Monday, August 22, 2011

The 52 Yard Line

I think most of you know how I feel about my age lately, but when it comes to birthdays I'm still apt to be celebrating for months after the actual date of birth. At this point of my life the amount of candles that adorne the cake require an application for a permit in case it becomes a fire hazard. Have I ever spoken to you about by obession with birthday cake? I'm not sure but I am allowed to get away with repeating myself as I slowly approach my "best before" date. Most importantly, it has to be white. Since white isn't a real color, I have accepted my cakes in various versions. White with pink trim. White with purple trim. White with green long as it is white cake, with white icing and lots of sugar laden calories I'm good. I wait anxiously from birthday to birthday to receive my cake. There are 4 other people in the house that celebrate birthdays as well - 2 of which won't even touch cake but they get a white one anyways so I can eat it. Let's pretend it's my birthday all year round so I can eat my white, fluffy piece of heaven. When there is a cake in the house I slowly devour it on a nightly basis....slicing small minute pieces like a neurosurgeon. I then end up eating it in 30 seconds while the cat sits beside me hoping some icing will fall on her head.  Steve on the other hand is a "chunk" by "chunk eater. He cuts a Man Sized piece and eats it with a tiny espresso spoon just to aggravate me. This was the year I stumped my men for a gift....what to get the woman that wants everything? Not an easy task. This past mother's day, the boys overheard me saying that it would be cool to have a waffle iron. So as usual, FO and MO sent YO to the store to buy one. As YO stood in the middle of the small appliance section of a well known housewares store he became confused at the large selection of waffle irons, panini presses and George Foreman grills. After researching his purchase for what seemed like hours, he decided to go for broke and buy a high end waffle maker by Cuisinart. The present was difficult to wrap so they didn't. When they gave me the gift I was so excited (for a split second) but then decided that it was something that would go under the counter and never surface again. It would keep the Food Processor, Blender and a host of other kitchen gadgets and "must-haves" company while collecting dust. And so, back YO went to the housewares store to get a refund. My advice to the boys was to save their pennies and buy me a birthday present in 3 weeks that I would need and use on a frequent basis.

Hence, they returned to the dilema of "what to buy" someone that wants it all.Turning to their pal Steve for ideas... he had one in mind. Let's go back to Steve's BNI (business networking group) for a second. He excitedly came home one day after his meeting to let me know that a new member joined the Flintstone Water Buffalos last week. This is where he met an ex-CFL football player/bouncer/bodyguard who is now a Personal Trainer. During my birthday dinner the kids handed me a card. I opened it and out fell a hand-made gift certificate for 4 training sessions with a former running back from the B.C. Lions/Argos.

So this was my gift. My children and husband bought me a MAN for my 52nd birthday. He was lean, mean and looked like a fighting machine. A true Lady Killer so let's just call him L.K. for now. I was both delighted and frightened at the same time...but wait....what would my naturopath think of this? Have I gone from toilet training to football training? Does this fit in with watching my bristol poo chart? What happened to the ZEN zone I was supposed to be in? I was coming up with a host of excuses again for the possibilty of this falling under the category of being another shmoy boy ploy.....but I knew deep down that it was what I have always wanted.
Star quality. The same kind of training that celebrities have...and don't we all think the same wonder she looks so good... Hells ya.

I was up for it. I was ready to conquer my boredom that enveloped me from the years I spent at  my local community centre gym.

I was psyched for the L.K.

or was I?

I booked the L.K. for the next 4 weeks. Before leaving the house, I ate an Energy bar ( for energy) and a half a banana that was borderline overipe and ready for my banana baking collection. I drove to the small gym facility to find my L.K. anxiously waiting for my arrival. My first session began with 7 minutes of chatting about what my fitness goals were. My answers to the L.K. were similar to the ones I gave to Dr. O.B.L. ( I stiil have that fear of flying and therefore dying) so my goals were fairly straight forward. I gave him clear instructions to try his best to not send me flying so I wouldn't be put into the position of technically dying. He started me out with a set of burpees. I had no idea what a burpee was with the exception of the ones my kids like to do to drive me crazy at the dinner table.
50 burpees, 100 mountain climbers, 30 kettlebell swings, 20 dead lifts, 20 push-ups and a 30 second break.Okay...for sure I can do this but what I didn't realize was...I needed to do this over again three more times or in Trainer terms a Triple Super Set ....I wasn't sure if this still was considered the "flying and dying" express plan but I managed to make it through round one. Next thing the L.K. did was strap me into some boxing gloves and had me whack 100 punches X 4 rounds against his bright blue gloves that were protecting his face. Then there was kickboxing - 100 shots to the L.K.'s shielded groin X 4 rounds.

When this was all over ... I lay panting on the ground like a dog locked inside of a hot car and shvitzing (sweating) like a nun in a strip club ....this is when he politely asked if I needed a drink of water. A drink of water? At that point I needed more than a drink of water. I needed an oxygen tank and a bedpan. The problem was....we were only halfway through the hour and I was starting to feel the banana I ate coming back to haunt me after those 300 burpees. I was taken through another series of grueling moves for the next 30 minutes until finally Mr. L.K. gave me his signal that our hour together was over.  Suddenly I had a craving for rice krispie cereal, possibly because my joints were going SNAP, CRACKLE, POP.  Not wanting to give him the idea that I was weak...I said my goodbyes and made my way to the parking lot where my car waited in a close spot (thank G-d). *Note to self * apply for a handicap permit for next week because I am certain I will need one after my legs give out post "celebrity" workout.

When I walked into the house (notice that I was still at the walking stage 10 minutes after my session?), YO asked me if I enjoyed myself. I told him all about the hour I had endured and hoped that I would be able to make it up to my bedroom to shower without installing a chair lift on the staircase.

As I emerged refreshed after rinsing off the sweat from my newly trained body I noted that I was not only hungry,
I was starving to the point of wanting to completely clean out the fridge - crisper drawers and all....even the open box of baking soda was looking good to me. I got dressed, fluffed up my hair and headed for the stairs. As I put one foot on the first step I felt the second foot not following in the same direction. I had SEIZED. The only way I could make it down to the main floor was to walk sideways one step at time. This was my mode of walking for the next 6 days. One foot down, second foot dragging behind me...exactly like Fritz (Frankenstein's assistant). Yes Master.

There wasn't one part of my body with the exception of maybe my eyelashes that didn't ache - I thought I was in shape (think again).

The next day at work my boss was in the office for meetings. He had asked me several times during the morning to pick up some paperwork he had signed for me but the issue was not in my vicinity. I explained to him that I was temporarily disabled and he would have to wait until I figured out how to make it over to his desk which was only 10 feet away. On a regular routine day I'm constantly running around the office and back and forth down the long hallways.The day after my first session with the L.K. I found myself rolling instead of walking. I rolled my chair wherever it would take me. I rolled over to the door, filing cabinets and was tempted to roll all the way down to the staff room for my coffee. Then at 2:07 p.m. in the afternoon the fire alarm went off. Just what I needed. When you are on the top floor and the alarm starts blaring you are required to vacate the building as soon as possible down the closest stairwell. Slight issue here. I had been rolling around all day in my makeshift office (wheel) chair and I was wondering how the hell I would get out of a burning building rapidly. As everyone grabbed their stuff and flew down the stairs, I held on and maneouvered myself down sideways, YES...Right foot down, left foot down...common everybody let's do the hokie pokie.

I contemplated slithering down the stairs on my stomach at one point but the risk of dirtying my Summer whites was too great. After finally making it outside during the faux fire, we were told that the building was considered safe for re-entry. The elevators where non-operational as they are disconnected during fire evacuations. This meant that I was once again required to perform in the Tony Award winning musical - The One Step Shlep....going up instead of down the stairs.

After a week of solid recovery, I went back for session 2 with L.K. This time I was the one waiting for him to arrive at the gym. I watched through the window which overlooks the parking lot and there he was walking slowly towards the building with a long anaconda snake rope dangling around his neck. My hopes were that the rope had nothing to do with me....this can't be good. So the L.K. stood on one end of this snake while I grabbed the other two ends. It was like playing double dutch with a rope that weighed more than me. Since I really needed to become a female "snake" wrestler because there is a shortage in this field I continued to play this game until my arms dislocated from their sockets. Now instead of being concerned with walking down the stairs one foot at a time sideways I had to figure out how I would lift my fork to eat with broken arms. My choices were...learning to eat with my feet or use a trough....either one would work...right?

Slowly making our way to Session 3 - Week 3 I had no idea what the L.K. had in store for me next. He had already managed to impede my walking skills and then my fork lifting abilities within the first two sessions. Week 3 began the same way week 2 started.  The L.K. was spotted in the parking lot wearing a scary looking piece of exercise equipment around his neck. Once again I wondered what part of me would be malfunctioning for a week after my workout. This time he had a neat idea for part of our hour together. Why not harness me up to haul a 200lb athlete across the gym 6 times? Now this was my idea of fun but before we get too excited about the fact that I accomplished this feat without crying let's talk about workout wear shall we? As hooked as I am with rhinestone  flip flops, I believe I am even worse when it comes to cute outfits for the gym. My motto is ....when you look feel baggy t-shirts and loose pants are not part of my workout attire. I have one Ebay purchase that I made last year that is one of my faves. The only issue is the top does not come equipped with a built in bra.

Here's how you accomplish reconstructing your garment with a makeshift bra so that you don't suffer the dreaded "head light" syndrome. Take two "tittie" pads from one of your old bathing suits and insert them inside your top. This method works like magic until you are trained by a professional who straps his weight behind you and makes you run across the gym like a mishugana (crazy person).  End Result?     My T.P.'s had made their way up and out of my top and were teetering on the edge of falling out onto the floor along with me. Ever have one of those moments where you wish you had a waffle maker instead of a personal trainer? This was one of them.

Session 4: The final freebie before I decide whether I am continuing this self inflicted torture on my dime. What did the L.K. have in mind for me today? I started off the program by distracting him with talking. A clearly good tactic to stall for time before the shvitzfest. Unbelievably, he fell for it hard. I managed to shave a few minutes off the beginning of the hour with my gift of gab. He caught on quickly and soon got down to his usual business of coming up with ways to hurt me.... in a good way. We did our dead lifts, squats, lunges and for the grande finale the L.K. hauled out a large tire which looked like the same ones on an eighteen wheeler truck.

"Here ya go", he said. "I want you to jump up onto the tire, do a deep squat, jump off and roll the tire over until you get it across the gym". Easy....until after my first attempt of jumping ended in falling off the side of the tire. I grabbed for the L.K's ample arm and thought about asking the following question..."Do Jewish girls really belong in the CFL"?

Session 5 is next week. I am thinking of trying football pads inside my top.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

When Nature Calls you answer?

Once again, please excuse my absence. I've been very occupied with travel, work and celebrations. You understand....don't ya?
Let's do a quick recap of my activities and then I'll get to the real meat of this story.

May 15 - 22 - Aruba ( so fun but lots of only rains once in a blue moon there...we had the blue moon.
Hired Hazel 5 (the cleaning lady)
May 30 - FO's birthday
(fired Hazel 5)
(hired Hazel 6)
June 18 - Anita & Frank's Wedding (danced like a lunatic and had the best time ever!)
(fired Hazel 6)
June 20 - July 1 - My birthday followed by ongoing celebrations
(hired Hazel 7)
July 7 to July 12 (visit to the Hamps...spent time with family, ate, swam and baked apple strudels)
July 12 to present - trying to finish writing this blog but never got around to it until NOW.

Back in June I decided to make an appointment to see a Naturopath. Let me define what this type of "Doctor" does:

"Naturopathic Medicine, is a form of alternative medicine based on a belief in vitalism, which lays down the premise that a special energy called vital energy or vital force guides bodily processes such as metabolism, reproduction, growth, and adaptation. Naturopathic philosophy favors a holistic approach, and, like conventional medicine seeks to find the least invasive measures necessary for symptom improvement or resolution, thus encouraging minimal use of surgery and unnecessary drugs."

Sounds good to me.

The reason behind my search for a "holistic" approach to my current state of well-being is two-fold.

1. I have been dealing with a skin issue since I was 13 and it annoys me...and

2. I am starting to melt. (yes, you heard me right....  at this age my body clock is doing more tocking than ticking)

My Doctor of Naturopathy was referred to me by Steve who met him at a business networking group he belongs to. The networking group meets once a week at 7:00 a.m. They have breakfast together, do presentations and have weekly draws with prizes (exactly like the Flintstone Water Buffalo's - they even have a Grand PooBah). Steve enjoys it so much but I just can't seem to relate to the concept of paying $1,300 per year to have breakfast and get $1,299.99 in business referrals.... so for the penny profit I'll sleep in thank you.

So Dr. R. is a skinny fellow from Pakistan. He is soft spoken, extremely polite but reminds me of Osama Bin Laden sans the turbie twist. Before arriving for this appointment I was instructed to fill out a 15 page questionnaire. It was a cross between a health form and a psychiatric assessment. There were some primo questions on this form:

1. Describe your perfect day:
my answer......
My perfect day (in my dreams) would consist of waking up at 10 a.m.and having a Lumberjack breakfast served to me by my pool. At 11 a.m. I would workout with a trainer who looked like George Clooney. Then at 12:30 p.m. I would eat a high in fat hearty lunch on the deck of my 10,000 square foot home in Tahiti.  Sometime around 4 p.m. I would have a manicure, pedicure and a blowdry followed by booking a dinner reservation to a 5 star restaurant overlooking the beach...

2. How often do you experience a sense of profound unity with the world/universe or a higher power?
My answer....

Um...what was the question?

His office is located inside of  his home on a busy thoroughfare. The instructions were to park on the left side of the driveway and walk down the right side of the house and make a left turn at the back of the house and another left turn into the entrance door. it.

I opened the door and found myself inside a very bright waiting area, lots of skylights, floor to ceiling windows...and then there was the music...If you know what I am like I have very particular taste in music. If I can't dance to it, I don't like it. So there I sat, listening to zen-like chords of sound beating inside my brain. I closed my eyes and visualized a drop of water falling in the middle of my forehead...chinese torture in a waiting room....I began to recall the other list of questions I answered on the form:

Do you consider yourself well grounded?
My answer:
Yes, as soon as I get off the airplane

Rate your ability to acknowledge and express your feelings:
My answer:
I can acknowledge how I feel by how far I can throw my headset after dealing with irate people all day.

How would you rate your ability to manifest your will?
My answer:
I have left everything in my Will to my two cats.

How often do you feel happy?
My answer:
Are you talking about at the moment?

Do you meditate or have strong spiritual experiences?
My answer:
I  have strong spiritual experiences 3 times a year - Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Passover (but I don't like Matzoh)

Are you consciously aware of your thoughts, actions,
My answer:
If I wasn't conscious, wouldn't I be DEAD?

My appointment time was scheduled for 1:45 p.m. was now 2:15 p.m.( I was alone in the waiting area so I knew I was next in the non-existent line). The strange thing was...I have no idea why Osama B.L. kept me waiting ...perhaps it was his way of introducing you to a calm environment (however, the zulu music was making me want to shoot myself in the left eye much for calm).

He finally emerged from what I could see was a darkened room. O.B.L. introduced himself and escorted me into a small room with two leather chairs. Once in the "zen zone" he proceeded to go over my health and wellness questionnaire. I answered  his queries in as much detail as possible until he arrived at the Bristol Bowel Scale. Hands up if you have ever heard of this chart. Just as I thought, not too many of you have seen it so let me insert the diagram so that you can keep a copy of a POO Chart in your pocket...just in case you need it.

Okay are you gagging yet? Well, I was trying not to but I kept my composure when asked the 64 thousand dollar question....and that was.......What does your poo look like in the morning...? As I studied the piece of paper he had just handed me I became confused. I verily believe, like  most people, that poo is not examined in the morning *with the exception of my children who like to think their poo comes out in the coolest shapes and sizes. I am usually ecstatic that I HAVE TO poo so that takes precedence over the act of viewing it. My issue was...I couldn't let O.B.L. know that I didn't get my P.P.E.(professional "poo" examiner) degree in University so I came up with my answer..."I can safely say that I am a cross between a Type 4 and a Type 5" pooer".

Note: To my loyal readers...If you want to stop right now because you are too grossed out to continue I will understand....I'm warning you does get better from here....

As O.B.L. documented the U.S.M.P. (United States of  My Poo), I had to think of sad things so I wouldn't laugh but then he shot me the second question...and that was..."what color is it"?

I had to think long and hard on this one....."well, it's a cross between your pants and the color of your throw rug" I said. O.B.L. seemed very satisfied with my answer despite the fact that he must have clued in about his pants and rug resembling a shade of shit.

"So, I see noted here that you have a fear of flying", Dr. Osama Bin Pooing asked.

"Yes, I don't like to but I want to go places and have no other choice but to get on the plane", I answered.

"I see, what exactly is your fear connected to",  he asked.

"dying", I answer

"you have a fear of dying or flying"? he asks.

"both", I answer.

"And what about your present concerns with menopause", he asks.

"My concerns are these Doc. body stopped producing marketfresh eggs back in December...I am shvitzing (sweating) like a brisket in a crock pot and my body is changing....the only good thing about this scenario is that I can buy more shoes with the amount of money I am saving on feminine hygiene products". I answer.

"I see", he answers.

Another thing you may or may not know about me is this...I was and always will be my father's daughter. Growing up he taught me the wisdoms of life. His belief was that if it looks too good to be true it usually is. He also taught me some great sayings in his own language...although it loses a lot in translation I will tell you anyways. He had a term for everything that was considered Bullshit.... "Shmoy Boy". He also had another term that will be difficult to write but is went something like this. "Veeinsah Shmrodjah Yak Yazdah"...translatation?...THIS IS GOING TO CAUSE MORE SHIT THAN GOOD.

A wise man.

At the conclusion of our visit O.B.L. went over my needs and treatment plan. He wanted to do some simple tests to determine what will be the best fit holistic-wise to cure my list of physical "issues". But before he could fully prescribe a host of hocus pocus remedies he would need to take a lock of my hair (a one inch spot from the back of my head) to analyze its properties. Cut a one inch spot from the back of my head? Are you kidding  me? He wasn't kidding and could see that I was horrified at the thought of being shaved deep into my roots. He then came up with another less invasive suggestion. "You could always go into the washroom and shave some hair from down there". "Down where" ? I asked. "Down there" he pointed to his brown colored crotch. That is when I held my hand up and said whoa "I think I will pass on the hair test Dr. Osama Bin Shearling."

As a rule I would consider myself a very co-operative patient. Ever since I was little I behaved very well in any doctor's office. That's why I was allowed to go to Woolworths and buy all kinds of good crap as a REWARD. Where I drew the line here was....the zen music, the poo views and to top it off the witch doctor wanted to invade my fresh highlights and the Netherlands with a pair of scissors and a razor. No thank you Bob.

When I refused the haircut (for his collection of shrunken heads I bet), he suggested we do a urine sample for now. I had to agree for fear of being thrown to the Taliban insurgents that were waiting for me in his backyard. I was given a small container and off I went to try to complete the mission. I opened the bathroom door, sat down and placed the cup beneath me....accompanied by those dam zulu tunes I managed to provide a full cup of liquid gold for the this time the waiting room was full of other Zen activists and I was amazed that the time was now 4 p.m. - time flys when you are locked in a dark cave.

Dr. O.B.L. presented me with 4 holistic concoctions for me to try at home before my next appointment. One was Bach Flower drops ( the exact same stuff we gave to our cat who has O.C.D. (obsessive compulsive disorder) She licks all her fur off and then pukes up a hairball on a daily basis. Such a lovely pet.
The next remedy was an extremely vile smelling oil for my skin. Then he provided me with drops to use for the shvitzing (sweating). Last but not least, some pills to take before I calm my fears of flying and subsequently dying.

I was told to try these voodoo remedies for a week and see if they work.

Here are the results after taking this stuff.

Bach Flower Drops:

I suddenly felt like forefeiting my daily shower and lick myself with my paw instead I began craving Friskies Cat Treats in the evening.

Skin Oil:

First I had to deal with the aroma. I smelled like a cross between a sardine and a old piece of cheese.  My skin turned a weird hue of green, I needed to sleep on dark sheets and to top it all off it made the condition worse. 

Drops for Symptoms associated with my expiration date coming to fruition:

Remember the Wicked Witch of the West from the Wizard of Oz? Well, I morphed into her, greenish color, melting and all.

Calm Flying Pills:
I took one the night before I flew to NYC in July. It gave me a vivid nightmare that I was on a large pirate ship with a patch over my eye (probably related to shooting myself in the left one while listening to that music in Osama's waiting room)

Dr. O.B.L. called me last week to follow up with me .... more than likely because I never rebooked my second appointment. After a few minutes of coming up with various excuses for my absence I told him I would get back to him (when cows fly and small aliens invade the earth)....whichever one comes first.

My father was seemed to good to be true and to that end I will continue to hold onto my membership at the Shmoy Boy club.