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Make Fireworks Every Day

My latest Shutterfly creation was a place mat with the above picture with the words “Make Fireworks Every Day”.  This is to remind myself to give my best in all aspects of my day.

Somedays this might be a 200% goal reached on my Apple Watch’s activity app, a new personal distance ran. It could be learning something new about teaching, martial arts, childhood development, nutrition, or just general knowledge. Sometimes it’s giving incredible service at my business, inspiring my martial art students to be their very best. Then again it could be assisting an elderly neighbor who’s locked themselves out of their apartment, helping an aging parent with their chores. We can make fireworks by being a shoulder to a friend in need of one, supporting a charity with a donation or volunteering.

There are millions more ways we can create fireworks, (the good kind) – Which is why every morning with my breakfast I look up and see a small sign that says “There is always something to be grateful for” and now when I look down I see fireworks and my mission for the day; To make each day count, to be better than I was yesterday, to spread love, kindness and inspiration to all I meet… In other words MAKE FIREWORKS EVERYDAY!

Do you have a morning mantra, mission statement or ritual? If yes please share, I’d love to hear how you’re making fireworks…

Gin

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Peace and Joy

I’m coming down from my soapbox — My last few posts have been rather pointed and for good reasons. However I’d like to get back to the “Joy of running”.

Fall is just around the corner, although it feels in full swing in my coastal neighborhood. Temperatures in the low 50’s and a gusty northwest wind made me adjust my Friday morning park run. Instead of running along the water I ran through the middle of the park and onto the wooded trails. I’d forgotten how much I love being in the woods (not fun in the heat and humidity with mosquitos) the grounding solitude running trails gives you is like no other running.

If I had to rank running surfaces, trails would be my favorite because it seems the most natural — Where it all began. It’s funny because my preferences reflect a progression from most natural to least; wooded trails, bike path, streets, tracks, and treadmills in that order.

My senses are definitely heightened because of the tricky surfaces, the occasional squirrel, rabbit, chipmunk or woodchuck dashing about. The air was clean with the crispness of the impending autumn even a few leaves have started to turn. It’s humbling to think about the history of this beautiful land and how blessed I am to be living here and now to enjoy running in this beautiful natural cathedral.

What was supposed to be a two mile training run turned into a 3.5 mile run/hike, which was fine by me because everything including the few wrong turns was perfect  — the way life should be experienced, with peace and joy!

Where do you find your running bliss?

Ginnie

 

 

 

Running Through “IT”

Today’s short training run felt like I was running in molasses – It’s been an extra long week at work and it was humid as hell… (come to think of it hell probably has a dry heat)

Anyway I digress, I’m sure everyone has had a day training or at work when you’re not at 100%. Today was the day for me, until it wasn’t. Allow me to explain. Like I said it’s been a long week of teaching karate classes and my usual Wednesday training run was put off for a few hours because of work commitments. I got out of my car at the park ready to get some form training done. I started down the trail and I felt like I had the wrong legs, mind you I’m not the most graceful runner I slog — But even my slog felt awkward, I thought about calling it a day then decided not to, after I hit mile one I still felt like a car stuck in first gear. Then my mind settled into the music (Neil Diamond can do that) and It became easy and peaceful.

Once I allowed my body to move without me thinking how beat my legs were or how humid it was. I was fine, I let go of my ego and just got lost in the movement, the moment and that’s when it hit me, I ran through “IT”.

Life is a lot like running, it’s hard to get started on a new project, job, diet, relationship, adventure — Until we let go of our egos preconceived ideas of how things should be and just let go. It’s then when we see our biggest growth.

The next time life bogs you down in molasses, just run through it! You’ll be the better for it…

Gin

 

Is The Question How, or Why?

People often ask me how do I stay/get into the shape I’m in — But most of the time my gut tells me they’re really asking why?  I say this because when I give a brief explanation of my workouts and diet their follow-up question is; “Isn’t that hard?” along with I could never do that!

The sad thing is most of these people are younger than I am and for the most part could very easily do what I do. They choose not too, because in their mind it’s hard to exercise, to not eat what they want when they want. They’ve settled for what they believe is their lot, destiny or genetics. Perhaps they’re waiting for a magic pill, app, exercise that will transform them into who they were 10, 15 or 20 years ago. This is why the diet and fitness industry rakes in billions every year from these individuals who want an easy way…

THERE IS NO EASY WAY! With that said here is the answer to why I do what I do; I was blessed with a healthy body, and a good mind.  I’m a believer in caring for everything that is mine and keeping it as close to the original condition as possible. Whether it is a car, running shoes, books, my business or my cats. So why wouldn’t I do that with my body? Exercising, eating healthy, meditation, yoga, getting out in nature, avoiding the news, and having goals are a few of the ways I get and try to keep myself fit and healthy.

Believe me I wish I could eat everything I fancied and sleep late on Sundays instead of running 10 miles. I also fall off the rails and indulge now and again. Take yesterday for instance; I went out to lunch with my brother and sister-in-law for chowder and clam-cakes while I enjoyed eating those three clam-cakes the result was I felt stuporous and bloated and required a nap. This morning I was a pound heavier. That was motivation to get back to the gym and to my healthy diet today!

Here is my why question to those who think they couldn’t do what I do ( assuming they are healthy enough) “are you worth it”?  I believe I am, I deserve to feel and look good to do what I enjoy free of knee and back pain caused by being over weight. I believe in preventing type two diabetes, high blood pressure, and the myriad of preventable disease conditions due to neglecting the care and maintenance of this 60 year old body. I believe in being in the best shape I can be if I should contract a disease I can’t prevent.

I’ll close with one more question, would you live in a toxic dump? Then why treat yourself like one?

Sorry to be so blunt but you sort of asked why?

Ginnie

 

Liar Liar…

We all hate being lied to — So why do we lie to ourselves?

My name is Ginnie and this is my latest confession; I lied to myself when I believed you got a puffy lower belly at a certain age. I deceived myself into thinking clothes sizes were running smaller. I told a whopper when I convinced my self walking on a treadmill and lifting twice a week was “working out”. I fooled myself into thinking just because I was in my normal weight range I was healthy… I LIED!

This realization happened yesterday when I ran to work from my mechanic’s, after dropping my car off — My employee said , “That was fast”. Then it hit me not only did I make this 2 mile – ish trek back in decent time It was fairly easy — Even with the large hills! Heck Sunday’s eight miles wasn’t nearly as bad as some 5k’s I ran last year. I’m fitting in my smallest sizes with ease. My body composition has changed and so has my mindset.

I can still push myself even at 60, slogging is far more productive for me than walking, watching what and when I eat matters! I’m getting into good shape at 60, with less hormones, less time and more responsibilities than I ever had before. Why I hear myself asking? Because on a whim in January I decided to do a half marathon in October. I set a goal and I’m following through with it I, may lie to myself but I don’t lie to others. I need to do what I said, slog the talk if you will.

I’m not writing this to boast, or to lecture, this is my journey, my discovery, my confession, but if the running shoe fits?

 

Ginnie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Strides Down Memory Lane

Today’s long run took me to where it all began…

This morning I decided to head west out of my driveway toward the bike path (I’d grown weary of the hills of my usual run) and headed toward Barrington. I couldn’t help but laugh to myself and at myself while running behind the Barrington shopping center — You see this is where I first started to run.

Prior to 1991 the only running I did were “errands” and “late”. That all changed after I found out the third day of my black belt test would have a run. The run would start on the newly paved East Bay bike Path behind the shopping center to the Barrington YMCA then through the woods of Veterans Park. While running there would be obstacles and martial art techniques that had to be employed on hidden attackers. My friend and I would drive to Barrington several times a week to practice the route and to get into “running” shape!

After my black belt test I continued to run sporadically until I decided to run my first 5k. this happened in 2000 I remember training and hating every minute of it until the day of the race when I fell in love with the running community and its’ comradery and passion. I decided my next challenge was to be the Newport Pie Run, a 5 mile race. I bought a white long sleeve shirt and had all my martial art students sign it, to keep me from chickening out! I ran the Pie Run for about eight to ten years before I had to quit to help my mother with Thanksgiving preparations.

In 2010 I got a couple of friends and students to do the CVS 5k with me most of them quit running it years ago except for my friend Carol and me we’ve run/slogged/walked every year since! We both love it and celebrate it like a holiday. I’ve run a few other 5k’s each year but this year I’ve taken on the challenge of running a half marathon — Hence my long run training that brought me back to the beginning.

Martial art has changed my life in so many ways; Running is just one of them. Which is why I smiled and said a prayer of gratitude while running on the bike path toward the YMCA today, still making strides…

Ginnie

Steps I’ve Taken

Here are a few things I’ve tried, noticed and or other general observations during my first six weeks of half marathon training.

Let me begin by saying it’s been a good five to six years since I’ve done any “serious” running training. I’ve slogged a couple of miles a week and have run a few 5k’s a year — That was until I got the “bright idea” to run a half marathon at 60!

The first thing I did was to research how I could do this safely and with the least amount of stress to my body and have fun doing it. I found Chi Running by Danny Dreyer, and downloaded his Chi Walking and Running videos, and bought his  Chi Marathon book. While the transition from my former duck slogging style (I have a foot that splays out) to the Chi Walking and then Chi Running concepts have been an adjustment they are as advertised I’m up to seven miles with very little issues and I’m hoping to keep it that way. I’ll admit I’m walking as well as slogging, but my slogging is increasing – My goal isn’t to win the race but just to finish before the sun sets! I find the half marathon training regime to be easy to follow and not at all stressful. I’m able to maintain my martial arts and weight training regimes as well.

One of the items I’ve used in conjunction with the Chi Running/walking training is a metronome. I admit it wasn’t easy to use at first and it harkened me back to my traumatic band experience of trying to stay in step! That said it has helped me find a tempo that I can maintain without taxing my body. Another I can’t live without (okay I can live without it but would hate to) is my Apple Watch. I love the feed back while I’m working out it’s helped me maintain a good training heart rate so I’m not slogging at an anaerobic pace. Plus it logs all my stats. A new little item I’m using is the “Flip Belt” I love it. It carries my keys, phone, a water bottle and anything else I’ll need during training or in a race – You forget its there!

Nutritionally I’ve eliminated junk and have been eating clean, the least amount of processed food possible. One thing I highly recommend is Zeal by Zurvita an all in one nutritional drink that is a synergistic blend of whole food concentrates. It is Gluten free, Vegan and Kosher. I use Zeal twice a day and it helps energize me through my runs and refuels me mid afternoon. (Contact me for further information) If you are interested.

What’s changed? I’m down eight lbs I feel great my body is in the best shape it’s been in at 60! I love having a goal, and inspiring others. There are many more steps before this all culminates sometime on October 8th, my hope is that I continue to make progress, remain healthy, learn something while enjoying the process – Baby Steps…

Ginnie