October 16, 2018

Sharks and Minnows (and Wednesday Weigh-in)

(Edit: Ohmygosh. Today is only Tuesday! I was so sure it was Wednesday.)

I knew I was out of running shape, but I didn't realize just how much until cross country practice last night! I'm still clearing my throat from the workout my lungs got, haha.

The kids LOVE playing a game called Sharks and Minnows. Basically, there is a rectangular shaped perimeter, and the kids ("minnows") all line up at one end. There are a couple of kids who start in the middle as "sharks". The object is for the minnows to get from one end of the area to the other without getting tagged by a shark. Then they turn around and go back to the other end, over and over, until there is only one minnow left.

At the end of each practice, we have about 10 minutes or so to play a game, and the kids always choose Sharks and Minnows. Yesterday, Renee suggested that she and I should be the sharks. I thought it sounded fun, and we got in position to start. Little did I know, it was super challenging!

When we blew the whistle to start, the kids would all scatter to the sides, and each time I would go after someone, they'd zig-zag all over the place. It took Renee and I about eight rounds or so to tag everyone, and I couldn't believe how hard it was! Aside from being really cold outside, my lungs just couldn't keep up with my legs.

playing sharks and minnows at cross country

When I got home, I was talking to Eli and when I laughed, it came out as a wheeze. So, I had what I call "Runner's Lung" last night and even today. It was worth it though, because I thought being a shark was fun!

Speaking of cross country, the award system that I did this year has worked out really well. Most of the kids have been super motivated to earn different colored "tokens" for their keychains. Sometimes when we play a game, a few kids will even choose to run some extra mileage instead of playing.

There are about 4-5 kids that will likely hit 50 miles run at practices throughout the season. One girl has already done it. When I chose the award tokens, I listed one as 25+ miles and another as 30+ miles. I had no idea that anyone would run even more than that!

So, I found some really perfect keychains at the craft store for the 50+ miler kids to add to their tokens...

shoe keychain

Cute, right? We only have two races and one practice left. This season went by so quickly!

I am leaving for my appointment with the neurologist in about an hour, and I'm so relieved. I feel completely sleep deprived; I don't get much sleep anymore because of the numbness/pain in my right hand at night. The lack of sleep has been wearing on me.

I saw the chiropractor again, and he said I should ice my neck daily, so I've been doing that (I've had to force myself to do it, because I hate being cold!). I have a wrist splint, like what people use for carpal tunnel syndrome, but it doesn't help at all (I'm assuming because the pain is originating in my neck and not my wrist). Hopefully the neurologist will be able to tell me more and help me fix it.

I am loving the frozen crock pot meals I prepped last week. It is SO EASY to just dump the food in the crock pot in the morning and then not have to worry about cooking dinner later. I've enjoyed trying new recipes, too.

Yesterday, I made pepper steak, which we haven't had in a very long time. It was SO good! Having cooked it in the crock pot, the steak was really tender. Next time, I'm going to triple the amount of peppers, but it is definitely going to be on the list of dinners to prep ahead.

slow cooker pepper steak

I think the planning ahead and having meals ready has been helping with my weight, too. I haven't been snacking before dinner, because I know that dinner will be ready when I am. And we haven't been eating out.

As I wrote in my post, "The Heaviest I've Been in 8 Years: A Reality Check on the Scale", that I was in the 160's (162.8) and it was a big wake up call.  But I still wasn't making progress (I wasn't gaining, but wasn't losing, either).

Anyway, today I saw the 150's again--which was a big relief. I was going to post a weigh in photo, but I was exactly 159.8, and each time I picked up my phone to take a picture, it switched to 160.0 (due to the weight of the phone)--haha!

I feel good about it. I haven't been counting calories or anything like that, but just working on changing habits. I think having dinner prepped and ready to throw in the crock pot each morning has helped a lot. That never would have occurred to me!

Well, I'm off to my appointment. Hoping for good news :)


  1. I used to love to play Sharks and Minnows as a kid!

    Good luck at your appointment. I hope you get relief soon! I've had shoulder and neck problems since my early 20s from muscle spasms, so I know how terrible chronic pain can be. On a positive note, I've learned to manage the pain for the most part. When it was at its worse (3 years straight of pain), I did not think I'd ever feel as good as I do now.

  2. That pepper steak looks amazing! I recently started working a desk job and try to bring my lunch to work every day. I'll take a long lunch once or twice a month to go into town for the soup and salad bar at our city market, but I try to limit those. At my old job, I worked mornings and would usually leave around lunch time. Not wanting to cook a big lunch after work before leaving again for my afternoon/evening classes, I'd usually stop to pick up some fast food on my way home. Packing my lunch has definitely helped control my portions, and I've been meaning to try meal prepping. I agree with you though - I don't care for the thought of eating the same meal every day, all week! Instead what I do is keep a variety of different lunch items on hand to throw into my lunchbox in the morning. Cheese sticks, tangerines, oat bars, sliced meat, eggs, etc. I have a bunch of different sized lunch containers, in assorted colors. Using these makes it fun to pack everything.

  3. Congrats on being back in the 150s - you can do this!

  4. We played a similar version of Sharks and Minnows at soccer practice, and it was always so fun! The minnows had soccer balls, and the sharks goal was to steal the soccer ball. The last minnow with a soccer ball won, and as there were less minnows, they would shrink the perimeter. =)

  5. I played two version of Sharks and Minnows at camp:

    Octopus - the octopuses ran around to tag people, but if you were tagged you turned into seaweed and sat on the ground trying to tag people as they ran by

    Highlander - the Highlanders (in the middle) would yell "HIGHLANDEEEEEEER!" and everyone would scream a battle cry before running, but it wasn't just tagging. You were only out if the Highlanders lifted you completely off the ground, but once you were "out" you became a Highlander.

  6. Looking forward to your next blog post - hoping you got answers with your neurologist appointment and are working your way toward less pain!


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