J’s blog: Sometimes I feel like Norm from “Cheers”

Can it be true? Can Spring finally be here, or is it a cruel prank? We’ve waited oh, so long. Ponds and lakes have still been frozen in the Adirondacks, to the despair of avid kayakers, and yet, the days have become warmer in the Capital Region. The sun is coming out to play. People with white legs, and winter poundage to lose (me) are coming out of hibernation with that haunted look of one who has despaired of ever feeling the warmth of the sun again. Now that I’ve spent first three months of 2018 experiencing the delights of The Cold, Throwing my Back Out (by slipping off a step), and finally Strep Throat, plus nursing Dan through The Flu, I’m so ready to play!

The song from the hit comedy “Cheers” came into my head a couple of weeks ago.

“Making your way in the world today takes everything you’ve got.

Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot.

Wouldn’t you like to get away?

Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name,

and they’re always glad you came.

You wanna be where you can see, our troubles are all the same

You wanna be where everybody knows your name.’

source: https://www.lyricsondemand.com/tvthemes/cheerslyrics.html(Lyrics: Gary Portnoy, Judy Hart)

I don’t know about the rest of you, but when you’ve been away from The Kettlebell Center for a wee while (whatever the reason), isn’t it great to come back? I feel like TKFC is the fitness equivalent of the bar in “Cheers”. You walk in, and everyone yells out “Norm!” or insert your name here, and is glad to see you and it’s like you were never away. That’s what TKFC is like to me (without the beer or Carla with her sarcastic quips).

And while I’ve been away, it turns out the amazing super star Kerry Strnad who is a member of The Kettlebell Fitness Center only went and aced her RKC certification. Not only did she ace the timed snatch test with a 16kg bell, but she finished it WELL within the time frame. Well done Kerry – you rock! Welcome as our newest coach at TKFC!

My garage gym has been getting used more frequently as the temperature has warmed up and so I’ve been dead lifting (lighter weights for more reps as I’ve been recovering from all the health malarkey) and also putting into practice the boxing moves Pria had taught me last year, on the heavy bag. It’s amazing how much frustration one can take out on a heavy bag at the end of a long day at work!

Back at TKFC, I’m so glad to find out that my wee “sabbatical” hasn’t caused a great setback. Greg’s Circuit class and Bev’s Sandbag classes have both been so helpful to me. I’m beginning to have much more appreciation for sandbags and what they can do for you, especially as one ages.

I realised this when I was decluttering the house with the Lord of the Manor. All the bending and twisting whilst keeping my balance as I perched on a step ladder, emptying out cupboards, and passing old water bottles, bags of flour, and storage tins caused me to utter a “Thank you” for how sandbag training has helped me with my balance, flexibility and core strength. It sounds crazy, I know. I was one of THOSE people who enjoyed sandbags for what I assumed them to be – a change from barbells and kettlebells. With deadlifts and kettlebells, my goal has always been to get stronger and lift and swing heavier (with good form) as I progress and, I confess, to possibly boast about the weights I’m managing to shift about. Lifting heavy seems sexier than functional movement doesn’t it? BUT……..

Sandbags are different. You may not be lifting as much weight, but you ARE working with shifting sand, balance, core strength and functional moves. Rotations, lifts, press outs, squats – all with a bag of sand gives you a completely different type of work out. As you age, balance is one of the most important things (alongside strength) that you DO NOT WANT TO LOSE. I do not want to be one of those people in the “Life Alert” commercials. “Help! I’ve fallen and I’ve broken every single blessed bone in my body, and I can’t get up!”  I want to be approaching my mid-fifties, strong, flexible (as I can be) with a good sense of balance and someone who wants to be active. I don’t want to slow down and use age as an excuse. I’m proud of my mum who is in her (sorry mum) seventies, and who was back on a treadmill 5 months after breaking her leg and who continues to play badminton every week, and goes to the gym 3 days a week.

So why not come to Tuesday nights at 6pm with Greg and Thursday night at 6pm with Bev to work on both Sandbags and Kettlebells? Both are certified instructors, great coaches and, as a bonus, play some awesome music. We have a lot of fun. We dance. We sing. We shout and holler. We’re feisty, and we are not going to be pushovers (literally)!

Food wise, I’ve been a bit all over the place. Breakfast and and lunch are fine. I usually eat a mash of organic sausage, sweet potato and eggs, with spinach and dollops of Frank’s Red Hot for breakfast. Lunch is usually tuna and salad, with olives and perhaps avocado. However, dinner time has gone to the dogs as I’ve not had the “Sunday Prep” mojo in a few weeks. Dan’s very easy….diced tomatoes, butter beans, garlic, spinach on top of angel hair pasta or zoodles is his jam. I’ve just ended up mashing avocado on Ezekiel bread toast (which is NOT paleo, I know), or some yoghurt and fruit. This has had the effect that we haven’t really sat down at the dining room table together to eat. This is our “How’s your day been?” time, where we chat and talk about stuff. Instead, we’ve had our separate meals and eaten them in front of the news on TV.

However, I’ve been through my recipe books this weekend and made Merguez Meatballs this afternoon from Mel Joulwan’s Well Fed 2. They are amaaaazing. The taste of fennel, at bit of heat, cumin and a hint of cinnamon combine to tickle and delight your taste buds. You can click on this link to find her amazing and easy meatball recipes. Mel Joulwan Meatball Recipes  Once you’ve made them you can have them with salads, veggies, paleo tortillas/tacos, zoodles, cauliflower rice…you will only limit them by how far your imagination stretches. (By the way, I have to tell you, that Mel Joulwan and I were conversing via email last week – true story!) We have someone we know in common (Jon Michael Varese) who has just had his novel The Spirit Photographer published. I’m half way through the book and am totally engrossed. Click on the link and take a look. Anyway – Mel read one of my TKFC blogs, which is SUPER cool and I’m a bit of a fan-girl, so….anyhoo…just wanted to leave that out there.)

Well my friends. Time for me to stop rambling. I hope that Spring is one of fun and activity galore for you. How do you like to celebrate coming out of hibernation? Let me know!

In the meantime – strong on, and Cheers!  – Norm x


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One Response to J’s blog: Sometimes I feel like Norm from “Cheers”

  1. Carol Lightfoot says:

    Hi Jeanette. Lovely to read your blogs again. They’re always inspirational. Glad you and Dan are feeling a lot better and that spring has sprung for you. Here we’re into Autumn/winter. Still feels really weird to think of May being in Autumn.
    Well done on your deadlifts. You’re so strong.
    Take care