How Did I Pass Kindergarten!?

Working with a trainer this past month has taught me 2 things about myself: I have to learn how to run, and I can’t jump rope.

Excuse me what?!

While my kids were home on spring break, I was given the task of jumping rope during one of my at home workouts. It was the worst. 100 passes took me most of the day. How could an activity children do for fun, be so evil!? My heart was pounding, I was unbelievably sweaty. It was brutal. What a workout.

Last Tuesday, Terry the Tormentor brought jump rope back to our workout routine. 50 passes. Ok, Sam. Deep breath, you can do this…until I hit 20something and he shouts, “what?! What?! No no no. Stop. What are you doing!?” Everything wrong, that’s what. He asked if Justin had ever seen me jump rope. Um, NO! He’s never seen me pee either, and I’m ok with keeping both activities private from him, thank you!

Of course, with my poor jump roping skills, and my poor running technique, I was left wondering: how in the world did I ever graduate from Kindergarten!?

Before you start thinking too hard about what I’m doing wrong, I’ll tell you. I’m kick my feet up to my butt, bend my knees, swing my arms like wild windmills. Do I jump over the rope? Obviously. Can I do it multiple times in a row? Of course! Am I putting way too much effort into what everyone else makes look like a simple task? You have no idea.

I watched as the surrounding men in the gym subtly relocated away from my wildly swinging rope, with a look of fear and amazement in their eyes, as if to say, “what is she doing,” and “I don’t want to die.” I don’t blame them. I would move away from my awkwardly, wild swinging rope too! Nothing about what I do makes sense, and it all seems dangerous.

I can color in the lines, and I can write my name. Kindergarten PE: Fail.

Oh, My Butt!

Pregnancy and childbirth are magical things–that I’d like to think are wonderful memories from my past. Except…

Sciatica. It’s also a magical thing. Not the good, Harry Potter magic. More like, Voldermort’s dark arts. My scoliosis is partly to blame. That “cool trick” in my teens, where I used to pop my hip out is partly (probably a larger part. Oh, regrets) to blame. And those darling children I carried for 9 months, who assisted in the expanding of my hips. All lead to what I lovingly refer to as “numb-butt,” where my left leg is numb from just above my butt, to just above the back of my knee.

Numb like pins and needles, “my leg fell asleep and is waking up,” weird numb. Whatever, I’m used to it. Sometimes I don’t notice, or it’s not bad; sometimes it’s tingly!

And then sometimes my left hip HURTS, in the “take your breath away,” wincy face kind of way. And I mean my hip joint. All the way inside my thigh/butt, where it can’t be reached. But it says, “set me free, Sam! I don’t want to be attached to you anymore. I think we should break up.”

For nearly a week, my hip has been at that point. I did not for one second think about sciatica, because I’m oh so used to numb-butt being the issue. Do I stretch? Did I over-stretch? Is this one of those things that will eventually lead to my needing a hip replacement? Does my leg really want to break up with me?!

I walk around my house, randomly propping my foot up on tall objects. To stretch, obviously, but all I can hear in my head is Molly Shannon stating, “My name is Sally O’Mally and I am 50 years old.” The stretching helps, but where’s my spandex and cameltoe when I need it!?

My sister Alissa has been known to sometimes punch her butt while announcing, “sciatica!” Maybe this is the pain-in-the-butt she feels. Alissa is currently 8 1/2 months pregnant, so all I can say to her is, it’ll only get better. And by better I mean worse.

My name is not Sally O’Mally, and I’m only 34 years old. I like to stretch. A lot. Because, oh, my butt!

Technologically Challenged

Hey, so remember that time we took a trip to get a new phone? And I told him my number, and he said, “Samantha?” Then remember how I asked him not to finish setting it up, because I can’t trust myself with a new phone until I put a screen protector on it, and throw a case on it?

Let me back up. A few weeks ago, I dropped my phone. And cracked the screen. It’s not the first time it’s happened. I’m hopeless. Well, I decided it was time to just accept my fate and get a new phone.

Of course, I decided to order one from Amazon, to save myself all the weird fees, for whatever Verizon wants to add fees on for today. Phone arrives, I set it up. And then I spent an entire evening wondering why no one is responding to my texts.

That phone hated me. I spent an hour on the phone between Verizon and Apple. In the end, I shipped it back to the seller, for a refund. Yey.

Today, Justin suggested we just go to Verizon and get a new phone, so they could set it up for me. Until I decided I would wait. Because Cheesecake Factory was going to happen after Verizon (my inner fat girl was overjoyed at the excitement of chocolate peanut butter cheesecake action. Good thing I ran fast today).

We should go back even further.

Once upon a time, in 2009, we moved back to the states from Germany, and got new phone numbers. They ended in 68, and 69, with 68 being the main account number. Justin’s. Except that I have the mind of a teenager, and I made Justin take the 69 number, because I couldn’t be a mom and have that number! It’s dirty! Tee-hee. I’m turning red just explaining the reason I kept the main number.

So, remember when we went to get me a new phone, and we got home, and it was actually Justin’s phone? Yeah. And while I’m sure we could sort it out eventually (probably with a phone call or ANOTHER 30min drive to the store), I just went ahead and ordered me a new phone. New phones for everyone!

He’s super excited about his hot pink phone case, and the fact that MY thumbprint unlocks his phone too. I’m getting a lot of mileage out of saying, “hey, remember when I went and got a new phone, and then it was really your phone?!” Yeah, I’m hopeless.

Running Challenged

I say it every year. Running makes me sneeze. I have only been a “runner” for 3 years, and I say “runner,” because snails move faster than me. I’m pretty sure I walk faster than I run.

In previous years, even treadmill running made me sneeze. Weird, I know. This year, it’s exclusively when I run outside. Which makes sense–seasonal allergies in Kentucky are awful! Word on the street is this area is actually one of the worst for allergies. Of course, for anyone who has lived in Columbus, GA, where the world is covered in yellow pollen powder for a good chunk of spring, they will tell you it’s much worse there. That place made my face feel constantly swollen.

But there I go again.

So, it’s spring in Kentucky, and while I don’t appreciate all the sneezing that follows, I do appreciate being able to run outside without turning into a popsicle.

Also, this past week, Terry the Torturous (which would be my trainer’s Viking name) told me I run weird. My legs swing out to the sides? In my head, I’m picturing some slinky-limbed muppet, with limbs going everywhere. Because I’m sure that’s probably what it looks like. He then told me nothing I did looked natural. Running doesn’t feel natural! It feels like a torture technique, used to specifically make me feel out of shape. Can’t I just throw heavy things around?!

Terry is using his fabulous skills as a track coach and trying to assist in turning me into a runner. Like, a real life runner, not a goofy muppet whose limbs are going to get seriously tangled if I get going too fast. By the end of our “run” on Thursday he told me I looked like I actually knew what I was doing.

Of course then he used his ninja powers and appeared next to me yesterday while I was attempting to do everything he told me only 2 days prior. He was shaking his head and giving me the “I’m not mad–I’m just disappointed,” look.  I’m swinging my arms across my body, I guess? So, I am moments away from getting tangled in myself.

Once again today, I went out and ran, trying to put everything he’s been telling me into practice. I feel like something between a leaping gazelle and a muppet whose limbs are on the verge of getting tangled. But, I was faster on my first mile than I normally am. A 10 minute mile?! Did you think I was kidding when I said snails are faster?

My desire to continue to run is strongly tied to my stubbornness. I strongly dislike running, but I dislike NOT being able to do things much more. Justin tells me about his 8min mile “jog pace,” and I respond with a strong, “jog?! THAT is a sprint!” Our 5k date went like this: Justin ran it in 22:39, took a lap of the parking lot and then ran back to find me. I was about 27min in when he caught up and said, “I didn’t think you’d be this far back!” I threatened to twist his nipple off. Of course then he made me run to the end. “Stop looking at your watch, put your head down and just push through it.” I died. But not really. My time was 33:49. By the end of it all, Justin had run about a 7k. I was WORLDS sweatier, and much more out of breath.

This week, my kids are on spring break, so my goofy leaping gazelle muppet runs will be taking place evenings. If you see me, and I look confused, or as if I’m seriously concentrating, I am. Nothing about this “running” thing feels natural! But I refuse to give up!!! Maybe someday I will be able to make this looks natural.

Am I Skinny Yet?!?!

Before you roll your eyes or anything like that, I know I’m not fat. I’m just…a little thicker than I once was. It’s fine. It’s whatever. It’s driving me crazy.

I took this slow week at work as an opportunity to try something new–working out with a personal trainer. It’s not an entirely new concept. Back in 2009 when Justin was in Iraq and I was in the throes of postpartum depression, thinking I looked something like a beached whale whose belly had been attacked by a pizza cutter (an analogy I’ve stolen from my friend Nicole. Because it’s so unbelievably true, and the perfect way to describe it…unless you sew, then maybe you were attacked by a rotary cutter. Both are gruesome thoughts–sorry everyone). Thanks to the YMCA having an awesome program for military families who do not live near a post/base, I was able to get a free membership. I decided to treat myself with a personal trainer, who I met with twice a week. She was awfully nice, but honestly, it was more chatting and not so much intense working out. Which was fine at the time. By the time Justin returned, I was back to my happy 145 (still 20lbs more than I weighed when we got married, but let’s be honest, that girl is long gone. 22-year-old metabolism, you sure were amazing, and I’ll always remember the times we had together).

I also managed to get back to that magical number in 2013 when Justin was again deployed. Noticing a pattern here? I kicked my own butt, 4 days a week in our garage gym. Of course, the stress of Shea’s tonsillectomy also helped me drop weight fast.

And then I decided to get Mirena, and in the 2 months before he returned, I gained the 20lbs back.

“Justin, I lost 20lbs while you were gone!”

“I know!”

“And then I gained it all back right before you got home.”

“I know…….”

Little known fact: When men (and maybe women too, I don’t have a lot of experience with military ladies–Justin’s in the Boys’ Club known as the Infantry) deploy, they get CRAZY fit. Every time he comes home from a deployment, he’s all muscles and no body fat. I keep saying I’ll take the next deployment and he can stay here with the kids, but again, if he won’t let me take his fun little TDY trip, I doubt a deployment would be permissible. Plus the fact that I would be hiding behind things, shouting “STOP SHOOTING AT ME!!! WHAT DID I EVER DO TO YOU!?!?” And also, the heat. He compares the breezes in Kuwait to turning a hair dryer on hot and blowing it in your face. It sounds gross.

Right, well, along with the 3 days a week I normally lift weights with my work/workout friend, and the 4 days a week I normally run, I decided that I would also add Torture with Terry to my Tues/Thurs running days. Why not, right? I mean, his kettle bell class was evil enough, so why not triple the amount of time I spent with him each week.

Again, If you find yourself at Fort Knox, in need of any fitness related anything, he’s the man to see. Because he’s EVIL. But in a good way.

Of course, in being honest with him, I have subjected myself to something he likes to refer to as Cardio of Death. It’s evil. And my rapid heart rate makes him nervous:

“Your watch says your heart rate is 170…”

“Shh. Pay no attention to that.”

“Ok…” he says, wide-eyed.

“I did ask if you were CPR certified.”

don’t actually want to have to use that training on you!”

Ah, genes. While I get my sweatiness from my Dad, I most likely get my rapid heart rate from my Mom’s side. Test after test later, and all they can tell me is that I have a rapid resting heart rate. It’s 84 right now, which is pretty low for me–usually it’s between 90-110. It doesn’t do the weird fluttery thing it used to do once upon a time when I was a twig, or before I had kids. So there’s that. It makes cardio suck. Maybe cardio just sucks for everyone, but man alive, I dislike it. I would rather pick up heavy things all day. But cardio is good for me, and blah blah blah.

So, I climbed to the top of the Eiffel tower. On a machine that was evil. After I did the Jacob’s Ladder to nowhere evil. After I climbed a stairway to nowhere for 3 minutes, which was really more like 3 hours. But it was 3 minutes. In. Slow. Motion. Time goes SO SLOWLY when you’re being tortured.

There’s no talking. There’s minimal talking. Between gasps. This is NOT the hour of chitchat and gossip I “endured” at 26. This is sweat dripping everywhere, huffing and puffing, “Terry…I’m…Dying…” while he giggles and says, “it’s fine. You’re doing great! Look, you’re halfway there!” It’s the giggling and sinister smile that get me. “We’re going to do squats and throw this heavy weight around, and then you’re going to run a lap.” Sinister smile. Something like the Grinch, when he’s plotting to steal Christmas from the Whos.” Except, not as green. Equal amounts of evil plotting though.

Five minutes into my first session, as I paused in between pull-ups, some sort of evil burpees with a star jump WITH an elastic band around my ankles, AND running up and down the stairs on repeat, I honestly thought, “this was a mistake. It’s time to tap out and say, ‘sorry Terry. I was mistaken. I don’t need a trainer–I need a nap.'” Of course then he threw some hate toward my boys, Ben and Jerry. You might know them–their ice cream is DELICIOUS. I love them.

I survived. Barely. By the end of each session, my arms are curled up like a raptor, or a t-rex. I walk something like an ostrich. I’m SOAKING wet. And my inner-fat-girl is inside me crying, “we’re REALLY going to do this again?! Are you mad?!”

Every morning since Wednesday I have woken up at 5:30 (don’t judge me. I like the quiet before the world wakes up), and my head has said, “get your ass out of bed,” while my body replies, “please don’t make me!” I jumped on the scale this morning (because I only weigh myself on Saturdays and Mondays–otherwise I would become obsessive), and I’ve lost one pound.

ONE?! That’s IT?!?! No ice cream and 10 hours of cardio/heavy lifting/slow running this week, and I lost one frigging pound?! For all my hurt, and the agony of a week without ice cream, I wanted to be at my target weight by now.