Monthly Archives: October 2016

FIGHT LIKE A GIRL

I start a new workout program today. I have always loved the launch of a new Beachbody workout. It motivates me. And I need muscle confusion for my body to stay fit. I am not personally on a weight loss journey but Im always looking to get stronger and tone up more. A new program called Core de Force starts today for me. Its MMA. You know- fighting. Punching, kicking, weaving, jabbing. I have not looked so forward to a new workout program in a very long time and I was trying to figure out why.
When you have someone close to you die, or suffering, or diagnosed with a degenerative disease, or you’re just going through a tough time…there are emotions that people expect from you. Sadness, depression, confusion, despair. But Im not sure that we talk enough about the anger. Because as happy as I am, as much as Ive embraced life and every moment…Im pissed the fuck off. And I think that not enough people understand or even think about that. Not all the time. Not even most of the time. It just hits me like any other emotion- without warning.
And punching a door isn’t exactly cost effective. I am 5 foot 1 inch. OK 5 foot half an inch. I weigh between 103-105 pounds depending on the day. Im not huge. I’ve spent my life getting out of people’s ways in crowds, not being able to see the stage, jumping onto high places, not being able to reach the top cabinet, wearing pants that were way too long, having people pat me on the head like a pet and crossing my fingers that a bar fight would occur when my taller friends were with me.
But you know what 6 feet and 200 pounds and big muscles and physical strength can’t do. It can’t beat up cancer or Brain Rot. It can’t get you through each day. It can’t make you less sad (Ok maybe it can in certain situations 😉 ). It can’t make you less anxious about doctors visits or progression reports or ease your mind about your kids’ futures. I stood on a ladder recently to change a bulb and couldn’t reach it. Fuck. I couldn’t fucking reach it. My husband cannot stand on a ladder. My daughter wasn’t home. My son’s shorter than me. And I’ll be damned if I will NEED someone else to change it for me. I got it done….dont ask how it wasn’t safe. But it fucking pissed me off.
So I realized why Im so excited about this program launching today. Its not about weight loss for me. Its not a fitness thing or a nutrition thing for me. Its a chance to feel like I can kick some ass. Like all 5 feet of me can do it. I can punch and kick and weave and bob and get tougher and stronger and angry and its all ok. Its all ok. You don’t have to be 6 feet tall to kick life’s ass. You just have to be willing. And never give up.
I start Core de Force today. And the one sample workout I did made me feel like a bad ass, I am a bad ass. I changed a light bulb!
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THE BUSINESS OF BLAMING

I don’t know about you but Im betting you cannot wait for this election cycle to be over. It has made me very very sad. I want to assure you this will NOT be a “political” blog. I actually hate politics. I would NEVER presume to try to argue that someone else believe exactly the way I do. Thats incredibly presumptuous and arrogant and a total waste of time. But I’ve had some time to think about this whole election and just have some thoughts on it. Thought I’d share. No desire to talk policy or candidates or what you think SHOULD be or blasting my opinion down your throat. I just truly, TRULY believe it came to this…to these 2 candidates because we got what we deserved as a country. And it has shone a light on how we treat each other. The words we will let come out of our mouths. And how truly sad it is. How the lack of civility, lack of tact, lack of kindness brought us here.
I wont announce how I voted. Though Im sure most of you can guess. It doesn’t matter. I was raised by two parents who voted opposite of each other for 30+ years. They NEVER ONCE voted the same. Cancelled out each other’s votes for all those years. And there was never yelling or name calling or bickering. There was a respect for each other. Thats what I thought all families were like.
I am in the “business” of helping people get healthy. That often involves a LOT more than moving a number on a scale. There are DEEP underlying issues that cause people to overeat, under eat, have a bad relationship with food, hate to exercise, and hate themselves. Thank goodness my degree is in Psychology. I use it. Often. One of the very central themes I’ve noticed is blame. People tend to blame others. For everything. For their economic situation, for their weight situation, for their illnesses, for the loss of a job, for the way they over eat, for the way they under eat, for the lack of time to exercise. They blame their parents, the “corrupt” government, the “system” (still not sure who that is), their ex spouses, their bosses, their upbringing….I see it. A LOT!
Im guilty of it. We all are. Its pretty hard to admit when you’ve screwed up or made a mistake or that the REASON you are in the spot you are standing in RIGHT NOW is all on you. YOU got you here. YOU. Circumstances happen. Brain rot happens. Job loss happens. Cancer happens. Death happens. Abuse happens. Shitty, horrible, things happen. The “system” may screw you over. Someone MIGHT make a mistake that leads to something bad happening to you. You can throw a fit. Blame them. Whine about it. By all means…sit home, complain about a system that let you down. But understand that will NEVER EVER EVER change anything.
I spent the first year after Patrick’s diagnosis glued to a computer. I wanted to know HOW he got Ataxia. WHY he got Ataxia. WHO’S fault it was. WHERE to find a cure. WHY it happened to him. And WHO we could blame. He worked out like a beast. He ran, rode in bike races, had not an ounce of fat on him, never did drugs, ate well. WHY THE FUCK? WHO could I blame. HOW could I fix it. A year I spent on the computer and in files and talking to doctors. And its a funny thing about acceptance. It doesn’t slap you in the face one morning. It creeps up slowly. Through tears, through time, through your brain catching up with your heart.
And you realize you COULD stay glued to a computer…looking for someone to blame. Or you could get the fuck up. And pack your shit. And move to Colorado. And climb a mountain, and get a trike, and be a cheer coach, and travel, and start a business, and donate money for research. And go see Stevie Nicks in concert. And LIVE.
Im still sad some days. Mad some days. Im human. But I don’t blame anyone anymore. I don’t need someone to blame. I don’t blame the deer for jumping in front of my Dad’s motorcycle. I don’t blame anything or anyone for Patrick’s Brain Rot. And I don’t blame the government or the “man” or the “system” for my circumstances. I am where I am because of choices I made. And the choices I didn’t make- like a motorcycle accident or Brain Rot or an Autoimmune disorder….well…I can’t change them. But I CHOOSE to not sit around melting in it. Stewing in it. Dying from it. I CHOOSE to LIVE.
Trying to MAKE others believe that YOUR candidate, YOUR religion, YOUR beliefs and YOUR way of doing things are the only right way always seemed so crazy to me. What works for you doesn’t work for me. And vice versa. I look forward to a time when this election is over. I still whole-heartedly believe that kindness can win out. That civility will prevail. That in the end we can respect each other’s choices…and live our own lives the way thats best for US. A friend recently said to me “YOU DO YOU”. I think thats some pretty damn good advice.
Peace Out Friends!
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CROOKED PATHS AND BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE

Someone once told me I was doing it wrong. DOING IT WRONG. It doesn’t matter what “IT” was. I saw a quote that says “Just because someone is on a different path than you does not mean they are lost.” That person who told me I was doing it wrong….she was wrong. She was very wrong. I have made a million mistakes, some bad decisions, said some words I regretted, hurt some people I shouldn’t have, and all of it has me right here, right now. And there’s no place else Im supposed to be.

My High School reunion was pretty cool. I saw people I hadn’t seen in a long time. And I realized they have each taken a different path to where they are. Some married, some divorced, some widowed, some with kids, some with no kids. Some who had tackled alcoholism, abuse, heart break…and some dealing with Brain Rot. And you know what…not one of them is doing it wrong. We are all doing it exactly how we know how. Exactly how we can. Exactly they way that is best for us right now. And a bunch of years of stupid, immature, judgement fell away. Just like a robe that falls to the floor. And my shoulders felt light and I knew all that had ever happened to me, around me, was all exactly what brought me there. And the trip was worth the kind words I got from an old friend about how my blog had helped them.
I am not super proud of every decision I’ve ever made. But I think you get to an age where you reflect a lot and my best friend & I hiked yesterday and did some reflecting. I work with teenage girls and people with weight issues. Self esteem and self acceptance are hard to come by in those two groups of people. And for me…it might’ve been hard to come by for a long time. But time has a way of rolling some pretty cool people into your path. And Im reminded of a Cheryl Strayed quote (of course) “PUT YOURSELF IN THE WAY OF BEAUTY MORE OFTEN”. And instead of dodging the scary things, the new people, the new experiences…I choose now to stand and let all the beauty that can possibly be, roll right into me. And Ive learned to like me…just the way I am. All the good. All the bad. All the weird.
All paths aren’t straight. All rules aren’t meant to be followed. All destinations don’t have a one-way-only-to-get-there map. In fact…I now know that most of the fun and most of the lessons and most of the love happen OFF of the path, on the roads not on the map, in the way of beautiful people who have something to show you. Crooked paths are so much better than straight ones. You scoop up all the interesting when you venture off the path.
Feeling grateful today for this moment in my life where I can jump on a plane to Texas when I want to. Go hiking when I want to. Stop into a tattoo shop on a Monday afternoon and get a tattoo when I want to. Maybe the good moments don’t throw themselves at you- maybe you have to look really hard to see them…but man…its worth the effort to look.
Maybe I was lost. Maybe I am lost. But I tell ya what….lost and wandering is a much better place to be than on a straight path to the same place everyone else is going.
Stronger than yesterday.
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TRASH DAY & DRIVEWAYS

Two things. I have a son who is perfectly capable of taking out the trash. Most mornings we are rushing so quickly so I can get them to school that we just forget to take it out before he goes to school. He almost always brings it back to the house for me on Tuesday afternoons. And two…this blog is NOT meant to be a pity party for one. I hate complaining. Hate it. Struggle with it. But I am human. And again- promised a journey of truth and brutal honestly through this shitty walk through Brain Rot.

Tuesdays are trash day here and often recycle as well. I have a very long driveway. In snow or rain its quite fun to navigate. My husband can no longer really navigate the slope. His walking is deteriorating. He’s more wobbly. Uneven surfaces and slopes are just not happening. Tuesday I was walking the trash and recycle bins (which are bigger than me) down to the street and just started crying. And the people driving by must’ve thought I was having a breakdown. I guess I was. There are so many single Moms and military spouses out there who deal with this on a daily basis. Every day. I feel guilty being sad. I feel guilty being mad. I feel guilty complaining. I feel angry and sad and pissed off. He can’t take the trash out. I have to. I HAVE to. I changed a light bulb last week. No biggy. He just can’t. And I don’t mind the actual chore. I don’t. Its the fact that I HAVE to. And he can’t.
And its not fair. And I think in our wedding vows we agreed he would always fill up my car with gas because I hate that and always take out the trash. He still puts gas in my car.
I absolutely hate that saying “everything happens for a reason”. It does not. That’s stupid. Kids don’t get cancer and die “for a reason”. I do believe that not so fun things….like death, disease, heart break, loss happen…and then we find our character from them. My character is pissed off some days. Im just being honest. But I get it in check pretty quickly. I COULD look at the healthy Mom with the healthy husband who helps with chores and kids and crap and feel annoyed with her lack of appreciation or understanding of how lucky she is. Or I can choose to be happy for them.  And grateful I am strong enough to handle it. And smart enough to know Im the lucky one. I choose the latter.
Its hard some days. Especially trash days. But in the end life isn’t about light bulbs and trash cans and putting gas in your car. Its about the good moments. The positive moments. And the appreciation of those beautiful moments. There’s days I wonder if I’ll make it to noon. Then there’s days I think I can conquer the world. I guess thats just being human. And Im pretty grateful I get the chance to do that! I believe that we are all quite stronger than we ever EVER thought we were. Never give up. Cry, have a moment of weakness, fall down…then get the hell up, dust your shit off and take the trash out. And be so so so grateful that you can!
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