Two Are Better Than One

Accountability. Let’s face it, we don’t always like it but we all need it at times ….especially when it comes to fitness! We often think that taking that first step toward a healthier lifestyle, joining a gym and throwing out all of the junk food is the hardest step. We think that once we make that commitment, it will be a piece of cake (yes, I’m craving butter cream icing at the moment) to hop out of bed before daybreak to get that workout in before work. We will never crave another Reese’s Cup once we’ve actually “acquired a taste” for protein bars, right? Wrong! I’m here to tell you that no matter how far in the fitness journey you are ….you WILL have your weak moments, days and sometimes weeks. We all struggle with staying on track with our workouts and nutrition; especially when we aren’t seeing the results we want.  So, what do we do to combat these weak moments and get back on track? For me personally; it is imperative that I have someone to hold me accountable. Having a workout partner can support, encourage and keep you on track when life gets in the way.

Now let me be clear, I am not one of those people who cannot work out alone. I know some like that and frankly, I think they are missing out on some amazing experiences! To go for a run, alone, is one of the most intimate activities you can experience …hearing your feet pounding the pavement reminds you of your strength, hearing the sound of your labored breathing lets you know you’re alive, and being alone in your thoughts gives you a chance to get to know yourself better! I absolutely enjoy my solo runs, bike rides and gym sessions; however, I feel much more accomplished when I do these things with someone.

I am fortunate that my absolutely favorite workout partner is also my favorite travel companion, dance partner, soul mate and love of my life ….my amazing hubby! He supports and encourages me in everything I do and truly makes this journey one that is not only worthwhile but meaningful and adventurous.

We have done every 5k, 10k and half marathon together and I cannot tell you how much I’ve grown, not only to love, but anticipate seeing his smiling face and hearing him cheer for me as I cross those finish lines (he’s much speedier than me; therefore, always waiting for me at the end). We also lift weight together, hike and ride bikes. The beauty of it is this …when one of us is feeling sluggish, lazy and in a rut; the other is pumped and ready to go, which always helps to motivate and get the other back on track!

Typically, when your workout buddy is a friend, the two of you share similar interests in activities. He or she will not likely be willing to tackle a 3 hour hike if they have no interest in hiking or are afraid of heights. However; if you can secure your spouse as your workout partner, chances are they will be willing to do just about any activity that you are interested in as well. At least that is the case with mine …..case in point:

11351284_10205917713475805_8171514345189460627_n

Woolmarket Duathlon

Even though the hubs isn’t particularly fond of cycling, he took on this duathlon with me simply because he knows how much I enjoy biking ….and he says it’s also because he likes the way my butt looks in bike shorts!

I’ve been talking about us buying a couple of kayaks to add to our adventure arsenal for several years now. When a weekend getaway to the coast didn’t pan out, my fabulous workout partner bought me this beauty! I promptly took her out for an hour long cruise on the lake while the hubby labored his legs on a 6 mile run ….what a wonderfully peaceful way to start your weekend!

Seriously though, how many wives get this excited when their husband brings this home to them after a trip to the family farm?!? True love, I tell ya! Sometimes, the best gifts really are free and I’ve had a ‘flippin’ good time with this one!

734562_10200479005831513_1416331750_n

 

 

Whether your workout partner is your spouse, best friend, personal trainer or “man’s best friend”; they can be invaluable to your fitness routine, helping you stay motivated, encouraged, challenged and on track. Whatever your passion may be, find it and share it with someone …..because two is always greater than one!

 

Thoughts?   ….. I’d love to hear from you!

Do you enjoy a workout partner?

What are some of your favorite workouts?

Do you and your spouse workout together?

How do you deal with the struggles of staying on track?

 

 

 

 

Image

Gym Now, Wine Later

Oenophilia (/ˌiːnəˈfɪliə/ EE-nə-FIL-ee-ə; Greek for the love (philia) ofwine (oinos)) is a love of wine. In the strictest sense, oenophilia describes a disciplined devotion to wine, accompanying strict traditions of consumption and appreciation.

That’s me … one who possesses a strict disciplined devotion to wine (and the consumption of it!) Seriously though, I have a sincere appreciation for wine. Every time I sit down to enjoy my evening glass, my thoughts often wander off to the dry, arid vineyards where I imagine the leather looking hands of the vineyard workers hand picking each bunch of grapes and the stories they could tell. With each sip, I breathe in the aromatic scent and wonder “Who picked these grapes? Does he have a family? What obstacles has he overcome? Was this his lifelong dream, a family business he inherited or just a job that is part of his culture and puts food on his table?” I believe inside every bottle of wine, there is a fascinating story to be told.

Therefore; in my most humble opinion, I feel I do some of my best thinking and decision-making while sipping on a lush, velvety Merlot. And so it was, over my Sunday evening glass of wine, that I came to this conclusion ….. I need more STRUCTURE in my life. What?? The woman who has always lived life on a whim, flew by the seat of her pants and “poo-pooed” any pediatrician whose doctrine was to keep your babies on very strict schedules is now, not only seeing the value in, but actually seeking out a SCHEDULE for her own life?!? It has always baffled me as to how this dichotomy of personalities could co-exist in the same body …the bookkeeper side of me that wants every thing to be balanced, organized and categorized along with this free-spirited, adventure loving, somewhat flighty girl who despises being tied to a schedule or clock!

However; I’m finding that the older I get, the more schedule oriented I become. I find myself making more and more “daily lists”, “penciling in” more on my calendar and planning ahead more than I ever have! I know this is due to my “menopause brain” ….which is a real problem with a real scientific name, but it’s much more fun to just refer to it as “menopause brain”. This along with all of the myriad of other hormonal changes going on, I just can’t seem to stay on track with my fitness needs, weight lifting in particular. I’ve really let that aspect of my fitness routine slide recently and I miss it. Knowing how important it is, especially during this phase of a woman’s life, I’m determined to get back on track! Despite the fact that I manage a gym; I seem to have a harder time getting my workouts in than ever before!  Soooo, thanks to my new “brain condition”, the first step in taking control of the situation and trying to get back  on track was to create a workout schedule for weight lifting.happy

 

One week down and I feel great! In the past, I would view this type of schedule as restrictive and suffocating. However; now I find it liberating and refreshing. I don’t have to think about it ..I just have to follow it, and it works. Whew! What a relief, one less thing I have to think about. And with three teenage boys, one heading off to college, a full-time job and all of these “changes” my body is going through …what a blessing that is!

If you’re finding yourself in a slump or a crossroad with your health and fitness routine, try changing it up, making a schedule to follow, enlist a friend to workout with, or better yet …get your spouse involved! On the flip side, if you’re one who has always lived by strict schedules, maybe you could step out on the wild side and ditch your schedule and just listen to your body each day. Whatever your situation, remember that life doesn’t stay the same ….we don’t have to like it, we just have to change with it!

Dancing with Change

“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it and join the dance” ~Alan Watts

Experiencing change in my life has always been something I enjoyed, looked forward to and sometimes even sought after. For me, change has always been viewed as a new adventure, a chance to meet new people, learn new skills and grow as an individual. I’ve learned that every now and then I feel the restlessness settling in and I NEED change, even if it’s something as simple as rearranging the living room furniture or a new comforter for the bedroom. So here I am, finding myself feeling restless once again …..yet, this time it’s different. It’s unsettling, unwanted and uncomfortable.

I will admit that I’m one of those women that has always thought a lot about age. When I was a little girl, I couldn’t wait to become a teenager and it was pretty good. Next, I found myself anxious to reach my 20’s where I imagined having my own apartment, boyfriend, no curfew and grocery shopping for myself would be so cool ….and it was! Marriage and a baby soon followed those early twenties putting me on that roller coaster called “Motherhood” leaving me with 3 little boys, exhausted yet utterly fulfilled. So much so, that I don’t even remember anticipating my 30’s because they were a blessed whirlwind of ball games, soccer, boy scouts, church programs, school functions, laundry, boo-boo’s and bedtime stories. Lordy, lordy, then came 40! What in the world??? For the first time in my life, I was NOT anxiously awaiting this age! My little boys were getting bigger, the baby was beginning kindergarten, the husband was consumed with his medical practice and I suddenly found myself wondering things like …”Who am I? “What do I do with my time?” “What do I enjoy?” and “What is my purpose?”.  It was difficult and uncomfortable and I knew that it was time for a change. So I did what I always did when I had this feeling …I went shopping! Because who doesn’t feel better after buying a new pair of shoes, right?? Right! So, while I was standing in front of the mirror in the department store admiring the new shoes I was about to purchase, it hit me ….I knew at that moment the change had to be ME! It was time to focus on me for a change and the first thing I wanted to do was lose all of that “Motherhood” weight I had gained over the years. Admittedly, at first, it was 100% about being thinner. I had always been thin and never had to worry about weight at all. However; birthing babies, years of ball park food and all of those evening glasses of wine intended to help wind down after a long day of chasing three little boys around changes that metabolism a bit! But what began as an “oh my gosh! When did I get so fat?” journey, quickly turned into an “oh my gosh! I feel so healthy” journey and I’ve never looked back. It’s been the best gift I’ve ever given to myself and my only regret is that I didn’t see the value in this lifestyle sooner. I began running and lifting weights and quickly reached my weight goal. But that was just another number ….a number on a scale. That number meant far more than what I weighed. It represented my health, accomplishment, both mental and physical strength and endless possibilities for the future. Now, let me be clear, I’m just your average runner …some would even say just a “jogger”. Over the past 10 years I’ve run 7 half marathons, 5k’s and 10k’s too numerous to count and a few duathlons. I’m slower than a turtle running through peanut butter, but I run. I run to stay healthy, I run to stay sane an I run because it makes me happy.

With all of that being said, we’ve come full circle …back to the beginning of this post, back to the purpose of this blog. Here I am, standing on the edge of change, feeling frustrated with myself for placing so much importance on a number …an age. The big one, the big FAT 50! And this one stings, it hurts my pride and it just plain sucks. Not because I feel lost like before; not at all! I’ve found myself over the past ten years and I like her a lot. But I’m changing against my own will; my body is changing, hormones are changing, those dang hot flashes are torturing me, my normal workout routine is just not cutting it anymore, it’s requiring more and more exercise to maintain and that really ticks me off, I seem to be plagued with running injuries preventing me from exercising, further fueling my irritability and zero patience for stupidity! Wow, I must seem like a summer picnic for all the men in my house!! By the way …I must take a second to say that I do have the most wonderfully loving, patient and understanding hubby ever to walk this earth! (Thank God for ‘second chances’!)

Whether it is sought after or whether it seeks us out, change is inevitable. I know this, so how do I embrace this change?

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new”   ~Socrates

And there it is …the answer to a question posed in 2016 is as old as Socrates himself. I will embrace this change with courage, humility, confidence and as much humor as possible. For I’m in search of the woman I’ve yet to become!

“Fabulous” found me at 40 and now I’m on a mission of Finding “Fabulous” at Fifty!