Monday, June 18, 2018

2018 Wellness Program - Challenge 10 - Forest Bathing

Forest bathing is the practice of immersing oneself in the forest atmosphere.

This challenge requires you get outside 15 minutes per day for 5 days.




What was your experience?

That in the early hours of the morning Estes Park is not a mad-house and the it's quiet and you can see the beauty.


Where did you go?

Thursday, June 14 - sitting along the river walk by the post office very early in the morning.
Friday, June 15 - sitting by a pond watching the ducks and listening to the river flow past.
Saturday, June 16 - sitting by the river in the national park, early in the morning
Sunday, June 17 - sitting on a rock under the trees up the hill from where I am living early in the morning
Monday, June 18 - sitting at the top of Trail Ridge road at 12,009 feet watching the sun rise.


Did you feel more relaxed after having been outside?

Yes - but that went away quickly as I had to be around others who were driving to and from and busy, busy, busy.


While this is a great concept - the effects didn't last long for me. Within 5 minutes of leaving my little area each day there were people that were loud, being rude or foolish and the sounds of traffic and the like. It's sad to say that the calming mood this exercise gave me was quickly destroyed by others doing things that, in the early hours I was doing this exercise, 5 AM-7 AM, should really not be a part of Estes Park. It's like the human race can't be quiet and people don't respect a new place, they treat it like where they are from and just keep doing what they always do no matter what.





Wellness Program – Challenge 4
Wellness Program – Challenge 5
Wellness Program – Challenge 7
Wellness Program – Challenge 9
Wellness Program – Challenge 12
Wellness Program – Challenge 14
Wellness Program – Challenge 15
Wellness Program – Challenge 16
Wellness Program – Challenge 17
Wellness Program – Challenge 18
Wellness Program – Challenge 19 and Other Wellness Activities

Friday, June 1, 2018

2018 Wellness Program - Challenge 13 - Recognize Others


This challenge was to Recognize Others.  Fill out a Kudo for a co-worker or nominate someone to be the Wellness Employee of the Month.

I did both.



I did a Kudo for my co-worker Ellen Meinking for constantly answering her phone at all hours when something at work happens that I have never dealt with before. Being another night shift ER Admitting worker - she knows the challenges that I face and is always willing to help.

I did a Kudo for my supervisor Ellen Roach for being the kind of boss who "has your back" in a tough situation. She makes you feel appreciated and encourages the best from her employees.

I nominated fellow employee Pam Duemig for being a great team captain and leader for our Walking Challenge (#6) and for putting in the most miles each week. She was encouraging and inspiring. I thought she deserved the month to be recognized by all employees.






Wellness Program – Challenge 4
Wellness Program – Challenge 5
Wellness Program – Challenge 7
Wellness Program – Challenge 9
Wellness Program – Challenge 12
Wellness Program – Challenge 14
Wellness Program – Challenge 15
Wellness Program – Challenge 16
Wellness Program – Challenge 17
Wellness Program – Challenge 18
Wellness Program – Challenge 19 and Other Wellness Activities

2018 Wellness Program - Challenge 6 - Get involved in the EPMC Community - Walking Challenge

This walking Challenge took place from April 9, 2018 until May 24, 2018. (It was supposed to be April 1, 2018-May 17, 2018 but there were some delays).

You needed to get a team together.

This started off as a challenge for itself for me. I work nights and don't know any people really outside of my department. I asked a couple people I knew and they waited 2 days to get back with me to tell me no. I had a momentary trip back to high school when no one wanted the nerdy girl on their team. It was a bit of drama but it worked itself out.

I ended up on a team with:

Melissa Addison (me)
Lynn Stepaniak
Deidra Hues
Maria Yazzie
Sally Steele
Susan Steele
Erin Hayes
Monica Annicks

Pam Duemig (team captain)

The challenge is to walk the Appalachian Trail. (2,189 miles). Each person is required to walk a minimum of 5 miles per day/35 miles per week.

Equivalents:

Walking - 2500 steps = 1 mile
Biking 7 miles = 1 mile walked
30 minutes aerobic activity = 1 mile walked
30 minutes gardening/mowing/etc = 1 mile walked
60 minutes of yoga = 1 mile walked
1 mile swimming = 1 mile walked

I kept daily totals and turned those totals into the captain every Monday.

Total miles walked:

Week 1: 36.7 miles - best day 8 miles in 1 day.
Week 2: 36.3 miles - best day 8 miles in 1 day.
Week 3: 26.7 miles - best day 6 miles in 1 day.
                THIS REALLY made me upset because I had done so well before.
Week 4: 31.1 - miles - best day 7 miles in 1 day.
Week 5: 55.0 miles - best day 10 miles in 1 day.
Week 6: 29.7 miles - best day 7.6 miles in 1 day.
Week 7: 28.6 miles - best day 7.6 miles in 1 day.

Grand Total: 244.1

I needed 245 miles - so I was .9 short.

Miles came from walking, yoga, and aerobics mostly. Had a few from gardening/mowing/etc no swimming or biking for me.

This was a great challenge with vacation and moving in the mix. The discipline to keep going was hard and there were days I would have been a lot higher if I had just gotten off my duff and walked.



Wellness Program – Challenge 4
Wellness Program – Challenge 5
Wellness Program – Challenge 7
Wellness Program – Challenge 9
Wellness Program – Challenge 12
Wellness Program – Challenge 14
Wellness Program – Challenge 15
Wellness Program – Challenge 16
Wellness Program – Challenge 17
Wellness Program – Challenge 18
Wellness Program – Challenge 19 and Other Wellness Activities

Thursday, May 10, 2018

MountainAires Spring Concert May 6, 2018

The MountainAires Women's Choir is a choir for women of any age. The youngest is in her 20's and the oldest is in her 90's.

The group puts on a concert every May and every December. I have been a member since January 2016 and I sing Soprano I.

Rehearsals started in January for the Spring Concert. We met every Thursday from noon-1 pm. There were sectionals as well for each section (Soprano I and II, Alto I and II). Kasey (our director) and Verlene (our pianist) do a wonderful job of keeping us all in order.

This year's concert was titled WEATHER OR NOT.


Here is a copy of the Program. It's all songs about the weather!



There was a nice article in the ESTES PARK NEWS.


The concert went very well and was nicely attended. Everyone had a wonderful time and loved the song selections and guest singers.

Here were some of the shots I got before the concert. Couldn't get anything during the concert because I was singing :)

Mary Skinner

Caroline Duncan

the Cake!

Bob the Drummer

Opening Clarinet Piece

Verlene and Kasey

And here is the shot from the Newspaper article with the full choir during one of our rehearsals.



Thursday, April 26, 2018

Estes Park Citizen's Police Academy

Every other year, the Estes Park Police Department puts on a Citizen's Police Academy. They announce it in the newspaper and online on the PD website.

The website is here.

Established in 1997, this academy is open for the public (over the age of 18). This academy allows the public to learn more about the workings of the police department.

The 2018 Academy was well attended with 19 students. It was 5 weeks, 2 nights per week (Monday and Thursday) from 6PM -9PM.



The topics covered varied each night and there was a syllabus containing the classes to be taught.


Opening night was introductions by Captain Pass and Chief Kufeld, followed by a tour of the Police Department and Dispatch with Auxiliary Sgt Sue Pinkham and Officer Jonoska. 

The second night was Criminal Justice Intro with Sgt Life, Criminal Law (which is a hard subject to listen to because - well it's a tad boring) Sgt Polucha tried to make it interesting for us. Then there was the discussion about Restorative Justice - this is a really cool system that does the 6 R's of the community: respect, repair, responsibility, reconciliation, reintegration and relationship. It's conflict resolution at it's best. The website is here

The third night was a short intro to Criminal Justice records. Then the computer aided dispatch. This was informative on how the EMS/911 system works in Estes Park. Being the first line of communication with the PD - it was an informational on the inner workings. Then there was Community Oriented Policing which is a commitment to building trust and mutual respect between police and the communities they serve.

The fourth night was the start of some very interactive classes. This night included use of deadly Force, Firearms and safety and Defensive Tactics. I think everyone loved seeing the different weapons and how the officers defend themselves when arresting a suspect.

Night five was drug identification - learning about the most common and not so common street drugs. A talk with the School Resource Officer about what he does while working at the school district. The final class of the night was Frauds and scams - talking about the latest things that people are trying to do to steal your money/identity.

Night six was Officer Safety and then everyone's favorite class - the hands on Building Search Practical.  We were given the chance to use (fake) guns and do a room entry as if searching for suspects in a building.

Night seven held a talk about the Estes Park Emergency Response Team (our SWAT). Then Crime Scene Investigation (another favorite where learning how the go through a crime scene). Final of the evening was Handling Evidence and Property Room.

Night eight was Traffic Enforcement, DUI Enforcement and Motor Vehicle Accident Investigation. With this one, the class went outside and did a traffic stop where we were looking for all the things wrong on the stopped car (expired tags, cracked windshield, the gun and knife in the car).

Class nine was a talk with the Judge about Courtroom Testimony. The Victims Advocates and closing with Emergency Management.

Class Ten told the class about the Estes Park Police Auxiliary (which I am a member since 2017). This is the volunteer police unit. Information can be found here! And then receipt of completion and celebration.

I could take pages and pages to go over this great program, but I will leave it that it is well worth attending.

Successfully completing the course gets your a certificate and a T-shirt.

This is the 2018 Class photo as posted in the local newspaper:




Saturday, April 7, 2018

2018 Wellness Program: Challenge 11 - Take Time To Read

2018 Wellness Program: Challenge 11 for my EPMC 2018 Wellness Passport is to read a book of your choice (preferably a wellness topic).

I chose to re-read a book that inspired me. I have been having a very stressful time in late February, all of March and and the beginning of April as I have been house hunting for a rental place (a chore here in Estes Park.) as well as some other things.

I was boxing up books and saw this book and thought - you know it inspired me when I first read it, I need to reread it and use it for my wellness program book review.

The book is Spiritual Gangsta; the search for truth  by Bailey Chase.



Bailey is an actor. He has starred in many things from Saving Grace to 24:Legacy to Longmire. I have been fortunate to meet him in person at LONGMIRE DAYS in 2016 and 2017.


The thing about the picture above - I was almost 190# in this picture from 2016. I was very unhealthy. In 2017, when he talked about his book I figured I'd buy it just because it was Bailey, not realizing it would help me want to start a serious change in my life.

He wrote the book as a part memoir of his life and part self-help book.

He talks about things that happened in his life from growing up to school to his acting career but he also talks about finding Meditation, Yoga and other things that help him stay in the moment.

Reading this the first time inspired me to get off my rump and do Yoga. Rereading it this time - I took so much more from it that I obviously was not paying attention to the first time or just wasn't in a place to comprehend the first time.

What I mainly took in this time was to control how we react to things. I am a redhead with a hot temper and a lot of passion and righteous indignation.

He talks about witness consciousness - there is no judgement just acceptance and awareness. He talks of getting out of that reactive mode of emotions and think first to see clearly and speak with your true self and not your emotions. Turn off entitlement and expectation. You are not owed anything in this life. Take ownership for one's self.

This is something I have struggled with all my life - my emotions. It's part of the reason I have had such rough relationships and health issues. Reading this a second time really helped me to see what I need to work on and step out of my ever present emotions.

It struck home the need to pay attention to my feelings, be responsible to myself, hesitation changes everything, accept who I am and play the hand dealt me, love myself, be interested in others and let go of my ego.

The first step to wellness is the right mind-set; thoughts and emotions can help or hinder us on our journey. I look forward to practicing meditation, visualization, yoga, having a clear mind, and an open heart. I look forward to changing and working on my perspectives and seeing how this helps my wellness journey this year.  In doing so, I inspire to be a Spiritual Gangsta.


Wellness Program – Challenge 4
Wellness Program – Challenge 5
Wellness Program – Challenge 7
Wellness Program – Challenge 9
Wellness Program – Challenge 12
Wellness Program – Challenge 14
Wellness Program – Challenge 15
Wellness Program – Challenge 16
Wellness Program – Challenge 17
Wellness Program – Challenge 18
Wellness Program – Challenge 19 and Other Wellness Activities

Saturday, March 3, 2018

2018 Wellness Program: Challenge 8 Destress and Connect with Yourself

So - I am a bit behind on keeping up with my fitness. I am not happy with my progress, but I am still working on it.

Here was my February Measurements:


February I was down an inch on waist and hips, but two pounds higher in weight.

March - I am very disappointed in myself.

Weight: 178
Waist 37"
Hips 43"
Chest 40"
Thighs still 22"
Arms still 13"

I lost chest, gained 6# and did not come out as good as I thought.

I did challenge 8 in my Wellness Program book - I went to a public Yoga class - I learned a lot more from that then the videos I have watched and taught myself from. It was nice to see all body types too.


So February was not a good month but I am thinking March will be better and I am working on things - this was my motto for March:

SO I am going to try not to be too hard on myself and work better.

Wellness Program – Challenge 4
Wellness Program – Challenge 5
Wellness Program – Challenge 7
Wellness Program – Challenge 9
Wellness Program – Challenge 12
Wellness Program – Challenge 14
Wellness Program – Challenge 15
Wellness Program – Challenge 16
Wellness Program – Challenge 17
Wellness Program – Challenge 18
Wellness Program – Challenge 19 and Other Wellness Activities

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

NaMoPaiMo - National Model Painting Month

The month of February 2018, I am participating in the Facebook group NaMoPaiMo - National Model Painting Month. (very image heavy)

See group here


In January I really wasn't sure I would be able to get anything done, but I pleased to say I signed up and have completed my model.

I won this set of Earth Pigments and my model from a drawing in the Group! I was very excited! I hardly ever win anything model horse related and this was so very exciting for me!!
 

I also decided to do a second model just to do it. I wanted to try my sculpting skills. Here is a before and after of my sculpting - I am still struggling with my sculpting ability. 

 
 
  

Then it was onto Primering. Very hard to do in cold weather but I managed.


It was posted in the group to take a selfie with you and your model - Here is me with mine and then the full collage of participants with theirs. 



There was a sad moment where everyone was posting pictures of their pets with them and their models. I don't have a pet right now to post pictures with and was reminiscing. I shared an old picture of Gabby with a model I was working on in 2006 or so. 



I did a painting day on a day off from work. I also did a video - it can be seen on my facebook page here.

  
  

Then I spent yesterday and today and I completed my Official model and my secondary model. 

Official Model: with real horse I used as partial reference. 


Secondary Model: with real horse I used as partial reference. 








Wednesday, January 17, 2018

2018 Wellness Program: Challenge 2 - Where do you Stand?

Challenge 2 was to obtain a wellness assessment from the Medical Clinic and get your scores.

I needed to have a blood test 24 hours prior to the assessment. I did that yesterday, Tuesday, January 16, 2018. I did it fasting because I wanted to see results without food in my system.

Today was my assessment. These were my results.



One of the first things was blood pressure - yeah that went way up because I wasn't at home and I was sitting in the doctor's office.

Second was 1 3 minute stair-step test - OK 3 minutes is a heck of a long time when doing stair steps to a metronome. This definitely showed me where I need to work on things.

Third was a stretch test. I am very limber for a short, fat girl.

Fourth was a grip strength test. I managed to pop all my fingers while doing this.

So the overall scores:

This is my blood test scores
Cholesterol - 156  (desirable is under 200)
HDL Cholesterol - 50 (desirable is under 40) - I am a little high here.
Triglycerides - 143 (desirable is under 150) - this needs work to be lower
Chol/Hdl ratio - 3  (desirable is under 4)
Calculated LDL - 77 (optimal is under 100)
VLDL Cholesterol - 29 (optimal is under 30) - want to push this number lower
Glucose - 5.2% (normal under 5.7%) - this is what they base diabetes scoring on.

This is my wellness assessment scoring
Resting Heart Rate  - 83 out of 110 (this was in the yellow range - ok but not great)
Step Test Heart Rate -  159 out of 171 (this was in the red zone and a definite need to work on area)
Flexibility Test - 40 out of 50!!!!! YEAH!! Gymnastics and Yoga and years of horseback riding flexible
Hand Grip Test - 65.6 lbs out of 100  - this is higher of the yellow range and almost into green
Total Physical Score - 7 out of 16 - Mid yellow range

Blood Pressure - high today
BMI in the yellow but close to the green side
Body Fat - yellow range but close to red side
My BMI and Body Fat are in the obese range. 

Composite Wellness Score -  66.5 out of 100
For someone my age and gender I should be at 67.7 so I am not horribly off but I would like to improve - lose weight and get myself in better shape.

This was really an eye opener and a motivation piece. I am going to so stair step exercises definitely. And work on walking, hiking, running, yoga, and so much more. I am keeping daily track of my exercise and the ultimate goal is 60-70 minutes per day.

Wellness Program – Challenge 4
Wellness Program – Challenge 5
Wellness Program – Challenge 7
Wellness Program – Challenge 9
Wellness Program – Challenge 12
Wellness Program – Challenge 14
Wellness Program – Challenge 15
Wellness Program – Challenge 16
Wellness Program – Challenge 17
Wellness Program – Challenge 18
Wellness Program – Challenge 19 and Other Wellness Activities

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

2018 Wellness Program

The hospital I work at does an annual Wellness Program. I joined this year's program to try to continue the weight loss that started after my surgery in September 2017. This is a blog on how I started my journey.

This is a before shot of me in 2017. This was taken in August.

    

I am really embarrassed by these images but to do this journey right I need to post them. 

After my hysterectomy on September 5, where I had a Softball size tumor removed along with my uterus, I lost 12 pounds and 4 inches. I was at a 42" waist and dropped to a 38" waist. 


    

After that weight loss, I have stayed at this plateau. So, I decided that 2018 was the year of change.

I took my measures January 1 and began a folder in my Facebook of my journey.

  

Then it was announced at work that they would be putting on a Wellness Program. There is a "Passport Book" that you have to get stamped/signed off on for each event in the book. 

I started mine on January 5 and I will turn it in on December 13, 2018. 


 

As I complete each stage - I am going to post it on my blog as a way of keeping myself accountable and to share my journey. Challenge 2 is to get a Wellness check - I will post my results when I get that done next week. 

Here is to a healthier 2018!!! 

Wellness Program – Challenge 4
Wellness Program – Challenge 5
Wellness Program – Challenge 7
Wellness Program – Challenge 9
Wellness Program – Challenge 12
Wellness Program – Challenge 14
Wellness Program – Challenge 15
Wellness Program – Challenge 16
Wellness Program – Challenge 17
Wellness Program – Challenge 18
Wellness Program – Challenge 19 and Other Wellness Activities