Friday, April 27, 2012

Where the Spaz jumps on the soapbox and the bandwagon in the same post - Social Media is a Lie!

Every few months I go all haywire with social media. I start tweeting real, actual tweets rather than just the automated ones I've set up to tweet when I list new stuff on eBay or write a new post. I update my facebook page. I get all tweetdecky and diggy and read some blogs and try to figure out how to actually make it work for me.

And then it overwhelms me, I throw up my hands and go back into Internet hibernation for another couple of months.

So yesterday began the ascent of my social media climb for the current term (we'll call it the 2nd quarter of 2012) and I started up the Tweet Deck and started interacting and reading some blogs.  And I think today I'm already on the descent. It appears now, the thing to do is to follow people on Instagram. For the love of all that is holy, now I need to constantly be snapping pictures of my life, adding cool hipster filters to make my life look more edgy than it actually is, and pester people to follow me on yet another social media site.

Will the insanity never end?

I'll probably jump on board. At least for a little while. I can't resist the pull. Now Munchkin's horseback riding lessons can have a faded vintage feel to them and Goober's football practice can look even brighter and more vibrant than it actually is when bathed solely in Florida's super hot sun.

Because that's all this really is, isn't it? People portraying a little glimpse into their lives - but constantly editing it so no one ever sees what is real. Which only feeds our delusions that our lives aren't as good as the ones that we are viewing through our little LCD screens. So we buy more, we do more, we feed the monster that is consumerism and hope that we, too, can live in a hipster filtered world where everything is bathed in cool blue tones and cleanliness.

I'll update with my info when I've jumped on the bandwagon so y'all can envy the delusion I create for you.

Friday, April 20, 2012

A week at the gym with the Spaz - and how I'm disassociating myself with my ass.


I've been saying I was going to do it for a few months now but it wasn't until Monday that I actually did it. I joined the gym and went. 

I've needed to do this for myself for a long time. I've made so many excuses as to why I can't make it, why I shouldn't go, why something else is more important. But the simple fact is that there isn't much more important than being healthy - and I'm not healthy this way. That, and the other day when I thought someone was following me and turned around and realized it was just my ass, I knew something needed to be done. 

I am fat. Crazy fat. Morbidly fat. Like, I could lose 100 pounds and not die. 

That's as specific as I plan to get about my weight for right now. You understand. 

So anyway, I went to the gym on Monday and brought my awesome friend, Julie. We had a great time walking on the treadmill, going through the express circuit weight training thing, and laughing.  In the middle of the circuit a trainer named Omar came over to me to tell me "You're doing it wrong" and offer some helpful hints. I was feeling all gung-ho at the time so I booked a training session with him on Wednesday. 

Afterward we treated ourselves to a beer at the sports bar around the corner and I left pumped and ready to go back the next day with another amazing friend of mine, Niki.


Niki is a different breed of girl. She's cute, blonde, athletic, and fit. She's the girl that comes into the gym and other girls give her the stink eye. She is like the epitome of motivation for me. 

So Niki and I walk into the gym the next day and the guy behind the counter immediately starts flirting. Being with Niki is like walking into another dimension. It's like getting glasses that let you see into a whole other world that you've heard about but never truly experienced. I bet Niki has never paid for a drink in her entire life.

By the end of my workout with Niki I wanted to die. After we had finished our "warm-up" on the treadmill and then completed a vigorous session of the circuit weight training thing she looked straight at me and very seriously said "Are you ready to do cardio now?"

I told her I couldn't even look at her. 

And on to the elliptical machine I climbed. It was an ass kicking and I was tired. But I left feeling good about what I had done and ready to come back for Omar the next day.


Wednesday I was treated to the pleasure of both Julie and Niki joining me for my session with Omar. Except Omar was engaged with another client and passed us all on to Stephen, who from here on out will be referred to as Sadist With A Nice Smile. SWANS for short. 

SWANS had us warm up on the treadmill with an incline that reminded me vaguely of climbing a small mountain. When we were all done with that he handed us each a 10 pound weight and told us to climb the stairs. "No biggie" I thought... until he mentioned that we were to climb two steps at a time. That sucked.  After that grueling hell, SWANS had us do stretches, and squats, and lunges, and floor work, and more squats, and more floor work, and I tried desperately not to pass out or puke or start crying and telling him about my childhood like a contestant on The Biggest Loser. Niki did not break a sweat. 

After we were done with all that he said "Are you ready to do cardio now?"

I couldn't even look at SWANS.


Yesterday I felt as though my legs might fail me at any minute. Getting out of bed hurt, using the bathroom hurt, existing hurt.  I did my errands and ran around with the kids, had a girl scout meeting and attempted not to cry through it all. I took yesterday off from the gym and hoped that I would wake up refreshed and ready to hit it again. 


Y'all, it would take a vat of Tylenol to get rid of these muscle aches. But even though we were pressed for time, Julie and I braved the gym again today for at least a walk on the treadmill with a moderate incline. 

While I know I won't be bikini ready for summer, I do feel good about doing something about getting rid of the whole extra person I've been carrying around. I'm naming her Bertha. 

Bertha has been dragging me down for years with her "I want a Snickers bar" and "Let's skip exercise and watch TV with a bag of Ruffles." 

Bertha is such a hater and I'm sick of hanging out with her. She makes me wear clothes with elastic waistbands and makes me leery of less than supportive beach chairs. She is not my friend and I'm done with her. She keeps me from reuniting with old friends, being outgoing in social situations, and basically just keeps me from being the person I want to be. 

I'm kicking Bertha to the curb, y'all.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

"It's not the easy times that make you the person you're going to be, but the hard times and how you handle them." - My Father

It's been a while since I've posted because I haven't really felt like I had anything much to say. The normal goings on of the Spaz family haven't stopped - we've had karate, and horses, and girl scouts, and family get-togethers, and camping trips, and melt downs, and messes, and all of it. I just haven't felt like reporting everything.

But today I feel like I need to reach out to a friend. A friend who I've never met in person, but who has shared her life in the blogosphere and in private groups with me and on the wonderful world we all know as facebook. Sometimes our lives seem to parallel each other and I have a special place in my heart for her.

My friend is having a tough time with her child. Her oldest child, a senior in high school... she's traveling a path I have yet to travel... so what advice can I possibly give her?

She wrote today about how she told him "I give up".... words uttered in a moment of despair but words she doesn't mean. And she wrote about how she'll never give up. My heart breaks for her and for her child because, though I'm not in that place where I have a teenage child who is experiencing a particularly painful time of growing up, I remember being one.

My parents never gave up.

When I say that to my parents, when I thank them for never giving up on me, my dad always looks at me like he can't believe I would possibly think that he could ever give up.

"Of course we never gave up on you, Beth. You're our child."

But I grew up with other kids whose parents did give up. I had friends that had no safe place to go back to when they failed the first, second, or tenth time. I had friends who struggled and fought to stay alive... and some of them didn't. I can't speak for their parents - maybe they didn't have enough to offer, maybe they couldn't handle the pressures of their own lives and therefore couldn't be there for their children. I don't know the situations. I just know that I saw kids who were falling and no one was there to pick them up.

I gave my mom and dad a hard time growing up. I was defiant, I thought I knew it all, I made all the wrong choices. I went through dark periods of sadness and confusion. I pushed my family away, I told them I didn't need them. I caused them so much pain that there is nothing I could ever do to make up for it. I loved them, I hated them, I lied, I deceived, I did things I would be ashamed to write here.

But when push came to shove, my parents were there. They were always there to pick me up and try to set me back on course when I was ready for help. They never gave up.

I don't know if my mom and dad have any idea how much I appreciate them today. I don't know if they understand how absolutely proud I am to be their daughter. I don't know if words could ever express it.

My friend, my amazing friend who is fighting for her son, some day when he has pulled through all of this darkness and come out the other side a stronger grown up man, he will turn to you with an incredulous look on his beautiful face and thank you for never giving up.