"I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination." -- Jimmy Dean
As many of you know I tore my left calf muscle (specifically the gastrocnemius) about one month ago. This was my first ever major injury. I've always been so careful to avoid injury always knowing when something didn't feel right and knowing when to pull back. This time, however, was different.
I had been feeling a little tightness in my left calf muscle and to me it just felt like nothing more than a tight muscle that needed to be stretched. I had no idea at the time that what I was feeling was the beginning of a tear in my muscle. I kept stretching, foam rolling, adding in plenty of easy days and wearing my compression socks. I was doing what I thought needed to be done to take care of it. I was about less than two weeks out from my next race and I was doing a brick run on the treadmill (a run immediately following the bike). I made one wrong step with my right foot hitting the side of the tread which jolted the treadmill to a stop whipping my left leg back and POP! Needless to say I'd torn my muscle. I was given bad news from the doctor who informed me I'd probably be out for several months which kind of threw a wrench in my race plans for the remainder of the season.
I realized after the accident I had two choices... A.) I could either bum around being a completely miserable person or B.) I could look towards all the things I could still do and focus on that. I chose to go with B. Since I normally take an off-season at the end of every season, giving myself a few weeks break before resuming normal training, I decided I'd just call it a season early and spend my time doing all the things I normally can't do when I'm training.
This included more time spent with MattyB fishing and taking snoozes in the park.
I had my first ever opportunity to drive around the grocery store in one of those motorized carts.
And while I was clearly down on my luck, MattyB thought he'd give it a go on his end.
After making our way back to Flagstaff, we had plenty of time to focus on the little things.
Matt and I have really learned to love cooking more and more. There is something so special about cooking a meal together and knowing everything you put into it. Here we are making a roast chicken and baking pumpkin bites for dessert. Yum!
Flagstaff has seen a lot of change in the past few years with a lot of really cool new businesses coming in. With a little more time on our hands, we found ourselves spending more time exploring and have a new favorite place, the Tourist Home Urban Market. If you ever come to Flagstaff you have to stop by here. Tourist Home was originally built in 1926 and was once a Basque sheepherders boarding house. Since I have lived in Flagstaff, the building has sat boarded up and empty until being recently renovated and re-opened. The renovation they did to the place is just plain awesome. It has such a great feel to it and is our new favorite place to do work over a cup of coffee. The food is amazing, the service is wonderful and it is right in the heart of many cool new businesses in Flagstaff. Not to mention, they are usually always playing good music sure to make you want to dance, sing out loud, or just plain put you in a good mood (think Bob Marley, The Cure, and even a little James Brown among many other gems).
Oh and did I mention their donuts and pastries?? I talked about donuts in my last blog, didn't I? Now you all probably think I just sit at home all day and eat donuts, but I swear this is not true. I only eat them every other day. In all seriousness, while I truly do not advocate the use of gluten, if there was one time in your life that you might slip up and go for it, it must be for the Tourist Home donuts. I know I said in my last blog that Top Pot Donuts in Seattle were the best, but I regret to say that I now think Tourist Home takes the win on that one. If you are only going to pick just one, go for the cruller. TO DIE FOR!!
Because we are always looking for ways to improve our health (errr, except for the donut part) and avoid contaminants and chemicals in water and food, we sought out a local fresh spring just down the road in Sedona to get our water from.
And while it's been more than a few weeks now since the Olympics has been over, my injury could not have come at a better time as I thoroughly enjoyed parking my ass on the couch (after inhaling a Tourist Home cruller of course) for hour after hour of Olympic coverage. I LOVE the Olympics and this year's did not fail. Watching Matthew Centrowitz win the 1500, Katie Ledecky dominate every distance of the swim and Gwen Jorgenson take home the gold in Women's triathlon was beyond inspiring. And did you know that all 3 of our US women placed in the top ten of the marathon (6th, 7th, and 9th to be exact)? A truly remarkable and gritty performance by all three.
The good news is I was up and walking within a matter of two weeks and was able to get out and do easy spins on my mountain bike as well. This has meant a lot of walks and bike rides on the beautiful trails of Flagstaff among the sunflowers. It's a great reminder that sometimes slowing down can be just the right medicine.
We go to Tucson often as Matt works a contract job there a few days a month and we always enjoy our time there. We love the Southwest culture, the outdoor pools and the beautiful Saguaro cacti. AND, we have been discovering some AMAZING Mexican food. I absolutely LOVE Mexican food and to be somewhere where I can get authentic Mexican food (both street food and finer cuisine) is a way to this girl's part-Mexican heart. Yep, I might be as white as they come, but this little girl has got some Latina sangre runnin' through her veins. One bite of their food and I'm spewing out Mexican (errr... Spanish) so fast even I can't understand myself!!
And of course, I couldn't finish this blog without mentioning the baby budgies. Being home a little more has meant more time spent bonding with our babies (even though they could still give a shit about me). I tell them I love them all the time, but unfortunately this is the kind of love we all fear... unrequited love :( I'm keeping my hopes up that maybe one day they will have a change of heart. After all, I feed them and give them water daily. I give them special treats like celery and have bought them more toys than can actually fit in their cage. And last, but certainly not least, I clean up their little shits and feathers on a daily basis. How can they not love me for this??
While Maizie is not pictured here, she is sitting inside the cage just under Cielo. Maizie's a little shy and not quite as adventurous as Ceelo Blue. She was a little hormonal and requested not to have her picture taken on this particular day.
So the moral of this blog and something I have truly been working on. LIVE IN THE MOMENT! Your life is never as bad as you think it is. Stop thinking about yesterday, stop thinking about tomorrow, stop thinking about what might have been and start being thankful for what you do have. Sure I'm a bit of a gimp right now, but hey my upper body isn't damaged and I was getting just a wee bit "wimpy, wimpy, wimpy" up top. In fact, I had ordered myself a pull-up bar the day before my accident along with the book "The Power of Now". Hey, if that's not an omen, I don't know what is. Time to get my Hulk on and focus on the things I CAN do and truly focus on being IN the moment. All we have is THIS very moment right now folks. So stick that in your pipe and smoke it! (NO, I did not say "crack" pipe. Because crack is whack people!). Take the time to enjoy life's simple pleasures, like the sound of baby budgies chirping, long walks, time watering your garden (and yes that can be literal or metaphorical) and when all else feels like a total failure be truly thankful for reality television. The fact that others are willing to go on television to make a true mockery of themselves for your entertainment (and then never have to work again because they are instantly rich & famous) you should be truly thankful for.
I will leave you with that truly deep thought. Until next time or should I say "Hasta la proxima",