Of strength, toughness, and tough pills to swallow

Sorry if my updates have been sparse, dear readers.

My dad went back into the hospital last Thursday with severe pain in his leg. After three days of various medications and tests, it was determined he has an infection in his left hip. He’s being transferred to an orthopedic hospital and will likely have surgery to clear out the infection. One of the crappiest feelings ever? Seeing someone you love dearly in horrible pain and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it. My weekend wasn’t so much a weekend as an exercise in not sobbing every time we delivered food or went to visit for a bit. It’s by no means fatal and hasn’t spread beyond his hip. Still, it’s like being punched in the chest. To see my former Army Ranger dad, the strongest person I know, reduced to hitting a pain button every 15 to minutes “to stay sane”, is difficult to process. I remember years ago when I was sobbing over a boy, he said something to me that stuck firmly in my head.

The whole point of Ranger School is to break a person, physically and mentally. If you get through it, you’ve exhibited the strength and toughness it takes to survive a combat situation and keep your shit together. He told me that I inherited that same toughness. I might bend to the point I think I’ll break, but I’ve got everything I need to get through it. I just have to know where to look. He was sitting in that hospital bed taking it like a champ. I have no doubt he felt the way I do now when I was going through my epilepsy diagnosis. I may not find myself literally crawling through mud on my hands and knees to finish a course, but I’ve crawled through my fair share of figurative mud.

Today also marks the anniversary of my DUI. It taught me how to pick myself back up after a self inflicted wound. I haven’t had a drink in a year. Moreso, I don’t miss it. All it took was the right motivation. I never thought I’d look at my epilepsy and say thank you. As cliche as it sounds, sometimes the worst situations have the most to teach us. It’s hard to believe it’s been a year. That’s a memory I will quite happily leave behind me.

I’m not so sure where I read it or saw it, so I give credit to the general Internet. For every negative thing or complaint, counter it with 7 positives. Challenge accepted:

1. Boy sitting there holding me while I sob into his shirt because I felt so helpless. It takes a special man to take snot in his shirt without so much as a word. It helps that I’m the one who does laundry. 😀

2. We bought a Keurig this weekend. I’ve been eyeing my parents’ Keurig with great lust in my heart. I made my own coffee this morning and brought it to work with me. It will take some experimentation to get the proportions right, but that’s part of the fun.

3. New work clothes. I got rid of a bunch of my work clothes when I lost weight last spring and summer. Now that it’s warming up again, it was time for a wardrobe update.

4. This blog. I was laughing so hard I was crying at some points. I gave myself the hiccups from laughing in Chapter 8.

5. I smell good. Perfume = awesome.

6. We watched the kittens this weekend since they’d been alone for almost 3 days. Maggie was extra cuddly. How can you feel bad with a warm, fuzzy kitten in your lap?

7. My boss and my employees. We can bust each others’ balls, laugh, and still get the work done. We’re one happy motley crew.

XOXO!

Of short hangs and long TV series

Today’s theme: Little steps make more progress than big jumps.

I’ve been reading several other blogs which decry “fitspiration” and “thinspiration” as little better than anorexia or bulimia campaigns. That’s fair. I won’t argue that point. I did, however, take issue with “strong is the new skinny” being another slogan for self hate. I admit my bias. The silks gym’s slogan is “strong is the new skinny”. Let’s face kinesthetic facts boys & girls. The more muscle mass a female body has, the less space it occupies. When I was doing CrossFit regularly, I actually gained weight because I gained muscle. However, people were constantly asking if I lost weight because I was more compact. I could also do a push up on my toes for the first time in my adult life. About the time I fell out of CrossFit, I started aerials. I still couldn’t do a pull up, but I was stronger than I’d ever been. I took great pride in being able to physically do things that seemed impossible before then. I was focused on what my body could do from day to day rather than obsessing over a dress size or the number of calories I was eating. Again, I concede there’s a very fine line between “fitspiration” and actual motivational slogans for alternative work outs like aerials, boxing, martial arts, and Olympic style power lifting, the latter three being rarely marketed towards women.

A while ago, Boy bought a pull up bar. We mounted it in the doorway between the living room and the bedroom. After a few days, it got taken down so I could close the door and not be disturbed by light or the TV. It never went back up again. I decided to do something about that today. I remounted it in the doorway and every time I pass from the living room into the bedroom or bathroom, I make myself do something. Whether it’s a straight arm hang for as long as I can hold myself up or hanging leg lifts, I do something before I finish walking through the door. When one is doing laundry and the washer and dryer must be accessed through the bedroom, that adds up to a lot of arm work during the day. When I finish an episode of TV (I’m currently bingeing on The Borgias) and before I start the next one, I get up and do 5 different exercises be it hanging for a few seconds with different grips or more hanging leg lifts. My grip usually gives up after 3-5 seconds. It’s still something. By the end of the day, I’ll have done around half an hour of arm & lower ab exercises. I attempted bicep curls with a 15 pound weight while I was stuck in the house last week. Doesn’t sound like a lot, right? I barely managed 5 reps and didn’t keep any kind of form trying to do the last few. If nothing else, it helps keep me on track until I can get back in the air. On that note, time to change the laundry.

XOXO!