Monthly Archives: January 2014

Link

Pynk Fitness now has a website!

Hooray! I’m now the proud owner of pynkfitness.com AND pyromaimya.com.  Movin’ on up, feelin’ legit!

I’m exporting this blog in its entirety and will continue to write new content for my new websites. I’ve been working on a Fresh Meat Fitness series, plus I had a brainstorm recently re: a series on skating and running after ORIF (open reduction and internal fixation – or in layman’s terms, when your leg is chock full o’nuts and bolts). I’d like to review all the skate boots and running shoes I’ve tried since going Full Metal Ankle, plus give a little practical advice for anyone returning to an active lifestyle after going bionic.

Stay tuned to pynkfitness.com and pyromaimya.com for more adventures in fitness and family. Video clips are coming when it’s not so blasted cold – and now I have a handy place to archive all the recipes I teased you guys with on Facebook.

Check out the new URL!

Thanks to my dear brother, I now own pynkfitness.com and pyromaimya.com! I’m happily planning my layout and importing files this morning. I worked in web design/hosting in the late 90s and early 00s, and I’m tickled to see that cPanel’s even easier to navigate now.

As I relearn to ride this virtual bicycle, please accept this picture of my sweet family in lieu of actual content.  This was taken at lunch with old friends after we ran the Hypnotic Donut Dash, which was an absolute blast and a much-needed respite from an emotional week.

photo

 

Actual content coming soon. I’ve been working on a Fresh Meat Fitness series, plus I had a brainstorm yesterday re: a series on skating and running after ORIF (open reduction and internal fixation – or in layman’s terms, bionic leg chock full o’nuts and bolts) wherein I review all the skate boots and running shoes I’ve tried since going Full Metal Ankle. Stay tuned!

How Roller Derby Saved my Life

I originally wrote this on my league forum as a post for the fresh meat group I was coaching at the time. I shared it on Facebook later for a rec league group I was training,  and by request I’m sharing it here now in its original entirety. I hope it continues to inspire and motivate aspiring derby athletes.

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I’ve been meaning to put this out here for awhile – I posted it on my league board recently in a nutrition and fitness thread for my freshies. There aren’t a lot of old guard left who remember what my life was like when I first joined Assassination City & I don’t want anyone to ever assume that I’ve always been who and what I am, because it’s taken a lot of hard work to get here.

This will be really, really long, so bear with me.  I talk a lot. Plus, I’m a narcissist who needs visual aids to fully illustrate the changes my body has gone through, so you get pics too.

I was small (unhealthily so, but that’s a confession for another time) until I hit my early 20s, then birth control (& later fertility meds – oh, the irony) + eating way too much crappy food + sitting at a desk all day reshaped me. I weighed about 155 when I finally became pregnant with Victoria – then I put on 63 pregnancy pounds. Yeah, that’s not a typo. I’m 5’4″ & I weighed 218lbs when I checked into the hospital. That’s over twice the size I was when I met V’s dad. Some of it was the swelling from pre-eclampsia, but most of it was the fact that I used pregnancy as an excuse to eat everything in sight (mostly processed garbage & greasy fast food) & I told myself that walking the dog was actually real exercise.

Here’s what I looked like pregnant (with my best friend Jackie O’NiceAss @ her baby shower):

Our kids were born two days apart.

Our kids were born two days apart.

 

And right after I had V (rare pic of natural haircolor):

proud mama

 

V had severe GERD, which took a trip to the emergency rom and several specialists and procedures to diagnose. Sickly, unhappy new baby + scary new body and wild hormones did a number on my self-esteem, so I spent the first 4 months of V’s life in misery on so many levels.  I didn’t realize at the time I had PPD, but I can see now how bad it really was. I felt very alone and I needed an outlet.

When V was about 4 months old, Jackie O & I started talking about roller derby again. We’d heard about it for the first time @ the baby shower where the above pic of us was taken & we had made a pact that we would join after we had our babies. After researching local leagues, I attended a DDD bout one weekend and an ACRD bout the next.  Dude, I was hooked within the first 2 jams. It was pure awesome. I contacted ACRD about 2 hours after their bout & joined within the next month (summer of ’06).

My skating background: rink rat as a kid + speed team when I realized that skating was faster than running (I’ve loved running since I learned how to do it). I hadn’t been on skates in 17 years, though. I went to a public session the day before my first practice and rented a pair of brownies. I was on the floor for 15 mins when a 12 year old asked me to teach her how to cross on the corners, so I guess it came back to me pretty fast. Muscle memory amazes me.

First practice: I lasted 45 minutes. I was so out of shape! I’d been walking every day & had progressed to light jogging again since I had V, so I was probably down to 185 when I strapped on my skates. My bad knee hated me because of all of the weight I was forcing down on it.  The coach was less than kind about my inability to keep up, the veterans blatantly ignored me and I felt so far out of my element physically and socially.  Fortunately, Gloria Vanderbitch sat down next to me during a water break and within two sentences became one of my best friends for life – so I swallowed my pride and fears, stuck around and came back the next week. I made it through the entirety of the next practice & every practice after that, & soon my body and mind began to transform.

In my first year of derby, I lost about 25 pounds…I didn’t do much else besides skate. I was eating less, but still eating like crap – my first home team, La Revolucion, used to get bourbon & pancakes @ this dive bar called Bandera after every practice. Not exactly the best post-exercise nutrition. Still, I was a pretty decent jammer & I used my size to my advantage – but more importantly, a year of hanging out with a group of strong, beautiful, confident women who come in all shapes & sizes reshaped my self-image & helped me love myself again.

larevpy

La Rev Py

I shattered my leg (11 breaks in the tibia/fibula) on June 6 of ’07 – had surgery June 11 (2 plates, 17 screws and one stabilizing rod), attended the pre-bout party in a wheelchair on June 15, & went to the bout + separated from the Giant on June 17. It was a busy, fuzzy  week of pain and confusion. The Divorce Diet will make you drop weight fast, but I don’t recommend it – nor do I recommend crawling into a bottle of whiskey for a year, which is what I did. Weight fell off to the point that people were asking if I was doing coke. (I was not. I was just drinking myself to death.) I think I was probably 112 @ my skinniest – West Texas flung me around the rink in July of ’08 (my first bout back as a skater) like a rag doll.

Scary Py.

EAT SOMETHING.

** Around this time, I started practicing yoga + meditating every day. I needed to regain my balance in every sense of the word. Yoga changed a lot about my life for the better – I cannot say enough good things about practicing on a regular basis. I healed physically, mentally & spiritually through yoga. It made me more mindful of every bite I put in my mouth, every drink I took, every minute wasted in a bar or stuffing my face in front of the TV that could have been filled with something meaningful & productive. I also started keeping a journal, which made it easier to track whether I was stress-eating or forgetting to eat bc I’d drank too much. A journal shines so much light on what’s going on inside you, & that helps shape the outside. **

I sprained my right ankle in Dec ’08 but kept skating on it in pain ’til about Feb ’09. I do NOT recommend that – if you have an inversion sprain, get off your skates & heal. I opted for 3x per wk physical therapy bc I wanted to recover as quickly as possible. Physical therapy strengthened both ankles, plus it helped build some muscle in my legs (stability exercises are SO good for your entire lower body & core). It made me feel stronger, & I love feeling strong! I started running again (a slow and painful process with nuts’n’bolts in my leg, but it is possible to run again if you have been broken and rebuilt) & I bought a couple of circuit-training DVDs featuring HIIT (high intensity interval training, which is the quickest way to get in bad-ass shape). I highly recommend Jackie Warner’s DVDs – she will destroy you in a very short amount of time. The key is to understand that exercise is supposed to be uncomfortable to some degree – you have to sweat to burn fat & build muscle.

After a year of lifting @ home, Smack the Ripper talked me into joining her gym in May ’10 – I hired a personal trainer & fell in love with her job, so I started the NASM PFT program in July ’10 & started hitting the weights & Stairmaster hard. I received my NASM PFT certification in April of ’11 and have since added several specialized certifications to my arsenal of training knowledge.

So, to make a short story very, very long, that’s why your off skates warmups are so intense – and that’s why I now look like this:

gunzzz

 

I’m impressed if you made it through that long ramble. I feel a bit as if I’ve exposed my soft underbelly to you all, figuratively & literally. I work my ass off on the daily because I know I’m never going to be a final product – I’m always a work in progress. We all are. I take my nutrition one day @ a time, focusing on eating clean 95% of the time & I don’t beat myself up if I eat a yummy fatty treat every now & then (although once I started eating clean, I stopped craving sugar and fat as much – I’m repulsed by fast food and most processed crap now). I break a sweat @ least once a day – cardio is good for the body, heart, mind, soul. Cardio is good working meditation for people who can’t hold still for long (like me). Lifting weights makes me feel powerful – that power carries over into life outside the gym and off the track. Lean muscle burns fat even when we’re asleep, so my body is a self-maintaining machine. I quit drinking on Nov 1, 2009 and I don’t miss it @ all. I realize I am an extreme case and your mileage may vary – I don’t expect anyone to quit drinking or enjoying an occasional piece of cake – I’m an all-or-nothing kind of gal, so it works for me.

Bottom line out of all of this, the one point to take home with you – derby can change your life in many positive & amazing ways, but it’s only the beginning of being truly fit & healthy. Think of derby as the gateway drug to lifetime fitness and health. Derby practice alone will not turn us into powerful lean machines – we have to put hard work in to get great results out of what we do every day. That daily hard work will show up on the track and in every other aspect of our lives.

Thank you for listening.

sweatpantsareforsoccermoms

 

DIY: Christmas Light Wall Art

My daughter needed a nightlight in her new bathroom, but didn’t want a traditional plug-in (“those are for babies,” she scoffed). I needed to fill the blank wall above the toilet, but wanted something a little more interesting than a framed print.

Using a stepladder, a pocketful of thumbtacks & a little patience, we created this:

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I free-handed this design, but if you need a little help bringing your vision to fruition without a lot of trial and error, then I highly recommend “tracing” your design on the wall first by lightly taping string or yarn in the shape of the pattern you’ll be pinning.

Simple, fun & lovely with the lights on or off!

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Knocked flat by the flu

jigglebuttrun2014

 

I was hoping to have updates on recipe writing and trail running adventures, but I have spent most of 2014 knocked utterly flat by the flu. I haven’t been this sick in nearly 20 years.

My goals and my training plan have been temporarily put on hold while I recover, which is a bit frustrating. I have a half marathon in 6 weeks and I haven’t been able to run since the Jiggle Butt 5K (I got sick that day). However, we had an absolute blast there and I even got [rather blurry] photographic evidence that my sweet husband will run if asked by his girls:

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Hopefully next week’s update will be a bit more lively. In the meantime, cuddling with Ginger, watching Netflix and hunting for sewing projects on Pinterest are keeping me sane-ish. Take care of yourselves and if you haven’t gotten one already, go get a flu shot.

Midnight Mile

As 2013 drew to a close, I kissed my sleeping husband, deactivated my Facebook account and hit the trail for a midnight mile (1.11 miles actually, which was unintentional but pleasantly significant to my pattern-loving brain).

It was 39 degrees and crystal-clear – the sky a canopy of constellations.  I ran without music, listening to my breath and my feet and the fountains in the neighborhood lake. I was the only one on the trail, the only one who saw the Christmas lights reflecting off the water’s surface in kaleidoscopic swirls as 2014 came racing in. I love that feeling – knowing I’m experiencing a bit of magic that nobody else will ever see.

When I was done, I laid in the grass and looked up at the stars, thanking the universe and the power behind it for a blessed old year and offering up my promises and goals for the new year.  I stopped referring to them as resolutions last year, but I remain resolute in the best sense of the word – unwavering and determined.

Here’s what I plan to do in the new year.

  • Reevaluate and reorganize how I spend my free time: I deactivated my Facebook account for a temporary and as-yet-undetermined amount of time. Without that massive time suck (which is, admittedly, my favorite place on the internet), I can accomplish my other goals more quickly and completely.
  • Publish my first book: I’ve been creating/testing recipes for the nutrition-conscious and for athletes with dietary restrictions for a few years now. I’d love to share them in a beautiful book full of well-photographed dishes interspersed with colorful anecdotes and pictures of my derby and running adventures.  I plan to include a companion booklet full of advice for new athletes (particularly Fresh Meat, as I feel that there are not enough off-skates resources out there for the budding derby athlete), some basic sport-specific starter workout programs and a training log.
  • Start a YouTube Channel: with the help of a filmmaker friend, I’ll soon have my own YouTube cooking show. You’ll get simple, healthy recipes prepared in typical Pyro style – light on grace and poise but heavy on clumsiness and sass. Tune in to see if I drop a knife on my bare foot or just spill the sauce all over my dogs!
  • Run my third – and possibly fourth and fifth – half marathon, while training for my first full 26.2.  The upcoming half is Cowtown and I’m running for ALZ Stars to raise money for Alzheimer’s Association.  If you’d like for the name of one of your relatives to be honored/commemorated, please email me or comment below – the names of my grandmother and grandfather will be written on my race shirt, as well as the names of friends’ loved ones who are battling or have battled the disease. (If you’d like to make a donation, no amount is too small – and I will match it and add your name to my “gets a free cookbook” list)
  • Settle into a church home and find volunteer opportunities within the organization: this is potentially happening already, and I am as excited about this as I was about falling in love with my husband. I have a big crush on a church that feeds hundreds of local families from its gardens and mobile food bank, hosts a 5K to benefit youth mission trips and has a dynamic children’s Sunday school program and a passionate, enthusiastic minister. We’re obviously still in the honeymoon stage – but then again, I still feel that way about my husband 5 years after finding him. Sometimes you just know.
  • Be the best mother, wife, sister, aunt and daughter I can be: this sounds like one of those vague resolutions I dread, but I have a very specific set of subgoals that will help me fulfill this promise to myself and to my family. Some hinge upon each other, like retiring from derby (that one was checked off early thanks to herniated discs and nerve damage) so I’l be free to attend my daughter’s soccer games and other activities. Some have already been stated above.  Most are listed only in my head and in my heart, and they are referred to multiple times a day.

I’m incredibly excited about the Year of the Green Wood Horse – 14’s my lucky number. :-)  I hope this is a wonderful, fulfilling year for you all.