Monday, November 06, 2006

Signs and Portents

Ok, this is a bad sign.

Today on the way to work, I passed a state trooper on the highway just as he was getting out of his car. I was already going slow, so no danger there. But I said out loud as I drove by, as if he could hear me, "Be careful, young man!"

Yikes! It's one thing when you notice that Doctors are getting younger and younger. Because they are. But when you realize that "The Man" is just a kid, that's just plain sad.

I'm too young to be middle-aged!

Well, I'll always have immaturity on my side, at least.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

My Crazy Life

Well, certain people are nagging me to keep telling my Mt Washington adventures, but I'm just too tired right now.

Although, I must admit, I enjoy writing it. But at the moment my days are really fractured, busy, and crazy. I have a project at work that I'm responsible for, so that's a lot of work. Once again, a new challenge to tackle that's exciting and scary. And I have my other project. There's a lot going on there. And of course, my other other project, which I don't want to discuss here. More demands on my time.

Somethings got to give, and right now, it's this.

I'll see if I can have something up on Tuesday, one month to the day from my last post.

But you know, it took me over an hour to write that post, and some days, I'd just rather get enough sleep.

And anyone one who wants to volunteer to come and cook, organize and clean my office, take care of my car registration and bills (I'll pay, you write the checks), do my landry, and be Eagle Toastmaster's VP of Education, just let me know.

Operators are standing by.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

The assault on Mt. Washington: Day the First, Part I, with Haiku

The title alone speaks volumes, I think. A blog post might be superfluous. But here goes, anyway.

The Excuse

It was not the best day for a hike. It had been raining on and off the day before. The forecast was for some rain in the morning, and then partly cloudy.

Bah, humbug. They ought to call them whether forecasts, instead of weather forecasts, as in “We’re giving you this forecast, whether or not it’s right!”

It rained, then stopped, then rained again and more or less kept it up. I kept expecting it to stop anytime, and turn partly cloudy. No such luck.

Cruel crag teases.
Rain starts, stops, then starts again.
Wet pack weighs me down.

The hike begins

Tonto The Cockney Sparrow and I set out on Sunday morning. I was determined to be on the mountain by 8 am.

Well, that’s when we left the condos, actually. Then, with getting there, getting the parking permit, getting the backpacks optimized and balanced, and getting one final official restroom break before the Lake of the Clouds Hut, we weren’t on the Ammonoosuc until 9ish.

That meant that we’d have less than 8 hours to make it to the top. Piece of cake, once it stops raining!

We begin our hike.
The route of this climb to Mount Washington takes you up the steep and scenic Ammonoosuc Ravine where you'll discover a tributary brook, a Gem Pool, several waterfalls, and wildflowers. This trail will lead to a breathtaking view.
from GORP - Trails

I love the Ammonoosuc trail – it’s beautiful. I’ve hiked to Gem Pool before, so I know that. I can’t see much today, however. It’s all about my internal state on this trip: Will I make it? How does it feel? Should I wear my rain poncho? What’s with these hiking poles anyway?

The Cockney Sparrow is an excellent hiking companion. He’s being very supportive and encouraging; letting me know how far we’ve come, previewing the coming challenges (in a non-scary way), joking and chatting.

I’m having fun!
Cruel crag teases.
Up, down, up, down, up, up, up.
Wet rocks slow me down.
Well, except for that part.

Actually, up to Gem Pool, it’s more the mud than the rocks. Mud coats my pants up to my knees. The Sparrow has on his cool "technical trousers." They're the kind that have zippers around the legs, to quickly switch from shorts to long pants, and v.v. I gotta get me some of those.

But the Ammonoosuc thus far is a nice trail, much like Sleeping Giant. And even though I complain about the trail going downward from time to time, I actually don't mind, because those are mini-breaks.

I suppose the scenery is very dramatic, but I can’t see it anyway, with the rain and the mist.

Thus endeth the first part.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Mt Washington Haiku

This was written on my way to the summit:

Mean mountain teases:
up, down, up, down, up, up, up.
Wet rocks slow me down.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Still training for Mt. Washington

I've been busy training away. I'm not sure if I'm ready, but I do know I'm in better shape than I've been for a few years. I even lost 3 pounds (but they were the 3 I gained when I started slacking off a few months ago, so net=0).

I've climbed the steepest part of the blue trail twice - once in 1.5 hrs, the second time in a little over 1 hr. I felt like crap both times.

I've done stairs -- once I wanted to see how many I could do in 20 minutes, and came up with 36 round trips (only because I wanted to at least do half as well as the Cockney Sparrow's 72 times in 20 minute).

The next time I took a leisurely 1/2 hour and did 45 round trips.

No ill effects afterwards either time, except for feeling a little wembly in the knees for an hour or so.

I've been going to Curves twice a week. I think I'm going to start doing 3 circuits instead of 2 if I can only make it there twice. I have amazed the ladies with my attack on the "thigh-buster." I went from 8 wimpy reps to 11 power reps.

This machine is one where what looks like the Canada arm of the space shuttle is resting on your shoulders (with pads) and you're supposed to squat down and then come up, while the entire weight of the space shuttle is pushing back at you.

They do give you handles on the arm to help stabilize you, thank god.

Actually it's just some hydraulic thingy, so if you come up slowly, it's not as much pressure.

A lot of women at Curves don't squat far, and then come up slowly. I did likewise until Mt. Wash lit a fire under my butt. Now I squat so that my thighs are parallel to the floor and then push up as hard and fast as I can. 11 times in 30 seconds.

Then I recuperate at the next station, where you jog, walk, whatever on a mat. I think it's done me good.

We'll see, I guess.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Boundless joy arising

I have to wait a few minutes before I leave for Curves this morning, as they don't open until 6:15 am on Tuesdays and Thursdays. My only complaint about Curves is that the hours are so limited. It's not a real gym, but a storefront pocket of a place, so typically they close at lunch time, at around 7 pm in the evening, and at noon on Saturdays.

Here are my updates so far:
I did go to Curves last Friday.

Saturday: I was somewhere where they had a few flights of stairs, rather than just one, so went up and down 4 flights 11 times (I woulda stopped at 10 but I mis-counted). That makes 44 of the condo-equivalent. And I was still not hobbling the next day.

Amazing what you can do if you go slow enough.

Sunday I walked a lot but didn't measure it.

Monday, condo stairs X 30.

Today, Curves.

My t-shirt this morning shows a beautiful fish jumping out of the ocean with the motto in the title of this post.

It helps remind me of what the hell I'm doing at this ungodly hour.

Except, when I'm feeling joyous, I tend to bound more, not less. So maybe it should be "bounding joy approaching?" Well, I guess my name would have to be Joy for that to work.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The story so far...

Whataweek, whataweek,whataweek!

I don't remember why, but somehow I was too busy to go to Curves or to climb stairs.

But that was last week.

This week I'm doing better:

Sunday: hiked the blue trail at Sleeping Giant (not the whole thing, just the steep bit at the beginning). Then I took the red trail and the violet trail back to my car.

I was concerned because my ankle was still bothering me. So I put two support braces on. Oddly enough, I was better on the up than on the flat. Well, my ankle was better, anyway.

But going up a mountain is a little different from going up the stairs. For one thing, you use your whole body and not just your legs. For another, you don't get to go back down after 13 steps. Well, not intentionally, anyway.

Tuesday: Curves. Yay!
Wednesday: Stairs. I only had 15 minutes free, so I only did 25 trips.

Tomorrow, I can't go to Curves because I have to get to work early and they don't open until 6. Then I have a function to go to after work, so instead I'm going to get up at 5 and walk around outside. Luckily, I live on the other side of Sleeping Giant, (the rumpled bedsheets) so the road goes uphill.

Friday I'll do Curves again.

My inspirational quote for today: "Those who do not find the time for exercise will have to find time for illness." ~The Earl of Derby

Monday, June 12, 2006

Assault on Sleeping Giant #1: Giant=1, Me=0

Things did not go so well yesterday, as I attempted the blue trail at Sleeping Giant. Here are my future action items:
#1. Get more than 5.5 hours sleep the night before.
#2. Wear ankle brace when doing stairs so that I don't accidentally strain ankle, thus ruining myself for a real mountain.
#3. Go early enough so that a church group doesn't come along and "adopt" me. Sheesh!

I'm taking today off to recuperate, and hitting Curves tomorrow morning. I'll try the stairs again on Wednesday. Ever since I fell down the stairs in 1998, my right ankle has been wonky as hell.

I'm down but not out!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Onward and upward

Hello to anyone who actually read Brian's email!

So far, so good on the exercise front. I went to Curves in the morning, and then did 30 flights of stairs when I came home from work.

Rosemary's cat, Georgia O'Keefe, could not figure out what I was doing -- once she woke up from her snooze on the couch, that is. At first, every time I went up the stairs, she started to follow me to see what was so exciting up there, and every time I went down she thought I was about to play with her, so she scampered towards her favorite toy, Chomodley, the well-chewed string. (That's pronounced "chumley;" she's very particular about that.)

Finally she just sat under the coffee table and looked on in amazement. People, huh! So inscrutable.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Monday, June 05, 2006

Moving up....and down....and up....and down....

Inspired by a recent visit to my friends the Model Executive and the Cockney Sparrow, I have started training for Mt. Washington a bit more seriously.

Yesterday I walked up and down the stairs. I wasn't sure how many I could do without being completely crippled the day after, so I decided to start with 25 round-trips of 12 stair steps. I didn't record the time, either.

Of course, I was doing laundry yesterday, so I could add at least another 10 trips, but they weren't all in one session, so I won't.

It wasn't that tough to do, although I did slow down somewhere around #10, and go to serious "escargot mode" around #18.

Today I don't feel too bad, except when I've been sitting a long while. And of course, in my job I have to sit a long while.

I'll try to walk around outside later, if it doesn't rain.

Tomorrow, Curves in the AM, and stairs in the PM.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Trucking down the highway

Ok, so I'm feeling a little stressed out these days, for a number of reasons.

Bieng the proactive gal I am, I decided to not listen to the news this morning and instead listen to nice calming tunes from Jimmy Buffett.

Here's how that went:

Ah, I'm on a warm beach somewhere, tropical breezes, palm trees swaying, some BASTARD CUT ME OFF!!

Ok, calm down, you can't really kill him.
But now I want to drive REALLY FAST!! I'M ANGRY!

But that wouldn't be nice to all the sane drivers on the road, now would it?

No, but life is SO unfair! I'm already stressed and I'm trying to relax and now some jerk cuts me off and makes me slam on my brakes and gets me all riled up again. Waaaah! Sob. I can't handle this, I really can't, it's too much!

Listen to the music, listen to the music.
Ah, back on the beach. Whew! Whatever happens, I'll handle it.

Ok, so it's hard sometimes to stay on track when I'm already feeling stressed. Sometimes I'm not so much relaxed as just in-between-trigger-points.

I can laugh about it now, and be all "moving towards joy-ish." Recognizing the patterns is the first step.

But if any of my friends reading this make a joke about it, their asses are grasses.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Who's the boss of me?

Boss Me: You said you were going to have your taxes finished today.
Slacker Employee Me: Well, I got to the good part of this book I'm reading and I couldn't stop.
Boss Me: You're fired!
Some days, it's all I can do not to resent reality. I mean, it's a good idea and all, but it can sure be a pain in the butt!

I guess I don't realize how spoiled I am. I have no kids, no hubby, no one to be accountable to. I can do what I want, whenever I want, except at work.

One thing that a lot of the self-help books talk about is managing yourself. I'm still working on that.

As a personal manager, I suck. I'm too easy on myself, I don't plan ahead, I never give constructive feedback or coach. I have no personal development plan.

While I actually cringe at the thought of a personal development plan at my day job, it's not a bad idea for my whole job, the toughest and most dangerous job out there -- being me.

But the thing is, I need to do it my way, in ways that cover all the things I think are important --exercise, finances, diet, all that stuff, but fun, too, and time for thinking, reading, and just enjoying the day.

I'm not the type of person who can march through the day like a soldier. I have to be able to skip and dance, too. My PDP and my manager-me have to accommodate that.

Otherwise, why bother?

Friday, March 03, 2006


Don't shoot me, but I've started using affirmations. EEK!

I don't belive, like Scott (Dilbert) Adams does, that saying something a bajillion times is enough to make it happen.

However, they seem to help me be less stressed, and more positive.

My life seems to go like this -- something goes wrong, like getting sick. It depresses me. Then I get depressed at how hard life is and how rotten it is that I have to keep doing stuff even when I'm feeling sick and depressed. Life sucks, and it's not fair and I need a vacation and waaaa!

It always ends in tears.

I go along like that for some period of time. Then I get tired of being depressed and start remembering that I can do something about it.

So I take a step or two, like remembering to relax now and then, and to not make such global statements as "I can never...." That reminds me that I can change how I feel. That reminds me that I haven't done any affirmations for a while. Then I add some into my routine, and start feeling even better. Pretty soon I'm humming along.

Now, it may be that affirmations have nothing to do with feeling better -- that just doing something positive is what turns the corner on the gloom and doom thinking. That's fine.

But for now the positive thing I choose to do is to say a few affirmations to get me going.

Nothing fancy, nothing unrealistic.

My favorite one is an uber-affirmation I got from Susan Jeffers, in her book Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway -- "Whatever happens, I'll handle it."

That one says it all, really. It says, "No need to panic and get depressed; whatever happens is handle-able."

I have to admit, that I don't actually spend a lot of time repeating these affirmations. I recorded myself saying them ten times each, put it on my Palm T3, and now listen to them from time to time.

I mean, let's not go overboard on this stuff.