Health by Heidi
My workouts and fun things that I want to share!
|Posted on December 19, 2015 at 5:55 PM||comments ()|
I love snow. I have always loved snow. There is just something magical about it that makes the world seem pure and fresh and clean. Snow muffles all sounds and covers all surfaces so I feel like I am in a fluffy white pillow world. In honor of the continuous snowfall that we have received over the past week or so, I am compiling a short list of observations regarding snow and one of my favorite activities related to snow, skiing. So here we go:
1) There is nothing on this earth that compares to the taste of freshly fallen snow. I simply can not resist taking handful after handful of fresh, white, fluffy snow and letting it melt on my tongue. Not only does it taste delicious but the texture is quite pleasing as well. Sometimes it forms into a hard frozen piece of ice. Sometimes it simply melts away to water. Either way, eating snow is one of those simple pleasures that I look forward to every year.
2) Snow forces life to slow down. Nothing happens fast in the snow. It just doesn't happen. Snow makes us drive slower. It makes the morning routine take longer, whether it's because we are scraping our windshieds or shoveling snow off the deck. I know people get irritated with these extra chores. I look at it as a good thing, especially around this time of year when people are feeling the crunch of the holidays looming near. I think it is nice to drive slower on the road. Yes, it is often unsafe to go faster when the roads are covered in ice and snow. The slower pace also allows me to look around at the lovely scenery, the trees covered in white blankets, the deer and elk roaming through the pastures looking for food. Yes, shoveling snow can get tedious, but it is great exercise and it is time spent outside. Any time outside is a good time, regardless of whether the time is spent on chores or pleasure. Rather than feeling annoyed by being forced to slow down, relish in it and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
3) Now as snow relates to skiing...there are no friends on a powder day. Anyone who is a powder hound knows what I am talking about. I have seen cars slide off the road going up to the ski hill and the cars behind them just keep going. Don't have your gear on when the lift opens? Too bad. See you later! Need to go in to the lodge for a bathroom break? Have a good time! Powder breaks all allegiances in the race to get some fresh tracks in the steep and deep. And it is always worth it.
4) Never do I hear the words "freshies," stoked," "pow," "face shot," "epic," and "shred," more than at the ski hill on a powder day. Whether boarding the chair lift, in the middle of a run, or in the lodge, it is inevitable that these words will drift through the noise of the crowd more than a few times on any given powder day. And we all know exactly what they mean.
5) Every skier is envious of the way those dang snowboarders can jauntily maneuver a set of stairs. Those boarders, with their boots being all flexible and bendy, letting their ankles and knees bend in a way that allows them to walk normally up and down stairs. Meanwhile us skiers are doing the peg leg waddle down the stairs, hoping and praying that we don't slip or miss a step and cartwheel into a heap at the bottom. BUT, we get our revenge on the slopes. When the terrain flattens out on the way over to Chair 4 and the boarders are doing their weird have walk half slide thing with one foot out of the binding and one foot still in, looking like they have dislocated both hips and are trying to dance a jig, we skiers glide by, poling and skating, skating and poling, gracefully and gleefully making our way across the flats, that's when all those awkward peg leg waddles on the staircases pay off.
Every winter day of snow is a good day in my book. On that note, I think it's time to go eat some fresh snow.
|Posted on December 14, 2015 at 3:15 PM||comments ()|
I love being outside. I have always loved being outside. Whether I am cycling or running or skiing or gardening or just sitting on the back deck watching the world go by, something about being outside just makes me happy. I feel calm and energized at the same time. I feel relaxed, grounded. Any stresses I may be experiencing simply fade into nothingness. I have often thought that if every single person on the planet spent more time outdoors experiencing the wonders of nature, this world would be a much happier, calmer, and peaceful place. Turns out, I am not so far off in my thinking.
Researchers have started doing studies on the effects that nature or nature scenes have on people. Across the board, the research is showing that people report feeling calmer and happier when in nature or when looking at pictures of nature. This is in contrast to people reporting feelings of anxiety and lonliness when in a city setting or when shown pictures of a city. Studies are also showing that being in nature releases the "feel good" hormone serotonin. One study had subjects perform the same task twice, once indoors and once outdoors. The subjects all performed better on the task when they were outside than when they performed the same task inside. Hospitals are now jumping on board with the outdoor mentality by putting plants in patient rooms and creating green space outside patient room windows. It seems that hospital patients recover quicker and require less prescription narcotics when they can see greenery in their rooms or outside their windows.
For those of us who are nature lovers, this research just proves what we have known for years. Being outdoors just makes us feel better. Now we know the physiological reasons why. With all that serotonin running through our veins, we can't help but be happy! Combine that with some exercise-induced endorphins, and you get the perfect "happiness cocktail." But wait! It gets even better! The great thing about living in the Bitterroot Valley is that this place just BEGS us to get ouside. The mountains, the rivers, the fresh air...it's all calling to us, all the time. Whether it's hot and sunny or cold and snowy or somewhere in between, this valley was created for us to be out in it. So let's get out there, get the serotonin flowing, and be happy!
|Posted on December 6, 2015 at 3:10 PM||comments ()|
Yesterday, Saturday, for the first time since September, I woke up, looked outside, and thought, "I am going to go for a run." Thanksgiving week was my first run after my hiatus, but yesterday was my first run on the weekend at home. I didn't have to trudge to the gym and get on the elliptical or the spin bike. I could just lace up my running shoes and go out the door. So that is exactly what I did, and it was wonderful.
It was Saturday so there were not many people out and about, and it was early in the morning so there were even fewer people out and about. The ski crowd was not even making their way up to the ski hill yet. The highway was quiet. The dirt road where I turned on was silent. Nothing but me, Zoey, and the deer. The morning was gorgeous. 30 degrees, crispy clear. The sun was not yet up but the sky was light. The cold air felt clean in my lungs. The road was a bit slick so I couldn't really push the pace, but that is fine. I am still hesistant to push too hard quite yet. I want to make sure my injury really is healed before I push hard.
Zoey and I made our way up to the turn around point, simply enjoying the solitude of the morning. She was zigzagging, smelling the new smells and relishing in the feeling of being outdoors. (As a side note, she is the most fun dog to run with. Whenever I am struggling through a run, I look at Zoey and focus on her complete unbridled happiness. It always makes me feel better.) Yesterday I felt great. My glute / hammy twinged a few times but that was it. Otherwise I didn't even notice it. My legs felt good, my stride felt short due to the ice but otherwise good. The air and the quiet and the mountains...it was good to be back to running.
This morning I got a text from my good friend, The Marathoner. She reminded me that last year on this weekend, I had just finished the Tucson Half Marathon and she was in the middle of the Tucson Marathon. Crazy to think about now. After nursing this injury for so long, it is hard for me to imagine training for another half. I am sure I will run another one, but not in the near future. Right now, I am happy just to be able to run.
|Posted on November 29, 2015 at 6:15 PM||comments ()|
Happy Thanksgiving! We went to the coast of Oregon to spend the holiday with my husband's mom. There was a gaggle of us: me, my husband, my mom, my aunt and uncle, their dog Nora, Zoey, and my mother-in-law. We had so much fun. We hiked and shopped and saw the sights. The weather was outstanding. We had planned on rain the entire time we were there because, come on, we are at the Oregon coast. We did have rain a few nights, but the days were sunny and gorgeous. The first morning there as I was running with Zoey on the beach... yes, that's right. I was RUNNING!
After my self-imposed six week hiatus from running to let my hammy / glute injury heal, I did my first run on the beach with Zoey and her cousin Nora. I was so excited. The night before, I told Zoey that we would run in the morning. She looked at me and wagged. Morning arrived. I put on my running tights. Zoey came into the closet. I put on my running shirt. Zoey started wagging her tail. I put on my running belt. Zoey perked up her ears. I put on my running shoes. Zoey started dancing. We walked out the door and down to the beach. It was cool, cloudy, big surf and miles of beach in either direction. I took a few hesitant steps, going slowly at first. Zoey and Nora were racing around the beach, towards the ocean and away from it, back to me and then off in front. I picked up speed slowly, letting my muscles stretch and warm and my joints loosen. Soon I fell into my natural rhythm, slower than I had been running before I took my break but still moving along steadily. I watched the waves, the seagulls, Zoey and Nora racing around. I was nervous about my hammy / glute. I was afraid I would undo all the progress that I had made with the rolfer over the past six weeks. I did feel a few twinges, but nothing bad. For the most part it felt marvelous. My plan was to do three miles, but it felt so good that I did four.
The next day I ran a faster paced three miles, and realized at the end of the run that my hammy / glute did not hurt AT ALL. No pain. The entire time that I was running, not only did I not feel it, I didn't even think about it. I did another four mile run and another three mile run while we were there and felt great through all of them. My pace is not where it was before the break but that's ok. It will come. My hammy / glute still twinges if I stretch too far, but I can now run pain free. It no longer aches constantly. I can sit and stand without pain. I can walk without pain. And now, finally, after six weeks of rest and lots of rolfing, I can RUN without pain. As challenging as the six weeks of rest were, I am glad I held strong to the end. Running on the beach with Zoey was the perfect way to return.
|Posted on November 5, 2015 at 7:00 PM||comments ()|
A client of mine said to me the other day, "Could all my stress be making me exhausted?" I answered, "Of course!" Stress wreaks havoc on the body in many many ways. I am sure we have all had sleepless nights from time to time due to stress. I have seen stress give people rashes or hives. I have seen stress prevent weight loss and even cause weight gain. I have seen stress cause people to cry, give them horrible headaches, make them cranky and depressed, cause them to overeat or undereat. Stress is a crazy thing.
The funny thing about stress is that most of the things that keep us awake at night are things we can't control. We can't control the weather. We can't control other people's actions or decisions. We can't control what our boss is thinking or what our co-workers are doing. Try as we might, many times we can't control our children, especially as they become adults. That doesn't mean we don't stress about these things.
My opinion about stress is this: Change the things that I can and let go of the things that I can't. It is a great theory but challenging to put into practice. If I find myself worrying about something, I try to take a step back from it and view it objectively. Is it something over which I have control? If so, I try to take steps to change the situation. The change may not happen right away, or sometimes at all, but if I am actively taking steps to make the situation better, I always feel better. For example, before the football tournament this year I was a little concerned about my body and how it would hold up. I wasn't losing sleep over it, but it was a valid concern of mine. Rather than just worrying about it until the day of the tournament, I put myself through extra drills and agility training so my body would be ready for the demands of tournament day. Putting in the extra work took away the concern and I felt great, not only for the tournament day but also the days afterward.
If I am stressed about something that I have no control over, I really try to let it go. A few years ago I was dealing with a lot of stress regarding something that was out of my control. A good friend of mine said to me, "You have to let this go. The stress and anger that you feel about this is only affecting you. It is not affecting anyone else. Let it go." That really stuck with me. I see it happen all the time now. We find ourselves upset with a co-worker or family member or boss, and we get so angry and frustrated and stressed that we start to have physical symptoms like headaches and sleep loss. Yet, the person we are angry with is fine. No stress. No sleep loss. No headaches. Our anger is only affecting us, not them. So let it go. Meditate. Take some deep breaths. Focus on calming words. Repeat to yourself that by holding onto the stress you are only hurting yourself. So let it go.
We all have stress. It is a part of life. It also takes practice to deal with stress in a healthy way. Change things, or let it go. It truly is as simple as that.
|Posted on October 29, 2015 at 1:10 PM||comments ()|
I am two and a half weeks into a self-imposed hiatus from running. I have a hamstring/glute injury that is not getting any better and I need to let it heal. I remember exactly when and where the injury occurred. It was two years ago on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. The morning was cold and rainy with thunder and lightening booming through the canyon. We had some big rapids to run that day so I decided to ride in my husband's cat boat rather than paddle my kayak. His boat was not really set up for passengers so I had to sit in kind of a modified runner's stretch in order to keep my knees out of the way of his rowing. We were in the middle of a big rapid and hit a HUGE wave that stalled the boat for a brief moment. The momentum of going forward and then suddenly stopping was too much for my stretched-out glute/hammy, and I heard a loud POP followed by a sharp stabbing pain. “Uh-oh,” I thought, but we were on the Colorado so what could I do? My leg was sore for quite a few days and then started to feel a little better.
Since then, my glute/hammy has felt worse and worse. This past summer I was in chronic pain, and running just made it worse. It just ached all the time, regardless of what I was or wasn't doing. I tried massage, stretching, physical therapy, chiropractic, and cranial-sacral therapy. Nothing helped. My cranial-sacral therapist recommended a technique called rolfing. Rolfing is basically a super deep, unbelievably painful massage that is meant to break up scar tissue and release fascial adhesions. Why not? I like pain. So I went to the rolfer.
It was 90 minutes of the most brutal, intense pain I have ever experienced. I have never given birth, but I think this could compare. I yelled. I laughed so I wouldn't cry. I cringed and squirmed and grimaced and cursed and tried my best to breathe through it all. Just when I was near my limit, the rolfer would ease up just enough to let me catch my breath and relax, and then he would start in again. When the 90 minutes were over, I felt like my leg had been beaten with a baseball bat. I knew I would wake up the next day bruised and sore and swollen. I told the rolfer as much with colorful language and a lot of gestures. He just smiled and said, “See you soon.”
I woke up the next morning, anticipating the soreness and bruising that I was sure I would have. I got up, walked into the bathroom, and for the first time in two years noticed that I was PAIN FREE. Pain free!! Not only was I not bruised or sore or swollen, but my glute/hammy had NO PAIN!!! I was amazed. I was impressed. I was ready to worship at the alter of rolf. I promptly laced up my running shoes and headed out the door, only to quickly undo everything that the rolfer had done.
This cycle of rolfing and running continued for about four weeks, culminating in the flag football tournament. I knew I would push my leg to the limit during the tourney so went to see the rolfer the day before. It worked. I made it through three back to back games with no major pain event. The next day, however, was a different story. I vowed on that day to take four weeks off of running and get this thing healed up.
I saw the rolfer last week and I think he got me back to where I was before the football tourney. I am back to the chronic dull ache. I am realizing that my four week hiatus will be more like six weeks. My goal is to be running by Thanksgiving. It's been hard. This is my favorite time of year to run. When I walk into the gym in the morning to do the elliptical or ride the spin bike, I always stop in the parking lot and look up at the sky. I miss it. I miss running. I miss everything about it. I love the solitude in the early morning. I love the quiet; the only sounds are my feet and my breath and Zoey's little tags jingling softly. I miss the moon and the stars. I miss sweating in the fresh cold air. I miss the bonding time with Zoey, just the two of us running side by side. I would be lying if I said I haven't been tempted. The voice in my head says, “Just do it. Zoey wants to go. It's perfect outside. You can't do any more damage than you have already done. Just do it.” Then the voice of reason, calmly and softly, says, “Don't be an idiot.” I am trying hard not to be an idiot. I keep focusing on the big picture. If I can take six weeks off of running and then run pain free forever, I will do it.
So I will see the rolfer tomorrow. I will grit my teeth and yell and curse, and I will feel so much better when the session is over. I am sure he can fix my leg. I had a dream a few weeks ago that I could do a seated forward fold with no pain. I think it was a premonition. With rest and rolf, I will get there. Don't be an idiot. Big picture. Don't be an idiot. Big picture...
|Posted on October 15, 2015 at 6:55 PM||comments ()|
In my seventh grade English class, our teacher would have us do "free writing" every Friday. It was our time to write about anything we wanted. She didn't grade content or spelling or punctuation. All she was looking for were words on the page. They could say anything. She didn't care. She just wanted us to write freely. Often times, my classmates would complain about not knowing what to write or not having anything to write. Her reply was always the same. She would say, "Just start writing. Write one word over and over, or one sentence over and over. Once you start writing, the words will come."
Lately, I have been experiencing a bit of a writer's block. Every time I sit down to update my blog, my mind just goes blank. It has been many weeks now and I have written nothing. So, taking my seventh grade English teachers' words to heart, I decided that it is time I just sit down and write anything that comes to mind. Here we go...
Sometimes I say to my husband, "I want to be reincarnated as one of my cats." He always replies, "How is that supposed to work?" Well, I don't know. I am sure in some parallel universe, time space continuum there is a way that I can come back as one of my cats, living here in Darby (or a parallel universe Darby) and owned by me (clearly a parallel universe me) and lead the life of one of my cats. My cat name would be Heather (although I don't have, nor have ever had, a cat named Heather). I would spend my days lounging in the yard in the sun or out in the field hunting mice. When I felt like I was deserving of a nap, I would make my way through the kitty door, into the house, up onto the bed, and snuggle up into my little kitty bed for a nice long nap. When I woke up from my 13 hour nap, I would casually stroll into the living room and barf up the half digested mouse that I had eaten earlier all over the carpet. Then I would go back outside and nap in the warm sun until dusk, when I would do more hunting in the pasture. At about 1:00 in the morning I would make my way back inside, hop up on the bed, and snuggle under the comforter for a nice long slumber, purring contentedly the entire time. Doesn't that sound lovely? I sure think so...
And speaking of wine, I love it. I actually remember the first time I tasted wine. I was on Christmas vacation from college and had gone to stay with my brother for a few days before we both went to our parents' house. My first night at my brother's house, we made a delicious dinner and he poured me a glass of Cabernet. I was used to drinking Midori sours and Zima with Jolly Ranchers at college, so when I took my first sip of wine I nearly gagged. "This tastes awful!" I said to my brother. He looked at me, straight faced, and replied, "It's an acquired taste. Keep drinking it. You WILL like wine." Since my bro was then and still is my hero and role model, I did what he said and kept drinking. I made it through the first glass and asked for a refill. Halfway through the second glass I was sold. I've never looked back. I love wine. I love everything about it. I love the bottles, the labels, the process of opening the wine with a corkscrew, the POP when the cork comes out. I love pouring the wine into the glass and seeing the color and smelling the aroma. I love the first sip, whether it's a new wine I've never tasted or a wine I buy regularly. I love savoring every drop, and I am always sad when my glass is empty. The only drawback to wine is the alcohol. Or maybe it's a good thing. If wine could taste like wine and not have alcohol I would probably drink it all day every day. So I guess it's good that it does have alcohol and I have to limit my consumption. Wine without alcohol is basically grape juice, and I don't really like grape juice. Maybe that's an acquired taste too. My bro never told me I had to like grape juice. I think I will just stick with my wine. It is the best ending to every day.
I think my seventh grade English teacher was right...
|Posted on September 19, 2015 at 8:15 PM||comments ()|
This is my favorite time of year. There, I said it. I feel confident in saying it, too. I guarantee that I will say it again this winter when we get a big dump of snow, and next spring when the temperature starts to warm and the valley turns brilliant green, and again next summer when the days last forever and the nights are over in the blink of an eye. On this day, right now, this is my favorite time of year. I can feel things slowing down. The days are getting shorter. The temperatures are cooling. The garden is winding down. There is not the sense of urgency that I feel a lot of times in the summer. Even the bugs are slowing down. This morning I was in the garden harvesting tomatoes. It was still pretty chilly so I had on a dark blue sweatshirt. As I was picking tomatoes, a honey bee flew in and landed on the sleeve of my sweatshirt. I am sure my dark blue sleeve was nice and warm from the sun. I stopped picking and just watched the little bee. He rubbed his head, rubbed his legs together, fluffed his wings, and then just seemed to sit there, doing nothing, enjoying the warmth of the sun on the chilly morning. Eventually he slowly flew away. That is kind of how I feel around this time of year. Take time to be outside, don't rush, and just enjoy the warmth of the sun.
With these thoughts in mind, I went for a ride this afternoon. What a gorgeous day! I headed north from my driveway, spinning easily to let my legs warm up. As I was riding through town I noticed a man parked across from the post office, sitting in a big cowboy truck and wearing a big cowboy hat. As I pedaled closer, his arm extended out the window. He was clutching a bottle of water and waving it back and forth, offering it to me. I laughed out loud as I pedaled by, giving him a thumbs up to say thanks, even though I did not take the bottle. I continued north, turning onto Old Darby Road. Out of the irrigation ditch rose a big blue heron. It flew with me for a little while before turning off and landing in a pasture. On I went, heading north to Lost Horse. As I glanced down to look at my speed, I was delighted to see that it was over 20 mph. I didn't feel like I was working hard at all. I noticed the leaves blowing but couldn't feel the wind, so assumed it was at my back and pedaled on. As I crested the hill on Lost Horse Road, the cows in the pasture alongside the road all trotted over to the fence to watch me as I rode by. I could almost hear them saying, "Hello! Glad to see you out enjoying this lovely day." I continued on up Lost Horse to the end of the pavement, then turned around and retraced my steps home. I was again delighted to see my speed over 20 mph without feeling like I was working too hard. Back on Old Darby Road, I sat up to stretch my neck and shoulders. It felt so good to sit up that I stayed that way. I sat up, all the way up, "look mom no hands" up, and pedaled along, just soaking in the glorious day. Like the honey bee on my sweatshirt sleeve, I slowed down, sat up, and just enjoyed the sunshine.
When I got home, I went in the back yard in the sun and stretched. As I was stretching, I was thinking of all the things I needed to. Unload the dishwasher, put Zoey's bed back together, shell the beans, fold the laundry. When I finished stretching, I laid down in the grass and didn't do anything. I just laid there. I watched the clouds move across the sky, the chickens scratch in the flower beds, the deer slowly grazing across the pasture. Because that's the kind of day it was.
This is my favorite time of year. Spectacular.
|Posted on September 14, 2015 at 4:40 PM||comments ()|
"Keep your eyes open for a bear. We've been seeing one hanging around the cabin lately." These were the words of a friend of mine that was letting us stay at his lake cabin this past weekend. I was hopeful to see this bear, so as we loaded up the truck, the boat, and Zoey, and headed up to the cabin, I kept my eyes peeled.
We arrived at the cabin mid-afternoon on Friday and my hubby was anxious to get his boat on the water and do some fishing. It was a perfectly gorgeous day, so I thought I might as well join him. The water was glassy. The sky was blue. The sun was warm. I boarded the boat armed with a book, excited to spend some time relaxing in the sun and reading. As the minutes passed into hours, I realized that, surprise surprise, I am not one to sit still and read. I became fidgety, sighing, changing positions, moving around and getting in the way of my hubby's fishing activities. Finally he offered to take me to shore. YES!! I quickly agreed, so we went to shore and set about unpacking and making dinner. The evening passed quietly, the only noises those of chipmunks, birds, and the sound of Zoey launching herself off of the dock and cannon-balling into the lake to retrieve the tennis ball we were throwing for her.
Saturday we were up with the sun. After being trapped in a truck and then in a fishing boat the day before, I had energy to burn. Zoey and I took off up the road for a run. I had my eyes peeled for any bear sightings, and as soon as we got to the main dirt road Zoey had her hackles up and was on high alert, constantly looking in to the forest to our right. Her being on high alert made me on high alert. We continued up the road, both on high alert. As we rounded a corner in the road, there, ahead of us, in the middle of the road, was...a little fox. Super cute little guy. It trotted quickly into the brush and we continued on our way. When we got back to the house, we headed down to the lake. Hubby's plan was to fish all day. I knew that wouldn't work for me, so I pulled out the lake kayak and paddled around with him for a while. I was supposed to help him look for pike. The only pikes I know are the kind performed to strengthen the ab muscles, but I assume what he was looking for was some kind of fish. So I pretended to peer into the water, eyes peeled for this so-called pike. Maybe I should have been looking for a fish doing ab work. Either way, I didn't see anything. We eventually went to a beach and had a little picnic lunch while Zoey fetched sticks from the lake. After lunch, Hubby set off to fish more, and I paddled up a little inlet. As I rounded a corner and came to a clearing in the dense brush on shore, there, in the clearing, was...a mama whitetail with twins. Very cute. I watched them for a little while and then paddled on my way. As the sun made it's way across the sky, we headed back to the cabin and settled in for the evening.
Sunday we were up with the sun again. Again, Hubby's plan was to fish all day. I did go out with him on the boat for a little while, again armed with a book. I mostly took in the beautiful scenery of the early morning peace on the lake. After a while, we went back to the cabin. On a whim, I had decided to bring Shelly Schwinn mountain bike, so I loaded her into the boat and Hubby motored me across the lake to a public launching area. He was going to continue fishing, so I thought I would take Shelly out on the fabulous dirt roads around the lake, get a little exercise, and maybe see the infamous bear. As I pedaled on the smooth dirt road, I could feel the mountain biking gods shaking their heads in disgust. "Poor Shelly. She is not being used to her full potential. She must be bored stiff riding those dirt roads," the mountain biking gods were saying. Well, too bad. I was having a blast! The road was continuously up and down so I was getting a great workout. The scenery was breathtaking. As I pedaled, I could feel Shelly relaxing into her new role as a dirt road bike, not a mountain bike. Shelly and I made our way, the road getting rougher and narrower as we pedaled deeper and deeper into the wilderness. I knew I would see the bear any moment now. We crested a hill and there, in the clearing of a large grassy meadow was...a gigantic house and two huge barns. I guess we were not as deep in the wilderness as I thought. I continued on around the lake, 20 miles in all. It was a great ride, and Shelly and I reached a level of understanding on her new role.
Monday morning we rose with the sun. I looked out the bedroom window and said, "Look! Look out the window!" There standing a few feet off the edge of the deck was...a large fox. It was beautiful. Huge fluffy tail and sleek coat. It was slowly making it's way up the hillside. We watched it for a while and then got packed up and ready to head home.
It was a fabulous weekend. The weather was perfect, the sun was warm, and we loved just being out in nature. I never did see that silly bear. I guess that means I have to go back again...
|Posted on September 9, 2015 at 6:30 PM||comments ()|
Today on my ride, as I was taking in the absolutely perfect weather, I started thinking about something my husband had said to me a few weeks ago. It was at the height of the smoke storm that choked the valley. I, like most people, had been whining and complaining about the smoke and how sick of it I was getting. Apparently I had complained a bit too much, so one evening in the midst of my whining my husband said to me, "Get over it or get out of it." That statement made me pause and think. I could go somewhere to get out of the smoke. Or I could stop whining about it, accept it, and know that it would go away soon. I chose the latter option and just sucked it up for a few more days. Sure enough, the temperatures cooled, the valley got some rain, and the smoke is nothing but a distant memory.
A good friend of mine told me about when he first moved to the valley cyclists were few and far between. My friend, being a cyclist, felt like a fish out of water. He felt a general lack of acceptance towards cyclists. He was faced with a choice: Get over it or get out of it. Ride anyway, despite the malaise, or stop riding. He kept riding. Now there are more cyclists in the valley than ever before. On our group rides, we actually count the number of friendly, unsolicited waves from motorists (motorists that wave at us before we have waved at them). The number is usually in the double digits. Most of the waves are full, open handed, side to side moving waves. We do get some hand-on-the-steering-wheel-fingers-extended waves. We also get the occassional one finger wave (not the middle finger malicious wave, the index finger "Hi how are you" wave). On my ride today I got a wave that made me chuckle. The driver had his hands at approximately 11:00 and 1:00 on the steering wheel, and lifted both index fingers to wave as he went by. The effect was that it appeared as though his steering wheel had spotaneously sprouted horns. Anyway, it made me smile, but I digress. The point I am making here is that if we all would have stopped cycling here because of the lack of acceptance, we would be missing out. We would miss participating in a sport that we love. We would miss the comeraderie of our fellow cyclists. We would miss seeing the spectacular scenery of the valley from our bicycles. And we would miss tons and tons of waves! Facing the choice of "Get over it or get out of it," I am glad we all chose to get over it.
This statement can apply to so many other facets of life, whether it be a job, relationship, living situation, health, or financial standing. We always have a choice. Get over it or get out of it. Sometimes, even when we want to get out of it, circumstances prevent us. Even then, we have a choice. We can mope about the bad hand that we have been dealt, or we can find ways to make the best out of the situation (although complaining at times can't be all bad...it led to my husband's highly insightful comment).
The next time you are facing a choice, just remember: Get over it or get out of it. You never know how many friendly waves you could be missing.