Trust Issues

As if Jason Gordon hasn’t already given me trust issues surrounding PlayFitStayFit… you know with the words “ok you’re done…” immediately followed by “but there’s one more thing”

Or when he thinks he has the timing of a workout just right and then there are 12 minutes left on the clock when you’ve finished the last set of exercises on the board. So he comes up with “one more thing”

But then… then my “very good friend” Sunshine writes this blog today basically begging for someone to join her for fitness activities. And if you don’t want to read her blog, that’s fine… she states that maybe we have developed trust issues over by agreeing to show up and then one of us doesn’t roll in until 3 minutes before the workout starts

And she posted this blog to Facebook where these comments happened:

And you can be guaranteed that if you call me out by name, I’m gonna show up. So instead of finishing the really good quality nap that I was enjoying, I went to the gym. I’m walking towards the doors at 3:55pm and glancing back towards the parking lot… where there were no cars… and I turn back towards the doors and I see Jason laugh. Because there were no other cars.

Luckily, Melanie showed up. Sweet, sweet Melanie. I’m thankful for her. And then Lindsay because… see Facebook screenshot above. And her sister. But how. How do NONE of these women know better than to answer honestly when Jason asks “what exercise do you hate the most?” Trust issues, y’all. That’s fine. Lindsay, I’ll see your slamball burpees and raise you tire pushups. You’re welcome.

And if anyone sees Sunshine before I do… tell her I’m looking forward to working out with her next week.

Spartan Weekend is Over

My friends are crazy. Like run a 15 mile obstacle course race in the cold pouring rain crazy. Or in my trainer’s case, a 30 mile obstacle course race in the cold pouring rain.

But they’re my friends so they totally went back to “run” the shorter 4ish mile obstacle course race with me the next day. Also they had to go back because they were completing their Trifecta and this was their final race for that. The rain stopped and the sun was shining, but my god the mud that rain had produced. I’m no stranger to mud, I’ve run a handful of other mud runs/obstacle course races but I have never seen anything like this. I honestly don’t know how I didn’t lose my shoes in this thick quicksand like mud.

When the ladies returned to our Airbnb from their cold rainy Beast on Saturday (where I had hot dinner and hot coffee waiting for them because I’m a good friend too), they immediately told me they were concerned about my bum ankle in the mud. I think they were giving me an opportunity to defer my race to Spring and I kinda wanted to do just that, but I also just wanted to get my first Spartan over with… so I said “ok, so we’ll just take it nice and slow?” to which they all replied “oh yeah, there’s not gonna be any running tomorrow”

So. The mud. All the mud. Mud hills that required just sitting down and sliding. There are definitely bruises on my butt. Mud hills that I had to crawl UP on my hands and knees. Thick ass mud that I can’t believe I didn’t lose my shoes in. Mud that pulled on and twisted my ankle every possibly way. My girls kept their promise that we wouldn’t be running because for the most part any normal person just couldn’t run in this mud. Some seasoned Spartans are saying that this was the most brutal course they’ve ever been through. And don’t think for a second that the fact that it had stopped raining on Sunday made it “easy” because this mud was still bullshit. I just didn’t lose feeling in my hands like everyone that ran in the rain on Saturday.

So we trudged through the mud, climbed some walls (and by that I mean the girls shoved my ass over some walls), climbed some cargo nets that were unreasonably high, carried heavy shit, did a couple burpees, and laughed through “4ish” miles. You know, because if I’m laughing I can’t cry. Except maybe I teared up a little at the finish line. But I had on sunglasses so maybe no one knew that until just now. And maybe I’m tearing up a little bit reliving it in my head to write this, but I did something fucking hard and it deserves a little emotion. This is not something I ever would’ve imagined pushing myself through, but maybe with like some actual training I’d do this again. I’m still not sure who I’ve become over the last 3 years.

I got this cool new bling and a race shirt that actually fits, so that’s pretty awesome.

My friends are crazy. But they’re badasses. And maybe I’m a tiny bit badass too. They all said they’re retired from Spartan racing after this weekend, but I don’t believe them. Because badass women like to do stupid stuff for fun.

Spartan weekend is here

For the strong independent single woman I claim to be, I succumb to peer pressure way too often.

Pre broken ankle I had my sights set on a Spartan in Spring 2019. Literally one of the first thoughts on my mind laying in a hospital bed after surgery was “well, I guess that Spartan goal is on hold”

But runners are the worst peer pressure-ers in the world. Sunshine suggested I Spartan with team “we do stupid for fun” in November.

No.

Yes.

No. You’re real runners, I can’t run a Spartan with you.

We don’t actually run very much in a Spartan.

You’re lying.

No, really. Barely any running. And you can just do the sprint the day after we do the beast and we’ll be tired and won’t want to run.

After a few weeks, maybe even months of this I had a little money to throw away so I signed up. And promptly forgot all about it until about 2 weeks ago when I suddenly remembered that this thing was coming and I immediately started laughing. Because if I’m laughing I can’t cry. Because I am so unprepared that I could easily cry.

So here I am, physically at work but mentally thinking about meeting my running girls and heading to North Carolina (or maybe South Carolina?) this afternoon to do yet another thing that I’m completely unprepared for and my ankle has been protesting all week.

But 2/4 of our team members are deathly ill. So maybe I won’t be the only person slowing us down. So maybe they’ll still be friends with me Sunday evening. Maybe they’ll still invite me on future adventures.

Extinction of motivation

I wanted to write this blog about lacking motivation last night, but… I was lacking motivation.

Before I broke my ankle last year I had a lot of motivation. I had goals. Fitness goals. Life goals. Shit I wanted to accomplish. Then this injury depression came over me and maybe that never went away? I briefly regained some motivation when my physical therapists told me I could go back to the gym, but that wavered pretty quickly when I realized that things I could do easily before I broke my ankle were difficult again… I felt so defeated in my first few months back in the gym.

But now it’s been about a year since I started back to the gym, my ankle is 90% back to normal and that’s probably as good as it’s going to get, but I’m still lacking motivation. And it seems to be getting worse each week. And it isn’t just the gym, it’s extending into every area of my life. Most days I feel like I’m doing the bare minimum to keep myself alive. Is it the weather? The time change? The sickness I’ve had that seems like it’ll never go away? SAD? Who knows.

So. How do you turn your motivation back on? How do you suck it up and just make yourself do the things?

Goals

I saw this movie the other night, Brittany Runs a Marathon. It kind of made me want to be a runner again. And this blog is going to be full of spoilers, so if you don’t like that you probably shouldn’t read any further than this.

I don’t mean to make this chick’s life story about me, but the similarities were… real. She took up running as her way of getting her shit together/I joined PlayFitStayFit and eventually running to get my shit together. She was a drinker before/I used to basically have a reserved seat at Local Roots happy hour every Friday night. She lost a bunch of weight/I lost a bunch of weight. She started dating/I started…. well that a whole other blog post there. Now, I was never so bold to start training for a full marathon but I did have a lot of races and events lined up in the fall of 2018 and I had my eyes on a Spartan in the spring of 2019 and then I busted my ankle all to pieces. She was 5 weeks out from the New York City Marathon when she broke her foot. That’s about where our similarities end… she went through the same injury depression I did, but she bounced back much more fiercely and started training for the marathon for the next year. I started working out again, but really kind of gave up on any specific goals. I mostly gave up on running. I started walking all the 5ks I signed up for because running kind of still hurts my ankle and my endurance is nowhere near what it was before my injury and that is insanely frustrating.

So I’ve signed up for my first Spartan, but my only real goal for that is to finish. Hopefully with my team still speaking to me after I move slowly through a 3-5 mile course with however many stupid obstacles they throw in there and whatever ridiculous number of burpees I have to do for the obstacles I will fail.

Beyond that I still don’t have any official goals, but this movie made me realize that that’s what I need. I need something specific to work towards to really get my ass in gear. I’ve never trained for anything, I just sign up and show up. I’m sure there will be plenty of 5ks here and there, but I guess my next “big” thing will be my second completion of the Blue Ridge 10k in April. Don’t get me wrong, I walked/jogged/danced my way up and down Mill Mountain last year with some pretty awesome friends and had a blast. But now that I’ve felt some amount of inspiration from this girl’s story, maybe I’ll put some effort into it next year.

And eventually, if I ever run a marathon, I’m going to cry so many tears because apparently Kim hates that.

So who’s ready to start walking up and down Mill Mountain with me?

McAfee Knob Take 2

Most everyone who reads this probably knows this story, but I’ll tell it again just for background on the “take 2” of this post.

One year ago today, my friend Jamie and I set out to hike McAfee Knob together (a first for both of us). We met up around 7 and hit the trail, we were having a great time until about 1.7 miles in. On this trail there are several large rocks that you have to step across… on one of these large rocks I had my left foot firmly planted in a groove worn by other hikers steps and as I went to step around the rock with my right foot I hit some loose pebbles and rolled that foot… as I began to fall my left foot was apparently stuck in the groove on the rock and this caused my ankle to break as I fell. Of course I wanted to believe that maybe it wasn’t so bad, maybe it was just sprained, maybe I could gently hobble back down the trail to my car… as I dug my heels into the ground to scoot myself back up on the trail I quickly realized that it WAS bad, it WAS broken, and no way in hell was I going to be able to get myself off this trail. So Jamie was on the phone with 911 trying to tell them exactly where we were located on a trail we’d never been on while I laid there thinking “oh shit, tomorrow is my holiday to work.” And “oh my god this is going to keep me off my feet for a while… I’m going to gain back all the weight I’ve lost” Luckily these EMTs have to rescue people on this trail quite often so they got to me pretty quickly, splinted my ankle, loaded me into a basket, loaded me with pain meds and then carried me about 1/2 mile to the fire road where the put me on an ATV to drive me off the trail to get me into an ambulance and head to the hospital.

At the hospital I learned that on my right foot the bone leading to my pinky to was broken and my left ankle was broken in THREE places.

So this trimalleolar fracture required a pretty major surgery placing two plates and 12 screws in my ankle. Followed by 8 weeks of bed rest and then another 6 weeks learning to walk again.

Obviously I’ve had some anxiety regarding hiking and specifically this trail, but a few weeks ago I asked Sunshine and Kim what they had planned the Sunday before Labor Day because I thought maybe I was ready to try this trail again. And maybe I liked the irony of doing it exactly one year after my first attempt and injury. They are both lovers of bad decisions and thought this would be a perfect recovery hike after their Iron Mountain race… so, ok. Kim, unfortunately, ended up scheduling other plans for today. I was secretly hoping Sunshine might be too tired or too sore from her race yesterday and cancel on me last minute, but I woke up to a message from her that she was headed back towards Roanoke and would be at my house around 11am so we could head to McAfee together.

I don’t know how many of you have been on this trail, but let me tell you it is not an easy peasy walk in the woods. I don’t know how many times I wanted to fake an injury just so I could be carried off again, is the view really worth this?! At one point the trail leveled off and was fairly rock free and I said “oh. Does it get worse again? because this isn’t too bad..” The trail heard me and immediately threw some rocks and incline back at me. I believe I’ve read Sunshine describe the last mile as “straight the fuck up” and she ain’t kidding. I had to stop about every 15 steps during this part of the trail. Is the view really worth this?! Yes, I’m here to tell you the view is 100% worth the torture it takes to get there.

Now, I’m not saying I want to go up there for this view frequently but I am glad I made it up there this time and also made it back down. Sunshine gave me a pass take the fire road back down, but honestly I’m not sure it’s much better than the trail. At least not when you have to walk it instead of riding on the back of an emergency ATV.

But y’all the most important thing about this is that I have a tribe of people encouraging me to do hard things and supporting me at every obstacle. Though Sunshine was the only person brave enough to take me back to McAfee, I have such a support system from my family, my cat lady BFF, my drinking BFFs, and my PlayFitStayFit family. When I was on bed rest for 8 weeks, these people jumped in to help me in such a way that I never would’ve expected. Find your people, take care of them when they need it. Help them when they don’t want to ask for help. Love your people.

Rest Day

Ok I’m gonna need everyone else with an August birthday to reschedule.

After a week of celebrating my own birthday with some really tough workouts, yesterdays I had to “celebrate” both Sunshine and Brittany… every year the Mountain Junkies Fab 5k falls around Sunshine’s birthday so she’s claimed it as her own and for the past three years I’ve agreed to “run” it to celebrate her. (And I’m not a runner, I’m just a good friend because I’m a Leo).

The difference this year was that Sunshine didn’t even run her birthday race herself. She volunteered at the water station where she made me do burpees before she would give me water and then tried to yell at me to burpee broad jump to the next intersection where our 5am trainer, Ercilia, was holding up traffic for me.

This year was the slowest I’ve ever completed this 5k… I partly blame trying to run with a bum ankle and I partly blame the weight I’ve gained back and I partly blame my lack of endurance due to half assing workouts for the past few months. But the truth is I’m just not a “good” runner, I show up and I finish and that’s about it.

After stuffing my face full of Mountain Junkies pumpkin bread I hobbled back to my car (running on grass with a bum ankle is really hard, ok?) to head home for a shower and nap. Except that I checked Facebook and happened to see a post about Brittany’s birthday workout happening at PlayFitStayFit at 10:00… it was 9:25. Jason Gordon said something like “2 a days are good for you” and that was all it took. So I headed there. To walk two more miles with 33 reps of various exercises mixed in because Brittany just loooooooooooves to be outside when it’s 10000 degrees and 10000% humidity.

So my friends list is now closed to runners and fitness enthusiasts. Don’t try to introduce me to anymore people who enjoy this torture. I’m only accepting new drinking friends and cat lady friends.

Today, Sunday, is my rest day. And by rest day I mean cleaning the house I’ve neglected all week, doing all the laundry, the grocery shopping, the meal prepping. And hopefully some laying on the couch with Nermal. Because tomorrow is Sunshine’s birthday and we have to celebrate. With a workout.

33

Apparently the 4pm workout crew at PlayFitStayFit are my biggest fans. I walked in to another round of applause today after Jason Gordon had already put them through my birthday workout… they must really like me if they clapped after that shit.

He messaged me this morning “what’s your birthday exercise or workout for today?” and I get that most normal people maybe probably don’t workout on their birthday, but when you get to pick a special birthday torture… so I said “33 reps of all the things” and as I proceeded to throw out exercises I would like to do and one that I definitely did NOT want to do he replied “I’ve got it from here. Trust me.” If you’re not a PlayFitStayFit family member you don’t know this, but the phrase “trust me” coming from this guy means “Trust that I’m gonna make you hate life for 45 minutes” so I guess he spent the rest of his day trying to think of 33 body weight exercises for us to do 33 reps of. And he definitely included the one that I definitely did NOT want to do… for some reason I thought he might be nice to me for one day of the year… I mean, he told me to trust him…

This is how I looked after 50 minutes of this:

So happy 33rd birthday to me. At least my coworkers provided me carbs and cake to fuel my body for this workout. And my parents provided steak and beer to replenish afterwards.

And also my best friend did math in his Instagram story to remember how long we’ve been together. Bless his heart.

Sunshine made me a collage of all of our best photos together.

Brittany posted a picture of me shoving a brownie in my mouth after a 5k.

I truly do have the best friends anyone could ever ask for.

Birthday Eve

It’s finally my Birthday Eve. Leos like to celebrate our birthdays for the entire month. A week minimum. Because attention. So this week is mine. Until it’s Brittany’s. Because #leosunite and we’re learning to compromise and share the attention.

So Jason messaged the two of us this morning asking what special exercises we wanted in this evening’s cardio workout. Brittany suggested her favorite workout and I already wanted to vomit just thinking about it. I suggested a couple “fun” things… apparently one he liked and one he didn’t. I’d already committed Sunshine to this workout, I messaged her to apologize ahead of time.

When I changed my clothes at work I noticed that a small bug bite I had yesterday had grown large and purple and angry. I briefly considered ditching this workout and heading to urgent care instead, but I’d already chosen a fun exercise… I had to show up even if it meant losing my leg. So I walked in to a slow clap from the 4pm class. I think they were being sarcastic, but whatever… yay me!

After Jason Gordon explains the workout including the special birthday exercise I’d chosen and I get some glares from my fitness friends, he breaks us into groups. He doesn’t even let me be partners with the friend I dragged into this… maybe because he knew I’d goof off too much and maybe because he knew I’d probably work a little bit harder if I had to be partners with Brittany. And we’re the #birthdaygirls.

Sunshine continued to glare at me throughout the workout. Even when she was doing shit I had no part in picking. Whatever, she’ll get me back when I “run” her dumb birthday 5k this weekend.

Amazingly everyone was still speaking to me after the workout. I think. From what I can remember. I was actually starting to panic at this point about the angry growing mass on my leg. So I had to rush home to google “spider bites” “infected spider bites” “can you treat potentially infected spider bites with coconut oil, thoughts, and prayers?” The answer is “probably not” and that’s what led me to urgent care on my Birthday Eve. Where the kind young lady at the front desk reminded me that my driver’s license expires tomorrow. Also where it was confirmed that I have an abscess on my leg and could probably benefit from a week of antibiotics.

So.

Happy Birthday Eve to me.

Nutrition

Anyone who has known me any length of time knows that nutrition is not my thing. Like I can show up to the gym everyday, but I’m gonna go home and binge eat until I feel like I can’t breathe anymore. Or before I go to the gym I’m going to stuff myself so full of Shelby’s eclair cake that I’ll come dangerously close to vomiting while I’m bear crawling. Food is my favorite thing. Bad food. Fast food. Junk food. Sugary sweet food.

So when I went on a cruise to the Bahamas 1.5 years ago I fell off the healthy eating wagon and started gaining weight. Again. Then many months later I fell while hiking Mcafee Knob and broke my ankle in three places (you all know the story, but I’ll share more about that when I go hiking there again and reach the summit this time) and I couldn’t get out of bed for 3 months and my weight crept up and up and up. Again.

But then I returned the PlayFitStayFit in January and had a brief bout of motivation… which didn’t last long. So I’ve been working out again for 6-7 months, but cancelling out all of that work with garbage food.

So this week when Jason Gordon started offering nutritional counseling and meal planning I eagerly (well… for me) requested to sit down with him and get started. Good news, my meal plan specifically allows for a single alcoholic beverage with almost every dinner! Bad news, it’s also going to force me to eat things like squash and zucchini and roasted cauliflower. For now, I’m just going to focus on the good though… I’m allowed alcohol. And, surprisingly, a reasonable amount of food.

But I don’t think I’m allowed to skip any more cardio days