Mona Collins

Archive for the ‘Victories’ Category

My 5K Experience

In fitness, Victories on June 16, 2012 at 6:58 PM


Now that I am awake and refreshed, I can speak about my 5k experience. To say that I was nervous and anxious, is an understatement. Last Sunday, I cried just thinking about it. This story started almost two years ago when I decided to do the “Couch to 5K” app on my iPhone. That endeavor was the motivation behind starting this blog (the journey to lose weight and complete a 5K).

Today, I completed my first 5K in nine years, the second in my life. I signed up with a group from work. There were seven of us along with my seven-year old nephew who arrived to run this morning. The CASA Superhero 5K race benefitted children in the Bentonville area. My biggest fear was finishing last. I knew I wouldn’t win, but (dear Lord, please) don’t let me finish last. Next to last is way better than last.

Well, my biggest fear came true. I started in the back and by the half way water station, I had a thought that I might be the last one. When I realized the “person” behind me was a maroon Ford Taurus and not the lady from earlier, I had a full-on crying episode. In a neighborhood, no less. I cried so hard I couldn’t breathe. You know the sobbing cry where you make ugly faces and loud sounds, that was me. It was at that moment I realized the Ford Taurus was the escort car, and it was official. I was the last runner/walker. I felt horrible. I was exactly where I DIDN’T want to be…LAST.

However, I appreciate Volunteer Ken who came and walked with me. He reminded me that I was a winner. His words were “you’re doing great! Much better than the 10’s of thousands who are still asleep. You’re getting exercise and you’re helping the kids.” He kept talking and I soon stopped crying. We made it through the neighborhood and the finish line was in sight!

On my last stretch is was great that a co-worker came back to walk with me as well. My question to her, “You’re already finished?!” She smiled and kept me company. The best part of the day was having my brother and nephew join me on the final stretch. Yea, I cried again. They walked with me, and my brother joined me as I jogged to the finish line. Speaking of the finish line, another great moment was seeing and hearing my co-workers waiting and cheering for me as I made it in. I couldn’t have asked for a better support group. They were awesome! Way to go, Sam’s Club Marketing Associates.

It was a humbling race. Being last was not my goal. I finished the race and that’s most important. I will continue to exercise and get better. One. Race. At. A. Time.

Another race next month? I’m thinking about it.

The OtterBox Defender Series Case=Life Saver

In Victories on January 23, 2011 at 11:48 PM

OtterBox Defender Series

Thursday night the OtterBox Defender case saved my life…and my iPhone4. I’m the newest believer in the power of a strong, protective case for your phone. I will continue to invest in the Otter Box line of products.

Here’s my story:
Dinner with friends at Dizzy’s Gypsy Bistro.
They have the best cheese dip EVER! Yes, we had french fries also.
It was a cold night.
Gave friends a mini-tour of La Petite Roche, included the Quapaw Quarter & Governor’s Mansion.
Dropped friends off at their car for their return trip to Memphis.
Reached for my precious phone to make a call.
Reached FURTHER for my phone!
Cue dramatic music and sound effects.
My phone was M.I.A.
And, I was almost D.O.A.
Frantic search of my car on the side of Second Street.
A panic attack slowly walked into my life.
Nervous twitches began. My blood pressure began to rise. NO BUENO!
Retraced my steps by returning to my parking area at the restaurant.
Found my phone face down under the car who took my original parking spot.
Thanks goodness for the reflective Apple logo.
Phone works!! Can’t believe it’s in working order.
Normal breathing and blood pressure returned.

All hail to the OtterBox Defender Case as I’m absolutely certain my phone was driven over TWICE. Once by me as I left the parking spot and secondly by the car who parked there next! After an immediate trip to Best Buy to invest in a new Otter Box case, all is well in the world, I mean my world!!

OtterBox Defender Case

My OtterBox Defender Case looks just like this!

Please understand that losing my phone would have been very traumatic. It’s a major part of my personal and professional life. I’m sure I would have survived the alternative scenario, but not without difficulty.

“How would you react after suddenly losing your phone with no clue where to find it?”

Dancing Shoes and Tennis Rackets

In Victories, Weight Loss on January 19, 2011 at 1:45 PM

Ok, let me first extend a sincere apology for my extended absence from this blog. It’s been longer than normal since my last post.  So, without further delay; here’s the update…

Couch to 5K Running:

My running program is on hold at the moment. The cold temperatures and a new morning schedule have put a damper on the running. I miss it dearly and look forward to picking it up again soon.

In the meantime, I’ve taken up a few new exercise options. And, for the record…I love them!!

women's jazz dance shoes

My dance shoes look exactly like this!


1. Dancing, a la Dancing with the Stars-styleI purchased four dancing lessons from Arthur Murray Dance Studio via Groupon (if you aren’t on Groupon, get there now!). My teacher, Ray, is very nice and understanding. My hope was to learn new dance moves and build up my confidence. Here’s the deal: dancing is way more intimate than I ever remembered. In three lessons, I’ve learned to Salsa, Rumba, Waltz and Tango. I really like it. I mean, I REALLY like it. I am learning to trust and to “let the man lead.” The group dance lesson was the most interesting. Dancing with three strange men [only met them at the beginning of class] was quite a challenge. I am eager to finish my last lesson this week. The next big decision is whether to CONTINUE ON.


women's tennis racket

I love my pink racket! It looks similar to this one.

2. TennisOkay, I must admit that in a former life [or maybe future life] I AM Serena Williams. In an attempt to make my “other lives” come true, I purchased tennis lessons from the Burns Park Tennis Center via Groupon (love them!). My class started this past Saturday. With my pink racket in hand and matching pink tennis balls in a bag, I arrived on time ready to go! So I thought. After the first five minutes, I realized that my name is Ramona and I’m NOT Serena. After learning how to hold the tennis racket correctly, I was ready to actually hit the ball. Yes, I’m in the Beginners Class. The first trick I learned was to say the number ONE out loud as you aim the racket to hit the ball. It works. Try it  next time. When I didn’t say “one” I was less likely to make contact with the ball. Derrick, the Tennis Instructor, explained it as hand-eye coordination. The class lasted an hour, and by the end I was hitting the ball over the net with a full swing-through and better aim (goal: keep the ball in the right court).


Find great deals with

As you can see, Groupon has made a positive impact on my life. In addition to the purchases mentioned above, I recently bought four Boot Camp Fitness classes at D1 Fitness in Little Rock. Each day I open my Groupon email with utter anticipation of the great deals that await. Each Groupon purchase is discounted by at least 50%.

As I close, I would like to say that I’ve conquered my weight loss plateau. In the last month I’ve lost EIGHT POUNDS. And, since I’ve started the blog I’m down 10 pounds. Eating more fruit and portion control is helping. Thanks to Weight Watchers Points Plus program.

“What fun fitness ideas have you tried to stay active? Share your thoughts below.”


I will post more often. I promise!

Update: Keep on Moving

In Victories, Weight Loss on November 21, 2010 at 10:53 PM

It’s been about 8 weeks since I started the Couch to 5K Running program. I am taking my time and progressing to new levels at my own pace. I am writing to report that I have not only advanced to level 3, but I’ve mastered that level and moved on the Week 4. This level is definitely a challenge. It requires you to run for 5 minutes straight twice during the daily program!


a pair of running shoes

One step at a time.


I found one of the tricks to success. I choose to think of running as a mind game. If you think you can do it, you are probably right. I had successfully talked myself out of moving to Week 3; but once I changed my thoughts I was able to move on. With Week 4, I am constantly telling myself I can go another minute. I am not a natural runner. Running for me is a chore. However, I continue to wake up every other morning and hit the pavement. It’s becoming automatic. I’m afraid that if I slack off for too long I will be gone from the program forever. The goal is to keep moving.

In the process, I have found great friends who encourage me on Facebook and Twitter. Their words mean a lot…more than they will ever know. It is comforting to know that all my hard work and dedication is not in vain. I’ve even inspired a few people to get moving as well!

My next challenge is to find a good iPhone app that tracks your run. I’ve tried MapMyRun and RunKeeper, but they are not working so well. Pass along any suggestions you may have.

What are you waiting for? Get up. Get out. Get moving.

One Pound Lost

In Victories, Weight Loss on September 19, 2010 at 6:43 PM

One pound lost is the same pound gain…such is my life the past six weeks on Weight Watchers. Yes, this is frustrating…more than you can imagine. It’s difficult to know that you worked to lose weight only to see an increase. And, I know I should celebrate the non-scale victories, such as:

  • Making it to the meeting on Saturday morning
  • Choosing healthy options while fantasizing about the “good stuff”
  • Educating myself on how to thread healthy living into everyday life

However, we are culture who tends to put more emphasis on the negative things in life. This is evident in my disappointment and frustration over this ONE POUND. You will be happy to know that I’m moving on to a new week. I will take it one day at a time and one page at a time.

Cruise Ship or Nursing Home bookAfter my visit with the chiropractor, I left with new reading material. I am now reading a small book titled Cruise Ship or Nursing Home? The Road to a Maximized Life. In the book you will learn to:

* Remove the toxins that prevent your from losing weight.
* Attack the hidden causes of disease before it’s too late.
* Gain 10x’s more energy and zest.
* Get in the best shape of your life in only 12 minutes / wk.
* Overcome diseases of the new millennium.
* Take action against the Toxic Top 5 that are making the inside of your house much more polluted than outside the house.

Sun Princess Cruise Ship on the horizon

Sun Princess Cruise Ship

nursing home

Nursing Home

As I read the book, I will share my thoughts here. So, which will you choose…cruise ship or nursing home? Share your thoughts below.

Holidays & Food: A Winning Combination?

In Holidays, Victories on September 4, 2010 at 11:57 AM
BBQ Chicken on the Grill

Grilled chicken at its finest

The holiday weekend has arrived and so has college football season. Two events are heavily associated with food. The last official days of summer include BBQ, burgers and donuts (ok, maybe not donuts). But seriously, how much food will we consume this weekend? And, as a self-proclaimed “Foodie on a Mission,” I am afraid to answer the question. Can you smell the grills firing up for “Que-ing” necessities? Yes, I said “Que-ing” – my lingo for barbeque.  Can you hear the oven timers buzzing as a means to signal the food is ready? Can you see deliciousness being presented for meals across the country? I can. Oh, I can hear, smell and see it all.

In honor of this holiday and food, I’m choosing to celebrate the victories this weekend. So here they go (so far):

Friday during lunch, I chose a side order of FRUIT to go with my two mini burgers. I celebrate this victory because my mouth was telling me to choose THREE mini burgers and FRIES. Major victory #1

Friday dinner was complimented with a side salad thanks to the chef. No choice to be made. YaY me! The salad and lasagna were delish. I am counting this as victory #2.

Saturday breakfast, I took a detour down DONUT LANE. Now you understand my reference earlier in this post. Donuts are on my mind. I ate two delicious, warm, mouth-watering donuts from Krispy Kreme. I celebrate the fact that I ate two and not twelve. Yes, this counts as a victory!

My next victory will come at Walmart in a few minutes. My goal is to choose natural foods and healthy options for grilling. Today will consist of food, football and family. I plan to revel in the tastes and touches of the holiday and find non-food victories to celebrate. How will food be a part of your holiday festivities? Is food a major means of celebration – tailgate parties, holidays, reunions?

Share your thoughts  below.

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