I just met her… but I think Sarah wants me dead

I am currently sitting in the Planet Fitness lounge waiting for my daughter to finish her workout.

Every muscle in my body hurts and I just had a hydro massage so I’m also very relaxed.

How did I get here?

I have been a black card member of Planet Fitness for 4 days. And I have spent a lot of time in the gym since then.

You see, I am on vacation. I am between jobs, my new professional non-profit development and marketing position starts Monday and I worked my last long shift in retail food service last Saturday. I will still keep my Target gig on Saturdays for a while, I’ve got a lot of vacation to use and I do love my “Target family.”

But that is another story.

This is a story about getting my daughter access to the gym she needs, and it turns out maybe the gym I need, too.

We visited and toured Planet Fitness on Tuesday afternoon because their $21.99/month no contract Black Card membership allows my teen to work out with me. Or a friend. Every single time. I joined. Because we have no contract, I really couldn’t lose.

The teen insists all she needs to lose the weight her doctor wants to see her shed is the right gym.

So we played around on Tuesday and signed up for design your own program on Wednesday. Or was it Monday and Tuesday? Sarah, the trainer, customized a program for me, the member, but also one for my daughter, a guest.

We didn’t get through all of it so we returned to finish the next day. The teen seems to be enthusiastic.

Meanwhile, I’ve also been taking two 30 minute classes a day with Sarah, not because I’m a masochistic (though I suppose I am) but because I want to learn as much as I can about this gym while I have the time.

That said, I think Sarah wants me dead. Just kidding. She’s a trainer. She’s supposed to push you hard.

I’ve taken back and triceps, PF 360 strength, core (twice) and the 30-minute circuit. Sadly, she took Thursday off as part of the hiring process for a new job so I wasn’t able to take classes with her Thursday. And she’ll be leaving very soon.

But I’ve noticed as she’s learned what I am capable of, she’s expected more of me. And even though I haven’t done any of her bicep classes, my arms are killing me. And I haven’t done any of her cardio classes, but I sweat until my hair is drenched as soon as she enters the vicinity.

Yup. She will be missed.

A new fitness journey

Five years ago, I broke my right hand in an accident at work.

I had never broken a bone before, so while a cast was interesting (and rather pungent) I learned a lot about muscle atrophy.

After a mere three weeks in a cast, my right hand was damn weak.

Now, I had had some experience with weight training and gyms on and off since college. I always liked weight training. So, i started working out at home.

I had also gained weight, about ten pounds on my small frame. I had never tried to lose weight before and when I decided to lose weight, I lost 30 pounds in less than six weeks. I became a pretty ripped little skeleton.

Circa 2016 (Not my lowest weight)

My daughter teased me that I didn’t need a bra because I didn’t have boobs anymore. 112 is grossly thin for me.

I became the first person on earth to need a Fitbit to make sure I ate enough.

And through healthy eating and weight training I gained back 20 pounds. I have been every size from a zero to a twelve in my lifetime.

Tonight I weigh 133.

My daughter, on the other hand, has struggled with her weight. And finding activities she enjoys is part of the problem.

I belong to the gym where my husband works, but she can’t use the weight room there until she’s 16. She’s 14 and three-quarters.

She went to the pediatrician today to follow-up on an urgent care visit for a sprained ankle. She has grown to almost five-foot-three. That means she has less than an inch to catch me!

But her pediatrician says she should weigh between 100-115 pounds.

That is too thin, in my opinion.

But it needs to be addressed. So we decided to explore Planet Fitness.

Why Planet Fitness?

Because their Black Card membership is $22/month. No money down, no contract. It allows me to bring a guest every time AND that guest can be my teen daughter.

More on that next time….

I love you so much I went to WalMart

This is my daughter’s ninth summer attending resident Girl Scout camp. She’s been handling preparing and packing for the last few years.

But this year, her drama almost made me lose my mind.

Because that’s what teen girls do, right?

Our recent road trip should have made this simple. She needed to take clothes out of one suitcase, launder them and repack in a bigger suitcase.

Except she just didn’t do it.

Until Thursday. I ordered her makeshift riding boots on Tuesday with two-day shipping, except the web site acted up and my husband had to do it over from a different computer and forgot the 2-day shipping.

Luckily, they arrived Friday evening.

Drop off at Camp Wood Haven is Sunday, 1-4. Saturday she makes a list of things she needs, including the shampoo she just lost after our road trip, a new water bottle despite the fact that we have a million, and a swimsuit because suddenly the two bikinis I bought her a few weeks ago aren’t good enough.

But we did it. And got her the cutest black one piece with scalloped edges.

Then this morning her shoelaces broke and while she had compiled a list of addresses to send mail, she didn’t have stamps.

So I went to Payless and got shoelaces AND spare shoes. Stopped at the grandparents because old people always have stamps.

Killing it.

And we decided to go to IHOP since it was a highlight of our road trip. The IHOP was packed so full it would have failed a fire inspection.

So we ended up at Arby’s. My sandwich didn’t agree with me but darn do I love their cookies.

We arrive at camp. It’s 100 degrees. Really, it is. They ask her to grab her swimsuit for her swim test. She forgot it.

“How?” I ask. “We bought it yesterday?!?!”

They ask her if she has a sports bra and gym shorts. Nope. She only wears jean shorts.

Now I should have made her wear left behind lost and found clothes. But she is my baby and she looked so sad.

So instead of accompanying her to her unit, I went to WalMart 30 minutes away.

I hate WalMart. But through the farms and Mennonite country, my husband and I went to WalMart.

I found this cute blue suit. Blue is her favorite color.

I was going to ask someone at the customer service desk to staple a note on it so the camp can deliver it.

It was too busy.

I saw these brown paper sacks at the cafe. I can write on those. Smile.

I got to the car and realized I forgot my iPhone X. I have NEVER done that before. Luckily the cashier noticed.

Phone retrieved and swimsuit delivered.

We won’t know until Friday if the child liked it.

Left for camp: about 11:45

Arrive at IHOP after grandparents: 12:50

Arrive at camp: about 2:20

Left camp: 2:50

Returned to camp from WalMart: 4:05

Day 7… and we’re not killing each other

Today is my daughter’s 14th birthday.

She wasn’t happy when I sailed across the room and leapt on her bed screaming in a falsetto, “it’s my baby’s birthday!”

At 6:30 a.m.

Today we hope to make it to around Richmond, Va., since we are due home tomorrow and I have to be back at work at 7 a.m. Monday.

I wonder if they missed me.

Our exciting plans for today include the bird sanctuary that was closed on Monday and an afternoon visit to the paranormal museum.

And finally… the Quality Inn right off I-95 in Fayetteville, N.C., may have been my favorite hotel balancing price and function. With taxes the room was about $70. The breakfast wasn’t exciting but in included a variety of hot items in addition to the continental selections. And personally, I loved that they offered peanut butter with their bread products.

The room was clean but sparse. Refrigerator a tad busted up but while trying to freeze water bottles into ice cubes for the cooler we almost had one freeze. The water pressure in the toilet was poor. But the pool open 10 a.m. to dusk and it was clean and a nice size for a small hotel. Coffee was decent. And they had a former room on the first floor converted into a fitness center. And a public laundry room.

The human experience of the Thin Mint Sprint

I have anticipated this 5K for a long time. My training started in November, paused for the Holidays, resumed in mid-January, paused in February for an illness caught from my daughter and then in March I dropped a 15-lb dumbbell on my toe, which is still a little sore and definitely swollen.

So last week, I could finally resume training, but new routines at work have made that difficult too. And my training partner and other half for this run is my almost-fourteen-year-old daughter who gave up on running weeks ago.

Three years ago, I swore I would get in shape before my fortieth birthday. And I did. At that time, I had explored some walk-run 5K events with my friend Gayle and found the Yuengling Lager Jogger. After the first year running for beer, I vowed to try and run my next one.

And two years ago (April 11) I finished the Lager Jogger is 44-minutes something.

Now, the Girl Scouts have hosted a fitness series of three events. I attended the orienteering style one at Camp Laughing Waters with Gayle and her niece and my daughter. My daughter planned to attend the second event, a walk-run through the camp, but she ended up with bronchitis and I wouldn’t let her attend the race in the race with a troublesome set of lungs.

Then Gayle registered me, the girls, and her nephew for the Thin Mint Sprint in Wissahicken/Fairmont Park outside Philadelphia. The sign “Welcome to Philadelphia” is on park grounds.

I have always wanted to run a 5K, and run it. It didn’t happen today, but I did shave two minutes off previous times for a new personal best. Well, except for the times in training that I came in at 38-39 minutes. That was when training was working.

But I want to tell some stories from the day.

And maybe start with some quick asides:

  1. The portapotties were nastier and covered with more human feces than anything I ever saw in Africa, and that includes facilities with no running water.
  2. Parking was awful but the park was so gorgeous it is quickly forgotten.
  3. There is a rustic coffee house IN the park.
  4. I’m sorry, but strollers do not belong in 5Ks.

So onto MY experience…

I love how other runners will say kind things to you.

The first half mile was physically easy but breathing was difficult. At mile marker one, I would have traded my first born for water.

I reached the road (that actually had cars on it) that the race route crossed WHILE TRAFFIC WAS STOPPED. The cars were waiting for us and backed up for what seemed like miles and I was part of that initial horde for whom officials stopped traffic. That was awesome.

I thought the first half was all downhill, so I expected, since the race was an out-and-back, the second half would be uphill. It also seemed to be downhill. How was this possible?

I had a lot of what I call “little disappointments.” I couldn’t get my new iPhone X to start MapMyFitness so I had no idea “how I was doing.” I felt most of the way, that I wasn’t performing as well as I had wanted myself to perform. I had to let go of those thoughts.

By the time I reached the finish line, pushing down that final hill, running… I saw the clock at 42-minutes something and I was overwhelmed. Not with any discernible emotion, just overwhelmed. Hot. (It was 80 degrees and I have never run in temperatures over 70). Dehydrated. (I drank 25 ounces of water before the race and the cup in the middle.) Tired. Proud. Disappointed. Happy. Crying. Smiling.