athletes

Competitive!

I left off on my last post about the scavenger hunt! It’s a huge part of our family reunion. My uncle Mike has done it for 30+ years and he does a great job! I asked him this weekend how long it takes him and he said about 3 months to make it. That’s so amazing.

It’s evolved over the years and gets bigger and better every time. In the earlier years it was mostly having to find things–worms, ladybugs, spiders, pennies from a certain year, etc. Then he added trivia questions (which is fun). Then he started adding competition based games–like relay races and stuff. Like I said, it’s different every year.

The teams were boys vs. girls. We were Team G3 (Girls 3). It was me, my aunt Linda, my mom, my aunt Maureen, cousins Lea and Melina and Mia and Noa and Di.

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This year the stuff we had to find was hard to figure out at first. He gave us a list of like 6 things we had to find. Except no one knew the words. At first we thought it was a word scramble–unscramble the letters and then you know the words for the items you have to find. It took us a bit to figure out that it was actually just words in other languages–German, French, Portuguese, Spanish, etc. Once we figured that out we could find the items (lady bugs, spider, etc).

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There was a race where you had to run from the starting line to the end of the garden where there were buckets of water balloons in soapy water (which were really hard to hold on to) then run back and tag the next person in your team.

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Then there was the bowling competition. That is always fun! And of course we’re all quoting The Big Lebowski as we play. MARK IT ZERO! Next up was a really funny game! One team member had to run from the starting line to the end of the driveway, fill a skillet with water, then run back and pour the water into a bucket. The team with the most water in the bucket at the end wins that competition. Except–it’s really hard to run with water in a skillet and NOT spill it. AND people from other teams were throwing tennis balls and water balloons at the runner to get them to spill the water (hence the helmet). Here is a video. See below:

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Hahaha! It gets pretty competitive. Next up was throwing a giant rubber boot. The team that throws it furthest gets the points. It is surprisingly hard to throw the boot. Try it sometime. It doesn’t go very far.

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Then the grand finale: there was trivia questions involving the family history (like what year did the family reunion start? 1981. What is Grammy’s birth date? How did the barn burn down? It was a nut drier. Etc…)

Then each team had one final task. The boy teams had to find a girl’s swimsuit, a hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, lipstick, a towel and flipflops and then put it on and run back to the judges to get your points. The girls had to get a baseball cap, board shorts, sunscreen and boy flipflops. Check out my uncle who was enjoying it way too much. 🙂

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And the winning team:

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Our team won! Go G3!!! Girls rule. 🙂 And of course there is a trophy:

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It was so much fun. It was a REALLY hot day, though, nearly 100 degrees, and we were all melting in the sun. A few times I had to go into the house to cool off for a few moments because I was feeling light headed.

After the scavenger hunt we all went down to the river to cool off! I could NOT wait!

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The water felt FANTASTIC in 100 degrees.

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After swimming and cooling off it was time for the potluck dinner. It’s so good. Everyone brings two dishes and there’s so much tasty food. I went a teeny bit overboard. But…..I had to have sweated off and burned off some of those calories during the scavenger hunt, right?? Potluck:

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A few different kind of salads and casseroles, a piece of fried chicken, some meatballs, and my aunt Maureen made grilled cheese sandwiches on the spot which was probably the best thing I’ve ever eaten. LOL So good.

Saturday night there was another bonfire and s’mores and just hanging out. It was so much fun. In the past we used to sit around the campfire and sing and several people brought their guitars. I’m a little sad that we didn’t do that this year. It was almost my favorite part of the weekend. (This is the reason I know ALL THE WORDS to “American Pie”.)

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Sunday morning we woke up and my aunt and uncle made pancakes. It’s pretty much the only time of the year I eat pancakes and they are amazing.

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It was so good to see everyone! And to spend time with my grandma. She was doing great! And she looks great for 93 years old.

We packed up the campsite, hung out a bit and then made the rounds to say goodbye to everyone. Then it was time to hit the road. We had to get home to pick up Bella.

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My cousin Kristin hitched a ride to Portland with us, which was nice. We got to spend some time together, hang out, chat. We all were super excited to shower and get clean clothes after camping all weekend and then we went out to lunch at Laughing Planet. We all were craving vegetables. 😉 We dropped Kristin off at her friend’s house and then went back to the house (where we discovered our AC broke over the weekend and it was HAWT).

What a wonderful weekend. Going back to “reality” and work on Monday was so hard. I could have used one more day to decompress before going back to reality…

Diagnosis: 35 Years Old

I might have mentioned this previously on the blog, but I can’t remember. Hell, I am getting old. So…

This year I’ve had several issues and injuries. Re-occurring foot pain that was a mystery, a back injury, a cold that lasted 3 weeks and just wouldn’t heal, weight loss that was non-existent. It was all very frustrating and annoying.

What was also frustrating was the attitude I was getting from healthcare professionals. My regular doctor, the RD I spoke to, the physical therapist I saw…whenever I talked to them about whatever issue was going on and I wasn’t seeing results/progress, they dismissed me with a simple statement:

“Well, you are 35.”

Michael even told me that his back issues started when he was 35 (his exact words “welcome to 35”).

Apparently somewhere between being 34 and becoming 35 in January, I crossed over into some weird land where whatever ails you is the result of being this age. I had no idea that simply being 35 years old could be the diagnosis for whatever is wrong with your body.

Your metabolism is slower and you aren’t losing weight. You’re 35.

Your body isn’t healing from a mysterious injury as fast as usual. You’re 35. 

Now, I get it. When you do age things change, your body slows down, you’re not quite the same as you were when you were 25 years old. I get it. But really? There’s that much of a change between 34 and 35?? I never “felt my age” physically before now.

When I was on vacation with my cousin Anna, I warned her. Whenever she complained about something I said “Just wait, you’re going to be 35 in a few months. It’s over.” It became the running joke. Slightly hung over? You’re almost 35. Your hip hurts? It’s because you’re 35. Just give up now, man.

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In all seriousness, when this started happening to me a few months ago I began to feel an deep-seated anger in my belly starting to rise and build. I wanted to shout to these doctors, “REALLY?! THAT IS NOT A DIAGNOSIS. Do your job for reals.” It was lazy medicine. It was “I don’t have time for you and your problem”. It was dismissive and it made me angry. I’m sorry but no, that is not the end-all-be-all to every problem. Maybe if I was 80 years old, but not today, not now. I am determined to fix myself. I will not let what ails me just get worse because some stupid doctors don’t want to bother.

Another thing I noticed recently was the phenomenon of becoming invisible.

Is this also attributed to becoming 35 years old?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been walking down the street or something and someone bangs into me because apparently I’m in my invisible cloak. The other day at the gym I was lying on a mat down my PT exercises and a dude STEPPED OVER ME. Like I wasn’t even there. What the hell? Maybe I really AM invisible. And no one told me. Because they can’t see me.

Can you see me?? IS THIS THING ON? tap tap tap

Anyhoo. Apparently I’m having a midlife crisis.

Well, I am 35. So right on schedule, right?