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Hello there!

I’ve been meaning to post everyday and keep a “journal” of my workouts, but I keep forgetting. When I do remember, it’s days later and I have like 3 or 4 workouts that I don’t want to post all at once.

So I’ll just that I’ve been doing A LOT of rowing on the row machine. I love that thing. I’m working my way up to 5k meters. Once I hit that, I’ll work my way up 1k each week or two.

My feet still hurt almost every day. Some days are better than others. I have a certain level of stress that is only relieved when I work out, so I’m pushing myself and resting my feet when I need it. I can tell when I’ve over done it and then I take two days off from any exercise activity. It’s really quite irritating to not be able to do what I used to do in these workouts, but everyone has to re-start somewhere, right?

Hope everyone had a great weekend.

Until next time…

Working my way up…

When I started going back to the gym 2 weeks ago, I made a decision to NOT throw myself into Crossfit the way I did before. I decided I would not workout 5 days a week and as hard as I could. I decided to workout when I felt like it – but I had to go at least 3 times a week. I’ve stuck to this schedule pretty well and with the start of the 3rd week, I decided to throw in something I haven’t done in over a year. The dreaded AMRAP workout. As many rounds as possible in a certain amount of time.

This is what I did today:
350m row to warm up
10 shoulder press #45 (my upper body strength completely disappeared so I’ll be working on that a lot)

15 minute AMRAP of

5 push ups (modified on knees)
10 sit ups
10 kettlebell swings (25#)

I did 7 rounds of this and feel pretty good about that, considering I had to go a little slower because of my foot not being in a good mood today. It averages to just a little over 2 minutes per round. Pretty solid work for my AMRAP.

Until next time…

Doing what the big kids do

So I challenged myself today to do one workout that was on the main Crossfit website (crossfit.com). I went through the website and I settled on the WOD from yesterday, Thursday the 17th.

10 rounds of:
1 minute of rowing
rest 15 seconds
30 seconds of shoulder press
rest 15 seconds
total meters and total reps of the presses is your score.

I got to the Ville at around 2:20 after taking some vacation time at work. I changed into my workout clothes, did some stretching, set up my little piece of paper to write down my meters and reps and then set the stop watch on my iPhone. After setting my bar (45#) on the rack so I could easily shoulder press it, I hit start on the stop watch and off I went.

Round 1 – 200/14
Round 2 – 195/12
Round 3 – 190/9
Round 4 – 203/10
Round 5 – 199/7
Round 6 – 194/7
Round 7 – 190/7
Round 8 – 193/8
Round 9 – 196/7
Round 10- 188/7

total meters rowed – 1948
total shoulder press – 88
Time to complete – 24:22

My shoulders already hurt and my legs feel like jelly. There is one good thing about the rowing machine, it makes my foot feel fantastic. I’m wondering if my foot responds so well to that because it’s working out the scar tissue at the incision point. I don’t know.

I struggled with the shoulder presses, as you can see from my numbers. I think I also rested more than 15 seconds between eat exercise station. I’m okay with that. I completed a big kid workout!!! YAY me!!

Time for two days of rest, since it’s the weekend and the gym is not open during times that work for me.

Until next time…

Getting back to a routine

For the last year, I’ve used my foot surgery and a few other things going on in my life as excuses to stay away from the gym (in the firehouse or the Crossfit box I belong to) and I’m done with that.

Today, I used the gym in the firehouse so I’d have a little motivation from people I know.

One of the Captains was doing:

5 rounds of:
250m row
20 double under (jump ropes)
20 kettlebell swings (75#)
How long it took him to do one round – he would rest that same amount of time. This means, if it took him 3 minutes to do the first round, then he rested 3 minutes before starting the 2nd, etc.

So I decided to do something similar and this is what I did:
3 rounds of:
250m row
20 box step ups
20 db swings (25#)
It took me a total of 16:36 to complete, including the resting times. It kicked my ass pretty well.

I’m on a new maintenance medication for the asthma and today was my first dosage of that. I have to say, my lungs have not felt this clear in a very long time, even when I was a nonsmoker for about 5 weeks! I’m still going to try the quitting smoking thing. While I realized I don’t really want to quit smoking, I do know that I will be better off as a nonsmoker, health wise.

I’m glad to be getting back into a routine of sorts with my workouts and I am beginning to enjoy the feeling of the workouts again.

Until next time…

April 15 – well that didn’t take long!

When I worked out regularly over a year ago, extremely cardio heavy workouts would make me feel pukey. And sometimes, I’d give in to that feeling, let myself vomit, (after running to the restroom of course – puking on a gym floor is unacceptable LOL) and then go back to finishing the workout.

After work, I made my way to the gym and looked to see what the WOD was for today. Here is what was on the board:

500m row
15 deadlifts (185/125)
25 ring dips
35 air squats
3 rounds

Needless to say, I can’t do 125# deadlift, so I adjusted the weight on that to 65#. Then, I realized I can’t do ring dips. One of the coaches helped me with a band on the rings and I couldn’t stabilize myself, so she moved me over to the bar they use for that stuff.

She also told me to lower the amount per round, as it’s a very cardio intensive workout. And this is what I ended up doing:

500m row
15 deadlift (65#)
15 bar dips
25 squats
2.5 rounds

I say 2.5 rounds because during the rowing of the 3rd round, I felt pukey but pushed through to the bar dips. During the bar dips, I almost lost it so we know what happened after that! When I came back out to finish the workout, my right foot cramped up to the point I could hardly move it for a few minutes. I knew then that I was done for the day.

I love being back in the gym. Even though I’m not going every single day like I was, it feels good to be going every other day or so. Wednesday is a rest day for me and I’ll be back in the gym on Thursday.

Until next time…

The basic elements

There are several lifts that we use in Crossfit. There are the basics like front squat, back squat, overhead squat, shoulder press (shoulder to overhead), push press, etc. and then there are the more complicated cleans, power cleans, clean and jerks, deadlifts, sumo deadlift high pull (my personal fave.)

It’s been about a year since I’ve done a workout inside a Crossfit box. It’s been a year since my foot allowed me to wear tennis shoes for more than a minute before pinching the nerves and setting my foot on fire. Yes, I wear wide width shoes. Yes, I’ve been fitted for workout shoes. My foot has been a problem for a long time.

After my surgery in June of 2013, I went on workout hiatus. It resulted in me gaining back most, if not all, of the weight I had lost. I didn’t want to find that weight again.

Yesterday after work, I went to the Crossfit gym and a friend from work walked me through the “elements” of Crossfit and the basic lifts, along with deadlifts. I felt a little sore, my foot behaved for the most part for about an hour. By the time I got home, my foot was on fire, so I took the shoe off and I had immediate relief.

I decided I would keep going to the gym, several times a week.

Today, I went to do a regular workout (WOD) and decided to do what they had written on the board, which is basically what everyone taking a Crossfit class would do.

This is what was on the board:
4 rounds of
15 shoulder to overhead (135/95)
15 K2E (knees to elbows)
400m run

This is what I actually did:
4 rounds of
15 shoulder to overhead (45#)
15 v ups
400m row

My goal was to do it in less than 20 minutes. I barely made that mark, but I did it. Immediately after the workout, after catching my breath, I got my gym bag and changed my shoes to flip flops. It helped my foot quite a bit on the ride home.

I then got in my car to come home and got stuck in the worst traffic ever and it took me an hour! However, even the horrific traffic could not ruin the mood I was in after finishing that workout.

Until next time…

My week in a nutshell…

I posted something and then I deleted it.

My week has been exhausting and revealing. I get fatigued extremely fast. I worked part of Thursday (my first day back to work) and then all day Friday. I felt like I had worked 7 days straight. I’m approaching the one week point of being on these medicines and I know that it takes 2-3 weeks for these things to kick in and do their “job.” I’m trying to be patient with myself and just take it easy and not over do it. Easier said than done for me. I’ve been doing a lot of old school writing in my journal and I’ve been listening to Spotify on my phone. A lot. It helps.

The good news is, my foot has not really hurt all that much for the last week. I don’t know why that is. Maybe because I was in the hospital Sunday night and most of Monday and then didn’t do anything Tuesday and Wednesday except visit the doctor. Whatever reason, I enjoy walking without pain.

I woke up this morning to the news that a friend of a friend committed suicide last night back home in Vegas. Such a tragic loss for his family and friends. It brought back some memories of when a friend I worked with, committed suicide back in 1997. It was a horrible time for his loved ones and friends. I’m counting my blessings tonight.

Until next time…

Learning as we grow older

Sitting here watching some Grey’s Anatomy episodes on Netflix (yeah, still trying to catch up to current on this show) and I’m thinking about the last 5 days and how frighteningly revealing they were. Revealing things about me, about others, about life in general for me. I will tell you a secret that I haven’t said out loud. I thought I was going to die. And that one thought had me so anxious and full of fear, I couldn’t think straight for two days. Anxiety disorders are not jokes.

I look back on the last several months of my life and I can see, clear as day, how I stuffed what I was thinking and feeling. I would be blunt about certain things but keep other things to myself. A lot. I did it a lot. The only place I was 100% honest about anything that was going on inside of me was in my GA meetings. Thank God for that because I can’t imagine how this would have gone had not been being honest at all.

I was put on Bactrim for a sinus infection back on the 10th. Three days later, I wasn’t feeling “right” but figured it was just still the sinus infection making me feel funky. On the 14th, I went to sleep at 7pm and slept 14 hours into Saturday. I spent Saturday feeling pukey, ache-y everywhere and lethargic. I didn’t sleep Saturday night. My heart was racing, I was dizzy, I was still nauseous, I got diarrhea that kept me up most of the night as well and somewhere in there I started having a pressure in my chest that wouldn’t go away. I fought it off and I fought it off. I kept trying to convince myself that it was NOT a heart attack and it was just an anxiety attack. Finally, at around 6pm on Sunday, I had enough. I was fighting it all off because Monday was payroll. I have to be there for payroll. Right?

I arrived at the ER at 7pm, shaking everywhere and barely able to speak or sign in. I immediately told them I felt that I was having a heart attack or a very bad anxiety attack. They took me back immediately and started hooking me up to machines and talking to me to get information. I was so scared. I was alone. I was all alone in a strange city and I just kept saying to myself “I wish my mom was here. I wish Tobe was here.” But they weren’t. I had to find a way through this on my own.

As the nurse was hooking me up for my first EKG of the night, my heart rate was at 128 and going up. I could not stop shaking, it was almost like a convulsing. He kept telling me to breathe and relax. I didn’t know how. I just wanted to curl up in a ball and cry.

As they were coming and going from my little ER room, I was texting coworkers and friends to let them know where I was and what was happening. One offered to drive 1.5 hours up to the hospital to sit with me. I told her no because she had to go in and do payroll since I wouldn’t be there for it. But she offered it at least 3 more times. One said they would come out, but they were working and couldn’t. One texted me out of the blue to let me know if I needed anything, he and his fiancee would be there in a heartbeat.

I finally got them to give me something for the anxiety because I could not sit still, which made my heart rate keep going up and scaring the crap outta me. I was frightened the entire time. I was alone. It made me feel more alone than I have ever been in my entire life. Not much gets me feeling lonely, but I do feel alone a lot.

They decided to keep me over night, so I texted the few people who asked me to let them know what room I’d be in, etc. They ordered a nuclear stress test. All the blood tests and EKGs they had taken came back normal and the cardiologist that came to talk to me was really nice and gave me kudos for taking it seriously. He said that a woman of my age (44) with a history of smoking and high cholesterol should always take it seriously. Even if I think it’s an anxiety attack, take it seriously because the symptoms mirror each other.

Monday morning came around and I sent a text to my coworker/friend who was stuck doing payroll to see how she was doing. We chatted a little bit and then I had my one and only visitor to come see me while I was there. He spent about an hour with me before they came to take me for the stress test. Later in the afternoon, I was told the stress test came back great and there are no issues with my heart or the valves (YAY!!!) but they didn’t know exactly what was going on with me and they wanted me to follow up with my regular doctor in a day or two. They had not given me my antibiotic while I was in the hospital, so I took it when I got home at around 3pm.

Twenty minutes after taking the Bactrim, I started feeling crappy again. I was nauseous, dizzy, headache came back and then I started feeling anxious again. On Tuesday morning, I called my doctor and made an appointment for noon, explaining what was going on and that it sounded like an allergic reaction to the Bactrim.

I went in at noon and was taken back to the room. I was still pretty anxious and shaky. We went over all the symptoms and everything the hospital did, etc. etc. I had a severe allergic reaction to the Bactrim, which then exacerbated my already existing anxiety issues, which in turn made me feel like I was having a heart attack. So we’ve removed me from the Bactrim and I am on a small dosage of Ativan daily for a week and on a new antidepressant that helps both issues. I go back in two weeks to check up and see how I’m feeling.

She thinks that with all the things that have been going on in my life in the last few months, good and bad stress, added to the allergy to the medicine, it made my anxiety issues resurface unexpectedly. My resting heart rate for the last several months was 88-90 and I was always told it was normal. I didn’t like it, but said okay. After one full 24 hour period of being on my medication, my resting heart rate has been 68-72 today. I’m quite pleased with that.

I’m still not feeling 100% right now, but I’m on the road to recovery and I’m determined to no longer internalize my stress (whether good or bad) and will express myself.

At 44 years old, I’m still learning about me. I’m still growing. I’m still evolving. I know who I am. I know where I’m going and I know I’m more comfortable in my skin today than I was yesterday.

I go back to work tomorrow. I’m a little nervous, but I’m looking forward to interaction with real people. I’ve gotten a lot of phone calls and texts checking on me, which is awesome. But I need that in person interaction and I haven’t had that since my one friend came to visit me Monday morning.

Until next time…

Well hello there.

I’ve gone back and forth in my head on what to do with this place. Sometimes I want to keep blogging and other times, I just want to let it die. And then I get a wild hair up my ass and come here to see when the last time I posted was.

Since my last personal post of my workout in April of 2013, I have been told to no longer do high impact workouts and sadly, I can’t even wear a tennis shoe because the injections of cortisone did something to the skin on the top of my foot and so it hurts to have anything over my foot. I have no idea who still reads this, but this is what’s going on with me since my last post.

I’ve had surgery on my foot to remove the neuroma from the nerve. It healed to a certain point and then stopped. This is partially my fault due to the fact I went back to work 4 days after surgery (yes, I know. I don’t need a lecture) because it was payroll Monday and God forbid I’m not there for payroll. I really don’t think I took enough time. I’ll be going back to the foot doctor soon to have it looked at and see what’s going on with it. This time, I’ll do exactly what the doctor says and won’t go back to work until he tells me I can. I promise.

I’ve been having a bunch of dental problems. I had a root canal recently that for some reason, caused a lot of pain AFTER the fact and so I had to wait for that to heal before going back to get the temp crown and then the perm crown. However, that costs more than the root canal, so I’m waiting on that. I’m hoping to get that appointment in sometime this week so I can get that moving towards being good again. I need a broken tooth in the back removed and I need at least two more root canals and crowns. Needless to say, I have NOT taken great care of my teeth. Never too late, right?

My car is falling apart. I need new brakes, I could probably use new tires and it’s making some strange noises. I’ve been told Volkswagens always make weird noises. It doesn’t make me feel better. It’s paid off and I want a new car, but I’ll drive this POS into the ground before I entertain that idea seriously. Although, the longer I put it off, the higher the chance of it just up and seizing on me.

I’ve been going through some shit at work that I won’t talk about here but I will say that I know I’ve gone all the right things. I’ve done what I should, the way it should be done. I’ve stood up for myself and I’ve stood up for what I think is right. Outside of that, what happens is out of my control and I continue going to work doing my job to the best of my ability and doing it well. I’ve been told I’m a vital portion of the division and that I am needed, so that’s kinda nice to hear.

My number one priority is to get my foot healed so I can get back to my workouts because my stress reliever was taken away from me the minute the doctor told me to stop working out. I can feel it, I haven’t been dealing with stress very well at all since April. I’ve also gained back 15 of the 30 pounds I lost back in 2011. The 2nd priority is my teeth and get those taken care of.

2014 is going to be my year for getting myself back to feeling good. I’ve let my physical health go quite a bit in 2013. It’s time to reverse that trend and get on it.

I’ve also been 2 days 10 hours 29 minutes free of cigarettes. I’ve been going to Cooper/Clayton classes again. I tried last year and failed. This year, I’m not going to use my stress as an excuse to keep smoking. I’m determined and I may feel like I got hit by a bus right now, but I’m going to push forward and keep doing it.

Until next time….

Remembering.

This post was originally posted on 9/11/06. Every year, I like to repost it in memory of those lost that day that were NOT FDNY or NYPD or EMS or PAPD. The civilian casualty numbers are worth remembering as well.  Maybe next year, I’ll break the habit and post something original.  Until then, here’s a story about one of the many people lost that day – Stephen V. Mulderry.

Never Forget.

This post is dedicated to the life of Stephen V. Mulderry who was on the 89th floor of the World Trade Center when it was hit by a plane. All of the information I’ve gained is from obituaries and online websites dedicated to the victims of September 11.

The impression I got from everything I read, was one of happiness, family, love and generosity. It seems he was generous with his time and love and he loved to help people. I can’t say that I knew him. But I can say I’ve known people like him and I wish I had known him. People who take up the whole room when they enter. Their energy and magnetism just light up the room. There’s no mistaking the charismatic look in his eye in the pictures I’ve seen of him.

To the Mulderry family, I am incredibly sorry for your loss. I am also very humbled and grateful that I was able to write this memorial for your son, brother, friend and loved one. May you find joy and happiness as you continue to remember the wonderful person that Stephen was.

When I look at the picture of him, I envision a tall, lanky, happy man who is secure in himself and in the world he has immersed himself in. I see passion and strength. I see happiness and love. I feel a warmth spread from my heart, at the same time as feeling incredible sadness that the world lost someone like him.

Everything I’ve read on the internet has given me the impression that the man never rested. He was always doing something for someone. He was always working at something that he loved, like being a top equity trader and a vice president of the employee-owned investment banking and brokerage firm, Keefe, Bruyette and Woods. Even in high school and college, Stephen did for others. He worked as a counselor and mentor at Project Strive, in Albany, an after school and summer program for grammar school students.

Stephen Vincent William Mulderry was born on May 4, 1968 in Albany, NY. Stephen had seven siblings, Amy, Andrew, Daniel, Peter, Anne Connel, Alexandra Andreani, Bill and Dara. Stephen’s parents were Anne and Bill Mulderry. Stephen attended Bishop Maginn Diocesan High School. After graduation, he attended the University of Albany.

Stephen moved to New York City after graduating from college, to pursue his career. When he first moved to the City, he was delivering chocolate milk to bodegas and he was a bartender. It’s been said that he poured energy into everything he did. Whether it be work, family, or basketball. He loved playing basketball and played it throughout college, where he led the team as point guard for three seasons.

Stephen’s nickname on the basketball court (and probably other places) was Zipper. I’d say this was because of his speed and agility on the basketball court. While playing basketball in the city leagues, he was voted Most Valuable Player during the Lower East Side Hamilton Fish tournament.

Everything I read also told me that he was a gifted musician, singer and dancer. People have said he had a quick and kind wit. He was uninhibited with his appreciation of other people’s talents. In one of the many pages I’ve read, his brother, Andrew, had this to say: “He loved basketball, but he had four passions: friends, family, work and basketball. He was an incredible source of love and support for me. Even in the midst of this horrible circumstance, I feel nothing but blessed for the older brother I have.”

What an incredible source of light and memory we have. Stephen Mulderry, I pray that you are resting in peace. Know that we remember you and what you did while you were with us on earth.

Until next time…