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Goodbye, for now.

Well my friends, after months of silence, it’s time for me to say farewell to See Mel Run. In the last six months I’ve moved from the midwest to the west coast, started taking some new classes, and have begun battling yet again against my chronic pain. On that note, I’ve long been wanting to write about what’s going on in my life after all these changes. Maybe one day I’ll be able to run again (hoping upon hope!) but until then I’m going to write about my current life and experience. I’m going to write what I know. And I’m going to share it with YOU, dear readers!

So… say goodbye to See Mel Run and HELLO to Chronically Speaking, a new blog that will be a 20-something’s take and living well and enjoying life while battling chronic pain. Please check it out at: http://www.chronicspeak.wordpress.com

See you there!

All the very best,
Mel

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Humbled

My dear mother has been in town the past week taking care of me (i.e. making me food, bringing me water, cleaning my house) while I lay moaning on the couch. As I’ve been homebound for the last couple of weeks I have really missed seeing, well, anything other than my living room. With this in mind, Mom decided to take me with her to run some of my errands. Since we needed to go to Wal-Mart, we tried to figure out the logistics of what I would do since I can barely walk the distance from my couch to the bathroom. Would I wait in the car? No, too hot. Would I sit on the bench in the front of the store? Well, I really wanted to help pick out the things I needed. The solution? Mom would push me around in a wheelchair.

I never in my life imagined having to be in such a position. As a very independent I-can-do-it-myself-in-my-own-way kind of woman, having my mom here at all has been a test of my ability to depend on others. Now, my dependence was pushed even farther, in a very public way. It’s hard for me to put in to words how humbling the whole experience was. I gained a whole new perspective on what it is to be “handi-capable” and the challenges that disabled individuals face every single day. Something so small and trivial, like going to Wal-Mart, becomes a painful luxury. Traveling the store becomes a whole other challenge as it is a huge distance from one end to the other, and only half of the items are placed at a reachable distance from a wheelchair.

Despite the humbling nature of such a little outing, it was really quite nice to get out and see other things although I was thoroughly exhausted by the end of it. In fact, we went to Wal-Mart again today, wheelchair and all. πŸ™‚

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The Best Medicine

Laughter.

That’s it.

This morning I stumbled across this blog called Hyperbole and a Half. Oh. My. Gosh. I read –> this post <– and laughed until I cried. And now I feel fabulous.

For the sake of your health: Go. Read. Laugh. Cry. Thank me.

You’re welcome.

πŸ™‚

Have a happy Friday, friends!

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30 x 5 =

Healthy!

(source)

So it’s that time of month again … goal-setting time! As I sat down today to write out what I want to do and accomplish in November I couldn’t stop thinking about the assignment I did for my Aging class yesterday. I had to map out a Health Promotion plan for myself and also evaluate a journal article regarding a health item that needs to be promoted with the older adult population – I chose exercise. I reviewed an article from The Journals of Gerontology that studied older master athletes (65+). It was discovered that older athletes who engaged in chronic (consistent) exercise, specifically resistance training, had significantly better muscle mass, strength, and contraction characteristics, as well as increased maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) in comparison to their sedentary peers. They also found that the older master athletes had better muscle condition young sedentary individuals.

What?!

Some female 70-year-old weight lifter might have better muscle condition than me?

I gotta do something about that! The only way for any adult to maintain proper nutrition and good health is to get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise five days a week. It sounds like a lot but it is completely achievable. If I have time to watch a show on TV, I have time to exercise. And really, what is thirty minutes if it means greater longevity and well-being? I can come up with every excuse in the book, but I would be doing myself a huge disservice. It’s time to get movin’ y’all!

So I’m declaring the month of November the 30 x 5 Movement Challenge. I will do at least 30 minutes of exercise five days a week. I’ve discovered one of the best ways to make sure I do something is to tell people I’m going to do it because then I’m accountable and if I don’t do it I’ll feel like an idiot. So here I am, telling you I’m going to attack the 30 x 5 challenge this month.

If taking care of my body wasn’t a good enough reason to get movin’, I feel as a nursing student I ought to be setting an example for living healthfully so I can encourage others to do the same. So wish me luck and join me in the challenge if you like! Today I went on a lovely 30 minute jog and I’m excited for the rest of the month!

β€œThe inclusion of regular physical activity into our daily lives is the greatest weapon that we have against the onset of age-related disease and disability.” —Online Journal of Issues in Nursing

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Did you miss me?

I’ve been taking a little hiatus from the blogosphere to live life without feeling tied to the computer. Don’t we all need that sometimes? Here’s a glimpse into what I’ve been up to since my last post:

First, J & I hopped on the motorcycle for a whirlwind trip to Louisiana and back in 5 days (2 days down, 1 day there, 2 days home)!

While J spent the Louisiana day in Baton Rouge watching the LSU game for his college best friend’s bachelor party, I toured around Lafayette with my awesome in-laws. First stop: Lafayette’s annual Boudin Cookoff!

They had every kind of Boudin cooked every kind of way you can imagine. If you’ve never had Boudin, it’s a spicy meat/rice mixture stuffed into a sausage casing which you then eat out of the casing. It’s one of my very favorite uniquely Cajun foods. I went to the cook0ff with my mom-, sis-, and bro-in-law, and my little niece Lilly.

The rest of the day we got some fro-yo, did some shoppin, cooked dinner together, watched the LSU game, and made Lilly laugh. Isn’t she just the cutest darn baby EVER? I’m one proud Auntie. πŸ˜€

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She’s just so stinkin’ sweet!

So after our quick, and super-fun trip, it was two long days on the bike back home to the grind of work and school. Until… J called me up last week when I got off work and said “Hey, we have these birds over here by my office, want to come see?” And I said “Uh… sure?” SO glad I went out there, check this out:

The base employs these guys from USDA to maintain the bird population around the airfield so jets don’t crash / get broken / guys get hurt due to bird strikes. It’s imperative that they keep animals away from the flight line so they’re constantly trapping awesome birds like these: A great horned owl and a red-tailed falcon. Aren’t they AMAZING? They are gorgeous (and powerful!) birds. The guys trap them and then release them a couple hundred miles away. I was so excited that I got to go see these, let alone hold them! It was way cool.

Hope you enjoyed seeing what I’ve been up to! I vow to post a little more regularly now. To be completely honest, one of the reasons I hadn’t been spending much time online is because I was reeeeally anxious, waiting to find out if I got accepted to the UCM nursing program or not. For about two weeks I was running out to the mailbox constantly, dying to know if my acceptance letter was in there or not. FINALLY, after weeks of torture, I got my letter. And it said… I MADE IT IN!!!!!!!! Y’all have no idea how insanely happy this makes me, because for a year and a half I’ve been taking pre-nursing classes and waiting for this day. πŸ™‚ I’ll start the 2-year program in January 2011 and graduate with my Bachelor of Science in Nursing – RN in December 2012. Woo-hoo!!! I can’t WAIT. It’s going to be super challenging in so many ways but I’m excited for the day that I can use my skills to help people.
On that happy note, I’ll wrap this up for the day.
Until next time y’all…

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Running Lessons

There are many lessons to be learned from running: dedication, determination, and perseverance to name a few. As I continue trying to live holistically – incorporating physical, spiritual, and emotional aspects – I’ve applied many running lessons to the remainder of my life.

Today, as I was doing some October goal setting and taking a hard look at my priorities, I was inspired by this post. Since I’ve been maintaining my physical fitness consistently for about four months now, I started thinking about how well I’ve been maintaining my finances. I’m just not too impressed with how wisely I’ve been spending my blessings lately. So I added some financial goals to my October list, as well as some long-term savings goals.

Here are some examples from my list:
– Save a total of $X in the bank account
– Limit the spending of “fun” money by:
Planning and cooking all but one, maybe two, meals each week. More nutritious & delicious & saves $$.
Limiting money spent on clothes to one to two items per month, not exceeding $X
– Save $X to buy a car outright for J when his wears out (nearing 150K miles on his already!)
– Use part of “fun” money savings to make charitable gifts
– Save ahead for kids
– Save up for a great vacation before kids

I spent a lot of time thinking this out, and I’m really looking forward to following through. To motivate me, I printed out pictures representing each of my goals and posted them on my bathroom mirror to remind me of the long term and what’s worth saving for. To inspire me on the clothing limit I made a list of practical, classic pieces that I can choose from when it’s time to go shopping. I’m pretty excited about running in my financial life as well as I do on the pavement. Having goals definitely makes the whole process seem more fun!

As far as running on the pavement goes, I’m back in the groove and feeling GREAT! I’ve logged 6.27 miles over the last three days and have really enjoyed it. I’ve gotten to the point that a run can actually be relaxing for me now, instead of work. Today I was able to zone out and enjoy my music, the breeze, and the sound of my feet crunch-crunch-crunching along the asphalt. Aaaaah. Deep breaths and relaxation. Doesn’t get much better than that. I think running has also been a little more enjoyable for me lately since I decided to take a break from races for a while. I still have race goals, and found myself looking up 10K training plans today (yikes!), but for the time being I just want to run for fun, for the pure enjoyment of it. That fact alone gives me a whole new perspective.

How do you manage your financial fitness? Any tips or tricks for living frugally and meeting financial goals?

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Well hello, life!

I’ve been taking a much needed break from “the Inter-web” (<– heard that on the show Scrubs and thought it was hilarious), trying to focus on recovering from the Endo and just getting some stuff done. But now – I’m BACK!

I’m feeling 600% better after a few painful weeks on the couch culminating in a burst ovarian cyst (gross, right?!). It was as if my life stalled for a while and I’m finally living again. You have no idea how wonderful it is to have the energy to do things and to get out of the house. It’s SO great and I am extremely grateful! I went for my first “real” run in about 3 weeks yesterday (I’m not counting the 5 minute trial run I had a few days ago). I felt ALIVE. I ran 1.9 miles which I’m pretty pleased with seeing as how I’d spent most of my time on the sofa lately. Again, I can’t stress how beautiful the days are when I feel well. Everyone: don’t take your health for granted! Cherish it! Use it! You never know when you might lose it, so enjoy it while y’all got it!

OK, I’m off my soapbox now. Here’s a couple things I’d been thinking about blogging, but hadn’t since I was on said Inter-web break:

1. We all know October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and I just want to take a minute recognize all the strong sisters out there who have had, or are currently struggling with, breast cancer. It is a terrible disease that affects millions of women in one of the most invasive ways possible. I’ve been pretty impressed with the huge steps the media and the NFL has taken to raise awareness. Hopefully a lot of money can be raised to support more research for treatment and better screening methods.2. My grandma gave me the best Peach Cobbler recipe and I wanted to share it with y’all since it is so easy and delish. Grandma’s just know best when it comes to cooking. So here it is:

Mamma’s Peach Cobbler
1/4 cup butter
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
dash salt
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2/3 cup milk
1 (29-oz.) can sliced peaches (or if they’re in season you can totally use fresh peaches)

Melt the butter in a 9×13″ baking dish. Mix the dry ingredients together and blend in milk. Pour into baking dish. Place peaches and juice on top. Do not stir – the batter will rise to the top while baking. Bake in 350 degree oven for 40 minutes or until golden brown. Enjoy!

Well, that’s all for now folks, hope your week is off to a smashing start. Happy Columbus day!

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