Part 2, Month 4 – Digestion – Persisting Beyond My Goal: My best lesson, yet!

One of my valuable lessons I’ve learned and am now employing: when you have given yourself a difference, a difference in lifestyle, a difference in behaviors, whatever it is, and the time to make that difference, keep it going. Keep making the difference.

Commitment to Running

This past month brought blessings to me in the form of commitment. I found myself successful in two areas – my gut health and my behavioral/emotional health. At the onset of the month, I found myself finishing a run and the number 28 popped in my mind – I will run for 28 days, I thought.

Later on, it occurred to me that 28 days, ending May 1, is ample time to create a new habit. Now that was not my intention at all, but I knew good things would maybe happen in those 28 days if I ran consistently.

I forgot about the aspect of the agreement I made with myself to actually run for 28 consecutive days, but I did exercise the whole time minus 2 or 3 needed breaks for my knees. I’ve found myself doing a day on, a day off, if that is what my knees dictate. I’m glad to be running at all! Gotta take it easy on my sweet knees, though, and I must listen to them.

Positively delighted, I am in such good shape now. My knees and legs feel stronger than they have been in ages. I’m feeling younger with these stronger knees and it feels so good sometimes to run almost like I’m getting a deep tissue massage in them. I am still careful though because my knees feel fragile still at times.

Why am I focusing on running when month 4’s focus was digestion? I have found that…running is excellent for digestive health.

Walking is also good for it. Movement in general, really, and I have found in the process, there is a greater impact on your digestion when you take deep belly breathes while you exercise which assists in getting things moving in the nether regions.  Constipation is an issue for many people simply because they lack the movement they need to help their bowels move.

Take Away #1 -Persisting Beyond the Goal – Take it to the Next Level

My main take-away this month: persist after the goal is accomplished. I’ve stuck to this diet and exercise so well and it’s really paying off. I’m not looking to ban it now because I “no longer have to” run or eat well – eating for my digestion I have found to be the healthiest I’ve eaten, maybe forever, given the length of time I’ve stuck to this. So, I intend to persist beyond the goal. Why?

Decades ago, I had an opportunity to quit a behavior for 30 days, which I did, and, at the end of that 30 days I had another opportunity to go back to it. I did, despite my true desire not to because of a familiar prompting. I wish I hadn’t. I fell from a lifestyle I was just starting to pursue and would have done well at it had I stuck with it and not let that behavior distract me. My choices since then, when I have given myself a goal and reached it, mostly (not always) I have gone back to how I behaved previously, delighted I could do it again, like with sugar, couldn’t wait to binge on it, but this time, I have no interest in going back. I’m almost a little bit skittish, like I want to keep pursuing the healthy life. So, that is my take away – persist in the after-glow of your achievement. Let it take root and become you.

Yesterday my 28 days of exercise ended, and I am pleased to say that, coupled with the diet, mostly consisting of fruit/veg smoothies and brown rice and veggies, I have done it honestly, and found I enjoy this new, healthy lifestyle. So, I will persist!!

                My total exercise units this past month:

                Bike: 50 minutes     Walk: 3.5 hours Run: 35 miles                    

This morning I hit the bridge and ran just over 2 miles. I’m still reluctant to eat sugar, but I do know I will likely get more bread and crackers to eat with my eggs and salads. However, if I maintain my refined sugar abstinence, I will be fine. That is my downfall.

In the absence of crackers or bread…guac, chickpeas and tuna…together! Mmm.

I have learned that there there is no short-cutting health. It’s a simple recipe, but discipline is required, and as I engage, I really enjoy my process. That is what I like most, and what I was hoping for I guess too from my 28 days, was it would impact positively other areas of my life. Not much more has changed, although I have been finding I am “digesting” my behaviors and emotions much for effectively, too, keeping what’s healthy and letting the other pass. Just like digestion!!

I have also learned from this past month that real change takes time. Overnight cures for life-long habits will not be long-lasting.

One of my valuable lessons I’ve learned and am now employing: when you have given yourself a difference, a difference in lifestyle, a difference in behaviors, whatever it is, and the time to make that difference, keep it going. Keep making the difference – keep making the positive changes that are leading you to what your desire, to the woman you desire to be – being her is only a matter of time:)

Persist with the change. It will become you at some point. You will become that vision of yourself you desire most when you persist and allow the change to take root.

We become what we give ourselves to.

Take-away #2: Breaking the Food Spell

Last night, I will say, I had an urge to go to the store and get some “goodie-baddies” but I don’t really care to open that door. So I didn’t. I find another result of this month beneficial – it is the first time I have gone without dinner on several occasions in maybe the past ten years or more. I am a feeder! :O)

It is a rare day in the meat-packing plant when I ever don’t feed myself dinner.  I feel this month, I have broken the food-spell over myself. Jesus said of certain spirits that they only come out by prayer and fasting. I have fasted and believe the spirits that have come out: the spirits of gluttony and lust (over food). I have employed the spirit of self-control over and over, and am really letting my body decide when/if I will eat because I need to, more so than because I want to. So that is another beneficial take-away from this month.

Phase 2 – Probiotics

Mid-month, after I found the food and exercise regime were paying off and found that “this house is clean,” I began taking pro-biotics. I felt my digestive situation had become barren enough to where I could start taking supplements that would have a chance to populate my gut because they would be able to find their way to it and not be lost in the mire of intestinal gunk. I am not sure how they are working. Funny thing about that, I was reading the back of the box when I got home and found these benefits on there for the vagina and found out the whole pill box said “vaginal probiotics.” I got a kick out of that because I wasn’t paying attention when I bought them; I was on the phone and noticed how many billion they had and figured those were the one’s for me! Vaginal health, I’m all for it! I had no idea they made pro-biotics for that!

At any rate, there are so many different strains in this. I have only looked up a few studies on them which are included on the links at the bottom, but I put the highlights of two different species of the same genus, below, in case you know nothing of different probiotic benefits. Here, you can get a glimpse – at least what these two studies found.

Month’s past I focused a lot on supplementation, but only this month have I found myself really using food heavily and taking only probiotics (1/2 the month) and some liver detox tea to help my digestive health.

I am going to end there. I hope you got something out of this. I know I did. I’m glad to be persisting beyond the goal and encourage you, A. To get a goal, and B. Make it a lifestyle change – meaning, you’ve used the goal to set you up for a change in lifestyle and you will keep taking it to the next level!

To My Health & Yours!

Thanks for reading!


Best Sunday Studying. April 26. Happy and Healthy Persisting in My Interests.

Probiotic Studies and Information, as mentioned above.

L. reuteri is able to inhibit the colonization of pathogenic microbes and remodel the commensal microbiota composition in the host.

Second, L. reuteri can benefit the host immune system. For instance, some L. reuteri strains can reduce the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines while promoting regulatory T cell development and function. Third, bearing the ability to strengthen the intestinal barrier, the colonization of L. reuteri may decrease the microbial translocation from the gut lumen to the tissues. 

L. rhamnosus is one of the most widely used probiotic strains. Various health effects are well documented including the prevention and treatment of gastro-intestinal infections and diarrhea, and stimulation of immune responses that promote vaccination or even prevent certain allergic symptoms. However, not all intervention studies could show a clinical benefit and even for the same conditions, the results are not univocal. Clearly, the host phenotype governed by age, genetics and environmental factors such as the endogenous microbiota, plays a role in whether individuals are responders or non-responders. However, we believe that a detailed knowledge of the bacterial physiology and the LGG molecules that play a key role in its host-interaction capacity is crucial for a better understanding of its potential health benefits.

February – Focusing on the Musculoskeletal System, and My Skin Still, Too – Paying for Better Looks!

I’m glad I’ve got money to spend to see if I can fix my skin, both internally and externally. It seems a little extravagant, but I’m worth it, and I’m interested to see if these things really work. If they work, I’ll be psyched, and will be happy for my investment in my skin’s health and beauty, and to understand more the science behind it all. 🙂 

Mexico is where I found myself at the end of January on a spontaneous trip to Mexico. What I returned with besides some life-long banked memories were some OTC facial products which would normally have required a prescription.  I bought in. $150 dollars later (mucho pesos), I’ve secured some collagen, Retinol-A and Vitamin C cream. I have only used them for a few days, but I believe after day 1 of the Retinol-A, I saw improvements to my facial age spots, but now, I’m not so sure. I will see! I’d show you some picts, but my phone is still in Mexico! ☹

I will continue to focus on my skin because it is my largest area of concern and will require more than 1 month to address its problems which have occurred over these many years since being in Florida. Namely, the idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis and the age spots!

Since the skin generally turns over about every 5 weeks, I will continue to use my newly bought products I purchased in Mexico for addressing my facial “blemishes” and I will hope to see improvements there. I’ll still need to work on the skin on my legs with what I am eating, among treatments of other kinds which I will perhaps address at a later date, but the skin will remain my area of main focus. I will also have to get off sugar again. My 3 months off sugar ended the day after I arrived in Mexico, when I took well advantage of the all-inclusive food sweets during breakfast, lunch and dinner!

For now, I will begin to focus this month, also, on the musculoskeletal system. My focus on this system is due to problems I’ve had with my knees for over 20 years. I’ve felt that beneath my patella there is a hollowness. Also, about 10 years ago I blew out my left knee running and subsequently had a surgery to fix my meniscal tear which was never fixed well, and which still gives me issues to this day.  Yoga helps. Biking too.

So, I will focus on building up my skeletal system to strengthen my bones, tendons and ligaments, and I will do so at the gym with weight-bearing exercises. I had a doctor tell me this past summer no more running, but that didn’t sit well with me.

Tomorrow will take me back to the gym. I will start with some yoga and, perhaps some squats and biking. We’ll see how that flows. I will build up my muscles in my legs a little more too. I saw a lot of skin in Mexico this past week, and I find muscular legs attractive!

In terms of food and supplements, my focus will be on doubling up on collagen. I will do so primarily with supplemental powders, and also some bone broth too. Both will help my skeletal system and the collagen will serve my skin well, too. I wish I had a doctor to work with pronto, so I could actually measure whether or not I am actually making progress!!

I’m glad I’ve got money to spend to see if I can fix my skin, both internally and externally. It seems a little extravagant, but I’m worth it, and I’m interested to see if these things really work. Maybe I will not know which product works best because I am using so many in conjunction with the others, but it seems there are always a combination of factors anyway that contribute to health and beauty, and I am doing what I can in this arena to tap into what I know will help me be better physically, both externally and internally.

Beauty counts!

I have paid the price for now! 😊 The last products I bought tonight for over $300 have offered a money-back guarantee. More on this upon after they arrive.  If they work, I’ll be psyched, and will be happy for my investment in my skin’s health and beauty, and to understand more the science behind it all. 🙂

To My Health & Beauty, and…all the best to you and your health and beauty!



Being Objective. Becoming Strong.

I went to the gym today. It’s the first time I’ve worked out there in a while. I’ve been to yoga a couple of times, but now, I am set on going for more – to get out of my chair – a habit I’ve begun to fall into after work because I’ve worked a lot of 12 – 14 hour days in the past 3 weeks. I’m going to make a better choice. I know that working out makes me better – more diligent, more energetic, more into life.

So, I dragged myself there. Wasn’t into it at all, but there was an inkling of excitement that I was doing it.  I was there about an hour and worked out about 50 mins. I started in a spinning class. Not into it. Thought I might get hurt for some reason. Thought to go and watch The Five instead while I rode the bike upstairs. Bored. Went to the elliptical. Saw a woman who I’ve never seen with such energy before – she had a pep in her step and every part of her body! She was so energetic I thought she might be on something, but think she must’ve just been really into her Zumba class. I may take her class another day though Zumba is not my thing. It made me smile just watching her so peppily prancing around fully in every single move, and they were not all easy moves, and they were so fast. Not sure I’ll be able to do everything, but it will jazz me up. End up treadmilling: walking and running and walking, and finally stretching and hitting a couple of machines before I left, mildly sweating, but not soaked, as I would have been if I spun!

Listening to David Jeremiah in the background, and he is talking about self-discipline and the Holy Spirit and how we need Him to have it.  For sure. In listening to him, it is exactly where I am – practicing self-discipline right now to develop new habits and restore my body to it’s strength😊

It’s been interesting to look into my life objectively. I’ve been doing that over the past three days – seeing me in my life, where I am now, and what I am not doing with it with my free time. I’m glad I am not beating myself up or bogging myself down with my reality. My reality is good, but it’s got me alone and not engaged in anything out side of work. There’s been a lot of t.v. time and food involved. It’s okay. I realize I’m transitioning. It’s time to make some decisions.

It’s interesting how when we are objective we can make better decisions. I feel that way. I’m clearer because there is less static due to me not objecting to my behavior, but merely looking at it for what it is and where I am in my process right now.

In being more objective with where I am and deciding on what to do, instead of responding to my behavior objectionably, I’m able to choose a path reasonably.

I’ve just looked out on my life, as if I am out of my body looking into to my behaviors, actions, patterns, thoughts. Whatever I am feeling and experiencing, I am doing so as a spectator only, allowing myself to go through the motions, but aware of them and their consequences. There’s simply an assessment. Do you want this life? This is what you are doing. Is it getting you anything? Do you want this? Things are good, but if I do more, I will have more, and what do I want? It will not some on it’s own. I have needed a bit of downtime for certain due to the schedule I’ve had to keep these past weeks, but there is a new awareness in my life. What will I do with my time remains to be seen in a moment by moment basis, but I am aware and that IS GOOD.

My failure to perform on a large scare has had to do with the amount of what I feel I have or need to do. Do you ever feel you have so much to do in your life you are paralyzed by it and do nothing?

I’ve felt that way for the past 10 years almost. It’s debilitating. I’m making progress little by little, but also felt I’ve made no true progress, really. Maybe it’s just following through and finishing.

So, the sitting in my chair is partly due to strenuous work schedule and partly to do with debilitating, overwhelming nature of all my ideas and goals. Ike! So, objectivity is suiting me well and getting me motivated. I have found in the past that judgment is like a nerve-agent – paralyzing me into doing nothing. It’s just me. No one holding me back but me, if I so choose. No dog, no man, no kids, rarely see friends and family, so I have a lot of time! Well, not really, but I must do more than just watch television all the time with what little time I do have because that is so wasteful most of the time!

There is more to my lack of motivation, and I’ve realized, in part, it is because if I feel there is no reason to do my goals, like they will have not benefit, then why do them? It’s an odd place, but it’s partly where I am and another topic maybe for another time.

Anyway, coming home tonight, I felt good. Not that I’d had a great workout, but because I made the decision and I followed through on it, and I knew I was interested in going back, and not to get a better body, though I am looking forward to that, but to be stronger.

I ran a little bit tonight, but was worried about my knee locking up and the fact that I haven’t in awhile so I was worried about how strong my knees are. I took it easy and ran only 10 minutes. That was what sparked my desire to work out more – to become stronger. At 48, I don’t like the fact that I feel a wee-bit feeble in my knees when I run, and had some issues this summer that led the doc to tell me no more running. So, my goal is to be strong.

There’s nothing like being strong. Knowing it is good too. Having your strength zapped or not being able to walk hardly – anything so simple that many of us do regularly and take advantage of, to be able to run freely and walk down the stairs without wobbling, is awesome. Strength feels so good. How do you feel? Do you feel strong? It’s a super feeling!

So, that is my new goal: Being Strong. I’m looking forward to this.

Here’s to good choices, following through, and being strong!


Bingeing to Freedom

Despite the working out, because of my bingeing behavior, I actually gained about 4 fat pounds, as evidenced by as scale at Publix, and the tightness of my pants around my booty in my big jeans, and one of my pairs of pjs being about two inches too short, due to said booty! Oh well, it’s only weight! There’s always this month – and my new smart goal: no sugar – the weight will be gone in no time.

I’m two weeks in into my 2nd smart goal, and that is, simply: no sugar – that is, no ho-ho’s, cakes, brownies, donuts, pies, ice cream, candy, cupcakes or the like that I’d been indulging in in my last month (minus ho-ho’s) of pigging out during teacher appreciation week, the last week of school, and just because I went for it all month long while engaging in my 1st smart goal which was working out for at least 20 minutes/day, 4x/week. Writing my blog about that even found me ½ into a pint of ice cream at the time! Love ice cream!

One thing I noticed while I allowed myself to eat so piggily with respect to content and amount, was that I didn’t allow myself to do it because I told myself that famous lie of, “I’ll quit tomorrow!” I actually found myself saying that at one point, and just recognized that as the binge mentality that it promoted, until the next binge, and I believe that may have been a big turning point. Just finally giving myself full permission to eat without recompense, I pigged out so much I found myself disgusted!

I have decided to do this no sugar thing now, too, because of actually feeling so physically ill as a result of all the poor dietary choices I made over the month of May. It felt gross!

So, for my first SMART goal, I exceeded what I set, and only hit the minimum part of my fit goal maybe 5 times max, all month. I found that once you’re out and about, 20 minutes is nothing, it flies by – this is why it’s so smart! If I walked, that went by super-fast which worked out for me when I didn’t want to exercise at all, but whether walking, riding my bike, yoga, swimming or running, I typically exceeding my 20-minute time interval by at least 2x as much and up to 5x. As indicated, one thing smart about this smart goal was that it is realistic and timely – the R and T of the SMART. If I had to work out for 40 minutes at a clip, I would have been deterred, but I typically worked out more than that anyway! So, because it’s so easy and so many positives came from it, I’ve decided to keep it, and have!

I like going out and walking now or biking – whatever I decide to do – I mix it up, break up my day, get some exercise, some fresh air, a new perspective, I get inspired and remember what interests me – plants (and photography – some photos included from a graveyard I walked one night – love bark!) – those beautiful plants I see all the time as I walk – and I just began to take time to be in the present moment, whatever it is, I would find a smile. It is normally always good and positive, and it’s only for 20 minutes, minimum😊

Frangipani 1 Yellow

Despite the working out, because of my bingeing behavior, I actually gained about 4 fat pounds, as evidenced by as scale at Publix, and the tightness of my pants around my booty in my big jeans, and one of my pairs of pjs being about two inches too short, due to said booty! Oh well, it’s only weight! There’s always this month – and my new smart goal: no sugar – the weight will be gone in no time. I’ve already lost about two pounds it looks just from being off of sugar in these past two weeks. I can feel and see it in my new jeans, too.

Bark Peeling

I realized too that when I remove sugar from my diet, I eat a lot less, and typically don’t have the resulting fullness. A domino! I realize that a healthier relationship with food spills over into the rest of my life in a good way. Another domino. Mentally, a shift occurs creating the positive domino effect. One thing always leads to another. Food is so key to many facets of my life.

I am well-aware of my mental state and my approach to food. There is always a tie-in.  The more positive I am and eating well, the better my life is. The better my life is, the better food choices I typically make. I have noticed how I take certain behaviors out on what I choose to eat. Like I take my mood out on my food which is what I am doing to myself, as well. Once I realized that, many years ago, I could easily check myself, and make another choice, but it’s interesting what relationship we have with food. It’s a direct correlation and indication to where we are mentally, in my case anyway.

Maybe I’ll always have a thing with food – it is one of my favorite things in life – it’s sensual and delicious. I love it. But for the rest of this month, I am loving it a little less, and loving my body a little more by honoring this beautiful temple of mine God gave me. That’s the SMART thing to do!

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have … Therefore, honor God with your bodies.


Holly 😊


Frangipani Pink

May: A Time To Commit… Commit To Fit

What I realized this a.m. was that it is a good time to get into a good habit, especially feeling a bad one looming.
One thing I have learned, if I’m realistic, I will likely achieve what I set out to do, and often even more. Too much is discouraging. 20 minutes is doable, and totally SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely).

If there is something else I know and like about myself, it is that once I commit to something, I’m in. So, that is my commitment for starters – to make myself do some form of exercise for 20 minutes, 4x/week.

Fit – something I enjoy being. Mostly, I’m pretty fit. But, there’s more to be done. Thighs and hips here we go!

This morning it came to me that it is May 1st. A new month. Commitment is what came to mind. To what must I commit? To fitness.

I came home last night and it was beautiful, and though I was not hungry, I decided to make food instead of going out in the beautiful weather and taking in the evening sun before it parted ways for the day. It would have been a good night for a stroll or a run. Anything, but I opted to go onto my balcony instead. That was a pivotal moment, I felt.

It felt pivotal in the wrong direction! Now, I have been crazy busy over the past many months, and literally have had no time to make for anything, but today, yesterday, and for the next many months, I will have down time finally in the evenings most nights, and with no looming commitments to big time responsibilities at work, I will easily be able to commit to being fit.

What I realized this a.m. was that it is a good time to get into a good habit, especially feeling a bad one looming. A new month, and a new goal. Any goals at this time would be good! I have been out of goals lately.

Being in my new place now for 2 ½ months, I have still had only a little time to enjoy it, and I have not yet begun to establish any routines because my schedule has dictated and dominated most of my week nights.

I have realized how much having enough food in me to keep me going is crucial to not being laid-out once I arrive home. I am prone to feeding my face despite my hunger though because I love to eat! Last night I had plenty to sustain me through my two tutoring sessions after school, and did not arrive home until close to 7. Despite not being hungry, and it being beautiful, I opted for a sluggard’s behavior, instead :(. I felt that was a bad decision, and felt it a bit too coming home tonight, but remembered my commitment idea.

Commit to be Fit

Tonight, I was plenty fueled up on fuel too, but an 11 hour day did not sit well with me running out the door immediately to run or walk or do whatever I was going to do to meet my commitment goal which I was not even concrete on yet. 5 minutes came to mind. No! Too short. Be serious.

I begrudgingly got ready and went out figuring I would be done with it and would be able to relax the rest of the evening.

I walked for a while and then ran for a minute and was sick to my stomach immediately. Not sure why, but I pushed through while also feeling like my joints may come undone. My body feels weak and limp! It was the biggest strain. My mental state likely made it worse! I walked again, eventually, and turned around soon. I got back and had been out for 20 minutes. Perfect! I worked out exactly what I have decided to do. I will likely do more other days as I feel like it, but all I need commit to for now is 20 minutes a day. If that’s all I want to do, great, but I need to get in shape, and I need to strengthen, for sure. So, I just realized I need to go to the gym for that, maybe. Glad its going to be summer break soon – that will make all this easier and more palatable! I have to remember too that once I’m into a routine, it’s easier and more enjoyable!

May is my month to Commitment. My commitment is to 20 minutes a day for 4 days at least, a week. That’s it.  Whatever I can do – walk, ride, run, strength train. 20 minutes. One thing I have learned, if I’m realistic, I will likely achieve what I set out to do, and often even more. Too much is discouraging. 20 minutes is doable, and totally SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely).

If there is something else I know and like about myself, it is that once I commit to something, I’m in. So, that is my commitment for starters – to make myself do some form of exercise for 20 minutes, 4x/week. Getting ready for Summer!! Easy! Also, there’s another thing I’ve learned about myself. When I make 1 positive change in my life, it often has a domino effect. So, more into being fit –> more into healthy –> more into life –> more into fun.

Here’s to being fit, and more so, to commitment 🙂


Finishing the Race is a Win. The Triathlon is Completed

My triathlon was really successful. My swimming, interestingly, my most feared event, and the event in which I was least adept, was really strong and solid. I was grateful and so pleased.

I was slow with my finish times, below, but that’s okay, my race was a win for me!! Accomplished.

The triathlon in which I completed yesterday marked the beginning of the end of my summer. The summer ends for me from the time I close my eyes tonight. I will begin work, tomorrow, again. I am a teacher.

One of my thoughts this summer was to make sure I make a life for myself while working. Granted I have been overwhelmed for the most part of 7 years as I have taught, but my last year teaching marked the first year I did not work every weekend and take work home consistently. A new ear has begun. Moreover, this triathlon training and completing it successfully has ushered in more change, as well, for the improved me.

The time has begun where I have started making and achieving my goals (this actually came more as I stopped beating myself up for what I hadn’t accomplished and begun to look at all I had accomplished – the now is forever mentality – you choose your thoughts – they become the reality you choose), and the completion of this triathlon has set me up mentally and physically, giving me more of a desire to work out more consistently (went running for a fast 2 miles this morning) which is always a bonus for my mind, my heart and my physical nature, of course!

Task accomplishment and goal orientation are more desirable and achievable, as I work out more. Mentally, I am geared to accomplish more because I naturally have more energy.

My triathlon was really successful. My swimming, interestingly, my most feared event, and the event in which I was least adept, was really strong and solid. I was grateful and so pleased. I practiced for that 3/8 of a mile – which looked much longer than the laps I swum in the pool – what I’d practiced while training. I employed my rhythm consistently, got my swivel on and kept my legs strong. It was good. I ran out, after hitting the sand, and pressed on.

The bike race found me in 2nd to last place – my bike is not a racer – I’ve got a Schwinn 6 speed which is NOT speedy. So many people were passing me. I was not the last out of the ocean, but my bike and I guess my training were not equipping me to increase my speed, also, ½ of the 13 miles was against the wind. But, I pedaled on intently.

The run, 3.2 miles, was pretty good. It was hot! I had trained previously during that exact time I figured I’d be set to run, and there were water stations, so I was okay. I increased my stride, too, at different points which also may have alleviated some of my pain.

I was pleased that throughout each of the events, I did not stop or walk because I was too tired. That was good. Training worked!! 😊

One of my best memories will be of the volunteers. They are so good to give of their time. I find volunteers so impressive. People had to show by 5 a.m. to help-out. And, they did! Selfless people are cool. I am pleased to have had their cheers – those are the best. I didn’t have friends or family there to support me, but, will say that at the beginning of the swim, when I got a slight bit of a concern for the distance in the rough ocean, I let myself think of my parents and how I wanted to make them proud! I didn’t give fear a second thought from there, and, the thought of them cheering me on from heaven transformed my thoughts into power. So, when I swam, I only focused on form and what I knew to do, and was powerful in it.

A woman I was behind in the bathroom line before the race said that, “a finish is a win.” That’s where I was with this whole race. Finishing was winning for me. I did what I could in the month that I trained, and what I did was from this July 3 – Aug 2, I: Swam: 5.7 hrs.; Biked: 244 miles; and Ran 35 miles.

I was slow with my finish times, below, but that’s okay, my race was a win for me!! Accomplished.

Holly, Triathlete


Your official times:

SWIM 20:41
BIKE: 59:46
RUN: 31:45
FINISH 2:06:01


Bankable Memories – A Birthday Surprise for Mike and a Training Surprise for Me

So, my trip to supporting my family friend turned about to be supportive to me, as well. Blessings go both ways!! 😊
What a loving gift I got, too, as I went to celebrate him! I got celebrated, too, for my training.

My memory will have that moment forever, for how happy he seemed for some reason, and what a fun moment that was!

August 1

My ex-brother-in-law, Mike, had a birthday yesterday. He’s got to be pushing 70 or more – quite a bit older than my sister, he was.

Yesterday I thought to go and spend the day with him. In the morning, I had a flat and had to work out. Prayed about it in the a.m. with respect to having a confirmation of pwhat I was feeling. I opened the bible, and what I turned to was in Psalms, I believe, and it said something about “birthday feast.” Perfect. That settles it.

Went to take my car in and do my training, and by the time I got back it was after noon. I cleaned up myself and felt like I’d rather relax on the couch which is where I found myself sitting doing just that.

It was after 1, and the drive across 70 through FL is my most boring, hated, 3-hour drive, and with no radio!

I consulted the Lord again, what should I do? Do you really want me to go? I got a word from Isaiah that read, “Set you mind on the highway.” I was so excited because it was so clear and, I called Mike and let him know of my plan. Happily, he was out a dock bar having a birthday celebration with some friends and locals.  I asked if he’d be around later, and he said he had no plans. I told him was planning on coming over and taking him out for a birthday dinner! “Yah!” was his great response, in his cute Mike fashion that he does when he’s really excited. It’s so cute like a young kid.

I got off the couch immediately and gladly got about my business. Cleaned up a bit here, packed my bags and readied myself for the highway for the birthday feast celebration. I was so excited for Mike’s excitement and for having clear direction, my road trip woes were destroyed.

I prayed too the trip be shorter, somehow. When my GPS sent me a different way than I’d always gone it’s shaved a half hour off my trip! Yah!!

I got Mike a couple little silly things – a “birthday cupcake” which he requested. It was a chocolate muffin he called a “cupcake,” a card and some candy, a birthday balloon, and that was it. Not much. My visit, and the dinner, were the gifts. Thought he should have a card at least. Something to open! 😊

When I arrived, I sung to him after he opened the door for a quick happy birthday to you – he laughed and took it in.  We greeted each other warmly.

Mike wanted chicken parm which we eventually went out for and had a yummy feast! He was happy! I ate so much. He barely finished his dinner, because he had tacos for lunch he claimed, making him full, whereas I’d only had a tuna sandwich after an hour and a half at the gym, barely anything all day. I was ready to eat. Salad, bread, stuffed mushroom appetizer and a pasta and chicken dish. I ate almost every bit of it. A café latte and biscotti to boot. Mike was too full for a birthday cake, but had a “classic coffee,” as he puts it.  We chatted for some time. He shared how happy he was with the everything which made me pleased! Felt glad it was birthday feast success which was worth the trip over!

My plan the following morning was to train. My legs and knee felt good, gladly. Figured I would run first being it was about the time I would be running, 8:45, and I was working on proper conditioning. I was going for the distance for Saturday, 3.2 miles, a 5K. Planning on running around his neighborhood 4 times, according to him, would likely make that distance. Turns out, I ran 4 miles which was GREAT!!

My morning highlight, after the beautiful morning weather I enjoyed with coffee as I reminisced about Miami weather as a kid, was after making my first lap, seeing Mike in his garage waiting to cheer me on. What a great surprise!! I loved it. It made me so happy. I won’t have anybody at the event with me, so him cheering me on was really special. Bankable memories are what I began accumulating. Rich memories.

One of the things I realized with my run that morning was that like swimming I was originally having a hard time breathing which I’d forgotten – I’ve run little during these 3.2 weeks of training, and haven’t run much at all this summer! So, that was good to realize – that whatever my race, I will find my pace eventually, it may take me a minute or 15 to find my breath and then regulate it, but I’ll get there as long as I don’t panic! So, I felt my pace eventually, and it felt good. Mike even commented on my pace being good, but later told me to pick it up. 😊

I think I loved most what I came next. As I was going for lap two, I saw Mike heading toward me. I did not know it was him for a while. I’m not sure what sparked it, but the smile he had was the best I’ve ever seen on him.

It’s so rare to see a smile from him like that. It was great. Perfect! I’ve termed it one of those “bankable smiles.”

My memory will have that moment forever, for how happy he seemed for some reason, and what a fun moment that was! It was joyous! I’m not sure why or what was said. Maybe it was my laughing at the recognition of it being him coming toward me on my bike! Thought that was funny. He eventually began too with his army chant, “left, right, left, right, left.” He kept on. We laughed. We got back to his place. He eventually pulled in the drive, and I ran on.

He continued to be outside cheering me on, off and on with his coffee in hand, and a wave or cheer and a smile. Something supportive. It was super! I will be so grateful for those sweet memories, always! Fun and memorable are what he made that particular morning of training. It was great. Memorable, for sure. Completely unexpected and fun! Thank you, Mike!!

So, my trip to supporting my family friend turned about to be supportive to me, as well. Blessings go both ways!! 😊

What a loving gift I got, too, as I went to celebrate him! I got celebrated, too, for my training. I won’t have anybody I know cheering me on at the actual event, but, I will see Mike in my head and hear him in my ears as I make my transitions, and I finally cross the finish line winning for myself the title of triathlete.

Me Bike Train 2

Cheers to you, Mike. Thanks, too, for the fun, bankable memories! I love you.


Progressing through the Process: T Minus 10 days till Triathalon

Experience in the pool is paying off.
I’m having confidence in my ability.
I keep focusing on my rhythm and pattern of breathing and stroking on two, and I’m making it.

I swam 7 laps and I only had 10 to go. HA! Only 10 to go – I love that I thought that!


Experience in the pool is paying off. This afternoon as I approached the pool, “I’m excited,” is what I thought as I kicked off my flip flops and began to step in. Yesterday I had done it. Now, it was a matter of just getting it done. I had just biked 10 miles and ran a mile and a half and I was showering off preparing for my swim, and thought to do 17 laps today, because I could. 😊

It gave me energy too – having confidence in my ability.

I got in and got right to it. Had the pool to myself for starters. I went for it. I was better able today to breath as I swam. Perhaps it’s because there were no distractions. Yesterday as I swam, I found myself distracted and had a hard time regulating my breathing, concerning myself instead of those around me which eventually worked me into a panic attack of sorts because my strokes and breathing were off, and I was projecting the possibility of drowning if that happened at the meet and I couldn’t stop along the side to catch my breath.

That freaked me out and kept occurring. I began to think on applicable scripture to cover me which eventually led to me forgetting about my distraction, and, focusing instead on my pool maneuvers! I got my stride eventually, and all was good.

Today, I was doing so well. I remembered the feeling of the stroke rhythm I got yesterday with my arm helping me propel from the water. Today my other arm felt like it was doing all the work, and it hurt. I wasn’t sure why except maybe I did something to it while on the weights earlier that I hadn’t noticed. I’m not sure. I just went with It, not worrying about it, and kept focusing on my rhythm and pattern of breathing and stroking on two!

By the time I got 7 laps down, I only had 10 to go (HA! Only 10 – love that I thought that!) and was doing so well I thought I’d just sing a song. Nothing else was occupying my mind. I was doing it!! Well. 😊

I wasn’t distracted, I was able to breath, and I wasn’t worried about drowning. No songs came to mind. I began creating silly little rhyme sayings that went along with whatever lap I was on.

I on 9 and doin’ fine. I’m on 8 and feeling great. I’m on 7, I’m in heaven, ain’t got no leaven. I couldn’t think of a good rhyme for six. I got to 3 and I was free, I was on 2 and I was almost through, and finally I was on one, and I was done!

Well done! My times are not fast, but I’m making progress.

That’s one of the reasons I think I am keen on process – there is progress!

We all enjoy progress.

I have only worked out 14 hours in 3 weeks. That doesn’t seem like much at all but I’m making strides! Especially with the swim! I’m so glad I’m making it!!

Rounded Tracking Distance/Time:

Swim – 4 hours – don’t know my distance, but over 2 miles (No, I wasn’t swimming in a wave pool!!:))

Bike – 6 hours, 108 miles (Avg: 3.3 mi/hr – this can’t be right! – I’m NOT that fast! Today I did 10 miles in 42 minutes.)

Run – 4 hours, 22 miles  (Actual avg: 11.53 mi/hr – this is totally right – I’m pretty slow. Funny when I figured my time I remembered what it was in high school – I ran a 12-minute mile. I’m making progress!)

My goals for the next 8 days (taking 2 days off) will be to ramp it up more – more triathalon training – all three events in one day. Maybe do spin classes – I can do 14 miles in 40 minutes there! More running too – maybe outside to better condition myself to the reality I will endure. We’ll see. Happy I’m making progress.

I have so much energy tonight it’s encouraging.

I have previously been so spent as I have trained, but the more I exercise, the more energy I have.

The more we do, the more we get.

Loving progressing!



I’ve Lost My Training Squeals and Found My Rhythm

Trains squeals are any mental thought I’ve heard inside my head that conflicts with my objective. These are naturally natural, I guess, when learning anything new or training, however, focusing on them is what will lessen my performance, impede my progress and maybe even thwart my goals all together, if I give them more focus and more weight than the accomplishment toward which I’m striving. This is what I have realized.

Finding my rhythm has been more than finding the physical balance of patterns I recognize I need while training for swimming. It’s been finding my mental focus and determination beyond my circumstances.

Rhythm is more mental – internal, than the external pattern of coordinating legs, arms, breathing, swivel, etc.

My internal dialogue will determine my rhythm and my stride, or whatever it is I’m doing. My mental, internal speak will dictate how I will perform. This is what I am realizing.

I’ve been helping a young girl learn to swim, and as I’ve been practicing and training myself, I’ve recognized some of the same “squeals” coming from my own mind. Though the verbiage may be different, the sound is the same – its discordant, inharmonious – and the effect is the same – it’s unfocused and difficult, making goal achievement elusive or a boring struggle more so because of these squealing complaints.

I was swimming in the ocean inlet recently when I first recognized this in myself. The tide was abnormally strong making what I find already challenging, extra difficult. My mental complaints were due mostly to the current which was making my swimming like I was in a wave pool – I was going nowhere, hardly, despite my trying to swim strongly. I literally swam my top off – I laughed when I stood up at one point and realized it had come loose.

The complaints, the distracting observations, the truths that inconvenience performance, the anything that lessens my ability to perform on some level, or want to perform, are all part of what I have recognized as going on inside of me, and what I have coined “training squeals.”

Trains squeals are any mental thought I’ve heard inside my head that conflicts with my objective. These are naturally natural, I guess, when learning anything new or training, however, focusing on them is what will lessen my performance, impede my progress and maybe even thwart my goals all together, if I give them more focus and more weight than the accomplishment toward which I’m striving. This is what I have realized.

I left the inlet that day a little deflated, feeling like I had not pushed harder or beyond the squealer. I realized my squeals that day. The contrast of how I walked in the water and how I walked out is not one I wanted to relive, and I haven’t since.

I walked into the water that morning feeling so accomplished because of a 3+ miles run I had just completed, but I left with less than that because I let the squealer win out on the swim.

I have heard the squealer since, but I have not let her win. I have pushed beyond her noise, and made focus my focus as the squealer screetched on. Focus wins out, and the squealer is silenced.

I have found in this training that there is nothing like “doing it,” or knowing you really pushed and gave it what you had. That is one of the best feelings – accomplishment. There is truly nothing like it, however small.

The screetcher is loud – hollering, “it hurts, I’m tired, I got water in my mouth, I’ve got hair in my mouth, I’ve got water in my eyes, it’s too hard, I can’t breathe, I’m not good at this.” Whatever its truth or whine, it’s distracting from the goal. Fix it and move on, or get over it, or, if you can’t fix it, in the case of a strong current, do what you can, and focus on what you need to do to overcome it, and stop complaining about how hard it is because that only makes it all the harder.

I went to swim in the ocean a couple of times last week. The first time was scary primarily because of the possibility of sharks. There was of course the dread, too, because my mental fears putting up obstacles about how I’m not good at it, and it was going to be difficult. Screech!

Do your best – what you can.

That is what I came to at the inlet too, eventually, which first got me out there. I first psyched myself up as I rode around the park trying to delay my entry. What I came to was the fact of how unrealistic it is to think I can do the whole thing right away, and of course it is a challenge – it’s new. It’s training! I need training, and it’s a step at a time!! So, that gave me boldness, and I got off the bike and got to it.

I waded in and out, but finally went in and gave it a go. I did alright. The squealer was present, but she helped me to realize I needed to focus.

Reach don’t screech! I focused on what I needed to improve. There is always a lot, but I keep focusing on what is right in front of me. I felt good getting out.

The next time I went to the ocean I was more focused. I felt pretty glad to be there. I waded out and got with it. I swam and swam.

Same thing – difficulty, screeching present, refocus, screech, focus, go, go, go. I found myself at one point, within myself, not my internal cheerleader, but my spirit, said, “I did it.”

I just knew I did it. But what? I’m not sure, but I accomplished something, somehow. Maybe it was the distance, or the constant continuous focus and eventual achievement from making a sincere effort. Not sure, but I liked that feeling! I swam on.

So, I have had no idea how far I’ve been swimming, however, when I have swam, I always try and swim what might actually be the 3/8 mile distance, whether I have to stop along with way or not. I always try and go the distance.

I have swum laps at the gym before, but only a couple of times and have had no idea how far I was going and have lost count of the number of laps I was swimming. As I’ve progressed with my swimming, I got a little more earnest about the laps and training.

I figured out a way to methodically count my laps as not to lose track, and went for it the other night. My goal was to swim for 20 minutes. I swam for 18 minutes. I’d done 12 laps. I thought to go for two more. I ended at 22 minutes, and 14 laps. I still hadn’t found my rhythm, but that was okay. I’d struggled with a new squealer and was doing what I could to focus on staying above it so I would stay above water – I felt like I was sinking. I actually had to counter the screeching with scriptures and positive thoughts this time – it had nothing to do with focusing on form – that came later. I had to find my mental focus first and swimming focus followed. I’d done it. I completed my 14 laps, and 22 minutes and felt I’d overcome what obstacle I faced that night well, and I headed out.

I found out the length of the pool and would later figure out the calculations of my distance. I headed to Starbucks for a celebratory and recovery latte, eager to know how far I’d swam. I figured the number of laps I’d have to swim to make the distance I would be required to swim at the meet was just under 14! I’d made my distance! That was the last event I had to do to make my distance. I’d already done my run and bike, and even put them all together one morning, but not in their entirety. I was on my way. I’d made a new accomplishment.

I felt my progress. It was good.

The next morning, I’d already planned on mixing up the work out a little – mornings were what I found worked best for training, but I thought I’d work out later in the day or even the evening again, as I had the night before.

Having produced quite a bit for work, I headed home, but after pulling in the drive, pulled right back out and I hit the gym. On the way there, the turning point happened. For the first time, I wanted to swim.

I was thinking on how the water would be on my skin as I swam through it. I was enticed and excited for it! It was then I realized I’d turned the corner, and…the training squeals were off.

When I arrived, I ended up riding and running first. I’d run hard. It made me sick. Headed home instead of following up with my swim there.

When I got home, I felt better. I jumped in the shower, rinsed off with a quick shower, and jumped in my suit. I’d decided to go swimming there. The water was about 80 + degrees, not refreshing. My googles were also not only leaking, but come to find out, the rubber had come off, and I was struggling to figure out the way to fix them. I figured it wasn’t in the cards for me to swim that night, but felt like maybe that was a…Screetch! I took a couple of laps without goggles, but that wasn’t working for me. I then gave an earnest attempt at fixing my goggles, with success! I put ‘em on, headed forward, and managed to swim for 30 minutes!  And…finally found my rhythm. I’m a two stroke, and breath, girl with a swivel and lift, as I come out of the water!

I felt happy. It was good. The training squeals were off. Positivity and focus were on. I am on the way to a new path.



Podcast: My Healing Journey

The recovery process has had its literal and figurative ups and downs. I heeded the verse that instructed me to strengthen my feeble knees, and the result of me getting up off my bum, of the keeping of persevering despite every physical set-back I had, of the continually holding fast to the truth of what I know scripturally, and by continuing to speak healing over my knees as they ached while running or otherwise, I have been made well.

Following is a 27 minute audio podcast. I have put a couple of excerpts below, but take the journey with me. This is a fun audio podcast of my experience being injured while running, and how healing took place through other mechanisms of exercise. This is rife with scripture, major lessons learned, fun and joy in my process of recovery God took me through.

What God did was to help me out anyway. As I was readying myself to read the bible one night, I opened to this passage “accidentally” which listed my instruction for my knee. It is found in Hebrews 12:12-13 “Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down and the feeble knees and make straight the paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.” Amen to that.

God’s way may prove hard, but He will always give us the grace to accomplish whatever we need to do, as well. God may be working other things, too, necessary for our growth about which we have no knowledge. I like to say, as I have experienced, when teaching, God has used this profession to work things in me and to work things out of me. But, He is always working to perfect us, to help us. That is what we are called to be, “Perfect, as He is perfect.” But the good thing is that he helps us accomplish this through His son, Jesus Christ, through accepting Him, then God sends His Holy Spirit to aid us in all we need to do.

God always tries to help us, to divert us from disaster, but we have to choose down which path we are going to follow. He even tells us, choose the path of life. God could have touched my knee and made it perfect, but he chose to take me through the long route for which I am grateful. Otherwise, I would have missed out on so much. I would have missed out on the growth process of healing. I love that. I love God showing up for me. That’s the neatest. That is truly awesome. Growing is part of this journey, if we so choose, life. The journey can be fun too. The journey is great. The progress is cool to witness too. I like that. The ups and down are all a part of it. The destination, then, is the celebration. Then, there’s another journey.

The four plus years I have endured of this leg pain has found me at the end of these four plus months in a pleasant place. I am healing. It is working. I’m strengthening. I am keeping working out with weights, running and biking. I continue to heal. I can now successfully run on the beach too which I like a lot – watch out Jason Bourne. I like the treadmill too. My healing has enabled me to do what most take to naturally and without any thought or pain: bending, walking, stretching or sitting. One of the greatest achievements is that I can actually cross my legs now without any pain. That was amazing when it happened the first time. I didn’t even realize it until it happened. I just naturally tried to cross my legs without thinking about it, and then voila, there I am all cross-legged excited for my recovery. That was so huge when I realized that. That continues to this day. Kneeling was a similar feeling of achievement. I love progress.

I can walk down stairs with only minor pain, I can put on my pants, shorts, etc. without the need to kick out my leg, and I can run on concrete, but that causes the most pain maintaining its first place position for the #1 worst exercise for me. I can, however, also run over the bridge, a favorite exercise of mine, without being out of commission for three weeks which is incredible! I am healing, continually. I’m learning to control my desires to run more even when I want too to slowly build and not to destroy the progress I have made. Moderation and not overdoing it is how I am progressing well.

I will say I love the transformation of my body. I’ve never had to worry about weight in my life, but having hit 40 and beyond, gravity was winning the skin’s losing reality. However, I have found that what’s headed south is seeing its way back up north again which makes me very happy. Another triumphant moment in my life transformed.

The recovery process has had its literal and figurative ups and downs and it’s been a good ride. It’s been a good run as they say. I doubt, however, if I did not have this condition that I would have ever been diligent enough or persevering enough to have stuck with it. I like that it’s shaping me up. It’s helped me to disciple myself too which is so crucial in life for success and I have needed that desperately – peace has come as a result too which was promised in the scripture – less pain, less worry about the pain, less fatigue because of the pain, and therefore less overall stress is what I’ve gained with all of this. Follow-through on the short term makes the long-term a whole lot better. I feel better, I look better, I am better.

I am grateful for lent, a period of 40 days in the Catholic Church of fasting, prayer and almsgiving.  I’m grateful because part of what I did for that was to commit to working out at least 3x/week (I fasted slothfulness/lack of discipline), every other day with the exception of Sunday. I don’t know if I would have stuck with this if it weren’t for that. Diligence is a man’s precious possession.