Monday, April 21, 2014

Time to Blossom

One of my favorite quotes of all time is this one from Anais Nin:

These earrings just "blossomed" in my shop!

And the day came when the risk 
to remain tight in a bud 
was more painful than 
the risk it took to blossom.
- Anais Nin

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I seem to cycle in and out of taking care of my body.  When everything comes together—exercise, eating well, sleeping sufficiently—my mind and body feel good.  Then at other times, I fall far short of taking care of myself and I start to feel run down.  Tired, crankier, I gain a few pounds.  That’s where I had been over much of this winter.  I’ve been exercising fairly regularly…3 to 4 times per week…but I haven’t been eating so well and I’m definitely overtired.  

My friend Tricia has been feeling the same way it seems.  When she suggested we form a support group for each other’s health and fitness goals, not only did I jump on it but so did two of our friends, Eileen and Marie.  I’m calling it Team Blossom.  

It’s not clear how this is all going to work, but Tricia promises to send out encouragement to us on a regular basis.  Tricia knows that by keeping us accountable that she will keep herself on the right track as well.  So far we've been texting to each other via a group text.  I've found myself becoming more diligent in my exercise.  Instead of a vicious cycle, it's a virtuous cycle--I'm motivated to exercise, I feel better, I want to keep exercising to keep feeling that buzz, I feel even better, and so forth.  We're about 10 days out since we formed our little group...I'm surprised at how much stronger I feel already!

My yoga instructor, Howard VanEs said something last week that stuck with me.  It became a positive internal message to me all week--I mulled it over again and again as I exercised and throughout other parts of my day as well.  He said that the purpose of yoga is not to be able to do some idealized version of the postures.  Instead, the purpose of yoga is to meet yourself where you are and accept it.

This is the perfect approach for reaching the level of fitness and health you want or you previously had.  For me it means I can stop beating myself up if I am not returning to previous benchmarks as quickly as I would like.  If I accept where I am, I can expend my energy working from that point and moving forward, instead of recriminating myself for having slacked off for a bit.

In any event, I’m glad to be resuming my yoga practice, skating a bit longer and more often, focusing on healing my shoulder injury, and enjoying the support and encouragement from my group, Team Blossom.

I’m going to try to get Tricia to write a guest blog for me.  The way she has taken to running over the last few years, including regular 1/2 marathons, has been so inspiring to me.  It helps me to keep going--if she can do it, then I know I can too!

Or maybe one of the other members of our Team Blossom group would like to write a guest blog...Eileen, Marie?

Join us!  Leave a comment and tell me how you want to blossom!  It's time.


My last skate:
Skate #34 of ?
6.17 miles
Iron Horse Trail
Alamo, CA

Nancie Zimmerman
NamiZuni Jewelry Design
Express Your Inner Goddess

Monday, April 7, 2014

Skating Erratically...and being OK with it!

Hello, friends!

It's been quite a while since I posted a blog about my skating...or for that matter, any blog at all!  I've started numerous posts over the last two months, but ultimately none of  them coalesced into a complete entry online.

What's that about?  I guess it's easier for me to write when things are humming along.  I skate, ideas come to me, I sit down to write, and voila--a complete blog just falls into place.  Somehow, the last few months my skating has been more erratic.  I've gone less often and taken longer breaks in between.  And even when I did skate, I just wasn’t coming up with anything that seemed worth writing about.  I just felt blah.

It's not that I'm reluctant to share my struggles skating (or about my life in general, for that matter).  I think my difficulty in writing my blog has been more that I haven't known how I feel or what it means that I have slowed down my skating over the fall and winter.  I was trying to get a handle on it myself.

At the beginning of 2013, I had set an intention that I would skate 200 times by the end of 2013.  I was humming along on that pace until about October.  Then I took a nasty fall on the street in preparing for a 15-mile event.  I managed to complete the event, but the shoulder injury from the fall nagged at me.  At the same time I loaded way too many commitments on my plate and at times felt resentful about some of my responsibilities, all the while knowing that I myself had created the situation.

Long story short, I "only" made it to 165 skates during 2013.  I put the quotation marks around the word "only" because part of me realizes that 165 skates is a significant achievement, while on another level I was somehow disappointed in myself for falling short of my goal of 200.

For 2014, I set a different intention for my skating.  I decided it has to be okay to wax and wane in the frequency of my skating workouts.  It's okay to take a break if I'm feeling sick, or tired, or just overwhelmed with all that's on my plate.   If my body needed to slow it down for the last 6 months, that is okay.  My main goal is to keep the enjoyment alive.  The important thing is to listen to my body.

I find myself now with a renewed sense of excitement about skating.  The weather has been at times sunny and warm and at other times rainy.  When it's sunny, I'm hot to skate.  When it rains, I feel sad that I can't go skating.  That's a good feeling--to be missing exercise and to be anxious to get back to it.
The is a church parking lot next to my trail in Alamo.  This is a great spot to practice turns and stops.  It's also a good place to get back on your skates if you haven't skated for awhile.  Anyone want to meet me there to try skating?

Now I’m enjoying skating only when I want to skate and not feeling guilty if I don't want to skate.  If I’ve got time and the inclination, I’ll skate for 6 miles or more.  If I don’t have much time or much energy, I’ll skate for 2 miles.  If I don’t feel like skating at all, then I’ll skate 0 miles.  It's all good.

I’d like to get some more voices besides mine here on this blog.  Have any of you trained for a long event or recently decided to get back in shape?  Are there any among you that would like to write a bit about your own trials, tribulations, successes, insights learned through exercise?  Tricia?  Kristine? Irline?  Liz?  Elaine?  Cynthia?  Brian?  Anyone else?  If any of you answer “Yes!” or even “…um, maybe?” then send me an email!
My Next Blog: Trying out my new toy that arrived today--Skorpion skates...they're a whole 'nother thing!


My last skate:
Skate #28 of ?
2.22 miles
Lafayette Moraga Trail
Lafayette, CA

Nancie Zimmerman
NamiZuni Jewelry Design
Expressing Your Inner Goddess

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

10 Things I Learned from My Gratitude Jar

Hello, friends!

It's been a while since I posted a new entry here.  I do want to tell you about how my 2013 "Intentions" went (NOT resolutions!) and what Intentions I'm setting for 2014 (hint: one of them involves being more on time!).  First, though, I want to tell you about my Gratitude Jar.

A couple of years ago, I saw a post on Facebook about creating a Gratitude Jar.  I liked the idea of filling the jar throughout the year with scraps of paper to remember and record the many blessings in my life.  At the end of the year, you can read the slips of paper and remind yourself all you have to be thankful for.

In 2012, I started my own gratitude jar.  Naturally, the artist in me picked a beautiful vase in my favorite blue color instead of just a plain old jar!  It makes me happy just to look at it!

This week I removed the 2013 papers and started reading them.  Here is a random sampling of some of the things my jar reminded me to appreciate:

1. My pretty gratitude jar and my friend Bundy who first shared the Facebook post about creating one.

2.  Maple syrup...the real stuff.

3. Learning how to back into a parking space.  I don't mean parallel parking, I mean backing into a parking lot space between two other cars.  In 2013 I consciously set out to get good at something I thought I didn't have the "knack" for.  In fact, I noticed far more men than women park this way.  More about that in a future post.

4. Bead Fest Philadelphia where I found these treasures to make into new jewelry pieces:

5. My friend Cheryl telling me about the Napa Skating 1/2 Marathon, which I never would have competed in if she hadn't spurred me on.  I'm definitely planning on doing it again this year.  Anyone want to join me?

6. My chiropractor Dr. Nicole Toenjes...yes, she's very good and keeps my body feeling flexible and strong:
Lotus Integrative Wellness3708 Mount Diablo Blvd
Lafayette, CA 94549
Phone: 925-283-6900

7. Replacement wheels for my inline skates.

8. Getting a tattoo with my dear friend Gail...yes, you heard right!  At the ripe "old" age of 56, I am no longer a tattoo virgin.  

9. New inline skates that I love as much as my old favorites.  I've logged 307 miles on them since I got them.

10.  Having readers comment on my blog...the feedback is warmly received!

I already started my 2014 gratitude jar, which doesn't really involve any action on my part other than emptying last year's papers and adding new ones.
As far as skating, I'm still getting out there, but not so much as last year.  I've skated four times in 2014 so far, which is more regularly than what I managed in December.  It's got to be okay for me to skate more sometimes and less sometimes.  I'll get back into it more regularly in time.  

Until then, I'm striving towards more balance.  I'm back at my regular yoga class, trying to go to bed earlier, and looking forward to longer days of sunshine.  No complaints about the weather here in Northern California (especially in a drought year with so many clear days!) but the short days do leave me feeling funky at times nonetheless. 

What are you grateful for?  And what are you doing to chase the winter blues away?

Keep skating (or whatever you do)!


My last skate:
Skate #4 of ?
4.25 miles
Iron Horse Trail
Alamo, CA

Nancie Zimmerman
NamiZuni Jewelry Design
Expressing Your Inner Goddess

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Return of the Chocolate Truffle Recipe

Hello, friends!

I haven't skated in 4 everyone this time of year, I've just been so busy!  I vow to do less and be more organized next year!  I've been busy making chocolate truffles like I do each year.  My friend Veronica mentioned that she loved the Spicy Kahlua Truffles I made a few years ago, so I just started a batch.  To the basic recipe, I added 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (yes, you read that right!), 1 teaspoon of instant espresso powder, and Kahlua for the liqueur.  They are surprisingly good!

Anyway, since I don't have much to say about skating (except that I can't wait to fit some skating in soon for my mental health!), here is a repeat of my blog from last year about how to make your own chocolate truffles.  The results may not be beautiful on your first go, but I bet they'll be delicious!

December 13, 2012

One of the symbols of the Christmas season for me is making and giving chocolate truffles.  I originally saw the recipe in the San Francisco Chronicle in the early '80s and have been making about 400 a year ever since then.

That's one of the reasons I love I can indulge in sinful treats such as chocolate truffles upon occasion.  I'm partial to the dark chocolate varieties, but I've branched out to make milk chocolate, white chocolate and semisweet ones too.  Here's my recipe for the original dark chocolate ones.  They may not turn our looking picture perfect the first time--or even the 20th time--but they will taste great no matter how they look!

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Truffles

Chocolate Truffles

Centers:                                                                       Yield: 30-36 truffles             
1 c. heavy cream                                                  
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate morsels                                   
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate                    
3 T. unsalted butter
1/4 c. liqueur (such as Amaretto, Chambord,
Crème de Menthe, or Grand Marnier)
(optional) 1/2 c. finely chopped nuts
(optional) 1 capful flavoring extract such as peppermint or almond
Chop unsweetened chocolate into morsel-sized pieces.  Simmer cream in a saucepan.  When cream comes to a boil, remove pan from heat.  Add both chocolates and butter.  Stir firmly with a wire whisk until chocolate-chip effect goes away and mixture is like pudding.  Pour into a bowl and continue to whisk until chocolate and butter is dissolved.  Stir in liqueur (and optional nuts or flavoring extract).  Cover and refrigerate overnight.
To shape centers, scoop about 1 tablespoon with a spoon; roll in your palms to form a ball.  Place on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper.  Freeze centers overnight.
Coating:   12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
                   6 oz. unsweetened chocolate
Note:  make sure you do NOT get any water in the melting chocolate.  Even a small amount of water will cause the chocolate to seize up.

Melt chocolate in a double boiler (or a bowl set over a pan of almost simmering water).  Remove chocolate from heat.  Dip frozen centers into chocolate one at a time.  Let extra coating drip off and place coated truffle on waxed paper lined baking sheet.  Refrigerate.  Before serving, allow truffles to warm about 15 minutes at room temperature.  

They keep in the refrigerator for several weeks.

                  White Chocolate Mint

Milk chocolate and white chocolate require a different recipe.  If you don't like dark chocolate, try the recipe above using all semisweet chocolate.  Leave me a note here (or email me) if you would like the challenge of making milk or white chocolate varieties. 

Even after dozens of attempts, my white chocolate mint truffles look a bit lumpy! 

Enjoy your truffles if you make them and happy holidays to you and your family!

Keep skating!

Nancie ♥ 

My last skate:
Skate #16
Iron Horse Trail 3.04 mi
(How many truffles does that earn me?)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Wheels for Meals Ride: The Conclusion

Hello, friends!

If you missed part 1 of my story about skating in a Meals on Wheels fundraiser click here.  Or, just jump right into the middle of the story--I'll recap it below:

To recap: 

- Last month I signed up to skate in a Meals on Wheels Alameda County fundraiser (click here), which started off in Shadow Cliffs Park in Pleasanton.
- It was a bicycling event, but one of the organizers, Jessica Albonico, told me that skaters were welcome.
- I decided to skate the shortest distance which was 15 miles, longer than I had ever skated

My husband Marty accompanied me in case I needed to bail partway though the event.  I really doubted that I could finish, but I was determined to give it my best shot.  

As I mentioned in my last blog, it was a beautiful, sunny fall day--cool in the morning but with a promise of warmer temperatures as the day wore on.  I left the park and headed out on a bike path that was the beginning of the course, realizing after about a mile or so that I had left my wrist guards in my car.  This realization made me feel a bit more tentative, a bit more cautious, but also added to my excitement.  

The dozens of bicyclists that passed me were all encouraging and supportive.  "How far are you going to skate?" many of them asked.  To each one I answered, "My goal is the entire 15 miles.  I'm going to see how it goes!"  

There is something so exciting about being part of a mass exercise event.  I discovered it for the first time over the summer when I skated a 1/2 marathon in Napa Valley, and again when I "ran" in the Moraga Fun Run on the Fourth of July.  Now I know why all of my running friends participate in races and other events.  The energy of the crowd combined with, in this case, supporting a worthy cause, just got me all pumped up. 

The course was smooth and well marked.  Despite this, what would be considered a smooth surface to bike, walk, or run on, would not be considered so smooth for my tiny inline wheels.  Nevertheless, it was as smooth as I expect skating on roads, bumpy curb cut-outs, and bike paths  to be.  That is, the bumps are challenging, but in a way that I like--it makes me work to stay relaxed and balanced.  That is part of what I like about skating...that it provides challenges that will I will never totally overcome.

Around mile 3, I was hitting my stride...warmed up, starting to feel some endorphins, pumped up by the crowds of bikers passing by me, and encouraged by the volunteers manning the course and directing the riders.  The course veered off the bike path and through residential neighborhoods.  

Fortunately, the course was well marked, because about mile 4 I realized that I had lost my course map!  At that point there were enough riders that I could just follow the crowd.  Around mile 5, there was a rest stop with water, fruit, and other snacks.  I was well provisioned with my Camelbak of water and my Gu energy gel, but I stopped at the rest stop anyway to catch my breath and regroup.  I was glad I stopped because I so enjoyed talking to the volunteers and participants.  One young man that I talked to was marveling that I expected to skate the entire 15 miles.  He said to me, "Wow, you must be almost 50 years old!"  Well, I'm a few years beyond that milestone, and I have to admit, it gave me a charge thinking that some of the younger folks were extra impressed that an "old lady" would tackle (and hopefully master) this challenge.

Another woman was telling me of a "enormous hill" coming up ahead.  "Will you be able to handle it?" she wondered.  I replied that I actually like to skate hills quite a bit, downhill more than uphill, but inside I reflected upon my missing wrist guards and wondered just how "enormous" this "enormous hill" was!  

Around mile 6, I was skating down a slight downhill when I noticed some volunteers motioning to me about a left turn.  I thought it was for one of the longer distances (the days event also had 2 longer bicycling options: 35 and 70 miles) and I skated past the turn.  To tell you the truth, I was coasting nicely downhill and didn't want to lose my momentum stopping to ask, so I continued straight ahead.

After a bit more than 1/2 mile, I realized that there were no longer any bicycles passing me, and I was beginning to realize I had made a mistake by not making the turn, so I called my husband, who had a copy of the course map.  He confirmed that I had missed my turn.  Reluctantly, I did an about face and skated back uphill towards my missed turn.  

My error cost me an additional 1.5 miles, so the 15 mile skate that I was unsure of being able to finish now had become a 16.5 mile skate!  I felt like a bit of a dope but plodded on.  In the back of my mind I kept telling myself, "Just do your best.  Keep skating as long as you can.  Just take 1 mile at a time."

We made it to the top of the hill!
Mile 8 found me back on a bike path and climbing a fairly steep and long hill.  I had to pause a few times on the way up to catch my breath, but I felt heartened by the number of bikers who had to dismount and walk their bikes up the hill.  At the top of the hill I was rewarded by a spectacular view of Pleasanton and the surrounding areas.  The downhill wound through vineyards and a llama farm.  So exhilarating!  Yee-haaaa!  A little nerve wracking when I reached the street at the bottom of the hill and had to keep myself from falling.  Again, I kept flashing on my missing wrist guards!

Sweaty me at the top of thill
By the time I reached mile 10, I was beginning to feel my confidence grow.  I had already gone more than half the distance, including the biggest hill on the course.  I passed by the second rest stop without stopping, feeling eager to finish the course and well fueled with my Camelbak for water and my Gu energy gel.  

The last 5 miles or so were mostly along city streets, some a bit busier than I would prefer, but nothing too challenging.  As I made the last turn back towards the park, I texted my husband to let him know I was almost finished.  He met me at the end of the course and cheered me on as I finished.  What a great feeling!  I had finished the course!

My Nike + Running app clocked my time and distance at 16.5 miles in 2 hours 12 minutes.  It was the longest time and distance I have ever skated. 

Cleaned up and resting on my laurels

As I changed out of my sweaty skating clothes and skates, I was filled with an overwhelming feeling of accomplishment.  I said to my husband, "I feel like a beast for having done that!"  He replied, "You ARE a beast!"  I was on a high for days afterwards! 

What I liked about this event:

There are not too many organized skates, so I was happy to be able to participate in this event.  The money raised went to a great cause, Meals on Wheels Alameda County (link), and made me feel like I was part of something greater than just my own experience that day.  Being part of an organized sporting event is a thrill that I hadn't known until this year.  

I also liked the opportunity to push myself beyond my preconceived limits. Before this event, I didn't know how far I could skate, especially without the training I thought I needed.   I'm reminded over and over that accomplishing something big is sometimes just a matter of starting down a path and not stopping when things get a bit tough.  When a challenge presents itself--no wrist guards, going off course, having an equipment malfunction, feeling tired and discouraged--giving up is one choice but not the only choice.  Better still is to realize that you always have an alternative choice--you can choose instead to continue on anyway despite the obstacles.  

Would I do it again next year?

Yes, in a heartbeat.  This event was very well organized and attended.  The course was well marked and staffed.  Everyone was friendly.  It was a great location.  As I mentioned earlier, there are not too many events that I can do as a skater, so I appreciate being welcome to join in on the Wheels for Meals Ride 2013.  

Count me in for Wheels for Meals Ride 2014!  Maybe some of you would like to join me...on a bike or on skates!

Next time I'll have my wrist guards!

A shout out to the following people:

- Jessica Albonico for organizing a great event and welcoming me to participate as a skater
- Karen Kelly, Jessica's mom, who was so encouraging to me
- Marty Giedlin, my husband and biggest supporter
- Cathy Behm for advising me to start at my own pace and to just skate my own event
- Tricia Vaughan for moral support, advice, and for giving me my first tube of Gu energy gel
- my Aunt Marie Piacine for being a faithful supporter of my blog
- my skating buddies Cynthia McLoughlin, Kristine Hubner, Irline Van Ardenne, & Cheryl Ogren (aka Jayne Clobber)

Keep skating (or whatever you do)!


This skate:

Skate #143 of 200
16.5 miles
Pleasanton, CA

My last skate:
Skate #156 of 200
4.56 miles
UC Davis campus
Davis, CA

Nancie Zimmerman
NamiZuni Jewelry Design
Expressing Your Inner Goddess

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Wheels for Meals Got Me Rolling Again!

Hello, friends!

My Kangoo Jumps are fun, don't get me wrong (check out my previous blog here), but skating is still the exercise I'm most passionate about.  It's just fun, fun, fun.  Even when I don't feel like exercising, once I strap on my skates, my helmet, and my wrist guards (yeah, still no knee pads...I've got to get a pair!), pick a playlist on my phone, and start my Nike + Running app to track my mileage, I'm off and running and it's pure magic.  Skating is the closet thing I get to losing the constraints of my body and almost feel like I'm flying.  It's dancing and exercise and thrills and happiness all rolled up in one.

A couple of weeks ago, I had the occasion to participate in a fundraiser for Meals on Wheels Alameda County (Check them out here).  One of the organizers, Jessica Albonico, is a friend of mine.  The event was a bike event, but several roller derby women were going to skate the shortest distance, 15 miles.  Once Jessica told me about it, I thought, "What the heck, I'll give it a go!"  

Me with my event number attached to my Camelbak
Over the summer when I did my 1/2 marathon skating race in Napa Valley, I spread the news wide and far prior to the race.  Some equipment challenges coupled with it being my first race meant that the race was far harder than I thought it would be.  Nonetheless, it was big fun.

This time, I kept the event mostly to myself.  For one thing, this event was longer (the 1/2 marathon was 13.1 miles, this was 15 miles).  For another thing, I wasn't sure how skate-friendly the course was going to be.  And, probably most importantly, I doubted my ability to complete the 15 miles, so I didn't want to broadcast it too much ahead of time only to have to admit later that I hadn't been able to conquer it.   Just an ego thing, I guess.

Then on top of all those issues, I had a nasty case of bronchitis two weeks before the event, so I hadn't been training like I wanted (or needed).

Nevertheless, the morning of October 19 dawned bright, early, and sunny.  My faithful husband, Marty, accompanied me to the event, which started at Shadow Cliffs Park in Pleasanton.  Marty is one of my biggest champions, so it was great to have him along.  He planned on walking/running on some of the hiking trails around the park while I skated.  He was also available to come pick me up should I decide along the 15 miles that I was ready to pack it in and couldn't finish!

My friend Cathy, an avid cyclist, had advised me before my 1/2 marathon to start out slow, find my own pace.  Sadly, despite my best intentions, I didn't take her advice for my 1/2 marathon and it cost me in terms of my stamina halfway through that event.  This time I was determined to listen to her wisdom, start out slow, go at my own pace, find my own rhythm.  

Because the Wheels for Meals event wasn't timed, there wasn't a mass start.  Once I registered, I was free to start at my leisure within a one-hour window.  This meant that I wouldn't get caught in a frenzy of bicycles that would be zooming past me--I was free to start off at my own pace.

Usually when I skate, I have several pieces of key equipment, which I put on in the same specific order every time so that I don't forget anything:

- my headphones
- my helmet
- my socks
- my skates (of course!)
- my wrist guards
- my iPhone (for tunes and to keep track of my mileage)

(I know, I know, I really need to add kneepads to the list!)

For this event I added a Camelbak which contained water and several tubes of Gu (an energy gel for long workouts...Thanks, Tricia!  Click here for info about Gu).  I guess these two equipment additions combined with the excitement of the event threw me off my regular routine and I forgot to put on my wrist guards, a fact that I only realized about 2 miles into the event!  I didn't want to turn around, which would have added 4 miles to the skate, and Marty was off on his run/walk, so I just kept skating on without them.

In the back of my mind, however, I kept flashing back to my bad fall in my 1/2 marathon race over the summer and to my training fall just a week before this event.  A fall without my wrist guards could easily result in a broken bone.  I was quite anxious skating without this key piece of equipment, and this strangely just added to my excitement.  As my son points out, fear and excitement produce the same exact chemical response in ones body, so I try to enjoy the excitement that that scary/anxious feeling produces.  It doesn't always work, but that is definitely one of the aspects I like about skating...feeling slightly on the edge and almost--but not quite--out of control. 

A word to any of you that think you might like to try skating:
If you don't like the excitement that comes 
from being a bit off kilter in your body, 
you probably will NOT like skating!

How did my event go?  To be continued... Click here for the conclusion
Here's a teaser...
I at least made it to the top of this hill!
Here's a "selfie" of me at the top of the hill

Keep skating (or whatever you do)!


My last skate:
Skate #153 of 200
5.19 miles
Iron Horse Trail
Alamo, CA

My last time on my Kangoo Jumps:
Kangoo Jump #3 of ?
1.51 miles
Iron Horse Trail
Alamo, CA

Nancie Zimmerman
NamiZuni Jewelry Design
Expressing Your Inner Goddess

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Mixing it Up: Kangoo Jumps

Hello, friends!

So I've written that I have not had the same drive to get out there and skate as I had earlier in the year.  I'm okay with the plus/minuses of my attitude, but I feel like I need a bit of a boost to get really excited about skating again.

One idea many friends suggested to me was to try a different activity.  I had seen a woman on the Lafayette Moraga trail almost a year ago using these crazy rebound running shoes called Kangoo Jumps:

Here's a video of them in action:

I've been thinking about them ever since I first saw them, and last week I finally broke down and bought a pair on line from the manufacturer:

They are supposed to arrive tomorrow and I can't wait to try them out. We used to have a trampoline in our yard, which was so much fun and such great exercise.  I'm hoping these Kangoo Jumps have all the fun and great exercise of my skating and jumping on a trampoline.

Meanwhile, I was laid up sick for most of the last week and still have a nasty, lingering cough, so my skating has been nonexistent for over a week now.  Between my frustration at not being able to do everything I think I should be doing and lack of exercise, my mood is a bit glum.  Even though it feels like I'm pushing it a little, I think I need to at least get out for a short skate today.  At least until my Kangoo Jumps arrive!

On the plus side, the last few days I've started feeling good enough to make jewelry, if not to exercise.  Accordingly, I've been beading up a storm.  I procured some beautiful lampwork focal beads from Unicorne Beads and from Grace Lampwork Beads.   Here is a selection of them:

Each bead is a miniature work of art in itself, so I have been making simple pendants from them and stringing them on a black velveteen cord.  Here are a couple examples:

Stay tuned...

Keep skating!


Update: my Kangoo Jumps arrived!  They are so fun, even if I do feel a bit dorky using them in public.  Here's a video my daughter took of me playing with them inside.  

Here I am demonstrating my new Kangoo Jumps

They have buckles that adjust the fit from women's size 7 - 9, so if any of you live nearby and want to try them, give me a holler!  My daughter said she couldn't decide if they were cool or dorky...I think they're both!

My last skate:
Skate #140 of 200
2.40 miles
Iron Horse Trail
Alamo, CA

My last time on my Kangoo Jumps:
Kangoo Jump #2 of ?
1.0 miles
my neighborhood
Moraga, CA

Nancie Zimmerman
NamiZuni Jewelry Design
Expressing Your Inner Goddess