i took ibuprofen – i never do that

I’ve kind of been on a theme lately of listening to your body and being aware of what is going on with your body. I am preparing for my Kettlebell recertification in September. I don’t have a ton of time, but I feel I have enough time. Until yesterday. Now I feel like I don’t have enough time. This is just the being pissed off part of me talking. I know I have no control over what happens and I am okay with that. I am trying to stay positive and roll with the flow of how my body responds. Right now though, my muscles are extremely angry!

I don’t like when people constantly say they are getting old and so they have all kinds of aches and pains. I feel like we can stay healthy, provided we take care of our bodies and ourselves. Meaning, staying mobile, staying healthy, and listening to what our bodies are trying to tell us. Kind of like I should have!

The last few weeks, I can tell my body has been trying to tell me something, but I haven’t been able to pinpoint what it is. I had a headache for pretty much three days straight. For those of you who know me, you know I don’t take any medications. I let the headache ride. It finally went away, but I still was not sure what it was trying to tell me. Dehydrated maybe? Something else going on maybe? I just don’t know.

Last Friday I had a massage, which happened to be right in the middle of my massive headache. The massage was not the most enjoyable because of the headache. But, another clue my body was giving me was my lower back area. When my massage therapist got to my lower back, right above the glue area, it hurt to the touch. I didn’t know why. I couldn’t tell what was up. Again, I don’t know what my body was trying to tell me. She concentrated a little on that area. I can tell when she feels something in my body. If you’ve ever had a massage where someone actually knows what they are doing, they find all the shit that is going on in your body. All the little inflammation spots. All the little knots. All the little bubbles. All the little things that don’t feel the greatest. All the little clues.

I have been feeling off for the past couple weeks. Maybe run down. Maybe stressed. I’m just not sure. I just can’t pinpoint it. It is actually kind of annoying me, but I am trying to be patient.

On Tuesday, my workout consisted of Turkish Get Ups. Only Turkish Get Ups. A pyramid of them. They felt awesome while I was doing them. That next day though, my lower back hurt and I could tell I was out of place. I went and got adjusted and it felt pretty good, but then just kept getting worse and worse. When I woke up this morning, I could feel that I had obviously strained some muscles and they were mad as hell. I could barely move. It hurt to turn over. It hurt to do anything. I was pissed. This could not be happening now. What the hell did I do? How am I going to get out of bed? Well, that was interesting. I got over on my stomach, slid my legs off the bed and pushed myself to standing. The first step I could feel the pain. I almost fell over. FUCK!! Going downstairs was fun. It sure was not the usual way. It was one foot stepping down, then the other foot on the same stair, shuffling all the way down. All 16 of them. OUCH! I finally got downstairs and immediately got ice on my back. That helped a little bit, but I can still feel the pain.

I went over my training session in my head. I don’t remember ever twisting when I was loaded, but I can remember a few reps that weren’t quite “tight” enough. When you do kettlebells as long as I have, you hear things in your body. I actually remember thinking that I needed to slow down a little and get tighter. Today, I am paying for that. I am paying for not listening to my body. I am paying for not hearing my body. I didn’t listen to my muscles screaming at me. I’m pissed about it. I’m pissed that I am losing precious training days in preparation for my recertification.

I am looking for the lesson here. It’s really a pretty easy one. Moral of this story is I should have listened to my body. It’s been telling me something for weeks and I just haven’t slowed down long enough to listen. Now, I have no choice but to listen.

When your body is giving you warning signals, make sure you listen to them. Our bodies truly are amazing, if we only listen to them. I will be listening more closely to what my body is trying to tell me. I will slow down when I need to. I will take a rest day when my body is trying to tell me I need to take a rest day. Make sure you do the same.

I took ibuprofen. I never do that.

Did you really think it would be a straight line?

 

When it comes to nutrition and fitness, and even life, there is no straight line. Let’s say you wanted to lose ten pounds or you have some other goal. It doesn’t have to be about weight. It can be about anything. If you thought you would get from point A to point B in a straight line, I bet you figured out within a month that it doesn’t work that way. Try from point A, to A.1, to A.50 to A.100 back to A.25, throw in some zig-zags and then maybe to point B. There is nothing that is easy. It may be simple, but never easy. If anyone tells you it was easy, don’t believe them.

So, here you are, you’re rocking along for a few weeks thinking, man this is so easy. How can anyone complain about how hard this is? I don’t get it. What the hell is wrong with people? Then all of a sudden, BOOM, life shows up. You were feeling super cocky and then got blasted in the face by that thing we call life. It may have been a wedding (you drank your face off). Because celebrate. It may have been a graduation (you ate all the cake). Because you don’t want to feel left out. It may have a been a life-changing event; a kick in the stomach one, like someone dying. Helllloooooo fast food. Helllloooooo crap food. Helllloooooo no workouts for weeks. Because feeling sorry for yourself. Duh.

Is that really the way you want to handle it? Do you really want to go down that road? Let’s face it. Life is messy. It really is not that pretty sometimes. It can be downright ugly. We all struggle. We all go through hard times. The thing is, we need to unpack this stuff and try to put those pieces into some kind of order and try to figure out why we handle things the way we do. What are we trying to mask? What do we not want to deal with? What are we trying to hide? If we handle a wedding or a graduation with all the booze and all the cake, are we going to go completely overboard when we have that life-changing event, as I mentioned above? You know, a someone dying situation or a kick in the gut situation. Until we come to terms with this messy stuff, we are never going to change. Until we figure out those triggers, we will always be stuck. Sure you can change for a little bit, but most of the time you go right back to the old ways, the old habits, the old you. Until we deal with the messy and the ugly and the dirty of our situations and face them head on, we aren’t changing. Sorry to break it to you. It’s true though.

How are you going to handle those situations? Are you going to be crushed and go right back to crappy eating and missing workouts? I hope not. You have worked your butt off, literally, to see results and be a healthier version of your old self. Don’t just throw it away.

Face it head on. Wallow around in it for a while. Thrash, stagger and stumble until you figure it out and then get back to YOUR real life. Be a boss. Don’t let the distractions derail you. It’s a cop out. It’s an excuse. It gets you nowhere and nowhere super fast at that. When we deal with problems head on, we feel such a sense of relief. Beat that dead horse and figure out what makes you tick.

Are you afraid to live?

I get asked a lot about how I come up with things to blog about. It is a little strange. I have all these jumbled words in my head waiting to form some semblance of a sentence and then paragraphs and finally a blog post. I write in fragmented sentences. It’s just what I do. It’s how I talk. It’s my style. Sorry if it drives people crazy. Sometimes, I get inspiration from clients. Sometimes I get inspiration from something I see on social media. Sometimes, something just pops into my head and I type it in my notes app on my phone and then hope that I remember what the hell I was talking about when I go back to review. I have a long list of notes. The problem is when I am going back to start writing a post, there might be just four words or three or maybe just a phrase. For example, as I was going back today to look at my notes entries, I found one that said, “Do you live in fear?” I’m glad it triggered me into remembering what I wanted to write about, because sometimes it doesn’t. I hate when that happens.

Do you live in fear? What does that even mean? Do you know?

If you follow my blog you know that my last few blog posts have been about life and have had a lot of reflection going on. They have been pretty serious. This is a serious one too, but in a different way.

Living in fear. When I say living in fear, I mean living in fear of disease. Living in fear of dying. Living in fear of living. A lot of people are afraid to live, don’t you think? I sure do.

The more we fear, the more we make ourselves bat shit crazy. I think the last month or so, has been very sobering. I have written about young people having heart attacks and young people dying. I have written about dead people in cemeteries. It makes you take a look at your own life. Pretty soon the voice creeps in. You know which one I’m talking about. The asshole fear voice. We all have it inside of us. When we are feeling vulnerable, or scared or alone, it usually makes its appearance. So the voice starts in, making you wonder. Do I have cancer floating around in my body? I HAVE been soooooo tired lately. I HAVE been feeling weak. Or you wonder if that little twinge you feel in your chest means you are going to have a heart attack. You wonder if because you are eating crappy food you are going to make yourself sick. You wonder if you are going to get heart disease or cancer or any other lifestyle disease. It is so easy to become OCD about this. It is so easy to get hung up on this mentality. So many people do it. So many people can’t get away from it. It consumes them. Pretty soon, you don’t want to go play outside with the kids or grandkids. Pretty soon, you just want to hang out on the couch and watch TV. Pretty soon, you are afraid to do ANYTHING.

I think we have certain expectations of how we should be, of how we should feel, of how we want to be and of how we want to feel. When those expectations are not being met to our OCD standards, we freak out a little. It’s okay to a certain extent. But, when thoughts like that start consuming us all the time, we need to step back and reevaluate what is going on with our health. We need to check it and listen to our body. We need to separate fiction from reality. We need to know the damn difference. We need to take a little inventory. Stress much? Sleep much? Play much? Eat much? Work much?

Take a step back and do a little reality check with yourself. Find that positive voice. You know which one I’m talking about. The nice and friendly voice. The one that says, “Nice job on the eight hours of sleep last night.” Or, “Nice job relaxing after work today.” The one that says, “You rocked your eating today.” You know, the positive voice The one that likes you. The one that looks out for you. The voice we should be listening to 90 percent of the time.

We need to quit living in fear and quit being afraid to live our lives. Get out there and try something new. Get out there and enjoy your kids or grandkids. Get our there and live your life! We are all going to die sometime. Don’t live in fear. Fear is a liar.

Do you ever bite off more than you can chew?

 

The adventures of Peggie and Heidi – rucking in the hills edition.

So this past weekend my friend, Heidi, and I, took a gun course on Friday, in Rapid City, (home of the Black Hills and Mount Rushmore) and brought our rucks with us so we could do a ruck on Saturday morning. We have been rucking pretty much every weekend for about the past six weeks or so. Heidi and her family had recently gone on a hike at this same place and found a nice creek during that hike. She told me the hike was challenging. It was rocky and had lots of change in terrain and inclines. Perfect. We love challenges.

We were feeling pretty bad ass after our gun course so why not push ourselves with this ruck? We had some coffee before we left and I had a few bing cherries and that’s about it. I really don’t recall eating any sort of breakfast. I had some pecans, and RX Bar and two small containers of olives with me in a zip-lock bag. I threw it in my ruck. We drove to the entrance of the trail and were looking at the map trying to figure our where we were. There was nothing telling us “you are here.” Well, that sucked already. Heidi thought she could remember the way she went before though, so we took off. It was a gorgeous day. Sun shining, little bit of a breeze and absolutely gorgeous. The pines smelled amazing.

The trail got tough almost right away. There were some serious rocks and a pretty big incline. It was so pretty though. This was going to be great. We felt awesome. We felt amazing. We felt like we could do anything. We always talk along the way on our rucks. It’s never so serious that we don’t talk. We talk about everything. There was one point that was really cool. It was almost as if we were enclosed in the trail. The trail was narrow and there was a wall of dirt and rock on one side and trees on the other. We saw monarch butterflies and all kinds of pretty wild flowers. It was a gorgeous day. We said that a lot. We don’t take the beauty of nature for granted.

We were in search of the creek. We got to a place where there were several options. Heidi led us in the right direction and we continued. As we got further and further in, we could hear the water from the creek. Woo Hoo!!! We were getting closer to the water. It was about another half mile before we got to the creek. It was all down hill. I remember saying I would much rather go up hill, because down hill kind of bothers my knees. Heidi agreed. It was a little tricky navigating down to the water, but once we did, it was breathtaking. We dumped the rucks and just looked around. It felt so good to lose that extra 20 something pounds. The sound of the creek running was so soothing. We sat there for about 15 minutes. I ate the pecans and olives and gave Heidi the RX bar.

From the car to the water it was about 2.5 miles. It took us a while to get there. Now to head back. We got our rucks back on and we took off. This is where the nightmare began. This is where the I don’t care if I die began. This is where the I fucking hate this began. We started up the hill. Whoever said they would rather go up hill than down hill is an idiot!! I got about half way up the first hill. Maybe half way. I could feel my heartbeat in my head and my chest was pounding. WTF??!!! Heidi had just stopped a little higher and I stopped and had to catch my breath. My God! What the hell was happening? Weren’t we in good shape? Why was I feeling like this? We caught our breath and kept going—for about another 10 yards. I had to stop again. I felt like shit. I kept thinking to myself, thank God I brought that food with me. I am sure I would have gotten sick if I hadn’t eaten it. Finally, we made it to the top of that incline. It feels super hot now. I was sweating like crazy. Whoever thought rucking would be fun? Ugh! It got serious now. We didn’t talk much for the rest of the way.

The next section was still incline, but not as bad. At least there was a little reprieve. A little. Not much. I had to stop several more times and steady my heart rate. That shit continued for another mile. I got to one point and was resting, looking down, back the way we came and started praying to God for strength to get through this. I was at the point where you get so frustrated and annoyed that you just want to cry. I wanted to just lie down. I didn’t give a shit that I wouldn’t get out of there.

I decided to keep going, I’m not a quitter. I kind of felt like I had a second wind. For about a second. Until I saw the next incline. Why did I have to look? Yuck! Did we really come so far down hill? How could we have? I had to start playing mind games. I took smaller steps and would not look up. If I looked up and saw the incline, I just got pissed. I had to quit looking up. I felt a trickle of something coming out my nose. I thought, oh great, I’m getting a bloody nose. Nope, just snot. At least I knew my blood pressure wasn’t so high that I was getting a bloody nose. See, I can see positive things in shitty situations. And, there were monarch butterflies.

Time for another incline. This was the last horrendous one. I could not look up or I was going to give up. At this point, I kept thinking what if I lose the key fob. At this point, I didn’t care. I didn’t care if I just stayed in there. I didn’t care at all about anything. The mental games I played with myself were ridiculous. The mind is truly amazing. I finally told myself, “The only thing you can do is to do it, so shut up and quit whining and get going.” At this time, I looked up and Heidi was sitting down. I had faintly heard her say, “Stupid rock.” When I got up to her, she told me she tripped and landed on a pointy rock and cut her hand. I told her I didn’t see it or hear it because I had my head down and I was breathing like a freight train. I was also having an inner battle with myself as to whether I was going to give up or keep going. I threw my ruck off and carried it farmer walk style. I quickly realized that was not going to work. Heidi asked if I wanted her to take it. I told her no. I threw the fucker back on my back and off we went. This last incline section was hell. I couldn’t wait until we got to the enclosed trail, then and only then I felt like I could make it.

We got to that point and I started to feel a little better. At least I was able to control my breathing and my heart rate liked me again. We were on the home stretch, probably about another half mile. I even took a picture of a monarch butterfly. See, I was feeling better.

This last little section was tough. There were A LOT of rocks on this trail and it was down hill. I love going down hill. Down hill is my favorite. We finally got down to the main trail and had about 50 yards to go to the car. It seemed SO FAR AWAY! Finally, we made it. We finished. We conquered it. Five miles of difficult terrain. Five miles of what the hell we were we thinking? Five miles of realizing we almost bit off more than we could chew. It seriously was close.

We got in the car and just looked at each other. We gave each other the, holy shit, did we just do that, look. I’m sure we started laughing at how crazy we can be. We wouldn’t have it any other way!

Once we got back to Heidi’s parents’ house, we walked in the garage and I could immediately hear music playing. It was loud. We opened the door I could hear a Simon and Garfunkel song playing. I thought to myself how cool. It was refreshing to hear the music. It was refreshing to see her parents so in love with each other. This day was their 50th wedding anniversary. That morning before we left for our ruck, we sat out on their patio and were talking about their wedding day. It was adorable how they talked about each other. How they recalled their wedding day 50 years previously. How they reminisced. How they loved each other.

Heidi’s mom sent me home with lots of water and a bag of bing cherries. I stopped and saw my son for a while before heading home (that was the highlight of my day).

I hopped in my car for the 2.5 hour drive home. As I was eating the cherries, waiting for the stomach cramps to kick in, I kept reflecting on the day and how I was so physically and mentally challenged. It felt good to know that I made it through that tough, tough ruck. I felt awesome again. I turned the radio to the 60s station. A Simon and Garfunkel song was playing.

 

 

 

Ryan and Sam got married today and my deceased mother in law was there

 

It was hot. The wedding was at a farm near Clark, South Dakota, a special place for Ryan. It was a small wedding and the wrestling coach officiated. There was a mix of blended and unblended families.

Ryan is our nephew. He grew up with our kids until his family moved to Watertown, where he graduated from high school. He moved with his mom and her boyfriend. Ryan’s parents were divorced. His dad is my husband, John’s, brother.

Ryan was a really good wrestler and wrestled in college while studying to become an elementary school teacher. He lives in Clark now and is the high school wrestling coach and an elementary school teacher.

Sam is from Canada. They have had a relationship where she could be in the United States for a period of time before having to go back to Canada for a period of time. They finally got tired of the back and forth.

Sam was beautiful today. She was escorted by her father down the grass aisle. As soon as she saw Ryan, she started crying. Ryan looked so proud. When she got to him he instantly grabbed her hands and didn’t let go. The love for each other was oozing out of them. It was a little windy and a piece of hair was blowing in her face. He carefully grabbed it and tenderly placed it behind her ear and then grabbed her hands again. The ceremony was short and sweet. Just the way everyone likes it when it’s 90 degrees outside.

After the wedding everyone headed to Clark for the reception. The reception was at a building at the Fairgrounds. It was a great building for a reception. Metal and hot AF. Lots of space. You know, for when people get drunk and crazy and the dancing starts. We left before any of that happened.

My mother-in-law’s name was Elsie. She passed away in 2005. She was a tough German woman. John’s dad and her met in Germany, while he was stationed there in the 50’s. In fact, John was born in Germany. Elsie loved her grandkids and spent as much time with them as she could.

At one point during the reception, everything just stopped and a warmth came over me. It was as if everyone else was normal, but I was different. I could feel the presence of Elsie. I believe she was there to witness the love between Ryan and Sam. I felt almost like I was in a movie. Like an out of body experience. It was fleeting. It was strange. It was different. I felt happy that she was there to see her grandson so happy. To see Tayler and John and Mark too. I was happy she could see Brandon and Shane and her great grandkids. She was only there for about 15 seconds, frozen in time. And then she was gone.

It was a strange day, as today is the 17 year mark of my dad’s death. Normally a sad day for me, but today it was a happy day. Ryan and Sam got married.

I saw a lot of life today

Tomorrow is June 3rd. Tomorrow is the day my dad died. Tomorrow it will have been 17 years since he passed. Tomorrow will be a hard day. I have to say when I went to the cemetery today, and as I sat there listening to the wind chimes on the grave behind dad’s, I felt at peace. Usually when I go, I start crying right away and just am overcome with emotions. Today was different. I’m not sure why.

I have been reflecting a lot on life lately and how we live our lives. Am I really living my life? I found out this week that a classmate (Jans Melby) from high school has cancer and is dying. Gut punch. It doesn’t seem like any of us are old enough to die.

As I was sitting at the cemetery, I started looking around. For some reason I have always been intrigued with cemeteries. There is just something about them, other than the fact they are filled with dead people. It’s more than that. They are full of people. They are full of moms, dads, sisters, brothers, babies, aunts and uncles and grandparents. They are full of memories. They are full of life!

I got up and started walking around. I saw my classmate’s parents, Peter and Carole. I can remember them. I’m glad Jans will get to be with them soon.

I saw another classmate too. Bryan Pogany. So young. So sad.

Next, I saw my 7th grade Algebra teacher, Mr. Crance. His name was Baird, but I can’t think of a single one of us who would dare call him by his first name. He scared the shit out of all of us. He was not the most pleasant person in the world. Still, may he continue to rest in peace.

Then I saw a stone that said “Palmer” on the back of it. At first I thought it was Mr. Palmer, the owner of Sooper Dooper, the grocery store I worked at in high school. As I came around to the front, I realized it was not him, but it was Pat Palmer. I worked with her at Sooper Dooper. She was one of the morning ladies. One of the mainstays. One of the faces of the store. I can still see her going through all the candy at the front of the store and taking an inventory so she could put the next week’s order in. She was such a nice lady. I didn’t know her name was actually Pearl. Her stone had a picture of her on it. It was like I was right there talking to her at the store. Such a great memory. I can even hear her laugh.

About this time a worker came by in his pickup and he asked me if I needed help locating someone. I said no, I was just walking around looking at all the people I know. I said I was visiting my dad and just started wandering around. I thought it was nice of him to ask.

I found Dr. Zakahi next. He was my doctor when I was a kid. It was like he walked right up to me. I can see him in his gray pants and plaid shirt, black shoes and white doctor coat. I remember him always making us feel calm. A sweet, sweet man.

Then I found Danna Bren. I went to high school with Lloyd and Danna’s  kids. I remember leaving study hall with Troy and going to his house with some other guys and playing basketball. I was always one of the guys. Not so much one of the girls. Definitely not a girly girl.

Up the hill a little I saw the “Adam” stone. Pat Adam. An amazing lady. I spent quite a bit of time at their house. Their daughter, Paula, was in my grade and my friend, Mary, and I hung out with Karl. So many memories of that family.

I found Shirley next. Shirley Raue. The legendary daycare in town. Everyone went to Shirley’s. I trusted her to raise my first three kids. She was the best babysitter. Hands down. Such a great influence on kids. She was amazing. A great, great lady.

I was wondering where to go next and something made me turn where I wasn’t going to. I looked up and saw the “Mayer” stone. Eugene Mayer was one of my bosses for my very first legal secretary job. He always wore a bow tie. I’m glad I took that turn. Lots of great memories working for that firm.

There was a lot of life in this cemetery visit. So many memories of so many great people. As I’m typing this, now the tears are flowing. As sad as it is to lose loved ones, it still makes me happy to know that I have a lot of special memories of life I have lived.

My dad ALWAYS said that at his funeral he wanted it to rain so that he would be the only dry one and everyone else would be wet. The day of his funeral we had record high temps. I know it was well over 100 and it seems like it was 112 or even hotter. He got his wish because when it came time to lay him to rest, everyone was drenched in sweat and he was the only dry one. As I got in my car to leave today, the temp read 100. I was sweating bad. I started laughing out loud, right along with him. Until next time, Dad.

 

I like bad habits

 

Why are bad habits so much easier to maintain than healthy habits?

I would rather sit down and plow into a bag of chips and guzzle a bottle of wine, than prepare a nice healthy meal EVERY.SINGLE.NIGHT.

It’s a dilemma, for sure. Healthy habits can be scary. Bad habits are easy as pie (see what I did there).

It’s our mind science. When we think of healthy habits and think of having to do these healthy habits all the time, we feel deprived. We become completely preoccupied with food, which leads to overeating, which leads to us feeling like shit about our bodies. Because we feel like we have to be so compliant, pretty soon here comes the “screw it,” “this sucks,” “this is stupid,” “why would anyone want to do this?” We become so focused with “doing things right” that we take away from the whole process of changing our habits. We just get pissed off. Restriction is a recipe for disaster. We hate following rules. Food rules especially. We can’t sustain it. We don’t want to.

The bad habits make us feel like we are being defiant, sneaky if you will. We feel like we are getting away with something. It’s kind of exciting. Until it isn’t. We start to feel like crap, our daily life begins to suffer. We become crabby. We yell at our kids. We don’t sleep well. We just feel crappy overall. We can’t sustain it. We don’t want to.

So what do we do? How about we work towards a healthy mix. What’s a healthy mix? This is where you need to experiment. You need to explore. You definitely shouldn’t deprive yourself. Take one day and have some wine and chips. Don’t feel guilty about it. Give yourself permission. It’s okay. Change your thinking. For instance, if you are telling yourself it’s okay to have the wine and chips, a lot of times, just changing that little piece of the puzzle, makes us not even want the wine and chips. We can sustain it. We want to.

Behavior goals can come into play here. Start practicing consistency. Start showing up. Keep learning and improving. Lighten up, relax and have fun. You will keep learning more and more about yourself. Never stop experimenting. Never stop discovering.

My approach is different and I like it. I think practicing the good habits is being defiant. I think practicing the good habits is gutsy, sassy and daring. Be sassy AF!!