It only seems right that a month like January – a cold, abysmal prison of freezing temperatures – has five weeks. Six, if we get technical.
While I’ve attempted to keep my spirits up, forward facing – pull up my big girl panties and weed through the setbacks, my ankle refuses to cooperate. While I can hobble around on it, walking slowly, shuffling, feeling like a hypochondriac because it should be better, I should be better, eventually by mid-afternoon it’s aching so goddamn badly, I throw on the aircast so I can move faster around my house, make dinner and stand for longer than a few minutes. It’s at a constant 2. A marginal drop from where it was a week ago when it was a constant 3. The pain radiates up and down my shin, and into my knee. Then my foot falls “asleep” and I find myself adjusting. I can pull my foot up, but down is where it hurts. Sometimes it feels like it needs a good “crack”, other times, I’m wincing in pain. And what I think about healing from this injury that shocked me most of all is the lack of energy I have. I’ll get up and do something for an hour – feel like I need to lay down. Go and drive 20 minutes before the pain is excruciating, and then take a nap. I just want to get up and get moving.
I’m in the “enough is enough” phase.
Then I got the email I’d been desperate for for three years. Roller Derby is back. Well, expecting to be back. Spring of this year. I declared back in 2018 that the sport I wanted to join was Derby. And my work schedule never allowed. I couldn’t make practices, or tryouts. I couldn’t commit to games. I couldn’t commit to their times. Then the pandemic happened, and Derby was out again. For Christmas this year, my extraordinary kiddos bought me a pair of skates so I’d be ready to play. To tryout. To get up and do what I’d always wanted to.
Suffice to say, the floodgates opened wide last night. Ironically, I had been wearing my tatted derby girls tee-shirt when I got the email saying Derby hopes to return in April. I looked at the email. I looked at my ankle. And I cried like I hadn’t since I fell three weeks ago. I sobbed. Out it poured of me like whiskey in a tumbler. I didn’t try to stop it. Didn’t try to stave it off. For the first time since it happened, I let the grief wash over me. I’ve lost my job housecleaning, I’ve lost my ability to roadtrip (meaning I didn’t go home this weekend to see my parents). And now, I could be losing out on Derby, too.
Sometimes tears of grief are the most important tears of all. ‘Letting it out’ also means washing away everything you felt inside. Recognizing that you are not a superhero, but a human. And humans must feel happiness and sadness, gladness and madness in order to be a whole person. And right now, I am feeling like a whole person. A whole broken person.
But today is a new day. I’m up and I’m walking. And I’ll throw on the air cast later today if the swelling it gets too extreme. I’m taking care of my kid. And there is Facetime to see my family. The only direction any of us should be pushing for is forward – even if my stupid ankle wants me to go much slower than I ever have before.
I’ve also become supremely grateful. I’ve always considered myself a grateful gal, but never have I ever felt gratitude the way I have this month. This long, arduous month of cold snaps and shitty setbacks. I am unbelievably grateful to Kevin and Janet, who have claimed Kid C and me as their own – taking her to and from school everyday. Dropping by with food. Calling to check in. Same with my sisters and family back home. I’m grateful to my friends in Kingston who have never left me feeling of want or loneliness. I am grateful to my kids, who, each in their own way, taken care of me how they are capable. Jayda, who checks in daily from her home in London. Colby, who lives across the street, showing up to help his Mama. Dinners, and fixing light fixtures and staying for movies. And my sweet Kid C, who has to shoulder my woes the most. At 15, she has grown in spades. Picking up groceries. Getting herself to work. Being there for the cry. Bringing medication, and muscle cream, and helping Mom shuffle to the car. Fitting the air cast and tucking me into bed. She’s been affected the most. And I didn’t like my Mom at 15 – I don’t know how she and I have managed to navigate this the way that we have. It doesn’t come without its hard days, or bad days, or down-right god-awful days. But at the end of the day, I’m aware of how lucky I am to call this gal my own.
walking shuffling slowly – twenty one years ago this weekend, I, and my giant pregnant belly, was attempting to convince this critter inside me to vacate the premises. She was extremely late – originally due January 16th. But she was cozy, and comfortable, and not even the first round of induction cream was able to coerce her into the world. I remember this weekend all those years ago. My Dad suggesting we “walk that baby out” and me hobbling along behind him to keep up as we trudged out in the snow to hit up the local 7/11 to grab chocolate bars in my plight to induce labour. And still she didn’t come. Eventually, I was admitted to the hospital, and desperate rounds of induction medication later, Jayda still spent more than 24 hours on her descent to greet us. But when she arrived, my weary, aching 18 year old body never felt a moment of the days and weeks and months I’d spent in agony. I saw a cherub cheeked baby girl, who completely and entirely changed my life forever. And on the first, she’ll be 21. She’s engaged. A shift supervisor. She’s smart, and funny, and intuitive, and creative, and no one I know is more aware of themselves than this wonderful, incredible creature who does everything in her time. Happy birthday, Bella. 21 is a good look for you.
Back to this year’s health journey. It’s tough to feel awesome when you’re dripping in self-pity. It’s hard to feel great or see the victories, when you’re feeling lousy and morose. When you don’t wear makeup anymore, and you can’t find reason in not just wearing your sweatpants.
That would be the easy way out. And lord fucking knows I can’t just roll over and do anything simple. It’s half my charm. I’m a complicated misfit who stares down the road less traveled and wonder what sort of adventure awaits me beyond the low-dipping tree branches, and the blotted out sunshine. If it’s dark, and twisty, and seemingly difficult, it’s the path I want to take. It’s part of my DNA.
So, that said, I am focused on getting into my roller skates. And I want the bodybuilding competition. And I want to peel back the weight that I’ve put on. It’s not simple to look into the mirror and think there’s someone out there who once referred to you as “tiny”, and now you see a bloated, overweight 40-something.
With the ability to work out stripped away (even the gym in my condo is closed), it’s down to diet. And with the juggling of my mental health versus staying the course, I’ve given in to Intermittent Fasting. It gives me the flexibility of not being as total stringent with calorie counting, and weighing my food, but also the benefits of not gaining weight while I’m sedentary at home.
I’m confident the results would have be far more exciting had I followed better, cleaner eating this past week. But let’s take things one at a time. Strictly sticking to a noon-8pm eating window, I’m more adamant to watch when I eat versus what I’m eating. And losing an ounce or two this week is proof that I’m on the right track, even if I indulged. The takeaway is that I’m not gaining.
Imagine if I had resolved to not in indulge in cheesecake. And some cheesebread. Imagine the possibilities if I could go back to curbing carves, and weighing the chicken pieces. Ha! Listen to me, I sound like a Tony Robbins talk. We’ve got this! (insert sounds of cackling) And it doesn’t hurt that the gyms reopen in a week. Farr and I can get back to our schedule.
I’m surprisingly not as hungry as I thought I might be. And the less the hunger, the less a heinous bitch I can be. 😉
Though January has been bleak. And cold. And frustrating. And grief-inducing. It’s also another month I got up, despite of it all.
And it’s hard. It’s hard to take your measurements and say – fuck, is that how big I’ve gotten?
Today’s measurements – 196.2, 41″ bust, 41″ wasit, 42″ hips. Let’s just start there, right? Let’s face it. Face the January’s. Face the injuries. Face the set backs. Face the world, because you can only turn your back for so long before you become as cold as the winter.