Monthly Archives: March 2015

Committed all the way

03/21/15

looking back

The “wonder if” I will make it to Australia has been replaced with “check your schedule” because here I come.  I purchased my plane ticket today!

I found that United had dropped prices from what they had previously had and they also had flights with only one stop.  Sounded good, checked with Barney and he said to jump on it while available, so I started the online booking.

I got to the part where they say to make sure your using the same name as on your passport so I went to get my passport to be sure how it read and couldn’t find it.  Want to know the quickest way to surf through the piles you have let get out of control because you will deal with it another time?  Be in the middle of booking an international flight and find out the passport isn’t where you thought you had it.

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Several piles down and a trash bin full, I check the internet to see how long it takes to get a replacement if necessary.  I know I cannot tell Wilma I’m not coming because I lost my passport as she will have me cleaning every corner of every space until I find it and really, I would rather do the insidious Burpee exercises.  I finally locate it in the travel bag I leave half packed.  I faintly remember putting it together when we were evacuated last year when there was a forest fire nearby.

I’m leaving the evening of the 28th and arriving the morning of the 30th of April.  This is certainly one ball that started rolling and doesn’t look like it stops until I’m face deep in mud in Sydney, Australia.committedI am fully committed to the plan.  There is little room for turning back now.

staying committedWilma says I also need a visa. I hope that doesn’t take too much time.

Betty

 

Adjusting as I go

03/20/2015

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The Ohio State University men’s basketball team won their first round March Madness tournament game last night in overtime.  I love sports because it is the arena where you can see how hard people try and put themselves out there to succeed or fail sometimes while much of the world is watching.  Go Buckeyes!

After they won, I felt that even though I was incredibly tired, I should try the pyramid workout that Jane had recommended as celebration of sorts to the win.  The scheme is that you do 15 each of Burpees, Pushups and jump squats. Then you do 14 of each, then 13, and so on down to 1.  Wilma must have put her up to it as she had been trying to get me to do the jump squats and burpees for a while now.

You can google what a burpee is, but you basically go from a standing position
and squat until your hands reach the ground and then place the weight on your hands and extend your feet until you are in a plank position.  It all sounds fine and achievable until I realize I must have T-Rex arms as I have to practically face plant myself to get my hands to the floor to start the exercise.

t rex hates burpees

 

I keep trying though as maybe I just need to create some muscle memory in order to figure out how to start these better. It isn’t pretty, but I manage to do 15.  Somewhere around number 12 or so, something happens with my right knee as I am extending it.  I complete the round and do the 15 pushups and 15 jump squats and start the burpees again.  This time, my knee starts to feel badly earlier on and I feel myself compensating by changing how I hold the rest of my body position and it is not good on my shoulder.  I know then that these will ultimately make things worse if I continue.

I did not do any more or finish the reverse pyramid workout last night.  Sorry Jane, it wasn’t meant to be for me just yet.

This morning I awoke and tried a few and it still did not feel good.

stubborn on goals

I decided to go back to the weights for now and did the upright rows, presses, curls and a few others.  I also did four sets of planks.

I walked about 2.5 miles at lunch and while walking, did an inverted pyramid of reps with a squeeze ball to strengthen my grip.  I started at 20 with each hand and decreased each rep by one until completed down to 1.  I was surprised just how long that took (nearly half of my walk). I  was also able to take a path that I like but was previously too muddy from snows to slog through.

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I ended up at the park where the monkey bars await another test.  I take off my sweatshirt, sunglasses, remove my phone and anything else that might restrict or weigh me down more than I already naturally am as I am determined to make it past the 5th rung which was my previous farthest rung.  My palms sweaty from the walk, I slip off on just the second bar.  Not what I had envisioned.

I take some time to thoroughly dry my hands and try again. I go one hand on alternating rungs for the first 6 and then try the hand, hand, rung, hand, hand method and make it another 3 for a total of 9 rungs today!  Getting better!

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Wilma,  I know you will be disappointed that I am not doing the bupees right now, but as my flexibility and strength continue to get better I will keep trying them.  For now though, I will defer to other ways to get some reps.

Love Betty

Skiing like kids

03/19/15

 

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copper upper mountain

 

 

 

 

I recently went skiing with a friend that I started skiing with 29 years ago.  We ski better than we did then but take fewer chances.  We reminisced of the time we had been skiing so much and wanted to challenge ourselves that we took one ski off and went down the bunny hill on one ski and then switched and did the other ski.  Yes, I said bunny hill.  We were trying for something new, not to kill ourselves.

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This week I did some of the moguls by myself as her knees won’t allow it any longer and truth be told I did not do all that many as runs with moguls as it was a little crusty from the warm weather and when you finally get time with a great friend, you don’t want to give any of it up for anything.

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It was a great day and reminder of how blessed I am to live in such a beautiful state with some of the best skiing in the world and to have friends to share it with who know all of my good, bad and indifferent and still love me for all that I am and am not.

Wilma,  It was rainy so I didn’t get in much of a walk but I did 30 burpees, pushups and jump squats just to get me ready for that insane pyramid workout.  If you recall, Jane did say I could take a day and recoup a bit.

Love Betty,

Sweet Memories

03/18/2015

sweet memories

Earlier this week one of my cousins posted a link to a group that her father loved and she commented on how it brought her to tears each time she heard it.  Well P, it got me verklempt as well.

I have a similar story of memories and music associated with my mother.  She would play the piano and when I was growing up, I always heard the story of one of her aunts saying that you were really a piano player when you could play the “Robin’s Return”.  There are oh so many things that made my mother an amazing person with more talent and grace than I could ever hope for, but because there was this age old high bar that she reached, it became in my mind a little anthem of achievable greatness.

After she passed away, I started asking folks who said they played the piano if they had heard of or could play the Robin’s Return.  Each time, no one had heard of it.  I kept asking and one day a few years ago while I was doing my job of customer service for another company I found myself speaking to a gentleman who stated that he couldn’t perform the instructions for repair that I had sent as he is a concert pianist and couldn’t risk his fingers in the mechanics of something.   I then asked the question I had posed  countless times and he said why of course he has and proceeded to send me an mp3 recording that he had just made.

I sat at my desk that day and wept.  It was the gift I had been waiting for many years to receive and it immediately placed me in a hug from my mother in heaven.

music

 

What is equally amazing to me, is that I immediately passed it along to my siblings and some of my aunts as I was sure this was just as an incredible memory for everyone else as it was for me.  But alas, it was not.  My brothers hardly remembered the song at all.  It goes to show that we all grasp onto different moments based upon our own perspective.

remember moments

 

So for those of you who have heard the Robin’s return before, below is a reminder.  For those of you who have never heard it, let it be your introduction.  For those who can play it…. I stand and applaud.

Love Betty

 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all!

I am blessed to spend the evening with a friend whom I have known longer than I have not (more than half my life for those mathematically challenged).  She has lived out of state for the past 20 years or so and yet when we get together, it is like we are still young and crazy.  We are not made of the same cloth in so many ways, but we are both exactly who we are around one another and it is the being completely yourself around someone that plants the deepest roots of friendship.

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Wishing you all blessing of friendship and happiness this fine holiday.

st paddy home

Wilma,  I was sore today, but still did my walk at lunch and tried the monkey bars at the park and today I did 6 of them!  Results are coming along!  I will do the rest of the reps later.  Hope you are feeling better.

Love Betty.

Athletic Trainer or Trained Assassin?

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Yesterday Jane posted our workout:

“Workout 1: High intensity interval training – it’s Tabata Time! After monitoring the Japanese speed skating team in the early 90’s, Dr Izumi Tabata noted that VERY hard but intermittent exercise appeared to be as effective as standard intensity, longer workouts requiring several hours a week. The Tabata protocol involves 20 seconds of high intensity work followed by 10 seconds rest. These are traditionally performed for 8 rounds on one exercise equalling four minutes in total, or two mins 40 seconds of HARD WORK! You’ll be doing Tabatas on 6 exercises, with each exercise being completed for the eight rounds. Do one exercise eight times, with eight rest periods, then give yourself a 2 minute break, and onto the next exercise on your list. Time for some training…you will need to download the Tabata Pro app on your phone, or use a timer that can handle two different interval lengths. Do a 5 min warm up-I min each star jumps, squats, shadow boxing, hi knee jogging and arm circles, forward and backward. Your exercises are: lunges; plank; mountain climbers; squats fast hi knee jogging on the spot; push-ups/tri-dips (alternate these for the 8 rounds and Betty, you can do angry uppercut punches instead of the tricep dips). It’s 20 seconds as hard as you can, then 10 seconds rest, 8 rounds per exercise except for the alternating pushups.”

athletic trainer voice

So last night I downloaded the free Tabata fitness app because 1: I want to see what it is all about before putting any money out that can go toward my ticket and 2: Do I really need the music portion? Pretty sure my heart will be pounding so loudly through my ears that I wouldn’t hear anything anyway.

This morning I awoke and did Jane’s workout.  Here is how it went for me:

As instructed, I started with the lunges.  I’m fresh and rested and a bit excited so not too bad.  I might have grabbed the chair nearby to steady myself a bit toward the end.

Planks: The first two or three 20 second planks are not bad, but I’m fairly certain that the timer had a flaw after that and was taking more like 40 seconds to time the recommended twenty and the rests were a mere 2-3 seconds.  There is a distinct possibility that I started compensating for the discrepancy by splitting the time a little more evenly between the intense workout portion and the resting portion.

The Mountain Climbers had me feeling like there was about 900 pounds of weight on my hands by the end.

I started the squats with real gusto.  Since I have been doing squats every day, I’m thinking I have this one – no problem.  Only thing – I did my usual number of squats in the first set and then there were another 7 sets to do!  Suffice it to say that each set might not have had as many reps in it.  That’s gunna hurt again tomorrow.

High Leg Jog?  Can you say hip replacement?  Going to have to work my way into that one better as it was more of a high stepping march toward the middle and end.

Push-ups and Angry Uppercuts for the final sets…. Nice to alternate.  And Jane, I was doing some visualization on where I might land those angry upper cuts.  Wanna guess who I was punching at in my mind?

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Wilma,  There are two possibilities as I see it for Jane’s motives of this workout.  Either she really is striving to get our sad butts in shape or she is trying to kill you off and I am just collateral damage.  Have some tea and feel better.

Love Betty

 

 

Barney Saves the Day – and the pocketbook

unexpected causes anger

 

This morning Bam Bam drove my car and when he parked it in the driveway he forgot to put it into park prior to turning it off.  Normally that is not an issue. You step on the brake, put it in park and then you can take out the keys.  Not today.

flinstone mobile

Today once it was turned off you couldn’t put it into park, couldn’t start it, couldn’t take out the keys.  It could not have been rendered more useless. I checked all that I could think of and then got Barney.

inspecting car

Barney confirmed what we had seen and said to go Google the issue and find out how to remedy.  I do believe this is one of the first times where I couldn’t find someone right away who had experienced the same problem and posted a solution on Youtube.  We kept finding references to solenoids and switches, but no diagrams to find where they were located.

use husbands tools

So Barney took apart the console to see if we could find the issue in the shifter.

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It was such a technical piece of work that I won’t even get into what all we (Barney with me watching) did to get it working again.

keep calm its the flux capacitor

 

Which is Techno Babble for we unplugged, moved some things, put them back and it worked and we have no clue what was wrong to begin with.

I just thank my lucky stars that I married a man who can fix most anything and this doesn’t have to come out of my ticket money.

Wilma, I see Jane posted a workout for tomorrow.  I will see about downloading that app for timing the intervals.  I had almost 5 miles on the Fitbit today and no I did not do the Burpees!

Love Betty

 

 

The results of an afternoon of laughter and creativity

03/14/2015

life is a canvas

Today I picked up some of the pieces that we made last week at the pottery painting studio.  It is always quite amazing the transformation that happens when the pieces are fired.

I am including the before and after photos of most of the pieces.  I will leave out mine since it is to be a surprise.

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Wilma,  I spent much of my day getting enough of the taxes input so that I could file the business extension this weekend so I didn’t get in a long walk but I did do my other exercises – but not the one you proposed last night and were so good to do today.  Maybe tomorrow.

Love Betty

Rejection Letters

03/13/2015

request denied

In the past two days I received request denied letters from both Qantas Air and New Zealand Air.  The letter from Qantas had me feeling sad because it was clear in the reply that no thought at all was given to the request for sponsorship.

It basically said that they are an iconic organization that supports many large and small causes. Then it was a basic form letter that after it told me how great they were, consoled me for my loss and said there were compassionate fares for domestic travel.  Seriously?  I might have said we were not youngsters working to attain the goal to do the RAW Challenge together, but I’m sure I did not imply one of us would keel over from the task!

rejection letter

 

Last night I then received the New Zealand Air rejection Letter.  In contrast it began:  “Thank you for contacting at Air New Zealand regarding possible assistance with flights to enable you to take part in the 2015 Raw Challenge. My name is Shelley Crawford and I assess all philanthropic and sponsorship requests
received by Air New Zealand.”

She went on to name some of the non-profits and organizations that they sponsor and that after consideration would not be able to assist me. She apologized and hoped that I understood their position and wished me luck.

I replied to Shelley and let her know that it is a good job when you tell someone no and still leave them with a positive feeling and thanked her for the consideration.

The difference between the two was like having a date with a guy who let you pay and afterward didn’t remember your name and having a date with a guy who you both shared some stories but in the end he admitted he was committed to someone else but left you feeling that perhaps another time in life it could work out.

rejection just a step

 

I am far from defeated and hope to finalize some dates and plans and go ahead and purchase a ticket soon.

Yesterday, I was admittedly a bit down and Wilma commented, “Always a great post, no matter the topic. I think that you should keep up the workouts because it’s good for you, and you will appreciate the changes you make in yourself. Keep the dream alive! But even better – I have a thought for you – there’s another Raw Challenge in November, which might be more doable for you. So keep pushing for May, and if you need to adjust, I promise to do the November challenge with you (maybe). Sending you a Hug and a Pint”

Wilma, I love you that you would go so far as to commit to this lunacy of the obstacle challenge twice, but I don’t want to put it off.  First of all, it would give me time to put off training whereas right now, I know there is no time to put anything off.  And am I to write a daily blog until November?  Good grief I don’t think anyone wants to hear that much of the stories.  No, let us continue for the May challenge.

Today I got in my 2 miles while having a wonderful conversation with a friend. I did the weight bar exercises, planks and finally tried the squats with the jumps added on.  Good times.  Thank you for the phone call tonight.  It was good to hear your voice and thoughts of the trip.

Love Betty

A Day with Doubt

March 12,2015

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The past 24 hours have been a conversation with doubt.  It has been a tough week at work where changes are to be happening for the better and the folks who’s words were that they would do whatever is best for the team, had their actions speak opposite.  I have to admit I have not been gracious in thought that we cannot move forward as was previously planned.

I received an email last night from one of the airlines that I asked for sponsorship from and it was a denial of offer letter.  I don’t know that I expected them to come back with a complementary ticket, but I had hope that it would happen.  After all, if you don’t dream it, it can’t come true.

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So when I went to bed last night after a hard day and disappointing news, I read the word from another person and the last sentence was, “Be gentle with yourself and others. Choose kindness.”  I cried.

I got up this morning and was still in the melancholy of the night before.  I was up early enough to get in some meditation, but for one of just a few times, I couldn’t calm my mind into the calm state of prayer.

I decided I might as well do the exercises. As I went through the weights and planks I shed the tears of doubt and uncertainty.  I was consciously questioning why I was working out if I wasn’t sure I could make it happen but also could not stop as I also cannot stop believing even through the doubt.  It is a strange thing to have tears fall as your counting repetitions and timing planks.

I made it through the workday and tonight I went to happy hour with some dear friends.

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I’ll tell you the story of the “Mom’s” another time, but suffice it to say that they are the ones to supply the belief when mine is waning.  They let me vent, share, cry and most importantly laugh away the trifling matters that when shared openly are seen as the inconsequential pieces that are not deserving of the time and energy given to them.

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I shan’t let the doubt remain and to the “Mom’s”,  I love you all.

I had reservations of sharing this day, but if I am to share this journey with you, then this too is part of it.  Thank you for listening too.  I should also add that I am just a bit hormonal and that is effecting the emotions as well. – truth be told.

Wilma,  I did the weights, planks, squats and pushups but had to go to Barney’s office at lunch so I missed my walk.

Love Betty