Wednesday, March 11, 2009

New Home!

Come to my housewarming! You will need to get permission to enter via your email address. If I haven't already sent you an invitation, please don't take offense, I just pulled off my contact list. Comment here to request permission and I'll add your email to the approved list!

The title above should link to the new blog. Thanks for visiting my new home!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

What's seven months among friends?

Apparently it's enough for a wombat to mature and venture out of her burrow! I tell ya', google image search is like divining tea leaves for me. I throw out a few words that encapsulate a moment or a feeling and what comes back gives me a focus and a context to make sense of it. This image emerged from a search of the words "seven months." I see myself in it. A little hairier than I'd like to be and in need of a pedicure. It has been seven months since I've posted here. Seven months since I talked about putting my feet on the ground.

Let me be clear here. I've allowed seven months to pass without posting. Posting here became something that invariably created tumult in my divorce no matter how hard I tried to choose words or avoid the topic altogether. It is taking me FOREVER to just craft these few sentences, both because I'm looking at every word through a microscope and because I have to keep deleting what keeps bubbling up to my fingertips. Some if it is catty and beneath me and I know that. I MISS THIS BLOG though! So I'm officially closing this one out. I hate to have to do that but I don't see any other option at this point. I will create a new one and pick up fresh. I have lots to say and lots I want to work on and process as I go. Fitness and body image will remain a primary focus, but not the only one.

Once I've set it up, I will post the address here in a final post. I will leave this blog open so people can read about last year, I've gotten lots of great feedback from bootcampers who found it helpful and I want to keep that available.

For now, I will need to secure the new blog. Not sure if that will be by password or by me granting permission to individual email addresses but I will let you know. I apologize for the hassle factor. Hopefully I can remove those barriers at some point. In the meantime, PLEASE don't hesitate to ask for a password or for access. I won't mind at all and would greatly appreciate any of you who still subscribe following me to my new home.

Check back soon!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Feet . . . meet ground

Three bags of sugar. Yum. Yep, that's what I brought with me from my springtime of pain and play (and no, that ISN'T a veiled reference to S&M . . . ask anyone, I don't veil things like that). Three bags of sugar that are pulling the new clothes I bought back in January into all sorts of disconcerting shapes. Yes, I was injured, the pain was crazy intense, like childbirth sort of but dragging on for weeks and weeks. Worth at least one of those bags. But the other two I picked up on the shores of hedon. Rich food. Sweet drinks. Intoxicating company. Deliciousness ran away with me.

So, I'm still inhaling draughts of sweet spring turned heavy with mature green, BUT, beating my arms against the thickness of summer I'm pushing myself back down toward the ground. Feet . . . feel the street again. Feel the solid beneath me and in me.

I walked the Peachtree Road Race. I felt slow and lumbering but I also felt connected with that ground. All 167 lbs of me. Yep, there it is. A number I thought was long behind me. Already back down to 164 with my new elliptical and the clearing of the food fog that has obscured the bags of sugar I've just been inhaling without thinking.

Here's to getting some traction.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Cards in the hand

The other morning I found myself teaching my young son how to play solitaire on my Ipod Nano, he picked it up and wanted to know what games were on it, not even considering that an electronic device might exist for some purpose other than play. I kept telling him it would be easier with a real deck of cards but he was enamored of the tiny device, the clickwheel, the way that it automatically moves the cards around on the screen. He grasped it quicker than I expected he would (as per usual) and I sighed, wistful for he summer days when my gammy and I would go head to head with stacks of cards for hours on end.

I don't ever remember playing any games against my gammy, always just alongside her. We'd each play solitaire, sometimes klondike but often other versions too. Chatting and joking, pointing out missed plays to each other. She taught me how to shuffle and make a bridge with the cards, a skill I still perform with a flourish.

I've played solitaire on the computer, on my phone, and on my ipod. But nothing is really as satisfying as spreading those cards out, the snapping sound they make against each other and on the table, the clacking as you hit the sides and turn them face up to see how they've re-ordered themselves as the game progresses. The satisfaction of watching the ace piles get thicker. And the cleansing purge of shuffling them all together again at the end, wiping out the failed attempt and starting over. With real cards there aren't any high scores to compare yourself to, only that game, in that moment. I think maybe there's something to that.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Physical therapy doesn't always feel very therapeutic, at least not in the moment. I started PT last week and have had two sessions now. I've learned a lot (it was helpful that during my initial evaluation there was an exercise science student observing and asking questions I might not have thought of). When she was testing the strength in different muscles in my legs I learned, not unsurprisingly, that I'm currently much weaker on the left side. But I have NO strength in my left big toe, it was such a dramatic comparison between it and my right. She said the big toe connects to the spine right where my problem is occurring. In the vein of robocop I'm just wishing for some new titanium parts right about now. The exercises make me burn, I can't believe that I was in the best shape of my life just a few months ago and now I'm standing along side little old ladies not doing much more than they are. Then my therapist starts kneading my muscles around the injury, smiling and laughing and chatting and yet insisting that she really doesn't ENJOY inflicting pain but that its for my own good. I'm not buying it yet.

Today I'll be spending an entire day in depositions, or, in other words, I'll be competing in a sitting on your ass endurance event. Fantastic. Maybe we'll get the deponent to cry, that might make me feel less cantankerous. Ok, I'm just evil today. I've been moving with the rushing water for the last few months and now I feel that I've landed on an island just big enough to hold me for a minute. Pausing . . . looking around, noticing how different the landscape is . . . beautiful and yet strange all at once. I'm pensive, catching my breath, letting the sun dry my waterlogged body but knowing that I haven't landed yet.

Thursday, May 8, 2008


(Thanks to my baby daddy for the great picture above, I'd link to his website but I don't know that he wants to give up his anonymity here)

I’m awash in potential, I’m bathing in it. It’s glorious stuff, the whiff of promise, the heady scent of possibility. I finally scratched a scratch ticket that I’ve been carrying around this morning and found I much more enjoyed carrying around the possibility of having won than the proof that I hadn’t.

My apologies for the very very very long absence. I imagine the handful of folks who subscribed way back when will be the only ones to see this for awhile, I’m sure I’ve dropped way off the bookmarks tab of most folks who were regular readers. I have reasons that are legitimate mixed in with a dose of laziness to blame.

Among the legitimate reasons is the same one I’d asserted before, so much of my focus has been on details of my personal life that I didn’t want to share in such a public forum. And since I’ve stopped doing bootcamp or running its been hard to come back here and type in black and white that I’ve stopped doing bootcamp or running.

I had an injury, I let it go longer than I should have, I attempted to run the ING Half despite it even though I’d dropped way off my training and then found myself in significantly worse shape afterwards.

I DID finish the ING Half, I just had to walk the last 4 miles in a lot of pain. So it wasn’t so much a half marathon for me as it was a 15K race with a 4 mile cool down. Since the half I haven’t done ANYTHING significantly physical and I’m slowly but surely regaining weight. For a little while I was over indulging as a way to sooth myself for the near constant pain and discomfort, I’m starting to reign my diet back in and I’ve probably only gained 5 lbs but its still hard to face. Easier to just lose myself in more pleasant thoughts and distracting activities.

I start physical therapy tomorrow and I had a procedure 2 weeks ago that has significantly helped though not completely eradicated the problem. I’m probably about 60-70% myself again, no longer taking pain meds except at night, but I still have trouble with some types of movements and don’t feel up to anything significant involving my left leg. We’ll see how the PT goes and I may opt to redo the procedure (an epidural shot). I think a picture speaks most clearly, here is an image from my MRI in the week after the ING:

The prolapsed disk has been significantly putting pressure on the nerve root that connects everything from my left lower back all the way down to my left foot. Therefore I get pains of all sort throughout my left foot, leg and hip and, disconcertingly, the left leg and foot fall asleep regularly or just go numb completely. Once we get the disk back into place then hopefully with PT I can work towards preventing it from happening again but it will always be a potential, and not the sweet smelling kind. Doctor says I can be active but that it could happen again while working out or while just picking up a bag of groceries. I may need to seriously consider some lower impact cardio. I’d like to start running again, but maybe not push towards a marathon. My whole life was turned upside down by the pain and it is terrifying to feel so controlled by something within your own body that you just can’t push past or ignore.

Blogging about my fall from the runner’s high was also difficult to face because of the CNN Interview. Yep, after Tim was interviewed back in the winter, CNN asked Operation Bootcamp to nominate another story, this time one that was more focused on a typical weightloss goal and the benefits beyond weightloss. So I got profiled. I was followed by a camera man through a workout and then interviewed in a sit down interview. The link is here.

I actually felt very good about the piece (except for the scene where they are filming from behind while I’m doing High Knees and the mike pack is pulling my pants down) but seeing the commitment I made on camera juxtaposed with the significant amount of time I’ve sat on my couch since then is painful, and hard to own up to, injury or no injury.

In other news, I’ve changed jobs, and moved to a new house, a rental that we’ll be in for at least a year.

[I've edited out the rest of the post for now. We throw words out toward each other and miss completely, or wound inadvertently. When those words are verbal, there is no way to even symbolically withdraw them. When they are written in a web for others to read, they can be withdrawn, at least from further wounding. I want to breathe somehow without exhaling]

Sunday, February 24, 2008


(Art by Nichola Moss)

I'm not lost, but I definitely feel unmoored. And I have a hunch that is ok. I have lines I can throw to a dock if and when I decide to set foot ashore again. It's not all drifting in bliss of course, being unmoored means being susceptible to storms, high seas and monsters of the deep. Terror and exhilaration are once again intertwined. And in the midst of the two I find myself acutely aware of minutia. An impossibly long eyelash resting on my son's cheek. The sheen of a taut and new apple. Dust in the sunshine. The sensation of being enveloped by steam in the shower. Cloth against skin. The texture of strawberries. The space between breaths.

I feel in touch with it all, my senses awash with the connectedness. Minutes take days.

There have been dark clouds, lightning flashes, crashes of thunder. I was naive to think I could avoid them. I am suddenly aware of the depths beneath me. But turning back to shore doesn't feel right. For better or worse I'm unmoored NOW. And now is really all I can focus on for the moment.

The days do pass though, and things happen in each one. For instance, I have a new job. Another one that I had not interviewed with before called and invited me in on a Wednesday morning. That very night they called and offered me a great position doing what I want to be doing. I gave my notice the next day, my last day is Thursday, February 28. My first day isn't until March 10. I'm going to enjoy some more of these long long minutes in between.

I managed 12 miles yesterday. I say managed because I didn't run all of them, I did 5 minute 1 minute run/walk intervals. With a couple of extra walking bits on two truly brutal hills (West on McLendon towards Little 5 Points and up N. Highland through Old Fourth Ward towards downtown). I had fallen very far off the wagon in the two weeks previous, so far that all I could see of it was a dust cloud in the distance. I managed a couple of mornings of Tae-Bo videos but that was all. Very unfocused. Still, I did the 12 miles, in a not totally unrespectable time (2:39). A sub 3 hour half is still attainable. I wore my ipod for the first time during a run because I was alone for all of it. I actually enjoyed it, it was really reflective, I have a lot of bluesy and soulful stuff on my ipod at the moment and it all fit. Running through classic Atlanta neighborhoods, many of them scenes out of my life, and just BEING in my own skin. I finally found a glorious downhill at the end turning right off Glen Iris onto Ralph McGill with my car off in the distance just as Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield came on. That song, top 40 and all, is totally my mantra at the moment, I couldn't believe the timing. I flew down the hill, my soul fluttering in the brisk wind. And to top it all off I think one of my toenails is dying! I can't tell if its turning black or not because of the nail polish but it totally feels kind of loose and dead. How cool is that? Jennifer Daniels has a song where she talks about scars being the tattoos that God designs for people to remind them of significant moments. I think that is so true, and that is definitely what my tattoos mean for me. Its also why I like scars and quirky injuries so much, seeing wounds like that transports you instantly to the moment you received them. In my case each one feels like I've earned something through the pain.

Finally, the house will officially be listed tomorrow. It is all pristine at the moment, ready for the first wave of potential buyers. As right as I know letting go of the house IS, I know I will cry at the closing table. And then I'll go to wherever my new home is and I'll appreciate some more of those long minutes. I'm learning, finally, how little I really need to be happy.