Friday, May 17, 2013

Lesson 231: Keep Calm & Carry On

Hello, Readers!

For the third time since I put the hats and gloves away in the basement, I had to bring them back out again.

Eloise and the Erieites began our week with 33 degree temperatures and snow in some spots.
Eloise is not dabbling in powdery white stuff, although it may look like it. 

 Here is more snow up on top of the Lamp Post.
Roof proof, I call it.  That was Monday.

By Tuesday, temperatures were climbing back up, but we had rain.

It moved through the area just in time for the first group workout of Challenge Erie IV.  

We began the workout fresh faced, 

huddling under umbrellas,

with hoods drawn,

and ended the hour SOAKING wet, without a care about our appearance.
We survived it and that was all that mattered.

Challenge Erie IV is a continuation of the work of a local chiropractor, fourth year running.   Dr. Steven Krauza has orchestrated a health and wellness challenge for the good people of the city I call home.  The program's kick off was last Saturday and it will run for ten weeks through the summer.

Erie, we could really use this!  Recently we were made famous by landing on the Top Ten Fattest US Cities list.  Even with all that availability to fresh produce from local farms, a Great Lake for swimming in, and a plethora of parks and playgrounds for public use, still, this is our claim to fame.

If this information is ringing bells in the heads of my regular readers,  I participated in a similar program last fall. I wrote a blog at year's end titled Test Your Resolve, describing the program. I encouraged people to come and try it, or establish something similar in your own cities.

Dr. Krauza  focuses on all areas of health, from diet improvement and stress management to "organic" outdoor workouts.  The fitness component is referred to as "organic" as you rely on your body as the machine and whole food as your fuel.  No fitness equipment is necessary, only things commonly found in parks or in playgrounds:  curbs, bleachers, and your own arms and legs.

Outdoor workouts sound inviting if you are the outdoorsy type.  But outdoors in Erie?  Year round?  Now that is hard to believe.

On her best of days, my fine city looks like this:

Here she is at her worst:

Yes, Erie weather can terrible and hard to predict, and it can really wig a person out. However, I've found a great group of people to help me take it all in stride.  We carry on in spite of it.  The PEOPLE of Team Adrenaline and Challenge Erie are the magic that makes the program work.  

I'm willing to wade through snow, slide in mud, and soak my clothes clear through to my skin just to hang out with them. 

 The people Dr. Krauza's programs attract are friendly, fun, and full of desire for a challenge.  Doc gives "carry on" a whole new meaning when it comes to workouts.

Take for example Norma.  She is new to the group and I only met her a couple of times.  On the two evenings we sweated it out next to each other, I had Natalie with me.  Natalie is my almost 15 year old daughter with autism.  I cannot leave her home alone, so she had to tag along to a workout with me.  

Instantly I took a liking to Norma.  She had a good nature about her and a broad, inviting smile.  In between sprints and push ups, we chatted and encouraged one another.  Sensing that Natalie may have had some language difficulties (I don't always volunteer information about her autism right off the bat), Norma slowed her speech down, looked Natalie in the eyes and asked her, "Natalie, what do you like?"

"Tape," said my first born.

Yes, my daughter likes tape.  I don't know why.  She just likes it.  Eloise keeps an ample supply at the Lamp Post because she asks for tape almost every night.  

My heart melted on Tuesday when Norma handed me this:

Norma brought me some tape for Natalie.  "It's nice and shiny," she said.  That, Readers, is the kind of person that comes to this group of health enthusiasts.  I am proud to be one of them.

The kick off for Challenge Erie was at WLD Ranch, a Christian camp about a half hour car ride from the Lamp Post. 

I arrived a bit late because if you know Eloise, I am not quite Ms. Rand-McNally.  I got lost.  I wound up here:

The good and kind campers at the KOA that I never knew existed, pointed me in the right direction and I made it on time.  Thank the Lord!  

I thought it was rather tongue in cheek that this vehicle was parked in the lot of a Christian camp.

My teammates and I completed a series of outdoor challenges with ropes, all involving teamwork and communication.  We swung, 


and communicated as a team.

Well---all but one of us, anyway.  Eloise was a bit, er, um, ahem-----nerved out.  So much so that I never realized I had two fingers through one hole on my loaner gloves from Tracy Northern.

Eloise has a laundry list of things that freak me out.  Frothing mouth farm dogs, roller coasters, and the Amish are but a few. On Saturday, the rope swing and the zip line proved to the more real and present dangers.  I almost left.  I probably would have if it weren't for them:

That's my squad waiting to catch me.  I was about to swing into them and knock them over like ten white pins on a bowling alley.  They were some old friends, some new friends, some co-workers, a family member, and one of my students.  I swung into them like a wrecking ball and never saw who I knocked off the platform because I had my eyes shut.  I felt their hands on my body, and listened when they told me to let go of the rope.  They had me.  Yes, they did.  In more ways than one.

My team.  My heroes.  
The ones who humor me with dumb poses,

loan me their "slow sleds",

and jump start a car when needed.

My friends who help me carry on.

I've got a couple of big adventure races planned with some of them this summer.  They may have to carry me through parts of them as the challenges are probably a little bigger than I am ready for.  That's okay, because I've been working out, and Doc's had them practicing....just in case.  

Whether I carry on just fine through the races or my teammates have to carry me, I just need to remember Eloise Rule Number One:  Keep Calm.  Not an easy feat for me.  Good thing I have this WW2 English propaganda poster to remind myself of that.

I first learned the history of these signs from Pastor Keith in a sermon a month or two ago.  The slogan was intended to remind English citizens to remain calm and orderly during the bombing attacks of the second world war.  Since it's re-issuance by several companies, it has morphed into a trademark and has been parodied countless times. can stop emailing me these pins now. I get it.  I know I'm a chicken.  I'm working on getting over my fears.  I'll be ready all in due time.  Just be patient.  Some of them are quite funny though, so I will share my favorites:

From Leslie:

keep calm and believe you can do it.... #keepcalm

From  Leanne:

(via | Hello Summer!)

From Doc:

Keep Calm and Ride On - Mountain Bike inspirational quote
From Stacey:

Keep calm and eat clean. #cleaneating

From Tracy Northern:

Keep Calm and ... #keep_calm #organization  I know someone that would LOVE this @Nickole Walton

From Jenny and CJ:

Keep calm and drink #coffee

From Kenyan:


From Mom & Dad:

Keep Calm - Have a Beer

From Self to Alter Ego:

Keep Calm and Write a Blog! :-)

Ok, Eloise.  Do that.
Thank you, Elaine.  I don't mind if I do.

Have a great weekend, Readers.  Check the Lamp Post a couple more times this weekend.  I'll have some wedding photos and Natalie's birthday video posted for your viewing enjoyment.

Click on the video below to see my favorite Team Adrenaline shots, set to the song Carry On, by the band FUN!

Carry on, Readers.  
**Since I posted 3 videos this weekend, you may find a video that doesn't "match" the post.  My youtube account is set to post the most recent video.  If this is the case, look at the very bottom of the youtube video box.  On the right side, you will see a little rectangle with an arrow in it.  Click on it and the video selection comes up.  You may have to click back a couple to find the one you are looking for.



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