Blog Posts

Following Along

Allison of The Broad Running Broad published a great article in early April on the popular InsideTracker. You can check it out here.

Seems all the running influencers are somehow a part of the biomarker and nutrition tracking app, Inside Tracker. The premise is you submit your labwork to them, it’s analyzed for nutritional, hormonal, etc deficiencies and then a customized plan is sent to you detailing how to improve your health. The fine print though. Turns out you can pay upwards of several thousands of dollars per year for their customized plans and labwork costs. Until now I hadn’t heard anyone share the deep, dark details.

Using a clothespin as a hairclip = distortion

And, on that note, the Navy really distorts what health and fitness looks like. Probably all branches but I’m only speaking to my own. Maybe distort isn’t the correct word, but it certainly played into my distorted views. I haven’t looked lately – there’s no reason to – but the height/weight requirements are completely impractical. Truth time. I currently weigh 150 lbs. That’s a lot in my little, distorted, unhealthy mind. I don’t like that number. I don’t like it at all. However, I’m liking how my clothes (still) fit, I can run, I can keep up with mini, I can do my job without restriction, I can LIVE. So what’s the problem? Well, nothing, I guess. Again, it’s just a number! Kel! It’s just a number! Ugh. I hate how society places value on the number on the scale. How many times have I said it doesn’t matter – but that stupid voice inside my head says something is wrong.

Deep breath. I’m trying. There’s a fitness friend I follow along with in social media who also weighs the same. It was a bit of a news flash when she casually stated her weight. It clearly doesn’t define her. But going back over her story, she seemed to have struggled many years ago, too. Hmmm. I’m sensing a pattern here.

Nonetheless, I’m sticking with my plan of “training” for a 10k and strength training 3-4x a week. Last week was the highest mileage week since December…a whopping 8 miles! Tell the press! Or is it hold the presses? Meh. I sincerely feel strong this time around. It’s incredible how much we rely on our back end to propel us forward when running. Of course I knew all this. I just had to break something before being reminded.

Isn’t that always how it goes? The little things creep up on us and, then, BAM. We’re in over our heads with lab work plans and physical therapy and who knows what else. Meh.

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I ask you –

Have you heard of InsideTracker? Have you tried it?

What things in your life do you believe you may have a distorted view of?

Tell me your word du-jour! Lately mine is “meh”, but I use “whackadoo” daily.

Cue the Frustration!

You can’t reason with someone who is having unreasonable feelings.

Presumably anyone with anxiety

Season 7 of Grace & Frankie streams at the end of April. Don’t come at me with your Vietnam War comments. I’m well aware of her previous publicity. Everyone makes mistakes. She’s an actress. A great one. Life goes on. In related news, I’m sad this will be the final season. I have laughed, cried, and lived with this show from the beginning. It’s a riot.

Image Credit: Netflix

On the subject of movies, have you ever heard of “Top Gun”? Rumor has it there will be another movie premiering end of May. It’s only been rescheduled two, three, five times. I’ll believe it when I see it – and I do plan to see it opening weekend. Iconic in its own right.

Last week, whilst changing phone service providers, I had an ‘I’m becoming my parents’ moment’. Turns out my phone was too old to transfer service properly so I needed a newer phone. The phone was only 5 yrs old! I probably frustrated the young assistant manager with my blank stares and horrific sticker shock. He handled it well. Then I spent the remainder of the evening and some of the next day trying to log in to all my regularly accessed apps. You know, like my blog. You’ll all be pleased to know I’m now the proud owner of some fancy contraption that can call Mars and will most likely spontaneously combust in my hands. Oh joy.

I lost my check in record of 960-something days and 3 cities’ progress

In an effort to tie this semi-random post together, I’m soliciting for a director to write and produce my life story. Must work for free. The content is self-explanatory and abundant. All you need to do is follow me around for a week before you realize this could be the easiest job ever or you run screaming for the hills.

The cost of phones these days is exorbitant. Did I mention pro bono?

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I ask you –

Are there any upcoming movies or shows you’re looking forward to seeing?

When was the last time you bought a new phone? What did you pay??!

But seriously – I need a director. I’ll pay you in stressful moments and fancy coffee!

The Hard Stuff

I’m not saying I know everything about a lot of things, but I do know something about a few things. Now, the hard part. It’s my belief people need people. Even the introverts, even the ones who dislike people on a general scale.

Where Did This Come From?

During one of my many moments of thoughtfulness, I found myself considering how my life has changed since I began volunteering with different organizations. Please don’t misunderstand – most of these opportunities presented themselves in such a way my thought was ‘I’ll just help this one time, get it going, then slowly drift away’. Worked great, as you can see. Now, most, if not all, of my spare time is spent shuffling from activity to activity and wondering how did I get here?

I love what I do. But sometimes it gets tiresome. From working with youth and children at church, to leading a Freedom course (for the 4th time), to holding the Key Spouse position at work…it’s a lot. Even when I’m grumbling about all the things I have to do, I mean it good naturedly.

Why Continue?

Because it gives meaning. It gives value. It teaches others. It shows my daughter she can be a meaningful part of society just by giving her time. Our most valuable resource, in my opinion. To be something for someone who is struggling or needs a listening ear is immeasurable.

Volunteering isn’t about us. It’s about others. Tell the presses! It means giving back to your community, your neighbors, people you may never know. The opportunities are nearly everywhere – I guarantee if you can’t find somewhere to volunteer your time, then your eyes are closed and you live under a rock.

So why is this “the hard stuff”? Because people are either open to it or they’re not. I’ve heard it all.

  • I don’t have time for myself…I can’t volunteer to another.
  • Why is no one volunteering to help ME?
  • I already have plans to (fill in the blank).
  • It’s only available on Saturdays at 8am.
  • (Check your heart and remember the last time you didn’t)

People need people. Have I said that already? We do. WE DO! Volunteering isn’t about you; it is about what you can give. Don’t tell me you have nothing to give. From organizations like the Boy Scouts to a local, work-related team, someone, somewhere, needs your help.

I challenge you to find just one group and get involved. And if you can’t find something, then create and lead one yourself.

Make a Difference Monday!

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I ask you –

Do you currently volunteer?

How often do you find yourself with spare time on your hands?

Tell me a story of helping someone!

Spring Cleaning

Where has the time gone? How is it April?

My incredible co-worker, Ms. Pat, and I located some gloves and trash bags for “Spring Clean Up Day” at work. Photo op fail. We looked like a service crew who had lost their party…like a prison work group minus the orange jumpsuit. From our vantage point, we didn’t see but one other person outside participating in an event touted as “base wide”. Hmmmppphhh. 30 mins later, with 30 mph wind gusts, we tossed the bags in the dumpster and returned to our building. Spring cleaning: ✅.

One man’s trash, you know the rest. I decided weeks ago to participate in the “Citywide Yard Sale” something or other. Even my neighbors happily gave me their discards to haggle. Why not. As I reminded my MiL I was going to be camped out in her lawn from dawn to whenever, she had a fabulous idea: to ruin my party of 1 with a robe-wearing rendition of old lady humor complete with a solid dose of “GET OFF MY LAWN!” Maybe it was funnier pre-sale. Alas, I waited all day for the show, but none appeared. I sold each item for $1 while Mini bombarded them with items she thought they needed. Team work!

And, on a less funny but more in line with spring note, it was past time for a haircut. I needed something lighter for hot weather.

New do, who dis?

P.S. mini will be 6 years old tomorrow and I’m in shock of how this happened. I swear she was a newborn yesterday. If you leave her happy birthday wishes in the comments, I’ll read them to her tomorrow!

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I ask you –

When was the last time you paraded down the street picking up trash?

Are you a garage saler? Negative. Haggling gives me anxiety.

Spring cleaning: yay or nay

One Day, but not Today!

More funny radio show things to share: forgive me, this isn’t really funny, like hahaha, but more like haHA! A man in Brazil was being chased by bees. He ran towards the nearest body of water and jumped in. Wouldn’t you know said body of water was inhabited by piranhas. And the rest is history. First, let me say I laughed entirely too loud within the confines of my solely occupied car at 7am. By this point, if you don’t know my death-is-funny past, then allow me to reference many previous blog posts with prime examples. Then, I cringed because the radio hosts went on to say…”did you know piranhas are very small, about the size of your palm?” Alas, I did not know this pertinent piece of information and I wonder what this man’s final thoughts were on escaping bees only to be eaten alive by palm-sized fish. FFS. Cue my future fear of bees and water. Wonderful.

I had a song stuck in my head so, like any good employee, I located the song and began to blare it through my desk speakers. Mostly kidding. Whilst searching for this song, I found a playlist of it on repeat for ONE HOUR! I don’t know who thought it was a good idea to repeat a song for one hour, but you’re my hero! It’s been said repetition is the pathway to higher learning – ok, no one said this, I totally made it up, but it’s true – therefore, listening to the song over and over again will most likely remove it from my brain. I hope. But, if not, that’s ok, too, because I rather like the song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPanjfwJvlE

Forgot to Mention –

In my next to last physical therapy session, the amazing people at Reneau brought out the big guns…ehh, needles.

The following day after dry needling, mini said to me “Mom, I just have to ask you one question. What does your leg look like after all the needles? Is there holes in it?” Truth be told, she was extremely disappointed there were no visible holes. If you missed the PT graduation post, it’s here: (link)

We had a joint birthday celebration in the office with some of my favorite birthday buddies. And any reason to eat too much cake is always welcomed. In fact, I’m still eating the cake. Sidenote: frozen cake is delicious! I’ve shared before how the military celebrates everything with cake, even the things that make no sense to celebrate, like sexual assault prevention and response (SAPR). Cake? What?

One day, I won’t be so random. Not today! Maybe tomorrow. Probably not.

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I ask you –

Do you think you’re an annoying co-worker?

Do you always celebrate with cake or something else? I love ice cream.

Tell me if you’ve had any experiences with dry needling!

Leavin’ on a Jet Plane!

Some know my love for flying. Even as a child, I wanted to fly. Off the staircase. Even now, as a mostly functioning adult, the airport is a happy place. People trying to get somewhere fast, the focus of being on time – it just amazes me. Some are fearful of flying and I respect that, but it isn’t me! Fly me to the moon!

Mini recently had her first opportunity to fly. I’m slightly disappointed her first flight wasn’t with me, but it is what it is. Fun fact: I’ve only ever flown alone. She did pepper me with questions until the day; I think I did a great job alleviating any fears because she seemed to enjoy it! The ‘to’ trip was a success in her book and she was able to complete post-flight checks with the Captain. I hope she asked all the hard questions.

Credit: Southwest Airlines

Her Tennessean spring break was eventful, to hear her tell it. She enjoyed an outdoor dance platform, visited a space museum in her loathed state of Amabama (story for another day), and most likely ate all the Panda Express (Panda Bear, in her terms) she could hold. Alas, she did have to return to school at some point. It felt like both the shortest and longest week for me.

In true Mini fashion, she made a friend on the return flight home. A young girl – same age as mini – was experiencing her very first flight and on her own. Of course there was a whole story to go with this situation, but it’s not my story to tell. However, mini (now an expert flyer) was the girl’s seatmate and happily showed her the ropes…ehh, wings. Her brave, new friend made it back to Love Field and now each has a story! (Note: I did meet the young friend’s family. I’m amazed at the teamwork that came together to get this little lady home and the support system they have. It was not by accident my mini and her friend were able to sit together. Praise God!)

And then she arrived!

Needless to say, the reunion filled my soul. I love how mini has had so many opportunities to do things some people never experience. She takes it all in stride. As a mom, it’s tough to watch your children get older and more independent; however, mini’s independence is much a part of her as it is a part of me. She is a very blessed girl who has never met a stranger and happily befriends those she meets, young and old alike.

Yes, spring break has come to an end but mini’s adventures are lifelong. She is already looking forward to flying again. And now we have new friends in the DFW area. This child is forcing me to be overly social. Bring on the coffee!

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I ask you –

At what age did you first fly?

Have you never flown and wish to? Or are you intentionally never flying?

Tell me your thoughts on flying alone vs with others! I’m not opposed; the opportunity has never presented itself.

Released Unto the Wild

I graduated! For the fifth time (or something like that).

(L to R) PJ, me, Max

PJ and Max at Reneau Rehab have been quite incredible on this entire 6 week journey. When I started there, I could barely stand on my left leg for any amount of time. The pain levels were intense, I was pretty depressed about the status of my injury, and I wasn’t entirely sure I would ever run pain-free again. Disclaimer: I know I get dramatic, but I was seriously in a rough place!

PJ continued to challenge me until even the final minutes of the last session. I learned to focus on the mind/body connection of the muscle groups I’m working instead of nonchalantly going through the motions. My left knee tends to just do whatever it wants (falls inward, acts ridiculous, etc) so I really have to put thought into what I intend it to do for me. It’s more than strength training – it’s using the muscles for a purpose. Mind and body!

As I completed a few 5ks – distance, not races – throughout the course of physical therapy, the changes were noticeable. I really had been slacking off. Wayyyyyy off!

Now that I have a whole week of on-my-own training under my belt (minus a few days of insanity), I’m especially happy I wrote the exercises down as I went through them at Reneau. The exercise band is kept in my purse so it travels wherever I go. That’s not weird at all. My goal has been to dedicate 3x a week to strength training. I only got in 2x this past week but they were good because the soreness was real! Indeed I received some odd looks when, at the gym near my workplace, I was surrounded with “toys” aka a bosu ball, a weighted bar, a medicine ball, and a yoga ball, among others. Yes, you can get a great strength session without actual weights. Shocking, I get it.

Indeed I noticed several gentleman with a huge upper body and stick figure legs. Excuse me, Sir, can I interest you in a medicine ball? Allow me to show you a few things. Maybe next week.

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I ask you –

What did you last graduate from and when?

Did you know it’s possible to strength train without dumbbells?

In a scale of 1 to an uneasy staring contest, how well will a “let me help you train your legs” conversation go? Knowing my ability to be humorous, probably a 2.

Do You…?

Meditation is my thing. But I’m not going to lie: sometimes I go into my closet and lock the door so no one can find me.

Gwen Stefani

Part One

Even before mini started school, I had wondered what parts of it would mimic my own school experience. Because things can change in —- ohhhhhhh —- nearly 20 years. I wondered about cafeteria food, her first book, and loads of other variables. Including the book fair! I’m pleased to report, indeed, there is still a yearly book fair, even for children as young as 5! However, it wasn’t the overflowing library of carts covered in books I remember from years gone by. Instead the book fair was only a small rendition; a miniscule scale of the elaborate week it once was. Mini enjoyed it though. She has no other comparison. Blessed be the innocent.

Part Two

Dan (the one and only) sent me this article: How to Use the Two-Week Rule to Become Remarkably Successful (and Optimize Your Bucket List)

Quotes like “I can do hard things” by Des Linden are prime motivators for really anything you encounter in life. But what if someone told you that in two weeks you’d know exactly how reachable your goal is…would you believe it? Probably not. I met interesting people during the course of 15 physical therapy sessions. Some I’d like to have coffee with; others I could do without ever speaking to again. Get back to the point, Kel. In particular, I met a previous runner now cyclist who was dealing with some knee issues. She stated she kept their business in business. As we discussed various running distances and the local, famous cycling event, she said she had completed 2 marathons and encouraged me to at least once in my life complete one, as well. When I raised my eyebrows as if to say ‘look lady, I’m here because I can’t manage a long run much less 26.2 miles’, she reiterated the word run. Not race. Run. Her words were ‘walk if you have to, run when you can; your goal is to cross the finish line standing up’. And in that moment I saw it all. Start with two weeks, then think about the next two weeks, and so on.

On the topic of bucket lists (and knowing I’ve shared much of this before), a marathon is included. As is a trip to Mexico and/or Las Vegas. Mainly because many of my friends have taken a trip lately and I’m feeling left out. Other to-do’s are to restore an old truck, then outfit a van into a camper and travel from state to state. I also want to complete a Ragnar. I’d love to see the northern lights. For now, I think I’ve got a good start on a list.

Now What?

I have no idea *massive shoulder shrug* When I wrote this post and decided to combine book fair with motivational statements, it didn’t work then either. I make the rules! You’re welcome.

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I ask you –

Can you do anything for two weeks?

What’s on your bucket list?

Name something from your childhood you fear (or know for sure) has changed. Definitely school lunch.

 

A Day in History

During our recent trip to OKC, on the itinerary was a trip to the Oklahoma City Memorial. If you’ll recall, I once wrote an extensive graduate paper on terrorism. My field of study. The paper was submitted electronically and earned me a lot of attention. By attention I mean it was embargoed by the federal government and multiple three-letter agencies, never returned to either my professor or self, and I was investigated. On the bright side, I got an A before my professor ever received it and the joke is it ended up on (then) President Obama’s desk. Anyway… I’ve always wanted to visit.

Not only is it a uniquely designed memorial, but also a touching testimony to survivors and the families of those lost. No matter what damage was done that day, people all over the world have an opportunity to pay their respects. Photos online do not begin to compare to the solemn reverence of this memorial. Mini was intrigued by the chairs – big for adults, small for children.

I wasn’t prepared for the emotions to overwhelm me. I really had no reason to not be able to speak around my tears – at the time, we lived hundreds of miles away. Yet watching it on television in 1995 (I was 9 yrs old) is an engraved photo in my mind, but it does nothing to prep your heart for the magnitude of 168 lives needlessly lost. 168. Many other tragedies since easily surpass that number. But it’s people. And no number of people killed due to acts of terrorism is acceptable.

unrelated: the bldg in the background is where I was sworn in to the US Navy

Again, the photos here do no justice to the emotional journey of looking at mementos left on the fence once used to guard the damaged building after it was bombed. Or how it feels to touch the granite wall of children’s hand prints created by children from multiple states in response to hearing of the children whom would never come home. My collegiate career focused on the acts themselves, the mindset of the guilty, the way it has played into future events; my publications didn’t address the emotions or the very real loss. Interestingly, this is common in people who study subjects considered unempathetic, like child abuse, law enforcement, or terrorism. There’s a switch that must be deactivated. I can’t imagine what it must be like to visit the 9/11 Memorial.

All this being said, hug your kids tighter, say a few extra I love you’s, and visit places you’ve always wanted to see. As I get older, I’m appreciating history more and more. Probably because I know one day we all will be history ourselves.

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I ask you –

Have you been to the OKC Memorial or 9/11 Memorial?

What’s the chance this very post will be flagged before publication? Listen, I don’t have time to plead my case.

Name a place you’d like to visit.

Mindset

Slave to the scale = allowing one number to dictate your entire day or life.

This is a tough topic for me because I’ve noticed the scale gradually inching upward. As a runner, that’s pretty much the last thing we want to happen. But when I factor in strength training there’s really no other place for the scale to go but up. Unless 15 years of lifting has changed.

Many of you who have followed along may remember I practice a keto lifestyle when not training for a race. But something changed this time around. I’m not sure if it was the injury part or if I’m just losing my resolve (unlikely), but I couldn’t stick with it. And it made me feel like crap. Not like…crap because I’m removing loads of sugar and carbs. I could have lived with that part! Crap like…I was wondering what the point even was and if my future would always look like this cycle. It was depressing.

So, instead of denying myself every good food in the world, I’m trying to do what I think our bodies were designed for and what is preached from day one. Everything in moderation. Tracking it via MyFitnessPal has been helpful because it simply tells me if/when I exceed my calorie goal for the day. Again, I’m not a slave to the number. Here’s the confession part of this post: I haven’t lost any weight. In fact, gasp I’ve gained weight. However, when I look at all the strength training I’ve been doing the past month, it makes sense!

My clothes still fit the same. The mirror reflects an image that looks no different than when I started training last time. The inflammation is gone. I don’t really have cravings, per se. The daily salad is still a part of my diet and I enjoy a weekly donut. My nemesis. Coming to terms with this is extremely difficult for me. The heavily conditioned, anorexic part of my mind still fights for control, even for something as necessary as what I eat in a day. It can be exhausting talking myself into accepting it. But it’s getting better.

Maybe this will forever be my cross to bear. I know I’m not alone because I also know isolation is very dangerous. Food is fuel. There will be no running if there is no eating.

Fortunately I love food, as well as running. Please remember eating disorders are very real and my jokes/lightheartedness are how I deal with things. If you or someone you love needs help, there are tons of resources, like National Eating Disorders Helpline or ANAD.

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I ask you –

Do you find it tough to maintain a stable weight?

Was there a time in your life when you struggled with a number on the scale?

Again, please don’t suffer in silence. If you need help, reach out.