Category Archives: Fun Stuff

A GNO Reunion (or Taco Tuesday Without The Tacos)

It’s been a while since my GNO has gotten together. The group kind of fell apart when other GNO groups were created and we stopped being as active in setting up events. I’m hoping that one day we can get the group up and running again, but since we are all so busy it’s tough to know who would be able to do it. But we’ve all been able to stay in touch through social media so we always know when each other has awesome news to share.

Recently, my friend Brandi shared that she won a writing fellowship with HBO! That’s such amazing news, but I’m not surprised as Brandi is an incredible writer. I love all the work that she’s done and I know that she has won awards for her writing in the past. But besides announcing that she won this fellowship, she told us that she would be coming to LA for a week to participate in the kickoff for the program!

I hadn’t seen Brandi in over a year, since she moved to Atlanta. So I was so excited to get to see her again and get to celebrate her success. I knew she’d be busy, but fortunately she organized a casual dinner in West Hollywood so we could see her while she was in town. And I had a feeling I’d get to see some of the women from my GNO group again so I was pretty happy to get to dinner!

The dinner was held at a Mexican restaurant that I like, but my stomach was not having the best day. I had taken some of my anti-nausea meds before going, but I couldn’t seem to want to eat anything other than the chips. I was excited to get some of the Taco Tuesday specials that they had, but I guess it wasn’t meant to be that day for me and I just had water and chips.

When I got there, my friend Danette was already there. Danette is also a big fan of musicals and has season tickets for the Pantages this season too. She goes on a different night than I do, but we had a lot to talk about with the shows this season. She and I are pretty much on the same page with which shows we have liked and not liked and we are both pretty excited to see “Hamilton” soon! Danette has actually seen it in NYC already but knowing how excited she is to see it again makes me even more hyped up to see it!

Brandi got there shortly after I arrived and it was so great to get to see her! She looked so happy and I know that this fellowship is exactly the right thing for her right now. She didn’t start out as a writer, but it’s pretty clear to me that she is thriving as a writer and she truly shines when she is able to write. It makes me so happy for her that she is doing something that she loves and is getting so much positive recognition for it.

She was telling us a bit about the fellowship and the work that she’s been doing since it started this week. She’s gotten to meet some amazing people in the industry and it’s really a program to prepare those in it to be in a writers room on a tv show soon. She mentioned how the people who were in the program the first time they did it are all on staff on a show and I hope that she is on staff soon too! Mainly so she has an awesome job, but also so she moves back to LA because being at dinner made me realize how much I missed getting to see her in LA!

There were other women who were a part of the GNO group at dinner too and it was nice to catch up with everyone who was there. Everyone was enjoying the food there and I felt a bit bad that I wasn’t joining in with eating. But I guess if I’m trying to save money it’s best that I didn’t eat. But it was tempting to just get something to try to see if my stomach could handle it. I’m glad I didn’t because it would have been horrible to get sick there.

I was able to stay about 2 hours and then had to head back home to get some more work done. I wish I could have stayed longer to hang out with Brandi and everyone else some more, but I know that Brandi had a lot of people she wanted to catch up with and I didn’t want to take up too much of her time. It was so great to get to see her even if it was only for a few hours. And I have a feeling that she’ll be back in LA pretty soon to interview for writing jobs and then hopefully moving back because she has a writing job!

SaveSave

San Diego Day Trip (or The Backgammon Witch)

I was down in San Diego for a day trip not too long ago, but I was able to do another day trip down there this past weekend. I’m glad I’m able to go down there more often because my grandma is in San Diego. She understands that I can’t be there all the time, but I know that she appreciates it when I’m able to get down there too.

This time, my parents were in San Diego for the week visiting my grandma (unlike last time when their trip was for the surgery I was supposed to have) and they had been doing a lot of fun stuff. I couldn’t visit during the week because of my schedule, but I was able to take time off on Saturday so I could spend a few hours down there with everyone.

I’m glad I took the time off work because there were so many accidents on the freeway on the drive down. It usually takes me 2 hours to get there, but this time it was 3 hours. If I hadn’t gotten the time off work, I only would have had an hour or so with my family before I had to go back to LA.

Once I got there, my parents and I went out for lunch. Originally my grandma was possibly going to come with us, but it was easier for her to eat lunch at home. So the 3 of us (plus the dog) went out for a casual lunch at a Greek restaurant just around the corner from where my grandma lives. It was nice getting to catch my parents up on some of the stuff happening in my life and what I’m trying to plan to do coming up. I was hoping to get to Tahoe sometime soon, but I don’t think that will be happening until the winter now.

After our lunch, we headed up to my grandma’s apartment. It was nice to see her at her place since I hadn’t been up there in a while (when I was there last time, I waited in my car while my dad got her). Her apartment is really nice and has some of my favorite pictures of our family on her desk and tv table. And it also has her backgammon set.

My grandparents used to play backgammon every single day. My grandpa would always say that my grandma is a witch because she could always get double sixes or whatever roll she needed at the time she needed it. She would win most of the time and it was so funny seeing my grandpa get frustrated that she always got lucky with the dice.

I don’t know how much backgammon my grandma has played since my grandpa passed away. But my parents had told me that while they’ve been on this trip they have been playing backgammon with her. And it’s like she never stopped playing! She’s just as good as she always has been and she still has all her witch powers. My dad took this photo from the day before I was there of my grandma right after she won a game against my mom.

I love that expression on her face! You can tell how proud she is that she can still kick my mom’s butt in backgammon. And while I was there, my mom and grandma played some more.

This time, my grandma wasn’t as lucky with the dice (and she kept saying how badly she was playing) so my mom was lucky and was able to win a game. But seeing my grandma so happy doing something that I’ve seen her do my entire life made me so happy. My grandparents had taught all their grandkids how to play backgammon, but it’s been a while since I’ve played. But I think I’ll need to brush up on my skills because I have a feeling we will be playing a lot at Thanksgiving this year.

After visiting with my grandma, we went back to the place my parents were staying at. My parents’ friends were going to be coming over to hang out with them and I was going to visit with them as well. A lot of the conversation was about medical stuff (that’s the case a lot of the time around my family) and clearly Tucker was pretty bored by all the talk.

I stayed for about an hour with everyone and then headed out when they were all walking down to the beach. I have a friend who recently moved to San Diego and I was going to have dinner with him and his sister before heading back up to LA. It was a pretty chill dinner and was a nice way to feel like I did have a bit of a mini-vacation with my day trip down to San Diego. Usually I’m down and back so quickly that it doesn’t feel like I did much more than drive a lot.

On my drive back up, I happened to time it out perfectly and was driving past Disneyland just as the fireworks were going off. It was actually a better view from the freeway than what we had by the castle the last time we were there! Seeing the fireworks made me miss Disneyland a bit, but it’s only about another month before I can go back with my pass.

While my trip down to San Diego wasn’t that much longer than the time it took me to drive there and back, it was still a nice break from LA. I don’t think I’ll be down there again before Thanksgiving, but you never know. I’m lucky that it’s not too far for me to get there and that I can easily do it as a day trip.

5 Years Old (or My Blog Is A Kindergartner)

This past Sunday, my blog turned 5 years old. As I’ve said each blog anniversary, I can’t believe this! When I started my blog, I knew that I would be doing what I could to keep it up. But I don’t think I would have been able to do 5 years of every weekday posts!

Looking back at my first blog post is a big embarrassing because I had no clue what I was doing. I didn’t know if anyone would ever read it (and back in the beginning I had plenty of days with 0 readers for the day) and I didn’t know if anyone would care. But to know it all started with a post where I pretty much said that I didn’t know what I was doing makes me so happy to be where I am now.

I know I’ve said this so many times, but I wanted to say thank you to every single one of you who reads this blog. Some of you are my friends and family but many of you are people I haven’t met in real life yet. Some are following me for my eating disorder recovery, some for my acting career, some for my fitness journey, and some of you just like reading what happens in my life. No matter why you read this blog, please know that I appreciate each and every one of you.

This blog has morphed quite a bit in the past 5 years. Like I said, I had no clue what this blog was going to be when I started. And through the past few years I’ve added things to my blog such as my recovery journey and weekly fitness posts (I can’t even remember not doing Orangetheory posts on Mondays!). This blog has changed as I have changed and hopefully you will all agree that both the blog and I have changed for the better.

Whenever someone reaches out to me and tells me that they started going to Orangetheory, saw a therapist, or even started online dating because of something they read on here I’m just beyond flattered. I never thought my life could impact others just by telling the truth and it’s amazing that I’m able to do that. And finding out that I’m helping others inspires me to keep going, even when I don’t have anything to blog about.

I wrote about this recently, but this blog has changed my life because I’ve been forced to go out and do more. Otherwise, all my posts on here would be pretty boring. And sometimes it’s tough for me to figure out what to write about, but there is always something that I want to share or get off my chest. Just being able to write it down (and maybe have someone read it and help me) makes me feel so much better when I’m struggling and going through a tough time.

5 years ago, I didn’t know what I would blog about and honestly I thought that I would keep more things about my life private than I do right now. But I’ve found that hiding parts of myself doesn’t allow me to be as free as I need to be in order to write honestly. I do still keep some things to myself or wait on sharing them, but I think you all can tell that I’m not trying to hide that much that often.

I never imagined I’d be sharing as much as I have when I started this, and there’s no way for me to know what I’ll be sharing in the next 5 years. Hopefully there will be so many awesome and interesting things happening in my life that I can tell you all about. I’m putting myself out there in so many aspects in my life and I’m sure that something great will happen because of that. I can’t predict the future, but I know that all the effort I’m putting in to better my life will have a big change. And I really can’t wait to see what happens with that!

5 years is a long time to be doing something every single weekday. I haven’t even had a day job that long! But I’m so glad that I stuck with this and kept going because it really has been a life-changer for me.

Time Is Flying By (or How Is Summer Already Halfway Over?)

It seems like I’ve been super busy and not busy at all lately. I go through times where I’m on the go for days on end followed by days where I have nothing to do. I’d like to be able to spread out the stuff I do more, but I know that’s not always realistic.

But this week has been a bit slow and I finally have gotten on top of some tasks I’ve been putting off. And one of those tasks has been to get through my emails that I haven’t taken action on yet. I’m usually really on top of my emails, but things have been distracting me and I haven’t been taking care of things the way that I normally do. I’ve been trying to delete stuff I know I won’t have time for or have passed, but I’ve realized that a lot of stuff that I wanted to go to have already happened.

I don’t know how it’s already the middle of July. It hasn’t really felt like summer yet (although it’s been hot enough to need my a/c so that proves it’s summer). And it probably hasn’t felt like summer because I really haven’t done many of the things I usually do during the summer. I’ve been going to movie screenings (which is a big summer thing for me) and I haven’t been able to get to Disneyland since my pass is blacked out for the summer, but there’s so much that hasn’t happened yet this summer that I figured I would be doing.

I haven’t gotten to the beach at all. I don’t go to the beach every summer, but whenever I do make it there I’m always so happy and enjoy it. And it would be so easy just to get stuff in my car and go to the beach. It’s so close and doesn’t take much effort. But somehow I just haven’t made it there and I really should try to figure out when I’m going to set aside some time for it.

And the biggest thing that I was surprised I haven’t done yet or at least made a plan for is going to the Hollywood Bowl. I’ve looked at the schedule before and found some things that I really wanted to go to, but I never asked around to see who else wanted to go with me and buy some tickets. There’s no good reason why I haven’t done this yet and now the summer is half over I really need to get planning or I might not make it to the Bowl at all this season.

It’s not that I haven’t had other things taking up my time this summer. I’ve had my Pantages tickets and work keeping me busy. And work was extra busy because one of my day jobs was allowing me to almost double the number of hours I worked. That extra money really helped out with some expenses this summer and it was worth not doing as much fun stuff in order to make more money.

And I think that I might still be in a bit of the mindset that I don’t want to make plans too far in advance because I’m still afraid that I will need surgery. That’s the reason I didn’t make plans for the summer to begin with. I didn’t want to have plans and then have to cancel them because I was still recovering from surgery. I know that I usually recover really well, but I didn’t want to set myself up for failure. And when the surgery got cancelled I didn’t make the effort to make the plans that I was putting off.

I know my next MRI won’t be until September or October so there’s no reason not to make plans this summer. But I guess I’m still a bit paranoid that something will happen and I’m putting stuff off when I don’t need to. It’s funny how this surgery has kind of altered how I’m scheduling things even when there is no current surgery plan. This is one of the reasons I was uneasy about not needing the surgery when I planned. Now the idea of it is hanging over my head and I feel very uncertain and hesitant to do much.

I don’t feel like I’ve wasted my summer, but I totally haven’t been taking advantage of it. Hopefully I can make the second half of summer much more exciting and interesting than the first half and I can try to get as much of my favorite summer stuff in! It’s just a matter of finding the time and money (and hopefully the friends who want to come with me) to do it!

I Might Write A Book (or The Bumble Avenger)

My online dating adventures have been pretty ridiculous. While there have been some really great guys that I’ve met (and a few that I’ve seen more than once and hope I’ll be seeing again), it seems like a majority of the stories I have are not-s0-great ones. I’ve been lucky that most of the time I can figure out a guy isn’t a good person before I ever meet them. So most of the time when I go on a date with someone, there has already been some vetting and I feel pretty ok about it.

Of course, that’s not always the case and I’ve had some really bad dates where I spent more time getting to the date than I did on the date. I’ve also gone out with a guy who was engaged at the time because I didn’t search his name online like I do now. If I had looked him up, I would have seen that his wedding website was the first result in the search and his Facebook profile photo is with his fiancée. I regret not looking him up before the date, but I’ve learned.

With the guys that I haven’t met, there are a variety of reasons why I didn’t meet them. Sometimes they just have something creepy about them, sometimes they are trying to get me to meet them at a hotel and won’t accept me meeting them somewhere else. And yes, I’ve encountered more guys who aren’t actually single. In fact, this week I rematched with a guy I matched with a few months ago (we had unmatched for some reason or another). Back then, I wasn’t doing searches on the guys I’m talking to. Now I’m smarter and I found out he’s married. He was only married 4 months when we were talking before. I called him out on it and he deleted his profile.

With the engaged/married guys, I feel bad about it even though I know I didn’t do anything wrong. And I’m starting to message the fiancée/wife on Facebook so they know what their guy is doing. Most of them haven’t seen the messages because they are in their filtered messages, but at least I can feel like I’ve done something about it and hopefully they will find out that they are involved with a cheater.

I post some of the craziest stories of my adventures in online dating online to my friends, and most of them think it’s so crazy what I’m encountering. And with all my posts about how I’m finding out someone is a cheater and telling their significant other, a friend of mine called me The Bumble Avenger (even though not all the cheaters have been from Bumble).

Several of my friends have been telling me I need to write a book about what I’ve been experiencing. I just keep telling people that I don’t think my experience is that unique and I’m not a writer.

But then I got to thinking. I’ve done online dating before and what I’m experiencing now is nothing like what it was like before. It is totally crazier now. Maybe it’s because of how much easier it is to have a dating app versus using a website? Maybe people are finding it easier to cheat? So maybe my story is something that I should share with others beyond my private social media.

And as far as me not being a writer, I know that it’s true. I have over 1,300 posts on this blog (how did that happen?!?!?!) and I’m almost at my 5 year anniversary (more on that next week). Clearly I’m a writer whether or not I believe that it’s true. Maybe I just don’t think of myself as a writer when I look at screenplays or novels. But non-fiction books can be in a similar format to a blog.

So because so many people told me to do it, I’ve actually started to write an outline for a book. I have no idea what will come of it, but I’m glad I’m starting now. Even putting together the outline I’ve realized I’ve forgotten some of the crazy stories that happened to me in April and May. So it’s a good thing that I’m at least writing these stories down now even if nothing comes out of it.

If I do actually write the book, I don’t know what I would do next. I’ve thought that maybe I wouldn’t want my name on it, but I think it would be easy to connect me to it because my stories are pretty unique. I don’t feel like I would go back and change blog posts to try to hide my identity, but maybe people wouldn’t be able to connect it to me. If it does have my name, I would think carefully about how much I would want to reveal. And of course I would have to have people look things over to make sure nothing I’m saying could reveal who any of the guys are (I wouldn’t use any of their names but I don’t want something else in there to be a way to connect back to them).

This is seriously at the very beginning stages of everything. I haven’t really written much yet, but it will be something I want to try to work on at least a few times a week. It would be fun to see what I could do and you never know what could happen out of a project. I doubt I knew 5 years ago that this is where I would be with my blog and I’m so grateful that I started it when I did. Maybe the book could be the same thing for me.

Working On Forgiveness (or Accepting Things As They Are)

Between my recent appointment with my therapist, working on the 12 week journey of “The Prosperous Heart”, the goal setting workshop I attended, and just me thinking things through; I’ve come to a lot of ideas about myself. One of them is how I need to work on mindfulness. I thought I had been working on that, but clearly based on what I’m discovering about myself that is still something I really need and want to work on. That’s a tough one for me to do, but obviously it’s important to me since it has come up for me so much lately.

But I’ve come to another conclusion about myself that I haven’t really had the chance to work on even though it has come up in almost all the same places as figuring out I need to work on mindfulness. And the thing I realized is that I need to work on forgiveness. This isn’t really about forgiving others (although there are a few people who I probably should work through my anger about). This is more about forgiving myself and that’s not an easy thing.

It’s funny how I came to this realization because this week’s chapter in “The Prosperous Heart” is all about forgiveness. I read the chapter after I thought that I wanted to work on it, so it really felt like fate to me. And it got me even more motivated on trying to work out what I want to forgive myself for.

As far as within the work I’m doing for “The Prosperous Heart” I have to be able to forgive myself for not remembering to write down every single expense that I have. I pretty much write down everything, but I realized this week that I had been forgetting to write down the quarters I spend for laundry each week. That’s not a huge deal, but I wanted to do everything right and forgetting to track some cash expenses isn’t part of that plan.

I’m also working on trying to forgive myself for not making the progress I should have been making in my weight loss. I’ve unfortunately gained some weight this past month and that really makes me mad. That progress was really tough to get and to lose it is so frustrating. I know that I can’t be perfect and always lose weight, but to gain weight is something that I still view as unacceptable and it’s not easy for me to realize that to slip up is normal. I want to be able to get back on track, but its hard.

And the latest thing that I’ve been trying to work on forgiving myself about is a bit tough to discuss. To make a long story short, I have come to realize that while I was taking the birth control pill it was changing my personality and repressing certain emotions. Since getting my IUD in I’ve come to find out more about who I really am and part of that is why I’ve been putting myself out there so much with online dating. But I’ve started to wonder that if I had switched from the pill to the IUD sooner (or never went on the pill), maybe my life would have been so different. Past relationships of mine might not have failed. Or a different relationship could have happened. It’s tough not to think about the what ifs, but I can’t help myself.

The dating one has been hitting me the hardest because I’ve been going over so much in my head lately with past relationships and what might have been if I hadn’t had the issues that I now know the pill was causing me to have. It’s so crazy to think that I didn’t realize that I wasn’t my full self for almost 15 years. I don’t want to keep looking back, and that’s why it’s so important to work on forgiveness. I know I don’t have anything to really forgive myself for with past relationships, but I want to forgive myself for the feelings that I’m having about them.

Just like with mindfulness, this is not going to be a fast process. It will take me a while to learn to forgive myself and to just accept things as they are. Hopefully moving forward I won’t be as hard on myself, but I know myself well enough to know that I probably will still be my harshest critic. That’s just who I am and maybe I need to forgive myself for feeling like I need to change that too?

I don’t know what has brought so much reflection on my life lately, but I have to think that it’s a really positive thing. These changes I’m hoping to make can only be for the better and hopefully I will see more positive changes in my life once I’m able to implement these more often.

Surgery Anniversary (or I Guess It’s Good I Almost Forgot)

Last week was the 11th anniversary of my hip surgery. In some ways, it feels like this was a lifetime ago. In other ways, it feels like it was only maybe a year or two ago. I still think all the time about my surgery and what else I might need to have coming up, but it’s not as huge of a focus of my life as it’s been before. That could be because I have other medical issues that are a bit more important right now. But whatever the reason, I was thinking so little about my hip surgery that I almost completely forgot the anniversary of the surgery.

I actually ended up remembering on the day of. Usually, I think about it leading up to the day and then acknowledge it the day of. This time, I was working and all of a sudden looked at the calendar with a shock thinking I had totally forgotten about my surgery anniversary. It was almost a sense of relief that I didn’t totally forget and could still say something about it being 11 years later. But it’s crazy to think that I easily could have had the entire day go by without remembering it.

I’m no longer thinking of milestones the same way with my hips. Before, it was just trying to do better than my surgeon’s predictions. There are still potentially 3 more surgeries I could need, and he felt like I would not be able to make it this long without having another surgery. I’ve completely surpassed that prediction so I’m not thinking too much about it. Now, it’s the goal that he got in my head that it would be ideal if I could avoid getting a hip replacement until I’m 40.

The problem with hip replacements are that they don’t last forever. You do need to replace the replacement, and sometimes that can be every 10 years. Each time you replace them, that’s another pretty major surgery. So to wait until I’m 40 would limit how many times they would have to replace them. Ideally, I’d like to avoid hip replacements completely but I’m aware that it’s not necessarily the most realistic goal. So I just want to stay on the plan to not need a replacement for at least another 6 years.

I’m still doing most of the things my surgeon told me to do to keep my hips as healthy as possible for as long as possible. I’m not doing things that are risky for me falling and potentially breaking my hip like skiing or skating. But I am running now and I know that it’s not the best thing for me to do. But I’ve come to a place where I’ve realized that maybe I need to be a bit riskier with my hip health to keep me happy and healthy. I can go without skiing forever if I have to, although I have been wishing I could do it again. But now that I’ve started to run, I’ve realized that I can’t drop it like I dropped other stuff. I haven’t been feeling any extra pain with running and until I know that it’s causing harm I don’t feel like I need to stop.

I’ve also realized that if I want to live in a protected little bubble to prevent future surgeries, I could do that. But I’ve lived in fear of needing my next hip surgery soon for too long and I don’t want to have it hold me back anymore. I think that I’ve grown so much as a person over the past year or two and I don’t want to stop making that progress. So if I have to take a few extra chances in my life with my hip, so be it. Also, worst case scenario is that I need to get a hip replacement before I’m 40. That’s not the end of the world and I’m still doing much better than my surgeon expected me to do.

Even though I almost forgot my surgery anniversary this year, I think that I’m going to think of it every year and remember how far I’ve come in that time. 11 years is a long time (1/3 of my lifetime!) and I know that there was no way for me to know that I would be in the place that I am now back then. I was in so much pain before surgery and I’m so grateful that I haven’t had to experience that again since waking up after the surgery was done. I was looking back at the photos my parents took of me right after I got out of the hospital (which was only about an hour or so after surgery) and the smile on my face is just so huge. I know the smile then represented getting through surgery and not being in pain anymore. But now, it represents a new beginning to my life and being able to do things that I never dreamed I’d be able to do.

A Weird Workout Schedule (or Out With The Old And In With The New)

I’ve had a few weeks of 3 workout weeks, so it was nice to be able to get back to a 4 workout week this past week. 4 workouts a week is starting to feel so normal to me which still surprises me. But even though this was a 4 workout week, it was a bit of a weird week. It was weird because of a few things including the holiday and my Orangetheory location was getting an equipment upgrade and was going to be closed down for 2 days. But none of the weird stuff was going to stop me from getting my workouts in.

Monday’s class was an endurance day where we didn’t switch between the blocks. We technically had 2 different 10.5 minute challenges, but I forgot to reset my treadmill before the first one and wasn’t able to do the challenge properly. So since the first challenge wasn’t going to be for distance for me, I did it with the plan the coach gave (instead of just running the entire thing). So I ran the push paces and walked the base paces without worrying too much about distance.

For the second challenge, I did remember to reset my treadmill and very determined to PR on my 10.5 minute challenge. I ran the entire thing which is still a big accomplishment for me. I started at 4.5mph like normal and occasionally did a bit at 4.7mph as a little sprint. I knew I’d be close to my old PR (which was .812 miles) so for a minute toward the end I went to 5mph and for the very last 30 seconds went to 7mph just to get every bit of distance I could get. I’m glad that I did that because I did PR, even if it wasn’t as much of a PR change as I was hoping it would be.

Once I got to the floor, I was pretty tired but I wanted to do the best I could. The first block was arms, lunges, and abs so that wasn’t too bad after all the running. The second block was arms with squats and ended with a 500 meter row. I was excited to try the row because I wanted to PR on it too. I didn’t know what my 500 meter PR was going into class so I was really excited when I finished it thinking I got a new best time. It was a bit frustrating to realize that I tied with my PR. I know I should still be happy to tie with my PR when I’m tired at the end of class, but as you all know I’m super stubborn with myself.

I also went to Tuesday’s workout since I do try to work out on holidays. This workout was a 3G 3 partner workout and it was set up as 3 blocks that were each 14 minutes long. A lot of partner workouts are for the entire class, so it was cool that this one was broken up into smaller bits. Each workout had a similar goal which was to see how far the group could get on the rower in 14 minutes even though each block had a different station controlling the switching.

For the round where the rower controlled the switching, it was 400 meter rows. For the other rounds, it was just rowing for distance but I think we all pretty much averaged 400 meters each time we were on there. When the treadmill controlled the switching, it was .2 miles (I did it as a power walk for .1 miles) and the other rounds were running or walking for distance. For the floor, we had a decent amount of variety. When the floor controlled the switching, it was lunges and ab work. For the other rounds there were biceps, pop jacks, dead lifts, and squats.

As a group, we did best on the rowing distance in our first round which was almost 3100 meters. The other rounds weren’t too bad with about 2900 meters each time but I know that we wanted to top our first round row. It was a pretty tough workout, but it was a good workout and a nice change from what we do normally. And knowing that we’d be switching between stations every 3 minutes or so was pretty helpful in getting through the tougher moments.

Wednesday’s workout was a power day and we switched after 2 blocks. Normally I would run that workout, but it was my 3rd workout in a row and I was feeling a bit sore and tired so I ended up walking. All of the treadmill blocks started with a 2 minute push pace and 1 minute base pace. After that, it was push to all out paces with different times. But on the very last block on the treadmill, I knew I’d do a little running. After Wednesday’s workout, all the treadmills and rowers were going to be replaced. It was my last time on the original treadmill 11 (my favorite treadmill) and we were encouraged to go for our fastest speed ever because we were ending on a 30 second all out. Since I wanted to give my treadmill a proper goodbye, I ended with 30 seconds at 8mph. It’s probably too fast for me (I think that speed is for someone with longer legs), but I was able to do it for 30 seconds and felt like I gave the treadmill good farewell.

And yes, I’m aware that I probably sound crazy for having a favorite treadmill like this, but I think most people at Orangetheory have their favorites and knew that the new treadmills probably wouldn’t feel the same as the ones we were used to.

On the floor, each block had a 200 meter row in it. I was averaging 37-38 seconds per row which isn’t bad but not my best either. We also had a lot of plank/core/abs work in the blocks. I was tired because I did a tough workout but also because it was my 3rd workout in a row. I knew that I couldn’t be too tough on myself that day for not always doing my best. And I’m happy to say that I was able to go easy on myself and felt glad that I was able to do what I could do.

Orangetheory was closed on Thursday and Friday to spruce things up and get the new equipment in, so my next workout was on Saturday. As usual for Saturday workouts for me, it was a 3G workout. I got there a bit late and was worried that I wouldn’t be able to start on a treadmill, but somehow not only did I get to start on a treadmill but I got to start on the new treadmill 11! The treadmills looked similar to the old ones, but I could feel a difference. They do still need to be a bit balanced out (very common issue with new treadmills), but it was good to be on my normal treadmill. I was dealing with some hip pain, so I planned on doing a lot of walking. And that worked out well because it was a strength day.

There was some push pace times at a flat treadmill incline, and I did run those. But for all the incline work, I walked and I’m glad that I did. It wasn’t a really difficult hill workout, but I know I couldn’t have done it as a run. I did try to run briefly at 4% and it was feeling pretty bad. So pretty much all my treadmill time with the few moments of push paces on a flat incline were walking.

On the floor, we had 2 blocks. The first block was lunges and shoulder work followed by abs. And the second block was lunges, abs, and pushups. Each block was only about 7 minutes long so it went by pretty quickly. And on the rower, we had rowing with work with medicine balls in-between each row. My rowing was pretty slow, but that might have been because of the new rowers. The seats are different with these rowers compared to the others so it might take me a bit of time to get used to it. But I’m sure they will feel normal to me soon.

After completing Saturday’s workout, I went to the app on my phone that I use to track my workouts. Having an app like that is so much easier to figure out if I’m on pace to hit my workout goal for the year than if I tracked it on paper or something. And Saturday’s workout was a bit of a milestone one for the year.

I’m ahead of pace to hit my workout goal for the year and that makes me pretty happy. Hopefully this momentum continues!

Have A Low-Key 4th (or Friends, Fries, and Fireworks)

Since the 4th of July party I usually go to was on the 1st, I had the 4th of July free. I wasn’t totally sure what I wanted to do that day, but I knew I was going to enjoy having an extra day off. So many holidays are on Mondays (or have fallen on a Sunday) so I don’t get an extra day off that often. It’s a real treat when there is an extra day that I can relax and have fun.

I figured I’d try to go and see fireworks somewhere, but I really didn’t have a plan. For the last several years, I’ve pretty much gone to Chris and Marie’s party. But I used to go to other events before. About 4 years ago I went to the fireworks show in Studio City. And for a few years before that I went to the show in Culver City. But with my friends living all over LA, I wasn’t quite sure where I would end up this year.

I texted some friends to see who was interested in going to a show and most people either had plans or didn’t feel like driving in holiday traffic. I don’t blame them because I didn’t want to drive that far and usually I have plans. But fortunately my friend Grace (she works for the podcast with me and also goes to OTF) had no plans and was up for coming to my side of town! So after she had some acting work to do, she headed over and we went to the Culver City fireworks show.

The Culver City show used to be at Culver City High School, where I used to be a substitute teacher. I was pretty familiar with the school and we watched the fireworks from the football field which was pretty fun. But since the last time I went to the show, they moved from doing the show at the high school to West LA College (a community college in Culver City). It’s still pretty close to my house, so it didn’t take us too long to get there.

The seating is on the grass of some of the sports fields there (I think it was the soccer and softball fields) and most people bring blankets and chairs to sit on. I had a big beach blanket that stays in my car, so I grabbed that for us to sit on. The gates opened at 4pm and we got there around 7 so a lot of the field was already claimed by other people. But we didn’t need too much room for 2 of us and found a spot that seemed pretty good. Since fireworks go up high, I wasn’t too worried about being very close. And I wasn’t expecting to see the show that was on the stage before the fireworks (I think it was just different musical acts).

It was pretty awesome getting to hang out with Grace. We’ve gotten to hang out a bunch lately and she is so awesome! She’s pretty new to LA still so I’m always sharing random LA advice with her. But she’s been kicking butt considering she’s still new to town! I wasn’t doing that much for my career when I moved here, but then again I was focused on college then. But it’s awesome to be friends with someone who is super motivated because that motivates me to do more.

There were a bunch of food trucks there to buy food and Grace went on a food run while I held down our blanket. It took her a while because of the crowds, but I didn’t mind because there was some really great people watching. It’s such an interesting crowd that goes to this fireworks show. It’s not the typically LA event and it really has a small-town feel to it for being in the middle of a major city. I loved seeing all the families having fun and the kids acting like kids and not being jaded by the world.

Grace ended up getting us some french fries and they were so good! They were so good that I forgot to get a photo of them before we ate them! It was the perfect treat to have while we waited for it to get dark for the fireworks to start. I had looked at what time sunset would be, but the show had to start much later (closer to 9pm).

In the past, I’ve always been impressed by this fireworks show. For being a smaller show, it’s one of the longer shows. And this year was no different. It was about 20 minutes of fireworks to lots of different songs. We couldn’t really hear the songs because all the speakers were placed close to the stage, but it didn’t matter. Seeing the fireworks is still awesome and exactly what I wanted to do for the 4th of July.

After the show was done, Grace headed out to get an Uber home while I headed back to my car. Taking an Uber would probably have been the better option because the parking garage was a total mess trying to leave. I didn’t even move my car from the parking spot for about an hour. It took me almost so long to get out of there, but once I was out of the garage it was only a few minutes to get back home.

It was a low-key 4th of July, but it had all the elements of what I wanted to do that day. I’m glad that I got to do exactly what I wanted to do that day and it was a nice way to have a day off before getting back to all the craziness of my life.

SaveSave

4th Of July On The 1st (or Another Awesome Party With Friends)

With 4th of July being on a Tuesday this year, I was pretty sure that the party I usually go to for the 4th wasn’t going to be on Tuesday. I wasn’t sure what day it would be, but when I found out it was on Saturday I wasn’t surprised. So Marie and Chris decided to make their party Celebrate the 4th on the 1st and it was perfect!

The party started in the last afternoon which worked out really well for me. I had the goal setting workshop until about 2pm and went to the party pretty soon after everyone left the workshop. I had every intention of making Drunk Fruit like I have in the past, but that didn’t end up happening this year. I don’t know what happened, but before I knew it it was Friday night and I hadn’t gotten any of the stuff I would need to make it. I felt bad that I didn’t bring it, but I did bring some sparkling lemonade so I wasn’t totally empty handed when I arrived (although not bringing anything is ok too).

It was the usual crowd at the party and that was exactly what I was hoping for. I had missed the Memorial Day party so I hadn’t seen a lot of people since the Oscars party. Even though I had told many people about my tumors shrinking, most of them hadn’t seen me since I got the news. So a lot of people wanted to hear the entire story and know more about what the plan is now. I wish I had more to say about the plan besides we are waiting for another MRI in the fall, but I think everyone was just happy that I didn’t have to have surgery back in April and that things are looking positive for me.

Most of the time I was at the party, I was just socializing and hanging out with everyone. I did get some food since it was a BBQ and there is always amazing food there. I tried not to think too much about how much I was eating because I didn’t want to stress out about it. But I know I did overeat a bit (I felt it the next day) but since it was a rare occasion I tried to be ok with that.

A lot of the socializing was about online dating since I’m not the only person having random adventures because of it. Everyone seems to think I have the craziest stories, but I think everyone else has some epic ones too. And we were showing off the random people we’ve been matching with on various apps and doing some swiping together as a group on each other’s profiles. It’s nice to know that my friends are having the same experiences as me on online dating since sometimes it makes me wonder if I’m doing something wrong. But clearly it’s not just me.

But the one thing I had to make sure to do while I was at the party was the traditional photo that I take with some of my friends. It all started a few years ago when we ran through the sprinklers and we’ve recreated the photo each year since. We haven’t had the sprinklers on for the other years, but I think having to pretend is what makes the photo so funny. This year, one member of our group was out-of-town so we couldn’t have the exact same photo. But we left a space for her and I think our photo looks pretty amazing!

And I think that the photo looks pretty great in the series that we’ve got going so far.

I love that we’ve been able to keep this tradition up and I know we are all looking forward to adding more and more photos each year.

Since it was a few days before the 4th, we didn’t really expect too much as far as fireworks go. There were some random fireworks from time to time, but nothing like we’ve seen in the past. Some people did go up on the roof to watch, but I was wearing shoes that would not have been safe to go up a ladder in. So I stuck with staying on the ground and I didn’t really see any of the few fireworks that went off. But that was ok since I was planning on going to see fireworks another time.

I stayed at the party pretty late (at least pretty late for me) and was starting to feel tired so I knew I needed to head home. It’s not a horrible drive home, but it’s not the closest place and I know that sometimes there are sobriety checkpoints on the way home. So I wanted to leave at a decent hour. But I was at the party for  long enough to get to see all my friends and have a great time. There’s nothing more that I could ask for at a party.