:: WHY WE BE ::

Boo to false, self-imposed limits, we say. These champion oracles want to live enthusiastically. Follow our trip through projects that challenge, frustrate, and/or scare us. In the end (which is really the middle) we want to live like big bright free and authentically awesome people.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

COFFEE Post 14: Out of sorts… (Stephany)

Check the title of this post. It describes me well right now. OUT. OF. SORTS. I dislike this state of mind. It’s uncomfortable, annoying, and unsettling. Life is crazy here right now, just like it is for everyone everywhere. That just never seems to change. It’s more than that Life is crazy, though. I don’t know for sure exactly what it is that’s tipped the scales (aside from the fact that I’m still eating like I’m running 20+ miles a week… but that’s another kind of scale and another story ENTIRELY), but I have the sneaking suspicion that my body is literally rebelling.

When I wrenched my knee, I went from 20-25 miles/week and weight lifting at least twice a week to ZERO miles running, maybe a couple limping if you count just getting around everyday, and having to be so careful in the weight room it’s hardly worth it. Physical therapy has provided me with some physical activity, but it’s so focused on a specific purpose and has been so painful and mentally exhausting, it just doesn’t count.

I’ve written before about how my workouts and runs are therapeutic and necessary for coping and stress reduction. I knew it was important. I knew I needed the activity, and I knew it helped. What I didn’t know was just how much I needed it and how beneficial overall it really was for me. I can say, without hesitation, that since I haven’t been working out, I really don’t feel like myself. I don’t feel like myself, think like myself, OR look like myself. (The pants I can no longer wear will attest to this, too. UGGA-BUGGA!) I am just OUT OF SORTS. And, as I have come to realize, it has solely to do with the fact that my body’s not getting what it wants and needs.

I suppose I’m whining and complaining about something I can’t do much about right now. It IS a temporary state that will soon be remedied. After Friday’s knee surgery, light will be visible at the end of the tunnel again. (That’s the plan, anyway!) I’m not going to be able to go run for some time, but I’ll at least be back on the road to running. Doc says that by the end of June, I ought to be tying up the New Balance and getting back to the streets or, at the very least, a slowly moving treadmill. I can live with that. And in the meantime, I’ll have more physical therapy AND a brace that will support my knee enough that I can confidently venture back into the weight room. I’m extremely excited about this prospect! EXTREMELY EXCITED!!!! Not just because I get to go back to doing what I really love to do, but also because I’m looking forward to being able to RELAX and NOT feel so out of sorts. I wanna be ME again, and it can’t happen soon enough!

Given that I’ve felt out of sorts for so long and that I’m uber-hopeful that the out-of-sorts stuff will go out the door soon, I’m going to focus on only a couple COFFEE goals for this month.

1. Physical training – I’m going to obliterate my inner-pansy and chew on leather if I must. I will not wimp out after this surgery. I’m going to get in the weight room at least 3 times a week, and I’m going to maintain my best efforts in physical therapy. Period. No highway option. I will also begin to eat appropriately again based on the amount of work I’m doing, not like I’m still running all those miles each week.

2. Focus on OTHERS – My clothes don’t fit. I can’t work out. I’m a total grouch. I’m out of sorts… Wah, wah, wah… I’m going to make my kids, my parents, and my students the focus in the next month. If I can keep things about OTHER PEOPLE and really put my heart there, I won’t have the time to fuss and whine about what’s up (or NOT UP) with ME.

3. Parenting – Mostly because I’ve been so crabby lately, I am going to refocus on giving my kids the best of what I have. I know. Sounds awful, like I don’t usually try to do this. I do try, but I’m honest. The kids have dealt with way more poop from me and because of me than they should. The grumpier I am, the less careful I am about what I “share” with them. I’m less patient and less considerate and less loving when I’m out of sorts, and those kids deserve better – much, MUCH better! And that’s what they’re gonna get. Sweet kiddos…

4. Seven Days – I’m jumping on this bandwagon. Don’t know what I’m documenting those 7 days, but I will choose. And I will document. And I will share.

I didn’t intend for this to sound like some goofy infomercial or the makings of some poorly-acted after-school special. It just has to be said, though. If you aren’t physically active and don’t give yourself that outlet, you are MISSING OUT – big time! Try it. You’ll like it. You will. (Okay, maybe you won’t. You WILL, however, like the way you feel in the end. That much I can promise you.) And if you’re someone who has an established work-out routine, I challenge you to mix it up some, keep it interesting and intense, and to really appreciate the burn. I know I didn’t when I was able. I’m ready to be thankful for the opportunity to work hard (and the ability to do so) again. READY. READ-Y Freddy, in fact.

Life’s not going to be less busy or complicated just because I’m going to be taking it a little easier physically post-op. Wouldn’t that be just dandy, though? Ah, wistful sigh…. Ahem. All better. Sorry. Life’s going to continue chugging along, and I must, as well. The out-of-sorts stuff will hopefully run screaming into the streets as soon as I scan my gym membership card again and feel the burn. It will, and I will, and I can’t wait!


John said...

Big Suck on the out of sorts. Why is it so easy to be knocked off cener, but so hard to find it again? I wish you fast healing and uber-fast re-centering. Let me know if there's anything I can do from here.

John said...


patresa said...

amen. AMEN! i am thankful that i don't have your knee trauma, and i fully relate to feeling out. of. sorts. when your fitness and nutrition plans are off. ugh.

i should take a lesson here from you though--specifically your #2 goal (OTHERS). you may be onto something there. i get so self-absorbed when i'm funked up. maybe that's part of the problem. hm. food for thought. thanks, steph!

and i will be thinking about you friday!

Katie said...

Steph, you are so right about the benefits of exercise! It really does help align everything so nicely. In which case, BAH and HUMBUG that you can't partake! I can just tell that you are someone who feels all clogged and gooped up without the lubrication of exercise. Darn it! But your buoyant and positive spirit will see you through, I know it. And FRIDAY! TOMORROW!!! The light at the end of the tunnel will be a-shining! And at least SOMEthing will be happening, even though it won't be what you want (i.e. leaping up from the operating table and taking laps around the room). But, you'll be on the road. Yay!! I'll be thinking of you, and hoping you get that (fourth? Tenth? 30th?) surgery all done with. Hugs and more hugs, friend.

Tanner May (Tanya) said...

Big love sent your way right now (and always), Stephany! I want to yell at this stinkin' knee pain and tell it to take a forever hike.... I really really wish it was that simple. I completely get your out of sorts feelings, and I absolutely understand the loss around losing your coping outlets. Just sucks. I CANNOT wait to hear about your next pain-free run, and I KNOW this will happen. You are one tough cookie, and it is also totally cool if you need to bah-humbug.

I will be sending you all sorts of warm and fuzzy thoughts of healing on Friday. Take care Stephany COFFEE. :) xoxo

amy said...

Stephany, that has got to suck big time, not to be able to do your therapy every day. That is so not cool, bad Stephany knee! Not cool. (Have I told you Charles is in need of 2 knee replacements--none of us can figure out why he's not pulling the trigger and doing it. My mom just had some knee surgery and she's doing a lot better. And you know I twisted mine--it's better, but I still feel it's kind of "off". Man! What IS it with knees? Why can't it be elbows? Elbows don't seem as essential as knees for some reason.)

It is true about being physically active as an outlet--I hate every minute of exercise (when I do it), but I do feel much, much better after. It's good for you physically, yes, but it really is a big mental boost--I don't know if it's the feeling of accomplishing something hard or the endorphins you get or both, but I feel good like I knew I would! (please go back and re-read that last bit in a James Brown voice). Which is so weird, because you would think knowing that would make me all obsessive about getting in some type of awesome physical activity each day. The power of Lazy, honestly.

Well, I'm rooting for you on all of it--getting back your knee mojo and your work out therapy, a successful 7 days project, focusing on others, parenting with all your best (though I do want to say--we all have bad moments in parenting...and it's hard not to beat up on yourself. We're the adults, we should know better, right? But I think kids who really know how loved they are kind of get it on some level that it's not really about them. I sense your kids know they're deeply loved and that you work really hard at giving them your best).

You go, Stephany P.! You can DO it!

Tawni said...

Ugh. Injuries just stink sooooooooooo much. How is a person supposed to stay in shape and exercise when one of the crucial parts breaks? I had a foot in an aircast boot for two months last year, followed by two months of physical therapy, and I had the same dilemma you are experiencing. How am I supposed to exercise now? I have a DVD of an arm weight and abs workout that helped me feel like I was at least keeping the upper half toned that helped a little, but it wasn't really the same workout as treadmill/cardio time. SO... I hope your surgery went beautifully and you are back to your desired level of exercise very quickly. I know how much it helps me mentally to just be able to take a walk sometimes.

I hope you're active and happy and doing great by your next blog. I look forward to hearing about your progress. :) xoxo.