Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I Am a Barge

(Part 2 of My Triathlon Training Experience)

I think I am on the cusp of transitioning from a boring ol' blog writer to an intense, melodramatic soap opera writer.  My soap opera is the triathlon course I signed up for in a moment of shear stupidly.  Again, what was I thinking?

I am most delighted to report I survived the first day of "I-hope-I-don't-die" class (that roles off my tongue easier than triathlon preparation class).  I am blessedly not writing from Davey Jones' locker.

The first class occurred at an indoor pool.  Surviving was actually no small feat as there were plenty of life threatening moments, and only a couple of them actually happened in the water.

For starters, I do not have appropriate swimwear for this type of class.  All of my swimsuits have skirts.  I love swim skirts, but I don't love swimming.  Apparently true swimmers feel skirts are a hinderance to lap swimming.  Fashionistas they are not.

None-the-less, appropriate swimwear might temporarily make me blend in with others so I buy the cheapest athletic swimsuit I can find.  And unfortunately by "cheapest" I also mean "ugliest."  It is made of the tightest of spandex.  It looks like it is made for a tiny, little doll versus an actual human being, and all of it could miraculously fit in the palm of my hand like a barbie dress.  Its ability to stretch to over 8 zillion times its unstretched self size and cover my frame is nothing short of amazing.  Getting into and out of this suit requires an absurd amount of agility and strength.  I'm pleased I did not strain a muscle or break my neck while trying to maneuver in and out of that swimwear contraption.

In my effort to blend in and look less a fool, I also wore a white swim cap and goggles.  Again, apparently true swimmers feel these are necessities.  I was feeling rather proud of my faux athletic look until my swim buddy told me the cap made me look like a giant sperm.  This would have hurt less if I could actually swim as well as sperm, but sadly the likeness ends there.

I'm not sure if swim caps come in sizes, but I either have an extra small cap or my head is obscenely large. That swim cap left lines on my head for hours, and I believe the lightheadedness I felt in the pool is attributed to the cap cutting off circulation to vital brain parts.

Now it's time to mention the actual swimming part.
The first part of this particular class involved swimming 4 lengths of a ginormous pool while being timed.  Let's just again celebrate the fact that I survived the experience.  No records were broken, but not drowning should count for something.

I think it's also important to note that I remained well hydrated during the lesson by drinking gallons of pool water.  I neither planned for this nor do I recommend it as a means to stay hydrated.  I just want people to know that the pool is a few feet shallower due to my heroic efforts to drink myself out of the pool.

After witnessing those 4 painfully long laps, the coach encourages us to swim like torpedoes.  We need to be long and smooth and fast in the water.  He then proceeds to get in the water and show us how it is done.

It becomes painfully obvious that while he swims like a torpedo through the water, I look very much like a drowning victim waiting to happen.  I create enough splashes and gurgling sounds that I fully expect a lifeguard to attempt to rescue me from myself.

"Be like a torpedo.  Don't be a barge," the coach says to me no one in particular.

That's when I realize that although I may look like a very thirsty, drowning sperm, I am actually a large barge.  Which is worse?

Stay tuned for whether or not our heroine and her friends will survive spinning class...

Sunday, January 26, 2014

5 Ways to Tell When You've Had Too Many Snow Days

I absolutely love the first snow day.
The second snow day is neat.
The third snow day is challenging.
After that third snow day, it's every man, woman, and child for himself.

In our house it's pretty easy to tell when the snow days need to end.

The following unbelievable things start to happen:

5.  The kids wake up begging for pancakes.  You oblige because its another snow day.  Why not celebrate by having pancakes for the 10th consecutive day?  At 3:00 PM you realize no one has had lunch.  At dinner time your kids are essentially having chocolate milk and a bowl of syrup.  You cared about their diet on snow days #1-5, but at this point you've lost your will to parent effectively so you give them straws to help slurp up the rest of the syrup.

4.  On the first few snow days routine is important.  By now, your children haven't been out of their pajamas in a week and you don't remember the last time they took a bath.  When they ask you if they can put their snow suits on over their pajamas, you half heartedly agree.  After all, what is the point of getting dressed?

3.  A certain toxic atmosphere starts to develop.  It's difficult to describe, but you start to wonder if this is what Hunger Games feels like.  Your children can go from loving one another to being rabid, feral children faster than the snow coming down.  You actually start to wonder which of your children would most likely win Hunger Games. You cheer on the underdog.

2.  Your children cry when you tell them it's another snow day.  Seriously. Tears.

1.  Your husband decides to spend an obscene amount of money on inflatable sleds because he absolutely believes this expenditure will cause all of the snow to melt and the temperatures to rise above freezing.

Cabin fever is alive and well in our house.  I wish they had a vaccine for that!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

What Was I Thinking?

What was I thinking?
Who hasn't done something stupid and had to ask themselves that very question?

You're on your way to the store and you wind up at work.  Your car was seemingly on autopilot and you ended up not going where you intended.

What were you thinking?

You're busy yelling at talking to your kids while unpacking groceries, and you later find your car keys in the pantry by the peanut butter.

What were you thinking?

Well, I know the answer.  You weren't stinking thinking!  Your brain literally shut off and you were no where close to thinking.  Lucky you. Your excuse for doing stupid stuff is that you were not thinking.  Simple enough.

So what's my excuse?  What was I thinking when despite all logic I signed up to take a 14 week exercise class on how to prepare for a triathlon?  Yeah.  A triathlon preparation fitness class.   If you are reading this because you know me and feel obligated to read these little vignettes (Hi, Mom!) then you'll need to take a moment and let that sink in....

Yes.  I signed up for a class that will prepare me for a triathlon. (I'm not sure that's even possible so I'm using the word "prepare" rather loosely.)

What was I thinking?

Let's reflect on my definition of a triathlon:
A fanatical health nut spends money to swim 500 meters, bike 15 miles, and then run 5 kilometers.   Easy enough, right?  But here is the kicker.  These masochists do those three things consecutively and do it all in less than a day.  Some people apparently can even do it in just over an hour.

So why would I sign up to train for such nonsense?  What was I thinking?

Do I love to swim?
My idea of swimming is to put on my favorite swim skirt and sit by the water with a book in one hand and a cocktail in the other.

Do I love to bike?
I own a bike and I rode it exactly one time in 2013.

Do I love to run?
I only love to run if I am being chased by a large scary creature. This has yet to happen.  I have run, but love has never been a word I've associated with running.  On top of that, my exercise bra has tried to kill me in the past, and I own a car so I can drive places.

Again, what was I thinking?

I actually made a decision to do this.  It involved paying money and agreeing to wake up before the sun.  I was thinking something......

If nothing else, this should give me fodder for some interesting writing.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Speechless at the Golden Globes

Dear Speechless Golden Globe Awardees,

I watched the 2014 Golden Globe Awards, and I've got a pointer for you should you ever be nominated again.

Please prepare a speech.  Please.

You've been nominated for a Golden Globe Award, and some can only dream of that.
Going into the evening you didn't know if you would win or not.  Yes, I know you only had a 20% chance of coming home with that shiny little trophy.  You may not have needed that speech.  It is still better to be prepared than to stand up in front of all your peers and be broadcast across America saying, "Oh my gosh.  Oh my gosh.  I didn't prepare a speech, and I don't know what to say."

Yeah, we can tell you don't know what to say.

Let me see if I have this right:
You are nominated for a prestigious award based on your job performance.
You get all dolled up.
You smile and pose on the red carpet.
You take your seat with fellow movie stars and television icons.
Your heart may be racing.  Your palms may be sweaty.  You may not be expecting to win.  You may be nervous even though you are a movie star. Are you thinking, "Maybe I should have prepared a speech?"
Your name is announced as the winner, and 45 seconds later you go from looking like a glamorous movie star to a bumbling fool.

Really?  You didn't think a speech could prove useful?

Please go sit back down because your speechlessness is annoying.

Why is it annoying?

Well, for starters I am raising two children.  Like me, my children are a work in progress.  Although it pains me sometimes, my kiddos look up to famous people.  They are fascinated by fame and what it means to be famous.  While watching the Golden Globes with my kiddos, it becomes apparent that the dress you wear is more important than what comes out of your mouth.  And apparently being prepared is really underrated in Hollywood.

It's also annoying because you babble something about thanking your manager and it begs the question, why am I not a movie star manager?  I would certainly have advised you to prepare a short speech!  I think you may need a new manager.

Finally, you memorize lines for a living for crying out loud!  Can you not memorize a few sentences about who to thank for the award?  And please don't forget to thank your mother!


A Clearly Not Speechless Fan

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Things I Learned During the Polar Vortex

Greetings from the former Polar Vortex!

As the temperature dropped lower, and lower, and lower I made a few observations.  I would have written them down sooner, but I needed to wait until I had thawed.

Here are my brilliant observations:

1.  People say ridiculous things when they are cold.  It's 5 degrees outside but with the windchill it feels more like negative 6 billion.   (This is not a direct quote from Al Roker, but it's pretty darn close.)

2.  And related to #1, what is it about the windchill that I find so annoying? It's as cold as a witch's titty outside. After a certain point, the temperature ceases to matter. It. Is. Supper. Cold.

3.  The super cold temperature causes flashbacks to my idyllic childhood when my own  mother would say on a cold winter morn, "It's as cold as a witch's titty."  What kind of mother would say that to their impressionable, young, naive, children?

4.  During the Polar Vortex when Al Roker is telling me the windchill is the root of all evil, I exclaim to my kids, "Geez, it's as cold as a witch's titty outside!"  I am my mother.

5.  My car knew this arctic weather was possible.  Which right away means my minivan is smarter than most of us.  That's right, my minivan knew negative 5 degrees was possible because when I started the car one morning, that's the temperature the car showed.  My minivan can show negative numbers and perhaps its the sign of my frontal lobe freezing, but I was amazed by this. My minivan knew it could get that cold.  This begs the question, "How low do you think the car can register?"  Seriously, does anyone know the answer?

6.  Strange stuff happens to my house when the temperature gets wicked cold.  For example, my garage door doesn't want to close automatically.  It will open just fine, but then it won't close.  Another strange thing that happens is I allow my kids to play electronics until they actually ask if they can do something else. Yeah, it's like the twilight zone over here.

7.  The Polar Vortex makes keeping New Year's resolutions nearly impossible.  When the temperature dips below 5 degrees outside, my instinct is to curl up in a ball and eat chips (lots of chips) right out of the bag.  So much for my goal of moving more and eating less!

8.  Freezing temperatures cause everyone with electricity to begin obsessing about electricity.  If the electricity goes out then we all know we will freeze to death.  My frozen body will be found in bed, in the fetal position with my hand deep in a bag of chips.  There are worse ways to go, people.

9.  Everyone acts as if freezing temperatures should be used as a teachable moment with our children.  Remind me why I'm standing on the porch in subzero weather with a boiling pot of water? Screw science. It's cold outside!

10.  Children cannot go to school in these temperatures because its just too cold.  This means disgruntled parents cannot send them outside to play either.  This leaves the children no alternative but to peck each other to death.  New Christmas toys?  Nah....  Way more fun to just annoy the begeezers put of one another.

Those are my observations now that the Polar Vortex as moved away and my bones are thawing. It's a balmy 20 degrees today.

I suppose I can credit the Polar Vortex for making 20 degrees feel like a day at the beach!