Thursday, January 29, 2015

thoughts | when I wore sweatpants

A few weeks ago, some friends were in town and we decided on a impromptu rock climbing party.  A Target run was required for certain members of our group who didn't own sweatpants (we're fancy people).  In between climbing runs the comment was made several times "These are so comfortable, I can see why people wear these to the airport, but don't worry!  I won't do that!".


It was a few days later that I found myself needing some sweatpants, because its winter, and not exactly warm at the Crossfit box (well, I mean, it is after about 5 minutes, because you're already sweating).  I found a great pair at T.J Maxx, nice wide waistband, ankle-length, almost like a super-comfy version of the J. Crew ankle pant.  Almost.  And I wore them to the box and was pretty pleased with life.

Then I woke up with this crick in my neck.

Are the cool kids calling it that anymore?  I'm not sure, all I know is that I had shooting pain through my shoulder and up my neck.  Crick sounds about right.

I wisely decided that working out that evening would be a bad idea and tried my best to stretch my neck out throughout the day.  I figured that maybe I slept on it wrong, had some unresolved tension that settled there or perhaps my pillow was two sizes two small.  It'll be fine tomorrow was my mantra.

Or not.

By the next morning it was worse, I couldn't get out of bed and mom called my "chiropractor-since-birth", Dr. W. (although that is misleading, I've been to his clinic approximately 2 times in the last 24 years, but still, he did used to adjust me when I was a baby.  Funny rabbit trail: last time I was there I was convinced that I had something seriously wrong with my rock-solid lymph nodes located behind my ear, I massaged them until I was bruised.  Dr. W took one look at them, walked out of the room, walked back in with a medical textbook and said "Abigail, that would be bone, do you see this chart of your skull and how it extends, that is your bone and if you press hard enough it will break."  Then he forbid me from touching my neck anymore.  He's great!).

Anyway, in spite of our last meeting, he was concerned and asked me to come it right away.  Which lead me to a quandary...  What should I wear?  I was in pain.  I was already wearing my wonderfully, soft, warm sweatpants.  But I couldn't do it.  All I could think of was the confessional text I had received from my friend Chris the day before (aka, friend with shiny new sweatpants), it was a photo of him in sweats and dress shoes at the office justifying the fact that he didn't have client meetings that day.  The struggle, it was there.  But it was so cold outside.  It was COLD outside.  That was it, me and the sweats were headed to the chiropractor and fast.

Do you know how hard it is to put together a decent outfit with sweatpants and the limited use of your shoulder?

Difficulty level: between uncomfortable and dressing a 2 year old.

Off I went.  My sweet mother drove me and even stopped for coffee.  I stayed in the car, no need for all of Peets to see me in this condition.  Then I snapped this photo the above photo and sent it over to Chris for laughs.  Dr. W then examined and adjusted and grilled me on all of my workouts for the last few weeks.

The diagnoses was that it was NOT a CF related injury (yes!), that I needed to apply heat (constant warmth for the next week? you've got it!) and to continue with the mentholated muscle balm (more fuel to the fire for my siblings calling me "grandma". I don't care, I love the smell!).  After about two hours in the office, I got really smart and realized that I could wrap the heating pad around my shoulder, and if I zipped up my down vest, it would stay right on my shoulder.  Simply plug and unplug if I needed to move more than 3 feet from my desk.  Thankfully I didn't have any client meetings that day.

Then I bought some KT Tape and Brooke watched some videos and got me all taped up like a pro athlete and I was able to keep up my workouts and feel ridiculously awesome ("oh, this? it just a little thing with my shoulder, no problem...").

And by now, you've realized that there is no point to this story, except for the fact that the girl who cannot wrap her brain around pj/sweatpants wearing individuals found herself doing that very thing.  Wearing them out in public.  As my sister said "I don't even know you anymore."

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

quotable | "juno & the onion"

It wasn't The Onion, it was actually real live updates from American Airlines.  Please tell me I'm not the only person who has trouble differentiating Onion articles from authentic news stories, especially the political ones...  (also @brookealline is pretty funny, you should follow along)

Saturday, December 20, 2014

making | rosemary olive oil cake

This has been a whirlwind week for me, but when one of the organizers for the company Christmas party emailed to remind me of the dessert contest with gluten free category.  I couldn't resist.  I was half-cringing when I replied that I'd love to bring something and to save me a spot.

I figured that I'd run to the grocery at dark o'clock in the am and whip up the cake before heading to work and then finish it off over lunch.  Tight, but doable.  Everything worked out in case you're wondering.

Brooke suggested that I make this cake again, I'd first made it this summer for a party that I catering sweets for.  The hostess picked out the recipe and I wasn't too sure, until it was in the oven, then I immediately made a second cake because I needed to taste it!  The next morning I was looking forward to having a slice with my coffee, when I discovered that Calvin got to it before me and the only thing left was a crumb, too small for a mouse.

Anyway, its delicious.  Light, lemon-y, and the rosemary adds a surprising herbal flavor.  The glaze keeps everything moist and if you throw a few sprigs of rosemary on top, it'll look extra-fancy.  I lost the grand prize to somebody's almond cake, but rumor has it this was the runner up.

Recipe here:  Rosemary Olive Oil Cake

The only modifications I made were using Cup4Cup in place of the flour, 2% instead of skim (eeew!) and baking it a bit longer because I was using a deep rosette cake pan.

Bon app├ętit!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

doings | crossfit foundations

I just completed my first 5 Crossfit classes.

After hearing so many mixed reviews of Crossfit, all of them falling into one of two categories, either "I love it!" or "Those people are crazy", I entertained the idea for a few months.  I'm a "calculated risk taker" kind of girl.  And very unathletic.  But after doing some not-so-sneaky research and listening to my brothers talk about it non stop, I decided I was going to sign up for the 5-night Foundations class (if there is one thing I learned through my scuba diving ordeal, it is, try before you buy).  I figured that 5 classes weren't going to kill me and I was really hoping that I'd love it and leave with a new hobby.

Walking in the door that first night was absolutely terrifying.  Actually, walking in the door EVERY night was terrifying.  The smell of rubber mats, sweat and fear met me.  Across the room, there was a man doing pushups.  While standing on his head.  The owner walked over and introduced himself and said "don't worry about him, he's just cooling down over there".  Of course.  The rest of my class arrived and we began with a warm up that was something like wrapping my one leg around my neck three times, doing a lunge with the other leg and then having to find my elbows and put them flat on the ground.  Our coach looked like he was chilling on the beach and my legs were a quivering mess.

Then we moved onto our basic Crossfit moves.  We spent 45 minutes going over the proper form of for pullups, burpees and pushups.  I was exhausted.  Mentally I'm thinking "you've got this Abbe, they'll probably have us do 5 more, 10 at the most and then let us cool down and go home".  Probably.  Then the coach says "okay, now were going to move onto what we call a WOD or Workout Of the Day".  Hello?!?  If that wasn't a workout, then what did we just do?  Let me tell you, our WOD included a few more than 10 MORE burpees among other delightful things, like pull-ups.

That was the first night.  The other nights included squats, crunches, ring dips and the alphabet soup code that make up Crossfit exercises names.  The coaches did an incredible job of making sure that we got all of the movements correct so that we will be able to perform the exercises quickly without hurting ourselves.  I had no idea I was so uncoordinated!  I, however, was not surprised at my fitness level.  This occasional jogger is really out of shape.

One night found me sprawled on the ground, forehead to the floor, 2 seconds away from crying my eyes out, because I couldn't do a pushup or even a modified pushup because my kneecaps were so bruised from burpees the night before.  It was a low point.  That night I saw a little bit of why people love Crossfit, I was the last one to finish the WOD, the last 10 pushups weren't happening and everyone got back down on the floor and did those pushups with me.  (it was really beautiful y'all)

I finished the course and while I'm not totally in love with it, there must be a slight affection in my heart because I signed up for the next 3 months of classes.  I'm also pretty sure that I signed something last night that said I'd look like a supermodel in 3 months or my money back.  That line was definitely in the contract. Haha!  With workouts this intense, it had better do something.

Working through all of that fear and physical exhaustion was such a good experience for me.  I'm not the type of person to exercise hard on my own, and having coaches that push me is great.  My brothers have also been supportive, in their own sweet little ways.  Dan and I have the same mobility issues and he reminds me everyday that I'm not an expert in all things Crossfit (what?!?).  The best part is talking about it when you're done, having someone to commiserate with when it hurts to walk up the stairs.  I told him that he was welcome to order me pink lifting gloves for Christmas.  He said he was in no way going to enabling me to be that much of a wimp.

And that is precisely the kind of support that I'm talking about.