MPFL: Week 15

Week 15 (March 25-31)

Although it felt good to push myself to try these Instagram workouts the previous week, I was paying for it a bit. My knee was a little swollen and achey so I decided to rest for a few days. I have really struggled to find the balance between doing too much and being an absolute potato. Especially now that we are all locked in the house JUST as I’m able to be a bit more active and gain some independence back. I feel like the hours of my days at home alternate between the two extremes, which is super easy given that my gym, room, office and nap zone are all the same space. Sadly convenient. 

img_1286Luckily, the weather had heated up a little bit and I was able to go outside without turning into an icicle. I was also able to walk my dog without falling over. This seems so mundane, but the is such huge win for me. Aside from the fact that it’s been too damn cold in Northern Iowa to even step foot outside, I haven’t been physically able to walk her either. Although she is small, she is mighty.  I still struggle to maintain my stability when I’m not 100% in control (a crack in the pavement, someone bumping into me or a dog jerking me forward for example). Being physically able to walk Banksy each day has helped me clear my mind and for Banksy’s benefit, give that pooch a little exercise and help her get acclimated to the great outdoors….and being around other dogs and people without barking her face off (6 ft away of course). We got her in the winter here so she’s basically been confined to our house in the same way I have. I’m sure it felt just as nice for her to get out as it did me.

Change

Have you guys seen that meme roasting girls with eyelash extensions, fake nails, groomed eyebrows and hair extensions? It’s basically saying that we are all going to come out of quarantine looking like grown out neanderthals and I, unfortunately am on that train. I’ve had hair extensions since August and already had to emergently get them done while I’ve been back in Iowa. THANK YOU VIRAGO. Well. I have now been here so long it was that time again. Honestly, I don’t know how they were hanging on. Nicole, who had done my hair at Virago last time, was nice enough to send a little video of how to remove them ourselves and my mom put her hair dresser hat on and went to work.

img_8473Although I’m bummed too see them go, this quarantine has made me want to pierce my ears, stick and poke tattoo myself and cut my own bangs so clearly I’m craving change. It was oddly liberating to remove them and felt so nice to shower without all that extra weight. Who knows, maybe next week I’ll bleach it and die it pink, there is no telling what boredom will force me to do.

In the spirit of change, I decided to take it to my room here. I’ve been living in the spare room of my parents’ house. When I thought I was only going to be here for month, I didn’t think twice about redecorating. I didn’t really even move in. I kept most of my things in my suitcase and only unpacked the bare minimum. Fast forward to 3 months later and I’m still here, living in a room that doesn’t feel like my own. I was craving my own space. Somewhere I could feel productive in and retreat to when I felt like I needed some alone time. Unpacking my things again after turning around was pretty difficult for me, so I figured this would be a way to make it feel more fun. 

We kicked off the decorating with a bloody mary bar and got to work. I had been poking around the house to see what was laying around that I could use to spice up my space. I swapped dressers with my mom, ditched my bed frame and found some random wood slabs to tape my polaroids on. It took us all day, but I finally felt like I had a space to call my own.

My parents practically had to drag me out of my new room once we finished decorating but, once they got me out of there, we finished the evening with some board games. I did not win but that is a very sore subject and I would rather not elaborate. 

Routine

After giving myself a little bit of time to relax and breathe into this change and situation our world is in, I decided to make some changes for the following weeks. During this time, I have struggled with feeling guilty for running out of things to do during the day. Not getting enough done, wasting my days, etc. I’m sure everyone has. I decided to try and get myself into some sort of routine. This is something that has helped me feel productive and fulfilled in the past, so I figured it was at least worth the goal.

This can be a bit of a slippery slope for me. I have to be careful not to get down on myself if I don’t finish all of the things that I have lined up for myself in a day. In the past I’ve completely circled the drain because of this. I’ve gotten better and more forgiving of myself since my surgery, but it is still something I have to remind myself of from time to time. Plus, we are in a gd pandemic. Now is not the time to beat yourself up for not reaching your own personal standards of productivity. No one said you have to be productive every second of quarantine. 

I promised myself to start my mornings with pilates. My friend Maddi recommended Melissa Wood Health to me a few months back and I’ve kept it in the back of my mind for when I was physically able to try her out. In the past, I have always relied on high intensity workouts to stay in shape, sometimes pushing my body a little too far. With my knee still in the healing phase and the state of my osteoarthritis, I need to learn how to fall in love with low intensity workouts. After giving Melissa Wood’s platform a go with her 7 day free trial, I did just that. It is gentle and slow and allows me to focus on strengthening the muscle groups that are not only going to build long, lean lines but also help me gain stability around my knee. Not to mention, it’s a hell of a burn.

Since I had just gotten my personal training certification through NASM (at literally the worst time possible), I decided to put what I had learned to used on both myself and my mom. I made us each a plan so that we have something to hold us accountable and so that I can see if I actually know what I’m doing. So far, so good. I’ll write more about this elsewhere on this site!img_1250

I also added some things into my daily routine that focus on more than just physical health. I think this is a rough time for mental health for most people, so it’s even more important now than before to make sure that you are doing things to keep you sane and feeling good. For me, I decided to make the commitment to read more, draw again, learn to play the guitar I haven’t touched since I was 16 and make a concerted effort to actually reach out to my friends.

I do this thing when I’m feeling low or off where I close myself off and avoid communicating with my friends or people close to me. I think it’s because I have this complex about being the best version of myself when I catch up with others. Rather than be real and share how I’m actually feeling, I want to be able to say “YES!! EVERYTHING IS FANTASTIC OVER HERE!!!” But more often than not, that’s not the way life works and that is completely ok. How boring would it be if we weren’t challenged from time to time to navigate through adversity? SO. Rather than allow myself to stay in this comfort zone of self sabotage, I’ve been taking the time to call friends during my walks with Banksy or set up group hangs in the evening. And I gotta say, it’s amazing what a little socialization can do for ya.

March was quite an interesting one, huh?

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