Back in 2011, my goal was to walk 11 half-marathons. My adventures took me away from the cold Oregon rain to visit my brother in February. After I finished the Ft. Lauderdale half-marathon, he asked if I wanted to go sea kayaking. I thought that meant we’d share a boat and he’d do the work since I was functioning with blistered feet on about 4 hours of sleeps. I also had never been in a kayak. When he pushed me off in my own boat and said, “keep your nose to the waves so you don’t tip over” I was sure that he was working on his life long quest to be an only child. The Pacific Ocean off the Oregon coast is COLD all year long. Wave are big and my parents convinced me earlier on that that the undertow would kill me. My ocean experience is limited. My brother knows this.
I paddled into the waves and was soon far from shore, drifting towards Cuba. Under me, a dark shadow loomed and I was sure it was one of those sharks The Today show had featured on a recent program. I was terrified but kept my nose towards the wave so I wouldn’t tip over.
Soon, my 12 year old nephew caught up with me and filled me in on two important details. First he shared that the nose to the waves strategy was really only important as you broke through the surf so once you got about 10 yards from shore, your boat would roll with the waves and not dump you into shark infested waters. Second he shared that the shark shaped shadow beneath me was really the shadow of my kayak. I learned that real facts were much less scary than my imagination coupled with a bit of information from the media.
Now that I’ve spent seven days focused on making healthier choices, I’m beginning to remember other times I’ve set goals and made measurable progress. The year of walking in 2011 took me to Nebraska, Florida, Hawaii, Washington and California. I met new friends, explored new places and built memories that will last a lifetime. I had hoped to eventually walk a half-marathon in every state but work got especially stressful in 2012 and my walking was replaced by working.
Now, I’m 1/52 of my way through a year of tracking choices as I try to move more and eat less. Maybe I’ll sign up for walk to see if I can rekindle that spark in 2020. Meanwhile, here’s an update on what I’m counting.
Success Indicator Updates:
Body Mass Index: Up slightly again today, my increase in weight is due to making poor choices. I stayed up too late and ate more than enough Christmas cookies.
Blood Pressure: There was a slight improvement in my bottom number.
Healthy Fuel: I ate breakfast and lunch in the car today. Bananas, cheese stick, carrots, hummus, walnuts and almonds were good. My dinner was a work of art.
Not so Healthy Fuel: I broke into my husband’s truck-stash of candy. Note to self: If Starbursts candy are within reach when I’m driving I can mindlessly unwrap (one handed I might add) and munch if these. I must toss any candy into the backseat.
Quiet Time: Sade is the new soundtrack for meal making. There is something so relaxing about creating a beautiful meal while humming along and grooving to the music.
Nature Parks Explored: No nature parks today.
Spinach Salads: No spinach salad for me today.
Beverage High in Antioxidants: Perrydale, Oregon has one retail business. The barista at B’s Buzz Drive-Thru Espresso was quietly engaging. He asked me to taste my beverage and tell him my thoughts before he handed back my change. It was the perfect mocha and sustained me on my long drive home!
Montinore Estate Vineyard hosts a “Bottle Your Love” event every year around Valentine’s Day. Participants make their own wine and even get to name it. Tonight we enjoyed “Rock You Like. a Hurricane” a Pinot Noir blend we bottled back in 2015. We’d been saving it for a special occasion and I proclaimed today to be the day. Wine on a weeknight is unusual for us but the sideways rain and early sunsets call for cuddling by the fire.
Walking with My Grand Dog: No dog time for me today.
Sand Castles with Cute Kids: No kid time for me today.
Gratitude: I am grateful for podcasts.
I’m grateful that music evokes such strong memories and emotion.
I’m grateful for Columbia sportswear and how much easier it is for me to dress for the weather because of their products!
I’m grateful for the headlights at dusk and windshield wipers.
I’m grateful for family.