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The Love Relationship

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I was in the gym today with Greg when he said something that sparked a long humorous conversation.  He was trying to tell me something – I didn’t hear correctly – started to interject something totally different – and he stopped me and said, ‘You’re just not hearing me – you’re not hearing my heart‘  Oh brother.  I say ‘Oh brother’ because he is saying it with TONS of sarcasm in his voice – and a chuckle at my expense!!

This has been a part of our love relationship for years now.  The differences in us that make us laugh.  Greg making fun of women – (mainly me) and imitating  all the silly ‘girly’ phrases and things we women do.  It works for him – because he always manages to get some kind of reaction from me – and he likes that.  And I tease and poke fun at him – when he becomes too serious – or too stuffy – and it always makes him laugh.

Men love to make fun of women.  Case and Point:  The movie ‘Titanic” – where the old Rose is saying about her memory of Jack (the man she loved) – ‘he saved me in every way a woman can be saved’.  Greg loves to make fun at that movie – and especially cheesy lines like that.  His first response is – ‘You’ve GOT to be kidding, right’?  But I know what she meant by that line in the movie – women get it. Women understand these deep mysteries of feelings and emotions – and Men pretend they don’t. When probed – I have discovered that men really do get it – it’s just not ‘manly’ to admit it.

Now why is this?  Men have feelings and emotions – this is for certain – and no one can hurt a man like a woman can.  Remember the recent series “Men of a certain age”?   Actor Ray Romano tells his son about women, ‘they have many ways they can hurt us”.

So if this is true – and men feel the same feelings about love and other things that we do – why is it considered weak – or ‘girly’ to admit it?  Very few men will admit to crying at a sad movie – although I’ve seen both my husband and son do it – but not many others.  Most men are guarded when it comes to expressing those ‘touchy feely’ feelings.  And I believe it is drilled into them as little boys to be tough and not show emotion.  That somehow it weakens them to admit they struggle – or have fear – or are afraid – or feel helpless in the midst of love – or can be hurt enough to cry.  Remember the song in the 70’s by the group ’10cc’ where one of the lines is ‘Big boys don’t cry’?  How sad that men believe this – how sad that they are made to feel they must be like this.

It is interesting that when you know a man – really know him – he is not afraid to reveal some of that emotion.  But he must feel safe. And just because they don’t feel like they always can express emotions like a woman can – does not mean that they don’t have them.

I’ve been married to this man of mine for 29 years this Sunday – and one of the great things I’ve discovered is this:  we are different – but we are basically the same underneath all the layers.  Our emotions are basically the same – with different reactions to pain and hurt.  We both know what it feels like to be vulnerable and misunderstood – or to be used and tossed aside.  We both understand love and relationships – and have felt all sorts of emotions in relation to each other and in raising children.  We both can still make each other laugh – and we’re great friends – even through some of the rough patches that life has thrown at us.  And that’s so nice to know. ♥

He will continue to tease and make fun – I will continue to make him scratch his head in confusion – and make him laugh – it is our dance.  And so our journey continues – with its mysteries and lessons – and its laughter. It is our story – it is our love relationship.

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Heart Of A Hummingbird

Five things I learned today:

1. Never assume that you can pull/push/lift as much weight in the gym  as a previous person on the machine has.  What a SHOCK when first using the machine – if you don’t adjust.  (Those MEN!!!)

2. Never be intimidated by men in the gym.  They serve only to scare women into thinking they are wimpy.  And it works.

3. Never workout on the elliptical machine next to two men – even if one of those men is your husband.  It’s just wrong.

4. Never compare your heart rate to your neighbor’s.  My heart rate is a good 20 beats higher per minute than Greg’s is – and that’s just standing still.  On the elliptical – FORGET IT!

5. Never take your hands off the ‘heart sensor’ – or it will yell at you.  For me it is good to push past the ‘normal’ perimeters  of what is ‘safe’  or normal on the machine –  because my heart rate is always faster than normal.  And I’m okay with that.  I have to make the adjustments and be okay that I’m weird.

Greg tells me that I have the ‘heart of a hummingbird’ – and I guess that’s the way it is just going to have to be.  As long as I can have the ‘soul of an artist’ then all is well.

God Bless

5 Lessons For Getting in Shape

Lesson #1 – NEVER skip workouts – even when too busy to get to the gym.  Even if you have to stop what you’re doing (i.e. directing a musical production – organizing a recital – vocal and piano lessons) and say to whom ever you’re with, “I’m sorry – but I have to get to the gym now – or my body will punish me later and we wouldn’t want that, would we?”  I’m sure they will all understand and wait for you.  (Yeah right)

Lesson #2 – When you finally DO make it back to the gym – under no circumstances should you compare yourself with other skinny and younger people around you.  You are NOT  looking at them – so you KNOW they are not looking at you.  (Again – yeah right)  You should continue on with your weight regime and try to concentrate on your own business – without staring at the other people incredulously that are doing chin ups across from your lame leg curls.  They deserve to be stared at incredulously.

Lesson #3 – No matter what – you MUST NOT giggle!  It’s offensive to the people around you – AND it draws attention to the fact that you are a wimp – laughing more than doing the actual sit ups.  There should be NO joy in the gym – it isn’t allowed.  Even the people on the HUGE posters look scary – even when they smile.

Lesson #4 – Try to look like you know how to operate the equipment.  Every machine is different with a little thingy that you pull or push to adjust – and the whatchamajiggy for getting the prongy thing into the lowest amount of weight possible.  I myself am an expert at working every machine now – but it took careful preparation and patience.  And if I can’t get it – I call Greg over.  The same holds true for the treadmill.  Just look like you know what you’re doing – and you just blend in.

Lesson #4 – Try to join a class.  There are many at my gym to choose from.  I want to join them all but Greg says I can’t.  He is very mean.  I have, however joined a Zumba class (with my friend Jackie Christensen) that meets once a week on Friday nights.  I used to look ridiculous because I didn’t know any of the moves.  Now I still look ridiculous – but at least I’ve been going long enough that I know the moves.  At least some of them.  Okay – not many of them – but you get the idea.  Try to join with a friend or two.  My friends are too smart to do this however – and my daughter ended up coming with me.  She has many friends coming with her each week – and I’m sure they laugh at me.

Lesson #5 – Don’t let anyone criticize or make fun of your efforts for trying to get into shape – such as my friend Ron Almberg did – by posting a HILARIOUS article on his blog yesterday about a woman trying to get into shape.  Is it a coincidence that this woman sounds very much like me?  I think not.

And finally – just relax and have fun.  If you can’t laugh at yourself before the gym – you will really see the humor in yourself, the people around you and everything in general – AFTER  going!  Remember – just keep moving!

Yin and Yang

“I’m doing the work!  I’m baby stepping it!!” Bob from “What about Bob?”

The other day while doing “the work” in the gym I found myself caught up in a “Doctor’s Program” that they play in front of the treadmills and ellipticals on the flat screen tv’s above us.  It was very interesting because it was a program on women.  And not just ANY program – a program on basic concerns woman have as they enter mid-life – and get older.  It seems there are a great many myths  associated with the aging process for women and excercise and health is right up there with these myths.

A lot of women do not exercise or train with weights because they are afraid they are going to look like a man when they are done.  Not true.  No matter how much I do bicep curls, for instance – I cannot even see my biceps – oh they are there – deeply hidden – but there is no real substance or shape to them – like a man.  Simply because women have extra body fat – we’re born with it – it’s to make pretty babies with.  I kind of like that I do not in any way resemble a man – and so does my husband – who much prefers my curves over the way a well-built guy looks – any day.  I’m glad for that!

But weight training (working out with machines that have weights on them) is essential for any good exercise program – because it increases weight loss because you are building muscle mass – burning more calories over a longer period of time.  We got that straight from a personal trainer at our club – and this information was reinforced  on this medical show.  It is not always the fun thing to do – but you will get longer lasting results if you do it.  Greg and I workout 3 times a week – alternating legs, abs, arms and chest.  It seems to be working great – and when we do about 30 minutes of weight machines then he goes to the elliptical and I go to the treadmill – for about 30 minutes – I’m still a “baby stepper” – but I AM doing the work!

Another thing  women can do to stay young is stay out of the sun.  More and more experts are telling us – too much sun ages you quicker than just about anything so don’t do it!  Plus it is NOT good for you! I look young for my age because I do not spend any more time in direct sunlight than necessary.

Also – too thin is not attractive as you age.  All the movie stars and models would try to present a different view-point on this – but thin women wrinkle more and look older quicker than women with a few pounds on them – and that includes the face.  All that dieting and you’re just going to look old faster and before your time.

Balance is the key.  I eat healthy and sometimes not so healthy.  We all do.  But I try to live a life of balance. Exercise – but don’t obsess over it.  Eat healthy but don’t obsess over every little thing you put in your mouth.  BALANCE.

I try to live a life of balance in all things – but I’m a “hyper optimistic” person – which means: I want to try new things – go on new adventures and dream BIG dreams – which sometimes are not based in reality.  I sometimes take too much on – and since I’m a “finisher” – I complete EVERY task I take on.

Here is an example of something that happens every time I walk into the gym with my husband Greg:

I see the spinning class – and the water aerobics class going on and I will get wide-eyed and very excited and say to Greg, “I want to do those classes – I can do those”!  And my dear husband Greg says, “No you can’t”  Now before you’re too hard on Greg – let me just tell you a little about him.  He is what I would affectionately call a “pessimistic passive/aggressive”  – what I mean by that is this:  he will say something negative with a smile on his face.  He is very used to having to “reign me in” and be a stable and patient influence over my crazy ideas.  I guess he’s the “yin” to my “yang” – or the “Ricky” to my “Lucy” – you get the idea.  I will say, “you’re a glass half empty kind of guy, aren’t you”? – and he will reply, “No – I’m just someone who lives in the real world – where women like you shouldn’t be doing every exercise class that there is available – Zumba is enough”  Yes.  I do LOVE my Zumba class on Friday night ☺

Well that’s about all I have to say on that subject for today.  I hope everyone is being healthy – eating right and doing some exercise!  And staying young in body and in mind!

God Bless!

Adventures At The Gym

A few weeks ago I FINALLY learned how to program the treadmill at the gym where Greg and I belong.  Everything is “state of the art” equipment – and it SHOULD be user friendly – but unfortunately it did not have ME in mind.  Not that I’m some “dumb bunny” – I can figure my way around computer programs – I’ve even taught myself some things without ANY help from anybody – and though it did take me longer to figure it out than most – at least I DID figure it out eventually and am quite proud of myself.  One such program was a complicated music software program.  It took a while to get my digital piano and computer to “play nice” together – but they finally did – with a gentle nudge or two.  And I’ve figured out other things on the internet myself too – and even have an iPhone which you have to be able to navigate around on – so I’m very proud of my achievements – and yes – I LOVE the iPod on it – the music through my earphones is SO CLEAR!!

So needless to say – I felt quite qualified to “program” the cardio equipment.  I would not say that I had a “proud” spirit – but I was confident. So began my journey into the bleak “unknown” of things I have NO IDEA about.  I stepped onto the elliptical machine the first day we were there – and although Greg seemed adept and able to program his machine – I could NOT program mine.  Nothing worked – and I just ended up going manual.  The next time we were at the gym (not one to give up easily) I tried another machine, thinking that I was just having a rough day or something.  Same thing.  Nothing.  So I went manual again.

Then I decided to try the treadmill – I mean, after all – how hard could it be to program one of those?  Hmmmm.  I stepped on it and saw about 7 programs and I selected one.  Nothing.  I tried again.  Nothing.  So I again went manual – which is a pain because you have to keep going faster by selecting the speed yourself instead of it doing it automatically.  But being a “trooper” – I was not going to let anything get in the way of my workout – so push the buttons all through the workout – I did.

The next time at the gym I tried another elliptical – downstairs this time – right next to another on that Greg was on – and he again was successful – and AGAIN – I couldn’t program the stupid thing.  And to add insult to injury – the panel went completely BLANK!!  Greg said, “you broke it”  very funny.  He even made some  crack about how I just needed to pedal faster and maybe it would magically appear again – it didn’t – and I felt ridiculous.  So I came to a stop and went to the front desk and told a couple of the young guys behind the desk.  I’m sure they were thinking to themselves, “this poor lady doesn’t have a CLUE how to program the machine” – but they didn’t say so – and one of them came with me to the back of the gym where the machine was.  He had me jump on and start peddling – explaining that I wasn’t going FAST ENOUGH and that was probably why the panel didn’t light up.  Well I peddled and peddled and NOTHING.  So then it was determined that it needed a new battery – and off he went to put in a maintenance call.  It was really annoying.  I am NOT stupid – I just couldn’t get any of my machines to program correctly – or one that worked right!!!  So I gave up and moved to the bicycle next to the “broken” machine.  A few minutes later a man in his 40’s came over with a clip board and went right to the machine.  I was glad to see him and told him that it was the battery that needed to be replaced.  He nodded at me and seemed friendly and engaging – talking about the machine and this and that.  I asked him how long it would take to fix the machine – all the while peddling away – and he then told me, “Oh I’m not here to fix the machine – I was going to use it – but now that you tell me it’s broken I guess I won’t”  Oh brother.  I told him he looked official because of the clipboard and he said he always walks around with one.  Uh huh.  Great.

The next time we were at the gym – I went upstairs and tried another treadmill.  There was an older man on a treadmill a couple of machines down from me – and he saw that I was getting frustrated (as I always did when I couldn’t program the stupid thing) and he tried to give help and suggestions – but he clearly did NOT know how to do it either and just always went manual.  Why do some guys think they know everything – even when they don’t?  It was then that a very nice young woman came and asked me if she could help me – and I said, “PLEASE!!!”  She showed me something so simple – that I had totally missed all those times.  We got it up and running and I was all smiles – then the man said, “Did you get it?”  And I said, “YES!!”  I wonder what he thought about that – he didn’t even ask how to do it – just like a man!!

Well that’s all I know – it isn’t much – but at least I can program those machines now – and it’s the simple things in life that make me very happy ♥

God Bless

Everyone Needs To Believe In Something…I Believe I’ll Have A Second Cup…

Today while working out on the elliptical – Greg was watching one of the HUGE flat screen TVs they have at our club – and caught a doctor’s program.  Subject:  How drinking a couple cups of coffee before working out actually helps your workout – and decreases muscle pain.  Well that was indeed good news for us – as so many people say caffeine is the enemy – or the Antichrist – or something like that.  I never personally bought into any of this heresy and would staunchly defend my right to be a coffee lover and to drink it every day – even among all the doubters and “nay sayers” out there.

Caffeine is also an ingredient in Excederin Migraine – or any other serious prescription migraine medicine because of what it does to help reduce the blood flow to the brain stem – or some such thing.  At least that’s what the doctor told me.  When you have a migraine – ingest some caffeine and it really helps!

Now my friend Ron was pointing out to us the other day that while we are self proclaimed “coffee snobs” and like Starbucks french roast – that it IS NOT the bean with the most caffeine.  It is the lighter roast bean that has the most – and better yet –  something called “white coffee”  apparently has 3 times the amount of caffeine!!  Imagine that?  I’ve never tried it – but it is said to be very mild and has no coffee taste at all.  This is probably why I have not tried it – because to be perfectly honest – I drink coffee for the taste – which is why I like french roast.  It’s not for what is does for me – but for how it tastes going down.  And drinking white coffee would be to me…well…what would be the point?

I am happy to know this information however,  and if I feel another migraine coming on – who cares about taste anyway?  I’m lucky to just get a cup of coffee down!  But that’s another story for another day – and if you look back far enough I believe I have a story or two about my migraine headaches complete with curling up in a fetal position and basically wanting to die.  Add to that the vomitting and you have a REAL winner!

I’ve been “migraine free” for about a year now – and so I must be doing something right – and drinking that coffee doesn’t seem to be hurting me – so I will continue my “bad habit” and….have another cup!

Hope you have an awesome day – would you like to join me in a cup?

God Bless

I Have A Crush On My Personal Trainer

Yes it’s true.  I have a crush on my personal trainer.  He’s handsome and follows me around the gym.  He’s very attentive and seems to know just the right equipment and the right “weight” for me when doing my workout.  He’s patient and knowledgeable. Kind and funny too ♥  He’s also MARRIED.   It’s shocking!  But it’s okay.  He’s married to ME!!  ♥♥♥

Yes I’m lucky to have this strong handsome guy by my side doing a workout.  And I’ve learned that he’s actually pretty handy to have around when I can’t figure out how to work a piece of equipment – or put the proper amount of weight on it.  He even adjusts my positions for me so I won’t have to.  the women at “Curves”  NEVER  did this!  Who said that working out with just women was the only way to go?  I’m liking my guy to be with me while I struggle to try to get “in shape” and lose a few extra inches here and there.  Mostly here.  And I am determined to lose it!

I see him looking at me.  He can’t hide it – I see him smiling at me.  I’m not exactly in the best of shape yet – but He can’t fool me!  He is VERY charming – and such a sweet talker.  And it’s nice to know that I don’t have to look a certain way – or even be a certain way to impress him.  So I’d say it’s pretty mutual – and it’s also entirely applauded by everyone!  So…I guess it’s okay that he has a crush on me too ♥

I think I’ll keep him.  No one could ever have it as good.  And I don’t even have to pay him!  I get it all FOR FREE ♥

Hope everyone has an awesome day!  My wish is that everyone could have a personal trainer like me ♥  But I’m pretty sure he is just MY personal trainer – you’ll have to get your own ☺

God Bless

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