Monday, September 28, 2009

Say hi to....

We have 6 pets, two dogs and four cats. Two of the dogs and two of the cats are older than 11 and we know that we are closer to sunset than to sunrise with them. I try not to think about that too much, because if I do, I break down into sobs that can't be controlled. Instead, I try to enjoy every minute with them. I make a conscious effort to never walk by one of them without touching or speaking kindly to them. I make an effort to not push them away if I am doing something else. I want to take time to give them love while I can.

When the dogs were younger, Trevor use to run with them. Now that they are older, its all they can do to get around the neighborhood for our morning walks. Trevor has been watching the shelter websites and for a certain breed of dog - I believe an Australian Sheppard or a mix. These are supposed to be good ruuners and Trevor really wants a dog who can run miles and miles with him.

Friday, Trevor emailed me pictures of a dog that fit his requirements. She was only 7 months old and living in a foster home. I didn't think he seriously wanted to bring her home, because, let's face it - we have 6 pets. We are all full, no room at the Inn. Right?

Well, he kept brining up this dog, had her picture on the computer. Finally, on Saturday night I said to him "you are talking to me like I have told you we can't have her. If you want her, fill out the application." So he did. And on Sunday, they called us and asked if we wanted to come meet her. So we did.

And here she is. This is Maggie.

Maggie spent all but the last week of her short life living in someone's backyard. Her mom was a stray and they gave away all the other pups, but couldn't give her away. So they kept her outside, fed her whatever food was cheapest and didn't even give her a name. We are pretty sure they yelled at and probably hit her but the way she cowers.

She was dropped at the local shelter and was so afraid, they couldn't show her to prospective pet owners. She was put into foster care just last week. This wonderful family has helped her progress and she can now walk on a leash and is fairly well potty trained.

As we left her foster home yesterday, I cried. I cannot imagine being a foster parent to pets. I loved her within 10 minutes. It made me so sad that they had to give her away and so grateful that they got her ready for us. They told her yesterday that "her people" were coming to get her.

We introduced her to the dogs and that went well. She is so submissive that it was no problem. Opal is OBSESSED with her and follows her everywhere, wanting to smell her. Maggie slept in bed with us last night. That did not make the cats happy. Roxie hid under the bed, Norwyn kept his distance. Gus and Daisy slept with us, but not in our normal spot. Every time they moved, Maggie got up and wanted to sniff them to death.

We were awake half the night and finally, she went to sleep. This morning she came down and layed in the garage while I rode my bike. Such a sweetie. Today, she is at work with Trevor and he is teaching her to sit. I'll pick her up on the way home and give her lots of love. Then when we get home, I'll spend about an hour giving each one of the others some love too.

You would think there isn't enough to go around, but I have to say, all this love has expanded my heart to a size I never imagined. I am overwhelmed with it. Seven is our magic number. At least for a little while.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Just a hypothetical.

So here's a story...we can say its a hypothetical...

Let's say that I have a friend, her name is Fancy. Fancy has worked at a great company for just about 10 years. She has had her ups and downs, its a love/hate relationship. Lately, its been much more hate than love. Some days, she feels like it is killing her.

Fancy is in sales and her sales are WAY down - like 70% down from last year, which was down quite a bit from the year before. Fancy has watched many decisions be made by the management team at her company. Most of these decisions made no sense. In fact, most of these decisions pushed customers away in a fashion that would make those customers never come back. Then the economy hit the skids - hence the 70% down.

Fancy has always expressed her concern and has always been told to just be quiet and do what is asked. Quite a challenge for Fancy. So, her attitude has gotten worse and worse.

About a year ago, Fancy's company announced that they were in financial trouble and needed to set the ship right. So they did a buyout offer. A very generous buyout offer. Fancy was not eligible. Many people were, some took the offer, some (for reasons beyond Fancy's understanding) did not.

Well, these buyouts didn't really help and next thing you know, the company is in trouble again. It is announced that there will be paycuts, furlough days, a portion of healthcare must be paid by employees. Then it is announced that there will be another buyout offer, but not for salespeople. But, if you wake up every day and say "I hate my job", talk to your manager.

Next thing you know, Fancy hears about sales people who have been giving some sort of severance/buyout and are leaving. Fancy really wants a buyout. So, she goes and talks to her boss and says "I'm interested". She is then told that she is not on the list of people they want to manage out. She does too good of a job and so they won't give her anything to leave. If she wants to leave, she'll leave with nothing.

Fancy doesn't understand this. She thinks about it for a few days and then decides she needs to talk to her boss's boss and see what he says. She gets the opportunity to meet with him and pleads her case. She is told that she is the type of employee the company wants and they will not pay her to leave. He also tells her that another buyout offer is being announced that day, but not for sales people - only for people who's positions won't need to be filled. Fancy says "I'm at 30% of my goal, my work could easily be divided amoung the remaining workers". He disagrees. After much emotional discussion and debate, Fancy leaves the meeting being told "I'll see what I can do, but can't promise anything".

Fancy feels good that she has at least been able to express some important feelings about the company and her work there. Later in the day, Fancy is at her desk, and the email come out with the buyout offer. As she opens it, she sees that over 350 people are eligible for the it, but not her. 40% of the company, but not her. It is all Fancy can do to not fall down on the floor and cry her eyes out in utter frustration and disgust.

How can you say that the kind of person you want to keep is the person who hates her job? How can you say that its better to pay people who are not performing to leave, yet not offer that chance to someone who is ready to go? Fancy's company is looking at possible layoffs in 2010, in order to reduce the workforce, why not let anyone who wants it have it? Fancy's job is not rocket science. She can look around her office and she many, many people who could do her job and do it well. So, why not let one of those people who wants to continue working there have it?

Fancy does not understand. At all. Any of it. At the same time, the truth is that Fancy cannot afford to just quit without any sort of severance. So, Fancy is screwed. It is ironic, really, so many people out there who really want and need a job, and Fancy has a good one and can't get rid of it.

Several years ago, Fancy was a manager at this company and she used to tell the people who worked for her "don't try to make sense of it...its non-sensical. You'll go crazy if you try to understand it". Fancy should take some of her own advice, but this is seriously effed up and there is nothing more she can do. Nothing. More.

But then again....this is all just a hypothetical situation.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Marathon Gods are laughing at my lazy ass.

The Portland Marathon is 10 days away - October 4th. Its been a long year of training. It really started last Fall, when I made the decision to run through the winter. Normally, I have a season ending run, then its too dark, cold and rainy to run in the mornings, so I move on to kickboxing or step aerobics. Last year, we planned some early Spring runs and so I ran through the winter. Got up in the pitch dark, wore my reflective gear and ran. We ran the Lief Erickson trail all winter long - several times in a foot of snow.

What I'm saying, is that I had a good base. I was running 7-10 miles on the weekend and 4-5 miles a few days a week. I felt strong. This was a great way to lead into my triathlon/marathon training. I've had relatively few issues this year. My main problem has been a nagging issue with my IT band and my right hip/quad. This usually flares up every month or so, I get some treatment and then I am fine. If I get past the 8 mile make on a run without pain, I'm usually in the clear. If it starts to hurt, it will nag at me until I am done my run. This pain showed up during my 21 mile run and I've been having it treated ever since.

I have a great chiropractor who is really more of a physical therapist. He doesn't just adjust me, he uses ultrasound and electronic stimulation, as well as massage. He can make anything better. Seriously. Trevor hurt his lower back big time, two weeks before the 1/2 Ironman and Dr. Jake had him ready to compete just in time.

I don't know what the hell is going on with me. I went and saw Jake on Monday and he got the knots in my muscles to release. Yesterday morning I did upper body weights, abs and a 3.5 mile run. This morning, I woke up and my low back was hurting. It has gotten progressively worse during the day. I'm walking like I'm 9 months pregnant...kind of shuffling along, holding my back and groaning. Nice.

I used to get this back pain often. I haven't had it in over two years. Yet, here it is, 10 days before the marathon. Just to make things interesting. Probably as a pay back for when Trevor hurt his back and I commented that he always has something like that happen before an event! Bam. Here you go.

I have an appt this afternoon to see the Dr. I also have appts all scheduled for next week leading up to the big day, so there will be plenty of opportunity for my back to get the attention it needs. Actually, its not my back, its my butt. My quads are much stronger than my glutes and that makes my body try to compensate and it trys to use other muscles to get the job done - enter the lower back. Its called "lazy Glute syndrome". You know what the glutes are right? My ass. So I have lazy ass syndrome. Anyone have a cure for that?

Friday, September 18, 2009

The marathon.

We spent the better part of this year training for the Half Ironman triathlon on August 16th. After that, our training quietly shifted to the marathon. Trevor and I are coaches for the local marathon training program - Vancouver Fit - and we've been following that training schedule since the beginning of April. The training for both the marathon and the triathlon actually lined up nicely.

We had our final triathlon last weekend, then the 21 miler marathon training run and now its just the countdown to 26.2 on October 4th. The real marathon training didn't start until now. With the last triathlon of the season behind us, its really all about the run now.

This week has been a tough one. 21 miles on Monday, followed by a rest day and visit to the chiropractor, a spinning day, an upper body weights/abs and visit to the chiropractor day, then an upper body and run day today. My 3.5 mile run this morning was tough. I kept reminding myself that these last couple weeks are taper weeks and I need to take things slow, ease up, relax, hydrate, fuel. Its so interesting how a short run can sometimes feel SO much harder than a long run.

My leg has been nagging me all week. I've got visits schedules for the next two weeks with Dr. Pain (his name is actually Dr. May, but it should be Dr. Pain). This will take me up to the marathon day and should insure that I can run most of the marathon pain free.

I haven't focused too much on what this marathon means to me, mostly because we had so many other things to finish up before we tackle this. Its been 7 years since my first, last and only marathon. It was not a good day, it was not a good experience. I said I'd never do it again. Here I am, all these years later, registered and ready for the Portland Marathon....AND....signed up for Ironman Cananda in 2010, which, in case you don't know, ends with a marathon (after a 2.4 mile swim and a 112 mile bike ride).

So, this marathon, is pretty important to me. I need it. I know it will be hard, but I want it to be fun. In the sick way that only running 26.2 miles can be fun. This time is so much different than last. I am in MUCH better shape. I am stronger, my body fat percentage is lower, I am leaner and more powerful. Mentally, I am a different person. Seriously. Much different. I know my strength. I know what I can do. I expect more. My nutrition is right on. I want to experience the entire event instead of just finishing it. That, right there, may very well be the main difference. 7 years ago, I just wanted to be done. Now, I just want to get to the start and enjoy every minute of those 26.2 miles.

Something about tackling the thing you said you would never do is empowering. and exciting. and crazy.

October 4th....can't wait.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Good bye Patrick Swayze

I'll have more to say about this, right now all I can do is link to a post from January of this year - titled: I love Patrick Swayze.

Max Muscle Vancouver 21 miler

Holy crap, what an end to a crazy weekend. The rest of our marathon training group did this last benchmark before the marathon on Saturday. Many of the other coaches did it yesterday. Since we had plans for both days, today was the day for us. I took a vacation day to run this - how sick is that? Maybe I should have taken a sick day!

Another coach Trish was set to join us. I was surprised that yet another coach, Jo, joined us for the first part of the run. She just did a marathon last weekend!

We met at our store at 7 am, all a little nervous, but ready to go.

I had planned the route - it was two 10.5 (give or take) loops. I'll admit, it was a hilly route. Seriously hilly. What was I thinking??

We started out our route, all 4 of us together. Jo was going to run the first loop with us and then go to work. Trevor is faster than us, so he was going to run ahead on his own. I felt badly, 21 miles is a long way to go alone. He stayed with us for the first three miles or so. We were on a path where lots of other people run. Some man, we didn't know, was running with us and Trevor started to talk to him. He ran with us for a bit and we told him what we were doing. He said that he had never run more than 9 miles. We kept trying to convince him to go the full distance with us. He and Trevor kept talking and started to pull away from us. I was hoping he would go far with Trevor, so he wasn't alone.

Around mile 5, we made the turn to the first hill. And it is a doozie. We got up it this first time without issue. The three of us, me, Trish and Jo, were all together, enjoying the day. A car passed us and honked and waved. It was Karrie, one of the members of our training group and yelled out that we were crazy. Well, duh!!!

Earlier in the morning, Trevor and I had stopped and dropped some gallons of water at a corner as a water stop. That was about mile 7. Very welcome! Then it was down hill, another turn and another big hill. I do love that hill. I run it often and I always enjoy it. Today was no different.

We made our way back to the store, finished up the first route and said good-bye to Jo. I kind of wished I was going with her, but wished more that she was coming with us!!

Trish and I kept on moving. We got down to the path and stopped to fill our water in the fountain and use the restrooms. Trish squirted me with some water and I told her I wanted her to do that for the next hour and a half. There was another woman there, on her bike, and she said, "If you guys run for an hour and a half, you're crazy". Trish and I looked at each other and laughed, I said to her "we've been going now for two hours and twenty minutes, and have another hour and a half to, yes, we ARE crazy".

We kept on going! Earlier, around mile 9, my right leg had been bothering me. That happens sometimes. If its going to hurt, it always starts around then. Usually, I only have one or two miles left, this time, I had 12 miles left! I pushed it out of my mind, but by mile 14 I was feeling it. I stopped every now and then to stretch and that would help.

We made the turn to go up that big hill and it actually felt better on my leg to do that. I ran the entire hill. Once it flattened out, my leg was very unhappy. I just kept going. What else can you do?

By the time we got to the water stop, I was needing it. The sun had come out and it was HOT! Downhill, then up hill. favorite hill. Walked part of it. Ugh. 1.5 miles left. I knew it was almost done and just tried to enjoy it all. As silly as that may sound.

I got to the top of the hill and Trish yelled to me - she was over to the left and there was a car pulled over. It was our friend DOUG!! He had come to check on us!! That was the best pick me up! However, after stopping for 5 minutes to talk to him, I was more stiff and we still had miles to go!!

I did a little walk/run/walk/run for the rest of the way. Trish was a bit in front of me. We were almost back to the store, Trish turned around and came back to get me, she said "I started with you, I'll finish with you". I loved that.

So we finished our 21 miles. Sweaty, stinky, sore, hungry and proud.

One of the other coaches commented that now our entire running family was ready for the marathon. What a great way to put it. Over the last five months, we have been able to get to know the most amazing people. All crazy in their own ways. So funny, caring, thoughtful. Just good people. We are better people because of them. We are at home with their insane-ness. The best part is that everyone thinks the others are the crazy ones. When the truth is...we are ALL crazy.

21 miles - 4 hours. I even made finishers medals!!

After we were done, we stopped at Target to get a latte from the Starbucks. In the parking lot, we ran into Ike, one of the other coaches!!! It was such a great day. Four hours of running. Wow. Marathon, here we come!!

Urban Obstacle Challenge

Day two of the three day blitz for the Bryants. We had our triathlon on Saturday, Sunday is this awesome event and Monday, well - more to come about Monday.

This was the first year that NW Personal Training put on this event. As usual, they did not disappoint. We were, again, sponsors and participants.

I had no idea what to expect coming in to today and I HATE that. I didn't know what to wear, what to bring, what to do! The event started at 9 am, so we got down to the Vancouver Lake Park around 8 to get set up.

There were about 70 participants. The course was really spread out and it occured to me that there was going to be a lot of running. Not super happy about that, but what the hell, right?! We decided we'd stay together for the entire event, even though Trevor runs a lot faster.
Here we go....

We went through tires, crawled through pipes, weaved our way through posts and trees, crawled through sand, made our way through mud bogs, forests and pools of water!

Here we are finishing up!

It was pretty hot and humid out and we were really sweaty!! We gave out lots of samples of Max Muscle protein to replenish everyone's energy stores!

Lunch was included in the entry fee. So we enjoyed some yummy food from Tommy O's, a local Hawaiian restaurant. Afterwards, there were some awards and a debriefing. They want to make this event bigger and better next year and wanted feeback about how we thought it went this year. The general consensus was that we all wanted more obstacles!

I was tired after we were done and was really ready to head for home and enjoy the rest of our weekend! Another great event! We love this kind of stuff, its fitness and fun all together in one!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Vancouver's All American Triathlon race report

We did this event last year. Here is the link to the blog post about it. What a difference a year can make! We sponsored this event again this year. Packet pick up was at our store, so many of the participants were familiar with us and many of the participants were customers. Lots of familiar faces on the course. Its a small, local event with about 50 entrants.

I love this pond. It feels like home.

This race takes place in familiar territory. The swim is in Klineline pond, about two miles from our house. This is where we did all our open water swimming this year. The bike ride is on the hilly roads around our house, where we did much of our bike training this summer. The run is on the Salmon Creek path, where we have been running for about 8 years now. Even so, I was nervous. Not as nervous as usual, but still nervous.

The event started at 10 am, so there was lots of time to think about it!! We got down there and set up our booth, talked to some people and got ready to go. It was finally time and we walked over to the start - right by the tree where we always leave our stuff during our Tuesday night swims.

It was getting hot already and the water was really cool, it felt SO good. We got in, it was time to go and off we went. It took me a bit to get into a routine. Even though I've done this swim 100 times before, I usually do it with just Trevor, this time there were a lot of others in the water with me. That made it a little different! About half way through, I got into a good rythym.

This is not a chip timed event, so my times are all rounded to the nearest minute by what my watch was telling me!

swim time 1/2 mile: 17 min

This was about 3 minutes faster than last year. awesome. I got out of the water and there was Trevor, still in the transition. I was kind of excited about that because I thought we could do the ride together, like we always do. He got out of tranisition ahead of me and said he'd take it slow so I could catch him.

T1: 4 minutes.

I had planned to take today nice and easy and just enjoy it. As I got to the bike mount line, the volunteer said "you are the fourth woman" and all of a sudden, I thought "I could place overall in this thing". From that point on, my heart rate was higher than I like to keep it and I pushed a little harder than I had planned.

I immediately passed one woman, that meant only two more in front of me! This course is really hilly, but as I've said, we've ridden it 100 times, I know every hill, every turn, every pothole. I eventually caught up to Trevor and told him that if he really wanted to compete today, to go ahead and not wait for me. So he did. He didn't get too far ahead of me. I'd pass him on the flats, he'd pass me on the downhills. I passed another girl - that meant only one more in front of me.

This ride went really quick to me. Before I knew it, I was making the final turn into the park and getting off my bike.

Bike 14 miles: 55 min

This transition went faster than most this year, not sure why.

T2: 3 min.

Now to the run. As I got out to the run start, the volunteer said, "You are the second woman". I knew this wouldn't last. I always lose it on the run!! I am not a fast runner. I am slow and steady. I felt pretty good and was running a bit faster than normal. It was hot out. By now it was about noon and there wasn't much shade on the path. At about mile 1, the first girl passed me and at about mile 1.5, the second passed me. No podium for me in the overall category. Oh well. I was still really doing good with my time. Last year took me 2:04 and this year I wanted to do it in about 1:45.

I saw Trevor and he looked good. We high fived and kept on going.

Run 3.1 miles: 30 min.

Total time: 1:49

I finished 4th overall woman and 1st in my age group (for the second year in a row). Trevor finished 2nd in his age group and had a good event today. We haven't been in the open water since Lake Stevens on August 16th. I expect we'll sleep good tonight!
I spent today thinking about a lot of things. First, I thought about this event last year and how hard it was. I realized how far I had come in just a year. Last year, we were planning to really challenge ourselves this year with an Olympic distance. Instead, we ended up doing a 1/2 Ironman and now are signed up for a Full Ironman for next summer.

I also thought about how this is the end of the season for triathlons. No more until next year. This was the last "just for fun" event we have. Next year it will all be training for the BIG ONE. Ironman Canada.

We met a lot of really great people today. One woman did Ironman Canada a few years ago and we'll keep in touch with her. I expect we'll do some long bike rides together and pick her brain for information!

Afterwards, we worked out booth, handed out samples, magazines and water bottles. It ended up being a super hot day and I was really wiped out.

The summer is over, the season is over. It makes me sad. Its been a good one and as always, I can't wait to see what the future brings.

Friday, September 11, 2009

September 11

It is that day again, it comes once a year. On this, the 8th anniversary, it seems to be less and less visible. The 1st anniversary was a big deal, then the 5th, now it has kind of faded to grey.
The front page of the paper doesn't blare the headline, instead its buried on page A5 - a short story about how today is a day of service. I don't know how it is closer to the site, but 3000 miles away, the observances are much smaller. The flag at the bank across the street is at half mast, there is red, white and blue wreath at the bank tower where we go to Starbucks. I expect that many people pass it and don't give it a second thought. Surely, someone will look at that flag today and wonder why it isn't flying high, maybe they'll think "oh, that's right, its September 11th."

I can't help but think of the thousands of people who live every day with the memory of how their loved one died that day. The thousands who were there, close by when it happened. The ones who's daily lives have changed forever, in every way. The ones who's dreams are only nightmares now.

I remember that day and how it changed things - in the days that followed, we were all in it together. People were more friendly, more willing to help others. Blood donation centers has lines around the block, flags flew high. Now, 8 years later, we are a nation at war. At war with ourselves, each other and foreign enemies. Thousands died that day, thousands have died since that day in the name of that day. We have gone back to the way things were before. United we stand, divided we fall. What do we do now.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Why I love my husband

There are lots of reasons, big and small. I am so very fortunate that we found each other. The number one reason I love Trevor is because he makes me laugh. He makes me laugh at every day things. I don't think a day goes by that we don't laugh about something. I love nothing more than when he laughs really, really hard. Not just the "haha" chuckle, but the hard core, laugh your ass off kind of laugh. We had one of those last night. It was actually left over from the night before.

The night before, we were headed to bed and I was putting my cup in the dishwasher. You should know that I have a problem with the dishwasher. I don't stack items neatly here, I cram as many things as I can into it. I am sure that I only fit about half the amount of dishes in because it is so unorganized when I'm done. So, I was putting my cup in and there really wasn't room where I was trying to put it. That didn't seem to matter to me, I just keep pushing it down and pushing it down and it wasn't fitting. While I was doing this, I knew what I was doing made no sense and was futile, but I didn't stop. Trevor walked over and just looked at me. I said "I know", left my cup in its spot in the dishwasher and walked upstairs to bed...with the dishwasher still open and Trevor standing there. I could hear him reorganizing things, closing the dishwasher and starting it.

Then, last night, we were getting ready to go to bed. I was in the kitchen and Trevor came in, he opened the dishwasher and said, "Now let me see if I can remember how this goes", we both busted out laughing while he tried to reinact my dishwasher loading.

I love that. I love that he doesn't yell at me about it or get mad. I love that he doesn't even try to change it anymore. I love that instead of something small being a big deal, we can laugh about it. I always tell him that these are the things he'll site in the divorce "the way she loaded the dishwasher made me hate her". Until then, we'll laugh.

September 10, 2001

I grew up in New Jersey and lived there until I went to college at the age of 18. I went home every summer and moved back for a year when I was 25. I love NJ. I love the east coast and I miss many, many things about it. There were many things I took for granted when I lived there. Trevor shakes his head is disgust about these things that I never really appreciated.

For example, just about every year of my school life we took field trips to Philadelphia, Washington DC, New York, Baltimore. What 10 year old really understands and appreciates the Smithsonian museum...all of them? All that history was kind of lost on me. I have great memories of running through those places, driving by them in our bus, seeing them in the distance during road trips with the family.

My parents moved from NJ in 1995 and things were never the same. My Grandparents remained. My Pop-pop died in 1997 and around 2000, my Grammie started talking about selling the property and moving to Florida.

Grammie's house was full of family heirlooms, antiques that had been passed from generation to generation. Through my life, there was always a running tally of who got what. I'd get the goblets that Grammie collected, Dad would get the old wooden bench from the kitchen, etc. When Grammie talked of moving, she wanted everyone to come get their stuff. She was going to take just a few things with her to her new home.

We all made the trip back home, one last time, to take our memories with us to our new homes.
That was the week of Labor Day 2001. It was the most beautiful September - sunny, clear and warm. The sky was so blue.

The time came for me to return home, where Trevor was waiting, with his newly purchased Harley Davidson motorcycle. I was anxious to get back. My friend drove me to the Newark airport, bright and early that Monday morning for my 8 am flight. It was a non-stop from Newark to Portland and there were only about 30 people on the flight. I have a picture of me and my friend outside the airport, saying good-bye. Shortly after take-off, I was able to stretch out over all three seats because the plane was so empty. I fell asleep, feeling sad that I was really leaving home for the last time. Sad that things would be different now, forever.

The next morning, I woke up and headed back to work. I turned on the radio and heard the was September 11th. And nothing was ever going to be the same.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Another excuse...

A friend of mine forwarded me an article last week from Time Magazine. Its titled "Why excercise won't make you thin" If you have time to read this, go read something else instead! Here's the link just in case...
The premise of this article is that if you exercise, you will want to eat. And when you want to eat, you will chose unhealthy foods. The author talks about how much he hates to exercise and when he does, he wants to reward himself with things like Blueberry muffins. He also talks about how Gatorade has 130 calories in a serving and if you go for a 20 minute run on a hot day, you'll guzzle that down in no time. All this leads to NOT being thin. The author also sites a study, blah blah blah.

Poor Laura - my friend who sent the article to me, with the innocent question, "what do you think of this"? I told her what I thought of it and as I type this now, my blood pressure is rising again, because I think this is a bunch of shit. I think this is another article/study that gives people an excuse to not take care of themselves. "Oh, working out will just make me hungry, so I won't do it"...."Oh, no wonder I'm not losing any weight, I workout, but then I'm hungry and so I eat".

Hello, people. Working out will make you hungry. You expend energy, your body wants to replenish it. The idea is that you replenish it with fuel, not crap. Instead of the blueberry muffin, you have a protein shake. Another note - 20 minutes of running is going to burn about 150-200 calories. You don't need to a full serving of gatorade (mostly sugar) to replenish. Your body isn't looking for simple sugars, your body is looking for protein and quality carbs to refill its stores.

I read these articles and I cringe, because people everywhere are looking to a magazine, with a great reputation, like TIME for their information. And this is what they get.

I know so many people who are looking for an easy answer to being healthy or an excuse to not have to work at it. The solution is simple, not easy, but simple. It could be easy, but instead it is hard. Its hard because of everything around us - the processed foods, the fast food, the snack packs of empty calories, the fat free, nutritionally void food that surrounds us in our vending machines, grocery stores, school cafeterias, mall food courts.

It takes work to be healthy. It takes preparation. If you go workout and don't bring something healthy to eat afterwards, its all too easy to hit the Starbucks and get a treat, a 500 calorie treat.

Another thing I don't understand is why so many people do workouts that they hate. If you hate to run - don't run, find something you like - spinning, kickboxing, walking, swimming, soccer, tennis, handball, karate...the list goes on and on. Find something that feels good. Because when it feels good, you want to do it, you do it more. When you hate it, its all too easy to find reasons to NOT do it. When you hate it, you find it necessary to reward yourself. And the cycle continues.

The thing that makes me the most crazy is that on, this story is the 3rd most popular. It was posted on August 9th, so a month later, its still at the top of the list. It makes me crazy and it makes me sad. We live in a world that is full of overweight, unhealthy adults and children. Our health care system is being crushed because of this (and other things, but certainly this). How will this be resolved? Will this be resolved? Will we spend the rest of our lives looking for reasons why we'll never be something we say we want to be? Or will we just go out and be it.

Healthy and fit doesn't have to suck. It can actually be really fun. Stop believing what you read in articles like this. Go find your fun. Oh...and make good choices, whether you have just worked out or are at the grocery store. Be responsible for your choices, in health and in life. We are all we've got.

The end of an era

Today, the 87 year old Publisher of The Oregonian announced his retirement. This is the end to 4 decades of his family at the head of our paper. Heaven only knows what will happen now. I can only hope that Fred enjoys his retirement and lives many more years to enjoy life after The O.

Read the story here

Friday, September 4, 2009

No escaping us

If you haven't seen it yet, here is an article about me and Trevor. It was in the September Max Muscle e-newsletter. It went out to about 100,000 Max Muscle Customers all over the country. I think its pretty good. Enjoy.