I returned to the place of my people, Arkansas. I sought breathing space in the place where I always find it to prepare for what lay ahead.
On an overcast Sunday morning I set out from Pickthorne onto a winding, flat trail, with overgrown trees that did not allow any vision of what lay between or behind them. This overgrowth required me to be extra mindful of the surroundings so photographs were not taken in order to move quickly through this section. Fortunately nothing happened other than my heart and mind racing and I was able to turn back to see what was behind me and look forward to what was ahead.
The trail from Pickthorne Park connects Henson Tennis Center and Devon Park and has stream running along side it. There is also a bird sanctuary according to the website, which I did not see.
The end of the paved trail had these interesting rock sculptures that I imagine have taken many shapes as they have been reformed and reimagined by the people passing through.
Though eery at the onset, Pickthorne Park is recommended if accompanied by others. For more information on Little Rock or Sherwood parks, click the links.
I have written in journals my entire writing life though I only have about 20 years of them that have survived. Early this morning I began writing with a neon green pen on paper that was not a good look, too light and dreadful looking on the page.
I tried another green pen, a recent reject that I thought was so bomb months ago, but was recently added to the reject bin due to it turning into Count Blobula. So, on to the next.
I knew there would be a chance that pen #3 wouldn’t last. I love the color and love the line but these bad boys dry up and stop writing out of nowhere, then write again, then stop again, then write again. This morning low and behold I got about four sentences in and it was caput, then restarted again.
I finally settled (note the word choice) on #4, old faithful, and guess what happened? She worked like a champ. As I continued writing it dawned on me that what happened with those pens was a very LOUD message. This is what I received:
I was trying to make do with the first two pens even though I knew the results would be unsatisfactory. This says to me that I was reaching for what was convenient, even though I KNEW from experience that convenience and proximity don’t necessarily yield the best results.
The third pen was like a former lover – the thrill was there, I was hopeful that it would last this time but once again, the experience ended in disappointment.
The fourth pen was the truth – It was inconvenient, not the closest to me and was not glittery, shiny nor new but it was real, stable and reliable which made it beautiful.
Life is like that for me anyway. I’m always chasing after the next big thing, thinking that this thing is IT, IT IS THE ONE and baby it almost never is. What I already possessed is good enough, it is:
It has to be one of the most uncomfortable feelings in recent memory for me, as I sat there suffering in silence thinking of the regrettable choice that I made in attire. Though not a problem on previous trips, it most certainly was one now. I loathe a warmup or shorts on flights, I’m old school. I’m just now really traveling in jeans or khakis having given up the old school notion of “dress to impress” for a flight, but right now these jeans ain’t hittin.
I wore the jeans sans belt because I don’t have that TSA pre-check (#$;#$$) meaning I have to pass through regular security and place my whole life in those bins. Wearing a belt was not a priority. However, the lycra in these bad boys have reached their outer limit. What formerly was comfy and roomy has become the binding for my shame. I made it just fine to the airport and to the gate but when I strapped into my teeny economy seat the unthinkable happened and thank God no one could see.
I felt air hit, I pulled my shirt down and pulled my hoodie down in the back, lest I reveal to no one and nothing but the seat I was sitting in my issue, my shame,
my plumber’s crack.
I don’t know that the belt could cover the sins of my diet the last 18 months or so. My a@$ is fat to the tune of +45 lbs in the brief aforementioned timespan. So I sat and suffered in silence while plotting how I would leave my seat and reach for my bag in the overhead without revealing my whole a@$.
The day after Christmas I start seeing those ads, you know the ones from the big brands selling you a plan to lose weight, join a gym, buy the hottest home fitness machine or the newest wearable. Seeing these commercials again and reading this article got me amped about the cost of “wellness.”
Worldwide revenue for 2018 was $94 billion according to the International Health Racquet and Sportsclub Association ( IHSRA) and is expected to increase as health clubs/gyms enter emerging markets. What is driving this?
In an article from Forbes, Crunch Fitness Franchise CEO provides six reasons as to why there’s been such explosive growth in the industry ranging from decreased costs to employers who incentivize healthy living, availability of biometrics at one’s fingertips through wearables and lower priced gym memberships. All this is fine and dandy for the wellness/fitness industry but circling back to my original beef, why in the world are we paying all this money to be healthy? Here’s my unscientific opinion.
Prolifieration of certain beauty standards in the media – This is as old the first ad for a beauty cream. Buy a thing, achieve a look, unlock the secret to the fabulous life.
We spend money on stuff, period – Looking at the time period immediately following the Great Recession, folks in the United States, still spend money on personal consumption items even in periods of increasing prices.
The brain – this is really number one. There are things that happen inside the brain that transmits to our bodies that causes actions whether they be physical or mental. We think, we act in simple terms. Scientists please weigh in, because I’m really saying is:
In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve been buying it, FOR YEARS. I’ve had gym memberships off and on since the 80s. “Donated” to Weight Watchers once because I couldn’t stick with the program, own 3 Fitbits, stream paid fitness classes and have so many freaking shoes, weights and things that you’d think I’d be buff like a mug, but I’m not. It should not be this way. It should not cost to be well, to be healthy. Yeah we certainly have choices. I made a choice to buy all the things, chasing that fit dream but now it’s not sustainable, it’s wasteful almost obscenely so. That said, I’m rethinking my personal wellness plan. I shouldn’t have nor want to give up a bunch of cash to healthy.
How about you? Is the cost of wellness on your last nerve? What low or no cost things you do for your health, Let me know in the comments. In the meantime I’ll be doing some free stuff utilizing what is already in my arsenal, eat well, exercise, sleep.
When sleep will not be so evasive for ye olde broad. Part of the poor sleeping is due to:
The Men O Pause – nature and nothing more I desire to do about it but let it run its course
Snackmaster Flex – my alternate ego who makes questionable food choices at night. Cheez-its anyone?
Drugs – not of the illicit kind, chill! The normal culprit for me is prednisone.
Now, 2 and 3 are both within my control. Both actions are a result of choices I made. I will cop to that. There will come up a time, hopefully before the permanent move to the upper room, that I will get some sleep.
I love summertime. School is out, daylight hours are longer, folks relax, take vacations and all of those good things. As an adult the same good feelings come to mind albeit a bit differently. School is out, so the traffic is better, I’m less ragey because there is no traffic and I can get off the treadmill and head outside in my neighborhood or a park to walk. I mean, I get all Bart Scott about the prospects of watching squirrels, hearing birds chirp and seeing the spring and summer color. This spring though, a funny (not funny) thing happened that cancelled my summertime fun. Ye olde broad got injured and ooh chile the aggravation of it all.
Now I have some level of vanity, I get it from my daddy 😉, and some level of toughness from my mama, so even after it occurred, not only did I continue to wear my fave pumps and other non-supportive type shoes, I continued walking, until the pain became a little too much to bear so I finally got an x-ray, that showed nothing. This was followed by more pain and finally a trip to the podiatrist. Boy did I pick the right one. Dr. M. was straight no chaser. She said that there would be no negotiations as I had an ankle sprain on the right and tendonitis in the left foot. The orders? No exercising with the exception of a rower which I do not own nor have access to, RICE, and wearing the hideousness below.
Now any readers who’ve followed this blog over the years is familiar with the aches and pains my past. At the time of the injury, I was already on the way to be mummified because I was wearing some combination of all the contraptions below. My joints just weren’t having it from the weight I’d put on. The ankle/foot thing was just another bump in the road… maybe.
From June through August I wore the ankle braces and followed a slow incorporation of exercise back into my life per doctors orders. Mid August I went home to see my mama for her birthday and by the time I got back to the durty I was FREEEEEE from those braces. Having been confined to indoors all summer, y’all know I couldn’t wait (again). The thing is, I should have. I walked outside 3 days in a row the week I came back in town. The third day the pain started. By September I’m emailing the doctor whining and she advised me to put the braces back on and to get an MRI. I wore the braces for about 5 days and stopped. This was yet another mistake. My follow-up showed the nastiness I did not want to see, a contusion, inflammation and arthritis. The issue was the former two, note the latter. I asked what’s next? She tried to be easy but kept it real. A boot, crutches and another contraption to even my gait, RICE, NSAIDS and the same no-exercise regimen except for the pool or a rower.
No lie kids, ye olde broad was depressed behind this s#*t even though it is all temporary. As of this writing, I’m feeling alright. So here’s some parting wisdom for fellow tough guys and hard heads out there. Listen to your body. If something isn’t right don’t try to push through it. Stop and head to a physician if you have the means to do so and let her/him diagnose you and do what they tell you to do. Trust me, the older you get, the longer it takes to recover and baybay you wants noooooo parts of this.
Until next time, see you at physical therapy, which is likely my next stop.
It’s January 12th, in the Year of our Lord 2018, do you know where your goals are? Some, and I hope many, are crushing it right now. The rest of us mere morals may have already faced tests. Let me know if any of these scenarios are familiar.
It’s the 1st, no one really starts today anyway.
Is that you? If you’re off work on 1/1 you may be hungover and don’t have the head nor the stomach to do anything other than get past it. If you’re not hung over and at home you may just be feeling like a lazy snack monster and munch all day, throw in some college football and it’s a wrap on the diet tip for the day.
It’s the 2nd, you go to the gym and it is packed!
If you are a consistent gym goer, you know the deal. All the resolution folks are there. On top of it these noobs are using “your treadmill, your leg press etc., ” so you’re out of your routine. Your attitude is now stank and the subsequent workout is trash, because you’re focused on them using “your” stuff.
The holidays are over except at your job. It’s your co-worker’s birthday, cake and ice cream are being served.
You just got back to work, ready to roll on your new program, or restart your old one and of course without fail, here comes the birthday cake. There is always a birthday at work or some event that first week that involves food. I’m not talking about nuts and berries and salad but cake and ice cream and other sweet/salty/rich delights. Whatchu gone do? Eat the cake/chips/enter junk food name here of course.
I’m here to tell you that it will be okay. The universe is not out to get you and your love handles, this is just life. As a HUMAN we are always tempted by the stuff we are not “supposed to have.” Also as a human, you have choices and there not either or, nor punitive just be flexible. Hungover? Yeah you should probably take it easy. Noobs filling the gym? Celebrate the fact that they made a decision to get moving. Use their addition to the gym as an opportunity to do something different. Try some different equipment. Take your workout outside (weather permitting OR workout at home. There are tons of videos on-line for FREE that will do you just fine.
Don’t throw in the towel folks. Keep up the good work and if you fell off, get back up and try it again. Being healthy and fit isn’t a one day affair, it’s a lifetime of healthy habits. I know I’m going to keep it pushing.
Until next time, see you at the gym, the trail or somewhere else, because there ARE options.
Way back during the times that dinosaurs roamed the earth I was a teen living in the home of my mother and father. In one house (my fave), was a nice sized kitchen. Open, eat-in style with plenty of cabinet space and a walk in pantry. The upper cabinet closest to the pantry housed the family pharmacy. In it were all the prescription meds, otcs and vitamins. We certainly had medicine cabinets I just don’t recall medicine being in them. The kitchen was it and looking back it makes sense because the kitchen is where the beverages were and required for taking meds, unless you’re a person with snake-like tendencies swallowing pills whole without water. None of us are snakes.
I am now my mother.
Around age 37 or so the proverbial poo hit the fan. I thought I was having a heart attack, madamoiselle drama queen called the nurse advice line who told me to call an ambulance and go the hospital. Now EMTs weren’t an unusual site in my townhouse community as there were a few neighbors who were seniors. I was NOT a senior and was getting hauled off to what later became a more frequent hangout spot, Northside Hospital.
I was a big lady, am now too but even bigger then. I tell them I’m having chest pains and can’t breathe and these fools put my big butt on a treadmill on INCLINE. They kept speeding it up until I was running. Then they looked at me crazy because I was running. I’m like, “don’t get it twisted I’m a 200 lb cardio queen.” But I digress, they finished the stress test, told me my heart was fine and that I was having an asthma attack.
They used to say that you “outgrow” asthma. Those famous theys lied. I’d gone 20 years without problems but the greenery of the metro and the smog had me jacked up. After painful allergy tests, allergy shots which I still get, Ct scans (just had one last week) and alllllllll the meds I’ve become my mother, the lady with the kitchen medicine cabinet except my kitchen is far less spacious and said meds are kept In a basket. Most of the basket is filled with vitamins, however meds are ever present to handle all of my various maladies. Do I like it? Nah. Are there alternatives? Yeah sure, just haven’t found anything that doesn’t cause HIVES. So for now, I do what is required in order to keep all my fluffiness upright and above ground.
What about you? When was the moment that you became your mom/dad/grandmam? Let me know in the comments or the usual places. Until next time, see you in the vitamin aisle or the pharmacy where I’ll be trying to maintain.
It’s Memorial Weekend and hot as a mug in the metro. Last I wrote it was the dead of winter, well it was January anyway, not that cold here. Nonetheless, it’s been a long time and I’m glad to be here, but MAN things have been hectic.
Health – is meh. Fitness is blah, weight is through the ROOF. You see really since about September I have been WORKING. At one stretch in the last months I was working four, yes FOUR jobs. I had bidness to take care of, debts to settle and it was just required. Now I know certain folk are beasts of fitness and manage to balance the whole world on their shoulders while staying tip top (POTUS & FLOTUS I see you). I’m not that good at scheduling nor motivated enough to try to do all the things. An ole broad got to sleep sometimes. So to maintain energy I sparingly worked out, sparingly practiced yoga and stayed afloat on a steady diet of milk duds, popcorn and Nutriblast juice. Helluva a combination right? Well after 4 jobs, 10 lbs and seemingly endless financial roadblocks this happened:
YEAHHHHHH BOYYYEEEEEEEE, ye olde broad bought her very first house! I’m in it now, it’s an absolute wreck and in spite of the inspection I have been getting stuff fixed non-stop, but… not sharing a wall with someone I don’t live with has been priceless. I didn’t know how much that was on my nerves until it wasn’t there. More importantly though I never thought it would happen, and it did.
The working has slowed, I walked today and it was nice and soon, I hope to exhale completely. In the mean time I leave you with this. As long as you’re upright and above ground you have a chance to change your life. Eight years ago, I was fragile AF, a middle aged divorcee starting over with NOTHING but problems, some of which I never thought I’d ever overcome, but I did. Wasn’t easy, sometimes it still isn’t but I kept it pushing, kept the faith and got some stories to tell. I had to live through it to tell it and I’m thankful that I did. You can too, whatever that thing is that you THINK you can’t over come, you can honey. It’s not too late.