Sunday, December 14, 2008

Ixtapa Report

I am sorry to report that there was no marathon involved in the making of this vacation. There was also no animal testing. We tested the beer and wine on humans. And neither of us had any tequila at all. Amazing.

Our travel day down was long. The flight time was about seven hours, but travel time was about 21 from the time we left the house until we checked in at the hotel. But it was fine. We had books and we just chilled in the San Francisco and Mexico City airports. We walked around and ate at both. But I must say by the time we ate dinner I was so exhausted I couldn't see straight and I only had two glasses of wine with my dinner. We chose our possibilities for the trip in San Francisco. We do this all the time, we think about how we want to experience our lives. I chose flow, fun and adventure. Steve chose connection and tranquility. This is exactly what we got.

Our room was fabulous. Here is the view from our balcony.

We immediatly suited up and went to walk on the beach. We walked by the massage tents. There were probably about eight tents set up. They all charged $20 for an hour massage. Monday, Wednesday and Friday were open on my calendar. My only complaint is they use mineral oil and by the time I walk back to the hotel I get a little burnt. But I learned from the last time we went to Ixtapa that I had to shower immediately. Sorry, I got a little distracted reminiscing. After our walk we changed clothes and went to look for a dinner spot. We found quite a few and everyone wanted our business. We chose but as I said earlier, we were so tired we had to go straight to bed. We were asleep by 7:30, it was great.

This is how most of our days went. Get up, go eat, walk on beach or at the market, have a beer and snack, go to the room to take our time getting ready and then go out to dinner. Steve ran Monday, Wednesday and Saturday mornings. This is the start of his first run from the 11th floor balcony. This is pretty blurry because I had to zoom in a long way. we got most of our shopping done and got signed up for a private tour of the country side on Tuesday. We saw crocodiles and bird, archeological artifacts, churches, markets, beaches, coconut candy and where they collect sea salt. Here are a bunch of pictures from the trip.

Here is one last picture I promised Rick.

Sand to Snow

This is what we woke up to yesterday.

This was today.

Friday, November 28, 2008

This is life

We've been busy here, which is what life is all about. I have been working at the Y on changes we are making to the schedule. I also have been going to trainings. I will start training instructors in January. It looks like I will have one weekend most months that will be focused on training others. I like it.
Steve has been running events. He doesn't train a lot during the week, but gets in those long ones on the weekend. Tomorrow he is running Ghost with Robin and his friend Adam. Adam is a marathon virgin so it should be good.
Robin came home for Thanksgiving. It is great having him in the house. Everything gets busier. He is hopfully going to transfer from Western to UW for spring quarter. We are waiting to hear.
Family came over for Thanksgiving yesterday. It is so nice to have a house full of people. We had 11 at the table and four on the floor. Begging. We had Puck, Blossom, Safari, and Oliver hoping someone would drop something, anything. I'm sure none of them will start in the next few days. Puck and Blossom need to go on a little diet here pretty soon. My Mom and Dad came, my sister, her husband and two kids, and Sydnee brought Drew. It was great having him help prep for dinner. I had help from everyone it seemed and made the day go easy. After my sis left, Michelle and Wally came over for dessert. They brought Snickers salad. I know it sounds strange, but it was really good. I got the recipe.
Today my dear friend, Anne, is coming down. Anne, Mom and I are canning applesauce. It usually takes me forever to cut and core and cook the applesauce, but I think three sets of hands will make quick work of it. The time consuming part will be the canning. Six jars at 20 minutes. Did I mention we have about 80 pounds of apples. It's going to be great.
Mom and Dad will be taking the dogs home with them so Steve and I don't have to worry for the next two weeks and can enjoy ourselves. I am so thankful for them and their generous spirits.
I love my family bunches.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Massage Office Redo

Here are some pictures of my new sanctuary. Actually it is my massage office, but I love it. My mom came up for the weekend to help me with wallpapering brown paper bags on the wall and then a watered down latex paint wash. We shopped two of the days she was here, went to an art show and saw the musical South Pacific. We also went to church this morning. We were busy.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Baker Lake 50K, Robin’s First Ultra

Robin did great on his first 50K at Baker Lake. The Garmin had 31 and was short a mile or more all day to the course miles. SportTracks had the adjusted mileage at 33.5.

We did the early start at 7 AM and ran the first 20-21 miles with Michelle and Eric in 5:30 (15.46/mile), singing and hooting like Mad Monkeys. We got a lot of smiles and a few return hoots from the many runners passing back on forth. Michelle decided to take a short and well deserved break at the Aid Station and we were ready to move on. My kids amaze me, they run so well with very little training. He took the lead and ran steady and strong for the last 12.5 miles in 2:20, 11:18/mile.

The normal single out and back course was revised this year because of washed out bridges. Shawn (RD) and TC ran till 4AM to mark the trail section. Now that’s a dedicated RD and crew. Many thanks to Shawn, Tony, Arthur, Jon, Laura, and the other volunteers for their time and a great event.

The first 4 miles were uphill on gravel, then back down two on gravel to the main AS. Then began the two out and backs (14 miles and 10 miles) on beautiful single track trail along the lake. The trial along the lake was a mix of flat and rolling hill sections, mostly smooth with maybe a third narrow with roots and rocks.

James, Chris and the other elites were amazingly fast on the course. We got to see everyone multiple times in the three out and back sections. Michelle recovered well after her break and ran well for the last third. Robin and I hitched a ride back up the road and meet Michelle and Eric and ran in the last mile or so with them. Michelle and Eric finished in just over 9 hours, with Mad Monkey #2 carrying her across the finish line threshold for their anniversary.

We stayed a while to watch the last runners come in and chat with friends. Then, we changed into dry clothes, headed to Red Robin with Jane, and began the long drive home in the drizzle. Another wonderful weekend of running and friends.

Life is good. Hugs to you all and peace be with you.

Monday, August 25, 2008

What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas?

I just got home from Vegas. Did I mention that I took my 22 year old daughter, Sydnee with me. We had timeshare points that we would lose if we didn't use them, so off we went.

We stayed five nights. We were really busy. We went to see what tickets we could get for shows, then we went to New York New York to ride the roller coaster. Sydnee doesn't like roller coasters, but since I was funding this trip she went along. She didn't really like it. Later we went to Stomp Out Loud. It was fabulous. We both enjoyed the music made only with percussion, and the humor without words.

The next day we went to the Hoover Dam in the morning, took a Stripper 101 class in the afternoon and went to La Cage in the evening. The Hoover Dam was impressive.

The Stripper class was really fun. I was surprised that we were the only mother/daughter group there. And just so you know, I don't want a pole. I get too dizzy spinning around. Luckily we learned a few other things. ;) Both Sydnee and I were disappointed in La Cage. Some of the humor was a little mean spirited for my taste.

Friday we walked about a mile to and around the Mandalay Bay resort and casino, then took the bus to the Outlet Mall. We went shopping and found some good deals. After shopping we took the bus to Margaritaville.

It was good. Pomagranite margarita may be my new favorite. We walked back to the hotel to rest and get ready for the evening. We took a free tour from the hotel to the downtown district. The Fremont area was okay. The light show was neat, but the casinos were really smokey. I guess we are spoiled here with no smoking in public places.

Saturday we went to the Red Rock Canyon and the Spring Mountain Ranch. It is a beautiful place and if it hadn't been 100 degrees, it would have been good to hike. Sydnee spent some time by the pool before we went to see Ka, a Cirque du Soleil production. It had martial arts in it and an amazing stage. Hard to explain, but fun to watch.

Sunday we walked. We stopped at the Flamingo, Venetian, Palazzo, Mirage, and Cesear's Palace. We then walked down to the Monte Carlo and ate at the Diablo Cantina. It was a good thing we had coupons for free margaritas. They were kind of small and okay and cost $9 each. Sydnee spent more time by the pool before we went to the Excalibar to the Tournament of Kings and dinner. We then went back to the hotel and packed and went to bed early so we could get up at 4:30 am (otherwise known as O'dark thirty) to catch a shuttle at 5. We ended up getting on an earlier flight that got us home almost 4 hours ahead of schedule.

Now I need to unpack, do laundry, clean some of the house and tomorrow I will go get the dogs.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What Happened?

Okay, I haven't posted since Sydnee graduated and that has been two months. I'm not sure how that happened, but I do have a pretty good idea. Here is the deal.

The Saturday after graduation Steve ran the NB2V (North Bend to Vantage). I can't remember how far he ran, but Bob, Steve's dad, Sydnee and Michelle crewed and ran different parts of it. On Sunday, we went to see One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest at the Lakewood Playhouse. It was fabulous. We have had season tickets at this local theatre for a few years and it is so worth the money. We have seen some great productions.

The next weekend we helped move Sydnee from Tacoma to Puyallup. She now lives about five minutes away from us. We see a lot more of her and her room mate, Michon. It is really great. I am getting better at telling her I'm going to bed, lock the door on your way out. On Sunday, when we did the bulk of the moving, Sydnee and I went to a wedding shower for the first in my group of women that raised our kids together. Shocking that we have children old enough, I know.

The next weekend, Steve and Sydnee ran the Green River Marathon. Her second and she PR'd. I drove to Bellingham with Jenny to pick up some of Robin's things to move home. Well, we got almost everything in the Honda, which surprised me. On Sunday, I was honored to be able to observe egg retreaval for fertility treatment with some friends. I am a nurse and taught childbirth classes for seven years, so this was a very interesting thing for me to do.

The next weekend, Steve ran the Lake Youngs Ultra. Bob was here. We went to a graduation party for a good friend and then to an annual party to celebrate the Sound to Narrows run. Good times all around.

The next weekend Steve and I took advantage of some us time. We went to a campground near Monroe. We had a great time. We went to some wineries in Woodenville and bought some good stuff. It was nice to take the dogs and be by ourselves. It is so easy to forget to look into each others eyes and know why we are together. We came home Sunday in time to go to the Barnes for a barbeque to plan for the Rainier to Pacific relay. It is always fun to get with that bunch.

The next Saturday Steve golfed in a tournament put on by a Shawn Tovey's family. Steve and Shawn worked together for a lot of years and he had fun with a group that he hadn't golfed with for quite a while.

On Sunday Monica and Mike got married. We went to the wedding, it was lovely, and the reception. We had a good time with the running group, but we all decided it wasn't enough. So a bunch came to our house and we had margaritas and nibbles. It was great. I usually don't do spur of the moment things, but I stepped out of my box and nothing broke. It was all good.

Now came my birthday weekend. We met my parents, Bob, and Anne and Dave in Cresent Bar, Washington. It was hot, but great. We went to wineries and got more good stuff. We had good food, good wine and good company.

Now is the week that I started my new job at the YMCA. I am an Adult Fitness Coordinator. I work on newsletters, trainings and other things that I can so Lisha and Katie can do their jobs easier. I am working with a woman I just met, Doris, who has qualities that I don't, so it looks like we will work well together.

July 13th was my parents 50th wedding anniversary. They had a blessing of their vows at church Sunday morning and we had a cake and punch reception at coffee hour. Friends and Family were there to celebrate. It is very heartening to see a couple who still love and respect each other the way my parents do. I hope Steve and I can do so well.

Now the next weekend was the busiest so far. This was the weekend that Steve was running the Rainier to Pacific relay so he was gone from early Friday until Sunday afternoon. On Saturday Sydnee needed to go to a training for the Y so she could be certified to teach group exercise classes (Pilates). I went as a trainer candidate and taught three sections of the class. I passed as did Katie and Lisha, who I mentioned above. So now we can have more trainings at our Y in Puyallup and get more instructors certified. This was also the weekend of Jenna's wedding. It was so beautiful, she was so beautiful. This is how amazing my friends are. Anne catered the rehersal dinner for between 50 & 75 people and I heard it was fabulous. Her daughter Nicki is a baker and make the wedding cake which was beautiful and tasty. I can't wait to see the photos of this bash. On Sunday, Robin, Jenny, James and I went to the Tacoma Musical Theatre's production of Grease. We knew four people in the musical and they were all so good. Cody and Kirsten were Sonny and Rizzo and both were great. When I got home, Steve was cleaning My Yeti and now it is really clean and I appreciate his hard work.

We were supposed to go to Leavenworth with Rob and his wife, Jessica, but I got a call from my first best friend telling me her mother had passed away. I went to Kelso for the funeral and to support her. We got together with some other friends for dinner and had a really good time. Another friend wasn't able to join us due to an issue with her daughter. We went to visit her and tried to support her through some of this. It worked out best for us to leave them alone to do this tough transition in their way. My prayers are with Vicki and Carly.

That brings me up to date. This Friday, I go on vacation to Sun River, Oregon. Robin and his friend, Adam, will go with me. My parents, niece and her family, sister and her family will be there and Steve and Sydnee will come down on Wednesday. This was an annual tradition when the kids were growing up so it will be nice to get them down there again.

Monday, May 19, 2008

She Graduated!

Four years, much money, many tears and lots of reading, writing, and arithmetic later, Sydnee finished her Bachelors with a major in Mathematics and a minor in Computer Science. It is a time of reflection for us,not of just the last four years, but of the last 22. All I can say is it has been an amazing treat to help guide this child into a young woman.

Sydnee wanted a graduation party because she didn’t have one when she graduated from high school. She worked all last week to get the yard cleaned up. She had her best friend, Jeff, help out on a couple of days. She also helped some with the inside of the house. She was open to do what I asked of her. Since Steve was out of town, she knew that her help was needed in a lot of areas.

I bought a lot of food because I had no idea how many people would show up. I made about six dozen cupcakes, leaving them unfrosted. I thought this way guests could choose what flavor cake and frosting they preferred. I even found an easy recipe for red velvet cake which I adapted to cupcakes. I’m somewhat surprised that they turned out because I added too much water. Sydnee said they were really good though. I think I went to the grocery store and Costco four or five time before I had everything I needed.

My parents came up for the weekend, Steve’s dad came. A lot of friends came to celebrate Sydnee. It was great. I didn’t get any pictures of the party, but here are a few from the ceremony on Sunday. It wasn’t near as hot as Saturday but it was still warm. There were over 700 graduates in black robes out in the sun.

Here we four are happy that we get to go home.

My kids have grown up well.

My parents, Wayne and Marilyn, with their second grandchild to finish college.

Steve's dad, Bob, was impressed that she was involved with the Mortor Board. (An honor society for seniors. This was after my mom told him "See, girls are smart too.)

She started her new job as one of three office managers at the Puget Sound Sailing Institute this morning. She will start her next round of classes the fourth week of June and start the Masters in the Art of Teaching program in September. She is going to be a high school math teacher.

Cheers to you Sydnee. We are incredibly proud of you. We love you bunches.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Living for love, health and learning.

We first learned about “possibilities” in some Landmark courses we took eight years ago. Steve and I still benefit from the learning we did over about a year and a half. It truly changed our lives and our marriage, both for the better.
My possibilities have been a constant in my life, even before I experienced Landmark and new what a possibility was. Even if I wasn’t experiencing them, they were what I wanted. I feel very blessed to be able to know that everything in my life has prepared me for and led me to this perfect place of growth.

I am a massage practitioner but had to stop my business for a couple of years while I dealt with some physical issues. I have been slowly working toward building my business up again and it is now beginning to happen. An opportunity to retake a Reiki class came up and I jumped at it for many reasons. I took a level I class about three years ago and felt like it was a bud that was very slow to open. I had learned about energy work in massage school and was working with a chiropractor for about six months learning more and practicing energy work. I even used energy work on my family and friends. I know that it helped Robin’s wrist and thumb heal faster and my Mom’s ankle and knee heal faster. I loved sharing and I was ready for another level.

I took the class, level I & II, with my daughter, Sydnee, and her roommate, Michon. Our Master Teacher, Janet, was fabulous. She brought many of my own thoughts into our weekend of learning and relaxation. It felt like all eight of us were on similar quests for growth and development. Janet spoke of Eckhart Tolle’s book, A New Earth; Byron Katie’s, The Work and Loving What Is; Stanley H. Block’s, Bridging the I System and Come To Your Senses. Although I have only completed Tolle’s book, I feel these other books open up my possibilities even more. I’m excited about learning new things. I feel more focused and amazed at how Reiki feels to me now. I found this in a massage magazine article this morning:

In her recent book, Reiki: A Comprehensive Guide, Pamela Miles summarizes the research evidence to date, and her analysis suggests that reiki is associated with:
• overall enhanced well-being and vitality.
• decreased levels of stress hormones.
• improvement in immune indicators.
• improved blood pressure.
• decreased heart rate.
• subjective improvements in anxiety and pain.
• improvement in mood and functioning of depressed patients.

I am in the process of redoing Sydnee’s room to make it my massage office. She says it seems weird, but she understands my need for growth. I told her if she ever needs to move home, she is more than welcome to. But her stuff can’t. (hehe)

This post started out because I’ve been tagged. I also had seen a few bloggers who had been tagged and thought how hard a six word memoir would be, but what an awesome opportunity to look into your life. Well, be careful what you wish for. Thank you, Michelle, I am honored.

Here are the rules:
1) Write your own six word memoir
2) Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you want
3) Link to the person that tagged you in your post, and to the original post if possible so we can track it as it travels across the blogosphere
4) Tag at least five more blogs with links
5) Leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play!

I followed the trail back to a few different blogs. The trail ends at these three Araby62

I tag Craig, Darcy, Ricky, Eric, and Emily.

Living for love, health and learning.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The New Addition

Here are a few pictures of our new little girl. I will share more later.Yes, her collar says BITCH and Puck's says STUD.
He weighs in at a hefty 12 pounds and seems huge compared to her seven.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A Day on the Loop

From Steve:

The Pacific Rim 24 Hour is held at Lake Sacagawea in Longview, WA. It is a one mile loop around part of the lake on mostly gravel bike trail with some pavement. It is beautiful park in the middle of town with a nice neighborhood on one side and a school and soccer field on the other.

Rob, Michelle, Jamal, Jenny, and Cat showed up at 6 AM. Michelle rode with Cat and the rest us piled into the Yeti. I was taking the trailer so we would have a place to change clothes or sleep in when done. We made it to Longview at 8 AM and checked in. I spotted my Dad and chatted a few minutes before I went to got ready. He is running strong at 79, I can only hope to do as well. I had brought 10 pairs of socks, 12 shirts, 5 running jackets, 2 pairs of pants, 5 pairs of gloves, four hats and three pairs of shoes in case it rained a lot. You would have thought I was ready to do the Susitna 100 with Shawn.

I have run Pac Rim four times with my dad and once with Rob in the last 20 years. My usually approach was to train 10-30 miles a week for a couple months and then run 50K to 50 miles over the first 12 hours of the event with lots of breaks, then go sleep. This event is a lot different than our usual trail runs. There is an aid station and bathroom every mile, a port-a-potty at the half mile, and access to a trailer each loop. This can be good or bad at times.

Rob is the one who initiated this adventure and the rest of us joined in over time. Michelle and Jenny were planning on their first 50 miler. Jamal was going to run until he was done. Cat had plans for the evening, so she was doing a marathon and driving home that day. Rob and I wanted to go the whole 24 hours, hoping to make 100 as a second goal. My longest runs have been 100K last spring and 17 hours pacing Eric on the last 54 miles of his Cascade Crest 100.

Rob and I ran the first 24 miles in 4 hours, close to our A goal of 25. Cat was not far behind us and a little later finished her marathon, honked goodbye and drove off. Jamal, the fast one, had lapped us several times (ok, a bunch of times). Michelle and Jenny were moving along steady as always, Rob joking each time we met that they only had 44, 40, or 36 miles to go while we had 92 or 87 or 82… miles to go.

We managed 10 more in the next 2 hours, passing 50K and still near the A goal pace. Rob wasn't feeling great at this point (he recently completed 13 marathons/Ultras in 12 weeks) and decided to take a break. Jamal when he finally slowed down ran some miles with me. Jamal did great in his first ultra over 50K, running 46 miles and then he was done. None of our persuasion could convince him to go 4 more. Rob ran a few more with Michelle and decided that it was not his day to go long. Sometime during the day Wendy and Jessica arrived and joined the Lady Pack.

The hours and miles rolled on. I ran mostly on my own, listening to tunes, sometimes in pure silence, and once in a while running with TC or Willie for a mile or so. I slipped into a nice rhythm and felt relaxed and strong. For the next 10 hours I moved along in a runner's high, cranking out 48 miles and zoned in to moving steadily forward. It drizzled a little off and on, passing in refreshing waves, followed once by a beautiful double rainbow.

On a trail ultra, crews wait for hours at an aid station anxious for their runner to come in. Then there are a few minutes of restocking, chatting about how they are feeling, and off they go. Here you see them once every 12-20 minutes but for only a few seconds. Each loop, you check in with the counters, say hey, grab a cup of drink, a GU (one each hour), or a bite of food and move on. After many miles of this, Jamal would just say, “Hi Steve, Bye Steve”. I don’t talk much when I am focused on running but I really do appreciate the support of them being there.

I made it to 50 in about 9 1/2 hours and passed the 100K in 12 hours. After dark, Olga and Eric showed up. They had run the Chuckanut 50K and stopped to see how we were doing. I got a big hug from Olga and a way to go. Eric ran the final miles with the Ladies and then joined me for a mile. Michelle and Jenny did great completing their first 50 miler in less than 14 hours.
The next eight hours were pretty quiet. Most of the runners had completed their goals and left to shower or sleep. I slowed some but kept plugging along one mile at a time and then it was 80 miles in 16 hours. I was on a mission to get as many miles as I could to make 100 possible even if I had to walk the rest. The miles were wearing on me and I still had 8 hours to go (which was intimidating and very sobering). I decided my mileage was doing well (only 2 1/2 miles an hour could make the big 100) and I deserved my first break. I had run most of the first 80 loops with 20-30 yard walks at three little inclines and 30-50 yards at the aid station. I walked a full mile and then continued on with mixed walking and running for the next 20 miles.

Time and miles passed slowly, the good news was I made 100 miles in 21:50 with over two hours to spare. The bad news was my feet were thrashed by then. After the long miles of continuous running and fast walking on gravel they were bruised and I had two silver dollar blisters on the balls of both feet. A combination of faith, training, ego, stubbornness, fixation on goals, and encouragement from the others keep me going for the last 8 hours on very tender feet.

One big goal remained, to complete the 24 hours with as many miles as reasonable. I know what you are thinking, nothing about this was reasonable. That was a common thought of mine in the final hours of my quest. So after a little celebration (a 22nd GU and water) with Fred, the race director, and the two aid station volunteers (It's pretty damn quiet out there at 7 AM after 22 hours). I had been calculating the possible outcomes in total miles for the last eight hours (there is way to much time to think in 24 hours) with a re-occurring number of 105. Now, with 2 hours and 10 minutes left I believed I could make 5 and maybe even 6 at the pace I had been going. My mind was still game (no brain, no pain), but the body argued back strongly, led by the SPCF (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Feet). So I signed a mental contract to go for 105.

I tried to walk but that hurt my feet, I tried to run but the motivation and energy was gone. So I settled on a painful walk and completed the next two miles in 40 minutes, not too bad for a death march. I was glad I was still able to walk but I was actually rather upset with the pace. At that pace I had time to make four more miles, but I had only agreed to 105. Now it was my mind's turn to cop some attitude, I had 90 minutes to go three miles and decided to slow down and burn some time. An episode from Taxi with Iggy popped into my head. He was taking his drivers test and asked his friend Tony, "What does a yellow light mean?” He replied, "Slow down". Iggy repeats the question several more times, speaking slower and slower each time.

I thought I had slowed down on mile 103 but after 24 hours of focused motion my body wanted to finish and just kept moving forward in zombie state. As I was nearing the end of mile 103, I decided that three more miles was totally unreasonable. It's amazing how you think when you are tired and have already set a goal to stop. I was rationalizing out loud when Rob showed up and I asked him to walk with last miles with me. I felt like a six grader watching the clock tick second by second toward the end of the school day. It was great to have someone to share my final jumble of thoughts.

It was wonderful to have the running club members there to cheer me into the finish. I finished 105 in 21:30. It was my first run over 100K, my first over 17 hours, and my first 24 hour run. The PRs were rewarding but most of all, I was happy to sit down, talk with friends, and be done.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

The EGO speaks

I had started another blog but got distracted. My vote if you have to spend the day in the Emergence Department it is to be the patient who gets the pain meds and gets to sleep. I’m doing great and getting better every day, thank you but that will be a whole different blog.

My friend casually mentioned that someone who had taken my Pilates class told her it drove her nuts when I used the word Kegel. She believes that I pronounce it wrong and since she is a nurse she knows.

I could have let it go at this and I really don’t care if people don’t like something that I do. I have my reasons for the way I teach and the things I teach and I strive to learn more and to be the best teacher that I can be for my students. But my ego gets in the way. I have this thing about imparting correct information, my husband might say I like to be right. This is totally personal, but when I started teaching childbirth education, I was trained to have the most current and correct information to give to students. I told my kids if they wanted to be the ones on the playground with the correct information to ask me and I would tell them. It is an EGO thing. I recognize that.

I went to bed the night my friend shared this information but there was no way I could go to sleep. I have always pronounced Kegel with the first "e" being a long "a" sound. That is the way I was taught in nursing school and when I went through my training to be a certified childbirth educator. I hear people pronounce it with a long "e" for the first "e". I assumed it was a west coast/east coast, tomato/tomahto kind of thing, so I never worried or cared. Until that night. I had to get up, turn the computer back on and search for the pronunciation of the word. I found the correct pronunciation is both on Merriam-Wbster Medical Dictionary.

kegel exercises
(for some reason, the pronunciation won't copy here so do check the link if you want to see it)
Function: noun plural
: repetitive contractions by a woman of the muscles that are used to stop the urinary flow in urination in order to increase the tone of the pubococcygeal muscle especially to control incontinence or to enhance sexual responsiveness during intercourse
Kegel, Arnold Henry (born 1894), American gynecologist.

I include the definition because I believe that this is an important exercise, not only for pregnancy but for life. In seven years of teaching childbirth I taught many people these and I even went to class on Friday with an attitude and did a refresher for my students there. Also note that men have the same basic musculature with a few differences, and they benefit from these exercises also. If you don't know how to work these muscles, you can stop the flow of urine once, but do not continue to do this because it can set you up for a bladder infection. Once you understand the feeling of the exercise you can do it anywhere. Not that you care but there is specialized physical therapy that can included weights. So both men and women should do Kegel exercises, they are the exercise you can do anywhere, and no one knows you are doing them. I love being sneaky about it. If you really want a good explanation of these and how to do them go to this link on Healthline.

Back to the EGO, I am reading a fabulous book called “A New Earth, Awakening to your Life’s Purpose” by Eckhart Tolle. It is the current Oprah book club selection and it is really intriguing. It talks about the ego and our relationship with it, how powerful it is, our need to understand it is separate from us, and how to get that separation. I would highly recommend this book for anyone interested in being and the freedom that gives us. I recognize that it was my ego that got all riled up about someone being irritated that I pronounced something wrong, now I am learning how to let it go faster and easier. I’m getting closer.

Happy Kegeling.

Friday, February 8, 2008

The Book

I’ve finished my book and sold seven copies.

I teach Pilates for the local Community College Continuing Education program and this is my third quarter. I started this summer not really knowing how I wanted this to look. I made a list of exercises and handed them out, taught the exercises and figured it was good. Well, the feedback was fabulous for everything except the list. I was asked to make a book, literally, by one of the students. Well, I took on the challenge and my loving husband, Steve, took the photos of me performing the various exercises that I teach in the class. I built a book around the photos.

My philosophy around Pilates is that it has made an amazing difference with my body. I have scoliosis and have had problems since my early 20s. I practiced Yoga on and off for years and it helped my back, but I still struggled. I started Pilates about five years ago and my problems diminished substantially. My back would spasm about every other month and hurt for almost a week. Now it will spasm three or four times a year and only hurts for a day or two. It seems like the spasms are spreading out further and further the longer I do Pilates. I am also able to do more with confidence, like get on a ladder and clean the gutters. I still have to be careful, but having the connection to my body helps me to be aware of how things feel and if I listen to what my body tells me, I will do great.

So, back to the book. I did not write it to make money, but I don’t want to lose money either. I will sell it for what it costs me to print it. It is really a companion book to go with the class. It covers the basics the way I teach them. I have had good feedback so far so I am pleased. I want my class participants to learn to safely strengthen their bodies in a functional way.

It is really amazing to me to look at what I am doing in my life right now and think about what I wanted to do when I first graduated from nursing school. I wanted to be involved in preventative medicine. That has influenced my choices in the nursing jobs I had, in my decision to go to massage school, and now in teaching Pilates. What is next?

When your body mind and soul are healthy and harmonious, you will bring health and harmony to those around you and health and harmony to the world not by withdrawing from the world but by being a healthy living organ of the body of humanity.

B.K.S. Iyengar

Sunday, January 13, 2008


There's no secret to balance. You just have to feel the waves.
-Frank Herbert

What an interesting thought. I certainly resist feeling them sometimes; while at other times I find it so easy. I guess that may be the point.
I had postpartum depression after my second child was born. I went on antidepressants and stayed on them for almost eight years. I went off of them after I went to an acupuncturist for treatment and haven’t taken them again. I do take some supplements from my naturopathic physician, but not the hard core stuff from before. Steve and I have talked a lot about that time in our lives and what we remember most is that the medication certainly took care of the downs, but it also flattened out the joys. It was and is our choice to deal with my waves in a natural way, with self care and supplements.
Taking or not taking medication is takes serious consideration, and the choice shouldn’t be made without sound medical advice. I saw psychiatrists, counselors and medical doctors before I made my decision. With Steve and my family’s support I work to take care of myself. I can’t play the martyr or the victim and stay healthy at the same time. I am the goddess in our family.
Everyone deserves self care. This is not a selfish act, even though some people view it that way. I see that if I don’t take care of myself I don’t have the reserves to take care of all the other people that I love and want to care for. I am also teaching those loved ones that it is not just ok, but very important to take care of one’s self. I always think about what flight attendants say at the beginning of every flight: “If you are travelling with someone who needs assistance, put your air mask on first so that you can then help the other person.”

Don't compromise yourself. You are all you've got. -Janis Joplin