…Moving Mom To Georgia

Man I have to tell you guys, today is the mother of all days!!  It’s monumental!  For real!  

As I write this post, I’m ridding in the front seat of a rental with two very special passengers in the back seat.

My mother.  

My aunt Miriam.  

What makes this day super duper special is that we’re headed to the Ronald Regan International Airport in DC with these two loves.  

And… drum roll…. Ba bam!!   We’re flying to our new home in Grayson, GA!   Yes child!!  My mother is leaving South Jersey to become a Georgia Peach. This is another one of those pinch me moments.  My aunt and God-Mother decided to accompany my mother with the big move and also to hang out with us for a bit.  Auntie will also have the opportunity to see another sister, who moved to Georgia two months ago. 🙂 We’ve got a little reunion going on. Heeey!  They’re all in their 80’s!  Lord knows, our family has been blessed. 

I’m going to do my best to show auntie the best time ever. For selfish reasons, I also want her to make the move permanently.  She’s retired, is gracefully aging, so living closer to family and a warmer climate will be an added perk. She can spend more time having fun and less time managing the demands of a home.  

When hubby and I decided to move, we gave my mother the option to move with us now or to move later.  She pondered for a brief time and opted to move sooner. NEVER in a million years did I think she would leave the garden state, especially with two of her sisters still living there.  

I think the deciding factor was losing her sister and partner and crime, Annie last year.  My mother, aunts Annie, Miriam and Barbara did everything together and I mean everything. Last July Annie suddenly died.  The family was heart-broken.  The spunkiest of the crew, often thought of as the Golden Girls, left us and we didn’t get to say good-bye.  

Thankfully we have a plethora and a lifetime of fond memories to keep our hearts full of joy and laughter.

Anyways, I think Annie’s passing made mother’s decision easier. 

If you follow my blog, you know that last month hubby and I, along with our son made the big move to Georgia. We waited to move mom because we wanted to get her bedroom and the guest room in order.

Later tonight we arrive home. They are in for a nice surprise!  :). I can’t wait for them to see their rooms. Mom’s room, which is more like a suite, has a small walk-in closet and her own bathroom, is located on the first floor. No more steps for her!! Her bed, which we moved from Jersey, is croweded with all of her favorite stuffed animals and dolls.  Yay!  She no longer has to wait for her teenaged grandson to finish primping in the bathroom. Heeey!!  I’m snappin’ my fingers on this one!  

Auntie’s room also has a private bathroom and a small walk-in closet.  We bought a beautiful new bed and decorated the room with soft-gray’s and cream colors. Hanging word art reads, You are loved, and a lucky succulent plant gives her private bathroom a spa-like feeling.  My heart.  We hope that she loves it so much, that she will want to move permanently.   Cross your fingers for us. Pretty please!!  

I don’t make light of this move for my mother because changing environments is difficult for most people. However, moving in your 80’s to an unfamiliar place has to be more difficult and that is why we let her make the choice.  

She is not a people person nor does she like traveling or eating in restaurants, all of which makes this move significant. But– she’s going willinging, so we’re trying to make the move as pleasaureable as possible.  Although her tough exterior and stern disposition won’t permit her to admit that she is nervous, we know that flying with her sister makes the transition less taxing.  

The last time the sisters boarded an airplane was about five years ago for a siblings going home service.  I’m delighted that this trip is for more plesaureable reasons.  

We are a little over two hours from the airport and the chatter front the backseat is all good.  :).  I want to join in on the conversation, so I’ll end this post now and focus on this rare occasion.  :). 

Smooches!!

Mental Health Matters

Earlier today I read the heart wrenching story about 19 year-old Madison Holleran.   Less than four days ago, the University of Pennsylvania student committed suicide.  She wrote a note to her parents, left them gifts, and jumped to her death from a Center City parking garage.

By all accounts Madison had everything to live for.  A freshman track star, who finished her first semester with 3.5 GPA respectfully.  Mail Online quoted her parents as saying, “her sadness stemmed from the strains the student found herself under since going to college.”    Her parents suggested therapy and even offered to help her transfer to another college, but after the holiday break, she return to Philadelphia.

Madison isn’t my daughter, but the death of any child lies heavy on my heart. I teared thinking about Madison’s last moments of life.  My daughter is 24-year-old.  The thought of her living out what must be the last and most agonizing moments of her life sends chills down my spine.

In 2007, suicide  was the tenth leading cause of death in the U.S., accounting for 34,598 deaths.


In 2007, suicide was the third leading cause of death for young people ages 15 to 24
. Of every 100,000 young people in each age group, the following number died by suicide:

  • Children ages 10 to 14 — 0.9 per 100,000
  • Adolescents ages 15 to 19 — 6.9 per 100,000
  • Young adults ages 20 to 24 — 12.7 per 100,000

 National Institute of Mental Health (NHM)

Much emphasis is placed on outer beauty and physical fitness.  We see a beautiful woman or handsome man with a great physique– They are friendly, out going, and seem to have it all.  We assess (really judge) them to be successful or make positive assumptions about them.  This is so wrong!

A warm smile could be a mask or smoke screen.  The warm smile could be an indicator of internal pain, sadness, depression, or something else. The photos of Madison hardly projects the face of depression or does it?  As my friend JH says, “Honey, all that glitters ain’t gold!”

My senior year of high school was one of the most difficult years of my life.  The death of my father and the ratchet conflict with my mother gave me stomach ulcers and bald spots.  I walked around school smiling like my life was a fairy tale.  I didn’t tell anyone, not even my closest confident.  I kept my anger, sadness, and frustration in until it slowly infected by body, but thankfully not my mind.  I was lucky, Madison was not.  How sad.

Fitness junkies like me make the time for a long or short run, an hour or more at the gym, or an hour of CrossFit.  But how many of us, including those who don’t work out, make the time to evaluate if our mental health is in a good place?

As parents, how many of us know the signs of depression and can recognize them in our own children?  Will you be honest with yourself or will you surround yourself with denial with the hopes that the situation will get better?

Suicide statistics are astounding. I encourage everyone to learn more about suicide risk factors, the signs, prevention, and how to seek help.

Every life is precious. RIP Madison Holleran

If you are in a crisis and need help right away:

Call this toll-free number, available 24 hours a day, every day: 1-800-273-TALK (8255). You will reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a service available to anyone. You may call for yourself or for someone you care about. All calls are confidential.

ADDITIONAL READING

Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

National Institute of Mental Health

American Foundation For Suicide Prevention

Bringing Teens Into the Conversation About Suicide Prevention

Prepping For My New Challenge

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Meet Stan!

Life is precious and it is short.  The thought of aging and having to sit and ponder over the  What ifs  in my life just doesn’t sit well with me.

Meet my new best friend, Stan.  I’m embarking on a new personal and physical challenge that will require me to rely heavily on him.

I am terrified, but cannot resist this challenge. My heart races and goose bumps cover my body every time I think about it, but I refuse to run away or hide.  My mind and my heart screams, “Go for it!”  So I am.  Stayed tuned!

Enjoy this beautiful fall day!

Today’s WOD

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” 

         -Henry Ford

Warm Up:     Coaches Choice (Which involved 600M of running & more)

Mobility:       6 Min

WOD:             “Row Gone Really Bad”

7 RDS   1 Min AMRAP of Each:

Cal Row + Air Squats 1 Min Rest In Between Each Round

Then Do:

50 DU’s or Jump Tucks
12 Push Press (75/55)
50 ABMAT Sit Ups
40 DU’s or Jump Tucks
15 Push Press (75/55)
30 DU’s or Jump Tucks
9 Push Press (75/55)
30 ABMAT Sit Ups

If you stick with CrossFit long enough, you will make discoveries about yourself.  When hubby texted me the WOD this morning, I didn’t know if I should thank him or fuss. Why? Because I had all day to think about my afternoon challenge.

I looked at the WOD and fell out laughing.  I sat at my desk and loudly repeated, “Really?  OMG!  Really?” and continued laughing aloud.  My colleague in the next office must have thought I lost my mind, but I wasn’t ready for this one.

As confident as I am about my abilities, even I had doubts about this WOD.  We all tend to do this at one time or another, which is so bad.  We mentally count ourselves out before we even give it a try.

As I mentally prepped for the afternoon, I knew one fact…  I needed to drink some coffee before this WOD.  Yeah, I know… this wasn’t the best option, but at 2:45 p.m., I saw no other options.

The coffee helped… the caffeine kicked in just in time for the 7 rounds of rowing and air squats.

I focused.

I breathed.

I finished!!!!!

Sweet Dreams.

Unthinkable Advice From an Imp

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.

Webster

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!!

6 miles on the treadmill today!  Woo hoo!! (4/6/13)

6 miles on the treadmill today! Woo hoo!! (4/6/13)

This is my time, including my warm up walk on the treadmill.  I wanted to run longer.  :)

This is my time, including my warm up walk on the treadmill. I wanted to run longer. 🙂 By the way, sorry about the blur; it’s the picture not your eyes.

Hello!  Can you say CALORIES!!  There is margin for error on treads, but I'll take this!

Hello! Can you say CALORIES!! There is a margin for error on treads, but I’ll take this!

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’!

A Run Fixes Everything

For me, a tranquil long outdoor ten-mile run cures nearly anything that is broken on any given day.  But what if I can’t run?   What if time doesn’t permit?  What if the cold temperature at the jersey shore is at its worst and running outside is unhealthy?  What if my treadmill is broken?  What if running is not an option?  What if it has been a week since my last run?

My world shifts and, similar to sliding  on first base, I safely and recklessly slide into off kilter mode.  The slightest stupid comment, that I would normally ignore and laugh off, annoys the heck out of me.  I find myself on edge sitting in the front seat of a high-speed emotionally and terrifying roller coaster. I am the back-draft of a deadly fire.  Beware.  When I feel like this, I should wear a shirt with neon lights with the words “warning” flashing. Folks will know to steer clear and walk around and avoid me because I’m not feeling my normal cheerful self.

You probably won’t know that I am off kilter.  I still wear my predictable smile that I am known for; however, underneath the smile rest agitation at its best.  In this mode, I work hard to suppress my real feelings because I don’t want people to know how I’m really feeling.  If you ask me how I’m doing, I won’t tell you the ugly truth.   I’ll lie or exaggerate (depending on how you look at it) and say, “I’m okay.”  When the truth is I am miserable.

One morning at 7:15 a.m., I am off kilter, driving to work.  A sweet whisper in my ear tells me to turn the car around, go get my running sneaks but don’t bother changing my clothes.  Just RUN!  Don’t worry about sweating out my outfit of the day. Running in makeup for one day won’t kill me.  I might look ridiculous running in a skirt, but I’ll feel a heck of a lot better.  I will just make up some dumb excuse about why I am late for work or why I didn’t make it into work. For sure, the run would fix everything.  In my CD collection (Yes, I still use CD’s -LOL) and on the radio, I randomly and frantically search for the right song to sooth my crazy mindset.

I love music. I could sleep, eat, and work with music 24/7.    The right song can bring me to peaceful place, make me want to never quit running, or help me with deep cleaning around the house.  

On this particular day I arrive at work feeling twisted and knotted like a bunch of sheets just pulled from the washer.   However, as the school periods go by, several melancholy situations instantly diminish the negative thoughts and energy floating around in my head.  I remember that life is bigger than the spoiled runner who can’t get her run on today.   I move along in my day pushing my personal gobbledygook to the rear of my mind where it belongs.  “Life is bigger than you Chica! Get over it!”

With the help of my girl Oprah, a few days later, I suddenly grasp the fact that, while I’ve been loyal to my commitment to eat clean (avoid processed foods and eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables), lately I have neglected my mental and spiritual psyche.  My early morning and days end rituals of meditation, daily devotional reads, or stillness and quiet time has been invaded and assaulted by negative energy zapping substitutes.  The likes of reality TV shows like housewives, other pointless shows, and the negative side of social media has distracted me from handling my business of staying on course.  I don’t know how, it just happened… and without warning—I think. 

Although the incredible high from endorphins can temporarily infuse my spirit and make me feel happier and more balanced, the real fix isn’t just a run.  The real fix is restoring balance; the balance of physical and mental/spiritual fitness.

My focus this week is reconciliation.  Restore the balance that I am use to and avoid getting sucked into the negative energy again, even if I am unable to feed my addiction of running.

Enjoy your week!