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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Flying back in the saddle

I did it. I finally got back on my bike. I have not been on my bike in about four or five years. It was during my last triathlon. Now that I am not running, I had to figure something else out. so I reached out to my hair stylist (when I can afford her), and elite cyclist friend for advice. Yes, I had completed three triathlons, but truth be told I really did not know how to ride my bike.

That changed a bit on Sunday. My hair stylist elite cyclist friend took me under her wing. First I took my bike to her and her husband's shop. There it got new tires (a few of the spokes in the previous ones broke), new handbrake configuration, new computer, new tape on the handle bars with gel, and a reflector light in the back. I also now own a helmet that did not come from a low end department store. Next are new pedals, shoes, and a cassette (apparently mine was damaged and I am blaming that on the move).

Now I have an totally upgraded bike that I was terrified to ride. I was terrified for a few reasons. One, I had not been on my bike in ages. Two, I was not sure how fast/far I could go. Three, I was not sure I could remember how to clip/unclip (and I wasn't that good before). Four, it was a no drop group ride and I did not want to be holding everyone else up.

I almost bailed on the ride for all of those reasons. Then I realized that I had to start (again) somewhere and the first time back on the bike would be the first time no matter when I did it. So I did it. Only my hair stylist elite cyclist friend showed up so I got one-on-one lessons on how to ride. I learned the correct hand placement on the handle bars, how to move my body to release the muscle soreness, and when to start unclipping before a stop.

I still have a lot to learn, but I successfully rode 27 and change miles. It was slow, but for a first ride it was amazing. I now fully believe that a century ride is doable and another sprint triathlon is definitely in the plans for next year.

I am even more impressed that I can walk. Full disclosure: I did got to restorative yoga Sunday night instead of my usual intense deep slow flow. I needed gentle hip flexor hamstring love.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Flying while winning

same names
I won this month. I won a lot. First I won the Savannah Yoga Center June check in. The prize for that was the mat that I had been stalking for a few months. I also won some essential oils, the very oils that I was running out of. Then I won more oils in another challenge.

However the best prize was meeting another same name. Yes, I finally met another Doretha. I have about 30 of them as Facebook friends but I had never ever in my life met one. I have spoken to one on the phone, but I finally met one! The meeting was not planned. It probably should have been, but it wasn't. It was probably sweeter because it wasn't. It was certainly more of a surprise. And I like surprises most of the time.

I was up, dressed and headed to yoga when she called. And of course meeting a same name took precedence. So I changed clothes and off I went. We met at Denny's because I love the pancakes there and I cannot make pancakes in spite of my many attempts. Funny, I have made beautiful airy soufflés, but never one decent pancake.

Anyway, it turns out that we have a lot in common. We are both Army veterans. We both lived in Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland. We both have knee issues. We were both driving Jeeps (hers was a rental). We both want to feed hungry children. She has an organization that does that and I tried to pay off student lunch accounts.

We could have talked all day but she had a flight to catch. So we are planning a Doretha convention. Because that is the logical next step, right? It will be in the DC area because that is where she lives now and there is so much to do and eat there.

I'm excited. Growing up I never met anyone with my name. Now I have many opportunities. Isn't that what life is all about?

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Flying with the least resistance

There are times when the path of least resistance is the route to choose. I do not take it often especially when I know that with a little more effort I can have a healthier/better outcome. But some days that little extra effort just isn't there. I had that kind of a day yesterday. I was already dragging because it was Monday and I was meeting a friend at 5:30am to walk six miles. I half prayed for rain. Half prayed because rain would have sent us to the gym and the last time I was at the gym it took eight miles to bet 10,000 steps on the elliptical. So not fun. Anyway it did not rain. So around the lake we went. Of course I always feel great after the fact. It is just the waking up and getting out of bed that is difficult.

Then I realized that my car registration had expired. I will never understand that why since I bought my car in February my tag expires in June. Yes, I realize that in Georgia your tag expires on your birthday. Not your birth month, your actual birth day. So mine expired on June 25th which was a Sunday. So I had a tag that was good from March until June. Why not make it expire June 25th of next year? And the kicker was that the tag I paid for in March was the same price of the tag I bought yesterday for an entire year.

Yes, it is my fault that I waited until the very last minute to get my tag. In my defense I was waiting to get the renewal form in the mail. And then I promptly forgot about it. Then I tried to do it online and there were just too many questions to answer that in my opinion had nothing to do with renewing my tag. So I went to the Chatham County Citizens Service Center. Nice complex.

I did not mention that I had many other things to do yesterday so heading out of the office was not a luxury I could afford. But I guess it was a luxury since I did it and did not get penalized and did not have to drive far and the line was not out of the door and it only cost $20 which I had and there are probably many other things about this that I should be thankful for. But yesterday just a jam packed stressful day.

So after leaving the Chatham County Citizens Service Center at around 3pm. I went to McDonald's. Yes, I did and I am not ashamed of it. I had a gift card. I bought it when I was heading to Alabama. Road trips are generally the only time I eat fast food due to the convenience. I needed convenience yesterday and I also could not make up my mind what I wanted to eat. and it was raining. And I was dragging from being up at 4:30am to walk six miles at 5:30am. And I had tons of work on my desk.

So I took the path of least resistance. Isn't that what it is there for? To allow us to have a break every now and then? To allow us to appreciate the times when we push forward with full force? The answer really doesn't matter. Not in the scheme of things in my life. I ate at McDonald's and that does not make my world come to an end.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Flying between the spaces

It has been a crazy month and it is almost over. In a few days it will be six months before Christmas. I know that because that day is my birthday: June 25th. It is hard to believe that I have not written here most of the month. I had no idea until I logged on today. I promise to do better.

Boris Smokrovic
I am still processing the fact that I have osteoarthritis in my right knee and I have been told to stop running. I have complied so far, not willingly though. I cried. I got mad. I got scared. And then I got busy. I increased my yoga practice. I am now walking with a co-worker, and I have gotten back in the pool. Next will be getting back on my bicycle. No, I am not training for a triathlon. I have done three already. I am just exploring different fitness options for my life. I cannot just sit still. I have nightmares about gaining so much weight that I am on the show My 600 pound life. Dramatic? Maybe just a tad, but real on some level in my mind right now.

Maybe I will discover that I have a talent for another sport. Maybe I will love something else as much as I love running. I am beginning to look forward to the journey of exploration. I hope I will find my tribe here so I can stop running back to Charleston. I know it is a process. I have moved from one place to another my entire life. But it is the in the meantime that is difficult.

Life is a process of things. I am learning to embrace the journey.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Flying with Brenda's new book

Brenda Smith who writes Thursday's Word has turned her blog into a devotional book!
When meeting Brenda C. Smith, for the first time, you will
soon discover this overjoyed, full of life Christian woman
“walks her talk.” Now, she “writes her talk” in her first
Christian devotional book, Thursday’s Word. This book
is a collection of Biblical devotionals and poetry from her
popular weekly blog, Thursday’s Word. Some book topics
are: “The Struggle is Real,” “Victory in the Cross,” “To Cut
with Scissors or Shears,” “It’s Time We Got Disturbed,” and
“Press Beyond the Crowd.” As you absorb Brenda Smith’s
devotionals and poetry, she will inspire you to “WALK
YOUR TALK” in your daily Christian life.

In case you didn't know
Brenda C. Smith attended Lipscomb University in Nashville Tennessee, majoring in Business Administration and Biblical Ethics. She was awarded a Bachelor of Religious Education degree from Tennessee Bible College, Cookeville, Tennessee. Brenda writes articles for several Christian publications. “My God, my family and my work have provided a vast array of subject matter for my writing,” remarks Brenda. She also conducts a ministry on Facebook called B.A.L.M. (Bereavement and Loss Ministry), helping others through the grieving process. Brenda’s Thursday’s Word blog is emailed weekly as an outreach to encourage people who are having struggles in life. Brenda resides in historic Franklin, Tennessee.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Flying in the process

I have not been running lately. I called it a rest week, but it is much more than that. I have osteoarthritis in my right knee and it is pretty bad. My orthopedic doctor says I have had it for a while. I am just feeling the effects more now. On one hand I now have an explanation why my race times have been declining, why I am nor enjoying my runs so much, and why my knee hurts a lot. It wasn't in my head. It wasn't completely my lack of training. It wasn't my 2.5 hour one way commute.

Unfortunately my doctor says I should stop running. Although he said I could run one more marathon. (I wanted to 'retire' from marathons running my 10th one in NYC next year). He also said that my knee will not get better. We can manage the pain, but I need to partake in more 'low impact' activities. I am not sure I am ready to do that. Yes, a knee replacement is an option. He told me it would last 20 years and each time I get one I will lose bone. I am trying to avoid the replacement.

It has only been two weeks since I got the news. I need to go back and ask the questions that were scrambled around in my head when I saw him. The ones that could not come out of my mouth because my brain froze. I have been running over 30 years. Yes, I can walk and even have plans to hit the track around the lake starting this week. I am also getting back in the pool. I am even thinking about pulling my bike out. I have options.

But options do not feel so good when they are thrust upon you against your will. And yes I know I should stop whining. I still have my leg. I am not in a wheelchair. This did not happen in combat. I am blessed.

So kindly step lightly around me while I am processing this. It is not the end of the world. There may be other options. I just don't know yet. I am sort of stuck for the time being. And yes I know that in the huge scheme of things it could be worse. But right now it is what it is and that's where I am right now.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Flying with 10,000 steps

I only wanted a Fitbit to confirm what I already knew, I am a pretty active person. Sounds crazy, right? It sort of is. But many of my also pretty active friends were comparing steps and cheering at 5in the morning when they had more steps than most people get all day. And that is because we met at 4am to run. I was content just knowing that I had put in the miles until they kept trying to outdo each other's steps. Then one of them would look at me and ask my step count and laugh because I, because I had no clue. I did not have a fitness tracker or even a pedometer. So I asked for one for Christmas. My contingency plan to was buy my own if Santa did not come through for me. He did and on January 1st I clocked in over 60, 000 steps during my marathon. My friends no longer taunted me. I was in the step club and I was the leader (at least for that week).

I have been pretty proud of my step count. Again, the goal was to track what I was already doing not to increase it. Okay, I will admit there have been a few times when I got a message that someone was 152 steps ahead of me and I felt compelled to walk around my house to catch up or pass that person. When oh so close to 10,000 steps I have again walked around my house, back and forth to my car, taken a lap around the parking lot or something else. But generally I am fine with my steps.

I was fine until last week. A friend of mine has gotten 10,000 steps every day since Christmas. Every freaking day. She was shocked that I did not since I was usually had more steps than her overall. I was shocked as well. Not that I was ahead, but that she was diligent in her steps. My step count was high on my run days and not so high on my off days. Yes, that is normal. Yes, that is how it should be. But I was intrigued.

I had just finished an easy three mile run and had to go back to pick up extra steps. She motivated me in a way I had not been before. I was caught up in getting my miles in that I did not relish the simple pleasure of just walking to get the steps consistently. I forgot that sometimes life provides the means to be active without fanfare. Okay, I may not strive to get 10,000 daily. But I will pride in the small victories that come with walking towards a goal without a medal.