Is it Unplanted, Growing, or Dead?

Is it Unplanted, Growing, or Dead?

It is the end of the first quarter. This is an ideal time to lay out in your mind what you have accomplished, what you have placed on pause, and what is dead. Some of our ideals and goals stop growing on the surface and some stop growing in the root. Depending on where the growth is happening or stopped at is how you can determine your next move.   

Your accomplishments can be the fuel you need for the next quarter. You started, completed some crucial steps, and now you know what you are capable of and you have the evidence to prove it. The list you have of things you desire to change, achieve, or acquire now has space for future goals because you have been able to check some things off or you are at least a few steps closer to completing them than you were 12 weeks ago. 

Now that you have taken some steps toward the change or lifestyle you set out to have this year you have likely realized that some of your goals are on pause and may stay that way for a while. Another way to picture them is to view them like seeds that are not ready to be planted or they have been planted and need some time to grow and transform before becoming a plant ready for picking. Being on pause can be a neutral state for you and can be what is needed for you to know if what you are doing is something you should continue or bring to a close.

Some of the change and goals you want to accomplish have a prerequisite that must be meet before you can even begin to work on them. If this is the case, consider what you first must do and once that first step is complete more options will open up for you to choose from. Here are some questions you may want to ask yourself to define the stage you may be in: do I need to buy the seed, start the seed, repot the seed, or am I stuck deciding what seed to plant. After looking at the answers to these questions you can move closer to knowing if the prerequisite has been met and whether you can move forward or not.

Where are you with the life changes you have committed to? Has this quarter gone by and you are yet deciding on what it is you desire in this season of your life? Getting caught in between what you have done and what is next can initiate a halt in your plan if you don’t exactly know how to bridge the gap with the right actions. It may take you doing some meditation, research, or consulting a person who can be objective and helpful in guiding you. You may even find that it is time to stop beating the dead horse and pick a different seed. 

I chose my seeds, planted them and I am taking the necessary steps to see them grow and become a return for me. Some routes have come to a dead end and others are a progressing with turns and hills, they are paved and unpaved and some are difficult to maneuver. Yet, I am pursuing the lifestyle I desire for my body, mind, and emotions now and into the next quarter of this year. 

Down Time

Down Time

After weeks of my walking slower and finding ways to adjust my exercise plans to suit my foot injury I am back to normal. I am feeling good about being able to intensify my workouts and take on more miles while walking and running once again. I did not know that I would miss being active and unlimited as much I did during my down time. I have experienced feeling constricted by circumstances, but for some reason this time it affected me differently.

The difference was in the type of things I thought about while I was down with this injury. I thought about how many times I didn’t run, walk or do some other form of exercise while I was feeling good and able. Not being able to do what I wanted to do hit me really hard. I thought about the days I slacked for no reason at all. I remembered the days I ignored my will to get up and take care of my physical health and thought, now I really did not have that choice. I couldn’t even walk a few blocks at a slow pace without feeling a pain that caused me to shake and retreat into a limp. 

I did not want to dwell on the past and what I did not do, but I couldn’t ignore the thoughts I was having. I needed to acknowledge my thoughts and feelings and use them for the future. They would be a new momentum to cease the day and the moment while I could. During the time I was down I did not sit around idle waiting for a chance to get back to normal.  I was able to read a couple of books, get some needed research in and plan for January. Although I sat down more than usually, I made adjustments and did what I could to keep my health journey on track as a lifestyle and not a moment. I opted to do seated exercises and combinations of movements that I could achieve while lying on a mat to keep me moving forward and over the hump of feeling constrained. 

There are always challenges in anything that must be done or experienced. You will not always be affected in the same way as your siblings, friends, parents, spouse or even co-workers, but how you are affected is still important and relevant. Any part of your wellness dimensions can change abruptly for the good or bad and you have to be prepared for the impact or at least willing to adjust if you desire to thrive. To obtain the lifestyle you envision or to maintain the lifestyle you are currently living you must take on the difficult and undesirable tasks along with the simple ones. You also need to have a tolerance for unwanted change and the ability to know when a change should happen. 

I have learned from this experience and that is something I strive to do in all of life whether it is a situation that causes me to feel pain or joy, anger or excitement, I want to learn and have a take-away. I am understanding more and more to take the moments as they come and not to sit on time, it will not be there when you get up.

Is The Fit Right

Is The Fit Right

Are you doing it alone or do you have a team or maybe one partner? I have been running and doing other exercise routines solo for the last two and a half months. Running is something I have done alone so often that I do not think much about having a partner for it and I enjoy the time with myself. If I did run with someone regularly or a few times out of a month I would choose someone I could keep a good pace with and someone with a similar endurance level for running. If there is a large gap in the endurance level of the partners or group of runners there will be a mile or two in between each person. I imagine the same would happen in other workout settings too.

I recall a time when I moved to a new state and one of my neighbors invited me to walk in the mornings with her and another neighbor. I thought it would be great to have some company while getting some exercise and I excitedly got ready one morning and met them at the cul-de-sac near the street they lived on. We started off walking and talking sharing names and a little bit of history, so I didn’t notice the slow pace in the beginning. 

After a few blocks I realized the pace was very slow for me. I felt like I was stumbling over my own legs or feet by trying to walk at pace that was awkward for me. My new neighbors usually did three laps around the neighborhood to get the amount of exercise they desired for the day, but I couldn’t see myself doing this much longer at the slow pace. I walked one lap around the neighborhood with them which was about a mile and then I politely let them know I was going to head out of the neighborhood to run a few more miles. 

It is good to have company during a workout. A team of people working for similar results or just one other person to celebrate getting through a long run, or a hit class with is great to have. Teaming up with the right people and having the option of modifying the workout for your level is the key staying motivated and being successful in group exercise. If there isn’t enough of a challenge for you or if you are being left behind, you will likely move on or feel like you failed if you are just starting out and may even quit.

Being in a class is great for different levels of exercise and being able to slow down your pace if needed or to modify the amount of weight and still be in an atmosphere of motivation and be pushed if needed. Of course, when you are running you will adjust as the path you are on changes from flat to hills and whether the wind is going against you or with. If you find yourself running with a group and you are in the rear, you can always use it as a time to challenge your normal pace and work to gain a new speed. 

It is important to take some time to think about your skill level and how active you like to be so that you don’t give up if one choice isn’t a great fit. If one class or course isn’t for you try something else and keep trying until you find the right exercise and the right group or person to partner with. Know what is for you and what isn’t and don’t feel bad about moving on from a partnership or group. Friends and neighbors and even trainers will understand or get over it in time. 

Your health is up to you and reaching your goals or new levels will not happen by going along for the peace of it or to please others. There are other activities you may have in common with your friends and neighbors that you can do together and still have them in your life. 

Rhythm and Sunshine

Rhythm and Sunshine

Ahhh October. That is an expression of happiness. I am feeling good about entering into the next phase of building a healthier lifestyle, a stronger body and new heights of writing. The last 9 days have been a time of releasing. Releasing all the energy I had gather each day for exercise and not saving a portion for the following day. I wanted to make the most of my daily walks and runs and not be caught up in what I would do “tomorrow” even though I had a schedule of daily exercises to work through. I didn’t feel like I had to remind myself to run, walk, or to do some other type of activity each day, I awakened each morning with a mindset to do it.

I felt the habit I have been working toward kick in. It was similar to getting up and making a cup of coffee or eating breakfast every morning without really thinking about it I felt the need to do it. I had a mind to get the most out of the month as it came to a close and in doing so I strolled into a rhythm and found my natural flow for staying active. Oh, and the weather has been favorable which allowed me to be outdoors more and jump back into my running plan.  

I took my strength training routine out to the deck in my back yard. I love being outdoors to experience the elements while exercising. There is something about the sun shining down bringing warmth and energy to the body and mind, it sets the mood. For training I am working all the normal areas triceps, biceps, chest, legs, abs and glutes on rotating days. I started with lighter weights and have been increasing by 2 to 5 lbs. depending on the chosen exercise and muscle group. Sometimes I have an audience due to being in view of neighbors, but it doesn’t bother me. I am focused on my reps, sets and heartrate. I tune out the humans and tune the sounds of nature in.

 I remember the few times that I had to adjust to the public eye when I joined a gym several years ago. I would get to the gym and hop on the treadmill or use the elliptical without hesitation. Using the weight machines and free weights are what caused me to feel the eyes of the public whether real or not. I hadn’t entered into a gym for years and joining again sent my confidence in using the machines free falling without anything to catch it. I was being watched, at least by the employees and it was an uncomfortable feeling filled with doubt.

After about a week of watching me go for it I was approached by the staff and receive assistance with learning proper techniques and what would be great for my immediate needs. Soon after I was tuning everyone out just as I did while using the cardio machines. I had gotten passed the eyes and centered on the self-improvement. Now I am comfortable anywhere. I am comfortable enough to sweat, get exhausted, and take on the next level. 

I am glad to have a rhythm now. Whichever ways I choose to change my body and health I feel confident in knowing that I am set into living a new way. I created a natural flow by breaking old habits and taking new actions. I view the month of October as an open opportunity to continue in the rhythm I have entered and allow it to carry me to the next level.

Have you entered into your rhythm for the things you are working to change? Keep pushing and making the choices that will bring the change you desire until your natural flow appears. I encourage you to move with the confidence you have and get what you need for it to grow. The journey continues.

Taking a Different Path

Taking a Different Path

Day after day the air in my area was either filled with smoke from the wildfires, very unhealthy or simply not good for a person with any type of breathing or lung issues to run indoors or outdoors. It hasn’t been great for anything that requires deep breathing or being out for a few hours.

I was not able to accomplish all the running goals I planned for September. Even with a mask on I could not run indoors or outdoors for 6 to 8 miles three or four times a week and not feel the discomfort of the poor air quality. Disappointment set in quickly, but I still had to find a way around my disappointment each day and get active. That is exactly what I did. 

Every morning I would open the weather app to check the air quality and determine whether or not I would run for the day or try doing something that did not require deep breathing. I felt deprived once again not being able to lace up my running shoes and hit the pavement whenever I wanted to. The days that the air was good were my run days or vigorous activity days. I did not take any of those days for granted, I didn’t have any to waste or to spend sitting around the house wishing things were different.

The first couple of weeks of the month I had to choose an alternative to running. Although I really wanted to work on increasing my running mileage and time, I did not mind a switch up in my workout routine. I was able to use my weights more and focus on different ways to strength train each week. 

The last couple of weeks have been better for running and being outdoors and I have made them count. I have been getting in enough miles and hours of running each day and staying as active as I possibly can. I didn’t get the mileage each day that I set out to accomplish for this month and that leads me to revisit my 6 to 8 miles three times a week plan. I cannot skip this step in my running goals and try to jump into 8 to 10 miles in October. I believe in pushing pass limits to grow and become stronger, but there must be levels or steps to get to the finale. I am willing to be patient and work through whatever nature hands out.

I’ll be working on increasing my mileage once again in October and exploring what has worked well and what has not. Living well doesn’t come to an end it is a lifelong choice that is adjusted as needed. Adjustments may need to be done weekly, monthly or even yearly and you make those adjustments so that you do not quit on yourself. Keep moving forward, I am.

Time

Time

In Seven days, the month of September will be over our shoulders and we will enter into the last quarter of this year. Some look at November as the last month of the year to get any real work done that will bring results. December is seen by many as a time to slow the work and look at what the year has been. It is also used as a time to reset and prepare for the upcoming year. Looking through the eyes of wellness, slowing the approach or coming to a stand-still if only for a couple of weeks can have an undesirable outcome especially if a new routine is not yet a habit. 

Think about the times that you decided to change your diet, your daily activity, your thoughts or reactions to experiences. You had to actively work at making these kinds of changes until they became unconsciously made choices. Until the automatic decision making for the new life you are pursuing kicks in slowing the approach or skipping important habit building days can lead you back to the path you struggled to get off from. 

You definitely need a time to recover and pan over what you have achieved you just have to pick the right time to do this. That time will not always be aligned with the norms of the world, it will align with when you started, your goals and your plans. Evaluate, plan, and adjust as you need to. Consider the day to day choices you make, those choices will connect and add up to some type of result. The actions you take or do not take today will show up in the weeks to come. 

I have the opportunity to close this month out the way I desire to and you do too. Nothing is holding me back and there are not any obstacles that cannot be overcome. Have you thought about your obstacles and how you will get through them? I will not wait until the 30th and try to eat seven healthy meals in a day, write for seven hours straight, or run until I cannot take another step. I will work on each area of my life I desire to change for a reasonable amount of time each day and adjust according to what is or isn’t working. When the second week of October arrives, I’ll put into action the gain I would have achieved by then from the next seven days of September. That gain will sure up my confidence and take me to the next level.

Becoming faster, stronger, healthier, more knowledgeable, more understanding, more of anything will depend on what is done now. Closing out this month with actions or acquired information toward your personal achievements will show up in the next weeks or months to come. If you have not executed your plan or adjusted your thoughts and actions to align with the change you are awaiting do not expect the desired results to land in your hands ready to be unboxed. 

Take it all in. The past, the present and your vision for the future. Give yourself some time to know what you want and how it should be acquired. Your plan, executed according to your ability and your daily choices. Rest when you need to, gain some insight and never give up.

Process

Process

Prior to starting a new commitment to running I was doing a combination of walking and running for a distance of two to three miles 4 times a week. I didn’t wake up and start a five-mile run on cold muscles back in August although, I have a long history of running it would not have been a smart choice. It takes time and distance to prepare for the longer runs and to be able to run nonstop. 

During the months of June and July I worked on walking at a speed that I was able to keep for 10-15 minutes and then a run for 8- 10 minutes and close out with another stint of walking. As I progressed the walking speed increased, and the time decreased. I couldn’t hold back on the desire to run and of course the amount of time for each stint of running increased with my desire. Some of the walking I did was at top speed and I laughed to myself as I tried to figure out a form that flowed. I was entirely involved in the speed walk; it was new and worked a set of muscles that I did not feel being activated during my running or slower paced walks. 

 Most of the transition to running from walking was about feeling. Your body will let you know what it can handle, and your mind will determine if it is a legit claim. There is a difference in the pain of getting stronger and the one that says stop before you injure yourself. You may not get that signal on moving day when you are packing and lifting boxes, but if you exercise regularly or train for a sport you know that signal. Listen to it.

Process must be present. We hear it’s a process and we say it to others but knowing it internally and figuring out what to do each day, week or month for the change we desire to see is the break-down of the process. Whether we are looking for a change in health, lifestyle, networks, or our own behavior we must figure out what the direct and personal plan should be without rushing or skipping crucial stages. It could be quick and simple and not much consideration needed and there are other situations when a total acceptance of the new will be pieced out and reasoned within before we can take a step toward the change.

My running plan has gotten me to where I want to be right now. It has even branched off and guided me into a heightened awareness of what I am eating and my fluid intake. My senses are open and waiting for the next benefit of taking care of my body and my passion. 

Fueled and Satisfied

Fueled and Satisfied

How are you living? I am living well. I am eating the food I need to fuel my body for exercise, and I am eating for the best daily health I can acquire. A path to physical strength and endurance has to include a food intake that is nutrient packed. This week I am trying a beet, cucumber, celery, and pineapple blend to drink a couple of times a day along with the other healthy selections I have each day. I am also working to cut the foods that are worded as nutritious, but really are not the best choices for me. I have heard people say you are what you eat but will also eat the wrong kinds of food. Some have been eating this way since childhood and the choices made for them as a child are now adult habits that they are stuck in. Breaking any habit takes daily work and a commitment, sometimes you may even need to reward yourself for progress. Being healthy and not dependent on daily medicine is a great reward for a few of the people I have talked to about their conditions.

I have never figured out how some people can eat just about anything and go without illnesses however it lets me know that I cannot always eat what my sibling or co-worker is having. Working at a very large office complex led me to consider this often. The office atmosphere I worked in was typical and every other week there would be a food day or two. There would always be a small percentage of nutrient rich food and the rest would be some type of junk mostly desserts. I couldn’t help to think that this type of food must have been what my coworkers had grown accustomed to eating over the years or maybe from a young age. I even found myself going over to the food table and grabbing a couple of packaged store-bought chocolate chips cookies a few times. Never did we have desserts from a nice bakery, so why was I eating this food, why was I wasting my calories on a less than average taste experience. I don’t know if I was just passing time or wanting to snack, but I had to stop. I eventually made a habit of bringing in extra veggies and a variety of berries on food days to keep me focused on my health and not on thinking a few cookies aren’t that bad. How many times could I really use this reasoning just to have dessert.

At some point in life we have learned how, what and when to eat from someone or several people. We can know exactly what harms us and what makes us better and still choose more of the wrong kinds of foods. Even with a knowledge of food our budget, our lack of discipline, or an urge for sweet or salty flavor gone into overdrive will guide us into our food choices. To be well in our beings and stronger we have to take on the task of fueling the body properly and knowing when too much of the empty calories are dangerous to our health. I have learned to walk into the kitchen for my first meal of the day with this mindset: consider what you need to fuel the body and satisfied taste. It is working for me. 

The End of a Thing

The End of a Thing

The end of a thing will set the scene for what is next. As the month of August bows and prepares for an exit, I am headed into a new season, one that I can enter into with an accomplishment that is open for growth. I can confidently say another 30-day goal is reachable and something I will take on as a part of my choice to improve my health lifestyle.   

I opted for a 30-day challenge to start off to avoid feeling pressured by time. It is easy to choose a yearlong goal and say how many miles you will run, how much weight you will lose or the amount of muscles you will gain, but the doing is the difficult part. If you think there is more time to reach a goal, you may put off getting started or wait until the last few months to act and over work the body or start an extreme weight loss regimen. Choosing a weekly or monthly goal or doing a quarterly check-in with yourself may provide insight into your progress and help to determine what you really want for yourself.

Running without trying to break a record and doing strength building exercises without trying to compete with a me from the past gave me a chance to commit to a new beginning without limits or minimums. I only looked to finish the miles I planned for the day or the amount of time I agreed to at the start of my strength training. There was not a picture of an athlete, friend, or neighbor hanging in my mind to compete with; only the present me, the contract, and a healthier lifestyle.

In the journey to get back something I love, something I would do on any waking day I found a start to reclaiming a healthier lifestyle. A lifestyle I placed in the background and did not give great importance to. Every day I am making a choice to live better for my health and reaping the benefits that affect the other parts of my life. I changed my routine to get what I love back into my life. I pushed aside the excuses and reasons why I should not, and l decided I would. I looked pass the thought of the physical pain I knew would come and embraced the pain of change I felt. 

I feel great, my body is shaping into a physique I have not seen in a while and I feel no pressure to become a size. I will continue on the journey.

A Maze of Solutions

A Maze of Solutions

The next day, Sunday, the day after my big run I woke up with fatigue muscles. I was sore and as the day went on, I became excessively sore. A short walk and stretch or foam roller may have helped, but I did neither and opted to rest for two days. On Tuesday my legs were willing to engage in a light run, 2.28 miles and .58 miles of walking. My body felt pretty good, but I did not want to exhaust myself right away, well not until midweek.

Wednesday hit and I felt the need to apply pressure and responded with 30 minutes of cardio including dancing, 200 squats and 100 leg lifts. I squeezed all the energy out of my being during this session. My eyes were looking past what did not feel good in the moment and focused in on the image of a drastic transformation, so I did not hold back. 

Finally, the end of seven days was near. Of course, I rested on Thursday after wearing out my legs the previous day, and that left Friday open for a light run of 2.02 miles and a half mile walk through my hilly neighborhood. The weekend arrived and I got caught up in it with no problem. The thought of exercise or running did not even marinate in my mind at all, and besides achieving some basic daily movements my flesh was deprived.

I do not know if I am doing more hurt or harm the way I have been juggling intense and light workouts with extended rest days. I used to feel as though I had a better grip on what was good for my body type and exercise level; now I feel like I am a beginner finding my answers through a maze of solutions. 

Hiccups and struggles overall, I was excited that I made it through the first week and I felt good about it. Habits were broken and new habits were created. I want to go on, I want to challenge myself and I will.