Thursday, April 29, 2010

Carol: Pink Me Up by Pinking Me Out!

(The following post first appeared in my column “On the Outside Looking In” at Yes, I am walking in the Susan G. Komen 3 day for the Cure walk.  This post tells why and provides a link at the bottom for those of you who can find it in your heart to help sponsor me.) 

I spent a few weeks mulling it over. I spent a few days talking myself into it. I spent less than 10 minutes filling out all the requisite forms. Basic stuff like name, address and a promise to waive liability. In the second it took to click my mouse and hand over the $90 registration fee, I moved myself from the realm of an observer into the world of a hopeful participant.

There’s no backing out now. I am officially registered for the Susan G. Komen-3 day for the Cure, 60-mile walk. Of course, I still have to raise the $2,300 before I can participate in the November event. Right now I have nadda, zilch, zero sponsors. (Baby steps, my dears, baby steps.)

I picked the 3-day walk for the Cure as my first activity to launch “On the Outside Looking In.” Or, rather, I decided to launch “On the Outside Looking In” as a way to force me to walk the walk instead of just talking the talk.

I suppose it was a combination of things that pushed me. One of my teacher hall monitoring buddies is walking the walk. (Gee, I thought, isn’t that great.) I read a rather poignant piece from Miami Herald columnist Leonard Pitts about the loss of his mom and why he was finally walking the walk. (Wow, I thought, what a great column.) I have colleagues who have stared this killer in the face and survived (What amazing women they are, I said.).

And then, I ran into a colleague at the state high school journalism convention. I hadn’t seen her in months. We stood in the empty hallway. She with her ball cap on, light sensitive eyes and hope for the future and me with only my guilt for not knowing she was in an all-out fight against breast cancer.

It nagged at me for weeks… how I had become so wrapped up in my life that I hadn’t heard about her battle for her life.

I am no stranger to cancer. In less than three years, I buried both parents. My mother lost her battle against lung cancer and my father lost his fight against prostate cancer. There have been others as well.

Still, my self-absorption with my life tugged at me. I hope to make up for that with the 3-Day for the Cure walk. My walk will be a different walk. I walk to apologize to Lori for not knowing, and I walk to celebrate her life. I walk with joy for all those sisters who survived their battle with breast cancer. And yes, as odd as it seems, I walk with joy for those sisters who fought the fight, but lost because I believe we honor them by remembering how much they enriched our lives.

And finally, I walk with joy simply and thankfully because I can.

(To help me on my way, please consider making a donation, so that I will qualify for the walk. Donations can be made by going to, click on "Donate," select “search for a team” and then input my team name, Pink Me Out or you can simply click here and it should take you right there.)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Carol: Pink Me Out

[In honor of the lack of the Chubby Brits who failed to rise up to the occasion and participate in this little fitness challenge, here's Yo Mum's So Fat Joke #8… "Your mum's so fat that even God couldn't lift her spirts…"] 

Here's a brief update on my progress… I continue to do yoga attending classes at least three times a week. Although I am getting better at it, I still fall over, can't grab my ankles for the bow pose,  and my revolved triangle pose doesn't look anything like this picture.

Such is my life. I read a post  about losing weight that had a gajillion retweets. I don't know what all the fuss was about. It  basically covered what we all know (exercise, cut calories by 25 percent and eat some fish oil). OK, so maybe, I didn't know about the fish oil thing, but I seriously doubt that's going to drop a ton of pounds.

Instead, I rather preferred the chocolate study story. You can read about my take on that here.

But now I have rambled so let me get back on task. I decided I needed an extra push. You know, to sort of jump start my engines. So-o-o-o-o-o-o I signed up for the Susan G. Komen 3-day for the Cure 60 mile walk. It's a great cause and I might even lose a few pounds along the way.

I need sponsors though. I have to raise $2,300 in order to be able to participate in the November walk. So if you could find it in your heart to make a donation, please go to, click on "Donate," select “search for a team” and then input my team name, Pink Me Out.) 

I'll keep you posted on how my training and donations are going.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Joel: The Art of Slow Slow Slow Running

I read a comment today on the Couch To 5K's Facebook wall that sorta got to me.

One person commented that she ran a mile in 33 minutes. Someone asked if she meant that she ran it in 13 minutes, because she couldn't see how someone could run for 33 minutes and only go a mile. One more person chimed in basically saying that even someone walking slow could walk a mile in 20 minutes.

While I understand that it was an issue of confusion, I responded:

How does it take someone 30 minutes to run a mile? They have the guts to get out there no matter how out of shape they used to be in and run slower than most people walk.

They get over the years of excuses to not work out and just set out with a plan to push themselves harder than they have in years (or decades). The first day they realize that 60 seconds nonstop is miserable. ONE TIME.

But they don't give up.

They don't make it through the first day, but they don't give up. Maybe it takes them two months to get to Week 1 Day 1, maybe it takes longer.

But they don't give up.

The weight loss is slow, it's not like the fad diets they have tried numerous times in the past. It's frustratingly slow, because they know that when they lose the weight, their speed will go up and their risk of injury will go down dramatically.

But they don't give up.

By the time this person is to the point where they can run 1 mile nonstop, something inside of them changes.

So they don't give up.

They see the benefits, they feel that they can breathe like a normal human being again (at least sometimes), they can't imagine going back to the place they were just a few months ago.

So they don't give up.

It may take them an hour or more to finish a 5K race. But they run the entire time. How many people finish the race in 30 minutes and can't run the whole thing? It took years of bad decisions to get them to this point, but they have seen the results and have developed the fortitude to push through no matter what other people are doing.

So they don't give up.

I have a friend who can run 5K in 17:30. I can walk/run it in 53:00. Now. But eventually, I'll be running 10K, and half marathons, and who knows what else...

This is why people like me don't go to the gym for years and years...not because there are a bunch of rude and judgmental people (you're not, just confused...I understand that), but because the fear exists that there are a bunch of rude and judgmental people.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Loser, Yoga & My Inner Me

[In honor of the lack of Chubby Brits who failed to rise up to the occasion and participate in this little fitness challenge, here's Yo Mum's So Fat Joke #7…
"Your mums so fat that when she steps on the scales it says one at a time please!"]

OK, so I'm a loser—and not in the poundage category either. I noticed on the nifty little computer calendar that it's been almost a month since my last entry.

Jeez Louise, that's hardly a way to encourage my cyberbuddy Joel in his weight loss endeavor.  Since 30 days have lapsed since my last post, well  I hardly know where to begin. So we'll just jump right in there and try our best to recap 30 days of negligence, but I’ve gotta warn you, it ain't pretty.

•And then there were five (another exercise class bites the dust)…
It's not our fault. No really. You can't blame Doomsday Becky and me for the discontinuation of our yoga classes at our most recent exercise location. Missy Chrissy Pretzel decided she wanted her own place and opened up her very own yoga studio. Doomsday Becky and I figured that we can't jinx Missy Chrissy Pretzel because we are following her over there, not discovering her there. I did volunteer not to follow Missy Chrissy Pretzel to her new place if she was worried. (I didn't have the heart to tell her about those bad karma exercise gods. I pretty sure all those closing doors are retribution for all those times I called that one girl balloon butt in college.) Instead, I opened up the ol' checkbook, paid for the entire year and hoped that would buy us all some good karma.

•Does that yearbook make me look fat?  
Trying to get the yearbook finished these past 30 days has significantly hurt my exercise program. I quit going out to the garage to smack my punching bag and instead bebopped my way to work at 7 a.m. The good news is after tomorrow all those pages are in and I can resume my morning kickboxing program. As an added bonus, the weather is warm and the garage no longer freezing. Pretty soon I can complain about the heat instead.

•Yoga & Me & Eagle Poses
I'm still attending yoga classes at least twice a week. I'm planning to try and go three to four times a week since I paid for a year's worth of unlimited yoga sessions. I still fall over most of the time. At least at the new studio, there aren't any mirrors, so I don't have a visual image of how goofy I actually look. Missy Chrissy Pretzel says to look inside ourselves for our image. Too bad my inner me image isn't my outside image because my inner me is a mini-me… tall, thin and young, not short, fat Rubenesque and old. Plus, my inside image has that eagle standing tall, instead of looking like that tipsy, goofy eagle falling off a cliff.

•Goals & Deadlines
I went back and took another peek at the goals I set for myself back in January, and I must say that was a pretty depressing jaunt down memory lane.

Goal #1 was to lose 30 pounds by the end of May. Well, I guess we can mark that one as a big, fat failure. I arrived at the number three part OK. Now, all I have to do is get a zero after that three instead of before it. Fear not. I will not give up. Maybe we'll shoot for 10 pounds instead. (Unless, of course, someone wants to volunteer hiring me a personal trainer, chef, nutritionist, and, let's throw in a plastic surgeon as well.)

Goal #2 was to be able to do the Eagle Pose by the end of May. Hmmmmm. Now, I am better at it, but whether it will meet Missy Chrissy Pretzel's professional OK, well, let's just say I better keep practicing.

Well, that's about all the updating I'm going to do, but before I go I do have to admit that I had to eat eight of those tasty mini Cadbury Easter eggs to take the sting off the trauma of writing this post.