Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Year of the Broken Kristi

Last year, my most popular post was the Year of Kristi. I thought I would end 2012 with a simliar post...a recap of my year and something that I finally accomplished.

To say that 2012 has been rough on my body is an understatement. Last year was mentally tough in every way possible. I thought I would never get out alive. Now, I'm not even sure my body will make it to the proposed end of the world on December 21, 2012; however, NASA put out their argument against this set date for the end of the world).
I have had two, COUNT THAT TWO surgeries in one year. I had a scope done on my left ankle to find out why after 15 months, I am still swelling up and in pain. The scar tissue damage was cleaned up, but my ankle still swells and causes pain. So, it's pain management for the rest of my life I guess. Then, I caught a viral infection, which caused me to have vertigo for the first time ever. And in true Kristi weird fashion, the vertigo came first before the actual deathbed sickness (typically, it's the other way around). I did lots and lots of tests. Having the vertigo first threw the norm out the door and we had to test for EVERYTHING. This lasted for four weeks straight. Also, this weakened my immune system. If someone gets sick around me or I just catch a simple head cold, I would be out of commission for a week. Then, I had surgery again to deal with my cyst removal. This was so hard for me, because the anesthesia made me sick...really sick. I didn't leave the hospital at a normal time, because I was kept under observation. The nausea and vomiting lasted for about 48 hours.
On a side note, I want to thank Lori (the best sister-in-law ever) for taking care of me that day. Words can not express how greatful I am to you. I want to also thank my parents for again being there after my surgery and all the people that came to visit me (you know who you are). And I can't forget my wonderful dog walker, Esmeralda and her family.
Then, there is the weird, mysterious right foot issue that caused me to stop running for a bit. I had a steroid shot last Friday on it (well...this pain has been there since May with minimal relief) and that took about 36 hours to fully recover. And last but not least, I have a hairline fracture in my right wrist (radius) in which it's in a removable cast. I will explain later how that happened. I'm looking at a total of four weeks of recovery and no running. So, on Friday and Saturday, my whole right side of my body was out of commission and had to do that driving with a stick shift. Oy Ve'!
It's red for the holidays. I never miss an opportunity to be totally holiday cliched'.
Consequently, I have had to eat alot of 5K registration costs, because I couldn't run them (Oxy Fun Run 5K, Run in the Park, Graffiti Run, and Run for Your Lives). Okay, last of the whining done. I swear.

But in spite of all that listed above, I did do some really awesome things and some related to my Goals post for 2012 (obviously I failed miserably with my goal to make it to 2013 without an injury):
  • The big one for me in 2012 was that I finally FINALLY learned how to not only drink wine, but really and truly love it. I started off slow, but my friend Gary said, "You have to just have a glass with whatever meal and get used to the taste (paraphrasing since I don't remember what he actually said...I tune him out alot). That advice helped...oh and sharing with people. Mal even got me a wine journal and I kept track of wines that I liked vs. wines I didn't like (thinking Merlots). Going to France in May was my turning point since the wines there were fantastic. However, it did take awhile to like red wines, but I do love them now. I think Malbec is my favorite red wine (Gracias Luciano...but you may have spoiled me). I also took a wine education class and went to a winery with the intent of liking the wine (Veramar Vineyard) instead of just tasting it to be nice. If you are in Northern Virginia and looking for a good winery, head that way. It was so beautiful. 

Northern Virginia in October brings out some of the most amazing colors...and wine.
  • Haley and I finally went on our kayaking adventure in February. It was a long time coming, but we managed to go out there for a fun time. I couldn't have asked for a better experience tandem kayaking with my girl. Afterwards, we had discussions of learning to sail, which is next on the list.
Haley and I in our tandem kayaks with all smiles.
  • I joined two outdoor bootcamps that kicked my butt and I loved every minute of it. Mean Green was my favorite and bonus that it was closer. Silverback Fitness was still a good option.
  • One of the things on my list was to travel to a new U.S. city. Well, I traveled to three different U.S. cities. I went to San Diego for the first time to watch my beautiful friend Susan get married to the awesome Dan (my designated driver for life since he likes to drive my Porsche). Even though I completely missed the wedding, I enjoyed the reception and loved her mother's friends. I also traveled to another part of Northern Virginia to see my friend BranDee marry Martin (who I haven't seen in several years). While I was there, I stopped in Washington D.C. to make up for my quick car trip through D. C. several years before this. I went on a family trip to take my grandmother to see Mt. Rushmore, which was a bucketlist item for her and an amazing experience for me.
Susan and Dan cutting the wedding cake. Yes, this a Sabre sword as a tradition from her parent's wedding.
BrandDee and Martin walking down the aisle as husband and wife.

Three generations of women at Mt. Rushmore.

  • Because I couldn't run a large percentage of this year, I was handed down my mother's bike for me to use. I became a Tour de Force. I'm still not used to it, but I have had some good biking adventures. Also, my wonderful man, Jim gave me a bike for me to have when I visit him in England.
  • Me and Grease lightening leaving Sykes House Farm, England.

  • I participated in the Sprint For Life 5K in honor of MaloRee, BranDee, and MegGan's mother. We raised over $1,700 for our team. This was also the first time I ran with Kate and well, Kate's first of many 5K's with me. She's an athlete now.
Kate is an ATHLETE!
  • Another 2012 goal checked off was running the infamous El Chupacabra de Houston night run with Sara and Kris. I had so much fun and I hope to do it again next year.
    We plan to welcome the visitors from another planet.

  • And again, another 2012 goal was checked off. My plan in life is to travel to a new country once a year. Last year, I traveled to England and Ireland. This year, I traveled to France and had basically the trip of lifetime that included beer festivals, wine, cheese, England's only defeat on English land by the French (you know I had to throw that in there), Normandy invasion and all the WWII stuff I love so much (by far the most moving thing I have EVER seen), family, birthday fun, hiking, and kayaking the great water terror.

I'm standing on Omaha Beach where many soldiers lost their lives in the D-Day invasion.
  • I finally participated in a costumed themed run. Now, I have done the 2011 Hot Undies Run before, but this time, I managed to convince four girls to dress up as Team MadeIn USA for the 2012 Hot Undies Run. Next year, we have an even better costume idea that may just get us close to winning.  
    Team MadeIn USA at the 2012 Hot Undies Run.
  • One of my goals was to hike with Ashley; however, we couldn't make our schedules work. I did get to hike in America in 2012, but with someone else. I reunited with Ingrid (who I haven't seen in YEARS) to hike the Boulder Flatirons.  It was so good to catch up with her and do something fun.
Ingrid and I hiking the Boulder Flat Irons.
  • I participated in my first ever volunteer job for a 5K run.
  • I participated in the 2012 Turkey Trot alone and realized that I'm not a fan of crowded runs.
  • Me at the 2012 Turkey Trot
  • I finally bought a filing cabinet to organize ALL of my documents. I have been dealing with some financial things out of my control that forced me to get organized quick. It's been great. In fact, I had an invoice for the dogs and I immediately put in the correct folder instead of just placing it in a box somewhere. At work, I have gotten alot better at organizing my printed files, electronic files, and the files for our group. It's still a working progress, but I'm getting better at it.
  • Haley and I had a 2012 Bakeathon of Christmas goodies for friends, coworkers, neighbors, etc. on Sunday. We made Christmas cookies, peppermint chocolate pretzels (the best ever), chocolate cornflake balls, and pumpkin spice muffins. We also added a candy cane to each bag. I handed them out yesterday and everyone loves the pretzels. I learned that I am not a good icer and I can only decorate the candy cane cookies.
My fridge in an explosion of chocolate.
This really only shows a quarter of the Christmas cookies we made.
But the biggest accomplisment of 2012, occured on December 2. I finally got up the nerve to run the Houston Hash. Last Summer, Mal and I were supposed to go (she is already a hasherette), but we just couldn't make it work. At the Flying Saucer working on my plate goal (70 out of 200 completed with a deadline of August 2013), I ran in to a friend of mine (Keelan aka Platypus). He convinced me to join him on that Sunday's run and I did. I was so nervous and excited, but I couldn't wait to go.
The deal is that you don't know the location until the day of the event. You call the hotline to find out  where you have to go and viola! You run. I called the hotline a dozen times that morning and managed to get the bike hash location without knowing it. As I was hurrying out to the Woodlands area, I decided to call again just to check. It was changed and I turned around to wait for the actual hash run.
I showed up early and not wearing the proper clothing. Some of the people looked at me funny, but thankfully, I had a bunch of clothes in the car (don't ask). So, I put on some long socks and capri pants. I was good to go.
The Hares went over the rules and they were a little too excited to have a virgin in their mixes (newbie aka me). I just wanted to make it through to the beer. As we started, everything was confusing. People were yelling ON ON. People were going one way and then another. The groups split and I went with one group (the correct direction). I stayed with some people for awhile and then I was by myself. It was interesting. At one point, I turned at a checkpoint and then ended up back on a path I just came from only to find a guy telling me I must have missed a checkpoint. I was like...yeah...I've already been here. I just made a mistake. Then, I ended up next to a guy where we pretty much stayed together for awhile.
The trail lead us in to the middle of a BMX bike area complete with ramps. This is where I got hurt. I started to walk down this steep hill and slipped. I put my arm out to catch me like a moron and slipped some more. Then, I slammed my whole right arm in to the ground. I thought I was going to survive with just a little soreness, but it turned out that I did in fact have a hairline fracture. GRRRRR! Whuffos (non-skydivers) have all been like that is a normal reaction. Skydivers just laugh and tell me that this is what happens when we aren't skydiving anymore. As skydivers, we are taught on the first day never to put our hand down to catch the landing or you will break your wrist. I should know better.

After I got through that, I started to get worried that I was really lost since I hadn't seen a white dot in a long time and then finally I spotted one. We headed in that direction and met up with more people. We went through some pretty crazy areas of the trail and I kept thinking I hope I don't get poison ivy.
But finally, we made it to the end where beer was a plenty. I was so happy to finish, especially a five mile run (although, it felt more like six-seven miles) since that was the furtherst I had run in a long time. I was initiated into the group and forced (cough cough) to chug my beer. I had a huge smile on my face, because I have found where I belonged. After stepping back from skydiving, I have had a void missing. The Hashers basically do what skydivers do, except they have way more songs. I loved it. As soon as I get healed from this stupid wrist thing, I'm heading back to do my second hash and many more to come.

Look at that smile...yeah, I found my home. I just need to stay injury-free.
So, I bid farewell to 2012, with much anticipation for 2013. Hopefully, I will have some awesome surprises in store for me. I only ask that I don't endure anymore injuries. Paapappaallleeeeezzzeeeeeeee!