Music for lesbians, “old lady luxuries,” and you should sit if you need to

I’ve got a thing for some of the women whose music was the soundtrack of my youth. I love Stevie Nicks (saw her in concert with my son last year and a few years ago in Canberra, Australia), Madonna, kd lang, Ferron, and Chrissie Hynde. Lots of others to love too (Kate Bush, Joan Armatrading, the Parachute Club, and more) but these are all women I’ve seen in concert.

So I couldn’t resist a chance to see Carol Pope when she played in Toronto recently. I was shocked to realize she’s now 70. She makes 70 look pretty good. Pope is still tearing up the stage. She was part of a concert she’d organized called “Music for Lesbians.” I rounded up some friends (all bloggers here, Hi Sarah, Hi Susan, Hi Cate!)  and though none of us are lesbians (bisexuals all) we had a great time.

Love that Carol Pope shared the stage with Rae Spoon too. Here they are on stage together.

Okay, you’re thinking, what’s any of this got to do with fitness?

As you know I’ve been sick recently. As of the date of the concert I was still tired by the evening and coughing up a storm at night. I debated not going but it was a date with friends and I’d hate missing out. I was certain I wasn’t contagious. I was just suffering from a cough that hangs around after.

Anyway, I looked at the tickets and was thrilled to discover that I’d paid extra for us four to have seats in the balcony. There’d be no need to stand around. Yay!

But other friends were in the regular section and I felt guilty. I couldn’t hang with them and I couldn’t dance. I had to sit. Jokingly friends referred to where we were as the luxury section for old ladies. (Yes, the tickets cost more.)

This feeling of being aware of my needs being different than the needs of others was new to me. It made me realize how privileged I am that this is usually not true for me.

When these piece came across my newsfeed that same week, What a Dolly Parton Concert Taught Me About Living With Chronic Illness, it resonated in a way it might not have before.

“The next time anyone gives me drama about sitting down or bowing out of a standing room-only event, I’m just going to remember Dolly. What would Dolly do? She’d probably smile graciously, keep singing her heart out in all her rhinestoned finery and completely ignore those criticisms. You do what you need to do to look after yourself. That’s something I constantly tell myself, and Dolly helped remind me of it.”

I know I’m frequently the person on the blog who advocates standing over sitting, and moving over keeping still, but yes, sit if you need to. I did. And Dolly does too. No guilt. No shame.



Sick, sick, sick, and sick of it. Hack. Cough. Wheeze. Blerg.

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I took my FitBit off this week in disgust. There is nothing good to report. I’m not moving much because when I move I start coughing. I’m also not sleeping particularly well, because coughing.


I’m trying to keep my spirits up. I’m vaguely happy that it’s snowing because I can’t do anything anyway.

This morning’s Facebook status update: “Okay, yes it’s snowing. But I’m still sick and can’t do much anyway. Highs in the teens over the weekend. High of 20 in the forecast for next week. The snow will melt. I will stop coughing. And I will ride my bike again.”

And yes, I’m doing all the things. Drinking hot tea with honey, eating soup, resting, I promise.

When you have a cold and lingering cough, what’s your preferred ‘feel better’ thing to do? Last time I was this sick I see it lasted a month. Yikes.

(Apparently I like to Google image search for “too sick to work out” and “missing my bike.”)

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Guest Post · holidays

It’s easy to get lazy! Return to training during or after a cold? (Guest post)

Over the holidays I was hit by a pretty bad cold. 7 days straight of very high fever, sore throat, congestion, and coughing. My immune system is hyper-reactive and the nukes were out to destroy the bug. But it did not work this time. It lasted its full 10 days. And now beyond the 10 days I still feel somewhat congested.
Despite all signs, I went out running on day 5. Admittedly, I did not have any fever that morning and thought “That’s it, I am winning this!” This was a very slow run even if I felt like I was pushing. And at the end of the day I could tell by how I was feeling that it had been a mistake to go out. Did it extend my cold? Who knows. This is hard to say. And advice out there on whether one should run or train with a cold is sometimes contradictory. Most will say if you have fever, don’t. But unless one has a working and reliable thermometer (I don’t) it can be hard to tell (add to the mix the occasional hot flashes induced by peri-menopause and, voilà! Is it fever? Is it a hot flash?)
So after that 5th day outing, I waited another 4 days before engaging in any training. During that time, one wonders: am I just being lazy? Surely I could (should?) push myself and do it. When I did train, it was indoors because I was still somewhat feverish and did not feel like running outside in the wet cold. So I did weight training and leg exercises. I thought: “good plan! This won’t go against my less than optimal oxygen intake because of my congestion.” That was without thinking about muscular weakness caused by the cold. I don’t think I have ached like this in a very long time! I went out for a run the next day and pulled something in my thigh. Good job! But again, I was questioning whether I was just being lazy. It is so easy to get lazy, right? Stay warm inside and lounge on the couch, reading stuff and watching some TV (and doing work on the computer). One gets maybe too comfortable? So out I went to run a 7km!
But there are times when your body just needs to be lazy. It needs you to rest and fight what it has to fight. While you are reading, watching TV, killing time on Facebook, your body is hard at work fixing itself. It may be easy to get lazy but it may be necessary at times. This was one such time and I did not listen to my body.
Training is fun and exciting. I know I like it. But I have to learn to be patient with myself when I am sick and need my energy to fight whatever is assaulting me. Mostly, I have to shut up that narrative that makes me think I am just being lazy and should suck it up. I have to go back to working out in a way that does not throw me back into illness. This means a gradual return, testing the waters so to speak. So I need to be more patient with myself. Oh! And I also need to get myself a proper thermometer!