Tag Archives: Recreation and Sports

Happiness Project Update 3: I Don’t Fit Into Skinny Jeans, But I’m O.K. With That. I’m an Athlete With Curves.

18 Jun

Being able to fit into skinny jeans … for some chicks and dudes, this is a really important factor in life. It’s all about body image.

And in truth, physical appearance is what drives some people and maybe in high school it even drove me. Although I’m not so sure whether that statement is true considering the fact that I wore jeans and t-shirts throughout my adolescent and teenager existence. But then again I didn’t show up in Levis to the prom either. So physical appearance does matter, but not as much as physical wellness.

Image via Happiness-Project.com

This was my happiness challenge for the week. Physical wellness. In my quest to seek happiness during my current state of is-this-my-life malaise, I decided to concentrate on “wellness” this month. Last week I focused on spiritual wellness, this week I concentrated on physical wellness.

What is that for me?

Working out, feeling good, feeling healthy.

But considering that I’m training for a triathlon, I’d say this was a good week. In truth, even if I wasn’t preparing for a triathlon, exercise would still be a part of my life. The only thing is that I like to workout without having it seem like it’s exercise. I know it may sound confusing for people who love going to the gym and hanging out in the Nautilus section working out on the elliptical or StairMaster machines. But the actual act of exercising is not much fun.

I’m not a big fan of the “no pain, no gain” crap. If there is pain, it’s really my body’s way of telling me “hey jackass, cut it out or there will be consequences.” So I just do something else. There’s no need for pain. I have enough of that in life, no need to add it to my body. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for a good workout, but I need something fun.

Playing basketball, swimming in a pool, playing tennis, kickboxing, playing soccer at the beach, or going to the batting cages are awesome activities that produce sweat. Plus, it’s not work, it’s fun.

I think that’s the key, at least for me.

During the week I was having one of those days — the kind that everyone has when they’ve reached their patience limit with every human being in sight, especially the ones related to you. And this crazy bad mood washed over me and there I was swimming in it. Drowning in fact. There was no use counting to ten or meditating on this one, I needed some physical wellness STAT!

So I busted out my Hapkido brown-belt skills and took to the punching bag. It was the most awesome fifteen minutes of the day. I had only slept four-and-a-half  hours that day, and for The Guat that’s not enough. That’s zombie, cruise-control function mode in the morning. But for some reason a surge of energy rose out of this fifteen-minute-Bruce-Lee moment. I was feeling so good about this that I went to the track and ran a couple of miles for my triathlon training regiment.

As I stood there hunched over, stretching out my quads, and sweat dripping from my forehead, the stress and anxiety evaporated. They seemed to have vacated The Guat planet.

And I felt much better for it. I know all the studies tell you the physical benefits of working out and how great it is for my heart, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, energy, and on the random parts of your muscular body which attack body fat, but I’m all for the happy moments it brought during meltdowns.

But the happy moments could’ve been from all that wellness my body was experiencing from the vitamins. I decided to also take vitamins. Doctor Oz says they’re good for you, and I like him. So I went crazy at the vitamin aisle at Costco. B-12 rocks, as does the rest of the vitamin alphabet in this Nature Made Super B-Complex. I’m a fan of calcium and glucosamine, too. Apparently they help out my bones, which is necessary for the physical wellness factor.

So with the sports workouts and crazy vitamin surge I’d say this week was pretty good in contributing to squeeze more juice out of the lemon. I still don’t fit into skinny jeans, but I’m O.K. with that. I’m an athlete. I’m skinny enough, and I’ve got curves.

My Three-Year Old’s Definition of Respect and Golf School

3 May

You’re talking and you wonder do they get it? They hear me, but are they listening? That happens often in my family.

But then I think about my son and smile. Sometimes he gets it, he hears me and listens …

My son continues his preschool sabbatical and is currently enjoying the teachings of Coach Jeff at golf school. Last week’s word of the day was sportsmanship. He seemed to learn that one quickly as he gave Coach Jeff a high-five and said: “Good game, Coach Jeff.”

This week’s word of the day was respect. He got the ten minute speech at the beginning of class. Coach Jeff  defined the word and explained that you should treat others as you would like to be treated.

Then my son whispers to me: “Mom, what’s treated?”

“It’s your behavior with other people. How you act. Your attitude. Remember good attitude. Good behavior to other people and people will have good behavior to you. Be nice to other people and they will be nice to you. Listen to other people and they will listen to you. Good attitude to Coach Jeff and your teammates, and they will show you good attitude.”

“Oh. Yes. Good attitude. Good behavior. Listen. I treat people, and they will treat me. I behave good, they behave good to me too. Respect.”

“Yes. Always show respect.” 

He smiled and we were off to the driving range. Each kid went to their stall and began swinging away.  They were reminded how to properly hold the club and how to follow through on their swing. My son improved his grip  … well at least for a second, and then he went back to a hockey-style swing, and then back to his golf grip again. It’s a learning process and he enjoys class. He’s smacking them pretty good and I was pretty proud of him.

Then after he finished half the bucket of balls he took a quick two-minute-Goldfish-crackers-and-Gatorade break. As he stood there checking out his classmates swing away. He noticed a couple of boys weren’t really into the driving range thing. They are off jumping like frogs, checking out the grass, or rolling around in their stalls. 

Then one of the kids who was hanging out in the grassy knoll, pretending he was a butterfly picked up a ball and threw it at one of the kids attempting to put Coach Jeff’s teachings in effect. Poor Jay. He had the right grip and the right posture, just as he turned his little three-year old body to begin his swing, in came a flying golf ball and hit him on the cheek.

Coach Jeff was on the other side helping out other kids so he didn’t witness the incident. But butterfly boy’s dad was there, and so was Jay’s.  The dad’s had a little pow-wow about the incident and Jay sat out a little bit until the pain subsided.

“That was not nice, mom. He did not treat Jay. That was not respect. I think he will be in timeout.”

I don’t have to wonder whether my son”gets it”. He hears me and listens. Perhaps when he’s in middle school I’ll begin to worry, but for now he continues to learn lessons.

My Three-Year Old’s Definition of Integrity and Golf School

19 Apr

Considering that I was a golf widow, I wasn’t going to do it. I thought, why lose another one. But this one would be different. This is my son. He’s awesome.

If you don’t know what a golf widow is, you should check out my post The Golf Widow’s Revenge. If your dude, husband, or partner plays golf, or is even thinking of playing golf, you should definitely read it. An enlightening nice perspective.

Anyhow, since my son’s been on hiatus from preschool, I decided to find some sort of program where he could engage in conversation with other three-year olds. Hang out with his peeps. One friend suggested some Mommy & Me group and I sort of hesitated.

I told her I didn’t have anything against this Mommy & Me group, or her, seeing how she’s the guru of all things Mommy & Me, but when we tried to hang with these chicks when my son was younger we didn’t quite fit in. I think I had the wrong diaper bag, the wrong set of snacks  and the wrong set of shoes.

Heels to a park? C’mon now. 

As for the diaper bag, apparently you can own designer diaper bags. The three-hundred dollar kind. They exist. Id’ rather take that three-hundred and go to Legoland four times. As for the snacks, well, pretzels, cheese sticks, Cutie Oranges, and Gatorade were frowned upon. I don’t know why, seemed pretty good to me. I never understood. 

Whatever. I wasn’t going to go through that situation again, so I decided to stick with my kind of people … sports.

A golf ball directly before the hole

A golf ball directly before the hole (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After searching community bulletins and the parks department services, I found a golf academy that catered to kids his age. I was pretty excited because he didn’t meet the age requirement for The First Tee program, but this program started with three-year olds. Sweet. 

As I geared him up to go to golfing school, he was hesitant at first. Didn’t want to go because he thought I would just drop him off. But after explaining how it worked, he was very excited.

When we got there, he grabbed his clubs, raced out of the car, and ran up the ramp.

He was introduced to Coach Jeff and learned some golf etiquette, well at least tried to learn it.

Integrity. That was the word of the day. He was told what it meant and how he always needed to do the right thing and be honest, especially on the course.

Apparently if you lose a ball into the bushes and can’t find it, you can hit another ball, but you have to call out provisional. Sort of a second chance, but you’re penalized and given another stroke.

I didn’t think he would understand the concept, but he kept repeating the word integrity, the phrase ‘do the right thing’, and the word provisional.

In their little stalls each kid got six golf balls. Six. They were supposed to hit them onto the green, aiming for the circles drawn out near the hole. Once they finished chipping the ball over to the green, they were supposed to run and collect their six golf balls and repeat the exercise.

Scrambling for golf balls.

During one of their scrambles to get their six balls, one kid had seven and my son says:

“Mommy I tell the boy only six balls and he didn’t listen. He did not do the right thing. I tell him. I tell him. He lose his yellow ball and take two white balls … he did not say provisional. He did not do integrity. He did not.”

I smiled. He was awesome and I couldn’t have been prouder.