Monday, March 4, 2013

Day #27

I've had this "syndrome" probably since college-the inability to be in the middle (middle child syndrome?). Not the middle of the road but extremes. My room was either OCD neat or it looked like Hurricane Gloria had gone through it (aw yeah. I'm dating myself here. If you were born after 1978, you probably have no idea what I'm talking about).

I either got a 3.94 GPA or a 2.97, I either had a steady boyfriend for years or I...well, I dated alot ;-). Balance is not something that comes easy to me. I don't sign up for a sprint triathlon as my first, I sign up for an Ironman and then work backwards from there.

I struggle with balance all the time. I don't just make an error, it's a catastrophic mistake. If I get an injury, I don't want to do ANYTHING. If I can't run 50+ miles a week, then I want to gorge myself on Ben & Jerry's (lactose intolerance really does not help with this) and curl up watching 20 hours of Law & Order.

My goal today, is to do what I CAN do, knowing that I can't do it all. And to adjust myself to the unexpected, getting myself to go towards my goals even if it's not in a straight path-and to accept that that path might be better than the one I intended. Ironic that I'm drawn to unpredictability yet it terrifies me as well. I think it's attached to my fear of being aware-because when you're aware, you can't lie to yourself.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Day #26-The power of what you think

It's amazing and it's happened to me a few times, although I think I forget about it each race. "I'm going to run x pace." Even if I hope for a faster pace, something happens where that's EXACTLY what I do. I do what, in my gut, I "know" I will do.  This time, "I'm not racing, I'm using this as a training run." How could my body end up doing anything but that?? Of course, I knew I had IT band issues and that would factor in, but I was (perhaps not so secretly) hoping it would go away for this one race.

(I have a REALLY long ponytail, even when braided, apparently).

The weather was not optimal (raining, pretty windy), but the course was fair-just a few rollers. I wasn't feeling particularly "sparkly" at the beginning or before the race (husband/coach warned me I wouldn't-speed work during the week) but I felt like I could hold on out of sheer athletic ability. My IT band had other plans. Around mile 9 I developed the classic symptoms-tightness along the IT, knee giving out. When I started to take walking breaks I knew it was over, and all I could do was hold on to keep what was to do what I had originally planned- marathon pace. I know I shouldn't be disappointed-I wasn't going for a PR, but I can't help it.

Here's the rub: I haven't been doing core work, not really. Even though I know it's a big source of my IT band problems. So really, how can I be surprised that this happened? I haven't given my all.

I think you know, truly, when you've thrown absolutely everything you have at a goal-and I haven't, yet. Not truly. I'm thinking of this is my last-chance smackdown. If I go down (i.e. don't reach my goal) it's not going to be because I didn't try-and somehow that's scarier than NOT trying. What if I give my all and it's "not good enough".  

Fear faced over this weekend? Being really, truly honest with myself.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Day #25-I've been slacking a little

Time to get back to it! These past few days I've been trying (very hard) to let go of worry. Worry is something we think we need. We're comforted by it. It's a habit that's hard to let go of (even though it's not good for us).  Like many, I've taken worry to be a best friend, a confidant. A way to convince myself I'm being proactive, analyzing every eventuality and convincing myself that was helping.

It doesn't. Only concrete ACTIONS actually do. Surprisingly, this is a very very hard trait to let go of and not having that fear can actually leave you feeling a little naked. And not the fun kind either. More like the I'm-in-front-of-the-class-giving-a-speech-naked. Oddly enough, this nakedness leaves me without any excuses not to move forward, in every sense.

I have a race this weekend- a half marathon which is not a huge deal, in and of itself for me-it's not the main goal, but the 50 mph winds are (haha) taking the winds out of my running sails at the moment. If I am able to compete, it will have to be a test of mental toughness. If the race is cancelled, then it will be a long run. A test of  a "go-with-the-flowness" and lack of control.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Day #24 Reflection is good

Sometimes it's good to take a look at where you and where you've come from. In just a few weeks I've done things that I never thought I would do and I've delved into subjects/things from which I would normally hide. (Still feelin' a little rock climbing high from Sunday).

Ummm, no, that's not me. But you get the idea.

Today: No avoidance.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Day #23 Sometimes Being Stubborn IS a Good Thing

2nd time rock climbing-success! I wasn't on a giant wall, but I got all the way to the top!

(See miniscule wall at the farrr back)
It took several tries, but I got there and went up twice! I was all gung-ho allllll week, like yeah, I'm going to do this! Then when I got there, I thought ohhhhh no I'm not! I wonder if running to Chelsea Piers put me in  a good place since running is where I'm more confident already. I definitely got a rush from achieving a goal (beating fear of heights). I wish I had more money, because I would definitely go back every week! I actually wanted to call my mother and be like SO THERE. Clearly maturity issues 1) I wanted to call my mother about this 2) I wanted to say that to her. Yup, very mature.

A great day in that I got my recovery run in after a long run yesterday (yay!) and met a previous goal today.

In reaching these goals I've spent a bit of money (not crazy, but a bit). Now I'm wondering-why is it so hard for me NOT to spend money every day? Granted, the last time I bought something was about 4 months ago...hmmm. Budgeting is HARD. How can I reach my goals while not just turning this 30 days into some sort of bucket list??

I'm going to try again to donate blood tomorrow and also to find another Toastmasters group to join-trying to fit this all in is hard-but too easy to make excuses to keep my "safe" routine.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Day #22-Social gatherings...

I went to a wedding today where I swear, I knew almost EVERYONE. In a good way, this is a social circle in which I should be super duper comfortable. However, I noticed how little I have been interacting lately-hiding way is SO much easier (see below).

I just felt stiff and awkward and not at all like I fit in. Which is weird. Because I do (I think). Also, I haven't danced in a long time and feel like a bit of a jackass (I remember when I used to swing dance allll the time!) Good to be aware of it and things to think about. Also something to work towards (especially over the next few days: being aware-no burying feelings. THAT is scary.

Can you overlap goals on 30 days? Is that allowed? lol! I feel like I've fallen off my own bandwagon and not sure if that's possible.

My husband and I DID go out in our wedding clothes to see a VERY bad movie. The scale of suck is not big enough for how bad A Good Day To Die Hard was. Oof.

But we looked snazzy.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Day #21 Being the center of attention-or being ignored

As a chronic social misfit, I'm not quite sure which one is worse. I was the cheerleader that never fit in, the track captain that was too shy to talk to everyone. Social anxiety manifests itself in strange ways.

Today my husband I will go out in our wedding finery (i.e. dress and suit) and bar hop! Then off to a sure to be very, very bad movie. Maybe someone WILL notice. It's NYC, maybe no one will give a shit. Who knows. The adventure is in having fun and not quite knowing.

Photos to follow...

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Day #20-Doing SOMETHING

Oddly frustrated with my inability to find volunteering opportunities that I can actually get to with my unpredictable work schedule-it's hard to commit to a certain day each week at the moment, and that's a bit frustrating.

I decided though, instead of just giving up, to find a way to do SOMETHING, even if it's just donating blood. Hopefully, that can help and it still counts? I haven't donated blood in a looong time. This isn't enough, though, I can feel it. I need to do more-feeling edgy.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Day #19 When your list turns from things you fear into just crazy shit

Ugh...that means doing responsible things instead of being a fighter pilot for a day. Like making a doctor's appointment for the thyroid problem you KNOW you have. Ugh.....and other ones. Not fun. Facing your fears doesn't always result in cool pictures.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Day #18 Try, Try Again

I wasn't totally successful at my attempt at rock climbing yesterday and I still haven't done my volunteering yet, but I realized that I have an opportunity that was SO obviously close to home!  I have friends at the American Cancer Society that I can reach out to (and did this a.m.) to volunteer at Hope Lodge. Being near people that I don't know and who could need my help scares me! It makes me feel oddly vulnerable and in a position of responsibility.

 I also reached out to HR at my office to see if we can get a program of people to be CPR/AED certified (just makes sense, to me). After being on a plane where someone had a real medical emergency and I felt totally helpless because I couldn't offer ANY assistance-I'm hoping getting re-certified could change that.

Goals today including NOT giving up. 

I'm very tired today (actually was yesterday too). Have to remember to keep that in check.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Day #17 Leg, leg, arm, arm.

Rock climbing class! Private lesson (cha-ching) but needed the one-on-one attention (hand-holding?) Met my instructor at Chelsea Piers, who was super nice and sensed my nerves and my own internal story about how 7 year olds were passing me (no fear, these kids!). I didn't get belay certified, but close. I also didn't climb all the way to the top, but I got almost half-way there. Nerves got the best of me, unfortunately.
But at least I started! This is a battle in my 30 days that I'm constantly trying to fight: Lack of success (or complete success, in my mind) is NOT failure. Thanks to someone else, I had the courage to at least start. Interestingly, I found myself "freezing" on the wall, just like I do with downhill cycling and very unlike my experience with snowboarding. Oddly enough, I think snowboarding has the highest chance of injury and belaying, the least. Weird. I signed up for a class next week, but damn, this stuff isn't cheap. I at least want to improve, even if I don't get all the way to the top.

(proof I actually climbed-that's my giant foot).

On a good note, yesterday I reached out to a high school friend that I haven't really spoken to since her wedding last year to ask advice about this subject. Social anxiety bites the big one, I think.

Next goal: Learning how to play chess. The husband tells me he'll help me learn, but I'm thinking learning anything from the husband is probably not a good thing....

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Day #16

Procrastination...avoidance...i'm REALLY REALLY REALLY good at avoiding things. Epically good, in fact. So today's goal is to tackle those little things I actually DO want to do (send that card, mail that gift, clean up) that I tend to avoid because I just get a wee bit overwhelmed...I don't have to do EVERYTHING in order to do SOME thing. This is logical, I know. Also hard to reconcile.

Day #15

Won't lie,  I skipped day #15, kind of. Not intentionally, although well, actually. Maybe I didn't. I feel like i'm inching closer to volunteering in a way that I think might help me (ironically) just as much as it helps other people. Still working up the nerve though.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Day #14-A mixed bag

I signed up for a rock climbing lesson this weekend-as in, I put my credit card in. ACCHHHHHHH. That kinda makes it real.

Found out a favorite author is coming to my neighborhood in March. How COOL is that. I've tweeted her. Hopefully she doesn't think I'm completely weird (or maybe just a little? hmmm). I feel like I need more goals today, but I don't quite know what they are. Probably will do a second post once I figure this out.

First day back to work after mini-vaca sucks, btw.

Day #13-Somedays keeping calm is its own win

I stress. A LOT. Can you tell (do you care? HA). So for me, this day was just about traveling alone (done before) and allowing myself to upgrade to economy plus (yes, that $49 was totally worth the leg room). And adjusting back to work/life. Sometimes the change is just hard for me. I get into a groove and coming back into my routine is hard. And you know what? It's ok to order from while taking a taxi back home so that food will be there when you get home and you don't have to (try to) cook. The world will not end if you treat yourself.

Day #12-Not doing it all will not result in the world exploding

I was so psyched about going snowboarding (and the hubs was proud I did it too) that I really wanted to go again the next day. To be honest? I was tiiiiired. I wanted to run in the morning (hill repeats-which I did) and then snowboard but I realized it was too much to expect of my body on that day. I had a little bit of mini-failure fear, but I had to sit back and enjoy spending time with friends. By the way? They were ALSO TIRED. And have been snowboarding/skiing for years. Bonus? I had the best reaction/non-reaction to altitude and they were actually surprised it bothered me as little as it did.

Lesson learned? Sometimes it's ok to just CHILL. (Still working on that one).

View from the hills:

Day #11-Suck it, downhill fear.

Snowboarding!! I've never gone skiing or anything like that. Sledding was my closest resume experience. I feel I have to preface this: I am terrified of heights (or so I thought??) Actually, I am terrified of cycling downhill. I see one of these:
And I want to die. Literally. Complete and utter panic attack. Dry mouth, nausea, probably stars. When I get to the bottom of the hill I can actually breath again. (If you've never had a panic attack, I don't recommend, they aren't fun).

What I was surprised at (besides the number of times I fell down) was that I was NOT afraid of the downhill while snowboarding. I was more frustrated with my inability to turn smoothly and create those cool s-curves that you see on TV (or that I saw the 3-year old kids doing while they passed me). My goal was to get down the hill (THAT was a bunny slope?!!) falling as little as possible. Well, the first time I'm pretty sure I fell every two feet and didn't realize this was equivalent to doing squats for 4 hours. But I DID it. And I loved the view from the gondola/lift.

Yes, this is how you start (magic carpet without any ironic drug references).

A note to friends who told me I should never do this because of my fear of heights (well-intentioned I am sure) as well as to myself for enabling/perpetuating this vision of me and believing it: SHOVE IT. How long did I put this off because I had created this belief/allowed others to create it that I couldn't handle it? F* that.

I may not be good (ok, definitely not good) but I even went up on the ski lift and got off with my board and floated (mostly) smoothly off (thanks instructor).

Views like this are what you get when you start to conquer your fears:

The funny part? I will probably do it again! I want to get better at it. More lessons for sure. And more time on the bunny slope ;-)

Day #10

Day #10 isn't a huge deal...ok, I need to stop saying that. I have a TERRIBLE sense of direction. I mean, bad bad bad. I could probably get lost in my hometown and in my neighborhood now. Doing my long run in Telluride frightened me for a few reasons:

1) location. I had no idea where I was going and the maps we had were AWFUL. This stresses me out to no end.

2) Altitude. I had never run at this altitude-would my head implode? No really. I wasn't sure if I would last for 10 minutes.

3) Running with someone that I know, but never ran with. How would this work? Would she leave me in the dust? She is used to altitude and I was not. And she's an ultra runner. Intimidating.

Turns out, it's VERY hard to get lost in Telluride given its size. It's a teeny town. And yeah, we meandered but it was ok (and got yelled at by cross country skiers)! I didn't get 20 miles in, but I got 14, which my husband/coach says is ok because of the altitude. I was out there for a long time, being cautious withe the altitude.

Lesson learned. Going out of the comfort zone can result in some gorgeous views (even when you slip on ice and fall on your butt):

Day #9

This is a bit retro-active, so I may forget precisely what I did each day!

Goal: Keep calm when things don't go quite well/schedule is adjusted

Traveled to Colorado and a woman in our shuttle van took my luggage. My unique, unless you're a triathlete you're probably not taking this home with you luggage. I kept calm though, since earlier in the day a woman on our plane had collapsed and our plane had to be diverted so she could be taken off. Perspective maybe? For some reason I was very relaxed.  I mean, what was I going to do? We went to get delicious baked goods in Telluride while we waited.

Would YOU take this bag? No. Why she didn't even notice that she took it? Beyond me.


Friday, February 1, 2013

Day #8

Emailed Toastmasters yesterday! I will be attending my first meeting with a group on February 14th. Very very VERY nervous. This is like a book report. Except I'm an adult (sort of). Very proud of myself for at least reaching out to set this up.

A couple of my goals have had small setbacks-although I didn't find a cooking class I DID make my first omelet by accident yesterday! I know. Somehow I meant to make scrambled but somehow I left the stove for a moment and it turned into a an omelet-it's a win or something, right?

(not mine, but you get the idea). Gourmet chef RIGHT HERE.

Today I think my goal is to revisit another volunteering opportunity and then something else-gotta keep up the streak!! Perhaps the rock climbing at Chelsea Piers (oh, GOD).

This makes me wanna die even MORE than public speaking. I may need a friend on this one.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Day #7

Struggling to find a cooking class in NYC that I can afford!  Arg. Open to ideas! So while I search for that, I decided my goal for today is to sign up for toastmasters since the thought of public speaking makes me want to throw up.   Yes, really. I would rather write a 20-page paper on the developing electoral system of Uzbekistan  than speak in front of people. 

Oh God. I just emailed them. NERVES.

(this is pretty much how I'm feeling right now).

For someone with social anxiety this is HUGE. Huge. Let's see if I actually go...

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Day #6 of things that scare me

Putting myself out there is scary-Found a place to volunteer! Am going to join a friend and some people I don't know-helpful for the social anxiety! Helping someone else may turn out to help me the best thing ever! 

Next, trying to find a cooking class. because I don't know how..

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Day #5

Yesterday I decided to be more independent..didn't realize how hard that is to do! It's the little things right now, that I'm  taking back and didn't realize I was relying on other people to do/help me with! Help is always good, but so is using it when you need it and not getting lazy. I've been getting lazy.

Today I'm going to reach out and find a place to volunteer within the next couple of weeks. Any ideas, I'm all ears!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Day 4 of 30 Days of Things that Scare Me

So after that last post...what happened could not have been more...I don't want to say perfect. I had the opportunity to reach out and help someone, to encourage them along a journey that I didn't even know that they were on. An acquaintance that I had sold my triathlon bike to revealed that she had a suicide attempt exactly 10 years ago. To commemorate her survival, she is embarking on an Ironman triathlon this year and independently raising money for suicide prevention and awareness on college campuses.

My jaw nearly hit the floor when I saw this and I knew I had to reach out to her and to donate. We're not close friends, she and I, but I saw this opportunity to help in a way that I was capable of and I hope it worked. 

I've been slack on my list the past couple of days but I am starting anew!  Today My goal is to reclaim my independence that I've been acquiescing, slowly, bit by bit lately because it's been easier to let someone else drive. Today is the first day I am going to start to get it back.

Insert cheesy video here:

Friday, January 25, 2013

30 Days of Things That Scare Me-Day 3

So yesterday I apologized to someone. Not necessarily a big deal, but owning up to screwing up is not necessarily something that comes easily to me. It wasn't a big deal-A facebook discussion that somehow turned into something much bigger and subsequently nastier than it should have. A difference of opinions and perspectives is all it really was. I couldn't apologize in person or on the phone so I sent an email.


Could it be the person didn't accept my apology? Possibly. Could they still be angry? Also totally possible. Also could it be they actually have other things going on other than MY facebook comments to worry about? Also totally (and most likely) possible. A little humbling (and well, DUH) to think about the fact that what bothers you/upsets you just might not be that important to someone else as well as the other extreme-what you do/say can MATTER. Even on Facebook. Or maybe I just need to chill out.

Today's goal: Confronting my unflattering personality trait of being selfish.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

30 Days of things That Scare Me-Day 2

So it turns out much of what scares me is...change. Altering my pattern, adjusting my routine in any way causes stress. And that's why I work in ecommerce-because that's SO stable. Apparently I crave change while it scares the shit out of me at the same time. Interesting.

Pretty close to how I usually feel.

So what did I do yesterday? (Punctuality is not my strong point-working on that another day). I signed up for the gym, but went to one in a different neighborhood, fairly far from where I live. For me, this is important on two fronts:

1) I have the directional skills of a gnat. Actually, theirs might be better. I've gotten lost in Central Park. Which is a loop. Yup.
2) Leaving the comfort zone of my neighborhood and going even slightly off track-not something I EVER do.

So I was in a neighborhood (granted, not far from my office) but I didn't see a single person I knew. And somehow, that was ok. I didn't melt.

And 2nd: I actually followed an author (Let's Pretend This Never Happened) and she FOLLOWED ME BACK on Twitter. I guess I'm even afraid of rejection on the interwebz. Hmm.

I think my "project" for Day 3 might involve a bit more humility.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

30 Days of things that scare me...

Doesn't this sound like something that should be in an Eat Pray Love kind of book? Possibly. I saw an acquaintance start something like this about a week ago and I realized in it's simplicity how awesome it really is:

Stepping out of the comfort zone. I mean really, how hard could that be?

Um, yeah. Not so easy as it turns out. It's not necessarily the big changes that are scary-those either come at you like a freight train or you can thoughtfully prepare for them. There's a certain amount of intensity/force that's almost easier to reckon with.

I'm talking about the little things-you know, the small things that add up to keep you where you are except you only have a flicker of realization. Then quickly, it passes and you're back in your comfortable (if not healthy) groove.

So here's my start:

Day 1
Quit book club.
I KNOW. Right? For me, quitting ANYTHING (boyfriends, a sports team), causes a fair amount of anxiety. Quitting to me, leaving means failure, a certain amount of you screwed up-ness. I liked book club when I started, really really enjoyed meeting with other women and getting exposed to certain books I would never have otherwise read. changed, becoming more structured and less of what I wanted/needed in a book club. Leaving it to me meant leaving behind some of the people I had started to get to know and actually quite liked. That makes me sad.

Now, hold that thought. I almost NEVER WENT. Sanity check? I'm missing the potential of what I wanted to get out of book club rather than what I did get. So, I'm missing what I didn't actually get. Hmmmm. I didn't go because I didn't want to, but more because of life/work/schedule wasn't working for me. And you know what? THAT'S FINE.  I'm still having some anxiety (shhh, with the judging!) over not having that "possibility" anymore, but it will all be OK. It's New York. There are other book clubs.



Carry on...