Run Lynn Run! (Cardio Play)

If you can transform your exercise pursuits into play you’re way ahead of the game.  That’s why joining a sports team is so great for kids (and adults).  You end up exercising but you’re having so much fun you don’t notice.  I feel that way when I play tennis, when I take a kickboxing class and when I play with my dogs.

The other day I went out into the backyard to put the dogs on their leash for our morning walk.  The little girl dog usually runs right over since she loves our excursions but this morning she stayed across the yard, just looking at me when I called.  I saw that she had her furry Chewbacca toy in her mouth and thought that maybe she wanted to play with it more than she wanted to walk.  I started across the yard to get her then realized it wasn’t Chewbacca she had in her mouth….IT WAS A DEAD SQUIRREL!  Score another one for my little hunter!

I got it!

I got it!

The day before,  my younger son and I had watched out the window as this fat squirrel inched it’s way down a nearby telephone pole, then hopped onto our fence.  It perched on the post and twitched it’s tail back and forth in front of our dogs.  We laughed about it because it was clear at the time that the girl dog, in particular, wanted that squirrel.  She was pacing back and forth in front of the fence but the fence post the squirrel was sitting on was too high for her to reach.  After trying for a long time to get the squirrel from the top of the post, she lay down flat on the grass.  She played dead and would wait patiently for the squirrel to get a little closer before popping up to resume trying to catch it. Each time the squirrel would retreat to the post and sit there flicking it’s tail provocatively back and forth before venturing closer once again.  It was quite funny watching the two of them. Apparently, they continued to play the next morning and unfortunately for the squirrel, he ventured a little bit too close!

This is where my excellent cardio session began!  I went to get the squirrel from her but she was quite proud of her treasure and wasn’t about to give it up!  She ran….and I chased her.  She ran faster.  I chased her harder.  All I could think about were rabies, fleas and getting that mangy thing out of her mouth.  All she could think about was her hard-won prize and how she was keeping it.  We were quite the pair.  At some point, I calmed down. I figured that if she was going to get rabies or fleas from the thing, she was probably already infected/infested.  I decided to trick her so ran as fast as I could in the other direction. She, of course started chasing ME while the bedraggled corpse flopped around between her teeth.  Each time I stopped  and turned to take it, she’d go the other direction.  After a while it became a game.  I forgot about taking her squirrel and we just had fun chasing each other back and forth in the back yard.  It was the best, heart-pounding cardio I’ve done in a long time!

Victory over the bad squirrel!

Victory over the bad squirrel!

Eventually she put the squirrel down in trade for some slices of baked chicken.  I grabbed it with the pooper-scooper and took it out to the garbage (which thankfully was out on the street for pick up that day).  We missed our walk that morning but we sure managed to exercise…in a unique and wonderful way!

Tis The Season

Ah…it’s that time of year again, when temptation is all around us. Those who are haven’t given up are deep into our New Year’s Resolution promises regarding a healthy eating plan and what little lovelies pop up to lure us into dangerous waters?  Darling little girls in green vests, hiding outside local supermarkets, lurking about grown up workplaces and going from door to door peddling 


The cookies alone could possibly be resisted but pair them with adorable young ladies with shining eyes and wide smiles and “Poof” even the strongest will power vanishes, spines of steel morph into jello and people are likely to find themselves reaching into their wallets.

I say GREAT!  Scouting provides entertainment, education and camaraderie for young people and here’s something you probably didn’t know. Girl Scout cookies don’t have any calories in them.  That’s right, I looked and they don’t list calories on the ingredient list!  Therefore it’s logical to conclude that consuming them won’t interfere with a nutritionally sound diet.  Buy and eat all the Girl Scout cookies you want!

For those of you who don’t believe that the cookies don’t have calories in them despite my experience and well presented proof, you can always simply donate a few dollars to the Girl Scouts.  They are happy to accept donations.  You can buy the cookies and leave them in the break room at work or at the front desk at the gym as a thoughtful gift for others to enjoy (let THEM blow their diets), or you can limit yourself to just a few boxes and ration them out to yourself in a sensible manner (for instance, you can eat them between sets of pull ups like I did the other day).  No matter which of these suggested routes you choose, you can’t go wrong.

SMALL DISCLAIMER – I was a Girl Scout and have many fond memories of my years in scouting.  I learned to tie knots, cook, sew, build a campfire (the burned hole in the rug wasn’t my fault), and mostly laugh and have fun with friends.  My scouting years were very enjoyable!

I couldn’t find a photo of myself wearing my Girl Scout uniform but here I am in my Brownie uniform with a few friends from school who were also in my troop.  We were 8 years old, and too young to be Girl Scouts yet.

Before I was a Girl Scout, I was a Brownie.  The Brownies were too young to be official Girl Scouts but once we were of age, we joined the big girls and got to wear the traditional green Girl Scout dresses.  From left to right - me, Andrea, Beth and Nicole

Before I was a Girl Scout, I was a Brownie. The Brownies were too young to be official Girl Scouts but once we were of age, we joined the big girls and got to wear the traditional green Girl Scout dresses. From left to right – me, Andrea, Beth and Nicole

Celebration Of Service Friday (#5)

I’m out of military tribute photos featuring myself..  Some of you will be very glad to hear that.  I mean, really, it’s probably tiresome looking at the same physique from the left…then from the right….then in sunlight…then in shade.  Nevertheless, I decided to keep my Celebration of Service Fridays in place for now, because, because, ummmm because I want to!  That’s the beauty of having your very own blog.  You get to do whatever you want.  You get to be the boss!


Golly, they were right -  all that weight lifting makes me look kinda manly!

Golly, they were right – all that weight lifting makes me look kinda manly!

This doesn’t mean I won’t ever post photos of myself on Celebration of Service Fridays just that I’m reserving the space for other photos and thoughts as well.



Wishing you a happy, healthy, safe weekend!  On Monday, I’ll be back to warn you about those little gremlins who pop up at this time of year to sabotage your nutritional plan.  Gremlins….otherwise known as Girl Scouts (I was one of them).

God Bless America!

Celebration Of Service Friday (Marine Corps)

United States Marine Corps

United States Marine Corps

“I would thank you from the bottom of my heart, but for you my heart has no bottom.”

Pre-Workout Potions


In my entire 23 year love affair with the gym, I’ve never used a pre-workout drink, powder or pill.  They’re supposed to help you get energized before a lifting session and therefore give you a better workout.  I know plenty of people who swear by them but I’ve never wanted to test the waters.  I know my body.  It’s pretty sensitive and I don’t like the idea of revving myself up that way.  What if I get TOO wired?  I have no idea how I’d react to a little pre-workout powder but I don’t want to find out.  I know too much caffeine makes me jittery and jumpy.  It makes my heart race and my hands shake.  It’s not a good feeling so I don’t imagine a pre-workout drink would be much better.

When I need a boost in energy for my workout, I rely on music for that little push.  I have lots of uptempo tunes on my iPod and they do the trick.  I have to update my playlists every so often…too many times listening to the same songs and they lose their potency.  Listening to happy music is the best pre-workout plan for me…and I don’t have to worry about any unwanted side effects!

The memes below are funny but serve to reinforce my conviction that staying away from traditional pre-workout potions is the right choice for me!













Riding On My High Horse

Warning – This is an off topic post…and not particularly cheery.  If you want gym stuff, skip this.  I’ll have something for you tomorrow.

Every parent has had to respond to a child trying to use somebody else’s bad behavior to excuse their own. Who hasn’t heard the line “But mom, Jimmy does it all the time” when they call their child out for some misdeed or another. It’s a universal parenting experience. So what is the good parent’s response? Do we slink into the corner muttering “Oh, yes, that’s right. Jimmy does do that. I guess it doesn’t matter then. I shouldn’t have brought it up” or do we look our little darling in the eye and say “What Jimmy did was wrong. If he got away with it, it doesn’t make it any better. it’s still wrong. Furthermore, I don’t have the power to stop Jimmy from (insert bad behavior here…stealing, lying, hurting other children) but I’m most definitely going to see that YOU know right from wrong and if you make bad choices, you will be held responsible. There will be consequences.”

Aren’t we in agreement that this is the reasonable way to respond to our darlings when they make this worn argument?


What if He-Did-It Jimmy lived a thousand years ago? Would that change the discussion in any significant way? Of course not, yet this is the same weak argument that the President of the United States made when he admonished his audience at the recent National Prayer Breakfast against throwing stones when they “live in glass houses.”  He was addressing legitimate concerns over a barrage of alarming violence across the world being committed by people who identify themselves as Islamic.

“Lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ” (he added slavery in the U.S. and Jim Crow as Christian misdeeds as well). “Murderous extremism” he explained, “is not unique to one group or one religion. There is a tendency in us, a sinful tendency that can pervert and distort our faith.”

First, let me fix that for the President. The murderous extremists that we’re all concerned about, that he’s taking about but refusing to name properly would more precisely be called violent (or murderous, if he’s settled on that word) Islamic jihadists. They are the people currently among us who quote both religious text and Islamic law to support things like

*Crucifying children (Iraq)

*Entering schools and taking young girls to use for their own pleasure i.e. sex slaves (Nigeria) This refers to one specific incident in Nigeria but using captive women as slaves, sexual and otherwise, is rampant in Syria, Iraq and Northern Africa. 

* Throwing gay people off the tops of buildings to kill them (Syria) 

*Slaughtering boys who watch soccer on TV by lining them up and killing them by firing squad (Iraq)

*Sentencing musicians to 90 lashes each for playing non-Islamic instruments (Syria)

*Entering a school, killing in excess of 120 children and burning some of the teachers alive while insisting that the children watch (Pakistan)

*Walking into the headquarters of a publication and killing 12 journalists/cartoonists…and then proceeding to kill people in a Jewish deli for good measure (France)

*Putting bear clamps on breastfeeding women’s breasts to punish them (Syria)

*Attacking a soldier in the street and beheading him with a meat cleaver (Britain)

*Taking hostages in a cafe which resulted in the deaths of two patrons (Australia)

*Burning churches to the ground by the hundreds (Nigeria and countless other places)

In the U.S., just off the top of my head, I can list the Boston Bombings, Fort Hood shootings, the beheading of a woman in Oklahoma, the recent execution of two policemen sitting in their squad car in New York…and of course the events of 9/11 when close to 3000 Americans were killed in one day.  I could go on and on because the list of atrocities go on and on.  People here and across the world are suffering because of violent Islamic jihadists.

Remember, the President needed to point out that this type of behavior “isn’t unique to one group or one religion.” I would counter that while that may be true over the span of human history, right now it’s violent Islamic jihadists that preach (and act to promote) the domination, death and destruction of people with differing beliefs all across the globe.

Second, a salient point ignored by the President, is that people in his audience weren’t alive during the Crusades. For the sake of this particular argument, I won’t challenge his interpretation of events (although there are countering readings of history that acknowledge known excesses during the Crusades but also provide a contextual view and discuss the instigating events). For the sake of brevity, I will leave his slant unchallenged.  I will respond to his take that in the past there were Christians who killed innocent people using their religion as an authoritative reason for it. Surely, he’s aware that since those he was addressing weren’t there, they couldn’t have pointed out the wrongdoing or done a single thing to correct that behavior. I wasn’t alive 1000 years ago, or 500 years ago, or 100 years ago, but I’m alive now. In what deranged view do I not have the responsibility or the standing, because of the shadows of history, to call out terrible transgressions and wrong doing in the here and now when I’m aware of them?

It seems the President thinks it’s odd or that it points to some sort of unsavory personality trait that violent Islamic jihadists should capture our attention. I think it’s eminently reasonable to turn my eyes upon them and give their motivations and actions investigation and thought when they daily declare war against me and mine…and when they exhort their followers to kill my children (I watch them kill other people’s so I know it’s not idle talk).

I pay attention because I want to shield the innocent. I read and study their philosophy because it poses significant danger to large numbers of people across the world and must be counteracted. I do it because I don’t want wrong thinking to win. I talk about it because my children deserve a parent who will stand up for them (and I’m happy to stand up for the children down the street from me, and on the other side of the world as well). We are stewards in the here and now. If I shut up because of transgressions made hundreds of years before I was born then evil wins twice. I can’t change the past. I can’t take responsibility for something that happened when I wasn’t there but I can tell you that if Islamic jihadists prevail in my lifetime, it won’t be because I sat down and refused to name them, because I wouldn’t point out the crimes they commit against their fellow man (and all decency) or because I wouldn’t support a superior philosophy of proper conduct.

I’m perfectly comfortable on my high horse. I can’t and won’t absolve a violent Islamic jihadist of responsibility today because Jimmy acted up…centuries ago.

References (I provided these for people who think I’m making this stuff up.  You can google each instance I cited above yourself and you will see countless supporting documents for each one)

Celebration Of Service Friday (Army)

United States Army

“It takes extraordinary courage and love to dedicate your life to protecting the lives and liberties of family and friends who you know, family and friends of those you don’t know and your country as a whole.”  Thank you.

“It’s Healthy!”


This doesn’t happen to me but DOES happen to my kids on a regular basis.  I send them to the store for a few groceries and they come home with some kind of junk food that they try to convince me is actually good for them.  For instance, they’ll arrive at the front door with big grins on their faces, holding giant sized bottles of Pepsi.  “It doesn’t have high fructose corn syrup, Mom.  It has natural sugar.  It’s healthy!”  Oh dear…

Yes, it's made with real sugar....a WHOLE BUNCH of real sugar!

it’s made with real sugar….a WHOLE BUNCH of real sugar!

Yes, they do know better but they try to get away with what they can.  As a person who grew up eating Sugar Smacks and Pop Tarts for breakfast, I know a few indulgences won’t hurt them a bit.  I have to laugh at all the different, creative ways they come up with to try to justify their junk food purchases.


Celebration Of Service Friday (Air Force)

United States Air Force

United States Air Force

“For some people volunteering is about giving, but for the likes of you, it is a way of living”  Thank you

Avoid Diet Disasters – Be Prepared

My younger son, who is 11, hopped into the car last Friday and told me that the extra shirt he keeps in his backpack came in handy at school that day (apparently he had the need to wrap it around his head “to be like a ninja”). I wasn’t aware he carried an extra shirt around so I asked him about it. He said that since he’d started reading survival manuals and books a couple of years ago, and found out how important extra cloth could be in a survival situation, he’d always kept the t-shirt stowed away in the inside, zippered pocket.


Just a few of my son's reference books.

Just a few of my son’s reference books.

I smiled at that and then reflected on what I carry in my purse on a regular basis. Like my son, I believe it’s good to be prepared. I won’t bore you with the all the various and sundry items I walk around with (my purse weighs several pounds) but I will tell you about what I keep in one of my zippered pouches at all times. FOOD! That’s right, I walk around the world toting snacks wherever I go. I’ve done it for the past couple of decades.

When I first started weight training, I amended my diet to accommodate the need for good, high quality calories. At first, I often found myself out and about without any desirable food alternatives. I didn’t want to rely on fast food, or sugary snacks and so I started keeping healthy snacks in my purse that could tide me over until I could make a nutritious meal. It’s served me well. I never find myself at the mercy of the closest McDonalds when I get hungry.

Over the years, I’ve discovered what food items work best in my purse. I learned quickly not to put squishable foods like bananas in there, even just for the day. Somehow, they always turned into a mushy, oozy brown mess no matter how I tried to place them so they were protected. I also avoid food that rots…just in case I forget it’s there…until, I notice a singularly unpleasant odor following me around.

This is the food pouch I always keep in my purse.  It's not that big but I can fit enough food inside it to keep me happy if I get hungry when I'm out.

This is the food pouch I always keep in my purse. It’s not that big but I can fit enough food inside it to keep me happy if I get hungry when I’m out.

What’s inside, you ask?

Right now I have almond butter, protein powder, mixed nuts and beef jerky in my pouch

Right now I have almond butter, protein powder, mixed nuts and beef jerky in my pouch

I’ve found, over the years that it’s best to be prepared with at least one meal on hand at all times.  That way you can stay true to your nutritional goals and if you do end up with a Big Mac in your hand, it’s because you made a conscious choice to eat it and not because it was the only alternative.

Mr Survival - He wants me to go "survival camping" with him.  That means we don't carry food along on the trip, just forage and eat what we find/catch.  Ummmm....I don't want to eat bugs and giant grubs (that supposedly taste like milk) unless I absolutely have to!  I'm not volunteering for survival camping duty, much to his disappointment.  Maybe HE can survival camp and I'll bring along my little pouch of food just in case grubs are on the dinner menu!

Mr Survival – He wants me to go “survival camping” with him. That means we don’t carry food along on the trip, just forage and eat what we find/catch. Ummmm….I don’t want to eat bugs and giant grubs (that supposedly taste like milk) unless I absolutely have to! I’m not volunteering for survival camping duty, much to his disappointment. Maybe HE can survival camp and I’ll bring along my little pouch of food just in case grubs are on the dinner menu!



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