The StairMaster is my B*tch! #30430

September 13, 2018 I told my trainer, “I think I want to do the StairMaster for thirty days straight.” He was all for it. “Good! Thirty minutes, everyday. Let’s go!” I wasn’t ready. It was Thursday and I had a plan to start on Monday. ANDDDD, I was only going to do 15-20 minutes. In true fashion, I started negotiating-Can I wait til Monday? Why do I have to do 30 minutes? This isn’t your goal, this is my goal! We went round and round until he said, “Stop trying to get out of it. You’re starting today! Let’s go!” So I started. It has been a journey.

Five days in I got sick. Sinus or allergies or something. I didn’t know what to do. I knew if I stopped I would have to start over or it would extend my time. I refused to stop. If I didn’t have a fever or I wasn’t dizzy, I went. I just blew my nose a lot. And for those of you who are wondering, I wiped down my machines REAL GOOD! I developed shin splints too. Those sucked, but I put a little bengay on my legs and kept it moving. Some days it was really hard to do because of other commitments I had, but I didn’t use that as an excuse. When I don’t workout with Chris, Planet Fitness is my go to gym, so I would just roll into PF at 9 or 10 o’clock at night to get in my 30 minutes.

Ten days in I asked myself why I was doing this. The answer was simple. Because I didn’t think I could. I decided then to give myself a reward once I made it to day 15, a nice little pair of cubic zirconia earrings from Target! They cost me $19, but I love them. Hey, I ball on a budget. Maybe when I reach my goal weight I will buy a real pair.

This was the point where I knew I couldn’t stop. I had people cheering for me. My friend Price, “Cass! I am so proud of you!” And there is always my Soror Kiphani, “Thirty minutes on the stair master? Girl, you are a beast!”  I had to keep going, but I needed a change. So, I started adding minutes. Some days I would do 35 minutes, and on Wednesday, two days before my deadline, I did 60 minutes. It was TOUGH! sometimes I would hit pause, but I realized that prolonged my time. I got slick though and started lowering my intensity level to so I could breathe for a minute and then I would go back up. No matter what I didn’t stop and I never went under 30 minutes.

Saturday, October 13, 2018, I finished! Level 6 for thirty straight minutes! I didn’t stop or lower the intensity level! This time I will allow myself to say, “I’m proud of MYSELF.”

I still don’t like the StairMaster. It is not of Jesus. But God will make your enemies your footstools and so he did the stair master! I feel a lot better. My energy level has been really great. My attitude has definitely changed for the better. I think I leave my stress on those steps. Each drop of sweat is a worry, a burden, that is no longer on my shoulders. My joints feel much better too especially my hips!

One of my goals was to lose 10lbs. I only lost 5, but hey that’s a half bag of potatoes! In the words of my niece, “I ain’t tripping.” I hear some of my friends balk at the StairMaster and I don’t blame them, it’s not easy at all. But, if you want to master that thang and make it your b*tch too, here are a few tips:

  • Sip water as you are working. Even if you drink it regularly. Trust me it helps!
  • Have a couple of pieces of chewing gum. Keeps your mouth moist. I like two pieces  because the water dries the gum out. I switch out half-way through the workout.
  • Bring two towels. One for sweat and one to wipe the machine. The sweat stings my eyes and I can’t take it. A wet machine gets slippery. I refuse to go viral falling off a StairMaster…can you imagine?! LOL!!
  • Start low. I finished at level 6, but I started at level 4. Start where you are, even if that is level 1 or 2. No one knows but you!
  • Bring an extra shirt. I think I got sick on day 5 because of that BIG ASS FAN at PF. My shirt was wet and I went outside in it. The next day I was sneezing, so I started changing into a dry shirt afterward and I’ve been fine ever since!
  • Get you a bomb ass playlist. If you are hype, the time goes by just a little bit faster.  Sometimes I just play MJB and I feel that girl power blow through my speakers! #YASSSQUEEN! But I really like ratchet rap…you know the kinda music where people will wonder if I’m really a 47 year-old professional! #hehe Here are few of my favs: Blow the Whistle, Too short; Ante Up, M.O.P; Pull Over, Trina, Rubber Band Man and Motivation, T.I.; Big Pimpin’, Jay-z; Drip, Cardi B; Southside, Lil Keke.  I have about 50 songs but those are tried and true!

Anyway, it was super fun and I’m glad I did it. Now, I can walk by the StairMaster and give it the side eye like, “Bihhhh! You ain’t ready for me!” 😉 Don’t judge me. It’s how I have to psyche myself out! Now, let me go get my reward for finishing, rest up (I’m taking a week off), and plan my next challenge! #30430 #stairmasterchallenge #befearless

P.S. Thank you, CHRIS! Stop by EveryBody Fit Personal Training Studio in Arlington, TX. Maybe if you come to class he will give me discount. Hehe! 🤣

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Big Willie Style!

“I’ve made it a point in my life to attack anything that I’m afraid of.” ~Will Smith

Today is October 1st! It is officially my birthday month. If you know me, then you know that for the next 31 days I will be doing THE MOST. My birthday is one of the few times of the year that I make things all about me. The month is no longer October nor is it Libra season. It is officially “Tracy Cass Awareness Month!” I have no shame! Don’t judge me.

Each year I try to have a theme. One year it was all about exercise. Another year, I wanted to try as many new restaurants as I could. And then, other years I focused on things I could do with my family and friends. Theme or no theme, I try to always have a great time doing things with the people I love and care for most. This year I have struggled to find my focus…until Will Smith’s bungee jump over the Grand Canyon for his 50th!

In an interview, my fellow Libra said that when he was a child, he visited the Grand Canyon, but he was afraid of walking to the edge so he stayed back, too afraid to take in all of the beauty. But now, a fully grown man, Will was challenged by some YouTubers to face his fears. In response he said, “I’ve made it a point in my life to attack anything that I’m afraid of.” So he did it, and I watched in amazement thinking, “That fool is crazy!” But is he?

After some mild alcohol induced contemplation,  I thought how liberating it must feel to face the very thing that has you paralyzed. Surely, it must be amazing to experience that sense of freedom. I knew then that I had to do the same thing and face my fears.

So this month is about being fearless. As I inch closer to the half-century mark, I realize there are so many things that make me clutch my pearls and stop in my tracks. Most often they aren’t things that are as adventurous as bungee jumping. Emotional and relational jumps are my biggest hurdle. People don’t believe it, but I’m actually very shy…a forced extrovert. I’m outgoing because I have to be, not because I want to be. Meeting new people makes me want to vomit. I become frozen in fear not knowing how people will receive or, more importantly, perceive me. Oftentimes, the bravado I so easily project is my defense mechanism so people won’t know how afraid I really am. So, I am on a quest to be just a bit more friendly. Seems small, but to me it’s like climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro! 

I really don’t have an agenda as grandiose as Will’s; I just want to have new experiences. Some online dating perhaps. Because why not? I need a few hilarious dates in my life. If I hug you or smile at you, don’t run…or frown…or ask me what’s wrong. Usually when I’m nice to people, that is the first thing people say, “What’s wrong with you?” Nothing, damn it! I just want to be kind. LOL!! I might even let you hug me first…trust me, it’s a thing. When you are hugging me I am screaming on the inside.

But, I need to give myself permission to be vulnerable. Low key, writing this piece feels like exposing my inner organs. 

Anywhoo, I’m looking forward to this month and turning 47. Maybe, when I turn 50 I will celebrate the whole year (I did when I turned 40). I don’t know. All I know is that, life is a gift meant to be shared so I might as well take the jump and dive right in. Let’s see where this takes me! #livinglife #bigwilliestyle #willsmithchallenge #befearless

P.S. Comment with a suggestion or two about what I should try. Or, try facing a fear of your own and tell me about it. Shoot me an email at everybodyshomegirl11@gmail.com. I look forward to hearing from your or reading your posts. 

“If I see you and I don’t speak…”

…that means I don’t remember you. Or, more than likely, I remember your face but not your name. If you see me in public and you haven’t seen me in more than a year, I just might forget you. Please don’t take it personally. I’m 46 years old now. I’m a teacher with 18 years in education, and I’ve taught thousands of students and conversed with hundreds of parents. I’m active in my church and in my community; I probably meet someone new everyday. My little brain just has to dump all of that information sometimes. No disrespect, but somehow your name file got deleted with some of the others. I mean no harm!

This is really important to me because I really don’t want anyone to feel like I’m being a snob or, as they say in my neighborhood, “acting brand new!” I’m not. I just can’t recall your name. As I’m talking to you, I’m desperately trying to think of who you are, but it’s difficult because at the same time, I’m trying to stay engaged in this conversation with you. This always makes the conversation difficult…tense…stunted. I know it, and you can probably sense my struggle. Then, I see it in your face; you give me that, “This bitch tryin’ to be funny,” look. But I’m not! I’m just old! 

It seems that even with my graying temples some of y’all forget that I’m not 10-year-old “Boo” from the Southside anymore. I’m full-grown Tracy J. Cass from Fort Worth, TX, graduate of UTA, DBU, and UNT! I’m an educator of many students and teachers. I’m a proud auntie of two nieces and two nephews, with a great-niece, a bad hip, and a horrible memory! With all of that on my plate, I forget things, including keys, and people…OFTEN. So I’m saying now, “I’m sorry!” If you see me at the local Walmart, and I’m struggling to remember your name or who you are, be kind and let me make it. Just say, “Hey, GURL,” keep it pushing, and let me move on. That’s just too much pressure. And low-key, I’m embarrassed that I forgot you. Let me be great. 🤦🏽‍♀️

Thanks!! 

#wheresmyaarpcard

Top FIVE Things You Learn to Appreciate After Turning 40!

1.) Bufferin or any type of anti-inflammatory.

Arthritis is real. Even in the early stages, you can be shocked by the pain it causes and how limiting it is physically. You attempt to be strong and tell yourself you don’t really need it, but honey, when I tell you popping two will have you feeling right!

2.) Memory

Walk in the kitchen looking for….oh snap! I forgot that quick. Trying to remember the name of…anybody…it just leaves you…until it comes back, right after they walk off.

3.) Money

With retirement beaming on the horizon, you recognize that you didn’t save like you should have in your 20’s and 30’s. The thought of having to wake up before dawn in your late 50’s to go to a job that sometimes isn’t your ministry makes you want to vomit. It really hits you when you ask the pizza delivery guy, who is well into his 60s, how are you today and he responds, “I’m just ready to stop working.” It startles you a bit that he is so matter-of-fact about his misery. You recover quickly with an encouraging word, “You don’t have long to wait.” You expect a thank you or a smile. Instead you get his grumbling reply, “Noooo…these bills keep coming. “ And as you pay the bill, you have a flash of you at 70 years old standing in Walmart working as a greeter while your girlfriends are taking an Alaskan cruise because they saved their money when you were on shopping sprees.  Yeah…you start to appreciate the value of couponing, shopping on clearance, and cutting the cable cord so you can pay off some bills and save.

4.) Alone Time

Listen…sometimes I just don’t want to be bothered. I don’t want to see anybody or talk on the phone. I’m not mad. I don’t have anything against you. I just want to be alone and watch my shows. Is that ok?

5.) How many “shits” you no longer give (millennials say “FUCKS”, but I’m a GEN Xer…I prefer shits)

You will be surprised how little you care about what people think about you. Judgment abounds in this day of social media. Whether you are a chronic user of said media (such as myself), low-key creeper stalking the pages of your friends and family (and ex-lovers) but never posting. Or, you think social media is the devil incarnate and you refuse to touch it for fear you will have a check waiting on you in hell. Wherever you fall on this spectrum of people, once you turn 40 you stop giving a damn what people think about how you use it. Not just that, but anything. Your style, your job, your man, your hair. Not when your friend, who was a year older than you, died of a heart attack. Not when your classmate was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. Not when doctors are giving out diagnoses for auto-immune diseases like the government used to handout cheese. No ma’am…or sir. You really start to give up the ghost on receiving validation from other people when you realize you only have one life to live. You don’t have time to waste trying to make people like what you do. And chileee when I tell you!!! It is liberating. I stay not caring!

When my friend read this post she said, “You just stopped writing instead of ending it.” So my final thought of appreciation is this: when you are in your forties you don’t waste words and you know when to quit. Peace out!

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#thefortyandfabulouscrew #mygirls😎