Thursday, April 30, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
~ Mark Twain
My Dad gave my sister and I a wonderful gift when we were young, among many others of course. This one though has carried me further than most, that is a gift of the book. That quote is for Dad, who has inspired me in so many ways. One thing I remember him making me do (though I am grateful for now) is read Mark Twain's, "Huck Finn". It was the biggest book I had ever read, but glad I plugged through. Though I didn't understand every aspect of the book, I am glad I did take the time to read it.
Through my love of reading I have been able to learn so much, earn a degree from Hollins University and learn several spects of holistic healing. Travel to places I may never see and study so many other parts of history, life and so on.
My sister and remember fondly our summers with Dad. A police officer for Roanoke City at that time working nights. He would take us, I now realize how tired he probably was, to the Salem City Library (cause we grew up in Salem, Va), where we would spend hours. Hours among the shelves upon shelves of different colored book ends, holding all sorts of tales, knowledge and adventure. Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, Mark Twain, and the list can go far beyond the classics. Sitting in bean bag chairs reading all we could absorb. Then hearing Dad's snores resonating to the second floor as he fell asleep reading. I'm sure exhausted from his night serving and protecting.
My Dad has been experiencing a new form of exhaustion these past few months. That of survival and to be able to make it through the day. Tired because he cannot put in enough food to help his body have energy. His throat raw from the radiation burns, from his treatments. Tired because his body is fitting against an intruder. Tired because he wants to live to see another birthday, more holidays with his family and so many other special time in between, and trying to fit so much into everyday.
He is one week and two days past his last radiation treatment. He has to wait until June or July to do a scope to see the amazing results of healing his body has been doing against shrinking the tumors and reducing cancer. You see the radiation is still working for many weeks after the last treatment, so we have to wait to learn of the results of months of radiation. So we wait and continue to enjoy every moment we have with him.
I know it has helped me to pause and appreciate the people in my life more and to be sure to let them know. My sister and I have grown closer. We still have our own families, careers and othe obligations, but we've paused to take time to connect and support one another. Something I feel will go far beyond our Dad's diagnosis. Through our struggles as individuals and as siblings of learning how to live with our Dad's diagnosis of cancer. We have so many fond memories with our Dad, some different and some the same, but still an important part of who we are.
Now take a moment and look around you at work, at home or cafe or where ever you are and reading this. Take a moment and look at everyone and put them in groups of 3. Include yourself in a group of 3. 1 in 3 people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. Is this a diagnosis you want to hear? Is that a diagnosis you want your family, friends or neighbors to hear? I am almost certain you are saying, NO! Learn how you can reduce your risks and how you can stop the cycle of disease and death caused by cancer.
Stop the cycle!
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
As you have already read, we rode 27 miles on Sunday (4/26). It is the furthest we have riden at one time. It was a nice ride even though it was in the heat of the day. We rode one lap, refilled our water bottles and headed back out. We wanted to ride further than the slightly over 23 miles the 2 trips would provide. Even though this as not on a mostly flat greenway surface we've riden around our house, we felt we had it in us. We decided to ride back into the trail to add miles. Afterward our celebration clouded how the last miles really went down.
My hands hurt horrible, my butt (well I won't go there), my shoulders ached and my back was tight. I was low on liquid on mile 25, jaw hanging low and shoulders tight.
Tammy just as perky as can be said "Hey! How far is a marathon?"
"26.2.", I grumbled.
"Ok cool!", was her reply.
My mouth was dry and I was out of water (Tammy had a few swallows to spare) as we begun mile 26, my hands tight on the drop downs. I could only at this point focus on the paved trail ahead. No scenary, though smelled breifly the lilacs as we rode by, that eased the discomfort for a few seconds. 26.50 Tammy fell silent (I didn't know her seat had gone wobbly because a bolt was loose), She said "hey Ra, let's turn around." (not realizing her seat had turned into a sit-n-spin) I replied with, "no I we're going to the marker". I had gone into my zen meditation, counting my exhaled breathes, pulling into myself and finding the energy I felt was lost. There is a hill just before that marker, I dug in and felt all the muscles in my back tighten as my legs cranked around. Tammy scoots up beside me cussing at me (because I didn't realize her saddle was in sit-n-sping
mode). We reached the marker and turned around.
I was still in zen meditation counting and reminding myself to keep moving forward. That if I stopped I would lose balance and fall over. Reminding myself with each revolution of the pedals that it is not just about me and my health, it is for a another purpose.
We got to the car, I slowly pealed myself off the bike. I stretched my body and remembered to bend my back in the opposite direction that we had just spent the last 2 hours. There was the grittiness of salt on my face and a feeling I still quite put a word to, but can explain what I was thinking.
There are two funny pictures that Tammy took of me holding onto the bike rack at the end of the car. One I am inhaling, the other photo my cheeks puffed out as air exhaled. I didn't share this then cause I was to exhausted to speak coherently, but I was pausing in that moment, to thank my body for being able to do what I just did. So many people may never find what it feels like to push their body to the limits and to recover. To push your body past the piont when you feel can't or you should just get off the bike. Mine is by choice, people living with cancer don't have the choice when to choose that time to go beyond their limits. So for that moment between tears and happiness I was grateful for my exhausted, sore and thirsty body.
I was moving forward and keeping myself balanced, because I can.
Keep on, keeping on!
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Funny thing happened on the way to our first bike location, it changed. We drove out to where our ride was to occur, found out that it is a popular ride among cyclist as we passed multiple pelatons. However, I'm a city girl and like the idea of not needing to wait on Life Guard 10 or some other rescue vehicle to travel to the middle of no-where to take my broken body to a hospital.
So we instead drove to Balcksburg to ride The Huckleberry Trail. If you're unfamiliar it is a nice rails to trails ride that one way is 5.76 miles. Rails to trails are old railroad lines that have been turned over into a great area to cycle, hike or run. Some of the surfaces are different, this one is paved. There is a nice Rails to Trails Guide you can buy for Va, MD & another state that slips my mind.
We have riden the Huckleberry many times! Love that ride!!! It has a varied topograhical layout so you get a good workout. I must say everytime we ride The Huckleberry we talk about our first ride. It is memorable!!! It took us over 3 hours round trip and to beat all this really old guy (no offense to anyone that might be a really old guy reading this) zoomed passed us on his comfort bike. Though we were hurt'n we kept on moving. We had to walk a few times, but we finally finished and we were proud!!!!! We had new hurts that day, because that was the longest we had ever riden.
Today we are proud of ourselves again of our ride on The Huckleberry, because we rode it twice and rode back out to add a few more miles onto our ride. The grand total was 27 miles in 2 hours and 10 minutes!!! Woohoo!!!! As a friend said when we sent a picture upon completion, "You both look so proud and exhausted at the same time.". We were both!
Today I wore my spiffy new cycling jersey! It was the first time. I really enjoyed it. It is a wool cycling jersey, most people think hot. Today I learned they are not. I have worn wicking shirts many times and certainly felt cooler in those than in a regular Tshirt. Today I stayed dry and cool, never once felt sweaty where my shirt was. Though There was some sweat'n that happened. If interested, my jersey is made by a company called Earth Wind and Rider. Chck'em out!
It was an excellent ride!
Saturday, April 25, 2009
You are all amazing and I am blessed to share this journey with you!!! I couldn't have done without all your help and goodie donations! I am going to attempt everyone and if I forget you I am sorry it is not on purpose, but I'm excited. Of course Tammy, Jessee, Ma, Laura, Casey, Elizabeth, Rachelle, Edye, Val, Sara, Glenna (Seeds of Light) and anyone else I that may have slipped my mind. Because of you and endingout your friends and family old co-workers and sweat equity we raised just over $200 to go to The Lance Armstrong Foundation to help fight cancer.
Many-many-many thank yous!!!!!!!
Thursday, April 23, 2009
We cry, we pray, we plead and we cry some more, but we never give up. Hope is a powerful word and an even more powerful existence, because in hope we can achieve more than most seem possible.
Here is some of what I hope for:
I hope that each of you will never know what it is like to hear the diagnosis of cancer.
I hope that each of you will never have to decide what course of treatment is best for you.
I hope that your children never have to understand why their hair falls out.
I hope that your friends all remain healthy and cancer free.
I hope that you never have to know the sadness of a family member with cancer
I hope that cancer will cease to exist!
Please join me in this Livestrong Challenge ride! There are so many ways that we can strengthen the hope that is within all of us and all around us. Hope is alive and we have what it takes to make it stronger. There are so many ways you can be a part, if you cannot donate online (http://philly09.livestrong.org/rhondachattin), join us at the bake sale this Saturday in front of Seeds of Light (downtown 10-2), volunteer at one of the rides, walks or runs (www.livestrongchallenge.org) or where ever you find where you are most comfortable. Please, don't lose hope!
We're doing it! I look forward to seeing you out there with hope abounding!
Peace and hope,
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
"Are you rid'n or hid'n?" ~Lance Armstrong
Don't hide anymore in this fight against cancer! 1,500 babies, children, parents, siblings and friends will find out today that their loved has lost the battle against cancer. 1 in 3 people will find out they have cancer and they will have to find out how to Livestrong.
Support me in my fight, please! http://philly09.livestrong.org/rhondachattin
Thank you, we're changing the world one revolution at a time!
Monday, April 20, 2009
There are so many angels that have crossed my path over the years and this Livestrong Challenge journey has only put their memories fresh in my mind. Then there are so many new ones. Here are a few. I will continue to write about the cancer angels I meet and have met.
There are all sorts of cancer angels out there. There is the hairdress who helps the cancer patient going through chemotherapy hold onto their self-esteem by going to their home to help them shave their head. They help them find the right wig. They encourage them to take the opportunity to be bold and do something completely unique and out of the ordinary with their hair while they can change their wig. Or the hairdress that trims the hair of the cancer patient as their hair grows back after chemotherapy and does not charge them, because it was just growing back and still sparse.
Then there are the countless number of hospice nurses and grief counselors lending a kind ear, encouragement or suggestions to help. Holding support groups and offering shoulder to hold you up.
The friends that move to the of the theatre for you when they usually sit in the front, because they know you just found out a loved one in your life has a grim diagnosis.
The friends that listen over lunch, dinner, tea and chess.
The cancer angels who have survived the disease and are there with a kind ear for someone that just got a new diagnosis. Or the cancer survivor who has feet so numb from the neurapthy from chemotherapy they still standing strong as they listen to all of the fears of someone after their new diagnosis.
A woman fluffing pillows and making sure there is nothing you need as you sit for many hours receiving your chemotherapy drip. Listening patiently to anything you have to say, know that you are scared, nervous and just need to talk about something other than what you are experiencing.
We are all angels. We are all one. We are all in this fight together.
Keep sharing, it keeps those pedals moving around. It helps me to remember why I ride!
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Hey! Wanna FREE cookie?
If you drop by the bake sale Saturday, April 25 from 10-2 (though we may run out before 2) downtown on the market in front of Seeds of Light sporting an official Nike Livestrong (Nike gives 100% of the net profits from the Livestrong gear to The Lance Armstrong Foundation) T-shirt, baseball hat or technical shirt, I will give you one of my popular chocolate chip cookies for FREE. People call me to make these chocolate chip cookies and ask when I'm baking them again. So get a cookie and buy a cooke, because 100% of the money raised will go to my $2,500 fundraising goal which is benefiting the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Please! :0)
See you Saturday in your Livestrong gear!
We instead rode to the other side of Salem, to the kite festival at Greenhill Park, which is past my sisters house, though not by much. We were meeting up with my sister, her kids and Mom, along with The Craven Crew. Dad didn't have the energy and was uncomfortable from back pain (more on that tomorrow).
While there, we bummed sun screen from Jamison (who was up there with her fab fam). That was not enough though. In addition to getting sun burned, we did not hydrate enough while sitting in the sun. So when we hopped on the saddle to return home we weren't as sharp as we should have been.
Then reality hit me. I realized half way home that in August I am going to have to do that ride twice, plus a few miles. That made my jaw hang lower as I dug in to get home. Trying to decide who to call to pick us up on the side of the road. Then a little voice said, "Keep turning those pedals, you're doing this to make a difference". So I kept pedaling, even announced that I think I'm dying. Tammy must have seen my struggle, because she chirped out a word of encouragement. I learned a lot on this ride.
One, a road bike is much easier than a mountain bike. I was on a road bike and Tammy was on a hybrid, that a friend was tired of looking at in his basement (thanks Walter!). FYI, the hybrid is also easier than a mountain bike. Two, we also learned that the roads in Roanoke are better than the roads in Salem. You don't realize this in a car. However, when your butt is on a saddle and your hands feel the vibration (even with bike gloves on) you realize the condition of the road. Three: Hydration is KEY! Even though I knew this from Track & Field in high school I had forgotten, that we should have drank more water while sitting in the sun. Four, I have an amazing partner that is not only supporting me in my Livestrong ride, but riding along with me. Cycling is often called a solitary sport, but I have someone I am sharing it with. I also have friends wanting to join us. That is great! Five, we ride more on flat greenways and not unpredictable ever changing roads. We had more hills and steady inclines yesterday, which made our almost 22 miles seem tougher. Six, sun screen is also a biking need! We look like lobsters!
Don't worry we will have sunscreen next Saturday (4/25) at the bake sale downtown on the market in front of Seeds of Light from 10-2. Look forward to seeing you there!
Wear protection and hydrate!
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
With so many other groups and organizations out there, people ask me why I picked The Lance Armstrong Foundation. Other than being a cycling fan and admire the hell out of someone to fight cancer and come out to win multiple Tour de France Races....Here is why...
If you have a moment and can, watch this video that has the LAF Manifesto. Make sure you have a tissue and you're ready to take a step to make a difference, however that difference is for you. You may not ride your bike 45 miles like I am doing in Philadelphia in August. You may buy a Livestrong wristband, or donate (http://philly09.livestrong.org/rhondachattin) or hold someones hand as they receive their chemotherapy or shave your head in support. We all have our way to make a difference. I encourage you to find yours, because you're worth it!
The Manifesto of the Lance Armstrong Foundation
We believe in life.
We believe in living every minute of it with every ounce of your being.
And that you must not let cancer take control of it.
We believe in energy: channeled and fierce.
We believe in focus: getting smart and living strong.
Unity is strength. Knowledge is power. Attitude is everything.
This is the Lance Armstrong Foundation.
We kick in the moment you’re diagnosed.
We help you accept the tears. Acknowledge the rage.
We believe in your right to live without pain.
We believe in information. Not pity.
And in straight, open talk about cancer.
With husbands, wives and partners. With kids, friends and neighbors. And the people you live with, work with, cry and laugh with.
This is no time to pull punches.
You’re in the fight of your life.
We’re about the hard stuff.
Like finding the nerve to ask for a second opinion.
And a third, or a fourth, if that’s what it takes.
We’re about getting smart about clinical trials.
And if it comes to it, being in control of how your life ends.
It’s your life. You will have it your way.
We’re about the practical stuff.
Planning for surviving. Banking your sperm. Preserving your fertility. Organizing your finances. Dealing with hospitals, specialists, insurance companies and employers.
It’s knowing your rights.
It’s your life.
Take no prisoners.
We’re about the fight.
We’re your champion on Capitol Hill. Your advocate with the healthcare system. Your sponsor in the research labs.
And we know the fight never ends.
Cancer may leave your body, but it never leaves your life.
This is the Lance Armstrong Foundation.
Founded and inspired by one of the toughest cancer survivors on the planet.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Ok so, we had a great bicycle ride yesterday, then walked an additional 3 miles (approx). While we were riding we could have kept going, except my butt was tender and after our walk the knees were a little tender. All in all it was a good day. Tired and ready for bed, nothing out of the ordinary. Well hydrated and ate really well, thanks to my personal chef and supportive partner Tammy. :0)
So this morning I woke up, moving slow and SORE! It is Monday and our regular workout day. We take Wednesday off, because Tammy has school Monday and Tuesday nights, so Wednesday we're ready for a shorter day. That is ok, except we have amped up our workouts in April, because August is a little closer. This week we started to do an endurance ride on Sundays. If you have ever read anything on training, most everything says to take the day off after your endurance day.
We didn't take today off, for the above mentioned reasons. So the second my hands moved weights I felt just as tired as I felt last night before I went to bed. I felt like I never even slept. I was moving cement arms with heavy weights at the end. UGH! Now Tammy was excited to "feel the burn" and was trucking right along. While I felt like I was in slow motion.
Here is the reason. We've learned a few years ago, that I have a different type of primary muscles than she does. I have what they call "fast twitch". I have the wonderful ability to lift weights, then I feel and see immediately that I have been lifting weights. Where Tammy is doing the same thing and not seeing the results, but feeling the results and not seeing. Follow this link to learn more about the different muscle groups.
We call her the turtle and I am the hare, because I can shoot up short hills and sprint past her, cheering her on. On the long rides, she is just fine and I'm hurt'n. One of the things we learned a long time ago is I require a little more time to recover from big workouts. It has gotten a lot better over the years, but it is still something I requre. For me it is frustrating as I feel I am able to do more and my body tells me it is not ready. So it is my lesson in patience.
Don't go spinning your wheels!
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Today we went out on a ride. It was a great ride and a ride to help ease some of my anxiety over being able to complete 45 miles by August.
We are calling it "The Half Way Ride", well almost halfway. Through the wonderful treasure of a bicycle odometor (a great Christmas present years ago from Tammy) we were able to know how far we rode. We were 0.20 shy of exactly half way of 45 miles, at 22.30 miles. It took us one hour and 22 minutes. Not bad for a couple of chunky girls! :0) Tammy is such a good sport!
Yea, we're a little excited over the odometer. Before we had one, we would go out on a bike ride and after returning home, we would drive it in the car to see how far we had riden. So we are always really happy to be able to simply look down to see our distance traveled. It is the little things.
Hope your day was full of color!
Friday, April 10, 2009
~Glenn Eames (owner of The Old Spokes Home in Burlington, VT)
If you are new to the blog, be sure to look in the archives of March for"Here's My story", on the full scoop of why I am riding. And welcome! If you're a regular, thanks for rolling along.
Donation page: http://philly09.livestrong.org/rhondachattin
Ride across the wind!
Thursday, April 9, 2009
I have 200 (minus 5, Thanks to the Craven's) yellow Livestrong wristbands that for just $1, you can help one find a new home!
April 25 from 10-2 (or we run out of the gooey sweetness) we'll be having a bakesale in front of Seeds of Light in downtown Roanoke on the Market.
100% of all money from wristbands and bakesale will go to The Livestrong Foundation!
See you around!
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Next Friday (4/17) is his last radiation treatment! On top of that, the oncologist said that he is responding well to his treatment, taking care of himself, able to eat and that he does not have to return for three months. This is a huge change from the monthly with the oncologist. Next week he meets with the radiation doctor as he does weekly to go over the next steps after his last radiation treatment next week. Woohoo!!! We are so excited!!
Thanks for all of your prayers!!!
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Had lunch with my Dad today. Always so great to spend time with him. We ate at Wildflour and he chatted with Doug one of the fabulous owners of the cafe and bakery.
Dad's radiation was changed on Monday to focus in on the tumors on his esophagus. Now imagine the worst sunburn you've ever had. Now put that sunburn down your throat. That is what he has right now, making it difficult to swallow. So eating a meal requires a lot of liquid and patience. He said today somtimes he decides it isn't worth it. Otherwise he ate well and a lot.
Tomorrow is not a gym day, but is a rock climbing day. :o)
'til next time!
Monday, April 6, 2009
I've been more sore the past three weeks than I have ever been in my life. Well maybe sometime earlier, but in my adult memory, I've never stayed this sore for this lenght of time. On going sore! This forces me to dig deep to reach inward to see what I can accomplish. When you're a little sore it is a little more difficult, you start off already moving with effort cause your muscles hurt.
Yesterday (Sunday) I was still sore from our rock climbing expedition. Still looking forward to rock climbing on Wednesday but it was Sunday, nice outside and I had to get out for a bike ride. Late morning we headed out. I set my goal in sight. I was going to finally make it up the hill of doom. You see, to people who cycle all the time, riding along the Blue Ridge Parkway, "the hill of doom" (as I refer to it) is a simple training ride. For me, being on the overweight side, never really having had muscles or lungs good for long steady uphill rides, it is a tough hill. Today, I was going to own that hill, it was not going to own me any more. I pedaled my bike past the cancer center turning right onto Jefferson. Remembering all to well why I was on the bike as sore as I was. I pulled out my water bottle, swallowed and shifted gears. Took a deep breath as we slowed for the red light at Jefferson and McClannahan. Moving forward, I went into a steady cadence, trying to keep my muscles in a steady movement forward. Passing the church I was still able to talk comfortably, I pointed out to Tammy that my goal is to make it to the base of that curve, which is 27th Street. Still steady rolling forward, breathing a little more heavy, the pitch gets more steep and I downshifted.
Now, focusing on keeping my breath with cadence and focusing on the top of that hill, just before it goes into the curve. A quarter of the way up, my legs start getting tight, then my breathing becomes more labored, and steady keeping sight on the sign, now visible. My whole body now feels this hill and then two thirds of the way up I hear, that's all I got. I yelled back, "I'm doing it today!". I see the corner across from the street sign pass by my tire as I crossed 27th Street. I cried, I rode over and stood by the sign. Tears welled up in my eyes and breathing heavily I turned and said, "I did it! I did it!". Tears now rolling down my cheeks, looking up at the sign with a smile on my face, it took some effort cause well I was trying to breath. We paused for Tammy to take a picture and continued on with the rest of the ride.
No for most it is not a big major hill or tough ride, but for me, it was. It is an accomplishment I have been working toward for a few years now. Making that hill is an accomplishment for me and my riding. I did it and I dug in deep to do be able to do it.
Digging in deep seems to be the theme this week. As I was at the gym today digging in deep to make it through our sets in weight lifting. When the soreness only made me want to turn back over when it was time to get out of bed and not go lift weights. Then I rememberd that I don't want anyone else to enter the fight against cancer, so I got out of bed and went. I dug deep again, again bringing myself to tears for being able to push myself beyond what I thought I could do. No I'm not a crier. Well I am tender hearted and cry in movies and sad commercials, but not at the gym. I once agian had tears well up in my eyes as I pushed myself beyond what I felt I could do. Proving once again that I am stronger than I ever thought.
You see, I am pushing myself to the limits. As I have said before, it is the only way that I can give any type of comparision that people living with cancer feels. The only way I can get an idea of the feelings my Dad has when his body is drained from the radiation treatments, from the cancer eating all the beneficial cells. For many, just hearing the diagnosis of cancer, forces them to dig deep to walk out of the office.
You see, 70,000 young adults between the ages of 15 and 39, will be diagnosed with cancer this year. AND cancer is the leading disease killer among 20-39 year olds. So I push myself to the limits as I am riding and strengthing myself, because I can, because my body is not fighting cancer and because I don't want anyone else to have to fight it either.
Please, donate to my efforts in the fight against cancer, my goal is $2,500, http://philly09.livestrong.org/rhondachattin. Any amount is appreciated and the Livestrong Foundation will make sure it will be put to good use. I thank you ahead of time in this fight that we are in together.
Thanks for sharing the journey!
Sunday, April 5, 2009
That is exactly what we did yesterday! Wow!!! Tammy, Jessee and myself all ventured out to our local rock climbing gym. Rocwood is the largest in the area, by the way. It is huge! Eventhough I have no other reference point. It is a really great class and very thorogh in going over all the gear and teaching the basic knots that you need for climbing. So we were ready to go...
Jessee being a petite one of the crew shimmied up the wall like a little gecko. Tammy and I both nervously worked our way up the wall, not making it to the top, but 3/4 of the way. We put in a lot of climbing! I personally achieved one of my life goals and love it! We're going back Wednesday to get our certified to belay card for the Rocwood Gym and put in some more climb time. This is to say that by then I should not be nearly as sore as I am today. LOL! To think I wanted to put in some weight training before the class yesterday. Did not need it! Not only that I worked muscles that, well never have been used before. But it feels great! Who said fat people can't climb? Not me, cause we did. :o)
Off for a morning bike ride on this gorgeous spring day, after a little feul!
Friday, April 3, 2009
About three years ago I began going to see an acupuncturist. I go to Acupuncture Roanoke and see Alexander Davis and is located in the Grandin Wellness Center (GWC). Also in the GWC is Jamison Cundiff with Nexus Chiropractic, my Chiropractor. Both of these people are helping my body to stay aligned and all of my Body to stay balanced and operating at it's fullest potential.
In addition to acupunture and chiropractic care, I work on myself by doing self Reiki (you can find out more about that in my blog at http://holisticenergyworks.blogspot.com or on Facebook at my group by the same name.), I meditate and use essential oils to help my body to mend between workouts. I also go to the Lifestream Center and lay on a bed of heated amethyst crystals, which has the same healing benefits as going to the beach. All three of these appointments are valuable and re-energize me for the next day of workout.
I also have a wonderful partner that is a good cook and can cook healthy food and it tastes good too! :0) The good food of course helps to fuel my body so that I can keep going. Water is also pretty key! Hydration, hydration and more hydration. I go on the basic half your body weight of water in ounces and then some. So I drink at least 120 ounces to start with, I rehydrate after I excercise and try to see if my body needs more water. They say if you're thirsty then you are on your way to dehydration.
I do not stretch. If I have tight muscles I use "The Stick" which you roll over tight muscles to help losen rather than stretch. When I start part of my warm up is a series of excercises similar to qigong (chi-gong) and tai chi called, the peaceful warrior stretches, found in Dan Millman's Body Mind Mastery book(ISBN: 1577310942). Very useful and really gets the body loosened up and ready to go.
Hope these tips help!