Cardio? Playlist, Play On!

Wake me up before you go, go because I’m going to arise and win! Last night we were maniacs, maniacs on the floor and wild in the streets and went to bed singing drunken lullabies, but it’s good morning, Baltimore because here comes the sun burining like the eye of the tiger and it’s time to get physical, physical. We can’t stop the beat on our way to vacation – it’s all I ever wanted! Time for our surfin’ safari (yeah-oooo), surfin’ safari and we load our boards on top of Greased Lightnin’ and head to destiny – it’s calling me and it opens up my eager eyes to the reality that at 6:00 a.m., we’re the kings of Kilburn High. And, please, don’t you…forget about me. Don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t….

“Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.” ~ Victor Hugo


Where on this beautiful, green and blue planet was my Nano iPod? Ten years ago, this thing was hot! I knew I was on the cutting edge of music devices because I had asked experts of technology the question: “I need an ipod music thingy to play my music when I run. What should I get?”

“The NANO!” Some of my high school students nearly jumped out of their seats to advise me and sell me on why it was the best and why I should get it and what its features were and who had one and who was getting one because that’s what darling, young rays of sunshine – teenage high schoolers – do whenever their English teacher asks an off-topic question…or when there is a fly or any sort of insect in the room.

Recently, after my husband had resurrected my Nano that I thought was dead – by plugging it in and charging it – I lost it. Couldn’t find it anywhere. And I needed it to start my, ahem, interval training…on the elliptical. I only have 12 pounds I want to knock off. Twelve. That’s all. Fifteen wouldn’t be bad, either. But twelve – that has been my goal. I needed that ipod with that playlist.

“My Why.”

Videos have been boring me to death. Yoga is awesome, but I needed cardio. Lower back issues keep me from running. So I am going hard-core, man. The elliptical.

“Shock your body,” APG, my hubby, tells me. “Go down to the gym and run-”

“Run?”

“Glide. On the elliptical. Interval training.

Awesome. Great idea. Where is my Ipod? I need it to get started on this.

Gone.

I am a first time iPhone user and haven’t loaded any music onto the phone, yet, so while on the elliptical, searching my YouTube app for running playlists, I was thoroughly unmotivated by bland, boring electronic music. Seriously? I already agree with Fat Amy – I am all about the horizontal running. (Check out the Anna Kendrick flick Pitch Perfect if you’ve been living under a rock the last eight years.)

I mean, who wants to do cardio? I don’t like the during, but I love the after. I want to be fit, not skinny. I want to keep up with my kid. I want to hike, surf, paddle board, and kayak. But, I don’t “like” cardio, lemme tell ya. And the monotonous hum of that electronic music was not for me. I needed my playlist to get going again! Next, I searched 80s/90s running playlist. First song up: “Whip it Good.” Okay…um…no.

I tried to watch the tickertape on the tv. The news. Instead of good music, I listened to the sound of my own breathing. I was approaching the 10 minute mark. Time to kick it up a notch. How was I going to get through 40 minutes?

Then it hit me: Fun music? Upbeat music? Soundtracks: movies and musicals! One YouTube search later, and I was pumping my arms and gliding along like a champ listening to the Riff Off and the finale from the first Pitch Perfect movie. Soon I was singing “Good Morning Baltimore and You Can’t Stop the Beat with Tracy Turnbald in Hairspray, Abba’s tunes in Mama Mia, and Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake from Trolls. No, not out loud. But I wanted to sing like I was center stage on Broadway. I refrained.

Keepin’ up with the kiddo!

I soared through that first day, and I’ve been going ever since for the last few weeks. As with exercise or any goal you really want to accomplish, so much of it is mental. There was a time when I could kill a cardio workout without music during my running years. But boy! Having your jams to kick your booty in gear sure does help especially when your incorporating a different form of cardio again into your workout.

A beautiful sight: rain outside the gym window!

So, whatever that thing is that is preventing you from meeting your health and fitness goals, pump up your playlist and get going. Whether it’s running or walking inside or outside, working out in front of your tv at home, or hitting those weights or machines in the gym, find your rhythm and get your move on.


Oh, and my Nano did turn up. APG found it for me in our cube stereo. I would’ve never looked for it there. So, time to update that little gem and enjoy my old favorites!

 

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Adventure Lost: Finding Me by Caring Less

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Driving our boat for the first time through Choctawhatchee Bay.

So, how does this forty year old mother of a very active toddler fully regain her sense of adventure, and in essence, who she is?

I have always been an optimistic person. However, after a decade and a half of loved ones dying, including one concentrated year of the passing of three very important people, my father, my aunt, and my mother-in-law, followed by the passing of a favorite uncle, caution and worry has come to overshadow fearlessness and excitement. Fear came into my life, complete with shiny white fangs and gnarly, pointed horns, growling and hissing words like: Cancer, Alzheimer’s, Heart Disease, Pulmonary Embolism, Chemotherapy; personally, with pregnancy, Gestational Diabetes and Cesarean Section. Throughout the years, fear has chipped away at my sense of “I can do and be anything,” and that is hard for me to admit! Even while writing this, a part of me is still in lotus land going – you are still an adventurer, an explorer, a positive person, and you have lost none of that!

But, my friends, part of the true adventure is admitting when the sense of adventure has started to fade away like watercolor, and then grabbing a paintbrush of bold oils and creating a beautiful new work on a blank canvas.

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Sunset, Seaside, South Walton County

There is a part of me, especially after becoming a mom, that has become so cautionary that I hate coffee tables, corners, and anything with a sharp edge at the height of my son’s head. I try to sit back and not hover, and I think I have done a fairly good job of not being the dreaded “helicopter parent,” especially as a first time mom. I admit it – while my son knows his boundaries – when Mac runs full speed down the sidewalk to the curb’s edge, right to the edge, I have to restrain from shouting out, “stop,” or more likely, “be careful.” Guess what? He always stops. I don’t have to remind him. Finding balance between hovering and letting go is something I think most parents can relate to. It can be tough. And I see so much of myself in my son: I can hear my mom’s amazement that I was always “right on the edge of everything,” and I know her anxiety. But she trusted me and gave me room to be me, and I am determined to do that for my son, too.

To do that, I have to find a part of myself that has been tempered and muted: my gypsy soul, if you will. Yes, I just said that. The adventurer and explorer. I have a feeling she’s right where I left her, twenty years ago…even just four years ago.

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Destin Harbor

My dad used to depart from his friends by shouting out, “Be Careless,” instead of “Be Careful,” and it always got a laugh. I didn’t hear him say that as often until after he had fought cancer for years. He may have said this phrase earlier in his life, but I never heard it much till towards the end. That’s significant. He, like many, in arguably the most challenging part of his life, found laughter, fun, and adventure. Even in a phrase.

So, with a little less care, and filling the glass half full of lemonade, I have started to regain who I am and laugh in the face of fear by doing things that are full of adventure, and doing them with my son!

Mac, who can climb up ladders like a boss, but going down is a different story. At the top of the ladder, he has been nervous like a kitten in a tree. However, he decided the other day that he could climb back down with my help. Finally! And it was on a tall ladder at the top of a tree house that he made that decision. Yesterday,  I was invited to paddle board while with friends, recently. It was in the morning before work, and my husband was at the office. I jumped on my friend’s paddle board for a quick ocean ride after assuring Mac he could watch me and would be fine with our dear friends whom he knows very well. He was fine and even sat on the paddle board after I returned from my short jaunt; this is huge, considering his newfound understanding of sharks, stingrays, and jellyfish: all the big bads in the water. We have a beach camping trip we are planning – our first time camping with Mac. We’ll be roughing it on a small island, but with all the accommodations of a true glamping experience. 😉 May wanderlust and exploration abound.

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Treehouse on the walk to Baytowne Warf Marina in Sandestin

I have firmly reset my adventure compass to find that girl from twenty years ago, from four years ago, and with a little luck and a sprinkling of fairie dust, I’ll morph into a healthy combination of the three.

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My favorite beach somewhere on 30A. The second time I went paddle boarding. Dolphins came to chat.

What about you? Have the difficulties in life dampened your spirit of adventure? What healthy ways do you keep a positive attitude?