I’m sure I walked more than a mile during the first few weeks of January, but since I didn’t log any fitness, it wasn’t fair to count more than I could be sure of. Then, despite my goal to log 30 miles by walking 5 miles a day in the last 6 days of the month to “average” a mile a day for the month, I found everything to do yesterday except get on the treadmill.
Today, I put off the treadmill all. day.
And let me tell you, I did NOT want to put on my walking shoes. I did NOT want to get on this treadmill. I would rather be sitting in the sauna RIGHT NOW. But I made a commitment to God to be a good steward of the body He has blessed me with. I would rather walk outside at leisurely pace on the flat ground than 3mph at a 4% incline, but I made commitment to myself to average at least a mile a day and if I’m gonna do it, I’m gonna increase my heart rate and SWEAT. I put my goal out there on the internet because accountability makes me stronger.
So I’m faced with a decision. How many miles am I going to walk today, tomorrow and Tuesday?
We’ll find out in three days, but I’ll tell you this, the decision is NOT going to be influenced by how tired I am. I’m still on the treadmill as I type this and so far, I’ve walked 4.25 miles. I’m tired, but I’m not hurting, so I’m not quitting.
It’s been a while since I updated my fitness log. Tomorrow marks EIGHT weeks since my partial MCL tear and ACL strain! Recommended healing for my injury was 6 to 8 weeks!
YEAH! I’m HEALED!(yes. this is how I think)
First day back to the incline treadmill walking (at an incline of 4 and a speed of 3 mph). I think I’ll take it slow and only walk a mile or two. Unless I decide to walk 5 miles a day till the end of the month to get to an average of a mile a day for the entire month.(yes. this is how I think.)
On another note, I was doing my two minute forearm plank a few weeks ago and FirstHusband said, “Ya know, I’m kind of surprised you’re still satisfied with a two minute plank. That’s not like you.”
seriously? He had to plant that thought in my freakishly self-competitive head?
So, I’m up to two minutes, ten seconds. The new goal is to be able to do a three minute plank by the end of the year.
There’s a certain person in my daughter’s life, who if she allows it, erodes her joy. I’ll call her TheBully. Without getting into detail, I’ll just say that her behavior toward PinkGirl is often passive-aggressive. Every day after school, PinkGirl tells me what TheBully did that day. And every day, PinkGirl and I talk about how she might handle her interactions with TheBully. I’ve encouraged her to include TheBully in her prayers.
I’ve asked PinkGirl to consider that there might be things in TheBully’s life that we aren’t aware of that make her unhappy and her unhappiness might be why she acts the way she does. I’ve explained that some unhappy people try to make themselves feel better by making other people unhappy too. They don’t know they’re doing it and while it really doesn’t make them feel any happier, it does make them feel less alone. I’ve called to her attention that TheBully is also unkind to other people and I’ve tried to help PinkGirl understand that she shouldn’t take it personally.
But I’ve also told PinkGirl that even if all those things are true, it doesn’t give TheBully the right to act the way she does.
It’s not okay.
PinkGirl and I talk about it at length and every day, I conclude by saying that I believe it’s possible for her to stand firm and not let TheBully control her actions. Every day, I tell PinkGirl that it’s possible to tell the truth – even truth that might hurt someone’s feelings – using gracious words. PinkGirl remains steadfastly unconvinced and consistently counters that TheBully will “tell lies” about her to “everybody.” “Everybody” will be mad at her. and she will get into big trouble with the teachers.
Every day, I tell PinkGirl that’s not true. And every day, she tell’s me I don’t understand and that I’m wrong.
The freakish optimist in me gets so exasperated with her. How can my daughter be such a pessimist?
And then I get smacked in the face with a little empathy.
There’s a certain person in my life, who, if I allow her, erodes my joy. I’ll call her Narcissa. Without getting into detail, I’ll just say that her behavior toward me is often passive-aggressive. After a few years of praying about – and relentlessly lamenting to my husband about – these interactions and countless discussions with him about why God is allowing this person in my life and what I’m supposed to do and say to her with the love of Christ, I finally . . . blocked her out. Literally and figuratively.
I’ve spent the last few months flat-lined against the messages in her body language, her wounded facial expressions and the disgruntled and sarcastic mumbling. And flat-line has been working for me.
Recently, the passive aggressive behavior morphed into a face to face, non-ignorable conversation. Skilled communicator that I am, I couldn’t think of one thing to say that fell in line with God’s command to speak in love. The words of the great philosopher, Thumper the bunny, kept echoing in my mind: “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.”
So I stood there, speechless.
A few days later, a colleague/friend, who had witnessed the encounter, brought it up. My first response was to assure her that it was okay and to explain that, by the grace of God, I was in a place that Narcissa’s behavior didn’t bother me and that my focus was on my work.
But then my friend, a fellow Christian, said, “It’s just been weighing heavy on my heart.”
I’m not in a place where I can simply block her out. And I couldn’t ignore the fact that God has used her in other situations in my life to point out things I couldn’t or wouldn’t see. As I listened to her explain how Narcissa’s behavior was affecting her, I silently prayed that God would give me the right words to say. My initial thought was to sooth her soul, to help her accept the behavior of the person who was causing her so much heartache. Not once did I consider the possibility that the issue could be resolved. When my friend mentioned speaking with Narcissa about all this, my immediate reaction was, “ohhhhh, nooooo. That would not be a good idea.”
As she persistently brought up possibilities of addressing the problem, one by one, I shot them down: Can’t do it. Never gonna happen. There’s no situation in which that would turn out well. The fall out would be too far reaching.
The next day, alone, I thought: Who was that? I’m freakishly optimistic. I believe “can’t” is a four letter word. My mantra is “Just because I haven’t thought of an answer doesn’t mean there isn’t one. I just haven’t figured it out yet.”
What kind of power does this person have over me that I would abandon such a core characteristic? What kind of power does she have over other people? What kind of power does she have?
and what kind of example am I setting for my daughter? I had to fess up.
In the car ride home from school,
I said: “So, I had an epiphany. Do you know what that is?”
Me: “It’s a realization. I realized something today. You know how every day you tell me what TheBully did and I tell you that you need to stand firm and not let her control your actions? How you need to talk to her and tell her the truth using gracious words – even if it will hurt her feelings? And how every day, you tell me that you can’t do that because she will tell everyone lies and the teachers will get you in trouble and everyone will be mad at you …
PinkGirl: “Well not my real friends.”
Me: “True. But am I getting all this right? Am I leaving anything out?
PinkGirl: “No. That’s pretty much it.”
Me: “I realized I’m doing the same thing you are. Who’s TheBully in my life?”
PinkGirl, quick as a flash: “Narcissa.”
Me: “yep. I realized that I’m expecting you to do something I’m not willing to do myself. I just wanted to tell you that I’m sorry for getting so frustrated with you when you refuse to try and work out your problems with TheBully.”
So. Now I either have to start coaching PinkGirl about how to physically and emotionally distance herself from TheBully or I have to refocus my efforts on preventing Narcissa’s passive-aggressive behavior from negatively impacting my thoughts and actions.
If you read my last post, I should probably steer clear of Narcissa for a while. Because right this minute, emotions are not a factor in my decision-making and communication. I could easily, objectively and thoroughly tell Narcissa the truth and be completely unaffected by ANY reaction she has.
Unfortunately, because there are other people involved who would be negatively impacted by the repercussions of an honest conversation with Narcissa, I think my best course of action is to keep praying the prayer I’ve been praying for years: “Lord, if you won’t change my circumstances, please change my attitude.” If I want to shake the Hypocrite Certificate, I think I need to teach PinkGirl that same prayer. And how to physically and emotionally duck and weave to stay out of TheBully’s line of sight.
CLICK HERE to see other posts I’ve written about dealing with emotional bullies, narcissists and passive-aggressive people.
(the premise is that children who are capable of delayed gratification are more “successful” than children who can’t delay gratification. The test? Give a kid a marshmallow and tell them they can eat it – BUT if they can wait 10-15 minutes, they can have TWO marshmallows. Some kids make it. Some kids don’t. Some kids find a way to eat the INSIDE of a marshmallow and make it look like they didn’t eat it. That would be the little girl with the pink headband. The kid vs. marshmallow test video begins around the 3 minute mark.)
Today, an hour ago:
FirstHusband went to our doc for his annual check-up this morning. Me: “Did you ask him about my knee?” FirstHubs: “uh, YEAH. I said, ‘Julie wants to go back to yoga and I said she had to wait until you cleared her.'” Doc: “no. No. (pause) NO!” well. that’s irritating. Now FirstHubs has ammo. and an ally.
December 1 @ 11:19am (still don’t understand how I didn’t know anything was wrong at this point)
Done: 1 HIIT mile and 1 yoga class.
But I’m still in my workout clothes…still wearing shoes. If I can just stop myself from taking off my shoes, there’s the possibility of another mile or two.
3:32pm (and so it begins)
right knee. ice. heat. ice. heat. ice. heat. anti-inflammatories. don’t know if I twisted it in yoga or stressed it jogging. I didn’t move it for an hour this afternoon and it started to stiffen up. Gotta MOVE it! FavoriteHusband…will you please fix my bike?
10:54pm FirstHusband: “Sit down. I don’t want you walking around. You’re limping.” Me: “I’m not limping. I’m just walking without bending my knee.” FirstHusband: “How is that different from limping?” Me: “It doesn’t hurt to walk if I don’t bend my knee.” FirstHusband: “Have you ever seen Chester on Gunsmoke?” Me: “Yeh. so?” FirstHusband: “If you don’t sit down I’m going to start calling you Chester.”
After 8 days of rest, ice, anti-inflamatories and wearing a compression knee brace, walked three miles (wearing the knee brace).
December 12 @ 11:39am
Had the doctor look at my knee today when I took PinkGirl (her brother gave her strep). Turns out, I have a partially torn medial collateral ligament and a strained anterior cruciate ligament. Switching from Aleve to the cortisone prescription he gave me and continuing with ice and a brace. It’s MUCH better than when I hurt it 10 days ago. No problem during or after the 3 miles I walked yesterday. I just can’t fully straighten my leg or bend it all the way (strained ACL). Also can’t do fire log pose (torn MCL) or cross my right leg over my left. Yet.
Just picked up my prescription for my knee. Dang. That’s a LOT of cortisone. 6 pills today, 5 tomorrow, 4 on Wednesday, 3, 2, and finally 1 on Saturday. Supposedly, it will make me more susceptible to infection. and StrepThroatGirl is watching TV in my bed. On the bright side, my arthritis and psoriasis symptoms should be non-existent this week.
December 13 @ 10:37am
6 cortisone pills down, 15 more to go. My knee feels SO much better. I know that just means the inflammation is down, not that the ligaments are healed. Wearing a brace today to prevent myself from moving in a way that, while doesn’t cause pain, might be counter-productive to healing. Back to walking the last two days to keep my knee from stiffening up. So far, so good.
I’m going for a walk. Because I can – and because last week, I couldn’t.
Walked 2.5 miles. I really, really hate it when I end on a half mile.
December 14 @ 9:29pm
Made it! Walked 3 Miles with NO knee pain! PRAISE GOD!!!! HE IS SO GOOD! I have two more days of cortisone pills. If the pain and inflammation come back, I have to go for an MRI. Praying there’s been some significant healing this week and I can start strengthening my knee. Just read yesterday that torn MCL recovery can take 6 to 8 weeks!!! eek!
December 15 @ 12:37pm – next. slowly. but next.
Cycling is also part of my plan! My sweet husband pulled my bike out of the shed, removed the baby seat (I know, PinkGirl is ELEVEN), put a new seat on it for me and bought me two new tubes and tires. Thankful I’m already back to walking – with a knee brace.
December 16 @ 6:26pm
do. hard. things.
“Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
December 18 @ 2:41pm
Wii Fit suggests my ideal body weight is 129 pounds?! My 16 year old son weighs 134 lbs. I don’t think so.
Walked a 3 mile neighborhood route with FirstHusband. First day off cortisone pills. Knee still feels good. SO thankful!
11:00am Done: 1 HIIT mile and 1 yoga class.
But I’m still in my workout clothes…still wearing shoes. If I can just stop myself from taking off my shoes, there’s the possibility of another mile or two. So…what are YOU doing to be a good steward of the body God has blessed YOU with today?
11:15am courtesy subliminal message: m&ms taste like brussel sprouts. you don’t want m&ms. (you’re welcome)
Looks like my van’s getting a new transmission for Christmas. Second one this year. At least this one is free (warranty).
4:15pm right knee. ice. heat. ice. heat. ice. heat. anti-inflammatories. don’t know if I twisted it in yoga or stressed it jogging. I didn’t move it for an hour this afternoon and it started to stiffen up. Gotta MOVE it! FavoriteHusband…will you please fix my bike?
I narrowed it down. It was the half bow pose in yoga today. NEVER doing that again. more ice. more heat. more anti-inflammatories. epson salt bath. aspercreme.
10:45pm FirstHusband: “Sit down. I don’t want you walking around. You’re limping.” Me: “I’m not limping. I’m just walking without bending my knee.” FirstHusband: “How is that different from limping?” Me: “It doesn’t hurt to walk if I don’t bend my knee.” FirstHusband: “Have you ever seen Chester on Gunsmoke?” Me: “Yeh. so?” FirstHusband: “If you don’t sit down I’m going to start calling you Chester.”
(Some of you know I’m writing a book. Most recently I’ve been focused on accountability. Don’t know how much will make it through final edits, but today, this is what came out of my memory and my fingertips. Note: (1) This was many YEARS ago. (2) I do NOT really talk to myself like this. That would be crazy.)
I have a collection of coffee mugs that completely fills the kitchen cabinet I’ve designated as the “coffee mug cabinet.” So far, when I get a new mug, I’ve been successful in getting rid of an old one so the coffee mug cabinet stays full, but doesn’t overflow into another one.
I also have a collection of CHRISTMAS coffee mugs that completely fills the same cabinet.
You see my problem.
When I first started collecting coffee mugs, I didn’t pay attention to how much space they took up. I saw a coffee mug I liked and I bought it. Eventually I got to the point where all the mugs didn’t fit into the space, so I started packing up the Christmas mugs and storing them in the attic, only taking them down during the month of December.
In December, my cabinet overflowed.
Then a few years ago, I had a long overdue epiphany. When I UNpacked the Christmas mugs, I PACKED the everyday mugs in the same box and instead of putting an empty mug box back into the attic for the month of December, I put a full mug box into the attic.
There’s a lesson here. Just in time for the chaos of the Christmas season.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it until I’m dead:
You CAN have it all, you just can’t have it all AT THE SAME TIME.
Choose on PURPOSE.
Everyone knows someone who’s schedule is overloaded. Someone who has said “yes” to too many things. Someone who tries to do so many things, they do none of them well. Someone who is a job hog. You may even BE one of those people.
I used to be one of those people, until I had a long, honest, humbling talk with myself:
FedUpMe: “What is your problem? WHY do you keep doing this?
FedUpMe: “WHY do you keep saying yes to everything?”
MartyrMe: “Well, they asked me. They NEED me.”
FedUpMe: “They need you. They need you? Are you sure you don’t need them to need you?”
MartyrMe: “Of course not! I’m doing all this out of the goodness of my heart. Because I’m a good person and I want to help.”
FedUpMe: “and you get nothing out of it.”
MartyrMe: “NO! Most of the time people don’t even appreciate all I do for them.”
FedUpMe: “Of course they don’t. Nobody appreciates a half-%&# job.”
MartyrMe: “I do NOT do a half-%&# job!!! I work my butt off! Look at my schedule! I don’t have ANY time for myself! EVERYthing I do is for other people. I don’t even have time to work out! I run on coffee!”
FedUpMe: “This is me you’re talking to.”
FedUpMe: “Save it. You’re not selling that load here. Look at everything you do. You don’t get anything out of it personally? How many of these things you’ve committed to come with lots of people telling you how great you are? How many times do you tell people about all the stuff you do so they’ll tell you how great you are? (mocking voice) ‘Oh, I just don’t know how you do it all!'”
MartyrMe: “I can’t just quit. There’s nobody else to do it.”
FedUpMe: “Are you really that arrogant?”
MartyrMe: “If I didn’t do it, it wouldn’t get done.”
FedUpMe: “Are you sure about that? Are you SURE that you’re not hogging a job someone else wants? A job someone is just WAITING for you to give up so they can have a shot at it? A job you really aren’t suited for? Are you afraid someone else might do it better? Because I’ll tell you now, they probably could. Because you do a half-%&# job.”
MartyrMe: “shut up. I do NOT do a half-%&# job. I’m doing my best.”
FedUpMe: “You did not just say that. (pregnant pause) What is your favorite Churchill quote?”
FedUpMe: “It’s not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what’s required.”
silence. brooding. arrogant brooding.
MartyrMe: “I never liked you.”
FedUpMe: “There are a lot of people who don’t like me. And yet I’m still breathing.”
MartyrMe: “You’ve got issues. and you’re bossy.”
FedUpMe: “duh. I’m YOU.”
MartyrMe: “I can’t just quit. I’m already committed.”
FedUpMe: “Yeh, well, you’re gonna be committed if you don’t find some balance in your life. Look. Start by figuring out two things:
First, what’s important to you? What are your goals in life? Second, what are you good at? What talents has God blessed you with and which ones are you actively developing?
Be brutally honest with yourself, but more importantly, ask other people for feedback and give them permission to tell you the truth. Then you’ll know what to let go of, what to keep in your life and what you need to improve on. If you want to do something and you aren’t very good at it, then GET good at it. Learn. Practice. And don’t forget. There are seasons for things. Just because you want to do something, doesn’t mean you have to do it NOW. You don’t have to do everything at the same time. You CAN’T do everything at the same time. Not well. Rotate your commitments.
In my continuing quest to be a good steward of this body God has blessed me with, I’ve set my August fitness goals.
How did I do in July? shhhhhh. Let’s not talk about it. July was pitiful.
pit. i. ful.
no excuses. wasn’t sick, not overwhelmingly busy, just easily found other things to do.
But I MISS sweating, believe it or not. And I miss the sore muscles that come with the knowledge and satisfaction of working them to failure. The way I see it, strength training that doesn’t fail the muscle is a waste of time – and if I’m going to take the time to do strength training, I want the time to be well spent.
But I digress.
It’s the fourth day of August and I’m back on track with my fitness goals. Here’s what I’m shooting for this month:
In addition to averaging two 6.5 incline miles & one 2 minute forearm plank EVERY day,