Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Training Daze

I hurt today from yesterday's weight training workout with the work trainers... and what did I do today?

25 min run (5 min warmup) followed by a 15 min swim. Came home and ate some baked sweet potato fries (rosemary paremesan!), chicken sausage, and cucumber slices.

I'm tuckered out.

I'm not sure how I'm still doing this. I think it just lends a nice structure and sense of purpose to my days. I feel a lot better, I'm stronger, less fuzzy headed. It gives me some direction.

I like that the swimming time is staying constant for a bit here, too. I don't think it kicks up to 20 min until next week. It gives me a chance to concentrate on my form, which still sucks. Have I mentioned I sort of have this latent claustrophobia? It's terrifying when you're putting the breathing together with the strokes, and you're going along just fine and then it's like - BAM - I can't breathe! I can't breathe! I'm going to die!

I was fine when I was keeping my head above water, but now that I'm doing proper strokes again - stroke, stroke, breathe - there at the beginning and the middle I lost it a couple of times and wondered what the hell was wrong with me.

Oh, yeah, I thought - that claustrophobia thing. Yeah.

See, I went down into the catacombs in Rome? Paris? when I was 17, and I flipped the fuck out. During the same trip, they packed six of us into one of those night train sleeper cars, and I was hysterical sobbing all night long.

I realized then that if I wanted to travel, if I wanted a big adventurous life, I would have to get over the claustrophobia thing.

I think that the secret to facing any fear is knowing that you're not getting over it, getting past it it, or even overcoming it. You're just facing it. You sit and acknowledge it and look it over clinically and go, "OK, I recognize what this is. This is a crazy thing. Now that I have acknowledged it and poked at it a bit I am going to move on."

Then you take some deep, calming breathes and force yourself to think about other things.

This is why I love the fear mantra from Dune, and the "Pain is just a message" mantra from Griffith's Aud books. You're not ignoring your fear. I think that's the misconception that kept me from being able to function before that. I thought that I could just ignore it and it would go away. But that's not true. It just builds up then. It sneaks up behind you.

You've got to face it like a fighter. Hit it head on.

So I acknowledged my crazy swimming claustrophobia and kicked out those last two laps hard and fast. Then I came home and put hydrogen pyroxide in my ears to fend off the tricky infections. My ears don't like me swimming, tho the new ear plugs sure do help.

And here's the thing, you know?

This shit is not easy. It's not pleasant. I'm scared of running. I'm scared of saying I'm doing Triathlon training, because how silly is that? I'm absolutely terrified of failure all the time. But the alternative is not to try. Never to try. And I could use any old excuse to not get to the gym - "Oh, I'm sore from working out yesterday," "Oh, you know, I have a history of ear infections, I can't swim," "Oh, I've never been good at running," "Oh, I've never really been an athletic person," - these are all excuses I've used to not do things before. They seem like perfectly valid excuses to me. And they will seem like great excuses again.

But for now... for now...

Sometimes, when your life has calmed down and things are good, you realize you have the strength and courage to do things that paralyzed you before.

Going to Peru? By myself, even with my chosen tour group? Scares the living shit out of me. Publishing books that could totally fail and bomb? Scary shit. My job? The thought of losing my job? Scary shit. But you do it, because the life where you don't do it is way fucking scarier.

Waaaay fucking scarier.

OmniPoddery: Always Backup

My OmniPod has been working pretty wickedly for the past few weeks. I haven't seen a morning, noon, or night "hit" number above 150 in nearly four weeks (just correction numbers), which is why I was suprised this morning to wake up at 178.

I was even more stunned to see my noon number hit 248 for no reason.

Was I getting sick or something? What the hell was going on? I realized that I'd changed the pod out yesterday, which is when the wacky numbers started (I thought I was way higher than I should have been during my 1:30am test, too).

But hey, maybe I'm just getting sick, so I just keep on keeping on. I popped down to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription.

As I walked back from the pharmacy, I stepped into the elevator and heard this high pitched whine.

That's a weird elevator whine, I thought. It's that high dog-whistle radio noise type whine that's really, really annoying.

And then I had a thought.

I put my hand over my pump.

The noise lessened.

Oh, shit.

When I stepped out of the elevator, it became very clear that I was the one emitting the high pitched whine. I made a beeline to my office with my hand over the pump and grabbed my backup from my bag.

In the bathroom, I went to change out the pump with my PDM. But the PDM said it couldn't communicate with the pod...

Which meant -

The pod kept beeping.

I peeled it off and replaced it with my backup without any issue, but...


So here I am, standing in the bathroom at work, and I have this continuously beeping pager-sized device in my hand. I pulled off the adhesive backing. I pulled at the edges of the plastic backing. It wouldn't budge.

I checked to make sure I was the only one in the bathroom.

Then I started throwing my beeping pod as hard as I could against the bathroom floor. I did this at least three times. Thank God nobody walked in on me trying to destroy a piece of medical hardware.

My next thought was to throw it in a sink full of water, but these things are waterproof up to 8 feet for 30 min. I'd have to let it soak - batteries and all - for 30 min.

These fuckers are really well made.

And here's the deal: you can't just throw away this beeping thing at work in a high rise building. It looks like a mini-bomb. I knew that if I tossed it and it kept beeping, there was a chance somebody was going to call in the police for bomb sweep. No, seriously. If people are willing to call the cops about half empty bottles of water left in elevators, they're going to call about a pager-sized device beeping in a bathroom trash can.

My next thought is that I have to somehow pulverize this thing into small pieces. I need to get the fucking battery out, but I don't have anything on my desk to hammer this thing.

So I went to the experts in demolition.

I went downstairs to the IT hardware guys.

The infrastructure manager pulled out his tools and said, "So I can destroy this, right?"

"Yes, I already replaced it."

"So basically, I can destroy it and just tear it apart?"

"Yes. Please. It wont. stop. beeping."

"OK, I'm going to totally destroy it then!"


He pulled out some regular pliers and some needle nosed pliers and pried off the plastic backing after a couple of tries (I told you these are well made!). Then he popped out the batteries.

The pod went blessedly silent.

It was then that he asked me, as he handed me the neatly destroyed remains, "What is this, anyway?"

"My insulin pump," I said.

He just shook his head at me.

I mean really, what do you say to that?

Fun Facts to Know and Tell

There is apparently a Sled Dog Rescue group in Indianapolis, IN.

Also, a Home for Huskies. I'm curious as to why Indy is so full of huskies.

Benefits to Biking a Mile and a Half to the Dematologist's Office in the Rain

Man, that doctor was HOT. Seriously.

Better, tho - well, marginally better; he was SUPERhot -was learning that my itchy leg was not, in fact, yet another chronic condition. Just itchy, and will clear up in a couple weeks with some topical cream. Seriously? I guess so.

The hilarious, part, however, was when he asked me if my slightly splotchy face "bothered me."


These must be things hot doctors ask about. I have never considered myself to have an acne problem. A couple of zits never killed anybody, but ah, yes, this is America, land of perfection!

He suggested that I could totally go on birth control pills, which would clear my face right up!

AHA HAHahaha ha ahaha ahaah ha aha....

Let's see.... chronic weight gain and severe depression or a couple of zits? Chronic weight gain and severe depression... or a couple of zits? (not to mention the $40 a month that would cost. Why did I get an IUD again?)

Let me think really hard about that..... thinking... hrm... thinking.... hrm... math is hard.

These are some of the wacky things that happen when doctors get overzealous. Please don't get overzealous, doctors. There are bad, bad consequences.

His suggestion did also make him slightly less hot, which was a shame.

Poor, pretty doctor.