adventures of a mere mortal in fitness and life

bottomed out

My family, just missing Tim!

My family, just missing Tim!

So a bunch of things have happened here in these last few weeks, and I think my text to my sister pretty much made me realize that maybe it’s time for a little self-care.  My text went something like, “I think I hit perimenopause. Do you have any advice for me?”, at which time she promptly called me and scolded me for loading a text with a giant question rather than what texts should be used for like, “I’m running late” or “see you tonight!” I think one reason I haven’t posted a lot on this blog is that I don’t want people to “know” that I am not doing my best. But the thing is, I am doing my best, it just looks like sh*t.  

My mom has cancer. Big, scary cancer- late stage 3 melonoma. There are not a lot of good options here for her- she had 2 surgeries and a skin graft for her initial surgery, but the road of recovery has been slow and paved with less than stellar medical professionals. (Sorry mom in advance to splash all your backstory into the blogosphere, but I am pretty sure no one reads this besides you and Kris anyways. ;)) She has found a course of treatment that is palatable to her at this time, and I am very happy that everything seems a little less tense, more hopeful and optimistic. I booked my flight to be there in 3 weeks today, and that made me feel much better. You may know from a previous post how much of a fighter my mom is– and I am feeling positive about her treatment at this moment.

In the meantime, I should have clued into the fact that I was not doing too hot. I bit through my mouth guard about 3 weeks ago, and yesterday, my dentist was like, “Wow, that’s really hard to do-are you getting a divorce or something?” I am certain he was joking, but it’s not like I see him often, so I was a little put off, but YAH, I did bite through my mouthguard, and I have had horrible throat and neck pain, and every time I lift something heavy (uh? Kinda my job?), I feel that pull in my neck and jaw (and shoulder…and…well, it goes on).  So I have to tell you that I am SCARED. I know it’s OK to be vulnerable, but I am SCARED. I am scared for my mom. I feel ALONE, being so far away from her and my sisters. I feel very separated from my family at this point – which has been cool in many ways, but lonely and scary in a lot more ways.  

I tried to keep cool about the mom situation and keep doing things as planned, racing and training, working on my business, and being the Director of Summer Entertainment at “Camp Ogilvie”. I raced to a PR at Age Group Nationals in Milwaukee two weeks ago, and we camped in Marquette last weekend, and since then I have dragged myself through this week. I had entertained the idea of continuing to race this season up until Wednesday, when I realized I was swimming not so much as a training exercise but to lessen the horrible jaw and neck pain I had that day.

I can’t remember the last time I took a vitamin or ate a plate of vegetables other than a hastily thrown together salad.  My hormones have taken an even worse nose dive since coming off the Whole 30 (yes, I know I vowed to follow through and “eat clean forever” and didn’t). I also realize now that I basically beat the crap out of my body to lose weight 2 years ago, just as I was probably entering perimenopause, and that perhaps that is starting to catch up with me.  Watching my dog lose all thyroid function this summer gave me another smack to the head, in that I realized that maybe I don’t HAVE to feel this way. Maybe this isn’t just getting older, or moving away/life change, maybe there is something else going on with me. Until I figure it out what is going on and in order to be available for my mom’s recovery, I do not plan to train or race at all. I will do my best to take better care of myself and do what is good and necessary for me so that I can continue to be a role model to my clients who face stressful situations in their own lives and model the need to maintain self-care in order to take care of those around us. The women who put their trust in me to help them work on their goals deserve that much. My family and especially my daughters, and most importantly, ME—I deserve that. 



Comments on: "bottomed out" (9)

  1. Holly Kasper Blank said:

    Self care and balance are always my wellness challenge. For me I give too much to other people at work and to my kids. Finding that balance of all the important pieces that make us the people we are is something I regularly offset and reset. Cherish the moments when it is working because it it
    feels good when we are at
    our best. But as you know we are not perfect, it is hard to sustain against the struggles we all face. We have to overfill our buckets so we can care for others You mother is a fighter just like you. Your family picture is beautiful. I will be thinking of you both as you take care of yourselves and get stronger.
    We miss you guys!

  2. Susan, I am so very sorry to hear all this news. I know you and your mom are strong so hang in there and take care of yourself first. That’s the only way you can take care of your family and clients. I am thinking of you and sending positive healing vibes to you and your family. Miss you and wish you all the very best! Nameste

    • Thanks Anne! I am taking care of myself, promise! (even if I only started a couple of days ago!) I love seeing the progress on your house and wish you the best luck in your move! Susan

  3. YAY!!!!! Way to honor yourself, your family and yourself!! I did not give you shit about your text, (btw, YOU read into that), I just have too much to share, as always…:) You are a rock star, amazing and are AWESOME to have such great awareness about your body, your needs, and how important it is to not just keep pushing thru. You have too many gifts to share with this world and we need you healthy!! Eat well, go back to yoga, meditate and love and you will be back on the triathalon circuit in no time…or not, if you choose not to…xox

  4. Aunt Judy said:

    You are one super terrific gal! You are so much stronger than you think and you have so many gifts–so whatever gifts you choose to use, do it! We all (Uncle Bob and me and everyone!) love you for WHO you are—not just the “CAN DO IT ALL ” but your love and thoughtfulness you give to your family and friends, and oh, your gift of writing and insight is amazing!!!! So happy you are going to CA, your parents are looking so forward to your visit.
    Uhm, biting through a mouth guard? Hope the jaw and neck pain goes away……..think it will soon! (P.S. I wear a mouth guard too!) Love and hugs, Aunt Judy

  5. said:

    Hi Susie, I have been thinking of your blog and thought you expressed yourself so well. To pour out your thoughts and feelings like you did is really a forward move in your trying to de-stress yourself and get your “shit” together or keep it together. Just take some time to reevaluate what you can do want to do – for yourself, family and those you want to help. Will give you more thoughts which I meant to write earlier today. Just thinking of you so much and can’t wait til you come! Oh, I found a cute birthday book for Meg I haf bought I’m telling you am so spacey! Also a good one for Sarah for her bday but will give them both when you come! Love you, Mom

  6. I just read this, a little late…I hope just writing that helped you, and I hope you’re in a better place at this point. I think it’s time for another big (actually more like medium) night out!

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