Thursday, August 28, 2014

Comfort Zone

I'm not really sure how it played out this way, but in the last week I did two things that were completely out of character for me, plus one thing that is completely reckless.

First, I held a scorpion:

My face says it all.
Yes, it's real. I asked if the scorpion was a 'stingless' variety. (It's not.I asked if the sting hurt, you know...kind of like a bee sting? (The sting is similar to a bee's sting, except x50.I was reassured to learn that the scorpion sting was unlike the bite of the brown recluse spider. (The flesh doesn't rot.) I still don't know what possessed me to hold this critter...but I have photographic proof of my momentary lapse of good judgement.

Second, I went stand-up paddle boarding for the first time:

The paddle board rental company is called 'Sup'.
I assume this is short for 'What's up?'
Success! The former headbanger in me often confuses
with 'metal' hands for 'aloha' hands. \m/ \m/ 
There was some concern about a large swell coming in, which made getting out and coming back in more challenging. The rental guy told us that he didn't really recommend it for newbies, but it was our call. I decided that since I had psyched myself to drive down there and give it a try, that I'd better just go for it.

There is a reason this girl doesn't do triathlons anymore; I am terrified of the open water. I enjoy the beach, but I'm much more comfortable playing in the surf than I am going out into deeper water. It was almost better to have a sense of urgency; we were instructed to get into the water and out past the waves as quickly as possible. I was in the water and on the board paddling on before I had a chance to even think. I was so hyper-focused on getting past the waves, I didn't even notice if the water was cold or not. 

My friend Jessani told me, 'You're so athletic, you'll catch on really fast!' Her vote of confidence was very sweet, but I was convinced I would fall right away. My legs were shaking from the adrenaline and trying to keep my balance. I was definitely out of my comfort zone, and it took me a good 20 minutes to settle into some sort of a rhythm. Paddle boarding was one of the hardest things I've done in a long time, but I can't wait to do it again!

And the last thing: Are you ready for the completely reckless and unexpected?

I'm going to Hello Kitty Con in November:

Amy Poehler font: Yeah, that's right. I'm 46-years old
and I'm going to Hello Kitty Con. Jealous??

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Firsts and Lasts

Summer just flew by, didn't it?

Today is the first day of my daughter's senior year of high school. I'm putting these photos up on my blog, because I can already tell this school year will be a blur. 

This came out so blurry! It's a forecast
for how quickly this school year will pass.


I'm excited for my daughter's last year of high school.

My husband didn't understand why 'senior'
was misspelled...or what a 'matilda' was. #adorable
This is also my son's last year in junior high. I'm hyperventilating over the fact that this time next year, he'll be starting high school and Girldoll will be starting college. 

I love this guy.
It's way too quiet at the house this morning. I made plans to meet a friend for paddle boarding -- my first time, ever! Wish me luck!

Leave a comment! Tell me something new that you've tried recently? 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


In an effort to network and stay motivated, I've been following a bunch of new fitness and running accounts on Instagram.  Social media has a way of inspiring me, giving me new ideas and keeping things fresh. Don't be can follow me, too! Just be prepared for the occasional Hello Kitty or Star Wars post.

There was a recent post-run photo in my feed from another runner I follow. She wrote that she had maintained a 7.58 pace during her 8-mile run. In my best day, I could never sustain a pace like that. And I only seem to get slower as I get older. We had a small exchange on Intagram, and I mentioned as much. 

She was very gracious, and said that it was all relative: there were other runners faster than her, the important thing was just to get out there and run.
I try to keep things in perspective: after being riddled with annoying setbacks that have kept me sidelined for months at a time (foot problemsthyroid issues, and bulging discs), I am lucky that I can run at all. My Instagram friend has a point; fitness is all relative. For example, people are frequently blown away when they find out that I am a spinning instructor. 

"I could never take a class like that?! It's so hard!" 

There is an intimidation factor for people who have never taken a spinning class. However, I'm of the belief that if you can pedal a bike, then you can take a spin class. Any instructor worth their mettle should offer modifications, and all fitness levels should be welcome. Regardless, there is something in my head that tells me that the stuff I do isn't good enough or doesn't count. 

The fact that I have taught spinning for almost 9 years? It doesn't matter; anyone can ride a stationary bike. I can't get a sub 2-hour half marathon? I'm a slacker, and everyone knows I'm not a 'real' runner. It's enormously frustrating. I would never say such terrible things or undermine a friend's efforts in this way. It is like a bad version of the children's story: The Little Engine That Couldn't. 

Despite all the work I have done, I have to stay one step ahead of my head. Every day, all the time. I know that these things aren't true, but I still have those thoughts. I chalk it up to what the recovery community refers to as an 'obsession of the mind'. 

Some days I can tune it out better than others. 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

All You Need To Know

Months ago, I asked a friend if I could do a feature of her blog, All You Need To Know. If you are a regular reader of my own blog, you will recognize her right away: Cristy is one of the few readers who regularly comments on my posts.

I'm an easy person to know, and it's pretty rare that I don't like someone. However, it's not often that someone will surprise or impress me. Cristy is one of those people. She is an avid volleyball player, a dedicated runner and always game for new ideas to keep her workouts fresh. 

I know that she's will probably disagree with my choice of adjective in terms of her running, but it's the truth. It's one thing to do something that comes easily, but sticking with something, even if it's difficult, is another matter entirely. This is what real character is about. We have participated in online weight-loss groups and fitness challenges together, and Cristy even has color-coded spreadsheets for her workout routines.

Cristy is an open book. She is comfortable talking about almost everything and no subject is off-limits (pelvic organ prolapse, anyone?). Cristy and her husband Mark have six children, all grown and gone. She is also the 'big dog momma' to a Bernese Mountain Dog named Jake. 

Big Dog Momma as I will always picture
her...with her big dogs, Jake and Ellie.

When I had to put our beloved girl dog to sleep, Cristy was so kind. She admitted to reading my post about Cafe several times over, which touched me greatly. When she had to put her own beautiful dog Ellie down a year later, I grieved for her loss. 

We are friendly on Facebook and I may or may not have also stalked her Picassa account (hello Bandit, Smokey and Tippy!) in the tiniest way, so I know what her cats and kids all look like. My favorite story in her blog is about her daughter Jenna. Although I have read the story several times, I am unable to find a link to it. It is, however, one of the sweetest testimonies about letting go and doing what is best for our children, and being the adult through difficult situations. 

Cristy may claim to be a relatively sane ice princess, but it's clear she has a heart of gold. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Twenty Four

Today is my wedding anniversary. I woke up to a sweet chalkboard message from my honey:

Even though it's difficult to see,
Chef Piggie's chalk sign reads:
24 years 
We are both sort of amazed by the fact that so much time has passed. It has gone by in a second, but it also has been a life time of love. I am the luckiest girl in the world. 

What do you get someone after 24 years of gifts? Easy.

That's right. Double your pleasure: Nine Inch Nails...and Soundgarden, all in one venue. I'm not positive, but it's a good bet we are one of the few couples celebrating a wedding anniversary in this way.

Does my love know what I like or what?? 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Feel The Burn

Today wraps up a 5-day celebration in our town called Old Spanish Days. It's peak tourism season here anyway, so the combination of both means tons of traffic and crowds. In terms of drinkers, it's total amateur hour. Imagine that one friend who doesn't know how to handle their liquor or how to pace themselves, stumbling down the sidewalk wearing an enormous 3 foot sombrero - and increase that by 20,000. It's a shot of gratitude for a girl like me.  

I am usually out of town on vacation during week of Fiesta. Since we were home, I was looking forward to catching some of the festivities for the first time in many years. Funnel cake and midway fair games hardly represent Spanish culture, so most locals generally avoid the mercados. The best place for food is at a local church: pozole, tamales, tacos de birria, churros and horchata. Yes, please!  

I went this year with a group of friends. While we waited in line for tamales, my best friend was telling us about how she had planned fun Fiesta-themed activities at her office each Friday, all month long. Being the helpful friend I am, I offered suggestions:

Me: You could hold a hot pepper eating contest! Tell them if their bowels aren't streaked with blood afterwards, then it wasn't hot enough.

My Best Girl: I'm thinking something more along the lines of a homemade salsa competition. 

Me: Right! Okay. You could make a really hot salsa for the judges to try...and call it, 'Fire Booty.'

My Best Girl: (no response)


Ah, Fiesta. It's a good thing you only come once a year. I'm still finding glitter and confetti from the cascarones all over my car and our house. 

Cascarones! If one of these buggers are cracked
over your head, you can expect to be picking
confetti out of your hair for hours.
Viva la Friends...I mean, Fiesta!
I'm not entirely sure what's
going on with my headband.