Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Roller Derby

Last weekend, I went roller skating with a friend and his daughter, and I was approached by the coach of a roller derby team here in town. She asked me if I had ever considered joining a team. My initial reaction was that I'm not that great of a skater. Well, let me change that. I can skate, fast, and I'm pretty good at weaving around people... I am not good at stopping ("Catch me!!"), and I can't skate backwards or anything fancy like that. So, as much fun as roller derby sounded (it appeals to my aggressive, prove-things-to-myself side), I didn't consider myself a very good candidate and told her as much. Then she explained that once you join, you are put into one of three levels and they train you to do the rest. The beginner level teaches stopping, going backwards, squats, and so on. The intermediate level teaches more balance, for when people are trying to knock you down, and teaches you to push other people. That's the team part of it. Then, once you make it up to the Expert level, they will start putting you in actual races. It sounded like a lot of fun, and the more she told me about it, the more interested I became! The only hang up right now is that their practices are on Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings. I can't make the Wednesday practices because I work nights. So... I'll have to wait until June when I'm supposed to go to the PR shop, and will probably end up working days at that time. So, meanwhile, I'm going to start checking out the Sunday morning practices and see how that goes. In addition, this week started the "hard core" training for Tough Mudder. We spent 2.5 hours at the gym on Monday night.... I ran for an hour and then did several exercises that have left my muscles still sore two days later! lol. It feels awesome and can't wait to hit the gym again tonight! I also came across an obstacle course that is shorter than Tough Mudder (I believe it's 4-6 miles) that will be taking place somewhere in North Florida in July. I'm thinking about checking that out as a "practice" run. By that time, I'll have a bit of training under my belt, and then I'll try the course and see where I need to continue working, or work more. I'm also still planning on doing the Breast Cancer 5K in May with my friend, Don, and the Never Quit 5K at Jax Beach in June, with some people from work. So, I've got a lot of plans, but it feels really good to keep myself busy in a healthy way. I love finally having a hobby that I feel good about! I don't think I've ever really had a hobby before. I enjoy challenging myself, and forcing my body to work hard to meet those goals. In November, I was barely able to run a 1/2 mile... now I run 3+ miles nearly every day! I feel better, I look better, and my confidence is so much better! I'm excited about life again... It's amazing!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Training Tips

Top 10 Tough Mudder Training Tips

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Tough Mudder Training Blog

Kill Fat Me

12 Week Training Plan

5 Key Components to a Safe and Effective Plan

No Fail Fitness Plan

Tough Mudder

Lately, my whole Breast Cancer ordeal has been weighing on my mind. I am not completely sure why, but it has been consuming more of my though process than it usually does. So, I have decided to do something about it.

I have always been a very stubborn, pig headed person... just ask my parents. I generally did what I wanted to in the long run, no matter how much it was going to get me in trouble later. I'm sure they were pulling their hair out while trying to raise a teenage Brenda! But I know that my stubbornness is what helped me survive the darkest year of my life, and the very difficult following 5 years.

But, finally, in more ways than one, I am a survivor. This survivor status has left me with a residual problem. I have an overwhelming urge to prove things to myself. I don't look in the mirror and see anything extraordinary, but I feel like God has left me on this earth for a reason. I'm not saying I'm destined for fame or fortune, or planning to go into Christian Ministry... but I feel I was left for a reason. I used to feel it was because my children needed me so much. But, as they get older, I believe I need them more than they need me now! I have more recently come to realize that God granted me more time to learn to really appreciate the life that I have! Live it to the fullest! Challenge myself and see what I can make of it!!

As many of you may know, back in November, I began running and dieting, and have managed to lose a bit of weight and am now going to the gym 4-5 times a week. My initial goal was to be able to run a 5K, since I was barely able to run even one mile. Well, I can do a 5K, and am planning on doing two of them in the next two months.

So, now that I have met that challenge, what's next? I have a short attention span, so I need something that will keep me feeling challenged and interested. So, after talking to some friends, my next big challenge is the Tough Mudder challenge. Check out the website... I am super excited about setting up a team and challenging myself by training and finishing these races.

I realize that it is unlikely that I (aka my team) will actually win the whole thing, but it is extremely important to prove to myself that I can finish it! There is one in Tampa in December, and then they are coming to Jacksonville in May of next year. I fully intend to take part in both of these challenges... not to prove anything to anyone else, but to prove to myself that I survived cancer for a reason. I survived because God loves me and wants me to realize my own competitive nature and self worth!

So, to sum it up:
I'm thinking of a team of 4-6 people...
We need people that are tough... Physically, but even more importantly, Mentally!
Team players, willing to do what needs to be done to get the whole group through the challenge.
People that are willing to put training and team-time into getting ready for these events.

I've already had several people say they would do it, but there is only so much room on a team. I love my friends, however, and I really feel like our team needs to be made of the most reliable, mentally tough people that I know. Since there is limited space, and you still feel like you want to do it, definately create your own team! I would love to have personal (friendly) challenges as part of the race! It would add a whole new element, and making it even more fun!!

Training starts Monday for me... and the first challenge is in Tampa, FL, on Dec. 1st... That leaves me with only 225 days to get ready!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Hi, People!

Hey, everyone! I didn't realize that it had been so long since I blogged! I don't have a laptop at my house, I'm not about to even try to blog on my phone, and I rarely get on the computers at work... Time flies!!

So, let me see what I've been up to... I'm looking at a likely move from the tool room at work to the PR Shop (survival equipment). As many of you know, that was what I did while I was in the Navy. This move will help me out tremendously, and I'm really excited about the opportunity!!

I have also been going to the gym and trying to train myself for running 5k's. I am a terrible runner (think drunk duck) and so this has been a challenge for me. I have managed to lose just over 20 pounds, and have actually gotten to the point that I look forward to going to the gym and miss it on days that I don't. I will be running a 5k in May for Breast Cancer research, and one on the beach (in the sand!!) in June for Life Choices that encourage people to be aware of preventing Brain Bleeds, Heart Attacks and stroke. This new "hobby" is something I feel is good for me, and when I take part in the races, I am helping out a good cause. So, it's a win-win!!

Ashleigh is still in Georgia. She's doing very well for herself. She had a rough patch for about a month, but she's very strong, and has made it through. The transmission in her car had gone out, so she stayed with a friend from work for a while so that she could save up money. She finally just sold the car, since it would cost her more to fix it than it was worth. She ended up getting herself a cute 2010 Nissan Sentra, so she has entered the world of car payments... My little girl is growing up so fast!!

In addition, she has been able to move from her friend's house to a different place. As it turns out, she made friends with someone that works for Siemens, and he does a lot of traveling. He needed someone to live at the house and take care of it and his two dogs while he was out of town. Ashleigh was in the right place at the right time, and is now living in a beautiful home, rent free! This is an excellent opportunity for her, and I'm very excited!!

Carley is doing great. All the kids in Florida are doing their annual FCAT testing this week, so I went today and had lunch with her. She said that she has a really good feeling about her tests so far, which is great. I am so excited about moving down here because I get to see her all the time! Even without having a lot of money, Jacksonville is an amazing place to live, that is always offering inexpensive or free things for families with children. Even when there is nothing going on, we make it out to the beach or to a friend's pool when we can.

Chuck, unfortunately, is still in Georgia. He doesn't seem to be having luck finding work down here, but he does manage to visit about once a month or so. He is really missed, but I know that when the time is right, something really great will come up for him.

I am still staying with my friend, Tammy, and we have my dog, her two turtles, and an albino ferrett... plus her two girls, and Carley much of the time. We have a house full... and it is wonderful! I couldn't ask for a better roommate. I am grateful for everything that she has done to help me out and I appreciate her company on the weekends. We rarely see eachother during the week, since she works days and I work nights. That works out well, though, so we don't drive eachother crazy! lol

I guess that's about it for now. Everything seems to be going in the right direction for the first time in a long time. I am not only happy, I am content. It is a really, really good feeling!!

...And I'll try not to wait so long to update again!! lol