What I Need

The prompt for today’s Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge is: 10 Things I Couldn’t Live Without. Write a list of 10 things you need (or love) most.

The hardest part about writing this post was deciding in which direction to go. Do I go for the soft, emotional side or the rational, gear-head side. I though some things were so obvious that they didn’t need to be listed: husband, children, dogs, etc. But then, I decided writing a list of things I really need would be incomplete if they weren’t on the list. So, here we are:

My husband, Alan, would have to top this list. I both love and need him. He is my partner is life, fitness and even in business. You can’t get much luckier than that. From the very first day we met 16 years ago, we have been each other’s soul mate (and sole mate!). Ironically, for two people who are so different, we are so very much alike.

Debbie and AlanMy family is so important to me. My sons, Nathan and David, stepson, John, daughters-in-law Sarah and Lisa, granddaughter, Aradia, grandsons, Dane and Cash, future grandchild, my sister, Lisa, and her husband, Bill, my niece, Brynne, and the cousins with whom I’ve become closer in the last few years (especially Marcia, because she reads my blog!) are all a huge part of my life. I love listing them like this because my little family has grown so much in the last 10 years!

Nathan and Sarah

Sarah and Nathan


My youngest, David

Lisa and Brynne

My niece, Brynne, and sister, Lisa

Lisa and Bill

Lisa and my brother-in-law Bill

Kelly and Lisa

My stepson, John and daughter-in-law, Lisa


Alan and our grandsons, Dane and Cash


My cousin, Marcia

My pets, are very important to me. Obviously, sadly, there is a change over time, but having my pets is such an emotional outlet to me that I will always have animals in my life.  In particular, I need Penny, my Dalmatian, who is my running partner. On those days when I just don’t feel like heading out the door, Penny is there, actually moaning in anticipation, urging me to get off my butt and run. She’s almost 11, but gets as excited as a puppy when we run together.


Penny, smiling after a run


Penny, almost 10 years ago

My career is really important to me. While I love my job, that’s not what I mean. I love being a personal trainer. As a trainer, I generally work with an older population. They are not trying get ripped or build six-pack abs. They want to be able to stand without falling, get up out of a chair, reach a top shelf, and pick up a grandchild. Helping someone do that is the real meaning of success for me.

I really need my phone. It has my music, my books, my contacts, my calendar, not to mention the fun stuff like games, running logs, and photos. Oh, and it makes calls, too.

I’m kind of sad to say that I really need my Garmin. I am very anal about my mileage and times, even though I’m so much slower these days. I still need want to how much distance I’ve covered and how long it took me. In the years before GPS systems were available, I used to measure my running routes by car. I can still tell you the mileage points on the old 20 mile route that Alan and I used to take when we were training for marathons.

Even though I haven’t ridden in a while, I really love my bicycle. Riding can be an adventure, especially when you enjoy riding long distances, that can lead to new places, new friends, and new experiences. Coming as I did from a distance running background, cycling always seemed much easier to me (probably because I don’t race and avoid mountains), so as a form of cross training it give my bones and joints a nice break from running.

Which brings me to running shoes. Back in the day, I had multiple pairs, which I alternated to improve wear, and kept track of the mileage on each one. Now, I’m down to one pair because I run a lot less, but that doesn’t make them any less important. The proper pair of shoes protects me from aches and pains (especially knee pain) and makes me faster. Well, probably not the latter, but they do make you feel faster, and sometimes that’s all that counts.

Recently added to this list is my yoga mat. I have tried to incorporate a regular yoga practice in the last few months. Not only do I feel stronger, leaner, more flexible, I also am calmer, more centered, even happier, because of it.

Finally, of course, I need my computer and internet connection. So many aspects of my life are done by computer these days: blogging comes to mind, plus taxes (I only say that because it’s April 13), photo editing, business affairs, and on and on. The resources of the internet are too numerous to list, but my favorite things include reading blogs, searching for recipes, information on any topic you can think of, and, well, shopping.

Funny thing about lists like this. At first, you’re banging your head trying to think of what you want to choose. After you get rolling, all of a sudden there are too many choices, so many things that are important (not to put my husband, family and dogs in the same category as my phone, garmin and computer, but you know what I mean. I hope.).

What things can’t you live without? Or wouldn’t want to?

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