Monday, March 24, 2014

Better Days

Today:  better.  So far.  I say so far, because I've had a few good days here and there lately, what I thought were good days, and then ended up weeping for two hours for reasons that are hard to explain.  Such has been this month.  But today felt different, maybe because I took the leap of coming back to this blog yesterday and openly showing my metaphorical ass in public.  Even if it is only to seven of you.

But, better!  I'll take it.  As in:

Crosffit.  Crossfit makes things better for me.  We're almost done with the Crossfit Open at my gym, and though I had no intention of participating, I'm glad I did.  I had no intention of participating because, well, I'm an older athlete, compared with most crossfitters, and I have a bum shoulder and a bum knee and sometimes pee my pants when doing lots of repetitive jumping.  Also, formal competition makes me very nervous and self-conscious and a little sick

[informal competition, on the other hand, is my thing, as you probably know.  I get all passive aggressive with that shit.  Like it was my job.  Oy]

but I'm glad I did it!  I learned some new skills and accepted a few low scores pretty graciously, I think, and did well on workouts I expected to tank on.  Take this week's WOD (workout of the day):

Row 60 calories
50 toes-to-bar
40 wall-balls
30 95-pound cleans
20 muscle-ups

in 14 minutes.  IN 14 MINUTES.


I knew I'd be able to row 60 calories.  That doesn't sound like much, does it?  But it really is.  It's pretty tiring, burning 60 calories.  If I was in my old body-hating phase, I would have used this information to scold myself for eating treats.  [See how much energy it takes to burn 60 calories?  Why do you eat so much?  Now you have to go run, pizza-cow!].  I'm not in that phase at the moment, though.  I ate 1/2 a pint of Ben and Jerry's after lunch, in fact, and though I almost never do that anymore, it's fine that I did, and I don't feel the need to self-flaggelate.

Maybe self-flatulate, though.  Thank you dairy products.  But that's a different post.

Anyway, I knew I could row the 60 calories, and that it would be tiring but do-able.

But 50 toes-to-bar?  No way.  Last time I tried toes-to-bar the coach had to stand behind me and push me so that I'd know when to try to throw my legs up.  I looked like a seizing giraffe.

Not me, obvi.  Just an illustration of T-t-B.

But miraculously, today, I was able to do them, and faster than I thought.  My goal, honestly, was just to finish.  But I finished with time to spare (we only had 14 minutes to get through everything).  This was both awesome and terrible since then I had to go do 40 wall-balls, even though my shoulders were Jello and I could barely breathe.

Wall Balls.  Ouchie.
For wall-balls, you're basically dropping into a below-90-degree squat and then standing up and throwing a 14-pound medicine ball up to a mark on the wall.  40 times.  When I started Crossfit in August I couldn't get all the way into a deep squat, and could barely throw an 8-pound ball up to the mark.  Sometimes I couldn't even catch the ball and it would hit me in the face.  So I was pretty happy to get through 40 Wall Balls.

Except at that point I only had 90 seconds left in the 14 minutes and was wheezing like an asthmatic geezer and then had to try to clean 95 pounds 30 times, which clearly was not happening, since 95 pounds is close to my one-rep-max for cleans.

This is kind of what a Clean looks like.  If you're the Hulk.  It's the move that's most likely to make you poop your pants.  IMHO.

I bent over and looked at the bar for a good 12 seconds just trying to breathe and then some coaches yelled at me to pick up the damned bar, so I did, but I couldn't clean it all the way cuz I was just so tired and just dropped it instead.  Then I cleaned it 3 times then dropped it again on the fourth but then cleaned it 1 last time for a total of 4, my fellow Math Wizards.  Which gives me a score of 60+50+40+4=154.  I feel really good about that.

But not too good.  Just for humility's sake, I'll say that the women's Crossfit Open leaderboard has a max score of 256.  Which means that some lady-hulk out there was able to go through that entire workout plus do another round of rowing.  Christ.

And now Crossfit has been explained to you.  You're welcome.

Oh, except for Muscle-Ups, which I can't do because I've never tried and they're the hardest thing you can do so I might never try them except some time in the future I might.  I've learned not to say never with Crossfit, I guess.  Here's a muscle-up:

Muscle-Ups:  Crazy Olympic Gymnastics Kind of Shit.

Anyway:  proud of my score and was glad to get out my head this morning, is all I'm saying.  Then I went to a thesis defense.  The student was really smart and did a great job but as always with these things at Mines my contributions were minimal because science and engineering students never really have time to get to the "social" part of their work so I'm always just on those committees playing a symbolic role and I'm bored with that.  So it's probably good I'm leaving after all, was the reminder.  Because that job was killing me in lots of ways.

Not killing me in a good way, like Crossfit.  Ouch.  Hurts to brush my hair right now.

Okay, back to work, because I still have students and deadlines and more houses to look at and agonize over and children to raise and husbands to scold.  But if you want to call and talk Crossfit I could probably find five minutes.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

No Tiny Stitches

Addie just brought me this tiny little doll dress to mend:

It was my mom's surely--the satin is soft from age and the rick-rack is starting to come apart.  Addie wants it to dress up her bunny in, but it was ripped down the back.  Part of me wants to mend it and then put it away, preserve it, the sweetness of it.  But doll dresses were made to be treated roughly by little kids, in my view, so I give it back to her for bunny.  My mom has literally dozens of large boxes in her garage, filled with her childhood doll collection--I was never allowed to play with them as a child, and I don't think she's looked through them in decades.  Who knows what shape they are in?  Their meaning?  Their worth?  I do have a little trunk full of gorgeous Madame Alexander clothes for a Revlon doll Mom gave the girls last Chrismas.  Those I did abscond with, having been one of the more precious items I can remember playing with as a kid.  I dress up the doll every change of seasons and put her out.  Which probably makes me a total weirdo.  Or connects me with my mom in some way.  Ah:  both.

I wish I could say I mended the dress with tiny, painstaking, even stitches.  But I didn't.  I only have white and black thread out at the moment, no blue, and the fabric had frayed enough I needed to gather it up in big, ugly white stitches to get it to stay together at all.

There's lots of big and ugly going on, right now, in fact.  We have most likely sold our house, though we won't know for a few more days if we cleared the last hurdle, and we sold it for more than we listed it for, which is good.  I mean, better than good.  I'm so grateful for that, the speed with which it happened, and the money, which we can definitely use.

But we struck out in finding a new house in Boise.  We bid on one, but lost it to someone who had a lot more cash to put down.  And now I don't know what.  Our money is not going to go as far as I thought there, and we might end up in a not-great neighborhood, far from my work.  Eric doesn't have a job lined up.  Unemployment has almost run out.  We don't have a house to move into.  I just have no idea what's next, and it's got me down.

I feel big and ugly about it all, and am having horrible second-thoughts about whether I've done the right thing, quitting a secure job and a nice house and all of our friends here.  Maybe I've been horribly selfish and hasty, as some have suggested, and now everything is about to fall apart.  At every stage there has been something I could do--prepare for the interview, pack up the house, scout out properties online.  And now:  nothing.  We just wait.  The next steps aren't clear.  Do we buy a house without having seen it first?  Rent for a few months?  Fly up last minute and try to beat someone out in a bidding war?  Move the kids around from school to school while we sort things out and I try to make a new job work?  It all sounds absurd.

I sound absurd, I know that.  I'm sad and angry and frustrated.  Everyone just waves their hands and reassures me the right house will come along and that will be that, and that everything has fallen into place and is meant to be.  We'll be fine.  But in my head it feels like the big unresolved thing that will make or break our being okay in this city that I've dragged everyone to.  There are no tiny stitches to make, just big ugly knots to jump into the center of and hope they come out alright.