Yes I’m Still Alive

Sorry for the delay, everyone. I’m feeling the weight of the last few days, but I’m not dead yet! (A phrase I’ll be saying a lot in the days to come, I suspect.)

As promised, Wednesday marked our first true glimpse of the exercise portion of 20/20. The first meeting was very much the question-and-answer barrage we were promised, though I did find myself with some time to work on a few things with my personal trainer. Erin is pretty laid-back and kind, and she’s a talented powerlifter, so I feel like I’m in good hands when it comes to pursuing the strength that I want. I think we’ll get along well, as long as I can maintain my positive attitude and commitment to trying new things. I don’t want to let her or myself down, so I’m doing my absolute best to work as hard as I can without injuring myself or burning out early.

One day at a time.
One day at a time.

I’ve also started working with an elliptical. I hate these things; they’ve always been the bane of my existence when it comes to working out. That said, Erin told me that I’d probably be working with one as preparation for learning to run later, since that’s something I want to do. After that, I decided it was better to face it early, even if I can only take a minute or two at once! Learning to balance my weight across my whole foot has been the first step; as someone who used to play Dance Dance Revolution a lot in college, I tend to assume that staying on the balls of my feet is the best way to do hard things. That doesn’t help you on an elliptical.

For now, faster treadmill walking, dynamic mode, and the elliptical have filled most of my cardio moments. I’ve been keeping my heart rate around 130-140, but the elliptical can push me to 160 at times! I’ve been told it’s fine since I’m only doing short bursts, but staying there isn’t a great idea. In addition, we’re still required to get our 5,000 steps in daily – 8,000 on days that we see our personal trainer, since the exercise we get there doesn’t count. Seattle has been much colder and rainier than usual so far this year, so we’ve ended up spending most of those steps at the gym on a treadmill instead of being out and about. That means a TON of time at the gym! It’s a good thing the Pro Club is ridiculously well-appointed, comfortable, and friendly.

I’ll be honest: my life right now consists of sweating buckets, showering because I’m sweating buckets, and trying to stay on top of all the usual day-to-day things that have to be done despite both of us being sore and tired. Right now we are facing an additional complication, as our dryer decided to blow its fuse the day before we started attending our initial appointments. Finding someone capable of working with the one dryer we could fit in our condo (a popular brand in other countries, but unknown in the US) was the first step. To make a long story short, this dryer is known for being an amazing workhorse, BUT this model used some fuses that expand when they blow. This requires someone to remove it AND a lengthy ordering/shipping process for the replacement. We’re still awaiting our new fuse from Vancouver over a week later. I keep telling people we could DRIVE to Vancouver in a couple of hours, but of course that’s not how things work. Sigh.

In the meantime, we’re stuck using a laundromat. (Occasionally John runs an emergency load at Google since there are laundry facilities at their gym.) One of our neighbors offered to let us borrow her dryer too, which was so sweet of her! We don’t often interact a whole lot with our neighbors out here on the West Coast, but when we do, people are always friendly and always care, which is all you can ask for the place you call home!

There are days where we fall into bed exhausted, and days when we still get an hour or two to play games and relax together. It’s a lot less free time than we used to have, even if it’s not always bad. I’m so very grateful for Google and their willingness to accommodate John’s needs for 20/20, as I don’t know how we’d be able to make this work any other way. Both my doctor and my personal trainer have said flat-out that this program is equivalent to a part-time job, and they’re not wrong. The important things right now are focusing on keeping positive attitudes, being willing to work with whatever they throw at us, and continuing to get back up no matter how tough a day has been. Our floats at Urban Float are also helping to keep us from suffering too much in mind or in body; the chance to fully relax for an hour is worth millions.

I’m aware that saying this may indicate the fact that I’m still new to this program, but — I’m feeling good about things so far. It’s still nerve-wracking, and I still hate to sweat, but I feel better and stronger for the things I’ve done already. I’m feeling small groups of muscles that I haven’t felt ever before, or since physical therapy ended. Walking no longer hurts quite as much as it used to, aside from areas that I’ve been working hard. Stretching has kept me from being too sore, and is starting to improve the awful flexibility I had when I started. More than that, I’ve been able to face things I’m afraid of and emerge victorious. Sometimes it doesn’t matter that you “only” did something for a minute or two; the point is that you did it and you’re still alive. I’ve now been on an elliptical for 5 minutes more than I ever have in my life!

I’ll check in next sometime after our dietitian and group sessions on Tuesday. Until the dryer is fixed, I’ll probably be a little less active here because we end up spending so much of our extra time out doing laundry. It’ll be nice to have that back – hopefully this week, or I’LL be the one blowing a fuse!


  1. Lonnie Bowe

    You are doing awesome! Keep it up!

  2. Carolyn

    What progress!

    Sorry for the laundry issues caused by the broken dryer. I can imagine that’s been a real hassle right now while the two of you are getting used to all of the time you need to spend focusing on your new jobs. I hope the replacement part has arrived and been installed by now.

    Thanks so much for these updates!

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