Saturday Snippets: The New Year, the Comeback & the Dress

The New Year:

Hello 2015!  You will be a GOOD year!  I haven’t been one to make a New Year’s resolution for quite some time.  My hat is off to those who do make them, because it is always a good thing have goals and improve.  For me, I like to think of the New Year as a time to do more:  more clean eating, more me time, more sunscreen, more personal bests, more books, etc.  The one thing I won’t do more of in 2015 though… breaking bones.  If I were to make a resolution, it would most certainly be that.  Here’s to hoping that we all have a 2015 full of all the things that make us feel happy and alive.

The 2015 Mantra...

The 2015 Mantra…

The Comeback:

The last time I blogged, I was just returning to my life as an athlete.  I wasn’t running by far, but the time in the gym was becoming a reality.  From October to the beginning of December I went to weekly physical therapy through Kaiser Permanente Hospital.  I was really fortunate to get a physical therapist that had an athletic background.  Often times, when PT is delivered in a general hospital/clinic setting it is more rehab based.  Of course, I needed the rehab, but the rehab I was looking for was not to return to normal everyday activities, I wanted to return to running.  My therapist knew this was my goal and said that I would be running starting January 1st.  Talk about a huge blow, but I told myself that I would come back smarter and stronger so I vowed to listen.  I did the weekly visits, made time to do the exercises, and for one of the first times in my PT history, I followed the rules.  Each week, I felt stronger, was able to walk longer, and the pain was getting less.  Things were looking up! And then…

On November 1st, our insurance changed.  This wasn’t really a huge deal as I chose the program that would make the most sense for our family.  I continued to go to PT and pay the extraordinary cost that counted towards our deductible.  Until… I got a letter from work saying that our insurance was going to change again.  All the money that I was paying towards my deductible would just start over on February 1st.  I figured that if I was having to pay and the deductible was no longer in my favor, that I would use that same money to see a PT that all my friends in the local running community raved about.  What did I have to lose?  It was going to cost the same, if not a bit less.

On December 9th, I had my first appointment with Dr. Jeff Moreno from Precision Physical Therapy and Fitness.  We chatted prior to the appointment and he asked that I come ready to run.  Say what?  The last time I had worn my running shoes was on August 26th… he wanted me to run?  Indeed he did, and indeed I did.  I arrived for my appointment terribly nervous…. Would running hurt? Would I fall? Would I suck wind so much that I’d be defeated in a minute?

We started with a few of the normal range of motion and strength tests.  Dr. Moreno then asked me to walk, skip, squat, balance on one leg and then RUN!  We did this for quite a while and just when I thought that session one was coming to a close, he put me on the treadmill.  I got to run, and I survived.  Dr. Moreno gave me some exercises to complete pre and post run and then he handed over just what I was looking forward to most… a Return to Running Program that spelled out in detail just how much running I could do.  He cautioned me to not get carried away, but to listen to my body.

With my plan in hand, I called my pal and running buddy Meg and said I had a green light to run.  She said she would be there for my first run and that she was.  The first run included a 1 minute run followed by a 1 minute walk repeated 8 times.  It was only 8 total minutes of running, but all 8 minutes were run with the biggest smile on my face.  Check it out…

Celebration picture after my first run...

Celebration picture after my first run…

Since then, I’ve moved along on the schedule and today I completed an 18 minute run, 2 minute walk, 12 minute run.  Of course, I’m not a speed demon by any means, but I’m running with purpose, better form, and an enormous amount of gratitude.  This year, I don’t plan to “race” a single race.  I’m going to enter a few of my favorite races as a participant and just do what Dr. Moreno says over and over… Enjoy the Process.

No speed records, but I am RUNNING!!!!

No speed records, but I am RUNNING!!!!

On December 30th, I had a follow-up appointment and I was officially DISCHARGED from PT.  My ankle is in good shape and with continued care and exercise, I will return to my former self… just better.

I can’t help but thank my husband, my family (especially my Mom), and all my friends that have been a part of this comeback.  I’m looking forward to logging the miles.  Thanks to my friend Elise, I have the perfect journal to connect with the process.

Awesome journal from an awesome pal...

Awesome journal from an awesome pal…

The Dress:

Fingers crossed that my husband misses this post because he hates it when I show off something that he has purchased for me.  I tell him it’s hard to not show something off when he has such amazing taste.  Enter the most recent addition to my dress collection:  The Alice and Olivia Checked Print Dress has been on his radar for a long while and it finally went on sale.  Lucky for me, it wound up in our house and was planned for a New Year’s Eve date.

The dress... H.O.T.

The dress… H.O.T.

Unfortunately, after lots of travel and feeling kind of lame… we nixed a hot date on NYE and settled for a nice dinner at home and a movie.  But… tonight is sexy date night and this little number is coming out.  First, I have a big decision to make.  What shoes?  These are the three that I have it narrowed down to.

Decisions, decisions...

Decisions, decisions…

While I’m back to running, I can’t say that I’m back to walking in heels without looking like a newborn deer.  While I am not looking like a super model when I walk, I don’t really care what other people think.  This new walk is my current personal best so I will rock on.  What heels would you pick?

That’s all for this week (and hopefully, I can find myself blogging more than the past two months).  As always, hoping your Saturday is full of joy and the chance to do something extraordinary! Enjoy!

What Does It Take to be Called an Athlete?

Have you seen the new ad from Under Armour featuring Misty Copeland?  Holy amazing!

Click the link below.  Amazing!!!

Click the link below. Amazing!!!

 Click here to see this amazing video.   It’s only a minute!

 So often, when the image of an athlete comes to mind, it’s easy to picture a favorite player from a favorite team, the looks of determination (and sometimes agony) of a track athlete heading towards the finish line, or the calm, yet powerful images of a boxer while training (or when smashing someone’s face in).  But one thing that this ad certainly conveys is that athletes can be anybody doing any activity.  It also points out, very matter-of-fact, that if you are told it’s not possible… think again!  When I think of  athletes, these are some of the images that comes to my mind…

Ernest chose a bike instead of surgery to lose more than 200 lbs.

Ernest chose a bike instead of surgery to lose more than 200 lbs.

Read Ernest’s story here.

Photo courtesy of www.mid-day.com

Lance… Photo courtesy of http://www.mid-day.com

I know… he can be a total jerk, has made some super bad choices, but the dude still won the biggest cycling race not one, but seven times…. after nearly dying of cancer.  The good in me believes in the good in Lance.  He’s got a lot of life left to live.  Still not convinced… check out Esquire‘s latest article.

Seriously... this looks hard!

Seriously… this looks hard!

As a teacher of students with disabilities, I’m often in awe at my students’ efforts to overcome some very serious obstacles.  If you have been around a person with a disability for much time, you will notice that they have very little negative self-talk.  I’m often reminded that when I think a workout is too much or that something aches, my issue is really just peanuts in comparison.  Okay… last video.  Have you seen this Guinness Beer commercial?  Happy tears are in your future.

Last… when I think of athletes, I think of these ladies.  I’m very fortunate to live in a community with some very talented female runners.  None of us are pros (although some are close to it), but despite family commitments, work commitments, illness, injuries and the many other things that take up space in the our lives, time is still made to set a goal, put in the time, and with a little support from others – smash it!

Setting goals and getting by with a little help from one another.

Setting goals and getting by with a little help from one another.

What image comes to mind when you hear the word athlete?