Monday, 22 April 2013

Sunshine and Rain Part 2

The day our bikes were stolen was difficult from the get go, the proverbial “I got out of the wrong side of the bed” scenario. It should have been raining, to match my mood.

Really, we argued about dumb, unmemorable stuff and spent vacation time vacuuming and scrubbing the van at a fabulous car wash in Florida. Even the airy freshness of our newly cleaned van as we headed to Starbucks for a Skinny Vanilla Latte was fraught with bickering between me and my love.

The next morning after working out, I sat in my stinky, sweaty workout clothes and obsessed over Craig’s list and other Bicycle pawn shop websites, looking for our bikes.

I was sitting indoors feeling sadness, bitterness, disappointment and some forgiveness.

Finally, around noon, I decided to take a redemption ride to the beach.

I would use my mom's comfortable Schwinn Voyageur bike, for  my ride.

On the ride, I found myself looking in every garage that was open and scanning the back of pick-up trucks as they passed me by, looking for our stolen bikes.

My mind was so wrapped up in yesterday’s news.

It does not feel good to be stolen from. I remembered that the enemy of my soul comes to steal, kill and destroy.

I felt these words deep in my spirit as I was cycling along…

do not let your joy, your peace of mind, your love for others, your belief that God is generous, anything that is of eternal value, be stolen from you… 

I stopped riding. Then I heard…

… if you look for what is lost or stolen too long, you will miss the LIFE that is happening right in front of you.

Enough time and emotional energy had been given to stolen bikes.

I wanted to notice what was right in front of me.
I wanted to notice what I did have.

I wanted to notice LIFE.

On that ride, I had an awakening. I would have missed the sound of the birds, the sight of the beautiful houses along the bay and the sound of the wind in the palms (one of my favourite things) and the lightly scented salt air as I neared the beach.

When I finally arrived at the beach, I tripled locked my mom's bike, enjoyed a delicious fish taco with mango chipotle - yum!- and had a nap in the sunshine.

post nap - love the blue water too!
It’s amazing that when we awaken to life, we can truly REST

Thanks for reading and keep moving,

PS. I wrap up the Hot Yoga Tales (new title) with Rogerstv Newmarket and Bradford Hot Yoga this week. 

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Sunshine and Rain, Part I

These are my feet and cycling shoes, post cycling, Summer 2012.

I remember the feeling of taking my feet out of my cycling shoes after a long ride.

Relief, mixed with deep satisfaction.

The clipless pedal system, while not a fashion story, holds my feet securely to allow for the push and pull required on a race bike. This permits your hamstrings to lift through the back half of the pedal stroke and your quadriceps to push through the front half.

The pedal system contributes to efficiency, power and comfort.

This middle aged momma feels like a road warrior. It's a welcome change from the routine of life.

There is something that happens when I ride my bike.  I feel like a happy kid, mostly.

Happy memories of riding my pink banana seat bike, still float through my mind.

Being chased by two dogs, almost daily while riding my pink bike to school, also floats through my mind. They seldom chased me after school. There has been some healing on the dog front. Some.

It's not all sunshine and roses, some rides are harder than others, as in some routes have bigger, longer hills. Being really tired or not well fuelled, can make a simple ride, a challenge, akin to giving birth. I have cried during and after rides.

Still, I love my bike.

It's so comfortable with the carbon seat post, high performance saddle, amazing little bike computer, a GIANT OCR3W, fit exactly to my frame.

Sometimes I feel like I'm floating.

Last cycling season, we used our bikes as often as possible. Daily. Weekends. Vacation.

Pure joy.

Mid season, last year, I purchased new tires, because I had put so much mileage on my bike.

It felt like a positive accomplishment in a mindset not so positive.

Riding took my thoughts off of me and into God's beautiful world. That's a good thing.

We started cycling with another couple, Mike and Jocelyn, a veterinary technician who "dog whispers" to every dog that lunges or barks our way. Thanks God! Together we completed a scenic two day cycling adventure.

This winter, we took our bikes to Florida. (We live in Ontario, Canada)  We loaded them up in the back of our van, along with every other conceivable item, circa The Beverly Hillbillies. Neil drove, took a little detour for a hockey tournament in Lake Placid, NY with our younger son and caught up with me in in Florida. I flew. Yay!

I anticipated the cycling ride from Anna Maria Island to Siesta Key. I planned this sunshine route  in my mind and on-line.  I dreamt about feeling the salty wind on my face and the warm sun on my skin. I looked forward to wearing my comfortable cycling shades, that fit perfectly on my face with my well ventilated helmet.

I was ready to out ride, out race and out last even the fastest little dog.

Clipping into my pedals and exploring this neck of the world, from the perspective of my bike (with my man) was one the happiest things I could imagine doing this March.

Anticipating the feeling of slipping out of my cycling shoes and into flip flops, mid or post ride to check out the beach, while on my epic bike ride was so top of mind.

I barely wanted to Outlet shop. So much was my excitement.

photo credit
Neil arrived, we planned our highly anticipated ride for the next day. Sometime between a quick jaunt to a flea market and Shoe Carnival, our locked and secured bikes were stolen.

Stolen from a safe, quiet seniors community.


Keep moving everyone, thanks for reading,

ps. Stayed tuned for Part 2.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

It's fun to sometimes go to the YMCA...

For the past couple days between sporadic internet connections, I looked for a picture of active seniors. I Googled images of seniors in fitness classes, using weights, riding bikes, swimming... you get the idea.


For two weeks, I have been living athletically... in Florida.

Working out alongside a very active bunch of folks, most of whom had at least 30 years on my 40 plus years was a privilege and an inspiration.

While visiting my parents, who are "snow birds" in Florida, I attended the friendly YMCA with my Dad and Mom.

My parents are not crazy active, they are balanced active.

We did a Gentle Fitness Class with more than 75 seniors. The class was so inclusive, all ages, including very old, and all abilities. All my joints, including hips, knees, elbows, wrists, fingers and toes were gently worked out.

It was beautiful.

We did an aerobics class, with "grapevine," it made me laugh inside, it felt vintage.

Classic aerobics.

Listening closely was important because we were kicking this way and that way, hoping and jumping. There was sweating and our heart rates were up and I was happy.

Great mind/body workout.

Spin class was so fun and funny.

It was pitch dark, except for a roped cord of lights along the floor and the glow of the computer that showed us the "terrain." We were cycling "up hill" to classic 80's tunes. Jon Bon Jovi, was singing that "we're half way there," and the instructor says, "hang in there, we actually have more than half way to go."

Awesome workout.

Though most group classes were tempered for seniors, ironically yoga was not. While we got a good sweat on, I referred to it after as "Speedy Yoga," my husband called it "Yoga on Crack."

'Nuff said.

The spacious cardio centre and well equipped weight room were a delight. I ran my intervals on the treadmill almost daily and had fun with my own workouts using the BOSU ball for squats, shoulders and a version of mountain climbers.

photo credit

Swimming laps beside a huge class of seniors doing aqua-fit was distracting.  I have heard instructors complain about talking in their classes, let me tell you, this was a social free-for-all.

It was hilarious.

The instructor's voice sounded strained from shouting. I thought, give that poor woman a microphone.  Everyone's mouths and bodies were moving. There was evidence of great community being built. That statement feels like a future post.

I know this, we all have lots to look forward to... fitness doesn't stop... it simply changes.

Keep moving everyone, thanks for reading,

ps. those cute folks at the top are my "snow birds"