May 22

Never ask me to turn on the lights…

Saturday afternoon my sister and I were heading to the mall to check out some sales, and as we were attempting to merge from I59 to I12, we suddenly ran into a traffic jam. My sister said, “Turn on the lights and sirens!”

“I wish.”

“Come on!” she urged. “You know you want to!”

Then we saw the cause of the slowdown–an wrecked car against the trees, and several cars off to the side. We both groaned in unison. “I see nooooothinggggg…”

Then we got closer and saw that there were some people sitting on the ground. “Crap,” I said. “I have to stop.”

“I know,” she said with a sigh as I turned on my lights and pulled over. I called it in on the radio, then got out to see what as going on. There was a man sitting on the ground cradling his little girl in his arms. There were no obvious injuries, but both seemed very shaken, and the pickup truck that they’d been in was a mess. I quickly waved to my sister to come check out the little girl and then called the dispatcher and had them send out an ambulance.

Now then, this is why you should ALWAYS WEAR YOUR SEATBELT!!! This little girl had a lot of bruising on her neck and her hips from the seatbelt. She was definitely going to be sore the next day from it.

But she was alive. That pickup trick had been cut off by an 18 wheeler, had spun and flipped, and had finally come to an abrupt stop against the trees that were about twenty feet from the embankment. If not for the seatbelts that the dad and his daughter had been wearing, there absolutely definitely would have been fatalities in that accident. You simply can’t bounce around that much in a metal can and not break things that are essential to life.

I’m very glad that I did not have to look at a dead six year old. And I know that father is thanking every god he can think of that he had her in that seatbelt.

After the girl was packed into the ambulance to get checked out, my sister and I continued on our way. I looked over at her and said, “You did say you wanted me to turn on my lights and siren.”

She shook her head. “I’ll never ask again.”

May 17

Phase II of the Lose The Ass plan

I’ve decided to shake things up a bit and give the powerlifting-style training a go, at least for a few months. I’ve gotten into a bit of a rut with my regular bodybuilding-style workouts, and since I enjoyed the bench meet tremendously, and also since I’ve been sagging a bit in my motivation to really push myself in my workouts, I spoke to Jesse Kellum about training with his krewe.

His response was extremely encouraging and supportive, and almost felt like a “well, of course you’re going to train with us” kind of thing. (And I may have been reading way too much into his response, but considering that I have never seen any women training with the powerlifting group, it was heartening. It was also quite different from the response I got from him several months ago when I was first starting to lose the weight and I was feeling him out about powerlifting training. He basically said that he trained his women’s group in the morning and that his evening group was the “dudes”–giving me the unspoken impression that the evening crowd was for the “serious” lifters. And, nothing against the women in his morning group, but those are women who are looking to “get in shape”, not build quality muscle and gain significant strength. I can get in shape on my own, just fine. And I did… which is perhaps why he started being more open to me. Which is cool… I can totally understand having to prove myself.)

And the cool thing is that the instant I “officially” joined the group, I was treated as one of the guys. Yeah, the weights might be lighter, but I’m pushed just as hard as the others. And, to be honest, I had a lot of doubts about working out with a trainer and even more about working out with a group. The closest I’ve ever come to having a trainer was when I worked out with Kelly, and that was more having a workout partner who happened to be a trainer. I wasn’t sure that I’d be able to handle having someone else structure my workouts, wasn’t sure I’d be comfortable giving up that control. I’ve been lifting weights for 22 years, and even though I’ve had some long breaks in that time and have allowed my weight to creep up to uncomfortable levels a few times, I still know a helluva lot about training and dieting. I’m not some fucking newbie who doesn’t know where her deltoid is. And there’ve been a couple of guys in the gym who’ve given me some good advice about powerlifting, but at the same time have acted like, “Well, she doesn’t know powerlifting, which means she doesn’t know dick.” (I swear, the next time [certain powerlifter] rolls his eyes when I say something about training or dieting, I’ll knock his fucking head off and I don’t care if he IS three times my size.) I may not know much about powerlifting as far as the lifts and competition, but I DO know training.

But after a week of workouts with Jesse, I feel pretty cool about the whole thing. He’s never been the least bit disparaging, and in fact has made some really nice comments about the progress I’ve made this year. And, the training has been a great kick in the ass–which is exactly what I wanted. It’s definitely a whole different animal when someone else is telling you what to do. We all go through our lazy moments and when the only person motivating you is yourself, it’s way too easy to slack off and back off.

So, the group meets four times a week: Mon, Tues, Thurs, and Sat, for close to two hours per session. (I told Jesse right off the bat that most weekdays there’s be no way I could do the full two hours due to family and work commitments, and he was cool about that, though he did want me to try and work it so that I could stay the full time on Mondays–leg day–since it takes a lot longer to really work legs properly.) I started last Thursday, and since it was an incredibly pretty day, the majority of the workout was outside behind the gym.

We started out with taking turns pulling a weighted sled (90 lbs.) The length of the building. It’s a long building. We had to go down walking backwards, and come back going forwards, dragging this thing behind us. The first hundred feet or so weren’t too bad. The rest of it damn near kicked my ass. Walking backwards is also much much easier than going forward. I could barely drag it going forward, and I quickly discovered that if I stopped and lost momentum, I was fucked. Then, after we finished the sled drag, we had to do squats for ten reps. Deep. A helluva lot deeper than I have ever really done. (I’ve always been WAY lazy about going really deep in my squats–and I’m paying the price for it now, because I had to drop down to embarassingly light weights in order to do it right.) After the squats, we had to do situps. Then the whole cycle again. And again. And again.

I missed the Saturday workout due to Anna’s party, so then Monday it was legs again. Squats. Lots of ‘em. He had me going heavier on the weights, but still working on breaking my 22-year-old habit of not going deep enough. The dulcet tones of Jesse giving training advice still linger in my memories…

“Sit your ass back… sit back in the squat! Lower! Lift your chest! Stop looking at yourself in the mirror.. your hair’s pretty enough!”

Then last night was various upper-body stuff. Supersets of curls with laterals. More barbell curls. Smith machine military press. Finish it all off with a nice cleansing burnout of five sets of bench.

I’m thinking that I’m not going to have too much trouble losing these next 20 pounds before the Writers of the Future ceremony.

May 16

The kewlest shoes Evah!

I was in my sister’s car the other day, on our way to chow down on some sushi, when I saw a big shoebox behind her seat. Being the nosy person that I am, and also knowing that my sister has a kickin’ sense of style, I picked up the box, opened it, and saw a pair of seriously cool bright red Eccos. “Oh, cool! You bought some!” I said. We’d seen lots of exceedingly cool shoes when we were in DC, but neither of us were quite brave enough to take the plunge and buy any (since they were jest a tetch pricey!)

“I bought them, but I’m sending them back. They’re too big,” she replied.

I stroked my hands lovingly over the suede. “How MUCH too big?”

“Try them on!”

After the paroxysms of suede-induced joy faded, I asked, “How much?”

She told me. I went into another paroxysm, but one not quite so joyful. But after careful thought–and the realization that Anna really didn’t need new diapers, I mean, after all, these new diapers can hold something like three gallons, and we’re just spoiling her by changing her diaper every time she has a little tinkle, and those things are something like thirty cents each–I decided that I could afford them.

May 7

Movie Time!

I have discovered something exceedingly cool about my nifty little Canon Elph. Not only does it take movies as well as pictures, but it also has the capability to edit those movies on the camera–which saves me from having to wait until tomorrow to edit the clip of me and my final lift of 150 pounds.


I am in all of my benching glory.

May 7

Back from New Roads

I survived my first powerlifting competition, coming in second in my weight class and fourth overall! (Women’s division) I started out with a very tame 120 (a weight I KNEW I could press), then moved up to 135 (which is my raw max), and for my third and final lift I went for 150… and made it! (I have a great video of that lift that Jack took, but it’s going to have to wait until I can get to work and edit it for length.) I wore a bench shirt for the meet, but instead of using the super-duper one that is not yet broken in, I wore a very low-level “Blast” shirt that worked out perfectly.

Anyway, the meet itself was a heckuva lot of fun. I got to meet a lot of great people in the powerlifting community, got to see some incredibly strong men lift some incredibly heavy weights, and had the chance to see Jesse Kellum lift 800 pounds (at a bodyweight of 211. The man is Fucking Strong!)

I also (unfortunately) had the chance to see what happens when a powerlifter attempts a very heavy bench press when he has a stress fracture in his wrist. Everyone heard the snap, and the scream that followed. The weight rolled and the spotters managed to keep the 575 pounds from crushing the man, then he rolled off the bench and screamed again–an unbelievable sound born of the agony that only comes when a bone decides to see what the world is like on the outside of the skin. He was instantly surrounded by people with ice, splints, and towels, and fortunately a lot of paramedics, doctors, firefighters, and police do powerlifting. The meet was held up for about an hour as he was tended to and subsequently bundled off in an ambluance, and then the meet went on.

A few pictures:

This is me in my bench shirt. As you can see, it does lovely things for my boobs.

This is my second lift (135 pounds.)

This is the whole group from my gym. Yeah, I’m the only chick.

And, this is me with Jesse Kellum, the man who pressed 800 pounds. (Also, the one who talked me into competing in this meet.)

And, of course, I have to include an Anna Pic, since no entry is complete without one. I just have to say that Anna was amazingly good, especially considering how long the day was and how little there was for her to do. She only had one meltdown, and that was a short one.

May 5

Pressing engagement

The husband, child, and I will be leaving in a couple of hours to drive to the lovely and bustling metropolis of New Roads, LA (population 4800) for the “Bench on the River” powerfifting meet. We are going to stay the night in New Roads and then drive back tomorrow evening. I have no plans to bring my laptop with me, so I’ll update y’all on Sunday with how it went.

May 3

As promised

Thanks to the marvels of overnight shipping, I now have a new power cord for my laptop, which means I can cease rationing the battery life and actually post some pictures and stuff.

Unfortunately you only get three pics today since I didn’t have time to crop and resize all the ones I wanted to post.

So, here in all of its blue, black and green glory, is the bruise that the bench press shirt left on my arm. Actually, the shirt itself only left the thin red stripey bruises. It was the stupid “sleeves” that I’d put on earlier that were supposed to make it easier to get the shirt on (which, by the way, did NOT) that left the big blotchy bruise. Or rather, it was the attempt to remove them after they’d become stuck under the shirt that left considerable petechial hemorrhaging on my right forearm and the nifty bruise on my upper arm. (We finally got it all off by just taking the whole damn thing off and starting from scratch at getting the bench shirt on without the benefit of the sleeve thingies.)

The side effects of a bench shirt

Next up in the pics is the St. Louis Arch. This is the closest I got to the Arch.

St. Louis Arch

And, finally, this is my darling child on her Easter Egg hunt. It’s kinda hard to tell fom this picture, but the line of eggs on the ground is the trail she was leaving behind as she walked through the yard. She’d put an egg in her basket, and then as she went to the next one, she’d leave a trail of eggs as she allowed the basket to bump on the ground behind her. It was Too Cute.

Anna and the Eggs

May 1

Blah Blah B…

I was packing my laptop up to take it to work this morning when I heard a weird sizzle-crack noise coming from the power cord. Upon closer examination I noticed that a portion of the cord had managed to become damaged and had lost it’s nifty plastic coating, and the wires inside were making pretty blue sparks. After I made it to work I tried swaddling the damn thing in electrical tape, but it was to nao avail–my power cord was dead. So, I squandered about fifteen minutes of my precious battery time in ordering a new one–paying for next day delivery–and then spent much of the rest of my morning getting a work computer up and running so that I could do various online things. Fortunately I do have a computer I can use as a backup. Unfortunately it doesn’t have all of the nifty software on it that I have on my laptop, most importantly photo editing software and the software for getting pictures off of my camera, so various pictures will have to wait until either my new cord arrives, or I can find a multicard reader somewhere in this place. Also, unfortunately, this means that I don’t have a computer to use at home, unless I want to use my husband’s, which is a complete piece of shit and one that I can only stand using in the utmost of emergencies.

I was also informed this morning that I did not, in fact, get the promotion to Sergeant. Sigh. Oh Well. Only consolation is that the person who did get it is totally deserving, and will do a great job.

So, here’s hoping that bad things aren’t going to run in threes this week. I’m really just not in the mood for it.

Somewhat halfway decent thing: Last week, during the various lectures at the death investigation school, I had the complete plot for a thriller/mystery novel form in my hard little head. My goal now is to write about a thousand words on it a day, which would hopefully give me a rough draft by the time I go to the WOTF workshop.