Monthly Archives: September 2015

Morning Thoughts: Ironman & Being a Whiny Little…

IMG_0367“World traveler, Ironman EXTRODINAIRE!” <— Best Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous voice. Down in aero position, giggling back and forth to ourselves, slight chill in the air…
Its November 2013 and I am cycling with my best friend through an Indian Reservation in the Arizona Desert. We had traveled all the way from Gulfport, MS to volunteer and sign up for Ironman Arizona. Trying to make the most out of the trip, we packed up our bikes and spent some time cycling around the desert with her mom’s cycling homies.

I really don’t even know why we had decided on Ironman Arizona… Because her mom lived there? Who knows? What I do know it was a big deal to me after training all year for the REV3 Iron distance race in Cedar Point, and the day we are supposed to start our road trip up to Ohio, I faint behind the wheel and ended up in the hospital. No worries, car didn’t crash, thank god my mom just happened to be in the car with me, but I was sick, very sick. Ended up not racing (duh), but did make the road trip up there with Lisa and my husband, though I thought I was going to die the entire way up there.

Honestly I am about 30 minutes to signing up for Ironman Texas, but I am not sure I want to. I mean I want to but Ive now trained for 3 Ironman Races (Didn’t do Cedar Point, but have done Ironman Couer D’Alene, and Ironman Arizona) and know the challenge just isn’t completing anymore, its the training that can suck the bone marrow out of you. Its all cool & merry to think of signing up for a race, then reality hits and you now have a part time/full time job of training for an Ironman. Shit is HARD work. Everyone that has ever done one can agree that the hard part wasn’t the race, you WELCOMED the race, it was all the LONG hours, all the LACK of sleep that was mentally & physically the most challenging part.

Seriously I am sitting on my stool at work, elbows on my knees, hands on my face, hat pulled over my eyes, “Ugh, Do I want to do this?”. I won’t have time to do much else.

IMG_0385Just recently I have come to the realization that it is ok to do new things. Sometimes I feel triathletes feel that they need to be a triathlete forever. Once one race is done, you sign up for another. You have to keep up with the cool kids in the triathlon clubs. Always training rides you need to show up to (or don’t, I am happily a trainer rider). The constant reply to “How is training going? What race is next?”, Um, who says I am doing another race? I decided to become a stripper for next season, you ok with that?

Im not really a stripper.

Or if its not about keeping up with the Jones’s, its about the the obsession of wanting to stay in TRIATHLETE shape, in particular IRONMAN shape (yes, there is a complete difference, unless you are a super athlete and just look like a bad ass all the time). Its addicting. You are lean, strong, you can go ALL DAY baby. But at the same time you pay the price for that shape, and come the end of your training cycle you are exhausted, hungry, and want to kick people in the shins, ALL THE TIME.

Mmm, but again, its OK TO DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT. I actually have that written on a post-it that is on my laptop right now. I want time for paddle boarding (for those of you supporting my 100 mile race, it was canceled, total bummer I know), I just started Roller Derby (realized last night that there is no way you progress in that sport only skating 2 times a week, its going to take MORE TIME), and I am still signed up for the Yukon 1000 Kayak race in July of next year (only 2 months AFTER Ironman Texas).

UntitledMy sister recently posted a picture of me crossing the finish line at IMCDA. I saw it and smiled. In the end there is nothing like completely an Ironman. That final stretch, the people screaming, you realizing “HOLY SHIT, THE FREAKING FINISH LINE!! FINALLY!!!”, with some unknown energy you are able to sprint to the end… You just want to stand there and talk to random strangers with your eyes half glazed over, you stink of body odor and maybe some pee, “I just did an Ironman…. I just did an Ironman…. I AM AN IRONMAN” <— You say all this in a zombie whisper batman voice, then you realize, some stranger in a volunteer shirt is gently guiding you through the crowd asking where your people are and all you can say is “I’m an Ironman. I just did an Ironman and I have to go to the bathroom…”

Just sitting here and smiling over the glory of it all, then flash back to reality and there is still so much I want to do… Will I have time? But I do what I want. If you want something bad enough, you will figure ways to make it work.

You’re probably wondering why Ironman Texas? Well as always, you promise a friend you would do it. I know this friend will be like “I didn’t realize it was stressing you so much. Don’t worry”, same time I know same friend is thinking “YOU PROMISED ME!!!”. LOL, oh man, I know she is excited, and I am too. There is nothing I want more to support her through this journey, even if it means that I get up at 2 am to do trainer rides with her via FaceTime. Again, same time I am bashing to my head into my desk, like “Ha ha! Ironmans are so cool.” <— Sarcastic eye rolling because sometimes people don’t understand the commitment it takes.

I know people who dont really believe that ANYONE can do an Ironman. I completely disagree, ANYONE can do an IRONMAN. Where people fudge up is when it comes to training. Im not going to say that its impossible for some people to get through Ironman training. What I am going to say is fact; Not everyone gets through Ironman training because its more mental than physically. Not everyone wants to sacrifice. Not everyone wants to clean up there diet. Not everyone wants to put the extra damn effort. Glory doesn’t come to EVERYONE because people quit. They didn’t just quit in the race, they quit weeks back when they didn’t put in the milage they should have because things got “HARD”. ANYONE can complete an IRONMAN, but not always EVERYONE can get through training for an IRONMAN.

The Ironman distance race is unforgiving. It doesn’t care that you wanted to skimp on workouts. It doesn’t give 2 shits that you have to wake up at 5 am for morning swims, or 2 am to get in long rides. Ironman doesn’t care. Ironman knows right away where you were lazy, where you didn’t push through the burn… Ironman is a sneaky SOB. “Oh you didn’t put the time in on the bike? How about I add some wind to those hills? Who’s an Ironman now?” (If Ironman was a dick and could talk).

When you get out there, you have to respect the race. You have to respect all the people around who have put their lives into that ONE day. You think you belong there next to them? Pssshh, and I am just not talking about the bad ass semi-pro athlete who of course is going to beat your ass. Do you think you belong next to the person that sacrificed family time, or that had to work 12 hour shifts but still made time to get to the gym? You may be a bad ass to family and friends who are around you 24/7, but the second your feet hit that cold ass sand, and you are walking through puddles of pee from ALL THE OTHER triathletes around you that have be doing ALL the same work (if not harder), you aren’t that special anymore. There is no lying about mileage. There is no skimping on swim yardage, because EVERYONE knows. Everyone has been there. You are admist 2400 people that are YOU. Of course we are all different, but its kinda like you are among people with the same soul… and you are going to know if you belong there or not.

UntitledI remember entering the waters of Lake Couer D’Alene. The water was turbulent from the swimmers in front of me, and from the damn wind that was creating the swells. Everyone in front of me looked like penguins jumping into the deep. I turned to my BF Lisa, we hugged, I had tears in my goggles, my earplugs were giving me a surreal feeling because chaos was happening in front of you but you could barely hear shit, but I knew in that moment “I belong here”. It all flashes at you, all the laps in the pool, all the hours on that damn bike, and constant patter of your feet. I put in the time, I DID the work. I BELONG HERE. The race was mine because I knew I DID the WORK to get there.

I feel I started this post as whiny little bitch, then had to slap myself around to remind myself why I do it. I do it because not everyone WANTS to do or or WILL do it. I do it because I am stronger than you. No excuses.

“Someday I want to do an Ironman”
“Then why don’t you do it?”
“Don’t have the time”
“Thats a bull shit excuse. You don’t have the WANT. Thats why you don’t do it.
“No, really I don’t have time”
“And you think I do?”

No one has the time… But how bad do you want it?

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30: I don’t know whats happening…

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“I want to see beautiful things.”
That was my answer to my husband when we first got married when he asked me what I wanted most out of life. It wasn’t the answer he was hoping for I know. His heart would have been filled with joy to hear “I want to finish my degree, get my masters, then be a career woman. Work full time making us much as you, so we can save all our money, so when our bodies are old and NOT weathered tough with life, we can do whatever old people do with all their money…”.

Not that I didn’t want to contribute, but when I thought of life and the vastness of it, well, I wanted to see beauty. Experience the world. I want to blame my want for the wonders of the world to my collection of National Geographic magazines. I think everyone has, at one point in life, wanted to become adventurers all because of  that school bus yellow magazine.

Hell did you know that my first (and still) major was Anthropology? Yep, the study of human kind and why we do what we do. Though at times I am not outwardly the best with people, I do try and take the time to understand someone. Its taken time over the years of course, to not just outwardly judge someone or categorize them to a certain social class. We are all so different, and … Well when I meet you, inside I am thinking what it would be like to walk in your shoes. Thats the best way to understand someone, because a once encounter, someones opinion, a random photo DOES NOT define a person. Think of people you know that you follow on Facebook, you see ONE person, you assume things, you pick apart comments from others, you gossip… In the end no one knows WHO that person is. You don’t know THEIR story.

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My story as of late. Well I haven’t said anything because I haven’t known what was happening in my life. Only thing I was sure of since Mark left on deployment was WORK and WAIT. Of course a world of shit happened in between, but honestly that was my answer to the FEW people who asked what the hell was happening.

Mostly people wanted to make sure I wasn’t locked up in some psychiatric ward some where. Thanks friends, lol. Truly though, thank you.

Its been a confusing time… Only because, well a lot of HONESTY was laid out. In the past year I have grown so much. I feel stronger mentally (little soft on the outside right now). I’ve grown INTO myself. I FOUND myself. Hell I am not 19 anymore, I just turned 30 on Monday, and though I would like to say I still feel like I am 21, I feel 30 years old.Untitled

Back to understanding people…I don’t want to say I have let people walk on top of me, but I have let A LOT slide because well, I was accepting of people, whether they were positive or negative. I accepted how they were and dealt with it. <— Which is a terrible way to go about life. “Oh he/she is a total dick/bitch. Thats the way they are, leave em be”. Yeah, thats totally OK in accepting someone, but it doesn’t mean that someones negative personality should belittle you in any way. I’m pretty tough, and I really don’t give a shit on what you say, because normally when someone is negative I feel sorry for that person being so unhappy, but things do ADD up, and in a moment of weakness you let all of those things come crashing down on you and you break.

I did break. But somehow in the midst of it, I climbed out from under neath all the things that were mounting up, and used them as steps to propel myself forward. So when I got to the top it was “Um, no, fuck you my friend”.

Most affected with my straight forwardness was Mark. Untitled

Mark and I both put a lot on the line. A LOT. Boom, so much was laid out that I have let build up over the years. I remember talking to him and going back in time thinking of the things that hurt, and remembering how it felt, holy hell killed me. I let so much be because I thought that it was just supposed to be that way. Mark did have his say as well, most of the negative came out the previous summer, and it took a deployment and realizing he could lose me to take a step back from his negative thinking to see how it really affected me.

Hell, took me an entire deployment to really look at things myself and see how the puzzle pieces connected, but not in a positive way.

Anyways, I stood up. I’ve said no. We even came to the conclusion of divorce. We both live different lives. I am different. Mark came home and he was surprised because he didn’t come home to the Christina he once knew. He was cautious… He still is. I honestly thought we didn’t have what it took to fix things in a long distance relationship because he is still stationed in Jacksonville and I am in Utah. We agreed on terms.

Then it got bad. Real bad. At the same time though we both hit walls and realized that this isn’t what we want. It hurts. We were purposely putting ourselves through pain for no reason. We both still loved each other, and most important we wanted to be a  “family”. Having your family not with you is like breathing at high altitude. It hurts, and you know something is missing constantly (air/family). Yeah, you can still function, but everything is just a little harder…

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We are at the point now in which we are working on things. Life seems relatively normal, though I am still in Salt Lake and NOT with my family. I would love to give more details, and say so much more is happening. But its as simple and straight forward as I have just put it.

Next step? Ha, “I don’t know whats happening”. All I know is that I have my family. Not an ideal situation but we are pushing through. As most military families know, we are awaiting the news of Marks next duty station. We can’t look any further than the beginning of the year because who knows where Mark will be stationed next? Will the kids come stay with me? Geo bachelor? Mississippi? Over seas? Washington, D.C? Do I stay or do I go?Untitled

Monday was my birthday. Monday night I received messages from 2 of my best friends. I better have heard from at least one of them… Anyways, my Dear Susan who I have not been able to update on my life texted me, and I was slammed with “why have you been hiding?”. I haven’t been hiding, I just haven’t had anything to say because I didn’t know what was happening. I feel now that I have a grasp on where my life is I can use that to pull me slowly back into the real world. Slowly… I am kinda busy and do have a job…

Next question from Lovely Susan in which I was kinda shocked to be asked, “Are you lonely?”. Of course I am. Like I said, not having my family is like breathing at VERY high altitude. Its extremely hard. I have moments in which I want to throw all the papers on my desk up in the air and say “FUCK THIS!”, but in the end I would just be picking up the papers after I got a little freak out, out of my system. I wish I could be coming home to my kids every night. Helping Mark, though at the same time I want him to see what its like to be a single parent, shit isn’t all magically easy is it? Oh, and yes, I do want to wring HIS neck when he is breaking down on the phone because things are hard alone and he has only been alone for 2 weeks with the kids…. Suck it up butter cup and get over it.Untitled

I try and stay busy to numb the pain. Also for some reason I stay busy for the kids. Should I just mope around my apartment drinking wine to myself all night, living day to day? Been there, done that, it sucks. So I have been experiencing new things. Hopefully, in the future the kids can look back at these posts and be a little proud of me and see that no matter the obstacles you come across, you CAN embrace them and make the most of situation, no matter how shitty is it.

Back to how I first started this post… You don’t know whats happening unless you ask the source, and you won’t UNDERSTAND whats happening unless you have been walking in my shoes. Though my “shoes” are scuffed, and have a few miles on them, and they have been tried and tested, I’ve learned to stop and look around, and realize that my life has been a “beautiful thing”.

Cheesy as this sounds, my life is becoming one hell of a masterpiece, a very eccentric masterpiece… Never believed in straight lines or matching colors anyways….

**Just re-read this post… I don’t think it makes much sense, but people who know me will understand how my mind be-bops around**

For the Fear of Roller Derby

Thought I should write a post BEFORE going to my first roller derby session.

*sigh* “But first let me tell you why…”

For some reason it is SCARY as hell for me. Its been intriguing to me for YEARS. I love learning that random people you know derby, it always makes me turn my head and ask “Seriously? You roller derby? How do you like it?”. It always a surprise to who it is too. Like people are living secret lives. How had I NOT known you did roller derby? … I sit there in awe, fear and envy “she is such a bad ass”.

Fear breaks down in 2 ways for me when it comes to roller derby. First fear is getting injured. Derby is … ummm…. aggressive. Google that shit. Its so intense. Its like hockey for women, on roller skates, with make up and tights. Hell in hockey they wear a massive amounts of padding. Though in roller derby you are head-to-toe protected, you’re still cruising around in glitter underwear with you ass hanging out getting your ass beat by an amazon of a woman.

Every time I have wanted to do it, I am reminded of the intensity, and fear that it will ruin my triathlon training. TRI training has been such an important part of my life for so long, its hard to remember that there are other things out there to challenge yourself with. But yeah, blow out my damn knee because “Murder Molly” hip checks you into the crowd… Yeah, not how I want to bow out of Ironman training.

Second fear: Roller Derby Chicks.

I don’t know why, but I find them extremely intimidating. These again are women that roller skate in fishnet stockings, their faces painted like a zombies, and have complete control of themselves on roller skates. When was the last time you were on roller states? When you were 9 years old (me)?

Also it seems (I say this as an outsider because I have never even been to a bout, the closest thing I have done is watch YouTube videos and the movie Whip It 6 years ago) that these women almost live alter egos. Though I did read one derby chick saying that her derby personality is not just confined to the rink, it defines her in everything she does. But then again, I have had friends I didn’t even know derby, so they are clearly living some alternative bad ass life in which I was not invited, though I would have turned down the invitation, I still would have been a creeper and watched from the windows in awe… I want to wear glitter underwear…

When I think of roller derby chicks I think of 2 women I saw on roller skates a couple of years ago. I don’t remember where I was, but I was on the side walk and they came cruising by. I swear one had a black eye, both with bruised up thighs, and they were both amazon women (Im an idiot and didn’t account that the skates could add a couple of inches).  They had on booty shorts, long ass retro socks, white wife beater tank tops and black lace bras (that you could obviously see through their tanks). One had tattoos going down her right leg, the other down her right arm. They looked tough, brutal, crazy, and WHAT THE HELL ARE THEY WEARING? They rolled by me and I pretended not to look, but I did turn around to watch them skate away. Though these chicks looked like they went a couple of rounds with Rhonda Rousey (pssshh, I say couple of rounds, I mean 15 seconds), they looked confident and happy in their bodies. I remember thinking “You do you boo boo”. Hell I am uncomfortable in my swimsuit at the pool, so if you can pull that off with everything hanging out while cruising around on wheels, all the power to you. Im impressed…. And again I want to be that chick.

Along with the intimidation factor, I am scared of groups women. Like, is there already friendships in place? Is it clicky? What if they don’t like me? I am scared as it is to not hurt myself, so to do that and make friends. Ugh, gives me chest pains. Also sometimes I think I might come off as not the happiest of people because I don’t smile all the time? Or they don’t get my humor? I swear I am a nice person, just scared as shit and I don’t want to bust my ass (though it will happen).

On the Red Rockettes Facebook page (where I will be going tonight for their fall “Fresh Meat” session”), they have videos of the derby gals asking why they love or why they started roller derby. Its seriously the sweetest thing, with my favorite being “To make new friends!!” <— With the biggest smile and happy brown eyes. I think if they were to do that again for this session, they would put the camera on me…

“Christina, why did YOU start roller derby?
” Because is scared the shit out of me.”
“The skating part?”
“Skating, falling down, getting hip checked, making new friends. None of that, off the bat sounds exciting to me. But the want to overcome my fears has given me the courage to throw myself out here. Making new friends has been the icing on the cupcake, but fear propelled me forward. Not sure if thats a good or bad thing…*shrug*… But what do you think of my hot pink glitter underwear? Bad ass right?”

*wink*

***All images found by my friend Google. If it belongs to you and you are pissed its here I can remove it or put a “credit” under it… Though you should be able to click on it and it send you to magical places across the world wide web***

Comfort

UntitledSome blurry photos, long phone call with Mark, Wasatch seasonal pumpkin beer and the Eagles vs Falcons game. Its my Monday. Though I’d rather be home (where ever that is) with my little ones, an exploded bag of cheetos sprinkled all over my favorite rug (who keeps buying these?!), with my little Chloe chilling on a pillow while feeding herself carrots & hummus (midst the cheetos mess), some super hero movie playing in the background, a near miss of a nerf bullet to my face, “Sorry Mom!” and some beef stew in the slow cooker filling up my home with the glorious smell of comfort.

Though I have the beef stew in the slow cooker here, I am missing the comfort.
Where is home? Currently it is nestled in a cozy little city tucked in the crook of the Wasatch front just north of Salt Lake City, Utah.
UntitledUtah? Yep. Utah. Home of Mormons, Moab and the 2002 Winter Olympics. This amazing state full of adventure (not just missionaries on bikes) has happily been my home since March of this year. Yeah, about the same time I decided to give up Facebook. Though Facebook isn’t the BIGGEST deal about me leaving Jacksonville, FL (home before UT), I know I freaked some people out thinking I may have finally gone off the deep end and disappeared FOR-EH-VER.

But maybe I kinda HAVE disappeared. Hell I did. I liked it. It was freeing. Who says I have to be strapped to social media? Actually, who dictates my life? I think I was at a point in which I let too many outside factors guide me to somewhere I didn’t want to be. Though I know I have forever been an advocate on “You do YOU”, I don’t think I was completely grasping that myself. Yeah I could physically do amazing things, who cares? There came a point on which I could honestly say “Yeah, I can do that, why not? Who says I can’t?” to almost anything physical that interested me. Yeah, I can do an Ironman. Yeah, I can paddle. Yeah, I can run. To me there wasn’t anything special to it anymore if there wasn’t a challenge in the way of it.

Does that make sense?

The challenge for me last year completing the races I did was doing them as a single parent. Though officially not a single parent (husband deployed, I was well taken care of), I still had to manage my time. Manage children. A home. No one beside me pushing me along. I did have amazing friends and family cheering me on, thank you. At the time, THAT was the challenge. But I did it. Its possible. Anything is possible. Hell, the have MORE challenges in the way of your goal, and you conquer them? Psshh, *fist bump*, I’m impressed. Anyone can do an Ironman, run a marathon, swim a mile… But to do that while jumping hurtles, impressive. But how did I end up in Utah?

UntitledGreat question. There was a job offer. I knew nothing about it. All I know was that there was going to be a lot of clean up. A challenge. Bring it. Of course I didn’t just run away, I talked with the hubs, we went over the pros & cons, the money was right, why not take this opportunity? So within a week I packed up everything I needed, closed up the house, and moved to a new world.

Kids ended up in Houston with grandparents, and I came into a mess of a situation at work. But I can do anything right? But just like with training, you want to have the proper foundation so you build on a strong base, but my base wasn’t strong, I ran around with with big ass rule book of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations, while shuffling through files, in which I would get through, learn something new, then have to re-do everything I did. It was good though. Its actually been great. Untitled
I’ve kinda been a stay-at-home mom for 8 years. Yeah, I’ve coached, sold scentsy, sold dildos, and maybe a few protein shakes, what my full time job was being a mom and supporting my NAVY husband through 6 different duty stations (Jacksonville, FL; Yokosuka, Japan; Bremerton, WA; Monterey, CA; Gulfport, MS; and then back to Jacksonville, FL).

“My career is first and foremost the most important thing”, husbands words. I lived by them. He was right, he provided. I could never have enough education, or make enough money for whatever I did to be taken important when it came to his career. Nothing could get in the way. I was ok with that. The supporting Navy wife. But it came down to, I was just running myself in circles, not knowing what to do, wanting to DO something, but knowing whatever I wanted to do wasn’t important enough, but its what I signed up for right?

My moving here has opened a can of worms in my life. Most importantly my married life. Mark completely supporting of my being here. If you know Mark, you know he is quite the financial nazi, so an opportunity for me to make enough money to make a difference? Well, if he was home at the time he would have probably dropped kicked my ass out the door. I say that jokingly, but again, if you know Mark…

UntitledI changed. My life changed. The way Mark had to look at me was a change. Yeah, I had to be taken serious. I was no longer in a position in which I had to turn to my husband for every decision. The decisions were mine. I supported/support myself completely. The last person that had a grip on what I was allowed to do… Well he didn’t have a grip anymore. This here was kinda a big deal. Im kinda an equal now. This has been a big deal to me. I think that only people who know what its like to support your husband, and just be mom, with no real funds of your own, then to have an opportunity to be in charge, not just “mom in charge” but really in charge… Its life changing. I don’t care what you say. This has been a big HAPPY deal to me.

Same time, it made me step back from a lot of things. I was content. The kids came in for the summer. I had my happy little piece of Utah. Though Mark was missing to make the family complete,  I did take a step to re-evaluate where I wanted my life to go. I don’t have to move if I don’t want to. Hell I just nearly bought a damn house, ON MY OWN. I of course had a panic attack, refused to sign the final papers for the lender, and pulled out of my first home purchase. All on my accord though. AND I was going through an DOT audit at work, and if you have been through a home purchase the lender portion of a home purchase, well it can drive you to a nervous break down “NO I WILL NOT GET THAT PAPER FOR YOU RIGHT NOW? WHY ARE YOU CALLING ME AT 5PM?!”. IMG_0257Hell, the home process was becoming so stressful (along with work, and shit happening with Mark), I had to run out to the parking lot and ask myself “Is this stress needed? Is this making YOU happy? Do you NEED to do this? Are they FORCING you to do this?”. I was squatting in the parking lot, tears in my eyes, hands in my hair, looking like a crackhead hovered next to a random rock. Then boom. I don’t need to do anything I don’t want to. I’ve never had so many people call me so quickly after I emailed my realtor that I no longer wanted to purchase the home. It got to a point in which I felt like I was standing there with something sharp screaming at people to stay away, and having them with their hands up saying “Calm down, are you ok?” and still me screaming “Im totally fucking ok, don’t come any closer or Ill cut you!!”. Honestly, I had to pawn off all the phone calls to my friend, “Just tell them no. She’s done. Send the paperwork”.

Anyways, that was the time I nearly bought a house with a foundation.

But yeah, things have happened. Things are happening. Things for a whole other post though. But this is me. This is me happy and tired, and only tired because of a long day of work and the fact its past 9pm and kinda my bed time. I’m in the real world now. Big girl.  *Fist bump*