Hail Mary

I am not a very religious person.  Actually I am not religious at all.  I can’t remember the last time I went to church.  And I am not planning on going any time soon.  But I can say that I am a spiritual person.  I pray every night as I lay down to go to sleep.  I thank God for all he has given me and for keeping my family safe for another day.  When I can’t sleep at night, I will pray the rosary.  I usually fall asleep after the first few Hail Marys.  Never getting to the Our Father.

I have found when I am working out at Gold’s Gym saying a Hail Mary is mentally easier than counting to 10, 15 or 20 reps.  That is what my trainer is there for. She counts. I pray.   When I am in the zone, I let my mind escape by reciting the Hail Mary.  It takes me 13 seconds to comfortably recite the prayer.  I can say a lot of prayers during my work out.  It is mentally very soothing.

I have been working out with my trainer since September.  I absolutely love her.  Chantille is so kind but relentless.  What I love about her is that she sees my weaknesses and will work on them.  Currently my shoulder movement is very limited.  I broke my shoulder years ago and my arms just don’t want to go back.  So every training session we do a set of shoulder presses to strengthen my shoulders.  Slowly my flexibility is returning.

Another weakness of mine is step ups.  I know you all know what I am talking about.  If you have been to a basketball game or football game one needs to step up onto risers to get to their seat.  I did not want to be that person that has to watch a basketball game sitting on the first riser because I could not step up any higher.  So Chantille has me hold a kettle bell in each hand and has me step up on the step up stool for at least a whole rosary.  Actually it is 20 reps – 3 times – but it seems to take forever.  So one day I thought if I go a little faster I would get over this awful exercise quicker.  It did not work.  My foot caught on the edge of the stool and down I went – kettle bells and all.  I have learned that fast prayers do not work – just like fast work outs do not work.  Slow and steady is the best means to the end.

There is something to the adage The Power of Prayer.  I truly believe in it. I pray hard during my workouts.  I pray to pass the time and I pray that I won’t die during my workout.  So far my prayers have been answered.  I am getting stronger.  And I am still alive.  I actually have muscle tone in my arms.  My body is being reshaped.  Keep in mind that I do have saggy baggy elephant skin from the weight loss but underneath those flaps of skin is muscle.  I love it!

So I will continue with my prayers and my workouts.  I don’t want these last months to be that Hail Mary pass – like a touchdown pass in a  football game.  I want to continue strong and steady.  I will never be a power lifter or a body muscle model but I know for sure that I will be able to climb up the risers comfortably to be able to watch my grandsons play football and basketball.  I will be able to lift my camera bag without my back not going out on me.  I will be able to walk/run at a decent clip and not be totally winded.  I will be able to get down on the ground during a photo shoot and be able to get back up.  I am just looking for simple strength.

Now I wonder what I would be able to accomplish if I started to pray the Our Father.

 

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Conquering Fear

I am a bit of a scaredy cat.  Sometimes I am afraid to try new things.  I am more comfortable looking from a far.  I have a tendency to stare at people.  I am convinced it is because I am so enthralled as to what they are doing.  And I wish I could do what they are doing.  When I go to Gold’s Gym I catch myself staring at people doing weight lifting.  I am amazed as to how easy they make it look.  I love to watch through the window at the women doing the classes.  And I found myself wishing I could do one of the classes.

I have been a member of Gold’s Gym for three weeks.  I have a trainer who I absolutely love – Chantille Anderson – and works my butt off.  Before I joined I longed to use one of those weight lifting machines but I was too afraid to try.  I did not know how they worked and was afraid that I would hurt myself.  But every training session I have, I am getting more and more comfortable with the machines.  Chantille makes sure that I do not hurt myself.  And she pushes me to exhaustion which I love.  I am by no means an expert on any of these machines but at least I am overcoming my fear of them.

The other day, I found myself looking through the door of a Spinning Class.  It looked so hard.  It looked much harder than leisurely riding my bike on a Sunday afternoon.  Chantille on a couple of sessions had me train for a few minutes on the spinning bike.  I thought I would die.  And I felt I would never be able to do a spinning class.  But the other day I saw a woman my age on the spinning bike.  She made it look pretty easy and I thought if she can do it, certainly I can.  So this morning I gathered up my courage and went to my first spinning class.

Last night I woke  up worrying about the class.  Would I be able to keep up?  What if I fell off of the bike?  What if I was the biggest or oldest?  What if – what if – what if.  This morning I kept thinking I could just not go to the class and go for my usual daily walk.  But then I knew I would be disappointed with myself for not trying.  So I gathered up my courage, went to Gold’s Gym early and walked into the spinning class.  I introduced myself to the instructor and told her I was new.  She was so nice.  She showed me how to adjust the bike to my height and how to adjust the intensity control.  She introduced me to other spinners who were so nice.  They said to just go at your own pace.  I couldn’t believe it.  I have been wanting to do this for years but was always too afraid to.  There was absolutely nothing to fear.

The teacher then turned the lights off and put the fluorescent lights on.  She cranked the music up and started the class.  I found myself keeping up with the other spinners.  I even cranked up the intensity so I could stand and spin.  I have always been so afraid to do that.  I started to look at the other women in the class and I fit right in.  I was not the heaviest.  I was not the oldest.  For once I felt normal.  Like I belonged.  It was a great feeling.

Wasn’t it FDR that said the famous saying.  “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”  I have been thinking about that quote a lot lately.  My new goal in my weight loss journey (actually it is now my maintenance journey) is conquering my fears.  I am tired of being afraid.  I want to try new things.  Now I will never bungee jump or parachute out of an airplane.  I value my life too much. But using weight lifting machines and spinning on a bike is definitely the first step in the right direction.

Gold’s Gym

I am happy to announce that I am a new (for the third time) member of Fenton’s Gold’s Gym.  I have been contemplating rejoining Gold’s for quite a while.  And with my achilles tendon bone spur still not healed, many outdoor activities needed to be put on hold.  I also love to swim and Gold’s Gym has a wonderful lap pool.  So I joined.  And because my husband and I do everything together, I joined him up too.

A word of warning if you want to join.  There is no paper work that you can look at while they explain the program to you.  And they talk fast.  And everyone says something different.  I talked to 3 people and got 3 different answers.  I received a card in the mail about a no enrollment fee.  That sounded like a good deal.  But in reality, what they did was charged me no enrollment fee but charged more for my bi-weekly fee.  So it actually cost more to come in on their advertised deal.  And I did not notice it.  My husband caught it when we received the paper work 2 days later.  This is my only complaint about Gold’s Gym.  I really wish that they had some sort of paper work in front of you so one can make an educated decision on what plan to join.

But that being said – I absolutely love Gold’s Gym.  They have amazing equipment.  Treadmills, ellipticals, bikes, stair masters, Jacobs ladder, every free weight imaginable and a ton of weight machines.  A basketball court, a cinema with treadmills (no popcorn or candy is offered in the cinema), a workout room for FREE classes, a spinning room and a beautiful lap pool.  Also a hot tub and a sauna.  And the dressing rooms are huge, equipped with wonderful showers.  And the place is CLEAN!  What more could one ask for?

OVERWHELMED.  When I walked in and saw all of the equipment, it was so overwhelming.  Where does one start?  Which machine should I hop on?  And better yet – how do I work the machine?  The last 2 times I was a member all I ever used was the pool and the treadmill.  This time I wanted to be more adventuresome.  So I decided to get a trainer. Her name is Chantille Anderson.  I LOVE HER!!!!  And wouldn’t you know it – she graduated from Webster Groves High School where all of our children went.  It is such a small world.

Chantille has introduced me to a lot of the equipment and machines.  And she works my butt off (literally) every time we meet.  She sees my weaknesses and strengths.  Every time I meet with her, I feel like I am getting stronger.  And she makes me sweat.  I love sweating. I love that sore feeling after a good work out. She has me using equipment that I was always too intimated to try.  She is patient with me when I just don’t get it.  And pushes me when I need pushing.  And she doesn’t yell at me like the trainers in the Biggest Loser.

So if anyone is interested in joining Gold’s Gym, I highly recommend it.  Gold’s is very reasonable for all that it offers.  My only word of warning is, take good notes when the sales rep talks to you.  And ask questions.  It also wouldn’t hurt to ask for something in writing before they charge your credit card.  You are getting a lot for your money.  But educated decisions are always the best decision.  And ask for Chantille.  She is amazing!

Maintenance and I Broke Up

I do not like Maintenance. She sucks!!!!  I went on vacation weighing 149 pounds and one week later I came back weighing 156 pounds.  I was enjoying my friendship with  Maintenance when I went on vacation and came back fat.  I thought I could eat like a normal person.  It did not happen.  Obviously, I did something wrong.  Maintenance did some pretty bad things to my weight,

So fast forward two weeks.  It has been two weeks since I got home from vacation and I have only lost 2 pounds. I am down to 154 pounds.  Why oh why is it so easy to gain weight and so hard to lose it.  Life is not fair.

I need to take action.  I have been sidelined with a foot injury so my activity has been limited.  I have a bone spur on my achilles tendon.  It hurts to walk and running is out of the question.  I am in physical therapy and hopefully very soon the pain will go away.  In the meantime I need to get out every day and do things that won’t hurt my foot.  I have created a picnic bench workout which takes only 20 minutes but leaves me sore and exhausted.  I can also swim and bike.  My eating the last two weeks has been spot on.  Clean eating.   But drinking wine – not so much.

I have a new weight goal.  I think weighing 145 pounds would be perfect for me right now.  So I am back to “dieting” and maintenance has been sidelined.  I will take this one day at a time. I will start logging my food and counting calories which I gave up during my short friendship with Maintenance.  Even though I am eating clean, I think measuring and weighing my food is a must.  I want to average between 1200-1500 calories a day.  I will do an activity every day.  Weight lifting, biking, swimming, picnic bench workout or kettle bells.  I will not use my lame foot as an excuse not to exercise.

And the last thing I need to change is my favorite after work activity – drinking wine.  My dear friend – Chardonnay – I must break up our relationship for now.   Hopefully, very soon I will be able to rekindle our friendship.  But just for now I have to say good bye.  I am much sadder than you about this break up.  You bring me such joy and relaxation.  But you also brought me several unwanted calories.  So I have found a new drink to relax with – diet tonic water with lime.  It is very refreshing.  And if I put it in a wine glass it tastes even better.

I am taking one day at a time.  I really want to become friends again with Maintenance.  When I reach my goal weight I will definitely have a respect for my new friend.  For right now I don’t like her.  We did not become friends our first go around.  When I reach my new goal weight I will treat Maintenance with new respect.  I will not abuse her.  I will respect her.  So Maintenance just like my glass of wine, I am breaking up my relationship with you.  I am looking forward to rekindling our friendship and I am hoping it will be soon.  And when we do rekindle our friendship I will definitely play by your rules.  You will not make me fat ever again.  I will do everything for you to become my best friend.  Because Maintenance you and I will be life time buddies.

 

Vestibular Neuritis

I have finally been diagnosed.  I have Vestibular Neuritis which is a “disorder that affects the nerve of the inner ear called the vestibulocochlear nerve. This nerve sends balance and head position information from the inner ear to the brain. When this nerve becomes swollen (inflamed), it disrupts the way the information would normally be interpreted by the brain”.  I got that explanation right off of the internet.

But here is what my doctor told me.  I have a virus that affects the nerve from the inner ear to the brain causing symptoms of vertigo, dizziness, balance difficulties, nausea and fatigue.  Exactly 3 weeks ago I woke up and started to get ready to go to my Friday boot camp with Dave Reddy.    But I was feeling a bit unsteady and not sure if I was coming down with something.  I just didn’t feel right.  So I decided to take a day off from working out.

I went to work and was able to photograph 10 senior basketball players from DeSmet Jesuit High School for their annual coaches gift.  My balance was off but I was able to complete the shoot.  I went home and rested on the couch and started to feel better.  The next day I went to Chicago on Amtrak and was still feeling off.  A bit dizzy.  I got worse in Chicago and could not take the train home, so my wonderful husband drove from St. Louis to pick me up.

Fast forward to today, three weeks later, several doctors visits, doctor’s evaluations and an MRI. Yesterday I had a VNG test.  And I was finally diagnosed with this virus.  I am so relieved that I finally found out what I had.  But the most interesting thing about this illness is that the more active one is and the more exercise one does the sooner the illness goes away.  I was so excited to here that because for three weeks I have done nothing.  I did go out for a walk at Fenton Park two weeks ago but that is the only exercise I have had in three weeks.  So today I will be working out and I am excited to do so.

But the funny thing about these past few weeks is how my imagination played havoc with my mind.  Of course I was sure something was wrong when my symptoms did not go away after 1 week.  And I was sure it was a tumor of some sort in my brain when my symptoms did not go away after two weeks.  When the ENT doctor set me up for the MRI, I really was afraid to ask her what they were looking for.  She was nice and said “we want to rule out anything that may be going on in the brain.”  And that answer was good enough for me. I also was assured I was not showing any neurological signs of anything serious.  But I still had that nagging bad feeling in the back of my mind.

I tried to stay off of the internet to search what I might have.  But my curiosity got the better of me.   And what I found out scared the bejesus out of me.  I was preparing for the worst.

So when preparing for the worst I started to think.  Heck, I should just have an Imo’s Supreme pizza since I am preparing for the worst.  I may not be able to eat Ted Drews because I will be to ill, so I better get some now.  I kept thinking about what I have not eaten in one and a half years and how I might enjoy something crazy fattening indulgences.

But the more I thought about it, the more I decided that whatever illness I had, those foods would only make me feel worse in the long run.  I love how my body feels now.  And I don’t mind looking at my body anymore.  I decided I did not want to sabotage my eating with some crazy indulgences.   So for the past three weeks I have been eating very healthy and sticking to my 26 Weight Watcher points per day.

But last night I was craving – and I mean craving – ice cream.  Like Ben and Jerry’s.  I wanted my husband to go and get it for me.  He said he would go if I went with him.  But I was so cozy sitting by the fireplace I did not want to go into the cold.  So I got my greek yogurt and frozen strawberries and a banana and stirred it all together.  It was delicious and it took care of that ice cream craving.  It was such a healthy dessert.

I am getting better and looking forward to being 100% better.  Every day I can tell, the symptoms are subsiding.  I start physical therapy on Monday and I am excited to learn the exercises that will redirect my brain to compensate for the damage done to that nerve.  And the most amazing thing about this illness is that activity and exercise will make the symptoms go away quicker.  So watch out world, this girl is going to rock the gym.

New Habits

I decided it was time for me to start some new habits.  And it is not even the start of the new year yet. The next few weeks will be extremely stressful and I want to be prepared.  First off – it is frigging cold outside.  I hate being cold.  My hands and feet are always cold.  So I have not gone outside to walk or run.  But what I have done is work out at home.

I wanted to share my favorite work out app and it is free.  LOLO.  I love the LOLO 7.  It is a seven minute workout and it shows you on the app how to do the exercise.  You plug in equipment that you have on the app settings and it will create a workout for you.  You can do just seven minutes or choose as many different workouts for your time limit.  I like to intersperse it with a run on my treadmill.

Another one I love is the Arm Workout and it is also free.  I have 2 eight pound weights at work and I can do a quick arm workout any time of the day.  At work if I am not photographing, I am sitting in front of a computer.  So what helps me when my eyes start to cross from looking at that computer screen is at the top of the hour take just 5 minutes and lift weights.  If I do that a few times a day, I should be buff in no time.

The other site I have been to and like is Chris and Heidi Powell’s Choose To Lose.  I set up my lap top and follow along their work out instructions.  I feel like I have my own personal trainer next to me.  You can sign up for a seven day trial and then there is a monthly fee.  Choose to Lose is a food and exercise program based  on carb cycling.  I love Chris and Heidi Powell.  They seem so real.  I never miss their TV show Extreme Weight Loss.

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So to start my habit, it helps me to have my work out clothes right by my bed.  So I can get up have  my coffee, wake up for a few minutes and then get into my workout clothes.  If those clothes are staring at me, I am much more likely to put them on. Let’s be honest.  It is so much easier to get my coffee, grab my lap top, check out my face book and e-mails and sit.  Mornings are my favorite me time.  I also love sitting in front of my fireplace.  It is sooooo warm.

I am into my third day of my habit.  I think it takes fourteen days to create a habit.  I will let you know how this goes.  My goal is fourteen days.

So now it is time for my weekly roundup.  I lost 3. 6 pounds this week.  So the weight I gained the past two weeks, I lost plus a bit more.  My total weight loss is 40.7 pounds.   I hunkered down this week, stuck to my 26 points, exercised and put a cork on the wine bottle.  I will admit, I had 3 glasses of wine on Saturday.  And on Saturday, I did go into my 49 extra points.  But for the rest of the week, the wine stayed in the bottle.  And that wine story will be continued at a later time.

Webster/Kirkwood Turkey Day Run

Yesterday was the Webster/Kirkwood Turkey Day Run, put on by Big River Running.  This run is a tradition between two rival towns.  We lived in Webster Groves for 18 years and all of our kids went to Webster Groves High School.  So I am definitely a Webster fan.  4,000 runners participated in this run on a very cold Thanksgiving morning.

If you want to know how I got roped into this run you can read this past blog.  It explains how my daughter, Maria, for my birthday present signed me up for this race.

I was so nervous before the race.  I was pretty sure I could run the six miles.  I was just not sure I could run the whole way.  I was definitely confident that I would finish the race.  And when we arrived there were so many runners there.  My son Kevin joined Maria and me in the race.  And my sister, brother in law and husband were there to cheer us on.  And then Kevin’s wife and daughter arrived.  I knew this was going to be a great morning.  I was nervous but with all this support around me I was totally pumped.

And then I started to look around at the runners.  I always seem to compare my body to others. Was I the fattest runner out there?  Nope, definitely not this year.  My body actually blended in with the other runners.  I mentioned that to my son Kevin and he said “Mom, you got to quit saying that about being the biggest one.  Because you aren’t anymore.”  What a sweetheart!  So then I started to look at the runners again.  I definitely saw that I was one of the older runners there.  And that made me feel very proud.  I was so proud that at my age I was out doing an activity that I never thought I would be able to do.

The race started and Kevin, my very fit son,  who plays basketball every morning and my fitter than fit daughter who works out and runs everyday ran right beside me.  They never left my side.  We started with a decent pace.  And I was able to keep up with them.  But when we got to the three mile mark I was really starting to get winded.  There were a lot of hills.   Maria and Kevin kept encouraging me.  I tried to let my mind wander and not think about what I was doing.  I imagined my grandchildren at the end of the race and cheering me on.  “Come on Grandma, you can do it.”  That thought calmed me down and gave me new energy.

And then Kevin said “Mom we are at the end.  The finish line is right over there.”  That really gave me a renewed energy and then I saw a group of young children holding up signs.  And I thought how cute.  It said “Grandma your number 1.”  And then I saw that they were my grandchildren.   I was so overwhelmed and excited!  I had no idea that they would come out on such a cold morning to cheer us on.  Maria’s husband also came out.  My daughter in law, sister and brother in law and grandchildren were cheering us on.  I was really feeling the love.

It was a great feeling to cross that finish line.  And then I saw my husband  waiting for me.  And I could not have been happier.  He has been so supportive.  And to have two of my children right by my side crossing that finish line made for a very memorable day.

And were off

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The best feeling ever – crossing the finish line!

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My husband-the photographer.

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My support group.

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A time was texted to my husbands phone.

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A Runner’s High

A runners high is a fallacy. There is no truth to it at all. My understanding of a high is a euphoric feeling.  Like when I drink a glass of wine. I feel good. I feel relaxed. I always get a euphoric feeling when I drink wine. That  is one of the reasons I imbibe. Not so with running.

Yesterday, Maria (my daughter and running partner) and I went for our long run – preparing for the Webster/Kirkwood Thanksgiving Day 6 mile run.  We have been doing our long runs at the Meramec Greenway Trail in Valley Park. It is a round trip 6 mile hike along the Meramac river.

I ran twice this week – 3.2 miles and walked the other days. My goal today was that I would run 4 miles without stopping.  Maria thought I should go further and encouraged me to reach 4.5 miles before I started to walk.  Already, before we even started running, she was trying to kill me.  I said “let me go for 4 and see how I do”.  In my mind I am thinking “if I do not die or collapse I will definitely go for 4.5 miles”.  But I did not want to share that with Maria.  Because if I did, she would make me do it.  Maria is RELENTLESS!

And we were off. I kept a decent pace of 5.03 mph. most of the time we were running.  I felt pretty good.  I was not breathing too hard.  Best of all – I WAS BREATHING.  In my mind all I had to achieve was to run to 4.5 miles and then I would walk/run the last 1.5 miles.

Getting back to that runners high. I kept thinking it was going to come.  I kept waiting for it.  1 mile – 2 miles – not so much as a slight happy feeling.  But it was a beautiful day and the view was amazing.  I was listening to my favorite music – Glee.  And that helped me not to think about the abuse I was putting my body through.

At 3 miles, I had a good pace going.  I knew 4 miles was only one mile away.  Euphoria was starting to set in with the thought of not running and start walking.  But then I made it to 4 miles and thought – “You might as well go to 4.5 miles”.  If you can run for 4 miles – you can certainly run for 4.5 miles.  And I new Maria would like that.  She is such a good trainer.  And she slows down her pace so I can run with her.  She could easily leave me in the dust.  But she runs right along side of me.  She really watches over me.

Still no runners high.  And I was getting very tired.

And then at 4.5 miles Maria says “mom you are my hero”.  Crap crap crap!!!  After her saying that, there was no way I was going to stop running.  How can I be her hero and stop running?  I did start to slow down but kept thinking just don’t stop.  And where was that runner’s high?  It had definitely eluded me.

And then I saw the light at the end of the tunnel. Not the white light you see when you die.  Just that the 6 mile mark was so near.   And I made it!!!  I ran for 6 whole miles without stopping. I crossed the finish line.

And then the runners high finally kicked in. I was euphoric that I had completed 6 miles. I was so excited that I had accomplished something I had never done before in my entire life   I was so excited to have run 6 miles and live to tell the story.

Now that is pure euphoria.  I did not die. I did not have a heart attack. I finally got my runners high.  And the best part of the day is that I knew my daughter was proud of me.  After all, I am her hero!

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Run 4 Webster

As you know from my last post, my daughter signed me up for the Webster/Kirkwood Turkey Day 6 mile run.   My friend Amy O’Brien who reads my blog and is on the Webster Groves School Board.  She is a new runner and asked me if I would like to join her in a run on Saturday (this morning).   My first thought was NO.  So I responded “Thank you so much for the invite but I have a client coming in at 10:00 (which I did and was not lying).  And then wouldn’t you know it.  As soon as I hit send, my client called to reschedule for a later time.  Dog gone it.  I could have let things go but since I opened my big mouth on my last post, everyone now knows that I am in training for the 6 mile Turkey Day run.  So I e-mailed Amy right back and said I was now available and I would meet her at Webster Groves High School.  What did I get myself into?

Last night while enjoying a glass of wine, I kept going back and forth in my mind about should I go or not go.  What excuse could I give Amy if I did not show up.  Do I really want to run?  Absolutely not.  But I know to get these last 25 pounds off, I have to amp up my physical activities.  I went to bed undecided on what I was going to do.

When I woke up this morning, I decided that I was going to go and run the full 4 miles and if I needed to walk I would do so.  We got there early to register and it was so cold.  There was still time for me to back out of the race but I saw Amy and I new I was locked into this race.

John came with me – God love him.  He is such a great support.  He never says much but he always supports me in everything I do.  And today he was there to be my official photographer.

Here I am registering.

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And we’re off.

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I finished the race in 50 minutes.  Not the best time.  But at least I finished.

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Amy and I after the race.

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I will say I had the best time.  I ran 90% of the time.  And I had a great (slow) pace.  But I will tell you who made this race so much fun.  It was the volunteers.  They were at every turn and mile marker.  They cheered us on and held the traffic at bay.  The Webster Groves Cheerleaders were also there doing their cheers.   I felt like every volunteer and cheerleader was there just for me.  I can’t say enough good things about these people that gave up several hours of their time.  Thank you to the Webster Groves School District Foundation for putting on this fun event.  Please read about Ivory Crockett and his amazing feats.  http://www.ivorycrockett.org   I encourage anyone that likes to walk and run please join this fun Run 4 Webster next year.  And thank you Amy O’Brien for being kind enough to read my blog and invite me to this fun race.

Maria Did it Again

Yep she did it again.  My fitter than fit daughter loves to get me into things.  Earlier this year she challenged me to a 30 day wine fast.  We went over to her house for dinner and I had a bottle of wine in tow and she was drinking a tall glass of water with lemon.  She said “Mom – I am doing a 30 day wine fast.  What do you think?  Are you going to join me?”  My first thought was “Are you crazy?  I can not nor want to give up my wine.”  But then my next thought was if I don’t say yes, I better head on over to an AA meeting.  So I said “Sign me up – I’m in.”  And  along with my daughter, I  accomplished the 30 long day wine fast.

Then in February she said. ” Mom let’s run in the St. Patrick’s Day Run.”  I was a bit more skeptical of this challenge because I had only been walking for exercise at this time.  But I really thought I could do it.  And I said “Count me in.”  I did try and started to run/walk.  But my schedule got busy and I came up with a million excuses.  And St. Patrick’s Day came and went and I decided I really did not like running after all.

She also got me doing the Paleo Diet.  She is a very healthy eater and she enjoys eating like a caveman.  My weight loss with Weight Watchers had hit a plateau last January and I was ready to shake things up a bit.  I tried it for one month and it worked.  I think I lost 6 pounds that month.  But I went back to my steadfast Weight Watcher way of eating.

And then on my birthday Maria e-mailed me with a birthday wish and a present.  It was a sign up for the Webster/Kirkwood Thanksgiving run.  My first thought was how sweet.  I thought no big deal.  I can run/walk a 5K.   I do that almost every day.  But then I looked a bit closer to the e-mail.  She signed me up for a 6 MILE RUN!!!!  How can I possibly run 6 miles?  I was not sure I could even walk 6 miles.  Couldn’t she have just given me a card for my birthday?

But then I started to think about it.  I thought maybe I could do this 6 mile run/walk.  I had been walking 3-4 miles for 4-5 days a week and also had been incorporating a bit of running.  So we went to this beautiful trail on Sunday along the Meremac River and started to run.   We trekked for 6 miles.  And actually, I did not think I was going to die.  Maria was giving me tips on how to keep a constant pace.  She was very encouraging.  And guess what?  Along with my daughter, I walk/ran 6 miles.  I was so excited when I hit the 6 mile mark and lived to tell the story.

So on Thanksgiving, my daughter Maria and I will be running in the Webster/Kirkwood 6 mile run together.  I will not make any excuses not to do this.  I have 5 weeks to train for this feat.  I thank my wonderful daughter for her amazing birthday gift to me.  It was not just a tangible gift.  It was a gift of encouragement and believing in me.  And it was a gift of friendship and spending time together.  Thank you my darling daughter, my best friend and running partner.