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Practice Makes Perfect October 19, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Gratitude, Happiness, Humor.
26 comments

It’s amazing the impact that some people have on our lives.

In the fifth grade, in the winter when it was too cold to go outside during gym, we did tumbling and rope climbing.

Lacking proficiency in both, I often “forgot” my gym clothes so I would not have to participate.

When I got my report card, with an “Unsatisfactory” in gym, my teacher, Mr. Miller, encouraged me to try harder.  Since I had a crush on him (until he broke my heart by moving to some far off island in the American Samoas), I decided to try harder.

I began practicing at home in the basement using cushions off the love seats as tumbling mats.

After mastering the forward roll, I progressed to forward diving somersaults over 4-5 people lying side by side on the tumbling mats!

Talk about a sense of accomplishment.

Aah . . . that’s better!

In a few minutes, we can turn someone’s life around.

We can be a positive or negative influence on those around us.

We can help or hinder.

Thanks, Mr. Miller!

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A Campus Tour August 17, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Food & Drink, Travel & Leisure.
34 comments

While in Williamsburg, we took advantage of gorgeous summer weather to tour the campus of William & Mary, my alma mater.

We stopped in at the Alumni House . . .

Checked out the Stadium . . .

Toured the Sadler Center . . .

Inside . . .

And out . .  .

We stopped to admire its stacked stone walls . . .

Then crossed the street to The Daily Grind, a coffee house housed in Lodge 2 (former campus housing) . . .

From there, we hiked through the woods around Crim Dell . . .

Enjoying the meandering path and dappled shade . . .

Until we spied the Crim Dell Bridge through a break in the trees . . .

We walked further to get a closer look before crossing its curved planks . . .

On the far side, we stopped to read the dedication plaque . . .

“. . . that one may walk in beauty, discover the serenity of the quiet moment, and dispel the shadows.”

After dispelling the shadows, we trekked across campus to Lake Matoaka to check out the new amphitheater . . .

And its inviting stage . . .

At this point, we were hot, tired, and famished . . .

So we hoofed back across campus to the College Delly to split a 3-Way Cheese Sub & a basket of fries . . .

Washed down with a Ray Ray’s Extra Pale Ale from COTU (Center of the Universe) Brewing Company . . .

Aah . . . that’s better!

You Should Be Dancing . . . Yeah! July 13, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Happiness, Health & Wellness.
22 comments

Dancing is the best thing you can do for your body . . . and your mind.

Dancing burns more calories than other forms of exercise because you are moving in different directions, stopping and starting, and using muscles in your arms, hands, hips, legs, thighs, and core:

If running is like driving on a freeway, dancing is more like motoring through a busy city. All of that starting, stopping and changing directions burns a ton of fuel even though you’re not covering a lot of ground.

Dancing is great for brain health, strengthening the white matter that keeps us “sharp.”

And it’s a BIG mood booster and stress reducer:

Like other forms of cardio exercise, dancing also seems to have mood and mind benefits. A 2007 study found that hip hop dancing improved energy, buoyed mood and lowered stress in ways similar to aerobic exercise.

To read more:  Why Dancing Is The Best Thing You Can Do For Your Body

Best of all ~> it’s FUN to groove to your favorite tunes!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related:  The TIME Guide To Exercise ~ with links to 68 articles on the benefits of exercise.

 

Rocky Mountain Hike in Colorado June 7, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Nature, Travel & Leisure.
26 comments

On our first day in Fort Collins, while still adjusting to the increased altitude, we decided to hike a local preserve.

We followed the path high up into the foothills . . . watching for rattlesnakes.

BFF and I lagged behind the pack because breathing at that altitude is hard work.

But the views were worth it!

A quick pit stop to learn about the history of the flora and fauna.

Nothing like a Rocky Mountain Hike in Colorado!

Especially in such a special place.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Tai Chi: An Oasis Of Calm May 1, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Health & Wellness, Mindfulness.
23 comments

Participants engaged in mastering the slow mindful movements of Tai Chi remain present . . .

In the moment . . .

The only place happiness resides . . .

In addition:

Tai Chi helps participants increase flexibility and balance while improving concentration.

It’s hard to be “lost in thought” while engaged in Tai Chi, giving participants a break from anxiety, worry, angst, and other every day stresses and strains.

As it taps into the mind-body connection, Tai Chi soothes the sympathetic nervous system, lowering dangerous levels of cortisol and adrenaline which are tied to a host of health ailments (e.g., high blood pressure & excess weight).

Tai Chi provides a *pause* that refreshes, resets, and relaxes the monkey mind . . . an oasis of calm in the midst of the frenzied and frenetic pace of life.

As an added benefit, many classes are held outdoors, offering participants the opportunity to nurture themselves amid the sights and sounds of nature.

Nature + Nurture = Perfect Together!

To learn more about the benefits of Tai Chi:  Why Tai Chi Is As Good For You As CrossFit.

Aah . . . that IS better!

 

 

Turning A King Mattress October 22, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Home & Garden, Humor, Less IS More.
38 comments

Last time we stripped the bed to wash the sheets, we decided to fluff up the mattress pad in the dryer.

Once the mattress had been divested of its outerwear, we figured we might as well rotate the mattress.

Once the mattress was off the box springs, we figured we might as well wash the dust ruffle.

At that point, Tigger intervened to check on our progress.

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He wandered around the unusual landscape checking things out.

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Once Tigger gave us the “all clear,” we figured we might as well lift off the box springs and vacuum under the bed.

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Once the box springs were removed, we decided to clean the baseboard and wash the walls behind the bed.

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A few observations:

#1  One thing leads to another.

#2  Everything is connected.

#3  King beds are H~E~A~V~Y!!!

When I mentioned the intense work-out we got from our mattress turning session to my sister, she asked an astute question:

“What do people do about flipping king mattresses when they get older?”

Considering the options, I replied:

“You ask your kids to do it.  Or you forget to do it.  Or like Lucy and Ricky Ricardo, you trade in your King for Twin Beds.”

Of course, by the time BFF & I get around to turning our mattress again, we may all be sleeping in pods on Mars.

Time will tell.

Aah . . . that’s better!

What’s your least favorite household chore?

When A Tree Falls In The Forest . . . August 29, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Life Balance, Nature.
42 comments

Perico Preserve, a bird rookery, opened up across the street from us this summer.  On a cool-ish Sunday evening we went over to check it out.

While wandering the trails, we bumped into this massive tree lying down on the job.

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At first, we assumed it had just recently keeled over due to heat exhaustion.

WRONG!

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After walking underneath the tree’s arching trunk to the far side, we noticed numerous stout branches straining skyward and several muscular roots keeping the tree grounded and well fed.

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The tree did not give up when it fell down . . .

It adapted to the challenges of its new position, refusing to abandon its continual quest to reach for the sun.

Ain’t nature grand!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Boost Your Brain Power June 27, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Health & Wellness, Meditation.
37 comments

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Want to have fun while boosting your smarts?  Here are 5 hobbies that may boost your brain power:

Chess#1 Playing Chess ~ raises IQ, stimulates creativity, improves memory and concentration, and helps grow dendrites.

No, no . . . not dandruff.  Dendrites.

Hurry!  Dust off the chess board.  

NOW!

#2 Reading & Writing ~ benefits cognitive abilities and creativity, relieves stress, stimulates the cerebral cortex, builds new synapses, expands vocabulary and knowledge base, and makes you better, faster, stronger, and more interesting to be around.

It does so!  Stop arguing with me and go read a book!  

220px-Alice_par_John_Tenniel_27#3 Exercising ~ reduces stress, improves blood flow to the brain (and elsewhere), releases feel-good neurotransmitters, and fertilizes the hippocampus causing it to grow bigger, better, stronger, faster.

No . . . not hippopotamus. Hippocampus.

Get out the dictionary.  Then drop and give me 20!

Woodstock-&-Snoopy2#4 Playing a musical instrument ~ listening to music is good for the brain, but playing an instrument is great for the brain since it requires both hemispheres to work together making you better, faster, stronger, and more coordinated.

I got rhythm . . . I got music . . . I got brain power . . . who could ask for anything more?

#5 Meditation ~ great for expanding learning, cognition, memory, empathy, compassion and more.

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Aah . . . that’s better!

We Had a Field Day on Field Day! May 25, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Happiness, People.
47 comments

105px-Hopscotch1900F294.svgJill’s post about school recess periods, We’re Free, brought back happy memories of playing on the playground in grade school:

Kick Ball.  Dodge Ball.  Tether Ball.  Hop Scotch.  Jump Rope.

Remembering those good times on the playground reminded me of our annual Field Day event.

We had a Field Day on Field Day!

Instead of sitting in class, classes assembled outside to run fast, jump high, and compete for ribbons in Olympic caliber events on the track and in the field:

We enjoyed egg-spoon races, 3-legged races, wheelbarrow races (steering human wheelbarrows by the ankles), long jump, high jump, tug-of-war (where even the winners walked away with rope burn), and all manner of mad dashes.

As energy levels flagged, teachers lined us up in facing rows for the Egg Toss.

Not to be confused with the Caber Toss or Hammer Throw:

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At first, mere inches separated the two long rows of intent students facing one another.  With each successive toss, successful teams had to take another step back before launching their oval missiles.

Eventually the chasm was too wide to cross with a gentle toss and the eggs got scrambled.

Egg Toss (in Public Domain)

Rather like Humpty Dumpty.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Did you celebrate Field Days in your school?

A “Catwalk” Through A Cypress Swamp May 23, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Nature, Travel & Leisure.
38 comments

When we lived in NC, we spent many wonderful weekends camping and hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains and Great Smokies.

Blue hills

We loved to pack a picnic and hike to a waterfall where we could park our butts on a big boulder mid-river to enjoy the rushing water (and an adult beverage, or two).  Here, there is plenty of water but waterfalls are few and far between.

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BFF misses our mountain meanders ~ not enough to hike the Appalachian Trail, but enough to wander in the woods and set a spell.  We came close earlier this month.

Wanting to fit in another road trip before Florida temps rose from warm to steamy, we headed to Sebring for a short visit.

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Emphasis on short.

We enjoyed a quick peek at Lake Jackson . . .

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And strolled around the Circle Shops, stopping to visit a pottery studio, before bidding adieu to Sebring.

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With Sebring in our rear view mirror, we headed to nearby Highland Hammock State Park to do some hiking in the woods.

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Our first hike started out as an easy flat walk along an elevated boardwalk.

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High above the muck and mire.  Just the way I like it!

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Without warning, our easy hike turned into a balancing act along a narrow “catwalk” suspended over the murky Cypress Swamp.

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The catwalk had a handrail on one side and NOTHING between us and the swamp on the other.

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The people who built it must have had a good laugh at the one-sided structure they left in their wake.

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To make matters worse, stuff kept falling out of the tall tall trees because a big storm had blown through the  night before.

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Every time a big limb dropped with a CRACK, we jumped.

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Especially after seeing the creature from the black lagoon rising from the swampy soup.

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To claim the boardwalk for lunch.

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We didn’t see any gators or snakes.

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We were OK with that.

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We did see some interesting hoo doos.

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And pixies hiding among the primordial ferns.

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Eventually the canopy gave way to blue sky and we climbed down from the catwalk to terra firma.

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Happy we lived to tell the tale, we readied ourselves to hike another trail.

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Which turned out to be a very gnarly one.

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After meeting up with this wise old oak . . .

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We continued along the trail until we heard “a bear” crashing through the forest in our direction.

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Deciding we’d had enough nature for one day, we fled the trail.

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Aah . . . that’s better!