Monday, April 29, 2013

At Least I Made It To the Pool!

I didn't actually get in the pool, but I was there, darn it! 

My swimming buddy canceled this morning because she wasn't feeling well and I flirted with the idea of not going, but convinced myself to get up and go.  Which I did. 

Only when I got to the pool, it was jam packed.  There were 2 super fast women in one lane, and I knew if I got in with them, I would drive them crazy.  All of the other lanes were full of people swimming soooo slooooowly.  Like, casually doing breaststroke slowly.  I knew if I got in with them, I would have to keep stopping and trying to pass people and I would go crazy. 

So I stood there for almost 10 minutes, holding my kickboard and goggles, hoping someone would get out.  A guy who I've seen there before and who swims at about my pace came out of the men's locker room, quickly made the same assessment of the other swimmers as I had, said "I don't have time for this", and walked back into the locker room.

I finally gave up too, and drove home.  What I should have done was brought my sneakers with me so I could have hopped on the elliptical instead, but I hadn't thought to do that.

So I walked halfway to work, and I'm planning to walk home tonight.  Not as good as a swim, but at least it's something.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


It's official, we are fundraising for our swim in St. John!  If you're interested in donating, check out the page for our team, The Rhode Island Quahogs.

What's a Quahog, you ask?  First of all, it's pronounced coe-hog.

Second, it's a giant clam and in Rhode Island you can often find their big white shells on the beaches. 

Quahog clams are used in Stuffies, a Rhode Island specialty.

Quahog is also the fictional town in Family Guy, which is set in Rhode Island and takes on new layers when you actually live in Rhode Island and know the people here.

(I kind of love that when you do a Google image search for "Quahog" you get a pretty even mix of pictures of clams and scenes from Family Guy.)

So the Rhode Island Quahogs are set to dominate!  Or at least finish.  Our team has had a series of illness and injury setbacks this Spring, so when we finish those 3.5 miles, I'm just going to be happy that we did it, no matter where we fall in the line-up.

Monday, April 22, 2013


(Posted on both of my blogs, in case you think you're seeing double)

In my church, we have lay clergy and everything is done by volunteers.  For example, my bishop has a day job - he's a doctor.  I'm a lawyer, but for the past almost 4 years, I've been working with the 12-17 year old girls in our congregation.  It has had a huge impact on my life and has taken up a lot of my physical and emotional time and energy. 

Some of our girls come from tough backgrounds.  One of the girls was 13 when I started, and now I plan to help her with her college applications in the Fall.  Two of our girls are starting college in the Fall.  Some of them are the first (or second) in their families to go to college, or to even think about college.  I'm so proud of the goals they've set for themselves and the things they've accomplished, all while being active with Church and just all-around good people.

I won't lie, I've been feeling kind of burned out.  I've tried not to let it show to the girls, but I worry that it has.  We have lessons every Sunday that I coordinate.  We have weekly activities, sometimes on Saturdays a long ways away.  We have other activities in other states.  There is a lot of driving (a LOT of driving) and coordinating.  And then there's just generally being concerned about the girls and wondering if I'm doing enough for them. 

(The answer?  No.  It's never really enough, but sometimes I have to set limits for myself.)

Last Sunday the Bishop called to ask if he could come by.  I had a feeling either Jason was getting a new calling, or I was getting released from mine.  It was the latter - I was getting released as the Young Women's President.

Yesterday, I was officially released, and the new Young Women's presidency was put in place.

I've spent the last week feeling alternately relieved to not be in charge anymore, and near tears as I think about not spending as much time with the girls.  I've also spent a lot of time pulling together resources and information for the new Young Women's President.  We got together Friday night and I went through my typed, page and a half outline with all of the things I wanted to discuss with her.  And I realized this morning that I still forgot something. I wanted to tell her a little bit about each of the girls, and also about how we've done things in the past.  I'm hoping she might still want to do some of the fun Summer activities I had started to plan.  I know she'll want to do her own thing, but she is brand new in our congregation and in the Young Women's program here, and she seemed to appreciate my thoughts.

The good thing is, I'm not moving away, so I'll still be around to help if anyone has any questions, and I'll still see the girls.

Jason and I are driving 5 girls to upstate New York this Saturday for a giant regional activity and then I'm officially done.  I feel completely confused as to what I'm supposed to do with myself.  Concentrate on my job?  Exercise more?  Dedicate more time and effort to the two local organizations who just put me on their boards?  Clean the basement?  Probably all of those things, really.

I still haven't been given a new responsibility at church.   Jason speculated yesterday that maybe Bishop is letting me rest.  My swimming buddy told me this morning to enjoy it.  I still feel like there's an emptiness where I used to be so consumed with something so important - the girls.  Now they're someone else's official responsibility, and it's hard to realize that and relax.

On the other hand, yesterday I conducted the music in Sacrament Meeting and I had a flashback to my huge student ward in college where all I had to do every week was pick the hymns and wave my hand around in front of the congregation and no one really cared if I was right or wrong because half the people never even glanced at me, and the other half didn't know enough to know if I was making mistakes.  Sometimes an easy church job with extremely low stakes sounds appealing.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Challenge Update

Today is Day 4 and let's just say Day 3 didn't go exactly as I had planned.  I came into work with the intention to go for a walk at some point during the day.  It was absolutely gorgeous yesterday.  However, as I was walking into the office, I got a call from a client with an emergency*, which I dealt with off and on all day, in addition to another appointment and all of my other work, and I closed that day with a phone call from the same client, and then ran home and got things ready for a Young Women's activity at my house.  So, yeah...

However, I would just like to note that despite not seeking out activity, I still managed to get 7300 steps yesterday, which isn't bad for having such a sedentary job and is significantly higher than the days when I just sit at my desk and go home and watch TV.  So I'm going to count all the cleaning and running around from last night as "activity" and call it good.

Today, though, I got in a nice 40-minute walk.

Tomorrow, we swim!

*It's never good when your day starts with, "Holy crap!"

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Challenge: 30 Minutes, 30 Days

I was going to write this yesterday, but, you know, other things seemed more important.  I'm so glad no one I knew was hurt in the explosions at the Boston Marathon, and I'm so sad about what happened.  But I'm heartened by the lovely words and feelings everyone is sharing today.

So I've decided to challenge myself in a way that has worked well in the past: 30 minutes of activity per day for 30 days.  I started yesterday with a great 3.4 mile walk first thing in the morning.  Today I went for a walk at lunch up the hill to the sporting goods store and back down to work.  I bought boxing gloves because tonight my friend and I are going to our second kickboxing class.* 

Prepare for blog posts and Facebook updates complaining about the kickboxing soreness.  The good thing is, with this challenge, I can't stop moving.  I may only go for a walk, or a little swim, but at least I'll be doing something to work through the pain, and I won't be sedentary all day long.

* I say ugh to the pink boxing gloves.  For the ladies.  The thing is, I like pink.  I like the red that I bought better, but I would be more inclined to buy the pink if I didn't feel like someone was patronizing me. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


(Wasn't that a bad Steven Seagal movie...?  No, wait.  IMDB informs me it was Jean-Claude Van Damme.)

Last night, a friend and I checked out a kickboxing class, courtesy of a Rhode Island Monthly* deal.  I've never done kickboxing before, but have always been intrigued by it.

Well, it was fantastic.  When I say "fantastic", I mean it completely kicked my butt.  I don't think I've ever sweat so much, and that might include when we moved during a very hot and muggy July with no air conditioning. 

I knew I was in trouble when I was winded and in pain from the WARM-UP.  Burpees, jumping jacks, running in place.  Gah!  Last night I was already having trouble walking.  Today I am sore all over, which is great.  I have to say, kicking and punching a big bag is pretty gratifying, and toward the end I really felt like I was getting in the groove.

The instructor was a really nice and welcoming guy, who made you laugh even as he was trying to kill you.  Everyone else in the class was nice too.  There is camaraderie in group suffering!  The girl I share a punching bag with told me she's been coming there for a couple of months and she loves it because the workout is always different.  (If you're local and want the info on the gym, let me know.)

My friend and I have 4 more kickboxing classes on our deal, and we're going to try to go once a week for the next month.  We also have 5 kettlebell classes to use, which is something else I've never done.

Of note: I spent most of yesterday in a deeply fatigued state.  I wasn't sure how far I would get in the class, but once we started warming up and my heart started pumping, I was in it all the way, and felt really energized.  Which tells me that extreme shingles fatigue is no excuse, and maybe working out might even help with my fatigue.  Good to know.

* Non-compensated plug: If you live in Rhode Island, you should get Rhode Island Monthly.  It's a really good magazine with lots of useful information and reviews.

Monday, April 08, 2013


I've decided to blame everything that is wrong with me over the next few months on SHINGLES.

The rash is gone and the pain is gone.  All told, I think I had a pretty mild case.  But the fatigue.  Oh, the fatigue!

I honestly don't know if the fatigue is related to the shingles or not, but I'm going to say it is, rather than call myself lazy.  I managed to get in a good 2500 yard swim on Saturday morning.  My swimming buddy and I decided to do a 20-minute benchmark swim to see where we are.  We finished 1100 yards in 20 minutes, which is about on pace for us to swim a mile in a half hour.  We can now confidently say that we could swim a mile right this second if we had to.  Yeah, we were tired at the end of that 1100 yards, but we weren't dying.

So that's good news for St. John.  Even if we only swim once a week for the remaining 7 weeks until the swim, I know we can definitely do a mile.

Starting Saturday afternoon, I started having this off and on headache, accompanied by off and on extreme fatigue.  One minute I would be fine, and the next I would want nothing more than to curl up in a corner and go to sleep.  When we got home from Evensong yesterday afternoon, I immediately got in my pjs and into bed.  Only to get up 10 minutes later, feeling fine, and ready to finish making dinner.


This morning my alarm went off to go swim and while I was trying to convince myself to get up, my swimming buddy texted me that she was sick and wouldn't be swimming this morning. Yeah, I could have gotten up.  Instead I breathed a sigh of relief and slept for 2 more hours.  This is after I went to bed last night about an hour earlier than usual.

Today has been a struggle against the sleepiness.  It has not been helped by the fact that it's almost 80 degrees in my office (building management turns on the AC on May 15, never, ever before.  At least it's taken this long to get warm outside.)  What I would really like to do is go home, break out the hammock in the backyard, and take a nap.  Instead, I work.  And I have a meeting tonight.  Fingers crossed I don't nod off while the client is talking.

Like I said, I have no idea if this is shingles-related, but I would really like whatever is is to stop now and to be able to get back to a normal workout, work and sleep schedule where I don't need 10 hours of sleep just to barely crawl out of bed and sit drowsily at my desk all day.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Recipe: Apple Maple Mustard Pork Tenderloin

I love the internets.  This morning I woke up and thought, I have a tenderloin, Dijon mustard and homemade applesauce.  That sounds like the beginnings of a good recipe.

Sure enough, I found this.  Only I wanted to use the crock pot since we had to leave at 1 PM for Evensong and wouldn't be back until after 6.  So I made some modifications and by the time we got home it smelled SO good in our house.

Jason declared it my best tenderloin ever.

Apple Maple Mustard Pork Tenderloin

2 1/2 to 3 pound pork tenderloin
1/4 C. Dijon mustard
3 T. maple syrup
1 T. fresh rosemary
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1 1/2 C. applesauce*

Brown tenderloin on all sides in skillet (or IN your slow cooker, if you have a Ninja like I do) and place in crock pot.  Combine mustard, maple syrup, rosemary, salt and pepper in a small bowl, then brush on all sides of tenderloin.  Pour applesauce around the tenderloin.

Cook on low for 8 hours.  Remove tenderloin from crock pot and let set for 10 minutes before slicing.  Use sauce in crock pot as gravy.  It's yummy!

* I used homemade applesauce that I canned a couple of years ago.  It has cinnamon and cloves in it, so if you use plain applesauce, add about 1 t. cinnamon and 1/4 t. cloves to the applesauce.