Music Monday: eye of the tiger, ala the pedal pusher society

I think this video is hilarious and I’m kinda diggin the Girl Power Groove thing they got going on  here.

I’m under the weather at the moment so I thought I’d catch up on my blog reading — I was starting to get scared again while studying group rides and what counts as an acceptable speed. I needed the levity. These gals are having fun and you know, I kinda think that’s how it should be.

And then another cycling video just for fun.

 

What I’m Reading Right Now: Fully Alive by Ken Davis.

I am a huge Ken Davis fan. If you read my blog, you know that. I feel like I owe him a lot and I tend to gush when I talk about his impact on my life over the past 20 years.

Depression does horrible things to people. I have friends who can’t bring themselves to eat when they are depressed. HA! Not to be flip, but I don’t have that problem. When I went through my depression from 2004-2008 I went from 154 lbs to 207 lbs in just a few years. Instead of needing to lose 20 pounds, I now need to lose 60. Not fun. I’ve spent the last four years gaining and losing the same 20 pounds. To add insult to injury I have friends and family who thought taking bad photos of me would convict me to change. Nope, just made me camera-shy.

When I met Ken in 2009, he talked about how he was planning to ride in a triathlon of sorts. The dude is in his 60’s. I was 43 and in no condition to even think of doing such a thing. The photos never bothered me. Sitting in a room listening to a man old enough to be my father talk about a life change, got to me. I started following his blog. He placed second for his age group in said triathlon. He’s not depressed any more. His spiritual life is changing. His personal life is improving.

Now he has my attention.

I had an unexpected hysterectomy in 2010 and my doctor told me I HAVE to lose weight. I listened. I pursued multiple forms of diet and exercise and learned my ankle does not tolerate a lot of things. My bulimia became active again and I had to deal with that monster one more time. (Walking in victory today) I learned that walking, running, Zumba, Step Aerobics are all out as my ankle cannot handle the strain. I can however ride a bike and so I purchased my first real bike last October. I even lost 20 pounds (again) if you’ll recall. Then I got busy and gained it all back.

I got my first copy of Fully Alive in June and devoured it in three days. No lie. Loved the book. I even took the DVD to my Mom’s and we laughed ourselves stupid for an hour.  Then something humbling happened. My husband started reading the book and asking me questions about passages. “So what do you think of thus and such? I like his point, don’t you?”

I must have missed that passage.

“Oh well how about…..”

Nope..

“Did you read the book or did you skim it?”

I read it.

Hmmmm

OUCH.

My goal was to read the book. I read the book. I never allowed it to digest. I Deana, am a passive participant in literary pursuits. Nothing traversed past my brain. Sure I highlighted great tweetable quotes, but you know what – reading without gaining the nourishment intended and much needed and then regurgitating it all back to you guys makes me a literary bulimic.

Yuck.

My husband went out and purchased a new bike himself. He is at the “I own a grown up bike and it isn’t a Huffy” honeymoon phase. He wants me to ride with him. I like that. I also want to really read Fully Alive, not from a passive stand point, but as an active participant. I want to digest the chapters and get the words from my brain and into my heart. Once I do that, I plan to walk it out with my husband and with you guys.

Do you want to join me?

Benjamin Franklin is quoted as saying, “Many men die at 25 and aren’t buried until they are 75.” This book is intended to wake up these people.

Fully Alive uncovers forgotten signs of life in a culture seemingly filled with the opposite. Through action steps that led to his physical, mental, social, and spiritual health, Ken Davis recounts his journey back to the land of the living and the signs of life he found along the way.

The anchoring focus is based on the apostle Paul’s quest for life, when he said, “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection.” A power greater than death is available for what we face today? Who doesn’t want a piece of that?

Filled with narrative stories, humor, and practical help, this book is for anyone who wants to live fully and wonders just what that might look like in daily life.

Many people are lurching in the twilight, hoping to sing once again…living lives of quiet desperation, searching in vain for signs of life.

St. Irenaeus said, “The Glory of God is man fully alive.” For those who have been sidelined in life, for those tempted to give up, this book screams…Live!

In Fully Alive, readers will learn how to:

  • Discover the adventure hiding in the middle of the mundane.
  • Exchange the pain of unmet expectations for the joy of living with expectancy.
  • Get unstuck and take the first step that will lead to a new body, mind and spirit.
  • Kick guilt to the curb and experience real freedom.
  • Drive a stake into the heart of your everyday fears and live again.
  • Tap into a power that will protect you whether you’re crawling through the valley or standing on the mountain top

You were made for more. It’s time to reignite your desire and live Fully Alive!  Go here http://fullyalivebook.com/ for more information.

Cycling update: Summer Heat and Mint Juleps

First off, I had no idea that a mint julep was mostly bourbon. That would explain why southern women are so genteel — they’re smashed.

“Oh honey, I have the perfect thing for this terrible heat. Here have a mint julep, it’ll cool you right down.”

Cool me down? Knock me out is more like it.

Have you ever had a mint julep? It’s Southern Tea with a Kentucky Whiskey kick you never see coming.

They taste all cool and minty like. It’s like drinking double mint gum only you get green stuff stuck in your teeth. One glass of that and you really don’t care that it is 104 outside. You just want to melt into the porch swing and have another one.

I don’t suggest having another one.  unless you want to nap for a week or so. Just trust me. They taste really good and in this heat you really do want more. I don’t know why.

In light of that revelation and the desire not to be a puddle on someone’s porch this summer I believe I’ll stick with my zero calorie alcohol free Crystal Light thank you very much. I am supposed to be on a diet and all.

Rumor has it though Mint Juleps won’t ruin your diet and they “only” have between 150-220 calories a glass depending on how they are made. I don’t know if it ruins your diet or not, but I do know that telling yourself it’s too hot to ride your bike therefore you skip say the whole month of June, since you are traveling and all will.

I gained 10 lbs last month. Add to that the 10 I gained back during the Spring and I’m up 20 and flat back to where I started in November. Pound for Pound.

I was so proud of myself on June 2. I rode in the Tour de Cure for Diabetes and could have ridden longer. I celebrated my victory with being an absolute sloth for the whole month of June. I already have the metabolism of a sloth, remove the work out part of the equation and the weight comes back very quickly.

It wasn’t intentional. I was tired. Spring was busy. The end of senior year for my son was one event after another. Then in June I road tripped it to Nashville for the CCA Conference and while I could have used their workout room, I told myself that I “deserved” a few days off. Then I came home only to leave for NY two days later and well, there isn’t a gym at Mom’s house. Then last week it was in the hundreds all week and no way was I getting out in that kinda heat, you know?

So here we are. Or rather here I am. Back at square one.

One excuse after another and I’m back where I started.

I’ve been yoyoing for a year now. That can’t be good on my body.

Re-upping my commitment I did what any red-blooded American woman would do. I went shopping for bike gear and a pretty new helmet because we all know that shopping for workout clothes is just as good as actually working out, right? Okay not really, I just like to shop. Still I have bike only clothes.

The good news though is I have five new people signed up so far for my Tour de Cure Team next year. I’m hoping for more. My husband even joined the team. How cool is that? Now I have people to ride with and train with. It’ll be fun.

I have to get back on my bike now. I can’t very well lead a team, tell them we can do the 50 and not do the work myself. And yes, I said 50 FIVE OH! Miles. I had to make it 50. Now that I know I can do 25, I need a new goal. One that will require me to train or I won’t do it.

Here’s to starting over.

I’m not the first person who ever back slid with excuses. How about you? Do you need a do over button on your fitness plan? Why not join me and hit it today.

Let’s do it!

Cycling Update: April 19, 2011

My new 18 speed Giant. My very first true road bike purchased just last fall.

A few people have been asking so I thought I better fess up. I have not been on a bike of any kind in almost two months. I’ve also gained back the 10 pounds I lost while riding.

I know, I know. I do plan on returning in a week after my oldest comes home from college. Not that it is any excuse, but I have been fully immersed in my youngest son’s soccer season. He’s a senior and this is his last year to play varsity. I’m having a blast. I LOVE SOCCER!

The soccer season ends next weekend, my oldest will be home as well, and I will be back out on the trails with my new toys after May 6.  I will post on cycling again once that happens.

 

Friday Funny: A Cyclist Says What?

DISCLAIMER: Loyal readers, you KNOW I like to poke fun of just about everything. I mean I once wrote a humorist rant about sedation gynecology (still think it’s a good idea if for no other reason it keeps me from saying something stupid to my doctor like “Oh that’s so gonna cost you a roofie.”) so you KNOW nothing is off-limits for my warped mind.  I love my new bike, I love the adventure. And like everything else I love, I love to poke fun.Most of my cycling rants are very much tongue in cheek – if by some small chance a REAL cyclist reads my blog – cut me some slack kay? TY

A local cycling enthusiast posted this on Twitter today for levity sake I’m sure. The first time I watched it, my brain started to freeze up. That’s a lot of new words. The second time I watched it, I laughed. Dear Readers: Please promise that if I become like the guys in this video you will slap me, kay?

I’ve learned four words in the last two months. I know Carbon, Kit, Toe Clips, and trainer (Which isn’t a bra by the way). Those are the only cycling related words I know right now. I’m happy with those words. Carbon means a really light frame, a kit is what I need if I get a flat (unlike my car, my bike doesn’t come with AAA), Toe Clips are the sadomasochistic buggers attached to the pedals that tried to kill me, and the trainer is a metal contraption used to lock your bike in place while riding indoors – kind of like Madonna’s bras back in the 80’s?

A lot of cyclers do speak about “Spin Classes” and somehow I don’t think it has anything to do with yarn. One guy twittered about doing 20 miles in an hour at a spin class with his wife. I’m an ADD redhead, I have been spinning at 90 to nothing my whole life. 20 miles does not sound impressive. I’m kidding. Okay so I understand FIVE words. Yeah me!

I have only two a few questions:

  1. Is fartlicking anything like what the boys learned how to do that one late night while at church camp?
  2. Does it involve bic lighters and a dark room?
  3. Is “peaking too early” really a phrase guys want to be using in public?
  4. What is”Bonking?” It sounds like one of those words you don’t want your mother to know, you know?
If you don’t ride or do triathlons you won’t understand these words either, but enjoy the video anyway kay?  Have a great weekend y’all!

I’m Not Hard-Core; I just want to Live.

Three frogs are sitting on a log when one decides to jump off.

How many are left?

Three.

One only DECIDED to jump.

Deciding to do something and actually following through are not the same thing.

I decided to get in better shape in 2009 because of this story – Beaten By A Stroke: A True Story and even bought myself an automatic shift five speed.

While the bike was pretty, it is also difficult to ride. I peddle like crazy to get it to shift and as soon as I coast down a hill it shifts back to first gear and I have to start all over again. I rode my new bike a sum total of six times before hanging it up in the garage. As a result, I’ve lost and gained the same 20 pounds because I didn’t follow-up my deciding to do better with real action.

Now that’s not to say I didn’t try to do better.

I tried C-Fit.

I tried Zumba.

I tried walking.

I tried the couch to 5K thing.

I even tried riding my bike with a group.

I wasn’t the best and I quit.

I was inspired but nothing more.

I got sick in 2010 and wound up in the hospital and even had surgery. Again, I’m inspired to do better in this area of my life, but I don’t follow through.  I even read Fully Alive in 2010 – by the same author who now is not only riding his bike, he’s racing it. The dude is 62 at this point.

Another friend, whom I also met in 2009 has completed the Iron Man competition, not once, but twice since then.

I’m no longer inspired, I’m embarrassed.

I’m 46.

I have learned something very valuable.

Inspiration without perspiration is fantasy.

It isn’t enough to keep my sense of wonder, to be inspired, or stirred and do nothing with it. True inspiration births action.

To be fair, I’ve taken a great deal of action in other areas of my life. I’m out there performing comedy when I can, acting in movies, volunteering, and even taking writing classes. I’m feeding my brain and my heart but not my body. I’ve over come many fears and it wasn’t until today when I was riding Prince that I realized I have some physical fears to face.

I’m afraid of falling.

I’m afraid of getting hurt, which is ridiculous when I consider that I used to compete in Tai Chi and Shaolin. I got hurt all the time. While it’s true I do have a slight disability with my ankle being permanently messed up now, however, that shouldn’t be stopping me.

I’ve been riding horses since February. I’m now at the point where we can gallop for longer durations and are working barrels. Today, the speed scared me. My eyes were on the ground more than they were on the obstacle ahead. Because of that we couldn’t get good speed.

It’s the same with my bike.

I purchased a Giant Brand bicycle from a locally owned shop in Tulsa and it is much faster than my older one.

The speed scares me.

I’ve fallen off more than once and I stopped riding it for two weeks.

It wasn’t until I was racing Prince today, that I realized what was wrong.

I’m looking at the wrong thing.

I’m allowing my fear of pain, not the actual pain, just the fear of it, to keep me from fully committing.

I fixed that today and rode again. It was 33 degrees and sunny.

The wind hurt my cheeks. I froze my tukus off, and my legs hurt.

But I did it.

And I didn’t fall.

I shared on Twitter that I’m riding today and someone asked if I was hardcore or had a conspirator.

I gave him a smart-alack answer at first. “I spent $1,000 on a new bike and my husband made me promise to ride it every day.” — Later I told him the truth, someone inspired me and if he can do it, so can I.

Here’s the deal. I don’t want to be sitting here another year from now, weighing the same as I do today, reading how someone else I know won a triathlon or a marathon while I allow fear to keep me trapped.

So here is my challenge to you:

I promise to face this fear every day, fulling committing to  following through on Ken’s inspiration in my life. What action are you willing to take today that follows through on a decision you made? I’m not asking you to change your life, I’m asking you to name one action or one fear – and face it with me today.  Will you do that? When you do, I want you to pay this forward and be that inspiration for someone else.

Ready. On your mark. Set. Go!

This post written by Deana O’Hara for Redemption’s Heart. All rights reserved and all that jazz.

Good News, It’s not the Gluten, it’s the Advil.

A bottle of 50 200mg Advil caplets

I have believed for over a year that I am gluten sensitive. Turns out I’m not.

Apparently if you are popping Advil like it’s candy and your doctor asks you what medications you are taking, it’s probably a good idea to tell him.  It’s especially a good idea to mention that if you happen to be, oh I don’t know, in the emergency room of a local hospital at say 3 in the morning.

“It would have helped if you’d told me you’ve been taking Advil. No wonder your gut is messed up.”

yeah yeah yeah.

I wouldn’t be popping Advil if my ankle didn’t hurt so badly and I didn’t think it was relevant.

Doctors hate me. Have I told you that recently?

I’m the knight in Monty Python, “It’s only a flesh wound. Come here and let me bite your knee caps.”

I hate going to the doctors and they hate seeing me half dead. I’m a classic tough it out kind of gal. Fortunately, I’m married to a man who wouldn’t be caught dead in the doctor’s office himself but truly does not mind taking me. Sadist.

I woke up with stomach pains a few weeks back and tried to walk it off when my husband woke up. I was trying to be quiet about it and not be a problem.  I’m pretty sure  my grabbing the foot of the bed and crouching like a lion every time the pain hit was less than subtle and a mild cause for concern. When the admitting nurse asked me to rate my pain I gave her a four.

Husband interjects at this point: “Four?! She’s doubled over, dropped over, can’t walk, can’t breathe and says her organs feel like they are going to fall out. I’m thinking it’s higher than a four.”

Hello morphine.

They took blood, injected dye that made me feel like I’d wet the bed (lovely) even though I hadn’t, and scanned everything. The best they can come up with is inflamed cilia. No kidney stones, blockages, appendicitis, pancreatitis or hepatitis, just inflammation. I was ready to say “see, I don’t need to be here.” when the chest pains hit.

That made me cry. Those hurt words than the stomach pain.

I’ve got to tell you, nothing makes an ER staff jump higher than chest pains, shortness of breath and vomiting. Suddenly, I am the most popular person on the ward, not counting knife wound guy. They wired me for sound faster than you can blink an eye and lo, my heart rate and oxygen levels were perfect.

This is why I hate going to the doctors — I feel stupid when they can’t find anything. Once they realized I wasn’t actually dying, they gave me this pretty purple drink that tastes horrid, numbs everything, and the chest pains stop just like that.

Anxiety attack?

No.

Esophageal spasm.

Those aren’t nice, just sayin.

Once everything is calming down, my husband sweetly whispers in my ear, “Honey, I know you are a girl and everything, but can you please just fart so we can go home?”

I’m not sure if it’s the joke, the lack of sleep or the morphine, but I laughed for the first time all night.

I’m ready to be sent home when I find out that chest pains get you a golden ticket to stay for observation. I’d already had the full gambit of heart tests in September, I really did not want more but I didn’t win that argument.

Once admitted into my comfy room I send hubs home to sleep. I wanted to sleep, but like I said, chest pains make you more popular than a double D bra cup does in high school. Every time I drifted off to dream land someone came in to ask questions, draw blood or wire me to another machine.

It wasn’t until I met the nurse practitioner that we found the culprit. Advil overdose.

My NP noticed my right ankle was swollen larger than a baseball and she thought I had some water retention thing. Once I explained that I’d shattered my ankle as a kid and it swells and hurts at night when I’m active and that I pop Advil PM to help me sleep, she knew exactly what was wrong.

How long have you been taking Advil PM?

On and off for about three years.

Doctors hate me.

Possible side effects of Advil:

All medicines can cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Constipation; diarrhea; dizziness; gas; headache; heartburn; nausea; stomach pain or upset.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; trouble breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); bloody or black, tarry stools; change in the amount of urine produced; chest pain; confusion; dark urine; depression; fainting; fast or irregular heartbeat; fever, chills, or persistent sore throat; mental or mood changes; numbness of an arm or leg; one-sided weakness; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; ringing in the ears; seizures; severe headache or dizziness; severe or persistent stomach pain or nausea; severe vomiting; shortness of breath; stiff neck; sudden or unexplained weight gain; swelling of hands, legs, or feet; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual joint or muscle pain; unusual tiredness or weakness; vision or speech changes; vomit that looks like coffee grounds; yellowing of the skin or eyes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

See also:Advil side effects (in more detail)

OOPS. No more Ibuprofen for me. I’m now eating Greek Yogurt and Kefir daily as well as taking Vitamin D to heal my gut. All this time I thought I’d developed a Gluten issue and it was my advil habit. It turns out they did find something wrong. They also gave me a flu shot, which I thought was nice until I saw the bill. $285.00 for a shot I could have gotten at Walgreens for $25.00. The shock alone was almost enough to bring on the chest pains again.

As far as the chest pains – yes, I’ve been checked out by a cardiologist. My cholesterol is 165ish, I have zero blockages in my arteries, I passed the stress test with flying colors, my lungs look wonderful and aside from a slight heart murmur and a small dose of Lisinopril for blood pressure, I am in better cardiovascular health than my physically fit husband. Yes this kills him.

———————————————————

Side Note: I shattered my ankle when I was eight. I’ve had surgery to correct it when I was younger and now it’s beyond repair according to my present doctors. I’ve been to two specialists, both agree I can either get a metal brace or have it fused. I refuse to do either and I’m hoping that losing weight will relieve the daily pain. Everything I’ve tried so far (walking, running, Zumba, aerobics)  just makes the pain worse so now I’m riding a bike.
Cycling does not put pressure on my ankle, I can ride for miles with no ill effects – other than falling off repeatedly, and no more Ibuprofen.

———————————————————-

I no longer miss my uterus and I still think my surgeon is awesome.

It’s been a year since my hysterectomy.  I have a lot of mixed feelings about that. I remember the roller coaster of joy at having my health issues finally resolved vs the sadness and uncertainty of having my girl parts surgically removed.

I actually grieved for my uterus, pre-cancerous cells and all.

Weird. I know.

But true nonetheless.

What a difference a year makes. I’m healthier and happier than I’ve been in ages. My eyes are brighter, my hair shinier, and my step is usually upbeat – at least when I’m not tripping over invisible carpet bumps. I’m using my newfound energy to explore art, friendship, acting, and travel.  I’m also finding new ways to eat right and get exercise. I’m on my way to living a better and longer life. I’m not moving as fast forward as I’d like – but I’m moving and that is what counts.

just found out today that the surgeon I was referred to and eventually made my permanent GYN,has been recognized by Castle Connolly Ltd. as not only one of the top doctors in Oklahoma, but in the United States as well. I’m happy for him.

This post written by Deana O’Hara for Redemption’s Heart. All rights reserved 5/31/11