exercise

Years ago, my sister-in-law, Jennifer Parmely made the decision to get healthy and stay that way. She was never really at a place where she was very overweight or unhealthy, but she was done letting that sneak into her life, and it never did sneak up on her again. Jennifer was always a pretty healthy eater, and even more so these days. She is very vigilant in how she eats and how she cooks.

Of course, eating well is not going to be enough to keep a person healthy, because without exercise, the body deteriorates. I think most of us know that, but that doesn’t mean that everyone is faithful to exercise to keep their body in shape. Jennifer is the exception to that rule over the long run, because she is always doing some form of exercise. She walks, jogs, rides a bicycle, skis, yoga, and many other forms of exercise. After having three boys, her waist is still probably the same 25 inches, or less, that it was before she had children. That is all due to Jennifer’s dedication to healthy living, and it has served her well all these years. She has been able to do whatever she wanted to do.

Jennifer is a labor and delivery nurse, at Wyoming Medical Center, and I can’t tell you how many babies she has helped to deliver, but I can tell you that it could be in the thousands. So many mothers who were comforted through their baby’s birth. So many babies she held in her arms in their first moments of life. Oh the miracles she has been blessed to see. It is beyond amazing, and I know that Jennifer feels very blessed to have been a part of it for so many years.

These days, Jennifer has even better reasons to stay in good shape. She has three little grandchildren that love riding their bicycles to the park with their Oma. Reagan, Hattie, and Bowen Parmely love hanging out and having fun, and Jennifer feels very blessed to have these little ones in her life…and very blessed that she is in shape to really enjoy them and the rest of her life. Today in Jennifer’s birthday. Happy birthday Jennifer!! Keep on keeping on!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

My husband’s aunt, Esther Hein lives in Oregon, and it’s not always easy for her to get back home to Forsyth, Montana to visit her brothers, Eddie and Butch Hein, who live there with their families. Last January she made the trip, and once she was there, she might have found herself wondering if January was the best time to have done that. Montana gets quite a bit of snow, and last January was no exception. They got a large amount of snow, and Esther found herself shoveling the sidewalks and not really getting anywhere with removing all the snow.  In the end, they spent a lot of time indoors, but it was a very nice visit anyway.

Things got a little tough for Esther this past fall, when he got Shingles. If you have never dealt with Shingles, or had them yourself, you have no idea how bad they really are. my husband had them in February of 2013, and they were awful.They itch and burn at the same time. They leave scars that never seem to completely go away. Some people get physically ill, and unfortunately, Esther was one of those. She was really sick for a while, and that can take a long time to come back from.  I’m sure she was weak for a while.

As winter approached, Esther began to feel better, and was able to go on the family’s annual trip to the Diamond Lake Resort to go snow shoeing. I’m sure that with how she had been feeling, she wasn’t sure she would feel up to going this year, but I’m glad she did. Esther likes to stay in good shape. It is important for all of us. She has taken up water exercise. There is an aquatic open pool near her home and she has been going there three times a week to do open end exercises. Esther loves going, and says that she feels so much better these days.

Esther has long been a crafty person, and she has plans  to make some quilts this next year. When you don’t feel well, you can’t do justice to your hobbies. Esther is an artist,and in the past has don’t quite a bit of painting. I’m just thankful that her hobbies have not had to be laid aside. Today is Esther’s 78th birthday. Happy birthday Esther!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

Tuberculosis was a disease that brought terror to the hearts of people over the years…especially right after World War II, but even before World War II, being diagnosed with Tuberculosis was like being given a death sentence. People had to be quarantined, so they wouldn’t infect those around them, since the disease is airborne. All too often it was too late by the time they knew they needed to be quarantined. Any serious disease can be scary for the people in areas affected, but this one was taken to a completely different level. In an effort to prevent Tuberculosis from being passed from child to child, the schools began a new movement, known as the Open-Air School. The movement required the establishment of schools that combined medical surveillance with A method of learning that was adapted to students with pre-tuberculosis…an obsolete term for the pre-clinical stage of tuberculosis. The new institution was established by doctors researching new prophylactic methods, and educators interested in an open air educational experience.

In 1904, Dr Bernhard Bendix and pedagogue Hermann Neufert founded the first school of this kind: the Waldeschule of Charlottenburg, near Berlin, Germany. Classes were conducted in the woods to offer open-air therapy to young city dwellers with pre-tuberculosis. The experiment, conducted by the International Congresses of Hygiene, was immediately attempted throughout Europe and North America: in Belgium in 1904, in Switzerland, England, Italy, and France in 1907, in the United States in 1908, in Hungary in 1910, and in Sweden in 1914. The schools were called “schools of the woods” or “open air schools.” Often they were remote from cities, set up in tents, prefabricated barracks, or re-purposed structures, and were run during the summer. Some of the more noteworthy experiments were the School in the Sun, in Cergnat, Switzerland and the school of Uffculme near Birmingham, England. The School of the Sun used helio-therapy in 1910. Dr Auguste Rollier sent the children up to the mountains every morning equipped with portable equipment. The school of Uffculme, noted for its architecture, allowed each class to occupy its own independent pavilion in 1911.

After World War I the movement became organized. The first International Congress took place in Paris in 1922, at the initiative of The League for Open Air Education created in France in 1906, and of its president, Gaston Lemonier. There were four more congresses: in Belgium in 1931; in Germany in 1936, marked by the involvement of German doctor Karl Triebold; in Italy in 1949; and in Switzerland in 1956. National committees were created. Jean Duperthuis, a close associate of Adolphe Ferrière (1879–1960), the well-known pedagogue and theorist of New Education, created the International Bureau of Open Air Schools to collect information on how these schools worked. Testimonies described an educational experience inspired by New Education, with much physical exercise, regular medical checkups, and a closely monitored diet, but there has been little formal study of the majority of these schools.

According to the ideas of the open air school, the architecture had to provide wide access to the outdoors, with large bay windows and a heating system that would permit working with the windows open. The most remarkable of these schools were in Amsterdam, Holland by architect Jan Duiker (1929–1930), in Suresnes, France by Eugène Beaudoin and Marcel Lods (1931–1935), and Copenhagen, Denmark by Kai Gottlob (1935–1938). From what I have seen, most of these school were held completely outdoors. I don’t know if the impact on Tuberculosis was as profound as they had hoped, but there were good things that came out of the experiments. The movement had an influence on the evolution of education, hygiene, and architecture. School buildings, for example, adopted the concept of classes open to the outdoors, as in Bale, Switzerland (1938–1939, architect Hermann Baur), Impington, England (1939, Walter Gropius and Maxwell Fry), and in Los Angeles (1935, Richard Neutra). This influence is the major contribution of the open air schools movement, although the introduction of antibiotics, which increasingly provided a cure for Tuberculosis, pretty much made them obsolete after World War II. Nevertheless, fresh air, exercise, and playtime for young children have all remained an important part of the school day, and thankfully, Tuberculosis is on the decline, although it still ranks in the top 10 of fatal diseases.

My sister-in-law, Jennifer Parmely is a complex woman, who leads a busy life. She is an obstetrics nurse by trade, but that is just her career, albeit a very satisfying one for her. Jennifer knew when she was just 17 years old, that she wanted to be a nurse, and before long, she knew that she wanted to help bring life into the world. She has never changed her mind about that, and has been a nurse at Wyoming Medical Center for about 36 years now. That adds up to a whole lot of babies who can say that Jennifer was there the day they were born. She was the nurse who assisted in the births of all four of my grandchildren. It was very comforting to have her there.

While nursing is Jennifer’s career, exercise is her passion. She loves all forms of exercise, both indoor and outdoor. I think that like many of us in the family, she loves to hike. She takes trips to different areas to hike. She has been to New Zealand, Colorado, and today, she and her boyfriend, Bryan are on their way to Arizona to do some hiking there. She hiked a mountain with Bryan a while back in Colorado that was 14,000 feet high. That is an amazing feat for anyone. I have done quite a bit of hiking, but I have never gone to that altitude, so I am curious about how I would do. Jennifer and Brian did very well, but they saw people around them who were having some difficulty breathing deeply. I suppose it all depends on the shape you are in and the lung capacity you have. I don’t know where in Arizona they plan to go hiking, but since I have been in Arizona a number of times and hiked there too, I would absolutely recommend the Grand Canyon. We didn’t hike very far in, but the areas we were in were amazing. The next time I go, I want to hike down to the river. I know that wherever they hike, they will have a great time.

In many ways, Jennifer’s love of all things healthy has made her not only a nurse helping to bring life into the world, but also a person keeping her own life as strong and healthy as it can be. It’s a great way to live and one that will keep Jennifer, the grandma, in the lives of her three little grandchildren, Reagan, Hattie, and Bowen Parmely, for a long time to come. Today is Jennifer’s birthday. Happy birthday Jennifer!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

My niece, Lindsay Moore is a private consultant for South Dakota State University, Michigan State University, University of Missouri, Purdue University, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and Ohio State University, serving as their Project Coordinator for all states. She basically manages their project and research activities and personnel, focusing mainly on South Dakota, Iowa, Ohio, Kansas, Minnesota, and Michigan. She was originally employed at South Dakota State University, but when her husband, Shannon took a new job at Miami International University in Miami, Florida, it looked like Lindsay was going to have to find a new job, but her boss, Suzanne hated to lose such a valuable employee, so she went to work to find a way for Lindsay to work as a private consultant. The job took off and expanded to include several other universities, and it have been quite successful for all concerned, and it worked out especially well when Lindsay’s husband took a new job at Special Teams Coordinator and Tight Ends coach at East Carolina University, bringing a move to Greenville, North Carolina. It is really nice that Lindsay doesn’t have to look for a new job every time her husband takes a better job, which is very common for football coaches.

Part of Lindsay’s job includes speaking at conferences in different location in the United States and even in Canada. She has made trips, with her boss, Suzanne, to Victoria, Canada; Washington DC; and her latest trip was to California, where Lindsay spoke at a conference about food availability for under privileged communities and helping make healthy food available for those who are unable to get it. They use a power point presentation and present the way their six states are helping people get healthy food instead of just commodities, and they do studies with communities for ways to help people get and stay active. Lindsay is an avid nutritionist and exercise expert focusing on how the body moves. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology and Health Promotion, and then her Masters degree in Nutrition, Exercise, and Food Science, making her the perfect person to head up the projects concerning food availability, good nutrition, and exercise.

Lindsay really enjoys working from home. It provides her with the freedom to travel with her husband on his scouting trips, take vacations during the summer while he is off work, and go to see her family in Casper, Wyoming several times a year, and when she and Shannon begin having a family, they won’t even need a babysitter. It’s a pretty sweet deal, and a far cry from her original plan of becoming…a firefighter!! Today is Lindsay’s birthday. Happy birthday Lindsay!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

imageThe first time I saw my cousin, Michelle Deraas Carlson, I thought, “What a teeny little girl she is!!” It’s true that Michelle, who is my cousin by her marriage to my cousin, Dave Carlson back in 1981, is a little girl of less that five feet, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that she is a fragile little girl. You would find that you are wrong, because Michelle is one tough lady. No, she’s not a fighter…she’s a personal trainer at Fitness Edge North in Duluth, Minnesota, which is owned by her sister-in-law, Julie Soukup.

If you choose to hire her to get you in shape, you will find that she can get the job done. Now, she will tell you that this won’t be easy…and you might want to quit, but if you don’t give up, you will find yourself looking a great as she does. Of course, she’s imagenot one to brag…that part was all me. I’ve never had the privilege of using Michelle as a personal trainer myself, because I live too far away, but I have done…or at least tried to keep up with…some of her workouts. I had the opportunity to do some of her workouts by going to her Facebook site recently, and I could see that I was going to have to work very hard if I was going to be able to keep up. She is in great shape, and her workouts will wear you out…unless you are in pretty good shape too. At the time I saw her video, I was recovering from a broken shoulder. I was not able to do all of the exercises she did, but I hope to be able to in the future.

imageMichelle is definitely a short girl, but she embraces it. Like many of us who are short (although maybe not quite as short as she is) being short is not a bad thing. We might have to have someone reach the stuff in the cupboard that is far beyond our grasp, but we don’t have to worry about having someone standing in front of us in pictures, because with our short stature, we always have to be in front, or the camera would miss us altogether. Michelle might be the shortest person in her family, but they all love her just the way she is. She always has a smile on her face, and she is there to help with anything that is needed. It doesn’t get any better than that in a family. Today is Michelle’s birthday. Happy birthday Michelle!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

On the SlideSince losing over 330 pounds, my sister-in-law, Brenda Schulenberg has basically entered her second childhood. It all started when she decided that she needed to go and play on the playground…or at least slide on the slide. Now, she has set herself a goal of visiting every park in Casper at some point this year…including walking around the parks. She found an outdoor exercise bike, and after many attempts over the course of the last two years, finally was able to make it work. When her niece posted pictures of her children sledding, Brenda told them that they should come to Casper next winter so she could go sledding with them. These things are not the activities of most life-long sedentary and overweight people, but then that isn’t who Brenda is…anymore. She is a vibrant, active 50+ year old, who got a second chance, and she has no intention of wasting it. Brenda soon became a woman on a mission…a get healthy mission.

Checking it outIt has been a long journey for Brenda, but not nearly as long as it would have been for most people in her shoes. Most people who find out that they have several health issues, all caused by obesity and all reversible, would have said that the challenge was more than they could face. The mere though of healthy eating and an active lifestyle makes most people in that situation feel tired and hungry. And most of those people give up before they ever get started…but not Brenda. In all reality, Brenda was no exception to that general rule, but she dug down deep within herself, and decided once and for all, that she was not going to let this beat her, and she was not going to die at 50 years old. In many ways, that was about the last time Brenda acted like someone with all the health concerns she had. and now she simply doesn’t act her age at all. It’s like she has age regressed…and that’s ok. If you missed out on an active childhood, and you had the chance to go back in time and change that…wouldn’t you do it too. Brenda simply had to do it.
New Bike
In recent months, Brenda has been obsessed with the idea of riding a bicycle again. She wasn’t sure that would be a possibility given the condition of her knees right now. Nevertheless, she has high hopes, and so she decided to find a way to ride a bike in the meantime. She bought a bicycle…purple, of course. She took the pedals off of it, and for now, she sits on the seat and walks the bike along the trails. She calls it a strider, and I don’t know for sure if that is the name of the bike, or what you call one that has no pedals, but either way, she can now ride a bike…another thing she didn’t really do much as a kid. And another step back into her second childhood. Today is Brenda’s birthday. Happy birthday Brenda!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

Boston Marathon 1Running for exercise has not always been as common an occurrence as it is these days. Before machinery, cars, and other modern conveniences, people walked to many of the places they went, and so the thought of specifically walking or running to get exercise was pretty foreign. Nevertheless, there were races, and sporting events, so it wasn’t unheard of to run or walk for exercise. Most people have heard of the Boston Marathon…especially after the bombing that took place there April 15, 2013. The marathon has been a runners biggest goal since its first event, held on April 19, 1897. The marathon was an event that came from the dream of Boston Athletic Association member and inaugural US Olympic team manager, John Graham, who was inspired by the marathon at the first modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896. He immediately set out to bring the race home to the United States. Graham enlisted the help of Herbert H Holton, a Boston businessman. They considered various routes, before a measured distance of 24.5 miles from the Irvington Oval in Boston to Metcalf’s Mill in Ashland was eventually selected.

Fifteen runners started that first race, but only ten would finish. The winner was John J McDermott, who finished with a time of 2 hours, 55 minutes, and 10 seconds. McDermott was sponsored by the Pastime Athletic Club of New York City. He took the lead from Harvard athlete, Dick Grant over the hills in Newton. He did walk several times during the final miles, but still won by a comfortable margin of 6 minutes and 52 seconds. He had only won one other marathon in the United States…the previous October in New York City.

As most people know, a marathon is normally 26.2 miles, and the original Boston Marathon was only 24.5. That was changed in 1908 so that it would be in compliance with the rules of a marathon. The marathon was originally held on Patriot’s Day, April 19, a holiday that commemorates the beginning of the Revolutionary War. When Patriot’s Day fell on Sunday, the race was held the following Monday. Then when Patriot’s Day was made a Monday holiday in 1969, the Boston Marathon moved with it, and it has been that way since that time.

Originally, women were not allowed to run in the Boston Marathon, which made a lot of women angry. That rule finally changed in 1972, but not without a few missteps first. In 1966, Roberta “Bobbi” Gibb decided to fight the system. She became the first woman to run the entire Boston Marathon, but had to hide in the bushes near the start until the race began. In 1967, Kathrine Switzer, who had registered as “K. V. Switzer”, was the first woman to run with a race number. Switzer finished even though officials tried to physically remove her from the race after she was identified as a woman. In the fall of 1971, the Amateur Athletics Union permitted Boston Marathon 2its sanctioned marathons, including Boston, to allow women to enter. Nina Kuscsik became the first official female participant to win the Boston Marathon in 1972. Seven other women started and finished that race. In 1975, the Boston Marathon became the first major marathon to include a wheelchair division competition, which Bob Hall won in 2 hours, 58 minutes.

Exercise has become a regular part of the lives of many people these days, whether they walk, run, bicycle, or some other form of exercise. While I can’t imagine myself running in a marathon…or any other race, I could see myself walking such a distance. Once you get started with exercise, it can become very addictive, and that’s ok too.

BR on May 7, 2013It isn’t very often that a person can decide one day to change their entire life…and then stick to it. Even if the change was made to save their life. Humans aren’t usually a strong willed bunch. Nevertheless, when someone makes up their mind that they want to live and that they want to live life to the fullest, it can be done. My sister-in-law, Brenda Schulenberg is an amazing example of such will power. When she first started this journey, she didn’t think she could do it, but now she won’t quit.

When Brenda was told that she had Cellulitis, Congestive Heart Failure, and Sleep Apnea, she didn’t sit down and cry about it, saying that her life was over, so she might just as well, give up. No, she decided that she was going to take back her life, and move forward. Her journey has been an amazing one, and it was all done is a very April 29, 2014 to April 29, 2015short time. From October 18, 2013 when she first went to the hospital to the current time, Brenda has lost over 300 pounds. She is within a pound or two of her goal weight, and then will begin weight maintenance.

Much has changed in Brenda’s life. I don’t think that she ever dreamed that she would spend so much time hiking…or that she would love to go hiking. There are several of us in the family who love to hike, and I have to wonder if Brenda used to think we were all crazy. Well, welcome to the nut house Brenda. Now, I’m sure there are people in your life who think you are just a little bit crazy too. In all reality though, hiking is so fun and relaxing. Once you get started on it, it is really hard to think about not going.

On the Platte River TrailOf course, Brenda still works full time, but her job is a little bit easier to do these days. Trying to work when you spend your entire life exhausted is no fun, but now that Brenda has lots of energy, the only time she is very tired is at bedtime, and that is normal. That in itself is a huge change, since Brenda spent most of her weekends sleeping in an effort to feel rested. It still wasn’t enough sleep. No more!! Now, Brenda is an inspiration to those around her…either that…or they just find her exhausting. It doesn’t matter which it is, because Brenda isn’t going back. She loves her new life, and all the activity in it. She loves hiking, and being outdoors, and will go even in the rain. It’s a “have raincoat, will hike” situation. Today is Brenda’s birthday. Happy birthday Brenda!! Another year better!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

JenniferWhen it comes to the ways we each help others, I think they are often as varied as the people doing the act. When my sister-in-law, Brenda Schulenberg found herself in a health crisis she called me to help her walk through the hospitalization and the many doctor visits. That was probably a good decision to make, as that is something I have a knack for. But, when it came to someone to help her with her plans to get in shape, she looked to her sister, Jennifer Parmely. That was probably one of the smartest choices she could have ever made. Jennifer is without question, one of the best people I know to inspire someone to keep going when it comes to diet, exercise, and fitness in general. Her determination and drive have pushed her from a place in her own life when she was overweight, to many years of good health and a slender lifestyle. She knew what she needed to do, and she set her mind to doing it. Failure was not an option. Not many people can stick to their guns in such a way. The statistics show that most people who set out to diet and get in shape, will fail to reach their goal. Life always seems to get in the way, and maybe a little bit of depression too. Before long, most people give up, but not Jennifer, and now, not Brenda either.

Jennifer was a different person years ago…right after having her two youngest boys. She was carrying a little extra weight, and then suddenly, she wasn’t. Most of us who knew her, were in awe of her determination. That’s what it takes to make a life change. You have to make up your mind that you are going to do it, and then don’t let anything get in your way. Jennifer did just that. She took up skiing, hiking, jogging, bicycling, and imageany other form of exercise she could think of. And she got to the point where exercise didn’t seem like exercise, but rather like activity. It’s a talent we could all stand to learn, and one that would serve us well for years to come.

Sometimes, I find it funny that we can have a career that really is perfect for us, but still have a talent in another area completely, and we are really good at that too. I am an insurance agent, and I’m good at my job, but I am a good caregiver, author, and computer tech too. Jennifer is an OB nurse, but she could easily be a dietician and a personal trainer, and whether she ever decided to be a personal trainer for anyone else, Jennifer has been the perfect personal trainer for her sister, Brenda. Somehow, those secondary skills, can become the most important thing we have ever done in our lives. They can be the most life changing gift we can give to those around us. Today is Jennifer’s birthday. Happy birthday Jennifer!! Have a wonderful day!! We love you!!

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