And On The Seventh Day, You Shall Rest

Taken literally, and biblically, “the seventh day” refers to Sunday and “rest” means doing no work.

“For six days work is to be done, but the seventh day is a day of sabbath rest, holy to the LORD. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day is to be put to death.” ~ Exodus 31:15

Let’s face it though. Unless one takes the Bible literally, life in the 21st century is not conducive to complete and total rest on Sundays, no matter how much one wants to keep it sacrosanct.

Many people work jobs that require them to be available on Sundays. Or, their work schedule may include Saturday and Sunday as work days and they get Wednesday and Thursday off instead. For these people, Thursday would be their Sunday.

Others may not work for money on Sundays, but must use that day (in fact, the entire weekend) to take care of family and household tasks that could not be addressed during their standard work week.

With luck and perseverance, Sunday can be kept the Sabbath in the morning by attending church or some other form of religious worship and then by enjoying brunch with the family afterward.

The concept of “rest” can be subjective, particularly if we view it only as the opposite of work.

Merriam-Webster defines “rest” as:

  1. A bodily state characterized by minimal functional and metabolic activities
  2. Freedom from activity or labor
  3. A place for resting or lodging
  4. A peace of mind or spirit
  5. A rhythmic silence in music
  6. Something used for support

Definition # 4 – “a peace of mind or spirit” -has nothing to do with the physical aspect of rest. It has more to do with what activities afford you peace of mind and lead your spirit to be free.

Furthermore, as God has created us all to be unique, each one of us would then have a unique idea and need, which when pursued would lead to our peace and freedom.

What gives you peace…rest…freedom?

And, for the moment, let’s not think about whether that activity is done on a Sunday or a Friday.

Some of the things that allow me to rest (and not necessarily in any particular order) :

  • writing
  • running
  • cycling
  • waking up in the morning next to my man and no burden of alarm clocks or deadlines
  • cooking
  • music
  • a big breakfast (even better if it is served to me in bed) and endless coffee
  • watching a movie of my choice
  • holding hands
  • kissing

Many people might view my idea of rest at least where running and cycling are concerned, as a chore. They might look at my list and say that writing is a chore too.

Every person will have his own ideas, probably quite diverse from these, about what provides rest. Regardless of the physical activity level of any of those activities, if the activity gives peace in mind, body, and soul, it is, by definition, restful.

No matter what day of the Lord’s 7 day week you engage in activities that bring you rest, the fact is that you do these things. Of course, it would be even better if it was on a Sunday and you could fit in as many of them as possible.

The bottom line: work hard so you can rest hard.

© 2010-2013 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.

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All Good Things Must Come to an End

When I think hard enough about the proverb – all good things must come to an end – I can flip its meaning to suit anything depending on what is going on in my life at the time.

If things are going well, I can use it as a little bit of a reminder that the good feeling probably won’t last forever. It will be circumvented by other events, other realities, other people, other places.

A reminder to savor the moment and live in the present.

If things are going badly, particularly when bad things come directly on the heels of good things, I can use it as a reminder that not too long ago things were good and that they only ended in order to make way for better things.

Sadly, a reminder that the past held better things. A collection of memories  that I can use to ease the pain of the present.

In terms of the history or etymology of this phrase, I did not find much. What I found, though, was powerful to me.

I learned that it is considered a proverb, which took me aback because when I hear the word “proverb” I instantly think of the Bible. But, I reminded myself that a proverb is any simple or concrete saying that denotes truth based on common sense or practical knowledge.

This particular proverb apparently originated during the time of Chaucer in the late 1300s.

Interestingly, the original saying did not include the modifying word ‘good’.

In the original form – “all things come to an end” – it is definitive; neither negative nor positive at all. It can be applied to both good and bad happenings. However, when ‘good’ is added, the connotation becomes fatalistic and negative and evokes a sense of inevitability and melancholy.

After this analysis, I will begin using this proverb, when I use it at all, without the ‘good’. Lord knows I don’t need any more reminders that the end of happiness is lurking.

© 2010-2013 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.

Passion For Running Part 4: Proper Hydration

Proper hydration is a tricky but necessary issue for every athlete. Hydration affects multiple areas of the body.

A multitude of opinions are out there for how much to drink, what to drink, and when to drink. Ultimately, the perfect solution for you will be just that, unique and personal for you. The same solution won’t work for your running buddy.

The most complex issue you will face is figuring out how much to drink. Most times, athletes worry about not drinking enough. Dehydration causes cramps, fatigue, decreased coordination, not to mention dry mouth. It is uncomfortable and painful.

But did you know that an even bigger issue is drinking too much? The condition is called hyponatremia and it occurs in even the most elite athletes. The danger is low blood sodium, which can result in brain swelling and possibly seizures and other life-threatening complications.

The factors that most impact proper hydration are sweat rate and length of exercise. How long you plan to run will obviously require more hydration. But, determining your sweat rate is important as well. How do you do this?

{fluid loss} …can vary between 1 to 4 quarts per hour. Weigh yourself nude before a timed training run and then again after. One pound of weight loss equals 1 pint of water loss. Calculate your sweat rate and use this to determine your fluid needs during a run or race. For example, if you lose 2 pounds during an hour run, that’s 2 pints or 32 ounces. Thus, you need 8 ounces of water or sports beverage every 15 minutes. ~ excerpt from About.Com Running and Hydration

To be honest, I avoid anything that involves mathematical thinking, much less calculations. So, let me tell you what works for me: knowing how much drymouth I experience in relation to how much yellow is in my urine and how often I pee. It’s that simple.

There IS one other thing you might want to consider in terms of how much to hydrate. I feel the most important issue is to keep hydrated all the time, not just when you work out. Don’t wait for that 6 mile run, or that 5K race, to worry about hydration. Maintain proper hydration all the time, even on rest days. This includes, by the way and I hate to bring it up, watching your consumption of both alcohol and sodium, both of which drastically impact hydration. If you do these things, proper hydration won’t be so much of an issue on race days.

Now, on to what to drink. I am here to tell you that water is not enough during your workout. Water is fine during your rest days. During workouts, some form of electrolyte drink is imperative to restore minerals that are lost when you sweat. These minerals are critical in fighting fatigue and muscle cramping. If you want to make it through your workout, it behooves you to drink an electrolyte replacement drink and not just water. Just try to keep the sugars low. Try Physique by Shaklee.

When to drink…refer back to paragraph 7. My suggestion is basically all the time. However, on my running days I try to drink eight ounces of water about an hour before. In this way I get the benefits of the hydration, and then my body gets to pee out the excess before I get going.

Now, some of my suggestions may differ from what you have heard. For example, my yoga instructor suggests drinking only a mouthful every 10 to 15 minutes. The key being that if you are peeing it out, you are basically taking in more than your body needs. I agree with some of that, but I am not sure whether he is has ever been an endurance runner. I know for certain that I would pass out from cramps or dehydration if I were to only take in that amount of water. Sometimes I would like to just hook up a mobile IV…but that might look a little funny.

The bottom line here is that you need to know your body and do what works for you. Seek out information, new theories, and experiment with them. And, most important of all, keep working at it.

“To keep the body in good health is a duty…otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” ~ Buddha

© 2010-2013 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.

Wondering Why

Today was a day of wondering why.

I have these days more often than I would like to admit. I go through my days in content oblivion… when… reality suddenly pushes me to the side and demands my attention.

My term for it is sudden-onset-reality.

Sudden-onset-reality has three main variations:

  • issues that I over-analyzed and chose a course of action knowing most of the pros and cons
  • issues that I analyzed briefly and was forced by circumstances to make a knee jerk reaction to (damning all resulting torpedos)
  • issues that I was totally unaware even existed

Regardless of what variation my sudden-onset-reality takes, it hurts the most when it is the result of the inability of people to be forthright with each other. These individuals portray a façade of themselves, or of a situation; a façade that is less offensive and more resilient than what they feel on the inside.

It’s one of the ways humans survive every day. It’s a defense mechanism. Everyone does it to a certain degree.

Unfortunately, this approach inevitably results in others taking actions or making decisions upon basically flawed or faulty information, that, had the truth been told, might have resulted in a completely different choice of action. Possibly an even better one.

I don’t spend time judging anyone over it as I don’t want anyone to judge me. I just keep moving forward as best I can and setting my standards to a level that suit me and keep me sane and honest.

Today, a bout of sudden-onset-reality caused me to wonder why other people don’t, or can’t, operate the same way I do. Even as I can intellectualize the reasons, I still found myself musing about it:

  • Why can’t I expect other people to operate truthfully?
  • Why is it so difficult to be honest with someone who is being honest? (I would think that would be easy)
  • Why do people, especially in a business arena, operate under the assumption that others are being duplicitous, even when there is no previous track record to substantiate that?
  • Why is truthful until proven otherwise so difficult to grasp?
  • Why are the standards of truth and transparency so scary in personal relationships?

Each of the answers to my questions boiled down to one element: fear. Fear of rejection, fear of intimacy, fear of abandonment, fear of commitment.

My take on it is if there is fear, there is naturally more reason to misrepresent thoughts, ideas, words, and actions. On a personal level, if a person is fearful on the inside, thus misrepresenting emotions or thoughts inwardly, how can that person be fearless, and hence truthful to others on the outside?

Probably not with ease.

My easy solution: be strong and courageous, eliminate the fear, and be free to be forthright and truthful.

I know, easier said than done.

© 2010-2013 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.

In Search of Dragonflies

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science”

Albert Einstein

It is believed, in many cultures, that dragonflies have special significance. Not only are they beautiful, swift, and elegant, but they are mysterious and diaphanous and represent freedom and change, and the easy acceptance of both.

thCAQVHBM3I became enamored with dragonflies the year my father died…1999. I saw them while he was in his short coma at the very end of his life. I saw them immediately after he passed, at his funeral, and even back at home in Texas. I began seeing them all around me.  At his grave site, one very large one landed on the temporary headstone and waited with us while we grieved his loss.

When I went back home to Texas, they would light on the antennae of my car or the post of the fence and sit there for what seemed like hours, watching. One day in particular, while I was getting my daughter and son ready for their first day of school (it was my daughter’s first day of kindergarten), a large greenish dragonfly alighted on the antennae of my Suburban that was parked in the driveway and in full view from the kitchen window. This beautiful dragonfly, something that is normally so elusive and fleeting, sat there during the whole morning routine and even stayed there as we walked noisily past it toward the bus stop.

In my heart, that was the spirit of my father shepherding his grandchildren into a new day and new adventures. Out near the bus stop, a group of over a dozen dragonflies swarmed.th[4]

I envisioned my dad up there with all of his friends. “Hey guys, let’s go down and take a look!” And, every time I see a dragonfly, even to this day, I say “Hi, Papa”. It doesn’t matter whether I am alone or not. Anyone who knows me, knows that this will happen when I see a dragonfly.

Almost ten years later, a very good friend of mine, who knew my passion for dragonflies and understood and accepted their significance in my life, took a picture of a large golden dragonfly that happened to land on his desk INSIDE the auto shop that he worked in. He took a picture and texted it to me. Unfortunately, I lost the picture when my phone got broken.

I have a dragonfly pin, a dragonfly Tiffany lamp, dragonfly figurines…even a dragonfly tattoo.

So, when I was recently at The Oasis with a good friend of mine, I couldn’t help but snap this shot….and then write about it.

Dragonflies at The Oasis

Dragonflies at The Oasis

Here is a poem that captures some of what I feel. It is written by Louise Bogan and it’s called The Dragonfly:

You are made of almost nothing

But of enough

To be great eyes

And diaphanous double vans;

To be ceaseless movement,

Unending hunger

Grappling love.

Link between water and air,

Earth repels you.

Light touches you only to shift into iridescence

Upon your body and wings.

Twice-born, predator,

You split into the heat.

Swift beyond calculation or capture

You dart into the shadow

Which consumes you.

You rocket into the day.

But at last, when the wind flattens the grasses,

For you, the design and purpose stop.

And you fall

With the other husks of summer.

Dad, this is for you. As I write, with unending love in my heart for you that will last for all time, I cry silently because I miss you. But I sure am glad that you pulled some strings up there enough to give me such beautiful and never-ending imagery to always remember you by. So that I, and my family, will never forget. 

© 2010-2013 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.

Passion For Running Part 3: Healthy Nutrition

One of the more critical ways in which I maintain my passion for running is to keep my body strong and satisfied. There are three tenets: healthy nutrition, proper hydration, and good equipment. 

th[2]Today, I will focus on nutrition because, frankly, I do love to eat. Anything goes, too. I have a major weakness for any kind of cheese, nuts, chocolate, desserts, pasta, and sauces, particularly the gourmet, creamy, fat-laden ones. I love to eat out, too, which means extra fat, sodium, and cholesterol, all of which I try to keep to a minimum when I cook at home but indulge in elsewhere.It would not be too much of a stretch to say that I have a passion for food.

My passion for food is dependent on my passion for running for one obvious reason: I can only eat the way I do because I run. I can’t imagine returning to my previous weight or losing my size 5 jeans. I worked too hard to get where I am.So, yes, I run to eat, as pathetic as that sounds.

Over the years of learning how to eat healthy, I have lost a taste for many things that I used to love, like fried food, bread, and soda. When I do eat these things, they tend to make me nauseous and leave me unsatisfied, or at least a bit guilty. They also inhibit my initiative, making me lazy and lethargic. Lazy and lethargic do not support running. It’s a little hard to get out there to run~~especially if it is too cold, too hot, drizzling~~if I can’t get up off the couch or out of my bed.veggie-smiles[1]

Everyone has their own food habits. The first part of healthy nutrition is to know and/or learn what foods are healthy and why. That is relatively easy. There are many choices out there to learn this. One of my favorites is Grains & More . My friend, Mira Dessy, has a knack for all things healthy. She keeps it exciting and challenging. Check out her blog for great advice and information, too!.  After that, it is up to each person to determine which healthy foods she likes and can eat regularly and which she doesn’t really like but can eat occasionally, just for the nutritional value.

healthy-diet[1]Over many years of practice, I have learned to like things like oatmeal, muesli, yogurt, multi-grain bread, dried fruit, and raw green vegetables of every variety. Not that I didn’t like these things before. Only that these types of food were never at the top of my list. Now, they are and because of it I have more energy, better body function (if you know what I mean), and lower cholesterol.

In other words, my body is satisfied.

Furthermore, make a friend of healthy protein. It is critical in building muscles after a workout and can help one slim down. For helpful hints on proper nutrition for runners, check out Runners World for advice and good tips on everything about running.

Another critical element of nutrition is a good multi-vitamin supplement. The reason: no matter how good your diet is, you will never get appropriate levels of vitamins and minerals from food alone. I use and recommend Shaklee Vitalizer.

The final element is to know when to eat. As with everything else, this is different for everyone. I eat a small snack ~ yogurt and muesli, or oatmeal, or a bowl of Cheerios ~ about an hour before I run. I drink an electrolyte mix (also by Shaklee) while I run. I drink a protein shake (a Shaklee product) within 30 minutes after I run. For the rest of the day, I keep my portions small but frequent.

If I neglect any of the above parts of my healthy nutrition, my body lets me know.

If you can spend some quality time with your food choices, your body will return the favor by staying energized and strong to maintain your passion for running.

Nutrition4Health-logo-gif[1]

© 2010-2013 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.

Thoughts From March

~ 3.4.2013

“Does your conscience bother you? ~ Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd

~ 3.7.2013

“Before I ever met you, I never knew I could be broken in so many ways.” ~ Before I Ever Met You by Banks

~ 3.8.2013

I am a prisoner of my self-made convictions. And then again, I am the prison guard who abuses me for and because of my convictions. It’s a lockdown from which there is only one chance of escape: the peace and the grace of God.

~ 3.11.2013

I refuse to become collateral damage from the world caving in around me.

© 2010-2013 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.