Worried About my Legs

I just sat down to write this and realized it’s been over 11 months since I did a travel post on my blog. I used to LOVE writing about the different places I went to teach…..I’m not sure why I haven’t done more of it this year, but this has been a hard year for me. Even though this isn’t officially a travel post, this weekend I’m in St. Petersburg, Florida teaching a NETA PT workshop at USFSP….which is a MOUTHFUL! It’s going well so far (as usual), but I am sort of sad to be here. See, I LOVE fall and it just started to get fall-like at my house at the end of this week. I know it’s a little late, but I live in the South. So, what did I do? I went further south and it’s like summer here…..or what summer would be like in Iowa and not North Carolina.

One of my birthday presents to myself – CEP Ultralight Compression Socks for Running. Bought on Amazon/Sold by Pike to Peak

I had intended to do a five mile run after teaching today, but the loop I chose was less than 3 miles and the heat and humidity at 5pm was still too much for me to do another loop. I’d been standing all day in my compression socks to try and help out some seriously stiff calves (and they did), but my legs just seemed done while I was out running. My pace wasn’t anything to brag about either. 10:30/mile! I feel like my running has come to a standstill at the moment. I am looking for a way to push it back forward without injuring myself. All this tiredness in my legs and the shin splints etc has me thinking about the care of my legs more.

I keep hearing all of these advertisements on the radio about vein disease. I’m starting to wonder if it’s a real thing for me. See, my grandmother and my mom have these really nasty veins in their legs. They’re all big and blue and knotty looking. My grandmother has even had weepy veins and all kinds of sclerotherapy. A ton of people in my family wear compression socks (and not the sporty kind like I now have). My mom is not yet to that stage, but I think it’s in her future. She’s a nurse and takes care of long-term care patients. She’s practically a wound guru at this point and knows a lot about how to treat the vein issues my grandmother has, so I’m not worried about how she will care for them when it’s her turn. I’m worried that I will also have a turn.

I have been Googling vein disease photos because I have this pretty purple spot on my left outer thigh that’s been there as long as I can remember. It’s spidery veins, but over the years they’ve become more palpable. When you look at the pictures online I’m somewhere between stage 1 (still closer to that end) and stage 2 of the images of vein disease. My legs feel heavier as I run these days and I’m not sure how much of that is psychological and how much is physiological? One of the treatments suggested is compression socks and now that I have a pair I plan to get as much use out of them as possible. Already they’ve helped me get back into running without pain in my shins/ankles and run consistently further than I was before they arrived. I guess part of this will be a wait and see effort on my part.

Do you have leg pain/fatigue?

Do you wear compression socks to run?

Do you have a family history of vein disease?

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Wellness Wednesday #3 – Because I’m All About That Breath

Another week done and here we are. Last week I asked you to consider accountability, responsibility, self-love and self-care. This week we’re going to delve into something a little bit more tangible: Breathing Continue reading “Wellness Wednesday #3 – Because I’m All About That Breath”

Fave Reads Friday #14 – Fiction, Comedy, and a Bit of Reality

Do you ever forget to hit the publish button on your blog? That’s what happened to me on Wednesday, but I’m not letting hit happen today! It’s been over two months since I last posted a Fave Reads Friday; and almost as long since I wrote about what I was reading. There’s been a few different directions my reading has taken me, so let’s jump right in to the list! Continue reading “Fave Reads Friday #14 – Fiction, Comedy, and a Bit of Reality”

by AmberLynn AmberLynn Last week I read a post by Samantha in which she questioned whether PE should be mandatory in colleges and universities. I stopped and caught my breath because my immediate reaction was, “How can another academic find my field unnecessary to the college experience?” I felt invalidated. But, after reading the post again […]

via My Positive Experience Teaching Mandatory PE in College (Guest Post) — FIT IS A FEMINIST ISSUE

 

My first guest writing appearance!

My Positive Experience Teaching Mandatory PE in College (Guest Post) — FIT IS A FEMINIST ISSUE

Celebrating Tiny Victories

Yesterday was my 38th birthday. I didn’t officially celebrate it other than a few texts and Facebook messages. Birthdays in my past have not always been a celebratory thing. But, this year something happened that gave me a change to be grateful and rejoice.

I don’t often talk about my extended family on my blog because I don’t have their permission and most of them don’t know that I write it. However, this is something that’s important to me and I want to share it wherever I can. In June my aunt was arrested on a 26 year old murder charge. She is my uncle’s wife and they’ve been married for 25 years this coming December. I feel deeply in my heart that they have the wrong person for this case. They arrested her because she and my uncle were planning a trip to Ireland this fall. A trip of a lifetime which they saved for….they applied for passports and therefore the justice system decided to pounce before she could leave the country.

So far they haven’t provided her attorney with the evidence against her. During her first hearing the judge decided it wasn’t yet necessary for the police to turn over their discovery. What we’ve been told so far is that last fall someone came forward and said that my aunt confessed this murder many years ago. We don’t know who it was or why they chose last fall to come forward with this information. All we know is that someone has accused her and that they decided that a 55 year old woman who works for the Police Law Institute and has 4 grandchildren deserved a $1million bail. So, since June she has been sitting in the county jail….waiting.

My family is not rich or even well enough off to have paid to get her out. They’re not even sure how they’re going to make it happen for her attorney fees and court costs and every other expense that will come with this ordeal. My aunt is obviously not working right now. Two of her three children live in Colorado and they don’t have the funds to travel to see her either. They’re doing what they can from afar and have set up this GoFundMe page:

https://www.gofundme.com/annette-cahill-defense-fund#

 

Yesterday, though, we were lucky enough to hear that she is being sent home without bail. She will be on house arrest and have to wear an ankle bracelet and there are other terms of her release at this time. But, it means that she will be HOME!

My family is not alone in this type of ordeal. Millions of people across this country are falsely imprisoned. Many people are arrested and do not have the means to get out on bail, return to work, support their families, pay for attorney and court fees. The system is broken in more ways than one. But, at least for today I know that my aunt will be coming home and one thing is better (although not right) in the world.

 

Wellness Wednesday – Starting a New Series

I wanted to write about something else today, but I’ve been putting this off for some time now and I need to get my act together. If I want to start something, I should do it now. So, here we go with Wellness Wednesdays. I don’t know that I will post every Wednesday, but I think in saying that I’ve also given myself an out. If I say I will post every Wednesday I have set myself up for failure. Either way, the Obliger in me is worried about commitments to others and what taking the time to write on the blog does for that.

The thing is that I tried to make my 2018 the Year of Wellness because I NEED IT! I teach it and I need it more than anyone else knows. Including today there are 14 Wednesdays left in this year. There are 12 Dimensions of Wellness, so I plan to try and tackle a little of something each week from now through December 26th. But what to cover? I plan to write about three things….consider this my “writer’s statement”:

  1. What is the dimension
  2. Why it’s important
  3. What it means to me

I need to write. It’s one of many things that makes me happy and whole in life. (see next week about why I run) I need to feel whole right now and ditching the blog has been part of what made me feel empty. I hope to find some connection through this blog with you and I hope that this wellness journey can help you to start one of your own.

Until next week….Be Well.

After the Storm

It’s a Tuesday morning and usually I am in the middle of my Fitness Walking class at this time of day. However, a hurricane (you may have heard about her) came through my life recently and now things are upside down. Disaster tells you a lot about yourself as an individual, as a human, and who you are in your relationships. First, I’d like to preface this post with some good news: My family was very lucky and had no great loss during this storm. You may say that that means I have no right to say anything more, but these are just observations and musings from having lived through this storm. Just a recount of my blessings and relief.

September 10th was the last day I taught a class. People had already started preparing for what was supposed to be a Category 4+ storm to hit very near or directly at our town. See, I live in Wilmington, NC and hurricanes are second nature to the people who have grown up here. I have not. I’m a midwest girl used to the Mississippi flooding its banks and tornado drills in the basement. A hurricane brings both of those things plus wind. We made a decision to stay put this time even though it would be the biggest storm that I and my children would have lived through. Again, we are lucky that it hit near us at only a Category 1 storm, but it still came. I bid farewell to my students that Monday and came home to start prepping.

We had already purchased water (because of the Gen X problem in our area) and packed up on snacks to last us 5-10 days. There were canned beans and pears and crackers and granola bars and a couple of loaves of bread and peanut butter and trail mix and the like. We had bought a generator to save what we could of our freezer full of my husband’s fishing and hunting spoils. We boarded windows and sandbagged the front door. We moved every item off of our main floor floor that couldn’t be replaced and put things in storage bins and space bags. We tarped things and moved things in the garage and tied up fences and parked the soft top in the garage and put my car in the front yard away from all tall trees. We hoarded batteries and flashlights and prepared our kids for what was to come.

The last class I taught that Monday was Yoga I in which we covered Awakening Poses. My body was alive with energy that week. The storm didn’t hit until overnight between Thursday and Friday and the wind was loud, but I felt calm and safe in our house. My kids’ mattresses were on the floor in our room and they slept through it all. We didn’t lose power right away, but once it was gone it would be 4.5 days until it returned. A tree from our neighbor’s yard had blown down on top of the kids’ swingset and broke it. In the days after the actual “hurricane” there were tornadoes (one took the rest of the swingset out) and rain. There was a lot of damage all around us, but still I remained calm.

A few days later we took the boards off the windows in order to let in the light and assess the damage. We opened windows for fresh air as the temps were in the high 80’s each day. It was a lot of sweaty, slow moving time we spent. My kids seemed unphased by most of it. We played UNO each night by flashlight and they learned how to play solitaire after I played a million games to pass the time. They played with toys that had sat unused for awhile. We took daily walks around our neighborhood. We took a few drives in the Jeep to see what had happened around us. Eventually, one day, we got a pizza from a place nearby that opened its doors. We went and waited in line at Walmart (my least favorite store) to pick up a few new snacks and see about buns for cooking up burgers. We hit the grocery store when it opened up as well.

Everywhere we went it was worse than at our house. Every store was filled with people who looked run down and desperate and angry. I kept thinking how grateful I was that we were all fine and together. The heat was getting to people. The lack of help, lack of supplies, lack of the unknown was getting to people. Our friends who had evacuated were anxious to see what was left for them. And for us, at least 4 families we know are without their house at the moment. When our power came back on it was a glorious celebration of showers and clean clothes! We slept coolly that night on clean sheets. Again I felt blessed and serene…..but also guilty.

I have tried to help out our friends in need at this time. I have offered what services we have (though limited) to those who do not have any. You get that kind of survivor’s guilt when you have so little that has gone wrong in your life comparatively. The yogi in me kept trying to get others to feel the same sense of blessing and relief that I feel. I compare the situation in Eastern NC with the people of Puerto Rico who are still suffering a year after Hurricane Maria. I think of what it would be like to be a year without a home, water, food, medicine, electricity, etc. I think about how hard it would be to not be able to bury your loved ones when they perished during the storm. The survivor’s guilt grows, but it also centers me.

For the past 14.5 years I have been living and growing in yoga. The way I responded during this storm, the way I continue to feel as it is over for me, has been because of the gift of yoga in my life. I am gracious and calm. I am looking inward for peace and outward to give back. I look forward to this coming Monday when I can welcome my students back to our classroom. I look forward to speaking to them about the Yamas and to teaching them Sun Salutations. I look forward to giving them the gift of healing through breath, movement, and reflection.

If you’d like to help out with some of the people who I personally know have suffered from this storm, please feel free to donate to any of these fundraisers:

https://www.gofundme.com/help-the-hebert-family

https://www.facebook.com/events/326713261470222/

https://www.facebook.com/donate/273023619983318/10216772330678669/

Hoping you and all yours are safe after the storm. Namaste.

Modeling

Well, it’s Thursday and I still haven’t finished How We Live Our Yoga, but I did start to find some anecdotes that spoke to me. Maybe the back portion of the book is meant to be the best so that if you actually stick with it it will be worth the time?

There was one passage by Judith Hanson Lasater in which she talks about how her yoga changes over the years and about being a “Swami Mommy” As my youngest is starting Kindergarten on Monday and I move into the next phase of my own life, I realize why my kids need me to do my yoga just as much as I need it. They need me to be patient and ever evolving along with them. My life is changing and so is theirs. They also need a mom who is flexible both mentally, emotionally, and physically. I need to grow and change and listen and able to keep up. Continue reading “Modeling”