Tag Archives: health

EMBRACING THE I DONT KNOWS & MOVING FORWARD

I’ve heard it called a mid life crisis. I pictured a 50 year old man with a bit of a gut, a receding hairline he’s trying to save, and a sports car he shouldn’t have bought. I pictured him flirting with younger women and making a fool of himself. I pictured a cheesy shirt and some jewelry he shouldn’t be wearing and a dirty martini. Its what I pictured. What crept up and slapped me square in the face was what it really is. Not so much a crisis as a stage of life. A transition. A skin shedding. A wing spreading. A death and a rebirth….and most shocking of all….not a HIM at all.

Admitting Im in a “transitional phase” (as the experts like to call it) is humbling, embarrassing, cathartic, cleansing, funny, and disappointing all at once. Im only 44 years old. Ill be 45 in a few months but I don’t think theres an actuall time stamp on when this shit happens to you. You can be 38. You can be 58. Its not exactly about an age but more about whats going on in your life. And whats going on in my life? Ha. Great question. Wish I had an answer for that. Since the age of I don’t even recall Ive pretty much had my shit together. I knew I wanted to be married, have a family, have a home, plant roots and be a Mom. In 24 months my oldest leaves for college. My youngest will be doing online school so it matters not where he lives. So it goes without saying I’ve given some thought to what this means.
For the first time in forever the NEXT place I go, live, stay, adventure….it wont matter how good the school district is or what the property values are or how far of a commute it is to work or school or grocery stores. It wont matter that a great preschool is nearby. It wont matter if its within 30 minutes of soccer fields or tumbling gyms or indoor bounce houses or any of that. ANY of that. It was so very difficult for me to become a Mom. I had MANY miscarriages. The one in the 5th month was the worst. And the most painful. I thought Id never get to be a Mom. So when I became one I was ecstatic and grateful and thought I’d found the identity I’d needed. Wanted. A name to call me- MOM. I have loved every damn second. The tantrums, diapers, potty training, first day of Kindergarten, sleepless nights, swim lessons, soccer games, all of it. All. Of. It. How crazy privileged I’ve been to get to do this parent thing. Some don’t get to.
There’s been a grieving in me for things that wont ever be. I wont ever live near my parents and they wont make every game my kid cheers at and there wont be weekly Sunday dinners with cousins and large family gatherings and accepting that has been hard. And sad. And cathartic. And DECIDING that I get to decide what life looks like now, whats normal, whats ok….took time.
I think we all go through this whole “transitional phase”. Maybe some just slide by it almost unnoticed. Maybe some don’t even blink at it. Maybe some are so happy to be getting on to the next phase of life that its a happy time. Maybe some are sad. Maybe some feel they are losing some purpose and identity as their kids leave. And maybe a few are like me- kind of flailing. Flapping their wings and trying to fly away while keeping one foot in the nest with the kids. Trying to figure out if this is what being “grown up” means. Trying to find what and who you are at this next phase.
Its a strange thing getting older. I feel more confident, sexy, smart, sure footed and calm than I ever did when I was actually younger and prettier and had less wrinkles and was rocking a pair of shorts. Maybe God gives you the nicer body and face when you’re younger to make up for the idiocy that engulfs your brain. I would NOT trade the things I know for the younger body. Not in a million years.
The type A in me wants to know what happens next. Where will I be? Where will I live? Who will be in my life? How will love look? Is it a cabin on a mountain, secluded, just me and the mountains to hike. An occasional trip to the local pub to grab a beer and a conversation. Will it be a little cottage on a beach and days spent running in the sand (ok walking) and a suntan and waves and walks into town for good food. Will it be a condo downtown near all the “stuff” and I can walk to coffee and shops and see people all the time. Honestly any of those sound amazing. As long as there’s no fences. NO FENCES. Not knowing is scary. Not having kids here all the time is scary. Not knowing what life holds is scary. But its also fucking amazing. So just like the day I became a Mom- scared shitless, not knowing what the hell was in front of me, how Id screw this kid up, how Id get through it all…..I get to look ahead at a new phase and be scared shitless….and excited..and anxious…and not know. So I’ll flap my wings a little, test them out, I’ll laugh and I’ll cry and I’ll pray and I’ll dance in my socks and I’ll put one foot in front of the other…..because backwards is no place to go.
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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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NO PLAN B

There was a girl who never left the sidewalk. There was a girl who never colored outside of the lines. There was a girl who stood on the sidelines while others jumped. And judged them. I could’ve fallen off the curb, gotten a bad grade for the bad coloring, gotten hurt because I didn’t know what was over the cliff if I jumped. She was cautious and timid and nervous and anxious and sad. I don’t miss her.

Ive written about this before- Im sure I have. But I’m not going to go back through my blogs to see if I have because I don’t care. It doesn’t matter. When I want to write, I write. Whatever comes out. I promised myself that years ago when I started this blog…NO EDITING.
I am aware that my lack of schedule, lack of planning, lack of organization drives some people crazy…especially my Beachbody Team. God Bless them. Without Lori, Traci, Amy and a few others I’d forget my head. Grateful for amazing friends that compliment my craziness. When I decided to become a Beachbody Coach two years ago I made a DECISION. There will be NO PLAN B. My husband has brain rot. I don’t know how long he’ll be able to work. Or walk. Or talk. And there’s something about looking at your kids in the eyes and knowing…I AM THEIR FUTURE. IT IS UP TO ME…that gets your motor spinning and your pride thrown out the window. Balls to the wall or nothing at all. And that is how it has been for the most part. There are days…Lord there are days I curl up, cry, climb a mountain and want to never come down. But I do. I always do. When you’re a Mom you just don’t have a choice. And I don’t have a Plan B.
Years. YEARS I spent poo-pooing this whole “scam” of marketing and “selling” to your friends. I guess I just didn’t understand what it all was. I know I didn’t. Plus I was afraid. I have worked out to Tony Horton since 2008. I could’ve joined this Coaching gig 9 years ago. If I’d been braver. If I’d been less skeptical. If I hadn’t been afraid of taking leaps of faith. Could I kick myself for that? Yes. BUT. It has all worked out exactly how it was supposed to. A passion for fitness and helping others get & stay fit help motivate me. And the people I work with….not co-workers…FAMILY. They motivate me as well.
I spent last weekend being spoiled in Los Angeles by a company that TRULY cares about the health of this country. That knows there is no magic pill or shake or anything else that will make you healthy. Its hard work. Its getting off of your ass, moving more, eating less, and eating well. Thats it. Thats your magic pill. And I can get behind that 100%.
Now in 3 days my upline coach is treating me and a few other coaches to a weekend in Cabo San Lucas. Holy WHAT? For doing my job. I honestly think I might be dreaming some days. Unorganized, forgetful, technically challenged me…who would’ve thought it? You know who? ME!! Because I decided. I decided to jump before checking. Leap before looking. Stop worrying about the details. No one gives a shit if your pictures look perfect or your family looks all loving and sweet or your fitness is on point or if you have perfect wording or time things perfectly. No. One. Cares. You know what they care about- that you can relate to them. Thats it. I tell my coaches who are worried about making mistakes that they should be more worried about NOT making mistakes. Those that make no mistakes are never going to succeed. I make a 1,000 mistakes a day. And I own them. And love them. And learn from them.
I am absolutely no one special. No one who knows anything more than anyone else. So giving advice is a bit over confident of me. But I will anyway. If there is anything Ive learned. Anything Ill teach my kids. They’ve watched this journey first hand you know…its DO NOT HAVE A PLAN B. If you have one, you’ll know its there. Its a safety net. Its a back up plan. I no longer believe in those. At all. I know I wouldn’t be where I am if I’d had a Plan B. It is so beautiful, so freeing, to walk through life NOT KNOWING whats ahead. No plan, no spreadsheets, no time limits, no having to answer to anyone else but ME. Life is way TOO SHORT for me to be making plans ;).
Balls to the wall or nothing at all!
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BAD DAY

I write about brain rot quite often. I write about the fight. The will we have to find a cure. The lack of trials and funding and interest in such a rare disease. I know more about the cerebellum than any regular person should ever know. I know about every alternative treatment, oil, vitamin, exercise, acupuncture, diet and crazy voodoo spell there is..we’ve tried them all. I talk a lot about it. I laugh about it. I joke about it. I am proud of our strength…the strength of my little family as we navigate this shit. But I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about the times its not so funny. The ugly truth of it.

I don’t want to. None of this will paint me in a very good light. I feel like a monster even thinking some of the things I think. So to write them down and admit them feels yucky. But…BUT….its the truth. Its the peeled back, naked, nasty real truth of this.

Patrick & I are attending the National Ataxia Foundation’s conference in 2 weeks. Its in Denver. Convenient. Its a 3 day symposium thingy with all kinds of doctors and nurses and researchers talking about the latest and greatest and newest news and research on Ataxia. And a room filled with hundreds of people with Ataxia and their spouses/families. Sounds like a fucking party to me. And to top off the weekend there is a dance. Yes you read that right…a god damned dance…for people with ATAXIA. For people with a disease that greatly affects balance and coordination. Don’t think I won’t have my iPhone set to video to tape this shit and put it on youtube. Yes. YES- I am aware of how horrible that is. I just don’t care.

Its so easy to judge other people. SO EASY. I do it all the time. We all do it- its human nature. And I know everyone handles things and situations differently. And I know I said “in sickness and in health” and I know only an asshole makes fun of brain rot. I am an asshole. I admit it. I can honestly say you have NO IDEA how you would feel or react to this if you have not been through it. And very few have. Its a rare disease. And dear God in Heaven I wish I could handle it with grace and sweetness and be that catering, doting wife that quietly fights and is grateful just for the moments we have together. I REALLY REALLY do. I hate that wife. I hate her because she has her shit together.

I write about this once a month or so. My friends ask about it now and then. Our parents visit sometimes and ask about any updates. And then they get to walk away. They get to go back to their lives of perfect balance and clear speech and normal-ness. I do not. We do not. We live it every single damn second. Every moment of every day of every week of every month it is there. It never EVER goes away. It slaps you in the face in the morning when you wake up. It weighs on your mind as you fall asleep. It affects absolutely every single fucking thing you do. Everything. And the ugliness is Im sick of it. Im tired of it. I want to run away sometimes. I want to scream and punch something. I want the guy I married back and its not fucking fair. None of this is fair.

And I sit in my car and wonder how far I could drive before anyone would notice me missing. And I don’t want to be solely responsible for him and our kids and our finances and the medical shit and my sanity and his happiness and keeping things “normal”. I just don’t. Im not equipped and I did not sign up for this bullshit. I can run up Pikes Peak and back down. I can. He can’t. I married a guy that could. He could run fast and bike and swim and did triathlons. He never smoked he ate well and was extremely healthy and fit so FUCK you fate or whatever bullshit gene went haywire and caused this. IT IS NOT FAIR.

So this is a bad day. He is far away on business. I am here. At home doing soccer practice and cheer practice and high school registration (good god) and running kids to school and picking up prescriptions and doing laundry and working and being resentful of it all and the fact that I may have to do it all alone someday. And I know Im an asshole for these thoughts and feelings. I also know Im HUMAN. I know its ok to have a bad day. A sad day. I know its ok to get angry…at him…at the world…at healthy people who take it for granted…at people who CHOOSE to be unhealthy. Its all OK. And even if its not oh well…its how I feel and I cannot change that. Theres a lot I can’t change and for a total control freak that is difficult. So I deal. I shut down, I shut people out, I cry, I laugh, I joke, I work, I exercise, I do whatever the hell I have to do to cope. And if you don’t understand that I got nuthin’ for ya. Except to say I wouldn’t wish this shit on my worst enemy.

I love my life. I love my family. I love my job. I love my friends. And I have bad days. Where its all about me and not about him. Where he may HAVE the shrinking brain but I feel like Im shrinking too. And I know that tomorrow will be better. Because it will. Because I will. I am a VERY strong, tough girl. I always have been. But strong girls have weak moments too. Thank you for letting me share mine. Thank you for letting me be openly human. I hope that maybe MAYBE maybe someone won’t feel as shitty about their raw thoughts if I share mine.

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THE PASSING OF THE GUARD: AN ART DESK AND A NEW CHAPTER

I started this Beachbody thing in February 1st of this year so it’s been 8 months that I have been coaching. I love it. I work from my kitchen counter. I don’t love that. We have these swively stools and I sit and stare at the cabinets as I work. My printer is downstairs in the basement. So when I print something I have to run down there. My workout space is also set up in the basement. All of my Beachbody DVD’s, my weights, my yoga mats, my exercise ball, my husband’s weight bench, etc, are all down in the basement.

I also started my term as Colorado Springs Chi Omega alumna Secretary recently. And Im pretty sure my sisters are concerned about their dues checks and membership forms floating around in my chaotic house. Im not exactly what you’d call organized. I may be Type A with my workouts and my social life but not so much in my business life.

My daughter claimed this amazing little nook in our basement when we first moved here for her art supplies and desk. She has a great desk and a bazillion art supplies, paints, brushes, charcoals, sketch papers, etc. We set up the area when we first moved in. She used it quite a bit for awhile. She is in 8th grade now and her interests have changed. Her LIFE is cheerleading. I cannot IMAGINE for the life of me where she gets that!!?? Her little art supplies have not been touched in months. Instead she tumbles across the basement, stretches, back bends, jumps, practices cheers, and coordinates matching hair bows to workout outfits. Oh…and her makeup has taken over the art supplies. 😦 I think I am sad. I am so happy she is growing into such a beautiful, smart, responsible, driven young lady…despite her crazy mother. But a little part of me is sad. The art brushes are all dried up.

I realized recently I cannot function on my kitchen counter. There are Chi Omega alumna forms, checks, and letters everywhere. There are scratch papers with Beachbody notes, my spirals, and my workout schedule scattered on the counter as well. Beachbody and Chi-O have merged to create some crazy sorority workout mess that I cannot keep control of on my kitchen counter.

So I asked Maddie if I could have her nook. Her art nook. She didn’t seem to mind. She just asked that we organize (and by “we” I mean me) her art things and put them in the storage closet. We have 2 HUGE storage closets so there is plenty of room. I spent last night (while she was at cheer) emptying her desk of art supplies and filling it with my spirals and Chi-O forms. I even STARTED a little bulletin board to decorate with inspirational things to hang above the desk.

She came home last night and said “wow you just really evicted me from my nook, huh?”. I asked if she was ok with it. She said yes. She didn’t say much else. I went to bed.

This morning I went down to “work” at my new area and glanced at my bulletin board. Right there in the middle was this big green “child-like” note pinned to it. I think Maddie and I both knew that putting the art supplies away was more than just putting the art supplies away. Time moves too fast sometimes. ENJOY. EVERY. SECOND.

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