Still Striving to improve myself, one board break at a time

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My next endeavor


I can’t believe I’m doing this…

I FINALLY have had enough. I’m updating my resume. May be because a good friend took a serious leap of faith. May be because I’m just cooked and enough is enough?

Decision making

I’ve been thinking…a lot. I’ve been thinking about trying to get back into training, only this time on my own. I know that I can push the envelope and get myself into a reasonable facsimile of a martial artist.

I don’t have a true school to work with anymore. I’ve left one school due to a conflict with an instructor. I left another school due to my own insecurity. For the past two years, I’ve not concentrated on anything. I’ve just existed. I have taken Tai Chi, which I loved, but stopped those lessons in February after having to be out for a week with surgery.

I have a “BOB”. I have a garage to work out in. I just lack the motivation to push myself into working out. I have spoken with a friend of mine, who has warned me that trying to train myself is not always a good thing. He’s also made an offer that I’m mulling over. I can work with him–I’ll have to document ALL of my training and I’ll have to make darned sure that I’m following said training. At least once or twice a month, I’ll have to go to Houston to visit and work with him. I’ve forgotten so much more than I let on that frankly, I’m scared. I’m afraid that I’ll let myself down. I have high expectations for myself. I expect perfection. It’s not a good thing to do, but I am honest about it.

So, I’m mulling over the WHEN of when I’m going to start training. I need to keep up training with Alba. I need to push myself into not being lazy about documenting my food in my journal too. I spend entirely too much time saying “I’ll get around to it” and then that “round to it” never comes. I have to get into the frame of mind of DO IT NOW. Period. End of story.

Alba knows about BOB. We’ve talked about using him. I guess I need to get off my but and make myself do what I want to do. I can come home from work, leave the car in the driveway, move BOB out into the middle of the garage and work on kicks, punches, etc. It’s a matter of WHEN.

I also need to give Sa Bu Nim an answer. He’s patient and isn’t pushing me but…I need to continue to THINK. I need to talk to hubby and see what his opinion is.

I’m torn between being lazy and wanting to push myself back into some semblence of shape. I need to decide how important martial arts is to me. I talk to martial artists on a regular basis. I have acquired a good friend who is willing to go out of his way to help me. I need to help myself first.

The mind is a powerful thing. I need to push mine into submission and meditate on what I really want.

I’m so happy!!!

I have been fighting and waiting for MONTHS to get my transcripts to the college I have decided to go to. This morning, I got a message that said I was APPROVED to enroll in school…Now bear in mind that the semester is more than halfway over…but still, I’m approved. I can now register for next semester and get THAT ball rolling. I am SO happy! I have been anxiously waiting and being grouchier by the minute because I was thinking that my transcripts weren’t there…I am happy, happy, happy!

I’m looking at taking a couple of classes online–English and History.

Training with Alba

Visual Motivation July, 2011

I am not an athlete. I am a person who despises exercise in any form or fashion. I finally got to the point where I felt like a loser. I saw myself spiraling further and further away from who I wanted to be. I had thought at one point that I wanted to push for another Black Belt, but I let my mind get in my way, so I failed at that ambition. I let myself fall into a trap of “I am not as good as X or Y.” That’s a vicious cycle, believe me. I found out the hard way. I got increasingly more and more discouraged by my perceived failure to live up to the expectations I had in my own head. I also didn’t ask my instructors for assistance with the language or my material. I assumed that I knew what I needed to know. This was not the way to view that.
Now fast forward to May of 2010. I started taking Tai Chi lessons, and while I enjoyed it, again, I didn’t practice and made excuse after excuse not to attend classes. This was a shame because I did enjoy it. I stopped attending those classes in February, after my surgery. I was inconsistent in everything I did–intermittently walking, etc. I talked a good talk, but that’s all it was.

Then I got to talking to a former instructor, who happens to also be a friend. I knew that she belly danced, so I asked her if she’d be willing to give me a lesson. She was. She came out to my house and talked to me. She’s also a personal fitness trainer, so I decided that if I was going to change my life, I may as well jump in with both feet. I respect Alba and know that if anyone is going to kick my a$$, it’ll be her. I signed on for training. I have now taken at least two weeks’ worth of classes and have found it the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. I will continue to work with her because it’s the most fun I’ve ever had working out–Alba makes me work and makes me work hard! She allows me a little bit of slack, but very little. I feel each workout for days afterwards, which is good! It means something good is happening. I tell myself daily that I’m seeing benefits. I am sure I am. My slacks fit better, my tops aren’t as snug and I’ve seen some other changes. I can see a little bit of definition in my sides.
I have to say that Alba is definitely someone who knows what she’s doing and she’s absolutely wonderful!! She gave me a bracelet that I wear daily as an inspiration. It is a visible reminder of what I’m doing.

Catch up

Thursday, I had surgery to remove a “branchial cleft cyst” from my neck. It was on the left side of my neck and was pushing out the muscle. Nobody knew it was there, except for me, and that was only because I sometimes pay attention to things. One of the things I had been noticing was that my face was “puffy”. It wasn’t where it had been. Usually, when I smile, I have “dimples” and “brackets” on both sides of my mouth. The bracket wasn’t on the left at all. It was filled in. I looked haggard, as well (in my opinion). I had a puffy spot just below my jaw on the left.
When I went to my regular doctor, he sent me to an ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat doctor). We agreed in October that we’d watch it and see if it changed. It did not, so in December, he sent me off to have an MRI. That was the beginning of the whole thing. The MRI showed this lump…it was about 3.5-4 cm, I think. I’m not sure as I wasn’t measuring it. The doctor read the reports, looked at the pictures and decided that he wanted to biopsy my thyroid too, as that showed a nodule on it. That came back negative (YAY ME!), but we still needed to do something about the lump in the side of my neck.
When I saw the doctor in January, he got things going and we scheduled surgery for February 3rd.
I was scheduled to have my pre-op tests (EKG, etc) on the 1st, but that didn’t happen as planned. I got to the hospital, was checked in, but they didn’t have orders. They couldn’t get in touch with the doctor’s office because we had had an ice storm Monday night and nobody was in the office. No big deal. We just went over my medical history, then I left. I was told to return at 8:00 am on Thursday.

Thursday came and I went to the hospital with my husband. I got there, they took me to the back, put me in a room and had me gown up in the typical hospital gown. Then they came in and tried to start an IV. The one nurse stuck me once but the vein blew. She tried a second time and the other vein blew. Then she called in reinforcements, who tried on my arm. THAT vein blew! (I was dehydrated, which didn’t help). They finally got the IV into my left hand (thank you, not the right!!), ran the EKG (normal!) and then had me take one last test (apparently, if you’re a female, no matter how old you are, you get this test).

The anesthesiologist came in, talked to me and told me how things would go. Then his assistant came in and gave me my first “shot” into my IV. I was coherent until about 9:45 when I think they came in to take me to the OR.
The next thing I know, I’m waking up in recovery, being sick (thanks to being extubated) and listening to the nurses talk to the guy across from me who was fighting to lay on a hip that they had just replaced. I went back to sleep because they gave me a dose of something to prevent me from being nauseous and slept for another hour. When I woke up, my doctor came in and talked to me. He was able to get the entire cyst, without taking my tonsils (that was a concern, that the cyst had compromised my tonsils) and I was going to be fine. The only thing he said was that he’d had to cut a nerve in my face, a ‘sensory nerve’ and he thought it would have affected my ear. Surprise…not my ear, but under my chin. I now feel like I’ve been hit with a huge dose of Novacaine. Right now, the numbness moves around from my incision to the side of my jaw and back to underneath my chin.

The surgery was “outpatient” surgery, which meant that I got the time in the OR, plus 23 hours in observation. I spent the night, quite restlessly, having my blood pressure taken, getting an IV infusion of antibiotics, sleeping through various programs on television and annoying my nurses. I had a lovely young lady from Nepal who was my night nurse. She was sweet and very kind. She took pictures of the snowfall that we had Thursday night and showed them to me when I woke up at 4:30. I was awake off and on from 4:30 until 7:00, when my husband showed up with my clothes. The nurses came in and told me that my doctor wouldn’t be in to see me in the morning as he was snowed into his house (6-8 inches of snow fell Thursday night. Texas isn’t used to that!).
They discharged me and I was free to come home. We got here about 9:00, after leaving around 8:00. I was very happy to get here. My cat was waiting for me–he missed my lap, apparently!
There are no restrictions on my activity. I haven’t taken a single pain killer since I left the hospital. They would have written me a prescription for oxycodone, but I didn’t want it and don’t need it. I just have to get used to having stitches in my neck and the numbness, which I hope will go away when he takes the stitches out on Tuesday. I’m off from work all week, and will work on sleeping (yes!!), and getting re-hydrated. I know that part of the problem with the blown veins was me, but I’ll work on that.
Now to move on to bigger and better things!!

Tai Chi Saturday

This morning, I had a Tai Chi make up class because our last class of the cycle was canceled. I can’t make the class on the 10th because of a prior commitment to Boy Scouts, so we had a make up class today. We met at one of the local malls that is reasonably quiet. There were two of us there. E and I were both there to take advantage of the additional training.
I warned Sifu (Sifu means ‘teacher’) that I hadn’t been practicing. We went over a lot of basics and picked up from the “Four Corners” in our form and went on through “Chinese Guitar” and then to “Carry the Tiger over the Mountain”. I think the form is really neat, even without the names of the sections.
Today, Sifu caught some mistakes I was making and corrected me. During Chinese Guitar, I have a tendency to not use my hips…actually, I have a tendency to not use them during most of the things I do, but she corrected me today. We practiced turning until I was able to turn my complete trunk. In Tai Chi, the entire trunk is from your neck down to just below your hips. I have a habit of forgetting that my hips are there, so when I turn, I put stress on my knees. Today was one of those “aha!” moments. The light came on After E left, I talked to Sifu and we went over Four Corners to Carry the Tiger over the Mountain, and then I showed her the opening of Kee Cho Hyung Il Bu (Basic form #1). I am actually using my hips and NOT flopping around or losing my balance. That’s what I needed to be able to do. That form felt so much better than it’s ever felt! I was pleased with myself for that! I don’t feel like I was reaching past my knees (that’s something I need to watch out for in Tai Chi) and I wasn’t losing my balance. It made me happy to see how that went together. Tai Chi is about balance. I’m feeling like I saw a definite correlation between Tai Chi and Tang Soo Do.

I won’t have another Tai Chi class until January 24th. I have a Zumba class starting on the 11th and running for a month. I’m seriously hoping that I see some weight loss sparked during that class as I’m sure it’s going to be intense cardio. If that doesn’t make me lose weight, I’m going to have a discussion with one of my doctors about that.

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