I’m not good with statistics. Never have been. During the countless statistics classes I had to, for some reason, take in order to rehab somebody’s arm after a rotator cuff repair, I always came away thinking that statistics were a bit dishonest.
Like how Marilyn vos Savant will argue for 8 paragraphs that if you flip a coin and get heads, the probability that it will be heads on the next coin flip is not 1 in 2, but in fact 1 in 3. Or how two completely unrelated factors can be made to LOOK related if only the correct statistic is applied. I have pretty much concluded that all I ever needed to know about statistics I have learned from Mark Twain. (Go ahead, Google it. I’ll be here when you get back)
But lately, I’ve been thinking there’s another name I should be associating with statistics: Murphy.
Maybe my luck over the past week hasn’t been luck at all; maybe it’s divine intervention. I get so excited and giddy when summer arrives that maybe the universe has sent a few “gifts” my way in order to keep my head from spinning right off like a top. Or maybe its just my imagination. I guess I can let you judge.
Case #1: Last year, we had a cicada infestation. These prehistoric looking insects were flying around in giant swarms, destroying vegetation and windshields alike. This year, not so much. There is a pathetic handful of cicadas sadly wandering around, in a bewildered state. I’m not sure if their alarms didn’t go off, if their invitations were incorrect, or if their transportation broke down on the way to the party, but clearly they are about 12 months too late for the fray. In light of the ridiculously small number of cicadas around this year, what do you think the chances are of me riding smack into a cicada on my bike? Three times? The answer: 100%.
Case #2: Last weekend, I went on a group bike ride and somebody blew a tire. Since I am so super prepared for all situations, I was able to give her a tire tube to fix the flat. This weekend, just as I was going out, I thought “I gotta go get a new tube this week. Not that I’ve ever gotten a flat before.” What are the chances that I get a flat on the one day in a year and a half that I rode without a tube? Answer: 100%
Case #3: I have a fleece blanket in the back of my Jeep with the name of the hospital I work at embroidered on it. (When you work in health care, that is what’s known as a Christmas Bonus) I keep it in the back of the Jeep “just in case”. It’s been there for 3 years without an “in case” ever coming up. Except that an energy gel exploded in the back seat and then with the hot weather, my fleece blanket cooked into a nice, crispy energy gel shellac. So I finally took it out to wash it. And neglected to put it back in on Saturday. What are the chances that somebody will say: “Do you have a blanket?” that Saturday? 100% But wait; there’s more! Chance it will rain when my Jeep top is up and all the windows are securely zipped in? 0% Chance it will rain if the top is down? 100% Chance my last patient of the day will cancel or no-show during the summer? 0% Chance I will swallow a spider this summer? EWWW! I don’t even want to think about it!
Chance this is going to be a fantastic summer? Pretty frickin’ good.
Ok, so as usual, I'm late joining the fray, but I wanted to post for MamaKat's writing assignment this week because: Hello? One of the choices involved a list and I am the queen of lists!
The assignment: Write the love list: 50 things you look for in a guy
The funny thing is? I have a list already. Not a theoretical list. Not a list in my head. Or out in the ethers. An actual written list. It's not 50 items long. But I guess now it will be.
I started the list when I was 23 and I was reeling, in one of those "What the hell happened? What is wrong with me?" phases of life. I decided to write -- on paper, in my journal -- a list of the bare minimal qualities a guy needed to have to be datable. I didn't want to be greedy. I didn't want to set the bar too ridiculously high. Just bare minimum. (its amazing how high the bar actually was set at the bare minimum)
1) Has to have a clue. Not $100,000 in a 401k. Not a McMansion. Just a clue. About how to possibly get from point A to point B. That didn't involve a winning lottery ticket. 2) No drug or alcohol problems. 3) Has to have a sense of humor 4) Has to know how to have fun (and spending all day in front of the TV is not fun) 5) Cannot be intimidated by me. I'm a very small person. Nobody should find me intimidating.
That was it. Not much. But surprisingly effective in the weeding process. Of course, over the years, I ended up having to add to the list of bare minimums:
6) Has to weigh more than me (kind of related to #2) Especially since I weighed all of 107# when this was added. But with an opt out clause: Becomes void if I fell in love with a little person. 7) Has the ability to make his own decisions 8) Has a good sense of self. 9) Cannot be more feminine than I am 10) Has to be the same level of weirdness as me (plus or minus one standard deviation) It sucks trying to make things work with a stick in the mud or a much-too-freaky-freak.
And then a few more:
11) Expansion on the sense of humor rule: Both understand my jokes and be able to make me laugh 12) Have own life (you cannot call me 6 or 7 times a day and not expect me to kill you) 13) All baggage must be carry on sized or smaller 14) Cannot play Ultima online, Everquest, or World of Warcraft 15) Has to be the same level of flakiness as me (plus or minus one standard deviation) It sucks trying to create chemistry with somebody who has never heard of the "School of Good Enough" or conversely with somebody who just never shows up
And then even a few more:
16) Cannot be jealous of every male I speak to. I have to talk to doctors at work. I just do. 17) Has to be able to pack by himself 18) And maybe actually plan the trip every now and then 19) And possibly be grateful for the trips I take time to plan for us 20) Keeps obsessions in check (you know, withing one standard deviation of ME) 21) Thinks I'm pretty freaking awesome! It sucks when you offer yourself, your mind, your life to another person who essentially responds with "Meh. I think I could do better." (Guess what? You can't, sucka!)
But somewhere along the way, I started to think that maybe writing just the bare necessities wasn't avoiding being greedy or setting the bar too high. Maybe it was, in fact, selling myself short. Maybe the pie in the sky list is the way to go! So I came up with the rest. Which are alot more fun. And possibly a lot more effective. I'll keep you posted on THAT
22) Must love adventure 23) Must love to camp 24) Must love to hike 25) Must at least consider the possibility of thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail with me someday 26) Must like the beach 27) Must like to travel 28) Must at least consider the possibility of taking a year to travel the world with me 29) Must be willing to try new and different food It sucks trying to order food with somebody who continuously asks if they have hamburgers and then grumbles that there was a Denny's just down the street from the Five Star Tapas restaurant you picked from the food network's website 30) Must appreciate my love of 80's hair band music 31) And not get irritated when I sing along to Dokken and Suicidal Tendencies 32) And like to go out to dive bars and see live music 33) Must have a "personal bubble" that is translucent, not opaque 34) And, hence, have a sense of responsibility to help out other people, the environment, and the world in general 35) Must be willing to roll around in the grass with my (or his) nieces and nephews 36) Be at the same level of fitness as me (plus or minus one standard deviation) See the hiking and camping items above. But not be like a few of the tools at the triathlon camp last weekend who showed up at an "advanced beginner" instructional camp as a seasoned athlete with 12 years of competing under their belt merely to ride faster than everyone else and feel superior. ('Course, that may also be related to item #13) 37) Surprises me every now and then 38) Has goals of his own 39) Willing to share his food with me. Or maybe even trade dishes halfway through the meal 40) Maybe has a stupid article of clothing that he's had since college that is worn and doesn't even really fit any more and really should be turned into a rag but he just can't bear to part with it so he wears it to bed or while watching football. I like that. 41) Love it when I unexpectedly chop 14 inches off my hair because I've just had it. (or maybe dye it pink and purple) 42) Be at the same level of nerdiness as me It sucks when you try to have a conversation and you either have to explain what every three syllable or longer word means, or when your eyes glaze over like donuts at somebody else'smonologue 43) Not give a crap about "the lawn" 44) Or "the hardwood floor" 45) Or the cleanliness of the car 46) Not get aggravated when I say "plus or minus one standard deviation" (or "covalent wardrobe") 47) Be willing to share secrets 48) And have our own secrets that we don't tell anyone else 49) Never, ever, ever, try to make me the keeper of the honey-do list 50) Or take my lists away from me
Well, with the first near death experience out of the way, I feel like summer has officially begun. Well, that and the fact that insects are attacking me in organized multi-phased missions, my jeep is covered with beach sand, exploded power gel packets, and puddles of rain on the floor, my apartment looks like a stampede of wildebeests has trampled through it, and my hair is turning red.
I skipped the gym tonite to shovel through the disasters around every corner.
I've been thinking quite a bit about body image lately...and how mine has plummeted since my little stint where I couldn't work out for a while. And how I put on a little weight and lost a bit of muscle and was feeling a bit flabby and a bit discouraged.
I thought of how I used to lift weights quite differently than I do now -- lifting more for sculpting a specific body type than lifting for functional strength. And of how maybe I could go back to that for a while; just until I didn't feel so flabby and discouraged.
Then on Thursday at work, I got a new patient, a 16 year old girl with back pain. This girl was beautiful. Not regular 16 year old girl beautiful. But traffic stopping beautiful. Hollywood beautiful. You ache inside just a little bit beautiful. She looked like she just stepped out of the pages of Vogue or Cosmo. We should all be so blessed to have an hourglass figure...elongated.
Except...she couldn't do a push up. Not one push up. Not a single one. She couldn't even HOLD a push up position for 10 seconds without her back arching or her shoulder blades winging out or her neck hyper extending with the extreme effort. The girl had zero muscle tone. She injured her back picking up her book bag! (Lucky for her, I'm pretty positive there are about 20 or so 16 year old boys in her class who would fall all over themselves to carry her books for her) We got our work cut out for us.
And I started thinking that hey, maybe function is much more important than looks, afterall.
Flash forward to Saturday morning. My first triathlon of the season. I was a bit nervous after my break in training. But I did ok. My back felt fine. My knee felt fine. I was just slow. Ridiculously slow. My cardio just isn't where it should be. I felt really out of shape.
And I started thinking that hey, maybe cardio is more important at this point than weights.
Flash forward again to Saturday afternoon. An adaptive kayaking clinic for work. Paddling around with folks who have physical issues that would otherwise hold them back. But not on the water. Water really is the great equalizer.
Unless you capsize.
Which somebody did.
And I ended up jumping in to do a water rescue for somebody who couldn't move very well and was much much bigger than me. In the midst of the turmoil, I found that by myself, I could only hold his head above the water. Nothing else.
And I felt really small. And really weak.
Once others reached us, we were able to collaboratively extricate him from his boat, calm him down, and get him safely ashore. It was fine. All worked out in the end.
But I still felt small. And weak. Still out of shape. And yeah, a little flabby.
And now I'm thinking that maybe I should just start taking anabolic steroids.
Yesterday was disgusting. I mean, not totally. Work was ok...busy but ok. The gym was ok. It was only after I returned home that things went completely downhill.
I pulled into the garage and as I was walking to the door, I stepped on a junebug. I crunched and cracked under my heel and I got shivers up my spine. Still trying to shake off the junebugheebie-jeebies, I walked right into a big spiderweb that was stretched across my stairwell.
Spitting out sticky silky strands, I jumped into the shower. After the shower, I was cleaning the hair around the drain and looked down inside. It looked pretty gross. I became obsessed with what looked like a dog's chew toy inside the drain so I grabbed a phillips head screwdriver to take the drain off....I warn you -- if you ever do this, be prepared. The giant blob of wet hair held together with soap and conditioner run off is enough to make anyone vomit. (I think I threw up a little bit in my mouth while removing the monstrosity)
Finally, I figured I'd sit down, calm myself with a nice tall glass of water, and check my emails. All was going well until I took a sip of water... and felt something...not right. I spit the water back in the glass along with a daddy long legs spider that had apparently decided to go for a swim.
The worst part of that ordeal is that I was so grossed out I felt like I needed to jump in the shower and scrub half the skin off my body. But now the shower grosses me out!
And what's with all the attacks from the insects? What the hell did I do to them to make them gang up on me in such a vicious fashion?
I'll be sleeping with the lights on for the rest of the week.
Earlier, I had been doing the wrap up over the weekend, but I figured today made more sense, as I am exactly one week into June. (JUNE!! This year is flying!)
One thing I learned about the eating better goal....don't drink! Because once you get some alcohol on your system, you can rationalize eating anything you can stuff in your pie hole! But in general, I got a B- on this goal this week. (lost 1.4#)
Totally on board with the journaling and TAW, and totally on track with training. I'm also finding that when I'm not motivated, if I just do a short workout with higher intensity, I feel pretty good about it.
I started another book. Now I'm in the middle of 5 at once. Just the way I like it! And I whipped off two more old fashioned letters to friends.
May wasn't a complete failure goal-wise. I did accomplish a few. As well as remembering some things about myself that I appeared to have forgotten in my goal writing quest: I like to have several things going on at once. Several books I'm reading at the same time, several projects I'm simultaneously working on, tons of windows open on the desk-top, many irons in the fire. I've been trying to do things in a linear fashion; one thing at a time. That doesn't exactly work for me.
So I started 4 books at the same time this week. :) And I'm going back to May to finish up the unfinished goals as well as starting new goals with the idea that they may run into July. And I've decided that this month, anyway, I'm not calling them goals. I'm calling them...
Has a nice ring to it, eh? Not as much pressure as 'goal' and not as hokey as 'intention'
1) Eating.... Inspired by this guy and this chickie, I'm working on cutting animal products out for a while. This week has been a bit of a transition week (I got a couple eggs left, some yogurt, and some butternut squash soup that has butter and cream that I'm finishing off this week) So, we'll see where the veganismleads. (The whole stroke thing has me freaked out)
2) DVD Classes done
3) Starting the Artist Way Again: I did the Artist's Way last year and gained a lot from it in many areas of my life, not just creativity. So I'm giving it a go again.
5) One mile swim in pond, 50 mile bike ride, 15 mile run
6) PR in sprint tri
7) Journal every day this month
8) Go hiking
9) Girl's nite out with J and S
10) 4 more snail mail letters to friends: I get so many nice happy emails from friends who get an unexpected surprise in the mailbox. They smile, I smile. It's all good.
As my last post clearly indicates, I have been pretty lackadaisical about goals throughout May. I don't know why I just couldn't get motivated to stick to it. But Memorial Day Weekend brought about a bit of a wake up call to me: get with the program or get left behind. (health wise, especially) So on June 1, I enter the month with a bit more resolve than in May.
1) Rehab the leg: SUCCESS! ok, this one I was committed to. (possibly because the thought of my grossly asymmetric quads in a bathing suit was downright scary) I am able to do 25 single leg squats on my right leg and yesterday I ran 7 miles without a problem. Yay!
2) Eat Clean: FAIL! I was really good the first week and a half, kind of good, then not so good, then horrible. I overall did lose 2# total (lost 2, gained 1, lost 1, gained 1, lost 1) Ridiculous! More stick it to em in June.
3) Spring Cleaning and summer clothes switch: SUCCESS! I always forget how time consuming that particular project is!
4) DVD classes done: FAIL! Didn't even start.
5) Journaling every day this month: Half credit. Which I guess is a fail.
6) Increasing referrals to clinic by 2 per month: not yet, but I'm hoping.
7) Four old fashioned letters sent in May: SUCCESS! I highly recommend a nice, handwritten letter (even though my handwriting is atrocious!) People LOVE getting stuff in the mail.
8) 2 group training rides: went on a number of bike rides, but no group rides.