Thursday, December 29, 2011

Happy New Years!

I guess a progress report is somewhat in order. I have been back to the gym, working out. I am seeing progress, and that is good, but I still have a long way to go, and I have another 3+ weeks before I can try running again. I still have to wear a compression garment, and I am not going to lie, I am getting rather tired of it. Other than my incision hurting from time to time, I would say that the limited motion is gone.

The holidays were a fun time of year in some respects (rather boring in others). I started in a new position at work the week before Christmas, and since the holidays is a traditionally slow period of time, I spent the better part of the last two weeks scouring the internet for something interesting to read. Thankfully, a few people updated blogs, but I did succumb to one of my guilty pleasures -- watching YouTube videos of Mark Cavendish on my phone. For those of you who don't follow professional cycling, Cavendish was last year's green jersey winner at the Tour de France and won the rainbow jersey at the world championships. He is considered the fastest man on two wheels and is a character that I find just fascinating.

Aside from feeding my Cavendish cravings, I also watched some other interesting videos, like one about the man who ran a half marathon barefoot in the Arctic Circle and another from the doctor working at Everest during the 1996 tragedy. All of it pretty interesting in terms of the ability for mental drive to create physical abilities.

These videos saved me as I was scared that my complete lack of nothingness at work would make me incapable of carrying on a conversation. I literally ended a conversation with SO by saying, "I am scared that if I don't hang up the phone now, I will have nothing left to say to you tomorrow so have a good night!"

But, it wasn't all inactivity. New Year's Eve proved to be not as low key as I had imagined. It was the first time that I would be celebrating the holiday with my boyfriend, not just SO specifically, but the first time I could actually say I was in a real relationship on New Year's Eve. Yes, I am 30 years old, and it's my first relationship that lasted for any significant period of time.

We had a great night together, capped off by SO finally taking me "dancing." Now, I mention all the time, I spent a year of my life in the Caribbean, where it is common to go dancing almost every weekend so it's something I definitely miss. To try to satisfy my desire to go dancing, SO took me to this "club" near Crocker Park called the Savannah. I felt like I had walked onto the set of the movie The Wedding Singer minus an even remotely attractive lead singer of the band. There was that square dance floor, lots of older couples dancing, and an 80's rock cover band complete with Breakfast Club posters on the backdrop. I can't say I really danced all that well because I was laughing so hard, but for two people who truly love people watching, it was a perfect way to ring in the new year-- surrounded by 50 something's making out on a dance floor while tables and tables of people watched.

2012 started with my dreams coming true--literally. I dreamt that SO made me pancakes for breakfast and low and behold, he did just that. With a rather late start to the day, we kind of had to hurry to get to the CTC (Cleveland Tri Club) Polar Plunge at Huntington Beach.

Now, I will fully admit that I chickened out last year, and I didn't go. This year, however, as a member of the CTC board, I felt obligated to go and obligated to participate. According to MD's dry erase board, the water temp was around 36 degrees. Along with more than 300 other people, I ran into the water in my swim suit. Well, that sentence isn't entirely true, there was a group of guys behind us who wore coconut shell bras and hula skirts and a few others were dressed up in dresses and other attire. The problem with Huntington is that you can't just run in and run out, it's pretty shallow, so you kind of have to run about 10-20 yards into the water to get submersed. So, on the 20 yard run back, I could quickly feel all of the blood rushing to my lower extremities and worried that I might pass out, but I made it back and lived to tell the tale.
The best part of the affair was getting to see so many friendly faces at Panini's.

Now, if that wasn't cold enough, because of the surgery, I had swapped games to which I would accompany my dad to the Browns game. By the time I set out to leave to meet my dad, it was in the 30's with howling wind and rain. After adding an additional three layers of clothes, I walked out of the bathroom, and I asked SO's if I looked good, to which he said, "ahh... not really," a fact confirmed later.

I was kind of already running late so I rushed out of SO's house, I got about 5 minutes down the road when I realized I had forgotten my phone at his house. So, I had to rush back and was very late to meet my dad. We got stuck in traffic, and then we got stuck in pedestrian traffic. I felt horrible! I also felt quite warm. We parked about a mile away from the stadium and the 7 (not exaggerating) layers of clothes I was wearing were keeping me quite toasty, but that changed about the middle of the 2nd quarter when the lack of motion kind of set in.

When we got to the stadium, we had to go through the pat down line. Now, these lines are segregated into female and male, and as I got to the front of the line, the lady asked me, "are you female?" After I got over the blow to the ego of that question, I said yes and got myself patted down and met my dad in the stadium. I went into the bathroom and saw my reflection and gave the security guard the benefit of the doubt...there was so little of me that looked very feminine with all of those clothes on that the question was probably merited.

Aside from feeling bad when my dad spilled his beer, I had a really good time at the game. My dad kept worrying about me as I was kind of shivering, but I really wasn't that cold. I really like football, and I had a blast high fiving the guys sitting around us when the Browns started playing football at the end. I could have done without the obnoxious Pittsburgh fan a few rows ahead of us wearing a Harrison jersey, but for the most part, it was a fun game.

The only bad part were all the sore loser fans yelling at all the Pittsburgh fans to go home that they weren't wanted! I wanted to yell at these people, "have you seen how depressed this city is?" I wanted to say to the Steelers fans, "Thanks for spending your money here, why don't you stay the night, maybe grab some food before you leave."

While it was probably the coldest New Years Day of my life, it is easily one of the most memorable.

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