Sunday, January 22, 2012

Trainer, bike events and more about me

We are warming up in Minnesota/Wisconsin. It is now about 21 degrees and I have already walked 1.5 miles with our dog. Last week I got back in the game as far as my healthy living. I would like to report that I met with good success. Tracked my food and exercised. I am confident the five pounds I gained during my three week holiday will soon be a thing of the past.

My Trainer: I am learning the rhythm of my trainer. It is not as easy as I thought it might be. Part of it is me, but some is also due to the resistance that is part of this trainer. What I think is happening is that I am becoming (or will become) a better and more steady rider. It is still hard for me to go more than 8.5 minutes without stopping. When riding outdoors, you stop momentarily and keep moving forward just due to momentum; on the trainer you don't. So, I am getting a good workout on my trainer as my sweaty body attests when I am done.

Speaking of cycling: I decided on my second bike event for this year: the Venus de Miles is on August 26  and takes place near Boulder, Colorado. Jackie is also targeting this event and it is from her that I learned about it. I have my sights set on a 67 mile course with a 2600 foot elevation change over the course. There is also a 51 mile course that would be my second choice with a 1600 foot elevation change. Riding in the Venus provides support for Greenhouse Scholars: “an organization dedicated to helping high-performing, under-resourced students reach their full potential.” But there is more: it is a ALL women’s road event and a celebration of the sister hood of cycling. It looks to be a great target for me, a worthy cause and the event itself a great deal of fun. I have already registered for my first bike event, the Tour de Cure, where I am targeting a 62 mile course that winds trough the trails of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Both events will push me forward in my fitness.  They are both a way for me to celebrate my improving health.

I was tagged once again by Marsial. I found her questions to be provocative and thoughtful which compels me to respond. Here is a little more about me:

  1. Describe how you met your spouse/significant other/love of your life (even if you are no longer with that person).
My hubby and I were pen pals starting when I was 14 and he was 15. We wrote back and forth but not regularly until we were young adults. He is from the Netherlands. When I was a mere 18, I set out to explore some of Europe, making the Netherlands one of my first stops. It was not love at first sight, but love grew over that summer. I have never looked back and he has not either. He immigrated here in 1973 and we are about to celebrate 38 years! Best thing that ever happened to me.

2.     Describe anything from your childhood you still own -- a book, a toy, article of clothing, etc. -- that you hope to pass down to someone younger, like a child or grandchild.  Why is it meaningful to you?
I don’t have anything from my childhood. But, we (hubby and I) do have some things that are precious from Holland and his family that we will pass down.  One thing comes to mind: a tile that is delft blue. It was one of many tiles that lined the mantel of the fireplace in the old farmhouse where my spouse was raised. The tile depicts a painted scene of a child carrying water buckets in a rural area. The old farmhouse was demolished many years ago to make room for new and more modern homes, thus this tile is one small reminder, just like that child carrying water of time of life and living in rural Holland many years ago.

  1. Describe your billfold or wallet.  French purse?  Clutch?  Snap or zip closure?  Color? Leather or fabric?  Why did you choose this particular wallet?

Small, leather wallets are for me. Small so I can, if desired, stick it easily in a pocket. The one I have now is coffee brown with two zipper openings. One is on the top and one is on the side. The top one holds a small leather insert that I use for modern day plastic cards such as library cards, credit cards, insurance cards and even my own academic business cards. The second small zipper pocket I use for change and folded money.

  1. Describe one extravagance you have for which you will never apologize.
I love, love a hot bubble bath.

  1. Which author do you admire so much that you have read more than one of his/her books.
There are many. I love the classics like Hemmingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Up until a few years ago, I read every book that ever came out from John Gresham.

  1. Who is your favorite newscaster and why?
I rarely watch TV news. Instead I listen to NPR or MPR or catch Charlie Rose. I adore All Things Considered, This American Life, Fresh Air and Science Friday-all NPR programs that I find informative, alternative at times and just plain good news broadcasting. I adore the style of Charlie Ross and his interviews, too.

  1. Is there a movie you once loved but years later felt you outgrew or it didn't "speak to you" anymore?  Which one?
No, quite the contrary. When our children were little and finally to bed we started watching Masterpiece Theater on PBS. Brideshead Revisited was one particular series that we both loved. We bought it a few weeks ago and now I am watching it as I get up on my bike with the trainer. I find that I still enjoy it tremendously. But it is with a different view because so much of my own life has transpired since the 1970s when it was originally on. Beautiful. Sentimental. Thoughtful. Educative. Privileged. Tolerance are all words that come to mind now as I watch it.

  1. In as much detail as possible, describe your kitchen.  Tell me not just how it looks, but how it makes you feel when you are working in it.
At our cabin I have a long galley kitchen. The long counters make it easy to do almost any kitchen task. My kitchen opens to the great room where as I work I can see my hubby, our dog or any visiting family members and share in their conversations. There is a wonderful old bar that borders the kitchen counters. Most of the time when our family is here, or even my hubby, they pull up a bar stool and we talk together. My kitchen makes me feel loved, privileged and included. I never had any fondness for a kitchen before, but this one is special. I am finding my inner cook and I adore that place.

  1. When you and life partner have a disagreement, is there a routine you follow to make up?  For example, do you talk it out OR does one of you walk out of the room OR do you both just stay quiet long enough for life to continue normally OR ?????
We usually talk it out later.

  1. If a younger person asked you, "How can you tell when you're in love?" what would you reply?
When you know that you can talk about anything with that person and want to be with that person all of the time.

  1. Have you found your "purpose in life" or are you still searching?  If you believe you have found it, describe it.
Yes, I believe I have, both professionally and personally. Professionally I work at uncovering the beauty of the natural world, especially our regional natural history, with students of all ages.  I assist teachers, whether inservice or preservice,  to become exemplary, confident and effective in science and math, but also in other areas of their teaching and learning. For me, the work I do is for the kids who are our greatest treasure. Personally, my purpose is to be the best human being possible: kind and compassionate but also a questioner and a steward. I am a work in progress and will be until my last day. 

Fun to play the tagging game. You can read more about how I passed on the tags here.  

Finally,  How about you: Are you planning any fitness or physical events to celebrate your own increasing good health this year?? Have a great week and TTFN,


  1. I loved reading about YOU! I also share a love for Masterpiece Theatre (Are you watching Downton Abbey?) The way you met your husband is truly wonderful. Glad you're back on track. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I too enjoyed reading more about you, I love these kinds of posts :D

  3. Sounds like you are back on track and doing well, good job!

  4. I love it when you share like this. It's awesome!! Take Michele and have a blessed week.

  5. I especially loved this post from you as it reinforced how many things I already do know about you. I consider you a friend!!

    You also already know this about ME, but my fitness goals for this year all include increased hiking both in total annual mileage and individual hike miles. I'd love to reach a goal I set a long time ago of a 15 miler.

  6. I also love to get to know you a bit better through the things you share about yourself. And I admire, how you set yourself goals for biking and then you accomplish them during the year. Go for it - again! You are doing great!

  7. I'm very impressed with your biking goals. I've done a few 30 mile rides, fairly flat, but that's as far as I think I can manage. I do want to ride more often this year. I was really hampered by my recuperation (and increased weight) last summer. It feels great to be losing again. I'm hoping for a warm-ish weekend and another bike ride.
    I would second the vote for hot bubble baths (especially if I get to bring a good book). I made sure our master bath had really good lighting over the bath, because I love to read in the tub. We're going on 39 this year.

  8. Sounds like that trainer will have you good and ready for the road when things warm back up. I think you will be pleased when you are able to get back out. Your two biking events sound great!

    My two main things this year are a marathon and then do a bunch of hiking up the great peaks that surround the valley.

  9. I loved learning a little more about you. How you met your hubby was really neat. I also love "This American Life"!!

  10. I loved answer number 11. Content, thought... I could sense your passion and thought how lucky - or how wonderful to have that sense of happiness and contentment in your work. I sensed harmony. Lovely.

  11. Hey Michele! Thanks for stopping by! :)

  12. I find questions like #6 odd...
    Some people fall in love with media news personalities, and folks like me find them for what they are; paid for their face and personality and lacking in real skill worth taking a shine to.

    Great time reading about you :-)