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The Struggle is Real

The struggle is real.  By the time we get to Thursday.  I’m fresh out energy, both mentally and physically.  Life as a hockey parent can be freaking exhausting.  Through the week, we run from the morning drop off at the bus stop, to work (pit stop at Dunkin), get the kids, head to the rink, teach Zumba, conquer homework, try to get in a workout and coerce the kids to shower before bed.  Rinse repeat day in and day out.

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By the time we get to Friday, sleep deprivation is hitting its peak and our energy is hitting its low.  The exhaustion is all encompassing, yet we press on.  We derive our inspiration from our kids, while our energy comes courtesy of perpetual coffee.  We should likely have stock in Dunkin’ and Starbucks.  Any hockey mom that’s been around for more than a season knows exactly where to find her favorite coffee near every rink.

Notice how I say we because I’m fairly certain that I’m not alone in my craziness.  It’s not just me… Seriously….  Ask any hockey mom or day and they’ll tell you. As I left work today, I let out a smile as I realized this weekend’s games were home!  Winner, winner chicken dinner!  The realization that  I don’t have to drive to Tampa this weekend was almost transcendent.  Of course at this time of day on a  Thursday, I’m looking for any win.

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I headed home feeling a bit uneasy about life and my path.  Its easy to feel that way when exhaustion fits in.  Thank god for my beautiful, energetic and incredible Zumba girls.  These ladies rock my world (not that way you pervert) and always bring a smile to my face.  There’s nothing like a great workout to clear your head and remind you how great life truly is.  Thank you endorphins!

 

Closing out my Thursday with a rocking Zumba class is the best way to launch myself into productive and happy Friday.  Not every moment in our life is picture perfect.   Moreover, there will be times in our lives where our progress doesn’t align with where we envisioned ourselves.  That’s okay.  So maybe you’re not where you want to be professionally or personally, who cares.  Ultimately the control over where you land is with you and only you.

When Life Happens

As we get older, leave college, get a job, get married, etc, we quickly settle into our routine.  When life happens it is easy to lose our creativity.   We become so busy that the creative outlets of our your get pushed aside.   Here’s the problem with all of that.  Our creative outlets be it writing, photography, painting or singing not only relieve stress, but they stoke the creative fire of our minds.  Even creative outlets, like painting for me, that are sources of painful reminders of art class failures can stoke that creative fire while healing the soul.

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When we let our creative self go dormant, our thinking becomes constrained.  We get stuck in the rut of life and the rat race.  The issues is you don’t know what has been lost until it has been rediscovered.  As a matter of dealing with grief, I started this blog and began writing again.  The consequence is the way I think and approach the world is changing.  It is broadening with my creative outlets and I’m finding myself thinking more creatively and productively about the challenges I face at work or home.

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Note about the pictures:  I picked the pictures of Jake for this post because of the creative composition of both poses.  I took the the featured image was on Mt. Ulricken in Bergen during this trip.  Jake’s best friend took the photo on the stairs in Venice.  The painting was my second attempt at paint and sip with Debbie and family.  I redid the Eifle Tower about 80 times, but it still looks like a rocket ship.  I took the last photo while on the boat in Flam.

Finding Balance

We all have an Achilles heel that can trip us up as we pursue our fitness and health goals.  Sometimes, it is only a minor slip up that causes our healthy habits to start to taper off.  If you’re like me, a cheat meal can easily converts into a cheat week.

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So how do we stay the course without driving ourselves nutty?

  • Allow yourself latitude to miss a workout or eat a treat. It’s okay to not be perfect.
  • Don’t cut out whole food groups completely. Ditching carbs is certainly effective, but not practical long term.
  • Don’t give up everything you like. I can give up almost everything, but don’t make me give up or change my coffee!
  • Have a battle buddy.  Together you can keep each other on track and disciplined.
  • Sign up for a race or event, so you have a milestone to work towards.
  • Practice yoga, it will reduce stress (and stress hormones) and help you avoid injury by keeping you flexible.

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These are just a few tips you can use to taper off your unhealthy habits and convert them into healthy habits and on your way to a healthier lifestyle.

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Getting out of my own way

Exhaustion, pure utter exhaustion from the emotional weight of the last couple of months and a hectic hockey mom schedule, has become the scapegoat for missing my post Zumba run these past 3 weeks.  During Zumba sessions, I dial back my mileage to mitigate the abuse to my body, but these runs are still important for my training.  My goal is to eventually break 27 minutes in a 5k and to complete a 10K in under 60 minutes.  Without these runs, my pace falls off and my endurance wanes.

This weekend Jake and I are running our first 5K of 2017, the Eric Patrie 5K in Delray.  Both of us are looking for a new PR in this race, which will be tough given the increase in temperatures since our last 5K in December.  In order to even be close to my PR (28:32), I knew I’d have to log some miles tonight.  So despite being tired and hungry, I ran.

My treadmill has become an important part of my bedroom furniture serving as a fully functional clothes and handbag hanger.  In the Florida spring and summers when the weather is stormy, it serves a different purpose.  It actually functions as a piece of exercise equipment.  While I prefer to run outdoors, I’m glad to have the option of running indoors when the weather doesn’t cooperate.

In spite of sheer exhaustion, I got in a nice 20 minute run. The run felt good and as usual I felt even better afterwards.  It would have been easy to skip the run given I already taught Zumba tonight, but in order to achieve my goals I had to run.  The point is sometimes the only obstacle between us and our goals is us.  Paolo Coelho said it best, “people are capable, at any time of their lives of doing what they dream of.”  Sometimes we just have to get out of our own way.

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An Introduction

It may seem strange to many that I’m a hockey mom living in sunny S. Florida, but life has a way of throwing curve balls our way.   In 2005, we headed south from Minnesota to explore what South Florida had to offer.  Our kids were still quite young at the time, Jacob was going into first grade and Colin was only 18 months.  It was truly the perfect time for us to relocate without much interruption to their lives.   While Jacob had played hockey at the Super Rink in Blaine the winter before we headed south, he decided not to continue playing in Florida.

Several years and a Zachary later,  you can imagine our surprise that despite living in Florida for five years (and Zachary being born in Florida), our boys (especially Colin and Zachary) were still drawn to hockey.  We tried numerous other sports (karate, soccer, etc.) to no avail.  I guess you can take the boys out of Minnesota, but you can’t take the Minnesota out of the boys. Consequently,  since 2010 we’ve been living the hockey lifestyle in sunny South Florida.  With three boys playing at three different age levels on three different travel teams, our life has been busy.  I would be lying if I told you that laundry, non-hockey friendships and household chores don’t fall by the wayside during hockey season.

This blog is about my attempt (any my family’s) to find balance between motherhood, hockey, fitness, survival and career.   In writing this, I hope to both amuse and perhaps help others striving to find this balance.  For others it may confirm what they already knew; hockey moms are crazy.

This blog is also about saving money!  Managing a household with three hockey players, two of which are now teenagers, encompasses a lot of food and a lot of expenses.  I’ll  be sharing deals, flash sales and my best finds.    You can also expect reviews of our favorite products and new products we’re trying.

I hope you enjoy reading the blog and that the window into our crazy world provides you with both entertainment and good information.