Friday, February 17, 2017

Stories From the Bathroom Floor

I've seen way too much of my bathroom floors lately.

It started on Monday night. The week had begun bright and promising, with a great walk and talk with a friend, but car trouble kept me from my awesome Tacoma clients. (Boo hiss!) Come 1am on Tuesday morning, I suddenly needed to more closely inspect my toilet by way of losing my dinner there... over and over for about 6 hours. When even water wouldn't stay down, we packed up and headed to the ER.
After about 6 hours in the ER (where they threw every anti nausea drug they had at me, ending up with what they called a 'migraine cocktail' - after I'd thrown up something that tasted like the saline solution they'd put in via IV...) I was sent home with still more anti nausea meds and explict instructions to not 'chase the nausea' for the next few days.

I don't remember much of Tuesday. Our entire household pretty much slept through it. After The Lady in Grey came to our rescue to let The Impossible Girl run around a bit while My Sailor sat with me in the ER, we all came home and snuggled into bed and slept until dinner time. All three of us...

By Wednesday it had already been - that kind of week.

I was feeling better in the morning and thinking that maybe this was just one of those nasty 24 hour flu bugs. I  planned on going through with all of my appointments.

My Sailor, knowing I had had about 1000 calories in 3 days, thought I was ambitious...

And he was right. By the end of my first appointment, I was so dizzy I could barely stand. So I sat for a while, picked up The Impossible Girl from Child Watch, and went home, canceling or rescheduling my evening appointments.

So one more day of rest it was.

Then I work up Thursday hoping to get to my evening appointments in Tacoma. I was able to keep a homemade smoothie down foe breakfast just fine. But The Impossible Girl was impossible to get to sleep the nighy before. In fact, she slept from 3am until 7am... That was it. The rest of the night was a screaming fit that would not stop. (Gas pain plus molars plus being a baby is hard.)

Although I hadn't thrown up since Tuesday,  the dizziness struck again (likely due to exhaustion) and long drives at night, spinning rooms, and anti nausea meds don't mix... so again, I was rescheduling my day.

But the day at home was hardly restful. The Impossible Girl was attached to me physically the entire day. And everything was a battle. No, not everything, breakfast was good, but everything else, from getting dressed to walking across a room was accompanied by screaming herself hoarse and tears.

Finally, sitting across the bathroom floor from her as she screamed at me across the room, I absorbed the weight of utter surrender. It just wasn't worth the battle - over changing her soild diaper was not worth this. I knew she was uncomfortable and guessed that was why she was crying, but the prospect of getting her diaper changed was completely overwhelming to my equally as exhausted toddler. She had run across the bathroom away from me and was letting me know how she flet in no uncertain terms. I offered her a hug if she'd come over to me. She didn't, probably (accurately) feeling that I'd sweep her up and change her (god forbid...). So after a good 8 minute stand off of her in of constant tears, I scooted over to her (which elicited half laughter through the tears and hollars) and offered her a hug at her place.

'Meet people where they are.' It wasn't a lesson taught to me in Foster care training. I'm not sure when I figured it out. Maybe it's because that is where most of the people who have greatly influenced my life have met me - where I was, rather than were they may have wanted me to be.

Anyway, it worked. She took me up on that hug. Collapsing into my shoulder. I laid back on the cold tile and hugged her to my chest, rubbing her back.

It worked.

She stopped hollaring, and just sniffled softly, gradually relaxing. Sure, she still needed a diaper change, but right now, she needed comfort more.

I'm not sure how long we lay like that, against the cold tile floor. My mind filled with the agony of my nearly entire week of canceled work, the intense demands of the last few days, the fact that I still hadn't recovered, My Sailor was also still sick, and - to put the cherry on top- the damn giant great pyrenees would not stop barking all day long, I decided to join her in sniffling a few tears of fruatration and surrender for myself- but no more than a few.

It's these moments that feel so big, but are really so fleeting that I understand the test of motherhood. There will come a day when she doesn't come to me for comfort like this, when the house will be too quiet, when everyone will be well and busy again. So, for now, even in the pit, I'll try to remember that the lesson is always - meet her where she is, and she'll come to you. No alterior motivations. Even if it means spending a few more minutes in a nasty diaper.

We did end up getting outside for a walk (once she let me get her dressed, a few hours later) and picking up a few supplies at the Dollar Store to do a new craft project. (Finger painting!) And all in all, after the stressful day, she finally fell asleep about 30  minutes before her usual bedtime with little to no fight, and I happen to get emails from 4 new prospective clients today.

So maybe today the bathroom floor is exactly where I needed to be.

Friday, December 23, 2016

The True Story of the Paper Tree

Once upon a time...
A 14th generation Southern Californian Natived moved to the Washington Kitsap Penninsula, following a dream and her heart.  She found a tiny apartment to move into to get her feet wet (ha ha ha) and learn about the area. The apartment had just enough room for her things and that was about it. Since she moved in during the Spring, she'd given little thought to what a Christmas in the tiny apartment would look like. For her, Her Sailor, and Clydas (the Boxer dog), it was 865 square feet of living space that fit them just right for a start.

When the seasons turned colder and the days turned into holidays, the young Sailor was out to sea, so it was up to the girl to decide what kind of Christmas she could do. She knew Her Sailor wouldn't be back until long after. Any live tree would die and the tiny apartment didn't allow for storage of a fake one. (Besides having grown up with a real tree, anything less seemed less festive by far and hardly worth the investment of energy.)
So thought long and hard... she enjoyed the holidays, and knew she'd need something,  but with no floor space, where would she put a tree?  And would any live tree still be alive when Her Sailor finally returned?

She got creative and went on a mission for butcher block paper and water color paints. She asked at a few stores until she finally found a Fed Ex Office store who was understanding of her plight. Though it was against company policy, the kind worker cut off about 6 feet of paper from a printing machine designed to print out large scale blue-prints and the like. Grateful for the contribution, she stopped by a craft store and picked up the necessary water colors and set to work.

She worked long into the night, and the end result more closely resembled the workmanship of a 5th grader than an adult. Instead of ornaments, the tree was decorated with scrap book stickers. It took several hours to complete, and used up nearly all the green in the water color kits, but it was finally done.

She pinned it to the wall, pinned her tree skirt under neath it, and sat a box nearby with gift for Her Sailor to enjoy upon his return.

The bewildered Clydas didn't seem to know what to do about it, but was happy to stand guard over the package and the strange new addition to the wall...

Later on, the paper tree was folded and put away, until the next time Her Sailor went under the sea over the holidays. Then, it traveled with him, along with everything he needed to affix it to his rack to remember the holidays and think of her.

Now, the same paper tree gets unrolled every year and displayed in the house before Christmas. This year, it holds all the Christmas cards they've received. It's hard to believe the little, imperfect tree could hold so many well wishes, but it still holds up today, even though a real Christmas tree (complete with actual ornaments, lights, and a few scattered gifts stands a room away). It may be a bit faded, and may be mistaken for a child's art project, but the tough little Paper Tree, tattered and wrinkled, has yet to lose its needles - and no doubt has many other travels in its future.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

A Shoestring Made of Magic - Christmas and the year 2016

We live in a very Norwegian little town. Every year, our little town of Poulsbo throws a strange sort of party. Every year, a clan of vikings kidnaps a maiden (St. Lucia) and lights a big ass bonfire right on the waterfront in the middle of downtown. The shin-dig starts off with lighting the Christmas tree, and dancing around it in big circles (no skill required kind of dancing... okay, so it's more like an organized shuffle, but it's entertaining to witness and be a part of).
Beanie Girl Does Julefest 2016

It was a crazy day for us, but it was also a fun tradition to begin with Beanie Girl.

And best of all, it was free.

It's been no secret. This has probably been the hardest year on our pocket books ever. It started last year, when little got sick right around the time I got back from Maternity leave, causing me to take even more time off work to see her gentle soul through some trying times. While Beanie Girl was busy building the best immune system ever, Trainer Girl (me) was frantically rescheduling and losing sessions here and there - sessions we can't afford to lose since we were making financial decisions in the blur of new-parenthood. As most people operating off very little sleep, we made some unwise financial decisions in the heat of the moment (you know, like putting groceries and gas on credit cards...) and have spent this year working hard to get our heads back above water. Like many, we don't make enough to get help, but also don't make enough to stay current on everything all the time, so it's an uphill battle.

While we've made some head way on our debts this year, in the spring (you know, about when Beanie Girl got pnuemonia, after me being out of work to sit with her during a bad cold the week before which I think was her 3rd virus since her August birthday - a tough start for a lightweight kid),  Our resources were completely tapped out financially and something I never thought would happen was happening.

We were starting to get hungry. Literally. The pantry was empty, and the bank account was too. I was constantly searching for ways to increase my pay, but to do so w/o needing child care services was grasping at straws. (Let's face it, Sunshine Rewards doesn't pay that well.)

So My Sailor reached out to his family and I reached out to local, more immediate resources -  a community that had helped us with so much before - our local Buy Nothing project. They helped us fill the gaps by cleaning out their pantries and freezers and offering us what they didn't have any use for anymore. For the price of gas, we got frozen turkey from the Thanksgiving before, home jarred Salsas, baking mixes (more than a few meeting our Gluten free needs), protein shakes and more. It filled the gap and until the next paycheck.

We learned to be resourceful. (And that says something, since I've always been pretty damn resourceful to begin with.) With the thanksgiving left overs gifted to us, we made huge pots of soup and stews that got us through those lean weeks. (My mom had given us the gift of Cloth Diaper Service, so that was one think we didn't have to worry about.)

And we've learned a lot.

Most of our clothes this year are second hand - either hand me downs (which we've continued to hand down to others), or Goodwill finds, with the odd pair of pants here or underwear there that's new. And There Is Nothing Wrong With That. 'New' doesn't always mean 'better'.

We have let go of the things we don't need.  I've sold some musical instruments I no longer play and Disney art peices that I wasn't particularly attached to, and My Sailor as sold one of his guns - because in the end, they are just 'stuff' anyway.

We made some hard decisions. My Sailor reupped for the military, and we're looking toward the future as things continue to upswing.

Through it all, we've caught up. Slowly but surely, the small decisions are adding up and we're making progress.

And we're still together. We're still a family. Nothing changed. And Maybe We've Just Learned the Greatest Lesson of All this Year....

Santa taking photos on stage
Today, Beanie Girl went to a military Kids and Family Holiday party. It was a free event that My Sailor had signed us up for. I knew she'd get her picture taken with the jolly old elf himself, and that she would get a present. I was expecting something generic (like a candy cane). Instead, Santa knew she liked Rapunzel and her age - and she was given 2 toys! One was a doll of Rapunzel that she was enchanted by, and the other was a developmental ball toy I'd been wanting for her, but had yet to see a quality one cross the Buy Nothing or Goodwill 'shelves'. It was like Santa knew...

Our foam, family made frame
There were 2 bounce houses she was a bit too small for, and a few other games, including a cookie decorating station (which we didn't do because a) no 16 month old needs THAT much sugar, and b) they didn't have any gluten free ones anyway and we opted not to brave the allergic reaction for a cookie...), a frame making station (which we did as a family) and a few other grab bag goodies. She came home with a coloring book as well.
Doing a Scratch Art ornament and gazing at her new doll
I looked around at all the different families... some dressed up for Santa. Some just rolled out of bed. Some looked as though they wanted for nothing, while others looked as though they barely had clothes for the weather.

And I sat there fighting back tears more than once...

I've had more than enough in my life and had more than enough need as well.

But when the need has arisen, I've always been looked after. Even this year...

Despite making progress, we're on a complete shoestring. Our 'gift' to our local friends was throwing a Murder Mystery pot luck dinner party at our house last night - and it was an amazing night (that I managed not to take one... single... solitary... photo of... ).  We'll have enough food left over not to need to go grocery shopping again until 2017... We didn't expect that!

But I sat there during the party, fighting back tears, reminded of all of the generosity that seems always to come my way when I need it the most - when I'm short on cheer or necessities.

One small example, Beanie Girl recently grew out of her hand-me down winter coat... and the weather has rarely gotten above 35. So we layer up as much as we can, and don't spend much time outside. Still, she needed a good coat. I heard of a store with a huge sale and asked a friend I needed to spend some time with to come with me to the mall and browse and catch up.  The coat we found was slightly out of my price range - but it just so happened my friend was looking for a Christmas gift for Beanie Girl. Not just any gift - but a useful one.

See that little pink coat with the silver stars in the photo above with Beanie Girl's bag?

She loves it.

Needless to say, it's useful.

We can't repay our friends, family, and Buy Nothing in kind, necessarily, but this year they have all served as fantastic reminders for me -

There is no 'giving season' anymore than there is a 'needy season'.

Speaking a need isn't 'shameful'. 
It gives people who the chance to do good, to give, to be part of the solution to someone else's story.

This year may have been a skinny one, but we've made magic on a shoestring - and those who helped us make it are the threads.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Traditionally Challenged or Clash of the Turkeys

It's that Time Again!
The holidays are upon us! It's time for me to break out the ghosts I've painted with my fellow Strongman Sisters and start thinking about all things cider and scarves.

Today, My Sailor, The Impossible Girl, and I braved the shelves and racks of a local Goodwill today gathering last minute costume pieces that will be assembled tomorrow. Though The Impossible Girl is over a year old now, this is basically her 'first' holiday season. It's the first time we've had the energy to celebrate it, and the first year she's been interested. I am using the term 'interested' rather loosely though. Today, she was very 'interested' in a pea sized pebble she found outside with about the same level of enthusiasm as she's shown for anything Halloween related. No doubt last minute costume creation is likely to become a tradition no matter how I try to plan ahead...

If you've followed my blog (or met me for any time frame beyond an hour), you probably know that I'm adopted. When I was younger, Dad traveled a LOT and the traditions we had in our household really helped ground me and help me bond with my family. They gave me something to nearly constantly look forward to, no matter if things were rough or not

. In hindsight, we had a lot of them.

In summer,  I looked forward to going to the local fair and eating my way through it, starting in a very specific order - and riding the Ferris Wheel at least once. I looked forward to going out and watching the local 4th of July fireworks with my family.

In the Fall, we did what most people did. We carved pumpkins, dressed up, and went trick or treating, or to our church's Harvest Festival. (Or both.) My brother and I would divide the candy up into 'candy stashes' and hide them in our rooms, in the hopes of keeping some around long into the year. (For the record my brother was MUCH better at this than I was... not the hiding through... I am pretty sure I raided his stash on more than one occasion...) As I got older, I spent several years carving elaborate pumpkins.

Around Christmas time, it was a stage show (either a version of The Christmas Carol or The Nutcracker ballet), baking cookies, having unshelled nuts around the house for snacking (and more than a few nutcracker soldiers), going out and cutting down a Christmas Tree at a tree farm outside of town (usually while my brother and I sipped on hot chocolate or snacked on freshly roasted peanuts and chased each other through the tree farm)... On Christmas Eve, after church, we'd open up ONE present, and Santa always brought us new Christmas Jammies (warm flannel pjs) that we'd wear to bed. On Christmas morning, my parents would make a big deal about keeping us OUT of the room where the tree was so they could set things up, and having breakfast first as a family. Breakfast usually included Cinnamon Rolls that we'd bought (frozen) at the state fair over the summer and saved for just such an occasion.

Anyway, you get the picture.

Of course, these things changed as we grew up. I started traditions of my own. In the theater world, I started throwing Seasonal Murder Mystery gatherings at my house, which were always fun. I always got a tree and have since taken to decorating it on Christmas Eve. My birthday included a trip to Disneyland - even though most years I went solo.

But - I met this guy -

We moved to Washington -
 And my grip on all of that holiday stuff slipped pretty much completely.

Don't get me wrong; I love our home up here in the Pacific Northwest. ESPECIALLY in fall. I mean, who doesn't love these colors, right?!

Leavenworth, WA
Now, we are getting good at carving out Sunday as 'family day', no matter how crowded the week gets. Making those memories is important - even if it's just a day at the park with limited electronic interaction with the world.

Last year, we were too exhausted (or too sick) from the arrival of The Impossible Girl to do much of anything for the holidays. If I recall correctly, The Impossible Girl and I were sick on the couch at home while My Sailor had to work on Halloween. We spent that Thanksgiving with My Sailor's family in Seattle, and that Christmas with my family in California. My mom carried on the Christmas Jammies tradition for The Impossible Girl, and that was really more than enough.

Thanksgiving is a weird holiday in this especially.

You see, to My Sailor, the holiday looks like extended family, food, and nearly-drunken all day football fest. Nothing wrong with that. It's pretty much how most Americans celebrate the holiday anyway, right? That's normal.

To me, well, growing up, it meant being talked over at a busy dinner table. My favorite part was going to catch a movie in the theaters while the turkey was roasting. I could have done without most of the rest of it. The food was good, but it was just food. (Stuffing is one of the few foods I have no interest in eating... ever...)
Now, it's the anniversary of My Sailor's first date with me. Which was kind of a big deal, as it involved me getting on a plane cross country on a wing and a prayer to see if this then-friend of over a decade was actually something more. (Though the 'dinner' included Ramen noodles while watching Aladdin in my hotel room.)

I hadn't honestly been much of a Thanksgiving fan in general until then. I can go without the feasting these days. My stomach can't handle the huge portions and rich foods, so that much is a little bit lost on me. I'm not a big football fan either, and pumpkin pie? Eh... no thanks. (Sacreligious, I know.) 

So it's a clash between 'beer and football' vs 'romantic anniversary'.  One year, we did do a harbor cruise (I INSISTED on it). The food was great and it was really fun, but I know My Sailor struggled with not seeing his family that day, so I highly doubt we'll ever recreate that - especially since we have the girl now. Besides, who am I to say, "Don't spend time with people that you won't be able to see very often once you deploy again." I have a strict 'no competition' policy when it comes to family. 
Besides - let's face it - they are much better cooks than me anyway - and he deserves a good dinner. (Me? I have been known to bake a turkey breast in bacon in the oven, do some mashed taters and call it good.) 

Now, admittedly, maybe it's because I'm still adapting to having lived 15 minutes away from my entire family for 31 years to seeing them maybe once a year, or maybe it's that My Sailor and I haven't had anything remotely resembling a 'date night' since my birthday - last January - that makes me a little selfish when it comes to holiday time as just a 2 or 3 some. As I start piecing together the next piece of our family plan (adopting a sibling about 2 years), I'm reminded that I need to MAKE the time this year to start prioritizing our little family this holiday season, before it gets scheduled away with work, life,  weightlifting, and extended family engagements. I won't be seeing my family this year, so staying at home gives me lots of time to get creative and get some Christmas and New Years magic going on for our little one.

Looking forward to seeing what the season brings.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Harvest Festival Fun on a Hammered Immune System

The Impossible Girl enjoying a run around.
Last weekend, we took our Family Day outting to a local Harvest Festival. Traveling with a toddler is a LOT of work, but it was fun and we made some good memories. The Impossible Girl is a freedom loving 1 year old now, who gets around pretty well on her own, so it was a fun way to wear her (and, let's be honest, us) out.
Rowing out on the lake... Maybe during a year when we don't have a toddler rocking the boat...
Free events included rowing canoes (we passed on that, for reasons obvious to anyone who's had a can't-stand/sit-still-kid), s'mores (cooked over some pretty ingenious log burners that we plan to try at home one of these days - when our logs dry out again... which will realistically be sometime next year at this rate...), face painting, an archery range, a small petting farm, hay rides, and a hay maze.
We met up with some friends on the spur of the moment and it was a good day generally. And I'm glad I was able to go with very little issue.

The doctor's say the 'working diagnosis' is an ulcer. Since I had pretty intense heartburn for the better part of a year while carrying The Impossible Girl (and there has been no shortage of stress in adapting to the role of working mother/wife/athlete), it's not even a stretch to say I probably have developed an ulcer (which has been showing up as referred shoulder pain). At first, we tried the generic version of Prilosec for a short time to try to decrease the acid in my stomach to give the ulcer a chance to heal.  Well, I am one of those folks who gets just about every side effect of medication possible - so that stuff resulted in 'cold like symptoms' (sore throat, runny nose, without actually feeling like I had a virus...) and an overall decreased immune system due to malabsorbtion (when your gut isn't breaking things down correctly, you don't absorb all the goodies you need to stay healthy). Couple all that with 3 days in a row of a teething, nursing toddler who is up most of the night, (and, admittedly, suboptimal hydration) and you've got a welcome mat for infections. Knowing my body pretty well, I knew a kidney infection when I felt it, so I spent 24 hours in agony before admitting I can't ride this out myself and grabbed antibiotics at my local Urgent Care. They confirmed that I was right, and suggested I re-think the Prilosec. I did. Within 24 hours of antibiotics on board (and Prilosec remaining on the shelf), I'm about 85% pain free. Which is awesome.

  It's a good reality check for me to get sick once in a while. I remember how much it sucks and it gives me an insight into what some of my athletes/clients might be suffering through due to something as common as stress, lack of adequate rest, and poor hydration. Feeling stuck in a cycle of pills is terribly discouraging.  (Since ditching the prilosec, I have been enjoying life with dietary changes. Nothing too extreme at all. I'm just more aware of my probiotic intake, adequate rest, adequate hydration and fueling. All things that are relatively easy to lose track of when you're not a working-2-sometimes-3-jobs-mom-and-wife.) It's a great oppurtunity to really hone in and practice what I preach.

I'm changing somethings up and ramping up a monthly challenge for my clients at work. It should be fun, and I'm hopeful all goes well, but there will be more about that later on. It's been incredibly gratifying this year to see the mobility, strength, and speed gains everyone is making. 2017 is going to be an exciting year in the gym...

As for my own gym goals, though I complain about the heavy training days I actually love it. Maybe I'm just on a hot streak right now, but I've rarely missed a lift in training, despite the heavy loads (for example, today was 85% Snatch to start and 95.2% for Clean and Jerk to start). In fact, I THINK I had a Jerk revelation today... and that's exciting, since I'm staring down the goals of a comfortable 50 kilo Snatch and a 69 Kilo Clean and Jerk hopefully around my next birthday in January... we'll see. Either way, it's exciting to realize that those lifts have a very real chance of being a Meet reality for me in 2017. It's still a long way from the new Nationals qualifying total needed for the 75+ Kilo weight class, but once they institute the new women's weight class (which hopefully will happen in 2017 or 2018), I might just have a good chance at Nationals again then. Until then, I'm pretty happy that I would have qualified for the Pan American games for 2016 as well as World Masters for 2017, if this had been a qualifying meet for me. (Bad timing.)

Getting the workouts in regularly helps with the stress which helps with the ulcer, so things are looking up, even if the future is not so certain, depending on, well, if My Sailor decides to continue to be a Sailor or not... which may depend on a lot of factors (though this election will likely be one of them).

So much to think about... but how about some sleep now, eh?

Monday, October 17, 2016

Lessons in Expectation Momagement

The Impossible Girl Goes to the Zoo
It's just after 10 pm. The house is asleep and I've stolen a few minutes with my laptop, Netflix, and some Almond Milk Ice Cream for myself.  Today got me seriously thinking about the ridiculous amount of expectations I have for myself. In fact, when asked, it's the one thing My Sailor wishes he could change about me.

As a Trainer and Coach, part of the job description is working with clients on developing realistic expectations.  My clients and I do a lot of hard things  in the gym. We do a lot of hard work - with the expectation that they will get stronger.  If only everything in life had such an easily identifiable cause and effect relationship.
My Sailor and The Impossible Girl
As I try to balance the Mom/Wife/Coach/Athlete, it's easy to feel like I'm failing at all of them.  This time of night, when I curl up under the blankets, listening to the fish tank over the monitor, it's easy for the thoughts that needle my brain of the chore that didn't get done, or the workout that slipped by, or the moonlighting job that didn't get accomplished (I took on a small part time job doing Transcription to help weave a more secure safety net for our family). 

Combating those thoughts isn't easy, but it comes in moments...
Moments like having a good Meet with great people and accidently surpassing the qualifing total for the Masters Pan American games reminds me that I'm keeping up as an Athlete, though I don't have the same schedule or resources that I wish I had.
Moments like when The Impossible Girl is finally asleep, safe and sound and snug remind me that she's healthy and thriving. So I'm doing my job on the Mom front.
Moments like when My Sailor and I are able to steal a few moments alone and laugh that remind me I'm doing my job on the Wife front.
Moments like when my clients reach a new level of strength or mobility, or when they come into a work out having had a bad day and leave feeling empowered - I've done that job too.

Sure, I 'expected' parenthood to involve older kids, school schedules, date nights, family vacations... Instead, it's a world of small victories, second jobs, first steps, early mornings and late nights. But in the end, I still have the beginings of the 'family' photo. I know there is so much more family out there waiting for us. All in good time. Once we get this baby-parent thing nailed down.

All of it has been a great reminder that life may be short, but it's the big picture that counts. Sometimes the laundry doesn't get folded. And that's okay.

Expectations are good, healthy things.

But sometimes, we have to leave a little room in the plan for detours. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Beanie Turns 1 and 'That One Time I Thought About Quitting'

At her Birthday Party, Point Defiance park, Tacoma, WA
Our little girl turned 1 last month. Not 1 week. Not 1 month. But 1 whole year. In a flurry of family visits, we managed to throw a small picnic celebration that was a nice easy day for everyone. Since then, we've taken more than a few hikes and gotten into toddler mischief, as she learns to walk. Hikes now take much longer, since she will only tolerate being carried for so long, no matter who awesome the carrier set up. And stressful situations are a bit more stressful as she appears to have some scary looking (but ultimately harmless) breath holding spells. But it's nice to have a happy, healthy kid on our hands.

Playing at the Mall
 It's been fun, but young kids are a LOT of work. We keep things together, but we're always working on improving our process, tweaking our (well, my) schedule, and working on finding longer periods of sleep along the way.

October 1st I have my first Weightlifting Meet since I was a bit over 6 months pregnant with The Impossible Girl herself.

And today - I thought about quitting that meet.

Here I am, almost 2 weeks away from it, and not where I'd like to be. I'm lifting about 3 days a week (as opposed to my preferred 5-6) and I'm just getting the meat of those workouts in. Forget the accessory work. Most days I barely have time for the classic lifts, due to the tuck and dive moves My Sailor and I do daily in the Parent Swap. Child Watch has been awesome, but invariably, she needs something for me right around that last set - or even before I get started... and by the time I can start, it's too late. I'm needed elsewhere.

My changes of setting any new records on the platform are non-existant, in reality.

Luckily, I'm hard pressed to just blow $70 of entry fees. (Since we're past the refundable deadline, that's exactly what I'd be doing. ) Sheer thriftiness alone makes me need to go and lift for the t-shirt regardless of standings or personal records... But, today, I seriously considered quitting.

Today was just one of those days where I got less than 2 hours of sleep in a stretch the previous 2 nights before, and hadn't seen a proper weightlifting workout since Friday, as Saturdays I'm not supposed to be working (we're still hammering out just what I am supposed to be doing) and Sundays are 'Family Days' (aka - My Sailor goes through pains to make sure I can sleep in a bit, we do breakfast together, and then I spend the rest of the day trying to find a hike to drag us out to so we get out of the damn house).  I haven't been able to see any proper coaching in a couple of months and, while my lifts are proficient, they are fairly stagnant at the moment.

Instead of quitting, My Sailor helped me out by taking The Impossible Girl for a little extra time when I mentioned something like, "What's the point of competing?! It's not like I've gotten better lately. I don't have time to train myself anymore!" Thanks to the exhausted man going from work to dad mode immediately, I could get a proper Weightlifting workout in between clients. And then one client canceled, which allowed me not to try to rush to the end of the workout to relieve My Sailor.

And that was all I needed - just 1 day - just 1 completed, successful  meaty workout -  to get back on track.

If parenting has taught us both one thing, it's 'Have Adjustable Expectations'. My initial expectation was to make the same Kilo total at this meet that I did at the last one (while pregnant, yet lifting 5 times a week).  Instead, my goal is now 'Reclaim the Competition Platform - Make My Lifts'.

Realistically, I'm still lifting at about the same capacity as I was last time I competed, which is a little disappointing, but it's all a step in the right direction. Progress, rather than perfection.

And besides, on my death bed, I think I'll regret the time not spent with my family. Not the weight on the bar that year when I was recovering from the baby bump.