Archive for March, 2014
In the hustle and bustle of work, life, and training for a marathon, my own yoga practice seems to have been put on the back burner. So when I decided to take my first public class in several months, I was eager to get on the mat. Just a few minutes before walking into the studio I had walked by a local firehouse that lost two extremely brave men in a house fire less just a few blocks away. After taking a moment to pay my respects, my practice that night would be dedicated to those two men and all of their fellow brothers and sisters.
I was a little early to class, so I set everything up, did a bit of stretching and practiced a little meditation. From the moment the instructor walked in, I was irritated. There were a few things she did and said that got under my skin. Friday night was the first time in ten years I almost walked out of a yoga class. Rather than go on a rant about all the reasons, I’ve had a few days to think about the whole experience. At the end of the day, who am I to judge?
We all have good days and bad days. Maybe deep down I was more emotional than I thought after walking by the firehouse. Maybe she was trying to impress a class that she was subbing. Society is quick to judge others by social status, clothing, race, gender, education. The list is endless.
Reasons we Judge Others-
- we are insecure
- we are scared
- we are lonely
- we are seeking change
What Judgement Does to Others-
- hurts other people
- makes us feel worse about ourselves
- perpetuates stereotypes
- creates negativity
Ways to Stop Judging Others-
- monitor your thoughts
- look for the positive
- focus on your own life
- remember how it feels
We all have our own insecurities. Blemishes, scars, weight, hair color, wrinkles, disabilities. The following video is a great way to breakdown the perception of what a perfect body is.
It’s just something to think about…
About this time eight years ago I started to train for the two-day bike ride known as the PanMass Challenge. This event is the single largest athletic event to raise money for cancer research. Cancer has stricken several people in my life. And that is why I chose to ride.n
I spent many months training. I made sure to have proper fitting bike shorts and a bike seat best for my body type. The experience of the ride itself was amazing. Surrounded by 5,000 other cyclist for one cause.
It wasn’t long after that ride that I felt a little off. My gut instinct told me something was wrong. I had noticed blood in my stool when I went to the bathroom. After consulting my mother, who is a nurse, she said it was likely due to all the miles I spent on the bike. But it was worth consulting my doctor.
After seeing my PCP, it was determined that having a colonoscopy was in order. Typically this is a screen that most people have after they turn 50. I was only 28 years old. I ended up having several precancerous polyps removed. The doctor said had I not come in, I would have had full-blown colorectal cancer before the age of 40. She also said it was a coincidence between my high volume training and polyps happened around the same time. There really was no way to determine which caused the blood.
I have stated this before, it is extremely important that you be your own best healthcare advocate. Had I ignored that gut instinct, who knows what my future would have been.
March is National Colorectal Awareness Month. Among cancers that affect both men and women, colorectal cancer (cancer of the colon or rectum) is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. Every year, about 140,000 Americans are diagnosed with colorectal cancer, and more than 50,000 people die from it.
The most common symptoms are: blood in the stool, stomach aches/pains that never seem to go away, and unexplained weight loss. Unfortunately these symptoms alone can not diagnose you. That is why screenings are necessary. Several tests are available to screen for colorectal cancer. Some are used alone; others are used in combination with each other. Talk with your doctor about which test or tests are best for you.
- Colonoscopy (every 10 years).
- High-sensitivity fecal occult blood test (FOBT), stool test, or fecal immunochemical test (FIT) (every year).
- Sigmoidoscopy (every 5 years, with FOBT every three years).
Take charge of your health. If you are due for a screening, make your appointment now.
When I was in sixth grade, all of the students sat in a classroom listening to different sounds and tones from a variety of musical instruments. This was a test to see which instrument best matched us. I remember this being very difficult for me because I struggled hearing very soft and high-pitched tones. When the results came back, the tuba was my match.
This should not have been a big surprise because it has a very forceful sound, in my opinion. But there was no way I was going to carry such a big instrument around. I gravitated toward the percussion section. The heavy beat of a drum made much more sense. I only lasted a year or two. Music just wasn’t my thing. There could have been a number of factors as to why.
If I were to relive those middle school years, I wish I had stuck with playing a musical instrument. I now understand that- Music is a science. Music is mathematical. Music is a foreign language. Music is history. Music is physical education. Music is art.
I enjoy listening to music and have a pretty eclectic library on my computer. Everything from classic rock and roll to folk to easy listening to reggae to latin to soul and more. Although, I would encourage no one to ask me to be on any sort of trivia team that needs to identify songs and/or artists.
In October of 2012 I walked into a used music shop, picked up a few guitars to get a feel, and walked out with a great purchase. I’ve been taking lessons for almost one year now. When doing a little research about my instructor, one of the things that stood out was his teaching style. His website said he’ll teach to your best way of learning; auditory, kinesthetic or visual. Perfect, I didn’t need to have the “ear.”
Studies have shown that playing an instrument can:
- sharpen your concentration
- improve reading and comprehension
- enhance coordination
- increase capacity for memory
- relieves stress
- provides a sense of achievement
While I will never play Radio City Music Hall, playing the guitar has offered a new-found passion with great benefits.