It’s been a long ass time! How is everyone doing ? Nothing like a global pandemic to get your life turned up side down , am I right? How have you been holding up?
I know so many people have been affected by this pandemic in so many negative ways. All I can do is hope for a safe end soon and our lives to return to normal.
Let’s recap: when last we checked in with our heroine, I was on the eve of my first rituxan infusion. LET ME TELL YOU FOLKS – THIS SHIT IS THE REAL DEAL! I am still dealing with ” Meganitis” , what is ” Meganitis”, you ask? You can scroll back through all my posts to see my struggles, but this is the breakdown. Halloween 2014, discovered a lump . turned out to be inconclusive, then spring 2015 another lump – again inconclusive. They were enlarged lymph nodes. Blood work all over the place, rash , fevers, chills, which turned into fire skin. Had Scans, PET and CT, 11 doctors , and still no answers. Multiple medications that worked for like a week, just to not work. Diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and at one point Stills Disease ( now since ruled out )
Current status is a flare up / flare down type of situation . Flare time results in severe whole body pain, lymph nodes in pain, ( arm pits hurting is the weirdest thing ) It sucks. My rheumatologist and my immunologist are the drs I see the most. Working together. They came up with having the infusions. The infusions deplete B cells that cause inflammation which is why they are life right now. So you are supposed to get them about every 6 months. I am up to about 4 months. But man, once they kick in – sweet relief! I feel like I have my life back. It sucks cause this is a whole day process. The infusion lasts about 6 hours. But I will do it if it means I get months pain free. My hopes is that I will get to the point where I do not need them anymore. A gal can dream.
On my weight loss surgery front – I am still stuck at 80 lbs. It was hard to work out or get moving when you are in constant pain. Now I have been trying to get moving more. I have been taking walks every weekend , excursions, bird watching . I like it cause I can get a good walk in , a couple miles without even really realizing it. Plus getting out walking, its easy to social distance and nature is all around us! I need to get under 200 lbs. Its a goal and I need to hit it. Part of the reason I am getting the old blog back up and going. Its a mental thing , but great for accountability for myself. But I really feel these walks are helping me, take a look at my progression so far:
The picture on the left was taken at Easter 2018, picture on right, July this year. When I took the picture on the right , it was the first time I was like – ” whoa, this is me?!?!” I feel my walks are really helping me get moving .
So, in other news I have become a birder, wildlife photographer. At least attempting it, lol. Its funny cause when I was a kid I hated birdwatching with my parents. Now , my dad and I discuss birds and go places looking for rare birds. We found a Mississippi Kite in Durham NH, as you can guess by the name, the bird should not of been there, but it was. Kinda cool if you are into that type of thing.
Here are some recent pics I have taken on my excursions. Mass Audubon membership was the best thing to get!
So that’s whats new with me. What is new with you? How are you dealing with this world right now?
Hope you are all well and your families stay safe!
It’s been a year since I got the midday call from my dad on a Monday, that Mum was on her way back to the hospital. This time for trouble breathing and subsequent low blood pressure and low heart rate.
It’s been a year since the last time we laughed together. Watching Wheel of Fortune in the ICU, and laughing over her insistence that Nurse Steve was Doctor Steve, but if you asked him, he would say that he usually cleans the floors. I went to the hospital after work, like I usually would do when she was admitted. Didn’t matter if it was Lawrence General or Brigham and Womens, I would head in after work. It got to be the norm, even if it was just for a half hour. The plan was to get her temporary pace maker put in until they could stabilize her for the permanent pace maker the next day.
It’s been a year since my mother had to have her temporary pace maker put in . I went to the hospital after work as usual. She was sedated when I got there from the surgery and the nurse said he was going to make sure she was comfortable . We thought things were good, so we left for the night.
Its been a year since my sister Rachel and I went to dinner after the hospital. We went to Burtons in North Andover. We both got some sort of Thai bowl and substituted chicken instead of some sort of Tofu type product. It was quite delish. We ate, dinner was uneventful and we said our goodbyes for the evening .
It’s been a year since I got the call on rt 93 south right before the 128 split. Rach said we needed to get back to the hospital now. I flew off the highway and turned around and drove like a madwoman back to the hospital. I remember I kept telling myself = ” As long as I am not there yet, she is still alive” Like it was a Schrodingers cat situation. I just kept repeating it.
It’s been a year since I arrived at the hospital and found my dad in the parking lot. We made our way inside to the ER since that was the only door that was open. I was greeted by our friend/sister Andrea . I will never forget the hug she gave me. She wrapped herself around me and we held hands as we were escorted to the ICU.
It’s been a year since I felt the stinging of my tears as I walked the hall to the ICU to find my mother in shock. I cannot shake the memory of it. I remember her face and the events like it happened 10 minutes ago. I remember crouching down at the foot of her bed and sobbing and thinking how can this be real?
It’s been a year since the family assembled , rallied in hopes of a positive out come. It is a real testament to my mother and what an amazing family we have . Sitting together outside the cardiac cath lab as they tried to save her.
It’s been a year since the doctor came out and told us our only hope is to send her to Boston since she coded for 10 minutes and there was not much else they could do for her there. My dad would of moved mountains if it meant for a chance for Mum to live.
It’s been a year since the group of us held each other as we waited for her to be returned to her room so we could see her. Our group was 11 strong so we could not all wait in the ICU, we were relegated to the waiting room outside of ICU.
It’s been almost a year since the nurse came down to get my dad and inform us that she keeps coding.
It’s been almost a year since we made the decision that she had had enough. And the next time she coded we would let her rest.
It’s been almost a year since we told her it was okay to go . And that we would be okay. It was the hardest thing my heart has had to do , telling her it was okay to go when all I wanted was for her to stay.
It’s been almost a year since I held her hand and kissed her head and told her how much I love her.
It’s been almost a year since it was August 2nd, 2017 at 12:15 am , when she left that body that jailed her for over 30 years , and became the best guardian angel any of us could ever hope for.
It’s been almost a year since my heart was immeasurably broken .
Not a day goes by that I do not think of her and all the joy she brought to our lives. My heart hurts and I miss her so terribly. I only hope I made her proud and she knew how much we loved her.
Hug your loved ones tight and make every day count.
That is right folks – I have an official diagnosis!!! No more Meganitis, I have been diagnosed with Stills Disease. Now, all of you are probably saying to yourself, what the heck is Stills disease?
“Adult Still’s disease is a rare type of arthritis that features a sore throat, a salmon-colored rash and a high fever that spikes once or twice a day. Joint pain tends to develop a few weeks after these initial signs and symptoms”
This is a disease that is ruled in once everything else is ruled out. I am also happy to report the Humira that I have been been on for a little over a month is working wonders! It has been such a long road, but it looks like I am finally in a place with a treatment plan.
I was so excited, I had to go tell my mother. Yes, I drove from Boston to her grave to tell her. I mean, I know she knew already , I feel her around me all the time, but I had to go tell her myself. It was my routine , go to Boston , then leave , call my momma. Tell her the good, the bad, the frustrating,the infuriating, just the way I was feeling and what the next step was or what the plan was. It is hard to leave these appointments now and need to call her and know that she will never be on the other end again.
In fact, it blows. Hard.
The reason I chose Brigham and Womens Hospital for my care is because of my mother. For 30 years my mothers surergies, transplants , ( yes transplants, plural) and several of her doctors were all at Brighams. I was very familair with the hospital due to all the visits over the years, and the fact that it is a world renound hospital didn’t hurt either. It was something I trusted due to the fact that my mother was so sick for so long and I feel , besides her larger than life spirit, that this hospital had a part in that .
When I moved a coupl of years ago, we are only about 20 minutes from the hospital, barring traffic. I would go see her during her various stays at the luxurious ” Brigham suites ” as we would call it. It sucked that she was in the hospital butit was closer to me than her home was so, I took it.
Now that I am starting to feel better and have an answer, I owe it to her to Be Better. I need to get back into my routine, which seems like I am forever saying . But I really need to. Need to get some consistncy. I am also anxiously awaitng my sleep study results.
So, onwards and upwards.
I am getting in a much better frame of mind. Trying to figure out who I am , what I want in my life, who I want to be – for me and for my family. I want to actually achieve some goals in the next year.
This is all a journey, right? I know, I keep saying this, but it so is. Ups and downs. I have been through a lot this year, in general. In trying to keep myself and my family afloat, I have forgotten about me and my journey. And that SUCKS!
I feel better now, My family is getting settled in our new place , and thats right folks, yours truly is getting BACK AT IT!!!!
WITH A VENGEANCE!!!!
I know I am no fitness role model, but gosh do I love working out. And I am so so so excited to be back at the gym tomorrow. Don’t get me wrong, I will be a hot flabby mess, and I will be sore as hell Tuesday, but I cannot WAIT!!!
Now, peoples usual reaction is ” why don’t you just go to a regular gym?” ” why not work out at home?” Both good questions, and yes, cheaper options, but at this point = I have found a format that works for me . Anyone who has struggled with weight loss and fitness knows that finding what works for you is half the battle.
I’m not making excuses, just explaining, I suppose, but I have had a pretty crappy year so far. I had a different focus than on myself and my journey and it was all about my family and my health. Not bad reasons to lose sight of your personal journey , but none the less, I was lost.
As I say, I did not just fall off the wagon – It was a horrific wagon crash with no survivors.
These past few weeks as I felt better and gave myself excuses why it was not the right time to get back into it, I revisited my blog. Revisited my posts, reread my journey, because, yes, there are things we forget. I am so glad I decided to do this blog, cause I much as I can remember events, those feelings swell back up when I go back and read about it again.
In that Spirit – Here are some of my ” Greatest Hits “
This journey I am on has taken me some pretty cool places. Physical places and places within myself that I need to go more often. I keep using the word ” Journey” all the time, but , really, there is no greater word to use. Its not a secret that this year has not been my best. I have let myself down. But the biggest change within myself , by far, is that I am not letting myself be derailed. So while I may have not worked out in a month ( oh my fucking ugh) I have not lost sight of the goal.
This weekend, I took on one of the coolest things ever. Waterfall Rappelling. What the frack is that you ask? Lets go back to the beginning….
This past Thursday was my husband, Chad and I’s 15th wedding anniversary. We wanted to do something but not break the bank. So, a few months ago, we started looking and I found this deal on Living Social for Waterfall Rappelling. It was in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, I love the mountains. We decided it was a go. Bought the deal. We had a lot of questions and I have got to say, the owner of North Ridge Mountain Guides, Jamie, was amazing. We planned to go away for the weekend, with our waterfall excursion on a Saturday.
Jamie suggested The Bartlett Inn, in Bartlett NH. What a great place this was! Great owners at the Inn. We were complete pains in the ass. We had to arrive late on Friday, so we made several calls to make sure we would be all set. When we arrived on Friday and found a note on the door addressed to us with complete detailed directions to our cabin, I knew we were going to be good. It was a cute little cottage with 2 rooms. A big bedroom with queen poster bed and fireplace and another room with a mini kitchen and living room area. Then there was a jacuzzi tub in the bathroom. It was really clean, something I noticed right off the bat.
We had to meet the waterfall group at 9 am in Twin Mountain at the NRMG office. So, we got up early. The Inn offers breakfast every day. They have a special each day and if you do not care for that, you can go for eggs.
We walk into the main house and are greeted by a nice guy offering us juice or coffee. There is limited space for eating so they have a common waiting area and cycle folks in as others finish. We are then greeted by one of the owners, Nick. I cannot say enough about his personality. Just a great guy. He states that he knows we need to meet Jamie and says he is going to do something he does not normally do. He set us up for breakfast at a table in the main living area. He got us in and out with a delish breakfast. We then “officially” checked in, got our key and Nick even gave us directions to the office where we were meeting the group. We were on the road around 8:20 am. Now, I have an excellent sense of direction – Excellent. I am very good with directions. I do not get lost. Until this day. I drove right by it. When we are driving along in the White Mountain National Forest, I knew I had gone too far. So, the hubs called up and they very nicely gave us directions to turn around and head back . We arrived around 9:15 . I hate being late. Hate it. Felt like an ass.
Now this is where, the big steps on this journey are taken…. I walk into this place and am visibly the largest person in here, and I walked in late. Awkward. We are greeted by Jamie and Travis. Super nice guys. We start cracking some jokes and start chatting with the others waiting. And I am like – shit this is real and we are going to do this. We got our harnesses and our helmets.
There were 10 of us in the group. We got in our cars and we caravan to the site where would would hike, then hit the waterfall. We parked and got our stuff together and headed down the trail. It was the ” Falling Waters Trail” .
We had to go under the highway to get to the trail, we were greeted by these 3 forest rangers or workers. One of them was this little older bitty with purple hair. She was fierce! They told us it was about 1.3 -1.4 miles to Cloudland Falls. An 80 foot waterfall. I wore my sneakers, I didn’t have hiking boots and realistically, I was not going to buy some just for one day. It was a trail, so rocks to climb up, mud to get around, uneven ground. We had to cross the river a few times, at this point, we were going to get wet anyways, so it didn’t matter.
Honestly I thought I was doing okay with it. We stopped a few times on our way up. Stayed together. Jamie mingled in with us while we headed up, I thought that was cool. He spent time with all of us. About 1 mile in I was dying. It didn’t help that the whole time, there are dogs running back and forth no problem. then , not just big dogs, but little ones , with their little legs. what the hell? here I am dying and these little puppies are running along, no problem. All I kept thinking was ” Are we there yet? ” and ” Just keep walking “. I was bringing up the rear when I asked Travis how far we had left, and thank the Sweet Baby Jesus, he said its right up ahead. And it was! We set up at the base of these beautiful falls.
Jamie gave us a lesson on the equipment that we would be using and set up some ropes so we could practice while Travis headed to the top of the falls to set up the ropes. He explained the hand signals they use as well . So, we get our harnesses on and I have a mini panic attack, cause I can barely get this thing over my fat ass. Thank goodness, I just had to loosen it. It was very odd to wear, but we were all wearing them, so, not so bad! I get in line to try it out and he shows me this tiny little strap thing. I cannot for the life of me remember the name of the piece. But it is like a little piece of fabric sewn together. You take this fabric and tie it through your harness and it is what the carabiner hooks onto . The other end is hooked to the rope. So of course he is explaining all of this and my only thought is, this guy is out of his tree. Like not just out of his tree, but he fell out, hit his head and forgets what a tree is. I ask – ” This little thing is going to hold me? ” His response – ” Absolutely” He goes on to explain the ratings on the equipment and what they mean. Basically, I was getting freaked out and the equipment was rated for 5000 lbs. Once we were all confident with trying it out, it was time to climb the rocks and head to the falls. I raise my hand to go first. I figured, if I can do it, anyone can.
The trail from the base of the falls to the place where we were starting from was hell. We literally had to climb up rocks, then walk over more rocks, trying not to fall off the edge and not to slip in the mud to get to the start point. But of course, who slips? Of course its me. I was terrified I was going to slip right down the side. I got right back up and got my footing, waiting my turn. Figured if I fell before the falls, then I would not fall to my death on them.
Two lines were set up with each guide assisting on each one. I ended up going second. So, I watched the first guy go, It took him a bit and then we hear the screaming. It was confirmed, they were “good screams” . Then its my turn . And I was hooked up and getting into place. Jamie went down with me the first part of the way. The Water was sooooo cold! They told us to watch out for green or black stuff on the rocks, its slippery. I start dropping myself down and Jamie is guiding me on where to go. It is a very surreal feeling. The rocks look slippery, but they are not. Once you get past that, its just dealing with the cold ass water. I started moving my way down. It was soooo freaking cool!!!! Such an awesome feeling. I keep moving , following my directions. Then I get to the spot. There is this spot in the falls where Jamie warned us that we would ” become stupid” and our IQ would drop. It is the spot where the water starts gushing on you and it is sooooo cold and you totally go stupid. At that point, my thought was ” make it to the bottom, make it to the bottom”. But that was no better, we ended in a pool at the bottom about knee high! Once you hit the ground, you had to unstrap yourself, release the rope and hand off your equipment to the next person. THEN – you bask in ultimate glory cause you just RAPPELLED DOWN A WATER- FREAKIN- FALL!!! We would cheer each other on when we got to the bottom. Got to meet some really great folks!
Then it was my husband Chad’s turn. He finished in about 4.5 minutes!!!! Faster than anyone!!! He will not let me live that down, lol.
It was so much fun, we did it again and both went down twice! Some folks even did 3 times! After everyone was done, it was back down the mountain to end our day.
Here are some pics of me on the waterfall:
At the bottom! Success!
This was one of the coolest, most awesome, things I have ever done. Being someone who is overweight, I don’t always think I can do these things. It was a huge thing for me to step out of that comfort zone. I didn’t let the weight stop me . And though I plan on getting rid of this weight, its here for the moment and I am not going to let it stop me. We are already planning on going back up north next summer and trying ziplining! That does have a weight limit, but I will for certain be under it by next summer.
For now, I am happy to be a plus sized adventurer.
Once we got back to the inn, we were starving. We hit up a local mexican restaurant, Margarita Grill. To say the Margaritas were delish or amazing or awesome does not do them justice. I got the Strawberry Lemonade Margarita and the hubs got the Jalapeno Margarita. SOOOOOOOOO GOOOODDDD!!!! Food was excellent as well. Then it was back to the inn for a fire pit.
The Inn put on this great fire pit with marshmallows for the kiddos. We brought some chocolate and graham crackers to share. We brought along some adult beverages too. It was so nice. We sat by the fire and chatted up with the different families. We ended up staying out with the inn keeper and some of the guests til 10 pm. The sky was full of stars, so beautiful.
This was a weekend I will never forget , for so many reasons. I challenged myself and I conquered the waterfall!!!
I know I sound like an ad for these companies, in no way did I receive any compensation for this. These are my opinions. I just want to share our experience because it really was great.
If you ever go the the White Mountains of New Hampshire, explore! There is so much to see and do. I have been going to the mountains since I was a kid and to have such a magnificent new experience is something I did not even think of.
Stepping outside your comfort zone is good , taking the highway there is even better!
It is 3.4 miles of the Spartan Race with the obstacles optional. In the Spartan Race if you do not complete an obstacle, you have a 30 burpee penalty.
It was a day full of emotions and it all started from when I stepped onto the turf.
Walking in to the area, it was Spartan City – at least that is what I will call it going forward. Spartan stuff everywhere, contestants all over with their medals, covered in mud, gearing up for the run. Ahead of us this giant hill, which I have seen before, plenty of times , except people were riding snow tubes down it. Obstacles galore on the hills, people running all over them.
Oh shit. This is really happening and I am really going to do this.
We find our Biggest Loser Tent and seriously , there is about 10-20 people there. I am like.. ” What?” I totally expected more people to be there for this particular run. My husband had made us T Shirts at work. We march in there with our t shirts and are promptly told we need to wear our Biggest Loser shirts. More to come on that…
We change, we check our bags and start getting ready. Then, Tara Costa , former contestant on the Biggest Loser, gave us a pep talk. It was really great and inspiring. Also there from the Biggest Loser was Matt Hooper from season 15. Then she tells us that our Biggest Loser shirts are our ” Get out of jail free card” meaning if we did not have them on and could not do an obstacle, the refs would make us do the burpees. So, I was VERY glad to have the shirt! Plus it was moisture wicking which came in extremely handy. They also pointed out some volunteers that would be joining us along the way. Doing the race with us. Plus it meant we would have a dry shirt to put on after since we were not wearing the shirts we went in. Standing there in this tiny group surrounded by such amazingly fit people, I felt like we were the ” red headed step children” of the Spartan Race. Going into it, I knew the race was on the Spartan Course, I did not realize that we were going the same time as the Spartan Racers. That was really intimidating. I was embarrassed. I felt like these folks were going to be pissed that this fat ass is in their way. Here I am chubby butt and all going to try this course that these crazy athletes are doing. What the hell was I thinking? Yes, I am way more fit than I have ever been, and yes, I can walk this, and yes, I can do what ever obstacles I want, but what the hell am I doing?
Too late now….
We headed together as a group to the start point. The announcer ( totally forget his name) said some really great stuff about how he was on a weight loss journey and it brought him to where he is, and he understands what we are doing . I had my friends by my side. No turning back now.
And we are off! Running up this fococka hill! Ready to die within the first 2 minutes….. lol. Let me tell you, there was mud all over this thing. And it started at the top of that hill. And balls to the wall, I dove in. First thing, I am covered up to my neck in mud cause I lost my footing. I got out of that and there is another little hill. Covered in mud and the marks from where everyone has slipped down it trying to get up. And who was there to help me and lend a hand? Tara Costa. Tiny little thing, and strong as shit. So, I am covered all over in mud, my sunglasses too. My hands . Oh my God, my hands. I hate having dirty hands, so I was freaking out on the inside. No turning back.
I am going to try to remember the obstacles in order, and I tried to find a map for reference, but I couldn’t so, here goes…
There was big mud trenches to get through, and again, dived right in, almost swam through them. Then a log bridge to go over, thank goodness there was one with 2 logs together. That was Easy Peasy. There was a set of 3 walls, 1 to go over, 1 to go under and 1 to go through. I tried the over. And my awesome buddy Kristina, offered her leg to boost me, but I didn’t want to break her. And The Biggest Loser Volunteers were right there with us, giving us tips and trying to help us. So, 2st obstacle, fail, but I climbed under the 2nd and went through the 3rd! Okay, now I am in the shit! No going back! There was alot of hilly terrain, it felt like we just kept going up and down hills. My legs were and still are on fire.
As the race went on, I had to keep ” pulling over” to catch my breath. I am truly shocked at how many Spartan Racers said ” Good job!” ” keep going!” ” You got this!” The stigma I had at the beginning, completely gone. It was just like class, everyone helping each other, everyone pushing each other along and cheering each other along. It goes to show what a great community it is.
There was a sand bag carry. The guy giving out the sand bags said to me and Melissa when he saw our shirts that we didn’t have to do it, and we were like, no, we are going do it. We run with 55 lbs sand bags in class, so the 35 lbs bag they gave us was nothing….Until I had to come back up the hill. Took me forever and a day, But I did it. It felt so good to throw that bag down, especially when the guy tried to get me to not do it.
There was one where you dragged a concrete block by a chain, I could do that. There was one where you dragged a giant tire towards you , then pulled it back out. Could do that. I could not do the monkey bars. There was this great Biggest Loser Volunteer Ben, who was with us a lot during the race, trying to help me and even suggest I climb on his shoulders, bless his heart. But, no. It wasn’t even straight across monkey bars, they were up and down, fuck that.
All of the various walls I could not do. Kinda stunk, but I was more afraid of falling off the wall and getting hurt so I chickened out. I mean, I fell, I fell all over the place. I fell in spots that were muddy, not muddy, paths, everywhere, I fell. Me and the ground became good friends. But I kept getting up and moving.
There was one part through the woods and it was thick dark mud. So, everyone was going along the outside of it where it wasn’t as mucky. Someone started yelling out ” Artreau!” From the Neverending Story… I couldn’t resist and I threw out an ” Artex, you’re sinking!” It was great. I love shit like that.
I got to the rope swing and I wanted to do it so bad, so I stepped up and freaked out. Ben tried helping me. I was just scared of smashing into the other platform and killing myself. I tried it though. I was close, but I guess I let go to early, and into the water I went. But, hey, I tried it.
From there it was the worst one for me. You had to fill a bucket with rocks and carry it up the hill and down the hill. You could not put it on your shoulder either. My God, it was horrible. I was exhausted. It was heavy. I basically went 10 steps and put it down. Picked it back up and went 10 steps. Took me a while and my back was screaming. At one point when I had it down , this chick came over from the spectator area and she says to me ” You got this. You are doing great. Pickup the bucket and keep moving. You can do this!” Don’t know who she was , but thank you! The greatest feeling was dumping those fucking rocks back into the bin.
From there it was a sand bag pulley lifting thing. That was no prob.
Then it was up and over this giant apparatus that you went under to start the race. It was like a giant ladder on each side and you crossed the top. But the top was open, almost like someone nailed down some pallets and you had to make sure you watched your step.
Onto some barbed wire to crawl under up a hill, then another wall which i skipped. More hills. Steep hills. Then it was a rope climb. In water. Cha, no way for me. But Kristina killed it. She is so inspiring! Then it was some sort of side wall climbing on tiny pieces of wood thing that I skipped too. We tried the javelin toss type thing . I got really close. Melissa and Christel nailed it. Then there was the field of barbed wire that you roll under. Surprisingly, I was able to make it through 3 of the 5 sets of them. I started getting really dizzy and did not want to chance anything. But I was shocked as shit I could do that much as it was.
After the barbed wire roll it was jump into a muddy /watery pit and go under the wall. yes, under the gross water, under the wall. I wasn’t going to do it. But I was so crusty from the mud from the rest of the day, I figured what the hell and Christel and I did it together. Up another little hill, mud covered. It was slippery. Cause not only are you slippery but everyone who came before you is slippery.. I get to the top and bam, on my ass. Some nice guy grabbed my hand and helped my down the slippery hill .
Last but not least – the fire jump! I jumped over that fire and we went down the hill to the finish. It was an amazing feeling. There was a Biggest Loser person there to give us our medals. So proud!
2.5 hours later – 6 of us went in and 6 of us went out.
There were so many times that I was going to give up. So many, and seeing all the people taken out by medics on golf carts did not help . I just figured if I kept moving, eventually it would end. I cannot believe I did it. Any part of it.
If I can do any part of this, then anyone can. The Biggest Loser Walk/ Run Off Road Challenge is great for those of us who want to take it to the next level, but can’t quite do it yet. ” Spartan Race on Training Wheels” they told us in our pep talk. And they were right. I highly recommend this if you are thinking of doing any obstacle race. It gives you a taste of it. The Biggest Loser volunteers were so great through out the whole thing, right there with water if we needed it and tips. Matt and Tara popped up here and there too. We even ran into Matt at the hose off shower station at the end. Real great people. they took lots of pictures of us along the route, can’t wait to see them. I will definitely post them!
I got home and walked in and first thing my daughter says is home much I stink. And boy did I. The mud was horrible. That was by far the greatest shower ever. I still have mud in places. I think another 20 showers and I will be clear.
If I really sit and think about it, I get so emotional. Especially after this year not being my best fitness wise. This has totally got me pumped to keep on the path. I definitely will do another one. They have one in Boston in November at Fenway Park. At least there won’t be as much mud, they can’t have all that mud inside Fenway. I am thinking about it. And now, the actual Spartan Race is a goal. Now I know what I need to work on and what I need to do to complete it. It may be 3-4 years, but its a goal for sure.
No matter where you started, no matter where you are , we are all on this journey. Different places, different times, different paths, but WE ARE DOING IT.
AND THAT MY FRIENDS IS FAR BETTER THAN SITTING ON THE COUCH WISHING.
Looking back on this year so far, and UGH. UGH CITY. In fact, I am THE MAYOR OF UGH CITY. On one hand, I am pissed. So pissed at myself, for getting into all these funks and straying off my path and what I NEED to do. I have not worked out nearly as much as I should, I have gained weight back, and I feel like shit. I have had some legit reasons for not making all my classes, but still, it stinks. I have made piss poor eating decisions which doesn’t help either. I failed, badly. Time to Reboot!
But…. Here’s the good part – the old Meg would of let all of these bumps and hiccups knock her down, and keep her off the path. I am still here ! I am conscious of the now and what I need to do! I haven’t fallen completely off the wagon, I am still dangling ,dragging along the back . So, on the other hand, this is the best I have ever done, stuck it out more than anything I have done before. I AM going to get back at it.
I am back at it Wednesday this week – I have been out of the gym for a while due to the vertigo/ concussion symptoms I had. Scary shit. Doctor said no strenuous activity. I am so excited to workout. I seriously love working out, I love Cross Fit, I love my gym, I love my coaches, I love my community there. The whole package is nothing but amazing. It is such a great feeling after a killer WOD. Good Lord I miss it!!! I have reignited the flame that drove me. I feel like I say this shit all the time, but for me, this is a constant process and constant journey. So yeah, I am gonna say stuff this all the time, but that is just me keeping it real, like I tend to do. This is real life. Real ups and real downs, at least that is what folks tell me they enjoy about my blog.
I always try, admittedly not as much as I should, but there are times, I try my damnedest. I need to try harder for me. I have goals and dreams and aspirations of who I want to be. What I want to be. I know for certain, its not this current costume I am trapped in. This reminds me of a poem I wrote back in 2011.
Staring at the reflection in the mirror The stranger she knows so well the horrid eyes that look back Her lids cannot shut fast enough There is a person there, in there somewhere and she screams Dear God does she scream Misunderstood for so very long, she is stuck The zipper on this clown suit is jammed and she is a prisoner She tries to yell, to fight, to win She is silent, she can’t move and she loses Dying to win this fight Aching to find the girl that was lost APB’s and milk cartons are not cutting it She cannot give up
I AM DYING TO WIN THIS FIGHT. I AM ACHING TO FIND THE GIRL I LOST. I WILL NOT GIVE UP!
You know I love writing my poetry. Its such a release for me. I don’t tend to share as much as I write. I suppose cause I write for just myself and I don’t think others would get it… but then again, maybe they would. I don’t know. But I do know, in reading back some of my past poems, I have used that stuck zipper reference quite a few times. See – I don’t belong in this body. I need to fight my way out of it.
And don’t get me wrong, this body has carried 3 perfect, healthy, beautiful children. There is something to be said for that I guess. And there are some people who are perfectly happy to be larger, plus size, obese even. Its all about what makes YOU happy. Right now, this body is not where I am happy and I am going to fix it.
I feel like a weight has been lifted off of me for lack of a better term. I know for certain I am a different person, than I was before . I may not be taking the journey exactly as I had hoped, and it may be taking me way longer, and I may have taken 10 steps back, but I realize it. This is something I never ever would of admitted or done before. Like Ever.
So, here I am .
Back to the beginning it feels.
Determined to keep it going. Determined to Keep Swimming. I still got some fight left in me 🙂
I hope you will continue following the journey with me .
I was so excited about my dead lift the other night, I wanted to shout it from the roof tops. So, I did.
I shared my photo and story with the Women of Crossfit = Strong page on Facebook. To say I am overwhelmed by the response is a dramatic understatement. At present time, the photo and story have been shared 49 times, it has over 2,200 likes and 279 comments. I am blown away. The fact that anyone took time to make the decision to hit the ” like ” button is cool, but the fact that over 2000 people did is freaking crazy!
So, I send my utmost thanks to everyone. I am humbled and so excited so many are joining in the swim with me. I know many of you have found me through this post.
Welcome to the swim!!!
I have had such a great week in the gym. Last night was Front Squats and Hand stand Push ups.
Here is how I did:
14-12-10-8-6-4-2 Front Squats 65 lbs
1-3-5-7-9-11-13 HSPU – used a 35 lb plate and abmat as target
time : 20:24
bonus 1000m row if WOD finished under 25 mins
Finished whole workout in 26:53.
Now, I can do HSPU. Not great, and its more of bending my arms and holding myself up that is the issue, but I can lower myself down to the target. Last night, I had such a hard time sticking to the damn wall. Totally was conversing with myself the whole time. I guess its only fitting since HSPU are such a mental exercise.
STICK MY BUTT TO THE WALL!!! That was the gist of it. I could get up and could not stick it. SO, try and try again. Finally my butt listened 🙂
Then, my front squats. I went up to 65lbs. My legs were burning . Its been a long week for me and I have been way more active than I have recently so I think if I had done this WOD at the beginning of the week, I may have been able to bang it out quicker. But , here is the front squat too, well, going down for the front squat.
It felt great to finish that workout last night. But man, o man, was I tired.
My coach just posted a pic of my back squat that I was excited about from Monday too:
I know in all these pictures my form needs work, but believe me, it is such an improvement from where I was. I continue to work on it and you better believe I will get it.
This week has been so amazing. I have felt the love from people all across the globe. One thing about me, I just tell it like it is. I wear my heart on my sleeve and I’m honest. I am glad people are inspired by me and my story. I have got such a long way to go and I am so thrilled that so many of you are coming on this journey with me.
First, I gotta say, tonight was fantabulous. Simply fantabulous.
I want to first go over ” chips”. In my gym, we use chips to keep track of our rounds. Not sure if every gym does this, but we do. For me, its not about how many chips are there, the chips themselves represent accomplishment. On every level. And I suppose that yes, I can count to 5 all by myself and keep track on my own, but what fun is that? It is the best feeling to see all the chips you took moved from the start pile to the finish. Its symbolic. I look forward to seeing those chips go from pile to pile. Now granted, for me, usually I am over confident and not all my chips move. Some times its only a few. But it truly is what they represent that is the point.
Here is a pic of tonights chips :
We had a 10 minute WOD = 5 rounds:
6 Alternating DB snatches – went up to 40 lbs on this. You guessed – PR BABY!
8 Hands release push ups
12 V ups
I LOVE SNATCHES. Go ahead and get your dirty little snickers out of the way, yes, its funny… But I love barbell snatches, Dumb bell snatches, Kettle Bell snatches. I have always had an easier time with the move, so I think that is why I have always enjoyed them.
The WOD was after the strength portion of the evening, which was Deadlifts.
Tonight my friends, was an epic night for yours truly. I crushed a goal. Crushed. Exceeded. Boom. Bang. That just happened!
Some of you may have read my post back from January regarding doing the Crossfit Total WOD , where I dead lifted 210 lbs. I did the 210 and I clearly remember the struggle to get to 215. I couldn’t get the bar off the ground for 1 rep. I remember the defeat I felt. I was still super proud I got to the 210 but Man, I wanted the 215.
Guess what kids? I DID IT!!!! I DID 215 LBS!!! NOT JUST 1 REP BUT 4 TOTAL!!! yeah, yeah, I know not that many but Oh My Freaking God, does it feel AWESOME!!!!
Here is a pic of the big moment.
I understand these photos are not flattering by any way shape or form, and I will proudly say, ” I DO NOT CARE”
These photos represent a goal. A goal I crushed. A new goal being created. And I suppose I could go the way of the main stream and photoshop my big ol belly from hanging over the bar. But Fuck that, I earned this shit. The belly will go down, And I will continue to rise and be strong.
This is what a real person with real goals and real struggles and real rolls and real obesity looks like. She ain’t pretty, but she is damn fantastic.
I am a work in progress and I am damn happy with the way I am going.
I do have to give a big shot out to my coach Jane who was such a pusher and so awesome when I asked her to take my picture.
I feel like my train is getting back on her tracks and things are getting to be where they need to be for me. Every day, I tell myself ” Just Keep Swimming” I keep going and I don’t stop. Nothing worth fighting for was ever earned easily.
So , get out there and be your own hero. Put on your cape, Put on your rope, grab your cuffs, get your shield, hop in your Batmobile and get going.
Own the day, Seize the Day, Claim the Day.
I would to see pictures of you folks and your PR’s! If you would like to share, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A lil bit of my Massachusetts accent coming out in the post name, lol!
Boy, I didn’t realize how long its been since my last post. I have so much to say and so many directions to go in. Bear with me 🙂
First off, I need to acknowledge my funk. Honestly, I am so frustrated with myself right now, I am just sick about it. This time last year, I was deep into working out and making changes and seeing results. Now, I am still working out, not as much for whatever reason, but I need to get back into it and make sure I am doing at least 3 days a week if not more. I wish I could work out every day, seriously. I have been stuck since December. Still maintaining what I lost in terms of inches. Still rocking the size 16, lol. But I have gained back a few pounds. Ugh. I think part of my problem is my nutrition and lack there of . I know I have talked about it before. I am trying to find what works for me, cause I will never be a salad girl. A work in progress still. But I don’t want to focus on that right now in this post. Another thing is it seems since I have plateaued my drive has not been as much or as strong. I think that is the thing that bothers me the most. I am vowing to get myself back on the right path. I seriously tell myself to keep swimming to keep going.
So what if I hit a rather large bump along the road? It is not going to hold me down. No freakin way. I have too much to get fit for. Which leads me to my next topic:
Who Keeps you Healthy?
I was asked my friends over at the American Recall Center to participate in their “Who Keeps You Healthy?” segment. It sounds easy, but this is a great question. One I ask of all of you as well. Who does keep you healthy? For me, it is most definitely my family. I am doing this for myself, but I am doing it for my family, to be here and be present and be part of the exciting moments with them, actively, not on the side lines. This was so real for me recently.
I was lucky enough to be able to take one of my vacation weeks during April Vacation with my kids. I don’t think that since I started working I have been able to do this. Our first day of vacation, we went bowling with family and friends. Bowling may not seem like a crazy physical activity to most, but to someone over weight there is a lot of bending and picking up involved, and don’t forget finding some shoes that fit, lol. I had a pretty easy time of it! Yuppers!
The next day was the big test for me. We went to Battleship Cove in Fall River. It’s this cool place where they have decommissioned battleships, submarines and other cool old military stuff. It never occurred to me that there may be tight spaces to squeeze through, or that the whole place was tight spaces. When we entered the first ship, I was thinking that my kids are going to see me get stuck in a door or tight space, and how embarrassed I was going to be, and worst yet, how embarrassed my kids were going to be. But as we started through the ships, it wasn’t so bad. I was able to move about without an issue. No stuck bums here! This is exactly why getting myself together and getting fit is so important to me. To be able to have fun with my kids is priceless. Here are some of our pictures from our day:
THIS IS WHAT IT IS ALL ABOUT!
I am blessed that I am able to do these things now, I would of struggled so much before if I attempted it. I am still a work in progress, but boy! Is this a great ” SWIM” or what?!?!? SO folks, WHO drives you? Who helps you? Who is your cheerleader? We all have people that push us weather they know it or not. I’d love to hear who your team is!
My Workouts !/ Gym Time!
Even though I have been in a funk, I have still be making it to the gym at least 2 x week, not impressive, I know, but still, better than nothing. Here are some of my recent workouts :
5 Rounds for time
200m plate run with 25 lb plate
15 Vups – supposed to be TTB, but we are not there yet and it was a lot, Vups will work on getting me to TTB
3 Rope Pull Ups – supposed to be rope climbs – Cha!
My time was 27:38
The run with the plates, whoa nelly. That was tough. I started my ” Just Keep Swimming” , gets me through 🙂
6 rounds for time
6 HSPU – on the wall, bending my arms and able to dip a bit 🙂
10 Power Cleans – 65 lbs
14 Alternating R/L pistols ( with rings)
My time was 23:11.
I gotta say, I freaking love doing HSPU, Can’t wait til I get to the point where I can bend all the way and push all the way back up!
10 Min AMRAP Box Jumps and Hang Cleans
5 Box Jumps 12″ box with 45 lb plate on top
5 Hang Cleans 75 lbs
10 Box Jumps 12″ box with 45 lb plate on top
5 Hang Cleans 75 lbs
15 Box Jumps 12″ box with 45 lb plate on top
5 Hang Cleans 75 lbs
20 Box Jumps 12″ box with 45 lb plate on top
5 Hang Cleans 75 lbs
15 Box Jumps 12″ box with 45 lb plate on top
I was happy with this – even more happy because I thought I was doing 65 lbs and I was doing 75! PR!
We also did strength that night. Push Press.
I totally PR’d by getting up to 80 lbs!!! Yea ME!
30 Min time Cap – Running Burpees Squats
400 m run
40 BW squats
200 m run
40 BW squats
400 m run
Thats as far as I got. Running is now being incorporated since the weather is better here. I have been using a calf stretcher before every class, OH MY SWEET BABY JESUS! Is that thing awesome! It soooooo helps me. Now, I can I get a sports bra that will hold these girls and a something to make my butt stop jiggling then this running thing is gonna be easy!
So folks, there you have it. The past month or so rolled up . If anything has become clearer to me, its that THIS IS A JOURNEY. And Journeys, my friends, take time. I can’t let this recent bout derail me. I am going to keep Swimming ! I gotta. So what if things are exactly the way I planned them? I love working out and I am going to continue with Cross Fit. I can’t imagine my life without it! It is such a rush when I PR! It keeps me going. This is a lifestyle now, and I will live it every day.
Until Next time folks! Don’t forget to catch me on Facebook too!