Just Fucking Do It 

One year has gone by since I started this blog. That seems crazy. How can it have been that long?? I had a birthday last week and I’ve spent my thinking time since then evaluating where I’m at and where I’m going. I’m also celebrating a year of blogging with a fresh new look for Pudgy Princess!! I hope you like it! 

It was an amazing year for Cameron and me. I did so many things and learned a lot and got out and enjoyed life. Last year one of my vague goals was to start feeling like I was living instead of just existing. If that was the only criteria I judged this year on then I’d say it was a resounding success. But there’s more to it than that. I wanted to be so much further ahead of where I am right now and this week feelings of failure, (along with an – overly enthusiastic dancing – related minor back injury) have kept me in a tired rut of defeat. I’m trying to haul myself out of it now by laying out exactly where I wanted to be vs. where I am, and why that is.

I was running with James the other day for the first time in a while and he told me to look as this new year as a fresh start. I told him that I can not look at it as starting again. That’s so discouraging. I’ve started again so many times in my life. But this time I haven’t quit, so there’s no need to start again. There’s nothing wrong with starting over when that is what’s required… but that’s not where I’m at. I’ve decided to think of this month instead as a reset. Basically the device is still running but things are getting slow and crashing often and maybe just turning it off and turning it on again will fix it up. No need to chuck it and get a new one. An old fashioned reset should do the trick.

Yes… I basically just called myself a PC.

For the last month and a half I’ve been a little checked out and fitness has definitely come second, or third or fourth in my life. I’m putting it back on top starting now. My one year blogiversary. I used to think of it as my job and my number one priority, and it will now be put back in that place. It has to be that way for me. Jump in with both feet and give it everything I have.

I got 20% of the way to my goal last year. I want to lose 100 pounds, I lost 20. I put no timeline on that goal so that I wouldn’t feel awful if I didn’t meet it. It’s important to me to keep going no matter how long it takes. I still feel great about my loss and I’m so much more comfortable just doing normal life things being more strong and fit with those pounds gone, however at that rate it will take me five years to get to my goal. That’s too long. I’m not insisting on a deadline for myself to lose the 100, but I will not give up until it is done and I’d certainly rather it was faster than slower. So after this birthday/one year of blogging reset I’m going to stop hanging on to my old crappy attitude towards my nutrition and tackle that next. I know how to work hard, now I have to eat right.

With that in mind going forward, let’s take a look back.

I really have had one of the best years of my life. It started out with a visit from Princess America just over one year ago and her challenge to run. I took it and kicked off August of 2015 with walks around my neighborhood that evolved into running slowly for barely one minute at a time. There were many minutes of walking in between those painful run minutes and it was very hard but I kept at it. One month later Alison took me to the stairs for the first time. I met James there and then things really kicked up a notch. A friendship began that has taught me what hard work look likes like and how to do it. Although I don’t believe I’ll ever achieve his level of discipline and work ethic his example makes me want to be better, and I am better because I know him.

My most stalwart supporter is Alison without question. She regularly kicks my ass and endures my whinging to make me do things I don’t want to do. This year she has kept me going to the stairs, running, and even took up the challenge of teaching me to cross country ski. I suspect she may have kept teaching me after the first session mostly because of my sound effects (of terror) and apparently hilarious facial expressions, but that’s ok. We had a pretty good time and I’m looking forward to doing it again this year when the horror of winter descends upon us once again.

I recently hiked up hills with Jenna which one year ago would have been incomprehensible to me. That reminded me of how far I’ve come even if I was feeling discouraged about my progress. I hauled the hose around at the fire hall and climbed their tower countless times. I had an awesome trip to South Carolina where I got to hang out with the awesomest of friends and also managed to run almost every day.  I shot guns at the range and kickboxed with James wherever we had space and time to do it. My family came to celebrate Christmas in the Yukon and we rang in the New Year together. 

I ran in the sun and the rain and the snow. On warm days and frigid days. On roads and trails and around the animal preserve. I went to the Policeman’s Ball in Watson Lake with Cameron and danced the night away with Jon and Jenna. My friends and I carried sand up the stairs twice to celebrate the loss of each ten pounds.

This summer I learned to ride motorcycles which now, to me is freedom. Cameron taught me with the patience of a Saint. In fact in everything this year Cameron has been my number one fan and encourager. One month after getting my license we went on a bike trip from the Yukon to Vancouver Island and back again. We visited family and friends and I learned a lot about what I’m capable of, even when terrified a lot of the time. Halfway through we both got new bikes and had an amazing time riding them home. A few weeks later Lyndon Poskitt came to stay at our house for short a break during his round the world trip and my motorcycle hero became my friend. The three of us went on a glacier flight and did the black street stairs and rode bikes together. He worked really hard at his administrative and media stuff while he stayed with us and inspired me in another way, to work harder on my blog.

In the last week of reflection what I’ve realized most is that at the beginning my blog really fired me. Writing about my experiences running and otherwise was so motivational. I got lazy and I’m not only resetting my running and nutrition but my writing as well. I’m taking two blogging courses right now that will help me stay on top of my writing and explore new sources of inspiration and motivation to keep going…. I hope that this in turn will motivate my running. I’m beginning by setting more measurable, achievable goals in three categories. Running, nutrition and weight loss, and blogging. My project this week is to map out three goals in each area with measurable milestones and actual plans for achieving all of them (and also to put all my laundry away).

James asked me the other day what the biggest thing I’ve learned from him this year has been. I replied instantly “it doesn’t matter how you feel, just fucking do it.” James just does the things he sets out to do. The weather is insignificant, how much energy he has or does not have is insignificant, everything other than the work he has set out for himself is insignificant. Unless there is a legit injury or illness, feelings don’t matter. This I know in my head but lately I’ve been letting my lazy feelings rule the day. For August, it doesn’t matter how I feel, I’m just going to fucking do it. I commit to this now. Loud. August is reset month and I’m going to kill it. I have the Klondike Road Relay in September, my first actual race and I will be prepared for it. I will go into it knowing that I did everything possible to prepare for it in the few weeks I have remaining.

My counter for the Disney Princess half flipped over to 6 months yesterday. That gripped my heart with terror. “I can’t possibly be ready” I thought.

Bullshit.

I will be ready. It’s doesn’t matter how I feel each day. My motto for year two, in a small twist from Nike’s version is: just fucking do it.

The time is passing anyway, I plan to make the most of it.

Cheers to being a little better, everyday.

 ~PSquared

The Inaugural PPR Vlog

Today Alison and I completed the ceremonial dumping of the sand, and we videoed it. I hate pictures, and I hate videos even more. I was thinking there was a good chance I’d just keep this for myself. Then I realized that was the easy choice once again. It was a pretty cool experience and Alison’s idea to do this is amazing.

The video changes quality a couple of times because my phone decided it had enough of the cold and shut down in the middle of filming. So we switched to Alison’s phone which is in a derp proof case… probably an excellent idea. Perhaps a GoPro will be on my Christmas list if the vlogs continue (the vlogs will probably continue).

I woke up at 4am today and couldn’t get back to sleep because I was so excited about doing this. The vampire transformation has begun…

I hope you watch and enjoy our shenanigans.

The song is Naked by X Ambassadors. Partly because I love the song and partly because that’s how sharing a video makes me feel – naked… figuratively.

~PP

A Real Runner Now and Three Month Results

I started this blog last night. I was writing it on wordpress in a browser, like an idiot. Around midnight I had it 90% complete… and then my browser crashed and I lost it all. I growled, said “fuck this shit!!!!” and went to bed. So now, a day older and a little wiser I start again; this time in Word, like a genius.

This week started out for me with a stair session with the Ginga Ninja and Mister James. We did our half hour and my brain was in the “yay! I’m done!” zone. Then James asked me if I was just going home to assassinate, which is code for play video games. I was indeed going home to assassinate. He informed me that instead I would be staying for a full hour of stairs. He had another group coming right after us, unluckily for me. I stayed and suffered for another half hour while he made me do progressively more flights of stairs two at a time until the last time I went bottom to top double stairing it. That was Wednesday… my legs still hurt.

The next day I woke up after a post night shift nap to a delightful message from James telling me that it was a solo run day for me and that he was sure I’d get it done. I had planned a solo nap day. I thought about it as a good chance to try out the new Yak Trax that I had just bought so I got up and headed out around the neighbourhood. There is a big hill in the middle that has repeatedly defeated me. The first time I “ran” this route I had to stop four times to catch my breath while walking up it. I still can’t run it but at least I can walk up it without stopping now. I will slaughter that hill one day… soon.

The run was cold and windy and painful in the leg area, but when I got home it was the first time I felt like a real runner. I think it was because I really didn’t want to go and I was tired and hurting but I went anyway. Even though I walked the hill in the middle of the run when I got back I thought “I think I’m a runner now”. There’s always a bit of a debate of when a person can call herself a real runner. Some say it’s when you get out for your first run, others when you finish your first race… I think it’s when you feel like a runner and it’s different for everyone. The feeling finally happened for me and now I think I can call myself a runner.

Here’s my new Yak Trax. They are amazing! Your feet feel a bit heavier but the traction is pretty epic. FYI, running on snow is hard… not as hard as sand, but still pretty hard.

Yak2

YakTrax

The next day James wanted to run and it was the first time I had to tell him “I can’t”, which hurt me in the soul a little bit. I’ve tried very hard never to say that to him and just to suck up my “I can’ts” and do what he tells me to. But I could not. My legs were two pillars of soreness that would barely move forward after the hour of stairs followed by my first snow run. He gave me a choice between doing upper body at the gym and a walk. I totally chickened out of the gym (with lots of people with lots of eyes to see me) and choose a walk, which was lovely. But now I kind of feel like the old Kirstin was around that day and she chose that. If I could go back in time I’d chose the gym, because that was what I didn’t want to do; it was the hard choice. I chose the easy way once again and I regret it. I have to keep making the hard choices and next time I will choose differently. My legs regretted it too, even walking was pretty ouchy.

Yesterday Alison and I went to the Wildlife Preserve for another 5k run. It was actually the first time we’ve run together. We’ve worked out together and climbed stairs together and kickboxed together (so much fun!) but it was our first run… and my legs still hurt like mo fo’s. We strapped on our Yak Trax and hit the road. I was struggling pretty hard and was once again defeated by the hill… those damn hills. Truthfully I was defeated before the hill and we walked for a bit. The lynx were out for once though so that was pretty cool. I was convinced that my legs were done for the day but once we got to the top of the hill I told Alison that I was going to run from there to the end and I did it. We were having a good chat which was very helpful. Talking always distracts me from my misery fairly effectively.

I haven’t had the pain in my leg that had been bothering me for a couple of weeks, but when I woke up today there it was again. The same sharp pain in the exact same place just like a bitch. So I will ice it and tape it up and rest it if I need to and keep on keeping on… but it’s super annoying.

This week I’m hitting the weights. James says it’s time. I’ve had some success with Les Mills Pump in the past so I’m starting that again. It’s a 90 day strength program that I’ve achieved some good progress with twice… and then never bothered to finish. I’m great at starting shit, but my finish needs some serious work. This time I’m gonna rock it all the way to the end. Today is day 1 and I will fit it in around my runs, which will always be priority number one.


So! It’s been three months… what have I achieved?

I finally lost ten pounds! I stepped on the scale Saturday morning and when I saw I was at the ten I did a happy dance and yelled at Cameron immediately “I finally fucking lost ten pounds!!!”  He rejoiced with me and it was a good start to the day.

I also did some measurements and here are the happy results, which are actually even more exciting than the ten pounds. I must be packing muscle onto my legs because these results don’t make sense with only ten pounds lost otherwise. All the following losses are in inches.

  • Waist  -3
  • Tummy   -4
  • Hips   -3
  • Thigh -2 (on each leg!)
  • Arm   -1
  • Neck  -0.5

Here is an example of my running progress. On the left is a solo run in August shortly after I got my Fitbit. On the right is my best 5k run so far which was a couple of weeks ago.

progress

I’m really happy with all of those results. While progress has been slow with weight I’ve managed to look beyond that and see the change in how I look and my improvement in running as my main markers. Someone that I haven’t seen in a couple months walked into my lair at work the other day and immediately said “holy shit Kirstin are you losing weight?  You’re fading away!” That felt pretty damn good.

In three months I’ve gone from deep rut to real runner. I’m starting to think of food as fuel and not just yummy yum yums. My brain is in the right place and my feet are firmly on the road.

This week Alison and I are going to haul ten pounds of sand up and down the stairs for a while and then dump it out at the top in celebration of my ten pound loss. It was her amazing idea and we plan to do it every ten pounds I lose until I reach my goal. Hopefully there will be a big old pile of sand up there soon… we just have to find some sand that isn’t currently frozen. I keep bringing my phone to runs and stairs and forgetting to take pictures. I will not forget at the 10 pound celebration though… I will not.

Stay awesome!

~PP

The Black Street Stairs

Engineered by Satan himself, these stairs take you from downtown Whitehorse up the hill to the airport fence… and also to hell.

stairs

Last spring my crew at work began doing weekly workouts together. My friend / coworker / generally awesome person Alison (princess earhandles… I’m sick of blog nicknames) organized them and they turned out to be pretty fun. She has put together another set of workouts this fall and today was the first one. This time we have a Drill Sargent who obviously helped Satan build these stairs.

I’ve often heard of the Black Street Stairs but I have never been there before. We met there today at 1:30 for our torture session. I was so nervous about going that I actually had full stress sweats before I left the house. I also had a GI reaction that you don’t really want to hear about, but I definitely told Alison the full details. Still, I went.

There were four of us from work as well as Drill Sargent James and his evil minion. I call them evil but in reality they were super encouraging dudes who ran with me and pushed me and made me feel pretty good.

We started out just above the parking lot where there are a couple of chin up bars. James said we were going to do a few chin ups. I laughed. He was serious. I said no, it’s possible I welled up a bit (partially hidden behind sunglasses). I didn’t want to be embarrassed because I know I cannot do a chin up. I can barely even hang on to a bar with arms extended and not fall off. He told me to just jump up as high as I can while holding the bar and let myself down as slowly as possible. My fit friends went first and managed some good chin ups. I walked up and grabbed the bar, jumped, and let myself down… like a fucking rock! I can’t even hang on and let myself down slow. Humiliation! I’m welling up a bit thinking about the shame. But I shouldn’t, because I was there with good friends who don’t give a shit about that. They were happy I was there with them doing something good for myself, not judging me for the terrible shape I’m in. Do I have reason to be ashamed? Yes, I think I do. But if I let that hold me back I’ll just stay where I am… or get even bigger and weaker. I’m sure I will have many moments like this during my journey but pushing through them will make me stronger physically and mentally, so I need to do it. So I cried on the inside like a winner while I did three more “chin ups”.

The first stair event was climbing all the way up at a walk. I started out pretty well but fell back after a few flights of stairs. I looked up and saw my friends climbing at what appeared to be a very slow pace, and I still couldn’t keep up. But I plugged along and made it to the top without taking a break, something that would not have been possible for me a month ago.  When we got to the bottom the torture really began. We were supposed to run as hard as we could up the stairs until we couldn’t go anymore and then stop and come back down. I made 5 flights the first run. As you can see from the photo that’s not even half way up. But I was done. I got back down and my legs were literally shaking. I recovered while the others did a couple runs and went again. The boys told me to go for 3 flights for sure and push for 4. I did it. Next time go for 2 push for 3. One of the boys ran behind me encouraging me on the way. I made it up 3 and then threw my arm up and said “one more!” Cheering erupted from below, I was exhausted but my friends and Satan’s minions made me feel great.

On my last run James came with me. I was running as hard as I could, he was walking beside me taking the stairs two at a time. I stammered out “you’re… walking… I’m… going… as… fast… as… I… can…” He told me he does this all the time and that I was doing great. I made it up 4 flights at a “run” and then went for one more at a walk. When I got to the bottom my legs were trembling so hard I could barely stand. I did keep standing though and we talked about our goals. James said my half marathon goal was cool and that he’d like to work with me on my running goals. He asked if I like being pushed this hard. I said yes… but I can’t do it for myself. I really meant no, go fuck yourself. No, that’s not true. I did like being pushed that hard, I feel great now. And I really can’t do it for myself, not yet. So I actually am looking forward to our weekly crew workouts with him, even though he’s evil… like the fru-its of the devil (10 points for anyone who gets that movie reference).

I stretched, drove home, and had an hour long hot tub. I am now hobbling around the house, probably stuck on the main floor forever. I may have to crawl up to bed. My legs were still shaking two hours later when Cameron got home. He laughed pretty hard at that… but I didn’t see him at the stairs. Possibly because he was chopping wood, installing a new stair railing and replacing every light bulb in the house but that’s no excuse.

I have a trail run scheduled tomorrow. Before the hell session began today I went and bought a sweet pair of trail running shoes which I realized I “needed” after my run at the wildlife preserve. If I am capable of walking when I wake up in the morning then it will happen. Cam and dem puppies will be coming with me to the research forest for the 5k loop.

I’ll update tomorrow with a pic of my sweet trail shoes and further tales of my misery.

~PP

Thank you Alison for arranging this and to you, Gillian and Ann-Marie for cheering and encouraging me. I appreciate it more than I can tell you. I cried on the outside when I got home thinking about how hard that was for me and how awesome you guys were… thank you!

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 🙂