Foam Roller, Where Have You Been All My Life?

I went to karate on Saturday morning, and we did jumping jacks. That is the only explanation I have for why my calves are crying every time I take a step. I think my whole sore body is probably the reason I was a little frustrated during my riding lesson today (which was a perfectly lovely lesson, I just couldn’t seem to make my body mind my mind). (There’s probably a life lesson, there.)

I’ve been in so much pain that I had to do something. I dipped into my savings and bought a foam roller. I’ve heard how they can relieve knots like a deep tissue massage. UNDERSTATEMENT. First of all, let me tell you how painful it is while you’re rolling. I was literally screaming. Not figuratively literally screaming – seriously, way-too-loud, my-neighbors-have-new-ideas-about-what-goes-on-here screaming. But – once you’ve rolled out a bit, you feel lighter. And you can move again.

It really is this easy. It just also hurts like...well, nothing else I've ever felt before.

It really is this easy. It just also hurts like…well, nothing else I’ve ever felt before. Picture from www.mytreadmilltrainer.com.

I have found my new nightly ritual.

Meet Brenda

When you have a chronic illness, you sometimes have days where you just want to throw in the towel. You don’t want to get out of bed, let alone give of yourself. Thankfully, I haven’t had a day like that in a really long time. But if and when I do, I’m going to remember Brenda.

Brenda Emer: 12 Time Cancer Survivor

Brenda’s dream is to go on The Ellen Show, and she will easily be one of the most powerful guests on any show. She’s an inspiration.

Learn more: https://www.facebook.com/getbrendaonellen?ref=ts&fref=ts

Top Three Day

Ever have one of those days? You know what I’m talking about: bad hair, spill a staining agent (for me it’s either coffee or barbecue sauce) all over your favorite shirt, your best friend says something really crappy to you, someone vomits on you, you get cut off in traffic, and then at the end of the day your pets don’t want any cuddles. Or worse (I’m thinking death and catastrophes).

Today was the exact opposite of those days for me. Easily one of the top three days of my life. A lovely walk in the woods with no rain, coffee AND tea (I know, I’m so indulgent!) and awesome conversation with a fantastic new friend, a great riding lesson in which I received a LOT more respect from my friend Hi-C and worked on the timing of my taps in turns, and got a lot of science done. I don’t really want today to end, but I know I’ll fall asleep with a smile on my face.

I hope you all are so lucky to have such a day tomorrow.

Back in the Dojo Again

Today was the first time I’ve been back in the dojo in ages. (To be fair, I wanted to go back in February, but there were all these blizzards.) I was really nervous about going back having been away far too long. And I was nervous about getting dizzy and possibly passing out, as has lately been the pattern after intense workouts. But there’s only one way to find out, so I pushed aside my fears and went to this morning’s class. I pushed as hard as I could without trying to injure myself, and I’m pleased to note only one light-headed moment. I found my limit. And I was pleased at how strong I was – and thankful for all those workouts I’ve been doing in the interim!

But I also remembered how much I enjoy karate. Yes, I love how I feel after a great workout – but I also love how social it can be. Our Sensei fosters a great family atmosphere – as in everyone there is family. We kick each other and punch each other in the face, but it always comes from a place of respect. (Have you ever expected to read such a sentence? I never expected to write such a thing.) I trust every person in that room to keep me healthy, and they trust me to do the same. Bottom line: I belong there, in more ways than one. I shouldn’t stay away so long.