Re-introduction to movement

Saturday I was re-introduced to movement.

Our TKD studio had a free workshop about movement and health.  It was a 2.5 hour workshop.  First, you must understand how much this TKD group has become a family, because only love for a family would draw me out in wind gusts up to 30 miles an hour and near white out conditions.  But out I went and move I did.

It started out with some yoga.  I am new to the world of yoga.  It is something that I have never fully investigated or had a place where I could take a class.  I have tried it on video and decided that I would only do it if no one else was home.  The cubs would have a hey day laughing at my chubby body contorting into those positions.  Imagine my discomfort when I realized that I was going to assume some of these poses in public!  So I tucked myself into a corner and got into the task of twisting myself into a mis-shaped pretzel who was unable to balance on one foot for longer than .3 seconds.

Next came an introduction to X-Fit.  This is a cross between punching at invisible people, kicking at them and then running from them in place in time to music in a particular order under the leadership of your instructor.  So far have you noticed that this could be a recipe for disaster for my uncoordinated, already out of breath from simple stretching in the yoga, self?  Well, other than being about 2 beats behind and doing things mostly backwards I actually held out pretty well.  I made everything as low as I could make it so I didn’t ratchet up my heart rate too much, but I kept up.  At least I did not crash into my neighbor who was doing a much better job of staying up with things than I was!

The day proceeded to core strengthening.  The instructor shows us some very valuable abdominal exercises that I can actually do and not feel like old surgical sites are tearing, or irritate my GERD.  The instructor was terrific except he forgot to tell us the breathing we are supposed to do, so for a lot of it I was turning blue.  Once I got the breathing down, though,  those exercises were amazingly effective.

The last part of the day was the final section of X-Fit.  We punched on  bags and then moved to the floor.  I did the bag work, but I passed on the floor work as my abs were already screaming with delight that they had been found again.

The final segment of the day was a cool down, a much shorter and faster yoga session.  I was able to do most of this as well.  Some of the moves were simply no possible for me to do with the extra mega weight around my middle, but I gave it the good old college try.   I wandered around the studio for a few minutes to make sure my rubbery lets would carry me out to the car, fell into it, and proceeded to drive home through mostly clear streets, though I ran into a few major drifts and a couple of white outs where the road went between fields.

It was fantastic to spend time with my “extended family” and share stories between panted breaths.

It was good to re-engage my long neglected muscles.

I really enjoyed feeling my blood surging through my body.

I went to bed feeling tone in my muscles.

Then I woke up…..

I will leave the amount of pain that coursed through my  body for the next 48 hours up to you imagination.

But even with pain in my legs (have yet to figure out why my hamstrings were so tight) and the tightness in my shoulders (hate that my shoulder has never regained full strength from surgery, even with PT and continued exercise), I hand mixed 2 loaves of bread and then kneaded the dough for 10 minutes on Sunday.  On Monday I got up and walked through the grocery with Baby Cub and lifted and toted the bags.   Tuesday is my day of nothing.  Then tomorrow I will drag out the exercise videos, close the blinds, make sure the Cubs are safely tucked in the office doing their school work and then once again partake in foolish looking exercises in my living room and continue what I started on Saturday!

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Still Struggling

I have taken a long hiatus from  blogging.  Part of it is because I have been trying to stay focused on the important people in my life and spending time with them.  The other part is because I don’t want to sound like a broken record.  I am still grieving.  I am still hurting.  I am still struggling to find that “new normal”.   I realize that it has not been a year yet, and because of that I am trying really hard to cut myself some slack.  But there are times that the fog still makes it hard to move forward.

We are in the middle of Advent, the time of preparation for Christmas.  I am terrified of that holiday this year.  Honestly, I have been scared since Thanksgiving.  This has always been my favorite time of the year.  I love everything about it – the decorations, the music, the specials on TV, the family traditions.  One tradition was that Dad and I always went out on a “booming around” day.   It was a shopping day where it was just the 2 of us (until the Cubs came along and then they came with us) and we went shopping for mom and whoever it was I needed to buy a special present for (boyfriends as I was growing up and then gifts for Papa Bear as we started dating and throughout our married life).    The day would always include Dad taking me out for lunch.  As I got older the day became more about the lunch and the conversations we shared than about the actual shopping.  When I graduated from Nursing School and started working he would pull out his date book on Thanksgiving weekend and say “we need to plan when we can do our day”.   We always aimed for weekdays since the stores would be less busy.   Until I was in my late teens the man had me convinced that he did not know how to wrap a gift, so I always wrapped the gifts for him after we got home from shopping.  Once I was living on my own I would always have a big pot of chili waiting for us so we could warm up while I wrapped.   This will be the first year in 46 years that we have missed a shopping day.   I have tried to think of so many ways to “honor” that tradition and create a new one.  I have yet to come up with one that feels right.  I thought about doing a spa day, but money and scheduling just did not work out.  I have tried to think of other ways….go out with the Cubs for a shopping day,  make it a family day of shopping, do some sort of service project with the family.  Nothing has worked out from a scheduling standpoint, and honestly, nothing has worked out from a feeling “right” standpoint either.

But this is just one of the things that have changed.  There are some not so great memories of last year’s Christmas that I have to work through.  Mom and dad usually came up to decorate our tree with us, but last year dad did not feel good enough for long enough to come up, so our tree did not even get decorated until 2 days before Christmas.  I am not even in the mood to decorate the tree this year.   After Christmas Eve Mass last year is when dad took a very bad turn for the worse and they had to leave our home in the wee hours of Christmas Morning while the cubs were still asleep.  It was the 1st Christmas morning that the Cubs did not spend with my parents.

During this precious time of the year I am just sitting in a low spot.  I know I have to work through the pain.  I know that have to just survive until the healing starts to occur.  I know that eventually there will be a “new normal”.  But right now, at this moment, it hurts.  And I want things to “old normal” again.  But normal would mean he would be in pain again.  Normal would mean that the loss was still going to occur.   Neither of those things would I want for him or my family.   But that does not stop what I am feeling right now, at this moment.   All I do right now is to cry out to the only one who knows completely about my pain and hang on to the faith that has been given to me.

Starts and Stops

I have not been writing frequently because there are so many emotions that I have been feeling that…

a) don’t need to find their way out into cyberspace, cluttering it up with negativity

b) are so repetitive that after the first 20 times you hear them you won’t ever want to come back to this site

c) have cluttered my mind so much that I haven’t been able to focus on what I want to write

So I ask you to please be patient as I stutter around and try to figure out my new normal.

Never being one to stay organized for more than 15.3 seconds, my cluttered and clouded mind has decreased that time to about 3.2.  I have become a relatively decent typist, but there is no way I could complete a post in that short a time span.   My to-do list is huge, as is the list of topics that I want to write about.   I have a calendar on which I plot out my posts – or at least topics I want to cover, if not the specifics.  So far I have moved topics 4 different times.  So you see, I am not ignoring the blog, or you readers, all 4 of you.  I am simply slogging along through the mist, waiting for the sun to burn through and allow me to figure out how to reconnect my brain.

Temp Check

Today is not Monday,  it is not even Tuesday!  Somehow the week has really slid past me and I have not written a thing.  I am not sure how I manage to lose track of time like that.  I wish I could blame it on something like the emotions of grief, but I have to admit that I am a major procrastinator and I just did not get stuff done.  Now, I will say that there have been some serious disruptions to my sleep because the Cubs have been very needy and not sleeping well themselves.  They are going through the normal fears that occur in a loss.  They are afraid that Papa Bear and I are going to die or just disappear.   So there have been several long nights of sitting up and holding one or the other Cub while they slept and giving them squeezes and whispered assurances that I am there when they get restless.   I hate that they have to go through this.  Like any mom, I wish I could protect them from all the pain, the loss, the disappointments, the hurt feelings, and anything else that takes away their innocence and belief in a perfect and safe world.  But I am glad that I am here to help them through it, even if there are times that I know I say the wrong thing or I snap at them when I am going through my own emotional upheavals.

Anyway…..I think this is how I end up losing track of time!

So on Mondays I try to do a temp check of where I was last week and how I can improve the upcoming week.  That includes evaluating things like exercise (or lack of), my dietary planning and execution (healthy or otherwise),  how the message from Mass is going to impact my week, how much time I committed to deepening my friendship with God, and how much effort I put into being the wife and mother God wants me to be.   In order to increase my accountability, I decided that I needed to put some of that our here in cyberspace for all 3 of you who read this little collection of words.   So here it is…..

I have gotten up and started moving again.  I have not managed to get back to the TKD DoJang for a few reasons – all of them fairly whiny and not worth your time right now.  But I have managed to get off the couch, raise my heart rate and sweat just a bit.  I have done that using one of my very favorite work-out DVDs –

Leslie Sansone’s Walk Away the Pounds.

 

I was introduced to Ms Sansone’s videos through another blogger, Ellen.  Honestly, it was her blog, along with Baby Cub, who managed to get my saggy baggy body moving again.  But back to Ms Sansone’s videos.  They are easy to do (I did not even come close to falling down once – score one for the video since I managed to fall down several times in TKD) and don’t require any type of coordination (also another attribute that I sorely lack).

Starting to move again after almost 3 months of doing nothing, I was very glad to do this in the privacy of my home.  It also gave me the chance to get out some emotions that I was keeping bottled up.  There were several times that I would march around my living room with tears coursing down my face and screaming just because I was alone and could.  It is time for me to get out of the house and back into society, but I needed that time for some emotional healing, and for the most part I do that by curling in on myself until I am able to gain some sort of control.   Ahhh, control – an illusion, but one best saved for another day.

Well, there you have it – my emotional and physical temp check for the week.