Everyday Power

As some of you have figured out already, I’ve got a thing for doing every day challenges. Recently, in Facebookland, I realized that two of  my friends are doing a pushup challenge. 100 pushups a day for 100 days. Greg Popp, a Maine triathlete and overall energized kinda guy, set up this Facebook page to rally his troops. They started on November 1–I started several days late on Nov. 19th. So far I’ve done 400 pushups (over the course of four days)–but I plan to do all 100 days, just 9,600 left to go!  Greg is totally open to many people joining the challenge if you’re interested. Although I’ve not yet met Greg, I like what he’s doing and think the “do it every day” message is really significant.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve rarely work out every day. I’ve always been more of a try-for-four-days-a-week kind of person. Even in the days before kids, when I was a twenty-something young one, I could never get in a workout each day of the week. In college I had a crazy fitness time. I was racing sailboats on the national level, trained on the water 4 days a week, raced every weekend, and either ran my six-mile loop or was in the gym weight lifting–those were extraordinarily fit days that I long for but certainly seem like a thing of the past. These days, if I get in three solid workouts it’s a really good week.

You probably could have guessed this, but I’ll be doing most of my pushups outside. I’ll spruce up my  simple walks, by stopping at flat spots along the way and doing a set. Typically my walks don’t get my heart rate up as much as I’d like. Adding pushups will be an excellent way to give me a more satisfactory “yes I worked out today” kind of feeling.  And interestingly, this week after I stood up from each set on the packed dirt paths, I felt like my sensory system was on fire. The colors around me were more intense, the earthy smells were stronger, and I was more tuned into the quiet. I know this sounds a little wild, but don’t call me crazy until you try it. If you experience this too, please let me know that I’m not imagining things.

So here’s the thing with Greg’s pushup challenge and my Everyday Outside Challenge–when I say I’m going to do something four or five days a week, it is so easy and tempting to say, “I can’t get to it today, I’ll do it tomorrow instead.” Every time I give that excuse it is a chance to fall off the exercise or outdoor wagon–because one day turns into two and, well, you get the point. But, if I say I’m going to do it every day, the question isn’t, “Will I work out today?” it is, “When will I do it?”

People say it takes 21 days to form a new habit. I think it takes longer than that. Doing something every single day for more than three months will certainly get you on the road to forming a life-long habit–whether it is going outside for thirty minutes, doing 100 push ups, or whatever healthy habit you want to attend to, try it for at least 100 days and watch how it impacts your life.



And On She Goes

And on she goes.

My little angel turned seven today.  It simply takes my breath away to know that her days of being a little girl are really behind her.  I know, I know, I know. She’s still little, but the days of needing me for everything are a thing of the  past.


If I was a better writer I’d probably  know how to share that I’m excited to celebrate this sweet lady while simultaneously grieving the overpowering passage of time–it just keeps happening, the earth keeps orbiting around the sun… again, and again, and now my baby is seven and I can’t get those days back. Those days when they were young were hard for me. I really struggled with being tired all the time, with being needed constantly, and with the endless amount of stuff that needed to be done. All of it was so darn hard. Every day was hard. But now, now that the days are a little easier I just long to go back and find the moments of joy  and to try and be more present, try to be more joyful, try to  not live for nap time or bedtime or even work time.

I remember being in those days and hearing other parents tell me that they love every minute of parenting young children, and I just would simply not believe them. How can you enjoy wiping projectile poop off the wall?  How can you enjoy crying babies?  And yet, now those days are gone forever and I just long for a little bit of them while  also feeling relieved that we’re past that phase.

All of this is to say that today I’m both happy and sad. My daughter is going to knock the socks off of this world someday soon.  She is one amazing little lady: thoughtful, wise, passionate, and full of life.  She loves to sing, to dance, to care for her many babies, and to do just about everything.  She’s stubborn, opinionated, and demanding–all characteristics that both drive me crazy and make me proud at the same time because they are the characteristics that will help her thrive professionally.

Early this morning I went for a walk in the woods. When surrounded by trees and alone I felt comforted. I cried a little and then felt better. I wondered what would have happened if I had done the 365 Every Day Outside Challenge when they were little. I was outside a lot, but was it enough? It wasn’t every day that’s for sure. Was that part of why I was so overwhelmed, because I was disconnected from the natural world? I will never know for sure–but maybe some overwhelmed mom is reading this and finds some comfort in it, maybe she’ll realize that she is like me and needs to get outside often…


Tonight we celebrate this lovely human being. I couldn’t be more proud to be her mother and our days together just keep getting better and better.