#OwlsForAvery

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It might be the end of September, but the fight against childhood cancer marches on. This is Avery, and she is still fighting. During my time in Savannah I became friends with the Braden Family and through Facebook I’ve followed their journey. Little Avery had yet another surgery this week.

I did what we’re all afraid to do – I reached out to my friend Cathy, Avery’s mom. I asked if I could help in someway. We all know medical bills pile up – I’ve made a donation here. If you are able to help, please check this site out, share the post, say a prayer, or set your daily intention for Avery and the other children out there battling illness.

The Bradens are a brave family, and I just love seeing precious Avery’s smile even though I’ve never met her.

More on her story here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/owlsforavery/

Donate here: https://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/help-show-your-love-and-support-for-the-braden-family-/295312 

Re-Starting my Yoga Retreat – Week 2, Day 1 {in the aftermath of HFAM}

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Most of the spots you see are freckles

 {Recovering from HFAM Disease – if you have a weak stomach, don’t scroll to bottom}

On September 1, I embarked on a 3-Week Yoga Retreat through Team Beachbody’s streaming site OnDemand. I love it because I can work out at home, or on the road… as long as I have WiFi… as long as I have energy after 6-9 miles a day on the golf course for 5 days in a row… and as long as I don’t contract some hideous illness that generally strikes children and the elderly…

OH WAIT, all of that happened. To both myself and my Main Squeeze. {Uncool.}

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SO, Here we are. I started Week 2, Day 1 today, September 20.

This week is called Expansion Week. I thought it would be adding content to what we had already learned, ½ right. Expansion Day 1 Core was expanding the poses to lengthen and take up space (not exactly a phrase an overweight woman wants to strive to live up to). It was actually pretty nice – I have terribly inflexible shoulders and this helped to move them and loosen them up.

At this moment, I shall mention that my hands and feet (and face) still have a pox upon them from the bullshit HFAM disease, which actually does make me feel like I have Hoof and Mouth. My feet are still healing, and while my hands are primarily scabbed over, my fingertips seem to have hardened like shells.

I made it through with little discomfort and look forward to what tomorrow’s program will bring.

OK, I can’t help but gross you out – this isn’t even the worst of it…

 

 

A POX on our House

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We’ve got the affliction and there’s a pox on our house. Is this witchery? A spell of bad luck, or our number for ridiculousness was up? Probably the latter.

 

After 5 days in Elverson, PA on the hilliest golf course I’ve been to (yet), and 33 miles on the fit bit, we left the course and headed to the medical tent. We got a “get out of dodge” note from the ER doc on duty, but still had no idea what beheld our futures.

 

After nights of fever, sweats, chills, and back, we thought we were in the clear. Within 24-hours home, the pox bespeckled our extremities. We, two grown-ass adults, have Hand-Foot-and-Mouth disease common in children, rare in people over 10 years of age. Seriously?!

We look somewhat monstrous. How did this happen? Was it the swimming pool filled with children that probably lacked enough chlorine? Maybe it was all the hand-shaking with our new golf friends at the US Mid-Amateur Golf Tournament. The airplane and its many travelers? Who knows, but I wish this on no one, least of all children who apparently get this 10X worse. (BTW, this is how I know I’ve truly made it to grown-up status. I recognize we probably have it light compared to the lil’ ‘uns. And I feel for them and their care-takers.)

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At first we found this somewhat amusing, and we’re glad that if one of us had to experience this hideousness, the other is right alongside. Because I might have thought it wasn’t as terrible as it is if I wasn’t going through it at the same time. Today was the worst, I woke up sobbing and in pain and 70% of my body is covered in blisters. I’ll spare you a more graphic description.

So not only are we pock-marked blistered-nightmares, we’re contagious and have been quarantined until every last blister has healed. So another week of fun.

 

 

So no travel, no unnecessary shopping… which is really fine because walking with 1000 tiny blisters on the soles of your feet is pretty horrific on its own.

Needless to say my workouts and yoga retreat are on pause for now. #SadFace.

 

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

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Well, I hope “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” at least this week. Bradley, my Main Squeeze, is playing in his first of two national mid-amateur golf tournaments, and Yours Truly is going to caddy. Don’t worry, we’ve got our dynamic down after a few tournaments this past summer.

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As I type, we’re on a plane to Philadelphia with the final destination of Stonewall Links in Elverson, PA for the US Golf Association Mid-Amateur Tournament. We’re going to do our best to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the accomplishment of qualifying. I hope to see some family while we’re in the northeast, but I understand everyone’s busy schedules (and that while caddying, I can’t be socialJ Which is a challenge for me!).

We are going to treat this experience as a once-in-a-lifetime event, but I have a feeling he’ll continue to do great things in this sport. Qualifying is a feat in itself, so in my heart he’s already done some pretty incredible things – we’ll see how the week plays out. No pressure, of course.

We’ve rented a fun place just outside of Reading (pronounced Red-ing for all of us non-Northerners) thanks to AirBNB and look forward to enjoying what the area has to offer. While I hope we have time to explore The City of Brotherly Love, that means we’re no longer competing… so in this case, we hope we’re not playing tourist too much. But we’ll have a blast either way. img_2680

Three Cheers for Bradley!!! Hip, hip HOORAY! Play Well!

P.S. if ya’ feel like throwing out some happy thoughts, set your intentions, send good juju, or intersessions to Saint Sebastian, we  whole-heartedly thank you!

Day 6 – Relaxing Yoga, and Travel Plans

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So much for my enthusiastic goal of blogging each day, even if it was a few words. Life gets in the way, but at least not of my workout goals.

Yesterday, Day 5, was the biggest challenge because I hit the gym for a crazy 30-minute weight/cardio session with my trainer, Stefan. THEN it was time for my evening yoga. I needed it, but I was DONE at the end of the day.

Today, I come to you with slightly sore hammies and glutes, which is a wonderful thing. I’m one of those sick people that loves sore muscles after a good workout. I love knowing I pushed my body and did just a little more that day. Now, since I have quite a bit of muscle, it’s hard for me to get sore and reach that feeling, but I know with a little more moxie I can do it. Hopefully someday these muscles are going to pop through, or eliminate my fluff entirely, but the day shall come.

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I made it to laying on the mat… now to press Play…

Today’s yoga practice says:

“Faith takes you on a relaxing yoga experience to help you unwind from your week of work. Be sure to treat your body to this delicious experience.” It’s also aptly entitled “Relax” – yes, please!

Now that it’s over, I feel good. I do feel relaxed, but also less tired and certainly less agitated. Now, I am heading into a few weeks of back-to-back travel for vacation and then work, so we shall see how the yoga schedule will fare, but I do plan to stick with it, and it might even help to keep me sane.

Tomorrow we head off to Stonewall Links in Elverson, PA for the US Mid-Amateur as my man has qualified for his first national competition. I’d like to say a small portion of his success is having me by his side as his main squeeze, and his well-meaning but golf-novice caddy!

The adventures continue!

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Ya, ya. I am happy I did it. DUNZO!

Day 2 of the 3-Week Yoga Retreat

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I woke up full of LIFE today. Maybe it’s because my steroid for breathing is finally tapering off and I’m getting rid of that crud, or maybe I’m just wound up. I’ve been happy and bouncing, but also a tad jittery. Maybe I had too much coffee…

SO I PRESSED PLAY….

Anyway, Yoga Retreat Day 2: “Today we created deep space through powerful stretching…” OK, so I have yet to understand what that means, but I am sure it will come. Breathing through the stretch was part of our focus, and it’s harder to do that you’d think. I have a tendency to hold my breath when straining, lifting, etc, so this was another world… and it would be better for me if I had put the cat’s litter box in another room. So much for clean breathing.

I don’t think we, as in the Human Race, really consider our breathing. I know I didn’t. Besides trying to breathe through my deviated septum and chronic sinusitis, I never consider any more than that. I guess I should, because after the deep breathing while stretching, I feel alive – the oxygen is flowing.

Thirty minutes deep of yoga basics and stretching, I can tell you I feel more calm, and the jittery hands have calmed down. For the most part I followed our main instructor, but the modifier was helpful in demonstrating how to use the yoga blocks to help get to a better pose without ripping or tearing any muscles or joints.

Today’s question is WHO. Who has been an inspiration in the practice of yoga to me? Let me introduce you to Michelle, Instagram star and contributing writer on YogiApproved.com … AND shall I say, one of my best friends since our first day of our freshman year, in our first class at UNF… way back in the Fall of 2002. She’s been practicing yoga for over five years which shows in her physique, her mindfulness, and through her writing.

See you tomorrow for Day 3!