Friday, December 31, 2010

Three of My Nine Lives.....GONE

Tuesday - Beat up by the StairClimber-O-Death
Friday - Snowboard helmet to the chest
Sunday - Mountain to the side of the head
Check!  Check!  And, Check!!

My body started falling apart well before I turned 30.  However, it didn't seem to really impact me until the big THREE-OH hit.  Before 30, I could talk about how jacked-up my feet were from that last run.....and then head downstairs to log another 10 miles.  I could show-off the bruises from where my snowboard hit me in the back of the neck (Yes, it's possible for your snowboard to hit you in the back of the neck.  TRUST ME.).....and then jump on the lift for another run down the mountain.  But, NOW?????  Now, I'm lucky if I even have the energy to talk about what hurts.  Not to mention, con my aching body into doing the same shit a second time.

It's always something.  Bloody toes halfway thru a marathon, followed by a few missing toenails a week later.  A "bad" knee that hurts if I look at it wrong, and a "good" knee that swells until my jeans won't let it swell any  more.  A right hamstring that doesn't allow me to lower myself to the toilet seat like a normal person, and a bone spur on my left foot that makes me lace up my running shoes like a 3 year-old.  Two black toenails, with one being so bad that I performed my own surgery on it involving hot water, Epsom salt, a lighter, 2 red-hot needles, and enough blood to make my children queasy. And, we can't forget about the "growth" that has taken up residence in my sinus cavity and the inflamed ligament that connects the Top of Me to the Bottom of Me.  (I would also mention the permanent blister on my right thumb, if it wasn't for the fact that it's caused by me holding the curling iron incorrectly.  That's just plain stupid.)  My feet, my knees, my head........What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right???  Man, I freaking hope so.  Because after the week I've had, I could quite possibly take the podium in a StrongMan Competition.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Place:  APPLE Athletic Club
Potential Killer:  The Stairclimber (o' death)

The StairClimber and I have always had a rocky relationship.  He beckons to me during my runs on the treadmill and entices me with the promise of rock-hard thighs and a model's ass.  I don't usually give in, though, since the thought of leaving my treadmill for another lover is a heavy load to bear.  However, I have, on occasion, done the unthinkable, and taken the leap.  (The grass is always greener....right???)  And afterwards, I don't usually feel too guilty since I hate the StairClimber after a whole 8 minutes....while I could whisper sweet nothings to my treadmill for hours.  After last Tuesday, tho, the StairClimber and I are DONE.  Finished.  Kaput.  He's an ass.

I was flung (yes, flung) from the damn thing...not once...not twice...but THREE times.  I was left bloodied and bruised from the knees down and now know what it feels like to eat shit in front of a whole gym full of people.  Jayson has known that feeling for years.  Remember the year that Lyndsey Jacobellis hot-dogged it on the last jump in the Olympic Boarder Cross...and wound up on her ass?  Well, Jayson did the same thing while watching her on TV.  Unfortunately (for him), he happened to be on the treadmill at the gym when he did it.  I saw the whole thing unfold in front of me, laughed until I peed, and vowed to never EVER let something like that happen to me.  I guess what I meant was that I would never EVER let something like that happen to me on a treadmill.  Damn vow - I should have covered all of my bases.  Cuz my shins are STILL bruised and I will be sporting some killer scars come Spring.

Friday, December 24, 2010
Place:  Grand Targhee
Potential Killer:  A 12 year-old's helmet 

I spent Christmas Eve on the mountain, with 4 kids in tow.  Two of them Mine / Two of them Not Mine.  On our way to lunch, the Older Not Mine and I were "unofficially" racing.  I say "unofficially" because Older Not Mine had no clue what was going on.  He was just riding.  And I was on a mission to beat his ass down the mountain.  (Everything is a competition, remember?)  We both ride the same (left foot forward) and I was on the left.  So, he was facing the trees, and I was looking at the back of his helmet. 

And, then I wasn't looking at the back of his helmet anymore.  I was laying on the ground, eyes squeezed shut, trying like hell to breathe.  But all I could do was grunt.  I vaguely remember hearing someone ask if we needed Ski Patrol....and then Ski Patrol was there.  And I FINALLY got a breath.  It was heaven.  Oxygen.  The best Christmas gift ever.  And then I asked Older Not Mine to kindly remove his helmet from my chest.  (Ok, I didn't really say that.  I was still too focused on breathing.  But, I did think it.)

Ski Patrol didn't want to let us get up and leave.  He kept cocking his head to one side and talking to me like I was a toddler.  I think I giggled a few times (apparently I was happy to be alive), which didn't help our case any.  When trying to convince Ski Patrol that you are FINE after doing several full rotations thru the air while velcroed to Older Not Mine who had just decided to carve left without putting on his turn signal while hauling ass down the hill at the speed of light (Ok, fine!  We weren't going that fast.  But close...), it's probably best that you NOT giggle in between feeble attempts at breathing.  It looks bad.  Like, maybe, just maybe, you broke a few ribs, punctured a lung, and knocked yourself out in the process.

Older Not Mine and I finally just got up and left.  (I will NOT ride in an orange basket.)  Ski Patrol just threw his arms up and reminded us where the First Aid Office was.  

I'm still nursing wounds from that one.  In addition to the itty-bitty "nap" that I took before Ski Patrol arrived, I tore-up my left shoulder and have a partial helmet imprint bruised into my chest.  At least I have a a new-found respect for oxygen.  Older Not Mine wound up with a black eye, a sore right shoulder, and a tweaked ankle.  Maybe, next time, he'll use his damn turn signal.

Sunday, December 26, 2010
Place:  Grand Targhee (I know, I know...You're noticing a trend.)
Potential Killer:  The only spot on the mountain without powder

Last Sunday, my dad and I found a sweet spot up on the mountain.  (I'd tell you where it is, but then I'd have to kill you.)  It was, literally, one jump after another.  And none of them were man-made.  It was amazing.  I was nailing every one of them - catching more air than I ever have before.  Good takeoffs, solid landings, and riding off to the next one.

And then I hit my damn head. 

Sweet takeoff, HUGE air, nailed my landing....and then realized that the next jump was RIGHT THERE.  Cartwheel...somersault...and then I find the one spot in this Powder Wonderland where there isn't any powder.  And, I find it with my damn head.  MOTHER!!!! 

I took it as a good sign that I saw stars.  Because that, I decided, meant that I hadn't knock myself out.  (You can't see stars if you're out cold, right??)  I spent the rest of the day nursing a massive headache, but the best was yet to come.  Whiplash.  Oh, yeah.  Bright and early Monday morning, I learned the true meaning of a sore neck.  I did such a good job of whacking my head that my neck was actually swollen right where it connects to my shoulder.  I'm still working on the concept of turning my head to the right, but am grateful to not be in a full body cast and eating thru a straw.

I will be at the mountain on Sunday (in my sweet spot), but will be riding in the slow lane (that's a total lie) and watching for speed bumps.  And, on Tuesday, I will be at the gym, but you won't find me on the StairClimber.  I will be back with my true love - the treadmill - where I can avoid being flung to my death in front of an audience....and walk away with my pride in-tact.


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Things Kids Do When They're Grounded

Jaycob and Sydni are grounded. 
They are grounded for being BAD KIDS.
They are grounded until they learn to respect ME, respect EACH OTHER, and respect MY HOUSE.
In other words, they will probably be grounded until Jayson gets home next fall.

Those of you who have truly grounded your kids before will recognize a lot of this list.
And those of you who think you've grounded your kids before will know that it wasn't really effective because your kids didn't resort to the things on this list.

NO Cell Phone
NO I-Pod
NO Internet
NO Television
NO Wii
NO GameCube
NO Playing with Friends
NO Sleepovers
NO Email

Can all result in......


1.  Find board games that you didn't even know you include one that they would be better off NOT finding since a game of sexual innuendos is probably not a good idea for an 11 and 12 year-old.

2.  Become a character from X Men while unloading the dishwasher (because that's what silverware can do to a person).

3.  Use a steak knife to stab boxes that Mom has collected in the office to use for wrapping Christmas presents.

4.  Close their sister sibling up in a giant box and push the box down the stairs.

5.  Toss a bowl in the air and count how long it takes to hit the ground.

6.  Beg to go for a run in the gym.

7.  Take all of the plastic party cups out of the cupboard and build a pyramid the size of the Empire State Building in the dining room.

8.  Wrap things....even if they don't need to be wrapped.

9.  Bake stuff - SO........MUCH........STUFF.

10.  Talk to themselves.

11.  Teach the dog new tricks (like, how to wash the dishes so that they don't have to).

12.  Tell really, really, really LONG (boring) stories.

13.  Ask to get on the computer to do "homework".

14.  Reorganize the kitchen cupboards the way they think they should be organized.

15.  Use lots of Scotch tape. 

16.  Get along with each other.

17.  Remember to tell you things that they should have told you a week ago ("The dog down the street bit my leg and ripped my jeans while I was riding my bike.")

18.  Put stickers on the front windows.

19.  Talk about moving out (while I give them suggestions on which suitcase to use).

20.  Break Christmas ornaments.

21.  Talk about poop.  Everything can be tied to poop.

22.  Take 54 minutes to complete a 3 minute task.

23.  Do their chores (after you've told them to do them 17 times).

24.  Stand in the front yard and whistle for the dog down the street.....So they can shoot it.

25.  Ask to get online to see if there's a website called

26.  Pretend your DOG is a wild boar and they are the alligator.

27.  Look thru the pictures on your laptop.  (Just like #1.....This is probably NOT a good idea for an 11 and 12 year-old.)

28.  Pretend the other kid is a camel and ride it thru the desert.

Ok.  You know what?  After writing all of this and reading back thru it, I realize this list is total crap.  Aside from #16 and #23, these are ALL things that kids do whether they are grounded or not.

So, I will change the name of the list and just be grateful for Number Sixteen and Number Twenty-Three.

And continue to ground my children.



Sydni's Talent Show

I managed to make it to Sydni's talent show at her school yesterday. And I am so very glad I did!

Sydni has been practicing for WEEKS!! Anyone who has been around her lately has probably been "blessed" with hearing her. She sings ALL THE TIME! She sings so much that I've had to learn how to tune her out. In fact, there have been moments where I may have actually blacked-out...just gone somewhere else...gone to my Happy Place. (Please don't tell Sydni. I promise to be better. Just don't tell on me!)

Then came yesterday. I got there a few minutes early (miracle, I know) and watched as Sydni raced around the music room with her pack of hyenas (other little girls who like to be dramatic, too), frantically trying to make sure everything would be PERFECT. I sat there tapping my foot, wishing that they would speed things up. (That's me. I'm impatient. Can't help it.) I scooted my chair over 4 times, trying to make space between me and all of the germy kids. Thank goodness a friend showed up (THANK YOU, ANDREA!!!!) to sit next to me and save me from the horrid diseases that can leap 20 feet from a kid to an adult.

Sydni was the second kid to take the stage. (I videotaped the whole thing, knowing that I would need to upload it and get it to Jayson.) SHE WAS AMAZING. I was in awe. Thanks to my little black-outs, I felt like I was hearing her for the first time. I had goosebumps and wanted to cry because, all of a sudden, I realized how truly great she was. My not-so-little girl had worked so hard on this. It was at that moment that I understood how IMPORTANT this was to Sydni. And, THAT made it important to me.

After a few more kids showed us their "talents" :-), we took a little intermission. As Andrea and I planned our discreet escape, I checked my phone. DAMN IT!!! I had missed an email from Jayson telling me that he would Skype me while Sydni sang so that he could hear her.  Are you kidding me??!!  What kind of timing is that??  I started to email him back - telling him that he had missed it.  Andrea stopped me...and convinced me to ask if Sydni could sing again.

Then, with the blessing of her teacher and the whole audience, Sydni was introduced again.  But, this time, her teacher said, "We have something very special.  Sydni's dad, who is in Iraq, is on the phone.  This time, she will sing for him."  I followed Sydni to the front of the room, knelt down, and held my phone up.  And she sang (while I pretended to have a cough so that people would think I was choking instead of tearing-up).  She sang just like she had the first time...beautifully and with passion and with more confidence than I will ever have in my life.  And Jayson got to listen.

So, here's to YOU.......Mrs. Zinzer, the Audience, the power of Skype, and, most importantly, Sydni for making it possible for a Dad to hear such an important moment in his Daughter's life.