Feeling Like Something’s Missing (or Getting Sad In The Greeting Card Aisle)

Today would have been my grandpa’s 93rd birthday. It’s the first holiday/event that would have celebrated him since he passed away (Mother’s Day doesn’t count).

I’ve been lucky that I’ve only lost a few people in my life, but the first time that I have to skip over buying them a card for something I would have celebrated in the past has always been the toughest for me. I have even forgotten that people have passed away and have bought them cards and didn’t realize the mistake until after I got home.

My calendar alerts me to all birthdays/anniversaries/holidays 2 weeks in advance so I have time to get a card and mail it out. I can’t seem to delete events of people who have passed away. I still get a reminder for Keri’s birthday (I also could never forget it since it’s the day between my cousin’s birthday and my birthday). It breaks my heart a little bit having that reminder come up, but I can’t seem to get rid of it. I don’t get rid of phone numbers or emails either. Somehow that doesn’t seem right to do.

It feels so weird to not be on the lookout for the perfect birthday card for my grandpa. Getting cards for him were always a bit of a challenge. My grandma is easy (anything with butterflies), but my grandpa wasn’t a fan of sappy cards. I’d try to find one with a dirty joke because that was more his style.

And with my grandpa’s birthday so close to Father’s Day, I usually make one trip to the store to get his birthday card and Father’s Day cards for him and my dad. This time, instead of getting 3 cards I’m only getting 1.

I’ve wondered why my grandpa’s death hasn’t felt real for me. It’s weird. Even after my mom called to tell me and other family members started to call or post things on Facebook, I wondered if it was a big mistake (I felt the same way when my mom told me she had cancer). Seeing my grandma in the apartment alone or now in her new apartment didn’t make it seem real either. It almost feels like he was out doing an errand or at the hospital or something. I do sometimes do a double take when I see things that belonged to my grandparents in my house. It feels weird having those items here when they have always belonged to them (and I can picture exactly where they were in both their old house and recent apartment).

But not getting the cards that I have gotten for forever really make me realize that he’s gone and that I don’t have to buy his cards anymore. I’m not necessarily sad. I am sad for the loss my family has had, you can only admire how full of a life he lived. I hope that I can get to 92. I think grief and loss for me is not as much being sad as it is trying to think about all of the positives and trying to do things that I know would make that person happy.

So tonight after my workout, I plan on having a martini with a blue cheese olive (using the martini swords) and doing a toast to my grandpa and to the other people who I have loved and lost.

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Cheers to you Grandpa.

Productive One Way And Slacking In Another (or Working On Finding Time)

Ok, I might have been over-scheduling myself lately.

Only a few weeks ago I was trying to find ways to fill time in my life. I only had one main day job and I was hoping to find something to do while doing my job to keep me busy between customers. And I wasn’t doing as much as I wanted toward my acting career.

Then I got a new day job and found a wonderful online acting class. And sadly, I think I took too much on at one time.

Obviously, the priorities in my life are work and my health. So I need to make sure I work all the hours I need to each day. That’s pretty easy for my box office job since I’ve been doing that for almost a year now and they are set hours (although occasionally I work early hours to make up for hours I might miss due to auditions or other conflicts).

The new day job is much more fluid in terms of when I work. I’m supposed to mainly work during standard business hours, but that’s not necessary because much of the work I’m researching is online. And I’m getting ok with working both jobs at once. It’s not easy, but I’m finding ways to work between 3-4 hours each day during a 5 hour shift at my day job.

And I think it’s pretty obvious by my weekly workout posts that I’m not having trouble fitting in my 3-4 workouts each week. I schedule them up to a month in advance and having them on my calendar (and having friends in my class who I look forward to seeing each time) has helped make workouts a habit and not a chore.

But with all that productivity, my online acting class has slipped. As I’m typing this post, I’ve only completed the first class. That’s exactly what I had done last week when I blogged about it. My plan was to try to watch a class each night. But on nights that I work out, by the time I’m home and showered all I want to do is read or watch tv for a bit before bed. And on days I’m not working out, I’ve been scheduling lots of things to do.

I know that I need to schedule this class the way I schedule work and my workouts. I need to find a good time a few times a week that I can set aside about an hour to watch the class and work on the homework.

The problem is finding consistent time available. Maybe I’m putting a lot of pressure on myself because I want to keep up with everyone who started the same time I did. Dustin Hoffman will be doing office hours and critiques of online scene reads soon and if I was on schedule with the class I would have those ready for the due date. But where I am right now, I’m not. And I don’t want to rush doing them because hopefully there will be another office hours/critique time in the future and I’ll have more time to prepare and make sure that I submit the best video I can.

Adding so much to my schedule at one time is very overwhelming for me. It’s not the amount of hours it requires, it’s just changing my schedule so much at one time when it’s been like the way it was for almost a year. It’s almost like when I was on temporary unemployment at my old box office job. It took a week or two to adjust to the change in schedule.

For now, I’m hoping to find time once or twice a week to work on the online class. If I don’t do that, I’m not going to be so tough on myself. Yes, it would be best if I could do the class sooner rather than later. But if I do it this month or next month won’t make or break my career. And hopefully within a week or so the 2 day job life will feel like normal and I’ll find that hour or so each day where I can focus on the class.

I have to just keep reminding myself that this class (like life, fitness, my weight loss journey, and recovery from my eating disorder) is a marathon and not a sprint. Eventually I will complete it and I will be proud of myself for sticking with it and following through.

A Summer Of Movies (or Grateful For Union Membership)

While TV is the medium that I dream of working in, I love going to see movies. A couple of years ago when I was out of work (before I started this blog), I would try to watch at least one movie a week. Most of the time it was something I got from Netflix since I didn’t have money coming in. But seeing a movie at home is still better than no movies at all.

For a while, I wasn’t seeing movies that often. Money is part of the reason, but I’m not really sure why I stopped. Movies make me happy and they should be a part of my life when I can go.

Since becoming a member of SAG-AFTRA, I have more opportunities to see movies for free. Most of the free movies are around the holidays and into the new year because they are screenings for the SAG Awards (I have to see movies to be able to vote on them). I’m also getting more opportunities to see movies through Women in Film.

But for the past few years I’ve paid to be a part of the SAG-AFTRA Film Society. Between the membership into the society and the parking pass I pay for, it costs me about $200 a year to be a part of the film society. And in the past, I’ve tried to see as many movies as I can. The more movies I see, the better value the membership each year is.

This past weekend was the opening weekend for Film Society (the season runs May-March/April). And I decided to go and see both movies.

The movies that screened last weekend were “Avengers: Age Of Ultron” and “Mad Max: Fury Road”. Both movies screened in 3D and for both movies I brought a guest (all movies through Film Society allow me to bring a plus one). So with just this first weekend, I’ve already gotten about $60 value out of my membership (based on the idea that a 3D movie ticket costs $15).

I really enjoyed both movies. Neither are movies that I probably would have picked on my own. But both movies came highly recommended by friends so I decided to give them a chance.

I found it really interesting that while they were both action filled movies, Avengers was CGI based and Mad Max had practical effects (very few effects were done with CGI). It’s fun to see how the actors are able to react to effects that are really happening versus effects that get added in after the actors complete their part. Neither was better than the other, it was just different.

Now that I’ve got my Film Society membership started up again, I’m going to limit how many movies I will pay to see. I was happy to pay to see “Pitch Perfect 2″ since I was going with a group. But I am spoiled because I have a tough time justifying paying for movies when I might get to see a screening for free or when they will eventually be on Netflix. But with this summer having a ton of movies I want to see, I might have to spent a bit on movies over the next few months. I usually don’t know what I get to see through Film Society until a week or two in advance, so I’m going to have to wait to see how many movies on my wish list will be included.

I’m really excited to see all the amazing movies this summer and making sure that I continue to keep myself happy by going as often as I can.

A Game Filled Party (or Being Competitive With My Friends)

I’ve written before about the epic parties that Marie and Chris throw all the time. Honestly, their parties are probably my most favorite ones to go to. They are amazing hosts, everyone brings great food, there are wonderful friends, and I always leave wishing I could stay longer.

For Memorial Day weekend, they didn’t do a party on Memorial Day (because everyone would have to work the next morning), but instead did a party on Sunday. And this time the party theme was “Game Day”.

When I got there, the entire backyard was filled with every type of game out there.

Game Day Games

Besides board games, there was ping-pong and other larger games set up as well.

At first, I wasn’t sure if I was going to play games. I was there for the good company and good food. But of course Chris was a good host and wrangled me into a game quickly.

I’m not sure what the game was called, but it was a mix of Charades and Pictionary but we were all working on the same team against the clock. We played 2 rounds. The first round wasn’t so great, but we finally got it figured out and we won the second round.

There were so many people playing different games and I kind of just wandered around to watch everyone else play. It was fun, but since we are all so competitive the games were pretty intense.

Since Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer, there was also some hot dogs and other BBQ style foods. And of course lots of good drinks (but I stuck to water since I knew I’d have a morning workout the next day).

After the sun went down, we decided to play an epic all group game. It was called Time’s Up and we played in 2 teams with half of the party in each team.

Team Challenge

Time’s Up is similar to Charades. You have 30 seconds to get your team to guess what the word or title is on your card. After one is guessed, you keep going until the timer runs out. Then the other team goes. You keep the cards your team gets right until all the cards have been guessed.

Then the next round, you go through the same cards again but the clue givers can only say 1 word and your team can only give 1 guess before you move on to the next card. It was good that we had some of the previous answers memorized.

The last round you can’t use any words, just gestures, and your team still only has 1 guess per card.

It got pretty crazy. I chose to only guess and not be one of the clue givers, and I did ok with guessing the cards. I was able to get quite a few in the second and third round (not so much in the first round when I didn’t know what the answers already were).

My team ended up losing (we were 4 point behind in round 1, and tied in rounds 2 and 3), but it was a really great time.

After that game, it was time for me to head home so I could get a decent night sleep. It does suck sometimes that I don’t live that close to Marie and Chris so I have to leave earlier to drive home. And if I had planned things better I wouldn’t have scheduled an early workout the next morning so I could have stayed a bit longer. But for the time I was able to be there, it was a really amazing party and a great way to kick off summer (even though it was actually pretty chilly).

Feeling Special This Workout Week (or Maybe I Influenced My Coaches)

This past week was a really fun workout week for me. It was another 4 workout week which is good. And yes, it was another week filled with lots of rowing.

While all my workouts were really good this week, the highlights for me were on Wednesday and Thursday.

About a month ago, one of the coaches, Lal, promised me that he would take a workout class with me and be on the treadmill next to me. I’ve taken Lal’s class a bunch of times. He is my Saturday coach from time to time. But I’ve never taken a class where he was doing the workout and not as the coach.

Right after he made that promise, he hurt his arm. I completely understand injuries, but at the same time I told him that if I was injured he wouldn’t let me use that excuse. He would tell me that I could just modify what I need to so I can work around the injury (like I do with all my hip issues). He said that once his arm was better, he’d workout with me.

I saw him on Monday after my morning class and reminded him that he had made that promise to me and hadn’t fulfilled it yet. He said that he would take a Wednesday class either this week or next and he let me put his photo on my social media pages and publicly shame him and hold him accountable.

And wouldn’t you know it? It worked! Lal was in this Wednesday’s class. He didn’t let me know ahead of time so I didn’t save him the treadmill next to me (sorry Lal), but he was still there and that is what counts.

Of course after the workout I had to get a photo with him so I could let everyone know on social media that he held up his end of the bargain and nobody needed to bug him about the promise.

Lal At OTF

The next day I was back at Orangetheory for another workout. I couldn’t work out on Friday due to a screening I was attending, so I did a Thursday afternoon one. And I was so happy because Whitney was my coach! I haven’t seen Whitney in a while since she is the head coach at the Santa Monica location (which is farther for me to get to than the Brentwood one so I don’t go there). She seemed pretty excited to see me as well. In fact, she named the run/row after me.

Jen's Run:Row

This was not an easy run/row for me to do. While my rowing skills have improved so much over the past few weeks, I’m definitely a sprinter versus a distance rower. And to me sprints are usually 200 meters or less. So 250 and 500 meters aren’t that easy for me. I’m able to complete them without resting in the middle, but I really do get tired.

Also, the run (or for me walk) segment of the run/row was longer than it usually seems to be. So it really tested my endurance (which was the point) and while I didn’t get through all 4 sections I go to the final run segment and only missed doing the final row. I don’t think a majority of the class got through all the segments so I’m not too disappointed in myself. Plus, Whitney seemed pretty proud of me. I might have to start taking some Thursday classes so I can see her more often!

I also had a nice workout victory in my Saturday class. Lal was the coach then and it was another run/row day. All the row segments were 250 meters and Lal was pushing us all to do them around 50 seconds every time. I can usually get a longer sprint in for the first row but my time increases a lot over the course of the workout because I get tired and burnt out.

But I really wanted to focus on trying to be as close to 50 seconds for all my rows. I stayed between 51 seconds (my fastest) and 56 seconds (my slowest) for every row. So even though I didn’t get to 50 seconds like Lal wanted, I stayed pretty close to my fastest time each time. That’s pretty awesome for me.

I’m toying with the idea of doing 4 workouts this week too. As of right now, I’m signed up for 3 classes. I’m still waiting to see if I have to do something on Saturday afternoon, but if I don’t I might try to go for my 3rd 4 workout week in a row!

MasterClass (or Another Online Community)

I mentioned yesterday how my mentoring circle is really pushing me to better myself in my acting career. Now that I finally have a second day job with regular hours, I’m finally able to save up for acting classes.

I’ve been wanting to take improv classes for a while and each level of classes at the school I want to go to is $400. I’ve been saving up and had about $100 saved, but then another great opportunity came my way.

A friend of mine told me about a new online class called MasterClass. And one of the classes taught online is a course on acting taught by Dustin Hoffman.

The idea of MasterClass is that it is a video class taught by professionals in that particular industry. Besides the videos there are homework assignments, workbooks, and online communities to help you in the class.

I checked it out a bit and read some reviews from people who already started (nobody has completed the class yet since it only went live last week) and decided that this would be something worthwhile to spend my money on. The classes cost $90 for the entire thing and you will have lifetime access to it. So I can go through each video as many times as I would like to. There are 24 videos and it’s designed to be a 6 week course.

As soon as I purchased it, I downloaded and printed my workbook and watched the first video.

MasterClass

I’ll admit that I’ve only gotten through the first video, but I’m already loving it! The first video was more of an introduction type of video and the next few are watching Dustin Hoffman instructing 2 actors in a class setting. And after that are classes on script work.

But I have gone through the workbook and have looked at the homework and other assignments. Some of the assignments are watching movies and taking notes and some are working on scripts with friends or other MasterClass participants over Skype.

You can comment below any of the video classes and interact with other students and there is also a Facebook community for those taking the class. While I haven’t gotten to the part of the class where I need to work with other students, I love that the community is there and that the work can be done either in person or Skype.

Right now, I have a few friends who are also doing the MasterClass program, but we aren’t doing things at the same pace. I’d love to do the 4 classes a week like it’s laid out to be, but I’m not sure if that’s possible. But I’m going to go through them at my own pace and when I complete it I complete it.

While this did deplete my savings for the improv class that I want to take, it went to something that I feel is worthwhile and can almost hold me over until I have the money saved for the improv class. With having 2 regular jobs now (and hopefully getting some occasional babysitting work), I’m hoping to have the $400 saved before my birthday. And if not, I will be using birthday money to pay for the class.

I like that I have a plan and a new class in my life. It really makes me feel like I’m taking steps to better my acting career and not just waiting around for things to happen. Even though I wasn’t waiting around, now it feels like there is action and progress being made. And that alone is motivating me to do more and more.

Another Evening Of Mentees (or Advice and Socializing)

My second mentee only meeting with my Women in Film mentoring group was this past week. I offered to host again because it’s pretty convenient for me to have the meetings in my house. Plus it seems to be centrally located for the rest of the group.

Only about half of our group was able to make it, but I was still excited to catch up with those who were going to be there. I took the opportunity to use my new serving dishes I got from my grandparents and they were perfect!

New Serving Dishes

Since the group was smaller this time than in the past, we only spent about an hour catching up on the goals that we have gotten done and what our goals for our next meeting will be. It still inspires me every time when I hear what everyone else is doing with their careers. I’m so lucky that I was matched with this group who are all very motivated and are dedicated to getting as much out of this mentoring group as possible. This is exactly what I was hoping to get out of doing a second mentoring circle.

I hate that I feel like I’m trash talking my old mentoring group. I’m not. But with that group our mentors weren’t as tough on us about attending meetings and they never told us to meet on our own between the meetings with them. And the other women in the group were mostly absent from the meetings. I really only got to know 2 of the other women because they were the ones who showed up for the meetings.

After our hour of catching up, we ate some dessert and started to me less formal and more social as a group. It’s not that we haven’t been social in the past, but this time we really relaxed and started to share fun and silly stories. I got to know the ladies much better and I feel that we got to bond a bit more as a group. I’m hoping that if we try to stay to time limits with our personal catchup and goals discussion that at future mentee only meetings we can continue to be more social and not just about business. It was a really nice touch and I think that everyone else enjoyed that too.

We will have another meeting with our mentors next month (the date isn’t set yet), and I’m hoping to have fun news to update everyone with. Since everyone else always seems to have such great news and stories to tell everyone, I feel almost a bit competitive and want to have some awesome news of my own.

So I’m trying to work on my career much harder than I have in the past just so I can feel like I can keep up with everyone. But I think that is one of the reasons you get into a mentoring group like this. You get motivated by everyone else to better yourself and you have a great group to lean on and ask for help.

I’m working on some ideas about what will push me farther in my career, and I’ll be sharing one of those things with you all tomorrow!

San Diego Beach Lunch (or Having Some Of My Grandparents’ Things In My House)

I hadn’t seen my grandma in a few weeks, so I knew it was time to get back down to San Diego to see her. Also, my grandma is downsizing to a smaller apartment in the community that she and my grandpa moved to about 3 years ago so I’m inheriting some things that won’t fit in the new apartment. I already have my mattress and my parents brought me a few things, but there was a box that didn’t fit into my parents’ car as well as some other things that my parents wanted me to look at.

So I decided to head down to San Diego on Sunday to visit with my grandma as well as get the things that were waiting for me there.

I was pretty lucky and made it down to San Diego in just under 2 hours, so I was at my grandma’s place a bit earlier than I planned. The plan for the day was for my grandma, my Aunt Nancy, and I to go to lunch and then my aunt and I would go to the old apartment on our own. Shortly after I arrived, my aunt got there and we headed in the car to go to lunch.

We went to Poseidon in Del Mar which was right on the beach. There was a bit of a wait for a table, so we sat outside and enjoyed the beach from the sidewalk (I didn’t want to get sandy).

With Grandma

After about 15 minutes, a table on the patio was ready for us. It wasn’t right at the edge overlooking the beach, but we could still see the beach and water from our table.

San Diego Lunch

Lunch was pretty good. We had a long wait for our meal. It took them over an hour to bring our food to us and tables who were seated 15 or 20 minutes after us got their food first, but they were very apologetic about it and comped one of the entrees. I had gotten so hungry that when they brought my sandwich I started eating it right away without taking a photo (sorry). But I had a very nice turkey sandwich.

When we got back to my grandma’s apartment, I said goodbye to my grandma and my aunt and I headed back to the old apartment. My Aunt Cindy had warned me that I might be upset because the apartment looked empty and weird, but shockingly it didn’t bother me. I think I had prepared myself for it to look worse, so it wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be.

The box that my parents had left for me was there and my aunt asked me to go around the apartment to see if there was anything else that I wanted to keep. All the stuff that was left in the apartment was going to be donated to charity, so I could take whatever I wanted.

It felt a little weird and almost like stealing from my grandparents, but I knew that if I didn’t take stuff, nobody in my family would have it. So I found a couple of things that I wanted like a purse, some quartz bookends, a lucite vanity chair, napkin rings, and a vase. And my aunt had found my grandparents’ copy of my parents’ wedding album along with their wedding invitation so I got that as well.

I also had brought my gardening shears and a plastic bag for a specific project. My grandparents had some amazing succulent plants on their balcony and because the planters they were in were so heavy, they were just going to be thrown out. But if you cut a succulent and let it dry a little, you can plant it and it will grow. So I cut a bunch of pieces and will be planting half for me and half for my parents.

Succulent Clippings

By then, it was after 3pm and I wanted to head home. So we got a luggage cart from the concierge at the building and I brought down the things I was bringing home.

New Things

My drive home was a bit longer than my drive down, but it was still uneventful. And as soon as I got home I unpacked the box that my parents had packed and sealed for me. There were a couple of things that I knew they were giving me (like new sheets and some of my grandparents’ serving platters), but there was one thing that was so special to me.

I’ve mentioned my grandpa’s love of martinis and how he got me to love martinis as well. And a few years ago I got him hooked on blue cheese olives. My grandpa always used these really cool swords to keep his olives in his martinis and I always thought that that was the most amazing thing. So when my parents had asked me if there was anything from my grandparents’ apartment that I wanted that my grandma wasn’t taking to her new apartment, the only thing I could think of was those swords. Those were in the sealed box along with the last jar of olives from the case that I brought my grandpa last year.

Martini Swords and Olives

Those swords are so special to me. I have them on display in my dining room now and they make me smile when I walk past them. While I’ve gotten lots of cool stuff from my grandparents’ old apartment, those swords are the most sentimental to me.

I’m still finding places for some of the other things that I brought back with me, but I’m so grateful that I have things that remind me of my grandparents in my house now. I don’t get to see my grandma as often as I’d like (the 4 hour round trip makes it tough to do too many day trips), but having some of their things in  my house makes me feel closer to my grandma and helps me not miss her as much.

Dinner And A Movie Night (or Another TIU Outing)

I’ve been doing more and more stuff with my friends that I’ve met through the Tone It Up community. I love that they are all like-minded women who are about getting healthy and fit but also about having fun.

A few months ago someone suggested that we should all go out to see “Pitch Perfect 2″ when it comes out. I was in right away! And since it opened this past weekend, we went on Saturday evening.

So after my Saturday workout (where I worked extra hard to make sure I burned off what would be my dinner calories), I got dressed in non-workout clothes and headed out to the valley.

We decided to see the movie at the ArcLight in Sherman Oaks because they have reserved seating and it was pretty central to where all of us were coming from. And we made plans to get dinner at Public School 818 which is right across the street from the theater.

There’s actually a Public School 310 very close to my house, but I haven’t had a chance to try it yet. So I was pretty excited to go to Public School 818. Everything on the menu looked so delicious.

Public School Menu

Every time I found something that I thought I had settled on for dinner, something else caught my eye and looked delicious. Fortunately, our waiter came to get our order so I had to make a decision. I got the shrimp and grits and it was a wise choice.

Shrimp and Grits

The grits were pan seared or something so they were more like polenta, but still very yummy. It wasn’t the healthiest thing on the menu, but it was not the worst either. It was really filling and I didn’t have any wine or dessert so I’m happy about what I chose.

Then we all walked across the street to see the movie. I usually like the ArcLight, but there was some issues this time. I guess they had a technical glitch in their system and they double sold the seats in the row that I was sitting in. So my seat was gone and they didn’t know where they were going to put me. They finally got me a seat as the previews were starting and I was sitting next to the TIU friends in that row, so it all worked out. But it was still an inconvenience and made me a bit unhappy about how much I spent on the movie ticket (I’m really spoiled with all the free movies I see).

I really enjoyed “Pitch Perfect 2″. I loved the first movie and the second one was pretty great too. It was a little too gimmicky, but that didn’t ruin the movie for me. I have a feeling that I will be buying this movie on DVD or iTunes when it is available.

Of course, after the movie we had to get a group photo of us all.

TIU LA

Then we all headed back to the parking garage to get our cars. I had to be up early the next morning and several of the other girls did as well. So I headed out pretty quickly.

This hangout really made me think about how my social life has transitioned over the years. I remember when my college best friend and I ended our friendship and I was pretty socially isolated right after that. So much of my social life was with our mutual friends and my ex-friend was closer to those friends than I was. So I was left with very few friends in LA. But I’ve spent lots of time getting out of my comfort zone and meeting new people. And now I’ve got way more friends than I ever had and they all add so much to my life.

If my ex-friend and I were still friends, I don’t know if I would have had the guts to join the Tone It Up community and get as involved in it as I have. But I’m so glad that I have because I have so many wonderful women to hang out with and who support me in my journey.

Back To 4 Workouts (or More Rowing!)

I finally had another 4 workout week. It had been about a month since my last 4 workout week, and I’m not totally sure how that happened. I’ve been trying to stay on top of getting in 4 workouts every other week, but no matter what happened I’m getting back on track this past week.

I thought with all the rowing we did last week, this would be a light rowing week.

Nope.

It wasn’t as bad as the rowing last week. All of the rowing segments were on the shorter side and some of them were just sprints.

I’m noticing that my rowing form is getting better each week. And I’m able to bend my legs in a more upright way than I did before (my legs used to have to bend more toward the side like a butterfly stretch during rowing). And I’m finally feeling like I’m able to row with very few issues caused by my hips.

I’m still struggling with getting the wattage up high enough, but that’s a tough thing to improve on. There are times where it is exactly where it needs to be, but it’s tough to maintain. So I guess I need to work on rowing stamina.

I also broke a personal rowing record. I was able to row 200 meters in 46.5 seconds! This was a new record for me, I haven’t tracked my 200 meter time in the past. And my records for 100 meters is 19.5 seconds so I’m not really sure if at one point I did 200 meters faster. All I know is for as long as I remember in my Orangetheory workouts I’ve been at about 55 seconds for 200 meters. So I’m happy with this new record!

Beyond my rowing accomplishments, I’m continuing to try to improve my strength work. Unless all the 15 pound weights are taken, I’m always using those for my arms, shoulders, and back work. And I did deadlifts this week with 25 pound weights in each hand. When I started, I was at 8 pound weights in each hand. That’s a huge improvement within the year!

My treadmill work is a bit stalled. I’m still at 3.4 miles and hour and doing my crazy inclines, but I’ve hit a bit of a wall. I can increase my inclines for my push pace (I’m currently at 10% incline), but when we have pushes that are more than a minute or two I find it too difficult. I did do 1 push pace this past week at 11% incline, but I was hurting after that. And my all-outs are at 15% incline which is the maximum incline. I’d like to increase my speed soon, but 3.5 miles an hour feels way too fast right now. So I have to be patient and maybe in a month or so I can go up to that speed.

But one of the things that I’m proudest of from the past week is how well I did with my 4 workouts. I was scared that my body had gotten too used to 3 workouts a week and that the 4th would be a big struggle. The 4th workout wasn’t easy, but it was a typically hard workout struggle and not the struggle of being too tired.

I don’t believe that I will get 4 workouts done at Orangetheory this week due to my schedule, but it’s nice to know that my body will be ok doing them from time to time when my schedule does allow it.