Thirty Nine Days

A few weeks ago I decided it was finally time to start writing again. Since that decision I have been procrastinating like a professional. It has been six months since we last saw each other and so many things have happened in my life that I knew this entry would be long and overwhelming. I didn’t know how to tackle it and so I didn’t. The other day I said to Cameron that I had a lot of regrets about the last six months because I haven’t made any progress. He told me to forget about the last six months because they’re gone and focus on the next six months. That is good advice. I’m taking it.

My regrets are only fitness and weight loss related… otherwise life has been pretty awesome. When I was talking to Alison the other day about my feeling of overwhelmation (not a word, I know) regarding writing the blog again she suggesting making a list of “10 things that have happened to me since my last post”. GREAT idea!

Here are 10 things that have happened to me since my last post:

1. We got new motorcycles!!

  • The conclusion of the motorcycle diaries:  We got new bikes while we were in BC and rode them home. They are amazing. My bike’s name is Lara and I love her with my whole heart. Cameron’s bike is called Forge.

Lara Bike
Lara Bike and Forge Bike
2. I met my motorcycle hero. We are now friends. For reals. No big deal.

  • Last winter I was finally persuaded to try riding a motorcycle after Cameron got me hooked on a YouTube show called Races to Places. Lyndon Poskitt decided to quit his job and sell all his stuff and ride his motorcycle around the world. He competes in rally races and films it all for his show. I loved it and it made me really want to ride. I likely would not be riding (at least last year) without watching Races to Places. This summer Lyndon was coming through the Yukon and I sent him a facebook message saying thanks for making the show and hoping to be able to meet him and go for a drink or something. He ended up staying with us for a week and we did a lot of fun stuff. We’re still in touch. He’s just finished the Dakar Rally… I’ll talk about that later. Here’s some stuff we did last summer.

Cameron, Lyndon and I on the Hubbard Glacier
In the Icefield Discovery Plane

At the Black Street Stairs. We went twice!
Out for a ride
3. My little brother got married!

  • He picked a pretty great bride. Jess is awesome.
  • It was a beautiful wedding.
  • It was cool to see some old friends.
  • It made me feel old.

4. We bought a house and moved!

  • Kind of out of the blue we bought a house. We’ve had one eye on property available for a couple of years although we have been trying to pay down debt and get in a better position for home ownership for a while now before seriously looking. Cameron found something he really wanted to look at and we went for a viewing but it wasn’t right for us. The realtor had another property she was just about to list in the same area so we went to look at that one and BAM! Bought a house. It’s even more in the middle of nowhere than we already were but hey, look at that view!

5. I had to get glasses 😦

  • Even though I had laser eye surgery nine years ago and therefore have (or had) laser eyes, it seems my right eye is giving up like a jerk. I realized I couldn’t see properly when we moved to the new house and the couch was farther from the tv than it was before. Got glasses thinking I’d just wear them at work and watching tv and stuff… I now wear them pretty much all the time except when running. Luckily my laser eyes are guaranteed for life… so I just have to get myself to Vancouver for a week to re-zap them. Who knows when I’ll get around to that. Until then I’m glassified.

6. I ran the Klondike Road Relay.

  • I ran from the Skagway summit to the Canadian border. This leg was not nearly as downhill as I expected it to be and I was pretty slow but I did it! It was freezing cold and pouring rain. I wore a pink tutu. It was awful (except for the tutu, that was awesome). I just told Alison today that I’d do it again next year. I do not know why I would say that, but I did.

7. We got a cat!

  •  I have wanted a cat for seven years, but as renters it’s hard enough to find a place to live with dogs… so no cat for Kirsti. Now that we FINALLY have a house that we own, in the country, where mice live… I got my cat! We got an orange one because my first pet as a kid was an orange cat named Tigger and I wanted an orange cat again. Turns out my new kitten is a massive asshole and my hands are scratched to shit! He also likes to bite you in the face when you’re sleeping. That is awful and more awful. But he’s adorable when he’s sleeping. He likes to cuddle with Switch. Chinook wanted to eat him on the first day. She had foam drool and could not stop licking her lips and biting the air and definitely tried to put cat in mouth. A couple of weeks later she now defends him from Switch when he gets a little to intense at play time and doesn’t realize his tank paws will crush the 11 week old kitten when playing chase. She will not accept cuddles, but she doesn’t want to eat him anymore… or she hides it really well and will eat him when we’re out of the house one day. Time will tell. We named him Hobbes.

8. I got really sick.

  • Just after New Years I got a cold/flu that kicked me right in the ass. Hard. For two weeks I did not leave my house. I stayed in bed for a couple of days and sweated and snotted. Eventually I was able to make it to the living room for a few hours each day. It was really awful. There are no photos of this.

9. I quit smoking!

  • January third was my last cigarette. I had planned to quit anyway but it was also the first day of my flu so as awful as that was I have to say it really helped. Living in the middle of nowhere with a 30 minute drive to the closest store helps too. But mostly the flu. Now that I’m back in society and at work and near stores and such I’m still doing well. No patch required. I went through withdrawals when I was sick anyway so I didn’t even notice. The snot overpowered them. Yes I’m still craving at times. Yes two and a half weeks isn’t that long. Yes I’m certainly still in danger of failing, but I’m optimistic. I really like breathing into these clear, clear lungs, especially when running.

10. I’m on track again. I’m eating better than I have since I started. I’ve just put together a string of seven days in a row of eating clean and within my points (weight watchers) and exercising. It’s probably my best week since I started this a year and a half ago.

So what got me back on track? Two things.

One. When I was sick in bed for two weeks I thought a lot about the last six months and the time I wasted. When Cameron said to forget it and look forward that was a big mental shift I had to make. Being sick is the WORST, but I thought a lot about the fact that I was going to get better from the flu and a lot of people have injuries or illness that mean they are not going to get better enough to run again or do other things they want to do. I’m lucky to have this body that is capable of running or dancing or riding a motorcycle and it can be capable of so much more than it is now. My friend was saying the other day that her goal is not to have a perfect body but to have a body capable of doing all the things she wants to do. Whether that is to climb a mountain or cross country ski or canoe for six days… that is her goal. I thought that was pretty awesome and rather than focus on a number right now I’m going to pick a couple of things I want my body to be capable of and go for that. Maybe a pull-up, just in case I’m ever hanging from a helicopter skid or the edge of a mountain. I feel like that would be a useful skill. That’s a longer term goal. In the short term lets go with running a half marathon. I’ll find out if I can do that or not in 39 days.

Thirty. Nine. Damn. Days.

I have no time goal, I just want to finish the thing without the sweeper bus hauling me off the course. I am 80% sure at this time that I can. I guess we’ll find out.

Two. While I was sick Cameron and I watched from afar as our friend Lyndon completed the Dakar Rally Malle Moto (unsupported). Of course he has a lot of support and sponsors with gear and such but Malle Moto riders have no support crew, mechanics, RV to sleep in, etc. during the Rally. They are their own mechanic and they set up and sleep in a tent every night. It’s an incredible test of endurance, skill and mental fitness to keep going in extreme circumstances. Lyndon completed the race and place second in his category. He took lots of video and was featured in the Dakar Heroes. On the second last day he posted an emotional video about how tired he was and how difficult the race was but how he needed to stay positive and push on to achieve his goal. Watching Lyndon do this made me realize more than ever before that it is possible for ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary things. He set a huge goal for himself and worked at it systematically to achieve it. When he stayed with us last summer he was already working on the massive logistics required to even get him to the start line. It was inspirational and it made me refocus on my goals and realize that what I want to do is possible.

The majority of people who try to lose weight fail. I’ve known that for a while and over the past six months I’ve thought many times (as I have done over the last many years) that I will just always be big. I’ve been defeated and tried to accept what I am. But I was wrong. It is unacceptable for me. Please don’t misunderstand, I am not saying it is unacceptable for anyone to be overweight. I am saying that for ME, I no longer choose to accept this body that can’t do all the things I want it to do.

I have a closet that is half clothes I can’t wear. I don’t accept that anymore.

If I had to pull myself up on a ledge to get away from zombies chasing after me I would instead be a tasty brain snack. I don’t accept that anymore.

If I ever broke my leg and needed to be lifted into an ambulance I’d probably need four of my coworkers to do that instead of the standard two. Horror of horrors. I don’t accept that anymore.

I will SO not be perfect. I will have off days. And I make no promises about writing regularly, I’ll probably just break them. However my head feels clearer than it has since I started. My lungs feel clearer than they have in years. I ran a personal best 5k yesterday and I lost two pounds this week (on top of the 6 I lost because of the flu).

Disney is all booked and in 39 days I’ll be in Florida running my first half marathon. I’ve been pretty sad I won’t be there in triumph 100 pounds less than starting. I’m embarrassed that I didn’t do what I said I’d do, but since I can’t lose 80 pounds in 39 days there’s nothing I can do about it other than eat well and train as hard as possible in the days I have left. This I can do.

This I will do.

~P²
Thanks friends and followers that have been encouraging me to come back. It felt good to write again!

The Laundry Injury – A Tale of Woe

Our story begins on a typical August evening in the far north of Canada when a prince sometimes called Svelte declared to his princess that her laundry was getting out of control… again.

It was impossible to disagree with him, it was indeed out of countrol. A veritable mountain of laundry had grown while he was away on his business trip to take over his own laundry bin. This is the only reason why he had to say something. He is usually very understanding of my aversion to laundry but when his own bin is compromised I have gone beyond the pale. Fair enough.

Perhaps running and the sweaty clothing it generates was to blame, more likely laziness. But the reason matters not! Something had to be done. That something was laundry.

I trudged down to the basement multiple times and got that mountain washed. It was still a mountain, but now a clean mountain.

It is important to know that our bed situation had changed the day before. We had a very high bed until the day before the laundry mishap. It was a four poster deal that I could only get in by dive rolling which is dangerous when tired or drinky. Picture trying to roll onto your kitchen counter to get into bed every night. Chinook has pretty good ups so she had no problem with it, but Switch being twice her size and not nearly as springy was having more issues. I was done with the dive rolls and deemed that the high bed had to go, so Svelte had disassembled the bed and put our mattress on the floor college style until we find a better lower frame. The repercussion I did not anticipate was the loss of my laundry folding platform. It was the perfect height for that.

I sat down on my new low bed to tackle mount laundry. One hour later I was still folding… and had sunk into my amazing tempurpedic bed. These beds are amazing for sleeping in (if you’ve never tried one it is worth every single cent and more) but not amazing for sitting in the middle of with no back rest. I was doing some weird laundry folding hunch thing that was setting my back on fire. I got up, my back rebelled. I had a line of fire to the right side of my spine! I groaned, I whined, I complained. If a Pudgy Princess yells in her room with no one around, does she make a sound? If it does princes don’t hear it. I laid down and sulked.

Svelte eventually came by and asked if I was taking a little break. “I hurt my back!”

“What?”

“I hurt my back, it’s killing me!”

“Weren’t you just folding laundry?”

“Yes! It hurts!”

“You’re seriously telling me you have a laundry injury?”

“Yes!!!”

I had a laundry injury. I was not finshed with the laundry but I was seriously finished with the laundry. You know? It was just about time for bed so I put away what I had done and went to bed. No sleep happened because my effing back was in a full spasm! Ridiculous.

I can’t be 100% sure here but I’m fairly certain the last laundry injury occured in 1403 when a washer woman who was beating her lord’s clothes on the rocks down by the river slipped and was washed away by the current never to be seen again. Who gets a laundry injury? Nobody. Nobody gets a laundry injury. Ever.

This happened the day before my almost 5k run so it didn’t stop me from running and didn’t bother me at all on the run. Today and yesterday I’ve been sitting in a classroom for some work training and it’s really been twinging. I had the option to run today or tomorrow. I didn’t run today after work. I stopped by Princess Ear Handle’s place and she gave me a very nice present. A bottle of Kracken Rum! So I had two very good reasons not to run tonight. A bottle of Kracken, and a bottle of Appleton rum I already had at home. Have I mentioned that I like rum?

Tomorrow I will acomplish something I have never acomplished before. I will run in the morning before work. I have tried countless times to get up before work and exercise. My alarm goes off, and then I say “what the FUCK was I thinking???” and turn it off. Why will it be different tomorrow?

Three reasons:

  1. I am telling you that I will do it. This is the only reason why I’ve made it over the two week hump and am still running at all. Real humans are reading this. I told you I’m gonna do it, so I’m gonna do it.
  2. Kracken will make sure I don’t run after work
  3. If Kracken doesn’t make sure, Appleton will.

So ask me tomorrow if I ran in the morning. I don’t want to deal with the shame of telling you I didn’t.

Also, don’t fold laundry for an hour while sitting on a tempurpedic bed with no back rest.

Also, don’t let your laundry pile up so much that you have to fold it for an hour. It sucks 😉

~PP

Epilogue: my laundry is still not done but Svelte has his bin back so he’s happy 🙂