Updates coming soon. Meanwhile….
07 May 2013 2 Comments
07 Apr 2013 2 Comments
Five months have passed since my son started his loc journey. All is going well and he continues to enjoy the style. He still makes time to cover his hair at night (without being told to do so), which is amazing for a 10-year-old. Shucks, I know grown women who struggle with this task, especially when late night fatigue can get the best of anyone.
Last month, we experienced something new; WATER! LOL! The day before his Easter spring break, his school took a field trip to an indoor water park. My son asked if he could get his hair wet. Since his hair is shampooed every 3 – 4 weeks at the salon, his question surprised me. But this smart Kid’s thinking was right on time!
He knew that swimming, would result in his locs swelling and, since his hair is in the “locing stage,” he was concerned. Anyway with about 10 days away from his next hair appointment, I wasn’t too concerned. He’s a kid and sending him to a water park with stern instructions to avoid getting his hair wet seemed a bit ridiculous to me. To be honest, my “laid back” mommy attitude has evolved over time. These days, I don’t take things too seriously.
So he went to the park and had a blast! His stylist instructed me to get the chlorine out by rinsing his hair. I did and below is the result.
For the past week, this is pretty much how he looked. I am sure folks were looking at us and talking about me, wondering why I allowed my son to walk the streets looking like this. Because I choose to; that’s why.
Ha! Ha!!! I was once one of those folks, but thank heavens, I “get it!” Dag-on-it!! He’s a little boy, he doesn’t have to dress and look like he’s ready to strut down a Paris runway. Lol!
I must say, going natural has opened my eyes and my spirit to a new and wonderful world. Today he visited KinHairitage Salon for loc maintenance and as usual, his stylist, Victoria did a fabulous job! Isn’t he so handsome?! Thanks Victoria!
06 Apr 2013 2 Comments
in Fitness, Inspiration Tags: CrossFit, Fitness, Half marathon, healthy-living, jog, joggers, Knee, Mental Health, natural girls run, Physical exercise, Physical fitness, Run, runner, running, severe trauma, Sports, Treadmill
Addiction – noun – The state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.
ORIGIN 1595-1605: <L a giving over, surrender.
My actions this morning would most likely label me as an addict or classify me as just down right crazy. I probably should not have done it, but I could not help but to surrender to my habit… I ran!
What’s so bad about that? Well–Five days ago I ran 7.76 miles. Ideal weather and the fact that I felt great inspired me to run 10 miles, until my knee began to stiffen. Through the stiffness a biting and intense pain shot up the side of my left knee. This was a new pain to my mature knee. It hurt enough to force me to walk home, but even walking caused pain, but I hobbled along gingerly while listening to my music and feeling grateful for the outdoor run.
At home, in reverse hoisting myself butt first, I drug myself up the stairs to shower and back down the stairs to the ice, ibuprofen, and then the sofa. I stayed on the sofa until bed time. Overnight, a pillow comforted my knee.
Surprisingly the next morning, my knee was a little stiff, but no pain. For the next three days I pampered my knee. I also scheduled an appointment to see a doctor who specializes in sports medicine. If I can side track for a moment– Who better to see than a physician, who understands the body, mind, and spirit of an athlete. Did I just say “athlete?” Lol!! Yup! While sadly no one pays me to run, I’m still am an athlete at heart. And heart is what matters…right?
Non sports doctors just tell you that you’re old and to go sit down somewhere. They are rarely up on the latest techniques that treat sports related injuries. I can’t and won’t settle for that mess. I plan to run and workout for as long as I can do for myself.
Anyway, my son participates in a two-hour basketball clinic on Saturday mornings. There are three treadmills positioned among other work out equipment. I have yet to see one person walk, run, or sit on them. Are you getting the picture yet?
While washing clothes on Friday night, an intense urge to run starts setting in. I’ve got a mischievous imp on one shoulder saying, “Go ahead girl, give it a try. This will be a good test for your knee. If it hurts, just stop running.” The imp’s angelic twin says “Don’t even think about it, you could do more harm to your knee. My dear, you must have patience.”
It’s Saturday morning… here are my stats from the treadmill. LOL!!!! I did the unthinkable… I ran and it felt so damn good!!!!!! Ha! Ha!!
I know, I am certifiable crazy, but there are others out there in this world who understands my addiction. Depending on your perspective, I’m either a stubborn behind athlete or a relentless junkie addicted to the endorphins. The emotional high was well worth the risk. I needed this run. It helped me to cope with the fact that I won’t be running in tomorrow’s Revel’s 2013 April Fools Half Marathon. This will be the first year that I don’t particpate, so I am disappointed. It is the only time that you get to run through the streets of Atlantic City without dodging cars, buses, and jitneys. The run is peaceful, sceneic and loads of fun.
During my run on the treadmill this morning, I stopped myself from busting out in laughter (as I do outside on the roadways) and softly singing along with my music. I had so much fun running (on pins and needles) this morning. Some guy, who I didn’t realize was watching me, asks, “Are you from Kenya or something?!?” I laughed and told him that I was actually taking it easy today. He looked at me like I had two heads!! Gotta love it! Although I desperately longed for more intensity, I kept my speed between 5.5 mph and 6.5 mph. Grrr…
My doctor’s appointment is 12 days away, so this week I won’t run anymore but instead will focus on exercises that strengthen my hamstrings and quadriceps. Will I run at my son’s practice next week? ABSOLUTELY! I am “enslaved to physical habit.” Let’s pray that I caused no trauma to my knee.
Come on folks; tis the season to hit the road! Keep it movin’!
- 9 Ways to Avoid Knee Pain and Injuries (everydayhealth.com)
01 Apr 2013 2 Comments
“Run when you can, walk when you have to,
crawl if you must; just never give up.”
Distance: 7.76 miles
Pace: 10:16 min/miles
Calories Burned: 1065
The quote pretty much sums up today’s run. My run ended with a walk, but I would have crawled if I had to. Right now, I am stretched out on the bedroom floor with an ice pack on the side of my knee. For once, I’m not stressing about how this knee pain—it is pain, not discomfort—is going to affect the upcoming season. There’s no need to stress. If I have to reduce my miles, then my body is telling me that I need to strengthen other areas, such as my hams and quads. I can live with that.
Today I felt the need to redeem myself. Why? Yesterday was my first Easter Sunday that I did absolutely nothing, not even our traditional family dinner. Instead I ordered out and ate hot wings, a white pizza with fresh spinach, roasted peppers and garlic for brunch. I should have washed it down with a cold beer, but my conscience wouldn’t let me go that far. LOL! I filled my gigantic beer glass with fresh lemon water. What else did I do? I tried the coach potato hat on for size. Sitting on the sofa watching TV and reading was cool for a minute, but I don’t understand how people can do that. I felt guilty as heck going to bed last night.
Anyway, if the pain persists, I will see one of my favorite sports doctors at the Rothman Institute. Although my run was cut short by knee pain, my run was great. Taking in the fresh warm air and April’s sunshine, is all that I needed to get my day and the month started.
Enjoy the day!
30 Mar 2013 4 Comments
After eight months of working ten-hour plus shifts, six-day work weeks, attending mandatory 9:00 a.m. staff meetings on my only day off, the stress and demands of my job began to take a toll on my 28-year young body. The combination of the long hours, attending evening classes at a community college, mothering a pre-school age daughter, and maintaining my young marriage, one day, it all hit me like a ton of bricks.
Literally, I was meeting with an employee. Attempting to give her an annual performance evaluation. The day, like most, had been a busy one; customer complaints, billing account issues, and more.
I was celebrated by my staff, my peers, and my General Manager for maintaining composure during the most difficult times and known for pulling solutions out of my magic hat to solve bizarre problems. They never saw me sweat. I still believe every problem/challenge has a solution.
On this day, bricks lay on my chest. I remembered taking deep yoga like breaths, confident that the pressure on my chest would disappear and not return. Dana (not her real name), didn’t recognize my discomfort. She was most likely blinded by the anticipation of receiving her overdue evaluation.
I shifted in the chair—to the right— then to the left–but no relief. As strong as my tolerance was for pain, I sat silent… surprised and unable to maintain control through the pain. Tears trickled down my checks leaving shadow like stains through my bronze foundation. The moisture flows uncontrollably.
“What’s wrong? Are you okay?” Pausing… “No. I’m in pain. The pain won’t go away…”
My doctor saw me the same day. Several tests later and a few days later, I find myself angrily sitting in the examining room with my doctor. My tests (Blood, EKG, and a few others returned negative). I’m a mess, but don’t realize it… but I was about to find out.
“Your body is responding to stress young lady. Your work schedule and daily routine is affecting your health. You need to change jobs!”
I sit quietly and listen. He goes on to say more.
At that moment I feel the verge of a nervous breakdown invading my soul. My body wants to shake, convulse, fall on the floor and cry and scream. I want to tell him to go straight to hell. “Change jobs!” I snap. “Easy for you to say, DOC….TOR!!! I’m trying to get my damn education, you’ve got yours!! Asshole!”
He tells me that I need to take some time off from work and writes me a doctor’s note, which places me on immediate medical leave.
“Is he F’n kidding! I run the front office of a hotel. August is peak season. You don’t take weeks off in August.” He tells me I don’t have a choice.
I return to work and looking for the GM/Owner. He’s nowhere to be found. I clear his desk and leave the note with a request for him to call me. He NEVER called me. His only concern was hotel revenue.
During the weeks that I stayed home, I felt battered, broken, and beyond repair. My body, my mind, and my spirit were frail. For the first time in my life, I felt like I was going to fall apart. I followed doc’s orders and rested.
During my medical leave, I applied for a Training Coordinator’s position at a casino (located right next door to the hotel where I worked). I interviewed and auditioned (in August); however, the position was offered to an in-house employee. I was given the standard, “We will keep your application on file, blah, blah, blah..”
Two weeks later I returned to work. In my mailbox was a nasty memo from my GM/Owner,
“Due to your absence, the hotel as lost X amount of dollars in revenue….” The rest is a blur!!
After careful discussion with hubby, the next day I took a leap in faith and resigned from my position. My GM wanted to know how I could afford to quit my job without another job and insisted I work the next two weeks straight without a day off. I refused and worked my normal six-day workweek.
We took a much-needed family vacation to Disney. After returning from Disney, I decided to take a holiday seasonal job selling cosmetics at Macy’s. I previously enjoyed selling cosmetics and thought I could have fun. Fun was the motivator NOT money.
Two days before Christmas, the store is jammed packed, wall-to-wall shoppers. A girl walks up to my counter:
Girl: Excuse me, aren’t you the lady who applied for the Trainer position back in August at Tropicana?
Me: Umm yeah, why?
Girl: Someone left the department and they are looking for your paperwork, but they can’t find it. Are you still interested in the job?
Me: Yes, I am. (I wanted to say hell yeah!)
Girl: She hands me a card, writes down a number, and tells me to call the Director.
On my break I call the Director. She tells me she’ll call me back. Later that day she calls,
“Merry Christmas, the job is yours!!!”
I started my new job on January 4, 1994! It was one of the BEST career moves in my life. The normal, 9-5 like hours, weekends and holiday off, were perfect for my family and school. Starting with my attitude, everything changed for the better. I could see the shine in the sun, every detail around me became clear. I know that I became a better mother, a better wife, and a better student. I was earning substantially less money, but I was happy; happier than I’d been in a long time.
This experience taught me that sometimes in life, the path before us is unclear. Visibility may not be at it’s best; however, if you are doing good, carefully think through situations, weigh the pros and cons, and your core instincts tell you to move forward, then by all means, do it… whatever “it” is!
“Sometimes your only available transportation is leap of faith.”
Don’t sit around and wait for an ideal situation or opportunity to come, you may end up waiting forever.
Enjoy your holiday weekend!
10 Mar 2013 9 Comments
Finishing what you start, is what really matters. Around the four mile mark, I felt like quitting today, but that wasn’t an option. Pushing through the discomfort (probably from last night’s Corona, hot wings, and french fries), and reminding myself, “Mind over matter,” help me to finish. I pushed through the discomfort and exceeded my goal of 8 miles today. Yay!!
Don’t get hung up on somebody’s elses numbers. My advice to the new runners and walkers is to focus on your goals. Don’t look at my numbers and think I’m great and that you’ll never get there. Because somebody else is looking at my numbers and saying, “damn she’s slow!” LOL!! But it really doesn’t matter. Fitness is about maintaining overall good health and well-being.
Keep it movin’ and remember to have fun!
07 Mar 2013 4 Comments
The loud and invasive grinding sound of organic Arabica coffee beans begins at 4:40 a.m. Oh how I wish I could smell the coffee from the comfort of my bed; the aroma would make getting up more pleasant. Less than five minutes later, the dark bedroom is illuminated by the strobe like light flickering from the alarm on my iPhone. “Closer,” one of my favorite songs plays softly in the background. The soothing music is a stark contrast to the bright flickering light. A light that would be startling to the unexpected sleeper, but my sub-conscience reminds me, even while sleeping, that I will be awaken by the light. A visual that moves me to get out of bed.
I am pretty much a morning person, so rising before sunrise isn’t usually an issue for me. I admit though, it is easier to get up when it’’s warm outside and the sun-rays play peek-a-boo through the curtains and blinds. This morning started the same as any other. Except, after I sipped down a freshly brewed cup of coffee, showered, applied my make-up, and styled my naturally curly hair, did the phone ring.
I wondered who was calling so early. “Good Morning! This is the Atlantic City Public Schools, due to the inclement weather, we will be operating on a two (2) hour delayed schedule today….blah..blah…..” Everything else is muffled and fades into the background! Are you kidding? I’m dressed already! The call came in sometime around six, but it was too late. My curls are poppin and I don’t dare lie down and flatten them. So now what?
“Get over it girl!” I tell myself. Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest entertained me for a little while, but then I started craving real food. And since the delay meant that instead of arriving at school by 7:40 a.m., I joyfully didn’t have to show up until 9:40 a.m. Sweet!
Instead of being consumed by something that I had no control over, I moved on. It is so simple, especially at the start of our day, to let some ridiculous incident dictate the attitude for the day and wine about it to anybody and everybody who will listen. Yup! Been there, done that.
I am thankful for the extra two hours this morning. After playing around and reading online for a few, I was overcome by an unusual craving for shrimp. That’s right, a shrimp craving at 6:30 in the morning. Noooooo! There’s no baby in this oven. That chapter is over.
I ran to my kitchen and cooked exactly what I wanted. Shrimp! I enjoyed the most delicious home cooked breakfast in a long time!
I lapped up the spicy sautéed garlic shrimp and a spinach omelet! I tried my darnest to savor the smell and to enjoy every bite of my breakfast, but I couldn’t resist. I had this delicious food on one of my favorite pretty blue dinner plates. I was supposed to sit at the counter enjoying breakfast like I was at a nice restaurant. Instead, I ended up with the plate in my hand, off the counter, and up to my mouth sucking up the remaining garlic slithering around in olive oil and crushed red pepper. As my son would say, “Mom, you’re going to the chair of shame!” Lol! I am happy for the delayed start; it made my day even better than planned. In addition to eating an awesome breakfast, I also cooked my son and hubby an omelet and even made time to stop at the supermarket to complete my “after work” errands before I even started work. Nice!
I hope that you enjoyed your day today and that you will have an ever better day tomorrow!