SWEAT, TEARS, OR THE SEA: PART 2

Welcome back to SOLO AT SIXTY!

“The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea…..”  (Isak Dinesen)

My last post was about SWEAT… today I want to talk briefly about TEARS…

TEARS – A good cry is often a reaction to and a release of pain and sadness….  “The RAIN falls because the cloud can no longer handle its weight.  The TEARS fall because the heart can no longer handle the pain.”  Believe me, I have felt pain like no other this past year, and have cried many tears.  I have learned that you cannot always control your tears and that is OK.  My family and friends have held my hand, given me shoulders, and just let me cry.  I am not embarrassed by it anymore.  It just is.

I have now come to the end of all of my “Solo Firsts”…First Beach trip solo, First Family Vacation with a smaller family, First 4th of July (our first date was on the 4th of July in 1979), First wedding anniversary not celebrating, First birthday with no contact (thankful for my kids, sisters, friends and my special co-workers who decorated my office!), First Thanksgiving not going to my in-laws, First Christmas card with just the kids and me, First Christmas, First New Year’s Eve, First Valentine’s Day, First ACC Tournament, First NCAA Basketball Tournament (but enjoyed watching these alone!), First Easter, First Anniversary of moving into my new home by myself.  I did my best to preserve most of “our family” traditions, but I started some new ones too. It was hard, it was emotional, there were tears, but I made it. As my girlfriends say, I “survived and thrived!”

I love this quote by Rose Kennedy:

“It has been said that time heals all wounds.  I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting it’s sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone.”

This I verily believe (sounds like a Moravian liturgical response!).

There are things in life that will always make me tear up: sappy movies, especially Hallmark and/or Christmas movies (who hasn’t cried during “You’ve Got Mail” or “Miracle on 34th Street”?), a song on the radio that brings back memories (especially now – hard to relive some memories), and saying goodbye to someone. There is a church hymn I can never sing without crying. (“Here I am Lord, is it I Lord? I have heard you calling in the night…” I know I am not alone here).  I hear the first bars of that song in church and I am a goner.  And it is ok.

An “old” friend reminded me over dinner last weekend (as we were discussing this blog) that not all tears are the result of pain and sadness. Happiness also brings on tears.  Even he has cried over experiences with his children.  (Tears are NOT limited to females – Ladies, don’t you love a man who is not afraid to shed tears?! Except maybe those on the Bachelorette!)  The births of my three children and the marriage of my oldest  daughter all brought tears, but were the result of sheer happiness! Not to mention tears at all of their college graduations. Of course, this happiness could have been the result of knowing I just got a big raise (no more tuition payments!)  BUT…..it also meant no more visits to Chapel Hill – Top of the Hill…..no more visits to Wrightsville Beach – Dockside and the Oceanic.   So maybe there were a few sad tears in there after all…

In the beginning of this “new journey” I cried a lot. For a while, I could not tell anyone my husband left me because I could not verbalize it without tears.  Then I could.  And I did.  And a funny thing happened: it was not me who was crying, but the people I was telling… I was comforting them and in so doing, their tears eased my pain.  Because not one person I told said, “I saw that coming.” Not one.

Don’t get me wrong, I do not go around blubbering, and I never cry myself to sleep (not that there’s anything wrong with that, except puffy bloodshot eyes the next morning. Anyone have tips for that??) Sometimes a good cry is just what the doctor ordered. And a good place for a good cry is in the shower!  Try it!

Just be salty! Take a shower and have a good cry!

Best,

Leslie

“sweat, tears, or the sea” continues next Wednesday with my favorite – the sea!

SWEAT, TEARS, OR THE SEA: PART 1

Welcome back to SOLO AT SIXTY!

“The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea…..”  (Isak Dinesen)

I truly believe this… Over the next couple of weeks I will share with you how each of these have helped “cure” me.

First off, SWEAT – I always feel better after a workout (no one ever said “I wish I had not worked out”)! When I come back to the office after a run, I feel like a new person.  Sweating through hard workouts eases my stress.  As my sweet mother would always say to me after my runs – “Do you think running brings out the poisons in your body?”  to which I replied – “HUH?  Are you trying to tell me I stink?”  And she, with all of her grace and compassion, would reply “YES”!  So maybe that’s the  secret: sweating cleans out the poisons in your body.

I prioritize my workouts each week and know that I will be a happier person (and a better team member) if I get in at least one good workout each day.  I am a planner and I love having a routine– so I look at the weather at the beginning of the week to plan my running days, indoor cycle classes for rainy days, step, athletic conditioning, body pump and yoga classes for the week.  I have so much flexibility now that I live alone – I can come and go whenever I want to and take classes whenever I want to!  And of course I am spoiled because I work for the best Fitness Center (acac) and have so many options available to me.

I love running….you can lose yourself when you run….After I moved to my dream house in a wonderful maintenance-free neighborhood,  I had to find a new running route.  And I had to get my “running mojo” back. BD (before divorce!) we used to run together every morning at 5 am….yes at O DARK HUNDRED!  And we ran in our neighborhood right down the middle of the street – I mean, who else is out at 5 am running?!?!?  Well actually there were a lot of other people out there! After almost running smack dab into the other crazy people out in the dark, we had to get arm band lights to alert others we were coming. Still, every morning there we were.  Suddenly, in a new neighborhood, in a new house by myself, what had once been routine was now a struggle. So I had to make a change.  First:  a new route (thanks to my middle daughter), what I now call my “office route.” A wonderful six-mile tour through Charlottesville’s Best: The Downtown Mall, “The Corner” & “Grounds” (Looking at you, UVA folks), and around the football stadium. I keep saying I am going to find another route, but I like the fact that I don’t have to think about where I am going – it is just routine.  I don’t listen to music when I run…I THINK. I have lots of conversations in my head (that I would LOVE to verbalize but know I never will), plan my day, pray for everyone on my list, and keep saying “look up” to all the students looking at their phones so we don’t collide!!  I feel totally safe because there are always other people out running/walking/going to class.  And I love it when Charlie, who is an acac member and drives a city bus, blows his bus horn at me when he sees me.  It is amazing how you often see the same people running, or eating outside at Bodo’s (if you’ve never eaten at Bodo’s Bagels you must!), or walking to work at the hospital.

I am a wimp when it comes to cold weather (I keep a heater on under my desk year round). Luckily, I found many warm days this winter to get in my runs outside instead of being forced onto the dreaded treadmill. My favorite running time is summer – there is no thought as to what you are going to wear – it is just a tank top and shorts because it is hot and you can’t wear less!  Otherwise, if the weather is in the 40’s it means several layers, headband for my ears, and gloves…..50’s are long sleeves, 60’s short sleeves, and 70’s and above – ahhhhhh – tank top and shorts! (I only agree to run when it is in the 30’s if my oldest daughter is in town – no one else can get me out there in the cold.)   And no more running at 5am for me!  I get to my office by 6:30 am, then leave sometime mid morning or early afternoon, depending on the weather and my schedule, to get my run in and a nice break from the workday.  Much better! OH and thank you (and HAPPY BIRTHDAY) to my oldest daughter for running with me after my “move”  to help me get my “running mojo” back!

I also know that weightlifting is so important to women for better, stronger bones.  My middle daughter and I work out with a wonderful personal trainer once a week….this definitely makes a big difference in my strength!  I am not one to go out on the weight floor and lift by myself. It is a bit overwhelming with so much equipment available and I would have to “think” not “just do”…..it is much easier when our trainer sets us up and tells us exactly what to do.  However, I do love Body Pump classes – weights for each part of the body with good music in an orderly routine. And I always get to class early and set up my weights in the same spot.  (Did I mention I like routine?) So between personal training and body pump, I try to get in weights at least twice a week.  I am not a big cyclist but I do cross train with at least one cycle class a week and love it when I can get a step class in.  Step is my “fun” class that lets me relive my high school cheerleader days!  And we have the best step teachers at acac!

After being sidelined with hamstring problems, I make it a habit to stretch and roll my hamstrings after every run or class.  And Yoga helps as well!  YOGA…..ahhhhh……the necessary evil that always seems to fall to the wayside when I run out of time, but it should not.  I always feel much better after a good yoga class, and they have been so beneficial. Can you believe this 5’2” girl could barely touch her toes before? Although this may not surprise anyone, the most trouble I have in a yoga class is staying quiet! I have a hard time going that long without talking to “my neighbor.” Focusing on the flow and routine of the class gets me through to the final savasana.  For the longest time, at the end of every yoga class, I thought the instructor was saying “have a nice day, have a nice day”…so I was bowing my head saying to everyone around me “have a nice day”…..not until I had a lululemon bag with NAMASTE on the side did I realize, “OMG I am supposed to say NAMASTE, not have a nice day”!

So go out and get your SWEAT on and see how much better you feel!  And always stretch after…..

Namaste (or… have a nice day),

Leslie

“sweat, tears, or the sea” continues next Wednesday!

SOLO at SIXTY

Welcome to “SOLO at SIXTY!”  This blog is to encourage and motivate women in all stages of life, though it may appeal more to the “mature” ladies…..This “mature” lady will be 60 this year….60!!!  WOW!  But like they say, 6 and 0 is better than 5 and 9…..or 6 and 0 is better than 6 below!  I plan to embrace 60 with all the grace and gusto I can find.

This has been a rollercoaster of a year for me…..this time last year I was married….for almost 36 years to my college sweetheart…..and now, I am divorced.  Words I thought would never come out of my mouth – “I am divorced”.  Never in my wildest dreams did I think my marriage would end….but it did.  I have survived and grown in these last 12 months thanks to  my wonderful 3 children (the absolute best kids in the world), my 2 sisters (could not make it without my sisters), my Mom (when she remembers), my girlfriends (we all need GF’s), my friends (I have wonderful friends), my co-workers (I work with the best people), my job (I love my job) and my church.

So what have I learned this year?  Well I thrive on motivational sayings and love to share them:

“You either get bitter or you get better….it’s that simple.  You either take what has been dealt to you and allow it to make you a better person, or you allow it to tear you down. The choice does not belong to fate, it belongs to you.”   
(Josh Shipp)

I CHOSE to MOVE ON and get better!  And I have……My ex-husband actually did me a favor.

So….background on me…..I am originally from NC (true Southern Girl)….went to college at The University of NC Chapel Hill and Wake Forest University.  Lived in NC until 20 years ago when we moved our family to VA for 2-4 years and yet,  20 years later I am still here (happily I might add) in Charlottesville, VA.  I am the mother of 2 daughters and a son who I respect and adore.  I am the “middle child” to 2 wonderful sisters.   I love my job – I have worked as the “numbers” person at acac Fitness and Wellness Centers for more than 16 years – I produce the financial statements.

What do I like?  Spending time with my kids, THE National Basketball Champions – THE NORTH CAROLINA TAR HEELS, the beach, running, reading, working out, yoga, Hallmark Movies, and now I am getting back into tennis, taking lessons at acac with my daughter. In other words, I love to work out and stay busy and I work at the perfect place for both. Life is good!

Tune in again for motivation and encouragement and hopefully entertainment!

Best,

Leslie