Balancing Act

This past week has been a test of my will and strength. I had never experienced using crutches before and have always thought, in my simple mind, it can’t be that hard/bad. Boy was I mistaken.

I should add that I went snowboarding last weekend prior to my PRP procedure and in a “skilled” move, looking to take a rest break, I sat back in the snow and bruised my tailbone. Ouch! Not only did that ruin the rest of my ski trip-because I couldn’t risk falling again, but as anyone who has done this knows, sitting hurts and it takes weeks for it to heal. Now add crutches and only balancing on one foot. Yay me! 😊 

So this is how my week has been. It’s bad enough to have you foot totally immobilized and unusable, but having to sit and roll on your tailbone to facilitate getting pants on over said boot, bending to tie shoe on the good foot, sitting on hard tile in bathroom trying to pull plastic boot cover on so you can shower…. ouch, ouch, ouch. You get it. No fun. The tailbone hurts way more than my foot, which doesn’t hurt at all. That’s the most important thing.

In fact, every part of my body hurts except my booted leg and foot. Hobbling around in crutches for the entire week has been quite the workout! The first couple of days I could barely get around without breaking a sweat! Nothing like a swift reminder of just how OUT OF SHAPE one is!! My right leg has had to balance and hop, perform single leg squats and pretty much bare all my body weight, which has accumulated since I haven’t run like I once did. It took about 3 days for my body and mind to adjust to this new way of getting around.

I have found it very interesting how our minds and body adapt to our circumstances. Survival instincts kick in. Or at least our capacity to invent. Ingenuity. How will I get from point A to point B with the things I need to carry when I have no extra set of arms? (use a handled bag) It really made me feel how fortunate I am that this is only temporary. How so many other people in the world are faced with certain disabilities and adversities and overcome them. We find a way to move on with our limitations. We don’t just give up. 

I’ve learned to manage my way, figuring out that I can do quite a lot of things left to my own devices. When my boyfriend is gone at work all day I have no choice but to get up and help myself. I am grateful and fortunate that our bathroom shower has a seated area (which I hadn’t given thought to before) so I can sit to wash my hair/shave my leg, etc. That the tub edge is wide enough to sit in so I could dry my hair. The kitchen is set up well too. The island is just close enough to the back counter that I could pass a plate or glass back and forth and slide it along to where I would need to, so I could feed myself (somewhat). In fact, our house is fairly handicap accessible. It’s one level and the only hiccups were entering the garage because it has a step down and getting into the shower-slippery and a step up and over. That scared me the most, but I figured it out and managed not to fall. I was mostly limited by the balancing on one leg. An out of shape leg that got tired fairly quickly. 

One night I was adventurous (or determined) and committed to cooking dinner. I had my boyfriend get the dry necessities down from the pantry shelves and place next to the stove that morning.

When it came time, I gathered the remaining items from the refrigerator and since I couldn’t carry all of them, I threw them to my workstation I was setting up so I didn’t have to go back and forth. This is what it looked like:


With all the pieces in place, I dragged one of the tall kitchen chairs over (thankful for slippery wood floors) gingerly sat down (remember my tailbone) and set to create my famous minestrone soup. Yes, beer IS part of the recipe. And yes, I ended up having to get a second one out because I drank the first while chopping up my ingredients. I’m human. And it tastes so good.

The soup turned out great and I know my boyfriend was thrilled he didn’t have to come home from work and try to figure out dinner, which is NOT his forte! That’s my department.

I have watched A LOT of TV this past week. I’ve been reading a bit too. It’s been restful, trying at times, as well as filled with tons of time for contemplation. I am grateful for all I have in this life and the ability to adjust to micro changes, temporary inability and self discovery. When faced with challenges it’s good to know that I can figure out how to make things work with limits. It has been a good lesson in not surrendering to defeat. It’s been nice to have help for sure but it’s also been nice to realize I can do things on my own as well. 

I’m hoping today is my last day on the crutches. I’ll be speaking with my doctor later and seeing how the foot feels. I’ve babied it all week and with that the hope is I will be able to bare weight on it and start my new job (I’m very excited) tomorrow with only the walking boot. I’m additionally thankful that my new boss already knows and is cool with it. 👍🏻

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The Mud Run That Wasn’t

Post mud run, (which I didn’t run), kneeling on the field, music blaring and almost 2 beers in, I had a great funny blog flowing in my head. Right now. Zip. What can I say about a race I didn’t run? Nothing.

shock tops make for creative writing

                                                                                                                                                 

10 minutes later on the computer…

The 99th Camp Pendleton “World Famous Mud Run” took place this last Saturday. It was a race I had every intention of running. That is, until I strained my calf, yet again, just 5 days beforehand. I played it smart this time. I didn’t run the race. I know, you are shocked. Me too. Good girl for once! However, I had this trip planned for months, mostly to visit my good friend and muddy race buddy, Beth in San Diego, so I was still going to SD, staying with Beth, which meant I was going to the race.

me and my girl beth

Marines, Mud and Music
So, this is how my day went. Our team captain, Tracie (a fitness trainer in everyday life) ordered us to arrive at her house at 5:15 a.m. Yes Ma’am! This, like the last time when we did the Spartan Race, was in my opinion waaaayyy too early to get up (4:30 for us!) for a race that began at 9:15. Okay, I wasn’t even running so it was extra hard for me! Camp Pendelton is in Oceanside about an hour away. I’m not great at math, but I still knew this was a bit of overkill.

Still…  Since, I was just along for the ride, a mascot, an ambassador, a team player, there to support the ladies and have fun, I didn’t chime in voicing my reticence.

I will admit, the idea of hanging around a bunch of Marines did make the early hour easier to swallow. Needless to say, we got to the base and were bused to the “training area/10K course” with 2 hours to spare. Phew, we made it! Now what?

Stand around.

Walk around.

Take pics. A lot of them.

With Marines. Ooh Rah!

And wait. And wait. And wait.

the team ~ ybf (you’ll be fine) + our token marine

Finally it was time for the gang to run off. I had to entertain myself for the next hour or so. I walked ahead and waited for Beth and Tracie to run by. Beth was fired up as you can tell.

go beth (who btw came in first for the group ~ a total rockstar) and team captain tracie!!!

I made a friend as I took this pic, another runner who was injured and couldn’t participate. He and I walked back to the festival area, chatted a bit and then parted ways. I was starving now and was somewhat surprised by the cruddy junk food offerings. I ended up at the dippin’ dots food truck, bypassing the corn dog, kettle corn, and nacho trucks. Are we at a carnaval? I was under the notion that Marines ate healthy. Boo Rah!

The dippin’ dots truck also offered bagels and cream cheese, so I got one, cinnamon raisin with some cream cheese and a water. I found a picnic table at the back of the lawn, across from the 80’s throwback band, to sit on and ate my food. The beer garten was just down the way. I was tempted to partake, but decided to wait until the group finished. Even though it felt like it was mid-day to me (up for 5 hours already), it was still only 9:45 in the morning. Kinda early for a brewski… right?

We had a meeting spot for after the race, although I knew they would be able to find me as I was still dressed in the hot pants and skin tight neon green tank top feeling very self conscious about the fact that my ass was being highly showcased. It was supposed to be perfect for the mud run–not parading solo around a field of military men. This was more challenging for me than if I had done the run itself. Ooh Ugh!

Our meeting place was at this big ol’ military beast of a truck and since I was hanging around the truck I got to get to know the marine who was stationed there “guarding” it. Basically he had to drive it there as he is one of the few men on base that has a license to drive all the different military vehicles, or so he claimed. He told me he was 23 and thought I was in my late 30’s (thanks mom and dad for the young genes) and then he said the best thing… he said, ‘I know I shouldn’t say this, but you have the sexiest legs I’ve ever seen.’ Oooooh Raaaaah! I know… he was just shooting me a line, but lets just roll with it for the moment. (thanks!)

um… dude, you are squeezing me just a little too tight! military men!

This excited me for one reason and one only. I struggle constantly with my curvy body. I just am built that way naturally and unless I like to dine on one almond a day, as my son says skinny women do, I have to accept my looks. Wearing the costume helped me in my never ending endeavor to “embrace my body.”

It wasn’t long before I saw the young boys who were part of our group come in, mud already showered off. Maybe twenty minutes later I saw Beth and Tracie, still muddy. We snapped a few more pics. With the cute marine of course!

muddy girls and blake… lol

The ladies then cleaned up and we headed to the festival, grabbed a few beers, sat on the lawn and enjoyed the 80’s era band. Beth and I giggled a bit about things I was going to write about. That was the beer writing. I wish I had a good memory, because I have NOTHING from that to give you. So when you have nothing left to say, post pics!!

party on ~ tricia, me, beth and tracie

I actually do have one more thing to say. The Muddiest Race at Camp Pendleton looks like it would be fun. Although I am glad that I did not run this year, there is always next which will celebrate their 100th race anniversary. I will say that there was plenty of things going on at the festival for the spectators to indulge in while waiting. The music was good, the beer flowing, there were things to eat and an assortment of carnival like activities, including a rock wall to climb and a zip line to fly across part of the field. So, if you like to get muddy and run, you might like this race.

Now, if I can get Beth to write about her experience, I’ll post it here. Then you will find out what the race was like.

As for me, the non mud runner, I had a great time! Oooh Rah!!