Tag Archives: fitness

Do Your Boobs Hang Low?

Body dysmorphic disorder is a serious affliction wherein a person is obsessed with some perceived flaw in their body.  The most difficult part to understand is that the flaw someone is consumed with might not even be visible to anyone else. It might not even be real.

I have the opposite of that. I am not under the false impression that I am runway thin or bodybuilder strong or movie star pretty but I pretty much stopped really looking very hard in the mirror without my clothes on when I was about 24.  By that point I had a pretty good idea what I looked like, I had a long-term boyfriend that I’d eventually marry and I had already been “the naked girl” in a play in college once, it was unlikely to happen again.  So, I just stopped obsessing over my body.  So I stopped really looking,

And then I had a baby and I was all “Holy fuck, what happened to me?” and then I got over that.  And I had another baby and aside from that one day that I took a long look at the road map that is my stomach I really haven’t done much looking since.  I stare at myself in the mirror at the gym just as much as the next person but since the invention of the wide-band yoga/running pant it’s not so bad a sight.  And really when you’re dumping sweat and lifting weights it’s hard to be too hard on yourself.

Where was I? That’s right, I have the opposite of body dysmorphia.  Instead of believing that there is something horribly wrong with my physical appearance I have this notion that I pretty much look like I did when I was about 23.  Most of the time this serves me well.  I am confident.  I am sassy.  I am not bogged down  with worrying about my aging body.  But then these horrifying moments of reality happen.  I accidentally catch a peek at the back of my thigh and think “holy shit, when did that start to look like THAT?” Or I chat up a kid in line at the grocery store and he looks right through me and I remember that I am not a spring chicken as I catch a look at myself all decked out mom-style.

Ordinarily, I let these moments roll off me and I settle back into being blissfully unaware of aging.

I was at the gym the other day feeling strong. Busted out a two minute plank and dropped to the mat.  I grabbed my phone and my water and I leaned back and looked back down to the mat and GASPED.  My tits were inches, almost half a foot, lower than my elbows.  IN A SPORTS BRA.  I almost ran to the weight room where I could get a better look in a mirror because HOLY HELL I know I have been pregnant twice and breastfeeding for eleventy billion years but come the fuck on when did this happen???


But I couldn’t move. For one thing I was afraid I might trip over my knockers.  It was dangerous to run.  Things were sliding south and fast.

I took a deep breath.  And I began to laugh.  Look closely at the picture and you can see a second set of handprints.  Look at the bottom of that picture.  My knees.  AHA!  The wet marks were my knees!! I had pulled them up to the mat as I sat back to catch my breath.

And I got hysterical.  That kind of belly laugh, I might pee my pants, holy shit do you guys see what I see laughter that you have to share.  I looked around and there was not a single woman in sight.  Now I wasn’t picky.  I was ready to shout out “Oh my god, I thought those were boob sweat marks and it is only my KNEES!  Hallelujah, it’s just my knees!!!” to anyone that looked even remotely female.  Not a one.  Somehow I didn’t think that the fellas that work out with me daily were going to be impressed.  Or understand why this was such a reason to rejoice.

So, I snapped a picture and I strutted, yeah, strutted, my fine ass right out of the gym.  Because my boobs are nowhere near that low.  In a sports bra. So there.

Thanks for letting me get that off my chest.

So, it’s been a while since I was totally disgusting.

You don’t come here to listen to me talk about running.  Or triathlon training.  Here is not the place for me to do some deep thinking and journaling about how I am going to get enough swim workouts done and also get a new tattoo this winter. It just isn’t.

Writing.  Write what you know.  A million people smarter than me have told me that before.  Blogging?  It’s not much different.  I suppose the only difference is that because you get live, human feedback you get to know your audience.   And I don’t think you guys want to listen to me talk about running and endurance training and the relative merits of Shot Bloks vs G1,  Gatorade’s energy chews.

You want me to show you pictures ofmy ass in mom jeans, my stretchmarks and my boob milk stains.

Guys.  Today I need to talk about running.  And there won’t be a picture.

I ran twelve miles today.  Twelve.  I have never run that far in my whole entire life. I have also never shit on the side of the road.  And I did that, too.  Oh.  Did you miss that?  Was I not clear?  I pooped.  Outside.  In the middle of running. I ran about six and a half miles and realized I was not going to make it five and a half more.  I wasn’t even going to make it the half mile to the coffee shop in town.  I scanned the immediate area and I POOPED OUTSIDE.  Two yards from the sidewalk.  It was an emergency.

And then I kept running.  And before you get all up on your “I have never, ever shit near a sidewalk” high horse let me tell you that I had baby wipes.  Two of them.  In a ziplock bag. Because (and here is where I consider if this is crossing a line to tell what my regular poop schedule looks like and realize there is no line, the line has been obliterated) I have not pooped in two days and I am an every other day pooper and I knew it could ugly and I thought being prepared would prevent it from happening.  Wrong.

So, after doing my business and with two used baby wipes in a ziplock bag I ran off towards the closest trash can.  Because while I will (apparently) poop in what is technically a person’s yard I will not litter.

I ran and ran.  I changed musical playlists.  I had this twelve mile run in the bag!  Not unlike a dirty baby wipe. And I ate a few more energy chews and I ran some more and then…. then my stomach started to clench and I started to feel nauseous and I realized I had crossed in to new territory.  I was now a person that shit on the side of the road.  There was no reason to contemplate trying to run three, almost four, more miles with my ass cheeks clenched.   AND I DID IT AGAIN. I made it in to the woods.  Should that make me feel better?

And I kept running again.

I am not sure what the takeaway is here.  I am a person that is just about ready to run a half-marathon.  That’s exciting.  I am also a person that pooped.  On the run.  I think that makes me a runner?  It might even make me a long distance runner?  Because this is a thing – other people have done this.  Really.  I’m not trying to go all Billy Madison on you and tell you that “it’s cool.” But I am not alone.  And that’s comforting.

So.  Yeah.  I’ve been quiet.  Because all I think about lately is training and which race should I sign up for and what am I going to do now that I own the last pair of hot pink New Balance 870v2 in a ladies size 10.5???

So, I told you a poop story so you wouldn’t leave me.  But I really can’t figure out how to get the carbohydrates in without making the poop come out.  Runners, can you help me?  Will my body eventually be able to tolerate a long run without revolting against me?  This morning I told MQD that maybe I need to try a different kind of “evacuation blocks.”  He looked at me sideways.  “I mean energy blocks, but yeah…” I can’t seem to not feel totally thrashed after about an hour and a half without a little something.

Trial and error is the answer, I suppose. And route my runs closer to a bathroom, huh?  We live and learn in this life. And this morning I ran twelve miles, pooped outside twice, lost my car key and locked myself out of my house.  That’s a whole lot of living.


I can’t do it.  A post without a picture seems wrong.  Here I am.  In the bathroom at the gym.  Why?  Because Karen at Uncomfortably Honest and Honestly Uncomfortable takes adorable post-run pics in the bathroom at her gym and I wanted to test her theory about lighting.  She also tells a mean poop story in case that’s your thing.

Happy Sunday, guys!

Running Skirts: They Hide the Pee

Let’s talk about crotch sweat, baby…. Did I lose you? It was a better hook when Salt-n-Pepa invited you to talk about sex, baby, in 1990.  But I don’t want to talk about sex.  I want to talk crotch sweat.

Yesterday morning I posted to Facebook about catching hell from the wee one about my running skirt.  “Your running skirt is too short when your 21 month old stops you at the door with a grimace and says “Mama, go?? Go?? Pants!!! Pants ON!” Evidently she thought I needed pants. It was funny.  Not hilarious.  But a momentary “Ha!” so I quickly posted it as I hopped in the car on my way to the gym.  By the time I got to the gym the post had several comments.  Most of them of the “running skirt, huh?” variety.

20131010-113558.jpgAs the day wore on I got a few more questions.  I contemplated a “Running Skirts: Not Just for the Stepford Wives at the Tennis Club” kind of post.  But then I realized I had a civic duty to break it down.  There were gals out there (and dudes, I suppose.  Hello, dudes, that do not run the opposite direction at the mention of crotch sweat.  Umm.  Yeah.) I owed it to these folks not to write a tongue-in-cheek answer.

So.  Here we are.

Where do I start? The running skirt rules.  Let me tell you why.

  1. Chub Rub.  Nobody wants it.  Unless you are a young gal or a lucky gal your thighs probably touch.  This is not a huge problem when you are just casually walking down the street in a skirt.  But start hustling?  Yowza.  You’ve got chub rub in no time.  And once you’ve got it –  it’s harder to get rid of than poison ivy.  You think it’s gone and Boom! It’s back.  You feel the burn.
  2. Compression shorts.  They prevent the chub rub but they are not actually a fashion statement.  Compressing the chub is not really … attractive.  Unless your compression pants go down to your ankles they have to stop somewhere, right?  And where they stop your body comes shooting out as if to shout “You can’t restrain me!!  Here I am, I am your chub!!” The running skirt allows for compression shorts that no one has to see!
  3. Conceal the sweat.  I sweat. Kind of a lot.  I sweat on my face and my back and my head.  I have been known to throw my hat at Emily after a long run just to hear her shriek “It’s soaking wet!!!”  What I do not throw at anyone after a long run is my crotch.  Sweat has a tendency to roll down the body, right?  No matter where the moisture starts, whether it is from my head or my face or ample bazooms it seems to follow a path straight for my crotch.  Have you ever seen one of those women that looks like she might have peed in her pants?  Yeah.  She is probably just sweaty.  But it’s not all that cute.  Because it looks like pee.  And like crotch sweat.  (I am going to say that a million more times to guarantee that when you google “crotch sweat” I come up.  Because, really, we all have to have a goal, right?) So, the running skirt provides a perfect way to hide the sweat.
  4. Pee.  Have you ever had a baby? I have had two.  I am in a lucky minority.  I can jump rope without peeing my pants.  In fact ,just yesterday afternoon I exploded a jump rope at the gym. I like to do a tabata cycle of alternating jumping rope and burpees.  It pretty much sucks but it is a good way to crank up your heart rate in four minutes. The whole time I jump rope I think “Don’tpeeDon’tpeeDon’tpee” and I contract my pelvic floor.  (The entire time I do burpees I think “ThisfuckingsucksThisfuckingsucksThisfuckingsucks” but that has nothing to do with peeing my pants or babies.  So, ladies, if you think you might pee a little – the running skirt is your friend.  In fact, if I ever develop a post-partum exercise gear fashion line that will be my running skirt sales pitch – Running Skirts: They Hide the Pee.
  5. Lastly, I promise it really is the last reason – The Cute.

20131010-113621.jpgI mean c’mon.  This is my all time favorite running skirt.  The compression shorts are a little longer than most and it makes me feel like I have a little extra spring in my step.


Yep.  Like I need extra pep.

What’s up Crotch Sweat?  Oh hey, Chub, how you doin? I barely noticed you there underneath that adorable running skirt.

Running skirts deliver.  They work.  They just do.  I resisted for a while. I thought they’d made me look like I was heading to the tennis club with Fifi and Mimsy for an afternoon smoothie and maybe we’d make it out to the tennis court.  “Match point, Heather!”

I’m not a girl that wants to look cute at the gym.  I’m not strong enough or fast enough to mingle with the hardcore gym rats, the least I can do is not look like I have no intention of sweating.

So, now you know my secret.  The running skirt is my secret weapon.  Because I sweat like … a whore in church. (When you’ve already said “crotch sweat” nine million times you don’t have to search for a simile that is not offensive. )



There’s the sweat.  And yesterday’s eyeliner because I am not old enough to wash my face before I go to bed yet.  I quit smoking and I exercise and I stopped drinking Bud Light all the live long day. One day I will moisturize and regularly wash my face.

And stop saying things like “crotch sweat” on the internet. One day.  I promise.



These Colors Don’t Run

A woman at the gym grimaced at me today.  “Are those decals?”

“Hmm?” I looked down at my shoes, confused.   I started to say “They are New Balance.”

“All over you,” she said.  “Are they decals?”

And for the first time in recent memory I was silent.  I just stared at her.

“They are tattoos,” I eventually said.  I said the word very slowly.  Tat-toos.

She stared back at me.  “Real tattoos? I guess the kids like them.”

And she walked away.

The kids?  Did she mean me, as in “You crazy kids and your tattoos!” Was she going to shake her cane at me next?  Or was she talking about my kids?  I was walking hand in hand with the girls on my way out of the gym when she offered up her unsolicited opinion.

I see her pretty often at the gym.  I suppose it is a good thing I just stared in silence.  None of the clever replies that eventually occurred to me  were particularly kind.

But I can promise you this.  I will be putting my yoga mat right next to hers tomorrow morning.  And I will be wearing the shortest damn shorts I own.  She thinks I have a lot of tattoos now?  Lady ain’t seen nothing yet.

photo (1)


Fear and Swimming in Lake Jordan

As a child I wondered just how fast I could run if I was being chased by a monster. I believed, as many of us do, that if I was truly terrified I could probably run twice as fast as I normally did. I am sure you have heard stories of heroic efforts put forth by a mother, lifting a car to save her child.  I hope I never find out if I am capable of such feats of strength.  But after this morning I can tell you one thing for certain – I don’t swim very fast when I am petrified.  In fact, panic seems to slow me down quite a bit.

5 am.  No coffee yet.  Not yet petrified.

5 am. No coffee yet. Not yet petrified.

I left my house a little before six this morning.  Driving to Jordan Lake to participate in my first open water swim competition I was not particularly worried.  I have been swimming more than usual as I attempt to get over a nasty case of tendonitis.  I am a swimmer.  I’ve always been a swimmer.  I was never particularly fast but I swam on the swim team as a kid.  I was a lifeguard well in to my early 20s.  One mile.  36 laps in a 25 yard pool.  The toughest part for me is keeping track of the number of laps.  I am a swimmer.

We lined up on the concrete slab used for boats at Jordan Lake.   I watched the swimmers heading in for the Big Deuce (the two mile swim.) I watched carefully. As far as I could tell it looked like the concrete went down almost to the end of the dock.  I thought I was going to be okay.

I have two fears.  Maybe more than two, but I have only two deep-down-in-my-bones fears.  Mud and strangers touching me.  I can’t recall the source of either fear.  I was never tackled to the ground by an angry mob on a muddy field.  I just don’t like the feeling of mud between my toes.  When teenagers were swinging on rope swings and jumping in and out of creeks I abstained.  No level of freedom made mud between my toes sound like a good idea.  I stopped going in the creek when I stopped being able to keep my jellies on.  And strangers touching me?  That really doesn’t need an explanation, does it?  I’m not big on hugging a casual friend.  So elbow to elbow in an elevator or a crowded mall?  I don’t like it.  I just don’t enjoy the feeling.

The apparent lack of mud at the race’s start was all that was keeping this experience from being a perfect storm.  There was no avoiding the groping that would take place as more than a hundred swimmers take off at once.  And once we were swimming? There was bound to be a few moments when swimmers collided or a stray arm grazed my leg.

Two cups of coffee down.  Three hours of sleep.  Mildly afraid.

Two cups of coffee down. Three hours of sleep. Mildly afraid.

I was ready for that.  The mud and the strangers.

I was totally and completely ill prepared for the panic, however.  We were treading water at the starting line and counting down.  Three.  Two.  One.  Go!  I put my head down and started to swim.  I had avoided the mud and now I just needed to get past the arms and the hands and the strangers.  I had planned to start slow and easy, conserve my breath.  A stroke and a breath.  Two strokes and a breath and … gasp.  My heart was pounding.  Light brown, murky water.  That was all I could see.  I lifted my head out of the water and looked towards the first buoy.  Face back down in the water.  Stroke and a breath.  Stroke and stroke and a breath and …

Fuck.  This.  That’s what I thought as my feet drifted downward and I began to tread water.  Beneath my goggles I felt my eyes fill with tears and I said out loud “I don’t like this.”  And then I smiled.

Hours in to my labor with Lucy I told my  doula “I don’t like this.”  She laughed and said something to the effect of “It’s a little late to stop.”  I wasn’t going to turn around. I was not going to swim back to the dock.  Lifeguards helping me out of the water asking “Are you ok?” How would I respond?  “Oh, I am fine.  I just… umm… hate this.  It’s … scary.”

I had identified the feeling. I was scared.  Terrified, really.  I hadn’t thought much about the fact that I wouldn’t be able to see anything.  It was like swimming with my eyes closed. Even if I swam painfully slowly I would be finished in under 40 minutes.  My slow and easy mile swim in a pool is about 31 minutes.  Forty minutes max.  I was in labor for hours and hours and I did not like that, either.

I needed a plan.  Ten strokes of freestyle, five breast stroke as a reward.  Fifteen strokes and five more.  Twenty strokes and five strokes of breast stroke.  Twenty five and then thirty.  I never made it past thirty.  At thirty my heart would pound in my chest and I’d be convinced I was going to swim off the side of the planet. And I’d start over again with ten strokes.

And so on and on it went.  I would calm down.  I’d sing songs in my head and count strokes and start to think “There’s another mile swim here in September, I know what to expect now and I think I’d be fine and….” gasp.  The heart pounding fear would be back, like on a roller coaster when you think that there can’t possibly be ANOTHER death drop.

38 minutes.  Well, 38 minutes and 13 seconds but who is counting. 9th in my age group of 16 competitors.  63rd out of 125 swimmers. Looking at the race stats the average time was 38:51.

Petrified and swimming breast stroke at least a third of the way, I held my own.

My heart has stopped racing.  But I haven’t.  I’m signing up for the one mile in September.  I’d do the two mile, but I haven’t totally lost my mind.

There are not enough ways to scare the shit out of ourselves as adults.  As children we get scared frequently.  Sometimes we cry, sometimes we scream.  But 75% of the time we catch our breath and cry out “Let’s do it again!”

And I need a reason to keep swimming.

In the last month I have iced and stretched and yoga’ed.  I have been swimming a lot.  A nasty case of tendonitis and bursitis in my hips has sidelined my running and cycling.  And so I go to yoga and I swim and I walk and I try not to get angry with myself.  Because anger has very little do with healing. But fear might.  Because I feel better tonight than I have in weeks.

Three cups of coffee.  One mile swim.  Two bagels and a Gatorade.


Junkie: Adrenalin & Mr. Brownstone

Is there anything in life that can not be summed up best by Guns ‘n Roses?

I used to do a little but a little wouldn’t do,  so the little got more and more.
I just keep tryin’ to get a little better, said a little better than before….

I don’t think I was three feet beyond the finish line when I had the fully formed thought “I want to do this again.  And I want to go faster.  And farther.”

I am a junkie, an addict, a lover of a rush.  And the sprint triathlon delivers.

On the website where I signed up the race promised this thrill – “On this day, you will accomplish more than you thought possible. You will overcome doubt, fear and adversity. And you will beam with pride, strength and joy while doing it.”  I didn’t think they were blowing smoke.  But I had no idea I’d be beaming with pride and overwhelmed with a feeling of success mere moments after our arrival.

4:30 am wake up.  Nurse Goose.  Get out of bed.  Make coffee.  Nurse Goose.  Get dressed.  Nurse Goose.  Sneak out of the house at 5:10.  Arrive at race shortly after 6 am.  Coffee is gone.  Set up bike and transition area.  Eye port-a-potty.  Run to port-a-potty.  Prepare to enter port-a-potty barefoot.  Contemplate which is more horrendous – pooping in port-a-potty or in pants.

photo 26:17 am.  Leave port-a-potty and hear “Eye of the Tiger” blaring from race speakers.  I was already a winner.  (If you thought you were getting a race recap, think again.  It’s me, remember!)

This girl poops at home.

She takes short vacations.  She gave herself an enema while she was in labor to avoid pooping while having a baby.  She chose a birthing center largely because they let you go home without pooping first.  She comes home from overnight trips bloated.

She poops at home.

But not today.  Today I “accomplished more than [I] thought possible” as the race website promised.  And I did it all before we even left the starting line.

Poop.  Swim.  Bike. Run.   I did it.  I am pleased to report that I am a much faster swimmer than I realized.  I was nervous about running out of gas (heh) so I took my time in both the swim and the bike and now I know I can push harder.

I knew I’d be nervous.  I knew I’d pull through.  I knew I’d scream “newbie” with my every step but I was wholly ill-prepared for how hard I would laugh.  When you are trying to look serious about racing on a Comfort Cruiser (even if it is a smoking hot Canondale) you can get the giggles. If I lean down towards my handlebars my elbows are above my ears.  At one point my workout sidekick (on her shiny red Schwinn) remarked that we would most certainly be voted Cutest Couple.  We were sweaty, sure, but we still looked like we were out for a Sunday ride.  We needed baskets.  Or ice cream cones. But we finished!  And we finished pretty “average!”

photo 3
photo 1I got to see my Official Cheer team at our second transition.  Em’s sign that read “Go, Kelly, you can do it! I mean it!!” made me giggle.  Lucy maintained her somewhat stunned expression when she saw me.  She sported this face much of the day, can’t blame her.  She was plucked from her bed at an ungodly hour.  MQD and my father-in-law gave me a hearty balance of supportive “Good for you!”s and “Go that ways!!” while I looked around confused at the start of the run.

All in all, today was a win.  Moments after Lucy was born I said “That wasn’t that bad.”  I can recall thinking I kind of wanted to do it again.  But once the adrenalin wore off and I was showered and at home I thought better of that plan.  This time?  The adrenalin is gone and I have four other tabs open in my browser right now – each one another sprint triathlon to be done this summer.

But like Axl said about hanging out with Mr. Brownstone – “a little got more and more.”  I know I can go faster.  But I think I can go farther, y’all.  I think I can.  I think I can.

photo 2


Want vs. Need: The Bucket List

Is it a want or a need? I ask myself this question a hundred times a day. Sometimes it is a slippery slope and I can feel myself justifying before I even get to the answer. Somewhere in between the wants and the needs is a space for the things that we feel we “deserve.”

I want a new pair of jeans. I need to wear something. I deserve to wear a pair of jeans that fit and make me feel good. But none of that answers the question – Do I buy the jeans?

Nine times out of ten I come to the conclusion that I don’t really want or need to buy the object in question. I go around and around in my stay at home mom mind and I decide “Nope. Don’t buy it.” I am fortunate to have a partner that lets me budget our family’s expenses. It makes sense this way. I do the bulk of our spending. Food. Kid stuff. Clothes and whatnot. I have a good handle on what we have in the “Fun Money” pile and I think we do a pretty good job of spreading it around the family. Sometimes just feeling like I could buy the pair of jeans is all I need.

And then I got this fitness bug. I want a gym membership. I need the hour and a half to myself. I deserve this head space and so do my kids. It makes me a better parent. So. Gym membership is a green light. Whether it falls in the want or the need doesn’t matter. It works for us. Embarrassing truth: I spent more on Diet Coke and peanut M&Ms in a month than I spend on a gym membership for the entire family.

And then I picked up what might be the potentially priciest hobby one could choose in the realm of casual athletics. Don’t pick one sport, Kelly. Pick three. Well, all you need to run is shoes. And a better running bra. And the swimming, well, you only need a swim suit. And goggles. And a cap. And you can ride almost any bike if you’re looking to finish not compete. And I was lucky that my mom had a bike I can use. Oh. I need a helmet. I found a triathlon suit online for wicked cheap that is remarkably unflattering which means it must be a good one as they all seem to be more unflattering than the last. I just need sunglasses. And a water bottle. Oh, man, I get heinous chafing when I run in a wet sports bra so just one thing of Body Glide. And maybe a few energy drinks or something. And even if my tri-suit was inexpensive I don’t want to safety pin my number to it so I will need a racebelt. But they are only five bucks.

And that’s it. That is totally all I need. Right? The elastic shoelaces that make my running shoes turn in to slip-ons were a splurge. I admit it. Best six bucks I have spent in a long time.  Still cheaper than a great glass of wine.


This sprint triathlon training has been riding the fence between want and need since the beginning. Even just signing up for one is spendy. But I feel so good. I am proud of myself. And it has nothing at all to do with my kids. That’s huge.  It’s worth it. What’s that old saying – “Happy wife, happy life.” Hanging in our laundry room when I was a kid was a little plaque “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” Mama is happy. This is good. It is like the trickle down economics of “Fun Money” spending.

I’ve blown about a hundred bucks in the last fifteen weeks. That is in addition to the hundred bucks my mom slid in to my back pocket the last time I was at home.  I promised her I’d not spend it on groceries.  Two running tops, a sports bra, six pairs of socks, a new cap, a water bottle, a headband and a pair of sunglasses later I took this picture for her.  “Done. You spoil me,” I wrote in the text. I comparison shopped and considered different options for weeks before I almost let that hundred dollar bill burn a hole through my wallet.


It’s Thursday.  Three more days and it is “Race Day.”  I have worked hard. I am really excited.  I have read a million blogs.  I have looked at a million lists of Tips for Tri-Newbies.  Tie a balloon to the bike rack so you can find your bike.  Don’t think so much about what you look like.  No one is watching you.  Don’t get upset when the 80-year-old woman on the mountain bike passes you. Pass on the left.  Don’t litter.  Put your stuff in a bucket.  Set up your transition area on a towel and use your bucket to sit on while you put your shoes on.

A bucket.  You can get a 5 gallon bucket at Home Depot for three bucks.  I could let Em decorate it with a Sharpie.  “Go MOM! You can do it!”  It made me smile to think about it.  But I have a bucket in the shed.   I don’t need a new bucket.  I just don’t.  Not when I have this one.

I’ll be the girl with the hot pink shoe laces and the paint covered Sherwin Williams bucket and the tears running down her face.  Wish me luck.

The Bucket

Because I said I would…

The act of making a plan is sometimes all it takes to get shit done.  Put it on the calendar.  Say it out loud.  Commit.  It makes following through that much easier.

I said I’d keep on keeping on with This Book Will Change Your Life.  Dammit all, only three days in and it is the kind of challenge that makes me roll my eyes and wanna skip it altogether.    Day 90: Help Collapse a Currency…. The Bangladeshi Taka.  The book suggests that everyone reading the book invest in the taka and then sell them on December 31 for a fraction of what they are worth (which is only one penny according to Google.) For every clever challenge – discretely giving people the finger all day, or be on the lookout for the paranormal, or my all time favorite How symmetrical is your face? – there is a challenge that shits the bed.  Collapse a currency?  Pffft.  Not happening.

I am left feeling like I need to do all the other things I told myself I would do today instead.  So, I ate breakfast.  But only because I prepared it last night.  Overnight oatmeal with homemade almond milk and chia seeds. And two Hershey’s kisses, but who is counting?


And I am heading to the gym. Because my calendar says I need to ride the stationary bike for 40 minutes.  And because I can take a shower all alone while I am there.  Well, not totally alone. I will be in the company of a dozen senior citizens fresh out of water aerobics class but none of those women will cry if I don’t hold them.  If I don’t screw around and spend too much time washing my face I could even blow my hair dry in the hand dryer.

It’s a glamorous life, y’all.  A glamorous life.

This post was brought to you by Guilt.  I said I was gonna write every day for a while just to keep the quiet at bay.  Here’s hoping tomorrow will be more interesting than oatmeal.

Day 88: Measure your biceps

Sometimes the only way to break the silence it to just start jabbering.

I am back to the book. I started the working my way through This Book Will Change Your Life as a way to force myself to write. Write a paragraph. Take a picture. Put myself out there. Nobody was reading, anyway, what difference does it make, right?

But now you’re here and you’re reading and I feel like a twelve year old girl that might get her braces off any minute. I am excited but I am nervous. What if I go back to school after my orthodontist appointment and no one even notices? What if I am the only one that can tell that something is different?

So, back to the book. To break the silence. To put a little bit of me out there even if what I have to say today is contradictory to what I might say tomorrow.

Today my biceps are 12 inches around. Well, my left one. My right is 12 1/4 inches. But who’s counting?

I registered for a sprint triathlon. I have swum 2600 yards in the last week. And I have ridden a stationary bike for more than 120 minutes. And I have run a little over eleven miles. I haven’t been writing. But I haven’t just been sitting around on my ass all day.


Polishing a turd

I have a weakness for talking animal movies. Babe. Dr Dolittle. Beverly Hills Chihuahua (that might be the most embarrassing thing I have admitted here.) I suppose I watched either too much or not enough Mr. Ed as a kid.

Emily has inherited this love of mine. Together we were watching Racing Stripes, a plucky little film about a zebra named Stripes that thinks he is a race horse and the young girl that believes in him!

I was doing situps while watching this fine film and entertaining Lucy as she lolled about on the floor.

“You’ve been training Stripes haven’t you?” said the TV.

I started to laugh. Why yes, yes, I have, how kind of you to notice. I have been training Stripes. If by training Stripes you mean trying to embrace my wicked stretch marks and do something about the dangly skin they occupy. Progress has been slow. I know, I know, it took nine months to stretch the skin it will take at least that long for it to tighten up. But the greater truth? I have never exactly had anything resembling abdominal muscles. I’m not aiming for a six pack. I don’t expect to be able to sit down and not have pudge. I am 36. I have two kids. And I love beer, wine and peanut M&Ms. But it would be nice if my stomach didn’t hang over my jeans while I was standing up. That is a realistic goal, no?

And this friends, is how you polish a turd. Urban Dictionary defines turd polishing as “The act of trying to make something hopelessly weak and unattractive appear strong and appealing. An impossible process that usually results in a larger, uglier turd.”

I beg to differ. I think you can polish a turd.

Exhibit A: The Turd

Note the stretch marks, the muffin top and the beloved elastic waist maternity jeans. I know I should retire them. But they are so damn tasty, those jeans. And they love me so. It is my hope that in writing this I will shame myself in to letting them join their friends in the giant box of maternity clothes in my attic.

Exhibit B: The Bright & Shiny Turd

Lucy shall henceforth be named The Turd Polisher. It’s really all about your point of view. As she approaches six month’s old in July I am reminded that I will have ninety days to make good on the old “It took nine months to gain it, it will take nine months to lose it” rule.

I took the first picture yesterday. I was going to write about my progress towards accepting my post-second baby body. Yesterday, in my maternity jeans and feeling hard on myself I didn’t feel like I had made much progress at all.

This morning as I dressed to go for a jog Emily said “You know you could just wear that bra, it is like a running bra, so it is okay to not wear a shirt.” And I looked in the mirror with Lucy on my hip and I thought maybe she was on to something.

I think I am gonna ditch those jeans. And I am getting dangerously close to being the lady at the pool with all the tattoos that pees in the shower and wears a bikini even when she probably shouldn’t. If you can’t tone it, tan it.