Saturday, October 26, 2013

What Have YOU Always Wanted To Do?

Lately, it's been on my mind (probably because of changes happening in my life) that we really need to DO those things we always wanted to do.  Then I came across a really great story in Huff Post Healthy Living online about a girl named Alexandra Heminsley who always thought of herself as someone who couldn't run, and then decided she wanted to run.  The Huff Post article is an excerpt from her book, Running Like a Girl:  notes on learning to run.

Great writing and really spot on--for those who want to run but thought they couldn't as well as long-time runners, beginners, and anyone else who likes to read!

Then, while riding my bike today on the El Rio Trail, I came upon Brock. 
I stopped and talked with Brock about what he was doing, walking along the El Rio Trail playing the bagpipes.  He told me that he was practicing, that he came out here to practice so as not to disturb his neighbors.  And that he was 55 years old and he had always wanted to play the bagpipes.  So at 53 years old he began to learn to play the bagpipes.

And this is what he can play now, two years later:

As I say on my Web site, "Life's short.  Live joyously."

Monday, August 26, 2013

Yamato Scrub - Nice Trails Close to Home

We are fortunate here in Boca Raton, that when the city was being developed, there was some visionary person (or persons) looking out for the preservation of our natural landscape.  The city has more beach property that is public than most other Florida coastal cities, with Spanish River Park, Red Reef Park and the South Beach Pavilion providing two miles of beautiful lifeguard-protected beach for our use. 

The Yamato Scrub Natural Area is another treasure that has been kept undeveloped for years and, as part of the Conservation and Recreational Lands Preservation 2000 Project, is now open to the public.  The habitat encompasses 217 acres of flatwoods with slash pines and saw palmettos, a scrub community of sand pines, and a 10-acre wetland area, with 2.8 miles of trails throughout the area.

You may come across some of our protected plant and animal species--the airplant Spanish moss, the gopher tortoise and the scrub lizard.  Animal life you may see include birds such as the red-bellied woodpecker, the northern cardinal, the mottled duck, osprey, or the red-tailed hawk; and reptiles such as the rough green snake or the eastern racer, the green anole or the six-lined racerunner; and of course raccoons and squirrels.  Besides the soft sand and pine needle trails, there is a short paved nature trail for the less adventuresome. 

There is parking and entry into the preserve just off Clint Moore Road south of Congress Ave, or you can bike on the El Rio Trail to entry just north of Clint Moore.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

New Name, New Focus

There's been some evolving in the coaching I do; with all the biking and swimming I've been doing, along with the fact that I am getting older, I have sort of naturally gravitated toward a change of focus, more toward health fitness coaching along with the running.  Though running will always be my passion, I am so enjoying other forms of exercise, even weight work, especially kettlebell workouts!  Not being able to run for extended periods of time has actually forced me to find other outlets for all this energy I have.  I think the biking is really second to the running, though I do like my swim, too.

So I now introduce you to Absoulute Coaching.  New name, slightly different focus, all for the better!  Change is good!  Check it out: Absoulute Coaching

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Just For Fun

Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines is on my iPod workout playlist; has a great beat and keeps you moving!  I ran across this--really cute and fun!

Jimmy Fallon, Robin Thicke & The Roots sing "Blurred Lines" (w/classroom instruments):

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Damaged Cartilage, Stem Cell Therapy... and Lots of Biking!

It's been a very long time since I last posted.  Mostly because I am, once again, NOT running.  I was doing sooooo well back in January.  Hardly any pain, upping my mileage and pace ever so gradually.  Then I participated in a fitness coaching workshop, two eight-hour days of classes with other fitness professionals, and I ended up damaging the cartilage in that left hip of mine.  We did all kinds of moves the hip probably wasn't quite ready to do--boot camp type stuff, plyometrics, jumping up and down from boxes, that sort of thing.

I laid off running and even walking and biking, because I couldn't without it really starting to hurt, for the next couple weeks.  Still could not run or even walk without pain, so swimming was really my only option.  Things did not get better; in fact, it seemed to get worse.  So, in early June I had PRP/stem cell therapy done, this time using not just the stem cells from my fat, but also from my bone marrow.


PRP/Stem Cell Therapy

I saw Dr Joseph Purita at the Institute of Regenerative and Molecular Orthopedics, "world renowned stem cell therapist."  The MRI I had done that he ordered showed, first of all, that--YAY! the torn hamstring and rectus femoris tendons had healed!  I had PRP/stem cell therapy (using just my fat, not my bone marrow) for these a year ago with a doctor who has since retired from practice.  The fact that those tears were chronic (I am guessing a couple years, and the hamstring tears were partial avulsions off the bone), and I had had 8-9 months of physical therapy before the PRP/stem cell injections...   and the fact that the surgeon who cleaned out the synovial chondromatosis and repaired the labrum in that hip in 2011 said that he could not surgically repair the torn hamstrings and get a good result (thus the 8-9 months of PT, which did not help)...  well, for those tendons to heal..  I am a believer in stem cell therapy!!

The MRI also showed that the cartilage in the joint was damaged.  Dr Purita and I discussed my options and he said he thought I would get a good result with the stem cell therapy, so that's what we did.

It has been about 6-7 weeks now since the injection.  This time around they took my blood for the PRP, my own fat cells from a small area on my side (which Dr Purita says contain only a few stem cells compared to bone marrow), and bone marrow aspired from the back of my pelvis.  I was there at the office most of the day; pain/discomfort was minimal.  I was sore for a few days, but not too bad.  Obviously no running, or even much walking since the procedure.  Dr Purita said it would be several months before I noticed any difference, and 11-12 months before complete healing.



So, I am biking!  Which I am LOVING!!

Last week was spent at my sister and brother-in-law's home in Asheville, NC.  I of course took my bike with me, and I had the best time!  The famous Biltmore House and Estate is in Asheville, "George Vanderbilt’s extraordinary home, beautiful gardens, and Antler Hill Village & Winery, nestled on 8,000 acres in the mountains of Asheville, NC" (as it is billed on their web site).  It was mid-80's and sunny every day, perfect for biking the trails, which there are both paved and dirt/gravel, plus some technical trails in some wooded areas.  I really needed a mountain bike, and put my hybrid to the test on some of the trails! 

Some photos of my biking in Asheville:









Tuesday, April 16, 2013

After Boston

I read this today and want to share it..
By Stephen Jay Gould in the aftermath of 9/11: 
"The patterns of human history mix decency and depravity in equal measure. We often assume, therefore, that such a fine balance of results must emerge from societies made of decent and depraved people in equal numbers. 
But we need to expose and celebrate the fallacy of this conclusion so that, in this moment of crisis, we may reaffirm an essential truth too easily forgotten, and regain some crucial comfort too readily forgone. 
Good and kind people outnumber all others by thousands to one. The tragedy of human history lies in the enormous potential for destruction in rare acts of evil, not in the high frequency of evil people. Complex systems can only be built step by step, whereas destruction requires but an instant. 
Thus, in what I like to call the Great Asymmetry, every spectacular incident of evil will be balanced by 10,000 acts of kindness, too often unnoted and invisible as the 'ordinary' efforts of a vast majority. 
We have a duty, almost a holy responsibility, to record and honor the victorious weight of these innumerable little kindnesses, when an unprecedented act of evil so threatens to distort our perception of ordinary human behavior." 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Horrible Day in Boston

The unthinkable happened today in Boston at the Boston Marathon finish line.  Two explosions at about the 4:09 finishing time.

From The Boston Globe:  Three killed, more than 100 injured in marathon blast 

Prayer from Jacob:

Prayer For The World 
God is with us now.  There is a Divine Plan for the world.
I believe that God is all good and everywhere present.
I believe in the power of God's love here on Earth.
I now begin to see the world 
through the eyes of the Christ Consciousness.

All life is now cradled in God's loving arms.
There is no place on Earth that this Light does not touch.
I now call upon Divine Love to heal our hearts and minds.
This Love is now flowing through every country and nation.
Every man, woman and child is embraced in this perfect love.
There is no poverty, pain, sickness nor lack in God. 
This is an abundant universe and there are more than
enough resources for everyone to have all that they need.
Every person and nation now draws to them all that they need
in order to be happy, healthy, safe and loved.
Under the Divine Plan everyone wins and no one loses.
Greed, addictions, anger, prejudice and sickness
all dissolve in the miracle of Divine Restoration.
The need to be right is released and dissolves.
All of nature is being brought into harmony as
the plants, animals and all living things
are restored to their natural state of being.
The citizens and leaders of every nation are now
being awakened to the truth of our Oneness.
All beings everywhere are being lifted up to their highest and best.
We recognize the sacredness of all life.
We are all healed together.
Here and now I give my life to God that I may be used as
an instrument of healing and change.
I recognize my importance in this plan for salvation of the world.
May I do no harm.  May I help wherever I can.
Let peace begin here with me now.
Thank you, Jacob.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Black Beans and Rice - Yummy!

I posted a while ago about my gluten intolerance here (to recap:  Three to four years ago I began to suspect that I might have a gluten intolerance.  That means my body has adverse reactions to gluten, which is a protein in certain grains (wheat, barley, rye).  My whole life I have eaten bread, pasta, and pretty much anything and everything I ever wanted without any problems.  But now, ingesting just the tiniest bit of gluten sets off a whole host of symptoms, beginning with neurological symptoms of tingling, numbness, heaviness on the left side of my body, severe fatigue and nausea, severe migraine headache, and then gastrointestinal symptoms of bloating and diarrhea.   This goes on for more than a week.  So I have gotten very, very good at keeping gluten out of my diet.  It's been difficult, because it seems to be in EVERYTHING, and cross-contamination is always a possibility. )

If I am out at a restaurant or at someone's house..   I have to be absolutely positive that there is NO gluten involved in any way, shape or form in the food provided, or I don't eat.  The reactions I get are just too severe; it is just not worth it.  My family has learned to accommodate me, which is really great for me!  I want to share my daughter Stephanie's recipe for Black Beans and Rice here--delish!

Stephanie's Black Beans and Rice

2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup green pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can Goya black beans, undrained
3/4 cup water
1 tsp oregano
1 packet Sazon Goya w/o Annatto

 Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add onion, pepper and garlic; cook until tender, about 8-10 minutes.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.  Serve over rice.  Serves 4.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Look What I Found!

I had the MOST BEAUTIFUL, WONDERFUL RUN on the beach this morning!!

I was up early this morning and watched the sunrise..

Had planned to run later in the afternoon, but it was SO PERFECT out--the sun, the temp, low tide was at about 10am, so at 8am the sand was packed perfectly for a run...

So that was it, couldn't not..

Oh, joy!  I LOVE running on the beach!  And look what I found..

Now, this guy is actually quite large, but using my old iPhone camera, you can't really tell.

I turned it over..   and..  the animal was still inside!  He was alive!  I have not seen a live conch on the beach in years and years!  I took a photo...   You can't see him, he pulled himself up into the shell, but he's in there!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Need a Change?

Here in South Florida, a lot of you have you run your goal half or full marathon.  Most of the the rest of the country is in deep winter and won't be starting any real running training for another couple months.   

It might be a good time to work on any muscle imbalances you might have. Get into the gym and do some weight training, maybe work with a trainer, go to spin classes, yoga, maybe do some P90X or Crossfit.
It will help your running to give the speed work a break.  Lower your weekly mileage, and run easy miles.  Enter the races, but just run for fun. 

 Or better yet, volunteer at some of those races.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Disney Marathon on Sunday

Sunday will be the 20th running of the Walt Disney World Marathon.  So many runners I know have run this one, at least once if not multiple times.  It's one of the few Florida marathons that I have not run.  One of my runners, Chuck, is running the marathon this year, after many past years of running the half marathon, which is held the day before.

I hear running legends Bill Rodgers, Frank Shorter, and Joan Benoit Samuelson will be there, along with the outstanding Desiree Davila, and comedian Drew Carey. 

To Chuck, and all who are running Disney this weekend, ENJOY YOUR RACE!  Remember why you are running, remember all the training you put in, dig deep when the going gets tough, finish strong!  And remember to smile for the camera!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

My Sister

I have the most wonderful sister.

I just received (another) book in the mail from her. And I can't wait to start reading it tonight.

My sister is two years older than me.

When she was six and I was four, she would come home from school and teach me everything she learned that day.

That's how I learned to read.

And I am a voracious reader.  I LOVE to read. That and running..

One year, a few years ago, for my birthday, she sent me a book every month that she thought I would like.

That was a good year!

My sister is an English teacher, has been for years and years, in the public school system in Asheville, North Carolina. She helps (or tries to at least) get kids to understand the joy of books.

I love my sister.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Life Changes

I haven't been posting very much lately, as I have been going through some life changes.  Learning and growing in many ways, different ways..   reading and studying and practicing...   a lot of spiritual stuff and learning how to quiet my mind, go within, meditate.

I recently finished reading a fascinating book by neurosurgeon Eben Alexander, MD, Proof of Heaven  A Neurosurgeon's Journey Into the Afterlife. You have probably read and heard about near-death experiences.  As someone who thought he should "know" that, although these episodes seem very real to the persons having them,  they are easily argued away by all sorts of scientific explanations.   That was until Dr Alexander contracted a rare form of meningitis, went into a coma and, for a week was close to death himself.  Everyone had given up on him surviving, thinking that even if he did his brain was so damaged that he would be mostly in a vegetative mental state and need round-the-clock care.  Dr Alexander suddenly awakened after that week-long coma, and had an amazing complete recovery.

His book details his journey into the "afterlife."  Here's a short video I found of him speaking about his experience.  Please watch.

You can get his book from

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