Posts Tagged ‘Pain’

Posts Tagged ‘Pain’

Fred Hates Me

3.26.2010 | 0 Comments

Yesterday I went to Fred Gingell Park and for the first time, tackled the steps. There are approximately 200 steps up from the beach below. Factor in some non-staired parts, and it takes me approximately 320 steps to get from bottom to top.

Ahhhh, what a view!
But that does seem to be a loooooooooooong way down. Maybe I should rethink this plan. But wait, what’s this? One, two, three… that’s a lot of rocks! See, the way it works is, you walk down the steps to the beach, collect a rock, then hike back up the steps and place the rock on the railing to keep track of how many ‘laps’ you’ve done. Look how many this person did! Maybe this won’t be so bad after all!

And so, with my headphones on, and my iPod joyfully playing DJ Doboy techno music, I begin my first descent to the beach. This really isn’t so bad at all. I think I was getting worked up for nothing. My over-active imagination strikes again! I get down to the beach, marvel at the view, and pick up my first rock.
My friend Sal said that if I do the stairs 10 times, it’s the equivalent of doing 4km. Perfect! I started calculating in my head that I’d need to do the stairs about 25 times to have completed 10km. No problem. And now… I climb! I started off at a light run, figuring at least I should run the first time up!

At about stair 42 I began regretting the pasta I had about an hour earlier.

At stair 58 I began regretting the idea I had to climb these stairs about a day earlier.

At stair 63 I think one of lungs exploded and I was forced to stop. Maybe this isn’t going to be as easy as I thought.
Oh dear god, what have I done? I have to do this AGAIN?! Are you kidding me? There is no way I am doing this ten freakin’ times. As I pathetically keel over halfway up my first climb, I’m beginning to wonder if my 9th Grade experimental smoking habit has come back to claim my lungs once and for all. But NO! I must press on! I can DO this! GO! GO! GO!

I put my head down, and start again, taking it more slowly this time. It’s easier, but by no means easy. I get to step 120, look up and am greeted with this view:

The view it receives is this:

As you can clearly tell, near-vomiting is not a good look for me. But I keep going, keeping my head down, gripping my little rock, and just hoping I come to the top soon. I do. I rest.

I am met by another resting woman who indulges me in a conversation about cheesecake. I think I love her. But before I can try to convince her to ditch this whole climb-a-bunch-of-stairs thing and go to White Spot with me, she says, “I don’t think I can do more than 2 laps today. I’ve already ridden 35km on my bike this morning”. Oh yah? Have you? Have you really? Well, *I* made muffins. AND I even walked to Save-On to buy the ingredients. SO THERE.

I leave my new cheesecake-tease friend behind, starting down the stairs again, inspired by her commitment to fitness. I lie. I just wanted to get away from her because I was embarassed by how tired (beet red, panting, sweating like a pack mule) I was after ONE lap. Me and my bravado started running down the steps as I waved goodbye to her. Stupid ego.

So, I came to the conclusion that I will be coming back to do this again, and so why do I need to do ten laps the first time? I can set a goal for myself, and work at acheiving it. Today, I promise myself that I will do five laps. That seems fair. I also promise myself that the next time I attempt to do something for charity, I am going to work very hard at promoting the Cheesecake Chow and Nap-A-Thon for Animals. I can’t wait to start training for THAT!

Anyway, down I go, up I climb, down I go, up I climb, and lo and behold, I am soon looking at this oh-so-wonderful sight:

I DID IT! I have completed five laps of the Fred Gingell stairs! I do not know how long it took me, because I deliberately did not time myself, for fear of being overly judgemental of myself. Once I am able to do ten laps (in hiking boots, mind you), THEN I will begin timing myself and working toward a new goal.

And so, as I climb the last stairs to the park, (being met so gracefully by some guy smoking as he passes by), I marvel at how tired I am!

I had no idea it was going to be this hard. But I’m willing to come back. I’m willing to train. I’m willing to set goals for myself and acheive them after trials of hard work and dedication. And maybe by the summer, I too will be on my bike, riding from Ladner to Fred Gingell Park and then doing ten laps!

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHahahahaaa… yah, no.


Dr. Strangelaugh

2.13.2010 | 0 Comments

I went to see my doctor yesterday to chat about some things, namely, you know… climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, and the pain in my hips.

Now, my doctor is not your run-of-the-mill MD. He is the wackiest, goofiest doctor in the world, with the most bizarre sense of humor. For example, one time when he was doing one of those icky girly exams, he decided to start talking about Mustangs, torque, combustion engines, and other manly-man things. Or there was the time when he offered to give a meanie ex-boyfriend of mine a pap smear. My doctor and I get along fantastically. I actually like going to see my doctor because he makes me laugh so much. It’s kind of like going to Yuk-Yuks, but with more tongue depressors and less hecklers.

So yesterday we have a chat, and he carefully examines my painful hips. He stands back, looks pensively at me with his chin resting on his thumb, and says, “So. You want to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. In all honesty, I think you should wait.”

What!? WAIT?! I can’t “wait”! I have this whole blog thing, and some money already raised… I’ve been in The Optimist, man! I can’t “wait”!

“Ohh… I… I see…I mean, I guess I can understand that…” I say, as my brain starts reeling with the thousand and one things that I now need to do in order to stop this freight train.

“Yes”, he says, “I think you should wait”.

“Well, how long do you think I should wait for?”

Nodding his head sagely, knitting his brow, he takes a breath…

“Well, until they build a Mount Kilimanjaro in Vegas. Climb THAT one. And then you can go gambling after!”

Now THIS is my doctor in a nutshell.

“Well, really Doc, that does make sense. I mean, I can see the Eiffel Tower, go to the Pyramids AND climb Kilimanjaro all in one trip”, I say.

“In between the MGM Grand and The Mirage!”, he joyfully replies.

And in the end, after I stop laughing, and after he stops babbling on about Las Vegas, showgirls, and palm trees, he tells me that I’ll be ok to climb. Of course he knows very well that he wouldn’t be able to stop me anyway.

So for now, I will take it easy on myself. Maybe rest on the couch a bit more, put my feet up, have a bath, and take pleasure in the little things, like reading the magazines I deftly steal from his office.


Go Team Kili!

2.11.2010 | 0 Comments

Quite a few of you have been asking about who I’m climbing Mount Kilimanjaro with in August. At this point, the team isn’t fully dedicated yet, but I certainly have a good number of people interested in joining me. I’m one of those don’t-count-your-chickens-before-they-hatch type of people, so until the money is where the mouth is, I’m holding off on revealing the full team. But for now, Team Kili consists of some work colleagues, some acquaintances, and a couple of really good friends*.

Some of you have also asked if you can join me on my climb. The short answer: absolutely! However, please know that you are responsible for all of your costs (flight, guide and porters, food, accommodations, etc…), and it can be quite costly. But the thing is, it’s really a once-in-a-lifetime trip, so maybe you’re more than happy to put some money into this incredible adventure. If that’s the case, please contact me and we can discuss you becoming a part of Team Kili. I’d love to have you stand atop the highest peak in Africa with me.

On a side note: please excuse the lack of ha-ha in my last few blogs. I love to entertain you all, and from the feedback I get, you seem to rather enjoy it, too. However, when my body is in pain I tend to want to focus solely on healing that pain and making it go far, far away. I’m feeling much better (aside from a twinge on my morning commute today that nearly had me drive off the road), and so will hopefully be getting back to making you laugh in the very near future. In the meantime, if you’re really hard-up for a giggle, I highly recommend coming by my place and watching me as I try to get into my car with one wonky hip.

Happy Thursday! xo

*In the upcoming weeks, I am going to be announcing a VERY exciting addition to my Kili Team!


Lean Mean Fluffy Machine!

2.10.2010 | 0 Comments

It really is remarkable how a few days off of exercising can make one feel rather puddle-esque. I’ve been laid up for a couple of days now, taking time off of work, running, yoga, and life to just heal. About a week ago my arthritis started giving me problems, and for the past three days I’ve been on crutches and taking medications to allow me at least a little sleep at night.

That being said, as I look down at my wee muffin-top flopping over my pants, I shake my head in wonder at how little time it takes to go from lean, mean, hiking machine to puffy, round, love-lump. I’m really looking forward to getting back on track with my exercising. I know that I’ll be going hiking this Sunday, but to ensure that actually happens, I need to take another night off. No yoga for me, I’m afraid.

I’ll admit to you now, that I really haven’t been eating well of late. I’m eating too many processed foods, and it makes a huge difference in how my body looks, works and feels. It really is remarkable how all those easy-snacky foods that are stuffed in the bottom drawer of my desk at work make such a large impact on, well… my butt. My love handles are getting pretty over-developed, too. This is not a good look for me.

I think I need to ask my personal trainer, Cara, to make up a new eating plan for me. That could help. The first time she made me one, I felt amazing after only three days on it. After about a week, I noticed that my pants were getting quite loose. About three days after that, my belts didn’t fit. And so when I went to see Cara the next day, she added a couple ‘cheat meals’ to my eating plan, because she really wasn’t expecting my body to react so quickly to the new eating regimen. I have to admit, it was kind of frightening how much weight I shed in so little time. Just goes to show that filling up on bad stuff, leads to bad stuff filling you up.

I think I’ll call Cara right now…


My Hips Don’t Lie

2.04.2010 | 0 Comments

Last night at yoga, I was very clearly given the hint that I needed to be honest about something…

This past Autumn, I was experiencing a great deal of pain in my right hip. This leg had always been a bit wonky, and as a kid I thought it was rather cool that I could move the joint around in weird ways, and have it make awfully disgusting popping noises that caused friends to recoil in horror. It was also very handy in getting me out of 9th grade gym class on more than one occasion (sorry, Mrs. Salt!). So, when I was having pain in my hip one day a few months ago, I wasn’t concerned. I knew it would go away. It didn’t go away.

For seven days I was limping around, stubbornly waiting for the pain to magically disappear. It got to the point where I was I was having so much discomfort, that I wasn’t sleeping, and was having moments of extreme nausea and vomiting. That was when I knew something was really wrong.

By this time my very patient mother was chauffeuring me to and from work, so she dutifully drove me to the UBC hospital emergency ward on a physiotherapist’s recommendation. Now, I must say this: the UBC emerg is absolutely amazing. I went in, registered, and was called in less than 10 minutes later. An initial exam was complete, blood work was done, I was given pain medication, and was seen by the doctor less than 15 minutes after that. I was taken to x-ray (after the pain medication kicked in), and the x-rays were ready about 20 minutes later. There was barely enough time for my comfy, fuzzy heated blanket to cool off!

When the ER doc came to see me, she told me that the x-ray showed that I had considerable calcium deposits in my hips, the right one especially. They had been there for a long, long time, and were indicative of arthritis (something that runs in my family, anyway – gee, thanks mom and dad). I had to stop my personal training, something I had been really enjoying doing 3 times a week. I had to stop running. I used to run 10k every other day, and now I couldn’t take a step. Everything came to a grinding, unhappy halt in my life. I felt really, really… old.

Over time, the pain went away, but my hips always feel “tired” now, like I’ve run a thousand miles or so. And now, as more time passes, I am slowly introducing things back to my life: training, running (walking), yoga, and climbing the world’s largest free-standing, snow-covered equatorial mountain. You know, simple things like that.

In yoga last night my right hip decided that it really had done enough work for the day, and just gave out. No more strength, no more listening, just pain. I was totally embarrassed at being forced to show my limitations. I was frustrated and, of course, I started to cry. (Again, I must really thank Michael for the soft, dim lighting in the studio). Michael quite keenly noticed my distress, and came over to gently speak with me. As I tried not to blubber away too loudly, he simply told me to stop, and to go into Savassana. I put down my yoga strap, sighed in frustration, and bit my quivering lip. Michael, the angel that he is, brought me over a tissue and a lavender scented eye pillow. I quietly snurfled away in embarrassment, while people around me were happily pretzling themselves into yoga bliss.

So, after speaking with a kind friend, I decided to tell you all the truth. Here we go: I am climbing a mountain with over-active tear ducts, a fear of camping, a loathing of the cold, and a wonky set of hips.

See you at the top.


I (heart) ICBC

1.07.2010 | 0 Comments

The last time I saw my personal trainer was on November 12th, 2009. I got into a car accident 3 days later, and since then I have been working with a really fantastic kinesiologist (how DO you spell that?!) from KARP Fitness named Elsa in order to get myself back into shape so that I can go see my trainer again… to get back into shape.

Before I continue, I just want to say one thing about ICBC: They have been incredibly supportive and amazing throughout my whole accident/injury/car write-off/settlement ordeal. I don’t have a single negative thing to say about them, and I will no longer gripe and complain about paying my auto insurance. That is all.

Anyway, tonight, after seven loooooong weeks of not working out, I am going back to have my butt kicked by a very driven, but very supportive She-Ra type woman. I am sure she will take one look at me and start crying, given that in seven weeks I have turned from Lean-Mean-Awesome-Machine (not really) into Fluffy-Christmas-Gorging-Tubby-Clunker (or something). It’s a good thing my workout gear is black, as I hear that black is slimming.

*dons workout gear, looks in mirror*

Or not.