I am fabulous.


And I have to accentuate that because that’s the fucking bullshit lie I’ve been telling myself for 40 years. I have had *moments*, snippets of time, nanoseconds, where I believed otherwise. But my singular driving thought force has been that I am not special. I am not significant. I don’t have anything to offer. How did I find out I’m not?

I don’t really know yet. I can’t articulate it yet.

I just know I am not. I. AM. NOT. MARGINAL. This is immensely critical for me to get. I choose to take myself out of this mindset and promise, for the rest of my life, to never allow myself to feel this untruth to my core again. I promise.

Rationally, I can look at the sum of my life, and as I compare it to the people I admire, I could probably make a case for “average”. And yet, “average” doesn’t resonate with who I believe myself to be. Conversely, I note that I have often compared myself to the dregs of society, and in a happy go sort-of-lucky, there but for the Grace of God go I way, I find small comfort in the fact that I am not dredging with them. What IS this fucked up middle ground I have thrust myself into? I’m not a a strung out homeless person who has rejected all help from family and friends, and yet, I’m also nothing special in life? Good God, who *am* I then?

When Court was in 5th grade, as I was hearing about Court’s struggles in school, why he wasn’t participating or excelling or whatever landmark he wasn’t meeting, his teacher matter of factly told me that this was all fine, going on to say, “He’s not going to light the world on fire, but ….” But, I stopped listening right then. What the FUCK did you just say to me? You’re telling a MOTHER that her CHILD, at 10 years old is going to be marginal? Are you fucking kidding me? I went ballistic. I called him out on this nonsense, and I think I made him apologize, or take it back, or rephrase it, or whatever. I can’t recall. I just recall … my outrage. Because, what person has the right to predict someone’s greatness like that?

Oh wait. I have done that my whole life. My entire life, I have relegated myself to average, non-descript, people don’t really think much about me one way or the other.

Another example is when my mother described dropping out of high school. I had a pretty good high school, and felt pretty connected to many people there, in all different “cliques”, so I asked her if she thought about her friends there much. She actually said, “It didn’t really matter if I was there or not, Valarie; I was just like a locker.” What do you mean, you were like a LOCKER? What the hell does that even mean? She went on to explain that she didn’t matter, her presence wasn’t significant and that no one probably even noticed she was gone.

Okay, I’m typing this, and I’m tying a lot of shit together now. This idea that we are not all great, amazing, fanfuckintastic individuals, has been TAUGHT to me. This is no disrespect to my mom. I wish that I could wake her from the dead and make her believe otherwise. It’s my call to action.

So we get these messages in life, sometimes from teachers, sometimes from parents, about our worth in the world, how the world is going to value us. I find this sort of thing criminal almost. I can kind of forgive the individual for feeling that way about themselves (mom, who on the other hand, raised me up every chance she could, by telling me how brave I was, how rich I made her life, how daring I was to cross bridges that she was always afraid to cross, to climb mountains that she’d only stare at), but not so much the teacher who has in his hands so many little spirits that he should be encouraging. Don’t get me wrong; I love teachers. They do a job I could never do. But sometimes, the words that come out of their mouths, in the name of “honesty” and “reality checks” are so fucking self limiting, I can’t take it. I won’t name the teacher as I live in a small community, but I will only say I’m grateful that he did say those words to me, and hope against hope that he didn’t actually make my son (or any other child) believe that.

Because, the truth is, I probably did enough damage in my own way with that. It seems that, in at least two generations before him, he had family members that held dear such self limiting beliefs. One would hope that this doesn’t weave the fabric of our familial evolution, but there’s also the knowledge that it indeed has some impact. So what can I do about all of that now?

Not a fucking thing, because that is the past.

What I can do, today, right now, is to say it out loud, acknowledge it, write it down, and promise myself to the ends of the earth that I will never ever ever let that happen again. I wrote that second ever for the purpose of this program I’m writing in. I set these word/time limits and I’m pretty much done with this thought but I’m about 2/3 of the way done with my “goal” so I don’t want it to stop because I will be punished for it. The screen will go pink, then it will go red, then it will flash red, and then it will start ERASING my vowels. So it’s punitive based, but also serves to provoke. Negative reinforcement works for me, because I DID set up those parameters. One doesn’t always think ahead do they? Actually, I set that up because as a free write, I want to write 1500 words. I didn’t amend it to a smaller number for the purposes of getting this thought out.

So where I’m at is that I acknowledge the history. I embrace the lesson it gives me today. But I am damned well not intending it to shape my future. I do get to tell myself where I’m going. I DO get to create my destiny. No other person gets to have that power over me.

I am so grateful for so many lessons I’ve had in my life. I’ve had so many teachers come to me, big and small, unexpected as well as teachers I’ve sought out. People might be sick of hearing it (though the idea of this boggles my mind) but life IS beautiful. There’s so much to take in, to appreciate, to enjoy, to embrace.

I am getting closer to deciding what I want to do next in my life. I’m so very drawn to life coaching. I want to immediately start making money, and helping people. But first, I have a lot to learn. I want to be careful and cautious about this. I want to be respectful of people’s time and their money. But honestly, I have been seeking out my “calling” for so long, and I have finally felt like this is it. I just told Jim that he better strap in for this ride, because I am ready to FLY, and I have no intention of doing it without him.

He’s one of my teachers. 9 years ago, after we moved in together (after 5 whole months of dating) and I was still terrified he was going to discover the horribleness that I believed me to be, I made sure to often present that to him, just to help him along with that. I would get upset at the mundane, create a fight, make a situation where he would WANT to break up with me. Finally, he tried to do that. And then I realized what I had done. I cried. I knelt at his feet and begged him not to break up with me. (Lord.) Finally, he looked at me and told me that he didn’t think he could be with me, after hearing me talk about how horrible I was, all of the terrible things I thought about myself. I cried, and wept, and wailed and he was so soft and earnest as he told me he had his own “stuff” and he just couldn’t life me up while trying to keep himself going too. It was THE greatest gift I have ever received. How loving is THAT, for a person to tell you that he has to take care of himself and the way I was presenting myself, he just knew would take more out of him than he had to give? It was raw. it was honest. It was real. And it was exactly the thing I needed to hear at that time. That moment.

Posted by valarielala on May 24th, 2014 under Uncategorized | Comment now »

Back at it

I fell off the bandwagon. My husband had some issues with his knee in December. Then there was a bunch, and I mean, A BUNCH of drama with family. I was just wiped out. January has arrived and I had great intentions on the 2nd, but drama overflowed a bit. That’s behind me.

I started back at EUF last week. Charles wanted to focus on a TRX workout that he’s developing. So that others can come in and do it at their convenience if they’re not quite ready for the WOD. TRX is really awesome and I love it. I’m just worried about getting bored doing the same thing every day. But, I also need some great success so that I can be motivated to keep going.

Last night, I did do the WOD with the group and boy, did it suck. I did bear crawls for the first time. Those … those things really bite. Mostly what bites is the I-feel-like-a-dumbass factor. :P They weren’t THAT bad. Plus, Stephanie wasn’t rushing me.

I’m very sore all over today, especially in my core, which feels great. Yeah, pain feeling great is weird.

I need proper workout clothes. I need a MUCH better bra and a shirt that doesn’t ride up. Being self conscious about that stuff is impeding me in my workouts.

That’s my update.

Posted by valarielala on January 31st, 2013 under Uncategorized | Comment now »


Yesterday, I should have gone to the gym. I was frustrated with a bunch of work related things and was throwing a little pity party. My stomach was still hurting from the situps and I just couldn’t muster the energy to go. I’m a little worried about losing momentum. We’re leaving for Seattle tomorrow night, only for three days, but I’m not sure I can fit a workout in before we go. Then the gym will be closed for Thanksgiving weekend as they have a four day hockey tournament one of their kids is in. So in all likelihood, I will do no work outs at all for the next ten days. I think this is bad bad for me.

I know what I SHOULD do, is schedule them in and just go. I don’t have to do NOTHING. There ARE days, I can go workout. I’m just feeling lethargic and lacking in energy. I wonder how to push through that. I’m pretty good at succombing to that and enjoying the laze. BAH! I’m in no mood to be a cheerleader for myself right now.

I have nothing to write at the moment. Total fail at NaNoWriMo.

Posted by valarielala on November 15th, 2012 under malaise | Comment now »


For my birthday, my wonderful mother-in-law got me a massage. I was a little apprehensive because I’ve never had a massage with someone that I didn’t go find. But this woman was really wonderful. I love it when I meet people with really cool energy and can connect with them. She made points right off the bat telling me how great I look for 45! Even though I know that, I love hearing it. SOOOOO happy I was never much of a makeup gal and never got into sun worship. It’s saved my skin in so many ways.

The massage was nice. We chatted all throughout. It was a grounding reminder of why I love Fairbanks so much; the people are just down to earth and real. There’s not a bunch of pretense. When I was telling her about my workouts and where I was achy, she was suggesting a great new gym that had started, and of COURSE, it was EUF. I also love how cream totally rises to the top and news about fantastic new businesses spreads wildly.

Good Lord though, she pushed my head forward at one point, when I was laying on my back, and I thought my stomach muscles were going to explode. All of those situps are still screaming at me!

Posted by valarielala on November 13th, 2012 under Rest | Comment now »

Another great week ahead

Gym tonight was good. I am starting to hate not being as fit as other people. They separated Jim and I off for the WOD, and we each did half of what was scheduled for the day. It’s frustrating to me that I’m not “there” with everyone else. That said, I did work my ass off tonight. Note to self, make double triple sure that you have taken Prilosec because hundreds of situps with heartburn is not one bit of fun. Don’t do that.

So, looking forward, I want to really focus on more juicing and detoxing majorly. I’m almost good with no caffeine at this point, though I love coffee. I mean, really love coffee. Everything about it, from smelling the beans, to grinding the beans, to getting the coffee pot ready, to pouring it, to mixing in my half and half, and most especially, wrapping my hands around a warm cup of joe on a chilly morning. I’m pretty sure I will never give that up. Like, ever. So I guess I’ll always be toxic to some degree. hahaha

But we really love the juice. it’s very tasty and we are noticeably more energetic. And I definitely can tell that I’m not being as drawn towards crap food as I am prone to. I think, after Thanksgiving, that I’m going to attempt a several day juice detox. For now, we replace a meal or two a day with juice.

Posted by valarielala on November 13th, 2012 under Fitness, Jim, Juicing | Comment now »


Today was the Best Day Ever!!! I wasn’t sure how Jim would feel about working out because I know I needed more than one day between my first and second workout. We took it easy at the house in the morning, had another delicious juice and a ham and cheese omelet. We’re both feeling pretty good without a bunch of junk in our bodies. We went to town to check on our shops, see how our people are, do a little bookkeeping, etc etc. Jim wanted some workout clothes and new shoes so he went off to do that.

He was in a bit of workout hangover still, so I kind of half expected him not to work out, even though we both went together. Tonight was benchmark day. They have a round of six exercises that we’re to complete as many times as possible in 15 minutes. We looked at the board of everyone else’s numbers and most people had between 9 and 11, with a few overachievers at 13 or 14 and a couple of getting-there lower numbers. One woman, they told me, had started about the same time I had and she had completed three plus rounds. This, of course, became my goal to beat.

Now, let’s talk about what this consisted of:
25 jump ropes
5 kettle bell swings (American)
5 squats
5 situps
5 pushups
5 ball slams

Since we’re still new, we go over all the exercises. I appreciate the assumption that I’m a remedial learner and need to refresh things over and over again. Jumping rope was no problem. The Kettlebell swing was slightly different than what I’d done before, so we reviewed that a few times. I think I got it. We go over the squats, not my favorite by any means, but I’m encouraged by the ball that I get to squat down on, and Stephanie assures me that when she’s getting tired, she also uses that ball to bounce her back up. Yay. Then situps – these are a different kind of sit up where you use a situp pad and your feet are together and knees out; kind of like how this feels.

Pushups. Charles is going through this kind of quickly and then he stops, have you done pushups yet? Newp, no I have not. Not since about 9th grade, which is the last time it was required of me. I’ve appreciated the fact that life hasn’t required pushups of me. With his usual can-do enthusiasm, he tells me how he wants me to do them, and I do a couple until he’s satisfied, and we’re moving on. Finally, ball slams, and then I am done with a round and get to start over.
Jim can’t do jumpropes at this time, so they substituted step ups for him. The rest of it was the same.

The clock is set for 15:00 and ready, GO. I go through the first four exercises no problems, and I’m dreading the pushups the whole time, but I slam those out, do my ball slams, throw a chip to the side to indicate one round completed and back to the beginning. I keep doing this until I’m back at the jump rope and Charles is telling me, “Great Valarie, you’ve done 3 rounds in half the time, so I’ll need you to double that.” My body didn’t stop moving, but my mind was protesting, Noooo….fuck you why do you have to spread such hate, really????? Fourth round goes well, and I’m at pushups in the fifth round and I have to stop and tell myself, you have ten total left to do, five now, five in a few minutes, DO THIS. I did it. I finished SIX ROUNDS and got to the kettlebells!!!! I doubled what I had set as my goal!!! I have never felt so damned accomplished in my life!!!

And, in total, for the first time in thirty one years, I DID 38 PUSHUPS!!!!! Hello!!! This constant push to do more and to do better, and the cheerleading from Stephanie and Charles is totally awesome. I don’t think I’ll ever ever get tired of “You’ve got this, Valarie!”

I’m so happy that I have a weekend to rest, but this is the coolest rush I’ve ever had and I can not wait until Monday! Though…who knows what kind of pain this weekend will bring.

Posted by valarielala on November 9th, 2012 under Achievement, Fitness, Jim, Losing Weight | Comment now »

Juice Juice Baby

And no, not like Lance Armstrong; what a creep.

We bought a juicer and we got everything we needed for Joe’s Mean Green drink from the movie we watched. It’s Thursday morning, and we started to figure this out. We put a bunch of kale, cucumber, apple, lemon, and celery in and juiced the shit out of those fruits and veggies. We each got a big glass of Mean Green, cheers! And tentatively took our first drink. It’s … delicious. Love it.

I don’t intend to do any kind of 60 day juice fast, but I might do a few days at some point. In the meantime, even if I only do one of these a day, there is not way I’d get that much vegetable into my diet. This is a win.

Soda is totally gone. I bought Hansen natural sodas and that was a bit too sweet for me. I like water, but I really have to get into the swing of drinking it constantly. If I stop, I’ll start drinking bad stuff. Need to keep that discipline going. Carbs sure are a bastard.

Posted by valarielala on November 9th, 2012 under Diet, Juicing | Comment now »

Doing it together

We need to talk about diet. We are not McDonald’s addicts, and we usually “mean” to eat better than we do. Our excuse is that we’re so much on the go that we don’t make time to feed our bodies effectively. We are definitely past the point of the “we just don’t *have* time” excuse, because that’s crap. This is important and we owe it to ourselves. We like to be active. We like to do stuff. We know that food is our fuel. The gym had suggested we check out a movie called Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. It was on Netflix, so we watched it early on Wednesday.

Wow. This movie is so powerful. Now, I’m 45 and I know everyone in the fitness and diet world thinks their book and movie is The Answer, so I take all of this with a grain of salt. This guy was from Australia (and therefore automatically hot just by talking) and went on a 60 day juice fast. He spent his first month in NYC and the second month, travelled across the US and shared his experience and what other people thought of his juicing. He met a very overweight (419 pounds) truck driver who ultimately asked for help. Phil, went on the juice diet, slowly started working out – walked for five minutes his first day, and he went from considering having a custom made casket made for himself to losing over 200 pounds and being able to join life again. Go watch it and see for yourself; it’s on Netflix and Hulu.

We agreed, let’s juice and see how it feels!!!

Now that we’ve decided THAT, time for the gym! There were only four of us there tonight, us and another couple. So they decided to put Jim and I over on one workout and the other two on a different one. We were all miserable in that yummy way, though, so it’s not like they cut us a break or anything. Back to the rowing machine and squats. I’ve never done a squat. Well, I *had* never done a squat.
So our assignment was to row for 400 meters as fast as we could and then do these squats, 10 of them as fast as possible, and repeat that cycle as many times as we could. First of all, milestone goal #1 for Val is that I CAN REACH THE BAR ON THE ROW MACHINE. The first set, I grabbed the little strap that my foot was strapped in with and pulled myself forward a bit and grabbed it. But the second and third, I reached over and grabbed that bitch myself! You have no idea how horrible it felt that first workout when I couldn’t reach that, and now I can!

Jim and I are somewhat competitive with each other, so I think we were trying to race a little bit. Not obviously, but it’s there. So he finished his first 400 meters slightly before me, but I wasn’t having as much trouble with the squats as he was (please, don’t get me wrong, this shit is NOT easy for me, but we’re both doing them for the first time, and he has one broken leg with a bitchy knee and another leg with a torn meniscus, so with that, we’re only close in ability because of that). We both banged 5 out and he stopped and was resting, and I started on my last 5. He’s just looking at me, and I asked him, “are you going to finish these?” he was like, wait, what, how many are we supposed to do? Hahaha

That last 400 meters was a killer for me, but Stephanie was right there, encouraging me, telling me when I was halfway, reminding me that I’ve got this, and this is a big fat mind game right now and I CAN do this. Totally awesome.

Another workout completed. Another cool down done. And Jim is asking for the paperwork to sign up and seeing what it’s going to cost for both of us.


Posted by valarielala on November 7th, 2012 under Fitness, Jim | Comment now »

Week Two - GO!

So I only did two workouts during my first week, BUT I DID TWO WORKOUTS DURING MY FIRST WEEK! And over the weekend, which was long, because my 2nd workout was on Thursday, I got excited about the coming week. I have promised myself I will give this at least one month. No quitting, excuses, or other mental shenanigans that I’m very good at to sabotage myself. One month, which puts me into December.

Jim and I talked a lot about it, and how excited I was. I was very frustrated about the help I was needing so I asked him if he would come on Monday night to help me. I feel guilty about getting so much help from the coaches, and don’t want to take anything away from anyone else that is there. Of course, he agreed, and said if he liked what he saw, he might check it out, too. Score on the openminded hubby front!

We went to the gym and I introduced Jim to Stephanie and Charles, and I was off. He sat on the stairs and watched, as I looked on with horror as the UAF Women’s hockey team blew in. Good God Almighty, can I get a break here?? And when did UAF get a women’s hockey team???? I forged on and dutifully did my warm ups, and then we went to work. Today’s workout was on the TRX, which I had done a little bit of the week before. I like it, because it’s all about using my body as weight. Since I have a lot of that, I feel accomplished doing those exercises. But they’re a little difficult to master and I looked over at Jim who gave me two thumbs up. I glared at him, because *I* thought he was going to be my assistant and help me get form correct, etc. I got over that, because that’s not really his job, and he doesn’t know much about this shit either.

So, just like the high school girls, this workout was new to the hockey girls and we all worked our butts off. It’s the coolest thing ever because I only compete with myself. I’m not looking around, thinking, I can beat her on this! We cooled down, and it was over.

Jim decided this place is totally cool and plans to come for the next workout on Wednesday. He explained his injuries and what he thinks his limitations are, and the coaches were very optimistic he could get a lot out of it.

I might have a workout buddy!!!

Posted by valarielala on November 5th, 2012 under Fitness, Jim, NotCrossfit | Comment now »

You got this

An amazing workout is ready and waiting for you… get out of bed, leave work, get in your car, drive to EUF, walk in the door, and we will take care of the rest :) Remind yourself… “I’ve got this!”

That was the latest EUF post on FB. Thursday was here and I was sort of excited about continuing this journey. My body felt better, which was nice, but I have so much fear about how fat I am, how out of shape I am, what a joke I am, that was clouding my brain. And I was tired. I sat at my desk at work and asked myself out loud, Am I too tired for this? Will I get anything out of it? I talked to Stacia, and she encouraged me, reminded me how great the first day felt, and that I wouldn’t feel tired after I started. Riiiiight.

The day had gotten away from me, so the shopping I intended to do for shoes and bra hadn’t gotten done yet. I didn’t think I had enough time to do that and get there on time. I figured, no risky, I did this on Monday night, one more day flopping around isn’t going to hurt much. I mostly wanted to Get There, because I knew this would be my biggest challenge. Once I was THERE, I knew I’d just have to do what I was told for the next hour.

So I got there at about 6:10. I watched the 5:30 class and it looked hard. I wasn’t scared though, because I knew they’d help. As the clock ticked towards 6:30 and no one else was showing up, I was wondering to myself if I’d be alone again. I had sort of decided that it would be fun to work out with other people because I could see in the classes I watched, there was a range of “fitness” and I was okay with that. But then I looked at the clock and everything went cockeyed in my brain.

6:27 is what the clock said.

And then, the local high school girls basketball team rolled in.

No….nononono…..NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO I screamed in my head. It was too much to bear. I had my coat on still and was ready to roll right back out the door from whence I came. There is no way on God’s green earth that I am juggling my fat ass around in front of these fit teenagers! No. Way.

The previous class was finally on their way home and Charles made his way over to me with a great big smile, asked me how I felt. I told him I felt pretty good but I was now completely intimidated by the group that had just come in. He smiled and waved his hand and said, “Come on, you got this.” You mean I can’t leave? I asked. No no no, you got this!

I begrudgingly took my purse and coat off and hung them up, pull my pony tail tight, straightened my shirt down over my titanicass, and made my way over to the work out. Again, I did the whole thing. I stayed the whole hour and I finished it. I wasn’t graceful, I needed modifications, but I did it. And those girls, as in shape and athletic as they were, were new to this kind of workout, so they worked their asses off too.

After that class, I realized something very critical for me. I don’t care if I lose weight. Well, that’s not entirely true. But it’s not my focus now. I want to get stronger. I want to do all of these workouts as designed, without modifications or scaling. I want to Do This! Weight loss will happen, so I know I don’t need to focus on that. Focusing on doing it is so much more fun.

“You got this.” are my three favorite words now.

Posted by valarielala on November 2nd, 2012 under Achievement, Fitness, Losing Weight | Comment now »

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