echelon, fitness, goals, Peloton

Resistance 50…

I don’t ride fancy and I cannot do a resistance of 50. Nope. I am stuck in the 20’s. Don’t judge.

My desire to color coordinate my workout gear ended long ago. Just forcing the workout is my focus. Now for those moments in which my black matches perfectly, I feel like a rockstar. But shoes, I am all about the shoes. My shoes will always look cute unless my troubled foot acts up…then I look like a teacher, which I am. You know the sensible shoe type. #justaddcardigan. But with each ride I care a bit more about my former self and my matchy matchy outfits. There is hope. Today I looked rather sleek in my Amazon duped lulumon black leggings and matching stuff. It is a step that I owe to my newbie status and desire to truly show up.

While I am set and ready to go…there are groceries, baseboards, grading…you get it. Anything but the bike. I find myself staring, just staring at my new friend noting that an invitation is not forthcoming. So I either get on or on day two ruin my goal. That is not acceptable. I don’t know which is the hardest part of the activity, finding the ride you want or just getting on the bike. Since I am new to all of this I plopped myself into the six week beginner program and will supplement with three other rides per week from instructors I am finding a connection. These Perfect Peloton specimens are made of equal parts showman, psychologist, and athlete…or the other way around. They are amazing and a blast to suffer with. I love when they say 50 resistance or higher. Oh that one gets me. But a girl can dream.

After my daily ride, I complete the daily core challenge and I am rotating my body through ten minutes a day of weights. Only to find a variety of body parts crying as they preferred hibernation. This has been quite a wakeup call and while I will keep the weights in my repertoire a clean and jerk is not in my future. Just steady improvement, better fashion, and a resistance of 50 is all a girl can want. Oh, and weights above three pounds. Shhh.

Note: Today, I did my beginner ride with Emma Lovewell and her ab series. My arms were with Cody who I absolutely adore as his personality is everything. Afterwards, I lied on the floor for as long as possible due to inability to move, not laziness. Drank a gallon of water and applauded my efforts. I find the applause necessary. Truly. As for resistance my high was 22 and my low was 15 but my cadence was on point with each of the crazy requests.

Tomorrow is another day, another outfit, another mindset and hopefully even for a millisecond I can get to a resistance of 25 and look towards 50 without the amount of laughter it currently brings with each ride. It will happen. More importantly, I got on the damn bike and with each passing day this will become the habit I so desire.

echelon, fitness, goals, life, Peloton

Life in the Saddle

I have chosen to be an annoying beginning Peloton blogger giving you my every thought and sweat droplet. No. There are enough of those out in the universe in their super cute matching outfits and sparkly persona. They give me hope and an outward reason to get in that saddle. However, my challenge is to my myself, 100 rides before my 58th (April 19th) and my views are coming from a sense of reality along with my Amazon Lulumon dupes always black for that slimming look, ha. No. Black because they go with everything I am madly pulling out of my drawers as I make the mad dash down the hall from the work room to the fitness haven.

No personal pics of my rolls. I am vain and try to live in a vision of ten years ago. The truth would not set me free. Anyway aren’t you tired of those and doubt the reality of the before and after magical wand. No. Ok, just me. My looks are roundish and a cross between Ava Gardner, Molly Ringwald and Captain Kangaroo. Back to the roundish. Not completely. I have great shoulders and wrists and enough grey hair to be one of those instgrammers showing their magical tresses and pretending it does not age us. It does. But I love my grey and my freckles.

So, follow my dribble as I will keep it real. The pain, the dread, the peloton high, the laughter. All of it during these days of challenge because my sport days (former figure skater) are long behind me and my cycle reason is weight loss, health, and just to enjoy the ride.

Note: I am on ride fifteen with five other peloton classes. It is a start and tomorrow is another day.

Happy Riding! Yogadivamama1234

education, life

NCLB Dribble

NCLB is the worst policy that still stands. Find the data, test the child, re-test the child, find the data. Rinse, repeat but don’t leave them behind. Ever. While I do not have data to prove that NCLB has failed. I have observations. It has upped my stress levels, given no rocket scientist data points, or increased my value as teacher. The societal view of my profession has dropped, many our leaving, and our kids data is not stellar as compared to other countries, states, zip codes etc. I am a tester approximately 25% of the year and a data digger on my spare time. NCLB has done nothing for the state of public education and everything for the state of charter or private education. They test, yes they do. But for purpose not whimsy.

My educational fantasy is copying the English system. It’s ok to give them credit for a system that works (we won the war) and of course modify it so it is less class oriented. We should have exams, we should have top curriculum, we should have standards that truly point kids to university. But we don’t. Most of the world uses the Cambridge Curriculum and leveled exams that are administratered after all instruction has ended. Again, a fantasy. A few schools/districts are dabbling with Cambridge a system and curriculum with varied reading materials that don’t all come from a text. Real reading out of books. The idea. And their history comes from actual documents think Gilder Lehrman, not our washed out textbooks, which we continue to refurbish at great cost. Give me books and documents and I can create anything. But I am an antique. The new teachers unless they feel education in their bones do not have this gift. So give them a real curriculum to follow…Cambridge. If Arizona was brave and we spent the money once for this amazing stuff we would turn out kids ready for 100 level university classes instead of turning our 000 level students.

You get my idea. Less constant testing and a superior curriculum would have increased our overall numbers in our public schools. Instead, many districts will be closing buildings due to our parents fatigue with a system that is broken. All of this hurts my heart. I am an Arizona public school kid, a public school teacher and all I want is better. My question is how much longer are we going to wait?

2020, life

The Year of Play

In 2021 I am gonna play. The simple definition of play is to engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose. Sounds much better than being all grown up and oh so serious every single day. I have done that long enough so I deserve a break. We all do.

Now, truth be told I have been adulting so long that play is foreign. Over the holidays I was reintroduced to the concept by my grandson. At first, I just played any game he desired but I did it as an adult. Not the same. As an adult we get bored, we worry about toy pieces, where the toys will be housed, is this a good toy for development etc. It is exhausting. So I left my reality over the holidays and entered his fantastical experience.

All time and space stopped when I looked into his eyes and did whatever he wanted and together we made each game or activity even bigger. Stuffed animals became babies taking a nap. Who cares, if we are tardy for anything. Diapers were needed on the adult view of stuffed animals which were obvious babies without their needed accoutrements. Unfortunately, my son had no more bottles in the house, as we were ready to go to the next level. Note to self, send bottles. ABC games became a place where my voice and voices brought laughter. Paw Patrol anything was just over the top fun with the focus on the chase to solve the next problem. The mailbox in Blues Clues house became a series of letters to my nugget. Note to self, send real mail. It brings joy. I became immersed. I laughed. I forgot about the reality of life. I found my smile, my true one behind each game, hug, hand holding experience. Oh and my laugh. I found my real laugh. Not the giggle at cuteness. A belly laugh that brought tears of joy. That one. It exists. 2020 did not rip it away from me forever and it was a pleasure to have it back. Now obviously, without being checked into a pysch ward I must leave our little fantasy world and tackle daily life but my vow is to always find a bit of play in any activity to take away the mundane and bring the needed joy that 2020 obviously sapped from my soul into 2021. I will dress up more, wear more make-up (even under my mask), wear the good jewelry, and eat off the good china, well at least a couple times but I will drink my champagne out of our good crystal that is locked away like a prisoners. They will be free in 2021. My dinners will be more varied, and while I hate cooking, I will delight in my hubs appreciation. I will sing more and loudly during my new found love of spinning and will not beat myself up if I am exhausted and can’t get on the saddle. Instead, I will do yoga. Life is short. I will doodle in color and write my class lessons to always include play. My virtual students deserve to find their play as their days in 2020 have been met with confusion and a world of fear.

So onto my year of play. The year of laughter, smiles, hugs, and pure enjoyment that is priceless and found inside of every child, and if you look closely, within yourself. My challenge to you is to bring out your play, in whatever form works for you, as it has not been completely lost. Trust me once you find it you will never ever let it go!

Happy New Year!

2020, echelon, life, Peloton

2020…A Positive Spin

To title a blog with 2020 leads to many obvious thoughts that we all have running through our heads. 2020 leads you to believe that this is just another blog or inner rambling (my personal style) noting displeasure or vast inner growth that the ground hog year of years has brought through frustration or obvious great introspection through a varity of the free or the sneaky paid apps.I tried. The testing began with the hope that each was the magic pill to my distaste for exercise but my desire for fitness. We all have our 2020 stories, but I do not want to spend the next week reliving 2020, do you? This hell is still not over and our recovery both economically and mentally will take time. Do I really need to send one more blog into the atmosphere about the obvious. I think not. My rambling today has everything and nothing to do with 2020 or the P word. It is about my new obsession, another P word. Peloton. Which is everything 2020 without the horror. Read on.

Now, I am a teacher. So this is my version of Peloton light. Work with me. Buying this was a process not a whim and a charge card. Would I have preferred that ease? Sure. We all would, but I am saving for my yacht so frugality counts. My riding choice is Echelon but their monthly rate and technical irritation led me to the Peloton app. For $11.99 a month and a company that offered (I missed this boat) three months free are my kind of people. They are woke on every level which keeps me in touch with humanity or the inner liberal loop. These thoughts (not harmful to my ways) are a nice balance to my traditional views on life. In my world not everyone gets a trophy. Good we are clear. I love my P, but now I am cheater who is having sleepless nights due to my scandalous ways. I am an E rider with a P app. This should not be, and like others in this dilemma it was not my intention. However, it is love and it works my champagne tastes and pasta budget. Living in this new framework is hard for a rule follower like myself. But until my body and my yacht filled bank account is ready for a shopping spree, the entire Peloton trigger needs to stay in partial mode. I am who I am. My time at home has found me trying a variety of fitness apps but none like this. The Peloton way is an odd feeling of friendship, community, and instruction with the greatest blend of music along with free psychology sessions. Smart. They hit my needs with talented cyclists/trainers who are glammed, scripted, and ready to hit their mark.

As a beginner, all the trainers make me feel motivated to get on the bike everyday. I have not done “everyday” since I gave up my pricey yoga studio life. Home exercise has been my mainstay since I departed the studio and a constant battle that my body was not winning. Excuses are easily found around every corner in my world. Work, cleaning a bathroom, that closet. Check, check, check and check. Until now. I get on my E everyday and tune into P between 4-6pm. I chose this time as is the end of my workday and my commitment to myself. Even on my days off from school and the weekends, this is my time. This new regimen requires finding the watch, setting up the casting P to my TV and sinking with E for stats. Cheapness comes at a cost. Simple this is not. Excuses still call my name but once in the saddle and the instructor starts at Act 1 Scene 1, I smile brightly and start into my journey that brings me a new found desire for consistency with a side of counseling and joy that in the long run will replace my thoughts about my cheating ways.


Oh so serious…

Across the United States children are missing from our educational system. This should trouble you. Greatly. Once upon a time, I believed I could manage the chaos called Department of Education. Today, I still do. However, unlike our current chief aka the winner in fancy political terms. I would address the situation of 50,000 students missing from public and charter schools. Instead our fearful leader trumped for more money to head to our schools on the backs of businesses that are breaking. I would be personally call every household just to make sure they are ok and set them up for success. No, we are allowing them to run from the school-year of chaos. Instead, the department pushes for more money through taxation. This was a gross error as whatever money is gained will not be seen by teachers, we all know this, but many fall in line and believe the fairy tale. I do not. The department cannot continue running on the fantasy that we are the public education of years ago. We are not. We have slipped due to the political mandates pressed upon us, the little people. Only to cause our little people more stress, tests, and the benefits of less teaching. The system needs change and guts to make the changes needed so all kids can have a great education and all teachers can choose where they want to work not hampered by retirement funding. You get it.

Now back to the missing kids. If your head is buried in the sand and you think that they are coming back look at your district trending numbers. Please take a breather…Check your years in, your fancy non-classroom position, and ask yourself…do I have a job next year? No, you are a great teacher, or leader, I am sure of it. The numbers just don’t add up. Research goes a long way. Please do some so you are not shocked at the end of this year as the 50,000 missing are not coming back. Prepare my friends, prepare. The system has failed these kids. They have found alternatives to what many still believe is the only show in town. We are not. This should be on our benchmark test. Perhaps the system would change, let go of what takes great teachers away from teaching, and stand up to our boards and state officials. You see it takes leaders at all levels with courage, conviction, and a clear daily reminder that we are failing to do the right thing as a total system. No, not in our individual classrooms or even throughout some districts. As a complete entity.

Next year will bring change. Unfortunately, those that walk the line of the union are becoming stronger in this state by the day. I will never join. Duh. As such I will never get the accolades or first round choice positions. So, don’t worry if you are at a district with a number risk. You will win over me in in a head to head contest. Quite frankly a teacher without a full degree might win the position over my 20 plus years. Truth. I have crossed them many a time. I am still right and they still wrong in the direction of truly taking care of the teachers, but that does not matter. I crossed. But while on my tour, I had a false sense of freedom and spoke freely about the realities we all face that have only become worse. We need true leaders with hearts, no rational fear, and one who cares more about kids than a political agenda to make the tough calls for our kids and our classroom lives. We need this not only at the top but around the state in a variety of roles. So next time you vote for any position that affects us please check for that factor. I will create a rubric. But until then start speaking up for yourself, our kids, and your classroom life. I am getting a tad lonely.

granparent life, life

Hugs and Stuff

Tomorrow is my hubs birthday. I could shower him with praise, but I am not. He will not notice and frankly what could I say that I do not tell him every single day. Nothing. Besides let’s leave the saccharine sappiness where it belongs, to the young who are newly in love. We have something better than the drippings of sweet love and adoration. After thirty-two years together we got the prize of prizes…A grandchild.

A sweet two year old that we hover over, kiss boo boos, drink countless cups of pretend tea, spoil, sock money away for his future, and swoon when we are hugged, reaches for our hands, or during this last visit he asked us to get in the car with him…as home was not his current desire. His sweetness ❤ reminds us of our kid long ago. Who, like all of us has outgrown the sweet innocence we all eat up to feed our needy souls. The unfortunate reality of adulthood is that it robs us of the carefree love and kindness that the youth have in spades and the addition of grandchildren remind us again of our roots and our true needs. But I digress.

Back to the title…Today, the hubs turns 56 and today we celebrate with a socially distant football extravaganza. The real party, however, was a few days ago when we had a couple hours of uninterrupted playtime, hugs, cuddles, and little person banter. Plus our big bonus is always watching the kid be a dad. The best dad and his calling as his inner-child and sweetness comes pouring out again just as they did years ago. These are moments we wish we could bottle and was the hubs true birthday moment. So no matter what I buy, bake, or arrange birthdays are never the same anymore without his buddy.

Happy 56 Grandpa!