Archive for July, 2011

Day 12: Save the tomatoes

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From what I hear, the weather has hit two opposite records in Denver. 13 days in a row at 90+ degrees and 13 days in a row of thunderstorms. While in Crested Butte there was not much I could do about my tomato plants getting fried by the sun and trampled by rain and hail every day. Every branch was bent in half and laying on the ground by the time we returned. It looked like road kill. I didn’t even bother to help them. But this morning I read that no matter how broken it is, a tomato plant will fight for itself to the end. With a little care they can heal themselves, become strong again, and go on to bear amazing delicious fruits. I like that. So this morning I decided to go on a mission to save them. They look more like puppets than plants at the moment but considering I almost threw them in the garbage if I can get a single tomato from them I will be happy. It would be an expensive tomato but  worth it.

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Day 11: CrossFit Games. Pause Goal 2.

games2011_safetytest_landscapeThe CrossFit Games are starting. Goal 2 is really about making better use of free time so I definitely am not dropping it. But the first step towards that end  was to stay away from TV and videos during the week for the next month. No way I’m doing that this weekend. The Games are starting and they are streaming live. And with our gym owner and trusted coach in the running for the title of the Fittest Athlete in the World I plan to follow all of it. Personally for me it qualifies as a great use of free time and major motivating factor so I am making the exception.

The fun starts today. They surprised the athletes yesterday with an announcement that they will have to take a swim test today to demonstrate their competency in the water. That can only mean that some kind of activity in the pool will be part of the events. Who knows though. It could be treading water. Retrieving objects from the bottom or moving them from one side to the other. Other stuff you might need to do in a water rescue, maybe? They tend to be pretty creative. Could be just swimming laps though which is hard enough by itself. We shall see.

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Day 10: The Dream Bus

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         I spent the weekend camping and mountain biking in Crested Butte and Salida. Best reminder of how to enjoy life. I will post an album soon. In the meantime, it is good to be home. Last night I stayed up until midnight hashing out details of our landscape plan. Going through the drawings reminded me of elementary school. My friends and I used to spec out what the perfect school bus would be like. It was usually two or three levels high, looked like a limo, and had a pool on the top. The seats were giant bean bags. Mine could fly so I would be home from school faster but that didn’t make sense since I wouldn’t have time to enjoy the pool. On my bus there was usually a candy store and the bus driver was Tom Cruise (Top Gun, not Oprah) or Johnny Depp (21 Jump Street, before Ed Scissorhands). Other times it was Ferris Bueller because then we probably wouldn’t even go to school. He seemed like he would be a lot more fun than our very sad bus driver Lilah who talked to herself. I always felt bad for poor Lilah. Anyway, the point is, I see no reason to stop dreaming up what life should be like. The only difference now is that I can make it so.

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Day 4: Landscape

DSC02166DSC02167One month life makeover:
Part 1: 24 Day diet challenge
Part 2: Better use of free time starting with a week of no TV
Part 3: Getting the landscaping done at our house

When it was time to shop for a house, I imagined myself living in a white house with dark trim and a brick red roof. The layout would be open with high ceilings and lots of windows. I would have a patio area that was like a little mountain oasis with a tiny pond and a waterfall. But I never bothered to imagine what the rest of the landscaping would look like. Almost 8 years in my house and everything outside the patio area looks like nobody lives there. Dirt, mulch, a few rocks, a few trees. That’s it.

It is hard to separate the quality of your life from the environment you live in. So part 3 of this month’s makeover is a small step towards improving my immediate surroundings. We met with a landscape design lady today. I can’t wait to fix this mess!

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Day 3: House of Cards

house_of_cards_fallingI got some good advice today. Somebody told me ‘just be hurt for right now’. I have not been very graceful about it. But between my shoulder issues, the tendonitis in my elbow, and my back, hip, and knee pain trying to go all out is like trying to build a house of cards on a bent foundation. Better to do whatever I can do on a given day, concentrate on repairing the foundation, and stop crying about it. I may lose a step or two but I’ll be better off in the long run. The Advocare challenge still going strong on day 3 but I am heading out of town tomorrow. I suppose that will make the no TV part of this week pretty easy but eating out with friends for four days will really put me to the test.

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Day 2: So far so good

KneeParts-AdamArtI guess my 2nd cousin has been on a real rollercoaster since his car accident last week. One minute he stops breathing and the next minute he is awake and can recognize people. He definitely has a few more weeks of surgery left. I still haven’t heard the details of the crash but I haven’t really been asking. I am more just concerned about whether he’ll be okay.

As for me, being off the junk food hasn’t been hard yet. It was harder to drink all 100oz of water. That was a lot but I am already starting to feel better. I did go to CrossFit this morning for the first time in 10 days. All I can do is light rehab on my leg.  It is really frustrating to feel motivated to go all out not be able to. Well… I could. But I did that before and that is how I ended up hurt in the first place. We are always motivated to suck it up and push through the pain and all that. Some pain brings more strength, more flexibility, and can actually be very healing. The question is, how do you tell the difference between that and doing damage before you end up more seriously injured. In the long term I know I will be better off making sure this thing is in good shape before I really push it but in the short term this really sucks. I am not sure how long I can hold back.

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Day 1: One month life makeover

life-changeWhen I feel like I am having a life crisis I start to crave change in a major way. A vacation, a change of scenery, a new experience. Even something as simple as a haircut might make me feel better. But sometimes I need more. So its time to make changes and set some goals for myself again.

The first thing to fall apart when I am frustrated, anxious, sad, even just bored is my diet. I become fueled entirely by junk food and Diet Coke. Today I am starting a 24 day diet challenge. 10 days to cut the crap. 14 days to figure out how to keep going once it is over.

It is a good place to start but diet and fitness are not life. They are a path to better living. There is a lot more to life that I don’t take advantage of. When I am tired, bored, or my mind races I flip on the tube and veg. The TV is like my OFF button. I can block out the guilt of not being productive with car chases and gunfire.

Just like food, it is okay to enjoy TV but not good to abuse it. So for the next 6 days there will be no TV, no movies, no YouTube videos. I think I can be productive and yet still have more time to relax if I keep focused and clear. The goal is not to fill up every spare minute with productivity but to use my free time to enhance my quality of life a little. To remind myself how to slow down and relax without shutting down completely.

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Laying low after the storm

hail2My flight was delayed late into the night due to hail damage on the planes in Denver. Frontier had 20 of 59 planes out of commission. 8 hours of hanging out at the airport and a total of 12 hours of travel time finally put me at home around 2:00 in the morning. I am wiped out. Today will be a good day to lay low, reset, and hang out with my man.

planedamage  hail

(Photos from CBS.com)

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Annoying bird!

I forgot to mention the bird outside my hotel room. Four days of relentless screeching like a cricket into a microphone. All morning and night it chirps without a break. This would be a good torture tactic.

"… Leave my loneliness unbroken!— quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!
And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting…”

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Ups and downs in San Francisco

downLast day in San Francisco. The trip went well. I met my team. It was totally worthwhile to come. But somehow the week was also a total disaster. I was already having crisis-of-life feelings with the anniversary of my mom’s death approaching when I found out my 2nd cousin had been crushed in a terrible car accident. He is in a coma with more surgeries pending. Unbelievably, as I typed those words at that moment my dad called to tell me that my aunt’s father passed away this morning. Sigh.

My normal coping mechanism (besides chocolate and TV) is a great workout. But I am hurt. Not just hurting but hurt. Can’t really go hard with a twisted hip and knee. CrossFit might be out. Pick up volleyball, mountain biking in Crested Butte, the sprint triathlon – all might be out. I tried to workout at the gym but after being used to all that other stuff a regular workout in a gym by myself is like an hour and a half of warming up.

Unlike any other time I have ever travelled in my life  I had absolutely no ambition this week to do anything fun. No sightseeing, exploring, or exciting adventures of any kind. I could barely drag my butt down to the pool to sit in the hot tub. Not having Todd here made it worse. And feeling stressed and sorry for myself, I ate like complete crap which just compounded everything.

Enough! What a total waste of time and energy. It is not helping anybody to barely be functional. Not my mom, not my 2nd cousin, my family, Todd, and certainly not me. Time for a change…

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