The Ins and Outs of an Ordinary Life

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Ramping Up

I'm trying to keep this forward momentum going. I have slowly been ramping up my activity level. Today I took an easy spin class, 45 minutes without putting on too much resistance. I was sweating! I then did all my knee exercises, and both an upper and lower body workout. It took some time because I had to adjust my weights some and modify certain exercises to minimize knee risk. In between, I did lots of stretching. By the time I showered and headed for home, I had been at the gym for over 3 hours. It just felt so good that I kept going, saying hello to all my people, watching the trainers for interesting exercises and then trying them, and then letting the hot water cascade over my weary muscles! It felt awesome.

Last night we went to see An Evening with Colin Mockrie and Brad Sherwood. These are 2 of the guys from Whose Line Is It and they do improv comedy. It was hilarious. It's been a long time since I laughed that hard. It is getting more difficult to find events that all 4 of us want to attend. (the kids have different tastes in music and theatre). I so enjoyed being together and hearing all 4 of us laughing out loud.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Being Helpless

I spoke to my brother last night. My SIL was cleaning a light fixture, fell off the ladder and broke both bones in both wrists. Both of her arms are casted for 6 weeks. She is totally helpless. She can barely change the channel. I can't even begin to imagine all the activities of daily living that she cannot do without help. Luckily, my nieces are all grown up and she doesn't have small children at home. My brother didn't go to work these last few days, but he does need to get back on Monday. My mom is scheduled to fly up from Florida next Friday, but she may change her flight and come earlier (if she can find a flight) and stay for as long as my SIL needs her (they get along pretty well, so that would not be an issue). Now, my SIL is one of the most organized, efficient, productive, get-things-done people I know. Right now I know she's working through the pain and the humiliation of being so dependent, but in a week or two it will be coping with the loss of control over her environment. I hope she can get through the next 6 weeks without going totally nuts!

So, with a new appreciation for my limbs, I have been using them all, both at the gym and in the kitchen (although I do not usually use my legs in the kitchen other than to walk from kitchen to counter to oven, etc.). I actually feel much better. On Tuesday the PT freed me to start doing some lower body weight lifting, although I am forbidden to do leg extensions ever again. The exercise dude put me on the leg press, and wow, was my butt sore the next day!! But that actually got me psyched because I realized that this strength training is so good for you! So on Thursday I did the whole shabang, stretching, cardio, upper body, lower body, more stretching and all my prescribed knee exercises. I still need to take it easy and ramp it up slowly, and that was hard. I wanted to really go for it, but I refrained. But at least I worked out hard enough to sweat! Today should be a repeat performance. I've also had a couple of pretty clean food days, and that makes all the difference in the world. The defunkification has begun.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Time to Defunk

I had a crappy weekend. In fact, the last few weeks have been crappy. At this point, the only option is for things to get better, to head up out of my funk. Being in PT, and having my cardio very limited has totally killed my motivation to go to the gym. That in turn has totally killed my motivation to eat properly. Add in the following:

1) Snowstorm that keeps you indoors all day Friday and most of Saturday.
2) Son that wants to go to his friend's house wearing his slippers after snowstorm.
3) Lack of telephone service while husband is away and both children are somplace other than home accompanied by lack of cell phone coverage at home, making it necessary to drive to the firehouse parking lot to get cell phone coverage in order to leave messages for various people so they know the phone doesn't work.
4) DH leaving pen in shirt pocket which ends up in washer/dryer and ruins 4 shirts.
5) Starting to make banana muffins and realizing I am missing key ingredient and having to make trip to the supermarket because I don't want to throw out the ingredients that I have already prepared.
6) Feeling sorry for myself and buying Oreos at the supermarket and then eating too many.

The Oreo thing is so uncharacteristic of me! I am not an emotional eater, but this was defintiely a response to feeling lonely and cranky. At least it made me realize that this was a total pity party and that it was time to turn it around. Yesterday was much better. Getting back to work after a 3 day wekend (snow day on Friday) was the best medicine. I do much better when I have structure and a routine. And tomorrow is the first day of spring! A new season, longer daylight hours, new growth and bicycle season! I am heading out of this funk, time to get back on the bus, the only option is up.

This week also marked the beginning of a 3 week Health and Fitness Challenge here at work. It is a fundraiser for the students and I am "team captain" for faculty/staff. I signed up 42 participants ($10 entry fee, winner gets a $25 gift certificate to Sports Authority). It involves everyone identifying healthy habits that they need to practice daily and a weekly fitness goal. Basically you earn points for practicing these habits and achieving your goals. My daily habits are not to eat any white food (white flour, white rice) and to floss my teeth. My weekly goal is to Dab the Wussy once a week. What would be your daily habits and weekly fitness goal?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Quick Trip to Florida

We went down to Florida for the weekend to visit my MIL. She has been diagnosed with lung cancer and we needed a better sense of how she is doing. She has a bad habit of not telling us the whole truth or painting a far rosier picture. My SIL lives about 20 miles away from her, but we still felt that we needed to see for ourselves. DH also talked to her about some financial things, making sure everything is in order and that he knows where to find everything. We were pleasantly surprised to see that she looks good and seems to be getting around. She starts chemotherapy this Thursday. We hope it's not too hard on her. She is 86 years old!

We had a little drama on the plane on the way home. There was a family of 4 sitting in the row in front of us. There were 5 seats in each row, 3 on one side of the aisle and 2 on the other. The mom was sitting with the 2 kids (12 year old boy and 10 year old girl) and the dad was sitting on the other side of the aisle. My younger son was sitting next to the dad. Sitting in front of the 10 year old girl was a man, probably in his 20s. When we got on the plane, he tried to give the girl a little teddy bear. Mom promptly gave it back to him and said "no thank you." During the flight he kept turning around in his seat to stare at her and try to make conversation with her, asking her where she is from, her name. Finally the mom told the dad what was going on, dad got up, started banging on the guy's seat, told him he was going to "fuck him up" if he didn't keep his head and eyes pointed straight ahead. When the potential pedophile responded that he was just trying to be friendly, dad made it very clear that he had no business trying to be friendly with a 10 year old girl. The flight attendants (one of whom was rather large and looked like he could bench press the pedophile with no difficulty) were getting ready to spring into action. Things settled down and a few minutes later I asked the mom if it would help if my son switched seats with the girl so she could sit next to her father and further away from the pervert. The mother was so grateful and thanked me 10 times and the girl was so relieved to get away from the creep. The flight attendants took the pervert up to first class for a litle while and must have explained a few things to him because he walked back to the father (accompanied by the flight attendants) and apologized. He realized that his behavior was inappropriate and while he had no "bad intent," he could see how dad might interpret his actions as less than wholesome. Dad actually thanked him for the apology and shook his hand. Kudos to the dad for protecting his family. There are just too many creeps out there.

Last week in PT the therapist was stretching my IT band and she did something to me that totally messed up my IT band on the other leg. I felt it while she was doing it but nothing outrageous or cause to tell her to STOP. Well, the next day I could barely lift that leg, crossing my legs was out of the question and stairs were quite painful. I could not put on my socks and shoes. It took 4 days of total rest for it to heal. I had to cancel my next PT appointment and the therapist was supposed to call me and of course she didn't. This is my last week of PT and I almost blew it off, but I think I need to tell them I am not real happy.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


Any Deadheads out there? Last night I went to a Ratdog concert for the first time. They played at a tiny theatre, about 1500 seats, that is practically around the corner (I go there often to see films). It was really wonderful. I think I enjoyed it more than seeing the Grateful Dead! They definitely played Grateful Dead music ( Terrapin Station is still in my head) but the first set was bluesy with Dylan covers and reggae. His band is great and sitting in the balcony was perfect because you could sit and still see the stage perfectly. The only bad part was I was really revved up and I couldn't fall asleep for a couple of hours, so I got very little sleep. This ain't as easy as it used to be. Being an aging hippie can be tough! I so enjoyed the music, I would happily do it again, and again.
I: Jam > The Golden Road to Unlimited Devotion > All Along the Watchtower > Little Red Rooster > Wang Dang Doodle > Memphis Blues > Bury Me Standing > Sitting in Limbo > Greatest Story Ever Told > Might as Well
II: Me and Bobby McGee > Bombs Away@ > When I Paint My Masterpiece@, Picasso Moon > Lady with a Fan > Terrapin > Stuff > Ship of Fools > St. Stephen > William Tell Bridge > The Eleven
E: At a Siding > Terrapin Flyer

Monday, March 05, 2007

PT or BS

I started physical therapy for my knee. I have to tell you, I am not convinced that these therapists really know what is wrong with my knee. Sometimes my hamstrings are tight and that’s what’s causing my knee to track improperly, the next time my hamstrings aren’t that tight but my quads are weak, or my IT band is tight. I feel like every person with a “knee problem” gets the same therapy program. Last week I was finally allowed 10 minutes on the bike at level 1. I was told to stop if I had any pain. I wanted to scream at her, “I CAN RIDE THE FUCKING BIKE FOR AN HOUR WITH NO PAIN, THE ONLY TIME I HAVE ANY PAIN IS WHEN I RUN AS I HAVE TOLD YOU EVERY TIME I COME HERE.” But I didn’t, I rode the bike for 10 pain-free minutes. Then I went to Dallas on business and I didn’t do any exercising or bike riding for 3 days. All I did was sit around in meetings and airports. I got home on Friday night and on Saturday morning, my knee was bothering me. FROM DOING NOTHING. I went to the gym anyway, did my 10 minutes on the bike, did all my exercises, and it was still bothering me. So I took Sunday off and it feels better today. I am determined to give this PT program the benefit of the doubt and I will continue to do exactly what is prescribed, but right now my feeling is that it isn’t doing anything for my knee and that when all is said and done, I will be in exactly the same place as when I started.

I have been making friends with the UBE at the gym. I find that it is very difficult to get my heart rate up and sustain the activity for any length of time. It’s one or the other. On Saturday I was on it for 20 minutes. My heart rate monitor wasn’t registering but I doubt I got my heart rate much higher than 100. I burned 60 calories! This is so frustrating. Well, at least my shoulders got a workout.

On the homefront, Son #1 got his first acceptance to college, to SUNY Geneseo. It is not one of his top picks, but at least we know he has one in the bank and he is going to college next year.