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.