Friday, August 31, 2012

Where Am I?

An hour ago, I wrote this title.  Then my phone rang.

I'm sure I had some excellent, life-changing hook when I wrote that title.

It's gone now.

I remember thinking that sometimes it's hard to find yourself under the muck of life.  Work.  Home (cleaning, laundry, the accumulation of daily "kibble").  Social. ...

[Give me a minute to laugh at that last one.]

At times I find that my life feels too much like a gerbil running in its wheel.  A constant go ... without going anywhere.  Where has this summer gone? 

Let's see ... *enter rambling mode*


Ooh! I started a three month long "boot camp" class in June. *proud smile*

Seriously! I showed up the first day at 5:30 a.m. (whimper), excited but nervous about this new class, ready to "be all I can be" ... but in the completely civilian can-leave-anytime way, only to hear, after the greetings, "Okay ... let's go run a mile." 

Ah ... Whodawhat?

Run? A mile?  I don't run. 


These tennis shoes are five years old, man. 

No ... you don't understand.  I was that girl in her college fitness "class " that the professor saw rounding the corner during a run as a signal to tell the rest of the class to turn around and head back.  I was a new kind of super hero - - Shin-Splint Girl. 

Or ... if you'd rather ... "Side-Ache Woman."

I was the inspiration for the professor digging out flippers during the swimming portion of class after a sadly comical episode of me clinging up and down the wall of the pool.  Yeeeeeah.

If college taught me nothing else, it taught me that I am not a closet athlete no matter what my inner high-school geek tried to sell me in a band-camp induced hysteria.  But it began much earlier.

I "played" 7th grade volleyball and basketball. 

And then I thought I'd rather keep the few friends I have rather than thoroughly piss them off by screwing up each and every game.  I became "Score Book Girl" instead.  Hey ... no pressure, I got to ride with the team AND ... they PAID me to do so.  Win - Oh so win.

So my college "Health Dynamics" class aka "Health Die" was the last time I toyed with the idea of possibly being more athletic than ... well ... any other living thing.

Scratch that ... plants grow.

Any other inert thing.

Yep.  I am more athletic than a rock.  Unless someone picks it up and skips it across a lake.

I saw my feeble non-athletic life flash before my eyes as I huffed and puffed my way (and walked and ran) through a mile in under *gasp* 15 minutes.  Then I managed 38 full sit ups in 2 minutes and 8 standard push ups (with 30 girlie ones). 

And then I threw up.  Honestly.  Don't eat dairy before an early morning workout. 

And ... you're welcome.

That was month one.

Month two found me dreading each 5:30 a.m. workout yet feeling strong immediately after.  My body, of course, completely rebelled during this time.  I was bloated and convinced I'd entered into some sort of peri-menopausal hell.  I felt stronger but hadn't lost inches or weight.  I occasionally vomited during class and had heart palpitations.

Oh joy.  I'm old.

In mid-July, I gave in and went to my doctor's office.  A normal EKG was followed by the ordering of a stress echocardiogram and new birth control prescription. *eye roll*

I missed one class in July.

Enter month three, August 2012, and envision dread turning to 'OH HELL NO' mid month.  Rather than the stronger, leaner woman I'd envisioned at the beginning of the summer, I found a hormonal mass of nerves that had actually GAINED weight rather than lost any.  I felt like I'd worked harder than ever only to fail ... and fail miserably. 

Oh sure ... my mile was 2 minutes faster, my sit ups were in the mid-50's and my standard push ups were in the twenties ... but, dammit ... bloated and heavier does not incentive create.

I am a boot camp class dropout. 

Stellar summer, you?


About that stress echocardiogram.  Wow.  I was nervous when I arrived for it, having fasted for 8 hours, and dressed as instructed in workout clothes.  That request seemed appropriate since I'd be presumably walking then running on a treadmill to increase my heart rate.

First words in the room?  "Please remove all clothing from your waist up."

"Sports bra?"

"That too."

*cocked eyebrow*

So, let me get this straight.  You're going to put me on a treadmill and run me like a rodent until my heart rate reaches optimum capacity ... and I'm bra-less???????!!!!!!  I realize the girls are named Betty and Bertha and not Dolly but ... dude ... flopping will not be pleasant ... for either of us.


Oh, no worries ... I have a wonderful doctor's dressing gown that will ... wait ... this isn't a gown.  This is a poncho that opens in the front. 

This is a FLORAL poncho that opens in the front.

I came into that facility a normal human being and within five minutes, I became "Floral Girl" ready to smack kindly men in their faces ... no hands, ma!  I donned black workout pants, a floral cape, and multiple nodes stuck to my chest with dangling wires but, hey, let's take my blood pressure again so, here, I'll put my hand on your shoulder for balance.  Awkward?

Of course not (said no one ever under these circumstances).

I was instructed over and over again to remember that when I reached the maximum heart rate, when I could go no further, I needed to stop the treadmill, immediately sit down on the cot next to it, roll onto my other side, and try not to huff and puff the poor echocardiogram technician away as I attempted not to pass out.

Humble does not sufficiently describe the woman who left that day.

Where am I?
At times, overwhelmed.  At times, bored.  Most times, unorganized. 
Where am I?
Staring down a Labor Day Weekend with family.  

Where am I?

Sitting quietly on a love seat, covered with a blanket, and typing with no real thought as to what I'm throwing out to the 'verse. 

So ...

Where are you?


  1. Me? I'm quite literally laughing out loud, nearly to tears. Also feeling slightly in awe and amazed at what you've accomplished. But, you say, I don't have anything to show for it. I've gained weight. BS, I call loudly.

    Tell me about how you feel on a daily basis now compared to before you started. Tell me about your energy levels now.

    And, as I call BS on your not feeling like there's accomplishment there, I'm also slightly inspired myself. I've known for some time that "I gotta get back to the gym". The arthritis, cancers and other disorders that seem to love both my mom and dad's families haven't arrived, but they have RSVP'd. My choice is whether I meet them head-on, on my feet in knee highs and a sweatband or sitting behind my desk, loading yet another piece of software for someone else.

    Thanks for writing this, thanks for sharing the struggles you're working to overcome. I hope it did as much good for you to write it as it did for me to read it.

    1. Thanks. Honestly, this represents one of those postings you look at the day after ... after the wine ... reallllllly hoping that you made sense and minimal errors. Always exciting. Another example came early on when I suddenly felt I NEEDED to talk about the virtues of red wine. I forget how long I've wrote this - of course, much more often back then; I need to change that.