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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Where has she been?

Dear Blog,

I've missed you.  I still read lots of blogs, facebook and Instagram but I've strayed from blogging here and sharing my thoughts, food and shenanigams.  I want to change that but I don't know how often I 'll get to come here so for now, I'll just pop in here and there to document my life. 

Life is so short and things change within an instant and paulawannacracker is sort of my  "footprint" that I was here... Does that make sense?  It's also an awesome way to take the pulse of my life. 

Things are going well. I'm very happy. I continue to work out. Not so much to lose weight but because my soul needs it.  I still bike some and food is always in the center of my universe. Let me catch you up on what I've been doing.

 I've been working out at Kaia Fit. It's functional fitness and it's an awesome community of wonderful and supportive women. Today, I did three handstands. Who does that just before their 53rd birthday?  Me, that's who.

I've been embracing all facets of my gym.  We ended a 6 week program with fun obstacle courses.  Here I am going down a slip n slide of baby oil and shaving cream.  Life is teaching me to be more in the moment and it's awesome.

 What is even more awesome, is I get to share this workout with my daughter.  She was smarter than her mother. Instead of going down the slide, she had us drag her. Now why didn't I think of that? See, she's smarter than I.

I also been doing army craws. Ouch... my poor elbows. I'm learning to push myself  harder. You might think you're too old for certain activities but please, do not let that hold you back. I've been working out with some pretty awesome woman who are 50 and older and they're running, biking, swimming and kickin butt. It inspires me and well, I'm not taking anything for granted. Each day presents itself with good and bad... I'm learning to embrace it all.

I've had two high school friends pass suddenly and it's just another reminder to savor everything the day has to offer.

For instance, my husband... yes, my husband. After 14 years together, Daniel and I married. It was just he and I at the courthouse and it was very special.  The following weekend, our families celebrated with music, food and lots of laughter in our backyard. It was a perfect day.  My grands had a blast dancing.

Speaking of grands. I have a new granddaughter.  She just turned 1 years old. I'm truly blessed.

We planted a garden in our backyard and today, I made the best sandwhich in the world.  I am not exaggerating.  Sliced cherry tomatoes, avocado, salt and pepper on top of flaxseed bread. It was everything...

 I've been spending lots of time in the sun... As you can see, my hair is growing... thank goodness my chemo curls are almost gone.  Don't get me wrong, I was grateful for hair but there is only so much you can do with curly hair.

If you've followed my blog in previous years, you may remember my goal has been to lose weight.  Luckily, that goal has changed.  For over 1.5 I've been trying to lose 10 pounds so that I can have breast reconstruction surgery after my double mastectomy. The weight has not come off despite my efforts.  I was sad, but I got over it. My mantra was "it's all about the journey" and I held onto that but now, I  truly believe it.  My victories are that I am alive and enjoying my husband, children, grandchildren and a body that allows me to push it beyond "I can't do it."

I am capable of so much. I just needed to push past that voice that said: "It's embarrassing!"... "what will people think?."  "you'll look ridiculous."

I've grown alot these past 3 years. Cancer will teach you lessons that maybe you didn't want to learn but man... after the storm has passed... Life is truly magnificent.

Relish it... Do something silly. I promise you. You're your biggest critic.


Friday, September 5, 2014

What a busy month I've had. I don't know where to start. I had hoped to blog about my TRI training... but that just didn't happen.

Lately, the back of my car kinda looks like this.... I have my gym bag, my yoga mat, jump rope, hand bag, resistance bands, helmet and my bike.  Each day, I'm either doing a workout, trying to swim (more on that in a bit), biking or doing yoga flow.

I did take a week of vacation to celebrate my 53rd birthday. Getting older if complicated.  On one hand, you dislike getting older but truth be told, what's the alternative?  I'll take the birthdays thank you very much.

I wanted to celebrate my birthday in beautiful South Lake Tahoe. We stayed at this old lodge called the Lazy S. Lodge. It is right near Emerald Bay and right out our back door, was the bike trail.  A hot tub and swimming pool. Perfect location and this meant I didn't miss my training sessions. We rode our bikes to Pope Beach. Ate our lunch right and just basked in the sunlight. 

Pope Beach, South Lake Tahoe (Mt. Tallac in the back ground)

 I also did a little jogging.  I did two miles while Daniel rode along side me on the bike. Two miles was tough.  Maybe it was the elevation.

 My favorite part was just sitting at the beach... 

Isn't it glorious when you're able to get away from the hustle and bustle?

When we returned to Sacramento, I still had a week of vacay.  I wanted to maximize this time off with training.  About Training.  It doesn't look like I"ll be doing the Triathalon.  Swimming is just so hard and I cannot for the life of me master the breathing. I've not given completely up... I'm not going to lie. It's discouraging but I really want it so I'll keep trying.

Instead of the TRI, I'm going to do the Granite Man Dualathon.  I first went to scout out the location.  Granite Beach.  Here I am...

I had the best luck. There was a guy who had done the Granite Man several times and was just returning from riding the route.  He offered to do the ride with me.  I know it's not safe to ride with random strangers but there were several people out there.  

Man, those hills were tough. Lots of sharp turns. The picture above is the easy part. 

I finished the route and now at least I know what I'm in for....

I am really excited. The scale isn't going down. I am still NOT losing weight. They say portion control is 80% of weight loss and well, I need to stop fighting that...  I get depressed that I'm not losing weight but I'm super excited that I'm stepping out of my confort zone and living each day...

What else can I ask for, right?

Friday, August 1, 2014

Happy Friday... Can you believe it's already August?  Where is my summer going.

Speaking of summer. Man was it hot in Sacramento.  After work and blogging, I got in my car and headed to Kaia Gym.  Once there, I popped open my trunk.  This picture kinda makes me smile.

Just look at the crap I have in my trunk:

Bike Lock
Gym bag (with toiletries and work clothes)
Resistant bands
yoga matt
kaia bag for swings

You should see what I have in the front seat.  Mesh bag with:

swim cap
bike shorts

Crazy, right?

On bike night, I am always a little frustrated starting out.  Getting my bike out of the car is a pain.  Once out, I need to put my wheel back on and connect my front brake. I have yet to manage this without stress.

Once out on the road, we practiced hills on the American Bike trail. It was HOT out there. At least 100 degrees.  It was hard to concentrate on the hills because once I got up, I was so light headed. I got so light headed three times that I had to stay back from the others. There are times I am so happy that my body allows me to do so much, and then there are times that it JUST BONKS OUT on me.


After an hour, I was ready to call it a night.

On our way back to the gym, we stropped to check on a group standing on the side of the trail. There was another woman sitting down with her head in her lap. Apparently, I'm not the only one bonking out. Biking is so different from other sports. You really need to fuel and hydrate property. I'm pretty sure I bonked out because I hadn't eaten since lunch. I definitely  need to make me some protein/carby type snack to eat before heading out and while on the road.

Coach said fueling is a big part of biking.  I have so much to learn in these 10 weeks.  Slow and steady, right?  Keep showing up Paula... it's not about the destination. It's all about the journey.  Keep pedaling.

Sometimes you just gotta talk yourself down from the tree.

Have an awesome weekend.  Do you have any fun plans?

Thursday, July 31, 2014

showing up

Happy Thursday all.  I hope you are staying cool?  Cuz it's warm here in Sacramento. 

It's my third week of TRI training. I cannot believe I kinda swam a lap and made it to 12 feet. It was scary but I learned something at my half-way point... For a second, I was going to panic. I kept calm and knew that if I just kept my head down, kicked and moved my arms, I would make it. I MADE IT.  It wasn't pretty. But my team (pictured below) kept chanting YOU KAN DO IT.  It was pretty empowering. Love the woman at Kaia Fit.

You have no idea how I feel in the water. My heart is racing like crazy. I feel it in my chest but I know I have to push through it. If it wasn't for this one coach, I probably be holding onto the side of the pool.

I am not sure if I will be anywhere ready to compete come September 21st.  I didn't join the team to compete. I was doing it for the challenge.  I figured by SHOWING UP I might learn something and maybe by some great miracle, I'd learn to swim. 

After Monday's workout, I some how have allowed myself to entertain the idea of actually swimming a 1/2 mile. I've biked 11 miles before and even ran a 5k but I've never done 3 events back to back.  I wake up in the mornings and head to the gym and the thought "paula you are insane... act yoru age woman!" but I push it aside and decide to SHOW UP.  The fact that I'm showing up is awesome enough...  or so I thought. 

Here's the thing. I haven't wanted something so much in a long time. I am working hard.  I want to learn how to swim.  I fight the feeling of being mediocre every time I show up.  But I decide to be present.  I decide to work harder. I have a private swimming lesson tomorrow. I'm committed to using my lunch hour to practice. Who knows, just maybe... just maybe I'm a contender?

The world is full of surprises.

Later gators, I'm off to bike ride... Next up... HILLS.

Stay good.


Friday, July 25, 2014

Hola, how was your week? I hope it's been filled with a little adventure. I've been moving office locations.  I work in 2 departments and cover for a 3rd.  The upside to this move is I am back in a small house and I have inherited a wonderful executive desk and a window.  I snapped this picture today and I noticed two things... First, I love that my skin is so brown.  That's from all my outdoor activities. The 2nd is the FAT ROLL ON MY ARM.

See it?  We're never satisfied, are we?  Nope.  Just gonna try and focus on how wonderful I feel.

My workouts are going well.  I've had 3 free-style swim lessons since my last post and  I am making progress. I no longer need the boogie board. I can swim to the 4.5 feet side of the pool.  I'm still scared to go further. I'm pretty sure it's because of my breathing. I need to practice moving my head to the side to come up for air. Every time I do it, my feet sink and then I freak out... SWIMIN IS HARD.

Bike training is going pretty good. I feel more confident on the bike. Not sure why. I learned how to use the gears on my bike.  I practiced going up and down some hills.  Not gonna lie. I was scared. I was careful not to "brake" too much because I don't want to flip over. The speed scares me but I LOVE IT TOO.

I've been doing my regular cross-training workouts, except I missed last night's workout. I arrived there but was late. Tried to bike but then I got so frustrated with putting on my front wheel. Instead, I went straight to the bike shop to have the bike tuned up. Really, like that's going to help me with  my frustration.  I just wanted to make the best use of my evening.  I hate wasting time, don't you?

I'm off early today so I'm going to practice in the pool at work. Again, trying to make good use of my time.  Tomorrow, I swim in open water.

Pray for me okay?  I'm outie. I hope your weekend is awesome.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

I kan Tri

Hello, long time no blog... Life  has been really wonderful and busy.  I spent 4th of July with this little one... My daughter woke me up at 4:30 a.m. to work out prior to walking all day at Disneyland. Who does that? Oh, I guess we do.

4th of July--me and Jellybeans

I hope you had a wonderful July.  Did you do anything fun?

I've been knee deep in my Kaia workouts.  Then I caught a cold and was off for 1 week. Don't you just hate missing your workouts when you're sick? Gotta listen to your body and well, I'm back in full effect.  Full effect means something really crazy.  In addition to cross-training, I signed up for a 10 week Triathalon training program. I'm on a team.  Crazy since I don't know how to swim.

Today, was my 2nd day in the water and I floated. I think this is huge since I never thought I would float. I am still using the paddle board but at least now, I know I can float and so maybe this will ease my fear.

I'm not having any huge expectations for the Triathalon. I haven't even registered.  The goal is to do the training. Use the pool time to learn how to swim and then by some great miracle I can swim, I'll sign up but if I don't know how to swim safely enough, I'll sign up for a dualathon in September.  Good enough, right?

I am still so much on the fence about this training.  Can I share a secret with you?  Before C, I was jogging 2-3 miles, doing zumba 5-6 days a week. I was at the top of my game... And then I got sidelined with C.  I hate that there is a BEFORE C and an AFTER C mentality but there it is... always sticking it's tongue at me.  I've made lots of progress in learning how to stay out of fear...  But it holds me back until I'm able to kick it in the butt.  It feels like I'm living on borrowed time and I gotta do all these things before the clock runs out.  It's stupid. I know...

I'm hoping to post some of my workouts. I think this is a major happening in my life and I want to document it... if only for me and to keep a record of how I'm feeling and how I'm progressing.

Anyways, just wanted to share my crazy news. Wish me luck okay?


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Relay for Life

Dear friends,

On Saturday, June 21st, my family and friends will join me in West Sacramento’s Relay for Life where we will walk for 24 hours to raise money for the American Cancer Society.  This has been a tough year. My extended family saw two deaths this year due to Cancer.  I was lucky. I survived breast cancer and am enjoying remission. I don’t take a minute for granted.  This is my second year doing Relay for Life and it’s become an important cause for myself and my family. I imagine many of us have been affected by Cancer in one way or another. I recently attended a Survivor’s dinner where I met a woman whose been in remission for 40 years.  I got excited to hear those words. But my heart dropped when she said she was battling her 8th diagnosis.  Imagine being diagnosed 8 times with Cancer.  But thanks to research she is still here, fighting.  If you have a moment, please support the American Cancer Society. Every dollar raised hopefully gets us a little closer to finding a cure and more birthdays.

If you wish to make a donation to Team Ladybugs, you can go here:

Or perhaps you would like to join us?  If you're local, please come on out. There will be lots of vendors selling food, and other fun trinkets. I’ll be selling homemade Posole, pan dulce and Mexican chocolate. Hope to see you there.

Relay For Life of West Sacramento
Saturday, June 21, 2014

Our Lady of Grace School