Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

Merry Christmas

Week 9 complete!   Brutal, but complete.   Yes, even on Christmas eve, Christmas day, AND boxing day.  Gold star to me ;)

A couple new videos this week.  Decelerator was on Monday and I really didn't enjoy that one.   Disappointing as it's in twice next week *sigh*  It didn't feel like it was all that challenging, but I was *really* dragging through MMX the next day, which I usually enjoy, so it obviously made me work a little harder than I'd thought.

Eccentric Lower and Eccentric Upper were both really good and decently challenging, although I need to buy more weight for eccentric lower.   There the focus is on really slow down and then fast up -- regardless the move.  For most things that was okay.  For push-ups it was absolutely brutal.  Completely toasted me.

On the plus side, am finally starting to see results, so that's nice ;)

Just realized I haven't done a single Friday Flash this year -- and there are no Friday's left :(  Boooo.  Moving every Friday made that more of a challenge than I'd expected.   Fail.

Anyways -- really looking forward to a day of nothingness tomorrow.  Then a ton of stuff to do in the week off ;)

Hope you had an amazing Christmas!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

So it was time to get our Christmas tree; despite the fact that we're still in the house with the giant ceilings, we were thinking something slightly smaller than last year...  Figured we'd go to the store, pick up a tree, and come home.  That's what civilized people do right?

So we ended up driving down this driveway at a tree farm...
...that had this very promising sign.
The farm had a Christmas Store with all kinds of nick nacks and decorations, but sadly no tree skirts, which was the one thing we actually needed.

We ventured out to look at the trees, but those that had been pre-cut were rather sad looking.  So we grabbed a saw and went in search of a tree.

This is not as much of an adventure as you might otherwise think...
Of course the tree Chris liked best was green.
But in the end we decided it'd be a white Christmas.
They had no sleds available when we got there, so Chris and I dragged it back to the road, then he went and got the truck for the rest of the trip.  When we got back to the shopping area, we took the tree over to where we'd picked up the saw, and it was placed on the shaker.

Loading the tree on the shaker
This slightly ingenious machine literally shakes the tree, encouraging all loose needles, pine cones, leaves, and critters to vacate.  Awesome idea.   Following the shaking the tree was loaded onto the tree version of a hay bailer.

After it was eaten by this machine, it came out all nicely compacted and wrapped.
All in all an amusing day, with the snow gently falling in an appropriately picturesque manner.  The tree is now up in our living room, but as I lack the ambition to decorate it at the moment, you'll have to wait till tomorrow for that picture ;)   I am, however, thoroughly amused we cut our own and glad we did.  Just seems like one of those things you should do at least once.  Check.

Although we still don't have a tree skirt -- those things are remarkably hard to find!

Once you've gone half way, you know you can make it all the way.

So I'm officially half way through P90X3!   Woohoo!   Silver star to me :)   Lessons learned this week -- doing The Warrior and MMX on the same day is a horrible life choice.  Just trust me on that one.

I also managed to scrunch my spine in today's workout -- no idea how as wasn't doing anything that should even have the potential for that, but ow...   Was okay most of the day but now just ow :(   Hoping it doesn't stay hurt for too long, but worst case I'm on vacation the week before xmas and can go visit chiro if I have to.

At half way through I'm liking the change in my strength, but cardio and weight not so much.  I think I'm going to have to suck it up and start running again.  Much as I dislike running, it really does have the fastest and best result of any exercise I've ever done.  I just hope the weather holds a few more weeks...   I suspect once I drop said pounds, maintaining with a P90X type program will be np at all.   Mostly though, I'm liking the fact that I'm getting into the habit of exercise again.   Having something specific to do every day that only takes 30 mins makes it a lot easier to regain that habit.

Now the interesting challenge will be continuing through the holidays ;)   The exercise part will be no challenge since I'm off work, so that buys me some time.   But the food part....  hmmmmm

Almost half way through...

Finished week six of P90X3.   Week SIX!  Already.  That is fairly unbelievable to me.   And the word of the week is sore.  More so than any other week so far *sigh*    I thought I was doing so well -- Tuesday I completed all of the Warrior with no modifications or exhaustion.  Sweet.  Yoga/Pilates day got moved to the weekend so that I wouldn't have to move all my gear to Paris (the joys of living in two homes).  MMX was still entertaining the second time around, although far less overwhelming this time as I had some idea what was going to happen.  But the Thurs/Fri combo of Incinerator and CVX just toasted me entirely.   Fri night woke up in the middle of the night with back, shoulders and quads screaming at me.  I suppose I should be glad that's only the second time that's happened since starting this program, but I definitely was not so amused last night.  And today (Sat) I've been dragging all day.

I can do almost all the exercises in this week's videos -- the only ones I can't are the pull ups and chin ups.  Chin ups, on a good day I can get about half way.   hahhaha if I can do one chin up by the end of this, I'll be pretty stoked ;)   And as for pull ups?  Yeah, they're more of a hang and swing activity at the moment. We shall see.  The rest though I can manage to some degree, and I do like the days that include the weights -- way more interesting.

So far though, I've been able to check off every single day.   Some days it's more of a challenge than others for sure, but I've at least shown up.  The fact that it's only half an hour is actually fairly motivating -- I can't justify spending that time on Facebook if I haven't at least made an effort to exercise and I don't need to go anywhere to do it.  Half an hour before dinner or before opening my kobo or whatever -- it's doable.   Some days harder than others certainly, but doable.

Have to admit, I'm looking forward to rest day tomorrow ;)

Literally fighting fat

Today's workout might be the first of all of them that I'd actually deem fun.   It definitely would've been the better choice to burn off steam yesterday.  Partially because it's all cardio and partially because I had to concentrate so much I couldn't think of anything else ;)

Why is that?  Well today's workout was MMX.  Which I assume is a take-off of mixed martial arts that randomly needed an X worked in.  However, as with yoga and pilates, it relies on a previous knowledge of the movements.  Which I don't have.   In pilates, I know the movements, so that was no problem.  In yoga, everything moves so slowly even not knowing wasn't much of  a challenge to catch up.   But in MMX, there are more moves and they're *fast*.  As in don't blink.  And I blinked.  Several times *sigh*

So essentially I did about a third of the workout.  Not cause it was exhausting, but because I spent the first third of every movement trying to figure out even vaguely what they were doing.   I knew I wasn't keeping up when I wasn't exhausted at the first break.  BUT - not once did I find myself looking at the clock.  Every instant was spent either trying to analyse what they were doing or trying to replicate it.  hahaha oh dear.  I'd catch my reflection in the window and realize what I was doing - while it felt all kinds of impressive - did not, in fact, look even remotely like what they were doing on TV.  Except the elbow jab.  Apparently my elbows are coordinated?  So random.

Take-aways from today:
- in a fight, the only way the other guy is going to be injured is by accident *sigh*   Perhaps when I'm actually living in one house, some form of self-defense course would be worthwhile...  Sheesh.  Or a more structured version of this even.  That could be fun :)
- I find exercising way more entertaining when I have to fully focus on what I'm doing.  I actually knew this, but it's been a very long time since it's happened so was fun to see it's still in play.  Step aerobics is the last time I remember doing that and that was in uni.
- I am going to be very sore in new and unusual muscles tomorrow.   Just stood up and realized how tight I already am just from sitting here typing this.  Oh dear.
- It may, in fact, be possible to punch yourself in the face.  For the record this didn't actually happen, but it might've come closer to happening than I was actually comfortable with ;)

So yeah -- I'm not sure anything I did even vaguely resembled what I was supposed to be doing, but even with breaks to figure out what was going on, but the end I was all kinds of sweaty and now I'm feeling new muscles, so we're going with it works.  And it kept me entertained.

Tony's advice of the day: "Don't smash your face."

They say when you don't know where to start, you should start at the beginning.    So our whole universe was in a hot dense state.  Then nearly fourteen billion years ago expansion started.  Wait.  Too early?   Okay, well fast forward to this morning then...

So those who read this blog with any regularity (thanks btw -- I'm always rather thrilled and amazed that anybody other than my mom and my husband read this ;).  Anyways -- those of you will be aware that I've committed to completing the P90X3 program.  And I discovered very early in that the only way I would actually manage to complete the exercise every day was if I did it first thing in the morning.  If I wait till I get home from work I'm either A, exhausted, or B, have somewhere else to go.  Not the world's best plan.  Alright, so have to work out first thing.

That being said, this morning I knew I was going to have to leave work early.  But work is fairly entertaining at the moment -- by which I mean I'm slightly insanely busy -- and things that need to get done don't end early simply because I want them to.  The nerve.  End result being I needed to go in early.  But well, I'm just not a morning person.  And getting up an extra 45-60 mins early to work out is ridiculous enough.  Adding another hour (which, do the math, means 4:30 am) to get to work early is just not going to happen.   Ever.  Okay well it's Wednesday.  This is good.  The reason this is good is that Wednesday is yoga day -- the only day in which I can potentially have just as effective workout exhausted as fresh.  Usually Chris and I go out for dinner on Wed night, but I deemed that even if I didn't get home till 9 and had just eaten, I could still handle yoga.  

So skipped Tony -- despite the fact that it was one of those days I could really *use* yoga.  After Triometrics and The Warrior, my quads were pretty much on strike when I got up.  But sobeit.  Fast-forward through work which was crazy but productive to the eye clinic which was the reason I had to leave early.  No emergency thankfully, just a scheduled check up.   A little bit of a pain because now it's winter.  So I'm trying to juggle my work bag, my wallet, and my huge puffy winter jacket (cause, well, I don't like cold.  And I deem everything under about 25 - that'd be celsius people - to be cold) on this tiny little seat in an absolutely packed waiting room.  Fun.  

Eventually I make it in and ask the doctor about the fact that my eye is still red, often sore, and the pupil is still dilated (I'm now 2.5 months since finishing dilating drops).   The eye is inflamed and the pupil is squished up against the fake lens.  Awesome.  Fortunately this is apparently a non issue -- back on steroid eye drops and should see noticeable difference within a few days.  Don't have a ton of hope for that re pupil size since it's the same drugs I was on before, but hopefully will help w at least the red eye.

Alright so then the rest of the check-up.  He didn't quite believe the results of my vision test (an assistant of some sort does that earlier) so he had me redo that.  Apparently my vision has actually improved in that eye.  Woohoo!  Now just to put this in perspective, you know the giant E at the top of the eye chart?  Yeah -- that's the one I could read.   I *thought* I could read that one last time too, but it was really clear this time.  And I could see shapes on the second line, but my guess at the letter was wrong.   Okay -- pleasant surprise as that really isn't likely to get better till the oil is removed.  Strong start.  Should've quit while we were ahead.

Yup, turns out there's more scar tissue.  "That shouldn't even be possible with this oil in your eye."  Great.  I am honestly *so* tired of being the exception to everything eye related.   Apparently I'm too young and too healthy so my body is being overly efficient at healing itself.  I honestly never thought young and healthy would have negative consequences when it came to healing.  Especially when I'm feeling particularly old wrt getting back in shape.  Sheesh.  He explained that they would probably need to do surgery to remove it but wanted to consult with the surgeon.

I was not a happy person at that point.  My brain has mostly gotten used to the fact that everything in that eye is blurry.  I hardly notice it now except in low light or if something blocks part of my vision from the good eye (sitting in an audience, if the person in front of me moves slightly, I lose the picture entirely.  One of those things you never think of when your eyes work properly together).  I still have real issues with the lack of peripheral vision.  It's a pretty serious detriment in that I forget I can't see there so I have no idea what's going on beside me.  Not so bad when driving because I'm hyper aware then, but walking down a crowded street, or navigating public transit is a whole lot less fun now.  So thinking that I'm going to have to start all over again now -- when I'm 1/3 of the way through P90X3, and really busy at work, was just not something I wanted to consider.   Not, tbh, that I'd have any choice *sigh*

So the surgeon comes in and looks and deems that while it does need to be surgically removed, it can wait till they do the surgery to remove the oil.  And he wants the oil to stay there for at least another three months.  So barring any changes, we wait till then.   Of course I'm a little concerned in that each of the other times my retina detached, it was the peripheral vision that went first.  Since I no longer have said peripheral vision, I'll have even less warning if it does detach :(

Climb on the train to go home and tbh at this point all the stresses pretty well combined.   Not being able to sell the house, having to relocate every weekend and the resulting inability to get anything accomplished, busy at work, worried about my vision, not able to ride...   Everything all kinda squished into one.  Went home exhausted and headachy and just slightly angry at the world.   When I'm really upset about something and don't have the barn to retreat through, somewhere along the way I learned that exercise was an okay way of rebalancing things.  Never as good as an amazing ride or even just a grooming session with my favourite pony.  But an okay substitute.  

However it needs to be real exercise.  Yoga simply isn't going to cut it.   So I looked ahead during the week.   The Incinerator sounded like it might work.  Technically it's not till Friday, but it does use the pull up bar, and, well, I have this handy-dandy new pull up bar...   So...   I deemed yoga could wait till Friday and did a quick switch.

So this might be my favourite one yet.  Entirely arms/shoulders/back, it's all about pairing sets of exercises to completely exhaust yourself.  Uses weights and a pull up bar -- either of which can use a resistance band instead.  And part of what I really liked is it's quantitative -- you're encouraged to record what weights you're using and how many reps you're doing to compare over future weeks.

Now they tended to alternate between "do 10 reps" and "do as many reps as possible in 30 seconds".   Except I kept forgetting the 10 part and trying to do as many as possible.  Thinking that wasn't the best idea.  And there are a few exercises I'll watch a little more carefully next time just to make sure I have the right grip as the slightest change seems to effect which muscle is worked.   You're supposed to select weights accordingly and certainly the bigger guys were mixing it up on the screen.  But I used my massive  5 lbs weights for all of the exercises ;)   And only two did I find too easy at that -- they can move up to 10 next time (cause, well, those are the only two options I have ;)  I do expect my arms and shoulders will be rather sore tomorrow.  Esp as this is really the first day in the program that's actually focused on them.

As to the pull up bar.  I could get almost half-way to a chin up.  And only an inch or so into a pull up.  Yeah.  Sadly I'm not exaggerating.  And the instruction is "as many as you can with good form in 30 seconds".  Right.  So that would be zero.  Way to set the bar low ;-P   And even my fractional ones I could only do about 5 of.  I see all kinds of opportunities for improvement!   hahaha I do have a resistance band, so depending on the day may hook that to the bar as I suspect may be more successful.  But I'd like to be able to do one.  Just one.  It's been a back-of-the-mind goal since the last gym membership I had...   So we'll see.  Still eight weeks to go.

I have noted that this routine if you don't randomly sub it in for yoga day, is followed by CVX.  That's the weight/aerobics combo.   That's all kinds of cruel.  But potentially effective.  

Anyways, so workout was good from a new exercises point of view, but it didn't have the burn-off-frustration aspect I was looking for.  In hindsight, I should've picked tomorrow's MMX.  Mostly because I'm pretty sure it's all cardio fighting imaginary monsters.  But hey -- wanting to play with my new toy got me off the couch and that's what counts.   However, since I was still a pretty unhappy person, I decided I'd go for a run to the drug store to pick up my perscription.  New lulu lemon pants (hey - my legs and butt are starting to look like they've done some work.  It's fair :) and a big baggy sweatshirt (partially cause I was still in cold and grumpy mode) and out I went.  

The run there, albeit short, was actually really good.  And helped restructure my mood.  Alas, sweatshirts are actually the worst thing ever to work out in.  Not only do you sweat, but the little beads of sweat attach themselves to the inside of the sweat shirt.  Which kicked in as soon as I walked into the heated pharmacy and made for a long cold walk home.  Ugh.   Ah well -- the only real task of the day was accomplished, so that's what counts.  And I got my 10000 steps.  hahaha

For those of you with fitbits -- have you noticed any serious inaccuracies since the latest update?   I'm getting about the same amount of steps I expect, but where it used to often miss flights of stairs I did, now it's giving me ridiculous numbers.  It said I did 211 flights today!  Ummm no.  Although at one point it listed 422, so 211 is certainly more reasonable *g*  And 95 of those were on the walk from my office to the eye clinic.   Have you been to Toronto?  It's flat.  Very flat.  And it's all of about a half-hour walk with a lunch stop.  There's no way I did 95 flights of stairs in half an hour period.  And the new exercise feature which I actually love in theory is a little iffy on what it chooses to record.  But that's okay cause my handy calendar tells me about each day's workout.

Have a super early and super long day tomorrow before trying MMX for the first time.  Might be a challenge.  Or might get yoga subbed in and MMX bumped to Fri where I have a much more normal day :)   Oh so very many options.   We shall see...

I really think that tossing and turning at night should be considered exercise.

"Day 1 is Triometrics.  All balance and work in the legs.  You got this!"

Right.  It turns out even your good friends feel the need to lie to you occasionally ;-P   Thanks Nicole.

So, as you may have guessed, it was a new video today.  And Nicole's assessment was correct -- it is indeed all balance and legs.   ALL balance and legs.  Translate that to essentially a half-hour of squats, chair sits, and a lovely combo of both.  On one leg.

My balance is pretty solid so that one wasn't as much of an issue, although I could see how it easily could be.  But while I thought my leg strength was also pretty good, I got thoroughly schooled :(   And just like the very first day of this adventure, walking down the stairs afterwards was an iffy proposition.  Squats, that is, normal squats, I can do pretty much forever.  Some of these variants though...  Oh dear.  And combining squats with push-ups is just evil.  Pure evil.

Now the way this works is simple.  Each exercise runs for about a minute, with three progressively more challenging variations.  Read that again.  Progressively *more* challenging.  As in it starts out hard, 20 seconds later as your muscles are fatiguing it gets harder.  Then when you're seriously considering that falling over just might be the ideal solution to this situation, it becomes more intense.  Awesome.

hmmm in related news -- did Pilates X for the first time last week.  It was okay in that it's definitely a decent ab workout in 1/2h, but tbh it was nowhere near as intense as Christine's pliates classes. Christine being an amazing pilates coach I learned from a few years ago.   I imagine it's actually the same for all the activities -- but I've little to no experience in any of the others, so for them I've no comparison.

I'm a little concerned about the rest of the week.   Given the focus on legs this half of the week, I suspect the later half of the week will be arms.  You know, those spaghetti-like appendages that have zero strength?  Right.  I just might be in trouble.  Esp as I heard rumour of chin ups...

As for how things are going -- still eating more than normal (although trying to be healthier in my choices).  I feel both my strength and cardio getting better, but was very disappointed when none of the measurements had changed after the first month :(   Booo.   Try harder for month two and see what happens.   I do like the change-up of the videos though; just as I was starting to get bored, they've changed.  And conveniently kept the ones I liked most and ditched the couple I really didn't like :)   That being said, I suspect they've been replaced with more challenging ones, so we shall see.

And tomorrow is the Warrior...   Using legs that trembled walking down the stairs.  Oh dear.

Don’t put 'banana' and 'hammock' in the same sentence.

Dynamix day today in my P90X3 adventures.  Now every Sunday has an option of Dynamix or Rest.  I am, in fact, a reasonably intelligent human being (stop laughing or I'll send my winged monkeys after you!)

Ah  hem, back to my story.  Suffice to say, given the option of rest in the midst of an intensive exercise program, I will generally pick rest.  Or at least, do some non-P90X related activity.  So today was my first experience with Dynamix.  Given that it's counterpart is rest, I foolishly thought it'd be easy stretching or something.

Right.  About that.  My shoulders and neck are *screaming* at me.   And have been since about 6h after completing.  Kinda dreading tomorrow...   Now, tbh, it is in-fact the easiest workout.  The premise is pretty much that you're constantly moving and the goal is to increase that range of movement.  But you're not moving particularly quickly and all the moves are on 30 second intervals (which after all week of 45 intervals, 30 is pretty friendly).  End result being I was *way* more successful than I usually am.   Especially as it was done after isometrics yesterday so my muscles weren't even toasted to begin with.

Only thing that really hurts is the neck and shoulders.   Don't recall stressing them but definitely did something.... Ow.

Oh and the title?   Just a random statement from today's video that I thought deserved a shout out ;)

Slow progress is still progress. Right?

Continuing the P90X3 saga -- I always figured the 3 was because it was the third version of P90X, but now I'm rethinking that.  The three is really a warning about week three.   For reasons I don't entirely understand, this week has been SO hard as far as motivation goes.   Proud to say I did, in fact, do every day.  But I had to fight for it.  Really glad for the printout of that schedule.  Getting all the way through and having one day not crossed off would be very difficult for my little type A brain to deal with.  Easier to suck it up and do the workout.

Even a bad workout is better than none, right?
Once I actually got moving, the workouts were actually pretty good this week.   I'm able to do at least some version of all of the movements now.   Well almost.  There are two that are still entirely beyond me.  The crow, which let's see...  Hands on the floor, elbows bent at a little over 90 degrees, rest knees on forearms and hold your balance.  It looks almost as though you were trying some awkward manner of getting into a headstand position, except that your head isn't on the ground and you never straighten your legs.   Oh, and then hang out there for 45 seconds or so...

This one I may get someday but hasn't happened yet...
And then there's the standing splits which are simply never going to happen.  But barring those two I can complete some variation of all the workouts now.  I'm still super sore after pretty much every one, but now I'm completing them.  So that's all good.   But the motivation to actually *do* them -- way more of a battle this week than previously.   Next week is a new schedule though, and theoretically a "rest" week -- although all the same videos, so not sure how much of a rest that'll be ;)

Overall -- strength and endurance, particularly in my legs, is noticeably better than it was.   My cardio has also improved.   Abs and arm strength are slower to develop.  Abs, I think, because most of the core workouts also require arms and my arms being much weaker give out before the abs really get worked out.  Fail.  So I'm supplementing sit ups and other fun things on random days.

Weight, despite improved diet and all the workouts, has not moved at all.  At least I'm not gaining, but not losing either :(   Big booooo on that.   I will never be one to eat well, but when I make a reasonable effort, I'd really like to see at least *some* results.  Measurements I don't know yet -- supposed to do those again at the end of next week.  Not sure how reliable it'll be as I didn't tattoo exactly where I took them the first time, and it'd make a difference.  But I did bookmark the site I got the instructions from so I'll follow them again and see if any change.

Neither hungry nor exhausted all the time this week though so that's good.  Still sore more often than not, but surviving.

One new video next week and a whole bunch the following week.  Wish me luck!

I say "Morning" instead of "Good Morning" because if it were a good morning, I'd still be asleep.

Yup, so that’s pretty much how this week has been.   I’m not nearly as exhausted as I was last week (although still sleeping more than normal life).  But hungry. So hungry.  All. The. Time.   I could legit adopt the hobbit meal plan and *still* be snacking between meals.   Yesterday I managed to use all my allotted calories by lunch.  Today?  Well slightly better, but there aren’t actually enough left for dinner – unless dinner is a grape or two.  And, well, refer to the top of the post.  Suffice to say a grape or two is not going to cut it.

But other than that – my body seems to have acclimatized to the first-thing-in-the-morning wake up or else situation.  While I certainly can’t suddenly keep up with the tv people, I’m able to do quantifiably more than I could last week.   Which is cool cause I actually expected, given a week of exhaustion, to be able to do *less* this week.  The people in the video on Saturday are Lauren and Chris.  That made me laugh – although it’s a little disconcerting when the TV says “Lauren lower your shoulders” and my shoulders are, in fact, up around my ears.  Or any number of other comments.  

Overall Monday, Accelerator day, is %100 my least favourite day, while Thursday, CVX day is the one I enjoy most.  Ironically it’s also the one I feel the most the next few days – but hey, at least it’s not horribly brutal while I’m doing it.  

Side note – high jumps with your arms straight up in a room with a ceiling fan is a bad idea.  Just in case you were considering it.

This morning after work-out but before leaving the house, I made the mistake of sitting on my bed.  And I wasn’t terribly convinced I could get back up again.  Or even wanted to.   Was seriously wishing calling to work “P90X’d” was a legitimate reason to stay home ;)   But alas it is not, so I dragged my sorry ass out the door and caught the train 6 minutes after the one I usually take.   Why is this relevant?  Well because I usually take a train that’s express from Oakville to Union, but this one was a local.  Generally I’ll skip a local and wait for the next express because even though it leaves later it’ll get in earlier, but I *really* didn’t want to have to stand – either on the platform or on a packed train.   So I let my exhausted self flop into a seat and zoned out.

But after a couple stops, I became aware of a woman standing in the area reserved for wheel chairs.  This in itself is not particularly interesting.   There were no wheelchairs in need of the spot and people often stand there.   What was unusual is that with her was a goat.  I am not even kidding.  His name is Turbo and he was on his way to the Royal.  Hahaha the randomness of it totally and completely made my day.  And yes I took a pic, cause, well, I was pretty sure it’d never happen again ;)   Now I realize he is, in fact, a marketing gimmick.  But it still amused me to no end.

I love that he’s looking out the window.

Exercise in the morning, before your brain figures out what you're doing.

Agility day proved to be the first video that requires a fair amount of space to execute -- sadly on the one day that I don't have any space to work with *sigh*  Other than that, it was okay.  I'm still pretty sore from Wednesday's adventure but it wasn't brutal.  Cardio.  Sweaty, excessive cardio.  But mostly reasonable with a focus on co-ordination and leg strength.

Of course in every video there seems to be a requirement for at least one move I don't have a hope of managing.  This one was the plio-push-up.  Yeah, for those not in the know...   You do a push-up and on the the up phase you levitate all four limbs up in the air.  Right.  I got *maybe* an inch off the ground and could repeat it all of about twice.  They were doing multiples and moving sideways at the same time.  Right.  Maybe next week ;)

The word of the week is tired.   I am completely and totally exhausted.  Never would have believed it from 1/2h a day...   I'm also ridiculously thirsty -- which is probably for the best.  I'm usually not good about drinking enough water but this week I've been causing a town drought.

Tomorrow is either Dynamix (apparently stretching) or rest.   Rest sound like a fairly awesome idea, but part of me realizes if I don't stretch tomorrow, Monday will be even more brutal.

It's all about the X

Alright so if you remember yesterday, I mentioned I might feel that one today.  I have to tell you, sometime in the middle of the night, I woke up because my shoulders and back were screaming at me, but at the same time it felt like I had a seriously weighted blanket on top because I couldn't move any part of me.   All kinds of not fun.  I eventually rolled myself out of bed and stumbled my way to the bathroom in hopes of muscle relaxant of some kind.  Nope -- as per standard, anything I'm looking for is consistently in the other house (hey - want to buy a house?  We have a great one for sale).  Frig.   Did a little stretching and a lap or two of the house and then went back to bed for an uncomfortable night.   Suffice to say my drug supply has since been topped up here too :)

So waking up this morning, was the first time I experienced actual dread of today's exercise.  Limited sleep and, well, my quads, shoulders, and arms were all screaming at me.  Argh.  But committed so opened up today's video: isometrix (their spelling, not mine -- it's clearly all about the x.  I did eventually clue in that that was what CVX was too -- Cardiovascular X.  You know, as in extra evil).

So I know very little about isometrics except that it involves balancing and working the same muscle group a few different ways in a row.  I was pretty sure it was all strength and no cardio.  But never having done it before, I couldn't be sure.  And of course P90X3 does have a tendency to repurpose exercises to suit their goals.

And I wasn't far off.  Very slow -- even slower than the yoga video I think; although maybe it just felt that way?  Most of the positions were for 45 seconds.  That's about 40 seconds more that I was up to today ;)  And the whole series was about strength and balance.  I honestly think I would've found this one the easiest one yet except...  Yesterday.   Many of these exercises are based out of plank position, but long before my abs kicked in (which should be working there) my arms would start shaking and I'd end up face down on the floor.  Again.  *sigh*   And plank with one hand?  Tbh, after the first 5 seconds I gave up on that and just tried to hold the normal plank position.  Even the standing exercises mostly involve having your arms straight up or straight out in front of you, but my arms were so burnt today I couldn't even do that for more than a few seconds.   I did love the one balance exercise that was just stand on one foot with your eyes closed -- mostly cause I can do that and it's not exhausting ;)

Anyways -- have to admit I am so not about this today.  But I actually think that in isolation it was probably the easiest video for me yet.  But after yesterday?  Not so much fun.   Agility tomorrow -- I wonder if Sasha would like to play?

When you're going through hell, keep going...

CVX this am. What does that stand for? I have no idea -- google could potentially tell me but that would require reaching for the mouse and, well, that's simply not going to happen. 

 "What's better than cardio? Cardio with weights!" I am not even kidding; that is what the introduction states. And this isn't like some classes I've done where you do some cardio, then do some weights, then maybe a little more cardio. Oh no. This is Monday-style cardio while holding weight. Awesome. 

That being said -- I survived this one while I died on Mon. Diff being a - less core/upper body and b - some of the exercises they do a slow set then a fast set. Much better chance of being successful with more than one try ;). 

Of course, that's it's own unique form of challenge. Slow being a break for cardio while much harder w the weights, while fast is a cardio challenge but easier w the weights. Oh who am I kidding? By the time you get to fast your arms are dead from the slow so even fast is evil. 

 Under the TMI category (you've been warned) I have never been as sweaty a mess as after this class. The mat had a the start of a puddle on it. Ugh. And my face was so red that I had time to shower, dress, play w Sasha, and get 3/4 of the way to work before it returned to normal. 

That being said I felt really good right after said class. Energized rather than wanting to collapse. Which is great, except my muscles disagreed :(. Nearly fell over getting dressed -- apparently standing on one leg is no longer an option. And going up the stairs at the train station I had the standard muscles screaming "this is impossible! Stop! They invented elevators!" But also a whole new set of muscles I didn't actually know existed joined in. 

Note this is less than 1/2h after completion. I have a 2h meeting this morning -- I'm betting walking after that is going to be a serious challenge. Ugh. And given that it's currently a challenge to hold my arms in typing position, I suspect tomorrow arms and shoulders will be on strike. 

 But - I managed the whole thing with a 5lbs weight. Which doesn't sound like much but it's what the middle person was using (modified had a basketball or nothing, the advanced guys had 10 or 12. They said not to use anything higher no matter how strong you are). In one exercise I had to give up on the weight half way through, but other than that managed it for all of them. Now when I can do that and still be functional afterwards... That'll be a good day ;) 

 Also liked that in this one two of the people were not people who have to be fit by profession. They were from the test group for the series. Obviously the superstars of said test group, but still - promising. 

 I haven't looked at what tomorrow holds. I'm enjoying my ignorance.

Yoga is my new favourite way to pretend to work out

Alright so after day 1 and 2, I was surprisingly not horribly sore this morning when I woke up.  Stiff, but nothing horrible.  Or so I thought.   Then I went downstairs -- you know you've had a good workout when it hurts to go *down* stairs.  Oh dear.

But so be it.  Now I'm trying to maintain my usual activities -- little though they may be -- and that includes taking the stairs whenever possible.  Today, that was a challenge.  I did it, but after about three steps I was feeling it.  I'm not even exaggerating.  Three mere steps.  After three flights, I wasn't sure I could lift my leg high enough for another step.  Fortunately I didn't have to go more than three flights anywhere today ;)

Anyways -- I survived my day and somewhat trepidatiously turned on today's P90X3: Yoga.  And have to say I was somewhat relieved.  While not as slow as usual yoga, it was still significantly less intensive than the previous two days.  I had some challenges in that it assumes knowledge of yoga poses -- knowledge that I don't have ;)   So I had to pause and watch a few times to figure out what they were doing, but for the most part I think I got it.   There was only one that I really didn't figure out what they were doing -- I could catch the simple modification but not the real or advanced ones.

That's the theoretical understanding. There is, admittedly, a big gap between knowledge and application.  There were at least two moves that I'm pretty sure were defying the laws of physics.  I'm not convinced I'm allowed to do that ;)   I fear bad things that happen when you break the law.  Any law.  Fortunately the law-defying moves have modifications I can actually do.

Then there's the category of simple yet impossible.  For instance, the handstand just isn't going to happen.  It's not complex, it's just unfeasible...   I would like to be able to do one, but I suspect either a wall or a spotter will be required ;)   And standing splits?  No.  Just, no.  You have got to be friggin kidding me.

Overall I was so stiff from yesterday that my already pathetically minimal flexibility was even more restricted.  Balance is pretty good -- not perfect, but I wasn't falling over either ;)   Sadly that was insufficient to counteract the lack of flexibility.  The person demonstrating the "easy" modifications was a professional dancer.  Not a hope in hell that I could ever do that.  Sheesh.   I was so very glad there was no mirror in that room -- in my imagination I was affecting  a position vaguely similar to what was on the screen.  In reality?  Right -- legs don't need to be straight.  That'd be boring ;)    Some of the twisty moves I don't even want to know how it looked.  I'd say it's a pretty safe assumption it was nothing like it should've been.  ;-P

But was a good day to let muscles down a little.  I suspect tomorrow will be back to bordering on impossible.  Wish me luck.

When work doesn't feel like work

So had a bit of a different day today.  Spent the morning volunteering at a home for adults with physical and/or cognitive disabilities.  Essentially assisted living.  We were painting rooms in one of the apartments.

I kinda love the giving back to the community aspect of RBC -- it's good to be involved with.   Was also super interesting to learn about a segment of the community about whom I otherwise have little to no knowledge.

In this case, residents ("members" as they prefer to be called) who are semi-independent live in apartments in groups of three.   Each apartment also has a support worker who helps them with basics of cooking/cleaning/finances/outings/etc.  Some of them have jobs, others are involved in day-programs.

There were six in our group and another six coming for the afternoon.  We were doing four bathrooms (in two apartments) and some baseboards.   All good except that we had more people than paint brushes, so there was some down time.  Frustrating for a group of type As, but otherwise it was a great morning and I got to learn a few new things :)

And then it was a race to get back to work for the first of the afternoon meetings ;)   You know, my actual job.  hahaha   And after day two of P90X3, not sitting at a desk all day was probably a good thing ;)

The morning after

You're supposed to exercise at about the same time every day.  Alas, that really doesn't work for me *sigh*   And as a result, despite the fact that last night's exercise was about 7:30pm, this morning's was 6:30am.  Yes, you read that right.

Let's consider the things wrong with that statement.  One, even though I'm up at that time every morning, I still firmly believe 6:30 should not come twice a day.  It definitely should not come associated with the word "exercise".  Two, there was less than 12h between Day 1 and Day 2.  Frig.

On the plus side, I rolled out of bed and all the muscles seemed to work.  Quads were a little sore, but nothing horrifying.  So today's video is "The Warrior".  Awesome.  Used to train US Military.  Right.  Keeping up with them should be no problem ;-P

This one had very little cardio and didn't require nearly as much coordination.  No, it was sheer strength.  Push-ups are a personal nightmare for me, especially now.   Now this program doesn't make you do a ridiculous number of them or anything like that.  No, it introduces a whole new level of torture.  The pause.  As in go half way down and then pause for ten seconds.  Who the frig does that?!?!?  No, push-ups should be down-up.  Period.  But noooo.  Go half way down and pause.  Then the rest of the way down and pause.   When the plank position is a rest position, you know you're in trouble.  This was all kinds of not fun.  And I may or may not have ended up collapsed, again, face down on the carpet *sigh*.

I was significantly more successful in this one than yesterday's, but still didn't actually manage to complete all the activities.  Note, I'd just like to complete them at this point -- we're not even talking complete with good form.  Just survive.  My guess is about the time I can do that is when the videos all change.

I'd just like to mention that walking up the stairs this afternoon was a challenge of epic proportions.  I'm not sure when I moved to the CN Tower, but that's definitely what the climb felt like.

I'd like to say thank God tomorrow is yoga day, but I feel like they may be able to turn that into a brutal experience as well.   We shall see.

The entrance exam to Hell...

Alright so I opened day 1's "Accelerator" video.   Did a quick click-through and all the exercises seemed reasonable.  Only required equipment was two towels (or any other small items you could jump over -- I used a skipping rope and an old t-shirt).  And it introduces itself as cardio.  Sweet.  I could make myself miserable trying to get through 1/2h of cardio, but at least I shouldn't be sore the next day.

bwahahhaha, hear that bastard Hindsight laugh.

It is cardio.  Oh yes, absolutely it is.  But it's MEAN cardio.  In that it expects cardio and muscle strength and coordination and balance.  That's a lot of ands.  About three too many really.   At one point I could *not* get the coordination down -- it took everything I had to avoid landing in a heap on the ground.  Later my muscles just gave up entirely -- I'm pretty sure I just lay down on the floor and let them keep having "fun" without me until that particular exercise finished.

I did push myself up again, and managed to finish the video, but I think we can successfully class day one as a complete fail.  Plus sides -- I see why this program works.  If you can *actually* do the full half hour, you are fit.  Very fit.  Especially if you do the insane modifications (they have three people demoing -- one doing "normal", one doing modified for joints etc, and one doing modified for extra challenge).

Walking down the stairs half-hour after the fact I was super grateful for the banister.  Will be interesting to see if I'm at all functional tomorrow.

In hopes of being on a warm beach in Feb...

Alright so as those who follow the blog already know, I was grounded from any form of activity all summer.  From the middle of June through about 2 weeks ago, I was allowed zero exercise.  As a result, I sadly find myself horribly unfit.

So I started researching various fitness options.  The gyms around either didn't work with my schedule (tricky given full-time at the bank, teaching two evenings/week, and spending weekends in Paris) OR were insanely expensive.  Less cool.

I have a variety of fitness aps on my phone, a few of which I quite like, but none of which are likely to help me create serious change.  Online I had come across P90X and was considering it.  I had double concerns though with the number of reviews that basically said it's impossible, and the likelihood of me actually committing an hour every day (+++ since that doesn't include cool down, stretching, or shower afterward).   My days are pretty booked as is -- that may not sound like a ton, but it adds up fast.  And I'm disinclined to start something I figure I don't have a hope of succeeding with.

Then I was chatting with Nicole -- who's in awesome shape these days -- and she told me she was doing P90X3.   As in they took P90X and P90X2 and combined lessons-learned to come up with a 30 min condensed version.  Hmmmm 1/2h I can do...  So I googled and while much of the feedback still said the workouts were impossible (basically an hour condensed into half an hour) people were finding it easier to complete the program without the massive time suck.

So alright - seems good!   Except that I couldn't lift a 10lb weight, do a single push-up, or run more than a block.  Fail.  So I spent two weeks getting at least a base level of fitness there -- look at me being responsible ;)   See, it happens once in a while.   You know, before diving into the insanely intensive 90 day workout period when I'm the least fit I've been since uni.   Side note -- I bitterly resent being old; I should NOT have lost so much fitness in such a short time.  *mutter mutter*

Okay so feeling about ready to go -- there are three schedules you can pick from.  One for building mass, one "classic" -- whatever that means.  Lots of muscles I think.  And one titled "lean".  There are actually a few others as well, but they're clearly for insane people so I didn't even bother to read them.  I was leaning toward the lean one (*snort* sorry, couldn't resist) but at least took the time to compare it with the classic one.  Lean has more cardio, classic more strength.  Fair enough, but since improving cardio is also one of the key goals, I figured that was a win all around.

Alright so good to go.  I print of the program -- it starts on Monday.   A different video every day -- with the same 7 videos repeating for three weeks.  The fourth week is a complete mashup of videos, some the same on different days, some new ones.  Then the whole thing repeats with a different set for the next month.   So I figure for the first week, I'll blog how each day is going.  Then let it go for a while, cause it'll repeat for two weeks.

Come along for the ride or not, you've been forewarned... ;)

The end of a chapter

So just to finish off the story for the curious – Lexi has been sold.   Her new owner seems to be pretty much exactly what I would’ve been looking for if I’d thought through the “having to sell her, who do you want to buy her” process.   New owner lives in NH, has a small riding school, has ridden prelim level, and her previous horse is retired on her farm living out his life (she sent me pics, he’s in great condition).   One of the things I really liked was before she and I were in communication, she sent Christina pics of her farm and asked that they be past on to me.  Such a little silly thing, but no matter how much you try to be logical about the whole situation, emotion still creeps in.

It was, possibly, the fastest sale I’ve ever been involved in.   Friday I found out how long it’d be till I could ride seriously.  It took me till Sunday to commit to selling her – at which point I told Curtis and Christina.   Curtis and I spoke on Monday to discuss pricing, positioning, etc.  By Tuesday, they had cleaned her up and taken pics as well as putting together a video.

Seriously, she was not much less scruffy than this when I sent her to them ;)
Either Tuesday night or Wednesday am they started posting the sales links (I saw it mid-day Wed).   The first person came to see her on Wednesday.   Then Curtis called me Wednesday evening – apparently there was a fair amount of interest in my girl (of course!  How could there not be?   Although admittedly she was also priced to sell quickly).  They had one person already in, one lined up for Thurs, two for Fri, and one for Sun.  BUT, a lady had called from the states offering a significant non-refundable deposit to hold her till Sat.
Hmmmm okay.  So we accepted that and when it cleared we cancelled all the in-between people.  At least one of the Fri people was a pro, so I was reasonably certain they’d at least return if it didn’t work out.  The Wed people also were interested in a second try but we pushed them off until after the weekend.

So then on Thursday, the potential buyer had her vetted – which she passed with flying colours.  Thurs evening I got a call that they were just going to buy her.   Without even coming on Saturday to try her.   Apparently the new owner’s passport was expired, so she decided to purchase her based on the video and conversations with the vet and with Curtis and Christina and her parents would come pick her up.
Now this was right before Thanksgiving weekend – they discovered they wouldn’t be able to take her across the boarder on the long weekend, so would come get her on Tues.   She wired funds on Friday – but of course, long weekend…

Both Curtis and Christina asked me if I wanted to come and say goodbye.  I’m not good at goodbye, and was having a harder time with her going than I’d expected to.  So I opted not.  But part of me was sad about that too – I was afraid I’d regret it, esp as I wouldn’t get to see her again given where she’d be going…    But then Curtis offered to make the barn be empty when I came – which just epitomizes how awesome they’ve been to deal with about everything.  So I took them up on that, and Chris and I stopped in on the way home from Thanksgiving at the cottage.  Chris kindly vanished somewhere while I groomed my pony for the last time and fed her a bag of carrots.  I took her for a bit of a walk and enjoyed the sunshine with her.   Still makes me teary.  And then I left her, happy in her stall, and away we went.

Tues the parents came and watched her be ridden with intent to drive home on Wed.  By Tues @ lunch the funds hadn’t cleared yet so I wasn’t sure that’d happen, but by Tues evening we were good to go.  Wed morning I got a text that she’d loaded well (no surprise) and they were off.   That evening I got a message from her new person that she’d arrived safely.   And a couple days later, that she’d enjoyed their first ride (complete with pics).

So there you have it.   Lexi is rehomed with her new person in what seems to be a great home.  And I am now horseless.  And admittedly not dealing with that entirely well.  But such is life.   Logically, it was the best possible solution to a less fun situation.  Emotionally?   I need a new hobby – fast.

The decision's been made...

Doesn't she look impressive?
It's not often that I waiver on a choice, but what to do with Lexi has been hard for me.

Lexi is the only horse I've ever taken along really slowly.  hahaha now admittedly that was more due to circumstance than any great growth in maturity on my part, but the end result is a really nice 7 yo horse ready to take on the world.
Our first ride - look how dark she was!
And in what should've been our first season of real fun, an abrupt stop was inserted due to eye surgery.  Frig.  Okay well, it'll be a few weeks right?  Sucks, but not a big deal.  Right.  You're not new here.  Three surgeries later...   And - I *am* allowed to ride again.  Woohoo!  BUT, I can't risk a fall until I'm 6 months post-surgery.

The day we learned she could jump ;)
Right.  Now yes, I acknowledge anybody can come off any horse.  Stupid things happen.  But we must admit, certain horses and certain activities increase the likelihood of that.   And anything I'm going to enjoy riding or even just training at the level I'd be asking Lexi to, runs a legit risk of something stupid happening.  And I know myself well enough to know that "take it easy" isn't a skill I'm good at.  It's kinda an all or nothing thing.

It soon became clear she was all for XC
Alright so six months -- that means spring.  Maybe I could just wait it out.  Or send her to to Florida, so she'd come back with some competition experience and fit and ready to go.  That'd be so much fun for me :)   Esp as Curtis agreed with my assessment that she'll make a legit one-star horse with no issue.  And that's a goal I *really* want.

On a mission at her first E level show
And then I clued in -- I still have another surgery.  6-12 months from now.  So the being able to ride seriously will be 6 months after that.  The worst.  And, as always, it came down to the numbers -- I can't afford to support a horse I can't ride for 12-18 months.  And so, I finally made the official call.  She's going up for sale.
She is the suckiest, most people-friendly horse I have ever owned.
Curtis and Christina are going to handle the sale -- makes it a little easier.  One, I'm awful at sales.  Two, I'm not convinced I want to sell her (I feel I *have* to as I can't justify keeping her, and I won't change my mind on that, but I definitely don't want to).  The videos they send me just show me how nice a horse she really is, and how much potential.  Other than a handful of students, I've never seen anybody ride her.  I see her and think "wow, I'd love a horse like that!" -- yeah, I'm not likely to get that lucky again :(   Was such a fluke that I got her in the first place.

Loping over PT XC combo with absolutely no effort or concern
But such is life.  And mine, at the moment, has to be dedicated to doing whatever it takes to ensure I can see.  Because, well, blind sucks.   I've permanently lost my peripheral vision in that eye; I'm not okay with giving up the part I have left.  So being a responsible adult (stop laughing) she is now for sale.

The day I found out I couldn't ride any more, I had planned on a jump school.
Instead, I gave Kennedy a lesson on her.  So much fun to watch!
This blog started entirely to document adventures as a working student for Denny Emerson.  I'm not sure where it goes when there are no horsey adventures to write about.  Suggestions for the next hobby? ;)

After several months off, she's starting to get fit again. Thanks Curtis and Christina!

When Plan A doesn't work, you still have 25 more letters

So this weekend I found myself doing something that even six months ago I could never have imagined.  Paying somebody else to ride my horse.  I'm used to being on the other side of that coin ;)  But having come to the realization that it could be months before I can ride again, I've sent Lexi off for training board till Dec.  At which point I'll either sell her, or be able to ride again :)

After dropping Lexi off though, had one of the few really nice days of the summer.  We were about half way to Collingwood, so Chris and I went the rest of the way there to pick up some more coffee (Ashanti Coffee -- my friend David owns it; they grow the coffee on their farm in Zimbabwe and then ship it here to sell.  Very cool.)   Anyways -- while there, Chris spotted a pizza restaurant across the street that looked pretty good, so we headed over for lunch.   Detoured slightly when he discovered craft beer next door ;)   But after a quick purchase, we were back at the pizza place.  The "Gotta Eat Here" sticker outside also led to high hopes.  Went in and were seated.  The menu was painted on the table, which sort of amused me.  We read it and made our choices.  And then we waited.  And waited. And waited.

And eventually gave up and left.  Even took our time getting up and gathering stuff to go, but still nobody so much as said a word.  Awesome.

Back across the street, considering sandwiches from the coffee shop (which I'd already pegged their pumpkin pie for desert) when I noticed The Smoke restaurant next door.  Turned out to be another "Gotta Eat Here" -- this one BBQ style.  They sat us and the waitress - who was very cool - was over quickly.  Definite progress.  The menu was all kinds of yummy.  And the beer -- well it was giant sized ;)   Despite being nowhere near a normal meal time, the place was packed.  And we quickly discovered why.  So. Much. Tasty. Food.  And, to be honest, way more appealing menu than the pizza selection across the street.  Sometimes Plan B works out :)

Sheer quantity has to count for something
Sadly by the end, we no longer had room for the pumpkin pie I was craving, so we took our cameras and went for a photo walk instead :)
In another couple weeks the leaves will be stunning
Was fairly entertaining, although closer to fall weather than summer!  Eventually we decided the pumpkin pie could be to go (it was delicious when we finally had it the next day :).
We were watching this storm roll in
On the drive home we played tourist and stopped at this random store that I've driven by often, but always with a horse trailer.  It was a typical knick-nack store, probably not really worth stopping, but it still amused me to poke around :)

Inside was everything you'd expect :)
Overall such a nice random day.  All the surgeries and such have pretty well toasted the summer, so was really nice to get one in.  Even if technically I was supposed to be lying on my left side all day *sigh*  Ah well, one doctor said Friday, the other said Monday.  I figure we split the difference ;)

As for said surgeries -- the last one went well (apparently).  They put a belt on my eye (I'm not even kidding) that should help keep it in one piece.  Unfortunately it means the lens from the earlier cataract surgery won't be correct.  I'm a little bitter about that -- wish they'd waited till after all the retina stuff to do that.  Also, the oil they put in this time is heavier; it's supposed to act as a cast.  Evidently it has to stay in for 6-12 months!  Which means blurry vision till after that :(

But hey -- still better than the zero vision I'd have had without said surgery.   Working from home pt this week and then back in the office next week.   Fewer headaches this time around and no nausea.  Wicked muscle cramps (esp shoulders) from lying in one position all week.  I have a new respect for couch potatoes!  But otherwise should be good to go by Monday.

Insert foul language here

Every friggin long weekend this summer I've spent having or recovering from surgery.  Yes including the September one.  I am not even kidding.   I need a new hobby.

My eye had gotten to the point where I was slowly starting to get vision back -- the gas bubble was shrinking and I could see over the top of it.  Pretty excited about it and feeling well.  We'd had a family bbq and were planning a house is finished celebration (poutine bar!) for the long weekend.  And then all of a sudden, a grey cloud overtook my vision.  I got a wicked pit in my stomach and just wanted to cry.  All my vision was gone.  Again.  Grey rather than black, so part of me hoped maybe that'd be something else.  Part of me is an optimistic idiot.  Back to the clinic -- of course my surgeon is away.  Cause, well that's the way my luck goes.  Fortunately for me his awesome admin decided it was serious and fast-forwarded me through the line to see another doctor.  First doctor said she thought I had fluid in my eye and would need surgery.  Specialist confirmed -- fluid in eye due to another tear in the retina beside some scar tissue AND a new hole just for creativity's sake.  Awesome.  She said I'd need surgery within the week, but they didn't want to admit me like before because the OR was so backlogged people who they'd admitted were waiting for days, so better to schedule a time next week.   Sure - why not?  At least I'd be able to go back to work and organize things over a couple days.

Right, about that.  The fellow came in to look and promptly vetoed that.  Need surgery, will do it scheduled but scheduled for Friday (it was Wednesday afternoon at this point).  Oh, but no going back to work -- have to lie face down till the surgery to help avoid it being any worse.  Awesome.   This was not news I was happy with.  And then it was followed up with more -- they were going to put a belt in my eye, which would change the shape of it.  This should help keep it from re-detaching, BUT it will also make my snazzy new lens that I was so excited to be able to see out of, unlikely to work.  Fail.   Am incredibly disappointed at that.

So Thursday was all kinds of miserable, not gonna lie.  Friday went in for surgery.  Amazing waiting room -- all kinds of impressive.  Had a library and everything.  Admittedly more useful for Chris than me, but I was still amused.  Chris' description of the decor being a cross between his grandmother and Napoleon seemed about right.  You can picture it now, can't you?

Just a small example of the decor
Spoke to both the nurse and the anesthesiologist about my previous, less-than-pleasant, experiences.  So this anesthesiologist said she'd give me three anti-nausea drugs and would not use morphine as that can sometimes trigger nausea.  And, well, third time's the charm.  I was awake, or partially awake anyways, throughout the surgery.  Phasing in and out and able to answer questions.  I was in no pain (huge improvement over last time)!   And while hearing a saw start up when they're operating on your eye is a little creepy to say the least, overall it was a non-issue.  I've also learned to identify the sounds when they're using the lasers.  This is knowledge I would've been quite content living my life without.  Sheesh.

When I got up, first thing they did was give me more nausea drugs.  And the world was good.  My eye was sore, unsurprisingly, but there was none of the misery of last time.  Told they put oil in and the belt on.  Big boo on that :(   Oil means there'll be at least one more surgery.  I'm not really okay with that idea.  Both because I'm very tired of this game and because I'd really like to be able to be back at work.  I finally had things caught up and back under control after the last round and now this?  So not impressed.   They're being super supportive -- I just don't have the patience to be *that* person.   And the belt -- well that means no good vision for me :(   Ever.

So yeah, I was fairly disappointed at that news.  Follow up appointment on Saturday was a waste of time.  The doctor we met with was filling in (apparently the one we should've seen had an emergency - fair enough), and he had absolutely no background of the surgery at all and was asking questions of us he should've been the one answering.  He certainly wasn't able to answer any of ours.  Also slightly terrifying that he kept asking me to look right when I was -- obviously my eye was not responding the way it should.  Other doctors so far have been better at hiding that knowledge from me.  Very disconcerting.   And I've yet to meet the surgeon who actually did the surgery -- either before or after.

I have an appointment scheduled on Friday with the surgeon who did the second surgery -- I'm hoping to keep it and get him to look, cause of all of them I liked him best.   Now I have to go back to lying down -- have to stay on my left side for a week.  This sounds like it'd be a dream - forced vacation woohoo!   Except in very little time everything starts to hurt - shoulder, ear, and hip being the worst quickly followed by back...  I don't know how couch potatoes do it!  So frustrating.  Plus side, I'm not feeling horrible this time. Down side, that makes lying still endlessly more of a challenge.  Esp as I have very little faith in the doctor that gave us that information.

So as far as Google tells me, I've now had *all* the retinal surgery options out there -- some more than once.  I think, having had the complete experience, I'd like to consider this done now and move on with something else to blog about.  House hunting would be good -- somebody could just come buy our house and then that'd be a fun thing to blog about.

Speaking of -- we fired our real estate agent.  That story's not being posted, but is available upon request ;)   Agent we have now (and our buyer agent) both seem excellent.  So that's a relief.

And back to lying down I go.  Hope you're enjoying the last few moments of summer!

The next phase of our lives will be significantly influenced by this...

You know you want it...
It's DONE!   The house renos are complete!

Wish we could just relocate the house.  Kinda love this.
House is spotless. I'm not even kidding.  Dogs have been sent on vacation (any trip to my parents' place is pretty much doggy heaven) in an effort to keep the house clean and people from being scared off.   Seriously -- Sasha sheds at least one critter's worth of hair daily, and Tucker believes all blankets should be stored in little balls for him to sleep in.  He also believes people should not be permitted on his property or in his house.   As a result, Sash and Tucker have been temporarily rehomed (HUGE thanks once again to my awesome parents who not only agreed to look after them, but even drove out to pick them up!)

Master Bedroom
In the last couple days we:  finished the house, cleaned said house, had photos taken (thanks Joe!), signed an agent, listed the house, signed a buyers agent for Burlington, and had one showing of our house.  Today we meeting with the bank, have agent showing and one or two other potential-buyer showings.  

Super-snazzy bathroom
There's a sign up and a lock box on the door.  It's real.  Really real.  Super exciting and absolutely terrifying all at the same time.  Wish us luck!

Form a line behind the sign... 

Argh Matey

You know you've had a restless sleep when you wake up with your eye patch attached to your arm.  Admittedly a new experience for me, but sheesh.

And yes, I have an eye patch.  Sadly it's not a sexy pirate one -- rather transparent plastic.  Makes me feel all kinds of attractive getting ready for bed let me tell you ;-P

Quick eye update for those who've been asking (and thanks for your concern!).  At the one-week follow up appointment, the surgeon seemed happy with how everything looked.  Retina reattached.  There was a detail that part of the iris is tucked underneath the lens???   Ummm less cool.  But apparently I should not have any symptoms from that (ie the only way to know is to be an eye doctor of some form inspecting the eye).  Correctable with surgery, but not needed unless symptoms appear.  Only worrying because, well, my luck hasn't been good so far *sigh*

Anyways -- I'm allowed to be out and about and slowly start doing things again.  Cause, you know, I'm so good at that.  Tried to dial into work Mon/Tues and failed horribly both days.  Today woke up with pounding eye and head and deemed maybe I was being slightly stupid.  So I'm going to take the full week with no more than 1/2h a day dialed in (comeon, I've got to at least skim my email) and spend most of the rest of it lying around with my eyes closed.   *sigh*   I at least bought a lawn chair and dark glasses so I can sit outside.  So frustrating now though cause I'm back in the "feeling fine but can't do anything" phase.  Last week I felt so miserable I didn't *want* to do anything.  Less of a challenge ;)   Arguably this is improvement but still.  Ugh.

So if you're not seeing as much of me online as you'd hoped -- now you know why.   And if you're not seeing as much of me in person -- be glad, the eye is seriously disturbing to look at ;-P