Snowmageddon 2020

The Blizzard of the Century.  The storm to end all storms.  We’ve never seen anything like this.  The mountains and walls of snow that enveloped the city are as tall as small houses.  The banks overflow into the streets.  Plows and snow-blowing machines are having a difficult time trying to keep up.  A state of emergency has been put in place and remains for seven straight days.  People are getting impatient and want out.  Grocery store lines are arduous and people have to endure long waits just to get inside.  No Tim Horton’s coffee?  What??  No restaurants nor bars are open.  Small businesses are suffering.  People are trapped in their homes.  The military arrives to shovel folks out and to give some reassurances that we will be okay.  Power outages were rampant at the onset of the storm, but have since been restored.  If people haven’t begun wondering why they live on an Island seemingly so destitute and removed from the rest of the world, this storm will certainly have them thinking, what are we doing here?  The downtown area was buried in a mass of snow but is seeing some restoration.  The narrow streets and hills were impassible, dangerous and overwhelmed with snow.  A snowboarder’s paradise that has now begun to look more pedestrian-friendly, dare I say?

Based on everything that has happened over the past week, one would think complaints would be widespread; that people would be sick and tired of the state of emergency to the point of protests and rioting; that there would be more looting of businesses and crime would be on the upswing.  Boredom breeds malevolence, bad-temperament, and unbridled nastiness; the urge to remain aloof and uncaring; the inclination for ego-centric acts of ‘every person for him/herself’.  I’ve not witnessed any of this. 

Downtown St. John’s, NL

The stories that have emerged over Facebook tell tales of acts of selflessness.  People helping to buy groceries for those who can’t.  Neighbours shoveling out neighbours and digging out buried vehicles.  Others creating tunneled paths to lead from a door to the street.  Food being bartered and shared.  Snow forts being erected and decorated with lights and bonfires being lit.  A drink here, a barbeque there.  Everyone making the best of an almost impossible situation.  And then, the sun arrived.

The end of our street

I strolled my neighbourhood a couple of days after the storm.  The sun came out for three straight days.  People were out walking their dogs, taking sleds and pulling their children along the streets, digging out the snowshoes and traversing the trails.  Having a laugh at the big bad storm that tried to break the spirit of a province that couldn’t be broken.  It’s been a rough week but we survived it all in Newfoundland style.  We made light of the monstrous snowbanks and decorated them with snarky phrases instead of cursing their existence.  We posted signs and made snow-people instead of complaining we would never see our lawns.  We assured the downtowners we would visit when they opened, that their pleas have not fallen on deaf ears.  Who doesn’t want a beer and a meal after all of that shoveling? 

In a country where winter defines us, we have set an example for other provinces and other cities that will no doubt be faced with its own version of Snowmageddon.  The world stood still and watched as people treated others with humanity and compassion.  People offered food, strained muscles, worked tireless hours without complaint, offered free rides, gave without the expectation of anything in return all in the name of helping each other endure an impossible circumstance.  Not only did we survive, but we also demonstrated what a lot of heart, an indelible sense of humour and a few helping hands from our military can do when faced with ‘a bit of snow’.   

There is a house out there…somewhere.

If another snowstorm the size and ferociousness of this blizzard happens to darken our doorway again, I imagine we would react much the same.  “Get out the shovels, b’ys she’s blowin’ a gale.  Youngsters, put your hoods up, we goes.” 

And we will.   

Son, after shoveling our front step. He’s 5’10”

Shit That Happens in Bootcamp Should Stay at Bootcamp. Until Now.

I’ve been attending the same Bootcamp for close to four years, now.   It’s been a great experience for me and I’ve learned quite a bit.  I now have a new appreciation for exercise and the complexities that it contains.  I appreciate good form and I am more self-aware.  There is another side to class that no one talks about…

Let’s face it, shit goes down when you start moving your body in ways that you never could have imagined possible.  Naturally, as a woman of a certain age, bodily functions can go a little…astray….and, at the least opportune time. 

Here is a Top Ten list of Shit that happened to me during Bootcamp class that should never happen to anybody.  Ever. 

10) Wayward Assistance-   This occurred in the first year of class and I was a newbie in dressing in those tight pants.  I erroneously went on-line and adhered to advice given by a twenty-something about not wearing underwear under the tights.  That way no panty-lines!  Yay! I thought.  Also at this time, I was a bit…leaky.  I’ve had three children.  I was nearing fifty, please.  I wore ‘assisted’ apparel for my lady bits so if any ‘leaking’ happened, I was prepared.  So, I stuck one of those babies to my tights.  No undies, remember?  Fast forward to half-way through class and my ‘assisted’ gear had traveled.  Holy fucking God it had unstuck from my tights and traveled down my leg to the inside of my knee!  I distinctly remember doing jumping lunges with that thing stuck to the inside of my leg and thinking “well, at least it will absorb my knee sweat…”  I walked out of class with it still stuck to the inside of my leg and wondered if anyone noticed that my right leg looked a little…thick.

9) Braille boards are a good idea – I can’t see shit when I remove my glasses.  I don’t wear my glasses in class and for four years I haven’t been able to read the nice little whiteboards the Coach places at each station.  I’m getting better at watching what others do before I get to that station…or I improvise until Coach corrects me.  I look like Mr. Magoo for most of the class. 

8)  What’s that smell?  –  Good diets + ab workouts = explosions that inevitably happen.  It’s a good thing the music is loud and it brings a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘Explosive’ Stars… Ventilation.  Good ventilation….

7) My hip doesn’t do that.  Ever. – I have arthritis in my left hip and it just doesn’t want to move on some days.  Sumo squats become semi-sumo with a little squat for good measure.  I fake it mostly….

6) Remember what? – With new exercises comes new things to remember.  I’m still trying to remember what day it is, let alone an exercise that I’m going to get around to in fifteen minutes.  Let’s be real.  I’ll watch but then forget and then make something up that kinda resembled what she showed us at 5:50 Goddamn AM when my brain was still back in my bed and my coffee was calling my name.  AND NOW WITH THE MICROPHONE, I CAN’T TELL WHERE SHE IS IN THE fucking ROOM AND I CAN’T GET AWAY WITH IT AS MUCH.   Just sayin’…

5)  Sweat is normal – Come on, it’s the body’s natural expression of “FOR FUCK’S SAKE LADY WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING TO ME?!  I’M LITERALLY CRYING NOW.  FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY PLEASE STOP!”   This is how I imagine my body reacts to me working out.  It’s crying and is begging for me to stop.  And then I look around and some of the ‘younger’ ladies and somehow, they haven’t even broken a sweat, yet.  I KNOW IT’S ONLY BEEN TEN MINUTES.  BUT IT’S BEEN TEN MINUTES!  How are you not sweating right now?  Yes, that’s my butt mark on the floor.  You. Are. Welcome.

4) That’s not crotch sweat- I refer you to #1 and sometimes leakiness is a part of sweatiness and we older ladies are keeping it classy by referring to it as ‘The Lady Trickles.”  Feel free to print that on a t-shirt.  

3) Hair floor catastrophes- What’s with all the spare-hair on the floor?  I’ll tell you what- your hair falls out after working out so much.  It’s trying to escape the pain.  My hair is contained most of the time, but some days it has a mind of its own and can’t control its excitement for Burpees…

2) Apparatus mysteries – I get tangled up in the TRX.  I call the exercises that are complex and compound “Half pike with an explosive star extravaganza” because I can’t remember the appropriate name nor how my arm is supposed to reach then stretch then do that bicep mid-air curl with a half-twist…thing.  Yeah. 

1) I’ve fallen and I can kinda get up but only because you shamed me into it.  Bitch – I say that with the utmost affection and gratitude.  Maybe.  Most days I would never get up off the floor but I see everyone else doing Deadman Burpees from Hell and I think, “Dafuq are you Queens doing?  FOR THE LOVE OF GOD STAY DOWN!  STAY DOWN!”  But no….EVERYBODY gets back up and they do it all over again.  Ugh. 

That’s it.  That’s the list.  I hope it brought a smile and we can all get real with our bad-selves and Lizzo our way through the rest of our workouts. 

At least, that’s my goal…

And This Little Piggy Went Wee-What-The-Actual-Fuck?

    A couple of months ago, I underwent a bunionectomy.  If you are unsure as to what that is exactly, its day surgery to remove a bunion from a foot.  In my case, it was a big bunion from my left foot.  It’s been an interesting few months of recovery. 

    My surgery was back in May and I won’t sugarcoat anything.  Ireferred to my surgeon as the MotherfuckigantiChrist more often than I care to admit. He warned me several times pre-surgery that it would be “painful and you are going to swear on me repeatedly.”  I smiled and said, “I’ve had three babies all natural, the last one ten pounds.  I got this.”  He smiled in response.  Now, I know why. 

    I remained in bed for four days following the surgery and had it not been for Hubby serving me food, coffee, and pain killers, it would have resulted in me rising from my bed and crawling to the window to throw myself to the mercy of rabid dogs.  Yeah, it was painful.

    I hobbled around and was finally able to descend stairs on a Tuesday.  I remember it well, since I was afraid of falling and scuttled down on my butt the entire time.  I used Hubby’s cane he had stowed away after his knee surgery.  It was going swimmingly, until my right knee decided it wanted some sympathy too, and erupted in bursitis.  Now, I was really down.  A bum left foot and a right knee that screamed every time I bent it.  

    I couldn’t walk up the stairs, I couldn’t stand for long periods and I could barely walk.  I needed crutches, a wheelchair, and a shirtless Spaniard named Marco feeding me grapes.  None of which, I had at my disposal.   

    My main mode of transportation was my ass.  Good thing it was large and squishy.  It made travelling a lot more comfortable.  Oh, yeah.  The entire time, I had a large pin jutting from my middle toe, which made for interesting conversation and people largely exclaiming ‘EWWW’ whenever I mentioned it.  

    By June, I was thankfully over the bursitis and off my ass, so I asked Coach if I could return to Bootcamp .  I still had a little sandle/boot on my foot and I still had the lovely pin protruding from my toe, but I thought I could modify my way through.  She gave me the nod and my first class was interesting.  She refused to look downward lest she gazed upon the ‘pin-ofevil’ and I hopped my way through every exercise.  I have to admit, I was doubtful I would manage, but I wanted to try.  I was so over the whole sitting–downand‘resting’ thing.  

    I muddled my way through everything she had planned and by the end of June I was hobbling on over to the MotherfuckingantiChrist himself to the have the ‘pinofevil’ removed from my toe.  

    Pin Removal Day, or as people tagged it, HolyFuckingMotherofGodThat’sGonnaHurt Day, was uneventful.  Everyone asked “Is he gonna sedate you for that?” or “Are you taking Ativan for that?” to which I had to answer a shaky “Noooo…why do you think I should?”  Their looks of disbelief and head-shaking told me I should probably pop a few pain relievers.  MotherfuckingantiChrist assured me that I indeed would “not feel it as much as you did when the stitches were removed.”   

    The stitch removal was a pain only reserved for those who have wronged the Saints in Heaven and have sided with Satan in a murderous plot to fling babies from rooftops.  That was some serious painful shit.  Hubby was there when I grabbed his leg in agony and swore relentlessly.  D1 the nurse, was horrified by my cry-babyness.  “Mom, EVEN THE CHILDREN I CARE FOR, DON’T CRY.”  Love you too, honey.  I digress.

    I entered the room to have MotherfuckingantiChrist prepare to pull the pin-of-evil from my toe with nothing more than a pair of tiny scissors and an expression of, “Hold still.”  I squeezed my eyes shut and muttered “For fuck’s sake,” recalling every word of caution and regretting the non-painkillerpopping.  I felt a little tug and the pin was out.  Done. 

    His retorts of, “I would never lie to you,” echoing the ever-popular “I told you so,” were still ringing in my head by the time I walked out of the room.  I sauntered out into the hospital corridor free of the pin-of-evil and feeling like I had just conquered Kim Jong-un in some sadistic tug-of-war.  

    Now, a month later the boot is off and I’m almost fully mobile.  I can do some cardio but still do the majority of bootcamp on one leg.  My middle toe is still tender.  Cut me some slack, will ‘ya?  

    My escapade into bunion surgery is almost to an end and thank Gawwwwddddd.  It’s been a long road and I’m almost fully healed.  

    In the meantime, there’s wine for that and to MotherfuckingantiChrist, thanks for telling me the truth.  I WILL NEVER DO THAT AGAIN.  

Cheers!