Archive for the ‘Physical Fitness’ Category

#6 – Adult Playtime

Get your minds out of the dark, dirty gutters my friends.  I know what the title of this post could imply, but it doesn’t.  There’s nothing but PG-13 going on here today. 

This is me as a kid.  My parents were a little hippie dippy and my mom made some of our clothes.  It was the 70s and things were Flower Power back then.  Can you dig?

IMG_2522 Tracy

One of my favorite things to do as a little girl was to go outside and PLAY.  No fenced in yards.  No cable TV.  No fears that my face would appear on the side of milk carton. 

At some point in everyone’s life, we abandon the luxury of free play.  When a bird flying outside the window calls “chase me to the highest limb,”  we stay seated at our desks….continue doing laundry…keep typing on our computers.  Go away, bird.  I’m busy. 

How long has it been since you’ve simply PLAYED?  When was the last time you felt free from potential embarrassment…free of any fears…had an entire afternoon to forget about the obligations that hold you hostage to adulthood?

Andie suggest that to battle the UNs, I take some time to be a kid again. So, over the weekend among a  fun-loving group of family and friends, it was PLAYTIME! 

There were water balloons filled….


…and broken.

Water Balloon Toss 

There were raw eggs tossed…


…and caught.

 Egg Toss

And after the second-place winner of the egg catching contest basked in her glory, there were apples floated and bobbed for….by kids and adults alike!


Many studies have shown that unstructured, imaginative PLAY can help kids to grow into happy, well-adjusted adults.  It can help build creativity, social skills, and even academic potential. 

So, I ask.  What happens when we reach adulthood?  If giving children a break from organized activities, TV, and other electronic screens is essential to healthy development, then what about us adults?  SHOULD WE HAVE PLAYTIME, TOO?

When is the last time you simply…played?

I: Ice and Ibuprofen

My weekend at home was fabulous.  How was yours?  The weather here in Pittsburgh was overcast but warm.  It was the first weekend that was nice enough eat outside.

Care to join me for dinner at dusk?


Well, I never said that I was a good cook.  On the menu: Ice and Ibuprofen.   Yummy!

As I mentioned in The Alien Ass, it’s been a while since I’ve worked out.  When you have a mid-life body (like me), take 6-weeks off from exercise (like me), and then overdo it on the first nice weekend of the year (again, like stupid me)…Ice and Ibuprofen become a necessary part of the diet.

I know all about pain.  Sometimes it is laughable, like when a little kid shown on America’s Funniest Home Videos swings a golf club into his dad’s privates.  Other times, it’s not so funny…especially when it happens to you.  About 6 years ago a disk exploded in my lower back.  The pain was so intense that I made a secret deal with God to make it go away.  Turns out, God needed the help of a neurologist and a surgical team.  For the rest of my life, I won’t wear high heals…I won’t play impactful sports…and I’ll always keep Ice and Ibuprofen on hand.

So, did you decide if you’ll join me for dinner on the patio?  I promise to be nice and add in some chocolate brownies for dessert…


I made them myself; and yes, they are as moist as they look.  All the food blogs post their recipes, so I’ll do the same.  To make these at home:

  • Go to the store;
  • Buy a package of Hershey’s Ultimate Chocolate Brownie mix; and
  • Follow the instructions on the box.

The recipe is quick, easy, and…totally painless.

Do you have any aches and pains?  Have they gotten worse, or better, as you’ve aged?

The Coco Chanel Book giveaway ends tonight at 9PM, so there’s still time to enter.  Remember to check back tomorrow…you might be the winner!

If you liked this post, you may also like Balancing Act.

A: The Alien Ass

If you’re already wondering why this post starts with A…backtrack to Wednesday.  As a reminder, my goal in this Blogging Challenge is to be original.  So, if anyone else doing this Challenge has titled their post The Alien Ass, then we’re all living in some physic parallel universe.

dreamstimefree_1878276 Tom DowedSource: Dreamstime/Tom Dowd

Over the past month, life has been a bit busy around here.  As a result, a few things slid way down to the bottom of my priority list.  Grocery shopping.  Laundry.  Exercise.  Haven’t done any of it. 

This morning I was contemplating the possibility of getting dressed for work when I caught a glimpse of myself…all decked out in heavy sweats. 

So there I stood in front of the bathroom mirror, when I saw it.  The Alien Ass.  I would show you, but it’s impossible to take a picture of yourself looking in the mirror at your own back side.  All you end up with is a twisted mess that looks a little something like this….


When I was younger, taking a month off from exercise was no big deal.  It didn’t make all that dreamstimefree_1827132 © Michael Ransburgmuch of a difference in how I looked or felt.  All body parts would pretty much stay right were they belonged. 


A few weeks of no cardio and body parts start to be replaced by creatures from another planet.  I swear it’s not my fault.  The aliens did it.

If you liked this post then you may also like What’s the Deal, Yo?

Source: Dreamstime/Michael Ransburg

What’s the Deal, Yo?

Pink:  Slam slam, oh hot damn…what part of party don’t you understand?

Me:  Apparently, lots of parts.  Gruff!

The scene was spin class at my gym.  My favorite class.  Or, at least it used to be my favorite.  A lot has changed over the past few months.  It’s become popular.  You have to show up 30 minutes early to sign up.  It’s a party that I simply don’t understand.

A break down of the spin room at LA Fitness tonight:

  • 36 bikes;
  • 1 instructor on speed;
  • 32 spinners under the age of 29;
  • 2 spinners over the age of 69;
  • 1 guy with a sweat-drenched shirt (he had taken the prior 2 classes);
  • 6 gangster rap songs;
  • 3 Flo Rida songs;
  • 1 Pink song; and
  • various songs by groups with scary names…like Pitbull, Sick Puppies, Far East Movement, and Waka Flocka Flame.

The other 35 spinning class-goers were singing the words to every song…doing free-for-all dance moves with their upper bodies…adjusting their tension bars on cue…and peddling like mad. 

I wasn’t singing…or dancing from the waist up…or participating in the spontaneous wave.  I thought that only happened at baseball stadiums.  What’s the deal, yo? 

So, if you ever intend to take a spin class at the Pittsburgh-area LA fitness, make sure you practice up on your moves to Flo-Rida, including a serious of hand pumps and finger-points to the perky instructor while belting out your best …Who dat girl, who dat girl, who dat girl??????


If someone asked me if I thought I was cool my answer would be hell-ya-yo…for my age and circumstances…unless, of course, it makes me instantly uncool by just saying hell-ya-yo.

Being chameleon-like, I can fit into many different environments without getting super uncomfortable.  A secret desire to bail doesn’t well up inside of me unless I don’t feel safe.  Safety is a huge ticket item for me.  What about you?

Do you easily adapt to different environments?  What pushes you out of your comfort zone?

The Catalina Eco-Marathon

  • There are limits on talent.
  • There are limits on physical ability.
  • There are no limits on effort.

I spent the weekend on Catalina Island, California, to cheer for my friend Stacey as she crossed the finish line of the Catalina Eco-Marathon.  Congratulations, girl…you did it!  I’m so very proud of you.

This was no ordinary race.  It was mostly a trail run, with over 6,000 feet of elevation.  Up and down these hills…

With spectacular views from the top…

I’ve never been to a marathon before and had imagined the field of participants as being very fit, muscular, young, and pumped full of super-human adrenaline.  The thing that was most surprising and inspiring was seeing the age-range of the runners.  There were quite a few marathoners who were well over retirement age.  In fact, I talked to one 72-year-old who has run over 100 races.  Goes to show that age isn’t a determining factor when setting out to achieve a goal. 

I realized that we should never again say to ourselves “I’m too old for that” or “I can’t do that” when setting a goal.  That kind of self-defeating talk prevents us from even trying to reach our dreams…whether they’re about fitness, career, personal, or otherwise.   

We may not all have the physical ability to climb Mount Everest…or the talent to win an Olympic medal.  But…we have both the ability and the talent to put 100% effort into reaching for our goals…whatever they may be.

My friend Stacey didn’t start to train for her first marathon until just before her 40th birthday.  Training was not easy, but she was determined to put forth the effort.  She ran the San Diego Marathon in under 4 1/2 hours.  This year, she ran the Catalina Eco-Marathon, one of the most difficult in the country, and crushed her personal goal by 20 minutes.

There are a few things that I’ve always wanted to do, but haven’t.  As I sit here and think about these un-acheivements…I don’t know what’s stopping me other than…me.  The starting line is at my feet.  The training plan is in my hands.  I can’t see the finish line, but I know that it is out there…waiting to be crossed. 

Is there something that you’ve always wanted to achieve, but haven’t made the effort?  Why not?  Is it time to make the commitment to put in the effort and try?