Friday, October 25, 2013

It doesn't get easier, you just get faster

So far BDv.36 has started out WAY better than BDv.35 as I'm not in the hospital! BUT I'm sneezy hacky lethargic so bleh. My cardio hasn't been where I wanted this week, but I've kept up my hand workouts and strength training, and I'm consistently faster walking. Pilates is rockin. The quads/hams co-contraction is steadily improving as my strength and hip stability improves. Dang when I first started running I was spending a lot of time strengthening and stretching my hips; it seems a lot of the population that sits  for a living already has weak tight hips, so again I feel like I'm doing the same things again. And I am.

The biggest thing I learned from race training was that is doesn't get easier, you just get better, faster. That's still how I see things. After a year of recovery, and with so far t go, I was worried that I would get discouraged. Maybe someday I will. But now I'm not convinced; I'm working just as hard as I was before I got hit and I think that's made the difference. I've been through things that took a lot of effort but paid off big in the end, like vet school, and it's just a way of life for me. Yeah it sucks that I'm working as hard as I was before just to get back to baseline, but life ain't fair for any of us and you'll never catch me playing the victim.

Sertoma 5K is this weekend, my first race 2 years ago, where I placed 3rd in the 30-39AG. I was all psyched up to do it, but Snakebyte's got a soccer game sooooooo priorities. There's plenty of other 5Ks for me to come in last still this year. ;)

Nic found this place on my birthday, Rotary Point by the Vermilion River! The graffiti says "Keep on keepin' on" I love it.

Last thought is on health and nutrition. Blatantly, it'd be incredibly easy for me to get fat right now. I lost a lot of muscle mass very quickly due to denervation and I can't burn calories the way I used to. My lifestyle's more sedentary, temporarily anyway, just because of circumstance. I'm finally back up to the weight I was before - 106# - and I guarantee it's not all muscle. BUT keeping track of all you guys running, racing, talking about exercise and fitness, keeping up with the major tri races this year; it's all been instrumental in helping me keep a healthy outlook on eating. I cook for real now, I focus on whole foods (though I still have this sugar craving I can't kick!), and I don't calorie count but I do stay aware of what I eat. I have to go easy on myself too - I honestly thought I was fat before! - but I've really learned what's important. It's about being healthy, not about how you look, that counts. I really wish our society wouldn't put so much stress on being so clothed all the time, because I think if women knew what real women looked like we could stop a lot of problems such as poor self esteem and bulimia. As it is, the only scantily-clad women we see are media-touched-up super thin women. What are we supposed to think then? Of course we believe that's the ideal, we don't have real life to compare it to. So I thank all my balanced strong healthy connections for keeping me on track by example.  Have a great week!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Lenny and Joey. I mean Jenny and Loey! #GenderChangingSpoonerism

If you knew Nic for any length of time, you would know that a spoonerism is when the first sounds of two (or more) words are switched, making them audibly two other words. My favorite example: Pizza Hut/Taco Bell = Pizza Butt/Taco Hell. If you then subsequently talked to my dad, you would have learned that this is also called a "marrowsky".

I've been sick this week. Boring. I blame Nic - he had it first! So this is a topic more interesting. I have plenty of friends worth mentioning, but I loved this spoonerism, so you're stuck with these two for now ;)

OH, I'm now under 30 min/mi; that's pretty awesome actually! Anyway:

I met Jenny first, in high school, but I didn't remember it (she did). So I'll start with Lori aka Loey.

Loey I met at LSU, where she and Jenny were roommates. She started out as an art major and then decided to become a veterinarian, and we had a Biochemistry class together. She was in my group, and during a pop quiz on the Kreb's Cycle I (much to my GPA's happiness) learned that she has a photographic memory. She's also super thin with blonde hair, blue eyes, and big boobs to boot. Oh, and she's nice. And incredibly fun. In other words, painfully awesome and one of-those girls I wish I could hate. SO, after Jenny moved elsewhere, I decided Loey and I needed to be roommates.
I could tell you about all of our crazy adventures including road trips and mud riding and New Orleans sleepless dancing nights, and how she was much better at cooking and cleaning than me, and watching The Simpsons and Jay Leno's "Jaywalking", and her awesome family, but I'll sum our college times up with this incident. I was seining a catfish pond when a colleague found a Graham's Crayfish Snake! I had to have it, and in fact the snake ended up with Loey's sister at Bluebonnet Swamp. I loaded up my share of live catfish in my Jeep, and took them on home. Meanwhile, the snake got loose in the vehicle. I dumped the catfish with some water in the bathtub and headed back down to my muddy Jeep to find  the snake when Loey showed up. Without even batting an eye, she helped me catch it, and we spent that night cleaning catfish on the back porch listening to the Reservoir Dogs soundtrack. You KNOW you have good friends when...
I also introduced her to the guy she's married to. That's a whole different story. Suffice to say, she's now a top-notch veterinarian outside of Houston, and as far as I know the only vet in Texas that is trained in stem cell therapy for dogs with arthritis. She also has two beautiful girls and is totally supermom. So, basically, still perfect. Sheesh.
*She IS an old lady though. Her birthday was yesterday, mine's not until Monday. So There.

Loey removing sutures from a dumb hand injury I managed  to acquire right before a 40 mile trek.
This is a couple years back.
I can't help but think this is pretty typical for us.

Loey and Amber. Loey couldn't decide if she wanted a Lab or a Boxer, so I found a litter of Lab/Boxer mixes. Hence, Amber.

Jenny in college was always crazy beautiful and outspoken, and didn't mind talking to anyone at any point about her opinion on anything. She was that super fit girl that roller bladed everywhere, and wore overalls with just a tiny shirt or sports bra. Yep. You meet her once and can never forget her. She of course graduated in Advertising, and was incredibly good at it, telling Loey and I tricks like reading the Sports headlines to talk to clients about without having to actually care what was going on. She ended up marrying an incredibly sarcastic man, and they are Constantly at each other's throats. In a good way! Like an old married couple. It's Hilarious! They also have two beautiful (and hilarious) children. Jenny ended up having several congenital defects that didn't really manifest until after college, leading to a plethora of life changes and eventually a pacemaker. This time last year we were in the hospital together, and her goal Which She Accomplished was to get out to come help me. And I'm forever grateful. She is continuing to kick butt and stay (crazy) and crazy healthy.We keep a blog together with another girl: Cajun Titanium, which I have been remiss at because I'm always blogging here, and Amy has been off being awesome and engaged and beautiful, but Jenny has kept up with, continuing to help and educate other heart patients.

Jenny, from when she and Loey visited me in vet school on St. Kitts in the Caribbean. She (of course) got her hair beaded and braided Carib-style.

Jenny and her son. Jenny has a lot of pics on her Facebook, ya'll, it was hard to stalk down just one!

I have outstanding people in my life. Another one, our friend the incredibly accomplished Ms. Nurse Anesthetist Charlotte, told me under no uncertain terms while I was in the hospital last year that I did that. I had the wherewithall to pick good people, and raise Liam to be tough the way I did, and it is my decisions that laid the foundation to get me through all this. And a year later I still know she's right. Always be thankful of those around you, but also appreciate yourself for your own good decisions. I love you all!

Friday, October 11, 2013

That time of the year again!

I feel like this should be a big awesome post because it's my "I got hit one year ago" anniversary! But, I have not that much. So it goes. #Vonnegut
This is my favorite time of year. This year I won't miss Fall, or my birthday, or Halloween, or Thanksgiving, or my anniversary with Nic.
It's been a year. The fastest year that ever was, I have no idea how it passed so quickly! I celebrated by going to a Pilates class and making my teacher cry (okay we both cried) and swimming 1000 yards straight for the  first time in a year.
LAST year I dropped a 3# weight on my face in the hospital because I had convinced the OT that certainly I was strong enough to life it - HA! THIS year, this week, all my arm/shoulder workouts are with 10# weights. Because I Rock! This is back to where I was before I got hit!
I've got a few more months, I've been ramping up a little. Gotta get back on a bike, but honestly I'm a little nervous! I hate to say it, but I probably need to start with training wheels. We'll see how it goes.
I broke the 30 min/mi mark walking this week with a 28:55 min/mi 0.45 mile loop ;) I just need to get down to at least an 18 min/mi and I can walk the half within the time limit. In two months I went from about 60 min/mi to about 30 min/mi, I'm impressed. So I might be able to do it. I've lost so so much, I've come so far, and I still have a long way to go. But whatevs, we all do what it takes.
I'm honestly on an upswing, where I'm making a lot of progress. And it's freaking  gorgeous outside. So i'm outta here, got 2.25 planned for right now, and fun dogs to play with. Enjoy today, wherever you are!

Flash and Malcolm, new BFFs

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Update Thursday, for the Verchers

A man tried to run his wife off the road in a fit of rage, and instead collided head first with an oncoming vehicle, killing a wife and child. Their funeral is today. If you find ME strong and inspiring, you must also give that credit to the husband because I cannot imagine going through the journey he just started on. We were both affected by people that should not have been on the road. My story still has a chance of becoming a victory, but mine is easier than his ever will be. If I am a hero because of going through this, so is he, 10 fold so.

My personal beliefs: I don't believe that God changes what happens down here. I don't believe that prayer changes circumstance, but opens us to see the blessings that are in the world. I believe that our actions are positively influenced by those we love, and our actions influence others, and in that way people persist forever.
So maybe do some good in the world, and maybe even in their honor. Show someone gratitude or give them a chance to show you. Let innocent death not have to be in vain but influence a chain reaction that abundifies goodness. And above all, live your life in a way that everyone that you love knows that you love them. That way it will never be too late. That way, you always remember how precious life is.

This is Nic's friend, a "Cult of the Stage Monkey" fellow. Nic's maybe not your typical American guy. He is always hugging all of his friends, and tells them he loves them. He's taking this really hard. They all are. The way I see it, the last thing we should have to worry about in the face of such tragedy is money for funerals, hospital bills, etc. You can help by sending checks made out to Heath Vercher to his church, First United Methodist, PO Box 905, Nederland, TX 77627. Also, you can donate to "Vercher" at any Western Union. Or you can use my PayPal and I will get the money to him.

ME, I'm getting faster again. My Pilates instructor said, what's the difference between imagining you feel something and feeling it? Nothing. This is true for me right now. "Fake it til you make it" if you will, and I'm finding a true center again. Maybe I can't feel my legs as well as I did before, or my right as well as my left, I'm *beginning* not to know anymore. Maybe it's healing, and also maybe my body and mind are adapting, changing. Normalizing. It's incredible. Life is beautiful.

From John Muir: Let children walk with Nature, let them see the beautiful blendings and communions of death and life, their joyous inseperable unity, as taught in woods and meadows, plains and mountains and streams of our blessed star, and they will learn that death is stingless indeed, and as beautiful as life.

This is what I always tell people when faced with death. I don't know, this still stings. But we just made a commitment that was inspired by this tragedy to help a needy child in Mexico. While senseless acts will never be justified, somebody's world will be a little better because of the influence of the Vercher family. I can't do anything to fix the situation, but I can do that.