Thursday, July 8, 2010

Almost Dead in Flagstaff

I can’t breathe. Abby, the twins and I are in Flagstaff for the 4th, at my parents cabin, and it’s midnight on Saturday the 3rd. I wake up and cannot catch my breath. Abby assures me I am ok and not to wake the twins, so I down a couple Tylenol and go back to bed, taking very short breaths.

I get up at 5am with Abby, Chloe and Kohen and I still can’t take a full deep breath without coughing. We go for our morning walk and I am dripping sweat, which is not normal because it is 55 degrees outside. I have been hitting the gym hard recently, so I know for sure I am in good enough shape to walk. Abby thinks I am faking it, but in all fairness to Abby, I am a hypochondriac who constantly thinks he is about to die or has Motoba (damn that monkey from Outbreak). So now I am questioning myself as to what is going on with me.

By 3pm that day, after two failed attempts at napping, I go with my dad to the local fire station to get checked out by the paramedics. Of course when I say I can’t breathe, they interpret this as “Chest Pain”. While I do my best to assure them that I am not having a heart attack, they already have me packed into the ambulance on the way to the ER. On the way there, they notice that I am not getting enough O2 throughout my body. A normal person has 99% O2 and I am registering 79% to 80% O2. This is not good.

After they wheel me into the trauma center (I am sure some resident doc is hoping they get to crack my chest open and massage my heart back to life manually) I get a message from Heather. I am thinking, perfect…

No blog from Charles last week. I made an executive decision to publicize my pep talk to Charles. I do enjoy executive decisions.

I seem to say the same things all of the time regarding caring for yourself. People do not want to hear these same things (especially my children). There are two things that are a must to take good care of yourself: workout planning and meal planning. When you find yourself off-track and far away from your goals, go back to those two basics. Fitness and good health are not an accident. They are a result of pain-in-the-ass planning.

1. Schedule your workouts. Use Outlook, iCalendar or old school calendar with kittens of the month. Whatever works for you but write down when you plan on working out. I think it’s best to buffer with one more workout than your goal. If you’d be stoked with five, schedule six. Hit it harder at the beginning of the week because clearly, you’re going to run out of time at some point. Blowing off Monday, sets a tone for the whole next week. Just make it happen. I bet you’ll be tired, maybe hungover, feeling fat from eating too much over the weekend but I know that you’ll feel much better that you took a positive step to start out your week. No sense in carrying that crappy feeling into Tuesday.

2. Grasshopper Spannagel seems to resist meal planning the most. Seems nerdy and also another pain in the butt. It is. So what? After working all day, wrangling the kids, starting laundry and praying for bedtime, this is not the time to be parked in front of the fridge, staring down the nothingness or texting your spouse to bring something home for dinner. You can write meals on the kitten calendar on Saturday and shop on Sunday. If you’re feeling a little nutty, you can make some meals on Sunday that freeze so you just have to heat up during the week. Whoa.

Two things to put into motion. Two things that make you accountable to yourself. That’s not so bad. This will help you overcome the everyday “shiny balls” that distract you. As someone who can be a bit ADD and distracted by shiny balls that float my way (Hi Facebook and!), it takes some discipline and planning to dodge those balls (sorry). Do not schedule things during your workout time. Do not entertain other options during your workout time. Go workout. I promise you that there will always be many other things to do during that time. They might be more fun, too. Might not. It might involve working. Might involve cocktails or sleeping, two of my favorite things. Just doing it beats kicking yourself later when you realized you only managed two workouts during the week.

I totally get the setback. I have worked in a gym for twenty years. My weight has fluctuated with my level of dedication. I do not bound out of bed with the 1992 aerobics instructor’s woohoos. In the past couple of months, I have moved my home, taken care of my sons, survived baseball and t-ball seasons, tended to business matters, fired and hired employees, decided to upgrade and move the studio and taken care of my boyfriend after brain surgery. On most days, the last thing I want to do is workout. I would prefer rocking in the fetal position on a few days. Quite frankly, my workouts have sucked because I have chosen to juggle too many shiny balls and not schedule my workouts. Guess who feels crappier for it?

I am off to Safeway to fill my fridge and cabinets with healthy options for this week. One positive step. Tonight I will sit down with my calendar and schedule my workouts. Two positive steps. That’s all I’ll ask of myself today. Two things.

I read this as the doctors rule out any kind of cardiac problem, and I am again reminded that DUNK is not just about me. I made a promise to our readers and my sponsors (see Converse and Doclopedia) that I would post more blogs, more pictures, more videos and I haven’t done it because I keep telling everyone how busy I am.

When I re-read Heather’s pep talk I realize she is absolutely right. It’s as hard as and as simple as planning and execution. My weight loss isn’t where it needs to be because I am not dieting appropriately. DUNK is about changing your life for the better, metaphorically getting above the rim, and literally as well. I wouldn’t have titled this bad boy DUNK if I didn’t think I could do it.

After 10 hours in the emergency department, it turns out I have “A-Typical Pneumonia” which is a relief from “Blood Clots” in my lungs which they were throwing around for awhile. What this means for Heather and I is that I get to focus on 10 days of dieting because I am not allowed to workout.

So, let’s see if I can lose any weight with diet only for the next ten d


  1. Good blog! Thanks for the encouragement!

  2. is the difference. Hang in there you two - I'm heading off to the store to stock up on all things Paleo....then, hot date tonight with a pull up bar (not a pick up bar, but one for pull-ups), some push-ups, abs, and a nice side of positive self-talk!