Julia’s Math is Tough on My Body

I am not the girl of my youth. My Daddy always said “Youth is wasted on the young.” In addition to youth, the young are severely spoiled when it comes to things like non aching joints!

My tightly wound personality has seeped into my body, rendering it tightly wound as well.

As I have gotten older, my body has been less willing to accept the daily rigors of Julia’s Math. I have to devote HOURS upon HOURS to stretching and rehabbing various body parts. As much of a pain (literal and figurative) it is to spend otherwise productive time laying on the floor, I can now touch my chin to my chest, touch the floor with my hands in a forward fold, walk without stabbing pain in my heels, leave a workout class without feeling like I need two knee replacements, and carry more than three pounds on my left shoulder! Yay me!

The latest aliments are my calves. I have calves that would make the Baby Jesus wail. I know this, because we cried together last week at my physical therapy appointment.  I taught my doctor how tight a human being’s calves could actually get.  I wish I knew what he did exactly to make it feel like I was being prodded with burning hot pinchers so I could recommend this technique to anyone in National Intelligence as a way to get prisoners to divulge pertinent information. (Note: as I am sure YOU are reading this anyway, I would be more than happy to provide details… you know how to get in touch with me.) I think that this doctor also enjoys a challenge and viewed my too tight rubber band calves as the ultimate test. His cavalier attitude about things like “patient comfort” and “bedside manner” were duly noted as I proceeded to sweat through my skirt, making it appear as though I had wet my pants (which was not humiliating AT ALL).

Generally, I have a very high pain tolerance (I am not bragging; it causes problems because I am too stubborn to stop whatever activity is causing the pain) and I still almost threw up.  It was that bad.

pain tool Julias Math is Tough on My Body

I’m off the chart!
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And, sadly, he was not done with me yet. In even worse news, given my current condition, there was no way I could out run him and escape

The Tennis Ball… An Orb of Mean

The new symbol of evil at my house is the tennis ball. It is a fuzzy neon yellow sphere of pain. I try to not look at it head on. Even when I catch just a glimpse of it out of the corner of my eye, I whimper softly.

tennis ball02 700x466 The Tennis Ball... An Orb of Mean

the new evil
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Because I like to think of myself as rather fearless, or, at least enough of a grown up to fake it, my irrational fear of tennis balls does not make sense; however, I blame it all on Dr. Dave, AKA Dr. Hot Poker Hands. Dr. HPH is a physical therapist whose main thrill is making (slightly difficult) patients cry helping patients heal.

As those who know me will attest, I am rather “tightly wound”.  Phrases like “go with the flow” do not come to mind when friends describe me.  I, on the other hand, prefer to use adjectives like “motivated” and “driven” when I describe myself. Perhaps this is a misconception?

julia balloons The Tennis Ball... An Orb of Mean

The Face of Inflexibility

In Julia’s Math, I consider the “going with the flow” to be a personal challenge, an invitation to rise to the occasion. It is my personal responsibility to set the pace and trajectory that the Flow travels on. I like to think I manage the Flow like a boss. The flow is a project, and I am Project Manager.

Unfortunately, my mastery (or lack thereof) of the Flow has left the cerebral and entered the physical…My rigidity has literally seeped into my very self, the fibers of my being – namely my muscles.

I have knots in my shoulders that make my chiropractor weep. I have had hamstrings so tight that the muscle felt like a series of corded ropes instead of being soft and supple. My hamstrings have ruined more than one massage for me. More than once, the masseuse has taken to mumbling (LOUDLY) about the state of my hamstrings, drowning out the relaxing, new-age drippy raindrops music. Anytime I leave a massage, chiropractor, or physical therapy (it takes a village, people) and no one shakes their head in disbelief, mumbles curses, and/or repeatedly asks me if I am aware of how tight I was, I am able to put a check mark in the Life’s Small Victories (or should I say #WINNING?) column.

Why Do I Write?

Today, I am linking up (very late to the party!) with Carrie Elle for the innaugural Wordy Wednesday Prompt.

This week (er… last week, but whatever… always fashionably late, right?), the prompt is: Why Do I Write?

julia emma why i write Why Do I Write?

I write because I think I am good at it.

I write because I think I’m funny.

I write because the feedback I have received from readers (readers defined as people who are not related to me) is good, at times even great, and that warms my heart, makes my day, and puts a spring in my step. When I have touched someone- even if it was just a quick laugh- it fills me with a sense of accomplishment and a sense of kinship that I have not found in any other place in my life.

I write because one day I want to be a bestselling author of books (about me- what else?!).

That last sentence was a difficult one to write, because I cannot take it back. Now that I have publicly outed myself, I must follow through. I consider myself very goal oriented. I run my life (and my household) in ways that would make a professional organizer weep with joy. The older I get, the more private I get. Yes, I realize I blog about my life, which seems very public, however, as I control all the content, I am able to keep certain parts private.  I tend to share only what I absolutely, positively know I can achieve.  Putting my Goal out there is nerve racking, because, if I fail, I will have the eyes of all of my loyal fans (that’s at least eleven sets of eyes) witnessing my defeat.

The threat of failure, however, does not motivate me as much as the thrill of victory. For me, victory is defined as having new readers, and more importantly, making new connections with those readers.  When I receive a notification of a new reader (or new comment), the feeling is like nothing else. I liken it to how it feels to close the biggest deal with the toughest client.  That feeling of triumph, of gratification, of accomplishment, and of belonging is unparalleled.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I also write because I am (fairly) narcissistic.  I think I am unbelievably interesting and hilarious, and inside my head I believe everyone else does too. I don’t want to go so far as to say that it is my OBLIGATION to share the life inside my head, but if someone else does I will not argue the point…

julia emma do you understand Why Do I Write?

Old School Blogging

Because Everyone Else Is Doing It, I had to.

The ABCs of old school blogging- except that I did not even know what a blog was when this was all the rage.  For me, it’s more like old school AOL email forwards.

Now that everyone REALLY is doing it, go link up with Miss Elaine and Jennifer and join in. Don’t be That Girl.

A. Attached or Single? Married, which in my opinion is better than just attached.

B. Best Friend? I have a friend, Erika, who is really more like a sister than a friend in that nothing is scared or off limits when it comes to either of us giving the other “Life Assistance” (also known as freely offering one’s opinion, even if it wasn’t asked for).  Liz is my best friend in Atlanta. She quietly challenges me to be a better person… Oh and my husband.

julia erika 1999v2 Old School Blogging

circa 1999

D. Day of choice? Saturdays.

E. Essential Item? Tervis tumbler with a straw. A few years ago, I had a Come To Jesus meeting with myself after I realized I was going through 2L diet sodas at an alarming rate. I discovered the only way I will drink water is with a straw and ice, ergo the Tervis.

F. Favorite color? Pink. It is also Emma’s favorite.

G. Gummy bears or worms? Neither. Gross.

H. Home town? St. Louis

I. Favorite Indulgence? Getting a weekend away with my husband.

J. January or July? Too cold. Too hot. I want Southern California’s weather.

K. Kids? Emma.

L. Life isn’t complete without? My routine! I am not the most exciting person, but I am the most predictable and I find great comfort in knowing what to expect.

M. Marriage date? July 3, 2006

N. Number of brothers/sisters? 2 sisters

sisters jen wedding Old School Blogging

O. Oranges or Apples? Apples. Fuji and Jazz.

P. Phobias? I do not do roaches. I have my exterminator’s cell phone number and have texted him after 10PM to schedule a treatment after seeing one. I do not play around.

Q. Quotes? ”First there’s Kappa, then you get married, then there’s Junior League and then you die.” A Southern Belle Primer

R. Reasons to smile? Because you are responsible for your own fun. No one else cares if you are having any!

 S. Season of choice? Southern California. I used to love Spring, but in Georgia ‘Spring’ is actually ‘Pollen’ and it is impossible to do anything outside.

T. Tag 5 People. Nope.

U. Unknown fact about me? If I told, it wouldn’t be unknown!

V. Vegetable? Green beans.

W. Worst habit? I have been told sometimes I am a nag…

X. Xray or Ultrasound? Nothing good is going to come from either.

Y. Your favorite food? Chardonnay.

Z. Zodiac sign? Libra.

Okay, your turn!

Late Is An Inherited Gene

I am almost always late.

I am one of those girls. I should join a 12 Step program. Sadly, my tardiness affects my daughter as she is habitually late to school when I am in charge of drop off.

However, it is not my fault that I drop Emma off late for school, but rather it is my father’s.  I have a history of tardiness: when I was a senior in high school, I was fired from being a carpool driver because I made the freshmen in my car tardy for homeroom, and thus the recipients of detentions.

I would, however, arrive at school with enough time for me to make it to my homeroom. Sadly, the freshmen weren’t so lucky.  At Nerinx (my high school), the upperclassmen had lockers and homerooms close to the entrances. The freshman lockers and homerooms were far, far away in the basement; which was nicknamed The Dungeon.

My father routinely made me late for school when I was younger. I would be ready and waiting by the door- literally standing there, with my back pack on, ready to go. The wait would vary by the day- sometimes it was only two or three minutes, but others it may be twenty. My teachers gave everyone a five minute grace period (I went to Catholic school and everyone either walked or was dropped off by parents; we didn’t have buses) to account for traffic (or late parents). If a student arrived past the grace period, a warning was given. After the warning, detentions were handed out.

I got more than my fair share of detentions. At first, I grumbled about the unfairness of it all. Grumbling did no good; we were still late to school. My grumbles turned to shouts, but still we were late.

And I was still accruing detentions faster than I could say ‘Hail Marys’ at confession…

I Always Run Late

Don’t you just hate that one friend of yours who is always late? I do too.

Except when it’s me.

My daughter is supposed to be at school every day by 8:30 for Circle Time. When her father takes her to school, she is there by 8:15- 8:20 if he’s running late.

When I take her, I count anytime before 8:35 a win.

always late funny quotes I Always Run Late

I am not sure what happens to those magical fifteen minutes every morning. You know, those fifteen minutes that seem to stretch in front of you and almost any chore seems possible. It’s the fifteen minutes that makes you think “We don’t have to leave for at least fifteen minutes. I will just throw a load of laundry in/empty the dishwasher/tidy up the family room/take the trash out.” Those fifteen minutes beckon me, practically screaming ‘Do something! Don’t waste time! Do something!’ As you are patting yourself on the back congratulating yourself on your efficiency and mentally checking something off the To Do List, you notice the clock on the wall behind you…. And panic because there is no way on God’s Green Earth you are going to make it to school on time. Again.

kids chore list template1 I Always Run Late

This happens to me every single time. And every single time I am surprised that I have run out of “fifteen minutes”. My girlfriends totally get it- I think it’s the women/multitasking thing.  My husband, on the other hand, shakes his head in incredulity. I can practically hear him saying, “I mean, COME ON, Julia. You knew you didn’t have enough time and that you would be late for school.” He says he cannot fathom why I make the same mistake again and again (God forbid I am actually early!). He does not bring it up anymore because in doing so, he would be welcoming a discussion of that “one time” he Didn’t Ask For Directions and we got so damn lost…

The Crutches Fairy & Other Unanswered Questions

Unless you believe in things like the Crutches Fairy, you probably had a few questions about my last post- the one where I talked about cheering Indiana on to victory lose during the Final Four in 2002. I got an email from my best friend asking me some rather pointed questions- Where did you get crutches? (She clearly does not believe in the Crutches Fairy. Hater.) Did you get another interview after you blew off the first one?

My search for crutches was exhausting.  Thank God it was short (remember, I found a Real World marathon on TV and decided to watch that instead.)

I first tried pharmacies- Rite Aid, CVS, and Walgreens. Oddly, none of these stores had crutches for sale. Next stop was stores-that-sell-everything, like Target. Sadly, I again had no luck. This was one of the few times in my life that Target has let me down. It was a sad day!

After the Target disappointment, I went home and searched the internet (on my dial up AOL account) for ‘places to get crutches’.  Success! A few places even had crutches available for rent! My spirits soared as I called the number listed… and quickly deflated when I heard that I would need a written prescription before they could help me.

As everyone knows, a good Rule Of Life is to call your mother when the going gets tough- when you want to hide in the corner and sob. I took my own advice and called my mom because I was out of ideas and out of options and in a huge rush (remember my job interview?). She suggested I contact the Student Health Center (SHC) and make an appointment to see a healthcare provider who could look at my ankle, determine if I needed crutches, and write the script for me if I did. In true motherly fashion, she was concerned with my health and reminded me that I would not want to work for any employer who was not understanding with regard to a medical issue. What can I say- the woman is brilliant (also, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree)!

I called the SHC and made an appointment for later that day- too late for me to make my interview.  (Thankfully the Real World Marathon on MTV allowed me to move past my sorrows.)

The doctor at the SHC took one look at my ankle and promptly wrote a script for crutches… and then directed me to a different part of the clinic so I could pick them up. Genius!

I never rescheduled my interview. It was for an insurance company, and upon further reflection, it was not a direction I was willing to subject myself to wanted to go with my career.

I ended up working at Nordstrom after graduation.

Front Row Seats Made It Worth It

While  cheering my Indiana Hoosiers on to sweet, sweet victory (suck it DUKE!), I took one for the team.

I went down, and I went down hard. I landed directly on my ankle, which made an odd noise- much like a POP- when I landed on it.

The next morning, I woke up to dark purple (Indiana University crimson?) ankle that was at least twice the size of my other ankle. This was problematic because I had a job interview in Indianapolis (an hour away) that day. This was March 2002, a mere seven months after 9/11. The economy was turning down, and fast. I had to go on the interview. But first, I had to get some crutches!

I could not find anyone anywhere that would sell me a set. I tried and tried, and no one would take my hard earned, (OK my parents’ hard earned) good money for a set of crutches. Next, I tried to rent some. That was also unsuccessful as , no one will let you rent any without a prescription for them. When it became clear that I was not going to be able to procure crutches in the very short term (I had about an hour from the time I woke up until the time I had to leave for my interview), I resigned myself to the couch and the Real World marathon that was on.

My pity party lasted only a few short minutes before I realized that life had to go on because we had another basketball to watch the next day. The question wasn’t IF I could find somewhere to watch game comfortably, it is was WHERE would I go?

There have been a few times in my life when I have been able to play the Princess Card (my entire pregnancy comes to mind). This was one of those times.

We rolled up (in my case, gimped up) to the bar about an hour before tip-off. This time, however, we did not have to wait in line for entrance. We were whisked to the front of the line and ushered in the door. It was kind of like being one of the Kardashians. The princess treatment did not stop there! The hostess pressed on, through the throngs of fans clad in cream and crimson. She stopped in front of a table that was DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF THE TV! Forget Khloe, Kourtney, Kris and all the rest of them, this was the Kim Kardashian treatment!

We assured her that this table would work for us (hell yes it would!) and thanked her for her help. These crutches rocked!

Although the game did not have a fairy tale ending, at least I was able to watch it in style.

My crutches also came in handy during trips through the crowded bar to the bathroom- my boyfriend would stand behind me, yelling “Girl on Crutches! Coming through! Move!” while I would whack those in my way with the rubber end of my crutch…

All in all, crutches suck. However, being the ex-Girl Scout that I am, I was able to make the best of it. Having the best seats in the house (outside of the stadium) did make it all worth it.

Great Expectations

I am so proud to direct you all to a piece I wrote over at G Funkified!

G Funkified is a blog written by Greta, a fun, honest mother of four (!) who has her Sassy Pants on!

I am so excited to share my thoughts on ‘expectations’, and I sincerely hope you enjoy it.

wedding sav11 Great Expectations

Cheers!

 

Indiana Won- I Cannot Walk, But It Is Worth IT!

March 2002.  Bloomington, Indiana. The Sweet Sixteen.

My friends and I wanted to cheer our Indiana Hoosiers to victory against Duke in style- we wanted to go the bar. Shockingly, we were not the only people in town who wanted do to the same. Because no one had volunteered to show up at noon to procure a table, we were forced to wait in line like everyone else (I HATE having to do what everyone does. I so believe the rules are not meant for me.)

So, we joined the masses filing in before tipoff. After a lengthy wait outside the bar, we were finally allowed inside. To this day, I’m not sure how we actually gained admittance as no one was leaving and the bar was at capacity (we shall not discuss pesky things like fire safety laws). The bar (Yogi’s for my B-town friends) was six feet deep with crazed fans. The energy was positively electric. It was awesome! It was an act of God to get a beer, but it was awesome! In a surprise upset, Indiana DEFEATED Duke in the Sweet Sixteen! When they won, the bar went NUTS. Every single person in the joint was jumping up and down. Strangers kissing strangers. Free beer for everyone! Everyone was jumping up and down, screaming the IU fight song. We made the building shake on its foundation!

Celebration or not, the laws of Julia’s Math still apply- and OF COURSE something unforeseen happened to me. Those who know me (or who have read even one blog post) are not shocked that somehow bad luck found me. During the celebration, I went down. I went down big time. I followed one of my life’s mantras: “If you are going to do it, do it BIG.” Even with all the cheering and singing, I heard a very distinct POP in my left ankle. Undeterred, I celebrated on. I think I even walked home that night, which turned out to be a very bad decision…

The next morning, I woke up to dark purple (Indiana University crimson?) ankle that was at least twice the size of my other ankle. This was problematic because I had a job interview in Indianapolis (an hour away) that day…