Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Today. Is. The. Day!

And so it begins.  Lurong Living Paleo Challenge Day 1 has arrived.  The weigh-in, measurement taking and before pictures will happen at the box this evening.  The first benchmark WOD is tomorrow...kind of looking forward to it and kind of nervous.  

Well measurements were about what I expected them to be.  My weight, however, has increased by four pounds since a week ago.  That's what the "bulking up" mentality will get you!  Oh well greater chance for success.

I completed the first Challenge WOD at Level 2.  It consisted of 100 Burpees and 100 Kettle Bell Swings with a 25# kettlebell with a 12 minute time cap.  I completed 152 of the 200 reps so my score was 12:48...not bad but plenty of room for improvement.  Day two of clean eating is also in the books and I think this is going to be the easy part of the challenge.  Since we are pretty fresh off the Whole 30 challenge we have are already eating pretty clean.  Just have to tighten up the diet over the next eight weeks.  It is fun to be doing this as a family.  I love the fact that my grown daughters are on track to being fit and healthy and are choosing to live this way.  Makes me feel like maybe I did something right.

I also spent about 30 minutes this morning with my Bible and some quiet time and prayer before I got out of bed.  This definitely centered me a little but I have a long way to go.  My attitude and language need major adjustments.  This is going to be the most difficult part of the challenge for me...and its not even an official part of it.  This is my own personal challenge.

On a different note, I will be alone this weekend!  Everyone but me is going out of town.  Mom left today, Ronnie leaves on Thursday and Kait leaves Friday.  The only task I will have is taking my best friends daughter to her soccer game Saturday morning because she will be out of town as well!  I cannot express how much I am looking forward to two days to do whatever I want.  To chill, run, WOD...whatever.  May be hard to eat clean the entire time.  May have to add a glass of wine or two over the three evenings and two days.

Here's to a peaceful, productive weekend.  Hope to see you on the run...

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Small Stuff...

So the past few months have been quite challenging emotionally.  When I look back and try to analyze why, it all boils down to ME sweating the SMALL stuff.  Those unimportant, uncontrollable, mundane happenings of everyday life that tend to get in the way of truly living.  So as I struggle to find enough money, time, energy, patience, etc.to achieve the objectives set before me, I also struggle to stay centered and calm. Enter the LuRong Paleo Challenge.  I am hoping as I concentrate on taking care of my physical body the needs of my emotional and spiritual self will be met as well.  My goal is to take some time each day to be calm, to center myself with some kind of study and prayer/meditation to center myself and recharge.  This is the one area of my life that is lacking.  I work, work out, and try to eat well.  I am even managing to maintain close friendships, intimacy with my husband and a good social network.

My spiritual life is lacking and I can directly attribute it to the fact that I gave up church about four years ago. Now before you get all judgmental on me, I said I gave up church.  I did NOT give up God.  Yes you can have God without having church, one just has to work harder.  Be truly dedicated to spending time daily in prayer and study.  Dedicated to meeting with the Lord daily and listening to and communing with Him.  So I am declaring here in print that I am making this commitment.  The commitment to better physical, emotional, and spiritual health beginning with the LuRong Paleo challenge.  I am told that it takes 21 days to develop a new habit (and break old ones), so I am hoping by the end of the challenge these things will no longer be a challenge but just a way of life.  I will be honest, this declaration scares me.  I am now committed and must follow through.  I will probably be referring to this post many times over the next eight weeks to remind myself of the commitment I have made and to stick to it.

Here's hoping I see you on the run...

Where were you...

I woke up this morning with a deep sense of gratitude for all of the men and women who sacrifice their lives everyday for my personal freedom.  These feelings were punctuated by all the images on Facebook, Instagram and the internet urging us as Americans to never forget the tragedy of 9/11/2001.  To remember the ones who lost their lives and those left behind to pick up the pieces and carry on without the ones they love.  Not to mention those of us who lost nothing but a sense of security and well being...not that that's nothing.  So as we remember, tell me, where were you when our beloved country was attacked for the first time since Pearl Harbor?

I vividly remember being in my office working and chatting with my co-worker when my boss came in and was completely freaked out.  He told us what he had heard on the radio about a plane flying into the World Trade Center and we all figured it was a hoax.  We soon learned from the ladies in the office suite next to ours that this was anything but a hoax.  They had a small TV and the three of us took turns running next door to watch the unfolding events.  Eventually five adults were gathered around a small 11" TV watching in horror as the first tower fell and the second one soon followed.  Were left speechless, sick, scared, bewildered, you name the negative emotion, we felt it.  As horrified as I was at these events, I could not have been prouder of my country and our leaders that and in the weeks and years that followed.  America rallied, men enlisted to defend our freedoms and yes to seek revenge on those who perpetrated this crime against all of us.  People remembered God, family, and community.  Our lives were forever changed.  Some for the better, some for the worse but changed nonetheless.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Hello to all who care.  It has been a while since I was here...in fact almost two years have passed since I graced these pages with my thoughts.  Guess I haven't had many thoughts. ; )  As I was preparing to post this I came across the 2012 year end wrap up I wrote so I went ahead and posted it.  Seems there were a great many thoughts to share.

So why am I here today?  Well my husband and I are about to embark on a fitness and nutrition adventure and I aim to document it here.  The LuRong Paleo Challenge begins Monday 9/16/2013.  This challenge combines a clean (i.e Paleo) diet with CrossFit workouts.  We will track our progress over the next eight weeks, posting our nutrition and workouts, trying out new recipes and giving our testimonials on the way to becoming our best selves.  The challenge begins with a weigh-in, measurement taking and bench-mark workouts prescribed by the LuRong folks and monitored by our CrossFit coaches.  I am both looking forward to and dreading the beginning of this challenge.  I know what a difference clean eating makes in my overall health and well being and in the way I feel and look.  I also know that this lifestyle is definitely a challenge but it is made easier since I am sharing it with my best friend, lover and life partner.  I also have a fun surprise planned for the end and this will help to keep me motivated.  We all know I need more than health and well being to keep me motivated.  

Along with this challenge we are also training for a series of races and I am battling a knee injury, all of which add to the challenge.  I was able to run this past weekend with little pain so I know I am getting stronger.  I'm just not confident enough to actually commit to a race yet but I will...

Until then I hope to see you on the run!

2012 In The Rearview Mirror

As I sit down to re-cap 2012 I realize I haven't been here since August of 2011.  However, let me tell you, it's not like I haven't tried.  Several times I opened up my computer to write a post and the words wouldn't come or they came too fast and I couldn't make sense of them so I just left without writing anything.  So here I am to recap some of what happened in 2012 and maybe I will be better next year of chronicaling my life here. 

Looking back over 2012 the mystery is why didn't anything get posted?  What an eventful year 2012 was, full of endings, and loss, and new beginnings.  Maybe that was the problem.  So much went on that time was never taken to stop, reflect and record.  Here's hoping 2013 brings me perspective and willingness to stop and reflect and share.

So here it is, 2012 summed up in 12 short months and a lifetime of memories...

January -
January is one of my favorite months because it is the month I celebrate the beginning of my real life...I married the love of my life on 1/24/1986.  What an eventful 26 - almost 27 - years we have had together.  January is also the month we head down south to partake in the Bandera 25K & 50K trail race.  This is one of our favorite weekends.  Usually a group of us head south, rent a house and eat, drink, race and recover together...it is a blast!  This year was also an Olympic year and we had the priviledge of witnessing the Olympic Marathon trials race in Houston.  All I can say is WOW!  The way these athletes run is pure grace and beauty in motion.  Makes me look like even more of a turtle than I am.  We also said good bye to my husbands cousin...like I said it was a year of many emotions...

February -
After the activity and loss of January, February was relatively calm.  The arrival of February is always bittersweet as it the anniversary of my Daddy's passing.  I miss him every day...he was my hero and my first love.  This month is also punctuated with Dance.  Dance has been a huge part of the Cook household for 15 years.  My youngest daughter is a dancer and a beautiful one at that.  She competed in a dance competition in College Station with a solo lyrical piece dedicated to her late grandmother that was exquisite and earned her top five honors.  I am extremely proud of this little one.

March -
March in Texas means one thing SPRING BREAK!!!!  Kait and I spent ours at Disney World with her high school drill team.  We had a blast.  Our trip began at 3am on March 13th and ended at 11pm March 16th.  We squeezed every bit of life out of those four days that was humanly possible...then slept the entire day after we got home.  Let me just say it was worth every lost minute of sleep to spend this last trip with my little girl before she headed off to college in the fall.  And to see her revert to a five year old when she met her favorite princess of all time!

April -
More Kait time!  April in Texas means PROM!  We spent the month shopping for the perfect dress, having it remade so it would fit its tiny owner, finding the perfect shoes, accessories and hair.  Finally the big day arrived...Kait and her fella Wilson were definitely the most beautiful and original couple at the party.  Very James Bond meets Mad Men!  Love these kiddos...  We also lost a dear friend in April...I think of him often.  The world will never be the same without this fun-loving man.

May -
May marked another end...GRADUATION :(  My baby girl graduated from high school and I have never been so filled with dread and sadness without death being involved.  As I faced the prospect of an empty nest, I wondered when I got to be the old lady in the room.  Aren't I still 18?!  How silly..the sadness lasted a minute and was replaced with pride, excitement and joy for her future.  I couldn't be prouder of my graduate!

June -
June marked the beginning of our running season.  Captain and I participated in Captain Karls nighttime race series.  Captain ran the 30K and I ran the 10K.  What a fun event.  Trail racers are a breed unto themselves...a great breed.  None of our other running friends braved the evening races and I was a little annoyed at first.  But to be honest I absolutely loved the monthly excursions with my favorite man.  I love a good road trip and when it involves my Captain and running...what could be better!

July -
July is the birth month of my favorite red head and we celebrated her 26th birthday in style with sushi and jewelry!  Two of our favorite things.  I love my Meg.  This was also race #2 in the Captain Karls series.  I also discovered the appeal of beads and New Orleans.  A much needed long weekend getaway with special friends and of course my Captain was in order.  Let me just say...what happens in the Big Easy, stays in the Big Easy!  Can't wait to go back!

August -
This is a month of birthdays.  Captain's is early in the month then Kait's and mine are back to back.  To be honest by the time my birthday gets here I am sooooo over celebrating I could care less.  Four birthdays in six weeks is more than enough for me.  My family however loves to honor me...so I must indulge them!  This also marked my baby heading off to college!  Can I just say again WHEN did I become old enough for this!  Fortunately for me she chose a college close to home and didn't move out just yet.  I secretly loved this...OK not so secretly.  This was race #3 in Captain Karl's series.  August also marked the beginning of training for the San Antonio Marathon...my fourth.  I was excited.

September -
Race #4 in the series...I finished as the second place female overall for the series...I was very prould!  This also marked then end of my marathon training due to Plantar Faciitis.  Horrible foot and heel pain sidelined me.  Let me just say I was not a happy camper.

October -
This month is breast cancer awareness month - how ironic that this is also the month that my Mom's breast cancer reared its ugly head.  Round three with breast cancer began for her.  This month was puncuated with surgery, fear, anger and healing.  This was why I was sidelined from running...she needed me.

November -
Marathon time is here.  I am so proud of my runners.  See since I couldn't run myself, I took on the roll of team Mom.  I fed them, encouraged them, fussed at them and prodded them across the  finish line.  One to her first marathon finish and two to PR's.  This is also the month of thankfulness and I had a multitude of things to be grateful for, the least of which was being able to be at the finish line of this marathon.  My Mom was on the road to renewed strength.  She is an amazingly strong woman.  No one has more faith, determination and love of life than her and I want to be just like her when I grow up.

December -
Years end and a month to celebrate our Saviour arriving.  I love the spirit of the Christmas Season.  True we are overly busy...there never seems to be enough hours in the day to accomplish all of our tasks, ect.  However, there also seems to be a calmness, a peacefulness amidst all the hustle and bustle that I relish.  With all of the loss and change 2012 brought, I am looking forward to the new year with expectation.  My mother is moving in, my baby will be moving out...change is happening in the Cook house and a new season of life has begun.  Here's to new adventures...see you on the run!