Friday, November 23, 2012

I Made A New Friend

Working out takes up the majority of my time, my life.  I prefer it that way.  I like the way breathing hard makes me feel.  I like waking up the morning after a long run with sore legs and hips.  I like the way the sweat drips from my chin.  I like the results.  And I like the like-minded people.

Recently, I attended a special edition spin class at my gym.  A 90 minute session hosted by my favorite Spin Warrior Princess, Alyssa.  If Alyssa's there, count me in!  I inadvertently arrived 40 minutes early.  No problem, I was certain to stake claim to a bike that way!  Coincidently, 2 others got the times mixed up as well so the three of us hunkered down to wait till kick off. 

While we were waiting, the three of us were chatting and passing the time.  During the chit-chat, the other lady made reference to herself - "Joyce".  I asked, "did you say your name is Joyce?"  "Yes, it is."  "I'm Joyce, too!"  "You are kidding me?  I never find a YOUNG Joyce!  I rarely meet another Joyce, let alone a young one!"  We laughed and from then on, we were Joyce Squared.  And gym friends for as long as we both attend.

In the short visit we had together, I learned this about my new friend with the same name as me.  She is almost 20 years my senior.  She's been married more than 30 years.  She referred to that marriage as a "30 year long date".  Can you imagine feeling that way about your spouse/mate after all those years?  She feels she's earned the right to say to you "I just don't care what you think.  This is me.  Take me or leave me."  She is satisfied.  She treasures that she has the ability to come to the gym, that her body is healthy enough to take on a good work out.  She loves good, CURRENT music.  She likes to wear doo-rags. 

I'm so glad I met Joyce #2.  I don't know that she will ever know that she is a great inspiration to me.  I'll have to make it a point to tell her. 

I just hope I'm hanging in a 90 minute spin class when I'm "well into my sixties".

Bitch, you're fabulous!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Do You Ever

Of late, the days are hard for me.  Some days require A LOT of effort on my part to even get my feet to touch the floor.  I am not in a happy place.  I am not where I expected to be at this time in my life; I am not where I want to be on many levels.  When I look at myself, I see someone who was/is not good enough.

Do you ever wish you were...different?  Even someone else entirely?  There have been times when I wished my nose was smaller, that my eyes were any color but brown, that my hips were narrow or non-existant, that my legs were longer and my arms shorter.  There have been times recently that I simply wished I were any one else but me.

I play this game with myself.  I pull myself down to the level of the dirt on my shoe and then I berate myself for the pitty party I just threw!  Back and forth in my head I go like a professional ping pong ball tournament.  "You are a such a loser, Joyce."  "Really, Joyce?  You're going to go there when you are surrounded by loving friends and family that have been there for you ALWAYS, to say nothing of the last 6 months?"  You get the idea.  I suppose I should be grateful for this internal fight because if I weren't fighting, I'd be losing...and I absolutely wouldn't put my feet on the floor in the mornings.

I'm planning on participating in my first Tri next summer.  In preparation, I have been shopping for a road bike.  Over the last 3 months, I have learned more than I ever thought possible about bicycles.  Tonight, I strolled into yet another specialty shop to check out their pricing.  As usual, I met an awesome athelete more than willing to share his love of the sport with me.  He told me to consider my bike on other days other than training days.  He said I need to be sure that I love it just as much for a pleasure ride as I do during a competition.  He said, you know, you want a bike ride to be an option when you get up of a morning and think "hmm, do I want to ride, run or swim today."  He said a pleasure ride shouldn't be a chore on my road bike.

Without even thinking about it, I said to this stranger, "You know what?  I am at a point in my life and my physical fitness level and my health that I actually have the good fortune to CHOOSE what type of exercise I want to do that day.  Do you know how lucky that makes me?  Not everyone has this same good fortune, either because of failing health or an ailment or pure laziness.  I'm awfully glad to be where I'm at right now." 

I walked out of that store starting yet another game of ping pong in my head.  "Did you just hear yourself in there, Joyce?  Did you pay any attention to the words you just said to that guy?  Do you believe in the platform you just shared with him?"  I needed a drink!  Thankfully, a coffee shop was within walking distance.  I approached the door at the same time as a guy in a wheelchair... 

That Karma.  She's a real bitch.

I've resolved myself to the fact that I am where I'm supposed to be - right now.  I don't like it.  I'm not happy about it.  I cry over it almost daily.  But I do believe it.  There is something I'm supposed to do, witness, share, learn, experience and when that happens, I'll move on to where I'm supposed to be AT THAT TIME. 

But in the meantime, I know I will be sad and frustrated and seem ungrateful and curse those who have hurt me and love just a little more those who have reached out to me and feel sorry for myself and feel like a complete failure and put on a happy face becasue that's what I do best...and wait.

The guy in the wheelchair will never know that he slapped me in the face.  He'll never know that, because of our very brief encounter, I will get up tomorrow morning and welcome my nose, and my hips and my frizzy hair and my unusally long arms and the situation I am in...and my two legs that work beautifully.

Do you ever?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

It's What I Get

To my 7 loyal followers...  Are you there?  I love you.

This is really just a test post.  A post to see if I still know how to operate this thing!  I'm not convinced that I do.  Blogger has obviously been busy while I've been experience life as I don't even recognize my own online diary!  Now is not the time for me to be poking around here; there's work to be done.  But now that I know I can still access my private little book, I'll be back!  I'll be back with bells on.  With stories that will make you laugh and cry and take pity upon me!  No, really!

So, stay tuned followers.  I have a big weekend planned!  There will be pictures.

Oh, and just a little reminder.  A week from tomorrow, November 2, is my birthday.  I like everything!

Hang in there with me, okay?  I will not disappoint!

Love, hugs, Namaste -

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

It's Just A Number

...And no, I'm not talking about the number on the scale.

I take care of myself. If I am nothing else, I am determined to be as healthy and physically fit as I can be. I have a varied, weekly workout regime. I take group fitness classes, group weight training classes, I take spin classes, I take yoga and Pilate's classes and I run.

On most any given Tuesday or Thursday night you can find me in a weight sculpting class. And usually, there are two particular ladies in the group with me. I recently learned that these awesome women are in their sixties. Over 60. Not 46. Not 23. Not 34. Over 60.

As I was tossing and turning through another bout of insomnia this morning at 4:00, I started thinking about these ladies and their respective ages. I was thinking, is our age really just a number? I think it is because I think if we lined up 5 60+ year olds and asked them each how they felt physically, we'd get 5 different answers. I was wondering, certainly the way we treat and respect our bodies has something to do with how we feel at our particular age? And if we treat and respect our bodies adequately, can we feel younger and healthier than our said ages? I know that our genes and DNA play a very big role in this analogy. And for those of you with poor genes and a crooked DNA line, I am so very sorry. You have an up hill battle from the start.

I am fortunate to come from good, strong stock. For my entire life, I have heard my mom say she doesn't feel her age. I know for a fact that she can't wrap her mind around the idea that she is 67. And often times, as she and my father are moving furniture, I have to remind her that she's not 40 anymore!

I don't know what I'll feel like in 20 years. But I do know that, despite my level of ability, I will be in a weight sculpting class. I will be participating in spin and yoga classes. And I will be running. I will be the woman some 45 year old is blogging about.

And I might even be rearranging the furniture in my living room.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

You Can Go Anywhere You Want, One Footstep At A Time

I like to read. I like to run. I like to read about running. I can't read and run at the same time, however. I would fall. And I avoid injury at all cost.

The more I read about running, the more I realize just how much the "sport" has in common with life in general. Think about it...

1) Don't go out too fast. It's easy to get overly excited about an event in our life, get all caught up in the hype only to miss the journey and be let down at the end when it's over. Same with running. If you go out like a hare and don't police your pace, you will face miles and miles of grim death-marching.

2) Enjoy the fellowship of other runners. In doing short, local races, many of us show up, stretch, do the race, cool down, grab a snack and some water and leave. Why not slow down a bit and enjoy the comrades who relish the sport as much as you do? Similarly, in life, why not slow down JUST A BIT? Instead of getting your latte to go, why not pull up a chair and do some people watching and really enjoy that cuppa joe? Or, how about TWO times around the block with Fido every now and then?

3) Mental toughness is a tremendous asset. I think this is stating the obvious. Many people have said to me "I could never run a marathon". I've made that same statement. But I decided it was something I wanted to attempt and learned quickly that, while it clearly takes training and time and effort, the majority of this sport is really - REALLY - mental. Likewise, think about the mental toughness we must ensue on a day-to-day basis. We have to mentally prepare ourselves for bad news. Many of us have to prepare ourselves mentally for our everyday commute into work because the traffic is so horrible. We have to talk to ourselves and prepare ourselves, mentally, before having a serious conversation with our spouse or children. Mental toughness is a tremendous asset - in running and in life.

4) Youth isn't everything. As we age, our speed fades more quickly than our endurance. Personally, I'm okay with that. I would rather run farther than faster. Many times I have wanted to turn around at mile 22 to the 28 year old now behind me and say "nanny nanny boo boo". And in life, "let's not forget that experience and shrewdness can help offset the ravages of time".

5) Dropping out can be habit-forming, but can also be smart. That wall. Those WALLS! Those points in the race where you are absolutely certain you cannot take another step. The temptation to drop out is overwhelming. The decision to call it quits shouldn't be taken lightly because once you drop out that first time, it gets easier and easier to throw in the towel. However, there are times when you must trust your body and the signals it's sending you. There's something to be said for saving yourself for another day. The key is to knowing what your goals are and why they're important to you. If you can keep that mindset during your darkest moments of racing - and life - your decision to continue will probably be the right one.

When I run, I think. I ponder. I "what if". I plan. I sing. I cry. I smile. I "zone out". I clear my mind. I inhale deeply. I listen. I contemplate. And I've come to the conclusion that these are exactly the things I do in life.

I am healthy, strong and tough. And I will go anywhere I want, one footstep at a time.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


It's a prefix meaning "not", freely used as an English formative, giving negative or opposite force in adjectives.

I'm not looking for comments in this post. I just wanted to use this as an outlet for my crappy feelings of late. They say, if you write things down, it's easier to let go of them...whatever they are. I'll let you know how it works out.

I have never felt so un-appreciated, un-attractive, un-loved, un-acceptable, un-cared about or un-cared for in my life...

And what is really making me nuts is, as Eleanor Roosevelt so adequately put it, "no one can make you feel inferior without your consent."

Which translates to...I'm allowing this to happen.

Get a grip, Joyce!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

BMI - Body Mass Index

Also known as "Bite My Idler"...

I woke up in a bad mood today. It's unexplainable given the great evening I had with my bookclub gal-pals last night! Those chicks rock!

As soon as my fill-in co-worker spoke the words yesterday, I knew I'd be posting about it. And now, as I sit here and share the story with you, because of said foul mood, it pisses me off even more!

I am all about taking care of ourselves. I think it's our responsibility, to ourselves and to those who love and care about us. I mean, afterall, they will be the ones who have to carry the burden of our healthcare when and if our bodies shut down. So while we can and while we have some control over our lives, let's be smart; eat right and MOVE!

But there's a balance. A happy medium. A meeting of the mind and body.

Yesterday, my fill-in co-worker and I were chatting about workouts we liked; biking, swimming, hiking, etc. and how important it is to find something that's fun to do or you won't stick with it. We also talked about how our thinking and our bodies change as we get older. But I fell off my stool when she told me how, during a recent physical, the doctor said, "Overall, everything is fine. However, your BMI is "x" percent, which is too high." She responded with, "Compared to what? An Ethiopian?!"

Really world? Really fashion magazines? Really mean girls? Really media? Really Hollywood?

Balance. Let's just find our balance. Our Upekkhā...shall we?


Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Tisket A Casket

Last Spring, I took you with me on one of my long runs here and shared with you some of the things I see along the way. We can all agree that road-side findings are not always pleasant.

This afternoon, I had the opportunity to chat with my mom while she and my dad were driving from their house on the shore to my daughter's in Virginia Beach to spend the weekend. She says to me, "Oh, Joyce! I have to tell you what we saw on the way to the dump yesterday! You won't believe it." She was right. It was a road-side finding that I could not compete with. Mom's road-shoulder findings have officially trumped mine.

As my dad drove along the two-lane road, mom was simply enjoying the ride - you know, glancing to the right, turning to admire my dad's profile, looking ahead again. But then she thinks she sees something odd just up ahead on the shoulder to the left. They whiz by it. "Huh," she says to herself. The thought is so unbelievable, that after a few seconds she simply has to ask my father, "Papa? Did you see that?" In perfect Papa fashion, he responds, "See what?". Mom hesitates a moment before elaborating for fear my father would feel the need to make an immediate U-turn and head to Salisbury to the hospital entrance marked "Psychiatry".

"Um, I'm pretty sure there was a coffin sitting along the side of the road."

My dad says, "A coffin?" My dad is a man of very few words.

"Yes, Speed, a coffin." My dad has been known as "Speed" his entire life. That's another story for later.

"Mema, we'll look again on our way back, ok?"...

Once they've unloaded the truck at the recycle center, my folks head back to The Big House...with eyes wide open and going well below the speed limit. And sure enough...

"See! A Coffin! Speed, what's a coffin doing sitting out there along the side of the road with no one there?!"

"Oh, someone's there. They're in the coffin."

You don't want to get into a conversation with my dad. You will consider driving YOURSELF to the nearest hospital entrance marked "Psychiatry".

This experience just confirms my growing interest in cremation because the last thing I want is my dead ass left waiting on the side of the road for the grave digger...or for my mom to have to run to the ATM to "get some cash to pay the man"!

Rest In Peace.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

I Ran The Rest Of The Way With My Mouth Open

I was in the middle of my tempo run on the treadmill last night at the Y, ear buds in place listening to something catchy, minding my own workout business... While you get that vision in your head, I'll give you some background info that will help set the stage for this post.

I only utilize the treadmill for 3 events/reasons during my training programs: 1) for tempo runs, 2) for speed work and 3) during the winter months when it gets dark at 5:30 in the evening. Otherwise, I'll be outside if you need me.

The evenings I am at my local YMCA, there is van-load of high school-aged girls that come in around 6:00 and leave by 6:45. I don't know where they come from, if they're from a group home or just some after school program they participate in. And for the most part, they're pretty well behaved.

Last night, one of them used the treadmill next to me. When she finished her run, she hopped off, grabbed the cleaning towels and, abiding by the gym rules, came back and wiped down her machine. But then, in a flash, she reached over and thoughtfully (?) mopped up MY puddle of sweat! I thought, huh...did that just happen? Did she just do what I think she just did?

I mean, she may as well have reached over and blown my nose.

Maybe she could be the next Marvel super hero.

"Mop Girl...avenger of sweat puddles".

God people are weird.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

One Is Just Like The Other

Look at this...

Now look at this...

Yeah, my thoughts exactly!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sam I Am

Over the holidays, I found myself watching/listening to The Hallmark channel while decorating, cooking, wrapping - you know, doing holiday stuff. I like Hallmark; Hallmark Cards, Hallmark Christmas Tree ornaments (although I don't "use" them), Hallmark stores (they sell Vera Bradley...I DO use Vera Bradley). But this isn't a post about Hallmark. It's just that the subject of this post was seen multiple times on the Hallmark channel. This is a post about being googly. All googly. Am I too old to be googly?

I don't ever remember being googly over any movie star or rock star or anyone of any Hollywood status as a kid. And I'll have to check with my mom but I don't even remember having my walls covered in posters...hmmm, that may explain a lot about me.

But as I turn the pages on my calendar and the years go flitting by, I find myself sighing dreamily at two star-studs - Tom Selleck (have you SEEN Bluebloods????) and this guy...

Sam - then

Now, clearly, Sam Elliott was a good looking young man. And maybe, certainly my opinion of a good looking man has/is changing as I, too, age gracefully. But, regardless of the number of candles on my birthday cake or yours, it's hard to argue that today's version of Sam Elliott is not a fine specimen in deed. But I'm partial to graying hair. And I love wrinkles. They, along with our visible scars, tell our story.

Sam - now

So, if this is what I have to look forward to in the coming years with my husband, I am one lucky girl.

I'll have to ask him how he feels about my aging process.

On second thought, I'm smarter than that.

Keep up the good work, Sam.