December 1st – “Family members may wake up on the wrong side of the bed today, and the morning could get tense. So treat everyone to breakfast.”

My partner and I spent the night tossing and turning, so we both woke up on the wrong side of the bed today.

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Yesterday was my day off from exercise so I got lazy on the couch and ate Lebkuchens. They are super cakey not too sweet German gingerbread cookies and delicious! If you don’t know what it is, click here. I ate them all before I had a chance for a photo! I think I’m going make these this year for Christmas. If you have an easy fail-proof recipe, please shoot me a message: suresignsproject@gmail.com

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We were wide awake at 4 a.m. It was late for him and a little early for me. We usually have our own routines, but we shared the morning today. I took this opportunity to leave the house sooner to give my partner space to meditate with Mr. Ox and for me to work on my own meditation. I don’t meditate in the traditional sense, but sometimes consider jogging as my form of meditation.

Six miles later, I felt great!

I couldn’t treat my partner to breakfast, so I treated myself. There was a slice of sponge cake waiting for me at work. I should have saved it for lunch, but I didn’t!

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November 17th – “Just hang out and enjoy the passing scenery.”

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That sounds like wonderful prediction, doesn’t it?  Well it was, but only for the first 15 minutes of my day! Just when you think you have it easy, it can get hard real fast.

Inadvertently, I woke up at 4:30 this morning. That’s my usual time when I have to commute to the city. Today, I didn’t have to drive. I jumped out of bed because I thought it was 6:30 a.m.

After some warm ups, I bolted outside into the darkness.  As I’ve mentioned before, I like to work out first thing in the morning before my mind has a chance to wake up and rebel. It was a cold 45 degrees, but I tried not think about it and forged on. I thought to myself, “I’m only going for a short run. It won’t be so bad.”

Strangely, there weren’t any other runners around the lake today. Normally, there are dozens of early risers getting a jog in before work. After half an hour, the sun still wasn’t rising at all. That’s when I realized that something was wrong. I was up way too early.

At this point, there was no way that I’d be able to rewind and go back to sleep. Even though I was tired and struggling, my body was awake enough from the chilly air that it didn’t make sense to quit.

I had read my zodiac predication the night before and almost laughed out loud. With all the extra time I had now, I decided to turn my short run into a long one. My zodiac gave me a clear sign to hang out and enjoy the passing scenery, so I did.

It’s a rare treat to be at the lake at night, especially when there aren’t other pedestrians around. Despite the piercing cold, I appreciated the stillness. The ducks weren’t even in the water and lined up at the edge, patiently waiting for the sun to come out so they could warm their feathers.

The chilly air and quietness made me focus on nothing but the moment, something which I haven’t been able to do for a very long time. I wasn’t distracted by Olympic-fast joggers wearing face masks for “resistance training” or by overhearing private conversations from urban strollers. There were no car horns, seagull cries, or traffic signals beeping. I couldn’t see very well with the dim lights, but it didn’t matter. It was just me, the lake, and no one else.

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Some day pictures of the lake:

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October 1st to 2nd  – “Do a short run or walk on the 1st. If feeling lackluster, know that the 2nd will be better.

I forgot to read my horoscope until the end of the day, so I didn’t get any exercise on the 1st. Ugh! I already missed 2 days before that which means I missed 3 days in a row! Noooo!

One habit I try to stick to is to not skip exercising for more than 2 days in a row. I count walking (at least 3 miles at a time) as exercise as well, so it’s usually not hard too follow. I find that when I do miss 2 days, it is more difficult to get back into the swing of things. It’s easy to start coming up a variety of excuses as to why I can’t make my work out happen, and I know that I’m not alone in this!

I know many people who struggle with getting into a regular exercise schedule. The most common reason I hear is, “I don’t have time.” The reality is that it’s rarely a real time issue, but rather, a commitment issue. Some days I do commit to exercise, other days, I don’t. I could use the time excuse, but it’s pretty hard to convince myself that I had to spend two hours binge watching The Real Housewives (I have a love hate relationship with reality TV that I’ll tell you about later).

Despite the 3 day break filled with afternoon naps and episode after episode of bad reality TV, September 2nd did go much better. My work horoscope instructed me to send out resumes that day so I spent the morning working on two applications. After submitting them it was easy to REWARD myself with a 5 mile jog and stretch my muscles outside. It’s amazing how quickly my perspective changed in the course of  24 hours and how well the 2 horoscopes worked together.

That’s another win-win for me and the horoscopes!

September 27th (Part 2) – “motivation zooms” for your workout

If you’re waking up to the sound of the garbage truck, you know that it’s early! I let myself sleep in for another 5 minutes before I hopped out of bed, brushed my teeth, put on my shoes, and bolted out the door. I didn’t even have to change my clothes because I wore my workout clothes to bed last night (which is also a good way to prevent delays in the morning!).

When it’s early like this, I try to get moving as quickly as I can so that my brain can’t register that I want to go back to bed. I usually do things like feed the cats, make my bed, clean, and other physical chores to help my body wake up. Last night, I stayed at a friend’s house and didn’t have anything to do, so my 1 hour walk to the train station was the warm up for the day.

It was pitch black outside, and the air was still warm from the heat wave the night before. This was rare for a city that is known for its fog and summer-less summers. The moon and stars lit my way through the hills and valleys and I was happy for the company. I haven’t appreciated the city much lately, and this was a welcome surprise. The city felt calm, quiet, and mysterious which brought me back to my youth. When I first started jogging the city streets, I didn’t have an IPOD to accompany me. Back then CD players were popular, so it wasn’t very convenient. Instead, I would watch sunsets and sunrises with a gentle chorus of sea lions barking at the wharf. This was where I learned to love jogging. I was constantly challenged crawling up 30% grade hills and rewarded with inimitable views. In the tranquility of dusk and dawn, the problems of the day disappeared  and I was present in the world.