Running, Virtual Runs

Flex It Pink-Virtual Run & Fitness Motivation

Talk about Woman Power!!!

Flex it Pink or FIP is an amazing website that provides fun fitness motivation for all women. They have a variety of options available that will work with just about any budget. You can buy individual products and virtual races or subscribe to receive fun monthly motivation.

I have only been subscribed for a couple of months now, but I really do love the product and the can tell that these ladies are passionate about what they do. They offer videos and monthly work out challenges to help keep you focus on your fitness goals.

This is the package I received for August. It was full of fun stuff and really yummy samples for energy water and coffee. The shirts are comfortable and well made, I love fitness shirts and tanks!!

If you’re looking for a program to help you stay motivated, you should definitely check out Flex It Pink!

My Reads, Reading

Books For Successful Minds

A few years ago I was really into reading my horoscope daily. On one of the readings, there was a quote:

“Learn how to be happy with what you have while you pursue all that you want.” Jim Rohn

I really liked the quote so I posted it on social media. But then I got to wondering about Jim Rohn and figured I better know who he is if I’m going to be sharing quotes from him. So I googled and learned a little about him. During the research, I decided to buy this book. It’s a small book, I finished it in a couple of days but it confirmed everything I always thought to be true and led me to other books that re-enforced my belief in the power of the mind.

I haven’t met many people who have inspired and encouraged me to be better. Let alone gave unconditional support. Usually I summon strength within myself to see life as an optimist. That energy was sustained mostly because of positive reactions I received from the people and the world by being this way.

There was a point where I became overwhelmed by challenges, life, and pessimistic views from others. I was consumed by fault and guilt that was not completely my own and I didn’t have anyone to help me see life as an optimist, I became very sad and discouraged. After years of falling deeper and deeper into this hole a life changing event happened and I woke up. This happens to a lot of people, I thought through the years that I was fighting to be better but as it turned out, I was just fighting. I didn’t have the right frame of mind. I was torn between what to do, never really taking steps forward. Until something happened and I realized that I’m not going to live with all of this negativity, I was going to live the best and happiest life possible. When I made that decision, the world automatically started me down a new path. On this new path I met someone who is a true leader. He inspired, encouraged, and supported me; even when I was over the top emotional and self destructive. He never fed the negative or insecure image of myself, he ALWAYS encouraged my more positive qualities. When you have fallen into a deep hole and been there a while, you don’t automatically get out of the hole just because you decided to. You have to fight, climb, look for foot holds,hand placements, and sometimes you slip back down. I am very thankful to this person for shining a flash light down that hole and waiting so I could see better how to get out.

I was drawn to this book and the books below; even though they were published 1930-1980s time frame (more or less) and for the most part are directed towards men in the workforce, I got a lot of valuable and solid information from them. I know this year has been overwhelming and a lot of people are falling on hard times and becoming discouraged. For those people I hope that you are able to summon faith and determination to keep moving towards success and if you loose your flashlight, I hope that someone is kind enough to offer theirs to help you find your way again.

In a nut shell, what I received from these books was the same thing I was told by my flashlight holder, “You just need to make up your mind and go for it”.

Lessons As We Grow, Running

Running Thru 2020

It has definitely been a year to reflect and reinvent. Well, for most. For me, it’s just another year full of challenges. Helping my boys who have more learning challenges than most kids their age in the general population; every year is a year for me to acquire a new level of patience, understanding, and to continuously try to think outside the box to find solutions that will help them but also to find balance between “Career/Work Time”, “Family Time”, “Husband Time, Troubleshoot problems at School time”, and most importantly “Me Time”.

Successful people often say: “You need to prioritize. You can do everything, you just can’t do everything at once.” Well, all of those things I have listed are top priorities and I really have no choice but to do everything at once. What am I saying?, there is always a choice. I choose to put energy into all of those categories because if I don’t now, I’m going to be to far behind later. I may not be getting as far as I would like, but being able to move an inch is better than not moving at all.

This year has actually been less stressful than most. We as a family are in a better place emotionally, we all get along better. That in itself is a big relief and accomplishment that allows me to be able to balance better. Because I have to work from home, I transferred to a different department that allows me to be more flexible with my daily schedule, thus enabling me to help the kids with school (cry. sob. drink.) and for me to get on a better exercise routine.

Exercise is Essential. If I don’t run or at the very least walk daily, I feel absolutely miserable. Running has been a positive attitude life saver for me and has probably saved my kids from a Mommy Monster on a few occasions. Not to say that I haven’t lost my shit a few times this year, but running has alleviated and dissolved some of the chaos. I am getting a little pissed off that I haven’t lost any weight though. I have ran about 200 miles this year and cut out fast food but have only lost a few pounds. Another thing I have had to learn to be “ok” with to be happy. I feel better however. That’s the important part.

I have joined several running groups on Facebook and follow many runners/walkers on Instagram some of whom I chat with. Since I have started the blog site and joined runners on social media, I have come to believe that runners are the happiest most positive people on this planet. Seriously, they are so encouraging, supportive, adventurous, and for the most part, SUPER HAPPY people. I absolutely love it. The days that I feel drained and worn down, all I have to do is scroll through my social media pages for 5 minutes, it’s enough to make me say “Fine. I will get off my ass and give it a go”. 4-5 miles later, drenched in sweat, I’m feeling re-energized and happy I did it.

I’ve also taken a like to virtual runs. I don’t really care for the ones where I just get a medal. I usually join the ones where I get a tank top or t-shirt instead. the medals are beautiful, but they just end up in a box. My kids also like to do the virtual runs, but honestly they would rather have YouTube Minecraft Video time as a reward. Whatever gets them moving.

Getting into a running routine has been the biggest benefit for me so far in 2020, I am going to keep running thru 2020 and into 2021 with the goal of completing at least one half marathon next year.

We have each other. And we are making the best of a “lock down” situation. 2020 is only 365 days. It won’t last forever, as with everything in life.

Embrace the good and take note of the bad or Embrace the bad and criticize the good. I choose the to Embrace the Good.

Just some fun
Adventures, Just Outside, Theme Parks

Chattanooga, TN

Tennessee is blessed to have so many wonderful family destinations. I hope to be able to visit Nashville, Memphis, Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, and Lynchburg when this crazy pandemic is over. Actually, it’s not a bad idea to take 2 weeks and just drive around Tennessee seeing all of these places. Hmmmmm, I’m going to look into that.

Where I have been is Chattanooga. I have been to Ruby Falls, Tennessee Aquarium, and Rock City/Look Out Mountain a few times in my life. I have visited them as a child and now with my children. Both times really fun, just from different perspectives. Well, it was a little better when I was kid. I didn’t have to buy the souvenirs! At that time I was a kid the internet was non-existent which made a big difference. Especially with Ruby Falls. It wasn’t so commercialized and crowded.

We visited Ruby Falls and the Tennessee Aquarium when my boys were about 5 years old, so it’s been a few years but I remember it like it was just a few weeks ago. We started the adventure at the Tennessee Aquarium. We have been to several aquariums, Georgia, Miami, SeaWorld, and Tennessee. Tennessee is unique from the others as it’s a fresh water aquarium and focuses on the critters and fishies of the Mississippi River. I really enjoy this museum as did my kids and husband. You start by walking through a butterfly garden where you become basically a moving tree for all of the butterflies. They made me a little jealous because they were all over my husband while we were in there. They thought they could just flutter their pretty wings and take him over. You are aloud to linger in these area for a long as you want; they have a really nice set up and they also show the different style of cocoons for each of the species that flutter there.

When you walk out, you begin your journey through the aquarium on the top floor and as you walk you wined down back down to the bottom. There is a lot of space so it doesn’t feel crowded and little ones can go at their own pace and see all the cool fish. There are a lot of interactive stations and things to see and do here. This is a must do when in Chattanooga and won’t be disappointed. Unless you are expecting dolphins and orca shows, then you might be. My husband was expecting it to be more salt water and it took him a few to get into it, my bad for not warning him.

Ruby Falls.

Ruby Falls is beautiful and unique and something that I feel should be experienced once in your life. If you didn’t get to experience it before the internet then you won’t feel as disappointed as I did when you visit now. I will explain why.

In the 90’s was the first time I went to Ruby Falls and all of the other attractions of Chattanooga. The tour starts by getting in an elevator and descending 26 stories or 1,120 feet into the Earth. When you get down there you are guided through some pretty awesome caverns until you eventually reach the very beautiful and amazing underground waterfall, Ruby Falls. That part hasn’t changed at all. The difference is the amount of people and it feels very commercialized now and no where near as personable. Yes they have cheesy tour guides still, but there is section of the tour where the cavern opens up and everyone can gather around, in the 90’s the tour guide would tell you the story of Ruby Falls and how it came to be. Today they use televisions all over and pre-recorded movies.

But that’s not my biggest disappointment. There isn’t much space 26 stories down inside the Earth. Before there was a small group of people 20-30 at most at scheduled intervals. These tours (back then) were scheduled so 1 group had enough time to get to the end and start working back before the second group came down. This way you really go to enjoy the different structures, ask questions, kind of take your time. Plus, when you got to Ruby Falls, you were able to spend 10 minutes just walking around it. We were able to go behind the waterfall and had plenty of time to get amazing pictures. No, they still do about 20 people in a group, but the groups descend every 15-20 minutes. There are so many people down in the caverns that you are constantly having to stop and move to the side so previous groups can get out. You can’t stop and enjoy the stalactites, and stalagmites because there is an army behind you and another army trying to pass you. When we reached the falls, they closed off the walk ways that went around the waterfalls and you are only allowed 5 minutes. You have to contend with 20-40 other people for the perfect picture and soak in the moment and beauty of what you are trying to get a picture of before the tour guide takes off. Because there are so many groups down there, it’s not just yours at the waterfall. Then you make the rushed journey back squeezing around people.

Like I said, if you didn’t know it then, you will probably be more impressed than I am with Ruby Falls. I still think you should see it, it’s still interesting and beautiful. I just don’t think it’s worth another visit. Unless they start limiting how many tours happen simultaneously.

Rock City Gardens and Look Out Mountain

The best for last. This is my favorite place in Chattanooga. We recently went back this past January. We were there January 1st, 2020. I thought that by spending the first day of the year having fun and traveling as a family, meant that’s how I would spend the year. Guess 2020 didn’t get the memo.

It’s magical. More magical than Disney World. I’m probably one of the few who have that opinion, but Disney has a lot of people and long lines and is overpriced and usually super hot. Anyway, that is a different post. Rock City Gardens has a fairy tale theme to it. As you walk the path to Look Out Mountain and then back around to the beginning you will see sneaky gnomes, Rainbow Hall, and story book characters hiding in the walls. When you reach the top of Look Out Mountain you will see seven different states and have all of the time in the world to take in the moment. It’s not over crowded or maybe it’s just open enough it doesn’t feel that way. My whole family agrees that this is the best place in Chattanooga. I will let the pictures do my talking for this one. Save this one for last if you go and see these 3 family fun places. Also before you go, check and see if they have any special events. I would really really like to go back and see their winter fantasy of lights. Being there at night though makes me nervous because it’s on a mountain. Driving down a mountain at night sounds deadly for this South Florida momma. Hotel arrangements and uber with be necessary if we ever do that.

Oh, also all of these places are near each other so driving is very minimal and they are easy to find.

Lessons As We Grow, Running

Getting My Kids to Exercise

Like the rest of y’all, our house is trying to get along and make the best of the over abundance of family time we have had the last few months. In between the murder hornets, COVID-19, hurricanes, riots, and every else that happens, we get out to nature or a park to get some vitamin D via sunshine. But we are in the house a lot. My kitchen table is my office and my kids school desk, I set up my mobile gym right next to me so I can stop and exercise for a few minutes or do some stretches. My gym is a jump rope, (2) 10lb weights, exercise ball, and a yoga mat. After i serve dinner I run on my treadmill, which has been one of my best purchases ever!!!

The problem is my kids are getting lazy. Well, lazy until I make them stop watching Netflix or Minecraft videos. Then all of the pent up energy comes out and usually turns into them trying to kill each other, then my blood pressure goes up and de-escalating becomes tricky at this point. I know I should not have been letting them watch so much, but I still have to work and if they aren’t watching something they are very literally making me crazy because being Mom and outstanding employee takes 2 different mind sets and skill sets. Trying to do both simultaneously for 8-10 hours a day has been a headache to say the very least.

So as a solution I tried having them do exercise videos on YouTube, which they enjoy and there is a lot of cool videos for kid work outs. But after a few weeks they started getting tired with it. So I tried to get them to do at least a mile on the treadmill, and that was a battle because they got bored after a quarter mile and start wining. Then I came up with, “so you want to watch Minecraft videos, ok. But you are going to watch it while walking on the treadmill.”

It has been a beautiful compromise. They walk 1.5-2 miles before they realize how far they went. No more fighting to get them to move and they go to sleep easier too. It has been a WIN WIN. Now they ask me if they can walk /run on the treadmill during the week because that’s the only way they get YouTube time now.

I noticed their moods have improved since we started this compromise also. 🥳