Thursday, December 14, 2017

Runner's Fit & Fueled Course

Disclosure: I have been granted access to the Runner's Fit & Fueled course for free in exchange for promotion. I make a small commission for any sales made using my discount code.

“If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten. ”
When you start thinking about your new Year resolutions, it's a good idea to reflect back on what has worked for you in the past and what has not. I love the above quote from Tony Robbins because a lot of times we keep trying the same old things and are surprised we get the same old results.

Sometimes we need to shake things up. Learn something new. Try something new. That is why I am taking part of the Runner's Fit and Fueled course from my blogging buddy Mommy Runs Fast. It's a month long course where you will learn how to fuel for optimal running performance.



If you want to be a better runner, learning about proper nutrition for runners is a key component.

There's a difference between nutrition for fat loss, nutrition for muscle building and nutrition for running performance. If you want to learn how to get the most of your nutrition to feel and perform your best, this course promises the answers.

I'll be following along in January because as a running coach, nutrition coach and runner I eat this stuff up (pun intended). I am excited to see what this course has to offer.

Want to join me? Use discount code LEAG at checkout for $5 off the course cost which is only $39.00 until December 15th. All the fun begins on January 2nd. See you there!





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Keep Running,

Lea

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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Tuesday Tails Furry Feature! Scuttle & Scout

Welcome to the latest edition of Tuesday Tails Furry Feature when I introduce you to the furriest four-legged runners on the internet (and their human). This week I am thrilled for you to meet Gwen and her four-pawed pacers from Fargo, ND, Scuttle & Scout. Sounds like the latest dance craze.

Hi, Gwen. Tell us a little bit about your favorite running partners? 

Scuttle is a a four year old lab Rott mix. He is a rescue dog and has been running with me for about two years. Scout is a two year old German Shepherd mix. He has been running with me for about a year he too is a rescue


Where is your favorite place to run with your pooch? 

We like to run the paths along the river.

Have you ever raced with your dog?

Scuttle has done several races with me including the Sandy's Donut Run and the Furgo. Scout has only done one 5k with me.



Tell us about a running moment that made you proud.

I've been a pacer for several years. It makes me so happy to get people across the finish line in their goal time. It is so great to see someone finish their first half...especially when they didn't think they could. 



What running (or life) lesson can we learn from our dogs? 

Life is short, make the most out pf every day. Let the people you care about know it.




Do you want to tell us anything else about you or running with your dog? 

Having a dog means you always have a training partner. It's super important to keep an eye on their paws and to make sure they aren't overheating. Dogs will follow you until they are sick or hurt. You need to take care of them.


Thanks Gwen for sharing your running fur babies with us!

You can follow Gwen, Scuttle and Scout on Instagram

A post shared by Gwen Mars (@marsgwen) on


Do you run with your dog? I'd love to feature you and your running partner in a future post! Fill out your answers to the questions here and follow the instructions to submit your images!

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Keep Running,

Lea

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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The Death of #GIRLBOSS, the Rise of #WOMENENTREPRENEURS

One of my pet peeves is the #ladyboss #bossbabe #girlboss trend. I love when women start and run their own businesses, there is just something about the label that makes me cringe. I think it is because of the strong women I know who are actually bosses in successful companies and corporations would never hashtag #girlboss on the outside of their office. It seems to be a term used by wanna-be girl bosses on the internet. Actual successful bosses who happen to also be women are less concerned about labels and hashtags and more concerned about getting shit stuff done. Besides have you ever seen the hashtag #boyboss? I'd rather look up to a woman entrepreneur than a girl boss. Is it just me?

I love meeting kick-ass women entrepreneurs. I get so much inspiration from meeting ladies who run their own businesses on their own terms. Whether they run a part-time business to pay off debt, to make some extra spending money or a full-time business to support a family of six, I always want to learn from the people who are following their dreams, taking risks and making a difference in their own lives and the lives of others.

I had the opportunity this week from a connection with an old friend to set up a booth at the NTX ladies of Real Estate Holiday Sip & Shop to promote my personal training and running coaching services. It was a fun experience, a great opportunity to meet other local business owners and get my business name out there.

I had a great time and I wanted to introduce you to some of the amazing women entrepreneurs I met while I was there. There were ladies who ran network marketing businesses, creative businesses, product-based businesses and service businesses. No matter how you choose to inspire the world through your small business, I want to support you. If you don't live near Keller, TX and couldn't attend the event, most of these ladies have websites, Etsy shops and Facebook pages so I invite you to do a little small business shopping online.

Welcome to the North Texas Ladies of Real Estate Sip & Shop Event.



Perfect. Thanks for letting me know.

I set up a little booth to promote my training business. One thing to note is that people don't buy personal training on a whim. Usually by the time someone comes around to hiring a coach or a trainer they likely put a lot of thought and research into it. It's not the kind of thing where you see a booth at a fair and sign up. My presence there was more about meeting people and getting my name out there.

I printed out copies of my Eight Minute No-Excuses No-Equipment Holiday Hustle workout for people to take and try at home. I also had fun fitness questions where people could test their fitness knowledge and win a small prize for correct answers. I gave out some #sweatpink shoe laces and had a great time.

I will say that some people seemed hesitant to even make eye contact with me once they saw what my booth was promoting. Maybe they've seen too many episodes of the Biggest Loser with Jillian Michaels' in-your-face style training. I think next time I need to hang a sign that promises I won't yell at you, send you on a guilt trip or try to convince you to do anything you are not inclined to do. Hah.

I'm here to help and answer questions. My goals is to always meet people where they are and help in whatever way I can. Maybe I can answer a question about health or nutrition or you can subscribe to my fitness blog for free. Nothing scary about that. Right? I promise, no forced burpees.

my "nice lady" face.




I'll start with Leslie and Lisa from Pickled Picasso in Keller, TX. They host painting events where you can get together with friends and actually paint something that doesn't look like your three-year-old did it, even with no prior painting skills. My favorite thing they offer is a paint your pet event the last Sunday of every month from 4-6PM. Who thinks I need to paint Ollie? When I told hubs about the paint your pet event, he thought for a second I meant, paint ON your pet. That wouldn't go over so well with Ollie. Hah.

Lisa is the manager of Pickled Picasso in Keller, TX

Next I met Mary who is the Mother of three boys and looks way too well-put-together for someone with three young boys. I have one boy husband and one boy dog and it is overwhelming. She sells those wildly popular and oh-so-soft leggings (and tons of other clothing) from LuLaRoe.


Leggings for Days!

From a purely observational standpoint, I think Jessica's "The Front Door" booth of creative custom Christmas wreaths was the biggest hit of the night. I didn't get a chance to talk to her much because she was so busy. She is not in the picture because she was in the hallway glueing legs on wreaths and fulfilling orders.

So cute. Right?



I was standing across from Sheila all night as she sold her makeup and skincare lines from Senegence. This girl can sell. She's a beautiful walking billboard with smooth skin to prove it.


My booth neighbors were Jennifer and Melissa. As far as neighbors go, they were top notch! They didn't have loud parties or blow their leaves in my yard.



Jennifer has a cute Minnesota accent and she makes this awesome organic face cleanser and moisturizer. I loved learning a little about her story. You can check it out in her Etsy shop Little Bits for You Shop




Melissa is the designer and artist from Upgraded Life Handmade and has super-human creative talents. 
Yes, please. 


My other booth neighbor was Amber from Pure Romance. She's your go-to-gal for all your sexy and good-smelly (that's a word, right?) holiday gifts. 



I wish I would have had more time to talk to Kristi the jewelry designer behind Kris Cross. Her jewelry was beautiful and would make a great holiday gift. (hint hint to my friends and family)



Andrea from Monat was selling hair care with natural-based ingredients. Due to my current obsession with hair products, I am pretty sure she should be my new best friend. 


We finish off with beautiful pottery and clay art by local artist Kashmira Mistry!




A big thank you to my friend Dee Dee Fletcher Taylor who was the host of the event with NTX Ladies of Real Estate. We worked together at two separate apparel companies in Dallas throughout the years (and both managed to escape). I even adopted her dog many moons ago when she had to find him a new home. We go waaay back. Thanks, DeeDee for the opportunity to meet all these fantastic #girlbosses #womenentrepreneurs.



Thanks to the event's sponsors

Corin Insurance - Katie Sanford along with Amanda Beat
Bayshore Mortgage - Cynthia Cortopassi Porter
Freedom Title - Amy Hamilton and Tiffany Williams Thompson
Berkshire Hathaway Worldwide - DeeDee Fletcher Taylor


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Saturday, December 2, 2017

The Ultimate Coffee Date: December

Happy Saturday friends! I am teaming up Deborah and Coco for another edition of the Ultimate Coffee Date. Who doesn't love a good cup of coffee? I wish we could meet in real life (IRL as the kids say) so pour a cup of Joe, pull up a chair and let's chat...

If we were having coffee, I'd tell you about.... NTX Ladies of Real Estate Sip & Shop

This past week I set up a booth at a local "sip and shop" event to promote my personal training and running coaching services. It was a lot of fun to connect with people and meet some of the other small business owners in my area. Did I walk away with a dozen new clients? No. But training is not an impulse buy. It was more about meeting people and getting my name out more in the local community. I am more well-known online than in my own town, so it's time to change that. It was funny that when people would walk by and see my booth, they would immediately break eye contact and run away. I think they were afraid I would make them drop and give me 20? Ha Ha. I felt like I should be yelling after them, "Stop, I'm nice. I promise."




If we were having coffee, I'd tell you about...Christmas

Sometime I feel like I should have blog template for the start of every new month that says "Where did last month go, I can't believe it is (insert new month here) already!" because I say it every month. It's strange to me because sometimes the days and weeks feel long and drawn out, but the months and years fly by! Here we are already in the last month of 2017. Seriously, Where did the year go? They seem to fly by faster and faster every year these days.

So, it's Christmas and we decided not to put up a tree this year. I am not a fun-hater, I promise. We don't have kids, our families live far away, we are trying to save money and the tree seems like a lot of work for such a short time. The weather has been warm in Texas and it just doesn't feel like Christmas. I'll probably regret it as Christmas gets closer, but I for now I am just not feeling it. I'll buy a few gifts for the people closest to me and for my annual Toys for Tots shopping spree, but we are going low key this year and I am happy with that.

If we were having coffee, I'd tell you about...Jen Staley

It's also a sad time of year for me because it is the anniversary of when I lost my best friend from high school. We graduated together in 1992 and she passed away in 2009. I wish I could fill her in on all the things that have been happening in the last eight years. Who knows, maybe she is watching. I'm sure anyone who lost someone feels this way, but it is weird and sad that the world keeps spinning without her. I wrote a poem about a dream I had about her a few years ago and I like to share it in her honor every year.

My little Jenny


If we were having coffee, I'd tell you about...going part time

Last time we had a coffee date, I told you I was going part-time at my corporate marketing job in order to have more time to focus on my training business. I only have three more weeks of full-time work ahead of me! I realized through all of this that I am extremely risk averse. We have at least a year's worth of expenses in savings, my husband runs his own business and my part-time work will more than cover my bills, but I still have moments of pure terror. What the hell am I doing? I actually know deep in my heart it is exactly the right thing, but I think we've been conditioned for so long to think that a full time corporate job equals security so there is a part of my brain that keeps reverting to panic.

I was searching through my old emails looking for something else entirely, but I happened upon an email I sent my sister in 2014 telling her I didn't feel happy or fulfilled at my job. That was FOUR YEARS AGO! It's time to shake things up. I'm doing the right thing.

If we were having coffee, I'd tell you about...health insurance

The sucky adulting part of all of this is that because I am going part-time I will lose my full-time benefits, including health insurance. Shopping for health insurance was one of the most frustrating things I did all year. Healthcare dot gov was quoting $1500 per month to cover hubs and I. We don't quality for assistance, so this was simply not going to work. The alternative plans were all still expensive and had limited coverage. I chose the lesser of two evils and made a decision, so I suppose the good news is that we are covered for 2018.


If we were having coffee, I'd tell you about...IDEA Personal Trainer Institute South

I made one purchase on Black Friday and it was an event ticket for the Idea Personal Trainer Institute South conference in April. It's similar to the big Idea World Fitness conference that I attend every year in July but it's in my hometown of Dallas (so no travel expenses), IDEA had a 40% off sale on black Friday and I will need the continuing educations credits anyway, so it was a no-brainer. My only reservation is that when I attend the big conference every year in July I go with the Sweat Pink girls, so I know a lot of people there. I'm not sure I will know anyone going to this one in Dallas. It's another example of how I have more connections online than in person. I guess I'll get a chance to brush up on my networking skills. (Ugh. lol.)

If we were having coffee, I'd tell you about...Our Disney Anniversary Trip

My husband and I went on our first date on April 25, 1998. What!?! It's been 20 years? It almost doesn't seem possible. For our 20 year first-date-i-versary we are flying to Disney to run the Dark Side Half Marathon! I have my slave-Leia costume all ready to go (now I just need to get into better shape to wear it). I bought our plane tickets this week so my excitement is bubbling up again. We've been training, but it's definitely time to get a little more serious. I can't decide what is more unbelievable, that it's been 20 years or that he agreed to run another half marathon with me!

So, enough about me. What's up with you?






Keep Running,

Lea

Does your running partner have four legs

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Thursday, November 23, 2017

HAPPY TURKEY TROT AND OTHER RUNNING HOLIDAYS

It's the most wonderful time of year... for runners. The weather has finally cooled down to the perfect running weather! First of all, Happy Thanksgiving to my friends in the US! I am thankful for you!

Did you know we are about to embark on a whole lotta holidays? No, not those holidays. I mean running holidays!


TURKEY TROT


Russ and I ran the Cox Running Club Thanksgiving Day 5K (an unofficial Turkey Trot) in Fort Worth this morning. While I am breaking the sacred runner's rule of not wearing the race shirt on race day, I couldn't resist the urge to be twinsies with my husband. We are so not that couple, which makes it extra funny and cute. I love this race because it is not as big (read:crowded) as the big Fort Worth or Dallas Turkey Trot and they give medals for the 5K.



WINTER RUN STREAK



Today also kicks off the Runner's World Winter Run Streak where I pledged to run at least one mile every day from Thanksgiving until New Year's Day (and you can too).*  I did the summer run streak and it was a great way to stay motivated by lacing up my shoes for at least one mile every day. I am training for the Fort Worth Cowtown half marathon, so I think the mile a day will keep me on track for my running goals.

* Coach's note: Always listen to your body. If running a mile every day is too hard on your body, then walk if necessary or take rest days as needed. No streak is worth an injury. Your body will tell you if it is too much. Listen. #coachrantover

The running steak is a also a great opportunity to give back. In case you needed more motivation than commitment to a challenge, I urge you to participate in the run streak with the charity miles app. If you download the charity miles app you can earn money for a charity by doing what you would do anyway! The app makes a donation to your charity for the miles you run or walk.


BLACK FRIDAY / TRACK FRIDAY


If you have ever considered online nutrition habits coaching, online running coaching or in-person training with me in Fort Worth, stay tuned tomorrow on Lea Genders Fitness for very limited spots at discounted rates Friday through Sunday only. Coaching prices will never be lower in 2018. I'd love to help you reach your 2018 goals. I'll add the link once the post goes live. All discounts expire once the spots are filled or on Monday, whatever comes first.


If you're like me and throwing elbows at the mall and getting trampled at Target is not your idea of a great time, then maybe you'll enjoy Track Friday! On the Day after Thanksgiving turn Black Friday into Track Friday. Run or walk any distance, meet up with friends and/or family and/or raise money for charity. I love this idea.


Happy Holidays, friends! I am looking forward to happy and healthy 2018!


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Keep Running,

Lea

Does your running partner have four legs

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Thursday, November 16, 2017

November 16 2011...That Fateful Day!

On November 16, 2011 I published my very first fitness blog post. Who would have thought I would still be here six years later.

Technically speaking, I opened this blog account in January of 2009 and my first blog post ever was a recap of pictures of 2008. I would share that post for laughs, but for some reason I didn't upload the images directly. I used a third party image service which doesn't exist anymore (apparently) and all those old image links are broken. I certainly had no idea what I was doing. Back then the blog was called Lea-Bean (my Dad's nickname for me) and I wrote four blog posts that whole year.

I went on to write four more blog posts in 2010. What can I say? I take things slowly. The most memorable that year is a poem I wrote about a dream I had about a friend who passed away. 

It wasn't until 2011 that things started to take off in my blogging life. My first ever fitness post was published on November 16, 2011. I consider today my Blogiversary because it was when I started to focus on fitness blogging and gave my blog its first official name, Running for Dummies.

It was two years later in 2013 when I realized it was a dummy move to use the same name as the 'for dummies' book people and changed my blog name to Running with Ollie.

Running with Ollie


I can hardly remember a time when blogging wasn't a part of my life. Maybe I just have a bad memory (I do), but even though it's only been six years, it feels like a lifetime. It's such a big part of who I am and how I express myself. I wonder how I spent my free time back then, because I honestly have no idea.

Blogging changed my whole life. Running led to blogging and blogging opened my mind to the idea of  fitness certifications. I became a personal trainer and a running coach in 2015. I met so many amazing people, worked with great companies and traveled to fun places because of this blog.

I am so grateful for the doors that have opened and the amazing friends I have made over the years.

Thanks for following along, friends. I hope for many more years of blogging ahead.

Check out my Instagram account later today. I am going to do a fun #giveaway with a great prize for my blogiversary on instagram.com/runningwithollie - winner will be drawn on Nov 24th.

Do you know what today is? On November 16th 2011 I published my first ever Fitness blog post! It’s my 6 year #blogiversary! To celebrate I’m giving the gifts! Enter this #giveaway for Jaybird X3 wireless headphones To enter 1.) follow @runningwithollie 2.) tag 3 friends in one comment 3.) earn extra entries by tagging additional 3 friends in separate comments 4.) earn additional entry by sharing this post, tag @runningwithollie, invite your followers to enter and post a comment “shared” — must live and have shipping address in US to enter.—winner will be selected randomly from all entrants on Nov 24th—-entries will be verified—reserve the right to disqualify entrant if instructions are not followed— prize shipping from Fort Worth, TX— if winner doesn’t respond in 3 business days a new winner will be chosen.— this contest not endorsed by instagram. Good luck!!
A post shared by Fort Worth Trainer Lea Genders (@runningwithollie) on

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Keep Running,

Lea

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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Tuesday Tails Furry Feature: Strut Your Mutt with Meghan & Rosie

Welcome to the latest edition of Tuesday Tails Furry Feature when I introduce you to the furriest four-legged runners on the internet (and their humans). This week I am thrilled for you to meet Meghan and Rosie from Dallas, TX!
Hi, Rosie
Tell us a little bit about your favorite running partner?

Rosie is an 8 year old Shih Tzu. She enjoys run/walking in cooler and cold temps. She's not the "sporting" breed but she's good for a 5k! She's completed two 5ks and many run/walks my running group.

Where is your favorite place to run with your pooch? 

Rosie loves the trails in Irving, TX located between Dallas and Ft Worth.

Have you ever raced with your dog?

Yes! Rosie's first 5k was this past May at the SPCA of Dallas. She did another one Memorial Day Weekend for training of service dogs where she got her own bib and medal!


bling! bling!

Tell us about a running moment that made you proud.

The beginning of May when I completed my first Ultra Marathon (50k). Also, running with my dad at his first 5k ever in April and he placed!

What running (or life) lesson can we learn from our dogs? 

Enjoy life and to spend as much time as you can with your loved ones. Have fun and do things together.



Do you want to tell us anything else about you or running with your dog? 

I've been running consistently since 2014. Never thought I would do a half marathon, but here I am. I love run/walk method, and without that I probably wouldn't be where I am today on full marathons. I'm also a pacer for local races and a member of the Half Fanatics and Marathon Maniacs.

Rosie always makes me laugh. She knows when my clothes are out I'm waking up to run the next morning so she lays on them. When it's warm out, she licks me like crazy from all the salt!



Thanks to Meghan and Rosie for sharing their story with us! Say hi to them on Instagram!

A post shared by Meghan (@meg08run) on



Do you run with your dog? I'd love to feature you and your running partner in a future post! Fill out your answers to the questions here and follow the instructions to submit your images!

Keep Running,

Lea

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Friday, October 20, 2017

I got LASIK surgery in Fort Worth TX and this is what happened…

I have a confession to make. Although I am a healthy-living advocate, there was one area of my life that I was decidedly unhealthy: my eyes. I have been a contact lens wearer most of my life and I was never a model patient. I wore extended wear contacts, but I defined the term 'extended wear' liberally, it usually meant I wore my contacts night and day until they fell out (the contacts, not my eyes).

My eye doctors over the years would warn me this was unhealthy, that even with extended wear contacts, I should still take them out and clean them at least once a week (and probably more). An eye doctor once told me sleeping in my contacts was as bad for my eyes as smoking would be for my lungs! But I never listened. I know, I know. It’s terrible.

On September 30th after my dried-up contact crawled out of my eye on its own, I reached into my bathroom vanity drawer for a contact freshie and like my eyes, my supply had dried-up. I sat down in front of the computer to order replacements, but my prescription had expired months ago. Ok, I needed to get to the eye doctor. I put on my glasses and scheduled an eye appointment for the next weekend. I figured it would be good for my eyes to rest in my glasses for a week anyway.

My husband suggested that maybe it was time for me to seriously consider LASIK surgery. I had been talking about it for years. We had a little money saved up and considering my poor contact lenses habits, it seemed like it might be the right time.

I did a quick internet search for LASIK surgeons in Fort Worth. The one I chose was based solely on the fact they were open on Saturdays and I wanted to get in as soon as possible. Of course, they didn’t have any open appointments for Saturday so I ended up going in during the week.

When I made the appointment, I asked if they could give me a price for the LASIK but they wouldn’t quote over the phone. They said the price depended on my prescription. After some discussion with my husband, I decided that I was willing to pay up to $1000 per eye and if it costs more than that, I would not go through with the surgery. This decision upfront may have saved me thousands of dollars.

THE CONSULTATION

I can't be accused of only posting flattering pictures on the internet

The consultation is free to determine if you are a candidate for LASIK surgery. They do an eye exam (but don’t give you your prescription, not sure if they would if I asked). It was an all-day event. I was not prepared to spend at least four hours in the office, I ended up having to take the day off work, which was unexpected.

After a half day in the office, I was already a little beaten down. That’s when they bring you in to meet with the sales consultant to discuss pricing. Now, I’ve seen pricing advertised for $500 an eye or even less sometimes. I wasn’t necessarily looking for the cheapest option, but I had my 1K per eye limit in my mind.

I honestly think they keep you in the office all morning so that you feel invested. There was a lot of shuffling between different offices and the waiting room all day. I mean, after all of that are you really going to start the process over with another company? I certainly didn’t feel like doing that again.

The guy sits me down in his office and says that they are having a 20% off special so the regular price of $5K is discounted to $4k. 4K? That was double of the number I had in my head. I may or may not have laughed in his face. He assured me that they had financing options. Since we strive to live debt free, I wasn’t interested in adding debt, not even interest-free debt. I don’t like to make payments on anything (not even cars, and we are trying to pay off our house). I wasn't going to go into debt for something that was purely a luxury. The truth is I had the money, it was just more than I wanted to pay.

I explained that it wasn’t that I couldn’t afford it, I just didn’t want to spend that much money on this procedure. I was prepared to leave. I was completely deflated and annoyed at wasting the day, but I wasn't willing to pay 4K. That’s when he told me a special Groupon they were running for $1798 for both eyes. Um. What? The price was slashed by more than 50% in three minutes. I was annoyed that if I had agreed to the regular price, they would have charged me a much higher price for the same exact surgery. That seemed unethical to me. Anyone willing to finance what they couldn’t afford would be charged twice as much. I was torn because it seemed wrong, but I was also happy that I was getting the surgery for the price I was willing to pay. It wasn't like I was getting a different (lesser) surgery. It was the exact same surgery for a lower price just because I wasn't willing to pay or finance the higher price.

Then he told me about the “assurance” plan for $1000 for lifetime enhancements. LASIK usually lasts about 10 years, but if any time for the rest of your life, if you needed a touch up they would do it for free if you purchased this plan.

My sister had LASIK more than 10 years ago and she said that after all that time, she needed glasses again (which is normal and expected after more than a decade). She told me she called a half of dozen doctors but no one would touch her eyes, because the enhancements on LASIK are not FDA approved.

I asked the sales consultant about this and he looked at me like I had two heads. He assured me that this was not true, that the enhancements were FDA approved. He said it must be just because my sister had a different type of surgery (since it was so long ago) that it must be just that type of surgery was not FDA approved for enhancements. That sounded reasonable to me and I believed him. In the end I decided not to purchase the assurance, because I figured in 10 years if I did need an enhancement, I’ll just pay for it, why pay $1000 for something I probably won’t need for 10 years? They want you to pay upfront for something that may or may not go wrong.

I went home that night and looked it up on the FDA website. It clearly says enhancements are not FDA approved. "It is important to note that no laser company has presented enough evidence for FDA to make conclusions about the safety or effectiveness of enhancement surgery."

Even though I didn’t purchase it, I felt deceived. Maybe he didn’t know any better. Maybe he believed it was FDA approved. Maybe there is some piece of the puzzle missing that would make this make more sense. (Does anyone out there have expertise on the subject? Am I missing something?) Maybe it was poor communication. I walked away thinking, Am I buying LASIK or a used car?

Between the pricing discrepancy and the “confusion” about the FDA approved enhancements, I wasn’t feeling very comfortable with the sales process or their business practices because it all felt a little unethical. However, none of this really had any bearing on the actual surgery performed. I did have a level of faith in the doctors who would perform that surgery and I didn’t have any intention of needing to have contact with the sales office after my surgery. I decided to move forward despite my bad experience in the sales office. They made it pretty clear in the paperwork that the doctors were all independent contractors. The business practices of the office had little to do with the surgeons themselves. Besides, I really didn’t want to spend a half of a day doing that all over again with a new company, without any guarantee it would be any better.

I was a little hesitant, but I put a down a payment with the balance due on the date of my surgery.


SURGERY DAY


I had been wearing my glasses for two weeks at this point and they wanted me to wear my glasses for at least three weeks before surgery, so they set the surgery date for following Thursday. I have never worn my glasses that many days in a row...ever.

On surgery day my husband dropped me off because you can’t drive after surgery. They told me to expect to spend about four hours in the office that day. I was a little nervous but honestly, my expectations of the surgery and the reality of it were very different. Spoiler alert: It was worse than I expected.

In the waiting room on the day of your surgery, they make you initial and sign a six-page waiver of everything that could potentially go wrong including: your cornea could fall off and we could lose it, your cornea could fall off and we could have to sew it back on, the machine could break mid-surgery, the power could go out mid-surgery, you could go blind or die. Please sign on the dotted line. (I am probably not remembering these exactly as written, but it sounded at least that scary to me.) I realize all these things were extremely unlikely, but still possible, I just doesn’t make you feel comfortable to sign off on everything that could go wrong right before surgery. Obviously, I signed.

I imagined the surgery being very easy. I would sit back in a chair. They would shoot a laser (insert your own Dr. Evil "lasers" joke here) in my eye and it would be over. Easy. Now, I never specifically asked anyone what the surgery process was like, I just assumed because everyone said it quick and painless, that the process would be easy. I think if I had any expectations that it would uncomfortable at all, I might have had a better experience. Quick and painless, yes. Easy? No. At least I didn't think so.

On the day of surgery, they did some eye scans and when I was ready for surgery, they gave me a hair net, shoe covers and a name tag placed upside down on my shirt so the doctor could read it when I was lying on the table. I sat outside the surgery room in a line of people waiting to go in. One by one, every five to ten minutes, we were shuffled forward in our seats until it was our turn. When it was my turn the nurse reminded me turn off my phone (what? No mid-surgery selfies?) and put some numbing drops in my eyes. I heard them walk the lady in front of me out of the office after her surgery, “I’m sorry it was uncomfortable for you” the doctor said. What? Wait. It’s uncomfortable?

They brought me in a room. Pop Quiz. Your Name? Lea Genders Your Birthday? September 21 mumble mumble (old lady year) What are you having done today? LASIK surgery. Which eye? Both. Congratulations. You passed the test. Let’s do this.

I laid back on a hospital bed, they gave me a colorful dinosaur to squeeze and a blanket, then swung the bed under the LASIK machine. They taped my top and bottom eyelashes to my face and this where it went very differently than I imagined. They put on some contraption that would hold my eye open. The pressure was intense. It was very weird and uncomfortable. There was a suction feeling and it went dark. I think I had a full-on anxiety attack. I wanted to tell them to stop, I was legit freaking out, but I didn’t want my husband to be disappointed in me if I wimped out.

They advised me to take deep breaths while holding still. Once they started the surgery it was fine. I could see the lasers and then the doctor using a tool to “close the flap.” I couldn’t feel anything at all (except the intense pressure). The doctor had a calm soothing voice that kept telling me how great I was doing, even though I clearly wasn’t doing great. It was all over in less than two minutes. Now onto the second eye. I think I did a little better on the second eye, just because I knew what to expect, but it was still kind of rough. I was glad when it was over. My heart was beating out of my chest. They gave me some eye medication prescriptions, postoperative instructions, lovely goggles and sunglasses and then called my husband to pick me up. While the surgery itself was as painless as everyone claimed, I wouldn’t describe it as easy. Maybe I am just a big wimp. Yeah, I am sure that is it.


POST OPP


They told me to spend as much time as possible resting my eyes by keeping them closed, avoiding screen time and bright lights. I thought it would be hard to stay away from my phone, but it ended up being super easy because it hurt to even open my eyes, let alone stare at a light and I couldn't read any small text on my phone. I closed the blinds and put on sunglasses indoors and relaxed my eyes. I kept falling asleep. My eyes hurt a lot for the rest of the day. They were itching and burning and I couldn’t see much of anything at all. It seemed that every time I fell asleep and woke up my eyes hurt a little more. My husband helped me put in the prescription eye drops every four hours. The first recovery day was terrible and painful. My husband said, sensing I was miserable, "Do you regret it?"

"No, it gets worse before it gets better."


THE NEXT MORNING


I have to wear the goggles every night when I sleep and when I shower for the next two weeks. I woke up the first morning with goggle lines around my face but with no pain. Hooray! I opened my eyes and I could see...mostly. My right eye had just about perfect vision. My left eye was a little blurry but still better than before the procedure. I can see! I can see! I continued to put in the drops during the day until my follow-up appointment that day.

I said to the doctor, "I can see...mostly" and he said, "Good, one day down 5 months and 29 days to go" as a reminder that the full healing process can take six months. He said my vision will continue to stabilize over the next few days and weeks.

My left eye had a sensation like there was something in it. It wasn't terrible, just a minor irritation. The doctor looked at it and said it was a little drier than the right one. He put a contact in that eye to help shield my eye while it heals. He said I can sleep in this contact (how ironic!) I need to go back next week and they will remove it.

The pain today is completely gone. I can see better than ever before in my life without contacts or glasses and my vision is still improving.

In the end I am glad I did it. I am grateful to say goodbye to contacts and glasses forever (or for at least the next decade or so). While the sales process left a bad taste in my mouth (kind of like those eye drops. Yes, you can taste them after you put in your eyes) I am glad I went through the whole experience and came out on the other side seeing clearer.

All's well that ends well. In the end I got the surgery done by a great doctor for the price I wanted to pay. The experience was a little bumpy along the way, but every experience teaches us something and makes us a little stronger.

I'll work on my wimpiness for the future.

Oh yeah, my husband is a jerk-face. Ha ha...As seen on his Instagram page....


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Keep Running,

Lea


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