I’m obsessed

I’m obsessed with both tacos and the French show Balthazar. My love for tacos has been life long, but our left overs from last night’s taco dinner really fed the obsession nicely. As for Balthazar, it’s a French procedural that follows the chief medics examiner, the chief detective and their cases. In this case, the ME, Balthazar, sees and talks to dead people, which helps him solve crimes. Sadly, the only crime it hasn’t helped him solve is his wife’s murder. His character has a lot of bravado, but is also really complex. I love it!

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The crimes they solve are complex and different. I love seeing the French countryside and Paris. Truly, I can’t wait to travel once this pandemic is over. Of course, the show is French, which means it is in French. However, I don’t mind reading the subtitles for words I don’t understand. Additionally, this provides a much needed respite from my phone. In order to understand French, I need to concentrate. Plus, reading the subtitles necessitates I don’t focus on my phone. Now you know I spent my afternoon!

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When I woke up, my legs were super sore. I was totally expecting this after yesterday’s grueling BBG workout. Yep, my legs were so sore it made navigating the steps and sitting down tough. However, that was still not excuse for me to skip my run. The Piggie and I went for our Tuesday run this morning sore muscles and all. It was not the fastest run we’ve logged, but it went pretty well. Importantly, the run felt easier. I can tell my endurance is improving.

Afterwards, I did a truncated version of my stretch routine since I was attending yoga at noon. Between the stretch session and yoga, I checked in with my two nerds to ensure they were getting their school work down. As expected, a minor battle ensued, but at least work was being done. I guess that’s the yin and yang of my current life. Yoga and battles with the boys over school work. Alas, the battles are a part of the quilt I’m stitching that is motherhood in the time of Covid.  Thankfully, Family Circle has a comic that represents parenting siblings during the pandemic. 

Tonight we’ll chill on the couch and cuddle with the puppies. I’ll probably peruse Amazon and buy more stuff I don’t need. Or perhaps I’ll buy some more goodies to accessorize Jake’s new instrument. Needless to say the ability to shop from my phone is perhaps a privilege that needs to be revalauted. It’s simply too easy to spend money. On the bright side, I have kept the Amazon, FedEx, UPS and USPS drivers very busy during this difficult time.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*Reading Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë and loving it!

*Morning meditation

*Yoga For a Healthy Back with Monica from Open Heart Yoga Studio

*Started reading Success Factors by Jack Canfield

*Watched Balthazar Season 2 episode 2

*Week 9 BBG cardio

*Took Anakin, Maya and Athena on multiple walks

*Completed morning meditation

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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.

Transitions

Life is full of transitions, but when you’re a parent of teens they seem to come non-stop.  The youngest two seemingly look, sound and appear older each and everyday.  I can’t wait to see how much they’ve grown since heading to Minnesota earlier this month.  They won’t be back in town until right before school starts in early August.  Yeah, early August.  I know what you’re thinking (and you’re right) Palm Beach County Schools start schools entirely too early.  Each day I call to speak to the boys, their voices seem to have shifted another octave lower.  I’ve resorted to asking discrete identifying questions to ensure I know which one I’m talking to on the phone.

The Boys
Now and Then: 2012 and 2019

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Meanwhile, Jake is deep in preparations to join the Air Force.  We met with the recruiter as a family late June to discuss the Air Force as a possibility.  Consequently, we’re pretty excited for Jake and the future the Air Force will bring him.  As a mom, it’s brought many mixed emotions as I’m excited that he’s got a solid road map for his future.  On the other hand, my boy is leaving the nest for good and joining the military (a bit scary.)   All in all, this fall promises to bring a major transition.

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Today marks the start of new beginnings as I close out my ten year career at KHE.  It is with mixed emotions that I move forward.  I will miss the work family that I have cultivated over the last ten years, but am very excited for what the future holds.  To all of my colleagues both current and former, thank you!  To keep in touch, hit the follow button on the blog. After all, everything maybe changing, but relationships don’t have to change.

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Given this week’s transitions, I’ll be fundraising much more aggressively for the Mayor’s trip to Europe next summer.   You can find the link to donate here: fundraising link

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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

Terrific Tuesday

I don’t know about you, but I for one am glad that this terrific Tuesday is coming to a close.  Today was just one of those days.  There were several times I wish I could have disappeared out of a room today.  In all honesty, it could be the lack of sunshine and blue sky that has me over today.  Admittedly, we’re quite spoiled with sunshine in South Florida.  The past week, however, has been absolutely dreary.  It is driving me and everyone else here bonkers.

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Of course, a lack of sleep could also be to blame.  After all the excitement of last night, I got to bed much later than I would have liked.  #damnbird. Meanwhile, our rescued baby bird is living the high life in her protected and cushy enclosure.  As the hubby and I look for places to bring her, Goalielocks and the Mayor have been plotting to make our house her forever home. #notgoingtohappen.  Thankfully, the little birdie is doing well and is safe and sound.

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There was no playoff hockey tonight, so it has been a quiet evening for me.  I get these athletes need to rest, but selfishly I don’t want to wait for game 7.  Tonight’s game should be epic.  There’s nothing better than game 7 playoff hockey!  Since I’ll be up late tomorrow evening, I’m heading to bed a little early tonight.

Exploring The World

There’s nothing I enjoy more than exploring the world with my family and friends.  Last month, we were in the Bahamas for a fun and relaxing trip with family.  This weekend the Hubby is headed West for an adult hockey tournament with Goalielocks, while the Mayor will head to Epcot with school.  Jake will be working, which means I’ll have an entire Saturday to myself!  (Say what!?!?!)  If I didn’t have all these blisters on my feet from starting to run again, I’d probably go get a long over due pedicure.  I’m just a little concerned about picking up an infection with the blisters, so I’ll probably go shoe shopping instead.

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Before I get to my super Saturday, I have a 5K on Thursday night.  It’s all about the preparation with these races, which means I’m facing an uphill battle.   I’ve trained pretty steadily for the past two weeks, but it isn’t going to be sufficient to yield favorable results.  My goal is to get back under 30 minutes, but I don’t think this will be that race.  Nevertheless, it feels great to be running again.  To be clear, it feels good after I’m done running not while I’m running.

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Next weekend I’m headed to the islands for a well deserved momcation.  I can’t wait to be on a beautiful island with incredible women and incredible beaches.  Its been a hell of a first quarter and this is the perfect way to recharge my battery for the second quarter.   Honestly, I cannot wait to disconnect for a few days while in the company of great people.   Plus, you cannot beat the beaches in Turks and Caicos!

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One of my goals has always been to travel more and see different places.  The trips don’t have to be long, but just enough to get away for a bit and explore a new city.  Consequently, I’ve been thinking that for the boys’ birthdays, it would be better to take them on a weekend getaway than buy them something.   I love the idea of shared experiences over material goods.  I’ll let you know how that goes.  Lastly, Goalielocks hit the ice for the first time in earnest since his injury almost two months ago!

Amazing Art

Last night, I had the opportunity to view some amazing art at an art gallery opening in Wilton Manors.  The gallery, Negril Art Gallery, was holding its grand opening complete with wine, hor d’oeuvres, music and great company.  This event was made even more special as my employee was one of the night’s featured artists.  It was an awesome opportunity to enjoy some art while supporting a colleague.

Honestly, I had an inkling that his work would be great, but I had no idea just how amazing they would be.   Consequently, I was completely awestruck by his work.  His portraits were sublime.  If you asked me which one was my favorite, I wouldn’t be able to pick just one.  They were that good!

I really enjoyed the gallery opening.  First of all, it was the first time in a long time that the Hubby and I were attending something that wasn’t hockey related.  Secondly, the art was utterly sublime.  Lastly, it was amazing to see our team there to support their colleague.  Truly, it was incredible seeing all the people form work that went to support Kwame.   It was a great event!

Afterwards, several us went to Padrino’s for some Cuban food and more drinks.  Oh yes, the vodka and long islands were free flowing as we waited for the others.  I enjoyed Arroz Con Pollo, while the hubby had lechon asada.  Fortunately, both of our decisions were pure perfection.  Both the chicken and the pork were cooked perfectly and were full of flavor.  We will definitely be back!  Moreover, our bill was only $200, which for 8 adults that are all drinking is pretty darn cheap.

After Padrino’s, we headed over to Cafe Vico for some more drinks and live music.  Unfortunately, the band had finished playing by the time we got there.  They had music playing, but the song choices were not fantastic.  Fortunately, the DJ/Chef/Owner let us start playing the music from his iPad. We had a fabulous time and shut the place down.  We ended our night by committing to go to Reykavik or Zurich for a girls weekend.   All in all , we had an amazing night out on the town.

Tonight’s song performed by Prince is “When Doves Cry.”

Choking

Well, it was a day full of choking.  When I say choking, I don’t mean the kinky 50 Shades stuff, I mean sports teams utterly out performing.  Once could say shitty decision leads to shitty outcomes, but that seems a bit obvious.  As a hardened Vikings fan, I knew tonight would be disappointing.  Consequently, I spent the first half of the game working out.  Fortunately, while they gave up touchdown after touchdown, I burned 632 calories.  (At least there was some winning today!)

 

My kids, however, have not yet accepted what it truly means to be a Minnesota fan.  You know, the team will build up your hope only to choke in dramatic and devastating fashion.  Come to think about it, I probably should have used disappointment or today’s title, however, that would be redundant.  Nevertheless as a consequence of the Vikes’ epic collapse, I have one kid in a full on melt down.  Truly, I think he thought the world was truly ending.  Like many fans, I would have loved for my team to win, but hey reality is reality.  I simply don’t get my hopes up anymore.

Despite their epic loss, I love my Vikings and fellow fans.  How many organizations have a fan base that would raise well over $200,000 for an opponents charity? Not many.  At least the Vikes are honorable, which is more than I can say about many people.  I actually had some tell me today that they have a sliding scale of accountability and were proud of it.  Things to keep to yourself..  If you are in charge of anyone and have a sliding scale of accountability, you should probably quit your job.

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Unfortunately, the highlight of my day was the awesome chili I enjoyed at Culver’s between games.  When the chili was the highlight of the day, you know it was a bad sports day.  Additionally, I started reading Sun Tzu’s TheArt of War, which was quite enjoyable.   If you lead people, in any capacity or environment, you need to read this book on military strategy.  While this book was written with a military audience in mind, its principals are applicable across all industries and all leaders. In fact, I’m pretty sure its the first time in recorded history that a leader referred to a style akin to servant leadership.

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Ultimately, win, lose or draw, I love spending time with my family.  In that regard, today was a total win.  The Vikings’ season may be over, but I still have my Wild and soon the Twinkies will start spring training.  In short, soon the other sports teams from Minnesota can break my heart.   Lastly, if you’re looking for a good book to read on strategy, pick up a copy of Sun Tzu’s Art of War.

Tonight’s song performed by Minnesota’s own Soul Asylum is “Runaway Train.  I know, I know it is a bit melancholy, but after the drubbing my Vikes endured it seems apropos.  Of course, it also happens to be a great song and a great video.

Magical Moments

Our morning was filled with magical moments as we joined Santa to deliver gifts to the beautiful kids at ARC Broward.  This is my second year leading the initiative with my incredible partner in crime MK.  Consequently, it was also my second time attending the gift delivery.  Last year,  the event blew my away.  When I left last year’s event my heart was full after watching these kids and their parents relish their moment with Santa and their gifts.  I couldn’t wait to go back!

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This year ARC Broward’s preschool is under new leadership, so we’ve been working with new people.  Can I just tell you how amazing these people are?  They do an incredible job educating, advocating and creating futures for people with disabilities.  When we first arrived,  Shawn ushered us into a room where ARC’s Culinary program had catered in breakfast.  Their culinary program provides post high school education via a certificate to adults with disabilities.  The food was absolutely amazing!

As we finished our amazing breakfast, ARC’s high school class came into the room to visit us.  They performed a couple of songs and posed for pictures with all of us and Santa.  It was magical.  These high schoolers had incredible energy and were filled with joy. ARC’s commitment to these teens and young adults is to give them the skillset to find a job they want in the community.  Indeed, it’s all about creating opportunities for these students to excel.

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Afterwards we headed over to the preschool to start handing out the gifts. I struggle to words that adequately describe how beautiful and amazing it is to watch these kids receive their gifts and see Santa.  While some were afraid to sit on Santa’s lap, many were excited beyond belief.  They bounded with joy to get their presents and see Santa.  Their innocence, excitement, happiness and gratitude were overwhelming. It’s hard to watch without getting misty.

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I was so excited to buy for my angels after having met them both last year.  These two girls are incredibly sweet and full of energy.  Fortunately, I had the opportunity to give one of my angels her gift today.   Moreover, I was able to meet her mom (who’s incredible) and chat with her for a bit.  Many times we donate to charities or toy drives and don’t have the luxury of getting to witness the child receiving the gift. I can tell you that there is nothing better than watching a child receive that gift.

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It’s no wonder that we left today’s event with a full heart and complete joy.  There’s something beyond gratifying in making someone’s world a little better.  As we go on our journey around the sun, it is easy for us to get stuck in the rat race.  We don’t have to be stuck!  We can live our legend, even if we’re punching the clock at a 9 to 5.  Sure we’re not crossing the Sahara looking for an alechemist, but we can find ways to fee our soul.  For me, it’s paying it forward via Angel Tree or raising funds an awareness for pancreatic cancer research.  It doesn’t have to be grandiose to be magical.  It would be a small, purple pony that you give to a little sister who didn’t think she’d be getting a gift.  Sometimes it’s all about the small things.

Tonight’s song performed by U2 is “Christmas.”