Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday Five: What I'm looking forward to this Fall

Friday Five: Fall Preview
What is laying ahead for Fall

1. Lot of celebrations!

October is a huge month for celebration in my world.  I have a grandson, twin nieces, a step daughter, & a mother - ALL celebrating birthdays that month.  It's a feast of birthday cake.  Ricky & I also celebrate our 19th wedding anniversary in October.  Yet another reason to celebrate with cake!  My brother's birthday drags at the end of Fall & falls on Thanksgiving every few years.  A perfect excuse for not cake, but pumpkin pie.

2. Vacation

Ricky & I always have taken our vacation in the fall.  We have no children so we never had to do the 'summer break' vacation & it works because that's normally when others do their vacations, so we get a vacation all to ourselves in most places.  Even Disney during the Fall isn't as crowded.  Oh, its still crowded, but its not summer-crowded.  I don't care if we just stay at home all week.  In the fall, I'll sit on my porch reading all week & be in pure bliss.

3.  Busy Camera Clicking

Well, that's just irritating

Of course fall is when everyone wants pictures done.  The weather is cool & crisp - no frizzy hair happening.  The colors are beautiful with changing leaves.  It's a good time to dress in boots & scarves making a great Christmas card.  My October for the NEXT year usually fills up by the end of this year.  & I will still have someone get in touch with me September 30th wanting an October session.

4.  Pumpkins everywhere!

I love orange. I love pumpkins. I love decorating. I usually have a fight with my husband when I can decorate for Halloween & Thanksgiving. I think I decorate more for that then I do for Christmas. I just love the warmth of it all.  Pumpkins everywhere!  I can never get enough.

5. Halloween!!!!

I love everything about Halloween. Well, maybe not everything. I love the holiday. I love the dressing up. I love the fun of it... but I hate that since we moved, we have no Halloween.  No kid wants to walk a few miles to get to 1 or 2 houses ... country roads are no place for Halloween trick or treaters.  When we lived in Louisville, I did Halloween UP!  I dressed up as a witch, had my house sounding spooky, looking spooky - it was great... now, I sit in my witches costume all by myself in my living room.  #sad  ... not really, but kinda... but I still love the holiday. Love seeing pictures of people dressed up. Love Halloween parties.  Love all the clearance candy the next day.
What are you looking forward to this fall?

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Why I dont go to the doctor....

I'm not rich


fastest post ever!

Seriously, every time I put something up about my knee, I get one, two a dozen comments about, "just go to the doctor"... "get it checked out" ... most of those comments are from my parents too.

I love that you all care.

I just wish it were easy.

My job, that I have been at for 22 years... I'm old... took away our health insurance about 6 years ago. 

Anyone ever had to get their own health insurance policy?

its a joke... a big fat stupid joke.

What you pay for?  A lot of nothing...

I have to pretty much front everything on my own, all the while paying huge monthly premiums.

Seriously - I have a friend who is a fire fighter that had to just change to a family policy since he & his wife had a baby.... their amazing, fantastic health insurance is like $125 more then mine a month.  Their coverage takes care of 3 people... a baby on top of that.. & only $125 a month?


So if I go to the doctor, I know there is nothing he can do besides tell me to ice it, keep it up, go easy, blah blah blah

... & if it still hurts, come back & we'll do an MRI

Well, he told me the same thing with my bicep tendon & my back pain...& guess what - I still never went back...

& why I'm still in pain.

I had to have an MRI for an emergency a few years ago & do you know, I just paid it off a few months ago. 


So yeah, I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to go to the doctor & get it checked & have an MRI to know what's happening...

anyone want to front that bill? ... yeah... its not as easy as it sounds.

This is me
or at least having it
but having a crappy plan

The even MORE frustrating thing is our work still covers the top big wigs of the company insurance policies.  How is that even fair?

A co worker that is on my level had some big health problems the past few years herself & ended up having to file bankruptcy... hearing her stories of how much she had to pay & the results of how it affected her whole life & that was the only thing she could do?  That scares the fire out of me...that's how awful personal health care is...

I hope this doesn't offend anyone.. I know you all just want the best for a blog-sister... I really appreciate that... I do... I just felt like I needed to explain so you all didn't think I was some weird naturalist hippy or something... which I kinda am... but not to that point where I'm an idiot.

So some people say if they hit the lottery, they're going to Disney World... yeah, I would too - right AFTER I had a huge round of MRI's! 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

P90X ... 2 days in...

So... yeah... I'm getting closer to calling the doctor about my knee.

It's just ticking me off at this point.

Saturday, it just started aching out of no where to the point that I said, "Oh my knee" about 389 times... in a few hours...

So I've stopped the running... again...

Isn't that sentence on repeat?

But Monday, I thought, what can I do to work out?

... & I pulled out my box... my P90X box.

I mentioned before that my hubs said that with my shoulder injury (God, I sound like I'm falling apart... which I kinda am...) I wouldn't be able to do it.  Well, tell me I can't do something & I'll try it anyways.

I looked at the plan & saw there were different ones.  There is a "Lean" program that the focus isn't mainly on the muscle & bulk... but trimming down - focusing a lot more on calorie burn.  This is me.

I put in the first disc on Monday & guess what, I really liked it.

It was the core Synergy-somethingorother  & I was able to do it. I think maybe one or two moves I kinda alternated, but I did it... & really LOVED it.

Last night, it was the Cardio disc.  Guess what - LOVED IT AGAIN! I love it had yoga, then Kempo, & with me having my black belt, I love anything kick boxing or martial art & then some more moves that focused on core again.

I only had to substitute a few moves that involved some weird push ups...

But I think I'm going to like this...

Like I told a friend on Instagram last night - I'm on day 2... check with me in week 2 & see if I still feel the same.

Especially because tonight calls for shoulders & arms... my shoulder injury just moaned at me.

Here we go again onto a new plan...

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Ups & Downs

Yes - yesterday was all about Ironman... & I still have some Ups & Downs on that, but a lot on some other weekend events...

So let's pick up where I normally am, shall we?

UP // Got my Peach Green Tea Lemonade on Friday....

DOWN //.... but was told that Pumpkin is coming in earlier & that will be the end of PGTL.  I need to suck 'em down fast.  It wont be long till its over.

DOWN // PGTL season went really really fast

UP // Tried my first time at cold brewing coffee for homemade iced coffee....

DOWN //.... didn't taste that much of a difference to go through all the hassle.  Back to my K-cups & putting it in the fridge for me.  #timesaver

UP // Since I wont be using my mason jars for cold brewing coffee, I now have 4 beautiful jars to use for some other fancy reason.  Pinterest, here I come.

UP // Kentucky State Fair! ... Love all the free testing that they have there....

DOWN //  .... Found out I'm going deaf.  Not even joking.  I could tell I'm not hearing that great lately.  Things sound really muffled & I have to say, 'Huh?' or "What?" or just fake like I heard a few too many times.  Yep - I really can't hear.  They said I heard NONE of the high pitched sounds - only low pitch.  They said that's usually opposite of what happens with age.  So does that mean when I get older, my low pitch goes & I'm totally deaf?  .... great....

DOWN // Strollers at the State Fair.  I get people need them & don't want to carry their babies all day long... but when people just use them as offense strategies to get down aisles & ram them into your legs... I want to kick their strollers over... saving the child first, of course!  I'm not THAT mean.

if one more stroller hit me in the back of my legs

UP // Didn't eat one bit of fair food.  It actually all sounded disgusting to me.

DOWN // It started down pouring when we left.  We waited for the rain to slow down & then decided we were so hungry that we didn't care any more.  We walked about 1.5 miles in the rain.... My hair afterwards. #outofcontrolfrizz

UP // We went to a new restaurant... I got some yummy pasta with veggies all over it - it was delish.

DOWN // my salad had bacon on it.  Nope nope nope. #vegetarianproblems .....

UP // .... luckily the waiter seen me just staring sadly at my salad & brought me a new one, bacon-free

UP // Working in extreme heat in the Ironman sucked up all the hydration I had going - so no needing to use the porta pots!  #perspective

my reaction about porta pots

UP // the comments on the Ironman Louisville page makes me so happy .... so many comments about how good the volunteers were.  Even a few from women talking about the tent area I was at.  Makes me feel like we rocked it.

DOWN // my clothes I wore at the Ironman - I took to wash last night.... they were still damp from sweat. EWWW

UP // Did I mention I now have a Ironman Volunteer shirt?  My new favorite t-shirt.

UP // My 2nd favorite shirt - my shirt I got at the fair.  I've seen runners wear these in races & I never knew where they got them... they were selling them in a booth at the fair & I was on top of that.  Bring on my next race so I can wear it.

DOWN //  cancer does suck

UP // The best name for a web site ever - ...

What's your favorite race shirt?
Do you have stroller injuries?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Just do it... volunteer at Ironman....

I had an amazing weekend.  I could talk about Saturday & the trip Ricky & I had to our State Fair (which by the way, I didn't eat one nasty fried piece of food there... blah)... but this weekend was all about IRONMAN LOUISVILLE to me...

My morning started early with me watching the swimmers get in the water & start their day.   It blows my mind how early these people start & how long their day is ahead of them...

The heat was still there... but the temperatures dropped to 92 degrees. YAHOO!!! ... (insert very sarcastic attitude)... at least the heat advisory did actually drop. 

Truth be told, I did think it was hot, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. 

That is, until I stepped into the tent where I worked for the day...


So yeah, I choose to work hands on with the women athletes in the tents as they were in T2 (Transition 2)... I feel so technical saying T2.  But these women were coming in from a 112 bike ride & were sweaty & exhausted, & we had the job of helping them change & prepare for a 26.2 mile run.

Because its basically a changing area, all the tent had to be enclosed.  In a 92 degree day, an enclosed tent is basically like 105 degrees inside... with no air... It was stifling.  It made walking outside waiting for the next person feel like it was paradise.  #perspective

I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do with this being my first year in this area.  I literally got a brief overview that took 15 seconds & then they said, just follow someone.  So I stuck with a few of the ladies dripping in sweat - I knew they had been there for awhile.

I was told the first thing was to give them a cup of water, ask if they wanted some cold water thrown on their back, take their helmets & their gear & help sit them down... then the goal was to have them talk to us, make sure they were making sense, see if they had any injuries, anything that needed assistance.  & then just help them change.  Whether it be just changing socks, shoes.  Getting their hats or visors on them.  Lathering them up in sunscreen. Even stripping clothes off of them & putting on clean clothes.  Which, have you ever had to take off a sports bra or put one on when you have sweat all over your body? 

Let's just say, by the end, I was the PRO at stripping off bras & putting them back on people.  #newjob  A lady even told me when I put her bra on her, "I had no idea it could be that easy.  Can I take you home with me?"

It started off being slow enough where 2 people could work with one person at a time... but the crowd zoomed in & everyone was 1 on 1 with each athlete.  I even at one time was working with 2 people at the same time.

You had to make sure they had everything they needed, make sure their bib was tied around them, & then make sure all their gear they left behind was put up & back in their bags & ready for them to pick up at the end of the race.

It was a LOT to do... & so busy... & so hot...

& I'd do it again... every time...

Why did I love it so much even though it was awful in the heat?  Those one on one conversations I got to have with women. 

Someone said, "oh, you're working in the tent?  People are going to treat you like dogs in there"... I know every person I worked with, & all the other volunteers agreed, every single person was so appreciative & kind to us.

I saw a girl who looked like a baby... turned out she was 23... but I told her I thought she was 16 & I wanted to give her advice on being careful out there.  She hugged me & said, "Thanks, I needed someone to tell me they cared"

I had a woman who was from Scotland that we got talking about accents.  I told her that I loved hers & she said, "You definitely have a Kentucky accent"... then we started saying words the same to see what each sounded like.

I had a lady who came in whose daughter had come through earlier.  She & her daughter had trained together & was excited to do their first Ironman together.  Her daughter was way ahead of her but she left a note in her mom's bag that I pulled out & handed to her & said, "you may want to read this"... her daughter drew a picture of the two of them crossing the finish line together" & it said, "I may finish before you, but I'll be there waiting on you"... the mom started crying... so of course, I started crying... & then quickly wiped away her tears so we could keep her dry

I had quite a few people who had notes from loved ones tucked inside of their bags for them to read...

I had a lady who scared me & I had to call medic on.  She wasn't talking right & she couldn't get calmed down.  The medics gave her salt pills & Coke to try & get some things back in her system.  She just was not doing well.  They talked her into going to the medic tent & letting them check her.  When she was panicked about having any penalties or being pulled, I sat & talked with her & told her she would be fine, but she needed to be safe & smart.  I got her laughing a bit & then she agreed to get checked.  I prayed for her... I wonder if she finished.

I had a lady whose feet were so swollen after her bike ride, she couldn't get her shoes on.  I had to rub her feet & massage them until she could bend them a bit to get circulation back in them.  In the end, we gave her some pickle juice to get cramps from over taking her & getting her body moving again.

I had a lady who was a total diva.  She brought a Princess towel, had to change her full wardrobe, even brought make up & a brush & redid her hair.  I laughed & said, You are coming in here totally prepared.  She said, "Looking good makes me feel good"... whatever works for you lady.

I saw a lady who came in at the end who was struggling.  She sat there for about 10 minutes & kept saying, I'm not sure I can finish.  She had to be in her 60's.  I knelt down to her & told her that she had to make the decision but whatever she decided, she already completed the swim & the bike portion - something I have never done - something I could never imagine doing - that she was amazing no matter what decision she made.  I saw someone walking her out of the tent.  Not sure what she decided.

I loved it because their names were on their bibs & as I wrapped them around each persons waist, I made sure to see their names & then use it.... making it personal.  I'd hug them or pat them on the back & say their name & tell them to finish strong / have a great race / you are amazing... always leaving them with encouraging words.

The best part was when they said back to me, "Thank you so much for helping me.... "... "You are the best volunteer".... "You made this so much easier for me"...

It was so worth being in that 'hot box' in the end...

I figured up a few things to let you know if you want to work in the women's' changing tent.

You DONT want to:

* Being in a place that feels like a hot garage on a summers day bothers you
* If the sight of naked women bothers you
* If stripping the clothes OFF women or dressing them again bothers you
* If the idea of someone throwing up on you bothers you (I got lucky - I got out puke free - others weren't so lucky)
* Touching people's sweaty socks & feet bother you
* If getting dirty bothers you

My legs from kneeling in mud helping putting on shoes for hours on end

You DO want to:

* If hearing people's individual stories makes you happy
* If  you want to meet people from around the world.  I met someone from England, Scotland, Germany
* If you want to be inspired to see greatness
* If you want to make life easier for someone
* If you want to be an encouragement.

This is what I got on a picture I put on Instagram last night...


I think all the volunteers had the same attitude... making the race better for these amazing athletes.

I spoke with a lady who traveled down from Indianapolis to volunteer.  She said she was going to work the course but then realized how much they needed tent people & she said, "I thought, this is what it is to serve others. To be hands on.  To really be a face of Jesus"... I loved this lady.  & I just said to her, "Amen"... it honestly was a spiritual God-given moment to me as well.  To look people in their eyes & help them.  To encourage them. To even say quick prayers of safety over them as they left.  Serving doesn't have to be in mission fields to spread the love of Jesus.

At the end of my shift, I was a sweaty, stinky, tired, but it was the best feeling.

I got home, took my shower & got ready for bed.  I kept thinking of the people STILL out running on that road to the finish line. I pulled up the web site & watched the live feed on the finish line.  I actually saw 2 of the women that I helped get ready cross the finish line.  I was like, "I KNOW HER... I KNOW HER"... I felt proud myself to see them cross & hear those words, "YOU ARE AN IRONMAN"

A total stranger to me... but someone whose life crossed mine... even if for a few minutes.

It was a great weekend....

Friday, August 22, 2014

Friday Five: 5 Things to love about IRONMAN being in town!!!!

Today's Topic:  5 Things to Love About _______________

Since Ironman is this weekend, I'm going to find 5 things about Ironman that I love.
& please make note - I am no Ironman... nope... not even close... only in my dreams.

So this is a 5 things about Ironman being here in town - volunteering - seeing it...

Something anyone can love about it

1.  It's all over the news

I love seeing on the news pictures & updates from fitness people.  Clips of people running, swimming, biking.  So much better then news of people tearing down their own town.

2.  You get a free t-shirt

How I'll walk in my Ironman T-shirt

Yeah, let's face it.  When you do a lot of races, you get a lot of t-shirts.  A lot of them that get donated to charity, or turned into dust rags... of if you know someone cool that sews, one of those beautiful blankets.  (I want to learn to sew!!!!.... I want one of those t-shirt quilts!!!)  But an Ironman t-shirt?  It's the most epic t-shirt. & I'm just a volunteer.  But even wearing a shirt that says I was part of that day?  I'm going to wear it every day next week.

3. Athletes fly in from everywhere

... to our little city.  World class athletes... here in Louisville.  & we can see them on the streets.  They may zoom by REALLY REALLY fast, but you can say, I saw the winner run by.  It's also cool to be on Facebook groups & see everyone talking about where they are flying in from.  I complained about driving 40 minutes to a 5k a few months ago.... these people pack up all their Ironman gear & fly here.  I want my town to always have top athletes just walking around the streets.

4.  The Inspiration

You can't go watch an Ironman or help in an Ironman - be anywhere near the event & not be inspired.  Seeing these people in action, in motion, doing their thang... I leave every year saying, I'm going to try harder - be stronger - I want to be an Ironman!!!  I may not ever be, but in my mind, the inspiration lives on.  Keeps me going back to feed my inspiration heart every year!

5.  Oh, the feels!!!!

The emotion of Ironman is something amazing.  To see someone moving in pain, but still moving.  To see someone puking on the side of the road, but pick themselves back up & press on, to see people have family members cheering them on - taking their own day driving & making it to spots to give what is needed for these athletes, to see people cross a finish line & know they made it.... Yep, all the feels are there.  I'm a sucker for it.  I get wrapped up in it.  The feels get to me every time.

Again - its going to be the WORST possible temperature here.
Pray for these athletes Sunday!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Ironman Weekend - Louisville

Some people get excited for Christmas...

I get excited for Ironman weekend!

It's here this weekend & I'm so excited because this year, I'm volunteering to help out.

I never knew anything about running until 2009 & then after I caught the 'running bug' I started learning about all the other incredible athletic events.  Ironman caught my attention... & then we're lucky in Louisville to have it come right into our back yard.

In 2011, I went down to see what it was all about.  Especially because there was a young man from our church that was doing it.  I wanted to see him & cheer him on.  & being someone who loves capturing moments, I took my camera with me. 

I loved being there...

I actually sat on the side of the road for HOURS... I mean like 6-7 hours. I honestly didn't want to pull myself away.  I wanted to cheer for every runner going by.  On this part of the road, they had to run up & down, twice... so I would see people up to 4 times.  I loved it because I ended up putting my camera down & stood & clapped & cheered on people for as long as I could.  I had a few athletes even tell me that I was the best cheerleader they've seen all day....

I was next to this family as they watched their husband, father & son come through... they were great

Ever since then, I've been hooked on going down & supporting Ironman athletes.

There's something about watching these people go through this incredible feat.  To watch the strength, the endurance... even to see them fighting to make it through.  The real emotions of a race of 140.6 miles...

& can we stop for a second & think how far 140.6 miles is?  ****MIND BLOWN****

This year, I get to be hands on with the athletes.

I'm working in the women's tent where they are coming off their bikes & transitioning into the running 26.2 miles.

See those tents?  That's where I'll be

I can't wait!

The description says that we will be helping them individually, getting what they need, helping their transition run smoothly & the biggest part, give them encouragement. 

We'll be the people that they talk to as they go into the last leg of the 3 part race. 

I want to just send them all off on their miles with glitter & butterflies & on a Pegasus... or at least in their mind, give them that same feeling.

I'm actually worried about the athletes this year.  Its going to be the hottest day of the ENTIRE.FREAKING.YEAR Sunday.  Right now, the temp is going to be 98 degrees.  & let's not even start thinking about humidity - which Louisville is well known for.

This could be scary...

Heck, I'm afraid I'll pass out just working in a hot tent that is closed up all day.

But I'm going to get out there & slap on a smile to help these amazing women!

I laughed the other day thinking how excited I was go to out & work for hours in extreme heat, when in real life, if its above 85 degrees, I make all plans indoors in AC...

But I'm so excited to go sweat it out Sunday.... to root on everyone...

I'm hoping when my 'shift' is over, to head down & check out some of the finish line emotion.  I can't ever watch an Ironman video where they show the finish line & I don't cry. #everytime

So lift a prayer up for our weather here Sunday... for those athletes... for safe races for everyone...

(& for me not to pass out)