Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Going to Failure

Lets face it. Failure is an ugly word. Nothing good ever comes from Failure. How many times have the kids come home with a big fat red F and you said "Congratulations! Lets go get ice cream!"? I'm guessing not too often. In fact, I'm really not a fan of the Letter F. It's the beginning to a plethora of not-so-good words: Fat, Fracture, Feeble, Frumpy, Foliculitis, Fart, Felony... Sure I guess if you are going to be picky there's a couple good words (fabulous being one of them) but overall I am just not a fan. P isn't one of my favorite letters either, but that's another story.

Anyway, back to Failure. Failure usually denotes a breakdown, malfunction, or collapse. I just came home from my workout with Scott. I love working out at Focus Fitness, and I love having Scott as my trainer - he's very encouraging without being overbearing - but there is one thing I hate and that is when he tells me to "go to failure". That means lift until my muscles fail me. I can't stand that. I need something to set my sights on. Something that says "if you do this many reps you are ok." I need a goal. It doesn't matter what number he gives me. He can tell me to do 15 curls or 50 and I'll do as many as he tells me to do, but when he tells me to "go to failure" I can usually only do half the number he thinks I should be able to do.

Why is that? I'm sure it is some sort of personality flaw (there's another not-good F word). I continually need to be reassured that I am doing well, that I'm worthy. Worthy of what though? His time? My own time? God's time? When I was working at Schnucks my boss told me once about another pharmacist that drove him nuts because she always needed reassurance that she was doing a good job. His philosophy was that if you didn't hear from him you were doing ok. I think I'm like that other pharmacist. I like to be patted on the back. I like to be needed and valued. I like to know that I'm worth your time.

Well I went to Failure today. Afterward I could barely raise my arms to shampoo my hair in the shower, to answer the phone, and even typing this seems like harder work for my biceps than my brain. Maybe I should give Going to Failure another shot.


Saturday, April 4, 2009

Agggghhhhhh!!! Teenagers!

I just don't get it. Seriously. I mean, I have 2 teenage daughters and they are sooo different! They come from the same gene pool. Their father (an idiot - sorry) and their mother (maybe an idiot, but Ihope not) made both can they be polar opposites??

Case in point: This Morning

Jessica: 16 years old. Basically a mess; messy room, messy bathroom, messy car, messy grades, messy life. Has to be at EHS at 7:15am for the ACT. Guess when she wakes up...7:15. When I go into her room and say "JESSICA! It's 7:15! Get up!!" Her response? "You are F***ing kidding me!" My answer, "NO, I am not F***ing kidding you." Well, the alarm clock didn't go off (how many mornings have I heard this??) It's someone elses fault, it always is. So I try to be calm and meet her in the kitchen. "Do you have your ID?" "Yes" "Calculator?" "Yes" "ACT notice?" "Yes" "Pencils?" "YES!" "Ok Jessie, I love you, do well..." Well, she storms out of the house. 10 minutes late the phone rings. I just looked at Bob and said "You answer it. I can't handle it." Of course, Jessica couldn't find her wallet and wanted to know if it was on the kitchen table (where she had been throwing things this morning). It wasn't. It wasn't in her room - at least not that we could tell, it looks like a bomb hit it so really theres no finding anything unless it's a dirty bowl or dirty underwear. Agggghhhh! I really want to pull my hair out. She called again (and again I give the phone to Bob), and asked if he thought she could get in with a copy of her license. We both agree -- we have no idea but give it a shot.
Apparently they let her in. I didnt get any more phone calls so I assume all is well.

Lets look at the other child now. Ashley. 14 years old. She had a 10am flight to Reno, NV this morning. She had some laundry to finish up last night, but she did it. I told her we were going to leave the house at 8am. At 7:15, when I was busy freaking out with Jessica, Ashley was in the kitchen, calmly getting her carry on bag together. As Jess flies out of the room in a tizzy, I tell Ashley I'll be ready in a few. She asked me if we can go to Starbucks for breakfast since she's ready early. I thank God for her. Now don't get me wrong. She is not the "perfect kid". Her room gets messy, I find cups and dishes all over, the bathroom usually needs to be cleaned. But seriously. We say "clean it" and it get's cleaned. I say "do this" and it gets done. Grades? Really good. Teachers like her, parents like her, coaches like her.

Why? How? How can 2 children with the same 23 pairs of chomosomes be sooo drastically different? One is tall, the other short. One is heavy, the other not so much. One has huge feet, the other average. One freaks out in a heart beat, the other not so much. One is on antidepressants, one isn't. It's so hard. The hardest part though is that I see myself in all of it. The good, the bad and the ugly. It's all me. If you remember your college genetics, there are genotypes and phenotypes. Organisims (aka kids) share the same genotype if they have the same genes. Easy, same mom and dad. They have the same phenotype if they look alike or function alike. HELLOOO! What if they don't look alike OR function alike?? They both look and function like me, but not like each other! WEIRD is all I have to say.

One good thought. Genotype is fixed. The girls are going to always have my genes - for better or for worse. However, phenotypes can change! They can go through several changes throughout the life of the organsim. It's all based on environment. Good how do I put that into action??


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Performance Anxiety

Today in my shower - where I do my best thinking - I was thinking that now that I've been talking up my blog I better have something interesting to say. This naturally led to some performance anxiety. I tried to think about what a day in my life would seem like to someone on the outside, and pretty much if someone where in my brain they'd see drugs and diets. Not too exciting, but that's what is in my head at any given time. So lets go there.

First of all I want to focus on the drugs. When I was in pharmacy school I knew students that would take a beta-blocker before any speech they had to give. Beta-blockers are any of a class of drugs that end in -olol (metoprolol, propranolol, sotalol, etc). Some beta-blockers are beta 1 selective (meaning they work in the heart) and others are beta -1 and beta-2 (they work in heart, lungs and vasculature). Metoprolol is a beta-1 selective that also crosses the blood brain barrier, so it is useful in anxiety caused by things such as public speaking. As I'm writing this my tech is telling me that Ted (also a pharmacist) just yesterday recommended a beta-blocker to a grad student (our very own Hanky Doodle) for a speech he has to give. If an immediate release drug is used, benefits can be seen within an hour. I personally have never tried this trick. I guess at some point you just get used to speaking in front of people. The part that makes me the most nervous is the question/answer period, and I'm not sure even a beta-blocker can help with that. Anyway, I'd say its worth a try if you have to give a talk in front of a group of people and it makes you nervous.

So next in my mind would be diets. What the heck?? I work out consistently (walk the dogs 5ish days a week, work out with a trainer 3ish days a week) and I still have problems. I think it's the wine. Well, today it was the candy Lola brought out (I had several tootsie rolls, they were yummy) and I had pizza for dinner. Oh and wine too. But still, doesn't all that working out mean anything?? Sheesh. It's very depressing. I mean, I haven't been doing fast food in forever. My lunches are always cheese, pears, and nuts. BORING. Breakfast? That's easy, low fat yogurt and Kashi Go Lean Crunch. Can you say Senior Citizen?? Come on people. It's rather annoying. Oh well. I guess I can complain all I want, but I wont have that bikini ready body from complaining. Guess I'll have to add a few more days of exercise, lose the tootsie rolls (dang it), and possibly lose the wine (wont happen). My goal...drop 10 pounds by mid may. 20 by mid july. Lets bet. I always liked a little gamble now and then...