Saturday, August 30, 2008

Challenges and uncertainty

It seems life has been full of these lately. I'm not sure why, but I haven't been completely stressed out or depressed... not that I'm complaining!

First it was the puppy. He's easy to worry about because I care so much, but it's also relatively easy to make decisions where he is concerned. What's best for him? Okay, then that's what we'll do.

Then the job. Still so much uncertainty there. Because of the big merger, no one knows who long they will remain employed, where they might have to go to do it, what they might be doing when it's all said and done and who the boss will be. It's a bit frustrating. More than that I've been bored and unchallenged in my job for about a year. On the outside, my job might seem ideal to some, but from where I sit, I need something new, something more exciting, something that makes me feel like I'm contributint to something... oh, and I'd like to be able to pay the bills, eat, have fun and go on vacation once in a while... Asking too much? I've heard of people who love their jobs. I've even met a few, but I have to say it completely baffles me. I'm constantly trying to figure out what the heck it is I'm meant to be doing - because one thing I know for sure... this isn't it.

Tied into the job bit because well, it takes money to own a house, is the house bit. The bit where I put the house on the market in anticipation of having to move for one reason or another. Don't know where I would move just yet. Don't know when I would move just yet. Haven't had any offers on the house just yet.... Uncertainty. Should I start that class that sounds interesting? Sign up for boxing at the gym? Try to meet new people when I know I might be leaving soon? What I do know is this: I can't completely put my life on hold so I'll sign up for that boxing class cause it sounds like so much fun and if the opportunity arises to meet new people - that's great. I have friends all over the globe. It's okay to add a few more even if they do become long distance friends like so many of the rest.

And then there's the new challenge, the new uncertainty in life. This one should be freaking me out completely. It's not. I'm surprisingly almost serene about the whole thing at the moment. I had an MRI done the other day and when I went to the doctor to get the results the first thing she said was I'm glad we had the MRI. The next thing she said was I want to send you to a neurologist because there is according to the radiologist an indication of possible dyemelinating disease. What's that now? Neurologist? That's never good. And what the heck is a dyemelinating disease? Well, she said, that's like MS or ALS. Oh, just that. Okay, no problem. Because she said it like it was no big deal. Are you kidding me? So in the meantime, I wait for the neurologist to call to set up an appointment. And I've decided that there truly isn't any reason to worry.... yet. It truly could be nothing still. I don't know. I don't have all the facts and until I do, I'm just not going to worry about it. I feel fine so I am fine. So there!

Uncertainty and challenges. Everyone has these things in their life. It's all about what we do with what we know and what we have. It's all about how we act and react to the "events" in our lives. This is what defines us and what makes life worth living. Honestly, I truly believe I've already lived through the hardest thing a person could be asked to live through... so bring it on! This too will pass. And really, it could be nothing. It might not. I'll deal with the answer to that uncertainty when the answer actually comes. Until then, I have other things to worry about... like what's for lunch :)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

To the big guy in the pool

I was there first. I don't mind sharing, but I'd prefer sharing with someone who understands the concept. I am not the best swimmer in the pool, but I do know how to stay on my side. I know I'm only half your size, but please I would still like my HALF of the lane. I don't appreciate being drowned by your tidal wave splash or being hit in the head by your meat cleaver arms. I don't want to hug the rope. I'm not training for a triathlon and I don't particularly want the practice of trying to breathe while engulfed in a wave that just shouldn't be seen in a pool. If you don't know how to share, get in someone else's lane. I was there first!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

More olympics

Whew! I'm tired. And all I've been doing is watching. So many amazing moments in the Olympics already this time - and we have a week left. I can't imagine how they do it - these athletes who give their all day after day - year after year just to get there. I love the games! I've been making the dog crazy cheering for some of those close races. And crying along with them in their triumph. I don't know if I can handle much more, but I'm going to try :)

Monday, August 11, 2008


I'm definitely relaxing... I've been glued to the tv since the Olympics started and how exciting they've been! Thank God for VCR's since I don't have TIVO and I can't possibly stay up until midnight every night and still workout and actually keep my job. That swim relay (men's 4x100 free) was absolutely amazing! And I've been studying all of them in the underwater shots to see if I can pick up any pointers on form. They are incredible - all of them.

So this morning I went to the pool and practiced what I'd been watching. I'm never going to the Olympics, but I do feel like I'm slowly improving. Swimming used to be really scary and as I keep practicing it just keeps getting more fun and just a little bit easier every day. It's nice to learn something new and feel the improvement.

I can't say the same for my running. I've felt off lately, like there just isn't any spring in my step, certainly no motivation in my head. I'm sure a lot of it has to do with work, selling the house, the "anniversary" and just overall stress. I'm working through it, but I have to say I read through a few other blogs over the last few days and am almost happy to say I'm not alone. It seems like this motivation thing (or lack of) is something of a small epidemic at the moment. Maybe we've all just been training too long, maybe it's the economy or the price of gas and food, maybe we know that summer is coming to an end.... who knows? whatever it is, I am hopeful that we will all get past it in our own ways and in our own time... but can it be soon? Please!

Saturday, August 9, 2008


I don't know how else to describe it. I'm just not feeling it today - or this whole week if truth be told. I had a 10 mile race today and I just didn't feel like it. It was all I could do to get out of bed at o'dark thirty, drive an hour and then wait around for the race to start. I swear I almost just left. I was THAT down on the whole thing. But I did it anyway. I've never DNS'd, never even DNF'd but I thought about it today - through most of the race. Once I got to around 6 miles I thought well.. over half way there, might as well finish it. But my heart wasn't in it. I could have easily gone faster, but I didn't. I just didn't care today. I didn't check my watch, I didn't push my pace. I just relaxed and stayed loose. I finished the last mile strong - at about the pace I should have been going around mile 7 - and passed a few people, but I purposedly didn't pass the girl who'd been pacing me for the last 4 or 5 miles. She'd kept a steady pace while I'd walked some of the hills, surged down some of the easy parts.... it didn't seem fair to pass her at the end even though I could have. I just didn't want it as much. So now my muscles are wondering - did we run today? My head is wondering - what is your problem? My stomach is wondering - are we going to eat some ice cream or something to make ourselves feel better?

So next week is an easy week. Maybe I'll get my mojo back. Maybe I'll be able to relax and enjoy life for a few days. At any rate, the olympics are on so at least there will be some fine inspiration coming my way.

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Olympics are here!

Every four years we get the pleasure of watching the world's best athletes compete in summer sports and every four years I am rivetted to my tv. I LOVE the summer olympics! Winter is okay too, but summer is where it's at! I love the drama and the excitement. I love hearing the national athem. I love when the athletes peak at just the right time on this biggest of international stages. I cringe when some poor little girl falls off the balance beam, some runner pulls up lame with a cramped or pulled muscle... I cry for them in their disappointment and cry tears of joy when the national anthem is sung. It is such an inspiration to watch these people who have devoted their lives to their sport living out their dreams. Getting to know them through the stories and the performances makes the games that much more enjoyable. Watching people from nations around the world come together to share the experience is incredible. Some of these athletes have no chance at winning a medal, but they are proud to be there to represent their countries - and once in a while one of them surprises the world - and THAT is phenomenal!

So you know where I'll be for the next 2 weeks... glued to my tv at every opportunity to cheer on the US and the underdogs, to root for record makers and come from behind finishes, to laugh and cry and cheer for the dreams of individuals, teams and entire countries.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Patient update

Well, today was the day we've been counting down to for eight weeks. Our re-check to see if we could increase activity, get out of the house more, see people. The answer was a disappointing no. The good news: Willie has lost almost 4 pounds. The bad news: he broke a screw in his leg and has "delayed bone healing". Together this means he stays on his diet AND he is once again limited to the back yard - for four more weeks! No walks, no friends, no playing. To say I'm disappointed is an understatement. I thought he was doing well. Granted I didn't think he was doing as well as he could be because he is still limping, but he is putting significantly more weight on his leg than before. They were pleased that he was putting weight on it and even walking, but more importantly, the internal works should look better on the x-rays. So we're reverting back to strictly following doctor's orders - except for that cage bit. I refuse (and so does he) to put him in a cage, but once the drugs from the x-ray wear off he's going to be very disappointed. Right now he's just stoned - and NOT happy about it. My dog is not a happy stoner, but a tired, disoriented, confused one. Sorry Willie. I guess I haven't been as good a mom as I should have been. I thought you were doing well and I wanted to make sure you didn't get depressed, but somewhere along the line something went wrong - not irrevocably wrong, but it is a bit of a delay.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Good job Steelhead finishers!

Yesterday I watched my first 1/2 Ironman event, really the first triathlon event I've ever attended, Steelhead. It was a pleasant day although I'm sure the wind was hard on those people with disc wheels. And the wind did cause a change in plans... there was no swim due to currents and waves, so my first triathlon was really a duathlon. It was an educational experience none the less.

I watched people of all ages, shapes and sizes, change from runners to riders, back to runners before my eyes. There was excitement, pain, triumph. There were ambulances, potholes, volunteers. Gatorade, water, gels and bars.... It was an amazing experience. As we watched and cheered on the riders we witnessed some people having really good days, smiling, going fast, enjoying the sport. We saw others struggle with flat tires, crashes, and too many cars on the course.

Then we changed our venue and set up camp to cheer them on as they ran loops around town. I've participated in many running events and cheered at one or two, but I've never seen so many runners who looked so beat up, so worn down, struggling to maintain a pace of any kind, shuffling along, barely picking up their feet. It was reminiscent of those back of the packers in a marathon - only there were more of them and fewer people really hitting their stride. It was discouraging and painful to watch. But we cheered and made fools of ourselves to distract, to entertain, to hopefully make their experience just a little less painful.

Then again we changed our venue. We moved to the finish line and watched people coming in who had been on the course for 6 to 7 hours and more. Some of them sprinted to the finish, some of them shuffled, stiff legged and obviously in so much pain they could barely walk. Others grabbed their entire families and jogged across the finish together, triumphant. Winners one and all, absorbed in the moment, the achievement, the accomplishment, the knowledge that all of the training and hard work had paid off, they had crossed the finish line.

And it was at that finish line that I thought, I want to do this. Not forever, probably not even more than once, but just once I want to feel that accomplishment. This is such an amazing feat, such an awe-inspiring moment. These "ordinary people" did extraordinary things (many of them completely out of their comfort zones I have no doubt) to get across that line. They were inspirational!

I've watched my sister train for and complete this event and I have a vague understanding of the level of commitment, of sacrifice, of desire it takes to get to that finish line. I am so proud of her for sticking it out, for running through the pain, for getting across that finish line. Good job!