Friday, May 13, 2011

Speaking of Vitality....

This is Kylie Earle. She is 5 years old.

Kylie was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis (NF) type 1 when she was four months old. NF is a genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow anywhere in or on the body. In her five years, she has undergone 5 surgeries on her left eye, with the final surgery resulting in removal of her eye from glaucoma and a plexiform neurofibroma (tumor). She also is missing a major portion of the bone that separates the eye from the brain. She has been under anesthesia countless times.

At one point in her life she was in the hospital every two months.

Kylie has been “kissed by angels”, as she calls it, all over her body.

NF also causes brown pigments to form, which are called café a lait. These spots are still forming on her skin. This past November, she underwent a major surgery to remove as much of her plexiform neurofibroma as possible. This tumor extends from her eye all the way back to the middle of her head. After recovering from surgery, she will possibly undergo a clinical trial chemotherapy for a year to stop the growth of the tumor.

Despite all of the doctor’s appointments and surgeries, Kylie is a spunky five year old who enjoys playing with her sister, Katelyn, and going to school. Her future is unknown, we do not know when, where, or if the next tumor will form. We can only pray for a cure.

NF1 affects 1 in 3000 births. This makes NF more prevalent than Cystic Fibrosis, hereditary Muscular Dystrophy, Huntington's Disease and Tay Sachs combined.

Kylie needs a cure.

Come out tomorrow, May 14, to Vitty's Sports Bar in Lewisville and enjoy some good music and good food... all to help find a cure for Kylie!!

Join Mo Robson, Rachel Stacy, and Rob Donnelly for an acoustic song swap from 2-7 at Vitty's in Lewisville on 407. Proceeds from the event will benefit Kylie Earle and CTF.

Silent Auction until 5p.m. Please let us know if you have any items/services you would like to donate for the Auction.

$10 Contribution at the door includes BBQ buffet!!

Beer and Shot specials all afternoon!!

Meet Kylie on the patio from 2-3.

I'll be there! How about you?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

HD Contacts and Nike MaxSight

So I get a brochure in the mail from my awesome eye doctor @Dallas Eye Works.  It's for B&L PureVision2 contacts with HD Optics.  No. Freakin'. Way.  Really?!  Is that possible?!  My husband and I both look at the brochure in disbelief.  "INCREDIBLE VISION" it claims.  Wearers reported reduction in halos and glare in low light, including night driving.  I must try this.  Has anyone tried these?

B&L teased me before with their Nike MaxSight tinted sports contacts that I LOVED and were discontinued.  They were tinted contact lenses that you could wear outdoors instead of wearing sunglasses.  I guess there wasn't enough interest, so they were discontinued.  I found a FB page dedicated to bringing them back!!!  I would imagine that Triathletes would LOVE them.   You can join the movement here:

Friday, April 08, 2011

Run Like a Cheetah

One day my friend witnessed me hobbling around the office, wondering what in the hell I was doing to injure myself and why. He suggested I stop running. I suggested that he was crazy.

With that, about 4 of us in the office stepped outside into the parking lot to showcase our running strides, as Martin was convinced that maybe my stride was doing me in. I ran. Mike ran. Tonya ran. Then Martin ran and broke out into this crazy stride! We were all kinda looking at each other funny. He was trying to explain how to run more efficiently by landing on your forefoot.

Ohhkay, Martin!

We all retreated back into the office. I started to research this, having heard of the benefits of barefoot and forefoot running. There is a wealth of info on it under Pose Method, Chi Running, forefoot running, etc. Elite runners, Kenyans, cheetahs, barefoot runners and CHILDREN run this way. It's the most natural running stance, but yet some of us were taught to run heel to toe at some point in our lives or maybe we picked up some bad habits, or both.

Sure enough, at my sons baseball game I really watched how the kids were running. "I'll be damned. Kids DO run this way. They DO NOT run heel to toe. What the hell have I been doing all these years? DAMN IT!" I realized that my running stride was not that of a cheetah or a Kenyan, but of a middle-aged woman that really needed to make some changes in her life if she wanted to continue running and improve her running distance and times. How could I have been running for sooo long and not even given this a look?

We don't change when we want to. We change when we HAVE to.

I was really excited about this style of running.  I read, studied and applied, studied, applied.  Previously my runs were continuous, nonstop running. Slow, but continuous. Then I started to apply this technique, which threw my running times and distances in the toilet - but only for a week or so. It literally was like starting over and I was pissed. Here I was, less than 6 weeks away from my 1/2 marathon and I found myself unable to switch back to my heel toe form just to be able to keep the pace. The first couple of steps left me out of breath and weak in the legs. I had to stop every 1/4 mile or so. My body got so efficient at running inefficiently! Great. During the first week I thought my calves were going to fall off the bone. There was one day that I could barely walk. But you know what? That leg soreness was worth what I traded it in for - no more hip, neck or low back pain.

Week three and here are some of my personal discoveries and experiences:

  • My enormous calves are starting to develop into two different muscles now that I am triggering my hamstrings and calves
  • My hips don't hurt anymore
  • I have more energy when I run
  • My 10:00 mile is closer to 8:30 and sprints are super easy and fun!
  • I just FEEL efficient, stronger and faster

I'm obsessed with watching people run now. The heel strikers almost always look lethargic and like they are in pain. The forefoot strikers look like they are gliding effortlessly.  Just watch people run.

My running partner's fitness level needs to improve as well. She was used to our old pace and was struggling to keep up with me this morning.  No, I'm not a bitch, but she is.  She's a 10 year old collie/lab mix, so I think she will adapt quickly.

Many of you are already Pose, Chi or forefoot strikers and if so - look behind you - I'm gaining on you! If you are a heel striker or are just looking to improve your efficiency, I would highly suggest checking into the Pose or Chi method to see if it works for you. It's definitely working for Usain Bolt.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Zone Action Park - Lewisville

This past weekend, we took the kids to Zone Action Park on Hwy 407/Justin Road and I35 in Lewisville. I am always on the look out for outdoor family fun and since it was a gorgeous Saturday, mini-golf sounded perfect!

We arrived around 1:00 Saturday afternoon and walked through the buzzing arcade straight to the mini-golf counter. This was the same counter as the restaurant/cafe but we had no wait at all. Although they offered deals for parties of 10 or more (that included a number of combinations of access to food, mini-golf, their bounce houses, arcade game tokens and go-karts), there were only 6 in our party. Still, the cost was minimal - one round of mini-golf was $4.99 per person. For an extra $1.00 per person, we could have played unlimited mini-golf all day.

There were two different courses we could choose for our round of golf. Both courses seemed equally challenging; each hole was a par 2. We were disappointed in the condition of the courses. The fun fiberglass animals were all damaged in some way. The water features featured no water, except for small puddles at the lowest points. One of my children had the most fun locating other golf balls that were in bushes, under decrepit buildings or in the water holes. I put a stop to that when she came to me after being stuck by something under a building. A nail, perhaps?

After our round of golf, the boys decided they wanted to hit the batting cages. The batting cages had all ranges of speeds from slow to fast. Again there was no long wait to reserve our cage or get the necessary equipment. I would assume at larger facilities, in the Dallas area, on a beautiful Saturday, the story may have been different.

They enjoyed the batting cages before we decided to head inside for a quick bite to eat. The restaurant inside of Zone actually had quite a menu of delicious items to choose from. We decided on a large pizza and ice-cold Slush Puppies all around. Although the staff behind the counter seemed a bit frazzled, we were happy that the pizza and drinks were delivered to our tables in about 10-15 minutes. The pizza was actually pretty good and the delicious slushies cooled us from the heat. To feed all 6 of us was around $27.00. Not bad at all.

We went outside for a little while so the kids could burn off more energy. They decided against the available bounce houses because it was a rather warm day. None of us wanted to try the go-karts either but both the small car and larger car tracks were in use by other families. I've attended children's birthday parties at Zone and I know that the go-karts are a big hit.

We went back inside for the arcade games. For $20, we were given 100 game tokens to spend. Again, quite a deal for our value-seeking family. We played games for about another hour and a half, gathering up tickets for the trinket counter. Each child brought home a toy, a little extra sun-kissed skin and happy memories from our day.

All in all, we enjoyed our time at Zone. I wish the mini-golf course was as cool as they used to be, back in the day. No windmills or tricky shots there. But for the price and the ease of access/no wait? It was a great day to spend a beautiful Saturday afternoon.

Zone Action Park is located at 1951 Summit Ave. Lewisville, TX 75077. Phone number is 972-317-7373. Or you can visit their website (linked several times in the post as well):

Friday, April 01, 2011

Tai One On

My mom is starting Tai Chi lessons next week!  I'll see if she is willing to share her experience with us.  Always wanted to try that... 

Top Golf Batting Cages

So, I am off to the batting cages after work to get Howie prepped for tomorrow's big game (although there is a good chance he will be the catcher)!  I have actually never gone to the batting cages, so I am really looking forward to this!  I don't think we will have time for any golf or driving range.  Will let you know how it goes.

Integrating Body, Mind and Spirit with Rica

As athletes, we all need time to nurture our bodies, right? I'm right in the middle of my running training and, sadly, not making time for as many yoga classes as I should. So, as a special treat of gratitude to my muscles, I decided to visit Seeds of Life for a much needed massage with my friend, Rica Potenz.

I do want to make note that Rica is a friend but, as with all of our reviews here, I will attempt to be as unbiased as possible.

Rica is not only a licensed massage therapist but also a Reiki master. Reiki is most commonly known as energy-healing work. Rica is also well versed in other modes of energy healing including CranioSacral Therapy, Lymphatic Drainage, Sound Therapy (with Crystal Bowls or Tuning Forks), Neuro Integration and Theta Healing. In other words, she has a multitude of ways to make sure you leave her massage table balanced and calm.

I wanted your basic relaxation massage. I only had an hour to myself before I had to rush home.

Rica works out of an old farm house near Old Town Lewisville. It is an adorable house that shares offices with the cabinet business next door. She rents a room that is decorated in soothing tones, candles and comfortable furnishings. She also has access to the kitchen and a bathroom. She immediately greeted me with a hug and we got our chatting out of the way before settling into the task at hand.

I explained to her how I was feeling, not only physically but emotionally as well. I knew she wouldn't have time for a full energy healing session during the massage but, as I expected, she did take her time to send positive thoughts and energy to those areas of my body needing extra love.

Her massage was the perfect combination of intense and gentle. My muscles tend to be extra sensitive - especially if I've leaned more toward cardio than yoga in my fitness routine. The great thing about Rica is that she will ask (as I expect all massage therapists to do) if she was using the right amount of pressure. I have also noticed that massage therapists WANT you to ask for what your body needs. Communicate! Because many people are body shy, I believe massage therapists have a typical fare of muscles they'll touch unless requested otherwise. For me, as a runner and cyclist in particular, I especially like more attention on my IT band and glutes. I specifically ask for extra attention there in all of my massages. This one was no exception.

All in all, the massage was exactly what my body needed. However, since I've had a massage from Rica before, I specifically wanted a finishing touch that only she has provided me in previous massages. I wanted a scalp massage and I wanted my hair pulled.

Now to the novice, I'm sure that sounds funny. But seriously, have you ever had someone run their fingers through your hair, massage your scalp gently and pull on handfuls of your hair as part of the scalp massage? Nothing. like. it. at. all.

Bottom line: ask for what you want and what your body needs (within reason, people! Keep your minds out of the gutter!) and your massage therapist will deliver. Well... if she's Rica, she will!

Rica can be reached at or at 972-333-4488. She works at 723 N. Cowan in Lewisville, across from Hillside Office Complex.