Thursday, June 18, 2015

Children At Play

I wanted to share a little story from today.  For those of you on my personal Facebook, you have already read about it, but I also needed to vent my frustrations a little bit too.

I live in a small village of about 500 people.  It's a quaint little place and I feel very lucky to be raising my children here.  It's a place where I feel safe letting them walk to school, to a friend's house or outside playing without me needing to be there for every second of that time.

We built a new house attached to my parents house to be closer to them.  While located on a main road, we are situated beside a church that only sees people on Sundays.  My daughter, Abby (who is 5 1/2) thinks it's the perfect spot to ride her bike and I agree.  At our other house, there was no sidewalk, no paved shoulders to the roads and people who neglected to pay attention to the stop sign.  Her favorite thing though was to ride her scooter along the edge to the stop sign and back.  She would do this from 7:00 am until dark if we let her.

Now that we are have moved, she now likes to ride her bike along the shoulder of the road, which runs along my parent's front yard to the church drive way.  The driveway itself is a large circular driveway with so much space.  Having assessed the risks of being close to the main road, I still felt it was ok for her to do this unsupervised.  She is a smart one and knows to stay off the road itself.  She has been doing this alone for the past 3 days.  She basically rides down our driveway, along the side, around the church and back home.  It has been completely uneventful....until this morning.

My dad walked the kids to school this morning and on his way home, he was stopped by a police officer.  The officer explained that there had been a complaint called in about a child, around the age of 4, riding her bike on the road at 7:20 this morning.  Yup!   My child is 5 and has had the cops called on her.  My dad went in to see my mom and told her "Abby's in trouble this REAL trouble!"

My mom called me at work to let me know.  I was stunned to say the least.  I wasn't upset about the person being concerned, but about their approach to it.  I am not a person that comes off as stand-offish or unapproachable.  It's a small neighbourhood and should I suspect one of my neighbours, I know which one is on the top of my list...if it was a stranger...well, I hope they at least waited to call until they were no longer behind the wheel of the car!

Here is the route in question:

I roughly measured it out tonight....approximately 55 feet across with about 4.5 feet of paved shoulder for her to ride on.  So, when I got home, I had to sit and explain to her that someone saw her, got concerned and the police came by to say someone saw her and were worried about her safety.  I also explained that instead of taking the side of the road, she would have to push her bike across the grass to the church.  Needless to say, tonight she did not want to play outside or ride her bike.

See, here is the trouble...I know people say it a lot....we need to go back to letting our kids play, but for people like me, who do that...there are others who don't agree and apparently feel the best way to deal with by calling authorities.

For now, I will keep an eye on her a bit closer and then once she gets comfortable again, I will let her be on her own.  She just loves to be out there, playing away with babies and her imagination!

What do you think?  Was I in the wrong or did this person act a bit to rash? Would you let your child ride this route?


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Hitting The Refresh Button

It's been well over a month since I have sat down to write a little something on this blogspace.

If I'm being honest...I was on a slippery slope, going nowhere fast, letting life get the better of me.

I lost all interest in it blogging, in TOPS, in attempting to get healthy.  It's a journey I have been on for so long, with so far to go and it was feeling overwhelming and pointless.  I felt that no matter how hard I tried, I wasn't getting anywhere, however if I took a moment to be truthful, I wasn't really trying either.  My days and weeks were full of excuses and time lines I really had no intention to sticking too.

"When most of the house is packed, I can get back to focusing"
"When we are in the new house, I can get back to TOPS"
"When we are in the new house, I am going to start myself of on the right foot and exercise"
"When I get myself back on track, I will go back to TOPS...I can't go back having gained this much"

It's been almost 2 months since I have been to TOPS....I am neither back on track or into a new routine.  It's been 3 weeks since we have been in the new house and I have not exercised once!

Enough was enough and I knew I needed to do something.  I felt like a fish out of water and really needed to take action to fix that.

I have a girlfriend that is a personal trainer and I took up the courage to message her and find out what she would charge for some sessions.  Feeling it was reasonable, I have committed myself to at least 5 sessions, but I foresee it being much longer.  I need that weekly accountability and someone to help me make a plan for the week.  Left to my own devices, I would still continue to wallow in self pity, promising that tomorrow was a new day and I would get my shit together.

She came today and we did a little consult to find out exactly what I was hoping to get out of this and then about 20 minutes of exercise.

I'm not new to exercise...I have joined a few gyms and have had a personal trainer before, but haven't done any of those exercises in about 4 years.  We did a bit of circuit work, some squats, planks, push ups, curls and other work.  She also had me use the TRX equipment.  It hangs over your door and once I was able to convince myself that I wouldn't rip the door from the frame, I was able to appreciate the equipment for what it was.

It was exactly what I needed...I needed to once again feel confident in my abilities and know that this is something I can do...that I am much more capable than I have convinced my mind of.

As for TOPS....I am back to it next week.  It's our yearly potluck and awards night.  It will be nice to see everyone again and be motivated by everyone's success.  While I may be heavier than when I was last there, I am ready to start fresh.  So bare with me as I get this blog going again, my inspiration calendar back up and going and my Facebook page.  I hope you will take a minute or two to encourage me on and moving!