Easy Flow Chart for High BG Management

This is PERFECT!! Show this to those people, in- and outside the medical field, who think managing diabetes is just a matter of following a particular method…
In case you need to print it out and show it to someone who might not understand just how incredibly easy it is to manage diabetes on a daily basis. (I can’t even type it without laughing.) I…

Source: Easy Flow Chart for High BG Management

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a healthy homebrew…

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When a friend told me about this stuff, I did some research and found this on YouTube, it was called “Good Girl Moonshine”.  My husband, bless his heart, can’t remember names at all, so he inevitably began to call it “Good Girl Juice” and occasionally requests that I fix him a bottle of it.  We can only hope he’s not telling the guys at work what he calls it.  Ha.

Now, I was skeptical upon seeing the downright ecstasy with which these two sisters extolled the virtues and health benefits of drinking this stuff.  But since I’m always looking for something to help give me energy or lose weight, I was game to try it. Here are the simple ingredients for making this concoction:

  • ice (fill a 32 oz. container to the top)
  • purified water (just don’t use tap!)
  • lemon juice  (2 Tsp)
  • ginger root, grated  (2 Tsp)
  • apple cider vinegar [also known as ACV] (2 Tsp)
  • sweetener  (to taste)

First of all, make sure whatever brand of ACV you get that it has “the mother” in it.  Ha-ha.. I know, that just sounds weird, but stick with me.  This simply means the ACV is organic and unfiltered, which leaves it with strands of the apple protein, enzymes and friendly bacteria.  It will appear as a sort-of ‘sediment’ which may float at the top or settle in the bottom of the bottle.  I use Bragg’s brand because it has been around for forever and has a good reputation for being an excellent product.  ACV has TONS of benefits for your health, including stabilizing blood sugar, promoting weight loss, and aiding digestion among others you can read about here.

Secondly, purified water.  We all know the importance of pure water.  Don’t take a chance with your tap water.  

Thirdly… the lemon juice, make sure it is 100% juice and not a cocktail or a lemonade mix.

Fourthly, (is that even a word?) and probably the most complicated…ginger root.  My adventures in procuring “the perfect” ginger have been varied and somewhat disappointing.  I’ve bought it from Kroger, Walmart, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods.

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I can’t really tell that it makes a difference where you get it other than from Whole Foods, it will more likely be organic. (but check to make sure if that’s what you’re looking for)  No matter if it’s organic or not, ginger root is gonna be different.  I’ve found some that are a dark yellow, almost brown color, others that are bright yellow and more moist.  Ginger is stringy by nature, but sometimes it will be MUCH stringier than others.  Those daggone strings drive me nuts!

 

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Egads!  The strings!!!

Ginger will grate best when it’s frozen, so pop that baby in the freezer soon as you get it home.  I’ve read posts that say you don’t HAVE to peel it, but I don’t like the papery texture of the ginger peel, so I use the back side of a knife and scrape the peel off as best I can.

 

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We have grown extremely fond of ginger as witnessed by my empty tub of Trader Joe’s famous Triple Ginger Snaps.  They’re the bomb & a couple of them make a nice treat after a delicious, healthy supper.

As you can see below, I have an ancient Salad Shooter that I’ve started using after grating the old fashioned way quickly got too time-consuming.  I don’t know how long my Shooter will work because, seriously, it’s OLD and the grater cone has a crack in it, but it sure beats the grater EXCEPT for having to stop and disassemble the thing to clear the strings.  ARGH!
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I’ve also used my old-fashioned crank grater…you know, the shiny silver kind your grandma probably had that you either clamp or suction to the counter.  It is tied with the Shooter for efficiency.  Meh.

STOP THE PRESSES FOR THIS UPDATE!  [9-14-15]
I had been contemplating buying a zester, which is basically a very fine shredder/grater but I digress, to see if it would do any better for this. I had serious doubts and didn’t want to end up with another kitchen gadget I had no room to store in my house, but the other day I found one in Burkes on sale, so I grabbed it and lo and behold:

ZESTER!

IT WORKS!! And wonderfully well, I might add! I did enough for my 48 ounce bottle in two snaps. FOR REAL! No stopping to clean the blades, no immense waste from all the strings (there ARE no strings with the zester!) Be sure it’s still frozen though, I’m sure that made it all the quicker.
So rejoice and cue the “Hallelujah Chorus” y’all…then run out and get yourself a zester RIGHT NOW!
And now back to your regularly scheduled post….

So, really grating the ginger is the single most time-consuming part of this whole process.  I will admit to using ground ginger in a pinch.
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However, let me spare you some pain by sharing what I learned the first time I used ground instead of fresh:  use ONLY 1 TEAspoon of the ground, not a TABLEspoon…and DEFINITELY not TWO tablespoons!!  (stop laughing!)   Be aware, too, that the ground will not completely dissolve, so just be sure to shake it each time before you take a swig so it’s not all concentrated at the bottom or that last mouthful will FEEL like you put 2 tablespoons in it.

Once you finally have your ginger grated, you’re ready to put your concoction together.  You simply put all the ingredients in your jar or bottle (more on that in a sec), shake it up really good and let it sit for about 5 -10 minutes (if you can wait that long).

As for sweetener, I have a couple different things I use.
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Yes, I actually use regular ol’ sugar too. Having had type 1 diabetes for over 40 years, I have tasted pretty much every artificial sweetener to come down the pike.  I have tasted some dawg-nasty stuff, trust me.  I don’t really care for any of them, even the newest stuff, and I avoid artificial sweeteners as much as possible.

Then there are the side effects of using those types of things.  I have never been able to tolerate stevia, but I keep trying.  Most any artificial sweetener will give me a headache.  I don’t need any of those, thank you, so when I am going to “splurge” on a sweet treat, I just go for the real thing and bolus to cover it.  Now you know.  So anyhow, I make a 48 ounce batch for myself (that’s the size bottle I have) and so using around a tablespoon of sugar in that amount along with the properties of the ACV apparently, I don’t need to bolus insulin for it.  It has never caused my blood sugar to spike.

Okay, now for the bottle.  If you watched that video linked at the first of this post, you will see they are using regular ol’ glass Mason jars.  That’s fine for most anyone, I suppose, but there are many downfalls to using those.  For one, my hands are too small to easily grip a quart jar.  They are glass…difficulty gripping them is a pretty sure bet I’m gonna drop one and break it all over the place.  Not fun.  They don’t travel well.  Sure, you could go ahead and put the flat and ring on it if you wanted to take it with you in the car, but it ain’t gonna fit in the cup holder, ya know?  Then there’s the problem of actually carrying it from one place to another.  What do you do?  Put it in your purse?  No, I had to find a better solution.

My family is full of outdoorsy nutjobs.  Seriously, they love hiking, kayaking, camping, cycling (of course) and rock climbing.  We are always in the market for VERY sturdy equipment.  Somewhere along the line, my husband and boys found these things…

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Nalgene bottles rock!  We have about 5 of them just between Hubby and myself.  They are made of a hard BPA-free plastic that’s almost indestructible.  In addition to these Nalgene bottles, we get something called a Cap-Cap for them so that they’re easier to drink from.
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You can see most of the Cap-Cap in the above photo.  It essentially lets you have a smaller opening to drink from (eliminating that inevitable face-splash from drinking from the larger one) and still have easy access to the wide-mouth of the bottle for filling with ice and liquid.  I got some of my Cap-Caps on Amazon, but they also carry them in most outdoors or sporting goods stores.  REI is our favorite.  I swear I’m not getting kickbacks, but we do love our awesome outdoor gear!  You can also see this is my 48 oz bottle.  Nalgenes come in 16 oz, 32 oz and 48 oz sizes.  They also have different styles and cap-types available.
The single downfall I have found to using my Nalgene is that it’s like a little baby drinking from a huge sippy cup.  You are NOT gonna sneak a sip from it in a meeting or group setting, trust me.  But if that’s the only drawback, I’m okay with it.  Ha-ha!

I try to get a full 48 ounces of GGJ every day.  I haven’t found that it gives me tons of energy which is really disappointing, but it is obviously helping me lose weight.  After the cycling kick-started my body into dumping some weight, adding this is the only thing that could be helping me continue to lose even after NOT being able to ride for over two months now.  Now THAT is exciting!

One more product before I go… this:

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We laughingly refer to that as my Nalgene Purse.  It’s made by a company called ChicoBag and we bought one for me (at REI) after a short hike up to Natural Bridge wherein I had to awkwardly tote that heavy bottle the whole time because I had on running shorts with nowhere to hang it on my pants.
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It doesn’t work as well with the 32 oz, only because you will have to roll or push the top of the bag down a bit to expose the top of the bottle, but is designed perfectly for the 48.  Even when I’m just around the house drinking my GGJ, I put it in the bag.  It keeps it from sweating on everything and makes it easy to grab and keep right with me.  I’ve been known to take it into the grocery store or even a restaurant with me.  It “wads” up into itself leaving you with a neat little stuff sack, has a small caribiner to clip your keys to when you head out for a hike or paddle.  It also sports a couple of little skinny pockets on the handle just right for a pen or a tube of lip balm.

Let me know if you start drinking your own Good Girl Juice and how it works for you!  I’d love to hear.

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I’ll take it!

So after my last post, I stepped on the scale for the first time in a day or two and found that I had lost another 3 pounds!!!

COLOR ME HAPPY AND ENCOURAGED!

Yup, I’ll take it!  🙂

spoke too soon…

Ugh.  I just got back from my regular doctor’s office.  I checked my blood pressure this morning and it was 197/101.

Yeah, NOT optimal for health.  Gah.  I was supposed to be at my therapist’s office at 2 pm, but I called to cancel after the doctor’s office told me to get in there by 11:30 am.  I felt bad about that because I canceled last time and I probably really needed to see her this week, but ANYhow…

By the time they got me in and took vitals, my BP was down to 168/79, but still too high.  I talked a long time to the doctor with her trying to understand the history of how I came to have this cough, of how I’d been taken off the ACE-inhibitor completely for about 2 weeks, then put on Amlodipine by my endo and then proceeded to have that dry, slight, hacking, persistent cough like I had before, so I went off it about a week and a half ago and now, here I am with high BP despite having done 8 miles on the trainer for the past four days.

She asked a lot of questions.  Oh, Hubby was there, too…he insisted on driving me after I told him how high it was, so she began to look up the side effects of Amlodipine and tell me that cough isn’t one of them.  Of course, I knew that already, but I also knew that it can cause wheezing and chest tightness, so I assumed that would cause the coughing to return.  That’s why I went off the med in the first place.

She came to the conclusion that I had not been off the ACE med long enough before starting the Amlodipine and I was having a lot of allergy symptoms.  She asked if I was taking my Allegra and Singulair every day, and I do, religiously!  Then she asked about the Flonase, which I tend to forget often.  After I use the neti pot, I have to wait awhile for the “running” to stop, and I’ll forget to use the Flonase.  She stressed that it was really important for me to use that stuff daily, so I gotta do better about that.  She also wants me to start taking a steroid inhaler and to use my albuterol inhaler before I get on the bike.  She thinks the cough is caused by all the irritation I have from the drainage and allergies.

I’m thankful that I didn’t have to go to the hospital because when I saw how high it was at home, I felt sure that’s where I was headed.  The doctor was impressed that I’d lost about 9 pounds since the last time I’d seen her about 3 weeks ago.  I told her that I’d really been trying and she told me to keep it up, that the weight loss would directly affect my blood pressure in a good way.  So…*sigh* I have to get back to the bike.

I have discovered why I have such a love/hate relationship with the bike and trainer…or any kind of hard exercise.  It’s the sweating.  Not that I just hate to sweat, which I do, but most of the time, sweating like that comes when I am having a low blood sugar and totally out of control.  I think that’s why I just really hate getting on the bike.  Once I’m on and I can see how I’m doing with the computer, I can get past it, but that first layer of sweat just makes me feel SO awful.  I seriously think it’s because of 40 some years of that sweatiness being a signal that I’m getting low.

That’s good to know, but knowing doesn’t make it go away.  Ha.  If only…

Hebrews 12:1 – “…and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us:…”

go me!

I am SO pumped, y’all! The past two days, I’ve put my sorry butt on the trainer and pounded out 8 miles each day on my bike. When I did it yesterday, I checked my blood pressure about an hour later and it was better than it’s been EVER while off my BP meds!!

PRAISE GOD!! I am SO thrilled that perhaps there IS a way to avoid those nasty, cough-inducing, make-me-choke medicines and still keep my blood pressure good! Honestly, if you haven’t read the last few posts, you don’t know how much this has worried me. The higher blood pressure was affecting my eyes, is bad for my kidneys… just really bad for me all around. Every time they put me on a new BP med, I would start with the coughing and wheezing again and every time I went off the meds, my BP would shoot up above the recommended 140/90. Yesterday, it was 156/85 and today it is 149/92. I know, I know… still a bit above what the doctor wants, but WAY better than it had been running!

I’m so tickled I could jump for joy! Only, I won’t because I’m kinda tired after my trainer session. Ha ha!

In other related news, we sent for a return number to send my bike computer to be repaired. Remember? Hubby got me one off eBay that has a cracked screen, but the computer works. Turns out, it’s still in warranty, but the warranty doesn’t cover the screen damage. That just tells us that the computer is fairly new and as I’d said, the repair will be about $90. For a computer like this, with GPS, speed/distance/cadence/grade/a-buncha-other-stuff capabilities, you can analyze the crap outta your rides and we also just ordered me a heart rate monitor that displays on the computer in real time, so you can stay in your “zone” the whole time (IF you can, that is! Ha ha!) So even including the price paid for the broken unit, we still end up with a great price for this computer. And I know it might sound like a frivolous extra, but it really helps you keep riding, keep pushing, when you can see how you’re doing, how far you’ve gone, what your cadence is and all that. It’s very motivating.

I’m so hopeful that with this proof that riding will help my blood pressure, I’ll be more apt to keep it up and in the process lose some weight and end up a healthier, happier gal. I’m secretly setting a goal to be in much better shape before I turn 50. I haven’t set any concrete goals, but generally, I’d love to lose a ton more weight, like at least 50 pounds. I would be thrilled beyond my wildest dreams if I could get that much weight off.

But in my mind, that sounds impossible. But I’m looking for and clinging to hope. I am praying for the determination and dedication to stick with this. To learn, in the process, how to set and stick to goals and carry out good, healthy plans.

Maybe get a little more disciplined in the process?? That one is a stretch for this completely undisciplined gal, but here’s hoping.

Hebrews 11:1“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

under pressure…

Well, it seems I can’t win for losing on the blood pressure front.  If you’ve been keeping up with my medical stuff, you’ll know that I was put on blood pressure medication about 15 years ago as a protective measure for my kidneys.  I did not have high blood pressure at that time and the dose of medicine they put me on was very low.

I took that (an ACE inhibitor) for about 7 years when I started having this horrific cough.  It came on slowly, but developed into this awful tickle in my chest that would either be made worse by laughing (of all things, right?!) or would just progress on its own until I was doubled-up, trying in vain to draw a breath without that squeezing in my chest making me cough violently.

Of course, at first I didn’t realize that one of my meds was causing the cough and thought I must have some kind of weird cold or bronchial thing.  Finally though, the doctors figured it out and took me off the medicine.  The cough got better almost immediately, but I was left with an asthmatic-like reaction to getting tickled (ie: laughing a lot) or getting a mild chest cold.  I would start coughing like a two-pack-a-day smoker and need an inhaler to even start to calm it down.

Now, however, the inhalers don’t seem to help at all.  I was eventually put on a different blood pressure medicine a year after the first diagnosis of the ACE-induced cough and seemed to do fine with it until recently.  With insurance being the nightmare it is, I had to change meds because they wouldn’t cover what I’d been on.  That led to being inadvertently put on a similar medicine and in a few months, the cough was back, but it started when I had an awful flu so I didn’t make the connection til a month after the flu had gone.

Talk about being ticked.  I was and am!!  My endo just took me off any bp meds altogether and told me to watch and make sure my bp didn’t get over 140/70.  Within a week, I was having 185/90 bp’s so he put me on Amlodopine.  Guess what?  That is making me cough too.

I am infuriated and just don’t know what to do.  I mean, first of all, I’m a little ticked that they put me on this crap when I didn’t even have bp issues, ya know?  Even though I realize that’s kinda the protocol, still…  It’s diminished my quality of life, ya know?  And I don’t need meds to do that.  I have a non-functioning pancreas that’s been doing that just fine for decades now.  Ugh.

There’s also the deal where, after having that awful rash in my armpits for 3/4 of last year finally getting to the bottom of that (took 5 doctors who couldn’t dx it to get the one who finally did:  contact dermatitis, of all things?!) and now I seem to be a lot more allergic to MANY things that didn’t bother me before.  Or at least, didn’t irritate my lungs… like fabric softeners and body sprays or heavy perfumes.  So now, not only does my skin react quite negatively to certain things, but strong chemical odors make me cough my lungs out too.

That doesn’t go well with the bp meds making them so reactive too.  UGH!

I stopped taking the Amlodopine about 3 days ago but the cough isn’t hugely improved.  I might try it again, just to see.  I really think that my lungs are just so irritated now that any little thing makes them flare up, ya know?  So I can’t tell if it is actually the medication or other things making me cough.  More than likely, I’m afraid, it is both.

I have always dealt with getting head-achy when coming in close proximity with “loud” chemical odors… someone who can’t set perfume application limits, the laundry aisle at the grocery or the aerosol aisle in the auto parts place.  But now it’s not just headaches, it’s problems breathing.

*sigh*
I sure never realized what an awful problem something like this can be.  I have no clue how to control blood pressure since I really have a pretty decent diet, ya know?  I am gong to do some research and see what I can find out, though.  I am guessing more exercise would be a good start.

Sheesh… and today is SO not a good day to start that since The Monthly arrived last night and I am cramping horribly today.

Hubby had a doctor appointment today and found out his cholesterol is way down and his blood pressure is doing good.  He is off the cholesterol meds because they just made him swell and feel bad, but he does take a couple different bp medications.  His vitamin D was low, so he’s gotta start back on that.  His smart-aleck doctor suggested maybe he ride his bike naked to help with the vitamin D deficiency, adding that it might not help with his criminal record.  *sheesh*  (this is the arrogant jerk-wad doctor that I refuse to see anymore.  he and Hubby get along fine somehow—I don’t get it, but whatever!)   Anyhow, Hubbs called to give me the update on all that and told me to be ready at 6 o’clock and we’d go out and do something.

My first stop will be to pick up some progesterone cream!!  I hope and pray it will help with the cramps again.  I’m too old to be balled up in the bed having period cramps, right?

In other news, I cancelled my appointment with the therapist today because I felt so awful.  I rescheduled it to next Wednesday.  Honestly, I didn’t feel like I had anything to really tell her this week anyhow.  Not sure if that’s a good sign or a bad one.  Does it mean I’m becoming better able to process stuff by myself or is it part of the isolation process again?  I really just don’t know.

Guess we’ll find out next week, huh?  Ha!

Proverbs 4:23Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.”

that just happened–again

Yup.  Behold:

biker-knees

this is what happens when you don’t know how to use clip-ins… although I’m told it happens to the best of them #argh

So…went without my Hubby on a bike right with some people from the cycling club.  This was kinda big for me because I don’t normally go riding without Hubby or at least my son.  I dunno why except that’s just normally what we do… we go riding together.  Only he’s training to do this crazy century ride (that’s 100 miles… on a bicycle, folks!)  See?  Crazy!!  But he’s determined to do it and I admire his determination, but it makes it harder for us to ride together.  I mean, there ain’t no way this fat girl is gonna make it for the 50-70+ mile rides they are doing to train for this! I’m thankful he has a couple of good people to ride with…they are actually planning to do the actual ride together.  Both of the other people have done centuries before, and they are such great encouragement to him. But yeah, so I went after talking to another girl who hasn’t gotten to ride a ton this year like me and even though she’s probably a stronger rider, she seemed glad to hang back with me.  There was a fairly big group that showed up, including the couple that are most active with the club.  He is also a very strong rider and she is actually too, but she’s not nearly as competitive as her husband. The young girl who rode with me today was a great encouragement.  I just HATE feeling like I’m holding people up.  Ab-so-LUTEly hate it!  But they are always gracious and sweet.  Maybe one day I will be able to keep up.

Honestly I think part of my problem is my bike.  It’s not anything like what most of the other riders have.  It’s heavier and it’s not really designed for the type of rides we are doing.  Hubbs has modified it some to make it work better, but it’s just not designed for these kinda rides. We have looked at getting a different bike from the local bike shop.  When Hubby bought me this bike, it was the best fitting bike that wasn’t super-expensive but capable enough to just see if I would enjoy riding or not.

He’s found this place in Seattle that custom builds bikes.   Yes, Seattle, Washington.  He even called them and talked to an awesome, knowledgeable guy named Smiley who was super-helpful.  They can build the entire bike or just the frame although the cost difference makes more sense to just have them put the whole thing together.  They have some kind of computerized jig to fit your bike before they start the build.  Thus, even though you CAN do your own measurements and they’ll build you a bike, it’s better, obviously, to go and let them fit you on their jig-thingie.  *sigh*

I have no clue how we could ever afford the bike, which will cost at least 2k, let alone the trip out there.  A 40-hour drive!  But Hubby is determined that we are going to do this.  Once we determined that yeah, I do enjoy riding quite a bit and now realize that my bike is making that not as enjoyable as it could be, we have started trying to remedy that.  However, most companies just don’t really specialize in short-people bikes.  The brand we’ve been looking at in our local shop doesn’t even make one small enough for me, so we had been looking at one a full two centimeters too large.  Granted, that doesn’t sound like much, but you spend 20-some miles on a bike and you will know that it doesn’t fit you right.  You should have an inch of stand-over gap… distance between your crotch and the top bar but the smallest bike they can get from this company has me touching the bar, so yeah.. it’s just not the right size.

Could I ride the bike?  Yes.  Would it be the best option for me in the long run?  No, not really.  However, I am torn now realizing how much my current bike is limiting me… just the fact that its heavier, the components are not as quality thus they don’t work as well… I am left exerting a lot more effort to climb hills and things like that than I would be with a better bike.

Given that a Rodriguez bike would not be much more than we’d be giving for the bike that doesn’t really fit from our local shop, it’d be kind of crazy for us to settle… if you leave out the cost of actually going to Seattle, that is.

And so now I’m a little perturbed at the thought of having to “put up with” my current bike until we can/IF we can ever actually get a custom bike for me.  It makes it hard to want to ride, ya know?

I am TRYING not to be too excited about the possibility of getting a bike that would fit me because I just can’t see it happening or at least not for a very long time.  And I’m trying not to think of how much better I might ride if I had a better bike… ugh.  Hubby’s talking about selling our four-wheeler, which granted, we don’t use a whole lot, but it comes in handy when we need it.  I’m torn about selling it, but really, it’s all we have that’s worth much at all and if we got what it’s worth, it would almost pay for the bike.  *sigh*

I gotta stop thinking about this.  It’s driving me crazy.  We are supposed to go riding, a much shorter, easier ride with the group Monday evening.  I am dreading the thoughts of dealing with those clips again.  They have created such a nasty mind-game with me… and I’m not good with those.  I just can’t quite make myself try them again. … and I’m almost certain I won’t attempt to do the Redbud Ride with them since I won’t have Hubby with me.  My son is talking about doing the ride and I MIGHT consider it if he goes, but otherwise, I just do NOT want to have to deal with those things.  They keep me so distracted worrying that I’m going to fall and not be able to unclip that I can’t half-way enjoy the ride.  GAH!!

Okay, shutting up now.  I hope one of these days this kind of crap won’t even occur to me.  That I can just think, “Yay!  I’m gonna go riding today” and just enjoy the heck out of it, ya know?

Philippians 4:11Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.”

pressing forward…the bike

So I’ve been trying to be more active. I’ve gone with my hubby to the bike shop uptown to ride trainers. Of course, that’s HUGE for me at this point in my life. I thought I’d lay the background for why in the world I even have a nice-ish road bike.

We both signed up for a ride, The Red Bud, coming up in April. Hubby and my eldest son did the ride last year, the 26 mile portion, shortly after Hubby got his bike. I didn’t even have a bike at the time.

He’d never ridden anywhere near 26 miles, so it was a MAJOR accomplishment for him. I was so proud of him, of course, then again, he can do ANY. THING. he sets his mind to. The man is determined if nothing else.

So, he got me into riding. I really enjoy it, but it’s a real task to get me out and going. I enjoy seeing the landscape and honestly, we live in an area with some of the most beautiful riding country in the nation. The Red Bud Ride garners participants from all over the world. I mean, seriously! That’s some “big time” cred! LOL!

Now, I have actually done approximately 25 miles before. Once you get conditioned even slightly, you can do many more miles than you’d imagine. The Hubbs is very VERY goal oriented and he has signed up for what they call The Century Challenge. A “century” is, obviously, a 100-mile ride. The challenge is to do four of them in a season. I’m not sure where each of them are and I think there’s about 5 or 6 of them, so you can choose. There’s no cost to register for the challenge, but there’s a cost for each ride, so theoretically, you can “drop out”. I am kinda dreading this as these rides can take up to 8 hours or more to complete! The farther ones I think he will probably be attending with some other people from the cycling club we’ve become part of because I can’t imagine waiting that long for him to finish. I kinda dread him having that “thing” that I’m not part of, because the Hubby tends to get a little obsessive about things and honestly, I love him, but I get really tired of trying to keep up with his many & varied obsessions.

ANYhow, so the bicycling is one way I’m trying to be more active. There are these crazy things called “cycling shoes” or “clips” that are basically insane contraptions that attach you to the bike pedals by your shoes!! When Hubby got his, I told him he was a loon. I understood his repeated explanation of why they were beneficial, but I just didn’t want to even attempt them… besides the fact that they are NOT cheap. Just so you know, I mean, in case you WANT to know, haha, here is the science and reason behind cycling shoes.

Okay, and so…the Hubbs found a pair of cycling shoes in my size on clearance and yep, he ordered them. I really REALLY wasn’t happy. I just wasn’t interested in having clips. I finally tried them and was SO proud of myself for being able to ride about 3 miles without falling. Then, I decided I would attempt a horrific hill just up the road from our house. I think I could’ve done it, although it would have been TOUGH, I think I could’ve made it if not for those stupid clips.

We hadn’t had time to adjust them, the tightness or how easily they would clip and unclip. And so once I got to the very steepest part of the hill, I tried to unclip….and fell. I just toppled over, as you might imagine would happen with someone attached by the pedals to their stinkin’ bike. I was SO upset, but determined at that point to do it. So, right there in the very steepest part of the hill, I tried to take off again.

First of all, it’s HARD to take off on a steep incline without being clipped in, so that was my first mistake. As you might have guessed, I fell again. Harder this time.

And that made me mad. I don’t normally react that way. But somehow I was on this I-Can-Conquer-The-World kick and I’ll never know where it came from. So I got back on the bike.

And I fell AGAIN! This time, it was much worse. That’s when I jammed my straight handlebars into my chest. It felt like I ripped off my left boob. I thought sure it was bleeding. My right knee was pouring blood and Hubby had not made it down the hill yet.

Now after that fall, I was beyond angry. I was FURIOUS! Once Hubby got down to where he could see me, I started yelling. I had already kicked the bike away from me. I was SO mad, mad that I had tried so hard and failed, mad that he had forced me into doing something I didn’t really want to do in the first place. I demanded that he ride home (which was less than a quarter-mile away) and come pick me up in the truck. I wasn’t about to get back in those stupid clips.

About two months later, we did a local ride called The Thriller. Obviously, I did that one withOUT those blasted shoes.

This was in late September. It was cool and rainy. There was a fairly steady mist the entire time we rode. We were doing the 26 mile portion. It went right past our house, so it was on a route we ride all the time.

I was SO tempted to just stop at the house on the way back instead of riding back to the finish in the middle of town. But once we got to our driveway I decided to keep my big girl bloomers on and ride on in.

There’s a mid-sized downhill just before you get on the next-to-last road before getting to the finish. I’ve been down it dozens of times. It’s one of my favorite downhills. There’s a fairly sharp left at the bottom that runs into a mild incline, so it’s best to keep your momentum going so you can coast up the next little hill. That’s what I thought I was doing.

I headed down the hill at a pretty good speed, like always. The mist had stopped falling, but the roadway was still wet. As I got to the middle of the decline, I realized I probably should not have powered into it so hard and I tapped my back brake. I immediately started to fishtail, so I got off the brake and coasted the rest of the way. As I came into the turn, I could feel the bike hydroplaning. I tried turning slightly to avert my steady path toward the raised sidewalk to my right. That didn’t work, so I tried leaning to move myself toward the center of the road.

No luck with that either. I knew I was going to go down. At the same time, I saw an SUV coming toward me in the left lane. About that time, I hit the edge of that sidewalk and was slammed over onto my right side and slid about 12 feet down the sidewalk before coming to a stop in a very inglorious lump.

Turned out the people in the SUV was a guy from the cycling club and his wife. Hubby was far enough behind me that he didn’t see the incident, so he thought I had hit my brake and caused the wreck. He didn’t see me get slammed and go sliding. Thankfully, the Club Guy saw it. He and his wife parked in a lot across the road and came running over and got to me about same time Hubby did.

I thought sure I’d killed myself. But no. I was able to get up and walk to Club Guy’s SUV. He put my poor bike on the carrier and his wife drove me on in to our truck at the finish.

I have a nice scar on my right elbow to commemorate.

I’m not sure why I expounded on all this bike stuff. But I guess you should prepare for more. I’m doing the training so that I can get back in shape for the Redbud and so that I can hopefully whittle down this horrid pouch on my midsection.

Geannie, going for a ride!

That’s the most horrid thing about riding… the feeling of my upper legs hitting my saggy gut as I pedal. I hate being overweight but have never been able to get rid of it since my thyroid blew up on me.

Lord willing, my energy levels will go up and I’ll get more into riding again, ’cause right now? It takes a WHOLE lot to get me out to ride.

1 Corinthians 9:26-27 — “So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.”