Wednesday, September 30, 2015

I might not be a pro; but I'll never hang up my bag:)

     To think there was a day that I was totally obsessed with golf, and now I haven't played in a million years.  But last weekend I actually dusted the cobwebs off my clubs.

     My friend and leapfrog teammate, Kelly, asked me to play in a golf outing at Giant Oaks Golf Club.  Her dad was doing a fund raiser for the MS Society.  Kelly also has MS and this was their third annual golf outing.  Ironically, this was the very first place I played golf; back in the day of dinosaurs, when "woods" were actually made of wood:)
     I honestly had no idea how I would do because this would be the first time playing with all of my bionic hoopla:)  At least I could look the part if nothing else! (the brace is just an accent piece!)

     Luckily, it was a scrambles, so I was able to rely on my three teammates to have a good shot if mine tanked.  They assured me they had no problem carrying me if they had to... I don't think they knew I might take them literally:)

       As it turned out, Mike was the one carrying the team, while Jason claimed to be the comic relief:)

     It was apparent that I wouldn't be playing on the LPGA tour anytime soon, but I actually found my swing again:)

     And I knew it wasn't about the score; Kelly and I had an ulterior motive, and that was to help raise money for MS research, and just have fun:) 
     I really miss these guys!  I know they don't look like the head covers of a serious golfer, then again, I don't claim to be serious:)
     And I know most people are focused on their next shot but I was more focused on the awesome sky!

     I had to remind myself we had a tournament going on...

     And of course, as I remembered, with fall golf comes leaves, and the real challenge was not losing your ball.  Note to self... pink, not the best choice...

     I had forgotten how long eighteen holes actually was, and by the end my legs were feeling it (or not feeling...), but I was just happy to be out on the course again:)
        So this day confirmed that nothing is ever really gone for good; sometimes we just have to find a different way.  And you know my motto:  Where there's a will, there is one:)

Have a great day!!


Monday, September 28, 2015

Use your out-door legs!!

     Last Friday, the plan was to go on another "Critical Mass" ride, like the one I went on a couple months ago.  If you remember, it was hundreds of cyclists riding through downtown Detroit. I'll admit it was a real challenge, and at the time I said "never again".  But they were going to have one final ride of the summer and I thought why not...

     However, that morning the plans fell apart and I wouldn't be going on the the ride after all.  So my Friday night was wide open and I wanted to find another way to entertain myself; but how??

     I could take a bike ride by myself and get some more cool pictures of the awesome flowers in our parks, but I've already taken pictures of most of the parks in this area.

     I know my mom loves flowers, but she doesn't ride a bike.  When it comes to outdoors, my bike has become my legs.  As soon as I walk outside I turn into "the tin man".  Meet my doppleganger!!

          Taking a walk in a park takes me forever if I rely on my legs.  The good news is, my mom wasn't in any hurry; in fact, she loves my pace!!

     But why go to a park where we have to walk a mile just to find flowers, when we can find millions of flowers at the Botanical Gardens!  So that's what we did:)
    Being that this garden wasn't a bike trail, I hadn't been here in forever, so I had forgotten how amazing it was.  We could find scads of flowers without even walking ten feet.  Maybe that's what we would do...
     But as we started sauntering along, we realized between the two of us, we were in absolutely no hurry; if it took all night to make our way through the garden, than so be it.

       I've encountered many bridges on my bike trails, but it's been a while since I walked over one.  But if you saw this view in the distance, wouldn't you make the effort to check it out!?
     And I'm so glad we did; once we got to the bridge it was as if we had crossed over to OZ!

    There's no denying I love my bike rides, but stopping to gaze endlessly at a babbling brook isn't usually something we do on a bike ride.  Though like I said, my mom was in no hurry:)  We even sat and just talked and talked... that was priceless:)
     On our way there we had some concern that we may have missed the summer flowers at their peak; but as you can see, we hit it at a perfect time, because the summer beauty hadn't left, though the fall colors were here as well.
     If I had to spend all evening getting to this point it was well worth the walk.

     And this cute little bunny agreed it was a perfect day for a stroll:)
                                   Still Summer??
     I think this is where summer meets fall...

                           And this is fall for sure...
          I know this is a lot of pictures and you could just scroll down to where I say have a great day... but I can't help myself because these pictures were all free!!  Besides, I'm almost done, so it isn't gonna kill you to look at two more:)
     See, I knew if we held out, we would find those pink flowers!!  Right!?!?

           I don't know what I enjoyed more; the time with my mom, the flowers, or just revisiting my out-door legs... I think it was all of the above...  It is funny though, my mom said that the evening was so nice and she never tired out.  I reminded her that we also walked at a snail's pace... but then I corrected myself... if we were in a race, I think the snail would have won!! :)  

     I may have captured a lot of awesome pictures that day, but the time with my mom was the real prize:)

Have a great day!!


Friday, September 25, 2015

Is it MS or am I just old??

     Living with MS for over 30 years has definitely been an interesting journey.  It's a constant challenge just trying to be a mediator as my brain and body battle it out.  The more they refuse to communicate, the harder I have to  work at building new escape routes, so my muscles can continue to work.

     The good news is, I'm a fighter, and if I just work out every day and don't put junk in my body I can be in total control, and hopefully I won't fall apart.  Then just for added measure, I also take a boat load of calcium just to make certain my bones stay super strong.


    Even in the winter months I ride my bike indoors, and along with strength training, the treadmill, and yoga, there is no way my body can fail me.

      As if that wasn't enough, I even worked with a Physical Therapist so I knew exactly what to do to stay strong.
        So the day of my yearly physical I went in very confident that my doctor would tell me I was doing everything right and I was as healthy as a horse... 

     Imagine my surprise when she told me my bones weren't the strongest bones she's ever seen, nor was my cholesterol absolutely perfect.  I asked her what more I could do, because I thought I already was doing my very best.  But she said she wasn't concerned and told me to just keep doing what I'm doing.

     My first thought was that obviously my best was a waste of time, and maybe I would do just as well sleeping in til noon and then having a hot fudge sundae with fruit loops on it for breakfast. (You know I didn't, but I wanted to...).

     Ironically, the next day, after I did my workout I got the mail and I happened to find an MS magazine.  On the front cover was a sub title "Is it MS or old age".  Of course I flipped right to that article because I certainly wanted to know.

     It mentioned that people with MS typically experience bone loss faster than normal due to calcium deficiency, and it stated that cholesterol is usually higher in people with MS as well. Hmm...  So I started thinking... what would happen if I was to roll over and give much worse would I be...

     My Neurologist appointment was later that week, and he told me he was extremely pleased to see how strong I've kept myself after living 30 years with MS.  So I guess I'm doing something right after all.

     My take away from this informative week was: I can work as hard as possible and be happy with my best, or I can give in to what ever life "decides" is my best.  I might not be able to control what my crazy body does, but you better believe... I'll sure give it a run for it's money:) 

Have a great weekend!!



Wednesday, September 23, 2015

One final leap for the leapfrogs!!

       It seems like the Bike To The Bay was forever ago and now we're finally down to the last two weeks to turn in money for Team Leapfrog.  And you know I don't quit until the very end:)

     My super amazing friends, and fellow Leapfrogs, Mary and hubby Kent, wanted to have one last little send off bash for the frogs, in the hopes of squeezing a few more bucks out for our team. 

     Mary made several attempts to hold it at her daughter's coffee shop, The Bleak House, a while back, but due to some conflicts, they ended up scrambling at the last minute to make sure to beat the cut off date.  But she did it!

How sweet is this girl!!

     Because of such short notice the crowd was lighter than we had hoped, but there was no denying it was full of leapfrog fans:)

     A few local musicians generously gave their time to entertain the group, and we couldn't have been more grateful.
          We just so happened to have some spare pink Leapfrog shirts on hand, and it didn't take much convincing to get even the guys to wear them:)
     Is this a typical "hen party" or what!?!?  A bunch of guys standing around talking about "guy stuff", wearing pink frog shirts:)  Hey, for us Leapfrogs, anything!!

     This guy below is Tom, one of my fellow Leapfrogs; he lead a 12 mile ride before the event, which conflicted with my schedule, so I wasn't able to ride, but next time for sure!!

          I know MS isn't on it's way out anytime soon, but I also know neither are all of my awesome buds.  If we all just stick together we can totally kick some MS butt!!  And I won't quit until the score is Frog 1 - MS none:)

Have a great day!!


Monday, September 21, 2015

It might be a rainy day outside, but it didn't stop us from going to the park:)

     Remember last weekend when it was 49 degrees and I said sitting inside drinking coffee sounded like a better idea than riding my bike...  Well, this past Saturday was a rainy day and I thought a much better idea would be to soak up some sunshine with my grandbabies:)

          I've seen some absolutely beautiful trails lately, but none that come even close to the smiles of my little cuties!!  Unlike flowers, these two seem to be growing right before my eyes, so I want to capture the moments when I can.

      My daughter Emily, the boys, and I, have spent many  Saturday afternoons at the mall lately, and it was time to have a change of pace.  However, going to a park would be a big muddy mess, for certain.  But that was okay, we went to an indoor park.

       This was called Playland.  Whoever invented it is a genius!  It doesn't matter what the weather is like outside It's always a nice day here.
     And the only way they could be any safer would be if they were in a rubber room (I know I've had days where I could have used one...). This place could put the "band-aid" company out of business...

       Connor certainly thought an indoor swing was a great idea!  The best thing since sliced bread (hard to believe sliced bread got so much rave...).

        And William was able be the monkey that he is, while the rubber floor is right there to catch his fall.  A lot different than the asphalt playgrounds I grew up with... (that would explain a lot!)
          This has to be a mother's dream.  The smile on Emily's face is proof:)  What's not to love??
          And with all this energy William is exerting, you can be sure he'll be tired when bedtime rolls around (and if I could read Emily's mind... I'm sure that's exactly what she's thinking).
           This is better than the most brilliant  sunset on any old bike ride; William's smile lights up the room on it's own:)
     And I just love my Connor-Grandma time:)  They said he had to wear socks, but you can see that was going to be short lived.
     This little contraption sure entertained William, but if it was in a living room I'm sure he would have plowed right into the TV... Boys and their cars...
          I know I have a million pictures of my favorite trails, but this day... these pictures, hands down, are the winners!!

Have a great day!!


Friday, September 18, 2015

Only crazy people ride in 49 degrees; call me crazy:)

          I know all seasons have to come to an end, but I'll never welcome the end of riding season.  Last weekend I got a taste of what was just around the corner; It was only 49 degrees, and I was going to be taking a bike ride.

     Three of us were planning to start at Pearson Park and make our way out from there.  But I wasn't looking forward to freezing my fingers off.  As you can see I had to pull out my winter bike jacket from the back of the closet.


         My riding buddies, however, were all gung ho; one in short sleeves and the other dressed for a blizzard.
     My suggestion was to ride around Pearson park and see how it went, and then we might venture on further if we felt like it. (Though inside drinking coffee sounded like a better idea...)

     Pearson Park has a bike trail, and half of the one-way road is a designated bike lane as well.  But as you can see below, I was having nothing to do with this gravel bike trail.  I must be developing a reputation, because my riding buddies saw it and immediately knew I would be geeked out.  No worries, we took the bike lane:) 

             The scenery from bike lane was much nicer anyway; I mean, you've seen one wooded bike trail, you've seen them all...

          No ponds like this beuty on the bike trail...
     We even saw a couple guys fishing; I could have been up for that if I could convince someone to put the worm on my hook... yuck!!

     However, the most breath taking moment was when we stumbled upon this huge field of wild flowers you see below...
         I sure wish you could have been on the ride with me because this picture didn't do it justice; it was amazing!!  I wanted to get off my bike and get right up to them... and I did:)
     Still not close enough...

     I've never seen anything like this in my life! Like the field of poppies in the "Wizard of OZ", only pink!!  And I sure wouldn't have seen it sitting inside drinking coffee:)

     Hang on... I'm not done showing you!! RIGHT?!?!

          We eventually made it out of the park and onto the "real bike trail" off the main road; somehow I had forgotten all about my cold fingers after my eyes were warmed up, and I was glad I decided to ride that day after all.

          I'm sure there are more warm days ahead before the season ends, but I know winter isn't too far off either.  I just have to keep reminding myself that just because something doesn't seem like a good idea at the time; doesn't mean it's not:)

Have a great weekend!!