Road closed ahead. Find a new route.

Figures.  Another month has passed by and I've not made an opportunity to capture everything that has happened since the hospital.  Holy cow, a lot has happened.

Saturday in the hospital was eventful.  Visitor after visitor bringing treats and goodies.  Multiple laps around the floor with my husband.  It was nice to be up and around, looking out at sunshine, playing cards and spending time in the lobby.  There was hope that I was going to be getting out.  Soon.  Until I woke up on Sunday morning and the nurse on duty told me that I can't walk around anymore - the walking was not allowing my CK levels to go down.  I cried.  Please tell me you are kidding me.  I'm confined to a stupid hospital bed?  Stupid rhabdo.  Stupid muscle waste.  The rest of the morning was spent fidgeting with Skype so that I could "attend" church that morning.  Ironically, the call dropped about the time the congregation was doing prayer requests.  Matt came to visit and spent the day hanging out bedside.  It was about as exciting as laying in a hospital bed could possibly be.  Monday morning arrived and kidney doctor came by inquiring as to why I was still there... "You tell me"... my CK numbers for the day were around 1900.  Clearly a vast improvement from the 22,000 the previous Wednesday.  Still a ways away from a normal level of 90.  With my mother-in-law in wait, keys in hand... I was released.  Discharge papers signed, stack of hospital jargon info papers in hand and I was on my way home... with the promise that I would take it easy.

Now what?  I slept.  A lot.  I was tired.  A lot.  Energy was zapped.  Physical body was zapped.  But the sleep was renewing and refreshing.  And I clearly needed it.  As I waited for my body to ramp back up to a capable level of accomplishing physical tasks without completely draining myself... my calendar slowly began to fill back up.  Lunches and dinners with caring friends.  Back to school to resume my classes (100% on my Jade Stone final two days later).  A weekend in Carson, CA watching the Fittest in The World compete at the CrossFit Games.  Follow-up doctor's appointments and acupuncture appointments.  And most importantly - going out and about with the hubby... to fairs and to Disneyland.  I started my hours in the school clinic - 50 massages down.  100 to go.  And now today... every day of the week has become packed full of activity (much of it entails driving and sitting in my car on the 405 listening to the traffic report about how the 405 is slow moving.  Seriously?).

Rhabdo update: so far - blood work follow-up looks good.  I still get tired easy and have done two CrossFit workouts since I've been home.  Two.  I have a standing order with the blood lab to go and get my CK checked if I ever panic that the rhabdo is coming back.  Good to know.  Because these workouts make me feel like a newbie all over again.  Tough to discern the standard muscle soreness from a rhabdo onset.  Call it paranoia, I call it caution.

And now I sit - with a blank calendar in front of me... crying for a new schedule.  A new training plan.  Clearly, I cannot return to the road I was on before.  I have to change how I go about preparing for this 1/2 marathon staring me in the face in exactly two months.
Looking forward to seeing this once again!
So here's how this is going to go... I may not PR, but I'm going to run the best 1/2 I've run since 2007.  And that's a good goal for me.  I'm 100% Paleo and feeling really good.  Energy levels are up (probably too much... can someone please tell my body I just fell asleep at midnight... it does not need to be wide awake and ready to go at 4 am!) and I'm making a slow ascent back up my hill to happiness.  Sprint work, plyometrics, heavy lifting... and distance time trials on the weekends with plenty rest days built in to the mix.  Oh, and a LOT of water.  That's the plan.  That's where I'm going.  I even have a fancy new jump rope that make double-unders a piece of cake.  Okay, maybe not a piece of cake - but the flesh on my arms and calves don't look like a rogue pirate after his lashings.  And that's a start.  I should also mention that each 50 minute massage I give in the clinic burns 300 calories.  Considering I could wring out my shirt by the end of each one - I believe it.

This post turned out to not be exactly what I wanted it to be... but to serve as a shout to the world that I'm back on track.  A different track... but a good one.  One with more awareness of my body's limits and that sometimes I need to stop and listen when it is screaming at me.  I can no longer just scream back and drag it along for the ride.

CrossFit tonight.  Short run tomorrow.  Mid-term exam prep tomorrow.  6 hours of massage on Sunday.  Sleep on Monday.  Lots and lots of sleep on Monday.

3 - 2 - 1... GO!


The unplanned detour... Room 231.

It's funny.  I was just talking to my husband late last week about how whenever I hit a really nice high - I know there is going to be a really low low.  Circle of life, yin and yang, all that good stuff.  I sort of chuckled when I opened this page to start writing because that is when I noticed that my last post was a high peak along my lifelong roller coaster ride.  And today... is not.

I am writing this post from the lobby of Palmdale Regional Medical Center.  I am adorned in an oversized striped hospital gown with silly blue and green diamond patterns and my yellow knee socks.  I got tired of the brown hospital socks with grips on the foot so that I don't tumble and fall on their overly waxed floors.  Trust me - I will make certain I don't do anything more to ensure a longer stay here than necessary.  I'm going to share the whole story - so that whenever people ask, I can just direct them to this page.  I figure I'll also use it as a reminder later down the line for some precautions I need to take when I get a little lax about paying attention to my body when it is screaming at me.

Rewind to last Friday.  I completed a heavy lifting WOD on Wednesday... 5x5 deadlift.  PR.  I was happy.  School on Thursday.  Nice train ride home.  Mary on Friday.  20 minute AMRAP of 5 handstand push-ups (I did pike push-ups), 10 pistols (I did one legged squats off the box), and 15 pull-ups.  I was a little tired... didn't think anything of it... pushed my way through... finished with 5 rounds and 4 push-ups.  No big deal.  Woke up Saturday a little tired and sore.  Nothing new.  Lounged on the couch all day and watched mobster movies with the hubby.  Woke up Sunday really sore.  Why was I getting MORE sore?  Stretched out some.  Jumped up on my pull-up bar at home to practice a few pull-ups on the tiny purple band.  1 and fail.  That was weird.  Way not normal.

Woke up Monday and couldn't extend either arm out from the elbow past 90 degrees.  Didn't think much of it.  I've been pretty sore from workouts before.  I went running with a friend and felt WIPED OUT.  Totally.  Wiped.  Out.  My left leg had bizarre cramps in my calf and quad.  Arms were killing me.  And I wanted nothing more than to go back to bed.  But I didn't.  I went to CrossFit instead.  Squat cleans, push-ups, and wall-balls.  More arms.  115# was the Rx weight.  I struggled to get up 95#.  Not at all like me.  I know I can Rx that WOD.  After the 3rd round, out of 5, I dropped the weight to 85#.  My arms were empty and my body was out of gas.  I was more tired than normal after this WOD.  Not wanting to think about it, I went about my day like normal... running errands and getting ready for my big day at school on Tuesday.

There was a little chatter on Facebook about the potential of a mild case of "rhabdo" earlier that morning.  Started doing a little research.  A little more.  Google is pretty good and I started getting some answers... and probably more information than I was prepared to handle.  Closed all the Firefox tabs and got on with my day.  Practiced a few 50 minute massages on Matt that night to ensure that I could still perform a massage with stiff, sore, achy arms that didn't extend all the way... Success.  I would most certainly feel better in the morning.

Tuesday I went to school like normal.  Ate a banana.  Chugged coconut water.  Water.  More coconut water.  And more water.  Arms just as stiff.  Just as sore.  And REALLY swollen.  Like a weird creepy, no visible elbow swollen.  The WOD wasn't THAT hard Friday or Monday.  Class was great.  My clinical intro massage went well.  My first paying client went well.  Both clients seemed (and expressed that they were) satisfied.  Second class in the evening.  Excellent learning.  Excellent hands on.  It was a really good day.  Mentally, I was perking up.  Until I notified a friend on my drive home that I might have a mild case of rhabdo and my arms were hurting.  Don't EVER tell a nurse that something serious is wrong with you... even if you don't think it is serious.  She will insist the world is going to end if you don't get checked and will not leave you alone until you have some answers for her.

Wednesday.  Awoke with stiff, puffy, sore arms.  Five days after pull-ups in a workout.  Yeah, okay, MAYBE something isn't right.  Ate bananas.  MORE coconut water.  And more filtered water.  I'll just flush my system and things will get better.  I know it.  Skipped the run.  Skipped the WOD.  More Googling of rhabdomyolysis.  Then I found them.  Pages full of stories about CrossFitters and the workouts they did that landed them in the hospital.  GHD sit-ups.  Lunges.  And in many cases - pull-ups.  They have been CrossFitting for years.  Nothing changed.  Many didn't even have the cola colored urine.  They couldn't extend their arms past 90 degrees.  They were stiff, sore, and ridiculously swollen.  And their Creatine-Kinase (CK) numbers were in the tens of thousands.  One of the highest - 175K.  Wow.  All of them were in the hospital for a few days, with varying degrees of pain and discomfort.  And all of them had to be flushed until their numbers returned to normal.  Hmmm... maybe I should take this a little more seriously?  Just in case.  I contacted a very respected coach and friend from CrossFit CalCity... the one man, that in fact brought the possibility of rhabdo to my attention on Monday morning.  Between Coach Bob, Nurse P, and her daughter Nurse K (with first hand experience)... They insisted in a very assertive way that I go get checked.  Just to be safe.  And for the sake of the long term health of my kidneys.

I didn't want my Wednesday to be ruined... so I went to an existing appointment at noon.  Shared a delightful lunch with my husband.  Thai.  I had the Panang beef... an excellent and very delicious choice at one of my favorite restaurants - The Thai Restaurant in Lancaster.  Then I leisurely made my way to the ER at Palmdale Regional.  14:30 I fill in my paperwork.  "Symptoms consistent with Rhabdomyolysis."  And outlined what I did on Friday.  Where it hurts.  How it hurts.  15:30 - I've peed in a cup.  They're going to take blood.  The rest gets a little fuzzy on timing and order... 18:30 - I learn that my CK levels are at 22,000.  Normal levels range from 90 to 200.  Oops.  Insert IV.  Start flushing the system full force.  21:30 - doc on duty comes by to tell me I have rhabdomyolysis.  Really?  I'm pretty sure I figured that part out by now.  I may possibly have to stay the night.  REALLY?  Now THAT I wasn't 100% ready for... a little bit, based on everything I had read.  But hearing it was still a shock.  Matt ran to grab dinner - Chipotle bowls.  So darn tasty... the last darn tasty thing I would eat until... well, I just don't know yet.  I'm still here. 

Rhabdomyolysis: the breakdown of muscle fibers resulting in the release of muscle fiber contents (myoglobin) into the bloodstream. Some of these are harmful to the kidney and frequently result in kidney damage.

For all the causes, symptoms, and possible prognoses - click HERE.  Basically - if this was the WORST case... my kidneys would fail and I'd be on dialysis for the rest of my life.  Praising God that I am not anywhere near being WORST case.  What I've also read in my continued research around this topic - rhabdo can be induced with high stress levels and lack of sleep.  Hmm... I could be the poster child.

For those of you that don't care to hear about my adventures at Palmdale Regional, you can stop here.  For the other one of you (thanks, Mom for still reading on)... the rest of this post will be a journal of all the eventful on-goings in and around room 231.

I'm wheeled up to my room at midnight-thirty late Wednesday/early Thursday.  Why wheeled?  I can walk.  I'm not sick.  Seriously.  I. am. not. sick.  Matt makes sure I get settled in.  Kisses me goodnight.  And now I'm left alone, in this sterile room... trying to piece together everything that has just happened.

My kidneys are at risk of permanent damage?  All I did was workout - nothing different than normal.  My hydration was deficient.  My sleep was deficient.  And I had a lot on my mind.  The desert was its usual hotness.  I sweat a lot.  Nothing outside of normal.  Now, I have a needle in my arm with the 3rd liter of saline going through.  And I'm told I have to measure every ml of urine that comes out of my body.  Needless to say, I didn't sleep much on Wednesday night.  This really can't be happening, can it?  Wake up at 3:30 to have my blood pressure, pulse, and HR taken.  Normal.  I'm healthy.  I knew that.  Wake up at 6 to give more blood.  Ooh - maybe the CK numbers are down and I can go home today!

Crappy breakfast at 8.  Cream of wheat.  Scrambled eggs.  A strip of bacon.  English muffin.  Cranberry juice.  A carton of milk, people?  I believe I told you when I went to bed last night that I was allergic to milk.  Whatever.  I eat the eggs, THE bacon strip (all that was provided), and the cranberry juice.  I stash the english muffin for later.  I knew food would be hard to come by.  When offered the opportunity to order my lunch - I jump on it.  I even throw in a brownie for Matt.  I'm a big spender like that.  Okay, so HealthNet is the big spender.  But whatever.  Matt got a brownie.  It was about all the thrill I could offer him in a hospital room.

Kidney specialist came in sometime that morning.  Kidneys are good.  Liver is struggling a bit.  Up the fluids.  Great.  AND a diuretic?  Geez, people... I might as well move the bed into the bathroom and set up camp in there.  To be expected - I peed.  A lot.  All day.  And I made sure to write every single ml down on the "track Dania's potty progress chart" posted on my door.  Glad they don't want me to measure anything else.  I'm just saying.  I had an enjoyable visit with my mother-in-law.  I insisted she didn't come - only for the reason that she has spent more than enough time in hospitals over the past few years between my father-in-law and his mother and the array of health issues and broken things that accompanied them.  But she came, and we sat and chatted.  Joked about how healthy I look (and felt).  Our time together was briefly interrupted by a visit from an apple-headed chihuahua and a poodle - both members of the "Pet Pals" pet therapy organization.  Puppy kisses heal all.  I'd prefer my own little babies, but these gals would have to do.  In fact, I'm looking into volunteering with Volt.  He'd LOVE to visit patients and give them all kisses.  I think he'll do great with kids, especially.

Kathy left.  Matt came soon after.  And it was just a long, boring, depressing day.  I had a headache.  I felt nauseous.  And I couldn't really move around.  Matt and I walked a loop around the floor.  And then I came back and laid down.  I felt bad.  I enjoyed having his companionship, but I knew he was tired and had a lot of work he needed to take care of.  After my paltry dinner of two bites of crummy teriyaki chicken, four broccoli florets, and a few bites of rice... I kissed my wonderful hubby goodnight and he headed home to tend to our four legged, fur babies.  I caught up on e-mail as best as I could with PUFFY fingers and an iPhone keypad.  Thank goodness for my friend Emily, who introduced me to a fabulous little time killer - 7 Little Words.  Ugh.  Love it.  Addicting.  And perfect for wasting away time at 3 am when I can't fall back asleep.

I dozed off around 21:30.  Woke up at 22:15 for vitals.  I already knew it was going to be another long, sleepless night.  C.N.A. returned at 23:00.  I think for more vitals.  I don't know - because I actually fell asleep.  Deep.  Deep enough that it felt restful and good!  Played a few rounds of 7 Little Words... and knocked out again.  3 am - vitals.  Pulse - 49.  BP - 89/57.  Freak out time.  4 am - I am woken up, basically to see if I am alive.  I have a series of five leads that are connected to a wireless vitals monitor that is constantly watched from staff on another floor.  They called my nurse to inform them that my pulse was fluctuating in the 50's... then all of a sudden dipped to 39.  39!  I thought that was kind of cool... That's Mikko Salo levels - resting HR of 31.  Mikko Salo, I am not... but man... it made me a little happy.  All I know is that I was extremely relaxed, getting some good "hospital" sleep and all the meditative breathing I have been doing since I got here is finally kicking in.  Don't startle me awake to get it back up!  Heh heh - it was still 49 when they took it again.

6 am.  Right arm = pin cushion for the 5th time.  7:30.  Breakfast.  Milk.  AGAIN?  I want to be like those gnarly old ladies that throw things and scream at the staff (I haven't encountered one here yet, but I was hoping to channel my grandma)... and I wanted to hurl the milk carton (probably the same one from last night's dinner) at the food delivery folk.  But I didn't.  I ate my scrambled egG, piecE of bacon, and cranberry juice.  Brushed my teeth.  Washed my face.  Walked two laps around the floor.  And came back to my room.  Kidney doc came for another visit.  CK down to 8K.  Good news.  Staying at least one more night.  Bad news.  Boo... that means at least three more milk laden meals here.  And at least two more pin cushion pricks into my right arm.

Then I made a choice.  Lay in bed all day.  Sulk.  And wait for tomorrow to see if I get to home.  Or make the most of my day.  If I keep myself busy - time will go by faster, right?  So I showered.  And washed my hair with a bar of soap.  Like a Motel 6 bar of soap.  Mental note and note to all of you - don't do it.  Ever.  I may have to hose my head off later today just to get the residue out.  Even after like five minutes of scrubbing.  Ah well, at least my scalp is clean.  And my face.  And my arm pits.  And the nethers.  Seriously - clean pits and nethers can do wonders for boosting your mood.  Even if I can't get a brush through my somewhat scraggly hair, I feel much better than I did yesterday.  The best part - for 20 minutes - I was completely disconnected.  I felt human again.  No IV cable attached to my arm.  No battery pack with cords connected to my torso.  And no pokey gooey leads poking me in the underbosom.  For 20 minutes.  I relished those moments.

Then I went for another walk around the hall.  Made some phone calls.  Came back to the room, packed up my computer, phone, and IV pole and made my way to the lobby.  Where I started this post.  Looking out the window over the Antelope Valley... seriously, you can see quite a bit of valley from here... being on top of this hill isn't so bad.  On top of a hill in the hospital - meh, but the view is a nice escape.  Blogged a little.  Gazed a little.  Googled and Facebooked.  Then went back to my room.  Lunch.  No milk.  Maybe they're learning.  Fish, carrots, rice, fruit cup.  I DID order an oatmeal cookie for Matt.  I thought someone swiped it while I was out, but noticed it wasn't on the order sheet.  No stale dry cookie to surprise him with when he arrives.  Bummer.  A few more laps.  A vitals check:

BP: 111/73
Pulse: 53
SpO2: 98%
Temp: 98.3

And now I blog.  Sitting up in my bed with my funkified hair... a leaky IV and the hope that MAYBE I'll get to go home tomorrow.  The doc that just stopped by indicated that until they see a HUGE drop, I'm a semi-permanent resident of Palmdale Regional.  Like CK needs to be at 200.  Hmm...

Here I sit... thinking about what is going to happen to my NWM 13.1 training schedule.  And how I'm going to have to be creative, and careful, and even more focused.  Good thing I'm versatile.  And determined.  I'll find a way.  And I'll still PR.  But this little detour has opened a new outlook for me - and I will be more mindful of self-care.  Of hydration.  Of getting sleep.  And more deep breathing.  And most importantly: listening to my body... and especially my friends.

Ha... the admitting department just came in and told me how much my deductible and in-hospital co-pay is.  Put the HR monitor on me now, people.  I'll show you some numbers to worry about!


I'm lighting one candle on one (paleo) cookie. Today, I celebrate.

Me, on top of the world.  Well, at the highest point of Mt. Fuji.  Close enough.
Today, I celebrate.  We all know that I am not one to acknowledge my successes... that I am not prone to celebrating, announcing, touting, or even making anyone aware of my achievements.  In my mind, those moments are just one more step along my journey.  In my mind... I quickly process what happened, take it into consideration, then immediately question what I could've done better... what I can do better next time... moving forward.  That's just the way I am.  Continuous improvement, perhaps to a fault.

I'm competitive.  Mostly with myself.  Mostly.  A win for me is momentary, but the path to get there is continuous.  And if I spend too much time celebrating, I'm losing precious moments in preparing for the next challenge.  Losing is the same way.  Losing is the most incredible learning opportunity available.  Spend a moment to be sad.  Frustrated.  Angry.  Whatever.  But don't revel in the misery.  Reflect, identify where to improve, and move in that direction.  Maybe that's why I'm not so great at being happy when I succeed... because I can't learn from that experience as much as I can in my own failures.  Like I said, I'm weird like that.

But today... today, I celebrate.  I want to scream out loud.  I want to world to hear how happy I am.  There have been a series of successes lately... and they continue to stack up... so I am going to stop being so hard on myself... just for today... today I will partake in the joy and excitement that I deserve.  I'm just going to list the rungs of the ladder that helped me climb up to the top of my little world this past month.

1) 98% on my Anatomy mid-term
2) Acupuncture treatments have created a whole new sense of life in my lungs (and my head)
3) The mental brick wall has been chipped down to the ground... encouraging me to go out in 100 degree weather, 20 mph winds and complete a CrossFit WOD all on my own.
4) 100% on my Anatomy final exam
5) 100% on my Swedish Massage practical exam (who wants to put my skills to the test?)
6) The rung that put me over - I shredded my old PR for my CrossFit total.  I added 96# from my last total in February.  My backsquat went from 155# to 196#.  My shoulder press went from 65# to 95#.  My deadlift went from 225# to 250#.

I am more proud of today than any of the other 5 items on this list.  Maybe its because I can look at today's performance and build on it.  Improve on it.  1 - 5 are moments in time.  What can I do to improve on that?

Its nice when it feels like life is moving forward.  I am enjoying the thoughts around my race in October... and how all of the events, workouts, and the breakdown of mental (and physical) barriers will all contribute to the best 1/2 marathon I've ever run.  I have my eye on you San Francisco.  You're in my scope.

Funny thing is... even if I do PR... deep down, I know it won't be enough.  The medal will go in my giant basket of race numbers and other medals... and I'll have to figure out what I can do better for the next one.  The challenge, the competition with self... that is what makes me happy.  The determination and the physical and mental ability to improve myself - that is my reason to celebrate.


Copy Cat...

Read a great piece on another blog that I follow (http://www.theclothesmakethegirl.com/)... which is incredibly fantastic and inspiring.  It was so appropriate for my journey that I wanted to share it.

Click the link below... go and give Mel some love... and enjoy!  

And while you're over there, snoop around.  Read, get some insight... and bookmark her page.  She is always so great to read!


Accountability... Help me out!

Four and a half months: Nike Women's 1/2 Marathon
Five months: LA R&R 1/2 Marathon
Six months: Las Vegas R&R 1/2 Marathon (at night!)

Here is a picture of my training plan from now until the end of July.  It is hanging boldly in the center of my refrigerator as a solid reminder that I need to get off my tush every day and make forward progress to my goal of completing all three of these races... and not only completing them, but SHATTERING my old PR and bringing home a sub two-hour half marathon PR.

Solid diet + good sleep + CrossFit/CrossFit Endurance + a lot of encouragement... and I know I can do it.

3 - 2 - 1... GO!

Excuse me, but this security blanket is wrapped a little too tight!

I had another revelation this weekend.  I seem to be having quite a few of these lately... massage, acupuncture, and meditation are apparently as therapeutic as everyone claims them to be.  About five years ago, I was in the midst of my crazy wild young adult lifestyle in Los Angeles... little regard for the future, for the repercussions of my actions, merely enjoying the moment - from moment to moment.  It was fun.  It was incredible.  I don't regret any of it... because each experience made me who I am today.

What I am starting to realize is that I go through
this pendulum swing of life about every three years or so.  (What's worse is that I am old enough that I have enough 3 year segments to go back and identify a pattern... YIKES!)  My first three years after college graduation, I was finding my way.  Trying to be that career oriented engineer that wanted to make something of herself in this big world.  Work, work, work... I made some very close friends during this time and it wasn't until the very end of this segment in time that I started to venture out, spread my own wings, and grow up.  The pendulum had started its swing in the opposite direction.  After I moved to LA, it took some time to get comfortable... but there is something in this city for everyone.  And soon enough - I found my niche.  I worked my ass off.  There were days I swore I was quitting and moving home to Texas.  But after the day was over - I partied just as hard through the evenings and early mornings.  Work hard.  Shop hard.  Play hard.  Exercise hard.  I did everything with full intensity at full throttle.  It was all about me and learning my limits.  I pushed those limits to my own extreme and right when I was at the peak of "me" - the pinnacle of my own health and fitness, involvement with friends and the community, comfort level in the big city... I met a guy.  A guy that swept me off my feet and showed me what true love is... a guy that was established, owned a home, had a very stable job, and was pretty easy on the eyes to boot.  There was a wonderful sense of security when I was with him.  Every road trip out of LA and into Kern County brought a sense of relief.  I was escaping the craziness.  The fast pace.  The good things and the bad things that waited patiently for me to return back to the South Bay.  My pendulum had once again pegged at "On The Edge" and was making its way back once again.

The next three years, I threw everything I had into this "security blanket" of a life that I saw laid out before me...  I only know how push forward with 100%.  I'm an all or nothing gal.  I relocated.  I found a new job.  Not one that I particularly enjoyed or cared about, but it was something that could anchor me in my new life... at least for a little while.  I ignored the fact (off and on) that my old activities... the good ones were going away at a rapid pace.  The hobbies, the lifestyle, the friendships... everything that I enjoyed were becoming distant memories... much like their distant location to my new home.  But the payoff was stability.  Safety and security.  All things that I was never able to guarantee for myself in the years prior.  I got married.  I got out of debt.  I live in a home with a backyard and two incredible dogs.  They are my babies and I spoil them rotten because I hope to bring them as much joy as they bring to me.  I still struggle to find hobbies and friendships that give me a sense of purpose... but when I curl up on the couch in a heated (or air-conditioned) living room next to 160 pounds of fur and tails... and my husband... I let that frustration slide and push it aside for as long as I can.

My revelation this weekend is that I somehow managed to wrap my security blanket a little too tight.  I've started to strangle myself... stifle my own being in hiding behind everything that is safe and okay.  I'm caught up in my own fears of bringing about the challenges that I had years back... I am choking on my own constraints.  All the choices I made to protect myself, to enter into a comfortable, calm life are no longer feeling as great as they used to.  The pendulum has pegged once again.  Three years since the last time.

So here I sit... contemplating what are my next steps?  Where do I belong?  The greatest moments of my week are when I wake up at 3:30 in the morning to get ready for school and board the train to LA.  The adventure, the unknown... the "what next"... they bring about a feeling of finding my purpose once again.  I don't like being wrapped up too tight in my sheets... I'm a "no tuck" gal.  I like to swirl the sheets around.  School is amazing.  Slowly finding the things I enjoy once again has ignited something in my core.  My pendulum is on the downswing and life is shifting... to where and how?  I don't know yet, but I am excited to find out.  I have one arm broken free from my swaddling cloth and am slowly untucking my way out.  Don't get me wrong... I'm going to hang on to my security blanket for dear life.  I like knowing its there... but with one hand firmly gripping on, I am reaching out into life's abyss with the other hand... as far as I can possibly touch.

When I graduated college, my fifth grade math teacher gave me a Star of David pendant and a little note that said I would make a big mark in this world.  I've never forgotten that note.  And that burning desire to leave my mark is what drives me to find my way once again.  I certainly can't let Miss Timms down, now can I?  Failure is never an option.

And the journey continues...


"Please be responsible for the energy you bring into this space"

I've been taking mental notes for about three weeks on what I want to communicate on here... this is definitely becoming a much deeper introspective journal than I had originally intended.  Good for me.  Juicy gossip and Dania drama for you.  With all the mental notes piling up, today's series of events led to the one mental note that toppled the stack and finally got me to sit down and piece out what's been going on in life.

I'm going to start by saying - I'm not an Oprah die-hard.  I'm cool with Oprah... I've watched her show from time to time through the years - but she wasn't a regular on my DVR and I've only recently subscribed to her magazine because I love her shopping recommendations.  And I got a Groupon - an entire year for $10.  Deal.  What has impacted me the most about Oprah is that in the few times that I have watched - the show is always timely with a message that I feel was directed right at me.  I know this is what Oprah does... she's one heck of a heartstring maestro for women all over the world.  For whatever reason, I watched the very final episode of her show yesterday.  Oprah was reviewing clips from her 25 years on air and the one that struck me, again and again was of Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor explaining her experience in the hospital after having a stroke.  The one thing she was most receptive to was people's energy and she spoke of how critical it was that the doctors and people that came into her hospital room brought with them only a positive connecting energy.  She was so in tune with the energy people brought with them that it had a huge impact on how they personally would make her feel.

I feel like very few of us are ever lucky enough to be that in touch with that level of energy perception.  That in tune with WHY we feel the way we do around certain people... be it good, bad, frustrated... its not just our own energy - it is their energy as well.  Oprah showed a picture yesterday of the little sign that Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor sent... "Please be responsible for the energy you bring into this space."  Pluck.  Pluck.  That's Oprah striking my chord.

Click here for the Oprah Finale piece on Dr. Taylor.

What I have started to realize is that this journey... my personal journey... is actually taking place from the inside out.  There is a huge box of Dania pieces that were lost, broken, and set aside that I am slowly picking up and bandaging back together.  It is by reevaluating these partial and mended pieces that I am able to look at my actions, my words, and my energy through newly focused lenses.  I am able to clearly identify what is truly important, what is not so important, and what I need in this life to thrive and be the woman God created me to be.

Today was the first day that I took ownership of the energy that I brought with me everywhere I went.  Both awesome and atrocious.  The day started out very well... my husband gave up his entire day to spend a few hours with me in the morning and afternoon.  I made great effort to communicate with him how important that his presence was to me.  I continued to assure him that the gift of his time was very special.  Positive, flowing energy?  Check.

In class today, we spent the entire time going through Swedish massage drills.  A sequence of moves that will typically and easily take nearly two hours had to be crammed into a mere 50 minutes today.  Three people at a table - 1 proctor.  1 client.  1 therapist.  All started okay... I was in control of my own energy.  Comfortable with most of the sequences and a focus on strictly my client - all seemed to be moving well.  What happened next was the beginning of a terrible,  horrible, no good, very bad afternoon.  Our teacher continued to chime in our ear how much time we had left.  What?  I have to flip her over in five minutes?  But I've only finished one of her legs!  Calm productive energy quickly slipped into nervous uncontrolled energy.  I squished a foot.  Shook an arm too vigorously.  This clearly began to impact my client - who I am sure could feel me tense up.  Her energy shifted.  The proctor was ultimately zero help.  I fumbled through the parts of the sequence I didn't know... trying to get through a series of strokes that I had just learned two days ago.  I'm barely getting through the motions, without even being able to give any full effort to connecting with my client or the process... I quickly slip into hypercritical self-criticism and doubt, my client is trying to provide constructive feedback, my proctor is standing in her own space with all my notes, my teacher is behind me indicating we only have a few minutes left to finish and it became too much for me.  Too much mixed energy.  Too much tension.  It was a split second away from being explosive.  I had two options at that point... my first and most comfortable inclination was to tell everyone within arms reach to please shut the eff up (or in the proctor's case - SAY SOMETHING!  HELP ME!).  But since this is massage therapy and I would fast regret that choice... my second choice was to take a deep breath, excuse myself, and get outside into a neutral space where I could regroup, establish a new (albeit shallow) sense of calm and return to the room without the negativity that had been heaping up for the past 47 minutes.

Needless to say, by putting my efforts into the negativity after the afternoon events... I let that filter into my emotions and I turned to poo-poo food to make me feel better for the day.  Not feeling so much better now.  I accept responsibility for the decisions I made today.  Before I go to bed, I will ensure that I make an extremely conscious effort to only go through tomorrow with the type of energy that I would want to expose my friends and loved ones to... and pray in turn that like energies find their way to me.  When the inside is healthy and thriving, the outside will soon follow suit.

Tomorrow will be a good day.  A day of responsibility and owning up to what I carry with me into someone else's space.  I may not be able to control other people's actions... but I can control my reactions.  And that is all that matters.

I am focused on becoming a centered-self.  Because when I am centered, I am a much greater asset to the rest of the world... be it friends, family, or just people I happen to sit next to on the train. 



E-hugs for our soldiers!

This is a post that is long overdue... one that has been lingering on my back burner for months.  Since I seem to have staked some claim on a tiny little corner of this giant interweb - I will use it not only to track my journey to better health and fabulous fitness, but to throw out a few personal sentiments about life and on-goings and other whatnots.  (ie: my earlier post from today)

Osama Bin Laden is dead.  Terrorism and dissension in the Middle East are not.  A lot of us have friends, family, and some connection to the soldiers that are currently deployed and I want to take a moment to give these men and women a little e-love and lots of respect.  This includes a very special thanks to Adam and Jedd and Josh for doing what they do every day. 

Adam is a good friend of my husband... and through the transitive property, a good friend of mine.  He has a beautiful family.  For awhile he was kicking my rear at Bejeweled and I wouldn't go to sleep some nights until my score far exceeded his.  Seriously, Adam - don't you have a war to fight?  Matt and I both look forward to Adam's return home - because that means we get to go play bingo in Vegas and hang out in the OJ suite at Palace Station.  I hear there may even be a kayak trip on the agenda!

Jedd is a good friend from church.  Jedd, Heidi and their kids are a CrossFit family, which automatically makes them awesome.  Heidi is an inspiration... in the church, in the home, during CrossFit WODs.  Heidi and Jedd have a fabulous family and you are truly blessed to be able to spend time in their presence.  We all look forward to Jedd's safe return - because things around here just aren't complete without him.

I don't know Josh personally, but he is special to people that are special to me.  Josh is the brother of our pastor's wife and I know he is a big fan of Nerds candy.  We pray for Josh often and I know his sister and his family are eager for his safe homecoming as well.

I just wanted to take a few minutes to give these guys some love... some kudos... to say "THANK YOU FOR BEING AMAZING!" and ask that you take a few moments and say a prayer for each of them, for their families, and for their safe return home.

We love you, guys!

If I'm the average... then that makes me really happy.

I'm going to start off by saying that if you don't like other people's opinions, then stop reading right now.  In regards to the death of Osama Bin Laden - Facebook friends and acquaintances, the media, and fellow commuters have all erupted with their stories and personal diatribes about their feelings around the situation.  This post is my turn to speak about the situation... not so much my personal take on what happened, but more about how my friends reacted and my sentiments around that.

I won't lie.  When I first heard the news of Bin Laden's death, it was a huge sigh of relief.  I was also torn on what to feel.  To be excited?  To be happy?  To be afraid?  There were some jokes made - they were funny.  I laughed.  I have very witty friends.  But relief was the strongest, most overwhelming feeling.  It was as if there was a missing piece of a puzzle... gnawing at America... and that piece was finally found and put into place.  I changed my Facebook profile picture to an American flag last night.  For the first time in almost ten years, it seemed as though the nation was united all together in one common sentiment.  There was pride, encouragement, and support of what had happened.  There is something that just feels good about national pride and unity... even if for a short time.  Is it a form of gloating?  Yes. 

Closure certainly feels good, yet I am not comfortable with the thought of celebrating this event.  The feelings certainly crossed my mind.  There HAS been a welling hatred for this man.  Afterall, Janet Napolitano and the complete calamity that TSA has become is a direct result of this man's masterminded plans.

This morning I was made aware that sentiments around Bin Laden's death were widely different than I had originally considered.  What I noticed was that my friends, nationwide, all shared a similar outlook as me.  Confusion.  Uncertainty.  But there was something refreshing and completely different than many of the media outlets that I was listening to for the past twelve hours.  

I was once told that we are each the average of our five closest friends.  And to pick wisely.  Since Facebook affords me the opportunity to "be close to" 200+ friends (paltry to some of you, I know) - I have a much better chance of a good average.  But today - my average shot sky high.  I am going to share with you some of the quotes and posts that my friends posted today.  The comments were just as impacting, if not more.  I felt this forum would be easier than multiple reposts directly to Facebook. 

"I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."   -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

"There's a big difference between "justice" and "vengeance." Justice is about about making sure people get what they deserve, Vengeance is about delighting in the suffering of another person. I pray that we Americans can respond to the news about Bin Laden in a way that celebrates and honors justice, not just vengeance. "  -Mark Finney

"In front of the death of man, a Christian never rejoices but rather reflects on the grave responsibility of each one in front of God and men, and hopes and commits himself so that every moment not be an occasion for hatred to grow but for peace."  -The Vatican

The following are excellent articles and I encourage you to take the time to read them both...

This one is probably my favorite outlook on all of this.

I was listening to one radio host today and became more and more disgusted by his comments... his eagerness to see the actual photos, to play "Kill Bin Laden" with his son, the joking about what potentially transpired that night - including the speculation that one of the SEALs, possibly a brother to a NYC firemen that passed on 9/11, approached Osama Bin Laden and exclaimed "This is for my brother!" before pulling the trigger twice.  I couldn't have been more appalled by his conversation.  Shock value for entertainment?  Probably.  But its out there.  And its easily shaping the sentiments of those who can't necessarily think on their own.

I took salvation in the fact that my friends and acquaintances took a completely different stance.  And that makes me happy.  Happy to call them my friends.  Happy that I am the average of all those with whom I choose to surround myself.  Happy that my friends incite a deeper level of thought and analysis... around everything.

We're all entitled to our opinions, our reactions around this.  And if you took the time to read mine... Thanks.  I know, in God's eyes, I am no better than the folks that are out dancing in the streets, chanting, en masse, "USA USA" in front of national monuments.  But I sincerely believe that it helps to hear a variety of perspectives and to look at others' insights to help digest everything that is going on.  

I do want to add one more special request to each and every one of you that opt to subject yourselves to my ramblings (all three-ish of you)... but will put that in a different post.  Its too special to get lost in this.

If you're reading this and one of your posts is mentioned... I thank you, Friend, for your heart and your friendship.  For inspiring me to write this. 

"Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice"  -Proverbs 24:17

Good words.  Admittedly, difficult to live by.


Repressed Happiness

It's been a good week.  Busy.  Exhausting.  And good.  I continued to learn this week that I repress my happiness.  I bottle up all the laughter, joy, and smiles and keep them way down inside and only let out the sadness, anger, and frustration.  Weird, right?

On Wednesday, we did an exercise in my Oscillation class where we learned to massage the belly.  Working through any possible blockages in the large intestine.  Blockages don't necessarily mean physical "stuff"... but tend to be the physical manifestations of a lot of our troubles.  We store a lot of emotion in our guts and having them massaged tends to bring it to surface.  There is one part of the massage where the masseuse gathers up all the tissue and goo that we have built up to protect our soft vulnerable little cores... and the client is asked to feel their true belly... the flat, inner, bare self.  The true uncovered, unprotected beautiful self.  Many people tend to cry at this point.

I volunteered to be the demo girl for this massage.  I laid on the table, bared my tummy, and prepared for the worst.  I was ready to start crying my eyes out - assuming I had some deep dark demons waiting to erupt.  I was wrong.  When it was my turn to feel my true tummy... I became elated.  Elation is really the only way I could describe it.  It was like a bright, warm, fuzzy, comfortable feeling... like that was where the happy Dania has been located all this time.  And it brought me right to a picture that I keep of myself from summer 2007.  I had just finished the Disney half marathon... I was healthy, I looked amazing, and I felt amazing.  I couldn't pry the smile off my face for the rest of the day.

I know I said I wouldn't linger on the past - and only look to the future.  That Disney picture is my motivation for the future.  I don't want to get back there.  I want to feel that way again.  Empowered, and for the few minutes after crossing the finish line - invincible.

After class, I addictively checked my e-mail on my iPhone... and discovered I had been selected to run in the Nike Women's Half Marathon in October.  What are the odds?  I ran this race in 2007.  I did the full marathon, loved the first half.  Hated the second half.  Entered the lottery in 2008 and I think again in 2009.  No success.  On a whim, I threw my name in the hat for this year's lottery.  Someone out there felt this was MY year to get back in the game.  Needless to say - I have a goal this year.  I will PR my fastest half and it will be at this race in October.  I have vague training plan lingering in a notebook somewhere... this weekend, I will dig it out and firm it up and get my tushie moving.

 Happy Dania is bursting at the seams and ready to run... the journey continues.


"Who told you its not okay to laugh?"

This is my friend Greg and I at Christmas one year.  I don't remember why I was laughing so hard in this picture, but the fact that you can see the back of my throat must mean it was really funny.  Laughter is such a wonderful outlet for healing and I need to remind myself that it is okay to laugh.  To laugh more.  To laugh harder.  And to laugh often.

When I set out on this journey, I don't think I was necessarily prepared to address what was going on deep down on the inside... I figured I could just tweak a few things and get right back into a groove... one that I know I've been in before and am convinced I will find again.  What I've discovered recently - is that there is a lot more going on than I wanted to acknowledge... a series of feelings, events, emotions that I am allowing to hold me back.

I was told by a wise woman last week "Be kind to yourself."  This was after almost an hour of tears welling up and bursting out over my "loss" of running, marathoning, mentoring, and involvement and interactions with like minded fitness individuals.  Sometimes you don't realize how important some things are until they are gone.  I had attached what I thought was a superficial sentiment to my running regimen.  I have since learned that there was something deeper... there was some other connection, bond, outlet - whatever it was... with me, with running, with other runners.  And when I moved away from all of that - I had it likened to me as though I had lost a very close family member.  This realization, the thought of it still strikes me, still takes my breath away.  Those words, "Be kind to yourself", hang heavy in my mind every morning... every night, every time I go to put food in my mouth.  And with every negative comment I make about myself... even in jest.

When I signed up to go back to school for massage therapy - I viewed it as "something to do."  I felt it would open up new doors, introduce me to new people... and simply be another option in this extremely uncertain time of finances and employment in our household.  Little did I know, I was about to enter into some of the most incredible therapy sessions I have ever experienced.  On a surface level, I've met some beautiful people - beautiful on the inside, each with their own struggles.  Their own stories.  Their own life's path.  I've relieved the pain in my lower back that has prohibited certain workouts at CrossFit.  I've learned little tips and tricks that have helped alleviate other nagging bodily issues... to be expected from massage therapy school, right?  What I wasn't prepared for was the emotional releases.  The identification that there is more inside of our bodies than just blood, tissue, cells, and bones.  We are pack rats of emotional baggage... encounters, experiences, comments whether from others or ourselves - we unconsciously hoard it and manifest our reactions to all of it in physical form.

In class yesterday, my partner was providing the massage... actually, she was merely supporting my upper spine in her hand - there was no movement taking place.  For some reason, I was struck with a case of the giggles.  At first, I felt it was ridiculous that I was laughing and tried my hardest to stifle the choking chuckles that kept bubbling up out of my mouth.  The harder I tried to hide my laughter, the harder I would laugh.  My partner, Heather, was a good sport - she refused to stop the session... she knew, better than I, that there was some type of healing going on.  After a few good minutes of deep down belly laughs, some wheezing, some giggles and a lot of putting my hand over my mouth... our teacher, Gary, asked me "Who told you its not okay to laugh?"  I couldn't answer.  I'm still thinking about this one.  We learned after the session was complete that during massage, laughter is a release... right behind laughter there is often tears.

As I was gathering my things and preparing to leave for the day, Gary looked at me and said "Spend some time being good to yourself."  He was right: soon after laughter comes tears.  Twice in one week.  Twice in one week I was told to be nice to myself.  Do I wreak of self-destruction?  In one word - yes.  I've reached a new level of consciousness this week... through these experiences.  I'm destroying my efforts with food.  I'm punishing myself for something.  What that is, I don't know yet.  On the surface, I can PR my lifts at CrossFit... I can improve my pull-up attempts, but it will all be for naught if I don't truly take care of the inside first.  Beyond the nutrition, beyond the diet.  I need to focus on my unconscious mind - the storage shed of all my baggage that just doesn't need to be in there anymore.

My goal for this coming week is to truly be kind to myself.  No negative self talk.  No more fat jokes about myself.  Humorous?  Sometimes.  Self-destructive?  Absolutely.  No more punishing my body with bad food choices.  No more negativity from within.  I will laugh more.  I will eat less.  I will learn to love the body that God gave me and treat it like the beautiful gift that it is.  It isn't mine to destroy.  This body is on temporary loan, it is the only one I get and its time to piece together the entire mind-body connection in the most loving, healthy way I can.

Now if you'll excuse me - I have some laughter I need to tend to.


A Written Response to Max Borders' Video On Our Compulsive Urge To Regulate

The events of the past month have been quite overwhelming, hence a month(ish) long gap between posts.  This one is a little out of the ordinary, but easily explained - my position at Rottman Drilling has gone away and I am currently without work.  In accord with my on-going journey toward better health and fabulous fitness... I am leaping on this opportunity and gift of time and redirecting my career... so long engineering - hello health and wellness.  Starting next month, I will be going to school to become certified in massage therapy!  No more preventative maintenance on machines, tools, and equipment... now my focus will be preventative maintenance (and repair) on the human body.  I'm excited about the new doors that are opening and embracing the new path life is taking.  As I am without job and Matt is working reduced hours - I, like many other students, am in search of all scholarship opportunities.  As a result, I am utilizing this post to submit my entry for one particular scholarship that hits very close to home.  I am writing a response to a video posted by Max Borders in which he explains how the current issue of extreme regulation is stifling entrepreneurial opportunity and the growth of small business is suffering at the hands of special interest groups, "moral do gooders", and politicians.  For those of you that know me, Matt, and the struggles at Rottman Drilling Company - you understand just how serious this topic is.

Click here to watch Max Borders video.

Click here to read more about the book to which Max Borders contributed, New Threats To Freedom.

The following is my response to Mr. Borders' video -

In Max Borders’ video, he identifies the risk that overzealous regulation can pose to freedom.  I agree with much of what he shared and will exemplify his argument with a very personal story.  My husband and father-in-law, and their twenty employees are on the verge of watching the doors close to their 83 year old family business.  They are victims of a state government that thrives on regulation, a government that is unable to admit the long-term effects of their quest for immediate “hidden tax” income. 

Mr. Borders indicates that the new entrepreneurs, the “saplings”, have very little chance to survive under such heavy regulation.  I would like Mr. Borders to know that it is not only small saplings that are suffering; the 83 year old oak trees that have weathered competition, tough economic situations, and a changing work ethic in the work force are struggling too.  Three generations have continued to make strong business decisions and keep the doors open through everything that they’ve faced.  Exponential increases in red tape and regulations combined with a fragile economy have created a perfect storm that even the “oak” can no longer weather.  To remain complaint with new diesel regulations, the company was forced to replace a three million dollar fleet of trucks.  There is one employee on staff fully dedicated to monitoring the fleet usage, hours, and fuel consumption of every unit to ensure compliance with all state and federal regulations.  The office manager spends more than 50% of her time monitoring the ever-changing employee laws, often learning new ways that the state is requiring more money be put into the system and less back into the business.  Every year, there are new laws that require a dramatic shift to how business is done, the way employees are paid, and the way the fleet is monitored.  My husband and father-in-law are at a point where they are suffocating under the stifling burden of complying with every possible regulation that is placed upon them.

I agree with Mr. Borders when he says that we need to get the government out of the way.  Give the people back their freedom, put the power back into the hands of the entrepreneurs, the businessmen and women, and the workers.  The alternative to where we are now is far better than current circumstances.  If this trend continues, small businesses will continue to close their doors or leave the state.  The immediate cash grab that is being sought will result only in bankruptcy.  Small business cannot keep up with all the regulations that are heaved upon them.  Reverse the trend; get the government out of the way.  Fewer constrictions encourage more creativity, more entrepreneurs, more growth and jobs.  Ultimately, more freedom. 

Mr. Borders, I would LOVE a bottle of your black market BBQ sauce.  Do you happen to know anyone that is in need of a water well?  Or perhaps a 2006 drilling rig with 7800 miles on it that is no longer compliant in California?


Momentum is an amazing thing...

So I'm beginning to see a pattern with this blogging thing... two months here, two months there... I've just been so busy enjoying my new rower, I haven't taken the time to post an update.  In all seriousness, I think then things are going well - I get lazy with tracking.  So when its time to go back and figure out what I did to "make progress", I can't... because there isn't record of those activities.  January was a very good month for me for a multitude of reasons... which I will share with all of you right now.

1) Shakeology is a Godsend.  That three day cleanse kicked me into gear and has helped me get back on a solid track with food and food choices.  Michael, I can't thank you enough for helping me kick the sugar cravings and getting back into a healthy state of mind about food!

2) I love you, Concept 2 rower.  You give me reason to get up in the morning.  You kick my butt and I like it so much, I come back for more.  I'm not one for thinking up crazy workouts and I'd be content sitting there rowing for 20 minutes, gasping for air, and whimpering like a baby... but Coach Bob made one little suggestion about how I need to switch things up and with the help of CrossFit Endurance, I have an infinite number of rowing workouts.  And that makes me happy.

3) I prayed.  God listened.  There is a new CrossFit box five minutes from work.  Okay, seven minutes.  It started as a small investigation... who are these folks and why are they touting CrossFit all over their storefront... especially right across the parking lot from Monster Globogym?  Then that small investigation turned into a 3rd degree of the coaches... which evolved into a week trial week... and long story short?  I liked what I learned and experienced.  Jeremy, Eddie, and Mark were full of passion and enthusiasm.  Training and skills.  And most important, they had a genuine care and concern for the handful of people that would soon be dedicated CrossFit athletes.  And that handful would grow exponentially.  Monster CrossFit has become an addiction.  I grumble and groan when I see the WOD posted on the web page before going in... then I get into my head and tell myself that whatever it is, I can only get stronger, faster, and healthier... even if it involves a small flood of tears before the WOD is done.  Needless to say, I try to get up there every night possible... which ranges between three and four a week.  Pilates is a still a regular Tuesday night fixture and I love that the core work at pilates supports improved form at CrossFit and the strength from CrossFit helps with pilates.  The guys at Monster CF are awesome and are the reason I keep going back.  Its hard to NOT want to keep improving, keep working out, keep pushing through in the amazing environment that they've created up there.

4) Food has become a non-issue for me.  Which is exactly what I've needed for a long time.  Shakes with coconut milk for breakfast - I know they're not Paleo, but they're working for me.  They keep me filled until lunch... and for now, I'm happy.  Lunch is meat and veggies.  With a fruit snack thrown in sometime later in the afternoon.  Handful of pecans.  And I'm good to go until dinner.  More meat and veggies.  Maybe I should try to eat more fish... probably so.  I'll work on that.

5) With all the physical improvements, it becomes much easier to get my mind right... which has a direct impact on everything else in my life.  Being a more pleasant wife taking front and center, of course!  Though if you ask my husband, there's always room for improvement... (right, Honey?)

6) I attended an AMAZING goal setting seminar with one of the original CrossFit firebreathers, Greg Amundson.  It is truly an incredible revelation when you realize just how much of an impact what you say to yourself, what you say to others, and what others say to you can have on your performance, your health, and your general well-being.  I will never forget the stories Greg told and how they get deep inside your mind... its one of those things that will always stick with you.  Which is good when you're in the middle of a WOD, want to curl up on the mat and give up... but instead think back to story about the guy who completed his first muscle-up IN competition.  How can I not get motivated by that?

Needless to say... the ball is on the move, the momentum is building... and I'm back on a good path.  I'm happy.  And I'm focused.  Now I need to be sure to document these small successes so when I stumble in the future, I'll have something I can refer back to that will help push me back in the right direction.

There's a few challenges coming up in the next month... a lot of travel and a serious lack of CrossFit accessibility.  I'm hoping to feed on this momentum and push myself through some body weight workouts... get in some running... and make the smartest choices I can while I'm on the road.  I can do this, right?  I'll just "breathe and fire!"  (Thanks, Greg Amundson, for such a powerful mantra!)


An action based post... Next step, squat, and stroke on the journey...

Almost two months.  Probably because its taken me that long to start making forward progress.  I started a three day cleanse today.  Bought some Shakeology from a friend of mine and am following his prescribed cleanse for the next three days... well, mostly.  I have to admit - I don't mind the taste of "green", but a weird sweet green is a little bothersome.  Combine that with Yogi detox tea... and well, I'm almost convinced that the "cleanse" is actually achieved by inducing vomiting of all stomach contents remaining from the holidays.  That's okay.  Ito En green tea will work just as well and I really like the taste.
Food today:
Greenberry shake.
Detox tea - one mug.
And a lot of water. 
Chicken is on the counter defrosting for dinner.  Brussel sprouts in the fridge awaiting their time in my oven.  Who would've ever thought I'd fall in love with roasted brussel sprouts?!

Repeat Tuesday and Wednesday.  Then its back into a 90%ish Paleo diet.  10% = brown rice.  I just can't do it.  Yet.

Physical fitness is slowly gaining momentum again, too.  Been seeing a Pilates instructor once a week for about a month.  I LOVE the sessions.  Feels stretchy and elongating and really really good.  Even better - I suffered through two sessions of CrossFit last week.  Its been almost six months.  Almost.  And the best part about it?  I really love getting back into it.  CrossFit California City is open for adults again with Tuesday and Thursday sessions focused on lifting.  This makes me very happy.  Part three of the fitness triangle?  My Concept rower is being delivered today.  I am excited.  It will join the array of gym equipment in the garage to serve solely as a piece of exercise equipment and not just a laundry rack.  I am determined to prove my husband wrong.  How can you not love rowing?  15 minutes and I'm ready to curl up on the floor and cry.  So fantastic!
(This is not a laundry rack)
So that's about it.  I'm glad I can offer a positive update.  Now I need to harness together some sort of schedule and keep up with some goal setting.  Right now I have my eye on the R&R in Dallas in March.