Month: February 2010

The Wall

No, not Pink Floyd’s.

I want you to imagine yourself at your most depressed. You are cold, wet, hungry, and incredibly sad. You are shaking uncontrollably and crying just as uncontrollably. You are dejected, you are miserable, and you are in a state of such self-loathing that there is no apparent way out.

That is where I was today.

The phenomenon of “hitting the wall” was brought home to me about a year ago, more actually, running with friends in training for the half marathon. One of the friends hit the wall and we found her crying, walked a bit, and seemed to cheer her up. But try as we might we couldn’t really, truly understand: we offered her water and a walk break, and tried to decipher best practices for next time.

So I now know what Duncan and Bryce were up against today, when I walked my bike up to them in Bel-Red, completely uncollected and openly weeping.

It takes a lot to make me cry. It takes a lot a lot to make me cry in front of other people. I don’t like it, there is all sorts of personal shame associated with it. And here I was crying, IN FRONT OF GUYS.

Incidentally, crying in front of incredibly understanding, awesome guys who didn’t try to solve it and didn’t try to belittle it: they walked with me, kept an eye on me, and ensured I got to a Starbucks where I rested and recouped.

In my case, I hit a wall over several things: I didn’t hydrate nearly enough, I didn’t eat enough breakfast, I didn’t prepare for the cold, I didn’t prepare for the wet, and it was my first outing with clippie shoes which, while they propel you farther, require more of your musculature than you would think. All manner of things contributed to the breakdown, and let me tell you, fifty unstopped minutes of personal loathing and forlorn-ness are not fun. By the time I made it to the Starbucks I had formed a plan: procure the necessary additional items (rain shell, longer bike tights, second water bottle) and provide the necessary additional preparation (full breakfast, extra water, extra snacks).

Because I’m not doing that again. It was the most personally demeaning, ugly chapter in my life, save possibly one circa November 2005, and I don’t wish to repeat it ever.

Next weekend, the wall will be my bitch.

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Healthcare Debate

As we all know, I did a fantastic flip-cum-pirouette on the Burke Gilman trail about a month ago, and like any responsible person concerned about one’s brains, I went to the Swedish Hospital Emergency Entrance in Ballard. They took fantastic care of me, I paid my $100 co-pay, and that was that.

Not really.

Today in the mail I received a bill for just under $300. Swedish charged an incredible amount to the insurance company (remember, I was there for all of 2 hours: I had no IV, they cleaned up my skinned knee, gave me an ace bandage, and had a doctor look in my eyes with a light for about 15 minutes) and the insurance company paid an incredible amount to them… minus that $300 and minus my $100 co-pay.

W.T.F.

It has been my experience (except for the time I was hospitalized for a blood clot and they kept me overnight and I had to have an MRI and they kept me in ICU) that a quickie hospital stay is the $100 copay, you’re in/you’re out/you’re done. Receiving a bill for hundreds of extra dollars was not on my programme. Now, I’m fiscally conservative… to the point that those Puget Sound Energy comparison charts get me into hives to see what I can do to get my bill down… and so finding out I owe extra money (even though I have it to pay and yes will likely pay it) makes me irk just a tad.

The question is, just how much of my time is investigating (and, likely, arguing) this worth? I mean, it will start with me needing to acquire a detailed bill (this one offered only the total, no break out) and then talking to the insurance company and likely the hospital and then back to the insurance company as to what was covered, what was not, and why it wasn’t.

The fact that I spent 3 years working for the insurance company, and that it gainfully employs my best friend as an analyst, does not help.

I think I’ll wait until Monday to make the initial call…

Scheduling

Dear, sweet, hot, well-music’d Eric was back again tonight, and the lovers seem to have made up, and the music was one of my favorite tracks, and so all is well in the Spin Class world. Naturally, this will be short-lived.

The boychild has Little League, that uniquely American rite of passage, starting in two weeks and practices are at the same time as Spin Class With Hot Eric. I shall therefore have to change my Spin Class schedule, and have it likely with someone who is Not Hot Eric, and that makes it all the more bittersweet. I have two more weeks of Hot Eric and then it shall end until June.

My schedule is usually convoluted, what with the 50% single-mom-ness and all. I have a very very wonderful and understanding set of bosses, which is awesome, but when it comes time to compound work/school schedules with gym and sports and events (hey, I’m now the Moss Bay Dive Club secretary! That takes time!) you end up getting nights like tonight where I am running code, figuring out how to make another process work, and cooking my dinner (the boy had his before Spin Class; I can’t eat before it because I’ll throw up and that is just not lovely at all) at 8:30pm.

That’s how they do it in Geneva, I’ll bet.

I don’t want no subs…

Oh, Eric! (Eric is the name of my crazy hot spin class instructor). Don’t ever leave me again!

Last night we had somebody. I don’t know what her name was but she had short blond hair and more extra poundage than I and yet somehow she did very punishing things to us on the bike. She had faux country music playing (Jessica Simpson’s “Boots Are Made For Walking”, anyone?) and firmly believed that the butt and the seat should flirt constantly but never, ever, actually meet.

The only redeeming thing about class was to discover that apparently the blonde Hottie and the Tall Lanky Spin Class Guy, who may or may not be in some form of relationship, are not sitting next to each other anymore AND they each filled their water bottles separately. Also, the Frat Boys were nowhere to be seen and have been replaced by an anemic-looking 20-something who did his durned best, as he put it in discussion with me after class, to not throw up.

Eric! Please come back! I will not make fun of the 10% techno you play and instead cherish the 90% Alt. I will never ever ever again complain about intervals and hills. I will not correct your knowledge of music ever again. I will not skip class ever again. Please, please come back…

Taking a Page from NPR

I’m here to talk to you about your Bobbie services. Think about it, you tune in to Bobbie on a daily, or at least weekly basis; you trust Bobbie to tell you about all things Bobbie and keep you more informed on the things you like to know about, such as Spin Class Social Studies and Things Not To Do With Data. When was the last time you were standing around the water cooler and the conversation turned to something you heard from Bobbie, and were able to participate in the discussion?

Now is the time to show Bobbie that you appreciate her, that you understand that this Bobbie service isn’t something that should go unrecognized. For just pennies a day you could sponsor Bobbie for $30 in the RtCC. Or think about your daily latte expenditure: what does that come to, $3? Maybe $5 if you get that pastry or roll? How much do you value that latte versus your Bobbie experience: for just a fraction of your daily latte habit you could sponsor Bobbie for $50.

Don’t forget, your Bobbie RtCC donation is absolutely tax deductible.

And then you can drive in your car, and go about your work day, knowing that you’ve done your part in supporting the Bobbie. You then have that bond, with other sponsors of the Bobbie, knowing that because of your financial support you will have access to the Bobbie and all of the Bobbie expectations you’ve come to enjoy.

There are also wonderful pledge gifts for your support of the Bobbie. At the $25 level, you will receive an authentic thank you email from the Bobbie, personally addressed and containing some personal reference or relevant piece of information. At the $50 level, you will not only receive the thank you email but are likely to get your data faster (cough). At the $100 level and above, you will have the opportunity to sign the Helmet of the Bobbie for yourself or in honor of someone you know as she plummets down the backroads from Vancouver, BC to Seattle.

At the $250 level, you will be able to access the Bobbie’s personal blog, which is actually quite racy and includes all sorts of gossip, back to when Bobbie started blogging in October of 2005. Alternately, if you already have access to the blog, the Bobbie will show up at your house and do your laundry for you each week for two months. And if you already have *that*, you are Bobbie’s boyfriend and should be donating just because you use up more of the Bobbie’s time than anyone, except the Boychild, who doesn’t need the tax credit.

Once again, you can donate to the Bobbie’s fundraiser (The Ride to Conquer Cancerhere and thank you for your support.

Fumble

The only exercise I’ve got since Wednesday Night’s spin class has been to drive — to drive to Seattle and back, and then again and back (don’t… ask…), to drive to my mom’s and back (Mom lives in Rochester, WA), and then again and back (again, don’t ask…). While I’d love to believe what my now-discarded bodybug seemed to think that driving beats an ordinary sedentary day, I can’t help but feel I’m really not going to like my scale tomorrow.

So it’s back to spin class and hopefully a 40-something mile ride this weekend, if I can get babysitting for the boy child. My bike is fixed and I now own the Right Shoes, next post will likely be about how I couldn’t get my foot out of those shoes in time and will have gone “splat”. You watch.

Keeping the Gordita Honest

I’m in Zihuatanejo, Mexico which means that what with sun and surf and sand and great food I’m just not really biking, at all. However, I *have* run two days — one at my fastest pace ever (1 mi in 7.5 minutes, which even amazed me) — and try keeping up with a 7-year old who’s discovered the joy of getting thrown into the waves. My arms are totally buff now.

Fundraising seems to have slowed down on the Ride to Conquer Cancer, so I will be sending out an email shortly to beg for money. If you have any other fundraising ideas (bake sale?) please forward!

PS — I have an awesomely splotchy burn that I hope to even out before I’m clad in naught but bike shorts and similar skimpy active wear for 2 days.

PPS – I have procured clippy shoes and appropriate pedals, and the bike is fixed — won’t get out for another 2 weeks (thanks to schedule) but still: clippies!

Social Studies, Part II

Spin Class offers me 60 minutes of physical torture by an aforementioned hot, bald instructor who seems to think that intervals… while on a hill… to exceptionally good and varied music… are fun.

Well, then.

I will agree that they are fun, provided you are in *my* spin class.

Oh! The drama!

The drama of my spin class is second only to Telenovelas, spanish (Mexican, specifically) soap operas where the acting vies with the clothing for “worst” lists.

Last week, we saw our gearhead making eyes and conversation at the hottie blonde who spends all of her time watching herself in the mirror — until her water bottle was filled by the SpinClass Regular (who is, it must be noted, significantly taller — though I would not personally agree significantly hotter). Last night Gearhead positioned himself exactly opposite Hottie, and also in line with Regular, so as to watch the two of them. When he wasn’t bent over listening to “Renegades of Funk” by Rage Against the Machine on Level 4 2minutes Hill at 100rpm, he was in fact eyeballing the two of them, as I am wont to do, attempting to figure out the nature of their relationship.

Regular will never hold a candle to the mirror, for her, as far as I can see.

We had another packed class, with a male person who can only be classed as Junior to me (because he was so clearly so: look sonny I get that you think I’m cute and I get that I’m on the bike right next to you and I totally get that we have the same taste in music — but– I’m not so much for conversation that is punctuated with “ya know” and “i like said”) taking every opportunity to talk about the music, grade, my gear, and clippie shoes.

We had an excellent sound track, which normally I’d class a 7 out of 10 but this was an overwhelming 9.3.

And we have some new faces I hope to see in future classes: the Frat Boy, who is clearly in Spin Class because beer has caught up to him. His Buddy, who is clearly in Spin Class because Frat Boy has convinced him you get hotties that way (FB and Buddy made a play for the Blonde Hottie and got totally and irrevocably shut down when she completely ignored them) (They then spent 10 minutes pre-class talking to the Frat Girl that was there, who I would say is charitably pretty). The Old Gent who is there to Do Something About It and took, very good naturedly, to the music of the class. And then we have the Proto-Geek, whom I’ve seen on occasion who knows all of the Alternative and most of the Electronica and is at a complete loss when it comes to the Grunge and Rap, but, I think, is flirting with my Hot Instructor.

It’s amazing how much you can see when you’re avoiding the singing, searing pain in your thighs on a bike.

Social Studies

I get to spin class early enough to get the BEST BIKE. The best bike is in the corner, so it’s not too near the bikes next to it. It’s ideally situated across from the mirrors so you can see the entire class. It’s situated such that you can totally check out the instructor, who is scathingly hot (and bald).

It’s also excellent to watch people.

There’s the 50-something lady with the little bike tattoo’d on her ankle, who cheers whenever intervals come up. There’s the skinny tall elderly man, who has clearly been doing this for a while; there’s the hottie who parks herself smack next to the mirrors and WATCHES HERSELF THE ENTIRE TIME. I can’t blame her, if I had that body I’d watch myself the entire time too. There’s the spin-class regular (tall, skinny) who overdoes everything and goes to fill her water bottle even at expense of his timely start. There’s the shorter, just-as-hot spin class regular (with his own official jerseys) who is attempting something with her and just discovered last Monday that she’s already got something (sort of, but not really) for the water-bottle-filler.

There’s the executive who hasn’t been in 2 months and yet expects nothing to have changed, there’s the overweight Microsoftian who is Doing Something About It. There’s the housewife who is there to keep in shape, and the one who just arrived on the scene to start keeping in shape. There’s the couple of college kids who can probably eat an extra 3 bowls of Lucky Charms with every meal as a result of this class, and there’s the elderly man whose Doctor has clearly told him to Do Something.

And then there’s me. I still sing to all the songs, and I’m sure it’s an eye-rolling thing for them.

Gearing Up

I now have such accoutrements as bike shorts. They are padded, so it’s a bit like wearing 1980’s spandex shorts with Depends built-in. I must say they do their darndest to compress and streamline, but they also are unforgiving to those of us who, in the immortal words of Mr. Mix-a-Lot, have “got back”.

What I still do not have are clippie shoes, and now I am without a helmet thanks to last weekend’s bike accident. I am ordering and procuring and so forth, and intend to ride this coming weekend (borrowed bike and borrowed helmet, and yes both owners know I have bike wreckage issues).

Tonight will be my first night back at spin class for a week; let’s hope the instructor has pity on me. If he’s really mean I’ll scare him off with my bruise.