Why Top 45?

These are the things that float to the top of my list of activities that I want to do for the year 2012 when I am 45 years old. The list is comprised of things that I have either never tried or have wanted to try and just didn't have the courage or time to do it. Follow along and watch my progress and feel free to comment or add words of encouragement to help keep me going for the next 365 days!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Sammy's House

Each year, Keller Williams gives back to the community by helping a non-profit organization on what's known as RED Day.  RED Day(Renew, Energize and Donate) is an initiative dedicated to celebrating Keller Williams Realty’s year-round commitment to improving our local communities.  Each year, on the second Thursday in May, tens of thousands of associates from across the United States and Canada participate in a wide range of projects, devoting their time to renewing and energizing aspects of the neighborhoods in which they serve.

This year, the day was devoted to helping Sammy's House. Sammy's House is a nonprofit organization that provides services for children who are medically fragile and/or developmentally delayed.  They operate a child development center, a respite care program and a therapy equipment loaning program.  One of our agents, Elizabeth Reilly, nominated Sammy's House as our recipient and I was so excited to participate. 

I knew when I arrived to Sammy's House that this is where I was supposed to do some of my volunteering hours this year because as soon as I pulled up to the place, I experienced deja vu.  In college, I had worked at this very location when it was a daycare center called Elsass Academy.  I worked with young kids as an assistant teacher and also taught some swimming lessons there after I got my life-guarding certification.  Once while taking care of a young boy who had had a #2 accident in his pants, I had to accompany him into the bathroom, take the offending underwear into the stall and try to clean them out before trying to wash them.  I remember helping with this as a young child when my mom used cloth diapers.  The idea is to do the best you can to remove the solids so you can wash the diaper, in this case underwear, in the washer.  Just as I was holding the underpants over the toilet and pushing the handle to flush down the solids, the little boy pushed his way into the stall and my not-so-secure hold on the undies was not strong enough to hold them and the toilet flushed just as the underwear fell from my hands....I was hoping that my memories of this day were not as traumatic as that event and I was fairly certain that that would be the case.  No one was going home with swim trunks as underpants and I was not going to have to tell a parent what happened to their sons underwear.

I signed up for the Child Interactive portion of the day and decided it would be fun to help with the Dance group.  I ended up working with Jill Leberknight of Emmy Award Winning Biscuit Brothers fame...I have no idea what I was thinking as she showed up in her Buttermilk costume and there was no competing with that! 

Seriously though, Jill is awesome and exudes fun energy that the kids really enjoyed.  Our first group of kiddos were under 2 years, closer to 1 year old, but it was fun to carry one of the infants and dance around to the music.  We eventually got to the kids that were 5 years in age on average and they took to the music and swinging the Texas bandanas around the space we had.  Eventually, we tied the bandanas around our waists and made them look like little Texas flag skirts.  Luckily, we were finishing up with one of the last groups as it started to sprinkle then rain so my shift ended on a high note.

I tried to import a video that played on KVUE News the night of the event, but I can't find it on YouTube.  You can however view it here.

Next up:  Le Cordon Bleu Cooking Class!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


     Remember when you were in college and you would go out with your friends for a night of drinking?  I am speaking hypothetically of course but picture this.  You pick a bar downtown that is playing some fun music and decide to be a little wild and start ordering shots.  After the first one, you think, I am not really feeling it so I should have another.  Then you repeat this same 'thought and action' routine say 2 or 3 more times.  It is after the last shot that you start feeling the effects of the first one.  You think, hey, this is feeling good...about 15-30 minutes later, the second and hypothetical third shot kicks in and that is when you start thinking, "Oh no, there are still a few more shots that haven't fully entered my system."  If you are lucky, you get off easy and all the dancing you do will help work off the effects of the tequila, aka tokillya, as well as the greasy burger/taco/BestWurstSausage you consume on your way home.  If you aren't lucky, you spend the night in the bathroom or in bed watching the room spin.
     Going to boot camp is kind of like doing too many shots of tequila.  At first you think, 'Wow!  Even though this is only the second time I am taking this class and I am feeling great!'  About 30 minutes into the class, you are still feeling pretty strong but your legs start to not perform from all the lunges and squats.  Finally, toward the last few minutes of class you can barely kick your legs out while attempting the 50th burpee.  One day I will be able to do them like this extremely fit woman on YouTube.

     You would think I would learn my lesson from the last time I did boot camp at 24 Hour Fitness with Kellyn, but I didn't.  The first time I tried the class was just a few days before I went zip lining with my buds Alison, Amy and Missy.  The timing was not good for having to trek up hills to reach the zip lining stands.  I made it through the zip lining adventure despite my sore-from-boot-camp body.
     Just like the slow integration of the tequila into one's system on a night out, so too is the slow progression of pain throughout my body after doing boot camp. While I am actually doing the class, I feel pretty good and strong, it is the 24 to 48 hours later that it hits me.  As I was laying in bed unable to move very easily 48 hours after this second time I did boot camp, the analogy dawned on me that taking boot camp is like playing drinking games or doing shots in college.  I start to feel a muscle twinge in say my neck and arms and eventually I can barely walk and resort to waddling around my house, to and from Nic's school and having to explain to my clients my slow motion walk while showing houses, not unlike the hangover walk.
     While I do want to do more boot camps very soon, I have decided that it is best that I NOT do another one until after the Danskin Triathlon in early June.  I have to devote my exercise time to swimming, biking and running, none of which I can do for 2-3 days after taking boot camp.
     Since I am back to regularly scheduled workouts of swimming, biking and running, this morning I decided to take a run around the neighborhood since I had an appointment that would keep me from swim practice.  The run felt really good, I was well hydrated and the temperature outside was pleasant.  My biggest concern in making the transition from running the neighborhood to running during the Danskin is twofold.  First, I have all my running accoutrement as seen in the photo below:

Running Gear
The biggest thing that I can't use during the Danskin is my iPod and Nike case....I should be able to wear my Nike Fuel band and Garmin to track my fuel points and heart rate and speeds on the bike and run.
     Second, as I mentioned in my post about the Diva Dash, I don't like the course as it is hilly and littered with large chunks of wood mulch and small stones and I won't have Kellyn there to motivate me up the hills.  I am sure I will do fine as I have run more, swum more and will be back on my bike this week, I just want to do better than fine.  I did have a good run this morning (see photo below), keeping a good pace and finishing better than I have in recent months, so I am definitely looking forward to June 3!

My swim team is doing an open water swim this coming Saturday and one of my teammates has offered to bike the Danskin bike course with me once or twice before the race so I am getting more training than ever.

Garden Update coming soon....