Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Put Your Big Kid Underwear On

I find it kinda funny to be known for my strength/resilience because at times I'm a real wimp.

Okay... let me rephrase...

I eventually get around to being strong and resilient, but I either whine a bunch or have to psych myself up to doing it.

For instance, I'm afraid of needles.  They say that most people who are afraid of needles aren't actually afraid of the pain/gross factor, but that they had a bad experience in the past.  Well, that'd be true in my case:  When was young, I had an ingrown toenail that needed to be dealt with.  The doctor injected Novocaine through a very thick callous on my toe and the medication didn't work.  My phobia is so bad that I get dental fillings without Novocaine.

scared primate face
Getting my epidurals (2 for my back, 1 for my neck) were a HUGE deal for me.  My needlephobia manifested in vasovagal responses (I started to faint) each time. During the epidural procedure for my neck, the doctor actually wanted to halt and reschedule the procedure. I very clearly remember telling him something like "I didn't put on my big girl panties for nothing.  We're doing this."

So... back in February, I fell in the shower (I think it was more that I pinched a nerve and lost feeling in my legs).  In May, I went to the ER because I was in excruciating pain (again, while in the shower... I need a bathtub...) and the attending doc at the ER was a dillhole to me.  When I met up with my orthopedic doctor I left with a prescription for a discogram.  Sadly, this is not like a candygram:  It is not a message you send someone you love wherein an actor shows up your door in 70s garb, dances The Hustle, and hands you a bouquet of flowers.

I've procrastinated in making the appointment. Part of the problem was finding someone that does them, the rest of the problem was that I looked up discograms on the internets.  You guessed it -- MORE NEEDLES! But, I bit the bullet and called the neurosurgeon's office today.  It needs to be done.

I've grown too comfortable with saying that I can't do much because I'm injured.

So I'm gonna take a page from Roni and Carla and get my #wycwyc on.  A large part of my What-You-Can/When-You-Can has been walking with Ingress (a real-time, worldwide game of capture the flag -- Join the Resistance! I'm @YoursBluely -- and have walked 1025km since December!).  But there's more that I can do.  I need to get my diet back on point (okay, how many times have I said that?).  I need to use my pool (okay, it's not big, but I can walk laps in it).  I need to do my yearly physicals.

I need to put my big girl underroos on every day.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The sun will still rise.

You don't have to be perfect
You don't have to play well
You don't have to fix everything
All by yourself 

There are some days when I really struggle against myself -- against my injury (who am I if I'm not running, boxing, playing sports?), against my life (stress!), against my identity (am I a loser of weight? or the person that is constantly injured?).  I worry about what I need to be for all my friends/family.  I worry about what I need to be for all of my readers.  

I worry about what I need to be for myself.

This song may be a love song to another person, but sometimes I listen to it just to soften my own judgments against myself. 

There's no doubt that you are mine, babe,
There's no doubt that you are mine


Here, repeat after me, it goes
I won't stop loving
I won't stop loving 

 Now don't laugh 'cause I just might be
The soft curve in your hardline
There's no doubt that you are mine, babe,
There's no doubt that you are mine 

In the end, I realize that sometimes it's enough to just BE and BE KNOWN AS the person that is constantly FIGHTING FOR HERSELF, that is NEVER AFRAID TO TRY, and that FIERCELY LOVES HERSELF.  It helps me from constantly apologizing for what I am not.

I am my body.  I am my life.  I am my struggle.  I am my every moment.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Point.

I remember my first Fitbloggin as if it was yesterday.  I also remember how much I cried from start (meeting Tara as I got out of the cab) to finish (having to say goodbye to everyone).

I managed to survive Fitbloggin 2014 without shedding too many tears, that is until I met 1972 Olympian Jeff Galloway.  Now keep in mind, as someone that doesn't really run, I had no idea who Jeff was until about 5 minutes before he walked in the room.  But after a quick Wikipedia search, I realized he was just the man I needed to talk to.

He came to Fitbloggin as a part of the Run Disney sponsorship of the conference.  Before our 1 mi walk/5k/10k, he talked about how we, as bloggers, are able to change lives and inspire greatness in others.  He talked about how exercise adds life and vitality to our years.  He talked about how fitness is a family value.

I walked the first half of the 5k ((**waves to walking group!**)) and then somewhere around the midpoint, after being in my head for a while, something in my mind decided that despite the pain I was in (urgh my back!), that I couldn't miss the opportunity to speak with Jeff Galloway (who ran the 10k, I think).  I began to jog for the first time since February.

First of all -- he's the NICEST person, EVER.  He took the time to chat with everyone who wanted his time.  Not only that, he was interested in what they were doing in their lives, in their families, in their communities. Yet, despite being the nicest person, he's the only person to make me flat-out cry at Fitbloggin 2014.

How?  I told him how what he said about being able to change lives really struck me, but that it's all for nothing if we can't help to inspire and change the lives of the people we love the most.  Then he asked me who I loved the most.  And I started bawling.  Through the tears I asked if he would speak to the person that I love the most -- the person that I want to live a long and healthy life, the person that I worry the most about:   my dad.

Dad:  I'm not trying to embarrass you, or call you out.  I just want you to try.  I just want you to live a long and healthy life. I want you to want that as well.  And I hope you know that you have my full support.  And if I know my readers the way I think I do, I think you'll find they will support you too.  Dad, give me a reason to show you that I'm your biggest fan and cheerleader.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

#Fitbloggin After Dark: Lessons from a Drag Queen

Her Majesty, Queen RuPaul's tagline is "if you can't love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love anybody else?"

And well, show me one fitness blogger who hasn't struggled with loving his or herself? It is the central question we all try to answer in our own little way. 

A large group of us went to Club One here in Savannah to see a drag show last night. I left wanting to bring them back to the conference. 

We see all the glitz and glamour of these girls while they are putting on their shows. What we don't see is how much courage it takes to step out the first time in drag. It is a leap of faith in 4" heels. 

But, as in all things, there are lessons to be learned here:  

• when each of us chooses to be something that doesn't come easily/naturally/genetically we affirm that the risk is worth both the reward and even the potential failure;

• when we take the leap of faith, we learn just how strong we are willing to be....even if it is all bravado;

• bravado transforms into confidence, with practice;

• remember to blend your makeup;

• commit to what you want to be and practice portraying that person until it becomes your actual identity.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Everybody Hearse, Sometimes

I'm just going to put this out there:  I brought doughnuts to Fitbloggin (fitness conference).  I traveled many miles to taste their deliciousness and I refuse to feel guilty about this... and I kinda also refuse to share.

So the title of my blog tonight is a play on the R.E.M. song "Everybody Hurts."  A bunch of us went on a a "Haunted Savannah" tour this evening in these beauties:

Joking aside, if you've read my blog for any amount of time, you know that a common theme that I write about is that "everyone suffers."  It's a Buddhist principle that can be applied all around.

Even though I was terribly overwhelmed by the welcome mixer (the sound was loud and I've been alone in my head for the past few days), I was particularly attuned to the number of people who not just felt overwhelmed, but also out of place.  Many people felt that not only were they introverts but that they were also newbies.  Two whammies that are hard to overcome at a conference where so many of us already know each other.

If that was you, I just want you to know that we've all felt that at some point -- that we don't belong, that we don't deserve to be our friends, that we've fallen from grace or that we're no longer to be counted among the peers.  Many of us have felt vulnerable and scared because when we arrive at Fitbloggin, we're not an improvement on the last time people have seen us, and worse, we may be a disappointment.  But among all the gut-wrenching horrible feelings, is the one where we feel like we're invisible, our voice doesn't matter, or that we're in the way.  That's not the case.  Everyone who takes the initiative to show up belongs here.  And it doesn't matter what happened yesterday or the day before.  You're here now.  You are ONE OF US.  And you better get in on the group hug.

Another thing that reminded me of the theme that "everyone hurts" is an email that I got from my landlord today.  He says:   "I wish you would understand how sick I am and how hard this is on me.  You named my only baby left, Leo and I don't want this to be ugly." 

I abhor that he's playing on my sympathies... as if I didn't lose Spike in February... as if I wasn't in the hospital recently because of my back.   He could have used his experience of his own suffering to bring about compassion and say "hey, sorry the fridge is broken.  I know you don't need that stressor right now."  Instead he said "Please plan to vacate by June 15th and you will never have to deal with the noisy compressor again.  You are welcome to leave on the 1st of June (or tomorrow) if you feel the is not lived up to my responsibilities."
 I can't engage emotionally with this.  Yes, everyone hurts sometimes and we use our own knowledge of suffering to bring about compassion.... but sometimes we use our own suffering to assert our limits and say "No more."