Wednesday, June 26, 2013

One Foot In Front Of The Other and 2 Scoops Of Determination

Post Work Out Glisten
Man... it's Wednesday and it's already been a rough week.

BUT I'm not going to use this blog for complaining land. Instead, I'm going to champion my own happiness here and talk about my triumph for the day.

I woke up at 3:45am with My Sailor, but I couldn't bring myself to work out just yet. I stumbled through breakfast and my morning, getting back to work and hemming and hawing about getting a work out in or not. Old me would have said, "Eh... it's month end (aka Crunch time) at the day job... I'm tired.... I'm still sore from yesterday's work out...I don't have time to go to the gym today because I have to work a bunch, especially if I want to be done in time to have a few precious hours with My Sailor when he gets off work..."

Well, lunch time rolled around and the sky just opened up. I mean, Noah-getting-ready-for-the-flood-style rain. So, maybe going for a jog wasn't a good idea? Maybe I should just do what I did yesterday when I hurt my foot? (Foot is still bruised, but at least I can tolerate shoes and socks today so I think I avoided a fracture... Thanks, Odin.)

There was a break in the rain and I went downstairs. After grabbing a glass of water, I had a conversation with Clydas, my Boxer Dog. (Hey, I live alone most of the time, so yes, Clydas comes off as a pretty good listener sometimes!)  With a little pep talk, it was decided I was more likely to work out if I got into work out clothes.

Okay... I can do that. So I changed.

Then I figured, "Well, if I stay close to home, I shouldn't get TOO wet if it rains again..." So I headed out the door for today's C25K.

.7 miles into my run portion (which was supposed to be 2.35 miles) the sky opened up again. I decided to cut the run short, but make it harder. So I headed down a to a dead end street... that happened be at base of a killer hill. On my way down the hill, I got a surprise! A doe was grazing on a well mowed lawn! Now, while that's not an exciting sight for most people who live on the Kitsap Penninsula, it was to this Southern Californian native! I knew we lived in deer country, but I hadn't really seem them in over a year. It was beautiful to watch her graze in the rain...

So Faline (how's THAT for an obscure Disney reference?!) supervised my progress up the hill. I made it back home just as the rain STOPPED, ironically enough. So, according to my RunDouble App, I got 1.3 miles in about 12:35 minutes. Not too shabby, considering the obstacles.

I needed to mix things up today though. A simple run wasn't doing it for me.

So I repeated the Body Weight Work Out Of The Day I found online yesterday. It goes something like this:

35 squats
35 knee to elbow touch
35 more squats
35 sit ups
35 knee to ground lunges
and just in case you're missing the theme here -
 35 MORE squats

Yesterday, I did it in 9 minutes and 11 seconds - though I was wrangling dogs who thought watching me do sits ups and such was GREAT fun that they NEEDED to get in on.

Today, I crated the beasties and took another crack at it.

Beat yesterday's time solidly! Today's time was 8 minutes, 46 seconds!


My thighs are going to HATE me tomorrow. For those doing the math, that's over 200 squats in 2 days!

The moral of the story? Physics has a point. An object in motion wants to remain in motion.

Wear out, don't rust out. Right, Dad?
My body will thank me later.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Walk It Out

Today, I took my car in for some work and decided to use the waiting time to go for a walk instead of sitting in the lobby making further progress on Life of Pi.

Man, I miss living in a walk-able city! Silverdale is very walk-able, as was my hometown of Escondido, CA. Don't get me wrong, I love living rural, and I understand that you can't have both. But, man, I really had some good quality thinking time walking by myself to do various errands. Round trip to the grocery store used to be about 3 miles, and half that distance would include carrying 10-16lbs of groceries in my various reusable bags. So today's walk was just a little 1.5 mile round trip, but it still gave me lots of good thinking time. Even though I owned a car, I lived a single girl life in southern California (which means I couldn't afford to drive it).

Anyway, walking reminded me of being broke didn't mean I was unhappy. It was most often the opposite.

Being alone with my thoughts is a pretty healthy thing. This walk I discovered -

 I no longer hate my legs! I've actually thought this for a few days now. Catching a glimpse when I pass a mirror no longer makes me wanna wrinkle my nose and go "ew".  While I still wear pants a lot, it's a non-scale victory for me. My legs have been the least favorite party of my body for a long time, but the more I see those thunder-thighs creeping away, and the more I see a consistanct other than 'squishy' emerging, the happier I am with them. Do I love them? Eh, not yet, but I don't hate 'em anymore, and that's progress!

I guess walking really helps me kick my 'stinkin' thinkin'' (a Dadism) to the curb
For example, recently I've been missing the whole "romance" thing. I know, I know, it's a little ridiculous. After all, I'm nearing my mid 30's, married to a guy who works 14hr shifts 6 days/week (when he isn't deployed), so what more can I really expect? I mean, I'm old enough to know better, right? Not to mention, My Sailor tells me he loves me and I'm amazing every day. What more could a girl want, right?

It's no secret that I've always expected a lot from the men in my life, but no more than I'm willing to give. Getting dressed up, feeling good, and going out to a nice dinner I don't have to plan (or worry about paying for) would be awesome. And I'm sure we'll get there again - in time.

But in truth, I have a guy that waited 13 years to see if life would lead us together. And now, we've known each other about 15 years and we still enjoy each other. That's worth more than all of the romantic evenings in the world. We worked hard to get this far, so what's a little loss of candlelight, right? We've got just about all the big things right. We're pretty darn good at not taking each other for granted (always a hazard, but easier to do when you're in our shoes - when seeing your partner is a bit of a rarity). Gratitude abounds in our house, from a "Thanks for restocking the toilet paper" to "I really appreciate all you do. Thanks for insert-chore-here." We actually enjoy spending time together, and we share similiar goals. Why sweat the small stuff when we've got so much going for us?

My walk managed to turn my"gr... nothing is romantic anymore... it's all dinners in front of the boob tube and going out to a movie last minute most of the time..." attutidue, into "eh, life is pretty good!" We are not completely bereft of romance. We did have an amazing dinner at Monsuier Paul on our last vacation. That was delicious, romantic, and one of the best times yet! Amazing service, amazing atmosphere, a cozy table, amazing wine and food....Followed by Illuminations above the lagoon in EPCOT. Does it get any better?

 So we'll keep having that romantic moments -they just won't be every weekend. That will make them more special.

I still have some harder work outs in my future tonight, but it's been good to get out, get some fresh air, and get some walkin' on.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Strange Things are Happening to Me

It's been a very, very very strange day, though I guess it started last night.

Last night, I went to bed early with My Sailor. While he passed out around 8:30-9pm, I was up reading. I've been trudging my way through The Life Of Pi by Yann Martel since April. I haven't been faithful about reading it every night. I also haven't seen the movie yet, but I kept hearing this book was one of those 'important' peices of literature. To give it its due, I've been trying to work my way through it. Honestly, it took over 100 pages just to get to a place where I actually could see the story being more than a 'coming of age' tale. Usually, 'coming of age' tales are pretty boring (just my personal opinion).  Anyway, the book was finally picking up, so before I knew it, I was flying from page 80 to page 120! (Disclaimer: I'm a slow leisure reader. I prefer not to re-read and, being a budding writer myelf, I tend to anlayze characters, style, and subtext, complete with note taking in the margins and such. Borrowing a book from me is an interesting proposition.) The clock said past 11pm by the time I closed the cover, reluctantly leaving my hero adrift in a lifeboat on the Indian Ocean with a hynea, a tiger, and a dead zebra for company.
A few hours later, My Sailor got up to go to work. That's not the unusual part. The unusual part was that the beasties were have none of sleeping through his exit. Though it was somewhere between 2 and 4 am, the sky was already light and the dogs thought I should be up as well. Oy...

When a Odin sticks his face on the bed, sniffing and snorting at whomever is still in bed, and Clydas starts his incessant whining and pawing at the bed, it's an impossible double team. When that happens, know I'm losing the battle for sleep.

 I got up, petted them good morning (afterall, God made dogs, like childeren, too cute to kill when they are driving you batty).
See what I mean?
So I slipped on my boots, clipped on the leash, and took them out REALLY early. Clydas wasn't feeling well, so obviously the early trip out side saved me from cleaning up carpet later.

I fed them, hoping that full bellies would calm them into a stupor. Nope. It just started the morning wrestling match earlier than usual. It's really hard to sleep through dogs slamming themselves into the walls.

I tossed and turned and got some broken sleep after that. Needing gym clothes, I made sure they were clean and got dressed to leave.

The workout was it's usual form of awesomeness. Climbing one wrung further on the bridge to badassary. So no strangeness there. I'm learning different combinations of work outs I can do on my own and that's exciting, empowering and, well, (at the risk of repeating myself) all sorts of awesome.

I came home to a box on my front porch and the mail man just driving away. I was actually expecting large boxes, but instead, I got 1. One broken box/cooler, saturated with milk. Human milk to be exact. No, not from me, nor have I gone so coo-coo that I ordered it for me. It's actually for my nephew, as My Sailor's Sister and her family are relocating to Seattle area. I spent the next 30 minutes or so sifting through the packets, figuring out what was salvagable and what was possibly contaminated, and putting the still-frozen packets into a deep freezer for later pick up.

It's not every day you have a puddle of breast milk on your porch.

See what I mean by strange?

The dogs have continued to be a little bonkers today. Odin has decided he can sneak his face into the kitchen sink while I'm not in the house - so no one is leaving dishes out anymore.

Odin also decided that the massage oil he's never been interested before looked tasty, because he decided to destroy a bottle left out on the coffee table.

.... dogs....

I guess they are training me to lead a more orderly household - not that it's usually out of control anyway. I can only stand so much clutter. (Damn! I was really working on NOT improving my domestic goddess skills too.).

But the truth is, I'm one person towing a pretty heavy rope over here solo. I do a pretty darn good job of it 99% of the time. It's the strange days that have me scratching my head (and tend to point out where I need to improve).

Thankfully, the strangeness seems to have subsided as evening has set in.  As I launch into a late night filled with working and writing (deadlines! Ahh!!!), I'm hopeful that Clydas' stomach will be on the mend tomorrow.

I'm really looking forward to Disneyland in August, followed by a Catalina day or two girl's trip with Mom.

Just gotta sift through the strangeness to get there... 

Monday, June 17, 2013

A Funny Little Blog

I'm an anticipation kind of girl.

For example, my favorite day of the year is Christmas Eve. That's right. I said Christmas Eve.Why? Well, because, for me, it's a time of peace, gathering with those we love, and just enjoying that special silence where the world seems to crackle and tingle with anticpation.

That being said, looking forward to things keeps me focused on the positive. It keeps me a pretty happy personality. Happy, but not in denile. We (military spouses/families) live with a constant, quiet form of dread. Whether we're dreading long hours (My Sailor is currently home and conscious for 2 hours a night), lengthy (and in our case, silent) deployments, or the onset of the "If I don't do it myself, it won't get done" mentality (which is the reality when you're flying solo, but not entirely healthy in a partnership), there is always something equally as aweful to look forward to as well. 
But when I can choose to put all that on the back burner and look forward to and celebrate the Good Stuff.

Source: Team Voice Blog
I was dreading Father's Day, and it turned out to be very much like just any other Sunday. As usual, the dread was worse than the actual day.
I spent the day catching up on housework, grooming Odin (which, let's face it, is a job in and of itself - I got a full grocery bag full of white fluffy Great Pyreneese wool), and watching the Padres Game at a local sports bar.  (They Won!)
My mother and brother were at the game in person, so it was nice to be there 'in spirit'. 
I had a drink for me and raised a quiet toast:
"To the Great Dad's With Us today.
The great Dad's yet to be,
And the great Dad's that were....
Oh... and F*ck Cancer."

Today, the gym took me to a new high. One exciting thing, I maxed out on back squats today.
I can now back squat about 150 lbs.
Gotta admit, I was a little surprised by that.
Not that it was low, but I was thinking "maybe about 116lbs." Go figure!
One of my favorite chuckle moments in the gym is when I'm doing cleans (or any other lift that requires me to get it from below my chest to over it). If I don't do it just right, I basically end up catching the bar on my boobs. Thankfully, they are mostly fat, so it doesn't hurt. (Too bad they aren't made of muscle! They could just throw that bar right up there! Then again...that would be weird. Probably the kind of crazy

stuff you see in anime...Anyway). One day, TrainerGuy was coaching me to keep the bar as close to my body as possible so I'm going straight up, rather than up, out and back in.
Well... there is only so much "Straight up" I'm capable of.
As he said once in passing, "It's just a biomechanical issue."
Yup. A Biomechanical issue called boobs.

So when I saw the above picture posted in my Disney runner's blog, I had to pass it along.
Granted, I have yet to draw blood, cry, crawl, or puke (any substantial amount), in the gym, I think this can be taken to just about any point in life.
I mean, there are some days I just want to hide under the covers and scream, "IT WASN'T SUPPOSED TO BE LIKE THIS!" We all have those days, when chores seem overwhelming, the dread creeps in and wants to take over.
But then, slowly but surely, I start chipping away at the to-do list. I step back and look and where I was vs where I am, and I find that, ya know what? Life is pretty good.

 I'd like to be done with my book and articles by now, but I'm not yet.
I'm still chipping away at them and I'll get 'em in before the deadlines.
Everyday I work on them a bit more.

Afterall, it's amazing what you can accomplish,
when quitting isn't an option.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Healing through Dreams.

My Sailor came home with flowers on his day off, since he knew I would be flying solo this Father's Day weekend.
I have a post planned for Father's Day, but before I get to that one, I'll throw out a little slightly tethered honesty...

This week has been a rough one.  And that's the be expected.  After all, my dad just died a few months ago. But I've made a few discoveries through this whole process too.

I've discovered that my way of dealing with intense situations is somewhat unique. I don't blubber through days of self-pity and stay in bed. I do manage to channel it on the gym floor and the running track. Most uniquely of all perhaps, I dream about dead people.

Now, before I go all Sixth Sense on you, I don't' see dead people'. I think it's just a way of the subconcious to process and deal with it all.

When my grandmother died, I had a dream that we were making glass beads in the house I grew up in. Now, we never made glass beads in life. But there was a small torch and the house was abustle with activity (apparently, in dreams, you're always in a hurry to go somewhere when you think "Darn it! I need to make some glass beads!"). Grandma (who seemed to still be suffering from dementia) was standing near the torch and I watched her put her hand into it. Everyone else was bustling around and didn't seem to notice her. I was watching her because I was concerned that woman + torch + dementia = bad idea. Well, she stuck her hand right into the glowing hot blue flame of the torch. I dove to pull her hand out of the flame. Panic flooded through my veins. But as I looked at her hand, it wasn't wounded. No charred marks on the aging skin.  I remember turning her hand over in mine, in awe. And then, as my gaze floated up to her face, it dawned on me. Nothing can hurt her anymore. She's in a place where the dangers of every day life don't exist anymore. The need for a watchful eye are gone. I  hugged her in the dream and woke up with tears streaming down my cheeks.

It's the first time I remember waking up crying. It was about 10 years ago.

I never dreamed of Grandma again.

So far, Dad has beaten that record. I've dreamed of dad twice this week, but only one awoke me in tears. Honestly, it pretty much wrecked me for most of the following day (as if the seasonal insomnia didn't help at all either). I DID get up. I DID get to the gym. But it hit me again in the car in the parking lot, and I had to cry it out for a few minutes before I could head home. 

The thing is, this holiday seems sort of lost on my family right now. At least to me.

Dad passed, so aside from honoring his spirit, there isn't a "father" in the immediate family to celebrate. Since our adoption got halted last year, we're no closer to getting there in our house. My brother doesn't have any kiddlets out there, so it's just sort of a day we don't fit into.

This morning I find myself re-reading bits of Jai Pausch's book "Dream New Dreams" about her life after her husband (the oh-so-quotable Randy Pasuch) passed away from pancreatic cancer. She had 3 kids under the age of 7 to care for, so their life was vastly different from ours, but it's made me think a lot about the kind of way I'd like to be remembered when I pass away. Though I have NO plans to hurry towards the end of my days, when Jai calls her husband her "magic man" and her fear that the magic of her life would be gone once he passed, I'd have to say, that's quite a compliment.

I often feel like the "rational one" all too often in my day to day relationships. While that is a skill, I really hope that someday, when it comes time for folks to toast at my wake, someone says "She had her feet on the ground, head in the clouds, and heart in the right place."

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Recurring Themes

This week, I discovered Jacob's Ladder in the Gym. It's the latest instrument on my way to awesomeness. I'm not nearly as sore from it as I expected to be, but it was worth every sweat-dripping-nausea-inducing second of the climb.  Oddly enough, I'm more sore from my latest weight lifting efforts, even though I'm don't think I set any new records this week. (Which is fine. I set other personal records and my body is starting to really show the changes.)

Anyway, as I climbed/stumbled through the ladder, I told myself to "Just keep moving". (Or "Keep Moving Forward" - Meet the Robinson's style.) When I sit and think about it, that statement is actually a pretty powerful force of will right there.

I've used it for other things as well. The writing is a great example of it.  I just write a little on my book every day. I hope to be done by the end of the year, since this is something I can only devote my free time to for the foreseeable future. I write for the magazines (non-paying gigs currently) because you never know where it's going to go. A huge part of following your dreams is doing just that - following them. One step at a time, whereever they take you. I really want to have this memoir on the shelves in book stores. Yes, on the shelves, not just on the web.

Even a moving car can be redirected, but a parked car? Well, that's much harder to move. I find this one particularly true when I'm running or working out. It's easier to just go with momentum than it is to sit/stand there stationary.
But that's just one of the several recurring themes in my life.

 My Dad used to say, "Wear out; don't rust out." While this might sound a bit work-a-holic, I don't believe anyone has ever died saying "I wish I sat around more." Doing good work and taking time to really experience life is what we're here for. Afterall, no one sits around thinking, "Gosh, I wish my life were more bleak." One glance at social media will tell show how popular complaining is. So why not be focused on the things that make us happy, proud, and fulfilled, and work on the things that don't?

The more I write about my adoption and my life, the more I see this one is VERY true:

"If Good things come out of Bad Situations - the BEST things often come from the WORST situations."

My life alone is an example of that. In fact, while I don't speak for every adoptee, I do feel that adopted kids come from some of the worst situations. Hopefully, their lives lead them to better situations. Whether we're the product of rape, abuse, poverty, orphans, or just unplanned pregnancies, someone out there is willing to work with whatever our lives have in store. Whether it's medical needs, emotional needs, counseling, or just learning to trust the world around us and developing healthy relationships, there is a lot of potential of good that can come out of something that may not have started out that way.

But let's take a far less unique situation.

In 2004, if it weren't for the painful experience of a divorce (what I considered the worst thing in the world at the time), I'd never been equipt to be a Military spouse, much less a Submariner's spouse. I would have continued to put my dreams on the back burner, sacrificing so many things that make me 'me' for an invisible 'us'. (While, yes, there are some sacrifices to be made when you're part of a family, defining features shouldn't be some of them.) I also lived alone in a little hunting cottage in an oak wood near a lake for 3 years afterwards. Having the time alone really helped me grow in a way I don't think I could have had I been constantly surrounded by people.

Sure, I dated and had friends, but I spent a majority of my time bonding with my Brindle Boxer Dog and my mountain bike.
Learning to 'fly solo' gave me a leg up on being a Submariner's Wife. Short notices, little-to-no contact, and other challenging situations have put my skills to the test and constantly teach me about the process of adaptation. The difference is, I have the confidence to know I can function on my own just fine if I need to.  I've been able to pass these skills and strategies on to other ladies in my life.

Those skills have been invaluable.

Having learned so much from that failed marriage, I learned about things I need to tweak to stay sharp.

If it wasn't for the bad, I'd never have learned how to be better.

A few other recurring themes:

"We all have a finate amount of energy in life. Choose carefully what you spend it on."

"You can't give someone something you don't have."
 Yes, I'm a believer in the concept that you can't truly value the love of another person until you learn to value and love yourself.

"There is magic in every day. If you don't see it...look harder."

Friday, June 7, 2013

Round: Infinity, Me: Winner, Challengers 1 and 2:...Zero

Despite a couple heated battles, I can say that today is a good day. Allow me to elaborate.

I woke up early (as often happens during these insanely long summer days in Washington) and got an early breakfast and got to work. I figured, since I had a few hours until my session with TrainerGuy, that it would be safe to eat breakfast, without reliving it during the work out.

I've since learned that was an unrealistic expectation, but it was good to get an early jump on the day.

TrainerGuy definately put me through my paces today, which is awesome. While I didn't meet any weight lifting milestones today, I did reach a running milestone - cranking out a 10 minute mile! Granted it was indoors on the track, but that's shaving a full 37 seconds off my best interval pace - and this was a FULL MILE.

I was not only surprised by the pace, but honestly, that I survived it without passing out. It's VERY rare that pain makes me pass out, but I was starting to worry when my Endo decided to act up about 600 meters into the run. It stuck with me that entire lap, and for the first time I actually admitted that it was painful and holding me back.

I was first "officially" dx'd with Endometriosis (Challenger #1) when I had an ovary removed that was more disease than organ. Here is a quick throw back for those that missed that episode several years ago - a crash course in Endo as it relates to me.
Dear Endo - You Suck. Sincerely, Ever Girl That Has You. (photo source)
See a few added lines and stretchy bits on this diagram of female anatomy? This is an example of Stage 4 Endometriosis - the little monster that lives in my belly. See all those extra lines of tissue? That's scar tissue. See all those little dark lines? Those are Endometrial Lesions. Ideally, Endometrial cells grow INSIDE the uterus, facilitating all that baby making magic. For about 5.5 million women in North America, these lesions decide that they need to grow elsewhere. (See? I have LOTS of company.) They cause pain, depression, hormonal imbalance, etc. There are several different stages, based on the number of lesions, locations, etc.  Stage 4 is the highest and, yup, that's me sports fans! There is no "cure" - just treatments for the pain it causes at this point. You can have it surgically removed, but it usually just grows back.

Okay, so if this diagram where accurate to me, the right ovary would be completely gone (replaced by scar tissue). It was already removed when it was taken over my right ovary, completely encasing it (and all of it's other cysts) in one huge growth. When the doc went in there to try and save Righty the Ovary, he found a BUNCH of adhesions and scar tissue. Yeah, my doctor found scar tissue BEFORE I'd ever been cut into. Creepy, huh?

So, what does this "stage 4" thing mean? In a nice little nutshell, it means that my gastric parts are glued to my girly parts via some Endometrial tissue that crashed the 'normal body' party. Here's the upside, usually, severe cases like mine are beyond being painful every day. It really only acts up a few times a month, and it's nothing a small handful of inflammatories can't help me handle. Since all of this has been "normal" to be since puberty, I have a really high tolerance for pain- a fact that has served me well in life.

ANYWAY, my case was already pretty well advanced; advanced enough that taking it out would probably do more harm than good. Add in my already-existant scarring disorder (keliods), and there really was no point in scraping my insides any more than the surgeon absolutely had to. He didn't bother attempting to remove it. He just evicted Righty. I recovered from the surgery well, now years later. When I first was diagnosed with a chronic, incurable illness at the ripe old age of 19, I vowed to never let these things I can't control hold me back.

A disease is just a label - not a definition of who I am or what I'm capable of.

Today, I proved that again.

Soon enough the pain subsided and I was back at it.

Although - let's just say, I saved the YMCA staff a good bit of  clean-up with saw-dust by keeping my mouth shut when I crossed the final finish line, swallowing quickly, and swigging some water as I finished the second 800 meters 2 seconds faster than the first. They wouldn't have appreciated reliving my breakfast.

So I won the day. I can still say I've never passed out, been injured, or throw up (visibly) during one of TrainerGuy's tough work outs. I'm pretty proud of that fact.

I was really excited about my milestone by the time I got to the car.  That's when Challenger #2 stepped into the ring.

Grabbing my phone and booting it up, I was ready to share my excitement, but with who? My brother wouldn't be impressed (of course - he's my big brother). My mom was on a plane or working. My best friends either have kiddoes or are fighting their own battles-of-the-bulge and find my workout-sharing a bit overzealous. My Sailor had the day off and was at home getting some much needed sleep...

Normally, I could always count on calling Dad and hearing the excitment for me in his voice when I reached a new high...

But I can't call Dad. This time, the conversation with him in my head was coming harder. I struggled to remember his excited voice. As elated as I was about the achievement- at the same time, I was heartbroken, frustrated, and deeply annoyed that I couldn't hear Dad saying, "Way to go Kiddoe! That's really great! You're doing a great job!"

I miss the big guy.  And with Father's Day nearing - it's especially raw right now.

I guess I always will.

But here's where the win came in again...
My Sailor finally had the day off. I found him snoozing on the couch as I came in, both excited and with eyes brimming with tears at the same time. I weakly explained that I needed a hug, and why ("I ran a 10 minute mile and I can't share that with Dad." ).

That may not sound like a win, but you might be missing the bigger picture. Sure, I was in pain and that sucked, but He Was Home. I was able to recover after a few long hugs and some quiet sobbs.

Then - the ultimate win -

A change of scenery.

We took drive into beautiful Gig Habor and caught a movie (Epic in 3D) and a meal at one of our favorite spots - The Green House. Great wine, excellent seafood and great company.

Overall, I'd say I won this round.

To my challengers, they brought it today and brought it hard. I'm still not sure if the nausea was really  related to my breakfast or my Endo, but either way, none of them won the day today.

I'll curl up in bed tonight, knowing that Dad was a part of sharing my excitement in the way he can be, My Sailor is safely tucked in beside me, and I did my best today.

Happy Friday.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Safest Way to Own a BIG Dog

In case you're just tuning into my channel here, I own 2 'large breed' dogs. Well, 1 of them is considered a 'Giant Breed', even though both are small for their respective types.
Me and Clydas on a Northern CA road trip in 2006

Clydas, my nearly-nine year old Boxer has been my shadow and best bud for just about his entire life (give or take about 3 months of puppydom).  Clydas is about 55-57lbs most of the time, which is small for a male boxer dog. Usually, males of his breed are about 66-70lbs. It's been speculated that he was a runt (he wasn't fixed until he was 2 years old to get the full growth hormones out of it), but he's been a pretty healthy runt (aside from the cancer which resulted in 2 twos amputated from his rear leg  - but he doesn't notice the loss of the toes one bit).

Clydas, December 2012
Odin came into my life in October. My Sailor wanted a fluffy dog. I wanted a large breed that was already house broken. He wanted a dog no older than 2. Odin (then name Ilork) showed up at a local shelter. It's pretty rare that purebred-anythings end up at the shelter, so we were pretty lucky to have met him, got along with him, and bring him home.

Odin is probably about 2 years old now, and at last weigh in was about 87lbs. Since he's only gained about 2lbs since October, it's a good bet his pretty much as big as he's going to get by now. He might get a LITTLE beefier and hit 90lbs, but that's still pretty small for a GP boy. Males usually weigh in between 100 and 130 lbs.

Odin, December 2012
One of my fears of owning a Giant breed (as much as I LOVE big, durable dogs) is "How would I get a beast I can't lift to the vet in case of an emergency?" I have a big car, so that much is taken care of, but I've always been a little scared of owning a dog I can't pick up.

Well, all that changed today.

Today, in the gym, I proved I can lift Odin - and a little more. Today, I hit a personal record of 95lb front squats, cleans, jerks, and split jerks. (Just in case you've never heard of those, here's a quick youtube Split Jerk video- No, I'm not in it.)

It's really interesting to see how far I've come from my first training session (where 50lbs was heavy) to now (where my work out today included a 55b bar for 65 Clean Jerks - which are a lot like the above work out, only instead of starting with the weight already by your shoulders, you start with the weight at midthigh instead). I used to die getting through 15 whip ups... They still aren't easy, but I'm getting through at least 10 before I really start to feel exhausted. A lot of my work outs are just a matter of body over brain. The key seems to be "Don't think. Just Do." And ya know, it works!

I'm pretty excited to say that my schedule is changing and filling up with MORE writing projects! It's making me seriously consider going back to school and finishing my English degree. Most editing jobs require them now a days, and with My Sailor's Navy service, we wouldn't be launching ourselves into student loan debt. It's a little daunting to think of going to school, writing pro-bono part time (gotta keep up with those commitments), working on the house AND the adoption. But then again, all I really have to do is what's right in front of me.

Everything else will fall into place.