Enjoy Not Knowing

Just another American living in Sweden


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finally 2017 (a look ahead)

Don’t think I’m late to the party on this one, I am aware that it has been 2017 for many weeks now. (Despite the fact that I recently wrote 2002 as the date.) That’s neither here nor there. What is here and there is the fact that I took an impromptu blogging break – as is wont to happen from time to time. Which is why I’m just now getting to posting about my upcoming year. Last year I looked ahead and focused on these three questions:

  1. What’s working?
  2. What will I improve upon?
  3. How will I specifically work to make these improvements?

In order to answer the first question I’ll take a look back on 2016, a nice way to do that is my reverse bucket list. Not familiar with the concept? Just click that link back there (reverse bucket list) to see my take on it. All in all 2016 was pretty bad ass.  Continue reading

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that shoulder i’ve written so much about

When I looked forward to 2016 one of the three things I planned to focus on during the year was to continue to rehab my shoulder mindfully with appropriate increases in difficulty. The immediate action I was going to take was to print out my rehab schedule (up until now I’ve used a version on my phone). With previous success in mind, after I completed each session I planned to cross off the workout.

This past July Evelina and I started up my shoulder-rehab workout routine together, which was awesome. I strongly recommend having a workout buddy, it’s a huge motivator for me. Something fun we can do together. Plus, when I crossed off the workout it was like getting my own version of a gold star. Everybody likes getting a gold star, that’s just known fact.

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It’s not my personal workout routine, so you only get to see a snippet – but check out that BIG OL’ X!

Instead of following only this workout/rehab routine we added some yoga and running, and not just as recovery. Every other day we did a lift and every other day we ran/did yoga. This was a great balance, especially considering we had missed the past 26 weeks of workouts.

What’s so great about all of these workouts is they can be done outside. Yoga under a tree or a run around the neighborhood, what could be better? Also, with the help of our local outdoor gym, we can even lift outside.

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My shoulder is feeling good these days, and I’m excited to say that after a year and a half of recovery and rehab it’s finally feeling like my shoulder again.

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å-loppet number three

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2016 marks my third go at Å-varvet. 2015 I was unable to run because of a shoulder injury. This year though, I was so there!

The woman who won this year, Tigist Jabore, ran the quarter marathon in 35:34. I’m going to tell you right now, my time was nowhere near that. I’m also going to tell you right now I did not train for the race this year.

Bear with me. (If there had been maybe I would have run faster.)

I had actually not really planned to run. I hadn’t been able to train since the birth of my wonderful and amazing baby, you know the one. So I was thinking I’d skip this year, and go big next year. Then at the last minute I found out that my place of employment would be footing the bill (a whopping $50, so we’re not talking ridiculous sums here) for all those who wanted to run or walk. GREAT! I shouted. Alone in the break room. I signed myself up then and there.

Mind you, this was a week and a half before race day. Do you think I went out and got a jump start on my training? Nope. Come race day, I just went for it. So did Ryan. As you recall he was here visiting, and thought: WHY NOT?! He ran bandit, because what else would he do? It was the natural course of things.

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I’m not extremely familiar with running road races, so I was super excited to see that you can log on to the race’s website and see all previous times!

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As was to be expected I ran considerably slower than my previous times, and those most observant of my readers will already have noticed the downward trend that is my finishing times. Not to worry, I will complete number 13 on my 30 before 30 list! Training for 2017 commences now.

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focus

My wife recently suggested that I cut down on my activities. It was really good advice. What she was getting at is that I do a lot of things, activities we’ll call them, though many of these activities are self-imposed “things to do”. I agree, I have a lot on my plate. Many of these “things to do” do not need to get done, or certainly not right now, today.

I’ve decided to prioritize just a few things, and be sure to rock these things.

The title of this post is FOCUS. Both because I am narrowing my FOCUS to just three things: work, play & PN. But also because the name of the PN team I’m in is called team FOCUS. It all fits in nicely.

focus

Thus far I’ve posted three PN posts under that PN tab up top, (one, two and three – if you’re interested). I’m really enjoying the program. If you’ve read the posts you’ll recal that we focus on three things in PN (that’s where I got the magic number three from – no historical mythological connections here). The three PN things we FOCUS on are: lesson, habit & workout.

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I’m extrapolating this tactic to the other areas of my life. Hopefully to find some personal balance and success in my endeavors. What this means for the blog: in the coming months I will be posting less. I post about 7 posts per month, but for at least the next three months I’ll be posting fewer than that. I certainly enjoy writing and posting, so occasionally writing a blog post will fall under the category of “fun”. But I’m not going to put any pressure on myself to post a particular post at a particular time.

See you in the fall! When I’ll be sure to tell you all about how much I’ve rocked my work, play & PN over the summer.

HAGS!

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why i wasn’t running

This weekend was the Eskilstuna quarter marathon. It has gone by different names, so for now I’ll call it å-varvet, since that’s what it was called at one point in time. If not currently. I’m not feeling up to checking. Feel free to do so and let me know.

This weekend I did not join the over 2,300 people running the quarter marathon because of my shoulder injury. (Yes, I looked up that number, and yes, this year it was called å-loppet, so that’s all cleared up.) Unfortunately I have yet to be cleared to run. As you may recall from my Ode to Elizabeth I have injured my shoulder playing hockey, and it has taken a while to heal up. Either it has taken a while or I’m incredibly inpatient. The physical therapist I met with last Thursday would have me believing the latter. He really emphasized the fact that this type of shoulder injury will take time to heal.

Time heals all wounds.

Blah-de-blah-blah. Sure, whatever. I’m ready to be healed now. I know I can’t be the only person to think this, but when ever I’m injured. Or have a paper cut or something. All I can do is focus on the injury. Imagining the sweet good ol’ days pre-stubbed toe, for example. I wallow in the fact that when I’m whole and healthy I never appreciate it. I mean really appreciate it. I squander away my days it pain-free ignorance of how good I have it. Then I scrape my knee or accidentally slice open my thumb while trying to be a good wife and cook dinner for once, and I’m once again wallowing in self-pity land, reminiscing on how good I had it just yesterday before I sliced through half my thumb nail.

What I’m getting at is I really wanted to run on Saturday. The medals had a purple ribbon this year. Purple guys! But I couldn’t because it hurts to run. And according to my physio I’m not allowed to do anything that hurts me. Clearly I’m paying these medical professionals appropriately for some great counseling here.

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Guess I’ll have to wait for next year until my two medals can become three, and I can attempt to check off number 13 on my 30 before 30 list. Knock on wood.

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an ode to elizabeth

Otherwise entitled: Ode on Intimations of Running Immortality from Recollections of a Time When I Ran a Lot

There was a time when pavement, field and track,
Came up to meet my stomping feet.
Now looking back,
I’d not have survived without this treat.
Rip-stick thy name, carried via knapsack.
.
Received one summer’s eve, I believeth,
Amazing healing powers,
Disencumbers.
A true friend helping me to run, Elizabeth.

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Inspired by Elizabeth, her amazing gift of the rip-stick, and William Wordsworth’s Ode on Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood. You know, the important things: friends, presents and William Wordsworth.

Seriously though, Elizabeth, that rip-stick you bestowed upon me but three years ago has been put to some seriously good use. Not only did it help me with my recovery when I did all that running that one time, but it’s also been used for the past three hockey seasons. This past season in particular it not only aided Evelina and I in our recovery, but also the rest of the team. So, thank you Elizabeth. SSK/Linden dam also thanks you. You’re so generous.

If you don’t already know what a rip-stick is, it’s this:

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You roll it along your aching muscles and it’s like giving yourself a massage. Also helpful in these efforts is a foam roller. This thing:

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Both of these items aid in recovery. Or that’s what they’re said to do. And I tend to believe it. Another recovery/injury aid I use often, which Elizabeth also introduced to me, is KT tape. Or kinesiology tape.

Now’s as good a time as any to inform you all that I injured my shoulder in the last hockey game of the season. Without going too much into the dirty details, things are healing, but could also be better. The up side: I get to be professionally KT taped! Up until now I’ve been applying the tape myself, or relying on my kind teammates to tape me up. I’ve been pretty successful in these endeavors actually, but it doesn’t quite compare to a professional taping. My physio taped me up on Tuesday, alleviating a good amount of pain, and the tape is still sitting right where it should be! That’s quality care.

#mirrorselfie #shameless #killinit

#mirrorselfie #shameless #killinit

I know, I make this look good. Think good thoughts for my shoulder recovery!

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go skating on a bandy arena while it’s snowing

Just to be clear, it needs to be an outdoor bandy arena. Little did I know when I wrote this list, there are, in fact, indoor bandy arenas. The thing is, outdoor hockey rinks work just as well.

A couple of winters ago I was practicing with my hockey team on the outdoor rink.

outdoor rink

There’s something about being outdoors in the winter. Working up a sweat and having a blast with your teammates. It’s a feeling that’s hard to beat. I think working out and training during the winter is especially important. Especially when one lives in Sweden where the winters are dark like night for 6 months. Getting outdoors in the winter time can also be less than motivating. Which is why I highly recommend this activity.

Gliding along in a muffled world of white while snow sprinkles down from above. It’s truly an experience.

The thing is, there is no longer an outdoor hockey rink where we play. A second rink was built this past year, and finished for this season.

new rink

It’s a beautiful rink, fully equipped for sled hockey. We even have our very own sled hockey team here in town.

new rink

Check out those clear boards!

 

Luckily there’s still the outdoor bandy arena. So there really is no down side. It’s soon to be spring in Sweden, but don’t forget to lace up those skates next year and take the time to be outdoors in the winter. It’s worth it.

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