Thursday, May 3, 2012

Back, at least for today

I cannot believe it has been over a year since I have posted.  At the same time, I think I needed a break.  I have found myself overwhelmed by all of the blogs that I follow.  

Those that have better health and are actually hitting all the aspirations that they wish for, I found myself a little bitter and jealous (only because my body does not like me as much as it did pre-MS).  For those with MS or other chronic disease, at times the blogs were to heavy for me to really take in - I just wasn't there. yet.  This year has been another challenge, I might get into that one of these days, but in the end, the challenges that I have dealt with over the past 4-5 years are nothing compared to the strength that I have gained.  I get it, life is not fair, especially to those that seem to be given more to carry than others.  However, that is life.  God is not out there pointing to me (or others) and giving me more hardships than the next guy.  Please do not say to me that things happen for a reason; I do not and cannot believe that.

For those of you wanting to know how my triathlon, backpacking and running career has been - well pretty non-existent in the past 8 months.  Yesterday, I went for my first run in 4 months, as said before, my body is not where it was.  However, I do not give up.  I am in a moment of health right now that I am holding on to, so who knows, I will keep you all posted.

As for pregnancy, that is a long story that I may touch on one of these days.  It is been a heartbreaking journey for Paul and I, my body, not related to the MS, has not been on the same page as I had dreamed.  Again, just another personal lesson that I am learning to get through, thank goodness for my amazing hubby!

In the past year, I have hit my 4 year mark as a professional at UA, adopted a pup named Greta, remodeled a kitchen, took my first lazy beach vacation and I have dreamed, hoped and wished for many things.  That is all we have.  Oh yeah, I have also gotten addicted to Pinterest...haha, a great way to get motivated from everything crafty to working out.  :)

So I hope my blogger journey will start up again, I am looking forward to writing again, it is a great outlet.  It is also a great way to connect with all my peeps; all of you - healthy and struggling.  I leave you with a pic of Paul and I, boy I sure love him!


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

OH NO - the big three oh.

February 28, 2011 - Yep, the dreaded 30.  Not sure how I am feeling about all of this...
There is a little fear that I have with this number.  I mean, what does this day have that the day before does not?  Not sure, but I do know that my 20s were short - or long - depending on how you look at it.  When I really analyze all of things that happened during that time, well it was A LOT.  But it passes so quickly and many things changed.  The way that I view life is completely different now - I am older and wiser, with a few more wrinkles (and more to come).  I am also glad that I made it out on the other side (trust me - there were moments).  

There were some really rough times; my father's diagnosis with cancer, my diagnosis with MS, lost loved ones, and the reality that my youth was just a set-up to real life (man I wish I had not complained on all of those late teens/ early 20s stresses - little did I know).

There were also so many amazing times; hiking the Appalachian Trail (with my sister),  meeting my soul-mate and marrying him, becoming a runner-kayaker-climber-hiker-biker- triathlete (huh, when did all that happen?), traveling, graduating college, laughing A LOT, getting my first real job and (not to pat myself on the back) excelling at it.

It is something that I can look back at with little remorse, I have and WILL always say that the choices that I have made only allowed me to become the person I am today.  AND DANG, I am woman hear me roar...I feel confident and ready for the next step...

Wait, do I feel ready? Depending on the moment and the day I am never quite sure of the answer.  Reality is that I have a chronic disease that is likely to hit hard sometime in the next decade - reality is that I will likely lose some more loved ones - reality is that things will happen that I cannot even fathom right now...but I do not want to focus on that.  I want to focus on me and where I am right now!  I am doing pretty well, maybe because I am less emotional about everything that has happened.  Maybe because those life lessons that I experienced in my 20s have allowed me to calm down.  Maybe because I am me and no one else is.  The days that I am down, the days that I am up...only I really experienced them and know what truly they are and mean.  Or do I?

So I will leave you with this quote that I read recently and that just rang true to everything that I am experiencing...
"True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us." - Socrates
Here is to another decade, if God (or whoever the world reign is) allows it.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

1 year anniversary

Ok, so it has been one year since I have been gluten and dairy free.  Still learning, still mentioned before.  So I want to take the time to list some of my favorite meals and pre-made foods that have made this year easier than I thought.
Yummy Pretzels (Glutino Pretzels)

I love these pretzels, taste just as good as regular.  Not missing a thing.

Favorite Bar (Kind Bars)
So tasty and so good for you!

Favorite Bread (Udi's Sandwhich Bread)
Taste & Texture are almost the same as regular bread and they do not need to be frozen!!!  Yummy :)
Favorite Granola (Udi's wins again with their Cranberry Nut)
For some reason all other gluten free granola's have a weird texture... this taste like the real thing!
Favorite already prepared frozen food (Tandoor Chef Pad Thai)

The flavors are sooooo good and for only $3.50 I have a meal for lunch!
Favorite Pasta (Tinkyada - only pasta that taste's like the real thing, DON'T try any other brand)
Sometimes you need to 'carb' up and man, these are great!
Favorite Restaurants (There are quite a few; Altieri's, PF Changs. Chipolte, Rusty Bucket & Vegiterranean)

OK, so all of these offer GF/DF options and that makes it worth it on my part!
Best place to find recipes (CooksIllustrated - my mom bought a membership)

They are not all GF/DF recipes, but they test them and perfect them.  Many of them are GF/DF by nature or can be adapted)

Best Cream Substitute (Light Coconut Milk)
The only thing that really gives a creamy texture and no it does not taste like coconut!
Best butter sub (Earth Balance)
I have tried lots, not butter but pretty dang close!
Favorite Bakery & Food (Mom's)

My sis, mom and I - My sister made awesome GF/DF soft pretzels and my mom - well what doesn't she bake for me (She perfected the GF/DF pie, breads, cakes, dumplings, cookies, soups, main dishes, sides...phew, she should go into business).  Their love and effort has just made everything easier.  LOVE THEM!!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Working Out Again...Starting over Again...

I have decided not to bore all of you with my positives for each day, but I still write them down.  It does help me realize that each day has something to be grateful for, even if it is small.

On other fronts, I am consistently working out each week.  I am now two months into a strength training program that I do 2-3x a week.  I never thought that I would be doing assisted pull-ups, dips, overhead presses, squats and a range of strength and core exercises.  I hope that this helps me to keep my strength up, even though running has not been going so hot.  I also started back to indoor rock climbing.  The only sport where you feel every bit of lost strength.  Paul and I climbed yesterday and I assumed that with all of my strength exercises  I would be bounding up the 54 ft, 10 ft pitch indoor wall...ha.  I was so pumped (a term climbers use for when your muscles turn rock hard and your veins poke out from exhaustion), but it was good.  I was happy to get a chance to do this again.  Paul was feeling pretty weak as well, so at least I could not blame it on the MS, it really was just not climbing recently.

I have not gotten into the pool in a while and I won't until my rec center starts their triathlon training March 7.  At this point I am trying to stay above the dry skin that is caused by consistent 0 - 20 degree weather and chlorine just adds to the dry skin issues, so I am happy waiting out until winter is almost done.  I have my bike on a trainer and have managed at least one workout a week...not great, but I have a hard time motivating myself on something that keeps you in one place.  ;)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Positives 1/14-1/16

Friday, January 14.
  • I bought a CD I had been wanting for awhile
  • I enjoyed a delicious Chipotle meal (yea for GF/DF options there)
  • I enjoyed packing for my WFR.  Packing a backpack and going into the woods - my favorite.
Saturday, January 15 & January 16
  • WFR was great, since my body actually held up pretty well.  Tired but good
  • Braces, tractions splints, BUFF (Big Ugly Fat & Fluffy) splints were made & I remembered them well.
  • Last scenario was fun; full moon, snow and lots of fake blood and fake broken bones.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Wilderness First Responder

This weekend I will be heading to Pennsylvania for a recertification of my Wilderness First Responder.  For those of you who are unaware of what this is, it is (from Wikipedia):

A wilderness first responder is trained to deal with many situations that may be encountered in the wilderness. While a standard Department of Transportation defined First Responder course as taught by an organization such as the American Red Cross may require 40 hours of training, the typical Wilderness First Responder Course involves 80 hours of training. Wilderness first responder training courses focus on teaching the students to assess a situation, improvise solutions using available resources to stabilize the patient and identify the best way to get the patient to definitive medical treatment. In many courses, students are encouraged to develop the habit of systematically thinking through and documenting their assessment decisions/plans using a SOAP note. Topics covered usually include, but are not limited to, the following principles
It is a great course filled with scenarios of fake broken bones, gashes, hypothermia, allergies, etc.

It is really odd to be heading to do this with my diagnosis of MS.  3 years ago when I did the full 9 day course, I felt so strong and healthy.  This certification, which includes learning how to carry out a person with a  makeshift back brace, is a very grueling and physical course.  I would lie if I did not say I was worried about how I am going to hold up for two 12 hour days in the snow.  I just pray that my body likes me this weekend.  It would be nice to have this certification for another three years, because at this point WHO KNOWS what will happen.

Even though I am nervous, I really enjoy the medical side of outdoor pursuits.  In another life, I would have loved to be a wilderness rescuer, even getting my wilderness EMT, I enjoy anatomy (hence the heavy physiology based exercise science degree)...but this is my life now. I cannot be a liability on a search and rescue, they need strong, healthy peeps with no health issues.  These are the moments that you feel the little pangs of sadness for where your life is now.  I really wish I had been a lazy, non-exercising slob - then losing my body abilities may be a little easier to swallow.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Positives for the day

Oh yeah and one more resolution.  My positives for the day.  What are those you ask, well something(s) big or small that is a positive thing in my life that day.

January 13, 2011 Positives
  • I woke up with a lot of energy today
  • I could stretch my hamstrings oh that little bit farther after 5 days of yoga in morning and night
  • The person that was dropping the ball at work finished two projects for me today
  • I saw the sun peak out twice (which is a lot for NE Ohio)
  • Someone left some gluten free/ dairy free animal crackers on my desk.
  • My student employees borrowed my lap top, went onto my facebook page and put a funny status up - "I smell like BO and subway"(what a great joke)
  • I had a gym workout (squats, pull-ups, dips, etc) and am sore in a good way
  • I had a good eyesight day (I know that is weird but some days my eye is better than others...Oh MS, silly disease)
Not bad for one day.  I will take it.