Smoke Detectors Save Lives, Until You Beat Them Off the Wall with a Broom Handle

13133388_1073988239327584_5538104568739403685_n1I had a moment today where I was dangerously close to completely losing my shit.  No, that’s not true because I actually lost my shit for a tad bit at one point.

Around 12:30pm today my smoke detectors started going off all over the house.  There was no fire, but they wouldn’t shut off.  For an hour they were screeching their life saving song without cease.  For an hour my dogs barked, cried and shook involuntarily from the horrible noise that was hurting their ears and scarring the hell out of them.  At one point, my little Mavis just let loose and started pooping everywhere.  The noise literally scared the shit out of her.

It’s amazing what that kind of noise can do to you in an hour.  My heart was racing, my blood pressure was up, and I had this weird anxiety that I couldn’t calm even though I knew my house wasn’t on fire.  The noise was deafening, and grating, and it felt like it scrapped every fucking nerve in my body to the point of absolute insanity.  For an hour.

I googled what to do when your smoke alarms malfunction like that.  The internet said the most likely cause was dust in and around the censors.  Most of the detectors in my house are about 18 feet up the wall because we have vaulted ceilings in the upstairs bedrooms.  The only ladder we have is a ginormous beast of a thing that is difficult for me to carry and maneuver.  I couldn’t get up there to take the detectors down, so I drug a step-ladder and my vacuum cleaner all over the house trying to suck the dust out of the detectors with the attachment wand.  It didn’t work.  I tried to call the non-emergency line for the fire department hoping they could send a guy out with a ladder to take them down for me.  All I got was voicemail.  Can you believe that?  The fire department sends you to flippin’ voice mail if you don’t need to call 911!  When the fire department failed me, I actually resorted to trying to beat the damn things off the wall with a broom handle.  I had reached the breaking point and would have risked putting multiple holes in the walls to make that god-forsaken hell noise stop.

I finally texted my next door neighbor and begged for help.  Thank God he was home.  He was my knight in shining armor, and instead of a horse, he rode in with his bright and shining ladder.  He took all the detectors down for me and we both enjoyed a moment of blissful quiet.   When he left I was so happy I almost cried from the relief of it.  It actually took a few hours before I started to feel the effects of the physical and mental stress dissipating.

So I want to send a world-wide thank you to my neighbor, Mike!  Thanks for being home, thanks for having a ladder, thanks for saving my sanity, and thanks for being such a great neighbor!  🙂

This is how I know I’m getting old, Part 2

Several months ago I wrote a post titled, This is how I know I’m getting old.    I talked mostly about how my attitude and perspectives about various things have changed over the years, for better or for worse.

Well, my attitude is not the only thing that’s been changing.  As my 94 year-old Nanny would say, “Getting old is not for sissies.”

Here are a few more tell-tale indicators that I am officially old.

1.  When I was younger, if I had a weird pain in my abdomen I wouldn’t think twice about it and blamed it on the pizza I ate for dinner.  Now, weird pains in any part of my body makes me worry about kidney stones, ulcers, cancer and any number of horrible diseases that seem to be an inevitable part of aging.  I’m 41, and it’s logical to think my shit is going to start falling apart.  I didn’t worry about my liver in my twenties.  Now, with every cocktail, I worry that my liver is 41 years-old and may not appreciate my love of wine and margaritas.  The same holds true for all my other organs.  I think to myself, “Damn, my lower back hurts, I hope my kidneys aren’t about to have a mid-life crisis.”

2. I have sun spots on the back of my left hand, but not on my right hand.  My left hand is my driving hand and the hand that gets the most sun exposure when I’m in the car.  Now I hate myself for not putting sunscreen on that hand before driving every day for the last 25 years.  No one thinks about sun spots or sun damage on their hands when they’re 25!

11195999_s3.  When I was eighteen, my mom warned me that as I aged the elasticity around my eyes would be one of the first things to go.  Her intention was to provoke me into a routine of good skin care.  Thankfully I listened to her, for the most part.  But she was right.  The skin on my eyelids isn’t as tight as it used to be, and I can no longer wear any type of shimmer eye-shadow because it accentuates the loose skin and makes me look like an old hooker.

4. Saggy boobs.  Sigh.  I won’t go into too much detail about this because, you know, TMI.  But I will say two things on this subject.  1. I would kill to have my 25 year-old boobies back, and 2.  Gravity combined with Age is a double whammy of a mother-fucker and I hate you both.

5. More often than I care to admit, I will walk into a room to do something and realize I’ve completely forgotten what I entered that room to do.  My short-term memory is for shit at this point, and it never fails.  I will walk all the way back downstairs and then remember what I walked upstairs to do.  So then I have to walk back up the stairs, which is hell on my knees.  And this leads me to #6…

If you're too young to get this reference, then I feel sorry for you.

If you’re too young to get this reference, then I feel sorry for you.

6. About two years ago, I noticed my knees were starting to hurt when I walked up stairs.  Then it was my ankles.  I went from being able to do jogging intervals during my workouts to low impact incline intervals because my knees and ankles couldn’t handle the impact from jogging anymore.  Also, whenever I bend at the knees or ankles, twist or pivot those joints, everything goes snap, crackle and pop.  The other night my knee popped so loudly it sounded like bone snapping and my husband looked at me and said, “Holy shit, was that you?”  Arthritis runs heavily in my family and my mom and grandmother have both had knee replacements.  After multiple workouts with my trainer that resulted in extreme pain in my knees and ankles, she insisted that I stop ignoring the problem and see an orthopedist.

About two weeks ago I had my first appointment with the orthopedist.  During the appointment I was shuttled between various techs, X-ray,  and the doctor’s physician’s assistant.  At one point, two techs got into an argument over which one of them was to assist me to an exam room.  Here’s how the conversation went:

Tech 1:  I’ll be taking you to exam room 4.

Tech 2:  No, she’s with me in room 6.

(I’m standing in between these two guys who are towering over me.  They’re young, perhaps in their mid-twenties.)

Tech 1:  Are you trying to steal my patient?  She’s with me.

Tech 2:  Dude, she’s with me.  She want’s to be with a better looking guy anyway.

Me:  Boys, settle down.  This isn’t a bar and you don’t need to fight over me.  And by the way, everyone here is good-looking, so that’s not a qualifier.  (I live in LA.  The staff in this doctor’s office all look like they stepped off the cover of some trendy health/fitness magazine.  And the fact that they were arguing over me and I was annoyed by it is further proof that I’m officially old.  It wasn’t flattering.  I wanted to knock their heads together and tell them to grow the fuck up.  See, I’m so old.)

20686060_sThankfully the physician’s assistant came to my rescue and directed me to the room she wanted me in.  When my doctor walked in my jaw almost hit the floor.  He did not look like a distinguished orthopedic surgeon.  As my husband so aptly described it, he looked like a Swedish porn star.  Tall, definitely younger than I expected, athletic, easy on the eyes.  I could imagine him more clearly in a wet suit surfing on the beach or posing in a photo shoot for a men’s health magazine before I would imagine him in an operating room. (I realize this information is completely irrelevant to the topic of my post, but when your doctor looks like he could be working in a strip club, that certainly adds an element of holy-crap-I-have-veiny-legs-and-I-have-to-let-hot-doctor-touch-them stress to the situation.  Hot doctors are not a good thing, and they add to the discomfort of the situation.  I already feel old.  Now I feel old and self-conscious about whether or not I shaved my legs good enough that day.  The struggle is real, folks.)

It's an angry needle.

It’s an angry needle.

He sent me to get an MRI and the results showed that I’ve lost most of the cartilage around my patella/knee caps.  I also have the beginning stages of arthritis in my knees.  The treatment at this point is a series of shots in my knees to replace my joint fluid and lubrication, along with physical therapy.  I almost lost my shit when he asked if I was ready for my first shot.  I’m not thrilled about letting anyone stab me in the knees with a four-inch needle!  So,  I said, “No, thank you.”  He said, “PT is going to hurt like hell if we don’t do this, and it will help alleviate the pain and inflammation in your knees.”

Rock, meet hard place.

So I sucked it up and got the first of six shots.  If you’ve never had a shot in your knee, let me say this….it was unpleasant, but it certainly wasn’t the worst thing I’ve endured.  It was fast and I didn’t scream or curse out loud.  That’s good for me considering I dropped a ‘mother-fucker’ during my mammogram.   But I had to grit my teeth and my back involuntarily arched off the table in physical response to the sensation.  For me, dental shots are worse.  An epidural is worse.  Mammograms are most definitely worse.  And considering I need three shots in each knee to complete the treatment, that’s a good thing.  My knee was sore for the rest of the night and I rewarded myself for my bravery (yes, I’m calling it that) by having wine and sushi for dinner.  It was a treat, and my old, broken-ass deserved it.

In summary…my Nanny was right, getting old is definitely not for sissies.

Kill Shot! (A Ladies Night Out)

20546329_s (1)This past year I was invited to join a charity based women’s group.  Once a month a member of the group is responsible for organizing a fun, something-out-of-the-ordinary group event.  That member also picks a charity/fundraiser for the group to support each month.  We learn something new and also do a community service at the same time.  It’s a win-win.

For the month of November, the group event was a beginner’s gun safety class that included time in the firing range with instructors, learning how to use several different types of hand guns.  Considering the recent world events, hot-button topics around gun control and politics, this seemed like a very timely activity.

I grew up in rural Michigan, for the most part, and firearms are common in many households.  Most of my male friends and family members from back home are hunters and I was not raised to fear guns.  Respect them, yes, but fear them…no.  Despite growing up around guns, I myself never actually fired one before.  I had no interest in learning how to shoot as a teenager.  I was more interested in scoring NKOTB tickets and curling my hair.  And I just took it for granted that if shit went down, someone around me would know how to handle the situation.

Now, as an adult living with my family is southern California, my perspective has changed somewhat.  I do not own a gun, nor have I ever owned a gun.  Neither has my husband.  But it’s something we’ve been talking about.  The world is changing, and Dan and I both agree that we can’t afford to be ignorant about what it might take to protect our home and family.  Every day I turn on the news and listen to stories about home invasions, burglaries, sexual assaults and murder in the LA area.  Granted, LA is a very large, densely populated city, which could explain the seemingly high crime rate, but violent crime is a regular occurrence here, nonetheless.  Although my neighborhood and community is typically very safe and family friendly, that can’t be my excuse for being uneducated and unprepared in a time of crisis.  So when the opportunity to participate in this gun class came up, I jumped at it.   The group also agreed to allow our husbands to participate in this event, so Dan and one other husband joined us for the class.

20306058_sI will admit that when I first heard the group was organizing this event I got super excited.  I thought it would be so badass!  I hoped I would be good at it!  Don’t most of us secretly imagine ourselves as some supreme badass super-hero at some point?  Even if it’s completely unrealistic?  Have you ever imagined yourself as the hero or heroine in your favorite action movie or book?  Well, I have, and all my favorite heroines know how to kick-ass and take names.  I admire men and women who know how to handle themselves, intellectually as well as physically, and I will be honest and say that I was looking for a little validation that there might be some steel beneath the magnolia.  Plus, no one wants to look like a candy-ass at a firing range!

True story.

True story.

But surprisingly, excitement is not what I felt during the class.  The class was taught by the manager of the firing range and it was very informative and safety oriented.  It was also very sobering.  To hold that cold, hard steel in my hands and know that it’s an instrument to both protect myself but also hurt another person left me feeling very heavy.  I could feel the weight of that responsibility across my entire body, not just in my hands.  And this was just while I was practicing how to load a semi-automatic hand gun with fake bullets.  It was a bit terrifying to realize that once I got into that range, if I screwed up, someone could get hurt.

24959021_sWhen the time came to move into the firing range, I was so nervous.  Even with head-gear on, it was incredibly loud and the smell of gun powder was thick in the air.  I became very uncomfortable with the idea of shooting in mixed company.  I didn’t know any of these other people sharing the range with our group.  What if one of them lost their shit, turned around and just open fired?  There was one squirrelly little man who made most of us nervous.  He was using a wicked looking rifle with high-caliber ammunition.  He kept hopping around with this delighted smile on his face while squeezing off rapid fire shots at his target.  Even the staff at the range had to keep asking him to slow his roll.   A staff member would come over the speaker system and say, “Hey Rambo, settle down in there.  No more than one round per second.”  Really?  Because that’s a lot of fucking rounds!!!

As for our group, we had three bays with two handguns situated at each bay.  We also had two instructors assisting us and providing verbal directions.  The first gun I used was a Beretta, and the first shot I fired was not at all what I expected.  It wasn’t sexy.  It wasn’t exciting.   It was stressful.  It was much harder than I thought it would be, and it took a great deal of physical and mental concentration.  While the kick-back wasn’t too bad, I found my entire body tensing with each shot.  I had to take deep breaths to calm myself in order to line up my shot accurately and the shells kept flying back and bouncing off the side of my head and shoulder.  After loading my second weapon, my shoulders and arms began to ache from the strain.  At the second bay, I used a Glock 17 for my target practice and I found it to be more comfortable than the Beretta.  My aim improved significantly, and one of the instructors kept narrating the anatomical injuries of the target with each shot I took.  This definitely added some levity to the moment and helped me to relax.  The more I relaxed, the better I did.

My target practice

My target practice

“Oh, bulls eye!   That’s a kill shot baby!”

“Left lung!  He’s a goner!”

“You got him in the throat!  That’ll do it!”

When I was done he said, “Everyone one of those is a kill shot, honey.  You did good.”

Although there were six different hand guns for us to try, I found I had hit my physical limit after three.  So much for my secret super-hero status!  I do regret not taking my turn with the 357 Revolver, as everyone else said this one was much easier to use.  Overall, the night turned out well and we had a great time, but I find myself to be completely conflicted over it.   I wanted to do well, and I did.  I wanted to like it, and I didn’t.  I’ve been trying to tell myself that’s a good thing.

The San Bernardino shooting took place two days after my gun class, and two hours away from where I live.  The world is changing.  And realizing how much we might have to change with it breaks my heart a little more each day.

PS–this is not meant to be a political post of any kind.  I am not advocating for or against gun control.  I’m simply sharing my experience with you.  And because I hate ending this post on such a somber note, I’ll leave you with this….

10698666_867170343307418_7383635462361779100_n[1]

Back-to-School and Birthdays

back to schoolHello world!

Things have slowed down enough here where I can finally catch my breath!  Last week both of my kids went back to school.  Bryn started 6th grade at the local middle school and Bryce started Kindergarten!  It was a pretty big deal for both of them, and the week before that we were busy with orientations, registration and back-to-school shopping.  The days were so busy trying to prepare both of them for these major transitions into new schools that I never stopped to consider how I really felt about any of it.  As the parent, you just do what has to be done and reassure them everything will be amazing, challenging and brilliant.  Yay for school!  And Yay! for having three hours to myself, every weekday, for the first time in I can’t remember how many years!

So, when I lost my shit on the first day of school I was a tad bit surprised.  I really was.  I had managed  to get both kids ready for school pretty well with only a few raised voices and barked commands to brush teeth, comb hair and put on shoes.  As we pulled up to the middle school, Bryn and I both got out of the vehicle to give her one last hug good-bye and a reassuring, “It’s going to be a great day!”  She was excited and not nervous at all.   As she turned her back and began walking into the school, I burst into tears.  I looked at my husband as I was sobbing in the car and said, “I had no idea I was even upset about this!”

mom and sonI managed to get through the Kindergarten drop off just fine.  Bryce was cool about it and even helped another little boy who was crying by holding his hand and walking him into the class.  I was really proud of my self for not becoming overly emotional on his first day ( I had pulled myself together at that point), and I was proud of him for being such a big boy.  The next evening was the night before Bryce’s fifth birthday.  I was tucking him into bed and as we were snuggling I started to get choked up.  He asked why I was crying and I said, “Tomorrow morning you will wake up and be five.  You will never be four again, and four was a really good year.  Mommy is going to miss four.”  He looked up at me with tears in his eyes and said, “But I’ll always be your baby.”  Well hell, just bring on the waterworks!  I cried most of the next day, which was his actual birthday.  It was the third day of school and it all just hit me like a Mac truck!  He was five and in Kindergarten!  My baby isn’t a baby anymore.

I asked Dan if he thought it was too late for us to have another one, and then we realized that I would be 47 by the time that child started Kindergarten and Dan would be 51.  So yeah, we’re totally done having kids, which then made me cry more, so then I just drank a bunch of wine until I felt better.

Wine fixes everything.  🙂

The Love-Hate Challenge

Hello, world!

Once again, life has been busy and I’m checking in to say hello and tackle the Love/Hate Challenge handed down to me by one of my favorite bloggers, Kimboxin.  In this challenge, I have to list ten things I love and ten things I hate, then nominate other bloggers for the challenge.

Initially, it doesn’t seem too complicated.  How hard is it to list things you love and hate?  So, I spent a few minutes pondering the many nuances of what it means to love or hate something.  If you really think about it, love is not the opposite of hate.  Indifference is the opposite of love, but I have not been asked to write about things to which I feel indifferent.  So, for me, this is not an exercise of opposites, but rather a list of items that either make me feel extremely happy or extremely unhappy.  Oh, and I’m leaving out the obvious stuff, like loving my family or hating anchovies.  Seriously, who likes anchovies?

Hate, hate, hate….

These are instruments of torture.

These are instruments of torture.

1.  I hate high-heels.  Why, as women, do we choose to wear shoes that after about twenty minutes of wear feel like razor blades are imbedded on the inside?  I admit, high-heels make legs and ankles look more attractive.  They add that special something to a dress or an outfit that flats just can’t imitate.  They are incredibly feminine and just make you feel fancy.  I occasionally attempt to wear them.  But high-heels make me feel insecure.  Insecure in that I know the pain is inevitable, and I know that with one small misstep or slip,  I will fall ass over tea kettle in front of anyone watching.   Friday night Dan and I celebrated our anniversary.  We got dressed up and went to dinner at Beso, in Hollywood.  Then we walked to the theatre and saw Phantom of the Opera.  The theatre was less than two blocks from the restaurant, and in the seven minutes it took to walk there, I honestly felt as though my toes were being severed from my feet.  I then made the classic mistake of taking the shoes off while I was at my seat enjoying the performance, because my toes began to swell, which then made trying to put the shoes back on feel like a fresh new hell.  After the show, I put on a brave face, and hobbled out of the theatre, hanging on to Dan’s arm for dear life.  It was all I could do to maintain my dignity and not look like a drunk hooker falling down on the street.  About half way up the first block, I said fuck it.  I took off the shoes and walked down Hollywood Boulevard in my bar feet.  I figured, what the hell?  It’s the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and it’s probably one of the nicest sidewalks in the country.  I did enjoy a laughable moment though when we walked passed a strip club whose marquee read, “1000’s of Beautiful Girls and 3 Ugly Ones!”

2.  I hate being the center of attention, or having too many people looking at me at once.  It makes me feel very insecure and nervous.  Even at my own wedding, knowing that everyone was looking at me filled me with anxiety.  I prefer to blend in with the natives.  This anxiety does not exist for me in this medium, thankfully.  I want people to read my blog.  And it doesn’t feel like the same level of scrutiny for some reason.

3.  I also hate crowds.  Too many people.  Too much noise.  No parking.  And people tend to behave poorly in large crowds.  I prefer smaller, more low key environments.  Causal, laid back places.  Pubs, not clubs.

cockroach4.  I hate allergies.  I am allergic to everything.  If I was stranded on a desert island, I’d probably be dead within hours from touching a leaf or a plant, or being stung by an insect.   A handful of years ago I saw an allergist and she did that skin test on my back where they scratch your skin with a hundred different allergens and then see what you react too.  Within seconds of the nurse applying the allergens, it felt like fire ants were biting me everywhere.  The allergist sort of freaked out when she entered the room and it took several doses of antihistamine to calm the reaction and welts on my back.  When I looked at the chart she gave me, it said one of the items  I was allergic to was cockroaches.  WTF?  I want to know what part of a fucking cockroach they rubbed on my back to find out if I was allergic to it.  Gross.

5.  I hate most reality TV.  Mostly because it’s not reality and there is very little substance to these shows.  I don’t give a fuck about the Kardashians, the Desperate Housewives of any city, or who the Bachelor or Bachelorette is making out with this week.  And don’t even get me started on the Duggars.  There are a few reality shows my family enjoys, but we’re pretty selective.  My family loves MasterChef, American Ninja Warrior, the Amazing Race, and more recently, BattleBots.

6.  I hate hypocrisy.  If you talk the talk, you better be able to walk the walk.

7.  I hate it when people don’t take responsibility for their choices, or try to negate the choices of others.  In life, your choices, for good or bad, is truly what defines you.  Own them, and use your powers for good, not evil.

10470787_611688428952780_5790317832856503493_n[1]

8.  I hate Jalapenos.  Does this need further clarification?  I think not.

9.  I hate technology when it doesn’t work.  My last cell phone sucked.  It was an older model Samsung that had the drop down keypad for typing.  I preferred that to the touch screen because my fingers always hit the wrong key and it took me forever to do anything on the phone.  So, one evening my friend was over for our regular Friday night wine o’clock, and I was bitching about my phone and how long it took to connect a call.  And she said, “Can you just give it a second to let the signal come back from space?”  LOL!

10.  I hate skinny jeans on men.  I can’t think of many things more emasculating than seeing men wear skinny jeans.  Biggest fashion mistake, ever.

For the love of….

1.   I love fresh, clean paper.  There’s something about a new notebook or journal that fills me with excitement.  It’s a clean slate.  You can write or create anything.  I would hoard them if I was crazy.  But I’m not crazy.  As far as you know.

2.  I love office supplies.  I have no idea why.  I have always loved stores like Staples and Office Max.  I love buying stuff that makes me feel organized.  Shopping for school supplies as a kid felt like Christmas to me.

3.  On this same note, I love making lists.  I write lists for everything.  Again, it helps me feel organized, and my brain needs this in order to feel peace.

4.  I love getting flowers, for no special reason.  Or for a special reason.  That’s fine too.

5.  I love giving and receiving compliments, especially when they are unexpected.  Admit it.  Getting a compliment at an unexpected moment can make you feel on top of the world.  Especially because we rarely see ourselves the way others see us.  And when you give a compliment, even casually, and you see that person’s face light up, it’s an amazing feeling.

6.  I love it when I’m on the treadmill at the gym and one of my favorite Kid Rock songs hits the playlist.  When Bawitdaba starts playing, it takes all I have to not start singing out load and head banging in front of everyone.  That song, among others, just pumps me up and makes me feel like I could run a hundred miles.  I can’t, of course, and about a minute into the song I have to slow down and remind myself that I’m forty and my knees can’t take that shit.

7.  I love my husband’s photography.  He enjoys photography as a hobby, and I love his pictures.

My kids, walking down the street, holding hands.

My kids, walking down the street, holding hands.

8.  I love candles that make my house smell good.  I specifically love Gold Canyon Candles.  They are the best.

9.  I love reading.  I love being absorbed and transported by a story, and the devastation you feel when the book ends.

10.  I love my husband.  I know I said I would leave out the obvious stuff, but we just celebrated our anniversary, so it feels important to include him in this list.  I love the life we have together, and the balance we share in our relationship.  I’m proud of the man he is and I’m proud to be his wife.

Happy Anniversary, Dan!

Happy Anniversary, Dan!

I nominate the following blogs to participate in this challenge, if they so choose.

1.  https://myspokenheart.wordpress.com/

2.  https://nosajnawk.wordpress.com/

3.  https://lindsaysmiles.wordpress.com/

4.  https://brandedexplorer.wordpress.com/

5.  https://sweetykannoth.wordpress.com/

6.  https://hysterectomy4dysmenorrhea.wordpress.com/

7.   http://catsatthebar.org/   (I would love to see the cat’s perspective on this!)

Wanda Says…Drop and give me twenty!

workout with trainerToday, I had my very first session with a personal trainer.

I was nervous about it.  My stomach was in knots all morning imagining the horrific exercises she would make me do.  I imagined her yelling at me and telling me to get my fat ass on the ground and give her twenty.  Twenty of what, I wasn’t sure, just twenty of something hard, and grueling, and painful.

And of course my insecurities about working out in a gym had me worked up about many different, ridiculous scenarios.  I imagined being the only out of shape, non-muscular woman in the room, among sweaty, adrenaline high gym rats who look down on us lesser mortals for being out of shape and having imperfect bodies.  I realize this is ridiculous.  But that’s how insecurities get the best of us, by mind-fucking you into believe that sort of nonsense.

I arrived a half hour early for my appointment.  I have a thing about being late.  I couldn’t help but notice how busy the gym was at 10am on a Tuesday morning.  Like, so busy, there were almost no parking spaces in the HUGE parking lot.  Doesn’t anyone go to work anymore?   After putting my gym bag in my locker (it only had my purse in it but I brought it anyway because carrying a gym bag might make me look like I belong there.  GI JaneYou know, I was trying to blend in with the natives!) I found a seat in the waiting area where I was told to meet her.  I had only spoken with her once on the phone and although she seemed nice I was still bracing myself for GI Jane to come charging at me in the lobby.  I killed the next twenty minutes by trying to look busy reading emails on my phone.  (I’d already read all my emails, but I was pretending to read them again.  I know, insecurity makes me do stupid shit).

And then, there she was….and she was….pretty normal.  She was nice and friendly and made me feel very comfortable.  I’m guessing she’s in her early 50’s, but I could only surmise that based on the natural lines in her face.  Her body was rock solid and there were no typical tell-tale signs of physical aging outside of her face that I could see that would allow me to say for sure how old she was.  Except when she was writing down my information, she asked for my age and when I told her I was forty, she said, “Oh, you’re just a baby!”  LOL!  If she thinks I’m a baby at forty, she’s got to be at least ten years older than me, right?  Oh, and I want to look that good at fifty!

Anyway, she put me through a fitness assessment and after talking for awhile about my metabolism and my multiple failed diet and workout routines, she determined that weight lifting was what we should focus on.  She felt that was the best way to amp up my metabolism and get everything firing on all cylinders again.  She said I could focus on cardio on my own, but she would work with me specifically on weight training.

So we began to work out, and she warned me that she would challenge me a bit because she wanted to see what I could really do.  And I was like, “Sure, let’s take this girl out for a test drive and see what I can do!”

In times like these, I really need to remember that I’m not as much of a badass as I’d like to think I am, but she had me feeling comfortable and confident and like I could do anything.

And then she handed me ten and twelve pound sets of weights.

WTF????!!!!!!!

woman with weightsWhen I work out at home, I never use more than five pound weights, and after a few reps, I can really feel my muscles working.  She wants me to use ten and twelve pounds?  Is she out of her mind?  Oh, okay.  Here’s where the crazy kicks in.  Here’s where she turns into a sadist and starts screaming, “No pain, no gain!”

Except, she didn’t, and I could do it.  I could and did lift that much weight over various exercises and sets.  Who knew?  Who knew I could successfully lift that much weight with the right guidance and form?  I certainly didn’t!  There was only one exercise she had to modify for me and that was toward the end of our workout.  She wanted me to lunge up on a platform box, but my legs were jelly at that point and crumpled under me on my first attempt.  And I didn’t have time to be insecure about myself while working out among real athletes because she had me so focused on what we were doing, I was barely aware of anyone else in the gym.

It was great.  She was great, and I have to admit, I’m a little bit excited about going back.  I’m excited for the possibilities.  I’m excited for the realization that I am stronger than my fears.  You would think that at the age of forty I would be past that sort of thing.  Past being a victim to the ‘what ifs’ and doubts that complicate something as simple as going to a gym to workout.  But insecurity is an asshole, and I just have to keep reminding myself not to listen it.

Of course, even after my great workout with a great trainer, and after realizing my own potential in this foreign land of exercise machines and athletes, reality decided I need a quick slap to the face.  As I was walking out, a woman stepped into my path to walk in front of me.  And it was impossible not to notice her bouncy butt-cheeks hanging out of her skin tight panty shorts.

(Insert gusty sigh and eye roll here).