Yesterday I was walking through the crunchy snow remains, trying to avoid falling down on slippery spots, and listening to “My Favorite Murder”- as one does on a Thursday. They started talking about things that had happened to them in the past that could have landed them in a position to be kidnapped and murdered. Eventually, the subject morphed into how ridiculous it is sometimes to be a woman in this world. As I was listening I started to think of similar situations I’ve been in, and it struck me how normal those things seem to me. A few months ago when the whole “me too” thing was going viral  I posted it on my facebook because it seemed like a worthy reason and honestly, at the time, didn’t feel like it was that big of a deal. As a female, I considered it normal to have been grabbed or cornered in a bar or at a party. I’ve been held down smack dab in the middle of a party, with people literally sitting right next to me, and nobody made a move to stop it. I’ve had people crawl into bed with me after a night of drinking while I was trying to sleep it off and try to have sex because I was drunk and vulnerable. Men are stronger than women as a general rule, and there’s only so much I can do to prepare myself for those situations. I started boxing, got stronger..then started meeting guys that were boxers and exponentially stronger than me. Training kickboxing and jiu-jitsu is liberating to a degree- it definitely makes me feel more prepared for daily life and better equipped to defend myself against someone on the street that doesn’t know what they’re doing. However; those sports have weight classes in competition for a reason. A girl that weights under 120lbs that knows how to fight isn’t going to be a match for a guy that’s 180lbs and knows how to fight.

I hope the things and the men I’ve come across aren’t actually the norm. I’d like to think that one day women won’t walk to their cars with their keys between their fingers, or feel like they need pepper spray to walk their dog. I hope eventually a man walking towards her at night won’t make her heart start beating faster and her stomach drop when she realizes there’s nobody else around. I have a younger sister and I pray she has never had to hold her drink with her hand over the top at a party so nobody can drop something in it or discovers the panic you feel when you’re alone with a guy that can’t control his strength. Despite the less than spectacular circumstances I’ve found myself in over the years, I still acknowledge that I’m one of the lucky ones that was never really hurt in those scenarios. I’ve accumulated bruises, some trust issues and a few aggressive personality traits, but those are all things I can live with.

I’m truly interested in how these things are still so prominent when I see what are (supposedly) such nice guys on a regular basis. Is it something that just comes out unexpectedly for men? Are the fears planted in women’s heads a product of media hype and outlier stories?

I know this is a rambling post- but I feel like nobody talks about these things because they’re embarrassed that they were “stupid enough” to end up in those positions in the first place..but to reach a solution it has to be discussed and trouble shooted.

Any thoughts?

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New year, new you? No. Over the course of a year, sure you’ll probably change. Between today and tomorrow though? I doubt it. Many of you will set aspirations (that are impossible to achieve), and that’s great. Working to get better is always a positive thing…but instead of waiting to do it on January first why don’t you just start whenever you think of them? 2017 was not a good year for me. It started with me, and the rest of my family, still dealing with the loss of my uncle. Less than a month later we were all dealing with another cancer diagnosis with my mom. The first half of the year had me really questioning things and trying desperately to figure life out. I wanted to be supportive and positive, but often times wanted to crawl into my bed and have someone take it all away. Having nobody to lean on really made me want to put myself out there in the dating world once again- so I did. I was so set on meeting someone that I put up with a lot more than I should from people I dated. It was the most active dating summer I’ve had since college. I learned a lot about people, myself included. A lot of the stuff I wish I wouldn’t have ever had the chance to learn, but moving forward I’m more aware of what is acceptable in a relationship and what isn’t. Wanting a partner shouldn’t give someone the upper hand over you. Nobody has the right to degrade you, push you around, make you settle or hurt you. So after a few months of life lessons, I had given up my search in the hopes that if I stopped looking then someone would find me organically.

December gave me more bad news and for a few weeks, I was convinced I would never be able to find what I’ve been looking for since I was 8. I leave 2017 stronger than I entered it but no closer to my dream. I hope 2018 brings me less pain and more pleasure, but if it doesn’t then I’m prepared to deal with it in stride.

So 2018 might be a new year, but the last 365 days are what have made you a new you not the goals you’re setting for yourself at midnight.

PS thanks to everyone that did help me this year in any aspect you could. You’re all amazing and I couldn’t write really bad blog posts without you ❤

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Era-tic

I don’t write on here much anymore..maybe I have less to say or maybe I have more people to say it to in person. I’m not sure. Today, however, is a day that calls for writing. A day that I need to put into words, on record…one for the books. I sure as hell can’t say it aloud because it comes out in blubberish.

This morning was one of the worst. I had to (temporarily!) say goodbye to one of the best people I have ever been in contact with in my life. I’m not sure why she allowed herself to be associated with me for this long, but I’m glad to have been able to have her in my life for the past few years. Meeting at Wellington was at least something spectacular to take away from working there. Convincing you to move in with me was possibly the best decision I’ve ever made and has morphed me into an almost human. You’ve helped me through so many things, spent many late nights sitting in the living room in the dark talking, gave me someone to watch tv with( I don’t know if I’ll be able to watch The Walking Dead alone…), made candles during ice storms, helped me eaves drop on the neighbors’ phone calls…I could go on for days.

I’m going to miss you entirely too much for one person to contain, which is possibly why it’s exploding out of me in tears. Nobody will ever be as good of a roommate/therapist to me. I’m 50% hoping you thrive in L.A. but 50% crossing my fingers you decide to come back in January. That’s a lie though, I’m only 5% hoping you thrive. Every time I come home and your car is gone, it’s going to remind me again and I’ll be sad. I can’t quite put my head around the reality of it, even after my excellent display of professional behavior at work this morning saying goodbye. In the meantime I will be planning Disneyland trips, getting some fish, sitting in your room and crying. Please don’t replace me. I hope you don’t block my number after I text you 30,000 times…

😦

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Slow curve

Any of you reading this that are around my age and remember The Lizzie McGuire movie…slow curve. That’s not the context I mean it in this particular scenario, but any Disney memory is a good one, right?

Onto the point!

If you’ve known me for any period of time, read a lot of my posts, or are psychic, you’ll know all about my past with food and exercise. Precarious to say the least. For years I’ve been pushing myself out of my comfort zone in a variety of ways in hopes I could overcome my brain on my own. Unsurprisingly, my brain is very stubborn and somewhat impossible to escape so it hasn’t been a smooth process. I’ve had many setbacks, bad days, breakdowns, and hit so many walls it’s amazing I still belong to the 3-dimensional world. Finally, after fighting for so long (as in about 6 years) I have felt the internal shift. It’s like I’ve been on a railroad track passing the switch over and over again, but always ending up going the same direction- until now. I finally got that stupid track to go the other way. I haven’t quite 100% made the turn, but at least the wheels are pointed in the right direction. Side note: I know nothing about trains and this analogy is making me feel cool.

Real life: A few months ago I randomly decided I wanted to start training for a point kickboxing tournament. Since then I’ve sparred a few times, and that goal might be a smidge farther away than I was anticipating…but it’s still a goal. As always, once I had the idea in my head, I was all in. I started researching weight classes, training schedules, watching fights, blahblahblah. In the back of my mind though I knew there was no way I’d ever get good enough at the sport to be anywhere near ready to compete without fueling my body correctly. Eating at a deficit is my norm, which is bad. I don’t so much do it on purpose anymore, it’s just how much I eat and what my body is used to functioning on. I added two training sessions a week to my routine at first, eventually ending up doing two workouts a day (sometimes more) at least 6, maybe 7 days a week. I got hungry. Being me, I obviously ran the numbers to figure out what calorie range I should be aiming for and came up with some stuff I knew I could eat on a regular basis to get up there (or at least above what I was doing before). That was weeks ago…I’m still hungry, but instead of ignoring it I’m throwing down food left and right. Really, don’t leave your things unattended. By the looks of it, I’ve finally stirred my deathly slow metabolism! I can actually eat food you guys and it’s glorious. I think my body temperature is even almost that of a human! The only negatives I’ve seen is that I sweat way too much now and my grocery bill is higher. I can give blood without having to lie about how much I weigh, I can exercise without getting completely drained, and I can gain muscle (in theory)! I’m now going to boxing 3 days a week, jiu jitsu two days, fake running 2-3 days, swimming once or twice, rucking 2-3 times and riding occasionally. When not doing those or working you can find me shoving food into my face. Don’t go overboard though; I’m still training for a bunch of stuff that I want to eat well for. Me eating a lot doesn’t mean I’m all of a sudden going to grab some deep fried butter at the fair this year.

So if you see me eating something, and the next time you see me i’m eating something…don’t worry about it. I’m just finishing up that slow curve.

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Save yourself

About a year and a half ago my older sister, Shannon, asked if I would run a half marathon with her in March of 2016. It seemed like a good challenge, and at that point was months away so I agreed. As it got closer and I started to run more often I was nervous of how terrible the experience was going to be. I’ve never been a runner, or an athlete or any kind for that matter. I maybe went on weekly runs of 4-6 miles that were a mix of running and walking. The majority of my “training” included things I already did on a regular basis (boxing, hiking, riding, walks). The morning of the race I still had yet to really push myself to even run a full 5k without stopping. The starting line was packed full of elite runners, DJ tents, volunteers, people warming up, family and friends there for support and people peeing on the sidelines because the lines for the bathroom are incredible. As everyone packed together like sardines for the countdown people chat, wish others good luck, swap encouraging words and offer advice to those that want it. There has yet to be a race I’ve done that I’ve met a rude or negative runner. People will talk to you, ease your mind, share experiences without a blink- at packet pickup, in line for the bathroom, at the start line, at the finish line, during the race…

During my first race I was slow. I’m still slow. Running with a thousand people does something to you though, it pushes you to your limits, makes you forget about anything but moving forward. It’s the best escape from life I’ve been able to channel besides reading. I love hiking in the woods to get away from people, but I’m still able to mull things over in my head and think about what’s bothering me. Not during a race. I think about running, I think about the pain, the drive, the need to succeed. Since that first race I’ve now completed 4 others, and each one continues to amaze me. I’ve seen some of the same people at all of them, to the point where we can recognize each other on course and wave or exchange “good job!”‘s. I see someone inspiring at every mile; whether it’s an Ainsley’s angels runner, a senior runner, a deaf runner or the person that has pushed too far and walks through an injury for the last mile of a race, refusing to stop. People help each other, sacrifice themselves, and rally together. People on the sidelines stand in their driveway with cups of coffee as they come out to get their papers and shout for you. As the world is slowly caving in on itself, it’s incredible to experience the high of running with such a positive group of people. Through the grimaces, the sweat, blood, tears and pain- everyone smiles. I’ve not seen one person cross the finish line in a bad mood. People stand and cheer for others they’ve never met coming down the straightaway and over the chip reader.

If you aren’t a runner, I’m sure this is true for many sports. People ask me often why I do it, what the draw is for me. It’s everything. Does it hurt? yes. Is it hard? yes. Is it worth it? yes. I will never be good, fast or have to be paced by a bike, but I’ll keep going until I can’t..and even then I’ll probably go for a little longer.

So many people are at a loss, stuck in their own heads and searching for an outlet. I recommend hitting the road, but not in a car. Hike, walk, run…do something that tests your limits and puts you smack in the middle of a situation you have to fight to get out of. Do something that makes you feel good, supports others and gives you a sense of self-worth. Don’t sit at home, complaining about the world. If you want to be saved, don’t wait for someone else to do it.

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I’m not dead yet

I haven’t posted in a long time. I’d say sorry, but I doubt anyone is really on the edge of their seats for these entries.

 

Here’s what I’ve been up to in a nutshell.

-unplugging more. I found myself in an unfortunate cycle of tv shows, so about a month or two ago I decided I was going to read at night instead. I haven’t missed any important news and I can relax at night before trying to go to sleep much better. This hasn’t really helped me sleep more, but it does help me feel less busy.

-planning my trip. I leave two weeks from Tuesday!

-exercising. I’ve been in active training mode for the triple crown since February and the last race is 6 days away. I’m nervous, excited and ready for it to be done with. I don’t know if it was a smart decision to attempt all three in such a short period of time, but I don’t have much restraint when it comes to challenging myself. I’ve also started to go to more boxing classes because once I finish the triple I want to focus more on fight prep. I probably won’t actually train for a real fight, but I’d like to go through the process and decide that once I reach that level.

-working. We’re way short staffed so I’ve been putting in a lot of hours, trying to get massage certified and add in fitness classes on the weekends. It’s a blast, but it’s tiring and kind of isolating.

-Dating. I’ve been going on real life dates! That’s probably the biggest reason I haven’t posted anything in a while because I don’t want to jinx myself or write about someone that isn’t anything to write about yet.

So I just wanted to let you know I’m still alive, just trying to live in real time instead of in a blog. Hopefully, at some point, I’ll have something to write about that’s worth sharing 🙂

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Brain drops

I’ve had trouble with over-exercising for years. I started thinking about what the initial (and long term) attraction to working out for me involves and came up with these

 

  • It has tangible goals- If I want to be able to lift more weight, run longer, run faster, punch harder etc I can work towards it and see improvements along the way. There’s no denying the fact if I go up in weight or have a faster time- to me or anyone else.
  • It’s something I have control over- The amount of work I put in is directly correlated with results. I decide
  • If people leave me hanging or abandon me midway, it doesn’t matter- Similar to previous. No matter who joins in, if they bail on me then there’s no effect on my progress. I can workout alone, which is most often what I end up doing.
  • It’s an accepted stress reliever- people don’t question it if you say you’re going to workout because you had a hard day.
  • It’s cheap- outside is free
  • You can do it everywhere – no matter if I’m on a trip, stuck at home or in the woods
  • There’s no known body limitation that applies to everyone- What I can do is not the same thing anyone else can do. There’s no limit to what I can work towards..it’s a forever puzzle.
  • If I’m sore/in pain from working out I don’t notice that I’m sore/in pain every day anyway – self-explanatory. I hurt a lot and if I drown it out with other pain it’s a brain trick.
  • It makes me feel strong- the more progress I make, the stronger I feel. I might not actually be very strong, but oh well. The better I feel physically, the more I can take mentally
  • It makes others think I’m strong- People see me working hard, putting in time and effort. They see results and weight additions…they think I’m a strong person.
  • I can stop thinking for a while- It blanks out my mind. I can ignore my stress thoughts, money worry, to-do lists and everything else that is forever on repeat
  • The variations are endless – exercise is exercise. There are so many different ways to accomplish it and I want to try as many as possible.
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