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

Back With Both Feet

I haven’t disappeared completely out of the blog -a-sphere – I’ve been blogging fairly regularly on 60newthings (my attempt at trying 60 different things before turning 60). With that said the thought occurred to me yesterday (ironically while running on the treadmill) that I haven’t posted anything here in quite sometime — 15 months to be exact. So I decided to jump back in with both feet! I redid the place what do you think? I love the lovely header photo. Don’t you just want to run on this beach? What about the new warm color scheme? I may use this scheme at my martial art school… Enough about the site’s face lift now its time to give you a few of my thoughts from my treadmill jaunt…

First let me begin by saying over the past year or so there hasn’t been a whole lot of running — Just running around. We’ve all been there, work, family, commitments, and more of the same… I’ve continued to work out during this time at gyms, cross training with cycling, yoga and of course my bread and butter martial arts. I did one 5k last year the CVS in Providence (an awesome event try and run it or walk it one day). However steady running wasn’t in the cards. I’m hoping to turn the page. I’m finally 100% okay 95%… No upper respiratory issues, no hip impingement, no back problems ect , ect…

Since I joined Planet Fitness this past April I feel excited about getting into not just maintaining physical shape. The atmosphere at the Somerset Ma, facility is uplifting and inviting. In fact so much so that it inspired me to blog about it and to do it here! I love that there are people of all ages and in various stages of fitness, that everyone is willing to encourage each other — There are some gym rat  body builder guys but they are kept on a short leash with the lunk alarm! Everyone gets along to move along (maybe the conventions should’ve been held at a gym) . I digress.  These past months I’ve been inspired to challenge my self with new workout routines, using new cardio equipment, being more diligent about stretching, I’ve started to gain muscle mass along with more flexibility therefore more running stamina. I’ve taken new steps toward losing a few unwanted pounds using the Pro Tracker app, which is a very cheap version of WW! I’ve lost 2.5 lbs in a week. I’m looking at apps to start training for longer distances and registering for a couple of more races. I’m not trying out for the Olympics but I’m hoping one of my 60 new things might be a run longer than a 5k and I live to write about it!

So my advice to you is don’t wait to get fit, everyday counts, you’ll feel better, look better and hopefully inspire others to do the same!

Great to be back, gotta run!

Gin

Between Yesterday and It Never Happened

For those of us who are missing one or both parents Mother’s and Father’s Day takes on a whole different bent. While I’m lucky to still have my mother alive and well at 82, my father passed at 59 so Father’s Day for me is a day of reflecting on the past while still trying to be present. The following are some Thoughts From Today’s Walk (recovering from a pulled gluteus and bronchitis).

Today is the 25th Father’s Day without my dad – I think about him daily but miss him like crazy on days like today. Looking through some old photos in albums, framed or the ones my family post on Facebook I can’t believe 25 years have passed it seems like yesterday and then it seems like it never happened.

Walking with my headphones in my iPhone Glen Miller’s Moonlight Serenade starts playing and I start tearing up remembering how much we both loved his music and watching Jimmy Stewart and June Allison in the Glen Miller Story. Watching the 4 O’clock Dialing For Dollars movie was a ritual as was watching every John Wayne movie on Saturday afternoons.

This was dad’s favorite time of the year,  4th of July his favorite day of the year. We’d spend the day with family first walking into town to watch the parade. Then we’d all walk back to my grandparents house where my grandfather would be cooking his clam chowder and clam cakes. After devouring the wonderful food we’d all play croquette (our parents sometimes not as sober as they were earlier). This was followed by a visit to the carnival, an evening cookout and ended with fireworks. What made it even more special was the fact that my father was on vacation and we’d be heading to the beach. Man could he swim and love to swim. There’d be clam boils and beers being kept cold in a fresh water stream. He’d be wearing boots and black socks with his bathing suit and have a white V-necked T shirt with his Camels and lighter either rolled in his sleeve or in one of his socks. His brother Danny my cousins and Aunt Alice would be there too and my mom would pop by after work. Then it would be time to go home, but not after swimming to the raft and diving off his shoulders, hunting for periwinkle or digging for clams. It was lovely yes it seems like yesterday and it Did happen.

Thanks for the memories dad and I didn’t mind you controlling my play list; Moonlight Serenade, Eddy Arnold Make The World Go Away, Louis Armstrong It’s A Beautiful World, Ray Charles You don’t Know Me, Glen Miller’s String of Pearls. Coincidence? I don’t think so I think dad gave me a father’s day gift!

Gin

Aps That Make Me “h APPY”

Ah the wonders of the Ap store, a plethora of games and answers to life’s little conundrums.  Here are a few of these tech wonders that keep me on track: Yoga Studio, awesome for people like me who want to have a yoga practice but who’s life style doesn’t fit the typical yoga class schedule. This Ap has beginner, intermediate, and advanced classes that range from 15 minutes to an hour. I’ve made great strides in my flexibility and my over all technique. As a bonus I’ve “borrowed” a few of these moves for my martial art class plans. This Ap also got me interested in pursuing a retreat at Kripalu. Next Ap Runmeter, I used to log all my runs in a journal to mark progress with my training and to monitor shoe milage, this wonderful Ap does this and more! A wonderful side benefit is I can read it unlike the scribbles in my journals. The GPS is great for tracking milage for future runs, which beats the heck out of taking a car around to determine the miles! Third Ap Lose It, I love having to be accountable documenting my food choices makes me think twice about 9 hershey’s kisses vs a portion of a healthy egg bake! This also helps me portion out recipes and has restaurant calories as well as popular grocery items. I love earning my little incentive badges, as silly as it seems they are great motivators. My newest Ap is Insight Timer, this one is for meditation. I love that you can just use the timer, or you can choose one of the many guided meditations. This Ap also has groups of different users that you can join. It’s comforting to know that you’re meditating with 654 or 510 people from all over the world!

There you have it my “Aps of Life” they keep me connected, on track, motivated, organized and most of all “h Appy”.

Gin

Running Backwards…

Runs take on a life of their own today’s theme was running backwards, to another time in the same place. Here are a few of those thoughts and or observations;

Lush green hills you were for tumbling down, I see you covered with cousins, friends and my brother rolling and laughing then looking and observing the clouds for familiar shapes. Where are today’s children?  Hills are beckoning…

Lilacs the scent brings me back to May days in school bringing lilacs for the teachers and Saints in the church at SES. Beautiful lilacs once my grandmother’s and my aunt Lucy’s that bordered my childhood home, do children still bring teachers flowers?

Neighborhoods built in the sixties where baby boomers like me grew up adorn the main road I run. I ventured down one such road today, and found tiny ranch homes built by the greatest generation. When a 1700 square foot three bedroom one bath was enough to raise 3.5 children. Where hours must have been spent swinging on the swings in the small park with the chain link fence. Suddenly I have a vision of mothers wearing aprons and fathers coming home in work clothes caring a lunch pail. Where are you now? Your houses are peeling and the lawn needs mowing, do your children visit do the grandkids play on the swing? Almost on cue Glen Miller’s String of Pearls blasts in my ears and I smile, the spirit of times past is with me.

My pace slows as I’ve returned home and to the present, was it 30 minutes or 45 years? I’m left hoping I can run backwards another day and to another time…

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