Saturday, December 24, 2011

Thank you Secret Santa

When I got home yesterday I had a small envelope from Amazon waiting for me sent by my secret Santa Leana  Jill over at Run with Jill hosted a blog gift exchange and when I opened my package inside I found this:

Got a kick out of reading it and learned lots of interesting Canadian recipes like beaver tail and moose stew.  Thanks Leana and Merry Christmas to everyone!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Random Thoughts and Trying Something New

Ahhh Christmas.  The time of year when people's driving sucks even more than usual and when sweaters that should have been burnt years ago are now proudly sported everywhere and called fashionable.  Lest my sarcasm confuse you let me reassure you that this isn't another post filled with reminiscing about the "good old days" and talking about the unappreciative youth of America.  I like Christmas and I like presents.  Anyone who says otherwise is either lying or depressed.  How can you not help but fist pump in triumph when you beat other shoppers and find that one perfect parking spot close to the mall entrance?  And you can practically taste victory when you manage to score free shipping and a coupon code on that item for Aunt Sally.  Christmas can manage to bring out the best and worst in people, but while driving around looking at Christmas lights, I focus on feeling the Christmas spirit (while harshly judging tacky light displays).

But Christmas aside, I did want to post the first of what will hopefully be weekly(ish) posts as mom and I delve into new workout routines.  We have both been really bad these last few months and are looking to drop some weight in 2012 and get back on track.  While running will still be our thing....five marathons on the books for next year (more info to come)!!  We both recognize that we need to cross train more and try new things.  The fitness world is chocked full of classes and we have decided to venture into this strange and crazy world by trying one new class every week.  Luckily a lot of gyms close to us offer a free trial class so this will hopefully be a cheap way to sweat off some weight and probably make complete a$$es of ourselves in the process.

This weeks attempt: Pilates for Runners.  Now we have both tried Pilates in the past and found it to be a great cardio workout.  Unlike the yoga classes I have taken where flexibility and head stands are called for, Pilates seems to be more of a toning and strengthening workout.  I am particularly looking forward to this class as it is taught by a marathon runner who promises to make you a "faster more efficient and injury free runner."  Who wouldn't want that!  So mom and I will be jumping in the car this evening to head out and try Pilates for Runners....I'm anticipating lots of grunting and potentially some uncontrolled laughter as I struggle to do sit-ups.  I'll be sure to post our thoughts after class!

UPDATE:  So we made the trip downtown to Pilates and all in all really enjoyed the class.  Kristine the instructor was very methodical in her approach and rather than jumping from one position to the next, really took the time to explain the reasoning behind each move and how to position your body.  Also, because this was tailored to runners, she spent a lot of time working those muscles that are frequently weak in runners.  Once again I was surprised to find myself sweating during this class as the movements are so minute and to the outsider it probably looks like we are all lying on our backs struggling to tie our shoes.  Oh well, Pilates for runners was fun and we will be sure to update you all on our next exercise adventure! 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Living in the Present

Christmas is stressful.  We all freak out about it,  whether it be gifts,  decorations,  holiday parties,  or crazy families.  And then you get a message out of the blue that puts everything into perspective. Tuesday,  I went to the memorial service for my friend's husband.. Charlie.  Charlie was only 63,  which now that I am 52.. I can say is way too young.  This was unexpected,  and no one was prepared for it.   Family and friends had an opportunity to talk about a man they had all loved.  It was a service that truly was a tribute to a life well lived.  And that was the one thing that struck me... everyone was laughing because they all had Charlie stories and the common theme was Charlie always lived in the moment.  His goal in life was to enjoy it and to make sure those around him enjoyed it as well.   Every statement was a joyful remembrance of this man's life.  I was struck by all those who related how much they would miss Charlie's laugh the most.  What a life lesson I got.  I was prepared to go and grieve and to leave feeling wrung out and miserable.  Instead I left much more light-hearted than I had when I arrived.  

Charlie was also the man that taught me how to program computers almost 30 years ago.  His patience and laughter during my beginning attempts as a programmer provided just the balance to my frustrations at learning this new task.  But he believed that I could do it,  and because I respected him,  I believed I could as well.   His belief fueled a 30 year career that has provided for my daughters all these years as a single parent.  To say I owe him much would be an understatement.  And at his memorial service,  I received another lesson from him... to live in the present.  To focus on joyful moments with friends and family because those little moments become the memories others have of us.. and wouldn't you rather want them to be positive ones!  Charlie you are already missed,  but your friends are already talking about this years Christmas party and how you will be there in the stories that are told about you at past gatherings.   You lived life well,  thank you for the reminder to all of us on how to do this.