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The 2019 Great Santa Run Las Vegas!


Philomena

Happy Monday to everyone reading this. I hope you have enjoyed your two days away from anything you may have going on during the week. I know Mondays are anticipated to be the worst day of the week by a lot of people, simply because you have just had relaxation time, and now you have to go back to any obligations you may have on a weekday. Despite that, I am hoping when you read this its just making your day a little bit brighter! 

Today I am going to start off by saying that as of May 23, school let out for about two, and a half months, and since then a lot has been going on. This has not been your typical summer, I have not been on any vacations, and I have not been spending time with friends. 

At the beginning of Summer, I had a personal realization that I could do with losing some weight and decided to begin working on my my physical health. I knew I had weight to lose for a while before this, but I hadn’t thought much about it, until I actually took a look at myself, and thought, “How did I gain this weight in the first place?” “What can I do to lose this weight?” At that point I decided something needed to change. 

So, what did I do you may ask? Well after looking into what I eat, and digest on a daily basis, I quickly noticed that I was not eating the correct foods that I should have been eating, and in some cases I would eat too much food in one sitting. I was also eating too many sweet treats whenever I wanted them, and not actually regulating how much I had, or when I had them at all. I was not paying any attention to how this effected my body either to be completely honest, with you, and myself. Subsequently, I have cut back the amount of candy, cookies, chips, and ice cream that I would usually eat. Now when I do have them, it is so much more flavorful, and a rewarding treat!

In addition to this, I have also increased the number of workouts that I do per week and have started training harder at the gym when I go. I mainly work on my core, and free weights, but also the weight machines when I can. After the gym, I sometimes roll around the house too in my manual wheelchair. It has finally dawned on me that getting your heart rate up, is what helps you lose weight faster, so with that being said, I try to do everything I can, in order to get my heart rate up. Don’t get me wrong, yes, this does take a lot of time, and determination, but it is something that will happen very slowly, and over time, it’s not just going to happen overnight.

At the same time as deciding to better myself, and loose the weight that I needed to loose, I also decided to make an end of the year goal, which was to participate in the 2019 Las Vegas Great Santa Run, because if I am putting this much hard work, and dedication into other things, then why not take the dedication one step further, because what do you have to lose, the answer is nothing. All this means for me, is that I have to work super hard, and walk what is long distances to me whenever I get the chance to. The first time I attempted doing this, I walked down to Starbucks, that is in total 3.3 miles from our house, which is way too far for me to walk, so instead we made a park close to our house my starting point, which is 1.1 miles, and that’s still like walking a Marathon for me, haha. When I first attempted walking down there, I made all but about three streets, and then my parents had to grab ether side of my walker, and push me the rest of the way, as I was just too exhausted to continue. To walk up to the point I did, with all but three streets left at most, it took me an hour, and thirty minutes. As time went on though, and I did this particular walk a few more times, we managed to get the time down to fifty-five minutes in total and make it all the way to Starbucks. My Dad, and I were out walking one day, and we decided together that it is better for me to work on my stamina, than just having the walk be all down hill, which is what the Starbucks walk is. As a result of this, I now do a new walk, that is approximately .65 of a mile, but most of it is uphill. I manage to complete this walk in just under fifty minutes. I haven’t been walking outside for quite a while, due to the extremely hot weather that we have been having here in Vegas lately. I am going to resume my training once it cools down.  This Santa run/walk that I’m going to do takes place at the same location, and around the same time each year. It takes place at Downtown Las Vegas, and all proceeds go to Opportunity Village, it will happen on December seventh, this year. The dates for this run may very, but it always takes place on the first Saturday in December. Each participant has two choices, they can ether choose to take part in the one-mile walk, or the 5K run. I am choosing to Participate in the one-mile walk using my reverse walker. My Dad has helped me set up a fundraising page, for the walk, in which we have raised $3,472.94 so far, and our end goal is $5000 even. Thanks to my Dad asking people to donate and passing all his donations over to me. I really appreciate any donations that have been made, and have yet to be made, it is so, so generous of you all, thank you so much. 

Opportunity Village !!


Philomena

 

Due to my family, and I being the highest fundraisers so far for the Las Vegas Santa Run my Dad received an email from the people at Opportunity Village asking if our family, and any guests that we would like to bring would like to come, and tour the Opportunity village facility, and of course we said yes. It was so eye opening to see all that they do for our community. When we first arrived at the facility Casey, Marty and Ashton, then we got to meet one of the ambassadors for the particular facility we were at, whose name was Reggie. This gentlemen’s job within the facility was to clean the restrooms. He seamed very Passionate about his job, and stated, “I love what I do”   After that, the people in charge of the tour, began explaining that they had four locations conveniently located all over the Valley, but this one that we got to attend, is particularly special for all that they have to offer. Unlike other Organizations, Opportunity Village is mainly self-funded. From there, we got to walk around the entire facility, and see what it was all about. At this facility, they offer two very important programs for the disabled. The programs go in levels, and the people within them are able to move up, as they get more mobile, and physically able to. The first program that we got to visit was called pride. This program started when a Mum came to Opportunity Village, and explained how she needs somewhere to drop her child off, so that she can go to work, and earn a paycheck because she knows that her child will never be able to work for himself, and obviously, the family needs money coming in. They understood what the Mum was saying, and that’s when the people at Opportunity Village said we’ll start a program called pride. The people in this program, are all nonverbal, and receive a two to one service, where the workers within the pride program, will push them around, and interact with them. The next program up from pride is called enable. The people in here are a little bit more mobile and are interactive. All the people within this program, had something they were doing, one person in there, was playing with coins, and dropping them into a bucket. This person also tried to shake my Mum’s hand. Whilst we were still in the enable room chatting, a lady came up to my Dad, and asked him if he had any T-mix (Trail Mix) and my Dad said no, and then the lady told him that he should go get some from the cafeteria haha. Once we finished touring those two very special programs, one of the guys leading the tour (Marty), expressed that it doesn’t happen very often, but when the people taking part in these two programs, move up a level, it is definitely something to celebrate. Our next stop after this, was the cafeteria. Here we met a few people, and shook their hands, they started little conversations with us, and said hello. We also met the person that inspired one of the people who was leading the tour to start working at the facility. Next up was the print shop. In there were tons of boxes, and a printer. This is where everything gets developed. Following this, we headed towards the packaging shop. It is very interesting what they do in here. Until now, I bet you thought the boxes that you receive from Cox TV Services with replacement equipment in them are brand new right? If the answer is yes, then you are incorrect. The people that work for Opportunity Village, in the packaging department at this facility, refurbish them, so they look like new, and then they are sent out to you looking like brand-new boxes, how amazing is that? Last, but not least was the Kitchen, where the workers of that department bake 5,000 cookies a day, which then get boxed up, and sent to the hotels all around Vegas. At Christmas time though, they bake 10,000 cookies, and do exactly the same with them. They offer three types of flavors: Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Raisin, and Snicker Doodle. We got to sample the Oatmeal Raisin flavor, and it was delicious! Like all good tours, we ended at the gift shop. There I was asked to be the ambassador for the 2019 Las Vegas Great Santa Run! Of course, I said I would love to, but at the same time, I am nervous, but excited!

In summery, I think the Opportunity Village tour was very eye opening all together. I never knew they did so much for our community before taking this tour. I think it is incredible how everyone there is so welcoming, and interactive when new people come in.

I am excited to continue through my journey of weight loss and changing my eating habits. I look forward to seeing how my progress will advance up to the time of The Las Vegas Great Santa Run, and beyond. I will keep you updated as time goes by.

 

Today I am back with something exciting......


Philomena

Hi bloggers, today I am back with what I think is a very exciting reading about something that I am ecstatic to have accomplished within the past couple of months of 2019.

As you know I have a disability called Cerebral Palsy, which luckily in my case, just effected my legs. Since the ago of two years old, I have been fortunate enough to be able to use a walker, in order to navigate around everywhere. As of 2013, I was told I was a candidate, to have a surgery done called Dorsal Rhizotomy.  I got to have the surgery done by the highest ranked hospital with Dr. Park. I went to St. Louis, Missouri to have this surgery done, and it was intended to remove the spasticity within my legs. It did just that, so much so, that I was told by the doctor who preformed this surgery, that I will be able to walk on crutches, but maybe even independently, or holding on to furniture one day, as long as I am willing, and determined, to put the time, and effort in to actually get to that point.

Ever since this milestone in my life, I have attempted trying to learn to walk on my crutches on, and off before. Even though people were giving me positive feedback, about how good the walking was, how good I was doing, and how I should keep going, not give up now, and continue to progress further, I will be honest to you, and myself, there were times when I felt like it was just too hard for me to achieve, I wasn’t going to progress any further, and I just didn’t believe in myself at that time, therefore, I did just that, several times. With that being said, I took at least three years, or more away from them. I am happy to say that I now regret doing this, as walking on my crutches, is not the hardest thing I will ever experience, but it’s not the easiest thing ether, if that makes sense. It is kind of in the middle.

All thanks to my Dad, and helping me work really hard, on strengthening my core at the gym, I feel as determined, strong, and confident in myself, this time around, than I ever have done, before. When I first started trying to learn again, don’t get me wrong, I felt super nervous, my hands were extremely sweaty, and slipping off the crutches, I wasn’t very steady, and I couldn’t walk as far as I can now, without getting extremely tired, and fatigued. Listening to my Dad’s comments, as far as what I can do to correct the things that need correcting, in attention to all his general comments, as well as all the comments from family, have paid off over time, and helped to keep me motivated, determined, and wanting to work really hard to progress, and better myself.

I personally feel like the key points that I need to work on right now, are, standing up a lot straighter, not putting the crutches out too far, and most impotently of all, coming out of my comfort zone, and start trying to walk in other places, outside of the gym. I get really nervous when trying to do this, and make myself believe I’m going to fall. It’s all work in progress, I will keep pursuing, and hopefully I will progress a lot further! Thank you for everything Papa, I wouldn’t have been able to do this without you, or your help!😘❤️


Love

Mena

Publish modules to the "offcanvs" position.