Family life, Paleo-ish eating and Coping with Chronic Illness

Posts tagged ‘Hiking’

Hiking with Bae and the BEST Summer

Whaza?  That means, “What’s up?”  I made that up.  Well, I’m taking credit for making it up, anyway.  I can’t remember seeing it anywhere.  I like taking credit for making up new words in the English language.  Now that I own teenagers, I am learning teenagers make up new words  all the time.

If you are a teenager, and you have a friend,  or a boyfriend/girlfriend, you call them, “Bae”.  Bet you didn’t know that.   “Bae” is clever.  I think it’s short for “baby”.  Because who wants to waste all that time saying BAYYYYBEEEEE.  Never.  Not when you can just save a half hour by saying, “bae”.  Right?

I know other words kids have made up too:  yolo, subtweet, bra (not the lady kind), and noob.  Are you impressed?  You should be.  That kind of knowledge doesn’t just happen without effort.

I’m going to try to sneak some of my own words into the English language.  Will you help me get it started?  I think I’ll gear my words towards busy women.  We’re the ones who don’t have time to pronounce syllables, right?  I’d like to start with “Gore”. Can you guess what that is?  Let me put it in a sentence.

Hey Kids, “headed to the GORE!”

I know.  You’re stumped.  You have no idea what I’m talking about, do you?  Fine.  I’ll put you out of your misery.  ” GORE” is short for GROCERY STORE.  Get it?  You don’t have to say all those syllables any more.  Just tell the kids you have to go to the GORE, and they’ll be like, “Woah, what the heck is Mom talking about with that new, made up language?  She’s so cool.  She always says words we don’t understand.”  Show them how it feels.

Surprised you didn’t think of this first, aren’t you?

Making up words is a little harder than it might seem.  I might need a touch more practice.

This might be one of the best summers I’ve ever had in my adult life.  I can’t even tell you why exactly.  Then again, Scott says I anoint a lot of things as, “the best”.  It used to confuse him.  How can this be the best cup of coffee you’ve ever had?  I thought you said that about yesterday’s cup?

Some people just like to ruin your fun, don’t they?

I come by this optimism naturally.  My dad sits down to the best meal he’s ever had every night of his life.  I know this kind of thinking can seem disingenuous.  But, personally, this is one of my fav (short for favorite) qualities in my Dad.  That guy can ALWAYS find something to get excited about.

Eddie mows my parent’s lawn.  We have a little joke about Eddie’s visits over there.  We say, “Hey Eddie, how were Grandma and Grandpa?  Was Grandpa in a bad mood again?  Did he treat you badly?”  Then, we laugh, because that’s funny.  Grandpa has lost almost all of his eyesight.  He can’t drive, read or do most of the things he used to do.  But, Grandpa is always in a good mood.  Grandpa still gets excited about most things.  And, Grandpa still thinks Grandma’s leftover meatloaf is the best meal he’s ever had…since the meatloaf he ate yesterday.

Yes. This had been the best summer ever.  Thank you for asking.  We’ve been doing things I enjoy.  Like concerts on the square.

We’ve also been hiking the crap out of Devil’s Lake.  We used to hike with our kids when they were little.  We hiked multiple times a week. We over did it.  When the kids got older they boycotted.

Now the kids are teenagers; they’re coming to their senses.  They’ve been enjoying the lake and hiking with their friends this summer a LOT.  They tell us about these adventures like it’s a new thing they discovered.  Ingrates.

The kids went to the lake the other day with their friends.  Scott and I followed them a bit later; you’ll be surprised to learn that when we got there, all the kids decided they were done.  They wanted to go home.

Well, fine then.  I’ll just go hiking with my bae.

devil's lake miki

We hiked along the base of the bluff at Devil’s Lake. Then, we went up and back down the bluff.  I realized for the first mile Scott and I hiked,  that I was talking incessantly. I decided I wanted to see what would happen if I stopped talking.  It isn’t fair for me to monopolize the conversation all the time.  I thought that Scott needs to have the space to share what’s in his mind too.  I wondered how long it would take.

Scott never started talking.

devil's lake scott

Wait up, Scott. Did you say something?

When we got home Scott asked me, “Did I do something to offend you?”

At some point with people like my Dad and me there’s just the expectation of cheerfulness.  It’s our burden, and we’ll happily carry it.  Just don’t get all up in our grill when we like everything the best.

*Um…editor’s note.  “Bae” is not short for baby.  “Bae” is an acronym.  Before. Anyone. Else.  Feel free to throw this cool word into your next convo (short for conversation).


Rocking Retirement

You know what day is coming soon in Wisconsin, don’t you? The day we have to put away our sleeping bag coats. Guess what happens then? Everyone gets to see what you’ve been hiding under there all winter. You’re gonna be sorry. You’re gonna be very sorry you haven’t been walking the dog a few blocks in the morning, and doing 4 squats every other month while you stand at the copy machine like I have. That’s just how I roll; I’m hard core.

Oh sweet mammacita. Don’t make me put my sleeping bag coat away. I have an idea what’s happening underneath my coat, I’m just not ready to see it, think about it, or take its picture. I’ve gotten soft. I’m so far from the fit specimen I was in my competitive speed skating days. When I was training for the Olympics. The nice thing about blogs is you can just make stuff up.

I’ve never been a super fit specimen, but I have always attempted fitness. I actually am fairly interested in fitness, health and nutrition; always have been. As I’ve rolled into my early 40’s my philosophy on health and fitness has changed.

I want to tell you that I’m not vain, but I always feel weird when I lie. I’ll admit it. I feel compelled to be my best self. For as long as I can remember, I have probably spent a disproportionate amount of time thinking about how to pull off being my best self. I am relieved to say that I don’t usually think about these things in relationship to other people. People who are very healthy and fit inspire me. I just feel competitive with myself. I like thinking about my highest physical goals and how to achieve them.

My highest physical goals have changed. I still want to be strong, and I still want to be fit; not just because I want to feel comfortable in a swim suit, or see a nice number on the scale (you’re right, those things are cool too). I want to be strong because I have a vision. I have a vision of this retired lady. When I was in my 20’s and 30’s, I didn’t know this lady existed. I never thought about her. Now I do.

This lady is busy. She is excited about life when she wakes up in the morning. She chases her grandkids (if she doesn’t have any, she finds someone else’s) around and has the stamina to watch them when their tired parents need sleep; she goes on short term mission trips to help women and children in third world countries; she’s still curious and tries to learn new things; she enjoys adventures with her husband like hiking and kayaking; she enjoys her husband. You know. Like a friend. Let’s not be gross.

This lady feels good. She does not take pills just to keep her body going. She can tell she’s getting older, but only before bed, after a long, productive day. She wakes up refreshed.


I want to be that retired lady, only I might join a basketball league instead of the cheer squad. Do you think it’s possible? I do. But I need to revamp the routine.

Hear me on this. I’m not looking for the Fountain of Youth. I don’t want to look younger than my age. And, I am not afraid to die.

I love that song that goes, “This world is not my home, I’m just passing through.” Wait a minute. That’s such a good song. I need to sing it out loud. Okay, I did. I wish you could have heard me. That was outstanding. I gave myself the chills.

That song is what I believe. My time on Earth is temporary and short, relative to eternity. But, I also think I’m here for a reason. I like it here, and I want to make the most of the time I have. Being the best version of whatever age I currently am, is one way to do that.

In an effort to be the best version of the retired person I envision, I decided to preserve my joints. I quit running several years ago. Before that, I had run regularly since my freshman year of college; a long time. I eventually started training for half marathons and then a marathon. My hips and knees started to hurt. Not in a good way; in a bad way. In a, this-will-eventually-require-surgery-way. I could tell I was sacrificing my joints in pursuit of my running goals; and why? So I could run the slowest half marathon in the history of the world. That’s silly. I just needed to get a little older before I figured that out.

I quit the marathons and I started walking every day. That felt much better. I also did a little homemade yoga, cross-fit and good ol’ fashion strength training. I like that mix.

This winter has been sooo fleepin’ cold; my 30 – 45 minute walks have turned into 5 – 15 minute walks. My strength training, yoga and cross-fit have almost disappeared, except for the 4 squats by the copy machine. Those are intense.

That kind of fitness regimen is NOT going to help me achieve my vision. I’ve got the nutrition thing worked out. That’s important. You know what they say; you can’t out exercise poor nutrition. I totally agree. We could eat all the garbage we want, work out for hours every day, and be just as skinny as we’d like. That kind of skinny has nothing to do with longevity and good health. Longevity and good health are what I’m after. It’s the fitness portion of my plan that has been unraveling. Now I’m back.

I told Scott that I was ready to get back in shape, and I could use some help. Why did I do that? You DON’T do that. You NEVER ask Scott to help you get in shape, especially if you don’t like working very hard, and I don’t.

Scott gave me a note card. He said, “Write this down. Do 20 squats, 20 lunges, 20 jump squats, 20 push-ups, and 20 jump lunges.”

I asked, “When you say 20 lunges, do you mean 20 lunges on each leg, or 10 on each leg?”

He said, “10 on each leg.”

I said, “Oh, that’s a relief. I was thinking you meant 20 on each leg, and that would be really hard.”

He said, “Finish that cycle. Repeat it two more times.”

Then I said, “I’m filing for divorce.”

I made it half way through one cycle. Guess what? It didn’t actually feel too bad; until I woke up the next day. Oh, dear, sweet, mother of pearl. Pain. Pure pain. I thought about just cutting my legs off to get some relief.

Those legs were perfectly innocent. They were very happy to slowly walk a few blocks each morning. Then I had to get all crazy on them. They did nothing to deserve that, and they really didn’t understand the point.

Those legs are starting to toughen up. I’m still not up to even two cycles of that leg work out though. But, I’m back. Maybe I won’t ever achieve my vision, but I won’t let it be because I didn’t try.

And another thing I won’t do is ask Scott for more tips on getting in shape. I don’t need another note card. The next one might say, “Run to nearest tall building. Take body to top of tall building. Throw body off tall building. Repeat twice.” I’ll figure this one out on my own.

healthy retired lady 2

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