Figuring Out My Own Advice (or Why Is It Easier To Help Others?)

I’m pretty sure this is close to a universal issue, but it is so much easier for me to give advice to others than to give it to myself. Even when the advice I’m telling someone else is exactly what I need to do as well, it’s still easier to tell it to someone else. I know that some of it is probably being resistant to change and so I might be hearing my own advice and just not taking it. But more often than not I feel like the advice isn’t something I realize until I say it to someone else.

But I’ve noticed a related issue lately for me. It’s so much easier for me to work for something for someone else than for myself. For example, if I need to work on something for myself it seems like an endless task that is impossible to start. But if someone else asks if I can help them with something, I don’t see those challenges and I am able to not only start right away but complete it quickly. I have no clue why I am so much more willing or able to help someone that isn’t myself.

I’m sure someone would say that it’s about how I value myself against others. And there likely is an element of that happening. I don’t see myself on the same level as others around me and I feel like sometimes my issues are not as important as someone else’s. Or I feel so much easier to put myself last and prioritize what other people need. I can always make excuses to myself for why something isn’t done but I can’t do that for someone else. I’ve known this is a problem for myself for a while and it is something I am working on. But it seems to be so easy to drop everything to help someone else when they ask, so I keep doing it.

But I also have people in my life that call me out for doing that. Even if I’m sharing advice that someone thinks I could use too, they will point it out. I really appreciate when someone does that because it does make me more aware of when it’s happening. I do get a bit annoyed that it has to pointed out and not that I realize it on my own, but that has to do with me and not with other’s pointing it out. And I have asked friends to continue doing it because it is much more helpful than annoying and I know I need it.

What I have started to do as people point it out is to make a note of what the advice is. I’m hoping I can find some trends of what type of advice I can easily give to someone else but not apply to my own life. I know a lot of it has to do with how I see myself compared to how others see me as well as realizing my importance, but that is something that I have struggled with for so long so I think it may be an ongoing issue for me. But if I see specific advice happening over and over again that I share with others, maybe that can give me a bit of guidance to what I should focus or work on.

But at least when friends point it out to me, they share that they have the same problem which does help. There are some things I struggle with that I wonder if I’m the only one who has the issue. But not being able to take my own advice is something that at least the people I know have trouble with too. I think because it is something that is so well understood by others that they are more willing to help me figure it out and don’t judge when I am having trouble with it. If only so many other things in life were so easy to relate to with others. I’m sure it would make working on things so much easier.

Les Miserables (or Another Classic 19 Years Later)

My group is coming to an end to our season at the Pantages. We only have 2 more shows left and they are both in July. After that, one friend and I will be continuing for the next season which will be starting in October. But I will miss the group we have this year because it’s been so great (I miss my group from last year too). It has been a great season this season and I’ve said it many times that I’m loving seeing classic shows again or shows that I’ve seen before. And this week the show was another show I was familiar with.

Before this week, I think I had only had seen “Les Miserables” one other time on stage. I saw it when I went to NYC with a high school group 19 year ago. It was an amazing trip and I got to see some incredible shows. One of the other shows I have left for this season is a show that I saw on that same trip (although that show is one I’m not as familiar with). But even though I’ve only seen the show on stage one other time, I have seen other adaptations of it since then. There was the movie a few years ago which did a great job of keeping the adaptation close to the stage show. And I’ve heard the songs in other shows I’ve gone to. Since the show is almost all singing, knowing the songs pretty much means knowing the show.

We were seated up in the mezzanine this time since we were not attending on our usual night. But we were almost in the center which is a nice treat. I do think I still prefer being close to the stage and to the side because I like being able to see the actors’ faces, but being in the center and not having any part of the stage blocked is good too. And even being almost in the back is still close to the stage compared to other theaters. I know that next season won’t be the same because some of the shows are at the Dolby and that’s a much bigger theater. But hopefully our seats there won’t be in the far back.

“Les Miserables” requires some incredible singers. Not only does the show pretty much only have singing and no dialogue, but there are so many songs that I know are technically difficult. I’m not a singer at all, but I still know when a song is tough to sing. So having strong singers is a requirement for the show to succeed. And this touring cast really did have some talented performers! I was getting chills at times during some of the more dramatic songs. I was prepared to cry while watching it since I know I have cried before with this show. Somehow I was able to hold it together, but that didn’t mean I wasn’t emotional or didn’t enjoy it. I just think I was so focused on watching it that I didn’t have the time to have the emotions hit me or make me react.

Something I’ve been enjoying with all these shows I’ve been able to see is how the sets work. I know with touring shows the sets can’t be as elaborate as they are on Broadway or if a show is staying in a theater for a long run. I think most of the shows I’ve seen the past few seasons have had very interesting sets and I’m always fascinated to see what they do and how they use what they put on stage. This show was no different. They used the depth of the stage in a unique way and used the buildings in the town almost like curtains to block the stage to change the sets. Since they didn’t use the regular curtains and had a set acting as them, the show didn’t have to stop when the sets changed and they were still able to use lots of different set options. And they had a screen on the back of the stage that they used for a few moments to convey motion. The first few times they used the screen it surprised me. And toward the end of the show when they used it to show movement in the sewer it was so perfect and I loved what they were able to do without making it look like a movie or theme park ride.

This show was one that my entire group was familiar with and I think we all went into it knowing we’d enjoy it. Obviously with it being a sad show we didn’t leave gushing about how much we liked it or talked about things too much. We all kind of took time to let it sit with us. But even though we weren’t saying it, I think everyone enjoyed it as much as I did.

I’ve got a bit of time now before my last 2 shows this season. But with how quickly time is flying by, I’m sure it will be here before I know it!

Saving Money and Trying To Be Green (or Revamping Some Things)

This post is a bit of a mishmash about a few different things, but it weirdly all is about one purchase I made on Amazon. I recently purchased reusable cotton rounds to replace the single use cotton rounds I use twice a day for my face toner. And that purchase inspired a few changes that I’ve been trying to make.

The original reason I bought these reusable cotton rounds was that I realized how many I went through in a day. My bathroom trash can was usually at least half full with them because that’s one of the few disposable things I use in my skin care routine. It’s not that they are super expensive, but it does add up when you go through over 50 in a month. And I had read a few stories online about how they can have different chemicals in them and that they aren’t the most environmentally friendly because of how they are made. It seemed like an easy purchase to make so I did it. They weren’t that expensive, although since cotton rounds aren’t that expensive to begin with it might be a bit of time before I break even. But it wasn’t just about money, so that’s not that important.

So that single purchase got me thinking about what other disposable things I use in my day to day life. I’m proud that there aren’t that many things, but there are enough to look at what options I have to replace them. There are a few things I had already done like getting nicer straws so I didn’t use disposable ones (although when I did use those, I used them for a while before throwing them out). And I’ve looked at paper towel alternatives, but I haven’t found any that I like and I still like to use regular paper towels. But it has gotten me to look at what I buy and what I have stored in my house.

As I have been replacing things, I have been able to clear out what I have been storing in my little storage area in my house. It’s been a slow process because I do try to finish out what I have already purchased, but it’s getting there. I am not buying things in bulk and trying to find a place to put them. And I don’t have to think about repurchasing something because I am running out. It’s been a nice feeling when I don’t have to make a trip to CVS in the middle of the night because I desperately need something.

The few purchases that I have made that are more environmentally friendly haven’t always been because of that reason. The cotton rounds were more about being aware of what I am using on my face and I was tired of feeling like I was just throwing out so much every day. I also hated that even the premium rounds I purchased left fuzz on my face and hands. The fact that they were better for the environment was a bonus after I looked into them more. But I guess it doesn’t matter what the motivation was for the purchase, if they are more environmentally friendly that is a good thing. I know we all need to be more aware of the single use things we have in our lives, and I’m slowly doing that and seeing what I can replace.

Just like so many other parts of my life, it’s hard to make the changes until I really become aware of what the problem is. I can’t just look at my house and see what I need to change to save money or have greener options. But once I’ve discovered where the issue is, I have been quick to look into what I can do. I know that not every green option is the best for my financial situation, but not all of them are that expensive if you take the time to shop around online. For example, some of the cotton rounds I found were over $20 and that seemed too much. But I looked around and found them for about $5. I have to be picky right now on what I buy so I don’t just spend money, but again, it will save me money in the long run.

I’d love to hear what other inexpensive changes I can make to be more environmentally friendly. I know there are so many things I don’t know about yet that would be easy swaps. And obviously if they also save me money that would be amazing.

Adult Conversations and Feeling Like A Kid (or A Very Busy Saturday)

This past Saturday was quite a day. I had my usual things like work and my workout, but it also ended up being an overwhelming day. Everything that made the day overwhelming were things that were last minute, so I had no way to prepare for them. Fortunately, I ended the day on a positive note when I didn’t think that was possible earlier in the day.

The overwhelming stuff started with having a very difficult conversation with someone in my life. I’m not trying to be vague, but I do want to protect who they are since this is something that isn’t completely resolved. But this person is someone who I thought cared about me (and I cared about them) and they hurt me. They actually hurt me about a year ago and this conversation was something we have needed to have since then. I was ready to discuss it right away, but they kept putting it off.

I knew that I might have to be ok with not having the discussion I wanted and trying to let things go, but it was not easy to do that. Fortunately, they agreed finally that we needed to be adults and talk things out instead of just ignoring them. And part of this talk included being very open and vulnerable with each other and asking and answering questions. It was hard, it wasn’t easy to hear some of the things they had to say, but it needed to be done and I’m glad we did it.

We talked things out for several hours before I had to leave and while things are not settled yet they are in a much better place. I cried leaving because so much of the stress and hurt I have had for the past year was finally being released and it was such a good feeling. I don’t think things will ever be the way they were with this person again, but we are going to hopefully work toward getting close to that (I am happy to work toward that, I don’t know if they will be as willing). This felt like such an adult and mature moment for me because there were so many ways we could have skipped what we discussed and it probably would have been easier in the moment. But in the long run, having this talk will be for the better.

I was emotionally spent after that talk and when I got home I was ready to just sit on my couch and do nothing. But I also didn’t want to have the rest of my evening consumed with thinking about it. I called my friend Dani to decompress from things and to talk things out. And while we were talking we both agreed we should go out and do something but didn’t know what to do.

We ended up deciding to go and see the Avengers movie (which I hadn’t seen yet) and there was a screening of it at the theater near me an hour after we decided that’s what we were going to do. And this worked out even better because Dani just moved to an apartment near my house! It’s not that common to have friends that live walking distance from me. It almost feels like it did in high school when all my friends were super close.

Even though we are walking distance from each other, it was late and I didn’t want to walk alone. So I drove to pick up Dani and got a chance to see her new place. Then we went to the movie and after I drove her home so she didn’t have to walk alone.

Avengers was an awesome movie, the only thing was it is a long movie and we went to a late screening. I knew it was long and people warned me to not drink too much water before so I wouldn’t have to leave for the bathroom. Maybe it’s because I cried earlier in the day, but I had the opposite problem. I was so thirsty during the movie and had to leave to get more water. That also gave me a break from sitting so I could stretch. But overall, I loved the movie and it was such a beautiful conclusion for many of those characters.

By the time I got home, it was really late and I was ready for bed. I was still a bit drained from earlier in the day, but I was doing so much better than I was before the movie. I ended the day seeing a great movie with an awesome friend and it took my mind off of other things that happened. And even though this issue with the other person in my life probably will be something I have to worry about again in the future, I really haven’t had to think about it much since Saturday.

Being an adult and having a tough conversation with someone in your life isn’t easy. I know I have skipped doing it many times that I should have gone for it. I have let things sit when I wasn’t ok with them and I have gotten to a point in my life where I don’t want to tolerate that. But at least I have other people in my life who like to act silly just like I do who can turn around a day when I need it.

Lots Of Lower Body Work (or A Week Of Froggers)

This past week of workouts was not what I was expecting. Every workout at Orangetheory is different, but we had a lot of similar things throughout the week. I definitely pushed myself and sometimes that is a bit much, but this time the pushing just led to soreness which proved I was working hard.

Monday’s workout was a themed class for National Frog Day (yes, that’s a thing). Every section of the workout had frogger squats as a big part of it. Sometimes it was an exercise in the workout and sometimes it was timed within a block. But there were a ton of frogger squats the entire time.

For cardio, every block was the same. We had a 30 second push pace and 45 second base pace that repeated and then we had a 30 second all out pace. After that we had a minute to recover and get off the treadmill/bike before we had 30 seconds of frogger squats. All 3 blocks were like that and the frogger squats weren’t too bad since for me it was the beginning of the class. I did keep my bike resistance levels a bit lower just to not overwork my quads before all the squats.

For the floor and the rower we switched between blocks. So when it my technically my rowing time I had 2 blocks on the rower and 1 block on the floor. And for my floor time I had 2 blocks on the floor and 1 on the rower. On the rower, we started with 10 frogger squats and 1 single arm snatch with a dumbbell on each side. Then we went down 1 frogger squat and up 1 single arm snatch. We had that for about 4 minutes before heading to the rower for a 30 second all out row. When we got back to the rower, we picked up on the exercises where we left off.

The floor was a similar pattern to the rower. We had exercises and then at the end we had 30 seconds of frogger squats. The exercises were high rows on the straps, knee tucks on the ab dolly with pushups, and ab dolly roll outs. The exercises weren’t too hard and I didn’t need that many modifications, but the frogger squats were getting tough. I have no clue how many I did over the entire workout, but they did make me sore and I really didn’t want to do another frogger squat for a long time after I was done.

Wednesday’s workout was an endurance day and it was designed to help get us ready for the 12 minute run benchmark that we will have coming up soon. I have a different feeling about running themed benchmarks now that I do them on the bike, but it’s not a bad feeling. It’s less pressure since I don’t have a big history of what I can do, but also a little uncertainty because of the same reason.

For cardio, we warmed up with a 1 minute push pace before having a recovery and then a 5.5 minute run for distance. I set the resistance level at my old push pace and it was a bit tough to maintain that the entire time. After the 5.5 minutes, we had another recovery before doing the 5.5 minute distance run again. The goal was to do at least what we did the first time. I was able to use the same resistance level and I got a bit further in the distance so I was very happy with that.

On the rower, we started with a 2.5 minute row for distance. I was able to get a little bit further than what I normally can do. Then we had lunges with tricep extensions using a medicine ball. For each round on the rower we were supposed to decrease our row by 100 meters and we kept the lunges with tricep extensions the same. Normally when we have workout plans like this I just use a round number for my rowing distance. But I decided to use my actual distance and do the math each time I was on the rower. It wasn’t too hard, but it did make the rowing a bit longer than it would have been with round numbers.

On the floor, we had 2 blocks. The first block was all work with weights. We had shoulder presses, double crunches, and weighted hip bridges. I didn’t go too heavy with the shoulder presses or double crunches because I was still trying to be careful with my back. But with the hip bridges, I did go heavy. I used to be very worried about putting weight on my hips, but I’ve realized how strong they are and I love that I can use a weight that seemed impossible to me before. The second block had toe taps using the bench which I was able to do with holding on to the straps and doing a single leg squat as well as roll outs using the straps. The modified toe taps were tough and I had some issues balancing. I just tried to do what I could and sometimes that meant taking a break and having both legs on the bench between each one.

Friday’s workout was a power day and it had some really awesome moments and some moments that were a real struggle. But the struggle in the workout was something that I think most of us struggled with so having that support helped.

For cardio, we had 3 blocks that were the same. We had a 30 second push pace, 1 minute base pace, 30 second all out, 1 minute recovery, and then a 30 second push pace to 30 second all out. For the first push and all out, I did my new resistance levels since we had a bit of recovery after them. And for the back to back push and all out, I used my old levels since there wasn’t the recovery. I’m glad I have gotten out of the mindset that I have to stick to one set of bike resistance levels since I have been enjoying going back and forth and playing with it.

The rower was where most people in class struggled. We had 3 blocks and each block had a 200, 150, and 100 meter row. And between each row we had frogger squats. Most of us in class also took class on Monday so when we heard we had to do more frogger squats we were pretty annoyed. We were given the option to do regular squats instead and I took that option. My legs were sore after all the frogger squats and I didn’t want to do more. Some people tried them, but I think all of us were not happy that frogger squats made an appearance again so soon.

On the floor, we had 2 blocks. The first block had lunges while holding weights, lunges without weights, sit-ups, and full burpees. I did my burpees on the bench like I’ve been doing for a while and even with that modification they were tough. I think it’s been a while since I’ve done them so I was a bit rusty with the movements. The second block had lunges with single arm shoulder presses and pop jacks. I did the pop jacks with the bench like the burpees and had the same issue with not being as fluid as I would have liked. I wish the burpees and pop jacks had gone smoother for me, but at least they weren’t hurting me and I could do them.

Saturday’s workout was strength based and it was a great class to end the week on. I felt really strong and powerful and even though this was a strength class it felt like it was more than just that.

For cardio we had 2 similar blocks. We had a push pace, base pace, base pace at incline, regular base pace, and an all out. I used my old push pace for the flat push paces and my new push base as the base pace with incline. It was a great mix of using the resistance levels on the bike and I really pushed myself to pedal faster when we didn’t have incline work. I don’t know why I felt so amazing and powerful in that class, but I did and the cardio work match perfectly for me.

On the rower, we started with a 200 meter row and we counted the strokes. Then we took the number of strokes we did and used that for medicine ball squat front raises. Then we went down one stroke and one squat each round. The goal was to do the strokes on the rower slowly to not have the count be so high. A lot of people rushed through the row, but I took my time. I still did a higher stroke count than I would have liked, but it was not too high which helped me not to have to do as many squats.

And on the floor, we had a lot of weighted work and some Bosu work. The first block had single arm hip swings with weights, half get ups with weights, and pullovers with weights on the Bosu. The second block was weighted hip bridges on the Bosu, chest presses with weights, and plank pull throughs. I was glad to get a break from lower body work on the floor and I was using some heavy weights to feel powerful.

This past week of workouts really had a lot of tough work, including a ton of lower body work. But this week might make this past week look easy because it’s Mayhem┬átime! Hopefully I do ok in those workouts and I can’t wait to see what happens because I am really on a high with feeling awesome!

The Official Start To Election Season (or I Can Finally Share Some Things I’ve Been Working On)

The SAG-AFTRA election season has finally started for me and my slate! I haven’t been able to put in my petition for delegate yet, but that’s just a technicality. I will be running again and I’m so happy that I will be a part of the Unite for Strength slate again. I love what this slate stands for and the work we have done so far. I really believe in what we are doing and hope that we can continue to do the work we have been doing.

I’ve been able to get a little more involved each election cycle. The first election, I ran as a delegate and while I did do some campaign work I really didn’t do much. The second election I did that plus I helped to run some of the leafletting events. It wasn’t a ton of extra work, but it was more than I had done before and I loved getting to do more and understand the election more than I did before. And for my third election, I’m even more involved!

This time, I’m doing everything that I did before and I’m also helping to run the social media pages for Unite for Strength! It’s been something I’ve been doing for a little while, but now that election season has officially started there is a lot more work to do. I’m really loving helping with social media and making sure that we are sharing important information regarding the election, the campaign, and union matters. I love making our twitter feed a great source of news and information since educating other members is a passion of mine. I’ve also been a part of the design ideas that we’ve been using and I love getting to play with that side of my creativity.

But the look of our campaign is really because of my amazing friend Robert. He is an actor and also a graphic designer and he has worked hard and creating amazing graphics for us to use. We got to share one yesterday when we announced that Gabrielle Carteris will be running for re-election as SAG-AFTRA president.

He has created some amazing art for us to use this election season and I’m excited to get to keep posting them online as we get closer to the election. Plus, getting to work on this campaign with several of my friends makes it more fun. It can be (and I’m sure will be) a very stressful time that can have a lot of negativity. But being surrounded by my friends and working hard on a goal with them hopefully will make it a bit better.

This work has been something I’ve been working on for a few weeks, but primarily over the past week. It’s been taking up a lot of my time, but it’s for something I enjoy so I don’t mind. It’s been a good distraction when I’m not feeling my best because everything I’ve been doing has been encouraging and motivating. I always say how I want to be more involved in the union and this is such a great way for me to do this. I know that not everyone I know agrees with my slate or will be voting for it, but that’s to be expected. I just have to keep working with people that I believe in and know that I’m with a slate that does support the same issues I am passionate about. Being involved is so important and for many people that just means voting and making sure their voice is heard in the union. For me, I’m lucky to get to do even more than that.

I’ve been able to be enthusiastic about the work the slate has been doing as well as what I have had the chance to help with. I just haven’t been able to share it that much since many things have been confidential until this week. And there are still more things that will be shared for the next few months when we can. I’m hoping that my enthusiasm about this will be able to continue through election season and beyond. And I hope that others will get just as excited as I am about all of this.

For anyone who is a member of SAG-AFTRA and has questions about Unite for Strength, please feel free to reach out to me. If I can’t answer something, I can connect you to someone who can. And whether or not you are a union member, if you would like to help the slate we are accepting donations for the campaign. It is not cheap to run a campaign (it costs money to have campaign materials and to get it out to the membership). While everyone who is a part of the slate are all contributing, any extra help is always appreciated. I hope many of you will support me and Unite for Strength during this election season and I can’t wait to tell you more about things as I can share them!

Too Many Complaints (or Trying To Get Back To Being Positive)

Lately I’ve been feeling like I have so many negative things in my life. Whenever someone asks me how I’m doing, I have a list of reasons why things aren’t easy. Sometimes it’s being nauseous, sometimes it’s random pain, and sometimes it the aftermath of things I do to stay healthy. I’m not trying to complain just to complain, I’m being honest. I’ve seen how many people just say that they are fine because they don’t want to seem like they aren’t ok. But for me, I take pride in not hiding when I’m struggling or going through a tough time.

But now, it feels like I’m struggling because I’m struggling and it’s becoming a cycle. I don’t go out of my way to complain or find negative things in my life, but they seem to become the focus without me trying. Even when I’m coming up with things to write about on here, when something in wrong in my life that seems to inspire more than when good things happen.

I know I’ve had this issue before and it usually takes me becoming aware to get out of it. Sometimes I forget that being honest doesn’t have to mean sharing everything or that it can’t include good things. And I do have lots of good things in my life that I know are just as important as any of these bad things. But just knowing it doesn’t necessarily help with getting out of this funk or feeling of negativity. It does help to have something else I can try to focus on, but it doesn’t guarantee that it will happen.

And it doesn’t help with the negative things that I’m struggling with are things that I can’t avoid. If I’m in a bad mood because of something I can change, then I can work toward a better mood by changing it. But I can’t control the pain that I’m in. I am finally almost done with dealing with my back issues and the pain is only happening at random and rare moments. But I’m still worried about doing something that will bring it back so I am still being careful. And the pain I have from the temporary crown isn’t going to necessarily go away until I get the permanent one. I tried to get the appointment for that as soon as possible, but it is dependent on when the lab can complete it so I can’t make it sooner. Neither types of pain are something that I have control over or can change just because I want to. I either have to just be in this struggle or find a new way to look at it to get through it.

I don’t have any answers to that right now. I have figured out ways to work through my hip pain or nausea with a better mindset, but that’s because those things don’t go away. I have to deal with them over and over and there is really no other choice for me but to work through. I’m not always in the best mood when dealing with it, but the constant need to do it has helped. Hopefully my back won’t become a recurring issue and I won’t need a lot of dental work coming up. So I’m not sure if I don’t know how to work through these or if I’m not motivated to do the work because I shouldn’t need it again.

I am focusing on my happiness checklist and making sure that I prioritize doing those activities. I am making sure that any plans I make don’t prevent me from doing things that I know will help my mood and put me into a more positive place. And I know doing those do help, but I’m hoping that they will be helping more and sooner since I want to get out of this funk. I am also trying to do more of those things on my checklist each day even though I know I don’t have to do them all every day. But the more good I can put into my life the better.

Hopefully putting all this in writing will help turn things around for me. Sometimes you do just need to get it out to move on. But if it isn’t enough, at least I know it’s something to work on and eventually I’ll be back to my positive self.

More Adventures At The Dentist (or Getting Through A Long Appointment)

As I wrote last week when I went to the dentist, I didn’t have the best news at my appointment. Nothing was horrible, but I did need to have some things repaired and replaced. And doing that means needing numbing shots. That’s never something that is fun for me and I was even more nervous considering that I would be working with new dentists. I tried not to stress too much in the week between the appointments, but I couldn’t help it.

I went in for the long appointment this week on Monday and it was really a long appointment! I was there for about 3 hours and I know it was longer than anyone expected. Part of the reason I was there so long was that I had an issue getting numb. I’ve had this problem before and it’s the worst considering how much I hate needles. But the first round of numbing shots only numbed a small section of where the work was going to be done. So they had to do another round of numbing shots and since I wasn’t numb from the first ones I did feel the second round as well. Fortunately the second round did work, but it still made things longer than it should have been.

Also, because these dentists are new I wanted to give them the warnings about my specific issues. I had to give them a heads up about my fainting issue even though it hasn’t been happening as often recently. I also wanted to let them know some random things that help my anxiety when work is being done. One of those things is to be told as each part of the process is happening and is done. So if they are working on the drilling, letting me know how much longer they need to drill helps. I’m sure for some people it makes it worse when they are told there is 5 more minutes left, but it gives me something to focus on. Also, my anxiety is lower when I understand things more. So I asked how certain things are done like how the old crown is taken off my tooth. Being able to imagine it is a really good thing for me.

Getting my old filling repaired was the easy part. I actually wasn’t numb for that and it didn’t really hurt at all. The drilling was done quickly and the replacement filling material was in before I knew it. If that was the only part of the appointment I had to do, I would have been done faster than a normal cleaning!

But working on replacing my crown was a much longer process. There were multiple impressions and molds that had to be done to create the temporary and permanent crown and those took time to set. And to get the old crown off they had to do a lot of drilling. It’s good to know how strong it is, but it makes it hard to get it off. They do need to be replaced every 10-15 years so I will go through this process several more times with the various crowns I have, but at least I’m a bit more prepared this time.

Because I already had a crown on that tooth, there was minimal drilling that had to be done on my actual tooth. But the reason why I needed the replacement was because there was a little cavity on my tooth just below where the crown was. When that happened, it made a little gap in the crown so there was a possibility that bacteria could get under there and make things really bad. But once the crown was off the dentists confirmed that the cavity was only that small spot they saw before and not worse. So they drilled that out and all the drilling work was done. All that was left was to create the temporary crown and get that onto the tooth.

When I left, I was still very numb. I am happy to be extra numb since I would prefer that over feeling pain. But I did discover an issue with that when the numbness finally wore off. There was a small part of the temporary crown that was jagged and cutting into my tongue. I had no clue about this when it was done and because of where it was on it the dentists wouldn’t have been able to see it. But it was very painful and I knew I needed to have it fixed immediately.

So the next day, I called as soon as they opened to see when I could come back in. I knew fixing it would only take a few minutes so I was fine going in the middle of work (I cleared it with my manager too). As soon as I got there, I was able to point out exactly where the problem was and once they knew where to look they could smooth it out and make everything they way it needs to be. The temporary crown is always a bit rough, but the part that was hurting me was not normal. I didn’t have to get numb for this and I didn’t mind the drill as much because I knew it was going to make the pain end. My tongue is still hurting now, but that’s because of what happened before it was fixed. Hopefully that goes back to normal soon.

I have one more appointment to get the permanent crown in and to smooth my filling a bit (I could have done this when they fixed the temporary crown, but I needed to get back to work). That appointment won’t be as long as the main one was so that is going to be nice. I still am anxious about the next appointment since I know there are a few moments where it will hurt a little bit when they cement the new crown on, but I would prefer to have that little pain than the pain of having the shots. And then once that is done, hopefully I won’t have anything besides normal cleanings for a long time.

Another Dating App Ban (or This Is What Makes Me Over Things)

Pretty much since I started online dating again, I’ve had friends ask me if I was sick of it or over the dating app thing. When I started, I answer was honestly that I was not because it was still all exciting and new to me. I hadn’t used dating apps in a while before starting up about 2 years ago and apps were very different from what I experienced before.

As time went on, the same questions came up and I was still not really over it. I had some pretty negative experiences but the positive ones still outweighed them. I wasn’t even getting frustrated with being ghosted because I think the novelty of everything was still there. Once I started working on my book, I think that helped me stay in that same mindset. All the moments that probably would have made someone else want to delete their apps became awesome stories for my book. I think having that book in mind really has helped me keep my sanity in what should be an overwhelming and potentially negative situation.

There have been plenty of things that have made me very angry with online dating. But I’ve realized most of them were situations I had happen multiple times and the first few times they were funny. The more often they happened the more annoying they became. And I experienced one of those this past weekend.

I was going on Tinder to go through my matches and message some of the guys I had been texting with. I was trying to make plans to meet for coffee with a guy so I wanted to get things planned out and ready for that evening. But when I went to the app, I got this screen.

This isn’t the first time I have been banned from Tinder. It happened after I called out a married guy on there a while ago. I know that he had to have reported me for something because right after I mentioned him being married I got banned. I’m guessing he reported me for harassment or something and then I got banned. I did some research into how to get banned and multiple guys have to report you. So maybe all the married guys I called out reported me or maybe random guys randomly reported me because they didn’t like what I was saying. It made me wonder if Tinder actually reviews these reports or not because I know I didn’t do anything wrong.

When it happened before, I immediately reached out to Tinder for an answer and all they would tell me is that I violated the terms of the app. I read those terms multiple times and I still have no clue what I did wrong. But there was no fighting it because they refused to help me. I did open a new account so I could get back online, but I lost all the matches I had on that first account.

When this happened again, it was a complete shock. The only messages I had been sending were to find out what part of LA guys lived in or to find out their schedule. There was definitely nothing I did in a message that was against the rules. I had also recently had a date with a guy that I didn’t want to see again, but nothing was said in the app or in person that would have been something I could get banned for. Tinder has not been responding to my messages trying to find out what happened and it’s so frustrating.

Having something happen like this has made me feel more over online dating than anything else. I had been putting in work to try to meet guys on the app and it was taken away with no explanation and no way to reach out to guys I was speaking to. It’s so frustrating that if I was to go back onto Tinder that I would be starting over again. I know a fresh start can be a good thing, but not when you didn’t want to have one. I felt like I had been making progress and now I’m back to the beginning.

I still have other apps that I’m on so I’m not leaving online dating, but it has made me wonder how much longer I could do this if there is a risk of this happening again. Fortunately with the apps I’m still using I know the employees review any reports and I know I’m not breaking any rules. So if guys were falsely reporting me for something, hopefully my profile wouldn’t be removed. And I am still having fun dating and I don’t know of ways to meet guys in person so I am motivated to keep going. But having a moment like this is a reminder of the fine line I’m balancing between having fun on the apps and being over them.

Still Working Through The Pain (or I’m Going To Stay Positive About This)

This past week of workouts ended up being another struggle. As I mentioned last week, I did something to my back and that really threw things off for me. But at least the nausea was gone and I was ready to feel like myself again. That’s not how this past week went, but I think I did end up finding the best in the situation.

Monday’s workout was a strength day and I was ready to be back to normal with my bike work. I was feeling good (this workout was right before my back pain started) and I was excited to see what I was going to be able to do.

The cardio work did include hills, but they weren’t super high inclines. So I was keeping my bike resistance levels close to what I’m used to. We had rounds of hill work and flat road work and each round the incline/resistance level went down by 1. I started 1 level higher than my new all out level and didn’t worry about pedaling too fast. And it felt great when the resistance level was getting back down toward where I’m used to being after having such a high level earlier. When we had our all outs, since I had so much work using resistance levels I decided to have the level at my base level but I pedaled much faster. It was an interesting difference from what I’m used to doing. I don’t know if I’ll do that all the time for my all outs, but it could be something good to have as an option when I have strength days in the future.

On the rower, we had rounds of stroke count work. We started with doing 20 strokes on the rower slowly to get as many meters as possible. Then we had lunges using the medicine ball. Each time we got to the rower we went down 2 stokes. Because I was going so slow, I didn’t get that low with the stroke count. I tried to keep the stroke rate below 16 strokes a minute when with normal rowing I’m usually between 25-30. It is so hard to go that slowly, but I know that was the purpose of that workout and I’m glad I really tried to do it that way.

And on the floor we had 2 blocks and it was a lot of upper body work. The first block had bicep curls but we were balancing on one leg while doing them. That was definitely an added challenge, but I took my time and put my foot down to regain my balance when necessary. We also had tricep extensions on the straps and goblet lunges. And the second block had regular bicep curls, regular lunge, and tricep extensions using the weights. It was interesting to see how I felt between the two blocks since they were essentially the same exercises but different ways of doing them.

Wednesday’s workout was a mix of endurance, strength, and power and because of my back I had to be careful with what I did. I knew that working out wasn’t going to make things worse unless I was careless in what I did in class. Every time I worked on stretching things felt better so I was hoping a workout would do the same. There wasn’t too much I had to modify which was nice, I just had to take things a bit slower.

For cardio, we had 2 blocks with a similar pattern. We started with hill work, then we had a flat road push pace, and we ended with rounds of 30 second all outs with recoveries between. For the hill work, I kept it where my push pace resistance level usually is. I didn’t want to strain too much because I was worried I would put that strain into my back. I did work hard, just not as hard as I would have done if I was feeling ok.

On the rower, we had sprint rows and we were supposed to do power jacks with a medicine ball between each row. I knew that I shouldn’t lift a weight over my head and I didn’t want to have to bend over to grab the medicine ball each time I was going to use it. So I did regular squats instead and that worked just fine for me. We also had all out rows to match with the cardio side when they had them. I was able to do a bit better with those rows because they were so short.

And on the floor, we had one long block. We had front squats with dumbbells, upright rows with dumbbells, double crunches, goblet squats, lateral raises, and swimmers. I had to modify the front squats because I couldn’t hold the weights up that high so I did them as regular squats with weights. I also had to go much lower with the weights for all the exercises. Some of the exercises did use my back so obviously I needed lighter weight for those. But even the goblet squats had to be done with a lighter weight because I just couldn’t pick up the heavier one. Considering what the workout could have been and the modifications I could have needed, I was very happy with the limited modifications I had to do.

Friday’s workout was a mix of strength and endurance work. My back was doing much better than it was on Wednesday, but I still had twinges of pain when I moved certain ways so I had to be careful with what I did and how I moved. Unfortunately, one of the ways I felt pain was when I hunched over to adjust the resistance levels on the bike so I had to be very careful with that.

The cardio work was a mix of push paces at a flat incline and push paces with hills. But because I struggled to adjust the resistance level, I just used my new base pace for the base pace moments and my old push pace for the push paces no matter if there was incline work or not as well as the all out. Limiting it to those 2 levels helped a lot because I didn’t have to adjust things that often. I know that it didn’t make the workout as hard as it should have been, but it did allow me to have very little pain while on the bike.

The rower had 2 blocks with similar patterns. We had 2 rounds of a 200 meter row, 2 rounds of a 150 meter row, and rounds of a 100 meter row. Between each row we had medicine ball exercises. For the first block we had medicine ball ground to presses and for the second block we had medicine ball front raises. But I couldn’t lift a medicine ball that way without having pain. So for both blocks I did squats with the medicine ball. It wasn’t working the same muscles we were supposed to, but the muscles we were supposed to be using were the ones that hurt. And for the rowing, I tried to keep my rows as close to my normal times as possible. I had to be very cautious doing them because I discovered doing the proper form hurt more than doing a sloppy form. So I had to be aware of my body position so I didn’t injure myself a different way by having bad form.

And the floor had a lot of upper body and core work which was a bit tough for me. We also had drop sets which ended up giving me a good chance to test out different weights to see what my body could do while hurting. The first block had drop sets with chest presses and regular sets with bear steps and arm raises. The second block had drop sets with tricep extensions with weights and then regular sets with shoulder presses and sit-ups. I did have to go lighter with my weights for the weighted work, but I was doing better than I had done on Wednesday. And the core work wasn’t as tough as I thought it would be, it was just getting into position that was hard. Getting up and down from the ground was harder than the actual exercises.

Saturday’s workout was an endurance day and fortunately my back was almost totally normal. I’m lucky that I only had to deal with the bad pain for a couple of days, but I’m also aware that if I go too hard that I could injure myself again or the little pains I have could last much longer. So I took that knowledge into my workout to make sure I didn’t do anything too crazy.

For cardio we had lots of push paces to base paces. The base pace always matched the time of the push pace before it, but the block had a lot of variety. We had 2 minute, 90 second, 1 minute, and 30 second intervals throughout the time we were doing the cardio block. We ended with a 1 minute push pace followed by a 1 minute all out. And just like on Friday, the only time I had a bit of pain on the bike was when I had to lean over to change the resistance levels. So I kept it simple like I did the day before. So all the base paces were my new base pace and all the push paces were the old push pace even if they were the shorter ones. Usually I would do the old push pace for the longer ones and the new push pace for the short ones, but it wasn’t worth it for me to worry about the adjustments as much. I did use my new all out pace at the end which helped to end on a good note.

The rowing work was 1 long block. We started with a 2 minute row and then we had medicine ball work. Then we were supposed to reduce the row by 100 meters from what we did in 2 minutes and repeat the pattern. Usually I would use an even number no matter how far I went in 2 minutes, but I decided to do the math in my head each time and do what I actually did. The medicine ball work were squats to overhead raises and calf raises. I didn’t do the overhead raise with the squats and I kept the medicine ball at my chest for the calf raises to protect my back. But I felt like I was doing work much closer to what we were supposed to do.

And the floor block ended up being one of the highlights of the workout for me. The first block was almost all work that involved stepping on the bench. Until last week, I wasn’t able to do any exercises like that and would have to do squats or lunges instead. I still had to modify the actual exercises because I can’t do stepping up and down, but I was still able to use the bench. We were supposed to do step overs with crossing the back leg, step down toe taps, and power step ups. What I did was balancing on one leg while holding the straps for all the exercises. Instead of the step overs I basically did single leg squats with crossing the back leg behind me. For the toe taps and step ups I did single leg squats with keeping the leg I wasn’t using to the side. It’s much closer to the work than what I used to do even with all the modifications. The second block was lunges with bicep curls or uppercuts and side planks, all exercises I could do. I had to be careful with the side planks while I was going from standing to the floor and back, but the actual exercise was not painful or difficult.

There was no way for me to know that this past week was going to be thrown off by my back issues. But I am so grateful that it really didn’t hurt my workouts too much. I did have new modifications to do, but I also was getting a lot of stuff done that I hadn’t been able to do until recently. I think there were more positive things about this workout than negative and that’s awesome! My back is still a little tender and I have a few moments of little pains, but I’m doing so much better and I’m optimistic the trend will continue that way.