Category Archives: Adrenaline Junkie

Anyone who tells you that aerobics …

is the only way to get fit is blowing hot air.

I will get plenty of flack on this, but as my dad is fond of saying, the truth will stand when the world’s on fire.

This is as far from my regular blog post content as one can get and still stay in this atmosphere, but it, at this moment, is what was on my mind.

I have no intention of downplaying the important role in a good, sweat-inducing, breath-heaving, nearly dying from (ironically) a heart attack,  cardiac workout.

It has its place.  But it’s place in the day to day struggle to get strong isn’t the only one.

It will, with a well balanced diet of protein and complex carbohydrates help you lose unwanted pounds.

But the real kicker is the large muscle groups.  When worked regularly and defined, the simple act of walking from one place to another on developed muscles will burn fat.

Just this week, I had someone say to me “I wish I could be more like you”.  That is not a phrase I hear very often so I take it very seriously when I do.  I gauged my words carefully as it is as important to not damage as it is to encourage.

I told them that only a few years ago, I was one hundred pounds heavier.  I was.  I am not proud of it, but I was.  I told them what I told myself … I had two choices and they were to do nothing or to do something.

I chose something.

Nobody can make anyone else get off the couch, turn off the tv, stop thinking of Lance and Lylac as close personal friends instead of the Soap stars they are.

There is only one person than can instigate anyone  to decide to make a difference in themselves and that is themselves.  And whatever choice they make should be respected.

Not everyone has the heart, the drive and the dream to achieve more than what they have at the moment.

Each to their own.

But as for me, I wanted something different than what I had and went for it, worked for it, sweated for it and while I have a ways to go yet, I am closer than I was when I started.

I will never be “hot”.  I will never be the person who turns heads, but then that sort of thing isn’t important to me.

I want to know that if tomorrow, God said to me, I want you to go into the mountains and photograph them to show the glory that I have given to all, I want to be up to the task.

I do this for me, not so that someone will look at me, but so that when I look at myself, I can say that I am strong.

I am me.

I am Gina and I did it even when I didn’t want to.

I am a hiker.  A photographer who takes any trail, especially a new one I find, and push myself beyond my limits to get to the top.

This works my leg muscles.  One of the large groups.  My thighs become toned and as they require energy to take one more step into the high places, I have not only indulged in building and encouraging my muscles, but by walking at an incline, gotten that nasty little cardio workout in as well.

The stronger the muscle, the more energy it needs and where do you think it gets that energy?  From stored fat.  The more you utilize the large muscle groups and refine them, the more fat you burn.  The more fat you burn, the leaner you get.

An hour with Penny the queen of advanced aerobics who is, by the way, cute as a damn button, will make you sweat and raise your heart rate.  All good things, however, if you have strong muscles in your legs, abs and back, perfect Penny will take a back seat to the ongoing calorie burning process of muscles on a mission.

It may seem like  daunting task to build these muscles, but it is incredibly simple.

Walk to the mailbox for a couple days in a row.  And then walk past the mailbox for a couple days in a row.

Before you realize you are working your muscles, they will already be burning excess fat for energy in order to keep up.

I used to do yoga.  I liked it for about the first five minutes and then I was bored beyond tears.

I found, instead, that with strong muscles, I am more limber than I would be if I did yoga every day.

One doesn’t have to assume the double dog chasing a ratty Frisbee in order to attain strength and balance.

A bit of time every other day (because when you overexert your muscles, you must give them time to recover) working the thighs, glutes, back, shoulders and abs will, in short order, begin to use fat faster than panting to a Jenny Craig video.

I’ve been a nurse for nearly three decades and I can assure you that muscle burns fat … and once the fat starts to go away, you will feel more like walking, biking, swimming and will find yourself, despite your initial resistance to it, doing cardio workouts without even being aware.

So you will burn fat, strengthen your muscles, eat healthier and wake up one day and say damn!  I am looking fine.

If you must be a couch potato, don’t complain when everyone else is having fun.  Either live with it or deal with it.  Your choice.

don't be afraid to to climb

don’t be afraid to to climb

if it were easy, there wouldn't be any reward in it.  Be adventurous

if it were easy, there wouldn’t be any reward in it. Be adventurous

life involves a risk or two ... be adventurous ... be strong ... be yourself

life involves a risk or two … be adventurous … be strong … be yourself

I have bruises on my hands …

fairly large ones, as well as numb fingers, that are the result of 500+ chest compressions performed on the presumed dead, but revivable (that really is a word) mannequin at my CPR recert class on Friday.

Usually, it is little more than a formality, but the instructors were being monitored by the powers that be, so there were no shortcuts.  I’m going to have bruises for weeks because I, being nearly six feet tall and pretty strong, can produce a mean, straight, rigid armed, muscles flexed, chest compression.

I was transported back to another time and reminded of my days as a Paramedic when CPR was a fairly regular occurrence  …

Unfortunately, I let both my TN and VA certifications expire after I got married because my husband frowned upon me spending 24-hours at a time with men who weren’t him – never mind that I was trustworthy, a straight arrow to the core, it bothered him … and out of respect for his feelings, I left the position.  Now, years later, after he has passed away, I don’t have the desire or drive to go through the classes again to obtain that status and so …  there you go.

But … broken ribs, bruised sternums, lights, sirens and driving 80 mph on the back roads …  starting large bore IV’s into unwilling veins, using the defibrillator (before the advent of the AED)   in the back of a rig as it swayed and bumped along the rutted roads,  riding to the ER, straddling the patient on the gurney, counting out loud with the chest compressions as doctors and nurses waited outside the door was a rush that cannot be duplicated.

It was like an episode of ER, back when it was a decent show and actually still on air.  The early George Clooney days.  Good times emerging from the worst possible scenarios…

and yet, I digress …

that scene was at least a monthly and sometimes, depending on the time of year, a weekly event.  There are times when I miss it  … As much as the job, I miss the  extremely cool pants  …

I have held the neck of an injured person, whispering words of encouragement as the Jaws-Of-Life cut the top off a car as easily as opening a can of tuna,  inserted a chest tube to relieve the pressure of a pneumothorax, performed a cricothyroidotomy in order to make a patent airway, intubated with the McIntosh blade, which was my laryngoscope of choice  because it was curved and, in my opinion, more conducive to sliding between the vocal cords than the straight Miller blade.  The vocal chords, when visualized in reality, are really quite beautiful and an anatomical enigma.  (an adrenaline junkie?  maybe so … ok, yeah, probably) .

But given all of those things, the lifesaving techniques that I am able to employ, I still have to recertify in a CPR refresher course every two years.

In May, I performed CPR on a man who dropped like a stone while pumping Gas (and lived to tell about it because of early intervention and initiation of EMS … I shouted call 9-1-1 to a baffled lady who did it out of pure shock)  but that, as far as the American Heart Association is concerned, doesn’t count for anything.

Go figure.

And in two  years, I will get to do it again.

Good grief.

reallly?  REALLY?

reallly? REALLY?