Treadmill vs. Walking the Arthur Ravenel Bridge


Dearest Readers:

Today is a bit humid, compared to the crisp fall air I felt yesterday while walking on the Arthur Ravenel Bridge. Walking with two of my friends, I had just a bit of difficulty walking today, stopping twice to use my inhaler.

I detest when I must use an inhaler; nevertheless, since I am an asthmatic, I must stop when my breathing is difficult. I suppose today was a challenge since the humidity has returned to Charleston. Maybe it was challenging because I still remember the bullying effects of children who laughed at me whenever I had an asthma attack as a child. Sometimes children can be so cruel.

I am an advocate for walking since I have walked for years. As a child, I walked ten miles to school. Walking has never been an issue for me, even with asthma. Walking inspires me. When I walk on the treadmill, I work out the difficulties of writing. If I think of an unusual line or character, I stop the treadmill and jot it down. Walking on the bridge is different. Why? There is a 4.1% incline. Anyone who has attempted the bridge can understand how difficult it might be IF you are not accustomed to walking. I have flat feet. Probably the flattest feet ever! Nevertheless, when I walk, I thrust these flat feet to keep moving. My friends say my ankles turn inward. Don’t ask me. I cannot see them. No, they do not hurt. After all, these are my feet. No one understands them better than I do. And I STILL wear my platform heels, just not on the bridge!

Today while walking on that gorgeous, breathtaking bridge, I logged 22 floors, 69 active minutes, walking 4.95 miles and 9,242 steps. I will meet my goal of 10,000 steps daily today! Walking on the treadmill, my Fitbit One numbers would be something like:
0 floors
40 minutes active (provided the Fitbit counts these activity points on the treadmill). Sometimes it does, other times – it does not.
4 miles (maybe)
6700 steps

Apparently, I’m getting a better workout on the bridge than on the treadmill. Walking on the bridge is a goal I have set for weekly. On the days I do not walk the bridge, I will probably do the treadmill. My goal is to work out five days weekly. Wish me luck!

To those who haven’t walked the bridge, I encourage you to do it, especially if you are planning a trip to Charleston. There is something magical when walking on it. I do not focus on the traffic since I was hit by a car as a child. The view is the greatest view of the Charleston Harbor. Walking on the bridge, I do my best to reach the first tower, and then I stop to rest on the concrete bench. Next goal – the second twin tower. My final goal is to walk the entire bridge down to East Bay Street — just like I did the FIRST TIME I walked the bridge.

Today was a bit of a challenge for me — nevertheless, I did it! Next week, I must remember to use my preventative inhaler before I leave the house. Breathing will be so much easier IF I pay attention to my body and do what I know I should do.

Here’s a toast to continuing walking on this magnificent bridge even with my crazy FLAT FEET.

In Remembrance – 9-11-01


http://www.911memorial.org/

Dearest Readers:

Fourteen years ago on this date, I awoke, deciding not to listen to the morning news. I suppose I was tired of ‘shootings…crimes…rapes…murders…’ all of the ‘if it bleeds, it leads,’ stories. Sipping a fresh cup of coffee, I turned my computer on to write. The screaming phone broke the silence.

My husband asked, “I know you always watch the news, so I wanted you to know we are all OK here.”

“I decided to ignore the news this morning. Whatever are you talking about?”

“Turn on the TV. A jet just crashed into the World Trade Center.”

My heart skipped a beat. Sporadic news reports were pouring in from people sharing cell phone reports, voice mails, and horrors.

“Oh my God,” I remember saying aloud in my home. “This isn’t just an airplane crashing. This is an act of war.”

Never did I realize how true my words were.

Every year on this date of remembrance, I am sad for two reasons. On 9-11-01, the world stopped moving due to the shock of the terrorist attacks in America. On 9-11-02, my mother died – unexpectedly, under questionable circumstances. When I received news of her death, a cold, uncalculated family member said, “She died on 9-11.”

“NOT THE 9-11,” I said.

The morning sun shined brightly on 9-11 in Charleston, SC. While watching the news, I watched the beautiful skyline of New York City turn from a beautiful sky blue, dissolving to a faded gray. Plumes of gray smoke covered the area from a day of beauty to a day of darkness.

Watching the TV, somehow I knew this was not an accidental crash but a premeditated attempt at terrorism. Just how could a jet crash into a historical skyscraper? How?

Reports continued pouring in as another jet hit the other tower. Additional reports included not only the Twin Towers, but a third plane attacked the Pentagon in Washington, D.C, a fourth plane crashed into a field in Pennsylvania. I thought of Pearl Harbor. I wasn’t alive during the Pearl Harbor attacks. I remembered reading about them in history books, writing projects in school and learning all that I could about Pearl Harbor. I’ve met several World War II veterans, and my husband is a Vietnam Veteran, so the military holds a significant portion of my heart. These attacks seemed to be happening all over the United States. I asked myself, “Is Charleston next?”

I phoned my husband, just to make certain he was safe. He has a government job. No doubt his safety was a great concern. Only two weeks prior to 9-11 he was in a meeting at the Pentagon.

How did I feel on 9-11? Angry. Shocked. Fearful. Just what was happening to our world? I had family members who worked at some of these venues. I prayed they were safe while feeling as if I was a bit selfish. How could I pray for safety when Washington, DC, New York City and an area in Pennsylvania was not safe?

9-11 is an unfortunate, perfect example of how quickly life can change. Thinking back to that date, I imagine someone on the top floors of The World Trade Center. Perhaps an administrative assistant sitting at her desk, reviewing the schedule of events for that date, only to glance up to look out at the view of this amazing structure just in time to see something coming a bit too close. “What is that? No. It can’t be. Planes don’t fly this close…”

Were those her or his last words? We shall never know. Everything happened so quickly. In the blink of an eye, our world changed. We, the stunned viewers of the news could not believe what was happening. I heard people saying, “Oh, this is someone overtaking the media…maybe a computer virus…this cannot be going on in America.”

But – it was…and it did happen to America. For days, we prayed. We joined together to pray for the victims while praying in hopes another victim would be found alive, trapped under the debris.

Days after the terrorist’s attacks began like other days. We planned to go to work, to church, our children would go to school. Although our nation was in mourning, we had to continue living. Truly a hard reality pill to swallow daily. There was a thick air of gloominess in our communities. How could this happen to the United States of America? Why? Just why did our world stop turning?

For days, I was glued to the television. My entire life seemed to revolve on the news. I saw news reports of people jumping out of the buildings. One report mentioned a pregnant woman jumping from one of the buildings, knowing she nor her unborn child would survive.

New York City was covered in a blanket of gray ash and debris. People were running down the streets and bridges in fear for their lives. Airplane flights were canceled IMG_0572and all airlines were forced to land by the federal government. Not only were we in mourning, America was crippled.

Today, 9-11-15, I still grieve for those who died from these dreadful terrorist attacks, and I grieve for my mother. Never did we become close as a mother and daughter, although I tried to resolve the issues of our relationship. On the day of her death, I was extremely ill with Acute Bronchial Asthma. My doctor prescribed Prednisone, resulting in a dangerous reaction that left me a zombie. My husband was in Italy at the time of her death so I could not get to the funeral.

Losing a loved one, including a distant loved one, is unbearable. After my mother died, I felt an emptiness I cannot describe; nevertheless, I learned that we must walk through the grief so we can continue living. Fourteen years after 9-11, America still grieves. Perhaps we are more observant about questionable events. Maybe we are more cautious. Speaking only for myself, I do have the tendency to look carefully and cautiously whenever I am out in the public view. I look behind me. I carry my car keys pointing the tip out, in the event someone attacks me. I suppose I am now more pro-active and prepared while remembering how quickly life can change. Yes, in the blink of an eye our world can change — not necessarily for the better. May God protect us — Everyone.

On 9-11, I burn a candle and pray.

If It Wasn’t For Weight Watchers….


Dearest Readers:

As you probably know, I am a Weight Watcher. As a ‘weight watcher,’ I lose slowly — EVER SO SLOWLY! I have weekly weigh-ins where I cheer, and I have many weeks at weigh-in where I want to scream…beat myself up…run into a brick wall…or — QUIT! But — I cannot do this. Beating myself up – like I did as a child — is not healthy for me. Getting depressed and quitting – just isn’t who I am now. Years ago, I quit things that challenged me. Now, as an adult — at least I think I am — I like a challenge, and for me, Weight Watchers is a challenge.

Today, thanks to a beautiful, encouraging friend I am back to a wonderful, intimidating and fun challenge — walking the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge!

A few years ago, I briefly discussed the bridge:
To those of you who do not know, “The bicycle and pedestrian lane is 2.7 miles long (14,400 feet), measuring from Patriots Point Road to East Bay Street. Measuring only the part that is on the bridge structure, the walkway is 2.4 miles long (12,750 feet). Most of the bridge is limited to a 4.1% maximum slope. On the Charleston side of the
main span, the long approach is a 1.8% slope. On the Mount Pleasant side, there is a section three-tenths of a mile long that has a 5.6% slope.” http://www.cooperriverbridge.org/bike.shtml

When plans for the bridge were in the discussion stages, a high school group got involved, suggesting adding a pedestrian, bicycle lane. I am so happy those plans were included in the bridge plans. Now, the Arthur Ravenel Bridge is one of the favorite spots for active walkers, runners and bicyclists to work out. Speaking only for myself, I find it invigorating just to walk on it. You must remember, I am asthmatic. Exercise, stress, and illness activate my asthma. Today, I forgot to pack my inhaler – in the event I had an attack. On Monday of this week, I had an attack – thanks to my mini-schnauzer, the oldest of our pets. He chose to ignore the command of ‘stay’, darting out to the road. I rushed after him, and he ran faster. The little brat! A police officer drove by, stopping to get Sir Shakespeare Hemingway. On the way to the house, my asthma kicked in, so I must be careful. Nevertheless, I refuse to allow asthma to stop me. As a child, I was told I could not run or play or dance, like the other kids because I had asthma. I listened. Grinned, and danced my way outside. Stubborn? Independent?? Opinionated??? Wanting to do things MY WAY????? You betcha!

I’ve always believed in breaking the rules. After I had accomplished my first adventure on the Ravenel Bridge, I walked it two to three times weekly. For those of you who have Fitbits, the incline records the steps, floors, miles and active minutes. Today, I paid attention to these records when I got home. I moved on 16 floors today. Walked for 50 active minutes, for a total of 3.66 miles, and I had over 7,000 steps recorded before 10:00 am. Today, I will surpass my goals to walk for 10,000 steps, 30 minutes active. I cannot wait to share this information at Weight Watchers tomorrow.

When you walk the bridge, you feel like it will be an easy journey. For those who haven’t walked it, or those who are not accustomed to walking, it might be a bit difficult; however, since I am a walker, and I walk the treadmill, today’s journey was not as difficult as it has been. My friend, Melanie did fine too. You must remember, as you begin the journey up the bridge, it continues to incline. Remember – Charleston, SC does not have any mountains, so we in the Lowcountry are accustomed to walking the ‘Lowcountry!’ The bridge has a 4.1% incline. Many people who have walked the bridge say it bothers their legs, but it didn’t for me, and Melanie tolerated it well too. I think she and I will be good walking buddies!

Now, that I am home, I feel inspired. There is something so special about getting outside to walk. The sun beams down onto your skin. The breeze kisses your face, and the walk gets your entire body moving. Arms are swinging. Legs are moving to the beat. Your heart is beating while the breeze conditions your body to keep moving. I didn’t mention the view, and it is spectacular. You look down to see the view of the Charleston Harbor. Perhaps you see a ship or a cargo ship floating by while the breeze refreshes your face. This is Charleston, SC. A Holy City where we do our best to enjoy this life we are given. God has given us a beautiful, historical city to enjoy the lifestyle we so enjoy and new friendships to cherish.

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The Top 10 Workout Songs for September 2015


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

The Top 10 Workout Songs for September 2015

Fort Wayne, IN – September 1, 2015 – As summer gives way to fall, let the played out songs in your gym mix give way to some current alternatives. This month’s top picks have plenty going for them—with a variety of genres and tempos represented. Moreover, with just a few new tracks here and there, you can re-energize your whole routine.
In the list below, you’ll find a pair of uptempo remixes from Demi Lovato and Madonna. Elsewhere, there are wildcard tracks—like a single from reunited ’90s darlings Veruca Salt and a collaboration between Flo Rida, Robin Thicke, and the bass player from Earth, Wind & Fire. Lastly, you’ll find a pair of brisk tracks above 140 beats per minute (BPM) from Canadian teen sensation Shawn Mendes and roots rocker Elle King.
Any workout mix can be improved with some fresh tracks and a bit of variety. The list below has plenty of both. So, take a look at what’s new, preview a few, and put your favorites to work.
Here’s the full list, according to votes placed at Run Hundred–the web’s most popular workout music blog.
Beck – Dreams – 114 BPM

Grace Potter – Alive Tonight – 120 BPM

Veruca Salt – Laughing in the Sugar Bowl – 163 BPM

Demi Lovato – Cool for the Summer (Mike Cruz Remix) – 126 BPM

Flo Rida, Robin Thicke & Verdine White – I Don’t Like It, I Love It – 119 BPM

Madonna – Bitch, I’m Madonna (Fedde Le Grande Remix) – 128 BPM

Shawn Mendes – Stitches – 150 BPM

Elle King – Ex’s & Oh’s – 140 BPM

One Direction – Drag Me Down – 139 BPM

Little Mix – Black Magic – 112 BPM

To find more workout songs, folks can check out the free database at RunHundred.com. Visitors can browse the song selections there by genre, tempo, and era—to find the music that best fits with their particular workout routine.

Contact:
Chris Lawhorn
Run Hundred
Email: mail@runhundred.com