Saturday, May 13, 2023


So proud of my husband and kids and their significant others (I would be Gary's significant other, in case my syntax causes confusion) who keep on keeping on in the face of joys and troubles of life.

Dear Husband: Down lots of pounds in body weight and old clothes. While sorting through 30 year old closet things he unearthed a treasure of marathon shirts that now fit him again. Disney, Las Vegas, Twin Cities, Lake Arbutus!, Grandma's, etc. He plugs away at work and keeps me laughing at home.

Dear Son: Graduated in December and promptly adopted a nuclear reactor of a dog, Duncan. WE TOLD HIM TO WAIT. Started a job in Feb., bought a new/used car for himself and bought an old/old house for Duncan.

Dear Daughter: Manager of T-Rex Cookies, bought a new/used car around the same time as her brother, moved into a nice apartment not far from our house, reads books like no one I know, and keeps me informed about shows I should check out. She knows what I like.

Dear Me: Working in a high school with teachers and students I love despite (or because of) the challenges that schools are today. It's hard there.

And I got a tattoo. HA! I said never. I was wrong.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

It's Been a Long While

Ice cream and cake dieting
Drive-through graduations
Leaking skylight
Henry the cat

More later (maybe)

Monday, August 15, 2016

2017 Goals

Bodyweight = 135
Squat = 150 x 4
Bench = 100 x 2
Deadlift = 205

By the end of 2017 (assuming no injury):
Bodyweight = 130-140
Squat = 200
Bench = 135
Deadlift = 300

There we go, Universe. It's out there. Now LET'S DO IT.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Training Log

The meet is one week away. My last heavy squat day was yesterday: 4 singles of 150lbs, which is an improvement considering my 1rm at the start of this training block two months ago was one very effortful and slow 150.

I love this sport. Gravity is becoming weaker and weaker over time. :-D

(There's Hank resting between his heavy bench sets. The family that lifts together has some fun.)

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Training Log - Deadlift and Bench

Things got busy and my logging got sloppy. However! I am pleasantly surprised by how well training is going. I never thought 200lbs would be a working set for me but here I am doing one of five singles at 200:

I never though I would bench 100 in the near future but I did two reps yesterday before backing off to 95 which, for reps, was a p.r. This is 95:

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Training Log

Sunday was Day 3. Back Squat: 5 x 4 @135 AMRAP last set = 9. Oy. Bench: 6 x 6 @80 Tested 1RM = 95 paused. Failed 100. Deads: 6 x 1 @180 Felt so easy! Next bench is 90.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Training Log

Day 2.

Squat: 4 x 6 @135
Bench: 6 x 8 @ 80
Hip thrusts: 3 x 12 @135

I napped yesterday. Man, I was tired.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Training Log: Week 4

Yesterday was Day 1.

Squats: 4 x 8 @125. Sooooo hard. Narrower stance for unracking and four teeny steps out because I keep bumping the rack.

Bench: 5 x 4 @85. Last set was AMRAPS and Pat told me I did 12. I know I have math problems when lifting but it did not seem like 12. Very happy in any event. Something clicked in practice and I felt like I was the most efficient with arching, legs, and using my back more than I've felt before. Increasing bench by 5lbs across all days.

Deadlifts: 6 x 3 @170 with minimal warmup because I was racing to get to work on time. I did 3 sets and went to work. Student was a no-show so I ran back to the Y and finished the sets in my street clothes.

I was wearing Northface pants that are made of some kind of rip-stop nylon-blend fabric. It has no give whatsoever. It got me thinking about what it might feel like to wear knee wraps and suits for geared lifting. Hmm.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Training Log

Yesterday was Day 3.

Back squats: 5 x 4 @135
Bench: 5 x 8 @ 80 and my left hand where the thumb meets the hand is killing me
Deads: 6 x 1 @175

I was very tired after a long and wonderful weekend of old and new friends and inspiring lifting. I enjoyed a pint of ice cream very, very much.

Friday, July 08, 2016

Training Log: Week 3

Yesterday was Day 2.

Back squats: 4 sets of 6 at 135. Ugh, very heavy. RPE around 9.
Bench: 5 sets of 4 at 85. Felt easy but I forgot to do AMRAPS on the last set.
Hip thrusts: 3 sets of 8 at 135. RPE ~ 7.

Today and tomorrow is the Relentless powerlifting meet at Valley Christian Church. I'm looking forward to seeing Stephanie bench in her first ever meet and set a record for MN. She's a freakin' strong mom.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Training Log

Long story short, I am participating in my first powerlifting meet on August 20. Hank decided to do the same, and I consider myself a fortunate mom that he doesn't blink at the idea of a mother-son powerlifting event. He doesn't seem to think it's weird. There will not be matching singlets, obviously.

I'm in the third week of my 8-week program and yesterday I mis-read my plan and did 5 sets of 6 reps (instead of 4 reps) of deadlifts at 165.

Weightlifting and running have a negative impact on the part of my brain that needs to do math. It seems to be only temporary, but I cannot keep mileage or sets and reps straight when I am in the middle of it.

Current 1rms: Squat 150; Bench 95; DL 200.

Monday, May 02, 2016

Sunday, November 15, 2015


Thank You, Science!

Science: It works..

Posted by Hashem Al-Ghaili on Sunday, November 15, 2015

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Pot Roast Story

"That pot roast is done. Why don't you let me have a little taste and I can confirm."

"Tell her to let me have a little taste."

"Duke would like a very small taste of the pot roast to make sure it's done."

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Analyze this!

Finally making progress again with losing the weight I gained over the past six months or so. I don't have as far to go as I did in 2013. Forever thankful for trainers Matt and Patrick at the Y. They both inspire and help a person keep moving forward.

But my dreams are getting freaky.

I'm an animal lover and I have a soft spot for cows even though I do enjoy steaks and hamburgers. Last night I was leading a fat, docile cow up a flight of stairs on the outside of a building. At the top he didn't stop. Just kept walking and fell, what looked like to me, several stories onto the ground.

There was a cut-away portion of his body where you could see all of the adipose tissue. It was gross but bouncy. And apparently protective because HE SURVIVED!

I was relieved!

And then I woke up.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Something that's been helpful

I am grateful to my Catholic friends for the helpful prayers they have suggested. This one is at the top of my list:

Litany of Humility

I fight with wanting to be right all the time which has caused more than enough stress in my life. That prayer right there has been an antidote.

We are so small.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Ginger Magician

Updateto fitness and wellness issues. (This is all going to be bullet-pointed because I can't do the narrative.)

1. I got fat and sad a couple of years ago and met with The Meathead who changed my life for the better. You can read about that here. (Get a tissue because you all are going to cry.)

2. I went off on my own and decided to try to lift too much weight over-head and bent-over row style (StrongLifts 5x5). I ended up with a back injury that was likely exacerbated by those movements and mostly related to running lots of long, slow distances with my sweet dog, Peggy, who was always leashed to my waist.

3. Peggy died of cancer and I quit running and got fat. (See 1 above.)

4. I went to a chiropractor who recommended an MRI.

5. MRI showed spondylolisthesis (which had been there for years but I didn't know) and a bulging lumbar disc.

6. Awesome lifter/PT, Erika Mundinger, to whom I was referred by The Meathead, gave me exercises and a positive attitude and hope that I could return to deadlifts and squats. (Which I am doing!)

7. And then there's Patrick.

Patrick Umphrey is a trainer at the YMCA whom I met through Matt. He talks a LOT. And offers advice. And seems to have a sense of when a person is flaying a bit (or a lot and all over the place) and needs extra help.

I can't thank him enough.

He gave me a program. He messaged me through Facebook one day and said he was putting together a plan for me to work around my back problem. I worked though it and feel like I was pretty successful in following his plan. I'm ready to continue the progress with both Matt and Patrick.

Oh, the title of this blog post?

And dis Pat:

Friday, June 05, 2015

Last Day at FMS

There's a breakfast at Fridley Middle School this morning and staff who are leaving are recognized. I don't think I can make it. I'm an ugly crier when it comes to goodbyes and I don't want to show that face in public.

I've been there for eight years and loved it. I am so thankful I had the opportunity to work with the staff there and I am grateful to have made life-long friends at work.

Most of all, I am going to miss the day-to-day interactions with the kids in the autism program. Every single one of them taught me something about life and about being a human being. I am so grateful I had the fortunate chance to get to know these kids, and that their parents trusted our program with their children. The staff in the autism program at Fridley has made it a really good place to send a child to school. I have learned a lot from my fellow teachers and special education staff.

I hope my next job is half as rewarding.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Crazy Glue

Maybe that's me.

As a kid I used to imagine myself with a broken leg, or having the misfortune of being in a car accident.

Maybe if I was hurt, I thought, the dumb-shits around me would stop being dumb-shits.

UPDATE: Have decided I am not sticky enough to work as glue.

Monday, May 04, 2015

A First

One of my photos turned up on a banner for a concert featuring one of my favorite musicians.

I took this in 2010:

Filtered it up a little bit:

And discovered it on Jackie Greene's Facebook page: