20-year Fruit Embargo Ends

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I have always liked the taste of oranges, but the smell is another story altogether. If the orange was already pealed or cut, I had no problem partaking in the citrus, but if I were the person who had to peel or cut said piece of fruit, I just wouldn’t do it. I didn’t like the fruit THAT much. For this reason, it was about 20 years since I really ate oranges with any regularity. I remember distinctly sitting in grade school after peeling an orange for breakfast (and washing my hands twice) that I could still smell the orangey smell on my skin. Ick. It seems that no matter how much I washed my hands, I could still smell it, and it grossed me out.

Bananas and I have a different history. I have always loved bananas, but the year I turned 25, bananas didn’t return the affection. I started getting the worst stomach cramps I had ever experienced after eating just one banana. Since I was in Ukraine when this started happening, I assumed it was the Ukrainian bananas. I was wrong. After returning state-side, bananas were still off the table, literally. I would be doubled over for an entire afternoon after eating just 1 banana. No one could explain it, so I gave up even trying to eat them, despite wanting to.

Many people thought my animosity toward oranges and bananas were ill-founded and just bizarre. I get it. Most people love the smell of oranges and can eat bananas without health concern. I couldn’t.

In 2013, I decided to tackle my relationship with these two pieces of fruit. For oranges, it stemmed from fruit diversity in the winter – I couldn’t face eating just apples every day. I decided to give oranges a try (again). After all of these years, I still love the taste and I can still smell it on my skin. Instead of avoiding oranges, I have just decided to get obsessive with scrubbing my hands post-peeling. (Peel, scrub, scrub, sniff, scrub, scrub, sniff, scrub, scrub, scrub). It seems to be working. For bananas, I bought 1 banana and I cut it into thirds. I blended the third with my morning smoothie, and so far so good. It seems I can handle small amounts of bananas blended. I have not yet graduated to just eating a third of banana – I want to give it time.

I am pretty happy with the overall outcome of ending the fruit embargo. I am sure once spring and summer fruits make an appearance, I will once again drop these two fruits, but for now, reintroducing them is working quite well.

She Gone and Done It

After what could be considered the most stressful hour and a half of 2013, I am proud to announce I am officially registered for the Marine Corps Marathon 2013 (MCM)!  <Cars screech to a halt> Say what? Yep. I did it. I said I was going to register, and (with the help of four friends on varying electronic devices) I did.

Oh. You want the incredibly stressful backstory? I am happy to oblige!

On March 27, 2013, I was sitting at my computer in my apartment watching the minutes  slowly tick by. At exactly noon, I pushed the “Register Now!” button on the MCM website which took me to Active.com. Active asked me to sign in, and that is when all hell broke loose. I guess 40,000 of my closest running friends across the world were also sitting at their computers at exactly noon on March 27 trying to register for MCM as well. I got error message after error message.

My two friends who were with me frantically tried to log onto Active.com via cell phones and ipads. Nothing. I was literally starting to sweat. 12:15. Couldn’t even load the MCM webpage. 12:30. Error messages kept popping up on my screen. I was almost ready to give up hope…and then my friend was able to get into the Active website to enter all of my information! Hark!  A sigh of relief flooded over me, and I thought it was going to be smooth sailing… I was wrong.

I entered my credit card information, hit “submit,” and…error message. I was devastated. I thought: Will I need to enact “Operation MCM Plan B” – to start training for the race and then buy a registration from someone in August? That was not ideal, but it was plausible.  I was sick of all of the different error messages I saw – there had to have been at least six different ones!

Meanwhile, my friends across the country were also trying to register and I was frantically texting and calling them. One had luck and was registered! (There was hope!)The others were still dealing with error messages and network problems. I refreshed my credit card information for half an hour to no avail – I never received a confirmation from Active that I was registered.

My friend who was able to register called me and offered to try on my behalf. I swear she had a magic computer because in what seemed like no time at all (and with minimal error messages) she was able to register me for the race! Wait, what? I WAS REGISTERED FOR A MARATHON!

Who knew that registering was going to be part of the training? Not I! But now that the registration battle is behind me, the real work begins. My next mission is to find a training plan that works for me, so stay tuned for my research!