Archive of ‘HolyCrap’ category

Jillie and the Tonsils

I ran (hobbled awkwardly) to pick up the angriest child on the planet before I remembered I have a broken leg and the risk of dropping him on my way to the chair next to his post-op bed was too high. It did not pass The Dateline Test. (In case you never read The Dateline Test, it’s a post from my first blog site.) Luckily, the nurse noticed I wasn’t “all there” (I MEAN THE LEG, SMART ASS) and offered to pick him up and put him in my lap.
I immediately began apologizing to him. “Honey, I’m so sorry. Mommy is here. Mommy is not going to leave you and she is so, so very sorry…”
Sensing that my apologies were an admission of guilt, he immediately began to squirm from my arms and repeat the words every mother resents with her entire soul: “I want Daaaaaddy. I want Daaaaaaaaaddy.”
I looked at Abe’s dad. “He wants you. Take him.”
He gently took him from my arms and sat down in the chair. Just then, the post-op nurse approached us.
“Hi there! I’m Jillie and I’ve got some paperwork to go over with you!”
“Ok,” I think I said out loud but might not have because I was just staring at my child while my heart melted from the nuclear heat of guilt.
“So, first things first is it’s very important for him to drink. He needs to drink lots of fluids, as much as you can get into him…”
“Yes,” I answered, as if she’d asked a question.
“Now, does he want some juice or something now?” She asked me this and I looked around to see if there was some reason she would think I had any idea what my high three-year-old wanted in that moment.
“I don’t know. Abe, do you want to try some apple juice?”
“Mmmmmmmm,” he angrily growled at me.
“He doesn’t seem to want any.”
“Well, it’s really important that he drink fluids,” she said as she wandered away as though someone had called her name…except no one did.
Regardless, she returned a few moments later with a small can of apple juice. I did not have the energy to address this.
“I need to go ahead and take his IV out of his hand there…”she said, handing me the apple juice.
Yeah. That’s right. They put the IV in his hand. This, to me, was the work of a person who has never encountered a child before. The FIRST thing he’s going to do when he stops being so very, very high and angry is try and rip it out. Jillie the Nurse began removing the tape around Abe’s IV and Abe (pardon my french) LOST. HIS. SHIT. He all but ripped it out himself, causing blood to rapidly run down his hand which freaked him out to hell, breathing heavy and trying to yell causing him to exhale blood out his nose, which stained his shirt and caused him to freak out even harder.
Jillie had zero back-up plan for this situation. It was her first encounter with a three-year-old, too. She just kind of stared at Abe while Abe’s dad tried to calm him down.
“Do you have a bandaid?!” I asked in a panic.
“Ummm….yes.” She looked around and handed Abe’s dad a piece of gauze to hold on his bleeding hand and then wandered away.
I started rummaging through boxes and drawers near the little post-op station, searching for a bandaid or even some medical tape while Jillie did…whatever it was she did when she disappeared.
True to form, she returned several moments later with something that didn’t really appear to be a bandaid; rather a square sticker with Spongebob on it, which she then attempted to stick onto the gauze to keep it on his bleeding hand…while he flailed and tried to cry but couldn’t make sound either because it hurt too much or because he was too high to find his own voice box.

This all seemed to happen in slow motion because I had enough time to think in my head, “How am I witnessing a grown medical professional make less sense in a surgery center than I do, a concerned mother with zero medical experience…”

Jillie eventually finished doing the thing she was doing that wasn’t helping and began handing me papers to sign. “I don’t know if you keep the yellow copy or the white copy…hang on…” and she wandered off again.
This is when I wanted to scream: ARE YOU NEW HERE? TO THIS PLACE? AND TO MEDICINE? AND TO LIFE?
She returned several moments later and proudly announced, “White. You keep white.”
Can I just mention to you that Jillie wasn’t young. She was a middle-aged woman who should have had enough life experience to know that if she didn’t know what she was doing in the situation, she still should have been faking it.

photo (3)Within about 30 minutes we were given the green light to take Abraham home (the perks of having the surgery done at a surgery center vs. a hospital). His daddy carried him outside while I ran (hobbled awkwardly) to get the car. After a short drive, we got him back to my house and onto the couch and within seconds, he was asleep.

And that is when the hell that was my life for a week began.

Isn’t this a fun blog series?

Going Back to the Boat

My fourth of July weekend was full of laughter and joy and loud fireworks (and illegal fireworks) and wonderful food and amazing friends.

It was also full of some challenging moments because I went back to the boat.

The boat is parked at a friend’s house on the creek…the same house we drove the boat back to after hitting the tree and where the EMTs carried me across the grass onto a stretcher to get me into the ambulance and down the dirt road to the hospital. We were going there this past Saturday for a BBQ. I knew we were going, obviously, but the second the truck pulled onto the dirt road, I immediately had a flashback.

I didn’t expect it, I really didn’t. I was so surrounded with love and support I just assumed it would be weird and difficult and uncomfortable, but never for a second did I expect that the tears would start flowing on their own and my heart would beat so fast I couldn’t breathe. Bear parked the truck and we sat it in for a while. I peered out the window towards the water. I’m not sure what I was remembering specifically. I just know it felt like a weight pulling me down into the ground and fear was dancing on my eyelids.

Once I finally got out of the car, I think I stared out over the water for a while. The boat was parked around the other side of the property so I couldn’t see it yet. I could only see the grass leading to where the ambulance was parked. I kept looking for parallel lines in the grass from the stretcher’s wheels…as if they’d still be there after 10 weeks.

After a few minutes it was time to take the long walk to where the boat was parked. Bear’s mom and I decided to walk over by ourselves first. It was a long walk. Hard on my leg. Unnerving as we approached. And then…there it was. Floating in the water, all empty because the tree had effectively ripped most of the front elements out or off. I’ll give you my experience in pictures, as I know of no other way to do the moments and feelings justice.

This is the front of the boat. The circle on the floor is where a chair used to be.

This is the front of the boat. The circle on the floor is where a chair used to be.

This is where I landed. You can see were the bench isn't really lined up anymore. The helm behind it with the windshield is no longer attached to the bench.

This is where I landed. You can see where the bench isn’t really lined up anymore. The helm behind it with the windshield is no longer attached to the bench.

The broken windshield. Not sure if it's from me or the tree.

The broken windshield. Not sure if it’s from me or the tree.

I found these eerie little remnants on the floor.

I found these eerie little remnants on the floor. My sunglasses and my hair clip.

Here is where the helm and the bench split apart when I hit the helm.

Here is where the helm and the bench split apart when I hit the helm. I could wiggle the helm of the boat out of the floor with one hand.

Apparently the Bimini top was hanging in the tree after the accident. Here is it with the chair just sort of abandoned out here.

Here are the Bimini top with the chair just sort of abandoned out here in the grass.

I walked the length of the boat several times, looking for any clues as to how in the world this happened. Of course, I know how it happened. But looking at the boat, at what’s left, it doesn’t seem real. I asked questions like, “Where was the tree afterwards?” Bear told me a big branch was lying in the back of the boat and the rest of the tree was behind us on the beach.
“Why is the oar cracked?” I asked.
“Because just before I jumped out of the boat to push it in the water, the biggest spider I’d ever seen in my life was crawling toward your head so I smashed it with the oar,” he replied. He wasn’t kidding. “I didn’t think you should be worrying about a spider the tree dropped off while your leg was broken…”
Good call, Bear.
“How did you get the Bimini top?”
“I came back for it a few weeks after the accident. It was hanging in the tree.”

I stopped asking questions after that.

I left everything there. I spent the rest of the afternoon eating amazing ribs and texas caviar. I drank beer and decided not to push the sadness out of my head but instead to just let it come and go as it pleased. It went more than it came, but when it did I dug right into it. I got sad and I got mad and I got scared. But, I also made a new, more recent memory. I enjoyed a day with friends near the water, I drove out in the car of my choice (not an ambulance), and I STOOD on the boat where I last could be seen laying there. It will take a few more new memories before I will feel confident going there again, but the hardest one is over.

Relax, and Dream Up a Good Life

f1f42cc0-e66a-11e3-8608-5d9ab139dc43_Carrey-paintingI watched Jim Carrey’s commencement speech in full today while I made myself fresh pesto from the garden and I literally stood in the kitchen weeping. I got something in a big way that I’ve never gotten before.

The first line he said that really got me was this: “You can fail at what you don’t want so you might as well take a chance at doing what you love.”

I have already done my share of failing at what I don’t want. I spent years fighting for what I don’t want because it felt safe. The second he said it, I felt like someone had punched me in the gut. Holy shit. I have been skirting the chance to do what I love because I have been afraid that people wouldn’t like it, wouldn’t believe me if I shared my motives, that it wouldn’t be “for the masses.” I have hidden from what people will think of me. And that didn’t make me feel safe. So I always chose safe.

It’s weird how terrified I am to share what I love but I’m going to do it here, publicly, and then I’m going to trust the universe. If I’m going to have a bad year, I get separated, divorced, and lose my job. If I’m going to break my first bone, I’m going to break the hardest one in the human body as well as a few ribs for good measure. I go big or I go home. It’s kinda my thing.

So here it is:

My soul lights up when I share an understanding of a healthy lifestyle with others. I shine when someone wants to hear about WHY moving your body makes a difference to your mind. As someone who has depression and anxiety, I am speaking to you from the experiences I’ve had learning about what the food I put into my body does and how exercise can change my entire chemistry. I get SO jazzed when I can help someone learn that a healthier lifestyle isn’t that hard to achieve and that I will encourage them as they enter a new way of being.

It’s all a little woo-woo, but it’s truth.

But here I’ve been, holding back. I give in and eat a piece of cake or drink a milkshake literally because “everyone is doing it.” I feel too embarrassed to say, “No thank you,” and make a healthier choice because I think everyone will roll their eyes and tell me to live a little. They’ll tell me “gluten is a myth” or “a little sugar won’t hurt” when they may all be true for them but it isn’t true for me. Some people will say those things. And some people will learn by my example.

I can’t please everybody.

Then Jim (we’re on a first-name basis now since the weeping episode) said this: “I am proof that you can ask the universe for what you want. The key is to work towards it while letting go of how it comes to pass.”

Do I want to be a personal trainer, a yoga instructor, a dancer? Yes. I want to be all of those things. Do I want to be a nutritionist, a chef, have my own show on The Food Network? Yes. But there are very specific pieces of paper you must have in order to work in those industries, and you must pay good money to get them despite having more experience and knowledge than many of the people walking around with those pieces of paper. Right now my money has other places to go…but that doesn’t mean I can’t live my dream. I don’t get to choose how the Universe delivers my requests.

“Relax, and dream up a good life,” Jim said. Well, here it is. Here’s my dream for a good life: I want to be a Beachbody Coach for real. Not a hobby coach the way I’ve been in the past. I want to do it because I actually respect Beachbody as a company, I love what they stand for, and I love the way they bring home to millions of people. I don’t want to do it because I want to sell a bunch of products anymore than a yoga instructor wants to sell a bunch of yoga classes. I want to do it because I genuinely love helping people to feel like they’re enough based on their own hard work. I love supporting people in the hard work, teaching them as they go, and loving them through the toughest moments. I love calling people on their shit, opening their eyes to a better way, and making them laugh at really inappropriate times.

In trying to appeal to the masses and not give off the wrong impression, I’ve held back. So here I am world. Here’s the truth about me. I love working out, I love eating right, and I love laughing my ass off while I’m doing it all. Maybe just admitting it out loud is the first step.

Watch Jim Carrey’s entire commencement speech here. It’s hilarious and moving and if you’re in the kitchen making pesto, you might weep.
If you want to work with me to change your life, or if you want to help me inspire others to change theirs, then email me. And if you don’t want to do any of that, then sit at home and eat thin mints on the couch. We can still be friends. I promise.

Now that you know all of this I feel totally naked. It’s time like these I wish I ate more pie…

So…Vegas Happened

Where do I even begin?

For those of you keeping up, I had a whirlwind trip to Las Vegas for the Beachbody Coaching Summit this past weekend. I was invited to tell my story to 500 other coaches, inspiring them that working out isn’t just about looking good naked: it’s about being strong when the unthinkable happens.

I arrived on Wednesday afternoon and had lunch with some friends who were also attending the conference. We ran around getting our tags and our tickets and our wrist bands and all the things that go along with a conference fit for 9,000 people. I spent most of that evening with my leg up, exhausted from the trip.

photo (4)Speaking of the trip, ever had to travel through an airport using the assistance of Skycaps? It’s embarrassing. I felt horrible for the people tasked with pushing me around, asking if I had to go to the bathroom, if I needed to eat…they were all so lovely and I felt completely inadequate handing them a $5 tip after all they did for me. Also, if you see someone in a wheelchair at an airport, don’t trip over their feet. Don’t drag your bag across their feet. Don’t fall onto their feet because you didn’t think you needed to hold on when the tram started moving you effing idiot. I’M IN A WHEELCHAIR.

Anywho, I was speaking at 11:00am Vegas time Thursday, but I had to arrive with my lovely friends who were charged with my care (including carrying my bags, crutches, and pushing my wheelchair)…their call was 7:00. So I was up…early.

I repeated my speech over and over again in my head while they set up the stage. I paced on crutches speaking out loud but to myself as the crowd began taking their seats. It was a looooot of people. I was a theatre major, but I was still completely intimidated and nervous.

A little background: I’ve been using Beachbody products for 6 years, so I know most of the trainers in the videos we sell. I’ve been working out with them day in and day since I first decided going to the gym sucks. So when I noticed that my name was between “Tony” and “Autumn” on the line-up schedule, I nearly peed my pants when I realized that meant Tony Horton (P90-X) and Autumn Calabrese (The 21 Day Fix). Now add Chalene Johnson (Turbo Fire) and Sagi Kalev (Body Beast) to the list and I was almost hyperventilating. These people are like royalty to me.

When my dear friend Jimmy introduced me to the audience, I hobbled up on stage. As I began my story, I lifted a hand to make a point and quickly realized it was shaking.
Hand back down at my side…check.

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After a while I got into a flow, a rhythm, and I could tell the audience didn’t hate me so I wasn’t afraid to finish strong. In the end, I explained that telling my story was far more valuable to people than trying to sell Beachbody products. And, I’ve actually sold more since telling my story than I ever did before. It was meant to be a story of inspiration followed by a useful business tip. I had a good deal of poise and even confidence by the time we were wrapping up. I did good.

The trouble is that as I finished, Jimmy said, “Since it was The 21 Day Fix you were doing just before the accident, I think it’s only right…”
This is when I gasped, hand over mouth, and bent over at the waist like an ostrich who thought maybe no one would see me. I knew I was going to get to shake Autumn Calabrese’s hand, but I did NOT think she would come on stage with me. But there she was. And there I was, a blithering idiot, unable to make a sentence or even coherent facial expression. She was already crying, which made me want to cry but I was so surprised and unnerved that I lost the ability to produce tears.

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Maybe if I cover my eyes she wont see me…

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Ill just bend over. That makes sense.

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Nope. Didnt work. She found me.

photo 2

Aaaaand I hugged her for way past what was comfortable for anybody. But seriously, thats her real butt. I know.

She explained to the audience that all those nights she had to work while her son was playing at her feet or the times she was grumpy with him or absent when she didn’t want to be…she said stories like mine were what reminded her why she does what she does.
I believe I stood listening to her eloquent words while drooling down my chin and scratching the inner part of my left knee.

Needless to say, I finished strong.

She went on to tell the rest of her story while I hobbled back to my seat. I believe I sweat through my shirt, through the chair, and onto the rug as adrenaline poured into my body by the liter. It was not was I was expecting at all. It was so much better.

So, long story longer, it was one of the best mornings of my entire life. People stopped me asking to take pictures with me, talking to me about my story, stopping to give me a high five in my wheelchair. I’ve never felt like such a big deal, like such a worthy participant of life outside of giving birth to my son. You just never know what is going to happen in life if you let go and allow the universe to show you what’s next instead of trying to control it all.

The best part, for me, is that I now feel a passion sparked within me to help people get healthy. I love Beachbody products, but I also love cooking and sharing my recipes. I love talking to people about easy ways to get healthy and stay that way. And I love supporting people as they embark on a journey of wellness, inside and out. I’ve started doing just that this month with a private Facebook group and I spent the rest of my time at The Summit in Vegas planning how I could continue doing just that. I’ve got some great ideas to share, so keep on eye on the website and my Facebook/Instagram pages!

Who knows? Maybe breaking my leg is what helped open my eyes to my passion: helping others get healthy. Life is kinda funny.

 

Blog Things are Happening

It’s HERE!!!!!!
Welcome to the new site!

Look how excited I am!!

Look how excited I am!!

This, I hope, will by a site I use for blogging and sharing for a loooooong time to come!!

You’ll notice that the blog you’re used to is here on the home page. This is where you’ll find my daily stories of ridiculousness.
You’ll also see “Mind.” That’s a page to go to if you want to find stuff that’s good for your mind. This may include books I’m reading, quotes, or special yummies I read on the interwebs that I want to share with you.
Then there’s “Body.” Go there for stuff that’s good for your body. I will share information about Beachbody.com (because I am a Coach for them), success stories, and information about my own physical progress! Don’t worry. It’s not salesy. It’s fun. You can read it and never buy anything from Beachbody.com and we will still be friends.
Finally, there’s “Peas.” Go there for peas. And other vegetables. This is where I will share recipes! If you know me, you know I eat VERY cleanly. I love sharing simple, healthy recipes that aren’t hard to make. Eventually I hope to start making videos of the recipes I make for y’all. (If you happen to live in a beautiful mansion and want to let me use your kitchen for videos, I’ll repay you in homemade granola and baked chickens.)

This little website is very bare bones so far because, well, if I waited for every little thing to be ready before I launched it I never would have launched it. If it’s one thing I’ve learned I’m going to #shareanyway. It’s not perfect, but it’s “ready enough” for you to dive in and get an idea for where I want this whole blogging thing to go. I will add more and more elements to the site as I can, or as I find the people to help me do so.

Speaking of people who help me do so…I need to give a HUGE thank you to Ben Hood. He and his gorgeous wife Rebekah were actually my wedding photographers. We kept in touch over the years and when Ben saw that I was getting divorced, he reached out without judgement and sent his condolences. He also made the mistake of telling me that if he could ever do anything for me, I should just ask.
So…I asked.
I asked him to help me get the new website up and running. And he did. He put in hours of work (not to mention some of his own money) to help me get this little dream of mine out there. There would simply be no Exercising Inner Peas if he hadn’t of stepped up. If you know Ben, tell him he’s awesome. Hell, if you know his wife tell her she’s awesome because she is. If you don’t know Ben but you’re looking for the best photographers I’ve come across to date (and I’m not blowing smoke), please check out he and his wife’s company Kallima Photography. They deserve all the love in the world, y’all. I’m so blessed to know them.

 

Here we go! A new blog! A new direction! WhatIf Monsters be damned. Let’s do this!

P.S. Did you start your 21-Days of Pleases and Thank Yous? I did!!!

Two days down!

Two days down!

 

You’re Not Going to Believe This…

My life couldn’t get more bizarre.
25695345So a few weeks ago a friend of mine (who is a Beachbody Coach) asked if I might be able to fly to the Beachbody Annual Summit in Las Vegas. I assumed I couldn’t fly because of my leg and knew I couldn’t afford to, but I was honored that he even suggested it as I knew he could probably get me a free ticket to the Summit. He asked me to check with my doctor the next time I had an appointment to find out if I could in fact fly because he would love for me to be there. So I did.
Outside the million other questions I had for my doctor at my last leg check-up, I inquired about flying.
“Can I fly?” I asked.
“Could you before?” he snarked back.
Yep. I really like my doctor.
I rolled my eyes like a teenager. “Can I get on an airplane to go on vacation to another state?!”
“Yeah, as long a you get a wheelchair to the gate, I don’t care,” he laughed and waved his hand at me.
So, I texted my friend to tell him I could fly.
And then this happened…
I found out that Autumn…as in The 21 Day Fix Autumn…is speaking to a large group of coaches at the Summit in Vegas and I am going to tell my story before she comes out on stage. I’m going to talk about my experience with The Fix, my accident, and the ways in which being strong has helped me heal.
Let me repeat this:
I’m going to Vegas to talk to a group of people about my accident before Autumn herself comes on stage. 
Did I mention all of this is paid for?
Seriously. I have no idea whose life this is I’m living right now. If you had asked me last year if at this time what my life would look like this year at this time, I can promise you that I would have described NOTHING like this. I am constantly being reminded by the world that I can’t predict, I can’t forecast, I can’t control any of this little old life of mine despite my best efforts. Sometimes that message comes in the form of a broken leg. Sometimes it comes in the form of a free trip to Vegas. But that’s just the point, really. The good and the bad come no matter what you do…so you may as well enjoy the damn ride.
So next Wednesday I will go to an airport, allow some lovely Skycap to push me in a wheelchair to my gate, fly to Vegas, hang out with a bunch of INCREDIBLY fit people, and hug Autumn from The 21 Day Fix.
WHO AM I RIGHT NOW?
*  *  *
I’m starting a 21 Day Fix “Let’s Not JUST Look Good Naked” Facebook Challenge Group on June 15. Daily motivation, daily ideas, and also, daily updates on my progress (and HOPEFULLY those involved will be motivating/challenging me since I will only be able to do parts of the workout).
Email me for deets (Erin.Salem@gmail.com) and purchase The 21 Day Fix Challenge Pack. If you don’t want in, stay tuned anyway. “Blog” things are about to happen.

Bad News…Autumn is REALLY Nice

So, yesterday was insane.
I wrote a story on Tuesday about my Beachbody.com 21 Day Fix experience and how the strength I built exercising is part of what is helping me heal so quickly. Then someone shared that story.
Someone else shared it.
And then…it got back to Autumn.
Who is Autumn?
Autumn is this ripped-abs, cut-shouldered, blue-eyed monster who put out The 21 Day Fix series. She hosts all 21 Days of the DVDs and makes you do things your body doesn’t want to do. I wrote a little about my experience starting The 21 Day Fix on the blog, first when I peed myself and then when I said very mean and volatile things to Autumn while my roommate cheered me on. Because when you say those things to Autumn, you never think it’s going to get back to her. You certainly never thing thousands of people will suddenly begin reading about you peeing yourself. That was sorta just between you and 400 of your closest Facebook friends, right?
So I publish the story, people share it, and it somehow makes its way all the way to Autumn. And then…Autumn reads it. And she shares it. And then she private messages me. And it turns out…Autumn is freaking nice.
Like, really nice.
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I have SO INTENSELY enjoyed disliking Autumn because she makes burpees look the way I make eating potato chips look. (Easy.) I have enjoyed being very angry about the perfection that is her abdominal muscles and her use of 450lb dumbells (or somewhere thereabouts) to do tricep kick backs as if she were just casually waving to someone behind her. I have loved every minute of staring at her perfectly taught behind and making up reasons as to why it’s her SHORTS that make her butt look so tall. Let’s not forgot how intensely I have despised her before, during, and after every leg day.
And now, I can’t do any of that anymore. Because she’s freaking nice.
Like, really nice.
Then I got emails. A lot of emails. Women (mostly) wanting to try The 21 Day Fix not because they needed bikini bodies but because they realized it’s about more than that. It’s about having the healthiest body you can because you absolutely NEVER KNOW when tragedy will strike and you’ll need as many muscles and healthy fibers you can get. We can’t see around corners, we can’t predict when or why we will have wished we started today. So I’m answering those emails, I’m riding the wave, I’m following the pull. I never, ever thought I’d be someone who focused on getting people into shape. But I’m suddenly so motivated right now to show people why it’s not about looking good naked. (I know. I hate it, too. I want it to be about looking good naked.)
It’s about being able to get out of bed 4 weeks earlier than expected so that I could take care of my son.
It’s about being able to lift him up without using my legs because of the strength in my arms.
It’s about being able to cook him dinner before I can set my crutches down for limited periods of time long before the doctors said I should be able to.
So, if you want to join me on the journey…
I’m starting a 21 Day Fix “Let’s Not JUST Look Good Naked” Facebook Challenge Group on June 15. Daily motivation, daily ideas, and also, daily updates on my progress (and HOPEFULLY those involved will be motivating/challenging me since I will only be able to do parts of the workout). Email me for deets (Erin.Salem@gmail.com) and purchase The 21 Day Fix Challenge Pack.
If you don’t want in, stay tuned anyway. “Blog” things are about to happen.

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