"We turn not older with years, but newer every day." Emily Dickinson

1, 2, 3 . . . breathe

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I’ve been swimming regularly for about a year now and I still can’t believe it. I’m not great, scratch that, I’m not even good but I’m doing it.  I’m in there, splashing around from one end of the pool to the other until I amass about a 1/2 mile or so and guess what? IT FEELS FREAKIN GREAT, I SWIM, I’M A SWIMMER!!

I drag my sorry butt out of bed between 4:40 – 5:00 am a couple of mornings a week to swim.  And I have to go to bed by 9:30 most week nights to be able to get enough sleep and sometimes that sucks.  And my bed is warm and cozy and it’s dark and cold outside and I’m a big chicken in the dark running to my car so the boogie man doesn’t grab me but I still go!  It’s totally worth it, that feeling of accomplishment, of doing something entirely for myself, my health & well being.

So my point, yes I do have a point, is that everyone has excuses, other commitments, & fears and it’s hard and scary and sometimes embarrassing but it’s also something you’ll never regret.  You’ll also be amazed at the new friends you’ll make from that early morning, we’re all in this together busting our butts at 5 am club!

When you get home tonight, dig through your drawers and drag that swim suit out of hiding, find a cap & goggles, grab your favorite towel (shit like that matters & makes you smile) and pack up a bag for the morning. And because I love, love, love, love lists here’s what you’ll need to make it through an early morning swim:

  • swimsuit
  • cap
  • goggles
  • flip flops (one thing you don’t need is athlete’s foot)
  • towel (make it fun ladies)
  • sweats, pjs, lounge pants (travel to and fro)
  • tee
  • bra & undies (it’s okay if you forget these, nobody notices at 6:30 am when you leave the gym)
  • hoodie
  • boots (baby it’s cold outside)
  • ditty bag (shampoo, conditioner, soap, razor, lotion, hair product, etc)

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Sense or senseless

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touch  (tch)

v. touchedtouch·ingtouch·es
1. To cause or permit a part of the body, especially the hand or fingers, to come in contact with so as to feel

I love to touch things.   It’s not conscious really,   when I browse through shops I reach my  hand out to  brush over a sweater or scarf, or to see if the jeans are scratchy, maybe that lace is softer than I imagine, how fluffy is the pillow or is that rug really as sturdy as it appears?

I’m partial to really soft silky touches like Rachel’s cheek (she’s currently wandering across the US so I’ve been deprived of this face for quite some time) and

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Cooper’s coat, I love his whiskers and cold nose too, they’re a little bit bumpy but I can get so close to his big, dark, warm eyes when I kiss him that it feels soft in my mind.

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I want to touch everyone and everything in my world so that I can capture all the goodness there is to capture.  Winter and really short days are on their way so I’d like to bottle those touches and bring them out on days that I feel cold and grumpy.

thankfully joyful

“All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.” ~Henry Ellis

there is no “fine mingling” about it, letting go is one of the hardest things to do. holding on and better yet, holding tight is so much easier.

the holiday season is here, in full swing, blinkie twinkling lights, black friday, make your wish list kind of way.  i always miss my mom more this time of year and especially when i heard two girls talking in the locker room at the gym, one asking if the other if she was hosting Thanksgiving and the girl replied “no, i’m going to my mom’s house.”  my heart skipped a beat,  we always went to my mom’s house for holidays and although we haven’t for the past 10 years, at that moment, when i heard that reply, i wanted my mom!  i felt cheated and lonely and envious of every family everywhere with mom’s & dad’s & grandparents and babies, getting together for the holiday season in one of those chaotic, there aren’t enough chairs kind of day. not that we don’t have wonderful holidays, it’s just that we’re spread out geographically and all the girls have jobs and significant others and other parents and sometimes blended family life just sucks because there’s not enough time for everyone!

this year was going to be a smaller, more quiet thanksgiving at my house, so i signed up for the 1st annual Turkey Trot in town.  and i am so thankful that i did because i got to see so many people that i haven’t seen in a very long time and give them a hug and wish them a happy thanksgiving in person! and the fantabulous group of girls that let me run & swim & bike with them all showed up for the event.

and i had a personal pacer that was determined to help me set a personal record for this run. of course when she sets her mind to something, she rarely fails and she didn’t and i did set a PR!

And the holiday weekend went on to be fun

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and funny (i dropped my iPhone in the toilet and spent a little quality time at the genius bar while my girls waited patiently at the kids table:)

IMG_3268moving forward and staying present in my own life, here are the things that i am letting go of

  • the need to have everyone together for a joyful holiday (facetime works wonders)
  • spending all morning in the kitchen (there is time to trot:)
  • decorating every square inch of my house

but i’ll also be keeping a tight grasp on this list for a very long time

  • the love of my family no matter how far apart we are
  • the memories of holiday traditions with my mom
  • my health and fitness
  • my iPhone

The New Amy

I’m really tired today and a little grumpy and it doesn’t seem to make sense that these feelings would make me want to brag, but they do and here’s the reason. About 10 months ago I finally got so sick of hearing myself say that I just wanted to lose 10 lbs that I finally did something about it and lost 20 lbs. And along the way, I convinced myself to join a running group,

buy a new road bike,

enter organized events,

swim for exercise at 5 freakin’ 30 in the morning

and cut off all my hair!

All these changes and new adventures aren’t easy, they’re hard, really hard because change is difficult. But along the way I’ve made some new friends who make the changes just a teeny bit easier

and I’ve got a great guy who always has my back and believes I can do anything and sends me texts to let me know that!

I believe that the older we get the easier it is to get comfortable and rigid but:

“At some point, you have to make a decision. Boundaries don’t keep other people out. They fence you in. Life is messy. That’s how we’re made. So, you can waste your lives drawing lines. Or you can live your life crossing them. “

So I’ve decided to stay young and foolish.

Stuck like glue . . .

“Absolutely no one that knows me better.  No one that can make me feel sooo goooood. How did we stay so long together?” ~Sugarland

19 years and counting and 

19 reasons “I know I’m never gonna let this go!”

1. You’re still the cutest and coolest guy out there. 2. You’ve always been ahead of the game setting style trends(the untucked look) 3. You can download your own apps on your iPhone  4. You see the first robin every spring 5. You don’t mind walking in the rain 6. You think it’s more fun to go to work on Monday in a clean car 7. You pick the perfect color of straw for me every. single. morning. 8. You know how to say “I’m sorry” 9. You execute all the crazy projects I think up 10. And you execute all your own projects! 11. You vacuum, clean toilets, & buy bananas in bulk 12. You like movies on the big screen 13. You help me make up my mind (I know how indecisive I am) 14. You build my confidence and calm my anxiety 15. You inspire me to cook and read and write and workout 16. Big black dogs and small tiger cats melt your heart 17. You believe decks need to be power washed every year 18. You stay so calm when your iPhone, the computer or your fantasy team draft get “jacked-up” 19. And for ever and always “you still make my heart beat again, heart beat again, make feel like a kid, pulling right back in. ”

“Whutooo whutooo, Stuck like glue, You and me baby we’re stuck like glue”

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i am ready to take on the world this month and for the first time in a very very long time i’m setting some goals and writing them down!

Goal #1 – kick the bejesus out of these socks or in a more measurable term cycle 12 hours this month.

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Goal #2 – log 15 miles (2 1/2 – 3 hours) running in these little jewels

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Goal #3 – continue to get this awesome walking buddy out on his social excursion 5 days a week (50 miles/15 hours for the month)

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Goal #4  – continue my Weight Watchers journey and drop another 4 lbs (down 8 lbs so far) by eating lots of good, fresh healthy foods like these

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and these

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Goal #5 – do push ups & plank pose every . single . night (number each night equal to the number of pounds i’ve lost) & create a simple yoga routine to do twice weekly so I can rock this dress with strong abs and arms in a small!!

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oh ya and I signed up for the Ride for Roswell 2012 and could really use your support.

imagination explosions

“Maybe we should develop a Crayola bomb as our next secret weapon. A happiness weapon. A beauty bomb. And every time a crisis developed, we would launch one. It would explode high in the air – explode softly – and send thousands, millions, of little parachutes into the air. Floating down to earth – boxes of Crayolas. And we wouldn’t go cheap, either – not little boxes of eight. Boxes of sixty-four, with the sharpener built right in. With silver and gold and copper, magenta and peach and lime, amber and umber and all the rest. And people would smile and get a little funny look on their faces and cover the world with imagination.” ~Robert Fulghum

Anticipating my Crayola explosion any moment:)
dictionary.com definition #5 for “Imagination” – ability to face and resolve difficulties; resourcefulness

I may not cover the entire world with imagination but I’m working hard to imagine myself thinner, more fit and stronger.  I’ve embarked on finally losing those nasty 15 lbs that have crept on to my body without my knowledge (okay maybe that is a little fib).  But a crisis has developed with my weight, age, fitness level that surely warrants the Crayola bomb:)  I’m selfish, I admit it I want the looks & smiles & whispers that say “Oh she’s looking fabulous and fit don’t you think?”  So here’s my plan:

  1. I have the ability; I’m healthy, active, have good genes and am an excited and willing participant in my journey.
  2. I am good at resolving difficulties; no time to work & work out with my sedentary job? work out at lunchtime, double bang for my buck, eat less and move more.
  3. And resourcefulness, well that’s where I excel. I’ve started Weight Watchers online so I have to track my food and activity, I’ve got a really good support crew doing it with me. I scour the inter webs & social networks for other like minded people and products.

I’ve lost 4.5 pounds so far and I’m more committed than I’ve ever been.  I’m spinning & walking daily and ready to join my all girl running group again this spring.  I’m investigating a “CrossFit” type class at my gym that I think (a little scared here) I’ll try. I’m waiting with giddy anticipation to test run my new Brooks Pure Cadence trainers.

After all I did run and walk all last summer & fall in my Vibrams which are spectacularly AWESOME!!  Now that I think about it, I may have already created my very own Crayola bomb!!