Tag Archives: BenGay

63 Stories

1 Apr

The countdown is on … Five days.

I got five days until the big race. The Big Climb, actually, and my quads feel like Randy Macho Man Savage‘s, but in reality they look like toothpicks. Really strong toothpicks, though. The big beefy kind that you get at a steak house, but no matter the size, they’re going to take me to the rooftop of the second tallest skyscraper in the city. I might not finish first, but I’m gonna haul ass and do my best to finish strong … even if it’s to finish at the top of my “age rage”. You gotta be happy finishing at the top of your “age range” right? I mean that’s how they level the playing field. But you also hope that you kick some 21-year-old butt and that a 65 year-old Muscle & Fitness Athlete of the Year type of chick doesn’t leave you in the dust. That’s all you really hope for right? Well, that and not falling up the stairs and causing pedestrian traffic.

So am I ready? Is Team Guat ready? Have I been training?

Most people have been putting up training logs on their fundraising page. I guess as evidence that they’re not slacking off — evidence that they’re committed and that people’s donations are pumping up their spirits to finish faster. I don’t need to be doing that … my people have faith in me. They know that if I say I’m going to do something, I will slather myself up and down with BenGay in order to get it done. I will run at around my neighborhood at 9 o’clock at night, hit the bleachers at the local high school on weekends, and storm my parents’ wooden staircase when the weather (or time) does not permit me to go outside. I work out. I’m prepared. I’ll get all Rocky Balboa on them.

But regardless of the workout, my Guat spirit is getting it done. It’ll get me to the top. I don’t know if I’ll still be sprinting by the time I get to the 40th floor with 20+ more floors to go, but I’ll still be moving. I’ve got the iPod loaded and my knees fortified with Glucosamine … well my knees could probably use a little more lubrication, but I think they’re used to the wear and tear going on around here. Ice packs and BenGay are common household items. I stock up. I should be, I know this little challenge is gonna require a lot of TLC when I’m done.

What’s ahead of me? 63 stories. About 1,400 steps. Now knowing this doesn’t necessarily make it better. In fact it may cause even more nerves because of the crazy number itself, but I tell myself that it can only help me. When I feel like I’ve done enough working out for the day I think … it’s 1,400 pinche steps. Holy Crap!  I could use another ten minutes of burn. So I take a deep breath, raise up the volume on my little iPod and keep running, keep stepping, keep lunging. Don’t know if that extra time is gonna help, but I’m sure I’ll find out.



And you’d figure with all this sweat and working out that I’d at least lose a few pounds or that my pants would fit looser, but I’m still racking up the same numbers and my stomach is still the stomach of a mother of two — no Shape & Fitness models up in here. I just tell myself that my legs are getting most of the lean muscle. It’s the silver lining.

I also remember that I wasn’t in it to lose weight, I’m never in it for that. I’m in it to honor my dad. I’m in it to raise money for the American Lung Association and help others with lung disease. I’m in it to reach the top.  I’m in it for the challenge that 63 stories can bring to my Ben-Gay loving body and knees.

Thank God for Knee Pads and BenGay

4 Mar

I don’t know if you can cover your butt with BenGay. I don’t know if that’s possible, but it should be. Every muscle in my gluteus maximus, every muscle surrounding it, and every muscle within its vicinity hollers out for that medicated Methyl Salicylate cream.

BenGay … it should really be a roller derby sponsor.

I’m walking around the house today, victorious for surviving my first roller derby session. Well I really shouldn’t say walking … more like hobbling. Every inch of my quads feels the pain of this work out. Apparently skating muscles are completely different from running or triathlon muscles. Completely. In truth I don’t remember feeling like this the last time I skated, which happened to be when I was in elementary school. I guess muscles in your 30s are a lot different, but it’s all good. I survived and this helped me cross off an item from my Bucket List and that’s what counts.

However, if I’m going to be honest with you I was pretty nervous about the whole thing. I really didn’t want to break anything and was so hoping the pain would be minimal. But as soon as I drove into the parking structure I thought … yeah there is definitely going to be some pain.


The parking lot entrance.

The parking lot entrance.


This little mural didn’t boost my confidence, but I was committed. Even though I was unsure of what to expect, I cowboy-ed up, grabbed my mouth guard, and made my way toward the entrance. I thought that there would be 15 or 20 ladies at the most. There were about 40 women in the class and for some reason that made me even more nervous. I’m not used to massive audiences witnessing my falls and challenges with gravity. But I came to learn that at least half of the class shared that same issue.

Now seeing that there were a lot of chics in this class I thought it would be best to scramble and get some equipment, which was pretty difficult. After fifteen minutes of scavenging through a pile of roller skates I finally found a matching pair.


I was stylin' in purple laces, but felt out of place in my non tight sweatpants. Everyone was looking pretty svelte in their nylons or spandex attire.

I was stylin’ in purple laces, but felt out of place in my non tight sweatpants. Everyone was looking pretty svelte in their nylons or spandex attire.


I wanted to get a really cool helmet. Something that exuded confidence, but all the badass names were taken. So I was left with this, pretty ironic considering I was rolling in the slow lane.

I wanted to get a really cool helmet. Something that exuded confidence, but all the badass names were taken. So I was left with this … pretty ironic considering I was rolling in the slow lane.


Now when I was getting geared up I noticed the youth group practicing on the banked track. They were zooming on and off the track, spinning and stopping with such ease.


The "young" girls practicing.

The “young” girls practicing, looking very non-BenGay like. Unfortunately there were no shots of me in my roller derby attire as I was too busy battling the power of gravity and everyone else seemed pretty focused on not falling either. I really didn’t want to disturb their concentration in order to capture my Kodak moment.


I thought if these pre-teens can be rolling without issues, I should be all right. I’m badass. I did the Warrior Dash for crying out loud. I’m a triathlete. I’m on it. I mean I may not be able to skate backwards, but dude I can do this. I got this. But the fact that I needed assistance putting on my safety equipment gave me second thoughts. This concerned me a bit. I mean if I needed help with that, how would this adventure turn out.

Well pretty good overall.

We began with some warm up exercises and just basics on the flat track, trying to work on every inch of your quads and definitely feeling the burn. Suzy Snakeyes was actually pretty nice and patient with those of us who were slow learners, and after thirty minutes I seemed to be gaining confidence. I wasn’t the fastest skater, but I wasn’t the slowest one either. And when she started to teach us how to fall without completely killing yourself, I thought man I got this. I have years of experience in this field. I’m a professional faller. And sure enough I was … making good use of those knee pads and the soft sides of my butt cheeks, although by the end of the exercise I wish I had more cushion.

After about an hour we headed to the main track, ready to test out some of the skills we learned. Or at least I thought I learned.


Passing all the banners as we entered the main room.

Passing all the banners as we entered the main room.


Now mind you, no matter how much confidence I gained on the flat track I wasn’t crisscrossing my legs, body checking, or spinning backwards. I was doing the basic swaying maneuver. However this is completely different on the banked track. It’s on a slope. A slope people! Confidence and staying low are important factors in roller derby, but when the person in front of you totally eats it, your confidence isn’t what it used to be a second ago. All you can think of is not repeating history. So needless to say that my first roll on the banked track wasn’t smooth, but it wasn’t catastrophic either.

I’m glad we covered falling earlier in class. I proved to be good at it. I managed to do plenty of it on the banked track, and I did it without needing any Band-Aids and without getting the “Ooooohhhh” reaction from the rest of my roller derby mates. However I would have liked to do one complete lap around the track without falling. I would have like to do the roller derby classic move — you know the one where you pat your hips two times and then raise your hands up in the air. Maybe next time.  For now I’m glad I didn’t need to use an ambulance. For now I’m grateful for knee pads and BenGay. Until next time.

Now That The Flu is Gone, The BenGay Adventures Begin Again

28 Feb

The coughing. The aching. The overall feeling of crappiness that came with two weeks of the flu sidelined my athletic endeavors. No workouts. No biking. No running. No push-ups. No downward dogs. And the only stretching I did was for the remote control. For the most part, it was just a whole lot of nothing and with that I got thrown off the athletic wagon.

But I’m back.


Photo by James Hamilton.

I’ve been DayQuil and NyQuil free for three days, and I think my muscles are ready to attack my fat. It’s been building so this is going to be a battle considering my muscles have been on the bench and my fat became stronger. So I had to come back big. There was really no other way around it. And even though I still have a hatred for running unless there’s a purpose (you know I can’t run just for the sake of running) both of the challenges definitely involve running or at least a running motion. One is on wheels. The other is up stairs.

Now I never thought I would participate in something that would require a mouth guard and wrist guards. I don’t even know what wrist guards are, but I’m sure Sports Authority will … it’s like the mecca of sports equipment. And apparently I need both of them. I’m embarking on my first roller derby adventure this weekend and seeing how gravity is always trying to bring me down and cause chaos, I’m a little concerned about just getting on the track. I haven’t skated since elementary school, but I’m confident that my instructor Suzy Snakeyes will assist me in not being thrown over the rail accidentally or on purpose. I figure since it’s a beginning class that sort of thing happens until the third or fourth session. Stay tuned I’ll let you know how that little adventure panned out.

If I survive this session on wheels, I’ll move on to my other challenge. Something a little more daunting. I normally don’t use words like daunting, but for this it’s required. I won’t need a mouth guard or wrist guard for this one, but maybe I’ll need a Costco-sized amount of Ben Gay when I’m done. It’s called a climb, not so much a mountain or hill but more like 1,391 steps … 63 flights of stairs.

Now when I saw this online, I didn’t quite picture it in my head. All I thought was “sounds like a lot,” but I thought I’d be all right. I have BenGay and IcyHot. I’ve got my New Balance. I also got an iPod with plenty of tunes. I thought I’d be all right with that, but then I saw it. The building . I drove across the downtown skyline and saw it. I thought Holy Crap! This is not a building, it’s a skyscraper. I’m gonna need “Eye of The Tiger” blaring through my headphones if I’m gonna make it to the top of this one. How am I going to prepare for this monstrosity?


Fight For Air Climb

I mean what would posses me to take on such a challenge? Something new? Something different? Yes, and yes. But mainly it’s for my dad. It’s called the Fight for Air Climb and it’s sponsored by The American Lung Association. The climb helps raise funds for lung disease, and many of you know that my dad passed away almost two years ago from Interstitial Lung Disease. I think about him every day and thought this would be a great way to honor him … raising money for  research and helping to find a cure so nobody else’s dad passes away. So far my family and friends have been very supportive and Team Guat is on track to reaching its fundraising goal. I wasn’t aware of this race, but once I knew, I had to get involved. I think I might do this one every year, but stay tuned. It’s a pretty ginormous building, we’ll see how this turns out. I might have to buy more BenGay than anticipated. Do they make anything bigger than Costco size?