Friday, January 3, 2014

January 1, 2014 - Just the beginning

I remember when I was a kid and I read 1984 by George Orwell and I thought that I would never make it to 1984…then I remember thinking that Prince's song, 1999, was crazy because that year seemed so far away…and it seems the decades keep rolling by. 2014…my 50th year! Holy crap! That is CRAZY! but here it is and I am spending an inordinate amount of time trying to create a very memorable year. I am very fortunate because every year of my life (except those I can't remember at all) have been very memorable with good and bad…but mostly good.

My friend Michele gave me this book for Christmas, surely as a joke, however it has some really great ideas in it! The funny thing is that I have already done so many of the suggestions…play golf in Scotland, check. wear comfortable clothes, check. Buff up my brain, check. Stop obsessing about my flaws…half a check? :)

My commitment to myself for the next 12 months is to do new things that I have never done before or at least some version I have never done before. For example I am now registered for the Double Triple Bypass. Sounds kind of stupid but we will make it fun! And I am doing the Ride the Rockies in June with the David Phinney Foundation to continue the amazing fund raising work started by my sister! John and I are going to take an amazing vacation, location still unknown.

I am also going to focus on being healthy in spirit, mind and body. I want to enjoy the next 50 so I best be attentive to the details! A little more recovery time, more Qi Dong, better foods more often, long hours of quality sleep, direct flights, good music with as much dancing like an 80's chick as possible, only really expensive red wine :) tons and tons of laughter, spending time with people who fill my soul,  make me smile and make me feel welcome, warm and worthy.

I also want to focus on family and friends who have been with me for a large portion of the last 50. High school and college friends, post-college friends and family that I have not seen since Walt's funeral. I still want Mimi and Janie to come visit and to see the Rocky Mountains with me. Alice and I will roll by 50 together with Mary by our sides giggling because she is such a youngster still! My cousins Amy, Hillary and Kristen have always been so fun when we have found the time to play together. Now that they have 8 beautiful kids between them it is hard to find the time which means I will go to them in Omaha, New Jersey and DC!  My incredible Colorado friends who have seen me through men, athletic adventures, jobs, homes, surgeries and craziness, I intend to make the time to laugh really hard with you!

It is important to consider how I do not want to spend my time this year as well. I will avoid anything or anyone that produces negative energy. No standing in judgement, complaining, feeling mad or sad, injured due to idiocy, grumbling or pouting and definitely not fighting. No whining, bitching or moaning about my life because it is really fantastic now matter how hard the day(s) may be…I am blessed.

There are so many cool one liners about turning 50 but I want to come up with my own…I have a few months and I also welcome any ideas or input you might want to share. Fabulous at 50, 50 and Fantastic, Finally 50, etc etc. None of them excite me much. I need my own.

I will be blogging throughout the entire year for my own entertainment and hopefully yours as well. I will chronicle every dance and laugh I can while likely sharing the true sense of anxiety I feel about this benchmark.  I once dated a guy who told me life went down hill at 40. Yeah, he was a drag for sure! And I mocked and then dumped him! What a sad way to look at life! So now I am peering over the wall at 50 and I wonder…"what's next?" I guess I will save that consideration for my next post.

Freaking Fit at 50? Nah….that is boring and limited too.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Time to move...

I started my blog so my Pop could keep up on my life. Then my hip surgery seemed like good info for people. Now it is July and I am feeling like catching up. The last 6 months I had surgery and decided to start a new sales job. It has been a crazy half year and I am so looking forward the coming days and weeks.

I have watched people race, ride, ski and train and it has been fun considering I wish I was out there. Madeline even got to wear my new ski boots before I did! Geesh! It was well worth it because she had a great time hitting the slopes with Tim, Dave and John!

It is time to get back in shape...slowly. I need to figure out how to get healthy and get in the best shape of my life for next year...because it is a biggie! I am going to focus on my cycling and finally get to race for Altitude and with MB. I can't wait!

Swimming will also be added back in as I quit going to the pool weeks ago. Not lazy...and not motivated. Time to dig in and find my inner athlete again! Yahoo!

My hip has healed and the team at Panther has done a spectacular job rehabbing me with balance and strength. I am going to start pool running and work on my form so that when I hit the ground I am the perfect runner...making Bobby McGee proud!

Time to move again...

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Patience and hip surgery? Really?

I was reading back on a post I made about this time last year. I had finally finished all my promo injections and I was looking ahead with a new coach and a new season in my future. I was focused on IMCD and getting healthy and strong enough to show up and race. I was full of anxiety and hope that I was finally healed and headed toward faster races and life long wellness....again.
I got an email from an old friend from the YMCA and she wrote that it seems like I am always recovering from something! I think she is right. Is that the way life is? I feel like I am recovering from 2012 and the hip surgery was just icing on the cake! 

I look around and see friends and acquaintances that are facing true hardships; sick children and dying parents and I know in my heart that my pains are temporary and my life is blessed. Having said that I think it is important to take time to sit with whatever pain or struggle exists in order to acknowledge it and let it go. I am trying to be much more mindful and for me that means mindful of the good and the bad, the ups and the downs, for me and for others.

Whenever I am feeling frustrated or guilty or wronged in some way or alone all I need to do is to be patient and change will come. Hopefully it will come from inside me. My most favorite saying from Wayne Dyer is "change the way you look at things and the things you look at change" and that is the real truth of it. If I can shut up and be still long patient with myself and others, then I can see more clearly what needs really exist and if I really need to do anything at all besides be mindful. 

So today I am 14 days out from my left hip surgery. Dr. Leslie Vidal at Rose Medical Center. I highly recommend a consult with her if you have any hip or knee issues. I was thrilled and impressed by the entire operation. The biggest pre-surgery struggle was my insurance and we didn't have approval until 10 minutes prior to my entering the operating room! It was crazy and her entire team was calm, professional and kind. Even Dr. Vidal came out to talk to me about the insurance 20 minutes after we were supposed to start! She is a real professional and genuinely concerned about her patients!

The surgery only took about 2+ hours. It took longer than they expected due to some really cool bone protrusions that had formed on my femur. The Osteplasty took some unexpected time but she said she got everything smoothed out and if I am a good patient it should heal nicely! She also mentioned that my labrum looked like crab meat and in fact should look more like steak...not good. She cleaned it up, showed it back together and then reattached it to the bone. Nice and neat. The pictures are gross but you might enjoy seeing them. Just not my thing.

Now the real challenge begins for me again....patience....4 weeks no walking and no driving. John had decided on a boys weekend the weekend after my surgery so my friend Christine flew out from SLC to be my caregiver! What a saint and a blessing that turned out to be! I am a real pain in the butt to take care of and Christine had the house running like a small military camp! She fed, bed and cared for me with such passion and kindness, it was amazing. Once I weened off the pain meds life got much better for me. I hate those things. We had a big celebration when I was finally able to poop because then we knew I was on the mend. It took 5 days but it was worth the wait! Phew I felt better! 

Since John returned it has been a real challenge for both of us to manage my non-walking, non-carrying status. I don't think we have any appreciation for how important it is to be able to carry things when we walk...or bend over...or lift our legs for ourselves! Crazy! John has been outstanding at caring for me, running his business and trying to run our household. We have been blessed with amazing friends and family who have done so much! MP even offered to come up and clean but I couldn't have that! NR, MB, PS, MT, NS, HS, LS, LN and more have been helping us with so much! I am SOOOOOO grateful for your friendship and help! I know I have a long list of IOUs that I have to manage.

The next 3 weeks it is all about PT and being a smart and conservative patient patient. I am going to Panther PT and so far I like their team very much. I will keep you posted on them as time goes by! I have a CPM machine for 5 more days and then I will be ready to throw it out the window! Ugh! I have lame little exercises to do in order to get my nerves working again! It is amazing how traction can mess with so many parts! I hope the feeling comes back to all my parts soon enough!

I have one little ride in the future that I am hoping to be able to do, Buena Vista Bike Fest, June 1 and if that goes well you might see me doing the Triple Bypass. Not a lot of running for a few months and swimming can start only after my psoas release heals. Ouch! No swimming yet!

Patience and kindness will get me through this. Patience with me and others and the process. And kindness with me and others as well. I feel like I am being grateful but I worry that I am not being enough so I need to be patient with the process. 

The greatest joy is that my niece Madeline has been here visiting and she is a great lady with a really nice friend named Tim. They are classy fun and living life! I am so proud of her!

Patience commence.....

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Kokopelli Trail Days 1 & 2 - a story told with photos!, Heidi, Matt and I did the 4 day mountain bike trip from Fruita, Colorado to Moab, Utah. Between the 4 of us I think we had a complete training program! Injury, work, travel and a host of other excuses kept any of us from really focusing on mountain biking in preparation for this trip...but when has that ever stopped me in the past! Ha!
If I were to do it again, I might check out the profile for the ride...but I knew I was going to do it either way so it didn't really matter...but HOLY CRAP! The "little" hills you see on the profile were hard enough but the 3rd day was crazy hard and beautiful!

Day 1 we left from the trail head and rode Mary's and Lion's loop and followed the rim above the Colorado River. Just gorgeous! I knew my cycling legs were weak so I would jump off my bike at any sign of was going to be a long trip and I didn't need to get hurt! We hike-a-biked 3 or 4 times that day. Some of the climbs were hysterical because I could see no chance for a bike to cover the terrain.  

The rest of the story is best told with photos!

A beautiful view from high above the Colorado River

We were trying to climb as much as we could without hiking!

Heidi took a pretty good shot to the axle. Day 1 damage!
John and Heidi hiking up another climb.

Checking out the view from my campsite.
Making it to the top after a long day!

John hanging on for dear life at the campsite night 1!

Day 2 started dark and wet and never got much better!

A wicked hail storm moved in on us faster than we expected!

Holding up in a vacant van while the storm hammered our bikes!

My hero!

Hail creating a wicked gully washer in the desert!

All the water created a clay soup that we COULD NOT ride or walk through!

This is just stupid...40+ miles of this crap! Oh my!

Finally got to dry land! The road was long and hard too!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

My MOJO was on the Kokopelli Trail!

So I tried to hit the "restart" button about 1 month ago and apparently it was just a little out of reach...until now. Thanks to Matt's 40th birthday and my ability to power through any crazy effort I think I am starting to find my MOJO again.
Plus my new drug to combat my weak thyroid helps too! I have been taking it now for 6 weeks and only in the last few days I have I started to notice a difference. So many people wanted to tell me how to handle my diagnosis with food, supplements etc and to be honest, I was looking at 5 weeks of travel and I was thrilled to find 1 pill that might help me feel better sooner! At least the pill will get me headed in the right direction and then I will work with Kindra F., my acupuncturist, to see if we can get me realigned with Chinese remedies, more sleep and better nutrition.
The last couple of months have been jammed with business travel and weekend adventures. Riding mountain bikes with John, Heidi and Matt on the Kokopelli trail for 4 days was an unexpectedly challenging adventure…I might pay more attention to the profile maps etc next time. I wouldn’t have had any more time to train and I would not have backed out so maybe the ridiculous elevation gains and brutal rock gardens were best left as daily surprises! The countryside we rode through was spectacular and it was the perfect time of year to enjoy the fall colors, cool evenings and warm camp fires. Matt and Heidi are so much fun to travel with and so easy to hang out with! Thankfully they’d done a trip like this before so they knew the best food to prepare and how to pack it. And, since I left for the trip from Newark it was a blessing Heidi could do most of the food prep for us. We traveled with a company called Hermosa Tours out of Fruita. Basically they haul our camping gear and food from campsite to campsite, set up the kitchen and then hang out while we ride, fix our meals, set up our tents etc and then we make our own breakfast, pack and hit the road again. If I were to do it again I might take the “they cook for us” option so that we have more time to relax and enjoy hanging out after riding for 8+ hours. The short days didn’t afford is much time between riding, cooking and sleeping.
The 4 days were jammed with amazing views, wicked weather, brutal climbs, plenty of hike-a-bike and tons of good food and laughter. I highly recommend the trip to anyone who wants to see the world from Fruita to Moab and who can stand to sit on a mountain bike saddle for 6+ hours a day! Always a challenge!
I flew from Grand Junction to Seattle, not having showered for 4 days, and settled into my final trade show of the season. I flew home for one day and then turned around and drove back to Moab to do The Other Half marathon, which takes place at the top of 128 starting at Dewey Bridge and ending at Sorrell Ranch. No, I had not been training for that time or distance so it was up in the air if I was going to run or not.
About 2 ½ months ago I managed to pull my left leg out of the hip socket and although it popped back in it seemed to stretch and piss off all the connective tissue around it. I’ve spent the last 2 months working with Dr. Sheridan and doing 3/1 workouts, riding my mountain bike and chilling. Definitely NOT preparing for a half! I spent most of October in a hotel and a crappy hotel gym so I have mastered my power hotel workout, which some of the people I coach can tell you is pretty hard. It is like a circuit session between a lousy piece of hotel cardio equipment and my own weight bearing exercises. It is better than nothing!
Moab was a great weekend. I missed John as he decided to stay home and try to get some house projects done. We need to get some things done before the snow comes…it is snowing tonight. Ah well. Nicole, Michele, Christine, Nancy, Priscilla, Monica, and the boys all hung out and rode road bikes up to “big nasty”, dirt biked and ran the half. The schwag was awesome as ever and we all invested in new Black Diamond headlamps! They are inexpensive and put out awesome light! We used them when we hiked out to watch the sun set over the Delicate Arch in Arches National Park. I LOVE that park and that hike! It was really really windy so we didn’t stay very long! Besides we needed to get to Milt’s milk shakes before they closed at 9:00! Phew, we made it just in time!
The next couple of months will be focused on improving my swim form and times, healing my hip and getting to know my new bike team members and coach! Yeah Altitude Cycling! I am also taking a course that is consuming a great deal of time and I am learning a great deal about how to do things in my life differently. I am still coaching and am hoping to add a few new athletes this year and build up our group workouts for next season.

Looks like the snow is covering the patio now and the stars are gone. Winter is here, a time for healing, recovery, good food and good friends!