We’ll Make it Out Alive

Instead of talking about my symptoms returning on Saturday and me trying not to spiral into a blob of frustration here’s a song for you to listen to:

This dude liked one of my photos on Instagram so I, naturally, went to check out his ‘gram and I liked what I saw. Then I saw a snippet of a song posted and I hit play and this was it and I loved it immediately. It’s a good song, with good lyrics, and a fun synthy 80’s movie vibe to it so I love it. So, here I am sharing something fun. I hope you like it.


Baby He’s Ready To Roar

Today is my last full day with a gallbladder!!

It’s so weird and awesome that they can remove an organ and send you home in the same day. So weird but also so awesome.

I’m a bit nervous but also ready.

And that’s that!

Now, in light of the news today, here’s what I find to be an appropriate song. If we’re gonna all be exploded we might as well dance.

Maybe Sometime

I don’t even know what all has happened and what I need to jot down to be honest. This week has been so busy! I’m thinking just the gym last night. So here’s that:

TRX 2 way row 20 20 20
Med ball hip buster burpie 12×10 12×10 12×10
Turf jog HOT(2) HOT(2) LOT(2)
Weight stick push ups on stepper 10 10 10
V sit russian twists with stick 20 20 20
Jumps squats / turf run 5 / HOT(2) 5 / HOT(2) 5 / LOT(2)
Mini rope circuit 10,10s,10s 10,10s,10s 10,10s,10s
Walking lunges 1 LOT

Those walking lunges? Yeah. I counted as I did them and it was forty. I did forty lunges. Screamy thighs? Yes, yes indeed.

Also, my abs were very sore from the work on Tuesday but I did the V Sit Russian Twists with a Stick. Sounds like a vodka drink, no? NO! It was me in a V sit acting like I was rowing a damn boat. No booze involved. Bah!

I entered the gym frustrated and feeling like shit and then I left the gym feeling pumped up and good. Seriously. I’m that guy now. You’re welcome.

Today I quizzed my people about food they enjoy and they linked me to recipes and whatnots and I shall spend tomorrow evening going through it all, making lists, and getting ready to hit the grocery store on Sunday. It’s time I shake shit up around here in regards to the food.

I also ordered a foam roller today. I’m gonna bring the pain. To my own person. Seems legit.

I will leave you with my new jam. I saw that NPR posted this earlier during one of my very few visits to Facebook today and I love it. Like, a whole lot.

Back on the Horse

And by horse I don’t mean drugs or whatever that meant in the ’80s. No way.

The property management company at my office building does an appreciation breakfast a few times a year, one being for the holidays. Which meant on Thursday I had a nice breakfast.

I use omelets as a salsa plate.

I use omelets as a salsa plate.

I went to the gym on Thursday because I just couldn’t allow myself to skip the whole week. But I still felt very very crampy. I managed to do everything he asked me to do except the burpees. I totally refused to do them and I said “I don’t usually really argue with you…” and he said, “OK, I know…no burpees.” I just couldn’t. Not with the cramps, man. He also said “How do you feel about abs?” and I said “Not favorably today.”

But we did manage to get me through this:

DB walking lunges, 2 jumps up 10×10 10×10 10×10
FM cable cross back flys 15×10 15×10 15×10
FM cable cross chest flys 25×10 25×10 25×10
DB stationary lunge with shoulder press / lateral raises 10×5/5(2) 10×5/5(2) 10×5/5(2)
Squat step hops 10 10 10
Single side step ups 10 10 10
Rope slams, in & out, alt up down 10,10,20 10,10,20 10,10,20

The flys were hard and it took a lot to even get me to do the motion right. He said “it’s like a hug, but low!” and was all “you know how to hug people!” and I was all “Dude, I don’t hug people down low! That’s inappropriate!” But I finally got it once I realized it was more like a Hulk Hogan move.

You wanna be a hulkamaniac, too.

The single side step ups were kinda like Rockettes kicks

I wasn’t this jolly.

So, I’d keep one foot on the step and step up with Rocketteing my other leg and it felt so very dancey that I threw in some jazz hand motions. Because why not?

The first set of rope slams I did felt weird. And I said “that just felt really weird…” and Tyler said “Well, yeah, it looked weird, too.” So he showed me how I should do them and then they felt less weird. He indicated they also looked less weird. Goodness.

This morning I should have hiked but it was raining. So I took the opportunity to sleep in and take care of other things. One of which was dividing my Holiday Bonus into thirds and being responsible with it! One third finished funding my emergency fund with the balance going into my HSA, one third went to a bill to pay it down, and then one third is all for me so I don’t feel like I never get to do anything for myself while I get my shit together. I also paid off one wee bill today. So I’m feeling good there.

Tomorrow will be a hike. And I will hike. Because that’s what you do. You get back on the horse.

Work and Rest

Prince is going to be on SNL tonight and I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this here or not but Prince is everything. So, I’m gonna be super quick with this update.

Wednesday I worked out with Tyler as scheduled. We did these things!

TRX squats 15 15 15
TRX split squatjumps 20 20 20
DB single leg RDL 10×10 10×10 10×10
Bosu ball DB chest press 15×10 15×10 15×10
Weight stick behind head shoulder press 15 15 15
Walking lunges with med ball twists 2 12×20 12×20
Med ball burpie 1 12×12
Foam roller

The TRX squats were way easy. I was going so low my butt touched the ground.
The TRX split squat jumps were a wee bit harder but not much.
The dumbbell single leg RDLs were fine.
The Bosu ball dumbbell chest press made me happy as any chest press does.
The weight stick behind the head shoulder press made me feel like I was going to bonk myself in the head and he said “Trust yourself!” and all I could think about is my taste in dudes and then I trusted myself less.
The walking lunges with the medicine ball twists was hard work. I had to focus on my balance and it made my brain as tired as my body.
The medicine ball burpees sucked because the medicine ball moved a wee bit each time and I hated that and I hate burpees and I kinda only half ass them and right now I’m not even sorry. Because of what I’m going to talk about next.

After all of this he had me use the foam roller.

If I wasn’t in a rush to get this done so I don’t miss Prince I’d PhotoShop Tyler’s face on this.

So this hurt. And Tyler seemed to take glee in showing off how he can roll all around on it and it doesn’t hurt as he bragged that it’s because he uses it regularly and stretches like he should. While I’m rolling on it I’m laughing to keep from crying because seriously this hurt. My right thigh was having some deep muscle pain so he saved that side for last. When I rolled over to that side and got into the right position THE PAIN WAS HORRIBLE and I looked up at Tyler with murder in my eyes. I couldn’t help it. And then that was that.

Thursday I was sore. But I went kayaking anyway. This was my first time with the kayaking and holy damn am I glad I’ve been working out because I honestly don’t know if I could have done it otherwise. It’s a lot of work. And I was wore the hell out when we were done. But it was fun. And I wasn’t overly sore Friday morning so it was all a big ol’ ball of win.

Friday was Halloween and I love Halloween. So, I dressed up in a costume and went out with some friends and had beer and dancing and fun and didn’t get home until 2ish and then today I have been hung over all of the times.

Tyler had told me to rest. I hope today counts as rest. I’ve been pantsless on the couch all day doing my very best at catching up on my Hulu queue. Tomorrow I shall hike. I should maybe not hike but I’m hiking anyway. Unless I wake up and feel tired still. We’ll see. I do love a nice hike, you know.

My eating is settling down again and I need to get some food prep going for the week and hit the store and wow there’s just not enough time in my days sometimes.

But we were on a break!

Thursday I get to the gym and my lower back hurts and my abs hurt and my legs are tired and fatigued feeling because of my period, right? So Tyler is all “How do you feel!?” and I try to explain all of that without saying “PERIOD!” And he’s all “OK!” and puts me on the whatever machine where you put the weight bar on your back and squat with it and I tell him it hurts my lower back and he’s all “Why?” and I give him the “Come on, man…” look and he goes “Oh.” but proceeds to have me do it anyway. And then he adds more weight to it! Lordy.

Then I have to push and pull the sled up and down with two 45lb weights on it. The pulling it hurt my back and my abs.

Then he had me do squats with the swiss ball between my lower back and the wall as I hold on to a kettlebell.

Then had me do some crunches. And it all hurt. It was all lower back and abs, man! And finally at 5:45 he’s all “Oh, wait…do you want to skip the crunches?!” and I was all “IT’S TOO LATE NOW!!!” and laughed and then said “Boys are funny.” and then he was a bit “ooops.”

There may have been more that I did but my spreadsheet wasn’t updated because his signal wasn’t working. But this is the gist.

Friday I went out dancing! I actually danced to, like, three songs? And that was fun. And I walked Gladys Thursday after gym and Friday before dancing.

Saturday morning I woke up with rum belly but I got that under control and got ready and went to my hike at Usery Mountain Pass.

This hike was with the same group I went hiking with in the Superstition Mountain area. When I signed up for this hike I left a comment asking the hike leader to tell me whether or not I should keep my butt at home. She responded and said she’d actually thought of me when she scheduled it and that I would do fine.

Well. I did mostly fine.

When I showed up she told me that she wanted me to stay in the middle of the pack. She wanted me to push myself to keep up and being in the middle would do that. I made jokes about being the problem child but the reality is that it’s kinda sorta nice that she had a plan for me while also kinda being annoying that she had a plan for me. If that makes sense.

This hike is a 7.5 mile loop with good elevation gain. We started out strong and I felt good about it. I was keeping up and I wasn’t nearly as winded as usual. Yes, I am breathing heavy the entire time but I didn’t feel like it was the heavy, deep, oh my god I cannot breathe type of heavy breathing. Just a constant heavy breathing.

This area was gorgeous. On the first part of the hike, however, you can hear the gunshots from the shooting range. That totally distracted me from the beauty of the hike and make it not as enjoyable. So, it does seem that part of my love of hiking is the silence and the feeling of being out in the desert away from life.

Parts of this trail were really very narrow and close to the edge and as I lay in bed trying to fall asleep last night I started to have visions of me falling off the trail. Which is weird but there it is.

Once we got through a few steep down hills that scared me a bit and a few narrow near the edge with parts of the trail eroded away bits the leader instructed me to “look up ahead more. Stop looking right at the path you are on. Take in the bigger picture so your brain is doing more work than your feet. You’ll be more confident and foot sure.” Bob was ahead of me telling me which direction I should go to feel more confident. All of this was helpful and nice and it did not surprise me once Barbara indicated she’d spent 4 years in the Army.

Barbara made it kinda seem like I may have a rough time going down the trail to the end, that it was going to be steep and scary. And at first it was. But then something happened. Somehow the group ahead of me got a wee bit ahead. And then the group behind me was quite a bit behind me. So, there was nobody telling me what to do. I adjusted my hat so I could see more of the trail ahead. I kept my shoulders back  and chest high to improve my breathing and engage my core. And I just walked.

I have no idea if the trail was easier than Barbara had made me feel or if I just was able to be more confident without all of those voices harping at me. But I just felt much better about all of it.

People that had hiked with me the last time told me how great I was doing.

But then…I got hot. And boy did everything change after that. I have to find a way to deal with that. Because I got hot and then I instantly wanted to stop. I wanted to stop and sit in the shade and wait. Then we had to hike a bit on the asphalt, which was WAY HOTTER and I cried for 10 seconds because it was also up a hill and I was done. I was hot and my legs were more fatigued than they have ever been.

I made it to Barbara’s car and that was it, I was done. I made another lady go get my car. I wish I’d pushed myself to my own car but I couldn’t do it. I was getting really dizzy and I was just done.

Once I explained to the ladies that I JUST got off of my couch in March and I JUST got super serious about hiking in August they were all very much like “OH! Well, hell, you really are doing GREAT!” and they meant it. So that was nice.

I was tired as all fuck the rest of the day and I went to bed at 8:17. I went ahead and set my alarm for 5am to give myself the opportunity to decide if I was going to hike this morning. My big toe is numb. Which is weird and I don’t know why. So I decided to skip it and went back to bed for another hour.

In other news, I have gotten back on the scale now that my hormones are nicely tucked away where they belong. I’m 158. And I’m hitting the store and getting back on track with my healthy eating!

So, there’s the story as of now.

All of the Things!

So, I went to the gym on Thursday. I was still feeling dizzy/lightheaded with an upset stomach but here I am doing the gym like a boss. Do people still say like a boss? Do I care? No. Either way, I was there and I did my warm ups.

Then Tyler and I discussed my dizzy and after going through all of the right questions it finally dawned on me that I replaced my daily vitamin with the Target version. That was the only change in my diet and/or routine. So, I stopped taking it. So far, no dizzy. Flintstones is where it’s at, folks. Now we know that.

Then we proceeded to work out!

FM chest press 3 10 25×10 35×10 35×10
FM alt lat pull down 3 10 50×10 60×10 60×10
FM ab crunch 3 10 30×10 30×10 30×10
Swiss ball hand plank hold 3 10s 15s 15s
Seated rope front waves 15s 15s 15s
Rope lateral holds 15s 15s 15s
Roman chair knee raises 10 10 10
DB curl & press & tricep extension 8×10 8×10 8×10

After I did the first set of the FM chest presses he asked “How was that?” And I said, “Well, it was really easy.” So he moved it up to 45 and I could barely budge it and that made me proclaim, “Why did you go from nothing to 45?!?” and he was all “Umm…you started on 25!” I thought I was doing them with no weight. That’s how easy it was with the 25lbs! WOO!

I cannot tell you how impressed I am that I was able to do the swiss ball hand planks!!

I totally did this!!

When I started doing the Roman chair knee raises he said “Good height!”

You guys. I’m getting stronger and I can tell! I can tell at the gym and I can tell on the trails. I, of course, have some weak areas but right now I don’t care too much about that. I’m too busy being happy with my progress. I just started doing all of this in March. I went from doing the couch and TV all of the times to being able to hike NINE MILES! in one day and do planks while holding a rolly ball still and bench press and all of that. I’m proud of me. Still. So there.

Yesterday I went on a nice, leisurely, meandering hike in a canyon around a river.

Yes, Arizona has water.

Yes, Arizona has water.

It wasn’t strenuous or anything like that. We hiked 2 miles in 2 hours. There were a lot of stops for photo taking. We had the river and butterflies and petroglyphs! So nice. And it was the first time I tried out my new boots and they did great.

Third time's the charm?

Third time’s the charm?

The only area I needed help was down the steep, wet grass covered bank to get down to cross the water. But we all needed a hand there, so, yeah.

This morning’s hike was a more traditional hike around Granite Mountain. Four miles in two hours.

Tonto National Forest really is one of the loveliest places around.

Tonto National Forest really is one of the loveliest places around.

There was a guy on the hike that is a med student in town for a few weeks to intern for the Mayo Clinic for a bit. He’s only been here a week or so and has been on ten hikes. He’s going out and doing all of the awesome things while he’s here, taking full advantage of the situation and I so totally admire and respect him for that. Too many people travel for work and don’t do that. But not him. I liked that.

And I liked that he told me that I look like I’m in good shape. Boom! And he gave me some really good tips in regards to interval training for cardio strength. He agreed that my muscle strength has far advanced my cardiovascular strength and told me it won’t take me long to fix that if I simply do the interval training 15 – 20 minutes every day! So that’s the next item on my old to do list.

Then I got to talk to a woman that lived in Boston during the 1950s. She was a patient of Dr. Rock‘s, one of the people involved in the development of the pill! She told me it was illegal to even prescribe women any form of birth control at that time but she proudly carried her diaphragm out of his office in a brown paper bag. She said she was proud to have been part of that and it was just really neat to talk to someone who was, in a way, part of history! I love that. She’s in her 80s and hikes, does water aerobics, swims laps, plays cards with friends, and is just so vibrant. She is now a third lady in my list of inspirations to be in shape to maintain my independence.

While I was talking to the med student about my progress thus far and all of that one of the first time hikers turned around and said “How dare you steal my life story!” And we got to talking a bit and other than her being a dentist? Yeah. We’re kinda twins.

We also had our first run in with Africanized bees! One of the ladies was stung and I had several get on me that had to be force-ably removed! I ran. I won’t lie. That caused me to run. I wanted out of their area so I ran. No shame in that.

What I noticed on today’s hike is that I was not the slowest. I had a good speed. I felt good. The four miles passed very quickly and I felt good after wards.

Also worth noting? I’m fairly certain my boots are keepers. Four miles, no blisters. No tired feet and shins.



I also went to the ballet gym today and did the Stretch and Tone class! I will not lie…after hiking for four miles doing the tone portion with my legs made me want to cry. Holy crap. And? Sweating on top of previous sweat made me smell like a monkey. But dammit, I toned and stretched and it was good.

I do not hate my body. Me doing all of this work is just a way to take care of it. To honor all of the things it can do for me and ensure it will be able to continue to do these things for far more years. It’s not me hating it. It’s me loving it.