Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What if...

My Mother's tomato plants which I got to see all weekend at home hanging out with her. Homegrown organic tomatoes - love it!

What if you could just step right into someone else's shoes for awhile without anyone knowing? Wouldn't that be a trip?

Would you do it? Who would it be?

How great would it be to just be one of your favorite pro's for a day? You would get to see how they train, relax, eat and socialize? I think I would try on Chrissy Wellington, our current I.M. World Champion. I'm willing to bet that behind that huge smile on race day lies absolutely jaw dropping, wicked, leg burning, huffing and puffing workouts on a daily basis that would make the rest of us look like we are out for a tiptoe among the tulips! Not to say we aren't working hard out here on the age-group side, just to say that she seems to function at another level that I would love to get a glimpse of for just a day or so! Try it on for size!

The reason I ask is because I got a little trip this past week into a different person. Sounds weird right?! Trust me, it was. Little did I know when I embarked to what I thought was a dermatologist (which was not) my life for a week would be drastically different. As it turned out, I went to see an Optometrist MD that does certain aesthetic procedures (and she doesn't even do them herself - a medical "esthetician" does them!) When I met with her last Tuesday, she made it seem like not such a big deal to get a chemical peel to help with my acne and remove some of the scarring from over the years. Um.. yeah.. not so much.

She did give me the caveat:

- No sun

- No excessive exercise (hummm.. I think that's all I do..wait lady, did you hear me say I'm a triathlete??)

- No peeling the skin off NO MATTER WHAT

Wednesday wasn't so bad..just a shiny face and a strange feeling that my whole face was sucking in on itself. Thursday it started to bubble up and large pieces of skin started turning black. Friday was an all out disaster. My lips were swelled, my face was so tight I couldn't open my mouth very wide (aka..not too much eating..especially of anything over a 1 inch diameter), and I generally looked like I had leprosy or some sort of extreme skin condition.

Going into the office was fun.

I was going up the stairs to avoid as many people as possible. I refused to go anywhere in public..

Because of the starring. Yes, the starring was incredible. I have never experienced starring of such blatant proportions. You would have thought I had two heads.

So, for the past week I got to experience life a little differently. Occasionally, I've seen someone with a massive birthmark on their face, or a burn and I try to be really careful not to make them feel uncomfortable. Well, you know what kids, that's just about impossible. You probably don't even realize you're doing it but the quick look and look away is just as noticeable as the "all out" stare method.

Either way, I think I will be more sensitive about this issue than I ever could be otherwise without this experience. It affected my workouts, my life, my self-esteem and even made me worry it was doing permeant damage because it was not supposed to be that severe.

The good news is I'm seeing a real dermatologist this week to get my very red and blotchy (no more peeling) face seen to be sure this whole experience didn't do damage for life. I hope not. It peeled twice, which was fun and also unexpected by this Medi-spa Doctor as I like to call her. I'm not happy with her, or with the place. I think both severely underestimated my skin, my life and this whole endeavor. They said three days - HA.. try 7 and it's still not over.

I'm finally back to working out and even though I'm as red as a beet, I'm very happy to be mostly back to normal.

So, my suggestion is - DON"T get a chemical peel no matter how good they make it sound. Seriously, just don't do it! It's not worth it.

I have pictures, but I'm not posting them. Just know it was awful.

Although it was a good experience to learn how to be so compassionate to others with these issues, I think I'll pass on trying it again if at all possible.

I hope everyone had a good weekend. I spent mine as a hermit, inside and not seeing anyone!

Quick shout out to my friend Beth Shutt who placed third in the 30-34 at age-group nationals! Way to go Beth! Next weekend - Ironman Louisville. There are 25 people from Pittsburgh going down..! I can't wait to watch how things go!

Happy Training from the red-faced girl!

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