Monthly Archives: December 2011

Day 81: The Scarecrow

As I clicked open my blogging screen I thought, “I forgot to workout today!”  and then realized that is not true.  I did workout.  Seriously, my brain and my heart  were on a flight to Norfolk a few days ago and left my body here to fend for itself! 

This morning I ran in Washington Park.  It was one of those warm sunny winter mornings that made me happy to be a runner.  My run had quite a few fun interruptions…I can’t tell you what they are, I’m bound by contract to keep my mouth shut!  Not really, but I will be able to fill my readers in on some fun news in a few short weeks.  Until then, please stick with my random posts about losing my mind and a completely future focused Betsy (until January 4th, when I finally get to see Michael).


Betsy’s body, sans brain

Days 79 & 80: Anticipation

Day 79:  Yesterday Michael returned home to the US after almost an entire year of being deployed.  Needless to say, working out was the furthest thing from my mind.  Fortunately because of the public commitment that I have made to working out, I forced myself into some yoga in the comfort of my own home.  I put on a Gavin Degraw mix and flowed for an hour.  Or at least I think I did…my mind was absent from my practice.  I am pretty sure it was somewhere with my heart near Norfolk, VA.

Day 80:  I am not sure how many days it has been since I have been to Core Power Yoga, but judging by the amount of sweat on my mat I would say it’s been awhile.  Today I went to a level 2 class and found myself struggling to get through the whole hour.  I fell out of quite a few simple poses.  When I say “fell” out of poses, that actually might be a under-exaggeration.  I think most people in the class glanced at one of my mighty crashes from a sideways twist.  Again, my mind is really elsewhere right now and I’m having some problems focusing on my yoga practice.

Luckily tomorrow is a new day and it brings a new workout.  I think I’ll stick with something that requires less concentration and more intense cardio.  A run in the park should do just fine.

*This is a great picture of Mike and I look confused.  I think it’s hilarious and an accurate depiction of our relationship.

Day 78: Forever

Tonight my friend and I went to Karma Yoga for a Vinyasa flow class.  The instructor, Alyssa, played the song “Forever” by Ben Harper.  I could not find an actual music video for the song, so instead I am sharing a YouTube link to the song with just a picture of Ben Harp  I loved this song when I was in college.  It renewed my sense of faith in love before I really understood the depths that it could go.  Tonight in savasana, it made me cry tears of happiness for the love that I have in my life and the love that will physically be with me again in ten short days.

Just 10 short days ago my dear friend Jenny did a guest blog about completing 10 days of two-a-day workouts.  Welp, my wonderful readers, she’s back to tell you about how this huge undertaking went (during some of the busiest days of the year!):

10 days and 17 workouts later, I am so happy to be done with a challenge that stretched my time management skills and confirmed my need for 8 hours of sleep each night.  I was striving for 20 out of 20 but I am happy with my 17 . . . a B average, shooting in the 70’s or about a 0.288 in the baseball world. . .  I can handle that. 

I have a new-found admiration for Betsy and her 365 challenge!  The past 10 days took me back to my college preseasons with the very important missing components of coaches to push me and teammates to support me through the “don’t think just do” days.  Without anyone but yourself to guide you through, you start to accept that this is not only a physical but mental challenge.  An opportunity to explore what you are really made of and (as getting a little older had proven) to know your limits and how to pace yourself.  Gone are the days when I could work to exhaustion and nap until my afternoon class/practice with a slurpee as fuel.  These days, there are actual adult tasks that need to be done- ugh! 

I’m not going to say that all 17 workouts were speed training runs followed by work to fatigue circuit training sessions.  There were definitely some elliptical machine times (the “I am going to pretend to exercise” machine) sprinkled with yoga and stretch.  Overall, it was an inspirational time that I am glad I tackled with optimism and a drive to explore my boundaries. I am hoping to carry this positive outlook into 2012! 

Betsy is a true inspiration and saying that I admire her chutzpa isn’t even in the ballpark of praise!  However, after a small taste of her 365 days of workouts, cheerleader and class buddy are more in my wheelhouse.  I will work on improving my B to a B+ but with a bit more balance heading into the New Year. 

Thanks for holding me accountable and sharing this journey with all of us Bets.  You’ve got this!


Day 77: The Way Life Should Be

I am a big believer in getting rid of the word “should” in my vocabulary, but in this instance I think that it best describes what I am talking about.

Today I went running in Washington Park.  I accidentally forgot my headphones at home, which ended up being a blessing in disguise.  I ran five peaceful miles and listened to every deep rhythmic breath that I took.

The park was different today, not just because I was missing Beyonce blasting in my ears, there was something else.  It was the calm after a joyous holiday.  The coming together of families and an abundance of love could be felt in the warm air.  There were fathers playing catch with their sons, grandmothers teaching grandchildren how to ride bikes, dogs chasing after geese, large families taking a stroll and laughing, couples holding hands with sparkling eyes and runners giving that “runner nod” with a flash of a smile.

It was peaceful.  Life is beautiful.  Is it just me or is this the way that life should be everyday?

Days 75 & 76: Merry Christmas!

“This is the message of Christmas: We are never alone.” – Taylor Caldwell

Day 75:  On day 75, aka Christmas Eve, I went to Pura Vida gym and squeezed in as much intense cardio that I could in one hour.  I started out running for 30 minutes, then switched to the big stair-stepper machine for 15 minutes and ended out the hour with 15 minutes of bicycling.  I was a hot sweaty mess afterwards.  I definitely had to squeeze in a nice shower before the evenings candlelight service

Before the church service started the Pastor came up and asked me what the best part of my day was and I immediately got tears in my eyes and said, “skyping with my fiance.”  He just put his hand on my shoulder and told me a joke.  Next he shook my hand and said, “my name is Michael.”  Of course I already knew his name, but the way that he said it made me smile with all my heart and made me feel like my Michael was right next to me for the next hour.  At one point I imagined him whispering something funny in my ear to make me laugh.  Even though I was physically alone last night and today, I could feel all the love in my life to the point where I was overfilled with gratitude.

Day 76:  On a sentimental holiday I like to treat myself to lots of sentiment.  Of course I chose to go skiing at my favorite mountain, Keystone Resort.  Only 38% of the mountain is open to ski right now, which made me a little apprehensive to make the 75 minute trek up.  However, it ended up being more than worth it.  My skis were happy to find fresh powder in a few spots, nicely groomed trails in others and loads of happy skiers ready to chat about anything.  I skied for three hours and called it quits once I felt my thighs quiver on my last run.

Although I was not quite sure if I would love skiing on Christmas day, I may have stumbled upon a new tradition.  Hopefully in the years to come I will have hoards of family and friends with me to celebrate after a day on the slopes!

Merry Christmas everyone!  *As a side note, I am really hoping that my fiance (in the scuba diving picture above) knows how to spell my name and that “Besty” is just a fun play on words!*

Day 74: Tough Moves

If you have ever worked retail around the holidays, then you know how ridiculous it can be.  If you haven’t worked retail around the holidays, I am sure you can understand how insane it is based off of being a consumer.  Today. Was. Busy. I. Am. Pooped.

I was looking forward to a nice yoga flow after class at Pura Vida, but that was the opposite of what happened.  The class was called “Pura Fit Yoga,”  not knowing what to expect I was thinking it would be slightly less tough than a class at Core Power.  It ended up being harder than any class I have taken at Core Power and with at least ten poses I have never done before.  It was beyond awesome!   The instructor even had the best music mix I have heard in a class.  Just throw a cherry on top that….

Even though it was not what I expected, my body happily agreed to soak it all in.  I have a feeling that it’s going to be really hard to get out of bed tomorrow morning.

Day 73: Body Fat Blasted

Almost two years I was 10 lbs heavier and had 20% body fat.  As of today, I weighed 133 lbs and had 19.4% bodyfat.  I felt bad for the woman at Pura Vida who used the skin fold caliper on me today.  Not because she had to touch my chub, but because I get so awkward when people touch me that I start babbling about anything and make zero sense to even myself.

Because this is a blog about challenging myself and goals, I wanted to share some goals of mine with you.  By the end of this challenge, in 292 days to be precise, I want to have 15% body fat.  I’m not sure why it’s 15%, I just know what 19.4% feels like and I think that -4.4% would feel nicer. 

I am in the process of coming up with my other goals for 2012 and will share them with you on New Years Day.  A gal’s gotta have goals, right?  I typically set goals for myself every month or so and update anything that’s been outdated or needs some perking up.  It just keeps me focused on what I want and helps me manifest my dreams.   Whosh, sorry for all the goal talk.  New year’s and goals just gets the coach in me all jazzed up!

….so after that lovely body fat and goal detour I suppose I should tell you about my daily workout.  Today I went to Pura Vida and rode the bike for 45 minutes, followed by some ab work.  I am still feeling a bit under the weather, so I didn’t want to push my pedals too hard (pun intended).

Day 72: Focus

This morning I went to Kindness Yoga for a Power Vinyasa Flow class.  I think the room got up to 128 degrees and 104% humidity.  Not really, but it was quite possibly the hottest flow class I have taken in a while.  I think I sweat so much that it brought a hibernating cold to the surface.  I just invested in an herbal supplement called “Kick Ass Immune,” from Whole Foods.  I will let you know if it does the trick!

Today’s class was taught by a newly certified yoga instructor, Nancy.  I fell in love with the way gentle way that she taught such a tough class.   She also did a wonderful job in guiding my mind to stay on my own mat.  The reason I found this so challenging today was because the woman next to me decided to do her own flow for the entire class….no cues, no listening, loud lands during quite moments and speaking out about small things numerous times.  I have never experienced anything like this during my two years of practicing yoga.  It challenged my mind to stay focused in a way I have never had to do.  I kept my eyes closed as much as possible and repeated the word “calm” over and over in my mind.

During yoga one is supposed to concentrate only on their practice.  Maybe that is a metaphor that can be used in life as well?  Concentrate on your own life and everything around you will take care of itself.  That might be a stretch.  I’m really reaching for a beautiful message to come out of this.  If you can think of one then feel free to leave a comment below…

Day 71: Dream Big

In my mind Denver is always sunny and beautiful.  Today was a perfect example of what I think of when someone mentions Colorado;  50 degrees and perfect bluebird skies on the day before winter solstice.  Hallelujah Mother Nature!

This weather is to runners what a pair of hot blonde twins are to The Situation.   It made my body crave a run all day.  Unfortunately I did not get that chance until the sun was going down and the temperature was back down to about 37 degrees.  About ten minutes into my run I realized that my legs were moving a lot faster than they usually are.  Well that, or my legs were half frozen and just felt like they were moving fast in comparison to the thick cold air.  I immediately regretted not grabbing my running beanie, gloves and a face mask (yes, I run with those sometimes.  Creeped out yet?).

Once I adapted to a normal stride I started gazing at the beautiful houses that face the park.  My mind started wandering to a life that does not require quarters to do a load of laundry and of neighbors that do not practice playing the guitar at 11 pm every night.  I think that’s part of the reason I enjoy running in Washington Park so much, the beautiful houses allow my mind to dream of the life that I know I will have.  Do not get me wrong, in a few short weeks Michael and I will already have an amazing life together…but there is something wonderful about allowing my mind to get lost in the future while my body is so actively engaged in the present.

If I knew what a hashtag meant then this is what mine would be #gratefulforthepresentexcitedforthefuture  Too long?  Sorry, I warned you that I have zero clue how they are used!

Days 69 & 70: Judgement

Day 69:  Yesterday I went to a Core Power Yoga C2 class during the Broncos game.  There was not one male in the class, which is a big first for me at CPY.  The instructor talked about how we choose who and what we idolize (cough, Tebow, cough) everyday.   This got me thinking about what I idolize and I came to a realization that there is not much that I do idolize.  Sports, music, celebrities, etc; they do not really mean that much to me other than the occasional escape from reality.   There is nothing  more important to me than the people (and a cat) in my life.   Perhaps the occasionally sweat session is up there too 🙂

Day 70:   Not everyone makes friends with the doctor who puts their dislocated finger back in place, but I got really lucky and got her digits.  My newest friend (and rising the ranks to a favorite friend), Sangeeta, and I went to Karma Yoga where we have been going on dates for the past few months.  Our instructor, Karen, started off class by asking us to let go judging ourselves in the studio.  She said that the second we, “start judging ourselves, our egos kick-in.”

I found this to be pretty interesting and true.   Some days I can’t do a head-stand and I immediately judge myself for it.  Other days, I can and then I judge myself based on the quality.  If I’m judging myself that much in the most gentle environment possible, then how much am I judging myself off of the mat?   And how is this judgement effecting my daily life?   It is powerful to think about how negative the mind can be without even realizing that’s the direction it is going.  Of course I tried to stop the judgement in class today, but it takes time and lots of practice.  Hence the term, “yoga practice,” which will inevitably turn into my unique “life practice.”