Tag Archives: running

Refocus…AGAIN

10 Mar

OK, so every year at New Year’s, I try to refocus. But this year, January was super busy with work, then I got the flu. So now I think I’m over the flu (mostly, anyway). And I’ve gained about 10-15 pounds since Thanksgiving.

So starting today, I’m refocusing again. Food and exercise. Must lose those pounds and get back to where I was, ideally where I was right before I broke my foot. I think that was when I was in the best shape – the thinnest and the strongest and the healthiest.

The thing is I’m not very good at the long haul. I tend to get discouraged and quit when I don’t see immediate results. Dancing is the only place where that’s not true. In dancing, I can wait for the long term gain. But elsewhere in life, not so much.

Every Sunday, I do the crosswords in the paper. And the horoscopes are right next to the crosswords, so I read mine(Virgo), just for fun. But here was today’s:

horoscope

A timely reminder right? Each decision, each day. I can do that.

Time to refocus

1 Jan

Happy new year!

Here we are again. As I’ve said before, I’m not a fan of resolutions. But I know I’m not perfect, by any means, unlike Calvin:

calvin-and-hobbes-new-year

(I love that cartoon.)

So looking back at what I wanted to focus on in 2013 and setting the focus for 2014…

Physical health
I did get back to the gym on a regular basis. I certainly ran more. But then I broke my foot. I was in such great shape prior to that, and it’s been hard to get back into a regular routine with any sort of endurance. But this week has been good. So for 2014 I’ll keep working on going to the gym regularly, building endurance, and running more.

Food
My eating didn’t change much this year, although I somehow got a little sugar addiction lately. Boo on holiday food. So let’s refocus on that for 2014: more veggies!

Writing
My writing was definitely done in waves. I had stretches of lots of blog posts, and then nothing. (See: lack of posts in December.) So there’s the focus for 2014: more consistent blogging.

Dancing
Breaking my foot really made me appreciate dancing. Prior to that, I was going to more groups and practicing on my own. After I broke my foot, I practiced a lot because I was working on checking out. But since then, I’ve struggled to get into a routine. So after the holidays, it’s more group classes, more practicing on my own, and still appreciating it.

Creative hobbies
I stopped baking for a while in the last few months for various reason. I packed my grandma’s recipes, so I can’t go through those until after July. But I’ve baked more this week and will continue to do so. I did learn to crochet but didn’t practice, so now I need a refresher. I certainly knitted more this year and will continue to do so for 2014!

Relationships
No movement there. Meaning no action taken on my part to have anything happen. Stupid Mr Big still in my brain. But steps have been taken this week…more on that soon.

Money
I’ve made some progress towards my financial goals, although Christmas was not planned for as well as it should have been. Oops. So I’m going to take the first six months of 2014 and refocus on money.

Mental health
This year, I realized that my issues are like a chronic condition. I will always have them; I can only cope with the flare-ups. And I’ve done a better job of that lately. This will always be a focus for me though.

At the end of the day, I still strive for this:

peace

And hope to remember this:

light of your being

I hope 2014 is everything you want it to be. Happy new year!

I am too much of a rock

8 Sep

Daily prompt from 9/4: “Is it easy for you to ask for help when you need it, or do you prefer to rely only on yourself? Why?”

This was a very timely prompt. The short answer: No, it is not easy for me to ask for help when I need it. I’ve gotten much better at it, but lately I’ve realized how much more I need to work on it.

First, the why. I have had to rely on myself for much of life. Not that I don’t have friends, but in the past friendships have ended abruptly. So I’ve learned to just do things myself. And no one likes a complainer, and I’m always afraid that burdening people will cause them to not like me. So I’ve learned to just keep things to myself. Not the best approach, but at least I’m aware of it now and have made much improvement over the last 5 years.

Now, the timeliness. This past month has been a struggle for me. Not even going to the thinky place. Just sadness. I talked to my therapist yesterday. She said that all the research points out that it’s the pile-up of a bunch of little stresses that really get to people. We’re equipped as a culture to deal with big things and rally around people dealing with big things. But we don’t do so well with the little things. And this past month has been a bunch of little things.

*I moved. Again. For the fourth time in five years. My roommates moved up north, I couldn’t find another roommate, and I couldn’t afford the apartment on my own if I want to keep working towards my financial goals. So dear friends of mine offered to let me stay with them until I reach my goals next summer. At that point, I’ll be able to afford a place on my own again. So moving was a double whammy: the stress of moving and the added stress of joining an established household and feeling like it was a step backwards.

no-whammies!
No whammies!

*While my foot is pretty much 100%, I still have endurance issues with cardio. SUPER FRUSTRATING. I know it’ll come back eventually. I just feel like I am nowhere near where I was (in terms of dance) before I broke my foot.

*I’m working on checking out of my level in dance. This always makes me thinky and makes me feel like I’m not a good dancer.

*My ex-boyfriend has been looking up my profile on LinkedIn. Don’t need that.

*I don’t need to see he’s been looking my up because I’ve been grieving a new layer of that relationship ending. Still the right thing to do, still miss him very much.

Those are just the highlights; there are other things I won’t bore you with. But it’s all been adding up to me feeling that I don’t matter and having very low self-confidence. And in hindsight, I should have called a friend or two and talked to them. But it’s so hard for me to do that! So this daily prompt reminded me that although it’s difficult, I need to do it. When I’m that far in the hole with sadness, I can’t do it. I just need to remember that I MUST. Otherwise, I just slide further and further.

OK, before you think I came up with this on my own…the prompt helped, but I couldn’t actually do it until I saw my therapist yesterday. That started the air moving in my brain a bit, so I was able to talk to a few friends about it yesterday which also helped. And today I ran the fastest run EVER (well, at least for me):

RUN!

So with talking to friends, running my ass off today, and checking out soon, I’m starting to feel better.

Weekly roundup: staycation edition

19 Aug

Last week, I had a staycation. I took the week off from BOTH jobs – haven’t done that in the four years I’ve been working two jobs. My goal was to not be a sloth and just sit on the couch all day every day. I wanted to be deliberate in what I did each day. I also wanted to try to break my TV habit.

I set out a plan of things I would do every day: Run, yoga, read, knit, and dance practice. Then I figured out the other things I wanted to do. Because I’m nerdy, I made a list.

staycation-list

So what did I do?

*I ran four out of five days. Including my first two-mile run without walking since I broke my foot!

*I did yoga four out of five days.

*I read. A lot. All I have left on my reading to-do list is finish “A Passage to India” and reread “Anna Karenina”.

*I purged. Took a bag of books and bag of CDs and DVDs to Half Price Books and made $30 on it all!

*I packed. My parents and nephew came over on Wednesday morning and helped. My mom packed my kitchen, because she ROCKS at that. My nephew (with some help from my dad) hauled everything out of the basement for me. I was afraid to do that because hauling my bike out of the basement is how I broke my foot.

half-packed

*I finished packing everything I own except my clothes, my bathroom stuff, and my furniture. This is everything:

all-packed

I’m trying to decide if that’s still a lot of crap or if it’s a minimal amount of stuff to own.

*I practice my school figures for dance. A LOT. Sometimes I went to the studio, sometimes I did them at home. But I practiced. Four dances down, six to go! (Six? Seven? I can’t remember. That’s my teacher’s job.)

*I listened to podcasts. I was so far behind on mine. I added it up (again, because I’m a nerd), and it was about 20 hours of podcasts. I still have 3 hours left. But I used the podcasts instead of the TV all week – yay!

*I caught up on Game of Thrones. I had watched season one on Netflix. A very kind friend gave me her HBO log on so I could watch the rest. And I did. OK, so I did watch some TV.

*I knitted. Again, I’m up against a deadline, so I’m frantically trying to finish this. I’ll show you it when it’s done. But I made great progress on it!

*I did some strength training on two days.

*I biked. Twice for fun, but four or five times as a mode of transportation around the neighborhood. I biked to meet friends, I biked to the studio, I biked to the co-op.

*I had breakfast with LS, lunch with NA, dinner with MK.

*I purge my closet and took a garbage bag full clothes and shoes to Goodwill.

*I refinished some toddler chairs I had.

refinished-chairs

*I did NOT look at my work email. Not once. I kept the notifications on, so I could see if anything came through that needed my attention. But nothing looked like it did, so I didn’t open it ONCE. Proof:

emails

Yep, 88 unread messages. Sweet. Only about 30 of those are ones I had to deal with when I got back today. Thank you, awesome boss man, for dealing with the rest! I know it’ll be payback when he’s gone for two weeks next month.

*I lost three pounds!

*I got a cold. After all that, a summer cold showed up Wednesday night. Luckily it’s a minor one, so I feel OK. Just a little coughy.

All in all, it was a great week. I feel refreshed and rested and ready to resume my crazy schedule!

Weekly roundup

15 Jul

Last week, I…

*Got the all-clear from my doctor on my wrist. I can now resume all normal activities! Strength training, here I come!

*Started the yearly big project at work I get to do every July. But this year, I found a trick that will save me about 10 hours of work on it. Yay productivity! Or just yay, less stress!

*Broke bread with friends: Dinner with ND and CD, brunch with SP and DF, dinner with LS…all good friends and good food. Makes me grateful for those people in my life. And for good restaurants.

*Went to a ballroom dance competition. My very first non-Arthur Murray one. And really enjoyed it. And decided to just go for it.

*Almost completed my free time list. More on that soon.

*Danced. Two lessons, during one of which we did full run-throughs of the smooth opens. I had very low expectations for them, both in terms of remembering choreography and in terms of how well I would be able to dance them since I hadn’t dance them since before I broke my foot. (Oof, run-on sentence!) And they went well! Even Viennese waltz. So happy. Oh, it felt so good to just DANCE. Next up, the rhythm opens! Oh dear, that means mambo. And neither me or my teacher can ever remember the mambo choreography. I guess we’ll find out Saturday how that goes.

*Almost baked. It’s so hot here right now – highs in the 90s – and I hate using an oven during that kind of weather. (I don’t have central air conditioning, just a little window unit.) But I miss baking! So I might try it this weekend. Maybe. If it’s not too hot.

*RAN. Three times. My endurance is getting better each time! It better be, because I signed up for a 5K for the end of August. Eek. I think I’ll be 100% by then. I hope. That’s the goal anyway!

Just go for it

14 Jul

Last night, my friend LS and I went to a non-Arthur Murray ballroom dance competition. We went for the Saturday evening portion which is the professional competition. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I had heard good things about the event. I wanted to go to see what it was like, but I also wanted to go to see my friend KB and her husband compete. They’re professional ballroom dancers, and I’ve never seen them dance. Plus, it’s always great to watch any pro couple dance.

In listening to people around us, it seems like it’s a Dance-O-Rama for anyone. The Dance-O-Ramas are just for Arthur Murray students. This competition seemed like the same thing but for anyone from any studio. Which is cool.

And it was so great! KB and GB were so fantastic! And all the pro couples were amazing to watch. Jaw-dropping at times. I always learn watching pros. I tend to watch for styling, and there is always a lot of things to pick up. It does make you realize you’ll never be that good, and you’ll never dance as well as you would like to. But it gives you something to strive for. And isn’t dance about just trying to the best you can be?

But the one thing that really struck me was how the pros just go for it. Nothing is done halfway, everything is done 100%. And while I’m a good dancer, I KNOW there are places that I don’t go 100%. Things like arm styling. And moving my hips. I’m subconsciously worried, I think, that I’ll look stupid if I try to do it. But I think it probably looks more stupid to do it halfway. So I’m going to try to remember this every time I dance. In particular, in the beginning of my Viennese waltz open, in the wiggle moment of my rumba open, and in rhythm dances.

Watching pros dance also motivates me. I want to be in the best shape I can be so I can be a good dancer. Hence my 30-minute run today. (OK, it was intervals, I’m still not up to doing full runs. But it still counts, right?) But it also motivates me to just dance the best I can and not hold myself back.

New rule: Just go for it. If it doesn’t work, my teacher can fix it. And it’s better to try with enthusiasm than to not try.

Weekly roundup

8 Jul

Last week, I…

*Had breakfast with a work friend of mine at one of my favorite breakfast places. We’ve been trying to get together for lunch for months now, but something always come up for one of us. So since it was a holiday week and therefore a quieter week, we met for breakfast! What a great way to start the work day. Although with that much coffee, it was hard to concentrate for a while.

*Enjoyed the 4th of July, but the next day, I really wished I had taken the 5th off. There were 4 of us in the office out of 30 or so. Oh well, I got to leave after lunch. And I did get a ton done.

*Had an exchange dance lesson as my teacher was on vacation last week. It was great. Just not as great as a lesson with my regular teacher. But he’s back this week. So bring on the lessons!

*Worked out THREE times! Yay me! I went Tuesday and Saturday, but the gym was closed on the 4th. So that day I went for a bike ride. It was about a mile and a half. Let’s not talk about how it went. Let’s just acknowledge that I haven’t been biking since last fall and I am still out of shape from breaking my foot. But I did run that day too, and that went better. Still not up to where I was pre-break, but I can see progress. (Oh my god, I’m seeing progress! I am actually noting progress. Someone write the date down.)

*Met my parents for breakfast. (See the theme? I LOVE BREAKFAST.) Again, we went to a favorite place of ours that interestingly was where my mom worked in high school when it was a sweet shop. (Yes it was in the ’50s.)

*Magically turned a $50 oil change into a $430 one. Not really, but at the oil change place, they pointed out to me that one of my tires had a bubble in it. Consensus on Facebook was that I needed to deal with it right away because it meant the tire could blow at any moment. So I ended up getting two new tires (thankfully, not four!) that same day. Stupid car expense. When’s the light rail starting?

*Started a list of good coffee shops in Minneapolis and St Paul. Local, non-chain coffee shops. My friend SP and I get together on Saturdays on a pretty regular basis, and we always try to do cheap things. So I want to start a coffee tour with her of these shops! So if you know of any, let me know!

*Realized that I’m not good with free time. I’m so out of the habit of having free time that when I do have free time, I tend to sit and watch TV. And while that’s not a bad thing, it’s not how I want to spend ALL my free time. So I’ve been making a list of things I can do when I have a few free moments, and I’m going to try to force myself to look at it and do something on that list. Although I will still watch TV occasionally; I just need (and want) to limit that. But I am in the middle of yet another awesome BBC show…OK, OK, I’ll pace myself!

Sometimes it’s easier not to try

30 Jun

So you know I ran a few weeks ago. That was my start into getting back into running.

I haven’t run since.

The last few weeks have been busy. My roommate moved out because her fiance got a job up north about 3 hours away. She moved out yesterday, but the last few weeks I’ve been wanting to spend as much time with her before she left as possible. So I’ve been skipping the gym.

But I think that was my excuse. I think I’m afraid to run. I’m afraid to try to run and not be able to. Or not make the progress I think I should be making. So it’s easier to not try. I miss it though. I miss working out. I think now that SR is gone, I can focus again on getting back into it.

I’ve been dancing though. And that’s going well. My teacher says at this point, he really can’t tell much of a difference. I can feel it in my foot the day after I’ve danced, but it’s not in pain. Just the feeling after muscles being worked. So that should tell me that running will be fine, because I think dancing is much more stressful on my foot than running. So really, there’s no reason I shouldn’t be running.

Except my own fear.

So Tuesday is my scheduled gym day. I’ll go, and I’ll run!

What I did on my summer vacation

12 Jun

Or at least what I did the last six weeks that I haven’t been able to do anything like run. Or bike. Or dance. Or wash dishes. Or knit. Well, OK, it was just the last two weeks I couldn’t wash dishes or knit, but still. Annoying. But really, what else can you do when you look like this?

gimpy-me
SIGH.

So what DID I do?

I went on a boat ride on Lake Minnetonka with people from the dance studio. It was fun, but it was the day after my surgery so it was a bit exhausting. I got a bit crabby, but I think it was that I was annoyed with the surgery. I was back to feeling that my life was on hold AGAIN, like I did after I broke my foot.

I started going to church again on a regular basis. I had kinda fallen out of that practice, but I really felt the need to go back. So I did, and it was great. And I started doing some bible study with two friends of mine. Which has been really interesting.

I saw a bunch of friends. I tried to stay busy and keep an active social life, since I wasn’t at the studio much and that’s a big part of my social life. I had dinner with friends, watched Sunday night PBS with MH. I saw “The Great Gatsby” with my book club. I went to Showcase. I had coffee with friends.

I worked some overtime at my day job. It’s our busy time of year, and it was completely my choice to do it. But it helped me stay ahead at work and not get so stressed. Plus I get time-and-a-half, so why not?

I dogsat for my friend WH again. She got a new cat (that makes two cats and two dogs), and the new cat THINKS he’s a dog. But look at that face!

crosby-the-cat-who-thinks-he-is-a-dog

So stinkin’ cute. I’m not much of a cat person AT ALL, but he was hard to resist. Especially when he demanded to sit on my lap and then fell asleep.

I watched TV. I caught up on Foyle’s War, rewatched Arrested Development and watched the new season, I caught up on Psych, I watched more of the West Wing, I watched all of House of Cards, I watched some past Project Runway, and I started a new series (well, not new, it aired on BBC around 10 years ago) called Monarch of the Glen. Thank you, Netflix and Hulu. You really helped me get through the last 6 weeks.

I knew I was starting to feel better because I felt like reading this past weekend. I read “The Devil in the White City”. If you haven’t read it, and you like mysteries, read it. It was really good. A little creepy because, you know, serial killers and all. But it’s well-written and a very interesting story. That’s not a story, really, as it’s describing about stuff that really happened. Non-fiction! That’s the phrase I was looking for.

And I thought. A lot. A LOT. Me with nothing to do and no physical activity leads to thoughts. Thankfully, not the thinky place. But thoughts. I realized I like working out. And I actually like running. *Shudder* Well, I like the way I feel after working out. So I know it’s important. And I know it really helps with my mental attitude. I also realized that when I go back to dance, I want to have more fun. I don’t want to get frustrated with me or my progress or my teacher. But a lot of that starts with me and my attitude. I want to just enjoy it. I want to enjoy that I’m there, enjoy that I can do it (now that I know what not doing it feels like), enjoy that I can do it well, and enjoy just the whole process. I still want to be good; I’m still driven in that regard. But I don’t want to forget to have fun. So I need to remind myself of that each and every time I go to the studio until it doesn’t need to be a conscious thought anymore.

Oh, and I also drank. And gained a few pounds. Because, you know…not doing the normal amount of physical activity coupled with sitting and doing nothing except watch TV can lead to that.

But…starting Monday, I can ease back into running. THANK GOD. Tomorrow I’m going to try biking. And then one week from today, I get to DANCE again.

Healing is depressing

14 May

So we all know I broke my foot. And as far as breaks go, it’s not a bad break to have. It’ll heal in about six weeks total, it should heal without complications, I have a walking air cast and not a hard plaster cast, I can still walk, I can drive. All in all, it’s not too bad.

However.

The activity restriction is killing me. No working out except upper body strength training. No running or cardio of any sort. No dancing. I didn’t realize how active of a person I had become. I like to move.

But more than that…it helps my mental health, I now realize. Without the cardio, I don’t sleep as well, I’m more cranky, I’m more depressed.

And what will my foot and ankle be like when the cast comes off? How much will they have atrophied, and how long will it take to get back to 100%?

Friday night, I was watching an episode of Call the Midwife. (Which is a great show, by the way.) And sometimes, my eyes tear up when watching. But Friday, I just started crying…almost sobbing. At which point I realized that this was not all about the show. So I talked to my therapist about it.

Turns out, I’m depressed. And frustrated. And angry. Everything is harder with my foot. Grocery shopping takes longer and more effort. Walking is harder and more fatiguing because I’m using muscles differently. Healing takes a lot of energy, so I’m more tired. I don’t have the energy in the evenings.

And then I get worried…am I reverting to being a fat sloth again? Am I healing or am I simply going back to old ways of sitting on my ass and not doing anything?

My therapist tried to get me to give myself permission to rest. And also to try talking to myself that this behavior is just for the six weeks of healing. Once the cast is gone and I start to get use of my foot back, the behaviors will start to fade too. And I’ll get back to being the active person I once was.

But the other thing is I feel lonely. One, because I don’t have energy so I’m not going out much. But two, I’m not dancing. And being at the studio as much as I normally am makes for a big part of my social life. And I feel left out. I’ve stopped in a few times and will continue to do so. But it’s not the same. I went to the party last Thursday night. And it was great to see people and talk to people and people seemed glad to see me. But it was also really really hard to be there and not dance. And I know that it’s better for me not to dance at all to make for a faster recovery. It’s so hard though. And then when the party’s done, I go home and know I won’t be able to participate for a while.

Plus Showcase is Sunday. And you all know that Showcase for me is like Christmas. I’ve thought long and hard about whether I should still go and support everyone else. It will be so hard. But I think I’d feel worse if I skipped it entirely. So I’ll go. I’ll go knowing that it’ll be a really hard day. But I’ll try to focus on my friends and supporting them.

This is all so hard. I’m trying to tell myself that it’s all short-term and that in another month I’ll have my cast off. I’m trying to tell myself that thank God it’s temporary and not for life. I’m trying to tell myself that others have it far worse than I do. I’m trying to tell myself that once I get back to healthy, I’ll be the same active person I was before this happened. I’m trying to tell myself that I’ll dance again (and soon), and when I do, I’ll be at the level I was at. I’m trying to tell myself this will pass and will pass soon.

But right now, it just sucks.

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