Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Day Two

I have begun myself to a 28-day challenge. My goal is to gain consistency in my training and create an environment of activity, while learning to adjust to my new work schedule. Early mornings late nights can lead to laziness and poor eating habits.

Yesterday, I swam 500 yards. I stopped because I felt bored.

Today, I did an awesome dynamic warm-up with skipping, side shuffles, back-pedals, med ball and mini-band work, and a run. I have not run in two weeks. I felt ok. Slow. But ok.

Did I mention I am participating in a race on Sunday???

My running has been sketchy because of my new schedule backed on this cold that I struggled to shake.

Alas, my training has resumed. Day two is complete. Off to eat some veggies, and sleep.

BTW, do you remember when 6.30pm was early? I struggle with the darkness like midnight at this time of year.


The Perfect Storm

I just finished reading The Perfect Storm, by Sebastian Junger.

As a transplant to New England, the storms that ravaged the eastern seaboard affected me differently, than those who lived through the events of this storm. It was eye opening to me, to learn more about the risks and hardships involved with commercial fishing.

Junger does a great job in presentation of the events surrounding the loss of the Andrea Gail, the ship lost at sea and its six crewman. He also exposes the not so glamorous life of a commercial fisherman, and the hardships e cured by those involved by those involved in this livelihood.

For me, I found that the descriptions of the towns (which are now in my backyard) that rely on commercial fishing, very realistic. It was once a story, but now resounds as an event that is close to home. As a write this, I learned of a another family that lost a son at sea from fishing. Since moving to a coastal town, my appreciation for the sea and the secrets she holds has grown, and changed. I have always respected and loved the ocean, but now the respect has deepened.




Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from Me! With the arrival of 2015, I have reflected on my lack of commitment to myself in the last several months of last year. I have been overwhelmed with several changes, and my crazy work schedule-- which has resulted in many hours on my bottom, and fewer hours training.

In that, I am determined to make a BANG out of 2015. I am dreaming big!!!!!

My word for this year is LEAP! I look forward to the challenge and stepping forward to create new adventures and seizing the challenges ahead.

My current fitness goals include:

Swimming to Boston (26.2miles, or 42165meters) before the Boston Marathon.

I also want to row this distance.


I am taking my focus away from the vision in the mirror and focusing on loving life and who I am. In this, I trust my attitude toward eating and training will change. I am making the commitment to me. While I sit on my bottom for work, I still MUST be fit and healthy for the work I do. Sometimes, it seems counter-intuitive.

And alas, as I write this I am looking at the clock thinking I have to leave for work soon. My day in pajamas has come to an end.


When is my next day off?


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Be Still

I was challenged last night to 'Be Still' and meditate or rest for five minutes a day this week,

and then continue through the month.

Five minutes of sitting still, being quiet and listening to God.

'Be still and know I am God'.


Five minutes is 300 seconds, is the time I can cover close to 3/4 of a mile (well, over half on a slow day). Five minutes is how long it takes to swim nearly 500 yards, and bike a little over a mile. And you want me to be still for five minutes.


Honestly, I am not certain I can sit still that long. The phone, the cats, all those things I am reminded I need to do..... The thoughts come running in my head.... For five whole minutes.


'Be still and know that I am God'


I was reminded of a segment in the book, Eat, Pray, Love where the other describes her first day of meditation in India. She was all set to meditate through this one prayer, and she opens her eyes and only one minute has gone by.

I totally can relate to the dilemma. How can I sit still for five whole minutes, when my boys are climbing on me, scampering across the apartment and...... And...... And.


Funny. This morning. As I sat, and focused on nothing specific. Just to be still. Just to listen. The apartment became silent. My phone. Was on vibrate in the other room, so I could not hear it. The boys curled up at my feet. The only sounds were the regular noises of the world outside. Inside it was still, and I felt the presence of God, and I felt safe, secure, peace and rest.

'Be still and know that I am God.'


I challenge you to take five minutes of your day this week, and be still. Take a break from the madness.


Friday, September 26, 2014

The newest member of the tribe

This is Jasper, the newest member of my tribe.

Adopted at the end of the summer, he has already captured my heart and terrorized the others, and given us a scare with a blockage. Poor guy has had surgery.

I love how the other boys have accepted him, and the bond he has with Nanuk.



Friday, September 5, 2014

Running Pain-Free

The last three days, I have run. And I have run pain free. No feet issues, or back or hamstring! For that matter. The run has been happy, well that might be a stretch...... It has been PAIN Free!

For the first time since my hamstring tear, I feel I can really push myself. It has taken two (plus) years to get to this point. I was not willing to give up the run, so I spent time on squats, lunges and other activities, skipping, jumping and hopping, rowing, swimming and cycling. I feel like I can finally chase down some of the goals that have been dancing in front of me.


And in that....... I looked somewhat critically of myself in the photo above. And then I exhaled.

One step at a time, one day at a time.... I will reach 165. That is the biggest goal.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

28-Day Challenge

Because this summer has provided for a lot of work, and swimming, kayaking and walks on the beach, I have absorbed the laziness of summer. My training has been somewhat ineffective. It is my goal to use the next 28-days to lay a foundation for training. I have some big goals coming in the next two years, and I want to be prepared.


It seems fitting that yesterday, the challenge commenced with a handful of chocolate chips, and ended with a bowl of Brussels sprouts. I ran to the beach to swim and walked home.

With my birthday on Friday, I am seizing the opportunity to,give myself the gift of health. This was truly my last *fat* summer.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

I ate meat!

I am now in Day Three of a 28-Day challenge, for animal product free diet.

I do this periodically, as I start to feel yucky from consuming too much meat. Personally, I feel better when I eat lots of fruits and vegetables and view the animal products as a garnish, and not the main event.

I am not opposed to eating meat, I just feel better when I eat less.

Yes, I get lots of protein and yes I get plenty of calories. BTW, In general we eat too much protein.


With that said, I had a little bit of duck, a piece of shrimp and a skewered piece of beef yesterday at a celebration with friends. I did not over eat and was satisfied with the taste of the meat. Today, I resumed my eating style with a bowl of fresh pineapple.

I feel wonderful!!!!!!


*I am reading My Beef With Meat, by Rip Esselstyn. Rip is a firefighter and a multi-sport athlete.


My challenge premised from his suggestion for a 28-day challenge, and the fact that. I have felt like I am in a slump. Trying to shake things up a bit, and make positive changes.


New England Kids Triathlon

The New England Kids Triathlon needs volunteers this weekend!

Visit My professional blog, for more information and details. Yes, the date is this Sunday!!!

This is a great event and a lot of fun!!!!




Sunday, May 18, 2014

Lifeguarding a TRI

Yesterday, I ventured out to Nickerson State Park, to lifeguard the Gut Check Tri. It was rainy, cold and windy. What an awesome day for a race! My first task was to place the buoys on the water at the markers.


These buoys are HUGE! And all I had was a kayak.
So, I am dragging, pulling, pushing the buoy to the marker through the wind on the lake. Needless to say, it was an exercise in futility. I managed to attach one buoy to its marker. JUST ONE! The smaller one was blown off shore. I retrieved it and then kept getting blown further and further out on the lake as I was attempting to attach it to the marker. I gave up when it was blown off my kayak and almost caused me to capsize! The third was blown off shore and was carried to the other side of the lake. And then the ONLY buoy that was attached to the marker pulled the weighted marker with it as it was blown across the lake.
Needless to say, the route plan was changed.
I love kayaking. It requires upper body strength, the ability to catch the water and paddle it. There are times, the catch isn't right and I am just moving my paddle. If the stroke is too deep or too shallow, it is ineffective, and useless.
After kayaking, my hip flexors are sore from stabilizing and my core feels like it has worked. Additionally, all those muscles involved in a pull, are also reminding me of the work they did. Yesterday was no different.
Today, I feel like I am fighting a cold from being in the cold and rain. I trust tomorrow I will be back in the swing of things.
Next year, I hope to compete in this race.


Thirty Years As a Lifeguard

Yesterday, I was doing some reflecting and I realized that I have been an active lifeguard for 30 years.


I remember getting a phone call from Tuscarora Inn, informing me that if I was to acquire my lifeguard certification (back then it was still Advanced Lifesaving), they would love to have me work as their lifeguard that summer. And so, the summer of my junior year of high school, I worked in the Delaware River Valley.

I learned a great deal that summer, about people, life and more about people. It was definitely a defining summer. In that, I gained a great deal........

AND by being encouraged to pursue this certification I laid the foundation for a future in aquatics and coaching and teaching.



-- I have served as lifeguard on various beaches, waterfronts, pools, and have guarded a variety of events including triathlons, open-water swims, and a movie shoot.

-- I am able to train lifeguards. (Yup, earned a different certification).

-- I improved my swimming skills and strength. Prior, I had little interest in lap swimming.

-- I currently serve as the Open Water Sanctions Chair for the New England Chapter of US Master's Swimming.

-- I became a swim instructor.

- I have served as a swim coach, and currently coach triathletes and open-water swimmers.



It has been an awesome adventure, and I am grateful that someone saw my potential even when I did not. I am grateful that I was asked to serve in this role. It helped me become a stronger leader and role model.


Summer is here. As you frequent beaches and pools, remember to thank your lifeguards. These young people are keeping you safe.




Monday, May 12, 2014

The Long Swim

After 200 yards, I looked at my friend and said, 'I think I have forgotten how to swim!' Another 100 yards, and I could feel my shoulders. And yet, I was able to finish 1300yards tonight. I battled through it.

I did feel weakness in my left arm as I pulled, and I definitely felt my left hamstring when doing kicking drills.

And as I am preparing for the 1.2mile swim on 28 June, across Buzzards Bay, I only regret waiting this long to get back in the pool.

This winter was tough and I chose to take some time off. I delayed my return longer than I had anticipated.

NO Regrets!! I am glad for the time to recover! I am glad to be back in the pool!


Looking forward to Wednesday's swim!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Day Three Begins

I woke this morning after sleep somewhat interrupted, feeling less sore than I expected. I definitely feel my legs! Granted I teach several spin classes/week, but adding running, jumping, squatting pushing and pulling to that I definitely feel like I have been training. I am preparing to teach a spin class this morning, and swim afterwards.

I am keeping the end in mind. This is where I might get flustered and choose to be lazy. Especially, with the rain beating on my head this morning.

Weigh in this morning has brought me down 1.2# since Monday's weigh-in. I randomly step on the scale for just a check-in, and anticipate keeping my formal weigh-ins to weekly. I did notice yesterday, that I felt 'smaller' in clothes that were recently bought and had a more snug fit than yesterday. I also felt like I looked slimmer.

It is a good feeling.

I am reminded of that good-feeling as I step out today to chase my goals.

Monday, April 14, 2014

It begins with a single step

One hundred day challenge -- who's in?!? Me, Me! Me!

About 20 days ago, I began my 100-day challenge. AND all the drama and excuses followed. I found that I let the drama of life take priority over my health and well-being. I am dealing with some serious stuff, after all. Life has a funny way of putting roadblocks in my way. Well, not so funny.

I chose to acknowledge and adhere to the obstacles in my path......

SO, today.... I took the step to taking care of me! I began my 100-day challenge. I stepped away from complacency, and that teaching spin is enough. I stepped toward my fitness goals, so I can compete and challenge myself and enjoy running and jumping and swimming.

After Spin class, I began my training sessions. I am following a six-week program to lay a foundation for better overall athletic performance. And I am preparing for Buzzards Bay swim in June.

And so..... I took the first step today. I began day one of training. I know I will feel my bum tomorrow. I know I will feel my legs..... But I also know it felt good to be running intervals, albeit slow, but running!

What challenge have you set before you? Will you join me as I chase mine?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Pursuing My Weight-Loss Goal

I need to lose 60#. There I have said it. The whole world now knows..... Or at least the peeps that read this. My friends, family and clients know it, albeit too polite to say anything. I have known this for a while and have played the yo-yo game for far too long..... Helping others achieve weight loss and athletic endeavors, and my weight remains the same.


This has become a inhibitor to me. It is my nemesis. My enemy. I don't want to swim, or run. I am not looking forward to another summer hiding in big clothes, trusting that no one notices..... Everyone does.


Don't get me wrong-- I love me right now where I am..... BUT I am NOT satisfied. At ALL.... With what I have permitted my body to become. I can no longer hide it. As I am becoming more fit, I am not satisfied with my outward appearance.


And so....... It begins. No more squandering of time no more excuses. I am pursuing 60#.

Tomorrow, I launch my 100 day challenge. Tomorrow, I claim my youthful me.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Eating Paleo -- NOT!

I had an interesting conversation with a class-participant about Paleo eating. There are a few peeps that participate in various classes, that are also part of the local Cross-Fit cult. These participants advocate the Paleo lifestyle. I do not.

The question she posed concerned, when these starting consuming grains again, as one certainly could not live an entire life-time without a piece of bread. She said, 'So what happens, when they eat grains again. Do they blow up like a tick?'

And quite possibly, yes they do....... I recalled a short-period of time I wanted to drop a quick 10# and I followed Atkins style eating for two weeks. Well, I lost the 10#, BUT when I had a weekend dealing with hormones, the weight I lost returned and not in places I wanted it to be. Lesson learned.

Paleo advocates eating only fruits, veggies, lean meats, nuts and seeds-- only things that might have been found with early man. Although, in the Paleo diet for athletes, eating grains is encouraged around the training window. I am all in for eating and building a diet around all of these -- BUT, evidence shows us that we had access to and consumed grains, and tubers and other no-no's on the Paleo diet. Manna fed to the Israelites when wandering the desert is described as a cake with honey. Wow! God is feeding his people grains. But that is my interpretation of what manna is. I haven't eaten any...... Yet.

The reality is grains are not necessarily a BAD thing as they have been painted in the past decade with the Atkins Diet, South Beach Diet, and the current Paleo diet, to name a few. They are currently also painted another shade of ugly with the gluten-free trends. (I do understand the seriousness of Celiac's disease, and various gluten intolerances. But I also know individual's and the industry tends to spread or advocate trends like wildfire, promoting a 'cause'. Please note there is Celiac's in my family and I do have gluten intolerances. I am aware of food cycling, and eat a predominantly plat-based diet. But the industry is currently treating gluten-free living like another money-making trend. And I digress..... Back to grains).

It seems that as we process more and more foods, and strip the value from these and then add a chemical or substance to put back what's we removed, we are destroying the quality of the grain. The issue may not be the grain, but may also be held in the processing. It is big business to produce all these gluten-free foods, which may contain more allergens than the original grain.

And I have reflected on my eating over the last week-- which was comprised of many, many veggies and some fruits (not as many as I would like), lamb, chicken and a piece of fish, eggs, hermit cookies (love), almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, sesame seeds, some whole grain pasta, rice, popcorn, dark chocolate, and coffee with cream.

I am aware of what I am eating, and when I have added a grain and observed how my body responds to it..... Not necessarily to add more grains, but to be aware of any possible allergic reactions.

In a sense, Paleo is a modified Atkin's (or the like) program. I am not saying we cannot learn from our ancestors about life and eating, as I eat more like a warrior than not. I am saying that it is probably a bit more complicated than how the Paleo peeps want to present the whole process.

Losing weight is about creating a caloric deficit -- burning more calories than you take in, as well as the quality of calories. (Some might argue irrelevance, but hear me out). Yes, I could lose weight eating snicker's bars, and gain weight on fruits and veggies if I eat less or more than my body needs for the day. But the quality of the calorie consumed determines my health, and how my body can receive the calories taken in. Paleo is eating a higher quality food, BUT is also eliminating FOOD Categories. We ten to want what we cannot have. I also believe it is about learning again what our body is asking for. The body is intelligent-- we tend to want to tell it isn't. Learn to listen to your body and understand what it is saying. It may want something sweet, or crunchy; it may be thirsty, or it may be tired. What is your body telling you? Amd how do you respond?

As an aside, since I started coaching and working with my weight loss team, I have lost five pounds. I am eating grains, and dairy, and chocolate-- things that are potentially frowned upon by the Paleo community. My diet surrounds veggies, not meat. And I feel wonderful! I am also more aware of when I am finished eating, and what I seek when I eat. The Asians believe in a the 80% rule--- eat until you are 80% satisfied! and you won't over do it, or choose wisely in eating 80% of the time, and it will take care of the 20% that you ate that Snicker's bar. I am finding as I eat more wisely, the processed food doesn't taste good to me.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Eating MORE Fruits and Veggies

I eat a plant-based diet. In other words, the fruits and veggies are the first thing on the plate, and the meat (if I choose to have some with that meal) are a garnish, and not the main event. In eating this way, I feel better. I feel lighter and I thoroughly enjoy the process of eating.

It wasn't always this way -- I doubted one could feel satisfied without a piece of meat or fish staring back from the plate. It wasn't until I questioned the whole vegetarian diet, that I discovered I really enjoy eating vegetables. *My journey contained four weeks of animal product free living, and I learned I could not only sustain life and feel great, I enjoy eating a piece of meat or steak or fish, but I don't necessarily have to eat it.*


In my current weight-loss challenge coaching, I have encouraged my team to eat more fruits and veggies. I have also encourage the participants in my classes to do the same. Yesterday, I had to chuckle when one woman asked if I ate meat (all I had said, was I have increased my fruits and veggies). *I love the assumptions*. My response was that I did enjoy meat and fish, I just learned I enjoy fruits and veggies as much. And I do not have to have meat or animal in every meal I eat.

*If you doubt my love for meat, ask my sister.... I had prime rib on Thanksgiving. Best piece I have had in a LONG time.... It melted in your mouth.*


But I love the colors and textures and various tastes of fruit and vegetables.

In eating more of these, I have become increasingly aware of hunger and satisfaction (when I have had enough to eat). I am shedding body fat. And most importantly, I feel great!


What new fruit or veggie have you tired today?


Saturday, January 18, 2014

I took a yoga class



Well, not really..... I have used different poses/postures to work on my flexibility and strength. BUT, this was my very first, formal class.

AND...... It was great!

Although, the instructor told us yoga should not hurt..... Well, I am sore this morning! And I have a renewed appreciation for insturctors and participants. It requires a great deal of strength and flexibility-- two things I need to continue developing. Two things that will aid in my competitive journey.

Yes, I did it! I took a yoga class! And I am looking forward to the next one.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Coaching a Weight Loss Challenge

The YMCA is hosting a 10-week weight loss challenge. The purpose is to lay the foundation for overall changes in the coming year -- changes that will be adopted and embraced by the participants. And the team that loses the largest percentage of weight, can win cash prizes.

I was asked to be a coach in said challenge.


And I was reflecting....... I am joining my team in the challenge. While my personal weight loss will not count toward the team's loss during the challenge, it will count in my overall health.

And today...... It begins.

Yesterday, I went shopping to ensure a variety of fruits and veggies are in my fridge, ready for the coming week. Preparation is everything! I also weighed in this morning, and took my circumference measurements. And I am excited about my goals and objectives in the next ten weeks.

These include reintroducing weight training circuits, walking 10,000 steps/day, and getting back in the pool to swim. I am excited about changing my overall habits to improve my health, and quality of life.

I hope to post more frequently about my journey to keep my head in the game or to stay focused.

Care to join me on my journey?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Reflecting on 2013 and Looking to 2014

As I turn the calendar from December 2013 to January 2014, I am glad to see 2013 go. It is pretty cool,how we use the change of a calendar year as a time for a fresh start, a new beginning. Some say out with the old and in with the new.....I don't want to toss the learning out as well. In my personal reflection I have gained some important insights from the experiences of 2013 as I prepare for the adventure of 2014.


My word for 2013 was SOAR. The goal was to soar with eagles, understanding that an eagle will not take its first flight until literally pushed from the nest. And eagles nest in high places. I needed that push.

Soar not only referred to the act of flying, but my attitude in everything-- my attitude toward life. How I interacted with other people, how I interacted with myself.

It was a purposeful year. And I did get pushed out of my comfort zone at times, and I found myself excel and at others rolling in the muck.

My big observation as I move into 2014 is I need to work my talents --- I have been struggling in MA, finding my place, making new friends, establishing my business. I know MA is not my final destination, just a stepping stone along the way. I also know there is something I need to learn and apply in my life, before I can be successful anywhere-- because no matter where I go, there I am. -- and I have been *afraid* to show my talents! to really shine. I have almost been living like, I am no longer here. And the truth is, I NEED to be committed to my life here, until it is time to move onward. I was reminded of the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30) and identified with the man who hid his talent until the master of the house returned. I concluded I need to work my business, and build relationships, and find people, AND keep living my life.

I think this in itself is the biggest take-away from 2013. And as I move into 2014, my new word is CLIMB. To signify how I am going to climb to new heights --- personally, and professionally. In my interactions, I am going to elevate my thinking, not to condescend, but to take the high road, and be kind. To push onward, even when the challenges seem to great, and not accept the easy way out.

My goals are becoming purposeful in intent, to help me strive to my greatest potential.

I am looking forward to the climb, and the adventure. I am looking forward to what 2014 will bring.

What is your word for this year?