Facing Your Fears Combined with WHYNBTYW

My son turned 18 this past Saturday and we wanted to do something different and fun for his birthday. We tossed around several ideas, fishing, hiking, Cedar Point and Zip-lining. We’ve all been fishing and hiking many times and we weren’t sure the weather would hold, so we decided we could do that another time. Cedar Point opened the weekend of his birthday and we thought that standing in line for hours might not be great there. So zip-lining it was!

Disclosure…we wanted to go last year for Father’s Day, but my husband broke his knee and was in a knee brace, so we felt waiting until he was fully recovered would be best, so it’s not like this idea just came out of nowhere.

The website showed all these pictures of these really happy and smiling people. It talked about overcoming fears and many of the testimonials started with folks who were afraid to do it, but ended up having a lot of fun in the end. So I thought, “why not”? I know I’m a little skeeved out by heights, but I walked the edge of the Grand Canyon and looked down; I LOVE roller coasters and the Millennium Force is 310′ in the air and goes a LOT faster than the fastest stated speed for the zip-lines and most of them weren’t even that fast.

I was quite nervous at first, but things seemed to go well for the practice line and it didn’t seem all that hard. They showed you how to sit, how to break and what to do if you got stopped before the end. They were very reassuring about the strength of the equipment and how much fun we were going to have. There were 8 people and 3 guides for my tour, and we were told it would take approximately 2 1/2 hours to complete the course because you have to set everyone up safely and get them across and then 10 other people have to do the same thing. For each area, the guides told a little story about the line and the forest around the lines.

So a few people go for the first ‘real’ line, which we were told was 145′ long and though we would feel like we were going fast, it was really 5-8 MPH. I got all hooked up, and had to walk to the edge of the platform. The guide was on the other side doing the signals that told us when to break.  I have a death grip on the handles and when told to break I couldn’t even think about what I was supposed to do. I tried to put my palm on the cord, but instinctively grabbed it and yanked my shoulder out, but I made it to the other side. Once I was unhooked, I hugged the tree, which was swaying all over the place (at least in my opinion). I was petrified and shaking. I was promised it would get better.

I get hooked up for the next one, a little faster 10-15 MPH and longer (approximately 325′). Here I braked so hard that I missed the platform. Now I’m in full-on panic mode, slowly sliding back toward the center of the line. I can hear the guide calmly yelling (so I can hear) telling me what to do, but I cannot process his words. I cannot think; I cannot understand language. All I know is I don’t seem to be able to stop my moving in the wrong direction. Finally, I put my finger into the pulley which stopped me, though was super painful. Now I had to try to listen to the guide tell me how to turn around, and start pulling myself hand over hand to the end. I’m sure it wasn’t very long, perhaps 10-12′, but it seemed forever in my panic-stricken brain. Finally, the guide grabbed me, unhooked me and I hugged the next tree, shaking even harder than the last time. The guide told me that I’d just done the hardest thing, a ‘self-rescue’, but I was unconvinced.

Two more, each getting longer and faster. I had zero small motor control at this point; I barely had large motor skills at this point. I’d also decided that braking was something I would never get the hang of doing and simply crashing into the trees was preferable. I was promised it would get easier; it never did. I was more and more petrified each time, crying, shaking uncontrollably, incoherent, and completely not comprehending how the others were laughing, learning how to brake and apparently really having a wonderful time.

At this point, we all found ourselves 60′ in the air and having to rappel down from the tree so we could hike to the next location. The guide started by showing us how to wrap the rope around our legs and where to place our hands. I immediately recognized this as the Spanish wrap technique from rope climbs in crossfit. I also just as immediately recognized that I didn’t have that ability, since I don’t have rope-climbs in my crossfit arsenal. I thought I was panicked before this….  Finally the guide showed us how we were going to be clipped into the rope and where to put our hands and the pulley system that would take about 80% of our weight, so we could slowly lower to the ground. I’m not recovered from the Spanish wrap ‘joke’ and found myself hooked to the contraption, saying out loud that I’m not strong enough. I heard my son say ‘bullshit’, you are probably the strongest person here. And before I knew it, I was dangling in mid-air a death-grip on the rope, going no where. Eventually, I managed to lower myself to the ground. At this point my muscles were starting to cramp from the shaking, the nerves, the sheer terror that I was still feeling. But I was on the ground and ready to hike. Hiking? THAT I can do.

We were told the next line had this spectacular view. I have no clue; I was too scared to look around. My death grip on the handles hadn’t stopped, nor had my sheer terror. To get to the last, and longest, line, we had to cross a 150′ rope bridge. We were still clipped in, but the wobbling didn’t help. I admit it wasn’t as scary as the zip-lines, but it was still scary.

Now we have two things left to do. An 1100′ zip-line and a drop from the last tree to the ground. The guide says he has a surprise for us at the end. He also said that this line was the fastest on the course; we could get up to 50 MPH. He wasn’t helping. But I stepped up and did it. Not looking around, not enjoying the view, not happy going that fast. All I wanted to do was close my eyes. I couldn’t even take my hand off the handles to even attempt to brake. The guide was forced to use this special braking system and catch me. I watched the others; they were obviously exhilarated by the experience.

The ‘surprise’ was something called a ‘quick jump’ rope. It allowed one to jump, free-fall for 6-10′ and then it lowered you the rest of the way. The first person to go made the entire tree swing. I increased my grip on the trunk. When it was my turn and I told the guide that I’d rather die of dehydration and exposure than go on that thing. Everyone laughed; I was serious. I’m crying, telling them I don’t want to. The guide was slowly moving me to the edge and he finally let go of my harness and I fell. And then I passed out. It turns out that one can pass out from sheer terror. I woke in a crumpled heap, safe on the ground, embarrassed, scared, shaking, and wanting nothing more than to crawl behind a large rock and stay there until the shaking and the tears stopped. The guides told me I was the bravest person there. That I didn’t give up that I overcame a fear. That’s not how I felt.

Everyone else was joking, laughing, discussing their favorite part. I just wanted to go home, curl up in bed with at least one dog and be left alone.

I have spent the past three days crying myself to sleep, still shaking. I have zero trouble recalling all the fear I experienced.

I’m not sure I overcame a fear, but at one point they offered me a way off the course. All I could hear was the voice of crossfit saying “don’t give up”, “keep going”. So I did. I’m still not convinced it was the smartest move on my part; I know for a fact that I’m not recovered mentally. I felt traumatized by everything.

Also, if you want to go zip-lining, just do it. Of the 11 people (including guides) on my tour, I was the only one who didn’t enjoy it, so please don’t take my experience as a sign that you shouldn’t do it. Most of the group had a wonderful time and would happily do it again. So if you think you want to try it, I would still recommend it. Buy the package; do the thing; have some fun.

 

Meal Prep Monday/Sunday

My partner in crossfit crime posted her meal plans for the week, and I thought I would share what I do, since we both ride the macro train, but have very different approaches to it, I think.

I vary my carbs and fats throughout the week to try to keep my body guessing. So I have Super, High, Medium and Low days, cycled S-M-L-H-M-M-L. My protein never varies at 155g. Medium carbs are 235g and medium fats are 49g, High days is 255g carbs, same fats. Low days are 145g carbs and 65g fats. Super days are high carb and high fats (those are great days for that ‘cheat’ meal that is not quite as healthy as you would like it to be). My calories will cycle between 1785 – 2081 between super and low days, which is still enough to keep me fueled for crossfit.

For breakfast, I always have a Quest bar. 210 cal, 20c, 9f and 21p

I generally do 1 – 1.5 scoops of protein powder as a mid-morning snack (the difference between them depends on the amount of protein from real food the rest of the day). 30-45g protein, 4f 3c

We plan our lunches and dinners around the various activities for our son and myself and also now based on when my hubby gets home from work (it used to be 3:30 every day, now it varies, but the earliest is 5:30).

This week dinners will become the following day’s lunch. Creamy cauliflower shrimp chowder, sheet pan steak and veggies, zucchini shrimp scampi (Thank you Keri), BBQ chicken and roasted sweet potato and shrimp fried rice.

We also have our son’s 18th birthday on Sat. We will be going zip-lining, which none of us have ever done. But that means that macros will be blown all to hell and back on Sat, which I really don’t care about. 1. I’m not a Games athlete, nor do I want to be. 2. I’m also not going to worry myself over every little detail every day. 3. It’s a birthday for goodness sake!

I haven’t input the recipes into MFP yet. I generally input them the night before and then add more protein drink, or Chex mix or an apple to make up the carbs and protein. I’m rarely over on fats. But when I stick to this plan (and that is always the key), I feel better, perform better and should lose a little bit of weight. Slowly is always the key and I can eat just about anything, as long as it fits into these macros. What I quickly discovered though was if I eat tons of ‘crap’, then I get really hungry since I’m not filling up on the good stuff.

This is my last weekend of sabbatical (boo), so I will be doing the shopping and meal prep tomorrow (we spent today in the garden). Normally we do the shopping/prep on Sunday, but I’ve rather enjoyed spending the time with my family on Sundays these past few weeks. I should probably convince myself to get up earlier on Sundays to do the shopping so we can spend the afternoon together…sigh.

Is it just me, or was life simpler when I wasn’t worried about macros and healthy eating?!  hahaha

Meal Prep Sunday

Plan the Work, Work the Plan.

So, after 4 weeks of no CrossFit and generally feeling lousy (thanks, bronchitis); I decided last week it was time to get back into meal planning and preparation.  Though I didn’t fall completely off the Macro Train, I certainly wasn’t putting the time and effort into planning what I was eating….which wasn’t as big of a deal as it normally is when I’m working out consistently.

I thought today (and maybe next Sunday), I’ll just share my plan to the week and how I’m prepping.  Maybe I’ll even keep myself a bit accountable by doing a review for the week (at the end of the week, of course).  Overall, my first week last week went well until Friday night which is generally what happens anyway but…no excuses!  This Friday will be better 🙂

Where to start?  After working with a dietitian last spring, I determined that my daily calorie goal is 1400 calories (I’m working towards losing a bit of weight, so this is deficit for me).  My daily macro goals are: Carbs 157, Protein 88, Fat 47.

My new job as an interesting quirk that I am on the road during lunch time.  This means unlikely access to a microwave.  Thus, I started planning with my lunches this week because of all the meals, the options will be most limited.  After lunch, I moved onto dinner and made sure to include my Plated meals on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Breakfasts were last.  So here’s what I came up with (macro totals provided by My Fitness Pal app or myfitnesspal.com).

Monday, Wednesday, Friday:

Breakfast: Peanut Butter Chocolate Overnight Oats – C46, P15, F5. (http://www.itscheatdayeveryday.com/pb-chocolate-chip-overnight-oats/) and a clementine orange – C13, P1, F0

Lunch: Cold Sesame Soba Noodles and Broccolini and Mushrooms – C55, P72, F15 (http://fitmencook.com/5-easy-cold-lunch-meals/).  That includes 6oz of chicken, not sure if I’ll really eat that much…seems like a lot.

Dinner: Slow Cooker Honey Lime Ginger Pork – 21, P30, F7 (http://therecipecritic.com/2016/02/slow-cooker-honey-lime-ginger-pork/), Brussels Sprouts – C5, P4, F0, and Applesauce – C12, P0, F0.

Daily Total: C154g, P123g, F28g = 1369 calories.

If I do CrossFit tomorrow, I may add in a small snack somewhere in the day.  Probably a Nature Valley Protein Granola Bar or 2 (190 cals for 2).

Tuesday, Thursday

Breakfast: Protein Shake (1c almond milk, 1c frozen mixed berries, 1 scoop protein powder, 1/4c oats) – C28 P22 F4.5

Lunch: Mason Jar Taco Salad (2oz ground beef, 1c lettuce, 0.25c corn, 0.5c black beans, 0.5c quinoa, 0.25c cherry tomatoes, greek yogurt dressing) – C55, P29, F23

Dinner: Plated – Pine Nut Crusted Salmon – C44, P44, F-52 <– I will be using less oil than the recipe calls for, so this will be lower.

So, that’s my plan for the week.  Hope you enjoyed!  I’ve never tried any of these recipes before so hopefully they turn out well!

 

The Ski-erg

I’ve been dealing with a calf/Achilles tendon issue for several months now and for the past few weeks my coaches have been modifying just about everything, even creating all new workouts when necessary.  This has meant limited rowing, limited biking, no running, no squats with weight, and other moves with greatly reduced weight. It has also meant a LOT of core work, which I admit I desperately need.

We’ve starting this rowing session these past few weeks and for me, that has meant a lot of time on the ski-erg. (If you don’t know what that is, or have never used one, check them out at Rogue’s site Ski-Erg)

I’ve done intervals of varying distances, ME calories for certain time and even a 5k. I am at the point where I’ve actually come to kind of LIKE being on the ski-erg. It is certainly far less painful than the Assault Bike that’s for sure. The Assault Bike and I will never be on good terms. The Concept2 rower and I are barely on speaking terms, but we are slowing reaching an understanding that while our relationship may never be overly friendly we are slowly learning to at least appreciate each other.

But there is something about the ski-erg that I actually like. I seem to be slower at skiing than rowing, but that makes sense to me since it does seem to use less legs. At first, it seems to be decidedly all upper body, but after doing the 5k, my butt and hamstrings were incredibly sore, so it’s not all upper body. Today was 5 sets of 1000m with a 2 min rest between. We were supposed to try to go about 1s faster than our best 5k pace. Now I’ve done a 5k only once and it took me nearly 30 minutes (28:54 if you want the exact time). I’m not really sure I was that much faster, but I felt good and it felt a little faster.

I’m not sure I’m supposed to like this piece of equipment and I may still never be the best skier in the class, but I found a cardio thing that I like and that is something I will take.

WHYNBTYW

Look at this! A Why Have You Not Bought This Yet Wednesday actually occurring on a Wednesday! It must be a miracle!!

Last month, in my WODBOM box, I got a small bag of THE MOST AMAZING CHIPS EVER!!

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These are essentially rice chips and magic made to taste basically like potato chips! Now, I’m much more of a “sweets” person when it comes to a cheat meal or cheat snack. But occasionally I love me some potato chips and seriously 7 potato chips isn’t a serving, no matter what the package says. And besides, since the chips are always in pieces, how in the world am I to know what 7 chips is?

These came in a single serving package and while I’m not saying they are good for you, they aren’t terrible either and if one is going to insist on a small snack every now and again, these seem like a nice compromise.

They tasted delicious, gave me just the amount of “salty” snack that would cure a craving, but didn’t leave me wishing I had a larger bag. They were nice and crunchy and while not quite the same as a potato chip, they were close enough. They are a little thicker than a traditional potato chip.

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As you can see by the label, it’s not like these are GOOD for you, but they aren’t loaded with fat, and their sodium level is reasonable, though they sure had that potato chip salty taste!

I found them on Amazon. They have sea salt, BBQ, sour cream and onion and pizza flavored ones. I’m eternally happy that I got the sour cream and onion. As of this writing, you can get several variety packs, ranging from $18 to $46, depending on how many packages you want in the box. You can also get boxes with just one flavor in the same price ranges. I like the fact that they are all single serving sizes. That would help reduce temptation for me.

You can also find them on Facebook, just search for Rise Buddy. They seem like a couple of guy trying to get a company off the ground.

Healthy? Maybe not so much. Healthier? Yes. Yummy? Oh you bet!!

The Times They Be A-Changin’

It has been 4.5ish years since I moved to Wooster.  For the first 2 years, I worked night shift at in an ICU.  My commute round trip was about 2 hours and I worked 12.5 hour shifts. My weekly commute time was about 6 hours. For the last 2.5 years, I’ve worked at a different hospital but during the day and my commute increased to 10 hours per week but I wasnt working as late (and only rare weekends, no holidays).  My last day commuting was yesterday and I can’t tell you how relieved I feel.  To know that I don’t have to leave my house at 630am and rush to work and to know I might be home at a more reasonable hour…. I just can’t express what a relief I feel.

It was an interesting experience to transition out of my job.  Every other job ive ever had was either shift work or a student job…i had no work that carried over or was ongoing.  For the past two weeks, I have been downloading my almost 3 years of knowledge to multiple individuals who will be taking over for me.  Mentally, it was exhausting. Trying to go back, think about the things that only I know and trying to write them down or regurgitate the knowledge on command.  I hope I did it well, I still care very deeply for the people and work I was doing.  It was certainly a very unique and new experience for me and I learned a lot about myself.

So, now onto new adventures. Maybe I’ll have more time for meal planning and skill work.  But isn’t this what I said when I finished school so many years ago?  Something always comes along to fill that new “free time”.  

But, today is a mental break day…Me + Netflix forever.  

WHYNBTYW

I walked off today with office supplies from one of the other research offices.  What was it, you ask? It was a staple remover that I was messing around with while waiting for a meeting because I’m ALWAYS fidgeting with something.  Whether it’s staple removers, beer bottle labels, phone cords…. If it keeps my fingers moving I’m happy.  

Recently, I saw am online add from our local specialty toy shop, Toyrifix (if you’re in the Smith ville, Ohio area and you’ve never been… Drop what you’re doing and go, right now).  The shop was advertising their new fidget cubes.  What’s a fidget cube?  Well, it is a cool little handheld that has all sorts of different fidget activities on each side.  I had to have one!  
So, I picked one up at Toyrifix and took it to work (let’s be honest, that’s where most of my fidgeting occurs during “thinking”) and I love it!  It really helps me get on the zone and focus.  I love all the different things you can do (roller ball, toggle, Clicky buttons) but my most favorite side is the switch.

If you’re a fidgeted or need a distraction from a different habit (like nail biting or lip chewing), I highly recommend checking one out.

So, how did I end up with the staple remover if I have my cool digit fidget now?  Well, I took it home because this is my last full week at my current job and I didn’t want to leave it behind.  #newadventuresonthehorizon