Sunday, April 15, 2012

A Day of Perfection

It only seems right that yesterday's HAWMC prompt was to describe my idea of a perfect day, because yesterday was definitely up there! I really don't have a perfect day planned out, but a mix of items on the following list can certainly contribute!

To-Do Items for a Day of Perfection

  • Running: Preferably on a hot day, and preferably in the afternoon. But I'm not picky.
  • Baseball: I grew up watching my oldest brother play Little League and was subsequently his training partner in the sense that we would throw a ball around in the side yard. I never played for a team myself, but this remains my favorite sport to watch, especially live.
  • Gym: This goes hand-in-hand with running, but even when I do get an outdoor run in, I like to hit up the gym afterward for some strength training, ab work, or some sort of addendum to my cardio.
  • Time spent with good friends: Always takes a day from good to great.
  • Good food: Preferably grilled, as was the case yesterday. And it's when it's something you generally don't eat on a regular basis, it's even better.
  • Beach: Sand, waves, heat--so relaxing!
  • Road trips: With good music and good company.
I'm sure there's plenty more to add to this list, but that's all I can think of currently. Yesterday was a mix of running, baseball, good company, and good food. Unfortunately, UVA did not win against UNC, and we ended up leaving after the 5th inning, but it was so enjoyable! And we left so as to do some grilling and (more) drinking, so it was a great alternative. 

This upcoming weekend will feature running, good company, the beach, and a road trip. Another mix of perfection!

Friday, April 13, 2012

10 Things

...I hate about you--good movie! But alas, that is not the theme for tonight's late prompt. Instead, it is 10 things I am unable to live without or else eminent death will befall me! 10 things I want or need most. Two completely different lists, if you want my honest opinion. I'm taking this one slightly out of the realm of normalcy by not just merely creating a list of concrete things but rather abstract things or feelings or what have you. And I'll go with need over want.
  1. Self-accomplishment: I'm pretty sure this one is important to everyone, but following up on my prior post, I have that Type A personality where I need success. I'm not asking to be the best at everything, but I do need to feel like I have a purpose and that I've tried my best. I need to experience all the means to the ends, and all that jazz. Fairly self-explanatory.
  2. Companionship: Think of how life would be without friends there to see the best and the worst of you. And not to mention everything in between the two extremes. A true friend is there for your boring days too. The days when all you really have to say is "Guess what, I ran out of egg beaters for breakfast, so I mixed some protein powder in my oatmeal, and although it wasn't as filling as normal, it was decently pleasing to the taste buds. Want to see a picture?!" Unfortunately, although I did mention this to a friend, this quote is slightly very exaggerated.
  3. Family:  I'm not saying I need all family, because let's face it--everyone has that one person in their family that just clashes with the rest and can embarrass you from across the globe, whether it be a distant cousin or what have you. But at the end of the day, family is just that--family. You were brought into the world for a reason by people who presumably (hopefully) love you in order to fulfill their desires and inevitably become your own person with your own desires. Yeah, that's too confusing/deep/whatever for me too. Whereas friends can choose to be there for all your non memorable moments, family...oh, well I guess they can choose too. Hmm...let's just move onto number 4.
  4. Fitness: I once tried having a lifestyle that was light on this aspect. It didn't like me too much. Then I didn't like it. It was a hate-hate dislike-dislike relationship. Then I changed and it resented me. I sent it packing (aka my fatter former self) and embraced the fitter me. Then I took it one step further and set some goals for myself (which I have yet to achieve, but all the more reason to keep on keeping on). This goes hand in hand with #1 really. I need to accomplish things in the gym and in my training schedule in order to really feel successful and healthy.
  5. Sleep: I really enjoy this one. Not too much. Just enough. 7 hours is on the lower side, but manageable. I prefer a solid 8. No midnight wake-ups for bathroom breaks or odd dreams/nightmares please!
  6. Protein: If there was one food (group) that I could not live without, it would be protein. Or more specifically fish (perhaps eggs too). If I was stranded on a boat with a fishing rod and a means of which to purify water and all I needed to do was find rations to sustain myself, I think I would be set. Although, if I had a hen living on the boat with me too, that would be a perfect balance. Fish and eggs. Sweet! Oh my, I'm an odd one, aren't I? Note to self: learn to fish better.
  7. Ice: I prefer my drinks on the rocks. I'm referring to non-alcoholic drinks, but if they are a little bit spirited too, then so be it. Call me a drink snob, but some things are better cold.
  8. Sunshine: I could never live on one of the poles, where half of the year the days are pretty much nights all the time. Yeah, I'd go insane and get a major case of SAD (seasonal affectiveness disorder). Some days, even being indoors at work (where I can see the sunshine outside) gives me a case of the mehs (read: a normal persons "blahs"). Let's go even further and say that I need calm sunshine--aka no wind! Wind = bad!
  9. Optimism: Yup, this is a biggie for me. Almost constant smile, please! Reality just sucks sometimes. For me, it's important to present myself how I want to be, even if I'm not quite there at the time. It's my face's way of "dressing the part." Appear happy, smile, and eventually you will have a reason to anyway.
  10. Sarcasm/humor: I need it. I want it. I have to have it! This is like the addendum to #9. Generally #10 creates #9. And vice-versa. Really, reading #1-#9 contributes to #10. And #10 is present in #1-#9. I'll stop talking in numbers now. But honestly, answer me this question:
Would you have read this far if it weren't for my ever-present humor & sarcasm? I mean "this far" in terms of this post and for the duration of your readership, however long it may be... Or does this just make you want to stop reading/subscribing/take me off your Google Reader? I accept all answers but there is a right and a wrong answer, folks!

Catching up

Yesterday, I just was not able to blog. It was a long day spent at work, then hitting up the gym and helping Megan pack for a wedding weekend away before conking out for the night. So let me dedicate this post to yesterday's HAWMC prompt involving stream of consciousness. I'm not too fond of the phrase that starts this prompt: "This morning, when I look in the mirror..." because there are a lot of thoughts that come up when I look in the mirror. After all, I do work in retail (currently).

It's not just about what I'm wearing when I catch my reflection. I always have my eye on something--does my hair look right? Am I getting a bit puffy? Do I look as tired as I feel? Boy do I look very Jewish (although I'm Catholic). The mirror is more of a reminder of insecurities for me, because as I've mentioned before, I'm not very objective when it comes to my body. I could look like a fitness model in one of those magazines like Shape or Self or Women's Health, and yet I would still feel like I have something to improve on. I guess you can say it's a flaw of mine. Although, is it really that bad to continually want to improve yourself, your health, your well-being?

I'm sure that somewhere along the line, there's some sort of deep-seated cause for my aversion to mirrors or not. Well, not so much of an aversion as a continual nitpicking of the image I see before me. I have many characteristics of that Type A personality--perfectionism, OCD organization, etc. I've been that way for as long as I can remember, but it isn't necessarily a downfall. I'm not sure there will ever come a day when I'm 100% pleased with my reflection, but that's not to say that I'm displeased. Far from it. I'd much rather have a mirror tell show me how my body is changing rather than some stupid number on a scale, though!

Anyway, I started off this post stating that I'm not fond of the prompt, and it's because I don't think it really allows for a true stream of consciousness. My stream of consciousness is my general smorgasbord of a post where I slop together a bit of everything and call it real writing. It's where I go from puppies to running to what pajama bottoms I'm wearing (grey & pink plaid, if you really want to know) to what food I ran out of (eggs and chicken). It's the retelling of odd encounters I had at work or how my first workout back on a track was just how I remembered many track days--terrible to run through but oh so rewarding? helpful. Stream of consciousness if from A to Z to M to F to R to... you tell me! But I guess this gives you a taste of both versions.

When you look in the mirror, what are your initial thoughts? Stream of consciousness...what does it mean to you?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Take a chance tonight

I think today I win the blogging award for worst motivation. I had practically all day (that I wasn't doing laundry or running or working out) to blog today and yet I decided that since I didn't have to be at work til 6 I'd take a "mental health day" of sorts. Aka I'm lazy! But for the sake of my participation in the HAWMC, I'm eeking out a quick post before the alcohol impairs my spelling I hit the sheets. Speaking of which, I'm switching out my comforter tomorrow, hopefully!

Today's topic: theme songs! More specifically, the theme song that my blog would take on if blogs had theme songs. I don't know about you, but that seems awesome! seems unnecessary to me. It's like b*tch, I can't sum up my blog in that few words! What the heck you smoking?! Now it's clear that I'm on (over-sized) glass one of champagne, yes?

Anyway, due to lack of creativity and songwriting skills, I'm turning to my itunes--or more specifically my most recent playlist--to answer this prompt. While I've been loving the Childish Gambino album that my manager, Caroline, turned me on to, I don't think he's quite the appropriate answer for a theme song of this blog. Darn it! Oh well, on to the next!

Let me reiterate that "turning to my itunes" means reading down the list of songs in my playlist (fun fact: it's titled Dance Dance) and picking out the first one that has any sort of semblance to a theme song for my blog. I settled on Kylie Minogue's Get Outta My Way. Pretty much she says just that--get out of her way and do what you wouldn't normally do. I'll let you watch it to get the rest of the message yourself:


Now that I'm listening to more than just the first verse, I realize it doesn't relate too well. Forgive me.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

My 16-year-old self

Let me just tell you, my 16-year-old self was nothing like who I am today. I mean NOTHING. You can ask some of the very few select people that I recently showed my old high school IDs to. 16-year-old (high school junior) me was a girl with a bad haircut (too short), too much hair product (resulting in crazy curls), braces, and battling bad skin. To say that picture horrified and embarrassed me is an understatement. Yes, it is that bad! What's really funny though, is that between my junior and senior year, I had this really quick transformation. My senior year, I was a hell of a lot prettier, and look like a former version of my current self. But anyway, that's beside the point.

Seeing as I recently stumbled upon my old diary, I actually do have some good advice for my younger self. Granted, I only read about 3 random entries, but still. Firstly, I would tell myself to be selective of the people that I hung around with. There were times in high school when I didn't hang out with the best crowd, and I'm pretty sure that's because I didn't yet know who I was or what I wanted from myself. I was trying to figure that all out, and because of that, I trusted many people that didn't deserve that much from me and consequently, I got in a few situations because of it.

Secondly, my 16-year-old self should be aware that she does not need to follow in anyone's footsteps. I really hate to say this, but neither of my parent's jobs are much to be desired. My father works for Verizon Wireless doing some sort of sales. My mom is a middle school special education instructor. I grew up being told not to fall into either of those professions. I hold a lot of gratuity for my mom--I think that what she does really does matter and is a hard profession, but the salary is not worth the stress. But when the younger of my brothers went off to college, he found his niche in engineering. Consequently, I followed that path because I had heard of the end results--great job, nice salary, etc--with no regards of the means of getting there. That led me to applying directly for UVa's engineering program to which I was accepted. However, I learned early on that it wasn't my niche. To the advice of some deans and professors, I stayed in it far too long and by the time I chose a different path, there was only so much to choose without having to waste extra time. Needless to say, because of this, I am fully aware that environmental science is not my calling but was more of a fall back to a different science degree. My 16-year-old self should have took more time to really inquire as to what it is she wants to do, within reason, that she's good at and could pursue a career in.

Thirdly, I would tell my 16 year old self not to take fitness for granted and to make it a priority. I definitely peaked in my running the next year, but I could have achieved so much more if I really went for it without any excuses. I would tell her not to let it fall by the wayside with the looming days of college, but if she did, it would come back in a heartbeat. I would tell her to continue the community involvement when she ultimately got to college. I would let her know that although out-of-state is a heck of a lot more expensive, that she should choose somewhere that she wanted to go.

I would also tell her not to waste any time on high school boys, because let's face it--they're ALL immature.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Keep Calm and...

Freak out about everything life throws your way! As you all know, I'm the queen of keeping calm using my blog to vent. That's just the way it goes sometimes. However, I like to think that on more than one occasion, I have some activities I partake in to keep my nerves in line, clear my mind, etc. Let's see if I can put them in "Keep Calm" format:
Running = Cathartic
Archie. Enough said.
Two of my top things to do when anxious. The other is obviously the gym, but I'm not quite trying to overachieve with this post by creating a million of these things.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Best Coversation

Today's post brought to you by the HAWMC--what's the best conversation I've had this week? Um, really that takes a lot of thought, and I'm not terribly good at remembering much specific conversation. But I'd say the silliest, lightest, most fun conversation I had was yesterday evening.

It all started Friday night, when a few girls from work and I went to get frozen yogurt after work. This turned into an hour and a half of us chatting about anything and everything, including our former selves (aka awkward high school and college years). Now that I think about it, that was probably the best conversation I've had this week, also--who says you can't have more than one "best"? I love hanging out with coworkers outside of work, because it really brings everyone together as a team and evolves a work relationship into a friendship.

Well, when I arrived home at 10:30 that night (yikes, we lost track of time!), I was reminded of the photo box and memory boxes that I have with me in my apartment. An hour later, and I had dug through numerous childhood pictures--I even found my old diary from 8th-10th grade...which needs to be BURNED!!! No joke. I flipped open to a couple random pages and just sat there, head in my hands shaking my head and exclaiming, "Oh my..." To say I was a completely different person is an understatement. Quite the naive little girl. Very awkward for the first 2-3 years of high school for sure.

So last night, I'm hanging out with my workout partner and I mistakenly mentioned finding said diary. Big mistake. This prompted quite a few questions, but a lot of humor. What's really odd is that when I think of my years in high school, I really just recall those memories from my senior year. Somehow, I changed for the better between junior and senior year. From an outsider perspective, it's very interesting. The summer between those two years, I went down and spent the entirety of the summer with my cousin Kaileigh in San Antonio. Being that we are less than a year apart in age (with me being the older of the two) and are both redheads, we have a lot in common. The last couple of weeks, we went to a sleep away running camp in the hills mountains of Texas. I'll be damned if that didn't improve my running drastically--that even got some comments from former cross country team members the next season.

But anyway, even just looking at the progression of pictures taken on my high school IDs, my younger self was drastically different from the senior-year me. All of this, I was reminded of in my conversation last night, as I learned some interesting facts about my workout partner--who apparently was the "cool" trumpet player in the marching band. Does that even exist?! I kid (for those of you who play instruments)--I actually used to play the violin way back in the day. Then I decided I sucked and didn't want to use the bow to play and would rather just pluck the strings and I would never be better than I was so I admitted my loss and threw in the towel...or bow in this case.

Some of the best conversations are those when you're reminded of prior memories--mostly pleasant ones. And it definitely helps when you have good company to share with. I'm not saying all my memories from that time are pleasant which is why that diary must be burned, but I'm the type of person that can constantly poke humor at herself and still remain awesome . Unfortunately, I know have an agreement to read some of said diary to said workout partner if he plays the trumpet. The inner drunkard in my says I'm going to need a lot of liquid courage for that. Sloppy courage, but still. Hope he doesn't mind slurred words!

And since I can't leave you without some sort of pictures, I'm ready to dive into this Sweat to Street action today! Please note: these are not today's outfits, but they are from prior days in the week. Really wish I had a picture from my Loft outfit yesterday, because I can fully admit when I look like hot stuff and that was one of those days! I really hope you all don't think I'm this egotistical.

(Pre) Sweat:
Tank: Old high school team jersey--I believe it's Adidas brand
Tights: New balance (bought a year ago)
Shoes (barely visible): Nike Free XT Motion (no longer available at Nike online)

Street (Corners):
Please excuse the blurry sunlight.
Dress: Loft (last Spring)
Belt: Loft (Fall)
Necklace: Loft (few summers ago)
Shoes: Loft (few summers ago)
Blue bralette: Fruit of the Loom

The dress was a bit more low cut than work would allow I would prefer during daylight hours and the blue was the only bralette I had that would work. Unfortunately, this entire outfit is post-season Loft, but I promise to be more current next time!

What is the best conversation you had this week? Was it with yours truly? (It can be!)
The prompt originally wanted it in dialogue form, but as I said--shotty memory.
How would you react if you found an old diary? Embarrassing or accurate to who you are now? (Care to share some funny moments?)

Asking for help

I didn't actually have time to blog yesterday between the gym, work, and catching up with a friend, so let's just pretend this blog is written retroactively. Today (Saturday) is a free-for-all kind of day for the HAWMC, so my cherry-picked topic is about asking for help. Also because it's currently relevant.

I'm pretty much the last person to ask when they need help, especially in the gym, because I like to appear self-sufficient and insanely strong for a girl. Also, asking for help just isn't one of those things that "makes you look good," and some days I just want to impress people don't want to look bad. Especially given that I rarely wear makeup to the gym, and generally if I do, it's yesterday's makeup. Yeah, I'm that dirty. I don't believe in showers. Nah, I'm just lazy when it comes to my pre-bed rituals. I do generally tend to wash my face (but leave my mascara on? Yup, oddball).

Well, as it turns out, one arm rows are my weakness, and I'm more than willing to admit that. I generally turn the bench around so I'm parallel to the mirror and I can make sure that I'm keeping my back straight instead of curving it. I have a terribly weak back--or so I like to think. Well yesterday, it just seemed too easy. It didn't feel like I was working the muscle groups I needed to, so I asked Pleasants to correct my form. Turns out he prefers the tripod method of one arm rows (instead of kneeling one leg on the bench, you put one arm on the bench for support in a tripod-like stance, with legs apart--for those of my friends that don't know much about lifting). So that right there was a major improvement.

As Pleasants walked away, the guy to my left was noticing my form and politely told me that I needed to keep my back down. Normally, I'd be kinda annoyed that someone was watching me, but this guy had good intentions. He said on more than one occasion, " Not to be sexist, but...you need to stick your butt out in order to flatten your back. Right now you're arching inward." I actually found this to be quite funny because: a. I've heard it before, it's just easier said than done because I'm no stripper girl that flaunts what she has like that, and b. Men (with purely good intentions) tend to be very wary about what they say so as not to offend.

By the time I walked out of the gym, I was fairly confident that I had succeeded in asking for help and correcting my form a bit. I still have a ways to go, because as I tire, my back continues to round some more. But at least I have a good starting point and was able to admit that I needed help. Lesson learned: when you ask for help, others will come to your assistance.

Friday, April 6, 2012

I am no poet

My least favorite of the HAWMC prompts yet. I have to write a haiku. About my "health focus" which I chose to define as fitness. Ugh. Why me? I like to think I'm a decent writer, but I don't like to be limited to 17 syllables total. Just a heads up, I'm only going to try this once before I give up and move on to more exciting things--and trust me, they're very exciting!

Keeping fit for me
Means putting in the effort
Never giving up

Okay, yeah that was lame. One more try. Then I'm done.

Pushups, pullups, run
Strength training, crossfit, sweat, tears
To achieve my goal

Both are mediocre. The second a little less so than the first. I almost started one that looked like this, but it was extremely sub par.

The gym is my home
My home is just for sleeping
Workout, sleep, repeat.

Now you see why I'm not a poet. Because I'm just oh so profound. Not. Moving on!

Yesterday was quite the amazing day, if I do say so myself. Well, despite finding out that one job that I applied for is "On hold," because it's a government job. Great. But that didn't really put a damper on my mood. The morning started off with a breakfast, digestion while weeding through emails and reading blogs, then a run down at the Rivanna trail. I swear I saw an actor there. Who's that guy that looks like a more rugged version of Patrick Dempsey? Or like a mix between Patrick Dempsey and Hugh Jackman? Maybe I'm just thinking of one of those two or I was so dehydrated that I started imagining things. But call me convinced! Maybe that's what motivated my exceptionally quick/steady pace for the 4 miles I ran.
Ignore the "5th mile." I stopped right at 4. But look at those negative splits--dang!
Did I mention it was cold and windy on this run? Half of it, I was running into the wind--so gross! I had to bust out my UA ColdGear and leggings for this run. It wasn't around 55* when I first got to the trail, and it's fairly shaded too. But at least it's relatively flat, which makes me a very happy camper! By the way, I love that I am able to show you my runs in chart form. So great!

Next up was a long day of opening shipment at work which means first dibs on all the super cute clothing! Which reminds me--a couple of nights ago, I had a nightmare that I went into my review at work and got fired! So odd, seeing as I'm one of the most exceptional employees at the store. Needless to say, I bolted right awake after that. However, seeing as my review was the next day, that is not how the review went at all! Phew! In fact, I mentioned the dream to my managers and they laughed. So yes, work was easy--the other nice thing about working on new stock is that generally you're in the back with another associate, so you get some quality catch-up time. And I happened to be back there with one of my faves that's also on the management team.

The entire time though, I was looking forward to a special gym date. Six o'clock rolled around and I headed out the door to meet up with this familiar face at the gym for a leg workout:
Toni! Aka my Stepmom!
Haven't worked out with this badass chick in forever! She was the one driving all my motivation back at Gold's. And a great sounding board for advice, etc. Of course, she loves the camera (aka my iphone) and more so taking pictures than having pictures taken.
Repping my old high school track team!
Toni likes to joke that I can "get low."
(Un)fortunately, no squat pics were taken.
Leg extensions.
At this point my poor legs were dying.
Resting mid-set.
And off to do some posing! Toni is 16 weeks out from her next bodybuilding show! It's the Linda Murray show which is somewhere down in the Hampton Roads area, I believe. You best believe I will be there with bells and whistles and glittery signs to support her!
Already pretty darn jacked and only going to get more so!
Then we decided to have fun with the iphone cam one of the trainers at Total Performance and have him swing some bells for our kettle bell swinging friend up in New York. He snatches like a pro.
Getting ready...
The swing...
And the snatch! What a champ!
Next up was my turn. And by that, I mean I played around with the baby bell. Please note: I've never done this before and was using the lightest bell, which meant there was no way I could harm myself. Except my ego by showing you these pics.
Terrible form.
I'm just so fast, they couldn't capture my swing.
And the snatch!
Is this right? I'm so weak. Please no more pics.
 And that wasn't even the highlight of my evening workout! A couple days ago, the gym was empty except for me and the trainers (who were in their office) so I decided to work on my kipping pullups. And I think I managed to eek out a few! I told this to Toni, and she insisted on filming this. I still have some work to do, but they are much better than I was previously able to do. Also, I'm kind of shy trying things that I'm not great at when there are people in the gym, so having the gym to myself was a great help. And having Toni there was even better. For your entertainment:

video

A valiant effort if I do say so myself! And to end the evening, of course Toni and I had some "mother-daughter" pics to take!
Our respective competition poses.
I really just wanted to look gangster.
Toni said she doesn't know how.
Is there anything new you have learned to do in the gym in the past few days/weeks?
I swear, kipping pullups really are easier than traditional pullups in terms of upper body strength. Those suckers use your whole body, really!
Have you had any quality time with a good friend you have/have not seen in a while? And are you as terrible of a poet as I am?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Photographic Exploration

Today is Day 5 of WEGO's HAWMC and today's prompt is a little interesting. I'm supposed to go to this site and consequently post on the image that appears. The twist? Well, there is none according to the prompt, but yesterday (when I thought this was actually yesterday's prompt) I realized that if you refresh the page, a different image appears each time. Unfortunately for me, there was actually a really cool image of graffiti on the side of railroad cars that I would have loved to write about. Then I refreshed the page and then I realized it is today's prompt, duh.

When I finally came across the page today, the first image just had to be refreshed. I mean, I'm not hating on anyone's photography or anything, but a grey tabby cat sitting on a brick area along a grey wall is not exactly inspiring to me. So yes, I cheated a bit. However, I only refreshed once, and although this picture would not be my ideal, I think it is definitely inspiring and I can totally relate to this creature:
Oh hey there, Mr. Horse.
I'm so original in naming animals. Next puppy I get I'm not going to name Pup. It may be because I have a French Vanilla candle burning in the background, but this photograph is calming to me. At first sight, it's a horse (that someone owns based on its muzzle(?)) going at it's own pace in the seemingly beautiful outdoors.

The detail-obsessive nerd in me can't help but notice the the blurred edges, the contrast between the shadowy, leaf-laden grass and the blindingly light yard. Not to mention the position of Mr. Horse, who appears to be trotting from the shade into the sunshine. I can't help but feel personified by this great creature. Not just because he seems to have darker red (okay fine, he's more auburn/brown) hair than me.

I'm sure you are aware that right now, I'm just shy of being the most anxious person in the world. Of course, I exaggerate by saying that, but I've never been a terribly anxious person by nature and this is new and frustrating to me. I find that I'm currently in the shade, still trying to figure things out with my life, and all those fallen leaves around Mr. Horse represent my dead ends. I'm hoping and striving for something better, to figure something out, and to head toward the sunlight just like Mr. Horse.

The only difference between me and him? He's trotting, going at his own pace, probably thinking about the awesome hay he has to look forward to eating. He has routine and seems well-groomed, so he probably has a pretty decent life. At the least, he has an owner that loves him (just like I have my friends and family). But I have yet to figure out how to go at my own pace, how to slow down when necessary. In fact, yesterday during my run, I kept obsessively checking Armin (Garmin) for my pace. When I thought I was going a bit too fast to keep at a good speed, I would try to slow down. A minute or so later, I would look back down to find that I had somehow sped up. Exactly the opposite of what I was trying to do.

There's much more to be said about this photograph, but the juxtaposition of shade and light is what struck me. And those blurred edges? It's as though Mr. Horse is leaving his surreal environment and getting back to reality. An optimistic reality. And now I promise I will learn to slow down.

What do you think of this image? What image do you get when you go explore on Flicker? Post about it (please)!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Why do you do that thing you do?

Everyone has their own reasons for blogging about fitness and/or health. For some, it holds them accountable and keeps them on their path to achieving their goals. For others, it's more of a forum to throw ideas back and forth. I write about my health because: I enjoy it. I find it fun, a relief. It's a way to connect with not only current friends, but others that I would not have normally met due to distance or other circumstances.

When I initially started Just Another Rep, it was a way to keep my friends informed of my training for a figure competition, since let's face it--everyone has questions about what the heck that is. It let them know how I was coming along, how I was leaning out, what cravings I did (not) have, and how far I had to go. Needless to say, my training for a competition has temporarily gone by the wayside, as I have far more important things to worry about than if I just ate too many carbs or if I was half-assing my cardio sessions. As they say, looking for a job IS a full-time job.

As the days/weeks/months passed, this blog turned into more of a means for me to share my daily ramblings. Progress I had made in several different arenas, whether it be the gym, at home, at work, or my personal connections with friends and family. Now I just write about my health to stay sane. And as a means of comparison to my former self--back in high school, the beginning of college, my transition from party gal to weight room hottie*, and now post-grad (*I kid). There are days when I don't have much material to elicit a post. There are other days when I almost feel like writing 3 posts but refuse to sit at the computer for that long and not spend time job hunting. Now I have the attitude of "I do what I want!"

Which brings me away from today's HAWMC post topic and onto today's happenings. You know that thing that I showed you last night? If you forget, it looks a little like this:
Oh hey there, sexy!
Well, I took Armin the Garmin (oh yes, I'm that clever and I name my running accessories) for his first test run this morning. The verdict? LOVE! It was a little hard to get on because I'm not as brilliant as you'd think, and there was one stoplight at which the timer didn't stop running for a good 5 seconds, but overall it's my new favorite toy. For sure. And now I can show you what my workouts look like! Just when you thought I couldn't get more boring...
Please note my annotations.
Let me mention that: 1. I haven't run in a few days, 2. I hate hills (and I'll keep reminding you of this), and 3. yeah, I'm out of excuses. I'm just happy for a sub-8:00 average pace! And look at that first mile--7:11! I definitely didn't realize that whole first mile was downhill and am not entirely convinced it was. But when I looked at the elevation details, there was no gain of elevation during that first mile. Hmm. My next plan is to figure out how far the Rivanna Trail really is. My hunch is that it's a little bit under 2 miles, depending on where you actually start, but that is to be seen.

And now folks, I'm off to do a little bit more of this before work:
Vodka! On the (melted) rocks!
Ha! I wish. My stomach could not handle that straight-up. That, my friends, is good ole water. It's pretty darn hot out today and this girl has already been through at least 5 of those bad boys! Don't you wish you didn't know me right now...?

What inspires you to write about health/fitness/blog in general?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

"By your powers combined..."

"I am Captain Planet!" Wow, way to take all the credit Captain... How selfish! But awesome marketing by making a dude be Heart. I always wanted to be Wind. I think. I don't know. I liked them all. Until the show got cancelled/replaced/went off television. It always happens to the best of them. Sigh.

Superpowers are those things that you always want all of--if you're me and you want to be the best of the best. When people used to ask "If you could have one superpower, what would it be?" I would respond with "I want the superpower to have ALL superpowers!" If you believe that, you must think I'm a. insanely brilliant, or b. egotistical. I promise, folks, that really wasn't my answer. I think it was one of those mainstream "I want the power to grow really tall!" kind of answers.

Nowadays, I really don't need a superpower. Because I'm a unicorn, so I'm all sorts of magical anyways. I kid. When I really think about it, I don't think I would want something selfish, like the ability to see how my life turned out. No power of persuasion. No invisibility. I'd rather make positive changes in other people's lives. Isn't that really what's important?

Thus, I would want the ability to create unending positivity. I would want to make others smile when I smile. Create optimism in otherwise gloomy circumstances. To me, that is what makes it a superpower.
A ring is what makes a superpower official.
A 25-cent ring from a toy machine contains my superpower. This ring was a silly moment turned into fun memory, memento and all. My sister and I were goofing off with the little temporary tattoo machines hoping to get a turtle image while waiting for a movie to start. I swear, we wasted like $7. Fourteen tattoos later, and no turtle to be found. So with our last 2 quarters, we decided to hit up the ring machine instead. Out popped this beaut for me and a smiley face ring for El. So now, I tend to wear this ring just to put me in a fun mood. Well really because I find it kind of cool! Did I mention this was like 2 years ago? Judge away.

So that, my friends, is my desired superpower. And in other news:
Oh hey, new toy!
Can't wait to test it out! Too bad it doesn't come pre-charged.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be? Why??

Monday, April 2, 2012

And I Quote:

"Wait long enough and people will surprise and impress you. He said, when you are pissed off at somebody, and you're angry at them, you just haven't given them enough time. Just give them a little more time — and they'll almost always impress you. And that really stuck with me. I think he's absolutely right on that one."

This is really a quote within a quote. The bold can be attributed to a one mister Jon Snoddy. The normal font can be attributed to Randy Pausch, author of The Last Lecture. About four years ago, I picked up The Last Lecture after moving into my first apartment at the end of the summer of 2008. I was going through a bit of a rough time, and I was not necessarily looking to find answers but to take my mind off of the situation at hand. Needless to say, I fell in love with the truth with which Randy Pausch wrote.

It was simple--this was a man that was dying and yet he seemed to have all the answers. Answers about friendships, relationships, life, dying. Somehow, he knew it all. But as seen by above quote, he had a little help along the way.

I think we are always a little judgmental, making first impressions about people that we meet. And like he says, we don't give people enough time when we are up in arms over things. I think for even just mental health reasons, this quote holds true. I'm THE most impatient person in the world. In fact, I would be in the Guinness Book of World Records if that was a category. But as they say, patience is a virtue, and I'm slowly but surely learning. Patience is an art really. I just haven't quite mastered it yet.

Anyways, just a quick little blog. I'm much too tired to really get into this one--should have planned ahead. But a long day of work leaves little energy to think. Also, the quote is pretty self-explanatory. Just wait long enough and see.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

HAWMC Kickoff!

A while back, I received an email (I think?) asking me to join Health Activist Writer's Monthly Challenge. My initial thought was: "Wait, I'm a health activist? I thought I just sarcastically write about life as I know it, fitness and all." My second reaction was: "They like me, they really like me!"Finally, I calmed down enough to realize that I have friends outside of the internet this actually seemed like a really cool idea and one that would challenge me to blog every day for a month straight. In the words of Barney Stinson--Challenge Accepted!

Today's not only April Fool's Day (and you should be thankful that I'm terrible at pranking people... I thought about telling people I'm moving in 2 weeks, but then I figured that would only make me sad that it wasn't actually true), but it is also day one of the challenge!

As part of the challenge, I'm supposed to have some sort of health focus. However, as we all know, I have a very hard time focusing on anything, so I like to think of my focus and general fitness nonsense. I think that accurately sums up my blogging identity. Lucky for me, today's topic doesn't really depend on my health focus.

So let's just pretend it's one hundred years from now and someone stumbles upon a time capsule that I hypothetically stocked with all things that encompass me and my fitness persona. What would be in it?

Well first of all, I already have one of these things, except it's not called a time capsule--it's called a memory box. Secondly, it's not 100 years from now... but I did stumble upon all my high school athletic awards, etc a couple weeks ago. That counts for something, right?

I can't quite narrow down what my time capsule has in it--I'm sort of an athletic brand whore. I get around (in various different workout brand gear). Sometimes I do wear more than one at a time... Oh my, that's highly inappropriate! But for serious though, I would probably have my neon Brooks and my Mizuno Wave Runners in there. Knee high socks are new to me, but I'd probably put a pair in there for the heck of it. Also at least one pair of fun compression shorts. Oh, and a C9 by Champion sports bra, since I live by them and all. But let's not make this all about clothing, shall we?
Gosh, those look so hot!
I suppose I could add a bit o' sand too.
Time capsules are a tricky thing, because they should define who you are by what you put in it. The problem with that is that people put crazy cheesy crap in there and they regret that when they realize X,Y, and Z were never cool to begin with. On that note, I'd keep most other things classic. Forewarning, this is going to be one heavy time capsule, so it may take more than one person to dig it from its 100-year grave.

I think a medicine ball is only fitting since I use one practically every day and actually own 2--one that I keep at the gym and one that I keep in my closet (but it's a baby ball, only 8 lbs). I'd also put my GPS watch in there (which I haven't actually received in the mail yet--but that's how much faith I have in it) so someone can put it to good use...or debate how primitive technology was "back then." Or I'd put in a paper map to trick people because I'm just that mean clever.

Lastly, I'd put some multivitamins and some JetFuel in there. Two of the supplements I take on the reg. That just about sums up my health focus--running, weights, looking decent while doing both, and trying to properly fuel my bod.
What time capsule is complete without treadmill lube?!
And I'm officially inappropriate. What would be in your time capsule?