Monday, September 22, 2008

Results Not Typical

It’s hard for me to believe that what I’ve done over the past eleven months is “not typical.” I get up at 4:45 AM, Monday through Friday to exercise. I found an amazing program through the internet called Bay State Adventure Boot Camp that literally wears me out for an hour every morning while the rest of the world is still laying around in bed. By 6:30, I’m smelly and sweaty and completely psyched that I’ve done something so good for myself.

What I like most about boot camp is I don’t have to think about it. I set my alarm, get up, go to boot camp and Alexis and Erica have the entire workout planned. I just have to do what they tell me to. It’s never boring. It’s never redundant. It’s different every day, not just for the exercise but depending on the people that are there that day. Alexis and Erica motivate me every step of the way but so do the other ladies from camp. It still amazes me how many people come up to me and tell me how good I look. (Thanks!) And while I know I’ve lost a lot of weight, I also know there’s a long way to go still.

As with most people, the journey of my weight loss started several years ago. I was sort of successful with other programs. I lost 20 pounds going to weekly meetings but it wasn’t fun and one day a week wasn’t enough motivation for me. When I moved away from that area I stopped follow the program. Two years into graduate school and I’d gained 50 pounds from eating too much greasy fast food. I decided that it was time to do something about this especially since I was in the health care business. There’s nothing like having a doctor tell you to stop smoking and then seeing him standing on the corner puffing on his own cigarette. That’s kind of how I felt. How could I possibly tell someone they needed to exercise more and take better care of themselves if I wasn’t doing that myself? So I Googled personal fitness trainers one day and found Bay State Adventure Boot Camp.

I will never forget my first day of boot camp! My body was not happy to be up that early and certainly was not impressed with what I was making it do. Now, fifty-five pounds lighter, I don’t really care what my body thinks of me! The little aches and pains, and even the major set backs requiring time off (bursitis and a car accident with whiplash), and I’m still going to boot camp five days a week. You couldn’t possibly get me to stop going! I love this program and I love the people I’ve met through it.

Besides looking and feeling so much healthier, I’ve been amazed at the other areas in my life that boot camp has affected. Boot camp has given me back so much more than I ever put in to it. It’s given me back my music. I can sing and play my flutes without gasping for air anymore! It’s given me back mountains and nature! I LOVE being outside and now I’m not panting and stopping every five minutes when I’m climbing mountains. In fact, I ran up part of the last mountain I climbed! It’s also given me back the children in my life. I can outlast my niece and nephew when we’re out playing! I can keep up with my cousin’s two year old with a smile on my face! That’s all in the past year! Next year. . . a triathlon!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Not Always What We Appear To Be

This will probably be a pretty random blog if I write everything that's been on my mind lately! I apologize for the sporadic changes of topic beforehand :)

I pulled into the parking lot of my apartment complex this morning after boot camp and kind of had to laugh about the little red sports cars "status symbols" parked in the back lot. One has a license plate that says "VOGUE" and it's had a flat tire for months. MONTHS. What's the point of spending all your money for a fancy car you can't fix? The other little red sports car has it's muffler held on with some wire that looks surprisingly like a coat hanger. Again, what's the point? Spend all your money so you can look like you have money but when in fact you take a closer look, you're as broke as the rest of the world. Hmmm, I guess that does kind of sound like an American thing to do. . .

The other day I went out for coffee with a friend of mine. We spent the majority of the time talking about whether we were ever going to have kids. I said no, not really. We went through the whole "selfish" thing. Neither of us think it's selfish. I like my lifestyle. I like being able to throw things in a bag in five minutes or less and head over to a friend's house for the night. I like being able to take off for the weekend and only have to worry that my cats have food and water and a litter box. I think it's more selfish to think that you're so highly important that you need to continue your gene pool and raise a snotty little brat that you can't discipline in this country. Okay, maybe selfish wasn't the right word but with the government and other people sticking their nose into everyone else's bedrooms, child rearing habits and all our other personal business, I think it's seriously detrimental to the well being of children these days. Whoever heard of a school shooting when teachers could still spank kids? These days teachers are too afraid of their kids to discipline them. Heck, I've talked to parents this week who don't hug their children, even in the privacy of their own home, because they're afraid of what might happen to them. How is that good for the kids?

My friend and I also talked a little about jobs and careers. I've been a pharmacist for a whole whoping month now and I have to say. . . I LOVE it! I'm so happy to be done with school and working again. I never thought I'd say that. But I am really enjoying what I do now. Now, I firmly believe that people should do what they love but I know from my own experience that many of us can't live off the salaries of what it is that we love. I have too many friends that are artists of one sort or another (writers, painters, musicians, etc.) who are living between friends, living with parents, between jobs, just doing whatever it is that they can do to live the life they want to live. I've seen people take this to the extreme where they'd be living from a backpack, biking to the grocery store miles away, because they believe and love the environment so much that they don't want their footprint to be the one that destroys the atmosphere, etc. They spend days teaching the children how to love the world they live in and the rest of the time showing the world how to do that. And they LOVE it. They wouldn't change a thing. It's called courage to be able to do what you love and turn away from the critisism of the rest of the world that thinks money is everything. It takes a leap of faith to walk a path that the world sees as different and it's these people that I love meeting. I know by looking at my life from the surface, I have a well paying job, I live in a nice apartment, etc. that I don't really look like I walk any path other than what the world sees as normal but get to know me and you'll see things are not what they always appear to be.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Too Good?

Do you ever think life can be too good? Sometimes I think that when I'm as happy as I've been lately that somewhere along the way karma's going to come along and knock the chair I'm sitting on right out from underneath of me.

But things have been great lately. Here's the newsflash: I am NOT moving to Maine. I should have realized that things that sound too good to be true probably are. I gave up a lot of money to stay where I want to be and you know what, I'm very happy with the decision I've made! I told my boss and the recruiter from Maine today that I was not going to be moving to Maine. The recruiter basically said thanks anyway and my boss said "There IS a God!" Hmmm, I think I made the right choice. I've been working a lot lately and the last two days have been great! I worked in two different stores and both of them want me there full time. It's so great to feel appreciated! Who wants to leave a situation like that! Yeah, the money would be nice but I have a regular income now that actually pays the bills and there's still some left over at the end of the day! Eventually the school loans will get paid off. Until then I'll muddle through just like always.

I've had a nice break from boot camp this week. I think my body needed some down time. That being said, I hiked six miles one day, walked/ran two miles another day and walked two miles today. Oh and biked almost five miles another day. I just had the opportunity to sleep in on those days!

Life is amazingly good right now! Who could ask for anything more?