I was inspired by those fitness contestants at the last hotel I was visiting. I bet some of you are wondering how that is working out for me. Inspiration is not the same as execution. Life tends to get in the way of working out, but part of this process is learning how to fit it all in. So my first strategy is to remind myself to work out. With chemo brain this can be hard so I place my puny 8lb weights on the corner of the kitchen counter. That way I am visually reminded every time I walk in and out of the room. With four kids I pass by them 100 times a day. So even if I stop and do one set of anything a quarter of the times I walk by then I am getting in 25 possible sets! I have upped the number of each arm exercise I do as I pass by and I am beginning to see changes in my arm musculature. I am also, more importantly, able to lift our heavier pans with more ease. So I plan to keep this up. I am trying to get 3 sets of 15 of each exercise each day. Each set may be hours apart, but 3 sets is better than no sets!
My running is getting to be more challenging as I have to run for at least 30 minutes vigorously to keep the joint pain at bay. With the heat lately, I have been forced to do treadmill running, and there is a reason it is called the dreadmill. It is so boring even with a movie on I can’t seem to keep my eyes away from that ridiculously slow-moving distance counter! So I am excited for 3 kids to start soccer. Now this might seem like a crazy statement, and I will admit I am fully capable of making crazy statements; but it’s true! With three kids in soccer that is three practices a week. That is three chances for me to run outside!!!! It is boring to run around the soccer field a ton of times, but it is way more interesting than the dreadmill! If I can get at least two of those days, plus a long run on the weekend, then I am sure I can see some positive changes! I hope you all can maybe use one of these ideas to try to get some more optimized time also! Happy workout!
I have four kids, and as we all know at some point and time they get frustrated at what their siblings can do. They play soccer better, they run faster, and they do EVERYTHING better! This can sometimes lead them to give up on a task, but more often than not they try harder until they are better than their peers. They constantly try to do as well as their siblings. I am currently trying to recapture this childhood ideal. The ability to be undeterred by those that are better than you. The ability to look at someone else’s success and see possibility! I must admit this is harder than I thought as I am just struggling to find time to work out. I have hit a major slump in my workouts and gained 10 lbs. over a month of travel.
I was feeling a little down when I went down to the hotel exercise room to sneak in a quick, or rather slow, five mile run. As I logged my first slow mile a lady came into the hotel gym with a man who appeared to be her trainer. She was quite fit, but not muscular. Moments later a very buff lady walked in. I began to feel a smidge self-conscious. Then in walked a seriously buff woman. All three there surrounding me with their super fit bodies and me with my nice layer of pudge. I thought about stopping as I finished a slightly faster 3rd mile. But then I realized that I was the beginning rung on this ladder of fitness. While I may have been the least fit woman in the room, each woman showed me the next step in my path. The second lady worked harder than the first, and the third had worked the hardest.
I kicked the treadmill up a notch and cranked out two more miles. I may not have been as strong as them, but I could be! Those super buff women have reignited my fitness fervor, and I have since been upping my running game. I have added squats, planks and some upper arm weights. Here’s to all those that inspire rather than bring you down!
When I was about twelve years old I was visiting my grandparents in Las Vegas. I remember being in the back bedroom with my brother and two younger male cousins. All of a sudden I heard laughter coming from the front of the house. I looked at the boys and noticed that they seemed to not hear it. I felt as if the laughter was calling me to the front of the house. I left the room, dodging controller cords from the Nintendo, and headed down the hallway to the front of the house. I looked at the family pictures as I passed smiling at the old pictures of people I knew, and a few I didn’t. As I entered the living room the men of the family briefly glanced at me and almost immediately returned their gaze to the blaringly loud TV. Once I turned right into the dark kitchen I could see the women of the house sitting at the dining room table illuminated only by the dimmed chandelier.
There were five of them at the table; my mom, my aunt Anita (who I bore a remarkable resemblance to), my aunt Linda, my Abuelita (my grandmother), and my auntie Annie (my grandmother’s sister). I paused a minutes as another eruption of laughter occurred causing me to wonder if they were laughing atme. A worry immediately assuaged by my mother’s smile and open arms as she welcomed me to the table. Shy as all get out I crawled into my mother’s lap as best I could at twelve. They all smiled at me as the conversation continued, each taking turns telling old family lore which always had a hilarious ending. With each bout of laughter I felt their energy and strength flow into me. Some stories were fun from beginning to end and some started out very sad, but they all ended in laughter. From that day on I was one of them and spent many nights soaking in their laughter, stories, and strength.
Today is a cancerversary for me. Four years ago I was diagnosed with cancer and forced to wean my youngest daughter all in one very long day. Four years ago I was able to tap into the energy absorbed from all those nights and plow forward into this new state of being that includes cancer. Today I look back as those powerful women in my life looked back. I do not see the pain and the hardship. I only see stories, strength, and most importantly laughter. I look forward knowing that, while that table and that dining room are gone, they will always be with me giving me strength and reminding me to look at all the good in life. Today is a happy day to live and laugh another day.