Thursday, September 26, 2013

Small steps have turned in to small hobbles

I thought you all deserved an update on the couch to 5k program I started a couple of weeks ago.  My participation in the class with Mr. Mom (who got new insoles for his shoes and feels to much better and more confident) and Runner Girl (who regularly runs with her father for a couple of miles BEFORE she comes to class) has come to a temporary halt.  I have somehow managed to injure myself.  I don't recall any sharp pains and no, Jeri, I did not fall down but my knee is killing me and has been for over a week now.  It's not my kneecap but rather that fatty muscle on the inside of my right knee.  I have a suspicion that the blood cannot push its way through the fat at the point but Strength Coach Son tells me that is not possible.  I haven't asked Athletic Trainer Son for his advice because I am sure that he would claim  it to be tendonitis.
I pushed through the pain and actually ran for four minutes (not consecutive....but hey, it was four minutes!) on Sunday.  That may not have been the best idea but it isn't any worse so I probably did not do any additional harm.
If I take Tylenol the pain diminishes but Strength Coach Son says that will just prolong the injury and that the body can heal itself quicker if I just live with the discomfort.  Skinny Trainer Girl says to keep walking and ice it 3 or 4 times a day.  Strength Coach Son says that ice is not the way to go and if I am going to ice it, I should just take the Tylenol and know that it will hurt longer.  He recommends heat.
Thinking that possibly my favored choice of footwear might be to blame, I actually laced up my good, supportive walking shoes today instead of slipping on my hot pink flip flops.  That was an emotional hurdle for me!  But apparently it is not the fault of my "ship shops" because it still hurts.
John and I are signed up to do a 5k on Saturday sponsored by our favorite brewery, Rahr and Sons.  We've been signed up for months now and did several of the social, warm-up walks in preparation.  I really wanted to do this event...not running of course...well maybe just a little...but that looks doubtful now.
Friends think I should give in and go to the doctor.  I like my doctor (sort chart claims that I am "chronically non-complient") but I know that she will just order tests which will show nothing but a pulled muscle.  And she will order anti-inflammatory meds which Strength Coach Son will point out to only prolong the problem. 
So here I sit...or limp.  Getting into the car from the driver's side is a challenge but I cannot drive from the passenger seat.  Crawling around on the floor working on the borders of quilt is painful.  I don't sit still very well with no handwork to keep me occupied and curling up in my chair (just cannot sit like a grownup) results in more discomfort.
What is my the moment, I intend to work through the pain to get the borders on the Hard Rock quilt and then cut the fabric that I will need for my sew day project for tomorrow.  I'll break out the heating pad again tonight and see what tomorrow brings.  If I really want to do the Rahr run, I will defy Strength Coach Son and start on the tylenol tomorrow afternoon and see what Saturday brings. 
And if it still hurts on Monday, I will break down and call the doctor....there...are you happy, Leslye?
Is my couch to 5k class over?  No, just derailed slightly.  This injury cannot last forever and since I have mastered the couch part of the couch to 5k, I am determined to at least make an effort at the running part.  My goal was never to run an entire 5k....I will just need to find another charity run later in the fall and see if I can actually run a portion of it.  Small steps....hobbles....small steps.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Mrs D...the rock star!

Teachers aren't supposed to have favorites but we do....we just try not to let the other kids know.  During my last year in the library I got very close to one young lady in particular, Baylee.  I've gotten close to students before and sometimes kept in touch for awhile.  I was always at school so they knew where to find me when they needed me.  Sometimes, John and I became friends with the parents of these former students so they remain a part of our lives.  But when I decided to retire, I knew that keeping in touch with my favorites was going to be difficult.
That's when Skoob, the library mascot started his facebook page.  (If you want to friend Skoob, his whole name is Skoob Binion.  This served two purposes....teachers cannot friend students (not appropriate for them to know when I am going to the brewery) so this was a way for them to stay in touch with "me" and I used it to remind them of things that were going on at school....STARR testing, picture day, field day, etc.
Now that Skoob no longer has adventures at school, I use it to stay in touch with my former "kids".
Baylee and Skoob have messaged back and forth all summer.  Sometimes I wonder if she thinks she is actually talking to Skoob but she is a GT kid so I hope not.  As soon as school started, she began asking me to come to have lunch with her at school.  I was worried that my showing up might damage her "street cred" but she assured me that she has enough of that to withstand anything dorky that I might do.  So today I stopped at Taco Bell (her choice) to pick up her tacos and Dr. Pepper and signed in at the office.  There I was sitting on the couches in the hallway alternating between feeling like I was waiting for my turn with the principal (It was Jeri's fault!  I was just following her!) and like someone's grandmother.  Classes changed and the first lunch kids started rushing (or sauntering...depending on the cool factor) to the cafeteria.  Many of them just gave me that "who is that adult" look and moved on by.  But then here came my babies...."Mrs D!!  What are you doing here?  Are you gonna work here?  Who are you subbing for? I thought you retired!"  Baylee showed up and we joined the throng toward the cafeteria.  There was some debate over where to sit (and with whom) and who to save seats for.  It was so much fun!  I got caught up on the dramas of her life and some insight into middle school.  (The cafeteria is LOUD!)  And I actually got to go outside with them...apparently the first time that first lunch had been quiet enough to be allowed outside....that was quiet?
I caught up with several former students...favorites and not so favorites...was asked to deliver messages to former teachers and got hugs from some that I was sure hated me.  It was a great experience.
It was great for my ego but I may have actually taught them something...that there are adults out there (besides  relatives) that might really care about them and what happens to them after they leave elementary school.  That if you invite these adults to attend something, they might actually show up. I can't wait for Baylee to ask me back.  I also hope that her "street cred" is intact.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Not a fan of "baby steps"

As many of you know,  I am not renown for my patience. When I decide to do something, I want to do it RIGHT NOW!  And not only that, I expect to be able to complete any new task or skill flawlessly the first time out.  If it's worth doing, it's worth doing right. Right?
When planning my retirement activities, I decided that improving my general fitness was a necessary goal.  I want to be one of those scrawny, bird-like old ladies, not one of the "doughy" ones.
 John and I "do" 5k's occasionally and especially like to participate in the ones sponsored by Rarh Brewery because there is beer at the finish line.  We get lots of encouragement and congratulations on Facebook but what our "friends" do not realize is that we walk those 5k's....not one single step is remotely close to a jog.  We walk briskly enough to break a sweat but not fast enough that gasping for breath is an issue.  I decided that I would like to change that...I would like to actually run part of the Rahr Oktoberfest 5k coming up at the end of the month.  I even have a goal time in mind.
"Training" for this on my own would be a useless idea because I really don't like to run.  If grizzlies or zombies begin to chase me, we all know how those scenarios will end.  I just don't run.  So, with good intentions, I signed up for the Couch to 5K class at the local Y.  I went out and got new, real running shoes at the local running store to insure a good fit.  (They aren't cute but they are comfy.)  I knew that the class was in danger of not "making" but I went to the first class confident that enough beginning runners would show up and the Y would be so inspired by the desires of these obviously non-runners that the class would be held regardless of enrollment.  My class is led by a perky (and scrawny) woman with a BMI of 0 and includes "Runner Girl" who regularly runs two miles a day and wants to work on her form (wth?), "Mr. Mom" who is seriously concerned about injuries and 1chubby, waddler, Me.  The first day we spent most of the class talking about shoes, clothes and how to tell a real injury from just a twinge.  (This did not reassure "Mr. Mom".)  Then we went out for our first run....the plan was a brisk 5 minute walk, a 2 minute jog and a 5 minute walk.  OK...I can do this.  I walk on the treadmill regularly.  Surely I can slip in a 2 minute jog with no this rate, I will be running that entire 5k that is held on Thanksgiving Day.  Not so much...I ran all of 90 seconds...that's right...a minute and a half.  Thought I was dieing!  And you do not want to know how long it took me to breathe normally after those endless 90 seconds.  I was appalled! 
I thought about quitting but those two need me to come back if the class is going to continue. (The Y does not seem inspired by just 3 of us.) was day two. Same plan 5-2-5.  "Runner girl" wants help with her breathing.  "Mr. Mom" was late but caught up in no time.  And the waddler?  I managed to run for 1 minute and 45 seconds. Now my walking buddy LD (whose ringtone on my phone is "Yell, yeah I like beer) is excited about my "improvement".  Improvement?  At this rate I will be lucky if I can complete a running 5k by my 80th birthday!  I am constantly being told about "baby steps" and I just don't "do" baby steps.  I want to run like the wind and I want to do it right now.....or Saturday which is my next training day. (A 5-3-5 can I run 3 minutes when I cannot run 2 yet?)
So what is the point of today's rambling, blog (other than to entertain you with mental images of my waddling body attempting to run and breathe at the same time)?  I guess I am going to be forced to learn patience at this late date in my life.  I must embrace the concept of baby steps.  Either that, or redefine my goal.  I really don't want to be one of those "doughy" old ladies so I guess I will be learning to be satisfied with baby steps.  You have no idea how much I hate that...almost as much as I hate running!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A Medical Miracle

John and I witnessed a medical miracle over the weekend.  Two weeks ago my friend, Sue, received a  liver transplant that was over a year in coming.  When I last saw her in mid-July, she was not in the best of shape.  Her feet and legs had swollen to the point where she could no longer walk.  Some mild seizures had left her with speech similar to that of a stroke victim. She was very quiet and tired easily.
 When we received word that a liver was available, I wanted to rush to the hospital to sit with her husband, Chris, but decided to wait until things had settled down.  On Saturday afternoon, Sue called me.  I had not heard her voice on the phone in months and here she was, calling me to see when I was coming to see her!  John and I drove over to Dallas on Sunday not really knowing what to expect.  What we found was nothing short of a miracle to us....Sue sitting up in bed, drinking a Coke.  The swelling has gone down totally in her legs and she is now walking in the hallway with a walker. She is talking non-stop and that dry, witty sense of humor is back.  We had a terrific visit and she called yesterday to make sure that I was coming back this week.
Many, many prayers were offered for Sue's successful surgery and more are needed to insure a complete recovery but oh....what a miracle this transplant has been!
Many of you do not know Sue but many of you are owners of her works of art.  Sue is a professional machine quilter and we have worked for many years.  If I have made a quilt for you in the past ten years, it was probably quilted by Sue.  There are many excellent professional quilters in the area but none can match Sue when it comes to free motion quilting.  She hasn't been able to work for almost a year now but I can see that, with prayers, hard work and continuing medical miracles, she will be back at her Gammill much sooner than I ever hoped.
She gave me some wise advice on Sunday.  We were discussing what I should do during my retirement and Sue said, "Do what makes you happy.  You never know when you might wake up one morning and not be able to do the one thing that brings you joy."
So if you are so inclined, please take a minute and say a prayer that this amazingly talented and wise woman will recover sufficiently to return to doing the thing that brings her joy. As for me, I intend to follow Sue's advice.