Friday, July 30, 2010

F is for ----

Attention, Attention Please!

I realized something the other day when I was doing my best to paddle around the pool with a gimpy arm. It was a thought that hadn't even crossed my mind yet this month. To be perfectly honest with you, I really don't know why my brain hadn't mentioned something earlier.

A lot of people are afraid of swimming!

I mean, duh!

I've been thinking about and talking about and writing about fears and such lately but because I'm not afraid of swimming, I didn't even consider that others out there reading (as if they actually are) this blog might not be interested in my lovely representation on this month's activity because of whatever personal limitations they might have. How rude of me!

So instead of ignoring fears that I myself might not have, I want to open the floor to discuss fears about fitness every week, whatever those fears may be. Sound good?

From this point forward, Fridays are to be known as Fitness Fear Fridays around here.

To kick it off in style, I think I shall make a list. You know how I love lists. I'm a list girl.

Swim Fears
  • The obvious one is the fear of drowning in general.
  • The fear of swimming in other human gunk. Not eloquently put but let me explain. I've heard of some people refusing to swim in a pool because they know others will pee or spit in the pool. Dead skin falls off in the pool. Hair falls out in the pool. Band aides fall off in the pool.
  • The fear of swimming in lakes. I have this one. I just won't do it, I don't care. It's gross. Lake water is stagnant. Shit falls in there and sinks to the bottom forever with no where to go. The water is dark and icky and you can't see anything around or under you. Things get slimy and putrid in lakes. People dump garbage and whatever else they can think of in lakes. Not interested. No thanks.
  • The fear of swimming in the ocean. People fear the great expansive ocean. They fear the depth of it. They fear the creatures of it. Maybe they just fear the mystery of it too.
  • What about the fear of putting your face in the water? That's one.
  • I've seen people have an unbelievable fear of floating on their back.
  • Fear of exposing too much of yourself in order to participate in the swimming activity? Bashful?
  • What else?

Ways to Overcome Swim Fears
  • Try meditative or relaxation techniques when you feel yourself getting anxious about getting in the water or attempting something in the water that scares you.

    • Deep breaths
    • Visualize yourself enjoying doing whatever it is that scares you
    • Go to your happy place

  • Challenge yourself about the fear. We usually know that our fears are unfounded but we allow them to dictate our actions anyway. If that's ok with you, then fine, stay that way. But if it's not ok, perhaps it's time to sit down and have a debate with yourself.
  • Sign up for swimming lessons. Swim teachers have dealt with every kind of fear in the water that you can think of so if you really want to overcome what's holding you back but don't know what to do or where to turn, check out your local community center pool and inquire about lessons.
  • If swim lessons aren't an option for you, you can try asking a friend or family member to help you face the fear. Ideally, you want them to be a good swimmer and you want to trust that person. It's much easier to attempt swimming when you have a helping hand and watchful eye to help you out if you find yourself in trouble or to just sooth your nerves and give you the much needed encouragement.
  • If you decide to face your fear alone or with a buddy, it's important to go it slowly. Don't think that you're going to just be able to do a cannon ball into the deep end on day one. Depending on how debilitating your fear is, you  may want to start just by dangling your legs in or wading in to your knees until you feel comfortable enough to push yourself a little. Allow yourself freedom to take whatever time you need to get comfortable with the water.
  • Consider getting a paddle board to use for a little while while you get the hang of kicking your legs.
  • What about a snorkel mask for getting use to put your face in the water?
  • Goggles are great so you don't feel blind underwater.
There are all kinds of fears about water and swimming. Some may be founded but most are illogical and we usually know the truth for ourselves if we really answer the question honestly. If you don't want to let your fears hold you back from experiencing the kind of beauty and peace I feel while swimming, I suggest you challenge yourself. The only way to conquer a fear is to face it and walk through it.

Do you have a swim fear? Tell me...

And there is only one day left to vote for my August activity. Did you vote? Vote!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Swim Senses

  • One thing I hear in the pool is the sound of the air bubbles bursting as I surface for another breath. I know I talked about this sense already but it really did move me enough to feel the urge to mention it again. What? No good? Ok, how about another one then.
  • One OTHER thing I hear in the pool is the sound of the water sloshing against the tile walls. I really prefer it when I'm the only one in the pool because I like to play a game where I make as little disturbance in the water as possible. I mean, how much more exciting can it get if I can glide through the water without so much as leaving a wake in my path. Silently slithering through with nothing more than the top of my head disturbing the surface. I tell you, it's beauty. That's what it is.
  • One thing I taste in the pool is the horrifying cologne that Mr. Fuzzy Hot Tub Man has bathed in before gracing us with is furry presence. Enough said?
  • One thing I smell in the pool is the sauna. The steam room where I swim is just around the corner and when I'm taking a little swim rest at the shallow end of the pool, I can smell the wood planked room in all it's sweatiness. You know the smell right? It's the musky cedar that has been sitting a little too long so it doesn't have the crisp scent it once did but unmistakable none the less. I must admit, I love that smell.
  • One thing I see in the pool is the reflection from the surface of the water on the pool floor. You know what I'm talking about right? It only happens when the sun light is just right. I'll be swimming along and come to one end where the afternoon sun is shining through the windows and I'm greeted with a playful display of watercolors in motion. No two portraits are ever the same and they change the moment you try to focus your eye on any of them. To properly appreciate the brilliance, it's most important to gently observe without expectation or judgement, letting the moving picture the freedom it needs. 

  • One thing I feel in the pool is....everything. No, it's true. Swimming is an activity that literally engages every feeling I can think of. Not only does it make me feel, emotionally, but it also awakens the sense of touch on every millimeter of my body. Swimming is one big hug. It actually reminds me of my sweet Pollyanna. When Pollyanna cuddles, she doesn't just lay there and let me rub her belly. She throws her entire being into the cuddling experience. She'll nuzzle under my chin, meaning that she shoves her giant head into my throat with some very impressive force. Then she'll climb on my lap, meaning that she flings her body into mine which is impressive considering that she's old as dirt. Ready or not here she comes. She will wriggle around until she can successfully get as much of the surface area of her body to touch as much surface area of mine as possible. She just wants to be swallowed by one huge cuddle. Yup, that's exactly what swimming feels like.  
Princess Pollyanna Prissy Pants

Now it's your turn. See how this works? I go, you go. I go, you go. Ready?
What are your swim senses?
Are you swimming in a pool? In a lake (YUCK)? Or my favorite, the ocean?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My Everything Hurts

So there I was, minding my own business. I had decided to attend a Punk Rope instructor training workshop because I was curious about Punk Rope. I first learned about this exciting new class from reading BitchCakes blog a while ago. Then after a couple email exchanges with the Punk Rope guru, I signed up for the workshop. No biggie. There was one woman in the class that I found rather interesting. She was talking about roller derby. So I said to her, "you're into roller derby?". Her response was in the affirmative. We started chatting about it a bit and next thing you know, we're exchanging numbers and making plans to get together to talk about bringing Punk Rope to Seattle, enlisting the local roller girls for support of course.

After attending my first roller derby bout, I was hooked. I knew right then and there that I needed to learn how to skate so I could do what those psycho bitches were doing. Loved it! So I bought myself some skates and pads and mouth guard and a helmet and headed straight for the skating rink to practice. The girl who owned the shop where I bought my crap told me about a roller derby practice league too. She called it PFM, aka Potential Fresh Meat. She suggested that I check it out if I really wanted to learn.

I went to my first PFM practice and quickly learned that I needed quite a bit more practice than I had in order to hang with those girls. I was watching them in amazement while listening to my inner bitch tell me that there was no way in hell I could do what they were doing. So I decided that I would just practice on my own for a while to get comfortable on my skates. I needed to be able to do the basics at least. You know, t-stops, crossovers, etc.

As much as I've been practicing for the past couple months, I just feel like I need something more. Like something is missing in my practices. The damn crossovers seem to be the bane of my existence lately. So, I learned that the Rat City league was going to be putting on a roller derby boot camp. Six weeks of roller derby training. Three days a week through the end of August. I signed up the moment registration opened.

Then I learned that open tryouts are going to be happening in September. Perfect! Well, at least I hope. My goal is not only to become a pro skater by the time boot camp is over but to try out for the league and actually make a team before the year is over. Lofty goal, I know, but aren't all my goals a stretch?

So, I attended my first ever roller derby boot camp practice just a couple days ago. I thought nothing of it. Well, let me clarify. I thought I would be able to deal with the endurance and physical requirements of a 2 hour practice with no problem because I work out all the time and have been for a while now. I thought I was in good shape even though the actually skating drills and stuff would be challenging. What I found out was that I was wrong. Dead wrong! I mean, I did all the drills and push-ups and squats and shit but now, the day after, it hurts. It all hurts. My arms hurt. My butt hurts where I fell on it a few times. My thighs are burning and screaming in pain. I had grand plans to practice during the couple off days between meetings but I can't even lift my arms.

How am I suppose to skate when I can't even put on my own underwear?


I wrote the above blurb last week with the intention to post it right away. But then something happened. Something being that the reference to my inability to lift my arms turned into an extended problem. I thought it was just muscle soreness. I'm active, right? I swim, I hike, I skate, I play racquetball and tennis, I lift weights. I'm use to pushing my body and feeling the burn afterwards. Practice was on Monday night. Tuesday was very sore. Wednesday was worse. Thursday was agony. And to make it even better, Thursday was the next skate practice. I was watching the clock all day hoping that my arm would magically feel better so I could go participate in the practice. Um...nope! Didn't happen.

Instead, I headed to the doctor, which is a really a big thing for me after all. I don't do doctors. But I felt that I had no other choice because boot camp was far more important to me than indulging my false sense of medical expertise and physical superiority. So I went. Doc said that he thought I might have torn something in my shoulder girdle. I was all inflamed and all the muscles in and around my shoulder were tight as a rock.

Prescription: X-ray, Cortisone, Prednisone, Vicodin, Physical Therapy

I took the Prednisone but rejected the rest. Instead, I went to get acupuncture. I prefer natural if at all possible and I hate taking any meds of any kind so even taking the pred was a stretch for me. But the side effects suck. Disturbed sleep, dry mouth, stomach problems, and an overwhelming desire to drink water from a fire hose. Seriously, I can't get enough water lately. I suppose that's a good side effect actually.

With all this shoulder crap, I realized that I was going to have to stay off my skates for a couple weeks because I can't move my left all. And because doc said so. And so did the acupuncturist. Damn people! Don't they know I JUST set a new awesome goal for myself and they are directly interfering with it. So I talked to my derby camp peeps and told them the stupid situation. Because camp is only 6 weeks long and I have to stay off my skates for at least 2 weeks, it's pretty stupid to stick around for it. It's progressive and I'm already on the lower performer end of the spectrum. The likelihood of me catching up with no practice is slim to impossible. I have to miss at least a 1/3 of the entire thing!

The very sad and disturbing news is that I had to drop out. Usually, I'm all about the sarcasm but this seriously breaks my heart. I was in tears. Even now, days later, I'm still very upset about it. I waited for this camp for months. I planned ahead. I had reminders in my calendar to be the first one to sign up for it and pay for it and show up when it arrived. I bought 2 team tank tops and new knee-high socks to match my team colors. Then when it got here, I was giddy like a little girl on Christmas morning that just asked Santa for a fluffy white kitty cat. Instead of seeing that kitty cat under the tree with a shiny red bow around it's neck, my big present was a new pair of pink jammies with matching bunny slippers. So disappointing.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Living Active; Living Vicariously

I'm so excited, I can hardly contain myself and that's impressive considering that it's early right now and I am NOT a morning person. If one thing could perk me up without my morning coffee injections, it's the news I have for you today! Ready for it? Big Girl Bombshell and I have been chatting up a storm lately. I recently asked her how she managed to become a super blogger and for any tips and advice she could give me to grow this here little blog to something that might actually get read. What can I say, I like the attention. One of her brilliant ideas was to guest post on each other's blogs every so often. When she proposed this idea, I was seriously blown away. Not only do I think it's a great idea but I really was touched by her enthusiasm to help me (I'm not use to asking for help....EVER). So here's the big news ---- Bombshell's first guest post right here for you to enjoy, right NOW.


Big Girl Bombshell is dropping in to check on the Living Active Bombshell. You see, I live vicariously through Salina’s blogs. Her active life peaks my curiosity. My past experience of living active, well, my imagination lives actively. My mind fills with ideas constantly, a visionary at times, hmm; well that lives actively too. But…..

it seems to be a constant “but” when it comes to physical activity.

My mantra and single goal for this year is I live. I made the decision and the commitment that I would no longer let my weight hold me back. I have stretch some comfort zones, broken past some fears, put myself out there for the blog world to see, and I feel I am living my life. I figured out many of my excuses, and I ask myself weekly What If questions.

You see, I have used my creativity and my intelligence to escape, mainly those physical feelings. I am reminded of that fight or flight feeling that comes with fear. I don’t LIKE that feeling. It triggers too many emotions and memories. It used to send me to the Oreo cookies and milk for a binge. Now, I have gotten past that part but it still makes me afraid to exercise and to push myself. But I have only recently figured that out.

Back in November, when it was rainy and cold, I could not walk outside. I borrowed my daughter’s Wii and bought a Fit Plus Game. That started my adventure in activity. Vicarious living. I could ski, run, high jump, play soccer, fly like a bird, float along the river in a bubble, Yoga, be a hula hoop star, ride a bike through the park, and even ride a segway. I started to learn that exercise could be fun.

I am not as active as Salina, and I more than admire her stamina and determination. But, the idea of living active is learning how to make exercise exciting, fun, and different. The Wii gave me that to start.

Just recently, I started to step a little more out of my comfort zone. I walked 2.4 miles the other day. I have run a block. I purchased a stationary bicycle and I will be adding that to my assorted activities. I have tried Cardioke, I use my cable to watch Exercise TV and next month I will be trying meditation.

It is little steps but it is still movement. So, whether you are daring and full of energy, you can try the roller derby or if you are just starting out and still have some reservations or hesitation, you can still start. The purpose of living active is to try new things to find what you like and that will become a part of your lifestyle..not just a chore.

Just out of curiosity, I looked up the words Living Active. (I often do that to see if what I understand as the meaning is the true meaning.

• The condition or action of maintaining life.
• A manner or style of life.
• A means of maintaining life; livelihood.

• Being in physical motion
• Functioning or capable of function

So, using my imagination, I can accept Living Active. I maintain a new style of life because I am capable of functioning in some areas, I do function in others and I have started being physical in motion. Active doesn’t mean hard, fast, push to the limit. It just means being in physical motion. I can DO that!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Swim Song

In my last swim post, I talked about all kinds of things I love about swimming. I have another that I want to add to that list.

Years ago, when I was a chemical dependency counselor and worked with adolescents in both inpatient and outpatient treatment programs, I did all kinds of experiential activities with them. Not only are experiential activities fun and interesting but they teach some fundamental life skills that I think all people should practice.

One of my favorite exercises was one I started many of my group sessions with. It can be challenging but when you get the hang of it, it can do wonders for your mood. I would have everyone sit down and get comfortable then we would all take turns running through our senses. We would fill in the blank to the following statements and no one was allowed to say the same thing as another person.

  1. One thing I hear right now is _______.
  2. One thing I smell right now is _______.
  3. One thing I feel right now is ________.
  4. One thing I taste right now is _______.
  5. One thing I see right now is _______.

The reason it's challenging is because we're not always aware of noises we hear if we're in a quiet room. What if we aren't eating anything, how can we taste something? If the room we're in is empty, how can we all come up with something different we see? I got all those questions/complaints and others. My answer is that it takes some training to really put yourself in the present and observe everything around and within you. No matter how many people or how bare the room or how long since you had your lunch, we are all going to experience our environment differently. It's up to each of us to become familiar with our bodies, our minds, our thoughts, and yes, our senses.

The other day, I walked into the pool area on a hot day and it was crowded. I mean packed! There are 4 lanes in the pool at my gym and normally 2-3 people share one lane if it's busy. There were 4-5 people sharing one lane on this particular day. It was craziness. I got into a lane and started feeling irritated with the over-crowding.

People everywhere, damn it!
Don't people know how to share a freakin' lane?
(if there are just two then split the lane in half and go back and forth on your own side but when there are 3 or more, play follow the leader going up one side and down the other so you don't end up swimming into and over each other)
I just got kicked by this stupid bitch!
Oh my god, I'm gonna smack someone!

So not a zen place to be for my swim experience. I decided I needed to just focus on what I was doing and stop worrying about everyone else. Of course, I enlisted my good ole experiential activity to get myself centered. I started going through my list and got stuck on the first one.

One thing I hear right now is _____?

Then it hit me. Have you ever listened to the sound of the air bubbles as your head bobs in and out of the water? I was doing the breast stroke so my breathing was very regular. Kick - exhale under water, stroke - inhale above water, kick - exhale under water, stroke - inhale above water. I noticed that as I was exhaling through my nose under water, the bubbles were passing by the sides of my face and as I came to the surface for another gasp of air, they made a popping sound right by my ears. No two bubbles sounded the same either. It was a symphony of air bubbles.

I spent the rest of my swim experience amazed by how fantastic it was to have my very own soundtrack. 20 laps and 40 minutes later, I was still surrounded by crazy flailing people swimming in every which direction but I was all smiles and felt like I just woke from a pleasant sleep as my swim song seemed to be a lullaby. I was calm, peaceful, centered, and thoroughly satisfied.

Since that day, I have enjoyed the sounds of the pool just as much as I did initially. And, I've noticed a couple others since then.

My challenge to you is to take a swim and pay very close attention to the sounds in your personal soundtrack. What do you hear? How does it affect your experience? What is your swim song?

I'd absolutely love to hear about your observations. Please comment to share your experiences or if you might be interested in guest posting your stories on Living Active, you can email me directly. Because I want Living Active to be more interactive and inclusive, I am looking for others who might be interested in guest posting every so often. Let me know if you're interested.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Roller Derby Boot Camp

Yesterday was the first day of boot camp and I was seriously shakin' in my skates all day long.
Ok, I wasn't wearing my skates all day but you get the picture.
Actually, I wore my skates around the house for 4 hours hoping that it would give me a bit of an edge.
It didn't work.
I counted down from 12 hours and felt like I was going to pee myself all day.
Nervous much?

Since I've been talking about the fear lately, why not just dive into this one (pun intended since July is Swim month).
What was I so scared of?
That's easy, terrified to my core of being the worst one there.
Because I don't want to be the one that everyone else has to wait around for.
I'm not interested in feeling like a charity case.
I know, I know...the only one that feels that way is me and it's my choice and blah blah blah.
I get it.
I know it.
I believe it.
But I still have that fear.
Stupid as it may be, it's oh so very VERY real to me.
If I must be honest with you now, I should tell you that I absolutely hate having fears.
Hate it.
What's the freakin' point to being afraid?
Why does it happen?
And why does it continue to happen when you obviously don't want it to?

I left my house a little earlier than was necessary to get there on time and good thing I did because traffic was wretched. It took me a full hour to get somewhere that normally only takes 30 mins. Ugh. But I got there on time and met up with my group. They break the huge group of girls down into smaller "camps" and each "camp" is assigned 2 "camp counselors". The counselors are actual team members of the league and have offered to volunteer their time to babysit all the new wannabes like me.

Each camp is given a name and camp colors to wear so they can tell us apart. I know you're just dying to know my camp name and colors right? Good thing I'm going to tell you.


A megalodon is a giant shark that existed in prehistoric times and its name is Greek for "big tooth". Hubby and I were recently at SeaWorld in San Diego where they have megalodon teeth. Of course I took a picture.

Ok so anyway, camp and camp counselors. They had us do laps to warm up while they stood around watching us to see if anyone was unsafe who shouldn't be on roller skates. To my knowledge, they didn't see anyone to match that description but we shall see later if anyone is missing. Then they did a lovely group pow wow and shared each other's names. I was busy boiling my mouth guard while that was going on though. No one ever told me I had to boil the mouth guard to fit it to my mouth properly. Does everyone know that but me?

After some nice leisurely laps, we started in on the drills. No wasting any time, campers.
Knee Taps
4-Point Falls
Cross Overs
Mountain Climbers on roller skates
Then they had us do timed laps. I couldn't believe it. Timed laps on the first day at the end of everything...after I'm all tired and can barely stand up? Yes! Suck it up princess!
1 lap
3 laps
5 laps
I know we need to know how we progress and it's a good idea and all but I can't lie and tell you that I enjoyed it. My laps were a disaster! No really, total disaster. I came in last and was actually lapped by a couple other girls on the 5 lap time. Oh god, if that didn't hurt my pride, the time they yelled out did.

On the plus side of all this, I actually hung with everything. I did all the drills, not well mind you but I did them. And it was only the 1st day. There are going to be 17 more days where that one came from. The only place to go from here is up. I'm determined to get better and kick some serious derby ass by the time I'm done. I'm also going to fully kick this stupid fear to the curb. Watch me!

Although I don't think I'm the worst one of the bunch, I'm definitely down there in the lower performers neighborhood. I fell nice and hard on my ass a couple times too so now my right butt cheek is very sore. Maybe I'll have my first big bruise. Wanna see a picture of my butt? Hahahaa. NOoooooo!

Oh...and go check out Big Girl Bombshell today where I guest posted.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Punk Rope - Excuses! Excuses!

  1. I'm still fat
  2. I really want to move out of the area
  3. Don't want to be tied down to anything long term
  4. I get shin splints
  5. I have no experience
  6. I don't know what I'm doing
  7. I don't know what I'm talking about
  8. I don't have any place to do it
  9. No one will come
  10. People will think it's stupid
That my friends is a list of excuses I've been making for not starting the Punk Rope stuff. Do you remember all the Punk Rope stuff? Get learned!

Punk Rope Baby
November Kickoff - Jumping Rope
Jump Rope Ouch
Punk Rope. GO TIM!

I loved Punk Rope so freakin' much that I forced myself to get the ACSM Personal Trainer Certification just so I could legitimately teach it anywhere. I dedicated tons and tons of hours to researching certification programs and books to read. Then when I decided on which one I wanted, I spent countless hours studying. Then I took the damn test and passed it.

I bought my very own Punk Rope t-shirt.

I bought my very own supply of Punk Rope jump ropes.

I even have a collection of class curricula. All I'm missing is the music and the guts to follow through with what I started last fall.

Why bring this up now? Well, I've been reading some of my favorite blogs lately and decided that I needed to take a deep look into myself as a result of what others were writing about. Here are just a couple right off the top of my head even though I know I'm forgetting more.

Big Girl Bombshell
Mrs. FatAss

I've also been talking about fear lately over at Becoming a Thinner, Sexier Me. I even addressed two specific fears and the stupid excuses I've been making for myself over there.

Well, I figured it was time to talk about fear as it relates to personal fitness. That's something I haven't done here before. Personally, I think that fear has a lot to do with why people don't start living a more active lifestyle. I also think it has a lot to do with why people give up shortly after they start.

I've had a couple readers mention that I seem fearless and just have an all-in kind of attitude. As flattering as that is, it's just not entirely true. I will admit that I'm extreme. Extremely in and extremely out. Extremely hot and extremely cold. That doesn't mean that I don't have fears that I have to walk through to get to the extremely in place though. In fact, I've had a lot of fears. I mentioned one last week about starting this blog in the first place.

Some fears, I can walk through without much effort while others feel crippling. Example? Recently, Accountabilibuddy had a little party for her son who just graduated from high school and is getting ready for boot camp. Everyone went to an indoor trampoline place for an hour of jumping around. I had never even heard of such a place before but it sounded like fun so I committed to going. Hubby and I showed up and were ready to jump in right away. No fear. I started jumping and getting comfortable with it no problem. Then I saw others trying to do flips and crazy shit and I immediately wanted to try it too. I'm a nerd like that. But, I had a little voice in my head that was warning me of the dangers of attempting something like that.
  • You could land on your head
  • You could break something
  • You could flip yourself right off the damn things
  • You could hurt someone else
  • You could totally embarrass yourself in a number of different ways
I let these little messages rule in my head for about 50 minutes. Then I looked at the clock and realized we only had about 10 more minutes until our session was over. So I asked myself if I would be okay with not even attempting a flip or if I think I would kick myself for it later. The answer? I think I might kick myself later. So I just decided right there in a span of about 2 seconds that I was going to do my best to give it an honest attempt.

Ooohhhhh Shiiiiittttt!

I did it! Okay, I almost did it. I got about 3/4 around and landed on my butt. So I tried again and did the same thing, but this time, I bit my tongue. Ouch! It seriously hurt my poor little tongue. So, I wasn't perfectly successful but at least I tried. I tried! Isn't that success? In my book it is. I felt a fear, I walked through it. Now, I'm not scared of it anymore. I exposed the fear and it's gone, no longer influencing my life experiences. I can't wait to go back and jump around a bit more. It was a seriously good workout.

Other fears take a lot more courage to face and some of them hang around for weeks, months, even years. I stayed lazy, overweight, and unhappy for a decade because of fear. I've been pretty consistently scared of roller derby since I got the bright idea that I wanted to be a roller girl a few months ago but I've also been consistently walking through that fear. Roller skating as much as I can. And I signed myself up for a roller derby boot camp that starts today by the way and I'm freakin' TERRIFIED! Don't worry, I'll tell you all the gory details later.

Then there's the stupid Punk Rope fear. It's something I really did love. It's something I worked really hard for. It's something I really do want to do.

So, here's the ridiculousness of these excuses:
  • I'm still fat - Who freakin' cares?! I'll tell you who, NOBODY! And if they do, they're assholes so they can just piss off anyway.
  • I really want to move out of the area - So? I can teach it anywhere. Duh...
  • Don't want to be tied down to anything long term - It's not a marriage. There is no contract to sign. It's just me doing what I enjoy and having fun teaching others too.
  • I get shin splints - Wahhhhh. Seriously? I walked the Breast Cancer 3Day with a torn abductor tendon. Like shin splints are a good excuse for anything. Idea: get new shoes.
  • I have no experience - Well there's only one way to get experience.
  • I don't know what I'm doing - You will if you learn and then practice. Idea: Learn then Practice.
  • I don't know what I'm talking about - Good thing Punk Rope is more about doing than talking.
  • I don't have any place to do it - It's summer time, I don't need a facility right now. Outside works just fine. Then I can find someplace indoors for fall and winter if I decide I want to keep doing it. That's just a lazy excuse.
  • No one will come - Well, that's true if I never do anything to get it started. Idea: Set it up and invite people.
  • People will think it's stupid - The people who think it's stupid are the same people who would prefer to sit on their asses eating cheetos all freakin' day. Fuck em!

Now for the obvious question: Thanks for sharing but what are you going to DO about it?

Because I'm all about taking's my plan.
  1. Download the music I need for one class
  2. Enlist Hubby, Accountabilibuddy, and any other close friends I can round up to let me practice with them
  3. Practice a couple times
  4. Get my list of invitations together and offer a couple demo classes to family, friends, coworkers, etc
  5. Make a plan to start holding classes on a regular basis

Okay folks, enough about me. What about you? What fitness fears do you have? Let's walk through these fears and kick their asses together.

Oh and Big Girl Bombshell has been kind enough as to let me guest post over at her blog tomorrow. Don't forget to go check it out.

P.S. She agreed to guest post for me as well. Yay! Keep a look out for that too.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Living Active or Active Living?

This here little blog has been primarily focused on getting off my ass. The physical stuff. You've voted and I've obeyed the majority rule on a monthly basis to subject myself to whatever physical activity was selected for me. I then put together a schedule and put up my hard earned money and time to doing whatever adventure the month holds for me. You get to reap the rewards of the riveting entertainment I like to think I'm capable of providing by way of reporting my bumps and bruises and run ins with interesting people along the way. Ok fine, I mean I make fun of people and you love it.

I've been asking myself one question lately. Have I been successful? At first, I immediately jump to a big fat "NOPE" to answer that question because I haven't always done the activities to the fullest potential I think I'm capable of and because no one really reads this shit. Not even my hubby and my best friends will waste their time to read my drivel. Boo freakin' hoo!

But then I had to remind myself why I started this blog in the first place. I started in August of last year because I had put my goals on paper and realized that I wasn't doing anything to actively pursue what I defined as my highest value. That was to be healthy. I wanted to be healthy and active more than anything but I hadn't done a thing to show it. I had started to exercise many many many many times before and always quit for whatever lame reason or another. I had done every diet under the sun and gained every pound back. What I was use to doing was obviously not working for me. So I decided to do something different. I decided that I needed to have something outside of myself to keep me interested in exercise.

Starting this blog served multiple purposes.
  1. It allowed me to be accountable. I hate letting people down so even if I don't want to do something, I'll do it anyway if I know others are watching and judging.
  2. It allowed me to write. I love to write but was never doing it. This was to be my journal of sorts.
  3. It allowed me to participate in other's journeys. I start my day with checking my blog roll to see what some of my favorite bloggers are up to. A sense of community is important to me and it's important to being successful in life, no matter what I'm doing.
  4. It allowed me to keep the activities fresh and exciting. I get bored easily and when I find myself getting bored with something, I quit. When I figure it out then it holds no more challenge for me so I wanted to make sure I had a nice long list of activities so I can never get bored.
When I think of the question on those terms, I have to admit that it's been a smashing success. I've been consistently active for almost a full year now and am loving my new active lifestyle. I do feel accountable to my readers (even if I can count you on one hand) and it helps me to know that others are watching what I'm doing. And I love getting new followers and reading my comments and looking at what the rest of the bloggers I follow are doing. The community is more than I imagined it would be and I love it all.

But I digress!

Active living I think is something different than what I've been writing about. Living Active isn't just about getting off my ass. It's about evaluating my life, every part of it, and deciding what I like and what I don't, and what I want to do differently and what I enjoy as is, and it's about taking the steps necessary to actively change. It's about actively creating a life that I love living. It's about actively creating a body that I love living in. It's about actively creating the woman that I've dreamt of becoming. It's about actively making all my dreams come true. And I must confess that I haven't shared those things with you. But you can bet that will all be changing.

Why? Why ask myself these questions? Why now?

Because Big Girl Bombshell has given me the Bombshell Award and so named me the Living Active Bombshell. I figure - if she's going to call me a Bombshell, I better start acting like one. Thanks so much Jules for this award and thanks so much for the nice things you said about me. I've gotten awards before on Becoming a Thinner Sexier Me but none of them meant as much as this one does to me.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

July Swim Love

Looks like July is all about swimming.

I kicked it off appropriately with an hour in the pool today and it felt GOOD.

20 laps back and forth in a full length pool doing the breast stroke.

I love swimming now that I know how to do a couple real swim strokes (thanks to my husband for teaching me). I mean, what's not to love about swimming?
  • It's pretty much the only type of physical activity that anyone can do
  • It's a very effective form of exercise working your entire body.
  • It's good for cardiovascular conditioning, muscle strength, endurance, stamina, and flexibility.
  • While swimming, we actually end up working harder than we think because our body tends to maintain a lower heart rate while it's horizontal. So, if you check your heart rate after swimming a couple laps and it's around 120bpm, chances are that it's closer to actually 145-150bpm if you were standing erect.
  • It's soothing
  • It enhances mental focus
  • It's just FUN
I'll be swimming twice a week if I can manage to fit it into my schedule. That's the plan anyway. I will be having to balance my workouts and time between weight training, cardio, and skating at least three times every week. Derby boot camp starts in 2 weeks and I'm starting my training now. I'm gonna be a busy girl.