Thursday, July 30, 2009

Are We There Yet???

In a few days my husband and 2 older children will leave for our annual trip north. They will drive the
L-O-N-G road to Yukon together, while our youngest and I wait for several days and fly up to meet them.
During these last few days at home I am trying to get organized so as not to forget anything, and have as much as possible loaded into the truck with my husband.
My children, it seems, have other plans. They have made every attempt humanly possible to cause mayhem and destruction. They yell and scream. They push and shove. Every strategy in my bag of parental tricks has been trotted out in a vain grasp at some form of familial harmony.
All the while my husband is insulated from the chaos in the ivory tower of his workplace.
I can hardly wait for the silence of being at home with just one child, if only for a few glorious days.
Are we there yet??

Training with a Heart Rate Monitor

As I train for this next race - a 10k in October - I began to use a Heart Rate Monitor according to the guidelines in the Maffetone Method which requires a lower heart rate level than the standard 220-age equation we usually hear about. Dr. Maffetone calls his equation the "180 method"

So far, I've done all my training without a heart rate monitor, and I haven't seen a whole lot of improvement in my fitness level, except that I walk further and further. I come back pretty tired though, and very sore.

heart-rateIn the past two weeks where I've been using this I've gone from struggling to keep my HR at the "level 5" training goal (about 127 bpm) because any hill shoots my heart rate over the mark, to struggling to get it high enough - the hills aren't even affecting me. Two weeks ago I had to walk the final hill on the way home at a pace so slow I nearly lost my balance in order to keep my HR within range. Today I walked up most of it without any difficulty at all.

And this is just in 2 weeks!

Read the rest of the story here: www.PraiseWalker.com

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Refuse to Choose!

For most of my life, the question "What are you going to do when you grow up?" has hounded me, nightmarishly. Every week it was a different answer. My earliest recollection of what I wanted to be was a nun (I liked the "long dresses"). Then I wanted to be a vet, then a surgeon. I wanted to be a teacher, a flight attendant, a tour guide, a translator, a performance coach, a singer, a teacher of early childhood education, a psychologist, a counselor, a life coach ...

By the time I was 25 I'd worked 17 jobs. Some of them could have been career choices, except that they bored me silly once I got them figured out.

After a longer stint (5 years!) as a music director for Youth for Christ Germany I had the fortune of marrying a man who earned a salary that enabled me to stay home. I became a homeschooling mom (a great choice for someone with my attention span - always something new to focus on) and I went through cycles of being "crafty", a cook (believe it or not!) a nature buff, a historian, and a lover of literature.

Now that my kids are older and more independent in their schooling, I've turned to entrepreneurialism, Internet discoveries (gotta love Google!) and health and fitness. I realized when I hit the age of about 38 that I was not cut out for a career-type job and was happy as an entrepreneur, but that didn't quite cover "who I was" and "what I did".

Let me explain:

Currently (and concurrently) I am designing a walking program that goes from couch potato to marathon walker in 18 months, a nutrition/weight loss program, and a financial rehabilitation program. I am training for my next marathon by walking 1-3 hours a day, I am designing 3 websites for a house church group, taking a university course towards a ministry degree, studying to become a biblical health coach, and working towards a leadership certificate in 2 other ministry programs. I am also applying for a part time job to cover the costs of all these projects. And, of course, there's the standard homemaking responsibilities (did I mention we were renovating?) and keeping my kids on track in school. Oh yeah - and church, but I'm not really doing much volunteering there right at the moment.

This is a pretty normal situation for me, so when someone asks "what do you do?" I don't really have an answer - at least, I didn't.

Read the rest of my story here: www.PraiseWalker.com

The "Joys" of Technology

I wasn't always a big fan of technology. Mostly it overwhelmed me, and I seemed to be doing fine without it. Then I married a techie. For our first Christmas I got a beautiful Canon SLR camera. Pocket Instamatics overwhelmed me, so this was a pretty big jump.

1stGeniPodNano_ One day Tom came home with an early model of an MP3 Player. It was the size of a standard portable CD player, with about 1 gig of memory. I had no idea what to do with it. Over time I learned to use it, and it became a best friend. Then it broke. So Tom bought me a new iPod nano - the skinny one, with 2 gigs of memory. I was in love.

Shortly after I got this little nano I began walking regularly. I learned to create playlists, and started to really enjoy this form of exercise. I thought it would be fun to get a pedometer and see how many steps I took a day.

I saw that Nike had this little sports tracker thing called a Nike+ iPod , and asked if it would work as a pedometer. I was told it would, so I bought it. It doesn't. It did a great job of tracking my walks and telling me how far I'd gone and how fast I went. It also had nice people like Tiger Woods and Lance Armstrong and Jenny Hadfield telling me I did a great job, exceeding my last personal best at something. Kinda cool. I was hooked. NikeiPod


Read more here: www.PraiseWalker.com

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Live Longer and BETTER!

I'm not that fussed about extending my life only to spend more years in a total care facility unable to control any of my bodily functions. Living longer for the sake of living longer holds no attraction for me.

HOWEVER! Living longer so I can take even more advantage of what this marvelous world has to offer, and to better live out the life God has called me to live - that's a totally different thing. I'd love to be 120 years old (the age God determined for mankind) with all my wits about me, still active, living with a great sense of humour, and a childlike delight in every new day. THAT kind of longevity appeals to me.

Living life the way we live it in general is a fast track to the first option. Chemicals in our food and water, surrounding ourselves with toxins, eating junk, sitting all day at a desk or computer (ahem) and spending greater and greater amounts of time isolated instead of interacting in community is going to lead us to cancer, weakness, mental illness, and depression.


Read the rest of the story here: www.PraiseWalker.com

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The cost of being healthy, and other financial musings...

Tom and I have been working hard on our finances lately. We'll we've been pretty intentional for about 5 years, but recently we've stepped it up as I've been learning about Biblical Finance - what God says about money and how that works today in our culture.

It's been quite an adventure!

As I've moved forward with my fitness/walking/nutrition explorations, I've realized it's MUCH more expensive to be healthy than sick. The gov't pays for health care ("sick care") but not preventative care. Good, organic food is out of the reach of most people I know except as an occasional treat. Nutritional supplements are affordable only if you replace regular food with them. Walking - the cheapest form of fitness - is still expensive if you want to do it well - shoes, clothes that cope with Calgary winters, something to listen to music with so you don't get bored out of your mind on long walks, something to track your steps/mileage with as an added incentive on days when you just don't feel like walking...

Read the rest of the story here: www.PraiseWalker.com

Monday, July 20, 2009

Last month boudoir


As it turns out I am a boudoir photographer.  I love to photograph babies, weddings and commercial works however these days my clients are loving the beauty shots. This client drove all the way from Golden! We got some great images so I'll have to post them up on my blog and website right away. Stay tuned. 
Julie Chiasson/ Sidorak
www.QuantumImagesInc.com

The "Joys" of Technology

I wasn't always a big fan of technology. Mostly it overwhelmed me, and I seemed to be doing fine without it. Then I married a techie. For our first Christmas I got a beautiful Canon SLR camera. Pocket Instamatics overwhelmed me, so this was a pretty big jump.

1stGeniPodNano_ One day Tom came home with an early model of an MP3 Player. It was the size of a standard portable CD player, with about 1 gig of memory. I had no idea what to do with it. Over time I learned to use it, and it became a best friend. Then it broke. So Tom bought me a new iPod nano - the skinny one, with 2 gigs of memory. I was in love.

Shortly after I got this little nano I began walking regularly. I learned to create playlists, and started to really enjoy this form of exercise. I thought it would be fun to get a pedometer and see how many steps I took a day.

I saw that Nike had this little sports tracker thing called a Nike+ iPod , and asked if it would work as a pedometer. I was told it would, so I bought it. It doesn't. It did a great job of tracking my walks and telling me how far I'd gone and how fast I went. It also had nice people like Tiger Woods and Lance Armstrong and Jenny Hadfield telling me I did a great job, exceeding my last personal best at something. Kinda cool. I was hooked. NikeiPod


Read more here: www.PraiseWalker.com

Friday, July 17, 2009

Walking in a "maze" ment

On Wednesday I shared the experience I have with walking with a Rosary. Another cool meditation tool for walking is walking a labyrinth.
labyrinth

I heard about labyrinth's a few years back when I got very involved with studying Catholic Mysticism. After that I looked for opportunities to walk one, and while there aren't many around here, there are a couple - one at Kingsfold Retreat Centre, and one at the FCJ Christian Life Center

I love walking the Labyrinth because there's a slow rhythm, there's mindfulness, and there's peace. You go into the centre with something on your heart, seeking God's will, and come out with peace. It's a very long walk covering a very small space, and unless you've walked that particular labyrinth or pattern several times, you are always suprised at where you end up, at how the path unfolds. It's kind of like life. I just wish I could walk life with the same kind of mindfulness as I walk a labyrinth! :)

Read more here: www.PraiseWalker.com

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Walking and Meditation

Have you ever thought of combining your workout with meditation?

When I first started walking seriously, I was often bored by the lack of stimulation walking provided. I started in the early morning in the dead of winter, and there was nothing to see. Listening to music was awkward because it was all different beats. Listening to nothing caused my mind to wander in a thousand directions (I'm ADD) and I found that frustrating and exhausting.

Anglican Rosary

I had recently heard about the Anglican Rosary and as someone who is fascinated by all things contemplative, I had begun to explore it. Unfortunately it was hard to find the time to sit and meditate with it.

I finally landed on the idea of praying the Rosary while I walked. I typed up the prayers on business cards, filed them in a business card wallet with lots of pockets, and headed out the door.

Read More Here: www.PraiseWalker.com

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Viva Las Vegas

After being married for 7 years with 3 kids, a wobbly tummy and sagging breasts, I often wonder if I am still attractive to the opposite sex. I always think of myself as that pert and confident 21 year old but I’m actually a “slightly above average attractive woman in her mid thirties who could do with loosing some weight”. I know this because my friend recently told me so.

With the same friend, I set off to Las Vegas to celebrate her sister’s birthday. Having successfully infiltrated her sister’s group, I found myself at the stagette party of some-one else I had never met and knew nothing about. For both celebrations I was in a ridiculous outfit showing more skin than was really suitable and wearing painful shoes. However it was not without reward.

I met a Mexican who stared at my chest and had the hands of an octopus, maybe he thought my polite phrase of “so when did you arrive in Las Vegas?” in fact meant “I’m ticklish, please try me”. Then an English bloke who I couldn’t understand (and I’m English) repeatedly shouted the word “Southport” in my ear. He may have been saying “Old Trout” but I am confident it wasn’t an insult. Then later my bottom was pinched by a bald fat man in his 50’s who kept pretending to lasso me. Finally I was chatted up by a man wearing sunglasses in a very dark nightclub who kept licking his lips. Looking back I should have checked for fangs.

I had lots of fun on the weekend and on reflection I can say that yes I can still attract men but they tend to be weird. So being with some-one normal who loves me with all my wobbling, sagging and numerous other flaws is nothing to complain about.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Starting the New Challenge

Well, I had a good week off to rest from the race and plan my next move. First of all, let me update you on my weightloss results from "The Lord's Table"








It has been a challenging course, but it's working out many of the core issues for why I can't seem to get rid of these last 30 pounds or so. My mentor is just about the most encouraging person on the planet, so it's a joy to work through this with her. And it's free. If you're looking to lose weight, start here!

Read more here: www.PraiseWalker.com

Monday, July 6, 2009

Sunday's 5K Race

Yesterday I did a 5k walking race for "Pace Kids" at South Glenmore Park in Calgary. The day was perfect - Darlene Hull @ Race for Pacewe'd had a couple of good storms the day before, and so it was cool, fresh, and a little damp, but sunny. The course itself was through the woods so it was absolutely lovely.

Now I can do a 5k without breaking a sweat, any time of the week. However, I took this race quite seriously and worked to set a personal best goal for speed. I've been working hard on my form and wanted to see if it paid off.

The first thing that happened is that my iPod fritzed and so it took almost a kilometer for it to start working properly (I ended up laying hands on it and telling it to work in Jesus' name, and it hopped right to it! LOL! Gotta love the power of God in desperate situations!) I had set up a trio of tracks at different speeds - 167 beats per minute, 171 bpm, and 173 bpm (the actual track starts about 3 min. into that recording, if you want to see how fast I walk). I've NEVER consistently walked that fast before. I managed to complete most of the race at the 173 level. Pretty proud of myself.

Read more (and see more pics!) here: www.PraiseWalker.com

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Going "Walkabout" for Canada Day!

HAPPY CANADA DAY!


Canada Day Comments


Canada Day is here, and I'm celebrating by going "Walkabout". Here are the details:

Jenolan CavesJenolan Caves to Hill End
Your Blue Mountains journey begins in Jenolan Caves. Jenolan Caves is home to the oldest discovered open caves in the world, approximately discovered in 1835-49, featuring numerous Silurian marine fossils and calcite formations. From Jenolan Caves walk to Gulgong a gold rush town which was founded in the 1870s and then on to Mudgee in the Cudgegong River valley, which is now a wine producing region. From Mudgee continue on to Hill End which was established in the 1850s as a gold rush town. Hill End is also classified as a historical site by the National Parks and Wildlife Service.



The GREAT NEWS is that you can join me, because. . .

Find out how, here: www.PraiseWalker.com