Me time

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I’m finally returning to my routine, which means my days are filled with a little me time.

This past month, well more than a month, has been a little tricky for me to get away and go to the gym.

Once you get yourself into a routine, one that you truly enjoy, it’s a hard habit to break. Because of my healthy “habit,” if you will, I had to put more focus on it again.

So far it’s been a success . . . . 

For the past three days I made myself a priority and headed to my favorite place and got some running, weight training and either the elliptical or bike riding into my slotted “me time.”

My me time has been put on the back burner because of Lucy.

This is where my guilt comes into play. I know she’s a dog, but it breaks my heart knowing she has such a hard time of being alone.

She’s starting to pick up on my routine. She knows when I put my running shoes on and grab my purse it means she’s staying home.

When I take her out one last time before I leave she doesn’t go, but follows me and constantly tries to get my attention. Today she began shaking outside, one of her favorite places to be.

Yesterday and today she started to run out of our bedroom when I sit on the bed close to her crate. She knows.

I’ve done everything possible to help her conquer this fear, but so far nothing is working.

When I finally get her to come to me at the foot of the bed,  she’s shaking like a leaf. It breaks my heart that this poor puppy has such anxiety when she knows I’m leaving.

I try and console her before putting her in her crate, but it doesnt help, the crying begins as soon as I walk out of the room.

I put a few treats in her Kong, hoping that would keep her busy, but of course she’s not interested because she’s watching me leave. (When I returned I found all three treats in her crate out of her Kong not. She loves these treats. I was shocked.)

With that said, leaving and getting in my workout has done wonders for my mood today and yesterday. Today I ran my fastest mile in a long time. It felt good to pick up my speed. I also rode a longer distance in the same 30-minute bike ride I typically do.

I left the gym with a huge smile on my face. I walked out a new person ready for my day. I absolutely love the therapy a good workout provides for me.

I love having a gym membership. I love walking through the doors, putting my ear phones in and going about my workout with no interruptions.

Yes, going to the gym on a regular basis was something missing out of my equation. A very important missing factor.

Now the challenge is getting Lucy to enjoy that small fraction of time away from me, while I indulge in a little me time.

Laughter

Today was really needed, past due if you will.

Jason has been working nonstop and I seem to always have something to write or edit. Our schedules have been busy with only a little bit of time to spend together. That time is usually at the end of the day when we are both exhausted.

So, today was Jason’s first day off since we drove to Maryland for my nephews birthday party. After doing an interview early this afternoon for work, Jason asked if I wanted to go out to lunch. It’s been a long time since we treated ourselves. A long time since it was just the two of us out and about enjoying each others company.

As soon as we sat down at our old favorite place, one we frequented often in Fort Myers for a drink, wings or a burger, the laughter instantly began. Our waitress was laughing with us. That’s the thing about Jason you never know what he’s going to say.  I won’t lie, sometimes my jaw drops before the laughter begins.

I love how Jason makes me laugh. How he keeps a smile on my face. The mood is always light, always stress free, which is something I need from time to time.

This is the first time we have visited this restaurant of ours in Kingsport. After our experience, I’m sure we will return.

Today reminded me why I have grown to love having nothing planned ahead of time. Yes, I have grown to love this quality about him. I’m a planner, so it was hard to get used to.

Yesterday while I was at the gym he called and asked if I wanted to go hiking. This of course was not in the plans, and, my first reaction was no thank you. He chose to make plans to go hiking the day I worked out my legs and did the elliptical, ran and rode the bike.

My decision of course changed.

The hike was quite honestly difficult once we started because of the intensity of my workout. Because of this it was the first hike I got cranky. My frustration got the best of me because the soreness was already starting. But it got us out of the house and out in the woods. Out in the cool, often times really cold temperatures with Lucy by our side.
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I’m glad we went. I’m glad we got to see one of our favorite waterfalls once again. Laurel Falls.
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Throughout our lunch today we were both laughing. Old memories were brought up and new memories were made. It’s moments like these I treasure the most. It’s the simplest of gestures.  The smile,  the touch, the kindness that speaks volumes to me. It’s Jason knowing when we need to go out to lunch and have some time together.

The best part is the laughter continued when we got home. I love having Jason home for this reason. Our home comes alive, it comes alive with laughter and good times.

I cherish what we have together. I don’t know what I would do without him. He truly is my life, such an important part of my life. The best thing that ever happened to me.

I’m so glad we got to spend quality time together. Days like today rejuvenate me for what the week has in store for me.

I truly found the best man for me. He’s a keeper for sure.

Home away from home

On average I travel to my home away from home four or five times a week. I have to admit I feel a little lost when I do not get in ny car and drive towards Snap Fitness in Kingsport.

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Snap Fitness Kingsport

My day does not feel complete without the gym. It’s true, working out becomes a way of life, becomes an obsession, becomes second nature. I know I’ve said this a million times before, but it’s my stress reliever, it’s my me time, my breath of fresh air when the stress becomes too much.

Today for the majority of my workout I had the entire gym to myself, which I won’t lie, I absolutely loved. I definitely got lost in my music a little more than usual as the tunes streamed through Pandora and into my ears. Shuffle mode kept all the right music flowing today. Although I was looking at the flat screen in front of me,  I couldn’t tell you what I was watching. Today’s workout completely cleansed my soul …

More times than not people start going to the gym because they want to improve their body. Yes, that was true for me at the beginning, but now it’s more to keep me going. Yes, I would love to continue to make some improvements. But, I try not to get upset when I don’t see the instant or gradual improvements. It’s just motivation to do a little more the next time I walk through the doors.

Today, instead of running I did 5 miles on the elliptical and about 7 miles on the bike, with some weight exercises in-between. Oh, the stretching felt wonderful after today’s line-up.

So, after I left I treated myself to a delicious smoothie when I got home. It was a tasty, filling post workout snack.

The best part about the gym, is every day is a new day, which only allows you to push yourself a little more, as well as set new goals.

Endless doubles

Jason took on a second job this week, which I’m thankful for because every little bit helps, but I sure do miss him already.

Now he is working multiple doubles in a row, yep leaving early in the morning and coming home hours after the sun goes down.

Before we moved to Tennessee he worked two jobs, gone from early morning to late at night, so I know just how hard it is going to be with him working so much. The doubles went on for quite a few months while we were saving for the move, so a lot of times I was already asleep before he walked in the door at the end of the night.

IMG_0689With that said, it never gets any easier.

It just reminds me how much I truly love spending time with Jason. When he’s gone I miss him like crazy, which only makes me more excited when he walks through the door smiling, thankful for his day to finally be over.

Although my workload can become extremely intense at times, I have the benefit of working from home. So if I need a 10 or 15 minute break I walk downstairs and breath before going back to work. Before this week, a lot of times Jason was at home. Yep I was a little spoiled.  It’s nice when Jason is home because every once in a while he’ll pop into my office as well!

Today he came home between his shifts, a short visit, but one that I truly loved. It’s always a great surprise when he does that. Today when he walked through the door I was asleep on the couch, what better way to wake up from a nap? It was great seeing him!

He’s been calling me more throughout the day when he has a moment, which is beyond thoughtful. I love hearing his voice, much better than a text.

So, after he left today it gave me the motivation to get up and go to the gym. I’m so glad I did. I kicked off my workout with the elliptical, a cardio workout that has always been challenging for me. Today I did five miles and boy did I feel every single mile once I finished. After doing my two and a half minutes of cool down, I did some stretching. This has become one of my favorite parts of my workout. I started using exercise cables to stretch my legs and it has made a huge difference. My hamstrings are always really tight, so I’m trying to find ways to loosen them up. Yesterday I ran a mile and a half, stopped and stretched and ran another mile. I felt great after I was done.

After my stretching today, I worked out my legs, yep even did the dreaded squats before finishing off my workout with another run.

Well that motivation continued after I left the gym. I stopped at the grocery store and filled the cart with a few things I know Jason loves. One of those items was blueberry muffins. I waited to make them, so they would come out of the oven around the time he came home. So they would be hot out of the oven. Unfortunately he called just a few minutes after I took them out saying he was going to be much later.  I also bought a frozen pizza for him, one of his favorite dinners. I figure it’s the least I can do after he works all day long.

That’s why this all works, we are a team, always doing for one another to make life a little easier for each other.

Berry goodness

After my workout at the gym this morning, I decided to make myself a smoothie.

So far the best one I have made.

I poured frozen mixed berries – strawberries, blueberries and blackberries – into the blender. I then cut up a banana and threw that in as well. If that wasn’t enough I poured orange juice into the mix and then scooped Chobani Greek blackberry yogurt into it before putting the lid on. A perfect drink to have after doing cardio – running and the elliptical. The best part is I’m feeling full and satisfied.

I love having Snap Fitness right up the street from where we live. I’m finding myself going as much as possible . . . even if I can only fit in some cardio for the day. I wake up thinking about gym and go to sleep thinking of what I’m going to workout the next day – yep the addiction is back.

Now that my workout is done and my drink is finished, it’s time to start writing again.

It’s going to be another great day!

Six days in a row

To say I jumped back into my gym routine is an understatement.

I’m proud of myself for going six days in a row! I have gone at all different times throughout the week and I have to say early morning and mid afternoon are my favorite.

I’ve done both cardio – running and the elliptical – and various free weights and machine exercises … I feel incredible. With that said, my body is sore, but hey that only reminds me of what I worked out.

Some of the exercises I used to do with mom at our gym in Fort Myers are slowly coming back. I hope more does. Mom always came up with some good sets that pushed us to our limits.

I guess I forgot how nice it was to do more than just cardio. I’ve noticed with lifting weights my cardio has increased.

My stamina is finally improving on the elliptical. Yesterday I reached a new level, surpassed my other workouts on the elliptical, which made me feel incredible. Yep, I’m always setting new goals for myself! 

Today I was at the gym all by myself. It was really nice, I had every piece of workout equipment to myself. I did my cardio and then used some new equipment, which I will have to use again when I workout my back next time.

Now I know when Jason is at work on the weekends I should head to the gym. I must be the only crazy one who works out on Saturday and Sunday.

The gym has definitely helped me this week. I’m really glad it’s a part of my life again. It’s an outlet I really needed, one I really enjoy.

Although I miss meeting mom at the gym in the wee hours of the morning, I’m glad I’m doing it on my own!

More opportunities have surfaced

This morning I drug myself out of bed a little before 7 a.m., so I could get a workout in early, rather than going later this afternoon. It was a great way to jump-start my day, especially since there was only me and two other’s working out that early in the morning.

That’s the nice thing about a 24-hour gym, whenever you get that urge to workout, all you have to do is swipe your key and walk in the door of opportunities.
imageI was a little skeptical at first that a staff member would not be present during the hours the gym was opened, but I now love that feature. That was the downfall about working out at the last apartment complex we lived at, I could only workout during the hours of the clubhouse, which was limiting at times.

I spent about an hour at the gym doing my typical run, some miles on the elliptical and some weights. I’m starting to feel those leg exercises I did, especially walking up and down those darn stairs 🙂

Once I got back in my car, I thought to myself, today is going to be a fabulous day. How could it not when I did something for me first this morning – working out?

So after getting ready, I drove to Jonesborough to meet with my editor and the publisher of the Herald & Tribune. It turned out to be a fantastic meeting, one that only lead to more incredible opportunities for me.

Kristen and Lynn offered me more work, which I gladly accepted. I am now covering the town hall meetings for Jonesborough, the school district, as well as submitting feature articles. I am beyond thrilled! I will now be submitting weekly articles instead of a few a month! My portfolio will be growing once again.

I really enjoy working for this publication. The remarks I received from both Lynn and Kristen about my writing were wonderful to hear. It’s safe to say that I am cloud nine once again.

I absolutely love what I do, and yes, I know I have said that a time or two. But really, never in my wildest dreams did I think my career would go in the direction it has! I am supporting myself doing freelance work, this is incredible! I am so fortunate to have found a career I am so completely passionate about. I am excited to see what other opportunities are waiting for me.

It just goes to show that it is important to follow your dreams!