hello, mirror.

My friend Mike started a thing called “Mirror Mantras”, where he posts a positive or motivating phrase on his bathroom mirror to keep him inspired throughout the week.  Good ideas are worth stealing, and I certainly jumped on board the bandwagon. And then . . . derailed :] (the nice, academic-y word for derailing is lapsing :]).

Since my theme this week is getting things back on track, I added Mirror Mantras to the list (sorry, Mom, just when you’d gotten used to me cluttering the bathroom mirror with post-its I stopped, now that you’ve gotten used to it being un-cluttered, I’m back! And I snapped this picture yesterday, but didn’t get it up till today].

I’m feeling this one is appropriate given yesterday’s post:

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And if you’re thinking “Hey, that’s familiar!” It’s cause I used it in May. Good mantras deserve to be recycled.

On that note, I did my first workout in a month today, which was obviously my first workout since getting sick in California. A very hard 25 minutes but I didn’t feel as bad as I thought I was going to feel (until about two hours later). But, even if I didn’t feel totally awesome after, my lungs have opened up as the evening has worn on and I’m feeling really good now. Regardless, I am very happy I got back on the bike, even if it was slow and short!

world asthma day 2012

First, there will be more road trip pictures eventually. But because I do things non-sequentially, we’re gonna roll on.

The mirror mantra for this week [because, dang it, I forgot to leave a mantra for the housekeeping staff in Watrous, SK last Monday]:

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The above mirror mantra may have to be a permanent addition to my bathroom, unless my mom gets rid of it like she has some other ones after a few weeks [she actually is responding rather positively to the mantras. Win!]. Once again, thanks to Jay for that piece of focus, and Dia for being my teammate in the crazy journey of asthma, perspective, #kinwin and keeping me accountable to it all.

Today is World Asthma Day.

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[Good picture there, right? #sarcasm. You get the deodorant and the ID bracelet and some med boxes.

Also the intended World Asthma Day tree tee I designed a couple years ago.]

My Facebook status, Facebook page status and earlier tweets today have been variations on this same theme:

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Okay, so I can’t go down on my own encouragement to kick ass and get active. Because “k-i-c-k-a-s-s, that’s the way we spell success”! [Thank you Giant by Matthew Good].

Really, the only ass I am kicking, or plan to kick, is my asthma’s [and my own].  I am pretty sure I picked something up on the road and am getting sick, because the three day mild sore throat has gone but turned into some increased sinus issues, dyspnea and coughing. Obviously the asthma finds the need to make itself known on World Asthma Day.

So what do I do? Well, my lungs feel like shit anyway, so might as well go take some meds and do a breathing treatment and give the neb an “eff you, asthma” finger for some perspective, strap the Garmin on it and ride that new bike, right?

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If the right answer today was to sit around because of the asthma . . . I’d rather be wrong. [The professionals would say I’m wrong. I’m not practicing what I preach either]. Come on, what is more appropriate than riding the bike called INSPIRE on World Asthma Day with the mantra of Being Intentional? Answer: not a lot.

So . . . I was intentional at kicking my own ass. Good enough, right? Also why is it not possible to not look like a total dork when protecting my brain? [The other part of my helmet is pink with flowers, but of course you can’t see the awesome half, right?].

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Representing for the Asthma Society of Canada.

So I got out there for my first bike ride in . . . years. [I am not very good at riding straight again yet. I can’t do sharp turns. Also when I met up with a lady with a stroller on the sidewalk I totally just pushed my bike along so as to not, you know, ride into them.]

Was it coughtastic and breathless? Yep. Will I pay for it later? Probably. Am I exhausted? Totally. Do I wanna go out there again? You bet.

Was it worth it? You know it.

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World Asthma Day or not, “We breathe it in, the highs and lows.” [Needle and Haystack Life, Switchfoot].

The goal? Do Good Things. Make a person or two think differently. Kick my own ass. And keep on doing it. And the disease? Kick it even harder.

Having chronic disease isn’t a choice. Perspective? It is. What I’m going to continue in regard to the asthma. I’ve made those choices:

Owning it. Being intentional.

beyond a phase

change is inevitable, growth is intentional.

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[My friend Dia wrote a really fantastic blog post on positive focus earlier today, please go read it!]

I have spoken, tweeted, and e-mailed people with a slight frequency lately on the topic of “being intentional” in the last while.  It’s becoming a theme that I am trying to implement in my own life — and screwing up at rather hard, to be totally honest.  However, the fantastic thing about intentionality, is that it is ALL about choice.  And though fantastic, this freedom can make intentionality a little hard to grasp, and even harder to implement. It is hard to ask yourself myself before each choice you I make: “which of these optionss will impact me most positively?”

So what is it to be intentional? Like I said above, making the choice that will affect you the most positively in the most ways.

It is like one of those “choose the best answer” multiple choice quizzes, except without the pre-concieved negativity of how much those questions suck. We are trying to be positive in our intentionality here, are we not?

The thing is, it is often easy to identify the correct, most intentionally decided upon choice, but it is not as easy to act upon these choices.  Sometimes for me, it is easier to act upon the intentional choices with regard to perception than it is with the ones that involve action.  The other thing I am realizing is that I likely need constant reminder to make choices that are intentional. It is not enough to wake up and decide to make intentional choices.

I keep blaming circumstance. I keep saying to myself “It was so much easier to do this last semester . . .”

Why? Because of the influencers surrounding me. Physical Activity: Promotion and Adherence was, among various other things, a term-long lesson in intentionality. It is a Good Thing to be reminded a couple of times a week of not necessarily exact things, but things like Jay constantly reminding us to own the behaviour and change it.  That is a reminder that I need to give myself.

What choices was I making last term that made me more aware of these aspects? More interaction with people striving towards the same things. More intentional exercise — 45 minutes a day 4 or 5 days a week. More constant nutrition logging — not to make a big deal of it, but just to make me more conscious of what I was putting into my body. The journalling thing I mentioned in a previous post is an intentional choice I hope to carry beyond Lent, but is one that I started trying to make again last term to deal with the emotional side of things.

Honestly, just because the class ends doesn’t mean the behaviour should. Not a chance. This is, this needs to be, far beyond a phase.

Today was not a good day for intentional choice-making. From what I have eaten, to the fact that I didn’t exercise, to the negativity I have felt towards certain situations or people, I need to change this. And I know that change is good, and change is a choice.  The thing is, it is cyclical. Exercise is the cornerstone — it encourages me to eat better, it helps me effectively deal with what I am feeling. Dealing with what I am feeling prepares me better to write out the remnants of the day before I go to bed. Because of the above I sleep better. I sleep better and I can exercise a bit harder and think a bit clearer.  It is all a choice.

Start over at that moment. We all screw up. Screwing up doesn’t mean I have to wait until tomorrow for a re-do.

Own the behaviour . . . and change it.