How to Paddleboard and What I Learned

Venice gondolierThe first time I saw paddleboarders, they reminded me of the Venice gondoliers without the striped shirts and skinny, long canoes. Then I learned it builds core, leg, and upper body strength. I’m all about exercising while outdoors. Being landlocked in Colorado, adopting a new water sport intrigued me so I reserved a paddleboard. I wondered if I would spend more time in the water than on the board. I didn’t know I would learn some life lessons too.

Union Reservoir in Longmont only allows power boats to put around and fish, so it’s a paddleboarders’ paradise. I rented a board and grabbed a paddle. I set the lifepreserver on top of the board where it taunted me. I wondered how many times I would spill and if I should put it on. I looked around at the graceful paddleboarders gliding across the lake and tensed, knowing grace was a gift given to other people. I must have been sick that day.

Paddleboarding Paridise Continue reading

My Resolution Failures and Why You Should Join The Big Chill in 2017

When I realized I would fail to reach my 2016 resolutions, disappointment kicked me in the gut and I landed on the floor. While gasping for breath, I discovered lots of dust bunnies under the furniture. Sheesh.

The plan had been set. I had stayed on target. Very few sparkly things led me astray. In fact, I worked harder, maybe twice as hard as any other year. I would sit down to write and find myself in a telephone booth where the universe would expand and I’d be transported into the lives of my characters. Many hours later, owls hooting on my chimney would be like, “Whoooo. Doooode, I’ve never known a human whoooo could sit so long.” I’d snap out of my time warped daze and stretch, then gape at the time. Balance between work and play crashed and burned. I needed to chill, big time.

Resolution failures and why you should join the big chill in 2017

So, what happened?

No matter how hard I worked, I depended on too many outside forces to complete my 2016 goals. The other problem seems counter-intuitive, but I needed more play time. Really!  

#2016 Failure One:

To find an agent and contract my book with a publisher. I planned to finish querying my long list of agents by June 2016. If I didn’t find one, I would hit up mid-sized publishers and work my way through that list. Then, I would query independent publishers and pull the trigger. My first book would be scheduled for publication in 2017.

This seemed like a reasonable and logical progression to a goal. I could have reached it, but I forgot one tiny factor. Agents’ response time can be reeeeeally slooooowww.

When a few agents didn’t respond at all, I retired their queries after ten weeks. I could have exhausted all of my lists by June if I had used the shotgun technique – When you write a query letter then copy and paste the names of the agents, blasting 20-100 at a time. No freakin’ way. That’s not my style. I spend hours researching each agent and then personalize each letter. I usually send out five at a time. Why only five? Because I’ve gotten amazing advice in rejection letters. When an agent’s criticism enlightened me and I could see how it would improve my project, I revised my book, rewrote the query letter, or both. I mean, this criticism came from professional in the publishing business. I never ignore it.

By mid-June, I panicked. Unless I got an offer with the few I sent, I wouldn’t reach my goal. I kept a positive outlook for that lucky break.

Well, that hasn’t happen…yet.

But I made some decent progress. A few top agents requested full submissions. It was super exciting.

By the end of July, I wondered if I should blow off my first book and focus on other projects. I put the question out into “the Universe.” Days later, it became a finalist in a contest. The bonus? Receiving amazing feedback from neutral judges.

I shelved querying, but continued working on my first book, rebuilding and remodeling. I’m hoping to shape its structure so the storyline draws you into a place where you find a comfy chair and hang out for a while hopefully, in a Dr. Who phone booth. I’m glad I didn’t set a bundle of dynamite in its basement and plug my ears. It will get published someday. What’s the rush?

Failure Two:

Finish two other novels and a screenplay. Yep, I’ve got a lot on my plate.

I’m close, but I ran out of time. I could have worked through the holiday to cross one off the list, but I focused on family instead. It’s weird, but I needed to forget about my projects for a while. It’s a Wild Writing Technique that I’ll explore in 2017 as a part of the Big Chill.

2017 Resolutions:

Take the Big Chill with me and CHILLAX! 

After working my butt off in 2016, I am scheduling PLAYTIME to chill the hell out. Yes. It warrants all caps as a reminder. I worked too hard and inefficiently in 2016. Didn’t you? This break time will be written into my planner’s schedule like any other appointment, in pen! I’ll spend less time dinking around on the Internet like a monkey on crack tapping on a keyboard. It’s easy and unhealthy to sit for hours on end. Instead, my chilling time will be spent AWAY from my computer. It’s magical. You should try it too. 

Get ripped again.

Look at my Boob Report photo. Even though I’m sick with cancer, I have defined arm muscles. Scheduling exercise will be a part of playtime. I’m in control of this goal, so let the Wild Rumpus begin!

susie lindau boob report picture

Take yoga and meditation classes.

Clearing a cluttered and over-active brain while meditating makes room for new ideas. The benefits carry over into all aspects of life. I can’t wait for more of that. My friend just told me about HeadSpace. She listens to the app on her phone and meditates every morning. Cool!

Find balance in 2017.

Recently, while face-planted and counting the dust bunnies drifting across the wood floors, I had an AHA moment. I needed the dust bunny perspective of break time to look at my projects and life in general from a more objective distance. I didn’t play hard enough in 2016. I picked myself up and brushed the lint from my yoga pants.

After a few weeks off to prepare for the holidays, my brain exploded with new ideas. These were next level, oh, My God, ideas. I don’t think they would have popped into my pea brain without a break. Here’s the thing. I kept writing. My Dear Holiday Diary posts exercised the crazy technicolor film festival running in my brain so ideas wouldn’t become puny, lazy roadies who hung out smoking cigarettes behind my frontal lobe.

Regardless of whether taking breaks accomplishes anything in 2017, enjoying and experiencing life is imperative to any well-rounded, Wild Rider’s life. Work super hard, play even harder. I’m sure some face-planting will be involved, but at least I’ll be out there trying.

What about those owls? They can jolt someone else from Dr. Who’s telephone booth time machine. I plan to have fun at the end of the day.

Oh, yeah, and once in a while, I promise to dust under the furniture.

What do you think of adding more playtime to your life? What is your top goal for 2017?

Take the Challenge

Have you been chained to your desk this summer or have you channelled The Hulk and broken out to enjoy the nice weather? It’s not too late to join us.

Here’s how:

Share photos of your outdoor fitness adventures through Twitter and Instagram with #WRFChallenge. I’ll link you up!

Deanne Schultz posted a selfie while taking the Challenge on her birthday. Happy Belated Birthday, Deanne!

Patricia Sands has been playing tennis to enjoy the outdoors.

My daughter Courtney Lindau and her friends took an epic hike near Red Rocks.

Went on an awesome hike with these ladies above Red Rocks today! 🗻☀️🍃

A post shared by Courtney Lindau (@courtneylindau) on

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Feel Like Summer is Slipping Away?

Once the 4th of July has been celebrated, the lazy days of summer accelerate at warp speed. Soon, our shadows will stretch, the leaves will begin to change and the kids will head back to school.

I’ve learned how to slow down this special time of year while the days are long and warm. Want to know my secret? Make time for yourself and get outside!

These are a few of the hikes I’ve taken in Colorado this summer.

Fitness challenge hikes

Join the Wild Rider Fitness Challenge. Create some memories while exercising your body and I’ll link you up. Take a couple of pictures while walking, running, biking, swimming, cliff diving, or dancing (the very best exercise), and post a picture or two on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #WRFChallenge. I’ll include it here on the Wild Ride. Continue reading

Amazing Outdoor Photos from WRFChallengers

Have you wanted to commit to exercise, but can’t seem to get into a routine? Here’s what’s working for me.

Take the 90 day Wild Rider Fitness Challenge. It ends on September 8th with a Wild Party. It’s super easy. Really! Exercise two or more times a week and get outside at least once. That’s all! You can walk around your neighborhood or scale a mountain. It’s up to you.

Post photos on Instagram and Twitter of your outdoor adventures and tag them #WRFChallenge. I’ll continue to feature some of them here. Or you can blog about your own adventure and link it to Join the Wild Rider Fitness Challenge, so more can join.

Here’s what the WRFChallengers have been up to!

Ginger Calem ran with an eagle in Texas.

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Friday Photo and an Invitation!

Happy TGIF Wild Riders!

Want to have fun and get one of your Instagram or Twitter posts featured? Tweet or Instagram your photos while walking, running, hiking or having any kind of outdoor adventure. Include the hashtag #WRFChallenge. I’ll pick a few to post here on the Wild Ride.

It’s summer. Time to enjoy the longer days and explore the great outdoors. It’s easy to let it slip away.

ChautauquaIf you haven’t already joined, it’s not too late to be a part of the Wild Rider Fitness Challenge. Exercise two or more times a week. Once a week, go outside to exercise your body.

There are many ways to share your adventure. Post about it on your blog and link me up, email me to guest post, or meet me and the other Wild Riders on Twitter or Instagram at #WRFChallenge.

On September 8th, I’ll host a party! You know me. I’m all about parties. We’ll have a Wild Rider Fitness Challenge Day where we can look back on our summer of fitness fun.

Adventure awaits, right outside your door!

Have you been enjoying summer? Do you have plans to get outside this weekend?

Wild Rider Fitness Challenge – A Guest Post by Maggie C

I would like you to meet Maggie C from, What Rhymes with Stanza? She has taken the 90 day Wild Rider Fitness Challenge. Maggie has written a wonderful outdoor photo essay about the pet-ometer and how it keeps her going. I can see where it is an excellent motivator. I think you’ll really enjoy this. It may motivate you too.

Take it away Maggie C!

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Thank you, Susie, for hosting the Wild Rider Fitness Challenge!

I’ve actually been taking daily walks for about a year now, but the Challenge is motivating me to “step up” my game. I have difficulty sticking with any kind of healthy endeavor, it seems, so having kept at it this long is pretty amazing (or perhaps I’m just easily amazed).

The secret to maintaining my exercise regimen this past year has been my Pet-ometer. He doesn’t measure how many steps I’ve taken in a day, but he lets me know when it’s time to walk,

1ready

and — if I don’t get my rear off the couch soon enough — he lets me know it’s REALLY time for a walk. Continue reading