Updates coming soon. Meanwhile….
07 May 2013 2 Comments
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!
30 Sep 2012 10 Comments
Believe that you can run farther and faster. Believe that you’re young enough, old enough, strong enough, and so on to accomplish everything you want to do. Don’t let worn-out beliefs stop you from moving beyond yourself.”
- John Bingham, running speaker and writer
Today’s workout of the day
Distance: 10.23 miles
Pace: 9:42 min/miles (average)
4:48 min/miles (max) sweet!
Calories burned: 1070
The goal for today was to complete ten (10) miles under 1:40. Mission accomplished! This is a great way to start my week. Y’all have a great day and an even better week.
23 Sep 2012 2 Comments
in Fitness, Inspiration Tags: Atlantic City Marathon, CrossFit, Fitness, fitness instructors, Half marathon, Health, healthy-living, jogging, Marathon, Physical exercise, Physical fitness, pull ups, Run, running, Sports, working mom, working out
The higher your energy level, the more efficient your body. The more efficient your body, the better you feel and the more you will use your talent to produce outstanding results. – Anthony Robbins
With every step my muscles ache. Walking up and down the steps hurt. The process of sitting down and getting up hurts. I squatted down to clean behind the toilet and that hurt too! My ham(strings) and quadriceps ache. Lol! You’d think that as much as I work out, I am immune to soreness. The reality is if you work out, you ought to feel something (soreness not pain) from your workout.
The last thing you want is for your body to get accustomed to your workout. My fitness instructors have taught me well. “You’ve gotta shock the body!”
Today I ran. Yesterday I did CrossFit. Different from my regular class, but the workout was challenging and I feel it today.
This afternoon’s WOD was a run.
Distance: 8 Miles
Pace: 9:11 min/miles (average)
7:00 min/miles (maximum)
Round One: 1,000 meters – Row Machine
35 Pull ups (used green band for assistance)
Round Two: 500 Meters – Row Machine
15 Pull ups (used green band)
Round Three: 250 Meters – Row Machine
7 Pull ups (used green band)
It had been six days since my last run and three weeks since I took my favorite CrossFit Chicks class. June through August, I am euphoric with my fitness routine. I work out as often as I want—at least once, sometimes twice each day.
September rolls around and my routine comes to a screeching halt. Oh boy! Every year I struggle with the change.
October 21st, I am running the half-marathon (13.1 miles) in the annual Atlantic City Marathon. While I trained hard the entire summer, my schedule tapers off just a month before the race. My runs are now limited to weekends. I barely go to the gym. Trying to stay conditioned for the race is the challenge. I do the best that I can with my schedule. Although I am not happy, I work with my schedule and fit the workouts in as best I can.
The change in my schedule is because I have returned to work, my son is back in school, he plays football, and hubby’s work schedule has changed. Homework, practice, and games adversely impact my fitness schedule.
My struggle is the same as other moms. We are constantly playing the balancing game. You know, balancing the kids schedule with our own personal want to do’s.
Case in point, I started this post around three this afternoon. It is now a little after ten at night and I’m finally getting back to finishing it. Lol!
Regardless I stay focused on my goal of completing the half-marathon and beating my personal record. Between now and October 21st, I will work on staying injury free and keeping my body conditioned.
For now—I have to get some much-needed rest.
Sweet dreams! Good night!
12 May 2012 2 Comments
“…You have to work hard, you have to have consistency, [and] you have to do it day in and day out…”
The passage is written by Tony Dungy in the forward of, Fatherhood: Rising to the ultimate challenge, by Etan Thomas with Nick Chiles.
Loyal football fans, women and men are very familiar with Tony Dungy from the National Football League. The now retired Indianapolis head coach and National Football player described some of the qualities that he believes are essential to the title of “Pro Football Player.” Dungy mentions, All Pro Dads, an organiation that he worked with when he was in Tampa. The organization’s title is derived from the makings of a professional football player.
As I read his description, I thought to myself, “Good moms have the same qualities as professional athletes!” Not to take anything from Pro ball players and All Pro Dads, but you know exactly what I mean. You work hard; either in the home, outside of the home or both.
You tirelessly prepare meals, shuttle your kids to gymnastics, football, soccer, tutoring or some other activity. You make sure that clean undies are on standby for everyone in the home. You might coördinate schedules, doctor appointments, vacations, back –to-school night, and or anything else that needs to be squeezed into the daily schedule.
I Googled “All Pro Dads” and “All Pro Moms,” both netted the All Pro Dads blog, but very little related to the similar concept for the moms. The dad’s blog featured a current post, “A day to honor moms.” I also discovered, Keeper of the Home, an interesting Christian home maker’s blog… definitely worth checking out.
My point here is that Mother’s Day is indeed a special day, even with all the commercialization from big business. The point of Mother’s Day, as a far as I’m concerned, is to set aside time to recognize and to thank the moms or mother like figures in our life. Mothers, grand moms, nana’s, me-moms, aunts, and the rest. Show them much love and do something special for them.
When I recall all the strong women in my life who took part in me becoming the strong woman who I am today, I know that one day isn’t enough.
Why not start an All Pro Moms movement! We can get carried away and change the traditional “happy hour” to “All Pro Moms hour!” Your All Prom Mom hour can be celebrated any hour of the day in any way that you chose. Take a day off and do whatever you want. Some of you may already do this on occasion, but I say we make this official. I say effective today; start marking your calendars at work and at home with All Pro Moms (APM) Days penned in. Of course we’ll have to define this day so that the men in our lives will understand that All Pro Moms Day means, we are not cooking, cleaning, or doing anything else.
If you’re asked what is an All Pro Mom? You ask, “Do you know what a pro-ball player is?” If they answer yes, then tell them, you’re the same in your profession as a mom, but without the inflated salary.
If the response is no, then break it down for him. You know! “I work hard every day in preparing our kids for the “big game” (life).” You train and make sacrifices, suffer injuries, and more. What is the major difference between the two? We rarely ever get to “clean out our lockers” at the end of the season.
You never turn mothering off, even when your children are adults; you’re still there for them and sometimes others that you take under your wing along the way. Applaud yourself!
Happy Mother’s Day and…
Welcome to the All Pro Mom’s Club!
02 Feb 2012 8 Comments
Every single week I go about the business of being super mom. No, I’m not trying in any way shape or form trying to be super mom, nor do I even like the term. Apparently, it just comes off that way… or at least that’s what I suspect my family might be thinking. Shame on them! Maybe shame on me too! Lol!
Predictably, Friday nights are dedicated to laundry. Why? Because I don’t want to deal with dirty clothes, etc… on my days off. If I get it done by Friday bedtime (whatever time I collapse), then I’m set until the following week.
My family has the luxury, and that’s exactly what it is… a luxury of having nutritious, delectable, and balanced meals at least five to six days per week. And… it’s usually on the table by 5ish! No junk food! No prefab unidentifiable dish from a box, but real homemade meals. Did I mention that I work full-time outside of the home? Just checking—sometimes I have to remind my family of this, fact.
Careful planning enables me to get more, but not everything, done than time really permits. Sometimes I feel as though I really am squeezing blood from an onion. Rarely do we run out of necessities such as bread, cereal, etc… I am however, guilty of forgetting to pay the utility bills. You know, gas and electric. The big stuff that are difficult to live without. I am dead serious. As the official mail “sorter” if I don’t sort the mail, most of it it doesn’t get sorted, and if it doesn’t get sorted… well, you know the story. The utilities won’t get paid! It’s absolutely absurd. Embarrassing, but true. There have been a few occasions where I happened to stumble on a disconnection notice… not due to lack of funds… but lack of time! Yeah, I know I’m working on electronic bill pay for everything. I’m not quite comfortable with automatic and electronic deductions from my bank account, but I’m strongly considering the option.
Last Sunday, I decided to put ME first!
Normally, it’s the opposite. I ate first. No one in my home is interested in eating organic steel cut oats, with blueberries, flax-seed, wheat germ, and bee pollen, so I ate first and worked on breakfast later. I did everything that I wanted to do first. I happily and defiantly put everything that needed to be done off. I even completed a six-mile run through the neighborhood. I returned home at 5 p.m. The same time that dinner is usually on the table. I started dinner around 5:30 p.m. Everyone was chillin and lying around like they didn’t have a care in the world, so I just took my sweet old-time. Dinner ended up being served a little after 7 p.m. and while no one complained, they got to the table quicker than usual! I like!
“Mom, you need 25/8,” were my daughter’s comments to me last night. Referencing to Mary J. Blige’s new song, she recognizes that I’m a busy working mom. Sidebar: not much of an offer to ease the burden, but if you’re living with a young adult, you know exactly what I’m talking about. (Chuckle)
While Mary needs 25/8 to love her man, I need 25/8 to handle my business.
Since I can’t get 25/8, I’ll simply fine-tune my priorities again.
On Sunday, putting me first and getting through my task list, including working out prevented self –inflicted anxiety and resentment. Why self-inflicted? Because I set goals for myself and when I don’t accomplish those goals, I tend to get frustrated. I don’t think anyone in the household consciously cares, they just subconsciously reap the benefits. No judgement; just an oberservation.
To make things easier at home, the past umpteen years, I’ve made major changes to my home/family routine. Still- old habits die-hard! Part of my problem, oops! I mean “challenge” (I prefer to view so-called problems as challenges) is that I am a perfectionist. I strive for it; I don’t try to be it. I just want things done right not half-ass.
Delegating is an option, but I still want it done right. Is that so bad? Who defines what right is? Me? Hmm… is that part of the issue? Just thinking on paper…..
Now then, soon, I will be checking into a plush hotel for a “me” day and I’m going to do whatever I want to do; most likely nothing other than read or write. In error, I told my hubby my plan, he said, “we” should do that. “We?” Who said anything about “we?” This isn’t a “I’m going to entertain you day!” It’s an “I’m going to entertain myself day.” OMG! Literally ROTFL! (Rolling on the floor laughing) Is that hilarious or what? Of course I love my hubby and enjoy time with him, but sometimes we girls need time alone. Since my home is always occupied, I will find a vacancy elsewhere. The change in scenery will be good, much-needed, and will perfectly recharge my battery. Oh boy! I can’t wait! Lol!