The unexpected stretch

This blog is itself a stretch. It is unlike any other blog I have ever kept, or any other public writing (both personal or professional) I have ever done.

 For a while here this blog will host little poetry and few reviews. This blog will be about about stretching. Not about the Yoga stretching I have done all my life. (I think sometimes I keep doing it just cause my ego loves watching people’s reaction when an mature woman of my size can completely touch her toes). Nor  will it be about the stretching after a workout to keep muscles from tightening and tearing, although both of those stretches will be involved. Today’s blog is about stretching my "self", that thing below the ego self that has always embraced the easy ways, and only chosen to continue the things at which I was good. It is about pushing aside the self that avoided embarrassment and possible failure, and secretly still fears being ridiculed, and stretching the real "me" that loves to move, and run, and dance and play. 
This blog, and I don’t know how many in the future, are about identifying and publicly displaying the one area with which I am least comfortable. I will talk honestly about my experiments in the one skill set that has caused me the most embarrassment while I develop the one talent package I was least gifted with at birth. 
Today I am a 234 pound woman, over the age of 50 (no I am still not telling my age, over 50 is enough information and accurate info is hard to come by ;)), who is coordination challenged, barely makes ends wave, let alone meet, with a medical Sword of Damocles hanging over her head, and so today, I started training as a triathlete.
Yea, makes me wonder if I am crazy, too.

When I was growing up there were two kinds of people, athletes and non-athletes; those who got chosen for teams, and those like me who were only chosen to help people on those teams pass academic tests so they could play on those teams. My nicknames were "Claudia Klutz and Lydia Lump Lump", and those were the kind ones from my own family. The names called me by children had a lot to do with mispronunciation of my name and the fact that my center of gravity is large and located to the rear.  In a protective reaction I internally dubbed all sports stupid (except baseball but that is a whole different blog) and all sports participants my mental inferior.  I was just "too smart" to be part of that whole sweaty Jock jive through my teens and twenties. Then as my peer group moved from football and cheer-leading to Aerobics, Gyms and Spin class I was "too enlightened" to ever participate in the perfect body competitions. 

I will add that I was not a couch potato. In my late teens when I joined the millitary, women were just crossing the gender lines and I was the first woman to graduate as a Machinist Mate 3rd Class (Honor Graduate, of course). My military service did require me to pass PT tests and I lifted weights with some Marines so I could open, close, dismantle and repack some might large valves. I also swam (without any lessons or form) enough to pass the requirements, learned to jump out of planes (with a parachute), hiked with full pack, etc. I was never the best, in fact often the third or fourth worst in my unit, but since I was smart and not "the" worst, I survived without much harassment. I also will admit I liked the feeling of running, swimming, etc. But I never did it where someone could see, and probably laugh. 
Before the military I also took some dance and some fencing classes, all related to stage work I was doing. In these I was also never "good", but not the worst. Mostly not noticed, and I would do just the amount I needed to do to get the part, the certificate, the whatever…but most of the time I was mostly focused on not looking to stupid or klutzy, and after most of these classes I would go home and throw up from the stress and the strain.
I have always done yoga but as part of my private meditation practice. Again, I love yoga, just like I love swimming and running, but I do it poorly. I have been so embarrassed when I have attended a class, I have always dropped out of them after a few weeks.
No dropping out this time. That is part of keeping this blog. Knowing the enemy is a critical part of any campaign, and where sports are concerned, I am my own worst enemy. Telling others my commitment is what kept me "at it" to complete the 5K. And that was a lot less public,
I will complete a triathalon. I will face my fear of looking foolish, and stretch that authentic me that hides behind my gigantic joking ego, and most likely have a lot of fun and get some good stories doing it while also improving my odds of dodging that sword when it falls again.
I am not at all sure what directions this blog will take, but for now it is not about poetry or reviews. Unless mentioning that I found my awesome new trainer at Back-Fit is considered a review. If it is, then consider this a rave review of Back-Fit.  Through massage, exercise and adjustments my constant neck and back pain (and co- fatigue) has been brought down to intermittent bouts of discomfort and aha moments of "Wow, I was really in that much pain?" thanks to my care at Back-fit. Also thanks to going there I found a trainer willing to take this slow, fat non-athlete who has never had a swimming lesson, never ridden a bike and has never run more than a 5K and coach her into a (probably still slow and fat, but thinner and faster) tri-athlete. I am also very excited and honored to be joined in this adventure by my already much thinner and faster daughter-in-law. My goal first race is…, the mini of course
Things to do…get goggles, kickboard, practice, practice, practice….
So here is the boring log part of my blog, a daily record of how I use my time, what I eat, what training I do, which some days may be all I got, but today is just the end tag of a whole lot of talking and refelecting.
Meditate: 30 Minutes with Meditation Oasis podcast "Peace"
Breakfast: 0515  
                      12 oz brewed organic coffee
                      1 T local mesquite honey
                       2 T Organic Half and Half
                       1 package Kirkland Cinnamon Roll flavored Organic Instant Oatmeal
                        8 ozs Freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
                         1 multivitamin
                          81 mg aspirin
Training: 10 push-offs side of pool
                    4 laps
Lunch: 0930
              1 Pumpkin Waffle
               2 eggs fried.
               32 ozs lemon water
I.75 hours at computer

Out to run errands. Driving, Parked away from places we needed to go into (partly for shade, partly for exercise) so some walking. 32 more ounces of water. 32 ounces of unsweetened Green Tea.
Chiropractic appointment and some stretching for back and neck PT

Dinner with friends at Sweet Tomatoes. HUGE freakin’ amount of raw veggies with a few caramelized walnuts, some sunflower seeds, 1 scoop of the Strawberry vinaigrette, 1 scoop of the Fat Free Ranch, a small sweet potato, one strawberry muffin, small portion of sugar-free strawberry mousse, strawberry lemonade to drink with LOTS of ice to let it water down (too sweet but tasty) and one warm chocolate chip cookie. Waaaaaay to many simple carbs in the dinner but good vitamins and fiber but YUM! Also quite sure I exceeded my days calories. Still I feel good about today.

Home at 1930. Dog care (teeth, ears, meds, water, food; too late for a walk tonight)
I have checked to see that I have a uniform ready. Time to do my  bedtime yoga and meditate again, then back stretches and into bed. Asleep by 2030.

2 thoughts on “The unexpected stretch”

  1. daughter-in-law version 🙂

    My morning diary:
    0630 rose
    15 minutes looking for suitable bathing suit.

    0645 breakfast – yoplait strawberry yogurt and 8oz oj

    training – same as above

    0745 lost breakfast in parking lot

    0815 ate another breakfast

    lol had fun see you soon and thanks for including me on your journey!

    1. Re: daughter-in-law version 🙂

      And that shows why I love my daughter-in-law. A wonderful sense of humor, that and the fact she makes my son very, very happy!

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