What Would You Do

16 Jul

The Boy is going to grow up and not be the worlds first NFL AND NBA star, but he may grow up to be the worlds next great leader of a civil rights organization or the head of the Southern Poverty Law Center, or a civil rights historian.  It’s HIS THING.  Justice is important to him.  His world is divided into right and wrong, black and white – there is no grey, there is no “well, sometimes it’s ok to tell a little white lie.”  He is starting to learn if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all, but you still get smacked with a back-handed compliment every now and then.  Life with him as a mom who suffers with self-esteem issues is KIND OF A PAIN IN THE ASS hard sometimes, but I’ve learned to deal with it, and he is getting better at not hurting feelings. Understanding justice and doing what is right and fair is very important to him.

All of this is to say, The Carter kids are kind of obsessed with the ABC tv show What Would You Do.  If you don’t know about this show, from ABC:


When you think no one is watching… what would you do? Using hidden cameras, What Would You Do? establishes everyday scenarios and then captures people’s reactions. Whether people are compelled to act or mind their own business, John Quiñones reports on their split-second and often surprising decision-making process.

The kids watch clips and then we have discussions on the topic of the day.  The episodes where someone is being unjust based on how someone looks or the color of their skin are their favorites.  This past weekend their cousin was here and on Friday night they all got into debating what in fact they would do.
On Saturday I took the three of them to the park.  This is the perfect park, there is a nice basketball court for the boys, a playground for The Girl and enough space for me to get in a workout.  After about a half hour of the boys playing basketball and The Girl and I playing we decided to go play with the sidewalk chalk we had brought.  When we got down to the basketball court I noticed a group of giggling preteen/teen girls paying close attention to The Cousin.  Cute!
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How are they old enough to have girls hitting on them? Throwback to 2006.

But then, this group of girls became… aggressive?… strong?…desperate?  I don’t know what word I’m trying to use.  The Cousin was ignoring them, just working on his jumpshot, ball handling, you know BEING A BOY ON A BASKETBALL COURT.  The girl group was yelling “boy, hey boy, HEY, we’re talking to you.  Boy, hey, hey, hey, we want to talk to you. Boy, you, And1 (the brand of shirt he had on), my friend likes you…” and on and on and on.  I walked over to The Cousin and said, are they bothering you?  He just laughed and said, they’re annoying.  I encouraged him to go shoot on the other basket, further away.  We played a game of Horse on the far end of the court.  AND THE GIRLS FOLLOWED US.  I mean, I know I’m an old lady, but I’m not invisible.  Did they not see he was ignoring them and an old lady was standing there playing with him?  Again they started in on him and asked if they could take pictures with him.

We decided to move up to the playground to all play together.  And you guessed it, they followed.  They got a toddler to come and ask if she could use our chalk.  But never did the older girls approach him or me in any way to say, Hi.  It was, in a word, GROSS.

We had a “What Would You Do” moment.  I talked to my three about how that was not appropriate behavior and they were not to treat people in that way and also not to give boys or girls that treat people that way “the time of day.”  As you get older, kids you’re with may act like this, and you are not to.  If you think a boy or girl is cute, you try to become their friend.  You don’t catcall.  (then I had to teach, what does catcall mean. There were A LOT of lessons in one trip to the park. Can’t I just get in a workout?)  We talked about appropriate behavior when you see a person that you think is cute at a basketball court.  You say “hey, I haven’t seen you here before.  Want to play a game of basketball together?” or “Can you help me learn to shoot when you’re done with your game?” or “Want to come play on the playground with my friends and me.”  You don’t scream at them “HEY BOY, we want to take a picture with you” and then pretend like you’re taking a selfie but instead try to get pictures with a boy in it with you.

It was uncomfortable, but a good opportunity to discuss appropriate behavior with a six, ten and almost twelve-year-old.  While I could talk to my kids about what I find appropriate behavior for them and the people they choose to have relationships with, it made me really think and debate in my own mind – what kind of village do I live in?  What kind of mom and woman do I need to be right now?  Should I do what some might do and go and speak with the girls myself?  Should I have had The Cousin speak to them and say “please don’t talk to me like that. I don’t like it.”  Should I have asked “where is your parent, I’d like to talk with them”?

There is a post going around in my group of friends from Scary Mommy that pleads, If My Kid is Being An Asshole I Want You To Tell Me. YES, YES, to all of it YES. If my kid is acting inappropriately you should not only tell me, you should correct them on the spot.  “Girl, please don’t throw rocks, you’ll hurt someone.” “Boy, please don’t run up the slide when little kids are at the top.”  “Kids, I know you learned the bad words from your mom, but don’t repeat them on the playground.”

But what happens if you see a child, a group of children, acting like assholes and you don’t know the parents to tell.  What would you do?

I think we’d like to believe “it takes a village” and it would be ok to speak to the young ladies and tell them that they were being inappropriate and to treat the boys in a more respectful way and present a more respectful way to express themselves.  However, I believe we’re all very afraid of getting into a confrontation with anyone over their parenting, so we do nothing, say nothing and ignore bad behavior.  But shouldn’t hurtful, harmful or shameful behavior should be addressed.  Shouldn’t we be a village that helps young people instead of being afraid that other adults will be angry for overstepping?  Right?

What would you do?

I’d love your thoughts on this!

Sparkle on,

Aimee

I would love to see you on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest!

 

 

Friday Five: 5 Fitness Trends I’m Just Not That Into

10 Jul 5Trends

Hello strangers!

We’re back from vacation where we pretty much unplugged.  We headed up to Western Pennsylvania for some family time with my mom’s side of the family.  We went to an amusement and water park and took zero pictures and who goes to a wedding in 2015 and takes ZERO pictures?  What a fail.

I did stick to my July goals of running and planking, but did have a cheat 24 hours of no grain.  (See above wedding!) Thank goodness I’m back on track now because I can totally tell the difference.  I know my heart belongs to bread for ever, but I sure do feel better when I’m limiting it in my daily diet.

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We did take a few of THE GIRL catching her FIRST FISH! My niece, The Boy, The Girl and DOC each caught a fish while camping.

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No fish for me!  I instead went on a run with my sister-in-law and we planked it out. 11403487_899425066819177_829358120232305236_n

When we got back we took a rest day from work and travel but a party broke out at our house!  One of my college besties dropped by with her two kids and as soon as they left BOTH kids had playdates that stayed through dinner.  So much for rest! At least when the kids have playdates someone else is entertaining them and we can get laundry done – so we’re ahead of THAT game this week.

Now that I’ve caught you up – onto today’s topic for the Friday Five:  “Five fitness trends you’re just not that into.”  Look, it’s not YOU it’s me.  I am here constantly preaching that you do you and I’ll do me.  A lot of folks bash mudruns and you know I love them.  Some people, question if doing yoga is a workout isn’t it just stretching – oh heck no – you’re going to WORK.  I used to never think I’d like spinning and I really do like it.  Sometimes, you just have to give something a chance! This is a judgement free zone!  As long as YOU are moving in a way that makes YOU happy, AWESOME. You eating in a way that nourishes your body? AWESOME. I’m just going to do ME (and what works for our house). There’s just some trends that I know aren’t ME.

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Therefore, in the spirit of a judgement free zone, here are my fitness trends I’m not into:

Protein Powders/Shakes/etc:  Yes, I was a beachbody coach.  I sucked as a beachbody coach because I do not love shakeology.  The amount of other ingredients that I had to add to the shake to make it even edible to me was pretty much making it not a healthier breakfast choice for me.  It was FINE once I added a banana, coffee, cinnamon, pumpkin puree and coffee creamer.  YUM.  How bout I add ice cream next?  I’ve tried SEVERAL brands – I just can’t even swallow them unless I add a bunch to them.  (Beachbody videos – YES!  Get one!  They’re great and work for people.  I can’t tell you enough how much I loved T25 and liked 21 Day fix’s eating plan.  They’re great programs! I’m just not feeling the shakes.)

Being Off The Ground: Aerial Yoga?  Pole Dance Fitness?  Look – it looks so cool.  There is a group that works out at the playground where I do my playground workouts and they’re awesome.  But being off the ground?  EH, no thanks. I have a hard enough time not falling when I’m on the ground, I don’t need to be falling from a height.

Ultras:  Oh, ok, so like two years ago I said I’d never do a marathon.  I still think that I never ever will.  A half, done.  Maybe a second half if I can convince two people to do it with me (Hey Ellen.  Hey DOC.)  But an ultra?  Anything over 26.2 – seems insane to me.  So many people are doing these 50+ milers and I think – GOD WHY. Then I think BADASS. Then I think insane.  The folks that do them seem incredible.  But not for me.

Hot Yoga:  If you’ve followed me for any length of time or know me in real life you know I have a sweating issue.  I can’t even explain how much I hate sweating. I build workout times, attire, accessories, hairstyles, around how much I hate to sweat.  Hot Yoga sounds like my idea of hell.  I don’t really love regular yoga, I feel like a total idiot, I’m so not zen.  Then you go and add heat.  I can’t even.

Smoothie Bowls:  I guess I just don’t even understand what this is.  Is it thicker than a smoothie so you can’t put it in a cup and drink it but not quite a yogurt parfait?  Can someone explain this  to me?  I’m thinking, since I even eat my eggs in a mug, that I don’t get why you’d take your breakfast OUT of the mason jar and put it into the cereal bowl.

What trends out there have you seen that you’d never try or just don’t understand?

Be sure to check out the Friday Five linkup hosted by You Signed Up For What,  Eat Pray Run, DC and Mar on the Run and enjoy visiting the other blogs participating in the Friday Five! Some of their posts are cracking me up with the workouts they’ve heard of and the gimmicks they’ve been pitched (hello wrap people, yes, it’s a gimmick! And yes, that IS a judgement.)

Make It A Great Weekend!

Sparkle on,

Aimee

I would love to see you on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest!

Intense

25 Jun

The Boy has quite the reputation as a super fan.  Here he is celebrating the National Championship of the Virginia Cavaliers in college baseball.  Just a little intense.

IMG_0741I have had folks comment that he gets his passion from me.  See, when I go in for something I go ALL IN.

Ahem.

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It seems that I have a reputation too.  For going hard. For being a little crazy.

But, you see, here’s the thing.  I take FUN seriously.  I take sports seriously.  But I do not take myself very seriously.  Here’s what I know about myself.  While I’m intense about fun I’m not exactly intense about running. While I am working on my fitness and wellness, I know that I will never be the fastest, strongest, first finisher, not even in my age group will I ever place.  It’s just me against myself.  Me trying to get better and have as much fun as I possibly can trying to do it.  I plod.  I walk.  I listen to audible audio books. I am committed to becoming a better runner – but I know my place.  I’m at home at the back of the pack.

Please don’t misjudge my commitment to a goal for intensity.  If I ask you to run with me, it’s because I think you’ll make it fun and help me survive something I’m not very good at.  If I invite you to a playground workout and say “be scared” of the workout I put together it’s because I am myself scared of the workout and of embarrassing myself in front of you. If I make fun of folks who don’t give it all at football camp, it’s because the only way I know how to have fun is to “give full measure” (hey ΑΣΑ sisters).  I get out of events what I put into it.

And BY THE WAY.  Here is DOC after HIS team won a national championship.  Don’t you REALLY think the Boy gets his intensity from his dad and not me?

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Clearly, we’re all a little intense TOGETHER.

Sparkle on and WAHOOWA!

Aimee

I would love to see you on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest!

Summer Runnin’

23 Jun

humid

I am NOT going to lie.  Summer running in this humidity is pretty awful.

But it is not snowing.  I don’t have to layer clothes to not freeze to death while also sweating like a pig underneath so that the sweat freezes to you.  If I’m too much of a wimp to run outdoors in the winter, then I sure as heck can’t also complain in the summer that it’s too hot.  So, running I must do.

My tips:

Become a morning runner.  Running after work was just not working.  It was just too hot.  Since I’ve switched to the morning running life has been a lot better. If morning doesn’t work, check the weather in advance and see what time of day will be the coolest. Try to schedule your runs for the coolest part of the day, or even during or after those afternoon rainstorms (obviously, not if there is lightning!)

HYDRATE.  Being that I’m getting up so early means I don’t have a full day to hydrate, so I have to be hydrated all the time. If I drink a full 100oz. every day I feel so much better. I don’t really carry any water with me on my run so on really hot mornings I make sure I run past a public facility that has water fountains in the lobby for a quick water break.  This same facility also has sprinklers watering the grass some mornings.  I’m not ashamed to say, I run right through these to cool off.

Hat or visor are required.   Keeping the sun off your face and the sweat out of your eyes is really important!

Cool down slowly. Cooling down too fast gives me a headache! I cool off with some stretching on the front porch before I go inside the air conditioned house. Then after I’m inside I’ll drink some water I stashed in the freezer before I left.  After that – I’ll jump in a cool shower.

I have pinned several million articles on this topic (ok, maybe slight exaggeration)and I’ve shared some of them for you to find more tips!

Run To the Finish

Runners Connect

Mommy Runs It

Running With Ollie

Have you joined me in #1MillionMinutes for #SweatPink?

Love yourself!

Sparkle on,

Aimee

I would love to see you on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest!

Monday Motivation: One Million Minutes

22 Jun

 This summer the ladies at Fit Approach are working on ONE MILLION MINUTES of fitness.  As a Fit Approach Ambassador, I’m asking YOU to join us!  Help us #SweatPink all summer long by logging your workout minutes here.  

Each week there will be an email sent with prompts for you to share  your workout minutes on social media to get your friends to join you.  Ladies, this is a chance to get your girlfriends moving.  We all do so very little for ourselves, getting sweaty thirty minutes a day should at the top of our lists, for our own health!

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Here are this week’s challenges:

Monday: share your goal for #1MillionMinutes!

Tuesday: show us what living an active life means to you!

Wednesday: try a new move, class, or workout!

Thursday: share your favorite “hack” for staying active when life gets super busy!

Friday: FREE Friday! Get moving, and get happy!

Saturday: show us your healthy weekend activities!

Sunday: Get yo’ bliss on. Show us how you chill out, pamper, relax.

From now until August 21, the goal is to inspire and encourage everyone to get moving. So sign up and track your minutes along with Sweat Pink – and, of course there will be some fun prizes along the way for a little extra incentive.

My goals for this week are

Monday: Playground workout (45 minutes)
Tuesday: Run 2 miles
Wednesday: HIIT workout
Thursday: Run 2 miles
Friday: Run
Saturday:  Women’s 4 Miler Training Program (2 mile warm up then follow training program)
Sunday: Rest

So, what are your goals for this week?  Join me in #1MillionMinutes for #SweatPink?

Love yourself!

Sparkle on,

Aimee

I would love to see you on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest!

Friday Five: Happiness

19 Jun

Thinking out Loud.  Maybe we found Love Right where we are.

Thank you, Ed Sheeran, for those beautiful words. There is just so much hate and sadness in the world right now that I am very happy that today’s Friday Five Linkup topic is Five Things That Make you Happy so that I can share what is currently making me find love.  (Thank you for hosting the Friday Five link up  Courtney,  Cynthia and Mar and the Fitness, Health and Happiness Friday Jill).

Currently this is what is making me happy:

UVA Baseball

The ‘Hoos have a chance to make it into the finals of the College World Series this weekend.  I’m a nervous wreck.  Do you not like sports, college sports, baseball?  Ok.  That’s cool and all (we probably can’t be friends, but it’s cool). But these kids have heart.  You should root for them.

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Summer Sitter

The summer sitter is AWESOME.  The kids are doing their chores (or she’s doing them for them. I don’t care, they are getting done!)  The kids are reading.  The kids are active and out and trying new things (Geocaching? OK!) But most of all – the house isn’t a wreck, the kids think she’s awesome, and they’re not fighting at bedtime so that means they are tired.  HOORAY!

Running

That’s right.  I’m loving my training runs! This schedule I put together is really working out for me.  Yes it was hot and humid and I finish looking like a drowned rat, but that is OK.  My times are coming down.  I was averaging 16 minute miles back in April and now I’m doing runs in the fourteen minute range.  I am doing hill work and “speed work”.  Don’t get me wrong, my “speed work” is someone else’s slow – but THAT’S OK.  I’m starting to love running and just in time – I’ve got twelve weeks to go until the Charlottesville Women’s 4 Miler!

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Summer Gardens

Remember that episode of Friends when Joey tells Phoebe that there are no selfless good deeds?  Yeah, this is THAT.

We live near the kids elementary school and through a lot of hard work of one parent, all the teachers, the school PTO, an amazing administration and the City Schoolyard Garden program we have a really great garden right in our back yard.  I’m not ashamed to say that I signed up for us to water the garden a couple of times throughout the summer solely for the purpose of not feeling guilty when I harvest some of the vegetables!  I spied some tomatoes that were turning red this week and got a little giddy.

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Support and Love

Earlier this week I posted a very personal and painful account of my life.  (Missed it?) The love and support I received after sharing it overwhelms me.  From DOC, friends, fellow bloggers and fellow women who hear the Little Voices of self-doubt, pain and hurt – I thank you all for your love and support.

 

In a week where the world looked a little crazy, where pain and sadness were everywhere, I’m glad I had the chance to choose happiness in my own life.  Hug the ones you love close and stand up for what is right.  For me, everything in this world does not make sense right now.

Only Jon Stewart does.

 

Make it a great weekend.  Love one another.

Sparkle on,

Aimee

I would love to see you on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest!

 

Entitled

17 Jun

I supposed EVERYONE is entitled to their opinion. The fact is, everyone has a different view.  People have their own lens through which they see the world which is far different than the person standing right next to them.  Or, in the case of this story, the person riding right next to them.

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Craziness has erupted in our small Virginia town. Here you go.  Check out this  NBC 29 Story.  I’ll wait until you’re back.

I am a car driver.   I drive out into the country to take the family out on hikes or out to Vineyards in our area so I have seen the cyclists and I have had to maneuver around the cyclists.  I have ridden a bike, but typically in a neighborhood, never out on a windy country road. In fact, I typically run either on sidewalks, trails or through neighborhoods but, unless in a race, I’ve never run out on windy country roads because I’m terrified of getting run off the road or hit by a car or truck. I have been a fundraiser for a very large event centered around cycling and have driven the SAG wagon (support and gear vehicle) for cyclists on training rides.  There was a cycling event out this woman’s way on Saturday and Sunday so I assume this might be why she felt so moved on Saturday to post her petition.  (And after seeing this story last night I assume someone felt so moved to start a petition to remove her from the roads. Ok, this got me laughing, I’m not going to lie.)

I’m not sure why this woman feels entitled to the roads. The fact that 530 some people agree with her blows my mind.  And the people commenting on the story.  SMH.  Bless.

I get it.  Maneuvering around the cyclists is a challenge.  You must slow down, watch out, and carefully move around them.  When the cyclists are breaking the rules and riding two abreast you have little chance to move around them.  But back off, honk and they’ll move to the side to let you by.  I promise.  The cyclists don’t want to get hit anymore than you want to delay your day.  We have some narrow country roads in Central Virginia.  We have cars and huge SUVs.  We also have tractors.  Let me tell you how many times I’ve wanted start a petition saying that a farm vehicle can’t be on the road from 7:30 am – 9:00 am because it’s delayed me from getting to work!  But that’s his work and I can’t fault a man for making his living.  Just as we can’t fault a person for wanting to breathe fresh air into his lungs, and pump her legs and get healthy in a way they enjoy.  All it take is making a little time and space for one another.

We all live in this world together.   Cyclists.  Motorists. Runners.  Walkers.  Couch sitters.  We need to give one another just a little space.  A little time.  Stop rushing.  Stop texting and driving. Stop riding two abreast.  Follow the rules. Make space.  Take care of one another.  Let’s just stop starting petitions and start working together to come up with solutions.

Love one another.  And quit feeling so damn entitled to your piece of the road.  We’re all using it together.

Sparkle on,

Aimee

I would love to see you on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest!

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