You just have to ask.

“Ho! Ho! Ho! To the bottle I go
To heal my heart and drown my woe
Rain may fall, and wind may blow
And many miles be still to go
But under a tall tree will I lie
And let the clouds go sailing by” 
― J.R.R. Tolkien

It has been 9 days since surgery. 5 days since going off the pain meds. While I did not go to any bottle as so eloquently phrased above by Tolken, his poem speaks to me and paints a familiar picture.

I am in a time out from everything in my life. I’m under a tall tree and watching the clouds go sailing by. My tree is my living room the ground my couch, the clouds and rain and wind blow by outside my window. Oliver my sole companion.

I like watching the wind move through the pines and the sway of time as it passes through. There’s a certain peace in a forced time out, it’s taking an afternoon nap without any guilt, free to wake at your leisure with no where to go knowing even before you close your eyes there’s no task left undone waiting for you when you wake.

You are simply free to be.

It’s a rare opportunity in life to experience such respite. You’ve been sidelined and all the world including you are simply okay with this fact. You relax into its soft truth.

Some notes from Day 9 of Respite:

  1. Time goes by incredibly fast – one minute I was setting the alarm for a 6am surgery, the next in recovery sipping ginger-ale, the next home in bed. The next, updating my blog with 8 days in the rear view.
  2. Time goes by incredibly fast – it deserves repeating because it freaking does. It’s, um, incredible. Even when you don’t have any where to go or anything to do the clock still ticks the same. Meh, the clock says to you.
  3. The people in your life are incredibly generous. If you let them be. They are generous with their time and their hearts and their patience. You just have to ask. It’s not always easy to ask for help when you do CrossFit six plus days per week and are used to doing everything your self and your way and consider it a personal challenge to leave no grocery bag behind on the first and only trip from the car to the house. But the reality of knowing you will be out of commish for a bit, including a giant German Shepherd that needs tending, leads to letting down the tough gal act and asking for help. Hard to do. But when you do…what happens? You wake up with an army at your door, bringing you seltzer and peanut butter and picking up bags of dog food and taking out your trash and the recycling and throwing in a load of laundry and sitting next to you and just being with you and taking time out of their lives (lives that did not go on hiatus and are still busily poking away just outside the door) to watch a couple episodes of Law and Order SVU with you and then ask one more time if you need anything before they go. Blessed.
  4. The dog will still want you to throw the ball even if you are temporarily unable to do so.
  5. Sleep is a beautiful thing.
  6. I miss my CrossFit community. I do check in on Facebook during the day, but try not to do so too much. I don’t want to be a Lurker. When I do check the news feed it does leave me feeling a little sad and admittedly left out. Loser-ville. Population, One. Ugh. I hate admitting that but truth is I miss our colorful sweaty community and the fun and connecting and high-fiving and ongoing challenge to do good.
  7. I’m grateful for the time out. I’m grateful for the opportunity to sit on the sidelines. Yes, to let my body heal but also to just take a break. From everything. Ive been reading a lot more on the CF Games competitors and apparently there is a high rate of burn out. At first this was surprising to me but then not so much. CrossFit is intense. In every way. It pushes everything to the extreme, the body and the mind and the central nervous system and all things firing within and around you. It’s impossible to keep up that intensity all the time. Perhaps one of the things I’m learning during this hiatus is that it doesn’t have to be all intense all the time. Sometimes it is okay to just go in and hit a WOD to get a workout. What? I know, cray cray. But think about it – sometimes you just need some exercise, you know, for the sake of exercise. Granted you’re in your element with your peeps and we challenge one another but it’s not all about PR’s and pushing to max load and effort, sometimes it can be about just doing and active recovery and getting your body moving and generating an accelerated heart beat and some sweat. Maybe others understand this but I’m only just processing it now, CrossFit can be just a workout and that is okay. CrossFit does not always have to be all or nothing.
  8. I do not want to gain weight. While I am not able to CrossFit for the next five weeks I am determined to stay healthy. How? With my diet. No cheat days, no BS. None of those little sneaks here and there because I know I have a killer WOD waiting for me at the end of the day. Nope. There’s no where to hide. It’s just me and the food in my kitchen and the choices I make and the way my clothes fit and the next five weeks. Game on. The Plan – to Intermittent Fast with a short 4 – 6 hour feeding window. This basically translates to coffee in the morning, water all day, one substantial healthy meal for dinner which will include a farm raised protein and lots of veggies. Minimal fruits, minimal nuts. That is all. You can argue for or against my IF feeding plan, but over time and experimenting with many schools of thought, this is ultimately what works best for me. Personally I do believe as a society we are way overfed. We eat way too much too frequently every day.
  9. It’s time for bed. Once again it’s before 9pm and I’m headed to bed. As my lovely friend Mia stated in her last text to me yesterday at 8:27pm before she too was getting ready to call it a day; ‘Hey, at least it’s dark outside.. that makes it okay. Right? Nighty Nite.’
  10. Nighty Nite to you.

gaps between us

“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” ― Robert Frost

The passage of time. The beginning and ending of all things. Including relationships of all kinds, intimate, work related, friendships. People come and go in our lives. It’s natural. We move, we change employment, people die. There are some relationships though, you think will never end. You never stop to consider when, or if, it could ever happen. You are so much a part of one another’s lives, perhaps you have known one another since you were in kindergarten, or you just met yesterday but it seems as if you’ve known each other since kindergarten. Either way, the relationship is so strong, the bond so deep, the end of it seems unimaginable. Utterly impossible. But, what if one day you don’t recognize that old friend anymore? What if they don’t recognize you?

What if the next time you meet for coffee, the comfortable and familiar veil of history together is lifted, and you start to see someone you no longer recognize. Or, want to know. Then what?

I’ve been grappling with this recently. At what point do chosen paths veer so far from one another that the bridge of friendship can no longer breech the distance between. What if the void is too great? I’m just not sure.

When I was younger I was certain there was nothing that could break the bonds of certain relationships, specifically that of family and dear friends. But, as I’m getting older I’m learning this is simply not the case. People change. There is no blame here. There’s only the differences between us in how we grow. And the value, the time, the energy, and sometimes even the very pieces of our own hearts, that we are willing to lay down along that bridge in an effort to rebuild and bring it back to whole. Is it possible we were just wrong all along? Is it possible the person in front of us was only a reflection of what we wanted them to be? And in truth like most reflections, the opposite.

What if the person we ourselves thought we were, is not actually who we are? What if we are really the ones who have changed.

It is a heavy feeling knowing a gap is widening between you and someone you hold dear. It is even heavier to think you may not be able to fix the fracture. Heavier still in thinking you may not want to.

Good friday

One of the benefits of keeping this blog is the record keeping it provides for WODs and benchmarks.  For instance, was able to instantly find the stats for the last time I hit Fran, on March 5:

“Fran”

For Time:

21 – 15 – 9

Thrusters (95/65)

Pullups

Completed: PR today at Fran. 45lbs. in 5:05.

Even though I have a ways to go before mastering a pull-up, my goal today is to hit Fran at RX weight, 65lbs. It’s Good Friday. A long weekend stretches out before me. Much earned after pushing through a very busy time at work and thankfully completing a job well done. It is now time to enjoy the Holiday.

I love Easter. As MN BFF said; it’s like Christmas without all the stress. She and I once shared what I’m certain is one of the best Easters on record, at the base of the Tetons, at a Bed and Breakfast she cared for at the time. The Don’t Fence Me Inn. The sun was out in full force after a long winter. We ate lamb chops, drank red wine, played volleyball, lounged on the back deck, and hunted for Easter Eggs.

This weekend the local weather is looking to be beautiful. It makes me think of all the things I am grateful for: A gloriously hysterical wise-assed group of friends. A large stubborn handsome family. My strong furry four legged co-pilot, Oliver. A job that pushes me to work incredibly hard, and let’s me do good. CF, which has challenged me in ways I’ve never really known possible before, and taught me I CAN do it. And even more importantly, I can FINISH. My body, healthy and strong. And bodenusa.com. For the most adorable collection of dresses and skirts for spring and summer. Go check it out, if you dare.

Bring on the Fran.

skiing

Today I ski. Just wish it would snow. Going to wear the heart rate monitor to see total calories burned.

“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.”
― Rumi

Stats from Skiing:

Distance: 14.42 mi
Time: 2:58:03
Avg Speed: 4.9 mph
Elevation Gain: 7,774 ft
Calories: 696 C
Avg HR: 89 bpm
Max HR: 151 bpm
Training Effect 1.7