2013 – The Year That Wasn’t

In my head, I’ve been thinking of 2013 as the “Year That Wasn’t”.

I had so many big plans for 2013 that just never came to fruition, mostly due to injuries. In the first five months of the year I:

  • had plantar fascitis and bone spurs
  • sprained my ankle
  • had a rear-end collision that resulted in whiplash

Later on in the year, I also still had to deal with the whiplash AND messed up my knee big time. So in dealing with all those injuries, plus a mystery pain in my right side that has still not been resolved, its pretty easy to get down on myself and my goals.

My dear husband pointed out to me that GOOD things happened as well – most notably our February elopement to Las Vegas. Ok, so a wedding is a great thing, there’s no denying that. We had a wonderful wedding, and two amazing wedding receptions in the summer. There were also two trips out to the West Coast where we spent time with friends and family AND the first Thanksgiving spent with my father for as long as can remember. WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL AND WONDERFUL. Maybe not such a bad year after all?

I also took more Zumba training and wrote my theory exam for FIS certification (Group Fitness Instructor) – both of which were challenging and one required studying for weeks to get a passing grade (90% babeh!). These things are also great and worthy accomplishments.

So instead of thinking of 2013 as the “Year That Wasn’t”, it’s now the “Year That Didn’t Quite Turn Out As Expected.” And for this year, my goals are to finish up the things that didn’t quite happen for last year.

  • challenge the practical part of my FIS certification, that is, actually TEACH a group fitness class.
  • also to actually start TEACHING Zumba Fitness classes instead of just being a licensed instructor that never actually leads a class.
  • keep working on my fitness goals and if injury occurs, find more creative ways to work around them.
  • work on my swimming skills with an eye towards competing in masters level swim meets.

And finally, and I think this will be HUGE, I’ve committed to attending WW meetings instead of doing it online. I believe that I need the support and accountability, so I attended my first meeting in a long time on Saturday. I’ve committed to myself that I will attend the meeting faithfully each week, pay attention and also participate in the meetings. And of course STAY ON THE D@MN PROGRAM!

There are so many good reasons to work towards these goals and this year is going to be the “Year That I Keep Commitments to Myself”.

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Siren Song

My parents will tell you that I’ve always been a water baby. I’ve always loved water and my happiest times have been spent near water.  Swimming in it, rowing on it, diverting creeks, splashing in puddles – I’m a fan of anything to do with water.  As a kid, we spent lots of time camping – usually near (but not too close) water of some sort.  A creek, a lake, a river.

As a result of my love of all things water, I’m a pretty decent swimmer – I won’t win any awards but I’m totally comfortable in, under and around water.

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After years spent avoiding swimming pools, or more accurately, bathing suits, I returned to the water last year.  It was a great way to relax and also get a workout while nursing a foot injury. At this point in my life, I’m not going to let my fears about my body keep me from doing something I adore. I was swimming 2-3 times a week, working up to longer distances with every outing.  I was lucky to work with a great coach as part of a drop in swim class and doing so really improved my skills.

After getting whiplash in May, I ended up out of the water.  Swimming was not an option for almost 6 months due to the injury and it was awful.  I wanted so badly to be back in the water, and while I did do some Aqua Zumba classes (so much fun!) its not the same as swimming and I’ve missed it.

Well last week I went back to the water and it was wonderful. I’ll admit that it was tough after being away for almost 6 months and my neck and shoulders did not feel great.  But I slogged though and felt better for having gone to the pool.

Monday was not a fun day at work – too much to do and projects I’m working on just not going as expected.  And my neck was stiff and sore from going Cross Country Skiing on Sunday.  So I really didn’t want to work out or go for a swim, much less get soggy.  I announced that I will go for a swim if my Advil kicks in and my neck feels better but secretly hoping that it doesn’t because I don’t want to go anywhere. Slowly, my neck pain eases, and I dilly dally until about 8:21 until I force myself up off the couch.  The comfy womfy couch… Sigh. I dragged myself upstairs, put on my swim suit and cargos and went to the pool.

As much as I love the warm floaty womb of the swimming pool, I’ll admit that I dislike the dirty, hairy soggy change room at the swimming pool.  As much as the staff try to keep a change room clean, they are generally gross and I’m not a fan of other peoples hair at the best of times.  Thus, flip flops are a must at the local pool.

I arrive at the pool in time for the 9 pm “fitness conditioning” class.  Unlike the 8-9 class, this one is almost empty.  Maybe 4 people in the whole pool so I get my own lane.  Which I love. I can wobble from side to side in the pool and not worry about running into someone else. The water is peaceful and flat and shimmers from the overhead lighting.

I jump in the pool – it’s warm and salty but not so warm that I will overheat.  I put my goggles on and start my warm up – 50 metres of front crawl, followed by 50 metres of front drills, and then 50 of kick work (followed by 150 of breast stroke, another 150 of front and then 150 of back stroke).

I can hear the top 40 radio station playing in the background, but as soon as I put my head under the water, all I can hear is the smooth swish of my arms propelling me through the water, the gentle blub of the pool filters and my cares dissolving away with every stroke.

With a few laps, my breath comes more easily, the strokes are smoother and swimming is as easy as breathing. Breathe-strokestroke-breathe, changing to breathe.strokestrokestrokebreathe as I get more comfortable and switch to bilateral breathing.  I glide through the water, feeling strong, comfortable and supported. On dry land, I am far from graceful but in the water, its a whole new world.  I’m fast, graceful and skilled,

I swam for 900 metres total, not bad for my second time out.  Not only was it a great workout but my head feels clear and my soul rested. I’m heading out to the pool again tonight and I’m looking forward to swimming my cares away.  Even from the warmth and comfort of my home, I hear the siren song of the pool calling me to its depths. Or maybe that’s the swish of the dishwasher or the dripping of a tap? Either way, its water and I like what it has to say.

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It’s gonna feel like WHAT?

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On Friday I spent the morning at the hospital having a CT Scan on my abdomen. It’s something I’ve both looked forward to (having it done with) and dreaded (wee bit of claustrophobia).

I’ve been having some pain in my right side and months of blood work, x-rays and ultrasounds have failed to find the source of said pain.  It’s probably something minor and I’m not really concerned about it being something serious.  My doctor is certainly not concerned about it and it took time to convince her to proceed with more testing.

After a fitful night’s sleep, I arrived at the hospital even earlier than the prescribed ½ hour prior to my test. After filling out plenty of forms and confirming my name, age and date of last period, (etc) it’s time to go to the back and get ready for the scan.  The nurse sits me down in an area called the “consent area” and has me watch a video all about the test and the risks associated with the CT scan and contrast agent.  According to the video, the CT Scan has about the same risk as driving to Calgary and back, working on a farm for three days or something along those lines.

The contrast agent is both injected and ingested prior to the exam and it helps with a clearer and more easily ready image of the scanned area.  Luckily, a skilled nurse inserted my intravenous without any issues and further explains how the scan works. A student watches and waits for his turn to have a go with the needle.

Then it’s off to the waiting area for diagnostic imaging, which is very busy and it’s immediately clear that there are plenty of people there worse off than me.  There’s the older gentleman laying on a bed with plenty of lines coming out of him, and black urine coming from the catheter.  I can smell the stale cigarette smoke from across the room.

There’s a guy who was mugged a few weeks ago and had his skull smashed by a baseball hat.  He is suffering from brain damage and has great difficulty speaking but despite this, he maintains a sense of humour and a positive attitude. He has an impressive scar on the left side of his ear from a wound that took 55 staples to close. 

Sitting next to me, waiting for the same test I’m having, is a guy about my age who had a severe bout of diverticulitis back in September. He spent two weeks in the hospital and almost lost part of his colon. He can’t ever eat any fruit or vegetable with seeds and is actually on a low fibre diet (hard to believe!). He happily reported that he can still eat meat.  And bacon, he’s still good to go with bacon. He’s had several CT scans in the past month and is not excited about having another as CT Scans are no fun for those who suffer from claustrophobia. He had the student nurse inserting his intravenous needle, which didn’t go well, so he has cotton balls taped to both arms.

I finished drinking my contrast, 32 disgusting ounces of it, and shortly after they brought me into the room for the scan. I lay on a narrow table with my pants around my knees. The tech prepares the IV and warns me that I will have a metallic taste in my mouth, followed by a warm feeling on my arm and the feeling that I’ve peed myself. Whhhatttt? Like sitting on my heated car seat, I ask. Yeah, but 100 times worse she says. And she’s right, within seconds of the start of the IV, my arm feels warm, my mouth tastes like metal and my groin feels like IV wet myself. Very disconcerting!

And so it was. I’m laying on this narrow bed, feeling like I’ve peed myself, with my arms overhead as the scan is performed. As far as tests go, it’s not horrible. The machine is not tight as I imagined it might be. It’s not all that noisy and the scan itself doesn’t take long. The techs can see me and talk to me from inside the scanner. I must look nervous because they keep asking if I’m ok. The IV is removed and I’m free to go with instructions to drink plenty of water over the next few days because the contrast is very harsh on the kidneys.

As far as tests go, I think my fear of the process was much worse. Talking to and seeing some of the other patients at the hospital makes me more appreciate of the relative good health I enjoy. But I can do better for myself and my health. I can eat better, sleep more, exercise more and watch less tv. A diet with more raw food, and less saturated fat and sugar, seems like a great plan to me. Because even though the CT Scan wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, I’m not keen on going back to the hospital ever again!

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12 months of blogs! {sort of}

bearI just realized today that I started this blog a year ago! Yes, the bear was surprised too!

I didn’t really have a plan when I started the blog – no specific topic, or frequency. I just knew that I had something to say and this was my way of doing so.  There were times when I just couldn’t shut up and then months when I said nothing at all.  But I’m glad I started this journey and I look forward to continuing in the coming weeks, months and years!

In the 12 months since I started this blog I:

1. got engaged on an adventure filled weekend.

2. had a friend break up with me via text message (really, who does that?)

3. received a message from a real asshole of a troll (again, who does shit like that?)

4. injured both feet – yeah I am a clutz.

5. fallen in love with yoga, yes, I really did.

6. challenged myself to live outside the box – and do more Zumba!

7. and best of all, I got married to the love of my life!

And so on…

More of the same for the next 12 months except less injury would be good. And also, I think I don’t need to get engaged or married again.  It was amazing but planning that stuff is STRESSFUL!

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R.E.S.P.E.C.T

Over the years, I have come to believe in the proverbial “goodwill bank account” when it comes to relationships – friendships, professional or what not.

At work, as in any other aspect of life, you can only give so much of yourself without getting any goodwill in return. That is, if you give and give to an employer by working late, doing the jobs nobody else wants to do, going above and beyond and your employer just expects more and more without giving any appreciation or consideration in return… and then compound that by being disrespectful too? Well, at some point, they are going to be seriously overdrawn in their goodwill bank account with me. And then I won’t be doing anything I don’t absolutely have to do at work. You want me to do what this weekend? Yeah no, I have plans. Work late so that you can take your dog to the vet? Sorry I’m busy.

I should probably point out that there has to be a significant overdraw to push me over the edge! It took almost two years at my last job before I decided I was done with being a doormat. But that’s another story altogether.

These days, I have no complaints about my supervisor(s) and the folks I work with. They are awesome and I could not feel any more appreciated by my managers. Mostly I wanted to make this point because someone shared a version of this terrific meme the other day and I wanted to pass it on.

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Respect – you gotta give it to get it.

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So not what I meant…

When I posted this blog The Year of Living Uncomfortably on January 1st, I didn’t think this year would turn out to be so UNCOMFORTABLE!!

I was looking to go outside my comfort zone with my fitness and more specifically Zumba, but instead I’ve dealt with ongoing foot issues (plantar fasciitis, bone spur), a sprained ankle, whiplash and an odd pain in my side that I’m assured is nothing by those who know but just will not go away.  That was SO not the kind of uncomfortable I was looking for!

After what seems like a long detour, much patience and even more physical therapy, i think I’m ready to be back the kind of uncomfortable I was talking about!  (I’m not yet done treatment for my whiplash but I’m hoping it doesn’t hold me back.) Namely challenging myself with more Zumba training, yoga poses that I have avoided and also facing that contraption at the gym called “Jacobs Ladder”.

In the next few months I will be doing a number of things that I’m not comfortable with, and I need to be 100% so I’m just putting this out there to the universe…

NO MORE FUCKING INJURIES!! (in my best Bernadette Bassenger voice)

THANKYOUTHATISALL.

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Personal censorship

Almost a year ago I started this blog with this entry about back boobs followed by other posts about our engagement, the end of a friendship, and a pesky foot injury. It was a voyage of personal discovery and a great adventure!

I really enjoyed, and still enjoy, writing a blog but in February after a whirlwind Las Vegas wedding, I suddenly stopped. It’s not that I ran out of things to say, far from it, but someone close to me took offense to one of my blog posts (which wasn’t even about her or anyone else) and I stopped. I deleted the damn post and stopped writing.

And it’s been 6 months since I posted anything at all which is a bloody shame. I felt like I had to censor my posts so as not to offend anyone and really, what’s the fucking point of that?

Therefore, no more censorship. I write for myself for my own benefit. I hope not to offend anyone but that may happen. We are censored in do many ways by society, work and relationships that I won’t be censored in my own blog – especially not by ME! I don’t endeavor to offend or attack anyone in my blog – it’s about my journey. But I won’t ever censor or delete my blog again because someone else may take my thoughts personally.

There are so many cool and exciting things coming up for me in the next couple of months – more Zumba training, FIS certification, etc that I want to blog about so when I got a notice that my account with Word Press expires next month, I had to decide if it was worth the expense. I think it is so I’m gonna keep writing and fuck censorship – of all types!

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