All Posts tagged jackson

Good Choice, Bad Choice: High school reunion

Ann Loyola

Ann Loyola

Rumor has it that some people made it through high school unscarred. While that may be so, I’ve found that the silly relationship drama, out of control emotions, peer pressure and plummeting self-esteem all come home to roost on a five-year cycle, coinciding directly with the word “reunion”.


Good Choice, Bad Choice: I’m Taking Up Golf

Ann Loyola

Ann Loyola

My best friend had told me what to expect. She predicted that my husband would come up with his own helpful ideas for burning some calories and that I needed to be prepared.

“Husbands always come up with the same brilliant idea about new ways to exercise,” she said with a slight tone of disgust.

She was right. My husband broached the subject just a few days ago, suggesting that:


1. It’s something we can do together

2. It’s fun

3. We already have the right equipment. No need to run out and buy weights, trampolines or a thigh-master when we’ve got all we need right here, babe.

All of the women out there know exactly what I’m talking about, right ladies?

Yup, he wants me to golf with him.

Golf has become my husband’s passion in life. It’s grabbed him by the throat and dragged him from his home and family, separated him from his lawn mower and hunting dogs, and left me with broken tees rattling around in my washing machine.

For my birthday, I got golf clubs. For Mother’s Day, I got lessons with a pro. My husband apparently believes that I should put aside my hostility toward his addiction and join him.

In my quest for less fat and more muscle, I’ve embraced walking, bike riding, and light hiking. I’ve been invited to try Zumba, some of the local fitness centers, and yoga. All of these activities make sense to me. Golf doesn’t make sense.

I don’t find anything physically natural about a golf swing. Let’s see: wrap your hands thisaway with your thumb here and your palm there, twist your body like a spring (a spring!), don’t bend your elbow but do cock your wrist, keep your head down, stick your bottom out, pivot your weight from this foot to that foot, and for some icing on the cake, hit the ball. Are we having fun yet?

The main problem that I have with golf is that I’m a beginner. I feel awkward and I can’t wear the cute golf-girl clothing. So far, the only thing I like about golfing are the spunky little carts and drinking an ice cold beverage on the 8th hole at Targhee Village golf course.

Ann Loyola golfingDo I want to close myself off to learning new things? No, even though my enthusiastic attempt to learn how to snowboard ended abruptly with a double-fractured tailbone and a four-week intimate relationship with a blow-up chair donut, I do want to be open to new experiences. It’s time to swallow my pride.

For the betterment of my mental health by learning something new, I’m going to golf with my husband and take lessons. For my physical self, I’ve set a goal to be able to walk 9 holes by the end of September.

Disclaimer: This blog discusses my personal wellness goals and is in no way a soapbox to tell anyone else how to eat, exercise and/or live their lives.


Good Choice, Bad Choice: Gonna Climb That Mountain

Ann Loyola

Ann Loyola

Disclaimer: This blog discusses my personal wellness goals and is in no way a soapbox to tell anyone else how to eat, exercise and/or live their lives.

Last week, I was riding my bike at a sure and steady pace as my teenage children shouted words of encouragement from their positions at least  46 miles ahead of me.  I noted the upcoming hill and geared down. My kids were perched on top of the hill and looked concerned.  My son shouted that I should get off my bike and walk up, perhaps fearing that he and his sister would be unable to drag me home when I collapsed mid-incline.

Hah. Watch this, nonbelievers!

I made it to the top of the hill by furiously stomping on the pedals.  After some fist pumping and Rocky-like chest pounding, I glided downhill.  The wind rushed against my cheeks, the leaves on the trees were fluttering.  What a great feeling to be back on my bicycle!  I had a total ankle replacement last October and although my surgeon had told me I’d be able to ride a bike again, I had been worried.  Not anymore.

Over the next four days, I walked like a first-time bull-rider.  Apparently, my big push up the hill mountain resulted in various pulled muscles between my lower abdomen and upper thigh.  (Okay, it’s my groin area.  It’s not funny.)

I spoke with a physical therapist from High Peaks Physical Therapy, Michelle Christensen.  After hearing my tale, Michelle suggested that I should have progressed more slowly and eased into my hill-climbing activities; plan a warm up and a cool down. She was pretty certain that my adductor muscles had been strained, and the lower abdomen pain showed weakness in my core muscles.  A cyclist herself, she also recommended that I avoid zipping straight to the lowest gear on my bike and instead try higher gears with more efficient revolutions for incline cycling.

“Hills first, then mountains,” she said gently, not realizing that truthfully, my “mountain” was a slight incline.

It occurs to me that portion control – or lack thereof – has contributed mightily to my health decline.   When I apply portion control to my recent wellness adventure, I can see that I took too big of a portion of bike riding. I understand the benefits of pushing myself and getting sore muscles, but I don’t need to injure myself in the process.

I think that portion control has a lot to do with quality, too.  I can choose to eat three milk chocolate Lindt truffles or a grilled halibut with green beans and the calories may be the same but the benefits to my body are quite different; not that I’m giving up on Lindt truffles.   Similarly, exercising appropriately for one hour has to be better than overdoing it.

I know that riding my bike was a good choice, and I have another trip planned this Saturday as long as my strained muscles heal.  (Not funny, folks!)

Meanwhile, I’ve lost a pound.