Monday, January 30, 2012

You Can Cry - Just Don't Be a Baby

I had a moment on Friday.  I hit that proverbial wall.  It was the first time since joining CrossFit that I really felt like I could throw in the towel.  And I almost did.

We all know I'm not a runner by nature.  My grand qualities of awkwardness and clumsiness don't lend themselves well to coordination and running.  In fact, if you've known me long you have probably heard me say (at least once) that if you ever see me out running you should call the police (most people laugh when I say this... I'm not kidding guys).  So, naturally, when I arrived at CrossFit on Friday morning, I was annoyed and irritated to see that the WOD (workout of the day) was so heavy on the running.  The workout consisted of 5 rounds (for time, of course) of a 400 meter run (this is a quarter of a mile, America) and 5 front squats (with heavy weights).  If you are not a math genius... that means a total of 2000m (or 1.25 miles) and 25 front squats.
Math genius.
I had already struggled through a quarter of a mile warm-up run, and was feeling 'off' through the rest of the warm-up (by the way, when you see CrossFit shirts that say "Your workout is my warm-up" ... this is a true statement).  Usually I am nervous before the WODs, but that day I was actually dreading it.  My mind was playing tricks on me, telling me that I wouldn't be able to accomplish the workout, that I might as well quit.  I stepped on the dreadmill and started out at a decent pace, although I felt sluggish.  Then, the letters D N F flashed through my brain (that means 'did not finish').  I felt my eyes well up with tears and told our coach, Chad, that I was done.  "I quit.  I can't do it.  I don't have it today.  I can't do it."  "Sure you can," he told me.  "No.  I'm done," I said.  I imagine he was annoyed as I walked away in tears.  I spent a few minutes sobbing on the floor of the women's restroom.  I sat there feeling sorry for myself.  The culmination of a really crappy (with a capital C) week came pouring out through my tear ducts.

When I stood up, I wasn't sure what was going to happen next.  I knew I would cheer on my teammates, but I felt embarrassed for having quit.  Chad said "You don't have to do nothing.  You can walk it.  You can just do the squats."  I started crying, again (seriously I think I hold the record for the most times cried at McPherson YMCA CrossFit).  He asked if I was okay and I said "I don't know why I'm crying, it's just been a really sh!*$y week and I just don't have it today."  He turned around (probably wishing he could tell me to shut up and get to work), and I was irritated that no one would feel sorry for me.  As I lazily walked toward the weight bar I mumbled, "You really should serve wine here."  He said "I hear a lot of whining."

Do you know what that comment was?  It was a metaphorical slap in the face (in a good way).  It was exactly what I needed to hear to shut up and get busy.  I went from feeling sorry for myself to being infuriated.  Something inside of me screamed "I AM NOT A WHINER."  I did the squats and jumped back on the treadmill.  I kept telling myself, "one more round, and then you can quit if you want to -- you can do this."  Each time I got through my 'one more round', I had the courage and the intensity to keep going.  On my fourth set, I grunted "I'm finishing this b!#$&" (I wasn't kidding when I told you that CrossFit gives me a potty mouth).  "There you go!" encouraged Chad.

So, with my CrossFit sisters cheering me on, I finished the WOD in 25 minutes 30 seconds.  Not a great time by any means, but it was a finish.  It was not a DNF.  And a finish feels much better than a pity party (crying in the bathroom alone is really sucky by comparison).  I even apologized for being a whiner.

Looking back, I think think I was temporarily a bit like this 'lady' in the video: 'Sh!t women say to personal trainers'.

I suppose the moral of this particular post is that negative self-talk can stop productivity in an instant.  When you tell yourself you can't do it, you won't be able to do it.  If your attitude sucks, so will your performance.  I received a really encouraging email from one of my CrossFit sisters about her experiences with negative self-talk and about how she confronted her nay-sayers.  After I wiped my tears and the goosebumps subsided, I dug a little deeper inside myself.  I asked myself who the voice belong to (just so you don't try to send me away, I don't actually 'hear' voices).  As it turns out, the voice is my own.  I think that for so long in my life I was afraid to fail, afraid to look like a fool, afraid to be last, afraid to be the worst, the list goes on and on.  Those fears eventually turned into me telling myself that I couldn't do the task at hand, so that (if I even gave myself the chance to try) I wouldn't have to hurt in the event of a failure.  I always prepared myself to suck.  Unfortunately the part where I tear myself down has followed me into adulthood.  But I'm working on it.  The 'hitting the wall' experience I had on Friday was powerful enough that I had night mares about it that night.  I think it was because I am the reason, I allowed myself to melt down.

Today's WOD was a good one; a real lung burner.  All those burpees and wall ball shots made me nervous.  But I told myself I could do it.  I smiled when the burpees began to really get ugly (who am I kidding, burpees are always ugly).  I laughed when the ball hit me in the face.  And I made it to the finish line.  Did I do the workout as prescribed?  No.  Could I have?  Probably not.  Will I?  Someday, yes.  I refuse to feel defeated today.  I refuse to allow myself to be defeated before I even start.  I will keep reminding myself how far I have come, and how far I will continue to go.

Work hard.  Love yourself.  And thank you for keeping me... In Good Company.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

YMCA Submission

I was asked me to submit a story about my journey and the role in which the YMCA has played in it.  I wanted to share this with you, not only because I've been meaning to write a post this weekend, but also because I love the YMCA and all it stands for.  It truly has been instrumental in my journey thusfar, and will continue to be.

"When I began my journey, I was the heaviest I had ever been.  I was tipping the scales at 257 lbs, I was a size 20, I was depressed, I always felt like the fattest woman in every room, and I was selfishly allowing myself to head toward a future of diabetes, heart disease, and hormone imbalance.  With a severe history of anorexia and bulimia throughout my tween and teenage years, I had suddenly found myself at the opposite end of the ‘unhealthy’ spectrum.
257 lbs

"At 257 lbs, there were a lot of things I ‘knew’ about myself.  I ‘knew’ I was not an athlete, I ‘knew’ I would never be a runner, I ‘knew’ I would always be fat; I ‘knew’ I would never be able to love the reflection in the mirror.

"With the encouragement of a friend, I began visiting the YMCA a few times a week.  My workouts were slow and low in intensity at first (often I worked my vocal chords and mouth muscles more than anything).  I think I enjoyed having some ‘adult time’ more than anything, which is hard to come by as a stay at home mommy.  Even though I cried like a baby the first time I left my son in Toddler Time (who, by the way, was totally fine with being left), I quickly became confident and quite pleased with the level of care he was receiving.  I am unfailingly thankful for Toddler Time (and especially the staff) – it has been there that my son has been able to obtain the social skills and friendships he otherwise would be lacking.
215 lbs

"I soon began taking Yoga, which became a Godsend for my clouded ‘Mommy brain’.  I even expressed interest in instructing, but I added the disclaimer that I would have to lose 50 lbs before it would be appropriate for me to do so.  I was told to stop being ridiculous (thank you Dawn – I mean that) and I was soon a regular substitute instructor.   I finally mustered up the courage to achieve my Advanced Yoga Instructor Certification, and through a series of events no one could have ever predicted, I began teaching my own class.  A very small voice in my head kept telling me I had no business instructing a room full of women half my size, but with the ever-present encouragement of my newly found YMCA family, I kept going.  I can honestly say that working as a fitness instructor is the only work I have ever done that has made me consistently happy and proud of myself.  Although being able to help others achieve their goals is more rewarding than achieving my own.

"In November I decided to take my fitness to the next level by joining CrossFit.  I was terrified (with a capital T); I was worried that I couldn’t handle it.  But I began, and I was instantly enchanted.  CrossFit immediately challenged me to rethink everything I thought I knew about myself.  I have learned to train like an athlete, I have learned to run, and I have learned not to settle for what I thought I had to be.  CrossFit has allowed me to be part of a team for the first time in my life, and this team is made up of some of the most interesting (and absolutely the most encouraging and supportive) group of individuals I have ever met.  Even when the workouts are mentally and physically harder than anything I ever thought I could accomplish, the environment and support of the team, and coach, allows me to achieve goals I never thought were possible.  I might also add that I have dropped 2 jeans sizes since beginning CrossFit 12 weeks ago.
172 lbs

"There have been hundreds of mornings when I wanted to skip my workouts, to stay in bed, and to stop this journey.  But the positive environment and smiling faces at this facility have kept me going.  In a town where we have no family, the McPherson Family YMCA has provided me with a sense of community that I craved.  As of today, I weigh 172 lbs, wear a size 10, and feel better than I have ever felt in my entire life.  I am, without a doubt, healthier than I have ever been, I have more energy, I sleep better, I am sick less often, and I have even begun to like what I see in the mirror.  I am amazed at the things I have been able to accomplish because of the McPherson Family YMCA, and my success has even encouraged some of my friends and family to begin a healthy living journey all their own."

Be healthy, love yourself.  And thank you for keeping me... In Good Company.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Mater-vention - *updated*

I think we need to have a 'Mater-vention' (you know like 'tamater', without the 'ta')...  My child is obsessed with Disney Pixar: Cars and Cars 2; and I do mean obsessed.
Wearing his Cars jammies, sitting in his Cars chair.
Everything we talk about is Cars, Cars, Cars.  Here is a little sampling of what meals are like at our house:

"You need to use your inside voice."
"What Mater say?"
"There is no yelling at the dinner table."
"Please stop throwing your food."
"Hi Koko Nini (Uncle Topolino)."
"I am talking to you.  Stop throwing your food."
"Stop yelling.  Use your inside voice."
"Grem.  Acer.  Francesco.  Holly Shiftwell.  FINN MCMISSLE!  Sally.  Torque.  Red.  HI MATER!!!"
"Settle down.  Don't throw your milk."
"McQueen milk.  Snot Rod!  Ah ah ah CHOO!"
"Don't throw your milk.  Does your milk need to go to time out?"
"Blue car name Raoule.  Yellow car Miguel.  Night night Carla."
"Listen to me.  Take bites."
"Speed.  I speed.  KA-CHOW!"
"Take bites."
"DOC HUDSON!!!  Turn dirt.  Piston cup!"
"Take a bite of your food."
"Chick Hicks mean tricks.  King crashed.  Oh no!"
"Stop talking.  Take bites."
"Lightening McQueen pull Bessie!"
"Take bites."
"Tow Mater.  Tow truck."
"Eat your dinner."
"What Ramone say?"
"What does Ramone say?"
"Low and slow!"
"Okay.  Eat your food."
"What FILMORE say?!?!"

You would think that I let him watch the movies every single day, but that is not the case.  We read the books almost daily, and his new thing is to ask me to sing songs about the different characters.  I made the mistake of obliging one time, now this happens multiple times daily.  If he's lucky they rhyme; if he's really lucky, the same tune continues throughout the entire diddy.
In his birthday jammies made by Grandma.
Today we were leaving the gym and a very sweet lady said hello to him and asked how he was doing.  He responded with a "Play Guido!"  I politely smiled and continued walking towards my car, trying not to see the confused (and possibly offended) look on her face.

I do realize that I have helped create this little Cars monster.  I planned a Cars themed birthday party for him last month (and it seemed that Christmas this year was also sponsored, by Cars).  I let him take naps in his Lightening McQueen slippers (he calls them his 'Queen shoes') and with his 'Squishy McQueen (which is actually a bath sponge), and I even buy the graham snacks that are in the shape of the Cars characters (he calls these his 'Mater nacks').  I guess I just understand that his milk tastes better out of a McQueen cup, and food tastes best when eaten off of a Mater plate with a McQueen fork (just like broccoli tastes better when it is called 'little trees', and peas are called 'French peas' <and they have an accent, like on Veggie Tales>).

Looking at Cars pictures in a birthday party magazine.

Giving me the stink-eye because he was afraid I was going to take away
'Squishy McQueen'.
I suppose I can't be too irritated.  I imagine that a subject he is excited to talk about is only advancing his verbal skills, although I wish he would decide to talk about something else every now and then, for Pete's sake.  He has also learned about going fast and slow.  And we have been able to use his cars to teach him about colors.

So maybe we'll hold off on the Mater-vention for now.  But, in the meantime... this mommy might need a glass of wine.  As always...  Thank you for keeping me In Good Company.

I felt that I needed to add the converstaion I had with my munchkin at lunch today after he threw bread at our dog.

"Do we throw?"
"That's right.  We do not throw.  Say 'I'm sorry.'"
"I am speed."
"No.  Say 'I'm SORRY.'"
"I.  Am.  Speed."
"Say 'I'm sorry.'"
"I am speed.  Ka-chow!"
"Say 'I'M SORRY.'"
"Speed.  I am speed."
"Say 'Sorry Mommy.'"
"Sorry Sarge."
"No.  Say 'Sorry Mommy.'"
"Sorry Sarge."
"Look at me.  Say 'Sorry Mommy.'"
"Sorry Mommy."
"That's better.  Thank you."
"Play with Sarge?"

Monday, January 9, 2012


I guess you all probably think I have become consumed with laziness since my day off.  Not the case.  In fact, I've been more on the opposite crazy end of the spectrum.  You know, the hormonally imbalanced end.  The I-want-to-lay-down-and-sleep-for-ten-years end.  You may assume that I am too young for hormone issues.  Also, not the case.  In fact, my hormones hate me so much that when they get off kilter, I can sometimes turn into a raving lunatic (don't worry, this is only in the privacy of my own home).  Some hormones dislike me so much that they are virtually undetectable in lab testing.

In fact, my body is totally out of whack unless I take Yaz (which, in case you haven't seen the commercials featuring four equally beautiful women of varying races, is a birth control pill), which helps control my PCOS.  PCOS is an acronym for My-Body-Hates-Me-And-Makes-My-Insides-Feel-Like-They-Are-Full-Of-Nails-While-Simultaneously-Making-It-Nearly-Impossible-To-Lose-Weight-Or-Get-Pregnant.  You can see why PCOS is the more popular name.  In addition to this, my levels of 'Free Testosterone' are undetectable.  Which means, without treatment, I lack energy in every area of my life (I would elaborate, but my dad reads my blog and I'm sure he would appreciate being able to continue the belief that my son was born via immaculate conception).

The treatment that my Doctor (who has since retired... without my approval, might I add) began administering was the implantation of a testosterone pellet in alternating butt-cheeks every twelve weeks.  They do not say butt-cheek.  They say hip.  They lie.  They make a tiny incision in the side of my butt after injecting me with scalding acid (in some states it's also called a local anesthetic), push the pellet under my skin and bandage me up.  The whole process takes about 15 minutes.  Within a day, I feel great (aside from the pain in my derriere).

The process of testosterone implantation in women is not an FDA approved practice.  But it's been done for the past 50 years and I had enough trust in my physician (God bless that retired old man, who was responsible for the fertility treatments that gave us our munchkin) to give it a try.  For the past 18 months, I have been going every 12 weeks for my implant and I have been feeling amazing.  I have had more energy than I've ever had as an adult (I would say in my entire life, but I had some pretty hyper years as a pre-teen).

For various reasons (which include scheduling conflicts, staff changes, and a new doctor who wanted to run lab work before the procedure) I went 16 weeks between my last two implants.  I am not kidding you when I say that those extra four weeks were awful.  A.W.F.U.L.  I was low on energy, not sleeping well, not exercising to my full potential, my brain was constantly foggy, my body ached, and I was grouchy (again, only in the privacy of my own home).  On more than one occasion I cried for no reason, and even told my husband that I felt like celebrities must feel right before they are hospitalized for exhaustion (have you ever noticed that normal people don't get those kinds of vacations).  Basically I was a moody teenage wretch right before her period.  On top of feeling like complete crap, these four weeks included my son's 2nd birthday party, my birthday, five nights away from home for two Christmas celebrations, and New Year's.

Finally, last Tuesday, I went in for my Testosterone implant.  By Wednesday afternoon, I was feeling back to myself again (just in time for a night out with my CrossFit sisters).  It was amazing how I didn't realize just how horrible I had been feeling, until I felt good again.  I explained to my husband that I suddenly felt like I had just woken up from the world's most refreshing nap (I wonder if that's a category in the Guinness Book).  He was thankful beyond belief amazed with my sudden positive attitude.  I told him "The last four weeks have been awful, I don't ever want to feel like that again."  His response?  "I don't either."  I must have been grouchier than I thought.  Thank goodness for his sake, I didn't decide to nix my Lexapro during that time period.  He might have sent me off for a vacation of the "Men-In-White-Coats" variety.

So, dear readers, please forgive me for neglecting you.  With all of this newly restored synthetic-hormone enhanced energy, I should be back on top of the blogging world soon (or somewhere near the lower middle).  I look forward to spending 2012 with you.  Thank you for always keeping me In Good Company.