To Sweat or Not To Sweat - That Is the Question

Oh boy! It is HOT in the south.  My husband and I took the dogs out for a little walk around the park and in two minutes the sweat was rolling off my face like a river.  At 7:30 the temp was still in the 90's.  Hot, Hot, HOT! 

The deal is, as a lady, I fall for the notion sweat is bad.  It can be smelly, awkward, embarrassing and uncomfortable.  It can cause all kinds of problems like chaffing and rashes.  But if I want to really be an athlete, and I do, I have to at least be comfortable and embrace this thing called sweat. 

At first this was difficult. I did feel uncomfortable.  I felt sticky and yucky and just irritable. Then I started creating more and more sweat.  I started increasing my effort and the sweat started flowing. After awhile I gave myself over to it and wow, I began to relax into the sweaty, red-faced gal that wasn't embarrassed but was proud of my sweat soaked shirt. I began to glory in a body that can cool itself and create a way to keep going even when the temperature is not so pleasant.

I bought a headband.  Who cares what my hair looks like?  I'm trying to lose the weight of an extra person that I carry around.  Who cares if the front of my shirt looks like I poured my bottled water over me?  I am trying to leave behind the bad decisions of the last 8 years.  Who cares that when I get in the car to drive home the air conditioner reveals that more of me is wet than that which is dry.  And by the way, if my car starts smelling like a locker room I could care less.  I will smile all the way to Bath and Body Works where I will purchase some really strong car deodorizer.  I don't care.

I know there are some people who hate to sweat.  We talk about this out on the road as the sting of sweat trickles into our eyes. I say, I can tell I'm working out, my eyelids are sweating.  I'm so proud. It's okay that my walking buddy doesn't like sweat.  Everyone has their limits. 

But me, I am learning to love it.  I am sooo glad I'm out there working so hard that sweat is necessary.  I'm so proud of the body that once did very little sweating and is now producing enough to keep me going.  I'm so proud I pushed through my discomfort and began to focus more on the goal than the obstacle.  There is more to come, I have not arrived.  But I have answered a burning question and I am happy about my decision. 

Am I going to give just enough effort, on nice days to perspire a little and work up a good glisten?  Heck no!  I'm going all out and if I'm lucky there won't be a dry stitch when I am done. 

To sweat or not to sweat? By all means enjoy the sweat Kimberly. You earned it!

That's all ~ Thanks y'all!


Beginning Anew: Decisions, Decisions...Oh, Payday

Beginning Anew: Decisions, Decisions...Oh, Payday: The river wlk at 5:30 a.m. If you are from somewhere around my generation you may remember the commercial for the "Game of Life&quo...

Decisions, Decisions...Oh, Payday

The river wlk at 5:30 a.m.
If you are from somewhere around my generation you may remember the commercial for the "Game of Life". It went, as the title says, Decisions, Decisions...Oh, Payday. That phrase was burned in my memory forever, like a ditty.  I can't remember to take my medicine but I can remember the line from a commercial forty years ago. Oh age, how you tease us.

So the premise of the game is that you spin the wheel, you land on a square and you either get good news or bad news.  Along the way you are faced with some important life decisions.  Marry or not, go to college or not.  I don't think children are a choice but rather a square you land on and depending on your view, you are either rewarded or doomed with kids.  (Of course if they recreated  the game today they would make children an option so as to remain politically correct). Anyway, like life it is supposed to represent that some stuff just happens and some stuff is based on decisions.  I used to love this game.

I have come to understand that in the pursuit of better health, the "game" is pretty much the same. I may not be spinning the wheel, but I do find, some stuff just happens and some stuff is based on decisions.  In the actual board game the decision part is minimized and the stuff happens part is like 90% of the game.  In my real game of life, it is probably more 50/50.  In my health choices in particular it is almost all about decisions. I.E. its in my control.  I like control. 

It occurred to me the other day that each decision I make (or ignore) is going for me or against me.  It really does come down to decisions. The choice to rearrange my life completely and put exercise at the top of the list was a big decision.  The decision to process all the veggies from our weekly farmer, food share and plan healthy, light meals is a decision.  The decision to sit on the couch and wish I had done those things, that too is a decision. I try really hard not to make that decision very often. But good or bad, it does come down to all those decisions...yes, each one. Truth is, my pursuit of better health all started with some really small, obscure decisions.  They were just little blips on the radar but they helped me find my path.

I first decided I wanted to feel better.  That was easy enough. No brainer.  That led to, well I guess I need to eat better.  That was followed by I guess I need to drink more water. That was just one step before, better get some exercise.  They were little steps and I have certainly failed as many as I have succeeded and more.   They were ambiguous thoughts almost more than decisions.  However over time that has changed.

The more serious I have become, the more tangible my decisions, my goals and my actions have become.  Its a deliberate, methodical, process now and I see clearly my goals, the decisions I need to reach those goals and the hurdles I must cross to make successful decisions.  One surprising hurdle, not everyone will be able to applaud my decisions or my successes.  How I deal with that? Yes, that too is a decision!!!

Lets face it, a woman who knows her mind, pursues her goals, who is driven and independent is not always popular. I struggle with this.  I want to be the most ferocious me I can be.  Attack life with full force but sometimes I find myself feeling the need to apologize for being me. Yuck. All I can say to that is this:

 "I'm sorry if the good in my life, the toughness in me, the success I earn make you uncomfortable.  Every decision has come with a price tag, both good and bad decisions have cost me something. If you think I feel like I'm better than you because I'm making good decisions you are WRONG, I feel better than the girl I was when I was sitting on my ass eating chips.  If you think I take for granted the blessings I have received along the way, again you are wrong. We all land on some good squares and some bad.  I have had my share of both.

This is not about anyone but me.  I am not superior nor do I strive to be superior to anyone.  This is my lane, my race, and in this race we all get a medal - and we decide if it will be the bronze, gold or plastic one.  I cannot apologize for my success anymore than I can apologize for my existence. Yes, I'm sorry my success makes you uncomfortable.  You may think I don't deserve it.  You may think wrong or who knows, maybe you are right.  Bottom line, my decisions, my life, my success or failure is on my side of the street and I own it.  You want to make improvements on your side of the street - you have just as much opportunity to do so.  I will even cheer you on. But I will not apologize for being me.  For being the best me I can be. So if you are waiting on that - hang it up baby, it ain't-a-happenin."

I just needed to say that. Sometimes the dialogue in my head tells me I don't deserve this. Sometimes I am tempted to believe that. I just want to squash that voice. I have to squash that voice.  I have to turn down the volume of the naysayers so I can clearly hear my cheerleaders.  The cheerleaders tell me I am making good decisions.  The cheerleaders tell me I can do more.  The cheerleaders tell me they are proud of me and keep encouraging me to make good decisions, decisions that help me grow and be the best I can be. 

As I have become more clear, more concise, more determined, I am seeing, it is all about the decisions. The decisions to take action, and the decision to put blinders on to the negative energy in my life.  The women I see on the road who are successful are not the kind of women who let others hold them back, including not letting themselves hold them back. If they did, they would not be out there pounding the pavement.  Like the old me, they would be sitting on the couch with a bag of chips. I can't be her anymore.

Decisions, Decisions....and yes, Payday!  I'll take the gold medal payday please and thank you!

That's all ~ Thanks y'all!