Self-Avoider or Advocator? That’s the Question!

Fellow FIT BFFs, I have a confession to make. I have a ridiculous tendency to ignore my basic needs; do any of you relate?

Here’s an example…I’ve been struggling with knee issues for 8 months. After cortisone and physical therapy didn’t solve my issues, rather than pursue further care, I settled by overlooking the pain, limitations and frustrations. Day after day, I allowed this to continue by not making its resolution a priority. Although it was keeping me from activities I’ve desperately missed (RUNNING), I simply ignored it. Now how ridiculous is that?!?

If this was my husband or either of my kids, I’d be on it! Why do I still struggle with this idea? Why did I put me off for so long? After messaging a friend over the weekend, I realized it was time to address this. Of course he was right. What the heck was I afraid of? Yeah…I won’t even go there haha!

So yesterday I called Sports Med and made myself an appointment. But it isn’t for another few weeks. I needed relief now…more relief than icing can provide. I looked at my shoes and realized I’d been putting myself off in that department too. There was nothing left to do but get to the running store!

It’s been quite a while since I’ve had my gait analyzed, and was kind of surprised to find I needed an entirely different type of shoe. Mallory, the shoe guru at TerraLoco had me try a couple options and I knew the instant I put these Hokas on that I’d found the ones!

My cat completely agreed with my choice the minute I got them home…oh, Spanky!

I could hardly wait to get to the gym this morning to get my new kicks on the track. And do you know what? Although my older shoes still, theoretically, had many more miles to go, my new ones felt a hundred times more supportive!

I guess I took a step in the right direction, who doesn’t want dynamic stability? Ha!

I’m actually looking forward to that Sports Med appointment because with today’s diminished pain, I’m already happier…think of what no pain will do for me!

While I was at this self-advocacy thing, I decided to give my comfort zone another square kick in the behind. Following last year’s multiple episodes of mammogram/biopsy/surgery drama, I realized it was time for me to make my annual date with the boob-smasher…yikes!

Although this was the very last thing I wanted to do, I picked up the phone and scheduled that too. Why give it any more energy or power than it deserves…time to just get er done!

Friends, can you relate? Are you a self-avoider or advocator? Is there something important you need to deal with that you’ve been putting off? It’s time to treat yourself at least as well as your loved ones. And if I can do it, so can you. It’s just one more way we can all put our Best Foot Forward!

Evolution of a Walk

I’m wallowing this weekend in an upper respiratory nightmare. I had high hopes of getting to the gym this morning, but I didn’t want to be found unconscious beneath a machine, nor did I think anyone wanted what I’ve got. So I invited my husband, who’s suffering the same malady, to join me for a gentle walk on a most beautiful day.

The weather was unseasonably warm for a February morning in Minnesota, so fitness plan B turned out to be the perfect choice. It’s amazing what fresh air can do to restore a person’s head, heart and health.

The thawing warmth, combined with the playful puddles and joyfully singing birds put me in a place of reflection. As we worked toward completing our leisurely 3.5 mile stroll, I considered the evolution of my perspective toward walking.

Here’s what I mean. As I thought back to the time before my weight loss, I remember feeling very differently…like back in 2011 when I didn’t consider shoveling a great workout, it was simply a chore. And if someone had asked me to take a walk after that, I would’ve been too exhausted.

About this same time in 2012…winter camp at my unhealthiest, should someone have invited me to walk, I would’ve recommended they dial 911 before we begin…not. even. kidding.

Friends, here’s where things get exciting because a few months after this picture, I set off on my healthy lifestyle journey and things began to change dramatically! About this same time in 2013, if you had asked me to walk, I would have suggested we do it in the hilly woods of Oxbow Park because I had some serious training to do with around 30 pounds strapped to my back in preparation for an upcoming backpack hiking adventure.

I had lost a significant amount of weight by this same time in 2014 and was in fantastic shape, but if you had asked me to walk then, I would have had to pass. I was very busy doing nothing, or rather healing from automobile accident injuries. Dang it, one step forward, two steps back…

I behaved my butt off during that time so I could return to an active lifestyle better than ever. It took lots of patience and pep talks, but I bounced back with a force to be reckoned with! And should someone ask me around that same time in 2015 if I’d like to take a walk, I may have recommended we do it above ground because I was pretty wildly into high adventure, like swinging through the trees in Flagstaff. Guess I had something to prove to myself, huh?

By this time the following year, I had replaced the adrenaline addiction for a longer sustained endorphin high. If you had invited me to walk with you in 2016 I may have suggested a half marathon!

A lot has changed between then and now. I ran myself silly that entire year and am now taking some much needed time to restore a reluctant knee. So if any of you are interested in a calm walk of any distance, now’s the time to ask…though you may want to wait until my germ circus leaves town. A walk with Eric this morning was exactly what I needed to get my compass pointing true north again, to put into perspective how thankful I am to be back embracing a walk.

This Year I Resolve…

Friends, we are a whole week into the New Year and I didn’t want to share my 2017 plans with you until I had a more firm understanding of them myself. I’m still motivated by and working on a resolution I began a couple years back involving my Facebook friends; I’ll post an update to that one soon.

Before devising my 2017 plan, I found it integral to reflect on 2016. It will begin to make sense why…bear with me!

In hindsight, 2016 was a year I threw caution to the wind in many aspects of my life. I was tired of stereotypes running a loop in my mind, and the more I walked away from them, the freer, more alive I felt. I also noticed many ruts I’d found myself stuck in, and busted out of most throughout the course of the year with amazing family and friends along for the tumultuous ride. Here’s a photo montage sampler.

Tried some relaxing new therapies like meditating in a salt room…


And floating in a salt tank…

Chilling in a cryotherapy chamber…

Surrendering to a sports med doc and my first cortisone injection…

Cozying up to the healing benefits of a laser at physical therapy…

Taking a crack at chiropractic treatment…

I employed a new mindset when it came to some normally tense healthcare moments. In dealing with a biopsy and subsequent surgery, fear and worry were not allowed any energy. I simply chose to believe it was nothing until it was something. It’s still nothing.

I was blessed with new friendships that provided an abundance of generosity and support…  

Which encouraged me to press beyond the struggles…

 

To encourage others to accomplish new milestones…

 

To inspire others to embrace new things, gain confidence…

 

It became ingrained; inspired me to share my love of adventure and fitness within a mentoring role…

But still taking time to fulfill my venturing needs such as these…

 

And these…

 

 

I embraced holidays in new ways…traded Mother’s Day Brunch for a delicious hike…

Replaced a traditional Christmas celebration for something a bit more rejuvenating…

I guess I could sum up 2016 as just that…

REJUVENATE (verb)

  1. to make young again; restore to youthful vigor, appearance
  2. to restore to a former state; make fresh or new again

In breaking with past expectation, trying new things, planning new experiences, I’m REJUVENATED! Friends, that’s my plan for 2017…I’m throwing conventionality out the window and continuing to explore all the many wonders life has to offer!

Lifesaving Life Hack!

I guess that title is a bit dramatic, Friends. I’ve been struggling with something that has become terribly uncomfortable, to the point of me choosing to avoid it altogether. But I have to do it, so I turned the idea over and over in my head until I came up with a bit of an earth shattering solution…in my mind, at least lol!

Life hacks have been dreamed up by some pretty creative, innovative, clever folks. They look at a problem long enough to discover a way to deal with something in a new, simplified manner. Urban Dictionary defines a life hack as “a tool or technique that makes some aspect of one’s life easier or more efficient.”

There are entire websites devoted to sharing life hacks. If you find some spare time, you might want to check out what shortcuts, tricks and strategies people have discovered to improve daily life. Some of them are real a-has!

My knee has continued to require regular icing to reduce inflammation.  As I’m lying on the couch with multiple ice packs on my knee, the shocking-cold sensation travels instantly up my spine. This happens no matter how many sweatshirts and blankets I employ to counteract it. That feeling is only multiplied when I see the snow blowing outside and hear the weather woman tell of the -26 degree windchill. It has become a freezing-cold hell of an experience that I’ve aimed to improve. And I’m pretty proud of a solution I just devised.

Now I realize not everyone requiring frequent icing is equipped for this hack, and heck, I also know I can’t use this method all the time. I will, however, do this every single day I’m at the gym until the spring thaw! Here’s my brilliant solution…

ice

Just looking at the picture brings back warm, toasty memories. This morning I took two bags of ice into the sauna and while my knee chilled, the rest of me sweltered. There were ZERO shivers of ice cold lightning shooting up and down my spine. Just thinking about it makes me want to go back to the gym right now! So there you have it, my ice-ice-baby life hack!

Friends, any time you are plagued with a situation that needs improvement, bounce it around in your brain until the right idea hits…it could be a real lifesaver! That’s one more way we can all put our Best Foot Forward!