Closet Gnomes

If I had to choose a favorite character from South Park, I’d have to name Tweek. I saw an episode where poor Tweek, whose parents give him mass amounts of coffee to help calm his hyper-anxious nerves, claims that gnomes come into his bedroom every night and steal his underpants. Naturally, nobody believes him, and his paranoia multiplies. But I saw them, I saw the gnomes!

Perhaps it isn’t so very odd that I identify with Tweek. I do enjoy coffee (though I do not have side effects of caffeine), and the docs have kept me high on steroids and narcotics for the past few years. I understand the questioning whether or not what you see is what everyone else is seeing! Also, on two separate occasions, I have come to question whether or not I have closet gnomes.

Did I ever tell you that Sophie caught a bird in January? Yeah, so Nick and I are watching TV from the living room, and we hear Sophie going nuts upstairs. Our cat is very playful, and we thought nothing of the sounds of crashing upstairs (besides deciding that we really need to figure out how to manage the cat’s weight). She comes flouncing down the stairs, and immediately I jump to the couch as I realize she has something in her mouth…something that was flapping around. She laid it at Nick’s feet, and he let it back outside. Sophie, who lacks both claws and agility, managed to catch a LIVE bird without harming it at all.

Ever since the incident, I have noticed that Sophie is skittish about my closet. She jumps back when she walks in, as if there is something moving in there. Perhaps how ever the bird got in, the gnomes got in too. You see, if we have plans to go out in the evening, I typically come home, put on my running stuff, and save my nice clothes to put on again after my shower (silly to dirty new nice clothes). Twice now, I have lost an article of clothing, only to find it 15 minutes later in a place I JUST TORE APART.

I see no other logical explanation BUT the existence of closet gnomes. The latest incident happened last Thursday, and Nick even joined in to help me search for the shirt. Miraculously, like always, as soon as we left the room and then came back, the shirt was in plain sight. See? GNOMES! I am not proud that I identify most with South Park’s walking, talking mental case…but if the shoe fits…

By the way, the gnomes in my closet don’t seem all that interested in underpants.

Gearing up for pain…

This week, starting in about 15 minutes, I am going to start integrating strength training to my workout routine. I have a mild dose of OCD, and I find diversifying difficult with certain activities. So far this year, I have done nothing but run. I had an outpatient procedure in December, so January was mostly getting over the fear that I would injure myself and getting the legs to run more than two miles at once. By the end of January, I had the distance thing down again, and in February, well…

Nick thought it would be a grand thing to create a Nike-Plus challenge between him, me, and our friend Jeff. Nick was a challenger for the first week of the month, and then decided to sit it out. Jeff and I got a little competitive, however. No time for strength-training during the shortest month of the year, no way, no how! Especially when I wanted to beat Jeff in a mileage challenge spanning those 28 days:

I told Nick that he’s not allowed to schedule another one of these, at least not right away. I don’t like feeling competitive. I get a little manic and a lot moody. Anyway, I went running outside yesterday. As my quads burned running hard up one of my last hills, I accepted that I have not had a well-rounded exercise routine as of late. Last year at this time, I challenged myself to work out every day until a scheduled surgery in March ’09 after inspiration courtesy of Oprah. During those 60ish days, I remember thinking that I should really be incorporating cardio in my exercise routine. See!? Extremest!

I miss those days when I could spend a leisurely two hours in the gym every morning, splitting my time evenly between strength and sweat! Didn’t realize how lucky I was to have all that flexibility with my time! For now, I am about to blow the dust off all my Jari Love DVDs and those nasty, unsafe, killer 80’s workouts from The FIRM (workouts seem to be much more effective when they disregard concern for injury).

I imagine that tomorrow evening I will have a case of DOMS so severe that I will be in tears. I’m just so gosh darn excited…