Rattlesnake Ledge

Today I hiked up the Rattlesnake Mountain Trail with Kim and Katherine. It was very fun. Though I was horribly out of shape going up hill. We were “almost there” forever it seemed. The funniest part of the walk was when a woman yelled, “Bear.” I was like oh Lord. Bear ended up being her adorable little dog. Thank God. I am hoping to get more hikes in this spring/summer.

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The Ladies.

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What goes up, must come down. Down was a lot better.

Views from the top

Views from the journey

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Just me

All photos:

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Password: italia

Three 5Ks, Tea, and Flowers

Since February, I have walked three 5Ks.

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Mardi Gras 5K in February. I did this walk with Erica, but I can’t locate the picture with the two of us.

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St. Patrick’s Day in March with Katherine and Kim. I think it was my sixth Dash. I need to recount my shirts to tell.

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Brunch Run with Kim and Katherine in April. This is the best 5K ever! Afterward, tons of yummy samples from local brunch spots. I will be doing it again!

Tea with the ladies in Marysville.

In my almost 25 years of living on the west side of the mountain, I had never been to see the tulips in Skagit Valley. A lot the flowers had yet to bloom. But it was still pretty, and I loved seeing the snow-topped mountains.

 

And other flowers!

And even more.

Seattle Marathon

I walked the Seattle (Half) Marathon on Sunday. It was a last-minute decision. I am glad I did it even though I did forget how hilly it is! Between the Seattle and Rock N Roll Seattle, I prefer the less hilly Rock N Roll.

This race was the fifth half marathon (three Seattle and two Rock N Roll Seattle) I have walked since starting my fitness journey in 2014. Turning 40 that year really made me think about how I wanted the next 40 years of my life to be. One word that stood out was healthy. So if I can walk two half marathons a year and throw in some 5Ks, I think it will go a long way. There is an older woman I have seen each year at the Seattle (probably in her 60s or 70s), and I always try to find her at the start line. She moves. Her pace is a lot quicker than mine. She used to walk full marathons before knee surgery. I want to be like her when I grow up. I also saw a group of four women walking together who looked to all be 70+. Life goal!

As always, I loved seeing the different ages and body types. All with one goal: to finish. So whether you did the half in two hours or five hours, you finished! I was trying to make it to mile 10 before the first full marathon runner passed me on the way to finish. I was somewhere between mile 10 and 11 when it happened. Mile 10 is my favorite marker because I am just about there. I swear the distance between miles 12 and 13 seems so long! The last mile! And of course crossing that finish line feels so good!

Me at the start line and finish line.

 

Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday was motivation to do it. Plate number one followed by the smaller plate number two. Followed by a selection of desserts.

1st Thanksgiving – Exhibit A, AKA why I will always be full figured…resistance is futile

 

I also knew I would be having Second Thanksgiving on Sunday.

2nd Thanksgiving – Exhibit B, AKA why I will always be full figured…resistance is futile

If anyone is interested, I will be walking the Rock N Roll Half Marathon on June 18. Sign up and join me. I still think it would be cool to do the Rock N Roll Vegas, Dublin, Madrid, or Lisbon one of these years!

Houston Trip

I traveled to Houston for my job to attend a conference. I had time for a little fun while there and was able to see some buddies from other ports and the industry.

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With my coworker and teammate, Andre. We set up our booth the day before the trade show.

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With my coworker, Bob.

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Art in the park across the street from our hotel.

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It just so happens that the Mariners were playing the Astros while we were there. The M’s won in 11 innings 4 to 3. We were happy in enemy territory. It was my first time seeing a Seattle team in another city/state.

 

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Outside of Minute Maid Park.

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There was a business run opening day. It seemed like a good idea at the time, LOL. It was a good way to start a long day. You could do four miles or six miles. I opted to walk the four mile. In a nice surprise, there was also another walker. A woman named Adrian from Jacksonville.

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Found a few minutes during one of the days for a short walk to do just this: Pause.

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There were many receptions on all nights of the trade show. Wednesday saw us bowling at Vancouver BC’s reception and then dancing and listening to good music at House of Blues at AAL’s reception.

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So that time I did an armadillo race with my buddy, Randy, from Portland. I came in second out of three. There was also a mechanical bull, but I was wearing a skirt. Otherwise, I would have loved to do it!

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I absolutely loved this church.

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Mount Rainier welcoming me home.

Fit for the Kingdom – Creating Community

This is an article I wrote for the summer 2016 newsletter.

The theme of this issue is “Equipping Others.” In terms of fitness, we can equip and help others in their fitness journey. This can be done through creating opportunities for fitness when spending time with our family and friends.

Change how you socialize

As I started my fitness journey, I became more aware of my food choices. This led me to want to eat out less, especially as I browsed nutrition menus and saw the amount of calories and sodium in restaurant food. I quickly realized that when I met friends and family to hang out and catch up, it often was around food. One quick fix was to change where and how we met. Now when I meet them to catch up, instead of meeting at a restaurant or coffee shop, we meet at a park and go for a walk and are able to talk without the distractions and interruptions surrounding restaurant dining. Plus being outdoors is great for our health.

Speaking of being outdoors, why not plan a day hike with friends and family. There are many trails at different endurance levels that are very close to where we live.

Share your fitness journey
Another way we can create community in the area of fitness is to share our stories. I recently posted an article on my blog sharing results from my fitness journey. The  largest result? I was able to stop taking blood pressure medication. The story led people to ask me more questions about my journey and path.

Add in some competition
There are tools like Fitbits that can be used to engage in some friendly competition with your community. It can be the extra motivation you need to get those extra steps in. I hear of people adding 15 minutes of walking just to finish number one in their community group.

Engage your family and friends
There are many fun things that also include physical fitness. This is true especially during the warm, summer months. You and your family and friends can go on nice walks in the evenings or go on bike rides on the weekends on one of the many bike trails in our area.

Here are some things you can do with family and friends.

Go for a walk
Walking for wellness is free, low impact, and something you can do on your own schedule. Remember, it does not have to be all at once. If you find 10 minutes three times a day, that is 30 minutes. Walk to wellness!

Just dance
Whether you are alone or with family and friends, just turn on the music and dance. The thing about exercise is that it is just about moving your body. It doesn’t have to involve classes or gyms.

Do housework
Whether with your family or roommate, doing household chores is a form of exercise.

Add in stairs
Encourage your friends and family to take the stairs with you.

Walk your dog
If you have a dog, walk your dog as a family.

Do a marathon, 5K, or other race/activity
Do you plan on walking or running in a race? Why not ask your family and/or friends to join you?

Gardening
Enlist your family and friends to help you in the garden. Gardening is great exercise but be careful with all of the bending.

Have a weekly sport/game night
Why not play basketball with your friends and family? It is something you can do indoors and outdoors so weather is not an issue. You could also play video games that require dance and movement. You could also go bowling or ice-skating.

At the end of the day, it’s just about getting your body moving. Exercise is good for the body and the soul, and engaging your community is good for your motivation as well the health of your community.

Rock and Roll Seattle

I walked the Rock and Roll Seattle half marathon with Crystal and Demetrius! We rocked it out in around three and a half hours. There is such a sense of satisfaction that comes from crossing the finish line.

This was my fourth half marathon! I have now done two Seattle and two Rock and Roll Seattle’s. My goal is to do two a year.

I am always aware of the other people running/walking. There are different ages and there are different body types. Everyone is just trying to finish. We found our comfortable stride, and we kept it.

I’m working on a fitness article for my church newsletter. I’m writing about coming together as a community to exercise and get/stay healthy. Perfect timing and illustration. We had a lot of time to talk, joke, reflect in silence, and just be with each other. All while doing exercise in the great outdoors.

Here are some pictures:

Me, Crystal, and Demetrius moving to the start line

Me, Crystal, and Demetrius moving to the start line

A shot of downtown Seattle. We were almost to the finish line!

A shot of downtown Seattle. We were almost to the finish line!

Finishers with our medals!

Finishers with our medals!

A sister was hungry! Not a morsel was left on my plate!

A sister was hungry! Not a morsel was left on my plate!

FIt for the Kingdom – Your Body as a Temple

The Fit for the Kingdom section  from Volume XV Issue II of the PCC Scroll. The issue continued with the calendar year’s overarching theme of “Walking Out Your Purpose” with a theme of “Being a Good Steward.”

I have spent the last two years focused on getting and staying healthy and taking care of my body. The results have been amazing. I have lost weight, sleep better, and I have gotten off of the blood pressure medication I had been taking.

While I think most of us want good physical health, I think time sometimes just gets away from us. Our days are packed with so much, and by the time we get home, we are too tired to do anything but vegetate. Then in the morning, when the alarms goes off for us to get up to exercise, we are too tired and opt for that extra sleep.

However, taking care of our bodies and physical health is so important. Our bodies are temples of God after all. So what are some simple ways to take care of your body?

Drink plenty of water
While I prefer a tall glass of cold ice water, it is recommended that water be warm or at room temperature. With cold water, your body uses energy to warm it up, which delays the water actually hydrating. I hear a lot of people say that water is boring. Try adding in strawberries, mint, cucumber, or lemon.

Meditate
We have so many voices and thoughts racing around in our heads, and we have so many distractions. We are, unfortunately, very connected to the Matrix. It would be helpful to find 15 minutes each day to just focus on breathing, clearing the mind, and relaxing. Meditation gives us time to slow down. If we are constantly on the go, we are never quite in the present.

Sleep
Not getting enough sleep is dangerous. It is recommended that you get seven to nine hours of sleep each night. While you are sleeping, your body is repairing and taking care of itself. Be sure to give your body time to do what it’s supposed to do, especially during those times your body is fighting sickness.

Eat right
Make most of what you eat count. Focus on fresh fruits and vegetables, and choose healthy snacks like almonds and cashews. Avoid processed foods, which are high in salt, sugar, and fat. In my mind, the longer the shelf life, the scarier the product. Seriously, I don’t want anything in my body that will still be “fresh” long after I am gone. Obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and Type 2 diabetes are the result of poor diets, which correlates with high weight.

Eat slowly and enjoy your meal. Give your body time to know that you are eating. They say it takes time for your brain to register that you are eating. If you are done too quickly, your brain has not gotten the message. I know I am guilty of speeding tickets while eating. Here’s to slowing down!

Exercise
Exercise not only helps you lose weight, it also helps relieve stress. 20 minutes of walking each day could do wonders. And remember, it doesn’t have to all be at once. Walking 10 minutes during a morning break and 10 minutes during an afternoon break would do the trick. Each time you take the stairs or park far from the entrance, you are adding in a little bit of exercise, and every little bit counts!

Listen to your body
The bottom line is to listen to your body. If you are tired, sleep. If you are hungry, eat (good food). If you are sick, rest. If you feel pain, address it. The body is connected. Pain in one location could be the result of a problem somewhere else.

Please join me in a journey to better health. We not only want long life, we want a healthy life with good quality. Remember your body is a temple to be treated with care, respect, and love.