I cried in front of a stranger yesterday. One of those financial planner guys… you know the ones that want to sell you insurance? Yeah, I cried in front of that guy. I guess asking me too many questions about my future before 9am on a Wednesday will do that.
We sat down to chat about finances or whatever… and soon we started getting into the standard questions I’m sure these guys ask people to determine their insurance needs.
"What do you do for fun?" he asked. I wondered if he had a script to follow.
"Fun? Well, let’s see… I run… but that’s not really ‘fun’… unless my friends and I make a weekend out of it. Let’s see, what else…"
At this point I wondered if eating dinner in front of the TV and watching back-to-back episodes of the Sopranos counted as fun. Should I mention that time I drove across the country? No, he was asking me about my habits, my life, what do I like to DO… I couldn’t come up with anything, really. And so we moved on to the next question. Well, he moved on. I was still dwelling on how maybe I need to have more ‘fun’.
"What goals do you have for yourself in 2 years?" Ok, this was an easy one. "I think I’ll be working where I’m working now… I really love it there."
Ok, this was good. I like my job. But I didn’t have anything else. No big vacations, no marathons on the horizon, nothing.
Then he wanted to know about my 5 year plan, and my 10 year plan. My ‘plan’ didn’t include anything really. Nothing worth anything. There were things I should probably have by now and don’t have.
We talked about finances and how much I have saved (I told him I can barely keep a comma in my savings account) and how if I ever want to buy a house it would probably need to be like a really small fixer-upper in a less-than-desirable neighborhood, etc. and how once I met all of these goals, I would need more than $300,000 worth of insurance to make sure I didn’t royally fuck my loved ones when I leave this planet.
And as I started to think about all these things I haven’t planned for and don’t have plans on planning for… how far behind I am… what I don’t know about what I don’t know….and the possibility of injury, illness, or death. I just became overwhelmed. I stared off into the distance and tears welled in my eyes and it was clear he could tell I was having an emotional reaction.
"Are you ok?" "Yeah! I’m fine!" as I excused myself, and scrambled away to the door.
I stood outside behind the coffee shop and tried to compose myself. What was it that had gotten to me? The feeling that if I haven’t planned for my retirement, I might as well kill myself when I turn 65 so it’s not as awful as he’s making it sound? I eventually walked back in, apologized for being a big baby, and wrapped it up.
"Don’t worry… lots of people cry at these."
I thought to myself 'maybe you're doing it wrong’.
Later that day I explained it all to my best-best, Krista. She reminded me that as a salesmen, it’s his job to make me feel overwhelmed and uncomfortable and then seek him out to ‘fix it’. That made me feel a little better.
But I definitely don’t want to buy insurance from the guy… hell, I don’t even want to look him in the eye again.
So, I’ll continue to be unprepared for my future, thankyouverymuch.
~ La Rochefoucauld
I saw this quote on the wall of an old house in Nepal. I remember just reading it over and over again. I was in the Himalayas, above the world, yet there in this little, old, wooden, house this quote was written on the wall.
So many times over the years I’ve found myself thinking I am the only one who battles weight demons. Eat this. Don’t touch that. Drink lots. But not that. Don’t take too much. Don’t take anything at all. Do I need that? Yes. No. Maybe…
But thankfully over the last three years of blogging and living life I’ve come to see that most people, on some level or other, battle their self image and the art of balancing the good and bad things they put in their bodies.
It’s probably bad etiquette to say, but I find that comforting - comforting knowing I’m not the only person trying to figure this balancing game of health.
Another season of Team Challenge is upon us. This season I’m coaching the runners! I’m so excited to help them along their journey to run a half marathon :)
Do you SEE all of this AWESOMENESS I have to work with? I’m a lucky coach.
My friend Colin is letting me try out the MOTOACTV. It’s a music player/GPS that can be used as a watch, has heart rate monitor capabilities, and will actually learn what songs pump you up!
I’m sometimes intimidated by new gadgets. Historically I’ve had issues with watches and GPS’s and iPods not working like they’re supposed to when I start out. This wasn’t difficult at all!
Here’s the short version: I was up and running (literally) in just 15 minutes from the time I opened the box to being outside ready to run. Didn’t need to hook to the computer to get going.
I was able to scroll through some of the screens to get started. First, I checked out the music. It comes pre-loaded with some crappy music, so I was kind of bummed that I’d need to load it up first BUT! Then I noticed it has FM radio! Wow, very cool. The dial operates right on the screen.
Guess what? It pairs with my heart rate monitor! This was a surprise. Because this is a high end item you would think they’d want you to purchase their own accessories - but the strap that came with my Garmin is ANT enabled and the MOTOACTV paired with the sensor just perfectly.
GPS - it took about 3 minutes to find satellites (but it displayed right on the screen a countdown of how long it estimated it would take, something I wish my Garmin would do!). I’m not sure it always takes that long since this was my first use. Once satellites were found I could view where I am on a map right on the device! Kind of comforting to know I couldn’t really get lost with this thing. Well, knowing me I probably still could.
The screen is bright and big - looks as good as the screen on my phone, just smaller. All of the options I normally have to hunt for were easy to locate in the nav. You can customize the workout screen to show you whatever you’d like - lap time, average heart rate, elevation - all the regular stuff.
So, then I actually went for a run with the thing!
During the workout:
I was impressed that it was so easy to toggle back and forth between the music view and the workout view. The volume buttons are in an easy to reach location. The clip seemed to hold on to the waistband of my shorts pretty easily, though I didn’t leave it there very long because I wanted to futz with it while I was running. I thought I might bump the screen while I was running, but it wasn’t an issue. I also set it up to auto-pause when I was stopped - that was nice when I was waiting to cross a street.
Earbuds - I thought I was going to have to swap and use my own but they were surprisingly well thought out. They have the over the ear chops as well as the little sizer thingies that you can select to make sure they stick into your ears. The headphone cord is a bit long but it comes with a clippy, which was another wishlist item of mine anytime I’m purchasing earbuds.
Ok, so. While I was writing up my first impressions I downloaded the software… took about 10 minutes. Easy peasy connect to the device to download, no stupid old-timey discs. So I think the point is to get your music to sync to it, or maybe upload your workouts from the device to the cloud or something? But I’ll get to that another time… for now - I’m excited to check out more features next time I use it!
Love this shot of me and Bruce in Austin on a rainy day at #sxsw (via Sara Santiago - Instagram)
1,034 stairs, 94 flights of stairs, 47 floors. Holy crap.
So - first of all THANK YOU to all the donors who helped me raise money for the American Lung Association. We went above and beyond the goals I set for myself early on - and I was able to give $700 to the ALA to help them fight for healthy lungs and air. Thank you to Tracey G. and Sheila who joined the FitMKE team! (and happy birthday Sheila!).
The climb: I was SO anxious when I woke up this morning. All morning, while waiting to head over the the US Bank Center, I was just a bundle of nerves. Usually I’m not so bad when it comes to running events, but not really knowing what to expect threw me a bit of a curveball.
When our time came to climb, I took my sweet time starting out. Slow and steady, one step at a time, nice even pace. Soon I found myself passing people. I tried to give some words of encouragement to everyone but when I spoke it came out raspy and winded.
I thought I would be feeling much worse, so when I didn’t need a break on any of the landings I started to feel really good. I focused on finishing strong for all the people who can’t, and to honor all the donors who helped me with the cause.
I ran up the last few flights and got my medal! I finished in 10 minutes 12 seconds. That’s about my mile time.
That explains why I FEEL like I climbed a mile up into the sky! The view from the top was AMAZING. I looked out over the city and really soaked up what I had just done. I think I had ‘climbers high’ because I shed a tear thinking of how amazing the experience had been. That might sound over the top for a 10 minute workout, but it was REALLY tough and I feel like I prepared, and did my best to raise the money, and I just felt really proud in that moment. And, I didn’t die!
Thanks again donors, because I couldn’t have done it without you. And to those struggling with asthma, suffering from lung cancer, or trying to quit smoking — this was for you.
I spend a lot of time on fitness.
When I began my journey to get fit a few years ago, I knew that in order to be successful I needed to surround myself with exercise and a healthy lifestyle and a support system — because before that I surrounded myself with the opposite of that! I knew that if I immersed myself in an active world, I could never really lose it. I would be reminded every day what I worked for and held accountable for that new lifestyle.
I’m sure this is annoying to some people. In fact, when I see any one person tweeting or talking about the same thing over and over and over, it can drive me a little batty. Beyond that, it’s not a good balance. I am working toward a realistic fitness regimen, one that is more habit than immersion.
So, I got to thinking about some people I REALLY admire. Those who have quietly made fitness a part of their lives. It works into their schedules on a daily basis and it isn’t their whole world. If they get a quick workout done, it’s done, and if they don’t, it’s not the end of the world. These people have incorporated a running program, found a dvd, joined a class, or found a sport they love and they stick with it.
This should be the goal. To work fitness in to our busy lives, but not make it everything about our lives. I know I struggle with balance, so to those of you who quietly balance fitness with everything else…
Thank you. You inspire me.
"We need coaches to prescribe rest rather than workload, as athletes will always overdose." —Jureg Feldman, FACT Canada
“You need to take two full rest days immediately.”
My trainer was scolding me! I couldn’t believe I was hearing this — again. I thought to myself, I’m running less, like he asked. I’m cross-training MORE, like he said. I even have biceps from doing nearly 30 straight days of workouts! He should be impressed!
I could feel my skin getting warm. I felt ashamed of myself for not being able to do more and ‘get away with it’. He could see it on my face, yet he continued to lecture me. He asked me honestly why I am afraid of a rest day. Is it because I am afraid I will lose all the I’ve worked for and gain 100 lbs back because of too much rest? I replied that that’s part of it, but it’s also that I feel this need to cross something off my list every day. That workout is one thing I know I can do, and do right. The satisfaction I get can’t be gained from RESTING.
When I rest, it feels like everything is on hold. I feel like someone hit the pause button on my progress and growth, and I’m not getting any better that day. When in fact, all the gains we make from our workouts are made when we are resting and recovering. In my case, my heart rate was incredibly high, a sure sign of overtraining. My heart couldn’t repair itself when it hadn’t had a rest day in 30 days. My heart. I need my heart! I took those two rest days, plus some.
The dilemma for athletes isn’t that we can’t and won’t do more. We’ll do it all, if you ask us. We’ll run every damn day, each one harder than the next. We’ll push it with two-a-days, always rise to the occasion, and we cannot say no to a challenge.
Our bodies will pay the price for it. We’ll suffer injuries, fatigue, burnout.
My solution: in order to be able to FEEL like I did something to better myself on my rest days, I decided to stretch really well on those days. I’ll warm my body up just a bit, and then stretch it out. I can ‘check’ that off my list and try to remind myself I’m getting better that day.
How do you react to being ‘held back’? Is it hard to take a rest day? Does anyone remind you to get the rest you need?
I’ve actually been working toward a few of them! Go, me!
This goal was made to remind me to nurture friendships and cultivate new ones. So far, I’ve been able to do this with a few close friends over coffee, lunch, hockey, or running dates. It’s a good feeling to connect with another person.
Challenge my black and white thinking.
I need to not be so all-or-nothing. It does help me in some situations, but it hurts me in others… Anyway, this morning I was told I need to take two full rest days right away. I’d been working out every day for nearly a month straight, and my heartrate is showing I’m overtraining. At first the thought of taking two rest days right now scared me, and I fought it in my head, looking for ways to cheat or get around it. That’s because I’m 23 days into a 30 Days of 30 Day Shred Challenge. I can’t miss two days right now! I’ll have to start over! I thought. But, I let myself let go of the black/white decision to do or do not. Instead, I’ll count day 23 and 24 as Level 0 of the Shred, showing that I learned something during the process - that rest is as important to fitness as working hard is.
I pulled the trigger on some airfare! I booked a trip for Tom and I to visit my sisters and brother-in-law in St. Louis on February 17th. That’s less than a month away! And I’m making plans to visit family in Oregon at the end of July. Exciting!
Now, I just have to get to work on the other goals…
Does anyone else have a problem with pins not loading or disappearing after they’re pinned from Tumblr? I realized that if you’re pinning from the dashboard or someone’s feed, these pins are being pinned from temporary pages, so when that page or person posts again it pushes pages down in their feed, and the ‘page 2’ in url changes and the image breaks.
This makes me wonder, though.. If Pinterest is just displaying an externally hosted image or actually hosting them… because if a pin is so popular that it crashes the original pin from too much traffic would it break? In a few years, we might look back at our boards and see a bunch of expired pins (no images?). For that matter, (and this has happened to me on Polyvore…) if I go to look at an older product and the site doesn’t carry it anymore, there’s a link to a ‘sold out’ or ‘old item’. Not sure how Pinterest will handle this when they just have long-gone products pinned with essentially expired links.
While we’re on the topic: If it were up to me, I’d add a few more ways to browse: by color, or by website, the way you can on Polyvore. I’d also like to see more categories. For example, I like to pin ‘omfg celebz’, and there is a category for ‘people’ but not for celebs. And lots of people like to pin mantras and quotes but there is no categorization for ‘words’ or ‘inspirational quotes’.
What say you?
Dear Santa, you are a little late on the delivery, but thank you for the (almost) Kardashian hair.
*waits patiently for the rest*
Mileage total for 2011 = 1100! Not bad considering I struggled through rehabbing a knee injury and a hamstring pull. Here’s to a successful 2012, a year of running and realizing what we’re capable of. Happy new year!
This is less a list of ‘goals’ and more ‘things to be mindful of’, with the goal of a happier me.
Set more realistic expectations of myself. One example of this is the to-do list I make every day. It generally says ‘To-Do Today’ and has a list of things one person could expect to do in a week. I realized this makes me feel like crap when I leave for the day because I didn’t get everything done, even if I make the highest and best use of my time all day. Changing that disappointed feeling was as simple as crossing off ‘today’ and writing ‘this week’. I’ve seen this pattern for a while and it felt good to acknowledge it. Another pattern: believing I’ve gained 20 lbs in a single week and that I’m returning to my size 12-14 self. In reality, it seems that no matter what I do it would be pretty hard to get to that point again, no matter how indulgent a weekend I’ve had. Generally, my size 8-10 clothes still fit so there’s nothing to worry about. Sure, I’m a little fatter now than I was a year or two ago, but those looser reigns allow me to stop counting every calorie and clouding my head with guilt over every bite. The goal is to to apply this realistic way of thinking to my life wherever I see a pattern that allows me to be too hard on myself.
One-on-one. So many people to talk to, so little time. I tend to avoid gatherings because being with more than a few people at once makes me anxious. But I’m good at one-on-one’s. So, I’ll focus on the people in my life that I care about and want to know more about, and plan to see them. I’ll put it on my calendar, even. It’s often hard to squeeze in ‘dates’ in my schedule, so one idea I had for this was instead of scheduling coffee meetings to catch up with people, I’m going to try to keep running dates. It keeps us moving and it’s the best way to chat if you ask me. But don’t ask me any questions if we’re running too fast, I’ll be too out of breath to answer.
Family first. This isn’t anything new, but at times I am frustrated and overwhelmed by the number of people I don’t recognize on my Facebook page. I halfway pay attention to all these people, but at times don’t know what’s going on with my own family. Must. Fix. Weed out excess friend list, tend to family. See also: ‘one-on-one’ rule. Go play Scrabble with Grandma, have an ice cream with Dad, call my Mom, road trip to my sisters, call my cousin. I need that.
Challenge my black-and-white thinking. I live in black and white, and I’m very stubborn. For a long time I defined myself as someone who doesn’t gamble. Then, I gambled a little bit while in Vegas this month and I realized there’s nothing wrong with that. It was fun, and I’ve spent $14 more foolishly in my life. My challenge to myself is to let go of those black and white things that I grip so tightly and let just a little moderation in. I could dance in public, have a (tiny) glass of wine, drink a Diet Coke, take a week off from running, have a baby. Heh, got you with that last one didn’t I?? This isn’t an announcement (but mayyyybe I’ll start thinking about doing that.) Mostly this is about just letting myself live in the gray areas.
Travel. Pull the trigger on some airfare. I did this over the summer and it was one of the best experiences of my life! What is almost as good as the trip itself? looking forward to the trip after it’s booked. In the German language there is a saying: “Vorfreude ist die beste Freude”. Meaning the anticipation of joy is the best joy. Couple that advice with cheaper fares and the lesson is: book it early.
Work it out. No, not working out. I have done my share of that, and it’s been my focus for many years. This year, I focus on my professional fitness. I challenge myself with new clients and projects, take on new and potentially scary challenges, continue to understand my team, my industry, and my clients, find a niche area of expertise within my industry, and maybe even fail at a thing or two. It’s good for growing.
Discover my city. If I’ve learned one thing from reading The Happiness Project, it’s that you need to discover and define what makes you happy, and that it might be something very simple, and it might not be the conventional things that make other people happy. I didn’t understand it before reading this book, but now I do. You know what makes me happy? My very own city. History. Art. Architecture. Antiques. Old homes. The way things were. And so, I’ve embarked on a journey to tour as many old homes, mansions, museums, breweries, gardens, and anything else I can get my hands on.
Cheers to 2012!