I got myself over the wire fencing and into the pasture. Halfway to the house, I saw Daina coming down to meet me. She, being brilliant in emergencies – and having experienced her husband’s hypothermia a few years ago – took over. She helped me into the house, out of my Sorel-like boots of man-made materials with frozen laces, my wet clothes and into the shower…then into bed with three or four layers of blankets, mugs of hot tea, chicken soup and liquid jello.

I never shivered, though in bed it felt like my deep core wanted to shake. But the adrenalin was coursing through my body the rest of the day and I was fully warmed up in time to feed my animals that evening…and before the day was over I cleaned and re-organized my cupboard of mugs.

I don’t know what the experience has done to my psyche, but looking back there seems to be a sense of appreciation and direction and confidence and generosity that I didn’t have before.

And when I got kicked in the thigh by Derby Horse the following Friday, the resulting hematoma didn’t seem like much of a big deal.

What was your scariest “adventure”?

Storming the Bastille

I have had problems with insomnia since I was a child.  My current sleep pattern is to fall asleep easily, then wake up at about 3:00 am and not get to back to sleep until just before my alarm goes off at 6:30.

I know all the “sleep hygiene” and cognitive tricks for good sleep, but they often don’t work for me. I was gratified to read a recent New Yorker article on insomnia which described insomniacs’ cortisol levels  as so high as to look as though they are getting ready to storm the Bastille.

I know that anxiety and worry trigger the sympathetic nervous system to pump out high levels of chemicals which hinder sleep.  My anxiety and worry are all work related,  and I am hopeful that they will reduce over the next couple of weeks.  Until then, I think I will see if memorizing the lyrics to the Marseilles and repeating them over and over when I wake up at 3:00 will lull me to sleep once more.

How do you deal with insomnia? What puts you to sleep? What keeps you awake?