Monday, December 31, 2012

physical goals: looking back/looking forward

It's New Year's Eve and I started last night on what will run through tomorrow and possibly beyond...the great string of blog posts that mark my transition from one year to another.  Looking back, looking forward, celebrating, pondering...this holiday is my favorite of all writing occasions, I think. 

With this post, I will have written 111 times on the Naked blog in 2012.  February was my banner month, with almost one post per day...December has been dismal on the blogging front, with this being just number 5 for the whole month. 

I've been rereading to see what I thought I might do this year.  The nice part about this business of letting God teach me to love my body is that it's not a *resolution* and not a *diet* and not an *exercise program* and so I don't have to come here with the usual report of dismal failure.  I am further along the path, re: loving my body than I was this time last year.  So that's a success.  

I dreamed aloud about some physical goals at the last New Year...not so much resolutions as great hopes:

  • cycling to Savannah - this was to be a 120 mile round trip with one of my great friends at JPUSA.  I conditioned for it all spring and summer.  And then, come fall, when the time was right, it was sabotaged by a combination of schedule and arthritic feet.  Grrr. 
  • century ride - I was SO PUMPED to do the annual century (100 mile, that is) ride in Chicago that is a tour of the city's perimeter.  When they finally announced the date...I was committed elsewhere that weekend.  Grrr.  
  • 5K - I talked about doing at least the Rhubarb Run in Aledo and maybe also the Hot Chocolate Hustle, also in Aledo.   Then in a moment of genius, I scheduled myself to be many states away on vacation during the Rhubarb Run.  And I think I basically forgot the Hot Chocolate Hustle, come December.
Those were the only physical goals on the 2012 list of dreams.   Sounds like a crashing failure, eh?

But I don't count it as such.  Instead, I recall that I:
  • rode several 50-mile bike rides this year, along with a huge number of 30+ mile rides
  • rode up the Davenport Main Street hill without stopping (multiple instances)
  • rode a cumulative 1000+ miles this year
  • ran 7 miles in The Bix race here in Davenport
  • ran up the Davenport Brady Street hill without stopping (multiple instances) 
  • faithfully ran my 2.5 miles three to five mornings a week, anytime that my arthritic feet didn't say no
  • rode my bike to and from work quite a number of times 
That's not the sound of failure.  That's the sound of an over-scheduled woman choosing to find joy in her achievements and not focus on the fact that they don't read exactly like she thought they might. 

At the last New Year, I mentioned possibilities for 2013 that I was scheming in advance about:  riding the RAGBRAI (a week-long ride/party on wheels across Iowa) and perhaps participating in a duathlon.  I'm scratching both of those.  While I was very excited about the idea of riding the RAGBRAI, between the fact that my first grandbaby was born in Kentucky 2 weeks ago and also that I'm head over heels in love with a wonderful someone who lives almost 4 hours from me in Chicago...let's just say, I'm not using up a full week of PTO to spend time NOT being in one or the other of those places.  It's just not happening.  Maybe someday my guy will ride the RAGBRAI with me...say, when we can do things like sharing a tent.  And I spent enough time trying to talk myself into doing a triathlon with a friend this year that I know my level of resistance to the "-thlon" kind of competition.  No duathlon for me.  Not this year.  I'll ask myself again in 50 more pounds, maybe, if I get there.  Or maybe not.

While I would still love to try again next year for the ride to Savannah (Steffie!  Don't give up on me yet!) and/or the century ride, and while I absolutely intend to do the Bix again (can I run it without walking this time?  I'm asking myself...) none of these things is the target of my physical goal this year. 

What is it, you ask?

In 2013, I will wage war on the ever-worsening adult onset A.D.D. that is making it harder and harder to do the things I need to do at work and even sometimes at home. 

This is not an "exercise" issue but I suspect it very much IS a "loving my body" issue.  I've been making half-hearted efforts to combat the A.D.D. for a few years now, and in the 17 months since I moved back from Chicago, it has been a much more formidable opponent than before that.  Enough of an issue that I mentioned it as a problem on the job when my boss asked me to evaluate myself as part of his evaluation of me last spring.  I'm darn good and tired of *thinking* that I am paying attention, only to get embarrassed when it quickly becomes apparent that I have not been.  In 2013 I will make a focused campaign to get it under control, and to make it STOP derailing me from taking care of business.

That's all, folks, for my "physical goals" for 2013.  I'll be blogging about the other stuff over at my other addressMaybe I'll see you there.

Meanwhile...what are you seeing in YOUR 2013?


Thursday, December 13, 2012

sore feet, miracle healing, and no backup plan

I'm awfully glad I got to run Monday, because the rest of the week isn't cooperating for that.  At work we give our residents a Christmas candlelight dinner, which is spread over 3 nights and staffed by us salaried people.  I serve (wait tables) in the same shoes I wear for my office work - dress shoes.  Yes, they are flats.  But there is not one bit of support in them (who needs support, to sit in a chair?)  By the end of each night I am limping and I can feel the arthritic swelling in the tops of my feet in a major way.  So each morning I just let them rest.  Hopefully next week I can get back to the run.

Meanwhile, don't tell anyone, but I haven't followed through on my promise to myself to make a plan for non-running days.  I've had a number of great suggestions and one of my cousins is even burning me a DVD of some kind of hybrid yoga thing, and a friend has a series of the "T-tap" stuff that she would happily share with me.  I've thought up plans that don't involve videos (cuz videos involve both light and sound, both of which p*ss me off in the mornings), but I haven't put them to paper.  And anything that is just an idea in my head and not put down on probably NEVER happening because Karen Can't Think that early in the morning, to remember what the plan was.  Duh.  

But anyway.  Back to this business of sore feet.  I am not alone in this, though the reason some of my coworkers are in pain isn't arthritis, like me, but crazy high heels.  I was reflecting this morning, how we take the miracle of our self-healing bodies for granted.  WE CHOOSE to inflict pain on our feet, making the assumption that with a little rest they will soon enough be back to normal.  

What if they didn't go back to normal?

What if we had to treat them in a way that wouldn't leave them in pain, in case they decided never to be the same again?

This morning I am taking the opportunity to be extra aware of the miraculous nature of many things my body does, with God's help and certainly not mine.  

Seems like a good reason to be thankful, eh?

Monday, December 10, 2012

brown silk suit, the darn sit test, and insulating fat

With all the not being able to run lately due to arthritic feet protesting, and not being able to bike as much due to schedule craziness, I've been, I'm sure, on a plateau for awhile, weight-wise.  I don't have to step on a scale to know I've not gotten smaller in a little while.  The result of that (which I recall happening last year, too, when various things took some of my running away from me) is that after shrinking consistently, being on the plateau can feel like getting fatter.  I've been fairly at peace with it, as I understand the goal here is not about size, but about letting Him teach me to love my body...but still...I've held the opinion that I've probably put on some weight.

Saturday night was a Christmas party for work.  I SO wished I had something *new* to wear for it - something I haven't already been seen in eleventy-zillion times.  Then I remembered!  In the back of my closet hung a brown silk suit - skirt and shirtish/jackety high dollar wonder that is TO DIE FOR - a hand-me-down from my high school BFF, who asked me to treasure it well.  I got it from her back in May, and at the time I could button the skirt if I sucked everything in as hard as I could and pulled it so tight it hurt.  I couldn't even begin to zip it.  I brought it home, trusting that one day it would fit.  What if it fit now?  I doubted it.  Still, I really wanted something special to wear, so I pulled it out and tried it on, bracing myself for that terrible feeling of trying on something that's too small.

To my surprise, it fit.  It came with matching sky-high heels and I put them on and WOW it was fun to look in the mirror.  I was so excited.  

In the end, though, I couldn't wear it.  Because in the end, it didn't pass the darn "sit test."  I HATE THE SIT TEST.  That's when something looks great on me standing up, and then I put my wooden chair in front of the mirror and try sitting down, and watch in horror as the shifting that happens is too gruesome to be witnessed by anyone else's eyes.  DARN THE SIT TEST!  But I'm sure glad I remembered to do it before I walked out the door feeling all like Mama Hottie.  That would have let alll the air out of me, when I sat down at the party.  I just need to lose probably 10 more pounds and the sit test should be passable in that suit.

I settled for a black velvet shapeless dress that I've been wearing since last February.  It's a lot bigger on me now than it was then, but it's still perfectly acceptable and hey, I haven't over-worn it, I don't think, so it was fine.  

On an unrelated note, my schedule has been running over me lately with all the gentleness and kindness of a freight train.  It's been an item of prayer and concern for me.  I spent yesterday (other than church time) mostly doing what seemed totally counter-intuitive to me - when I felt like I should be "catching up," I rested, and rested, and rested some more.  Oh, I puttered and got some important stuff done, but mostly I rested and hung out "virtually" with my guy (thank you Jesus for cell phones).  This, it turns out, was a good investment of my time.  I had gone to bed Saturday night feeling kind of desperate and depressed with that, "I'll never catch up" feeling that blankets one in exhaustion and confusion.  This morning, I am refreshed, revived, and ready to take on the world.  WE NEED REST.  That's why God built a day of it into the week.  It's a gift to us, and a needed one at that. 

And a final note:  MY FEET LET ME RUN THIS MORNING!  HALLELUJAH!!!!!  It was sooooo great to be back out there.  I lost my mind and thought that 25 degrees was warm enough to not need my headband, and so my forehead and ears were frosty frozen for the first quarter mile or so until my body could work up its usual massive amount of heat.  After that I was fine.  When I got back home, some dude in the lobby, who I could tell even without my glasses on is MUCH leaner than I am, commented to me how he nearly froze on his run this morning.  

Hey.  That's the benefit of carrying around all these surplus pounds.  They insulate me, and they cause my body to be a super heat producing factory when I move it hard.  I suppose I'm gonna miss that, when more of the pounds leave me.

Eh.  They can leave anyway.  That's what layers are for, right? 


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

next step: backup plan

No run again this morning.  I negotiated hard with my foot, but...nothing doing.  Truth:  it was all I could do not to just sit down and cry.

I want to run.  

I realized at that hour of the morning, I am not able to do the hard work of "forming a new plan."  So today's objective will be, while I'm awake and actually capable of thought, to make a backup plan.  Something I can just "do instead" without having to think of what it will be.  

A year ago, I was having to trick myself into faithful running by making my bed as I got out of it, dressing fast, and getting out on the street before I could think of a reason to stay in bed.  Tricking myself into faithfulness isn't the need any more, at least when it comes to exercise.  

I just need a backup plan. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Friday I couldn't run because the arthritis in my feet acted up.

Saturday and Sunday life (and darn early sunsets) kept me off my bike.

Yesterday, more with the arthritis.

This morning, I took one more morning off as the feet seem mostly but not completely better.

I am very hopeful that tomorrow will be "back to running."  

Meanwhile, my muscles are complaining LOUDLY.  My thighs, my butt, even across my chest everything aches and begs and hollers for a workout.  

If I'm gonna crave something desperately, I find it pretty cool that the craving is exercise.  What a journey this is...