Realities of Mom Life

The realities of mom life aren’t nearly as glamorous as Gloria from Modern Family would have you believe.  In fact, they can be quite the opposite of glamorous unless you include cleaning up vomit in your definition of glamorous.  I know I don’t!  In the 18.5 years of motherhood, I’ve learned the key to motherhood is the learning to be agile in your planning and expectations.

While I would love to have nice things and perfectly clean house, I’ve found with three boys in the house it is darn near impossible.  When the boys were younger, we removed all of the toys and furniture from our upstairs loft.  At the time, and still to this day, my boys use the space as their mini hockey rink.  Yeah, it’s crazy.  Yeah, there’s damage to the walls and floor.  I mean, who doesn’t love when the kids take permanent markers to their new wood floors?  But you know what, my boys have had a blast spending their days/nights playing mini-hockey.  Moreover, it is much better than video games.  As a mother, you quickly learn which battles to fight and which ones to let go.

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I always have high ambitions for my weekends. I’m going to go to the gym, run all my errands, hang our with friends, organize my closet, etc.  The reality is again I have to be agile in my expectations and planning.  My plan may be a bit grandiose given my hockey mom schedule.  While the reality of what I’m able to accomplish, in my own mind, is quite paltry compared to my ambitions.  I guess when my kids reach 18, I’ll have time for all of those grandiose plans.

Moreover, this weekend in Chicago I had hoped to see downtown and eat relatively well.  I can’t say that ate completely poorly, but Giordano’s -while amazing- is not anti-fat ass compliant.  Fortunately, we only ate there two out of the four days.  As for the sight seeing, our hockey schedule simply didn’t allow for it.  I had planned to do this Monday before heading to the airport, but this plan was derailed by both boys’ teams making the semi-finals. It wouldn’t have been nice to see downtown, but truth be told I’d rather be watching my boys at the hockey rink.

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While we were in Chi-town, the hubby installed the yoga silk.  Initially, I had envisioned that I’d be the only one using it while the rest of my family made fun of me for it.  Oh how I was wrong.  Surprisingly, my younger two boys (in particular) love doing inversions in the silk, swinging on the silk and laying back in the silk relaxing.   I’m not mad that they love it, but I’m definitely going to need to buy another silk for the house.  I had hoped that the boys would use it post-hockey practice to help decompress their backs while opening their chest and shoulders.  Thankfully, they’re doing this, but I think they want to live in it.

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Meanwhile it was back to work for me with a sinus headaches courtesy of the cold weather and flights.  Fortunately, I only came back to 1,000 emails.  That made for a fun morning. Truly, it was nice to be back at work and back into our regular routines.  My body was clearly still on CST as I woke up way later than I had hoped.

We’re back to a daily song and tonight’s song performed by The Cranberries is “Dream.”  I was devastated to read that we had lost yet another amazing musician, Dolores O’Riordan, from my formative years.  One of the first albums I bought was The Cranberries album Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?.  It was also an album that both my dad and I were really into.  For me, it was one of the first times my dad’s and my musical tastes aligned on music.  Of course, now it is a much different story with a lot of my musical preferences heavily influenced by my dad.

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Priorities

Priorities – everybody has them, but we’re not always effective in prioritizing our lives or sticking to those priorities.  At the beginning of every new year, people around the world set resolutions and intentions for the forthcoming year.  Consequently, in January that gym is absolutely full.  Not to worry fellow gym rats, in the coming months the crowd will thin out.

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The beautiful thing about priorities, when executed right, is that they help keep us on track while living a fulfilling life.  For example, when you make fitness a priority, your more likely to carve at time (even if it is at 5:30 am) for our workout.  This year I’ve  committed to getting stronger.  In order to make that happen, I have to accept that the 5:30 am workouts are here to stay.  With my work schedule and the boys hockey schedule, the early morning workouts are key to meeting my goals.

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I went to spin this morning, which was fabulous.  Of course, it was miserable getting out of bed at 5:00 am, but it was well worth the short term misery.  Since I’ve worked out early morning the last two days, I’ve noticed my mornings at work are much smoother and I’m much happier.  Moreover, I’m more mentally alert.   The only drawback is by early afternoon I desperately need coffee or I’ll fall asleep.

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Post work, I headed over to Burn for aerial yoga with Monica.  Honestly, its a bit more complicated since I have to wear sneakers all the time.  I have to confess that I did take them off for the inversion part of the practice.  Aside from that I had to worry about my sneakers getting caught up on the mat or the hammock.  Like the other classes I’ve taken this week, I had to modify to accommodate my legs.  Confession time: it is super hard to take a decent selfie upside down, but I sure had fun trying!

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Despite the sneaker and tendon issues, aerial yoga was a complete blast.  We had a great crew tonight and shared lots of laughs.  Truly, I love the way the inversions feel in aerial yoga.  Its truly like a weight has been lifted off your back and shoulders.  Each week in class, I can feel myself getting stronger and stronger, which is awesome.  When I first started aerial yoga, I struggled to do a pike.  Now I can do ten pikes without struggling.  There’s nothing better than seeing yourself progress in your practice from week to week.  Its a great feeling!

Tonight’s song performed by Linkin Park is “Castle of Glass.”

Come Fly With Me

Come Fly With Me

Come fly with me, no seriously, you’ve gotta try aerial yoga at least once.  Now that I’ve have several classes under my belt, I’m starting to feel much more comfortable in the silk.  After an rousing hockey game last night and kick arse circuit burn class this morning, aerial yoga with Monica was the perfect way to decompress mentally and physically.   Additionally, the communal atmosphere of the class is awesome.  Everyone is supportive, eager to try new things and happy to cheer others on.

I know you’re wondering, what’s so awesome about aerial yoga. So let me tell you.  First, aerial yoga is great for your back.  While you’re in the inversions, your spine is able to decompress and there’s minimal strain on your back.  If you’ve got back problems, an aerial yoga practice may provide relief.

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Since the silk supports you in the inversions, you’re able to get into inversions, like handstands, and hold them much longer.  Consequently, you build not only strength, but also muscle memory for the poses.  This will translate into your mat practice.   Moreover, there are parts of the aerial practice that are nearly identical to TRX.  You’re able to use your own weight as resistance to build strength and flexibility.

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Thankfully, I was able to decompress both my mind and my spine this morning otherwise I would have lost my mine at the mall.   The Hubby and I are way behind the eight ball when it comes to Christmas shopping.  Although to be fair, the boys just posted their Christmas wishlists on the fridge yesterday.  Consequently, I headed to Kohl’s to find a present, but left empty handed.  I could not believe how picked over the shelves were. Since Kohl’s didn’t have what I needed, we headed to Macy’s and Dick’s.

What should have been a five minute ride took nearly 20 in the snowbird laden mall traffic. Ugh, Christmas shopping is bad enough, but throw in winter traffic and it is insufferable.  We ran in to Dick’s first, but again came out empty handed.  Afterwards we made our way to Macy’s, were we finally found what we needed to buy.  Unfortunately, we spent more time trying to exit the mall parking lot than we spent in Kohl’s.  Road rules and traffic regulations are not strong suits of Florida drivers.

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Later the Mayor and I went to Target, so he could by his brothers some presents.  Fortunately, Target was better stocked and well staffed.  We were able to get our groceries, the presents and check out in less than an hour. This was amazing especially considering we made a detour to Starbucks as we shopped.

Tomorrow we’ll finish out last minute shopping after aerial yoga and then head to my brother’s tomorrow evening.  Of course, we’ll have to wrap all the presents and start preparing the dishes for Christmas brunch.  My family looks forward to Christmas brunch as its usually the only time I make caramel rolls.  You may recall that for hurricane Irma I made an exception.  Unfortunately, we were house bound so we couldn’t work off the calories.  Consequently, Jake and I are already planning a long run Christmas Day to counteract the thousands of calories and carbs we’ll consume at brunch.

Tonight’s song performed by the Chairman of the Board Frank Sinatra is “Come Fly With Me.” This song is one of my absolute favorites.  Enjoy!

To Fly or Not To Fly

To Fly or Not to Fly

To fly or not to fly that is the question.  For the 2nd Saturday in a row, thank you hockey schedule, I was able to take my circuit burn class followed by aerial yoga this morning.  This was my 3rd aerial yoga class. One of the questions, I’ve been asked most often since starting aerial yoga is which practice do I prefer.  Do I prefer aerial or vinyasa?

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The answer isn’t so easy because both the aerial and vinyasa practices feed each other.  There are aspects of aerial yoga that will translate into a better practice on the mat.  For example, the inversions in aerial yoga are much easier because the swing supports you and provides balance.  Consequently, since the inversions are aided in a sense, it allows you to work on strength and alignment.   As an added bonus, you can hold the pose for a significantly longer time.  I guess the answer is that I prefer both.

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Aerial yoga takes a significant amount of trust and letting go of fear.  You have to trust yourself and the swing knowing that it will prevent you from falling and hurting yourself.  Moreover, you have to let go of fear.  Admittedly, the first aerial yoga class I took was intimidating.  My teacher Monica, who is incredible, encouraged all of us to let go of our fear.  Additionally, she also showed us how to position our bodies to prevent a fall and assisted us with the poses.  As a consequence, I felt comfortable in the fabric by the end of my first class.

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Aside from the fear of getting hurt or embarrassing oneself by falling, the fear of not being able to keep up is omnipresent that first class.   If you find yourself in an aerial yoga class discouraged by your ability, do like Elsa and “let it go.”  Today in class, there was someone completely new to aerial.  Almost half way through the class, she became discouraged and was ready to leave because she couldn’t keep up.  Fortunately, between our teacher’s encouragement and her fellow classmates’ encouragement, she decided to stick it out.  While she may have struggled that first half of class, she absolutely slayed the second half.

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I think the turning point was realizing that: a) nobody was judging her b) everyone progresses at their own speed c) her practice is her own.   In my opinion, there is no better teacher of humility than a good yoga practice.  I’m a highly competitive person.  Yoga has helped me put that aside.  I’ve learned to accept that my practice is my own own and I’m in competition with nobody.  In addition, I learned that I loved savasana in aerial yoga even more than on the mat.  I know, I didn’t know it was even possible.  In the aerial class, you encase yourself in the yoga silk, which becomes akin to a hammock.  It sways ever so gently during the pose, which is okay with me.  By the end of the savasana, I feel like I’ve just woken up from the best night’s sleep. I freaking love it.

Due to my work and hockey schedule,  I haven’t been able to go to a Vinyasa class for a couple of weeks.  I cannot, however, wait to see how I’ve progressed on my mat since starting my aerial practice.  As for my aerial practice, I look forward to seeing how it evolves from week to week.  Significantly, I’ve noticed with each class a step function in ability and comfort.  Last week I was able to do a flip, while today I was able to do plow and a shoulder stand.  It was pretty awesome stuff.   Tomorrow it’s Xtend Barre in the morning followed by hockey games in the afternoon.   At some point tomorrow, I’ll try to tackle the household chores. I’ll  probably try to get some laundry done and maybe even take a nap.

Tonight’s song comes courtesy of Tom Petty in honor of Aerial Yoga: Learning to Fly

Rare free saturday

A Rare Free Saturday

Today was a rare free Saturday for this hockey mom and I took full advantage of it.  I started my morning up at Burn Fitness for their Circuit Burn class with Danielle.  It was my first time taking this particular class, which balances 5 circuits of strength training with running laps.  Undoubtedly, I expect to be quite sore tomorrow.   Nevertheless the class was a great compliment to my existing regimen.   Additional strength training is exactly what I need.

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Afterwards, I moved right into my aerial yoga class.  This was the second time  have taken an aerial yoga class.  Since Monica was away, we had a substitute today.   Our class was small and our substitute teacher was fantastic.  Comparatively speaking, I felt a lot more comfortable on the swing today than I did the first time.  I even managed to do a flip today.  #progress

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The nice thing about these classes is that by 11:15 I had already gotten in a two hour workout (including a run.)  While I would have enjoyed sleeping in a bit more, getting my workout out of the way early made for a productive day.  Further, since I had two great workouts, I was on the post workout high most of the day.  Can I tell you how productive I was today?  I actually got all of my errands done!  Unbelievably, this only leaves me with household chores and laundry to complete tomorrow.

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While I ran errands, Goalielocks had arranged with his teammates to go to stick and  puck at 3:00 pm.  This would have been nice to know before I got home from errands around 2:30 pm, but that’s okay.  The Mayor wanted to go too, but he’s battling a cold so he stayed home.   Notice how I still ended up at the rink on my rare free Saturday?

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I’ve never seen stick and puck so crowded.  The rink was full of hockey players.  Goalielocks and his teammates were able to carve off one half of the ice with some other players.  There was one that had forgotten his socks and had his shin guards on the outside of his pants.  At first glance, he looked a bit ridiculous and like someone that didn’t know what they were doing.  That was until he took a shot on Goalielocks.

Straight away it became apparent that this guy was no joke and was a serious player.  His shot was a laser.  He spent most of the hour shooting on Goalielocks and talking to him.   It turns out this guy played in the AHL for the Coyotes and saw some NHL preseason action previously.  His last professional stint was in Finland.  Due to a burst appendix, he’s currently without a team and is undergoing rehabilitation and retraining in Florida.

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You know why hockey’s the best sport in the world?  Here’s a pro rehabilitating from a major health condition that took the ice with my goalie and his buddies today.  Rather than put on airs of superiority, he worked with and shot on Goalielocks for the majority of the hour.  I could see them working together throughout the session.  He would shoot 5-6 pucks on Goalielocks in quick succession.  Afterwards, he’d give Goalielocks feedback and encouragement.  Goalielocks left the rink on cloud 9 today because of his experience with this pro.  Admittedly, Colin was proud since he was able to stop some of his shots.  At one point the guy’s shot was so hard that when Goalielocks caught the puck in his glove, his glove went flying off backwards.

Lastly, it’s always a good day when both mom and Goalielocks are feeding off our high’s from a workout.   The afternoon and Goalielocks’ great mood were quite disparate from his mood this morning.   Goalielocks found the anemone dead and that it broke the filter in the process.  Apparently our anemone decided to climb onto the filter ending both it’s existence and our filter.  Goalielocks was devastated.  Fortunately, I was able to get to Petco quick like to replace the filter and keep our clown fish George, star fish Bob and our crab Eugene alive.   After a busy day, I’m ready to chill on the couch while watching some Panther’s hockey.

Tonight’s musical interlude is The Cranberries – Dreams.  Growing up the Cranberries’ CD was one of the very first that I bought. It remains one of my favorite CDs.

Caffeine Drip

Caffeine Drip

I’m in serious need of a caffeine drip for tomorrow after the craziness of today’s hockey schedule.  The Mayor’s team was at the rink by 7:30 am for their 8:30 game.   My hubby, who is a saint, took the Mayor for warm-ups, so  I could sleep in.   7:30 am isn’t really my idea of sleeping in, but it was far better than the alternative.  The Mayor’s squad got the win, which started off our day of 4 hockey games perfectly.

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Post-game I headed to Burn Fitness, an awesome locally owned fitness studio, for my first aerial yoga experience.  Admittedly, I was a bit concerned about the inversions and the potential for nausea, so  I skipped my early morning coffee and breakfast.  Pre-class I had a GU gel for energy that wouldn’t upset my stomach during class.  I have to say I was a bit relieved to hear that the other newcomers to aerial yoga were just as nervous as me.

 

Once in the studio, we picked our swings that were best matched to our height and then setup our yoga mats under them.  We took to our swings to start working our core and open our shoulders.  The core work in aerial yoga is quite similar to working on the TRX, so it is intense and efficient.  Surprisingly, the inversions didn’t bother my stomach and didn’t make me dizzy.  I quickly learned that if I was swinging too much while upside down,  I could put my hand down to stop the swinging motion.  The warrior poses and half moons poses  felt incredible in the swing.  I could feel myself getting more elastic as the class progressed.  Unequivocally, the best part of class was the shavasana in the swing that quickly became cocoon-like.  It was absolutely heavenly.

After yoga, I was finally able to enjoy my morning Dunkin and some solid food.  I made myself some Gardein Schezuan Beef and broccoli ,which was super tasty.  No sooner had I finished my lunch, when we had to head back to the rink for the Mayor’s 2nd game and Goalielock’s first game.   Of course, I had to stop and get another coffee lest I get cold at the rink.

The Mayor was on fire during his second game.  He scored a hat-trick and had several assists.  It was incredible to see the kids moving the puck.  I loved seeing them work so hard to setup their teammate for a goal.  Undoubtedly, their teamwork today is what led to their success as a team.  Honestly, I just love watching my Mayor play.  He’s the smallest on the ice, but he plays and runs his mouth likes he’s six feet tall.  He works hard and is always giving 100%.   I love his commitment to his team and his game.

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As soon as the Mayor’s team left the ice, the Zamboni started cleaning the ice for Goalielock’s game.  I spent a lot of quality time with the scorekeeper today.   In an effort to contain my crazy, I ran the music during the games today, which put me in the sin bin where I belong.  Goalielock’s had the first game off, but his goalie buddy Brian was lights out that game.

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Unfortunately, someone probably should have called a 5250 for the megaphone mom from the opposing team.  We’ve been in travel hockey for many years and we’ve seen a lot things, but this woman took the cake.  She put the craz in crazy.  Keep in mind, these kids are either freshmen in high school or 8th graders not little kids.  Imagine, if you will, a mom screaming directions and commentary via a megaphone from the stands.   My favorite part, is when she chirped our player, #4, and he took the puck and went and scored.  Thankfully, the goal was enough to shut her up for a couple of minutes.  I did my best to drown her out with the music, while my better half drowned out the megaphone with a fog horn.  Instant karma was served to megaphone mom as we beat the team 7-1.

Between Goalielocks’ two games, we headed to pick up the Mayor from dinner and pick up some grub.   Unsurprisingly, we didn’t have a ton of time between games, so there was no trip home between them.  After taking Goalielocks’ to Publix for a sub, we headed back to Hurricanes to get hubby and the Mayor.  While we waited for the check,  I acquired a nice, new sexy tattoo.  You’ll love it, but don’t worry mom it’s only temporary.

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In the end, the Mayor decided to go to a teammate’s house during Goalielocks’ game, so we headed back to the rink without him.  I took my position in the sin bin, where I belong, ready to blare the music as the boys took the ice.  The game got a little chippy, but we were all relieved that there was no megaphone mom on this team.  By the end of the 1st period, we were up 5-0.

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Goalielocks’ wasn’t seeing a lot of work, which stinks for a goalie because you don’t have the opportunity to get into a rhythm.  Nevertheless, he was playing well when his team needed him. I was busy in the box with a couple 10-2 and repeat visitors.   Nonetheless, the boys won 9-2.  Goalielocks’ played well, but as always was quite critical of his performance.