Monday, August 29, 2011

Warrior Dash 2011 - Nothing Like It!

The Warrior Dash; It's like nothing else I have ever been to, and believe me I've been around. Here normal, everyday, hardworking people can go out on a limb and express themselves. They can let loose and push their limits. They can challenge themselves. They can be anything they want to be for a day. Want to be a smurf, a viking, a ballerina. You can! Then you can test your endurance, see how far you are willing to go. See if you can make it and hang with the best, or just see if you can survive.

I told you there would be smurfs. La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la.

The one on my right is my husband Steve, he's a professor at a Christian College. The one on the left is one of his former students. He was there with his college mountain biking team. Yes, they were all wearing pink sundresses! Neither of them was aware the other would be there. Imagine their surprize!

Obstacle one was going over these walls, about 7 of them and then rolling under that many barbed wire walls.

We came to obstacle two and found an abandoned warrior in one of these dumpsters. She was giving it all to get out, but it was just too much to do alone. The Warrior Dash motto is 'Never Leave a Warrior Behind' so we didn't. Steve hoisted her foot up and helped her get over each wall of all 5 dumpsters. This challenge wasn't easy, you have to have some arm strength to push up cause there wasn't anything to get a leg up on.

Giant chicken coop run, no problem!

20 ft high rope climbing wall. This my friends is the only one I walked around out of 12 obstacles. I didn't do it for fear of injuring my elbow worse. I know I made a good call.

Tent of darkness. This one is creepier than it looks unless you are closterphobic which I am not, the stones just hurt my knees.

This was one of the hardest for me, spider walking on the rope wall horizonally. We were about 6 feet high too.

Biggest fear factor for me. Fireman's pole! I did it though with a little help from Steve and another Warrior.

See the green algae floating on top...ugh! And it stunk of poo, I'm sure it wasn't the caveman stinking that we met there! After you jump into the murky water, you have to crawl over logs suspended on top of the water, about 5 of them and then crawl out the other side.

One of my favorites! Thought it would be harder, but I would have gone over this one again:)

Barn frame of death. Well at least one girl fell off and broke her arm. The boards were slippery and far apart, and with all those people on it it was shaking ever so slightly.

Now...this is the one I feared. What if in my clumsiness I tripped and fell into the fire and caught fire? Not good! So I waited until I was the only one going through and went for it. It was hot but not burning. Kids: Don't try this at home!! And kudos to my husband for an awesome pic!

Here is the grand finale! Mud, mud, and more mud:) The sand cut into your knees, but after you figured out you can't walk in it or crawl in it and just pull yourself along it wasn't bad. Well I say that, but you should have seen me trying to get this out of our clothes! ICK!

My Warrior Cry of Battle: Woo Hoo! At this point the exhilaration is incredible. You are ready to run through the finish line and be a surviver. PS The man who won this did the whole 3.12 mile course in just over 26 minutes. You go dude, whoever you are!

The triumphant duo at the wash pit. Great big water trucks were there to spray you off with fire hoses! Insane. All the while the rock and roll bands played was like Woodstock without the LSD!

Sabrina, me, Steve, and Lizzy. Sabrina was the one we saved from the dumbster and Lizzy was her friend. So much fun:)

Steve donating his mud soaked shoes to third world countries. They pressure wash then and ship them to people who have no shoes.

A rewarding feast for an exhausting day.

Steve digging in.

After the mud is washed off and the turkey legs are eaten it's time to sit around with our new hats and meet new people and listen to the music wafting across the field. We found a little patch of shade to hang out. Heaven. So satisfied with the knowledge that we had done something that day that many don't dare try, much less even think about doing. You know me though, I'm a people gatherer. I love to drag my friends along to the fun. So next year make plans to join us at this awesome event. The more the merrier! Walk it, run it, do it in your pjs for all I care, just do it. It will make you stronger. And that my friends is life changing. And if you can't get to North Carolina they have these all over the country and I think Canada. or you can Google 'mud races' and come up with a dozen varieties of this one. If a squishy homeschool mom can finish this, so can you;)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Be Prepared to Be Amazed;)

Here is the first pic. Because you know this is the one that shows up as the profile pic of the page when you put it on Facebook. This is now. Yes, you are all overwhelmed by my smokin hot new body (snicker) BUT WAIT!!! I must warn you. Then next pics aren't for the faint of heart and I must tell you that it has taken me months to download them here. People you don't understand!!! I'm putting it all out here on the line. These pics that follow are me last year. Last summer to be exact. These are the pictures I had Steve take to go along with the Biggest Loser application I never had the guts to mail in. Alright, if you must still see them procede with caution. Scroll down... (the dead silence is me holding my breath!)

Gast...the horror!

Holy Cow it just get's worse!

OK, now that you have come back to and we got that over with I must say it's nice to be in today's body. I remember how I felt in that old body. YUCKY!!! I hurt all over, it was hard to get up off the couch, and I constantly wanted to cry. I wouldn't even look at myself in the mirror most days. I would close my eyes to brush my teeth - yes seriously! Steve just thought I was really enjoying cleaning my teeth.

I have now exposed my jugular and have nothing else to reveal. Hopefully, I won't decide to run for the Senate one day and these bad boys will emerge on some fat chick kinky website. Heaven help the person who enjoys looking at these LOL!

I put these up to say this: After being home for a while you kinda forget where you came from. You get into your routine and start to think it was just a dream and Fitness Ridge never really happened. Here is proof:) I did this, and you can too!!! Do you find yourself longing to lose some weight and find the support you always dreamed of? That was me last year. Now I'm well on my way to feeling normal again. I can help you, Fitness Ridge can help you, and YOU can help you. If you need a dose of postitive encouragement email me - no spam please, I will hunt you down and find you;)

It's the weekend - go out there and make something of it! Only two days til the Warrior Dash - praying for the pain in my elbow and hip to go away so I can run and climb with the best of them. Think of me Sunday and I promise to post some groovey pictures of us being nuts next week - PEACE OUT!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The New Plan

This is me with my wonderful husband just 3 short weeks after returning from Fitness Ridge. A lot has gone down since then. Summer is over and homeschool is starting back, we have run two 5Ks and this weekend will run the Warrior Dash, and my tan is gone;( I'm also feeling a little squishy around the middle. That's from not working out 8 hours a day...sigh!

I think you have this great plan as to what you would do when you come back from the Ridge that goes something like this: I will get up at 5 am and run a 5K every morning before breakfast, eat 11 almonds, then do the stretch class on my living room floor. I will then clean my entire house, homeschool my kids, make three batches of goat milk soap and lunch at the same time careful not to combine the two! Enjoy a fresh puree of soup, salad, and sandwich of something made out of ground turkey;) Do my afternoon core class while I switch out the laundry between sets of those darn things where you hold the pole in one hand and bend at the middle and reach your hand to the ground like one of those red drinking birds (you know the kind I mean) Dinner would materialize of course, because I'm fabulous...ha! Oh and after cleaning up the dishes I would dash off to Zumba. SCREEEEECH....

Let's get this car back on the road and be happy no one was injured in my overactive imagination! It's hard being home and fitting in exercise, it's hard getting dinner on the table, and it's hard doing everything else that's called life too. I told myself this morning as I walked/ran in the Ingle's grocery store parking lot just down the street that I have to find simpler substitutions. OK so the grocery store has this GINORMOUS parking lot, so much that it's almost never full. I can walk/run there and save myself a trip into town to the gym. This would save a round trip of 40 minutes, pretty good. While there, I can run in and get anything I might need for that day's meals. Score another 15 minutes. The boys are reluctant, but good housekeepers and they have been helping me keep all the stuff in the house put away. This is no small task since we all live, work, and eat here 24/7. (We taught them to fold clothes when they were still in diapers, a task I am proud to say was a wonderful addition to my life!) I still try to go to Zumba in the evenings and I know one day I will be back to four nights a week, hopefully;) The meals are simple as long as I remember to stock up on ground turkey. I make a huge batch with onion, bell pepper, roasted red pepper, s&p, garlic powder, and onion powder and later divide it for chili, pasta sauce, greek pitas, enchiladas, and burritos. No waldorf salad please!!!

Now if only I had 24 more hours in the day to get around to the things I WANT to do. Things like, painting the chicken coop to match the house, altering some clothing, painting, sewing myself a new apron, finishing a couple of books I'm too tired to read at bedtime, canning all those veggies on the counter (well, I'm sure by tomorrow this will be the top of the to do list!) Sigh... if only there were two of me!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Brutally Honest

No pictures today folks. No wise cracks, funny comments, or bouncy remarks. Just me in a state of the mullygrubs. I have always been up front with you, my audience, and today is no different. I have felt it coming on for a few days now. Last week I was sick with a stomach bug all week and didn't feel like eating anything. I had gotten down to my lowest weight so far. Then my appetite came back with a vengence. I have been hungry, busy, and stressed out and that my friends is not a good combination.

This morning I just broke. We have started homeschool back, art lessons, band, the goat business, and a garden with more than we can eat or can. I was up about 5 lbs and I just couldn't take it anymore. I felt like I was being pulled in a million directions. Keeping up with the eating was a job in itself. So for the last few weeks the soap business has fallen behind. I was having trouble keeping all my balls in the air.

As I sat on the couch crying, Steve wrapped his arm around me and told me how much he loved me and it was going to be alright. He suggested I should call Jenn the life coach at Fitness Ridge to discuss where I could get back on track. We talked about what I would say and her response. Caution: for those of you who know Jenn don't read this while you drive. You will be laughing so hard you will run off the road. So I would call and tell her help, I'm stressed out and busy and eating out, and gained some weight back and now I'm depressed and I don't know what to do and you have to help me get a plan etc, etc, etc. OK so just yell at me and tell me how you told us we needed a plan or we would fail. So she would start to yell at me and tell me what I'm doing wrong and Sharon would walk by and say, "Who are you yelling at? What's going on?" Jenn would say, "It's Dawn Mathews, she just ate a butt load of food and now she's whining on the phone about regreting it." "What?" Sharon would say, "give me that phone, I'll tell her a thing or two." Alas, I did not call. I can imagine it all going down in my head and chose to fix it on my own.

Luckily for me, Boo Roberts was having the same problem after returning from FR three months ago. He posted on the Fitness Ridge Alumni page on Facebook and here are his suggestions. One: take it one week at a time. Duh! That's what we already know isn't it? We learned that at the Ridge. OK, I can do that. Two: write out your weekly plan and goals. Got it. Three: Know what you are going to eat and when you are going to exercise. Make it a floating chart, not all or nothing. Schedule in two meals where you allow yourself some room. And four: Every Sunday night have an evaluation time to see what went right, wrong, etc. Then plan for the next week. We did that at the Ridge too. When we got to Thursday Sharon would give us post it notes and we would write out our goals for the week. We need that. It's so simple.

I told you on my first post here that I would find success and failure, joy and heartache, greatness and longing. And here I am. Four months into it, having experienced it all. There are good days and bad days. No one wants to live through the bad days, but those are the ones that make you stronger. Before the sun goes down it is wise to have a plan for the next day, because it's coming like it or not.

As I get ready to head to bed here is what I know. I have friends. Many of you have talked to me today and were a great source of encouragement. For that I thank you. I CAN. Tiffany showed me that and the same is true yesterday, today, and tomorrow. I AM WORTH IT. My family and friends have told me that over and over. Now I just have to keep telling myself. This is not hard, it's just different. And different is good. Never give up. Never throw in the towel. Never leave the ring. This is all you have, give it all you have.

A week from tomorrow I will run the Warrior Dash. I may have to walk some of it, I may have to go around the obstacles that are too hard because of my bum elbow, but I will finish. I will wear my viking helmet with pride and eat my turkey leg and shout the victory chant. This is the life I longed for and now it's here breathing down my back. I will enjoy it even if I have a hard day.

I made my reservations to go back to the Ridge yesterday. I will be there April 29th to May 6th. Come with me and live the life you always longed for. If you reserve and mention my name they will give you $100 off. I know it's not much, but heck, it's something;)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Here and Now

Since I've been home our garden is in full swing. We got loads of cucumbers, corn, cantalopes, jalapenos, banana peppers, squash, zuchini and coming soon watermelons and bell peppers. Today, it was tomatoes. They got planted late so they are coming in late. I love the wonderfully intoxicating smell, flavor and intensity of it all. As much as I hate the thought of hours over the stove to can or freeze them, I will appreciate their goodness throughout the year in soups, stews, salsa, pasta sauce, etc.

I have dedicated the last two months being home to finding the new normal. This has been somewhat elusive. Sometimes it's just slapped me in the face. In 8 weeks I've had two stomach bugs and one sinus infection. Odd for me. Maybe it's just been my body protesting the many changes I've forced on it. At any rate I have had 5 out of 8 good weeks. Two of those weeks I ran 5Ks, 4 of the 5 good weeks I worked out at least 3 to 5 times. When I left the Ridge I weighed 209. Now I hover around 200. I have about 30 more lbs to lose. I am making progress, no matter how slow. If I can just keep on going like this I will make it.

I feel good about the changes in my mind too. I'm not beating myself up for not doing what I think I should. I let myself have a treat about once a week and don't feel guilty about it. I have learned to relax a little more and the feeling of needing to weigh myself all the time is gone. I still fit into the new clothes and I don't have to constantly keep trying them on to convience myself. It's all fitting into place.

I have been asked by numerous people to give a talk to help them find their new normal. Due to financial reasons in their life right now, Biggest Loser's Fitness Ridge is not an option. I'm considering it. I guess I have a lot to say and I know I can help other especially if they are looking to make a change.

I read back over my whole blog and am so thankful I took the time to write it. I have had over 5,500 hits since it started back in April and that just blows me away!!! It also has helped me more than I can say. When feeling of doubt come, it's the first thing I turn to.

So in two weeks I'll run the Warrior Dash with Steve. You bet there will be loads of pictures; Lots of mud, sweat, and tears too. Until then keep your head up and keep climbing that mountain. Take some stops along the way to look at the progress you've made. It's a long way down from here. That's what makes it funner. Don't stop til you reach the top, it's not like you to play small:)