Veg and I found this magical place after hearing about it from friends. There are three different spots you can hike to and we did all of them so that we could see the whole waterfall.
We also sat down and had a nice snack at the base of the falls while taking a break and feeling the cool mist. It was pretty awesome.
Now, when I say hike, I actually mean: "climb down rocks on my bum so I didn't crack my head" But I did discover that the Vegkid is part mountain lion and part gazelle the way he could maneuver that terrain!
Turned out to be a beautiful day and certainly one for the memory books.
For those of you that have been around a while, you know that my hubs isn't the best gift giver on the planet.
So I thought when he showed up for my birthday with this rose, some kudos were do. You see, I don't like flowers as gifts. He knows this because I don't like the smell. Well, and they die... There is that too.
But he found this orange rose that he thought looked like a happy flower. And he said, a happy flower should be mine on my birthday. He also said that he'd never seen an orange rose before and therefore it was weird, just like me!
I'll take that as a compliment.
Since I have been eating Veg, I've taken my blood work numbers pretty seriously. Granted I don't go to the doctor often, in fact I haven't had a check-up in three years. However, I decided that being a female, I should probably go get that business over with for another three years. Of course, if I'm going to be there than I'm going to get some blood work too.
In my brain, the blood doesn't lie and when things are a little off, it is your bodies way of telling you that change is needed. The only thing I've had "off" in the past 15+ years was Vitamin D. So I found a vegan supplement to take sporadically in the winter along with using some magnesium oil as muscle relief after strong workouts. Then upped my beneficial sun exposure patterns in the summer.
Well my Vitamin D numbers were perfect this time. Woot!!! My plan has worked.
Since starting a strength training regimen, my Good Cholesterol went up while my bad cholesterol went down, keeping me in the better than perfect total range (still) and taking away the myth that Veg eaters have too low HDL. Turns out it was the exercise shift that upped my HDL (although it wasn't bad in the first place) and had nothing to do with what I eat. But even better is that I've been told my whole life that high cholesterol ran in my family and that I couldn't change the outcome without medication... well yeah, I can! And I did, 15+ years ago.
My iron is also better than perfect and is another myth buster to check off the list.
Iron is one of those things that people generally think Veg eaters are deficient in. Truth be told, I know more meat eater friends that are deficient than veg eaters. Same goes with B12! These aren't Veg only conditions. Some people just don't absorb properly or don't eat the right things to help with absorption. Thankfully, I don't have to worry about it!
My inflammation markers, sugars, fluids, white blood cells, thyroid and hormones were all Great!
In fact the lady I spoke with said she rarely sees anyone with those results let alone a "Vegetarian"....
Obviously this all makes me happy. Not only because the numbers are good but because I hit another birthday. At 42, I feel more alive than I did at 20. To see the blood work show consistent results each time, says that I'm doing the right things for MY BODY even as I age.
Why am I posting this here? Because as a busy Vegmom, I'm here to say that we DO have it within our power to change the way we feel. We CAN change what the numbers say and that genetics don't have to be our demise. 20 years ago, my numbers were very different and it makes me wonder where I would be now or if I'd even be alive had I continued on that path.
That doesn't mean that everyone will feel or react the same to any diet or exercise shift. But it says that I'm doing the right things to age in a way that feels great for me. That my body is happy with how I fuel it and no changes are necessary.
All the naysayers, "can't build muscle" ranters, jokesters, "But it is hereditary" Claimers are on their own journey. And I am on mine!
Muscles or not, the numbers don't lie!
Have you had your numbers checked lately?
The hubs said he wanted a new TV. I told him that we'll add that to my "Ship comes in" list.
He then requested a riding mower that actually runs. I added a screened in porch, windows that open and a garden in a spot that grows. Our list continued to build with all of the things we would like to have some day.
And I said, "When my ship comes in, I'll make sure that all of this stuff is purchased first"
Then Veg chimes in from the peanut gallery:
"Mom, I didn't know you were getting a ship and where will the TV go?"
Yeah, never mind! (Ha, I love that kid)
The hubs did something miraculous and incredibly out of character for Mother's Day this year.
Not only did he get me something, but he pre-planned, pre-paid, had it delivered and didn't say a word.
Made me want to ask if he was feeling OK. The funniest part however, is he picked the toppings that he would like.
I'm a dark chocolate no frills kind of Gal. These were beautiful but certainly had frills. Thankfully he "helped" me eat the ones that weren't my cup of tea.
So yeah, we've been married for 24yrs and he may not know what kind of chocolate I like but he definitely surprised me. So I have to give him some strawberry kudos with a proud wife sticker on top!
Do you like chocolate covered strawberries? What is your favorite kind?
In all the CF events that I have competed in locally, I've come in pretty close to last if not last. Nationally, I tend to fall in the middle of the global community and get a little better each year. But when our box puts on an event, I'm pretty close to the bottom. Most of the time, I'm out of my league but attempt the workouts anyway. I finish, don't give up, and keep pushing. My plan is not to win against anyone but myself and with each event, I see progress! Progress is GOOD!
For many of them, my goal is to just not finish last, and sometimes that goal is achieved. Well last week, I competed and decided to raise my standards for myself. My plan was to get in the top five. In order to active that plan, EIGHT people would have had to not show up. I put out a request the night before, telling all of my friends that it would be a beautiful day for a hike and maybe they should do that instead.
If only five people showed up, there was a possibility that I would make it in to the top five! <yup, I'm THAT bad>
Well Everyone showed up including people from other boxes. It was a big deal with a LOT of people. I didn't finish last but let's just say I was far from the top five. And so when this week's competition popped up and the coach offered to add a Master's division for 5 people, I was all over that one.
Five people means I'm top five by default. <Yeah, I'm really THAT bad> Top five means I get an extra shot in the bonus round to move up in the ranks. Sign - ME - UP!
And then...a note came saying they didn't get enough interest, so all of us masters would fall in to the regular divisions based on skill set. Phooey!!
Well today was that competition, and it was honestly the best one I've ever done. The people were amazing and the WODs were so fun. They were all things I could do, and I was able to push myself for speed.
**Note** Even pushing myself for speed is kind of like a turtle deciding to run... through glue...
But, I did it, and had a complete blast!! I put everything out there, kept moving, didn't stop and didn't give up. It was probably one of the best Comp days for me by way of performance!
After the first WOD, I was in third place... WHAT???
By the second WOD, I was in fifth place... YES Top FIVE!
The last WOD was divided in to three scores and would make or break the placements on the Leaderboard.
Some how, some way, I ended up Fourth overall. BUT, so did two other people. YES, a three way tie for fourth place. What are the odds of something like that occurring on the first event that I made the "Top Five"?
This means that technically, I made it in the top Five but guess what? There was no bonus round in this event, so it didn't really apply to anything except saying I wasn't last nor next to last. And to sit in 4th place with those ladies was such an honor.
One of them is fast as lightening and took the running WOD by storm. The other is strong as an Ox and lifted super heavy when required. I'm neither and somehow managed to get the same exact amount of points as them overall.
However, out of all the ladies on that board in my division, only two of us were masters (over 40). And so for us to sit in the top five with all the younger athletes, I'm not going to complain. The funniest part is that both of us that were over 40 were in 4th place. Which technically means we were tied for first place in the pretend masters division that didn't happen.
So there ya go! The last competition of a very long season and I placed first at something... (well, sorta kinda but not really) My goal this year was to improve from last year and that definitely happened! We had way more events this year so just finishing all of them was a PR. (personal record)
Our competition season is over for a bit and I'll have to decide if I want to do this stuff again in the fall. But for now, it is just normal workouts and a little bit of running. I need to start running again, so I shall.
I kind of feel like the little engine that could... I think I can I think I can I think I can......
Wednesday was a little bit of a crazy day for me, starting out on Television... Whoop.. Step Back... Let me explain..
I was scheduled to teach a workshop in the evening on Wednesday. Well, at some point on Tuesday while out on a field waiting for Vegkid's school olympics to start, I got a text asking if I could be at a TV Studio the next morning to promote the workshop.
"Ummm... Sure, I suppose"
And then I freaked out just a little bit. Me ON TV, what would I say? How should I look? Would I make a fool of myself while representing the gym where the workshop was to be held?
In the coaching world we call that STINKIN' THINKIN'! And man did I have it... ALL - NIGHT - LONG!
After all, I have trouble with my words on a good day let alone in front of LIVE TV at 7am.. Sure I can host workshops, train, coach and teach. But behind a camera and on LIVE Television... There are no Do-Overs! No chance to fix the way you look or adjust something that you said. Once it is out there.. Yeah.. it is out there!
Yet on my vision board, there is a note that says "BE ON TV".... I was! Now I can remove that from the vision board and make room for something else.
As for being on TV... Yeah, I ended up appearing directly after the new donut shop story and the weatherman chanting: "Mmmm Bacon Maple Donuts".. It was classic. As in the perfect moment that I couldn't have planned better if I had done it myself. I didn't totally freeze and feel like I answered the questions well. However I did look like a fool swallowed by a giant couch, but that is OK... Much respect to those that do that kind of thing for a living.
Moving on... I mentioned it was a crazy day.. First the morning news, then a crazy gym workout to clear my head and then off to my old stomping ground.
I had to drop something off to a friend that still works at the building I used to work at. It didn't dawn on me until I walked up to the building that it had been almost three years since I'd been there last.
In fact it had been Exactly THREE years since my first Earthfest Booth. It had been three years since I decided my career was officially going to change.
The Stinkin Thinkin started to flow in to my head as I pulled in to that parking spot:
"Wow, I should have so many more clients if I've been doing this for three years"
"I should have a better plan by now, completed more, found my secret sauce"
"After three years, it should be easier. I shouldn't be running around like crazy, representing other businesses instead of my own, and I should have a better focus, a better vision"
Then the other side of my brain popped in to action (the part that I actually choose to listen to):
"OH My KALE... be quiet mean brain! Look at all you HAVE accomplished and all the people whose lives have changed in just three years, and only because you decided to do this for a living. Thousands of people through classes, workshops, articles, personal coaching, groups and challenges have been touched by your words. Look at all the success stories, the happiness spread, the confidence built."
"In three years, you went from a person who has never lifted 10 pounds to competing in strength competitions and now training youth athletes. Heck you have a medal that says "Badass" on it, so it must be true"
"In three years, you've created friendships that will last a life time, lost friends, buried your mom, her husband, two other relatives, and two treasured pups. You dealt with your husband not working to finding himself again and started a new company with nothing but a passion to make a difference in people's lives."
"In three years, you've recreated who you are capable of being, lost weight, became stronger, lead by example, finished school, completed extra courses, got three certifications, created processes, inspired others, and continued to raise a young man in to the adult that he will become"
"In three years, people have invited you in to their homes, businesses, and lives to assist in the changes that they were ready to make. You have provided advice to hundreds of other coaches, been asked to appear as a guest on calls and webinars, created online programs, and built a new inner voice that has found her happy!
On Tuesday while sitting on the field waiting for VegKid's School Olympics to start and after I received the text to be on the morning news; another Mom asked me this question:
"I'm thinking of starting my own business so I can leave my corporate job. Looking back, do you regret making that decision?"
And I replied with certainty:
On Wednesday night, I had the opportunity to visit with a two times cancer thriver that I'm coaching toward her wellness journey. She had hope! For the first time in 20yrs, she was taking care of her self, had a pep in her step and was feeling amazing. She had light in her eyes again and a plan to live her life on her terms. She found her Happy!!
That, THAT is why I do what I do. It is why I did what I did. It is why three years later, I wouldn't change a thing!
My Wednesday was a Crazy Day! one of reflection, mental clarity, facing fear. It started with a Morning News segment, and ended with a workshop at a gym across town.
In between; I worked with clients, helped people at the gym, spent time with my son, planned my talk, and visited my old stomping ground to drop off some auction papers to a friend.
That is when I realized it had ONLY been THREE years since I started my new career path!
Three Years that I wouldn't trade for anything and a career path that is still winding. A path that may never come with a map, has no destination but that I will follow anyways.
That corporate job may have brought me to a curve in the road but that curve brought me to place within myself that I never thought possible or even dreamed of. It allowed me to start a company with nothing but a passion to create change in people's lives.
From here, anything is possible!
Oh my Kale, how has it been so long since I last posted here?
Well it has certainly been a wonderful yet busy start to 2015, with new coaching jobs, renewed clients, youth fitness events, groups, meetings, birthday celebrations, new certifications, training, competitions, volunteering, family, and book writing.
But most of all; I've had time to reflect, rest, and begin the process in recreating what I'd like my company, my brand, and my own life to bring in to this world. So much to share but so little time.
Here is a tiny little piece of our month in pictures... More to follow!
We've had Ice:
A lot - A LOT of ice..
A lot - A LOT of snow:
Sledding at home and tubing in Georgia brought adventures to the homestead:
My First Masters Competition:
And a whole lot of awesome food:
Working at several gyms, while also doing my own workouts, training for competitions, and being a Mom on the go all the time would definitely take its toll if I made constantly poor food choices. In order to make sure I'm eating enough, while getting the RIGHT foods, I've been stocking my fridge.
Nothing makes me happier in the kitchen than a giant bowl of salad.
What is coming up next in the Veg house?
I'm even looking in to hosting retreats and growing the FIH message in a huge way. With my schedule crazy and Veg getting older, why not make this the perfect time to kick things up a notch. <she says with a grin>
Speaking of the Vegkid, he's closer to being a teenager and man is he showing it. Goodness!! His teacher has been amazing this year and has really challenged him though. He is preparing for a big event at school along with a three day camping/hiking trip with his class. Then it will be Spring break already.
Life sure does move fast. I'm just glad that I've taken the time to really look around and enjoy it. One of my favorite days this past week was a snow day with nowhere to be. At some point, I just laid in the snow and listened to the silence.
It doesn't have to be a snow day but if you're reading this, make sure you take time to enjoy this life. We only get one shot, so make it good *smile*
So Far 2015 has been an Amazing year and so that has become my theme for the whole 365 days!
Last year brought with it challenges, growth and a ton of new things. This year however is kicking the goodness up a notch and Amazing GREAT things are in store. I can feel it with every inch of my being.
This first week has brought with it two games of golf with my young man, a fun crafty night with a friend, a completed CF competition (sorta), a gorgeous full moon, creative resources for my business, delicious food, a last minute New Year's Eve ball drop, a great CF workout, some new friends, awesome business meetings, great client calls and a new job at two more gyms starting this week.
I could have never planned this life for myself and I just love watching it all unfold.
With that I shall say Happy New Year to you and yours. I hope your 2015 is full of health, wellness, happiness and amazing!!
Saturday morning I decided to take the Vegkid for an adventure day. He was not so keen on the idea and eventually agreed to go. By then his dad was awake and wanted to come with us. Only problem was that it was later by now and I knew we would hit quite a bit of traffic.
By the time we actually made it to our lunch destination near the touristy town, the child was feeling car sick because he didn't eat a good breakfast, we had found 19 different state license plates during a TWO mile long game, and the husband was completely agitated by the out of state drivers that were unsure where they were going.
Veg was super excited to show his dad how good he had gotten at an arcade game but upon arrival the game was out of order. And the restaurant we wanted to eat at had too long of a wait so we ended up somewhere else.
Which was perfectly OK. Lunch was deelish and the boys both calmed down and began to enjoy eachother's company for a bit. When Veg announces that he doesn't want to go to our intended mountain riding adventure. He said his stomach was still doing flippy turns from the extended drive and he was afraid he'd chuck his cookies if he want on a mountain ride. And so we walked around the center we were at. Visited some stores, got some fresh air and took a long extra pretty walk back to our car.
Then we left and began the drive home. Taking the scenic route to get us out of traffic we passed another mountain ride but the line of people was wrapped around the parking lot so we nixed the tourist attractions and kept driving through the mountains. Stopping at little old country stores and telling jokes with a whole bunch of laughter.
At the end of the mountain drive there is a turn off to the main road that takes us home and a whole host of cabin shaped stores and cafes. We pulled in since we've never been there only to discover that the cafe was closed, the play ground was gone, and the only stores open were a coffee shop that coudln't make coffee (machine was broke) and a couple of museum type boutiques.
Needless to say our day was full of unexpected turns and hilarious conversation but at some point the hubs said... "Do you realize we came all this way JUST to eat lunch"....
Well nooooo... "We actually came all this way for you to get off the Xbox for 5 minutes, the boy to get out of the house and us to spend some time together, in the end we had some pretty great laughs and that was worth the drive"
We realized that we couldn't exit the cabin place without taking a one way road around to the back of the complex and upon taking that corner we saw this in front of us:
It wasn't even raining and we saw the most beautiful rainbow. (the picture doesn't do justice)
I always say that seeing a Rainbow for me is my Mom sending a smile and boy did I need it... During the drive home, I spotted 7 more rainbows. SEVEN rainbows on a day with no rain...
The funniest thing is that we rarely drive that way home when we visit the mountains. And when we do, we have never ever stopped at that location nor would we have found ourselves delayed in the coffee shop with no coffee trying to find a bathroom to use. And we certainly wouldn't have ever driven around the back of those log cabins in the 20yrs we have lived here.
But yesterday we did, and there was a rainbow waiting for us. It was the most amazing feeling of warmth that I can't really explain. And a little reminder that everything is going to be OKAY!
First I posted about this crazy strength competition that I participated in. You can see that here!
Then I posted about the interesting chance encounter with a friend. You can see that here!
And now it is time to share the last hilarious detail of that day. Arm Wrestling!
Yes, I said Arm Wrestling!
The event after our strength competition was an Arm Wrestling one and we happened to be there in the same building. They had set up the table early for people to practice and a lot of our girls from the gym were pretending to arm wrestle when a man came up and said:
"Hey, there is $300 dollars on the line and we only have one female signed up for the competition today, if any of you want to compete against her, you could win $300"
Well our little fun at the table turned serious when we all tried to figure out how to arm wrestle properly. Every one of the ladies took me down so I decided not to enter. I knew if I didn't have a chance against them, I wouldn't have a chance against the master. But it was so fun!
Four of the ladies on our team said why the heck not? They signed up against the one lady that knew what she was doing.
Soon it was time for the Ref to announce the rules. DANG, who knew there were so many rules in arm wrestling. What seemed like an hour later, our girls were up. One by one the master took them down in seconds as if their arms were made of rubber. Until our strongest lady stepped up to the table and gave the master lady a run for her money. In fact she had to work so hard that she pulled her groin and hurt her shoulder but alas, she took the prize and all our girls took second, third, fourth and fifth.
Since they were the only females to compete, they all got metals and we had the best laugh out of it. Not sure I'd been that entertained in a long time.
As for the men? There seemed to be 100's and WOW did they have some gigantic arms. Pretty sure my entire body could find inside one of their arms. We didn't see them compete because it was time for lunch by then but I bet it was a great show.
And that rounds out the three part series of my Crazy Georgia Strength day.
And so that day that I ended up in the boonies of Georgia in a place that I'd never been for a competition that was totally outside of my comfort zone and something I never would have done any other time, something equally crazy happened.
<Cue insanely long run-on sentence>
I got down to the wire and registered at the last minute then attended and completed the competition. After our portion was over, the arm wrestling competition started (for another post) and several of our girls signed up for it. (Not me). Which lead to a delay in our lunch plans. As in a really long delay!
When it was time for lunch, I suggested our coach ask the event organizers for a good local spot to eat. Coach ended up asking for them to join us. Which was super exciting. Not only for their dining company but knowing the guy was Vegan I figured he would pick a great spot.
Turns out he picked a Mexican restaurant and told everyone where to go. I followed his truck so I didn't get lost and we ended up at a different Mexican place than half our group. It seems there were two near by with similar names. After much debate, it was decided to stay at the nicely decorated restaurant where we had parked and everyone else joined a few minutes later.
Upon waiting quite a bit for a table we ended up in the very back of the restaurant.
Note: The place was divided in to separate rooms so that if you were in one section, you may not see people in other sections.
Now, why is all of that important to this post? Because in this strange restaurant in a strange town that I wasn't even supposed to be at in the exact section also eating a very late meal was a vegan CrossFitting Facebook friend that I'd never met who'd also been in that distant town running a race that day and eating lunch with her friends.
<cue another very long sentence>
She recognized me amongst our big CrossFit group and came over to say HI!!!
Seriously, how cool is that???
Sometimes life is just supposed to happen and this was one of those reminders that every moment, every decision, every thought has a purpose.
Things are happening every minute of every day that we may not understand but they are as real as a chance meeting in an odd location.
Or was it chance at all? Hmmmm!
Each year that Veg asks for ornaments for advent, he always suggests that I make more than I purchase.
But some years, I purchase more than I make because I figure he would like them better. And because I run out of ideas. This year I decided to listen and make most of the 25, while only purchasing a few.
Pretty excited to have them all done and ready in their little church doors for his daily surprise.
Here are just a few or should I say, the ones I remembered to take pictures of.
While I didn't plan to get crafty this season, I'm pretty happy with a tiny ornament crafty Christmas after all.
His smile is worth it!
Last year'ish, a coach from the CF Box I go to said: "Hey, I know this guy. He's Veg like you and is taking contributors for his book about plant based athletes, you should contact him"
And so I did... Fast forward to my first real book experience and my mug on the cover next to some "real" athletes. The book provided donations to animal welfare groups and that was pretty darn cool.
Later I'd talk on the phone with this Veg athlete guy and we'd connect via social media which was great. Because by now he was on podcasts, videos, part of a plant based sponsored strength team and making quite the name for plant based performance. Which I completely support. He was also a coach, gym owner and kettlebell pro.
So when he and a friend put on a strength event, I was intrigued to give it a try.
Except one little caveat... I'm not strong. Nor at any point in my life would I call myself a badass and the little detail of never trying a five minute Max effort kettlebell WOD.
So I made a comment on the event's page that went something like this:
"Hey (insert name of another athlete that is strong) you should try this event"
Which followed with those I know saying:
"Oh great so we'll see you there" <directed at me>
What?? How did that happen?
Well a week or two before the event, I decided to sign up. It would be a nice drive, good weather and great people. How could I turn that down???
Which meant I had a week to learn the KB work, get a heavier deadlift and improve my strength at the top of a pull-up bar.
Going in to the KB workout, I'd never done more than a single minute's worth so five minutes seemed out of reach. Somehow, not only did I get the movement down but I pulled 91 of them. I also held the top of a pull-up for 44.6 seconds and let's just say my deadlift was pretty week at only 180#'s. But there was an audience and it was my first ever platform event.
Basically you are the only one up there and everyone is watching YOU!! Probably ranks up there with one of the most embarrassing things I've done. Completely out of my comfort zone and I even got a metal.
Last place of course but then what else is new. The words on this little charm make me laugh every time I see it!
The day was so incredibly fun!! More to share later.... Stay tuned!
I thought my child would have outgrown his advent ornament tree this year since he didn't want Silly Apple Pumpkin day either. But I was wrong.
And found out I was wrong the day before I was supposed to start the calendar. So I quickly went into action and made three paper craft ornaments that came out really cute for being last minute. But then decided I would follow my own book's advice this year and ask for help being that I had 22 ornaments still left to make.
So I asked the hubs if he would cut me a couple of wood medallions that I could turn in to ornaments. He said yes. I explained that I needed them quickly. He still said yes.
24hrs later there were no medallions so I took matters in to my own hands. I walked my happy butt in to the garage grabbed a wood stick and found a little hand-saw that looked just to be my size.
With the door cracked slightly so he was sure to hear me, I started sawing on that piece of wood....
"What the heck are you doing" I hear as he is running towards me like Speedy Gonzales. "That is a dry wall saw, you are going to dull my blade".
He takes the saw away, hangs it back up and walks back in to the house. Hmmm, OK then... "This should work".
I sat on the floor with his giant wood saw and started carving....
"What the heck are you doing now?" As he is running back in to the garage.
"I'm cutting this medallion for an ornament. You were too busy with your game so I'll take care of it. Think I have the right saw now"
"You aren't even doing it right" he balks "here give me that saw"
A few seconds later I had an ornament...
But the next day, I came home to all of those in the picture freshly cut to become ornaments of coolness.
Needless to say, asking for help didn't work so good... but....grabbing the wrong saw, worked perfectly. *smile*
November was full of firsts and it started with my first team competition and a 2hr drive through a snowy mountain.
This competition was like nothing I'd ever done before with stadium seating,1000's of people, fancy announcers, an athlete holding area and a great partner.
We called ourselves the Sweat Angels and had the best time. I was so worried about doing a partner competition because I've never had anyone counting on me to do well in the fitness realm and my teammate was way stronger and faster.
But when it was go time, we both discovered our strengths and weaknesses and I was able to hold my own. We came in 22nd overall but 10th in the hardest, last and longest programmed workout. It was soo fun being able to compete at that level, hold my own and watch everyone else from our gym kick booty.
It was such a great day and I'm very very happy that I didn't let my fears keep me from participating. As for the snowy mountain drive... It was beautiful but I was glad to be home safe!
Lesson learned: Don't let fear stand in the way of trying something new!
As my Veg Kid grows in to a Veg Teen, he is really beginning to utilize his powers of: "I will do what I want because I already know everything there is to know"
The thing is, that he has several years before becoming a teen, but I will say that I'm incredibly proud of the young man he has become. Even when his choices aren't optimal, and his testing boundaries are at full swing, he is still a free spirited, strong willed, intelligent and amazing young man that I couldn't be prouder to call my son. All that stubbornness will keep him on the right track someday when he is up against tough decisions but as a parent there is a fine line between allowing disrespect and squashing his spirit too. A line that I'm working very hard to stay balanced on.
However, along this journey of parenthood we have hit a snag. He is too old for crafts, no longer likes the childhood activities that we used to participate in and would be perfectly happy for 10hrs with a video game in hand. Sadly his Dad continues to play video games too which makes my pull to the light side even more complicated.
It is my job to set boundaries, real life situations and consequences of those choices. Sure, I end up the bad guy sometimes but when my idea of consequence is an out of the house adventure day, life gets just a little more sweet.
Sometimes you just have to have alone time with your kid to put life in to perspective. I encourage every parent to make this a priority. When things seem out of hand, change the scenery. Put the phones and the computers down to just have some fun and get to know your children at each stage of their development. It isn't always about making sure they are cared for, sometimes it is just about showing them that you care.
Our Adventure day lead us to three rounds of putt-putt with more hole-in-ones than ever before. (I even won a free game) We had some arcade time, pretty views, a nice walk, beautiful Christmas decorations, an amazing lunch and kid approved shopping at a comic store.
Needless to say, it was a ton of fun and the weather was perfect for us. The best thing about our adventure days is that nothing is planned. We just wake up, check the weather situation and head out the door.
I really love our adventure days!!
I have been MIA on here while I tried to focus on finishing up my book and some web design updates for my business sites and facebook pages. But I'm proud to say that they are all complete and my first book has been born. It is only available on Kindle right now but I hope to make it available in print soon.
The ideas of how to better support people in their quest for happiness and wellness keep flowing through my brain and I hope that more projects make their way to the light in the near future.
For now, I'm proud of my book and I debated putting it on here as I try to keep this blog and my business separate but some of you have been here with me since the beginning of blog land. You have suffered through my ramblings, goofy humor, some really serious stuff, horrid spelling and even worse grammar. Yet you have been there. I know many of you don't leave comments but you send me messages and emails and I love each of you for sticking with me and being a part of the Vegmom family.
Regarding the book, I have wanted to write a book since I was a kid but without formal training and the previously mentioned grammar issue, I didn't think I would ever get one completed. My Mom always said "you need to write a book"... When she started getting sicker she said: "You better hurry with that book"...
But it wasn't coming to me and my self doubt wasn't allowing me to move forward. I could blog and create articles for other business sites but the ideas weren't coming fast enough for my own. Knowing my Mom wanted to see me in print before she left, I contributed to other books and my Mom got to see me in print before she took off with the angels.
One of the books I contributed to was a compilation of stories from a bunch of Vegan athletes and I thought:
"If he could make that book a reality with no formal training than why can't I?"
I promised my Mom before she left that I was not going to quit on my dreams to bring wellness and happiness to as many people as possible and that I wouldn't stop writing. I felt her on my shoulder as a designer built the perfect book cover and I finished what I wanted it to say on the inside.
Eventually, I pushed "PUBLISH" deciding it just had to be GOOD enough! Something was telling me to get it out there and there was no more waiting.
So here, I introduce you to my first book: Fall in Happy With You is a compilation of 101 thoughts, tips and challenges to help people create happiness within.
It can be purchased on Amazon and makes a great gift any time of year. The feedback so far has been amazing, and if you get a chance to read it, I hope you like it too. (Just ignore the grammar)...
Be well my friends... I'll start posting more Vegmom moments soon!
Someone asked today about our Compost tumbler and I thought I'd post some pics showing how it is doing.
Outside of some rust on the pipe fittings, it has held up well for several years.
Notice the inside has some awesome soil ready to go and an extra pipe to help with the mixing when you spin it.
The hubs also added some wood blocks for handles and they are still in perfect working order. I just have to look out for spiders that like to make nests around them.
Have you tried composting? It isn't near as tough as we thought it would be and have been pretty happy with the results.
Another competition is in the books and this one with way more advanced movements than anything I'd ever done before.
But the struggle in my head of why I do them is an ongoing one and hasn't gotten easier.
You see, I don't train, live, eat or supplement like an elite athlete. I've never been competitive in my life and don't have that natural engine inside me that creates a competitive drive. Yet I train hard, eat clean and when I show up to compete, I expect more of myself than an average day and I get embarrassed by the spectators as I struggle for every rep.
I secretly hope there will be people at my level so I'm not the only one shaking out a rep. I always feel like I need to tell my judge that I suck and am sorry he/she got stuck with me. I feel like I need to explain to my fellow competitors and spectators that while it is true I've been doing CF for two years that there are some things I've just never excelled at and that I probably shouldn't be in a competition that has those movements, yet when you sign up, you don't always know what the movements will be. So you suck it up and do what you can.
And so this competition was no different. My coach wouldn't let me back out. My team mates would encourage me to keep going. I PR'd every single lift, time and skill.
When I signed up for this year's competition, my plan was to compare myself to last year but there was no comparison.
The movements were triplicate of last years. Heavier weight, longer distances, more reps, more WODs.
Yet I did them. While I came in last place (again), this little non-athlete lifted, pulled, pushed, rowed, ran, and jumped more than ever in my life.
And while I don't feel like I should be competing on the same floor as some of those beasts, it makes me thankful to finish and know that I was on the floor with those beasts.
When others were too afraid to sign up, or didn't show up after registering or weren't able to for any reason, I did it. And survived....
It was good to show the Vegkid that working hard and finishing something you started is more important than winning. That you can struggle, shake, push, sweat, be embarrassed, and feel 1000 emotions but getting through something challenging even with people watching is a success. That you should always try because you don't know what you are capable of if you don't.
And most importantly that life isn't always easy. Things don't always come naturally and sometimes it takes everything you have just to finish a task but you do it anyway.
So that is what I did! Number 400 with a smile and I signed up for another....
Smack my head!!'
When my Mom and her Husband died within a few weeks of each other, we made sure they were buried next to each other at the cemetery his family requested. Knowing that we would probably never go visit the burial sites but that his family would, we trusted them to pick their perfect spot.
Turned out to be a really nice space as far as grave yards go. With a beautiful view and shade trees but all in all it was still a cemetery and I'm just not a cemetery visiting kind of person.
Well burying them together had its perks. Like a companion memorial marker. It would save us all money to get just one marker, and would signify their unwavering, unconditional and sometimes what seemed to be irrational love for each other. The two of them literally lived and died for each other and nothing else made more sense than having their names engraved in stone to put closure to their lives on this earth.
But suddenly I got a picture in my inbox from the husband's family. The picture was of his grave marker, with a vase and flowers. Next to the marker would be my Mom's grassy spot with nothing marking her existence . Hmmm OK change of plans.... His marker did not so much signify his life or death but made his family happy and so it shall be.
This meant it was time to get our Mom's marker ordered and I'll tell you what.... Her stone was going to be SPECIAL!!! Even if none of us get to see it, when other people pass by her spot, she will bring a smile to their faces just like she did ours. But by golly there was going to be a stone. I couldn't stomach the thought of hers always being empty with only GPS coordinates to mark her territory. And so we began the process of designing her spot.
First we knew that she didn't like people knowing how old she was, so we didn't put her birth date. She hated her full name, and so we used her nicknames. "Mom, Grandma and NeeNee" is listed on the top.
She also didn't die, if you remember from those posts, she simply went out to lunch. Yes, she asked before she stopped breathing if she could have a change of clothes to go out to lunch with her friends. We joked that she had been out to lunch since 1969 and she snarled at us. That is one fond memory from her hospital bed. So when she took her last breath, we told her she could go out to lunch whenever she wanted now.
And so her stone doesn't say "died", it says:
"Out to lunch since Jan. 30, 2014"
And the bottom has her favorite quote from her favorite shirt:
"I live in my own little world but that is OK, they like me here"
The granite is the same color as her kitchen tile from her favorite house and the other color matches her old furniture.
So in the end it is ALL HER.... And she would have a huge smile on her face right now. I'm even posting about it here as some sort of closure to the process just how she would have wanted to read it.
Who knew someone going out to lunch was such an ordeal....
I hope your lunch is tasty Mom... We love you to pieces!
A few weeks ago, I finally mastered the one legged squat or "pistol". And I say mastered with a snicker because that isn't so true.
I finally found myself able to do them but only with my right leg and only if the wind is just right.
This means that my handstand pics (one in every city) have been replaced with pistols in cool locations.
Then a friend told me that pistols were easier to learn while holding an object which of course presented a new challenge.
So here are 4 silly pics as I begin to truly master the one-legged-squat!!
When I started CrossFit 2yrs ago, I never expected to get muscles, feel toned or see definition. I mean I'd been running for several years at that point and finally learned to like the body that I had. Sure, it still needed some help, but I was feeling confident and strong. Ha... so I thought....
Then after some workouts, I realized I would lean out or die. Leaning out seemed like a much better option. But to my surprise, parts of my body began to change. And eventually my whole body began to shift in a positive way as mentioned in prior Vegmom posts.
Well a couple of weeks ago, my brother sent me a tank top and asked if it fit:
I took that selfie and sent it to him. Said "Yup, it is snug but fits".... While loading it on to my computer the picture app tried to tag my shoulder as a second person. Made me laugh so hard that I suddenly had this body. But I wasn't the only one laughing. My brother, showed the picture to my dad.
And he said "If you are going to have muscles like that, you need a tattoo"
In order to keep things light and fun, I had my hubs draw me an anchor and "tattoo" my arm.
The top says "On Shore" which was a joke only my dad would understand. Needless to say, we all got a good laugh out of my Dad's response. (You kind of have to know my dad)
In the past couple of months, I've had people call me a beast (which is a compliment by the way), I've had a guy pull up at a red light in the car next to me and say "You sure are Pretty" through the car window (which was kind of creepy), I had someone mention that CrossFitters are too bulky, and told that girls aren't supposed to lift. I had someone suggest that I was getting leaner and looked stronger, while someone else mentioned I could get better if I ate a steak. I even had a stranger hand me a tootsie roll in the grocery store saying that they needed to keep me sweet (yup that was odd too).
But in all of the muscles forming, nice and not-so-nice comments that I have received, the best came from ME! And not how you would think!!
You see, in spite of all the body changes, my belly is still a squishy, scarred up mess from all the weight and scarring I gained while pregnant. No matter how small my pant sizes get, how great I feel, or how many muscles I build, that yucky stomach is still there. I like to call it my tiger stripes or battle scars. I earned them and they are mine. No matter how icky they would look to someone else (hence the reason I keep my shirt on at the gym) They are still a part of me. They are a part of my life. The part that helped define who I am today.
They are the lines that created my most important title of MOM.
So when my husband noticed my belly the other day and said "You know a doctor could fix that for you. All you need is this and this cut, and that pulled, then tightened here and here, it would be a simple procedure"
SERIOUSLY??????? After all the hours I have put in to redefining myself, THIS is the part he notices??Yeah, the old me would have felt so ashamed and hurt by those comments. My self esteem and body image pretty non-existent once upon a time, and that would have CRUSHED me. But the new me pushed his hand away from my beautiful squishy striped belly and said "Why would I need a doctor to fix it for me, my belly is perfect just the way it is!!!" I smiled and carried on with my day. IT WAS AWESOME!!!
I felt so amazing in that moment, so empowered by my response, it made me wish even more that every woman could look in the mirror and be happy with who is looking back. Squishy tiger stripes and all.
My brother once said to me, "You'll never be pretty, because you inherited our long foreheads, noses and you got Mom's odd shaped body"
But that is all what makes me ME... Just like everyone else has what makes them THEM...
What I have learned upon this journey is that some people will think I'm a beast, some will find beauty, some will find both but all that really matters is that when I look in the mirror, I'm happy with who is looking back.
And for me, that has been the absolute best part of this journey!!
So if you are a male reading this... Don't ever tell a woman she needs plastic surgery.. Trust me, that is the WRONG answer!
If you are a female reading this....NOTE: Don't ever let someone tell you that your body isn't good enough. If you don't like your body, do the work to change it, but don't ever ever ever let anyone tell you that you aren't good enough, EVER!!! Oh did I say EVER?
I had so much fun with our deck garden this year and experimenting with our ground garden.
Not because I got a good bounty but because we didn't. Every plant only produced ONE baby. But every plant was full of leaves, flowers and the cutest little baby fruit or veggie.
The view from my office all summer long was beautiful flowers and greenery and it made me grin each and every day.
Next year maybe we'll get a bounty but if not, I'm ok with that too. Good thing our livelihood doesn't depend on my farming abilities though.