Body Like A Bugatti

I’m going to show you two vehicles and I want you to decide which one you want to drive to work. You’ll certainly get the boss’s attention with either of them, but which one would earn you an invite back to work? Especially if you took your boss for a spin. 

You probably picked the Bugatti Veyron. I sure as hell did. It’s a 2.6 million dollar vehicle. It’s oil change is $20,000. It’s set of tires is $30,000 and will need to be changed every 2500 miles. It’s a high performance machine that can reach 60 mph from a standstill in just over 2 seconds. This is a high maintenance vehicle if I ever saw one.

While that dump truck is powerfully strong, it’s certainly not high maintenance. It runs on dirty diesel fuel. It takes about 45 minutes and a downhill to reach 60 mph. It’s not a luxurious ride.

I want my body to work like a Bugatti.

Unfortunately, I’ve been driving it like a dumptruck. I’ve been fueling it with diesel instead of high octane. I haven’t gotten it up to speed, revved the engine, or treated it like the machine it could be. Sweets, and salty chips don’t make an engine or a body run well. Sitting on my butt doesn’t work either. It takes exercise and eating right to make our bodies like the well oiled machines others would be jealous to drive. 

You see, there may only be 40 bugattis in the world, but this is only body we’ve got. It’s even more rare, even more precious than a 2.6 million dollar car. The difference between our bodies and the cars is that our bodies get stronger when we run them hard. Our bodies run smoother, more efficiently. Whereas cars wear out, need oil changes, new tires and $21,000 routine maintenance to prevent them from breaking down while running hard. They don’t get strong with workouts. 

It’s time to eat right, time to exercise right, time to get this machine running better than a Bugatti.

On Thin Ice

When in Canada…
Since we’re frozen what seems more of the year than we are thawed, we make use of that slippery stuff. Hockey season starts in the fall. It’s already started. Therefore, our local hockey rink is already flooded and frozen. 

The boys have been asking to go ice skating. Two years ago Crash sort of learned to skate. He can stay vertical (mostly) and move forward (mostly) and turn (mostly). He didn’t go at all last year. I figured he’d have to learn all over again. I was afraid it wasn’t like riding a bike…

Bang has been skating before, too. DW and I took him once last winter while Crash was at school. It was a “Mom and Tot” skate. This dad went. 

We got him all bundled up in snow clothes. Falling on ice hurts so we wanted to give him as much padding as possible. Snow pants. Snow coat. Mittens. Helmet. Skates. We have a skate trainer, too. Basically, just an L shaped piece of tubing to give support to those with Bambi legs. Well, he hit the ice just like Bambi and went down. I picked him up and helped him get his feet under him. Down he went again like a drunk at closing time. After that he was done. He refused to even stand up again. I carried him off the ice. He lasted 10 minutes.

You can now understand our tentativeness to take him skating again this year after the debacle of last year. However, after hearing his brother’s excitement it was difficult to say no. But you can’t go skating without ice skates and the boys feet had grown 19 sizes since we last went.

Skates for Bang: $10
Skates for Crash:$40
Skate sharpening: $5 per pair
Admission to public skate: $5 per family

Spending a full hour skating: Priceless

By the end of the hour Bang was running skating. It looked like running, though. He fell many, many times. He’d laugh it off, get back up, and motor on. He used the skate trainer. He used tall pylon (think road construction cone). He used nothing. 

With 10 minutes left, a security guard joined us on the ice. I thought he was coming to tell us that Bang wasn’t allowed to use the skate trainer (it’s happened before). I was wrong.

He was coming to kick DW off the ice.

Once upon a time she was a rink rat, but DW hasn’t skated for a jillion gazillion years. Since the last ice age, probably. Not trusting herself on skates, she remained in shoes. The nice security man was coming on the ice (ironically, in his shoes) to tell DW she couldn’t be on the ice in shoes, she needed skates. Apparently it was for saftey and insurance reasons. So off the ice she went for  a 10 minute shoe penalty. 

When the buzzer sounded for us to get off the ice to make way for the zambonie both boys were disappointed. They weren’t ready to leave. So I guess it was a success. Guess we’ll be going back more often. 

Sure beats vegging out in front of the TV or on some form of electronic device.

Crash and Bang being Canadian.

Accountability

It’s a big word.

Like responsibity.

We all have responsibilites.

Cooking.
Cleaning.
Keeping the kids alive.

So when you fail at your responsibilities you are held accountable. Or me. I’m held accountable, too.

Two weeks ago I set a goal for myself to quit drinking Coke and to start running regularly. Both have happened, but not quite like I imagined. First, I ended up not quitting Coke all together. I cut back to two per week. I was drinking six. It was a combination of six cans and 500mL bottles. That’s A LOT of sugar. So two is much better than six. A step in the right direction.

My other goal of running regularly while hasn’t been a total success, has been a step in the right direction. I ran once the first week (two weeks ago). I ran twice last week. So far I’ve only run once this week. Crash has been accompanying me on his bike. We’re up at 6:30, a bite to eat then we’re out the door by 7. However, this morning, Bang was awake so he jumped in the jogging stroller, Crash jumped on his bike and the three of us took off. My goal time pushing a 50+ pound stroller for 4 miles was 36 minutes. We made it in 35:32.

So I’m holding myself accountable. Crash knows the plan is to get out on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. He asked me why we skipped last Friday. How can I teach him responsibility and accountability if I don’t hold myself to the same standard? Lead by example instead of do as I say not as I do.

If you’re looking for me in the morning, I’ll be running the roads. My favorite biker beside me. If he’s awake, my favorite stroller rider in front of me.

I’m No Quitter…

According to the internet, Mark Twain said he has quit smoking either hundreds of times or thousands of times. Either way, that’s a whole lotta quitting. I’m not a quitter. I don’t give up.

That’s why I need to quit Coke again. I went three days without last week. I think I can go four this week. No Coke ’til Friday!

Crash and I had a beautiful run this morning. I ran. He biked. The sun shined. Last week we ran/biked four miles. This week’s goal is 12 miles – four miles Monday, Wednesday, Friday. Our goal time is 34 minutes for four miles. Last week we made it in 33:52. Today we made in 32:56, a minute faster!  This is roughly three minutes slower than my best, but I’ll chalk that up to having not run for a few months. Even then my running was as sporadic as the times my kids are willing to clean. I’d like to get back to running regularly again.

I used to run at night after the boys were in bed. I have just now started going first thing in the morning. Crash is an early riser so we have a small breakfast of either a bagel or English muffin then hit the road. Skip the OJ. I love OJ with breakfast. But OJ sits heavy and will often make a reappearance at around mile two or three. Stick to water. It’ll stay down.

895ae34a9d5beca1c1df0bcef31d7b91These 7 am runs can only last the month of August, though. Come September the boys will both be in school and will have to start getting ready at 7 am. Not kosher with the 7 am run. I would go 6 am, but because of how our substitute teacher system works online, I usually start job hunting at 6 am. Will I be ambitious enough to run at 5:15 am? Considering that DW and I get our quiet time together after the boys are in bed, I don’t see myself going to bed early enough to get up at 5 am. My dad does it. Though, he gets up at 5 to go to work , not go running.

This is when I need to “up my game”. If I can’t find the time, I need to make the time. There are 24 hours in a day. That’s 1,440 minutes. I’m sure 30-45 of those can be dedicated to running. Especially if it means getting Crash out for a bike ride, too. Bang would join us, but he’s been sleeping in. Soon enough he’ll be pushed in the running stroller while Crash bikes. He loves to see the train tracks, the tanker cars (he calls the white ones ‘milk tankers’) and the tower of fire at the natural gas plant. And the ‘big fans‘ too. Hopefully, getting them out running with me will instil a desire for exercise as they grow older. I’ll cross my fingers. I won’t hold my breath.

Do you enjoy running? What part of the day do you dedicate to exercise?

running

Our view on this morning’s run/bike

 

 

Life Happens

Have you ever had the best plan ever, then something unforeseen happens. Or perhaps just normal, every day routine happens. But your best plan ever never happens. Life happens.

Back in January, I set a goal for myself. I wanted to run a thousand miles this year. It’s the second year in a row I’ve set this goal. It’s the second year in a row I’ve failed. Perhaps three’s the charm? Anyway, I just looked at my running log. It’s been 57 days since I ran last. Really? Yep, on October 15th I ran 10k. Haven’t run since.

Thanks life.

I’ve been trying to figure out when I can get my runs in. I could go early in the morning. However, I can’t justify getting up at 5 am for a run. Plus, the kids are light sleepers in the mornings. Our squeaky floors would surely wake them. I could go right after school. However, that’s play time with the kids for an hour before it’s time to get supper on the go. Until Crash starts getting homework. Once that happens, homework will come first, then play.

I could go after the kids are in bed. That’s when I used to go most often. I don’t mind running in the dark. Actually, I used to look forward to it if it was snowing. The silence that comes with newly fallen snow is incredible. Pair that with the darkness and the Earth becomes a magical wonderland. However, the evenings have become us time for DW and I. The kids are in bed and all is quiet. So we watch a couple shows on TV. Do I give up time with the kids to go running? Do I give up time with DW to go running? Ain’t no way in hell I can make that decision.

But, I will get back into it. All that endorphin and “me time” is a needed factor in every life. Thanks to a post and a small discussion with Dave over at Runs Wit Faust, I will indeed be getting back on the road. Back on the trail, too. Running in the woods is even better. But I can’t go there after dark. I’m lucky I don’t get lost during the day let alone at night. Plus there are things that might eat me at night. I’d rather have supper than be supper.

Prior to this break from running, I would run for nearly an hour. Perhaps if I shorten my runs to a half hour (for now) I can make the time to go running. Something has got to be better than nothing, right? And perhaps I can rotate when I go – sometimes after school, sometimes after the kids go to bed. Or perhaps life will find something else for me to do.

But I hope not, because I like running and running likes me. And my poor running shoes miss me dearly.

A Kick in the Arse

The hardest part of going for a run is putting on my shoes. Well, that and running up hills. Finding the motivation and making the time to go can be difficult. So I’m going to leave these here to look at later. These will hopefully be my kick in the arse to help me put my running shoes on.

And my fitbit is sad. So I need to run so I can kick my friend’s (and my mom’s, dad’s, brother’s, and sister-in-law’s) butts. Lace ’em up. Tie em’ tight and hit the road or the trail or the treadmill!

Motivation

Motivation is a fickle beast. What may motivate one person has no effect on another. What motivates a person today may do nothing the next. Finding that right motivator is a difficult task, especially if you’re trying to motivate a kid to clean.

Crash earned Minecraft for his tablet last weekend when he helped us stack wood at his grandfather’s house. He’s been asking for it for a solid year, at least. We kept trying various tasks for him to earn it: don’t instigate his brother, help clean the house, clean up his Legos. Nothing worked. I’m not sure if Minecraft (which he seem to need so desperately) just wasn’t worth it or what his deal was. We stacked firewood for about two and half hours last Sunday and while he worked slowly he did it. Mind you he’d stack a piece then sit and complain about being tired or hot. Or thirsty. Or his back hurt. Or he was sweaty. Then he’d stack another piece and repeat the process. After about an hour and half he finally realized that he was going to have to work for it.

It’s time he learns that you can’t get something for nothing. A lesson he probably should have learned long ago.

Anyway, he worked and he earned. But now that he has it he has to continue to work to continue earning his time. He has daily chores to do now. The difficulty of the chore determines how many chores he has. Making his bed, and putting away the silverware from the dishwasher are all easy so he has to do them all in one day. Cleaning his toys in the basement is big so that was his only chore yesterday. Guess what. Cleaning his toys proved more difficult than playing Minecraft was worth. He’s on day two of not cleaning his toys. Bang helped me clean his portion of the toys this morning. Crash played Legos and cleaned diddly squat. So apparently, Minecraft that he was dying to get, just isn’t worth the 15 minutes of cleaning it would take to play.

This leads me to think about what motivated me. I enjoy a clean house so I most days I don’t mind it. Plus it’s not worth it to tell DW she folded the clothes wrong, so I just do it myself. But, I’m now thinking of a slightly different form of motivation.

Exercise. I enjoy it. I don’t mind the sweat and heart thumping it entails. But some days (most days until recently) just putting on my running shoes was a huge effort. Thanks to my Fitbit and a few challenges from friends and family, I’m getting back put there, albeit, a bit slower than I was 3 months ago. But I’m running.

Motivation to do, to accomplish, to just try, ultimately comes from within yourself. Right now, close your eyes and think of what it is you want to do, to accomplish. Think of what it will take to achieve. Think of yourself in the moment you acheive it. Now open your eyes and make it happen. Yes, it’s as easy as that. Will it be easy to accomplish, probably not. But anything easy isn’t worth accomplishing.

I’ve put my running shoes back on. Now, if I could just motivate Crash to clean!

Kick in the pants

run viewHere is a view from our run yesterday.

Bang has been asking and asking to go for a run. He loves to go in the stroller and get pushed while I run. We see log haulers, cement trucks, excavators, train tracks, trains, and windmills (which he used to call big fans). He loves it.

I haven’t been running for 6 weeks. Hence, I’ve fallen way behind (major understatement) in my 1,000 mile challenge. He was asking and asking and this morning’s weather was good, except for the wind, so we went. He was hoping I’d go 8 miles because at the 1/2 way point to turn to go home is a gate which, of course he’s named “the gate” that he likes to pee on. We’re four miles from civilization and since the world is a boy’s urinal, why stop him.

Unfortunately, we didn’t make it to the gate. The head wind we were fighting was just too much. He was disappointed at first, but accepted it after I told we’d try to make it to the gate next time. As you can see in the photo, we have a view of the water for almost the entire trip. Most of the time there is at least one cargo ship docked here. Last summer Crash was able to ride his bike to the gate with me. I was impressed.

We had been riding farther distances each time we went. We started just riding around town and would total about 3 miles. Then we rode out of town for a 4 mile ride. Then one day he wanted to go over the next hill so we ended up going 6 miles. After that I asked him he wanted to ride to the gate. We made it. Though we ended up fighting the wind and some rain on the way back. Bang is getting pretty adept on his bike and I don’t foresee his training wheels lasting the summer.

Bang provided me with the kick in the pants I needed to get running again. Now that it’s light outside until 9:00, I should be getting out after they’re in bed when I typically go. But I’ve gotten used to sitting and relaxing during this quiet period in our house. So we’ll see who wins this evening… shoes or pajamas?