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

Scent – A- Mental Memories

I love how scents can evoke a memory whether it’s the smell of food from your child hood or a cologne from a loved one. Today’s run by the bay brought back so many memories. As I came down surprise hill in Colt Park (Bristol RI) I inhaled the unforgettable scent of sea air. Suddenly I was back in 1960 something riding the Prudence Ferry to Hog Island and summer camp. Where we’d march to swim lessons and free swim and had the time of our lives and when the day ended we boarded the ferry once again singing songs and anticipating which lollypop flavor our camp director would give us, but there was much more we’d all sit on pins and needles wondering if this would be our day to “drive the ferry”! You see each evening Hector Massa (our camp director) would choose a few campers to “drive” the ferry with Captain Manny Souza. We’d be seated on a high stool and hold onto the giant ship’s wheel with captain Souza “assisting us”. What an incredible view of this beautiful harbor we’d have.

The sea scent continued to jar my memory to the wonderful times I had with my dad and my uncle Danny at the Bristol Teepees. My brother, cousins and I would swim, snorkel, raft and the most fun having our dads toss us into the air to dive. The day seemed to go on forever it was always a highlight of the week when we got to go.

Then there were more memories from the Bottom of Maple Street in Warren where we’d swim with my cousins and their neighbors when we visited my aunt Virginia. There was a large rock that came into play during high tide and the always fun adventure of walking on the railroad tracks (now the East Bay Bike Path).

There are the times spent with my mom clamming or qua hogging (she couldn’t swim and this was her only beach pursuit).

My memories took back to the mid seventies when I live in Newport and would head down to First Beach for a walk and to listen to the surf. Walk the cliff walk or sit at the Purgatory Chasm and take pictures. Flying kites on second beach or riding around ten mile drive and Fort Adams.

The sea air is my tonic, my zen, my home…

What’s yours?

Gin

Life Odometer @60

Remember when the odometer on a car just flipped instead of flash?

If you do then your life odometer is close to mine…

I remember my first car when I’d try to recall each major odometer milestone 1000 miles happened on President Avenue Fall River, and so on…

Now that my life’s odometer hit 60 years I’m suddenly more aware of personal milestones; where I’ve been, where I am and yes, where I’m going…

Life’s journey is not so much different than a road trip; the past is in the rearview, the present is behind the wheel, and the future is on the GPS…

I’m trying to be very aware of where I am and how I got here so I can plan my next turn. I’ve been inspired by my young students who’ve graduated to black belt. One of whom gave me a bracelet with “It’s not a sprint, It’s a marathon” on it. An awesome reminder that I’m in it for the long haul. I’ve also have been rejuvenated in my running through reading Runners World the amazing stories of runners in their 70’s running ultras and the many other runners who’ve over come challenges. This has motivated me to take on a half marathon. Which ironically will be right about when my odometer will hit 60.5…

Good to be back!

Gin

Why I Love The CVS 5K

My favorite day of the year is not my birthday, Christmas or any other recognized holiday it is the 3rd Sunday in September! This when the CVS Downtown 5K is held.

A road race I hear you asking, what’s so special about that? Where do I begin? Maybe it’s that children, and adults of all ages, shapes and sizes can run with Olympians. It could be the bands along the way — Then it might be the excellent pizza at the end of the race or the great giveaways.  Perhaps it’s how incredibly organized it is and the awesome volunteers. It isn’t any of those obvious things (although all true).

What makes the CVS 5K so awesome, is people coming together to have fun, being with friends, and family, accomplishing a goal, doing something healthy (aside from the pizza). My friend said it best today “It’s the best thing about America.” Standing as one as the anthem is played , people thanking the police along the way, watching policemen high five a cranky child. Everyone trying their best whether they finish under 15 minutes or over 60 minutes. It is encouraging fellow participants along the way or being encouraged, as I was today to make it up the last big hill by a young gentleman who gave me a hug and a high 5 at the end. It was a race. In fact it was the 5k national championship. But for the rest of us it was more about the human race. I guess I keep coming back because it renews my faith in what is good, where the only left and rights are turns. Where we can share a common goal and celebrate together as one team…

Yes Virginia there is a Santa Clause and he’s probably running among the rest of us on the 3rd Sunday in September…

Peace

Gin

 

 

 

 

Running Because I Can…

First let me begin by explaining I use the term “running” vey loosely – I’m more of a Slogger (a sloth that jogs). However I enjoy participating in 5K events. The people and the atmosphere are so welcoming.  5K races were Planet Fitness before there was a Planet Fitness… Everyone goes at their own pace and will eventually finish! There’s no intimidation especially in the charity runs. After all we’re all trying to do our best to support the cause…

Which is why I run these  5Ks Be “cause” I can… Next Saturday I will be strapping on the Brooks and hitting the pavement for the MS Run. Multiple Sclerosis has been in my life in more ways than I can count. One of my first patients as a nursing assistant was afflicted with MS. She taught me to never take my health and physical abilities for granted. I also have friends, and family members who are affected and one dear cousin who lost her battle with MS. (Ironically today would have been Rita’s 61st Birthday) So,pushing myself to run after what looks to be a crazy final week before vacation at work — No matter how hot it’s going to be or how many annoying mosquitos there’ll be — Is still going to be a breeze compared to what someone who suffers from MS goes through each and every day. Which is why when things get a little rough I accept the challenge with gratitude and remind myself keep running because I can… 

The Rhode Island MS run is Saturday August 20th at 6pm, in Bristol RI, for more information check out the Rhode Island Multiple Sclerosis Society’s web site or support me by going to my link on my Facebook Page!

Truly Blessed,

G