echelon, fitness, grey hair, Peloton

Gearing Up for Greatness Or Sleeping in Yoga Pants

Sleeping in yoga pants while not uncomfortable makes it unbearable to sleep, as I am focused on my fitness goals. As school began I fell off my bike. Obviously, not in the literal sense. The year began in its usual worldwind way that can only be described to other teachers for true understanding. No complaints, just pure exhaustion. I do not come out of this funk until October. Once this month hits I an ready for action. Every. Single. Year. It is like a marathon runner hitting the runners euphoric state. I am there. And here I stay. But the adding back of riding and elliptical (need a double dose) brings me added morning stress. So, yoga pants. Jump up and jump on the elliptical for twenty minutes and a couple miles. The bike is after-school where every excuse sets in. Yup. Every excuse has gone through my head. I even dare to cook more just to find a reason not to pedal. No one has been killed yet and our pup has put on the pounds. He is usually my only taker of my feasts. Don’t blame him, but check on him often. I need cooking classes. In another country. With alcohol. Lots.

I really do not understand those that look happy about exercising. I want to be like them. But they laugh at a six month streak. That is a bonus to them. Like adding a new training to their already perfect daily schedule. Yup. Note to self schedule a triathlon, soon. Never. I would drown. So back to my bike and my elliptical schedule. A few months from now I will feel sassy and want to add to my basic day. But probably won’t. But you never know. This girl has dreams.

echelon, fitness, goals, grey hair, keto, life, Peloton

Upping My Game

This year has been, well sloppy, casual. A bit eh. We all know that. I thought I was doing it ok. Working out, eating ok, but I decided to look in the mirror. Really look. Take stock. Someone should have warned me. While, this moment had to happen. It hurt. But it should have been, just a day of reckoning, as opposed to a pulling the covers over my head moment. I did this to myself. I knew. I was just hiding under well lit filters.

Ok, my hair has been grey since thirty and hidden under a myriad of colors. I just got tired of changing my reality. But no matter, how great your hair is, and mine qualifies for true silver greatness. Thanks dad. The color ages you. Truth. Moving on. Eyes filled with laugh lines. Check, and I like my sweet mappings of my soul. A forehead line that is beyond Botox. Obviously, I must walk around with a quizzical look 24/7. My ship is now S.S. Nip and Tuck Land. I am waving that on, as I am cheap, and afraid of pain. So, to combat further drooping. The technical term used. Lovely. Insert ugly emoting and eye-rolling. My facialist suggested this gadget that works on the neck and eyes. It might be working. But truthfully, I have my doubts, but going to keep up with this electrode skimming routine. You never know. The hubs has seen this process only once. He stood and stared. I stared back and said, “Do you really want to know? Because I can tell you the science behind this thing if you have an extra twenty minutes?” He ran. Good. The whole process of tightening my face is rather horrifying. So, until they make a lift that is budget friendly and pain free. It is the natural aging look for me. Now, my mom has zero big lines, my grandmother zero big lines, me, I got my dad’s Irish face. Can’t hide a thing. So, I am assuming this eye-lid discoloration and thinning lashes is also an Irish trait. Why hurt one group with such vengeance? Is it because we know how to have fun in life? Anyway, one day my lids were this odd reddish-blue color and lashes invisible. This was horrifying. No getting rid of this disaster. Just more creams, covers, prescription lash growth serum, makeup, but not too much, or it will age me. Or so they say. Yikes. So, after many bottles, brands, skin care lines. I have settled to what works. For now. Next year. Who knows. Since, I do not get paid…but would welcome any product. I use Bare Essentials, everything and Armani for more coverage. Please, contact. Because we all need a 58 year old influencer in life. Hah. My facial products live in a constant level of retinol. Day and night. Some prescription, some from French Pharmacies, oh the heaven. Some drugstore. Yes, they work. But not on my forehead.

That was just the face. But while I was there I noticed my cheeks puffed. I look like a chipmunk when I smile, so I am giving up on my usual happy look, and I love to smile, and going with that RBF a la nose up high to slim the neck. It works, looking younger and kinda feeling myself for this age defying trick that works, only if you seated or posed against a wall. But, it works. Life gets in the way, however. Walking, working, bending, and trying not to smile are all too much. Back to the facial map of 58. Eh.

If my cheeks were my only puffed area, I would be fine. Nope the blinders are truly off, and I looked below my neck. The effects of 2020 are now obvious and while not alone. I have to step up my game. Not only for a “look” but a true realization that my puffy cheeks and other areas came from a love affair with carbs and sugar. I am addicted. I do not just enjoy the foods but think about them, plan meals around them, sneak extra, and feel guilt. Great. Rehabilitation, here I come. The difference in this addiction from others, is that we are all addicted to the hidden goodies, at some level. I am just extreme.

I am tackling this hurdle in steps. As cupcakes are akin to life, as is champagne, and the combo is heavenly. You can see this will be a challenge. Today, I gave up just bread. All. Good-bye. Now, a potato can still pass my lips. As well as higher carbohydrate fruit. The list of low carb fruit is truly depressing. Think berry and only berry. Good-bye orange, grapefruit, watermelon, grapes. Insert berries and only berries. Not happening now, I need time. On the 29th of June major groceries are entering our home, along with the word I cannot stand, cooking. Worse yet, with fresh ingredients that must be chopped. This is a whole different world and one that is necessary for success. If others can do this, I can as well. It can’t be that hard and I am choosing easy recipes. Really easy. On this date, good-bye all white flour, bread, and potatoes. But keeping fruit. My fruit. Great fruit. Sweet fruit. This is however only lasting a week. The next week. July 5th I will be between 20-30 grams of carbs and little to no sugar and learn to love strawberries. It can happen.

My goals are simple. First, not to kill anyone in my house during these first few weeks. Secondly, to lose weight. How much? Twenty would be great, twenty-five to thirty would take me into a look I have not seen in awhile. So, while the number is not carved in stone, eating in a healthy manner without the yo-yo gain/loss metric that is tied to carbs and sugar. My new life. A healthier life for the long-term that will give me the daily energy to chase 6th graders and head into the weekend and not collapse. It would feel great. As the fatigue and FOMO has got to go!

This bravery, to truly take stock, came from far too much eating on a road-trip, and the over absorption of true quiet and cooler temperatures. I thank and blame the quiet for this introspection and setting course a plan of action. Now, planning is simple, actually exciting and with every passing day I get a bit more nervous. Not about the plan, but the slip, fall, deep dive into a bottle of champs and a box of cupcakes. That is horrifying. There are no 12-step programs for loving carbs and sugar, it is left up to each of us, to find the inner strength and say goodbye. I am finding answers in books, facebook groups, and following keto lifestylers on Instagram. No answers. Just a bond. I have to find my own way on this journey. I will. If I can do my century ride. I can do anything! And besides, I do need to up my game! 😉

echelon, fitness, goals, granparent life, Peloton

Progress Not Perfection

About a year ago I went on a hike. A short hike. Barely an incline. I almost died. I had to sit about five times, I cursed like a sailor, and requested that my car be brought up the hill (as my friend called it). To me it was akin to Mount Everest. My embarrassing moments were just that embarrassing. Staring at the finish line aka parking lot while just feet away seemed like miles.

Fast tracking to the end of this terror I made it to the car and cried all the way home. Not out of pain but the reality of how I let myself become a blob with no ability to walk a few miles upward.

Once upon a time I was in shape. The wedding. Check. After the wedding. Check. Pregnancy. Check. After pregnancy. Check. My son’s first eighteen years due to the country club life and the machines I had at my disposal. Check. Then real life hit. A few life issues mixed in with mid-life. Everytime I started the walk down the block, the online barre or pilates classes. I stopped. Made excuses and felt pure guilt at not being able to cross the line of consistency.

Covid-19 brought many of us to our fitness, social, emotional, or financial needs. For me I knew if I did not do something I would look like a parades floating balloon. Perhaps it was the social media perfection pictures that flashed at me during the daily boredom and scrolling hours or all the blogs of fifty somethings that look thirty. Whatever it was. It clicked. Onward to my echelon/peloton life.

The first seventy-three rides were of the twenty minute variety mixed with HITT, Tabata, pop and the low key variety. Today, I made a move. I went to thirty minutes. I did it. I survived and I will continue until I can go to forty-five minutes with the weekly goal of an hour. My goal is lofty but it will be achieved.

So, my shape is improving for me and my family, especially my grand-nugget who will never see his grandmother poop out at a park. Any park. Even one with great big mouse ears. Does my shape represent thirty at fifty-seven, no. But I am getting closer and feeling great about it!

echelon, fitness, goals, Peloton

Me First.

This spring break I did a thing. I opened up another blog (Mrs. Livingston’s World), created a TpT shop and became an Outschool teacher. Within a week I am a small business owner who has a shell of a business with calendared days to work on filling the emptiness with materials and classes. But I did it. I took the leap. Not once this week, but twice. Learning that I had to coordinate names and buy a website, you know in case I make oodles! Now with all of this exciting news I took a couple days away from my riding. Oops.

I have stepped away before in a variety of studios but my pause this week allowed me to reflect that I put everyone but myself first. I get to the edge and run and make excuses. Lots of them. All valid and usually involving another person or situation in need but all hiding the truth. I have been afraid of being the best physical me, but that is over. The first sixty-two classes are filling me up with a daily endorphin cocktail which I attribute to the mental confidence to not only put myself out there with my side business hustles, that have sat in limbo for two years, but my physical changes. This does not mean that getting on the bike is easy. It is not. But a needed habit it has become. The bike and I are on to something pretty great physically and mentally as I give it credit for my stronger body and willingness to tackle Mrs. Livingston’s World.

So, in honor of twenty-eight more rides, in exactly four weeks. I am tackling just getting on the bike, daily and completing my four week beginning journey with choosing a ride based on feelings and needs for the day. Do I need music from the 60’s, a hard push with Tunde or Alex ( my favorites) or the craziness of Cody or countless other options. I am bringing my body finding my needs and getting off with a smile. Whatever it is I am honoring it and riding with my head up and completing my journey for my mind, body, and soul.

echelon, education, fitness, goals, Peloton

50!

50 is a badge of honor in the Peloton world. I earned it. After my ride I danced…part tik tok and all embarrassing…no one was home. I inserted the word beast all day in every possible and impossible use just to tie me back to my tabata ride with Robin. The feeling I held with me that day and since this accomplishment is ecstatic as a beginner in the Peloton family. This is just one step one of many that I want not for the spin but the feeling afterwards. All these years I thought I would fall in love with a fitness routine. No. It is the moments after, that you fall in love with, that keeps you coming back. Ok the music and trainers are awesome, but it is the after.

My rides are saving my sanity. In a course of one week…deaths hit too close to home and my age, I became another pin cushion for Pfizer as I turned in my golden ticket for THE second shot, and muddled through the slight after feelings as the vaccine does it stuff. This was enough during an already over covidized lifestyle along with my yearly “I hate testing” mode that came kicking and screaming a few weeks weeks early. To add insult to injury my being raked over the coals for my ideals that state testing is the answer to everything or anything. It is my my opinion, but it was canceled quickly.

As a teacher, such speak is foreign to the trained union ears, but I have never have liked testing. Never. Ever. It brings out the worst in all teachers as they try to race to the top of the heap only to be publicly shamed if that years group does not measure excellence. FYI not every year brings testing success for a variety of reasons. It’s true. I have had great scores in my life, blue ribbon years in fact. How, I just teach. Thats all. You can’t push a score, child, or base your entire career around a number, but some do. I just teach and during testing I create cheers, dances, chants, and allow kids to breathe, chew gum, eat jolly ranchers galore as I just monitor and cheer.

As part of the canceled teacher culture. I am keeping to myself, teaching to my kids, smiling, and riding with numerical purpose. The new age of teacher (or those fixated on the score) has never understood me. We can’t all teach the same, test the same, be the same, and turn pages of text at the same time. However, we should all teach to the same standards at the same time with our materials of choice and share our knowledge and curriculum creation talents to bring the best to kids. If you love Common Core that’s cool, but in my opinion it has killed the overall creative spark of the teacher. Just my opinion. I love different. I create new lessons every year. I have never used the same plan twice. Ok, just one…but it’s really good. I will never change. Never. Truth be told I actually love a good test that shows a childs real growth or non-growth with the added caveat that the test must matter not for a pie in the sky score but true advancement. Give me any test that is meaningful to the tester and I am all over it as the purpose has changed. No longer is it a number it is a number for the child not the teacher. Big difference. We need a great test like Cambridge, ACT SAT, Stanford 9 that is used for student advancement. Not our current battle of the scores for only the teachers, districts, and states etc.

So how does my Peloton 50 celebration equate with my recent frustration surrounding my yearly testing woes. It is the difference between wanting the number and riding with no purpose. I worked for the number, I made the number happen. Our kids, especially our little humans don’t care about the number they just want the stress to go away. That feeling they have in their tummies and heads when some of our great teachers go overboard and our kids don’t see a connection to the test and life. Give it connection and we will see real scores that match to capabilities from our kids. But for now we are just ringmasters trying to squeeze out effort that many kids see no overall reason to give or just keep spinning with to please a system. Real meaning to testing will allow us to truly see the light of day. We would have invested kids, teachers teaching with true meaning, and correlation to the score and success which would have a higher impact on true data.

That’s all I want. That and my next Pelotin goal 100 by 4/19. Is it really too much to ask?

echelon, fitness, goals, life, Peloton

Falling off the Saddle

I fell off my saddle. Hard. Bruises with a deep cut to my ego and the strength I am building with my daily rides. Now all of my reasons are valid. Of course. I had this to do or that to do or pizza sounded good…not once but twice…accompianed by the guilt that always ensues with poor choices. I was rocking the biking/eating thing and suddenly I find myself on the floor applying bandages to my wounded soul.

Obviously, I am type A and do not take a step away of anything that demotes failure kindly. This is where I just give up. Walking away allows me to ignore the feeling of second best that settles into my mind. Many times in my life my dancing away allows me to mask the reality that I never put forth my best. I just walk away and it becomes part of my past instead of my present and my future. My mantra of belief is that I am too busy, it is not for me, nah, not good enough, I will find something more my speed. All excuses. So this week we have been doing a dance. I have been making ridiculous riding schedules and the bike continuously winking at me morning, noon, and night begging for me to get in the saddle as four days away was too much for both of us. Coupled with the Peloton commercials, in my insta and worse yet my kids asked me how my progress was…”Mrs. L how many more rides till 100?” Ugh. That was the final straw. Thank you 8th grade.

Today, on ride thirty-seven, I realized a few things. Scheduling rides a week in advance just makes me want to run and hide. It supports my theory of “I can’t.” Instead, I have marked my daily time and I just get on the bike with no excuses. I just show up and find a ride that suits my mood. Lately, Tabata with Robin or Ally have been calling my name along with anything that makes me laugh or transcends my inner potty mouth. Bring it on Robin. Now, as a beginner, my resistance is not quite at their level but my daily improvement is making me feel like I belong with the crew. Truth be told, I will always be fine if my hill is smaller than a team of professionals and other high number riders that are called out daily. As their numbers are called out I am amazed and motivated but let’s be real, I am fifty-seven and this is my first serious go-around in a long-time. My recent fall from a grace was necessary to find my stride and to realize that just getting on the bike is the daily true win. Just showing up to enjoy my time without the additional terror of overscheduling the one area in my life that should not be anything but free, fun, mine, and a healthy diversion. As life is life I have enough time restrainsts, alarms, and objectives, lists etc. This has become my time to just have fun and make my everyday a step towards making me in a better physical and mental form and yes, I am addicted. So what, aren’t we all?

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

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.