Friday, September 21, 2012

Mckenna Belly Laughs

There goes Mandi again, the house comedian...

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Early Gym Classes & Clean Garages

It's thankful Thursday time! We all have so much to be thankful for and we love to take this opportunity just to write down each and everything that comes to mind. Please take this time to share with us what you're thankful for as well. If you have a blog expressing your thankfulness, please share the link! Without further ado, here's what we're thankful for:

Mandi's List:

I'm thankful for a gym with lots of classes on the schedule. Mckenna is still sick (the antibiotics didn't do the trick) so we can't bring her to the gym child care like we usually do. So to make sure I got my workout in I went to an early class and did my run after it. It felt so awesome to have my class and run in before 5:30AM! I am so thankful the gym is up and has classes at all time of the day.

I'm thankful for my dad. This one will seem kind of random to you all, but I'm posting it anyways. My dad is such a good man. A good dad, a hard worker, a fantastic husband. He makes it all look so easy. I am thankful he has shown me what being a parent is. I'm thankful he set an example of the type of man I needed to marry. I'm thankful that he is a man of integrity and loyal to a fault. And I'm thankful that he continues to bring such joy into our lives.

I'm thankful for email. Ok, another random one. But I can't be the only one. How nice is it that you can communicate with people through email? Many things I send emails about at work would take twice as long to call someone about (you get to skip all the chit chat). And boy is it nice not to have to go to a post office to MAIL something all the time. I still don't understand how the heck email works...I mean seriously, you type words, you hit send, and magically they appear on someone else's screen after FLYING THROUGH THE AIR?! Mind blowing! But I'm thankful.

Ronnie's List:

I'm thankful for gardening in cooler weather. I love to garden. I find it extremely relaxing when I'm around the garden doing various tasks. It's cool to take the clippers to different plants and be able to see a big difference from when you started to when you finished. I am also still fascinated that all of these plants grow from seeds. It truly amazes me. Anyways, I'm REALLY thankful when I get to do the previous stuff that I mentioned without sweating every ounce of liquid in my body out. 

I'm thankful for clean garages. Last weekend I took the time to reorganize and clean our garage. It was getting a little dirty in there from different leaves, dirt, bugs, etc blowing in and just didn't look nice. We also had bikes, pumps, car parts, cleaning supplies etc put up wherever it would fit. After finding a place for everything in there and shop-vaccing every square inch of the place, it looks like a new room. I love it.

I'm thankful for protein shakes. For my new eating plan I'm having a "second breakfast" at 9am each day. My second breakfast happens to be a yummy protein shake. Here's the ingredients - 8oz of skim milk; 1 Tbs of all-natural peanut butter; 1/6 cup of steel cut oats; 1 scoop whey protein (chocolate); and 1/2 cup of frozen strawberries. It is super deeeeelish and goes down the hatch nice and quick.

So, what are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Do you cough in public?

I was so excited to answer this question as I know plenty of other cysters and fibros struggle with this issue - coughing in public. I hope this answer gives you the confidence to cough like there is no tomorrow...even if you makes others uncomfortable.

I have a question for the CF "expert" wink 
So i've got that LOVELY CF cough goin' on right now. Luckily right now it's mostly dry so I don't have too much mucus coming up. But you know the drill, a coughing spell every few minutes or so. How should i handle going to dance? Should I skip out until my cough hopefully calms down a little bit? Because I don't want CF to hold me back any, but i also know the realistics of it. I mean I wouldn't want to dance with someone who kept coughing, even if I was told it wasn't contagious. Because a few of the classes we rotate with all the partners which means gettin' all up and close and personal with everybody multiple times through. I can exercise here at the house for the time being, but i also love dance and miss the people (i've been gone doing a CF study for the past 2 weeks so I haven't been able to see them or go dancing. Sadness!!) . What's the smart thing to do? I want to do what i love, but I also want to be smart and considerate of others.

Alright, first things first, I'm humbled you'd even care what I think about this. Second, I'm no expert, and I actually recommend doing the exact opposite of anything I suggests to be on the safe side :) Third, I'd love to share my thoughts with you!

Let's establish this - coughing is a good thing. Yeah it's annoying (both to us and others), but it's playing a vital role in keeping our lungs clear. I myself am a cougher whether I'm at 30% lung function or 100% lung function. In fact, I give much credit to my cough for keeping my lungs relatively clear my entire life. Sometimes I bring up junk and sometimes I don't. In fact, I've coughed about 10 times since writing this response and have only brought up the goobery goo on two of those coughs.

Coughing can indicate that you are experiencing an exacerbation or outside sickness, but it can also be an indication of asthma, allergies or nothing.

So now that you know coughing is completely okay (at least in my eyes), what do you do about it in public?

I think you know my answer - I cough, and I don't care where I am. I'm at the gym 6 days a week. 3 of the days I do partner work in a fitness class and three of those days I'm in a small room with others doing a core class. Needless to say, I'm coughing near, on and around all of them.

Apparently I don't have a lot of pictures of me coughing.
This was the only one I could find off-hand and it's very old!
If I end up with a new partner, and I've already started coughing before the workout even began, I usually go with one of three phrases that all start with "Don't worry, I'm not going to get you sick....

a) I have Cystic Fibrosis and part of it is that I cough a lot, especially during workouts.

b) I have asthma and my lungs are extra tight today.

c) I'm just a cougher.

One of those three answers always seems to put my partner at ease and we can move on with the class.

When it comes to coughing in public, frankly, I'm not very considerate - especially if I'm doing something beneficial for my health. The truth of the matter is that clearing out my lungs and doing something that in the long run is beneficial to me and my family is WAY more important than the thoughts, stares and feelings of others.

It reminds me of a blog I wrote a while back about being selfish. There are times in this CF life that you HAVE TO be selfish. The funny thing is that often, by being selfish, we are doing one of the most selfless things that we could ever do. The blog is here if you're interested:

So what do I think the smart thing to do is? Dance and cough your little booty off!!

Sometimes life calls for us being comfortable with making others uncomfortable.

Hope this helps :)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Something For Which To Train

You'll quickly realize that I had very little to write about (which, considering I'm writing my Mandi Monday a day late, is a bit sad), but I'll share this anyways because I'm jazzed about it. Oh and another random side note, does proper english ever make you feel a bit old school? I know "Something to train for" just into correct, but it sure sounds less stuffy than, "Something for which to train." But I couldn't bring myself, today, to use the wrong grammar. Anyways...moving on.

So I opened an email from my mom this morning who, by the way, often sends fun little things my way. Today was no different. I'm not sure how and where or why, but she came across a race here in Phoenix in December that looks AWESOME. It's called Hot Chocolate and it's for the Ronald McDonald House. They have a 5K and a 15K. The tag line is "Will run for chocolate"...which I think may be the only detail I needed to see in order to shout at my computer, "SIGN ME UP." It's like the PDF file was speaking to me. How did they know that yes, I in fact will run for chocolate. That may be why I run, ever. I just run and exercise so I can eat what I want. Sure, I do it to be in shape and to be fit, but it's also nice to get to indulge because my butt was in the gym earlier that day.

As you can see from the picture above, it just looks fun, right?! Well I went to their website and got more details, and here's the sweetest (pun intended) part...the post race event is like a chocolate heaven. They have hot chocolate with whipped cream and all sorts of goodies to dip in chocolate fondue. Holy cow, if that isn't a great way to end a race, I'm not sure what is.

So I'm not writing all of this to promote this race, although if you're in Phoenix or another city that has one, give it a shot, because I know I for one will be there on December 9th, covered in sweat, indulging in chocolate. Instead, I'm just sharing my excitement to train for something when there's something fun to train for. It makes all the difference. In fact, that's why CysticLife and Rock CF Foundation teamed up to start the Outrun CF Virtual Race (which you can now register for the Thanksgiving day race HERE)...the gist, if you're wondering, is you can run or walk anywhere in the world, in a cool t-shirt we send you, and we all do it on the same day....we'll post a whole blog on that another day though. Anyways, my point? There is none! Haha..I kid! (It does seem that way though, doesn't it?) My point is, find something to train for and working out becomes a lot more fun. I have been working out 6 days a week, and haven't been this excited to start training in a long time. In part I'm excited because it will be really fun to enjoy a nice long run with my mom on December 9th, but mainly because I am reallllly excited to eat back twice as many calories as I burned with her in a chocolate wonderland afterwards!!

Has anyone ever done one of these? If you have, tell me everything!