Monthly Archives: July 2012

I miss my friend.

One of the most prominent reasons I had for wanting to start to come to terms with my need to completely control my food and exercise was that it affected my relationships. The depths of my eating disorder were pretty dark and it ended up being sort of like panning for gold when it came to friendships. Many, many people (quality people that I love, even) slipped through the cracks because it became too deeply depressing or frustrating to see me prioritize trying to control my body again and again and again. People sloughed away as I grew thinner and more unable to interact in normal social function, especially around food.

It was sad to see these people go certainly, but what hits really strongly is the people who managed to stay. Although I would never ever re-live the experience of the emotional and physical bullshit that having an eating disorder gave me, I am totally amazed to see the resulting strength of my love for the people that stuck with me through that experience. Not everyone gives second (and third and fourth) chances and the fact that many people in my life have is amazing.

When I very first stopped eating and sleeping as a result of some intense life-stuff my friend Galina showed up on my doorstep with the intention of tucking my ass into bed. Disaster compelled me to ignore my very base level needs and that was exactly the point when I needed someone to step forward and assist me because I had stopped being willing to try to put one foot in front of the other. Galina was not a person who was without her own struggle by any means but she showed up with Tylenol PM to knock me out and she made me laugh and that shit is deep and real when you feel like you have nothing.

It has been almost five years since then and I have lived in other cities and other time zones since. I am not exactly the type that is great at long distance keeping in touch but Galina was a friend that you don’t necessarily have to speak to to know that she’s there and you’re still close and that when you do hang it will be awesome. She was a role model for me in terms of what type of friend to be because she listened and was reflective and that was it. You didn’t need to make the right decisions for her to think you were excellent.

Galina thought I was awesome when I was definitely my least awesome.

My friend Galina died yesterday and I don’t know how or why or anything really except that I am very sad. I am often weary of writing memorial-type posts because they come off as cliche or insincere to those who do not know the person and I find them often unrelatable. Plus, what does losing my friend have to do with fitness anyway?

I guess what I have to say is this:  I am really lucky to have a community of people that prioritize strength in a multitude of ways. I am really lucky that my body is not the first and foremost thing on my mind anymore, even when I am struggling with how I feel about it.  I am lucky to have had the help of my virtual bootcamp team to turn exercise into a positive and quick part of my day that doesn’t control every single other faction of my life. I am lucky to know that I wont abandon people to be a slave to food intake/output anymore and that I wont have to let my friends take leaps of faith that I will someday be better to them again. I am lucky that I get to be a good friend to those around me right fucking now and that people like Galina helped show me how to do that.

I wish I could have lived in the same town as her during a time when I was experiencing all this luck. I don’t have any illusions that I could have fixed anything necessarily but I could have  shown up to be a friend, which would have been good enough for me.

I’m gonna miss her.



Working out with a dude I love.

Every day that I do a travel CrossFit workout I am surprised. I am in to week three of my virtual bootcamp and so by this point, it seems like there wouldn’t be any real big shockers, right? But pairing me being the creature of intense habit that I am with a workout that is different every single day is not only keeping me on my toes physically, but also shredding me mentally! It’s awesome to be pleasantly worked by a task that seems relatively simple in it’s description. Yesterday’s workout was a great example of this.

My virtual bootcamp spreadsheet said I was to do ten rounds for time of ten walking lunges and ten pushups. It wasn’t until about halfway through my workout that I realized that this simple wording had tricked me into doing 100 pushups in about fifteen minutes time. Upon that realization shit got real, and real fast.

I scale my pushups, which is hard for me to suck up and do because I am full of pride and want to believe that I do not need to do such bullshit. As I’ve mentioned before, I had been doing the Insanity work out for some time, which involves a shit ton of pushups, which I did on my toes. When I began to do CrossFit style workouts I was given the information that push-ups don’t count unless my chest hits the ground. Not once did my beloved Sean T. give me this info so it has added an entirely new element to my push up workouts.

I have tried modifying by using my knees but I have found that I feel like I am building much more arm strength if I simply elevate the ground by pushing up from a counter, table, or chair instead. In yesterday’s workout I used my kitchen counter and sanitized it thoroughly upon finishing. My housemates are so generous.

In addition to using that modification to help me get through the workout I also used my date as a coach. I have had a definite history of getting actually angry very easily while exercising. I have sort of had a rule that I cannot discuss important things or hear critique while working out because it is literally the one time in my life where I might potentially fly off the handle and tell someone to fuck off. I have had multiple experiences where a lady’s day at the gym or a sweet afternoon run with a partner turned into me apologizing for being a total piece of shit after conversations got a little too deep. Whoops.

ANYWAY,  my partner LOVES to critique my form while i toil through workouts and it must be a special mix of bravery and foolishness for this to be true. Last week during a workout of 60 squats, 60 burpees, and 60 jumping jacks he had finished well before me and was offering words of encouragement. In between gasps for breath and tears I shrieked “DONT LOOK AT ME” as on-lookers probably watched in horror. I am so graceful.

Yesterday’s workout was the first time I think I actually accepted that I needed the help of another. I had never actually done walking lunges and I have a theory that because I have very long legs they are more difficult for me to do. (It takes longer to get to the ground! ) I was very nervous that my form would falter when I got into the 70, 80, and 90 portions of the move but his watchful eye confirmed that my form was correct til the end, which was awesome.

The pushup portion of this was pure hell to my noodle arms and toward the end I really wholeheartedly, honestly wanted to quit. I stopped being able to keep count of how many reps I did and how many circuits had passed. At one point I clawed at our backdoor to try to puke outside and literally couldn’t figure out how to open it. (For the record, almost every time I do these work outs I think I am going to throw up but so far I never actually have!) During these moments it was really awesome to have someone tell me to stop, recover for five seconds and give three or four more. I am pretty lucky to have someone willing to watch me workout with just enough compassion to tell me breathe it out but also keep me going. Its a pretty unique balance to have someone both love you and push you to do what you think you cannot. Maybe that’s what works in our relationship too, huh?

So I did it. My time for the whole thing was 15:02, which pisses the part of my brain that likes even numbers, but I shall survive. Today is a REST DAY which I will gratefully celebrate by going to get a mani/pedi. We can’t be all work and no play, can we?

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