BulgingButtons

Not bad for a fat girl


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I’m Worried About This Weather

Don’t get me wrong… it’s gorgeous. It’s finally starting to get a bit cooler in my area (no more heat advisories at school, so kids can have outdoor recess at last). I’m happy about not feeling like my skin is frying and my lungs are shriveling up after a few minutes outside. A whole new section of my wardrobe is becoming accessible with the cooler weather, and I can wear my favorite NFL team’s shirt (which happens to be long sleeved) without completely roasting. These are all excellent developments. So what’s the issue? The pool.

You see, everyday for the past four months I have put on my swimsuit and gotten in the pool to exercise. Okay, not everyday. I missed ONE day when I was out of town and the weather was bad, but every OTHER day I’ve done it. Not only that, but I’ve really enjoyed it. AND, as an added bonus, my current lab work showed that it has made a positive impact on my health (as well as helping me painlessly shed a few pounds). My doctor’s parting words were something to the effect of, “Keep it up!” Gulp.

I want to keep it up. I really do. I actually enjoy this time to myself in my backyard. I look forward to it each day. But over the past few days I’ve notice the water getting increasingly cooler. My pool doesn’t have a heater. What was really enjoyable is becoming more difficult to do. Pretty soon that water is going to be too cold to enter. Then what?

Join a gym? No thank you. Walking around in a bathing suit in my own backyard is no problem, but in a public place? Nope. And sharing the pool with people who no doubt are there to actually swim can be problematic. I know. I used to be a lifeguard (you know, wearing a bathing suit in a public place).

Head up to mom’s condo? Their pool is heated, or at least it’s supposed to be. And in the 40 plus years that I’ve been visiting that place (including the two brief times when I lived there) the pool has been vastly underutilized. Really, it’s not the worst idea, but the distance, traffic, and horrible neighbor who has nothing better to do than harass people make this option less than ideal.

Use my friend’s community pool? It’s pretty close, and she says it’s heated, but I would have to get her scanning device to get in each time (I guess they’re pretty high tech over there) and the thought of driving home in a wet bathing suit is really unappealing. Brrrrr.

Get a wet suit? Don’t laugh. I’ve researched this option, and I know that they do make them for virtually every size and shape of body, but it’s a pretty big investment for something that I don’t really want to deal with. And apparently if you don’t get the right size it really doesn’t keep you warm. It’s supposed to be very snug when you first put it on. I imagine it’s like trying to squeeze a sausage into its casing. And do they dry in a day? I’m not sure. And where exactly do you keep it? I’m still on the fence with this one.

So there you have it. My dilemma. I know. I should just do a different kind of exercise. Of course. But this is the first time in my life (EVER) that I’ve found an exercise routine that I enjoy and that I’ve been able to stick with. So wish me luck, and a few more days of warm weather.


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Longest Movement Streak

That’s what my watch tells me every day after my workout. Wow, talk about a sentence I never thought I would write. It’s true though. I’m on a roll.

If you’ve been with me for any length of time at all, you know that exercise hasn’t exactly been something I’ve been keen on, but somehow that’s changed. Not ALL exercise. I haven’t completely changed my stripes. However, there’s a workout that I’ve been doing every day since May 27. Well, every day but one, and that couldn’t be helped. What is this magic workout, you ask. It’s jogging in the pool. Yes. Each day I put on my swimsuit and head out to the pool for at least 35 minutes of nonstop jogging. Occasionally I go twice in the same day.

I’ve always loved being in the water. I was once a lifeguard, and when I was little I swam like a fish. I have the faded construction paper “ribbons” from summer camp to prove it. One of my favorite baby pictures is of my mom standing over me, holding my hands up in the air while the rest of me is in the kiddie pool. I was clearly very happy at that moment.

This all came about entirely by accident. Let me explain. May 27, 2021 was the last day of the most challenging and exhausting school year I’ve ever experienced. I came home that afternoon tired. Not Friday tired. Not last day of school tired. More like relieved that I’d survived the school year tired. I sank into a chair, and promptly zoned out. I could have gone to sleep in a heartbeat. I would have slept for hours, maybe days, but I decided I didn’t want to do that.

I was on summer break, and I decided to reclaim my life. The 2020-2021 school year was not going to claim me as a casualty. I survived. I figured the best way to revive myself would be to jump into the pool. After all, late May in my part of the country is pretty warm, and a dip in the pool would be just the thing.

I hadn’t gotten into the pool yet this season, so I wasn’t even sure what the temperature would be, but it was terrific. I got in, I jumped around a little, I swam a few laps, and I felt great. That’s when I decided to challenge myself. I figured I have this pool (I insisted on it back when we were house hunting), so why not commit to using it each day of the summer? That’s how it started. Each day I got in, and when I did I spent some time jogging. It was all fun and games until I got my early birthday gift of an Apple Watch.

For at least 3 years my sweetheart has been wanting to gift me one, but I put him off and put him off. Then my supposedly waterproof Fitbit decided that it really wasn’t. Well, that watch has been a total game changer for me. It’s a game to me to “close my rings” each day (activity, exercise, and standing… which is a joke because it counts sleeping as standing). It also has pushed me to up my levels of activity and exercise.

I’m embarrassed to admit it, but during the year of Covid (not that it’s gone, but I do mean last school year), my daily step count averaged somewhere between 2,000-3,000. I’ve heard that 10,000 should be the minimum for most adults. Well, right now I’m averaging between 11,000-12,000 daily. I’m interested to see what my lab results will be the next time I go for my routine check up. I’m sleeping better, my appetite is pretty under control, and I’m feeling good about this whole movement thing. On top of all that, the time spent in the pool is time to clear my head and enjoy the dragonflies and occasional hummingbirds that fly by. If only summer could last forever.


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What Do You Say At a Time Like This?

I’ve felt tongue-tied recently. At least online. I want to write, but I’m not exactly sure what to write about. Naturally there are the BIG things. Things like justice, equity, access to healthcare, governmental responsibility, constituent responsibility, the role of media, the role of the courts, the issue of personal responsibility, the issue of public health.

I’ve stayed away from the BIG topics because I feel like a blog isn’t the right place for me to share my thoughts about them. It’s too one-sided. There are my words, then your interpretation of what I mean, then maybe a comment from you and a reply from me and that’s about it. There’s so much room for ambiguity and misunderstanding. There’s so much margin for error. I prefer to discuss these topics in a more two-sided way, with give and take from both parties. We don’t learn from one another by making proclamations, then closing our eyes, ears, and hearts.

So if not the BIG things, then what? There are plenty of things rattling around in my brain, but they seem so trivial at a time like this. In light of the pandemic raging and the U.S. Capitol being overrun, does anyone really want to read about my seemingly never-ending quest for just the right hand cream? Maybe. After all, I’m not the only one washing my hands excessively this winter.

Or maybe you want to hear about my brownie fail? I’ve made this recipe dozens of times, if not more. These brownies are the best. They ALWAYS turn out. Except the other day they didn’t. The closest I can figure is that I either set the oven for the wrong temperature (maybe 325 instead of 375?) or I set the timer for the wrong amount of time (13 minutes instead of 23?). I was distracted. I had more important things on my mind (more about that in a minute), and I rushed. Sure, they looked a little strange when I pulled them out of the oven, but they weren’t jiggly or anything. And no, I didn’t test them, because why would I? After all, I’ve made them dozens of times, if not more, and I was distracted. They’re still pretty tasty, but they are definitely underdone. Like, way underdone. They hold together, but really, they’re not exactly cooked. Oops.

And why was I distracted? Well, because if was just about kickoff time, and my football team is in the playoffs. Yes, the Buffalo Bills are showing up and it’s glorious. This football season has been a welcome distraction from the BIG things. The team has done so well, and they’ve been so much fun to watch. It’s been a long time since the Bills have gone this far, and it’s a ton of fun. Thank you, Buffalo Bills.

Then there are a bunch of “other” things. Things like the stolen credit card number (that my credit card company caught, thank goodness), the glitchy connection to my online students, and the thousands of spam messages to this blog. There’s the job hunt my son has been enduring, and not seeing much of him due to this stupid pandemic. There’s the mountain of work I need to do in order to complete the requirements to be considered for National Board Certification (for teachers), as well as the professional observation I need to schedule. There’s the concern about going out into the community that has kept me from the dentist and the hair salon, making me feel somewhat like a cave-woman. There’s the worry that I feel for my friends and loved ones, as the list of people I know who’ve been diagnosed with this horrible disease grows. There’s the anxiety of watching the news, but the feeling that I have to keep informed. There’s the wrath that my colleagues and I face from some members of the public, in our community and beyond, because our schools are functioning in an online only capacity for the time being. There’s a lot. And here we are, right back to the BIG things. They’re impossible to ignore.

It seems to me that it’s the big things that frame our lives, but it’s the small things that make them worth living. I’ll set up my observation, and continue the quest for the perfect hand cream. I’ll keep working my way through my National Board materials. I’ll keep looking for work-arounds when our Google meet goes wonky. I won’t give up on that brownie recipe, and I won’t give up on my football team. In the middle of all this crazy, you can still hear me shouting, “Go Bills!”