Monday, March 21, 2016

My attempt to get water

The other night I was working late to catch up on emails from the day and got up to get some water. I get to the sink to fill a bottle and see my husband’s lunch Tupperware piled up, along with my own….  I hadn’t had time to take care of them before our weekly budget meeting. Load all the stuff into the dishwasher, start dishwasher and prep coffee cups for tomorrow. Double check that there are enough lunches made for tomorrow (we both eat a few, thus the lunchES) Husband calls from bedroom “Hey babe, can you bring my water bottle from the fridge if you are coming in here?” I didn’t plan on going in there, but surely I can drop off his water bottle before going back to work. Grab his water bottle; realize my own Nalgene also needs filling. Fill it and pop it in the fridge, drop off hubby’s water and finally back at my desk ready for more email. 10 minutes later, I realize again, that I am dying of thirst and left the stupid water bottle in the kitchen. Seriously, getting a glass of water should not be this hard. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Pain That Comes With Success

We see athletes and think, wow I wish I was like that. It would be so awesome to be that in-shape. It’s a fleeting thought, maybe with a hint of jealousy. That “shape” doesn’t come without pain. Facebook and day to day posts highlight all the great accomplishments, as they should, but what people don’t see is the work. The hours and hours of pain put in to get there.

16.1 crossfit open workout was a brutal 20 minutes of pure exhaustion. The pain didn’t set in until after. It isn’t one work out and then you take a week to recover. It is one day of working out, that will be followed by another and another and another.  Today; away from home I dragged myself to a gym as a visitor. You always feel just a tad self-conscious as a visitor at a gym, even though they are super welcoming.

I was tired. I was hungry. I was sore. I showed up.

That workout was also brutal. By the sixth rope climb, I had effectively rope burned all the skin off the outside of my right leg. The 8 rounds of squat snatches nearly destroyed my already severely sore bum. 21-15-9 of calorie row and toes to bar effectively deteriorated any remaining portions of my body that weren’t already sore. My shoulders are done. My abs are done. My legs were done before I started and have reached and all new level of numbing pain.

I lay in my hotel bed, trying to find the motivation to roll out my throbbing legs. Everything hurts and I am starving, but so sore and exhausted from the work out that I feel a bit too sick to eat any more than I already have.  I am so exhausted that I kind of want to cry. I know if I don’t roll out my legs I may not be able to walk tomorrow without a lot of pain. And to be clear, foam rolling hurts like hell. The groans let out during foam rolling are not groans of pleasure.

Now when I see someone who is in incredible shape, I have pure respect. I know the pain they have put in to get there.

The hours of work

The ice baths

The Ibuprofen

The dates with friends skipped for sleep in order to recover for the next workout.

So why do it? Are abs really worth all that? No. They aren’t. But every new personal record is worth every ounce of pain. An entire gym of friends cheering you on when you accomplish a new goal is worth it. Not feeling exhausted from daily tasks is worth it. It’s not about having a perfect body; it’s about something that is so much bigger. It’s about building confidence and realizing how amazing the human body is.

And I mean at the end of the day I figure it will give me better odds of surviving a zombie apocalypse  

Monday, March 14, 2016

Running is hard

Continuing on with this whole training thing is my first official 2-a-day workout for 1/2 marathon training. 

I had missed the first week of marathon training due to travel, so I was super anxious about my first day of group training. Our 2-a-days start bright and early at 6 am outside our gym. My nerves woke me up at 2 am, 3 am, 4 am and then put me into a nice deep sleep for the 5 am alarm. Thanks brain. 

We ran. It was good. I learned I have no abs. Here I was thinking I know how to run. As it is with so many things, the moment you actually start to focus on doing it correctly you realize you totally suck at it. I quickly realized I totally suck at running. 

After a mere 800m I start to have a stripper butt, as our coach calls it, otherwise known as sway back. I keep repeating "Tuck the butt, Tuck the butt" to myself. Tucking the butt causes me to tense up my shoulders and arms, which we are told is also bad. 

Ok. Tight stomach. Tuck butt, loose shoulders. Got it! The coach asks if I notice I am turning my right foot out more than the left. No. I had no idea. I am still just trying to keep my stupid butt tucked. 

Ok.Tight stomach.Tuck butt Loose shoulders. Don't turn foot out and oh yeah, run at 90%

At this point I am so focused on all my body positioning I barely even notice I am running and have forgotten to breathe all together. We finish the event with standard planks and flash dance planks; yes that is exactly what it sounds like. Hips to the ceiling, head back...because lets face it at this point there is no energy to hold your head up anyways. I already found out I don't have abs, so this whole ending the running with an ab workout is just salt in my new wounds. 

7 am rolls around and I head to work in full running gear. I am greeted by a co-worker in the parking lot who jokes that I have taken causal to an all-new level. 

Ha. So funny. 

I drag myself through the factory to our bathrooms fit for a horror movie. Yes that is an actual photo of our bathrooms. I opted to skip the shower and started the day with a dose of perfume. 

let's just say I was teetering on a fine line between full motivation and complete desertion...and that was only the first work out of the day. 

A late start is better than no start.

At the beginning of the year I set some fitness goals. Then I started writing about it. Then I forgot to post, so I am finally getting around to the whole actual posting bit. Better late than never right?

So here is how things started out, about a month ago. 

I was three weeks into my 2016 fitness goals, 2 weeks into training for a 1/2 marathon. Now let's have a little re-cap to start this journey off. I decided 2016 would be my year of fitness. I joined the Lurong challenge with my gym, which was a whole eating and fitness challenge. I also joined my gyms endurance program to start training for a half marathon, which has always been a bucket list item.

Week 1 was as you would expect; full of excitement and motivation. That whole "Can Do!" attitude. The first weekend of all this fun, we (my hubby and I) ended up traveling to Chicago to visit friends and the fine-tuned diet kind of went out the window. The following week was the first low. The "I give up" point. Yes just 8 days into my year of fitness, I was already giving up. Probably best I wasn't writing then as it would have been a big self-pity party with a lot of woe is me fun. Just be glad you all did not have to endure that post! I pushed through that week of workouts and eating right, but I will be the first to admit I had a horrible attitude ALL WEEK. I felt tired and week and unmotivated. There was a small glimmer of hope which grew into determination. Which brings us to day 3 of week 3 and where the story will continue on.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Why we go....

I was recently asked why we do it? 

Why we take the risk of the hikes, the crazy trips, the explorations, the bike rides and all the random adventures we go on? We being anyone who leaves the safety of home for the unknown. 

It’s a strange mentality that I don’t know if I can quite explain, but I will try. We go because we can or because we want to know if we can. The trip you actually have and the trip you share with the world on social media are very very different. You don’t talk about the parts of your trip that really made you grow. The nights you were up crying because you weren't sure if you could do it. You don't always talk about the times you got terribly lost or the fear of the unknown, but those are the parts of the trip that actually matter. Those are the parts that challenge everything in who you are and make you stronger. The tough parts make the beautiful sights of the trip that much sweeter. 

The travels give you a chance to feel more connected to the human species. You will find yourself in the middle of nowhere and yet there are still people all around you to connect with.  People with their own story and background and life that they are struggling through and you share your experiences and bond. You find that everyone has their own unique story that they are crafting as they go. A story that you may very well hold a tiny spot in. 

It’s when you’re sitting alone in a tent, at a KOA in South Dakota, watching a movie on your slowly dying computer, slamming beers to ease the pain of a fractured rib…it’s in those moments that you learn who you really are. Learn how strong or weak you are. Wonder why you take so much crap from people every day. Wonder why you aren't living a different life and promise yourself that you will change it all when you get back. You don’t, but for a moment you feel like you can change the world.

You go because you know you are going back to the job that you may love, but is still always going to be a job and you’re going to take the same old crap from the same old people. It’s because in those moments on the top of a mountain or sleeping in the back of your car that you are free from everything else in the world. Free from jobs, responsibility, and judgment. Free from everything. You are just you, writing your own story wondering what the next moment is going to bring. What sights lie around the next bend? Wondering who you will meet tomorrow and what kinds of things are going to happen that may change your life forever. We go because it gives us hope that there is more out there than what we see in our daily lives. We go to remind ourselves of who we really are when you strip all the BS away. We go because we can. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Open letter to my Mom

An open letter to my mom. 

Crohns runs in her family and I know it tears her up that I have had to deal with the blessing and curse of having it. For some back story, I had just purchased a house and within a week of purchasing, my fiance got a call to go work for his dream job. That dream job happens to be in a different state than the one we had just purchased our partially remodeled home in. Don't worry I will be posting some entertaining bits about that too, but for now I share this. 

I am thankful…..

With all the craziness and stress of the house, the move and the job, I created a thankful board. It’s a white board and at the end of each day I write a few things I am thankful for on sticky notes and put them on the board. It helps me remember all the great things in life in the midst of the insanity. On my first bike ride in weeks, I was about 13 miles in when I realized something, I am thankful that I have crohns. 

Please do not ever blame yourself or feel bad that I have been blessed with having crohns; and no that is not a sarcastic statement. Now let me explain.

I am an amazing athlete. I might not be in the Olympics or winning crazy medals, but I am an amazing athlete because I have to be. Working out keeps my stress levels low and purges the body of toxins. The crohns forces me to keep active or my stress levels get too high and I get sick. It keeps me in check and keeps me moving forward. It keeps me motivated without hindering my performance. There are very very few diseases out there that allow that to happen.

I don’t have to deal with peer pressure to eat junk food or drink. We all always want to eat the cake, donuts, treats, beer, what have you and I simply cannot. I don’t have to deal with the “oh she is one of those girls who won’t have treats because she doesn't want to get fat”. I have a solid excuse and no one gives me any crap about it. My body gave me a get out of jail free card to eat the way everyone should eat. I eat clean. I stay healthy. Just because other people can digest fast food doesn't mean they should. Chicken nuggets are delicious and can be hard to resist. My body has a built in resistance. Thankfully I do have cheats that I can still enjoy. Gluten free pizza and cookies are available, but not quite as accessible as everything else so then they get to truly be a treat.

Crohns has made me so much more compassionate to those who are suffering and fighting their own battles. Every single person in this world is fighting some battle, cancer, depression, obesity, the list goes on. The crohns has given me a small window into some of these battles without destroying my spirit.

Crohns can be an awful and debilitating disease, but only if I let it be. It has taught me the delicate balance of life that must exist to be healthy. The balance of stress, sleep, food, exercise and relaxation is really important and my body has an internal measure to let me know when one of those is out of whack. Who wouldn't want something like that?

You gave me the genes to be an athlete. You taught me the self-control to only take what I need. You taught me to treat others the way I wanted to be treated and to be compassionate. You taught me to rise above every obstacle life throws at me and find the best in it. Don’t ever feel sad or guilty that I have crohns, feel thankful for all the amazing things you have taught me. Feel thankful that I have a disease that pushes me to be a better person without holding me back in anyway. Thank God for giving me crohns so that I could learn all that I have from having it and then learn to rise above it.

Yesterday was the first time I was honestly thankful for having the experience of having crohns and I needed you to know too. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Winter Blues

I go to dance, fitness and yoga classes. I go climbing; running, skiing. Everything, and my body and soul still yearn for a bike ride. None of the other drugs clear my head quite like biking does and I need it. Every bone in my body is aching for it. It looks nice out, barely any wind and sunny, but the thermometer reads temps far below freezing. I could bundle. I could layer it up to prevent my limbs from freezing in the first mile of riding. That’s when the excuses start. My pump is broken. I can’t find my booties. I don’t have good enough gloves. The list goes on.  

I went riding at Rays MTB park to try and scratch the itch and it did help. It curbed the cravings for a bit, but nothing compares to a long ride on the road or trails. There is a certain clarity that comes on long rides. Each mile pushing harder and harder, slamming through the perils of life with every pedal stroke, acid burning through tired muscles until everything is gone. There’s no more pain in your legs and all the stress melts away. Everything is clear and it’s just you and the bike. No bills, or deadlines or to do lists.  What I wouldn’t give for a long bike ride with the sun on my back. Don’t get me wrong. I love winter. I am a skier and a snowboarder, but when life gets overwhelming my favorite remedy will always be a bike ride.

Just placed an order for gloves suitable for riding in sub zero temps. No more excuses. Rain, wind or snow, it’s time to ride my bike.