Today I visited my friend, Holly, in the hospital. She had her second child yesterday, a baby boy. He is beautiful. While I was there I got to see her five year old daughter and Holly's husband. A very beautiful family.
When I got home I checked my email... and heard from one of my good friends, Debbie. She and her husband are settling into their new home...and celebrating their son's fourth birthday this weekend...
My friend Jill, her husband, and two kids just moved into their new house in California....
Me? I am single... renting an apartment...with four cats.
So how do we measure our lives? By our relationship status? How many kids we have... or don't have? Whether or not we are homeowners? How active we are? How many miles we can run?
The song "Seasons of love," from RENT says:
"525,600 minutes, 525,000 moments so dear. 525,600 minutes - how do you measure,
measure a year? In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee. In
inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife. In 525,600 minutes - how do you
measure a year in the life?
How about love? How about love? How about love? Measure in love. Seasons of
I like the idea of measuring life in sunsets... or in daylights...and yes, measuring life in love. As I held that newborn baby tonight, I found myself wondering if I will have a baby someday. I used to wonder when...when I would meet the man I will marry...when I will have children... and tonight I wondered IF... I really feel like I would be a good mother... a great mother actually... and it saddens me to think that I may not be a mother one day.
But... when I look back at all that has happened in the last few years... where would a baby have fit in? or a husband even? Physically things have been difficult...though they are looking up... mentally... things were...perhaps more difficult than physically. And I wonder...about that whole in sickness and in health vow... I am sure that a man would have tried to be supportive through all of this... but would I have let him be? Would I have pushed him away? I hope not... because I am sure that this is not the only difficult period in my life... and by now I should know that it is okay to lean on people... but the pure exhaustion from the pain, worrying, fear...and desperation.. would that have damaged a relationship, had there been one?
Overthinking, overthinking... yes.. I realize that. but I guess that's what holding a newborn baby does to me. The last time I held a baby I ended up getting two new cats... so I guess overthinking is not so bad.
My sunsets are more vibrant and colorful than they have been in a long time. And I am believing that each day will bring sunlight... I feel different... than I have in a while. While I do hope to share my life with someone....not just moments of it... I know that it's not the end all be all. When I measure my life... it's full... with love, happiness...and some moments of lonliness...but those moments make the non lonely ones that much better...
When measuring our lives we gotta take the good and the not so good...right? For now... I am measuring my life in how I treat myself... which includes how I let others treat me... I will treat myself with love.... and see how far it takes me...
Got a note today from another woman with PVNS. She will be having surgery in March... said she is having a posterior synovectomy... so I am wondering if that means just the back incision... It is so nice to hear from people who have PVNS...not because there are other people suffering with it... but there are people who are LIVING with PVNS... and we are connecting... I hope to hear more from her.
Ahh... I just got home from coaching... another long day... but I feel pretty good. I did not get up early to go to the gym, but I did go later... before I went to practice. The gym was pretty busy at that time and I had planned on doing the elliptical machine, but they were all full... I didn't feel like doing the treadmill or the bike to get started, so I used a different kind of elliptical machine... this one works out only your lower body...and it has shorter strides, which isn't good for my long legs... but I lasted for 5 minutes on it which was 0.25 miles. When I got done with that one of the other elliptical machines, the one that has the arm thingys that you use kind of like ski poles when cross country skiing....was open... so ... I decided I would get on it and see how I felt. To my surprise I was able to do my 0.5 miles... I did it in just over 7 minutes... sooo that means I did 0.75 miles using the elliptical machines... sooo.. I think my goal of doing 1 mile by Feb 15 is reachable! By teh way.. my other goal is to walk around Back Bay on my birthday... I told my sister that and she suggested that I make that my birthday party... followed by some adult beverages of course... but I think that is a pretty good idea. Granted... I may not be able to go fast at that point, but I think I will be able to get around it. It's 3.5 miles and my birthday is in May... so I think that can work. It's good to have goals. A guy approached me at the gym tonight... asking if I recently had knee surgery. I told him it had been about 6 months.. and he said he was going to be having surgery in two weeks... and asked what I had done.. I told him that I doubted it was the same thing he would be having done... he said he was having ACL surgery... and the recovery is three months to being active and 6 months to full recovery. I think he will recover pretty well... he appears to be in good shape and will probably bounce back easily. I wish him luck.
I ate well today too! I am currently munching on some carrots as I am blogging. I came home right after school to make dinner... and made something delicious. I browned up some ground turkey, added some onions, some salsa, and black beans... with taco seasoning... mmmm... I added it to a low carb pita pocket with some lettuce cheese and some fat free low calorie sour cream. It is so yummy... and by the time I add the beans and salsa it made quite a bit, which means I have lunches for the rest of the week! Yummmmm!
I AM going to go to the gym in the morning... and we have an early practice, so tomoroow night I am going to put my feet up and RELAX. I can't wait.
By the way.. I see some people in Africa have seen my blog... I hope to go to Africa one day!
Posted by TallGal at 8:42 PM
Today was a long day... work... class... and coaching. I am going to keep this short so I can pack my stuff for the gym in the morning... though I am tempted to wait and go after school... before practice.... but I know I would feel good if I made it before work. But I am pretty tired.. so I think I will wait until tomorrow morning to make that decision.
My class was good... met someone who teaches with Phil, Matt, and Melissa. There were also a lot of people there who graduated from the same college I did... which was nice. They were younger than I am... and it made me feel a little old... They are in their upper twenties...the professor seems to be good too... makes us think a lot... which I like, as you know from reading my blogs. I prefer a class that sparks my thought process vs. being given information that I need to regurgitate at a later date. The professor reminded me of other people... funny how that happens... I told my parents tonight that he is the love child of Bill Clinton and my mom's best friend, Belinda. My professor is too old to be their son, but... that's what he looks like. My mom wants a picture and no matter how much I searched google images tonight... I didn't find his picture. Oh well...
Coaching was good tonight too.. I was PLEASANTLY surprised when the other girls coach asked my input on end of the season awards...and guess what.. the brattier of our two bratty captains is NOT getting an award... yay.... dance dance dance..... and he aske dmy suggestion for the coach's award and seemed to go along with what I thought... so... I feel pretty good about that.
That's all for tonight folks... oh yeah.. except this.. I ate well today... YAY!
Posted by TallGal at 9:40 PM
Those who know me well know that RENT is my absolute FAVORITE Broadway show. I have seen it twice in NY and hear that it is closing this summer and hope to see it again before it leaves NYC. I think its popularity has decreased since the release of the movie.. which is great, but cannot compete with the Broadway show... no way no how. It's a story of people.... living... with many odds against them...one of the main characters, Angel, lives with the philosophy of "No Day But TODAY." Angel inspires all of the people who surround her... there is something that touches me so deeply in that show... in the music from that show. I listen to the soundtrack so often, and may have mentioned I even work out to it at the gym.
Which brings me to the part of the No day but today philosophy that got me off my BFA (Big...Fat...A...) and got me to the gym. I sat around today being lazy... and enjoying it. I had a list of things I needed to do today and by 2:30 or so had accomplished none of it. I had made plans to meet Sue at the gym at 4:00... and as the time approached and I was still not dressed, I started talking myself out of going. But... around 3:00 I had had enough of myself... and got ready to go. I called Sue at 3:30 as I was leaving my house and told her I was going to be there earlier than anticipated because if I didn't go then... I wasn't going to go. AS it worked out she didn't make it to the gym... which means I could have not gone and not let someone else down... but I had promised myself that I would... and I am glad that I did.
My workout today was awesome... not because of the amount of things I did, but because it felt different. I started out with the elliptical machine...did my half mile, in 7 minutes...which is faster than last time... did some leg exercises including calf raises... I am determined to get the definition back in my calf muscles that has been gone for a long time. then I did 25 minutes on the bike... which yielded 6.5 miles... the furthest I have gone in that amount of time... and I did it at a higher resistance than usual. While I was on the elliptical machine I broke out in a sweat... and realized that while my other workouts have caused me to feel a little sweaty.. I had not, in a long time, sweat like you do when you are really pushing yourself in a workout. Going to the gym since surgery has been a work out... but has been more of an activity hour... and it has been good for me. And after I have done it, I feel good and proud of myself... even though my body is often tired and achy afterwards. My body may get sore and stiff tonight, but following my workout I felt physically stronger than I have in a long time. I felt like I can stand up taller because my back is stronger...and I noticed I was walking around the gym without being as cautious to make sure I calculate every step... reminds me of when I first came home from the hospital... doing ANYTHING took so much mental energy as well as physical energy because nothing was automatic. Since that time all of my moves are done with caution... Today, I realized when I was on the elliptical... I was singing to my music... not thinking about each stride. Yay!
At the end of my biking, a woman started using the bike next to me. She was short, slender, with a yoga-ish look about her. She asked me if I could help her figure out how to change the levels on the bike. I showed her and she thanked me... saying that she didn't want to be wimpy and start out on level 1... then she looked at my screen and was surprised I was at level 11...and said she hopes to get to that level soon.. .she said she had not worked out in a long time, 4 years or so... and she was embarrassed because she used to be a kickboxing instructor and should have not let go of her level of fitness and routine. I told her that I was in a similar boat... had not been able to work out for some time... and that getting to the gym was the hardest part. I told her that she was doing well...
It's a good reminder... that each of us are where we are... whether it be fitness... or in other areas of our lives. And if we do our best... then we are doing well.
I also once again... went shopping... for good food... and will once again begin Dr. Phil's eating program tomorrow. Tomorrow will also mark the beginning of another class towards my master's degree. Mondays will be long days and I will not work out tomorrow.
I want to keep feeling stronger... walking taller....no pun intended...and enjoy today.... No Day but TODAY!!!
Oh yeah... on a disappointing note.... there was no eye candy at the gym tonight... and none of my crushes anywhere...
Posted by TallGal at 5:42 PM
I went to the local Museum of Art tonight... it is a great museum and there are some paintings there that I absolutely love. Many of the paintings stay in the museum in the same locations... but other pieces change and the main floor of the museum is where the main exhibits are held. The exhibit that is there now is sculpture... which is an interesting way to describe it... when I think of sculpture i think of someone using their hands to smooth something out.. like clay or marble.... but this artist's sculptures are anything but smooth... they are all created out of nails...different sized nails...or spikes... and they are amazing. John Bisbee is the name of the artist... the problem with such an exhibit is that I wanted to touch every single piece... and had to truly hold myself back... as I tried to follow the rules on the signs saying to stay at least 18 inches away from all artwork... How this man can create the sculptures with nails is pretty impressive.. to have the foresight to do what he has done is pretty impressive. I tried to find one of his pieces online, but the ones that came up are not the ones that show the intricacy of his work. But it is pretty cool... I also got to see one of my favorite paintings... Blue Savannah, by Dahlov Ipcar. This is it:
It's amazing. I am very excited because I have been wanting the print for some time now... and tonight I bought it... and it was on sale..half off... so guess what? I bought 2... one for home, one for my classroom. Yay! I can't wait to frame the one for my home and get it up on my walls... maybe it will inspire me to do more painting. The one I will put in my classroom will be laminated... I also saw, in the gift shop a book about Dahlov Ipcar's art... that was a mistake.. there are more paintings that I fell in love with... I love her work... actually her artwork that falls into an African genre. She has other paintings depicting various aspects of Maine life, but the African paintings are just amazing. Amazing. There are other beautiful paintings there are well... NC Wyeth's paintings are incredible. I am by no means an art critic or guru...but I do enjoy walking through the museum...watching people look at the art is part of the art. There were people there alone, some with a friend or two... some with significant others...some with families. There were some young children there and it was fun to see them...especially as they looked at the sculptures. they sooo wanted to touch them... and as their dad pointed to one part of a sculpture to describe welding to them... the kids both pulled him back telling him not to touch... it was cute. There are also paintings that make me wonder why it is displayed at a museum... and how someone could make money being an artist with that...but... art is in the eye of the beholder. I am surprised that I like some of the more abstract art.
I didn't walk around as much as I may have liked.. my knees were stiff.. I did go to the gym this morning...and that sound you hear is me patting myself on the back because it was hard to get up that early this morning... this very cold morning. but this was the sixth day in a row and I think that was a lot... I walked on the treadmill for 35 minutes... and I don't think it was too much, but think that my knee needs a break... so I will not go to the gym tomorrow... but maybe on Sunday... we'll see how I am feeling. I am not going to go on Mondays... that will be my day off... simply because Mondays are about to get very hectic as my class starts...combined with teaching and coaching... there is too much to try to fit into the day...
Anyway... I am beat.. and heading to bed....
Posted by TallGal at 9:41 PM
This morning at the gym I saw one of my eye candy guys. GOOD morning! It was hard to get up this morning to go to the gym... I woke up to my 4:45 a.m. alarm... and thought... if I didn't go... it would be ok... but then I said to myself, self... why not go? You are already awake and you always feel good after you work out... so... after snoozing for a couple of minutes, I got up... and went to the gym. I met up with my friend Sue who looked as tired as I did...which made me feel good that I had gone to the gym or else I would have let her down... and I am sure she would have wanted to stay in bed this morning too. I did my warm up, leg exercises, and then did the bike for 25 minutes. While I was biking I was talking to Sue about some of the people we see regularly there... and asked her if she had seen one particular man... and from my description, she did not think she had... Moments later... who arrives, but the exact piece of eye candy that I had been describing... He may not fit exactly into what most people would describe as eye candy.. but he is very handsome. He has that distinguished salt and pepper hair going for him... he is fairly tall and is in good shape without being psycho-buff... I try not to stare too much at people... after all I am the first to say I grow tired of people staring at me... but I kept my eye on him this morning. He usually moves through his workout confidently, with purpose. Today he seemed to be indecisive. He started doing his regular lunges... in front of where I happened to be biking.. so how could I not watch? but he did not do them in as committed of a fashion as usual... and about 3/4 through kind of quit.. and moved on to the weight machines...lost sight of him...then he was back... walked toward the rowing machine... then walked away from it.. .stood pondering and then settled in on biking... not too far from me.
Would I ever initiate conversation with him? Probably not.... though if he initiated conversation with me I would try not to get tongue tied. It's like jr. high when you have a crush on someone. He was a few bikes away from me...and I am sure that my heart rate was a little higher... I know nothing about this man, except for his workout style... his calf muscles... and that he appears to have a kind nature about him... yet I have a bit of a crush on him... not sure why... but I do. Not the kind of crush that would result in anything... but the kind of crush that is fun... that makes you feel giddy...and silly...not love, not the strong feelings that I have experienced...but it's fun. Someone at work the other day was talking about someone she works with at her other job... someone on whom she has a crush... and said that she hasn't talked to him because she knows that he would disappoint her compared to what she has built him up to be in her mind... she said that crushes are more fun than dating. Interesting. And other than a couple of exceptions... with my dating experiences I may have to agree. My gym crush...in my mind... is very intelligent, respectful, thoughtful...a sportsfan...... and what if I talk to him and he only uses monosyllabic words? I would be bumming. So... I think I will keep him on my crush pedastel... for now.
My first crush... that I remember, was on a boy in fifth grade. He was short... I was tall... he was into sports... I was into writing poetry...he was skinny...I was.... well he was skinny.... he liked the Celtics... so I hated the Lakers... I remember playing four square or some other game on the playground with him during recess. I thought he was sooo cute.
So I want to know about your crushes... who was your first crush? Do you have a current crush? (Yes married friends... you can have crushes on someone other than your spouse.... right?) Leave me comments about crushes... past or present.
I know... this has little to do with my knee... but... the gym does... and so my crush being at the gym is directly related to my knee.... right?
Posted by TallGal at 5:16 PM
I am very excited to tell you that I did something today…that is a big deal for me. Those of you who are regular bog followers know that my favorite thing to do at the gym is to use the elliptical machine. You also know that since surgery I have had a love hate relationship with this machine. I want to love it… and it hates me… or it did…. Not recognizing that I was even working out on it because I wasn’t going fast enough… so it would go into pause mode… which was very aggravating. I set a goal of doing 5 minutes on it without is pausing…and met that goal. Tonight I did more… I did a half of a mile on the elliptical machine… granted it took 7 minutes 50 seconds, which means I won’t be in the running for any races, BUT… I did it.
Today was the fourth day in a row that I have been at the gym… Sunday afternoon… Monday morning – around 8, Tuesday morning at 5:30 – before work, and this afternoon. My right knee had been bothering me…thinking that it has not appreciated having to overcompensate for my left leg for so long. The last few days, as I have been working out, I have been very mindful of not overcompensating… and I think it is helping. I have also changed the order of my workout… I warm up with 5 minutes on the bike, treadmill, or elliptical… then do my weight training and/or exercises from PT… then I do 20-30 minutes of cardio on either the bike or treadmill…or a combination of the two. I think my knees are less tired when I do the PT exercises this way, and think I have better form… so I think it is a good idea.
Today I was planning to warm up on the elliptical machine… planning to do 6 minutes… which I had done the other day… and when I got to that time I was at 0.35 miles or something like that and decided I wanted to get to 0.5 miles. I carefully monitored myself to make sure I wasn’t overdoing it. Then I did the bike… I also opted to not do the in between exercises/weight training because I want to see how just the elliptical machine affects my knee and thought this would be a good assessment…. I had planned on going to the gym this morning before work, but when I woke up this morning I was very tired and had a sinus headache… plus there was the fact that I did not have track practice tonight…that made it doable to work out after work. But I will go in the morning and will do the PT exercises for my knee.
I got an email from the woman who had surgery Friday… the same surgery I had. Her experience is shaping up to be very different than mine. She was discharged from the hospital Monday… though she feels that Monday was too soon. It has been a struggle to control her pain. She was not given a CPM machine and was told that it would bother the rear incision… and there are no plans for PT at home at this point. She is tired, expectedly so and is thankful that her mom is there to help her.
I wish her the best of luck in her recovery… I know it is going to be a hard journey… but you will get through it.
Posted by TallGal at 7:38 PM
I am home today... in celebration of Martin Luther King Day. It amazes me that his "Dream" has yet to be realized... granted progress has been makde in the way of racism, but it is something that is still very very real. It's something that many people don't think about on a regular basis.... I would say that the people who don't think about it often, are people who are classified as white by our society. White people have many privileges... that often go unrecognized...because it os not something we have to think about. Check out this essay by clicking its title: Invisible Backpack Some of you may have seen it before, but it just gives us all something to think about. Living in a state that has very little diversity is something that I often ponder. Years ago I lived in CT and traveled into NYC regularly and loved seeing the diversity. I look through a journal I kept of that time...one day I wrote about going to the beach... I remember seeing a family consisting of a mother, father and two small children. The family happened to be Indian... or at least that was my impression based on the beautiful vibrant clothing the mom was wearing... as they walked on the beach they came upon another child... who was white.... and the three children instantly started running together, chasing each other, smiling and laughing... I thought about that... how those kids saw each other as a new playmate... not a white kid or an Indian kid... but as someone to have fun with. Where do we lose that ability? Where do we learn to quantify people based on the pigmentation of their skin?
As I have met people from different parts of the country, I have been asked a similar question by several people... How, growing up in Maine, in a state where there is so little diversity, did you become so open minded? This is a question that makes me think of a lot of things... first, I take it as a compliment... that people perceive me in such a positive way... but I also wonder if people assume that there are not a lot of open minded people in Maine... it also makes me wonder how people can be closed minded... Throughout my own life, I have been treated differently... sometimes positively, sometimes negatively, because of my height. I am very much aware of how people react to my height... something that is a physical attriubute causes such raw reactions in people... strong reactions. People's thoughts seem to be unfiltered... I walk into a room, knowing I will be the tallest woman there,... knowing people are going to stare and whisper... knowing that I do not fit into people's paradigms... I love being tall... would never change it... but there have been things that have hurt... a lot... over the years... things that people have said... the power of words is amazing. I have worked hard to not let people know they have hurt me... I put on a brave front... but there have been times in my life that I have saved face, left the situation, and broke down. No matter where I go, people look at me, ask me how tall I am, ask me how tall my parents are, if I have siblings, their height, what did my mother feed me to make me so tall, what size shoes I wear, if I date shorter men, and other questions that I am shocked that people have the audacity to ask... My life, my height, to me is normal. Normal. I do not feel differently until other people make me feel that way... make me feel that being 6'6" is not normal by their reactions. Going to a store means preparing myself to face the questions, looks, and whispers... admittedly there have been times when I haven't gone places because I did not want to deal with it all... Sometimes it does hurt... I remember one time in college... there was a dance on campus. My friends and I went to the dance. Foolishly, I had not given much thought to my height before going... I figured it was my college and by that time most people on campus knew me by sight and their reactions were kept in check... the shock value was pretty much gone....what I had not accounted for was that there would be people there from other colleges... visiting their friends... One thing that continues to astound me is taht people think that I can't hear them because I am taller than they are. I am also often surprised by how unaware people are that their actions and ignorance are often easily observable... One group of guys were keeping their eyes on me... and I knew it wasn't because they were admiring my beauty... they started getting more animated and I heard their conversation... they were betting each other... to see who would dare to dance with that tall girl... and even acting as if they were dancing with me...with their arms way up in the air... and they were laughing... and elbowing one another to offer encouragement. I caught a glimpse of some money as they moved toward me... and I walked towards them... told them to put their money away because this tall girl wouldn't dance with any of them because they were asses.... my friends thought it was brave.. bold even... Afte rmy brief interaction with them I kept walking... out the door.... to my apartment... and fell apart. I was so angry... at myself for letting them get to me... because I worked so hard to not let people get to me... and I was angry at them... for being like that... they didn't know me from anyone... didn't know anything about me... and yet they felt it was okay to treat me like that... for their entertainment. That is not the worst scenario that I have endured, but it stands out because it is a moment that made me realize I had run out of toughness... so maybe the reason I see the world as I do... is that I understand how it feels to walk into a room, knowing I am unlike the rest of the people there... and know that people are thinking things about me... some thoughts that may or may not be so flattering. I have gone through different philosophies in my life when it comes to race and ethnicity. There was a time that I wanted to be so PC that when describing the only black person in a photo or on a tv show... I would describe that person's clothing... but... now I may make reference to someone's ethnicity... because I know that when my friends describe me to other people, or try to point me out in a crowd, I am described as tall... and because I love being tall, am proud of being tall, describing me as such is not a bad thing. So, in my crazy way of thinking... something that is a positive attribute is a positive way to describe someone... and people's race is something to take pride in.... now see... here's something interesting. I almost just typed, people's race is something they should be proud of... that in itself is a statement that reflects how our society has influenced my mind.... they should be proud of... they.. .meaning people of other races...almost suggesting that non white people qualify as people of a certain race...and white people don't... I should immediately think of my own race... my own ethnicity... but I think as a white person I exclude myself when talking or thinking about different races/ethnicities. So.. while I do know that I do not experience racism...in the way that non white people do... I think I can understand and have experienced some similar feelings... While I hope that I am as open minded as other people often perceive me to be... I know that I react to people...to their appearance... and not always positively... I wish I could say that it is natural to do that... but I think back to those kids on the beach... and think their reactions to each other were natural...
So to end my MLK thoughts... I leave you with one of my favorite poems...
When You Turn Off The Light by Shel Silverstein:
Small as a peanut,
Big as a giant,
We're all the same size
When we turn off the light.
Rich as a sultan,
Poor as a mite,
We're all worth the same
When we turn off the light.
Red, black or orange
Yellow or white,
We all look the same
When we turn off the light.
So maybe the way
To make everything right
Is for God to just reach out
And turn off the light!
I can't not mention the Patriots though....
18-0 is a new NFL record... no other team has played 18 games without losing. Impressive? You bet it is! I watched the game last night and was happy with the outcome, though it did not go as smoothly as a Patriots fan would have hoped.
Posted by TallGal at 9:22 AM
My least favorite job was when I was a custodian at a paper mill. When I was in college I worked at a paper mill during the summers. My jobs in the mill ranged from driving a front end loader, to weed whacking, to packaging rolls of paper for shipping, to driving a fork truck, to oiling various machines, to... my least favorite... janitor. There were a lot of things about working in the mill that I enjoyed... the people were good to me and fun to work with. The work itself ranged from hard, to fun (driving a front end loader!), to gross... that's where the janitor job comes in. There are places in a paper mill that are... disgusting..and I got to clean them. Not fun. Cleaning toilets that were so gross I don't even want to describe them...spraying down walls...washing away chemicals... taking out trash... being in environments that required me to carry a gas mask... and places that smelled so bad that at times I gagged....cleaning up after people... was a difficult, hard, and humbling experience for me. I didn't like being the janitor when I had to do that. But... as I have always been taught.. if you are going to do something... DO IT WELL...and I did. I remember feeling so dirty after being in a lot of the places...and no matter how many times I washed my hands.. and even though I wore rubber gloves... I still felt gross... But I did a good job. I took pride in what I was doing. I did not cut corners...didn't skip areas...even though the person who trained me hinted that he didn't always do everything every day. I think that my parents ingrained that moral into me... for as long as I can remember. I am glad that they did... Pride... honor... it's important. I am thankful for having had that experience at the mill... of being a custodian... I think it has given me a higher level of respect for other people who hold that job.
So what does scrubbing toilets when I was in college have to do with today? As you know, Saturdays I coach... and today, as a coach, I was disappointed in two of my athletes. These particular athletes are the captains of the girls team...not my decision, by the way. This is the second year that they have been captains...again, not my decision... Both are incredible athletes... with a lot of natural ability. And if they worked hard, that natural ability would lead to what I believe could make them the top athletes in the state for their events. But they don't work. At practice they can be seen sitting down, talking on cell phones... their work ethic is awful. These are girls I coached from the time they were in middle school... so sharing this story doesn't exactly show my success as a coach... but... even in middle school these girls had attitudes of girls who felt entitled. There were times when I set limits for these girls and their parents yelled at me about what amazing athletes there kids were and how dare I not let them do the exact events that they wanted to do...even though the middle school philosophy is that in which everyone gets a chance to do various events... These parents got so upset with me that I did not put their daughters in the relays every week.. telling me that they were going to go to college on track scholarships and how dare I take the experience from them. I didn't back down then... which makes me even more mad about what happened tonight. (I am a newer coach on the team... and do not have as much say as the head coach...but if I did.....) Keep in mind... that even under these captains, our team does well... I would say that the rest of the girls have strong work ethics, drive, and work so hard...every meet... every practice.... tonight's meet... we were competing against two teams who had low numbers and whose athleticism is not as strong as ours. The score of the meet reflected that. As a result.. Captain A and Captain B... didn't have a lot of drama surrounding the meet... our success was not dependent upon their success...victory was not on the line when it came time for the relays...and they didn't push themselves tonight. Captain A has more bad habits than Captain B... Captain A really only associates with Captain B... Captain B associates with more girls on the team and does seem to push herself harder in the events in which she is not competing with captain A... Well tonight.. by the end of the meet... before the relay...we were leading by 75 points or so... and I saw something suspicious... Captain A and Captain B were sitting in the stands and yelled to another girl on the team to come sit with them....Hmmm... two captains I have never seen have a conversation with this girl...who is in the same grade as the captains.... made me raise an eyebrow. But based on my experience of these two I had a pretty good idea of what was about to happen. I intentionally hung near them for a second and their conversation had a blatant pause... confirming my suspicions. So I walked away and watched things unfold... The conversation continued then the two captains came out of the stands and approached the head coach... with sudden illness... at first our head coach ignored them... which did not deter them... Captain A walked away... Captain B squated down next to the head coach... rubbing her forehead and complaining about her sore throat... soon Captain A returns and says, I just threw up in the bathroom... and getting no response from any of the coaches... said it again louder... I just threw up in the bathroom, it was really fun... The head coach simply walked away from them... he did not tell them they had to do the race...didn't tell them they didn't have to... and they did it. They finished... The missing piece of this story was confirmed on the bus on the way back to school.. Captains had gone home with their parents... and I asked the girl they had beckined to them... if they had asked her to throw the relay... she said that they told her to pretend to be so dead that they couldn't do the relay... to tell the head coach that she was too weak to do it. Ahhhhhhhhh! I would have handled that situation so differently.. .if it was completely up to me. I would have given them a choice... if they wanted to do it or not...telling them if they chose to do it they needed to go all out.... and if they were too sick, simultaneously, to do it to make that decision... in which case I would have replaced them in the relay... and the new relay team would stand...for the remainder of the season... including the regional and state meets... regardless of winning. I would also have suspended them from competing in next week's meet... which is against some bigger more competitive schools... so I would take away their audience factor... of course I would require them to be at the meet AND cheer for their teammates... which would of course decide whether or not they would be allowed to compete in future meets. And... I may also have made them apologize to their teammates. After the meet I called the head coach and told him about them trying to coerce a teammate into being sick and weak with them... and while he is also frustrated.. he doesn't want to deal with that drama... translations... those parents. I am not sure if I can let it go. There was a similar situation last year with these captains and I pulled them aside and told them about my disappointment...and told them that they should be ashamed of themselves. I told them that while they were captains by default...( Last year they were captains because there was only one senior on the team and the head coach chose them because of the length of time they had been doing track.) ... that they should take the role seriously and that they needed to pay attention to how their actions impacted the other girls. At the time, I thought it made a difference... they did not cop attitudes with me, which was a first in all the years I have known them... and after that they seemed to make more of an effort.. or at least a better showing of effort. So I think that I need to talk to them again... it may mean premanently burning some bridges with them and their parents, which I do feel have been built since they were in middle school. But I also think that for the rest of the girls on the team...who work so hard... someone needs to stand up to these girls... call them out... and tell them they are wrong.
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...other than that incident... the rest of the meet, as well as the boys meet, went well. we had some kids set their personal records for the season and perhaps build some confidence as well. So... I need to look at the silver lining... actually I would say that overall it was a great day... with a bit of a shadow.
Good knee news.... my knees didn't feel too bad after the gym yesterday... Yay!
Posted by TallGal at 8:34 PM
There are days when I hear a song in the morning and it just gets stuck... in my head...all day. There are days when it isn't a big deal if I subconsciously hum a little to myself, even if I am around my kids. Other days the songs may not be the best tunes to...well.. influence our youth... not that they haven't heard the songs on the radio themselves... but I figure as a teacher I should show some responsibility... there are times when the kids talk to me about music and I realize just how old I really am. I remember a few years back there was a song out.. and I am really bad at the names of artists and songs, much to the chagrin of my friends... but the song was something like... 'Ain't nothin' but a gold digger...' The song has a pretty infectious beat and I find it entertaining... it used to get stuck in my head ALL the time, even when I hadn't heard it in the morning. I heard that song the other day... and it once again got imprinted on my brain. For some reason, the song that is in my head today is, 'Mamma said they'd be days like this, they'd be days like this my momma said...' I have no idea why that song is in my head. It's not like today was even a hard day, in fact, it was a pretty good day.
Work was pretty good... and then right after school I went to work out... then went to our team dinner. I am now home, making some banana bread and packing up snacks for the kids at the meet tomorrow. I am also getting ready to write their weekly messages on their numbers and a few other things... but I wanted to take a break from that and blog. So here I am. My workout was good today. I was VERY mindful of my right knee as I did some cardio stuff... and guess what people? I did 5 minutes on the elliptical machine.. yahooo! It did pause once, but that was because when I first got on I thought about trying to pace myself to go really slowly so that I could maybe do 10 minutes on it... but then I remembered the stiffness and soreness I experienced after I kicked its ass last time...and decided that 5 minutes was good.. plus I had my doctor's voice in my head reminding me that as I increase my activities it should be at 10-20% at a time... whether it is time or weight... and since I have not been on the elliptical since I sooo won our showdown, I figured 5 minutes was good. From there I did some balance stuff for my knee using a bosu... which is the thing this woman is standing on....thank goodness for google images... I stand on it like this, which was part of my PT... I have added some arm exercises while I balance on it... Today I used 8 lb weights and did a combination of arm curls, butterflies, and shoulder presses... while balancing... It's an exercise a trainer had shown me a long time ago and I feel like it does many things at the same time... so I like it... efficient. When I stood on the bosu during PT I had arm rails I could grab onto if I started to tip over... but at the gym I don't have that luxury. From there I did some stretching, and leg lifts and quad sets... which is basically straightening my leg and trying to push the back of my kneecap into the floor... it tightens the quad muscles... I of course do all the exercises for both legs... and today really tried to make sure I wasn't favoring my left leg to see if that makes a difference in how my 'good' knee or right knee feels. Also... using an exercise ball between my back and the ball as I slowly did mini squats. After that I did 30 minutes on the bike. It felt pretty good. I think I kind of like warming up, then doing the weight training and specific exercises and saving the cardio until the end of the workout. I am glad that I went today. While I was there my MP3 player died... twice... because of the battery... after it crashed the first time it came back on... but the second time... it was completely dead. But I managed to get through most of the work out... listening to the soundtrack of RENT. (The Broadway show, not the movie.. which of course is better!) RENT is my absolute favorite Broadway show that I have seen thus far. I am hoping to plan a trip to NYC this spring... to celebrate my birthday and hopefully by then, my ability to walk around without limitations and pain! So I need to start looking for a show or two that I really want to see. I love Broadway... I have bought the soundtrack to every show I have seen on Broadway... Some people may think that it is a little strange to work out to the soundtrack to RENT, but... I love it. And today, I was able to just escape...as I was working out I can say that I was truly not thinking of other things besides working out and my music... it is RARE for me to have those times... when my head isn't thinking about everything all at once. At one point at the gym I realized I was absolutely oblivious to what was going on around me... usually I watch people do their workouts and try to find some good eye candy to help me get through my work out... BUT... today... I was just there...it felt good. I need to put some new music on my MP3 player... maybe that is a good weekend project. I also hope to do some painting this weekend. I haven't done that in a while and have been getting some ideas that I want to try...So maybe I will put in some music, play it loud, and paint... I haven't done that in... well... ages. If I do get any painting done, I will take some pictures.
The banana bread should be just about done... so that means I need to take it out of the oven and see if it was successful or not... lets hope so.
Posted by TallGal at 7:13 PM
I did not take this picture... I found it online... and think it is beautiful. Today there are a few different topics that are traveling through my mind. First... I got a very nice surprise today... I was at practice today and the girl I wrote about last night got to practice and had brought me flowers. I was taken aback... She had brought a small bouquet of flowers and a card... to thank me for yesterday. Wow. I gave her a hug and told her how much I appreciated it and told her she could talk to me anytime. I hope she will come to me if she ever needs to. It's funny... because after she gave me the flowers several kids asked me who had given me the flowers...now at this age... high school... it can sometimes be seen as uncool to do things like that for teachers/coaches... so I said, from a really sweet person. She piped up and said it was her... and when the other kids asked her why, she kind of smiled and shrugged her shoulders. Cool... a kid who does something so sweet... is ok with other kids knowing she did something like that... but also wants to keep some things to herself. I kept my eye on her at practice today... and she seemed happier than I have seen her in a while. I am not taking credit for that... but was very happy to see her that way. I wouldn't want to see her acting happy if she wasn't happy... but I think she was in a good mood today. She came over to the shot put area and hung out with me for a while tonight, practicing her throws.. and they were her best so far this year. She so does not look like a shot put thrower, but she does it... and does it well. She also helped me... one of our other coaches... a guy with GREAT intentions and good knowledge of most events in track... sometimes overcoaches on the days of the meets. He gives the kids too much information between each of their throws and gets them too much into their heads. This coach, for lack of a better word, really annoys a lot of the kids...not just the kids throwing shot...and this girl had talked to me about it, so I talked to him about it tonight... not giving too much detail, but just telling him that at the meet this week, he needs to give her some space... and he said he would. We'll see. She also helped me out by giving me the flowers... what is it about getting flowers that feels good? How sweet. Some of the kids asked if the flowers were from my boyfriend... in that ooooohhhh coach... flowers??? I smiled...and said no... some of the girls suggested I lie and say they were... part of me wanted to say my boyfriend would send tulips...or sunflowers...or Gerber daisies...which I am sure he would... if I had one... roses would also be nice... I have never received roses... but I suppose that may be because there truly has not been a time when it would have been right to get the dozen roses from someone... without it seeming like "he" would have been trying to hard, or just doing something that "he" felt he should do... which I guess is good... because maybe when I get that white box of a dozen long stem roses... it will be right... and it will be amazing...
OK then... back to reality... Hi.. I'm back from whatever fantasy I just stepped into... Anyway...
Today is kind of a milestone for me. Six months ago today... I had surgery... and at this point in the day was in recovery... my sister, parents, and friends by my side...SIX MONTHS... it doesn't seem possible. Yet...in the way that only time can...it also feels like something very much in my past... long ago. It's kind of fitting that tonight I called a woman who is having this same surgery tomorrow to wish her well. Time... timing... both are subtle and uncontrollable...yet often have so much control over lives.
I want to say hello to my mom...she has not been feeling well for about a week... actually longer, but her symptoms this week were pretty intense...come to find out... she has a kidney infection... but she went to the doctor and is on meds to make her all better. Thankfully, she thinks it is already helping.
Oh yeah... I almost forgot... I knew there was going to be something that I forgot or at least came close to forgetting... This is my 202nd post! I was trying to keep track and was going to make sure I recognized my 200th post...when I posted it.. but apparently that has been less of a focus for me. That's a lot of writing... and for some avid blog followers... a lot of reading.
Anyway... this blog is a little scattered. Wish I could tell you that is unlike the way I think... but you know me better than that by now.
Posted by TallGal at 7:26 PM
At practice tonight I got a chance to talk to one of 'my kids.' She is a wonderful young lady. She's respetful to her parents, teachers, and coaches. She is a very intelligent person with great grades. She is an athlete... she is good at every sport in which she participates. She has a lot of heart....and puts everything she's got into everything she does.... usually. Our last meet she seemed a bit... flat...for lack of a better word. I asked her if she was ok and she kind of shrugged and said she was fine. I attributed it to her attendance at the dance the night before and being tired...but I kept my eye on her. This week at practice she has continued to seem distant which is very atypical behavior for her. Last night I told her I was concerned about her, not about her as an athlete, but as a person. She told me not to worry that she just wasn't into track this year. That she didn't want to do it, but her mom made her. As a coach, my reaction to that is mixed... I think it's great for kids to be involved... and also believe in seeing something through once you have committed to it... but this kid... which I think is important to remember... she is 15 or 16 years old... a sophomore in high school... is busy all the time. She competes in indoor soccer leagues year round... in addition to that she plays soccer for our school in the fall, does indoor track in the winter, and will play softball in the spring... She already has colleges scouting her talent... I asked her tonight...when was the last weekend you had where you just got to relax and hang out with your friends or family... she laughed a little and said.. the only time I don't have some game on the weekends is if I am sick or the weather is bad. She told me she sometimes wishes she could just be a kid. She feels a lot of pressure. She confided in me that she had a bit of a melt down this fall over this stuff and her parents took her to therapy... which is smart of them... but wonder what's different for her now? Not necessarily for me to know. I talked to her more abotu her feelings about track and told her that she is a great leader and that if she decided to do it nexy year, in all likelihood she would be one of the captains... and she said she knows and for that she doesn't want to let me or the other coaches down. I told her that I think it is great that she is worried about that, but also told her that I understood that she needs to make time for herself. I told her she has plenty of time in her life to be pulled and pushed in a million directions... I told her that I would respect her in any decision she makes because I know who she is and know that she would be making decisions that were best for her. I also really tried to leave the door open, for her to come to talk to me if she needs/wants to. She is a far better athlete than I ever was. But I remember being recruited by colleges to play basketball, and remember the pressure that it added. It's not easy... to be that kid... who is supposed to be good at everything and be good to everyone... and to always do the right thing.
Do the expectations that this kid feels put on her by her family or from herself? I am sure that she got into sports because both of her parents were athletic and involved in sports... and I am sure that once they recognized her athletic ability, they encouraged it and did all they could to support her... but she said to me today... it's just not fun anymore...
Expectations, whether we put them on ourselves or accept them from others... are difficult to deal with. Sometimes they are realistic, other times not so much. we do this in every area of our lives.
I think about what expectations I had about surgery, about this condition and recovery.... and realize that I did not know what to expect...I was told about what would happen before and during surgery and given a briefing about the recovery... but really... I don't think that I had any idea what this was going to be like. Even with the same condition myself and other PVNS patients have gone through such different treatments and recoveries.
So with so many expectations... how do we not disappoint ourselves? each other? those who love us? How do we make our expectations realistic without settling?
How insightful is it that this girl knows she just wants to be a kid for a while...because she never gets to just be a kid... Do we offer that to our kids? The expectation of just being kids? I don't know...
A special Congratulations and Good Luck to Jill and family Thursday as they sign the papers for their new house! Yahoooooooo!
Posted by TallGal at 11:33 PM
I made a tough decision today, a decision that I am afraid will really let someone down. Lola... my sister... I am so proud of your recent art show... and regret that I was not able to be there on opening night... and even more sorry that I am not going to make it at all. I have been trying to figure out how to travel to see my sister's premiere... and I can't do it. I wanted to be there to applaud, to hug, to see her in the space where her work is being displayed...and I can't. I love my sister so much... and hope that she knows how much I love her and support her. This time, I can't be there in person. I just can't do it.
On another note... thanks to people who commented on my last couple of blogs. I am glad that I reposted the piece about Saturday night. Writing has always been an outlet for me... a way to express myself and perhaps more importantly, a way for me to processs things. I find that putting words from my head onto paper... well in this case...onto the web... helps direct my thoughts and brings clarity.
I do share a lot here, with you, and this blog does allow you to view me and perhaps feel like you know me... or know me better. There is truth in that. But... since I write this... I do control what parts of my life are shared here, and what ones remain private.
I have tried to be as open as I can be about my knee, about this process, and I have benefited. After hearing from C in Ct, who will have surgery Friday, I went back to the beginning... of this blog and reread a lot of the posts. I cried, several times. Reliving some difficult moments...some happy moments... and feeling the support from people...
Lola... I am sorry... I can't give you that kind of support for your art show... I am so proud of you.
Posted by TallGal at 8:32 PM
I did something on my blog for the first time... I wrote and posted a blog entry... that was quite extensive... I posted it last night, quite late... and am up early this morning because of school cancellations... and thought about my blog entry, and took it down and thought about posting this in its place...
I am not sure how I feel about that... removing a post... because this process, blogging, is something I promised myself would be open and honest... yet the blog entry I pulled this morning was something that made me wonder about privacy of another person... and I would never want to post something that would cause discomfort to someone I care about... but then thinking about this process I have decided to post it again... because it isn't about him...and I have some strict policies when it comes to my communication with him...about not editing myself... and I need to be authentic... and this is part of my healing... my blog is my way of processing things...I just ask that as you read it... know that it is something that is important to me and know I post it with the highest respect and regard for the person it involves...
What I share here, is something that I am hopeful others who have had surgery, or whose body has, at some point let them down... can relate to...
Anyway... The painting above is not mine... I googled the word epiphany in images and this came up... I could not find the name of the artist, but it was from the 2005 Recovery Fine Arts Festival, receiving the Best in Acrylic Award, entitled "Epiphany." It's an interesting painting, I like it....it's reflective, having sadness, knowledge and hope compiled into one...
Epiphany is one of my favorite words. I like its meaning, the way it sounds, and even how it feels when I say it. I guess that's all for this post...
Funny how I find the need to preface one post with another... which may offer more insight to who I am... a thinker...an overthinker...
Posted by TallGal at 6:23 AM
Do you think that we give people pieces of ourselves? If so, are those pieces completely gone from us? Do those pieces ever return to us? Can people take pieces of us...even if we don't want them to have those pieces? Do we know ourselves in pieces or do we know ourselves as a whole being? Are there pieces of ourselves that nobody ever knows...fully? Why do some people have access to parts of ourselves that others don't? Who gets the password to who we are?
In my life I have seen myself in many different ways. I see myself shy at times, awkward even... I also see myself as confident and outgoing. I see myself patient yet sometimes intolerant. Overall I try to be an open person... open to a point... that point, over the years, has shifted and has often been undefined for me. But I think that I keep people at enough of a distance to not be able to hurt me... I have close friends, who know me better than other people... yet there are still walls that I keep up between myself and them. There have been some people who have been able to figure out ways to climb, unlock, or maneuver around those walls, but very few. I'm not sure when I became aware of the walls that I build. But... I remember the first time someone challenged me to disarm myself... One of my closest friends... perhaps the person who taught me what real friendship was really about... is Todd. Unfortunately, as time has passed, our contact has decreased... our lives in such different places. We grew up in the same town... I think my first memory of him was in middle school. I think I remember knowing who he was from his involvement in sports. We barely knew each other, he was a grade behind me.
After being bored managing the softball team as a freshman I began participating in track when I was a sophomore. Todd was also on the team. My friendship with Todd began because I had a crush on him... (I just heard my mom gasp! because I don't think she knows about how our friendship evolved and over the years I have worked hard to convince her, and others, that my relationship with Todd was strictly platonic, which it was. After growing to know and love him... I knew that we would NEVER be involved romantically...but feel blessed by our friendship...I was the best person at his wedding and stood by him as he married his wife.) Anyway...We had gotten to know each other a little more throughout my sophomore year... though I don't remember how.... then I remember we were on the way to a track meet in the spring and I had one of my friends tell one of his friends that I 'liked him, liked him'...you know, how you do in jr. high and high school. I remember being so taken aback when Todd did not respond according to social norms at the time... which would have been to tell one of his friends to tell one of my friends to tell me something, but... Todd himself turned to me on the bus and said, something about how we would be better friends. Was it awkward, YUP... was I uncomfortable? Yup... But. Not as awkward as one would have thought. In fact I think we ended up always sitting with each other or at least in close proximity to one another on each track meet after that. Todd ended up dating that girl I had told to tell one of his friends that I liked him... and for a while I felt like she had betrayed me a bit. But Anyway... after that point, somehow Todd and I ended up spending a lot of time together. And by my senior year, he was my best friend. Before Todd, my friendship history was a little tainted... childhood friends were often circumstantial... kids of my parents friends... neighbors... who at some point or another got complicated... when I made the basketball team and a friend didn't... it caused problems...I then became close with a couple of other girls...and there was usually a group of us that hung out together... but I often was made to feel like the third wheel... and instead of having friends based on circumstances.. it seemed I was a friend when it was convenient for people... and often way too conditional... like the friendship that ended because I told a friend her boyfriend was sleeping with the school... well... the girl who slept with everybody... and she accused me of being jealous that she had a boyfriend and I didn't.... until he told her the truth... and I was too hurt to trust her again... This friendship history may surprise some people who see me as someone who has more friends than they have acquaintances... but it's true... until Todd.
Todd and I used to spend a lot of time together... even after high school every summer we were pretty inseparable... we would sit for hours at night, in his back yard next to a fire pit and talk... about everything... about how we would never lose touch...about life...our philosophies about it... and anything else we came up with. It was in one of those late night conversations the summer before I went to college that Todd told me how much I had tested him before I let him be my friend. He told me how I gave him a lot of opportunities to walk away from our friendship... and he didn't. I hadn't realized it before then that I did test people and didn't necessarily push people away...but made it simple for people to walk away... not sure how to explain that better. I have always been... still am... more comfortable being the person who people lean on versus the person doing the leaning. I think that Todd was the first person who I believed was strong enough to hold me up when I needed it. This lesson came at such a good time... Todd told me I needed to know this piece of myself before going to college. He wanted me to know that not everyone would disappoint me. He was right.
Since then... I have had the fortune of having amazing people in my life... and in my own ways... have tested them all. And they have passed with flying colors...and I lean on them... to an extent.
So then... in my life... I met someone... and immediately offered to knock down all the walls... offered the keys, the combinations, and passwords... free of charge? Over the years, this has made no rational sense to me. There have been disappointments and unrealized expectations... yet... the walls have stayed down... and when I have tried to build stronger ones because I have thought there should be some walls between us... some damn strong walls... it hasn't worked...thankfully. My heart is on the line... always with him. I have tried to take it off the line, but it doesn't work. There has been pain, and tears, perhaps too many tears.... but there also has been fun, happiness, love even... not only have I made it simple for him to walk away from me... I have on several occasions rolled out the red carpet for him to do so... he has pulled back when I needed him to, told him to...begged him to... but has yet to disappear completely. I take comfort in that. Sometimes I feel like I am more me with him than any other time... we spent time together last night... and as always had a wonderful time. He makes me feel more beautiful and amazing than anyone or anything else... For some reason... his validations hold a lot of weight...sometimes I think because he thinks I don't need them... Last night we just had fun. After I finished coaching I called him and his flight had just landed...and he was going to check into his hotel. I came home, showered and met up with him there. We went out to a restaurant and sat in the bar so we could watch the Pats game while we ate, (GO PATS!!!), and at half time returned to his hotel to finish watching the game in our comfy gym shorts and t-shirts. We had a great time... catching up... me trying to impress him with my knowledge of football stats... which failed miserably... but I think he appreciates my efforts... then we talked about other things in our lives... We know each other in ways that I think surprises ourselves...He makes me laugh... he makes me feel connected... to him...to myself... He is a private person and may feel exposed about me sharing things here about him... but I want to share something... about him.. that pertains to my knee...and in order for you all to understand its significance.. you must know a little about him... about us.... He and I have strong chemistry... have since the first time we met... our connection is strong in many ways... yet much of what people may assume happens behind closed doors does not... I fall asleep in his arms...and wake up in his arms...and feel so safe and secure that it is hard for me to believe there is that kind of comfort in the world... the high regard we have for one another, the intimacy... is something I cherish... and the reasons we choose what boundaries are in place...he opens the car door for me when we go someplace... holds the door at restaurants... waits for me to start eating before he does...and a lot of other little things that make me feel....cherished...respected...
So how does this relate to my knee? For so long... my knee has been such a focus for me. My knee feels this way... looks that way... my doctor said this about my knee.. or that about my knee.... I can't do that because of my knee... I don't dare to do that because of my knee... my knee, my knee... my knee...the scars are there every day... reminding me of all of this... Truth is... there were times that I wish I had been able to see this person more throughout all of this...because he, like Todd... is strong enough to hold me up when I need it... and I needed it.. but it didn't work out... I think, in a weird way through this... I have made my knee a separate piece of myself... not attached to the rest of me... things I was feeling were surrounding my knee... and it became almost a separate entity... it had limited me for so long... that it was easier to be upset with it than to be upset with myself. Seeing my knee and the scars has been hard. The scars are ugly... some days I can see them as a good thing... reminding me that I feel better than before surgery... but other days I am mad about them... mad about this whole thing...that I had to experience it. I wear shorts to the gym and do almost want people to see it as proof that I have a reason to not be doing 3 miles on the elliptical machine... my knee has also been a scapegoat for me for a while too...allowing me what others consider a pretty damn good excuse to not do something...and now... it's almost like I am trying to reconnect with that part of me again... Last night, this man, kissed my knee... where my scars are...and I...didn't think of it as him kissing my scars...but kissing me...and almost cried...am crying as I replay it in my mind... there was something freeing in that moment... something that felt like I was able to connect with me again... I have not thought of my body as whole in a long, very long time... I have seen it as damaged... somehow translating into feeling damaged...that pieces of myself were/are damaged... and last night... something started to heal... something in my heart... it was a beautiful moment.
The pieces are starting to come together...and while I have focused so much on my knee feeling better, on my knee's healing, that I haven't thought about healing other parts of myself...
Just when I think I have processed this PVNS stuff and how it has impacted my life... it once again surprises me.
Image from :http://www.merchantswharf.prodigynet.co.uk/Images/Heart_Puzzle.jpg
Posted by TallGal at 8:43 PM
Rodin's The Thinker.. I did a lot of thinking today... about PVNS...and my experience with it. I was wondering if my experience is typical... specifically wondering about the time it has taken me to recover...would the recovery have been faster had I been diagnosed and had surgery when I was really healthy, working out 5 times a week? Would the recovery have been easier? I wondered about this today because I got an email this morning from someone who will be having surgery next week... will be having the same surgery I had and was told that she would be able to return to work in a couple of weeks...maybe not all day, but for part days... She also happens to be a teacher. Some of my blog entries caused her more anxiety and she is worrying about managing everything. I know that my blog has been about my experiences and I have been as open as I can be, so that will continue... for me, I know I could not have gone back to work after two weeks. After reading the email today I thought about that... a lot...Two weeks post surgery... would have been one week after I had gotten home... I wasn't able to drive...because I didn't have the mobility to bend my knee far enough to get into my truck... I am trying to remember... My parents were here with me and I was resting a lot still at that point. To think about adding work to that mix... wow... not sure... At that point I am not even sure I was allowed to completely get showered...no I must have been.. I will have to go back and look at my blogs... PVNS is so hard... so hard... a word that came into my head a lot today thinking about this person was isolating... not that she sounds like she is...but I remember that feeling... even surrounded by people who loved me. Tired of complaining about it... tired of talking about it.. tired of feeling it... fearing it.. hating it.... knowing nobody truly understood....isolating... isolating... makes me feel sad... for her... for me.... for people suffering with a condition...PVNS or another painful condition... I wish there was a quick fix to PVNS... but for me... the journey continues... the drama...I do see that there will be a time when PVNS is not a part of my immediate thought process... but it is still a daily part of my life...and the scars will always remind me... not a very upbeat blog tonight. I wish I could help her in some way... be there... somehow...
...This is going to be a busy weekend... Tonight some of the parents of the kids on the team had a dinner for our team tonight... It was very nice... salads, pastas, fruit salad, meatballs, etc... a lot of kids came and it was great. Tomorrow I coach all day and will see a friend tomorrow night. Sunday I will go to the gym and recover from the physical toll of standing up so much while coaching... I know I should sit down more, but that's no fun when you want to cheer for the kids!
Posted by TallGal at 7:37 PM
I think it was third...no maybe fourth grade when I won some ribbon at our science fair. I think it may have been honorable mention or maybe third place...but I got a ribbon... and nothing could have frustrated my mom more... I was a procrastinator... the project I did involved putting iodine on various foods to determine if it contained starch... probably an idea my mom gave to me after I had put it off until, in all likelihood, the night before. My mom was hoping that I would get a poor grade in order to teach me a lesson... and I won a ribbon... sorry mom...there was a lesson learned... perhaps not the one you intended. I would like to say that I saw the error of my ways, but.... I can't. I am still a procrastinator. Last night I worked on paperwork for two meetings I had today. I should have worked on it earlier, but didn't... and last night didn't really feel up to doing it... I did some.. enough to get through the meetings... but not up to my usual standard of excellence....smile... But... once again... it worked out. Typically I work best under pressure.. I truly do. Would it benefit me to not be a procrastinator? Probably. But... it is what it is.
Anyway... my knee is stiff today and my right knee is sore too... so I did not work out today. Instead... I got thai food and came home and put my feet up... I am glad I worked out yesterday though... but my legs were tired as I climbed the stairs...so I think I did a little too much yesterday... but.. lesson learned.
I talked to Rico the other day...the first time I had talked to him in a while. He told me I could reveal his true identity if I was only going to say good things about him and write about how amazing he is. Well.. Let's just say hi RICO... and leave it at that for now. Rico is not a fan of the New England Patriots...now before you get upset you gotta understand that he is used to cheering for a team that doesn't make it to the playoffs...often... so... he is just hating the Champs! It's ok Rico... your team will start playing again next season! Oh yeah... Also... Rico reminded me that I haven't posted pics of the scars recently... and I really should..but not tonight... I am too lazy to do that tonight... but soon... I know you are all looking forward to that. Rico also asked for more jokes in the blog... and... well.. I got nothing. One of my favorite kids jokes is this though: How do you repair an injured jack-o-lantern? (Punchline below)
SHEldon update: Sheldon is still Sheldon... I have yet to change her name... she is racing around like you would not believe... she is instigating games of tag with the other cats and seems a lot more confident. (Don't judge me for thinking my cat's true gender identity has set her free.) I really like the name Sheldon for this cat... but feel a bit guilty...
I should go... and do something...should being the key word...
Punchline: You fix it with a pumkin patch.... Get it?
Posted by TallGal at 6:13 PM
I had a lot of deep thoughts today...and told myself I would remember them for my blog... and here I am writing my blog and the only thing I can think about is this crazy dream I had the other night....so I guess that's what you get... I dreamt that I was spending the night at the house of one of my childhood friends. Her mom and my mom are still very close. When I was a kid and stayed there overnight I used to wake up well before the rest of the people in the house...and I would lay there...waiting for some sign of life... which I somehow incorporated into this dream... Now you gotta know that my dreams are very vivid... colorful... detailed... So... I was staying at this house and got up before everyone else and crept downstairs... I was amazed to look out the sliding glass door that leads to the deck and see that the lawn was under water...and a dolphin was on the deck.. appearing to struggle to get back into the water. I thought about going out to push the dolphin back in the water, but also wanted to help to have the opportunity to touch such an amazing animal. Then.. just as I was about to open the glass door, I saw a huge wave coming and the dolphin freed itself and returned to the water...Then I noticed that through the chain linked fence at the back of the yard (there was no chained link fence there in real life!) three huge whales were swimming fast... they were powerful creatures... and fast... at that point someone else came and stood beside me and we were scared about the whales charging the house.... the whales were orcas... but they were bad asses... they had mowhawks, tattoos, and piercings... and they positioned themselves so that they could look at us.. directly in the eyes... and as they began swimming toward the house, we closed the drapes and ran upstairs hoping to get away from them... but when we looked out the windows of the upstairs bathroom...they were circling the back yard.... that's it... that's all I can remember. What does that mean?
While you shake your head and think...whoa this chick is messed up... I will tell you that I stayed home from work yesterday... was so tired that I just needed sleep. Today I don't feel much better, but knew I had to go to work. I hope I am not getting mono... that would suck. I did go to the gym tonight...and may have done too much... I did some of the weight machines for my legs... and they were hard... my left leg really is still much weaker than my right leg... amazing how much surgery can take out of you...
I MUST mention an email that I received from a woman who has read my blog. She has a daughter who is only 9 who has been diagnosed with PVNS and has had surgery. That little girl has been on my mind soo much since receiving that email... You all know that I am not a religious person, but I believe in the power of positive thoughts...so please all take a few minutes to send some positive energy into the world for this little girl who has PVNS...and hopes that she will recover and be able to return to being a typical kid! It is hard to go through this as an adult.. but I can't imagine being so young... and also can't imagine being the parent of such a young child experiencing something like this.... This mom is an awesome mom though... she has been such a strong advocate for her daughter... and her health care. Good Job!
I am off to bed... yes.. it's early... but I am beat and have two meetings tomorrow...back to back.. fun... I am not as prepared as I should be, but I will do ok...due to the nature of these meetings.
Posted by TallGal at 8:05 PM
It was nice today... warm even. A lot of the ice is gone form the driveway.. yay! The snowbanks are decreasing... and just when that happens, my lovely neighbors get the bright idea to put their Christmas tree out on the side of the street to be taken away... that part is not the crazy part... the crazy part is that they put it on the snowbank... at it's highest point... making it even harder to see out of the driveway... I live below a couple of Einsteins.
I went to the gym tonight. Yup... I went.. didn't do much... 25 minutes on the bike then some leg exercises... I feel good about going and hope that I am not sore tomorrow. But if I am... I will go to to the gym again...I have to... it isn't optional... I must go... must get healthier... and if needed, go to the doc to see what is going on with my right knee... which did bother me a little tonight after coaching... Coaching was good tonight though... had the kids doing a lot of drills without the shots... they were unhappy about it.. but I want them to master the form without the shot... plus I think it makes them want to throw it more.
The gym was PACKED tonight. PACKED. I didn't know if I was even going to be able to get a parking place..but I did. Must be all those New Year's resolutions. Give it a month or so and it will slow down again...
I am feeling a bit under the weather and am thinking I may stay home tomorrow and sleep.. to see if a little more rest can get rid of it... You know when you are really tired or really sick and your eyes feel almost sunken into your head a little? That's how I feel...even though I have been sleeping well.
It's only 7:30 and I am thinking about going to bed already..... geesh...
Oh.. forgot... 2 more things..1 Sheldon went to a middle school today to teach kids about the shelter from which sHE was adopted. sHE did great! A bit shy, but overlal did well. The kids thought she was a kitten because she is so petite, but she is about a year and a half old...
The other note... I have begun coteaching a math class... something I have done in the past and really enjoy it. I love being in a classroom with more kids and be able to share the classroom with another teacher. The dynamic that is created is so cool. The group we are working with is soooo sweet. They are excited about mastering skills and are doing great. Some days.... I really love what I do.
Posted by TallGal at 7:23 PM
This weekend has been much warmer than last week was... last week we were below zero and this weekend...I think we got into the 40's... I even saw a man driving a convertible today... I am NOT kidding.. granted he had on ski goggles, a winter coat, hat, and gloves, but...he was enjoying the warmer temps. I was pretty tired and sore today after standing a lot at the meets yesterday. I took some aleve last night and think it helped. I will take more tonight. I ended up doing a lot of work in my driveway today... trying to reduce the amount of ice. It has been really hard to get into my driveway because it is a hill... not wicked steep, but steep enough for my 2 wheel drive truck to not like it... plus with the height of the snowbanks the ice makes it even more dangerous to come in and out of the driveway. I also tried to reduce the snowbanks at my neighbor's house... their snowbank is the one that makes it hard to see who/what is coming. But my shovel was not a strong enough tool to tackle it...but I did manage to get some rock salt on top of it by standing on my front porch, pouring salt onto the shovel and kind of throwing it onto their snowbank... I am not a scientist and have no idea if it will make a difference, but I hope it does. I also put salt on the ice in the driveway that hadn't melted enough to scrape off. Hopefully it will help it melt quicker and be gone soon.. Is it Spring yet?
My right knee feels better today. I am planning on going to the gym tomorrow. I think that I need to keep working to strengthen my left leg regardless of how much shovelling I do...I think not doing the workouts and PT exercises is a bad idea. So... I need to get motivated...
I am not feeling great tonight either... think I am getting a cold. My friend from CA had a cold while here and I think I have been fighting it off because I have been pretty tired.
Tomorrow I have a new adventure lined up. I am going to another middle school and speaking about the animal shelter from which I adopted the two black and white kitties. It should be fun. I am a little nervous because I haven't done something like that before, but I think I will like it. May give me an idea about whether or not public speaking is my thing... so that when I grow up I can be a motivational speaker....then I can talk to myself... and motivate myself to get to the gym more!
Posted by TallGal at 7:30 PM
My day began at about 5:30...when my alarm went off... then I got ready and got to the high school where I coach and waited for the boys to show up to go to their meet. The meet was great. The kids did well.. I am very pleased! My shot put throwers still did not perform as well as they do at practice, but they did well...better than our meet last week. Then... back to our school...and I waited for the girls to arrive to take them to our afternoon meet... and they also did great. Our team is small in numbers for the girls, but we have a great amount of athleticism... and we saw it today. The kids each have an assigned number which is made on a large blank index card and laminated.. they reuse the number each week and I keep them between the meets... which is nice, because I write notes to the kids about their performances each week. Because this was the first week, I basically wished them well and for the girls team, had a temporary tattoo for each girl. They were all into it... team unity and all... nice... It was fun. But... I am TIRED! Very tired. Sara and the gang invited me up to their house and wanted me to play guitar hero... I would have loved to go up, but my knees are tired... my right knee feels worse than my left which is not good... I am starting to winder if I need to have my right knee checked out... I don't think it is PVNS, but do feel like something isn't quite right...the outer part of my knee hurts a lot..not a lot as in a lot of pain...but frequently with sharp pains....... but maybe it is from the snow and ice. Let's hope.
I thought a lot today about my sister... she has been preparing for a show to display her art...and the opening was last night. I hope it went well. I wanted to be there, but couldn't not coach today... but I hope to get out there later this month to see her work displayed.
I am signing off and soon heading to bed.... hope your weekends are going well. SHEldon is doing well... and has yet to be renamed...
Posted by TallGal at 6:33 PM
Do you remember as a kid, riding in the back seat of a car when the windows were all fogged up? Do you remember how much you liked to draw in that condensation? Smiley Faces... words like Hello written backwards so people on the outside could read it...or wiping away the fog in a circular motion so you could see out? ...how your dad threatened you within an inch of your life to NOT touch the windows... let alone write or draw on it. My dad always was... and still is... particular about his vehicles...keeping them washed and away from any risk of getting scratched...by parking way off from other vehicles whose owners may not respect the paint on other vehicles...well... the inside of the windows were just as important...and writing/drawing, marking on any of the fog...well... that would mean that the dirt...if there was any, would be disturbed and the next time the windows began to fog up... the drawings would return... so... it was forbidden....we had to fight the urge.... I thought of that today... fondly which may seem surprising... smiled thinking of how foggy windows drew my imagination and gave me a'safe' way to test my courage... to do it or not... face the consequences of getting a dirty look or a stern word or two... with an added secret satisfaction of doing something that I knew was against the rules... and how somehow... while it was frustrating to know that I was supposed to not disturb the window fog... it was fun...or maybe energizing...or intriguing... to know that something so simple to me... was something that got under my dad's skin so much...how differently we thought... I thought about this today because as I was leaving school today I was following buses...packed with kids...who were drawing in the fog on the bus windows... smiley faces...some sticking their tongues out...(the smiley faces, not the kids!)... and the greetings hello and hi! I have to admit... knowing the kids were mostly high school and middle school kids... I was expecting, perhaps.... some less innocent drawings and words.. so it was a nice surprise.
SHEldon had surgery today... and is doing well other than stumbling around like she is drunk from the anesthesia. Hopefully she will feel better tomorrow.
I still have not read my email from my blog buddies..but plan on doing so this weekend...and WILL respond. I am excited about another blog viewer who reached out to me here... She lives in CA, has PVNS and has begun a blog of her own! Yay!
Tomorrow is Friday and I hope you have all had a great week...and hopefully it has gone by quickly!
Posted by TallGal at 8:35 PM
This image is of the abominable snowman from Rudolph... I thought of him and his buddy Yukon Cornelius tonight as I was leaving track practice... BRR... windy and COLD. did I mention Windy? what about COLD??? Geesh! It makes me wonder why I am in Maine.. why why why??? The snowbanks are soo high... I really can't see over them... which makes pulling out very hard... so my plan is tonight... after the traffic slows way down.. to go out and knock some of the snowbanks down.. into the road if I have to because it just isn't safe... but I am nervous to be out there tonight in this cold... and it is slippery, but I gotta do it. I will put on as many layers as I can as it is supposed to get to 10 to 20 degrees BELOW zero here tonight. BELOW zero.... (I can hear Jill in sunny CA laughing now!)
My friend who was visiting from CA left today... to visit another friend in Boston, then to spend time with his family then back to LA. It was good to see him. He is a very sweet person and someone who challenges me in ways nobody else has...meaning he calls me out on things about my emotions, about what I am thinking and why I am thinknig things... usually that's my job. I adore him... but feel conflicted because he is prepared to put some serious offers on the table as far as building a future together... and I am so flattered by that... but can't accept it... I have yet to completely figure out why I can't accept it...but I can't. (I am working on figuring it out...) I tell so many other people to take things for what they are... it is what it is.... but it is hard for me to apply that in my own life. I am very happy he was here... sad that he was feeling so sick while he was here... but glad we got to see each other again. I like having him in my life... but do worry about our contact leading him on... but he tells me to not worry about what he feels.. .just to worry about what I feel and what I want... which I think is impossible for me to take certain things out of the equation... that's all I want to say about it here... for now...
Did I mention that there is a lot of freakin' snow outside? Did I mention that it sucks? I would say that if there was not snow and ice to contend with... I would be feeling pretty great as far as my knee is concerned. But... because I keep having to shovel... it aggrivates my knee and I feel like I get set back... but... I gotta take it for what it is.
On an upside... my practice tonight went really well. Some of the kids are improving their form... especially compared to Saturday's meet.. and quite a few were motivated to stay after practice and keep working on things. I think they are 'hungry' for good performances and I like that. I purposefully kept them from throwing in the shotput circle today... to get them thinking more about how they are throwing vs. how far they are throwing. But... they are motivated... and I like that.
Posted by TallGal at 7:23 PM