Tamra S. Davis, Ph.D.
I go by many titles:
Mom, Grandma, Daughter, Sister, College Professor, Friend, and Companion.
The people in my life make me who I am.
I go by many titles:
Mom, Grandma, Daughter, Sister, College Professor, Friend, and Companion.
The people in my life make me who I am.
It seems like it has been forever since I was able to go outside and walk along the local trail. For the past month, the trail has been covered in ice or snow. The temperature was warm enough last week (while I was working, of course) to melt the trails. Even with a fresh 2 or 3 inches of snow over the weekend, today was a beautiful, sunny, and cold day without any wind. #WhyNot go out and walk for the first time in a month, which I did, and it was fantastic. I have been so demotivated to do anything recently, and I have let that influence my natural talent to see obstacles instead of taking the hard road and looking for the opportunities.
Today, I have decided that no matter what, I will do something that makes me happy every day. #WhyNot join me on my happiness journey?
I hate winter. Really, I really hate winter! My 365 Day Challenge is a daily struggle right now. For the past two weeks, we have had snow, freezing rain, and extreme cold temperatures. It has been a challenge to go on an outside hike every day, and on two days, I haven't even hit my personal step goal, and the goal isn't that high! For the first 15 days of January, my goal was a measly 7,000 steps. I upped the goal to 7,600 steps on January 16. I didn't even hit 4,500 steps that day. #WhyNot? I could come up with multiple excuses.
Letting go is hard for me. This quote meant so much for me on this day, that I added it to one of my favorite pictures taken from Reynisfjara beach in Vík í Mýrda, Iceland. I need to let go of life's little frustrations and concentrate on doing what is right for me. That means, stop the excuses and go for the walk. #WhyNot join me!
After a quick trip home to Oklahoma, it was time to return to Illinois. DFW is one of my favorite airports. It is so convenient with the train to move between terminals and the food options are so Texan, e.g. BBQ! Today, I decided that I would skip the train and walk from Terminal C to Terminal B. Hey, they are next to each other, right? Wrong! From Terminal C, you have to go through Terminal A to get to Terminal B. It turned into a great walk though, even if I did surprise several airport personnel because I was the only person walking through the connected terminals instead of using the train. It was an easy walk, about 2.2 miles from my arrival gate in Terminal C to my departure gate in Terminal B. Good thing I had a 2 1/2 hour layover. LOL.
I posted a picture of the stats from Monday. Not shabby considering I spent almost 90 minutes in a car to/from airports and over 3 hours on airplanes.
I have found airports to be great hiking venues. You are carrying luggage or pulling a carry-on through an obstacle course of people and pets. I found it fun to walk along the hallways and watch the people scurrying from one location to another. People-watching is a great past time. Plus, that two-mile walk gave me enough exercise calories to enjoy a delicious BBQ brisket sandwich at Hickory by Kent Rathbun. #WhyNot enjoy Texas BBQ when in Texas?
What a beautiful day! I was able to spend it watching the two youngest grandsons play little league basketball. They didn't win, but they had fun.
After the game, it was a three generation haircut session and lunch. My mom is fighting lung cancer, and this haircut had an important meaning; her first haircut after chemo.
I was able to sneak a walk in after my mom's haircut. My daughter joined me, even with her broken foot. It is important to remember that the time we have with our family is special. Living almost 600 miles away from my family is a huge sacrifice; however, the trips home are frequent, about once every 4 to 6 weeks. Spending time with everyone is critical for me. I was happy that my daughter could take the day with us. She is insanely busy as the mother of three active boys, she is always on the go. Her full-time job, working on her college degree, and being a wife/mother is her focus, so this was a special day for the three of us to spend the afternoon together.
Total steps accomplished once again. I want to hit 7,000 steps a day for the first two weeks of the year and then begin increasing that number. Here is the official hike photo. I loved the berries with the sun shining on them.
Or at least it turned into a pretty day! My picture for the day is the view I had before I left for the day. Yes, that is ice on the grass and the hay bales in the distance. By afternoon, it was over 50 degrees in Oklahoma.
I took my parents into town, so my "hike" was around the Red Robin restaurant while my dad warmed up the car. Have you every tried their fried pickle nickles? Yummy! As soon as he was ready to leave, my hike ended. Although I did accomplish my total step goal by hitting 7,516 steps, the official MapMyWalk is puny. LOL
Tomorrow is another day! Keep stepping #WhyNot?
Rain, rain, go away, . . . this girl needs to play (and by play, I mean go for a walk).
Today was a nasty, cold, rainy day where the rain was freezing as it hit the ground. Yuck! I really had to fight the Why Not question of Why not stay inside and forget this crazy challenge. No one ever really accomplishes their New Year's Goals anyway. But I didn't. Instead, I took my mother to Wal-Mart. While she did a little shopping, I also shopped a little for supplies. When I visit them, I stay in an RV that I have on my parents' farm. My "hike" today was up and down just about every aisle (twice) at Wal-Mart. I managed my dedicated mile for the challenge and even met the step goal for the day, barely. Getting in the steps in the freezing rain, meant all of them were inside. By the end of the day, I was almost 1,000 steps shy of my goal. My #WhyNot moment came as I asked myself, why not walk around the RV which basically meant walking in place. It worked. Step count 7,046 for 3.25 miles.
Total steps for 2019: 22,345
Total miles for 2019: 10.24 miles
January 2 presented a challenge to complete my second day of the mini-365 Day Challenge and meet my hiking goal for the day. It's hard to go for a hike when you have a 5:50 a.m. flight! The early morning was worth it though to be able to fly to my childhood home to watch my youngest grandson be the crown bearer at the basketball homecoming. I'll have to post a few pics of him after the game on Friday night.
This trip also gave me a chance to go with my mother to her immunotherapy session. She is fighting lung cancer and winning. After a long summer of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, she received good news on the last day of 2018, one tumor is gone and the others have shrunk. Her prognosis is good.
So, to reach my goal of hiking today, I had to hike through O'Hare airport. Urban hiking is real and I participated in the hectic post-holiday travel with passengers ranging from young families heading home from the holidays to business people flying somewhere for work. My mini-challenge walk took me past the international hall for American Airlines. It's one of my favorite concourses, so of course, I had to make it my picture background for the hike. Spending almost three hours on planes makes it hard to reach walking goals, but I did manage 7,181 steps, many of them in the airports. Two days of challenges met.
Total steps for the year: 15,299
Total miles for the year: 6.99
Why did I not go for one more step and reach an even 7 miles?
Yesterday was the beginning of my answer to the Why Not question. As a first step, I joined the 365 Mile Challenge mentioned in yesterday's post, and as an added bonus, I have a walking partner. We will be exploring the many park trails in our home city and around the country (and hopefully in Greece this summer) as he keeps me company on this journey.
Day 1--The step goal of 7,000 was "crushed" according to Fitbit with a step count of 8,118. For me, that is 3.71 miles. Since our hike was down a trail, I also managed to reach the equivalent of 14 flights of stairs. Even though it was cold and damp, we managed to find a new trail that neither of us had explored before and determine that the next time, we are parking at the trailhead on the bottom of the trail instead of the parking area at the top! January 1, 2019--Goal met and we had fun accomplishing the goal.
Another goal for 2019 is to take a photograph every day. Photography has always been a hobby that borders on a passion. I have tons of photography books and my reliable Canon 40D that is ancient, but an exceptional piece of equipment. As part of my daily photography goal, I plan to create at least 100 additional inspirational prints. My photography site, Photography by Tamra, has a few of my prints if you are interested. Check back to see my newest creations each week.
Until tomorrow's answer to the question, Why Not? #WhyNot
Last year, I went off all prescription medications (I only take two for hyperlipedmia). I wanted to see my cholesterol and triglyceride numbers. Boy were they scary. Although I could lose some weight, I also have a very strong family history of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and relatives with Type II diabetes. My only issue is the lipid control.
So, what did I do? I asked Why Not? Why have I not lost weight? Why am I not stretching every day? Why am I not hitting my step goal every day? I don't have a good answer. So I asked myself, Why Not Make the Changes I Need to Make. After all, I have eight beautiful grandchildren, so far, and I want to be there to see their children.
It was time to make a change. So I accepted the 365 Mile Challenge and participated in their mini challenge for the first three days of 2019, to walk/hike at least a mile every day. Follow along with me as I take this journey. Part of my goal is to meet a minimum of 7,000 steps daily with part of those steps being tracked for the challenge. This will force me outside, with my camera, to explore the trails (both urban and nature), capture the light, and enjoy the year I turn 55.
Happy New Year! I wish everyone a safe, healthy, and relaxing 2019.
I was walking across a Midwestern college campus recently. As I walked from one building to the location of a meeting I was attending three buildings away, I started counting the number of college students who were attached to technology. What I saw was distressing. Even the kids who appeared to be walking together were still separated by technology. Two out of every three college students walking down that sidewalk had earbuds and/or were looking down at the phone in their hand. Not a single student out of the 75 students I saw on that short walk was looking at the beautiful campus or talking to the person walking with them.
At a restaurant recently, a late-teenage boy was sitting at the table with two adults; I assume they were his parents. He had his phone in his lap with a video game on the screen. As he used one hand to play the game, he attempted to shovel food into his mouth as fast as possible (making a bit of a mess as he did so) with the other hand. The mother reminded him that phones were not allowed at the table. With a quick angry look up and an unintelligible grunt, the boy ignored her and continued to look at the phone in his lap. With a hurt, bewildered look, she left the table for a few minutes. To this outsider who loves to watch the interactions of people, I was saddened and alarmed. Not because this was an isolated incident, but one that I am seeing more and more when in public. Or worse, a care-giver handing the child a device so they will "be quiet".
As a teacher, I am seeing the same thing in my classroom. Even in my classroom that is located in a computer lab, most of my students bring their own laptops, tablets, or phones for participating in the online portions of the class. The technology is ubiquitous. Since I teach with web-based tools, I allow technology; however, as a I walk around my university classroom, the students are often on non-classroom pages. Worse, they are not even trying to hide it.
In a Pew Research Study released August 22, 2018, reported that "56% of teens associate the absence of their cellphone with at least one of these three emotions: Loneliness, being upset or feeling anxious" and that 57% of parents have attempted to restrict screen time for their teens.
While attending a professional conference last fall, one of the sessions discussed the growing problems overuse of technology is having on the health of today's youth. Research is also available on issues such as text neck syndrome and SMS thumb. One study by Shah and Sheth (2018) concluded that musculoskeletal problems can be seen in the neck and hands that can lead to long-term disability. Shahar and Sayers (2018) also conducted a study into the effects of phone/tablet use. Their study led them to ask, "what the future holds for the young adult populations in our study, when development of a degenerative process is evident in such an early stage of their lives?"
I don't have any answers, only questions. #WhyNot ask the hard questions. Can we, as a society, bring back the dinner table conversations? I would love to hear your comments below.
Jiang, J. (2018, August 22). How teens and parents navigate screen time and device distractions. Pew Research Center.
Shah, P. P. and Sheth, M. S. (2018). Correlation of smartphone use addiction with text neck suyndrome and SMS thumb in physiotherapy students. International Journal of Community Medicine and Public Health, 5(6). doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.18203/2394-6040.ijcmph20182187
Shahar, D. and Sayers, M. G. L. (2018). Prominent exostosis projecting from the occipital squama more substantial and prevalent in young adult than older age groups. Scientific Reports 8, Article : 3354.