Thursday, March 6, 2014

the good, the bad, and the pushups.

The good:   We have been home and back in the routine for a couple weeks now, and are still thinking happy thoughts about Utah.  Taking my kids on vacation is such a gift, and having family to visit in this stunning corner of the world is a lucky thing. 

Have you ever been to Park City?  You are going to think I'm exaggerating, but everyone is good looking there.  Every single person.  And they are all exceptionally fit and healthy with a nice sun-kissed glow.  You also can't help but admire everyone's clothes and outerwear.  I'm walk around, thinking:  "I want your jacket, I love your shoes, I want that vest, I love your haircut."  It is like walking through a hybrid of Whole Foods and the Title 9 catalog.  All of the children look like future Olympians, and I will say it one more time, everyone is good looking.  It's so weird.

We joined the good looking people for a second glorious day of skiing, during which the kids totally turned the corner into real skiers.  It was amazing to see the difference in the second full day.  Skiing WITH my kids is one of the great joys of my life.

Reed is eating a pretzel, in case you were wondering.

my beautiful sister and Skyler on the gondola at the end of our day. 
 My nephews are like rock stars to Skyler and Reed.
They think everything Grant says and does is funny.

And Cameron races slalom and giant slalom on the ski team, and gets a podium finish, as if he wasn't cool enough already.
Cameron, age 13, on the far right.
Skyler got a spa day with Aunt Liesel: mani, pedi, and haircut. 

it pays to be a girl in a family full of boys.
The Olympics were definitely on our mind all week and we watched every night.

Olympic fever, as evidenced here. 

The bad:

Two of my biggest fears as a parent are:
1.) losing a child in a crowded place;
2.) children throwing up on airplanes.
My number one fear, losing a child in a crowded place, was realized on this trip.  I was skiing with just Skyler and Reed for part of the afternoon.  I had given clear instructions that the kids always needed to be able to see me, and I tried very hard to stay right with them.  At one point, I got distracted by helping Skyler when she fell, and I thought Reed was still behind us.
Reedo cruising along.
We waited and waited and waited and he didn't come.  I had that moment when my blood ran cold and I thought I might faint; I had to make the decision whether to keep waiting there while time ticked on, and risk Reed getting farther down the mountain without us. I felt Skyler start to panic, looking to me and my reaction to know how to feel.  "Don't worry, we will find him," I lied.  I was certain that Reed in fact had skied over a cliff.

I reluctantly made the decision that we had to ski ahead, deciding it was out of the question to hike up the mountain.  We scanned for him on the slopes but did not find him.  My heart was pounding.  2 minutes later, we came upon the ski lift at the bottom of that slope, and Reed was standing right there.  Our "in case one of us gets lost, but please don't" plan had been to meet up at the next available ski lift. 

I grabbed him and squeezed him and kissed him on the mouth. "How did you get past me?  How long have you been here?"  He reminded me he did exactly as we had planned, and I agreed and praised him.  I asked him if he was panicked and he said:  "No, but I was getting close, and I was going to ask that ski patrol guy for help finding you."  Well, good boy for listening, and disaster averted. And we went up for another run.

When we were all safely together in front of the ski lodge at the end of the day, my nerves were a little fried,  I did a David Ortiz move, pointing up to the sky with thanks.  I was just so thankful to have the opportunity to expose them to the joy of skiing, and the joy of not dying by falling off a cliff, and the joy of finding your mom when you thought you had lost her. 

I guess a good adrenaline rush should be a part of every good vacation?

The second fear, of children throwing up on airplanes, is because I had a horrible experience when Reed was a toddler of having him sick all throughout a 6-hour flight to Utah.  It was awful.  Fear of kids throwing up on planes has now grown to an irrational source of travel anxiety, especially when I'm the only adult traveling.  It is seriously the thing I talk about when I'm going to travel:  "Just as long as no one throws up, I can handle anything."

So, both of my children threw up on this trip, both at airports, both minutes before we were boarding a plane.  One on the way out, one on the way home.  Both involved dramatic running scenes through the airport to get to the bathrooms (we made it) while leaving another child alone attending all of our bags.  And both situations left me having to make a calculated decision about whether or not we should actually board the plane.  My heart just started beating faster while I wrote that paragraph.  And I'm sweating a little again.

No one got sick on the plane, but I am telling you that I was a hot, nervous mess for part of the flights as I sat staring at my kids, anticipated the worst.  Because of getting bumped from our original flight, our new return flight was a 14-hour day that involved 3-hour layovers in Phoenix and Washington DC.  On our last flight home, both kids were in tears because they were so exhausted.  

When we finally landed, it was midnight and they had just passed out.

Skyler opened her eyes enough to walk, but I carried a sleeping Reed off the plane and we all landed in Tim's arms.  So good to go away;  so wonderful to come home. 

The Pushups.

I am moving right along on the push-up challenge.  I do the workout given to me by my phone every other day.  The app that I am using is called "Push Up Trainer" and it looks like this.  The first version is free, but after Level 9 you have to buy the app for 99 cents. 

I have done my pushups in the living room, in the hallway while Reed is in the tub, at the gym, in the waiting area of Skyler's piano lessons, and (my favorite) in the middle of the Phoenix airport.  

I was a little over confident as I cruised through the first 5 levels.  The workout gives you an ambitious total number of pushups but broken into sets, with 90 seconds of rest between.  You can see the sample workouts below. 

At first, I wasn't even using the rest breaks.   Then the workouts started getting harder and now I am begging for rest.  I sweat and grunt and grit my teeth.  This is the one I did last night.  That's 102 pushups right there (with breaks), which is a lot more than where I started.  But wow that was hard.

That smiley face is not what my face looked like when I finished.  Holy.

One evening this week, I was part of a presentation to an auditorium full of parents of in-coming high school students when my phone reminded me it was time to do my pushups.  I was like, "Geez, smarty phone.  I'm a little busy right now." Phones telling us to exercise.  What next?

I now understand what a true challenge it would be for anyone to do 100 pushups in a row, and it was a tad ambitious of me to set my goal so high.  I have serious doubts and my arm muscles quiver at the very thought.  But I'll just keep on doing one workout at a time and see how far I get.  As my friend Suzanne says, we're not sure we will ever do 100 pushups, but our arms will look good regardless.  We just want to have arms like Michelle Obama.  I bet she can do 100 pushups.