Thursday, June 18, 2009

what's in you wednesday

Last week, one of my friends, Holly, wrote that she is considering - possibly - participating in the Ovarian Cancer Research triathlon with me this October. But she's never done a triathlon before and she is feeling a little intimidated because it seems so ... extreme.

We traded e-mails for a few days regarding what would be involved and when I told her that the distances really weren't that long and if she went in to this simply to have a fun experience, I fully suspect she would have a great time.

She wrote back to let me know that what she really likes about me is that I'm not at all competitive. I just take on these challenges to raise money for cancer research and to have fun. I, in turn, wrote her back to confirm that I am quite possibly, the least competitive person she'll ever meet in her life.

But it was interesting that Holly made that comment about my lack of competitiveness, because I was thinking the exact same thing about myself just the other day.

Over the past year, I've participated in four athletic events. What I've determined is that I train for these events so I can complete the event. And I do these events so that I can have the experience. I don't participate so that I can win. I really have no aspirations to beat any one else out there. And I think that's what makes it fun for me.

I love being at the start line and feeling the anticipation. I love having a challenge before me. I love knowing that I'm out there as part of a group who are physically active. I love being inspired to keep doing these events, whenever I look around and see that I'm surrounded by people who are strong and ready to take on the course. I love knowing that while I'm out there doing something good for my body and spirit, the vast majority of the population are still in bed.

But Holly's comment got me thinking.

Why is it that I'm so non-competitive?

I genuinely wonder if my attitude is some kind of defense mechanism?

If I really push myself hard to train only to discover that I don't meet goals that I've set for myself, I will feel like I've failed. And if I fail to meet my own expectations, I'm less likely to do it again. So, it's better to just go in to something with no expectations - except to finish - and enjoy myself while I'm out there.

Last week Michele, a fellow triplet mom who lives in Las Vegas, posted a video of herself flipping over a bar and then, doing a scissor swing, 'round and 'round and 'round.

And then, she had the audacity to dare me to do a back flip off the high bar. Now although I'm not competitive, when I saw that challenge, I was all Charlie, "QUICK! We need to go find a BAR!"

To which my husband replied, "A bar? Why? Do you want to go out drinking?"

(Which - in hindsight - that really might have been a better idea.)

This afternoon, we drove all around our neighborhood to find a bar so that I could attempt to swing my rather large posterior up and over and then back flip off. Why would I do this - you might ask? Because I seriously think someone broke in to our house and gave me a lobotomy while I was sleeping.

Today, the closest thing we could find to a bar were some rings. And those 60 minutes that I spent attempting to flip over the rings didn't go too well for me. Nor did it go well for the woman who was hanging out at the park with her children and after watching me for several minutes - decided to try herself - because she, like I, once was able to do this kind of thing.

Twenty five years ago really seems like just ... YESTERDAY.

Suffice to say, I doubt either one of us will be able to lift our arms to shave our pits for the next week. But notice my husband and four-year-old daughter are able to flip over the bar like a bunch of monkeys.

At least I can still do a cartwheel. And I was just about to attempt my fantastic one-handed cartwheel, but the kids started to have a meltdown and just then, the ice cream truck drove by and ... well.

You know me.

(OK. That's not true. I tried a one-handed cartwheel, which I could honestly do a year ago and I almost face-planted. I think that my mind was totally getting in the way of my athletic ability today. Instead of just GOING FOR IT, I felt the fear. So, I think I might need to spend some time driving around with a cougar in the backseat.)

(Also, this video is flipped 90 degrees because that's what happens when you try to hold a camera upright after your arms are mush because you spent an hour using muscles you haven't attempted to use in 25 years.)

When we returned home, I received an e-mail from my friend, Holly.

She was writing to inform me that she bought a book on triathlons and she will be borrowing her sister's $3,000.00 carbon fiber bicycle. And she'll be buying a wetsuit. So the chances are looking good that unless I bump up my training (as in, START training) someone who has never completed a triathlon before is going to kick my tush in her very first race.

All this to say: If you are just starting out with an exercise program - or you're trying to feel better about yourself on the physical front - let's just say it's SUPER DUPER GREAT to have a friend like me.


People, I need a straight YES or NO answer here.

Can you do a flip on a bar or rings?

If yes, I want video proof, your age and what type of vitamin supplements you take.

But please keep in mind, I will not be held liable for any bodily injury that might result from people who want to see if they've still "got it". Also, it's important to note that if you do attempt to fling yourself over on a bar - or rings - you might want to make sure you have someone available to help lift your toddler child in to and out of their crib for a few days.

Take my advice on that.


  1. I can do a flip on a bar because I used to be active competing gymnastic. i can also do a cart wheel and split. But unfortunately that is about it. At age of 38 I am kind of stiff :(.
    But unfortunately no video proof. :)

  2. LMAO - and making me wonder if i can go to the park today and try to flip over the bar - - thanks for that video - - i almost peed my pants.....

  3. Gotta tell ya... that was GREAT!! I'm not sure I could EVER do a flip on the bars as I am quite possibly the least athletic person on the planet. BUT... you make me want to at least give it a shot tonight. :-)

  4. LOLOLOLOL! I love you guys. You are so hysterical.

    So, YES, I can do a flipover, but I can't run a marathon. You still win, you rock star.

  5. ....snort!.....that is sooooo something I would do.

    Hmmmmm, wonder if I can still do a cherry drop?

    Um, not gonna do it.

    My favorite part --- when Charlie says "where's Henry?" Bahahah!

  6. I have never been able to do it. Not even when I was Elizabeth's age!

  7. Alright, now I've gotta go find myself a bar just to see if I can still do it! I was a competitive gymnast growing up and sometimes get the urge to do a little tumbling pass, but as I struggle to get up off of the grass to go do it, I realise that maybe I shouldn't (just a little round off seems jarring!)! I still do handstands every once in a while for my girls but it is a killer on the wrists!

  8. That was AWESOME!

    Alas, I cannot show you that even 50 lbs overweight, I can still do a flip over, and a cherry drop, and the splits and a cartwheel. No handstand though, my hands gave out on me... :(

    And I was never in gymnastics, or anything, cause we don't have that above the Arctic Circle...shoot, I can't show you cause I don't have anything to show you with!...

    Next time I'm in a place that has a playground like that, I'll show you!!!

    Good luck editing though!

  9. I was laughing so hard. Thank you for that.
    In my mind I can totally do a flip over a bar or rings. It feels like just yesterday that this was no problem. But in reality I probably can't. I recently discovered cart wheels aren't as easy as they are in my head either.

  10. OMG!! The boys, James and I watched the video - they/we were in hysterics!!!!! Loved it!

    I say let's all donate $5.00 to cancer research in order to get Jen over the Bar!!

    Too Funny! Marg.

    (to answer the question...I have no idea);)

  11. Jen, that was hysterical! What do you mean..."can I do a cartwheel or flip-over?" Of course I can...but just to save 911 first. Seriously, that video was GREAT!!!!!

  12. Ok, so I'm a sucker for a challenge. I just went out back and did a few cartwheels and I must say I can't decide which hurts more - my wrists or my groin :) Now I've got to find a bar somewhere and try the flip. It is so funny how your head makes you believe your body can still work like it did in your teens, until you try something and get yanked quickly back to reality. I remember one weekend in high school when my family went out boating and my dad, who usually only drove the boat, decided to go skiing. He did great, and we were amazed, but he was so beat up from the activity he couldn't go to work for two days after that. And I think he was probably only a few years older than I am now. By the way, you and I must be coworkers in the motherhood of multiples because I wear the same "uniform" you do :)

  13. Maja: I'm sorry, but I absolutely need video proof. Until yesterday, I thought FOR SURE I could still do a flip over a bar. Today, I feel like FOR SURE my arms are going to fall off my body.

    Michele: I think to "run a marathon", you need to actually RUN. There is no doubt about it, YOU are the ROCK STAR. I'm just glad that there wasn't a bar at the park because if there had been and IF I had made it to the top - I'd probably be writing this from traction in the hospital. Speaking of which - when are you going to post you doing a Cherry Drop?? Didn't you say you were practicing??

    Finnskimo: Ditto to Maja. I NEED VIDEO PROOF. Although, I wouldn't doubt that you have some extreme core strength ... seeing as you pull 500-pound marine mammals in to your fishing boat.

    Margaret: Go find a bar and show me what you can do. But please make sure someone films it, then send it to me. I promise I won't post it to the blog. (You can't see my fingers crossed, can you?)

  14. Oh Jeannine - no, no, no!! I don't wear that "uniform" all the time. Only when I'm trying to relive my days as a gymnast. Or - when I go out running.

    Usually, my "uniform" consists of Adidas pants with the same variety of top. Every day I wear almost the exact same thing. Unless I have to work out of the house. And then I'll snazz myself up with a pair of jeans and steel toed boots.

    Did I ever tell you guys that my sister-in-law was planning to nominate me for "What Not To Wear"?

    It's true.

  15. I'll be 5 months preggo and I think I'm going to kick your butt in October! Now where did I put that Segway????

  16. OMG, now THAT'S entertainment!

    A) Through the magic of watching it on a laptop, I flipped my computer sideways and got to watch that right-side up, LOL.

    B) But I only figured that out partway through watching the video, LOL. Clearly not a rocket scientist over here.

    C) Charlie's Special Gymnast dismount was hilarious!

    D) Your clandestine "Let's just pause it and ... then we'll edit it together... " - classic.

    I think I can still do this stuff, I turn 24 in a month and I used to do flips on our backyard swing set like crazy... but we removed the swing set and got a pool two summers ago, so I haven't tried it in awhile. No video proof to share right now, but I'm *pretty* sure I can still flip on the rings. I'll try it next time I'm around some rings.

  17. I just LOVED when you mentioned Mitch Gaylord -- he was a hottie! There is no way I could flip over the bar. About a year ago, I tried a somersault and, although I did it, my equillibrium was off for 2 days and I thought I was going to puke -- I'm not doing that again. You rock!

    Steph A

  18. Okay, this just made me laugh out loud!! Thank you SOOO much for posting it. A few weeks ago Ella and Zoe asked me what a carwheel was, and instead of just answering their question I thought I should show them as well. I actually embarrassed myself in front of my three-year old daughters. Now I feel like trying the bar too.

    Your twitter post about your arms made me laugh too. Last night Zoe told me my bum was big -- but she said it in a way of adoration. While I was taking a bath (and laying back in the tub, hopefully not too much info here), Ella told me she liked my 'flat boobs'. Sigh.

    Have a great weekend!

  19. Ahh, this was great. "It's OK, I'll edit that out." "Don't worry THAT part won't go on the blog." Ha ha ha!

    And my answer is NO WAY could I do a flip on a bar or rings. Now my younger, hipper, in better shape, non-mother sister could totally do it, I have no doubts. LOL.

  20. lol! I loved that, it was so funny! I too watched from the laptop so I got to see the clip in all it's glory. Um I don't think I could flip over a bar or rings, but I did do a flip on the trampoline last month. I didn't pay too badly for it.

  21. OMG, there is no flipping way I can do a flip like that if not only for the reason that I have pain in every joint I have, LOL. I might try except I would likely break something:) And I am 42.

  22. Here is your next physical challenge, Jenna:

    Watch the video. It's amazing what they can do with a mere pull-up bar. You can do it at the park while your kids play. My sons say they are going to do this when they get bigger.


  23. I'm old and fat, but I used to be a gymnast and can still a lot of things. but it is not pretty like it used to be.

  24. I seriously doubt I can do that...but for you, I'll attempt to find a bar or rings tomorrow too...

    I'm thinking the answer is going to be a resounding NO...