Friday, November 29, 2013

It's just too cold; I'll ride to warm weather!

     With cold weather here it's time to have a plan to make it through til spring;  it's just too cold so I'll ride to warm weather!  Of course we know I tucked my road bike in for the season but that doesn't mean I can't take a "road trip".

     When I rode outside over the summer it was so nice looking at all of the scenery and wild life, but as I've transitioned to riding indoors I don't have that luxury anymore.  I'm forced to stare at the same four  walls day after day.  We know playing mind games with myself is how I operate so I needed to come up with a strategy to make it through the winter.

     I decided I would take a road trip!  Up north is way too cold, but a road trip down south would be perfect:)  So on my bike I went.  I estimated the miles I go in an average week and if you add the bike and treadmill, I'm clocking in at about 50 miles a week or 200 a month.  The hard part of getting started is behind me and now I'm well on my way;  I'll just keep riding and by spring I will have taken the most amazing road trip  "imaginable".  With my calculations I will have racked up about 1300 miles  by the time The-Bike-To-The-Bay gets here, which is a whole a lot of riding for sure; but I've got all winter:)

Come along for the ride:)

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

If only the flu "flew the coop"


  Having MS is challenging enough on it's own so I make it a yearly ritual to get a flu shot.  I would rather be proactive  than reactive when it comes to my health.  

     With a compromised immune system already, I could probably get the flu just by thinking about it.  Have you ever been around someone who tells you they have the flu and immediately you start getting this sick feeling in your stomach?  There is nothing worse.

     After I get a flu shot I feel like I've been given a magic bullet and all of a sudden I'm invincible.   Then when someone comes up to me and says they don't feel well I can confidently reply "looks like someone needs a hug..."

     It was getting that time of the year and I knew I needed to get my shot before it was too late.  Ironically, as I was driving down the street I saw this huge sign that read "GET YOUR FLU SHOT TODAY!"  I couldn't believe it!  Someone actually put up a sign just for me!!  Now I knew I had to do it.

     When I got to the pharmacy the pharmacist asked if he could help me (that was a loaded question).  I replied "I would like to get a flu shot..." that's not true, I wouldn't like a shot, "let me rephrase that... I need a flu shot", again there was no one holding a gun to my head forcing me to get one...  The Pharmacist jumped in, "so your here for a shot:)" "yes!"

     He handed me a form to fill out that had about 200 questions on both sides.  I was getting ready to pull out my passport and offer up my first born child.

     One of the questions had me perplexed.  It read "medical conditions"; followed by a line about one inch long.  I called the pharmacist over... "Here's a question for you..., this says medical conditions... is this a YES/NO question because I could write a book!"  "No"  he replied, "they just want a brief history".  So on that one inch line I squeezed in the words MS/breast cancer.  I'll leave the book for another day.

     The next comical question... "any previous reactions to injections?"  The first 1500 over the past eleven years never caused any problems but this next one just might put me over the top:)  As it is, right now I'm a walking pin cushion. I feel like I should carry a disclaimer "caution,  If you see me drinking water please step back to avoid sprinkler".

     After all the red tape, I was finally able to get my shot and soon I was ready to face the world; the only disappointing thing to this whole ordeal was when I looked down and noticed no cartoon characters on my bandage... I guess there comes a time in my life where I just need to be a big girl once and for all:)

* We finally have dates! Check out the BIke-To-The-Bay page:)

Happy Thanksgiving!



Monday, November 25, 2013

My team just keeps growing

     My team in the beginning consisted of only me (of course that crazy fool that though I should ride  better be riding too!)  At first I thought it would be like pulling teeth to get my team together.  As I started talking about it, more and more people came forward, and I was in total shock by the takers I would least expect to commit.  

     All of my friends from DMC have sure gotten an ear full about my quest, and I knew I might be able to rope one or two of them into my web.  Maryann was the first one to commit to the challenge, Jean was soon to follow.  Before long Karen was totally inspired and knew she needed to take the leap as well.

     I had a few of my "team leap frog" shirts made up and  and thought who better to test them out then some of the awesome ladies at DMC.  If they work for them then I'm sure they'll work for the many, many others down the road.  I mean, pink is a no brainer right?! If I do happen to find one or two guys that are too manly to put on a pink shirt I'm sure I can throw in a white one or two, but I'm betting I can convince them all:)

     My brother Doug (remember the motorcycle??)  He said he has no problem with pink!  But if he's gonna make a statement he wants to go big.

     His plan is to loose the sleeves and sport a green Mohawk.   I know defacing the flag is illegal, but my team shirt??  I guess I should be thankful he wants to ride; I say "you go!!" 

Have a great day!


Friday, November 22, 2013

How will they find me?

     So now that I had this website created I had to figure out how to get people to remember me.  Sure, when I walk up to someone and tell them all about it, the thing they remember most is how much I can talk, but ask them the name of my website and they probably couldn't tell you.

     However, if I had cards made up, then after I leave and all they remember is how much I can talk, they'll look at the card and say oh... that's what she said:)

     Pretty cool card huh?!?!  I know you probably can't read the web address from the picture above, but if you're reading this post then you're already here... Look up!! :)

     Now I just need to see how many of these cards I can pass out so people can find me!  How else am I going to get people to join or sponsor my team;)  I've got some time, wish me luck and spread the word!!

Okay... So here's a close up:)

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Introducing team leapfrog


     If I plan to have a team then we certainly need shirts.  I had a few made up just to start promoting my team and attempt to recruit members.   So here it is; this is my team photo. Yes, I said I have many people committing to ride on my team but after they see my shirts they may think again:)

     You and I know these shirts are just too cute, I mean pink... and then frogs... what's not to love?!  However, some guys may need a little persuasion to warm up to the idea.  Okay pink may be stepping outside the box, but the frogs are green so it all balances out:)  I have faith!

     Now my next step over the months ahead is to try to get as many people as I can on board with me.  If I show this shirt around enough then maybe the cute frogs will grow on people, and before long they'll feel like they're part of the family. 

     My goal is to try to have more frogs leaping over the finish line than imaginable so we can prove that this is all about taking that leap of faith.

     Please start thinking about it; if you're on the fence, jump over to my side:) I just know the up coming 25th celebration will be HUGE!  Help me kick MS's butt! We're so close already and I know I won't quit until it's over!

Have a great day!


Monday, November 18, 2013

My birthday!! 51 years and counting:)


  YAY!! Today is my 51st Birthday and I'm proud to say it:)  A lot of people like to forget about their birthdays as they get older, let alone announce to the world their age.  Last year when I turned fifty I was thrilled to make it a half of a century in one piece and was looking forward to the second half. November 18th makes me a Scorpio and according to the zodiac scorpios don't give up; I most definitely hold true to the sign.

     As the years go on, I thank God for every day and all the amazing people I've met along the way.  Sure when I was twenty I had less body aches and a lot more energy, and there were no signs of cancer or MS, but I'll take all the aches in the world for the great life experiences and friends I've made over the years.

     I was driving my car a while back and there was a song on the radio talking about wishing you were young again.  My 18 year old Daughter Lindsay said " do old ladies really ever wish they were twelve again?"  I said "not for one second..."  Then I processed the question again... "wait..."  I said, "are you calling me old?"  She replied "Well you are 50, what would you call it?"  Seasoned is the word I would use.  

   When it comes down to it, age is just a number, your life is what you make of it and I'm looking forward to celebrating many more birthdays to come:)

One more thing... Since it is my birthday, I figure this is my one chance to make a wish... So if you want to help my wish come true please pass this link on to just one person or as many people as you know, even share it on facebook:)  If nothing else, then just today!!  Please help me make a difference!! :)

Have a great day!!


Friday, November 15, 2013

My super powers


  I'm sure we've all wished we had super powers at one time or another, and while it's only a fantasy, I sometimes think I actually have them.  To be able to fly would be a great super power.  The contraption on my leg would make me think I have this gift.

     I cherish my "turbo leg" or "power pack"... okay, it's really a walkaide, but "turbo leg" sounds much cooler:)  Not only does it prevent me from tripping on my toe (most of the time...), but it opens up a whole lot of dialogue.  When I ride my bike I don't wear it because it's very cumbersome, but take away the bike and this tool is a godsend.

     When I volunteered at the last Bike-To-The-Bay it was very obvious.  This device actually does give me "super powers" because I can morph into anything my creative little mind can think of.  I can go from being "on house arrest" to "a sports injury" all in the drop of a hat.

      On the second day of the Bike-To-The-Bay  they were calling for  light rain, so I wanted to avoid a power outage on my "turbo leg".  Since last year, they've come out with a protective cover,  but before that I had to improvise.  This actually worked out to my advantage.  I wrapped it in this pink scarf and all of a sudden I was a Ninja!  When asked why the limp, I responded "This is nothing, you should see the other guy!"

     The local chapter of the National MS Society holds a monthly support group meeting and it just so happens they were having some people come to talk about Tai Chi classes.  This was perfect!  I can look like a Ninja:)  Of course they had to set me straight; Tai Chi is Chinese, a Ninja is Japanese... hey, tomato-tamoto:)  What ever... this was my chance!!

pretty scary huh?!  Lol

     It's all just a matter of perspective, but when it comes down to it, I really think we all have "super powers" in one way or another:)

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The outdoor riding season has come to an end


      Well it's finally time to put my bike into hibernation for the winter.  Where did the summer go?  Remember the bike trail I was riding on just a couple of weeks ago??  Look at it now! Snow?!?!  Seriously!?!?  And we're not even half way through November!  Not quite enough for a snowman but I was freezing my behind off taking these photos, then again the wind didn't help:)

    Of course now that means I have to try harder than ever to keep up my riding indoors so I don't have to start all over come spring.

     To think there was a day that I couldn't ride a stationary bike five minutes without getting bored out of my mind.  Now I find myself using it like a drug.  The natural high is amazing!

     So I've committed (with witnesses)  to riding after work three afternoons a week and I'll admit I usually dread getting started, but about twenty minutes in when I feel that first bead of perspiration roll down my face I remember why I'm there.

     Once again it's the mind games that keep me going; if I have to imagine myself riding across country then that's what I'll do.  As long as I keep focused I can do anything!

Have a great day!



Monday, November 11, 2013

Why am I here?

     Today I have a confession to make, and that is that I never really wanted to ride in the bike to the bay, nor did I ever see myself as a "blogger".  It was so much easier standing on the sidelines and being a "poster child" for why others ride. I'll be honest, the thought of actually riding scared me to death.  Then once I was talked into it I thought that was my way of doing my part. 

     Soon I admitted that I would try to ride my bike inside or outdoors 3 or 4 days a week to gain strength, on top of my other daily workout and I need to hold true to my word, so there's no backing out, which is also scary because I'm not a quitter.

     Before long I was also roped into starting a committee of others to help me on this mission of making next years Bike-To-The-Bay huge.  I never imagined having a website and blogging as well.  Sure I love to write stories, and my dream has been to publish a book someday, but with the millions of books out already, what would make a book from someone like me stand out from others?? Of course where there's a will, there's a way!

     When I started my blog I was way outside of my comfort zone, I had no idea how to do it or if what I had to say would interest anyone, let alone everyone. What if I ran out of things to write about?  Some people may say I don't know what they're going through, and I probably I don't, and some may be looking for me to give them a plethora of valuable information to live by.  All I have is what's on my mind, interesting or not... and with any luck I may be able to convince others to help me with my quest while I'm at it:)

     I began to wonder just how I would write things relatable to the whole world.  But then I started to realize that if just one person was interested in what I have to say then my job is done.  

      The pictures... I know if I see a story with just words I tend to skim over it, but if I see a picture then I feel like I can relate with the person telling the story.  By no means do I claim to be a super model, but if what they say is true, smiles are contagious, then if I can put a smile on just one face then it's worth it.

     So now that I've come clean I can continue to do what I love, and that's write, and hope more days than not I'll find others that can relate to me or at least get them thinking... Oh, and I'll still keep riding!

have a great day!


Friday, November 8, 2013

The files of my "myelin challenged" brain

   My brain and body don't always communicate like they're supposed to; I blame the loss of myelin for most of my craziness, though the thinking part is still intact.  I don't want to point the finger but that's why God gave us a pointer finger right... to point it:)  Life may be challenging, but I refuse to let it take me down, so I need a strategy.

     The way most people go through life trying to put all of their ducks in a row, I try to do the same with my thoughts.  I decided I needed a file cabinet to store all of the thoughts that help me stay positive  If you get a minute to check out my Pinterest boards you'll see just what makes me tick.

     On my boards I have nothing informational, educational or any useful household tips.  I simply use this as a space to store all the things that make sense out of life for me.  I've spent a lot of time searching for inspirational thoughts that give me hope, images that make me smile, and jokes that simply make me laugh out loud.

     Whenever I have a moment that I question "why", I go to my boards and say  "oh yeah, now I Remember!  It's amazing how the things that matter the most can get buried by things that aren't important.  Check it out and see if it doesn't put a smile on your face as well!

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Trading a motor for peddles


   What "biking" means to one person may not mean the same to another.   When I think of biking I know I'm giving my legs a real workout.

     My brother Doug thinks of "biking" in a whole different light.  The only workout his legs are getting is to start his motorcycle engine.  Not in a million years would I expect him to get on a bicycle again, but you know me, I just keep talking.

     I was super excited about riding in the Bike-To-The-Bay and I had to tell my brother and his family all about it.  His wife Billie said "Doug, let's ride in it!"  To which Doug replied "let's talk about it".  What a nice gesture, but I knew it was just that, "a gesture", or was it??

     A couple of weeks later I was talking with Doug and Billie again, Doug said " guess what... We're riding!"  I smiled in disbelief.  He said "I'm serious!"  He was talking to a friend who rode in this event the past, after a few questions Doug was in. His friend said maybe he'll ride again too. So Doug started doing research to see what kind of bike he needs to do the ride, joined a gym and  now he's on his way.

Of course I had to meet him halfway too:)

     I may not be able to solve world peace but I may get a few people back on their bikes.  It's a safe bet that Doug has no intention of scrapping his motorcycle, but I do believe next spring he'll be trading his motor in for peddles.

Have a great day!


Monday, November 4, 2013

Thank God for friends


  Preparing to ride in the Bike-To-The-Bay has been a true learning experience for me.  From discovering what kind of bike I need, what gadgets I need to get over the finish line safely and what my body needs to physically make the ride.

     In the process of training I learned that a flat tire is quite possible, wide tires are miserable, and hills along with wind can make my body feel like cement.  

     One very valuable discovery I made was that I am much stronger than I gave myself credit for and the harder I work at it the stronger I get.  As I've mentioned before, my strong leg is the leader and my crazy leg is the follower.  At the end of my ride I always coast into my driveway and then give my exhausted leg a chance to go back to normal.  Good strategy right!?

      But as time went on I also learned another important lesson, though my strong leg could go on for miles and miles, my weaker leg was useless on it's own.

     In the past I've been lucky and able to coast while crossing busy streets.  The timing has always been perfect.  On this last ride I wasn't as lucky.  As I was approaching a busy street I noticed a lot of traffic coming from both directions and I knew I would have to stop.  The cars were going 50 miles an hour so there was no darting out between them.

     Eventually I came to a complete stop and mind you, I had been riding my bike for almost twelve miles non-stop so my leg by this time was toast.

     Here was my dilemma... If I was to balance on the strong leg, my weak leg would take forever to pick up speed.  However, if I was to try to balance on the week leg I could come crashing down like a ton of bricks.  My decision was to balance on the strong, wait until there were no cars for about a million miles and push off with the weak leg, cross my fingers and hope for the best.

     Of course I made it across the street but not without breaking a sweat.  So now I have one more learning lesson to add to my list and that is... I may be strong willed and truly believe I've got this, but on the day of the ride I'll tell you this, I will not be riding alone:)

Have a great Day!



Friday, November 1, 2013

Could I ride my bike to work??

     It's only 4.3 miles from my home to my work and I've always wanted to ride my bike there just for kicks.  It couldn't be that hard, if you remember I rode 17.5 miles recently with my son.  My biggest dilemma was what route to take to get there in one piece with no or little bloodshed.   The route I always drive is down a road that has 50 mile an hour traffic and a very narrow bike lane.  Most of the people drive like maniacs!!

     There is another option and that is to go through a winding subdivision, which wouldn't be a straight shot but it would be safer.  My friend Jean Gist from DMC had a third option which I really liked a lot, or so I thought.  The bike route my son Matt and I took the other day which was back through a hilly rock quarry would be off the beaten path, but I would avoid all of the traffic and I wouldn't have to go through the winding neighborhood.  This route would also take me right to the main road about a half mile from my work.

     On a quiet Saturday afternoon I decided to give this route a test run.  For the "average Joe" this would be perfect; when I rode it with my 23 year old son Matt I felt very safe, but riding it on my own I pulled out my bag of "what ifs".  What if my tire slipped on a rock or a twig, what if I was halfway  up a hill and ran out of steam and flew backwards, or if I lost my balance and ended up with a major case of road rash, or worse,  requiring a full body cast...out in the middle of nowhere.

     After miles upon miles of nervous riding I was coming up to the area where I would leave the bike trail and join all of the motorists on the main road.  However, the road that connected the two happened to be about fifty yards of gravel.

   Out came the "what ifs" again.  What if my tires slipped on the gravel or what if I went so slow to make sure that didn't happen and then I stopped?  My crazy leg was already fatigued from over five miles of hilly riding and I may not have the strength to start back up again, on gravel no less.

     I did manage to make it to the main road, then subsequently  to my work unscathed, but it ended up being six miles in all.  That was a learning lesson for me.  I'll take that route again I'm sure, but doubtfully on my own.

     My route back home ended up being in the winding neighborhood after all, and it was a much more pleasant trip, not to mention a mile shorter.  Live and learn, the only way to know what works is to try, and I'll try anything once:)

Have a great weekend!