Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Power of Music

Music has always played an important part in my life and I have always found the right music to fit my mood really helps the situation.  Now that I see how much my son loves music it reminds me what a big part of my life music has been.

The soundtrack of my life: It lifts me up when I'm down, makes that last mile just a little bit easier, energizes me when I'm lethargic, helps me concentrate when studying, brings a smile to my face when a song makes me reminisce and so much more!

Here's a very basic timeline:

5 yrs old -  my mom put my brother and I in piano lessons, I loved music so much but unfortunately did not have a good ear.  My brother on the other hand could listen to a song on the radio then figure out how to play it on the piano

10 yrs old - I begged my mom to put me in voice lessons.  I loved acting and I loved singing and I loved musicals so of course I wanted to be in one.  The poor instructor had to pull my mom aside and tell her that I just wasn't meant to sing.  Now don't feel sorry for me this was and is a very true statement.

11 - They tried to give me a solo in the school play and even worked with me one on one until it was decided it was best that I sing it with a group and they relegated me to be Mary and trust me that was hilarious because Mary should not look disgruntled and try to push the 3 wise men off the stage for teasing her.

12 - I discovered pop music and I would blast New Kids on the Block, Tiffany, Debbie Gibson and Power 102 as loud as possible.  We had very thin walls so I must have the most patient parents in the world.  I also new all the songs to Grease and would try and force my brother to act it out with me.  Believe it or not there were only 2 people in my class that liked NKOB and I stood up at one point and yelled at everyone telling them what a good band they were and that they were all idiots for not understanding!

14 - 15 - I discovered that in my brothers room you could pick up a rock station that I couldn't get in my room and found that blasting heavy rock was much more satisfying when I was angry and wanted to make a point.  Again very patient parents.

Middle & High School - I played 1st chair flute but had to have a tuner with me at all times to know if I was flat or sharp while everyone else just knew.  I worked very hard at practicing anytime I had a solo because I was determined to keep it but again this did not come naturally to me.

My mom and I at our last concert.
College years - I really got into Punk music and not only felt I could really relate but thought Hey I finally found a type of music I could sing.  I could be in a band and the distortion would cover up my vocals and heck bad vocals were in style.  That dream never came true either.

I also conducted an experiment for one of my college courses trying to determine with a timer, a heart rate monitor and a walkman if music increased heart rate and or improved run time.

I've gone to more concerts than I can count ranging from 1 country concert only because I won tickets, Juanes, Ricky Martin, Rancid, Blink 182, Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, Sugar Ray, Green Day, Staind, Beck, Santana, Tom Petty, Cake, I could go on forever.  And more off Broadway musicals than I can count.

My brother on the other hand has been in several bands yes including a punk band and knows how to play the piano, trumpet, drums, guitar etc.

Adulthood - I use to only exercise while listening to music then I discovered longer distances and found that I had to run sans music.  I only listen to music now if I'm lifting weights or running an easy 3 miles.  Does music help you with your workouts?

That face!
My son plays air guitar to Santana and lip syncs to several lyrics on the Santana Pandora station thanks to my mom.  He goes and grabs an old guitar I have in my room and pretends to play while the music plays on the radio.  Is the only one dancing on the dance floor when we went to a charity event and there was a band playing.  Starts dancing to a song and can't figure out if it's rock or salsa so goes back and forth between head banging and shaking his hips.  And best of all CONSTANTLY is asking for DANCE Breaks.  The three of us have been known to stop cooking and cleaning and hold hands and jump around.

He has reminded me how much I love music and has shown me the magic of it again as his face lights up every time I turn on the radio.  I'm taking him to his first concert in December, Alvin and the Chipmunks! :-)  May music bring as much joy to my son as it has to me.

Here's a little video of my son's dancing and flirting skills:

Happy Thanksgiving!!  Happy Training!!!!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Time keeps on ticking...

I am finally on the upward slope of this stinkin' illness.  I started to get sick last weekend and instead of resting up I did back to back 5ks but then I was out for the whole week and barely started feeling better now getting my first workout in today in 7 days!!!  But somehow I still did a lot, besides blog, in the time.  Time can't stop for me to get sick!  It's like those commercials with the mom or dad knocking on the door saying "I'm going to need to take a sick day" and then you just see the little kid looking back at them blankly!  I don't have time for sick days! My poor son was sick first and he just barely felt better today!   You can see my different stages of grief as I went through it.  First was denial, I'm not really getting sick it's just a sore throat that will pass in a couple of days (did 5ks anyway), Oh man I feel like crap I better take a couple of rest days, anger I can't miss more work I'm falling behind!  Acceptance I'll just be sick for the rest of my life I'm done working out I'm done caring that there's a mouse in the house leaving mouse turd bombs all over!  Now I suppose I'm just dusting off and trying to get myself together.

When you're sick do you just keep going as if nothings wrong?  Or do you stop everything and take time to recover and recuperate?   What's your favorite home remedy?  I always take EmergenC whether or not it works I figure at least it makes me take in more liquids, hubs makes fun of me for this!

So sick and all here's what I was still up to:

 Halloween fun, he didn't really know what to do watching everyone in costume, he was kind of quite for it all until we left then he broke loose!
 Timing the First Responder's 5k (Puker #1, As I tried to rip his bib number off I could hear it coming so I moved.  Then had to yell to a volunteer I still need the pukers number!!  Go find the puker!!)

 Cooking class!  Parboiling, blanching and steaming Queen!  But please stop asking me to evenly cut stuff, I mean come on broccoli isn't naturally symmetrical!!

 Halloween and retirement parties.

 Great Pumpkin Chase 5k pushing the stroller.  Wonder Woman and superman!  Took it easy since I was running with the stroller and sick, 30 minutes.

 Meeting up with an old friend to go to a wedding.

 Helping grandma celebrate her birthday!!

Oh yeah and work, mouse hunting, timing a second 5k where I had 2 pukers, Dr. Visits and now trying to get back on track with my workouts and planning our own 5k that we're going to put on!  Ready for Festivus 5k for the Rest of Us!!!


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Balloon Chasers Fun Run

Last weekend I ran in a 4 mile off road fun run and guess what I had fun! So it lived up to it's name.  I entered because they sent me a last minute email saying I'd get $5 off since I had been in their spring fling tri and I thought why not "All proceeds provide better education, research, teaching, and scholarship opportunities for students involved in Sport Administration to ensure a happier and healthier tomorrow."  How could I say no to that!   I have been in desperate need of some motivation and what better way to get motivated then getting your butt kicked at a race.  I placed 2nd F OA but it was a VERY SMALL race but I'll take what I can get! ;-) I finished the 4 miles in 35 minutes, even with stopping to give my son a high 5 on lap 2.  Which I was super happy with considering how out of shape I feel.  I almost puked on the second loop on the hilly part but I pushed on.  Even though the second loop was 1 minute slower than the first I was just happy I didn't have to walk.  Hubs and son did one loop on their own walking and we got to see some balloons go up.

Work has me really depressed and stressed so any family fun time and run time I can get in I consider a win.  I have another 5k in a couple of weeks this one benefiting the department my husband is in at the University.  So I guess my workouts have come down to any race I happen to enter!!!  No really I will get back on track ASAP!  I'm eating a banana as we speak and am planning my workout for tonight.  I get to go on a quick 4 day trip to Colorado this weekend with the fam to see my best friend so today is my Friday and I am determined to come back refreshed.

Oh yeah and I'm taking an online Forks Over Knives cooking class as if I needed something else to do!  The first lesson I had to "reset" my pantry and refrigerator.  For me this mean cleaning and organizing.  They wanted you to get rid of all processed foods so I may have blamed the ones left on my husband......

Happy Friday!!!  Happy Training!!

That laugh!  This is why I do what I do...

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

To my son:

Stress is at an all time high and I haven't been working out as I would like but I have been taking the time to watch my son grow and know that with time the stress will dissipate and my love for my son will not.  I have a 4 mile fun run that not only am I not trained up for I even forgot it was this weekend until my husband mentioned it to me.  But instead of freaking out I just asked him if he would mind taking my son along to see me run.  I want him to know that his mom will always give her all even if it's not perfect.  I may be inching away from my goal of meeting race weight for next season instead of towards it but that is not adding to my stress.  I will put that goal in it's place and wait until the timing is right.  I wrote a letter to my son right before his birthday not sure where it came from but I know that for now this is where my focus is:

To my son:

As your second birthday approaches I am proud and sentimental.  Every evening as I cradle you in my arms to help you brush your teeth I look at your curious and kind eyes and become a little sentimental.  I fight back the tears I feel welling up and smile at you.  I think about how I cradled you for most of your first year and how good it feels to provide you comfort, protection and joy.  As you passed through your second year, your head gradually lifted from my arms as you became more independent and eager to explore the world.  With each bounding step and curious point and ohhh and ahhh your head found my arms less and less.   As we sit on the month of your second anniversary of life the only time I get to cradle you is while I brush your teeth.  A simple daily chore to you, a treasured opportunity for me.  I cherish these moments and soak them in and am so happy that you let me help you with brushing your teeth because without those moments I would no longer have the chance to cradle you.  Even then as I see your bouncing legs spill over my lap I know that this too will soon fade as you will get too big to cradle and you will be brushing your teeth completely on your own.  My love for you knows no boundaries and I am amazed daily by the capacity of one’s heart to grow, every time I think my heart might burst because of all the love I have for you it grows a little more.  So as I open up my cradled arms to let you spread your wings and fly like a butterfly coming out of its cocoon I hope you know that if you look back and see a tear slide down my cheek it is not out of sadness but out of overwhelming joy, never ending love, insurmountable pride and simple contentment. 

I have lived a very full life and am very lucky that you have come along to continue on this journey with me.  I have no regrets and strive to learn from my mistakes and hope to pass along what you may find helpful so that you may feel this kind of joy in your life as you explore the world and make the best of what you have.  I hope to show you that to be loved is also to give love and that to be kind to this earth we inhabit and all those who try to have their small piece on it as well will enrich your life more than any material item ever will.  To be part of a community and take action for what you believe.  To not ever be scared of what others may think as long as you know that your heart is always in the right place.  To analyze and question with an open mind and never go along with the status quo just because but for when you do it’s because it’s what your heart and mind tell you is right.    It’s ok to be different it’s ok to be the same.  I am not perfect and I will get angry or sad and make mistakes but will always, always love you and come back to that for strength.  If I can only be that strength for you, then I will feel I’ve been the mother you deserve.  

Tuesday, September 15, 2015


Conflict.  Yes I said it conflict.  Doesn't it seem like every time you say that word it gets harsher? Conflict surrounds so many parts of our lives and we tend to view it as having a negative connotation.  But can it be positive and help us grow?  I am in the business of conflict or the resolution of it, yet I still don't understand where it comes from in most cases.  I have conflict in my personal life.  Kind of as a break away from my last post about perfectionism, I have daily battles with the conflict that arises from my perception of how things "should be" and how they really are.  But if I could just figure out how to PAUSE then conflict wouldn't be an issue.  During a work luncheon today the speaker proposed a very simplistic approach to conflict but it makes a lot of sense we just don't take the time to think about it.  I personally know most of my actions that I take due to a perceived conflict tend to be knee jerk reactions and if I would just pause for a minute my reaction may very well differ and potentially have more favorable results.  But his main point was conflict starts within us before we ever have that conversation with someone else.  We have our own "world" and our own perceptions therefore conflict starts with us before even adding someone else into the mix. 

He asked don't we all have that one thing that sets us off?  The one I volunteered is "the poor me syndrome" if anyone comes off as having that attitude as if everything is always happening TO them and nothing is ever their fault and woe is me life is so unfair it irks me.  But do I ever pause to think where they are coming from?  Of coure to avoid those knee jerk reactions we have to practice, practice, practice.  For me I have to really practice the pause.  Instead of hitting reply and angrily sending off an email 2 seconds after receiving it or instead of drastically changing my entire training plan because of one little hiccup if I would just pause I think my results would be much different. 

Conflict can arise from diversity and from change and those things can be very inspiring and energizing.  I'm an all or nothing kind of person and I'm an action item addict.  What can I do right now to make things happen?  But sometimes looking down the road a little bit further would be very helpful.  I accomplished only some of my goals this last training season and I often backed out of races because I knew I wasn't going to get my ideal training in.  But if I changed my world a little my results may make me happier.  Maybe I wouldn't have been able to finish as strong as I wanted but I would have been able to participate in more races and hang out with my friends that inspire me to do more and do better.  If I can't do that long bike ride out on the road then I guess I need to get on the trainer and make the best of it.  If I'm too tired to get that sprint training in on the track at night maybe a quick jog around the neighborhood instead wouldn't be the end of the world.

We both got new running shoes!
My new favorite hat, race swag.
This weekend I was able to go for a run, a bike ride, and even test out some new bikes.  I was able to have some quality family time and enjoy my weekend.  That's what sticks with me.  Not the fact that my son was a little sleep deprived on Sat. and was extra cranky with me most of the day.  Because that Sunday he was a ray of sunshine and made up for any of the headaches he gave me the day before.  This last week I really worked hard and got some quality work outs in even though I wasn't training for anything other than life.  Today I had to skip my lunch workout due to this meeting and I'm already thinking to myself there's no way I'm going to get out there on the track after 7pm on a full stomach and do those sprints, who am I kidding thinking I should look for a half marathon to train for.  But instead I'm going to say you know what I may or may not make it to the track, I may or may not find a half marathon to train for this fall.  But I'm going to pause and instead of all or nothing if I don't get out on the track I'm going to do some sort of run somehow.  Even if it's just a mile with the dog.  I'm going to breathe some fresh air and leave
Our post ride selfie he's always so happy to see me when I get home!
This kid loves chips and salsa just like his moma!
work behind and forget about the mess in the kitchen.

Happy Training!