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Archive for January, 2011

Our first workout

Our first workout was on Tuesday, December 7, 2010.  In our firehouse, we have a set of stairs that goes from the basement (where the gym is) up to the second floor where the locker rooms and our offices are.

After we got off work at 4pm, we headed down to the basement full of a bit of trepidation and excitement to see what our Trainer would have in store for us.

Our first workout was not really “Crossfit” in the full sense of the term.  Our Trainer said it wasn’t really Crossfit yet, but they were exercises used in daily Crossfit workouts.

1 stair run
15 squats
10 push ups (on knees – you know…girly ones)
20 lunges
15 sit ups
3 rounds

In our first round, as I ran those stairs (actually I usually end up walking the stairs – at least I’m moving!), I kept saying to myself that I was so very grateful I had started walking in July.  Had I not been conditioning my cardio prior to this workout, I surely would have died.

The day after our workout, I could hardly walk!  My legs were so very sore from the workout.  Okay, I am lying.  My legs were NOT sore, they were in pain.  I was in so much pain, I whimpered when I moved. 

Little did I know the pain I experienced in this first workout would awaken something inside of me that has changed my life for the better in more ways than one.

How it started….

Three years ago, I packed up everything I could fit in my car and a moving van and headed cross country. I had spent my entire life in Las Vegas, NV and knew I needed something different. I needed something more and I needed to do something major for myself. I decided to move to Louisville, KY. Random to some people, but not really to me.

Once I moved here, I sunk into a deeper depression than I was already in after my best friend died in 2005. When he died, I lost a good portion of who I was and didn’t really know what I wanted. I just knew it was not going to be found in Las Vegas.

Three years later, I still haven’t found exactly 100% what I wanted, but I know I’m on the right path. When I lived in Vegas, I had allergies and sinus issues, but when I moved here? Holy crap did my sinuses and allergies go bonkers. I’ve also developed asthma since moving here and I had gained about 30 pounds in the first 2 years I lived here.

In July of 2010, I noticed two of my co-workers were walking a lot. They would go over to UofL and walk the track there. I knew I’d struggle, but I invited myself. The first time I walked with them, I could hardly walk a mile without feeling like my lungs were exploding. As we walked five days a week and continued doing it, my strength and stamina started to build up. We started running stairs at the training academy – which absolutely killed me several times (I’m sure of it!)

As the weather grew colder, we started walking downtown near where we worked. By the beginning of December, 2010, I was walking 3.2 miles and running stairs five days a week. When it was too cold, we would run the stairs in the firehouse. In the walking path we were taking when we walked outside, there was a set of stairs that were horrible for me, but we did them. Every day, we did them.

December 7, 2010 will be the day that changed my life. We asked one of the firefighters we work with to come up with a workout for us. He is a Crossfit trainer and had offered before, but we were stubborn and kept on walking for about a week after he offered.

On this blog, I’ll be posting our daily workouts (WOD) and how I felt/feel about that workout.  I’ll also post other related information about my journey to a healthy lifestyle and better way of living my life.  At the age of 41, here I am making some huge changes.  I love it.

I feel so much better than I have since I moved here and I’m so very grateful I’ve made friends with some of my co-workers.  I’ll be talking about my Workout Partner, The Trainer and several others in my posts.

See you next time…

I AM a non smoker. Or am I?

Will I ever truly BE a nonsmoker?  Or will I just be an “ex” smoker?  It’s been 13 days today!  13 days since I inhaled toxic smoke, nicotine and other chemicals into my lungs.  13 days since I felt “normal” and like myself.  I told my workout partner the other day that I think I’m having an identity crisis. 

I spent 29 years as a smoker, I don’t know who I am without my cigarettes.  Today, I’m discovering I’m pretty much the same person, just not putting all that gunk into my system.

My situation is still ongoing in Las Vegas, unfortunately.  I will know more between now and March so it’s just more hurry up and wait.  I might post a private/password protected post later tonight if I feel like it.  If not, then I’ll leave it with this vague statement of – I am ready to deal with the conclusion of this and move forward with my life.

I saw my doctor yesterday and we discussed all the major changes I’ve been making and she is really happy for me.  I am going back in two weeks for a full blood work up and physical.

I am feeling good emotionally AND physically.  I’m moving forward with all the changes I’ve been wanting to make.   I have officially lost 20 pounds since the last time I was weighed at the doctor’s office.  The last time I was weighed was the beginning of August when we discussed my medications.

The hardest thing for me in the changes has been finances.  It’s been the bane of my existence for quite sometime, but I’m working on it and I’m doing what I need to do.  I’m also doing research and making lists.  I’m big on lists that give me the pros and cons of any given situation, especially with my finances.  I make progress and then I digress.  I make progress and I digress.  It’s a pattern and I just need to find my way out of it.

Since I’m learning to be gentle with myself and to be kinder to my own needs, as well as the needs of others in my life, I refuse to let myself beat me up for what I’ve done in the past.  I now am going to focus on the present and what I’m doing today that makes a difference in my life, as well as others.

Until next time…

Fear is ugly and I almost let it ruin my 11 days.

I have this big ball of fear hanging over my head.  I’ve had it since October and since I was in that accident while in Las Vegas.  Tomorrow, part of that situation will be coming to a conclusion a little after 1pm PST (4pm my time.)   I will get off work at 4pm, do my workout and then race home to make some phone calls to find out what the conclusion is.  I know what I’m hoping for, but I’m also quite aware of what could happen.  The consequences of that one decision will possibly be haunting me for quite some time.

My fear had me in a big ball of stress all day at work.  I almost let it take over to the point I would smoke.  I was ready.  I was ready to put my coat on, walk downstairs with my co-workers and light that cigarette up.  I was there.  I could see it, I could taste it, I could smell it.  I wanted it.  The good thing about “wanting” something is that you don’t have to give in and get it.  I didn’t smoke.  I did not light up.

Instead, I texted my work out partner, I talked to one of my favorite Rescue Men for a bit, I cried, I walked around the office, ran the stairs and I did a lot of breathing.  I’d breathe in through the nose (when it would let me and wasn’t all stuffed up) and out through the mouth, I drove to lunch and back, I went downstairs to the kitchen in the firehouse several times.  But I didn’t light that cigarette.

After work, I had not heard from The Trainer, so I did 2 stair runs, 25 squats and 30 sit ups for 4 rounds.  Made that up on my own (actually it seems to be our standard workout when he’s not around.)  I cried during the stair runs.  I even almost puked during the stair runs (cardio still kicks my ass).  And I do need to clarify the “run” portion of that “stair run” statement.  I run the first set of stairs.  After that, I walk.  Sometimes I almost crawl to finish the rounds, but I only run that first round.

After I did that, I chatted with the guys for a few minutes and then I came home to clean up, change and go back out for some Qdoba for dinner.  My BFF T has given me permission to eat whatever I want in order to keep me from smoking between now and tomorrow evening when I finally get that phone call or make that phone call to Vegas.

Fear.  Fuck Everything And Run or Face Everything And Recover.   I’m facing it; I’m not running.  But I can guarantee you that I want to hide in one of my addictions.  Whether that be smoking, shopping or gambling; I’d probably be pretty okay with picking up a drink right now too.  I’m ready to escape the fear of the unknown.   However, my nine years of recovery won’t let me do that.  The program inside of me will have me reaching out and talking about this to people, journaling about it (this post); and writing it down (old fashioned journal!).  I will pray and I will meditate.  I will reach out and I will allow myself to feel what I’m feeling.  I’m allowed that much and I always have to remind myself I’m allowed.  I’m allowed to feel this way.  I’m allowed to be scared.  I’m just not allowed to go out and self destruct into one of my addictions.

Thanks for letting me share.

Until next time…

96 hours out…

By the time I post this, I will have 96 hours without smoking a cigarette.  That’s four days.  My last cigarette was at noon on Saturday the 15th.

I am using the patch, “step 2” with 14 mgs of nicotine.  I use one patch per day and I believe it’s the only thing keeping me from lighting up again.  The physical withdrawal symptoms have started to get annoying, but since they are just temporary, I’m trying to ignore them and work my way through them.

I did my first Crossfit workout as a nonsmoker yesterday and it kicked my ass.  It was a great workout, don’t get me wrong, I just struggled a lot with my breathing more than I normally do.  I think that since my body is about to expel all of the nasty nicotine and other chemicals soon, I did pretty good.  I finished all five of the rounds he assigned us.  I actually finished the WHOLE workout, which is phenomenal for me!

I’ve been on edge the last few days (duh) and I’ve been really focused on NOT taking it out on anyone.  I’ve done well so far, except I’m sure I’ve gotten snippy snappy with a few people here and there.  Every time I get the urge to smoke (which is A LOT when I’m at work), I just start doing something else than what I was doing when I got the urge.  Needless to say, I have a bunch of projects started sitting on my desk.  I keep going back and forth between them.

The biggest project I have is crunching numbers for hours worked in 2010 for OSHA.  This one is a pain in the ass cause I have to break it down by each firehouse.  I’ll get it done, but dang it’s a pain!  I’ve gotten the most urges to smoke during this project.

My office building (a firehouse) is just one big fat cigarette trigger!  Three of my direct co-workers smoke, so I hear/see them going out every hour and a half to two hours.  I try to ignore them and I will head over to my workout partner’s office when they go smoke.  Keeps me busy and keeps me distracted from the fact they are down there.

I’ve gotten a lot of supportive emails and messages.  I appreciate them all. I am sure I will, at some point, even use the phone numbers given to me.

I’m looking forward to the workout today after work, specifically so it keeps me from smoking longer.  I had to choose, ya know?  Did I want to keep smoking and giving in to that addiction, or do I want to continue getting healthy and fit?  I prefer getting healthy and fit.  I prefer being able to complete all the rounds AND reps that The Trainer gives us.  I feel better physically and mentally than I have in years.  I’m certainly not going to give that up for some nicotine.  Not anymore.

So I’ll be on this “step” of the patch for a few weeks and then I’ll reduce down to step 3 for a few weeks and I’ll be done with the patches.  I’m hoping I feel strong enough to remove them completely sooner, but until then, I will take all the help I can get in keeping me from lighting up.  How liberating this is for me.

I’ve been smoking since I was 12.  If you know me well enough, you know how old I am and how long that would make it that I’ve smoked.  It was time to give it up and move forward.  Here’s to new beginnings, my friends.  May yours be as liberating as mine.

Until next time…

And it’s now out in the open…

Someone posed a question to me at work today…”What are your career aspirations?” My answer was simple, honest and completely me.  My response was “Well I’d like to learn as much as I can before you retire and then step into your job after your retirement.  I’m going to school for Public Administration and will probably go for my Bachelors in Fire Administration when I get the AAS.”  My response was what she wanted to hear.  I am now going to be more involved in committees on policy, accreditation and other budget and operational things.  I’m quite pleased with this.  I’ve been feeling stagnant, doing the same crap day in and day out.  I like my job, overall, but there’s so much more for me to learn about this department and I’m quite happy about that.  I may, however, still bitch about the personality differences.  And really, that’s all they are in the big scheme of things.

I talked to my BFF tonight while I was at Walmart stocking up on groceries (in case it snows like they say it will tomorrow) and we were talking about the changes I’ve made in the last six months of me living here.  I’ve really turned most of my life around and I’m going in a positive direction with 99% of the shit that goes one.  The 1% will be coming to a conclusion at the end of this month, beginning of February.  I still have stress over finances, I still have stress over work related issues, I still have stress.  What I don’t have is the depression, anxiety attacks and feelings of loneliness.  I am in better shape right now than I have been in YEARS.  BFF T and I were talking about that too.  When we lived together back in 2003/2004, we were doing Body for Life together and I was working out and going to the gym, but I think I really half assed it and I didn’t have a workout partner or a trainer who would kick my butt if I try to wimp out of a workout.  Now, I do.  Actually, I have three platoons (shifts) full of trainers who will kick my ass if I try to wimp out of the workout.   I also have three platoons full of trainers who help me when I struggle with a workout.  They encourage me, they keep me motivated, they tell me it’s okay and it’s almost over (which I NEED to hear during some of these things.)  Yeah, I do cuss at them when they are doing it.  “Where ya at?  How many is that?” Blah blah f*cking blah!  Shuddup already!

Last week, our trainer had us doing “knee ups” for the first time.  We hung from the pull up bar and raised our knees so that it looked like we were sitting down in mid air.  It was awesome.  He said don’t swing your body and make sure you are “straight as a f*cking board” when you bring your legs back down.  I loved these!  I absolutely freaking loved this part of the workout.  However, my hands did NOT love this work out.  I developed a blister within 24 hours of doing it.  I went out and got some work out gloves for when I do that and other weight lifting.  He told me I have “girly hands” and my response was “well yeah…I’m a girly girl!”  I get snarky, sarcastic and I fuss about these workouts, but I sure enjoy the results I’m feeling and seeing, so I keep doing it.   I’m not nearly as sore after these workouts as I anticipate and while most days, there is something on my body that is sore, I do not experience the pain I did when I first started Crossfit.

I had a great New Years Eve weekend with my family in Georgia.  I drove down on the 30th and came back the 2nd.  Not quite long enough, but it saved my very few vacation hours I have left in case of needed snow days and what not until July when I’ll get some more vacation time.  When that happens, I’ll be able to schedule a week or so to go down there.

Until next time…