Ropes are strong……or…….How a rope climb “attempt” killed my ego.

Okay, it’s been a snap second, but I am going to get this thing back rolling. Honestly, who wouldn’t like to stay the winter in bed and hibernate until spring? But we simply cannot function that way.

Months ago I started focusing more on my gym game. As it was getting colder I wanted to utilize that membership in conjunction with kickboxing. So I developed what I thought was a decent lifting routine that changed daily to works different muscle groups. I had every thing planned out, stuck to my plan.

However, in December I decided, because I am not busy enough already, to check out CrossFit. As many of you know, I research everything to death before committing. And I had been researching for months prior. So when I finally found a place………I started.

Honestly, I was scared to death, but knew that it would all work out. I knew it would be expensive to start, as I wanted to do some stuff alone with a trainer first. But I was willing to move forward with it.

And the result was the want and desire to do more and more every day. Sure, I thought I was doing well enough at the gym. I knew that Planet Fitness could only offer me so much with regards to the weights and barbells they offered. However, planet fitness got me back to loving fitness, and allowing me to easily get used to getting out of my comfort zone.

So here is the thing…….when you have a trainer that can “see” what you can do, and push it a little further each time without you knowing that he sees all of this in you, you will surprise yourself. I mean, I surprise myself. Every time. For example, at planet fitness, I can bench press about 50#. At Friction Crossfit, he just keeps putting weight on until we get to a good spot. Then……I get informed the weight was 75#! And while it is exciting to know that I could do that, it also shows me that maybe I don’t believe in myself enough either.

And every session there is a workout that makes me want to die. And every time there is some time limit that he sets. And honestly, if I do not beat it, I am pissed! All in all, I have been pretty proud of what I was able to do. This of course, until this past Friday.

So, there is was………..rope climb. Ugh. Have not had to touch one of those yet, and did not really want to. But there is was. So now it would have to happen. I was nervous. I do not trust myself. I fall down stairs easily. And when I cannot see what anticipates “below”……. the mental block is enormous. All he was expecting was holding the rope from standing, and moving to a seated position, then pulling myself back up again. My feet were not even leaving the floor. Yet, when I tried, simply could not do it. I felt ridiculous.

However, to add to the ridiculousness was the “box jumps”. Twelve inches off the ground. Not like this huge plyo-box 20-36 inch jump. Twelve.Fucking.Inches. Could I step up and down? Yes. But actually jumping? My brain was not allowing it. And it frustrated me almost to tears. So we moved down to six inches. I felt childish. Ridiculous. I am unable to hold a rope and sit down, and I cannot jump 12 inches. It was unreal.

That rope brought me back down to an ego level low enough to remember that my own level of confidence is still no where near where I want it to be, let alone where I thought it was. And it makes me shake my head at myself.

 

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The End of Both a Great and Not So Great Season

There were a few firsts this racing season. First time I got to podium. First time I tried a couple different races. And first time I DNS’d and cut my season short. I know it seems somewhat small, but the carpal tunnel surgeries really did me in. Trying to complete a bike course without the feeling in your hands is…….well…….difficult.

Now that the surgeries are done, the healing begins, and plans for next year start. There will be some changes. Different races, longer distances??? The level and need to continue this and to maintain the routine is what helps makes me feel best physically and mentally. The winter can easily get people down in the dumps with their fitness routine. However, preparing for the next season can be exciting.

 

Much love.

The Time Has Come….

Wednesday I will have the first of two carpal tunnel surgeries. Apparently my right hand is worse, but it is also my dominant hand. While I will be very happy to not have to pause to wait for my fingers to wake up, I also would rather not do this at all.

I have been told by the surgical center it will only take about 30 minutes to perform. Then, three weeks later I will have my left hand done. I have had this issue since about 2012. I have utilized some therapies to try to prevent surgery. Wrist guards, stretches, I have a stand up desk at work. I think my bariatric surgery helped to prolong the severity as well. But within the past 2-3 years it has gotten progressively worse. The most likely culprit: the biking portion of my duathlon and triathlon participation.

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When the nerve test doctor shocked and poked my hands and arms, he determined that my condition was quite severe. He kept asking, to verify, that I did not have any pain. I did and do not. My hands itch. My fingers tingle. The pain is in my ass from all of this crapola. He told me that the severity he sees in my hands he sees in people with pain and whom struggle to grab and hold things for lengths of time. That the most likely reason that I am not experiencing those symptoms  is my active lifestyle. Apparently, not enough to resolve the issue.

However, Wednesday the beginning of a hopeful process will happen. Fingers crossed all goes well.

 

Much love!

……..”OWWWW!!! MY BRAIN!!!”

Some things are coming to a close for the season. Triathlon season is donsies, I may still do a 5k or two before the snow flies, and I learned some lessons about myself along the way.

First, I am simply NOT a people person. Why do I try? I know I am not perfect, but it really seams like many times I get paired with an individual for something and that person is simply…..lazy. Or incompetent. Or coddled. Or fucking annoying. I just do not work well with others. But whatever…

Next week I have the first of two outpatient procedures for bilateral carpal tunnel. I am more worried about how I am going to do my job. Why is that the first thing on my mind? Not, “how much will it hurt?”, or “how long till I can get back to kickboxing/strength training/biking?”. No. How will it affect my job.

I love my job. For the most part. I like to think I do it well. For the most part. I try to make sure that I make time for myself to decompress. But damn my head hurts! I know the people I work with are doing all the hard work for themselves. There is not (and should not be) sole reliance on me. But I gotta tell you…..it is draining!

So, if you know an addiction professional, in any context, make sure to recognize and thank them tomorrow (9/20) as it is National Addiction Professionals Day. Even if you are not an individual whom needs the services of an addiction professional, remember that their goal is to help those that ask. And they may not even know what they are getting into, but they help, anyway.

2018

Much Love

Where Does the Time Go?

And just like that it has been 4 months since my last post when I said I would post more……..Whew!

This year has been quire the whirlwind. I have definitely had some good and bad days. And sometimes the bad days are lingering for me to not want to do much other than sleep! The weather does not help either!

Duathlon/Triathlon season is coming to a close and there will be more Roller Derby coming into play. But the fact is, I need to get back on track with things. The biggest problem is that I think I am not completely honest with myself in being able to do the things I plan to do. Then, when I fall off track I just keep off track. Anyone relate? Obviously my writing is part of this issue. But I shall try to make sure I can get back to writing as it definitely helps me feel better overall.

The Ups and Downs of……..Me

How does one stop overwhelming themselves to the point of what seems like exhaustion when they are used to……….doing just that.

I do not sleep much at all. I am up. I am down. My brain is like the traffic in congested cities like Delhi or Bangladesh. There is honking, yelling, stopping, starting, slow, fast. And I can go and go and go like this until I crash. That usually culminates in me either sleeping for 2 days straight, or, more likely, getting sick.

How does one take care of themselves when they feel like doing that very thing is a miscarriage of what they can do otherwise. Clean, work, workout, get daily like requirements completed, shopping, cooking, and so on.

One of my most common statements out loud is, “so……I may have bit off more than I could chew here…..” (Yes, Melissa, I can hear you laughing in a shocking manner. LOL).

Do I generally perform better under pressure? Yes. Do I know how to do just as well when it is not at a level of 1000 every time? I honestly do not think so.

There are so many things that I do within my life that help keep my depression at a level of handle-able. Working out, staying active, racing, triathlons…….adding those into my daily life complicates my daily life. My depression complicates my daily life.

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I have never been one to hide the fact that my depression has taken me to some fairly dark places. It seems horrible to some people to hear that, regardless of how they see me and how I act, I have a suicide plan in place. I know how. I know how to make sure all of my affairs are in order. Who will take care of the fur kids. How my finances will be handled.

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Many people only see, especially in the wake of deaths of prominent individuals such as Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade, the selfishness that is within individuals whom take their own life. It is hard for outsiders to see that we do not see it as selfish. We see it as relieving. We see it as helpful. You see, what we are offering those around us no longer provides sustenance to them. Our participation in life is stagnant. It is not like we do not care for those whom we will be leaving. We simply care too much to continue to be a place marker in life.

Medications help. Therapy helps. Sometimes, however, I feel like such a drain on people when I am in my dark places that continuing to talk more about it only make me feel as if I am more of a problem.

Please understand that many of us know we have people to talk to. We know that there are helplines. Talking with loved ones and friends, however, can just continue to make us feel as if we just continue to take up time that those individuals do not have. We hear you say that you are there. We hear you say that we are not a problem. But our brains tells us otherwise.

My brain tells me that I am fine and do not need medication.

My brain tells me that I make everyone around me worry too much and that it would be easier to no longer make them worry.

My brain tells me whatever I do, no matter how hard I work, I am simply…..not enough. And I never will be.

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Depression makes people loose any innocence that they still had within their lives. It hijacks our thoughts and replicates like a virus until we know no different than before being infected. It makes me hate myself for all of the things I cannot do for people. It makes me feel as if I am a perpetual failure and I will never, no matter how hard I work, live up to any expectation that those around me have. It tells me that everyone lies to make me think I am worthy, but the fact is, they just want me to get out of the way.

Yes, I know these are not accurate thoughts. Yes, I know this seems crazy to many of you. But please understand……my brain tells me otherwise.

It has been……..a time.

Good evening. First off, let me apologize for the fact that I have not been active with my blog. Super long stories are some reasons, but the fact of the matter is, I put it on the backburner in order to do other things that are simply, not working out. So I am getting back to the beginning.

My job has taken off with more and different levels of stress. With that, and in an effort to make sure that I do not engulf myself too much in my clients’ emotional struggles, I decided to add some things into my life.

Roller derby…..fun, but the fact is, I was too afraid of hurting myself and not being able to race or participate in triathlons. So with that I decided to help out the local organization in another way and become what is called a “non-skating official”. So, I get to see the action, work some stats, and not get hurt 🙂

My weight training went by the wayside once I started kickboxing. Now THIS is where it is at. Stress relief, sweat session, aggression clearing. It is simply phenomenal. But, the super increase in cardio has decreased my strength training. This will be my next work in progress.

The biggest change was my decision to start working with a triathlon event organization in setting up races, working races, tearing down races and working with people. Now, those of you who know me know that I am not really the biggest people person. On day one I clashed with many people. Enough to make me second guess my decision. But I thought I would give it another try. The second event was much better. But when you don’t sleep for 40 hours, and log approximately 25 miles of steps in one day……….it makes me question a lot about myself ad my abilities.

Today I participated in my 3rd year of the Grand Rapids Triathlon. I had not really trained. I had a new-to-me bike. The swim was difficult, and made me question whether or not duathlons were my thing and not having to do the swim. However, in the end, I realized I need to focus on training. I need to separate myself from work and train, not work more. Would free races have been nice? yep. But how well would I perform if I was either racing one weekend or working another weekend?

Being away from home for 3-4 days at a crack. Sleeping in unfamiliar and uncomfortable places. worrying more about more while I am away than I worry about when I am home. I am not one to commit to things, then back out. However, I have decided to back out. I simply cannot continue to take time off work to……..work in a differently stressful environment. It is not a question of whether or not I can hack it, because I can. I simply do not want to and have made the wrong decision in doing so.

On top of all of that there is school for my master’s, still as well. My program at work to be certified and scrutinized by the state. My own counseling to maintain my……life. Family that has been all but pushed by the wayside. The fur crew that sees me less and less and then stares at me with angry eyes that I leave them more and more with the hubs……(he is just not as fun!).

Next week starts a revamping of my life. In an effort to focus more on myself, I chose to focus on other things. My effort failed. However, it did teach me that I cannot fill “holes” the I create in my life every simple time. It is okay to not have anything planned. It is okay to not have to get off the couch in the morning on a rainy weekend. It is okay to not have to always prove myself to other people. I only need to be honest with myself and prove me to………me.

So here’s to everyone trying to figure themselves out. Come join me, will you? Because focusing on me is something I have been trying to not do for many years. Seems fitting that my year of 40 be the one I actually grow up and do me for me.

Much love to you all………you will hear from me more and more.

The Puzzle of My Grey Matter

Many of you who know me well know that I am a very sarcastic, pessimistic person. “Always prepare for the worst……”. I had a psychiatrist describe me one time as a “catastrophizer”. I remember feeling so much more calm that there was a word for my weird and anxious mind.

Lately, however, I am just confused. It is an odd confusion. Like I am trying to find my place within myself but can’t without breaking into pieces of a puzzle. I have good days, but they are few and far between. I have bad days that are most often where my mind sits.

“Am I doing a good job with my clients? If so, why do they fail? Had I missed something? Why didn’t they ask for help? Maybe they did and I just brushed it off.”

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“This week there is one day where I can go home after work. Monday, gym, work, derby. Tuesday, gym, work, FAN meeting, Wednesday, gym, work, derby. Thursday, gym, work (court), home. Friday, gym, work (court)…………” By Friday I just don’t know what to do, really. I feel very busy in the most not busy way. I feel frustrated. Overwhelmed.

I think it takes me until Sunday to even get used to being home. Not to say that I am not home, or that I do not take care of the fur kids, but it just feels odd being home. By Sunday there is all the things to do that I should have been doing on Saturday. But I have derby on Sunday mornings and then after I feel like resting.

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I am tired in the most awake way. I am mean and rude in the most happy way. But a lot of the time it is like I can hear what I am saying but cannot stop it or change it. I feel like I am “Jonesy” from Stephen King’s Dreamcatcher. There is all of this stuff in my head and all I do is move it around to fit things the best I can. Like a puzzle. I know what I need. What I want. What to say. I just cannot find it. I am not sure any of it is even there anymore…………

Detroit Women’s Half Marathon

Okay, in an effort to fully release my thought process of reliving the Detroit Women’s Half Marathon, I have laid out my entire thoughts and conversations below. So……a peek into my brain. This entire thought process is over the course of 4 hours and 15 minutes, so, calm down. I know I am crazy!

Pinkish is my brain thoughts.

Green is my verbal discussions.

Blue are my actions.

(At start grouping)

Ugh. My tummy is cramping. What the hell. Maybe it will get better. Maybe I am nervous.

Okay, here we go. 13.1 miles. You’ve done it before. It can’t be much worse.

This isn’t bad. Looks like it will be flat. YAY!

It is hot and muggy, ugh.

Oh, my tummy is better. Just nerves.

Crap, I forgot the bug spray. My luck I will get West Nile.

Oh, look. A dead frog. Poor thing.

(checks watch)

Wow, I am on a pretty good pace. I may finish this with a PR.

Another frog. Ugh. Come on frogs!

Shit. Sunscreen. Forgot sunscreen. Ugh, I am gonna be a big lobster tomorrow.

(going along pretty good)

What? Mile 2? That’s it? Ok, that only a little more than 10 miles, or so. I’ve done that before. As long as I don’t cramp.

Oh, people are turning already! Oh, 5k people. Damn.

Where is the shade? Geesh! All these trees and zero shade. I am totally gonna be burnt tomorrow.

Ok, if I don’t die of West Nile, I will probably die of skin cancer.

Wait? Mile 8? Shit. I gotta make it all the way back here to get to mile 8? That is super disappointing.

Still on good pace, though. Ok. Just breathe.

(pain in left foot)

What is that? My foot? What’s that pain? Ugh, okay. Reset. Walk a little. See if it subsides.

Oh, there is the finish. People are finishing already? The hell! Oh, wait, there was a 5k and 10k option. Why didn’t I do the 5k or 10k instead? I could be done, or mostly done. The fuck was I thinking? But then I wouldn’t get that double medal. Fucking medals. Suck people in every time!

(pass Ron the first time)

Ok, my foot is hurting more. This isn’t good.

Mile 5? Okay. 8 more miles. 8! Shit. That’s a lot. Okay, just keep moving.

Oh, here is a lady at a sign. Okay, people turning towards that mile 8 flag. WOOHOO!

Wait, (reads sign) “first loop straight”? STRAIGHT?!?! OMG! I can’t do this!           

Where was that bathroom? It was by mile 8. Maybe I can, you know, run through the part to the bathroom, then come out the other side……. No. Maybe. No.

(thinks of the article on the Mexico Marathon where 2500 people cut the course and got caught)

Ugh. Both my feet hurt. Are they bleeding? I don’t want to know. Just keep moving.

Oh, a timing mat! See, they read the Mexico Marathon article, too. They knew I would want to cut the course to save my life. Well played, Epic Races. Well played.

Okay, keep moving. Gotta be close.

Oh, a med tent. I need medical. There is a table there. Maybe she will let me just lay down for a few minutes. No, if I stop it will be worse.

There is that yacht club place. Getting closer the that mile 8 flag.

(sees people throwing sticks to their dogs in the water)

Oh, puppies playing in the water! I wanna play with puppies! It would be more fun than this. And cooler. But they don’t give medals for puppy play time. Though, they should. I should work on that.

Holy hell my feet are on fire. I have never felt this much pain before. What the hell is the issue? THE SKATES! Those fucking roller derby skates! They have fucked up my feet! That’s it, no more skating. I will not give up running and triathlons for being wobbly on wheels. I am not good on the skates anywho. Nope. Derby is done.

Man, there are a lot of people using the race area for bike riding. I could use a bike. I won der if I can bribe someone to allow me to hitch a ride for a bit.

Okay, let’s be real. You are not going to stop Derby. But, geez! If it is the skates…..*sigh*

I feel like I am gonna pass out. Crap. Okay, you packed a protein bar in the bag. Get that from Ron. He better not have eaten it! My lord, if he did he is going to carry me, damnit!

(Second time passing Ron. Gets protein bar)

Me: “My feet hurt so bad. I don’t think I can finish this. I think I might pass out.”

               Ron: “You’re doing good. Just keep going.”

(Ron starts to follow me along the course)

Me: “What are you doing?”

               Ron: “Well, if you pass out I want to know where you are.”

(back to eating the protein bar)

This thing is gross. But I need to eat it. I will not make it the rest of these 4 miles unless I do.

Me: “My feet hurt so bad.”

              Ron: “I know. Just breathe.”

              Me: “I have never felt pain like this.”

              Ron: “I know. Just breathe.”

(glares at Ron)

Me: “YOU DO NOT KNOW! AND I AM BREATHING!!!”            

I think I may need to take my shoes off. I am afraid. I don’t want to stop. I need to stop. Wait. Is there a cut off time? There better not be a cut off time! But if there is, that is a good reason the stop.

Where is that second loop sign lady? I just need to get to that lady. Keep moving forward. Forward. Am I moving forward? I can’t even tell anymore.

THE LADY! Wait, what is this guy doing? (Guy who works for the race running towards me)

        Dude: “How are you doing? Are you still in the race?”

No, jackass. I am crying and walking in seering feet pain because I am a masochist and enjoy the feeling of my feet feeling like they have been smashed with a sledgehammer.

Me: “Um, yep. I am moving. Not doing good, but still moving.”

                Dude: “Ok, you are getting close to the cut off time.”

HE JUST SAID WHAT????!!!!?????

                Me: “When is the cut off time?”

                Dude: “Noon. But if you hustle I think they will wait for you.”

Hustle? Hustle. Says the guy who drove here to tell me to hustle. Dude, I will throat punch you in a snap second and beat you with my shoes.

Fifteen minutes. 1.5 miles. No way. Running, yes. But not like this. Just keep moving. Fuck that guy.

Me: “There is no way I am going to make it, but I will try.”

I could stop. My feet would thank me. No. Only 1.5 miles. I have made it this far.

This is the longest race of my life.

(Dude 2 pulls slowly beside me in a vehicle)

Dude 2: “How ya doing?”

                Me: “Not good. But I am still upright.”

                Dude 2: “Do you want to stop? I can give you a ride back.”

                Me: “Am I close to the cut off?” (I look at my watch and it is 11:59am)

                Dude 2: “I don’t think there is a cut off.”

                Me: “What? Some asshat back there told me it was noon!!!”

(I make note to begin a plan of attack on Dude 1 after the race!!!)

Dude 2: “Well, I drive the truck that has all the stuff, so they are not going         anywhere if I am here talking to you.”

                Me: “Well, I want to finish if I can. I am almost done.”

                Dude 2: “Ok. Everyone else behind you got taken in. But I will let them know you are still coming.”

                Me: “Thank you.”

Ok. Pick up the pace. Yes, I know you can’t feel anything below your waist, but try.

(LIGHTBULB REALIZATION!)

Hey…..I have not cramped! Holy crap! Bonus!

I see that finish banner. Okay, you can do this. There are still people there. Is the time clock off? Oh, who cares. Screw my time…..just make it to the barrier there and you can run to the finish.

21617809_10155772879408559_7319709908954952077_nI have to run across the finish. Hobble. Crawl. Fuck it…..just make it across the finish.

 

2017 Come Clean Duathlon

A couple weeks ago I participated in the Come Clean Duathlon in Lansing. This is the second year in a row I have participated in this event. I really enjoy this event. The area and scenery is beautiful, the volunteers and those that work the event are great and everyone that participates is super supportive.

Last year I had my mountain bike. This year I had my road bike. While my overall time was only 2 minutes faster than last year, my overall bike time was 8 minutes faster. I definitely felt more comfortable and enjoyed the race more this year.

Last year I was last. And it was the best I felt at any race that I came in last at. The people, the support, everything was in place to not make me feel like I was a failure. I laughed, joked and had fun with the officers and support staff. This year was no different. They were supportive, welcoming, and overall great people.

The day was perfect. The scenery was amazing. The race….simply……fun.

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