Me Too (or We Need To Stop Normalizing Sexual Assault)

There has been so much in the news lately about sexual assault. A lot of it has to do with Harvey Weinstein and everything that he did over the last few decades. And then there’s talk about what our current president has done. But sexual assault is sadly something so common that it seems like most of us have dealt with. If you were on social media, you might have seen all the “Me Too” posts. Women (and men) who have dealt with sexual assault or harassment posted this so that hopefully others will realize how big of a problem this is. And I was one of those who shared it.

I consider myself extremely lucky. I’ve been in some pretty bad situations and have usually gotten out of them without too much harm. I questioned originally if I should post about it because I know what others have gone through is so much worse than what I’ve dealt with. But then I realized that by downplaying what I went through I was a part of the problem.

My issues have included things from strangers and from men that I knew. They were both physical and verbal situations. And it sadly has happened to me a lot. I’ve had a guy tell me on a date (not recently) that he could do whatever he wanted to me because nobody would believe that a fat girl would be raped. I’ve had a guy who was my friend get into a bed with me when I thought he was going to be sleeping on the couch. I was at a party once and in telling a story to a friend I grabbed my boobs. Someone I had never met at that party saw that, came up to me, and grabbed me while introducing himself. He said that since I touched myself that I was telling others they could do that too.

The verbal stuff has been both in my personal and professional life. I had a day job many years ago where my manager liked to talk about my weight and how all guys must find me disgusting. She questioned how I could be intimate with anyone. And she liked to say this in front of others too. And because we were all scared of losing our jobs (we had seen others get fired for telling her to stop), nobody said anything. I guess I should be happy that at my jobs it’s only been verbal and nothing physical has happened to me.

But there is one thing in common for all of these situations. Even though I might have been disgusted, embarrassed, or wanting to punch someone; I didn’t really do anything. When I’ve been physically threatened, sometimes I am able to fight back and stop it. But in the case of the guy at the party grabbing me, my friend and I were shocked into silence. And we didn’t really think to tell anyone for a bit and we weren’t able to find the guy after that to find out who he is.

Part of the reason I didn’t do anything was because I was too shocked to do anything. But a bigger part of it was because I didn’t think it was a big enough deal to make a fuss about. I’ve had friends who were raped and I feel lucky that my situations have been so minor. And in some situations, I didn’t necessarily think that anything was wrong until years later when sharing the story with someone else. I just assumed that everyone dealt with it and it wasn’t a big deal.

And that thinking is a huge part of the problem. As a friend of mine put it, we have normalized sexual assault. When we are in school and a boy snaps our bra straps or pulls at a skirt, we are told that he’s just teasing because he likes us. When we are catcalled while walking down the street we are told that we should be flattered. And there seems to be an excuse for almost any situation we are in. Even if you are raped, you are told that it happened because you were drinking/wearing a skirt/wearing pants/walking outside/inside your own home at nighttime/dared to exist.

Fortunately, it seems like a majority of people are horrified by what happened. But it makes you wonder what took so long for people to notice. Maybe we did need the “Me Too” campaign so that people who haven’t been affected could see how widespread it is. Unless you are avoiding social media you can’t help but see that a majority of the post in your feed have to do with what others have encountered. Some people think that women are faking their stories and I’m aware that someone might accuse me of that. But I’m willing to take that risk because I know what the truth is in my life

And for anyone who is feeling helpless, you don’t have to be. If you witness something, stop it. If your friend is making jokes that make you uncomfortable, you don’t have to tolerate it. My co-workers were in fear for their jobs when my manager was harassing me, but if one of them had stood up for me I think that would have given me the courage to do something at the time and not waiting until I was planning on leaving the job anyway. And you can believe people when they tell you something happened to them. Don’t blame the victim. The only person at fault for harassment or rape is the one harassing or raping someone. The victim wasn’t asking for it and can’t be held responsible for someone else’s actions. We need to stop this rape culture of victim blaming and normalizing harassment and start standing up for each other.

Not The Workout Week I Was Expecting (or At Least I Made It To My Workouts)

This past week of workouts was a bit crazy for me. I went into the week thinking it would be a 3 workout week. I was supposed to have a minor procedure at the dermatologist on Thursday and that would have prevented me from working out for a few days. But that appointment got moved to next month and that changed things back to my normal workout week. But then I got sick and it got changed back to a 3 workout week but different days that I planned. For someone who likes routine and planning, this wasn’t great. But I did still make my workouts and that’s sometimes all you can hope for.

Monday was the only workout I went into the week knowing I’d be doing that ended up happening. And it was the Everest Challenge workout. I’ve done that before, but this time it was slightly different because it was during a 3 group class and not a 2 group class. So the treadmill time was only 15 minutes and we went up by 2% each minute instead of 1% like you do when you have 30 minutes on the treadmill. But just because we had less time on the treadmill didn’t mean that it was easy for me. I was dealing with the combination of not working out for 5 days plus starting to get sick again. So while I wanted to walk the entire thing at my normal speed, I had to slow way down for most of it.

I was on the rower next. We started with a 100 meter row and then squat presses and woodchoppers. Every round we went up 100 meters and I made it to the 400 meter row. My rowing was slow and not powerful but I knew that the combination of feeling exhausted and sick was pretty much ruining that part of my workout. Then I went over to the floor where we had 2 blocks. The first block had chest presses, hammer curls, and shoulder presses. And the second block had plank rows, triceps, and leg lifts. I used lower weights than I’m used to for all the floor work, but again I was just trying my best when I knew I wasn’t feeling my best.

My original plan was to work out on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. After my dermatologist appointment was canceled, I switched to my normal Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. But on Tuesday I was feeling pretty awful and realized that working out the next day wasn’t going to happen. It’s a good thing I didn’t because I was exhausted just from working and I was feeling just off. But on Thursday I started to feel better so I decided to do my Friday and Saturday workouts.

Friday was a Friday the 13th themed workout. While I was feeling better, I was not totally better and I knew that I was going to be going very easy on myself. And it was a bit sad I had to do that because this would have been an amazing workout to work on my running. Everything in the cardio section was 90 seconds (or 1 minute and 30 seconds). It would have been amazing to work on running for 90 seconds at a time, but there was no way to run and I had to walk. And not only did I have to walk, but I walked pretty slowly. And it wasn’t easy to walk. I was surprised at how difficult it was for me but I did it. And while it was one of the lowest distances I’ve done on the treadmill in a long time, I’m proud for doing it at all.

The floor work was one long block and again it was themed with 13. We had a 130 meter row and then floor work that was all 13 reps. We had jumping jacks, chest presses, skier swings, biceps using the straps, and squats. I had to go slow again with everything and my rowing was pretty pathetic, but I made it through it. And I’m glad that I went to the workout because I was actually feeling a bit better after finishing it all.

Saturday’s workout was an endurance day and even though I was feeling better I knew it was still going to be an easy workout. Especially with it being an endurance day I knew it was going to be a day I had to walk slowly on the treadmill. But I was able to bump up the speed a bit compared to the day before so I was closer to my normal walking speed on the treadmill. And it was a 3 group class so I was only on the treadmill for 15 minutes. It was mainly 2 minute or 90 second push paces and I just kept my speed low and worked on my inclines a bit.

On the floor, we had 2 blocks. The first block was deadlifts, strap work, and plank work. For my deadlifts, I was using 20lb weights which is what I use a lot. And the second block was all Bosu work with hip bridges, back extensions, and crunches. I did those as I normally do. And on the rower, all the rowing was 250 meters. I didn’t do any spectacular times, but they were much better than the day before. And in between the rowing we had lunges, squats, and swings with weights. I had to take it easy with all of those, but it was much closer to normal than I thought it would be.

Overall, I can’t be too disappointed with my workout week. It didn’t go the way I planned at all, but I still managed to get there 3 times this past week and did my best considering the circumstances. I’m not feeling 100% better yet (this cold feels like it will never end!), but I have a feeling that this week of workouts will be much better. And we are coming up on Hell Week so I want to get back to normal as soon as I can!

My Cold Caught Up With Me (or I Guess I Was Due To Get Sick)

Last week before the convention, I was feeling like I was starting to get a cold. I knew I couldn’t be sick during the convention so I was trying to do whatever I could to stop the cold before it got too bad. I was drinking lots of water and making sure that I was getting sleep. And by the time that the convention started, I wasn’t feeling totally better but I was feeling much better than I had at the beginning of the week.

I assumed that I beat it and I was so happy that I didn’t get sick during the convention. But the day after it ended, my cold came back and I wasn’t able to stop it this time. I guess I should be grateful that my body held off until I had time to be sick. But it’s still not fun being sick at all.

I’m lucky that I work from home and that this week didn’t really have too much scheduled. I did have an audition this week and going to that exhausted me. I felt fine while I was there, but I took a 4 hour nap when I got home. And I did change my workout schedule around a bit to make things easiest for me (but more on that later).

I’m also glad that I got my flu shot already so I know that this isn’t the flu. I do occasionally get sick from a flu shot so that could be what’s making me sick a bit now. I already felt a bit sick before the shot, so combining whatever bug I already had plus the sickness I get from my flu shot seemed to be not a bad option.

I hate feeling so unmotivated to do things. Especially after the convention which makes me even more motivated than normal. Sitting at home not doing much isn’t easy and being sick makes my food even weirder than normal. I know I ate too much while at the convention and I was hoping that this week would be the week to get back on track. But instead, things are just weird with what I feel like eating. I’m trying to not go too crazy, but when you feel sick sometimes you just want to eat things that make you feel better.

This week was supposed to be the week to get so much done and to accomplish a lot. Instead, I’m getting up in the morning, working my jobs, and then going back to bed for a nap. I’m really not getting things done and my to do list keeps getting longer and longer. I just want to feel like myself again to get things done.

I know that I sound really whiney and I’m complaining a lot. But being sick is a tough thing for me. I do get worried that this is a sign that something else is wrong with me even though I know it’s not. I used to feel like this before getting strep throat and having issues with my tonsils. But I don’t have tonsils anymore. And when my stomach feels off I’m worried that this is the beginning of a gallbladder attack. While that can be true, I know that it’s not. This is just a cold and having it hold off for a week makes it seem like it’s never going away. I’ve been dealing with this for 2 weeks even though I’ve only really been sick for 5 days.

Hopefully by continuing to take it easy this weekend I will finally get over this thing. And I’m hoping that this is the only time I’ll be sick this winter. I know that something is going around right now and it seems like I didn’t get it as badly as other people did. But I don’t want to be sick another time this year. I don’t like losing my motivation or having to take time out of my life to get better. And I’m working hard at not overdoing things right now because I want to get stuff done. But I know the only way to get over this is to take it easy and I’m really trying hard to let myself do that right now.

Time For Another MRI (or Still Trying To Stay Calm)

After a busy weekend at the SAG-AFTRA Convention, I was ready to relax. But that wasn’t exactly what was in the plans for me. I had my liver MRI the next day and that’s not exactly the most relaxing thing for me to do. But at least it’s something I’m getting used to. I’ve had several liver MRIs by now and I know what it’s like. And even though it has been 6 months since my last one, I knew what I was in for.

This MRI was to check the tumor sizes. I have an appointment with my liver surgeon on Monday next week to discuss what the plan is going to be. But in order to do that, we need to know what is happening in my liver. So even though this was probably the most routine of my liver MRIs, it was also the most stressful for me. My first MRI was when we still thought I had a cyst and I didn’t know enough to be stresses. My second one was to determine what type of tumor I had and I knew it didn’t make too much of a difference what type it was. My third one was right before I was supposed to have surgery and was just a size check (I assumed that surgery was going to happen so I didn’t think too much about the size). But this one is to see what is happening so we can create a plan.

I tried not to stress too much about things because I cannot control if my tumors shrink or grow. Whatever happens is going to happen and I can’t worry too much. But at the same time, because I have no clue what is going on it is stressful. I want the tumors to keep shrinking because I really don’t want surgery. But I also know that if I do need surgery eventually that it will be the right thing for me.

So going in for this MRI was a mix of stress and exhaustion. I joked to friends that maybe I’d actually sleep in the MRI machine. That really can’t happen because there are audio cues I have to listen to about holding my breath at certain times, but I was hopeful that at least being tired would help keep me a bit relaxed. When I got to the hospital, they were running almost 2 hours behind so I spent a lot of time in the waiting room reading a book. But they ended up bringing me back early to get ready before the MRI machine was ready.

One part of getting ready was getting the IV started. They wanted to do this with me sitting on a chair and I was terrified. While I haven’t really fainted lately with needles or blood work, I was worried that the IV would make me pass out for a bit and didn’t want to fall. We ended up doing it with me sitting on a bench and leaning against the wall and I am happy to say that I didn’t faint with the IV! And then I found out that the new rules for the MRI machine meant that I couldn’t wear my own clothes and had to get gowned up. So I got changed and waited for the machine to be ready for me.

There was still more waiting once I was ready so I tried to just read my book and not think about the MRI. I was still a bit distracted and worried, but at least the reading gave me something to focus on a little more than the MRI. And once they were ready for me, I got on the table and they were able to get me positioned and strapped down (yes, you get strapped down for liver MRIs) quickly.

The MRI was only about 20 minutes since it was only a size check. I tried to count in my head during each scan and not think about what was happening or what they might be seeing. I still don’t really like MRIs and whenever the machine moved I got a bit panicky. But I stayed calm because I knew I needed to hold my breath several times and it’s not easy to do that when you are panicky.

When the contrast went into my IV, it felt as weird as it always has in the past. I hate that feeling and it did make me feel a bit faint, but I kept it together. And after the contrast went in, there is a 4 minute gap before the next scan so they were able to take my IV out so I could finish the MRI without the IV in my arm. That was nice and I’m grateful that they do that for me. And after those last few scans, it was all done and I was released from the table and was able to get changed and on with my day.

But I wasn’t done just yet. Because things were running so far behind and you have to pay to park at the hospital I go to, I decided that I was going to take advantage of something they were offering. If you got a flu shot, they gave you parking validation to cover the cost of parking that day. My parking was going to be about $20, so I figured this would be the perfect time to get my flu shot and to ┬ánot have to pay a lot for parking. I got it, didn’t pass out, and got free parking. Totally a win (except that my arm is still a bit sore).

I have my meeting with my surgeon on Monday, but I already got an email from him. I don’t have all the details, but I do know that my biggest tumor has gotten a bit smaller! When it was discovered a year ago, it was 10cm. When we did the MRI in April it was about 4cm. And in the MRI this week it was about 3cm. I don’t know about the other tumor or if the 3rd one is still not able to be seen, but this is big news! I’m assuming this means that I still won’t be having surgery, but I don’t really know much more than the size just yet. But I’ll be updating you all when I know more!

Enjoying The Gala (or Having An Awesome Friend Date)

I’ve already written about the SAG-AFTRA Convention, but I left out the gala. To me, the convention and the gala almost seem like separate events. Part of this could be because the gala is a ticketed event so not everyone who is at the convention goes. But to me it was a no-brainer that I’d be going to the gala again because I had such an amazing time the first time!

When you buy your tickets for the gala, you have the choice to get 1 ticket or 2. Last time, I got 1 because I really didn’t want to stress about finding someone to go with me and I was already overwhelmed about everything. But this time, I decided to be hopeful about what has been happening with my online dating adventures and got 2 tickets. And I did try to ask someone who I’ve gone out with a few times if he wanted to go with me, but that really didn’t work out.

So with my extra ticket, I decided that I should make it a really fun friend date! And fortunately my friend Ben was happy to come with me! Ben is also a delegate so he was already at the convention. And he and I have been saying that we were overdue for a hangout so this was the perfect opportunity for us to catch up!

Last time, the gala was at WB studios so I had to drive over from the convention. But this time, it was at Universal Studios and there was a shuttle from the Sheraton Universal to the gate so it was much easier to get to. And the union staff arranged for LA delegates who didn’t have time to go home to change to have a meeting room to use as a changing area. It made things super easy for us and I was ready to go right when the shuttles started.

When Ben and I got there, we lined up to check in and ran into a bunch of friends. And as soon as we passed the metal detectors the first thing we saw was the red carpet. I figured we should do photos while we still all looked really nice so we lined up for photos and the interviews they were doing.

At the end of the red carpet was the open bar. I enjoyed water while my friends got drinks. Even though I invited Ben to be my date for the night, I figured we both be off on our own (which would have been totally fine with me), but we ended up sticking together. It was awesome getting to hang out so much and we seemed to be pretty lucky with things. We went inside to the lobby of the Globe Theater (where the dinner was going to be) to check things out and the doors to the theater opened up right when we were at the doors! So we went inside and managed to get a table in the front and center of the room behind a reserved table.

At our table we had some friends that we knew as well as some new friends we just met. It was so nice having a fun night out where we weren’t worried about the politics of the union and just got to have fun. At the gala, they give out awards and things were split up a bit. We had some awards and then there was a break to go to the buffet for dinner. The food was really good (I think it was better than last time) and there was also a dessert buffet. And after we ate, the awards continued.

It was so fun watching the union honor those who have done awesome things. And having friends at my table was fun because we could chat to each other about the weird and cool things we were observing. And once the awards were done, it was time for dancing. But I was so tired that I decided against dancing. But I wanted to make sure I got some pictures with people while we were all dressed up and fancy!

Ben was leaving around the same time so we headed out together. And then we realized that we never took advantage of the photo booth setup that was near the red carpet. There was no line there so we were able to do a photo with each of the backgrounds they had for the green screen set up. And I think we were both feeling a bit crazy and tired so the photos are pretty weird even for me.

But they were awesome and I’m so glad we took an extra minute to do that before getting the shuttle back to the hotel. And once we got back there, I said goodnight to Ben (who had a meeting for convention that night super late) and I headed home to try to get some sleep before having to get up super early the next morning.

I had an amazing time at the gala. The gala on its own is already great, but getting to hang out with an awesome friend makes things so much better! And like I said in yesterday’s post, I’m already waiting for the next one in 2 years. I know I will be going to the gala again because it is one of the highlights for me for convention weekend.

It’s Convention Time (or I’ve Been Waiting 2 Years For This!)

This past weekend was the SAG-AFTRA National Convention. I was attending as a second term delegate and it was just as amazing as it was the first time. I honestly had been waiting for convention to happen again as soon as the last one was done and I am now already anxious for the next one in 2 more years!

Since this time I knew what the convention was going to be like, I was much more prepared for things. I planned out my schedule a bit better so I wouldn’t feel as overwhelmed and exhausted, but since I was battling a cold it was still a bit tough on me mentally and physically. But it was totally worth it.

Convention started on Thursday night with a cocktail party to meet my fellow delegates. Last time, I was feeling a bit nervous and stuck with mainly talking to the delegates I already knew. I also felt like I had arrived late so I was feeling a bit scattered. So this time I got there early so I wouldn’t be late and had time to get checked in for the convention to get all my things before the party started.

While at the party, I did talk to a lot of my friends who are delegates, but I did make an effort to meet new people too. I got to talk to a bunch of people from New York, Portland, and New Orleans and many of them were first time delegates. The best advice I could give to them that it was going to be so overwhelming but they would be wanting more when everything was done. Some of the smaller locals don’t have slates to help prepare new delegates for the convention like LA does, so I tried to do my part. I also found out over the few days of convention that some first time delegates found my blog post from 2 years ago to learn about what convention would be like. So if you are reading this 2 years from now to get ready for the 2019 convention, hi!

I didn’t stay out too late because I knew the next morning was going to be an early morning. I was going to work my day job from convention again and I was going to start 2 hours early to make up for any time that I was going to miss to vote. That meant getting up at 6am to be out the door by 6:45 to deal with rush hour traffic. It was a very early morning, but it worked out ok since I was able to get logged into work right on time and I got a great seat for the convention in the LA section!

I also spent a bit of time that morning checking out the expo since I missed that the last time. Most of the organizations weren’t set up that early on the first day, but there was a “Words of Wisdom” wall we could sign and since the convention hadn’t started yet I got to be the 3rd person to sign it.

I wrote on the bottom “Don’t forget to smile!”. I knew that it would be getting filled up throughout the convention, so I’m glad I got to sign it before a lot of the space was taken.

Once convention started, things moved pretty quickly. We had to do the elections for the various vice presidents which included the executive VP as well as the geographical and categorical ones. Fortunately, most of that time was spent in the main convention room as Los Angeles and the actor categories are the biggest one. And they made some changes to the voting this year so it was significantly faster. I thought I’d have to be away from work for maybe 20 minutes when it ended up being less than 5!

And after those elections, we moved on to the resolutions. This would take part of all 3 days of the convention and is pretty important. This is where we vote as representatives for other members on various issues. I take this seriously and spent time before convention reviewing all the information and seeking answers to questions that I had. And since I had my computer with me, I was able to text others that were there that know more than me if I had questions.

At the end of the first day, I then had to get ready for the gala. But that is going to be a post for tomorrow. But I was out pretty late that night and had another super early morning for day 2. And again, I had to work from the convention, but my work shift was only 3 hours instead of 7 so that was much better. And we had more resolution voting and then we had what so many of us considered one of the highlights of the convention: the food truck lunch!

I didn’t take any photos of lunch, but trust me, it was delicious! And it was a bit of a longer lunch break so I had some time to wander around before the next part of the convention started. I took advantage of the photo set up with the giant SAG-AFTRA card.

And I saw my friend Robert who was there volunteering as a member ambassador! He also ran as a delegate but wasn’t elected. But it made me so happy to see that he is still being super involved in the union and of course we had to take a photo together too!

I also had some time to check out the expo again and see what was set up there. I got some information on various union affiliated organizations and got some fun swag too. And while I was there, our National Executive Director David White was adding his words of wisdom to the wall. He is one of the most inspiring speakers at the convention and at any union event he’s at and I had to get a picture with him.

Day 2 ended with finishing as many resolutions as we could and then there was a film screening we could go to. I ended up skipping the screening because I was really tired, but I heard it was amazing and I’m a bit sad I didn’t go.

Day 3 was the last day of convention and started a bit later than the other days. I also didn’t have to work my day job so that was nice. While we had breakfast provided every morning, the last morning is the nicest breakfast and I was able to eat outside with some of my fellow delegates. It was a mix of people I already knew, people I met for the first time earlier in the convention, and people I was meeting for the first time at breakfast. We had an amazing conversation that really was what being at convention is all about. We learned about each other’s concerns about the industry and what we all want for the future. It’s just so inspiring and I love getting to be a part of that.

The last day was a mix of finishing the resolutions as well as some speeches. We got to hear the reports from the president, vice president, and secretary-treasurer. Those speeches had some really inspiring moments. One of my favorites was when Vice President Rebecca Damon used a “Hamilton” quote. She said how this convention room is the room where it happens. And she is so right and I feel so lucky that I am inside that room.

Once the convention was adjourned, all the LA delegates had to stay so we could take a photo. Since I’m one of the shorter delegates, I was up in the front again.

And then technically it was all over. I couldn’t believe that it was done. It felt like it was so fast and even though I was ready to sleep for 27 days in a row, I wanted more! But I wasn’t ready to leave because I wanted to make sure I got lots of photos with my friends there. Everyone at convention is someone who is inspiring, creative, and just awesome.

Officially, my time as a delegate is done. But there are lots of opportunities for me to stay involved and I’ve already been working on those. And before I know it, it will be election time again and I’ll be running for delegate again. Being involved in union service was not something I considered before my first term as a delegate, but now that I’m involved I don’t want to stop. I know that this second term is still only the beginning of my union service career and I can’t wait to see what is next for me!

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3 Workouts In A Row (or Using Fitness To Beat A Cold)

This past week of workouts was an interesting one. First, I had only 3 workouts in the week. Plus those 3 workouts were 3 days in a row. I don’t usually do 3 days in a row, but it was the only way I could do 3 workouts this past week. But it also ended up being a week where I was working out while not feeling my best. I was hanging out with a friend on Saturday night who ended up having a cold on Sunday. I think I caught it from them and was fighting a cold all week. But I knew I couldn’t be sick last week because of everything I had, so I was determined to sweat the cold out of me!

Monday’s workout was an endurance 3 group workout. That was the first morning I was feeling a bit sick, but I was mainly contagious and didn’t feel light-headed or anything. So I knew it might be tough to workout, but I could do it. There was no way for me to run, so I walked everything. It was a bit annoying to walk because this endurance workout was actually pretty ideal for me to work on my running. The first block was 1 minute intervals so that’s something I’m used to running. And the second block was all 45 second intervals. But I was just focused on being a good power walker and taking the breaks to catch my breath that I needed to.

Next I was over on the rower. The first block started with a 500 meter row with 20 bicep curls using the rower handles. Then each block the rowing went down 100 meters. I was very focused on keeping my rowing steady and not too fast. It means my rowing doesn’t get as high in wattage as I’m used to, but my form is better. And my coach even noticed that my rowing was improved and commented on how much better it was looking! That made me feel a lot better considering that I was not feeling my best that day. And the second block on the rower followed the treadmill block with 45 second intervals and again I just tried to focus on keeping my rowing speed lower than I used to and steady. The goal was to get 1300 meters in that block, but I only got about 1100 because my wattage was low. But I’m ok with that since my form was better and I was working on what my coach wanted me to work on.

Once I got to the floor, I was feeling better and worse at the same time. My congestion was better, but I was feeling a bit exhausted from all the other work I already had done. But I just told myself to take it easy and do what I can with taking breaks when necessary. The first floor block was rows with weights, squats, strap work, and plank crunches. And the second block was high row on the straps, plank leg lifts, and situps. It was a bit tough to do plank work or work where I was on my back because of the congestion, but I pushed through.

On Tuesday I was feeling a bit better and was thinking that maybe my workouts would help me beat the cold. But I was still not feeling like I had beat it completely so it ended up being another walking day for me. And again I was frustrated because it was a run/row day. I really wanted to try to run, but I knew that if I did that I wouldn’t be able to keep having good form on the rower. The run/row started with a .25 mile walk at 6% incline for me and then a 500 meter row. Next was a .05 mile walk at 10% and a 250 meter row. Then .2 miles at 7% and 400 meters on the rower and .05 miles at 10% and 250 meters on the rower again. I was just working on the .15 mile walk on the treadmill at 8% when time was called. I kept my speed on both the treadmill and rower pretty steady although nothing was as much as I could normally do.

After the run/row we had 4 blocks on the floor. And again I had the same problem I had on Monday with the congestion affecting when I was doing some of the work. The first floor block was squats, row with weights, and plank work. The second block was lunge and tricep work and this was the block I did the best in. Despite feeling off, I was using 25lb weights instead of 20lb weights. It helped that both moves were upright moves so the congestion didn’t bug me as much. The third block was lunges, pullovers on the Bosu, and situps on the Bosu. And we ended with a core blast which was the toughest part because my nose felt so clogged and I was coughing a lot. But again, I was so proud of myself for working out when I didn’t feel great and I was continuing to be optimistic that working out would get the cold out of my system.

I continued to feel a bit better on Wednesday, but I still wasn’t totally back to normal. Plus having it as my third workout in a row made it a tough workout even if I was feeling awesome. So it was another power walking day for me and again I was sad because it was a power day and I really like to work on running those. We had 4 blocks and every block was 4.5 minutes. Every block was a mix of 1 minute and 45 second intervals and I just has to focus on walking. I did all my push paces at 6% and all my all out paces at 8%. I didn’t bump up my speed or incline really at all but to me it was most important to just keep going.

The floor was also 4 blocks that were 4.5 minutes each. The first block was a rowing block. We had 150 meter rows with medicine ball work between each row. I knew I only had 1 good row in me (even though we were encouraged to improve on our time each time we rowed), so I told my coach I was going to go all out on the first one. Because I can be pretty powerful on sprint rows, she stood on the end of my rower to keep it steady and I went for it. I didn’t worry about form, I just wanted to go as quickly and as hard as I could. And it paid off because I got a new 150 meter row PR! I did it in 27.8 seconds which is pretty impressive (you know I wasn’t feeling 100% myself because I forgot to take a photo of my row time with my phone). After that first row, I went pretty easy on all the other times I rowed.

The second block on the floor was shoulder work with weights and push ups. The third block was more 150 meter rowing with squats and plank jacks. I didn’t worry about speed with that row because I knew I was exhausted. And the last block on the floor was pull ups on the straps and more plank work. Even though I was still feeling a bit sick, Wednesday was the day I felt the most like myself and that was an accomplishment.

I went into this past week thinking I would just have an awesome 3 workout week with 3 days in a row. And it ended up being a week that I had to put my mind over what my body was saying and trying to do my best. If I was really sick, I would have skipped the workout. I’ve done that before. But I knew that I could fight this cold and it seems I might have actually done that with this past week of workouts!

Halloween Time In The Daytime (or The Fun Of The Single Rider Line)

When I renewed my Universal Studios pass earlier this year, I knew that I wouldn’t have to go that much to make the price worth it. I actually had already gone enough to make the pass worth it back in June, but that doesn’t mean that I wasn’t going to go more. And when my friend Michelle and I figured out we both had a free Monday afternoon, we decided we should go to the park and have some fun that day!

It actually worked out perfectly because I had to meet someone near Universal that evening, so being over there prevented me from having to drive over in rush hour traffic. We got to Universal around noon and were trying to make a plan on what we wanted to do. We always like riding the rides in the Harry Potter section, but we also wanted to go on other things. So we decided to head down to the lower lot and go on some rides there first.

As we were heading down, I realized that I left some one-time front of the line passes I had gotten in June. I had gotten stuck on a ride and they gave us some passes to use another time. The park wasn’t too crowded, but waiting 30 minutes per ride can add up. But when we got to the Mummy ride, we realized that there was a single rider line! We don’t care if we don’t ride together (you don’t talk while on the ride), so that’s what we did and we only ended up waiting about 5 minutes before we got to go on.

After we both rode on the Mummy, we headed over to Transformers where they also had a single rider line. And again, the regular line was about 30 minutes and we pretty much walked on as single riders. It really doesn’t matter about not riding in the same vehicle and we only had to wait a few minutes for each other after the ride. The only other ride down on the lower lot is the Jurassic Park ride, and even though it was a warmer day neither of us wanted to get wet so we headed back up the escalators.

We went on the tram next. I think the tram will always be special to me since I worked at Terror Tram. And the signs for Terror Tram were up even though that only happens at nighttime. The sign said it was a 10 minute wait for the tram, but we walked right on to one since we didn’t care what car we were seated in.

But we did still get to see some of the Terror Tram stuff down by the Bates Motel since they can’t take it apart every night. I didn’t really get any pictures of that because I was seated on the wrong side of the tram. But it’s always fun to see where I used to work and where some of my friends still work!

Then we decided it was time for some Harry Potter fun.

First we got some lunch because it was getting a bit late in the afternoon and we both needed to eat. The Three Broomsticks restaurant in that section of the park is pretty good and I’m always happy to eat there. I didn’t get any Butterbeer this time but it was still a good meal and a nice time for Michelle and I to sit in the shade and relax.

We then went on both Harry Potter rides (we pretty much walked onto both rides) and then realized that it was time for the last Waterworld show of the day. That’s always a great show and it seemed like perfect timing that it was happening right then. It was pretty crowded in there, but we found some seats in the shade pretty close to the front (but not too close that we were in the splash zone). The show was just as good as always and again it was a nice way to enjoy the afternoon.

After the show was done, we were pretty shocked that we had done everything we wanted to do in the park so fast. We really expected to take longer to do everything, but the single rider line really saved us. But in under 5 hours we did 5 rides, a show, and had lunch. Plus we had the time we had to walk to and from the car to the park and all the walking we did in the park. I don’t think even on an empty day I would expect to get more than this done in that amount of time. It really worked out perfectly for us and I’m so glad we went!

I might be going back to the park next month, but I really don’t have any concrete plans yet. And I’m debating if I’ll renew my pass again when it expires next year. I do really enjoy going to Universal, but it’s not the same as going to Disneyland. It’s totally repeatable, but not in the same way. And if I’m trying to do better on budgeting, the cost of my pass (even if it is pretty low) could probably be put toward better use. But I’ve got a while before my pass expires so I’m guessing I’ll be back at least once or twice before I have to think about renewing.

Another Goal Setting Session (or A Quarterly Check In)

The podcast I work for has started to do quarterly check ins/goal setting workshops, and we just had our 3rd quarter check in this past weekend. I hosted it again at my house (even though it means I have to clean it also means I don’t have to worry about getting somewhere) and we had a really great group at the workshop.

A lot of what we did this time was the same as last time, but that’s not a bad thing since we aren’t in the same place now as we were 3 months ago. We started with just chatting together and getting to know each other before we moved on to the more serious work. But since most of us didn’t know each other, getting to chat a bit helped to make us all comfortable since this can be very personal work and we didn’t want anyone to feel uncomfortable sharing.

The first thing we did was the 4 Tendencies quiz by Gretchen Rubin. This was the same quiz that we did last time and I had the same results that I had the first time. I wasn’t surprised since I was pretty strong in what tendencies I fit into the first time, but it was still cool to take it again to see what happened. And I believe that nobody else in the group had done this quiz before so it was fun watching them discover what each thing meant and what tendencies they fit into.

After that, we worked on our personal reviews of the past 3 months. This was broken down into multiple sections. First, we wrote down what didn’t work. I had a bunch of things to put in that section, but I realized that there was a theme when I was writing. So many things that didn’t work had to do with me not feeling like I deserve something or am worthy of something or that I was letting someone else set the rules and guidelines for the situation. Some of this was related to dating and some of this was related to work. But so many thing fit into those descriptions and I hadn’t realized that until I was writing it down.

Next we wrote down what is important to us right now in life. This was more varied for me than what didn’t work. I had things like being more open and honest, working on union work and my acting career, strengthening my relationships with friends and family, and working on my fitness.

The next section was a two-parter. First, we wrote down what we want. For me, that included having success in my acting career, living within my means, having healthy and happy relationships, and getting into recovery for my eating disorder. The second part was what we wanted to live through ourselves. I want generosity, helpfulness, and being of service to come through me. I know that those are all pretty similar, but I feel like when I can help that I am at my strongest so I want to do that as often as I can.

The final section was what is next for us for the next 3 months to bring us to the end of the year. And mine fell into the ideas that I had written in the previous sections. I want to stop tolerating mediocrity in myself and in others. I don’t want to give up control to others because that doesn’t do anyone any good to just go along with things. I want to be more active in multiple aspects of my life. And I want to work on living a full life and not to forget to have a life outside of the routine I’m already in.

After we went through those sections, everyone had the opportunity to share and everyone did share. All of us are working through very different things, but that didn’t mean we didn’t learn from each other. I was taking notes as everyone else was talking and I got some great ideas that I know I want to use for myself. And after we reviewed what we had written, we all worked on some action steps to take to make sure we work on what we had written. For me, the action steps all boiled down to one main idea: stop taking crap from people and when I want to be involved in something that I should not worry about it and go for it. Obviously that is easier said than done, but it has given me something to think about.

We ended the workshop with some visualization and discussion of affirmations. Even though I use a daily affirmation app, I got some ideas for affirmations that are more specific to me and I’m looking into how to create some sort of affirmation alert for myself that randomizes which one I see. I won’t have time to work on that for a little bit, but hopefully I can do it during this last quarter of the year.

Even though I’m pretty big on goal setting for myself, having these workshops is so amazing and I always learn so much from them. I learn more about myself and what I’m thinking about situations. And I learn how I want to change things and create real action steps that I can take to accomplish them. It’s very empowering and I’m already looking forward to the workshop we have for the first quarter of 2018!

“Beyond The Wisdom Of Walt” (or Another Amazing Giveaway!)

You may remember that a little over 2 years ago I had a giveaway for the book “The Wisdom Of Walt”. I loved the book and it was amazing to get to meet the author Jeff Barnes. He truly is a Disney historian and there were stories in the book that I didn’t know before. And as a huge Disneyland geek, I love when I get to learn new things about the park I love so much!

“The Wisdom Of Walt” was all about leadership lessons that we could learn from Walt Disney and the story of Disneyland. While I don’t read a lot of leadership books, there were lessons I learned that I could totally apply to my life and I felt like it was such valuable reading for anyone. And I was so happy to see that many of my friends read it and found it just as great.

So when Jeff Barnes mentioned that he was writing another book, I couldn’t wait to read it! And he offered to send me a copy before it was released to check out. And I have to say that “Beyond The Wisdom Of Walt” might be even more incredible than the first book!

“Beyond The Wisdom Of Walt” is all about life lessons from Walt Disney and the Disney story. I love self-help and self-improvement books and this fit in perfectly with what I like to read. Each chapter had a very easy to read format and the lessons were clear and easy to understand (unlike some self-help books that almost make you hunt to learn what the chapter was about).

And each chapter had a lesson that really hit home for me. Some of the lessons were choosing to change, having to hustle, overcoming obstacles, and communicating clearly. These lessons are so relevant to multiple aspects of my life. I expected to find lessons that fit with my acting career, blogging, and my personal life. But there were lessons that connected with me with my work toward recovery from my eating disorder and I didn’t expect that at all!

I love when a book connects with me and speaks so clearly to me and that’s exactly what “Beyond The Wisdom Of Walt” did for me. I know that this is a book that I can read multiple times and get new lessons and experiences each time. It takes a special book to be able to create that and I feel so lucky that I have a book that I know will be something that I will continue to learn from.

And while it was awesome to learn more lessons about Walt Disney and the various Disney parks, it’s not necessarily a Disney book. You don’t have to be a Disney fan to love this book, although being a Disney fan may bring a little something extra to reading it. But learning lessons about creating something you are passionate about, dealing with setbacks, and being your own motivation is something that anyone can learn from no matter what.

“Beyond The Wisdom Of Walt” was released this week and you can get the book on Amazon, and I really do recommend doing it. You can also order an autographed copy from Jeff’s website. But you also have a chance to win an autographed copy here! Jeff has not only given me a copy to read, but he is going to give one of you a signed copy! You can enter below and there are multiple ways to earn entries. And you can tweet about it every day through Rafflecopter to earn extra entries!

The giveaway ends on the 11th and the winner will be chosen from random.org. I will be contacting the winner via email and Jeff will be sending your book directly to you.

Good luck to everyone and even if you don’t win I highly recommend checking out this incredible book! Everyone will gain some amazing insights from reading it and I know that I am a better person for learning the lessons that Jeff put in the book.

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