Treadmill or Dreadmill? Improve your relationship with your treadmill.

I am one of (likely) very few people who actually loves jumping on the treadmill. In fact, most people think of theirs as a “dreadmill”… sitting in the corner of some obscure room, collecting dust and cobwebs, emanating a spooky “creature of the night” vibe, just waiting to become the death of them. It is a reminder of just how long a single minute, just 60 measly seconds, can feel like a long moment in Hell. How did I get so lucky to have a love affair with my treadmill?

I make my treadmill work for me instead of the other way around.

Using my treadmill as a tool to escape… in particular, a tool to escape into a good book. I have found myself completing a half marathon walking in various speeds and inclines, simply because the book I am reading is so captivating, and the last thing I want is to stop reading… and so instead of jumping off my treadmill to continue reading I honor my agreement with myself: If I want to read, I have to do it on the treadmill… and so I walk.

Now, I have not always had such love for the human hamster wheel, I certainly have had my share of a “dreadmill” stand-off… especially as I introduced running to my routine. Though I would come to dread jumping on that torture trap, I came to realize that the treadmills of today are not your Mom’s treadmill and to put it simply, treadmills are not all created equal. If you want to make your cardio time on your treadmill feel productive and enjoyable (imagine being out in nature… it doubles as great meditation practice), definitely do your research and find the best treadmill that money can buy for the price-point you can afford. You don’t have to be miserable on your treadmill any longer!

Take time to research the different models and all the bells and whistles that are important to you. If you want not only an incline setting, but also a decline setting, that is possible… as is a treadmill with a great shock system to help protect the joints in your body. Many treadmills have built in programs with different workout options from a simple walk, to intense inclines to help you burn fat and work your cardiovascular system. I’ve even seen systems with two tracks, one for each foot to land on, simulating trail walking/jogging. No matter what you are looking for, with a little patience and due diligence, you are sure to find it.

Those bells and whistles I mention do not come free and you will find that the more intricate the treadmill, the more money you will be spending. Personally, a higher quality product with few “extra’s” is the way to go… the motor will be strong, the unit stable, the incline will be sufficient, and the built-in programs definitely give you a run for your money (pun intended). This is the type of treadmill I went for. The display isn’t too huge, so I use an over the door hook to hook onto the display in order to hold my Kindle for my reading sessions. For the most part, I am able to do intervals, even full on jogging, and my Kindle doesn’t budge.

If all else fails, and you still feel as though the treadmill is a dreadmill, put it in front of a T.V. and do your treadmill training while watching your favorite television programs. This should prove to be a great distraction, possibly even helping you look forward to your next treadmill session. Working out doesn’t have to be miserable, nor does it have to be at full intensity. Just 30 minutes a day will improve your cardiovascular health dramatically, help you lose weight, reduce stress, boost both your mood and your energy levels, and improve your memory, productivity, and creativity. That sounds like a fantastic trade-off for just 30 minutes of your time, especially when those 30 minutes can be a simple brisk walk… you don’t have to put out max effort to reap the rewards!

So no matter how you feel about jumping on that human hamster wheel, you certainly owe it to yourself. Find what helps you to endure just 30 minutes… and watch as you add time to your lifespan… You are worth the effort!

What Are Your Passions?

As time goes by and life moves forward, I have found the secret to living a content, thriving, and happy life lies in where you put your time. It is easy to get sucked in and allow negativity to govern your mind. This is absolutely exhausting to me, so I have focused on brainstorming ideas that bring me a peace that I have not known. I am so excited about this that I have begun writing about it, and as I get closer to completing my writings, I will share what I have learned with you.

What are you passionate about? Do you love getting outside for hikes, jogs, or simply to walk and take in your surroundings? Perhaps you love to cycle, or go to the gym… no matter what it is that you enjoy doing, just Do IT. I have found that if I can become passionate about more things in my daily life, and add these things to my daily activities, life becomes bearable… more-so than making it bearable, it makes life fun and enjoyable!!

Personally, I love to get out for simple walks around my small town, or head towards nearby mountains for some awesome hikes. These activities release dopamine, and endorphins… our feel good chemicals… which make me not only feel happy on a mental level, but also make me feel good as a whole. I wanted to create these feel good moments without needing to leave my home, because unfortunately, health conditions can at times keep me from getting outside. So how can I produce the same “feel good” emotions while being home and indoors? I jumped online and started researching different activities to find my unicorn. Low and behold, I found a couple different options that I found intriguing. First things first, I do replicate the outdoors within my home. I have a treadmill and a bike trainer to continue those activities inside when getting out isn’t an option for me… but I needed more, I needed to find something that gave me the same mental boost without a workout.

It took a bit of time but I found great satisfaction from several places. 1. I love to write. Since writing is a HUGE passion of mine, I was pleasantly surprised by my guy, as he got me a Chromebook laptop so I can continue writing to my hearts content. 2. I love anything and everything SPACE. I am researching about our world, and our universe… learning the different laws that we exist within. I find tremendous excitement over learning about not only our planet, but the planets and star systems that make up outer space. Each day I am enthralled to learn more, and as I learn more, the more passionate I am about our Universe. The more I learn and look into space, the more I am convinced of a Creator. I will get into that more later… so for now…

Do everything you can to find things you are passionate about… doing so will make you feel more content, more satisfied with this life we are given. We all have ups and downs, and the downs can get the best of us… but finding the things that wake you up inside will give you a more satisfied life. We cannot control the curve-balls life can throw, and the ups and downs will always be there, they are not a choice… but how you choose to react is a big deal. It can mean the difference between being a little down, to downright miserable. As they say… pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.

Whichever animal you feed, it will grow. So if you are constantly feeding into negativity, we already know the outcome… that negativity will just grow and grow. Starve out the bad and it will not flourish… find your passions and pursue them with all of your strength… your happiness is worth it!

YOU ARE WORTH IT.

Ransom Notes

 ransomnotes

Traveling in these wicked twists and turns in my head.

How has this happened? I would love to find,

A most comfortable place to rest my mind.

Hide.

These winding turns, alluring, they may be.

I do not want to pick this ugly fight.

Though you hold me hostage, with strength, Might.

I FIGHT.

I have begged for your unearned trust.

You leave invisible Ransom Notes,

Promises. Just as invisible. Sinking boat.

Yet I float.

I cannot make happen, what will not be.

I cannot force an aching heart, to feel,

That which it will not, that which isn’t ideal.

I heal.

©thebipolarmuse2012

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 I am passionate about writing… having fallen in love with poetry when I was 11 after an assignment in school in which I had to memorize and recite poems. I loved how poems could be elusive, inspiring discussions about what the writer is trying to convey. Oftentimes, words can be stringed together to create a beautiful poem that seems to be about a specific person or object, even if the true subject matter isn’t about a particular person, or time in life, but rather about an inanimate object.

That is the beauty in writing.

 

NIMH Bipolar Disorder

“Bipolar Disorder, also known as Manic Depressive Illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. Symptoms of  Bipolar Disorder are severe. They are different from the normal ups and downs that everyone goes through from time to time. Bipolar Disorder symptoms can result in damaged relationships, poor job or school performance, and even suicide. But Bipolar Disorder can be treated, and people with this illness can lead full and productive lives.

Bipolar Disorder often develops in a person’s late teens or early adult years. At least half of all cases start before age 25. Some people have their first symptoms during childhood, while others may develop symptoms late in life.

Bipolar Disorder is not easy to spot when it starts. The symptoms may seem like separate problems, not recognized as parts of a larger problem. Some people suffer for years before they are properly diagnosed and treated. Like diabetes or heart disease, bipolar disorder is a long-term illness that must be carefully managed throughout a person’s life.” ~ Sited from NIMH

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I would like to start off by saying I do not think the name “Bipolar Disorder” does justice to the illness… and almost seems to belittle the disorder, and make it seem less significant in relation to other mental health disorders. Manic Depressive Illness is a much better description of the disorder, thereby being a more appropriate term/name as a whole. Manic alone is a single word offering a very precise description, as is the word Depressive. Therefor, Manic Depressive is less confusing, more blunt and to the point, with a certain er of importance and respect. Some people think “bipolar” simply means you have two sides to your personality, two “you’s” so-to-speak… and this thought process is incorrect on many fronts.

The chronological order of my documented personal illness began in the year 2000, where I spent five minutes with a Psychiatrist who then prescribed medication for Major Depression. In hindsight, this diagnosis was incorrect as I was already experiencing rapid cycling, and hypo-mania. Five minutes is NOT enough time to assess a patient with any type of Doctor. After many life changing events: divorce, not having custody of my children, and the final blow of an Ex’s suicide, my diagnosis was upgraded to Bipolar 2 Disorder (in 2003), along with the normal “piggybackers” anxiety, and insomnia. However, all of this fell on deaf ears as I refused to believe anything was wrong… and of course, I did not continue with therapy of any kind. Pharmaceutical or otherwise.

I finally had some reprieve for a couple years, and felt somewhat well, and what little medication I would take from time to time, I discontinued completely. Then in 2007 I became manic, depressed, anxious, psychosomatic, suffered brutal panic attacks, and became paranoid I would die in my sleep. Can you imagine how my world flipped upside down?? Sleep was suddenly terrifying… it became a monster out to get me, and no matter what I tried to do, no matter how exhausted I became, sleep totally eluded me. Each time I would lie down to sleep, as my body would drift off, when I would suddenly have a jerking motion, I would wake up completely, thinking I had just jerked awake preventing myself from slipping into death. This paranoia became my downfall. This paranoia caused me to make very poor choices, ending my 2nd marriage, and because of circumstances out of my control, I once again did not have custody of my children. Alas, prompting the next diagnosis of Bipolar 1 with Psychosis.

This nearly destroyed me, I felt like I was going to break at any moment… a break in which I could not come back from. It took accepting I was Manic Depressive, accepting therapy, accepting medication, accepting that even-though I wanted my children with me more than anything in the world, I had to accept that they were healthy, and happy with their Fathers, and I had to accept that I needed to work on myself so I could be the Mom they needed of me.

Education is so important. I am not speaking of the kind from a college, but rather of life and learning about your true self, and educating yourself about the challenges we all have. Learn about mental health issues, and then share that knowledge! This is insanely important to do. Not only are we helping ourselves, but we are helping others in doing this as well.

Lets start discussing mental health… open a dialogue with all those you know. This will help with the stigma associated with it. Personally, I have learned to be a chameleon… I can throw that happy face on faster than anything else I can do… I believe most of us are very good at that. Why?? So nobody can see the storm raging within.

If you love someone with mental health problems… keep looking for that storm. After-all, nobody wants to suffer… and I think we all would welcome the anchor that you have the potential to become… I know I certainly would.

©thebipolarmuse2018

 

How Is It Fair??

birdsDarkness

How is it fair?

I never knew I would love…

Dream, or Breathe,

The way I do You.

Can I sleep in peace?

I never knew I would hope,

Cry, or pray for dreamless nights,

The way I do because of you.

How is it Fair…

To be buried above ground,

where sadness surrounds,

And to be uncomfortable in your own skin?

How is it fair…

You’re buried six feet down.

Sleeping so peaceful, so sound…

And I can’t be found in the world

You are in?

How is it fair??

©thebipolarmuse2003

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** Written many many years ago after the death of my ex-boyfriend, Fiance at one point in time… by his own hand.

Suicide is NEVER the answer. If you or someone you know are contemplating suicide, please reach out for help. Suicide hotlines offer a caring ear, and also have many resources to direct one in the right direction for help. You are not alone in your feelings… remember, this too shall pass and suicide is a permanent, destructive choice that cannot be taken back. Seek help. Choose life. ♥

Call 1-800-273-8255 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

I Fear Not The Night~

MoonOnWater

I fear not the night anymore, but the silence that accompanies the sun.

I would enjoy waking to the moon instead… the stars my guide…

My erratic mood lulled by the moons tide.

The stars and night like a very close friend.

Instead, I follow the masses, wake by the sun,

With only a few hours to rest my weary head.

Depression has begun.

Too much time to dwell, anxiety to swell,

To beg for peace; to forget the times,

I have truly failed.

I want to run, be free… follow my heart…

Flee…

To my loves.

I fear not the night anymore, but the silence…

that accompanies the sun.~

©thebipolarmuse2011

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Going through not having custody of my children has always been very difficult for me. I battle severe depressions over all lifes precious moments I cannot get back.

Poetry helps me to tame the monster, it is a form of therapy for me… helps me create bipolar Order.

The Muses

theMuses

The Muses

They whisper in my ear.

In reverence, I stare…

As words fall…

from their golden sweet lips,

To paper, in pieces and bits.

~~~

The Muses…

Their eyes show me a story.

They ask not for recognition, nor glory.

Their words storm to life in my heart…

Indeed flutter about my mind.

Created to be shared… Never held as mine.

 

©thebipolarmuse2018

 

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This poem is one of my very favorite that I have written. Simple, yet such imagery is provoked.

Please do not use without permission to do so. If you would like to use it, please use the “Contact Me” page to send me an email.

Thank you for reading… ♥

Gold Strike Canyon Hot Springs Trail

Gold strike hot springs hike Colorado River

~Oh hiking I love thee… nature comes to life… my heart in chorus with your beat…~ Bmuse

Gold Strike Canyon Hot Springs Trail is near Las Vegas, NV. It is situated East of Boulder City Nevada, near the Hoover Dam. In fact, one picture posted shows the bridge over the Colorado River. Happy Hiking!!!

The weather has been absolutely beautiful, springing forth people who enjoy getting out to enjoy this particular hike that is certainly not for your beginner, especially a lone newb. The hike down is beautiful, you can’t help but be in awe as the mountain seems to grow taller next to you… the rock itself is gorgeous, changing in texture and color the further down you go, sometimes dark and wet in areas, others, different shades of red with some green growth. It seemed to get more mesmerizing the further along we got.

Gold Stike Hot Springs Hike

In some of the more precarious areas, ropes have been successfully mounted, enabling you to scale, or rather rappel, your way down these particular areas that could possibly put a halt to your hike unless you are the awe inspiring Alex Honnold. Ok, it isn’t that bad, but it can be a little scary, and we witnessed some who got stuck from the mental anguish that comes from trying to shimmy down steep rocks. It didn’t trigger my personal fear of heights, but when the rock is wet, sandy, and steep, it is a recipe for a slip and fall… and that would certainly be bad. Horrific for the fallen, and absolutely physically demanding on others trying to climb back out with the injured.

All in all… I loved it! Getting outdoors, taking in the fresh air, and basking in the suns rays is so important for our mental health… movement produces endorphins, lubricates our joints, and keeps our heart healthy, all so very important!

This type of hike is where I feel in my element… I was like a mountain goat on its favorite little ledge… thoroughly enjoying the climbing, balancing, feeling the rock under my feet and my toes trying to grip each surface, and searching out different routes I could utilize to feel even more challenged. I know that I will soon be on the lookout for more hikes of this nature to continue growing my skills… and I will no doubt be back for more of this one. My only disappointment was the lack of hot-springs. There use to be several pools of warm and hot water along this trail, ending with the always super cold Colorado River, but now, I only observed one small hot-spring capable of holding a few people for a taste of natures hot-tub. However, because of the technicality involved, the beautiful weather, ropes secured in those difficult areas for all to use, I felt challenged and (dare I say it) feel this may be my new favorite hike.

colorado river hoover dam bridge

***I must note that this hike is closed for several months out of the year, our summer months, due to the extreme heat that is natural for our location. Several people have sadly passed away while trying to accomplish this hike during the hot months, often they are not your “hiker” types…unprepared without the proper amount of water, nourishment, or proper gear. This isn’t a hike you decide to do in flip flops with half a bottle of water. You must be prepared! I am going to share links to purchase the gear I used personally… my two favorite items: 1. My water-pack  and 2. Trekking Poles. The water-pack wears like a vest, and comes with two collapsible water bottles. It has a nice large area to hold any necessities you may want to bring with you, but I use this area to hold a bladder to ensure I have plenty of water on hand. Now, for this hike, the trekking poles are not absolutely needed. I honestly could have done without them, but they were very handy, even in the areas where I needed to use my hands for climbing. If they got in the way, I tossed them down… no biggie… but wow, they came in handy! Not only did I use them to assist hiking through the softer sand and rock, but they were awesome for using them to catapult myself over small streams of water. Not once did I regret taking them.

Enjoy the pictures… check out the gear… and when you are in the area, make plans to conquer Gold Strike Hot Springs Trail. I promise you that you will not be disappointed!


Click on the pics to check out this gear. The poles are for all seasons, but if you want something more simple, not a problem. After you click on the pic, simply use the search bar to search for other poles. Same goes for the water-pack vest. Happy browsing!

 

©thebipolarmuse2018