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Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Christmas Display at Milwaukee County Domes

"Every successful person in life began by pursuing a passion, usually against all odds."- Robert Kiosaki

I am a bit of a workaholic. I work very hard at work and then when I get home. I started a new position within my company in February. I am in charge of procedures for all the power plants in Southeastern Wisconsin for my company.

Because the program was new I was reluctant to take vacation while I was training technical writers and getting the program off the ground.

So the day before Thanksgiving I was told I have 184 hours of vacation. My boss told me I would only be able to roll 80 hours over to next year.  It was use it or lose it.

So I found myself with 104 hours of vacation to burn in December. I already had plans to go to Dallas between Christmas and New Years. But that left a 1 1/2 weeks to burn.

What to do? Since I only had a few days notice it was not really possible to plan a vacation as much as I wanted to.  Besides with holiday bills and a furnace not working the expense did not see worth it. Besides I am going to Spain in May so I have that trip to look forward to.

I never stay home on vacation. I love to travel and have been to about  35 countries, but for the first time in many years I would be doing a staycation.
My leisure time sometimes is not all that relaxing. It seems like I always have a never ending lists of tasks to accomplish. Activities like training for triathlons, marathons, running Team CMT, writing a book etc may not seem all that relaxing. My playtime is often work time.

Well this staycation was not different. I decided to stay home and tackle getting ready for Christmas and do some home improvements. But I promised myself I would also make time to have some fun. I was really in need of a break.  I thought about down hill skiing but with temperatures hovering around zero that was out. I wanted to visit a couple of the historical sites here in Wisconsin, but found out they were closed for the season.

So  I did some small fix it chores,  after a trip to the hardware store, I painted three hall ways. I even got all my presents wrapped, Christmas letter written and my cards mailed.  But I did have some fun.
First I slept in and got some much needed rest. Then one morning. I made these ginger pancakes.  I had plenty of time to work out. I also had some fun.  I picked a few activities off the fun list I had made. I went to the Milwaukee County Domes to see the Christmas show. The Domes are three huge glass domes with gardens inside. One is a seasonal or show dome, one is a desert and one is tropical.  The day I went it was  2 degrees outside. What a treat to see the flowers. I always feel relaxed after a visit.

I also spent two days making jewelry.  I have two more days of staycation before I fly out to Dallas. After packing I am going to go ice skating at the Petitt National Ice Center. It is an Olympic training center for speed skaters. The 450 meter oval is open for public skating and when I have been there during the day I almost have the whole oval to myself.  I am so proud of the fact I can ice skate. My ankles were never strong enough as a kid to skate. Running long distances have made me strong enough so I can now skate.

So I will celebrate my last days of staycations with a little bit of fun and a little bit of work (packing).  Hopefully I am getting more balanced and not so much of a workaholic.


Chris Wodke at Paratriathlon National Championship 2013

Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT

Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have 137 members in 27 states. We also have members in Australia, Canada, Vietnam, Turkey, Finland and Iran. If you wish to join us visit our web site.

CMT or Charcot-Marie-Tooth is the most commonly inherited peripheral neuropathy. It affects over 155,000 Americans (as many as MS).  It is a disease of the nerves that control the muscles. It is slowly progressive, causing loss of normal function and or sensation in the lower legs/feet and arms/hands.

Symptoms include; muscle wasting in the lower legs and feet leading to foot drop, poor balance and gait problems Atrophy in the hands causes difficulty with manual dexterity.

Structural foot deformities such as high arches and hammer toes are common.

Poor tolerance for cool or cold temperatures and many people have chronically cold hands and feet.

Additional symptoms may include fatigue, sleep apnea, breathing difficulties and hearing loss.

1 comment:

  1. Great way to spend some time off. Enjoyed the read