Tortoise Raging

It went too well!  The problem with having a nearly perfect trip is there is less of a story to tell.   The  TL,DR (“Too Long, Don’t Read”) version of this goes: The weather was awesome, we were awesome.  It was almost too easy.

Dare I say it was too easy to qualify for Type 2 Fun?  Which is kind of amazing for a winter camping trip in the BWCA.  Especially considering last years thwarted camping.

When things are going comically poorly we have fewer photos but better stories.  I know it was mostly Type 1 Fun because there were plenty of photos.

Things were so comfortable Will took plenty of video and put together this beautiful little film of our trip.


I have just one story to tell.  This is the story of Tortoise Raging.

It began with underestimating of the portage into Angleworm Lake, again.   Continue reading

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A different progress report.

Public accountability.  It can be a wonderful thing.

Sometimes we hope and wish no one is watching us.  Other times, such as blogging, even if no one is watching we hope an imagine people are.   So I share my progress in an attempt to use you readers (both real and imagined) to hold me accountable to my goals.

One year ago (February 28th 2016 to be precise) I announced my big boring budgeting goal. By the end of April I admitted that the only “progress” that I had made was rscreen-shot-2017-01-28-at-3-51-03-pmealizing how much it made me want to cry.  This has been epic type-two fun for me.  It’ll be fun to have money for all the athletic and outdoor adventures, but in the meanwhile it’s been a fucking miserable slog.  I’ve been angrily determined to push through my childish tantrums or quiet panic.  It hasn’t always been pretty.  For about four months I completely gave up.

It’s now been NINE months since that last update in April.

Sometimes the best way to do something awful is to make someone else do it too.  Last November I roped Andrea into being as miserable as me.  It’s working.  She’s about ready to throttle her computer, or her accounts, or YNAB, or maybe me.  I feel loads better.

I’ve finally felt real progress.  I actually got all my transactions logged and adjusted the monthly budget.  More significantly I didn’t dread it.  I managed to do the task without undue anxiety and mental resistance.

I still have a lot to learn and it’s not an automatic habit yet.
But still, it’s progress.  Yay!

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Team Velocikitty Snuggles

Team Velocikitty Snuggles –  we’re fierce like Velociraptors but we play like kittens.  Snuggly yet deceptively sharp and dangerous.

I’ve missed several weeks of blogging but that’s been because I’ve been accumulating stories to tell you.  Will and I went on our annual winter camping trip, which was awesome.  But first I must tell you about another victorious relay race.

Team Velocikitty Snuggles was dreamed up last summer.  I wanted to do the Square Lake Triathlon, but I didn’t want to bike.  So being a terrible coach but a great friend I convinced Andrea to skip a different triathlon she was registered for and do Square Lake as relay with me.   Team VKS was born.

We totally won the relay.  More importantly, it allowed for the continuation of the dinosaur shenanigans

Because in October when Andrea wanted to do the King Boreas Winter Triathlon (run, bike, ski) as a relay there was no doubt that Team VKS would be there. Continue reading

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Sweet and Savory Pilaf

Warning, I measured very little.  This is not a recipe, but it was fantastic.  May the ingredients ever be in your favor.

I got the Vegetarian Flavor Bible for Christmas.
When Will looked displeased I said “Ok, name an ingredient.”
And he said “Bacon.”
Me eye rolling “Fine.  Now name a plant.”
I got Wild rice.  I also had a bunch of old apple cider (that might have been slowly fermenting) to use up.  So using both Andrea’s original and my new Vegetarian Flavor Bible I looked up what other things go with wild rice, bacon, and apple cider.  It felt like a reality show challenge.

I started with my large dutch oven – frying 1 lb breakfast sausage with 1 onion and 4 stalks celery

Then I added dried applecranberriesfigs, butter, maple syrup, two generous 5 finger pinch of of salt, and a lot of black pepper.  (It turned out very sweet, so I added more black pepper and a bit of red pepper flakes to balance the sweetness).

Added 2 cups of wild rice and 1 cup of oat groats.

Continue reading

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Progress Report!

This report is crazy overdue.

After announcing in June my intention to actually try to train for flexibility, a dream I had never imagined possible…

I diverted your attention.

I wrote about swimming.  I told you about fish and dinosaurs and chupacabras.  I shared about scary career decisions.  All avoiding the challenging athletic goal.  Which is crazy because when I’m training for a big triathlon race it completely dominates my blog posts.  It’s because it’s been painfully boring.  A slog of repetition and patience with no promise of progress.  Compared to flexibility training, triathlon training seems wildly entertaining.

WhileI haven’t been writing about it, trust me I’ve been plugging away at it.  The last month has been suddenly exciting and I wish I had been sharing about it all along.

In addition to my personal stretching routine I started taking the “Fiercely Flexy” class at ExperTease Fitness.  It was the only non-yoga adult stretching class I could find in Minneapolis.  I’ve been training several areas of flexibility but it’s the pike that I’ve been most focused on and using as a benchmark.
Flat back:

Rounded back: I finally got my palms to the floor!

Of course it’s not just that I want to be flexible.  It’s the feats of strength that being more flexible will make possible that are the ultimate goal.  So I’m also training handstands:

December 2016:

Then the amazing acro Katie came in to my life and spent 14 hours over 6 sessions in 2 weeks specifically training handstands with me.  It was a blast to get schooled so hard.  My muscles were sore but even more importantly my brain worked hard.  Every time it was a monumental effort for neuromuscular control.  It was just like all the times my clients have struggled to engage muscles or coordinate their movements in a new way.

I learned 28 new exercises and drills.  These are just two of them:

I have nine core form focus points.    It has completely changed how I do handstands.

Progress.  Yay!

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5 Reflections. No Resolutions.

I don’t do New Years resolutions.  Resolutions are just decisions that move you towards your goals.  But every decision affects my future.  And my goals are infinite; from the mundane and immediate to the eccentric and expansive.

Heck, I put “shower and eat” on my to-do list after I’ve done it so I can check it off.  An Ironman Triathlon in under 12 hours is also still a goal.  I have a four year plan to get me there.  But first I’m going to accomplish my flexibility and press to handstand goals.  Really the goal there is to expand my fitness repertoire for the potential for creative and expressive athleticism.  You can see why I don’t need resolutions.

So instead of resolutions I offer my 2016 reflections:

  1. Real change takes a lifetime.  I knew this one already but its always reaffirmed when I look back.  A year goes by and it can seem like so little was accomplished.  I see all the things not quite done.  Yet when I look at all the things I’m really proud of they are the result of gradual progress over years.  2016 was no exception.
  2. Grow in new directions.  While sometimes I just plug away at goals already in progress this year was about exploring new territory.  Both athletically and personally I’m branching out.  Which makes 2016 growth seem that much slower.
  3. Step backwards to go forward.  In the beginning of 2016 I felt like I was beating my head against a brick wall trying to make progress.  I had to back up so I could find another way.  But backing up rarely feels like progress.
  4. Find a partner in crime goals.  After months years of trying to make budgeting a priority I feel like I’m making progress.  It’s all due to having a budget buddy.  I don’t even need her to make me do it.  It’s much easier to make her do it with me than to make myself do it alone.
  5. Use humor and strengths to face fears and weaknesses.  Yeah a “chain is only as strong as it’s weakest link” but I’m not chain!  I need to use what I got and keep finding the funny or 2017 might look too daunting.




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Sharing the shortest motivation advice.

“I need to find my motivation first.”  Is a great way to procrastinate. calvin-and-hobbes-jpg

Just START DOING something.  And then be ready to roll with even the tiniest bit of motivation.  It will snowball into something bigger.

This can apply to so many excuses.  I’ve been saying “First I need to find _____ ” Insert money, knowledge, time, courage, almost anything to fill in the blank.  In my last post I shared that I finally am taking steps towards my dreams.  They are still really tentative.  I still keep wanting to make excuses.  Wonderful mentors in my life keep popping up and the overarching message is to JUST START DOING.

I’m trying.  Really, I am.  Actually I’m not trying.  I am doing!  It just hasn’t snowballed into anything really noticeable yet.

In the meanwhile I’ll share an article I read that felt well timed in my life.

The Shortest Motivation Advice (That’s Actually Useful) — Nia Shanks

What most people think happens:

motivation → action (i.e., motivation comes first, and that leads to action)

What, oftentimes, really happens:

action → results → motivation → more action …

Oftentimes action precedes motivation. Successful people know this, and it’s why they act — especially when they’re void of motivation. (“Results” don’t have to be dramatic, like losing 10 pounds. With working out, for example, it could be learning a new exercise, doing a little better than the previous workout, moving and feeling better, etc.)

Consistent action produces results. That is what leads to motivation, which generates more action, which leads to greater motivation. It’s a powerful force once set into motion.

Check her out!

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