Thursday, 24 January 2013

Networking? Sorry, I Have to Cancel.

For the record - I am not a natural when it comes to networking.  In fact, I loathe it - it reminds me of a junior high dance when everyone has a partner but you.  What does one talk about?  Where do you put your hands?  How do you look like you are enjoying yourself when really you would prefer to be hit by a truck?

Now that we have that out of the way, let's talk about networking.  A few weeks ago I cancelled on a meeting because I was in bed, blown up like a balloon, unable to be in a social setting for fear of passing wind or crapping my pants - obviously I told them I had the flu.  Fast forward to this week, I have been a model student, eating almost my full servings of fruits and vegetables each day, avoiding white bread and getting my workouts in.  Things were going really well for approximately two days with this impressive regimen.  During spin class both Tuesday and today I had several key moments of panic that involved planning my escape through a mess of spin bikes and sweaty bodies and visions of how I would react to losing control of my bowels in this same environment.  I was overtaken by extreme cramps and cold chills as I spun right round, right round at my local gym.  Luckily I maintained enough control to be blissfully ignorant as to how that scenario would play out.

Tonight I had a dinner meeting scheduled with this same group (who flew in from France and are only here a few nights), I was on track to attend.  Work today was a little bit uncomfortable, JWow joked about how I had not left the washroom all day (not entirely true), but I pushed through it.  I stayed late at work so I would not have to go home in between and just as I was leaving I had to rush to make it to the washroom.  I still planned to attend, I walked to my car and before I could reach it that wave of panic overcame me and I ran to a public washroom.  Twice in twenty minutes. By the time I made my way out of the stall I was in the throes of despair - I had to cancel, there was no way I could ingest any food, my stomach was already rumbling, but how could I cancel for a second time?

This is the age old dilemma of those who have digestive issues.  Everyone thinks we have a knack for catching the flu.  What do you tell people?  Do they think you are making excuses?  How can one use the flu excuse for two separate meetings?  Well, it can be done, I have no idea what the other side thinks, but the alternative was sitting through a dinner without ordering anything, with several extended washroom visits.  So, I marched in there, was extremely distressed and talked about how this flu just keeps coming back again and again.  Then I ran to the car so I could get home as quickly as possible.  No swimming for me tonight, it is frowned upon to drop the browns off at the pool.  I speak from experience, I was a lifeguard back in the day.

I finally arrived home, was stripping down to my skivvies in order to get my jammies on, was running around looking for a glass to pop my Advil with and, of course, the doorbell rings.  I have no idea why I answered it - I am sorry Brock, but I have no desire to help any children tonight.  I need to powder my ass with corn starch, ensure there are two rolls of TP in the washroom, feast upon Gatorade and watch Damages.

In closing, I encourage you to check out the following video for the new campaign Escape the Stall from the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America, which was featured in the New York Times on January 7th.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Daily Torture

Let's talk spin class- you know, that class that has been all the rage for awhile?  The one where women leave drenched in sweat, where Bridget Jones keels off the bike?  I knew that would jog your memory!  I have been spinning off and on since just before Christmas - specifically doing the Les Mills RPM at my local Goodlife and I am telling you - it is cut throat... everyone jockeys to get their name on the list to secure one of the coveted 16 bikes.  They do not put the list out until 15 minutes before and if there is a line up then you have no hope in hell of getting on a bike.  My gym partner, JWow, and I have it down to a science.  If we get changed before leaving the office and leave at 11:50 then we can make it for a 12:05 class, which then gives us just enough time to switch footwear and ditch our coats (gotta love winter!) and still get a decent bike.

I now strategically arm myself with a waterbottle, a Gatorade and a towel to prop up the extra waterbottle because there is only one holder.  I have had a few incidents where I left a little too light-headed, so the Gatorade and water help to curb that.  Because of my IBS I can only eat a small amount before going to the class, which is likely the reason for feeling a little loopy afterwards.  The first class I attended was what I would call nothing short of a rude awakening.  Not having ever been a lover of bikes even in my childhood, I have never really experienced that bruised, violated feeling in my nether regions, as I have never experienced walking bow legged - until now.  That feeling was almost enough to stop me from ever going again.  However, I went back for more "daily torture"  and thank goodness you eventually adapt to that horribly unforgiving seat.

As for the actual spinning itself - it is bloody awful.  I cannot quite comprehend how anyone enjoys this.  I go because, according to my heart rate monitor, I burn anywhere between 500 and 700 calories and no matter how diligent I may be at lunch hour gym time, nothing pushes me like that little man at the front of the room sweating and singing and yelling "out of the saddle", "attack"!  I am petrified of him calling me out and saying "give it some gear"!  So I go, reluctantly.  Being a redhead I look as if I am mid heart attack throughout and for at least half an hour afterwards.  It is amazing no one has handed me an aspirin!

However, I must admit  that the class is growing on me, afterwards I am always glad I went.  Despite this change of heart, I always walk up to class with a sense of impending doom.  I think of that awful seizing in my quads, the unnatural feeling of sitting on a bike and those random weirdos who feel compelled to yell out the power words in every chorus.  Just so we are clear, in no situation is that normal and everyone in the class is silently cursing you - if you must sing, buy a bike and put it in your basement.  

Today was RPM day and as usual, I was reluctant to go.  However, as we had organized a ladies night where I anticipated ordering a Nutella pizza, I decided the prudent move would be to go to class.  The result?  We burned 541 calories and ate an undisclosed amount of calories sourced from delicious Neapolitan style pizza.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Morning glory

I am not sure how others feel about this, but whenever I hear the term run (or workout) and morning in the same sentence I think - wow - committed!  I am a middle of the day kind of gal and fail to comprehend how people can be motivated enough to torture themselves so early on. Well, I became that person last Friday and will do so again tomorrow - certainly not by choice, but by circumstance.  When faced with being an extra hour early at the office (because of my husband's work schedule) I decided to get my butt to the gym to complete a run.  Last week my feet hit the treadmill at 6:30 am and to my utter shock, plenty of other people were already there.  The gym was certainly not as busy as it would be at lunch, but there was a decent sized crowd.  This was both comforting and horrifying - how can one willingly move at a faster-than-shuffle pace at such an early hour?  Looks like I was just as sadistic as the others - the difference being that my enjoyment level was zero.

One would think that 45 minutes would be sufficient time to complete a 2k walk/run.  Well, not if you have IBS!  This is when the gym membership becomes really worth it.  The bathrooms are in close proximity, your husband does not have to be on stand-by should you come close to losing your ... and you do not have to do the strip and dash as you waddle through the door on your way to the toilet.  The only thing you really have to plan is a treadmill with an easy exit, preferably with no one on either side should indications of your issues escape your control.  Also, you must leave the treadmill quickly enough that it looks like you are a puker (to my thinking this is the only acceptable excuse for not having time to wipe down your machine and is more socially acceptable than the truth).  You must also move with efficiency, but not enough that you pass wind in your heightened state of emergency.  Keeping this in mind, I endeavoured to complete my run.  I lasted 12 minutes - eight of those being my walking warm-up and four minutes of running.  At the 12 minute mark I ran like any good puker straight for the toilets.  Afterwards I decided to give it another go, of course, my treadmill strategy went completely out the door as more people had arrived and I lost the treadmill I had so carefully chosen.  I hopped on for the second time, feeling confident when the rumbles began to start - I pushed myself as long as I could (eight minutes of running) hoping it would go away if I just ignored it, however, that was not to be.  Off I ran for the second time to the ladies room, by the time I made my way out again it was 7:15 and time to go to work.  All of that effort for a total of 12 minutes running and 8 minutes of walking and two measly sprints to my porcelain home.  

Tomorrow I will try this again, but, I was reminded last week of one of the reasons why I hate the morning.  My IBS is at its very worst and is extremely unpredictable.  The only part that is predictable is that it will happen despite my best efforts.  So, if you are at the gym tomorrow morning and see a red-head launching herself off the treadmill and barreling toward the ladies room, please clear a path for all of our sakes!