(f)itness – yoga and the other Rodney

20 01 2013

Running has been my excercise of choice for the last few years.  Some of the reasons I’ve grown to love it are:

  • I can run with my friend and catch up on the day
  • It’s something I never thought I could do
  • It’s invigorating to go a long distance
  • It’s outside and I love being outside
  • It’s easy; as in it doesn’t require a lot of equipment

In September of 2011, I started having pain and inflammation over the area where I had screws and plates in my left ankle.  On November 5, 2011 I ran the Savannah Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon and finished with a PR.  On November 11, 2011, I had surgery to remove the screws and plates I’d had for the last 11 years.  I was back on crutches for a couple of weeks and in a boot for six.  Toward the end of January 2012, I was running again!  All was well until April, 2012 when I started having a nagging pain in my right achilles.  Here we are in January 2013 and I still have that nagging pain along with a nice knot over my achilles.  I’m hoping to still run the Tybee Half Marathon in 2 weeks.  It will NOT be a PR.  My goal is to finish…sigh.  Side note – I do have an appointment to have some Active Release Therapy done in February, so I’m hopeful that will help.

The quandary I’ve found myself in is that I cannot run nearly as much as I’d like nor as much as my body needs for exercise.  I’ve rested my achilles during the week and run long on the weekends.  I’ve needed something else to keep active during the week.  Here is where the other Rodney comes in.

I’ve been learning to do yoga in my basement rec room with Rodney Yee.  He has a great beginning yoga dvd and seems to be very patient.  He probably wouldn’t be so patient if he were with me in person, but he seems quite happy with my poses when he says “good”,  although he does have to keep reminding me to have “soft eyes”.  I’ve actually learned a lot including:

  • I’m not very flexible
  • I don’t bend well
  • My hamstrings are very tight
  • Gazing over my index finger in warrior II while breathing through my broad chest and rooted through my back heel while having soft eyes is not as easy as it looks.  Blasted soft eyes!
  • I like the way I feel after 20 minutes of twisting, bending, and contorting
  • Learning to relax at the end of a workout is challenging and refreshing

So, I think I’ll keep up my morning and evening meetings with Rodney on the dvd.  My next challenge is the hour long power yoga.  I’m sure I’ll have a new list of things I’ve learned after that!

Meanwhile, the most important Rodney keeps building his grills and declining my offer to meet the other Rodney in the house.




17 09 2012

refresh: verb  make like new; give new life

Exactly.  My blog needs new life.  It has been neglected way too long.  I truly had good intentions to keep it current, but somehow it was quietly swept aside and almost forgotten.  My friend Debbie recently began blogging.  Her posts have been great; inspiring even.  Inspiring enough to reset the password I’d forgotten and freshen things up a bit.  Over the next few posts, I’ll try to catch up on faith, family, friends, fun, fitness and food.

I’ll leave you today with a scripture of hope and a beautiful song:

And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” Revelation 21:5

(F)ear Factor

14 03 2011

Those who live in the shadow of their fear…are but slaves to its will

“Why are you going to Pakistan?  You know it’s a dangerous place.”  It was the first time I had felt real fear over my destination.  I was tired after a very long and weather delayed flight from Atlanta to Dubai.  Our team of five women had missed our connecting Emirates Air flight by just minutes and we were hastily rebooked on PIA – Pakistani International Airlines ( the nationals later told us it really stood for “prayer in the air”!).  It was in that line, surrounded by Pakistanis, not another American in sight, that this question was asked of us by Mohammad.  For a single moment, I wondered what in the world I was doing.  The fear was brief, but very real and almost paralyzing and thankfully it would be the last time I felt fearful for the next 14 days.  Mohammad watched out for us on this last leg of the journey like a brother until he knew we were safely in the care of those who came to greet us. 

It was three years ago this week that our team set out on a journey to Pakistan and India to host retreats for ladies in the region.  Our trip was motivated by our desire to love on, learn from, worship with, and just have lots of girl time with those who live in difficult places.  As it usually happens…we were the receivers of so many blessings.

I cannot even begin to tell how challenging the preparations for this journey were.  Families were less than supportive of our calling to go – not because they were against it, but because they loved us and feared what they couldn’t control.  The assassination of Bhutto just weeks before we left caused frayed nerves, lots of tears, and left many, who were sure we would finally change our minds, shaking their heads.  Yet, in the midst of all, we had indescribable peace.  In the end, our families gave us their blessings to go.  What a gift that was to us as we knew how difficult it was for them to release us! 

However, fear is not a factor here...when you are living in obedience!

The ladies we met left indelible imprints on all our hearts.  I’ve experienced the pure joy of getting to see many of them again on subsequent trips to the region.  The bonds I share with the other four women on our team will never be broken.  I’m so thankful obedience rather than fear won out – I cannot imagine my life without this experience that has helped shape me.  So, Dana, Debbie, Debbie, and Kimberly – “it was a blast : )” –  let’s do it again someday!  I love you all so much!


12 02 2011

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,  fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.  ~Hebrews 12:1-2a

One simple word, “Finisher”, is engraved on my two half-marathon medals.  There is a unique story for each runner who receives the title of finisher.  My story is highlighted in a note posted on my Facebook page entitled Before and After, so I won’t tell it again, but thought I’d share some of the lessons I’ve learned along the way to becoming a finisher.  Funny thing…I’ve realized most of these lessons can be applied to every walk of life, so here we go:

Running is best shared with a friend.  My best friend, Debbie, was a PE teacher out of college.  I was not.  However, for almost 4 years we have walked and we now run almost every day.  She encourages me and holds me accountable.  We talk, we laugh, we sing, we pray, we ask and answer tough questions, we’re quiet at times and we live life together on the trail.  So many things in life are best shared with a buddy.

When your mind tells you your body can’t go any further, it’s lying.  The mind can be a great asset, but an equally great enemy.  When I think I’ve run the last step I can run, most of the time I take the challenge and keep going and going.  Mental hurdles are roadblocks not dead ends.

Set a goal and work toward it.  When I first started running, I ran for 1 minute and thought I would die, but we set a goal of running for 3 minutes and then walking for 3 minutes.  I set my watch to chime at every 3 minute interval and would go for miles.  Eventually I could run 6 minutes, then 9, and then an entire mile without stopping to walk.  That was a little over a year ago.  Every time I met a goal, I would set another.  Today, I ran for 2 hours and 23 minutes without stopping. 

Celebrate Small Victories.  Debbie is a great journaler and has a record of so many of our small victories.  “Walked 5 miles today without stopping”; “Ran 1 mile!”  “Ran first sub 10 minute mile!”  “Ran 5.2 miles”  So many little “firsts” have been recorded on this journey and we’ve celebrated every one! 

Failure is inevitable, but rarely permanent.   In running, as in life, we will fail.  What we do with that failure is up to us.  I’ve recently gone through a series of failures on the running trail. (see lesson 2) It began after finishing our first half-marathon in November.  The following week, we went out for a run.  Debbie suggested 4 miles; I scoffed and said 6. We went for 6 but I stopped at 4 and WALKED the last 2 – epic fail (and I should have listened to her!)  The next few weeks out running I found myself often stopping before our goal mileage.  It was mental; it was physical, and it was maddening because I’m stubborn (ask my Mom) and I don’t like to give up!  I had to process the failure, work through it, and then decide to start again…small.  2 miles – success!  3 miles – success!  You get the idea… 

Preparation is key.  My Dad has a saying that’s often true when things go belly up – “PPP” – poor prior planning.  So many things that I never thought of are necessary for a good run.  1. Good shoes that fit well.  Spend the money, it’s so worth it.  Go to a store that specializes in running to be fitted.  Trust me on this.  Disclaimer – this may be TMI for the guys  2. Girls need good support and the correct undergarments are essential.  Guess that’s enough said, but it makes the difference between being able to run and not being able to run for me.  3. Get running clothes that work for you.  They don’t have to be expensive, but comfortable for the long haul which usually means flat seams, wicking, and double layer socks to prevent friction.  4.  Fuel your body well and NEVER, EVER  try something new (sports drink, energy gel, breakfast, etc) on race day!   Your stomach will thank you for it.  

Little things can turn into big things.  A tiny blister, a toenail cut too short, chaffing, a pedicure that messes with your calluses – these are all little things can totally derail a runner.  Read this as “lessons learned the hard way”!

Encouragement is vital.  I was reminded of that again today.  We are not elite runners and never will be.  Today was an out and back and I wasn’t far off my prediction of when we would meet runners coming back as we were going out.  We clapped and cheered for them just as many along the course clapped and cheered for us…it’s powerful!  NEVER underestimate the impact of encouraging words for those ahead and behind you.  We passed a girl today on mile 11…she had quit running and was walking.  As we passed her, I didn’t think to encourage her, but she said, “Great job ladies”.  Wow…

There is no time like the present.   Everyone has something they’d like to do, but think they can’t.  So what are you waiting for?