A Busy Summer (or Realizing I Have A Lot To Look Forward Too)

While summer is definitely here now (I’m so grateful for my a/c because it’s been pretty hot here in LA lately!), I haven’t really thought too much about my summer plans. Summer doesn’t really mean as much now as it did as a kid, but I still think of it as the time I want to make some really fun plans and try to get out and do summer things like go to the beach or hang out with my friends at a BBQ.

I’ve been adding things to my calendar as I hear about them (or get tickets to them as it is the case with the Hollywood Bowl), but I haven’t really thought that I had a ton of stuff planned yet. In fact, I was thinking that I needed to look into more things that I want to do. It just didn’t seem like I had a lot planned out and I figured I would have lots of gaps in my calendar that I would want to fill up.

Then I looked at my calendar.

For the next 6 weeks, I don’t have a free weekend. Each weekend is booked with some pretty cool things. Sometimes I’m going to a show. Some days I have a party I’m going to. There are a couple of meals with friends already on my schedule. I’ve got my short film shoot one weekend. I’m going to a blogging conference one weekend (although my time there is going to end up being very limited so I won’t get to experience it all). And I’m going back east for a weekend for a family reunion (some of the family there I haven’t seen in 16 years!). Then of course there are some weekends that are already booked with work (not counting my usual Saturday morning shifts).

It’s a lot of stuff to do and that’s just getting me to August! In August, I’ve got my birthday to figure out and I’ll be going to San Diego to celebrate with my parents for their anniversary and my birthday. But that month is relatively clear for now but I know there are a couple of shows at the Hollywood Bowl that I’m hoping to go to that I haven’t gotten my tickets for yet.

I think I’ve really set myself up for a great summer. I will be extremely busy and I’m sure at times I might get a bit overwhelmed at my schedule, but I’m happy that I’ve got so much to look forward to instead of feeling like the summer weekends are going to drag on.

Of course, after the beginning of September my calendar pretty much only has my work and workouts scheduled (plus my season ticket dates for the upcoming season at Pantages) so I know I’ll need to plan some fun things for the fall too. I’m already working on one trip I’m hoping to take in October (thanks to some airline credits I have to use up before the end of the year) and of course I have Thanksgiving in the fall too.

I feel like this is the first summer that I’ve really been looking forward to in a while. Summers lost some of their specialness after I was out of school and working meant there wasn’t a big chunk of time off (unless I was unemployed). In the past, it was just time that I was going to keep working and I knew I’d have to deal with the heat in creative ways. Now, I’ve set myself up to have as much fun as I can while still working 3-4 day jobs. I don’t think I could have done it any better.

Seeing My Therapist (or Building Habits)

I saw my therapist earlier this week. This was the first time that I had seen him in 6 months because he has been feeling like I’ve been doing a pretty good job lately. So he trusted me to be ok with a 6 month gap between appointments but let me know that if anything changed I could see him sooner if I needed to.

I had been feeling pretty good about this appointment lately. After my interview for the audition recently, I have really realized how much progress has been made and I knew that my appointment would be filled with positive news.

I had brought a couple of things with me to my appointment. Usually, I bring my happiness checklist, but I’m now using an app to track that so I made sure my phone was charged so I could show him if he wanted to see it. I also brought my Spark Planner with me. I’ve been tracking so much stuff in there lately and I wanted it to remind myself of anything as well as proof to show him if he wanted to see it.

The first thing discussed in my appointment was how I was feeling about Vyvanse. I think I’m doing pretty well on it and there was only one minor concern about things. I’ve been taking my larger dose in the morning and smaller dose at lunch, but I feel like maybe those should be switched. There is more time between lunch and bedtime than there is between breakfast and lunch. And since I’m not having sleeping issues with Vyvanse, I’m not worried about a slightly larger dose at lunchtime. My therapist agreed with me completely and my new prescription bottles will reflect that (for now, I just take the afternoon medication in the morning and visa versa until I’m using my refill).

After that check in, we discussed how I’ve been doing with my happiness checklist and other things. I told him how I had been using an app for the checklist since it’s easier and I always have it with me, and I think his biggest surprise is that I’ve continued to keep it up. He wrote down the name of the app (HabitBull) so he can tell other patients as well, so that made me feel pretty awesome.

And then we talked about my Spark Planner. I told him how I had been tracking a lot of stuff in there this year and I was showing off the various sections of it. I showed him where I can track my annual goals, monthly goals, and weekly goals and I think he was impressed that there is such a big focus on goal setting. It’s good for me to have goals to reach toward, so the more I can focus and have to think about my goals the better.

But what my therapist was most impressed with were the monthly challenges that are within the Spark Planner.

30 Day Challenges

I showed him the monthly challenges I’ve been doing and let him know that I’ve basically had 100% success with keeping up each challenge even beyond the month that I set the challenge for (the only one that hasn’t been 100% has been weighing myself in because I can only do that at home and I was in Santa Barbara for Rayshell’s wedding without my scale). And I know that I can’t do 100% perfection with all challenges for the rest of my life, but even if I only keep them up part-time these are all good habits that I’ve been building and that’s just awesome.

And habit building is exactly what my therapist wants me to focus on over these next 6 months. The more I build positive habits in my life, the more likely that recovery from my eating disorder will become a positive habit eventually. While the individual habits are sometimes recovery related, even the non-recovery ones are helping me get into a better space in my life and to build my habit building muscles up so that I can use them for whatever I need to.

I knew when I bought my Spark Planner that it was going to be a good thing for me, but to know that my therapist thinks that this is what will help me get to recovery one day is amazing. I’m still figuring out what recovery really means to me (and that’s something I did discuss with my therapist), but I’m feeling even better that recovery is in my future one day.

At the end of my appointment, I felt incredible and on cloud 9. My therapist even said that in some ways, I’m doing better than he is and he needs to get better and doing some things like I’m doing now. For me, so much of my habit work is having something to remind me to do it. I have so many alarms/reminders set on my phone so I know to do something. If I didn’t have that, I would easily forget and that’s what life was like before. There’s no shame in needing to be reminded to do something, but for some reason I was not willing to do that before.

But now that I’m fine with the dozens of alarms on my phone, I’m making sure I’m getting my new habits done and I’m excited to see how I’ll be doing in 6 months when I see my therapist again.

A Disney Morning (or Dealing With The Heat For One Ride)

My Disneyland pass is about to be blacked out for the summer. I don’t mind that I can’t go during the summer since it’s usually more crowded than plus the heat can be pretty bad. Sometimes I wish I could be there when some of my friends go, but I don’t want to have a more expensive annual pass just for an occasional summer day in the parks.

I had gone last week with my friend June to the parks to ride all of my favorite rides and to say goodbye to Soarin’ Over California. That was a great way to spend one more Disney day before being blacked out for 2 months, but I ended up going back for about an hour this past Sunday.

With Soarin’ Over California closing, Soarin’ Around The World was opening. The opening day was on Friday and I had some free time on Sunday to ride it so I decided to head down for a quick park visit.

Even though I got there around 9am, the heat was already pretty bad. I didn’t think to wear a hat since I was only going to be there for a quick stop, so I was trying to stay in the shade as much as possible. But even with the heat, nothing could take away my excitement to check out the new ride!

Soarin

The line was pretty short, which I was surprised by. I figured with it being a new ride and it being a Sunday, the lines would have been out of control. But it was only about a 25 minute wait when I got there.

My quick review of the new ride is that I really liked it! I thought I wouldn’t since I loved the original so much. This new version has some elements of the music from the original but I like that they didn’t keep it exactly the same. And while I liked the movie a bit more in the original (and the scents that they have), the movement of the ride is better in the new one and it was a bit more exciting to ride.

I actually enjoyed it so much that I rode it twice back to back! I figured I should maximize the short amount of time I had in the parks and there weren’t any other rides I wanted to go on (or have to walk in the sun to get to). The only other thing that I did at the park was take some time to cool down inside of Starbucks because I needed some air conditioning time. But I got a seat at the window so I could enjoy the cool air with a view.

California Adventure

The park was pretty empty while I was there and I’m guessing people wanted to stay away because of the heat. A lot of people in the park seemed pretty overheated and I think people were surprised at how bad it was that early in the morning.

When I got to the tram to get back to the parking structure, I was the only person in line to get onto it to ride back.

Empty Tram

But after I sat down, I saw tons of people coming over that wanted to leave the park. We ended up being about half full on the ride back and at the parking lot there was almost nobody there to ride the tram to the park. If I had a full day to be there (and had been prepared to be there all day), I would have stayed because all the rides had pretty short wait times and I think I could have gotten a lot done. But that wasn’t in the cards for me that day and I’m just happy that I was able to go for the short time that I did.

My car was parked on the top of the parking structure that day. While it was annoying because I had to let my car cool down before I could try to sit inside of it, I did get a pretty fun view of the Star Wars Land construction that is going on right now.

Disney Construction

The construction changed even between my visit on Monday and my visit on Sunday. I’m excited to see how much things will change by the time I go back to the parks at the end of August or beginning of September. I know that the construction will still be taking a long time, but I find it fun to see the work in progress and seeing how Disneyland changes throughout the years.

Even though my Monday visit was really my goodbye to Disneyland for the summer, I’m glad I had this bonus short trip to say hello to what will surely be one of my new favorite rides.

“BLUE” (or Supporting A Friend’s Film)

This past weekend, I got to attend the premiere of my friend Robert’s film. This was something that I know he had been working really hard on, and I was so excited to see the finished product. So I had been counting down the days to the screening!

Robert worked with Marie and Chris (the epic party throwers) on this project, so a lot of people attending the screening were the same people who I see at lots of parties throughout the year. That made the event even more fun and I think everyone shared my excitement about it!

The film that Robert and Chris did is called “BLUE” and it is a very personal story for Robert. It shows people what it is like living with depression and how it can rule your life even if you are doing something fun or that you love. Depression in the film was represented by Blue, a puppet, and I think it was a really great way to show people what mental illness is like.

Blue

Technically, I was diagnosed with depression when I was younger, but the more I’ve learned about mental illness and depression I believe that I was actually misdiagnosed. I think my depression was a side effect of my panic/anxiety disorder. The panic attacks made me sad and I didn’t know how to make things better. That depression is very different from when people are diagnosed with depression, but I can still relate to the concept of the film.

While I don’t deal with my panic/anxiety on a daily basis, I do live in fear for when the next attack will be. Fortunately, they are getting better now so I’m not in as much fear as I was before. But I’m still wondering when the bubble will burst and I’ll have a horrible panic attack that causes me to not be able to do anything for a day or so. That feeling is similar to what some people with depression feels when they wonder when their next down time will hit them.

I loved this movie! It’s short, but the message is very effective and clear. I think it’s a great way to show others what mental illness can feel like and how we can feel crazy when we can’t just forget about it. And I think that everyone else who viewed it felt the same way because everyone was just so touched after the end credits were done.

And because my friends Robert and Chris are so amazing, they have posted the movie on YouTube for everyone to see and share.

(if you can’t see the video above, click on this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rk_D9x5BeRI)

I hope that you all take a few minutes to watch this movie and to share with everyone you know. Let your friends who have a mental illness know that you are trying to understand them. And let your friends without mental illness know that they should watch this so that they can try to understand their friends who battle this every day.

After the screening, Robert had arranged for a photographer (Adam, who did my last headshots!) to take photos of us with the puppet who was in the movie. I love photo booth set ups and this one was so much fun! And of course, taking photos with a puppet is a pretty awesome thing too.

Me and Blue

Adam also took some fun candid shots before and after the screening. Most of them haven’t been posted yet, but I love this one of a bunch of us in the backyard before the screening started.

Party

After the screening and photos, most of us hung out in the backyard just chatting like normal. But it wasn’t like normal because everyone was more open than I think we’ve ever been before. We were discussing some more serious things than we normally do and there was no shame in what anyone had to say. This movie really did bring us all closer together even though we were already pretty close to begin with. I think anything that helps to remove the shame from any mental illness is such a gift and I’m so glad that Robert and Chris did this so we could feel more open with each other.

If you deal with depression or mental illness, please know that you aren’t alone. There are so many of us out there who know exactly what you are going through and maybe not everyone is ready to share that with the world. By being willing to share, you might inspire others to share and be open too (I experienced that with this blog).

And if you are dealing with mental illness and want help, please get it. There is no shame in needing someone to talk to or medication to make things better in your life. You may find a way to live a fuller life by getting help, and that is something you don’t want to miss out on.

Testing Myself (or Running More)

I’m so happy to share that the knee pain I was dealing with recently finally went away! I have no clue what was causing it or how I made it stop, but it did and I’m so grateful for that. And I needed a good week because I had another 4 workout week this past week and I wasn’t going easy on myself.

Monday wasn’t my best day (I’m starting to wonder if Mondays are too early for me to be good workouts). While I wasn’t having knee pain, I was dealing with some hip stuff. I could feel the clicks in both hips and I was getting the pressure pain I get a lot. But even with that, I was trying to go hard in my workout. It was an endurance day and we didn’t switch between blocks, so I knew I had to pace myself on the treadmill. We had some 2 and 3 minute push paces, and I stuck to walking those. I’d like to try running for the first 30 seconds of them again soon, but I was scared with the hip pain that day. But even though I was walking for the pushes, I was still doing my running for the all outs. That day we also had endurance rows (400 and 500 meters) and I know that those were to get us ready for Peak Performance Week (which is this week!).

Wednesday was a power day without switching, but that was perfect for me to practice my running with! I’ve quickly learned that the best days for me to run are the power days because we have a lot of all outs and walking recoveries (exactly what I need). This time, we had all outs in blocks of 3 and it repeated 3 times. First we did an all out for a minute, then a walking recovery, then an all out for 45 seconds, and a walking recovery, and finishing with an all out for 30 seconds. We were encouraged to bump up the speed on the all outs as they got shorter and for the first time I followed that advice! When we were doing them for a minute, I stuck with 4.5 miles an hour which is what I’ve been doing. For the 45 second all outs, I ran at 4.6 miles an hour. And for the ones that were 30 seconds, I ran at 4.7 miles an hour. I’m pretty happy that I was able to make speed increases and I’ve learned that the additional .1 faster feels much easier as a runner than it does as a walker. So I might have to keep trying to get faster while I’m also trying to build endurance.

That day on the floor, it was a lot of squats which¬†I did with 25 pound weights. I also used that same weight for my tricep work, but when it came time for abs, I’m glad that I didn’t have to use weights because I was exhausted!

Friday was a run/row day. I was excited for this because I knew that I could test my running again during the run/row. All of the rows were 150 meters, so those were pretty easy. But the run part was a bit longer. It started for me at .25 miles, then down to .2, then to .15, and finally to .1. I walked for the first 3 sets (.25-.15 miles) because I knew that I couldn’t run that long and I didn’t want to push it too much. But when it came to the .1 miles part, I decided to see if I could run it. Before, the longest I’ve run is for a minute, and I know that it’s not .1 miles for me in a minute. But I’ve been hoping that at some point this month I could run for 90 seconds, so I figured this was the best time to try something in between. I’m happy that the longer run wasn’t as horrible as I thought it would be and I think that my endurance is really getting better because I wasn’t feeling like I was dying at the end of it. But that day I did run for the longest distance and longest time I’ve done so far.

Run

For my Saturday workout, I did end up using the bike like I’ve said I would on 4 workout weeks. I really did want to try running again, but I also want to pace myself and make sure that whatever that knee pain was doesn’t return. It was a good choice because not only did we not switch between blocks, it was a strength day which means more hills on the treadmill. On the bike, it just meant more resistance. I was trying to go hard on the bike, but my body was just so tired from the week (the heat has been making it tough to sleep) so I just focused on continuing to pedal and not to focus on the resistance levels.

The floor block on Saturday was actually pretty cool. It was a single block for the entire time that started with rowing and then had a bunch of other things we added on. The rowing started easy at 150 meters, but it kept going up and once I was rowing 450 meters I could feel my body being done with it. The highest I had to row was 600 meters and while my time for it was pretty bad, at least I finished. The rest of the stuff on the floor included squats, shoulder presses, and doing arm rows with weights. It was a fun block because I knew I had the time to work through each exercise and I wasn’t worried about when the blocks would switch. But at the end of the class, I was ready to take a nap!

With this week being Peak Performance Week, I’m excited to see what I’ll be able to do. I know that Friday is the mile challenge, which is always the big one for me. But since I recently had the PR on my mile, I’m not going to get too crazy about it. If I beat that time, that will be awesome! But because I know I made some seriously leaps to get that PR, I just want to be close to that time to prove that it wasn’t a fluke.

Organization Time (or Seeing A Bit Of A Mess)

I take a lot of pride in being a super organized person. I have my calendar color coded, I made lists of tasks or errands to do almost every day, and I track my tax stuff throughout the year so I don’t have to do it all at once. I’m pretty set in my organization skills and I’ve taught a couple of friends to do them as well (I think everyone has appreciated the tips!).

My house is pretty small, so I try to keep things uncluttered. When there is a little bit of a mess, it seems to take everything over. At one of my old apartments, I was a much messier (and less organized person), but I’m pretty neat in my current space. But between all the day jobs I’m working now, time is much more limited and I’ve been noticing that things are getting a bit messy and overwhelming.

I’ve been trying to set small goals each day with things that need to be cleaned/organized but I’ve got 2 main projects that I want to work on and they both probably need a day devoted to them.

First, I want to organize my kitchen. I’m lacking in counter space, so I have to be very careful where I store things. I finally just got rid of all my mismatched disposable food storage containers (I got some nice glass ones and only have 6 pieces instead of 20 or more). I’ve got dozens of cookbooks, but I think I only really use maybe 3 of them. So I need to take a day or a couple of days and go through the cookbooks and scan in the recipes I like. Then I can donate the cookbooks that I don’t need and that is a lot more storage space for me in my kitchen cabinet.

I may have gotten rid of a ton of junk storage containers, but I still have so much stuff to go through. I know I donated about 20 water bottles somewhat recently, but I just counted and I have 15 water bottles in my house. I really only use maybe 3 or 4 of them, so I need to weed through them. I also have a giant fruit bowl on my counter that I do use, but I think I could find something smaller that would do just as great of a job.

I don’t want to spend a ton of money organizing my kitchen, but I know that a couple of things will need to be bought and I need to figure out exactly what I’m in need of or what I could use to make the tiny kitchen space more manageable. My main goal is to make my kitchen a place that makes me happy and motivated to keep cooking in there.

The second place that I’m in serious need of organizing is my desk. Most of my desk is technically organized, but there’s so much stuff piled up everywhere that you can’t see the organized areas! Part of the problem is that while I’m working on a project, things get piled on my printer or on my filing cabinet. I try to toss them out when the project is done, but that doesn’t always happen. Fortunately, this project will be more throwing out things than reorganizing, so it should be easier than the kitchen project I want to do.

I’m really working on making my space the best it can be for me. I need things to be functional and motivating at the same time. I need to have a ton of things within reach, but not cluttered on top of each other. I know that this is probably just normal maintenance or “spring cleaning” type work. But until I took a step back and realized how my disorganized spaces were causing issues for me, I didn’t realize how badly I needed to revamp my system.

I’ve Made Progress (or I Think My Therapist Will Be Proud)

Yesterday, I had a phone interview/audition for a commercial about people who have binge eating disorder. I actually had auditioned for this commercial last year when it was slightly different, but when I saw they were shooting again I submitted myself.

Typically for auditions you don’t have a phone interview, but since for this project you have to prove that you have been diagnosed with BED by a doctor and meet other requirements that aren’t normally an issue with commercials, the phone interview is the first step.

I’ll start by saying that I’m not going to get the audition for this because they need to fit certain age and size requirements right now, and I’m not a match for that. It’s not a big deal and I’m totally ok with not being able to audition because I got so much out of this phone interview.

The woman I spoke with yesterday was actually the same woman who I spoke to last year for the phone interview and audition I had. It was nice to catch up quickly with her and she was excited that I had submitted myself again for the project (I was afraid that they wouldn’t want me to since I didn’t get it last year, but I figured it was better to try than not to).

The phone interview first covered a lot of technically stuff. You do agree that you are willing to share medical information with the production team (if you got the commercial, it wouldn’t be public so your privacy is protected) and you have to agree that you are ok with sharing the fact that you do have binge eating disorder. Since I share that on here, I have no issues with saying that in a commercial. I think that most people aren’t as comfortable being public with things as I am, and I understand why the casting team wants to check with the people they are talking with to make sure they know how public it will be.

After going over that I was diagnosed by a doctor, we went over what treatments I’m doing for my eating disorder. I mentioned that I’m still taking Vyvanse and that I’ve finally been seeing some progress with it. I think a lot of the progress is due to some personal development I’ve been doing along with the monthly challenges in my Spark Planner. But to be honest, until I had to share what things were like before versus what they are like now, I didn’t realize how much progress I’ve made.

My eating disorder is not gone (I still wish it was and I know that it is not a totally realistic goal to have), but my episodes are less frequent. The reduction has not been as much as I would have liked it to be, but anything is better than nothing. I’ve also had more clarity lately about things. I’m not letting myself stay down about stuff as long as I would have in the past. If I have a bad meal or bad day, I’m getting back on track a lot faster than I would have before. I’m not waiting until the next week to fix things.

I haven’t seen my therapist is almost 6 months now. When I last saw him, the plan was to go 6 months and to see what that brings. Of course, if I felt like I needed to see him sooner I could have made an appointment. But the past few months have been pretty awesome for me. And when I see my therapist again next week, I think he is going to be pretty happy with the progress I’ve made and hopefully he can help me plan out how to not just continue with what I’m doing but to continue making steps toward whatever recovery will end up being for me.

A Full Summer Day At Disneyland (or Seeing Favorites And Seeing New Stuff)

My Disneyland pass is about to be blacked out for the summer. As much as I’d like to go to Disneyland in the summer, it’s so much more crowded then plus the heat can be pretty unbearable at times. I may do a quick Disneyland trip next week (a new ride is opening), but my day in the parks this past Monday is basically my last trip until the end of August or beginning of September.

I went with my usual Disneyland buddy, June. She is really one of my favorite Disneyland buddies because we enjoy the same rides and since we both have a pass we never feel too rushed to do stuff. When I drove over to her house on Monday, I realized that we were looking a little matchy-matchy. It was pretty funny and we took advantage of our look with a quick photo in the park that afternoon.

Matchy Matchy

When we first got to the parks, we focused on California Adventure to start. Our first ride of the day was the Tower of Terror, but we had a funny experience on the way over there. We were walking down toward the ride when there was a toddler playing with a water bottle. She kicked it over toward us and started walking over to where we were. She looked up at us and had the most intense serious look I’ve ever seen. We joked that it was like the Terminator was coming over to get us! The baby was really sweet, but she looked like she wanted to kill us! After that moment, we were inspired for our photo for the Tower of Terror.

Tower Of Terror

June pretended to want to kill me and I was pretending to be terrified of her. We both got a good laugh out of seeing our photo and decided that we would keep that photo idea going for any other ride photos we did that day.

Our next stop was the Animation Academy. We saw that they were drawing Captain Hook and June really wanted to do it. I’ve never been too successful at drawing anything there, but I’m always happy to try. I really don’t know if my drawing looks like Captain Hook, but I think it’s one of the better ones I’ve done. Mine is on the right and June’s is on the left.

Captain Hook

We were enjoying the relaxing vibe inside the building where the Animation Academy is, so we decided to do some more exploring around there. We made a stop at the Beast Library (I was matched as Belle and June was matched as the Evil Queen) and then enjoyed watching the Turtle Talk with Crush show.

Beast Library Turtle Talk

Our last stop in California Adventure was the Soarin Over California ride. This ride is closing down this week (it might actually be closing today) and will be reopening at the end of the week as Soarin Around The World. While I’m excited to see a new movie with the ride, I’m really sad to see this go. The Soarin Over California music was the ringtone of my phone for several years and this was one of the rides that has been a favorite for my entire family. We said our goodbye to the ride and I’m hoping I might be able to go to the park for a quick stop next week to see the new movie.

Soarin Over California

As soon as we got into Disneyland, we saw Belle in her blue dress right in the entry area of the park. There wasn’t that long of a line for photos, so we figured why not stop and get another fun character photo!

With Belle

When I was taking June’s photo for her, this random guy came up to me and was asking if that was Snow White. I kept saying that it’s Belle, but I think the guy was pretty convinced that she wasn’t. It was a bit odd, but June and I got a good laugh out of it.

Disneyland was pretty crowded on Main Street, so we tried to wander through the stores to stay out of the crowds. We ended up being where the Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln show is, and they have the most amazing map of the original Disneyland park in their lobby.

Disneyland Map

We decided to watch the show. I know they redid the animatronics a few years ago and I hadn’t seen it since the update. It’s a little odd how realistic his face is, but it was a nice little show and it was pretty empty in the room so I could forget for a bit that the parks were super crowded.

We continued around the park and went to Hyperspace Mountain next. This time, I got to pretend to want to kill June and she was scared of me for the photo.

Hyperspace Mountain

I seriously love how our photos came out! It’s so much fun thinking of funny ideas for the photos and I’m so grateful that June is ok going along with whatever crazy idea we come up with!

We hit up a couple of rides back to back after that. We went on the Haunted Mansion (it’s a treat to see it not dressed for Halloween/Christmas so that was awesome), the Jungle Cruise (they recently updated the ride and it looked amazing!), and then got in line for Indiana Jones. Sadly, Indiana Jones broke down while we were in line. We tried to wait it out to see if it would be up and running again soon, but after waiting 15 minutes we decided to leave and go on something else.

Our last ride of the night was Star Tours. Neither June nor I was chosen as the rebel spy for the ride, but I was seated right next to the person that was chosen so that was fun. And because the 3-D glasses for the ride look so cool for photos, we decided to both put on a Terminator look for a quick selfie.

Star Tours

We were heading out of the park then, but we realized that the Paint The Night parade was going to start in about 10 minutes. We walked toward the Main Street Railroad station (so we’d be close to the exit) and actually found a pretty great spot to watch the parade. This was the first time I had really gotten to see it (I had seen it from a distance before so I only saw the tops of the floats), so it was nice to be right by where the floats went by to see the details and fun things they put on them.

Paint The Night

It was a bit crazy trying to exit the park right after the parade, but we managed to get out quickly and got onto the second tram that went by. As we were on the tram back to the parking structure, we could see a bit of the fireworks. So when we got to the parking structure, we got to our level quickly and watched the grand finale of the fireworks from the side of the park.

Fireworks

It was actually a pretty good view of the fireworks and even though we couldn’t see the projections or hear the music, fireworks are still fun.

We were in the parks for about 8 hours that day, and I think we accomplished a lot! I was pretty exhausted after that full of a day and I feel pretty happy that I got my Disneyland fix in before I can’t go for a while. If I go next week to see the new Soarin Around The World, I’ll totally write about it. But this was really my last real Disney day until the summer is over.

Just A Fun Dinner Out (or Remembering To Have Fun)

Last week, I met up with my friend Camber for dinner. I know Camber through my WIF mentoring group, and we’ve hung out a couple of times outside of the group meetings. I’m still so incredibly grateful how my mentoring group has continued to meet even though we don’t see our mentors anymore. And many of them I also hang out with outside of the group meetings, so I’m just grateful to have more awesome friends in my life.

Camber and I went to dinner at a place in Marina del Rey right on the beach that I used to go to when I was in college. I was joking with her that we live so close to the beach and I rarely take advantage of it, so we had a beach dinner! It was not a beach type evening at all (we are in June Gloom right now), but it was still nice to be by the water and to smell the salt in the air.

Camber and I are actually talking about working on a documentary together. I can’t say too many details because we are super early in the process, but it’s really exciting to have another project in my life that I’m super excited about and that helps me feel creative. I’m not huge on being behind the camera, but if it’s something I feel passionate about I am fine doing so. I’m really hoping that we can make this documentary happen and of course I will post on here any updates in the project I can.

Even though we discussed the documentary over dinner, most of our dinner was just a fun hangout. We were both updating each other on our lives (which I know we’ll do again when we have our next mentoring meeting) and sharing random stories with each other. It’s was just a fun night out.

Being at that dinner made me remember that I do need to have more fun with my friends sometimes. It’s great when I go on adventures like to the Hollywood Bowl or Disneyland, but just getting together for a nice dinner and talking is awesome too. I get caught up at times trying to go do something fun or crazy with my friends. Yes, I do that sometimes because it makes for a good blog post. But also I do that because sometimes I forget the simple hangouts that I used to do and feel like I need to make everything an event.

Of course, saying that know I know I’ve got a couple of “event” hangouts with friends coming up. But I think that this dinner made me realize that even on the evenings when I’m working, I can still try to meet up with a friend for dinner or a drink just to catch up with them in person. I feel like I know what everyone is up to because of posts online, but I do need to make more of an effort to see people in person too.

I’m just glad I’m more aware of how I really should be focusing on my free time and not thinking that I don’t have time to see my friends. I know I have time, I just haven’t been utilizing it properly and hopefully I can make hanging out with my friends a more common occurrence.

Taking Things A Bit Easier (or No More Injuries)

This past week of workouts ended up being a week of being cautious. I have no clue what happened, but on Monday morning last week I woke up with a very stiff knee. I didn’t do anything over that weekend that should make things hurt, so I’m wondering if I slept in a position that tweaked something. The knee pain is almost only at night (it wakes me up if I shift positions at night) and hurts a little in the morning when I get up. So since I was dealing with that, I didn’t go as crazy during my workouts because I didn’t want to hurt myself more.

Monday was a partner workout which was awesome because my friend Dena came try her very first Orangetheory class! So she and I partnered up together for the workout. During the partner time, the person on cardio controlled the switching. The cardio person did a 200 meter row and a run on the treadmill at inclines. The run was supposed to be .2 miles, but I know I can’t run that long nor did I really want to run on hills. So I decided to walk at inclines so I was only doing .1 miles each time. On the floor, while we waited for our partner to be done with their cardio work, we did arms, chests, lunges, and abs. We kept going the floor work until our partner came over and switched us out.

I have to say that Dena and I made pretty good partners for this. We were pretty equal on time for cardio, so neither of us was stuck on the floor waiting for too long. I was working on using some heavy weights on the floor, so I was mainly using the 20 pound ones for my work. At the end of the partner time, we had a small block that was like a normal block. While it was still hills on the treadmill, I did run during the 1 minute all out at the end so I got a little bit of running done.

Wednesday was an endurance, strength, and power day that didn’t switch between the blocks so I was on the treadmill for 30 minutes straight. It was an interesting day because all of the blocks were pretty short. Again on the treadmill, I walked for most of the time. I did run for the all outs again which were a minute each time. Running for a minute is getting a bit easier for me, but my heart rate is really high during it and I have a bit of trouble catching my breath after. I know that this will be worked out the more I run, but it’s a big adjustment to get used to.

During the floor, we had some lunges and arm work, but the big thing to me was the timed row blocks. We had 2 blocks where we had timed rows. One was for 3 minutes and one was for 2 minutes. I really wanted to do well, but I was also so tired after the cardio time so I knew that I wasn’t going to be hitting my best distances during those times. So I just wanted to get the minimum of what we are supposed to do, which is basically 100 meters every 30 seconds. For the 3 minute row, I got 606 meters which met my goal. But for the 2 minute row, I was just too tired to keep my momentum going and I only got 355 meters in. I know I could have probably gotten to 400 meters if I really tried, but my legs just weren’t having it (and a majority of rowing is leg power).

Friday was another strength day, but fortunately we were switching between blocks. Again, I walked almost the entire time on the treadmill. Since it was a strength day there were plenty of hills to work with and I really tried to keep my inclines where they needed to be. I did run during the all outs (either 30 seconds or 1 minute long), but while runners were supposed to run at a high incline, I kept it at either 2% or 4% (4% is the flat road for walkers). I’m really not ready to try to run at an incline where I’m still struggling to run at all.

The floor ended up being a really great day for me. We did have a 400 meter row, but rowing wasn’t a big part of the day. I was using 20 pound weights for my arm and chest work (including bicep curls) and during the burpees we had to do I was always adding in pushups. We also had an entire block just using the TRX straps. Most of the strap work was core work, so I was feeling pretty awesome t the end of class.

My knee did hurt throughout the week, but again it was almost only at night. I woke up almost every single night with pains in my knee while I was moving. In the morning, I would be very stiff but after an hour or so the pain would end. I never felt pain during the workout (that’s a good sign) but it wasn’t getting better or worse through the week. I really have no clue what I did and I doubt doing to the doctor would give me any guidance. There’s always a chance that my hip issues are causing the knee pain, but again, I can’t really do much to fix that. Over this past weekend, I pretty much did nothing to try to rest my knee and that seemed to help.

I’m hoping that this week, things will be a bit better for me. I would like to try to push myself a bit more in my running because Peak Performance Week is coming up soon. I know I’ll be doing the 1 mile challenge day, but I don’t think I can do the other treadmill challenge days because of my schedule. So I’m trying to focus on what I can do to prepare for that day and making sure that I have the best workouts possible leading up to it.