Posts

Showing posts from 2018

"Sitting is the New Smoking"

Image
"Sitting is the new smoking" is my favorite takeaway phrase from the Arizona Department of Education's Wellness Conference I attended last week. Not only is movement important for our overall physical health, it is equally important for our mental health.


Activity breaks, brain breaks, brain builders... whatever you want to call them, allow students (and their teachers) a few moments to regather, recharge, and recollect. Research suggests quick breaks like this, breaks which could literally take as little as thirty seconds, to ideally occur for every 20 minutes of sit down time.

Time and again, research has shown that the more we restrict our students to their desks, the more we limit their physical activity and recess time... the less beneficial the learning atmosphere becomes. And, at this point, we know that inactive kids become inactive adults. We also know how hard behavior change is as we get older (remember Dairy Queen). It is simply much easier to build healthy l…

Eat Healthy, Stay Healthy...at Dairy Queen

Image
I have a lot to say about this picture.

I took it last month when Tyler and I were returning home to Arizona from Washington. We were at a gas station somewhere near Bakersfield, California; there wasn't a whole lot else around.

I guess to start I'm wondering if this is a new DQ slogan. I remember other slogans - "Hot Eats Cold Treats" and "We treat you right." which in my opinion reflect the product perfectly, and appropriately.

I remember a friend and I going to Dairy Queen when we were just out of high school. We'd both get the chicken strip meal (which by the way was provided as an enormous meal at the time...massive pieces of chicken, fries on top of fries, and multiple slices of their toasted, buttery garlic bread).

I'm not too proud to say how much in love I was with that meal.

Nostalgia for it even had me return when Tyler and I were first dating (maybe nine years ago), and the meal they were passing off as the same thing was just sad. It d…

Naughty Pot

Image
I planned on writing about finishing up school and my attempt to enter the work force again...starting over. It's been on my mind pretty aggressively.

But instead...let me tell you about how I offended some young girl today with my apparent crassness.

I went out to the Goldfield Ghost Town out in Apache Junction, close to the Superstitions. It once was an old mining town and now it persists as a tourist trap. They have all the good stuff...an underground mine tour, a bordello, a jail (equipped with a pillory for fun photos), and a sweets store where you can buy scorpions fixed inside lollipops and fudge made of prickly pear. As a side-note, this is also where you can find those dot candies that you bite off of the paper. I used to love them when I was a kid. Who knew those living in the wild west did too.

So, I went out there because a friend was recently married and I wanted the perfect gift for her. To me that means a cactus man. Like the one we have. Ours has been through a lot…

Scorpion Hunting

Image
This is what we've been reduced to. Late night patrols around the perimeter of our house armed with a broom handle, masking tape, a bucket, a flashlight, a black-light, and a stick. We have a routine down. Tyler does the bulk of the dirty work. I stand at a distance with the flashlight mostly pointed at the ground directly below me (to ensure my own safety), and to also not interfere with the magic of the black-light.

My time is supposed to be spent "reloading" the broom (making new rolled up tape wads for the non-brushy side); but admittedly I spend an awful lot of time being distracted. I stare up at the sky. I shine the flashlight in the direction opposite of Tyler. And, in general I ignore the genocide.

But, I am just as much an accomplice to him in this hunt. I don't want to do stuff like this. Neither does Tyler. It doesn't make us feel good. I guess we just reached our breaking point.

The other night, I woke up having to use the bathroom. I must have put m…

Toolkit 25

Image
At this point I've fully accepted that anxiety is part of my life. Sometimes I can feel the murmuring of a panic attack way before it comes to fruition and I can alter its path. Sometimes the situation won't allow me to, and I just have to ride it out. These last two years have taught me so much, and I've come to understand two absolutes for how I learned to function with the discomfort in a more proactive way:
I don't let anxiety be an excuse to avoid living. When I spent those months caught in a cycle of panic attack after panic attack, I attempted to protect myself from the cause (which I didn't know). Everything held risk and so I shielded myself from anything that caused even a twinge of discomfort. THIS ABSOLUTELY DOES NOT WORK! It feels like it does in the initial moment. There is even relief. But after some time, the need to protect builds. Places and activities that were once familiar no longer provide comfort. Anxiety works in your brain the same way any e…

Peaks & Treats

Image
“The world is big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark.”--John Muir
The temperature is warming. We saw our first scorpion the other night. I'm sure the snakes have left dormancy as well, and that means our hiking season is winding down. (See what I did there.) After Leah passed away, Tyler and I turned to the desert for solace. Mostly we needed to get out of the house and we didn't want to walk around the neighborhood bawling. So we cried in the desert instead. After a few weeks spent in our "backyard" park, we decided to try out some of the hikes we always hear about in the Phoenix Valley, but never made the effort to do.

Because...
Leah would go if she had the chance.

Our hiking club, "peaks & treats", specifically sought out the local "peaks" and top rated hikes in the area, including some beauties we visited before for comparison. Here is our top twelve (of 20) hikes in the valley based on effort and overall worth (and in…