Farewell Gertrude…..Here’s What’s Next

As you all know I saw my doctor yesterday. I had a long list I needed her to give me permission to do which included exercise, go back to work, hike, fly to our vacation destination, and resume life as I knew it before Gertrude ( apparently, this is what my surgeon and my husband named my tumor after surgery) was found and removed. Well, I am happy to share with you all that I checked out good and she is allowing me to get back to life. However, she stated clearly this would be an uphill battle between wanting to do it all and fighting exhaustion for the first few weeks. Uggg, I guess you can’t have it all but something is better than nothing.

Which means I plan to go back to work in about two weeks, I will start exercising again with many limitations, and our vacation we had preplanned before all this medical stuff came about will be happening with a few changes.

First, let’s touch on work. I fully expect going back to work to be difficult. Any mother of three will know exactly where I am coming from. Caring for three kids solo of any age is not easy. I do however feel I threw their little lives, as they knew it, into a roller coaster ride and regardless of where they all found different care for the past few weeks, I feel I owe it to them to make it all good again. We had such a great routine and I will do anything I can to make the transition back easy and smooth. Thankfully they have all been here during my recovery to visit, so it won’t be a complete shock to return and see us all again.

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As for exercise, this is what helps keeps me happy and sane. I would love to jump right back into where I left off…..which will not happen for quite sometime. Being passionate and motivated by exercise is something I have learned to accept as a wonderful thing. I can be having the worst day ever and know that if I can just get myself to the gym or downstairs for a workout, I will feel so much better. Now, I do have the go ahead from my doctor to return to the gym and daily workouts. I cannot, however, do any abdominal workouts for another four weeks. At this time I can try something easy and if I experience pain, I need to wait another four weeks. This means that by summer time paddling my standup paddle board could be quite the challenge at best. Typically, our bodies of water here in WI are not quite warm enough to actually use until at least July, so that gives me about 8 weeks to condition and strengthen my core to be able to paddle my SUP again. Despite being limited to what I can do and cannot do, I will be documenting my workouts again to #1 be able to look back at for myself and #2 share with anyone else that has gone through a similar surgery and give them something to refer to in this situation.

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Briefly, I will touch on our hiking and vacation plans. We had planned to do daily hiking on this next vacation in a region that we have never visited before. Unlike our Utah vacations which are intense elevation, heat and mountainous terrain, this one should be much easier. Although, I still don’t believe I could have done a few of the hikes we had on the list, so we did ultimately plan alternate activities in place of these hikes. We do plan do do some geocaching, small hikes, and a lot of sight seeing. I have no doubt regardless of what we end up doing that it will be a well deserved break from life and a much needed vacation for my husband. He has had everything on his shoulders for the past few weeks, while I spent every day just trying to recover enough to go on this trip. So whether we hike, have a picnic on green grass, or just enjoy the break doing a whole lot of nothing, I know it will be wonderful.

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As the weather gets a bit nicer everyday and Spring inches closer and closer, I cannot wait to start hitting our local trails again. I need to start working on logging hikes for the 52 HIKE challenge I joined.

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I also can’t wait to dig out our front porch chairs and go back to having fresh sushi while enjoying the sunshine on my face.

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Eventually, we may will dust off those kayaks that did not get any use last summer after my husband sustained his back injury and do some paddling.

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To say I am looking forward to Spring with enthusiasm and excitement would be putting it mildly……the anticipation it almost killing me.

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Standup Paddling the Chain of Lakes – Waupaca, WI

I finally had my chance to take my SUP out for it’s first paddle of the year. We watched the weather all week and Saturday was the day that was predicted to be beautiful, low 70’s and sunny. However, when the alarm went off I glanced outside and all I saw was clouds and more clouds. Life must go on and despite the dreary skies we packed up as planned and headed to a new destination, Waupaca, WI and the Chain of Lakes.

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We started to hit a fine mist of rain about half way there and prepared for a wet paddle. I was so determined to make the most of the day regardless of the weather that we just continued on toward our destination. I had been quite anxious all week to know if my ankle was strong enough yet to be back on my board and within 20 yards I knew it was healed enough to continue. I have been pretty diligent on stopping whatever it is that I try when I feel pain, as I was directed to do, until I have gained back all the strength in it. So I knew if I felt pain, this would have been a short trip but happily I felt nothing and we paddled onward.

We started at Knight Lake/Manomin Lake boat launch. They have a nice sized parking area, no bathrooms, but a great place to launch kayaks, canoes and SUP’s.

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Our destination was Marl Lake, known for it’s crystal clear waters and floating public dock which many paddlers are known to bring and share a picnic lunch at. To reach Marl Lake you must launch where we did, paddle through a small opening into Pope Lake and then again through another small opening into Marl Lake. If you have any sort of rudder or fin on your vessels watch for logs in these openings. (We had no trouble at all maneuvering through on this day)

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Within minutes of reaching Marl Lake it started to sprinkle a little heavier. Which was ok, I had prepared for a possible wet ride anyhow not knowing if my balance would be what I wanted it to be after an entire winter. Although, not long after this sprinkle the rain really started coming down. My husband and I found a tree and sat under this for quite awhile waiting it out. Thankfully there was no lightening, just rain. After about 20 minutes it seemed to have let up a bit and we made our way as fast as possible to the other side of the lake to the floating public dock. We beached our vessels and again hid under the trees.

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By this time I was wet, very wet, cold and a little miffed. However, my husband being the positive person he is said at least we were together and safe. Which was right, but sometimes that glass he always keeps half full I would just love to dump over his head. He always finds a bright side to everything and it sometimes drives me crazy!

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Eventually the rain stopped and we did not take long to make our way back to the truck to warm up and dry out our clothes using the heat vents.

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While waiting for our clothes to dry we shared our picnic lunch in the truck shivering instead of on this nice dock.

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After lunch we did go back out for awhile. I paddled, he fished, and we just enjoyed the cloudy weather the best we could. Even though our day was not everything I had hoped for in the weather department, I am very glad to know that I am still able to enjoy my standup paddle board.
We have already researched a little more about the area and have our next few lakes in the Waupaca area picked out for our next trip. However, at this time we have no idea when this will happen. Summer is so short and there are just so many fun things to do that I can only hope we make it back here one more time before it’s over.

 

Get Up and Move Challenge- August Update

How have you all been doing on the Get Up and Move Challenge?

Are you hanging in there?

Have you tried anything new you care to share?

Do you wonder why 30 minutes now seems so minimal but back in January 30 minutes of movement seemed like forever?

I hear you if that is the case. I will forever remember when I first started exercising(years ago) and I started with a walk around a one mile block near our home. I was exhausted, like drop dead done!!! I just think back to then and smile now. What was I thinking, doing that to my body. Giving it no activity for so many years and then thinking it could actually walk one mile. And now I expect so much more of this body. And yes, I will admit, sometimes I expect too much and pay the price.

Let’s see what I have all done this month to move for 30 minutes. First of all, I rarely just move for 30 minutes. Exercise is a release for me and 30 minutes is never really enough.

Anyhow, I have done my daily afternoon workouts as always Monday-Friday. This involves a thirty minute stationary bike ride and weights. I also walk Monday-Friday every morning with my daycare kiddos for one mile if the weather allows. Granted, this is at a toddlers pace, but its still a mile. Typically, two nights a week we attend the gym. This is 30-50 minutes of cardio and an hour of weight lifting. We walk together at least two nights a week for three miles. And one night a week we have been playing disc golf, so basically more walking.

Then when we get to our weekends, that is when it could get somewhat crazy. We have paddled for a few hours down some rivers in our kayaks this month.

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I have paddled for a few hours on my stand up paddle board.

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And we have hiked some great trails with steep elevation to add to our calorie burn.

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We have attempted to start geocaching again but the bugs are still so bad that we hope to return to that in the near future.

I can say I am pretty happy with all the activity I have achieved this month. I confess, I have been nursing a sore knee since our vacation but at this point I am hoping it’s just old age. I am quite stubborn about taking it easy when it comes to pain and I really do try to listen to what my body tells me. It’s just that my brain sometimes over rides that body and tells me I can do it and that is when I pay the price. So for now, I plan to take it easy on that knee for a bit and maybe just stick to walking for a week or two. We’ll see how that goes….

I would like to leave you all with a reminder that exercise does not have to be time in a gym that you dread day in and day out for a certain amount of time. Now is the best time to get outside and try something new. If you are a parent, don’t use your kids as an excuse not to exercise. No matter what age they are, there are ways to be active with them. Strollers, wagons, bikes, balls, walking, playground workouts while your kids play, backyard games, basketball at a local park…..I could go on forever. In all honesty, it probably would not hurt your children to be a little more active also. If you are older, start with something small and find something you enjoy. A walk with a neighbor, walk a pet, bike ride, kayak rentals, join a walking club near your home, buy yourself a set of hand weights for your home…..and so on. Anything is possible. Just put your mind to it and do it. You will not regret it.

Tell me what you have done this summer.

Anything fun and exciting?

If you took on this challenge, tell me what you have noticed. Do you feel better? Do you have more energy?

 

 

 

Weekend Highlights: July 4th. Weekend

Technically, our July 4th weekend started out at 4:30 Thursday night when my last daycare child was picked up from our home. My husband was with our son at the orthopedic surgeons office and I was left home alone with my thoughts of the last few days. And what a few days it was.

First of all, being out of routine with little ones running around does not make life easy! Typically, our son is at work most week days and we do our thing throughout the day. This is not at all what happened this past week. Instead, our son slept most of the day time hours or needed assistance of some kind. I honestly don’t know what injury was worse for me to deal with. His broken clavicle was the one that gave him the worse pain but the head injury gave us the biggest worry. Even the doctors were amazed all the CT scans came back ok because the bump and gash they stapled back together was amazing. So we obviously did not leave him alone for the first few days, which meant after Monday when my husband went back to work it was all me. Thankfully my husband took the overnight hours of checking on him and making sure he did not roll on the head injury and kept his medication on time. I got to sleep through most of the first few nights.

Then our weekend arrived and all original plans of kayaking were cancelled:( I was bummed! We struggled to decide if we should do anything at all with or without him and in the end decided that it would be best to stay together and just take it easy. He was still sleeping a lot of the time and his arm still hurt him quite a bit. So Friday was a relaxing day of getting some things done. I did a little shopping and then we planned a relaxing beach day for Saturday hoping that he would feel up to at least getting out of the house.

Saturday morning was gorgeous. We loaded up the stand up paddle board, one kayak, beach towels,chairs, and headed to the beach. If there is a better place to recover from an accident other than relaxing on a beach I would love to hear it because I believe sunshine can cure almost anything. We had the pleasure of having our neighbors join us for the day and it was quite a pleasant day for everyone. Both our neighbors had the opportunity to try stand up paddle boarding for the first time and did wonderful.

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Even our son was in the water for some of the time. The only part of him that he was not able to get wet was his head so he even attempted to play frisbee with us. Although, it was quite frustrating to throw with the wrong hand and watch it go everywhere other than where he was hoping it would go.

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At the end of our day our neighbor decided it was her time to learn how to wet exit and roll in a whitewater kayak. We had taken her down a river once before in the past but it was too cold to teach this on that day, so this was the perfect place to learn. The beach was a controlled area with no current and lots of assistance.

First, the wet exit was attempted. She got all the advice she needed and we were all close by for help if she needed it. Over she went.

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And out and up she came.

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Success!!!! It’s funny how this is really the biggest fear most people have when in a kayak for the first time. The questions of WILL I BE ABLE TO GET OUT is always scary and the best way to know if you can is to just do it. She did terrific and even said she has a better feeling now knowing she will be able to exit in the event of a rollover on a river.

Then she surprised my husband and son with the request to try and roll. Females are the bravest people we have had on the river by far and she was no different. Request granted and the lesson began.

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Here she is learning the hip action while leaning against my husband as our son watches and gives pointers. (he really felt so useless because normally he teaches the roll very well)

Now, it was her turn to try it and hope for the best. Over she went…

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And no success, she had to wet exit. Although she tried twice, both times were unsuccessful:(  We all have faith that in time she will get it.

After this we were all chilly and agreed it was time to pack up and head to a county park very nearby before heading home. Upon arrival the temperature change was amazing. I grabbed a jacket before heading down to the shoreline.

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We did not spend a whole lot of time here because of high, rough water and it was time to get our son home to rest. He was already sleeping in the car by the time we returned.

Even though it was not the weekend of kayaking we had planned, it was still a great day on the water. We all had a wonderful day at the beach with some fun friends and beautiful weather. I love summer:)

Then Sunday came and the first thing on the agenda was a quick trip to the clinic so our son could get his staples removed. I can’t believe a week has past since the accident. The rest of the day we just sort of did our own things. My husband went fishing, I hung out did some reading and went for a walk and made a pan of no boil lasagna for dinner. And our son had more friends stop in for a visit. I must admit, it was a nice way to end a long weekend.

Did you do anything fun? I’d love to hear about it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekend Highlights: A Visit With Friends at Clark Lake

This weekend we made our way to Clark Lake to visit some friends and spend some time on the water. For awhile now we have been talking about checking out this lake and Saturday seemed to be perfect. Hot, humid and sunny in Green Bay meant my hubby would be miserable so we headed to Door County where it was sure to be cooler.

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We arrived and it was 10 degrees cooler, no humidity and quite windy which meant my hopes for a nice time on the water quickly faded. I was bummed to say the least. We arrived at their cabin and not long after that the sun decided to come out. (I was getting happier) We decided to drive the short distance to the other side of the lake where the small beach area was and to my surprise it was much calmer and gorgeous. (I was now very happy again)

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We had a great time with the kayak and SUP we brought and really enjoyed chatting on the beach. Both my friend and her husband tried out kayaking for the first time and one even got brave and tried the SUP. However, kayaking seemed to be her preferred paddled watercraft of choice.

After a few hours at the beach we loaded everything back up, had a nice lunch at their cabin and then they took us for a tour of the lake on their pontoon.

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It was a wonderful end to a gorgeous Saturday with friends. I know we will be returning again to play on this lake in the near future and hopefully spend some more time together away from the big city we live in.

We are very grateful to have had such a wonderful day at a cozy cabin on a wonderful lake.

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Willow Run Disc Golf Course on Lake Wazeecha

Have you ever tried disc golf? We started playing two years ago and have been to some really great courses and some really bad courses. However, this time we have found a favorite. It’s on Lake Wazeecha in Wisconsin Rapids, WI.

This course has many trees that really add to the fun of playing. Most of the course is shaded and runs along side the lake.

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The course also has many hills, some beautiful views of the lake, and even some pretty challenging baskets.

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You may want to place a person near the water baskets for a little added “lake insurance” in case of an over throw. We did… or you may be swimming for your disc.

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The one down side of this course is that it is not marked well. Finding your next tee box can be difficult.

Across the lake is also a very nice beach area and campground. So, if your looking for a place to spend a day or a weekend, there seems to be plenty of active things to do in a few mile radius of Lake Wazeecha.

We are looking forward to returning for another game of disc golf, a picnic, and some time on the lake with the stand up paddle board this summer.