Running

Morning Person, Are You?

People ask me, “are you a morning person?” when I tell them that I’ve been waking up at 5am to work out.

My response is “well, I’m telling myself that I am, and I seem to be buying into it”.

Before I start stretching and yawning and trying to come alive enough to hit that treadmill and follow along with my fitness app, I have to convince myself that I don’t want to stay in bed. Sometimes my husband gives me a strong nudge towards the edge of the bed to help make my decision. When it feels optional, I would rather stay in bed. Until I finally get started that is, then I’m super happy and feeling great that I started the morning building up a sweat.

The next question that usually follows is ” why don’t you just work out in the evening, after work?”.

My response (with a tone that says it should be obvious: “ummm, because I have kids and I work full time”

That’s what I think about that

I’ve been doing this new routine for about a month now, and it’s getting easier. The fact I can do it with no interruptions and without worrying about what my little people are doing and what they should be doing is a huge perk and motivation for keeping it up. It’s just me and Chase.

Me and Chase (find him @chase.theincredible on Instagram)

It’s a great feeling of accomplishment up until lunch time, then it’s a subtle feeling of exhaustion that creeps into me more and more as the rest of the day plays out. Sometimes I will go on walks during lunch time to try and wake myself up. Makes sense right, give more energy get more energy……..yeah, not so much at this point. But I’m killing my apple rings so “YAY!”

Seriously though, it’s great and I feel better. It would be even more fantastic if I lost weight though. I’ve changed my diet significantly, and still nothing at this point. Hardly a pound. WTH!

Regardless, I’ll keep at it. I am strong like Hulk!

I’ve also found that I really enjoy 10 minute Mindful Cool Downs after my work outs. I think it has had a really big impact on my mood, I don’t shriek at the boys all morning to get ready for school as much these day. I’m much more “Hakuna Matata”! Messy hair, mix-matched socks, both of them yelling at each other and fighting over the cereal box, what ever, no worries, HAKUNA MATATA!!

So, this is my most recent fitness journey. I take selfies and screenshots every morning before, during, and after my work outs and post them on Instagram, if anyone finds they inspiring or entertaining GREAT! BONUS SIDE EFFECT! but I do it for myself, because for some odd unexplainable reason it helps to keep me motivated. I guess that might be called “vanity”, I think someone wrote a song about me. Just kidding. About the song part. 🙂

This Saturday my family and I are joining several of my co-workers in Ft. Lauderdale for a Color Run. I am super excited that fun runs are starting back up. I will be sure to tell you all about it next week!

Until then, Wishing You and Yours a lot of Happiness, Good Health, Strength, & Success!!

See, there is a song! lol

My Reads, Reading

“The Paths We Choose” By Sully Erna

You may have no idea who Sully Erna is, but you should read the book anyway. This book will remove your ability to blame circumstances or make excuses as to why you never accomplished your dream and goals.

This is a memoir of a man who grew up in a rough neighborhood whose family just barely made ends meet and who had a bit of an issue with being calm and patient. He had a passion for music though, and no matter what situation or stage of life he was in, he never let his desire to be a successful rock star fade.

Sully had and still has “it”. The “it” that people ask when talking about famous and/or successful people. You know the question:

“What do they have that I don’t?” Or “What is it about them?”

I’ve read several books of successful people from famous celebrities like William Shatner to successful business men like Jim Roth, to religious folks like Joel Osteen and now the lead singer of the best rock band ever, Godsmack. They all come from different places and have different backgrounds but all have one very important thing in common, they have “IT”!

“IT” is a combination of unwavering determination, faith, love, passion, strength and grit to achieve what inspires “IT” to burn inside you.

Even if you are not a fan of Godsmack or Sully Erna as an individual artist like me, this is a wonderful inspiring story that I encourage you to read.

Adventures, Beaches

Spring Break:Cocoa Beach

One week prior to the start of our vacation my husband says to me:

“There is supposed to be a cold front while we are at the beach, can we cancel it? It’s going to be freezing!”

Me: “Nope. Bring a jacket!”

After a year of canceling long weekends and vacations I didn’t care if it was going to be snowing on the beach, I wasn’t canceling again. We needed to get away from the house!

I made reservations at South Beach Inn on Cocoa Beach, we had stayed there once before and really liked it. It’s an older hotel and needs some TLC on the outside, but it’s small and away from the hustle and bustle around the pier down the road. All the rooms are very nice and clean, they have a kitchen, they allow pets, it has beach access and it’s affordable; it checks off all our boxes.

The evening before it was time to leave I started the process of packing and trying to anticipate everything. I went grocery shopping so we didn’t have to worry about it once we got there, packed up our kitchen, our bathroom, kid’s closets, beach gear, dog stuff, and I almost forgot my own bag. The morning of, my husband had scheduled to have our roof and patio pressure washed, so I finished packing the cooler, cleaning up the house, and trying to make sure I didn’t forget anything (which I did anyway). Finally around 1:00 we started our 2.5 hour drive and officially began our 5 day vacation at Cocoabeach.

When we got there the very nice man checking us in informed me that we would not have direct beach access because they just started pumping sand onto the beach so there was a lot of construction equipment. BUT, we could walk just a minute down the sidewalk and there was an access point there. This was annoying. But ok, What can I do, besides a little walking never hurt anyone. So we moved in changed and headed to the beach, well, me the kids and our puppy headed there. By this time we could already feel the cold air coming in, it was super windy and my husband just wasn’t feeling it.

The boys didn’t care, they hit the waves and Chase (our pup) loved digging and rolling in the sand. It was just us crazy’s on the beach. It was cold. It was really cold. For a moment I almost admitted my husband was right.

We were there long enough for the boys to get their fix and Chase to get used to ocean water and drink too much of it. Then we headed back, popped open a bottle of wine and some juice boxes, enjoyed the fab dinner my husband made, and got our relax on.

Saturday evening through Monday it was way to cold for me to get in the water, but I made sand castles and watched my little ones boogie board and get beat up by the waves. Monday we ventured to The Enchanted Forest Sanctuary and walked a few of their nature trails. We were hoping we would be able to grill, but it’s picnic baskets only. The trails were nice though. It’s hard for me to get excited about Florida nature trails because they all are very similar. But it was easy for the kids to do and very well signed so you can’t get lost. The trails are well kept and the length of the trails is perfect for young kids. We spent a couple morning hours there then headed back to the beach after lunch.

Tuesday the sun and the warmth started coming back but I wanted to do something different, we tried the Brevard Zoo. I love zoos, always have. This one is small, but it’s very well laid out and had animal exhibits that I haven’t seen before. It wasn’t crowded and all of us really enjoyed it! Great day out and recommended!

They had a small pool for smaller kids, a petting zoo, bird and giraffe feedings, kayak rentals, zip lines, and a train that went around a section of the zoo. Plenty of stuff to spend a full day out and at reasonable price for a family.

Wednesday was a perfect day for the beach. At this point however we had to walk about 5 minutes to get to the beach in a different direction because they had closed several beach access points and there was trucks driving back and forth every 5 minutes on the beach. There was also constant beeping and banging from the construction trucks and vehicles all night long. This was very disappointing.

We found a good spot with no beach traffic and even though the water was cold, I was able to handle it and play in the waves with the boys. We spent almost 8 hours on the beach and it was great! I will warn though, the waves are ROUGH! This is a place surfers like to go, so I had to take them just past the “crash” zone and before the drop off where the current really sucks you in and we were able to jump and bob in the waves.

Thursday we headed back home. Overall it was a really great trip and much needed time away. The beach construction was very annoying and disappointing but we made the best of it anyway. The important thing is we all had fun and time together.

My Reads, Reading

“The World As I See It” by: Albert Einstein

“What an extraordinary situation is that of us mortals! Each of us is here for a brief sojourn; for what purpose he knows not, though he sometimes thinks he feels it”. -Albert Einstein

From time to time I get curious about influential people, past and present. What is the “it” that they possess that has made them re-memorable? That made them a house hold name? What is the “it” that so many people seek to have.

Though I have learned years ago what powers “it”, I still find it interesting how individuals that harness the power allow “it” to manifest into the world.

Everybody acts not only under external compulsion but also in accordance with inner necessity.” -Albert Einstein

This book is a compilation of thoughts and letters written by Albert Einstein through the course of his life. When I read about people, I prefer to read, when possible, autobiographies or work from them directly. This way I can form my own opinions and not be influenced by the opinions of others. Though very intelligent, seemingly humble, and with a hint of a heightened ego; I found this book very difficult to read. I agree with most of his perspectives on life and situations, but I found that I couldn’t read more than 2 passages before I was yawning. Perhaps my mind is not educated enough to grasp exactly what he is saying the first time, but the way it’s written and the way he speaks, I had to reread things a few times to let the meaning sink in. Also, I found that I really needed to try to place myself in his shoes at that time to understand where he was coming from. Since this book isn’t about setting up any particular setting, it’s not a “story format” I grabbed scenes from movies and other books to help put myself in the moment when he was writing.

There are some enlightening moments in the book, but mostly it’s his perspective on world events happening at the time. I’m very neutral with my feelings about it, I guess it’s a good read to fill a curiosity about the man.

“The true value of a human being is determined primarily by the measure and the sense in which he has attained to liberation from the self.” -Albert Einstein

Adventures, Just Outside, Lessons As We Grow

Good Morning Backyard!

“Can we go camping? Please Mommy!” “We haven’t been on any big adventures in a long time!”

“I wish my love, but it’s really hard to travel and finding good camping spots here is really really hard because of alligators and horrendous amount of mosquitoes. “

“ well. Can we camp out in the yard mommy?!”

It’s about 10:00 pm on a Saturday night when we are having this conversation. I will admit, I’ve had several glasses of wine at this point and even though I’ve pitched and broken down tents hundreds of times, at this particular moment it felt like something that might wake all the neighbors. I sit there deciding what my answer will be as I play the scene in my mind.

Seeing my hesitation and basically reading my mind, my sweet big hearted manipulative boy continues his pitch.

“We don’t need tents Mommy, we can just get our sleeping bags and sleep on the patio. We have a privacy fence now. It’s something different mommy. Its a different kind of adventure. come on Mommy, let’s do something different” cue the big bright smile and sparkling blue eyes.

“You’re right, why not. Let’s do it!”

We went and got our sleeping bags, asked my other kiddo if he wants to join us. Of course he did. The boys, myself, and our dog all got “comfortable” on the hard concrete patio under the blooming mango tree.

We talked for a little while, I told them stories of my hiking days in Georgia and the time I went backpacking on the Appalachian trail for a few days. They talked about Minecraft and all of the details of it. They tell great stories to fall asleep to.

Being asleep didn’t last long for me. The different sounds in the neighbors yards and the temperature chasing to “it might rain” woke me up. I dozed thru the night, but mostly just took in the moment. I stared at my kids hoping this was one of the memories they hang on to. I watched them with bewilderment as they slept so peaceful on the ground. Mostly I just soaked in the love and happiness of being “us”.

As the sun started coming up I realized I have never bothered to be outside at this time, I am always to busy getting the boys up and ready for school or sleeping on the weekends.

Except when our neighbors had a rooster. The stupid bird from hell woke me up every single Saturday and Sunday at 5:00am. I live in South Florida. We have small yards and close neighbors. I consider it very disrespectful to have a flipping rooster cock-a-doodle-doing on the weekend next to my window. Literally because it somehow kept finding its way into our yard. I never allowed this evil bird to get me out of bed, unless Chase heard it and started whining to go out. In those moments, I couldn’t tell you if the sun was rising or not, all I knew was “cock-a-doodle-fuck-a-doo, hurry up Chase and go poo!” Then buried myself back under the blankets for a few hours.

My boy had a good idea as this was a nice change in routine and I got to see how our back yard wakes up on my terms and not some annoying farm animals.

Thankfully by this night the Rooster was gone. I don’t know what happened to it, but I am glad that something did.

I laid there, my spine in some pain and sending tingling sensations to my fingers. Our sleeping bags covered in leaves and flowers that fallen from the mango tree. I watched as the yard came alive.

Woodpeckers started knocking on the electrical pole, mocking birds singing, green parrots flying by on their way to find breakfast, blue Jays chasing away the singing mockingbirds, various insects emerging, silk worms glistening in the morning rays of light, lizards coming out to warm in the sunlight; yes it was a nice change in pace.

I gained some new perspective and reinforced my appreciation for the small things in life (as well as my bed).

About 7:00, I peeled myself off the ground and cleaned up my blanket. Stretched and popped and took a deep breath of morning air. Then I made myself some coffee and decided to open a book I haven’t read since I was a teenager, “Chicken Soup for the Soul” while the boys continued sleeping on the hard ground.

Wishing y’all a very Happy, Healthy, Smart, Strong, & Successful Day!

My Reads, Reading

Where The Crawdads Sing By: Delia Owens

I have been into emotional books lately and this one did not disappoint. This was a story that takes place in the 1950s and 60s; its about a young girl who is abandoned by her family at a very young age and forced to learn how to live in the Marsh all alone. She survives with the very few skills her parents and siblings taught her before they left. The towns people treated her very poorly as she was a “Marsh Girl” and most never tried to help. Those that did she was very skeptical of and afraid they too would leave. She befriended and became very close to a boy who was one of her brothers friends. He taught her how to read and opened her eyes to science. However, as everyone else in her life he too left her.

I don’t want to spoil the whole book. The story is very well written and the characters are very memorable. It’s a beautiful story of survival, determination, and finding happiness and peace in self acceptance. I would recommend taking the journey with Kya as she becomes the legendary “Marsh Girl”.

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”.