Fifty Shades of Arctic Enemas

In a mere two short weeks, I will jump into 34 degree Fahrenheit water.  On purpose.  I am not prepared for this ultra chill factor.  Should I buy a padded sports bra to blanket my breasts?  Because lord knows there’s going to be some extreme turkey-timer action going on when my body hits ice.  Of course, I assume the men will be obsessed with their incredibly shrinking peens, and phrases like “oh my dear sweet gubernaculum” will shake out through their chattering teeth, so perhaps they won’t notice all the high beams in the crowd.

Oh wait.  They’re men.

I also have to run through a mess of live wires, some of which are a stimulating 10,000 volts.  Glory be.  I’d love to have a spine-tingling, dirty time with hot men, but this was not what I had in mind.  Needless to say, I am not prepared for this, either.  I hate it when I flip on a light switch and I get zapped- especially when I’m wearing my footie pajamas.

Why subject yourself to such madness, you ask?  Well, I read the Fifty Shades of Grey “trilogy” and now wish to be gloriously tortured in such a way that Ana’s inner goddess’s inner goddess’s inner goddess would turn fifty shades of crimson and murmur and mutter something about… oh, hell.  I don’t know.  Alright, I lied.  I only read a wee portion of the first book and then decided that gouging my eyes out with a KFC plastic spork would result in far greater enjoyment.  (However,  I did read Speaker 7’s recraps of Fifty Shats of Twatsniffery and plan to contribute to the psychotherapy expenses caused by said Twatsniffery trilogy.  Stay strong, Speaker 7.)

I’m participating in a fun little obstacle course mud run called the Tough Mudder.  Ever heard of it?  I think I mentioned it once before.  Looks something like this:

10.1 miles of tomfoolery.  That is, if you call running a crapload of miles laden with 25 “challenges” such as the Boa Constrictor, the Death March, Funky Monkey, Just The Tip (hey now- I think I heard that just before Maya was conceived…), Turd’s Nest, Fire Walker, Underwater Tunnels (wtf), and the aforementioned Arctic Enema and Electroshock Therapy tomfoolery.  Which I don’t.

So why engage in such lunacy?

Because next year, I will turn 40.  Enough said.

I’m fairly fit as it stands.  I can knock off five miles and not collapse into ground like a limp noodle.  That said, I still know that I need to monitor my diet and increase my game if I want to make it through the challenge without eating dirt from a massive coronary.  During the past few weeks, I’ve increased my standard solo three mile run to five mile stints with Maya in the jogging stroller two days a week (talk about a work-out) and seven to eight miles on my solo Sunday night run while the tot is with grandma.  Two days a week are dedicated to weight training.  And on Saturday mornings, I strap the girl in for a long jog and every half-mile or so I add in rounds of jumping jacks, push-ups, burpees, mountain climbers, jumping lunges, plank poses, jump rope, tip-toes, and when we reach the playground, I attempt to swing about on the monkey bars when I’m not playing “catch me” with the girl.  I can only imagine how hilarious I must appear to onlookers.  Oh well.  They can stuff their Big Macs where the sun don’t shine.

I’m stronger and faster than I’ve been in long time.  I wasn’t this fit when I completed the Devil Dash in May.  Just since Josh left for Spain (I miss you, Joshie!), I’ve lost seven pounds and you can almost bounce a quarter off my butt.  Okay, maybe I still need a month on that one.  I’m naturally eating less and I feel fantastic.  I am determined to complete this sucker.  Although I think the TM will be challenging, I also think it will be (overall) a tremendous amount of fun with my friends and a chance to meet new people (ahem, ahem, universe…).  I am so excited.

This determination has had a domino effect in other areas of my life.  My confidence level is back up.  My stress level is down.  I quit biting my nails.  I know, I know.  Terrible habit since I was a child.  I don’t smoke or do drugs, I don’t drink much, I’m organized, I pay my bills on time, I’m clean, and I have a good work ethic.  Nail biting is/was my one uck habit.  I didn’t plan to quit; I just did it without even realizing I did.

I’m also writing more.  Not on this blog, mind you, but I’m writing where it matters most right now.  Lately, I’ve had several excellent breakthroughs regarding my screenplay and the pieces are now playing nicely together.  I was feeling a bit down about the script, but I hoped knew that if I kept toying with the characters and shifting the story, it would eventually work.  I have a solid idea; the story just needs tweaking.  This has been an ongoing process for the better part of a year, but I think I’m almost there.

Keep moving forward.

Or freeze to death in the Arctic Enema.  It’s up to you.

Wanted: Flaws

I went for my typical 5am run today.  Don’t be jealous.  You may join me if you’d like.

As usual, I wanted to sleep in, but since I love cheese and wine and chocolaty stuff, I must exercise to refrain from turning into a weeble-wooble.

As usual, I nearly face-planted due to cracks in the land beneath my feet.  Fortunately, only a handful of onlookers snickered at my attempt to recover.  (You know- you give that ol’ look of surprise over your shoulder as if the sidewalk shifted seconds before you arrived, just to f*ck with you.)

As usual, I had to stop and dislodge a rock that became stuck in the tread of my runners, which made a scraping sound against the concrete as my feet splashed through the run-off from sprinkler systems.

And as usual, creative urges percolated within as I finally sank into the rhythm of my run and forgot about all the usual clumsy stuff that I manage to do.

That is the real reason I run, by the way.  Not the tripping and face-planting stuff, mind you.  The boost in my creativity level.  It’s like leveling up in Skyrim or Minecraft or whichever game you play (because that’s how I have to explain it to my son).  I certainly don’t run to have a smokin’ body, complete with tiny legs and nonexistent size 1 backside.  I mean, I try, but it just doesn’t happen for me.  I’m 5’2″ and pretty muscular.  You know those awesome Nike ads for “thunder thighs” and “big butt”?  I’m close to that.  Fit, but sturdy.  Let’s just say that no man will ever be afraid of breaking me as we… um, wrestle.

At any rate, during my run this morning I had an incredible breakthrough for the ending of my story.  I think events that occurred in my life yesterday influenced the changes in my book, but the ideas didn’t spill out until I had my “zen” moment as I ran.  Empty your head of what you don’t need and new ideas can flow in, right?

I showered the sweat off my body, brewed my cinnamon French toast coffee (mark-down item!), and sat down to an awesome writing session.

Or, rather, what I thought was going to be an awesome writing session.  I stared at my computer screen for fifteen minutes this morning and typed not one word.

Forgive me.  I did type one word: Flaws.

It suddenly hit me that it didn’t matter what the ending of the story was like because no one was going to get that far in the book.  My protagonist isn’t flawed enough to be interesting.  Yes, “flaws” are a matter of opinion.  Some people might consider my round backside a flaw, while others see it as an asset.  Sir Mix-A-Lot would like it very much.  

thank you, mtv

No matter.  My main character must have quirks and weaknesses.  

Readers can’t identify with a near-perfect character.  She must have flaws so that we can nod our heads in understanding as she thinks or says or does the same stupid crap we do.  We want to scoff, shake our heads “no” and momentarily put the book down in exasperation when she does something that we already know- due to our own experiences- will have unfortunate consequences.  When she’s slowly undressing for a man and unbuttons her gauzy shirt to reveal a backwards-facing camisole, we can laugh because we have done the same thing.  (Yes, I discovered five minutes ago that I put my camisole on backwards.  Don’t ask me how.)  We follow her and, ultimately, become her.  We want to know how she reacts in situations so that we know what might happen should we react in the same fashion.

My dear girl needs a grand character arc.  She needs to have flaws she can work to overcome so that we can figure out how to work through our issues.  What works for her could also work for us, right?  I know that after reading a book with a strong, confident heroine, I find my chin tilted slightly higher than usual.  I exhibit a tad more defiance and I walk with calculated steps.  I become her, if only for a short while.  Therefore, I need to take more care in the development of this particular character.

I’m sensing another character interview in the near future…

Je t’aime

“Je t’aime.”  Today, Maya whispered those words in her sweet little girl voice.  Utterly adorable.  God I love that little girl.

Other cool things as of late:

I’m nearly finished reading The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler.  Great reference book.  Highly recommended, especially if you’ve been struggling through your writing.  I’m breaking through some mini-barriers thanks to it.

We completed the 5k Devil Dash in Las Vegas last weekend.  The heat was brutal, but the obstacles were, dare I say, easy.  However, we had fun and people took many terribly unflattering pictures of me.  For some odd reason, I have the goofiest expressions on my face in pretty much every single picture.  Rachel said we need to practice looking normal.  I’m not quite sure what that says about us…  I am looking forward to the New Harmony 10K obstacle course mud run next month.  Hopefully it will be a tad more challenging.  Must register soon.  (Interested?  Check it out here.)

I have discovered a new love this year and I am completely obsessed.  It all started with the Color Run.  I have to say, if the Color Run is in a city near you, by all means PARTICIPATE!  It’s great fun and proceeds are for charity.  You don’t even have to be super-fit.  Walk it.  Jog it.  Crawl it.  No one cares.  Good cheer and awesomeness abounds.  I’m not even kidding one bit.

Tasted more sweetness with the Devil Dash.  Now I must do more, which means training for the ultimate mud run:  Tough Mudder.  Glory be.  When I saw this clip, butterflies of joy filled my body.  Not even kidding.  I’m busting my butt out the door before 0530 to get in a solid run before the sun rises high and I’m strength training several times a week.

Josh said that I’m insane.

“For me, insanity would be not doing it,” I replied.  Surprisingly, he couldn’t argue my point, which is unusual for a teenager.

October.  Hells yeah.  And I’m going to practice my “normal” face so that I don’t look like this:

Or this:

Or do this:

Or this:

(In all fairness, I did almost get kicked in the face while crawling through muddy water under barbed wire, so…)  Or this:

The only shot I looked half-normal in was in the movie theater, mouth full of Twizzlers, and wearing 3D glasses.  My first 3D movie, I might add.

It’s been a busy month and I suspect my life is not going to slow down anytime soon.

It hit me that if I can accomplish all of this, I can do anything I set my mind to, and I’m acting like it.

We can do anything.