Hello friends. 

It has been aWHILE. Sorry about that. So much has happened since I last posted. To sum up:

I did NOT do P90X in the fall of ’10, as I proposed. After attempting one core workout, I realized that it would be unwise to continue such an intense program w/o talking to a doctor – I feared my heart might a’splode. So I did not continue on. 

In 2011, I: 

-directed my first musical, Seussical Jr, for a middle school outside of Philly. It may have taken a few years off of my life, but the performance weekend was SO worth it. The show was everything I had hoped it would be (and let’s be honest, how often does THAT happen?) and I love the kids I got to work with, even tho they often drove me crazy. 

-determined that I was not and was unlikely to become happy in Philly (so I left). 

-worked at home in Garrett County for the month of June. 

-taught theatre camp in Philly and Rehoboth Beach for July/August, while living in a pretty sweet condo, with an insane and potentially dangerous German Shepherd (stressful!), a cat who ate anything left on the counter (including any kind of baked good), and two actors who were working for the same co. I was. (The wacky animals were theirs. I will leave my description at that.)

– lived in Zimbabwe from mid-September to mid-November, on a farm. I worked with missionary friends of mine, and took many walks with a dog (who I love), and worked in schools (on literacy & English/Theatre). During the last two weeks, 2 friends of mine from the States joined me and we did art w/ grades 0-6 in 3 rural primary schools in the area. You can read more about that at greenislandarts.blogspot.com :>) and like our facebook page, too! Just look up Green Island Arts Project. (sorry, I’m no good at adding links and things)

– went to Italy on vacation for 10 days “on my way” home from Africa. 5 days in Rome, 1 in Florence, 3 in Venice. It has long been one of my life goals to get to Venice before my 26th birthday, which was 2 days after Thanksgiving – yeep! I only made it by a few days, but I made it!!! :>D It felt pretty awesome to make that happen, and the blessings just rained down while I was in Venice. It is a strange and wonderful place, unlike anywhere else, and I loved it. I could never live there, but visiting was wunderbar. Rome, however, I could live in, methinks. Really enjoyed it. Florence was not my fav, but was fun enough. And The David lives up to all the hype, lemme tell ya! And it is HUGE. I had been told, but WHOA. You can’t understand until you see the real thing in person. 

– post-Italy, I headed back to GC for Thanksgiving with the whole fam at the ‘rents, and stayed in GC for most of the rest of December. Activities included: playing a nurse for a photo shoot for a medical textbook, dinner w/ friends at my fav restaurant in Philly (P.Y.T, baby!), an audition in Pittsburgh for an Irish & Classical theatre, a job interview in NYC that (no joke) involved coloring with 3 year olds (didn’t get the job. srsly.), getting rejected from an apartment in NYC because I’m a singer (again, srsly?!), swimming a fast half mile at the new and B.E.A.U-tiful pool in GC after training for a few weeks, and catching up on a LOT of missed fall television online, haha. 

And now it is 2012. (what?! Marty McFly is gonna here soon!!!) Last week, I moved into an apartment in NYC – which was a physical feat in itself, since I now live on the 5th floor of a walk-up. No elevators for this kid! But boy, my ankles/calves/butt are gonna be awesome soon! ;>) I haven’t lived here since 2009 and I am excited to be among friends again and get auditioning, etc. 

AND I really did start P90X this time! I’m on Day 5. I’m doing the Lean program, not the classic. So far, I actually like it a lot – except for yoga x. The only yoga I have ever really enjoyed doing is Suzanne Deason’s PM Yoga for Weight Loss routine (which I had on VHS and now have on DVD – again, it’s 2012 ;>). I just tend to find yoga boring and difficult and it tends to stress me out. I think it’s partly that I don’t like the vinyasa style, and that’s a lot of what Tony Horton does in his Yoga X routine. So we’ll see how I feel about it next week. When I did it yesterday, I only got thru about half an hour before I gave up. I totally lacked will to do it, for some reason, and felt very aggravated by it, and – to be perfectly honest – I spent a good bit of that first half an hr standing over my computer, scowling, with my hands on my hips (and by hips, I mean waist. and by waist, …I mean ribcage. if you know me well, you know the stance ;>). Anyhoot. Better luck (and willpower!) next week w/ the yoga.

The other workouts, I have enjoyed, even if I do tend to shriek when I lose my balance, or laugh hysterically at some of the more (riDICulously difficult) moves Tony expects you to do, or pause for 5 minutes to do Shakespeare monologues before I go back to crazy TonyHorton lunges, or yell “No way. No WAY!!!” at – again – some riDICulously difficult move, which causes immediate muscle failure.

So that’s life, in a nutshell. I shall try to keep you updated on how P90X is going this time ’round, and what’s up in general. The word of the year in our apartment is “CONQUER”. There are 3 of us ladies trying to make things happen in our lives and careers in this apartment and we are going.to.TOWN :>) There is also a guy, but we haven’t seen hide or hair of him all week, because he’s in school and still away on break. Weiwd. 

And now, my friends, I leave you with my new motto – “YOU.MUST.BURN.” I have no shame in getting my new fav phrase from a Dinobot. Follow link below for details ;>) Worth it! 

http://www.feld.com/wp/archives/2011/10/be-on-fire.html?awesm=fndry.gr_19Dct&utm_campaign=&utm_medium=fndry.gr-twitter&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_content=awesmwordpressplugin-wordpressbuttonsa

Monday, Monday!

November 8, 2010

First of all, I would like to thank NBC and last week’s elections for giving me EXACTLY what I asked for – less than what I asked for, in fact, which is pretty amazing. A one hour episode of the Biggest Loser, including – as a bonus! – the shortest weigh-in in the history of the show. (Huzzah!!!) And you know what? It was JUST AS GOOD as any other week. Nay! It was better because it kept you interested, it moved along, and Allie didn’t have to repeat herself 18 times before anything got done. Although I am not a big fan of this season in general, I enjoyed last week’s episode – and my roomie and I still cried, so it’s not like anything was lost there. (You have to watch the stupid show, it’s inevitable to cry at some point.)  Interesting tidbit: the contestants spent the week training with the Marines. My roomie and I speculate that perhaps it is the Marine Corps’ way of trying to help fight obesity (which is pretty cool).

Secondly, I have an announcement. I am going to attempt – that’s right, attempt – to do the P90X workout program, starting next Monday. Whoo!

I did the P90 (the original, much tamer program) this past spring and it went well. I saw results quickly, I finally know how to get in a good strength workout outside of a professional gym, and it helped give me the confidence and fitness to train for my triathlon this summer.

I am just now realizing how much more confident I feel about physical feats post-triathlon. I could not have done what I did without a lot of gumption and training and sheer force of will. And now I really believe that I can do other crazy things because I have done that one crazy thing – a thing that not everyone else would even try to do. And after I’d done it, I kind of shrugged and said, “Is that all?” It was hard, sure, and I wish I’d done a little better, but for the first time, it was fine, and I think just about anyone could do what they did, as long as they prepared for it.

I had a smile on my face for the a lot of the tri, mostly when I was biking. I was just so grateful to be alive and able to move, no matter how I placed. We take these things for granted every day and it is good to let them blow us away once in awhile. If you are reading this, you can probably walk and see and hear and talk just fine. And those things are such blessings.

Can I just take a second and encourage you, dear reader, to do something that makes you a little bit nervous? Something you’ve never tried before? Maybe something you’ve always wanted to do but you didn’t because you were scared, maybe of failure? ‘Tis better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all. Go out there and get a little tired or muddy or sore. Go live a little, huh? For my sake! (It’s my birthday soon ;>) Run a 5k, plant a tree, volunteer, skydive!!! Take a chance. Take your time and run with it, literally run if you have to. You’ll be glad you did.

[The Getty Girl steps off of her soap box and resumes regular programming. What can I say? I get excited.]

P90X is supposed to be pretty ridiculously intense (tho not as intense as the “Insanity” workout program that my bro Joel and my friend MM are doing right now; Insanity is also from Beachbody, just so’s ya know) so I am nervous about it, but let’s be honest – I am nervous about pretty much ANY new endeavor.

I say “attempt” because 90 days of that kind of strenuous activity may or may not break me, and this is not about me not wanting to do it or being scared of how hard it will be (tho I know it will be wicked hard). It is more that I have a heart thing and I can only push myself so far right now, at least until I get some answers at the doctor’s office. So. For now, I will precede with caution. And a certain amount of vigor ;>)

Also, just as a happy side note, I finally have health insurance again! YAY!!! I haven’t had insurance since I graduated in May 2007 so this is a really big honkin’ deal.

That’s all for now, folks. I’m sure there will be plenty of drama next week as I start the P90X. Anyone else starting something new/exciting/scary lately? If you read this, you’re being too quiet. Tell me something good!

Peace to all,

-the Getty girl

A Request

October 27, 2010

Dear NBC,

I know that it would be a pain in the butt to have a 90 minute television show on a Tuesday night. What would you put on at 8pm or 930pm instead? But please, PLEASE-FOR-THE-LOVE-OF-ALL-THAT-IS-GOOD!!!!, make The Biggest Loser fit into an hour or an hour and a half block, not a two hour block. I have to completely skip the  whole voting part of the show now, because I cannot bear to hear Allie repeat herself over and over and OVER again. You hear me, NBC?! I can’t take it anymore!

So knock it off! Don’t make her repeat everything she says 3 times just to fill in a few more minutes of showtime. I can put up w/ your shameless plugs for Ziplock and Subway and Extra gum and Walgreens. I can handle the ridiculously dramatic music right before a commercial in the middle of someone’s weigh-in. But the repetition of rules and policies (which we ALL. KNOW!!!) makes the show a real pain in the butt to watch and it grates more with each passing episode. I’m just sayin’.

Sincerely,

– the Getty Girl

PS  – I know you want this season to be different, but so far, it’s pretty lame. I don’t actually like most of the contestants and they seem to be largely (har har) drama queens and game players – or just not-so-bright. So. Your bad.

I will direct you to someone else’s blog. Ha! But seriously, folks. I have a new friend, Alison Foster (an actress/personal trainer/wonder woman in NYC) who writes an awesome blog about fitness AND reality Tv related to fitness. Check her out at  fosterfitness.blogspot.com Be careful, tho. I got reading the other day and couldn’t stop for ages! The friend who introduced us the other day has told me for a few years now that Alison is my “twin” in many ways. After having lunch with her and reading her blog, I think he was right. I wish she wasn’t so far away in NYC so we could hang out – and work out! – together. Ah well. We can be blogging buddies for now – I hope she’s at least partially as intrigued by my blogs as I am by hers, but I s’pose I should get over myself and get to telling you about what’s new with me. (wait… ;>)  I will say that I find Alison inspirational in many ways and I am so glad to have met her.

Okay! The latest:

On October 9, 2010, I ran my first 5k!!!

And you know what I learned? That whole “slow and steady wins the race”? Total CRAP. Ahahaha. No. Honestly. I understand that tortoises made that up so that their kids would feel like they had half a chance against those crazy hares, but they are full of it! The hares will win every. time. Ya know what “slow and steady” does? It finishes the race. And isn’t that what counts? (Unless you’re an actual “athlete” – which I am not.) So we’ll say, yes, that’s what counts.

See, I am officially the world’s slowest runner and got schooled by pretty much every person who participated in the race that day, including the asthmatic 70 yr old man who traded places with me a dozen times during the run and then sprinted the last 100 yards just ahead of me (so insulting, don’t get me started). It was exceptionally hard, as we got away from the starting line, to watch not just the people I knew but pretty much EVERYONE  take off and leave me to eat their dust – but I made myself keep jogging. That was the point. Not to win, not to place, not to finish in front of people, but to FINISH. To keep myself running for 3.1 miles, all at once, without breaking or walking or having heart spasms or even stopping to tie my shoe. And I did it. I did it! I could not have done that a year ago or 6 months ago or even this summer. Last fall, I almost had a heart attack every time I tried to run for more than a few minutes (which is a whole other issue). So that was pretty great, really.

I get these grand ideas – always when I am not physically running, usually when I am, say, sitting down somewhere comfortable – that I should run a marathon at some point. And because of the mentality I have about such things, I would want to run the whole thing. Because I know I could walk a marathon. I excel at walking and I am a seriously fast walker. If you have ever had to walk anywhere with me, you know this. My parents are fast walkers and I had to keep up as a kid and now even they want me to slow down, but I find it incredibly difficult to walk really slowly. Anyway! I get these ideas about running a marathon. When I am not running. And then when I am, for example, running a 5k (and-wanting-to-die), I wonder how I could ever be so completely delusional that I actually think I can/will run a marathon.

And then when I am done running and have taken a nap and some ibuprofen (did I mention I did the 5k on about 5 hours of sleep? not totally my fault as I was woken up just as I was falling asleep and then it took AGES to fall asleep again – that surely made it much more painful than it needed to be), I think “Oh I could totally do it. I just need to train! It’s only… EIGHT TIMES what I just did… .. .”

Sometimes I really have to wonder about my sanity (and completely misplaced optimism).

BUT at the same time, if the people on the Biggest Loser can do it, why shouldn’t I? If you don’t set lofty goals for yourself, you have nowhere to go. It’s really important to have goals (personal, professional, physical) or you just kinda end up sittin’ on your butt a lot and not doing anything. And then what’s the point?

Can you tell I have kind of an issue with people who let themselves be stagnant? “Do something different!!!” as we say in the Getty household.

In other news, I am freezing my gym membership for the next 2 months. I will be traveling a lot in Dec so that would be a waste of money, but in November, I want to stay home and do the P90 workouts again to work on getting stronger and more sculpted. I also got Jillian Michaels’ “No More Trouble Zones” DVD recently and look forward to her kicking my behind into oblivion. I have gotten complacent at the gym since my tri, methinks. I still go multiple times each week, and for the last month +, I have made a point of making at least one workout per week over an hour long. I’ve gained a little weight since this summer and I can’t blame it all on muscle-building.

It is just so darn hard to lose 10-20 lbs and keep it off. It really is. And I have hormone issues that make it harder to lose weight, blah blah blah blah me me me (that’s from Finding Nemo, fyi). The point is, I want to focus on really working hard and pushing myself w/ all the sculpt stuff this next month (I may try to borrow P90X from my “coach” if I’m feeling really crazy), and I’m going to try to eat really well. Because, see, I am turning 25 in one month and that is a big honkin’ deal. And I want to look and feel awesome for that and not look back.

I went to a Zumba class tonight for the first time. I almost left after ten minutes because I felt so lost, but then “Single Ladies” came on and you can’t not smile when you’re doing THAT dance so I stayed, and then hit the elliptical for awhile. Hopefully I won’t be too sore tomorrow :>)  Also, I did a yoga class last week (vinyasa – so challenging!) and am planning to go again this Wed and make the most of my last week at the gym. I think it’s good to add a bit of “muscle confusion” by adding new and different things to my workout routine so it isn’t so  (duh) routine for my body. It’s nice to not be bored, too! That Zumba class zoomed by, for sure. I was so focused on not falling down, I couldn’t think too hard about how hard I was working. And how much harder the rest of the class was working, haha. They were far bouncier than I.

Anyhoot! That’s what’s new ’round these parts. What’s new with you? Anyone meet any neat goals lately, big or small? Do tell!

Peace,

-the Getty girl

The Latest.

October 5, 2010

Hi friends!

It’s been too long since I last caught everyone up. My apologies. I still need to post about my tri and there’ve been lots of other things that have happened since my last postings as well. You can read about more personal-life types of things on my other blog, which I’ve been writing on a bit more lately. However! If you are reading this (thanks for sticking with me!), you deserve some news – and good news at that! :>)

Today, for the first time, I ran 3 miles.

YES!

For about the last 4 years, I have wanted to be able to run all the way around “the loop”. The road that I grew up on (Turkey Neck Road. Yes. I know. Moving on.) supposedly looks like a turkey’s neck because it has a loop at the end; more precisely, the road loops back on itself  and is shaped like a “P” so that there is an intersection – where, by the way, the road signs read “Turkey Neck Road” and “Turkey Neck Road”. It’s got to be a newcomer’s nightmare. I wouldn’t know; I’ve lived here since I was 2. Anyway, I’ve wanted to run the whole thing for ages but it is very hilly and somehow I’ve always run out of steam partway thru.

So! The last time I was home – in late August – I ran from the top of the loop back to my parents’. The midpoint of the loop is basically the top of a hill; one side has a long gentle slope leading up to a steep hill and the other is more like two slightly less steep but still decently intense uphills. That last run (from the top of the loop to our house) is over a mile. It was rough but I did it! Which gave me hope that soon I would be able to run the whole thing, which I’ve never in my life been able to do.

I hoped at that point (8/23) that I would be able to run the whole loop by this weekend, which is Autumn Glory (a big festival in my home county that is sort of like a Homecoming celebration – parades, arts & craft fairs, dinners, “Oktoberfest”, etc.). Lots of people come back for Autumn Glory; it’s always fun to run into people you haven’t seen in ages and the goal each year is for AG weekend to hit the fall colors in all their glory (hence the name). Sometimes you can wear shorts and a tee shirt; sometimes you can be wrapped in 3 layers and still be too cold. But it’s a good time, regardless. Check it out if you’re ever near western MD in early October.

The reason I wanted to be able to run the loop by this week was that there is a 5k in my neighborhood in Philly on Oct 16th that I was thinking of running because one of my goals for this year is to run a whole 5k before my 25th birthday in late November. Technically, I completed a 5k when I did the triathlon but I didn’t RUN the whole thing so it doesn’t count like I want it to.

About a week ago, my friend Leslie wrote me on fb and asked if I wanted to do a 5k over Autumn Glory, the morning of the big parade. Of course, because this is apparently who I am now (go figure! :>), I was pretty easy to suck in, despite my dramatic sighs when it was first suggested. Our online exchange looked something like this:

“Want to run a 5k w/ me on Autumn Glory?”

“Where and what time and how much?”

“Broadford park, 830am, I’ll pay, what size t-shirt do you want?”

And there it was. I was in.

What a push-over ;>)

And today, along with my 2 totally insane doggies, I ran the whole loop from just down the road from our house all the way around and back to our driveway. It’s about 3 miles total.

In closing:

I did it! I did it! I did it!!! :>D

I am a happy camper. I will be able to do the 5k on Saturday. (Phew.) I can run.

I can run.

It’s the darnedest thing.

I didn’t even have the Black-Eyed Peas to keep me company. Just the woods and the dogs and the cold, leafy autumn air. On we trotted. Amazing.

I’ll stop now, it’s just been a looong time coming and I am quite pleased. See, if I can do this, then maybe next year I’ll do a 10k and then I could do a half-marathon and then I could run a marathon before I hit 30! HA! Wouldn’t THAT be a trip? Who’s in for 26.2 miles in 2015, y’all? Hmmm? :>) Plenty of time to train!

More to come. Soon. Truly.

Love&peace&real-fast-feet!

-the Getty girl

10 days ago, I completed my first sprint-distance triathlon. It was supposed to be a 1/2 mile swim, but for safety reasons (specifically so we wouldn’t have to swim under a bridge and back), we did 600 meters instead of 800. The bike was 15.8 miles and the run was a 5k (3.1 miles).

I was never super worried about the swim, because even tho I’m not wicked fast in the water, swimming is my strongest… well, anything really. I did practice in the pool but it’s hard to really get ready for an open water swim when you don’t have any open water to swim in before the big day. (That made me miss home and my lake even more than I would’ve, I must say.)

The bike was my biggest concern. As soon as I started thinking about this tri, the bike was the thing that freaked me out. I could definitely do the swim, I could walk the 5k in less than 45 minutes if I didn’t have any running left in me, but the bike was a big, scary thing – and not just because I didn’t even own a bike 2 months ago! I haven’t ridden a bike at all in several years and haven’t done any consistent riding since I was probably 12 or 13. I rode the stationary bike in college a good bit my freshman year, but that hardly counts, and my knees are not fans of the whole “bicycle” thing. I didn’t even have a bike in Philadelphia when I signed up for the SheRoxTri. I had a mountain bike at my parents’ house and my mom had an old road bike, which she ended up brining to me in late June.

I did a lot of training on the stationary bike at the gym thru May and June, and then in July, when it wasn’t too insanely hot, I would get on the french bike and ride along the river or ride downtown to the branch of my gym where there is a pool, swim 40 laps, then ride home. (Unfortunately, it’s all uphill on the way home, and having swum the 40 laps, I’d be pretty pooped by the time I got home.) I also continued to ride the bike at the gym a lot, going much further and faster than I knew I would be able to on an actual bike during the tri to get myself (har, har) up to speed.

As you know, if you’ve read the blog before, I am not built for running, but I have made great strides this year (again, HAR HAR). I ran a mile in May for the first time and then ran 2 miles at once later this summer in early July. But I knew I wouldn’t be ready to run the whole 5k in the tri this time around, and that was okay with me. I just wanted to get thru the bike and I would crawl the rest of the way if I had to.

In terms of gear, I bought:

a bike helmet

a Speedo (used only for training)

running shoes

Tri shorts

goggles

some energy gels and Gatorade ;>)

I needed a lot of that stuff anyway, and I will likely use the tri shorts for biking in the future. I actually only bought those the day before the race at the Expo/Registration. I really couldn’t afford them, but I am SO glad I got them anyway – I’m 100% sure they were more comfortable than anything else I could’ve worn for the tri and that they saved me from a world of hurt in my lady parts. Sorry, but seriously? The chafing would’ve been unbearable. If you buy one new piece of equipment for a tri – buy the Tri shorts!!! You can get them cheaper at the Expo, too, so it’s not unreasonable to wait until the day before to get them – unless you really want to train in them, which is fair. In addition to the magical shorts, I wore a sports bra and a snug racing tank, courtesy of the American Cancer Society*** (that, too, I received the day before, and was very grateful for).

Amazingly, my brother Joel was able to come and help me get ready the night before the race; the best part of this deal (other than his vast amounts of  knowledge & experience, obvs) was that he brought me his wife’s lovely racing bike. Of course, he didn’t tell me he was bringing it. He just showed up with it at 11pm. (Sheesh.) It was scary to be riding a new bike for the race, but it was much better to be riding one with gears that I would be able to shift (and easily!) and with brakes that worked. He also brought a thing that allowed me to ride the bike in my living room so he could adjust the seat and explain the gears to me, which was good.

*I should note here that for some reason, I just do NOT understand bike gears. I have tried, but something (ironically) doesn’t click. PLEASE don’t take this as an invitation to explain them to me. It will not help. I promise. It’s just important for you to know that I find bicycle gears thoroughly confounding and that as of July 31st of this year, I had never managed to use them effectively.

**I should also note that my roomie Amanda, who is awesome, signed up for the Tri at the Expo the day before, so we spent the day getting ready and being nervous and excited and getting ourselves together and drinking a lot (of WATER, people, come on). She also surely questioned why she was doing it with no training, but she couldn’t resist the allure of it all in the end. She is a runner and she bikes a good bit, so she was mostly worried about the swim.

***I did the tri as part of the American Cancer Society’s DetermiNation. You can read more about that here: http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR/DetermiNation/DNFY10Pennsylvania?px=17429516&pg=personal&fr_id=28346

Ready to Run

June 6, 2010

This entry was originally written on May 20, 2010, a most historic and eventful day in my life, which you are about to read about. Feel privileged.

————————————————————————————————————————————————

I ran a mile today.

I’m sorry, let me re-type that just in case you missed it the first time.

I ran a MILE today.

I’ll just let you savor that for a moment.

…..

Here’s the thing  – I haven’t run an actual mile all at once, not stopping or slowing, since the fall of 1999. Crazy, eh? But true. Gym class. And my friend who was cheering me on and I had a miscommunication that meant I slowed down for what I thought was my cool down lap around the gym, but was really my last lap in the required mile. So really, truly? I ran my first mile today. And that sounds so pathetic, esp since I’ve been running in spurts for the last year and a half, almost exactly. But I have to be proud of it. Because it’s something I’ve never done before, and I can only improve from here. While it may not be a big deal to most people to run a mile, it is a huge deal for me.

I know it was a combination of stress and fury and frustration and the beats of the Black-Eyed Peas that allowed me to do it, but I think the 6 laps I swum in a pool a half hour before I ran and the sauna I sat in to (ironically) “cool off” (read: relax so I didn’t break anything) a few minutes beforehand really helped, too. My muscles were warm. I had already gotten my blood pumping, literally and figuratively. And it was just one of those days when I needed to beat myself into the ground. I get like that sometimes, so full of emotion and despair and frustration and wishful thinking and everything-else-in-the-whole-wide-world that I feel like all I can possibly do is physically beat myself up until I can’t move. I rarely actually do it, but I did today. I was so tired when I got home that the ten minutes of standing required to take a shower were too much, and I had to sit down in my towel for at least 5 minutes to recover after I turned the water off and got out.

Of course I have a second wind now. It’s after midnight as I write this, so of COURSE I have a second wind now :>P It’s in my night-owl nature, I guess. May as well accept it.

So anyway. This mile. A bit of history: in November of 2008, I was planning to move to New York City. My initial plans to find a place with a girl I knew from college fell apart (fortunate, in the end) but in the process of the falling apart, I’d found a woman who was a friend of a friend and seemed great. I went to NYC to meet her and check out apartments shortly after. I spent a week staying with the wonderful Ryan-and-Alex. Their apartment was tiny and I am still amazed and grateful that they didn’t beg me to leave sooner or leave my bags outside after the 4th day. (If you read this – thanks again, fellas :>). That week in the city was huge for me. For the first time, I felt capable of navigating public transit there by myself (previously a consistent disaster). I got around, I looked at apartments, I got to see friends. I even got to see my friend Jed in his Broadway debut in Avenue Q!

All in all, it was a magical week. It was lovely to stay with the boys and trot about each day on my own without work to worry about. I was inspired to write a lot that week (which is something I used to do constantly, but since my heart got broken a few years ago, I’ve tended to shy away. Sometimes self-preservation is more important than remembering. Which is sad. And an other story.). I even made a list of “Things I Want For My Life.” It was a really good list. And when the week was over, and all of my plans for moving were totally demolished (but I was even more determined to move by the start of the new year), I went home. And suddenly, for the first time in my life – EVER – I needed to run.

I don’t know if it was the pace of the city or the simple realization that if I wanted my life to be what I want, I have to go for it. 2009 was supposed to be the Year of Yes, after all. And in lots of ways it was. And in lots of ways, it was not. C’est la vie, eh? The lady I almost found an apt with, the friend of a friend, and I were talking one night while I was visiting and she noted that New York moves FAST and you HAVE to be ready for that. You have to decisive and “scrappy” as she put it. I know that living in New York and working for the (rather rich and powerful) people that I did, I become MUCH more assertive and capable at handling things, for which I am grateful. Life may come at you fast, but it seems like life in New York comes at you faster. So. I needed to run. And this was interesting, because as I said, I’ve never run. I asked my mom once if I ran as a child, like all little kids run around wild. Apparently, I did not. (Shocker.)

So this is not like “oh I used to LOVE to run, why did I get away from that?” I am not built for speed, on any level, and I am not particularly built to run, either. I am (don’t laugh too hard here) like an anti-gazelle. I am the walrus. haha. But I needed to run. So I bought some really good Reeboks (they are white and bright pink and have air pockets and are currently getting rather worn out but I love them, ps) and I followed my bro J’s “Get Started Running” article on how and I started running in intervals. Walk awhile, run a little, walk some more, etc.

And that’s pretty much how it’s been since. I’ve done other forms of cardio that I’m much better at – swimming, the elliptical, the stair-stepper, workout videos – in the meantime. But I’ve had no endurance whatsoever when it comes to running. And I am a slooooooow runner. That point right past where you’re power walking? That’s pretty much where my run is, if I want to go for more than 15 seconds.

But today was like this perfect storm of scorn and warmed up muscles, and away I went. I got on the treadmill and walked for a minute, turned on my iPod, and “I Gotta Feelin'” came on, so off I went. I ran for the next mile, bouncing and singing along to my beloved Black-Eyed Peas without making a sound other than that of my feet. I don’t pound on the treadmill like I used to. I was lighter today. And I ran for the next mile. And then I almost cried, I was in such disbelief. I walked for a few minutes and then ran for 5 minutes more – and then repeated that pattern again. And although I would’ve liked to do one more 5 minute run, I had a feeling that I had done enough.

There were two particularly remarkable things about running that mile:

1) The cramp I developed on the right side of my ribcage, which I have ALWAYS gotten when I run (even when I was 8! It made my mom get me an EKG when I was little because it hurt so much), did not kill me. *gasp!* It actually went away after a couple minutes. There may or may not have been somewhat naughty words flying thru my head while that happened and I made myself keep going, but OH it was good to know that the pain wasn’t the end, that I really could run thru it and be okay.

2) My heart did not freak out. My arrhythmia, which had started to act up after the swim (sudden burst of activity + nerves due to situation + eventual fury over situation + heart arrhythmia + storming to my car from depths of disgusting rec center in crappy West Philly neighborhood wearing only my suit and towel and flip-flops while still completely soaking, dripping wet = bad news bears), did not make an appearance during the run. Yes, my heart rate was high when I ran – 199 beats a minute according to the treadmill – but it didn’t get thready or start skipping and scampering around like it has in the past. I thank a decent amount of sleep and decent nutrition for this second part. Along with steady activity for the last few months.

I’m changing my life. And that, to me, is a most amazing thing.

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NOTE: Explanation of sudden departure from crappy rec center… well, essentially, I went to a lifeguard pre-screen at the most decrepit and gross building I’ve ever been in in my life today, and the guy who was “testing” me was a tool and the requirements were ridiculous and not even the actual national requirements – the city of STUPIDelphia added totally unnecessary crap to the test and I was totally uncomfortable in the building and all the people in charge were totally unhelpful toolboxes. I’ve been swimming since I was 3 and I was a lifeguard for a year, and I could tell they weren’t going to “pass” me so I could get recertified. I’m sure their behavior had NOTHING to do with the fact that I was the only white person for a mile in any direction. So basically, I was in an “I hate Philadelphia” mood, which I really haven’t been in since I moved a month ago. And the scorn drove me to run. Fools.

Loving your neighbor is considerably harder they treat you like garbage. I think Jesus warned us about that, tho… *sigh* For tonight, I am happy with my mile. I think I should actually be able to jog a 5k in the next two months. Aaaaamazing.

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ADDENDUM: I ran a mile again this past week (6/3), walked a few minutes, and then ran a half mile, rinse and repeat, so it was not a one off. I can run a mile, with the proper pacing. Now to continue to build endurance and work up speed.

Letting go

June 6, 2010

This post was originally written on May 11, 2010.

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A Litany of Regrets?

No.

A Bill for Damages.

Not quite.

A List of Facts…

A Letting Go.

Yes. That.

Feeling physically incapable has been a huge part of my life. I started thinking about it tonight, and I’m sure I’ve expressed that idea as a major theme before, but I realized tonight just how much and for how long that’s been true.

Rewind:

Gymnastics. I was 5 or 6. I went to class once a week for awhile. And we were little, so it wasn’t too crazy. And I have to say, I’m not one of those people who remembers every detail of childhood. I barely remember high school, to be honest, so childhood is seriously distant and blurry for me. However. I distinctly remember sitting in class, and then getting up and trying to do somersaults. There were a bunch of mats laid out, end to end, and we had been working on somersaults for awhile. And there I was, trying so hard, to do a forward roll. Easy, right? But even though we’d been working on it, I struggled. One of the instructors had to stick with me all the way down the line. And I remember stopping, and looking over, and seeing another girl from our class doing handsprings. FREAKING HANDSPRINGS!!! We were 5, people! WHAT?! I promptly quit the class. I hadn’t even hit 2nd grade, and I took one good hard look at what my peers could do, realized I couldn’t even come close, and said to myself, “Well, no sense working at this any more.”

Oliver! the musical. I was 13. Pretty basic choreography, mostly box steps and such. I was an orphan and one of Fagan’s boys and the strawberry seller in “Who Will Buy?” (Ripe strawberries, riiipe!) There was this part where we were supposed to click our heels. And I never could get it. I came close, maybe I even did it and didn’t realize because I couldn’t see myself. But for the most part, I totally faked it.

Ask anyone who has had to be in a musical with me and they’ll tell you I suck at dancing. I wish I didn’t. If I could have any gift, it would be to dance with ease. You can’t imagine how much I wish I could dance. It is truly one of the great sadnesses of my life that I’m such a horrible dancer, that it’s SO hard for me to pick up anything more than the most basic things. One of the reasons I love belly dance so much is that it is the only form of dancing I’ve ever tried that I could feel even a little bit good at. I am deeply grateful for that once-a-week gift. So far, in 4 + months of class, there has only been one class where I felt really discouraged. And that was rather circumstantial. Anyway!

Gym Class. 9th grade. One of the great tragedies visited on Southern High’s students is a gym class that’s dual purpose is to a) make you feel like crap if you’re not a natural athlete and b) make you play sports. Not teach you how, just make you play them and make you feel like crap if you don’t already know everything about sports. Example: playing a dribbling game with basketballs one day, the teacher pulls me aside in front of everyone and says (in her super nasal voice), “You look like you’ve never done this before.” I stared at her. “I haven’t.” She was the kind of person who would make comments like “I would’ve EXPECTED them to teach you this in middle school, but I guess I can’t count on them for that.” I wanted to yell, “I didn’t GO to middle school! DO YOUR JOB! TEACH!” Gym class was a low point. Obviously. The grading was totally ridiculous, too. You only got As if you were good at everything. And I’m sorry, but we’re talking about 14 year olds here. You should at least get good grades if you’re trying hard and attempting to learn. In our class, if you didn’t run a 6 minute mile, you couldn’t get an A. (Gag me. A ten minute mile almost killed me that semester.)

These are but a few examples. And I don’t mean to be depressing. I just want to admit that this is the reality I’ve dealt with. That even as a very young child, I felt like I couldn’t do what other people did, and would never be able to.

I’ve been swimming since I was 3, I was on swim team briefly, and I was a lifeguard, too, but I don’t dive. I don’t do somersaults anymore. I’ve never done a cartwheel or a handspring or even a handstand or headstand. I don’t do upside-down, peeps. I just don’t. And I have no desire to. I’m generally okay with that.

Here’s another big downer, because this one, I feel like I need to get off my chest, and then leave at that: a certain relative of mine, henceforth known as WMR (well-meaning relative), has been putting me down about my weight, ever so effortlessly and likely unconsciously, since I was about 10. I don’t see her often and I truly believe that she is a good person and that she cares for me, but for some reason, weight is a blind spot for her. Things like:

  • greeting a cousin my age with “Hi! Wow, you’ve lost so much weight!” followed immediately by “Hi, Abbie.” (I was 10.)
  • my mom saying, “Abbie swims a lot, she’s in the lake all the time-” WMR: “Oh, swimming is a great way to lose weight.” (I was 12 or 13.)
  • my mom is on a visit to WMR and hands the phone over to her. WMR: “What are you doing today?” Me: “Well, I need to go get groceries-” WMR: “Oh, are you on a diet?” (I was 22.)

That last one was the hardest to take, but maybe I only think that because it’s the most recent. It was so unnecessary and so hurtful. I called my friend Marianne, who is like a sister to me, and told her what happened and she confirmed what I felt, that it was a horrible thing to say and that I needed to dismiss it for what it was and talk to my mom about it. I did talk to my mom about it later and expressed that I would really appreciate it if she would ask WMR to stop bringing up my weight. She said she had and would but didn’t know if WMR realized she was doing it or would remember not to in the future (she is an older woman). There are two important things to recognize about that situation – first, this woman is truly a good person and altho I have never been one of her favorites, I do not believe that she would ever intentionally hurt my feelings, and second, that pretty much all of the women in my mother’s family have struggled with their weight, off and on, for their whole lives – some more than others. So maybe it’s her way of trying to connect with me? Or do me good? I have no idea. I will see her soon, and I really hope she doesn’t bring it up, because it will take a lot of self-control to take another of her comments in stride at this point. But that’s what grace is for, right? Covering a multitude of insults… :>p

There have been a thousand other little things like that, tiny almost-unnoticeable barbed comments, thrown at me at different times thru the last decade or so. I won’t bore you with more but there is a LOT more. It’s a lot to let go. But I have to. No feeling sorry for myself. No wishing that growing up had been different. Now it is past and all I can do is learn from it and hope that if I have children, they won’t feel like helpless victims of hateful genetics the way I did.

The following facts didn’t really hit me until a year or two ago: I had this total light bulb moment when I finally recognized that the body I’m in is the body I will always be in. I’m not going to magically wake up on my 25th birthday with the body of Eva Mendes. (So sad, but true.) I guess I kinda felt more like an renter than an owner. I “settled” for my body but it was never what I wanted and deep down somewhere, I was waiting around for my “real” “adult” body to show up so I could live the rest of my life in that. And then one day, I blinked a little and suddenly knew (in that same deep down somewhere) that it wasn’t so. This is it. I am what I am and that’s all that I am. It’s just me and my body – THIS. FLAWED. BODY. (the emphasis is for my benefit more than yours) – for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and health, ‘til death do us part. It took me a solid 22 years for that one to really sink in, and I think sometimes I still forget it. I just don’t remember that I have to work for what I want and that there are some things that I will never have, no matter how hard I may wish and hope and pray and yearn and work.

This is it.

So.

Learn to make do.

Learn to enjoy, regardless of everything.

This is my map for the future.

-the Getty girl

Yowza!

March 19, 2010

Can I just tell you how much the last week has wreaked HAVOC on my poor body?

First of all, I got shin splints last week, probably starting on Wednesday, due to my usual fast pace coupled with a pair of worn out shoes. Ugh. By my walk home on Thursday, I was wincing every step. It was horrible. So I didn’t work out on Friday and moved as little as possible (and took a lot of Ibuprofen). Saturday I did the Fat Burning Express workout, which didn’t kill me but did make me sore the next day (which is fine), and my shins were getting better. Sunday was great, I went to NYC for the day and visited my church and had coffee dates with some of my favorite people. (Other than the disgusting and rainy weather, it was a totally perfect day. I needed that.) Then Monday, my stomach started being weird. And by weird, I mean I felt like I might be getting an ulcer again, which – given the amount of stress I’ve been under for the last few months – is totally reasonable, in a really sucky kind of way. So I was really uncomfortable and no food was any good for my system for like 3 days and I was rather worried about it. Then that started to go away by Wed night, but THEN I got the news late that night that my Aunt Charlotte, who I loved dearly, passed away that morning. She was my mom’s aunt, my great-aunt, and she didn’t have any daughters so she had a special fondness for her sister’s daughters (my mom and her sisters) and I had a special fondness for her. Her husband Jack, one of my fav. people of all-time, died right before my parents and I went to Zimbabwe last fall, so we didn’t get to go to his memorial service. Mom and I did go visit Char in November, tho, once we’d returned from Zim. So that’s hard. It took me awhile to fall asleep last night, as you can imagine, and I was trying to figure out how I could call off work without it sounding like a cop-out. “My great-aunt died” doesn’t sound nearly as significant as it should in this case. “Fortunately”, I woke up with a completely wicked sore throat and could barely talk or swallow, so I called in “sick” instead of “grieving” and fell back to sleep. I realized by this evening that it’s probably allergies. I hate that I have allergies. I never used to, but my senior year of college I got this cough that wouldn’t go away for two months and particularly since that horrible experience, I tend to be a little off in the spring. So I took the day off and spoke as little as possible and got some things done in the apartment and came to terms with the loss of Aunt Charlotte a little better. In addition to the bad news and sore throat of the last day and a half, I have unbelievably sore calves right now. I pushed it when I did the calf raises in Sculpt 3&4 on Tuesday, and then I lit into the run-lunges in Sweat 3&4 on Wednesday like my life depended on it (I blame “Rock that Body” by the Black-Eyed Peas for that one; it was playing at the time and I couldn’t help myself, painful as it was). By the time I drove to my babysitting job that evening, I noticed every time I pushed down on the accelerator. It’s not that it hurt, it’s just that I could feel all my muscles working to push the gas. That’s when you know you probably just pulverized your calf muscles, haha. Ridiculous! So they are still UBER sore today (Thurs), and made going up and down the stairs in the apt and at the house where I babysit… well, interesting. I did do Sculpt 3&4 today, but the calf raises were pretty much impossibly painful so I only half did them. Did the rest of it, tho! Up to 15 man push-ups now! Yeeeaaaaah, buddy!

And now, my friends, after today’s second rubbing of Icy Hot onto my poor wounded calves, I must find something to relieve my throat long enough to let me fall asleep and try to feel rested by 8am. (It’s 1am now.)

So. To sum up: I got kinda beat up this week. But I have 3 more weeks of P90 to go, and a significant amount of fat to get rid of. So in high gear, I must remain. Woo! Go, Getty, go!!!

Up. Date.

February 28, 2010

Sorry it’s been so long, folks! I’ve had a lot going on. The last 10 days have been less than impressive in terms of the Power 90, I must admit. I have passed the halfway mark now – Day 45 was last Wednesday (whoo!). But I’ve been somewhat off track since Day 40 or so (it’s Day 49 now and I am back on track! I’ve decided, hence it must be so). See, all in the same week, I started a new job and opened (and closed!) a show. And I worked out every day up until Friday of that week (even tho because of work and dress, I had worked out at like 130am the night before we opened), but by Friday, I was just completely spent. And since the dressing rooms were two flights of stairs above the stage, I think that my tech/opening day should count as a workout day. Then Saturday, since I was even MORE spent than I’d been the day before, I took the day off completely. Sunday I didn’t do P90, but I did walk a lot with the ‘rents around Center City and the historic district.

Monday I did P90, but Tuesday I took the day off again because I was doing this 2 Day Fast that I got from Beachbody. “Lose up to 7 lbs in 2 days!” You’re supposed to just drink this shake stuff for 2 days and have some fruit if you need it and lots of water to help you detox and you shouldn’t work out too hard because you don’t have the fuel to deal with that. I figured I’d give it a shot and try to boost my metabolism and all that jazz. I was pretty head-achey the first day so I did eat something in the evening of the first day. The second day I did some yoga and mostly just drank the shakes. And I think it did make a bit of a difference, but I wouldn’t particularly recommend it. If you’re going to fast and cleanse, better to do Dr. Gittleman’s detox diet and really commit to it. As ever, the quick fix doesn’t quite fix.

I also took Saturday off (yesterday) because I’ve been fighting off a cold for like a week and with the stress of a new job and the show and about a million other everything-in-my-life-is-completely-up-in-the-air things, I felt like I needed an extra day to physically recover.

So basically, I kinda fell halfway off the wagon and let it drag me around for a little while but now I’ve hauled myself back onto said wagon and intend to stay for the duration :>) Tonight I did the Fat Burning Express workout and YOWZA was it rough, haha. It’s almost all quad/plyo work and when you haven’t been doing it, it kiiiinda hurts. Oops.

Tomorrow brings belly dance class, which also kicks my butt, but I’m getting better at it. Somehow it’s even more painful now than when I started. I guess because if you’re doing it right, you really feel the burn. Belly dance class really is a bright spot in my week; probably the brightest spot, really. I can’t tell you the joy of simply dancing your heart out (and it’s delightful for me to find a class where I can do that because most dancing does not come naturally to me).

Tomorrow also brings the first of March. I have decided that March is going to be a pretty big deal, that I am going to get some serious things accomplished in the month that brings Spring. I gave up fast food and soda and pizza and Chinese food for Lent (the latter being the most difficult), so I must keep all that up. And in general, in March, I want to focus on the coming spring – on cleansing after a long cold dark winter, on growth as a person and an artist, on seeking and finding purpose, on making decisions.

Now you, dear readers – what do you want to accomplish this spring? How’s your progress in getting fit and feeling good these days?

Each day, I must say to myself, “Go, Getty. Go!”

Bring on the spring!!!

-the Getty girl