TWIR #87: getting back to it

Another week of nothing but strength training and my body is starting to bounce back from its latest and greatest SI issues. I also haven’t even thought about the torturous spin bike in so long that it seems like a distant memory. I do not miss it. I am, however, sort of starting to miss running. That’s not an entirely accurate statement. It’s that I miss the thought of running, the freedom of being able to throw on shoes and work out at a moment’s notice. Having to go to the gym, on weekends in particular, feels like such a burden and ten times more time consuming than a quick run.  I suppose this is why they say you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

Great, now I am thinking about cake…

Saturday
Activity: planned rest day
Relevant Stats: co-hosted brunch for 17 + ate more cake (with ice cream no less)
Observations: I believe my cumulative step count for the day was at an all time low. I know that I walked fewer than 2 km, which is just insane and trust me when I say my sciatic was not pleased with me. Even though I certainly wasn’t walking, I did stand around on hard, unforgiving floors for probably close to six hours straight. In other words, my body wasn’t happy with me by end of day, so I absolutely had to appease it with cake and ice cream and a very, very cheesy made-for-tv Christmas movie.

Sunday
Activity: unplanned rest day
Relevant Stats: golf!
Observations: I was going to go the gym, I really was, but the forecast had promised me sunshine which convinced that I had to spend as much of the day as possible outside. If you had lived through almost three straights weeks of rain, you’d feel the same. Well, the sun didn’t exactly show up but it didn’t rain either, so we hit the links for a 9-hole round. I did squeeze in some bench push ups and step ups while waiting to tee off, so it wasn’t a totally write off for activity. Plus, there was a lot of jumping up and down when I got my par. That’s gotta work the heart muscles out, doesn’t it?

Monday
Activity: strength training
Relevant Stats: 35 min.
Observations:  I honestly have little recognition of what I did in this workout. This seems to be a Monday-related thing. Perhaps the horror of returning to work after the weekend combines with the exhaustion of returning to early mornings to render my memory utterly useless.

Tuesday
Activity: personal training session
Relevant Stats: 60 min. (upper and lower body)
Observations:  My trainer never ceases to amaze me with her ability to repeatedly integrate activities that I absolutely despise into my workouts. This week’s torture: something she calls prowler supermans. Basically this involved getting into a low squat with the prowler in front of me and keeping my arms/shoulders anchored and straight as I pushed the prowler forward to a plank position, then walked my feet back towards the prowler while still keeping my arms/shoulders straight and anchored, which is then repeated over and over again. Across the whole damn length of the carpet. It’s hard to explain. What you really need to know is that it sucked. A lot.

Wednesday
Activity: strength training (mostly lower body)
Relevant Stats: 40 min.
Observations:  My goal for this workout was to get my back squats back into action with a reasonable amount of weight, and I succeeded. I’m still not back to pre-SI-reinjury weight, but I’m getting closer. Also, I forced myself to do negative pull ups after weeks of avoiding them. In the moment my arms felt fine, but I assure you they did not feel fine on Thursday.

Thursday
Activity: strength training
Relevant Stats: 40 min. (mostly upper body)
Observations: Even after the dreaded negative pulls ups from Wednesday, I wanted to do a bit more work with my upper body. By the end my triceps and shoulders were screaming, which I assume means I did a good job of testing my arm’s limits (which continue to be very, very low).

Friday
Activity: strength training
Relevant Stats: 30 min. (mostly lower body)
Observations: I added another ten pounds to the prowler! I can’t say I even noticed the difference so I’m going to add another ten pounds next time around. After the hellish exercises my trainer makes me do with the prowler, standard high and low prowler pushing feels like a vacation. Bring on the weight! I also forced myself to try dead lifts on my own, which I’ve been afraid to do since the evil kettle bell incident a couple weeks ago. I kept the weights on the light side and checked my form before each lift and I am pleased to announce I have emerged unscathed!

I feel pretty good about this week. I didn’t fit in a lot of long workouts, but I do believe the workouts I had were quality workouts.  I’ll have to keep that momentum going this weekend, though, since I’m travelling Monday and Tuesday and others have micromanaged my schedule to the point that there is no hope of a workout. Sigh.  I’m trying not to think of that for now. Instead, I’m thinking of wine and holiday treats and two blissful days of freedom.  Happy weekend!

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TWIR #86…for the second week in a row

Apparently, I can’t count so last week I posted TWIR 86 when it should have been TWIR #85. I know the only person that cares about this is me, so I’ll just move right along.

This was an interesting week for workouts. It was my first week experimenting with no cardio, and I have to say that it felt liberating not to contemplate suffering on a spin bike for 40 minutes. It also proved to be challenging in ways. Varying my strength activities over six workouts was more difficult than anticipated, as was making sure that I didn’t overdo it since my SI was still a bit wonky. I survived, though! So let’s see what I got up to.

Saturday
Activity: planned rest day
Relevant Stats: carb and sugar overload
Observations: Well, I ate a dulce de leche donut, which was heaven. I then reintroduced rice with some pretty mediocre sushi, which made me sad since it’s been a month since I had sushi and I was so looking forward to it. I topped it off with the white chocolate peppermint M&M fiasco.  It’s safe to say I ended the day with a pretty serious stomach ache.  Lest you think I did nothing but eat all day, we also walked to the farmers market and attempted to Christmas shop forgetting it was still black friday hangover (i.e. it was very short lived). My point is, we did walk and we did leave the house so, yeah, that totally makes all the carbs and sugar okay.

Sunday
Activity: strength training
Relevant Stats: 45 min.
Observations: After Saturday’s aggressive carb-ing, I opted to hit the gym on Sunday. My SI was still tender but I stuck to controlled movements, just with more weight, and emerged from the gym unscathed. I also avoided any contact with carbs or sugar. Not surprisingly, it was easy after Saturday’s gluttony.  Also, we decorated!!! Although most of our decorations are in storage, we have just enough to make our place feel cozy and festive. Bring on the holiday season!

Monday
Activity: strength training
Relevant Stats: 40 min.
Observations: Another good day of strength training! I even got back on the prowler, albeit with a little less weight than usual. I can’t say my SI was thrilled with that move, but it held out and didn’t suffer more than the occasional twinge.

Tuesday
Activity: personal training session
Relevant Stats: 60 min.
Observations: After two day’s of strength training, I neglected to consider just how tired my arm muscles might be. One set into push ups with shoulder taps and I was whining to my trainer about my arms being tired. She must just love working with me. She took things fairly easy on me as I’d told her about my SI setback last week, but she did make me use sliders for bear crawls and reverse plank walking, both of which were torturous and, quite frankly, uncalled for.

Wednesday
Activity: strength training
Relevant Stats: 30 minutes
Observations: I jammed in a short morning workout when I realized I wouldn’t have time to step out during the workday.  I’m starting to get my weights back up, with the exception of back squats, which my SI and back seemed to outright reject with any weight above 50 pounds. Ugh. Still, I wasn’t on a spin bike suffering through cardio so I was a happy camper. The workout was short and sweet, which would have been fine if I hadn’t downed a massive apple fritter and two glasses of wine after work.  I swear there’s a good reason! Two actually! First and foremost, I’ve been madly craving a donut since the weekend and sometimes you just have to give in or you’ll drive yourself mad. Secondly, I got some good news at work worthy of a small celebration.  Most importantly, after that fritter, I’m done for donuts…at least until the weekend…

Thursday
Activity: strength training
Relevant Stats: 35 min.
Observations: I learned a very important lesson today: don’t eat a giant bowl of tuna salad on lettuce and then go for a workout. For some reason, I always assume the whole don’t-eat-a-giant-meal-before-a-workout thing only applies to cardio. It does not. There is nothing quite like the feeling of doing ab work and seriously wondering if it might actually cause you to vomit.

Friday
Activity: strength training
Relevant Stats: 40 min.
Observations: Oh, prowler, how I both love and hate you. I went back to full weights today and it was hard and I hated it but I was happy that my SI seemed okay with it. It’s still not liking back squats with any real weight, but I will beat it into submission next week. For now, I’m just going to accept that I had a good week of workouts all things considered. Time to bring on the weekend!

Here’s hoping all your weekends start to include some festive cheer. I know mine will. It’s December, people, and only 24 days to Christmas and you better believe that is cause for festive celebrations!  Happy weekend y’all.

TWIR #82: back to 6!

Back to six days of workouts for the first time in a long time. Even on the days where I contemplated bailing on a workout, I dug deep and dragged my ass to the gym (sometimes even walking through torrential Vancouver rain). At week’s end, I can say I feel good about that. I will feel even better when I eat birthday cake tomorrow. Cake makes everything better.

Saturday
Activity: park workout!!!!! (i.e. running intervals + strength)
Relevant Stats: 45 min.
Observations: I live for a my weekend outdoor workouts! The park is so lovely in the mornings, especially with this week’s low fog during the sunrise. It makes running laps in between sets of exercises so much better than being in the gym. We rounded out the day with a solid walk and with beer…on a patio…at the end of October. You have to seize a warm-ish, sunny day this late in the year. I’m convinced if you don’t take advantage, it causes a bad winter weather curse to descend upon the city in which you live.

Sunday
Activity: planned rest day + walking
Relevant Stats: 13 km, one tragically disappointing hot chocolate and a very large slice of vanilla salted caramel cake
Observations:  It was another warm-ish, sunny day, so after hitting the most dreaded of malls in the lower mainland to run some errands, we hit the outdoors for an epic walk. I splurged on a hot chocolate wanting nothing more than a heavy crown of whipped cream, only to be insulted with the smallest possible swirl of whipped cream you can imagine. Now maybe you understand why I had to drown my sorrows in a giant piece of cake.

Monday
Activity: spin + after work walk
Relevant Stats: 40 min. spin + 60 min. walk
Observations: I do not know what happened, but spinning has become tolerable again. I still don’t love it, but at least I can last more than 30 minutes and I’m not slacking off for a good portion of the workout. I am doing some seriously challenging hill pyramids these days and my hamstrings are feeling the burn.

Tuesday
Activity: personal training session
Relevant Stats: 60 min.
Observations: Good lord, as if it wasn’t bad enough when my trainer made me tow the tiny sled-thingy loaded with weights, this week she made me tow the damn prowler. Let me just say, that prowler does not glide nicely like the tiny sled-thingy. I was doing walking lunges with just 50 pounds on the prowler and I almost fell backwards after the first step. That prowler was not budging. Suffice it to say, the whole workout was rather brutal.

Wednesday
Activity: spin + after work walk
Relevant Stats: 40 min. + 45 min. walk
Observations: Another spin workout in the bag. It was solid, even though after Tuesday’s training session, my legs wanted nothing to do with sprints. Hills for the win! I think this was also the first day after Halloween in years that I didn’t wake up with a humongous sugar hangover.  Also a win!

Thursday
Activity: strength training
Relevant Stats: 40 min.
Observations: I loaded more weight onto the prowler and my legs were not impressed. I also doubled up on my negative pull ups so my arms were similarly unimpressed. I supposed it is a sign of a good workout when your body is angry with you. But the most exciting thing about Thursday was that we had snow mixed in with rain on the way home(!!!!!). I am team snow all the way so I was thrilled, even though social media has convinced me that I’m in the minority on this one.

Friday
Activity: spin
Relevant Stats: 40 min.
Observations: I came so close to spinning for 45 minutes today. So close! But then I did some hard core sprinting in my last planned drill care of some particularly upbeat music and my legs were just done. All in all, I feel good about this week in workouts, so I feel like the five minutes of slacking was totally appropriate.

With Friday’s workout and work day done, it’s time to catch up with some friends over deep fried pickles. They sound disgusting but I promise you they are delicious. There will also be wine involved which, as far as I’m concerned, is the hallmark of a good Friday. Happy weekend y’all!

Training Tuesdays: walk this way

Anyone else have Aerosmith/Run DMC in their head now? No? Okay, moving on then…

It’s no secret to regular readers that I’ve been off the running train for some time now. I’ve been focused on building strength and trying to find non-running forms of cardio that don’t make me want to slam my head into a wall (if one more person mentions swimming or biking…). The reality is that my true workouts have been a far cry from what they used to be. But I can tell you that I’ve been doing something for the past month or so that’s made a huge difference to my overall health and well-being. It’s simple. It’s easy. Anyone can do it. It’s walking.

Calm down, now, I can hear your snorting and chortling from here. I get it, to real runners walking is not a form of exercise. It’s a way to get from A to B, or maybe something you do when social norms indicate that running isn’t an appropriate mode of transport.  Hear me out, though. I’m not suggesting walking to be a replacement for running, nor even a real replacement for workouts.  What I am saying is that walking can have some seriously solid benefits.

In the past month, I’ve gone from maybe 2 km of walking a day to an average of 6 km/day with many days above 10 km. Weekend days sometimes even creep past 15 km. That’s a lot of walking.  As a result of this increase in foot transport, I’ve noticed the following:

1. Better sleep: I’m having better quality sleep these days. I’m not waking up nearly as much and feel better rested as a result. I notice that I’m more tired on days when I walk more, and I’m asleep much sooner after my head hits the pillow than I used to be, which is a great segue to…

2. Better mental state: I’m a wonderful combination of naturally anxious and naturally negative. In other words, I’m a treat. Workouts are great for helping me to moderate my emotional reaction to life’s events, but I find that the combination of walking and being outdoors is particularly effective. There is something about the fresh air, paying attention to the environment around me, and good conversations that really calms my mental chatter. It’s a similar benefit to what I used to get from running, just minus the burning legs and general muscular discomfort and injury-crippling high impact. As an added bonus, the reduced mental chatter helps me sleep better (told you there was a segue back there).

3. Better injury recovery:  For the injured, walking is a wonderful remedy. I firmly believe it’s not just giving up running that’s helped my injury stabilize. Walking has allowed me to increase my general activity level without putting stress on an unstable bundle of ligaments and joints. My trainer has noticed my increased mobility and improved form and I’ve noticed a decrease in general stiffness and pain. For anyone who’s suffered a significant injury, you know that’s a winning combo.

So yeah, walking isn’t a replacement for running (or swimming or biking or hiking or [insert intense physical activity here]) and it’s not going to give you amazing cardiovascular fitness, but it can make a meaningful difference to your overall health and well-being.  There’s a reason something simple and easy is called a walk in the park. Why don’t you take a walk on the wild side and give walking a chance? Okay, are those enough tired walking cliches for you? I think so. Happy walking.

Training Tuesdays: reflections on a year without any real running

I sometimes cannot believe that it’s been a year and a half since my injury. At first, I tried to get right back into the rhythm of regular running, determined not to lose an ounce of fitness.  I realized, though not as quickly as I should have, that jumping back into running was doing my injury no good. I pulled back on my running a little bit, then a little bit more, then even more than that.

Now, a year and a half later, I’m reflecting on a year of negligible running. I went from consistently running 10-15 km, 3-4 times per week to training for an ultra marathon to going weeks on end with no running at all.  My longest run since last October? 7 kilometres.  Even that distance is a…distant (pun intended) memory. I used to so firmly believe all these (mostly irrational or untrue) things about running that my running and exercise routines were bordering on obsessive. On the other side of my injury, I can see how my overly rigid views about running weren’t always healthy. For instance:

1. Running is the only way to stay fit: Sure, my cardiovascular fitness and endurance are a far cry from what they used to be, but it doesn’t mean I’m not still fit. I was just incredibly super fit back then. What I am now is hella strong. Just the other day I did tricep dips for the first time in about a year (my trainer and I never do tricep dips, but trust me when I say she gets my arms working), and they were so easy. I remember that I used to struggle to do five. So yeah, maybe I can’t run a 10k anymore, but I can rock multiple sets of tricep pushups, deadlift 110 lbs, run with 90 lbs on the prowler, and do negative pull ups  That’s something.

2. I’ll get fat if I can’t run: I’ll be brutally honest and admit that my running obsession started out mostly as an attempt to counterbalance my serious sweet tooth.  I always thought if I didn’t run, I’d have to cut out any and all sugar. Well, I eat way less restrictively than I used to, never run and, though I don’t know the exact number, I don’t believe I’ve gained anymore than 10 lbs. And you know what? I’m happier not obsessing over running an extra 5 km several times per week just to keep that 10 lbs off.

3. I have to run for a long time to see running’s benefits: I used to plan my days around my workouts and runs, sometimes fearing I was bordering on obsessive. If I didn’t run for at least an hour, I didn’t feel like I’d had a good enough workout. Well, the tides have changed. Now, 45 minutes of non-running is a good workout day for me. I workout less, have more flexibility in my daily schedule, and I don’t feel any worse for it.

I’ve said before that I sometimes struggle with the fact that I may never run distance again, but honestly I think those moments of struggle just reflect remnants of my old ways of thinking about fitness. The reality is that my SI is way more stable since I’ve stopped running. I’d probably be happy getting back to one or two short runs a week, and that’s more because I like to exercise outside than anything else. If I never run an ultra, never run half marathons or, hell, even if I never run a 10k again, I think I’m going to be just fine.

TWIR #78: test run

We are in our new ‘hood and there are parks galore around us and I couldn’t resist attempting a bit of running. When I say “a bit” of running, I really mean it. It’s now been so long since I ran that I’m actually not physically capable of anything more than a bit of running. Sigh. At any rate, so far the body is holding up okay. Fingers crossed that it lasts. We’ve also been going for daily post-work walks, which is lovely now that I get home from work at a reasonable time, and good for a bit of extra movement every day. While they are certainly not workouts, every little bit counts and I feel far better for it…although I was questioning our commitment to daily walks the day that I tripped over a very large and very dead rat on the sidewalk. Yikes! Good thing I’m not afraid of rodents! This seems like a great time to transition to the week’s workouts, doesn’t it? No one wants to talk about dead rats.

Saturday
Activity: planned rest day
Relevant Stats: moving day!
Observations: There was nothing restful about this day. We moved all our temporary belongings, of which there were many, and many of which were very heavy, from upstairs to downstairs. Then we loaded them into our cars. Then we unloaded them into our new place. There were a lot of heavy things carried multiple times. There was also last minute house-cleaning , new house unpacking, and then the mad rush to get ready for a wedding that evening. Needless to say we were exhausted. We left the wedding at 10 pm, an unacceptable hour at which to leave a wedding, but trust me when I say I was ready to roll a good hour before that. So yeah, not a real rest day in my books.

Sunday
Activity: pitch and putt course
Relevant Stats: 3 hours (!!!!) of slow ass golf
Observations: We walked our new ‘hood and discovered way too many tasty temptations. I’d like to say that the walk and world’s slowest round of golf worked off the giant dulce de leche donut I consumed, but I know it didn’t. Still, it felt like an active day and after Saturday’s balls to the wall activity level, a bit of a legit rest day was in order.

Monday
Activity: spin
Relevant Stats: 35 min.
Observations: I must’ve been working hard on the spin bike because a personal trainer came up to me to tell me so, and then asked if I needed help training for anything. I resisted the urge to tell him if a year with my actual personal trainer didn’t have me running ready, I doubted he would be able to. All in all, it was a short but decent workout. I’m starting to forget what one hour cardio workouts feel like. I’m sure one would kill me now, anyway.

Tuesday
Activity: personal training session
Relevant Stats: 60 min.
Observations: She had me towing the damn sled with weights again. Ugh. I have to tell you, I was excited for this session because it was my first where I didn’t have to get up at 5 am to make it there. I thought I was going to feel fantastic. I did not. My best guess is that the 45 minute drive I used to make allotted sufficient time to wake up, plus I used to down an entire travel mug of coffee before the workout. I had neither of these things for this week’s session and I felt sluggish and exhausted the entire time.

Wednesday
Activity: spin + elliptical + strength
Relevant Stats: 35 or 40 minutes
Observations: This was by far my worst workout of the week. I had high hopes because it was my last work day for the week and I thought my pre-vacation happiness would bolster my workout. Nope. I was trying to check in for flights when I first got on the spin bike and let’s just say I was having issues and, as I am wont to do, I got supremely frustrated beyond the point that anyone should over checking in for flights. I had no patience for spinning, and then no patience for the elliptical. Only when I was back squatting out of my rage was I happy with my workout.

Thursday
Activity: new neighborhood park workout!!!!!! And RUNNING intervals!!!!!!!
Relevant Stats: 40 min.
Observations: I love, love, love my new neighborhood and its proximity to a park that has a running track and good concrete blocks for all sorts of interval workout exercises. Plus it’s now brisk in the mornings so I don’t feel like I’m going to die from the heat. The best part, though, was that I RAN to the park (calm down, it’s maybe 500 m from my house), and then RAN laps in between walking lunges, push ups and other sets of exercises. You have no idea how happy I was. It was a legitimately great workout, but I was also ecstatic to be working out outside. Now I just have to survive the next few days without an SI setback…

Friday:
Activity: semi-planned rest day
Relevant Stats: ugh.
Observations: I have learned that planning a workout on the first day of a trip, no matter how short, is often just a pipe dream. After two hours of sleep and waking up feeling like a cold may have descended on me, I gave up on any hope of a workout.

There we have it, another week of workouts down and another weekend ahead. Happy Thanksgiving to all the Canadians out there! We’ll be wandering the streets of Toronto and meeting my baby nephew for the first time. My goal is to fit in some travel workouts, too, which is infinitely more challenging now that running isn’t a great option for me. Wish me luck!

TWIR #78: moving. ugh.

I know I told you on Wednesday that I wasn’t going to write a whole post complaining about moving. And I’m not. I’m just going to kick this post off with some bitter complaints and then move on. Moving sucks. I am tired, my body hurts, and I cannot believe we have to do this all over again in five months, albeit on a smaller scale. My workouts have not been great this week and I am 100% okay with absolving myself of responsibility and blaming the entire week of mediocre workouts on the move. Nevertheless, let’s see what I got up to.

Saturday
Activity: golf + packing
Relevant Stats: Official Last Day of Fun for the week (capitalization to indicate I am not kidding around)
Observations: I begged my better half to take me golfing Saturday afternoon after we spent the morning running errands and packing only to find ourselves staring into the face of hours more of packing. I needed fun, damn it! And golf is the last fun thing I remember doing this week. I knocked 3 strokes off my best score to date, hit some damn good (for me) shots, and got my putting back on track. Such a shame that the season is almost over and all my mediocre skills will get even rustier over the winter.

Sunday 
Activity: unplanned rest day
Relevant Stats: packing, packing and more packing
Observations: I didn’t plan to take Sunday off. Saturday’s golf wasn’t a workout after all. Between a farewell brunch with a good friend, trying to pack all kitchen non-essentials, and tackling the heinous chore of sorting my clothing, I knew a trip to the gym wasn’t happening. Unfortunately, my poor packing form (i.e. hunching over boxes) had left my back in such a state that running, my usually reliable back up plan, was not an option either. Workout fail.

Monday
Activity: spin
Relevant Stats: 35 min.
Observations: I am starting to think that I exist in some sort of alternate universe on Mondays, one in which my memory no longer serves me. For the second week in a row, I cannot clearly recall my workout. I know I did spin because I always do cardio the day before my personal training session and, since I’m still not running, that means spin. However, I am guessing at the time frame. I know it wasn’t a long workout because I was rushed for time between meetings. Does it really matter? All that matters was that is wasn’t for long enough.

Tuesday
Activity: personal training session
Relevant Stats: 60 min.
Observations:  My most vivid memory from this session was the horrid return of prowler chest press pushes. I have no idea if that is the correct name for this exercise, but I can say with certainty that ‘horrid’ is an understatement as a descriptor. Still, it was my first good workout of the week, so I will try not to whine too much.

Wednesday 
Activity: spin
Relevant Stats: 45 min.
Observations: Hallelujah! I broke the 35 minute spin barrier! Thanks to carpooling, my options were to stay on the bike for longer or sit around in my office for my carpool buddy to wrap up her day. I should thank her for my best cardio session in a while. And by best, I mean longest, because I still feel like death any time I try to do sustained cardio.

Thursday 
Activity: strength training
Relevant Stats: 45 min.
Observations: I am a prowler fanatic. I loaded that bad boy up with 90 lb again and rocked some high and low prowler pushes. Sadly, my SI doesn’t appear to be a huge fan of this, but I am determined to beat it into submission. I was proud of this workout. I worked up a good sweat and my legs were dead at the end. Winning combination.

Friday
Activity: spin and…stuff
Relevant Stats: 30 min. spin + 8 min. random strength(ish) stuff
Observations: I had nothing in the tank. Nothing. My legs were dead tired and all I wanted was to face plant into my lunch salad. I know, salad isn’t at all exciting. That’s how hungry I was, though, so much so that I wished every turn of my feet on the pedals was taking me closer to my giant lunch salad. But it wasn’t. Because spin bikes are stationary. This is my long winded way of saying that it’s a miracle I made it to 30 minutes on the spin bike. I then tried desperately to do some serious strength work but mostly wandered aimlessly between sets of random arm exercises because my legs hurt too much. The end.

I’d say happy Friday, but it will not be for me. As you’re reading this I will be meeting with new landlords or cleaning or loading up our cars with our temporary belongings. None of those things are fun. I do hope your weekends are looking brighter than mine.