Monday, November 24, 2014

The Vicious Life Cycle of the Basement (And other random stuff)

Today was clean out the basement day. Our is not a finished basement and it's just too easy for things to end up there when one doesn't know what else to do with the item. Neither one of us is a slob so the basement was an orderly mess but still held things that should not be held anymore. Can't count how many times we've said "THIS is just too good to throw away".

Well, today most of that stuff was thrown away.

It was very rewarding. We still have a dusty unfinished basement but it now has much less clutter than it did at the beginning of the day.Lots of room for more 'stuff' now but that's the vicious life cycle of a basement.

My bike, which had been in the basement was moved to the spare bedroom. I decided putting up on the trainer permanently for the winter might encourage me to use it more that way. I can't use the excuse "I'm not in the mood to drag it up out of the basement and put it on the trainer" if it's already there. Here's hoping I actually do use it and don't come up with another excuse. My intentions are good anyway. I'll let you know. :)

My bike and its shadow! :)  
In other news it's supposed to snow on Wednesday evening. (Today it got into the 70s by the way.) Thursday is Thanksgiving. I love snow and snow at the parade would be awesome. I/We are a bit concerned about parking in the city if it snows more than 3 inches. We've pretty much decided that sleep on Wednesday night will be minimal. We have to be at the staging hotel at 5:00 a.m. If it's snowing when we go to bed on Wednesday we'll have to get up extra early to make sure we won't have any travel issues.

Fortunately, Thursday (post parade) is all about napping, Turkey sandwiches, napping, football,napping .... and packing. Friday we leave for Florida to spend time with KT and JL and to cheer JL at the Space Coast Marathon. It's time to return a favor....

Dave, JL and KT
cheering me on in 2010.
The year it SNOWED
at the Disney races in Florida. 
I am excited to see JL rock his first marathon distance. His goal race is Disney marathon in January. Space Coast is a supported training run with a cool medal at the end! I'm glad we can be there to support him.

Keep smiling and keep moving.
-Paula

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Back Pain

I think it goes neck and neck with tooth pain for being the worst. Although with tooth pain I can still hike so that likely puts back pain over the top. 

I have three concerns about this right now. 

#1) That it is old age related and is going to be permanent. I've not had this kind of pain in the back before.  #2) I have a balloon to wrangle on Thursday. #3) I love exploring the outdoors - especially in this weather - and not being able to is intensifying the grumpy caused by #1. 

What follows is my way of getting the details written down and out of my head. A) so I can remember them if I do have to tell the doc and B) Once written down I can let them go to a certain extent and ease the anxiety from thinking about it too much. (or so I'd like to think).

So about two weeks ago I started to feel pain on my spine. Unlike the radiating pain of muscle spasm or a pulled or strained muscle this felt very localized to the bone itself. The best way I could describe it is it felt like a bone bruise. I happened to have a routine physical appointment a few days later so I mentioned it to the doc. I would not have made an appointment for this but since I was there anyway .... Doc had me bend this way and that and said nothing appeared out of order and there was no visible signs of bruising. She suggested I stay tuned to it and come back if anything new happened or if got considerably worse. 

This pain is behaving like no other back issue I've ever had. It's in my lower back and shows itself mostly after sitting. (Yes, I know that's likely a clue.) While sitting I don't feel it but upon standing it makes itself known in varying degrees of volume depending on how long I've been sitting. Until Thursday this week I was able to walk it off. Not completely but enough that it was reduced to an annoying jab rather than a movement stopper. I hiked both days of both weekend since it started. The hiking didn't bother it at all. In fact, I didn't feel it while hiking. But after the car ride home (even the short distance from RCSP to my house) it was back. :( 

On Thursday this week, it got worse. I couldn't walk it off and added to the bone bruise feeling was a tightness/burning all around it. I did my best with ice, heat and rest on Thursday evening but it was still there on Friday. I decided it was best to cancel hiking this weekend. Although that didn't seem bother it I wonder if I was aggravating whatever it is and the endorphins that flow when I'm outside moving on the trails were masking it. 

I'm doing a little better today. I felt much better first thing out of bed (which has been the pattern every morning) and I'm being careful in my movements and watching my posture when I sit. And I am a poor sitter. It is taking a lot of concentration to mind that. The pain and tightness are still there but much much much less than the past two days. I have an appointment with the doc for Dec 4th. Here's hoping I won't need it. 

Keep smiling and keep moving. (I'm doing my best with both today)
-Paula 

Friday, November 14, 2014

We've Had to Believe in Impossible Things

The quote that titles this post is heard in the opening of NPR's Ted Talks for Radio. It gets me every time. 

On Sunday, November 9, three astronauts returned from 165 days on the International Space Station. From the un-docking of their Soyuz capsule to landing in Kazakhstan took 3.5 hours. From a SPACE station. I can't drive to Pittsburgh on the other side of my own state in 3.5 hours. (Ok. Maybe I could but it would not end well). I am a Space/Science geek but this ISS thing has to amaze even those who are not. Space is 'out there' .......but it's really not. 3.5 hours from ISS to ground. Now granted the spacecraft traveled at speeds most of us can't even imagine to accomplish that but that's kinda the point of this post. Somebody imagined it. And called on their somebody friends. And made it happen. And all those somebody's along with three guys - one American, one German and one Russian - believed it would work.

On Wednesday, November 12, the European Space Agency landed a spacecraft on a comet. ON. A. COMET. It took 10 years to get there. So somewhere beyond 10 years ago someone believed that it was possible to land a 220 pound spacecraft on a 2.5 mile wide ball of rock and ice travelling over 40,000 miles an hour. My mind is blown

I find all of this an incredible source of inspiration and motivation. 


These things don't always go right of course. There have been horrific crashes and unfortunately loss of life in some of them. Still it's hard (for me anyway) not to be inspired by people who believe in impossible things and make them possible. 

We don't have to be astronauts or space agency scientists to make impossible things possible. Whether it's completing a feat of fitness; learning a new language or skill; conquering a fear; forgiving another person; getting out of a bad relationship; losing or gaining weight; finding a new job or believing in someone else's seemingly impossible idea...... 

All we have to do is believe that impossible things are possible.

All we have to do is believe in ourselves (and/or others). 

All we have to do is to keep smiling and keep moving. :) Stuff is gonna happen. Don't give up. 


Saturday, November 8, 2014

Hiking with Mr. and Mrs. B.

After my all day excursion two weeks ago I took some time off. I kept up with Yoga and made it out to Haverford College once (where it was too spooky in the dark alone) but other than that I took it easy for two weeks.

Today I got back to work.

Although it is tough to call it work since I got to spend the entire hike with Julius and Maggi also fondly known as the Bickersons. One of them, damned if my old brain can remember which, gave me credit today for giving them the nickname but I actually think the other is right and that it was Jeannie. But I can say that I've witnessed my share of their antics - and love every minute of it. They both have quick wits and can dish the snark (with incredible aim) as well as take it. I was surprised that it took 29 minutes and change before the first zing today. I wondered if they were losing their art. But it was such a gorgeous day and I think we were all a bit bedazzled by that!

However once they got started I was thoroughly entertained although not once did either one of them call the other a 'fat butt'. If they had I might still be up there rolling around laughing.

We climbed Mt Misery and the Horseshoe Trail, back down the other side and then over Mt Joy for a circle back to our cars. All in all it was about 4.5 miles. Combined, the two make a nice hill workout. Today both were covered in leaves making the small rocks and tree roots difficult to see but I'm please to say we all made it upright the whole way.

We met at 8:30 with Michael M. and a new member to the group Kris. Michael and Kris headed out
on a trail run while we hiked. We met up with them again as we were coming down the far side of Misery and again at the parking lot before heading home.

It was a great day to start phase two of my Super Hike training. Tomorrow I'm off to Ridley Creek State Park with a goal of 4.5 more miles make it a 9 mile weekend.