Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Sweating with the 'Oldies'

About three weeks ago, I walked into a gyms. My workplace is offering this incredible program, called 'McHealthy'. By signing up for it (it's free!!), I have access to the various gyms owned by the hospital I work for, including the cardiac rehab & physical therapy gyms. I chose the small one in the city I live in.

So, with much trepidation, I walked into the gym, a tote bag at my side. After changing into sweat pants and a tank top, I tentatively looked around, trying to get a sense of the place. What I saw were over a dozen odd looking machines, ones I could not discern how to use, or what their purpose could possibly be. It felt like walking into a sweaty modern art display!

Finally, I discovered a smaller room, with a few treadmills, stationary bikes, one elliptical machine and some sit down stepper things. Okay, this I could understand. I stepped onto the treadmill, and found myself faced with a display console that looked like it belonged on the Enterprise. Where's the on button? What's this? Cardio program? It wants my weight? Why?

"Just push the start button, honey." I look over at the treadmill next to me, and saw Shirley, a sweet, petite, older lady, dressed in Capri's and a pretty top. She was walking on the treadmill, a book propped open on the console. So that's what those nubby things sticking up on the bottom of the console are for. A book holder!

So I follow her advice, and hit the start button. On the display it says '3...2...1..' and I'm off. The treadmill starts moving at a gentle pace. I look over at Shirley. She has hers up to 3.2. She explains to me how to up the speed on mine. So I do, to 3.2. Not a good idea.

While for Shirley, who has got to be 25 or more years older than me, that's a gentle stroll, easy to talk to a befuddled newcomer, or to read her novel, while swinging her arms as she walks... but for me, I'm clinging to the handles, desperately trying to reach the buttons! I finally find the pace that's right for me, today. A number much lower than the octogenarian beside me. I walk for 15 minutes (I know this, cause the display tells me so). And I'm done... I have to turn the machine off, and head off to try the stepper thingy. While Connie, another let's say, older person, explains that machine to me, I watch in astonishment, as Shirley keeps on going, not even breaking a sweat!

I have since returned, and now my speed and time on that treadmill are longer and faster...but I still have a long way to go before I can match Shirley!

Sunday, June 13, 2010


I sit here with absolutely no idea of what to write on my blog today....and since according to my lists (you know how I feel about those) I should have done this yesterday, I decided to just sit down, BICHOK (butt in chair hands on keyboard), and just see what comes out of the ends of my fingers. This will defiantly be 'random musings'.

This has been a very busy, but highly interesting weekend. I baked three batches of cookies, attended 2 open houses, ran countless errands, scrapbooked, discovered a vegetarian pizza combination that I really like (red pepper and pineapple), and read no less than 2 1/2 books, not counting my usual perusal of the two vegetarian cookbooks I got from the library. Whew.

Attending an open house as a new VIT (vegetarian in training) was again an interesting experience. Bypassing all the meat, I filled my plate with fruit, pasta salads (the ramen noodle, almond one today was yummy), rolls, baby carrots and Eloise's famous green beans. Next challenge, coming up with a good recipe for vegetarian baked beans that can be cooked in a slow cooker to bring to my sister's annual BBQ.

The other challenge is to find motivation while I am at home. Somehow the energy I have whilst out and about seems to seep out of me shortly after I walk in the door. work, my mp3 player keeps me moving along... in the car, it's the radio (105.5 or 90.1). Mayhaps I need to turn the radio on at home?

Ah, well. The weekend is drawing to a close, and I have the usual Sunday afternoon chores to do (trash, prep dinner & tomorrow's lunch, lay out clothes, so on) I'll bring this random collection of thoughts to a close. Come see me here on Tuesday for a perhaps more inspired musing.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Magic of a "Do Over"

I remember when I was a kid running around with neighborhood friends in Berkley, Michigan. We played several different games, ranging from a ball game involving a kickball and the side of a garage, to a massive game of make-believe where we were all Super Friend heroes or villains. I always was Catwoman (Julie Newmar was the best!)...though there was this one day when I questioned that wisdom as 'the Penguin' and I prepared to run--and were chased by all of the Super Friends!

There was this magical phrase that I remember. The Do Over. When the ball would hit a gutter or I would trip on my untied shoelace... I could stand up and holler 'do over!' and everything would reset to just before my goof. Ah...the magic of childhood days...

I was thinking of the 'do over' this morning at work. I was fairly miserable thinking about my previous day. Oh, work had gone well enough. I'd gotten home, did the usual after work routine of dishes and laundry, even picked up the house a bit. Then I did the unthinkable. I sat down in my favorite chair, and put my feet on the ottoman, and then picked up the new book I'd just gotten from the library. The Aloha Quilter (part of the Elm Creek quilters series). A comfy chair + purring cat in my lap + new unread book in a series I enjoy=total loss of time.

I sat there for the rest of the evening, lost in the tale, oblivious to the passing of time, until I got a call from one of my 'daughters' (I call my sons' significant others my daughters), asking for directions to the church picnic. I had missed the parade. I had missed the chance to sit with my friends from FMC and watch the parade. I had missed out on seeing my son and 'daughter' walking with their Karate school. I missed out on all the fun I had looked forward to all day. By the time I climbed out of that book, it was far too late to even head to the picnic. Worse, I had told my friends, my son, and my 'daughter' that I would be there....and I wasn't.

I realized that my morning was going badly today, because of my sincere regrets of the day before.... and since the age of 'do overs' was long gone, all I could do was to try to live my day better than I had yesterday.

And I wrote this....

Sunday, June 6, 2010


I walk into the crowded room, and step up to the podium. "Hurmmm," I nervously clear my throat. "Is this thing on?" The microphone squeals, causing the front row to cringe. Tugging the edge of my favorite tan suit jacket in a 'Picard maneuver', I take a deep breath, and decide to finally speak. "I am a V. I. T." Gasps ricochet throughout the audience. Finally, my secret is out. As hands raise, I prepare to weather the fallout, and answer questions.

Ok, that's a rather dramatic scenario, but having told family and a few friends, it feels like time to announce it to the world. I am a V. I. T.--a vegetarian in training.

This was not a conscious choice, but one that came gradually, with nary a thought. I had already been eating healthier, switching to brown rice, whole wheat everything, and only poultry. Then I started filling my plate with at least half vegetables & fruit. Next, I switched to cooking beans from scratch instead of canned. I love black beans... Gradually, the amount of veggies on my plate grew, until there was very little meat on it, almost just a condiment. Then one day I realized that I really didn't like the taste & texture of meat any longer.

I quietly did what I do best, started researching the subject. I requested countless books from the library, and started hitting vegetarian websites. After all, this started because I wanted to eat healthier....

So, I have been learning, and experimenting with new recipes, mostly with success. We had veggie fried rice for dinner tonight--brown rice with sauteed carrot, onion, colorful peppers, zucchini, corn & peas. There were more veggies than rice! Tomorrow we are having grilled burritos--filled with black beans, corn, onion, and tomato, and shredded cheese.

I write this both to declare this change in my life, and in hopes of encouragement. I'm not out to change any one's life, just my own. A good friend of mine said that you have to 'listen' to your body. Apparently, mine wants more veggies. Onward to new adventures!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Strangest Thing I Ever Saw in a Dish Drainer

I raised three kids, surviving the imaginative teenage years, with only a few odd moments. Having kids means I have washed and air dried all fashion of things. I've washed stuffed animals, barbie dolls, Lego's (how else do you get jelly off them?), basketballs, Frisbees, and jewelery. One time when we were having ice cream sundaes for dinner, my son used his mace (think medieval weapon) to open the whipped cream can. So of course, that had to be washed. (a mace, sitting in a dish drainer, next to my Blue Willow china!) I thought I'd seen most every manner of strange item in my dish drainer.

I was wrong.

My daughter, Cat, is fascinated with all things Japanese, and thus owns a ball jointed doll. This is a doll made of resin, with individual body parts (arms, torso, head, etc) strung together with an internal string system. Well, this weekend, Cat decided to totally dismantle the doll, and clean it thoroughly.

This definitely qualifies as the strangest thing I have ever seen in a dish drainer!