Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Walking on clouds

The last time I flew, I could not make it the entire 2 and 1/2 hour flight without heading to the tiny tiny bathroom.  In fact, almost as soon as we took off, I had my hand on my seat belt waiting to hear the *ding* so I could unhook.

Ugh...for such a big girl, I have a tiny travel bladder.

As I walk quickly to the back of the plane (two, yes TWO people beat me to the front)..I have this moment of weightlessness....a tiny bump of turbulence that boosts me slightly in the air...well, further in the air than I already was.  I looked out the window...I guess thinking for a split second that I was in a car, looking for what caused the bump. That's a funny mind trick, isn't it?  What I saw....big big white fluffy clouds.

I kept walking and thought...I am walking right now, above the clouds.

How miraculous is that?

I mean...I take it for granted....when I fly, I usually just sit...convince myself I am in a car or in bad weather perhaps a roller coaster.

But here I am, above the clouds.

I passed a flight attendant pouring drinks and thought, "You are pouring drinks in the clouds."

Do they ever remember just what a wonder this is?

As I landed and for the next few days, all I could think about, "When do I walk above the clouds and take it for granted?"

When do you?

Tuesday, September 8, 2015


I love this version.....

but here it is for you purists out there....

I love the Pleasanton Games.

I finally finally got to throw with Beth in my class...

The master's ladies were separated from the elite women this year, usually we throw together...we were paired with the 60+ guys....This also meant we had like 17 people in our class that our judge Carlos had to put up with...yikes.  But we are always an efficient group. We are old...we know there isn't much time left.

As you know, I didn't have much in the way of expectations in terms of performance for this game.  I am fat, not training a ton, and I....well...don't think very highly of me right at this moment.  I squeaked into this game. As we were getting on the plane in ABQ, I turned to Grant and told him that I didn't want to go.  I mean, I wanted to go, I just didn't want to throw.

The weather was great Saturday...and it was FREAKING packed this year.  150th anniversary...they had a celebrity throwing too...they expanded the field a little too. Had a new judge, Rachel and I tried to break him in slowly by immediately diving into dick jokes. LOTS of friends and lots and lots of volunteers.  It's great that so many hands help with's big....did I say that already?...(it's a big game)

We started on Light of my more painful events.
Then Heavy Weight
The Breamar

The first two I kept my promise on, I really tried to focus on form....I feel pretty slow...on hammer, but my first throw was in the mid 70's so I was thrilled.  Then on the second throw, it felt light and speedy, but I pulled the leg and that dang spot in my groin started screaming at me.  Carlos pulled the tape and I almost started to cry.  87' 2"  That s just a couple inches shy of my big throw in Phoenix.

Heavy weight....Stayed nice and slow on that first turn...again my first throw was a little over 48??  what what? Then...I hit 50...50'2" on heavy weight...Thrilled....

Breamar was...up right and stiff.... 27 and change...I was still thrilled.

WOB saw me go out at 18, but I haven't been getting much over 16, and better than the height thing...I was consistent....

Caber is fun...I got all three tries turned, but I am turning my body at the last second so I can't get the 12...Don't care...I started to feel completed pulls at the end.

I got to see Kerry and Paul and Matt and Pam this weekend too....

I soaked in the tub Saturday night, but Sunday was rough rough.  My chest didn't hurt but it was someone was pressing on it.  I finished the morning events and promptly fell asleep on a picnic table. I wasn't going to do the challenge events...I think I had a little bad angel whispering in my ear (Rachel) "just throw one, see how it feels."  I did both events...actually won WOB...

The ladies spoiled me Sunday morning...Bethany made cupcakes at Juli's suggestion...I got to wear a banner...I got lavender treats and a owl covered mug and the most beautiful umbrella that I will use at the wedding.

I got to watch the most amazing things this weekend too...To know the work and time that Juli has put in and then get to watch that pay off...and Kim...I have thrown with her at these games for 4 years now and I have never seen her throw like she did this weekend.  Watching Shonda attack the beast of "this is my starting place."  Karyn, who has focused so much on her health this year, essentially "starting over." Rachel is just so much fun to to strong..pound for pound, a way better athlete than I will ever be...and Beth...the timing on the 21 can be so frustrating and she was getting it...dialing it in on the WOB.  And well...her power!  Ahhhhhhh!!!

Persistence....that really was all of these ladies this weekend, even me. 

I saw all sorts of other stuff too...There seemed to be a sprinkle more of Joy all over the field this year. Thor and Mike driving that crown wild over WOB. Throwers proud of the work they do, yet humble at the same time.  Makes me so happy to know and to throw with these people.

Carlos, Steve, and Shonda made me cry too....or maybe it was the shot of whiskey I had with Big Daddy...woman athlete of the day?  I share that will all of them...really~truly...

I am spent though...I really was not ready for these games...this two day joy filled event.  I didn't think I pushed that just took it all out of me.  I had a conversation with Kirk Taylor after the game... I had no idea he was a doctor....he started asking me some details and I told him how terrible I felt because my doctors have all said that I would be normal in a week or two.  He looked me straight in the eye and said, " Mona, it will take your heart 9-12 weeks to really heal.  But really, what no one will tell you, this is going to take you a year to come back from.  And then, really, you are only healed once you forget you had the surgery. You'll never forget forget, but once it is out of your head when you workout or throw, then you have healed."

Wow....yes....thank you....hard to hear, but I suspected something along these lines, but have felt like an asshole for feeling a big weenie.

I really had a wonderful couple of days and I threw much better than I ever could have hoped for guess is the mojo off of these ladies rubbed off on me.  I think this is the best third place finish ever....Sharing the podium with Beth and Juli?  Unexpected.

I am still debating about worlds.  After this weekend, I am not sure I can or should do this again so quickly.  My chest still feels...weird and I am not bouncing back...I'll see how I feel tomorrow....but for the rest of today, I will just be happy with right now.

Lots of Love to Bethany today too!  You got this woman....

heal up....and find that starting point!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015


Three months ago today, I was strapped to a table.  A tiny piece of my brain thought I could die. It's true...I could have, it is rare, but you was my heart.

Ugh.... comes recovery Malec?

I can say, both faster and slower than I thought...I can't really remember what I imagined it would be...that I'd wake up on the 14th day after surgery and feel fantastic?  Jump right back into the training I left behind in March.  Maybe.  You know fantasy worlds have a strong pull.  When I get frustrated, which I am....I remember that it hasn't really been 3 months.  I basically stopped working out the day I went to the ER. So, really it's been 6 months since I could train...train to the point where I could complain about how hard and wonderful everything is in this blog.

I miss setting goals...I miss throwing.

As for recovery, two of the hardest things have been...Loss of drive....and the surprising amount of pain that throwing causes me.  I think the pain, leads to more loss of drive and then I just wanna eat sushi or cookies or popcorn or.....yeah.

I had a nasty knot in my right groin for what seemed like way too long...makes caber and sheaf and especially hammers painful to throw.  I had chest pain for a long time too...especially when I push things physically....happened a bunch when I tried to throw at the game in Snowmass.  Still happens.

Makes me feel like a big baby, especially remembering the doctor saying...oh you'll get back to your normal life in a few days.  Maybe the problem is the word "normal." I mean, my life is normal for me...but perhaps it isn't all that normal.

I have been surprised by a few things, while my squat is still under 300, which makes me feel sad...

With the programming BJ gave me to get started, my bench isn't all that far off my one rep max and I am happy with some other upper body numbers too....strict press isn't too bad...and been working a bunch of dumb bells over head that, at least I think are heavy.

The row last week was kinda cool...and I can do stuff around the yard without thinking much about getting winded.  I may have mentioned this before, but now that I have had this surgery; I realize that the SVT was happening much more often than I thought.  Like a couple times a week....they were minor...but it was happening all the time.  Makes me wonder if some of my "exercise induced asthma" was actually my freaking heart.

I have a game this weekend....I really love this game, these women, this place, but I am feeling...odd.  I mean, how do I set goals for this game?  I always post last years numbers...but UGH...hahahaha ...Not sure I should have number goals for this game at all.

The one goal that I have thought about for Pleasanton is to throw cleanly...focus just on form, not on distances. I hardly throw at all right now...and when I is slow.  So...focus on the foot work...focus on learning from these ladies...'cause the masters group is pretty sweet.

This is a two day game...I gotta allow myself to sit some of it out if I need to.  There is plenty of time for me to push myself and I know that I am not ready yet.

Or maybe I am just a big weenie....and you know if I am right now...then so be it.

Ok...just for consistancy sake...

Pleasanton 2014:

Braemer  24'3"
Open       29'5.5"
HWFD    38'10" (I remember I scratched twice on this event!)
LWFD    63'9"
HH         70'4"
LH          84'7"
WOB      19'

Giggle..some of those numbers are nice and once I decide to really get back to work on this, perhaps I will come close to them again.

Snowmass 2015

Braemer  22'6""
Open       32'7.25"
HWFD   41'7.25"
LWFD    57'6"
LH          77'3.5
WOB      16'

Stones are hard to compare game to game and the stones at Pleasanton are heavy... I can see what causes pain...WOB and Hammer. a thrower I know said to me once, "Gotta find your starting point."  I love that Allison...I have since the moment you said it to me.  So, I am finding my starting point.  I know what I have done these last 6 months and what I haven't done. Even though it is easy to bemoan where I "was" and not being there anymore...I cannot bitch about results I don't get from training I didn't do!  More importantly...I am back in the gym, less, but I'll likely change that over time.  I haven't given up yet.  My heart hasn't given up yet....

And I still dream of the 90 foot light hammer...maybe I can do it before I turn 50...if I can stop being such a weenie...

mmmm  weenies....I think I need a hot dog.