Full Circle

It’s been just about 2 years since I blew out my knee during Open WOD 13.4 of the CrossFit Open. Two years … seems like just yesterday and yet, a LONG time ago, when I look back. Looking back in some sense is still painful, yet very liberating at the same time.

2013 was a year of such inner turmoil for me. It took me to a very, very dark and lonely place and brought out a side of me that was not pretty at all. So many things happened that year that caused me to really reflect on everything that was happening in my life, and brought out some emotions that only seemed to throw salt into my very physical, emotional, spiritual wounds. I literally hated life, and was pissed at God for “letting” these things happen to me when I was just minding my own business.

Sometimes things need to happen in order to bring you to a better place than where you are.
Sometimes things need to happen in order to bring you to a better place than where you are.

2014 was better. I was healing physically. Mentally was another story and I could hardly get it together. As a result, l let go of myself and kind of really DGAF. Mentally, I was somewhat depressed.  Spiritually, I was still slightly bitter at God. I very envious of those around me who were flourishing. I was flourishing and improving also, but not at the rate of speed as I would have liked. But a lot of good things happened in 2014 also that started to wake me up and took me on a spiritual journey that I wasn’t expecting, and brought me to a point where I could forgive myself and truly – TRULY – move forward and finally begin to heal myself physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Here’s what I can tell you … I know that everything that happened in 2013 (and A LOT happened) had to happen in order for me to get to where I am today. I can tell you that had blowing out my knee not happened, or my daughter’s illness, my own illness, my “forced” job change – had none of it not happened, I would NOT be the person that I am today.

In 2014, I was I was introduced to many key people who have brought me to where I am today. These people reminded me of WHO I am. They reminded me that “what” I do – nurse, athlete, mother, etc. – is only just that – what I do, not WHO I am. What happened in 2014 was that I began to awaken … I began to “see” and “understand.” I mean, I knew before, but I had buried myself pretty deep underneath the layers that I choose to show to people.

Macchu Picchu, Peru!
Macchu Picchu, Peru!
Maui, Hawaii!
Maui, Hawaii!

In 2014, I began the process of shedding these layers. How? I read a lot, and I only read positive books that uplifted me and really stimulated my brain to think. I wrote a lot. I’m pretty sure I filled three Moleskine Journals with my inner most thoughts and feelings, and laid a few demons to rest. I sought out spiritual guidance from one of my oldest friend’s and spiritual mentor, and from a newer spiritual guide which whom I was introduced to. I attended a couple seminars and classes that opened my eyes and reminded me of who I was, who I am becoming, and what I need to be doing. I wrote a lot of forgiveness letters to people who I didn’t realize were weighing me down and holding me back. I distanced myself from and stopped associating with those who have never or don’t resonate with me or add any value to my life.  My beloved mother-in-law, Kathy, passed away from an ugly illness, and it reminded me of my own mortality, and how life is too short to be wasting it worrying about inconsequential things. My family and I went to Maui, Hawaii – kind of “home” for me as I grew up on Oahu, but had not been back for an extended period of time. I got sent to Peru for an amazing adventure by my husband to check off one of my bucket list items! I decided to look for the good in EVERY situation because there IS good in every situation. And one of the best things ever, is that I had made a unsuspecting bond with a few new friends with whom I have formed a true spiritual connection with! Because of this meeting, I am now opened more spiritually than I have been in the past which I find resonates with me on a vibration that is truly AMAZING!

2532015 is now here and I am looking at it with totally different set of eyes. It is new beginning and it has already started off in a truly positive light. I booked a trip to New York, courtesy of my husband, to study a form of healing that I have had an interest in. I am in the process of deciding whether to return to school and obtain a Master’s degree or to study something totally different. The goals that I have set for myself as a CrossFitter appear too low as I have already began to accomplish some of them and it’s only the middle of January!!!

Before all this happened, I truly felt as if I were drowning ...
Before all this happened, I truly felt as if I were drowning …

037What do I know now that I didn’t know in 2013 or even part of 2014? Well, I’ve always been one who has tried hard to keep looking on the bright side, but when all these things were happening all at once and just bombarded me, it was hard to keep my head up and come out of the fetal position I had placed myself in as a form of protection. What I know, is that had not all these things happened, I would not have prayed as much as I have. What I know is that I would not be as motivated to heal myself and prove the naysayers wrong. What I know is that I may not have started to awaken my sleeping self and begin this process of transformation and healing. What I know is that where I was once truly ego centered, I know that I function more from a place within myself that is more spiritually connected and heart centered. What I know is that I awaken with more joy and less worry. What I know is that I am a better version of myself. What I know is that I am focused on different things. What I know is that I have restructured my thinking, reworded my goals and intentions, and have aligned myself to be open to ALL of the great things that Spirit has in store for me. What I know is that my present situation is never my final destination, I know that the best is yet to come. What I know now is that my life’s path is now more in tune to what I had once envisioned it would be. What I know is that I am deeply grateful for everything that has happened to get me to this place where I am today. What I know is that I am highly favored, greatly blessed, and deeply loved.

That is a little of what I know.

The answer to all pain and suffering lies in the pain and suffering itself.
The answer to all pain and suffering lies in the pain and suffering itself.

I have finally come around to full circle …

There is a difference between being buried and being planted ... Just ask a seed.
There is a difference between being buried and being planted … Just ask a seed.

Stay tuned for what’s coming. I’m about to blow my own mind! Happy 2015!!!

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I Blinked

The Distance From Where I Am to Where Nate Is ...
The Distance From Where I Am to Where Nate Is …

Three weeks ago, I did one of the hardest things in my life. I put my second born on a plane headed for Kansas to go to college. Kansas! Wow! I never saw that one coming, and let me tell you, it hit me pretty hard to realize that I blinked and here he was, all grown up and heading off to college.

It has ALWAYS been my Nathan’s aspiration to play baseball. My husband, knowing this, has kept him on track, making sure his grades were on point, and that he played high school baseball, travel baseball, made videos, and took him to various baseball camps for recruiters to scout him. He kept him safe in that he monitored his pitch count, took him to various appointments when he suffered an injury, and bought him the equipment he needed to succeed. My husband does the same for our younger son, Noah, who has similar aspirations. Had it not been for him, I’m not sure that Nate or Noah would be in the positions that they are in now.

Nathan signing his Letter Of Intent to play baseball for the Bethany Swedes!
Nathan signing his Letter Of Intent to play baseball for the Bethany Swedes!

Enter Coach Bartman from Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas. In mid July, my husband received a call from Coach Bartman asking for Nathan to come out to Kansas to tour the campus and to talk about possibly going out there to go to school and play baseball. Unfortunately, because of timing of our vacation to Maui, and the Coach’s availability, it was not until early August that they could fly out and meet. My husband, thinking that Nathan wouldn’t really like the thought of going to school so far away, especially in Kansas, agreed to take him just for the experience of interviewing and talking to a recruiter. That meeting would prove to be a life changing moment for all of us as Nathan was offered an athletic scholarship, and then we were surprised that Nathan was excited and signed his letter of intent to play prior to leaving Kansas.

Here is where is become somewhat tricky … Nathan signed the Letter of Intent on August 8th, school was to start on August 18. There was no time to process. No time to ask for time off from work so that I could help him move and get settled. The only time that we had was to make sure that he got immunized properly, got a physical prior to leaving, pick up some clothing, and pack only the essentials that he needed and then send him off.

You cannot imagine my anxiety prior to his leaving. I like to let everyone believe that I’m made of armor, that I’m this emotionally strong person who doesn’t cry. It’s a facade. I’m really good at pretending and not letting people see that I’m vulnerable. I’m not good at letting people see the “real” me, nor do I like to let my guard down and let people get through the wall that I have built so nicely around myself as protection. Let me tell you, the heavy heart, the chest tightness, the constriction in my throat, and the tears that leaked out of nowhere … I had no idea that it could be so bad. The pain and struggle are both so REAL. The anxiety attacks would come at me out of no where, and the only thing that would help was for me to run – to physically run because I really felt as if I were crawling out of my skin! It’s safe to say, to tell everyone that I’m NOT made of armor, that I’m as normal as the next person. Awwww, com’mon now, don’t be so surprised!

150003Putting him on that plane, watching him walk away to fly a distance of 1,665 miles away was one of the hardest things I have ever had to endure. Let’s face it, it’s just not somewhere you can hop into your car and drive to should he need help.  I asked my husband if he would tell Nathan that he couldn’t go, to tell him that he had to stay. He would not. He reminded me that this was what we have worked so hard for. He reminded me that this was the goal – to raise independent, strong, good-willed children, who go off to college and find their passions and go after them. I know and understand that, but it doesn’t make it any easier for me. He also told me that had I coddled him just a little bit more, and done more things for him, that we would not be in the situation that we were facing, that he wouldn’t want to leave the nest and that he would just want to stay home and let me continue to take care of him. Yeah, that wasn’t happening!

It’s safe to say that Nathan made it to Kansas and got himself set up without the help of his Mama. Despite my anxiety, I am incredibly proud of and happy for my boy! I will be okay, and I know Nate will be successful. He is making his dreams come to reality – how can any parent be upset about that! I only wish that I had a little more time to spend with him; that time could’ve crept by a little slower instead of sneaking up on me so quickly! I was okay, once I knew that he had made it to Kansas and situated for the most part. So hard to believe that he can do those things … without my help.

When I was much younger, even before I had thoughts of having children of my own, I read a book by Kahlil Gibran called The Prophet.  I pulled my dog-eared copy from my bookshelf and re-read page 17:

“Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.”

I’ve always loved this passage. I didn’t quite fully understand it until I had children of my own, and got to where I was letting them go to do things like go to parties without me, learn how to drive, go off to college, and then move far away from me.

My advice to you younger parents is this: Don’t Blink. Seriously. It seems like just yesterday when my kiddos were learning how to walk, how to ride a bike, starting kindergarten. Time flies by so quickly. Enjoy your children – EVERYTHING about them because it’s true that you’ll miss it. Hug them a little tighter, but not so tight  that you stifle them. Give them the space, and foster an environment where they are able to learn independence and grow with your guidance.  Set their wings securely so that eventually when the time comes to let them go, you can be confident in the fact that they will fly in the direction of their dreams but yet know that they can always come home, that you will provide them with a safe place to land should they need help.

I am so proud of all of my children.  This year Grace started 6th grade, Noah started his senior year of high school, Nathan started his freshman year of college, and my Samuel started teaching a college class and started graduate school! Wow! I look forward to what the future brings. I am excited and happy for all of them. Like I said though, I wish I hadn’t blinked!
164

Palpable Fear – Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway …

Leap And The Net WILL Appear ... Trust.
Leap And The Net WILL Appear … Trust.

It’s funny that I had posted this on Instagram, and then, shortly after, the Universe must have collaborated with my husband because “things” started to happen. Hahaha. I can laugh about it now, but I just think it’s amazing that once you put something out there, the stars begin to align and come together so that you can experience what you intend to, or desire to experience.

115It’s not a secret that I am a creature of habit.  I like things the same for the most part, but when change comes or is inevitable, I’m usually good about adjusting and dealing with it. My husband knows this, and for the most part he’s good about letting me be as I figure it out for myself, or he gently coaxes me along and steers me in the right direction. I know, it’s strange because I don’t really give off the aura that I would be one to be afraid to do things. I’m NOT. Let me rephrase this so it makes sense. When it comes to me trying new things, I’ll usually ask him his opinion and just talk to him about it before I go, or if I’m that uncomfortable I’ll just ask him to accompany me for moral support. Some times though, because he knows me soooooo well, he’ll just schedule things for me, or sign me up for things and say, “It’s too late now, it’s booked/bought/planned/etc. You have to do it/take it/go.” leaving me at a place where I really have no choice but to do it. Well, I could back out and just not do it, but for the most part he KNOWS that I CAN do it, but knows that I would never sign up or plan things out for a multitude of reasons. He also knows that I’m not one to “waste” money spent, so after some deliberation, I’ll just do it, or take it, or go.

Whew! I’m getting long winded and I’m about to lose you as a reader, I know. Sorry. Okay. Okay. What am I getting at? Well, in the last few weeks, my husband has done a couple things that have begun to edge me towards, then push me outside of my comfort zone.  Nothing that would really push me over the edge or harm me, but rather things that I would not have really planned, or thought that I would ever do in my lifetime.

For the first “surprise,” I was kind of blindsided. It was executed and planned out well by my loving husband. He had thought this out and while I was out at work, hit up my friend Shiloh, then planned out this elaborate trip without my knowledge. Serious. No joke. How they told me, rather how I  found out was also executed well. I got this text from my friend Shiloh saying that she would be in town and would love to get together for lunch. I hemmed and hawed for a bit, looking for excuses to not go, but ultimately, I could find none and told her I would meet her. I brought Grace, and my husband came along also, but I thought nothing of it because we’re all friends and she loves him just as much as she loves me. We meet at Panera Bakery and talk about everything – catching up on life, etc. She told me that she was planning to hike Half Dome and I was a little envious. Half Dome in Yosemite is beautiful, and it’s a challenge to be able to hike up it, but it’s something that I would eventually like to do. I think that this is how we got on the subject of Peru and Machu Picchu. It’s something that I have talked about for years, desiring to hike it and to see this world wonder. My husband has known that it’s been on my bucket list. Through the years, I’ve been perfectly happy to talk about it and just look at pictures and dream about it, never thinking that I’d actually go. Hahahahah! Jokes on me!

"Peru Oct 14" WHHHAATTTTT?
“Peru Oct 14” WHHHAATTTTT?

Shiloh had baked some Paleo/Gluten free brownies for Grace, but it was covered. I thought we’d take it home and eat it later, but Shiloh made Grace get a knife, and she was explaining the ingredients of the brownies, then the ingredients of the frosting. I’m half listening because I just wanted to eat it, but then she opens it up and I can see that there’s a message on it. Initially I couldn’t read it because it was upside down, but when I could I could see that it read, “Peru Oct 14.” I’m thinking, “Why the hell do Grace’s brownies read Peru Oct 14???” I didn’t get it, until she, in marriage proposal style, asks me to go to Peru with her in October. I still didn’t get it. I was like, whatever, but she said, “I’m dead serious. Me. You. Peru. In October. Are you game?” What? Um. Um. Um. Yeah, okay … I’ll go. There was NO backing out, and my husband was sweating, praying that I would say yes because the tickets and hotel were non-refundable. Now that it’s settled in a little and that it’s become a reality, I’m totally FREAKING OUT! I’m seriously worried about the flight, being away from my family for that long, and I’m most worried about altitude sickness! Oh. My. God. What has he gotten me into??? But there’s not much that I can do now except go. So … I’m going to Peru in October, Yo!!!

Second “surprise,” only two weeks later. We’re in Maui, chillin’ and enjoying beach life. We take a hike up to Twin Falls in Pa’ia, when Chris sees a sign for “Twin Falls Jungle Zip Line.” Knowing the the boys wanted to experience this, we make our way up the road. Not thinking that I would be doing it, I happily went along and waited in the car as Chris and the boys went to check out if they were open and to pay, etc. When Chris came back to get me, he told me that I was doing it also. Hahahaha. NO. FREAKIN’. WAY. Nope. No was was Row. going to do any kind of zip lining. But it was paid for. I argued that I had no closed toed shoes, but to my surprise, this company had shoes for me to borrow! Whaaaaa. Whaaaa. Whaaaaa. No more excuses. No matter how much I argued, there was no getting out of it. So I got out of the car, made my way to the jungle still in disbelief, and trying desperately to still get out of it but at the same time talking myself into it. It was hard, let me tell you. But the guides were cool, explaining everything and assuring me that I would NOT die. They said we could take selfies while on the line. I was like, “Hahahah, yeah, right. No way, I’m hanging on.” Here’s a video that I took, because I was seriously going to record a selfie video of myself zip lining. You won’t see anything really, but what you will hear and, more importantly, what you will FEEL is my fear. It’s *that* palpable. You will feel just how deathly afraid I am right before I take that leap into the unknown and let go … 

Here is the video that my husband was able to capture.  

What I found out during this zip lining experience was that once I let go and trusted my guides and my equipment was that I was okay, and that the feeling was exhilarating!

024For so long I’ve lived my life somewhat anxious, and I hang on sooooo tightly, white knuckled, with a vise like grip. It’s time that I start to release that grip and start to let go, believe, trust, and to start being a little braver. What I have learned is that sometimes … SOME TIMES those close to you know you better than you know yourself.  Sometimes they love you enough to help you get out of your comfort zone in a loving and SAFE manner. What I know about me is that I know that I’m strong, and I know that I CAN do things, but if left up to me, I would rarely leave my safe zone. I would happily stay and continue dreaming and wishing, looking at pictures and living vicariously through others. I just think that sometimes my goals and dreams are so BIG that they overwhelm me, so I just let them sit at the wayside thinking that I’ll come back to it later, or just let it go never believing that it can or will happen.  I am thankful that my husband knows me well enough to talk me into trying BIG things, to remind me that he can handle the home front if I go away for a week, to hold my hand when I’m afraid, and to talk me down when I’m in a state of complete panic.

God's got this handled ...
God’s got this handled …
Be AMAZING!
Be AMAZING!

One of my favorite quotes reads: “When God leads you to the edge of the cliff, trust him fully and let go … Only one of two things will happen: He will either catch you when you fall, or He will teach you how to fly.” I wish I knew who said that so I could give them the proper credit.  Trusting, fully trusting, has always been a big issue for me. For so long, until I met my husband, I had a hard time believing that I would be okay. My husband has shown me MORE love than anyone has ever shown me in my life. He is my protector, my confidant, my best friend, my best ally. He walks beside me, not in front or behind me.  He reminds me always that I am stronger than I believe. For that I am thankful.

So … I will trust. I will believe that I WILL be okay regardless of what happens. I will be more open, say “YES” more, wake up, live less afraid. I will feel the fear and do it anyway. I will trust and have unwavering faith in the unseen. I lead such a blessed and happy life … WHY would I not? Neale Donald Walsch says it best when he said that,  “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. So if you’re feeling uncomfortable right now, know that the change taking place in your life is a beginning, not an ending.”

Ready to follow my crazy adventures? Ready or not … I’m going to Peru, Yo!!! Here I goooooo … Stay tuned for more insanity.736

Back To Business

“Until your knees finally hit the floor you’re just playing at life, and on some level you’re scared because you know you’re just playing. The moment of surrender is NOT when your life is over. It’s when your life begins.” Marianne Williamson

112It’s the last day of July … What? 2014 is more than half over already! More importantly than that though, this last day of July marks an anniversary of sorts for me. You may recall that last July 2013, I was hospitalized for severe – read SEVERE – rhabdomyloysis right when I was just coming back and recovering from knee surgery. Other things had happened last July also that I don’t care to talk about on here, but, yeah, July 2013 was quite possibly one of the worst months of my life. Well, it was just a disheartening month. Alas … Fast FORWARD to today, July 31, 2014.  What can I say? I SURVIVED. I made it.  I picked myself up out of that dark, dark abyss, and crawled, clawed, cried, and fought my way out. I could’ve just laid there and let it overcome me, and I will admit that I thought about that for a minute, and off and on at various times, but only for a short time. Every time, I would just take that needed break, take that huge, deep breath, brush myself off, and start all over.

253Starting over is hard. It’s not fun. It’s hard to pretend you’re okay and go about your business. I seriously wanted to die. There have been many tears shed from my eyes this last year, but it’s okay. Alex Tan said that some times our eyes need to be washed out by our tears once in awhile, so that we can see life with a clearer view again. I believe this to be true as my thoughts and my visions would get cloudy at times and I would complain that I didn’t have a clue as to what to do, that I couldn’t “see” where I was going.

"I am building a fire, and everyday I train, I add more fuel. At just the right moment, I light the match." ~ Mia Hamm
“I am building a fire, and everyday I train, I add more fuel. At just the right moment, I light the match.” ~ Mia Hamm

The hardest part of this whole process for me was learning to let go.  Letting go of expectations. Letting go of who I was. Letting go of things that I let define who I was. Letting go of trying to do everything by myself. Asking for help. It was just something that I didn’t do, and that I still have trouble doing. Letting my ego take a back seat. Learning to trust.

I’ve had to close my eyes and just focus on me and not so much on every thing that was happening around me. I used to look around and compare myself to everyone. I believed that they had it better than I did – prettier, faster, stronger, richer, yada yada. Here’s the truth … There will ALWAYS be someone better, faster, stronger, prettier, richer, etc. than the person that we are. I understand that, but it still didn’t stop me from comparing myself. These days, like I said, I just close my eyes and will myself back into myself, and remind myself that I’m okay and to just be still. The other truth is is that my life is AMAZING. I have a great family, a good job, I’m healthy, I have money in my pockets, I am educated, I am a lot of things. I’m okay, and my life is a very blessed and amazing life.

069It’s been back to business for me. Baby steps. I’ve worked hard since that fateful month in 2013. I no longer reside in that abyss, nor do I let my thoughts dwell there. I’m back to training at CrossFit 209 Sport with my faithful, amazing trainer, Gabe Subry, and all of my friends who motivate and encourage me every day. I’m not quite back to where I was, but I’m close. My weights are close to where I was prior to my injury, and I am able to do unassisted pull-ups again. Remember when I got rhabdo, I really messed up my right bicep, but Gabe has been able to help me rehab that along with my knee. The only thing I have trouble with is box jumps because sometimes my left knee buckles when I land. My job is stable. My family is in good health and are all doing well.

My newest tattoo that I got while on vacation in Maui.
My newest tattoo that I got while on vacation in Maui.

I’ve learned a lot. I have learned so much in this past year. So … although it was a rough year, I’ve overcome it. I know that there will be other hard times to overcome, but I have learned that out of bad can come good … Ex Malo Bonum. I believe that life is good, that it’s about mindset and perspective. I believe that we can lay down and just let life pass us by and feel sorry for ourselves – I’ve been there and done that, trust me. Or we can choose to get up and keep moving regardless of how small the steps we take are. Choose the latter because no matter how small the baby steps are that you take to get you out of your abyss, you will be that much farther away from where you were, and, before you know it, you’ll take a glance back and realize that you can barely remember that you were once there.

Let’s get out there! Time to get back to business. Stay strong. Be as positive as you can. Smile.

5/13 Going in for knee surgery.
5/13 Going in for knee surgery.
Rhabdo Row in the ER getting liters and liters of Normal Saline boluses to help combat my SEVERE Rhabdo!
7/13 Rhabdo Row in the ER getting liters and liters of Normal Saline boluses to help combat my SEVERE Rhabdo!
7/14 Today! Livin' the life!
7/14 Today! Livin’ the life!
7/14 in Maui - Back to Business!
7/14 in Maui – Back to Business!

Hypocrisy Runs Amok

The Gym has always been my salvation ... I need to get back in there!
The Gym has always been my salvation … I need to get back in there!

I haven’t been motivated to do much lately when it comes to working out.  I feel as if I’ve given up, and am just taking up space, wasting my time. I know … What happened? I believe that that self-imposed “break” that I took in February, then March, and up to now to reset and regroup set me back a little, and regressed me a little too much because I have found myself lazing a little too much, looking for excuses instead of motivation. Honestly, I feel like a hypocrite … Seriously, talking training and working out, yet doing minimal workouts and eating crap! Ugh.

Text from my trainer, Gabe Subry.
Text from my trainer, Gabe Subry.
Yeah, I know, I know, I know ...
Yeah, I know, I know, I know …

I don’t like myself at the moment. My poor trainer has been working hard to get me back in the box … and I do want to go, but as I’ve said, I’ve been really good at making excuses instead of just sucking it up and going into the box and getting it done. I seriously want to find a magic pill, get some crazy ass surgery … Okay, I’m being sarcastic. I’m not afraid of putting in the work, but I’ve seriously lost my mojo. I’ve lost my drive. Instead hypocrisy is running amok in it’s place. I’ve lost a little of myself. I’m having a hard time, and all I want to do is whine. It used to be so easy for me to just get out there and get things done. It used to be so easy for me to self-motivate and find my own inspiration. I know that my biggest issue is eating poorly, and lack of sleep. I know what I need to do, I just need to suck it up, get myself to the box, and get the work in.  I can do this. I know what I need to do.

What I’ve done to try and kick start myself is to register for a race. I did. I registered for a half that I’ll run in a few weeks … and I’m once again untrained.  I will get myself into the box.  I will stop talking so much and just start putting in the work. I will let the results speak for themselves. I will find motivation. I will find my mojo. I will inspire myself. I will chuck my excuses and kick my own ass.

I see my body and I cringe. I see my body and I see so much potential. I look at myself and I know what I am capable of. Mini but MIGHTY … true story.  Starting NOW. Gotta go … Time to shut the f*ck up and do work. Who wants to come with me? Who wants to hold me accountable? Who wants to just kick my butt?!?

Better get real about fat, or you’re gonna get REAL FAT! ~Dr. Phil

Reset!

The Dreaded Email From My Doctor.
The Dreaded Email From My Doctor.

It’s the middle of April 2014 already! How does this happen? I’ve looked in my que and I can see posts from 2013 that I haven’t posted or even finished. Such a lagger, and I have no excuses! Yeesh! Let’s see how this goes … Everyone and their uncle knows that 2013 was not exactly the “Best Year Of My Life” kind of year.  I really wanted it to be, and I really thought it would be because “13” is my favorite number.  It started off well, and just sort of ended just before it even really began.  Towards the end, however, it started to pick back up and I started to get into a groove – I was starting to CrossFit again, and I even ran a half marathon, but I just never felt “right.” I still felt out of sorts and even discombobulated. I thought I would elicit the help of my doctor to help me.  So I emailed my doctor in December to ask her if I could have a simple blood test to see where my hormone levels were. I know that in times of stress, hormones can get out of whack. I knew that my adrenals were fatigued, so my cortisol levels were skyrocketing. My doctor did email me back, but her response was NOT what I was expecting. It was no where near sympathetic, not even close. She basically told me that she did not believe that what I had was Adrenal Fatigue, rather she told me that I was depressed! What. The. Hell?!?  Wow! Just like that. She wrote a prescription out for some sleeping pills, and referred me to Mental Health. Wow. Needless to say, it set me off on a tangent and it fueled me to seek my own answers and get help for myself.  I can only imagine other patients emailing her and getting the same response and BELIEVING her and buying into the bullshit that they’re depressed, and taking medications that they don’t need! Wow. Just wow! I have no words to describe the disappointment that I feel in my primary care provider. I can only offer you this advice: YOU are the expert on your body.  YOU know yourself better than anyone else regardless if they have a medical degree. YOU KNOW YOU. Seek your own answers, don’t take the word of an “expert” who’s supposed to be on your side helping you. Just because they went to years of school, doesn’t make them an expert on you! God, help us all. So … I did what I believed was best for me. I fired my doctor, and I went on a quest to find my own answers to help myself.

It's okay ...
It’s okay …

In January, I could feel that I wasn’t 100% … I felt as if I were half-assing the WODs at CrossFit. I also felt as if I wasn’t giving anywhere near 100%. My body may have been in the box, but I really I felt as if I were not really progressing. I felt as if I were just there, taking up space and going through the motions.  I wasn’t dropping the weight that I gained throughout out the last year. And I was fatigued – mentally, physically, spiritually … I was spent. Drained. (Hello, HIGH cortisol levels!) So I knew that something had to change, and it was up to me to make that change. After a little, okay A LOT of soul searching, a few talks with my husband, and some others whose opinions I highly value, I made a few decisions to start the process of “resetting” myself and set if on an quest to restore balance within myself.

Tiny Smile Half 2014
Tiny Smiles Half 2014

Two things happened in February … I ran my first half-marathon of the year, the Tiny Smiles Half in Galt, and then the next day I started Bikram Yoga. As much as I love the power that my body emits during a long run, that feeling of pushing my mind to get my body through to the finish line, I really love and enjoy the peace that Bikram gives my mind as it restores my body from the “punishment” I bestow upon it. I love that it’s a open eye meditation.  I was just getting back into practice last year when I got injured and had to put it, as well as everything else, on the back burner.  This time I made a commitment to myself to practice two to three times a week. Within the first week, I was hooked again and felt amazing. I love the heat, but what I really love is the intense focus that I give myself for the 60 to 90 minutes that I am there. As easy as it is for me to get into a zone while running, during Bikram yoga I am able to easily transcend while there, and I come out of that hot room a different person than when I walked in.

Bikram Buddies
Bikram Buddies
Addicted to needles.
Addicted to needles.
Manual Adjustment by my Chiro.
Manual Adjustment by my Chiro.

Initially, the plan was for me to take the month of February off from any and all “hardcore” training. I wanted to miss CrossFit, and I did, but as February came and went, I still didn’t feel “ready.” March was to be more of the same – yoga, kickboxing, and working out in my own home box which I dubbed the “STAT Box.” I met up and consulted with a Compounding Pharmacist who was able to verify that I did indeed have Adrenal Fatigue, and was able to prescribe some medications and supplements to help me in my quest to restore balance. In this time, I went to see my Chiropractor and my Acupuncturist regularly and just continued to relax and wait.

Classes & Mindset Therapy.
Classes & Mindset Therapy.

I missed CrossFit. I missed my beloved box 209. I missed my trainer. I missed my body when it does CrossFit. But I wasn’t ready to go back. I was content to just keep on what I was doing. I felt rested. I felt better. I planted plants in my garden.  I watched my husband go to CrossFit and workout without me. I took a lot of classes that enriched my mind. It was ironic that the classes that I found and registered for were in line with my goals to stay focused, stay happy, and find balance. I love that I was directed to take a class on happiness entitled The Secrets of Happy People. There was a series at work that was offered as free for employees that I was able to register for. I was able to connect with a Psychotherapist who specialized in CrossFit Athletes, and I was able to sign up for online coaching to “reset” my mindset.  And the most interesting of all was a class on meditation that I was led to by complete accident.  Well, I don’t believe in “accidents.”  I believe that things happen for a reason, and that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. Wow. Things were just all in alignment for me. Through all of these classes I was able to learn things that I felt in tune with. So it was an amazing two months of self-discovery and rest.

Running Of The Elk Half 2014.
Running Of The Elk Half 2014.

But here it is … April already, and I’m starting to get the itch. I’m ready to find my way back to my trainer and to my box. I feel mentally stronger. I feel as if mentally, I have always been strong, but the compounding stresses that I experienced in 2013 really took a toll on my and beat me up psychologically more than physically. It’s time to test the mind again, and I did that recently with another half marathon that I was totally unprepared for physically. The Elk Grove Running of The Elk Half Marathon. Ugh. Never have I wanted more to just stay home and in my warm bed.  Never have I gotten into my car and just thought, “I’m just going to sit here,” until 15 minutes to gun time. I seriously sat in my car and had to talk myself into walking to the start line. Wow. But I did it. I got out of my car and I walked to the starting line with NO time to spare after having to use the porta potty! Throughout the ENTIRE run, I kid you not, I prayed. I seriously believe that God wanted me to be in church that day because all I did was pray. I knew that my body knew what to do to get me through to the finish line, it was my mind that I had to tell to STFU! Time to move on. Time to get serious about training again. Time to let go of the past, and move forward with myself. I’ve hit the “reset” button and now it’s time to put what I’ve learned in motion. It’s time to start rebuilding Row.  I’m not going to say much about what I’m doing, rather I’m just going to let the results speak for themselves.  033121

Stronger than ever ...
Stronger than ever …

 

Rhabdo Row.

CrossFit's Uncle Rhabdo
CrossFit’s Uncle Rhabdo
Rhabdo Row.
Rhabdo Row.

Rhabdo Row.  There’s a story behind this nickname of mine, and I know that you’re dying to hear it.  It’s not that exciting though, really.

It’s been a rough year for me.  I truly expected 2013 to be a great year for me. It was supposed to be a great year for me!  Actually, it’s a been a good year, just not the best year for me athletically. Well, it didn’t start off the best year for me athletically. It’s getting better, but I’ll get to that.

Where do I begin?

At the beginning of the year, I switched CrossFit boxes.  Not because I didn’t love the box that I was training at, or because I didn’t love my trainer. It was an issue of finances that started this domino effect. At the beginning of the year, I reinjured my shoulder – first rib, really, but aggravated it none the less.  It had been healing, however, because one of my new trainers was not familiar with me, despite my explanations of being unable to perform certain lifts even if it was lighter weight, I aggravated my right first rib.

When it came time for the CrossFit Open, I once again changed boxes.  This time, it was to a new box. It was literally a brand new box – fresh, clean.  I changed boxes because I needed to belong to an CrossFit Affiliate in order to perform in the Open, and I just needed a change from the current box I had been training at.  I loved this new box, it was fun, as was its energy.  I enjoyed training there.  I was doing well during the open until the 13.4 WOD – clean and jerks, and toe to bars.  I knew that the weight of the clean and jerks was heavy.  I hadn’t lifted that much ever, however, at the urging of my trainer who basically told me, “You’re doubting yourself before you even touch the bar,” I would do it.  And I did … I was okay until the second round.  I had cleaned the weight and was set up to jerk it, however something was not right … It felt almost as if the weight had come off my bar and hit me in the left knee.  I had no pain, my left knee just caved and brought me immediately to the ground and I was unable to stand. I’m not exactly sure how I made it home. I was lucky that I happened to have a knee sleeve in my bag that someone gave me. It provided enough support for me to drive my stick shift Mini Cooper home.

And so it began … my knee injury took me out for a good 4 months. I injured it at the end of March, and had surgery towards the end of May, and was cleared to return to work out at the end of June.  I was not able to do much of any kind of workout because of the fact that not only was my lower body injured, but my upper body was still healing from my shoulder/first rib problem. So when my orthopedic doc cleared me to workout, you better bet I was back in that gym faster than he could finish his sentence!

I started off “slowly.” Well, my version of “slow,” which was NOT exactly slow or easy.  I returned to my beloved Kick Boxing class, thinking I’d get my cardio in while working my upper body. Well, kick boxing and mixed martial arts involves a lot of lower body movements and even with my knee sleeves, it was still difficult to really maneuver. I could do a lot of the movements, but not all of them. I was able to improvise but it was frustrating and I tweaked my knee on more than one occasion.

My Physical Therapist was able to help me with a lot of strengthening exercises and movements.  My weekly Physical Therapy sessions that were an hour long had me sweating as if I’d run a 10K.  Jumping, stretching, running backwards, and performing the movement that put me out of comission. Every week something different. Every week was harder and harder, but more mentally challenging as well as physically challenging.  I believe that my injury cause more mental trauma than physical trauma. My Physical Therapist, Todd, really understood this and worked with me to help me overcome my fears of jumping.

The Workout!
The Workout!

I made my way back to CrossFit in July. I had scaled my workouts and the trainers at my box were understanding of my need to start slow. I had attended the 2013 CrossFit Games in Carson in late July.  That following Monday at noon, I returned to the box with a renewed spirit.  The WOD was one that was the final WODs at the Games – “Cinco,” which consisted of 800M Run, then 5 Rounds of 25 Pull-Ups, 7 Push Jerks, rest then 100 AbMat Sit Ups. No biggie, right? I was working out with my son and another girl, there was no pressure, and I scaled when I had to. Aside from working out in extreme heat (108F), I didn’t feel that the workout was difficult.   I finished and was sore, but that’s to be expected.

As the days passed, the soreness in my upper arms became intense, but tolerable, and I had expected that as I had done an workout which I had not done in a long time.  Com’mon, I’d expect anyone who did 125 pull-ups in a workout to be sore.  I didn’t panic, I just went about my life – working, and doing my daily household duties. It was on Friday though, 4 days post-workout,  that I noticed something slightly concerning … my urine was cola colored.  As a nurse, I knew.  I knew that I was experiencing rhabdomyolysis. I showered and dressed, let my husband know what was happening, and had my youngest son, Noah, drive me to the ER where I worked so that I could make sure that my kidney function was okay.  When I got there, I proceeded to tell them what I believed was happening, and had them work me up for rhabdo.

Beast Mode in the ER.
Beast Mode in the ER.
Popeye Arms!
Popeye Arms!
Liters #10 & #11! My eyeballs are swimming!
Liters #10 & #11! My eyeballs are swimming!

My IV was started, labs were drawn and sent for processing, and my bolus of IV fluids was running wide open. An hour later, I received the news … I was greeted by one of my favorite doctors who said, “What the fuck did you do? Your CK is the HIGHEST number that I have ever seen in my medical career!!!” I cautiously asked what it was … 197,500 mcg/L, normal is 10-120 mcg/L.  Yeah … Just a little off. There was no way I was going home that day, I needed to be admitted to the hospital for hydration and monitoring! My kidney function was always good, it’s the main reason why I went to the ER to get checked.  I am thankful that I knew all of the symptoms, and that I knew exactly what needed to be done. I really did surprise all of my docs though – from my ER doc, to my admitting MD, the nephrologist who came to see me, then my own MD! None had seen CK levels as high as mine. As the nephrologist said, “You are just compact, full of muscle. You had a lot of muscle to kill! But you’re young and healthy. You’re gonna be okay.” And that I am.  I am okay.  I was ALWAYS okay.

Shortly after this episode, it was ironic that CrossFit took a huge hit in that several articles regarding how bad CrossFit was and how it caused this serious illness called rhabdo! (You can read various articles here.) I was livid.  People were coming out of the woodwork, telling me that I was lucky, that I should quit now, and that I should never go back to CrossFitting ever again! What. The. Fuck?!

CrossFit did NOT cause my rhabdomyolysis! My body was fine, I was okay. I knew what was happening. I don’t blame anyone for what happened.  I especially do NOT blame CrossFit.  There were several things working against me when I did that workout, Cinco … 1) I am an experienced, previously conditioned athlete who had been out of commission for several months. Although the workout was not “intense,” it was for me because I had not worked out that intensely for several months. 2) The weather was HOT. 108 degrees at noon.  This was not the most opportune time to workout. 3) I was slightly dehydrated.  I had not kept properly hydrated over the weekend, nor was I properly hydrated for that workout despite me drinking water during the workout. 4) Although I was a conditioned athlete prior to my injury, my body was not exactly in the same shape, but my mind was. My mind knows to push, and when it should’ve said, “Slow down, Row., this is your first intense workout.” It said, “You’re okay. Keep going.” So I did. Should my trainers have known? Yes, perhaps, but by all accounts, I was on the road to recovery, and I scaled had scaled the workout. So, I don’t blame anyone for my injury.  I take personal responsibility for what happened.

Subry loves me!
Subry loves me!

It took about 3 weeks for my CK levels to return to normal.  Once I was cleared, probably about two weeks later, I was not doing any form of CrossFit exercises, just kick boxing and spinning.   I was forbidden by my husband to return to the box in which I sustained my knee injury and where I my sustained my illness.  In my recovery time, my old trainer, Gabe Subry, had reached out to me to see how I was doing, and to offer me encouragement. He talked me off the ledge more than once.  I had attended one of his seminars on CrossFit for Competitors during my recovery time, but I was going crazy not being in a box! My husband knew this, and had been talking to my Gabe also. After much convincing by Gabe that I would be okay, it was then that I was given the okay to return to the box with Gabe only, no other box. The rest is history …

I ran my first half mary in Nov.
I ran my first half mary in Nov.
Mechanics ONLY for the first few months.
Mechanics ONLY for the first few months.

It’s now been 4 months since that fateful event, 6 months since my knee surgery. In the beginning, Gabe had me working mechanics only during my workouts at 209 (the box). Mechanics ONLY, no deviations, and every trainer – EVERY trainer at 209 was on board with the plan. I am now at about 80% capacity – squatting more and without any pain, and performing movements that I haven’t done in soooooo long, including cleaning and jerking more weight than what took my knee out last March. I got my CrossFit Level 1 Trainer Certification!!! And I’ve even run my first half marathon post knee surgery. The only thing is, I can’t box jump … YET. I still have a little trouble with jumping down from the box, and I’m slightly afraid because I’ve tweaked it before jumping down. It’s such a mind f*@%! Progress. It’s all progress. I’ve come a long way, and every little, tiny bit counts. I’ll take that.

Stronger than ever ...
Stronger than ever …

As for the nick name, Rhabdo Row., it was given to me by one of my beloved ER Docs, Dr. H. He heard my story and thought I was insane to return to the scene of the crime. Insane, but brave. He was dumbfounded when he heard my CK results, so when he sees me down the hallway, he yells out, “Hey, Rhabdo Row.!!!” I know it shouldn’t be a badge of honor, but I like it. I like it because I have survived! I am a survivor! I like it because I am so much STRONGER than any illness or injury. It shows you that I can kick it’s ass!!! Take that!

As much as 2013 has taught me, I am sorry to see it come to an end.  I am looking forward to a “fresh” new start in 2014. Come at me, 2014. Show me what you got! I’m ready … Here we gooooooo!

No. Fucking. Way!
No. Fucking. Way!
#Truth right here!
#Truth right here!
It makes sense already ...
It makes sense already …

I Ran Today

1530“I ran today.”  It seems like such a little thing to say, so simple, and seemingly so insignificant until you can’t do it.

I’ve been running my whole life.  It’s been a long standing joke that I’ve been running once I exited the birth canal 40 something years ago and haven’t stopped since.  Mind you, I am FAR from elite status, but regardless, I consider myself a runner.  I have always loved it – the feeling of freedom that it gives me, the feeling of strength and power that my body feels, the feeling of sheer determination when I want so much to just be done with the run, especially when its a difficult run.

I won’t lie … I took my ability to run for granted.  All my life, I just ran. I’ve had a few minor injuries here and there, but for the most part they were easy to recover from and then I went about my business and started up again once I was healed.  But seven months ago, I blew out my knee in a freak accident during the CrossFit Open WOD 13.4.  5 months ago, I had surgery to repair my injured knee.  When I was finally cleared to start exercising again, I thought for sure I’d just be able to just jump back into where I left off … WRONG!!!  Oh so WRONG!!!  I tweaked my knee more than once thinking that I could just pick up where I left off.   It has been a difficult recovery, more mentally than physically.  I have had to check my ego more than once, and I’ve learned to accept the fact that my knee would not heal completely if I didn’t just SLOW down and take the time to let it heal.

For the last 2 months I have been working once again with my trainer, Gabe Subry at CrossFit 209 Sport, and my Physical Therapist, Todd.  These two have been relentless in my training.  They both understand my need to get back in the box and into running.  They have both been patient with me and have been working with me to get me back to the level of functioning that I once was at.  At CrossFit, Gabe has me doing MECHANICS ONLY, meaning that I am only to practice and perform the movements with light to no weight at all, adding weight on slowly.  During my Physical Therapy sessions with Todd, he has been working on resetting me neurologically. I have had some really BAD Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) since my injury.  I have been afraid to jump, run, and do a lot of movements out of fear that my knee will buckle. A lot of the exercises that Todd has me doing have been helping to reset my thinking and get me back into  training mode. He has a lot of tricks up his sleeve that have been helping me overcome my fears.  I am thankful for these two – more than I can ever express in words.

I’ve been itching to run for soooooo long.  I had pre-registered for several races prior to my injury, but  I was most disappointed that I had to cancel and bow out of my beloved race at the Half Moon Bay International Marathon in September.  I’ve run that race since its inauguration! It’s my favorite run of all time, so you can imagine my disappointment to have to drop out!   I was not even disappointed when I did not get chosen to run the Nike Women’s Marathon this year and I love that race because I’ve always run it for my dad.  So when the opportunity arose to sign up for another half-marathon, I was slightly hesitant, but I felt compelled to do so.  Enter the St.  Joesph’s Stockton Half Marathon – I could run that, I thought. So I signed up.

My running partner, Anitra, & I.
My running partner, Anitra, & I.
With my friend, Matt, who has been a long time supporter of mine!
With my friend, Matt, who has been a long time supporter of mine!

The venue this year started and finished at the University of the Pacific (UOP).  The course differed slightly in that rather than running down March Lane, it was more on the levee all the way down to Ladd’s Marina and into the residential area of Brookside, back up to the levee and into UOP.  I loved it – it was scenic for the most part – lots of pretty houses and boats – perfect for dream building. I am truly thankful to have run with my friend, Anitra, she was an amazing source of strength for me during the run!  I love the free photographs that comes with the race! I love the after party – beer (not that I drink) and burritos!!! Starbucks had a barrista bar providing coffee to the runners and spectators.  The medal was amazing!  It’s just a fun little race that packed a lot of punch. Bonus, it was a BEAUTIFUL day for a run and it was less than 10 minutes away from my house!

So, yes, for me to say, “I ran today,” is a HUGE accomplishment. For me to have run my first half-marathon 5 months post-surgery without (yes, WITHOUT) any sort of training is … INSANE! But … I did it!!! To think that there was a time when I literally felt cut off at the knees, to have finished a half-marathon … well, yeah, I have sooooo much to be thankful for.  I am so very thankful and feel so very blessed to have the ability to run once again and to be back out on the road – running!!!

1527
I. Ran. Today!

Alone In The Gym

My husband and I are complete opposites. Where he is tall, I am petite. He is blonde, I am brunette. He is outgoing, I am more of an introvert. He is vocal, I am written. He is aggressive, I am passive. He watches television, I read. He is yin, I am yang. I could go on and on and on, but you get the gist of what I’m trying to say about our relationship.

Our relationship of being opposites works. In fact, our differences actually compliment each other, so if you believe me to be complaining, you are far off base. I love my husband, I just wish that at times we actually shared some of the same passions besides our children.

I have always – ALWAYS – been an athlete, so it was always natural for me to believe that I would have a partner that was an athlete also. However, that is FAR from the truth that I live.  Athletics bring together such a sense belonging, of being a team, working together, encouraging each other, motivating each other. I need that sense of belonging, and although I feel as if I “belong,” I don’t feel as if my needs are truly satisfied.

Me and The Man - see how he looks so ... "pained"?
Me and The Man – see how he looks so … “pained”?

My husband works very hard to please me and keep me happy. He will do anything to support me in my endeavors regardless of how insane or far fetched they may seem. He has survived me dragging him, kicking and literally SCREAMING, to various gym workouts, kickboxing, CrossFit, and even running. All ventures short-lived, none actually got him in any shape. I know that I cannot “make” him do anything. I can suggest, and most times he’ll pacify me by agreeing at the time, but not really follow through. I’ve tried encouraging and motivating him, only for him to tell me that I am obnoxious and demeaning. Regardless, I keep asking and suggesting, but I know that it’s NOT going to happen – my husband is just NOT ever going to be the athlete/gym partner that I always thought I would have and have so desired in my life, and I have to learn to stop setting myself up for disappointment and let it go of my desire, my dream, and move on … ALONE in the gym/Box.

Gabe & Kirstie
Gabe & Kirstie
Andrew & Lindsey
Andrew & Lindsey
Dom & Vanessa
Dom & Vanessa

I see pictures and read stories or posts of couples enjoying themselves in the gym and I can’t help but feel a teeny pang of envy. Couples – bound together by their love and enjoyment of physical activities, glistening in sweat, smiling. More than any of that it’s the envy that they are doing things TOGETHER.

Exercise is such a HUGE part of who I am, so it’s hard to know that I am to forge on this journey alone. I feel selfish at times for the amount of time that I would love to spend in the gym because it’s time away from my family. It’s hard for me to see my husband struggle and just give up, but like I said, I can’t force him to do something that he doesn’t want to do. It’s hard for me to see him out of shape, unhealthy, and hiding his medications from me. Yes, I know that he does this because I’ve found prescriptions for medications. Yes, I know I’m a nurse. Yes, I know that I am his wife and should know his medical history, but seriously, if he wants to “hide” that part of himself from me, for reasons only known to him, then who am I to demand that he share these things with me? He must not believe that I am important enough to share these pieces of IMPORTANT information with me, right? I mean, we all have our secrets, right? It’s just that when something happens to him and the Emergency Department asks me about his health/medical history, the information that I will be able to provide will be very LIMITED and I’ll look like the countless number of idiots that give me that Kanye shrug look when I ask about their loved one’s history.

Oooooh … I’m waaaaaayyyy off subject now. How did that happen? Freudian slip? Ahhhh, I digress. I guess, it’s just harder for me to accept than I thought it would be, and it saddens and frustrates me more than I let on.

Where am I? Oh, yeah … letting go and acceptance. Letting go of the dream. Letting go of the control that I want to have over my husband to “make” him want better for himself. Accepting my husband as he is. Accepting that I will always drive to the gym/Box – ALONE. But that’s just it … I feel alone and that makes me unbalanced, sad, and disappointed among other things. I understand that life is about disappointments and picking yourself up and moving on, I just didn’t think I would always have to, or didn’t want to do it alone because it’s so much funner/easier/better when done together with someone you love. I guess, though, that if this is the only thing that I can pick apart about my marriage, then I can live with that. Mind you, it will be with a heavy heart, but I’ve done it for so long over the course of our relationship that it feels like an old hat. Like I said before though, I must STOP setting myself up for heartbreak and really let it go. Forge on knowing that my husband will be behind me, supporting me regardless of my decisions to keep running, workout harder in the box, or if I decide to take up underwater basket weaving. I just know that giving up exercise is NOT something that I plan to do ever, so I guess that my husband will just have to remain a gym widower.

What do other couples out there do when one is a gym rat, and the becomes the gym widow(er)? I wonder if there’s resentment?  What about if one looks amazing and in shape, while the other does not?  Does it tear their relationship apart or if they just deal with it? I mean, I get it, I do, I’m just so sad. I also know that most times, it’s the other way around where the husband is the gym rat, and the wife is the one who chooses to stay at home and is the gym widow while the gym is the mistress. I understand that I  I know that there’s more to life than in the gym. I just can’t fully express my guilt over this whole issue and  because I know, and because I believe that it’s what holds me back from reaching my full potential. It doesn’t make any sense to rehash it, I just really either have to accept it, live with it, and let it go, or continue to let it consume me as it has been for so long.  In the choosing to let it go, I fully understand that life just goes on …  and I just go on to the gym … ALONE … (heavy sigh).

Christmas Letter Musings

We’ve all done it now and again … Wished you had what another has. Not covet, just wished. I won’t lie. I am ashamed that I have done it more times than I care to admit. Logically, I know that it’s that I shouldn’t, but I still can’t help myself … I see something that someone has and wish that I had one/it also. (Sigh.)

Yeah, I know, I know. Like I said, I can’t help myself sometimes.

Women who don’t have to work, who have all this leisure time to do whatever they want, who have husbands who give them whatever they want, with their perfect appearances, perfect, smart children, expensive cars, perfect bodies, clean houses. My friends that I workout with with their seemingly perfect athletic bodies, who can run for miles, lift enormous amounts of weight, eat whatever they want.

I know … I know that their lives are not as perfect as they seem. I know that appearances presented on the outside are NOT always as they appear on the inside, or as they appear once their front doors are shut. I know that. I know that people lie. I know that sometimes those women with their perfect little lives are not perfect. I know that those athletes who seem to pose endless energy and speed and power, were not always as they were. I know because I’ve had the misfortune to see the other side of some things that I once believed were perfect.  I know this, but I still can’t help but wish … just for a fleeting second, wish. It’s just so different when you’re on the outside trying to look in. The story is not always the same.

Here’s something else that I know … I know that at times, people look at me and think the same thing. I know that there are others out there that covet, or rather wish they had what I have. I can’t help but smirk when I think of that. My life is FAR from perfect, yet there are those out there who believe that it is. I have to say that I do have a blessed life. My family is amazing. I have a great husband. My kids are healthy, funny, and I love them oh so much. I have an education – two Bachelor’s Degrees, a bunch of certifications. I have a good career. I can take care of myself and my family. I have a nice body – not perfect, but rather a work in progress.

I have no idea WHY I’m blogging about such a thing as coveting and envy. I think it’s because I found one of those “Christmas Letters.” You know, the ones that people send out at Christmas time that chronicles the highlights of their year? It made me ask, even though I know what the answer is, “Is her life really that perfect?” I got slightly envious as I reread the letter and I had to laugh because I know that if I ever sent one of those out, it would have to be full of my family’s life’s trials and our comical follies. It would be a positive letter, but written in such a way that you’d know that my family is far from perfect, but we’re doing well and that we’re blessed and happy. It made me think about my life today and how it could be better, but also how it could be WORSE. I do not want for anything. I lead a blessed life and maybe I’m just writing to remind myself of that … and to thank God for everything that I have been blessed with.

There’s really nothing wrong with a little pang of envy now and again. There’s nothing wrong with coveting as long as it’s fleeting and not acted upon. It’s when jealousy and greed step in that the problems arise. We should be happy with what we have been given. There is always room for improvement, so if you don’t like something, change it. If that’s not possible, do your best to change the way you think about it. It’s all about perception. Seriously … Listen, it’s not your circumstances or your situation that determines if you’re happy or successful, or whatever, but rather, it’s your perception, your mindset that determines if you are happy or successful.

I leave you with one of my favorite quotes by

Wayne Dyer. He always said that, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at will change.” When I first heard that, I remember what a powerful impact that it had on me. I wish you all a life that is blessed and happy. Remember that we’re not all supposed to be the same, that we’re all programmed differently, that we were all placed on this Earth for a different purpose. Let’s do more work to keep our own homes and family intact, rather than worrying about what the Joneses are doing and trying to keep up with them. We’re all gonna make it out of here, but until then, let’s do the best to help each other out.