Monday, January 29, 2007

God's Word and Butt on ice

Do you know anyone who has gone to a vocal workshop and come away with an injury?

"How the heck does someone hurt themselves singing?"

Alright, it was me. BUT - I didn't hurt myself singing...

I hurt myself...

(gee, this is embarassing)

...sitting on the floor!

Yours truly, got a butt spasm from hell by sitting on the floor during lunch, twisting around to talk to a vocalist from another church who felt called to adopt a baby. The conversation was so engaging, I didn't notice how twisted I was sitting, and voila! When I tired to get up, the 'ol left butt muscle clenched with all it's strength, setting off the lower back and squishing the juice out of the siatic nerve!

Being that I was taking part in the most incredible vocal workshop put on by the Arts Academy of Denver-Milwaukee, I shuffled back into the auditorium to get more in touch with my lower costal muscle. That sucker is a few inches below the belly button AND attached to evil butt muscle and back muscles.

Imagine the pain shooting up my bod and down my leg when Clint Holden and Dr. Scott Martin had me sing for them at the end. I'm surprised the sound eminating from my mouth was not a howl, and ended up being a recognizable tone.

I don't know if I mentioned this before in any earlier posts, but my confidence is in the toilet. For my singing - it's waaaaayyyyy down in the sewer system. I even struggle with hating my voice, wishing it sounded more like what you hear on the radio (thin, wispy, light soprano-y). Or, like the girls who get asked time and time again to do solos. I love to sing. I love to sing solos, but I sing s0-low! I'm a natural contralto (classical term), 2nd alto (choir term), alto-on-pot (worship leader term). My voice is deep, rich, and boombastic. Mic? Who needs one?

Early on in the workshop, I ended up being a volunteer. Probably b/c I was the only person who brought a CD trak. It was during the learning to breath with Dr. Scott, part. What I heard was AWFUL!!! I'd worked so hard on my song all week, trying to sound like the (probably) early teenaged girl who sang it on the recording. As I sang, Dr. Martin came behind me and began to "squish" me from the lower costal muscle!

"Lean back, relax, lean're fighting me..." Try singing on pitch while being squished, leaning back and curling your toes. I was terrified. Let me say I'm soooo glad I did it. I never really would have known how low down my lower costal muscle was if it weren't for Dr. Scott Martin! I walked off the stage with a very tangible understanding of the proper way to breath. I also walked away with wounded pride. Yup. Pride. Here I was, singing in front of a bunch of other singers, and all they heard were noises aking to a caribu in heat stuck in a drain pipe!

When it was all over, I shuffled painfully to the front to talk to Dr. Scott and Clint. They offered to hear me again. I told them my struggle with liking my voice. "Should I even bother with singing? I seem to be going nowhere fast."

They listened. Dr. Scott, in his very forthright way told me I will NEVER EVER doubt by my gift again. I will NEVER EVER compare myself to anyone else. EVER. Gulp.

Both Clint and Dr. Scott said I had potential all right, I have a beautiful tone. I lack knowledge. I let the fear of doing something wrong hold me back and they heard that in my singing. Folks, I fear making mistakes so much its paralyzing. I fear it in my writing and my singing. Dr. Scott asked when he'd see me. He told me, sure his rates are super high, but could I afford $60 every other month? What about 1 time every 3 to start? I'm praying for $$ to further my gift. Also, Janet, from choir sat in the empty auditorium for moral support. I didn't ask her to, she sensed she needed to be there. I have a witness who heard the reprimand to NEVER doubt my singing ability again, now I have all of you (the 3 of you???).

Now about the God's Word part. But before I begin that - I'm on and off ice every 45 min to an hour; ice on my butt! My chiropractor, Becki, came to my house 3 times in two days to get me mobile. Taking care of Kyle is so hard when you can hardly walk or bend... but I digress...

Since movement was not possible, nor sitting for any length of time, I stayed home from church. Between icing my buns, I did both my CBS and Thin Within Bible studies. One of the verses from Thin Within said:

Forget about what's happened;
don't keep going over old history.
Be alert, be present. I'm about to do something brand-new.
It's bursting out! Don't you see it?
There it is! I'm making a road through the desert,
rivers in the badlands.
Wild animals will say 'Thank you!'
- they coyotes and the buzzards-
Because I provided water in the dessert,
rivers through the sun-baked earth,
Drinking water for hte people I chose,
the people I made especially for myself,
Isaiah 43:17-21 (The Message)

That last line hit me between the eyes so hard. The earlier lines tell me God is beginning a healing process in me. I've been in the litterbox for sooo long. I'll still live there, b/c its the world we live in, but I've spent all my time smelling the turds, rather than raising my head over the edge to breath (lower-costally) the fresh air.

My Thin Within leader recommended buying a new Bible for that study in order to highlight all the verses used within the study, so when I'm tempted to eat (and belive you me, the pain in the butt had me prowling the kitchen), I open the Bible, read a highlighted spot, and God will intervene. The Message is great. I decided for my healing, I need fresh words. Reading familliar scripture with new words is exciting. Try it!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Reconnecting in Wyoming

This past weekend we loaded the VUE and shot up I-25 to Casper, Wyoming. This past summer, one of my college friends from Houghton now lives in Casper. Karen, her hubby, Matt and two kids and two cats moved there from Texas where they suffered in the horrible heat for several years. The house they bought was under construction so the family had to live in a 30 ft long tow-behind camper for three months.

Campgrounds along the Rockies tend to close in late September, so Karen took matters into her own hands and sped along construction by doing much of the interior finishing work! Go Girl!

The house is beautiful.

We had a wonderful time telling stories of the past and finally wondering why someone as normal as Karen hung out with such crazy people like myself and a few others. The more we reminisced, the more I realized how weird I was in College (okay, some of you are stuck on the word "was" - get off it! I'm not THAT weird now... I?)

I also found out this fall that there are at least two families of former Houghton class-mates in the Springs. The call came during marching season when my time was not my own.

Now that life has slowed down momentarily, I hope to connect with them as well. After all, the Springs folk spent several weeks on the trail with me and NONE of us had access to showers or even toilets...

I think I just roped myself into telling some crazy tales of the past... maybe not.

Saturday, January 13, 2007


I didn't mean to leave you all hanging, honest! I've been having some serious computer problems such as it WON'T WORK! I'm using my almost-dead laptop (the mother board is biting it, the USB ports are shot and this thing is not even 2 years old. I'll NEVER buy another Gateway!) Enough about the computer, it's details crowd the litter box.

Yesterday I completed 1 week of phase 1 of The Maker's Diet (TMD). There were a few occasions such as a baby shower and the first date w/ John in 10 months that made it impossible to remain within my boundaries of food, but hey, life goes on too!

Believe it or not, I'm growing accustomed to preparing all of my meals. TMD forces me out of that instant gratification mode. In the past, I waited until I was hungry before I thought about a meal. By then I was too hungry to prepare anything healthy so fast and processed made up the bulk of my diet.

I wish I could write about how wonderful I feel. More energy than Excell on a balmy day. (Excell is the power company in CO). Fitter than those perky aerobics instructors on FitTV , but I can't. Actually, I feel pretty awful.

Fatigue, aches and headaches are all part of the process. I've stopped eating refined sugar cold turkey as well as my daily 2+ cups of loaded coffee and sugary flavored creamers. Drinking filtered water, eating natural organic meats and veggies is taking a toll on my body! TMD warns this is possible if your previous eating habits were pretty bad. Feeling lousy at first is probably why many people abandon radical health make-overs so quickly! My body is de-toxifying itself. That takes time. A few weeks. With God's help I will hang in and continue.

Don't get me wrong...

I can notice some positives. My eyes aren't so bleary looking, my mind is staring to function more clearly - sometimes, and I have exercised each and every morning this week for about 30 minutes!

Going back to the M&M's and potato chips (even if they are organic) is not an option. Being fat and sick interferes with the God-given responsibilities to my family and church.

The worst part of TMD is the twice daily dose of "dirty pond water" I must gulp down...

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

007 Begins with a Splash!

Snow piles averaging 3 - 4 feet created an icy wall along boat ramp to the Boulder Resevoir. Almost 300 brave/crazy/twisted (take your pick) souls lined up beginning at the water's edge. Some were dressed warmly, others shivered violently in nothing but their tighty-whities (GROSS!).

I wasn't there as a spectator or photographer. The Nikon stayed safely at home.

I stood paitently in line waiting to join one of the most bizzarre clubs - the Boulder Polar Bear Club.

Yes, I agreed to take the plunge into 35 degree Farenheit water on New Year's Day. I've been in pretty cold water, hailing from Pennsylvania, but nothing within 20 degrees of this.

In Latvia, I jumped into an icy pond touted to be barely above freezing. Oh, it was shocking, but I'm thinking the Latvians were off by 20 or 30 degrees. That water had to be in the 40's or 50's.

Event organizers only allowed 12 people to jump at a time, so the paramedics who were in the water wearing dry suits, could find anyone who shocked. We all had to sign waivers to release any of the event coordinators and Boulder of liability if we died. I think it was stated in six different ways that one could die from such cold water.

A Denver DeeJay emceed the event and saw this Polar Bear virgin as fresh meat. He asked me what I was expecting, "A million tiny razor blades slicing through my skin as the water envelopes my body," I stated. I also mentioned the Bear Valley Choir.

I held hands with Sarah, as the deejay counted to four (?). When one is about to do something extremely uncomfortable, one cannot think. There is no time to think. So I jumped. Into 7.5 feet of the coldest water I've ever felt. 9 inch long talons ripped through my chest, tearing the very breath and voice from my lungs. I surfaced unable to gasp.

"Swim! Swim!" My brain screamed at my limbs who answered..."Huh?"

Somehow I swam the 25 yard span of water to the shoreline. I can't say I remember the sprint through the cone-zone to the steaming hot tub. Breath and voice returned as I sank my numb self into the "hot" water. The water was actually luke-warm to a non-frozen person. Within minutes I felt normal again.

Later that evening I called my mom who freaked on me. "Darcie, that is the STUPIDEST thing a person could do! You could have DIED! You have a BABY and a HUSBAND! WHY? I'm glad you called me AFTER you lived to tell about it because I would have SHOT through the phone to strangle you MYSELF!"


Why did I do something most people deem the epitomy of idiocy? Cuz I could. Never done it before. I would do it again. How often do you get to do something for the first time?

I also wanted to acheive something so unexpected and "brave" in order to make some radical changes in my life.

Below is a picture of me in a bathing suit. You may want to have a puke-bag nearby when you see it. I didn't recognize myself. I cried when I saw it and debated as to whether or not to put it forever on the internet. Since the elbow incident, I've put on nearly 50 lbs. My doctor told me I need to loose at least that much. I've been feeling pretty crappy about how I look, but have not known what course of action to take. Can't afford a gym membership, and even if I could, childcare is an issue. Can't afford Weight Watchers either ($12/week).

On the Discovery Channel, New Year's Eve, I watched a show on extreme weight loss. One guy hopped on his bike and rode across the US. Dang, I'd LOVE to do that, but again I have a baby and a hubby and the expense????

Some other chick took up marathons. I'd rather jump into an icy lake and stay.

Another chick became an expert belly-dancer. $, baby, time.

So, what to do?

My isses with food have become emotional. Chronic pain and stress over the past few years drove me to the kitchen. John said he wouldn't support anything I did unless I addressed the internal "heart/soul" problem.

I've committed to join a Thin Within group at my church and do The Makers Diet

Putting that pic of myself on the web will make people aware of what I intend to do, and will create a sense of accountability. I'm not a resolution gal, but my weight is impacting my health and my ability to do the things God calls me to do. I'll keep you posted.

Maybe next year, you all can Polar Bear it with less of me wherever you live!
The "jumping" dock.

I'm in the purple fuzzy on the left side of the
photo. To my left (in the photo) is Sean, Sarah and Caitlin.

I'm the fat one in the turquoise bathing suit, leading the way. I debated about including this picture b/c I'm really ashamed of how I look.