Monday, October 4, 2021

2021 NoVA Sunset Ragnar

In the beginning...

I'm not sure the first time I heard about Ragnar races, but I remember it was soon after I fully accepted and embraced the runner life.  I decided I wanted to do a Ragnar, I told everyone I knew about it.  It's a 200 mile relay completed by a team of 12 people.  Each person runs 3 legs (of varying distance) and ultimately the team will cover 200 miles.  Insane, right?  I KNOW.  

I told myself that I needed to wait until I could recruit 12 people to run with me and that never happened.  I couldn't even get one other person to commit to doing a Ragnar with me.  I think Teh Bestie only committed out of sympathy for me and having listened to me talk about it for YEARS.  But then, there was a glimmer of hope, as Ragnar announced a new variation of the race, the trail version that started and ended at the same point instead of different start/end points with a team of 8.  The trail race included camping in the woods and running laps on the trails around the camping area.  Cool, except that I don't camp.  Or run on trails.  One of these I was more willing to budge on.  Then, Ragnar announced a Carolinas trail run and I was tempted mightily.  Could I gather 8 people to camp in the woods and run in the dark?  No, no I could not.. and I was disappointed, but I knew my day would eventually come.

Then Ragnar announced a NEW race: a team of 4 who run 8 consecutive laps (so 2 laps each) of 4.3 miles to "beat the sunset".  This, this might just be my chance.  I asked Teh Bestie if she was serious about running that Ragnar with me and she said yes, so I purchased a team entry on March 3, 2020 for the October 3, 2020 event.  Unless you live under a rock, you know where this story is headed.  The race was cancelled for 2020 because Covid literally ruined everything.  This probably wasn't the worst thing to happen, because if you were around for my October 2020, it was kinda chaos, so it was for the best that my schedule was free for other activities, like... packing.. and migrating.. 

Would Covid ruin another good plan?

In May 2021, I received an email that the NoVA Sunset Race was a go for October 2, 2021.  Teh Bestie and I managed to trick con find 2 more teammates over the summer.  Then there was the Delta variant and I was confident the race would be cancelled, but I also had faith that VA would continue to be the red state they usually are, which would allow the race to be held.  When we were 30 days out, I expected the cancellation email, but it never came!  We were on!  

The week of the race, I hit the internet searching for Ragnar Sunset reviews to see what to expect/what we should prepare.  There were only a few not-official Ragnar pages talking about the Sunset race and those that did discuss it, were from several years ago, which meant not affected by Covid protocols.  Nonetheless, I gleaned what I could from the reviews and did my captain planning thing.

Night Prior

Friday night, we met for dinner to discuss race day (we were all Ragnar virgins, but I tried hard to prepare the team as best as possible to what they could expect) and to go to the store to buy decorations for our tent.  We took advantage of the option to rent a tent that was already set up, which you had to jump on quick because tents sold out fast.  It was worth the $50.  After dinner and shopping, I headed home and stayed up late making decorations that I kept top secret from the team until their reveal.  

Race Day

We were assigned a 10:30 start time, which was calculated by our estimated pace the month before the race.  We arrived to the site at 0900 because we knew we needed to get checked in and pick up our bib/stuff and to get our tent set up.  Teh Bestie had some anxiety about the traffic/parking situation, but we managed to power through her the excitement induced anxiety.  

Team 4.5mph Couch Potatoes

Things we brought:

  • a wagon.  Ain't nobody got time for hefting all that shit to the car before the race and I definitely wasn't going to feel like carrying it all back to the car after the race.  We also half joked that we could use the wagon to carry any injured individuals back to the car.  (I brought our gorilla cart which has a 1500lb tow capacity, so I knew whatever we threw at it would work, it was just awkward to load/unload, but SOOOOOO worth it.)
  • a table.  Know what else I don't feel like doing?  Bending over to reach things all day long or worrying about bottles/cups toppling over when sat on the ground.
  • a cooler with sodas/sports drink/gallons of water.  We weren't sure what amenities would be offered because Covid is really the cockblock of all great things so we made sure to take care of our business accordingly.
  • snacks/food since Ragnar had informed us that no food would be offered but there would be food trucks.
  • decorations for our tent.  We needed people to know how fun we are.  These decorations included garland and some fun dangly things and poster board and a white board for marking off our laps (although I saw some people that were using plain cardboard, which was clever).
  • quilts for laying on the ground for stretching/rolling/napping.  My body itches all over after I roll in the grass, no thank you.
  • camping chairs
  • foam roller/attaday roller/lacrosse ball, if there had been electricity, I'd have brought my percussion massager.  
  • popup changing tent (last minute, TOTALLY worth it, splurge)
  • extra outfits since we endured multiple seasons throughout the day (I thought it was excessive to have 2 running outfits and only packed one and then ended up borrowing capris from Abi because my leggings were warm, we didn't end up changing into not-running clothes after the race because we had embraced the smell by that point)
  • non-running shoes for between laps
  • 2 pairs of running shoes and socks (maybe less necessary if it's not raining, but I wasn't sad about having a fresh pair for my 2nd lap).
  • any normal run things (earbuds/gels/etc)
  • toilet/face wipes.  I wish I had known what a satisfactory feeling it is to wipe the crusty sweat off your face after a run many years ago.  I'll be packing face wipes in my post-race recovery bag from now on.
  • deodorant 
  • emergency supplies: first aid kid, extra hair ties, itch cream

Getting set up

The first thing I did was get our tent situation sorted out.  Super easy process.  Once we had our tent number, I went and grabbed our race bib/stuffs while everyone else headed to the tent to get set up.

Our team name was the 4.5mph Couch Potatoes as a nod to our greyhound connected friendship.  So one side of our tent had the 4.5mph Couch Potatoes and the other side had photos of our 45mph couch potatoes (photos of all our (current) greyhounds).  Not many people understood until we explained that greyhounds are called 45mph couch potatoes and our greyhound group is what brought us all into each other's lives.

The Race

We had debated who should go first, me (the fastest) or the slower runners.  It was decided I would go first so I could scope out the trail for everyone so they would know what to expect.  I was glad to do this because I knew that sitting around waiting to start would ramp me up even more and I was reaching obnoxious excitement levels.  

Lap #1

Ok so, I don't do trail running.  I'm a road runner.  I'm good with fairly flat, smooth surfaces.  Trail running is a different beast.  I don't actually remember much of the course because I spent the whole time watching the ground making sure that I didn't trip and bash my skull open on a rock and die from a brain bleed.  Thankfully, our walkers got some photos along the way.  Due to a shitty volunteer situation, at the first water station, I ended up going the wrong way (towards the very smooth, very beckoning road) and 3 other women followed me and we ended up going about a quarter of a mile out of our way.  We lost the flags and eventually turned around and when we got to the water station the (teenagers who had been scrolling on their phones when we'd all come through the first time) volunteers were like, you're coming from the wrong way.  YES BECAUSE YOU DIDN'T FUCKING TELL ME TO TURN WHILE I WAS GUZZLING DOWN THIS LIFE GIVING WATER WHICH WAS IMPEDING MY ABILITY TO DEDUCT THAT YOUR STUPID FLAG WAS INDICATING A DIRECTION.  I did actually say something to the volunteers about having to DIRECT people if there were options.  The 4 of us who had went the wrong way were super pissed.  There ended up being a lot of super pissed people because I heard other people complaining about the same issue.  

For the NoVA race, there were lots of hills (very reminiscent of my first half marathon in "wine country" VA), lots of gravel on said hills, and plenty o roots along the fairly well packed trail.  Other runners who had done other Sunset Ragnars said that NoVA was a difficult course, so I'm going to take their word on that.  It wasn't for the faint of heart, that's for certain.

Teh Bestie and Jess went down and there were scraped up knees and a gnarly twisted ankle.  

Photos from the trail (taken by not me):

Accurate representation of feelings going on here.

What 85% of the trail was like but add roots.

As a heads up that a runner was almost to the transition zone, we made sure to message our group text so everyone would be aware and we could go to the transfer tent and be there to cheer on our incoming/outgoing runner.

Coming in hot...

There are transition tents for swapping runners.  They are labeled with numbers, so if your bib/team number falls within the range posted on that tent, that is your transition zone.  We were team 155 and we happened to be directly beside the start/finish line inflatable.  This was optimal for extended cheering.

I might have been holding back tears a little bit as I finished my first lap.

When a ridiculous cheering captain (me) gets in the way of your photo of the dressed up staff.

Dressed up staff and Teh Bestie comin' in hot (and EXTREMELY disgruntled about a scraped up knee).

The joy was a mask for the scraped up knee and sprained ankle....


While you're not running...

During the not running portion, you just get to hang out, which was actually way cooler than it sounds.  I figured I'd be doing some scrolling, but also stretching and snacking and rolling.  But instead, I chatted with my peeps as well as our neighbors, who happened to be experienced Ragnarians who were excited for our upcoming New England Ragnar race.

For my not running shoes, I brought my Clawz because they are hilarious and also good meh shoes.  They got so much attention.  People wanted photos of the shoes, of me wearing the shoes, photos of me, photos with me.  It was bizarre.  Is this what it's like to be a celebrity?  I shared the shoe fame with Teh Sister who informed me that our "lazy" shoes can no longer be purchased online and if you do find them, they are $90 used.  NINETY DOLLARS FOR CROCS WITH TOENAILS.  Sweet christ.  I have 3 pairs.  I'm sitting on a gold mine.. and I leave a pair outside for poop scooping!

"Fancy" charcuterie board

Thanks to the GLCK, I was prepared to cheer with my clappers from my graduation ceremony!


Lap #2

I was concerned about timing so we switched up the order/situation for lap 2.  Teh Bestie went first, I went second, and then Abi and Jess went at the same time (referred to as "doubling up").  To beat the sunset, the last runner had to leave the transition zone by 5:45 and I was fearful our 2nd to last runner wouldn't make it back in time for our last runner to leave by 5:45.  There isn't really a penalty for doubling up, your team still gets the medal and glory, but your time is counted as an "unofficial" time, which was fine since we are participators not winners.

There she goes!

I had to borrow britches and I got so hot that I took off my shirt for Lap 2.  #YOLO

Look at that FOCUS!

Thankfully, no one went down on the 2nd lap.  As Jess came in, she tossed on her "uniform" and we all crossed the finish line together!  For our team "costume" we purchased greyhound "silk" shirts while we were at Greyhounds in Gettysburg, after I'd made a comment about what an awesome group halloween costume the shirts would make.  Since we were the slow couch potatoes, we chose 5, 6, 7, and 8 as our "silk" numbers.

In the end....

WE MADE IT!!!  We beat sunset!!!  We actually had a gorgeous sunset as we were packing up and taking medal selfies and trying not to collapse.

All done!!!

For all the times I talked about running a Ragnar over all those years, I almost cried at the sheer joy and excitement and feeling of satisfaction/completion of a goal as many times on Saturday.  It might have also been a tinge of PMS, but also, joy.  The best part though?  This was just the WARM UP!  In 2 weeks, Teh Bestie and I will be headed to New England to complete an original Ragnar race (the 200 mile relay) in New England, from Groton, CT to Boston, MA.

To completely acknowledge all my feelz though...
I have to give a shout out to Teh Bestie for helping me make this long-time dream come true, as well as Abi and Jess who were really good sports and joined us even though neither of them really felt prepared (although I'm not sure any of us really felt prepared for what we did).  Also, it was AWESOME to be the El Captian.  It wasn't 12 people, but I feel like I did my best to prepare my little team and ensure that we had all the equipment we needed to spend a day in a field with strangers while we intermittently ran around in the woods kicking up dust.  Also gotta give a shoutout to the home support team, Husband, who manages the children dogs while I'm out traipsing around in the woods/going random places to run for a silly medal.

I've been running for a while now and I might just be a Ragnar convert (I'll research this and get back to you in a few weeks).  There is a huge feeling of accomplishment after I finish a half marathon or a 10k (or shorter distance) I probably didn't really train for (it's been over half a decade of running, at this point my body is just like, mkay we're doing this? Alright, Sparky).  There was a feeling of accomplishment after this race (what with the trail and the roots and the hills and the loose gravel and getting lost that one fucking time, oh and did I mention that right before you got back to the transition area was this super steep ass 70+° hill?  No? Oh well, there was a steep ass fucking hill that made me feel like I was going to die and then you get to the top and everyone can see you gasping for breath and wanting to die but you CANNOT let those strangers see you struggling so you have to just pretend like you aren't fucking dying by smiling and being cool, when you definitely are NOT cool, as you run back into the transition area) but there was also a feeling of community.  You're near other people all day long and you're likely to interact with them and that was awesome.

When I run a half marathon, it's just me running.. and maybe yakking to someone along the way if I'm not interested in my music/audiobook and the person near me is also suffering and not listening to anything.  It's boring, to be honest.  It's challenging.  It's lonely.  With a Ragnar, you're suffering on a TEAM and your team is suffering with other teams along the way.  I enjoy the running part (weird, I know), but I also enjoy the social part.  It's why we go on runcations and why I pulled Matilda (who will be doing NE Ragnar with us!) into our run club.  Ok, that was kinda an accident, but I've never regretted it.  You never know who you'll meet when you're on the run and THAT is why I keep doing it... oh and the medals.

PS those holes in the medal are for the challenge medals you can earn if you do multiple Ragnars in a calendar year.  So for our NE Ragnar, we'll be getting the 2x medal plus our race medal.  :D

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Are You Not Entertained!?!

You know how sometimes people LURVE this one thing and you just don't?  That's me with podcasts.  It's been this way for years and I could not figure out what my problem is.  WHY can't I like podcasts?  So many things I'm interested have podcasts.  People I respect have podcasts.  I could learn things from podcasts.  I don't mean like true crime type of podcasts, but something like Adulting or Stuff Mom Never Told You or We Can Do Hard Things or Scale and Bail.  

I listened to 2 episodes of We Can Do Hard Things before I gave it up.  I made it through 10 minutes of Scale and Bail before I switched to an audiobook.  It's not a matter of attention span, I am interested in the subject matter, but...

I'm not interested in listening to a conversation I cannot participate in.  I want to interact, I want to be part of the conversation.  I want to ask questions.  I want to explore something that isn't in the podcast.  Also, I fucking hate ads/sponsored content.  HHHAAAATTTEEE.  

This doesn't just apply to podcasts, this also applies to talk radio and talk tv.  You won't find me watching a TV show with people just sitting around a table chatting about whatever.  I am overly-aggressive when it comes to radio stations that aren't playing music, worse if it's a commercial break (on every single channel I have programmed as a favorite).  

If I can't be involved, I need to be entertained.  Thus, how I consume media has become very intentional for me.  If I can't interact, I need to be entertained, otherwise, I will find something that I can either interact with (my stupid game) or entertains me (an audiobook or particular streaming shows or Instagram reels (my weakness)).

Anyone else have this issue?  
Just me?  K, cool.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

We're hurting and we're tired.

Hey, it's me, you remember, right?
Cool, moving on.

So, when settling into MD, I joined the Crossfit gym that is 7 minutes (with red lights) from our house.  It gives me something to do besides run and #humblebrag, I've lost 15-20 pounds depending on the time of month and that don't make me sad none.

That whole situation is fabulous, but do you know what isn't?
My bad hip being bad again.
Since June, I've been having hip issues again.

Let's rewind quicklike to 2017.. that one time, when I had hip surgery to repair a torn labia labrum and the Ortho either fearmongered or truthmongered me that if I were to tear the labrum again, I'd need a hip replacement. Ok, we're caught up.

So now, I'm doing 294820302 squats a week and my bad hip is angry
Thankfully, I'm willing to be a pincushion and my chiropractor's office has a nurse practitioner who is willing to stab me frequently.  So far I've enjoyed a non-cortisone shot, a cortisone shot (right before our flight to Germany*), and another non-cortisone shot.  The goal is to eliminate possibilities of things that could be wrong, which is soo, soo tedious.

So anyways, yesterday afternoon was my 3rd injection and it wasn't what I would consider a pleasant experience, but neither is achy-all-the-time hip, so here we are.  Achy to the point of waking me up in the middle of the night because bad hip is obviously not as afraid of me as it should be.  So, now I'm hurting and tired... and I'm still expected to function and do all the things I always do and yall... it is exhausting.

It's exhausting trying to stay still or not stay still depending on what does/doesn't hurt my hip at the time.  It's exhausting hurting and trying to react to literally anything else like a normal person that isn't consumed by pain that is making me irritable and tired because I'm probably actively hurting and I didn't sleep well last night because I was also hurting then too.
It's exhausting knowing that I have medication I could take to maybe dull the pain some, but it also dulls my brain and that makes it even more difficult to respond to literally anything else like a normal person.
It's exhausting trying to perform at my normal level of being pain free because that's what is expected of me.
It's exhausting asking for help because I, usually, still have to breakdown how to do all the things that I normally do without help (although this applies even when I'm pain free, lets be honest).
It's exhausting not using my exhaustion and pain as a reason when I fuck things up because sometimes it's just incredibly hard to concentrate when you're hurting and also multitasking 234183 things at the same time.
It's exhausting not telling people that I'm hurting so they know to be gentle with me.
It's exhausting trying to be funny about my pain levels when I'm really just trying to distract myself from it all.
It's exhausting that I guilt myself over not working out because I'm trying to rest my sore pieces.
It's exhausting that I guilt myself over how much it will hurt if I take too many rest days, when I inevitably return to the gym.
It's exhausting trying to limit myself at the gym so I don't further aggravate this mysterious injury.
It's exhausting trying to mitigate the pain when just sitting or laying or standing hurts.

Also, it's exhausting being exhausted.
And so this spiral continues...

So if you know someone who is hurting, cut them some slack.  They may have a physical hurt or a mental hurt, but I am confident you know someone who is hurting in some way.  Offer them help, even for the simple tasks you know they can do.  When you see their own disappointment in themselves, reassure them that this isn't what defines them.  Reassure them that not every day has to be a good day.  Help them assess the new/temporary limitations that they can wrap their head around/manage and don't be hard on them when they bite off more than they should... because they will.

Because We the Pained just want to go back to those days without concerns or constant mitigation or having to just endure the pain because life doesn't stop and so we can't either.  But we would like some compassion for our exhaustion and a little bit of slack when we can't always pull off "normal operations."

*We had to make a family emergency trip to Germany in July on short notice.  It's a long flight so we went big on the injection situation.  I also pulled out the big gun medications.  #NoRisksTaken.

Monday, May 31, 2021

System Overload.

Sometimes I really feel like I have a really good handle on my anxiety...

But sometimes I have an hour-long conversation with my Granny that makes me worried because it's the same stories over and over and every time I try to get off the phone she ropes me back in and I can't get what I need to get done done. 

I finally get off the phone on a bad note because she wants to talk about politics and we disagree on politics and how she just wants to pinch that Nancy Pelosi lady's head off and I don't want to fucking talk about that and I'm still trying to get off the phone because I really need to get my shit done, but I also really love my Granny... 

So I finally get to go into the store and the entire 35 minutes I am in the store, they are moving pallets so the backup noise of the pallet moving tractor (or whatever the fuck it is called) is constant.. and then it stops.. and then it starts again.. and then it stops, and then it starts again... It is overstimulating to the point of irritation. 

In addition to that, I happen to be unlucky enough to be shopping at the same time as a family of 7, three adults (grandma, man, woman) and the rest were children pushing buggies or riding in a buggy. To include the 3 year old in the buggy with the ten-year-old pushing it having a "fun" argument where she purposely misheard everything the kid was saying not only frustrating him, but also me. I could not get away from this family.  Every time I tried to go to the next aisle, they'd turn down the same aisle from the opposite direction. I could feel my frustration rising and I knew I needed to leave, but also knew that I needed to get my groceries. 

As I was on my way to checkout/leave, I was tempted by the brownie sundae at the cafe, but there was a sign that said cash only and a line and the incessant fucking beeping of the machine moving the pallets and so I said fuck it and kept walking. By the time I got to the door, the lady was holding out the scanner to scan my phone and I actually said to her, "Please just let me out of here." 

I just couldn't take anymore. My anxiety was so high it was filling me with rage and I could no longer function. I finally make it outside and a car drives by continuously backfiring. It was everything I could do to calmly put my groceries in the car instead of literally throwing everything in the car with no fucks to give and hauling ass out of the parking lot. 

The problem was I had to sit there in the silence before I could drive because I was still so overstimulated and overwhelmed.  This is anxiety. 
After 2-3 minutes, I was finally able to breathe easier, so I felt confident I could concentrate on driving.

I still had to stop at an actual grocery store, so I get in and out of Giant with no issues.  As I'm trying to load my stuff into the car at Giant, I get a call from Teh German that I ended up missing because I was literally tangled in the bag and trying to move the items from Sam's to make room for the new bag.  But, I call Teh German back as soon as I disentangle myself.  He is trying to feed the dogs and, at the time, we were dog sitting.  I tell him I'll be home soon if he wants to wait, he says no, so I talk him through it.  We get off the phone and I'm sitting at a red light to do a u-turn.  Mind you, Giant is 4 minutes from our house.  I'm 4 minutes from being done with this fucking disaster trip.  And the light WILL NOT turn green.  

Apparently, the fire department near the intersection can put a hold on the light before they even leave the station, so they have a green light when they approach the intersection... except the truck still hadn't pulled out of the station when their light turned green.  So I sat there and sat there and sat there and reminded myself of how well I had handled all the street prior to this moment.  I was doing so well...

Finally, the fire truck goes through the intersection and their light turns yellow, then red... and then my light STAYS RED, despite it being the light that should have turned green during a normal cycle. I finally lose it and let loose a scream from my soul and almost start sobbing.

If this is what an anxiety attack looks like, this shit is for the birds.

I even went so far as to Google misophonia (noise sensitivity) to see if maybe that was something that could be causing this level of anxiety... but misophonia seems mainly focused on shit like chewing noises, which I don't care about.  My reaction is to extremely loud noises or repetitive noises.  

After the trip, I was feeling super raw, like an exposed wire or like my skin had been sandblasted, and we went out to dinner.  After we were seated, Teh German asked our server for NOT spicy salsa so I could also enjoy chips and salsa without setting my mouth on fire.  It was like he put a cap over the wire tip or added salve to my over-exfoliated skin.

That same evening, Teh German took too long to back the truck in when we got home from dinner and I made a comment about that was good enough (meaning he didn't have to be precisely 3" from the object behind him) because the backup beeping noise the truck makes was starting to set me off again.

Maybe it was PMS or maybe it was a number of other tiny things that had already worn me down.  I'm not really sure why these things on that day were so much more abrasive to me than any other day, but they were.  So I'm sharing the ugly to say, anxiety has good days and anxiety has bad days.  This was definitely a bad anxiety day.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Off the Hook?

Fun update regarding the never ending jump rope debacle.

I was throwing Pax's frisbee for him the day I wrote the 2nd jump rope post and I tossed it over the fence, as I do.  Which means I had to walk all the way around the entire house to go fetch it.  As I was coming back around, I happened to look down as I was walking by the stairs to the front door..

I found that mother fucking jump rope gasket that went AWOL the day I was trying to work on my jump rope skills.

It survived several days of heavy rain, multiple deliveries, Teh German doing yard work/walking through that area, a visitor or two, and general being outside-ness (there's a lot of birds, ok, any of them could have picked it up).. and I FOUND IT.

I thought I was off the hook for jump rope and now it's like my jump rope has been revived.

What the fucking fuck is this garbage nonsense?  


Monday, May 10, 2021

The Jump Rope

So yall remember a few weeks ago when I told you about my jump rope strife?
Let me jog your memory: Jump Rope Strife

Well, my gym goals are currently not to injure myself (always #1) and to be able to do box jumps, nothing related to jump rope.. but it's been bothering me that I let this "small" thing defeat me.  I mean, I've purposely avoided jump rope gym days and I hate being that guy.  Rather than go to the gym I'd go on a run, but still, I pay a lot of money each month to go to the gym, so like.. I should go to the gym.

Anyways.. last week was a jump rope workout and I wasn't sold, BUT I wanted to maybe try to work on my jump rope malfunctions.  So, I decided on a happy medium for myself.  I would NOT go to the gym for the workout, but I WOULD work on my skillz, since I have my own jump rope.  I didn't need an audience in case I needed to sling shit.

I woke up and went on my run.  During my run, I met 2 greyhounds, which validated my life choices to do my own thing.  When I got home, I planned to do the gym workout sans the cardio, jump rope, air squats, and push ups.  Cool.  

I start with my jump rope.  Minor leg whip.  I have to size it.  Do some jumps.  Resize it.  Whip ankles, no rage.  Keep jumping.  Start getting tired.  Rope gets tangled in my feet.  Rope whips my ankles.  Each time, I reset, no rage involuntarily erupting from me.  I finally make it to 100ish.  Do the rest of the set.  Move back to the jump rope to start another round.

I get about 4 jumps in and all of a sudden my jump rope becomes a jump string.  The little gasket that holds the rope in the handle had flown off and was NO WHERE to be found.  Yall, I used ALL my imagery skills to look for this fucking thing.  I was doing so good with the jump rope situation.  I wasn't angry, I wasn't in my feelings, I wasn't frustrated.  NO WHERE.  

At which point, I accepted the truth:
Jumping rope is NOT meant for me.

I tried.  But I mean, I can take a hint.  When your jump rope breaks when you're having a GOOD day, it's a GOOD day to walk the fuck away.

That said, now I have to decide if I want to replace the gasket/jump rope or not and I just cannot decide.  

I'm all for some emotional growth, so it's tempting, but at the same time, I think I need to stick to the box jump goal.  But what if jumping rope would HELP me with the box jumps?  Oh shit.  Ugh.  Guess I have to go fix this jump rope situation.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Happy Gotcha Day, Sandra Dee!

Not to be Captain Doom, but if you'd have asked me a year ago if I'd be making this post, I'd have told you definitely NO.  You see.. what had happened was.. Teh FL Greyhound Wife found an Irish Wolfhound on Craigslist and then The Sighthound Underground picked her up... and I was subsequently trying to manage my mental breakdown because the semester was so close to ending and graduation was so close I could SMELL IT and seeing the intake videos of this dog absolutely shattered my heart. 

I figured she was in such rough shape that she wasn't going to live much longer.  3 weeks? 6 weeks? 3 months? 6 months, MAX!  She was 30 pounds under weight, her back feet knuckled and dragged, she was 7.5 years old AND a giant breed, the ONLY thing I wanted to do (besides fucking graduate already) was to give this old lady a soft landing for the rest of her, obviously minimal, days. 

You know what Teh German did NOT want to do?  Let me bring home ANOTHER dog.  And a dog with special needs who I was literally bringing to our house to DIE?  Oh he was NOT into that.  He knows how attached he gets and he was (is?) still not over losing Teh BaggyPants, I mean, it was a completely fair and understandable argument to NOT bring home a 3rd dog into our "2 dog house"... and still I begged and actually CRIED about giving this dog a hospice home.  I knew with school ending I'd have time to devote to her care.  I knew she would break my heart in the end, but isn't that what it ALWAYS means to love a dog? 

Finally, Teh German relented and I made a stealth trip to DC during full blown quarantine time to pick up Sandra Dee. You guys.  I did NOT fucking know what I was getting myself into.  Senior dog rescue-ers will tell you straight up that seniors will defy your expectations, but I didn't KNOW, KNOW. First off, Sandra THRIVED with us.  I expected to give her a soft landing and manage her pain and let her live out her days in whatever ways she wanted and have to make the call within a few weeks to let her go.  

What this Floofs wanted was to RUN and frolic and eat from your plate please, but do not diss her by expecting her to eat THAT kibble or THAT chicken or so many various other things that were placed into her bowl as a sacrifice/trade for her to just fucking eat already (we now always have "Sandy cheese" in the fridge). This sassy lady keeps us on our toes.  She LOVES to be out and about, even with her droopy booty.  Her fancy "boots" (Timo's socks with duct tape over the toes so she doesn't scuff her nails/knuckles to the point of bleeding when she drags her feet) gave her a new lease on life.  She prefers to RUN everywhere, which usually results in me being dragged along at a full-sprint to keep up with her, which is wildly hilarious and equally horrifying because I could die at any moment. 

She does NOT trust strangers but she is curious about them.  Teh Bestie is probably her favorite person, but I'm going to pretend it's actually me, but I see the way Sandra reacts when her Other Mama comes over.  Sandra quickly won Teh German over with her goofiness and her desire to play and just LIVE and her obvious lack of interest in dying.  And when she sat on his lap?  He was a goner.  Her Backup Mom still enjoys it when I send her smut of Sandra running in the yard with Pax and Meri or roughing around with Pax or participating in a "family talk" or just being generally adorable. 

As for me?  I've been smitten since I saw her wobbly booty 1 year and a week ago (her rescue-aversary).  My heart broke open and I just knew in my soul that we could provide Sandra with what she deserved, for as long as she'd let us.  Each time she gives me kisses it makes up for all the frustration I've had when she refuses to eat for absolutely no reason.  When I see her galloping in the yard with the other 2 hoodlums, my heart grows 3 sizes because I NEVER expected her to be well enough to consistently PLAY with the other dogs.  And when she joins in on the family sing-alongs?  Be still my motherfuckin' heart.  

This lady let us be her pack and every day I'm so honored and relieved to get to spend another day with her.

Sandra Dee,
You have taught me that I have more patience than I thought I had (parenting at it's finest?).  You taught me that broke parts are for overcoming and working around in whatever ways you can.  You have taught me to be even more grateful for every single day, because I thought I'd only get maybe 3 months with you, 6 if I was lucky...  You have defied so many expectations and I know you DNGAF about anyone's expectations, which is what makes you so fabulous.  

I know we joke that you're going to outlive Pax and Meri, but if that actually happened, I would be ok with that (disclaimer, they aren't allowed to die #sorrynotsorry)... but like I told you on our ride to SC, as soon as you give me the sign that you are ready, I'll make sure that the necessary arrangements are made.  No sweet old lady should suffer and even if it breaks my heart, I'll make sure the end is the celebration you deserve.

I break my own heart thinking about days without you because I want to feel gratitude from my toes to my soul for each day with you.  You tolerated 4 meals a day until we got you up to weight and now you actually have muscle definition (wuttt) and you don't knuckle or sway like you used to and we do the stairs 2x a day and call it PT and you absolutely LOVE going on walks in the park/getting out of the house.  I sometimes wonder about your previous family and I hope that we are able to provide you with even more love and comfort than they did (until they didn't, fuckers).  I wonder if you miss them and hope that my snuggles and butt scritches bring you comfort during those times.  

I promise bully sticks and bedtime snacks and eye booger removal services and obnoxious Mahm love for perpetuity.  You are my bestest, floofiest, tiniest Wuffy-Wuffs and I love you unconditionally.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Seasons Greetings

Are you ever in one of those situations where you're the outsider and you want to be part of the group but you're definitely not part of the group so you still want to support the group and you're trying to find ways to be supportive?  Obviously that was super vague so let's have story time.

I was at the gym before class started and talking to the coaches.  We have a new member who doesn't speak English but they come with someone else who translates for them, but the coaches want this individual to be able to come to any class without the assistance of a translator, so they reached out to ask for some common phrases in the language this individual speaks so they can attempt to communicate with this person, even if it's mispronouncing the words and pointing to a piece of paper with the actual word written on it.  

Did I mention my gym is awesome?
It is.
They are also injury supportive, which is hella convenient for me, as you'd expect.

So anyways, there was a discussion about when Ramadan was ending and I don't bring my phone into the gym so I couldn't Google it during the discussion.  Then there was the question, "What do you say to someone who celebrates Ramadan?  Like Happy Ramadan but obviously not that."  I couldn't remember, but I knew Eid Mubarak and Eid Al-Something and I suggested she google that as well.  She found it, there's one for when Ramadan begins and one when Ramadan ends, and then said, "But is it appropriate to wish someone a "Happy Ramadan" if you're not Muslim?"  

I didn't even think twice about my answer.
Why wouldn't it be?

My answer was so immediate and it wasn't until later that I had some self-reflection where I questioned why I wasn't better about this.  It's no different than a Jewish or Islamic follower wishing a Christian/white person (because we all know Christmas isn't just for Christians) Merry Christmas since so many people celebrate Christmas compared to Hanukkah or Ramadan or any other non-Christian religious celebrations there are.  I've seen several friends on FB who are NOT Jewish or Islamic post things celebrating holidays they themselves do NOT celebrate, but they obviously know people that do.  I've always found it heartwarming to know that I have friends who are supporters of other cultures and religions, but this situation made me question why I wasn't more vocal about supporting these celebrations.

Now let me clarify, I specifically mean, supporting these celebrations IN AMERICA, where the white people are.  I struggle mightily with the fact that America was founded in search of religious freedom and yet.. so many people do NOT support religious freedom of others, WHEN IT IS DIFFERENT FROM THEIR OWN.

I am not talking about how zealots become terrorists and blow up religious sanctuaries in the Middle East.  I am talking about when zealots become terrorist and blow up religious sanctuaries IN AMERICA.  I'm talking about how much intolerance Americans practice towards people of other cultures who celebrate different than they do.  How their religious celebrations aren't as sacred as our own.

I mean, fuck yall, Ramadan is A MONTH of fasting during the time that the sun up as a way of honoring God.  I know Catholics have Lent where some people give something up or perform an act as a way of honoring God, but are they fasting ALL.DAY.LONG for A MONTH?  Absolutely not.  Ramadan is a hard time for those that practice and those people SHOULD be celebrated.  If it's as small as saying, "Eid Mubarak!" to someone, why is it so difficult?

Is it because it shows that we appreciate someone else's culture? 
Is it because we think accepting someone else's culture is an erosion of our OWN culture? 
Why is it so hard for us to celebrate others?
And that doesn't just apply to their religious celebrations, but also their accomplishments and struggles...
Why is it so hard for ME to celebrate others?
In what ways am I intolerant of others and how can I fix that?
How can I BE BETTER?

As always...
How can I be better?

For the record, there are NO reasons for me to wear my abaya and that makes me SUPER sad.

Saturday, April 17, 2021

The (Lazy) Eye

Two things, real quick.

1- I am a grown ass adult and I got shampoo in my eye this morning.  WTF is that shit?  Fun fact, it still burns just like when I was a kid.  Additionally, dat Herbal Essences burns WAY more than No-Tears Lavender by Johnson&Johnson.

2- I have a lazy eye.  Usually by 7pm, this eye is more tired than the rest of my body and then I look like Count Adhemar and if you don't know who Count Adhemar is, Ima need you to go watch A Knight's Tale (RIP Heath Ledger) and report back.  I think this LITERALLY every time my eye is being lazy.  Every.single.time.  

Count Adhemar GIF
This is Count Adhemar if you live under a rock/have never seen A Knight's Tale.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Immediate Expert

I have never pretended that I was a master coder.  In fact, mostly I just flounder around with coding until I am so overly frustrated at not succeeding that I just give up and walk away until I have to come back to it.  Then I flounder more until some unsuspecting soul takes pity on me and ends up fixing all my fucked up code and then it magically works and we're all happy (please see: School Spouse's role in my life during Fall 2019 and my former coworker who enjoyed doing my Assembly homework assignments for me and then also getting pissed of at PITA Professor's horribly subjective grading policies).

So anyways, last week, I was doing a screenshare with one of my coworkers to learn something new (which happens frequently) and he has been working on a rather large project.  This guy knows all sorts of things and I go to him for so many things.  

So anyways, during our screenshare, I noticed that he had a tab open that said, "Java while loop".

This guy writes all sort of code things.
He had to Google a while loop for whatever he working on.
I have to Google things like that all the time when I'm trying to write code. 

Honestly, it made me feel like I'm not as much of a dumbass as I tell myself I am. If the professional/expert still has to sometimes Google things he's working on, it's not such a bad thing if I, the beginner, need to find assistance.

I didn't mention it to him.
I mention it here because it felt like a RELIEF in my head.  Like cutting myself the tiniest bit of slack.  I mean, I still referred to myself as a dumbass (negative self-talk), but I accepted that if someone experienced needs to Google something to complete a task, I should not be so frustrated with myself for not just fucking knowing how to do something, despite having NEVER done it before.  EVER.

What kind of Megan fuckary logic is that?
I should just KNOW how to do something I've never done before.

This doesn't just apply to Work Megan.  
It applies to Gym Megan.
And Spouse Megan.
And Dog Mom Megan.
And Homeowner Megan.
And ME Megan.
All Teh Megans.

And I'm writing it here so I can see it and read it and KNOW IT.

It is not a sign of weakness to ask for help.
It is NOT a sign of weakness to NEED help.

Everyone starts somewhere.

Be it on Stack Overflow or doing box step-ups instead of box jumps.

Starting and stopping over and over is better than never starting anything for fear of failure.

Except for starting double unders.
Fuck double unders.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Are you talking about me?

One of my very poignant memories of the time when my relationship with my mother was deteriorating was of me and someone sitting in a room having a discussion and my mom walked in and demanded, "Are you talking about me!?  I KNOW you're talking about me.  I'm here now, just say it to my face."

We had, in fact, NOT been talking about her, but when the person and I looked at each other like, WTF is happening and then back at Mom, who just stormed back out of the room, we definitely talked about it after she left.  Probably something like, "WTF just happened?" and then back to whatever it was that you talk about with a teenager (me).  I'm not sure if it was Teh Granny, Teh Sister, Teh HS BFF, or Ex-Fiance (whose physical presence in Mom's house was limited to about 3 months before he got into a disagreement with my Mom and she told him to leave and never come back (he only came as far as the driveway to pick me up if there was a particular reason I couldn't just drive myself to his house) because, "he disrespected me in my house" after she picked a fight with him that neither he nor I could ever comprehend).  In fact, this paranoia always bothered me.  

And recently.. I've been seeing it in myself.
There are few things that make me #selfrage more than embodying traits that I hate the absolute most.

What had happened was...
There was a discussion recently that someone hates me and I hadn't realize this individual felt this way.  Now, back in the day, IDGAF about someone hating me or disliking me or not preferring me.  I am, sometimes, very much, A LOT... or so I've been told.  And I didn't care that I had haters.  But recently, as the list of haters grows (my group of haters has almost more people than Phil's "fan" Club of people he'd peed on), my anxiety spiraled...  And like my anxiety tends to be, it was so fucking unnecessary.  

If Person1 hates me does that mean Person2 hates me too?
Why does Person1 even hate me?
Why do I care that Person1 hates me?
If I'm so obnoxious that Person1 hates me, does that mean ThisPerson or ThisPerson are barely tolerating me too?
If I'm so horrible, does that mean Teh German tolerates me?
Did this random change of plans occur because I was involved and someone else wanted to avoid me?

It's well-known that I escalate quickly, but even I knew that this spiral was illogical.  I admitted the situation to Teh Bestie who talked me down and reasoned with me about why would I care about Person1 hating me when they have plenty of traits that are unappealing, to the point that Person1 isn't actually someone I prefer to be around anyways, so why was I putting myself through this spiral?

I must have just needed someone else to talk some sense into me, since my own talking-down wasn't very effective.  I was able to move on from wondering WHY.. and then I had a different actualization.  This paranoia, it seemed familiar, and not in a good way... in a "Are you talking about me?  I know you're talking about me." way.  I was making things that were not about me in any way, about me.  I was causing myself undue drama.  I was making things apply to me, even if it was reach and things obviously had nothing to do with me (i.e. random change of plans).

When did I become this hyper-critical person who can't cheer on others and only tear them down (in my mind, not like out loud, because that would be definitely crossing the line).  When did I become this person that cares that someone trivial doesn't like me?  When I did I become the person who equated some asshole not liking me to my husband not liking me?  Is this an age thing?  Is this a learned behavior?  

And this hyper-critical-ness is not just bitchy Megan being twatty but funny at the same time (this Megan only gets shared with certain people who realize that sometimes I just need to offload this snark and that I'm not actually a completely horrible person who believes these asshole things I say).  This is my thoughts about someone who is super fit doing super hard things and me tearing them down in my head about what a show-off they are.  They aren't actually a show-off, it's part of the workout and the rest of us just can't do what this person can and they shouldn't do things they are capable of to reassure the rest of us who can't do the hard thing that they can do.  But I have to have this entire thought process in the middle of a workout because I'm struggling, so obviously I need to lash out.

How is this ok?
Why can't I STOP comparing myself with everyone else?
Why can't I just accept that some people are better at things than I am?
I don't struggle to accept that I'm better at some things than other people, so why wouldn't the opposite apply?
Why can't I always genuinely cheer on someone doing their hard thing?  Why must I automatically think, "But this, this, and this.. and I do it this way."

I literally hate people who do this.. and I'M NOW THE PERSON I HATE.

I just want to be better.

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Whose Fucking Rules Are These?

I force myself to do a LOT of things.  I tell myself it's because that's just what you, those are the rules, that's how it's done.  But yall... WHO FUCKING CAME UP WITH THESE FUCKING RULES?  

Also, why am I so unbelievably strict on myself regarding the following of arbitrary rules

Literally NO ONE is forcing me to follow these rules but myself, but I will TORTURE myself trying to adhere to them as strictly as possible... but WHHYYY??  I cannot comprehend this.  

For instance.  The Morning Pages thing.  Writing 3 pages.  Doing them before your realize you have morning breath still.  Not reading them.  Are these ACTUAL rules?  Why do I have to follow THESE "rules"?  What happens if I only write two pages instead of three?  

Spoiler alert: NOTHING HAPPENS.  NOTHING!  No one dies.  No one is even slightly inconvenienced.  In fact, I actually benefit because I get MORE of my morning back!  WUT!?  

Why is three pages even the magic number?  What happens at 3 pages that can't happen at 1.5 or 2 pages?  Asking for a friend.  

For instance #2.  Recipes.  Ok, I'm a little less strict on this than I used to be.  But I'd follow a recipe to the motherfucking T because that's what it says to do.  Yall, I don't like spicy food, but recipes I'd find would call for a mountain of chili powder and cumin.  I'd add it and my GERD would be like, how do you like me now bitch?  You enjoying those spices you know this weak ass meat sack can't handle?  No?  Well, STOP IT THEN.  

Spoiler alter: Listening to my body is something I'm not very good at.  Please see any workout that is actually too hard for me, but I insist on doing it, through the pain and tears, to the detriment of my meat sack (body) AND mind AND spirit.  I don't listen to my mind, telling me, hey this hurts you should stop.  My body is just being tortured, and my spirit is crushed when I ultimately don't listen to my body and I'm broken/sore for days.  On the other hand, my spirit is crushed because my body sucks, but that's what we're working on.

So I'm trying to make an effort to remind myself, those aren't MY rules.  I will explore the rules and, if necessary, make my own fucking rules.  I will rewrite the script because sometimes, it doesn't work for me and I shouldn't need to punish/torture myself to follow someone else's plan.  

As Glennon taught me, I can do hard things.
Even if that hard this is as simple as saying, NO.  That does not work for me.  That way is not MY way.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021


I was reading Buy Yourself the Fucking Lilies (or maybe it was Love Warrior?) either way, the author was talking about how people NEED physical touch.  Despite how un-touchy your family may have been when you were child, if you were always hugged and touched and petted or if your family was not huggers or touchers, human beings are animals that thrive when touched.

Touch is a form of intimacy.

Teh German and I have touch rituals... but upon reading that, I realized that Teh German and I barely touched... like ever.  A pre-sleepy-time peck on the lips if Teh German comes to bed before I fall asleep, a quick peck before one of us leaves to go anywhere, maybe a quick peck after a workout, a pre-work peck.. but that was it.  I thought back and realized this had changed when Teh German started working from home.  Things started shifting when I was staying home all the time.  I wasn't getting out of bed with Teh German and we weren't heading out to face the day at the same time.  When we'd leave the house at the same time, we always said goodbye with a hug.  We'd say hello when we'd come in from work/whatever with a quick kiss, and since we were going to bed at the same time, a pre-sleepy-time peck.  

So really, the hug was the main difference.... and yall, it was a HUGE difference.  

So last week, I started implementing hugging again.  Purposeful hugging.  I was even straight up with Teh German about it.  I also made sure to start it as awkwardly as possible, like I do.  He finally came downstairs for dinner one evening and moved in to give me the standard prescribed kiss and I ignored him and finished whatever dinner preparations I was doing and I could feel him start to get frustrated, but he could see I was doing something and I told him, "hang on," so he did.  

Then I turned to him and said, "No, we're hugging now.  We used to hug every day and now we don't and I miss it and now we're hugging."  And so we did.  He admitted that he missed it too.  So now, we're going to be hugging (and kissing) before work and after work and whenever else.  Sometimes, you just need a hug.

Additionally, I'm hoping that more physical touch helps the intimacy levels in our relationship, which at best can be described as "cool".  For now, more hugging. 

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Is she back?

Based on my last 2 posts, one might thing, AWW YEAH, MEGAN IS BACK!!  But I'm not sure, to be honest.

When I stopped blogging in October, it was a relief in a way.  My life was an absolute shit storm: house selling, packing, moving, new job.  Blogging was another self-imposed requirement I'd put on myself and it wasn't serving me in the ways I needed it to.  And while many of those things have resolved, that still left me dealing with the shit storm that was ME.  My anxiety and my rage and my less appealing Megan-isms that cause me to struggle more than succeed... and it was time to work on some of that.

I've done a LOT of self-reflection and reading of self-actualization/help type of books.  Motivational women who seem to have gotten their shit together and that motivates me to get MY shit together.  I've known for quite a while that I don't always deal with things in the best ways and that mayyyybbbee I should get some therapy.  When a doc mentioned therapy the first time (back in 2017 when I asked for anxiety meds for my current life crisis (full-time work, full-time school, wedding planning, adjusting to new community/house)), I literally couldn't fit it in... and that's exactly how life continued for 3 more years.  In 2019 when I mentioned to my VA doc, "Maybe I should start therapy to deal with all this crap?"  She said, "That's not a bad idea."  Then we discussed it some and realized that trying to fit therapy into an already overly full schedule was NOT a good idea so it was put on the shelf to explore at a later time.

After surviving packing our entire house myself (let's call a spade, a spade, and give credit where credit is due, shall we?  yes, this is a rare occasion, someone please mark it somewhere), the house sell from hell, living in a temporary situation that would have been ideal under different circumstances (i.e. no spouses), buying a new house, and accepting that all of this change was MY FAULT but I was struggling to accept some things, it was time to deal with my shit.  I got set up with a VA doc in MD and, in addition to getting my hot flashes medication refilled AND filled by the VA (so no longer having to pay $$ each month for the meds), I asked to be set up with a therapist.  

That said, while I was relieved to not be blogging, I missed it.  SO MUCH.  I didn't have this outlet for all my shit.  I will share my ugly on FB, but I don't EXPLAIN my ugly on FB.  In this space, I explore the ugly.  I detail out all the tidbits that create the entire situation because this space is MINE and I do what I wawnt.  I missed sharing the silly shit that I said/thought.  I missed sharing the memes/internet things that made me laugh or touched me in my dark spaces.  

But I didn't miss the unknown audience.  I didn't miss the known audience and having to censor myself.  I didn't miss Teh German saying, "Just go bitch about it on your blog," when he'd piss me off beyond my overly tolerant limit.  (BTW, he realized the benefit to my blogging when we had to redo his green card photo requirements, so HA.)

It's a double-edged sword living the "transparent" life, I guess.

A few weeks ago, I got the itch to start doing Morning Pages (MP) again.  I did these during a class in college and didn't hate it, other than the getting up early part and that has been the biggest deterrent to doing them now.  I'm tired, yall.  So tired.  MP are essentially 3 hand written pages in a private journal that you write in each morning immediately after waking up.  No one should read them, even the writer, unless you've got some million dollar idea.  The purpose is essentially to clean the slate each day, to see your patterns and deal with your shit.  While I do need to deal with my shit, my itching was to WRITE to WRITE, not to clean the slate.  I'm fine with a messy slate, but in the 6 months that I've not used this space, I felt the pull to come back and share.

So I am going to share.  I'm going to share the ugly.  I'm going to share the dirty process of dealing with myself and my shit and my problems and hopefully the solutions.  Also, getting up 30 minutes early just isn't something I can currently force myself to do.  I force myself to do a LOT of things (that's another post for another day), but sleep is one of the things that doesn't usually go well for me, so interrupting it when is IS going well is not high on my list of things to do.  So maybe I won't do Morning Pages, but maybe I will start sharing my shitty-shit here.  

So don't expect this to be Weekend Reviews and Five on Fridays and Wednesday Rants or whatever the schedule used to be.  Expect this to be raw and not full of pictures.  Expect this to be what is weighing on my heart.  Expect this to be ugly and maybe sometimes spectacular.  I can't say that I don't want to share dog photos or funny memes, but I'm trying to focus on ME now.  Check my insta for the dogs and scroll through the internet for memes.  

Friday, April 2, 2021

Double Unders

When we'd been in the MD house for a month, I started to get itchy to meet people.  We NEEDED to meet people.  I mean, it took us a few months to get pulled into Roux's Humom's embrace when we moved into our SC house and it took over 6 months for us to even meet Teh PT Fam (thanks Hurricane Michael or whichever hurricane it was).  We aren't very good at making ourselves a part of a community unless we are forced, so I decided it was time to force us to find a community.

Something Teh German and I both enjoy (as much as I bitch about it) is working out.  I found 2 gyms within 10ish minutes of MD house and told Teh German to choose.  One was a crossfit gym, which we've done before, and the other was a Soliderfit gym that was so hardcore Army themed that I was having heart palpitations even giving Teh German the option of that gym.  Thankfully, he picked the crossfit gym.

Fast forward a month and a half to this morning.
Well, wait.  Let's back up to 2015 first.

In crossfit there's this STUPID thing called double unders.  If you do not know this, don't fret, because I didn't know either.  It's jumping rope, but extreme jump rope.  Essentially, the double part is that the rope goes around your airborne body TWICE per SINGLE jump.  Now look.  This isn't your elementary school PE class jumping rope.  There's no bossy little girls standing at the end of a long rope while you jump in the center until you miss one time and then it's someone else's turn to jump/turn the rope.  No, no.  This is fuck you jump rope.  And it's not the fun clacky plastic tube jump ropes, it's a whip covered in rubbery plastic or some shit that feels EXACTLY like when my mom used to whip me with the hickory switch I had to go to the woods and pick out myself.  

In 2015/2016, I did crossfit for a few months before we moved from Shitty House.  Ya know what ya girl can't do?  Jump.  Know what that means?  I can't do double unders.  So, the coaches say, just do singles, like regular jump rope.  So that's what I do.  And then that fucking rope would catch my shin or my calf or get caught in my fucking hair and ALL THE GODDAMN RAGE WOULD ERUPT FROM MY BODY LIKE AN EXPLODING VOLCANO.  There would be rage noises and it took me throwing a jump rope and almost hitting someone (and maybe almost getting kicked out of the gym, oops) before I realized something 2 things: 1- I might have anger issues.  2- You should not throw things when you are mad.  

I felt pretty confident about admitting #1 and maybe trying to work on it, but #2 I still can't always abide by.  

So here was my solution: no more double unders.  Problem solved.  Do not put yourself in situation where you know you are only going to get frustrated and angry.  Just don't.  This isn't quitting, this is understanding your limits and setting your boundaries.  This is healthy.

Ok, so now that we've had that story time, fast forward to this morning.  Double unders were on the menu and I was very clear about the fact that I'd be doing burpees or literally ANYTHING that wasn't double unders and the coach literally ignored me.  She explained to me that the goal was to work on the skill so I could ultimately DO double unders.  I explained that I have a rage problem when the jump ropes hits me in the legs or gets tangled up in me.  She said, then do singles.  I said, no really, I have a rage problem.  This is not how I want to start my Friday, being whipped in the legs with a hickory switch jump rope.  She told me to go get a jump rope.  I knew what was about to happen.  This was not a Megan can pretend to be cool situation.  I was not cool in this situation.  Not even close.

So the workout starts and we get to the part with the double unders and I'm trying to do singles and the fucking rope whips my legs and I feeeeeellll that rage.  I start again.  Another whip.  I take deep breaths.  Start over.  Rope gets caught on my fucking hair.  I stop, I breathe, I right the urge to sling the fucking jump rope against the wall.  Don't throw things in rage, Megan.  Try again.  It's just fucking jump rope.  You used to do this as a kid without problems.  Start again... get whipped in the legs and the fucking rope is out of my hands before I know what is happening.  Coach comes over and says not to throw things (yeah, I know, but I did warn you) and let's try a training option.  I consider this the "literally anything but double unders" alternative that I knew I needed from the start.  But then she added, we'll try with the rope towards the final rounds.  

Ya'll, I could barely get the fucking substitution move right.  It's called penguin claps and I'm only telling you this because we need a laugh at this point in the story.  Essentially, you jump and tap your hands on your thighs twice while you are airborne to simulate the rope going under you.  I do not stay airborne long enough to fucking penguin clap on my legs twice.  I'm clapping my legs while standing on the fucking floor because jumping is not my thing.  Shit, I can barely do step ups (a substitution for box jumps) without almost busting my face because my legs DO NOT properly lift sometimes and my foot will drag and trip me.  This is not me being funny, these are FACTS.  So anyways.  I'm shitty at the substitution and she can see that I'm frustrated with it all... and so she comes over towards the last rounds and hands me the jump rope to do singles.  

It's going well enough and then I whip my legs and I close my eyes and grip the rope handles like I'm going to fucking crush those motherfuckers and brreeeeattthheeeeeeeeeeeee.  I start again.  Rope gets caught in my hair again.  Coach says, maybe you need a longer rope and fetches it for me (I had originally picked the rope she'd told me to grab, just FYI).  I finished that bit doing the penguin claps that infuriated me because I was tired and couldn't fucking clap my gd hands against my legs once before hitting the ground I was so tired by this point and I'm overrrrwheeelmmmeeeddddd.  When it was time to do the next exercise, I laid on the floor and couldn't complete the movement (hollow rocks) because I couldn't breathe.  I was teary and couldn't breathe.  I had to sit up just so I could take breath.  I didn't want to fucking cry because of a fucking jump rope, I had to get it under control, but I could.not.breathe.  

I laid back and heaved some breathes hoping that I could control this.  But also, WTF is wrong me with?  Why is jump rope making me cry?  Is this PMS?  WTF is happening right now?  Is this is a panic/anxiety attack?  Is this just a temper tantrum meltdown?  What the fucking fuck is happening to me?

After a few seconds, I managed to catch my breath and refused to let myself cry.  I dried my teary eyes and popped out my hollow rocks and trudged on.. and then we were back at that fucking jump rope again.  I tried to take the singles slow.  Jump high and hold your elbow in, the coach had said, so I tried that.  And then.. I HAD TO PEE.  Queen of the Weak Bladder here, in addition to whipping myself, now I had to not piss on myself.  I whipped myself no less than 3 times and finally said said fuck this, I have to pee now because I'll pee on myself trying to do other exercises if I don't go.  

So I did that and was late starting the next round.  I caught up... and finally the last gd round of double unders was upon me.  Jumping high without a shitty half-full bladder made only a slight bit of difference, but not enough to not get whipped and that was enough for me.  I have no idea if I completed the allotted number of jumps, but I was drained physically and emotionally by that point.  

This is unusual for me, because I am that weird person that gets a 2nd wind and I'll be dancing to the music during the rest periods to encourage myself and keep myself moving.  Also, the music was WAY TO FUCKING LOUD.  I was already struggling but the music was SO LOUD that it was only grating on my already frayed nerves.  But when you're already the whiney asshole it's hard to be even more whiney and be like, could we turn it down about 5 decibels please?

We moved on to the 2nd part of the workout (because a 32 minute EMOM was not sufficient) and I modified the "skull crusher" movement and when the coach came to me and said, you should have the bar over your forehead, I said, "Look, I'm a head injury kid.  I will not be accidentally dropping this barbell on my face today.  I've already whipped myself with a jump rope, but I call it at dropping something on my head."  She finally accepted my modification and let me be.  We finished the rest of the workout and I cleaned up my station and tried to be cool, but on the inside, I was so very, very uncool.

I was embarrassed that I had thrown the rope (same as in 2016).
I was mad at myself that I can't do double unders.
I was mad at myself that I can barely do singles.
I was mad that my bladder fucking sucks and couldn't handle jumping for 45 seconds x4-5 rounds without threating my attire.
I was mad that I even touched a jump rope, because I knew I was setting myself up for emotional overload/failure.
I was mad that, that coach has seen me teary TWICE now (the first time was over legitimate back pain because of wall-balls in a similar situation except I don't refuse to do wall-balls).
I was embarrassed that I had a meltdown/panic/anxiety attack at the gym (who the fuck gets so fucking invested at the gym that they get upset to the point of tears/having a meltdown/attack? I mean, seriously).
I was concerned that I didn't even know what a panic/anxiety attack looked like.  Was I just having a meltdown or was that a legitimate "attack" of some sort?  Why doesn't the Anxiety Queen know that?
Why was I so upset that I was upset?
Was this PMS?  How does someone who is so hormonally controlled have fucking PMS? (for real, I'm on a daily pill for those hot flashes with no break, so I should have consistent levels, mkay.)
Why couldn't the coach accept my limitation?
Why couldn't I accept that the coach was trying to HELP ME BE BETTER?
Why couldn't I get past the whipping of my legs?  Yes, it stings, but it's not the end of the world.
Why did every time I whipped my legs with the jump rope did I flash back to when I was 10 or so, having to bring my mom a switch from a tree to beat me with?  
Was I just reaching for an excuse not to do something I'm not good at?
Was this accurate self-reflection?
Why was I still in this spiral?  How could I break the spiral and move on?
Why can't my body do the things I demand of it?  
Why is my body so weak?  (Side note: I did handstand holds against the wall the day before and I was the only one in the class who could even get up to the wall without assistance.  I couldn't do the push-up part, but I did 30 second holds, so I knew this was a ridiculous question.)
Why was this so absolutely devastating for me?

I still don't know the answers to some of those questions.  I don't know why I give myself the shortest stick, always.  It is exhausting.  This journey is exhausting.  I know this isn't healthy though and I'm trying to be/get better and that is also exhausting.