Since I started back to school reading for leisure is not something I get to do very often. So while I was on my flight to MN last week I was able to get caught up on a few of my back issues of Runner’s World. One of the articles I read was titled Dead Freakin Last…and Proud of It! This was a great article about those who are the very last to finish races. In the Genesis Running Program, I did they always have a Sweeper to be sure no one in the program is last in the race which is a really cool thing to do. But as I read this article I remembered I had actually run a race many years ago in 2004. I totally forgot all about it!
I was working in an Intensive Outpatient Substance Abuse Program at a local hospital, at that time was just playing around with the idea of running a 5k. I was not in shape at all, I barely walked let alone ran anywhere and I was a little overweight. I was playing around with trying to eat better but no real commitment (my how things have changed). Anyway, one of my colleagues was a runner and we had talked about her running and me getting into running but nothing really came of it; until she had me talked into running a 10k, yes you read that right a 10k! Looking back on it now I had no idea what I was thinking, I didn’t even know what a 10k was at the time, the complete lack of knowledge I had about the sport of running and running in general, geeze! What made this idea even worse was where this race was taking place at Kanawha State Forest one of the State Parks in WV. It’s a hilly beast, so this made it even more of a bonehead moment for me. I knew nothing about form, proper shoes, clothes, I looked like I was from the Island of Misfit Runners. My colleague for all her good intentions and having confidence in my ability to do this race but she didn’t help me to prepare for it all. No practice runs, nothing. I don’t remember much about the complete race; more so just the end. I remember being really exhausted and fighting to finish it, and people passing me. I thought I was going to die, my legs hurt so bad and I felt heavy. I was a hot sweaty mess. My colleague, her name was Robin, was with me the whole time. But I did finish this race and I was absolutely Dead Freakin Last!! I remember being a little embarrassed but I honestly was too tired to care. However, when I finally crossed the finish line folks clapped for me as I crossed. I don’t know if they were happy for me that I finished or if they could finally get on with the awards 😂 But here’s the funny part….I won my division! Haaaaa! The caveat is I was the only one in my division but I didn’t care I got my prize like I beat a million people! I hobbled right up there accepted it. The next day and next several days, I was never so glad to have a bathroom on the first floor. My legs hurt so bad I could barely stand let alone walk. 🤕
Until I read this article I had completely forgotten about this race. I searched through some things and found the medal (my very first) from that day. I didn’t realize the significance of this medal until now. Finishing DFL isn’t the worst thing that can happen, Had it not been for that race my first 5k and half-marathon may not have been possible. It is because of that first race and finishing DFL I learned how strong I was, I’m a fighter and if I set a goal I’m going to meet it.
Fishing Dead Freakin Last may not be a bad thing 😉
This week I’m in Minnesota for Residency for school as part of my doctoral program. Well, I’m here at least yesterday through the rest of the weekend. Anyway, I knew I had to make this trip and when I realized it was the day after my favorite artists’ Prince’s, birthday I thought I’m going to Paisley Park! So I immediately got online and started doing some research. I found the website and looked up the tickets. There were a lot that was sold out but it just so happened on Thursday, June 8th at 1:40 pm there were tickets available. Which was perfect because my flight got in really early and I didn’t have to register until 6 that evening. It was meant for me to go! And by the way, if was going on this tour…I was going VIP baby! Yes, I bought the VIP tickets! I was all in for this one. So I purchased my tickets about a month and a half before I went; you can’t buy tickets at the door in case you plan to go.
I arrive in MN totally exhausted because I had to get up at 4 for my 6:15 am flight. But I didn’t take a nap when I got to the hotel I was a little excited about going to Paisley Park. I googled it before I got here and found out it was only 20 minutes from the hotel; can you believe it 20 minutes! How could I have not gone?! Anyway, you can arrive 20 minutes prior to your tour time. I wasn’t sure about the traffic here so I got an Uber about 12:15 and we arrived too early. They are serious about that 20 minutes. You are not allowed on the property until 20 minutes prior to your tour time. They were not kidding. So I had to hang out in the gift shop area until my time. Which was fine I got to scope out some things to buy and talk with some people who had already been on the tour. I met a woman who had to be in her late 60’s or early 70’s she had a shirt she had made with Prince and some other things on it. I thought she bought it was a nice shirt; when I asked her where she got it she said she had it made for herself. She was from Atlanta and saw him at his last performance there prior to his passing. She asked me to take some pictures of her with some of the posters in the tent. She was sweet but so cool. She had the Holiday Inn shuttle van bring her there and was waiting for them to come and pick her up. Is that not the best?!
My tour time came so I went to the front entrance. I had my ticket, as you walk in there is a sign stating there is no food, or drink, no photos allowed and to please wipe your feet before you enter. These folks are serious about preserving the integrity of the building and respecting its owner. The security guards, who I think also worked for Prince, were dressed in black suits with earpieces, the first one meets you at the door to check your ticket and to get you in the correct line, either General Admission or VIP. The carpets are read with the paisley park symbol on them. Once you get to the desk the attendants check your tickets, VIP’s are given a red band around their wrists. They ask if you have a cell phone, if so they ask you to power it off, they take it and place in a green case and lock it. They give it back to you until the end of the tour. If you have a smart watch you are asked to take those off as well. They are serious.
The house is pretty much the same as when Prince lived there with a few modifications for the sake of the museum and to preserve items. Like his awards are now behind plexiglass to protect them. Some rooms have been changed as well and we were told which rooms on the tour. As we entered there is a mural of Prince looking over the entry way that he had done it was awesome. There are gold and platinum albums on the wall he had put up. On the left on the wall is the letter President and First Lady Obama had written expressing their condolences to the family.
Now as we walk into the first room there is a white marble floor with Prince’s famous symbol in black in the middle of it. Oh, the furniture is still there, were not allowed to sit on it to preserve it. Anyway, this room is full of light due to the skylight he had installed. As such it was a favorite room. Because it was one of his favorite rooms the family decided to….wait for it……place his ashes in this room…We did not see that one coming! You could hear our whole group gasp! The tour guide said we can now take some time to pay our respects if you like they had tissues there because just about everyone started to cry, including me. I was not expecting that..it was surreal. It was too much to take in. I hope I didn’t spoil it for anyone who may go. The woman I met in the gift shop..never said a word about it.
Then there were several rooms named after his early albums we could into, as well as his office that has been untouched. I’m telling you it was too much to take in. The VIP tour was an hour and a half. It included additional rooms, studios he recorded in, they took a picture of us in one of the studios and we got to record a track of one of his songs in the studio as well. Most of sang Raspberry Beret, we could choose from that one Creme or You Got The Look. It was so much fun! Prince liked to play ping-pong and the ping-pong table he played on was up and we were allowed to play ping-pong while they were taking out pictures and people were recording. And we could take as many pictures as we wanted, they put the pictures and the recording on a USB. One room that had been modified was the room where he had done choreography. The big mirror was still up but it was now the Purple Rain Room. It had one of the three bikes from the movie, the purple outfit he wore when he sang Let’s go Crazy, his Script from the movie, the small keyboard he danced on, you can see the scuff marks on it. I’m surprised he didn’t fall off that thing it was small!. Also, the Oscar for the best soundtrack was in this room. The movie was playing on the wall. It was AMAZING. There was so many words can’t explain it. There were a group of women from Kentucky who were just as stoked as I was; in fact, my whole tour group was crazy excited. They are my new BFF’s 😁 one guy from Texas had been there seven times! A few of them when Prince was there.
The tour ended in a room just outside the kitchen which is still in operation with the chefs who worked for Prince. Pancakes were his favorite food so just outside the merchandise are you can order a stack of pancakes to eat. There is also screen playing Prince’s SuperBowl Half-Time Show (best half-time show ever!). They also had a portion of the fence where people had left mementos when he passed. The rest of all of that is being archived to be preserved. There was another security guard who we gave our phones to and he unlocked them took the case and gave us our phones. After the tour, I bought a crazy amount of stuff, because when am I going to get to do this again?
It was a long tour and I had to do a lot of walking. Even though my physical therapist said I could do some walking, that hour and a half was a bit much. I was hurting a good bit by the end of the tour. So after my purchases, I sat down for a bit while I waited on my Uber to come and get me. I had the best time ever; I’m so glad I went some folks in my tour group were surprised I was there by myself. I told them a few years ago I wanted to go see Prince in Pittsburgh for my birthday and no one would go with me. I won’t make that mistake again.
I won’t be able to purify myself in the waters of Lake Minnetonka, it’s an hour and a half away 😢 and my class schedule really tight the rest of the time I’m here. But I had a blast on this tour and met some great people. So I’m good.
Today was my first day of physical therapy. I went to the Center for Pain Relief and Physical Therapy.
The staff here, unlike the staff at the main office, were very friendly from the front office staff to everyone in the back. It makes a big difference. The interesting thing is I used to work in this building with the psychiatrist upstairs. When they set up this appointment and giving me directions, (it’s not the easiest place to find), I was like Oh! I used to work there! No problem! I know exactly where it is.
Anyway, my physical therapist’s name is Mindy. She was FABULOUS! She did a very thorough assessment and history. She listened to what I had to say and gave me feedback. She was just great. I have a great deal of weakness primarily on the left side as those of you who have been reading this blog already know.. After some testing, she told me there was also a weakness with my adductors (I had no idea about that until she demonstrated it…wow)…and there is just a little weakness on my right leg even though the right leg was stronger overall. My core needs work too. It’s amazing how quickly what you can lose in 6 months, but she told me it may not be too bad I would probably have muscle memory (I think that was the phrase). She could also notice my hips shift when I walked, I thought something like that was going on, it felt as if my gait was off like I was walking uneven or something.
Mindy “worked on” several different points on my hip and piriformis to loosen it up or release the tension. I had been hurting today, it wasn’t one of my better days. Then she had me do a few exercises like a press up. Me pushing up on my hands while laying on my stomach when I start to hurt. I’m to do that at least three times a day. Another is to lay on my back pulling my belly button to the floor working on my core, doing the kegel exercise for stabilization. Also doing this same exercise throughout the day when I’m sitting which helps to correct my posture. Amazing, I didn’t know how much I slouched until she showed me how to sit correctly by doing this exercise. I can do it anywhere, anytime. She also gave me a Lumber Roll for my chair which helps my posture and to do this exercise. I used it in the car on the way home I couldn’t believe the change in my posture. She also had me to squeeze a ball between my legs while doing that last exercise which also helps to strengthen my core as well my adductors, you should have seen my knees shaking trying to keep that ball in place. I can’t believe how weak my legs have gotten.
It’s going to take some time but at least I now know what needs to be done. She also said I could do some walking, no running, but I could walk as long as I wasn’t in pain and it was flat. That was cool. So I’m going to be seeing her weekly, hopefully, twice a week, my work schedule is causing some issues. I also have to be out of town the end of next week for school. But at least I have the exercises to do in between sessions. I’m feeling pretty good about this she was reassuring, it’s just going to take time and patience. When I left today the pain I was in going into the appointment was alleviated little. That was a hopeful sign.
After three doctors, two MRI’s, an EMT the verdict is still not very clear but the long and short of it all is I have a little arthritis in my spine and a pinched nerve. It could get worse, maybe not. That is was my neurologist told me on Friday. I wasn’t very happy with what he told me because he kept referencing my age, which I think is complete BS. He knows I want to be able to get back in the game and we both actually joked if someone else had heard this news, they would be off to the social security office to collect disability 🤣 it’s true! Anyway, the neurologist knew I was upset, he told me about some of his issues, and that he still runs but stops when it becomes uncomfortable. He also said to do what the pain doctor told me to do, the physical therapy and possibly pool exercise to build the muscle in my left leg. The injections have not been scheduled yet pending the approval from the insurance company.
So I had my moment about the news. In retrospect, compared to other people and other issues it’s not bad. I still had both legs, to stand on and use. People have overcome much worse than this and have done incredible things. Venus Willimas is playing in the French Open and had to sit out of tennis for a year because of an illness, now she is back getting some serious butt. So I can do this, I was being seriously impatient and frustrated, so I started doing my own research about running with a pinched nerve and arthritis in the spine. Physical therapy seems to work best for it. Once I start that I will see what other exercises I can do while I’m doing PT. I also looked at getting a bike, already picked one out but I’m going to ask the physical therapist if I can do this before I make that investment.
I also have to work on my diet vegetables are antiinflammatories but I’m picky about the ones I eat. So I’ll have to increase the ones I do like to be sure I’m getting enough. This can help to decrease the pain. From what I’ve been reading that’s why many who have back pain or chronic pain either go vegetarian or vegan it helps significantly decrease if not eliminate their pain.
That’s the new game plan with adjustments to be made as needed. My physical therapy starts June 1st. I guess I’ll need some new tunes for my playlist you know powerful yet motivational Rocky type stuff that will get me up those steps. Any suggestions are welcome.
I started this blog in April 2015 to journal my way through a running program to completing my first 5k, and also as a way to hold myself accountable to be sure I completed the program. I had no idea if anyone would actually read it. There are so many blogs about running as I’ve discovered. I also didn’t know if I was that good at writing to tell you the truth; it was mostly my random thoughts about my experience through the Genesis Running Program to see if I could actually complete that first 5k. As I wrote each post I was surprised to find there were people who were actually reading this blog and were interested in what I had to say. This helped with the accountability of completing the program. And I also found out what how supportive the running community is both virtually and in real life. The support and encouragement I found through this blog from all those who followed it was incredible. Matt the coach from the Genesis Program uses the post Remembering The Why as part of the week 5 message for the runners in the program now. That’s so cool and such and honor that a program that inspired me so much I am now part of that.
I found the same motivation and inspiration when I started training for my first half-marathon also through the Genesis Program. The bloggers here were also very supportive and followed my journey through that as well. Now with my injury, the support has also been there as well as good advice. I do my best to stay positive here, who wants to read negative drama 😀
So thank you to all of you who read and followed this blog and have been supportive of my journies and stories.
That was a question I asked my groups this week at work. Actually, I asked who their role models/heroes were in an attempt to get them to see and understand there are many examples of people who have overcome challenges and they could apply that to their sobriety. Of course, there is always a method to my madness, this exercise also helps to keep them from being a perpetual victim to addiction and their circumstances, at least in theory that what was the goal.
I started the exercise by giving examples of people who have and do inspire me. It’s changed over the years and circumstances. I read a lot of inspirational things; the blogs that a follow are full of inspirational people who are challenging themselves to go the next level. I’ve read books about people who have overcome addiction by using running such as David Clark. He was addicted to drugs/alcohol and food now he’s an ultra marthaon runner. If you have not read his story I highly recommend. The people who complete the Genesis Running Program the program that got me started running are some of the most inspirational people you could ever meet. Barbara who I met through Genesis has become a mentor/friend, and btw finished third in her class at the Greenbrier Half-Marathon yesterday..go, Barbara! Has become one of my running role models.
Anyway, as I did this exercise with my groups last week I was amazed how many (just about all of them) had not given any thought to who their role models were and honestly most gave answers they thought I wanted to hear. One person, in particular, said there was no one who was a role model to her, no one who inspired her. No one on the planet earth. Yes, I asked that question. I didn’t entertain it because I knew what was going on, and it’s not just with my groups. I’m seeing it a lot all over the place…this need to be a constant victim. If she had identified a role model it meant there was a possibility she could overcome whatever it was she is going through as well. No more excuses. Will be difficult to get through it? Of course, is necessary to make the changes to get through it? Yes. Anyone we admire will tell you their accomplishments didn’t come easy.
We as humans are not all the unique if we are really honest about it. If I had a dime for every time I heard “you don’t know me” seriously I would be sitting pretty. Our problems are about the same, they may come wrapped differently but basically, they are the same. Even with my current issue, I know someone has had this issue and gotten through it as I’m sure I will. Although I will admit I’ve been very frustrated by it I won’t lie. And I’ve been in sort of a space the last few weeks, the trick is not to stay there and get stuck. Yesterday was not a good day I really wanted to be at that race. But I couldn’t even stand as a spectator, yesterday was one of my not so good days. So today I rested, heat and ice, I feel a little better today. I’ve read some read inspirational blog posts today which helped me to refocus. I don’t know about my client’s but I know I will be back on track to the goals that were set.
Today is the GreenBrier Half-Marathon, in fact, it has been underway only a few minutes. I thought I might go and be a spectator but even today I was hurting and I know I wouldn’t be able to stand to wait for people to even finish the 5k. The funny thing is there was a part of me that thought I could possibly do the 5k even walk it and not do the half-marathon. I know, I have no idea what I was thinking I can barely walk through the grocery store without the need to stop and lean for a moment. You, runners, know when the running bug hits you I think something changes in your brain and you’ll do anything to get that medal, and this one was so nice! Anyway, my friend Barbara, who is running the half, is getting my bag/shirt for me today. I’m so bummed I can’t even begin to explain. The Genesis Running Program will begin its training for the
The Genesis Running Program will begin its training for the Charleston Distance Run 15 miler in September. It’s called America’s 15 Miler; It’s America’s only 15 Mile Race which is so cool for our State. Anyway, I’m totally bummed I won’t be able to train for it; but there’s part of me that is tempted to try. Seriously I’ve really thought about it.
My physical therapy has been scheduled for June 1st. The injections have been scheduled yet, waiting for authorization from the insurance. I had to pick up the disk for my MRI to take to my Dr. next week; they also gave me the report as well, I had no idea they would do that (why would they do that, have they met me?). Anyway, it seems as if nothing was found, “MRI was unremarkable”. I almost started to cry, well actually I did. Not that I really want something to be wrong I want to know why I’m having this pain. I mean two weeks ago I literally could not move and had to miss two days of work; I’m not making this up. Even as I type this I’m sitting on the heating pad and it’s 8:10 am. This is real.
Good luck to all those running in the Greenbrier Half-Marathon, 5k, and 10k today!