Secret Admirer

Secret Admirer 2

Look into your daily life and see who you a­dmire, who you look up to, or who you want to be like. Those people are your role models. ­­There is a lady and her gentleman friend probably in their eighties at my healthclub. If you ran into them on the street you’d never guess that she used to do centuries (bike riding 100 miles) and has recently had to drop down to “only” 50-mile rides. Usually run into them in my spinning class after she has completed a round of singles tennis and he has completed his weight training.

I have referenced John and Margery many times during conversations with others about how I admire this couple at my healthclub.  But I have never told Margery or John. So yesterday, I was having a conversation with Margery while waiting for spinning to begin and decided to tell her. “You are my role model”, I said. She acknowledged my comment with a nod and class started so I didn’t get a chance to explain. Just realized that my comment could have been interpreted by her in so many ways like “is this woman a stalker”, “what did she mean by that”, “maybe I’d better stay away from her”, or she could have just been embarrassed.

Now I’m sorry I ever opened this can of worms. I could have continued to admire them Dont tellfrom afar. But no…. I had to speak it out. So now I have to clear this up by tracking her down (stalking) and explaining that I admire their tenacity during a time of life when everything is difficult. I admire the fact that just getting up out of bed can be challenging while waiting for everything to realign from laying to sitting then standing. I admire the mental and physical strength it takes to do a 50-mile bikeride. Essentially, I want to be like them when I grow up.

The moral to this story is that it is not important to tell our role models who they are and why. It is important to know that we are all role models to someone including our children, our siblings, our co-workers, and everyone we come into contact with.

Stay tuned………

 

 

 

THEY CAN’T HELP IT BUT YOU CAN

Serenity prayer

Many have heard the “serenity prayer”, but the meaning becomes clearer as we age. It applies to all people, everywhere and of every denomination. Parenthood is the only exception, but it shouldn’t be. Parents see the best in their children, but do not accept them for who they are. Frequently lamenting that if only Johnny would apply himself. If only Suzie could see herself as I see her. If only they would try harder.

Whether we accept it or not they are who they are. Johnny is applying himself. Suzie sees herself as herself, and they are both working as hard as they can. The hard part is for the parents. The parents must love them and accept them as they are.

Typical scenario is that you push Suzie to [fill in the blank]. Then as soon as you stop pushing, Suzie falls back to her old ways. Then you fall back to your old ways and pushsisyphus 3 Suzie again. This scene repeats itself  like the myth of Sysiphus until you’re both exhausted and you are broke. I threw in the broke part because pushing frequently means spending money.  Stop trying to change them, because it makes you and them crazy.

Love them as we did when they were babies when their poop stank, kept us up all night crying, and they wrote on walls with crayon. They couldn’t help it then and they can’t help it now. We get especially crazy when our friends are raving about their daughters and sons who are doctors, lawyers, biologists, and ironmen. We tell our children about the super children without meaning to compare but to encourage. When all we are doing is saying to them that they are not good enough. That they can and should be better. We are all guilty.

No matter how old they are…. Tell them you love them like you mean it and accept them as they are, and when all else fails…. Refer back to the Serenity Prayer.

manatra

I Love You and Accept You Just As You Are

Stay Tuned…….

 

Grit and Letting Go

GritMy current goto for enlightenment is TedTalks, which recently posted an article on Grit. It’s an old term that’s been repurposed as a measure of success. Researchers have found (I love using that phrase) that obvious factors such as IQ, EQ, upbringing, and environment are not the best indicators of whether a person will be successful or not. The real measure is Grit.

In a nutshell, Grit pertains to one’s ability to focus and persevere.  Aha… so that explains why some of my family members, friends and associates who seem to have capabilities are continually foundering on the shores of life. You push, prod, guide, and hand-hold, but they stay caught in the ebb and flow of the waves on the shoreline. They wash in and wash out, but essentially stay in the same place.  If you happen to be one of the prodders, this can be an extremely frustrating experience, because you continue to believe that if you prod enough then they will succeed…. WRONG… because they lack grit!

Lacking grit is not a bad thing. It’s akin to saying that a person who cannot play music by ear is lacking. No…. as my ex-son-in-law would say…. It is what it is.

Yesterday, Hubby and I went on a hike to Penasquitos Park with a determination to get toPenasquitos waterfall the waterfall because the last time we couldn’t make it. Actually, the last time we were smart enough to know that the day was too hot and the distance too far (7 miles round trip) so we turned around. This time we were not going to let a little heat and distance stop us. We were Focused!

Once we set a goal (focus) we will persevere until we reach our goal come hell or highwater! Unfortunately, the goalsetting did not take into account that we were starting late in the day (again) when the temps were already in the 80’s.  We made it to the waterfall, but totally exhausted our energy reserves and put ourselves in a situation that could have resulted in headlines Hiking Seniors Suffering from Heatstroke Were Evacuated to Hospital.

Hubby and I happen to be a 10 on the grit scale and sometimes too much is as bad as not enough. But the real message is to the Prodders (We are also guilty and have spent A LOT of money and angst prodding. So we understand the impulse.) At some point, you have to recognize that we all do the best we can and that pushing and prodding is not only exhausting (for the prodder and proddee), but expensive and non-productive for all parties. It’s not about giving up. It’s about accepting the realities.

Stay tuned.

 

 

 

TEAM USA: The Best of the Best

archery 2

Met a young man training to be on the US Olympic Archery Team. He let us know that he is ranked number 10 (not sure if that is national or world), but either way… it is damned impressive.

In fact, all of TEAM USA is damned impressive. As part of our “do everything now while we can” campaign, we had the opportunity to visit the Chula Vista Olympic Training Center (CVOTC).

The CVOTC is designed to train athletes in outdoor events such as soccer, track and field, biking, running, motocross, tennis, etc. The facilities are superb and we coincidentally got to see the women’s soccer “B” team practicing. The one thing that all the athletes have in common is the absolute knowledge that they will win. The young archer we met was preparing for an upcoming national competition. Apparently, archers must place in the top 3 to qualify for the Olympics. He said with confidence… “I’m ranked number 10 so I expect to make the top 3.”

As if they don’t already have enough confidence, the Center even has an obstacle course designed like American Ninja Warrior to push the athletes to do things they don’t know they can do. Since winning times are often seconds apart… its often the confidence that makes the difference.

It is amazing how one’s confidence grows when accomplishing the imtriathlon 2possible. I had that experience when I completed a triathlon, but that’s another story.

The US does not support our athletes, but these kids work hard for the United States… consider making a donation.

Stay tuned.

Sipping My Tennessee Honey Jack

tempAlways needed to be in charge. To pull the strings. Always knew how to do it better. But that’s okay, because I loved juggling projects, customers, employees and maneuvering through the minutia.

But, being in charge is like the burden of Sisyphus, because no matter how hard you push, there is always a new bolder and another hill. After awhile what used to be a challenge becomes a problem, a headache,  or pain in the derriere.

As a business owner, I operated in the fast lane. Ate problems for breakfast, and asked for seconds. As a university professor I shifted over to the middle lane and problems were primarily caused by coddled students who couldn’t accept anything short of an “A” grade, plus demanding adjuncts who didn’t understand that adjunct meant temp. As a consultant, I eased into the right lane where I took on projects as and when I chose. Life was easy and good as I cruised down the right lane.

One day, while sitting on my back deck working on a cient project and sipping my icetea, I momentarily lost my way. It was as if a blinding migraine headache had struck and I couldn’t think straight. Suddenly I had a need to be a mover and shaker again! Wanted to prove to myself that I still had “it”. Wanted back into the fast lane! Like a mother, I had forgotten the pain of childbirth (aka management).

Took on a killer job only to find that there were too many jockeys and not enough horse, anddd… that I was the horse. Like being on a stage with Penn and Teller, I had been operating under the illusion that I was in charge. When the reality lightbulb went on, I knew it was time to take over the reins and pull back. But the most important lesson was that I did not need to prove to anyone including myself, that I still had it. What a humongous waste of time that was.

I no longer care about the marketplace. I no longer care about customers, contracts, or unintended consequences of self-driving cars. Thinking about Trump and his ignorant follower’s raises my blood pressure.  I no longer care. Yes, these things matter, but I’m not in charge. I am not responsible. It’s not my problem. I don’t have to plan, implement, or sweat it.I’ve seen what’s behind the curtain and it is not pretty.  It’s time for other folk to worry about the minutia.

I’ve now moved off the highway to the grandstand and am immensely enjoying watching the silliness, the puffery, and the inane while sipping my Tennessee Honey Jack.

Stay tuned

Take Small Bites…

Bayshore Bikeway 2“Real bicyclists” travel the 27-mile Bayshore Bikeway as a warmup to their century rides. My balcony overlooks part of the Bikeway so I cannot escape these energizer bunnies who I also see at the local coffee shop. They are all ages, shapes, and sizes. In fact, I’ve often wondered how someone can be fat and a bicyclist, but that’s another story.

The Bikeway is well known in the San Diego biking community, and watching the cyclists makes me nostalgic, because somewhere in me is a woman who would easily bike 25, 35, 50 miles or more. This woman, AthLEticA, was an avid racquetball player, bicyclist, so-so tennis player, and skier.

AthLEticA has been responsible for talking me into activities ending in knee surgery’s, back aches, foot sprains, and has caused many dollars in contributions to the medical industry. Therefore, I have told her that under no circumstance would I tackle the Bikeway, but yesterday, she and my husband conspired against me. He suggested that we do 5 miles of the route. At the 5-mile mark the ride turned into a challenge to see which one of us would cry uncle, and turn around.  Since both of us are extremely competitive, we ended up doing the entire 27-mile route.

Message 1… if you want to do something big, break it up into little pieces

Message 2 …. Push yourself to do what you thought you couldn’t

Next Stop…. Appalachian Trail!!

Stay tuned….

Who Am I?

who am i 2Ones’ identity is usually defined by what we do… that produces income. Policewoman, congress woman, business owner, are all nice neat definitions that anyone can understand. But, If ones identity is tied to what we do then who are we when we don’t do anything that generates money (i.e., retired, consultant, artist)? In my past life, my answer would be used to determine my value so as to ascertain whether the questioner would engage in conversation with me.

Unlike those born with a name (i.e., Rockefeller, Hilton) that in itself says they don’t work, I found myself contemplating an answer. Though I would never want to be defined by the police as a “person of interest”, I also don’t want to be classified as a “person of non-interest”.

Rather than be stymied by this question of identification, an opportunity was surfacing. I can define myself! Wow! What a novel idea.  I should have thought of this years ago. In fact, I remember a time when I was in a playful mood while at a B&B, and passed myself off as a travel writer. That was a hoot. I still remember speaking the words out and watching the expressions on the faces around the table. Suddenly, I was a celebrity. I was interesting!

Self-identification is liberating! Plus it offers the added benefit of changing whenever the mood or circumstances change.So I ordered business cards that have the title “adventurer / explorer”. When I wrote that 2 months ago, those two words embodied my dreams. Now… working on making that dream a reality (if I don’t kill myself trying).

Under the guise of adventurer/explorer, I climbed Cowles Mountain, the highest peak in San Diego. It’s a heart-pumping 3 mile vertical climb, but the key word here is “vertical”. I thought I’d never get to the top, but my husband wouldn’t let me give up. It took an hour and a half to make the round trip followed by a 2 hour nap. The next week we went on an urban hike called “7 bridges”.

Who said hiking has to be in the woods? Urban hiking is so cool! It allows you to see the details, hear the sounds and feel the energy that city life vibrates.  Houses and buildings that we previously zoomed past in our car, take on a certain richness and come to life when hiked by. Then there are areas that I would never have seen if not for this hike. It was an adventure and exploration into the heart of the City of San Diego. Unfortunately, the explorer in me pooped out after 5 bridges and two hours of walking over hill and dale. But, since I’m not a quitter, I now have an opportunity to redo the hike to completion!

With my hiking juices flowing, hubby and I hiked a few Torrey Pines trails that started with an ascent as steep as Cowles Mountain, but only about a mile long (whew!). The total hike was about 3-4 miles with the last leg along the sun-dappled Pacific Ocean, which made the hike totally worthwhile.

The adventure continues…..

Stay tuned…