Category Archives: Dammit!

Three Things Thursday: We’re All Going to Die

It’s been a while since I’ve graced you all with three things on a Thursday. I know you’re feeling the pain of that specific abandonment. (Not as much as you feel the pain of my now defunct “Shoesday” series, though, I’m sure…)

Today is a bittersweet day, and I’m feeling a wee bit political, so welcome to the “Oh My God, We’re All Going to Die” (political commentary) edition of Three Things Thursday.

  1. Today is the last full day that Barack Obama will be president. I have very much enjoyed having him as my president. I didn’t always agree with everything he did, but overall, his policies matched my beliefs. We’ve come a long way in eight years. Healthcare reform (although it was gutted by the GOP and wasn’t as good as it could be), marriage rights, increased funding to prevent violence against women, and on and on… Today, I read an article about all the things that our incoming PEOTUS has planned. Beyond gutting funding for arts and humanities, he is also planning on gutting funding for 25 DOJ programs that administer grants to prevent violence against women. Don’t even get me started on Planned Parenthood. (Did you know we’re at a 30 year low rate for unplanned pregnancy? Do you know what makes preventing unplanned pregnancy possible? Places like Planned Parenthood. Do you know what else goes down when unplanned pregnancies go down? Abortion rates! So, if you really are pro-life, why wouldn’t you support access to birth control and health care? I DO NOT UNDERSTAND!)
  2. Intersectional feminism shouldn’t be that hard for white women to grasp. I’ve given up on arguing with cis/het/white men on the internet (hahahahaha…we’ll see how long that lasts), and I know some amazingly feminist men who don’t seem to believe their masculinity is diminished by a woman’s strength. One of the most disturbing conversational trends I’ve seen in the past few days, though, is the number of white women who call themselves feminists but don’t understand why they (cis/het/white) also have more privilege than WOC and those who are LGBTQ. The number of arguments I’ve seen that start with “identifying differences is divisive/let’s not talk about race or color or orientation/we’re all women together” is so incredibly tone deaf. For all that we as women lack the male privilege, those of us who are white (and cis/het) do not get to diminish the voices of those who have to work even harder than we do to achieve the same things. That whole $0.77 on the dollar that is publicized as the income inequality? That’s only white women. There is nothing wrong with shutting up to hear others’ experiences and interpretations of the world. The more I learn about someone else’s struggles, the more I can rebuild my narrative to include everyone and fight for everyone. Sometimes that means I have to take a backseat, and you know what? That’s okay. Shutting up to let someone else talk is not the same as being silenced. We tell that to men who talk over us – let’s make sure we’re not talking over anyone else.
  3. Ugh. You guys. The cabinet nominees. I’ve never paid too much attention to confirmation hearings before because I’ve generally done some reading about the candidates, either agreed or disagreed with their nominations, and sent off a quick email to the appropriate parties regarding my opinions. This is the first time I’ve actively watched multiple hearings. Every time I think there can’t be a more ill-prepared and vastly unqualified candidate, I am surprised. Current record holder for me: Betsy DeVos. DUDES! If confirmed, she is going to gut our public education system. She is not interested in making public education better. She doesn’t care about making sure that students with disabilities receive quality education. She wants federal funds to go to unregulated charter schools. She knows nothing about education. Or running large financial systems. Or anything useful at all as far as I can tell. (She does, however, know that there are bears in Wyoming and those bears are apparently a larger threat to our school children than guns. The facts do not support that, but we are moving away from things likes “facts” and “information” and “knowledge” in our educational systems.) As someone who is attending kindergarten open house next week (which is full of crazy anyway), this is disheartening. I can’t afford private school (unlike Ms. DeVos) for my kid and can’t home school (because I don’t hate myself or my child and would like to keep it that way), so I need a good public school system with good teachers.

This was not the Harry Potter education professional I would’ve chosen. (Although with Lockhart as president, I guess it’s not that surprising…)

 

I’m trying hard to stay positive. I don’t have money to donate right now, but you can bet your ass that once I’m reemployed, I’ll be sending my $$ to all the places that are going to need it most.

Provided I can breathe and walk without trying to hack up a lung, I’ll be marching on Saturday.

I will continue to support my congress people in their fight for ALL American people.

Tomorrow

Conspiracy Theory

I am a wee bit sick. Not horribly sick, and I’m mostly feeling better; but not at the top of my game. In addition to the mild chest cold that I’m on my way out of (but whose effects will likely last forever and ever amen if I don’t take it easy on my lungs which are prone to bronchitis and pneumonia), we’ve been having a shitty winter.

The Weather Channel rated Portland as the US’s most miserable city for the 2016/17 winter so far. (Not that we’re colder or have more snow than you – I know we don’t – but we have so much more cold or snow than we’re used to, and I don’t care who you are, that’s miserable.)

These two items in conjunction with the fact that I signed up for not one, but TWO races, is what leads me to believe that I’m dealing with a conspiracy theory.

To wit:

2016. I signed up for two races. I paid to do a women’s running group. I attended the first two meetings. I got the ‘flu, even though (like every freaking year), I’d gotten the flu shot. I was so sick that I was hallucinating from lack of sleep. I couldn’t even begin to run again until well after the first race (a 5K) was over and the second (a half marathon) was quickly approaching.

2015. I signed up for five races. (An indoor tri, a sprint tri, two olys, and a 70.3). I secured the services of the best coach in these here You-Nited States of ‘Murica.  I placed 2nd in my age group in the indoor sprint tri. I immediately got a sinus infection and double pneumonia. Oh – and strep throat. AT THE SAME TIME. I did manage to do the second race I was signed up for, but just couldn’t get ‘er done for anything else.

Now – getting sick once as I begin a rigorous training schedule might be chalked up to an accident. And twice? Totally a coincidence. But three times in three springs? (This time, I feel like the weather started it, but when I made noises about heading to the gym to run on the treadmill, my body said, “Fuck this shit!”)

And the enemy is me.

And just in case you’re disinclined to believe me, in 2010 when I’d started training for my second marathon I hurt my foot so badly that I needed surgery. In 2011 when I started training for my (still second) marathon, I got pregnant. THAT WAS NO ACCIDENT! (Heh. See what I did there?)

2012 was kinda a wash, what with my dad dying and my kid being born, and the debilitating post partum depression.

What I’m saying is that my body is extremely opposed to training. Or rigor. Or any kind of physical motivation.

In fact, it seems to like sitting on the couch, arguing with misogynistic douchecanoes on the internet, and drinking wine eating fruit salad best of all.

Solution? Probably not continue to sit on the couch, arguing with asscandles on the internet (I’ve gotten one death wish and one FB block…I could strive to do better).

I told my PSM the other day that what I really need is for someone to invent a moderation pill. I’d be first in line to sign up for the clinical trial (that’s not an immoderate response, is it?). I just have no chill. I’m either all in or all out. I did my yoga as promised Monday – and accidentally found the hardest hip opening hatha class in existence. So when I realized how hard it was going to be, did I (a) stop the class and find another, easier class, (b) modify the harder poses to be gentle on my body, or (c) push as hard as I could because this gazelles doesn’t quit?

Fitspirational memes are very problematic for me.

Yeah. Obviously C. Could I move my legs without pain yesterday? No. No I could not.

I’m sure I’ve blogged about my struggle with moderation before. Things have not noticeably changed in the…ever since this has been a problem.

So, wise internets…what would you do? Continue to make ridiculous training plans that are impossible to successfully complete and then give up entirely when you fail? Skip that first part and go straight to the giving up entirely, but with wine?

If you are an immoderate person, how do you force yourself into moderation?

No, dammit! I want it RIGHT NOW!!

Speak to me! Tell me the solution that I can implement immediately, thus making myself a 123% better person by the weekend.

 

Not enough coffee in the world

Last night I slept worse than I’ve slept in ages. Which is good in that I’ve mostly been sleeping better lately but bad in that apparently my body is no longer adept at functioning on <4 hours of sleep.

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A combination of a Saturday night allergic reaction plus a rather haphazard approach to food and drugs on Sunday was mostly to blame, I think. It is almost 10 am and I feel like I’ve been awake for four days instead of four hours.

HOWEVER – that is not what I’m here to tell you. If I blogged every time I was having insomnia, I’d probably be a lot more prolific in this space.

I am here to remind you that this week is my BIRTHDAY! And you know what that means, right?

french 75

That’s right, it’s national gin week. (Ha! Who am I kidding? Every week is national gin week.)

It also means that it’s very nearly time to reveal my 40 before 40 list that I’ve been working on for the past couple of months. I have some big plans for the last year in my 30s. (Although a friend told me on Saturday that, “[he didn’t] think anyone would guess [I was] over 35…[I] still look barely 30.”

Obviously that friend is now my new favorite person in all the land and probably deserves some kind of gin-based payment.

money

 

I’m hoping/planning on starting to post more in just over a week. More book reviews, writing updates, random goal-oriented posts, and possibly even some long-overdue shoe porn.

The world needs more of this.

The world needs more of this.

 

In the meantime, you can expect an exciting (for me) post on Wednesday and then regular contact will resume in a couple weeks or less. I’ve gotta start preparing everyone for the big event in April…

Gazelles on Crack is turning 10!

Gazelles on Crack is turning 10!

The Care and Feeding of your Introvert (now with bonus social anxiety)

People who know me a bit socially or professionally are often surprised to find out that I consider myself to be introverted and that I occasionally suffer from nearly debilitating social anxiety. (My Myers-Briggs results also consider me to be an introvert – I’m consistently INTJ – that’s right, I’m judging you RIGHT NOW!)

Last week was a shite week. Absolute shite. I was social (in that I left my house and talked to strangers two nights in a row).

Mad Props to Me

Mad Props to Me

Then I spent the rest of the week recovering.

All that talking to people plus this job transition I’ve got going on plus my special lady time meant that by the end of the week I was an absolute mess.

My good friends may know that when I get too anxious about leaving the house, I will randomly fake sick (having a kid is priceless for this, by the way – they are well known germ factories).

(I am giving away all of my secrets here, but I promise that I am telling the truth about random illnesses at least 85% of the time.) (Hmmm…maybe I should just start saying, “sorry I’m flaking out on you, but I’m too anxious to hang out tonight.”)

I spent the week in physical pain (special lady time!) and fending off anxiety attacks (while locked in my office at work) and googling all the weird symptoms that led me to articles like “Is it Anxiety or Heart Disease?” and speculating about DIY hysterectomies.

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Friday afternoon, my good friend Lemissa (as Alvie calls her and he wouldn’t stop talking about her all weekend and maybe Lemissa should keep an eye out for kids in baskets on her front porch) came over to drink wine with me. That was perfect because it (a) involved wine and (b) involved me not having to leave the house – two of my favorite things.

 

The weekend was properly unbusy and I woke up this morning energized, optimistic, and ready to have a really good week.

And so I made plans to go out and interact with strangers (and people I work with) because I am a slow learner. Hopefully I will continue to fool people into believing I am socially competent (or continue to fool myself into believing that other people actually believe that).

 

And then I will spend the rest of the week hiding in my bedroom before taking my family to the woods to hide from people even more effectively.

And to get through the rest of June? I’ll be employing that time-honored anxiety cure: a positive attitude and some mindful meditation.

HA HA HA HA.

xanax

 

The Art of Quitting

quitter

Quitting is a really interesting concept. There are so many fitspirational and other, less oiled-up motivational posters regarding quitting.

I prefer to quit before the sobbing, puking pain parts, thank you very much

I prefer to quit before the sobbing, puking pain parts, thank you very much

I don’t really believe that quitting is worse than collapsing in your own vomit at the gym, but quitting is definitely not positive. Unless you’re quitting smoking. I guess that’s generally regarded as positive.

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This is a constant struggle for me. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned before that I tend to run best when my personal busy number is an 8 on a scale of 1-10. I like having a lot of things to do.

My problem is when I edge up to 8.1 on that scale. Then my GAD kicks in. Sometimes with a vengeance. (I spent a good 20 minutes on Web MD the other morning self-diagnosing a variety of conditions from myocardial infarction to acute pancreatitis [which is often caused by gallstones, which are created by a gall bladder, which I do not have]).

I think I’ve hit about a 9 on my busy scale.

I’ve gone from this:

Some people juggle geese

To this:

Things I am doing (in no particular order):

  1. Parenting
  2. Gardening
  3. Training for a 70.3
  4. Wifing
  5. Editing a book
  6. Your mom (ha ha – just kidding)
  7. Reading for a research project
  8. Transitioning jobs at work, which means I’m simultaneously wrapping up a job I’ve had for 7 years and trying to prep for a new job
  9. Attempting to sleep
  10. Having a social life

 

So, I had to quit one of those things. I agonized about it. When I consulted with my PSM, she had this to say:

psm

Pretty wise for someone so young, right?

So I did it. I dropped out of 70.3 training. The decision to do that, while not easy, was not the hardest part. The hardest part was telling my coach. I wanted to apologize for wasting her time while not being overly hard on myself.

She wasn’t too hard on me.

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I’m lucky to know so many nice people.

So – I’m out for the 70.3 this year. I’m going to do an Oly in July (as planned) and downgrade the September 70.3 to an Oly as well. That’s still not too shabby, but should be infinitely less stressful.

My goal for June is to get to the end of the month without sneaking gin in to work and drinking it under my desk while rocking back and forth.

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I AM a quitter. Because priorities. And because I really, really like writing and gardening more than training my ass to ride 56 miles on a bike.

yay quitting