2014 workouts, week 34.

by mindy @ just a one girl revolution. on 08.25.14

in Last Week's Workouts

last week's workouts

This week was rough. On Sunday afternoon, I took a mid-afternoon nap and woke up with a touch of a sore throat. By Monday morning, swallowing was rough and I was incredibly achy and fatigued. The symptoms continued Tuesday morning, at which point I made a doctor’s appointment just to be sure it wasn’t some kind of infection, such as strep throat. It was just some viral bug, so I had to wait it out. I’m usually not one for taking medications, but I wanted some kind of relief! While I started to feel better near the end of the week, I had a really hard time shaking the fatigue. As I write this, though, I think I’m finally feeling better – all the rest on Sunday seemed to do the trick!

monday. rest/sick day. 698 steps.

tuesday. rest/sick day, part two. 1,978 steps.

wednesday. 3 mile walk. I wasn’t feeling quite back to normal, but enough that I felt like getting some kind of activity in for the day. I opted for a nice long walk, in efforts to get some movement without a huge exertion. 10.236 steps.

thursday. 3 mile run. This return to running thing is far more difficult than I anticipated. The first mile of this run felt good, but downhill from there. The heat and humidity got to me, but even more, the mind games got the best of me. At some point within the last mile, I may have shed a couple tears of frustration in the last mile. 13,427 steps.

friday. yoga with a kick (60 minutes). My yoga studio introduced a new yoga/kickboxing fusion class and it was such a blast! I haven’t had that much fun while exercising in a really long time. Once this rolls out in the new schedule after Labor Day, I will definitely be adding this to my regular routine. 7,803 steps.

saturday. fun in the pool! I had a family birthday celebration and while I wouldn’t necessarily count it as the biggest calorie burn of a workout, I had fun playing in the pool with my nieces and nephews for awhile. 3,561 steps.

sunday. rest/sick day. I think I was shaking off the last bit of whatever bug I had. I slept for what felt like the entire day. My movement really just consisted of alternating between the couch and my bed (#slothmode). 513 steps.

 

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ALS is more than just the #icebucketchallenge.

by mindy @ just a one girl revolution. on 08.22.14

in Uncategorized

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past month, you’ve probably heard about the ALS #icebucketchallenge:  dump a bucket of ice water over you or donate money to the ALS Association (many people have voluntarily done both). While I am all about raising awareness for worthwhile and important causes, and I love love love the heart behind this fun and silly viral craze, my fear is that it’s a bit of a slacktivisim trend. Yes, I absolutely think it is fantastic that (as of August 21), the ALS Association has raised more than $41 million dollars because of this. But, how many people that have taken a few minutes to learn anything about ALS or the organization they are supporting? It’s a truly devastating disease and one that is worthy of its current time in the spotlight; however, there are bigger issues than just the ALS itself to consider. To be clear, my intent for this is not bashing the #icebucketchallenge, but just to bring some other thoughts to the table.

#icebucketchallenge

What is ALS?

ALS is an acronym for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. In today’s world, it is also synonymously Lou Gehrig’s Disease after the disease ended the career of baseball legend Lou Gehrig when he was diagnosed in 1939. The disease was first discovered 70 years earlier, in 1869, by Jean-Martin Charcot, a French neurologist.

ALS is a “a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.” In more layman’s term’s: ALS is a disease that, over time, causes the cells in the central nervous system (consisting of the brain and spinal cord) to break down and die. These neurons go from the central nervous system to the muscles throughout the body. The results in the muscles in a state of atrophy or that they are wasting away. The patient loses muscle control and, in time, this may result in complete paralyzation. Related complications to the disease include dementia and difficulty breathing, eating, and speaking.

There are approximately 12,000 cases of ALS in the United States, and while there is some hereditary risk (5-10%), there are no clear risk factors, although it is most commonly diagnosed in patients between the ages of 40 and 60. Once symptoms begin to arise, the prognosis is 2-5 years; however, about 10% of patients live at ten or more years. Approved by the FDA in 1995, riluzole can extend the lifespan of a patient by a few months. Currently, there is no cure for ALS.

Do you know where your donation is going?

I have a master’s degree in nonprofit management and I work for a nonprofit, so I am 100% on board with donating to these amazing organizations. However, what frustrates me is when people donate without looking into the organization. To be fair, I have been as guilty as this as the next person because it’s easy to get caught up in wanting to support a something you believe in.

When you’re considering donating, there are some questions to consider. Is the organization registered as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with the IRS? As for the monies raised with any fundraising efforts, what will the money do? In other words, what is the organization’s mission? In the case of the #icebucketchallenge and The ALS Association,

The mission includes providing care services to assist people with ALS and their families through a network of chapters working in communities across the nation and a global research program focused on the discovery of treatments and eventually a cure for the disease. In addition, The Association’s public policy efforts empower people to advance public policies in our nation’s Capital that respond to the needs of people with ALS.

How transparent is the organization? What results are they getting with their programs and services? How much of the organizations budget is actually going to the mission (the programs and services) and how much to overhead costs? A good rule of thumb is that 75% of the budget should be going towards programs and services. Charity Navigator is a great resource for some baseline research into nonprofit organizations, and they rank The ALS Association very favorably.

What about research funding?

On a larger scale, research funding is being cut across the board. This impacts researchers working to find a cure for diseases like ALS, but also cancer, Parkinson’s, heart disease, and so much more. With a 2014 budget of $30.15 billion, the National Institutes of Health has what sounds like a lot of money to work with. But these research trials are not cheap, especially for these major issues. As such, the NIH is able to fund only one in six research proposals, per the organization’s Director in a recent interview with USA Today. Combining inflation with a decreased budget, “the NIH budget has lost 25% of its purchasing power in the last decade” (5). Supporting The ALS Association is fantastic, but to find a cure, we need research funding which is going to come from our elected officials. Empower yourself to contact your representatives and ask they would support increases in NIH funding. In this election year, take the time to research your candidates and support those who will work to bring change in this area. Research for these diseases will not succeed without the federal funding to support it, and without the research, there will be no cures.

What about the water?

Finally, while I think ALS is a very worthwhile cause, I would urge people to also consider donating to a cause related to water such as 20 Liters or charity: water because while we’re dumping buckets of perfectly good water over our heads, the state of California is currently experience a drought and almost 800 million people around the world don’t have access to clean water. For perspective, that’s 21 times the population of California. So yes, we’re raising awareness about ALS, but at what expense to those around the world?

Ultimately, before jumping onboard the bandwagon of the #icebucketchallenge (or any similar trend), I encourage you to take a few minutes to really look into what it’s all about.

Sources: (1) The ALS Association, (2) Mayo Clinic, (3) National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, (4) ALS Therapy Institute, (5) USA Today

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Blue Diamond honey vanilla almond butter.

08.21.2014

Disclosure:  this post is sponsored by Blue Diamond almonds through the Tastemakers program. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Do you have those recipes that intimidate you so much you just don’t try them even though you know it really won’t be as hard as you think? I conquered my fear of risotto […]

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torch life.

08.20.2014

Torch Lake is one of those quintessential Michigan summer tourism spots. It’s a 19 mile long lake near Traverse City and some of the bluest waters I have ever seen. My sister and her family have been making a weekend trip up there for a couple years now, and last year, I stayed back and […]

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2014 workouts, weeks 32 and 33.

08.19.2014

It’s been really great to be running (!!!) again, although still very challenging. Early on in the spring, my big fall goal was another attempt at the Grand Rapids Marathon. Once I got hurt, I knew that was no longer an option, but I hoped that I could still manage a half marathon. I realized […]

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help is not a four letter word.

08.14.2014

If my social media feeds are any indication, I was not the only one deeply saddened by the untimely passing of Robin Williams this week. He was a presence that I grew up watching; heck, my parents even got my name from the show Mork & Mindy. And yes, it was a long running joke in my […]

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reading list, volume 40.

08.09.2014

Revisiting Our Emergency Kit via Back to Her Roots because an emergency kit is something I’ve never really thought about, but Cassie got the wheels turning about this important issue. I think the key to figuring out your emergency plan and kit is accessing your situation. Figure out what you are at high-risk of going […]

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the return to running plan.

08.08.2014

For the last couple of months, I’ve been sidelined from running due to a severe case of IT band syndrome. This is not earth shattering news, as I’ve not been shy about complaining talking about my injury and how much I miss running. Since I was cleared by my physical therapist last week to start […]

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review: Running Like a Girl.

08.06.2014

I started my running journey in 2007, and I deeply wish Running Like a Girl:  Notes on Learning to Run by Alexandra Hemingsley had been around at that time because all of the fears and anxieties I had (okay, sometimes still have…) are hit spot-on in this book. On the same note, I think because I’ve […]

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2014 workouts, week 31.

08.04.2014

The big news of the week? I wrapped up physical therapy and I GOT CLEARED TO RUN! I felt like it was Christmas morning at that last session when my warmup graduated from the bike to the treadmill, and then I got the okay to run on my own again. I have to start back […]

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