Category Archives: Becoming Badass

Something Unexpected and Heartwarming

I became a stepmom in my 40s.  I survived and all of us are doing great. I remember that it took me into my 30s until I truly appreciated my own mother and still wonder what, if any, impact I have made on my boyfriends’ son, my stepson, my son – labels get all confused in these types of relationships just like the boundary lines of what we can say or not say, or care about or not care about, or ask or not ask….

A month ago we were driving in the car together while he was home at Christmas and I was working on posture with the lacrosse ball behind my shoulder in the car when he told me he was worried about me doing that because if we got into an accident, I could get extra hurt by having that ball there.  I thought it was the sweetest concern ever. Sometimes I’ve wondered if I’ve made a difference at all or, if I’ve damaged him in some way with the conflicts we did have (probably no different than any teen and their parents).  Anyway, it was a moment that mattered a lot to me.


p.s.  Main pic is probably at least six years old 🙂



Self Sabotage at the Bottom of the Scale

I lasted for months counting every gram of fat, protein and carb entering my body and being within +/- gram target a day.  Don’t understand now that I’m at the lowest weight ever why I’m struggling with the same to break into this ab six pack and just lean out a little more.  Every time I get to my lowest weight, I totally sabotage myself.  This week, on my workout day off, during a snowstorm, I stopped into the grocery store and walked out with a bag of Lays Salt/Vineger and some Lindt truffles (^&*&&^!!) and ate them on the hour drive home.  I’m standing at the register thinking this could be a great day or a bad day and I should put them back as I do not have self control with this type of crap in the house (or car as it may be). My tongue is still burning from the salt and vineger.

I know that no matter what shape you are in, the quality of food makes you feel better and perform better.

I know that I’ll feel bad later.

Do I not care about getting this six pack?

My boss told me I’m half the woman he hired yesterday (my husband told me I should have responded with I’m twice the woman you hired!).  I did my workout run last night – an hour intervals ~5.2 miles in the dark on semi-icy roads.



girl stuff

Hair evolution!  Embarrassing but here is a timeline of my hair starting with college to now (and I have selectively NOT included a few of the worst!):

Journey from senior year in college in 1989 (remember the perm?) thru ~1997:  And I had never worn lipstick/makeup until around 1997 when I got into ballroom dancing

then from 2001 to 2010…

And finally this most recent decade from 2013 to 2018… had to include the pic of teaching the kid how to shave 🙂

You can see how I always had kind of short hair since college and until this last year, always had bangs.  Not much you could do with it if you were working out, it just got wet.  Now I have to keep it out of my face while doing things like burpees or running in the wind.

Last summer I was at my brothers house and my 16 yr old niece showed me how to use the latest curling irons and I got one – as it grew out it was very frizzy and I just wanted it straighter.  Every time I was in London, it was a mess. She showed me the kind that you wrap your hair around and I gave myself a few scarring burns doing it – quit — complained to her and she enlightened me explaining that I need to use the glove that came with it!  So I’m good with that now and can curl or straighten my hair.

I just realized yesterday what those elastic larger bands are for (see blog main pic) …to keep the smaller pieces of hair out of your face.  I was in crossfit Friday night using two bobby pins to keep my hair out of my face and little and big hunks kept falling into my face while doing burpees.  I also just started to be able to put most of my hair up in a high, very small ponytail in back.

Now that I use some minimal makeup (can’t be bothered with it) and am coming up to speed at the age of 52 on hair, I am almost like a real girl!

I still haven’t figured out bra sizing….

Better late than never!



Hail to the Salt Truck! 2-6-19

I slid down my driveway thinking about being back in the hospital if I rip my shoulder up during a fall… After about two miles, a salt truck pulled into my neighborhood.  I raised my arms in victory and immediately ran behind it!  Conditions improved dramatically for the rest of the run.  Pic above are the ice chunks in my hair at the end.

I know I have a Masters Degree in Engineering from MIT but finally figured out why the headlamps tilt down (I always thought they were just kind of defective)!  I can get a good view of the street in front with them tilted down.  Love the headlamp and have no need for a hand torch anymore…


Around 5 miles I realized my legs and feet were going numb.  I ran back and forth on one side of the side of my neighborhood hoping to have my husband drive by and admire my toughness 🙂  He did not.

Bring it on!



Hangin’ with the Pros! My first bike fitting

I went to Fit Werx in Peabody, MA – my old stomping grounds!  Met Dean Phillips (who has the Men’s 40-44 3000m Pursuit Best Performance World Record), Marty Miserandino (multi-time Ironman), and my personal fitter Mike Meuse! The guys were all awesome and informative and just great folks to add to my personal support crew 🙂

Many things were measured:  inseam, feet length/width, arm length, and angles of all my appendages measured while taking a movie of me pedaling on my bike.  After reviewing my “as is,”  Mike made adjustments to my seat height and handlebar position (moved it further away from me). I also got my FIRST PAIR of clip-on shoes and pedals and triathlon shorts.  It is like I am ALMOST a real bicyclist!!

When I got home, I rode my Kickr Core Smart trainer but with so many new factors (pedals and position) it was hard to really know the full result.  I have immediately seen about 1kw/kg improvement in power – wowza!

And Goggins came up….he is everywhere and still gets me all worked up.

Done with scuba class, back at it with a better back, honest reporting and en route to middle age badassery,



Dreaming of Cheese Dip, AAR Week 7 Jan 27, 2019

My worst week to-date.

Felt beat up – hurt knee from Sunday (because I just had to try the sprint in Zwift and hurt it cycling so hard), hurt quad from the week before (during interval sprints) and lower back pain making me hate to wake up and put my socks on in the morning.

Fantasized about food – eating questo dip and chips (my favorite), broke down and stress ate chocolate at work, was starving all the time (it was the VORTEX and freezing…) and totally sick of all my planned food I’ve been eating for over a year now.

Scuba class M and W had me leaving work early and not getting home until 10pm and having to study in advance a few hours a class.  I did pass though in advance of my diving vacation in Bonaire end of Feb.

Work is work – an unending stream of craziness day to day and I’m three people down so we are all just trying to cover and spend some time screening/interviewing folks.

I needed a break or something to shake it up a little bit.

For weeks before, I was singing at the top of my lungs on the bicycle all alone in the basement, happily doing 2-3 hr workouts at night going late when I needed to, and happy all day at work.  Last week I was so tired I could barely get out of bed.  I missed two workouts (a run and a bike and my weight workouts) during the week but went back to getting in the crossfit workouts at the gym (it wasn’t all bad!).  I had the queso and chips and enchilades verdes Friday night and Saturday (which might be the reason along with all the water I’m trying to drink, to my 3 lb weight gain over the weekend).

Based on my AAR last week, here’s what went well and what I wanted to different and how it went:

Went well:

  • Super happy to get back to crossfit classes (my car was in the shop week before so a few days got screwed up when it spent more time then planned there)
  • Am doing 5 pullups in a row – best in 15+ years
  • Cleaned 75#
  • Started drinking more water
  • Spent a bunch of time on yoga and extra stretching Sunday – felt pretty good after the 6.7 mile run and 20 mile bike
  • Finished scuba class

What I planned to do differently and how it went

  • I have to get 7 hours sleep – I am not rested when I wake up.  In bed by 9:30 – no playing on phone if I wake up except to put on music.  BETTER
  • Move aerobic workouts during the week to the morning – instead of wasting time watching stupid videos, do the workout and get it out of the way.  Wake up at 5am to do this. – NOT DONE YET BUT WILL follow plan with 3 long workouts in evening and see how it goes this week
  • Add 5 min meditation in am and consistent daily 10 min stretching – STRETCHING YES, DAILY MEDITATION NOT YET
  • If back doesn’t improve, need to make appt with Dr. Caddoo – IN PROCESS
  • Create Good ab routine – added planks to mobility workout
  • Drink 2 glasses of water when I wake up – adding more in at night

Don’t count me out yet!  Just found a few new friends to talk to about things and remembering the very late evening 2 weeks ago I ran my best 5k all alone in the cold night when I did not want to go, which made me prouder of anything else I’d done to date 🙂

Gotta get back to clean eating (limoncello is giving me hot flashes at night), and honest reporting,


Loving the Long Runs and What Steals My Soul

Rode the assault bike for a 20 min buy-in to a crossfit workout this week so started out pretty hard and after 10 calories, I could feel the life drain out of me.  Love it as I suck at it.  Just have to get through it to find a foothold to do more.  Just like the hills…especially the one in my neighborhood when at night I think the lights I see in the distance are the end and they turn out to be just halfway to the top!  I try to say positive things to myself like “this isn’t so bad” or “I got this.”

I am up to 80 min runs with a few sprints mixed in while in Z2 (ie. slow mode) which I absolutely love now (even in the cold and with some snow – see above pic).  If it wasn’t for this !!&&*%%^ back, I could go on for a long time and will need to.  Lately I’ve been running back and forth and back and forth and thru the cul-de-sacs in my neighborhood.  As long as Kenny leaves the light on in our living room so I THINK he is awake, I know I am not alone out there.  I don’t like music so much when I run – seem to be busy enough watching my heart rate or working in intervals and thinking.

Had a fail yesterday with the Ghirardelli chocolates (caramel filled, raspberry filled squares).  Can’t eat just one.  Ate all the ones in the lawyers’ office at work so bought them to refill it.  Will be a meager offering…. It’s been a week of needing to not eat the same thing every day – have to shake things up once in a while but find a few healthier options!!

Week 6 almost over – heading down to do 80″ on the bike and then will be rooting for the Patriots in the Superbowl!

Chocolate eating, scuba class passing, and honest reporting,


p.s.  And as I missed the most points in my scuba class despite studying all the quizlet cards, maybe I’m just the hardest working and not that smart after all 🙂