Wednesday, December 30, 2015

In the Cracks of the Pavement

Update on my last post:

Yesterday, I defeatedly I told you how I lost all of the jewelry that means everything to me in one fell swoop of the wind.

Well today I have very, very, very good news. I honestly feel like the luckiest person in the world.

I should have listened to what Cam's dad's said:

"If you lost it helping someone, karma will bring good back to you. Just wait."

(I was surprised he said this...I'd never expect Cam's dad to say something like that.)

Anyway...here's how everything unfolded:

When I got to work yesterday I had to wait for our executive assistant to come in before I could do much (aside from talking to the security people about losing my jewelry). When she got here I asked who I should email to contact facilities and/or HR, and she gave me some names and I sent off an email detailing where I'd lost it, and it was immediately forwarded to facilities. I followed it up by sending them a description of everything I'd lost.

Around the same time, my friend Jen sent out a blast to most of the people she knows (and she knows a lot of people) asking them to keep their eyes peeled as well. She told me she started getting responses right away and said "I've gotten a bunch of replies from people that are so sad for you and will definitely be looking for your jewelry."

I also told quite a few people on my floor (making sure to tell the smokers - the ones who always talk about the weather! - since I know they go out there and walk around while they smoke).

I want to say this about the people I work with...from the first email to people stopping to help us look outside, everyone was caring and empathetic when I told them what happened and what I was looking for. Pretty much every single person said they would look or keep an eye out for anything.

Just over an hour went by and I got a call from security that one of my rings had been found. A coworker walked down with me to pick it up (it was the one I'd bought in Idaho), and after they told us where it was found we figured we should go out and look for more.

I mentioned in my last post that the snow was awful and heavy. And it was...it was the kind of snow that turns into a slushy, icy sheet as soon as it falls, and then just hardens into icy chunks. But Marisela (my coworker) and I bundled up and went out and started looking anyways!

Half an hour went by with no luck. We didn't find anything. I was about to call it and tell her we could go inside when she looked down and said, "Wait...is this one of them?" and held up one of the earrings my friend Dan had given me for my birthday. Then she bent down again and said, "Oh look, there's something else!" and pulled the necklace Cam gave me last year for our one year anniversary...out from a crack in the sidewalk.

I couldn't believe it, squealed, and rushed over. And we immediately reignited our search, looking in all the pavement cracks. Within another few minutes I found one of the earrings Cam gave me this year, and my heart almost exploded.

A few minutes later I found the necklace Jennie gave me for my birthday (which is a little beat up, but I think I can make it look pretty sweet again).

And then we kind of came to a halt. We kept looking, but another 20 minutes went by and we didn't find anything.

Then the guy who found my first ring showed up and told us where he found it (just a little too close to a storm drain for my comfort :/) and we decided to go look over there. As we stepped onto the black top of the parking lot Marisela said, "Is that...I think that's your other earring!" and lo and behold...she picked up the other earring Cam had given me. And all I could do was hug her.

I could not believe it. Against ALL oddes, we'd found two necklaces, and one and a half pairs of earrings. Despite shoveled snow, slush, and amongst the salt they'd put down on the sidewalk. And aside from a few small scratches in my ring and some damage to the pendant on Jennie's necklace, nothing was damaged.

How's that for lucky?

AND THEN (because there's more) my friend Jen said she would go out and look with me for a bit as well. So I eat lunch and we go back out, and at one point I'm kicking at some ice and it flips over...and my turtle ring is poking out from the bottom. Another small scratch on it, but nothing awful. Again. Disbelief.

And that brings us to now.

I am still missing the ring Hannah gave me, one of the earrings from Dan, and my PrideZ pin. I have no reason to be upset, and at this point all I really want back is Hannah's ring. I'm fairly certain it's in the snow pile where we found my second earring and both of my rings...but it's snow, and we'll have to wait for it to melt (which isn't happening any time soon).

So now we play a waiting game. I cannot believe my luck though, and I feel as though I'll find the other things if I'm meant to.

That'll teach me a thing or two about being optimistic!

And also - about the kindness of other people. A huge thank you to every person who helped me look...you raised my spirits, and I saw nothing but good in all of you.



x

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Lost.

I have a different post prepared for today, but right now I have a lot of angry and sad swear words running through my head, all because of the winter hell we experienced yesterday.

After I posted yesterday I went to shower and realized that I didn't have the little box I keep all of my jewelry in when I'm going between my house and Cam's. Normally I keep it in my makeup bag, but because I had PT yesterday I'd taken it into the office so I could take everything off before I left.

Everything.

The necklace and earrings Cam has given me for our anniversaries.

The ring Hannah gave me years ago for Christmas.

The new jewelry two of my friends just gave me for my birthday.

The rings I wear every.single.day, and have for years.

I took it all off, put it in that box, and then made that struggle to my car while I held on to that woman. And somewhere between my desk and Cam's house - I lost the box.

And everything in it.

I'm just a little more than heartbroken. Each of those pieces meant so much to me, and the odds that I'll get any of them back (let alone all of them) are very, very low.

I know this is a kind of dumb problem. That there are worse things to worry about...but it still really, really sucks.

I can't even bother with asking "why didn't I do x instead", because that doesn't change that every one of those things I love is now gone.

I'm going to let people at work know so they can keep an eye out...I just honestly don't think I'll get any of it back at this point. Between the snow and the plowing and everything...

*sigh*

Right now I feel very defeated. And dumb.

And that's all I've got for you.


x

Monday, December 28, 2015

Hello, Winter Hellishland!

For the last few days we've had weather warnings going around predicting icy roads for today. I stayed at Cam's last night because the roads were supposed to get bad around the time I normally commute in...surprise surprise when they didn't, though I was in for quite a treat this afternoon...

Now, I'm a hanging-rock kind of weather person. For those who don't know, you can buy these cute little rock-on-a-rope things and hang them outside, and the rock comes with a little card that says things like:

  • If the rock is wet, it's raining.
  • If the rock is white, it's snowing.
  • If the rock is swaying, it's windy.
Etc. The jist is that, unlike a normal person who flips on the weather channel or checks their phone, you have now looked outside at the rock to see what the weather is like, and looking out the window does just as good of a job.



And by all that I mean: I don't usually know (or care) what the weather is like until it's hitting me in the face.

Well hello world, today I wish I'd taken those warnings I saw on Facebook a little more seriously. All of the smokers at work were talking about how bad the weather was, but they normally blow things out of proportion a bit so I tend to ignore what they're saying. (They're also usually talking about the weather, which everyone tends to blow out of proportion, so I double ignore it). But when I left work a little while ago I was almost blown away walking from the building to the parking garage.

I'm not kidding either.

Right when I walked out there was this tiny woman (she was about 5 feet tall) who asked if she could hold on to me while we walked, and I said sure. It's a good thing she did because I don't know what would have happened to her if I hadn't!

It took all my effort to keep walking forward and not slide right across the sidewalk into the parking lot, sweeping the woman with me. For all of 15 feet! It was the longest 15 foot walk of my life, with little bits of snow and hail flying into me, stabbing my cheeks and exposed legs (I was wearing crops for PT) like a million pin-sized missiles. Brutal!

As soon as I got out of the parking garage onto the road I decided I would not be going to PT. The wind was brutal, and the roads were basically snow-covered ice. Instead, I drove to Cam's!

I have issues driving in inclement weather, but within 10 seconds I was glad I'd made the decision to go to Cam's (10 minutes from work rather than the 40ish it takes me to get home). I had to change lanes at one point and just the prospect was giving me such bad anxiety, and I was sure I was going to crash into four other cars and slide through six intersections during the change. But I made it.

Upon pulling in and seeing his driveway covered with a good two inches of snow, I decided to get out and shovel before he came home and started doing it himself. He hasn't been feeling good at all today, and even though I knew he would help when he got home, I didn't want him out there for too long. So I threw on my sweats and grabbed a dickie, gloves, and a shovel and got to it.

What I really wanted to do was curl up under a warm light like this guy and do nothing:


Alas.

And holy.freaking.hell.

Heaviest snow ever. I contemplated trying to use the snow blower, but figured that with my luck it would jam or I'd eff it up somehow, so instead I shoveled more than half the driveway by hand before Cam got home and did the rest with the snowblower (which worked just fine, btw).

While I was shoveling I saw about a half dozen cars trying to creep around the neighborhood, and then I saw a squirrel and the only thing that came into my head was, "That is one fucking crazy stupid squirrel. Why the hell is he out?!" (And I hope he made it home okay!)

So rather than going to PT tonight, I spent one long, cold, sweaty, stabby-snow hour shoveling the heaviest, wettest snow I have ever encountered. And I'm not one of those weird people (like Cam) who actually enjoys shoveling. Oh no. I am not.

Of all things, it made me happy that I'll be able to get back to dead lifting soon because my lower back needs some training to handle this shiz.

I'm sure that this is just weirdo rambling to most of you, but it seems like the weather everywhere has just been weird lately. The tornadoes in Texas, crazy bad flooding in northern England...I sincerely hope that things get a little less bizarre and intense over the next 24 or so hours. On my end, I'd just like to go home tomorrow, please! As it is, I'll be wearing the same clothes to work tomorrow that I wore today...nbd since approximately 60% of people are on PTO this week, but still weird.

And now I'm off. I need to shower my sweaty be-hind and then Cam and I are going to watch the second half of The Empire Strikes Back.

Peace out, yo!


x

The December Streak (Days 21-27)

And so it continues! In addition to normal holiday awesomeness, I was busy streaking this week.

December 21: 1 hour workout at PT. Ahh, physical therapy. It just keeps on keepin' on. They keep on adding more and more stuff too! In addition to all my normal squats, lunges, leg pressing and whatnot, we added in sideways shuffles, high knees, double and single calf raises to get some higher impact activities back into my workout. And oh! Teresa tested me on my kinesio taping skills, and I got to tape up my own leg! Yayyy, skillz. I ordered my own tape off Amazon and everything :D

December 22: 30 laps in the pool. I realized about 10 laps in that I'd challenged myself to do them all in one go by Christmas. Well - that didn't happen on Tuesday. Not to disappoint, but I don't think I'll be meeting that goal (for good reason). I think I'll write more about this later, but I've been feeling very, uh, clumsy in the water lately. There's really no other word for it. Basically, I feel like I'm putting in too much effort for my stroke. On Tuesday I did some reading and decided to change my stroke up a bit, which took a lot of concentration and effort, and resulted in some subpar results. I'm frustrated, and since I have a few months to focus on my stroke before I officially start training, I'm going to.

That was the long description. I did 30 laps (1500 yards) and it took me 40 minutes.

December 23: Another 1 hour PT workout - I was drenched in sweat at the end. Amy had me do most of the stuff I did last time, but we also added in ladder stepping (agility thing with one of those rope ladders on the floor), inverted bosu squats, weird balance lungey things, and inch worms ("for a core workout and leg stretch all at once!" said Amy):



I was wiped at the end. It was an honest to goodness real workout. Though I've been sore after these last few sessions, and though my posterior tib tendons still twinge a little during high-impact dynamic movements (like high knees and weighted lunges), I will be discharged from PT next week to continue at it on my own...and I'll just have to do a big wrap up post about everything when the time comes!

December 24: I decided to go for a "run"! Well, it was the closest I've come to running in a long while. Since Teresa said I should be running for 5-7 minutes and slowly increasing from there, I decided to try out some run/walk intervals. I settled on 2 minutes easy jogging, followed by 2 minutes of walking. I made it through about two and half interval cycles (7 minutes of jogging) before my ankle really started twinging, and I decided to walk for a bit before trying to jog again. So I walked through a couple intervals, and jogged once more before finishing up the 30 minute circuit. All this made me realize is that I'm really going to have to baby my ankle with the whole running thing. :(

December 25: We went for a walk! It was Christmas Day and we were still pretty tired from the night before, but Cam and I got in a good walk after brunch. We took the dogs with us and enjoyed the emptiness of the trails around my house. We were out for about and hour. I don't even want to talk about how my ankle felt afterwards (hrumph).

December 26: Hit the gym for a cycle and swim. I'm still working on making my stroke more efficient, and I did a lot of reading and video watching to help, and it did. Just gotta keep practicing now!

Also, I'm amazed that I can get through hour+ long workouts that aren't running and I feel totally fine, but the minute I walk or run my ankle goes all boo-hoo. Talk about frustrating.

December 27: Broke the streak again! And I'm not even ashamed to admit it. It was a busy weekend, and right at the last minute my workout plans were curtailed when a high school friend (in from New York state for the weekend) asked if I wanted to meet for breakfast. When I got home I realized I just wanted to take it easy and hang out with my mom...and not go out for a run in the blustery chill that's settling here (or stop at the gym to swim).

And there you have it! Only 4 days left in my streak...hard to believe it's gone by so quickly! Ahh, such is life. Enjoy this witching hour between Christmas and the New Year...I should be back in a few days to post!


x

Thursday, December 24, 2015

The night before...

Just popping in to say:


and

Happy Christmas Eve!

I've always looked forward to Christmas Eve a bit more than Christmas Day because I like the bustling-busy feeling of Chirstmas Eve, and I enjoy celebrating with my extended family in the evening - which is what I'll be doing in 5 hours!

I hope that whatever you're up to today you have the chance to enjoy it!


x

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Birthday Shenanigans

We're on the cusp of Christmas, so I figure I better post about my birthday now before it's just another bunch of memories in the dust! For anyone with a birthday in Holiday-Land-Time, you'll understand how easy it is for your birthday to be skipped by as everyone plunges straight into something else.

But that's not gonna happen here!

FYI before I get started - I talk about the new Star Wars movie in this post, but it's spoiler free. One of my friends asked me if there even is a "big" spoiler and, uh, yes. There is. But I would never spoil it for someone else, so read on with reckless abandon!

First Birthday (for the impatient folk)

The gifts started flowing last Tuesday - two days before my birthday. I mentioned in my last December Streak post that Cam got me a WiiU this year. He was very clever about it, and I was actually very surprised when I found it. He asked if I wanted to open it then or wait until my real birthday, but because we had so many plans for that day I knew we wouldn't get to play it until the weekend, so I opted for the impatient route.

Here's the picture I posted on Facebook of the entire haul that went with it:

WiiU console in back, a few games, the WiiU game pad, and some amiibos.
He obliged my child-like spirit and set it up right away (after he transferred the Wii to his parents TV so they can play old school Mario on it).

We've had a blast playing this thing this past week - I'm especially in love with Yoshi's Woolly World. It's a cute game where everything is made out of yarn (including all the Yoshis!) and you 'eat' your enemies to make yarn balls and then use the yarn to complete different tasks while you try to gather gems (akin to the famous Mario coins) and hidden flowers and skeins of yarn. If you collect all the skeins, you create a new Yoshi at the end of every level.

We've been playing it co-op and are almost through the second world - I get a ton of laughs out of the game, especially playing it with Cam. I also really enjoy that it doesn't have a limited number of lives (I tend to die a lot in normal games) so your game play just keeps rolling as long as one player stays alive.

I think Cam is more partial to Super Mario Maker though, which I've only played a few times (he tends to play when I've fallen asleep). You can play this game multiple ways:
  1. Build levels on your own and then try to beat them (you have to be able to finish them to get them 'published' and released to other players)
  2. Play levels made by other people.
    • including the 10 Mario Challenge - where you try to beat 8 random player-made levels in 10 lives
I did the tutorial for building levels, but have mostly played other people's levels, and done multiple runs of the 10 Mario Challenge. It's fun...but it's no Woolly World! I'm also looking forward to playing some of the older Nintendo games on it...but not until I've finished with Yoshi!

Sidenote: I'm pretty sure Cam bought Super Smash Bros for himself/our friends. I **extra** loathe that game. He and his friends have been playing it since N64 eons ago, and I've tried, but I just can't. It's a stupid game and I hate it! With N64 you can only have 4 players so I immediately always volunteer to sit out...apparently with the WiiU you can have 8 players, so my excuse making just got way more difficult :/

He also got me the two little amiibos (the yarn Yoshi and 8-bit Mario), which we haven't really played with yet - we will at some point though!

Fer Realz Birthday

Next up was my actual, fer realz birthday on Thursday. I turned older, in case you're wondering.

Normally on my birthday my mom takes us (me, she, Cam, brother, grandparents) out for dinner. But this year, as soon as I found out the release date for Star Wars (December 18th, the day after my birthday, meaning 'midnight' releases would be on the 17th) I told her I wanted to go see it. Back in October I spent an hour on the phone getting tickets, and we ended up getting them for an 8:00 show (not midnight, because nothing is sacred anymore!).

Now b-b-back that bus up.

Before the movie we went to a Mexican restaurant called Mago for dinner. Do you know what they give out on birthdays?!

NO?! Well I'll tell you:

SOMBREROS.


Yeah. That's right. I got a free freaking sombrero along with my chips and guac (favoritest food ever). And I rocked it out (in my new Star Wars shirt that Cam surprised me with!):

Pardon the weirdo look in the restaurant bathroom mirror. It feels weird taking selfies in public places and I'm positive someone was about to burst in and embarrass me at any moment.
Not joking, I wore that thing into the theater. I love it. Might wear it on Christmas too.

Anyways...the movie was fantabulous. It certainly lived up to the hype. I love the new main characters (Fin and Rey), and it was good to see old characters come back. I also liked that they didn't rely on special effects and CGI like they did in the prequels - it felt like watching one of the original trilogy.

Now that I've seen it I've read a bit more about it - like everyone else I was avoiding spoilers as much as possible in the lead up to the release - and I've formed a few theories and learned about some of the Easter eggs in the movie. I'd like to watch it again to see what else I can catch!

Also - for any fans out there who haven't seen it yet - some of my theories are based on little things I learned while watching the animated Clone Wars series. I know, I know, you're probably thinking "wasn't that a kids' show?" and you're kind of right. It was originally a Disney thing, but they were going to stop production and Netflix picked it up for the last three seasons so it got more real. The entire series is on Netflix and is well worth watching because it gives quite a bit of background to the whole Star Wars universe.

So that's it! That's my Star Wars update! I really couldn't have asked for a better night out, and loved getting to spend the time with my family and Cam and just relax through it all.

Saturday Zoo Lights

The last item on the birthday docket was a trip downtown with the Wack Pack (we even used the L and buses like big kids!) to check out the Lincoln Park Zoo Lights.

I'm fairly certain the Zoo Lights weren't a thing when I was little, but I love Lincoln Park Zoo and was so excited to get to go trundle around after hours and see it all decorated and lit up.  I didn't take a ton of pictures because a) they all turned out really bright because of the lights, b) crowds and c) selfies looked dumb because I was so bundled up.

Oh yeah - Saturday just happened to be a freakishly cold day. Okay not really, it was like a normal-December weather day, but compared to the strange warm and damp weather that's been hanging around lately (seriously, it was almost 60*F today), a day under 30*F was shocking. It's been the only thing I've done all season that has felt seasonal...and that made it worth it in it's own right!

Anywhoodles...pictures!
The fun stripe Zebras!!
It's the Loch Ness Monster!!!
All of the Wack members along for the ride. 
This was just inside the doors to the Small Mammal and Reptile House (my absolute fave!!)
He totally reminded me of Ned, lazing about like this.
The new lionesses, in for the night.
Polar Bear lights!
Polar Bear Carousel!!! (seriously, I have a thing for Polar Bears).
And of course, just a few of me and Cam. I can't remember at a wedding, but I can remember when it's freaking cold as balls out and I look like a nomad:


Even though it was freezing we still went to all the exhibits and buildings, and I still looked desparately to see if I could find the animals in their enclosures (in the super dark where there were no lights). I didn't find many animals, but looking for them never gets old!

After all the fun, we stuffed our gullets at a corner gyros place, hopped in an Uber, and got ourselves home so I could fall asleep on the couch while everyone else did socializing stuff. I'm such a great friend...I always fall asleep, lol.

Last But Not Least

I have to give a seriously honorable mention to my cousin, the Presidentress, Jennie. This girl seriously knows me. And she knows that, in a time when we're all struggling to find someone to believe in politically, we can turn our shining faces - scrubbed new like old things that have been scrubbed to clean them - YES! We can turn our faces with hope to a candidate who has weathered the ages with his boundless experience.

WE CAN TURN OUR HOPE FOR OUR FUTURES TO ONE (kind-of, not really because he's the undead) MAN:


SENATOR DRACULA.

I know whose bucket I'm putting my pennies in this election. And I shall display my support proudly, thanks to Jennie!

(And if you have no idea wtf is going on, go here and do some 'research'.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And now, kids: It's late, I'm tired, and I'm going to bed.


x

Monday, December 21, 2015

The December Streak! (Days 14-20)

Here's the roundup of the last calendar week (Monday through Sunday). Enjoy!

December 14: PT...~25 minutes of activity. We had to go really light on the exercises because of how sore I was after the wedding. Days like Monday and Tuesday make me wonder if I'll ever get better ;(

December 15: DUN DUN DUNNNNNN. I have to admit to you - I broke the streak. I'm not entirely happy, but I'm realistic, and one of 31 days will not be the end of my active life. Not only was I still sore, but Cam got me a WiiU (more on that in the next post) and since my actual birthday was going to be very busy, we decided to stay at home and enjoy my new toy - which is exactly what we did! I can't regret that!

December 16: More PT! It was a solid 45 minute workout. I even feel comfortable calling it that. When I got there, Teresa told me I was scheduled for a reassessment, so I thought it was going to be an easy day. HAH. No. We just went through my daily activities and pain scales and stuff, and then got to it. And good news - she had me jog! The first time in 2 months that I propelled my body forward at a faster-than-walking pace.

Teresa also showed me how to kinesio tape my ankle and gave me some info on what tape to buy.

The left pictures are the taping for my peroneals, the right is for my tibialis anterior.
December 17: My birthday! Perfect time for a birthday workout. We made it short and sweet - bench press and 20 laps in the pool. I've actually been kind of crappy about my diet since the wedding, and feeling fatigued on top of it, so my bench was kind of sad. But the pool felt okay. Still moving forward in all realms, some weeks are just not as great as others.

December 18: Took it easy, really only did stretching. I had the day off work and wanted to take it easy so I did. (Lots of Woolly World was played.)

December 19: Spin and swim. We did a 15 minute spin, 20 laps in the pool, and followed it up with an evening downtown walking around. I tested out my Garmin FR920xt as well - the thing is gonna take some getting used to! (I'll post more about this new gadget later...it's taken me a month to feel comfortable with the money I spent on it and to actually put it on my wrist and hop in the pool. It's an investment, I keep telling myself :P)

Also of note: Saturday included lots of walking because we went downtown to see the Zoo Lights at Lincoln Park Zoo (more on that in my next post!).

December 20: We, somewhat miraculously, made it to the gym for a whopping one hour workout. Teresa told me I could start to incorporate light jogging into my workouts - so that's just what I did. She told me to start with 5 minutes, and I can increase the time and pace over the next few weeks. So on Sunday I warmed up with a 5 minute jog, then Cam and I hit the lifts:

As much as I'd love to say I can bench 235...my weights are the three columns on the left.
And there you have it - one week of activity (errr, minus Tuesday).

I'm heading into Christmas strong and have my activities all planned out...hopefully I can stick to that plan!

Have a great evening (and I hope you feel spoiled by the second post in one day!).


x

A Whirlwind Wedding Weekend

All of last week was fun and interesting and - you guessed it - busy. I actually had to put in OT at work as well, and combined with some of the other stuff going on, posting about last weekend just slid to the bottom of my To Do list. Now I'm a bit behind on posting, but determined to catch up since these two weeks have had lots of fun things happening!

Here we go - it's a looooooong one (with mildly decent photos)!

So...back to the weekend of December 11-13!

Last weekend started for me on Thursday (the 10th) with my CPCU test. I already posted that I passed (and received the books for my next class on the 16th...wooo it all begins again). After my test Cam and I met at the gym (he left work early) and we got in a good workout before heading to an arcade place called Gameworks for PrideZ's holiday mixer with Sears. It ended up being a lot of fun - I looooove hanging out with the PrideZ people! I met some new-to-me people from my company as well as some others from Sears, and followed dinner and conversation up with lots of Pop-A-Shot basketball and racing games. My arms were super tired at the end of that night, because every game we picked involved some kind of arm activity.

I took one (lame) picture, and that was it. So moving on!

Friday morning Cam and I got up early, fit in a workout, did a bunch of laundry and packing, and left for South Bend (Indiana) at about 3 (driving time ~3 hours). We decide to spend a night in with Bryn and Erich (one of my best friends from college and her equally awesome boyfriend), and had a really good time. They'd ordered Chinese food which was ready when we got there, and we ate while chatting and watching The Great British Bake Off (which for some dumb reason is called "The Great British Baking Show" on Netflix...).

Momentary pause to talk about their dog, Luna. She is effing adorable. I took a ton of pictures of her...here's a sample:

Her underbite was adorable.
And she really loved climbing on Cam (and licking his face).
Luna aside..Bryn and Erich are super into board games, and we played one called Dead of Winter while we were there. We played what Erich said was a "short" version...and it took almost 2 hours! Craaaaazy! But it was a lot of fun. It's a zombie survival themed game with lots of different things going on so it's never boring! Definitely good if you've got 4 or so people to keep entertained for a few hours.

We stayed up past midnight talking and catching up (I really, really miss Bryn living close to me) and finally decided to go to bed because Cam and I needed to get to the hotel early-ish to work out on Saturday.

We got to the hotel long before our room was scheduled to be ready, so I asked for keys to the gym...I was a bit bummed later when I learned that we didn't get our guest bag or our free cookies. We were supposed to be offered both by the check in staff, and they didn't give them to us. It turns out we were the only ones who didn't get either thing, and at $120 a night I was a bit ticked off about that. #firstworldproblems

We also had to park in the world's shortest parking garage:

He's 6'6" for reference, he said it was making him claustrophobic, and he had to bend his head to keep it from knocking it on stuff. #dramaqueen
We decided just to lift so we wouldn't be tired for the wedding, and I also did some core work. Holy crap, I was so sore from it! Of note: We took one bag filled entirely with shoes!


I took no workout selfies, but here's the pile of gross clothes we had left after (just in case you want to see it):



By the time we finished our room was ready and we showered, then I ran out and got us some Jimmy John's while Cam studied a bit. I found this guy on the way:

I'm sure this has something to do with football. They seem to like football in South Bend.
When the time came, I gussied myself up, got Cam into his shirt and tie, and we headed to the church for the ceremony:

The confusion was just beginning. Metaphor for the whole night :P
So here's the thing if you ever attend a wedding at the Norte Dame basilica: It's not the easiest church to get to. We did not know this. Everyone we asked said it was "like 10 minutes away". Yeah. Maybe if you know where to go!

After two blocked driveways we accosted some young student (who, bless, thought we knew something about the campus...we didn't) and he gave us good-enough directions to get to the guard stand you have to pass to get to the basilica. She finished out the directions and we made it into the church with 5 minutes to spare (score!).

My mom immediately made me cry by showing me the program. This wedding was for my cousin Sarah and her (now) husband John, and (unbeknownst to me) John had lost his mom. It was Sarah's idea to add an "In Memoriam" to the program, listing the family members who are no longer with us When I read through it, I was touched beyond words that they'd included my dad on the list.

You see...it's no secret to the people close to me that weddings can be really hard for me. I actually kind of loathe them. There's so much father-daughter stuff with weddings, and they also tend to be events where it feels like those we've lost are...forgotten. There's no other word for it. The more time that passes, the more it feels like other people have forgotten about my dad. Realistically I know they haven't...but it can really feel like that sometimes. Seeing his name in print next to all the other important people (John's mom, Sarah's grandpa...) made it feel like my dad still matters.

And so I burst into tears. Quiet, dignified tears. But yeah, I cried without anything even happening. I made it through most of the rest okay. The priest was actually really funny - most Catholic weddings I've been to have felt so somber that you may as well be at a funeral (and give me anxiety), but this guy made it seem way more lively that I'm used to. And I liked it!

It was short and sweet, and lighthearted (but still dignified) and afterwards we mingled with my family a bit before heading back to the hotel. During that mingling, Cam got one million compliments on his hair (it is disgustingly beautiful). He was likened to Thor multiple times. His ego inflated just a bit :P

Oh yes! And I took a picture of me in my dress and heels, because for three seconds I remembered how to be a good blogger:

Yes. I took it in the gym mirror while Cam refilled our waterbottles at the filter. It seems fitting, in a way :P
We spent the hour before the reception playing chess, and then skedaddled down to be social. On the way out of our room I got one of the only pictures of us that I took all day. I'm actually a bit bummed because I wanted to get a good picture of us together and totally forgot:

I had to force that tie over his head and around his neck, although props to Cam for leaving it on allll night.
Oh well, good enough I suppose.

The reception was very fun. Cam and I were at a table with most of my cousins, and once dinner was over the rest grabbed chairs and planted themselves there with us. My cousin Grace and I tried desperately to get Cam and our other cousins to come dance with us, but they were being silly and shy. She and I didn't care though, and we busted our moves out on the floor for a good measure of the night. And in case you're wondering: Yes, we're both amazing dancers.

I managed to get this one table selfie (that I honestly don't really remember taking, but I think I did say something about needing one for the blog, lol):

Lmao. There are only six of us in it, and only four paying attention, and you have to really look to see Sam on the edge there. I'm so good at this.
Annnyways. The night went on til 11 when the reception was scheduled to end, and after much cajooling, Cam convinced some of my cousins to wander around South Bend with us. Cam and I only stayed out until about 1:30, but I found out the next morning that a few of them didn't get back until FOUR AM. WAAAAT!!! Crazies.

The night went fine for me, but Cam struggled a bit at the end there. I'll just leave what that means up to your imagination...

I will say this though: He and Sam had enough tequila that they're now best friends, and Cam promised multiple people that he'd be at our family's Christmas Eve party (point of contention for us the last few weeks). It was news to him in the morning, but I can tell he's looking forward to it now ;)

We rounded out the trip by meeting Erich and Bryn for breakfast in downtown South Bend - right across the street from the Football Gorilla!

The drive home was uneventful (very, very boring, as it happens) and I made chicken soup and did laundry to recover from all the excitement. In the end I felt like I needed a weekend from my weekend...but that didn't happen, and instead I got to go to work on Monday like a normal person.

One other highlight from the wedding that I want to make sure I mention:

Sarah made the cutest and most thoughtful favors. She's very crafty, and took pottery classes when she was in PhD school, and every guest received a different handmade flower pot with a small desert plant:


I'll have to take a better picture of the pot, because this was a wonderfully unique (thoughtful, creative, cherished) gift to give. It will certainly have a place in my home and prove to be a nice little momento as the years roll by. Even Cam was excited for it, that's how cute they all were.

And with that, O' Blogosphere, I leave you. Lots to get done today so I need to get a move on! I'll be back soon with my December Streak update, as well as a bit about my birthday week. That sounds so pretentious but there are so many people to do stuff with that it's never just one day anymore!

Peace out until next time!


x

Monday, December 14, 2015

The December Streak! (days 7-13)

This weekend was hella busy, but I'll save that update for later. I don't want to get too far behind on my December Streak posts though, so let's keep it short and sweet...here you go!

December 7: Physical Therapy. Same exercises as usual, ~35 minutes of activity. I don't want to knock my PT's office, but I'll be so excited when I don't have to spend an hour there every Monday and Wednesday. It's cramping my style.

December 8: Gym time swim time. 30 laps ~45 minutes. Cam and I knocked some laps out and then headed home to brutalize ourselves with studying. I made it about an hour (3 practice tests) in before I fell asleep on the couch, haha.

December 9: Physical Therapy again! Same group of exercises, higher reps, plus a few extra blanace ones. ~45 minutes.

December 10: Cycle, lift, swim, ~ 1:30. I had Thursday off for my test and Cam left work early, so we met at the gym to bust it out. 10 minute cycle, 5 lifts (since we had the time) and 15 laps in the pool (with very tired arms). We spent the rest of the evening enjoying the company of PrideZ friends before crashing on the couch.

December 11: Cycle, lift, swim. ~ 1:30. That's right, we did it all again! We'd both taken Friday off to prep for the wedding. We didn't have to leave until about 3, so we hit the gym first thing for 20 minutes of spin, another 5 lifts, and I can't even remember how many laps. We totally killed it all though :P

December 12: Lift, ~ 60 minutes. When we got to the hotel for the wedding our room wasn't ready yet, which was totally fine because we'd planned on a little pump before the festivities. We got some keys to the gym and spent a little under an hour lifting, and I even did some core work (it's been ages since I've done core-specific exercises). I still feel sore from it!

Oh, also...does DANCING count? Because I did quite a bit of that. My feet can attest. My cousin Grace and I rocked it out to a bunch of songs, and forced our other cousins to come join. It was fantastic. Totally makes up for the two-point-five slices of cake I had (DON'T JUDGE ME THEY WERE SMALL.)

December 13: Stretching and the like, 20 minutes. I kind of cheated on Sunday. I was up until nearly 2 after the wedding, and got up at 8 to get ready to go to breakfast, and then drive home. Tired is an understatement (and I'm still feeling it today). My mom wanted to get Christmas cards sent out, and I agreed to make dinner, so there was very little time for anything other than a little bit of stretching my tired, sore, old body. Still counts though - I did it with intention!

And there you have it! I have a few photos from the wedding, although I really am very bad about remembering to take them. I have a few pictures of me and Cam together, but I didn't get a "coupley" photo, so you'll have to make due with the goofy ones when I decide to post them.

Other than that...I hope your Monday is going well, and that the week to follow does too! Peace out, and keep your eyes peeled for an update!


x

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Warning: Emotional Gushy Stuff coming

First - an update on my CPCU test:

I PASSED!

Yayyy. Time to really enjoy the weekend.

Once the pesky test was over I decided to catch up on some things. First was hitting up Target so I can, like, actually mail my best friend and godson their Christmas gifts.

I'll say this..they will never get there on time. I'm terrible about this, it happens every year/birthday/event/occasion/thing. Why won't they get there on time? Because Hannah and Miles live in freaking England, and I never know what to get them (because shipping is expensive so it rules out all the things I want to send that aren't generic and purchased off Amazon).

In short: They are too, too far away.

I haven't talked about Hannah (or Miles) much, but I honestly don't know what I'd do without her (them). Here are some pictures from when I visited last September:

Meeting for the first time! We were both pretty excited :D I love that, even without seeing his face in this picture, you can tell how excited he is. Hannah prepped him really well.

Me and my bestie. No matter how far apart we are, part of my heart is always with this girl. Through thick and thin and everything in between.
I'll tell you what - it's a very weird world that introduces you to your best friend during the most absolutely horrendous Soviet history class. And it's a cruel, cruel world that introduces you to an amazing person, and then makes sure that they live stupidly far away.

This factor of my life sucks quite often. But I'm lucky, because at least I have her!

Hannah is the best for many reasons. She's intelligent, kind, loving, and acquires and sends me Pudsey hoodies when they're totally sold out in stores. It was my good luck charm for the test today:

If you're not familiar with Pudsey, he's the mascot for the BBC's annual Children In Need fundraiser, which was one of my favorite things to be there for during my study abroad.
Seriously, I don't know what I did to deserve this girl! I'm ticking off the days until I get to see her next (all 6 months of them...), and I already cannot wait.

So anyways - I went to Target and found a bunch of cute/fun little things to send along with the main gifts I got. I hate having to be extra creative so I don't end up paying $70 just to ship a box. But yeah...never gonna get there in time. I think she's going to love the stuff I'm sending though, so it doesn't matter when it gets there!

I also picked up some makeup since I should try and look presentable for the wedding this weekend. I'm out of a few staples, so I picked those up too. It's weird to think that tomorrow we'll be on our way to South Bend for this thing! We're going to hang out with Bryn, one of my most wonderiffic friends from college (and her boyfriend, Erich) tomorrow night, and we'll also stay at their place before the wedding (good thing too, it's saving me a ton of money). I'm so excited to see them because it's been ages since we've been able to hang out.

"Friends Who Live Far Away" is totally a theme in my life, unfortunately :(

Also unfortunate is that I gotta keep this short! The morning is behind me and it's time to get ready for the afternoon and evening. Cam is leaving work early so we can workout before we head to Gameworks for PrideZ's holiday mixer. I am sooooo stoked to meet some new people and show them how much I suck at video games (and then wow them with how awesome I am at airhockey).

My life, you guys. It is just too awesome to handle sometimes ;)

I'll probably be crazy busy the next few days, so here's me wishing you a great rest of your week and weekend - make it fun!


x

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Caution: Risk of Death

Also Caution: Totally Random Thought Post coming.

Does anyone else read the Harvard Health Blog?

I ask because the other day they posted something that I thought was phrased hilariously:

'as little as 15 minutes a day of moderate-intensity exercise - and only 8 minutes a day of vigorous-intensity exercise - reduced the risk of death.'




Even better news for us active folk - every additional 15 minutes of moderate exercise reduces our 'risk of death' by an additional 4 percent!

Well wouldn't you know. It's like Tuck Everlasting up in hurr!

I realize they probably meant something like, 'reduces the risk of premature death', but they chose to phrase it really, really poorly.

C'mon Harvard. You can do better than that! You're Harvard!

On an entirely different note:

There's a lot of test anxiety happening in this neck of the woods right now. Cam and I are both having mild (at times more than mild) breakdowns about all the studying and tests, and the lack of time that exists for the former.

Never mind the nerves I'm starting to pick up regarding my test tomorrow - the thing I really want over is Cam's final. When that test is over I will breathe a sigh of relief knowing he won't be so antsy and anxious all the time.

On my side, I have made it 100% of the way through all of my study materials, and have crashed into the practice exams and will be conducting my final review tonight.

Woooo this means absolutely nothing!!

Nothing quite like procrastination! I have a more-than-decent handle on over half of the material, but I'm still struggling with a few chapters of the book. Hopefully this final review really pushes things home for me.

And I wouldn't be me if I didn't say the following: I am ready for this test to be over and already planning the next!

The test I'm taking tomorrow is CPCU 520, Insurance Operations. I've actually been doing a lot of forum perusing on the CPCU site, and I think I'm going to skip 530 (Business Law for Insurance Professionals) for now and go straight to 540 (Finance and Accounting for Insurance Professionals).

It's supposed to be one of the hardest CPCU exams, and I think it would be better for me to study for it now - in the winter - than in the spring/summer when I'll be training for the Oly. It's supposed to be a lot of equation memorization and math, which have been my weak points on these first two tests, so I'd like to be able to take a little more time and study more intensely for it. I think I'll also ask my manager if I can order extra study materials for it (they cost $125...I'm willing to spend it myself since the test registration is $300 which I have to pay if I need to retake it...I'd just rather ask her first. corporate expenses, ya'll).

If I do the tests 'out of order', I can skip the first testing window of 2016 and prepare to take 540 at the beginning of the second window (April-June). I'd really like to take 3 exams in 2016, so hopefully I can still make that happen.

I know you totally care about all of that :P Sometimes it helps to write it all out and have an accountable plan, rather than hoarding things to oneself.

Now to lighten things up a bit...

Last night when we went to the gym (commitment, that we're still fitting it in) I took my phone in with me because I wanted to try to get a selfie on the spin bikes. Total fail-whale, by the way:

They keep the lights off and it was wayyy too dark to get a decent picture.
Cam asked me why I was taking my phone in and I lied a little told him I forgot to leave it in my car. Then I took it out to take the selfie, and he said he was banning cell phones at the gym from now on. Granted, I have taken many post-workout selfies...but I'd never taken my phone in during a workout and he was already ready to ban it!

Phone nazi!

Then this morning he showed me this YouTube video he found:



Hah!!!! I decided to pay a visit to instagramhusband.com (it's a real thing, yo) and then asked Cam if he'd visited the site yet to see how much worse some guys have it.

Spoiler alert: He hadn't.

I got a good laugh out of all of it though. I plan on sneaking my phone into the gym again to provide proof that we do actually work out. I know you guys don't really believe me :P

Anyways...I've gotten to the point where I'm just rambling, and it's time for me to shove off and do something productive that I won't regret having not done tomorrow.

PS...I have a 4 day weekend! Just gotta make it through today and my test in the morning and I am home freeeeee for a few days. Wooo!

See you all soon (hopefully with good things to report)!


x

Monday, December 7, 2015

The December Streak! (days 1-6)

Hello friends!

I've taken the day off work to sit my ass down and spend 10 hours (not joking) studying for this test on Thursday:

My study station...book and review guide, lots of writing utensils, and laptop of online materials. Yayyyy.
Annnnnyways....

Yesterday was fairly busy so I never got around to posting my streak update. Here it is, for all those interested!

December 1: 30 laps in the pool. 10 moderate, 15 moderate-hard, 5 easy. Took about 45 minutes. I definitely pushed myself on those middle laps. Cam started 3 laps ahead of me so I needed to catch up to him, and after 10 I had only gained one lap. So I booked it (as much as I could, given I needed some endurance going) to catch him. Those laps pushed me into the "uncomfortable" zone of training that we find ourselves in when we're trying to improve.

December 2: 1 hour of PT ~35 minutes of activity...eliptical, balance squats, this weird half squat thing I have to do with a slidey-disc, leg press, calf raises.

December 3: Yoga, stretching, and foam rolling, 60 minutes. I really wanted to fit in something meaninful that wouldn't tire me out too much because I still had to get my studying in on Thursday night. So I fit this in before Cam got home from work (we'd agreed not to go to the gym since he's coming up to finals too). Worth it, I felt loose and limber and ready to plonk my butt in a chair for 3 hours.

December 4: PT again easily 45 minutes of activity...loooots of exercises. Elliptical. Squats on the blue balance discs. Squats on a bosu ball. Weird half squat with the slidey-disc. Lunges. Leg Press. Calf Raises. Skaters and side stepping with resistance bands. And then stretching, and pleasantly painful tendon frictioning.

December 5: Stretching and walking. I can't believe how busy Saturday was. It felt like I barely had time to fit in some basic stretching in the morning (~10-15 minutes), and by the end of that day I resigned to using that and some walking-and-shopping as part of my streak. Jeez, it sounds so lame to say that, but that's just how it goes.

December 6: 30 laps. Before a day chock-full of Christmas cookie baking with my mom, aunts, and grandma (followed dutifully by studying) I fit in 30 laps in the pool with Cam. I tried to push myself, and it at least feels like my lap times are getting shorter. I should, like, time them or something. It took my right around 40 minutes to complete the laps.

There you have it! I'll do my best to be back next Sunday with another update...should be interesting fitting in activity with how busy the week is going to be, but I shall do my best!

Until then, don't go too crazy wondering what I'm up to...I promise it's not that exciting ;)


x

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Sick, Studying, and Streaking

It's a short one today, kids.

Yesterday started out great. I woke up, felt (fairly) energized, and ready to take on the world!

Sick

And then it went all crappy. It just turned into your standard bad day, and everything was annoying me...and it felt like I was starting to get sick. (Spoiler, I am. Nothing serious, but enough to make me feel like chicken noodle soup, sweatshirts, and sleep are the only things that will make it better.)

By the time I got to PT and the aide asked me how I was doing I told her I felt totally exhausted - and I still had to get through PT and studying!

Thankfully, PT was a bit easier yesterday. I still did all of my exercises, Teresa did something similar to the Astym (though admittedly not as awesome, since it only focused on the tendons in my ankle) and then I iced up and left.

Studying

I was home by 5:30, watched Quantico (the chick-flick of FBI shows) while I ate dinner, and then sat down to study.

I managed to make it to 8:30 before I called it a night, crawled into bed with the covers up to my ears, and set an alarm for 3:30, promising myself I'd get up and study at that time.

Hah. HAHAHAHAHA.

My college-self is now kicking me, trying to remind my present-self that it's just easier to do it before you fall asleep than it is to get up and do it. What was really ironic is that I had a dream that I did a ton of studying, and when the alarm went off at 3:30 I turned it off, happily thinking 'I don't need to get up! I already did all that studying!'

And then at 4:45 I though...wait. Those books are still open on the table downstairs. I didn't do any studying. *facepalm*

Ahh studying. The bane of my evening plans until the 10th. I'm laying in hard for the next few days to prepare for this test (~2.5-3 hours of studying per weekday...more on the weekend). My plan is to review each chapter using the study guide they send, as well as doing all of the online lessons.

It's all the same information, just repeated multiple times, and the online materials include quizzes on each section, as well as practice exams. I want to get through all 10 chapters by the end of the weekend, and then do the quizzes on Monday (I'm taking Monday off as a final study day) and review anything that I really need help on. This gives me a buffer of two days for a final review as well.

I'll be happy when my test on the 10th is over. (And I get to head to the PrideZ holiday mixer after that, so there will definitely be an exam-after party! My one hope is that I have cause to celebrate!)

Streaking

Katie from Hungry Twenties posted the other day about "streaking" from Thanksgiving to Christmas. It's not what you think. The point is that you do some kind of physical thing every day from Thanksgiving to Christmas. I've already DQ'd myself from that streak, but I figured it'd be good to take up the cause for December instead.

So I present you with...The December Streak! My goal to get in some kind of activity every day from December 1st through the 31st. I know you really want me to update you now, but I only have 2 days worth of stuff to write about, so I'd rather start these updates on Sunday instead. Another spoiler for you though...I'm totally including PT in my streak because I do it for an hour twice a week...kinda eats up time).

And that's all for now!

Really, I don't have much else interesting to say. It's gonna be a boring (but busy) couple of days for me, and I don't want to bore you all with it as well :P

Peace out for now!


x

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

December 1st: Let's just add more crazy to the fire.

Pretend I remembered to hit 'Publish' on this yesterday (on Tuesday)...please?

Ahh December 1st. Hello to a new month and all the fun and excitement and...

...okay we'll stop there. Along with my morning coffee today, I got to read that my company's CEO has resigned (as in: They decided to replace him.). Our Q3 results were...not great...so this isn't exactly surprising, but it still makes you stop and think about things...all those what-ifs that await us in life. *Sigh* I'm a bit sad, because he was definitely older-man attractive, and had a sexy German accent going along with his good looks. Don't judge. It made watching infoshares bearable. Maybe they'll factor those characteristics in when choosing his replacement...?

A girl can hope.

In other news...I hope your Monday yesterday wasn't as Mondayish as mine. Mondays always seem extra Monday-y after holiday weekends, and I spent all day with a strong case of I-wish-I-was-still-under-the-covers hovering in my head. That is, up until I went to see the last Hunger Games movie with my friend Kate.

Source: http://blogoup.electricstudiolt.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/hunger-games1.jpg
Don't judge us! Kate is a YA (Young Adult) Librarian, and I love me some YA fiction, so we like to bond over such books (and then rebond over the movies). And oh em gee guys, the movie was so good. It was the perfect end to a Mondayish day. It was like seeing the original movie all over, though slightly more serious, and they did a great job of wrapping up the series.

But moving on!

I really just popped in to update you on this tendinitis thing a bit before I completely submerge my evenings and weekend in studying for my next CPCU exam (which I'm taking on the 10th).

First: Doctor Stuff

I briefly mentioned in this post from October that my previously private-practice Orthopedic Surgeon's office merged with a local hospital system on October 1st. It turns out that, when the switch happened, my insurance company dropped the doctors out of the network. The hospital system and all other treatments are still covered (phew, since I've done how much PT there thus far...), but when I checked with United today, they told me the doctors aren't covered.

I spent a lot of yesterday freaking out about this. All the angry-adulty things went through my head...
  • 'But...I've met my in-network deductible!'
  • OMG my out of network is TWO GRAND more?!'
  • 'HOLY CRAP. OUT OF POCKET OUT OF NETWORK IS $4,000 more!'
  • *hyperventilate*
  • *hyperventilate*
  • 'Just don't go in to the appointment until you sort something out with them.'
When I checked in for my appointment I hesitantly asked the receptionist if the doctors at the practice are covered by my insurance. She asked what insurance I have, I told her United and she said, "Oh jeez. Did they send you a letter or something and tell you they're not in-network?" I said I had called them and they told me so.

She proceeded to explain that, for some reason, when the switch happened the insurance companies removed the doctor's from their list of in-network physicians, even though every single doctor who works in the hospital system is technically in-network. The bottom line was don't worry, we've got it taken care of.

Phew. Simple solution afterall! Stupid insurance company though, making me panic all day.

Now on to Physical Therapy.

I mentioned last week that my PT was extended another 4 weeks. Like I said then - my progress note was very positive, but I'm not back to where I want to be. Dr Gent confirmed yesterday that it's a good idea for me to continue with PT, and he's confident that the next few weeks will do the trick (otherwise he'll need to redo some x-rays and stuff to check my ankle).

If you're curious, I still have trouble with:
  • too much walking
  • higher impact activities - I'm not yet back to running, or training for Hustle Up the Hancock
  • I still experience a lot of soreness and some limping after my workouts (if they're tough ones)
Yes, I wanted to be "better" by now. I actually had a dream last night about running a 5k and PRing, and it sucked to wake up and know that's no where near real right now.

Basically, I  didn't want to have to book in more PT on top of my already maddeningly busy December schedule. But I did. Twice a week for the whole month, I'll continue to show up for it (I'll be seeing Amy and another new-to-me PT, Theresa).

The good news is that last week we started two new therapies and both seem to be helping a lot.

The first, which Amy (my Physical Therapist through all of this, for any new readers) decided we should introduce kinesio tape into my care. If you watch any professional athletics, you've probably seen people wearing it - I remember seeing it used a lot during the 2012 Olympics, and that was the first time I'd read about it.

Like this guy. http://blog.sportsunlimitedinc.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/olympic-javelin-kinesio-tape.jpg
It basically adds support to injured muscles and tendons, while still allowing flexibility. She's taped me up twice, and it seems to be helping during workouts - particularly after swimming.

BUT! That's not the best part.

I swear Amy did magic to me on Wednesday.

After I finished my warm up (elliptical) and a few exercises (leg press and calf raises) she told me she wanted to try a manual soft-tissue therapy on me called Astym. She'd just gotten the kit that day after much delay (because of the health system merger) and was so excited. She said it's supposed to be really good for realigning scarred and congested tissues, especially in people who have tendinopathies - like me!

I'm not kidding when I say it was magical. First off, my calves were super tight on Wednesday from Monday's PT and my workout on Tuesday. For a lower leg tendonopathy, Astym treats the muscle bellies and attachments of all the muscles from the foot to the hip. So Amy set about frictioning each attachment point, and then draining the muscles all the way up and down my leg. The whole process took about 20 minutes.

When I stood up afterwards, all of the tightness in my leg had disappeared. It was like walking with a cushion under my left leg. My right calf was still tight and sore, and my left was totally fine. When I went swimming the next morning my right leg still felt a bit stiff (even though I'd been stretching it) and my left leg felt loose and powerful. It was amazing.

The effects lasted about three days, and after my workout on Sunday I had some of the usual soreness that's affected me since spraining my ankle in September. I'm really excited to see where this goes - I'll only be seeing Amy for four of the eight appointments I have this month, but I'm sure Astym will make an appearance again since I had such great results the first time around.

Also, in case you wanna laugh, the tools look a bit...naughty.

http://ih.constantcontact.com/fs010/1102844965205/img/103.jpg?a=1110520184960
That one on the right? That's what did so much magic on my calf. The others she used for frictioning localized spots (tendon attachments).

And...that's it!

I could regale you with tales of what I did all weekend, but we'll leave it here for now. I really just wanted to update about PT and the Astym technique, because if you have a tendinopathy it may be worth looking for someone who performs this (or a similar) manual therapy.

Back to it being Wednesday...I have more PT tonight. It's my first appointment with Theresa and I'm excited to have a second look at my injury and recovery plan, and to see what kind of ideas she has for it.

Peace out, kids. See you in a few!


x