Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Devil Dash Spiritual Experience

Today I completed a 5k obstacle course ( The notable part is not that I completed a 5k, but that it was an obstacle course. Before today, I wouldn't have done that. I am not what most people consider coordinated. I'm clumsy, awkward, nonathletic and hate being dirty. Today, as I climbed over a 30 foot obstacle to rappel down the other side, I realized that I have had what the Big Book refers to as a complete psychic change. Before I quit drinking and worked the steps, I was paralyzed by fear. I still have fear. The difference is that I don't allow it to stop me from living my life anymore. Was I the most athletic person there? Not even close. Was I the least coordinated person there? Quite possibly. But my deep seated fear of not being the best at everything I do was mostly absent today. For most of my life, if I couldn't do it perfectly, I wouldn't do it. The race I ran today was not perfect. But I did my best. And I did every obstacle. And I completed the race. And I had so much fun. And I finally understand that that is the point of life. It's not about being the best. It's about enjoying myself. On that note, I suggest you go to youtube and search for Phoebe running. Because that's my new life philosophy.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Roller Derby and Cheese

Way back in 2001, I was an Americorps member, working at a food bank in Washington state. Our CEO had a copy of "Who Moved My Cheese" that we each took turns reading. A decade later, I have started training for the roller derby, based on a quote from that book. That quote is: "what would you do if you weren't afraid?" Well, my answer is roller derby. I'll be honest. I'm not just afraid of roller derby. I'm terrified of it. I'm not an exceptionally large, strong or stout woman. Nor am I very coordinated. Nor do I have health insurance. But I am competitive as hell and when I was a kid, roller skating was my favorite thing in the world.

Saturday night, we went to watch the Denver Roller Dolls, something I had wanted to do for a very long time, but hadn't gotten around to doing. And I was hooked. The sparkly helmets, the shiny hot pants, the clever names. So yesterday, the first order of business was to buy a pair of roller derby skates. The second was to relearn to skate. It's been 20 years since I was on a pair of roller skates and somehow I've developed a fear I never had as a child. But I skated. And today I skated some more. And it was less scary. I still can't stop without running into something solid, but I'm sure I'll get there. Then come trails and skate parks and the youtube derby drills. But first, stopping. And I have to figure out how to disconnect falling from failure in my brain. I think if I could let myself fall once or twice I might actually become a better skater. There are a lot of deep, meaningful life lessons somewhere in here.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Another One Bites the Dust

Relationships are hard...for me at least. For probably a million whiny psycho-therapy reasons. This last one wasn't bad. Good guy, out of town half the time. That was good for me. I like having someone around but I also really like my alone time. When he was gone, I didn't feel guilty about studying. When he was here, I always felt like I was either neglecting him or neglecting school. And I had a constant level of background guilt for the week he was in town. Well, his out of town gig just ended and when faced with him being in town all the time, I think I panicked. I have no idea how to balance the relationship and school and I picked school. I honestly don't know if I did the right thing. But I don't know how else to live. Over the course of my four years as a flight attendant and his last year of travel, I haven't had to have a "full time" relationship. I don't even know if I'm capable of it. In a year, when school is over, I'll be starting a new career. Will I make time then?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Self Doubt

This may be because I didn't sleep well last night, or perhaps I didn't sleep well last night because of this, but I have doubts about my ability to actually be a real x-ray tech. It's one thing to know in my head how to perform an exam, but it's a completely different thing on actual people, who are all shapes and sizes and health levels, which makes every exam completely different.

The only sliver of hope I have is I remember feeling this way my second week of class, when I started working with the x-ray tube in the lab. I worried that I was one of those book-smart people who couldn't transfer that knowledge into action. But I practiced and I learned how to use the tube. I choose to believe the same thing will happen with my exams, that practice really does make perfect. I should probably, as always, cut myself some slack.

I just had to get that out so that I would have some hope of sleep tonight. And on that note, I am going to bed because tomorrow's another chance to improve.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

An Open Letter to my Senator, Congressman, President

On Friday, after having a good 6 inches of my hair chopped off, I discovered a worrisome mole on my left shoulder. It was worrisome enough that last night I started a massive search for affordable health insurance. 30 minutes into my search, I was looking for any health insurance that would take me. Did I tell them about the obviously cancerous (yes I'm a hypochondriac) mole on my shoulder? Nope. What's made me unacceptable is the fact that I went to rehab 2 1/2 years ago. I almost find it ironic that the first company that rejected me doesn't even cover alcohol-recovery related care, but rejected me flat out without asking further questions. Meanwhile I have a certain family member who drinks like a fish not to mention other unhealthy things and was accepted right off. So I tried that company. And at least they let me explain (over and over)about my course of treatment and lack of drinking since. We'll see in a few days if this makes a difference. If not, in a week I will be eligible to apply to Colorado's state-run health care, which accepts "high risk" people like me. This reminds me of the time that I couldn't get in accepted to rehab without calling in a favor. Maybe I am high risk. Because seriously, do you know anyone else who got rejected from more than one rehab?

The point of this rant, before I got sidetracked by my pity party, is that there is something wrong with the health care system. I shouldn't have to get married to get insurance. I also shouldn't have to resort to back alley surgery by a friend who took anatomy a few years ago. Will Obamacare fix this when it kicks in? Doubt it. Will that be too late for me because the cancer will have eaten through my entire body by then? (I am NOT melodramatic!) Probably. Eh, so for those of you with health insurance, do a mole self check. And if you see something that looks like the bad picture column, see your dermatologist. This has been today's Public Service Announcement. :)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Why I Should Not Give Blood

It has been pointed out to me that it may be a bad idea for me to give blood. I think the people who say this are overreacting. Something traumatic only happens every other time I donate.

One of the flight attendant rules is that you can't fly within 72 hours of giving blood. So for most of the 4 years I flew, I saw giving blood (and having over 72 consecutive hours off) as a lost cause. But right around Christmas I got 4 days off. So I headed to Bonfils to do my good deed for the day. Everything was going just fine until she put the needle in. Then, all hell broke loose. The needle must have slipped because blood started shooting EVERYWHERE. I get a little squeamish about having my blood on the outside of my body so I looked away and gritted my teeth against the revulsion of having my hot blood running down my arm and dripping off my fingertips.

When that sensation finally ended I dared to look back. And I saw 2 techs covered with blood - my blood - as was the machine that shakes the blood around as it comes out, not to mention the huge puddle on the floor. Just then, a man walked around the corner to donate and did a massive doubletake at the carnage, but continued in to donate, god bless him. After they got all of the blood cleaned up, they proceeded to take the donation out of my other arm. Which made me rather lightheaded considering the amount I had already donated to the floor. Which brings me to the last time I gave blood.

The donation itself was uneventful. It wasn't until the next morning that the curse struck again. I hopped up off the couch to help the boyfriend clean out his closet. Next thing I know I'm coming to on the floor, my shoulder and head hurt like hell and the boyfriend and cat were standing over me looking worried. Apparently I passed out (stone cold sober - which led to quite a few jokes at the AA club later that day). I injured my shoulder in some manner. My best guess, due to lack of insurance is I did something bad to my AC joint and possibly fractured my clavicle. It's almost ironic that I study radiography and am in an x-ray lab at least once a week yet cannot afford to have an x-ray of my shoulder. Aaaaaanyway, after about 3 days in a sling and a nearly 2 week break from strength training, I decided I was fine.

And about 5 weeks later, I am fine. Except when I lay on that shoulder. Or do certain chest and shoulder exercises at the gym. But I have nearly full range of motion with that arm. And the giant goose egg on my head went away pretty quick. Who keeps a metal briefcase on their living room floor anyway? I've just made my next appointment for next Friday, which should be uneventful. Because it's only every other donation that's notable.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Jury Duty

So today, bright and early, I headed downtown Denver to fulfill my civic duty. Thanks to my iPhone GPS, I got there early(only had to turn around once and that was because my iPhone GPS erroneously believed the parking garage to be on the wrong side of the street. )

I was called in the second group and seated second to last in the spectator seats in the courtroom. There was then a couple hours of crushing boringness. Needless to say, I didn't even get anywhere near the jury box to be asked pertinent question about how I feel about frivilous lawsuits and various insurance companies.

Here are the awesome things about jury duty:

1) the reporter from CW2 "the deuce" got picked for the jury

2) the "which jurors will be removed by challenge by which attorneys" game the woman next to me and I played for about 45 minutes. We only missed 2 because we did not foresee that both sides were trying to get as many women off the jury as possible

3) the plaintiff looked like a total douche and his lawyer informed us in a roundabout way that he now has sexual dysfunction due to an alleged work-related injury and allegedly botched neck surgery, though that didn't stop the plaintiff from making out with his girlfriend in the courtroom during every recess. Douche.

And on my way out, I was waved down by an adorable hippie boy who wanted me to join Greenpeace. He went into his spiel and I was all wait, wait, you had me at "save the rainforest and orangatans; where do I sign?"