Long Day

Today was a long day! Goalielocks and I left the house at 6:30 am, so we’d get to Kendall for practice before 8:45. As it happened, traffic was great and we got there forty five minutes early. Of course if we had left any later, we would have been incredibly late.

This morning’s practice was two hours on ice. Goalielocks got worked hard! He played well and was engaged all practice long. If you’re a goalie parent, I know how much you’d appreciate your goalie being engaged the entire practice. We’ve had past seasons where the goalies were left to their own devices at the opposite end of the rink.

Practice was great. Afterwards Goalielocks headed to lunch to celebrate’s a friends birthday. Fortunately, he was able to shower and borrow some clothes from a friend. He and his boys then headed to Texas De Brazil for a nice lunch. The moms, meanwhile, headed to Cheesecake factory for our lunch.

One of the best parts of hockey is the relationships that are formed and grown season after season. People often think we’re crazy for the amount of time we put in to travel hockey. While we may he crazy for other reasons, this isn’t one of them. I’ve been able to share so many experiences with my kids and my hockey family that are priceless. I have an incredible built in support system, which with recent life changes means everything.

The day will soon come when will hang up the travel hockey parent moniker. Incredibly that day is now nearer than farther. We’ve been in the game for nearly a decade and are grateful for the people and the lessons the sport has taught us. Hopefully, in the far term future we’ll return to travel hockey with the travel hockey grandparent moniker.

Speaking of hockey family, my youngest is back home after a nice sojourn with the K’s. The Outback Bowl was Goalielocks’ Christmas present, but we did give the Mayor and option to stay with his friend. After some deliberation, he decided to stay local. They kindly picked him up Monday night, so we didn’t have to drive South before heading North.

I’m glad to have him home. Truly, I’m incredibly grateful for our hockey family for their generous hospitality and loving our kid. We’re lucky people! Now after a long day on the road, I’m home and able to breathe and relax.

Please keep the airmen, sailors, soldiers and their families as they face deployment.

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Thanksgiving Is Almost Here

Can you believe Thanksgiving is almost here? It seems like just yesterday we were ringing in 2019. Yet here we are ready to end the year with the fabulous holiday season. I’m especially blessed to spend it with my entire immediate family. This holiday will be poignant for us all as it marks the last holiday for which Jake will be a civilian. Who knows where he’ll be stationed this time next year. We will certainly enjoy the moment.

I started my day by sleeping through my alarm, which left me feel like I was behind all day. Graves’ disease sucks it often leaves me tried and jacks with my sleep for no good reason. Not to mention it makes me cranky, which my family can certainly attest to today.

Fortunately, my day started looking up the moment I got my coffee. We left Dunkin’ to get our groceries for baking, so we could get an early start. At which point, we got a text inviting us to the beach. How could we say no to that? Spoiler alert: we procrastinated on the baking and headed to the beach.

This, of course, did nothing for my constant feeling of being behind all day. However, the beach was again marvelous with beautiful skies and calm seas. You simply can’t ask for a better way to spend the day before Thanksgiving. It was a bit hot, so we didn’t stay too long.
Fortunately, Goalielocks’ BFF was there and he was having a blast. Unfortunately, that made the extraction from the beach quite difficult. We ended our beach day by me starting to back out of my spot before noticing the boys neglected to close the tailgate. Consequently, I needed to make a Dunkin pit stop on the way home to try and collect my sanity.

Before heading home, we headed to Publix in search of the perfect pickles for pickle. If there’s anywhere you so don’t want to be on Thanksgiving Eve in Florida, it’s Publix. I avoided this dumpster fire by dropping my mom off at the door and parking. To be honest, I was more concerned with getting home so I could eat before heading to yoga.

Wednesday’s are my tight muscle mobility class at Open Heart Yoga studio. My teach is amazing. The class has been incredibly effective in opening up my body post Graves’ disease. In today’s class, I’m pretty sure I fell asleep 3-4 times while massaging my back with therapy balls. These balls are miracle works for tight muscles and soft tissue. You must try them.

I left my mat completely serene and ready to tackle my evening. Tonight’s beautiful sunset added to my serenity.  During class my mom has text me to let me know the Publix pickles were sub par and couldn’t be used to pickle roll ups. I got home and we headed to Earth Fare to see if they had any quality pickles, but that trip was unsuccessful. Thus, we headed back to Target where we found the perfect pickles. Plus if you haven’t gone to Target twice in a day, are you even living?

We made our way home to start are baking. I started working on my cheesecake while my mom began to prepare the pickle roll ups. My mom made quick work of the pickle roll ups while I plodded my way through baking the cheesecake. Fortunately, my mom helped me start the vegan pumpkin coconut soup that I made for my brother and I. I’m not currently vegan, but I know my body won’t tolerate too much of the traditional Thanksgiving food.

Our evening of baking, will finally be over in about an hour when the cheesecake can go in the oven. I’ll start my Thanksgiving where I start everyday: Dunkin’. We’ll then head to my brothers’ house to drop off the goodies before heading to the Mayor’s 11:00 am game.

It was just over a year ago I went through radiation to kill my thyroid. A year later, my thyroid levels are stable. I’m hopeful that the symptoms of Graves will abate in the next year (although it could be 1-3 years.) Unfortunately, my health is not where it was before I got sick, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. As I end my evening enjoying Agatha Christie’s Poirot, I am filled with gratitude for my family, my friends, healing and my life’s transitions.

World Pancreatic Cancer Day

Today is World Pancreatic Cancer Day and across the globe we’re uniting to improve patient outcomes for this deadly disease. Pancreatic cancer is the only major cancer without significant improvement in survival rates of the past decades. Our patients, our friends and our families deserve better.

Thankfully, I have plenty of purple to wear. I started the day rocking my Minnesota Vikings shirt (Skol Vikings!) It is awesome when you can support your team and an amazing cause at the same time. I went to my 12:00 yoga in an nice purple Gaiam top and my favorite Gaiam yoga mat (also purple.)

I’m hopeful as the general public becomes mor aware of the disease that our collective voice for more research will get louder. We need more dollars out against the disease if we are to unravel it’s secrets i.e. early detection methods and a cure. PanCAN has been hard at work the last twenty years increasing awareness and research. I’m excited with that the next decade will bring us in terms of research. Nevertheless, our voices cannot be quieted until we have found a cure.

You can support PanCAN’s mission in honor of World Pancreatic Cancer day and in my friend Debbie’s honor by donating here.

One Week

It’s been one week since I left the office for the last time.  So many emotions and so much fun has been had over the past seven days.  It’s not that I’m not sad to move on or anything like that, but I choose to embrace the madness and the excitement of moving forward. That isn’t to say I don’t have tough moments, but by and large I’m feeling good!  I started my first week off with a brilliant session at the salon with my girl Daniela and Jenja.  Nothing makes a girl feel better than a fresh hair cut and a nice brow wax.

During the intervening days, I had the occasion to meet several former colleagues and friends for lunch and drinks.   A fantastic time was had by all.  As an aside, I went to Farmer’s Table for the first time for lunch.  The food and service were absolutely brilliant.  Fortunately, Farmer’s Table’s menu had several amazing gluten free options.   I quite enjoyed the spasta with meatballs – spaghetti squash with marinara and chicken meatballs.  It was absolutely amazing.  I can’t wait to go back.  The next day, I had an amazing meal at Taverna Trela in Delray.  This meal was equally amazing.  I thoroughly enjoyed my steak, mushroom and onion rice bowl.   Another menu with some great gluten free options.  I look forward to going back there as well.

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Friday also brought a doctor’s appointment, where my doctor noted how much happier and relaxed I looked.  My blood pressure was pretty freaking phenomenal too.  They see me all the time there on account of the regular bloodwork I need to get down for the thyroid, so it was encouraging they noted the change.  It was also encouraging that my thyroid is starting to approach the normal range!  Yes – victory is in site my friends.

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The weekend brought happy hours, another massage and some mini golf.  I thoroughly enjoyed my blueberry martinis at Burt & Max’s.  The lettuce wraps were pretty freaking good too.   Of course, the Chipotle at the end of the night was pretty good.  Admittedly, it was the first time I’ve had Chipotle in years.  I enjoyed the steak tacos on a hard shell.  It brought back memories of driving across the University of Minnesota on game nights to get to the only Chipotle close to our house because it was the best thing since sliced bread. Now that Chipotle is on every corner and they’ve had a couple e-coli scares, the novelty has worn off a bit.

Sunday night we hit the mini golf course with J&M2 also known as Jake and Mel.  .  Even though we went in the evening, it was still hot as hades on the course.  By the time we finished, I felt like I had been sitting in the sauna for an hour in my jeans.  Fortunately, the club house had the same temperature as the Baltic Sea.  In 5 seconds flat, I went from near heat stroke to hyperthermia.   If I’m being honest, mini golf isn’t my sport, but we had a blast.  I’m also declaring victory having ended a mere 13 above par.  Over previous efforts, this represented a serious improvement in performance

Meanwhile in Minnesota, the boys are living their best lives with their cousins.  They’re having a blast hanging out with their cousins and chilling on the boat with their Uncle J.  The Mayor loves tubing with his cousins, while Goalielocks is enjoying fishing the Minnesota lakes.  He caught a nice sized large mouth bass on Lake Minnetonka Sunday.  Last week, their cousin X and his soccer team were playing in the USA Cup in Blaine.  Needless to say, given the heat indices in Minny last week, I’m thrilled my boys play hockey.  I’ll never be sitting by a sideline in an 115 head index.  Suffice to say, if you asked the boys, they would tell you there’s no better passage of summer than one spent in Minnesota.

Goalielocks is also enjoying lessons with his former goalie coach from the Hawks, Coach Ryan, who is now coaching with MEGA Goaltending in Minnesota.  It’s fun for the boys to reconnect with Coach Ryan and to get back on the ice.  Since Goalielocks went on a growth spurt, we’ll need to buy him a full set of gear upon his return to Florida.  Oh the expensive joys of the hockey mom life.

Today is my father’s 66th birthday please join me in wishing him the happiest of birthdays!

Just Another Saturday

It was just another Saturday spent at the rink. Goalielocks had five games to referee this morning while the Mayor had a marathon practice for Peewee Quebec. Today’s games were Goalielocks first travel games. Fortunately or rather unfortunately, they were mites or as we call them now U8.

For the uninitiated, hockey parent craziness seems to be inverse to the age of the kids. Meaning as the kids age, the parents tend to mellow. At U8, however, every kid is going to the NHL and every game brings an intensity from the parents you only wished to get out of your players.

It’s been awhile since we’ve been in mite hockey, but the cavalcade of cowbells quickly brought me back. I found my seat in the bleachers next to the hubby, so we could anonymously watch him ref.

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Honestly, I only made it through one game. Refereeing is hard enough because of all the rules and all the responsibilities that go with it. When you add crazy parents screaming at you and you’re only fifteen, it’s a whole different world. At least from a mom’s perspective. I think the best part is watching them scream at both refs for not calling penalties forgetting that penalties are assessed at the end of the game. I left, but my husband was quick to point out this cycle continued. How quickly people forget….

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My ref was good with it, which is why refereeing is so good for our kids. You learn so many viable life skills. On the otherhandn I headed home to take care of the laundry and grocery shopping since I had no desire Not wanting to get into a fight. Goalielocks did end up having to eject his first parent. No surprise here, but it was a goalie dad. We goalie parents are a special breed. Long story short, my boy enjoyed his day refereeing.

Midway through Goalielocks’ marathon ref session, the Mayor’s Peewee Quebec practice started. His practice ran from 11:30-5:30 with Coach Shawn putting them through two on ice sessions and off ice. I missed the practice, but the hubby was able to watch most of it.

We’re so excited that our Mayor’s been given an opportunity to play at Peewee Quebec. Goalielocks did the tournament three years ago and it was one of the best trips ever. I love Quebec City, especially old town, so I’m bummed I’m going to miss this trip. Nevertheless, someone has to hold down the fort in Florida!

The best part about the last practice before the tournament is getting all the swag. My Mayor was wearing his new hat all night! The pin bag brings back great memories for both Goalielocks and I. I know the Mayor will love trading pins.

Tonight we grilled some flank steak fajitas (recipe below) and served it with grilled onions and roasted peppers for a healthy low carb dinner. Well, mine was low carb as I used romaine lettuce as my tortilla. I know what you’re thinking, I’m taking my life into my hands using romaine lettuce and you’re probably right. The Mayor was deeply offended by our gross dinner choice, so he made himself pizza rolls.

Make it here:

Steak Fajitas:

1 flank steak

1 juice of one lime

2 onions sliced

1-2 lbs of mini bell peppers, sliced lengthwise

Olive oil

Pepper

Salt

Instructions:

If using a charcoal grill, get it started.

Onions:

Cut the onions into slices.

Coat the onions in olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place onions on the grill and cook for 15-20 minutes until they’re tender.

Peppers:

Pre-heat oven to 450

Slice peppers lengthwise

Coat peppers in olive oil and season with salt and pepper

Roast the peppers for 20 minutes and remove from oven once the edges have started to turn black.

(If using regular bell peppers, I prefer to cook them on the grill with the onions.)

Steak:

Use the juice of one lime and olive oil to coat both sides of the flank steak. My hubby prefers to rub the steak with olive oil and freshly squeeze the juice over the steak. Use the salt and pepper to flavor as desired and set aside until the grill is ready. Don’t let it sit for too long or it will get mushy.

Once the grill is hot, cook five minutes per side. We cooked ours for about ten minutes and it was medium rare, which is how we like ours.

Let the meat rest 5-10 minutes before slicing at a 45 degree angle against the grain.

And then assemble. I should have taken a picture of the final product, but I ate it too quickly! It’s so simple and so good!

Not So Super Bowl

After a not so super bowl, it’s been a brutal forty-eight hours.  Seriously, could there have been a more boring game?  I’d go over some highlights, but the only one I can think of is not having to use Melatonin Sunday night because the game put me to sleep. Unfortunately, we learned during the game that the hubby’s cousin was seriously injured in a snowmobile accident.  She’s presently recovering in ICU at the University of Minnesota, please keep her and our family in your prayers.

super-bowl-memes-more-entertaining-than-the-game-was-30-photos-15Yesterday while I was on a conference call, Goalielocks started screaming.  Fifteen year olds usually don’t scream for S&G, so I was concerned.  I quickly ran out and found him with our eldest and beloved dog Maya.   Maya was coughing up blood and Goalielocks was hysterical.   After calming both of them down, I returned to my call and the hubby called the vet from the job.

We were able to get her into the vet late yesterday afternoon.  My Hubby came home early, so he and Goalielocks were able to take her and I could keep working.  No sooner had they left when Athena began crying and howling.   She had spent her day cuddled next to Maya’s side.   Athena loves her sister and is very protective of her.  Literally, she cried the entire time they were gone.

The vet appointment took a long time, so I had to pick up my Mayor from the bus stop.  I had him take Athena out, but she would only pull him to the front yard and not do her business.  She was too preoccupied with Maya not being there. In fact, she broke out of the garage.  Instead of running freely and as quickly as possible as she usually would, she stopped in the driveway again looking for her sister.

Unfortunately, the doctors found a mass in her lungs that they think is lung cancer.  We are devastated.   Maya is our first dog and has been a member of our family for almost ten years.  Truly, she is an integral part of our family.  The boys took it really hard.  Goalielocks spent the night laying next to her making Maya was comfortable.  The next steps are for Maya to go in for an ultrasound and some additional diagnostic testing. We’re hoping to do this in the next week or two.   Meanwhile, I ordered every CBD treat and treatment I could find for dogs.  I’m anxious to see how our doggies enjoy the peanut butter turmeric CBD treats we bought her.   Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

Saturday I took the Mayor to get a haircut. As he gets older, he is looking more and more like Jake.  They truly could be twins separated by a mere seven years.  More than that, he just looks old.  He’s not my baby anymore.   Sunday afternoon he had two games, which were fun to watch. It’s always nice to be at the rink ad with our hockey family.  Plus, it wouldn’t be Super Bowl Sunday if we didn’t have a late afternoon hockey game.  More to come on Sundays games and bad hockey parent behavior in a future post.

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Meanwhile, in Minny my parents survived the brutal cold that is January in Minnesota.  They’re presently looking forward to more accumulating snow as the week wears on.  I have to tell you, I don’t miss it at all.  Nevertheless, I’m relieved that my family is all safe and warm and wasn’t impacted by any of the energy outages experienced during the brutal cold.

I’m off to practice a little yoga and read a little Proust before heading to bed.   Please keep our family in your prayers.

Busy Bees

We were busy bees this weekend.  As I write this (while watching Rent Live), my hubby and Goalielocks are on their way home from Kissimmee after two hockey games.  The squad did great today winning both of their games.  On doctor’s orders, I’m doing my best to take it easier than usual, so the Mayor and I skipped the trip.  We were out and about all day yesterday, so I definitely needed to rest today.

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As for yesterday, it was phenomenal.  We were invited to share in one of the Mayor’s teammates Bar Mitzvah’s.  The morning started at the temple at 10:00 am.  This was the hubby and my first experience with the Bar Mitzvah ceremony.  While it was long, we really enjoyed it.  Honestly, we were pretty stoked when we were able to follow along with the Hebrew even if we didn’t understand what was being said.  The rabbi did a great job explaining the different parts of the ceremony and tradition, so the uninitiated like us could understand it better.  It was a beautiful and moving service that we were proud to be a part of.

After the ceremony, we headed over to the Parkland Golf and Tennis Club for the party.  It started with a cocktail hour that featured hors d’oeuvres, a fried rice and stir fry bar to go along with the soda bar for the kids and an open bar for the adults.  #winning The food was amazing, but knowing that a dinner was coming we tried to pace ourselves.  While we enjoyed the hors d’oeuvres, the boys played outside looking for golf balls.

Shortly after the boys headed outside, we had to corral them back in and into the main dinner and party.  The room was beautifully decorated with a hockey and music theme and a blue glow.  Wisely, they sat us unruly hockey parents in the back at the section 8 table.  Fortunately, this table put us right next to the open bar!  Again we were winning!

The party got started the minute we walked into the room with a DJ, a MC and dancers.  Our boys were quickly dancing on the stage with the boy of the hour along with the dancers and MC.   They were having a blast!  Since we had just eaten the yummy fried rice, they didn’t serve us dinner right away.  First, we danced. Then out came the salad or the adults and an amazing buffet for the kids.

Our table had a blast celebrating.  I often found myself on the dance floor, which felt amazing.  I’m sure my doctor would feel differently, but oh well.  I had a blast with my fellow hockey moms dancing away our fried rice.   The entertainment company had two dancers that choreographed the dance floor, which made it a lot of fun.

Eventually, I made my way back to the table when I saw the main course was being brought out.  While the kids ate macaroni and cheese, pizza and sliders, the parents ate filet mignon with demi glace and chicken breast.  The presentation reminded me of the black and white that I order at Egon in Norway.  It was composed of steak au poivre and pork tenderloin with bernaise sauce.  We loved it because you got the best of both worlds just like our meal on Saturday.

In anticipation of dessert, I headed back to the dance floor with my fellow hockey moms. We danced to some great classic rock and some greats hits from today.  When they were ready to serve us dessert, they switched the music to rap.  I was then greeted at my table by a beautiful chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream, fudge sauce and strawberries.  Yummy!  I was filled to the gills with good food and vodka soda.

Naturally, we headed back to the dance floor.   It was then I came across a magical dessert tray.  A unicorn if you will.  I had to stop and take a picture of the waiter.  He was carrying a tray of snack cakes with shot glasses filled with milk.  Yep, it was as amazing as it sounded.  I should say that while we had delicious chocolate cakes and snack cakes, the boys enjoyed cotton candy, ice cream bar and popcorn.  The party was simply amazing!

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By the time we left the party, it was 5:00 pm and we were ready for bed.  As soon as we got home, the hubby and I both took a nap.   Afterwards, we watched Abdul and Victoria which was amazing.  Dame Judi Dench was, as always, marvelous.  I ended my day with a chapter of Proust’s In Search of Lost Time.

Today the Mayor and I hung out at home and had a productive day.  I caught up on laundry, so I’ll savor the fact that at least for a couple of hours.  I also got all the grocery shopping done (thank you Shipt – save $50 on the annual membership with code mFNjp) baked muffins, got a massage, organized my closet and made chili this evening.  It was exactly the kind of productive, low-key day I needed. Now it’s time to relax and enjoy Rent Live before heading back to Proust.

New Years Day and Back to Work

No sooner had I left the office Monday night, then it was New Years day and back to work.  Like right back to work.  It felt more like an abbreviated weekend than a holiday, but we made the best of it.  New Years Eve we headed to my brothers for snacks, games and of course champagne.  We even snuck in some shots of Salmiakki.  My mom made some pickle rolls ups, aka Minnesota Sushi, which brought back some great memories of the holidays of my youth.  I haven’t had them since we moved south of the Mason Dixon thirteen years ago! We rushed home after midnight, so as to try to beat the traffic.

The next morning we were going to head down to Fort Lauderdale for brunch, but that ended up being moved to Boca.  This made is a lot easier for us although I love Fort Lauderdale.   My sister-in-law Brandi and her cooking partner Phil made yet again an amazing meal.  They always partner up on Thanksgiving to make a fantastic dinner, so getting to enjoy twice this year was quite nice.  Fortunately, I didn’t include anything about food in my New Year’s resolutions or I would have broken all of them at brunch!

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After brunch, we headed out to South County Park in Boca to go jet skiing.  There is a nice lake behind the amphitheater that is deceivingly large.   There’s not a ton of room by the docks, which keeps it from getting too crowded.  Fortunately, the weather was absolutely sublime lows 80s and some cloud cover to keep it cool.

Our younger two, Goalielocks and the Mayor, were hooked after their first rides.  Once they got on, they didn’t want to get off the jet skis.  Eventually, they had to get off so other people could ride, but they were keen to get back on the water.   Fortunately, both Grandma and Grandpa got a chance to ride the jet skis.   Both of the boys got to drive the jet skis, which they absolutely loved.  Goalielocks is a little more sensible, while the Mayor’s driving style can only be described as “balls to the wall.” I can already sense how much fun we’re going to have teaching him to drive.

After several hours of jet skis and Cornhole, we headed home to get ready for our inevitable return to work on Wednesday.   Shortly thereafter, the Mayor convinced my husband to make Caribbean jerk chicken with black beans and rice.   The kid ate two full plates.  Unquestionably, he has a hollow leg – or so we thought.

He left dinner to take a shower having been on the lake all day.  After about fifteen minutes, he came back out to the family room and announced “I threw up all over the bathroom and I missed both the sink and the toilet.”  Now that my friends takes talent.   Immediately, the hubby and I got up to check him out.  He insisted he was fine having thrown up only because he ate too much too fast with too much milk.

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After making sure he was fine, we headed to the bathroom.  His assessment was spot on. He had in fact thrown up all over our bathroom effectively missing both the toilet and the sink.   I’m not quite sure what happened, but I was relieved he missed the rugs and the dirty clothes he left strewn about the floor.   Thankfully, he was okay and not harboring some insidious stomach bug.   Since I wasn’t feeling well, he cleaned up the projectile mess.  He’s the real hero!

And just like that in the blink of an eye,  we went to bed and got up for work like nothing had changed……. Our Tuesday holiday was quickly over and it was back to reality.

 

 

It’s Resolution Time Again

It’s resolution time again my friends.  I can hardly believe that a year has past since I last typed out some idealistic, but achievable resolutions.  When I look back on last year’s post, Resolution Time, I had some great goals.  Unfortunately, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.    I did make some of the 5:30 am classes at Burn and they were fabulous, but I only managed to run one 5k.  Moreover, I didn’t do well, which was disappointing.

Unfortunately, the pain in my left ankle ended up being more serious than tendonitis and tenosynovitis.  I tore the tendon, posterior tibial tendon,  where it meets the bone in my foot.   That diagnosis and associated pain effectively ended my running career in 2018.  As I wrote a couple of days ago, https://flhockeymomfit.com/dignity-in-aging/ , the tear in my tendon was compounded by newly discovered thyroid problems.  Oh joy! There went my fitness goals for 2018.

I was relegated to the pool with my cast cover (affectionately called my cast condom) and my new Aquajogger belt instead of hitting the gym at 5:30 am and logging some serious mileage running.  I totally fit in with the snow bird crowd. My only outlet was swimming or jogging in the pool.  If I’m being honest, I totally suck at both swimming and aqua jogging.  Nonetheless, I found a way to stay active while my tendon had me sidelined.

Sadly, I was prohibited from doing cardio once the severity of my thyroid issue was understood.  Can I tell you that it’s been pure torture? I’m using to teaching Zumba four times a week plus running 20-25 miles during the week.  The inability to do cardio is driving me crazy.  Eventually I bought a nice new bike.  My doc said I could ride it if I could do so non-aggressively.  As it turns out, I’m not really capable of doing that on a road bike.  Thus I’m resigned to riding the stationery bike.

As for travel, I had a fabulous year.  I started the year with a trip to Chicago in January with the Mayor and Goalielocks.  In February, Goalielocks and I headed to Massachusetts/New Hampshire for a tournament.  That trip was a bit of a mess with Goalielocks’ injury.   Nevertheless,  we had a great time exploring the area before he got hurt.  In March, we spent spring break in the Bahamas with our awesome extended family.  April brought an amazing momcation trip to Turks & Caicos.  The trip was absolutely spectacular.  Finally, we hopped the pond to explore Sweden, Finland and Denmark in late October.  I can’t wait to go back!

Lastly, I was able to take on responsibilities with the Broward/Palm Beach PanCan affiliate.  This was my first year serving as team and individual development chair for PurpleStride.  It was absolutely rewarding to be a member of the team!   Goalielocks attended many of the meeting with me and volunteered with me at the event as well.  This was one of my 2018 resolutions that I was not willing to break.  Excitedly, we exceeded our fundraising goal for the event!

Last year was difficult, but wonderful.  I lost a dear colleague in September, which was very hard.  My family and I experienced some serious health issues throughout the year.  Fortunately, 2019 will bring a resolution to my thyroid woes.  I’m looking forward to a fruitful year in which I can get back to doing the things I love and feeling like myself.  Honestly, I’ve been craving a run.   If you asked me five years ago if I enjoyed running, I would have laughed at you.  And now, I crave it.  Life is so odd.

Here are my resolutions for 2019:

  1. Be patient in my recovery.  I’m not a patient person, but given the risks I’ve been compliant with my doctor’s no-cardio/take it easy orders.  Needless to say, I’ll behave.
  2. Focus on getting stronger – more weights/more days in the gym.
  3. Explore the world – nothing feeds the soul more than exploring the globe with the people you love!
  4. Run a 5K and not suck at it.
  5. Involvement with PanCan
  6. Blog regularly
  7. Eat to perform

I saw some great memes this week on new years resolutions.  For example, people will pack the gym (like sardines) for the next 3 weeks only for it to be empty by February.  While I didn’t meet a lot of my goals for 2018 as set forth in my resolutions, I also have to acknowledge that much of it was outside my control.   So this year, if you find yourself unexpectedly out of commission and unable to meet your goals, be kind to yourself.

Happy New Year!

Continue reading “It’s Resolution Time Again”

Why I Stride

Since today is World Pancreatic Cancer Awareness day, I thought I’d write about why I stride.  Stride of course refers to Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s annual 5k called Purple Stride.  This Sunday, as we’ve done since 2015, Team Deb Force Five will be off to the races at the Broward-Palm Beach Purple Stride.  While it will be my first as part of the event team, it will also be our second Purple Stride without Debbie, which brings me to why I stride.

I remember the day clearly.  I had travelled with work to Orlando to present for the first time as part of our Military Roadshow. It was a pretty big deal and I was super excited.  We were driving up as a group and heading back that evening.  The presentation went swimmingly, so I spent my afternoon getting caught up on work.   And then my husband called, hysterical..   I was convinced something had happened to one of our kiddos.  When he finally calmed down, he told me the devastating news that Debbie had been diagnosed with stage iv cancer.  Instantly, my knees went week and I started to slide down the wall as I too started to cry.   At that point, the origin of the cancer was unknown, but the prognosis was dire.

At the time of her diagnosis Debbie was 40 years old.  She wasn’t a smoker, she ate exceedingly healthy and was an avid runner.  She didn’t fit the profile for a pancreatic cancer patient, but I think that’s the message.   According to a a recent study, pancreatic cancer will be the 2nd deadliest cancer by 2020.  Lung cancer is projected to remain the deadliest cancer.  While other cancers have seen a decrease in mortality rates, pancreatic cancer has not.  Researchers pointed to a combination of factors as to why mortality rates for pancreatic cancer have not declined.   Risk factors including an aging population, the relative growth of high-risk minority populations (African Americans and Ashkenazi Jews) and the underfunding of pancreatic cancer research.

Debbie was committed to finding a cure and research for better patient outcomes.  She was an avid supporter of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and the work they do to drive pancreatic cancer research.  Unfortunately, this can’t be done without money.   Pancreatic cancer patients and their families, like Debbie and her family, deserve better outcomes.  They deserve a survival rate well over 9%.

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We lost Debbie almost two years ago, but some days it feels like it was yesterday while others it feels like it’s been years.   Even still Goalielocks asks why they couldn’t do more for her.  I stride because I’m committed to ensuring that pancreatic cancer patients and their families have better outcomes.  I’m committed to helping drive research forward.  This disease has stolen so much from so many.  It certainly has from me.

You can support PanCan and Team Deb Force Five in Debbie’s honor: http://support.pancan.org/site/TR/PurpleStride/PurpleStride?team_id=14831&pg=team&fr_id=1573