Monday, May 31, 2010

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Hard to get the shot when you're in motion, but you get the idea. Patriotism!

I wanted to get this entire yard in the shot as they had a wonderful display of flags (and a gorgeous yard), but I was driving and had someone up my ass behind me so...

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Happy Memorial Day

Never forget...

Day 149

So I did 520 yesterday, and I did most of it later on in the evening.  My legs hurt more than usual today.  I guess it's just because of the late time I did my walking yesterday.  They are hurting a lot more every day, and it reminds me of my arms when I was still in ICU. 

When my arms first came back, they did it quite slowly and painfully, but they did it.  My Occupational Therapist would come in every morning and work with me, and I would fight him tooth-and-nail because it hurt so bad (hurt so bad through morphine and break-through pain killers).  He would tell me everything was going to be OK, and to just let him do all the work as he stretched my arms out and moved them through their range of motion to get them loosened up and not so tight and painful.  Once that part was over, my feeble attempts at putting a round peg in a round hole weren't quite so bad: just awkward and difficult.

I wish I could remember my OT's name.  ICU was a rough time for me, I was on more drugs than I care to remember, so my brain was a tad foggy.  It would be nice to have someone around like my OT that could come in my room every morning and take my legs through their range of motion before I start my walking for the day.  Unfortunately, it's just me, so I suppose I should find a routine of some sort that will help my legs loosen up and not be so stubborn and painful for the first half of my day.  There needs to be a version of yoga that is doable for someone like me... Hmm...

Step count today:  306

Steps I'm behind:  7,032

Friday, May 28, 2010

Challenge Extended?

The idea of heading out west to walk with Matt has me excited to really get busy.  I have been challenged to complete my goal before Matt finishes his journey, and I will be rewarded with a trip to walk next to him before he finishes.  Hmm... am I up to the challenge?  Hell ya!

Looks like I better get my ass in gear.  Matt is walking over 20 miles per day and not taking many rest days.  At that rate he could be done in the next few months, which means I've got some serious walking to do. 

Perhaps I should pretend that certain areas of my house are different states, and as I walk through I am crossing state lines and time zones.  I doubt that pictures of my house and animals would be quite as interesting as the photos Matt has up on his site, however.  Either way, I'll be walking with Matt in spirit.

I better get to work.

Day 148

Just one of the many things that keep me busy these days is my garden.  I spend a lot of time on it, and it's very rewarding.  I have added a post and some photos of it on my other blog:

I really need to get out there and weed and mulch, but I figured the pictures would make good "before" shots. 

Day 148

I took the past couple of days off of walking.  To be honest, I just didn't want to, and I needed the rest.  My legs have been screaming at me, and I know when to listen.

I am sure that most of you have heard about Matt, the man who quit his job to go "walkabout" across the US from New York to Oregon, but just in case you've just come out from under your rock:

Most people only dream of doing something like what Matt is doing.  I am one of them.  I think his journey is amazing, and I only wish I had the ability to do the same.  The sites he has seen, and the people he has encountered, are incredible.  I'm just blown away by the whole thing.  If I had the resources, I would travel to him and walk beside him as long as I could.

So, after staying up until the wee hours of the morning reading every post and looking at every picture Matt has posted along his journey so far, I am now filled with wanderlust.  The best I can do to cure it is walk in my home and add to my step count, then maybe hit the park later for some much needed cardio.

Step count today:  520

Steps I'm behind:  7,064

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Day 146

Just when I thought I was recovered, I find myself still sitting at my desk at 1:45 in the afternoon and I have yet to strap on my shoes and start walking, nor do I have the drive to do so.

I am still quite tired and run down, but I feel I should at least do something in the walking department.  Somedays are just harder than others to get motivated and start moving.  Ugh.

Step count today:  0

Steps I'm behind:  7,036

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Day 145

My dad came for a visit yesterday.  He had to leave again today so it was a short, but sweet visit.  The highlight of his visit was him seeing me walk.  I wanted him to see how well I am doing, and his exact words were "well, you're just clicking right along!"  (I am now beaming with pride)

Step count today:  60

Steps I'm behind:  6,762

Monday, May 24, 2010

Day 144

I got so overwhelmed yesterday that I never got the chance to enter in my blog, so I am carrying over yesterday's step count to today.

Step count today:  623

Steps I'm behind:  6,548

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Friday, May 21, 2010

Day 141

After walking 1,103 steps yesterday, my left hip is hurting me a bit today.  I also suffered with a terrible leg spasm all -- night -- long.  My left leg spasmed hard, and quite painfully, from the time I laid down until the time I got up in the morning.  I'm sure it's just the extra movement, or it's pissed off, or whatever.  All I know is it was painful, I couldn't sleep, and it was terribly annoying.

So today I thought I would take it a bit easier in the step department, although I don't seem to be doing that as of yet.

Step count today:  713

Steps I'm behind:  6,624

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Day 140

The day after I did my 1,031 steps, I took a break.  I had company coming, so I had to clean all day, and my legs were feeling the affects from the day before, so I figured it was a good time to rest and let the muscles repair themselves.  Yesterday, I took as many steps as I could muster, but after having company and not getting much sleep, I did just below my daily requirement and then called it.  I figured it's best to be a little short, than fall and get behind even further.

Today will be my day to attempt to squeeze in 1,000 again, and do three miles in my chair.  The miles are getting easier and easier, as I get in better and better shape.  The better shape I am in, the longer distances I can walk before becoming fatigued.  It's all such a great process, and I love how it's making my body feel.  I've always had a strong ticker, and I love that it's getting even stronger with all the cardio I am doing.  It's going to need to be strong to once again pump blood through 6' of standing me!

So, it's off to the races today.  The last thousand steps I did made me feel so accomplished and proud that I just can't wait to get another thousand down.

Step count today:  1103

Steps I'm behind:  7,063

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Monday, May 17, 2010

Day 137

Between a visit from my father, and my daughter's 8th grade dance, I missed a few days of walking.  I know I shouldn't let life get in the way like that, but sometimes it does.  I just don't quite move fast enough yet to be able to slow down on those busy days, and walk.  Besides, I think the rest does me good.  I am doing great with the step count today, and am almost to my goal!  I feel strong and motivated and I love it!

Shooting for 1,000 today!

Step count today:  1,031

Steps I'm behind:  7,614

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Day 132

It has been a great walking day today.  My legs feel strong, and thinking back to how I used to walk, I am taking much more normal steps with a more normal stride.  I can also walk a lot further before becoming fatigued, both in my arms and my legs.  I will shoot for 400 steps a day for the rest of May, and I can't wait to see how much I progress after that!

Step count today:  579

Steps I'm behind:  7,275

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Getting Motivated - Day 131

I'm having a hard time getting motivated today.  It happens sometimes -- days when I feel like not doing much.  They are rare, but they happen.  Today is certainly one of those days.

So what do you do when you can't seem to find the motivation to do what needs to be done?

Me?  I try not to think about it and just get in "robot" mode, and do it.  Once I start, it seems I forget all about being lazy and unmotivated, and I'm off to the races.

So, the biggest hurdle is that initial hump.  That little push we need to get started.  Afterall, energy breeds energy, so once you are up and moving you will remain up and moving.

Some days my coffee is enough, some days I need something else.  Today, I strapped on my Livestrong bracelet so that the sight of it on my wrist will make me feel even lazier if I don't get up and get started on something (I mean Lance Armstrong rides for like five hours at a time!).  I need to do some crawling, it has been a few days, and I definitely need to do some walking.  Maybe the power of Lance will inject me with the energy I need to accomplish those tasks.

On other days it seems no matter what I do, I just can't summon the energy it takes to do anything.  Those are the days I listen to my body and take it easy.  Afterall, even God rested one day out of seven.

Food is good energy, too.  I just had some of my famous boneless wings (no breading) and a big glass of water. 

It's off to the races I go...

Step count today:  413

Steps I'm behind:  7,580 (eeks!)

I found this and thought I would add it as a tasty treat of motivation:

Yes, that is me, about 13 years ago shortly before my illness.  My motivation.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Autoimmune Diseases Suck - Day 130

Today is World Lupus Day:

I spent some time on the above site reading about Lupus.  Lupus is just one of many autoimmune diseases to affect thousands of people every year.  The Autoimmune Epidemic is a frightening thing.  What are we doing to ourselves that is causing our bodies to attack?  We are obviously a society doing just about everything wrong that we can possibly do wrong.  Plastics, harsh chemicals, preservatives, by-products, pollution -- artificial this, artificial that -- the list goes on and on and it's sickening.  It's no wonder our bodies cave under the pressure.  It's like our immune system throws its hands up and says "that's it, I've had ENOUGH!"

I know that's what mine did, and when it did, I wished I would die so the pain would end.  I wouldn't wish what I went through on my worst enemy.  At the time, I wasn't considered "unhealthy", I was very fit, ate fairly well (certainly much better than most), didn't do drugs, had recently quit drinking alcohol, and drank water often.  Thinking back, I drank water from plastic water bottles.  Something was overloading my body, and my immune system didn't like it.  Things finally snapped, and I went through the hardest fight of my life, and I'm still fighting.

We can walk outside, and the pollutants in the air attack our body and our immune system.  Then we go on to eat and drink things that contain chemicals that further overload our systems, until one day, it's too late.  Our immune systems are like someone trapped in a traffic jam that finally snaps and unloads years of pent up frustrations.  There are a shocking number of autoimmune cases every year, and an even more shocking number of autoimmune diseases, with more being added yearly. 

The best advice I can give is to purify what goes into your body.  Eliminate as many toxins from your diet and everyday life as possible.  Do not drink out of plastic, do not cook with plastic, and do not store your food in plastic.  Use glass or BPA free stainless steel.   Eat organic when possible.  Don't smoke.  Pay attention to what goes into your body, you never know, it might be the one thing that sends your immune system over the edge.

For more helpful information on how to possibly avoid an autoimmune disease, I strongly recommend this book:  The Autoimmune Epidemic by Donna Jackson Nakazawa

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Day 128

It is a sweltering day here in Florida.  The humidity is thick as butter today!  Should make for an interesting cardio session later, especially when I add some weight to my chair for an even better workout.

I was tired yesterday, and lacking energy.  We went to the trail to get in our miles, and I was struggling so I called it at one mile.  I felt like such a pansy, but I guess my body was just having "one of those days".  I know something is better than nothing, but it frustrates me when I feel like I just can't go on no matter how hard I try.  For someone who is now doing three miles at a time, one mile just seems like defeat.  I know it's not, but it seems like it.

Today will be better.  I also need to get some more steps and crawling in today.  It will be a busy day of working out so I can make up for being such a weakling yesterday ;^)

I can't wait to get out in the heat and sweat off some frustrations.

Step count today:  277

Steps I'm behind:  7,171

Friday, May 7, 2010

Day 127


Mom is coming for a visit today.  Should be a fun day of catching up and girl talk. 

Had the house clean before 9am.  I'm loving all this energy!

Step count today:  275

Steps I'm behind:  7,174

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Day 126

I celebrated Cinco de Mayo yesterday with five miles.  That's the first five mile "roll" I've done since I began training.  It felt great! 

The only downside I can see to doing so much cardio is that it has increased my energy levels exponentially, and now all I want to do is get out there and do more cardio.  I am finding mundane everyday tasks boring and effortless.  These are all good developments, it's just going to take some getting used to.  I am learning to manage the higher energy levels, but I never thought it would be so hard to do.  I'm suddenly like Speedy Gonzales on steroids... ZOOM!

Getting in shape has never felt so good, and with each pound that comes off, and each mile I add to my workout, I notice how much easier it is  to walk and crawl.  I still have my "off" days of course, but I can really start to feel results and I'm loving it.  It has become my way of life that every single day I have to do something to work up a sweat, and something that makes me use my body more than the day before.  It's as if I'm 21 again (I wish). 

Today will be no exception.  Once this coffee kicks in I'm off to do something good.

Step count today:  250

Steps I'm behind:  7,175

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Day 125

Just did five miles at the park.  iFeliz Cinco de Mayo!  No margaritas for this lady... boo! :(  I'll have to save that for when I reach my goal. 

Better go get to work.

Step count today:  280

Steps I'm behind:  7,151

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Day 124

My legs hurt like hell today.  I guess that's a good thing, but it doesn't make the pain any more bearable. 

I think I'm having an all around "I feel like crap" day.  We all get them.  Today is mine.  I own it.  Maybe I need a nap.

The heat is insane here in Florida.  It's like Mother Nature woke up and forgot what month we're in.  Someone needs to tell her she's way off.  I would, but I'm too busy being lazy.

Must... go... do... something... productive...

Step count today:  50

Steps I'm behind:  7,157

Monday, May 3, 2010

Day 123

My t-shirt came in the mail today, how exciting!  I wore it out on the trail to do my three miles, but it was too hot and nobody else was out there :^p  I still got the message.

Step count today:  75

Steps I'm behind:  6,933

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Day 122

I rode my recumbant exercise bike for 4 minutes using just my legs today.  I was very impressed that I could do that, and I was able to do it at a much faster pace then I normally can. 

I also was able to get myself into a standing position from off the floor -- three times!  I crawled over to my chair, boosted myself up, and thought "I'm going to see if I can't bring my legs up and stand up"... and I did.  Amazing.  The progress is really happening and it's unreal.

It was a hot one today:

But I still managed to get two miles in at the park :^)

Step count today:  500

Steps I'm behind:  6,734

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Day 121

One third of the year is officially over.  In a way that's depressing, and in a way not.  I think I have come a long way in my fitness and strength in four months, but I am still struggling with the weight-loss issues.  Damn thyroid.

It's going to be 95 degrees here today.  HOT!  I just went out to water my garden and it's already sweltering outside, and it will only get hotter and more humid as the day moves on.  Tomorrow will be the same.

So, I am spending today inside working on my crawling and walking. 

Step count today:  500

Steps I'm behind:  6960