Friends Make Adventures Even Better

 

Once in awhile I will go through my Facebook pictures and look at everything I have done over the course of the last few years and as I did that tonight it dawned on me that I have one hellova support group and adventure team!

It amazes me how different of a person I am now. Sure, I went on vacations with my family, or did some sporting events with the kids, or even an occasional meal with a friend, but I wasn’t a social butterfly. **I think I have made mention to this in a past blog.

Anywho, over the past couple of years I have lived by the motto “nothing cool happens within your comfort zone” and I have truly embraced that.

To be fair, some of my adventures have been non-physical, but they are adventures none the less. When you spend an evening revealing your inner most fears, or sharing stories of your past that still haunt you and bring tears to your eyes – that is still personal growth… and what is personal growth if not an adventure into a new and better you???

Since hanging with these gals I have gone to a Masquerade Ball for Halloween, gone swimming at the drop of a hat, spent a weekend in Florida just because,  been front row at a Joan Jett concert, bunked up for a week long work trip, walked two miles in a Wonder Woman costume, hiked Turkey Run, hiked Plainfield parks, had numerous laughs, numerous meals, and numerous heart to hearts.

These girls brought me out of the comfort zone in their own little way, and I hope some day I can help them the way they have helped me. I have seen several times in my life where females look down, and put down their fellow women. What is the point? What is actually gained by that? The answer is simple – NOTHING.  These ladies need to be celebrated, so that is what I am doing.  This blog is about the good, the bad, and the ugly of #becomingabetterme and maybe sometimes I don’t praise those around me enough… especially when they are the ones who inspire me to do more, and continue on this journey. So here’s to you – Angel, Kait, Jennifer, Jami, and MiMi (ok, Mindi) – Cheers! Love you all, and look forward to so many many more adventures!

Advertisements

Getting out the Trail Shoes Again

 

22135498_10213809396449702_651359093594914708_oAs a Hoosier there is nothing better than seeing the leaves change and knowing that sweatshirts and caramel apples are upon us… unless you like adventure – then there is something better!

Yesterday Angel and I put on our (underused) Salomons and went for a hike at Turkey Run State Park. There are trails there that range from .4 miles up to 2 miles, and then go from easy to rugged. As Spartan Chicks we were not going to let those easy and .4 milers be our day!  Trails #3 and #4 were the moderate/rugged to rugged as well as the longest ones, so that was what we did.

I have said in passing that the last year has been crazy – even stressful, but being out there yesterday made me remember that there is so much more to life than just working. Yes, what I was doing was important, of that I am sure – but what I lost sight of was how important I am.  I spent far too much time in the gym losing those 40 lbs and gaining self esteem, to let it fall by the wayside.

When I did the first Spartan it was 3500 stadium stairs (which completely explains my hatred for stairs) and in the second one, my toes and socks were all wet – well, as I was hiking yesterday I laughed at the fact that I spent so much money to do out of state what I could do right here in Indy, and at my own pace! I know it is all about the medal and the shirt at the end, but I felt just as accomplished yesterday as I did both of the days  I got my medals.

Anywho, back to the hike…

We climbs hundreds of stairs, we went down hundreds of more steps, we climbed over down trees, we walked through water, we did it all! The best part of everything  was the company. More than the caramel apples, more than the comfy sweatshirts, more than the leaves in the fall, there is nothing more soothing than just walking in the woods on a Sunday with your best friend.

These are the moments where #becomingabetterme mean the most and #movingforward the most rewarding.

22049822_10213812126917962_4440606087584998253_n

Hello April – Log Blog

IMG_2249

As I have posted already, April has been a trying month for me. A really trying month, but for every rain cloud there is a silver lining, right? That lining was how many miles I actually get to tell you about.

I am going to log this one kind of the same way I did the last one. There aren’t any treadmill or bike miles, and I never stopped to count the difference in my stair climbing, so they are all “Life” miles.

Here goes:

Sat 4/1 – 3.49 TOTAL: 3.49

4/2 1.78, 4/3 2.01, 4/4 2.13, 4/5 3.12, 4/6 1.92 4/7 2.77 Sat 4/8 1.38 TOTAL 15.11

4/9 1.93, 4/10 2.34, 4/11 2.27, 4/12 2.53, 4/13 1.49, 4/14 2.78, Sat 4/15 1.09 TOTAL 14.43

4/16 1.63, 4/17 3.03, 4/18 3.17, 4/19 3.14, 4/20 3.29, 4/21 3.68, Sat 4/22 2.71 TOTAL 20.66

4/23 .95, 4/24 3.82, 4/25 3.84, 4/26 3.07, 4/27 3.41, 4/28 3.17, Sat 4/29 2.19 TOTAL 20.45

4/30 2.34 TOTAL 2.34

And the drum roll please ….  *insert drum roll sound* … a grand total of 76.48 miles for the month of April!! HOLY COW!!!! I knew I had put in the steps and saw the numbers getting bigger, but it was not until I really started doing the math that I started to become more wide eyed about it!

Thinking that once I get this schedule figured out, and am working in Indy again, that I should up my planned miles from 50 to like 65! Even if I don’t, I will still be able to say that I have walked over 500 miles in 2017… I got this!

Walking on Water, Vacation at Sea

DSCN2253.JPGAs promised, I am writing a blog about the last week of March – aka CRUISE!!!!

 

When we went on the cruise in 2015 I decided not to take my Garmin with me, but after walking back and forth from the Lido deck (10th floor, and where the food and pools were) to the room (2nd floor at the front of the ship) I realized there was a lot of walking. After that experience I decided that I would make it a point to take it on this cruise, and I did…

From the very beginning of Sunday (3/26) we were walking. From the lines to the boat were really put in the steps for what was actually just a half day of “cruising”. Once the boat pulled away from the dock we walked to the Lido deck to get a snack, then back to the room to unpack, then to the dinning hall (which was on the back side of the boat as well), to the Encore Theatre for the safety briefing and then up to the Serenity Deck looking at the stars. When we went to bed that night, I took my Garmin off – I racked up 3.07miles! I was floored. I knew there had been a lot going on, but 3 miles worth, didn’t believe it. So I chalked it up to the lines and the activities and decided that with Monday being the first day at sea would be my indicator on an accurate number of steps, so I went to sleep and called it a night. Day 1: 3.07 miles

Monday (3/27) morning before rolling out of bed I put the Garmin back on. To the Lido deck for breakfast, to the coffee shop for real coffee (side note: the coffee on the boat really sucked) to the casino, to the room, to trivia, back to the Lido deck, to the room, to dinner, to the comedy show… back to the Serenity deck for the more star gazing. It was a full day. Definitely a full day. At around 10:30 we decided to call it a day and went back to the room for bed. I looked at my Garmin and 4.09miles. WHATTHE??!!?? Day 2: 4:09miles

Tuesday (3/28) was another sea day. This day I decided to do a little walking. This time on purpose. After Lido for breakfast and coffee house for coffee, we walked the whole Deck 5. This has a really cool outside deck that goes all the way around the ship. Made that trek twice. Then off to do more adventuring.  Trivia, casino, food, the room, the front of the boat… yes, I said, “I’m king of the world!” at least once, music in the main lobby, drinks, dinner, fun, and more walking Deck 5… it was truly a great day. The end of the night and I checked my Garmin and damn, 4.63 miles! I really started to see a pattern! Day 3: 4.63 miles.

Wednesday (3/29) was out port in Jamaica, we went to a private beach and it was beautiful. Seriously a little piece of Heaven. We sat under a palm tree for shade and just looked out over the water. I loved it. It was only 3.5 hours, but it was wonderful. After the excursion we got back on the boat and did the usual  –  get ready for dinner, do dinner, and then goof off after. Totaling 3.87 miles. Day 4: 3.87 miles

Thursday (3/30) – another excursion day. This time in Grand Caymans. It was a beautiful boat ride to a sandbar and Katie kissing a stingray (which is supposed to be 7 years good luck). Then a nice lunch with some tactless wait staff, but hey, I guess they lived on island time?? Anyway, back to the boat and back to have more fun. That day left us beat down and super tired. However even with all of that we put in 5.17 miles. HOLY COW! I would not have believed it!!! Day 5: 5.17 miles

Friday (3/31) was the day I was looking most forward to. I was going to be going to see the Mayan Ruins. It was something that I know MoMo would have been jealous of. She loved to see historical remnants like that. Side note – the Mayans used shells in their road so when the moonlight hit it, it glowed. Awesome fun fact for you. When we got to the ruins in Cozumel I did not realize how much walking we would be doing. Color me crazy but I truly did not think about it. The walk around the grounds put us at over three miles. When we got done there we went to this little sea side cantina and had pico… and holy cow, it was ridiculous. After getting back on the ship we had more fun – dinner, fun, shows, etc…. putting my Friday total at 5.81 miles! Day 6: 5.81miles

Saturday – the start of April… I was not going to talk about this day since it will be part of my Hello April, but with the last day on the boat we chilled. Did some more trivia, got in some bingo, watched a show, you know… just chilled. Funny thing, we still got in 3.49 miles! I cannot believe  for as lazy as we were, it was still a lot of walking! Day 7: 3.49 miles

I know this blog is about #becomingabetterme and vacation is a time of doing exactly what you want, and indulging in things that are not so good for you, but all of the walking I did… I would have to say I keep myself going. Sure, I might have had dessert, or even a drink or two, but I felt better about myself being there!

2017 has already been a rough year for me, not getting to the gym like I need to, or maybe doing short cuts at dinner or at lunch… just really not doing what I need to to become the better me I have been trying to keep going for the last 2 plus years… but I can say knowing that I could put in that many miles and still have a good time reminds me that I can get off of the couch and take a walk, even if it isn’t in an exotic location!

DSCN2295

LOG BLOG – Every Mile Count, Hello February!

img_2247

I waited until the end of the month before I started this blog. Although I was REALLY bad and did not distinguish between gym and life miles I did log every single day before I went to bed!

Here goes:

2/1  1.75

2/2  1.21

2/3  1.38

2/4  1.92

2/5  2.31

2/6  2.81

2/7  1.81

2/8  2.93

2/9  2.12

2/10  2.41

2/11  2.39

2/12  2.07

2/13  2.92

2/14 1.87

2/15  2.18

2/16  1.78

2/17  1.39

2/18  1.47

2/19  2.37

2/20  1.77

2/21  1.97

2/22  2.53

2/23  1.99

2/24  1.81

2/25  2.92

2/2  1.11

2/27  2.03

2/28  2.38

month total = 61.51

My 50 miles in a month success!

 

 

 

Summer of Fun

 

As I was looking at Facebook and going through some of my pictures I couldn’t help but smile. As a mother of active teenagers and then the wife of a game designer I am always busy. Running here… taking kids there… then adding in the normal stuff that every household has to deal with: groceries, dinner, cleaning, WORKING… but this summer, this summer was a little different. I took time to do things for me, and let me tell you, I loved it. Not only did I love it, but truly, I needed it.

When I started the journey of #becomingabetterme, I had to start out by figuring who and what I wanted to be. Sure, I wanted to weigh less, I wanted to be healthier, I wanted to be nicer, but honestly, I wanted to be happier.

That was where I had a problem. I have never really been in a place that allowed me enough time to stop and figure out what is that made me happy. Don’t get me wrong, being a mom and a wife makes me happy, but I needed to know what made HEATHER happy. What HEATHER wanted out of life. This summer has given me a glimpse of all of that.

This summer started off with my Journey concert at the track. Then Def Leppard/REO Speedwagon/Tesla at Klipsch. Then two concerts in one weekend Chris Young/Brad Paisley followed the next night by Gwen Stefani. Then last concert of my summer was Rob Thomas/Counting Crows all at Klipsch as well. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but music is a big part of my life and to get to see some of my faves belt out their songs live, well, that is epitome of happy in my book.

Let us not forget my birthday extravaganza… I realize my birthday was a singular day, but as a lover of my special day, I tend to drag it out for at least the month.

Now only was the summer music packed but (as always) we added Gen Con to the mix. (Did I mention I am a huge nerd?) Four days of nothing but gaming… the “four best day of gaming” to be exact. Never a dull moment there. Not only did I spend a lot of brain power winning over half of the games I played, but I got to enjoy the cosplayers in their personalized versions of pop culture, comic, or game character costumes.

To round out the summer, there was a Housing Conference in Detroit I got the privilege of attending. For those who do not know, my job is all rules and regulations and compliance and structure… and I love it. My part of the conference was learning more rules and how to figure  cash flow and net operating income (blah blah blah, right… wrong. I LOVE IT!). Yes, it was mind melting, but I love learning how to do my job better.

Needless to say, in a matter of three short months I squeezed in a lot of play time. Which by extension was time practicing being a better me.

Before I sat down to write this, when I was looking at my pictures I started to get a little down on myself. I ran no real races (yes I have done a couple of virtual 5ks, but no real ones), I haven’t been with Mr T (my trainer) since the beginning of May, and there really hasn’t been a week where I have gone to the gym more than two times, where I was going three to four times each week… but then I looked at what I had done.

I spent time with friends, I walked miles upon miles without flinching, I made my brain stronger, and even taught the noob gamers a thing or two ; ) I enjoyed myself and still did what I needed to do to figure out that I am more than a mom or a wife… I am a person and the happier I am, the more productive I can be!

Once I got past all of that, I also realized that I did put in some serious gym time, and even managed to keep my weight right where I left off in May!

I can honestly say, with the kids back in school and the summer winding down I am looking forward to seeing what comes next!

 

 

 

The After Photo

For those of you who do not know me all that well (or for those who do, but are not privy to this bit of information), I am a Pinterest junkie. Like, cannot get enough… I am always on there looking at crafty ideas, art projects, new styles (since my clothing size has gone down), tiny houses (my obsession) and of course inspirational quotes. Why am I tell you this? Well, let me back up a step or two…

Tonight at the gym, when I got there Mr T was there. He asked me what I was going to do and I told him that I was going to go kick the elliptical in the face. He laughed and I went on about my business. I wasn’t lying… that was, in fact, my plan. I decided that since my new found courage had got me moving on the elliptical, I was going to see if I could up my game. I upped my resistance to 3 (mind you, I had previously used a different -less difficult style – elliptical and upped the resistance, but on this one, a 3 was a big deal) and took off. Since I recently became an “i-People” I did not have the play list on my phone that once did, so I logged into YouTube and watched a few videos of my husbands band (Jon Bon Jovi, in case you were curious) and before I knew it I was at 3/4 of a mile and it was only 11’ish mins. I knew I was going to be under 15 mins so I picked my next video and kept going. At 1 mile I was looking at 14 mins and decided that wasn’t long enough so I just kept chugging away. More of that beautiful man to keep me going. When I got to 23 mins I realized that in less than 5 mins I would be at mile number two. I could do this. I really could. I smiled and sang along to Born to Be My Baby until the distance read “2.00”. I got off, went to go get my wipey for the machine and Mr T caught me, “what are you all smiles about?” I told him, “New record, 2 miles, less than 28 mins, with added resistance ANNNDDD it was on the elliptical, my nemesis!” “He shook his head, and said, “See, you got this! Progress!” He was right, I did have it and it was progress.

When I got in the car, I took my sweat post work pic… I mean how else are you going to know I did it?!?

Anywho, we are back to Pinterest now… I love adding quotes to my page, color me crazy but I do… so I searched “INSPIRATIONAL WORK OUT QUOTES” and right there at the top was “do it for the after photo”. It is what I do this for… the after photo. Not necessarily the one that shows my sweaty face and crazy hair, but the one that shows what I have accomplished. The one that reminds me that I really have made a difference… not just physically but, better all the way around. The whole journey of #becomingabetterme is to see #theafterphoto!  I may not be there yet, but I am feeling good about the path I am taking!

Raising Healthy Kids

I am sure I am not the first parent to ask myself, “have I got them ready for the world?” and I know I won’t be the last, but either way, that question is swimming in my head as I type.

I do have to say that after the way I was walking around yesterday fuming over the Dani Mathers case, I learned something new about my daughter. Then today, when my son was helping his grandfather read tent-putting-up instructions, I learned something about him.Let me tell you what happened in both situations, so my above statements do not sound like the crazy ramblings of a wild woman…

I explained the whole situation to Katie and I spoke (even read my blog post to her before it went up), she nodded in agreement, and I could see her thinking through my words, carefully planning her response. When I was done ranting and reading she sighed and started, “You have read me several of your blogs, and I think this is your best. I know you have done a lot to be better of the last year or whatever, and when someone is mean on purpose like that and you think about how it would make you feel, well, I am glad you have been able to go to the gym and do your races, as they have made you become a great mom.” I was not really sure how to answer that, and I really didn’t have to because she got up, kissed my head, and went to her room.

Then today, Jarrett was helping my step dad work on putting up the tent, I yelled for him to come and talk to me. When he came running, the first thing he did was hug me. Not forced or awkward, just a heartfelt hug from a son to his mother. He told me that he was helping put up the tent and filled me in on his driving adventure now that he has a permit. After giving me the low down on his happenings he said, “Ok Mom, I gotta go, I gotta learn how to do this since it is going to be up to me to help put the tent up when we get to the campsite.” He hugged me again and ran back to my step dad and nephew.

What does this all mean? Well, I hope I means that I have children who are comfortable in their own skin.  I hope it means that I have taught them to accept responsibility and think for themselves. I hope it means that they know they are loved and having an opinion of their own is perfectly acceptable. I really should have know that they were going to be fine when they were both voted in as captains of their respective teams… but hey, maybe I am a little slow?

IIMG_20160711_193601 realize this isn’t really my typical exercise, gym time, or health food related post, but as it is time for the kids to go back to school and #becomebetterkiddos, I wanted to throw out the proud momma points that I have earned.  Maybe I am patting myself on the back here, but as I #becomingabetterme, I see that my kids are benefitting from it as well, and that makes this journey all the more worth it!

 

 

I Can’t Unsee That

A good friend and I were having a nice conversation today. We talk daily, so we are always sharing things we have seen. Somewhere in our conversation he pops off with a “Hey, did you see the article about the Playboy Playmate body shaming a woman at the gym?”  I had not seen or heard about it, so he sent me the link. Before I read it, I was a little annoyed, thinking that someone was getting shamed AT THE GYM, stupid – but then, I read the article. I WAS LIVID!

(To start I will say it was posted on TMZ, so feel free to give it a read for yourself)

The long and short of the story is this Playmate, Dani Mathers, is at the gym, in the “locker room” and took a picture of a naked gym goer taking a shower and body shaming her on social media. Her Mean Girl antics have got her into some seriously hot water (and I personally vote for jail time), but the kicker is her public apology that basically said, “I am not sorry I am a b*tch and meant what I said, I am sorry I got caught saying it out loud!”

After talking telling my friend I read the article, and finished practicing my swear words, we changed the tone of the chatter. We talked about the big what if…

What if that were me??  I have been going to the gym for about two(ish) years now, and am past the initial ‘everyone is watching me’ feeling that I had at the beginning of my visits… but what if I wasn’t… what if someone actually shamed me in my first visit… WHERE WOULD I BE??

The answer to that is sadly simple, I would be exactly where I was two plus years ago, unhappy, overweight, and unhealthy. Those thoughts alone make me tear up. More than that, I would not be where I am. I know that sounds like a “duh” statement, but there is so much involved in that. I would not have met my new friends (and family) on my Cornfed team. I would not have had enough self confidence to go on adventures without a responsible adult to be my security blanket. I would never had the belief in myself to finish – not one, but tw0 – Spartan races. I would not have been able to better myself enough to become a trusted and respected coworker to my team. Above and beyond all of these things, I would not have found myself. Yes, I found me. I am now the person I knew I could be… or at least am pointed in the direction of becoming that better person I am striving to be.

It scares me to think I would lose my sanctuary. I use the gym as my outlet for daily stress, I go and walk my negative thoughts away, I lift away the ugliness that I see going on in the world, and come out stronger and lighter. I need that.

What Dani Mathers did to that poor woman is the lowest of low, and I only hope that it does not turn her off from #becomingabetterher … and take away whatever it is that the gym does for her. I hope that she has the inner strength to give Dani the middle finger and go right back to doing her thang, and doing it her way!

When I thought about writing this post I was so mad, I was worried that I would just use this as a rant, and I finish up (I am still mad, don’t think for a second I am not) it shows me how lucky I am to go to a gym where everyone is friendly. Thank you for being awesome, AnyTime.

Keep it classy, Dani Mathers… hope orange is your new black!

Where Do I Find My Next Adventure?

It has been less than a month since I started saying, “I am 40” when asked my age… and I am still really not used to it.

The day of my 40th was definitely one for the record books…. quite the party, if I do say so myself, and definitely a highlight to the new decade of my life, but that wasn’t the last adventure I have had.

The week after my birthday we went straight into the NESCO Olympics (Near East Side Community Organization Olympics), which involved some kickball, some volleyball, trivia, cards, tug o’war, frisbee golf, and cornhole, just to name a few.

Then there was the REO, Def Leppard, and Tesla concert. Added in was a day at the waterpark with my mother, kids, and nephews just for fun.  Then as recent as yesterday, an (almost) 5k with my bestie  to enjoy a Saturday morning in the park.

There is not a single adventure listed above that would take back. I loved each and every one of them for what they were. What I will say is I miss pushing myself. I miss getting dirty. I miss my team. And I really miss the feeling of accomplishment.

After looking at the calendar, and the bank account, there is no way of running a Spartan this year. I haven’t found a 5k that has really struck my fancy. So creating my own track and getting a virtual 5k medal, has been what I have done. None of that is really sparking me. I need a new adventure, I need a new challenge.

The question is, what do I do??? I feel like I should be trying something new, but have no idea what that should be??? I don’t want to sound like I am whining, but I think I am… #becomingabetterme was started at the beginning of this journey to remind myself that this was all about doing more, being more, but now… now I feel stuck.

I guess the only thing left to say is, life might be knocking me down right now, but since Life hits like a b*tch, I will just get back up and keep searching for that next challenge, because afterall, I am #stilltrying.