Thursday, May 31, 2007

"If you are in a hurry, you will never get there." -- Chinese proverb

Mary and I walked yesterday in 85 degree sunshine along the waterfront, up to Myrtle Edwards Park and back.

In Amy's hands this morning, I did 60 abdominal crunches off a ball, and a range of other nasty upper body exercises. I got a new exercise on the machine called The Fly that she had started me on for squats and pulls already. I love this machine and have wanted to be good enough to use it for some time. Today it was me, and boy did it feel good. The more you do these exercises, the stronger you get.

I think they should market working with a trainer to executives by asking where else an executive can be asked to perform a very hard task without delegating it...then be told "good job" at least twice in a 30 minute period of time. Instant gratification and results that show!

At noon, I walked down and back from the Westin Hotel for a business lunch. Still feeling great from morning session in the gym, though I know by Saturday morning I won't be able to lift a fork...another side benefit of weight training.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

"Friendship doubles your joys and halves your sorrows."

Memorial Day turned out sunny and beautiful, with a bit of wind blowing across a very blue lake. Jenny came for tea, and for us to walk Green Lake together. We have been close friends for over 20 years. She committed to do this walk and was the inspiration for my decision; and she has been much more active walking on a larger team on weekends, gathering anecdotal advice and tips from walk veterans...which she was kind enough to pass along to me yesterday.

This is a very large commitment we have made, and some of the details are now announced. We will start the walk at sunrise on Friday, September 7th, from Bellevue Community College. We will be camping for two nights somewhere in or near Burien. And we will end the race on Sunday the 9th, walking into Memorial Stadium at Seattle Center. Along the route, there will be support crew and rest stops every three miles; and a medical team available as well. Inside the camp, there are storytellers and a meditation tent as well as good food and two person tents.

It's the slowest I've walked around Green could almost say that Jenny and I ambled around the lake as we focused on how we're going to do this race. What a friend, and what a set of shared experiences we've had. This is going to be a blast!

Meanwhile Amy is back from her NYC vacation, full of ideas about how to work out my lower body this morning. She'll get to my upper body on Thursday. It does appear that, between Amy's regimen and the walking sticks, I'm replacing arm flab with nice elongated muscle.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

My Fellow Walkers at Green Lake

Here's a couple of shots of creatures out walking in the rain this morning at Green Lake. It was extremely wet. I had a 5.6 mile walk there on Friday....twice around! Then yesterday and today, I opted for once around, based on the gardening I'm doing here at home.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

"The will is greater than the skill...." -- Muhammed Ali

Nibbled to death at work this week, still sniffling and coughing, hard to keep focused on training for the walk. As a result, I'm taking a short day tomorrow, before the long Memorial Day weekend. I'm going to the office for a breakfast meeting with staff, then proceeding directly to Green Lake for a walk. I'll shoot some pictures of what I see there when I walk because it is so very beautiful. Then I plan a day of garden work, one of life's greatest pleasures.

As I write this, I believe it is all possible -- even though we are only about 16 weeks away from the Labor Day walk. I am confident I can get myself in shape to do the whole 60 miles. My son believes I can do anything I put my mind to. Part of my mother's day gift from him were these words -- "You should be quite proud of yourself for taking on a new project everytime you knock the previous one out of the park."
What is a mother to do with such a son, except honor his confidence?

Monday, May 21, 2007

"Deeds, not words, shall speak to me." -- J. Fletcher

Mary and I went walking at lunch hour today. It's the first time we have walked together in about a month, and felt good. I'm hoping now that I'm done traveling for a month or so to make this a regular occurence.....even as I say that I understand the long Memorial Day weekend is coming up. I think that means more Green Lake walks on dates I have to skip the team walks. Amy is still on vacation this week, so I have some breathing room in the gym.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Italian Colds and Florida Wildfire Breezes...

The cold that Leroy caught in Italy blossomed forth last Saturday evening, despite all his efforts. As a result, I flew medicated 8 hours or so with cough and cold early on Mother's Day. I returned last night after four days of meetings in Florida, where wildfires have left the air polluted. The conference was excellent, and I attended most of it, except for evening events, choosing instead to sleep. I wish I could say that I increased my walking power on the sandy beach, but alas I was busy just trying to keep from coughing in meetings.

Mother's Day gifts were spectacular: a new tall green pot from James & Lauren, filled with beautiful shade loving plants that's installed on the front porch; a huge bouquet of fresh flowers from Sabrina; and an Amazon gift card that allowed me to buy a huge book on private gardens of the world from Cassandra. The book was there when I got home last night.

I'm in the office, but hoping to catch my doctor early this afternoon. I feel badly that I haven't really walked since Italy, and that I need to get back into training with Mary and Lisa as soon as possible.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

"Ability will never catch up with the demand for it." -- M.Forbes

I found out at my training session this morning why it has recently seemed harder than what I was used to: I have moved into the "adult intermediate" category! This is a big win for me, and I am still waiting for my gold star from Amy. (In the absence of the gold star, please look at Irish shamrocks, above...) I have much more flexibility, power and range on anything she throws at me these days.

I am still hoping to avoid the cough and cold (now bronchitis) that my husband brought home from Italy. Jet lag has calmed down, but I'm taking care to get extra sleep so that I can go seamlessly to a 3 hour later time change when I fly to Florida on Sunday morning. Tomorrow noon, the Risk Bustiers walk on the waterfront!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Back in Seattle...

It's Wednesday morning and I believe I am now back on Seattle time. The flights home were long and our systems had reset ahead by nine hours last week, to Italian time. Yesterday I got a good grade from my trainer after a solid workout, and I was glad to see that I continue to lose weight. Must have been all that Italian walking!

A colleague at work has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I have added her to the list of people whom I honor with this walk.

To date, I've raised around $7,000, not all of which is yet showing on the site. I am still planning to raise $25,000.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Grazie and prego....

One could travel from one end of Italy to the other with these two words....this is the last day of the conference, which has been both exhausting and exhilarating. We started yesterday morning at 7:25am and got back to the hotel after proceedings, reception and dinner, about 10pm last night. We are several hours into today's proceedings, and everyone has agreed that more caffeine is needed to continue. We will be here until around 7pm, later today determining if there are formal recommendations we wish to come out of the conference. This year the conference participants are primarily American or British, with a few Europeans thrown in. Next year, it is to be hoped that the gathering will be more multinational.

Strolling the grounds at lunchtime will be the extent of my walking today. Tomorrow afternoon, we start our journey home. We fly from here to Frankfurt, then board a plane for San Francisco, where we will sleep on Saturday evening US time, then fly on home early on Sunday morning.

I have made a number of new colleagues and widened the circle of persons with whom such topics can be discussed. And I've improved my walking resiliency at the same time as I've seen beautiful art and architecture from the heart of the Renaissance.

To Italy, I say "grazie" and "ciao!"

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Villa Pietra in Florence

New York University's 50+ acre Florence campus, complete with palazzo, is the site of our conference. Beautiful surroundings to talk about matters most consider worrisome. Everyone from Interpol to Scotland Yard to financial insitutions, major corporations and worldwide government entities like the World Health Organization and the United Nations.

I am resting from walks today, while my brain walks much further than usual.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Firenze and Siena

We are walking 3-3.5 hours every day, with a short break for tea....we spent Monday in Florence to see the Duomo and the large plaza outside the Uffizi Gallery called Plaza de la Signoria....then off to the market...then a concert. Tuesday we rented a car to go to Siena, where cars are not allowed in the old part of the city. It was truly spectacular. The center of the old city is Il Centro, a round plaza with sloping sides. From there we walked up toward Siena Duomo which is a century or so older than Florence -- truly amazing, in particular the marble floors. Today we shopped more in the market before walking up to Gallerie del Accademia, where the famous David statue is housed, along with La Pieta and other unfinished pieces....on our way back now to hotel to snooze, write postcards, before my conference kicks off this evening with a reception just across the plaza from our hotel. If I can walk 3 to 3.5 miles on these uneven surfaces, imagine what I can do on a trail or walking path!