The fear of being cheesy

Fear has a place in our lives. It makes us grow, take that last step, jump out of a plane. We talked about fear the other day. I met a person with a snake on her arm. A pretty large brown/black snake moving around doing snake stuff. I lost the feeling in my legs. I know it’s not rational and I know the snake doesn’t give a damn about me but I still have to turn around and try to drag myself away, far away. And breathe through my nose.

Maybe it’s because of the new year and that people around me made New Year’s resolutions, maybe it’s mid-life speaking to me or maybe it’s because I like feeding my fear every now and then. Leaving your comfort zone is a very overused expression. Scared shitless is better. Pushing yourself is not very pretty. But if you want to become more comfortable and feel ready you need to practice and feel uncomfortable every day. That zone is not something you take a step into, it’s not a room or a situation. It’s a passion in one way. An optimistic obsession, positive risk taking. It’s when something is stuck in your mind and you need to use your body to work through it. You need to get your mind and body to work together. In this case I am planning on doing it again; obsessing and going overboard, going to a crazy place, competing in a race, making memories that will last, hoping to find camels. Who doesn’t like camels? I’m checking maps and elevation, animal life (ie snakes) and water sources. When summer comes I will be packing my backpack and taking my bike apart and stuffing it into a box. If everything goes as planned.

I believe that fear changes you. Fear creates self-doubt, and that’s not pretty. It can eat you up inside out and creep into your head and get stuck there. That’s when the journey starts. The “mind and body journey”. You hear all the time that if you show up then you are half way there. That’s bs. Showing up is easy. You need to do the work, bike the hills, fill your pack and carry it, swim your 50s, run long every week or hike up and touch the sun, when you fall on your bike you need to get up and keep going… showing up is overrated.

You don’t finish a race by showing up but it starts the process. And the process goes on for a while, in your mind and your body. And one day the calendar says that the training is done. That’s when I will go look for camels.

In all the seriousness I make my ridiculous playlists, trying to make it a bit easier. I make sure I have pretty shoes and nice hats. Gloves that sparkle and snacks that tastes good. That’s how you make the everyday uncomfortable something to look forward to. And I know if I can get a cheesy mantra to get stuck in my mind, the body will follow, or vice versa, it’s that easy.

And I know this whole thing will work out. Very Marty McFly.

Bläckfisk, chokladmousse och Haglöfsbralla

Ensam hemma med ett barn. Resten av familjen spelar boll i en annan stat. Man får tänka om, tänka till och tänka annorlunda. Som tonårsförälder så är det mycket av den sorten. Inget går egentligen som planerat och den mesta delen av det planerade går till att omplanera och vem som ska ha vilken bil. 4.5 chaufförer och 3 bilar. Det blir -1.5. Ett ganska osvenskt problem när man är van med cykel och stadsvandring. Det såg helt plötsligt väldigt ljust ut för oss två hemmavarande under helgen, två personer, två bilar. Det var en kortvarig lycka då det blev strömlöst i garaget och en av bilarna är av den fiffiga miljövänliga strömmiga varianten. Det sprakade i kontakterna och bilen förblev svart och går numera på lågvarv. Eftersom vi firar helg imorgon så tänker vi vänta till tisdag innan vi ringer en elektriker. Det blir helt enkelt som i gamla tider, vi får klara oss med en endaste bil. Hur ska det gå?

Igår var det lördag och jag hade cykeldate med killarna. Ni vet mina snabba killar som jag tar med mig på tävlingar i buskarna, på bergen, bortåt öster eller i Alaska. Då jag inbillar mig att jag är världsatlet och frotterar mig med de som kan springa över hela Amerika eller smyga upp hela Everest i ett huj. Eller kanske är det så att de frotterar sig med mig? Vem frotterar sig med vem? Efter många, långa mardrömmar om Alaskaloppet glömmer man raskt och börjar smida nya planer. Everest låter ointressant och väldigt kalIt, Sydamerika är väldigt varmt, Frankrike är det tufft… I vilket fall som helst så väntade vi in solen, nästan ända fram till lunch. Jag lekte elektriker och försökte googla strömproblemet, kolla in säkringar, kila mig i tinningen. Jag hann in en vända till storstan där skyskraporna bor, hann städa halva huset, pumpa däcken, torka köksgolvet…sen bar det av. Ryggsäck, vätska, bästa Haglöfsbrallan i rosa med rump- och knäförstärkning i svart, booties på fötterna, hummervantar och så rullade jag iväg med magknip. Eller vad var det? Efter 10 minuter insåg jag att det måste varit magkläm, det som händer när man klämmer ner underställströja, fleece, långkalsonger innanför linningen på ett par redan trånga vinterbrallor som passade fantastiskt bra efter en sjudagarstävling på svältkost i Alaska. Nu kände jag mig som en tunnbrödsrulle med för mycket mos. Svällande med för mycket av allt. Det är ju så det blir när det är frost och kallt, lager på lager.

Några kilometer in så insåg jag att det är ju så här det känns när man cyklar på vintern, extra allt och så lite till. -2 här blir som -20 i Sverige, kläder efter väder. Andet blir ansträngt. Och så trampade jag på och mötte upp navigatorn. Jo, sen körde vi runt, hit och dit. Grusstig, nerförbacke, rötter och stock, uppför och is, attans mycket uppför, över fors och jävlahelvetesattansvadjagharlegatavmigpåtekniskastigar. Svetten lackade, byxorna klämde, ryggan smet år hårt över bröstet. Hjärtinfarkt eller bara en djup trötthet av det smärtande slaget? Navigatorn cyklade och jag sprang mest efter med cykeln. Sen drack vi te och choklad, snackade, stod med ryggen mot solen och smidde planer. Nu blir det finfint. Rida kamel, cykla i en annan del av världen, barbacka, se otroliga vyer och äta nudlar. Jajjamen. Så blir det framåt sommaren och så cyklade vi lite till. Is på asfalt, blackice, och nya blåmärken. Dubbdäck skulle suttit fint. Tur att byxorna är förstärkta och att tunnbrödrullen är aningen åt det fulla slaget. Blåmärken är ju egentligen vackra.

Efter cykelturen bar det in till stan, den trendiga delen. Jajjamensan. Tapas och spanskt vin minsann. Asdyr parkering, paella, bläckfisk med tentakler och chokladmousse med peppar. Ja må han leva och ballong. Navigatorn blev ett år äldre och vi firade långt in på småtimmarna. Vaddå medelålders, vi har många år kvar att tävla med världseliten.

Dagens höjdpunkt: Vi lyckades smuggla in tonåringen i bardelen av restaurangen. Big deal i vår del av världen. Ni vet där man får gifta sig när man är sexton, skjuta pistol vid arton men inte befinna sig i restaurangens bar förrän man är tjugoett. Vad kan man säga, bra lördag. Det bästa av två världar. Haglöfsbrallan på, is och lera och sen lyxkrog och klumpig mascara. Flott som sjutton. Tjo och tjim, hit och dit.

In med det nya och ut med det gamla

2016. Not much to say about this year, it sounds like it’s been a pretty bad year all around the world. Let’s just finish it, close it and start a new one. It’s been a life hands you lemons, make lemonade meeehh lets just mix a GT kind of year.

We finished this last week with an ambulance trip to the ER with Caroline that fell from the top of the climbing wall and hurt her back. All good, nothing seems to be broken but she scared us a little bit. No interval training beats the scary moments with phone calls/ambulance/ER, it sure raises your heartrate. And it feels horrible to see your kid motionless on a stretcher. Other than that the kids are all doing great. Volleyball season started a month ago and this year three family members are involved in different ways. School started Tuesday and as always we don’t get to celebrate Twelfth Night. That part of the Bible seems to be left out here. But honestly I don’t really know how to celebrate it more than that my parents used to throw a heck of a party and it’s my sisters birthday. Christmas is concentrated to a short morning here but we do our best to stretch it out for a few weeks.

The how and why… and why me…not again kind of year. This year has been all about recovery. How to get back after sickness or an injury. Believe me, I know how to do it. These past months have been endless and very motionless. I am probably to blame that the world is getting penicillin resistant.

The running part of my life is very much a walking part with occasional sprints. And the lifting part of my life is slow but steady. I started the year recovering from a big shoulder surgery and will end the year recovering from big abdominal surgery. It’s been a blast. My bikes are collecting dust and I’m not really in need of new hiking shoes. (Well maybe, shoes age and dry when not used) But that will change with the new year. I feel really excited about 2017. New adventures.  

 

Life as its best

The November post did not happen so let’s start fresh the first day of December. The world changed in November. I don’t know if you felt it but there’s a disappointment hanging in the air, a weird feeling and a big confusion. After the election we all woke up like the morning after a huge party, with a big mess to take care of. But this time it’s not possible to do the dishes. We are just waiting around for the mold and pests to take over. Maybe I am a bit harsh but I don’t see a bright future. And I’m really disappointed that in a great democracy, people are too nonchalant to use their voice and vote.    

But…The sun is shining, the mountain is out, people are friendly and life is pretty good. I will as long as I can stay in this bubble, in Seattle, where people are open minded and nice. This country chooses an interesting person to be the new president and the world will take the hit. I do believe many Americans don’t have a clue that this makes the world more unsafe and we are all taking a step back a few decades. But that is my humble opinion.  

I popped down to Florida for a conference, meeting with teachers and principals. We are 36 registered schools working with Swedish bilingual kids all around the country. And as always it’s a great experience and a boost for all of us meeting. We pick up new ideas, get some inspiration and actually get to pat ourselves on the back a bit, our school is fantastic. Let’s make it even better. I read something about bilingual kids and the way they watch the mouth and don’t meet eye contact when they listen to people. I need to check this out and also see what adults do. Interesting stuff.   

So how’s life in the suburbs? Well, not very exciting but pretty good. My big brother came to visit for a week and we had a great time. It almost felt like vacation. The holidays are getting closer and we are hoping for snow. I am googling Nordic skiing in WA and thinking that this might be the year when I grow up and stay flat. I found my roller skis in the garage that someone hid after a little coccyx accident a few years ago but I think it’s time to dust them off and roll around Redmond in style.  

Time goes on, we live and learn. The girls wake up and go to school and then to work/practice every day and I am enormously proud of their work ethics. The best kids. The schedule is kind of crazy though. They can’t wait for finals and a long break. The older ones are traveling before Christmas and I get a week to kick start and work on driving skills with no 3, working our way up to using the gas pedal.

Dwayne Johnson is apparently the sexiest man alive. I know this is kind of trivial, but what? What happened to Pierce Brosnan? The big biceps are apparently speaking to people. When on the subject, training is not very bueno. No goal, no good. I am ready to set goals, even if it means a boring marathon. I think this whole recovery took a steep turn last night or maybe this morning. It’s been a pretty boring fall with an extremely slow recovery phase and useless limbs. I’ve been sleeping more than ever and have zero endurance. But I had an epiphany last night running in the rain, wet clothes, muddy shoes, backpack with too much gear and a paddle in my hand. This is it people, it’s turning around. And I must say that I truly enjoyed the run, headlight on, mud in between my toes and a leaking backpack. And when you feel good in pretty stinky situations then you know it’s progress. Life at its best.   

October

My irregular and sporadic blog postings are now a bad habit. It’s not happening very often but I am sure that one day I will be up to speed again and then this website will be up and running as an everyday thing again. Until then…

It’s October on this side of the world and it really shows. Colorful leaves and a constant drizzle, and every now and then blue sky and gorgeous mountains far away. The first snow fell a few days ago up in the mountains and it’s really chilly in the morning before the sun wakes up. We are currently waiting for the big storm that will probably hit us tonight and go on until Sunday. We should be stocking up on emergency supplies and food but the adventurer in family (moi) have a plan to wing it. Well, I made sure that my car is filled up and that my good headlamp is completely charged. According to different news sites we should have a survival kit ready with medical supplies, passports, a crank radio, games and activities for children, surgical masks and lots and lots of extra stuff. Well, I do think I have most of the stuff we need including different color duct tape, whistle, 11 bikes and emergency blankets. Food is a different thing; it says that we might need a two-week supply. I am extremely unplanned and usually I swing by the store every day just because I feel like chicken and not beef, or I need a “3a grädde”, a bunch of parsley or some coffee beans. Oh well, we have a lot of rabbits in the neighborhood so hopefully we will survive. Fingers crossed that we will have electricity all weekend and that the bridge stays open for school on Sunday.

The Nobel prize in literature was announced at 13.00 Swedish time. It’s a big thing in Sweden. The TV studios are filled with knowledgeable people that have planned this perfect day. They have figured out and read a bunch of different candidates. They have their favorites. And then they hear the name Bob Dylan. Anticlimactic. I am not sure how I feel or think. In a way I think it was a great decision, a modern way to think where music and literature (and politics) binds together and the status of poetry is uplifted, new poetic expressions. But in another way… duh…really. The music industry is huge and the book industry is fighting, literature is getting more and more abbreviated and the written word is often read on a flickering screen. Books are not something people buy anymore, we download and then when we are finished, we delete. And yes, I understand this a prize given for poetry and beautiful writing but mostly for its political undertones. The literature (and peace) prize often goes to someone that has a quiet voice in the world and needs attention in the wider perspective. Dylan’s voice is well known, spread around the world and loud. And frankly, quite boring but that is my opinion. Since the prize often gives a political statement I will assume this is a way for the Nobel committee to draw attention to the political and social aspects that is happening in USA and the rest of the world right now. Did it work? Not sure. Will the money help a quiet voice that need to spread to the rest of the world? Don’t think so. But, I might be wrong. The answer is blowing in the wind.   

And that leads me naturally to the craziest election in history. Trump v. Hillary. The lack of human decency is horrifying. We follow the news every day and it’s a hunt for new scoops and headlines. The politics has a second place in this election, first place is how much crap Trump can make up every day. The rest of the world think this is a big, fat joke and a large part of the country is considering voting for Trump. I feel ashamed. And very scared.         

What else is new? School is in full swing. Three kids, three different schools, three directions every morning. It was going great until one sprained an ankle and was unable to drive herself 6.30 in the morning. But we survived that too and she is now both walking (a bit wobbly and interesting) and driving again. 

19 years ago tomorrow I became a mom for the first time. In a way it feels like yesterday. That little cutie is now full time student at UW and working part time, coaching and keeping up with life in an extraordinary way. I am so proud to be her mom. HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOHANNA!  

 

September 7th #rh #bossross

Something magical happened the past weekend. The trees changed colors, the rain started to fall and we are all carrying around our puffy coats and cardigans again. Pacific Northwest weather. From one day to another. It’s the time when nature changes, the Swedes are getting ready for hunting moose, the time of year when the slugs mate and the apples are ripe. I have a few, short days before school starts and we are getting the last things done before we meet the kids again. I’m forcing myself to heal fast, I feel pretty much done with rest, painkillers and stiches.

High school started yesterday and we had the first volleyball match of the season the same evening. One kid in the car every morning, two off to other adventures. Sofia survived her first day and is now off to her second day of school. The second day of breakfast in the dark at 6.30am, tougher than the first day since you realize that this is the way it’s going to be until the end of June.

Today is September 7th. It’s a big day, an important day, a day that will always mean so much to us. It’s two years since we lost our friend Ross. He made such an impact on so many lives and he is so missed. Every day. Not a day goes by when we are not reminded of Ross and his great smile and enormous heart. Over the past two years we learned that grief is a never ending process. The emptiness changes and you can remember the good times with a smile and feel sad at the same time. Loosing someone makes your heart ache but somehow you find new places in your heart to keep the good memories. It’s in a way the art of hearing your own heartbeat, beat for the person you lost. As a parent it was the first time I felt powerless or incapable. When your child loses someone close and very important you feel that you lack ability to help. A fear of not being enough, not being able to guide, to say the right things. That too is a process, kids growing up and gaining independence and finding their own way in the world, their own strength within. Their own heartbeat.

~ the mountains are calling and I must go ~

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Wearing pants and watching movies

It feels like I’ve done this before, written a post-surgery post. New body part this time but same body. I am around, at home, waiting for stuff to fall into place, literally. The days I spent at the hospital were a blast. I had a bunch of nurses and a handful of doctors poking, squeezing, cutting and feeding me. Life passed fast for three, four days, always someone by my side. And at the same time the minutes passed so slow. I got really excited when I saw the menu the first day but unfortunately eating was not the first priority. The two doctors came in every day and told me surgery was a success, two thumbs up. 30 something shining staples in a beautiful row on my tummy. Awesome. I came in fresh and mobile and crawled out a vegetable. I can tell you, I didn’t feel or look that fresh. Surgery is not at all like in the movies, you don’t wake up fresh, smiling and ready to sit up. You wake up with a sore throat, unable to speak, unable to move and with a button in your hand to press to keep the morphine coming.  

The first thing I wanted was black coffee and they all thought it was kind of odd. I had my room close to the kitchen so I smelled the coffee for almost 24 hours before I could ask for a cup. I stood up on my own two legs without passing out and walked a few yards a few hours later. Big success. All motivated by the coffee maker 15 yards away.

I learned the shifts the nurses worked and I also had to work on how to hold on to my tummy when I laughed. They were all great. After constantly setting off the alarm on the heart monitor the first 12 hours, they realized that I wasn’t actually dying, I was just very, very calm.

I felt scared in a weird way when I knew the night nurse started her shift. She was really nice but I had no chance getting a say in what was about to happen. She came in every hour and turned me from side to side, even if that meant waking me up or turning me away from the tv.

And then I went home. It felt great to take a shower and sleep. And then I tried to cut out the medicine and get back to normal. It didn’t work that great so I am back down. Yesterday I accomplished two things, I got dressed and I watched a whole movie without falling asleep. I’ve tried about 10 times the past few days and I must say yesterday was a success. And who knows what today will bring. I put on real pants this morning.