Monday, November 17, 2014

Learning More....

I begin reading blogs about fighting, boxing, muay thai.... especially those written in a woman's voice.  I want to know how they got started, what they think, how they are doing with it all.  They must have had similar experiences in relation to being female in a men's club.  I'm reading The Glowing Edge and 8 Limbs Us mostly.  I am watching some highlight videos recommended to me from Coach J -  Conor McGregor and JoJo Calderwood.  Sometimes watching the youtube videos freaks me out.  I'm not sure why.  Just that I am such a beginner and those people are SO GOOD and have made it their job/life.  And that isn't really my goal... to make this my job or life.  So I get intimidated or overwhelmed or ...?  I don't know.  Something.

And then I give myself a talk - remind myself why I'm doing this.  This is for the art of mastering my movement and becoming handy in using myself and handling myself. 

A guy at work asks why I do this and why don't I just get a gun or pepper spray.  Completely dismissing the effort to learn this.  And to me that is such a misunderstanding.  I want to rely on MYSELF and know that I am strong and know how to use myself to my advantage vs. relying on something else like a gun or mace.  I don't know if that makes sense.  And at the same time I don't think my learning this sport is a fail safe.  I don't think because I will learn to strike and kick that I am invincible or that I can't be hurt or attacked. 

However, it gives me a chance.  A chance I didn't have before to suprise someone wanting to do me harm and get the hell out.  It's a knowledge my muscles carry and my brain conveys adn that I carry with me always.  I don't have to check my purse or my belt or my pocket to see if it's there, to see if the safety is off... it's a reliance on myself if you will.  And I'm not condeming people that carry guns or pepper spray at all... to each their own.  It's just that to me, it's important that I know what I am capable of and to use my own self - my own body to do it. 

In the reading I've been doing, a lot comes down to sparring.  To get better, you need to find sparring partners.  I'm not a green shirt so I can't come to sparring class... and I started calling the gym and making noise... will there be other classes offered other than the 2x a week?  Is there any other way to spar?  If I asked other beginners to get together is that against gym rules?  Would the gym have problems with that if some people got together to skill practice?

I become a complete pain in the ass.

Monday, November 10, 2014

More Muay Thai...and being a girl

I go to my muay thai classes religiously.  You can't expect to get better at anything if you are sporadic or only do it when you "feel" like it.  I LOVE my boxing nights.  Hitting the pads is technical, thoughtful, and empowering.  Even though I know I am no good (how can ANYONE be good at anything they just start unless they have been bitten by a radioactive spider?) I feel powerful in my boxing classes hitting pads and learning about punches.

I could listen to the coaches talk about how to throw a punch over and over because every time they explain it to new people that come, I hear some other small nuance that I missed the other times I heard it explained.

Being a girl in muay thai is interesting.  And frustrating.  The fact that I'm THERE... I'm out of my comfort zone, I'm in a room of men, often the only woman... and I'm so much older than anyone there... should let people know I'm there and I'm serious and I really want to learn this.  However, society frowns on men hitting women and for good reason.

I get it.  I was around domestic violence growing up.  It's horrible and freaking scary and should never be condoned.  Men don't hit women. 

Unless... they are in boxing class.  So it's a weird thing.  And I'm so happy when one of the men there brings it and doesn't "seem" to pull punches into the pads I hold for them... and at the end of class when we grapple, I am so glad when a guy really tries vs. just going limp or soft and letting me easily best them because I'm a girl.

And I struggle with this and I admit I have a chip on my shoulder about it.  And I admit things can be 2 sided.  Guy holds a door open for you and he's a gentleman but then you want him to punch you in the face in boxing class.  Doesn't compute and mixed messages galore.  And what guy wants to be the one who punches the girl and she freaks out?  What if she wasn't expecting it or had a different idea of what boxing would be?  I don't know all the reasons they won't hit back or hit hard, I'm not a guy.  I can only imagine.

Some nights I come home elated... buzzing and vibrating full of energy and excitement because I felt like I was paired with guys that didn't pander to my being a girl.  Other nights I come home so incredibly frustrated and mad because I was paired with guys that caved and wouldn't fight and were like wet dishrags because I'm a girl...

And especially if I'm taking this course to learn how to be strong should someone ever attack me.  Those guys are not helping me.  I'm not learning.  No attacker is going to play "nice" because I'm a girl.  That is a perceived weakness that they will try to exploit. 

There are way more classes I come home excited than mad however and I am loving the feeling of power and figuring out how to use my body technically to be stronger, more balanced, faster.  It's really amazing. 

I'm a white shirt - baby beginner.  Once you have 40 classes you obtain green shirt status - still a beginner - but a beginner that knows at least a little of what is going on.  When you obtain your green shirt, you are allowed to come to the MMA sparring class held Thursday night.

We get a chance to spar a tiny bit with Coach G and Coach J on Wednesday nights.  A quick 2-3 minute round.  I love my sparring time because it is so dynamic.  I can shadow box and punch a bag all day long but nothing else is coming at me.. I don't have to worry about keeping my guard up (which I should always do but when no one is hitting you, it's easy to forget or to not notice)

I can.  not.  wait.  until I'm a green shirt. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

UFC Reality Show

There is a show on tv now about women strawweight (115lbs) fighters.  They are the best of the best... some were picked due to their fight records, the others had to go to "tryouts" and were picked based on the skills displayed there.

The fighters are put onto two teams, each coached by different men and they all live in this house... it reminds me of an MTV reality show... ugly.  They train and they will fight each other until there is one ultimate winner - the UFC Strawweight Champion. 

We DVR'd it... I watched 2 episodes and decided to delete, delete, delete. 

I get it's supposed to be entertainment... but good grief.  Are we at the point where all the crap...the drama, trash talk, anger, crying, negativity, hate is so freaking entertaining?  I really hate reality tv like this.

I liked watching the training - I liked hearing the women's back's not something a ton of women are flocking to and I want to hear how they got involved, why they stayed with it, what they get out of it, what challenges they face.  And I liked watching the fights - I want to see how they defend, how they go offensively, how things are scored... the ebb and flow of a real sporting event.

I enjoy seeing muscular women because you just don't see them every day and while I don't get that much shit about it any more... I got SO. MUCH. SHIT. from co-workers mostly when I started getting muscles.  So I watch and I like seeing other women who train and have muscles.

After watching the 2nd show I found myself having that black cloud of negativity and wondering if I should be doing this and if I was cut out for going to a muay thai class....

Decided YES.  I AM.  I am having fun, I am fit, I am strong and will get more fit and more strong where I need it if I am lacking for this new endeavor.  I don't think you have to hate your opponent... it's no different than a soccer game or basketball game... you go up against an opponent, there is a winner and a loser, you shake hands and it's nothing personal.  You go back home and figure out what you need to work on if you lost and you work on it... like ANY OTHER SPORT.

So yeah --- delete.  Don't need the drama, the negativity, the hate.  There is enough of that in the world.  I can learn how to fight and remain cheerful and have fun doing it.  I'm not freaking Rhonda Rousey and I have no aspirations to be. 

I liked a post by Sylvie von Duuglas-Ittu who is training and fighting muay thai in Thailand.  She was speaking to how the children begin fighting young and it's a way of life for them and it's why the Thai are such great fighters.  She talked about a girl she works with (I think she is 12?) who is very serious but lights up and laughs a lot when fighting because she loves it so much and it brings her joy.  And she talked about a boy (younger - maybe 8?) who, even when faced with someone much larger or skilled than he is, goes at it 100% and throws himself in. 

She ended her post saying to be more like them... and THAT is what motivates me.  Not the "entertainment" of tv producers driving hate, the tearing down of others, the anger...

It's the the SKILL and the JOY that comes from moving well, getting stronger, learning skills, knowing a sport and figuring out how to be better.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Muay Thai

Muay Thai is Thailand's combat sport using striking and clinching - also known as the art of 8 limbs because both fists, elbows, shins and knees are used.  8 points of strikes....

I go to the Muay Thai class on Monday and Wednesday nights.  I have often been the only woman in the class and my stomach is in knots when I go.  I am nervous and it is outside my comfort zone and I am not at all relaxed.  It's all full of guys and they look so serious.  I am the oldest person there.  The coaches are in their 30's... the guys in the class are anywhere from 15 - 30s.

I am 43 and a woman.

Dave came with me for the first class... we got there early and the two coaches... Coach G and Coach J showed us how to wrap our hands and gave us a pair of boxing gloves from the gym to use.  We were shown 4 punches...

#1 being the jab - which is your off hand.  I am right handed so my jab comes from my left hand and goes sorta straight out in front.  I was told it's sort of a distance measuring hit... because then when you punch with...

#2 - which is your cross - and that comes from your dominant hand, my right,  there is more reach and A LOT more power...your cross is your wheel house... your strength... and your *don't F*#^ with me* hand.

Next is #3, your hook.  That one I struggle with.  It comes from your off hand - my left -  and is more sideways across your body than straight out.  This one is slow and awkward for me and I know I'm not making contact correctly or with much power.

And then comes the #4 which is your cross again using your dominant hand - my right.  

1, 2, 3, 4.... and we practiced those punches over and over.  One person held pads and the other punched into them.  Then we switched. 

Dave decided Muay Thai was not his thing and that is a-ok with me.  I'm so incredibly thankful he came with me to the first class for support and to try it out.  He is so wonderful that way in his support for me. 

I found it really cool to hit pads.  It felt really good to HIT something!  I'd never hit anything before.  It felt powerful.  Even though I knew I was a beginner and sucked (because we ALL suck at new things) and I knew my punches were prolly as weak as a baby duck.

I knew I wanted to learn more, I really liked Coach J as he seemed super supportive and I liked the pace/structure of the class.  I had/have the added motivation of wanting to know how to handle myself or have an idea of what to do if I should ever be attacked. 

I signed the gym's contract that night. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

message from the universe

kay.  Anyone that has read this blog will know at 40, I somehow got BIG TIME into fitness.  Sort of all consuming in that I read about it all.  the.  time.

I started a Facebook page for the sole purpose of following fitness articles, motivational memes, pictures etc.  It's my little place to get my geek on and I try to tone it down sometimes by sprinkling in some cat vids or heart-warming dog pix or cool horse things once and a's really just my fix for all things fitness.

And this is not unusual for me as I tend to be a JUMP IN WITH BOTH FEET WHILE SCREAMING YAHOOOO sort of person when something really excites or fascinates me.  This has bitten me in the ass more than once.  However, it can also work in my favor sometimes too.  I never know which will happen.  Falling on my ass or having fun.

I started taking a Muay Thai boxing class in June or July this year due to a strange culmination of events that was years in the making and it sorta floored me how crazy the universe's message to me hit loud and clear.

When I first began to get into shape, I somehow found this guy on the interwebz by the name of Dave Hedges.  He is a strength coach in Ireland who works with kettlebells .... And martial arts fighters.  I wrote to him, he was kind enough to send some encouragement which fed my fire to learn more.  He is straight forward and makes a shit ton of sense.  I asked him questions, he would respond.  My questions were about general fitness and I didn't pay that much attention to the fighters he talked about because it seemed WAY out of my reality.  Like way, way out of my reality .... ever. 

So a couple years go by and I begin to work with this really great woman I met on the interwebz, Cori Lefkowith.  I was working on my own at the time, having just left crossfit and I was trying to fit all. The. Things.  Into my training.  She not unkindly told me to stop it.  Focus.  She wrote me some programs based on my goals at the time.

She simplified things.  She helped talk me off the ledge of going a ga-zillion miles an hour in every work out and trying to do it all....she explained several times why I did not need to pummel myself into utter exhaustion with each work I was hurting myself more than helping myself....she helped me see the value in slower paced work, along with faster/harder work... the ebb and flow.

I rehabbed an elbow injury that I earned from overuse and not properly prepping my joints/tendons/muscles for the work I asked my body to do.  I did a lot of stretching, rollering, moving in all movement planes.  She explained why that was important....she helped me not be such a freak over getting a workout in.  She gave me her time and was not judgmental.

And she was currently working on boxing for her goals.

Again...I thought....damn, tough woman and immediately dismissed anything like that would EVER hold any interest in my life.  It never occurred to me that I could do it or would be tough enough to want to do it.
More time passes. 

About a month before an upcoming business trip, Dave hedges shared a blog post from a woman that hit me in a hugely powerful and profound way. I Punch First.

I started thinking about taking some sort of self defense.  I didn't thing about boxing really... I wasn't sure what exactly I wanted to do about it and it sat on the back burner. 

While on my business trip to Atlanta.  I found myself walking back to the hotel on my the street lights....tons of underbrush and greenery for someone to hide in on both sides of the road immediately next to the sidewalk/ moon.....and I thought holy shit.  If someone would
come at me.....I would have NO idea what to do.

Yes, I have a decent confidence, yes, I carry myself well, yes, I have relative strength/coordination..... I would still have no idea what to do to defend myself.

I really hated that feeling.  Really, really hated it.  Vulnerable.  Helpless.  Weak.  Afraid.

My business trip was over and I'm on the plane ride home....I'm sitting next to this very well dressed man reading a sailing magazine.  "No way is he from CO" I think.  And I don't know why but I ask anyway...." from CO?"

He is from my home town in CO which is incredibly odd.  I've never sat next to anyone from my home town in all my flights and trips for my job or for vacation.  He has we are talking dogs, really hitting it off, which in of itself is also weird....mostly it's polite chit chat and you go back to reading your book.  Turns out he is good friends with one of our veterinarians, Dr. turns to fitness, and he goes to a gym in Ft. Collins that runs Muay Thai and Jiu Jitsu.

He says I have GOT to come to his gym.

And I do.

And somehow I am in a Muay Thai boxing class.  And it is REALLY. FREAKING. COOL.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Speck update

Well - I don't know if it's luck or if I've really actually made progress. 

I stopped using the clicker because Dave won't use a clicker and I'm going out of town for 2 weeks in June.  He'll be the goat milker and I need her going into the milk room without the clicker. 

I let her out and if she comes to me she no longer gets her saltine cracker.  I've upped the requirement to get a treat.

She has to go IN the milk room and up on the stanchion to get her saltine. 

There have been a couple times she has decided not to go in the milk room. 

I don't want to re-enforce the running away.  I want her coming to ME vs. me going to HER.  Which means I have to have patience.  I  sit and wait her out.  If I don't have time to do this, I take her collar as she comes out the gate to make sure she won't run and play keep-away.  Consistency.

First time she ran off and I sat to wait her out it took roughly 30 min... with me cussing under my breath because it's super aggravating.  It's like watching her flip you off and you can't do anything about it. 

Dave walked by a couple times in the midst of doing some yard stuff and was like "wow - I wouldn't be able to wait like that..."  Yeah.  It wasn't easy.  I was mad but couldn't act or be mad cuz it would just drive her off even body language would be "mad" and NO ONE...human or animal wants to approach anyone who is mad at them. 

Second time it happened was like 15 min... and now it's just a few minutes at most before she goes in the milk room on her own and up on the stanchion... so if I wait, act like I don't care and I have the saltines ready for immediate reward....

Well, from her perspective, she is outside the goat pen and isn't able to eat the hay I just brought in when all the other goats are chowing down...

She isn't getting grain since she isn't in the milk room on the stanchion...

She isn't getting saltines since she isn't in the milk room on the stanchion...

Her udder is full...

The human isn't chasing so it's not a "game"... 

I guess she figures the shennanigans of running all about playing keep away aren't worth it.  There is no pay off.

shrug.  Not sure what she'll do with Dave when I am gone.  I'll make sure to tell him he may want to take her by the collar on the way out of the gate since I know he won't have the patience to wait on her and I hope what I've done with her won't be undone....

However, she is milked 2x a day so whatever is undone can be redone when I get home!  I get the opportunity to "train" her twice a day.

I've also been thinking about the differences in how Speck was raised vs. Daisy...

Why does Daisy so readily go into the milk room when she is out and wandering around and when she sees I am ready to milk, she happily trots in and jumps up?  I never have to chase her.  I call her and she comes, ready for milking. 

It could be a personality difference... I don't know.

I really don't remember specifics in baby goat raising as we do everything pretty much the same.  I can't help but wonder if we let Daisy out and about more vs. keeping her in the pen?  Baby goats are so curious and when loose, they really just follow you all around.  Sort of like you are the "mama" goat out foraging and if you were wandering to new pastures or whatever... they keep you in sight... they will run off and play if you are stuck in one spot (me pulling weeds vs. a goat that would be browsing on food) and they always come back to check in.  If you begin to walk away, they come running and stick with you until you are in the next stationary spot.  Much like I imagine it would be in the "wild".

If they wander some place and they can't see you, they begin to call in a "panicky" tone and if you  talk to them and make noise they come ZOOMING in like "oh!  thank-goodness....THERE you are"

Yeah, yeah - I'm anthropomorphising all over myself but shrug.  I'm not a researcher and I DO think animals think and feel... not like we do ... and tho they certainly communicate with each other and they find ways to convey things to us hoo-mans. 

Anyway, we've been letting the two doe kids out and about with us more when we are in the yard for any length of time weeding/mowing etc.  I wonder if it will shape them to come to us more readily when they are milkers... it's my very non-formal experiment.  Besides, it's fun having a couple baby goats following you around and zooming around, kicking up their heels, bouncing and springing like little "Tiggers" all over the place....

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

It was a bust!

I sold five 3oz lotions in four hours.  Whomp whaaaa....  

And man I was so "up" and stressed out Thursday and Friday leading up to the market.  Everything came together rather quickly for me to even be in the market and I sort of hate that because you just know when you are crunched for time, things are bound to go wrong. 

We made lotion Thursday night... the batch didn't turn out quite right and I didn't know what happened... if I made a measuring error or what... it was late, we were tired... I didn't have enough supplies to make more.  I Googled to see if there were any soap/lotion supply places in Denver... surely Denver is big enough to have someone..right?

Turns out I did find a place - Mile Hi Soap.  You could place an order and pick it up the next day - so I placed an order for more supplies with the intention of picking it up Friday.  Friday rolls around and I get a call from Mile Hi Soap that they are out of stearic acid... which is needed for lotion.  It gives lotion it's "fluff" vs. being flat like water or oil. 

I called around to Vitamin Cottage, Whole Foods... nope.  No stearic acid.  I call Mile Hi Soap and tell them my fortune would have it, another soap/lotion maker was in the store and said she would sell me 2lbs of her supply. 

I headed to Denver. 

PARKING LOT.  I-25 was a complete parking lot.  What should have taken me 2.5 hrs round trip took 5 hours... I was near tears with frustration on my way home as I didn't get back until after 7pm... I hadn't eaten... was starving... had to pee like a race-horse and we still had so much lotion to make for the market the very next day....

We were up until midnight... back up at 5AM.... set up and ready to go in the market by 7:45AM....

And I sold 5 small bottles. 

Oh.  *head hangs in disappointment* 

Silver lining is that I have enough lotion to last the rest of the year!  No more late nights, I won't need to re-order supplies for a LONG time... I need more bottles but there is no rush for I'm good to go.

And when I picked up my things at Mile Hi, I talked to the owner and chatted him up about natural preservatives.  Going all natural would decrease my shelf life lotions would grow mold 6-8 mos. in.  No bueno my friends, no bueno.  As it is, my lotions last for up to 3 years...not that one should keep lotion around that long...but I have peace of mind knowing if it sits on a shelf, it's not going to grow any nasties and cause people odd problems... 

Once again I wonder what the "market" is for my lotion.  People like it a ton...but I just can't quite seem to find it's niche.  And like I've said before, we have day jobs so I'm not completely invested in putting a huge chunk of time finding that niche.  I try something.. sit back and evaluate... and part of me thinks - just give it up... make it for yourself and your friends and just be done with it.  I have so many other things going on with my job, horses, dogs, goats and family. 

I'm signed up for once a month through October... so maybe things will pick up but I don't see things picking up so much I'd sell out... in the meantime, it's fun people watching and chatting and working on my "sales pitch".  grin. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Farmer's Market for StarsHollow goat milk lotion....

The whole reason I started this blog was to provide a more "personable" presence for the StarsHollow goat milk lotion.  I read from the Brambleberry site that having an online presence made you more real to your customers and gave them a glimpse into your world and created more customer loyalty.

So I started a blog....

And the lotion... well... let's face it.  We both have day jobs and we just aren't hungry enough to pursue the lotion as much as one *should* pursue a business.  I mean for a business to really grow, you have to treat it like a newborn baby... lots and lots of attention and nurturing and coddling and feeding.

And we also weren't sure how much we wanted it to grow.  It is a fun, creative outlet and we wanted to keep it that way vs. becoming big and overwhelming and something we dreaded.  We wanted it to grow...but not too much. 

I went to some craft fairs at first and did fine.  We actually met with the Whole Foods skin care rep at the Ft. Collins store and they liked it and wanted us to work with them IF we changed some things about the lotion to make it 100% all natural and I didn't want to do that. 

I don't mind a bit of chemistry in my water-based, room temperature, perfect medium for bacterial growth product.  I see 1% of a preservative as the lesser evil over some weird strain of virulent bacterial growth. 

And that is completely fine if someone disagrees because they don't have to use or buy my lotion.  I know there are plenty of all natural products that are completely fabulous.  I just don't trust mine to be that natural.  We can happily agree to disagree and shake hands and go on our merry way.

Plus we would have needed to buy a bar code and while do-able... it was more expense to the tune of a couple hundred dollars and we were already pretty tight with the costs to make the lotion and keep it at a reasonable price for retail purchases with a bit of profit included.  Every thing you add costs money and we aren't including our time much at all because start-ups are all about getting out there and making some sacrifices in order to get into the market and begin to get seen.

And they needed you to commit to hand-selling your product and we heard from another vendor selling to Whole Foods, that you had to give them x amt of product for free as placement initiative.  Whether that is true or not I don't know but the cards began to stack up against that idea given we didn't want to put a ton of effort in.

We pitched it to Esscentials.  A locally owned store here in the Old Town, Ft. Collins area and they carry it on their shelves.  Really cool shop with a wide variety of soaps, lotions, jewelry, bath items, cards etc.  We went to a few other stores but they just didn't have the "look" or "feel" we liked.  Some were too all natural - complete with instructions and recipes for eating your placenta after you gave birth, to strange arrays of discounted odds and ends that just seemed to make no sense.  It looked more like a yard sale than a cute boutique people would want to shop in.

And I guess I'm a big chicken.  I felt weird about knocking on doors and peddling my wares.  And so it came to a stand still again.

A few years ago we looked into farmers markets and at that time it seemed the rules were that you HAD to commit to every single weekend.  And I just wasn't sure I could make that commitment or that I even wanted to.

I ran into my massage therapist and her husband at a small party in March.  Her husband owns Green Dog Farm CSA and was talking about being in the farmers market.  I began asking him thing led to another and I asked if I could partner with him at the market and if I could come once a month.  I gave them samples of my lotions so they knew what product they would be supporting and they love it.  I filled out the vendor paperwork, paid my $55 vendor fee and will be selling for the first time in an official farmer's market. 

I'm nervous - I have no idea how it will be received or if I will sell very much.  However, you don't know if you don't try. 

I Googled merchandising and display options for farmers markets and have some ideas.  I'm sure, as with anything, there will be some adjusting depending on how things go.  It will be a learning experience and should be pretty interesting...   I'll post pix. 

Wish me luck!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Progress with Speck the goat....

OK - I keep forgetting to bring the iPad out with me for milking time.  No video for you.  Sad face. 

I had been a little sporadic in trying anything with Speck because of the failures I had incurred and I was thinking (ruminating - ha ha!) about how to move forward...

I can approach her in the pen, she follows me in the pen, I can take her collar in the pen... it's just ALL that changes once she is OUT of the pen.  So I feel it's not doing me any good to keep practicing in the pen.  Tho' now when I take her collar I do take a second to scritchy scratch her neck so there is some "pleasure" associated with me reaching for her collar/neck.... and I am not clicking or treating... just giving her some extra scratching. 

I let her out of the pen the other day and had my clicker and some saltines.  She ran just past the milk room... looked at the door way ... looked at me.  I held out a saltine.  She actually came to me.  That was a complete suprise!  Click and saltine. 

I took her collar just a wee bit to guide her to the door, in she went all on her own... click and saltines and me making happy praising sounds.  (Which I'm not sure if goats are motivated to please humans exactly and if she cares about any happy sounds I make but it can't hurt.)

Last night, I let her out of the pen and she went IN the milk room without going past the door and very little hesitation.... click and saltines.... I didn't have to guide her to take her collar at all. 

I don't know if this is just coinkydink or what.  I'm taking it however...

And the second I decide to iPad it, she will go running amok and act like she doesn't know a thing about the milk room ... ani-mules are so good at making liars of us all! 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


Maybe you've heard of it?  Before Dave left for France, he was in "spring training" for wine tasting and drinking.  We had A LOT of wine before he left.  And more decadent foods... when I drink I lose inhibitions and I want to eat sweet things... MMMMMM. 

And while there is nothing at all wrong with drinking or eating sweet things... it was a lot more than I was used to.  And while Dave was in France he had a pretty decadent diet of delicious foods and wines.

We decided to "reset" things when he got back home to get us back on track.  We decided to do the Whole30 challenge.  Basically for 30 days you eat protiens (fish, chicken, beef, pork etc), veggies and in moderation fruits, nuts and seeds.

No dairy, no al-key-hol, no fried things (some olive and coconut oils for general cooking are fine), no processed foods, no sugar other than what comes naturally in a fruit...but no honey or agave or legumes, no grains, no white potatoes (this more in line with breaking habits of fries and chips) and no "paleo-fied" desserts.  You know - those cookies and donuts and cupcakes and pies made with gluten free whatever.  They are still DESSERTS. 

It isn't *that* hard for us as it's how we try to eat most of the time.  I will say I missed a glass of wine Friday night after a work-week.  I've missed having a piece of gum after my lunch to freshen my breath.... I have had some chocolate cravings at night.... but I'm really doing A-OK. 

I find if I fill up on veggies, even if I am craving something, I have a much easier time of saying "no thank-you" because I'm nice and full.  I know I only have 20 days left and I can eat whatever it is I want then if I still want it. 

No food is "bad"... (I say that but I guess I do think fake man made food isn't "good" - I still like to eat the candy even when I know it's chemicals and not good for me....)

Think it really comes down to how much you consume of it.  While in Italy, we had gelato every. single. day.  Sometimes twice in a day.  One time 10x in a day because there was a gelato festival.   I didn't care and I didn't see any significant changes for the worse in myself.  Went back to eating "normally" when we got home and all is and was well.  No biggie.  Vacations can include vacations from normal eating habits too...

However, we both felt things were slipping a little too often in our eating habits before the France trip and we just wanted to get back on track.  Whole30 is sort of an interesting challenge to take.  Lets you see how often you take those little deviations... a handful of x here or a little bite of y there.... not a bad thing either way, just interesting to take note of.

Because of this challenge we've been looking at new recipes to try.... it's been fun and we have been fully satiated with our meals.  And boy do I appreciate the sweetness in fruit without any access to JellyBellies or Orange Slice candies.... wondering if I could make fruit more of my "treat/dessert" process vs. chemical/fake candy more often?  I'm going to try it when we are done with the challenge for sure.  See if it satisfies my sweet tooth...?

Like I said, we are on day 10 - only 20 more days and so far, not too bad.  Some little conveniences and habits missed but overall, finding I feel happier - and I don't know if this is attributed to less chemicals in my body which I TOTALLY attribute many feelings of odd sadness or depressive episodes in myself... or if it's a mental thing that I'm eating really well with lots of veggies and it's a mental thing of "it's good for me" and that makes me feel good that I'm eating well for myself.... prolly a bit of both.  And both Dave and I have been sleeping HARD lately.  It's felt super refreshing... that could be anything I suppose and I can't make any claims that it is Whole30 related... but it makes one wonder.  :)

What have I been eating?  Breakfast is a piece of fruit and hard boiled eggs....or scrambled eggs with avocado and salsa on the weekends.... lunch is left overs from dinner ... and dinners have been venison stew with tons o' veggies .... roasted chicken with veggies .... taco salad with beef, avocado, grape tomatoes and salsa for dressing.... chicken broth based soup with chicken, sweet potatoes, green chilies, onion, carrot, celery, bacon, salsa.... citrus grilled pork-chops on a bed of broccoli.... spaghetti squash with marinara/sausage/mushroom sauce.... grilled brats with mashed rutabagas....

Up next is a new recipe for ginger scallops with grilled peaches.... there are ALL kinds of delicious flavor combos out there.

So yeah - we haven't been hurting for delicious flavor in our food or for things to eat... that's for sure! 

Friday, May 9, 2014

The Big Hurt and being a complete mule.

Ok - so Dave was going to France and there was this big project I wanted to complete as sort of a surprise to him.  Even tho' he knew I was going to do it. 

We are on 5 acres and it is hot and dry where we are... often with lots of wind... very hard, red clay soils... plants just don't really flourish.  Especially with MY watering habits.  I try to remember but we don't have a sprinkler system and it usually involves me running around with a bunch of hoses and it's a huge pain in 'da butt.

I got a bid this spring from a sprinkler guy.

*cough*  $8K *cough* to make it so I could lord over my yard and water it ALLLLLL with a simple wave of my hand...

Yeah.  Well.  I don't gots 8K to spend on watering. 

While the guy was at our place, he said, "Why don't you put in a raised border here, put a drip hose and cover it with mulch?  That is simple, you could do that"

And after getting his quote I was like F* it.  MULCH EVERYTHING!  MULCH IS THE ANSWER!

I showed Dave the area I wanted to mulch... he looked at me dubiously.  "Are you sure you want to do that much?  Why don't you start small and go from there?  You can make it bigger in increments."

I thought about that for all of .00001 seconds. 

I am so much more of a whole hog kinda gal.  I jump both feet in.  I fling myself into things without looking back.

And so I called Hagemann's Landscape to have a hydraulic lift truck deliver a load of mulch the first Thursday Dave was gone. They delivered it... the area I had them dump it was really really dumb in hind sight (that hindsight...always 20/20!).  It was right in the middle of the open gate from the yard, out to the front pasture. 

I thought it wasn't that big of a deal at the time because I'd have it all moved and spread into the area I wanted in no time.  And then the wind came..... 60mph winds....  sustained.... Saturday late afternoon and it continues for 5 or 6 days straight.  I tried scooping it and putting it in our Rubbermaid cart for about 2 hours when it began... and then it became comical... like completely insane that I was out there moving or trying to move mulch in the high winds.

It was like Caddyshack with the Bishop in the thunderstorm playing golf....

When I finally gave up and moved inside... my face was black with mulch.  I had effectively mulched my face.  I wouldn't recommend it as an exfoliating treatment. No.  No.  Not at all.  Of course no one was home to tell me my face was black with mulch.  Dogs and cats don't tell or care.  I cleaned house, did laundry, changed sheets on the bed and then when it was time to get ready for bed a couple hours later, I saw my face in the bathroom.... Mulchface.

And thus the gate to the front pasture remained open.  And the dogs ran amok in the front pasture.  Which I thought was ok, until Toe chased a rabbit and squeaked out the fence... into the driveway and down the dirt road.  The dirt road people drive 55mph on... and he's small....easy to miss....easy to squish with a car....

I didn't know he'd gone until all of a sudden...he was just.... gone.  My heart sank and I began looking all over for him on our place... nowhere.  I started thinking horrific thoughts.  My heart was in my knees and they were quaking....  I was so scared he was gone.

And then I heard barking.  And I think it was his bark... I went running down the road and 3 houses down was Toe... head in a rabbit hole furiously digging and imperiously barking at the bunny in the hole. 

Oh I about sat in the middle of the road in relief... I called him over and he came.  I was so happy to see the little fella.

We went home.  And the stress hit about the gate.  That he could get out into the front pasture any time I let the dogs out to pee... stress.  Stress upon stress.  And then something happened to my ribs on the left side...they totally spasmed up so much I could barely breathe much less move very fast... I think it was from my mulch shovelling a few days prior along with other things I did that day and in following days.  I was trying to do it all.  And I paid.

I told Dave about it when he called me from France one afternoon. 

I got home that night and began chores.  Carefully due to the pain in my ribs.   I made my way back to the hay shed. 

The mulch.

It was all inside the gate. 

The gate was closed.

No more dogs running amok in the front pasture! 

I looked up and thought..."Angels."  I immediately felt 300% better.  Stress melted away..

Dave had called a neighbor with a tractor after talking to me and asked them to move the mulch pile.  Such a simple thing and it meant the WORLD to me.

And yes.  I am one stubborn freakin' mule. 

And I'm glad my husband know this and can still take care of me even when he is half-way around the world......  

Monday, May 5, 2014

Trips to France and Old does named Spot

Dave - ok Furry Husband is..... Dave.  grin.  I called him that on the blog cuz I was trying to protect his identity for whatever reason and he IS furry.  His friends used to tease me that I only married him cuz he reminded me of another animal because I am the big animal dork and get geeked easily by all things animal.  And thinking about it... yes.  Maybe that is true.  Maybe that IS part of his charm to me.  His furry-ness. 

Anyway, Dave was in France for two weeks on a wine trip with his distributor.  And yes... it was "work" and spouses don't go.  I was on my own at home and really it was ok because I love our little house and I love the life we created.  It was a bit lonely without him there and taking care of our place is much more fun with him around. 

To make sure I didn't have any "I'm so JEALOUS" feelings, I took some additional time off from work to help me not feel too overwhelmed with stuff around our place and I planned some fun things for myself here and there.

A trip to Denver to have lunch with a girlfriend I don't see much.  A massage.  A pedicure.  I splurged and spend $40 on some used CDs and grapefruit spoons. Yup.  Grapefruit spoons.  I bought a cute orange spaghetti straps, above the knees consignment dress for $17.  Yow!

I know, I know LIVING LARGE huh Shanster?!  Seriously?  Grapefruit spoons?!   However, it is about the small things and taking care of ourselves however that is.

I do have a funny story to share about my big project I decided I would do while he was gone... as if there isn't enough to do when you are on your own and working and taking care of the animals and house on your own....

However, I started blogging again cuz I was gonna be all goat whisperer on y'all. 

How's that working for you Shanster?


After my two epic fails (see last post), Dave left and I got so busy that I didn't click or treat my little goatie oat. 

Tho' twice, she came out of the pen and scurried right into the milk room with barely a touch on her collar.  So I tempted fate last night.  Let her out...with no touch on her collar and whoops... off she ran. 

I got the saltine crackers out, I clicked and treated for any movement toward me... any time I reached for her collar tho, she was outta there.  So I fed the old doe, Spot, the saltines and ruminated on things about goat whispering.  Ruminate - get it?  They have rumens!  oh... I'm so funny. 

One by one I fed old Spot crackers... crunch, crunch, crunch went the old goat... smack, smack, smack went her lips.

"HEY...what is she getting???!!!"  said the keep away doe... and she came trotting over to see... click - saltine... click - saltine.... I took her collar... and we walked in the milk room.

Thanks for the assist Spot!

Anyway - decided I will click and treat for me moving to take her collar... take it back to the most elemental thing I can think of.  Cuz right now... if I could just take her collar when she is loose, THAT would be super helpful.  Silly goat.

And Silly Hoo-man for attempting to goat whisper.

Eh - blame it on NPR.  THEY are the ones who had the story about researchers and smart goats.... givin' me all kinds of high and mighty goat whisperin' ideas.   Hmph! 

Happy Monday and enjoy your Cinco de Mayo!  Margaritas for all! 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


OK - a couple of epic fails.  grin.  This is just for grins and giggles so no worries about failing here.

Speck knows when I come into her pen with raisins and the clicker.  She will follow me, come to me etc.  I take her out 2x a day for milking anyway.  Decided to see what would happen if I let her out without taking her collar.


She ran away.  Sigh.  She didn't care I had raisins.  She isn't "self-rewarding" as far as I can tell - she isn't grazing or jumping and playing with that look of goat mischievousness on her face.  She is trying to find a way back into the pen and she runs the fence length of the pen... which is a rectangle so she can go around and around with me behind her.  Frustrating.

I caught her, but it sort of reinforced me being behind her and pushing her away... I'm not running to chase her or making any noise etc.  Just calmly walking her down. 

Then I thought - oh!  I will put a "leash" on her so she just can't run away and see how that goes.  I can just keep it slack but will stand on it or whatever so she can't run away at least... I can reward her for any steps toward me or for staying in one spot.


Once she realized there was a leash?  All she did was pull away from it and then didn't care about anything else.  Just that she has this gawd awful restraint on her OMG OMG OMG. 

And of course since those two things happened on a whim as I was thinking it over, I didn't capture them for your viewing enjoyment... grin.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Introducing Speck the test goat....

Here is our third click and treat session.  It's less than a minute.  The dogs came in the pen which was fine til it remembered raisins are poisonous to dogs and they are small and hard to treat with when you have slimy goat slobber on your hand and you drop them on the ground.  Whoops.  

You can tell she is excited cuz she stands on her hind legs which she doesn't normally do around me.  The blog post I read of someone who had trained their goat this way said that would happen.  I just ignored it.  

I like that when Furry Husband came in to give another flake she was distracted but then remembered, "raisins!" And came back to me...she got a larger chunk o' raisins from my hand for that.  

Not sure how many sessions to have like this to cement that a click equals a reward for it to be permanent in her goat brain?  Will just play around with it.  HAPPY EASTER!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Animals iz cool!

Ok, I am weird.  Y'all know this.  I've been thinking.  My agility diva friend in Fairbanks is going to this agility workshop, and they will spend some time clicker training chickens.

Yes, chickens.  She sent me a blog posting someone had about it.  Seems it really helps you figure out timing as chickens move much faster than dogs...and it helps you figure out how to break stuff down, sequence it and get a desired behavior.

Before this, my milking doe, Speck, has difficulty going to the milk room.  My other goats will go on walk about when I let them out of their pen but once I head in for milking, they come a'runnin.  Not Speck.  She plays keep away.  It's time consuming and annoying.  I've been thinking on it....  I have her coming to me if I have a bowl of grain IN the pen.  I take her collar and lead her out, lead her into the milk room and all is fine.

If she gets out of the dice.  Even with a bowl of grain.  I mean, eventually the grain looks good enough I can get near her to take her collar....but it isn't the instant come running like the other does.  It takes a lot more time and is still annoying.  

And I know training is about making the wrong thing hard and the thing you want the easiest path.  So I've just been sort of mulling it over in my head.  

Then with my friend going to this chicken-clicker thing.

And I saw a vid on FB with a cat doing dog tricks.  I googled clicker training a cat.  Read about it.  Interesting.  Seems if you are patient and break things down and use short sessions you can indeed clicker train your cat.  The idea is the same as I read on the chicken blog post...

And you figure all sorts,of ani-mules are trained this way in movies, places like Sea World etc.  how else do you train the odd animal?  Good boy Spot and a happy pat on the head  for a dog just doesn't translate to all other species.

I'm no genius or amazingly gifted at anything...but I am gonna try to freaking clicker train a goat.  Am gonna see if I can't teach a cat a trick or two.  Just wanna play with it and see what happens.  I'm excited about it.


Session 1 & 2 tonight with Speck, the goat.  Simply click and treat.  20-30 times.  Let her associate the sound with the reward.  She digs raisins in a big way and that is a treat that isn't ever on the menu.  Figure it's a "high value" treat.  So far she is all about it.  She was excited about them.  

I'll take some vid to show you step by step which hopefully doesn't bore the pants off anyone....or if it DOES bore the pants off you, have some FUN with that while they are off and let's just see what happens.  So interesting!  

Friday, January 31, 2014


Shew - it is snowy out there.  I am working from home cuz I am lucky to have a job where they let me take me laptop home and I knew a winter storm was coming. 

So I'm taking a quick break to write a bit.... nothing in particular, just taking a break.

When I work from home, I feed the animals at 3ish... it's only 2:30 and the dogs are STARING at me quite intently.  The cats are restless and every time I look in a cat's direction I get a question meow?  Or I get a little chirr-up?  

I think they want to be fed.

I am looking forward to the next few weeks.... this Sunday is the Walking Dead Seasons 1 & 2 marathon, then the Superbowl. 

I am a huge, giant weenie and Walking Dead gives me nightmares but I am TRYING to hang with it.  I am trying to think of the zombies and metaphors for all the scary unknowns you would face if civilization as we know it ceased to exist. 

I don't like monsters - and at the same time I also get disturbed by end of days sort of shows.  Walking is playing to my psycho fears!!!

While I WANT to believe people are good.  I think the more realistic scenario would be that our really ugly sides would show more and people would panic and cause great injury to each other.

Plus, I imagine what it would be like to lose friends or family and be forever cut off from people you know or love and the panic and hopelessness and fear and discomfort involved every day... no more running water?  No more grocery stores?  No more phone or Internet or central heating/cooling.... and if you got sick or injured... well you may be completely fucked with no Drs or hospitals.  I totally go there and "feel" what it might be like and I freak myself out... like way out.

So yeah.  Hard show for me to watch but for whatever reason, I WANT to watch it and get over myself.  ??  Am I subconsciously proving something to myself?  ???  Who knows?  And what would that proof be anyway???  grin.  I have no idea.

And while I'm not a huge football fan, I do enjoy the commercials and the hype and we plan on having yummy food available and I am all about food... so yeah.. a GREAT way to relax and come down from the adrenaline rush after watching zombies maim and kill and devour...

Bacon wrapped sweet potato bites.  Those will make EVERYTHING better.  I'm sure of it.

Next weekend we get our taxes done and while I don't think we will have any refund and I'm pretty sure we will owe $$, at least they will be done and I can *hope* we will get a refund.  After taxes, Shorty goes to her first Triebball class.  A sport developed in Germany that uses exercise balls in lieu of sheep and the dogs learn to herd them about.  I think it will be super interesting and I think Shorty will really have a lot of fun with it!  I am excited to learn something different and watch Shorty learn... see how she learns.  I haven't done much with her cuz she is more of Furry Husband's dog and I don't wanna break up that happy bond.

Weekend after that is the FOUR day agility show with Toe. 

Er. Ma. Gawd. 

Four days of driving to Denver and back to try and run around an agility course and earn the final qualifying score for Toe to get his AKC Standard Agility title and thus the final thing for his AKC Versatility Title.

I'm sort of looking forward to it because the venue is dog central... everything dog will be there... obedience, fly ball demos, conformation classes, agility... vendors for all things dog out the wazoo... which is fun to walk around and see.  Plus I can finally get my grooming scissors and clipper blades sharpened properly.  I've had them to some places around town and they haven't been quite right...

Tho I'm not looking forward to the drive every day... and I will make plans to see family while there...which isn't always easy and leaves me sometimes with not so very pleasant emotional baggage feelings.  shrug.  Whattya gonna do?   Put on your big girl panties and be a damn adult - that is what I'm gonna do.

Sera has been good, tho last weekend she pulled up lame.  grumble grumble.  We've had snow and melt and frozen, uneven ground, and more snow and more mud... and so it's possible she twisted something to took a mis-step.  Since it is snowy out and I can't - oh wait - don't want to ride in the cold... well... rest is my option right now. 

I have taken her on a couple road rides with a friend who started keeping her horse here and that has been a BLAST.  Sera has been a star for only having been on road rides like once or twice?  But she is mature now and we are definitely more in tune with each other... so I don't get as easily freaked out and she trusts my guidance more...

I am really looking forward to putting some miles on her this summer for trails and roads and just going out and going forward and having fun.  I think the nice long walk/trot down the road is doing her good.. both physically but also mentally for us both!

So things will be fun and interesting and keep me busy for the next few weeks anyway!  Cheers!! 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Mornings and the funnies

Lately I have STRUGGLED to get up in the morning.  Man.  I don't know what that is about.  I think it is the cold and the dark but it's ALWAYS been cold and dark and I had no trouble getting up before? 

Anyway - once I haul my butt outta bed and we get our chores done.  It is coffee and comics time.  I love this part about my mornings!  I love sitting down with my hot cuppa' joe and digging into the funny pages.  Only of course they are all on-line now and not in the newspaper.  Or if they are in the newspaper it is a measly offering of comics.

I think they are artists.  They create characters... they draw and their drawings always look the same - how do they do that???  And they come up with such clever ideas and "stories" that can be told in 4 tiny windows or less.... amazing to me.  They are all so unique to whomever the cartoonist is.  AND they can defy all realms of reality. 

Anything can be brought to life... animals, inanimate objects, people....

I know comics are maybe something people don't think about but man, I LOVE them and have huge respect for all those cartoonists out there... I seriously look forward to my funny papers every. single. day. 

Cheers and have a fabulous day today! 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Colorado Kennel Club

K....I'm happy .... and bored cuz it is snowy and cold and almost dark outside.  And I got such a nice comment from Funder that I thought I really *should* try to post more.  Grin. 

Entered Toe in the CKC dog show February 14-17.  Oy, four days of agility!  I know I am not a die hard agility handler cuz I am not looking forward to driving 1.5 hrs each way to Denver and back.  However, I wanted to get his versatility title thru AKC, do dog performance stuff I'd never done and he is ONE qualifying score away from his standard agility title.  The last title needed for the versatility title....  He has his tracking title, obedience title, rally title and jumpers with weaves title....shew!

Figure 4 days of running courses I have a pretty good shot.  We will be in classes Jan & Feb leading up to the show which helps me to figure out running and remembering all the body language needed....when classes have been sporadic like over the holidays, my already beginner handling skill just deteriorates into crap.  There is a reason I was never a hunter/jumper...can't remember courses to save my life.  At least with Dressage tests the patterns only change after years...I can memorize them for months and months.  

Agility has been HARD!  It's so much like working with horses only with dogs you aren't on them - you are on the ground and every facial expression, movement, and step is read by your dog.  I have learned a lot, and know it's only a drop in the bucket.   Wish me luck!  

Happy S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y night!    70's songs just run thru my head.....


Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy 2014!

Hello!  I know this blog has been allowed to go a little dormant.... however, when I am sad and a little on the depressed side, I tend to be way more in my own head and I write more - even tho' my posts for the most part are cheerful.  I mean, yeah, I AM cheerful and I enjoy finding humor in most everything in life ... and still when I was struggling with a bit o' the depressive side there was always a bit of a shadow - or brain bugs - or that f*&^ing demented hamster running on a wheel in my head that woulnd't stop - and that is why I wrote more and posted more.

Eating 100% better than I used to and moving 100% more really, really fixed that issue 98% of the time. 

Personally, I think my diet before contributed greatly to this shadow of depression.  I ate mostly processed food stuff like the diet industry's fat-free anything, pizza, pasta, man-made foods - ummmm -  what the hell IS Velveeta anyway?  Personally I think your body just wasn't made to thrive off those things and we would all be better off eating foods we recognize... things that are "real". 

Yeah - like broccoli, squash, chicken, beef, fish, eggs, pork, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, cabbage, spinach, pears, pomegranates, avocados, nuts - veggies, proteins, fruits...things that are what they are without the ingredient list a mile long.  Things typically found on the outside aisles of your local grocery store....

And yes, it took time and patience to learn to eat these things as I was not raised on anything remotely resembling healthy.  Yes, it was difficult.  However, you CAN love these things and I DO love these things now.  Never thought I could or would like veggies or fruits and now I do for reals and for true.  Both for how they taste and for how they make me feel.

Then came the exercise and moving piece...  and I did well on my own to start.  I had success with basic bodyweight movement and sprints. 

I hurt myself sprinting while on my own - didn't warm up enough - and I went to a PT that my lunchtime yoga instructor recommended.  She fixed my issue and would show me where I was injured in anatomy books and explain what she was doing to help me.  Very much appreciated.  Yet when I excitedly told her about the things I was doing at home, she told me I should stop because I would get really "bulky" and man-like in my musculature.  This made me sad and I knew enough to know that wasn't true.  Knew this was one of those fitness myths I'd read about and women are so much more capable....and sad this myth is so pervasive. 

We moved on to Crossfit cuz we had friends who SWORE by it and drank that kool-aid by the gallon.  grin. 

Then my elbows got a bit trashed from all the high reps in Crossfit... beginning with my left elbow.  The coach there was grumpy and annoyed by my seemingly endless questions... I know.  I just have questions!  And I wanted to know more and more and more but that enthusiasm was too much for his grumpy soul and our personalities didn't jive.

I asked him about my elbow when it first began to hurt and I think he had just had it with me.  He told me I could have wrung out a towel too hard for all he knew.  He told me I should use this to my advantage to practice one-arm pull ups with the "good" elbow. 

Which didn't make any sense to me because I couldn't even do ONE normal pull up.  How in the hell would I just start knocking out one-arm pull ups and if my left elbow was hurting... I didn't want to trash out my right one.  And I was not having fun any more there - just didn't "believe" in the kool-aid anymore after a year.  

I recently went to a kettlebell guy in town.  He had been helpful - absolutely - in critiquing my swing and in making sure I am creating tension in my core to assist me with movement.  When I told him of my pull-up goals he thought I should do high reps to attain them.  I tried this.  And the high rep thing just.  isn't.  working.  My right elbow hurts and I'm still not any closer to my pull ups.  I don't think this method is wrong per se, but damn, MY body just can't handle it and there HAS to be another way.  I am feeling so frustrated by my injuries.  

I looked at working remotely with WG-Fit and Dave Hedges in Ireland back in August (because isn't the Internet so freaking cool?  You can meet up and connect with people you would NEVER know or run into otherwise).... he thought he might start up some on-line training.  Tho' it hasn't happened.  He showed support for my efforts and was kind enough to answer questions I had without being condescending which I was so, so grateful for.  Tho again, I think I am a little too all over the place in my excitement... Shannon-esque you might say ... with my enthusiasm and endless questions.  *head hangs in sorrow*    He has a blog chock full of good information and video demos to learn from as well - totally nice guy who knows his shit but he is in Ireland and I am in Colorado.  

I am reading, reading, reading.... trying to learn all I can about fitness because it is truly amazing to me how it has made me feel SO. MUCH. BETTER.  

I just can't begin to explain how much better it is in my own head and how I feel empowered cuz I did it.  No one did it for me.  I did it.  I am the one who figured out foods and how to cook them and I am the one who began moving and being consistent in movement and I am the one that helped myself to feel so much better and I am the one who changed my body.  I did this.  No one else could have done it for me.  It was all up to me and like those motivational childrens movies with a moral at the end... I HAD THE POWER INSIDE MYSELF ALL THIS TIME.  And you do too... we all do.  We are all so much stronger than we give ourselves credit for.

I am going to work remotely with Cori of Redefining Strength and Man Bicep.  Check her out here and here.  She is the real deal.  Not a bunch of fake marketing b.s.  But real exercises, real technique focused on proper form and movement.  Real rehab and recovery techniques. 

AND the best part to me right now - when I feel I have been chasing away everyone in the fitness world with my Shannon-esque -  she is enthusiastic and I don't think I scare her or have driven her crazy ... yet. 

I know I can be "overwhelming" in my excitement.  It is a blessing many times being the YES, YES, YES - JUMP IN WITH BOTH FEET - YAHOOO!!!! sort of person .....tho' it has bitten me in the ass as well.  I am really looking forward to working with a woman and having some female energy injected into my fitness journey.  I need help with all the detail stuff and progressing. 

She is going to help me figure out how to write some programming with my specific goals in mind --- with my capabilities and limits and how to expand in ways that won't injure me.  I am so willing to put in work and effort, and I just don't want to hurt myself anymore in that work and effort.  There has to be a way to make progress without injury.  I think there is a "work smarter - not harder" element here to be learned. 

And I am really hoping she can help me to put a filter on the things I read and help me to think about them and how one would go applying them.... I seriously looked at going back to college and getting a degree in exercise and kinethesiology at my ripe old age of 43... but I am so over getting more and more in huge debt with college loans.  Feels like I'll never have my Masters degree paid off as it is.... 

I know we have something to learn from everyone we encounter.**  And I so want to learn....

So anyway - check out Man Bicep and Redefining Strength for loads of good info and maybe you want to take some online training too?  Or subscribe to an exercise library full o' good workouts? 

And while I think about this blog... it is a good thing when I am away cuz it means I am out in the real world moving and living and not under that little shadow of depression and the brain bugs are gone and the hamster is quiet. 

I wish you all much love and peace and strength in this new year of 2014!!!

**(I'm not a Crossfit hater - I struggle with residual bad feelings but I think that has a lot to do with ME and not the sport itself.  I still watch the Games on ESPN and I still love Elizabeth Akinwale.  I think a lot of people do well with it - I don't think it is the absolute recipie for grievous injury and rhabdo - I enjoyed it for a time!  AND even tho my crossfit coach and I did not mesh well in the end, I DID learn from him, yes - good things too.  Before he got fed up with me... and eventually I from him.  heh)