Last year I was on an introspective journey. Along the way I took some classes to find stronger voice through creative outlets. That’s when I signed up for some online classes with Tammy Strobel. Tammy runs the website rowdykittens.com. Just from the website title alone, one might assume that you will find cute pictures and stories of cats, but Tammy, her website, and her online courses are so much more than cutesy media displaying the antics of juvenile feline (in fact you won’t find very much of that at all). Tammy is an intrepid explorer of her own process. When she has been dissatisfied with the way she has been living, she has made changes. One of the things she does is offers e-courses on life exploration through photography, journaling, and simplifying your life. I signed up for a couple of her classes last year, and I am about to go another round with her photography class, which is starting in March. One of the classes I took is called Every Day Magic – How to Capture Creative Images Through Your Camera. This course is perfect for the person who has wished that they could get going and take more pictures and have been waiting for motivation to strike. Well, here’s your motivation kiddies. This is a self paced course that puts out a blog post Mondays and Wednesdays. It starts with getting to know your camera, moves to getting to know your editing tools, learning about light, composition, telling stories through your photos, along with gentle motivation to get out every day and take some pictures. Part of the course that was fun for me was the Facebook group that includes all the participants in the course. We would daily put up our pictures and everyone was so entirely supportive and inclusive. Tammy also has an audio piece where she addresses any questions that people in the class have. As I said, I am signing up again to take another spin. If you have caught yourself thinking, “Maybe soon I would like to take up my camera and do something creative”, I would like to invite you to join up (by the way, you don’t need a fancy camera. Tammy has published a great photography book using her Iphone camera, and I know from experience that the Iphone/Android camera can take some very sweet pics). The course is very affordable ($50) and I found it to be worth every penny. Here are some pictures I took while I was taking this course (Most of them were taken on the Iphone):
Spring has started to arrive in Vermont…finally. It doesn’t necessarily mean the flowers are sprouting. I hear tell there’s sprouting going on in other parts of the world, but who knows, there could be something under the snow. The days are getting longer and brighter and the temperatures are starting to sustain themselves above freezing for periods longer than a few hours. I’m a guy who abhors gyms and treadmills this kind of weather is so welcome.
I have started to do my spring run training. Last year I had hung up my running feet in August. I went through some stressful life stuff and the running was not landing well for me. A strange choice, I love running. I was ready to walk away from it for good. I tried to run a few times over the winter when I was in a warmer location, but it just wasn’t sticking. Now it’s spring, and I can smell it. I started to get the itch. There comes a point where the sun starts rising to a certain point in the sky where I feel compelled to hit the streets again. It grows like an itch.
New Beginnings/Couch to 5k
Of course, I don’t have the stamina that I had last year, and last year I didn’t have the stamina that I’ve had in years past. Knowing that I am not at full strength, I need to be gentle as I restart my running routine. One of the best tools for runners getting back into the game is the Couch to 5k program. This is the program that got me running in the first place. The program is nine weeks long and consists of breaking down sessions into periods of walking and running. The first week you alternate between 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking. Of course the following week the running gets a bit longer. It’s a gentle progression that brings the runner to 30 minutes of running by the end of week 9. It’s great for people who have never run before, an easy starting point. I use it as a tool to start slow so I don’t go great guns and throw a rod by pushing myself too hard. I’m prone to forgetting I am not at full strength and trying to attack my runs like I was. In my case, I jog the walking portions and open it the throttles for the running portions. This page has so many couch to 5k tools that are useful in getting up and going. When I first did the program, I ran with a podcast. Since then, several apps have been developed allowing the runner to customize music playlists and view stats along with prompts to run and walk.
This year I am using the Zombie Run 5k training app. This app allows me to customize my music, the messages are positive and encouraging as they take me through my paces. The app has an added element of living in a zombie apocalypse, and plays out story lines that put you in that environment. Every once in a while they throw in the sound of a moaning zombie to add a bit of vigor to the run. I do have to admit if I heard zombies moaning in my ear all the time, the app would turn me off, but it only happens once in a while. Something about creating a fight or flight response while I am running creates unwanted adrenal stress. Running is more of a relaxing exercise for me adding fight or flight to the mix is not exactly my cup of tea. Regardless, this app has been fun to use.
The Road Ahead
My life lately has been so much about the road ahead of me. The metaphor has been carrying over into my runs. I have decided I would start doing a photo project that involves me and my running. I’ve started taking pictures of…well…the road ahead of me, and will be posting it up on Instagram under the hashtag #theroadahead. I’m interested to see what it yields. My life lately has been so much about the road ahead of me. The metaphor has been carrying over into my runs.
Happy Spring Training Everyone!
What can I say? I have discovered running is boring. I used to have to have a regular subscription to Runners World. Each issue I would get I would joke to myself, how many articles can they write on Running Shoes, Interval Training, Hill Repeats? Where was my passion going? Yeah, I run barefoot. Novelty has passed. Now it is just something I do.
I read a great deal. I discovered the Paleo movement. Through my own traumatic experience, almost ripping my own arm off, I discovered that there was so much more to fitness than kicking off my shoes and running like Forrest Gump.
I have developed a healthy fascination with the Paleo Lifestyle and Bodyweight workouts. I like the idea of kicking the giant sports companies to the curb and starting from scratch (although, it wouldn’t hurt to get sponsored or do some product evaluations on certain things *hint hint smaller athletic companies*).
The Barefoot Kilt is rebooting (sometimes literally). There is so much to talk about. I mean, who knew that there were tremendous health benefits to lifting our own bodies in different ways, besides the Eastern Europeans, and Brazilians, and Yoga Practitioners, and Gymnasts. Besides those guys, who knew? Not me until now.
See you on the play ground.
PS – Runners World. Ha! Canceled that subscription years ago.