Thursday, May 26, 2011

Still having fun

Last weekend the Twin City Derby Girls held our first bout of the season. My team, the 'Paign beat the McLean County Missfits 159 - 53. And I got to jam! Ok, so I was a bit of a spaz out there but we were so far ahead that I couldn't screw it up. I even managed to score some points! I enjoyed myself more than I can even explain. I played softball for many years and loved it but the rush I get from derby is so much greater. I think it is because of the cancer. All emotions are heightened now. Everything I get to do is a bonus. Fear doesn't stop me; I'll try anything! I "modeled" in the Derby Fashion Show and I continue to play roller derby. I started skating to beat cancer and continue to skate to keep the cancer at bay. The derby part is the bonus. I think the biggest bonus is my derby family. I don't think I could have made this journey without them. They made me strong and keep me grounded.

The resurgence of the extreme sports craze has helped roller derby make a comeback. Personally, I was tired of the "gym routine" and wanted something more exciting. The campy novelty of the sport was too much to ignore. Our derby names, boutfits and attitudes are all in fun. After all, if you can't make fun of yourself, who can you make fun of? Although the workouts are intense, it's still fun. Racing around the rink may look easy but it's not. It takes a lot of strength and stamina just to keep going. But it is the best workout you will find. Roller derby is a lot like life; it will knock you down but you get back up and keep on rollin!

A lot of the 'Paign decided to get tattoos once we scored our first "W". And tonight's the night. I think most of us are going to get blue stars, since blue is our color. I think I'm getting mine on my left wrist. I want to be able to see it at all times so I will always remember that I am a derby girl. Even when I'm 90!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Vitamin D deficiency? What the hell?

I saw my oncologist recently for my usual quarterly check-up. A week later I received a call from his office and they were in a panic. Seems my Vitamin D level was extremely low but I couldn't help but wonder why it was such a big deal? I didn't realize what all problems this could cause. Some health problems that Vitamin D deficiency can cause include heart disease, chronic pain, Fibromyalgia, hypertension, arthritis, depression, inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, PMS, Crohns Disease, cancer, MS and other autoimmune diseases. They wanted me to begin taking a high dose of Vitamin D immediately. Apparently vitamin D is of utmost importance for your body because its role is to help your body use the calcium and phosphorus from your food. It also regulates normal cellular differentiation thus preventing cancer and helps insulin secretion. Vitamin D is very important for the body, regardless of age or sex, but here is something about vitamin D deficiency symptoms in women - it is suggested that vitamin D is very important when it comes to cancer prevention in women; the types of cancers we’re referring to are breast cancer, bladder cancer, ovarian cancer and colon cancer.
One of the most common symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency is fatigue. This doesn’t just mean that you have to take naps throughout the day or that you are sometimes tired and have a hard time waking up in the morning. Instead, vitamin D deficiency fatigue is a near-constant feeling that you might fall asleep or are too weak to do everything from brush your teeth to even walk to bathroom. Folks with vitamin D deficiency fatigue have a hard time not only going to work but also doing such things like driving cars or talking to friends and family members. This symptom is one of the most commonly listed and one of the most debilitating. No matter how much a person sleeps, they may not be able to feel energized. A person’s professional and personal life is affected due to the vitamin D deficiency fatigue. I've been tired and feeling out of sorts lately but I thought it was just overdoing it trying to get Community Green rolling.
Also, pain in the bones or muscles, as well as poor concentration/memory and restless sleep are other indications of possible deficiency. [I have noticed a lot more leg and foot cramps lately and I'm lucky if I remember to get dressed in the morning!] Lastly, a more serious symptom of vitamin D deficiency is that one’s bones have become more fragile. This means that a simple trip could result in fractured or broken leg. This can be quite serious because fragile bones take long time and is hard to heal. [Great, I'd better be careful at derby practice!]
Vitamin D is found in many dietary sources such as fish, eggs, fortified milk, and cod liver oil. The sun also contributes significantly to the daily production of vitamin D, and as little as 10 minutes of exposure is thought to be enough to prevent deficiencies. Getting enough Vitamin D is important to good health!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Introducing Community Green

Hi all, I know that I have been uncharacteristically quiet lately but I'm back! Sorry to be out of touch for so long but I've been busy...and I mean really busy. I, along with my sister, started a nonprofit called Community Green. That's Bert in the picture there, leaning on the counter we built by reusing an old door, some bead board, wood scraps and leftover paint. We only had to purchase 2 x 4's and some braces. Talk about reusing and repurposing! Community Green will help the citizens of Champaign County improve their lives through greener living. Here’s how we'll do it:
* Community Green will conduct energy audits, including for low-income residents of Champaign County. Our trained experts will check and measure energy use, pointing out ways to improve comfort while reducing utility costs.
* We will be able to help “Green Up” new construction with practical energy-saving information and connections to experienced contractors.
* Housing advocacy services to assist community members in obtaining and/or maintaining stable, energy-efficient housing.
* Community Green will teach and communicate… with outreach programs to community groups.
And we are not just talk! Community Green is all about putting energy-saving ideas into action. So we won’t just give advice, we will follow up with homeowners and builders and make sure the job gets done. “Conservation” does NOT mean “sacrifice.” Making smarter choices in how we use energy can make our homes more comfortable and our lives easier. At the same time, getting energy smarter means saving money, breathing cleaner air, fighting global warming, and helping our country become less dependent on foreign energy suppliers. There was an article in today's paper. You can access it at The News-Gazette online, in the business section.
Today was our "Grand Opening" for the Resale Shop. The revenue from the shop will help to support services. Most of the items in the shop were donated by our family and friends. Their generosity and support helped us to get this venture off the ground. We met a lot of new people, picked up some donations and even gained some consumers needing our services. All in all, a most awesome day! At this time, we are an all volunteer organization. We do accept donations and even offer pick-up service for donations on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Our hours are Thursday 1 pm - 6 pm, Friday and Saturday 10 am - 6 pm and Sunday Noon - 5 pm. So, if you need a place to send your leftover yard sale items, think Community Green! Also, should you be looking for a volunteer opportunity...again, think Community Green! The Resale Shop is located at 2200A E. University Ave. (next to Casey's). Come visit us soon and Go Green!