Road to Recovery – GOAL!

When I started this 30-day run challenge, there were icicles hanging off my patio furniture. Tonight in the dark, as I hammered out the final strides of 30 consecutive days of running, the air was balmy and breezy. A new season has unfolded in the midst of logging 41.5 miles on the soles of my Reeboks. I am happy to say that I have reached my goal. I feel accomplished.

Now, to set a new goal. I’m thinking I may extend this challenge for another 30 days. After all, it is getting warm out – my favorite kind of weather is on its way.

Road to Recovery – Popcorn and Horses

Do not eat Buffalo Wing and Ranch popcorn from Popcorn Haven mixed with Hot White Cheddar popcorn just before going on a 1.25 mile run. Trust me on this. It tasted great going down but a short time later…..well…you get the idea.

I am 25 days in to my personal challenge of running at least 1 mile a day for 30 days. I have accumulated approximately 33 miles thus far. When I started my 30-day run challenge there was ice on the ground. I have run through ice, snow, rain, wind, bitter cold, and sunshiny 70-something. I have run early in the morning but mostly late at night, sometimes just before midnight. I have run alone and with my Standard Poodle by my side. I have run while at home and while on the road away on work trips. I have run when I didn’t feel good, when I was beyond exhausted, and when my neck ached so badly I wanted to lay my head down on a pillow and cry. Through it all I have run. And I’m so glad I have. Only 5 more days to go.

Really, though, I’m seriously considering adding another 30 days to my challenge. I mean, I’ve come this far, why stop now?  How long does it take to form a habit? That’s how far I need to go with this. Make it a habit.

There’s really something to the “small bite” philosophy. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. My husband reiterates this to me from time to time when I’m attempting to accomplish some insanely huge business achievement before getting mired in the bigness of it all.  He’s right. How do you run 30 miles? One mile at a time. It’s not terribly difficult.

I want to give a shout out here to Zoya Thomas, a groomer in CA that I don’t believe I’ve ever actually met. But thanks to social media making the world a really, really small place, Zoya has inspired me to do this “30 Miles, 30 Days” challenge. So to her I say, “Thank you!”

On another note, my eating habits have been terrible since we were at APF earlier this month. Mostly because I’ve either been traveling or too busy to go to the store to buy the right food and then actually prepare it. I’ve had bigger lattes and eaten restaurant food way too much. The naturopath is going to fuss at me about this when I go back in a few weeks for my next check up.

But…the herbs for the sinus/allergy thing are doing wonders. Yay! And I have to admit that even the neck and shoulder pain is less excruciating. The fact that I can sit at my kitchen table and write this post is proof of this. I’ve been vertigo free for the longest period of time that I can recall in the past 4+ years. I’m going to chalk this up to the herbs and other goodies my naturopath has been loading me up with. Another yay!

Sleep/RLS issues… well, it has been concluded that my brain needs synthetic dopamine in fairly high doses to be able to shut down and not give my limbs the wrong messages at night. Unfortunately herbs and other natural remedies cannot even begin to have an effect on my dopamine levels despite numerous creative attempts to make this happen. It is what it is. I am thankful there are dopaminergic meds to alleviate this problem so I can actually sleep. Through this latest trial time I have been reminded all to well of the sleepless years I had long before RLS was something anyone knew anything about. Sleep is a wonderful thing! Treasure it, you who are blessed with easy sleep. Treasure every second of it. For some of us, sleep is an elusive life necessity, found only with the use of expensive drugs with side-affects.

IMG_8024I spent today on the back of my beloved Paso Fino, Whit. I had the pleasure of being accompanied by Alicia Ellis, one of the current students at the National Cat Groomers School. We rode 4 hours in saddle at the Biltmore Estate. It was sunny and 70 degrees. It was peaceful. A lovely day at the end of a particularly trying week. There are many things I am thankful for as I look back upon this past week and am reminded that our lives are but a vapor. Savor each moment. Live each day to the fullest. Take time to smell the flowers or ride your horse or have a nice conversation or breath in the beauty that surrounds us no matter where we are. Be thankful for the little things and the big things. And don’t put off for tomorrow that thing you’ve been dreaming of forever. There comes a day when we don’t have tomorrow anymore.


Road to Recovery – Coke and Cats

We went to a cat show this weekend in Atlanta. Lynn, Joel and I. We were just in Atlanta last weekend – for APF, so it was a bit deja vue-ish.  When passing by the exit to World of Coca Cola last weekend en route to APF we were talking about taking time out of our busy weekend work schedules to do some fun things. I suggested that on our cat show weekend we needed to make a point to visit World of Coca Cola.

We left Friday, checked into the hotel in Buford where we left C2 and Ivy, and then made the trek into the big city for a visit to the soda pop tourist attraction. I’m glad we diIMG_7977d this. Even though I’ve been to World of Coca Cola before, it has been awhile, the previous visit well before I was smack in the middle of a cat empire and the beginnings of a blossoming Chubbs Bars domain. I loved the reminders, as we ventured through the retelling of the Coca Cola story, that protecting the secret recipe of an amazing product despite the schemes of many to take it from you is the right thing to do. I was inspired to persevere and steady on.

As we made our way through the attraction, we laughed and joked about the tour that would one day retell the making of the original Chubbs Bar and how much it would parallel the invention by pharmacist John Pemberton of what would later become a fizzy beverage sold in every corner of the world. I get all rejuvenated and inspired by true stories like Pemberton’s. They remind me of what is possible.

The cat show we attended yesterday and today also reminded me of what is possible. A sweet kitty named C2 that ended up at my salon over 7 years ago in a state of major disarray and fearfulness earned her Grand Premier title on Saturday afternoon, making her a 1 ½-show grand. At 12 ½ yrs of age – this is a feat accomplished by few.

I took C2, whose full name is Steeplechase Lahtis Sweet Chloe to her very first show last February mainly just to fill the other half of the cage I got for Cotn Hill’s Petunia that I wanted to grand. Both cats were Opens at that show in February 2014. Petunia granded the first day but had to stay in the ring on day 2 to finish up getting her 6 rings in for a Premier title before she could claim her Grand Premier title. My little “cage stuffer” cat, C2, came away from that show with 60 of the 75 points needed to earn a Grand Premier title. Petunia was her competition. This was a pleasant and unexpected surprise indeed.


Thirteen months later, C2 was at another show acting as official “cage stuffer” and companion to my new kitten from Australia, Trazarra I’ve Been Travelin’. Going in to the show yesterday I hoped that C2 would be able to earn those remaining 15 points needed to grand. I’m pleased to say that she got those 15 points plus a spare by the end of the first day. I continued to show her today, netting a total of 34 points for the weekend – 94 points total. She only needed 75 to grand. So I’d say it was a good weekend. Considering the age of this cat and how she came to be mine, she is an excellent reminder to me that yes, anything is possible and hard work does pay off.

I am pleased to say that I got my run in every night this weekend, no matter how late it was, how tired I was, or how full was my belly. I ran a mile no matter. Even tonight after I arrived home, I got 3.5 miles in as I enjoyed the mid-70s evening full of crisp air and a beautiful sunrise.

I love the settled feeling of accomplishments. A new Grand Premier. An unbroken commitment to run a mile each day for 30 days. And so many other significant and business-building connections and transactions built over a weekend full of cat hair, coca cola, and good times.

Press on, my friends. Press on. Anything is possible.

Showing off Chubbs Bars on a Persian coat.
Showing off Chubbs Bars on a Persian coat.


C2, the new GP!
C2, the new GP!
Ivy - never still enough to get a good picture.
Ivy – never still enough to get a good picture.

Road to Recovery – Stats

I’m 46 years old, 5 feet 9″ tall, 136 lbs and, other than during my 5-pregnancies-in-a-row part of my life, I’ve pretty much weighed the same all of my adult life.

I eat a fairly healthy diet of mostly veggies, nuts, seeds, some fruits, poultry, eggs, and my daily latte (every once in a while, I sneak in a 2nd latte but rarely since my first visit to the naturopath.)

I had a first month’s check up with the naturopath Tuesday afternoon. resulting in a continuation of the herbs for the now seemingly gone cold weather allergy. We will continue for a bit longer to help ensure the allergic reaction does not return and to clear up a minor bit of sinus drainage. I am thrilled to be able to get outside and exercise once again, regardless of the temperature.

The naturopath upped my muscle/neck tension herbal remedies. I have to say I’m beginning to notice a slight improvement there. I’m bordering on optimism and not wanting to get my hopes up at this point. Time will tell. For now I enjoy less neck pain and being VERTIGO-FREE FOR 2 WHOLE WEEKS! Oh ya! So wonderful! May tomorrow also be vertigo-free. Such a blessing!

It’s been a busy week, culminating in some long but productive days of video shooting for It’s been such a pleasure working with Marc and Melissa and visiting with them over the past few days. There should be a good bit of footage to launch on L2G in the coming months.

Despite the long days, I have gotten my runs in each night, sometimes quite late. Tonight I ran 1.17 miles at 10:45pm, in the rain. A light rain- so not too bad. Truman is really liking our late-night jaunts around the neighboring streets, I think. He gets excited when I pull out my sneakers at the end of the day. I find that we are both getting faster, and I am dragging him up hills less and less.

I press on because I made the commitment to do so. It’s been 2 weeks and a day of “30 Days, 30 Miles.” Half way there!  I can’t give up now.

IMG_7953I’m posting this picture of some new Chubbs Bars coming in April for our first official “Chubbs Bars Customer Appreciation Month.” I think they turned out great and look forward to launching them soon.


Road to Recovery – No Rest for the Weary

Well it’s Tuesday night. I’m really tired. I didn’t sleep very well (or much at all) the first two nights at APF, and the days were jammed packed with running to and fro and making my brain stay on top of my game throughout the day. By the time Lynn, Joel and I pulled up at the school building late Sunday night to unload, we were all more than ready to punch out and get some sleep.

I arrived home from APF around 8:30pm. At 9:00pm I laced up my running shows and hit the pavement to get my mile in. As fatigued as I was, it felt glorious to be out in the crisp evening air after being cooped up in a hotel building for the past four days. It was so quiet out – everyone else tucked into their homes for the night – the world seemed so still and peaceful. I cranked up the iTunes and enjoyed the complete solitude.

Monday – my day off. After working the past seven days straight, I needed Monday. I got up after nearly 12 hours of sleep, puttered around the house, finished unpacking, did some chores, caught up on some emails and finances, picked Katie up from homeschool co-op, went to the doctor to get my RLS meds RX renewed, went grocery shopping, and completely forgot that I needed to run a mile. At 7:00pm I remembered my commitment and took off down the street, getting 1.85 miles in before retiring again for the night.

So ya, the homeopathic remedies for RLS are not working. Not at all. After too many sleepless, restless nights, I resorted to taking my meds again. Ah, sweet glorious sleep! I got my RX renewed for another month. I’m not giving up on this holistic thing for sleep just yet. Actually my sleep doc and naturopath are both working with me to tweak things to find the most effective, least medicating, yet most cost effective way to actually get some sleep instead of pacing the room at night. As it turns out, it is expensive to buy a good night of sleep.

Today, Marc LeFleur and Melissa Verplank arrived in town to shoot some new footage for Learn2Groom. We actually begin the shooting tomorrow and will go into Thursday to capture some grooming as well as some business topics. This afternoon we hauled all of the camera equipment upstairs to the grooming room at the school and afterward, decided to take advantage of the upper 60s weather by walking downtown to catch a bite to eat. A perfect night to enjoy some outdoor seating and a tasty meal. Only it started to rain about 2 blocks into the walk. Bummer.  I dropped Marc and Melissa off at the restaurant and then hustled the ¾ of a mile back uphill to the school with Truman in tow. I put Tru in my office, quickly dried my hair, and then hopped in my SUV to drive back down to the restaurant where I met Marc and Melissa again, showing up just in time for the appetizer.

When I got home at 9:00pm my dear, sweet husband was willing to go on a walk with me. It was a great way to kill 2 birds with 1 stone: I still needed to get my run in and we needed to catch up on work and family stuff with one another. Mike and I walked 2.5 miles. Combined with the 1.5 miles I did downtown earlier in the evening, I’m going to declare that 4 miles of walking will equal, at least for tonight, a mile-long run. Since I made my own “30 Days, 30 Miles” commitment, I think I can do that.


Here’s a picture of Ivy at APF this past weekend, on the Wahl Clipper demo table. She did great for her first time out at a show. She’s just so perfectly cute!



Road to Recovery – Even at APF

It’s Saturday night at Atlanta Pet Fair. In case you’re wondering, I did go out in the rain Thursday morning to get my run in before we loaded up the vehicle and headed south to Atlanta for the big show. I’m glad I did because the past 2 days have been so jam-packed that I’ve had to run at night in the hotel gym, after a long day of work and after a heavy meal. Not good, but I did it so there’s the satisfaction in sticking with my goal.

My schedule at these trade shows usually ends up hectic and non-stop with hardly a moment to eat something or pee. In some ways I like it that way (it’s great for business) but it also gets very exhausting. Today was one of those days.

After my last lecture ended at 6:00pm, Lynn and I went out to dinner with Jodi Murphy and a few friends. By the time we got back to the hotel, my belly was overly stuffed and it was 9:30. Which really means it was 10:30 – or at least that 1 hour spring forward will happen soon. Ugh. I ate too much tonight which usually happens when I don’t get to eat all day long and am living off pure adrenaline (with a bit of latte).  I did well with my diet restrictions tonight. Not so much the past 2 nights 🙁 It is what it is.

I did get my mile in tonight. Last evening I squeezed in an extra bit to run 1.5 miles. I feel accomplished. It’s been a good 2 days at APF. My sneezy-allergy thingy seems to be a thing of the past (Yay!). I’ve stuck with running for 11 straight days regardless of weather or travel.

On the downside….the herbal/natural remedies for RLS are not working. Last night I had to resort to a full dose of dopamine drugs so I could sleep again after a few sleepness nights prior. With the schedule I must keep up at a show like this, I can’t afford to go too many nights without sleep. Tonight, it’s RLS meds full scale. Things go much better after a night of sleep.

Seven hours from now I’ll be up bathing cats in a makeshift grooming room built for dogs. Then it’s on to a Wahl booth demo, a seminar, a main stage snippet and a final seminar (Cats: Armed and Dangerous!) before we pack it up and head home. When will I find time tomorrow to get that mile in? Ah, I’ll figure that out later….nighty night.

Road to Recovery – Week 1 of 30 Days, 30 Miles

It’s been 9 days since I started my ’30 Days, 30 Miles’ challenge and nearly a month since I began my homeopathic regimen to better health.

In addition to the herbal remedies that were prescribed for me on February 11th, I was also put on a strict diet that eliminates the following:
Sugar or fake sweeteners
Peanuts and peanut butter
Some Fruits
Dairy products
Most grains
Processed food
All meats except fish/seafood and a specific deli turkey or chicken
Fried foods

SO here’s the skinny…..I’m hypoglycemic and have been for over 20 years. Cutting out sugars? Already done that. I eat a pretty strict diet anyway, consisting of a large amount of greens and veggies, small quantities of fruits, nuts, seeds, and meats (mostly poultry and seafood). I have to eat some amount of protein each day, throughout the day, to keep my blood sugar up. I avoid sugar pretty much most of the time. The consequences of consuming sugar are not worth it to me. My one vice: a daily latte made with espresso and half and half. No sugar or flavorings. To be fair, it used to be more like 2 lattes a day (even venti size!), but I had already cut down to 2 tall/grande size lattes per day before visiting the naturopath at Creative Health and being told I’d have to cut all that out. What??? No way!

So here’s my compromise on the coffee/latte thing: I have 1 small latte each day made with half and half (Yes, I know that is dairy), and always before noon. Absolutely no caffeine after 12:00pm. After all, I asked the naturopath to get me off RLS meds so I can sleep of my own accord. She gave me the ok on the 1 small latte before noon.

Giving up peanut butter has been hard. It has been my go-to protein-pick-me-up snack when my blood sugar falls. I am learning to adjust to that one.

As far as everything else on the list, it hasn’t really been that big of an adjustment as I mostly don’t eat those things anyway. The hardest part has been learning to drink tea or have just plain water in the afternoon when i normally would have had my 2nd latte. But other than one day last week when my husband and I had a Starbucks date, I’ve been sticking with it.

As far as running goes, I’m 9 days into the challenge.

Day 1 – 3.1 miles
Day 2 – 1 mile
Day 3 – 1 mile
Day 4 – 3.2 miles
Day 5 – 1 mile
Day 6 – 1 mile
Day 7 – 1 mile
Day 8 – 3.2 miles
Day 9…..that’s today. It’s currently pouring down rain and I hear the wind howling. Trying to decide if I tough it out now or wait until we get down to Atlanta for APF and use the gym at the Hilton after our booth is set up. Part of me wants to get it out of the way. The other part prefers indoor comfort. Still undecided.

Over the past week+, I’ve run in snow, sleet, wind, rain, and sunshine. I’ve logged over 14 miles already and am feeling good. No elephants on the chest. No sneezing – not even once. I give a thumbs up to the herbal regimen prescribed for that issue.

As far as neck pain goes…..that’s still to be determined. I still hurt and have been to the chiropractor twice and the massage therapist twice since starting this program. What I can say is that the pain I had in my right shoulder while running, it appears to be gone. That’s a step in the right direction.

Some of the scenery around my neighborhood this past week. Not the usual scenery.

The Road to Recovery

I have always enjoyed running and being active. I especially love outdoor activities, but the older I get the more I hate cold weather. Fortunately for me I live in South Carolina where cold weather is usually a short-lived occurrence.

About 2 years ago I was in Regina, Saskatchewan for a workshop event at Zoom Zoom Groom, owned by Connie Buchanan who graduated from National Cat Groomers School some years ago. While there I took some time in the evenings to get a run in after work. It was April, there was still snow on the ground, but the temps had risen to somewhere in the mid-50s by the time I was heading out the door for a jog around the small downtown of Regina. About a mile in to my first run that weekend, I was overcome by a severe allergy attack that left me sneezing incessantly, accompanied by endless nasal drainage and shortness of breath. It was the strangest thing – something I’d never encountered before. After a sleepless night filled with non-stop sneezing, I was able to get some antihistamines in the morning. The meds, while not knocking out the allergic reaction completely, did allow me to get through the next day of cat grooming instruction.

I left Regina thinking I was allergic to Canada or snow. And that this would never happen again.

About 6 weeks later I was in Brisbane, Australia staying with Reeda Close, another graduate of the National Cat Groomers School. One morning her husband, Brad, took me on a run through a park and along the river. About a mile or so in I was hit yet again by this same strange allergic reaction. It was early summertime in Brisbane at that time – temps were upper 50s to low 60s. By the 2nd mile I felt like I had an elephant sitting on my chest. Later that morning, despite the dose of antihistamines taken prior to heading the airport, I spent the duration of the flight from Brisbane to Melbourne sneezing up a storm and probably annoying the other passengers on the plane. I was miserable. Nothing seemed to help. I had limited access to remedies at this point, being in a foreign land without a vehicle.

It was 4 months later before I experience this same allergic reaction brought on by breathing in cold air. This time I was back home in South Carolina. It was fall and the temps were dropping. I spent the rest of the fall and winter indoors saddened by the fact that I could no longer exercise outdoors during temps that fell below the mid-60s.

Two winters have elapsed since then. I hated the fact that I could no longer even walk out of doors in colder weather without the same reaction occurring. It was getting worse.

This led to a visit to a homeopathic specialist on February 11th of this year. Something had to be done!

I showed up at Creative Health in downtown Greenville to meet with the naturopath in hopes of alleviating my “cold allergy” issue plus the chronic and debilitating neck pain and shoulder pain I’ve been suffering from for the past 3+ years. As a bonus, if this chick could also get me off my RLS (restless legs syndrome) meds, I’d think she was a true miracle worker. I’ve been on meds for RLS for over 22 years. Without them I do not sleep at all. Ever.

The naturopath set me up on 3 sets of remedies:
1 set to resolve respiratory/allergy issues
1 set to relieve intense neck and shoulder pain that leads to vertigo on a regular basis
1 set to relieve RLS symptoms so I can sleep without meds

This specific blog series I’m doing is about my road to recovery. At least I hope that’s what it is.
I have been put on a plethora of herbs and natural remedies for all of the above. Two weeks after the start of my new homeopathic regimen, I decided to put my cold allergy to the test and start a running program – 30 days, 30 miles. Meaning I am committing myself to run a minimum of 1 mile per day for the next 30 days straight. And it’s cold out. We even had snow. I was really going to put this whole homeopathic herbal remedy stuff to the test!


I started running on February 25th, 2 weeks after starting my herbal regimen. There was snow and ice on the ground. A rare occurrence for SC, to be sure. But I had made the commitment no matter the temps. I donned my winter running gear, laced up my Reeboks, turned on my iTunes playlist, and took off on a run through nearby neighborhoods. The temp was in the low 30s that day, hanging right at freezing point. I ran a total of 3. 1 miles. It felt great! There were no elephants on my chest when I got back. I had a few sniffles, which I treated with some essential oils and a homeopathic nasal spray. Within 10 minutes the sniffles were gone. I was so happy to hard-breath that cold air and not end up with a monstrous sneezing fit.


Day 1, a complete success. I am thrilled about this!


About Danelle


DanelleGermanCropDanelle German, CFMG, CFCG, owned CFA’s Bara Cattery from 1999-2005. During that time she produced and showed many National and Regional award winning Persians, including CFA’s 3rd Best Cat in Premiership in 2005. Danelle is a member of Foothills Felines Cat Club, serving as President and Show Manager for a number of years. In 2005, she retired from showing to focus on her feline-exclusive spa and resort, The Catty Shack, Ltd., located in Simpsonville, SC.


Danelle is the founder of the National Cat Groomers Institute of America, Inc. and, in 2009 sold her grooming salon so she could open the world’s first feline-exclusive grooming school located in Greenville, SC. She currently serves as President and Certifier/Instructor of the NCGIA and Director of the National Cat Groomers School and is a member of Wahl’s X-Treme Groom Team. Along with her husband, Michael, she is the inventor and patent holder of the Catty Shack Vac™ drying system and the inventor of Chubbs Bar degreaser shampoo for pets.


Danelle has authored the Ultimate Cat Groomer Encyclopedia, Cat Grooming Ain’t for Pussies, NCGIA Culture Books, and many articles for a variety of grooming publications. She is also the author of certification study guides for cat groomers. Danelle has appeared on Animal Planet’s Cats 101 and Must Love Cats and has been interviewed and filmed numerous times for Discovery Channel, local TV stations, Kittens USA and other media. She is the winner of the first Groomers Got Talent competition held at Groom Expo in 2009 and has won each creative dog grooming competition that she has been allowed to compete in with a cat.


Speaking regularly on all topics related to cat grooming and behavior, Danelle is a true pioneer in the field of feline grooming. Her lectures and training materials can be found around the world. In addition to speaking, Danelle has judged cat grooming competitions at various shows in both the US and Europe and has served as a judge for the Cat Writer’s Association.


To download Danelle’s full bio pdf click here
To download Danelle’s short bio pdf click here
To download a hi-res head shot jpg click here
To download a low-res head shot jpg click here