Friday, August 26, 2011

Seriously -- About Irene. . .

Hurricanes SUCK.

I have lived in Texas since 1997.

Every year, a hurricane threatens our shores.  Every year, we evacuate.  Every year, we come back to boarded up windows, a few downed tree branches and no damage.

Every year, we've been lucky.

If you are in the "cone of uncertainty" get out.  Head inland.  Take your kids, your photos and your pets.  Leave.

I hope nothing gets damaged but your wallet. 

I hope in a couple of days I can post about how "the media" LOVES to prep for hurricanes.  They love the 24 hour coverage, the dire warnings, the duh duh DUMMMMM music.

I'm going to wait until after tho.

God bless.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Jealous of Irene

Hurricane Irene is threatening the East Coast.

It is frightening and potentially damaging.

I pray that there are no lives lost and that the property damage is minimal.

I also pray that Irene decides that the east coast isn't what it's cracked up to be and decides to come to Texas.

How effed up is that?

We are SO DRY here that I am praying for a hurricane.

I HATE hurricanes.

At least I did.

Now I hate droughts. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

My Intervention

After a killer-owie Leadership Workout on Saturday, a couple of fellow sufferers joined me for breakfast.

We spent much of the time gloating about how well we did on our stats that morning.  Victor did a mid-challenge weigh in.  As a group we lost over 50 lbs!  That's as much as last year's group did FOR THE WHOLE CHALLENGE! 

We're a little excited about it.

Excited enough to go to breakfast.

Not excited enough to get french toast though.  My breakfast had spinach in it.  Yeah.  I still wanna win.

One of my companions complimented me on my journey.  She also gave to to me straight.

"You have to get rid of the skort". 

The other girls nodded silently in agreement. 

"But I love my skort!  I can exercise without looking as if I've peed my pants!"

"I know", she said gently.  "I know you like it.  But it doesn't look good on you.  It's time to let it go."

I wanted to scream and cry and tell her she was wrong! wrong! wrong! wrong!  There is nothing wrong with the skort!  I can put it away anytime I want to.

But in my heart, I knew she was right.

The skort was a crutch.

How can I criticise other people's unfortunate fashion choices if I am going to continue to wear the skort? 

I would be living a lie.

Thanks to my good friends Mary, Rachel & Megan, I got the courage I needed to put the skorts -- all three of them -- in the Goodwill bag.

Goodbye dear friend!  *Sniff!*

And thank you!

The skort saw me through tire tosses

Suicides.  And burpees.

70's day

I'll never forget the day we danced

Monday, August 15, 2011

Fun and Pains

I never shoulda told Gabe I could do push ups from my toes.

When you can do push ups from your toes, you are eligible for lots of other fun exercises. 

Like "walk-outs".  Walk-outs start from a standing position.  Then you bend down, touch the floor, walk your hands out to a push-up position, do a goddam push up, then walk your hands back to your toes, then stand up.  I get to do 4 sets of 10.  Or 15, depending on what else Gabe has for me.

You also get to do planks.  A plank is a push up position held in place for a period of time.  Gabe says it's only 60 seconds but I think he meant 60 MINUTES.  Because that's how it feels.  Sometimes, just for fun, Gabe puts a 25lb weight on my back as I plank.  I am not lying. 

Today we did a fun one.

Around the World!

Doesn't that sound cute?  Doesn't it evoke images of happy children in national costume holding hands and dancing in a circle?  Doesn't it make you think of exotic places with women in colorful fabrics handing you glasses of the local refreshment?  It makes one think of fun drinking games and nights of hilarity.  Around the World.  How delightful.

I think a more appropriate name would be "Circle of Agony". 

To do an Around the World, you begin in a plank position.  Then you do a push up.  Then you walk your hands a few degrees to the left - or right, depending on which hemisphere Gabe is working on -- and do another push up.  The you move your hands a few more degrees, push up, walk hands, push up and so it goes until you have turned a full 360 degrees. 

You may have heard the expression "Horses sweat, Men perspire and Ladies glisten."  My glistening left a perfectly round mark in the carpet that won't dry for a few more days. 

I bet next week Gabe makes me do a variation he'll call "Mary-Go-Round".  An "Around the World" with Victor standing on my ass.

I just hope he takes his shoes off first.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Not His Fault

Ever since I started working out in July 2010, the team at V-Fit has challenged me.

Every day it's harder.

Every day I am stronger.

Gabe, known as "The Silent Assassin", has a knack for getting me to try things I NEVER would have considered on my own.

So when I got home from my workout on Monday, I wasn't surprised that I was a little sore.  Nothing major -- I could just tell that I had worked out.

Tuesday morning, however, I was really sore. 

My back was stiff and painful. 

Nevertheless, I had kids to get to school and a job to get to. 

When I got to work, I had my morning coffee, laughing to my coworkers that Gabe had once again kicked my butt.

The coffee made my stomach a little bubbly.  That happens sometimes.

But my back was really really sore.  Owie and sore and hurty. 

And my arms were stiff too.  Gabe had me do several push ups with one hand on a medicine ball.  Very good for the chest.  I stretched, joked to my friends that I shoulda worn Bengay instead of Chanel No. 5. 

My coffee tummy was worse.  It made me break a rule.  (Technically, I didn't break the rule because no one was in there.  But still.)

I spent my busy day attending meetings and whining to anyone about how hard my workout was.  Because my back hurt.  My arms were sore.  My chest was owie!  My legs were stiff and achy. My hair hurt.

Wait.  Gabe didn't workout my hair.

When I got home, my head was aching.  My stomach still bubbly.  I didn't want dinner. Everything hurt -- including my hair and my fake nails. 

I went to bed.

I stayed there for 18 hours.

Then I felt LOTS better!

No more back pain.  Arms, chest & legs - fine.  Hair - messy, but pain free.  Tummy -- hungry. 

So it wasn't Gabe's fault that I felt so miserable.

I had the flu.

Hmmmm. . . kinda scary that I didn't know the difference, doncha think?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Week With My Boys

Since school started this week, I decided to take last week off and just spend it with my kids. 

It didn't hurt that keeping them home saved us $250 in camp fees.

We went to the Aquarium, the water park, the arcade, the beach and got raspas almost every day.  (Raspa is Tex-Mex for Snow-Cone).  We went to the movies, and hosted a small dinner party where the guest of honor was one of our beloved priests. 

We also got haircuts, bought school shoes, and had the pre-school physical.

Two observations:

1.  SAHMs are rock-stars.  I haven't been so tired in I don't know when. 

2.  The mundane was as fun -- or more fun -- than the "events". 

There is just something cool about watching a 6 year old put on a new pair of tennies.  (Sneakers, gym shoes, I don't know whachacallem.  Tennies.)   Remember when new tennies made you jump higher, run faster and stop on a dime? 

I had to giggle when the 3 year old looked at his new haircut and exclaimed "I'm handsome! Right, Mama?"

I was proud of my 10 year old for helping his brothers navigate public restrooms, crowded aquariums and kept them entertained while I did my (almost) daily workouts. 

All in all, it was a great week.

God, I need a nap.

The boys with our guests -- Father Pat, Declan & John.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Competition Intensifies

We're already in week 4 for this year's Leadership Fitness Challenge.

Last year's challenge was amazing.  Humbling.  Eye opening.  Enriching.  My favorite part of last year's challenge was the people it brought into my life.  Vic.  Gabe.  Ricky. Scott.  Mary.  So many others.

Mary is the leader for Spohn Hospital.  She, Scott & I are the only three of the original LFC that worked out with Vic all year.  We are the only 3 back in this year's LFC.  Mary's team won the challenge last year. They earned it -- I gotta give her that.

Mary and I have a lot more in common than first names. We both went to University of Wisconsin and we have the same birthday. Weird, right? Mary is funny and beautiful and smart and successful and she works out so hard. Apparently she also was a size 24 not too long ago, although you'd never know it to look at her now. Mary and I are now friends. Real friends. Let's-grab-lunch friends.

Mary and her awesome husband Ron have a beautiful daughter named Rachel who works out with us, and who is also one of my kiddos' favorite babysitters. (They also love a beautiful blond girl named Natasha. I think my boys already love blonds. Should I worry?) Anyway - I love Mary to pieces.

I really, really, really want to beat Mary in this year's challenge.

I have a good start. For one thing, my partner this year is AWESOME. Her name is Julia and she is SO committed. Julia works for a part of the college that I rarely get to see -- our Early Childhood Development department. Julia is just the kind of person you would want working with your kids -- smiling, gentle, kind. Beneath that glowing exterior, however, beats the heat of a tiger. She works out almost every day -- and get this: she RUNS to the studio and then she RUNS home. I can already tell that her arms are defining, her waist has whittled and she is glowing strength and fitness. With a partner like that, don't I have it in the bag?

I'm not counting my chickens.

For one thing, this year we have A LOT of really committed people.  Kirby.  Megan.  Luisa.  Caitlin.  Jason. Robert.  Yoli.  Any of these incredible people have a chance of bringing it home.

But Mary is playing dirty.  Mary has Tony.


Tony will not be easy to beat.

Not easy to beat at all.

Tony is big. Tony is strong. Tony is funny and smart and likable. Dammit.

Tony is like many of us who have hit our forties -- he put on a bit of weight (which is rapidly coming off), his joints are a little creaky, and working out was pretty foreign to him until Mary enlisted him as her partner.

But Mary knew what she was doing. Tony isn't your run of the mill work-out-for-a-few-weeks-lose-some-weight-and-call-it-a-day kind of guy.  Tony is a I-am-going-to-win-even-if-it-kills-me kind of guy.

Tony works out until it hurts and then he works out some more. Tony keeps us laughing throughout the workout -- I think it's a strategy to weaken our focus. Tony has been sticking to the diet plan religiously and already has lost over 10 lbs.  He is getting smaller and stronger by the day.

Tony has become my buddy.  How could I not like him?  He's from Chicago for Chrissake.  He's like a brother to me.  Tony reminds me of where I started a year ago.  In spite of myself, I really, really want Tony to do well.

That's what scares me. 

If I am going to beat Mary, I hafta beat Tony.

It won't be easy.