A Convergence of Sorts

When I hear the word convergence I usually think of streams or small rivers coming together to form a larger river.  Or paths converging to become a road.  That sort of thing.  (And that is the main definition, according to my Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary . . . "the act of converging and especially moving toward union or uniformity.")  But every once in a while, I experience my own personal kind of convergence.  The kind where all manner of things and events converge in one little corner of my calendar.  

And, well.  
I'm there right now!

Not only is our summer solstic party happening this Friday, but last night I was one of the co-organizers of a wine tasting fund raiser for a group I'm involved with.  And tonight is the big, annual potluck-book selection meeting for my book group.  And we just met Brian for dinner in Grand Rapids (he was in town for a job interview; keep your fingers crossed).  And my dad has a medical procedure re-scheduled . . . for tomorrow morning.  

I mean, really.  It doesn't get much more convergent than this when it comes to balancing a 3-day stretch of calendar. 

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How am I managing?  Oh, pretty well.
(Although let's not ask Tom.)

What am I doing to keep myself moving forward?

1 - Finding the time to meditate.

2 - Keeping up with my fitness stuff.

3 - Lists!  All the lists.

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What do YOU do to keep the balls in the air when All the Things . . . converge?

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Remember to leave a comment by next Tuesday if you're interested in my June Stash Giveaway!

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Be sure to join Carole today for more Three on Thursday posts!

 


On My Needles and Out of My Stash

I warned you that I was mixing things up around here . . . I'm switching my monthly Stash Giveaway from the third Monday to the third Wednesday of the month.  (Rocking your world, I'm sure.)  

Anyway.

Different day, different deadline -- but same giveaway, same rules.  Comment by next Tuesday, and your name will be placed into a hat (seriously) for a random drawing.

This month, I'm culling my sock yarn collection.  I have so many lovely skeins of sock yarn -- but I don't knit socks very often, and the yarn is too good to just sit in a container in my closet.

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First up, I have a skein of Biscotte & Cie (now-discontinued) Felix sock yarn in the Conte de fée colorway.  This yarn is self-striping, and quite soft and durable for socks.  (You can see how the stripes work out in this Ravelry project.)  The yarn is 80% superwash merino wool/20% nylon, and the skein is 100 grams/384 yards/351 meters.  The colors in this photo are very true.

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Next up, I have a skein of Pagewood Farm (now-discontinued) Denali sock yarn in the Violet Fushion (yep, that's how it's spelled on the skein) colorway.  The yarn is 80% superwash merino wool/20% nylon, and the skein is 4 ounces/450 yards.  There is a good mix of blues and violets in there -- with some olive green/grey for interest.  The color here is pretty true (in real life, the blues are more prominent and the violet more subtle).

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As you can see, these skeins are just too lovely to live in my drawer!  It's time for me to spread the joy "new" sock yarn can bring.  If you're interested in either (or both!) skeins, just leave a comment by Tuesday, June 25 at 5pm EST and let me know.  

Meanwhile . . . what's on my needles?

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I'm test-knitting a new sweater design for Kirsten Kapur.  It's a perfectly-ME kind of sweater:  simple design, oversized, just a hint of texture.  I can't wait to wear it!  (And that yarn?  It's not really brown.  It's more a hellebore purple shade.  Just sayin.)  Stay tuned . . . 

How about you?  What's on your needles this week?


The More The Merrier

Back in April, I started a "conversation" here about wellness -- and specifically about fitness, and especially as we age.  Based on your comments, I'd say we all pretty much fall into one of two camps:  

(1) those of us who have discovered strategies to make fitness a part of our lives, and 
(2) those of us who would like to.

I thought it might be helpful to have some of the folks in the first camp . . . share their fitness and workout strategies with those in the second camp.  First, I shared my sister Diane’s, story – about developing a walking routine for the long term.  Then, I shared Carolyn’s story – about mastering a self-directed fitness/video routine. 

Today, I’m happy to share Patty’s fitness story.  Patty has developed a fitness and support community to help her stay active for the long haul. 

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Some of you already know Patty from her blog - Purly Spaniel.  Patty is a happy wife, mom and dog owner (Hi, Boone!). She works full time as a project coordinator, and has held the same job for almost 20 years. Patty says she wasn’t raised in a particularly active family, though they did spend a lot of time outside when she was growing up. Patty’s husband, Doug, was very active when they met, and Patty says that helped guide her into a more active life.

When I asked Patty why exercise is important to her, and why she “bothers” with fitness in the first place, here’s what she told me:  “The #1 reason I exercise is weight management. I want to be able to eat pretty much what I want, and especially once I crossed the age 40 mark, regular exercise became a necessary part of being able to do that. Though I’ve reigned the snacking in over the last 5 years, a treat of potato chips or a plate of cheese and crackers is still very important to me!”

Besides the potato chips, though, Patty also says that she’s done a lot of reading and learning about the important of maintaining bone density, heart health, and mental health  -- all through physical fitness.  That’s been a big incentive for her to keep up her exercise routine, too.

What does Patty’s fitness regimen look like? 

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Patty stays active with regular walking and running . . . with a group of fitness friends.  She also takes an early-morning class at her local Y . . . where she is part of a caring, fitness-focused group of people who have become pals. 

See the connection here?  Working out with friends!  Patty has built herself a fitness-community!

Patty tells me, “I am extremely lazy by nature. I absolutely will not exercise alone.”  She says she may walk the dog alone, but that’s it.  When Patty’s son, Dan, was young and “we were a family getting everyone where they needed to be,” it was clear that early mornings were the only time available for Patty to exercise.

She spent about 15 years running - two or three mornings a week - with two or three other women. According to Patty, the support she gained by exercising with these women allowed her to reach beyond anything she would have been able to do on her own.  And it went far beyond fitness support to build long-term friendships that still nourish her today.  Patty says, “I think it’s amazing that a conversation with an acquaintance in the grocery store one day . . .  led to life-long friendships grown through early mornings in the dark . . . through all 4 seasons.”  Patty and her husband still exercise every weekend with these early-morning-running friends and their spouses.

What makes this work?  Why . . . the expectation all around that they’re all going to show up!  Patty says, “If you ask them they will come!  We stick to an 8:00 start time -- and it’s an hour of your day. Social, healthy and quick.”

(Can any of you guess that when it comes to Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendency Quiz . . . Patty is an Obliger?)

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In addition to the weekend running, for the past 5 years Patty has become a regular participant in a 6 am strength and flexibility classes -- with a side of cardio -- at her local YMCA.   Patty had a serious arm fracture a few years ago, and after a year of PT, realized that if she didn’t do something, she was going to be weak - forever.   According to Patty . . . “I’ve said it more than once - that broken arm changed things!  I was 55 and slowing down in my running and motivation.”  

This YMCA class has been a game-changer for Patty.  The class members span from 25 – 70 years of age – and they’ve formed a strong bond . . . a real fitness community.  They celebrate staying fit together – as well as birthdays (that’s Patty in the photo below – turning 60, alongside classmate Rick, who is turning 70), new babies, and other life events.  Patty says that if you miss a class, you can count on a friendly call-out during the next class!  They also check in on members who’ve been out for a bit, and encourage them to return.

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Patty says that, hands down, ACCOUNTABILITY is the key to her fitness success.  The best parts of fitness for Patty are the friendships and the laughter. She admits to being very tired of getting up at 5:30, but also knows that it’s hard to ignore the facts. “Inactivity will catch up with you eventually, and as I age I am very aware of this.” 

Patty knows herself well enough to know she won't get any kind of substantial work out after a long day at work. Patty says, “I make this early morning routine work by going to bed at a reasonable hour -- so I do get up in the morning.”

I asked Patty if she ever gets bored with her workout.  Nope!  Patty says, “fortunately boredom is not a factor these days. Our instructor changes our classes up all the time so we don’t ever know what’s ahead.” For Patty, that is key.  “In a setting where the classes stay the same for a month or three, I would easily talk myself out of going ‘oh I don’t feel like blah blah today.’ With this class, I can’t make an excuse!" 

Before Patty had the built-in variety provided by her class, she would mix up her activity on her own.  If she was getting bored with walking, she’d suggest biking instead.  When she was tired of her run, she’d change the route.  And if she doesn’t have a friend to exercise with, she puts in her headphones and listens to a book or a podcast. 

Patty’s advice for others looking to build a fitness community:

  • Ask! Invite a friend or a new acquaintance to go for a walk, bike ride, or to try a new class together. It’s amazing how many people want to go – but might be hesitant to ask.  Just go for it!
  • Plan! Once you do one walk or bike ride or class together, make a plan for the next time. In Patty’s opinion, that is where you can find success ... always plan for the next activity!  Make the plan. Be accountable to each other.
  • Remember! If you’re hesitant to go to a class please know that there are modifications for everyBODY.  Everyone in a class is participating at a different level – but everyone is just on the same page...looking for better health!

Patty's fitness regimen is all about commitment and dedication, early mornings, getting out there even when the weather is bad -- all the stuff that makes exercising . . . uncomfortable.  What makes the difference for her, though, is friends!  For Patty, she can get herself up and out the door because she knows she has a community of fitness friends:  people she can count on to work out with -- and who count on her right back!  

So.

What do you think?  Would a fitness-community help you be more consistent about exercising?  And if you’ve built a fitness-community of your own, what advice might you add?


Start Your Engines!

It's Monday.  And that means it's time to . . . 

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On Mondays, I share some things I've collected over the weekend . . . to get the week off to a good start!

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A Quote

Each week, as I set up my calendar, I find a quote that seems appropriate for the week ahead.  Here's my quote for this week:

"Sun is shining.  Weather is sweet.  Make you wanna move your dancing feet."
                            --- Bob Marley

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This Friday, we celebrate the Summer Solstice.  Here in my corner of the world, summer can't seem to get a good grip on the season (very wet, very cool).   Maybe if we collectively think pleasant, sunshine-y thoughts, Summer will wake up and join us?  

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A Word

I first heard this word as a child (it's in the lyrics to Bippity-Boppity-Boo Impossible from Disney's Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella*).  I've always loved saying this word out loud (usually followed by ". . . and fiddle-dee-dee"), but never bothered to look up the definition or proper spelling until recently.  Now, I'm looking for more ways to use it in casual conversation!

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To Read

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Looking for something new and interesting to read this summer?  Why not start here . . . with this new paperback series from The Modern Library.   Challenge the classical canon!  Discover overlooked women writers who deserve a place in classic literature.

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A Challenge

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Remember to look up!  
(You find the most surprising things.)

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Happy Monday!  
I hope your week is off to a smooth start.

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One last thing.  I know that I typically do my monthly Stash Giveaway on the third Monday of each month.  I've decided to switch that feature to Wednesdays, beginning this month.  So be sure to check back on Wednesday when I'll be telling you about this month's Stash Giveaway.  (Hint:  It's sock yarn.)

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* And one more thing.  Thanks, Pam, for pointing out that I mixed up my Cinderellas!  (I always liked Rodgers & Hammerstein's version better, so I don't know what I was thinking. . . )


Giving Yourself a Decade

As my kids have grown older, we've had quite a few discussions about . . . oh, adulting.  About purpose.  And imposter-syndrome.  And tedium and routine and same-ness and is-this-all-there-is?  (Ahh . . . the 20s . . . )  My usual advice is . . . 

Give yourself a decade.

As in, look back at where you were a decade ago.  Sit there for a moment or two and think about how far you've come, how much has changed, how different life looks now . . . a decade later.  And then, think a decade into the future.  Project; try to imagine . . . because your life today is going to be THAT different from the life you'll be living in a decade.

I've been doing a lot of giving-myself-a-decade lately.  It's easy for me, because I have this huge life-marker thing going on this year: a decade post-cancer.  I love thinking back to the person I was before-diagnosis . . . and comparing her to the person I am now.  Realizing . . . how much can really change in a decade!

Like this, for example.

This is the view across my patio . . . right now.  The wisteria are exploding.  The air is so perfumed you can smell it in my kitchen.  The pergola and the swing and the surrounding gardens feel like they've been there forever.  

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But . . . a decade ago?

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Ummm.  Not so much.

A decade ago, I had just completed the Master Gardener requirements for the Garden Design certification.  I hadn't really started working on my plans for expanding my garden yet . . . when that stinking cancer diagnosis came in.  But I used those months during chemo to think and dream and plan.  It gave me something to do, and - mostly - it gave me hope for a future. 

My initial plans and sketches looked like this . . . 

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(And while there isn't any wisteria in that design, it was always there in my head.)

Tom and Brian and my dad worked together to bring my plans to life.   Tom did the digging.  My dad designed the pergola.  Brian was eager to learn.  Together . . . 

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they built it for me!

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Give yourself a decade . . . and things can really change!

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Plans can become reality.  
Beauty can take root.  
Hope can flourish.

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Whenever you feel a bit stuck, or think nothing ever changes, just . . . 

give yourself a decade . . . 

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and see where it takes you!

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P.S.  Before I had cancer, I doubt I'd ever have plunged into a major garden project like this one.  (And I'm not sure I could have convinced Tom, Brian, and my dad to become such willing participants, either.)  I would have gotten bogged down in the planning; I would overthink it; I would say . . . maybe-someday.  But having cancer really did change the way I thought about things, and it made me much more willing to go for it and take some risks.  It also helped me just . . . embrace beauty and create something for the future.

 


Mackinac Magic . . . And About That Dress Code

Last week, my sister and I spent a few days on Mackinac Island in northern Michigan.  Mackinac is truly a Michigan treasure.  (I have never met another Michigander who doesn't sigh and nod when you tell them you're headed to Mackinac . . . and then say, "I love that place.")  (And - just so you know - it's pronounced Mack-i-NAW.  You just ignore that "c." )  (Trust me.)

There really is something magical about the place.  Maybe it's the bridge . . . 

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The island offers clear views of the 5-mile Mackinac Bridge joining Michigan's upper and lower peninsulas.  (You can reach the island by ferry from either peninsula.)

Maybe it's the lack of cars . . . 

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Motor vehicles are prohibited on the island.  (No cars.  No trucks.  Period.)  You walk or ride a bike -- or take a horse-drawn carriage.  Even deliveries are handled by horse drawn freight carriage.  It's very quiet, except for the clopping of horses.  (But you do have to watch where you step.)

Maybe it's the fudge . . . 

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Mackinac Island is America's "fudge capital," and there are fudge shops up and down Main Street.  So. Many. Fudge. Shops.  (Seriously, you can't walk 10 steps without finding ANOTHER fudge shop.)  It's good.  It's tradition.  You visit Mackinac Island, you come home with fudge.

Maybe it's the island itself . . . 

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There's just something fascinating about being on an island.  And especially an island you can walk or bike around in a manageable 8.2 miles.  (My sister and I opted to walk.)

Or maybe it's the magic of the Grand Hotel . . . 

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Totally living up to it's name, the historic Grand Hotel is, well. . . pretty darn grand!  We splurged by staying at the Grand Hotel for our time on Mackinac.  Here's a little peek inside:

The lobby . . . 

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The Cupola Bar . . . 

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Our room . . . 

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(We squealed when we saw the canopy beds.  We always wanted canopy beds when we were little girls . . . )

All VERY . . . Grand!  So in the spirit of Three on Thursday, here are Three Things About the Grand Hotel:

1 - The Porch

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The porch of the Grand Hotel is truly fabulous.  Guests of the hotel can sit in the rockers and sip a drink while enjoying some of  the most spectacular views on the island.  It is such a treat.  (Folks who aren't staying at the Grand Hotel can enjoy the porch, too.  But they have to pay to enter the hotel.)  Personally, the porch at the Grand Hotel is my favorite thing about Mackinac Island.

2 -- The Geraniums

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The red geranium is the official flower of the Grand Hotel -- and you find it everywhere . . . in planters, in flower boxes, on the carpets, in each room, on stationery, in the lotion and shampoo in the bathrooms.  Everywhere!  (Maybe next week I'll do a post on all the geranium carpets I found in the hotel.)

3 -- The Dress Code

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Yep.  There it is.  You must "dress" for the evening at the Grand Hotel.  Or . . . you can't eat dinner there or hang around in the main areas of the hotel after 6pm.  (You really do kind of feel like you've stepped back in time . . . with the clopping of horses and the dressing for dinner.)  It's pretentious and off-putting . . . and pretty lame.  (Because, trust me, just because you slap on a tie and wear a jacket . . . or put on a dress . . . doesn't mean you're more presentable than my sister and I in our "slacks.")  Anyway, we got around it by not eating dinner at the Grand Hotel, and then we just hung around in the Cupola Bar (which is not included in the dress code) or our room after eating dinner elsewhere on the island.  It's weird.  But I will trade the dress code nonsense for the porch any day.

So.  What do you think?  Have I sold you on the magic of Mackinac?

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Be sure to head over to Carole's for more Three on Thursday posts today!

 

 


Right on Time

I'm back.  
I'm behind.  
And I'm good with it!

(There's nothing like a whirlwind week to help you set your true priorities, y'know?)

Before I left, I knit a quick, lightweight hat for Erin.  (By request, even.) 

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I shipped it off to her . . . and it arrived just in time for the Bay Area's current heat wave.  Let's just say . . . she won't be wearing this for awhile!  But it's ready for whenever those cool, foggy Bay Area mornings return.

(Ravelry details here.)

What are you working on these days?

 


A Brief Interlude

Who stopped in for a visit?

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My sister!

We're headed WAY up north today for a couple of days on Mackinac Island.  And then we're headed to Chicago (can you say Hamilton . . . for the 3rd time?).  I'll be taking a few days off from blogging, but you can catch my "postcards" on Instagram if you want to follow along on our adventure.

See you next Wednesday!


When Inspiration Strikes

I've already talked about this . . . my bathroom renovation project . . . that included removing old (and really stuck-on, I might add) wallpaper.  Well.  The project took awhile!  I got a good start, and then there was spring - and the garden needed a lot of attention.  And then we went on a trip to Wyoming and Colorado.  And then Tom started heading up north every week for some fishing.  (You know.  Life.)  And the project just . . . crawled along.

But that was kinda okay.

Because while I knew what I didn't want the bathroom to look like (Busy), I really had no idea what I DID want it to look like!  So we just kept plugging along.  Removing the wallpaper.  Preparing the walls.  Painting the ceiling.  Telling each other that it would "look great when it was finished."

And then inspiration struck . . . in the form of an inexpensive (bonus!) shower curtain at Bed Bath & Beyond.

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Once I had that shower curtain, everything fell into place!  I had my color palette.  I could choose a paint color.  A rug.  Towels.

It all came together last weekend, when Tom installed the hardware (new towel bars, etc.).  
And I am so pleased!

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(Dog shown for scale.)

I love the shower curtain, but my favorite thing is the orange rug. . . 

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(I never can resist a pop of color.)

Anyway.
I'm happy.  Tom's happy.  (JoJo's happy.)  
And my timing couldn't be better. . .  because I have a guest arriving today!
(Any guesses?)

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What did the bathroom look like before, you ask?  Ah. . . here's a "before" shot . . . 

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Workin' on Her Fitness

Back in April, I started a "conversation" here about wellness -- and specifically about fitness, and especially as we age.  Based on your comments, I'd say we all pretty much fall into one of two camps:  

(1) those of us who have discovered strategies to make fitness a part of our lives, and 
(2) those of us who would like to.

I thought it might be helpful to have some of the folks in the first camp . . . share their fitness and workout strategies with those in the second camp.  A couple of weeks ago, I shared my sister Diane’s, story – about developing a walking routine for the long term.  Today I’m sharing Carolyn’s story.  Carolyn has mastered the self-directed fitness/video workout at home routine, and her enthusiasm and tips may inspire you to give it a try, too.

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Some of you may already know Carolyn from her blog and business – The Handwritten Thank You Note.  Carolyn is in her mid-forties, married, with three kids (ages 15, 11, and 7) (plus 2 dogs and chickens).  She’s stayed home with her kids since they were born, working from home in the very beginning, homeschooling for a few years, and starting to freelance now that they’re all on a full-day school schedule.  Like my sister, Carolyn is an Upholder (from Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies; you can take the quiz here and see what your tendency is).

Carolyn exercises for the endorphins – and feels anything else is a bonus.  She’s been an almost-daily-exerciser since she was 14, when she worked out with her dad (she calls him her “amazing role model for daily fitness”).  For Carolyn, exercise is her "normal" – and without even a modest dose of those good hormones, she tends to be restless and (in her words) “prone to crankiness.”

What does Carolyn do to keep those endorphins up?  She relies on You Tube fitness videos! 

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Yes.  Carolyn exercises to a variety of YouTube fitness videos for anywhere from 10-45 minutes each day.  (This is in addition to “simply being active” – cruising on her bike, walking the dogs, gardening, etc.)  During the school year, she starts at 6 am.  When her kids are home and their mornings aren’t on a time clock, she can be a bit more flexible.  But Carolyn always fits in her video routine before she goes anywhere or does anything for the day, and mentions that it’s always “before I get dressed in my ‘real’ clothes for the day.  Because (and I can so relate to this) . . . once she’s up and out for the day, Carolyn knows she “won’t change into exercise clothes to workout at, say 1 in the afternoon.  Or 3 or 4. Won’t happen.”

What does Carolyn’s fitness routine look like, exactly?  Here’s what she does:

Each day, she decides what she wants to do and how much time she has that day. Then she types it into her Google search bar, clicks on videos, and picks from the list it offers. (Carolyn adds that there might be a tech-savvier way to do this--but this is what works for her.) On any given day she might type in one of these:

  • 15-min upper body free-weight workout
  • 20-min total body toning no equipment
  • 10-min lower body resistance band workout
  • 10-min standing ab workout
  • 45-min fusion fitness
  • 30-min cardio & strength
  • 15-min total body stretch
  • 20-min yoga for core strength
  • 10-min cardio blast (Carolyn says, “never a favorite--BUT--I can do anything for 10 minutes!”)

Sometimes Carolyn just does one video; other times she'll put two or three together. This morning, for example, she reports that she did a 10-minute 'lower body burn' series, followed by 10 minutes of standing ab work and then picked a 10-minute stretch video. She loves that she can tailor her workout to how she feels, how much time she has, which body parts she wants to focus on, and whether she wants stretch, strength, stamina, or a combination. She switches up the workouts all the time so she doesn’t get too comfortable with any of them (and then “get lazy”).

Carolyn’s routine is easy, accessible, flexible, and portable.  It works well at home – and also while traveling.  It’s easy to use your phone for 10-minute hotel room YouTube workouts – and she always packs a resistance band (such a great idea).  In the summertime, Carolyn’s family lives at their little cottage on Lake Erie for 8 weeks – and she manages to keep up her fitness routine there.

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Carolyn says, “I've tried a variety of routines over the last 30 years--(literally) hundreds of group classes...gym memberships...running (short-lived)...lap swimming...sprint triathlon training...and workout DVDs from my local library. When I settled into YouTube workouts a few years ago, I have to say I felt like I hit my-kind-of-jackpot. It's the' anywhere, anytime, any gear' of it that works for me. Often, I exercise barefoot in my jammie pants and a tank top! That makes it even harder to find an excuse!  I don't have to change my clothes...I don't have to put on my shoes...my heart rate increases and my muscles work hard...?! Jackpot!”

I asked Carolyn if she ever gets bored with her workout.  Nope. She doesn’t – because she’s always switching the workout, the length of time, the teacher, the equipment (bands, free weights, no equipment). That's a huge bonus to her 'method.' Every so often, Carolyn thinks of something new to add to her search (most recently, fusion fitness), which gives her even more options. She says, “a few years ago I started doing ballet workouts on YouTube, and that was a really fun way to diversify my exercise. I was a ballet dancer throughout my early years, and practicing something that is such a part of my bones, you might say, brings me great joy. I don't even feel like I'm exercising when I'm doing a barre workout, at least not in the traditional way. I feel like I'm connecting with a part of my former self!”  

Carolyn’s advice for others looking to begin a self-directed workout they can do at home:

  • First, remember her mantra – “You can do anything for 10 minutes.” Carolyn says there are days when she’s feeling rushed or lacking oomph or just doesn’t feel like exercising.  When those times come, she repeats her mantra out loud.  And she’s right – we can always find 10 minutes in our day for a short workout!  (As Carolyn points out . . . “Barack Obama made time for basketball conditioning when he was in The White House, for crying out loud. If he can shoot hoops for a half-hour, I figure I can work in some free weights or Pilates.”)
  • Second, start with 10 minutes: it almost always leads to more minutes.  Carolyn says, “Because it feels good and makes me happy and--heck, I'm already on the mat -- why not stay there and just keep going? I benefit so much more from adding 10 minutes with my triceps than, say, scrolling Instagram...”
  • Last, don’t compare your workout to anyone else’s. Carolyn says her husband, for example, “does a really intense workout 6 mornings/week. (She says she tried it once or twice. It wasn't for her. His commitment, though, does help her stick to hers.). Other people I know will run and sweat in 85-degree heat or train for multi-day bike races...things that just don't appeal to me.  By working out within my comfort zone, setting expectations that I can realistically meet and often exceed, I feel successful--and that's really good motivation.”

So.

What do you think?  Is a self-directed/video workout routine at home for you?  And if that's what you already do, what advice might you add?