Monday, February 28, 2011
Sunday, February 27, 2011
That whole balance thing is proving to be harder than I first thought. My house is back to being a mess, and I'm starting to get that overwhelming feeling of I can't breath again. I make lists, but a simple "to do" list doesn't cut it for me. Unlike most people, I cannot simply put "clean kitchen" on my list. My list looks more like this:
- Unload dishwasher
- Reload dishwasher
- Hand wash dishes
- Wipe down counters
- Wipe off stove top
- Sweep Floor
In December 1976 my brother's elementary school hosted a Lunch with Santa. My mother, being a chronic volunteer, had signed up to work it. I was two years old. My brother was just shy of his eighth birthday. My mother dressed us up in our pretty clothes and off we went to whisper all of our special wants into Santa's ear.
Hosting an entire elementary school to share a meal with the jolly old fella can be quite an undertaking. My mom was ever the busy bee and she left my brother to keep an eye on me. I found my way out of the cafeteria and out to the steps at the end of corridor. I had mastered the steps in our home almost a full year prior so as long as my brother was right next to me to steady me if I wobbled, what harm there be, right?
No one would expect me to fit between the rungs on the banister. I mean really, what eight year old would think of that? In all honesty, not many parents would even think of that. That wouldn't even be a flicker on even the most helpicopterish parent's radar. Except that's exactly what happened next.
My brother and I were two and a half flights above the ground floor of the school and before he could even register what happened, my little patent leather Mary Jane was dangling through the gap in the banister and my small body slipped through right behind it.
I was free falling and all my big brother could do was watch me fall. And then he screamed. I hit the banister of the flight beneath us and then I slid through those and kept falling. I landed on the ground floor face down. Blood began to pool around my tiny little body.
Everyone came running out to the stairs and somehow my mother made it down to where I lay, motionless. An ambulance was called and we were on our way to the hospital. I regained consciousness as we pulled up to the ER. I tried to stir and was crying out for my Mommy.
The doctors cleaned me up and everyone was astonished to realize that I didn't have a single cut on my body. I had lots of bruises, however. The blood had come from that small piece of skin that attaches your upper lip to your gums. I had severed it. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief, I was held in the hospital for a few days of observation and then I was sent home with a clean bill of health.
My guradian angel was truly with me that day.
Not much thought has been given to my accident over the last 30+ years. It comes up occasionally as we're telling family stories, like my brother's state track meet or the fact that my dad had to repack the car five times in order to fit all of my stuff in when I left for college. My accident is just a part of our history.
A few months ago, some research was brought to my attention concerning traumatic brain injury. In reading this, it was like a lightbulb exploded in my head. In 1976 very little was known about the lasting effects of a head injury. I had only lost consciousness for a short while and I wasn't showing any immediate signs of brain damage so it was assumed all was well.
It's since been shown that brain injury survivors often live lives of complete disarray. Inabilitly to organize, attention deficits, short term memory loss, depression, obesity, frequent headaches, mood swings and other cognitive impairments are just a few of the symptoms associated with TBI.
It was if someone had written an entire book on my life. I'm still reeling from all of this information. When I was first confronted with it I spent several days grieving the life that I could have had. My life dream was to be a lawyer but I couldn't stay organized enough to even graduate from college. I'd always pictured myself having five kids but I could barely manage life with just two. I love homeschooling my children but it takes nearly all of the energy and focus that I can muster to simply write out a lesson plan for one week.
My entire life I've been known as the "loud friend." I've always been a littl "kooky" and my brother often introduces me as his "crazy sister" (I'm his only sister). It's always been a part of who I am and I can't help but wonder now, if it's more a part of what happened.
I'll never know these answers for sure, but I'm finding that at least having this knowledge has eased some of the pressure I put on myself. I always berated myself in my head. "Why are you so lazy?" "Just clean the freakin' kitchen already." "Why is life so hard for me?" "Why do all of these things come so naturally to everyone else except me?" "What's wrong with me?"
Has this information made my life any easier? Has it made organization and time management come more naturally to me? Of course not, but it's given me hope that there is, actually, something physicall wrong with me and that given the right tools, it's a disability that I can overcome.
My doctor referred me to a therapist that specializes in TBI survivors. I've had this person's phone number for about two months now have I called her yet? Of course not, because I lost the phone number for about a month, then I hung it on my fridge and vowed to "call her tomorrow" and tomorrow just never comes. Maybe for this type of appointment the patient's number should be given to the doctor instead of the other way around? I wonder how many of us are out there with all of the information we need to get help, but we just never get around to it.
Never get around to it. That seems to be the story of my life. This is where that changes. This is the year that I find balance. I just didn't realize it would be so hard.
Friday, February 25, 2011
Lucky you, I was just browsing through those files tonight. So, let's meet Jessica, before the before:
Not sure how old. I'm pretty sure it was middle school. I do remember that shirt and wearing it on the beach because I thought I looked like a beached whale. *sigh*
And this was right before I got pregnant with my first son. Well, actually I was already pregnant in this picture. I just didn't know it yet. I was just shy of 200 lbs.
I want to be buff. I'm vain like that. Well, it's not so much vanity. I want to be strong and I want to look strong. Even when I was playing collegiate volleyball and my best shape in my life, I never had definition. I was never toned.
I remember sitting on the couch with my highschool boyfriend one evening and watching TV. He was a big time football player and he legs like a tank. I told him I wanted legs like that. He looked at me like I was nuts. I didn't know the words back then. I didn't know that what I really wanted was tone.
Enter strength training. I've discovered that the way to get toned muscles is to actually use them. Who knew, right? Go figure. So, I have tentatively built up the courage to walk into the weight room at the gym. All those big, huge guys in there don't intimidate me anymore (yea they do), I just walk in and start lifting. I pretend like I know what I'm doing. I pretend like I know how much weight to use and how many reps to do. And then I can't walk for three days.
Until I found iPersonalTrainer. I paid $1.99 for this app on my iphone and after entering in all of my information, it made a weights workout for me. It tells me which exercises to do (it even has videos in case I don't know how to do them) and it tells me the weights and the reps. It also tells me how many sets. The only thing it doesn't do is scream in my face to keep going. I just channel my inner Jillian for that.
If one of the exercises is too easy or too hard, there is also an option to edit it so you can change the weights or the reps or even skip the exercise altogether and replace it with a different one in the muscle group.
This app has completely taken the guess work out of the weight room for me and I'm in love. I'd buy this app again and again. In fact, I can't wait until Monday so I get to use it again!
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
I figure that with one more class like today's and my abs will look like this. What? Shut up. It's my fantasy and believe me, after today I earned this delusion.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
So, I'm putting feelers out ~ would anyone be interested in participaing in a Fitness Exchange? In a nutshell ~ I'd pair you off. You and your partner would take a few weeks to get to know one another & then you'll send each other a good box with some fun fitness gear in it (in the $20-$25 range).
We'd all come back here and link up so we can go oooh & aahh over each other's goodies. I'd prefer you have a blog to participate ~ so we can all see what ya get and to help your partner get to know you better.
So, what you say? Are you in? I don't need any specific details just yet. For now I'm just looking for interest. Spread the word. Twitter, FB, your blog, whatever....if I can get at least 11 people (in addition to myself) I'll host it.
Yesterday Windows started acting really weird. Everything was timing out and not responding. I had a hard time even restarting my computer. Then ~ NOTHING. I got some strange DOS screen that said I had a Windows Error and I could either Start it in Repair Mode (or something like that) or Start Normally. Neither worked. I kept coming back to that same screen.
A friend of mine's husband does computer repair on the side and I went on a desperate search to find her number (it was stored, of all places, in my computer!!). I finally got ahold of her and talked to her husband. He said he'd be happy to look at it, but it sounded like Windows was corrupted and he'd probably need to reinstall it. Did I still have the discs? Yes I did. I told him I'd call him tomorrow (today)
After talking to another friend last night she said "why don't you google your error message?" Well, Duh. No, no I hadn't. So I did (on my phone) and check that out ~ a step by step list of what I should do.
So, I single handedly reinstalled Windows, then I did a system restore to the last known "safe" date and then I ran a whole system scan while I slept. Then Windows ran an update and when I woke up my computer worked!
I think little trolls may have come in while I slept and fixed it. Anyhoo, I now have a computer and all is right with the world. Now, I just have to figure out when to squeeze in this run. It's only 2 miles and I'm having a heck of a time fitting it in. I'm going to have to rethink Tuesdays as a running day. They are just too full already.....
Monday, February 21, 2011
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Tonight, I so wanted to play this video for you. Because training starts tomorrow. It's the "Final Countdown" I'm a dork, I know it and I'm ok with it. This week's training:
- Monday ~ warm up on elliptical, weights, stationary bike
- Tuesday ~ run 2 miles
- Wednesday ~ Going Ballistic Class & weights
- Thursday ~ run 2 miles
- Friday ~ swim
- Saturday ~ run 3 miles
- Sunday ~ rest
Let's do this!
Friday, February 18, 2011
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Coming off an injury, I have to play this smart. I'll be loosely following the Hal Higdon Novice Half Marathon Training Schedule.
I'm also getting myself ready to train for my first triathlon this year, so while I'm focusing on running right now, I have to keep swimming and biking in the back of my mind.
This is my plan for the next 15 weeks:
Run 3x per week
Strength Train 2x per week
Swim 1x per week
Bike 1x per week
Cross Train 2-3x per week
Cross Training will consist of classes at the gym (stability ball class, spinning, step class, yoga), additional swimming or doing a fitness tape in my living room. I will likely double up my cross train & strength days. I'll also rest at least one day per week.
Here we go. Wish me luck!
I decided to go for a run today and just see how long I could last before I had to stop and walk. I expected maybe three minutes or so. I laced up my Brooks and headed out the door. My neighborhood has a loop that is .8 mi and I thought, I'll go around once and see how many times I have to walk.
I RAN THE WHOLE WAY. Yup, the entire way. In fact, I ran down a side street twice to make it a nice round mile. Did I mention I ran it all? All of it. Oh and I did it in 12:01. I have NEVER run a 12 minute mile. In my life.....Ever.
I was so stoked. I've been on a complete runner's high ALL DAY. My legs feel alive. I can't remember the last time I felt this good.
My foot? Oh yea, didn't even feel it. Nothing. Nada. I stretched well after my run and I'll massage my calf tonight (rolling pin, anyone?) just in case. But it feels fabulous.
Half marathon? It is ON! Bring it, baby! There is no stopping me!
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Monday, February 14, 2011
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Sunday, February 6, 2011
Saturday, February 5, 2011
I've fallen off the wagon a bit today, but tomorrow is a new day and new beginning. I have lined up a sitter for Boy 2 so hopefully I'll be able to enjoy the swim meet a little better tomorrow since I won't have a whiny wigglebuns sitting next to me on the bleachers.
Oh the bleachers. This momma has got to get herself one of those bleacher chairs if I'm going to spending this much time at swim meets. My ass keeps falling asleep!
Enjoy your weekend internets! I'm hanging on til Monday. Oh how I long for my crazy normal life!!!
Friday, February 4, 2011
I've been to the gym three times this week and as of yesterday, I'm back to counting calories. Every last one of 'em. I had been putting that off because, well, I just didn't want to deal with the hassle of it. Strangely enough, once I started counting again, it seemed all of the stress connected with my eating went away. I knew I was counting, I knew I was accountable and suddenly the choices just seemed easy. If I wasn't accountable, it was too easy to make the wrong choice and then beat myself up over it later.
I've switched up my work outs a bit. I can't really do classes at the gym any more because of conflicts with the kids' activities. So, I was left to my own devices ~ could be why I put off going to the gym for so long. Hhhmm, I need to start trusting myself more. Wait until you hear about the new workout program I've been doing. I'm sore as shit. I've been walking like an old lady, but it's so freakin' awesome!!!
My foot is finally starting to feel a little bit better. Almost normal. So I ran, for one whole minutes, and guess what. My OTHER foot has started hurting again. I can't. friggin'. win. I give up (not really). I'm so frustrated. But I'm just gonna suck it up. I'm finished sitting around and waiting for my body to feel good.
The fact is, I'm big. I'm heavy. Running while carrying such a heavy load just hurts. So, I'm concentrating on strength training and other forms of cadio to take off some more weight before I dive into running again. But I'm dabbling in it a bit here and there to work my way back up. I'm training for this half marathon (June 5) come hell or high water. If I have to crawl across the finish line, I will. DAMMIT!!
So, I put my Super Feet back into my shoes. I hate them. They suck. They feel so fake and artificial in my shoes, but for now I need that extra arch support until I lose a little more weight and can ease some of the burden off my feet. It pisses me off....but I got myself into this mess. I have to put my big girl panties on and get myself out of it.
Boy 1 has a swim meet tomorrow. An hour and a half from our house. It's a two day meet, so I get to drive us back there on Sunday, too. Husband is out of town....he left tonight. Of course. So, since I have to get up at 5:15 tomorrow morning, I'm heading to bed. Peace out, internets!