28 June 2008

Moving on...

There have been so many positives in my life since I had my DS that it is impossible to keep count. This past week I truly became cognizant of one in particular, that of inner strength. I made a really "tough" decision this past week that I am going to execute this week. It's one that has been tugging at me for over a year and because of a myriad of things, I couldn't see the truth in a particular situation that I now do. It's not because I'm skinnier that I see it, it's because I've grown emotionally and have developed a stronger sense of self that I can now see myself and my life in a much more positive light and so must make some difficult decisions and do some things that I honestly would not have done had I not had my surgery. Life is funny and life is hard, but life is also filled with so much potential to be happy, but it sometimes requires going through some crap to get there. I won't be able to talk much about it until it's all said and done, but I will say that I am done with the crap and it's now time to move on to better things. I am reminded of that scene in Shawshank Redemption when Tim Robbin's character has to literally crawl through 1/2 a mile of shit to come clean on the other side, that's how I feel right now. I'm crawling through my last hundred yards and when I can see the sky and feel the cool breeze on the other side, I'll know that my life will instantly be better.

It's exciting stuff, y'all, exciting and scary at the same time. If I haven't said it lately, I love my DS!

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18 June 2008


The past few days I have been working from our main business office training our new employee. I'm glad to have someone to dump a lot of the production support work off of, but training can be a pain in the butt. Anyway, I made sure I packed enough food each day to make sure I had enough protein and ended up drinking more protein shakes than I would normally like. I'm almost through the 5 lb container I purchased less than 2 weeks ago and am going to order a couple more, but am going to get different flavors, kind of tired of banana. Luckily, I am home today so I can eat normally.

Got on the scale this morning and was surprised to see 244.6 lbs, that's another pound down, for a total loss of 272.0 lbs. So I guess the weight-loss is sticking. I'm amazed. Just 28 more lbs to go til I reach my final goal of 216.6 lbs. So, I'm at 102.0% EWL for Dr. Marchesini's goal and 90.7% EWL for my personal goal. Not too shabby. I know someone who had surgery close to the same time I did who weighed over 100 lbs less than me and I currently weigh less than they do. Normally, I try not to compare weight loss track records with anyone but this person was somewhat of an annoying know it all, so I can't help but feel a tiny bit of joy that I was able to catch up. On a related note, I'm only around 20-25 lbs heavier than my sister, S. Wow!

Ok, I'm hungry now, time to go eat!

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16 June 2008


Weight this morning: 245.6 lbs! Nope, that's not a typo, somehow I dropped 4 lbs overnight (total loss of 271.0 lbs) and I totally feel it though. This morning I was feeling really not myself, a little woozy, a little off center. By the time I stepped into the shower, I got that feeling that if I didn't get out of there immeditely and sit down, I'd pass out. I immediately hopped out the shower, drank my protein shake and ate a sandwich and only felt marginally better by the time I walked out the door 1/2 an hour later. I've had that feeling once before, almost a year ago when I almost passed out after a support group meeting. TMI Time: Aunt Flo is visiting and let's just say she brought A LOT of baggage. This is the 2nd time she's visited since I started taking the Dostinex for my prolactinoma. Ugh. I checked my blood pressure a few times today and it's averaging 85/64 range. A little low especially given my reduction in blood pressure meds. Anyway, I feel okay right now and won't panic or anything. I suspect my episode this morning is directly due to all this or due to the loss in water weight. The water weight may have artificially inflated my blood pressure and now that most of it's gone, my blood pressure is finally reading true. I do NOT care. I see 245.6 on the scale and I'm claiming it!!! I've eaten a couple more times this morning and feel much better, but my BP is still low, the last reading was 76/59. My next doctor's appointment is on the 30th so fingers crossed that this will be the end of BP meds for me.

I am exhausted though, I couldn't really sleep last night. Anyway, so I'm at Dr. Marchesini's goal. Holy crap. I haven't had the time to really sit and reflect or maybe I don't really feel like I need to. I'm not done yet. There are a few more pounds yet to be lost. I will be sending Dr. M a heartfelt email sometime this week, but that is as far as it goes. Sometimes I am amazed at the women that I've become, not because of anything I did, but because I don't look or feel like the old me and I think I'm okay with that. For a spell there, I was really struggling with not being the "Tia" I had become accustomed to and it caused me a good deal of anxiety and stress, many times without me recognizing it. I knew this was going to be the thing that I would struggle the most with. I think I've made some strides. I'm coming up on my 2 year anniversary and although at this point, I haven't lost all the weight I've wanted, but I think I've had the journey I've needed to have, I hope I've learned at least some of the things I needed to learn, especially for the long term.

On a lighter note, one thing that kinda sucks (but doesn't) about losing almost 25 lbs of water weight in under two weeks, I now have nothing to wear. The shorts I bought at the end of April are too big. I now look pitiful in my 2X t-shirts -- I don't know why I still wear them or why I bought one as recently as a three weeks ago. I'm planning my trip in early September so I think I can hold out til then for the most part. At worst I may have to buy a couple pairs of shorts and maybe 2-3 shirts. That shouldn't break the bank!

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15 June 2008


Dr. Marchesini's goal, that is! Yeah, baby, yeah! 250 is the number Dr. M. told me I'd lose to and that I'd be a success. I have officially met and exceeded that goal! This morning, I hit an all-time low, 249.6 lbs! Yea! That's a loss of 2.4 lbs since yesterday, 20.4 lbs in 12 days (mostly water) and a grand total of 267 lbs loss. Woo-hoo! I feel like I've broken through a barrier. It seems like I've been on the brink since early April when I got down to 251.2 lbs, but then I went home on vacation, came back and was sick for like 2+ weeks, then my dad had his accident & surgery and I wasn't eating like I should, etc, etc. and I gained like 20+ lbs of freakin' water. Once I got my mind right and back on track -- getting my protein in -- the water weight really started to drop. I mean, 20.4 lbs in 12 days is craziness and to think I had been lugging that around. It's a little scary too to think that my body is that sensitive to protein deficiencies and it wasn't like I was getting no protein in, I was probably in the 70-100g range, which isn't great, but not horrible, but it wasn't enough. I think for me, I maybe absorb more like 35-40% of the protein I eat versus the 50% or so that is often mentioned in Duodenal Switch circles. I have a short common channel (65 cm) and I think a good bit of my small bowel bypassed (over 45%) so I most likely tend toward needing much more protein than the average DSer. I easily get in over 100g before noon. That will be my life, I just have to accept it and let me tell you, it's a heckuva lot easier to accept choking down protein shakes everyday for the rest of my life than living a much shorter life being 500 lbs.

I sort of indirectly mentioned it yesterday, but I am officially changing my goal weight to 216.6 lb as far as pre-plastics are concerned. I want to lose as much fat as I can PLUS I want to add some muscle so I figure I can do that much more safely in the 210's than sub 200. I'm just worried that losing down to 199, I would be losing fat AND muscle which would not be good since my muscle tone sucks right now anyway. I'd rather be fit, strong and healthy at 216 than weak, skinny and sickly at 199.

Happy Father's Day to all the dad's out there. I will be calling mine today. He is doing so much better, he's back to driving and getting out on his own and he's back to cracking jokes about mom so I know he's almost back to normal. I'm hoping to get down there sometime in late Summer, but I do have a trip to my alma mater in early September so we'll see. The trip back to my alma mater is important because I have to go thank my mentor and tell her what a positive influence she's been to me, the football game, etc. is secondary to that.

No tennis clinic today, that starts next week so I am going to go practice my serve and backhands, then it's off to BP's house to setup for a couple of new employees we have starting on Monday.

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14 June 2008

Maybe he was right....

Y'know....now that I've lost around 18 freakin' pounds of water weight (252 lbs this AM) in like a week and a half, I took a good hard look at myself this morning. Maybe I am playing mental games with myself again, but sometimes I get a good look at myself and don't think I need to lose that much more weight. I looked at myself this morning right out of the shower and I've noticed two things, one, I do not have a lot of muscle tone and (2) I have a helluva lot of excess skin. I mean, A LOT, more than I realized. I wish I could weigh my excess skin to know how much it is so that I'd know if I needed to lose more weight or not. My legs are the biggest problem. Today I stood in one leg of some pre-surgery shorts and could easy walk around the house like I was wearing a skirt. Not too long ago, maybe a couple of months, I could still get in the one pant leg, but it was a little difficult walking because it was snug. I had some serious thunder thighs, if I were a braver person, I'd show you a picture of them, but I ain't so you'll have to just imagine the horror. Today, they are horrible for a totally different reason. When I stand and put my leg on a stool, there is a like a curtain of skin and fat hanging down, it looks like you could just lop it all off and it'd weight 25 lbs or something. Because there is still a good bit of fat on both my legs and some on my whole body, it compels me to want to lose more weight. My weight loss window allegedly close a couple of months ago, but we'll see about that. Maybe Dr. Marchesini was right, maybe 250 lbs is right for me given that I have sooooo much excess skin. I dunno, it's so confusing. I'm sticking to my relatively new plan of just hitting the 300 lbs loss mark at 216.6 lbs, roughly 35 lbs away. I think that will put me in size 16 jeans, I doubt I'll change too much on top unless my boobs get flatter. I know I will see 199, but it will probably have to wait til post plastics. My goal is to reach 216.6 by the end of the year, truthfully, I'd like to see it by mid-Autumn, if not earlier, depending on how this month goes. Truthfully at this point, I just want to be out of the !@#$-ing 250's! Enough already! In fact, I want to be out of the !@#$-ing 250's and blow right past the 240's into the 230's. The 250's seem way too close to 300 for my liking. 239 would make me so happy! In due time, Tia, in due time.

So tonight should be interesting, just got off the phone with my business partner and she sounds like she's on the brink of having a meltdown. Sigh. Luckily it has nothing to do with me so I'm in the clear on that regard. Whew. BUT I know I'll have to do some soothing. Ugh. I wish she wouldn't look at everything as a freakin' personal affront. Good gried, y'know, sometimes people just disagree with you because they just think differently, not because they hate you... ***rolling eyes ****

After I ranted about not really wanting to run the 10K on the 4th, I got my cool race packet. Kinda makes me want to run it, but only a little bit. I'm thinking I just might turn it in which reserves me a spot next year. I'm just not in the mood or shape to run this year and frankly, I'd rather play tennis as we all know it's my latest obsession. I just got a kick-ass deal on 100+ used, but in great condition, tennis balls and a wire ball hopper. This way I can more easily practice on my own without having to chase balls every 2 minutes. Right now, I have around 18 tennis balls which means I can only practice 18 serves in a row or 18 forehands because then I have to walk to the other side of the court, collect the 18 balls and do it again. Now, all that changes. The best part is that it only cost me $40! I got a great deal, makes me happy!

Well, time to go drink a protein shake, watch a little TV and wait for BP to call...good times.

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11 June 2008

Oh, the pain!

This morning I woke up with a side stitch, like the kind of thing you get after running, that sharp pain in your side that makes you almost double over and prevents you from taking a deep breath. Sucks. This is the second time it's happened in a month. The cure is to press hard on the area with both hands and expand your abdomen out as much as possible. It takes a few minutes, but it works.

I was scanning through OH earlier and something caught my eye, a lady was talking about how she always weighs less later in the day than in the morning. This concept fascinates me. I don't think I have ever weighed less later in the day than what I weighed at my final weigh-in in the morning. NEVER. Now, I have weighed a pounds or so less after rigorous exercise, but not less than what I weighed when I got up. With all the water & food consumed, I don't see how it's possible....Oh well.

Weight continues to fall, down to 255.8 lbs, down 1.8 lbs from yesterday. Good stuff. Hoping to blow past where I was (251.2) and head right down into the 240's and 230's. Been averaging 250+ grams of protein, 60g carbs and almost 3000 calories a day....crazy, but it's working!

Random thought: I need to eat more vegetables. I hardly eat any. I don't think pickles count...


10 June 2008

Twinkle, Twinkle

It's amazing what a little (ok, a lot) of protein can do. Weight this morning, 257.6 lbs, down around 13 lbs in a week. Geez. I've been getting in 250+ grams of protein for the past 6 days and will maintain that level for the month. My pipe dream is to be in the mid-230's by the end of the month, but that might be too ambitious. My suspicion is that my normal protein level is around 180-200 once I lose the rest of this water weight. My problem is that I was letting it go sub 125 or so, or at least that's what I am thinking. When I was home in Texas, I maybe was eating protein 2-3 times a day instead of my usual 5-7 times a day. It wasn't until my last couple of days there that that changed.

Went to practice tennis this afternoon when I should have been running or something. Ugh. I am sooo not looking forward to the 10K I gotta do in a month. Not at all. I'd rather not be bothered, but I made a commitment and will do it. Running is DEFINITELY not for me, part of the reason why I think that is because I do believe I am still too heavy, that, or too awkward. My excess skin between my thighs is just too much in the way. I'm thinking/considering picking up another activity, something in a different arena, maybe a martial art or something. I haven't decided yet.

I'm on cloud nine right now, my grand-niece just sang "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" to me on the phone....the kid couldn't be cuter.

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09 June 2008


94° Blazing hot again, but honestly, it feels good to be hot instead of constantly cold. I went out at lunch and practiced my serve. Gosh, it is hard. I totally suck at it, it's such an unnatural motion for me. Oh well, just gotta keep practicing. I got drenched in sweat again, feels good.

On a related note, I called the Tennis Club where I take my lessons and asked them about memberships. This particular place is a little unique because the Tennis Club membership is an add-on to the Social/Fitness Club/Pool membership. Anyway, I almost fell out my chair when the lady told me how much it was... $3500 initiation fee + $110 per month. WTF?!? That's craziness! Ain't no way I'm paying that much money for no tennis. If I didn't have to pay the $3500, I might consider it because they do have an awesome Fitness Center and it's less than 5 minutes from my house, but c'mon! The $110 includes USTA & ALTA team fees, but does not include ball machine rentals which I really want to use 2-4 times a week! Uh, no. My other option is good old Public Parks Tennis Center. It costs $325 per year, no initiation fee, it also includes USTA & ALTA team fees and FREE use of the ball machine! The facilities aren't as posh and there aren't as many tennis courts, but I don't think it's a big deal. Guess which one I'm probably going with?

Anyway, it seems the added exercise and heat are having an effect on my weight, it's down to around 260 or so, that's almost 10 lbs in under a week. I wish it were moving faster, but am happy it's moving at all! I'm hoping by the end of the month, I will be at a new all-time low. I'm also keeping an eye on my carbs, I haven't broken free of cheese or low-carb tortillas since the carb cravings are so high, as soon as I can maintain steady blood sugar and the carb monster is calmed, I will phase them out.

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08 June 2008


Holy Smokes, 'twas hot outside...and being on a blazing tennis court made the heat worse. Tennis was AWESOME, of course. I'm doing so much better now, in fact, my instructor thinks I should join the Tennis club and have greater access to courts, etc. Awesome. Post-tennis, I was in much pain...I should have kept myself busy instead of trying to take a nap...it seemed like everything aches and I'm totally pooped out. There were only 4 students out there today so I did about 50% more running around than I usually do, I sweated through my bra & t-shirt, it's rare than I get to do that, but it did feel good to feel somewhat active, and dare I say athletic.

Next week (Father's Day), we have off and then we start Level 2 the following week. I got a t-shirt after class that has the Tennis Club's name on it...it's a large. :)

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So I've gone back to my old design, I kinda missed it and I think it better fits my weather and mood. Anyway, I've started like 15 posts over the last week, but haven't actually posted anything. Seems like there is always something popping up to distract me and I'm easily distract-able. I had a doctor's appointment Monday to get labs done, it's been awhile and I'm still trying to figure out why I tend to retain so much water. Monday morning, I weighed in at 270 or so, today it's down to 263. It's frustrating because the day I got back from Texas I weighed in at 253 and that was at night and I'm always 5-6 lbs heavier during the day than when I weigh post-poop in the AM. I have no idea what my true weight is, I'm guessing somewhere in the mid 240's because I first weighed 250-ish way back in early April.

If I weren't retaining so much water right now, I'd probably be 95% happy with my weight loss to be totally honest. Losing 265+ lbs is no small feat, so I feel like a success in that regard, but with water weight and feeling it in my legs and abdomen, it makes me feel fat, which is something I do not want to feel. I know it's a protein problem and it's a difficult one to manage. Subconsciously I haven't accepted the fact that I do need to drink 2-3 protein shakes a day, I just can't get by on food alone. Sucks, but I just have to accept it, which is a difficult, I can be hard-headed at times. The goal is still sub-200 lbs. I've become a bit comfortable lately and have lost a bit of the fire I had, that happens when you're close to 2 years out. I know my DS still works, my poop tells me so, so it's just a matter of getting the fire back again and making better decisions. I have this little placard on the wall in my office that reads "CHOOSE BETTER - 199.0". I've been ignoring it lately, but need to drill it in my brain. I'm drinking my three 50+ gram shakes a day and eating three small meals averaging around 250+ grams of protein a day. I'm also making my way through a gallon of water and trying to keep my carbs below 50.

At my Dr.'s appointment, she agreed with me and reduced my BP meds and I feel so much better. No more lightheadedness when I stand up. When they checked it was 100/60 which is around what I had gotten when I checked myself a couple weeks ago, the lowest was 92/54. I'm hoping to be off the meds completely at some point this year. It's the one thing that I'm a little bit disappointed in because I hear about so many people getting of their blood pressure medication soon after surgery, for me, such was not the case, but I know it'll happen in due time.

I have two pairs of size 16 Medium pants that I acquired from a clothes exchange after one of my support group meetings. I can barely get them on but can not zip nor button them. What a freakin' trip. It just boggles the mind that I will soon be wearing a size 16! Craziness. It doesn't even seem real. The crazy part is that my thunder thighs actually fit in the pants, they were tight, but they fit. I wonder how they'll fit after I get rid of the water weight, hopefully by the end of the month.

Today, I have the last lesson of my tennis clinic, but do not fear, the second clinic, I believe, starts immediately afterwards. It's supposed to be 96° today. I'm loving it since I'm usually freezing.

Jules asked about a typical food day for me before surgery and I'm assuming a typical day before I ever thought about surgery and here it goes. I was a big eater and I loved to eat. Okay, typical day...one of my favorite things for breakfast were bacon, egg and cheese burritos. I would fry up 4 slices of thick sliced bacon and put it aside, then I would scramble 3 eggs in the bacon grease and put that aside, I would then heat up two large flour tortillas in any residual bacon grease or additional butter and then assemble two burritos each with 2 slices of bacon, 1/2 of the scrambled eggs and 2 slices of cheese. For lunch, I might have a super-sized fast food meal, like a double quarter pounder with cheese - super-sized or some similar variation. For dinner, I loved pasta and rice and lots of it so it was usually some variation of that. Sometimes, I would just repeat breakfast. Of course there were snacks, I may have a candy bar or two throughout the day, chips, cookies from the vending machine, etc. I have long given up soft drinks with sugar so that wasn't something I gained weight on.

What really did me in was what I would do on the weekends. Weekends for me were times where I spend them on the coach in a carb-induced coma. After work on Fridays, I would go to the grocery store and buy a varying array of crap, a couple of dozen Krispy Kremes, a pie, two 1/2 gallon of ice cream or something like that. I would then spend Friday night to Sunday night on my couch watching TV, this was especially the case during lonelier times. I can still remember, quite vividly, what the carb-fog felt like, almost like semi-consciousness, being awake, but not. I definitely know why I got fat, not a mystery at all. The problem was exacerbated by my chronic anemia which I was not vigilant about keeping in check. I frankly did not have the energy to do anything besides what I needed to do. Those two things were near deadly for me, but still in the first 7 years I had been in Atlanta, I gained maybe 50-60 lbs to around 450 or so. It wasn't until I started by business that the weight piled on big time. When I started at a startup company, with two years, I gained to like 485, but by the time I started my own company I had gotten down to maybe 440 or so and that was in March 2005, by the time I had my DS in Aug 2006, I had gained almost 80 lbs from spending almost every waking hour at my computer grazing and snacking all day long. Horrible. That got me to over 500+ lbs. The scary thing is that without my DS, I'm afraid to even think what kind of condition I would be in. God only knows. I never thought I was near death when I weighed 500 lbs, but I saw myself as being on the brink of being homebound, unable to do for myself. I could easily be a 600+ lb diabetic by now, instead I'm sitting here in a size large t-shirt and a pair of size 18 shorts anxiously awaiting the time for me to run out the door for my tennis lesson!

I'm so, so very grateful I was able to have my surgery. I know I am an extremely atypical weight loss surgery patient. Not too many of us get that big, in fact I'm currently just 10-20 lbs below where most people seem to start off! I just went another giant pile of clothes yesterday to take to Goodwill and was reminded of just how big I was, I won't sit here and say I had forgotten how big, but it's becoming less and less familiar to me. It's only when I am confronted with remnants of my old self (pictures, clothes, etc.) that I am reminded just how far I've come. Just 60-70 more lbs and I'll be done!

On the supplements front, I'd recently ordered some Upcal-D. I love this stuff and it's much less expensive than going through 4-5 bottles of the Twinlab chewables a month. I drop a scoop in my protein shakes and or sugar-free drink and I'm good to go! The only problem is that it seems to not have the amount of elemental calcium it is purported to have. Sucks! I can go back to the Chewables, but maybe I'll just rotate the two.

Anyway, enough rambling for now for me, once I get started, it's hard to stop...especially when I haven't posted in awhile.

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01 June 2008

Double Fault

I'm happy to report that I did look quite cute Thursday night...but I ended not going to the thing. A good friend of mine who had planned to go, but who had to stay home that night because his wife was out of town and had to watch his daughter, had a small gathering of friends for a Lost Party. So we have large anxiety-filled social gathering where I may not know anyone on one hand or a small gathering at a good friend's house on the other hand...needless to say, I opted for the smaller gathering and I'm glad I did. It was so much fun and I felt so at ease and so normal. I didn't feel like the big blob in the room and I have a new wow to report. Y'know how normal people sit on the floor cross-legged and are able to perform this smooth, swift motion of standing stand up? I totally did that! It was awesome, I actually surprised myself AND when I got home, first thing I did was sit on the floor cross-legged and got up again just in case I was imagining it! I love my DS! Anywho, that was one of the best episodes of television I've ever seen, by the way. That dang show is gonna give me a complex...

Anyway, I had a great day yesterday. I've been mulling over redecorating my bedroom and bathroom and I had gotten a couple of things last weekend, but yesterday I went shopping again and got pretty much everything I needed except for paint and window curtains. Those two things I will probably need to let simmer in my brain a little and maybe spend a little time looking at design magazines. My walls are not white, but a neutral light, light tannish with more yellow tones than brown. I don't like them anymore, I want to keep them neutral -- well, at least most of them -- but I want warmer, browner tones. I am planning on painting an accent wall, I've always wanted a chocolate brown wall, but that not actually work with the color scheme. I'm going with warmer reds, golds, browns, tans, etc. I really like my choices so far and tomorrow I will start working on it. I would be doing that now, but I'm stuck at my computer processing reams of pricing updates for work. YAWN.

I also went grocery shopping and got plenty of good food to eat, I am all about the clean eating and I mean super clean, not even cheese or Dreamfield's pasta or low carb tortillas or bread. Nope, it's all out the door!

Today, I had my tennis lesson and it was so much FUN. The last lesson, I missed, they learned how to serve so I totally sucked at it, it's an almost unnatural motion and the ball tossing part is tricky. It'll take some time before I can toss the ball in the air consistently in the same trajectory. I worked up a good sweat too and even found myself running around and hitting some balls that I never thought I'd be fleet-footed enough to get. Awesomeness. This particular tennis clinic ends next week, then a phase II beginner's class starts for another 5 or so weeks. Our instructors said we are not really ready for the weekly drill sessions they have so I'll take their words for it, but hopefully near the end of phase II, I can pick up a weekly drill session and maybe by the fall I'll be able to join a team. Now that I know the people in my class a little more, the social aspect of it is emerging and making it that much more enjoyable. My dormant competitive nature is waking making me more compelled to sneak in an extra practice session here and there. I hate sucking and it feels so good to hit the ball right and not have it sail over the fence or nearly take someone's eye out two courts over. What?!? Me?....never...:)

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