Conquering Everest

I have climbed a mountain before. A few of ‘em, in fact. Some Smokies and Pine and some others here and there that were either pretty decent or gave me what I dubbed “Climbing Asthma” before I started going to the gym more often.

And then there was Rocky Mountain National Park last year where Sami made us climb a mountain and there was like 8 feet of snow but we were in T-shirts and I couldn’t breathe because of altitude but it was worth it because the views at the end and on the way up were so beautiful.

Anyway. I can climb shit. Especially if it doesn’t involve my arms (I’m working on the upper body strength at the gym, too, so…someday). But one thing has always intimidated me when it comes to climbing.

Seriously. I’ve always been nervous to try that machine. I’ve tried almost every other one at the gym (except a couple of the ab ones because I literally can’t contort my body in the necessary way to use it) but that one has eluded me, even as I got braver and further out of my comfort zone when it came to working out and stuff this year.

I equate it to the furnace in the basement in Home Alone that Kevin is scared of and avoids most of the movie because it looms there, big and frightening.

It wasn’t that I thought I like, couldn’t climb stairs… I can do that just fine.

Aside: In middle school once, on a band field trip, a group of friends and I rode the elevator up to the top floor of the Galt House Hotel (there’s about 25 or so) and decided to run back down the entirety of those floors via the staircase in the 4 minutes we had to get to our bus. (Middle schoolers – they ain’t the brightest…) They need a machine where you can walk down lots of stairs too. Basically an up escalator you walk down the whole time. Is that a thing? I don’t know. The gym is big. They may have it. If not – I’ll email Planet Fitness.

Back to our story – I was afraid that I’d fall off the thing. Isn’t that ridiculous? I realize it now but for so long I was like, “Yeah, my coordination isn’t good enough for me to get on and off that thing without busting my ass.”

Speaking of my ass, though, that’s what ultimately ended up getting me on that machine and over my fear.

You see, this is the general shape of my butt.

So you can see where it leaves something to be desired, no? I need to do more machines that help fix that.

I’ve been in a routine with the gym where I do a couple miles run/walking on the treadmill and then a few machines (usually for my arms because of the aforementioned lack of upper body strength). I don’t know why, but I haven’t done the arc trainer or the elliptical in a long time either, but the other day, the treadmill didn’t seem as appealing as usual. I didn’t give myself too much time to think about it, and walked straight over to the stair machine.

I don’t know what had come over me. The need for change? The second cup of coffee I’d had that afternoon? The months of watching Kourtney and Khloe’s workouts on Snapchat that often included this machine? (Aside. I need to hire a trainer probably. One who I can pay in like, hugs – and maybe my HBO/Netflix password.)

Whatever it was, I put on a brave face and climbed aboard. Luckily when I got on, there was nobody on the other two next to it so I didn’t have to feel like I was already behind. I set all the things and got started.

You can see the whole gym from the top of that thing. Which brought about another fear for a minute – everyone in the gym could see me. Cool.

Here’s the thing I’ve learned though about the gym, and Planet Fitness in particular. Nobody’s paying attention to you. They’re worried about themselves. And how good/bad/silly they look at any given moment.

33 “flights” later, I was done. And not dead. And hadn’t fallen off. All that worry, for nothin’.

I felt good, and accomplished, and basically like this:

I’m adding it into the rotation now when I visit the gym. Fear = conquered.

Just don’t ask me to conquer any others – clowns and heights are the ones I have left and I have no interest in dealing with either one yet. Baby steps.

Things that make me irrationally angry/annoyed (a list)

I watch a lot of television, as you know, and with that unfortunately comes a lot of commercials. The other day in particular (may have been related to other things but still) I noticed that there is one specific television commercial that drives me absolutely nuts.

Spoiler alert, I am not talking about Tony Malito’s commercials. Or the Charmin bears. Those make me feel borderline violent with their awfulness. I change the channel immediately.

No, the one(s) I’m talking about that make me irrationally angry are the teeth whitening commercials. And here’s why. They’re ALWAYS about women. Women sitting at lunch talking about how their teeth aren’t the same color as Kleenex and how it’s ruining pictures of them (keep in mind these are models, basically, with nowhere close to gross color teeth) and their date may not like them tonight because of it.

So many problems with this. One – women aren’t the only ones who have discolored teeth. Two – I have never sat there and worried about my teeth being the problem on a date. I worry more about my general awkwardness and anxiety ruining things. And if my eyeliner looks like shit or not. Three – there is nothing wrong at all with these women in the commercials’ teeth. Show normal, regular humans who haven’t been put through makeup and have better dental care options than most people I know (or at least enough money for it), and then maybe I’ll buy into it some. But damn. Stop.

Some other things that bother me more than they should (and probably more than they bother most people):

– The sound of people eating in an otherwise quiet room. With their mouths open, especially.

– The words “breaks silence” or “speaks out” in a headline. Get a thesaurus.

– What passes for “news” these days – aka news stories about tweets.

– Speaking in unison. Like when they have twins do it in movies or on TV to be funny or cute or something, it physically hurts me.

– When people say “He’s 79 years young.” We get it. He’s 79 but doesn’t act old so if we say this you’ll realize how young he feels. I don’t care. Stop saying it. I say I’m 32. No clarification is needed. Age is a number, not a segue into a discussion about your lifestyle.

– Madonna. Why is she still a thing?

– When people do that thing with their eyelids – flip them inside out? VOMIT.

– Interviewers on most TV news. Come up with better questions. And ones with less obvious answers.

– Hearing someone talk about their obviously horrible habits like it’s endearing – mainly this one is brought to mind because of something that happened when I was shopping at Old Navy the other day. This woman in front of us in line was talking to the people in front of her about God knows what but the part we came in on was her talking about how her dentist has told her countless times to “Lay off the Mountain Dew. And the Skittles.” And then proceeded to talk about how much she drinks Mountain Dew (basically all day every day) and how she follows it up with the Skittles and my teeth hurt for her. And I was confused as to how this woman was also not morbidly obese or wearing dentures.

– Most anything Andy Samberg says or does.

Lost and found

Five years ago this week, I signed up as a volunteer for the Special Olympics Kentucky State Basketball Tournament.

Next weekend, I’m going to be watching a team I coach participate in that tournament.

Four years ago, I was starting to get more involved with the organization – but hadn’t yet found my place. I also jumped in the freezing Ohio River that year for these guys and girls. Brrr.

It wasn’t long after that I met an athlete that got me where I am today with SOKY.

This is Dallas. He’s the first athlete I met/saw numerous times as I got more and more involved at Special Olympics events. He was/is EVERYWHERE. He’s kind of a big deal, you guys. Everyone knows him, everyone loves him.

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It was through Dallas I then met his mom, Cathy, the head of the Louisville Royals sports delegation – who heard me mention an interest in softball and brought me on to help coach the summer of the 2015 (which you all may remember as that time in my life that everything fell apart but fell perfectly together).

And the rest, as they say, is history.

I’ve said this before about Special Olympics, but it bears repeating: Have you ever found something you didn’t know you were looking for? Something you didn’t know you needed? That’s this, for me.

In the Spring of 2015, I was the unhappiest I’ve ever been. The highlight of my week was Thursday nights spent keeping the scorebook for SOKY’s basketball leagues at Fern Creek High School. It’s where I ended up talking more to Dallas, and to Cathy, and it’s because of them I am where I am today.

I quit my job that year on June 1 of 2015. Two weeks later, I became a coach for the Royals softball team. Not only was I getting to work with some amazing people, but it took me back to all those summers spent as a kid with my family at the ballpark – playing, umpiring, watching my younger sisters play… it also distracted my from my anxiety about unemployment, which was much-needed. (The distraction. And the unemployment was much-needed, actually. Not the anxiety, though. Never the anxiety).

After that I was talked into coaching football (which is hilarious because I don’t know enough about it to do anything but watch and also I suck at throwing a football). Luckily, the two guys I coached with had that covered so my job was being the sideline mom. I bandaged scrapes, gave hugs and occasionally chased/cuddled our littlest player, Griffin, who was determined to run off in the middle of the game. My presence was very important, obviously.

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Then there was basketball. Friends, if I shoot 10 baskets I’m lucky to make 2 of them. So I’m a natural choice to help coach, right? Right. Something worked, though, because our team made it to the state tournament and won gold medals.

Last year was my first time as head coach of anything. I started with softball. And just FYI, head coach can simply mean you get the practice space and do the paperwork. And get dibs on making the lineup if you want. Apparently last year it meant piss off a man who was assisting you by doing nothing more than just existing, but that’s a story for another time. Over a beer.

So many positive things have come out of my time as a coach, though. Almost too many to mention. I’ve made some great friendships with those I’ve coached with – Cathy has become an invaluable part of my life, Gus has been so awesome to coach alongside (the two of us are old pros at this point) and then I’ve also been able to spend more time with my cousin, Aaron, who lived out of town for a long time, but who has joined all of us as a Royals coach.

One of the guys in my youth group helped out during softball season and will be back as a coach this year. Several members of my youth group have volunteered at the state tournaments for basketball and bowling for a few years now. My best friend’s son, who is 13, heard about what I do with SOKY and thought it sounded like a cool way to get Beta Club service hours, and who has since come to a game and three practices and loved it as much as I do.

And that’s just the coach stuff.

I’ve also seen enough athlete moments to make my heart explode.

– Athletes scoring their first basket, run, touchdown.

– Athletes helping each other out – passing a ball to someone younger/who doesn’t always get to score so they can get a chance.

– At skills for softball last year, the entire team cheering for each other as they took turns running the bases as fast as they can.

– The smiles and hugs during and after games win or lose, because they just love to play.

– The encouragement of athletes on other teams.

Special Olympics and those involved – athletes, parents, coaches – have given me so much. More than they’ll ever know. And I cannot imagine life without any of it.

Now please enjoy some pictures. Warning: Your heart might explode.

310 seconds. Give or take a few.

Last year, on my 32nd birthday, I decided to start recording a video. More specifically, I’d heard about an app through my cousin, called 1 Second Everyday. The plan was to end it on my 33rd birthday and try and get as much cool stuff in it as possible.

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.

But then…roadblock. This past week, I had finally had enough of my storage notifications popping up on my phone. I couldn’t download any new apps, podcasts, was constantly having to delete photos, just to make room for this thing.

Yes, I realize I could just have not gotten the iPhone with the least amount of storage ever, but it was the cheapest!

So my self-imposed challenge to take at least one second worth of video daily for the past year came to an end about 55 days early.

I’m still pretty proud of the effort though. That’s a lot of videos.

So here it is, for your enjoyment. And I realize it seems like I watch a lot of TV. It’s because I do.

(It’s also because that’s where I was on some of the days that I realized I hadn’t taken the daily video yet, most likely. And my mild OCD would not let me skip too many days in a row.)

So, winter sucks.

Bears have it right, y’all. They sleep all winter. I could get down with that. Because winter is the shittiest of all seasons.

This one’s been pretty bad, too. Gray and gloomy outside almost every day, cold AF (I can no longer afford to have a social life due to increasing costs of my electric bill from keeping my house “warm”) and just generally sucky.

For people like me, who already live at kind of a meh-ish level, this time of year can be particularly hard. No sunlight (or not much of it anyway), limited time if any outside because FROSTBITE, and yeah… it’s no bueno.

Seasonal Affective Disorder is a thing. Look it up. It’s magnified if you already have other disorders, so that’s fun.

My mood’s been off lately.  I’ve felt cloudy and off and just ehhhh. And there’s no good reason why – besides, ya know, the chemical imbalance. It’s been harder to get up in the mornings, harder to want to do anything but lay in bed or on the couch…

My medicine levels are good. Nothing’s changed there. But I guess I thought when I started feeling better, that would carry over into the winter time and I wouldn’t have to worry about this shit. But that’s depression for ya – never really fixed, no matter how much you think you’ve got it taken care of.

I say this all for a couple of reasons: One is so nobody is offended by how I’ve been as of late – if I’ve been a grump, please don’t take it personally and don’t hate me. The other is for those who aren’t as vocal about all this as I am, who you may not even know are hurting or feeling cloudy or literally aching for just a little bit of sunlight and warmth. Be gentle with us and realize we are doing our best and we’re looking really f-ing forward to spring.

You think I’m sleep? I ain’t sleep.

When I was younger, I could sleep hard. I slept all the time and it was hard to wake me up. I slept through the worst thunderstorms. Also, fun family events. Sometimes outdoors.

Exhibit A:

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Exhibit B: (This one is from the Derby Festival’s Great Balloon Race one year and I obviously was real into it).

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Exhibit C: In the good old days when it was safe to sleep outside on your deck all night because the air conditioner in the house was broken. Ahh, the 90s.

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Then, as I got older, depression made itself more known, and sleep was damn near impossible. Yet it was all I wanted to do. Sleep and I have had a weird relationship, is what I’m saying.

A few months ago, when the doctor and I (mostly the doctor but a little bit I) decided to check all the boxes that made sure nothing else was causing or aiding the depression, a sleep study was brought up.

I’m a known snorer, mouth-breather, drooler (when I’m REAL sleep) and there was that period of a couple years during and after college when I took various items of clothing off in my sleep. So, a study where someone watched me sleep/potentially do all that? Oh yeah. Sign me up. That won’t be weird at all.

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I made the appointment and regretted it immediately.

They mentioned I could have sleep apnea if I had depression and one could be causing the other and also that’s dangerous so if I have it, better to know now so they can treat it and FINE.

I went in for a consultation a month before the actual overnight and Dr. I Forget His Name said “Well, you do have a very small airway.” So that seemed promising. Not.

(Pour a cup of coffee and settle in, friends, this’ll be a long one.)

Fast-forward to last night. The actual study. I was to go overnight at the hospital and be hooked up to machines and someone would watch me sleep and tell me all the crazy shit that happens while I’m out.

I immediately think about the time I sleepwalked at my parents’ house and was standing in front of the dresser in their bedroom with no pants on and SURELY THEY’LL LOCK ME IN THIS ROOM FOR EVERYONE’S SAFETY.

Spoiler alert – they didn’t.

I am told to get to the hospital at 8:30 p.m., which makes me anxious that I’ll be expected to fall asleep at 9 p.m. and that’s not going to happen because if anything, that’s when my pre-sleep ends and I start watching my shows.

I decide to wear what I’m going to sleep in (in the hospital. At home there’s no telling from one night to the next what I’ll wear or not wear to bed…. that sounds sexier than it really is..), which means leggings and a T-shirt, but a V-neck shirt so I don’t feel like I’m choking. This is important to remember later on in our story.

I walk in to the sleep study office and see two other patients getting set up in their rooms and realize I am the youngest here by AT LEAST 45 years. Yay.

Immediately I overhear two very important questions being asked.

1. “Do y’all have cable?”

2. “Are you going to check on me after I take my Ambien?”

It’s important to note here that this is when I’m heading into my “room” and am noticing there’s not a lock on any of the doors.

The TV is on in my room when I get in there and as luck wouldn’t have it, stuck on the channel showing The Bachelor, aka what I’m pretty sure they show on a loop in Hell. The girl who brings me in there tells me the administrator of the study will bring the remote when she comes in.

Aside: I do not get embarrassed easily, but I get secondhand embarrassment for people a lot, and for that reason, The Bachelor/Bachelorette is my nightmare.

Here’s my setup:

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Mmmm, comfy. And those wires? Yeah, they all go ON YOU.

Another kind of aside: I guess when you’re finally actually asleep, they can get a decent idea of what they’re looking for in these sleep studies, but they’re stacking the odds against you up until that point. You’re in a weird room, with weird noises, an uncomfortable bed, worried that the old lady across the hall on Ambien’s gonna wander in about 3 a.m. and they’re just gonna let it happen because it’s a study and you can’t get involved because that skews the results.

Oh and here’s the video camera they use to watch you the entire time. (This was when I was still in Bachelor Hell).

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I wait for the girl administering the study to come in and do whatever she’s gotta do, all the while having an inner conflict about whether or not I should take my bra off to sleep. On the one hand, it’s much more comfortable to sleep without the girls in Boob Jail and I know I’m not going to be getting much in the way of comfort during this thing. On the other hand, someone’s watching me sleep and has to wake me up in the morning and well, sometimes those things have a mind of their own.

I decide to keep it on. Better safe than sorry.

Before she hooks me up on all the machines, Lauren (my sleep study administrator) explains to me what they’ll be looking for while I sleep, which is mainly if I stop breathing or not. And if so, for how long. And also how many times that happens in an hour. Aka Sleep Apnea, which I do not want to have for a multitude of reasons I’ll get into in a minute.

She says if I’ve stopped breathing enough times by 2 a.m. for them to be concerned (15 or more), she’ll come in then and put the mask on me. So right now, we need to test to see which one I would like to use, should I win this contest I do not even want to be participating in.

The first option is a no-go for me, as it seems like the equivalent of sticking the end of a vacuum against your face, if the vacuum had tiny nostril-sized pieces and you weren’t allowed to open your mouth.

The second option is a little better, because it covers your nose like the happy gas distributor at the dentist, but I still don’t want to have to wear it if I can help it.

Especially because with it all strapped to my head and the tube hanging off of it that hooks to the machine, I look and feel like this:

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I let Lauren know I’m hoping never to have to put one of those on again for the following reasons:

– I oddly feel like I can’t breathe when the air is being forced in and out of my nose and I can’t open my mouth.

– I don’t like sleeping with things on my face.

– I’m thinking of the possibility of a future sleepover with a gentleman caller and having to pull that bad boy out when it’s time to go to sleep. Read my blogs about my dating life. I need all the help I can get in this area, apparently, and this contraption will not do me any favors in that department.

I choose the second option, should I need it, and then the process begins.

Step 1: A strap around my abdomen and a strap that goes right where they have those backpack straps that nobody uses unless they’re hiking. Guess the bra isn’t coming off, even if I change my mind.

Step 2: Vigorous pumice-stoning of my scalp, neck and back. You know what’s really good for dry winter skin on someone that has eczema? Vigorous pumice-stoning, or as my new friend Lauren calls it “exfoliating.” I’m honestly surprised I didn’t a) bleed or b) start a fire.

Step 3: Vaseline/glue-like mix on all the electrodes or whatever that are then placed all over my head and neck and two spots on my back. Oh and two spots on my legs that have also been rubbed raw with the pumice stone just to see what those do in the night.

Step 4: Microphone on the neck to listen to you snore. Taped directly onto your vocal chord. Basically. Oh and then all the wires are tightened up around your neck so really my decision to wear a V-neck because I didn’t want to feel like I was choking all night is laughable now. While Lauren attaches all this crap to me, we talk about Scientology, because I managed to get the channel changed to A&E (which is showing the Leah Remini show), thanks to the remote being located. ((PLOT TWIST, THE REMOTE WAS IN THE NIGHTSTAND THE WHOLE TIME.))

Step 5: They attach a pulse-reader thing to your index finger that is also hooked to wires that are plugged into God knows what, and if you have to go to the bathroom at this point, well, tough shit, because you are now 85 percent robot.

When you’re ready to go to sleep or 11 p.m. (whichever comes first), the administrator comes back in and basically attaches you to the wall. The wires are all plugged into this thing mounted next to the bed and there’s this little speaker right by your head she’s gonna use to communicate until morning. Sweet dreams!

Yeah. OK. Um, there you are, laying in this strange bed in a strange room covered in literally all the wires in the world, knowing that someone’s watching you. You’re worried you won’t fall asleep at all, or it’ll take forever, or you’ll drool and short out a wire, or you’ll fart and she’ll see/hear it, or you’ll stop breathing a million times so she’ll have to come put the face mask on you and…

VERY RELAXING. MUCH SCIENCE. THIS SHOULD GO SWIMMINGLY.

I could feel all the things. And rolling over was hilarious. I felt like the love child of Darth Vader and Sleeping Beauty.

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No amount of Snapchat filters could help.

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One bonus to this process, however, was when I got cold, I could ask that she adjust the temperature and also bring me another blanket and/or pillow. So I did take advantage of that. You don’t get that at home. At least not at my house.

After what seemed like 10 hours, I guess I finally fell asleep. And I guess I slept OK for a while, but it felt like 3 minutes, and then she was asking me to try and sleep on my back.

Though it isn’t evident in any of the photos you’ve seen so far in this post, I’m a side sleeper. Doesn’t matter which side, but side.

Y’all I tried to fall asleep on my back for an hour. Didn’t work. And then I utilized the speaker next to my head and asked if I could please just lay on my side for God’s sake. This was at 4 a.m. They were coming to wake me up/the study was ending at 6.

I fell back asleep for what felt like 5 minutes and then I heard the omnipresent voice of Lauren telling me it was 6:24, she’d let me sleep in, and she was coming in to “set me free.” Literally.

I don’t normally wake up at that time, so I was still pretty groggy when she came in. You know what wakes you right the fuck up though? Tape being pulled off your skin that she rubbed a layer off of the night before. More effective than coffee, goddang.

I had to fill out a survey basically about how shitty I slept compared to normal nights at home and then I was free to go. I should have added at the bottom how I believe the least they can give us in the morning for this torture is a damn doughnut.

After they removed all of the electrodes from my head I had a real nice case of Sex Hair, and I was silently thanking myself for bringing a hoodie – which I used to hide said bird’s nest hair as I Walk of Shamed it out to my car.

Good news: No sleep apnea. Other results within a couple weeks.

Better news: My depression’s still just because of those run-of-the-mill wonky brain chemicals.

Best news: No future as a Batman villain.

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Hallelujah.

I did it all for the banana. And the Thanksgiving sides.

The night before, I got nervous.

The morning of, I got real nervous.

I think I went to the bathroom 11 times.

And then I was nervous about being nervous because nervous poops.

This is my life, y’all.

I wore my new running leggings. I congratulated myself for choosing the long-sleeve shirt because it was cold as hell. I got my free shirt. And my number.

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My friend Jennifer decided the night before to run the race as well, and she was giving me a pep talk. My cousin Anna – my running buddy – got there and we found our places in line. After one more bathroom trip.

I saw a few more friends lining up and silently cursed at/judged the people who were running before we had to run – you know, those people who will do the course before, just because, or will do a few laps around the parking lot to get warmed up. I was praying I’d just finish before the people with the strollers and the old man with the ski pole.

And then we started.

It felt good, at first. And I told myself I’d run as far as I could, then walk, and then run, and it was OK if I walked some, people do that in races.

I made it further than I thought I would before the cold outside air (this is where my training being indoors became an issue) literally took my breath away. I stopped to walk and told Anna to keep going.

“Save yourself!” I said. “I’m gonna screw up your time so badly.”

But she refused to leave. And I love her so much for that.

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I walked until I’d caught my breath. Then I ran again. And that’s how we did it – walk, run, walk, run, walk, run. My achilles was pulling, I was a full-on mouth breather and I needed Chapstick. I kept apologizing to Anna.

She assured me she did not care about her time, she was doing this with me, start to finish. On our walking breaks we looked at/smiled at/talked about all the dogs running with their owners.

She made note of our distance for me with a smile and kept me going. I saw one of my athletes halfway through and when he and his dad smiled at me and said “Hey Coach!” that was a boost of energy I needed then.

I tried not to look at the time on my Fitbit, reminding myself that this was the first one I’d done in years, the first one I’d actually “TRAINED” for, and any time would be acceptable, because I was doing it.

And when I saw the home stretch, I told myself, and then Anna, that I was going to run the rest of the way, even if I wanted to stop. So I did. Not far from the finish line I saw Jennifer, cheering me on and taking a picture (I was hoping I didn’t look like I felt – which was cold and a little achy). And I kept running through to the finish.

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My time was under an hour (which is really all I wanted for my first one). And I finished way ahead of the old man with the ski pole. And I immediately felt like crying because I’d actually done it. It didn’t look like I thought it would, but I’d done it.

I’d gotten 10,000 steps in for the day, done 3.1 miles, and was still going to make it home in time for the Dog Show. Oh, and all the food.

I could not have done it without Anna that day. She kept me going, never made me feel bad about stopping to walk, and was by my side from start to finish.

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I smiled like a goofball because I was so damn proud of myself. I’d set a goal and completed it. And I wasn’t lying on the side of the road in the fetal position (which I’d wanted to do last time I ran a 5K).

I got my banana, posed for some pictures, and smiled all the way back to my car. Later that morning, I looked up other 5Ks in the upcoming months.

2016 was the year I conquered Couch to 5K, and it changed everything.

2017 will be the year I am a RUNNER.

Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

I do not judge those people who fill the gym on the first few days of January. Yes, it’s harder to find a spot and you may have to wait a minute for the machine you want, but good on them for making a change. And I hope it’s a change that sticks. For all of them. Except that one girl who was on the leg press way too long the other day. Rude.

Y’all that was me not so long ago – me trying out the gym and doing my best to begin a habit that hopefully would last. I made a resolution and stuck/am sticking with it. Just did it early, because as my dad always says, early is on time, but on time is late. I know that doesn’t really apply here but it could. Use your imagination and vast knowledge of metaphors.

When you last heard from me, I was at the beginning of the Couch to 5K running program. I was terrified because I had started (and stopped it) about 6 times previously. However, this time, I had the added benefit of extra energy via finally being on the right medication dosage, so it got less and less daunting the farther I got.

And wouldn’t ya know it, I FINISHED THE DAMN THING.

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BOOYAH.

And I ran farther than I thought I could.

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And even got FASTER. Slightly. Some weeks.

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WHAT THE HELL??!?!

To insure I wouldn’t quit this time, a few weeks in I registered for a 5K. My awesome cousin (who had just completed her first half marathon) said she’d do it with me. And so did my best friend (until she fell off her deck and messed up her ankle, but she’s promised me we’ll do one together soon). So there was no backing down. I don’t like to waste money, I was now accountable to two other people, and I was actually (GASP) enjoying my three days a week running on the treadmill at Planet Fitness.

Aside: I realize it may have been more helpful for me (for the 5K anyway) to do my training outdoors. Here’s why I didn’t.

– My schedule didn’t allow for it before dark.

– Nobody that could run with me was on the same schedule so I would have been doing it alone.

– Lone joggers get kidnapped a lot.

– Lone joggers also find dead bodies a lot.

– At least half of my neighborhood is pretty sketch.

– I wanted to learn how to breathe while running first because that was my struggle the last 8 times.

And week by week, I ran farther. Sometimes faster. Sometimes I had to stop in the middle of it to go to the bathroom. Sometimes I was counting down the seconds until I was done. Sometimes I didn’t realize how long I’d been running until the voice prompt told me to stop.

Running, for me, is the ONLY time my brain is completely calm. I guess since my feet are racing my mind cannot. I felt really good. I also felt pain in parts of my body I did not realize could hurt so bad. Namely – my achilles and my IT bands.

There were a handful of days I felt like this as I stepped off the treadmill.

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Also this.

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And little by little, I conquered the program. I got more and more confident about how I’d do the day of the 5K – conveniently the morning of Thanksgiving because ALL THE FOOD.

But that’s a story for another time. Next time.

In case you’re curious as to how my dating life is going…

I had this metaphor in mind for how online dating was like Pokemon Go, but not in a good way, because you catch all of the crazies and you don’t want to and then I realized I may not understand Pokemon Go and it all fell apart. But I also don’t really understand dating these days either, so maybe it does work? #fullcircle #inception

I know what you’re thinking – L, you are SUCH a catch. How on EARTH are you not spoken for yet? And to that I say – I guess this screen on my Bumble account speaks to that.

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Dating is exhausting. Or at least, thinking about dating is. Movies and TV shows where you just run into each other at the grocery or something are bullshit. I go to the grocery on the reg and have yet to be hit on. Even on days I don’t wear my yoga pants.

I just looked and it’s been over a year since I’ve updated you on my dating life. I’ve been on a good amount (in my mind anyway) of dates in that time. So I haven’t given up ALL hope. But you guys.

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I made the mistake of staying on Tinder until earlier this summer. Because I guess I needed attention.

About this time last year, I met a guy, Jared, through there who was in town for the week from work from Pennsylvania and I figured we’d get a drink, why not.

A drink turned into much more – including him continuing to text me once he went back to Pennsylvania and making plans to meet up when I went up to see my cousins because he was only a couple hours away. OH. And he managed to finagle his way onto another work trip down here a couple months after we originally met. He picked me up from the airport when I got back to Louisville, yes there was distance but we were seeing what happened because we’d had such good chemistry and conversation and stuff.

Example text, and in case you want to know my flirting style:

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Until he went back to Pennsylvania after that second visit and CEASED EXISTING BASICALLY.

The fuck?!

Aside – Will we ever be past ghosting? I hate it. So much. It’s a common theme these days. Because why actually tell someone how you feel when you can just disappear? HA. Feelings.

If only that was the end, y’all. But it wasn’t.

Earlier this summer, he apparently needed to feel better about himself and his shittiness so he messaged me on Facebook and acknowledged that he was an asshole and what he did was wrong. And that he regretted it because he liked me and he fucked up.

To all of that I said… Yup. You’re right. He asked if he could text me again and I allowed it because I wanted to see how far he would take the apology and try and figure out why he even bothered. We talked for about a week before, to nobody’s surprise, he disappeared again. I wrote a strongly worded message in response to that one and then sent three middle finger emojis the next time I got drunk. Because I am a classy lady that way.

Then I had this exchange and was done.

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In the winter, I changed it up and tried Bumble – a novel concept in that it’s basically Tinder but the girl has to initiate the conversation. No problem. I’m a feminist. Within a few weeks, I’d re-met someone from my high school who I kind of knew back in the day and he asked me out after a few days of talking.

We had an awesome first date – one of the best I’ve had in a while. Great conversation, a lot in common, he was really smart and I liked making out with him. Here’s the catch – he was unemployed. And living at home. I get extenuating circumstances and stuff, but the way he made it sound, he’d gotten fired. And he had no idea what he wanted out of a new job, his future, anything really.

I’m not nitpicky, but you gotta have some direction.

We went out a couple more times – had a conversation about how he was a horrible texter/communicator which should have tipped me off – and then he decided he didn’t want anything more serious than a hookup. Which I had to get him tell me after much prodding because he again, didn’t have his shit together in any way, really.

I deleted the app. Then re-added it.

Got some shit like this…

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I’m all about flirting but I’m not gonna play a game with you. Especially when I’m not entirely sure that it’s not gonna end in an unwelcome and unrequested dick pic.

A couple months ago I went on a couple dates and was talking fairly seriously – and fairly long, actually – with a guy from Indiana. That right there goes against everything in me, because Indiana.

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Long story short since hopefully you’re seeing the theme here… all was good until it wasn’t. Meaning three dates in he suddenly “didn’t have time to date right now.” Which is funny cause he was on an alleged dating site trying to meet people. To date. Allegedly.

So. In conclusion. I have trust issues. And need a break. And am taking one. I’m not going looking. A relationship can come find me. Maybe in the grocery.