8/29/11 Check In

I took the boys out to Lake Nokomis in Minneapolis for a run.  I like to take them to nice flat paved places, easy for them to bike on and for me to run outside. Where we live there are tons of hills, so I end up driving up into the city when I am going to be running with them.  Anyway, I thought they would enjoy going around the lake and looking at the boats, the people, etc.  We got there and unloaded all the stuff (one of the joys of them coming with me is that they get to carry backpacks so I don’t need to carry anything) 🙂 and got ready to go.   Then we were faced with a choice: do we use the walking path or the bike path?  At first, I opted for the walking path because of the speed we would be going – I saw spray painted on the bike sidewalk “10 miler per hr”, and didn’t think that much of my running skills quite yet.  So off we went on the walking path.  It turns out, people are pretty serious about it being a walking/meandering/spread-out-all-over type path, and we were forever getting hung up behind groups and going around annoyed seniors.  So then I thought “Okay!  Bike trail.”  But of course, as you could guess, it was like getting on the freeway with two donkeys.  Not that I’m calling my children donkeys, mind you.In the end, it was still a good workout, and I know that I was going at a faster pace to keep up with the boys who were trying to get ahead of people in front of us.  A little nerve wracking, maybe, but a run nonetheless.  Next time I want to run around one of the lakes, I’m either going to figure out a non-peak time or go it alone. 🙂 

New Rules of Lifting for Women (NROLFW):

Deadlift – 70 lbs, 3 sets 10

Shoulder Press – 15 lb dumbbells, ” ”

Lunges – 10 lb dumbbells, ” ”

Pullovers – 7.5 lb dumbbells, ” ”

Ball crunches – 3 sets of 12

**I need to get some lifting gloves…I know I could have lifted more on the deadlift, but the pull on my hands was pretty rough.  Next time I need to push it more on the lunges, too.

Meditation:

Went to a Sunday evening group meditation in Minneapolis.  I have been to a few of these, and there is always something really great about sitting in a large open room with a group of calm peaceful people as the setting sun is making the wooden floors glow a warm hue.  Good, nourishing stuff.

But I was reminded why I was there in the first place.  I started going to meditation practice last winter, when I was pretty stressed out and I felt like my head was all over the place.  It is quite a challenge in the beginning to sit still for a 30 minute period and just focus on the breath, or just be mindful of each moment without descending into worry or going over the day or letting my thoughts turn things into a storyline of some kind.  I found that it was a really good practice for me, it helped me find an anchor in myself, a calm place to center when things outside of me began to get a little nuts.  Anyway, I was at the group sit on Sunday, on my folding chair (because I had gotten there just as the teacher was beginning to speak and missed out on my regular floor cushion) and I was having a hell of a time focusing.  My head was everywhere…”that woman in front of me is wearing the worst perfume (and then I ran through what I would say to her in some other-universe), there’s an ache developing on my ass from the hard edge of the metal chair – oohp, now my leg’s going numb, lots of people are sneezing…I wonder if they have allergies or if they’re going to get me sick?, it was ridiculous to be late – I know it takes 40 minutes!, OKAY back to the breath, 1, 2, 3, 4 in….1, 2, 3, 4 out…WHY am I having such a hard time today?  If only I was on a cushion..” and on and on for the full 30 minutes.  I’m pretty sure that there were moments of peace, of simple awareness, but man, it was a struggle.

But that’s why I’m there, right?  If I can’t work on these kind of skills in a totally controlled setting designed for me to succeed, how am I going to stand a chance at staying grounded in a traffic jam?  Or when I get to the checkout and realize I don’t have my cash card?  This is why I practice.  I need to remember that acknowledging the presence of distraction – Yes, I see you there, distraction – and just letting it go past me is an important skill.  It is such a natural reaction to see that I am stumbling and then get all wound up about it, spiraling out of control with thoughts and fears; if I can just stumble and see it, and remain calm and get back to the starting point, I know that I will eventually grow in my practice.  Things aren’t supposed to be sublime and zoned out during practice, that’s the point!  To see with clear eyes what is happening around me and in my body, but to not take it personally and not feel like something needs to be fixed or changed or mulled over.  It’s amazing for me to work on those skills, it is the exact opposite of how I have functioned in the world up until now.

Things that need more attention:

My sugar intake is too high lately, I know that I feel better when I cut it down.

I need to be really on task about getting to bed earlier, getting up earlier, and having quiet meditation time before the kids get up.

Even though running is something I’m proud of, my yoga practice is sliding.  I need to remember that just because I’m not sweating to death doing yoga it doesn’t mean it’s not a valuable practice.

Keep looking forward to each day and enjoying the time I have getting fit with the kids nearby. 🙂

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