Thursday, January 31, 2013

How Not To Get On TV

How many times have I applied to be on the Amazing Race? At least 15, maybe more. How many times have I made it to the interview stage? Exactly zero. Apparently I suck at application videos. Or maybe I'm just dull.

It's not that I want to be on TV actually -  I just really want to compete in this type of competition!!!  And this type of competition only happens on TV.  When I heard a new adventure show was casting teams of two, I got excited! It's a Bear Grylls survival show which isn't exactly what I'm looking for since I don't really want to eat gross things. But I'm attracted to anything that bills itself as an "Adventure Show" so I knew I would have to apply. Instead of making yet another sucky application video, I roped Irene into spending a full day in line with a million other people at a casting call.

I figured that with a million other people who are pretty similar to us, the casting people would have their eyes glazed over by the time they saw us. We'd be just another boring couple. They were doing group interviews too, so with only 1/5 of the allotted interview time we had even less of a chance to stand out. I thought maybe we needed something to get their attention.

We walked into the interview room with 4 other teams. There was a long table with 10 chairs around the outside. They asked us all to sit down. Instead of sitting down, Irene said, "We have something prepared". The casting girl looked surprised and Irene hit play on her ipod...and then we did this:

Bare Necessities. Get it? Bear Grylls. Bare Necessities. Ah, so clever, right?! Our hands say "PICK US". We have on our matchy-matchy adventure race team shirts. Pretty awesome, huh?!

The casting girl looked a little shocked and said, "No one has ever done THAT before."  And then she went on with the group interview.

We didn't get a call back.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Sprained Ankles Suck

I'm 41 years old and I've never been injured, unless you count the time I fell off the Fire Engine bars in the playground in 3rd grade and split my chin open.

I've been playing soccer for over 10 years and I've never been injured. Don't get me wrong, I've gotten hurt a lot. As you know, I have a tendency to take a ball to the face at least once a season. I also get knocked down a lot. Many times I've thought that I was injured only to find that there was very little pain left when the adrenaline of the hit/fall/kick wore off. I have a very low pain tolerance so any little hit hurts like the dickens. But never has any of my hurts equaled a full blown injury. Until now.  :(

I sprained my ankle playing soccer on November 11th. I was running next to a guy who was taking the ball toward our goal. He's really, really good with a very strong shot. I stuck my foot out in front of the shot to block it. I blocked it alright! My foot wasn't quite on the ground as the ball hit it and the force of the ball turned my foot inward causing me to land on my ankle instead of my foot. I heard a loud 'pop' as I went down and I knew I was done for. No one noticed that I was injured, not even the guy who shot the ball or Jace (the goalie) who saw it all, because there was no contact on the play. Play continued until I got Jace's attention for some help to get me off the field.

When I finally got to the bench, the other players determined that it wasn't broken since I could wiggle my toes. (Is this even true?) That sounded good to me because that meant it was just sprained and being uninitiated into the world of sports injuries, I was sure that a sprain was much better than a break.

I wish.

The next two days I couldn't put any weight on my ankle at all. I was on crutches for most of the time, though I have to admit that they slowed me down way too much so around the house I either hopped or crawled. It was faster!

This is how swollen it was initially. Finding shoes to wear to work was a problem! 

I limped for the next month. It was ridiculous. A friend at work loaned me a boot to stabilize it but it was too big and the rubbing on my calves was so painful that I stopped using it.

It was taking forever to heal. After 6 weeks the swelling had barely gone down. I finally went to Urgent Care ($140 after insurance). They did an x-ray and verified that it wasn't broken. They gave me prescriptions for two pain meds even though I told them the pain wasn't that bad at all, I was just worried because it wasn't healing. The next week I went to an orthopedist ($74 after insurance). I was in his office for a total of 3 minutes! 30 seconds of that time was taking off my shoe and sock. He felt around my ankle, declared it sprained, told me I didn't need physical therapy and there was no need to ice it and to resume regular activity. I told him my regular activity was soccer and hiking. He got annoyed and said "regular activity within reason" and left. 

A week later I had an appointment for a check-up with a potential new doctor (my regular doctor quit practicing to become a full-time instructor). This doctor was awesome. She was incredulous that an orthopedist didn't give me any follow-up care guidelines or any instructions at all. She gave me a list of exercises to do to regain range of motion and to strengthen it. She told me to take ibuprofen and to ice it after activity.  She recommended two braces to wear, one for regular day-to-day and one for soccer/hiking/running.

For almost three months I've done nothing active. Well, I did limp my way through Rugged Maniac because it's such a fun race and since it was the week after the injury I figured it hadn't healed enough to be causing any regression. After that, though, I didn't do anything. I didn't walk the dogs since they have a tendency to pull when they see a cat or smell a good smell or even just when they have to pee, and my ankle wasn't strong enough even to take that. I didn't play soccer (obviously) but I did go to almost every game and stand on the field so that the teams wouldn't forfeit. I wasn't able to hike. I wasn't able to run. I wasn't able to do anything. It was very frustrating! I gained 10 pounds in less than 3 months. That is sad. I packed away my skinny clothes and dug under the bed for the storage box of my fat clothes. I'm glad I saved them or I'd have nothing to wear for work!

In the last two weeks, I have started being able to run with my brace on. It's a limping run with only about 2/3 of my usual stride, but it's something. I've gone hiking a few times but I've only done flat hikes; I don't think I'm quite ready for climbing any summits. The ankle still hurts. I have a limited range of motion. But, it's slowly getting better. I'm looking forward to the day when I can jump again!

Sprained ankles suck.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Goal for 2013

This one isn't a resolution like the ones listed in the last post; this one is a goal. I have no idea what the functional difference between a resolution and a goal is, but I'm calling this one a goal anyway.

My goal is to be able to do this again:

Back in the fall when I was working out after soccer games, I saw some volleyball girls doing box jumps at the gym. I was totally jealous of how high they could jump. One day when they weren't there, I gave it a go. I was very, very surprised and very, very happy to find out that I could jump just as high as those girls! (Even in soccer cleats!) Woo hoo!  I was so excited that I made Julie videotape me.

It was kind of scary so the highest I dared to do was 36". I wanted to jump higher so I decided that I was going to work on box jumps every time I was at the gym! This video was taken on Thursday, November 8th. The next time I was at the Castle was Sunday, November 11. I fully intended to work on my jumps after my soccer games.

but then...

Gr! In my second game I sprained my ankle really, really bad. I was carried off the field and was on crutches for the next few days. So much for working on box jumps. :(  So much for doing ANYTHING, for that matter. :(  Boo.

So the goal now is to get my ankle strong enough to be able to jump 36" again. Or higher!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2013 - My Favorite Year?

Yippee! It's 2013. 13 is my favorite number so I'm counting on 2013 being my favorite year ever!

I've made some resolutions and I'm sharing them with you, the worldwide web, in hopes that you, the worldwide web, will hold me accountable.  Feel free to blast me when I start to fail!

  1. Be more positive. Sometimes I feel that the only conversation I have with people is sharing gripes and annoyances. Most of those gripes and annoyances are pretty minor so I'm planning to just let them go and share positive and funny conversation instead.
  2. Walk the dogs!  Since I sprained my ankle at the beginning of November, the poor pups have been missing out on lots of walks. We've got a lot of catching up to do!
  3. Blog more.
  4. Rim-to-rim-to-rim in 2 days. This is hiking the Grand Canyon from the South Rim to the North rim in one day, spend the night at the hotel on the North Rim and then return to the South Rim the next day. It's 24 miles each way.
  5. And the one that will probably not happen...become a "real" athlete. I want to lower my 5K PR. I want to run a 10K if for no other reason than to have a PR. I want to do a triathlon. I want to preform well at the obstacle races. The reason this probably won't happen is because, despite what I resolve and despite the results I want, I still HATE running.
So, how am I doing so far, two days into my favorite year?
  1. Not so good on this one. Work today was frustrating and I found myself griping about the lack of assistance I was receiving on a project that requires assistance. Then later I joined in on a griping session about the layout of our new offices because they reduced our departments storage space by half. While both of these events were frustrating, I need to stop the complaining! This resolution will need more determination on my part!
  2. 100%!  I walked the dogs before our annual New Years Day Game Day yesterday and I walked them this evening after work. 100%! Woo hoo!
  3. Well, this right here is a blog post so I'm on my way. I only posted 24 posts in all of 2012, so "more" shouldn't be hard to reach, right?
  4.  We are planning on going at the end of September. I am currently unable to train though because my ankle sprain refuses to heal. Not going hiking has been driving me crazy!! Yesterday I ran for the first time in over two months. My "run" was from the door of Irene's house to my car parked at the curb and back. A whopping 15 steps and then I had to ice my ankle. Tonight's walk was only 1.5 miles and I was limping by the time I finished. I don't know when I'll be able to start hiking again. 
  5. Yeah, this ankle thing is hindering the progress on this one too. On a positive note (see #1) I did do pull-ups at the park yesterday while out walking the dogs! I could only do 3 sets of 2, but truthfully that is better than I thought I could do after two full months of doing nothing! Yay, me! Another positive - I have already signed up for the triathlon. It's September 22. My rim-to-rim-to-rim training should help me with my stamina. I'm counting on my friend Emily to teach me how to swim. As for the bike, well, I'll probably have to cry my way through it.

Have a wonderful 2013! May it be your favorite year, too!