Tuesday, February 25, 2014

REcovery

Ok, for all of you out there that said I tried to workout too hard, too fast and didn’t give my shoulder and bicep enough time to heal was RIGHT. There! I haven’t been to CrossFit in about three weeks because the arm/shoulder finally got too tired, too sore and hurt too much. It was spent. I joined the competitive class at CF and I think the heavy weights, my impatience with lifting at superhero weights took it’s toll. I was back to square one, not even able to put my own shirt on. 

Thankfully my coach was able to recommend a PHENOMENAL physical therapist to me who not ply knows what he is doing but understands CrossFit and the limits it can sometimes put on your body. 

Just yesterday I went back to CF and did a modified version of the WOD. It was fun and tiring, but not painful. I’m still going to physical therapy and this time I’m not ashamed of scaling my weight down and walking away in one piece. Lesson learned. Patience really is a virtue and can be a lifesaver. 

Toy Hunters Unplugged

Going to Target first thing in the morning is a pretty standard thing for Adam and I. We check for new action figures, we are collecting junkies, pick up new movies and meet about work all while enjoying a Starbucks beverage. It’s been one of the joys of owning our business. 

Today started out just like that. I was going to go to Target to pick up the new Thor movie and check on the figures. As I got there, I saw a notorious 60+ man that owns a local toy store, who scalps all the big box stores for toys and sells them in his shop for triple their current retail value. 

As the stow opened the waiting customers, including myself went in. The scalper, along with his grandchild in a basket took off as fat as possible. I went down the aisles one way and he another. As we approached the toy aisle he pushed the basket to block the aisle, I dogged it. As I looked to see what was new, he pushed through me, dragging his basket, with child, and lunged for the new Captain American figures. I picked up two, meanwhile the scalper was throwing toys off the pegs into his cart, several of which fell on the floor. He even tried to grab the two I had in my hand, out of my hand. 

It was a ridiculous scene andI looked at him and said, “really?” He quickly responded, “Yes really. You brought this upon yourself.” What this was, was a display of extreme behavior on his part. Sadly he walked away with one figure that I needed for my collection, the movie version of Black Widow. A rare figure that I’m sure is on his shelf for $60+.

I called Adam and told him what had happened. He went to another Target in town where I was going to meet him. Adam was there long before I was, and so was the scalper. As I was walking up to see what Adam had found, the scalper passes me pushing his basket, and says, “we are going to have a problem.”

As loud as possible, I respond, “excuse me did you just threaten us? Do I need to get security involved.” A few Target employees caught wind and the scalper pretended he didm;t know what was going on, as if we were harassing him. He left. I bought the figure and got my Starbucks drink. I still need that Black Widow, though. 

Even more upsetting, when he tried to grab the figures from my hands, I pulled back and scratched my sunglasses hanging from my shirt. That’s not cool. Although none of the situation was cool. 

I used to shop in his store and spend good money on his items, even if they were uncharged. Never again.  

Friday, September 20, 2013

A Force For Good


Sometimes, life can be quite overwhelming. You know the feeling, don't you? It's like claustrophobia or the sound of swimming underneath the sea as you hear the waves crash above you. It's the feeling of feeling trapped with no escape and no sign of release. I was having a rough patch of days like that awhile back. I would have a lot on my mind during the day, toss and turn at night, wake up and repeat.  During on of these restless nights, I had a very inspiring dream. I dreamt that I was some type of television reporter and that I was sitting down with Oprah for a huge show. Before we went live, I told her that I have always been a big fan. She smiled, adjusted her mic and said, ok then, I'm very interested in what you have to ask. We went live and the first question was, "how did you do it? How did you manage to inspire millions?" She took a small pause and then said, "honestly, you just wake up and do it. You do what you love."

Then, I woke up.

She was right. Or rather, I was right, talking through Oprah in my dreams? Either way, that's how you do it. You just wake up and do it by doing what you love.

That morning I needed to drop something off at the Boys and Girls Club. I have a set route that I normally take. I decided to go a different way, today. On my way, right before I reached my destination I see a huge billboard with Oprah on it. "A Force For Good," it reads. I couldn't help but feel odd and inspired. It was a reassuring sign, divine or not, that I needed in that moment in time. All I could think of was "just wake up and do it." And there she was. And so I will. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Bullying

When you shut a door, sometimes it's hard to open it up again. I don't talk about being bullied while growing up. It brings me to instant tears. It's one of those doors. I just spent the past week with a group of good friends (Friend Movement) on a quest to bring awareness to communities on the importance of being a friend and not a bully - The New F Word. I think it's time to open a few of my own doors. 

I didn't have many friends growing up. Part of the only child curse I suppose or partly due to the fact that the kids I grew up around were mean. I was teased at a young age, called a faggot, called gay, called a homo long before I knew what those words meant. Tears would run down my face, I felt lost and alone. I didn't understand cruelty. I'd talk to my parents a little about it and although they would make me feel better I still didn't want to go to school. I didn't want to hurt inside. 

It didn't stop there. I was teased for the way I talk, sound. A voice is a powerful thing in life. Its who we are and how we communicate and mine is unique. It's not strong and its not deep. Combine that with being called gay and life was hell. There were days I just didn't want to exist. I was embarrassed to talk for fear of being teased and made to feel different; for fear of not being accepted. There was nothing I could do. I couldn't change how I was made. It cut deep. 

I still carry that fear. You'd never know it. I grew thick skin and learned how to talk myself through my anxiety of being in front of new people. Trying not to wonder what they think of me when I speak. 

Ironically I have a lot to say; there's  a lot that I believe in and there's a lot to fight for. I imagine kids today that are experiencing the cruelty that I did; the tears that run down their face and it keeps me going. 

I sometimes think about how funny it is that I have this fear and  insecurity and I chose a career in communications and public relations.  There are still days I'd rather run and hide but to the core, that's not me. With this being said I proudly stand up against bullying and am willing to be a friend to those who think they are alone in the world. You're not? We are here together! 



Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Disillusionment of Comic Con


We've been to Comic Con three years consecutively. Never have we braved the madness of Hall H. This year was to be the year! In line at 4:30a, I found myself in line, almost a mile away from the door. Not to mention behind hundreds of over-night-campers, unshowered and zombie-like fans. This instantly became a moment of defeat. A girl in line with me said its been like this for two days. She also shared she got into the Infamous Hall at 5p, missing all of her desired panels. This non-reassuring news made me doubt my positioning more. Do I stay of do I go?

I called Jon who was in a torturous line of his own - parking. We agreed to get in line for Ballroom 20, another venue for panels and previews. This is the regular admission line. 

For me, comic con has officially become not fun. Standing in seemingly never ending lines, sought after exclusives that reasonably attainable becoming impossible to get because of over impacted crowds and back door deals; how could this be exciting. On the exhibition hall floor, studios preview new shows and new seasons of fan-favorite shows. Again, so close but do far. It takes time and a lot of money to get to Comic Con, there are moments of fun and happiness but not enough to outshine the grim reality and craze that haunts this annual event.

What does this mean for my future attendance of Comic Con?  Probably nonattendance next year. There are many other shows in places I've not seen. Venturing out of the normal crazy con might be a good thing for a fan who just wants to have fun.  

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Comic Con Is Almost Here

This will be our third year attending San Diego Comic Con. In just two days, we will hit the road, early in the morning to avoid traffic, and attend the largest comic book and entertainment convention in the world. I'm obviously a nerd and unafraid to admit it. Since I was about 9 years old, I collected comic books and comic art trading cards. Now, as with most conventions and shows that I attend, I get to chat and meet the creators of the characters that I have loved for years. It's thrilling.

In addition, it's fun to go and see the panels for new movies, new television shows and people watch. There's a mix of creativity and awkwardness at each show. Cosplay is phenomenon that is impressive and a little too nerdy for my likes. Dressing up like a character is one thing, but pretending to "be" that character is a little too deep for me. I'll go as far as wearing a comic book superhero t-shirt and talking about characters that I like. That's my limit. 

This year Jon and I are lucky to have a full week's pass including Preview night. We've tried each year to get a ticket into this surreal experience but have had no luck. This is our year. I wonder what it will be like? I'll obviously blog about it while I am there, in the meantime, I need to choose which shirts I want to wear and on which days. I've already started compiling my list of sketches I want and from which artists. This is going to be GREAT! 


Sunday, July 7, 2013

No Pain, No Gain?


The phrase no pain, no gain comes to mind and I don't take it lightly and here is why. In March I signed up to participate in the CrossFit Open workouts, a series of five workouts, released by national and to be completed over a five week period. One of the first work outs was a ground to overhead move, the Rx weight was 135 pounds, and for me, it was the first time that I had moved that much weight over head. I did it. I struggled. I felt satisfied. I felt pain.

I had hope that I was feeling intense soreness. I rolled out, stretched and continued to compete in the opens. The pain got better, or at least I thought it did until, in April, during a snatch workout my bicep gave out on me. It made a terrible popping sound and it hurt like hell. My shoulder was equally painful. Unwilling to go to the doctor because I knew they would take me out of working out for an unknown amount of time, I continued to fight through the pain. Advil and ice became my good friends. It was intensely swollen and the pain stopped subsiding. It got so bad that I couldn't sleep on my left side without it hurting. Yes, finally, I went to the doctor. 

I have bicipital-tendinitis and a shoulder impingement on my left side. I've been attending physical therapy as well three times a week. Working on building the strength in the area again andgetting the  inflammation down with ice and heat. Yes, they took me out of ANY working out for about two months. Potentially I can return in September. I'll have to wait and see. I had fully intended to train for the 2014 CrossFit Opens and be the best athlete possible. That has surely changed. In fact, this injury has humbled and competitive spirit I may have been developing. The pain and potential damage that could have been isn't worth it to me. I did/do love going to the box and trying to increase my personal records but not at the cost of my body. So where does that leave me? Back at square one. It's ok, but it's disappointing at the same time. Will I get back to where I was? Maybe, maybe not. I'm still working that out in my head, but I really have no choice. No pain, no gain? No thank you! Lift smart and lift forever is more like it!