August Check-in

When I posted last month’s check-in, I was feeling so great fitness-wise. I felt like things were starting to move in the right direction.

You guys. 2018 is not my year, at least not in staying healthy.

Two days after my post went up, I rolled my ankle. While taking a run selfie. I always assumed if an epic fail happened during a run selfie, it would be my phone falling into the lake or something. Instead, it happened when I was running through the West Loop and found a pretty cobblestone alley and attempted a selfie. I actually got a couple decent selfies, and mentally noted that running on cobblestones isn’t the best idea, but I wanted to do one more to get a better-composed shot.

Look at this well-composed shot of the aftermath of rolling my ankle.

I hobbled out of the alley and was feeling woozy, so I sat on the curb and took some deep breaths. Some construction workers walked by and asked if I was OK, I lied and said I was. Once I felt like I wasn’t going to pass out and/or vomit, I wrangled up an Uber and went home. Of course, it was the same ankle I that sprained back in March (when I attempted to do my chair-dance act without removing my heels first). This time felt worse though. I was hobbling for 3 days. But even when I could walk without hobbling, my ankle was still swollen, so I didn’t work out.

Finally, when two weeks passed and my ankle was still swollen, I decided I should get it checked out. (Actually, Declan reminded me how stupid it would be to not do what I can to make sure this heals properly, which is what got me to finally get it checked out, so thank you for that.)  I went to ATI Physical Therapy for an injury screening, their prognosis was better than what I had worked up in my head, but PT was still recommended. Then it was off to my doc to get another referral (because Illinois won’t let you just go to PT on your own), and he recommended 6 sessions of PT and no working out. Unless it was seated workouts or swimming. So, I could bike or row, but no running (obvi) but also no yoga, pilates, or weightlifting. I hate spinning, the nearby park district lap swim options don’t work with my class schedule, and I lose a lot of motivation when I’m injured, so I haven’t made a trip to the gym at work for rowing. Which is to say that I haven’t been working out. But I have been going to PT. Hopefully, I’ll be cleared to run and workout later this month. Luckily the pain is gone and I very rarely catch myself inadvertently putting my weight on it in a way that feels bad.

Because I don’t want this post to be a total downer, I competed in another CLLAW (Chicago League of Lady Arm Wrestlers) match! It was my 4th and their 30th! This might have been Hell Cat Von Purr’s last match because I have another charcter idea brewing … (heh … brewing … it’ll make sense if I go through with it.)


L-R starting at the top:  With my burlesque friends (the ones who have also crossed over to CLLAW) and a photobomb by the champ Stone Cold Jane Austen, with my manager Heidi Seek* (x2), fellow CLLAW competitor Aunt Nance, losing to Taylor Fist (not pictured: me throwing up a “hairball” onto her), wrestling Captain Philippines (who won CLLAW 29), the captain’s manager tries to distract me. 

* My burly bestie Kitty La Royall is usually my CLLAW manager, but I find it hilarious that the times she’s been unavailable, I’ve been able to find not one but now two friends (from the burlesque community) who not only have their own leopard-print “sexy” clothing to match me, but also have their own cat ears. Heidi Seek even had enough pairs of leopard print fishnets that she gave me a pair to wear. 


Anyway, my 2018 goals … I think it’s time to re-assess. My old goals aren’t working for me.

Goal #1: Spartan Race Safely re-build fitness. 

This hasn’t been my year. So far I’ve experienced: back pain that lasted for about a week, rolling my ankle, fatigued calves (likely due to low potassium/magnesium), pulled back/shoulder muscle, and another rolled ankle.   As I mentioned last month, I skipped the Chicago Spartan Sprint in June. I didn’t feel like I was physically ready and didn’t want to risk injury. LOL considering what happend just over a week after the race date. Anyway, I’m registered for the Detroit Half Marathon in October, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to defer. By the time I’m cleared to run, I’ll have less than 2 months to build up from 0 miles and a bad track record of injuries.  I can defer my registration (for a fee), so I’m going to do that so I feel zero temptation to build up too quickly.

Goal #2: No Knee Pain. 

Once I’m cleared to work out, I have zero desire to try to be a hero or try to prove anything other than I can work out regularly and build up my fitness without getting injured.  I think at this point my runner’s knee issue from 4 years ago is the least of my worries.

Goal #3: Graduate School

This goal is unchanged. Grad school is going well! I got an A in my first class! And I’m already halfway through my second class. These 5-week accelerated summer courses are fun! (LOL, not really … is it summer right now? I have no idea. I have done zero fun summer things.)  Anyway, I’m excited about the things I’m learning and the doors I’m opening up for myself. Sure, it sucks to sit in class for 3 hours after an 8-hour workday and to miss lots of fun summer stuff due to class and/or studying. I’m still trying to figure out my eating schedule on class days. If anyone has tips for how to pack both lunch and dinner but dinner needs to be something that can sit in my bag for 2 hours because I’m not hungry enough to eat it at 5pm when I leave the office, but I do get a 15 min break during class. I have a feeling I’ll get sick of PB&J pretty soon.

Goal #4: Teach Tribe 

I feel like a major loser for admitting this … but I don’t have a “tribe.” At least, not one that I regularly spend time with. People are busy, they have work and kids (and grad school and whatever else), so my closest friends either live somewhere I have to fly to, or live close enough that I see them once in a while but it’s far enough that I don’t see them nearly enough.  And making new friends is hard. Because, like I said, people are busy. When I did burlesque, I was around people (really fun people) all the time between rehearsal and performances. Now that I’m not performing, I miss that outlet. This is something I’m talking to with my therapist because I’m naturally an introvert, and not only is it hard for me to talk to new people but it’s also exhausting. But I miss having a tribe of people I see somewhat regularly.

Goal #5: More Focused Free Time Authenticity

This is something I’ve been working on for a while, and it’s getting to a point where I need to take a big step that I’ve been honestly avoiding for far too long.  Vague goal is vague.


How’s your summer going? What fun summer things are you doing? I’ll have 3 weeks between my second summer class ending and the start of my fall class, and my birthday falls during that time, so maybe I’ll do something fun. Give me some ideas.  

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7 Comments on “August Check-in”

  1. Ouch! Sorry to hear about your ankle. That is the wurst. Glad you listened to Declan and got it checked out. Where is the alley that you took the infamous selfie? I just started working in the West Loop.

    1. It’s off of Peoria just south of Randolph. If you’re in the West Loop, we should resurrect the WRCE! We could start our own club from Kaiser Tiger or something.

      1. Cool. Let me know when you want to run (once your ankle is okay, that is!). I run pretty much every day at lunch: I do a few loops around Union Park on my easy days, or on my not-as-easy days I run to the LFT (via the riverwalk). If it’s a rest day, I do a ~30 minute workout at the WAC on Randolph (across the street from Kaiser Tiger)!

  2. I definitely feel you on the tribe thing! I get social interaction through some of my extracurriculars (dance, marathon training), but the cast of characters changes so much in both of those that it feels less like a tribe and more like a friendship with the one or two people who are also constants in either class or my training group. And, unsurprisingly, there’s zero overlap between the two, so that also makes it feel less like a tribe and more like friends of convenience–which also means when it’s inconvenient (i.e.: you’re not training or in class any more), the friendship goes away. While part of me is proud that I’ve been able to expand my social circle as an adult, even if the friendships are mostly of convenience, I will admit that another part of me is very jealous of the people who managed to keep their friend groups from college or high school together. I would love to have a friend group, but creating one from scratch as an adult is a very daunting task!

    1. Yes, friendship of convenience, that is a great way to put it. Those are somewhat easy as an adult. I’ve had so many work friends who I really connect with but then never see each other once one of us moves on. I guess it’s not necessarily bad, it fills a need, but it takes a lot of work to grow adult friendships into a sustainable friendship. Although, I guess childhood friends are also of convenience – you see each other every day at school, you’re on the same sports team, you live on the same block, etc. Ditto for college – live in the same dorm, take the same classes. As an adult you’re more isolated – you don’t talk to people in your apartment building, don’t do as many “extra-curriculars”, etc.

  3. Try a Thai pb&j! Orange (or peach or apricot) marmalade, PB, Sriracha, sprinkle of curry powder, and if you have it – fresh basil! My favorite fast meal.

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