Thursday, September 13, 2012

The gym experiment begins

Thanks to my friend John from high school, and feeling otherwise fed up with feeling like a slug, I did the previously unthinkable, and joined a real gym last week. My biggest motivator was being categorized as "pre-diabetic" a few months ago. That was the first time I had ever been put into a potentially scary as hell group in regards to my health. I don't know anything about the best way for me to achieve my goals other than to flat out start SOMETHING!! And the company I work for is extremely generous about helping us live healthier lives, so they reimburse monthly gym dues! Well, I walked into the LA Fitness close to where I work, and signed up! Then had to come home and break the financial news gently to David. He was NOT happy about the additional up-front costs that came with my membership!! But neither was I!! "Why can't you do any of the free things to get healthy?!!!" Well, dearheart...I need more structure than you do!!'s a done deal, so what next?

I'm not going to say much about the personal trainer that I had a consult with a few days after I joined up other than to say that it was a HIGH pressure sales attempt to get me to spend even more money a month OR ELSE I can say goodbye to achieving any of my weight loss goals!!! And apparently I am an idiot because I wouldn't be able to accomplish being able to take a shit without being told how to do it correctly by a professional trainer!! I left that consult in tears unfortunately. Not because I was destroyed or demoralized or any of that other crap. I was PISSED!! Oh, and we did a few half-squats that were supposed to "shred" my quadricep muscles. Yeppers, we DID accomplish that!! I didn't walk very good for about 5 days. What I wanted from this consult was a brief overview of what strength training machines would work best for me, and which wouldn't. I get the cardio part a lot easier than the strength training part. That's what we WILL focus on tomorrow during my "throw her a bone on the house" session with my torture master.

I know they expected me to never return after exiting the building in tears the other night, but I am undeterred. I have been back 3 times since then (but just for cardio) and have done some research online about self-monitored and self-directed strength training in a gym, so THERE!!

OK, just for record-keeping purposes...these are the ugly beginning stats...weight: 215 lbs, 44.1 % body fat...GROSS!! But here are the realistic goals I've set for myself with the approval of the gym guru and my doctor!! In a year's time (from Sept 6, 2012 forward...) weight 160, 24 % body fat (the idea is that I will actually gain a little weight in muscle and lose it in fat...HEALTHIER!!!

I have 3 LAF locations that I will take advantage of, and I have friends at work that are also new LAF members and we plan on working out together as often as possible, but I'm OK with going solo too. I might try some of the workout classes, and will definitely take advantage of the pool!! And oh yeah, trying to partake of a healthier diet too. I actually have access to telephonic nutrition and weight-loss and general health coaches thru my health insurance company, and we've already had a coupla conversations since the gym experiment began!! This is a new feature that I am tickled to take advantage of!!

Ok, this promise...I have no plans to constantly post pics of any progress I may make, or constant non-pictoral blatherings about my gym experiences. I don't want to share THAT much about THAT aspect of my life with THAT many people! I'm just say'in...til next time

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

"The Beast Project" back on!!

"Le projet Bête" in French
"El proyecto Beast" in Spanish
"獣プロジェクト" ("-Juu purojekuto") in Japanese
"The Beast Projekt" in German

WHATEVER YOU WANNA CALL IT...It's BAAACK!!! What this all means is that for the 1st time in over 2 months, I had butt in seat time on my "Beast" Suzuki Burgman 650 scooter!!! My hubby is my rider coach, and between hot as hell days in June and July and vacation taken in August and then more hot as hell days in August and mega OT worked this summer, it's been awhile since I've had parking lot time with my Burgie!!
David and I both have concerns about getting me on real roads until I get much more familiar and confident handling stopping and starting and turning and other parking lot maneuvers of this 450 lb machine. This is really more like a step-through motorcycle than it is the cute lil' Italian scoot that Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck made famous in "Roman Holiday." I did the basic safety course back in May on a cutie lil scoot that only weighs 175 lbs. The other big difference is the power of the engine. I'm not very mechanincally minded, but a lil scooter compares to a maxi scoot like a BB gun compares to a M16 automatic rifle. So, the main point for the Beast project is to get me safely comfortable and confident to be on the roads with other vehicles and be able to survive!

We spent about 1.5 hrs in the parking lot of the high school down the street from our house yesterday morning, and David drilled me hard, giving me pointers after each rep. I have scared the crap out of him at least once when he really did think I was going to die in a crash, so he is VERY perceptive about each little thing I did right and wrong!! But, gratefully, at the same time, he is being sooooo patient with me. He knows there's no way I'll ever gain his level of expertise, and so far, he's being extra cool about my shortcomings (even if they are only temporary!). It really is a matter of time in the seat and just accumulated experience over time. Anyways, I am super stoked for the next time this weekend to pick up where we left off. My goal is to be able to go riding with him on a back country road ride before he goes to see his Mom at Thanksgiving, but before that I want David to be comfortable with me getting alone-road time once I get the basics mastered in the parking lot! Until next time, then!


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Sometimes it hard to know...

A few days after that nitwit Senator Akin made his infamous speech on rape, I felt the need to voice my opinion about it on beloved Facebook. Now this posting is not going to rehash what I said, other than to say that in the middle of my post, I hinted at being raped a very long time ago. I only really admitted it to emphasize that I did in fact know how it feels and wasn't responding to the Senator's speech just on impulse. I purposely did not give any details other than to say that "it happened to me." It happened just before high school graduation and it was date rape, which is why I never breathed a word to anyone. I have managed to work through whatever it is you work through in instances like this, and however successfully I've rebuilt my life "post-event" may still be up for debate 30 years later. I posted on FB because I was taken by surprise the feelings the speech brought back to my forebrain. Not in feeling scared or angry but I guess a sense of indignance and scorn for the insensitivity of his words. I expressed my opinion, logged off and was done with it again. A few days later (I am not FB's bestest member) I logged back in and my wall was literally plastered with RADICAL ANGRY postings from people (mostly women) I had never heard of.

There's one thing I need to confess right here and now. I tend not to be very vocal about my feelings and beliefs among people I don't know well, but that doesn't mean I don't have strong feelings at all. I have come to know who I can share my opinions with and who I would do better to drive off a cliff than to try and engage in conversation or debate on a particular subject. Again, it doesn't mean I don't shout at the top of my inner lungs about certain things I feel strongly about, but how and when and to whom I divulge these to depends entirely on who they are and our shared history together.

Having said that, FB is not a place I tend to share much in the way of my political and theological/spiritual or philosophical stances, whether friend, or family or FB "friend". I use FB to connect w/family that is far away and real friends from my real life that I don't see as much anymore.

Ok, to these postings from peeps unknown...My God!!!! I have never read such fierce rantings since reading Meine Kampf all those years ago! It was all from people who are vigilant and militant against rape and rapists and justice and injustice in the legal system around the world. I had NO idea how I got attached on FB to this group, but there were so many postings by this group that all of the postings from  those I care about were literally pushed down off the page! I was nervous that I would never be able to recover the sometimes silly, sometimes inane, mostly entertaining posts from the people I WANTED to hear from. At the bottom of the screen of feminazi men-hating people, was an indication that there is an organized group on FB called WAR (women against rape) and that I was one of its "newest" members!! I was pissed!!! And then I saw the profile pic of one of my friends from high school who I had reconnected with just the past June at our HS reunion. I think he may've "invited" me to join this group (and on FB, I don't think you have to respond to the invitation in order to "join" the group.) I think it was done with the best of intentions, but it's just not "how I roll" about things. I found the button to "unjoin" this group and I clicked it and voila!! My silly and charming and entertaining group of family and friends were instantly back!!

I guess I was mad at this group of people because they made an assumption about where I am in the recovery process. I long ago forgave the creep, I pray that he did not follow his "calling" into the Baptist Seminary, and that there's nobody else that this happened to in his wake. I am grateful I have been able to establish and maintain relatively healthy relationships with a very select few men in my life since then, but most importantly, I have long ago forgiven myself for the naivety of being 18 years old. I made some reckless decisions that night, and I take responsibility for that. In the end, what I long to tell this group of people who are so vehemently engaged in this WAR, is that I have made my peace with what happened that night, and have no desire to constantly revisit and relive the event just for a reason to shake my fist defiantly in the air. I am fully aware that there is nothing to be done to the creep legally, and getting emotionally twisted in knots about that doesn't change it.

My heart does break for those women and men who suffer the horrificness of rape and especially for those who for whatever reason cannot or will never get the justice they so rightly deserve. I applaud those who tirelessly work towards improving the justice system around the world and who are amazing advocates for human rights and victim recovery everywhere. There are angels among us who selflessly work for very good outcomes and many who do so without blinking twice or skipping a beat. And if my friend from HS was a victim himself, I know God knows his pain and I pray that he feel God's presence with him on his journey towards healing as He was with me on my own.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Some ramblings on maww-age

I'll tell ya one thing I do one should ever expect to gain any financial or moral ground writing a book on how to be married. I cannot think of any other "thing" people do that is more personalized and specific and uniquely situational than being married.

I remember being at a wedding shortly after graduating from high school. The groom and his parents were Catholic, and they got married at Carswell AFB chapel in Fort Worth. The groom's family and my family grew up across the street from each other and my Dad worked with the groom's dad forever at GD. I know nothing about the bride or her family (other than the fact that this couple is no longer married). But I always wondered how it is that a Roman Catholic priest can give advice to a marrying couple having never tread down that path himself. During his homily, he actually told the bride and groom to tell Aggie jokes to each other every night before the lights went out. I was sitting in the same pew as my parents, and I swear this has never happened since, but my mom just about busted a gut she was laughing sooooo hard because again the same question about advice giving if you've never been down that road. (And the Roman Catholic church could not at the time make inferences to spiritual GPS as a substitute for really being there! LOL!! Maybe now they can?

I remember watching my husband die on the exam table in 2000 (medically supervised thallium stress test after his 1st heart attack) and thinking to myself, so this is what it is to just be here, not trying to be cleaver or witty or deep or anything other than being aware that I wasn't consciously praying, but that maybe just being the only loved one in the room was enough for God to use. Don't get me wrong, there was PLENTY of praying going on, but just not in that minute it took his heart to go down to zero beats and then flatline...there would be time enough for clever and witty and deep later when I started breathing again...

I have learned, ever so slowly at times, that there are some of my husband's agenda in his life that I cannot fight against successfully. If I try to intervene in hopes of sending him down a particular path (figurative and literal), but he has his entire being set upon another divergent one, then chances are we'll pass my car in the drive thru Mexican restaurant parking lot on the way home from the grocery store in favor of a little road rage payback opportunity. Nice! Could I have pointed out that we just passed my car 2 lanes over & not in time to turn in to get it? Yeppers!! But interrupting his chance to stick it to the man in the other car was not to be trifled with. So with angry looks and wheels screeching U-turns and later tantrums at the house I started my evening keeping my distance (figurative and literal) until Vesuvius slowly wound down and allowed my husband to crawl back from the dark underbelly of his soul (reminds me of the scene in Star Wars III when Anikan Skywalker crawls onto the rocky beach of Mustafar in a vain attempt to regain the upper hand against Obie-Wan only to lose his legs in the process. I think I'll name my next dog Mustafar...Til next time...!

Friday, August 10, 2012

One thing I've noticed

Can I just say one thing today? And that is I've just spent a few of the best days in my life with my family in Virginny celebrating the usual suspects' milestone anniversaries...My brother and wife and kids came from Tokyo as well as my sistah and motha laws frm Houston and my parents and my aunt & uncle & cuz's in DC and my brother & sistah & 2 boys in Fred-townVirginny...the thing is family does not "put the fun back in dysfunction" but instead, I think, we are a God-centered, chaos tolerant, spontaneousness required bunch of folk who we may not see much in large numbers, but that doesn't mean we don't pick up right where we leave off. And no matter what or wherever, there is alway LOVE and support for all of us over all the generations. It is a blessing beyond all imaging All for tonight...til next time!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Lil' Blue lost

Today's record high was 107, but I still managed to find some quality time this afternoon riding my '07 Honda Metropolitan 50 cc scooter (I call it Lil' Blue because its royal blue and white) for almost 2 hours along some of the back county roads here in Johnson County between Joshua and Godley. All mostly cattle & horse ranches or middle of nowhere double wide trailer homes and some agroindustrial spots too. This scoot doesn't go more than 35-40 mph, so I don't get on even the busier FM roads and especially not the state highways, traffic is almost non-existent which allows me to take my time and enjoy the ride! I'm just beginning as a scooterist, and I also have a '12 Suzuki Burgman 650 which I call "the Beast", but Lil' Blue is the scoot I am most comfortable on the public streets. (The Beast and I are still getting acquainted and do all of our practicing on the parking lot of the high school for now). Anyway, Lil' Blue and I try to never take the same roads, and stay on the roads that allow for slightly slower traffic, and before too long, I had gone about 10 miles down to the city of Godley. Stopped for a booty break at the city park, for a few minutes in the shade, and then off again back home. Only one close encounter with a dog this trip. He was a medium sized dog that lives on a corner lot and I turned onto one of the side streets at his house only to find it was mostly gravel (never a friend of scoots). He was barking but not sounding threatening, so I raised my face shield and started talking to him to let him know I wasn't afraid, but that I also wasn't going to stick around. As I was turning back around, I heard some rustling along the fence line, and all of a sudden there the dog was on MY side of the fence. I didn't panic, but I didn't stop either. I just kept talking to him as I was accelerating, and then I was gone. I feel a little cooked this evening, but not terribly sunburned. Was glad to get home to ice cold water and AC, but really felt like I had a great time out and about with Lil' Blue! Never a wrong turn is a very good thing! Til next time...:o)

Monday, July 16, 2012

I miss my other passions less and less these days...

Not too long ago, before my scoots came to inhabit my world, I was supremely passionate about 2 things...directing and playing in the handbell choir at my church, and all things Tudor dynasty (but specifically ANYTHING regarding Elizabeth I). I have many fiction and non-fiction books on the Tudors and most all movies and TV dramas (Glenda Jackson is hands down the BEST QE I on film!!! Sorry Cate Blanchett!)

But what had previously been able to drown out the Tudors in my brain was the bell choir! I've been the director/player since January '07 and have LOVED every minute of my time helping to develop a beginner-level choir (and I have no serious musical background other than a few years of piano and 3 years of viola, all ending before high school) I've retained the ability to read music, and I know what music I like. That's pretty much my credentials when I started directing. The previous director, who is also the choirmaster and organist, was ready to end the bell choir after I had only been the bell choir a few months. My sister-in-law, who was in a bell choir at her church in Virginia, had gotten me interested in the idea of learning how to ring. I walked into a rehearsal at my church and announced that I was interested in learning, and voila! After about 10 minutes of tutoring me on how to do a basic ring,  I was in like Flynn! I love listening to handbell demo DVD's to preview music for the choir, and I love the ladies (not on purpose, but my choir is all ladies right now...2 sets of grandmothers and their granddaughters and my mom among them!) We have improved in our ringing skills and abilities over the years and now the challenge I face is finding music for us at our current skill level that will keep the girls challenged but not intimidated. I am proud as all get out to have let the girls know we've got our first paying gig!! We'll be ringing at our first wedding in December!! As I'm writing this, I'm getting the bell fevah back a bit more!! :o) The Tudor fevah is next in line!! :o) Till next time...!