Monday, February 25, 2013

Tell him I stutter

I did not want to do my workout today. I just wanted to lay in bed. Did not have much energy, not that I usually do in the mornings anyway. I purposely put my workout clothes on as soon as I got out of bed, knowing that if I didn’t, I wouldn’t. I forced myself to do it. No bribery or incentives. Just forced myself to put the tennies on and get out the door. And when I got back from the run, forced myself again to do the new circuit routine.

It’s nice that I don’t have to use my old bribery tricks anymore, but that may only be because I can’t spend money. But this post isn’t about why I didn’t feel like working out today. I’ll write that one later... perhaps.

During the run, I was thinking about my anxiety. How nervous I can get. Why? Because I’m already thinking about a short 5 minute pitch/presentation I will be doing at the end of March as part of a Business Plan Competition.

I have talked about my anxiety and nervous tendencies before on the blog here and here but I have never revealed here how intense it can actually get.

In grade school, I remember that while my friends were being pulled out of class to go play on the computers in the GATE program, I was being pulled out of class for speech therapy (back when public schools had money for speech therapists, counselors, and computer labs). I have a stutter. My brother has a more intense stutter than I do. He also got speech therapy at school. Speech therapy didn’t cure my stutter, but I know when it will happen and how to stop it. Which often includes me stopping mid sentence and exchanging words that I know I will stutter on to different ones. Is it why I am such an introvert? No, I think I’d be an introvert even if I didn’t have the stutter.

When I have to get up and speak in front of people, my stutter is always in the back of my mind. But it isn’t the reason I get extremely nervous. I’m not embarrassed by my stutter, I never was. I see it as more of an annoyance, having to stop speaking in order to continue speaking. It interrupts the flow. I also now know why my writing voice is so different than my actual speaking voice. I cannot physically push out of my mouth what I write. I trip over words, easy words. I even have a hard time reading aloud.

So if my stutter isn’t the main reason for my anxiety and nervousness, then why mention it? I don’t think most of you understand how nervous and anxious I actually get. My parents know, my sister knows, even one of my nephews knows. Why? Because they suffer from it to varying degrees themselves. I have also learned over the course of my life to date to hide it. At one of my first archaeology jobs, I threw up on the job site... twice. I didn’t have the flu, it was all nerves, and no one there knew.

I get nervous meeting new people. Starting a new job. Going somewhere I haven’t been to before. Job interviews, phone conversations, confrontations, doing something I’ve never done before, I even get nervous when friends come by (completely silly, I know). There’s much more too. So it becomes pretty obvious that I have performance anxiety.

I’ve broken down and cried after a piano performance and a violin performance when I was younger. Luckily my violin teacher saw how traumatizing the experience was for me and said that she would never make me do anything like that ever again, and kept her word.

So it is easy for me to get to a state of physical breakdown when I have to “perform”. I will get the shakes, ears will burn, voice quivers, sweaty hands, butterflies, my stutter comes out, and like I mentioned tears, and the ultimate, so nauseous, I puke. I would sometimes take ginger pills not because of motion sickness, but because I didn’t want to puke due to nerves. Although, one time I puked up the ginger pill. Oh well.

I still don’t think I have explained this well. Just know that even though it will only be 5 minutes, it will feel like the longest 5 minutes of my life. In the grand scheme of things, it is little. But it is the biggest little thing.

No matter how many times I have done things like this, speeches, presentations, recitals, it doesn’t get easier. I don’t care if you tell me, the more you do it the easier it will get. That is a lie. Especially for someone like me who suffers with performance anxiety to this extreme.

So that I don’t leave you on a downer, because I have been dealing with this my entire life and I understand what my body will do to me, I have learned to not let it paralyze me. I have ways to calm myself. To hide the nervous ticks and the quake of my voice. When I need to, I step out of my comfort zone, and do what needs to be done. They may be the longest 5 minutes of my life, but the shop is totally worth it.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

When I grow up...

I never knew what I wanted to be when I was younger. I can remember when I was about 5 or so, telling my parents I wanted to be a boy when I grew up. I thought the peach fuzz on my lip would grow into a mustache. Thankfully, it never did. When I was a child, besides turning into a boy, I wanted to be a Park Ranger. I thought they were cool. I still do think they are cool. Also wanted to be an Olympic Athlete, and an Astronaut, even after watching the Challenger explode on live tv in my 2nd grade classroom.

In 1993, after watching Jurassic Park I decided I wanted to be a Palaeontologist. Then I wanted to be a Geologist, Coroner, a fighter pilot, a Navy Seal, and an Author. After watching Dante's Peak in 1997, I wanted to be a Vulcanologist. Then a rescue squad member, Firefighter, Smoke Jumper (Hotshot), EMT, Script Writer, Set Builder, Coast Guard, Photographer, Columnist, Travel Writer, Pastry Chef, and a Forensic Anthropologist. There was also Professional Musician, Mountain Climber, Explorer, Naturalist, Adventure Travel Guide, Oceanographer, Glass Blower, and Welder.

In 2005, I got my first Archaeology job. But I didn't stop. To survive as a successful archaeologist, one needs other skill sets. So I thought Biologist, Botanist, Geologist (again), Forensic Anthropologist (again), Geographer, and Osteologist. I never did any of those, perhaps a reason I'm no longer employed as an archaeologist. Then I thought, time for a new career as a Landscape Architect, Construction Worker, Park Ranger (again), Freelance Writer, Adventure Tour Guide (again).

Right now I'm trying out Entrepreneur.

But seriously, I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Anyone have any ideas?

Monday, February 18, 2013

Update on the Red Runner

The what? Who? I named my ipod nano The Red Runner. 1.) because it is red, and 2.) I use it primarily for when I run. It has the Nike+ thingy app and I decided to use it this week. My current route is 2.90 miles according to The Red Runner, which is about right because I have driven it with my car and checked it on google maps. I burn about 270-290 calories, but who knows if that is accurate. My times started out at about 37 minutes and now at the end of the week, down to 35 minutes. And I average 12 minutes and 45 seconds per mile. But that takes into account that I don't start running the second I exit my front door, I walk about 2/10ths of a mile first and walk a bit when I cross the main road at the stoplights and wait up to a minute to cross sometimes.

It's been a long process, this new me who exercises regularly. I have been noticing changes, loosing inches in places, and seeing actual muscle tone. I have never been comfortable in my own skin. Perhaps when I was a kid, but I never thought about such things back then. Not until high school. It wasn't till then that I remember thinking about my body and not liking it. And the not liking it has stuck ever since.

I've noticed subtle changes like I said earlier, but I still wasn't happy or comfortable with my body. This last two weeks of my latest challenge (run 5 days a week, focus on fat tire) I have been seeing myself in a new light. More muscle tone in my legs and those thunder thighs and actual definition peeking through that tire. I'm almost liking myself. *gasp* Don't get me wrong, I don't sit here hating myself. I don't. I'm like practically ever other woman in the U.S. with body image issues.

But I'm kind of shocked at myself. The fact that I was liking the shape I am becoming. And then I weighed myself. Wistfully thinking that I had finally made it to my ultimate weight loss goal. Only to find that instead of the 3 pounds I had left, it was now back up to 10.

I then stopped working on this post for over a week.

I was so mad I ramped up the workout to 3.2 miles per day, five days a week plus a 15-20 strength training with my dumbbells. I lost a pound. One would think that a normal person doing this for 4 weeks would loose weight. Nope, not me. Clearly, I am not normal. If I had the money and the space to actually do it, I'd be tempted to do the P90X thing. But I don't. And no money for gym membership, not that I like gyms anyway, I don't. So next best thing?

Now I am working on making a new workout that still combines cardio and strength, but ramps up the metabolism better and changes every three weeks to avoid muscle memory and plateaus. I think I have decided on what I will do for the first three weeks. Starting tomorrow since today I did a 2.2 mile run with my fasted mile time to date and did the regular strength workout I had been doing the past 5 weeks. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday will be shorter runs, either the 2.2 or 2.4 mile routes plus the new strength training which involves doing three exercises with the dumbbells for 30 seconds each, moving one to the other without stopping, and then resting for 90 seconds and then repeat for a total of 6 circuits. On Thursday will do the long run of 3.2 miles and no strength training. Because today was the whoops day. The plan will be for Monday, Wednesday, Friday full short run/strength training, Tuesday, Thursday long run only.

Don't know what I will do for the next three week set yet (I have three weeks to think about it). I'm going to try this for 9 weeks. Three 3-week sessions. So perhaps a new and more upbeat update will happen at the end of 9 weeks. The last day will be April 19th if all goes well and I don't get sick... again!

I haven't quite accepted the fact that I may never reach my weight loss goal. I know my body can reach it, just not sure that if I do, I can maintain it. Especially since I have been bouncing between 4 and 10 pounds over it for almost a year now.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Single and Proud

I know it’s been done before on countless blogs, but I haven’t done it on this one and have you read all those other countless blogs? I don’t think so. Since the overly hyped and stupid holiday called Valentine’s Day is approaching, I thought it would be a good time to write about how kick-ass it is to be single. I’ve been single for a long time. A very long time. And that is not likely to change any time soon. And I’m okay with that.

So, why being single is kick-ass (in no particular order):

1.) Don’t have to hold in farts, burps, or random tummy noises or explain/apologize for doing them (especially the really smelly ones).
2.) The bed is all mine ( I can sleep diagonally if I want to).
3.) Don’t have to groom/pluck/tweeze/wax/shave body hair.
4.) Can ogle/drool/fantasize over pretty people and not feel guilty or dirty.
5.) Don’t have to dress up or go to boring dinner parties where I know absolutely no one.
6.) Can drink a beer... in the shower (have you ever done that? It’s awesome).
7.) Don’t have to explain to anyone, where I have been and with whom I was doing it with.
8.) Can read a dirty cover romance novel and not hide it.
9.) Can watch TV in my room at 2am with the sound up.
10.) I can up and leave whenever I want, and for any length of time.
11.) Vacations are cheaper (only paying for one).
12.) Don’t have to buy shit for another person on Valentine’s Day, Anniversaries, Birthday’s, Christmas, etc.
13.) Don’t have to play nice with in-laws or friends.
14.) Don’t have to explain my love of action/fantasy B movies.
15.) I don’t have to share...anything.
16.) Can kiss whomever I want on New Years... or no one at all.
17.) Can have as many cats as I want.
18.) I can be as girly as I want or as masculine as I want, whenever I want.
19.) I don’t have to stop any of my ticks or habits that others find annoying.
20.) I can leave my dirty underwear on the floor (not that I usually do, but I can if I want).
21.) I can eat crackers in bed... and I have... with cheese of course.
22.) I can cry freely at a Hallmark commercial.
23.) I can be as lazy and disgusting as I want... until my OCD kicks in.
24.) Can watch a Dr Who or Too Cute marathon all weekend.

By being single I have learned to do many things on my own. I am fiercely independent, perhaps to a fault. I can and have enjoyed going to the movies by myself. Eating at a restaurant, party of one. Travel to distant lands by myself. I love walking into a hotel room and seeing a king sized bed all for me. There is a freedom to being single, and I’m not sure I ever want to give that up. Do I ever feel lonely? Sure. But you can be surrounded by people who love you and still feel lonely. Having a significant other doesn’t change those feelings all the time. I’m not like The Doctor. I don’t need a companion to keep me sane. I am my own companion. And thankfully, February 14th is just another normal Thursday for me.