Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Diving with the Sharks

Becky just told me about the diver who died this week after being bitten by a shark while diving in the Bahamas. After uttering a Holy Shit! I jumped online real quick to make sure it wasn't the Company we had gone with. It wasn't. But the dive described in this article sounds exactly like the one we were on. I will tell you that there were a few people (seasoned divers) on our boat who did not participate in the shark dive with us. Not out of fear, but because they didn't agree with the principals of the dive. Their disagreement stood with the thought that by feeding sharks in the wild you are teaching them to associate humans with food. I understand this thinking and actually agree with it, but I still went on the dive because, you know, I just had to see it.

On our dive we were prepped thoroughly before hand on what to do and what NOT to do. Which included:
  • Enter water in very orderly fashion. On most dives people get into the water on their own time, I'm usually one of the last because I'm always misplacing something. Where the fuck did my right glove go?? On this dive we all had to be ready at the same time and entered one right after another all military parachute like.
  • Once in the water follow the rope down to the mooring. Do this ORDERLY. The sharks know this routine, do not fuck this up people!
  • When at the bottom form a horseshoe around the drop zone. At our location there was a large rock formation with lots of fingers, do not sit in front of the fingers -the sharks like to swim through these.
  • Kneel on the ocean floor and make sure all attachments, like your second stage, are close to your body.
  • Stay as still as possible and Don't Breathe! Just kidding....you can breathe. Don't breathe hard though! Kidding, kidding, I'm sorry, this is not funny.

Once in place they bring the dinghys over, which carry the chum. As soon as the dinghys start up the sharks know and they start moving faster, circling, just waiting for the drop. Once the chum is dropped the feeding only lasts a minute or so. What I remember most was the sound of them tearing into the chum. That's when I stopped breathing - just to take it all in.

I found a couple of videos of shark dives on the website of the Company we went with. If you want to check them out you can find them here and here (click on Shark Feed). These videos are pretty short and I am NOT digging the corny ass music they included, but they'll give you an idea of what it is like.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Reminiscing

A year ago this past week we were on a sailboat scuba diving around the Bahamas. We got off of the boat two times during the week, once for about 10 minutes on a deserted island and a second time on the second to last night when we ported and partied on Bimini.

I’ll never forget this trip, mostly because it was the worst travel experience EVER, but also because it was our first time warm water diving and we were with some of our best friends.

In addition to missing our flight, almost not making the boat, and loosing luggage we spent the week shacking up with Mike & Alanna in a room no bigger then a small closet. The room consisted of bunks and about a foot of walking space between the beds and the door. We couldn’t have luggage, there was no place to store it on the boat, so our clothes stayed with us in our bed. The sleeping arrangements sucked. And that is putting it mildly. Within hours of being at sea Collin, Mike, and Alanna were puking over the side of the boat while Justin gleefully drank wine and snapped pictures. Damn him and his no sea sickness. I didn’t puke over the side, no, I made it all the way down into our cabin and into bed (we had the top bunk), before the urge hit me. I practically fell out of bed, my hand covering my mouth and had to shove the guy across the hall out of the way as I wretched into the head. Good times. I wish I could say things got better after that first night, but they didn’t. On day 3 we hit the worst storm they’d seen a while. We were cruising through 12-foot waves and even the seasoned divers were suffering from sea sicknesses. We spent most of that day lying in the bunks in the dining area, watching the fruit hammock swing back and forth with such force it could have knocked someone out.

I learned a couple of things on this trip: 1) when picking a wetsuit make sure you do not choose a size that is comfortable on land, unless you want to spend the week dreading each dive, not wanting to get back in that freezing ass cold water. 2) Next dive trip will involve sleeping on land, with a beach and a bed. No more of this sea shit.

But, that all said, when I look back at the pictures I have a hard time not remembering the fun we had. I’m glad we did it, even if we have no intention of ever doing it again.

I’ve never shown anyone any of the pictures from our trip because, well, I didn’t take any. But our friends did, and I thought I’d share them with you now, a year later. These are all courtesy of these two: Mike & Justin (and that’s our boat, The Morning Star, in the back ground!). Thanks guys!

The thing that is so awesome about diving is that it is a completely different world under the water and it is so amazing to watch the animals in their own environment. My favorite part of the trip was seeing the octopus on the wall dive. Collin's favorite was the shark dive, where they dropped food for roughlty 20-30 sharks. We don't have any pictures of this because you were advised to stay very still during the feeding, but I can tell you it was simply amazing. Here are some pictures Justin took with his underwater camera.
Okay, this is just Collin and I, not quite as interesting as the sea creatures, but it's the only dive picture we have of us so I had to include it.








Putting the sea sickness aside, the thing that was great about being on the boat is that it felt like we had the sea all to ourselves. We could look out for miles and see nothing but the ocean, only occasionally could you see a passing ship in the far distance. The other really amazing thing was looking at the stars at night, after the engine was off and the sails were up. It was so peaceful listening to the sails snap in the wind, carrying us to our next destination. No cars, no phones, just the open water with waves slapping against the boat and the wind in your face.




At the end of our 6 days on the boat we spent a couple of days hanging around Freeport lying on the beach and shoping in Port Lucaya. We needed those two days to decompress. Sand never felt so wonderful beneath my feet.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Better than Expected

Over the last few months our struggle with getting pregnant has been torture on my emotional state. I swing from being sad and depressed and full of self pity to happy and thankful for the blessings that we do have in our life. The feelings that are the hardest for me to swallow are the occasional bouts of anger, jealousy and bitterness. I’m not happy to admit that once I had excuse myself from the room because watching Ma & Pa Kono coo over a baby filled me with envy. Why isn’t that our baby? Why do we have to go through this? I left the room because the jealousy I was feeling made me angry with myself. That night I came home, popped in my Tae Bo tape and tried to burn off my anger with a little Billy therapy. As he yelled, Get those knees up! I burst into tears. I bawled. And I didn’t even care that Billy was watching.

I had a baby shower to attend today and I have to admit I was really nervous about going. I knew I was going to be surrounded by little kids and pregnant women and I was worried about the emotions that might well up inside of me. I made plans to come home right afterward and made sure everyone knew it. I said it was because of the dog and in part it was, but it was mostly because I knew there was a possibility that I’d need to be alone tonight.

I am so happy to tell you that attending the shower today had the exact opposite effect on me. Seeing Sam (the mommy-to-be) and her pregnant belly made me happy and hopeful. I’m so excited and I can’t wait until Collin and I become parents. I don’t know when that will be, but today I felt certain that it will happen. Somehow, someway, we will create our family.

I can’t guarantee this feeling will last long, tomorrow I might be in tears again or stomping around pissed at the world. But for now I’m hopeful and that’s because of the support we’ve been getting from our family and friends. Back in July, when we first started trying, we didn’t tell anyone. Hoping we’d get pregnant easily, we wanted it to be a surprise for our parents. Around October we started telling a few people and by December it was no longer a secret from anyone. We debated and debated about “letting the cat out of the bag” so to speak. It was a hard decision to make, but I am now certain that it was the right one.

After I hit publish on that last post I stepped away from the computer and thought, well, no one’s going to want to touch that with a 10-foot poll. But you did, and your words were so much appreciated. So I just want to say Thank you. You guys make the struggles in life bearable. I feel so blessed.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Motivation I Needed

I’m sure you’re sick of hearing about my uterus, but I had my follow-up doctor appointment yesterday afternoon and finally got the results of the blood work and ultrasound that I had done at the end of January. I got some good news and some…well, not so happy news, which would you like first??? Good news? Okay….

1) All of my blood work came back normal
2) My ultra sound, overall, looked good. My ovaries and my uterine lining looked normal. I was especially glad to hear that he didn’t see any conclusive signs of the endometriosis (although I’m not sure that an ultrasound could tell this with certainly, my last doctor had said the only way to be certain is through a laparoscopy)

The not so good news is that

1) I have a cyst on my right ovary
2) I need to loose 10 pounds
3) I have been prescribed the following: Wait two more months taken with water, not food, fat ass, you need to loose weight

Basically he doesn’t know why I’m not ovulating, all systems are a go, the rocket’s just not lifting off. So he wants me to wait until the middle of April, at that time if I still haven’t ovulated and had a period on my own, then we’ll do a repeat ultrasound to check the cyst. If everything still looks good, then he’ll prescribe something to induce ovulation.

In the meantime, he’s wondering if it possibly has to do with the extra weight my hips and thighs have invited over for an extended stay vacation. I’ve gained a lot of weight since this past summer. Like a lot, like a solid 15 pounds. Seriously. My pants do not fit any more. So he told me to take off 8 to 10 by my next appointment. I’m determined to do this because what I DON’T want to happen is I go back in April and he blames the lack of ovulation on the weight and tells me to wait it out a bit longer until I can take it off.

Although I was really hoping he’d prescribe clomid at this appointment, now that I’ve had time to sit back and think about all of this, I’m okay with this 2 month wait. I hate to say this, with all the bitching I’ve done lately about NOT being pregnant; I have to be honest with you in that at the same time I was scared of being pregnant because, and this is vain, but I don't want to be this big when I get pregnant.

I suppose all of this came at a good time as I started counting calories again on Monday. I hate counting calories, it is so damn time consuming and I hate how it changes the way I look at food. But, I’ve been doing the Fitness Challenge for 6 weeks now and in all that time I’ve only lost about 3 pounds. I know I haven’t been working out as much as I should, but I was doing better than I was in November or December and I really thought I’d be able to take some more off pretty easily. Wrong. So, I’m trudging forward full throttle now.

I’m not sure that taking off these pounds will fix my ovulation problem, but I do know it will improve my self esteem and mood. And that’s enough for me to actually be excited about these next two months.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Desperate Times call for Desperate Measures

Last night we were at a graduation party when Ma Kono came up to me and said, “I need to talk to you, but Collin can’t hear.” As she sashayed in front of him and nudged him out of the way she whispered “We need to Feng Shui your house.” I started laughing, ahh, that’s why Collin can’t hear….he doesn’t particularly care for Feng Shit (his words). She continued, “I was working on my children and creativity corner this afternoon and thought of you guys, this is the area to improve to be able to conceive and bear children.” That was all she needed to say, my eyes grew wide and I asked how soon she could be there.

See, the thing is, I’m frustrated….no… I’m beyond frustrated, I’m border line pissed. Although the progesterone worked and my period started at the end of January, I’m now on CD27, the day before a “normal” woman would begin her period, and so far I’ve had no conclusive evidence that I’ve ovulated. The doctor told me that it wasn’t necessary to chart my BBT (basal body temperature) this month; he said I could do that after I get on a normal monthly schedule. But I had to. I’m sick and tired of being patient and waiting it out. I did that between the months of October and January, when I had to wait 3 months before they’d let me schedule an appointment. By tracking my temperature changes at least I felt like I was doing something. In the end I can’t change whether or not I actually drop an egg, but by temping at least I have a little more knowledge of what is going on.

A little over a week ago my temperature spiked, and for those that have ever had to do this, you know that is a good sign. Although I only had two days worth of temps I really thought it had happened and I was high on life. What made it even better was that we had BD (baby dance – aren’t you loving these terms?) on the suspected ovulation day. But, I shouldn’t have gotten my hopes up, a couple of days later my temps plummeted and Fertility Friend changed their stance from “ovulation detected” to “ovulation NOT detected”. Grrrrr. I wanted to throw things, I wanted to yell….oh wait I did do a lot of the latter. Poor Collin, I’ve been such a BITCH this week.

So here I am, another month almost gone and although I know that I need to be patient, and I know that things happen for a reason, and I know it is all on God’s plan. Knowing these things doesn’t make any of this any easier. I just want my body to work, to give me a chance at conceiving. Just a chance. Is that too much to ask?

But where were we? Oh yes, Feng Shui….so this morning when we woke up to a snowstorm and our plans for the day were pretty much canceled I dug out the book Ma Kono gave me a couple of years back. I had to reread to remember how this all works and for those who are unfamiliar, here are the basics (very basics, as really I have no idea what I’m talking about). There is a 9 quadrant octagon called a Bagua that has the following categories: prosperity, family, skills & knowledge, fame & reputation, health, career, relationships & love, creativity & children, helpful people & travel. You lay this Bagua on the top of the floor plan of your home to determine which area of your house ties to each category. Then, in order for the flow of positive energy to take place, you are supposed to place certain objects, colors, and materials in each of these spaces. There are a lot more specifics on how you do this, but that’s the basics.

In our case the creativity & children area fell in our breakfast nook and the back half of our mud room. To enhance this area of your life you are supposed to include the following: metal, round stuff, earth, and the colors white & yellow, among other things. Ma Kono also told me I should put pictures of children in this area. Luckily, our breakfast nook is painted gold, which I’m counting as yellow, so that helps. But, to make things even more conducive to this positive flow of energy….if this shit even works, who knows, but dude, I’m desperate….we moved some things around and added some stuff to our walls today.

First, I moved this pathetic looking fern, that has been sitting in front of the register and slowing dieing each day, to the breakfast nook area. This is killing two birds with one stone as it is both earth and in a round pot. Score. I also went rummaging around in the basement and found a yellow and white table runner that had some sort of candle stain on it and was never likely to be used as a table runner again and pinned it around the base of the planter to hide the ugly black container it came it. Yellow and white. Double score. Also a lot cheaper than buying a new planter.


Then, we moved into the mud room. I painted this room last April and shortly after that we bought these shelves. Today, we finally hung the shelves and added pictures of some of our favorite children.


I plan to buy some white flowers for the table the next time we go grocery shopping and I'm also now in the market for some metal sconces to hang around the picture that is on the wall opposite of the table.
Will all of this really help us to conceive? I have no idea, but I'm really happy those shelves are finally hung.



Thursday, February 14, 2008

Breaking Tradition

I’m not sure how we started this tradition, or if we even meant for it to be a tradition, but every Valentine’s Day since we’ve been together Collin and I have made seafood alfredo for dinner. I’ll never forget that first Valentine’s Day. We weren’t living together yet and Collin came to my apartment and brought marinated venison steaks and I made the alfredo. Even though we weren’t leaving the house I put on a black skirt and thin yellow sweater and made sure my hair and makeup was just right.

Fast forward 5 years and tonight we didn’t have the ingredients to make the seafood alfredo so after work we made a quick stop at the grocery store. Let me preface this by saying we were both at work late and by the time we got there I was STARVING. I learned tonight why they say not to go grocery shopping when hungry. We went in for the following items to make dinner tonight:

Crab meat
Salmon
Linguine
Whipping cream

After walking around aimlessly we left the store with the following:

Pizza Rolls (I’ve been craving these since Tessie mentioned them)
Buffalo chicken strips
Ice cream

How’s that for a romantic dinner? I fully intend to eat this while lounging in my sweats with my hair in a half-assed pony tail. What a difference 5 years can make.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

Sending out Heartfelt Birthday Wishes on Valentine’s Day

Jocular
Entrepreneur
Sassy
Shop, loves to
Intelligent
Casual
Accountant

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Hello der!

One of our friends always answers his phone with a big jolly “Hello der!” It makes me smile every time. I know it has only been 5 days since I’ve been online snooping through, I mean, getting updates on your daily life, but man those five days feel like forever. So, how have you been?

Our trip up north was everything I was hoping it would be and more (literally). The weather was nice on Saturday so we spent the afternoon snowshoeing between our lake and the bigger lake across the road. We spent the evenings playing multiple games of euchre, which I’ll have you know, Kira & I won more times than we lost. We may have started off a little rusty with that 10-0 sweep, but do not doubt us boys, we will come back and it will be with a vengeance. And we will spend the rest of the weekend hearing you complain “if we could just get a good hand.” Ha! Queens of Euchre, right here!



I also spent a good portion of my weekend with my nose in this book. I haven’t finished it yet, but so far I’m loving it. I never would have picked this up on my own, Ma Kono lent it to me, but it makes me wonder why I don’t read more thriller/suspense/mystery books. I spent so much time reading this book that they boys were getting pissed at me. Can’t you put that thing down? I was even reading while hands were being dealt. And now that I think about it, that was a little obsessive. But it is just so good!

Luckily we took advantage of the good weather on Saturday, because that night it dropped to at least 40 below with the wind chill and Sunday was pretty brutal. We packed up Sunday afternoon to head home but that wasn’t in the cards (he, he, God we played A LOT of euchre). Because our cars had sat outside all weekend and hadn’t been driven since Friday evening, the gas lines froze. My parents’ was working so the guys ran into town to buy supplies for Operation: Make Car Run. The supplies consisted of the following: tarp, giant propane heater, propane tank. If you think that sounds dangerous, you’re probably right. In the end it didn’t work, though it did send my Mom into a giant tizzy. Sorry Mom, but I thought I was the Nervous Nelly in the group.

So, we ended up staying an extra day. Which was wonderful….until we got home. As soon as I walked in the door my stress level sky rocketed just thinking about everything I had to get done in 4 days now, instead of 5. And of course, I got word yesterday that one of my deadlines that was supposed to be next week, oh yeah, that one? We’re gonna need that by the end of this week.

I’m already dreaming about my next vacation day.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Vacation Day & Recipe: Parmesan Chicken

This afternoon we’re heading up north to the cabin for the weekend, so I took a vacation day today. Collin still had to work at least half a day so my original plan for today was to get up when he left for work and clean the floors. Last night, I decided FUCK THAT! This is a vacation day and I’m going to treat it as one. So instead, this is what I’ve done today:

- Slept in until 8:30
- Had cookies and milk for breakfast (I know, I know, I’m supposed to be eating healthy - but this is a VACATION day!)
- Sent a couple of emails
- Caught up on some blog reading
- Worked out for an hour and did not feel guilty for even 1 minute about the other things I could have been doing

I’m now off to shower and pack. I can’t wait to get up to the cabin. Justin & Kira are already en route and my parents will be coming up in the morning. We’re hoping to do one or more of the following this weekend: snowshoe, cross county ski, ice fish. If we do none and just hang out in the cabin drinking tea from my Grandma’s old teapot and watch movies, I’ll be fine with that.

Before we go I wanted to leave you with another healthy recipe. This one came from Fix-It and Forget-It Lightly.

Parmesan Chicken
Makes 8 servings
(Ideal slow-cooker size: 4- or 5-quart)

8 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 2 lbs)
½ cup water
1 cup fat-free mayonnaise
½ cup grated fat-free Parmesan cheese
2 tsp. dried oregano
¼ tsp. black pepper
¼ tsp. paprika

Place chicken and water in slow cooker.
Cover. Cook on high 2 hours
Mix remaining ingredients. Spread over chicken.
Cover. Cook on high 2-2 ½ hours.

My variations: I use shredded parmesan because I don’t like grated, it reminds me of eating sand. Blah. I cut this recipe in half or even a quarter when I make it. And lastly, I cook this while I’m at work so I don’t use the two step cooking process. Instead, I put everything in the slow cooker in the morning before work and cook it on low all day. It works just as well.

Nutrition information: per serving – 180 calories (35 from fat), 4 g total fat (1g saturated, 0g trans), 75mg cholesterol, 400 mg sodium.


Wow, that there is a large picture of a chicken breast. Oh well, this computer takes too damn long to load pictures for me to re-do it. Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Overreacting & Lenten Blasphemy

A few weeks ago I got word that I’m going to be relocated at work. The office I’m in is needed for another department on our floor and since I work from up here remotely, it is only logical that I’m the one that should move. I understand the thinking and in theory I’m okay with this. They showed me the potential “new” office a week or so ago and although it was smaller it did have a window. The more I had time to think about it, the more I was actually (somewhat) looking forward to the move. It didn’t have a fire place burning with a big leather recliner that I could snuggle up in, but it was a nice little corner office and it felt kind of cozy.

Yesterday afternoon I got a call saying that office was more than likely going to fall through, but there was another one I could go look at. I got the directions and headed down just before the end of the day. If potential office # 1 was the equivalent of a cozy cottage on a lake, then potential office # 2 was a prison cell, complete with graffiti on the walls. I was so upset about the turn of events that when I got home yesterday I wanted to heave my body onto the floor and throw a giant tantrum. So when Kira called and asked if we wanted to go out to eat to celebrate Fat Tuesday I said yes, and can we throw in a side of self pity?

The food was delicious and in good wallowing fashion, I gorged myself on chips and ate a quesadilla the size of my head. To top it off I ordered fried ice cream and the waitress had to practically pry the bowl away from my hands as I licked it clean. I ate way too much, but it was justified - I had a crisis on my hands.

This morning I got a call which went like this “Disregard the message I left yesterday, potential office # 2 isn’t going to work out. We’re back to working on #1.”

Ummmm, so what you’re telling me is that the tantrum and gorging wasn’t really necessary after all?

If only I could just chill the fuck out once in awhile!

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Given that it is Ash Wednesday I can’t believe I’m about to say this out loud. Surely I’m going to pay for it later….

Lenten blasphemy, 3x:

1) I have no problem with children being in church. I don’t even mind when they get fussy and are out of sorts, they’re kids, it’s to be expected. If they are really really loud I think it’s appropriate to take them out, but the normal fuss... phew, that’s fine. In order to keep children quiet a lot of parents bring books and other small toys along. I’m also okay with this, I mean, my brother and I? We used to be those kids. I fully expect that when we are parents we’ll likely use these same tactics. Somehow though, I think I’ll draw the line somewhere. Somewhere BEFORE I allow my child to bring a princess castle to church. Seriously? A castle?? And I’m not talking about a little pocket pal castle, this thing unfolded and sprawled across the whole damn seat. A seat, by the way, I could have been sitting in instead of standing through the service at the back of the church watching little Amy play house with Cinderella!!

2) As we were walking out of church tonight I overheard this spoken by a grown woman: “Hi, how are you? Nice forehead.” WTF? I can understand a kid saying this, but an adult? Weird.

3) In true Ash Wednesday fashion, I received the largest, darkest cross possible. When I first started going to these services a few years back I used to be embarrassed by this. Now I’m actually thankful, at least people know I’ve come from church instead of just walking around with ink smeared on my head, which coincidently, is what I did Monday.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Mixed Emotions

We spent this past weekend in Milwaukee visiting some of my friends from college. The drive down was pretty uneventful until we hit Good Hope. And that’s when it happened, that’s when it always happens. Oh shit, oh shit, what is going on? What are these emotions that are going all stir crazy inside me?? Abort mission! Turn the car around, this place always does this to me!

I love it and I hate it. I miss the old times while at the same time I long for the future. I want to go back to Friday night happy hours at Club Brady. I want to dance the night away at Cush and shit, I wouldn’t even mind making a stop to smoke the hookah. At the same time I can’t wait to bring my children to a game a Miller Park, or take them to the Milwaukee County Zoo or the Public Museum.

As we exit on Van Buren, I start to feel guilty that I miss the partying days. Aren’t those supposed to be behind me? Aren’t we trying to start a family? Remember, you don’t like hangovers any more.

I know....I bet I’d feel better if we had a baby in the back seat. Then I could look back and smile and say, hey little one, this is the city where Mommy and Daddy met. We had some crazy fun times here. But Thank God those days are over and you’re with us now.

The problem is… we don’t have a baby. It is just the two of us in the car and I realize that I’m in limbo. Not quite the party girl I used to be, not yet the mother I want to be. Just stuck here in the middle…missing the past but yearning for the future.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Kono Family Announcement!

CaSondra and Ben got engaged on Saturday!!!

So looking forward to another family wedding!!

Congratulations you two!

Friday, February 1, 2008

January Winner / February Challenge

A big Congratulations goes out to my brother, Justin (a/k/a Buck), who is our January Fitness Challenge winner!!

I’m not at all surprised by this result, in fact, I was pretty sure he’d win this month even before the challenge began. See, on a typical work week day, Justin spends about an hour and a half in the gym. I believe this is partly because he needs to stay in good physical condition for this job. However, the primary reason is simply because he enjoys working out. In fact, the other night while we were playing Loaded Questions we had to answer the following question for Justin – “What hobby do you enjoy?” and he actually answered working out over hunting. I’m sure you can guess there were quite a few people around the table upset with that answer. What do you mean??? It’s HUNTING!!!!

Also, because this is becoming a post about my brother, I might as well go ahead and tell you that he received the name “Buck” at Konopalooza 2004 (before it was know as Konopalooza) when he wore camo The. Whole. Weekend. If I remember correctly, Kira was given the honorary title of “Buck Girl.” Oh, thank god that didn’t stick, huh Kira?

Anyway, regardless of the fact that he already worked out regularly, I know he took this challenge very seriously. So, Congratulations Justin and great work!! Email me with your prize choice.

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I’ve found that one of the keys to staying in a fitness routine is making sure that I have variety and don’t get bored with my workouts. Working off of that, the challenge for February is going to revolve around trying new things. For this month, 1 point will still be given for each 10 minutes of exercise, but you will also have a chance to earn bonus points.

For February, for each new exercise you try, award yourself 5 bonus points. “New” will be anything that you haven’t done within the last 6 months. Bonus points will only be awarded for the first time the exercise is performed (sorry, not every time throughout the month). But, because I’m feeling nice, you don’t have to count January in those 6 months. For instance, I went snow shoeing in January, something I hadn’t done since last winter. Because January is not counting against me, I will award myself 5 bonus points for the first time I go snow showing in February. Does that make sense?

Best of luck to everyone and happy exercising!