Most weekends you can find my on the trails, but this past weekend I decided to mix it up a bit. Instead of heading out for an early run or hike on Saturday I decided to check out some free yoga at one of the local running stores, Tortoise & Hare. I had never attended and for $5 a session, why not? Although there was an instructor present it wasn’t a class/teaching experience per se. Basically it was 6 of us hanging out on the grass, under the sun, practicing yoga. Not a bad way to start the day.
After yoga I went and had a pedicure. What?! Me, have a pedicure?! Yep. Living in Arizona I get to wear sandals throughout most of the year. That also means my sad toes are exposed all of the time. I trim my toe nails but that’s about the extent of TLC they received. I have been grateful to not be one of those runners who loses their toe nails (yet!) Over these past few weeks, as I’ve been wearing sandals more and more I kept thinking to myself, “I really need to do something about these toes…” So after my yoga session I made my way to a local nail place. You know, just one of those typical nail places, nothing fancy. Being a Saturday I expected a wait but they got me right in. I chose the brightest color of pink nail polish I could find and they went to work. Thankfully they didn’t cringe when they saw my feet.
I can’t even remember the last time I had a pedicure. It’s been years. It’s just not one of those things that I do. I keep finding myself sneaking glances at my toes and smiling. Having something so simple as a pedicure totally lifted my spirits and made me happy. But if you think about it, if I would have it done regularly it wouldn’t be that special.
This whole experience got me thinking…I don’t wear makeup, I don’t use perfume, I rarely use actual soap/shampoo, and I use absolutely no hair products. Have I lost my femininity?
(Let me clarify, I’m not walking around like pig pen all stinky and such. Over the past several years I’ve really worked at reducing my exposure to unnecessary chemicals or my dependency on items that aren’t required to survive. It really hasn’t been that big of a deal and I swear I don’t stink. D can vouch for me! I have added lotion back in the mix (it’s dry out here in Arizona!), but I still try to keep it as simple as I can with little to no scents and cruelty-free.)
Ultimately it’s the same issue I have with fashion…finding that fine line of buying/wearing/doing things that are necessary vs unnecessary but still being true to myself…and feeling good about myself. Thankfully for me I rarely think about these sort of things and I’m lucky enough that D actually prefers me without make-up or perfume. True story. Those were his words.
I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I wish I got dolled up more often just for the fun of it. There are also days when it would be nice to not smell like “me” and have a another scent to mix it up. But I realized long ago that I shouldn’t rely on make-up to feel pretty. Being pretty comes from embracing my natural beauty, flaws and all. But I need to remind myself, that it’s okay to splurge and pamper yourself now and again….because it does feel oh so good.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
I think it’s pretty obvious now that I’m living in Arizona hiking and trail running are part of my weekly activities. I make it a point to hit the trails a minimum of once a week and oftentimes more. As my time on the trails increases I’ve started to acquire more gear. One piece I had the opportunity to test out recently was a Ribz Front Pack. Initially I hesitated on the idea of accepting gear in exchange for a review, especially since I wasn’t already a user of the product. But it did fit my own personal rule of being something I would be willing to spend my money on. In all seriousness I’ve had my eye on a Ribz Front Pack for awhile now.
Some may see it as a bit of overkill since I’m not really into overnight trips and I stick with short day trips. Why the heck do I need all of that space? However, for me it’s not about the amount of space, but the accessibility. Allow me to explain…
Being new to exploring Arizona I still find myself in awe of the natural beauty around me…something I hope never changes. It’s absolutely amazing out here! What some people may not know is that I love photography. True story. In no way am I a professional (not even close), but if there’s a picture that can be taken I am taking it. Needless to say, with the gorgeous surroundings out here and my love for photography I’m rarely without some sort of camera.
When I hit the trails my love for photography tends to go into overdrive. I don’t just settle for my cell phone for photos, nor do I just take a point in shoot or my DSLR. I’m known to take them all. Yes, when I’m out hiking the trails chances are you’ll find me with my cell phone, Nikon DSLR, and GoPro. (Hello tourist!) In my defense, each one provides a different ”service”. Phone provides easing uploading to social media platforms, DSLR gives me the fancier shots, and the GoPro has the awesome view aspect and can record video.
Prior to testing out the Ribz Front Pack I wore my DSLR around my neck. This isn’t a huge issue but on longer hikes it would start to weigh on my neck. Not to mention, I don’t know how many times I whacked it on the rocks as I’d scramble up surfaces. That’s never good for a costly piece of equipment. As for the other cameras, I either had to take off my pack each time I wanted to use them (inconvenient) or I held them in my hand (not real safe since it’s always good to have your hands free and clear). So as you can see, I needed some help.
With the Ribz Front Pack I don’t have any of these issues. Each camera can have its own pouch which means my organizational OCD personality stays happy and I have easy access to the cameras I need whenever I want. Most importantly, my cameras stay safe and I stay safe.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received Ribz Front Pack for free from Ribz as coordinated by Deep Creek Public Relations in consideration for review publication.
I had absolutely no idea my post on blogging last week would resonate with so many people. It boggles my mind when simple posts like that are shared and viewed so much. It’s definitely not a bad thing nor am I complaining. Just goes to show you that most often there’s no rhyme or reason. Hence one more reason to just go with the flow.
I just realized I haven’t posted much more about my transition to the corporate world after the first month I started. So I’ve been in my position since mid January. I LOVE it. I still can’t say where I work because I’m still contracted. Although I tend to share lots about my life I think it’s best for me to keep that on the down low.
For those that don’t know or (don’t remember), I’m a registered veterinary technician. I’m still working as a vet tech, just in a different capacity. I never thought I’d like sitting at a computer day in and day out doing the sort of thing. It took me awhile to adjust, which is still happening. I initially had a hard time dealing with the such a sedentary day, but have since figured out my daily workouts to mix things up and stay active. It’s turned out to be quite a rad experience and I finally feel like I’m doing work, making a difference, and have proved myself as part of the awesome team I’m working with.
My contract will be coming to an end within the next 2 months. Thankfully my boss stated her case to hire me on full-time or at least to extend my contract. I am grateful to say that I received word today that they will be extending my contract for another 6 months, meaning I will be in my position until the end of the year. Let’s keep it real, I’d love to be permanent and have access to benefits, but I know that things are going to happen as they need to. Maybe it’s not meant to be for me to be hired in, which would make it easier if something else would or change in our lives. Who knows.
There are moments where it’s a bit nerve wracking. (Like, should I be pursuing other job opportunities ) But I’m just going with the flow. If I’ve learned anything in the past year it’s that I needed to stop fighting or forcing my life in certain directions. It still feels weird, but I’m going with it….and it’s getting easier.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
After coming home Thursday evening and finishing my blog post about the passing of my grandma and celebrating life I found myself going through the motions of preparing for another workday to finish out the week. I had the feeling of “Hold on! Wait a minute! How can I write all of that and yet not do anything to celebrate life??” I was torn because although taking a day off of work is easy for something like this, I wouldn’t be attending a funeral or any of the other typical bereavement day type of things. After batting the idea around and with the encouragement of a friend I went for it. I was taking a bereavement day. But I wasn’t taking any ol’ bereavement day. No, I was doing it my way, Buzzbomb Style, and I was going out to celebrate life. (BTW, did you know the nickname “Buzzbomb” was given to me by my grandma? True story.)
I woke up early, called off of work, packed my day pack, and hit to the road to Sedona…one of my favorite places in the world. I’m not going to hash out again why Sedona holds a special place in my heart…it just does. To me it’s magical and is my happy place. The perfect place to celebrate life. I had somewhat of an idea of where I was heading but no exact game plan for the day. I was rolling with it. Just under 2 hours into my drive I rounded the bend and the beautiful Red Rocks came into view. That’s always the moment when I feel my eyes light up and the smile spread across my face. By 9am I was on the trails surrounded by mother nature and all of her beauty.
Nothing like the red rock and blue skies of Sedona
I have yet to be on a busy trail in Sedona but given that it was also a weekday it was pretty empty. Other than a few couples here and there I was by myself along with my thoughts and memories. Happy memories. While speaking to my friend Dave the night before he gave me a few trail ideas. I chose Brins Mesa which was absolutely perfect. Not strenuous, but a nice climb it get my blood pumping. When I reached the mesa I found what remains from a 2006 wildfire. The mesa was ravaged, which was pretty sad to see. As I trekked through the damage I happened to stumble upon a group of wildflowers growing out of a bunch of tousled rocks.
So often I see metaphors for life of my trail hikes/runs. As I stared at the wildflowers the thought that came to my mind was, “Through death, there is life.” A perfect metaphor for the reason I was out on the trails. After the wildfire I’m sure there were no signs a life. A dark time, if you will, for the mesa. But here we are, 7 years later, and the mesa is slowly coming back to life. In no way will it be the same as it was before, but life is present. Here were these wildflowers, the minority in their surroundings, yet they were providing so much sunshine and positive life to their surroundings. In life, I want to be those wildflowers…positive energy and light.
After a quick lunch I decided to search out a location I’ve had my eye on since we moved to Arizona, Devil’s Bridge. Devil’s Bridge is a pretty iconic location for Sedona which also means it’s a bit popular. Unfortunately for those without a high clearance vehicle, or not on a Jeep tour, it’s a longer hike for the average Joe. I drove our Jeep Wrangler to Sedona and got to do a little “off-roading” to get to the trail. This meant less of a hike and a new experience for me. We’ve never really taken our Jeep off-roading and I was going at it solo. Needless to say I had some belly laughs as I set out on my adventure. It was pretty rad.
I arrived at the trailhead safely and once again took to the trails in search of Devil’s Bridge. Given that I got to drive in meant it was a pretty short hike.
Some hardcore hikers often say Devil’s Bridge isn’t as exciting as people make it out to be. Blame the novice hiker in me, but I thought it was awesome and worth it.
The second half of my days also lead to yet another metaphor…One that I’ve experienced before, but still a nice reminder. “Some of the most spectacular views require taking a rough road.” What if I wasn’t willing to go off-roading to get to Devil’s Bridge? I would’ve missed out! Even more, what if I chose to go down the rough road with a scowl on my face? Sure, I would have gotten there but how enjoyable would that adventure have been?
Although fun, celebrating life doesn’t necessarily require living an adventurous life or always being on the go. More importantly, it’s about recognizing what has been given to us, being grateful, and celebrating it all…including the ups and downs. Because after all, it’s those ups and downs that ultimately make up this thing we call life.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
In late March I took a quick weekend trip to Florida to see my ailing Grandma. Initially I had planned to go the first weekend of May (just this past weekend), but decided to go earlier than later. I’m glad I followed my instincts.
When I visited she was aware of who I was, but within the 48 hours of visiting I saw a drastic change in her energy level. Over the next month our family made it a point to visit, knowing our visits were our final goodbyes. Over time she was sleeping more and more and was finally to the point of having to stay in bed. Although she was already under the care of hospice it was decided just a couple weeks ago to place her in a 24 hour hospice care facility. Yesterday I received a message saying that my mom would once again be flying down to Florida today and that they planned to beginning morphine due to my grandma’s restless nights.
This morning I received news that my grandma had passed away.
Growing up I was always a basket case when it came to goodbyes…especially when it came to my grandparents. I loved when they would come and visit for the entire summer but when it came to them leaving I thought it was the end of the world. I would sob for hours. Thankfully as I’ve gotten older I’ve gotten better at goodbyes. There will always be a little prick in my heart when it comes to saying goodbye, but I’ve had so many changes in my mind and spirit over the past year, especially these past few months, that I can’t help but feel joy and gratefulness with the passing of my grandma. Yes, I said joy and gratefulness.
I’ve spoken briefly about a feeling that overcomes me. I simply call it my “calmness”. It doesn’t happen everyday nor is it something I feel I necessarily have cognitive power over. It just happens. Most often it occurs when “bad” things happen or when chaos surrounds me. It’s almost as though a wave of energy flows over me and all is right with the world. When I received word that grandma passed calmness overtook my body, mind, and soul.
Have I shed tears? Yes. Will there be more? I’m sure. Will I miss her voice? Indeed. Will I miss her love and kindness she brought to the world? You bet.
But that’s just it. She brought joy to the world. Joy to my world…along with so many others. And although she is not here in the physical sense. She will always be here…in my heart. And every time I choose love and kindness over hate, there will be a little piece of her shining through.
I’m grateful that although these last months were trying she was surrounded by family. I’m grateful that although passing is never easy she didn’t suffer through the struggle that we had expected that would come with pancreatic cancer. I’m grateful I took the time to see her one last time. I’m grateful that all she said was “I’m going to be okay,” and I knew it was true.
Several months ago I sat down and wrote her a letter. This is what I wrote.
So often I’m not too good with words. I see what I want to say but it won’t translate on paper in the way I hope. For several weeks I’ve wanted to write you a letter and yet I keep putting it on the back burner because I can’t come up with the appropriate words to say how I feel. With that being said, I’m going to try my best.
As a little girl I remember anxiously awaiting your arrival for your summer trips to Ohio. I remember the “Welcome to Ohio gifts” and riding in your Lincoln Town Car thinking I was riding in an airplane because it was so plush. You always provided the best foods because you were the one that made it. I remember when you’d bring us Chiclet gum or Mackintosh Toffee. The photos you’d share from your travels. Seeing those photos made me realize I wanted to be a world traveler someday. Your special cross-stitch sweatshirts and afghans always amazed me. How could someone make such beautiful art and fill it with so much love? I never wanted you to head back to Florida and every time you left I was beside myself and an absolute basket case.
Although we didn’t make many trips to Florida they were always so special. From surprising you and Grandpa on your 40th wedding anniversary to my first trip to Epcot. I’ll never forget looking forward to Justin taking us for rides on your tricycle as we squeezed into the back basket.
When Christmas would roll around the amount of cookies you’d make was out of this world and I knew no one could make a better cookie than my grandma. I remember when you visited my freshman year in high school. When I was trying to decide what to give David for our first Valentine’s Day you stepped up and said, “Why not Dream Cookies?” Not only did you provide the idea but you also helped me mix, cut-out, bake and frost the cookies. Who knew at that time I would marry him? I like to think that those cookies sealed the deal when it came to him wanting to marry me. Ha! Although I laugh, he still references that Valentine’s Day. That was also a year for the Olympics and I remember staying up late watching all of the events with you.
A few years later I was able to join you on my first cruise. What an experience. It was then that I realized what you had been raving about all of those years. Another moment with you that reminded me how much I wanted to travel.
As I’ve grown older I’ve seen our times together as even more precious. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to visit more as the years progressed. Most of our visits were very simple…no exciting trips or cruises, but they were just as important, if not more, than those because we got to spend time together.
You are such a strong and generous, yet loving, woman who passed her traits on to her daughter. I’m grateful to have had 2 powerful women to look up to over the years. Not everyone is so blessed to have such positive role models which in turn has helped me strive to be my best.
Every moment we’ve spent together is ingrained in my permanent memory and there are no words to describe how grateful I am for those experiences. Thank you for being the best grandma ever. I love you.
She was amazed at everything I remembered. What she doesn’t know is that it was just the tip of the iceberg of my memories. I’m grateful I took the opportunity to share with her how much she impacted my life because everyone deserves to not only know but hear that they are loved and appreciated.
It’s normal to be saddened and mourn the passing of a loved one. But instead of focusing on the sad I’m choosing to celebrate my grandma’s life. I have no doubt that’s what my grandma would want and that’s what I shall do.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
I’ve already written about this but have since had further thoughts, hence why I’m sharing more….
It’s hard to believe that I’ve been blogging since 2006. With the exception of one major dry spell I’ve been writing since then. It wasn’t until a couple years ago that I transferred from my old blog to being BananaBuzzbomb. I didn’t transfer all of the blog posts during the transition because quite honestly I didn’t think they “belonged” here.
I’ve said it before, but when I first started blogging it was to keep my family up-to-date on our day-to-day lives. You name it, I wrote about it. It was more like a journal and I held nothing back. My regular readers were family with the exception of a few strangers who would stumble upon my blog for various reasons. To this day I still have blog posts that have regular traffic and receive comments. I loved blogging. It was natural. It was freeing. I didn’t really have to think about it. I just wrote. I didn’t worry about who I’d offend or if topics would hurt my traffic or cost me partnerships with brands.
As I saw social media evolve I saw the opportunity to see if I could work towards making a living off of my blogging…or at least a supplemental income. I was already blogging, so why not? When I started BananaBuzzbomb I attempted to be more formal and business-like….or building my own “brand”. I worked on finding my niche and became associated with a network of individuals that helped share my content as I did for them as well. During that time I saw everyone and their mom creating blogs. I thought, “The more the merrier. Come join the party!”
Over the past several months I realized how commercialized blogging has become. As I looked around at my fellow bloggers I couldn’t help but think, “This isn’t really blogging.” Is anyone actually sharing their real story or are they just sharing bits and pieces that conform around their niche? Even more, are they even sharing any of their real life or just creating an image surrounding products that they receive for free or for compensation? Does anyone really care about their true voice and what they are writing? What ever happened to real blogging?
It wasn’t until I took a step back that I realized I had lost my authentic voice. Sure there was a bit of Heidi in those posts (I wrote them!) , but I was conforming to the change happening around me. I’m not a salesperson and I was literally trying to sell myself. And that’s why it seemed to take forever to write my posts.
Quite honestly the last thing I want is to be known as is an authority on something ( I even say that in my About Me that was written well over 2 years ago). Yes, I want people to trust my words, but authority? No. I simply want to share my life. Losing my authentic voice also meant I didn’t use certain words or share my thoughts on topics that I had an opinion on because I was too scared to hurt my own personal “brand”. In other words, more often than not I was holding back.
I’m not hating on the situation because I was doing it as well. I’m also not saying that people shouldn’t make money off of blogging. There are people out there that are masters of their creation, weaving true blogging and making money off of it. I’m also not against working with brands. However, two important questions I’ve started asking myself when asked to review/promote products are: “Do I already use this product/brand?” and for new products “Would I be willing to spend my money on this if it wasn’t given to me for free?” I’ve quickly found that I needed to pass on more opportunities that I wouldn’t have in the past…but that’s okay. I have and will always be loyal to the promise I made myself. As time goes on I’ve found that I want to be even more conservative.
I want to get back to the basics of blogging. When I read my friend Carey’s blog the other day it confirmed what I’ve been feeling over these past couple months. Her posts are refreshing. They are legit. She doesn’t hold anything back. True life experiences with emotions and all. I’m not saying that I want to hear about every waking moment of someone’s life by reading their blog, but I want to know about them. If they’re a runner. Great. But doesn’t their life consist of more than running? Tell me about that stuff too.
I’m not saying that all the other blogs are crap. On the contrary, there are many great writers out there…but my hope is that they stay true to their voice and are sharing their real-life stories and not some facade in order to get more page hits. Because that’s not what real blogging is about.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
As I practice yoga on a daily basis I’ve found myself once again humbled and surprised by my abilities and lack thereof. The point of this post isn’t to say, “Look what I can/can’t do.” As with my experience back when I was a beginner runner, it’s actually more about helping me put things into perspective and also providing a moment in time that I can look back on if I choose to do so in the future. (I’m not real sure why I feel I have to give reasoning to qualify my posts lately. Blogging has always been about my journey, but as I head back to the grassroots of it all I feel a need to do so.)
I’m pretty impressed with my flexibility and how fast it returned after so many years of not using it. Backbends/wheels make me smile and I enjoy doing them.
Given that it was just last year that I had never completed a push up and was determined to make it happen (and I did!) it should come as no surprise that Chaturanga alluded me for the longest time. It’s still not pretty and I struggle more than I’d like but I’ve made progress.
When it comes to balancing…yikes. My right side is more stable than my left. This makes sense since I am right-handed, but I am surprised given that this is my “bad” leg. Even though my right leg is stronger and more stable it is also tighter and less flexible. I can rock a mean left-sided pigeon, but my right is very limited.
Speaking of my bad leg, whether running or practicing yoga, my piriformis has been on fire lately. I have yet to determine if this is a good or bad fire. It’s tough to determine because it is tightened and engaged for asanas but at the same time the hip openers tend to stretch it out. I’m thinking the discomfort I’m experiencing is actually a good thing as the piriformis is stretched in ways it hasn’t been in many years. When I fractured my femur in 1995 my muscles immediately contracted causing me to live in traction for a month and then a body cast for another month. Although I’m fully healed I still have some nagging reminders of my accident…mainly my lack of flexibility and tight piriformis.
I have just started to attempt inversions. Unlike most people, I have absolutely no fear of being upside down. I just question my strength. Thankfully D is willing to assist me on a nightly basis as I work to better my practice.
As you can probably tell, I have yet to memorize the Sanskrit names for the asanas and tend to rely on the modern terms. Although I feel this is important, I don’t see it as a necessity at this moment in my journey but hope to implement it more, solely for my own knowledge.
My 3 words I find that I repeat to myself throughout my practice are Quiet, Focus, and Trust. I swear there are days when I am shouting “Quiet” to myself in my brain as I attempt meditation and quieting my mind. Other days it’s more that I just keep saying, “Quiet, quiet, quiet….” The same goes for my focus. There are certain days when I can tell I’m not present. That’s when I take the moment to recognize, regroup, and focus. Good ol’ trust. For my brain to trust my body and vice versa as they often oppose each other. Specifically when it comes to balancing.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, although I love asanas, yoga has been so much more for me. I love seeing progress and improvement in my asanas, but that’s not what it’s solely about. I know that I’ve posted a few photos here and there of myself doing yoga. Initially I didn’t post photos out of embarrassment of not doing things right. As time goes on I’ve avoided posting photos and joining monthly photo challenges for the reason that this is a personal journey for me. I don’t want to force myself into a position that my mind and body are not ready to commit to. I’m all for other people posting photos of themselves. I appreciate the beauty of it all but I’m not at that point mentally or physically. Maybe I will someday, but that time isn’t right now. Not to mention, when I’m practicing I want to be present and focused in the moment, not worrying about photos. Although this decision means that I have no photos for blog posts such as this one…
I was once told to greet everything with curiosity. Instead of judging every moment, movement, thought, experience that comes my way, greet it with curiosity. For instance, “Man, my left side balance sucks compared to my right.” Instead, “My left side balance is not as good as the right. Why is that? Can I make it better? How?” This thinking has proved to be quite a challenge as I’ve ventured into the world of yoga. At the same time it has also helped me to remain open minded about my journey and kept me coming back for more. In turn I’ve seen this thinking not only help me while I’m on my mat, but also in my day-to-day activities. And that’s what it’s really all about, isn’t it?
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
There aren’t too many things I’m afraid of, but when it comes to things I am afraid of, snakes top the list. It’s not like I’m simply afraid of them. It’s a serious phobia. Once I was working at a animal hospital and my coworker was walking towards me. Not thinking anything of it, he brought his pet ball python out of his jacket (that I had no idea he had with him). Needless to say I ran from one end of the hospital to the other, screaming, shaking, and folding into the fetal position. So when I say I have a phobia. It’s serious.
I have taken some big steps to overcome this fear. At the same hospital we had a boa constrictor come in for an anesthetic procedure. While I didn’t handle or get near the snake while it was awake I worked up the nerve to enter the worm, touch the snake with a glove, and then proceeded to touch it without a glove. I know this may not seem like a big deal to some but to me it was HUGE. Although I have no plans to handle or own a snake in the future, and I still have major issues, I have continued to work on my phobia by exposing myself to snakes more and more.
I’ve heard warnings over the past month or so and there’s no getting around it, It’s rattlesnake season out here in Arizona. Eeek! So what’s a girl to do? Stop hiking and/or trail running? I don’t think so. Especially after I’ve seemed to have my mojo back.
Reports are mixed. Some people say I’ll probably never see one, saying I’ll have to search them out if I really want to see one (uh, no). While others say that it’s not necessarily if I’ll see one, but when I’ll see one. Either way, I don’t have plans to stop hiking/running so I figured it best to educate myself on snakes and such.
You’ll notice, I have absolutely no photos of snakes on this blog post. Yeah, that’s because in my research darn near every article had photos of snakes. While this helps me face my phobia of seeing snakes it wasn’t doing much for my blood pressure. So for those that are coming here to learn a little something, you have absolutely no fear of seeing real snakes. I promise.
I guess this is also when I should say I am not a doctor and am not offering any medical advice. I think it’s probably obvious considering I don’t know what the heck I’m doing half the time on trail. I educate myself and prepare but the element of surprise is all part of the adventure. (Let’s just hope that surprise isn’t a snake, right?) I just thought if I was already doing the research, I might as well share it here.
My main takeaways and facts I never knew:
Don’t put your hands or feet anywhere your eyes have yet to visualize.
Don’t rely on the sound of a rattle for warning. At birth, rattlesnakes have the first segment of a rattle, which is called a “prebutton.”The prebutton is lost the first time the snake sheds its skin and is replaced by a button. Each shedding episode that follows adds another segment to the rattle. Only when there is more than one segment can the rattle produce sound.
Rattlesnakes can swim and wet rattlers don’t rattle.
Snakes are most active when temperatures are within their optimal basking range. This appears to be about 75 degrees F with cool ground and the sun shining. They are mostly likely to be seen when the air temperature is between 70° and 90°F, regardless of the time of day.
We’re afraid of being bitten, but snakes bite to defend themselves. If frightened, they will first try to escape or hide.
If you do walk into the range of a rattlesnake, calmly back off as quickly and quietly as you can. (Hard for me, because I’m going to want to RUN!)
A rattlesnake’s strike distance can be up to one third to one half of its overall length.
If you’re bitten:
Remain calm so as not to increase circulation and thus the spread of the venom. And in the case of runners, don’t continue to run either.
Do not elevate. Keep the bite below the level of the heart.
Wash affected area.
Remove any potential constrictions such as jewelry or clothing because swelling will occur.
Don’t tourniquet a bitten limb.
Get to a hospital ASAP.
Anyone else remember when they used to say, “You need to suck out the venom when you’re bitten by a rattlesnake.” ?? Yeah, don’t do that. That alone was worth me doing my research because that’s probably the first thing I would’ve done if I’d have gotten bit. Definitely glad I’ve done my research.
I may or may not have had my 1st rattlesnake warning this morning. While running I heard a rattling sound come out of nowhere from my right side. I must admit I didn’t follow the rule of walking away slowly but only picked up speed, running like a bat out of hell, not looking back. =/ Yikes! Fingers crossed I’ll never have to deal with those last steps…
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
You know, I could actually plan out my blog posts, like I used to…something like every Friday write my “grateful” posts. But that never felt right and let’s be honest, that sort of planning actually works against my whole “Be Here Now” plan. I’m over it. I’m going to write what I want to write, when I want to write. For those that are regular readers I’m sure you’ve already picked up on this transition since I used to post Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, which is no longer happening.
Although I’ve always had control over my blog, (hello, I write it.) taking this thought and actually living it has felt empowering. I also have to say that my blogging voice is coming through much easier . My posts may not flow all that well (not that they ever did), but lately I’ve found that when I sit down to type there’s a much easier flow from my brains thoughts to keyboard.
So, with all that being said, it’s been several weeks since I’ve posted about things that I am grateful for I figured it’s time to share.
Mobile banking. Since we have direct deposit that last time we stopped at our bank was months ago. Direct deposit is awesome given that we bank with a credit union and there aren’t locations on every street corner. I recently received a check in the mail to be deposited but kept putting off depositing it because it wasn’t convenient to make my way over to our bank. However, I just happened to check if they offered mobile deposits, like Bank of America shows in their commercials, and sure enough they do! I simply downloaded the app, took a few photos, submitted, and within 24 hours the deposit was accepted. Now, I gotta admit, the whole thought is a bit scary but given that it’s not something I’d be doing regularly it’s a rad option to have.
Swanson Vitamins. After mobile banking and now reading this next one you may think I’m lazy. I swear, I’m not. It’s all about convenience! Coming from a small town I often had to order vegan products to avoid making hour-long trips to Whole Foods and such. Living in Phoenix has made things a lot easier, but heading to the store or mall drives me bonkers (can you believe D loves shopping way more than me?). So from clothes, food, and other odds and ends, I’m all about online shopping. The friendly folks at Swanson Vitamins contacted me and asked to see if I’d like to check out their products and services. Free goodies for trying them out? Why not? I must admit I was pretty blown away not only by the prices (the vitamins I normally order on Amazon are actually cheaper from Swanson) but they have so much more than just vitamins. I was thrilled I could purchase so many of the things I regularly use all from one source.
I also decided to order some Justin’s Nut Butter, which I had never tried. That may or may not have been a good idea. I’ll let you decide.
Running mojo. After several months off of running it may be back. I attribute this to listening to my body, taking a break from my daily runs, and adding in yoga. As you know over the past several weeks I’ve added in Zumba and Total Body classes to the mix. I have slowly pieced together all of this cross-training and am back to working out on a daily basis. I am no longer running everyday (like I used to), but I still workout everyday, with the exception of rest days, and still manage to practice yoga. It feels good and more importantly I’m having fun.
Amande Yogurt. I was never a big fan of yogurt prior to going vegan so it wasn’t something I missed. Several months ago I just so happened to see yogurt at Sprouts Farm Market that was made of almond milk. I was intrigued and grabbed the the coconut flavor. Delicious! I have since tried their other flavors, which are tasty as well, but coconut wins hands down. Unfortunately the closest Sprouts doesn’t carry the coconut flavor nor do they carry the large containers (hence, why David went on the hunt). I have since found the flavor and size at Whole Foods, but it takes a bit of a drive, so I stock up whenever I’m in the area.
Grateful Jar. Speaking of gratefuls. Just like many people we chose to start a Grateful Jar at the beginning of the year. Although I’m not great at putting something in each day I usually make up for it the rest of the days and the jar is slowly filling up. I look forward to reading them at the end of the year. Should be fun!
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
My friend, Brian, also known as PavementRunner in the online community, came up with the idea of BostonStrong. I debated organizing a run in the PHX area. Would anyone even show up? After conversing with my friends and with their assistance, I went ahead with the plan.
The Phoenix event literally started a small idea….a few friends, meeting at the iRun running store, getting together for a run. I thought, “Why not make it public? Some others may be interested.” I went ahead, made a Facebook event, and waited to see what would happen. Within the first 12 hours we had close to 30 people commit. As the days passed the number continued to grow. With the help of Mark at iRun, an actual event began to take shape. Even more, I saw different events across Phoenix take shape. Some may say, “Well other events means more competition for your event.” This was never about competition. BostonStrong was simply about getting the running community out and running. Seeing the response, not only across the valley but the world, has taught me to never doubt the heart of my fellow runners
I cannot tell you how many people showed up to iRun yesterday evening since I lost count after 25. Mark set up a table with a ton of running gear. Any donation to the Challenged Athletes Foundation, no matter how large or small, allowed you to choose an item or two off of the table. Multiple pairs of shoes were given away through raffle drawings in hopes of collecting donations for the foundation as well.
Shortly after 6:30p our massive group of runners took off through the streets of Phoenix with everyone going their own pace. One thing is for sure, we had all paces and age groups covered.
The run ended with a moment of silence complete with candles followed by everyone hanging out and enjoying pizza offered my iRun.
What an experience….all from a simple idea. I reference this quote ALL of the time. It’s one of my faves and I could hear it ringing through my ears the entire evening.
Running is such an individual sport but we are still a community…a family. I know each person had a different reason for being at the run tonight. Whatever their reason, I am grateful they were there.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)