I made it down 21 flights of stairs…

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…when I left the office then walked up five flights to get to my car.  Something I have never done!  A workout indeed and glad I didn’t have on any makeup.  Here’s how Day 4 went:

I am the essential bag lady.  Around 5 pm I went and put bag, purse, planner and books, minus my laptop, in my car.  Around 6:50 I packed up and left the office.  As I entered that stairwell at Floor 21 all kind of thoughts came to mind:  “I should have called Jorge (security guard) and told him if he didn’t see me come out come get me.”  “I should pull up 911 on my phone just in case.”  “I should have left that laptop in the car.”  “What am I doing???”  There I went.  Not too bad.  Floor 17 I started feeling the pull in my thighs.  Floor 12 I started counting the stairs: one set, then a landing, then another set before the next floor, 20 steps total.  I’m feeling the burn but okay.  Floor 10: I notice there are no emergency buttons on these floors. What’s up with that?  Floor 7:  The concrete slabs are wobbly…or is it me?  Floor 4: I’m getting ‘sea-sick.’ I’m feeling real queasy, moving slow but know if I stop I’m going to take a tumble.  Oh, wait, finally, an emergency phone.  I pause an contemplate, no I can do this.  Floor 2: Yesssss, one more flight to go.  My calves are tighter than tight.  Ten stairs, 10 more to go…wait blank walls, “say what??” Ten more stairs, then ten more…oh I have been bamboozled.  Finally!!!!!!  Floor 1: a door, I can get out of and not soon enough!  Whew.

Now on to my car.  I pass by Jorge trying to pretend like a fresh dew in the morning sun.  “Goodnight.” I walk out that revolving door (why…I’m ready to vomit) leaning forward.  Just the slight wind shift to the north and man down.  As I approach the parking garage I’m staring at the stairwell door straight ahead.  “Oh h*ll to the naw” I thought but as I got to the elevator my will, not my legs, kept going and here I go up those stairs.  A guy was right behind me and immediately stepped aside and told him to go ahead, “I’m going to be extremely slow.”  Here we go, flight 1, flight 2, flight 3 (somebody help me), flight 4 (pause, deep breath, 3…2…1…), flight 5 I felt like I just climbed Mt. Everest.  Left knee pounding, thighs contracting and calves pulsing, I make my way to the car.  I thought I was no safe but no, driving around those curves to get to ground level made me even more queasy.  Ugh.  But…I did it!!

image1My intent was to go to the gym and walk up 21 flights on the stair master but ran late  doing ministry and school work.  Nonetheless, total stair count coming down: 230, total going up, hmm, I don’t know; I need to count those stairs when I go back to work on Monday.  Without going to the gym, here’s yesterday’s activity.  I’m working my way up to 10,000 (even though a friend told me a 6,000 step goal is great).

 

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Support the Cause!

 

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So I’m on this 30-Day Challenge…

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…and as of October 4th, four days in, it’s a challenge for real.  What’s the challenge you ask?  It’s 30 days of exercise, at least 30 minutes every-single-day.  Seems easy right?  Yep, until all the excuses and reasons you had before seem to still be there. I have not been to the gym the past few days.  I just haven’t.  But, I have been adjusting my habits.

Sunday instead of driving the mile to the hospital to visit my mom I walked.  It’s not that far and was a way to get in exercise.  I also did some yoga poses for stretching.

Monday I did not set aside the 30 minutes but I did something else.  I took the stairs.  I park on the 5th floor of the garage and I forced myself to walk.  I was out of breath and ready to break the glass on the fire extinguisher just because it said “in an emergency.”  I also made the decision to watch what I eat.  I didn’t stuff myself with candy, snacks, cookies and cakes like I may do on any given day – most days to be honest.  For dinner I had a kale chopped salad and okra.  No meat!!  Didn’t want it and released the feeling that I needed it to make my meal complete.  Let me backtrack.  The okra was fried okra but it was fresh, crisp and homemade (at the restaurant) and was sooo good.  I guess that was my meat substitution.  And only one glass of wine.

Tuesday I took the stairs again (pats self on the back, looks for oxygen mask) and instead of getting in my car and driving the 1/2 mile to grab lunch, I walked.  It felt really good.  Last night while doing laundry I decided I needed to get 30 min of movement so I walked, yet again.  During each cycle I went outside and walked briskly.  I could not let myself stay stagnant.  Check out what Pacer said I did on my phone (see pic).IMG_3493

Today, Wednesday, as I sit and gaze at this beautiful day from the 21st floor of my office, I’m also psyching myself up to take the stairs down 21 flights when I leave for the day.  Don’t laugh, it’s harder than you think.  I was forced to for a fire drill and baby when I tell you my legs felt like melted jello…ooohweee.  That’s what I’m going to do.  No, I can’t take them up because of security measures I won’t be able to get on to my floor and I don’t want to be left for dead when around flight 6 I pass out; BUT, when I go to the gym tonight, I will hit 21 flights on the stair master and try, really hard, not to fall over that rail.  Note to Planet Fitness: please have paramedics on standby…please.

Moral of this story:  I hope I’m incorporating healthy habits in my life, every day, that will last a lifetime.  By the way, I’m intending to blog my challenge (a challenge in and of itself) every day.  Tune in tomorrow…

P.S.  It’s October and you know what that means…Pink Out.  It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  I am a survivor and this is my continuous survival journey.

I am more than a conqueror…

…yes I AM!  Six years ago, in December 2010, I laid on a table in a lab getting an ultrasound that would change my life forever.  Breast Cancer.  Though not confirmed it was evident. Fast forward to six years later, December 2016, I laid on an MRI table, in that same lab, wondering if my cancer had recurred.  It was an ire feeling walking in there, sitting, waiting, reading vibes, etc.  Yes, for the past six weeks I’ve been living with a secret, shared with only God and two people on this earth, that I may have to go through this all over again.  Had my cancer returned?

 

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Yes, I am more than a conqueror!

Well, I am thanking and praising God on this day that my results came back negative!!!!  Hallelujah!!!!  Although I certainly did not want to travel that road again, I had began preparing myself for what was to come.  This is a wake up call.  I realize I need to focus strengthening myself mentally, physically and emotionally.  More so than before.  I talk a good game in my mind but that doesn’t always translate into action.  Starting now, and not the coming year, I am taking better care of myself.

I would like to thank the two individuals who held on to my secret, praying with and for me, holding my hand until we witnessed the good news of God’s grace.  I love you all and am eternally grateful.  It means more than you could ever know or I could ever express.

As I continue my journey of survival, I know I’ll fight for the rest of my life.  And that’s okay because as long as I’m fighting, I’m here, surviving.  I love my life.  I love God.  I love all that have been, continue to be and are to become a part of this walk with me.  To all my fellow survivors, keep fighting. We are more than conquerors!

Hi ho, hi ho off to the gym…

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…I went!  Yeah I know that doesn’t rhyme but who cares, I FINALLY got back in the gym.  It’s been a while, a long while, over a year since I graced the floors of a gym.  It’s not that I didn’t want to go, I had other financial priorities and a gym membership wasn’t one of them.  Yes, I know that’s no excuse.  I could work out at home, outdoors (not in the summer in Arizona), etc. etc. etc.  I didn’t.  Should I have been, yep.  Was the intention there, yep.  Did I, nope.  Now that I got that out, here’s how it went.

First, let me admit that I signed up for another gym membership over a month ago with the idea that I was going to work out nearly every day during my free month, after all, I have a 30 year class reunion coming up, Go Pirates. That’s what my mouth said.  Didn’t happen.  😕Last night, after having worked, Bible study, and outreach I wanted to go sit and have some wings and drink.  Mind you, my plan that morning was to do all I mentioned except the food/drink, I planned to for the gym to be my final stop.  My bag was in the car and I was headed to go eat, drink and be merry.  I am thankful I got a PUSH I needed.  An encouragement to just go.  Don’t divert, “go workout.”  After stopping at three different stores I reluctantly went.

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I’m back! Baby Workout. Photo snapped at Plant Fitness.

It was a long walk from the parking lot to the inside of the door. I sat and pushed myself to go. The parking lot was full and I thought, “ugh, too many people, I don’t feel like this.”  I kept pushing.  I sat in the car perusing through social media, mentally I kept pushing.  I walked really slow going in, I kept pushing.  I fumbled through my purse to find my member card, I kept pushing.  I momentarily stared at the bucket of Tootsie Rolls on the desk, sheesh – the struggle.  I resisted and kept pushing.  I made it to the locker room, changed and hit the treadmill.  I PUSHED MYSELF!

I did a solid 45 minutes of cardio (not incl cool downs).  I didn’t push too hard on the workout wanting to ease by body through the shock of it all.  I was panting on a 2.0 speed on the treadmill. LOL!  When I paused at 5 min to stretch…ohhhh…my ligaments were so tight, felt like pulling steel.  I gradually increased the speed and incline.  35 min done.  On to the elliptical.  Sweating.  Heart rate up and now I have my mojo back. 18 min done.  I was ready to keep gong but stopped.  I know my body.

Today, yes I said today because my bag is in the car, I will go further. Ab work.  By Monday, I’ll have a plan for an upper/lower body routine incorporating weights.  So now I can spit the rhymes…Hi ho, hi ho off to the gym I go!   #SurvivorTales

P.S. I did grab a couple of Tootsie Rolls on my way out.  One step at a time.😏

Follow me on Instagram, Periscope & Twitter: @KAMcKinnor

If it’s not one thing…

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…it’s sure to be something else.  Every time I start to train to run shiggedy happens.  First time I had to stop training due to reconstructive surgery.  The next time it was a meniscus tear (although not fully confirmed but that’s what the ER doctor suggested and I’m standing by it).  This time, I possibly have a slipped disc in my neck.  I say possibly because I’m sitting, as I type, waiting to get x-rayed. (You know these medical imaging offices take forever; I could write my life story right now)  This pain has been going on for over a month.  My entire right arm hurts and my fingers are numb.  I can’t feel the keyboard on my phone.  I have to move my entire upper body to glance over my shoulder.  The right shoulder is 3″ higher than the left having me look like Quasimodo.  My only semi-relief comes when I’m laying down.  This pain…ugh…I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy…even if some come very close to it. IJS 😏

Thus, once again, training is on hold.  What do you do to alleviate discouragement?  Each time I make up my mind to train for that 1/2 marathon something physically prevents it.  I don’t know if my angels are protecting me from passing out during a run or what? Now that I think about it…hmmm… 

This too shall pass, I guess.  In the words of the six million dollar man (yep, I’m dating myself) I will come back better, stronger, faster.  Ha! Let’s hope so.  I’m thinking, if it took six million dollars to build the bionic man in the 1970’s, I wonder what would today’s value be to rebuild me? [to my blockhead brother who will read this “HUSH!” Don’t answer that question – no comments from the peanut gallery]😄

I ran today…

…and it felt good!  Surprisingly, it felt really good!  Now, I only ran from the park in my subdivision to my house, the equivalent of about 1/16th of a mile…hahaha…but hey, you gotta start somewhere!

Needless to say, I was huffing and puffing, and so was my dog, Sampson.  We both walked in the house like “whew.”  I hadn’t intended on running.  We were out for our normal morning stroll.  When I got outside of that gate something just said go!  Run!  And that I did.  Which has me thinking.  We wait, and wait, and wait for the right time to do things, the right time to start exercising, the right time to diet, the right time to run that marathon, the right time to do whatever is on your heart’s desire to do.  Why wait?  Sometimes you just have to start running.  I had on walking sneaks with no socks, so what?  I had a dog leash in one hand and my mail in another hand, so what.  I hadn’t planned it, so what?  It was a very short distance, so what?  SO WHAT?  No matter the circumstances, surroundings or environment, when it’s time, IT’S TIME.

As I’ve committed to getting back to what this blog was initially about, I’ve also recommitted to training for that 1/2 marathon I never ran.  I challenged my brother to join me so, God willing, I’ll be running the Chicago 1/2 marathon in September alongside beautiful Lake Michigan.  Pray for me!  Seriously…

Let’s hear from you?  Tips. Motivation. What do you need to push that GO button?  Cancer Survivors, how’s your journey on the road to good health?

Ready…set…

…wait.  Am I sure I am ready to go?  For my year-end post, as many do, I’d like to reflect a moment.  I’m still here and I thank God as there is a reason for it.  I’m not as healthy as I’d like to be but it’s not as bad as it could be as I have all my faculties.  I didn’t work out like I should have but I can still walk and run, bend and straighten.  I gained a few lbs back, 10 to be exact but remained under a weight I said I’d never hit again.  I shed some tears yet cleansed my soul.  I left a job and gained another.  I lost friends but are they really friends if you lose them?  Maybe I should say I lost acquaintances because my tried and true friends are ride or dies…with each other until the end.  I learned and acknowledge some hard, ugly truths about myself and commit to change.  I’ve been up more days than I have been down.  I have bad days, many of them, and I have double the amount of fabulous ones.  I’ve had bad attitudes and extended a helping hand.  I’ve hated and I’ve loved.  I’ve envied and I’ve congratulated. I’ve rolled my eyes and I’ve smiled.  I’ve thought and I’ve acted.  I gave up and I’ve started fresh.  I’ve let go and let God.  I’ve feared and have immersed myself in faith.  With that…I’m ready…let’s GO!

Next year I will share my intentions for the new year.  For now, I want to leave you with a song.  I was watching a performance of this song with someone last week and I mentioned how I loved the song.  He asked if I knew who wrote/performed the original.  I couldn’t remember.  He said Nina Simone.  “That’s right!” I said.  Which gets me to thinking, we often forget how we start, we forget the fire we had in the beginning, we forget the reasons why…but let’s always remember, with any and everything, tomorrow, God willing, is a new day…A New Dawn.  Happy New Year!

And the chorus sings:

It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life, For me, And I’m feeling Good.  Nina Simone

In the 9th Month

If you live in the Phoenix area please join us for this dynamic sermon series beginning this Sunday, Dec 6th. For location info visit our website at http://www.wordcentercommunity.org. For an inspiring, spiritual weekly word follow my pastor’s blog.

WORD WHISPERER

To reach the ninth month you have to journey approximately 243 days. If you tried walking across the United States coast to coast you probably could do it with days to spare. Zachary Bonner, a 12-year old advocate for homeless children, did it in about 175 days. If you started a new habit you could have developed at least 8 by now. How many books could you have written or read? How many “I love you’s” could you have said? How many “forgive me’s” would you make and how many “you’re forgiven” could you take?

Mary, the mother of Jesus, had a nine month journey. During this period, she carried a baby within her womb that was not fathered by her husband. When he first got the news he was heartbroken and shattered. But instead of cursing her out, stalking her, keying her car, making a scene at her work…

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I can fit back into a pair of pants…

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…and today I am thankful for that.  Yes I am!  Truly grateful because it wasn’t on purpose.  If you read my past blog posts I have been on a roller coaster weight ride in the past year.  I’m not where I used to be because I swore i’d never cross a certain threshold again; I’ve stayed true to that <insert fist bumps…I thank you>.  But the weight has fluctuated.  I weigh more than I did this time last year (with determination to be back by the end of the year), but I found reason to celebrate.

I have a pair of pants I purchased earlier this year.  Fit me really well.  By summer, my thighs were not having it.  Truth be told, my thighs nor my waist!  So all summer this pair of pants sat in my closet with a smirk on its face.  Buster.  Well look who’s getting the last laugh…Ha!  [Yeah, I talk to myself and to my clothes.  No, I am not crazy – you do have to encourage yourself at times.]  Soon they will be too big, I hope.

Other good news…glucose level is down.  I’m serious about that one.  I will be off the meds in 2016.  And, come Friday, I will begin my marathon training again.  I’m going to take it slow.  Thinking about running the 1/2 marathon in Chicago next year. Help me!  Seriously…somebody help me!!!

The struggle continues to be real!  My road to health has to take a serious path.  God granted me a stay and allowed me to fight a life-threatening, life-altering disease and win!  As a friend shared with me, life is to short to take it for granted.  It’s why he began to take care of his temple, no excuses.  I join in the sentiment.  Life is way too short…and what a wonderful life I am living.  Yes, it will be even more wonderful when i shed a chunk more lbs.

P.S.  Join me in November for my 30 Days of Thanks.  Daily, post what you are thankful for.  Follow me on Instagram & Twitter: @kamckinnor to read mine.  Below is my Instagram pic for today.  Yep, I am so happy to get into those pants.  Plus they are black…makes me look even more slimmer.  LOLOL!

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The Day(s) I saw “The Light”…

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…will be days I never forget.  What does it mean to see “The Light?”  That term is often denoted when we have a “eureka” or “aha” moment.  That point in time when clarity about a thing, person, situation or decision is formed.  I have eureka moments often, but for today’s purpose, I mean the bright, white light that is often seen by those who are about to transcend to the heavens….that light when God begins revelation in one’s life…my life.

Today is October 15th and we are half-way through Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  As I reflect, I am thankful for a lot of things, #1 I’M ALIVE!  My reflection also brings me to a dark time during my cancer journey when I gave up.  The disease and treatment was taking a toll on my body.  I literally gave up – physically, mentally and spiritually.  I asked God to please watch over my child and give my family the means and strength to raise him.  I was done.  As I sat in a wheelchair in a CT room waiting to be scanned I began to drift.  The hustle and bustle of hospital noise became distant yet The Light became brighter and brighter.  In the distance I saw the form of Christ himself standing there with a broken chain in his hand.  He didn’t move nor did He say a word.  My eyes went from Him, to the chain and back to Him.  At that point my eyes popped open and all the hospital noise filled my ear.  Nearly four years ago to the date The Light is just as visible as the day I saw it.   It was then I knew it was not my time and it is now I am reminded of my purpose.

Fast forward to today.  I’ve seen The Light again.  Not the bright, white light, but The Light of God’s love.  God saying to me “this is the will I have for you, now do it.”  I don’t take that love for granted.  Now it’s time to do it.  “Do what?” you ask.  Thanks for asking.  As the saying goes, I’m doing me.  Doing me is His will for me.  It’s time to clean house (literally and I hate housework).  All this stuff I’ve been holding on to that no longer has relevance in my life is soon to be gone.  It’s time to work in my passion and work God’s given talent.  Be on the lookout for my books and speaking engagements.  May my works and words inspire, educate and motivate.  Watch my physical transformation. Yeah, I’ve been saying this for a while.  I’m just going to seek prayers for me on that one. LOL! The struggle continues to be real, especially since we’ve entered the holiday season.  Man…why did I have to be addicted to sweets and junk food and resistant to exercise.  HA!  I need a motivational partner in the exercise realm.  I do good for a while then tumble off that wagon. Sheesh…  (I still have grandiose desires of running that 1/2 marathon)

Shameless plug:  Follow me on Twitter & Periscope @KAMcKinnor

To my Survivor Sisters, I STAND WITH YOU.  To my sisters currently fighting the fight, I SUPPORT YOU.  To those that have succumbed to cancer I HONOR YOU.  To the caregivers, I ADMIRE YOU.