28. Once a year, go to an open space and scream as loud as you can!- Year 2

Good morning, friends! How was everyone’s weekends? (I hope wonderful. How about that awesome fall weather?! Eeee!) I am actually still on my weekend. Last week, I started my *new* hours for my job. Don’t worry; I’m still working 8:30-5:00, but now I’m doing it Tuesday through Saturday. I’ll admit; it’s been a little weird. I’m sure I’ll adjust soon, but when I woke up at 9:30 this morning and realized it was Monday, I had a mini panic attack that I was late. But then, it set in that it was MONDAY, and I had no plans, so I’m enjoying the sunshine and open windows, and my Starbucks iced coffee. I’m all set. 🙂

Last week was a big week for another reason, too. It was the week that all the dancers started class again. I had been mentally preparing myself, and thought I was going to get through the day ok…until 3:30 hit, and I got a pit in my stomach. I kept telling myself that it was silly; there was no reason to feel this way, that I didn’t deserve to feel sad, because it had been my choice to leave. But then, one of our teachers stopped in my office and said, “Today has got to be really hard for you. I can’t imagine sitting in here knowing that all your former students are returning to class. How are you doing?” Just like that, my feelings were validated. It WAS ok to feel sad, it WAS ok to acknowledge that today was hard. After all, for 8 years, I was down the hall, teaching dance, and for 15 years before that, I was getting ready for my own classes.This year, I wasn’t a part of it. Any of it. We talked for a few minutes, and then one by one, my dancers started to stop in, to say hi, hug me, tell me about their day. I felt a wave of relief. To be honest, my biggest worry about leaving the job wasn’t that I wouldn’t be dancing anymore; it was that my students would forget about me. But on Tuesday, they were just as excited to see me as they were to come to dance. When it was time for me to leave for the day, it took 20 minutes to get to my car, as I kept getting stopped by dancers and parents, asking about my back, my new job, my life, and all giving me hugs and smiles and encouragement. It was what I needed, and it was wonderful. Of course, I got home, started to cry, and texted a bunch of my friends for encouragement. They all delivered, as they always do, and I finished out the night with a smile on my face. Wednesday was a little easier, and Thursday, I came in to a pile of notes shoved under my office door, all from my dancers. I know this will be a tough transition, and I know that’s ok. Dance was my life for so long, and to give that up was not easy. It still isn’t, but I know each day will be a little better than the last. Besides, I’ve got a strong support system, not only in my family and friends, but in my dance families. I know they won’t forget me.

Wow, I didn’t mean to write that much! I guess I had more to say that I thought. 🙂 On to the list! I had talked a bit in my last post about goals. One of my goals was to lose 15 pounds in 2015. Why 15 pounds? Well, I knew that was enough weight that I would have to work hard, but not so much that it was unattainable. I also knew that 15 pounds would make a difference in my physical fitness. I knew I’d have to make some changes to my lifestyle and I have. I’ve cut pop out of my diet, except for an occasional root beer, because who doesn’t love root beer?! I’ve been adding more veggies, and recently, more fruit, into my meals. Thanks to my job change, I get to eat dinner at 6 each night, instead of 9 or 10. I’ve been walking a lot more, but I’ll get to that in a second. I was really proud of myself around recital time in May; I had lost 5.5 pounds and felt unstoppable…and then I was stopped. With the transition into the new job, I was under a lot of stress, and that made it hard to lose weight. Although I could now eat dinner at a normal time, my body wasn’t use to that, so I’d end up eating a snack before bed. My office is located in our staff lounge, so I was constantly walking by whatever baked goods someone had brought in for the day. I was too tired to cook, so I was eating out…a lot, and not really exercising. So, surprise, surprise, I put all the weight back on, and then some. I was not a happy camper. A few weeks ago, I decided it was time to start exercising again, so I started to track my walking. I use the app “Runkeeper” to track my time, distance, and speed. You can pay for an upgrade, but I just use the free one. It’s nice to be able to look back and see my progress. I highly recommend it! Anyway, I usually shoot for 1-2 miles, depending on the day, and how I’m feeling physically. I’ve been steadily improving my average speed, which has been a big motivator to push myself a bit more. I was averaging around 13:30 per mile, walking, which I was proud of, but I knew I could do better. Last Monday, I decided to try something a little different; I was going to jog. Nothing too crazy, just 5-10 second bursts. But I was going to do it. I hadn’t jogged since before I hurt my back, so it was a big deal. I started my walk/jog and did one lap around the park (about 1 mile.) I was still feeling good so I did another. I kept checking my pace and I was doing well; I was beating my usual average. As I was rounding the corner onto one of the busiest streets in Davenport, the app gave me my 20 minute update…my average pace was under 13 minutes. I couldn’t believe it! I threw one of my fists into the air and yelled as loud as I could. I was so happy, and so proud. I finished my second lap, walked back to my house, and collapsed into the grass. I was exhausted, but I had done it. I jogged, and I had killed my average. I let out one more loud WOOOOOOOOOOOO.

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Right before I reached my house. My average speed is in the top right corner (yay!) but check out my current pace…and that was WALKING! Yaaaaaaay!


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My final stats for the day


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…and then I fell in the grass and learned that sweat + grass = gross.

I felt invincible that day. I didn’t think I’d ever run or jog again with my back pain, but I did it and it felt GREAT! Of course, on Wednesday, I pushed myself even more: jogged the first 1/3 mile, walked the 2nd, and jogged the last. I paid for it dearly…but I survived.

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This morning, I looked back at last year’s screaming post and I was really happy to see the change in my year. Last year, my screaming was out of frustration and worry. This year, it was out of joy and celebration. What a difference a year can make…I can’t wait to see what I scream about next year.

Until next time,

xoxo

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