How I Didn’t Spend My Summer Vacation

Fitness Junkie

I had a goal of finishing the middle grade novel I’m working on by the end of summer. Well, that didn’t happen. I’m not even close, and I’m not even sad. I thought I would wake up each and every day, pour some coffee, and drink in the inspiration. What actually happened was perfect.

Perfectly perfect and exactly what I needed.

My days started with hot water and Apple Cider Vinegar. There was no writing, just me taking care of me, then heading off to whatever exercise class I felt like going to. My best days involved getting up early enough to ride my bike to the gym! There were looks, and a few passive aggressive jabs of, “That’s why you look the way you do,” which I let get to me a few times, until I nicely reminded the commenters that I haven’t found a person yet who didn’t have some body issues, and I certainly have my share.

There are tons of memes and hashtags created by writers reminding people like me to  #justwrite and #amwriting, but for me it just wasn’t happening this summer, and I didn’t force it. I needed something else. I needed to work on me. I am my own Work in Progress  (WIP) and this summer was devoted to revising and editing the book of ME.

I’m almost ready to hit submit.

woman doing push ups

Photo by Karl Solano on Pexels.com

Sometimes I Have Popcorn For Dinner

Fitness Junkie

Most days I try to make healthy choices, but there are other days when it’s pizza and popcorn. Blah, blah, blah, balance. We’ve all heard that before. In the spirit of “stop saying that, ” another blah, blah, blah, I’m tired of hearing is, “I wish I looked like you.” Yeah? Well guess what? I wish I looked like someone else, so stop comparing. (Yes, I hear my own contradiction.)

“I wish I looked like you,” is dangerous. What if the person you are saying this to is actually sick and wishing they actually felt like eating? Still comparing?

“I wish I looked like you,” is nosy. What if this person you wish you were finally traded a dangerous addiction for a healthier one? Still wishing? (If this is you, I’m incredibly proud of your changes!)

The challenge- Find a soul to imitate. Try replacing “I wish I looked like you,” with

I wish I were as kind as you.

As selfless as you.

As thoughtful as you.

As good a listener as you?

And try being that person.

I Should Wash My Hair-

Fitness Junkie

I could should my life away, but thankfully I’m learning not to, otherwise I could spend hours on why I should moisturize, apologize, synthesize and lower my size. I should also hydrate, meditate, and lift more weight. I should not compare, remember to share and wash my hair.

The truth is thankfully, I do all of these things. What I’m working on is the consumption of thoughts saying I should be doing more. (Well, maybe I should wash my hair more, but it’s just going to get dirty again.)

The self care part of my life is actually going well. That teenage selfishness has nicely evolved into adult self-awareness. Getting rid of Self doubt is always a work in progress,  and receiving passes from literary agents isn’t exactly a confidence boosting activity. That said, living in fear of rejection is definitely not something I should do. So onward I write, edit, and revise my picture books.

Something I should be doing right now.

The Power of Encouragement

Fitness Junkie

Encouragement is free and feeds so much. It’s free to say, “Nice Job.” It’s free to say, “You rock.” It’s free to observe what makes people happy, you just have to slow down and observe.

I see what works every time I’m at the gym. When the workout gets tough, the trainers turn on the encouragement. Sometimes it is personal, sometimes it’s to the whole group, but each time it works.

This week a former student posted pictures and words of thanks to his customers. The posts were thoughtful, kind, smart and cost him nothing.

Too often we wait for Fill in the blank appreciation week to share encouraging words. Please stop. Do it now.

And if you’ve read this far. Thank you, You Rock!

My To Don’t List

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This year the phrase “self care” has been everywhere I look. Need a manicure? “Self care.” New shoes?” Self care.” Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a fresh gel manicure, I just hate sitting still for one. I like looking nice, I just hate shopping. Go you if those events bring you joy. I’m not judging, I’m just thrilled that I’ve figured out what self care means to me. Wait for it, because I can’t believe it either…..

Hot Yoga.

Yes, I set an alarm on Sunday mornings. I drive a half hour away and leave an hour early to get to hot yoga class, because it’s my favorite lost hour of the week. There’s nothing on my mind in that room except the next flow, colorful legging and tattoo admiration. It’s honestly too challenging to let anything else creep into my thoughts and that’s incredibly cool by me.

I’m not trying to sell anyone on hot yoga, I really try hard not to tell people what they would love. I am trying to sell the idea of finding and letting yourself have a self care experience. Something that fills your tank. Something that is so fulfilling it’s the only thing on your “To Do” list. Hey, let’s call this moment your “To Don’t.” If it’s really self care, you will know when you are on empty, then let yourself pay for a full tank of whatever it is you need.

Get lost and Refuel when the happy starts to wear off.

Namaste 😎

It Happened-

Fitness Junkie, Uncategorized

I cried in yoga class today. I feel like Alexis from Schitt’s Creek saying this, but “It was hot yoga and tears are made of the same stuff as sweat so….”

I think I cried because it felt like time was standing still and I really need that right now. Time has been on my mind lately. Time as in “Before things were the way they are now. ”

Before data took over classrooms.

Before so many friends began burying parents.

Before classroom doors had to stay closed and locked.

Before being excited that I slept through the night without waking up to pee or remove covers.

Before I knew that wrinkles had names.

I’m sure I don’t want to bring the rest of the world down with me today. I’m allowing myself this one day funk and honestly, I’m already feeling better. Here’s to music that changes moods.

Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes
(Turn and face the strange)
Ch-ch-changes
Oh, look out you rock ‘n rollers
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
(Turn and face the strange)
Ch-ch-changes
Pretty soon now you’re gonna get older
Time may change me
But I can’t trace time
I said that time may change me
But I can’t trace time.

I Don’t Think I Hate Yoga Anymore, Now What?

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Day two of my 30 day yoga pass, and I think I like it. I’m a gym junkie and I’m not ashamed to admit that. I’ll try anything as long as there’s no mud or fire involved. Yesterday a friend texted to tell me about an offer at her yoga studio, 30 days for thirty bucks, I signed up. It’s nice out, my mood is up, and I really think I need to like yoga. I know I will never be one of those folks that post pics of yoga poses, but I’m starting to understand why they do it. Those poses are hard, and beautiful. They might look easy, but let me tell you my body does NOT contort like that and I doubt it ever will.

Today I took a hot hip-hop yoga class. All morning I was excited picturing my hip-hop moves. In my imagination, I was slaying with Beyonce like the GOAT. On the way to the studio it hit me, “Holy shit! This is just going to be a yoga class with a hip-hop soundtrack!” I knew dancing was out, there’s barely enough air to breathe in that room, but I went anyway because I love hip-hop music, and I’m starting to appreciate that post yoga glow.

I survived, and I’m learning as I go. First of all, I will no longer wait in that hot room for the class to start. I will be that girl that sets up her mat and waits in the lobby cherishing as much cool air as possible. Yes, I will follow the instructor into the room and begin when she does. She’s the teacher, I’m the student, She’s modeling the behavior, and I am totally following it!

Second of all, I will continue to plan my exit strategy. I’m sure everyone around me is relishing in the “Be Present” vibe of it all, but 30 minutes into both classes I have taken, there are 15 minutes of panic where I am sure I am about to die. There’s this pose where one leg is behind me and my arm is straight out in front of me. You know what else is straight out in front of me…. The exit! And although I hope I never actually do it, during those 15 air free minutes, while everyone else is finding their zen, I am fantasizing about running to the parking lot for gulps of oxygen.

Finally, no to shirts with words, but yes to headbands that make me look like a lead singer in an 80’s hair band.  Remember that yoga glow I mentioned? It’s a thing except for the patch of chaffed skin on my chin from continual sweat swiping. Oh, and sweat dripping into ears isn’t that great of a feeling either, so I’m rocking that headband while I downward dog for the next class.  Yeah I said it, the next class. For me, yoga is like running a half marathon. I hate it while I’m in it, but as soon as I survive, I’m thinking about doing it again.

A Blog is (Re) Born

Fitness Junkie

I decided I need to blog. Something shorter and less committal than starting an article or book, but longer than a facebook post.  People have asked me if I ever thought of blogging and I until today I thought blogs were what other people wrote. I used to think that about hot yoga too.

I am a complete sucker for a fitness boutique bargain, so when a friend texted me about 30 days of yoga for 30 bucks, I was all in. For now, anytime my fitness Attention Span wanes, and I wander into a new class, there will be blogging.

I think I hate yoga, but I’ve never tried hot yoga, soooo.

Except for the sheer panic about 40 minutes in when I eyed the door and planned my quiet, but air-gulping bolt out of the room before what I know was impending suffocation, I experienced and obviously survived an entire day’s worth of regular emotions in the other minutes. The beginning was calm and confidence building. The instructor (Yogi?) reminded me that it was a “no judgement zone.” Whatever, I made a mental note that this was another benefit of being 50. I really didn’t give a shit about whether I was doing it right. However, accidentally sliding into a split thanks to incessant sweating causing a slippery mat, reminded me that I could really pull something,  “Oh hey actually feeling 50, there you are.”

I didn’t exit class skipping and loving it, but I also didn’t leave hating it.  What I did love is creating yoga homework for myself. There were definite moments I felt disgust and confusion, but it also felt weirdly exciting. The challenge of practicing and mastering some of the yoga moves that just look like body tangles to me right now, seems kind of fun. I mean, it took me a full year to love spin classes, so tomorrow when the gym I DO love is closed, back to yoga I go.

It’s Hip-Hop Yoga, and I’ve never tried that.