Tag Archives: work

Boxing, MARTA & Work

I’m back in the gym to resume my training! Almost two weeks after my minor foot surgery, I decided that it was time to get boxing. My foot disagreed with me, though, as the first couple of days back were rather painful. Now it’s been almost three weeks since surgery and I can both walk and box without pain.

It was a rough first week back. Monday through Wednesday, my body was sore sore sore. All of me was exhausted by Wednesday night and it was all I could do to keep my head up. Thursday night’s workout was better. My muscles were still sore, but I didn’t feel like a boulder trying to swim. Once my body adjusts, it’ll be better.

Muscle soreness aside, there’s a new factor that made my week more tiresome: public transportation. We’re training in a new (temporary) location that is way on the other side of town. Depending on the day, it takes me 1-2 hours to get there—one way. Fortunately, I’ve gotten rides home at night. (Bless you, dear friends.) I’ve never been one to bash MARTA, but it just takes so long to get anywhere. It leaves me no time between work and boxing. Each day this week except for Friday, I left home around 6:45 am and got back in at 8/9/10 pm. Once home, I showered as quickly as I could and fell into bed. No time for watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which is unfortunate. (I’m a late-comer to the series—just started season three.)

I can stand this schedule for two reasons:

  1. I’d rather be boxing than not.
  2. It’s temporary. I’m taking driving lessons to get my license and I plan to buy a car very soon. I’ve had it with bicycling, walking, taking trains, riding buses and begging for rides.

Despite the incredible waste of time in transit, the bottom line is that I’m just plain excited to be back to boxing. Granted, I’m not getting much done during the week, which means I’ll need to work a little more on weekends.

Speaking of work. Do you remember when I freaked out about my job last year? After a difficult first year of teaching, I couldn’t decide what to do. Try another year in Pre-K? Move to an older grade? Leave teaching all together? I spent so much time and energy worrying about this that it drove me crazy. I finally decided to stay in the same grade at the same school. I knew that the first years of teaching are hard, so I decided to stick with it.

Well, another year has almost gone. Though the second year has been better than the first in some ways, I submitted my letter of resignation this week. This time around, I made my decision without wasting precious energy fretting and worrying about “what if” scenarios. I considered where I am now and where I want to be, and found that the two wouldn’t connect.

  • This school, which serves infants through Pre-K, is not the right fit for me. I’ve always imagined myself working in a traditional elementary school setting, and when I was in college I had my sights set on teaching 1st grade. Pre-K students are absolutely precious, but I think I’ll do better with older kids.
  • Though it’s meant to give educators constructive feedback and encourage growth, I have to say that I’ve found the process of being observed and evaluated very discouraging. Of course, I may feel the same way in any other school. That’s part of why I will also look for non-teaching jobs, in addition to filling out teaching applications.
  • I’m taking my life in a new direction. While I may stay in regular full-time teaching, I am also considering other options. Substitute teaching for a while? Maybe work in a half-day Pre-K program at an alternative school? Go back to school for special ed certification? Who knows? I sure don’t, yet, but I’m not worried anymore.

May 29th will be my last day of work. As weird as it is to not have a clue what I’ll be doing after that other than boxing, it’s exciting. There are so many possibilities—overwhelmingly many, actually. I’m looking forward to finding out what I’ll do next.

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Post-Fight Gore

It’s been a really long time since I’ve been in the gym. Remember how I was sick? I’m not sick anymore! (Finally.) Remember how I was resting for a fight? The fight’s over, but I’m still laying around at home. Why? Because I’m an invalid: I have a post-op shoe to prove it.

I’ve had a plantar wart on the bottom of my right foot for a while. It first became painful before ACFN 5, so I started applying an over-the-counter acid solution. I also tried duct tape. (I love duct tape.) I self-doctored the wart for months, but couldn’t get rid of it. When I gave up on the home remedies, I was in training for this most recent fight. I set up an appointment for four days after ACFN 6. With our transition to a new gym and the resting period while I was sick, I figured it was a good time to get ‘er done. I told the doctor I wanted to get the painful little thing removed as soon as possible, so he scheduled the surgery for this past Monday.

Even though I had this procedure done as a kid (removing two warts from the same foot without twilight sleep = more pain), I was nervous about it. I had a dream that they drilled a 3″-deep hole into my foot while I was asleep. I also dreaded having to stay home from the gym, but knew it would be worth it to be able to walk (and box) without that little twinge under my foot. As part of my prep for surgery, a nurse asked me which foot the wart was on. “Right,” I said. She checked it to make sure, and then wrote “YES” on my right ankle and “NO” on my left ankle, which I thought was hilarious. She had me initial them to show that I agreed.

"Yes," operate on this foot (right). "No," don't touch that one (left)! I had to initial them to show that I agreed.

“Yes,” operate on this foot. “No,” don’t touch that one!

I’m glad my doctor didn’t try to remove anything from the wartless foot! I came home with a numb right foot and started taking my pain medication and anti-inflammatory pills. The pain med made me queasy, but I stuck with it for a while. (I was told to be on it while my foot “woke up.”) I spent the rest of the day on the couch with my foot in the air.

I took Tuesday off work. The day started when I got out of bed and threw up. “No more painkillers for me!” My foot started hurting more as the day went on, but it wasn’t bad—especially compared to feeling sick to the stomach. I spent this day with my foot sticking up, too. My mom, my grandma and my trainer all called to make sure that I was doing alright.

That evening, about 36 hours after surgery, my instructions were to take a shower. Get the bandages nice and wet, then change them for the first time. I was nervous about this, but it ended up not hurting. It was a slight disappointment that the wound wasn’t as gory as I expected it to be:

This is about a day and a half after the surgery. The first time I was allowed to shower and change the bandage.

The ring around the edge is just dried blood; only the circle in the middle is the wound. You can’t tell because of the lighting, but it was bright red.

This picture is to balance out the lovey-dovey stuff I posted a few days ago. :)

I returned to work on Wednesday, wearing my post-op shoe and keeping my weight on my right heel. The nurses said I’d heal quickly—maybe even before my post-op appointment next week. I hope so! For now, I’m changing the bandage daily, keeping the wound moist with salvey stuff they gave me and staying off my feet as much as I can. My students don’t mind, because they like helping out. They were also very curious, so I did a show and tell all about my foot, the procedure and my special new shoe.

As soon as I’m all healed up, I’ll be back in the gym. I can’t wait!

Getting My Head Straight

It’s been a long time since I last posted. I’ve spent most of the time since then being an emotional wreck and losing my mind (or so I felt). To make a long story short, I had to decide whether I wanted to resign from my current job as a Pre-K teacher or stick with it. I had a bunch of reasons to stay, and a bunch of reasons to go. This made me extremely anxious, as I debated endlessly in my head about what to do, what to do. I had to decide by the last day of May.

The need to make a decision was on my mind constantly, and it kept me worried and distracted from everything that was going on around me. For instance, wrapping up the school year and preparing for my first fight. I also attended a couple of graduations in the family and found it incredibly difficult to step outside of my own world to celebrate their accomplishments with them. The problem ate up every area of my life, but what it screwed up the most was my boxing training.

When this problem first blew up (on April 26th), I spent half a day crying over it. Later that day, thinking I had pulled myself together, I went to the gym fully intending to beat the stuffing out of anything I could. You know, stress relief. Right? Wrong.

First of all, my trainer could tell that something was wrong the minute I walked in. She asked if I was okay, and of course my feelings rose to the surface and overflowed in tears again. I explained what had happened that day, and she said: “Today’s not a good day for sparring, then.” I was disappointed, because I love sparring, but I knew she was right. We agreed that I’d work the heavy bags that day. I proceeded to cry (quietly) through my whole time at the gym.

It didn’t stop there. For the next couple of weeks or so after that, I couldn’t focus on boxing at all. Work and obsessing over the problem of What To Do took all my energy. I still showed up at the gym every day, but I didn’t do well. I got frustrated when working the pads because I couldn’t get the combinations right. I felt like I was wasting time on the heavy bags. When I was allowed to spar again, I just felt like I got beat up, reminding me of the very first few times I sparred. I wasn’t having a lick of fun.

One good thing that came of all this is that I realized I have a stronger support network than I realized. Up until I joined the gym (and got a great roommate), I didn’t have much of a social life. I went to work, and then I went home where I lived by myself. That was it. Now, I regularly interact with some people who have shown that they care about me. After my (rather public) first melt-down at the gym, I got a couple of concerned phone calls. People would ask me how I was, listen to me and give me their thoughts. If this had happened last semester, I would’ve felt alone and helpless. Now, I felt overwhelmed by how much support I was given. It really touched me… so thank you, boxing chicks!

It wasn’t until the end of last week that I began to come out of my miserable haze. At my roommate’s suggestion, I did a little thought experiment. One day I woke up and pretended that I had decided to quit my job. I lived that day as if I knew I wasn’t staying in Pre-K, and thought positive thoughts about it. The next day, I woke up and pretended that I was definitely going to keep my job. I lived that day loving Pre-K and believing that my second year would be better than my first. After those two days, I came to the conclusion that I’d survive either alternative. I didn’t make a final decision right then, but I did decide not to worry about it.

ferris wheelJust like that, I stopped worrying. Magic. I continued to think about what I would do with my life, but I was able to keep it in perspective. (I did finally come to a decision, and that brought more peace. I’m not giving up: I’m coming back to Pre-K next year and I’m going to do everything it takes to improve because I love teaching.)

This past Monday, I went to the gym with a completely new attitude. It was such a relief to feel good! I put all my effort and energy into boxing, and I walked out feeling like I was on top of the world. Did I do everything perfectly that day? Heck, no. But I was focused on getting better, and I had fun.

It’s amazing how important one’s mental game is. I’m now re-focused on preparing for my fight. It’s less than three weeks away, and I’m getting more and more excited! I’m back and ready to take on the challenge.

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