Fear, fear, go away

I’m not sure if I’ve admitted this on here before but I have a confession: I used to be afraid of my kid.  Before the Little Mister was born, I was wrapped up in how exciting it was going to be to have a kid.  I pictured all the fun adventures we would go on.  I pictured having a little mini-me who would play games and laugh at my jokes.  I pictured the little guy who I’d get to dress in super cute clothes and who would justify my Ninja Turtle obsession.  Life was going to be good with the little dude.

And then, after our long journey, he was here.  Before I knew it, this slimey little guy was in my arms and I didn’t know what to do.  I’d barely ever held a baby before that moment.  And now, in a matter of seconds, the nurses took this kid and put him in my arms and said “Congratulations” before packing it up and leaving the room.  OK, it wasn’t quite like that, but it felt like that.  After all the waiting, he was in my arms and I was now responsible for a human life.

I had no idea the amount of love I would feel for this dude the instant he was born.  Or the amount of fear.  When we got home from the hospital the hubs was only home for a few days before he went back to work.  And then it was just me and him for a large part of the day.  We had (still have) an awesome nanny who helped in the mornings.  She helped take care of him, did his laundry, changed his bed, did so much every day.  But then in the afternoons, it was me and the Little Mister.  And that scared the living daylights out of me. I wanted to do as much as possible with him because I wanted him to get used to having a mom in a wheelchair.  That was hard, of course.  I had all the normal concerns of a new mom, but also a few extras which apply to mom’s with mobility disabilities: holding him while moving being a main one.

There are several things which would hurt my feelings.  When he was real young, he liked to be held while a person was standing when he was crying.  That obviously couldn’t happen with me.  It broke my heart when I couldn’t get him to stop crying and his dad, nanny or grandma would grab him and walk around and he was suddenly content.  Or, sometimes when I was home alone with him and I had to transfer from my wheelchair to the sofa, and I set him down on the sofa to wait while I transferred and he would just look at me and cry like I was abandoning.  I tried to explain to him that I can’t hold him and just stand up like other people can.  But he was stubborn a baby and didn’t understand.  He just felt severe separation anxiety in that 45 seconds of being alone.

It got to the point where I was literally scared to be home alone with him.  It was hard.  It was exhausting.  It was emotionally draining.

But then things began to change.  As he got older, he started to understand a little more.  I would wake him up from his nap and bring him out to the family room for a post-nap drink and snack.  I would put him down in the chair so I could transfer.  Until about 14 or 15 months he would cry when I set him down.  But then, I started making a game of it.  And after a few times of “throwing him” into the chair (I would lift him in a high arc from my lap to the chair and make a falling sound) he thought it was hilarious.  No more tears.  And now that he’s walking, I can put him on the ground where he waits by the chair for me to transfer.  After I transfer into a chair in the family room, he raises his arms for me to pick him up because he knows it’s milk and snack time on my lap.  No more tears [from either of us].

He’s also gotten so good at going out in public with me.  I was so scared to go places alone with him.  It’s easy to drown in the “what ifs”.  What if he won’t sit still?  What if he has a diaper accident and there’s not an accessible bathroom?  What if people look at us funny?  But I guess you can’t really give in to all the doubt and fear.  Today, Little Mister and I had an awesome adventure.  We had an entire morning to ourselves as his nanny had the day off and the Hubs was in meetings.  So Little Mister and I went to Hobby Lobby where we spent an hour just looking at everything.  He was loving the bead aisle, with all the colorful, shiny things to look at and different textures to feel.  Then we went to the mall where he played in the soft foam play area.  His idea of playing in public is often just standing there watching all the other kids run around.  He’s a people watcher, like his mama.  When he was done, he walked to the exit and tried to leave.  I tried to usher him back in several times, but he was done.  He sits on my lap so nicely that I didn’t even wrap him while we rolled around the store.  It wasn’t until we were exiting to the parking lot that I tied him back to me.

I don’t think there will ever be a time that parenting from a chair will be easy for me.  I think the obstacles will just change.  But I am learning that he and I will both adapt.  We are learning how to get through this all together.  I’m just so lucky that Little Mister is such a great kid and so willing to learn.  He’s too young to really get it yet.  He just knows that I’m his mama and this is our normal.  And I’m glad that I don’t let the fear overwhelm me.  Because he is my mini-me who loves to play games and laughs at my jokes.  And I’m glad because we had such a fun adventure today and I look forward to all the fun mom-son adventures to come!

Trainers are evil

I had a major revelation today when I was at the gym: trainers are really evil.  OK, I’ll walk you through my revelation.

  1. Most people have jobs that make other people’s life easier.  I’m an attorney.  My job is to help people figure out their legal troubles and fix problems for them.  I’m a fixer.  My brother is an accountant.  He job is to help people understand the million page tax code.  The hubs is a teacher.  He’s there to help kids understand Theatre and Woodshop in school.  Chefs make eating easier by cooking for you.  Mechanics make driving easier by fixing your car so you don’t have to.  Doctors fix your medical problems so you have a happier, healthier life.  All these jobs have that thread of commonality between them.
  2. Trainers go through their own programs to learn the body: how it works, how the muscles move and react, how it all goes together.  They learn (mine at least did- not sure if it’s true of all, but I’m assuming it is) nutrition and how foods can boost your power, strength and energy.  They are well versed in how to help people lose weight and get in shape.
  3. Trainers then use their knowledge to make you hurt.  They take something that starts easy and make it harder.  Oh, you can lift that weight?  Give me 20 more at a heavier weight. They are pleased when you are hurting.  They yearn for you to sweat, groan, collapse in sheer agony.  They’re not happy when you’re doing well.  They try to make you suffer and aren’t satisfied until you do.  They’re job is literally to make things harder for you.

And that, my dear friends, proves my point.  Trainers are evil.

Getting rid of the lazies

I love working out.  I think that I have made that clear over the past year since I joined my gym.  I mean, maybe I don’t love it as much as I love shopping or watching TV.  Or eating.  But, I do really love it.  I love the feeling I get after a good workout.  I love the soreness that I get after a good workout.  And I love buying workout clothes because again, I love shopping.

But, it’s easy for me to fall into a rut and get super lazy.  Last week was one of those times.  I’m not entirely sure why I was so lazy.  I just had absolutely no interest in working out.  I use the excuse that I was busy with work, which I was.  However, I still managed to find time for all the other activities I mentioned (i.e. shopping, watching TV.  And don’t get me started on the cake I had over the weekend!  Yum!!).  I just wasn’t feeling like the gym.

The cool thing about Ninja Trainer is that he didn’t fight me.  He strongly suggested that I get my lazy butt into the gym, but didn’t give me a super hard time about it.  I think he understood that I needed to push myself.  He can only do so much.

I decided to get over the lazies and get back to the gym this morning.  Since I’d taken the time off, he went kind of easy on me. (So he says anyway.  My sore arms beg to differ!!)  But, I can tell that he wasn’t pushing me.  I know when he’s pushing me because I can see the excitement in his eyes when I’m going above and beyond.  And when I’m really killing it, I get a loud “Woo!” Needless to say* I did not get a “Woo” today.  And I know that I didn’t deserve one.  I know that I didn’t kill it.  I did do well. (See above about sore arms!!) But did I do my best?  Well, I guess my best after being lazy for over a week.  But that’s not as good as I can do.  I need to not be lazy.  Someone once told me that you never regret going to workout but you will regret not going.  And that’s true.  I know that I’m going to get lazy again.  But I have to push past it and remember how good it feels after!  And I love seeing results, even if other people can’t really see what I see.  And I want to keep pushing so I keep getting the exclamations from Ninja Trainer, because then I know I’m killing it!

Squint hard and you can see some defintion!

Back at it

The past month has been rough.  March is already my least favorite month but this past one was one for the books (though technically it started in the end of February).  I took a few beatings and wasn’t sure how I was going to come out on the other side.*  It started with my broken toe.  The mysterious, no clue how or when it happened, why do I not have feeling but can still tell that this thing hurts like heck, broken toe. That was annoying.  Then, the next day I hurt my back at the gym.  I did a motion which involved twisting which is a huge no-no in my spinal cord.  And that spinal cord made sure that I knew how pissed off at me it was.  It took about a week and a half for me to stop crying in pain.  Then it was more of a I-got-punched-inside-my-spine ache.  Then it became a dull pain.  And then, one day, it was gone.  The Hubs asked how I was feeling and I realized that I wasn’t.  There wasn’t pain there.  In the midst of all the broken painness, I also caught an ear infection.  That sucked too.  A lot.  The ear hurt, and the antibiotics they put me on made me throw up a lot.

But, now it’s April and I’m pain free, earache free, bones mended back together and healthy.  And as of a week and a half ago, I’m a contender for a clinical trial on the ReWalk.  If I get into this trial, I’ll have the bionic legs for a year and help prove to insurance companies the health benefits of having them.  To say that I’m beyond stoked is an understatement!!  I have my physical therapy evaluation next week.  So, having been out of service for the past month, and with it being a beautiful new month, I decided it was time to get back to the gym.

For the first time since joining this gym I was nervous to go in.  I’m a bit gun shy now that I may hurt myself again.  But, I had an appointment for training with Ninja Trainer so I had to go in.  And I have faith in his experience in training and I know he won’t let me overexert myself.  We had a talk about my fears and about how I just have to be careful, mindful and vocal.  The hour flew by!  We did a very thorough warm-up and did a lot of slow training on various machines.  You’d think that slow movements and lower weight would be easier.  And if I could raise my arms, I would slap you in the face.  My arms caught fire before out session ended.  It was amazing!!

And my biggest fear (that I would lose all progress that I had made) flew out the window.  I still retained a lot of the strength that GunShow had helped me gain.  Ninja Trainer pointed out the definition in several of my muscle groups, which made me feel better.  I was also worried that my dedication would be gone, but I’m so stoked to be back in the gym that I found my motivation to make healthy changes all around!  NT is going to give me meal planning guidelines to help me meet all of my goals.  His training, combined with eating healthy and *fingers crossed!!!!* the ReWalk could be everything I need to make some HUGE improvements!  And I did promise my gym friends that I would try to walk again so they could be the gym who got the paralyzed girl walking.

Cheers to picking back up and moving forward even stronger!

*It wasn’t all terrible. I did get to spend a lot more time with my Little Mister and do a ton of fun things like park play dates with other kids. I think that little baby is what kept me from really going off the deep end.

Setbacks Suck!

I never pictured myself as a person who would be emotional and upset when not able to go to the gym.  But, as I sat in the office at the gym this morning freezing my account for a month and crying to Ninja Trainer about how scared I am to lose all the progress that I made, I realize how much working out had become a part of me.  I’ve been putting so much effort into training.  And getting stronger.  And making progress.  I’m proud of all the work I have put into getting stronger.  I’m proud of pushing myself and seeing strength in my legs that I had thought were betraying me.  I’m proud when I sometimes catch a glance of my shoulders in the mirror and see how they’re getting defined.  I’m proud when one of the trainers tells me that I put in good work.

But I pushed myself last week when I knew better.  My back started to hurt really bad, but I pushed that aside and kept going.  And since then, I’ve been paying the price.  My neurosurgeon called me into his office for an emergency MRI.  Luckily he said there’s nothing in my spine which made him feel the need to cut me open.  So, in that sense I feel overwhelmingly relieved.  But, he also said that I sprained my spine and no working out for a month.  If I start to feel better, then I can go back earlier.  So I am going to start at the pool next week and try to loosen things up in a safe manner.  And while that is nice, I’m so worried about losing everything that I’ve made.  And I’m worried that if I do get back to the gym that I will lose the motivation which I’ve built up.  I know that I need to rest my back.  And I know I should be super relieved that I didn’t do more damage and that I don’t need to get cut open.  But I’m going to be sad for a minute and acknowledge the fact that setbacks suck.

Shut In

I’m a shut in today.  Not by choice.  Forced.  Whatever the opposite of kidnapped is, that’s what I am. Forced to stay at home until 7am tomorrow.  Here’s why:

Right before the end of the year, the management company for my HOA sent a letter with a map showing the repaving of the streets in my housing community.  During the day that the street is being slurry sealed, you can’t drive on it and have to walk along the gutter to where you can park your car.  My street was not on it.  I emailed Ed, the man whose email address was on the notice and basically said “Hey, my street isn’t on there, but I’m assuming it’s coming up.  What happens to someone in my situation who is in a wheelchair and can’t get to a different area where cars are parked?”  I sent the email on December 22.  He responded at 5:45pm on the January 6 (over two weeks later!) and said my street had been inadvertently left off the map and that we were scheduled for the following Wednesday, January 11.  As to what a person in my situation would do, this was his response:

“My suggestion would be to stay at home for the 24 hour period that day, or  arrange to stay with a friend (or neighbor not being slurry coated) if you need to leave the community the day of the work.”

Can you imagine if someone told you that you could just stay home for 24 hours or go stay with a friend?  My response was that perhaps if he were a paraplegic he could just randomly stay at home, but that I had a hearing in court on that day and could not miss it.  And, let me explain what it would take for me to go “stay with a friend”.  First, I’d have to find a friend whose house I could get into.  Then, I’d have to make sure they had a place for me to sleep that was accessible.  Showering?  Well either skip it or pack along my shower bench and a hand held shower head that would have to be attached.  Oh, then there’s my kid that I’d have to pack up and bring with me along with all of his stuff (you know, like a crib).  I’m an adult, not a frat boy.  It’s not especially easy for me to “stay with a friend”.  I may have also mentioned to him that I don’t think it’s legal to tell me that I’m trapped in my house in a few days.

Well, it happened that it rained on the 11th, so they had to reschedule.  This was the email I received from him:

“I understand the inconvenience involved and fortunately today the vendor requested to reschedule the project due to the rain.   We are moving the slurry project forward to Feb. 1st, 2nd and 3rd.   You will receive the updated email notice and maps  following this email.   I trust this will give you adequate time to arrange your schedule to accommodate the project.”

Do you, Ed?  Do you understand the inconvenience?  Because until someone tells you that for 24 hours you are a prisoner in your home, you will not understand.  And, I hope you never do have to know what it feels like to have someone callously tell you that you can have adequate time to arrange your schedule to be trapped at home.

I was in court this week because I am taking a case to trial.  I had to tell my client, the DA and the judge that I had to miss court today because I’m trapped in my house.  The judge was dumbfounded at this!  I also had to explain how staying in a hotel wasn’t especially feasible due to my baby.  It’s just a huge mess.

So here I am, stuck at home for the day.  I love my house, so it’s not a bad place to be stuck.  But, it’s the principle that Ed from Prime Association Services can treat someone so callously.  He should really be ashamed of himself!

So if anyone needs me today, well, there’s not much I can do about it since I am a shut in for the next 21 hours.

 

Come to Jesus meeting

I know that since joining the gym at the end of April 2016, I have been talking pretty consistently about how much I love it!  And, if you follow my Instagram, you see that a majority of my photos/videos are from the gym.  I get it.  I’m obsessed.  But, I can’t explain how happy I am that I found a gym where I feel comfortable and where I actually want to spend time!

And almost more important than that, it’s a place where everyone cares.  I know that GunShow cares cause I pay him to care.  (Yes, I know that I’m poking the bear and will pay for that later during training.)  But, it really goes beyond payment.  Everyone there is just genuinely nice!  It’s like the unicorn of gyms!  Yesterday I was there working out on my own (I am trying to not be lazy on my days off from training and still go in to get some cardio in).  After I did a virtual boxing class (another amazing perk of the gym!!!) I was chatting with Smiles (the gym manager), GO1 (one of the gym owners) and Gangsta Belle (the female trainer from North Carolina who has this super sweet accent and an amazingly wicked sense of humor). The conversation started with us talking about whether I could take Gangsta Belle’s “yogalates” class.  She thinks that I can, but we are going to meet before so she can figure out how to modify some of the things.  But, it’s a class that incorporates stretching and a core workout, both of which are areas that GunShow is always getting on me about improving.

The conversation morphed from that to my horrible, terrible, no good, very bad diet.  I know that if I ate better I would be seeing way better progress.  GS gets on me about that too, but being the head strong person that I am, I see it more as a way to obstinate and combative with him.  But while I love to see him shake his head in annoyance when I tell him that I had [insert bad food here], I’m really just hurting myself and delaying progress.  So, it’s time to make a change.  The come-to-Jesus that I had with GO1 and GB really made me think.  (Plus, there’s something to be said about advice coming from other females who can relate than from a dude who has all the willpower in the world and whose goal is to make the Hulk look small.)  I went home and told the Hubs about my new plan to get healthy.  He stopped listening when the words “turkey meatloaf” came out of my mouth.  To be fair, that doesn’t sound so good to me either.  But I’m going to find healthy and delicious ways to be healthy.  And I’m going to save sweets  to be what they were intended for: a sweet treat, not a staple food group.

I’m also going to be more public about my diet.  No more private binge eating.  This morning I had a Greek yogurt from Trader Joes (I’m sure I will hear about how that’s full of sugar and not actually healthy, but at least it’s protein, right?! BABY STEPS!) and I made my lunch.  It took me less time to make my lunch than it would have taken to drive through McDonalds.  And it’s full of protein and deliciousness.  I took a can of tuna and mixed it with half an avocado and some mustard.  (It was also a fun excuse to try out my new avocado tools- a cutter, slicer, de-pitter AND a half-avocado saver.  No clue what their real names are.)  I’m going to cut up a tomato to eat with it.  This should be a nice healthy and protein-y lunch after my training today.

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Let’s Make Me Great Again!!