Begin Again!

Happy Valentine’s Day

It is Valentine’s Day!Β  Last night my husband and I celebrated with an awesome supper of steak, lobster, crab, baked potato, asparagus, and mushrooms – all barbecued by my husband Dan (after doing the shopping, cleaning up the yard, and shoveling the snow and ice off of our walks). Today, he went out to run errands and returned with this bouquet of roses.Β Β  I am too fortunate to have such a good man in my life. πŸ’žΒ 

Today also marks another special occasion for me.Β 

One year ago today, I was sitting on my rocking chair, wrapped in a shawl, and feeling miserable.Β  I was cold, tired, and struggling to breathe through my asthma, COPD, and bronchiectasis.Β  I was seriously overweight.Β  For days, I had been thinking that I would take it easy for one more day and hope that ‘tomorrow’ I would magically feel well enough to get up and do something to improve my situation.Β  Finally, one year ago today, I realized that the magic was not going to happen unless I made it happen.Β Β  I got off my chair, put in my earbuds, turned on some Buddy Holly, and started to dance.Β  It wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t long until I was wiped out, really struggling to breathe, and my heart was pounding harder than my music.Β Β  I had no plan and I had no goals. But… It was a start, the start of my journey to health and fitness.

The next day, I got off my chair and danced again.Β  It still wasn’t pretty, but I did a bit better and I knew that I was on the right path to regain my health – and my life.

I wasn’t wrong.Β  This past year has been amazing.Β  My health has improved, my strength has improved, and my life has improved.Β  I have discovered and experienced benefits of my fitness journey that I never, ever imagined.

  • Finding my Volley friends Dwight and Jackie, who share this fitness journey with me – every day! Two strangers who have become family to me during these past months.
  • Finding a way to LIVE, and live well, with Asthma, COPD, and Bronchiectasis.
  • Finding peace, and happiness, and hope – despite what happens around me.
  • Finding that I have so much more potential than I ever realized. Finding that I have so much power to create my life, as I wish to live it.
  • Finding how effectively I can use ‘setbacks’ to motivate myself to push forward.
  • Finding that a fitness program is not only for the athletic, or the already strong and healthy, or the young, or those who spend limitless funds on equipment, gym memberships, or designer workout clothes. With free Zumba classes (or Yoga, Pilates, etc.) On You Tube and minimal equipment (dumbbells, resistance bands, yoga balls) one can put together an entertaining and effective workout program – even if one is working with limited workout space.
  • Finding that all one needs to live better is the will and the determination to make it my priority and focus.

Β I cannot begin to detail how much, and in how many ways, I have come to appreciate this journey that I am on. I have loved this past year and I am excited and ready to move forward into Year Two. Broken arm and all, I am excited to see where this next year takes me.

Take care and have a great day! πŸ’žπŸŒž

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Follow up 😁

I have a few random notes to put out there today.

First off, I had a follow up appointment at Ambulatory Care for my broken arm this morning. Everything is healing in place! I do not have to wear my sling indoors anymore! Dr. S. gave me a couple of more exercises to do to regain use of my arm. I go back in two weeks and I think that is when I start therapy. πŸ€—

Slingless!

Meanwhile our mild 2023 weather is holding for another week! Temperatures are in Celsius, but they are hanging around the freezing/melting point (32 degrees F) and we have sunshine!

There should be a ‘LIKE’ button on The Weather Network for weeks like this in February – in Saskatchewan. πŸ’

One last bit… This post by ‘A Brave Soul’ came up on my Facebook feed yesterday and I thought it was pretty cool. πŸ‘

Take care and have a great day! πŸ’žπŸŒž

One Week To Go

OneΒ  week until I will be celebrating a solid year since I began my health and fitness journey.Β  πŸ₯³

I am not celebrating the strong finish that I had hoped for.Β  With a broken arm,Β  it is difficult to get as physical as I had planned.Β  But, I am still doing my darndest to dance my way into Year Two and toΒ  finish Year One on as positive a note as possible.

I made a motivational sign for my fridge.  What I lack in creative talent, I make up for in determination.  🀣

I have also been….

  • Getting lots of rest – as in eight to ten hours of sleep per day/night.Β  (Yes, I have been having an afternoon nap. πŸ₯±)
  • I have been meditating.
  • I have been reading and following my favourite motivational speakers on social media.Β  Specifically,Β  those who ‘walk the walk’ and live the life they preach.Β 
  • I have been eating healthy and have added calcium to my supplement routine of B12, Vitamin D, Lutein, and zinc.Β  The zinc is another temporary supplement that I have been taking to help heal any lingering effects from my pre-Christmas flu.
  • I have been relaxingΒ  with loved ones.
I still love my dog. πŸ’ž
  • And I have been checking in with my Volley (online fitness group) every day.Β  I couldn’t start my days nearly as well as I do without their enthusiastic morning messages. 😁
  • And of course, I have been doing my best to do all that I can in our kitchen and around our house. It is the least I can do to show my gratitude for everything my husband has done for me in these past few weeks – and the past twenty-four years. πŸ’ž

That’s it for this week. One more week until I begin Year two of this fitness journey I am on. I am excited to see where this upcoming year will take me. I can’t believe how far I have come and how beneficial this year has been for me – despite a couple of rather major setbacks.

Take care and have a great day!πŸ’žπŸŒž

And love πŸ’“

Sunday Morning

All is quiet on the home front today so here I am checking in from the very frigid Saskatchewan. πŸ₯Ά

Things are going ok around here. I am getting relatively capable of taking care of myself and Molly and the household chores – meals, dishes, laundry, dusting, sweeping, making the bed and such. Although, I did have some much appreciated help this past week.

Granddaughter Genie stopped by for tea and stayed to make us Taco Salad for supper on Friday. πŸ’œ That was very much appreciated as chopping is a one armed challenge for sure.
Dan has been helping me as much as possible when he is off shift – including doing my hair. 😁 It is super nice to have it out of my eyes and he does a pretty adequate job of it for a steel worker. πŸ’ž
Molly is being really good and keeping an eye on the neighbourhood. I especially appreciate the being good part. πŸ’“

Dan also took me back to the Pasqua for my first follow up with the orthopedic surgeon. Everything went as smoothly as my trip to the ER. There is not much to be done for two weeks when I go back for x-rays and another follow up. The doctor and his nurse did give us a bit more advice on things I could, should, or shouldn’t do. They also have me a new sling which is way more comfortable than the original one.

And… I sent Genie home with a treat for George and Nova – a small bag of sunflower seeds.

When you can fit in the bird cage you built for your miniature parrots. πŸ˜‚

Other than that, I do not have much news. I would like to thank everyone for all of the love and support and encouragement that I have received on WordPress for the past year as I worked on my health and wellness. I know that my current level of fitness helped to minimize the injuries from my Molly mishap and that it is making my recovery far easier than it would have been otherwise.

It is funny that we (at least I 🀦) have always recognized the importance of having funds set aside for the unexpected financial glitches that arise in life. Likewise, I have always recognized the importance of maintaining my residence, vehicle, furniture, electronics, etc… But, I never really considered how important it was to maintain my own body – until now. Now I realize that the few minutes a day that I invest in my health and wellness pays such huge dividends in making my life so much easier and better – every day and through any crisis or challenge that comes along. So… thank you for helping me to get to this point in my journey. πŸ’žπŸ’žπŸ’ž

A pic from my albums. It reminds me of my Mom and her love for yellow flowers. I hope it brightens your day. 🌟

Take care and have a great day! πŸŒžπŸ’ž

Three Weeks To Go

There are only three weeks to go until it has been a full year since I started my personal health and fitness program.

It has been (almost) a year of celebrating surprising benefits and struggling with unexpected setbacks. With the endpost in sight, I thought I was on track to finish year one STRONG, TRIUMPHANT, and ready to begin Year Two with determination and DRIVE!

Then, last Tuesday, life happened. A careless moment at the dog park with Dan and Molly, and I was sidelined by a broken humerus. (Which I did not find the least bit humorous 😒). My year was shot. Everything I worked so hard for was gone. Poor me.

Of course, I realized that all was not lost. I started to discover what I could do, to stay on track and in the right mindset to finish out the past year and start a new one.

I can do quite a bit actually. I am to the point where I can totally take care of myself and Molly while Dan is at work. I can do dishes, do laundry (except for hauling baskets of clean clothes upstairs, folding it, and putting it away – which Dan did), make meals (chopping is challenging), dust, sweep, and make the bed. Since the pain in my arm has subsided, I can even start working out – to a point. I did ten minutes of step ups yesterday, I dance (somewhat), and I just keep generally active.

Last night’s chicken supper. Dan diced the chicken. πŸ˜‰

I have also been reading (Wayne Dyer – “Being in Balance”), meditating, and keeping up with my Volley group. Which brings me to this morning’s Volley by my friend Jackie. In it, she reminded us of something to help keep us motivated. “All or something“. It doesn’t have to be “All or Nothing”. Life happens. Sometimes “ALL” just isn’t possible. But ‘something’ is, so that is my ultimate goal for the remaining days of Year One. I am going to do something each and every day. It won’t be all I had hoped for at this point, but doing what I can is better than doing nothing at all – which is pretty much what I was doing a year ago. πŸ™„

That is my health and fitness update for this week. Take care and have a great day! πŸ’žπŸŒž

Still Down!

I may have spoken too soon. Last night my arm started turning a purplish shade of black and blue. And… this morning my pain was reaching new levels.

Dan drove me to the Pasqua Hospital Emergency. Contrary to everything we have heard and read lately, the care was timely and efficient AND if the staff was exhausted and stressed, they were way too professional, caring, and kind to show it.

We were in and out in three and a half hours (which included a trip to radiology for several x-rays). The bottom line is I broke the surgical neck of my humorous. Fortunately, it remained in place, so no operation was required. My arm is supported by a foam sling and I will have to see a surgeon to ensure healing is going as planned.

And… The doctor told me that not only could I, but I should maintain my physical workouts – while avoiding engaging my left arm for the time being, obviously. πŸ€—

On the way home, Dan swung by A & W to pick us up hamburgers, onion rings, and gravy. 😊

So that was my update for today. Take care and have a great rest of the day! πŸ’žπŸŒž

Man Down

Last Monday, Dwight from our Volley fitness group suggested that we each commit toΒ  focussing on one aspect of our fitness journey for each week.Β  It was a great idea, and one we eagerly embraced.

For myself, I committed to getting more fresh air last week and to “giving it my all” while engaging in my workouts (or doing anything πŸ€—) this week. And… continuing to get a good dose of fresh air each day.Β  🌞

It was going great!Β  Then yesterday, Dan and I decided to get my fresh air by taking Molly to the neighbourhood dog park.Β  Great idea, poor execution.

While, Molly raced around the open field with a littleΒ  Shiba Inu, Dan and I chatted with his human.Β Β  And I took my eye of the ball – or rather the balls of fur racing around us. The little dog ran between us, with Molly right behind. I never saw what hit me. I went flying and landed face down on the frozen ground.

Fortunately, I was bundled up for winter and I didn’t hit the ground face first. But, I did twist my left arm going down and managed to pull something in my shoulder in the process. I got up, none the worse for wear, except for the excruciating pain in my left arm and shoulder.

The pain is still there and as excruciating as ever. Nothing is broken, and the shoulder is not dislocated. I don’t even have a bruise or much swelling. But there is no denying the pain.

There is no way that I am heading out on the snow and ice to get my fresh air today. Nor am I doing any Zumba or lifting any weights.

But despite the pain, I am staying on track

– By keeping a positive mindset. This is just a set back, not the end of my fitness journey.

– By moving (as much as I can). Every movement causes pain, but walking around, moving on my Yoga ball, and gentle side to side motion is doable. Anything to keep the circulation going and the adrenaline pumping – even a little bit.

– By showing my body some love and patience with Aspirin, CBD cream, a warm Epsom salt bath, and some cozy pjs.

– By exercising my mind (reading a good book and playing a mind game on my phone).

– By skipping the pity party and accepting the challenge. There’s nothing like a good challenge to help us dig deep and find out what we are really made of. 😁

So, that’s where I am at today. Take care and have a great day! πŸ’žπŸŒž

I just love this little candle Dan gave me for Christmas. It is filled with Black Onyx for Strength and Healing. It will be burning tonight. πŸ’ž

Eleven MonthsπŸŽ‰

Molly and I are both celebrating milestones!    I began my current health and fitness journey on  February 14th, 2022.  This past Friday marked eleven months since I got up, got active, and made a commitment to get healthier, stronger, and fitter.   Coincidentally, our Molly was born on February 16th, 2022 which makes her eleven months old today.  πŸŽ‚

This has been a productive eleven months for both of us.Β  Molly came to live with us in April, when she was two months old.Β Β  Her first ‘outing’ was a visit to the vet with me and her immediate favourite human, Genie.

Molly’s First Outing

Over the past nine months, Molly has chosen a few more favourite humans – and she has grown!Β 

Molly and her favourite Dan.
Molly at the dog park with Alec
Molly watching tv with Cason, Lucas, Bacardi & Cornelius – favourite humans and favourite doggos.

Through my health and fitness efforts, I have also grown – in many ways. Fortunately, size wise wasn’t one of them.

Fitness wise, I have definitely grown.  I started out struggling to dance to 60’s tunes for a few minutes each day.  Through determination and perseverance, I was able to follow some beginner dancercise classes on You Tube.

The first classes were a challenge for me andΒ  I had to take more than a few breaks to make it through an entire session.Β Β  But quitting was not an option, so I pressed on and graduated to You Tube Zumba classes.

This was the class I did this morning – spot on and NO breaks.

I am also spending a half, to an hour and a half, outside every day – walking Molly, playing fetch, or shoveling snow. And.. I am exercising with light weights (dumbbells) six evenings a week.

Eleven months in, Molly and I are both doing well, working on making the most of the final month of our first year, and happy with our progress.

Molly & Me πŸ’ž

That is it for Molly and I today. Take care and have a great day!

Five Weeks To Go πŸ–οΈ

Five Weeks to go until I have completed YEAR ONE of my health and fitness program.   The year has not been without its setbacks, but I have stayed committed.    I remind myself daily that to feel better, do better, and be better in the future, I have to take care of myself physically, mentally, and emotionally today.  So, I do it!

This past week, I worked out every morning.  It felt really good to get in some relatively intense Zumba workouts.   The days when I opted for some freestyle dancing were fun as well.  It just feels good to move.

I checked in every day with my Volley workout accountability group, as I have been doing for months now (even when I had no voice and not much to say).  We share our struggles, our triumphs, and our triumphs in spite of our struggles!  It  is  more helpful than I could have imagined.  My Volley partners and friends, Dwight and Jackie, are so encouraging, supportive, inspiring, and upbeat!  Volley sharing has consistently become one of my favourite  parts of  my  day.

I have been getting outside more often.  Just getting a bit of fresh air is a bonus at this time of year.   Obviously it is a bigger and better  bonus, fitness wise,  when I can shovel some snow or take Molly for a walk as well.

I have been working on my diet.  Avoiding sweet and salty snacks hasn’t been easy, especially over the holidays, but I have tried to focus on healthy meals.  We have had my full repertoire of salad meals in the past few days.  We also celebrated with our belated New Year’s Eve supper on Friday evening.  That was a bit indulgent but we did share one steak, one baked potato, and one bottle of champagne. πŸ‘

Yesterday, Dan and I took Molly over to the dog park.  She had a great run with half a dozen other dogs, we had a nice visit with their humans, and we were joined by granddaughter Genie.   Once we were all sufficiently chilled, I coaxed Genie over to the house for a  cup of hot tea and we plied her with leftover Christmas chocolates.  πŸ€—

Speaking of Genie, she has been keeping herself occupied while on break from the midway.Β Β Β  This week she, and her fiance Alec, built a full-on sanctuary for their miniature parrots – George and Nova.

They added a sleeping tent and they still have a few exterior trim boards to install, but George and Nova are moved in and enjoying their bigger and better home.Β 

That is it for this week’s update.Β  Only five more weeks to go for YEAR ONE and I am pushing hard to make the most of them.Β  This week I am going to make more of an effort with my evening light weight workouts.Β  I have been struggling to get back up to speed on them, but I am determined to do it, so it is as good as done.

Take Care and Have A Great Day!πŸ’žπŸŒž

Ten Seconds of Molly While Dan Was Vacuuming the Rug.

January in Saskatchewan

I was just out getting a bit of fresh air with Molly so I took a few photos to share.Β  Our temperatures are pretty doable for January but we have enough snow, ice, and frost to last the season.

Welcome to our world of snow and ice for the next few months. Keep those photos of flowers and sunshine coming! 🌞🌸 πŸ€—