Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Pop and the Fizzle

Today has been a pretty good day, all things considered. But that said, let's get the bad news out of the way.

Yesterday was 30 days from when the state said it would take at least 30 days for My Sailor's background check to be completed. I followed up and got a very kind reply from our agency worker that they'd check on it for me. I didn't hear back from them yesterday, so around noon today I sent our agency worker AND the state worker an email asking again for a status update on his clearances.

Here's why this is ridiculously frustrating...
  I've probably spent more time painting my nails in the past 3 years than My Sailor spent in each of the 4 states that the Navy sent him to early in his career for training. I mean, he spent 8 weeks in Illinois - and all of it was spent in Boot Camp, yet we need a background clearance from that state proving he wasn't a danger to children during that time.  That's just one example. In each of these states he lived in highly supervised situations, monitored by the government, and all of them for less than 8 months individually. If I sit and think about it too long, I'm overcome by the idoicy of the system that allows children to languish in foster care because we need to take MONTHS to check off boxes... I mean, I get that it's important to do everything possible to make sure traumatized kids aren't further traumatized, but, in this case, it just seems utterly ridiculous. Instead, I'm opting not to sit around and think about it too much and just plow ahead in the things I can control. I'll continue to follow up, but I'm under no illusions that My Sailor will be able to open his special "Yeah! We're Licensed Foster Parents!" package during this deployment anyway...

But not all things I can't control are bad.

Trainer Guy mentioned this cool website to me a couple times before I started to check it out more intently. It's called Tabata Times.  If you're not familiar with what a Tabata is, it's (strictly speaking) a 4 minute work out involving 40 seconds of INTENSE exercise followed by 20 seconds of rest. Repeat until the 4 minutes is up. Trust me, it sounds a lot easier than it feels. That said, I'm glad to be one of the newest blog contributors there. I have 2 posts up so far. If you read this blog, they might sound a bit familiar. You can check them out by clicking on their titles below:

3 Common Myths About Personal Training
Progress Photos and Journey Books - True Story: One Girl's Ammo Against Body Dysmorphia

Recently, the whole fitness thing has just been clicking and booming. I don't know if it's because summer is sneaking up on us and everyone wants to be swimsuit ready or what, but I'm really encouraged by all the inspiration people seem to be taking from my journey. Trust me, it helps ME to know that somewhere out there ya'll are getting your fit on because something I did inspired you. Someone once said, "First they'll ask you why you do it. Then they'll ask you how you did it." That's been very true for me. Aside from My Sailor and Trainer Guy, I met a fair amount of resistance from others when they heard I was lifting weights. I can't tell you the number of times I've reassured people that, yes, it's heavy, but yes, I'm careful.  That's why I have Trainer Guy on my team. To make sure I'm pushing myself enough, and being careful enough not to injure myself.

But it really got me thinking, "What makes my journey different? If I can pass on a few tips, what would they be?" So as crazy as it sounds, here are a few things new readers to my blog may not realize.

I work out when I travel.  This INCLUDES vacations. I've selected hotels based on their fitness rooms (the Disneyland Hotel is awesome for that, by the way). I've done body weight workouts every day in my hotel room. I've requested a room on an upper floor and forced myself to take the stairs every single time (just ask My Sailor - this was NOT a popular idea come day 4 of a Disney World trip last year, where we logged about 10-12 miles/day on our feet just stomping around the parks). I bring my jump rope, my running shoes, and a workout plan with me.

I work out alone when no one wants to join me.  While I have a great support network - no one will look out for my health like I will.  My Sailor and my family love me. Trainer Guy and my fitness friends are great support mechanisms, but no one else lives in my skin. No one else lives with the results (or lack of).  No one lives with regret of skipping out on something that could have enriched me. That's on me.

This includes when I travel.  While My Sailor was on the phone catching up with a friend while we were on vacation, I popped out some sit ups, lunges, and chair push ups. When he was sleeping in one morning on vacation, I was taking a jog around the hotel grounds. My jump rope comes with me everywhere. It was an instant workout partner in Catalina Island, when taking a 'girls' trip' with my mom last year. She would go rest, and I would find the fitness room of the hotel and see what kind of magic I could make. When my family had gone to bed and we'd all spent the day caring for my ailing father, I stayed up and did Turkish Get Ups during commercials for my favorite shows on Hulu (that's 2 minute commercial breaks), or sit ups, or Deck of Cards. Or I snuck out for an early morning or afternoon run... The truth is, if it's truly a healthy, balanced lifestyle, you don't need a 'vacation' from it.

I don't believe in 'cheating'.  That said, it doesn't mean I don't eat well! I stick to Paleo style dining as much as I can. My incentive? Well, eating grain or large amounts of refined sugar generally makes me feel like someone poured sand in my joints 6-8 hours later. It's rarely worth feeling like crap - especially when I usually have some sort of activity planned for the next day.  I know I can handle having 1 beer - but I know I can have 1 hard cider and I won't hurt the next day. So given the options, I go for cider more than 1/2 the time now.  This applies to traveling as well. Like you've seen, I'm prepping for Disney World by bringing some food I know I can snack on with me. Sure, I'll probably have a bite of a Carrot Cake Cookie, but it'll just be one or two bites. I generally treat my food restrictions like an allergy - I break out in a rash of fat, and it just ain't worth it.

Patience...Everyone Started Somewhere. NONE of my gains in the gym came overnight. Hiring Trainer Guy was magical for me, but writing a check didn't make it happen. Putting in the work made it happen. Making the most of my investment made it happen.

Check Your Fear Of Failure At The Door.  You might not realize this, but I've flat out fallen on my arse in both of the Olympic Lifting classes I've done this month. For every video I post of a successful lift or two, there are at least the same amount of unsuccessful ones.  I've rarely had to bail out of a lift in training session, but it has happened. Truth is, we only learn so much from success. We learn a lot more from failure. Sure, there are times when it gets aggravating - and the aggravation gets in the way of process, but if you can prolong that moment, you'll learn a lot more. If you can manage to find something fun about it - it'll just fly by. And remember - there are few things modern medicine CAN'T fix. Conquer all the negative "what ifs" with "what if I CAN do it?"

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