Stop before you Pokémon GO 

I’m there.  I’m not just *on* the bandwagon…I’m one of those people who said “hey,  let’s get the band back together!” Haha

Let’s talk Pokémon GO. It’s an augmented reality mobile game that lets you catch Pokémon and then use them to battle and train at gyms with trading Pokémon anticipated for future releases.  “Augmented Reality” (in this case) means that the game relies on your location and camera to simulate having Pokémon in your environment–and the type of Pokémon that appear are largely dependent on said environment with grass types in grass,  water types near water,  fire types out on hot days,  and electric types…. well, I’ve only ever caught one so…mystery remains. Or,  you can Google it.  

The thing I am loving about this game is that it combines so many of my hobbies. 

  • Going for walks
  • Playing video games
  • Instant gratification
  • Taking pictures 
  • Sharing on social media

The instant gratification is what makes this game so addicting to me. Often,  when I’m out catching Pokémon I’ll think to myself “oh, if I just go a little further I can hit that Pokéstop.”

My weekend steps have easily tripled in the pursuit of Pokémon. Not only that,  but I’ve integrated the local Pokéstop into a workout routine that’s easily repeatable. 

Clockwise from top left: (modified) burpees,  run to Pokéstop,  (modified) push ups,  body weight squats.  

Sure,  it’s only 4 moves, but it’s 4 moves that I wouldn’t have been doing had I not wanted to collect items from the Pokéstop. 

 There are plenty of opportunities to combine Pokémon with community service as well:

  • Taking a bag on walks to clean up the neighborhood 
  • Partnering with a local shelter to walk dogs
  • Partnering with a virtual shelter to turn miles into money for local shelters
  • Getting to know your neighbors

Now,  before I forget and leave it out altogether–if you’re going to play Pokémon GO, please be safe! Travel or play with friends. Don’t trust every stranger. Don’t play while driving!! It’s so tempting to just cruise and catch,  but that’s not the point and it’s dangerous to boot. 

Now, get out there and catch some fun. 😊

No Sweat… wait, actually a lot of sweat

I found my new favorite group exercise class!  It’s called “Accumulator” and it stacks exercises up one after the other so that it just grows and grows.

For example:

Burpees

Burpees + Jump Squats

Burpees + Jump Squats + Clean/Press

Burpees + Jump Squats + Clean/Press + Single Arm Lifts

They kept adding up until we were doing burpees, jump squats, clean/press, single arm lifts, reverse flies, high knees, and bent over rows.  THEN! They had an ab-specific portion where they started with plank and added one after the other until we were doing plank, overhead lift, flutter kicks, crunches, reverse crunches, donkey kicks, and Russian twists.

It was INTENSE and I worked up SUCH a good sweat.  The awesome thing, though, is that there were sufficient modifications that I could complete the class at my own level.  For burpees, I had a riser to add an incline. For the plank step-outs I just held a plank or used the riser. For high-knees, I marched when I got too fatigued.  I did 6″ leg raises instead of flutter kicks…. My shirt was soaked, my face was red, I was completely out of breath and I *LOVED* it.

I’m definitely going to carve time out of my schedule for that class.

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When I’m not working out at class, I’m working out with Little Elfkin.  We go for walks and she leads me on a merry chase.  It’s probably good for my back if I remember to keep good form:)

I’m still working on getting my diet cleaned up.  I have a sugar fiend that keeps sabotaging my efforts.  Slowly but surely I’ll wean off of that.  Caffeine too.  Eventually.  It’s quite difficult to go from so much sugar and monster + daily to nothing–and I’m not great at quitting cold turkey.  Yesterday I had a doughnut for breakfast, today I had cookies for a snack…. The stuff is entirely too accessible either on my commute or at work.

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Little Elfkin had her check up recently and she’s my little chunky monkey.  She’s proportionate, but she’s proportionately *big*.  The pediatrician basically said that genetically she’ll have a double chin and a little belly because she was shaped that way from the start.  She even had a little double chin when she was a hungry baby before we figured out how to breastfeed or use formula.  Still, though, I want her to have a healthy relationship to food and fitness, so we’re still having our meals together:) she eats what I eat when we’re together and I won’t give her junk, so that cuts down on the junk I have!:) It helps that we got rid of so much of the junk from the pantry.

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She loves spinach, eggs, sweet potato, strawberries, cherries, peaches, pears, carrots, peas, beans, etc.:) She’s an adventurous eater and not picky at all. As more veggies come into season, I’m excited to share more of the flavors with her.

Weigh in!

Measurements (non flexed, widest part,  as measured in inches with a cloth measuring tape pulled snug but not digging in)
Neck 14 5/8
Bicep 15 7/8
Ribs 40 3/8
Belly 44 1/4
Hips 49 1/4
Thigh 29 1/4
Calf 17 3/8
Weight: 239.2 lbs

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Today’s fitness included reading more of the mindset module and taking some notes about the things that resonate with me. I checked in with two accountability buddies,  but I forgot to message Dana to go for a walk.  (Sorry, Dana!! Thursday for sure!)

Last night,  we had our healthiest D&D yet.  We’re all on a health kick right now (whether we want to be or not) so there was none of the usual fare to be found–which was great for my focus!

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It was funny.. we’re playing 5E Curse of Strahd and we’re just getting to the main quest line.  The DM introduced an NPC and the dwarf in our party wanted to know if he was a trader. Dwarven sounds like a thick pirate accent and one of the dragon born is fluent…and wanted to know of he said trader or traitor and so they were saying traitor/trader back and forth while the rest of us tried to figure out if they’d gone mad because to us,  it all sounded completely foreign. (Aside from the or of character additions like ‘whappity whappity’ and ‘you are doing me a concern’ ‘bork!’)

Other than that,  I started taking a look at my bat cave and realized it needs some serious leveling up.

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I got all of the chips and candy gathered up and I’ll be taking it to the office tomorrow.  I’m not usually that villain, but it’s left over from my brother’s wedding and if I don’t get it out of the house then we’re just going to keep eating it all.  No one needs Hershey kisses on their night stand unless it’s a steamy anniversary,  mmkay?

I also took my next set of progress pics,  but I’m not ready to show them here quite yet. I guess that’s a work in progress too.

True Gamers Don’t Quit They Respawn

I haven’t written an entry since FEBRUARY!  I know you all believe it because I go through fits and spurts of blogging and doing really well with a set schedule and then just fall away without warning.  Well, here I am for the latest spurt of fitness blogging!  Little Elfkin is 9 months old now and *so* adventurous.  She loves her Mama and Daddy but she also wants to explore any and everything in her little world.  She has been helping pull weeds, enjoys the swingset at the park, and has boundless energy.  She isn’t quite independently mobile yet, but when she is, you can bet that we’ll be on our toes.  She’s my inspiration for getting fit again.  She’s been my excuse, but now that she’s gotten so much bigger, I know that I really need to focus on getting stronger so that the day I set her down and never pick her back up again is as far away as possible.  Ahem!  I’m not crying, you’re crying! Moving on.. Little Elfkin in an Avengers Dress Playing with a Paper Fan While Sitting in Grass

I’m going to be following NerdFitness guidelines for mindset, nutrition, and quests, but I have group classes available to me at work too.  I went to bootcamp on Monday and only made it through about half the class before getting completely winded, sore, and super-duper sweaty.  I said I’d be back on Tuesday for the next group class, but here it’s Friday and I haven’t gotten away from my desk for any amount of time that matters.  I’m so *busy* that I just don’t feel like there’s time to go.  I got stuck in meetings over the time that the group class was offered, but then I didn’t make up for it after-the-fact either.  Instead, I went to a happy hour with my colleagues where I ate chips and drank beer.

Clear Blue Skies Over a Grassy Field With Bootcamp Stations Set Up and Participants Ready

I need to revisit the mindset module to document the Big Why in an official format, and I need to figure out what my first challenge is going to encompass.  I cannot just hit the ground running and expect to be where I was back in 2012 by next week.  3 words: Not gonna happen.  There are changes I can make though, that will make a huge difference in my health and wellness, so I need to explore what changes I can make NOW that will help lead me towards the end-game.

Coming up on Saturday–The Weigh In and the Big Why.

Cold and Flu Season

It starts with a sniffle. It’s just the cold weather.. and then congestion. It’s just the dry air.. and then a cough. It’s just– And another cough–dang it! You’re sick.

Tis the season, after all. Cold and flu season (apparently) peak in February. Joy.

We’re finally starting to get over it at my house. I’m the last one lingering around with sniffles and coughs and restless nights. It’s not all that bad. It’s better than it was.

The worst was our little Elfkin getting sick. She had a fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and she choked on phlegm one morning so badly that we had to use the nasal aspirator to suction her throat so that she could breathe. It’s a good thing we keep those in so many places.

Before that incident, she’d had problems with spit up, so we’d tried propping her mattress. Between gravity and wiggling, she’d end up sideways towards the bottom of the slope by the middle of the night. Some of the worse nights, I’d keep her in our room, snuggled up on my chest, or sleeping in a cradle right next to me.

The worst was when we laid her down to change her diaper, and she would gasp for breath. She was fine and happy if she was sitting up straight, but seemed to struggle otherwise. We finally quit battling the virus on our own and took her to the ER. … Where they told us that she’s got a virus abd to go home. So we followed up with her regular doctor who told us that she doesn’t feel good, and there’s nothing they can do, so we should go home. Boy, I can’t wait to get THOSE bills…

All of this to say, she’s doing better. She only had trouble with the phlegm that one time, and the diarrhea is finally dissipating.  If I can say one good thing about this experience, it’s that cloth diapers are amazing. She was blowing out of size 2 disposables, so we moved her up to size 3. She still blew out. I gave up and went back to cloth and she hasn’t blown out of those. Bum genius for the win.

New Mom Injury – What a Pain In The Neck

Parenthood is filled with all sorts of new movements that were definitely not in my repertoire before having our little girl.  Daily lunges, for example, and trying to make sure I’m alternating legs when I go to change her diaper at the coffee table.  Don’t judge–it’s a 2 story house and I don’t always want to lug a soiled baby up the stairs.  Then there’s the lifting and twisting to get her out of her cradle and comfort her when I’m lying in bed more asleep than awake but willing my sluggish limbs to just move.  Then there’s the bouncing, cradling, constant hand washing, limbs-falling-asleep-snuggling, and must-sleep-on-your-back-because-otherwise-the-baby-won’t-sleep type moves.
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I’m good with all of them.  I’ve been doing really well at this whole “stay-at-home-mom” thing.  Until this morning..

It’s been usual and customary for me to hold our little Elfkin against my shoulder while I carry her around.  She’s not quite big enough to sit on my ample, child-bearing, hips–and she seems heavier when I cradle her with my whole arm, so I let her perch on my forearm and look at the world over my shoulder while I get things set and we go about our day.  This is how she sits when I’m getting things started for the day, when I’m consoling her in the afternoon, and when we’re heading up to bed.  Basically–I’ve had 11 weeks of holding her in this position and thought I had it down pat. So it’s not unusual that I was holding her that way this morning.  I had her clothes picked out and clutched in the hand that held her, her pacifier in my teeth, and was just about to go downstairs to get her bottle ready when I remembered my cell phone.  It was under my pillow because we had one of those nights where she slept on my chest… [Sidebar: she slept there for half the night because she fell asleep in a cloth diaper that completely failed to keep her wetness contained and I need to wash her cradle.]

MOVING ON.

I leaned over the bed, holding the Elfkin with my chin/cheek–as I had learned to do–when suddenly CRACK! ooooohhhhhh something was wrong.  Something was very very wrong.  Apparently the small, rather delicate vertebrae that hold up my head are not meant to also support this growing girl now that she’s 12+ lbs!  Thankfully, it was the pain of acute injury and not the burning pain of broken bones.😉

Now, I haven’t been to the chiropractor in over a year.  There’s nothing, though, more motivating in finding a doctor or chiropractor than your body screaming at you “you done f****d up.”  After giving Evelyn her bottle, and realizing just how badly it hurt to look down, left, right, or really anywhere but straight ahead, I started seeking a new chiropractor.

This brought back all sorts of nostalgia for my old chiropractor.  I miss him all the time and wish he were around.  I could just imagine him admonishing me for being so careless with myself.  This is a completely avoidable injury.
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The new Chiropractor seems effective.  He saw me right away this morning and the girls at the reception desk took care of my little girl.  She rewarded them with all sorts of smiles and I came back to find her asleep in the woman’s arms. Meanwhile, I got an x-ray and scans, had an adjustment–my bones were all too ready to move! They were cracking just by breathing–then they did even MORE.  I was treated to a massage, electromuscular stimulation, and vibration therapy.
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The DC had another adjustment and some home exercises that he wanted to recommend, but I was in too much pain and he didn’t want to do too much too soon.  I’ll be going back on Friday, so hopefully, fingers crossed, I start feeling better.

Lesson learned, though: when moving with the little one, have a care and move with intent! I’ll be keeping my core engaged and using my legs to lift her.  I’ll be using proper squatting form/technique to lift her car seat in and out of the vehicle, and I’ll be downing much more water…

We found our village

While I’m not familiar with the origin of the proverb, I’m wholly in agreement that it certainly does take a village to raise a child.  In this day and age of internet-connectedness where our closes friends could be hundreds of miles away, I feared that our village would be rather small indeed.  I have been pleasantly surprised, though, at just how large our village can be.  My close friends and family know who they are and so I’ve taken away a few paragraphs where I named names and deeds from our friends and family who have helped us with our little elfkin. The appreciation still blossoms when I think of how they’ve helped and the lessons they’ve taught us. I was most interested, though, in writing about finding unexpected people in the village that helps us to raise our child.

I was surprised the most to find that we had a village even in the strangers in our neighborhood.  Little old ladies smile with eyes twinkling and offer helpful information–where the restrooms are at the grocery store.  Other moms come congratulate me on my little one, tell me how beautiful she is, and reassure me that I’m the only one bothered by her wails of dismay in the middle of Toys R Us.  The librarian at our local branch showed me how I can put the entire stack of books on the check out all at once instead of having to scan each bar code–a real lifesaver when you’re on the count down to a melt down because it’s almost meal time.  The woman at the coffee shop who admired us as a tag-team, out on the town running errands–and who kept an eye on her while I got cream for my coffee just 5 feet away.  Yes–gasp–I let a stranger keep an eye on her for just a moment.  When I returned with my cup of coffee, we talked, the woman and I, about babies, schooling, and the variances in different Montessori schools.

It was then that I sort of realized that these strangers are the village that it takes to raise a child.  Without these people I’d be, for example, running out of a store at top speed the moment our little one’s face crumples.  I’d be stuck going no further than 5 miles from home so that I knew I could be home to change her diaper or give her more food when the time ticked down.  I’d be unable to take the time to run the errands necessary to keep the household running smoothly…

At first, the attention made me shrink.  I like attention, yes, but on my terms, not someone else’s.  But then, as the hints proved helpful, and the smiles proved warm and genuine, I began to enjoy being a part of this village and taking the opportunity to make life easier by listening.

There’s more to be said about this, but she’s calling me now.  In summary–I’m thankful for our neighborhood, our neighbors, and the kind smiles from strangers in the world.  When given the opportunity, be that kind person who lends a helping hand or understanding smile.  I think it makes the world a much better place.❤

Happy Thanksgiving.