Saturday, January 23, 2016

Word for 2016....FIFTY

Risk
Alignment
Bold
Fearless
Serendipity
Happy
Unapologetic
Minimal Intent 
....and many more

There have been many blogs and articles this month about "My Word for 2016".  Resolutions are out...words for the year are in.  

I have never been a resolution maker.  It is the ultimate in setting yourself up for failure.  I'm not going to drink for 6 months after midnight New Year's.  Well, maybe a drink on New Year's Day, well, I don't go back to work until the 4th so that's when I'll start.  

I will start my diet on January 1.  Lord almighty there are so many leftovers from our New Year's Eve party, maybe after New Year's Day.  Family is still in town so how can I possibly pass up my Aunt Frieda's pineapple upside down cake.  I start work on the 4th...yes, on the 4th I start.

See my point....failure, you fail before you start.  The one day all or none deadline causes you to gorge like a death row inmate having his last meal, throughout the month of December in anticipation of "that day" when you go on the diet.  In the mean time you take on an additional 10 pounds to take off starting January 1...or 4th or whatever day you go back to your job and routine.

Resolutions reek of failure.

Words for the Year....better.  Although if your word for the year is happy you are going to be miserably crabby and frustrated most of 2016.  Why?  Because happy is not a goal, not something you can aspire to, happy comes when you give of yourself.  Happy is not found in money or material possessions.  Yes, it is easier for me when I have money, but it really does not make me happy.  Chasing happy is like a dog chasing his tail.

Sorry "Happy" worders....just my personal opinion.

Minimal Intent...okay that's two words so that simply does not work for my Type A rule follower personality.  Minimal intent sounds a bit pompous. Say it like it is...spontaneous.  I know, spontaneous makes you think you'll end up jumping in the nearest fountain, naked, singing a show tune from a Judy Garland movie because you've been dared by your best friend, whose word for the year is "Party".

After seeing hundreds of words I didn't see one of my word.

FIFTY

That's my word.

This year my year of fifty.  My age on June 11th is fifty.  Why Fifty?  Why not...it's better than Minimal Intent or the unattainable rainbow unicorn named "Happy"!

When I hear fifty or write F..I..F..T..Y this is what goes through my mind....

"Good Lord Almighty how did time go so fast?"

So...when I see FIFTY I am reminded of the pace of time and how it has now kicked into 6th gear overdrive.  I just want 6th gear overdrive in a Ferrari not 6th in a KIA.  Do they even have 6 gears..the KIAs?

Time to stop thinking about doing something next week, next year, five years from now.  

I also think about this vessel called my body which God deemed fit for me to care for.  Yes....I regret the Crisco sunbathing sessions and the fact sunscreen had apparently not been invented during the late 60's through the 70's when I was in my prime tanning phase.  All in all I've aged well.  Thank you mom and dad for the good genetics as I wasn't the best care taker in my teens, 20's and even 30's.  

FIFTY...I'm going to rock a bikini at 50.  Superficial yes, vain, of course, but there's more.  I have worked out since I was a teenager.  I ate right 90% of the time my whole life.  I am more active than 20 people combined on any given day in the US.  And...I'm confident.  No, I will never have my 20 year old body but I will look the best I can look at 50.

Which...has spurred me on to the following:

  • 30 day AB challenge
  • 30 day Push up challenge
  • Weight training....ladies, those chicken wings under your arms are the most unsightly gift God has bestowed on us aging women
  • Do more riding than I did last year, just 1 hour more every month than the month of the prior year.  I did this in 2015 and rode 500 miles more and it was an easily accomplishable goal.  
  • Not drinking wine EVERY night...ok, that one's a tough one but apparently wine drinking only contributes to 5% of weight loss.  We'll see how it's going in March.
When I was in South Africa a few weeks ago I was completely stressing about a swimsuit.  I have this bikini I wore 5+ years ago I bought at a Woolworth's in Nairobi.  I asked Mr. AM, "How about a one piece?"

"What and look like a old, grandma?" not quite the answer I was hoping for.

"I'm not 25 anymore!"

"No, but you look great, why would you do that?"

Good answer Mr. AM, good answer!

But I still felt naked.  Most of that I believe comes from my years in Rwanda where you don't where shorts in public and dress is significantly more conservative.  For this I love you Rwanda.  America...you FRIGHTEN me!

And then I went to the beach.....South Africa rivals the US in obesity numbers.

I don't want to compare myself to the lowest common denominator.  Yes, I am not obese, not overweight, spot on where I should be.  On the US height/weight tables, which have been adjusted for the burgeoning society I am now "underweight".  Seriously?

A dear friend who I love just made the decision to get healthy.  Hallelujah.  See...even though I just had a complete spiel about weight, vanity and bikinis it really comes down to being healthy and being the best me I can be.  I feel a responsibility to take care of this body God gave me.  Others haven't been so fortunate.  

What I respect about her is that it's not about being a certain size or number on the scale.  It's about being healthy and being there for her amazing kids and living a long life.  This is her "bikini".  I wish her well on her journey...read more here.

I was going to do a full list of 50 things about my word FIFTY but that's a long list of "stuff" that no one wants to read.  I'm just not that kitschy.

FIFTY....

Doing more for me this year.  I take care of 20-25 cyclists, staff, everyone's schedule and am on a constant loop of asking for funds to make it all happen.  I'm tired.  I'm exhausted.  I'm bitchy....some days more than others.

So...meditation...day 43 on my progress, take that Mr. Andy Headspace, my love / hate relationship with controlling my mind continues but I admit, and yes I give you credit, I am better.  

FIFTY...

Embracing vulnerability.  I am reading Brene Brown's book, Daring Greatly.  Where have you been my whole life?  Although I doubt I would have been ready to listen much before FIFTY!

FIFTY....

Friendships and relationships....that's all you have and that's all that counts when you reach the half way point.  As a consummate workaholic, I fear I have neglected this area of my life way too much.  So many people need me on a daily basis I simply shut down most days as there's nothing left to give to the ones who really lift my spirits and help me do what I do day in and day out.

My first friend I ever made in Las Vegas sent me this note when I asked if he could come to my 50th Birthday Party:

I think of you often and miss you terribly. Love you, Ciao

Another said...

Thanks for the email this morning, it made my day. After I read it, while the coffee was brewing, I wandered out into the snow in my flip-flops, underwear, coat and hat, to let the chickens out. You know what it's like to not be Midwestern anymore.

Yes....I do know what it's like to not be Midwestern anymore

Thank God my friends are still there although the distance and the years have been many.

FIFTY...

Let it rip sister
Kinder
Ride more....that is a serious bitch in Rwanda as my friends who've lived in Rwanda know.
Love more
Believe more
Pray for our ranch...long, sad story of greed and I fear, loss.
Let go more....
Do more good in the world
Highlight the good in the world and deflect the bad

So...my word is FIFTY...go find that one out on the blogging internet of goal setter word people!


Rocking a skirt on a hike up Pringle Peak in Pringle Bay, South Africa


My guys keep me young...and fit!









Monday, January 11, 2016

We Can Be Heroes...for Just One Day

David Bowie died today.  I was never a huge Bowie fan but there are songs that have resonated with me for years.  Heroes is one of those songs, today, now more than ever.  

69...such a short life as I turn 50 this year, Mr. AM is 60 how did life get so short?  He lived a long 69 years but it was over too soon.

I actually became a fan of David Bowie in the early 90's after reading he was dating Iman, the model from Mogadishu, Somalia, the most famous, stunning model to ever walk the Paris runways.  For me, enamored of all things African, it was the perfect match.  They were married 22 years, an eternity in the entertainment business and they were only separated by his death today.  

Heroes....the world simply needs more heroes.  This weekend I was with the team in Gisenyi to celebrate our 2015 Tour of Rwanda win with the Minister of Sport.  As we walked onto the beach at the Lake Kivu Serena there were several groups of Rwandans sitting at the tables along the sand enjoying the Sunday afternoon, a cheer went up, "Team Rwanda" with accompanying cell phones and people jockeying for position for a selfie with their favorite team member.  

That would never have happened even 3 years ago...or perhaps even 2 years ago...there were no cycling heroes in Rwanda.  Today, the entire team is recognized, cheered, revered...they have become heroes to their country.

In her speech, Minister Uwacu expressed how this team and the five riders leaving to join professional teams are ambassadors for their country.  She said that when they do well, not just in a race, but also in their interactions with the international community, it is a direct reflection on Rwanda, how the world perceives Rwanda. 

She sees their value not just on the bicycle, but in their role as ambassadors for their country, which transcends politics.

They are heroes.

The shouts for Bosco, one of the shyest members of Team Rwanda, to come sit and have a beer, to hang with the group of Rwandan fans were met with Bosco's hand waving, finger wagging, "Oye" (No).  Bosco knows his role, his job, his responsibility as he gets ready to leave for his first race with BikeAid in Mallorca, Spain.  He is focused on the task at hand.

Bosco is a hero to this country.  He's not the flash and extravert his teammate, Valens is, who won the Tour of Rwanda in 2014. He's a devoted mama's boy, helping his single mother provide for his family.  He is a hero to his family.

The world needs more Team Rwanda heroes...more Bosco, more Bonaventure, more Adrien Niyonshuti and less anti heroes of the social media world.

RIP David Bowie...thanks for a life well lived.

Be a hero....

Bosco after winning the 2016 Tour of Rwanda draped in the Rwandan flag