It’s very early in the am on this 27th day of June. the 7 pm to 11 pm part of my shift was quite hectic. My phone was ringing off the hook and my brain busy fixing all the issues of the night in the rehabilation hospital world. My brain was tired . I was a bit shaky and on edge from all the night’s events. Some staffing issues getting the best of me and creating Choas in my work life. It was becoming one of those “Calgon take me away moments.” So I did something I rarely am able to do . I left my office and took a break. Since we lack bathtubs I decided to leave the unit and walk the hospital.
It was 2 am and I took in the quietness of the hospital and took a good thirty minutes to just shut my brain off and relax. As I walked throughout the hospital I saw rooms and offices that I knew existed but even after my two years of employment had never experienced even a pass by. I visited the chapel and enjoyed the aroma of the candles that were burning in the prayer room. I didn’t take the opportunity to pray. I just stood there in complete silence and quiet. I closed my eyes for a moment and smiled as I remembered Nathan singing ” Be Still and Know that I am God”. God knows my heart and I am sure he could sense my tension.. Psalms 18:2 came to mind ” He is my Rock, My Strength, and My Shelter in Him I take refuge”
My walk took me down hallways I had never ventured. I saw the offices of the CEO’s and administrative staff of the hospital. I passed by the beauty shop. It was closed of course, but I noticed some of the hair products in the window were on clearance. I certainly may need to do some shopping during regular hours. I stopped by the employee lounge. The television was on to some weird show. I am guessing there is not much on at this hour of the morning. The basement halls were dark and gloomy at this hour and as I got close to a “T” in the hallway it was so dark I decided to turn around. Don’t know if the boogy man is hanging out down there.LOL All that is really down there is the hospital laundry faciltiy and I certainly didn’t want to get lost in a huge pile of patient gowns. On my way back to the unit I saw what time it was and realized I had been gone for 30 minutes and my phone did not ring once. Wow! an uninterupted break, what a rare treat for me.
As I returned to my office the paperwork that needed to be completed was still there. I again took just a few moments of quiet to ponder my journey. I thought about my goals, my struggles, and my accomplishments. I thought about my discouragements and the changes in my fitness and nutrition plans I had just recently made and the baby steps I am taking to get where I want to be. As I sit here and enjoy the last few moments of quiet, a few tears spill from my eyes. I am restless. I am weak and need to rebuild my strength. It is in those still, quiet moments on our journey that we realize that we are so worth it! It’s those moments of stillness and quiet that I smile and know that I am worth this journey.
Returning to my normal routine after returning from a week at camp has really been a struggle. It’s crazy what one week of fitness plans gone chaotic does to us. It is difficult to get motivated and build up the strength again, and the heat of course does not help the matter. The past few days I have done some journey soul searching. Reviewing my goals and dreams and realizing I need to slow down, sit back and refocus. My goals are not unrealistic but maybe I am just trying to tackle too much at once, It just comes down to figuring out the problem and finding a solution that will be successful for me.
I am having pain and cramping in my legs. I really noticed it alot last week in Kansas City while trying to run. Definitely a sign to slow down a bit. I don’t need to keep up or compete with anyone but myself. So I have slowed to a walk/jog for now. I will focus on listening to my body and build back up to running if my body allows. I will continue my strength training with my Beachbody workouts and at the gym and may add some swimming to my cardio routine. The wonderful thing about out journeys is nothing is set in stone. Our goals can be trashed, changed, or modified if needed. We can take the time needed to refresh and refocus. Our journeys are patient and kind.
My fitness goals are acceptable right now. It is just staying motivated to get it done. I just need to add some variety. I am one who tends to get bored of the same ol’ same ol’which is why I think I will add some water exercise and some classes at the gym to keep it exciting and fun and keep me motivated!
My nutrition on the other hand is the area that needs the most focus. I set goals and seem to fail each and every time. I hate the feelings of guilt and tears that come with the failures. So.. this is where I refresh, refocus, and plan. I must rid of this nutrition monster once and for all. This is the area that I may actually be trying to tackle too much at one time. I am a snacker. I love sweets and can tend to keep eating past the point of full. So to tackle this problem I am doubling my daily water intake. I am trying to schedule my Nanolean at the times I tend to snack the most. Usually the slight sweetness of the nanolean drink satisfies the sweet tooth and fills me up as well. This is only a baby step. But baby steps it will be for now. I want to have success. And this step should widdle away at the snacking and definitely be a plus for the water intake. Staying hydrated will also help with the hot weather running. I was going to wait and start at the first of the month, cause I am a first of the month type of gal when it comes to making changes. But I am starting today. Afterall what better time to start chasing this monster away from my journey than the right now! So… here we go, June the 26th marks the day the monsters are being chased away!
I had many set backs on this journey. After 5 knee surgeries I began speed walking and actually became quite fast. My family and co-workers were all signing up for the Lincoln half marathon and suggested I sign up to speed walk it. That evening I logged on to Sparkpeople and asked a Lincoln friend on there if she would consider walking it with me. In a couple of days she had accepted my invitation and even though we had not met in person yet we were walking partners.
Early in our training I began having some severe stomach issues that took me to see my family physician, who ordered a scan and resulted in surgery. The surgery itself went well but set me back in my training. I did compete in the half marathon and finished my very first one at 2 hours 45 minutes.
This past 8 days I worked at a camp for kids with Tourette Syndrome and Aspergers. This camp has been a part of my journey for the past 15 years. Before I left I had made a workout plan and had even packed some of my own food. This week’s camp was busier than planned so I didn;t meet my workout goals for the week. And even though I brought some of my own food I choose to eat what the camp had fixed. It was typical camp food and I did try and eat in moderation. I did feel a bit guilty and became anxious that my plans were not going as well. The times I did run it was so humid and my legs would not move and I was cramping up. I don’t handle the heat and humidity well, even here at home. So here am I now trying to get motivated to get back on track again.
At camp I met Brooke. Brooke has Tourette Syndrome and has severe tics. She tries to remain positive and keep up with her daily activities but I know that the tics cause pain. Her tics are so severe that she needs to have extra snacks during the day cause they burn os many calories. Brooke inspires me to continue on and not give up. I am home now and ready to kick in gear and get moving again. It is crazy how 8 days can set one back so much! I feel weak and out of shape. But I will continue to take small steps to success!! Thank you Brooke for a bit of an attitude adjustment!
Here I sit on my bed in the health hut at the Joshua Center Camp for kids with neurological disorders. Carolyn, Lisa, and I are prepared for the campers to arrive tomorrow. Let the Chaos begin! Tomorrow we will begin to pass hundreds of pills to very anxious campers. This will be the younger kids and many have never been away from home. The young adult campers arrived this evening. Having been here the past 15 years I have watched many of these kids grow up and now here they are as young adults. If only they knew the impact they have had on my journey. Teaching me lessons of acceptance and patience.
I don’t know what my journey would be like if a week every year was not spent here in Lee’s Summit, Mo serving 120 children and young adults with Tourette Syndrome and Aspergers. a journey of special kids. Kids like Zach who only eats cream of wheat and peanut butter and cheese sandwiches. Or Alex who can tell you the artist of just about any song and the year it was released and is totally the camp comedian, or at least thinks he is LOL Each camper unique yet all of them socially awkward. And each looking for that someone who cares and treats them like a regular kid.
As I scan the health hut it is packed with medical supplies. There are stacks of pill boxes just waiting to be filled. Medication cards to be filled out. Pens, highlighters, labels, and totes. The coffee pot is filled and ready to brew in the morning for the staff. I will wake up early and run a few miles, then get cleaned up, eat a quick bite and smile at the chaos as the campers arrive. It is such an awesome opportunity to be a part of this journey of special kids.
I decided to go to nursing school shortly after my son Nathan was diagnosed with Tourette syndrome at the age of 6. Nathan had spastic, odd movements , and a lot of throat clearing, and odd vocals. I remember the day his dad and I took him to the neurologist after much testing for numerous other conditions. We were in the office for 5 minutes when Dr Scheer diagnosed him with Tourette Syndrome. Not knowing much about this disorder his dad and I started doing research and began a support group in our area.
After a few years we met Becky from the Joshua Center who runs a clinic specializing in this neurological condition. Becky also runs a summer camp every year. She asked us if we interested in working at the camp. There are several job opportunities at camp. One is a cabin counselor. Working with a co-counselor and caring for 6 boys or girls with Tourette syndrome or Asperger diagnoses or some both. The accommodations include bunk beds with a very thin mattresses and no electricity. In the middle of summer..hmmmm ? The other option was nursing. I was a medical assistant at the time with really no intentions of returning to school. But the accommodations are beds with thin mattresses and AIR CONDITIONING and ELECTRICITY… Bonus. So I worked the first few years as a medical assistant under the supervision of a nurse while I attended nursing school. I am now the health manager and this next week will be my 14th year working at camp. Each year I meet kids that challenge me, make me laugh and teach me so much!
Nathan has been both a camper and a cabin counselor. In fact last year he and his girlfriend at the time, Bree, worked at camp one week before their wedding. Speaking of Nathan… Growing up with Tourette’s was not easy. He took a lot of ridicule from both his fellow school mates and even some of his teachers. His dad and I always taught him to learn ways to deal with it. Nathan was very smart and was in many of the gifted program classes at school. Nathan ran cross country and track. He was in the high school musical and even with his tics and all he had a leading role and sang a solo. Soon, everyone knew Nathan and the boy who was once ridiculed so much became an inspiration by teaching his fellow students, teachers, coaches, friends, and his family about acceptance. Nathan was a main speaker at his graduation. The words of his speech are still clear in my head today. ” Go out there and make a difference in someone life”.
Nathan went on to college and graduated with his pastoral ministries degree. He does plan of continuing on for his Master’s at some point. He now ministers and makes a difference in the lives of many families in the little town of Suring, Wisconsin. This next week is camp week. Myself, Carolyn, and Lisa ( The Elite nurses) will pass hundreds of medications to 100-120 campers and treat bug bites, sunburns, scrapes, and bruises and…. tics. along with the other 40+ staff that make camp happen to make a difference in the lives of these kids. And of course these campers will change us somehow and also make a difference in our lives as well.
Yesterday my plan was to run 3 miles. At almost the mile point it started to rain and lightning. Then the hail came. I don’t do hail, hail hurts. So I took the rest of my run to the gym track. I had a great pace going and actually did not seem tired. My thoughts were of Nathan. He is having some struggles with a little depression and not sure how long his ministry at this small town church will last. I thought of his struggles growing up. I laughed out loud remembering our road trips where Nathan would talk non stop for hours. Aren’t kids supposed to nap in the car? Nathan was a sports fanatic. He was reading the sports page at the age of 8. He collected baseball cards and memorized not only stats but players birthdays. Really? Who memorizes that? No Nathan we are not buying a birthday card for Sammy Sosa. I remember the words quoted from Nathan on his Senior Resume video. ” God will take my Tourette’s and use me”. I became a nurse because of Nathan. I run because of Nathan. I want to make a difference in people’s lives because of Nathan. If someone were to ask me who my biggest inspiration is.. I would answer… A little boy with Tourette’s
It was after a year long recovery process from my 3rd out of 5 knee surgeries that my fitness journey really began. My 3rd surgery was a last resort right knee replacement. A contracture made for a complicated long recovery. I thought I was never going to graduate from physical therapy. I wore a heavy contracture brace to bed for several months and still do not have complete flexibility or extension in the knee.
After a brief surgery on the left to buy more time before a necessary total knee replacement. Our family purchased a Wii and a Wii fit. I stayed committed with a daily routine and lost my first 20 pounds. I began casual walking on a consistent basis as well My Left total knee went much better since I had lost weight and was in a bit better shape and totally amazed the surgeon when I was off crutches and doing the Wii fit and walking again at only 4 weeks.
I soon began to power walk and competed in several 5k and 10k road races. A year after my 5th knee surgery at the age of 39 I decided to power walk my first half marathon with a power walking partner, who now at the age of 60 is a running machine. My feet touched the finish line at 2 hours 45 minutes. I must call this my biggest accomplishment. So many people who told me I shouldn’t do it or I couldn’t do it. I surprised them all.
This past year and a half I have trained even harder. I began Les Mills Pump and Combat and gained muscle. I became addicted to fitness. Fitness has become my passion. This past May I actually ran my 5th half marathon and finished at 2 hours 22 minutes. I have ran numerous 5k and 10K road races. And although I know I still have lots of growth and learning on this journey. I am able to move forward because of my previous accomplishments. I never look at my knee and pain issues as disabilities but instead as challenges. Challenges… that with dedication, commitment, and passion undress the dreams of this journey. It’s that dedication, commitment, and passion that will take me to even more… finish lines
I have been in constant struggle with the nutrition portion of my fitness journey. This struggle finds me disappointed in myself and heartbroken at continued failures. I have been logging my food pretty consistently lately and some of it is good and of course a lot of it is very poor habits I have developed over the years. I had a friend ask me the other day, what I wanted to change in my nutrition/ diet plan? Well of course there are many things that need improvement. But one major item for me is to cut way back on my sugar intake. It is proven that it is sugar that is the cause of belly fat and flab. Granted I don’t have a ton of belly flab and for a 48 year old lady my abs are not to shabby. However, I would like to add more definition. I know I’m a lady who is just never satisfied. LOL! Of course the change is for a healthier me as well!. So tonight at work we had computer downtime so I had some time to sit at my desk and ponder a plan of attack!
I have come to the conclusion that a major cause of my struggle with nutrition is the thinking I can cut back or eliminate everything at once. This task is way to difficult for me and why cause heart ache? I must realize it is going to take baby steps to have success and win victory over this part of my journey. So I am developing a baby step plan of attack. And I will work on one item at a time instead of trying to tackle everything at once.
The blue prints to cut back and almost eliminating sugar from my diet.
1. Cut back to 3 protein bars a week for the next 4 weeks. I added more protein bars to my diet when I began cutting back on cakes and cookies. After much research I find they have just as much sugar. After 4 weeks cut back to 2 bars a week and continue on until they have been totally eliminated. Once these have been eliminated then we will begin whittling away at the next culprit.
2.Cakes, cookies, or candies need to be a special treat and definitely a rarity. If I happen to snack on one of these scrumptious and delicious items I will exercise an extra 10 minutes. That should make me think twice before grabbing on e of these treats. Do I have the time or do I want to do additional exercise?
3 Since it is time to start a new book, I am adding to my blueprints the book ” Salt Sugar Fat, How the Food Giants Hooked Us” By Michael Moss. I am adding this to my blueprint design and development in hopes it will give me more insight in to what is in our food.
This is the plan for now. I will continue to take baby steps on this journey and plan on reaching success in achieving my goals. My fitness plan will remain the same as I continue with Beach Body’s Turbo Fire along with some running, biking, and water exercise. The goal to end the heartache lies in my development of the blueprints to success!