The Pregnant Ankle: Part 1

The Pregnant Ankle: Part 1 10

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One of the highlights of last weekend’s trip to beautiful Scottsdale was a lovely hike Scott and I took to the top of Camelback Mountain.

camelback

(Well…it was mostly lovely.)

Camelback Mountain is the highest point in all of Phoenix. This means once you get to the top, you’ll be rewarded with a stunning 360 degree vista of the city. It also means you’ll be enjoying sed view while breathless, drenched with sweat,  and possibly injured.

Scott and I opted to hike the Cholla Trail, as it was the only one open.  Little did I know, the route we selected had a difficulty ranking of “Black Diamond”. This meant the following things:

  • Long rocky segments and possible drops with exposure
  • Dirt and loose rocks with continual unevenness
  • 12′ or taller, loose rocks, exposure to drops

For added context, here’s a description of the hike, straight from the Cholla trail website.

The Cholla Trail is less known than its counterpart, the Echo Canyon Trail, gaining the summit from Camelback’s eastern side. The last 1/8 mile before the summit requires rock scrambling.

Be conservative in planning your hike! In addition to a gruelling climb, warm weather months can bring hot, dry desert conditions. Everyone who hikes Camelback for the first time reports that it was more difficult than they expected.

I wasn’t aware of any of this until I was already halfway up the mountain. I suppose it was better that way.

While the above description sounds totally miserable, I legitimately enjoyed the challenge of this hike. Sure, it was hot as Hades and more intense than three back-to-back Turbo Kick classes, but it felt good to get my sweat on. The scenery was breathtaking, and it was a heck of a lot better than being holed up in frigid old Minnesota!

The last part of the hike was definitely the scariest, large in part due to the previously mentioned “rock scrambling”. I’d never heard this term before, but can only describe it as hiking on all fours while fearing for your life. There were large, pointy rocks that were completely exposed. Scott had zoomed ahead of me at this point, which meant I was not only concerned I might fall 1.8 miles to my death, I also wasn’t quite sure I was still on the trail. Surely, climbing up over a ten foot high rock that comes to a point at the top and is totally open to thin air on all sides couldn’t be part of the trail?

(Apparently, it’s totally a part of the trail.)

I took a deep breath, summoned my inner Jon Krakauer, and vowed made that rock my biznatch.  Miraculously, I didn’t slip or lose my footing once! Within five minutes, I had reached the summit.

summit

After a few photos, lots of water, and insisting Scott congratulate my rock scrambling prowess at least six times, we began our descent.

Let me say this: If climbing up long rocky segments and possible drops with exposures is a challenge, then making it down them in one piece is about as easy as scoring a perfect score on the SAT while simultaneously running a marathon.

There was whimpering, butt sliding (luckily my floral mania leggings remained in tact), and a few prayers, but I survived. After making it down the technical top third of the mountain, the bottom two-thirds would be a total cake walk hike!

(Or so I thought.)

Remember that part about the trail boasting dirt and loose rocks with continual unevenness? Turns out walking down that is easier said than done. Particularly when you are A: so incredibly relieved to have made it past the backwards rock scrambling that you’ve foolishly let your guard down, and B: are wearing minimalist CrossFit shoes that provide little to no ankle support.

Just as I was mentally applauding myself for deserving some sort of medal of honor from REI, it happened. My minimalist shoe-wearing left foot landed on a rock the wrong way. I heard a popping noise, felt my ankle roll to the side, and immediately tumbled to the ground. Gazing down to assess the damage, my eyes were stunned to see an ankle that appeared to be well into its third trimester.

ankle

To be continued…

Psst! Part 2 is up! Check it out here…

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Baby, it’s cold outside.

Baby, it’s cold outside. 4

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I really wanted to use a swear word in the title of this post, yet decided to refrain as ‘Sota is Sexy is family blog, and all.

(Well…sort of. A ‘dysfunctional family blog’ perhaps?)

While the song ‘Baby, it’s cold outside’ conjures images of fluffy snowflakes, drinking hot cocoa by the fire, and various other snuggly and cute things, let me assure you that the weather here in ‘Sota is anything but ‘cute’.

First off, it’s not snowing. Why? Because it’s -25 degrees (-55 with the windchill.) For those of you lucky enough to live in more balmy climates, let me explain that -25 degrees is way too cold for snow to even fall. Apparently, it’s also too cold for children — the entire state of Minnesota has cancelled school today on account of the frigid temperatures.

Now if only they could cancel the need for me to take my dogs outside.

I suppose I shouldn’t be complaining. I did spend the last three days is sunny Arizona, soaking up every last second of the 75 degree weather while lounging at our hotel pool.

Oh, wait. I still have to take the dogs outside at least five times today in twenty-five below zero — of course I should be freaking complaining!!!!

Sorry. Lost my wits for a second, there. (The cold does that to me sometimes.) How about this? Instead of subjecting you to my “I’m cold and Jolie has to poop again” rants, I’ll simply offer up some of my solutions for surviving such godforsaken weather? Cool? Cool.

(No pun intended.)

Katrina’s tips for surviving winter in the upper midwest

  1. Don’t go outside. At all. (This is why I love working from home. My commute never involves snow boots.)
  2. When you do have to take the dogs outside, make them wear snow boots. Not only does it protect their paws, you’ll be distracted from how cold you are as watching dogs stumble through snow with boots on might just be the most entertaining thing in the world.

So…that’s kind of all I’ve got. Two tips totally constitutes a list…right? Right? Whatevs. It’s the cold’s fault.

On another note, I read a fabulous book in Arizona, entitled Where’d You Go, Bernadette?  The plot, characters and format (it’s written entirely in correspondence!) were all so incredibly fascinating. Bonus? It takes place in my fabulous hometown of Seattle. I read the entire thing in less than twenty-four hours and was beyond sad to come to the last page. I think the best part was the unpredictability of the story line — never in a million years would I have guessed the ending. (And I’m pretty skilled as guessing endings, if I do say so myself.)

Part of the novel involves Bernadette’s family taking a January cruise to Antarctica, during which they proceed to complain that it is eight degrees outside. Eight degrees? EIGHT DEGREES? I would kill for eight degrees right now!!!!

Welcome to Minnesota, a place where we’re actually jealous of Antarctica’s mild January weather.

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When a man loves a doggie

When a man loves a doggie 4

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A conversation between Scott and I this week.

Me: Do you think you’ll ever want to have kids?

Scott: I don’t know. Maybe after Jolie’s gone.

Me: Why then?

Scott: I just want to dedicate all my energy to giving that little girl the best life possible. It’s not often a dog like her comes along.

Me: I see.

Scott: Although I can’t imagine having a child that never got the chance to know Jolie. That would really be a shame.

Me: Quite the dilemma.

Scott: Yase. My instincts tell me it’s best to just focus on Jolie for now. I don’t want to ruin her quality of life now that she’s in her golden years.

*******

This, coming from the man who pretends to be embarrassed when I tell Jolie to “go see Daddy!” in front of other people. “She’s a dog, Katrina. I’m not her ‘daddy’.”

Heh. I’m gonna beg to differ on that one.

20140103-100732.jpg

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Peeing on quilts, and other messed up adventures

Peeing on quilts, and other messed up adventures 0

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As someone who travels somewhere via airplane at least once a month, you’d think I’d have figured out the scheduling thing by now.

And that’s where you’d be wrong.

In the summer of 2012, Scott and I went on seven different long-distance trips over the course of two months. While we had a lot of fun and made some incredible memories, we both promised we would never cram that much flying into such a short period of time again.

Eighteen months later, we’ve broken that promise. (Oh, how quickly we forget.)

We’ve arrived last night from spending the holidays in Seattle. This gives us 18 hours to unpack, clean, re-pack, work a full day and drive three hours back to the airport. When we return from Phoenix, we’ll be doing the same exact thing as I take off for a girls’ weekend in Duluth, arriving back just in time to leave for a week in Hawaii.

I know, I know…first world problems. Poor little me is stressed about three continental vacations and a trip to a tropical paradise. I get it. I’m being spoiled, ridiculous and a little bit lot indulgent.

But I’m also exhausted.

As if our turnaround to Phoenix wasn’t chaotic enough, Penny managed to throw a wrench in the delicate laundry timeline by urinating all over our down comforter and the brand new white quilt my mom sewed for our Christmas gift.

At half past midnight. (So much for her ‘no more accidents’ NY resolution.)

If you’ve never been awake at one in the morning, frantically trying to figure out how to remove dog piss from a $300 dry clean only goose feather comforter– well, let’s just say I’m really envious.

While I’m happy to report both the comforter and quilt have been salvaged (and sanitized), I didn’t get to sleep until 3:00 am. My house is a mess, neither Scott or I are packed, and I have a crazy day at work starting in approximately thirty minutes. Needless to say, I don’t really have time for a “real” blog post.

Instead, I’m phoning it in with a good old New Years stand by. I’ve taken a look at my blog analytics, and am excited to share with you my top 5 posts of 2013. (And yes, I could have taken the time to select my top 13 posts…if Penny hadn’t relieved herself all across the bed and ruined everything.)

1. A lesson from the naked spa

Honestly…I think this is number one because I have a lot of people from Asia who land on this page by Googling “naked ladies”. Still, it’s a fun post with a valuable message, if I do say so myself.

2. Goodwill Emperor

The time my dad fell asleep for six hours on a sofa at the Spanaway, WA Goodwill store.

3. Pimp my plaster (teeth)

The most ill-fated craft project ever. (AKA…Katrina tries to make a grill from her leftover dental molds.)

4. The litterbox chronicles

Trying (and failing) to litterbox train my chihuahua.

5. I had a dream

The original naked spa post. Complete with a Martin Luther King analogy!

******

I hope you enjoy the really messed up fruits of my 2013 labor. See you tomorrow for a somewhat more prepared post that doesn’t even mention dog pee once! (At least I hope not.)

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