My Year To Thrive

"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style." ~Maya Angelou


Weekly Update: Jan 7-13, 2013

I see exercise taking this perverted detour. The original intention of exercise was to heal and maintain health. Now I see it as having nothing to do with health. I see most exercises based on looking good. They actually make you less healthy. You overdevelop the obvious muscles. You take drugs to enhance that. You ignore the rest, and you become more out of balance.
~Bryan Kest 
(Quote Garden)

 Not going to break this week down because I’ve done a lot that wasn’t tracked anywhere.

I started my strength training & tennis classes this week..  The ST class was folded in with other classes that didn’t have enough students left after the drop period to be their own class, so it will be more general that just lifting.  She is going give me a personalized lifting regimen though & said I could just lift if that’s all I wanted to do.  I’m down for mixing it up though.  Tennis was just a “hey, how ya doing” class this week, so nothing to report there.  I have already informed a friend that she is going to be my tennis partner & I will teach her how to be a shitty tennis player just like me!

Said friend & I also joined a gym this week.  I went a few days.  Since it’s January it’s been extra busy this week, but I did the bike, a fusion class, & some treadmill intervals.  That was fun.  We have our consult with the trainer Tuesday & we’ll see what comes of that.  I have already told her I will not weigh or have my body fat percentage taken, & I don’t need to know what my BMI is.  She looked at me like I had two heads.  I want to focus on what I can do & how I feel.  What I weigh is irrelevant. Continue reading



It Ain’t What They Call You, It’s What You Answer To

“It ain’t what they call you, it’s what you answer to.”
~W.C. Fields

A picture of a "Hello my name is" name tag & a sharpie marker.

So, I’m slow.  I make no secret about that fact.  I have always been known for being slow at everything my entire life.  My nickname in elementary school was Slow Jo.  One time I tried to hurry up in the line to lunch because all the kids behind me were complaining about how slow I walked; I fell into the splits in the hallway.  It was then I decided hurrying was just not for me.  I failed at production work & at waitressing for that very reason.  The sloth is one of my favorite animals because we have a similar attitude on the issue.

A picture of a sloth crawling across a road.I kinda look like that running, but sometimes I shave my legs.

What I don’t generally talk about is my time when running.  I track it.  I have a spreadsheet that tracks my miles, times, & average speed.  I don’t worry too much about how fast I go, but I like to see my speed creeping up there.  I’ve been working on speed a little the last couple of weeks, but I’ll talk about that later.  Right now I figure I will out myself about just how slow I go, because it has come up lately.  I have been averaging about 18.5min/mile, but last night I dropped that to just under 18mins, 17:57.  There I said it.  It currently takes me almost twice as long to run a mile as probably most of the people who consider themselves “runners”.  To a lot of people I would not be considered a real runner, I would be a jogger.  I do not accept this.

I am a runner.
And a pox on anyone who doesn’t like it.

In my experience most people in the running community don’t make a fuss about how fast you go, especially for beginners, & I feel like the perpetual beginner, but I’ve run into a few people who want to make that distinction between being a real runner & being a jogger.  To them I say, what is the difference between running & jogging?  Speed.  Jogging is slow running, so vis-à-vis even though I am slow I am running.  Running makes me a runner.  I go as fast as I am currently able to sustain for the distance I need to go.  At this time my primary goal is to build up my distance, so speed is not a big concern.  The more I run, naturally the faster I get.  I don’t think I’ll ever be fast, but someday I might make it to the speed of the average human.  At least I can pass the walkers in the park.  Sure they might be sixty, but you have to take your victories where you can get them.  Not to mention I’m short, fat, & I’m running on bad knees & cheap shoes.  (For those who don’t know, I was in a car wreck in high school where I was not wearing my seat belt & was thrown forward.  I smashed the windshield with my head & the dashboard with my knees.  My head was fine, but my knees were left with compressed cartilage & bone chips.  Over the 22yrs since then, I have developed nerve damage in one knee & I just found out this year I have the beginnings of arthritis in them.  Fun stuff.)

I bring this up, because I was talking to a friend, who btw does not run at all, & his reply was, “oh, so you’re just jogging.”  Another friend of mine has recently taken up the sport, & he says he’s “just jogging.”  Given that he’s about foot taller than me & in much better shape, I’m sure he’s faster than me.  They can call it whatever they want, but I staunchly defend my right to call myself a runner.

Now that that’s out-of-the-way, here is what has been going on with me in running & a bit in life. Continue reading


Mental Barriers During Exercise

The obstacles you face are… mental barriers which can be broken by adopting a more positive approach.
~Clarence Blasier (Think Exist)

Metal fence with shadow

When I run a mile at the park it takes two laps.  When I switch to the high school track it takes four.  Even though the track is half as long, after two laps I am ready to stop.

When I run for a mile now, if I get tired I just have to keep telling myself I can do it because I’ve done it before & I have the juice to keep going around.

When I’m doing push-ups, in order to do a certain number of them I have to fix that number in my mind.  I can do that many, however I have to struggle, & often that is it.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how mental exercise is.  Before I never thought I could do it, so I didn’t.  Between the running & the push-ups challenge I have realized when I don’t think I have anything left inside me, I just need to dig deeper.  I am proud & amazed at what I’ve accomplished so far.  Continue reading

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I Ran A Mile!

“The man who thinks he can and the man who thinks he can’t are both right. Which one are you?” 
~Henry Ford (Good Reads)

My big head after I ran a mile


I’ve been running intervals since I started running a couple of years ago.  It has been off & on, mostly off.  The whole time I have been running intervals, but I finally decided to push for distance because I have always had as a goal to be able to run a mile.


I started trying to run one solid half mile loop around the park.  I got close, but the two times I tried it I had to walk a couple of minutes.  I mentioned it on Fit Fatties & another runner told me if I slowed my pace down I would make my distance goal.  That night I tried it, & not only did I make it once around, I kept going & made it twice for a whole mile!  Hurray!!!

That was St. Patrick’s Day, so just over a week ago.  I have gone running three times this week & hit my mile each time.  No significant time improvements, but I’m working on it.

The first time I went out after St. Pat’s I was nervous I wouldn’t be able to repeat the mile.  I nearly worried myself into not going back out, but I did go & was as happy the second time I ran a mile as I had been the first.   Continue reading

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Perfect Push-ups: Proper Exercise Form, Equipment, and More

Movement is a medicine for creating change in a person’s physical, emotional, and mental states.
~Carol Welch (Quote Garden)

Inktastic t-shirt design: Push-ups T-Rex hates them too.

See! You thought it was just you. (Source)

I mentioned I restarted the hundred push-ups challenge.  I started a year ago (3/7/11, so almost exactly a year), but I quit after maybe three weeks.  It was in my sidebar, so I had the date & that I only started with five push-ups.  I’m finishing up week 1 today, so I did the first test some time last week, & I’m proud to say I maxed out with twenty then:D

To that end, I was doing a little more research into proper form, & ran across this article from WebMD.  It has some good info on push-ups, proper form, & information on several variations for people who are either unable to do a full push-up or are looking for something more challenging.

Perfect Push-ups: Proper Exercise Form, Equipment, and More

For myself, I do the half push-ups, also called knee push-ups or “girl push-ups”.  But I don’t like the last one:~P  I have carpal tunnel & bad knees (compressed cartilage & some loose bone chips, or something I forget what they told me they were exactly but they make it very painful to be on my knees.  Always wear your seatbelt!).  

For the knees I use two yogo mats.  One laid out flat to keep from laying in the floor & cushion under my hands, & the extra one rolled up under my knees.  This makes a huge difference since I would be unable to do them at all otherwise.

For the carpal tunnel, instead of using the typical flat hands, I go up on my fists.  They mention this method in the WebMD article, & call it knuckle push-ups.  I had never heard a name for it, so that was interesting.  It lets you keep your wrist straight during the exercise, so far less pressure & pain.

Also, watch your breathing!  I was having horrible headaches after doing the push-ups, & some research revealed it’s because I was slipping back into my old bad habit of holding my breath when I exercised.  Oops!  That’s apparently very bad & causes a lot of excess pressure in your head, especially if you are already eaten alive by sinus pain & pressure.  Dehydration can also cause headaches, so drink your water!

If anyone does or has done this challenge, I would love to hear about it!  I have a friend on facebook who just finished week 2.  She  posted tonight she did her retest & quadrupled the number of push-ups she maxed on her first test.  So hurray!

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100 Push Ups – Or Something Like That

“There is never time in the future in which we will work out our salvation. The challenge is in the moment; the time is always now.”
~James A. Baldwin (BrainyQuotes)

Woman doing push-ups

I know what you’re thinking, but nope that’s not me. (Image used from

My sinuses are killing me.  My head feels ready to explode.  Did get a little done today though, & wanted to be sure to update.

First, I guess I should address the push-ups, since that’s my title.  I started One Hundred Push Ups today.  It’s a six week online training program to build up to doing 100 push ups. Continue reading