Our View From Here

Perspectives of Five Women

The Buddy System

Sometimes, we all need a kick in the pants ass.  In addition to that, we all need someone to encourage us, to cheer us from the sidelines and share in our victories.  If we’re lucky, one person can do both of these jobs. Lately, I’ve needed an ass-kicker more than a cheerleader.  I’ve needed someone to get me moving, motivated and excited to work out.  I’ve been lackadaisical about my exercise regimen, but more than that, I’ve been lazy about my diet.

When I talk about diet, I don’t mean any specific program that I follow.  I think dieting works for weight loss, absolutely.  But for me, small, sustainable changes make the most difference.  Generally, my diet is pretty ok.  I don’t eat fast food, I don’t drink soda, I avoid processed foods and I lean toward lower cal/fat food at the grocery store.  However, when I eat out, all my healthy-eating ideals go out the window.  I don’t pay attention. I have an extra piece of bread, I use that extra bit of dressing, and no one is the wiser.

I don’t have a workout buddy, or someone to keep me accountable about my eating lapses.

So, last week, I got myself an ass-kicker/cheerleader.  I spent last weekend with friends in New York City.  As it happened, my good friend needed someone to kick her ass and cheer her on, too.  We agreed to be each other’s long-distance workout/diet buddies.

For the past week, every morning, I open a GoogleDoc and record what I ate the day before, and what exercise I did.  Sometimes, as my friend says, it feels like a “guilt journal,” a chronicle of our failings, our slip-ups, our bad choices.  Other days, it’s exciting to share that I’ve been running and eating well, or just made a healthy choice, or did something that made me feel good. My buddy cheers me on.  In red letters, she responds to my accounting, she offers suggestions, and she makes me proud of myself.

Today, I literally couldn’t wait to tell my buddy that I joined a kickboxing gym.  As soon as I finished my paperwork, I sent her a text!  I’m jazzed to try kickboxing and boxing, to try something new.  And I’m especially psyched that someone is following my progress, and hoping for me to succeed.

Everyone needs a buddy to kick their ass and shout encouragement.  It’s been a week, and it’s already made a huge difference for me.



The week of April 25, Our View From Here will be holding its first virtual book club!  We will all be reading, and commenting on, the book Water for Elephantsby Sara Gruen.  Read along with us!

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Ski for Free?

Skier carving a turn off piste

Image via Wikipedia

Back in December, I received an email on my work account about the Snow Sports program offered through the school. It turns out that an outside company sponsors six weekly trips to Snoqualmie Pass and provides skiing or snowboard lessons.  The email that I saw was inviting staff members to accompany the students on the bus and monitor their behavior in return for a free lift ticket.

So, take a step back a moment. I first learned to ski at Steven’s Pass when I was 15. That summer, I moved to Pennsylvania and was dismayed to discover that what the Central Pennsylvanians called mountains were little more than the hill I lived on in Washington. So, skiing didn’t happen for another 10 years.  Up to this point I had been skiing a total of four times – twice in WA, once in PA, and once in upstate NY. I wanted to go more often, but I didn’t have anyone to go with, plus the road up to Steven’s wigs me out (really steep cliffs, two lane windy road).

I debated about going with the Snow Sports trip. Would I make a total fool of myself? Probably. Wat it worth it? Also probably.  I agreed to chaperon the trips and could hardly wait.

Our first trip was three weeks ago.  I quickly learned that in the hands of a middle schooler, skis are dangerous weapons.  They have no concept of where their skis are. They throw them over their shoulder and turn left and right while all the people around them are ducking like some Three Stooges routine.  There was a teacher with us who had never been skiing before. She and I stuck together and became “ski buddies.”  The next week was canceled because of rain and avalanche danger. Last week, I skied solo because my buddy’s parents were in town and she couldn’t go. I actually enjoyed going on my own. I got to bypass the long lines and go in the single lines. I’m not shy, so I didn’t mind sharing a ski lift with a complete stranger.  I popped my iPod in my ear (just one – I hate not hearing what’s going on around me) and got a good six runs in.

So, today is week three.  The weather is iffy – warm during the day, dropping fast at night, possibility of rain.  It’ll still be fun, though.  My buddy can’t make it again, so I’ll be going alone.  I don’t mind though – I’m still getting a chance to go skiing for almost nothing!

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Loss of a Legend

Dave Niehaus.

Image via Wikipedia

“Get out the rye bread and mustard, Grandma, it is grand salami time!”

I know that this week theme is families, and maybe I’ll do that next week, but something more pressing happened and I need to write about it.

Wednesday afternoon, beloved Seattle Mariners broadcaster, Dave Niehaus, died of a heart attack.  He was 75 years old.

In most towns, the play by play announcer for the local baseball team is just another guy in the press booth.  Most people don’t give the guy a lot of thought. Not so in Seattle.  Dave Niehaus called the first pitch of the Mariners back in 1977.  Recruited from the Angels, he quickly became a fan favorite.  I heard someone describe him as everybody’s uncle – that familiar voice that emanated from the radio almost every summer evening.

I became a baseball fan in the latter half of the 1980s, when I was about 9 or 10.  By that time, though, I was already quite familiar with Dave’s voice.  As I got older, I came to respect him even more as that gentlemanly guy who brought us the game each night.

Seattle loved Dave.  When the city built Safeco Field, they chose Dave to throw out the first pitch at the first game. They didn’t tell him until that day, but they made sure his family was there to celebrate.  Two years ago, Niehaus was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame as a receipiant of the Ford C. Frick Award. He got to see Cooperstown and go through the ceremonies.  Again that year, he threw out the first pitch in honor of his accomplishment. I was there that day and got to see him wave to the adoring crowd.

As I was driving home Wednesday evening, I changed the radio station to hear the traffic report. I came into the middle of a story about Niehaus, but I wasn’t sure what was going on.  It didn’t take long, though, until I realized what had happened. Facts were still sketchy – it had only been confirmed by the Seattle Times and details weren’t available yet.  My heart sank and I almost started crying right there in my car.  I have never known anyone else to call the Ms games.  He’s had partners – Mike Blowers, Rick Rizzs – but there is no way they can replace this giant of the broadcast booth.

Seattle is in mourning right now. We feel lost without him. I think it will really sink in in April when Dave isn’t there to give us the play-by-play. My Oh My, Dave, what an impact you had on all of us.

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