Category Archives: Tough Stuff

We Need To Make A Change (or I Just Don’t Have The Words)

I’ve started and deleted this post dozens of times. This week there was another school shooting. I’ve written about gun violence on here before, and since that most recent post over 2 years ago we’ve had dozens of school shootings and nothing has changed. Honestly, I don’t know what I could write that hasn’t been said every single time there is a shooting.

It’s nice that politicians want to offer thoughts and prayers, but since they believe in supporting the NRA more than supporting what citizens want as far as gun control I really don’t care about their thoughts and prayers. A majority of Americans believe in universal background checks, not allowing those on the Do Not Fly list to have weapons, banning assault rifles, not allowing people with a history of domestic violence or mental illness to have guns, and to stop the sales of high quantity ammunition. But even though a majority of Americans want those things to happen, certain politicians feel like it would be wrong to prevent anyone (no matter their violent or mental health history) from owning how ever many guns they want.

Since the rights and ideas of the NRA are more important than the rights and ideas of citizens right now, I doubt anything will change. If having children shot in an elementary school couldn’t convince politicians that change needs to happen, I don’t know what will. And I understand that having some gun control regulations won’t stop all mass shootings, but they will stop many of them. The shooter this week had a history of mental illness and even posted on YouTube that he was going to become a school shooter. Yet he was still allowed to get a gun and the FBI did nothing about the warning they got from someone alerting them to the comment.

There are also some politicians who say that we need to respect the victims and survivors and not politicize this tragedy and at a later date mental health and gun violence can be discussed. But the students who survived this shooting are telling people to politicize this because they know change needs to happen. They know that if it doesn’t happen now, it will be forgotten and nothing will be accomplished. That’s what happened after Sandy Hook and Las Vegas. We were called rude and heartless for saying something needs to be changed after those tragedies. The Las Vegas shooting wasn’t even 5 months ago and people have forgotten about it because so many other horrible things have happened.

This is not ok. All shootings are horrible, but school shootings are just heart wrenching. I remember after Columbine (which happened when I was in high school) how scary it was and that was the only school shooting I was aware of. I was scared, but I also believed that it couldn’t happen to me because it was so rare. But now it seems like there are school shootings every week. There are some inflated numbers by how many shootings there have been in 2018, but the low number that even conservative news is using is that this is the 5th school shooting in 2018. There have only been 5 or 6 weeks of school in 2018 so far so that is about 1 school shooting a week. Why do some politicians think this is ok?

So many of my friends with kids have had to bring them to school after a shooting when their kid was terrified that they would be shot at school. I can’t imagine how horrible that would be. I remember after Sandy Hook being at a friend’s house and watching the news while her kids were playing. Watching them play while knowing that kids the same age were killed while at school that day broke my heart. I don’t know how you could have the strength to explain to a kid that they should be safe at school when you have no clue what will happen. Or how terrified you would be if you heard that there was a shooting in your city and you weren’t sure if your kid was ok. I wish no parent had to have that feeling anymore, but sadly I know that won’t be true.

I really don’t know what else I can say about this situation. And while I feel helpless, there are ways to help. The group Everytown has shared ideas of what to do to make sure we have politicians that will honor what the majority of the country wants in terms of gun control.

No matter what your political viewpoint is, hopefully you agree that gun violence is out of control. There are steps that can help reduce it that are not being implemented because the NRA doesn’t want them to happen. We cannot let the NRA determine what is best for everyone when a majority disagrees. And we cannot allow politicians to get away with claiming how gun control is getting rid of all guns. I know responsible gun owners and they agree that gun control is needed. It shouldn’t be easier to get a gun than it is to drive a car. If you are deemed a violent risk to be on an airplane, you shouldn’t be allowed to have a gun to use on the ground. If you have a history of hitting your spouse or partner, you shouldn’t have a gun so the next time you get violent you can kill them.

I agree with Everytown when they said we don’t have to live like this and we don’t have to die like this. We have the power to make a change if we are willing to take it.

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Learning More Patience (or Figuring Out Where I Can Succeed)

This past week of workouts were up and down for me. I really thought I’d be doing better with my medication but I also ended up allowing myself to feel ok with doing what I can do. I feel a bit lackluster in some of what I was doing because I keep comparing myself to what I was doing recently. But I think if I wasn’t comparing myself against that version of myself and maybe focused on comparing to where I was in the beginning to where I am now I could be happier. But the struggle is real and I am really working on accepting it.

Monday’s workout was a strength based workout. I wanted to use the treadmill (even with having to do inclines), but I was dealing with some random and unexpected nausea that morning. I debated about using a treadmill, but I knew that walking would probably make me feel worse so I ended up on the bike. But because I’ve used the bike a lot lately, I decided to try to do things a bit harder than normal. There were two blocks on each section and for the cardio it was a pretty similar pattern with a push pace, a base pace at an incline, and a push and all out pace at an incline. With the bike, you use heavier gears to replace incline so I tried to make my gears higher than I normally do with the regular push and all out paces on the bike. I did end up at a gear that made it really tough to keep going, but I was able to keep my wattage up on the bike which is what my coach emphasized I should be focusing on for my workout.

Next I was on the rower and finally my nausea was starting to go away. The first block on the rower was rounds of 500 meter rows with some rest between each round. I don’t know if my rower was acting weird or I was just having a bad rowing day but all of my 500 meter rows were taking longer than they normally do. I was trying to go at it a bit harder, but I wasn’t able to get my time to what I’m used to. But with the second block, we had 250 meter rows with bicep curls using the rower handles between each row. And with that block, I was able to get my rowing to be just a bit longer than normal. But that it to be expected when I’m getting tired so I was feeling much better about the rowing. And I ended class on the floor. The first block was chest presses, lunges, and plank work. I was using some pretty heavy weight with my chest presses which made up for not using weights in my lunges in my head. And the last block was using the workout bands for hip bridges and plank side leg lifts. I put the bands lower on my legs this time (which made things much harder) and I did much better with the bands. They were still twisting a bit, but not nearly as bad as the first time I used them. And I’m sure that in time I will get more and more used to using them and will get better at it.

Wednesday’s workout was an endurance, strength, and power day. This was after I talked with my therapist about my medication and I felt much better about taking things easy. I still didn’t like doing it, but it seems like it’s not just an issue I’m having. And while it is frustrating having this issue last longer than I expected, it does help to know that my doctor thinks I’m doing the right thing and it’s ok to ease back into normal workout endurance. And as much as I wanted to try to run during the power block, I held back. And I knew I needed to because even walking at my normal speed was spiking my heart rate. During the strength block, I didn’t go too high with my inclines but I did work with them. I wish I had more interesting things to say about my treadmill work, but it seems like this might be the trend for a little bit longer.

On the floor we had one long block and I really enjoyed it. We had 1 rep of 5 different moves that were supposed to be done as a single movement. We had a deadlift, a low row, an upright row, a squat, and a shoulder press. I could have gone heavier with my weight for the deadlift, but because we were supposed to use the same weight for the entire circuit I used my normal deadlift weight (which was heavier than normal for the rest of the moves). After doing 6 rounds of that, we had 6 burpees and then ab work before we went to the rower. Then it was back to the floor to do it all over again. It was a challenge to do those 5 moves as a single movement, but it was a good challenge to have and I was really focused on my posture and form during the entire thing.

Friday’s workout was a special partner day for the Olympics. On cardio we were supposed to have teams of 4, but with my group there were 10 people so they did 2 groups of 4 and 1 group of 2. My friend Grace and I volunteered to be the group of 2. We thought it would be good because we were both stressed about letting a team down and knew we would be fine not worrying about that with each other. But it turns out having our group of 2 actually made things harder for us! It was a run/row format with 1 person on the rower setting the pace and the rest of the team on treadmills. When the first partner was done with the row, they tagged the next person and they rowed (and the first partner went to a treadmill). They went through all the partners this way. But because Grace and I were on our own, we were just tagging each other. So we had much less rest time between rowing than the other groups. In the end I was just taking my 30 seconds on the treadmill to catch my breath and drinking water, but I tried to do a bit of walking each time I was on there.

Once the partner workout was done, we were on the floor for the second half of class and it was much more of a standard format without the partner work. The first block was speed skater lunges, shoulder work with weights, and running men. The second block was skier squats with weights, regular squats, and sit ups. And the last block was Y raises on the straps, pop jacks, running men, and sit ups. The floor work was so tough after the cardio, but I tried to limit my breaks. But I was definitely feeling done mid-way through the floor work and I know that I wasn’t doing my best in class.

Saturday’s workout is where I feel like I turned things around. I could have used the treadmill, but I decided to use the bike. I was thinking about how when I started doing 4 workouts a week that I set the 4th workout to be on the bike. And I worked hard on the bike each time. But lately I have looked at the bike as a second choice, and while I have been working on it I knew I wasn’t working as hard as I could. It was an endurance based workout with 3 groups so I was on the bike for the first 15 minutes of class. We had longer push paces with base paces after each and I really focused on pushing myself on the bike. I wasn’t using as high of resistance on it so I could focus on pedaling faster. And it seemed to work because it felt like the hardest bike workout I’ve ever done! I’m thinking I should probably use the bike once a week or so while I’m getting over this medication issue and I bet it’s going to benefit me when I’m back to running.

Next I was on the floor where we had 2 blocks. We had upright rows with weights, bicep curls, and high rows on the straps in the first block. And in the second block we had squat low rows with weights, side plank pendulums, and lateral lunges. And I ended on the rower where we had decreasing rows with lunges between. We started with an 800 meter row and I managed to get within 5 seconds of my PR! Not bad for the end of a workout! I didn’t do quite as well with the 600 meter row but I did PR by 2 seconds on my 400 meter row which was the last thing I did in class! It’s pretty tough to do that well when I had been working so hard during the rest of class, so I was pretty impressed with myself.

The beginning of the week was a bit of a frustration, but I did come to the realization that I could focus on things I can do and try to not think about what I’m struggling with. And by the end of the week I was able to create new goals and accomplishments for myself which was awesome! I do still want to get back to running and that is going to be a focus of mine, but I’m continuing to practice patience and I think it’s finally starting to kick in.

Working On My Friendships (or Things Are Better In My 30’s)

I’ve had a couple of friends turn 30 in the past few months. For so many people, 30 is a milestone and makes them freak out a bit. Maybe they aren’t where they want to be in life or they wonder what happened. I did have some ideas in my head of where I wanted to be when I turned 30, but my life was so different from what I was expecting that it didn’t really bug me that I wasn’t there. For me, turning 30 was pretty fun. I wasn’t too worried about the age and I’m still not that worried. I think age really is just a number and it doesn’t have to mean more than that. And whenever a friend is turning 30 and they are worried, I always tell them that so far my 30’s have been so much better than my 20’s.

My 30’s could be better for so many reasons. When I turned 20 I was still in college and not totally happy with things. I didn’t love college and I ended up graduating early so I could be done faster. I enjoyed learning, but I always felt like a bit of an outsider there. And even after college ended, I still had that outsider feeling. And part of this could be related to feeling uneasy with the friends that I had. They never made me feel like an outsider, but I always felt like I had to work harder at the friendship than they did and that they didn’t view me as close of a friend as I viewed them.

Those friendships ended very abruptly and it was a bit traumatic at the time, but reflecting back at it I know it was for the best. I was holding myself back with those friends and when I had to go out and find new friends I was just myself and didn’t worry too much about it. I don’t have a tough time making new friends, but it’s tough to make new friends who are more friends than acquaintances. And it took me time to learn that the new friends I was making easily weren’t necessarily long-term friends.

But lately, I’ve been able to strengthen a lot of my friendships. I think it was just due to random timing, but it’s nice to know that my friendships with people who I really care about are stronger now and I feel more confidence with having them as my friends. Even though I haven’t been hiding or diminishing myself with my friends, when my friendships are stronger I feel so much more free and that helps me discover who I am in a way. It’s so weird to need to have strong friendships to figure out myself, but I think because of some of the negative things that have been said to me in the past I need to see how others see me to see myself in a more truthful light.

I also think that there was a bit of just letting go and not caring when I turned 30. While I do still want to be liked by others, I also understand now that I can’t necessarily control what others think of me. If I am being my real self, they might love me or hate me. But I shouldn’t have to change myself to make others like me. For so long I really did just want everyone to like me. And when someone was mean to me I tried to see what I did wrong so I could fix it. That’s what happened when my best friend from college ended our friendship. I reflected back on what could have happened and tried to ask around to find out how I could make things better again. But in the end, I have no clue what I did and there was no way for me to fix it. It took me a while to get over it, but now I understand that whatever did happen was something that she felt and nothing I could have done would have changed it.

Today happens to be my half birthday. In 6 months I’ll be 35. That age doesn’t scare me (even though one person who recently turned 30 told me that she doesn’t feel old because you aren’t old until you are 35). What I’ve been able to accomplish and create in the first 4 1/2 years of my 30’s easily surpass what I did in the 10 years of my 20’s. And I’ve still got half of my 30’s to go, so I can’t even start to imagine what I’ll be able to get done by the time I’m 40.

An Easy Therapist Check-In (or Virtual Appointments Make Things Easier)

Yesterday I had a check-in with my new therapist. This check-in was mainly to see how I was doing with the new medication dosage. I explained how I had been taking the increases slowly and that I am still adjusting to the new dosage, and she seemed to be pretty happy with the plan. It’s hard to tell what the correct dosage will be, so it will be a lot of trial and error. This is a different process than what I was doing with my old therapist, but I do like this new plan. I feel like it is more collaborative and that we are more of a team than a doctor telling me what to do.

This appointment was so much easier than what I’m used to because it was a phone call appointment. Yesterday morning, we had a time that my therapist was going to call me and we were going to talk over how things went. Of course, if I felt like I needed to meet in person I could have done that. But my therapist suggested a phone appointment for a check-in because it is easier to schedule and wouldn’t take up as much of my time. It was nice not having to drive to and from the appointments and being able to get it done early in the morning before I started work. I felt much more relaxed while talking because it didn’t feel as formal.

I don’t know why my old therapist never suggested phone appointments. I know that with him, he was much more into seeing if there was any more talk therapy that I wanted to do. Even though we came to the conclusion that I don’t really have issues to work through, I just have some sucky circumstances that I need to not rule my life. But those circumstances aren’t things I need to figure out, we know what they are and what they are doing to my mind. But he still liked to talk things through much more than this new therapist. This new therapist understands that in a way I only go in for appointments because I’m on a medication that requires it. She understands that talk therapy might be something I want in the future, but right now it’s not the priority in getting me into recovery. It’s a very different mindset, but I’m glad I had my old therapist in the beginning and this new therapist now.

In my phone call, I did discuss my issues with my workouts. It is frustrating to not be able to do cardio the way I want to, but I also need to give myself a decent amount of time to adjust to things. We did discuss brining my medication back down to a lower dosage (either what I started on or the middle dosage I was doing), but we both agreed that I haven’t had enough time yet on this new dosage to see if it will allow my workouts to get back to normal. I do like how I am feeling on this new dose and I feel like the medication is working much better, so I want to give it as much of a chance as possible. And I do have options if I need them and those won’t be going away so I can take my time.

My next medication refill will be in about 2 months. I will need to call or email my therapist to request the refill due to the restrictions on the medication. And at that point I think I will know what dosage I want to be on. And my therapist seems to agree that the timeline sounds good to her too. Of course, if in 2 weeks I feel like I need to step down to a lower dose, I can call in and she can write me a new prescription. But my plan is to try to take the next 2 months to see how I feel in all aspects of my life. If my eating disorder is significantly better but I can’t run, that might be a sacrifice I want to make. While my workouts are important, my recovery is more important and the priority in my life.

For my first phone appointment, I think it went really well and it reinforced the idea in my head that this is the therapist that I need now. She is much more scientific about things and that is really what works for me right now. My next appointment with my therapist (not counting in 2 months when I get my medication refill) will be in 6 months. I’m on the same appointment timeline as I was in the past, which is nice since I wasn’t sure it would be that way with a new doctor. But the next appointment is going to be unique because it’s going to be my first time ever doing a video chat appointment with a doctor! I’m actually pretty excited to have that option too because again it will save me the time of driving back and forth!

I know that not everyone likes technology, but I love that I have options to do virtual appointments with my therapist! It really helps to make appointments fit into my schedule better and I think that it will give me more options for when I can make appointments in the future. All of these things are good things and make me really hopeful that I’m on the right path toward recovery!

Still Managing My Expectations (or Still Able To Surprise Myself)

It was another workout week of needing to take things a bit easier. It is frustrating because I will feel so ready to be pushing myself when I walk into the workout and then as soon as I start it I feel like I can’t do it. This is something I do need to talk to my doctor about when we have our phone call because I don’t know if maybe I do need to go back to a slightly lower dose. I don’t want to have to struggle with my workouts like this for a long time because I can feel my progress slipping, especially with my running. But even with those issues, I did still manage to kick some butt this past week.

Monday was an endurance based workout. I had to start on the rower and I knew it would be a tough workout because it was my first morning workout on the new dosage. The rower I was on was acting up (for example it said I did under 200 meters in 3 minutes when it should have been more like 600 meters), but that might have been the best for me. I knew I was struggling on the rower and not knowing how much I was really struggling was helping me not feel as horrible about it. We had timed and distance rows, but for the distance rows I just rowed for the time it should take me to complete them. For example, the 200 meter row would have been probably about 3.5 minutes according to the glitchy rower, but normally that takes me about a minute. So I rowed for a minute.

Next I was on the floor. The first block was a pretty standard block. We had deadlifts, pull overs, and single arm rows using the weights. But the second block was when things got interesting. Orangetheory just started using strength bands in the workouts and Monday’s workout was the introduction of them.

I’ve used workout bands in the past, but not anytime recently and my experience with them was limited. For this workout, we had weighted squats, squat walks, and ab twists using the bands. I struggled with the bands, especially getting them on me without them twisting and feeling uncomfortable. I figured out that I could use them lower on my legs (which would make it a big harder, but that could be good) and I wouldn’t have struggled as much. But I tried my best and I’m looking forward to using the bands again.

And I was on cardio last and I was feeling pretty exhausted by then. I also knew I’d be going to Disneyland after the workout so I stuck with being on the bike. I’m glad I went with the bike because we had 5 minute distance challenges. If I was on the treadmill, I probably would have tried to run and possibly hurt myself. But since I don’t really have an idea of what I can do in 5 minutes on the bike, the pressure was off a bit. For the first distance challenge I did 2 miles on the bike and for the second one I did 2.1 miles so I was happy with the small improvement between the two attempts.

Wednesday’s workout was a power day. It was a bit frustrating to still not be able to run especially because when I got to class I was so sure I’d be working on running. But even walking was getting my heart rate up pretty high so I had to stick with walking. All the blocks were 4.5 minutes long and they were all pretty much the same pattern with a push pace, base pace, and push to all out pace. I was doing my normal walking speed and inclines and I tried not to focus on my desire to run. By the way, the fact that I have a desire to run is still a bit of a novelty for me and I think it’s pretty funny.

Things were more back to normal when I was on the floor. Again, all the blocks were 4.5 minutes long so things moved pretty quickly. The first block was full thrusters using weights and plank low rows using weights. The second block was snatches with weights and plank Spiderman. The third block was the toughest for me because it had full burpees but the other move was squat reverse fly with weights which was a nice break from burpees. And the last block was rounds of 100 meter rows with skier swings. With the rowing, I was able to get my wattage up pretty high, but I still couldn’t PR which was a bit frustrating. You’d think by having the best wattage on the rower I would get a better time, but it wasn’t happening that day.

Friday’s workout was a struggle for so many reasons that I’m just glad I survived. First, I was still dealing with adjusting to the new medication dosage. Also, I was dealing with horrible craps and nausea. And finally I ate too much at lunch that day (my friend Dani brought sandwiches over and we were hanging out before the workout). All of those things combined just made the day so difficult. It was an endurance day and I really didn’t think much about it. I just tried to get through it. There were 3 blocks on the treadmill and they all had longer push paces with going back to base paces. I was able to do my normal speed and inclines, but I did have to take a ton of breaks in the middle of each block.

On the floor the first block was a longer one. We started with an 800 meter row (I was done in just under 4 minutes) and then we had a bunch of exercises. Those included chest presses on the straps, lateral lunges, side plank leg raises, and sit-ups. Then it was a 400 meter row and the same exercises again. I was just getting through the exercises again before time on that block was done. Then we had a quick block with static lunges, bicep curls on the straps, and bicycle curls. The floor work was a bit better for me than the treadmill, but it was still a bit of a struggle.

Saturday’s workout was an endurance, strength, and power workout and it was a 3 group workout as well. I was still feeling off when I got to the class, so I used the bike instead of the treadmill. Each block started with a longer push pace and then had decreasing push paces with base paces in-between. With the bike, I’m not as familiar with my abilities (although I should be) so I don’t know if I was doing more than I normally could. I was getting my heart rate up and I was sweating, so I figured that was pretty good.

Next I was on the rower. We started with a longer row and then we had sprint rows with medicine ball squats in-between. We were doing 100 meter sprints and I decided to see if I could PR. I hadn’t checked my records before class, but I was pretty sure I knew what my best was. I had my coach stand on my rower (sometimes when you go really hard the rower can jump a bit) and I rowed what felt like the hardest I had ever rowed. I was really disappointed when I was done because I was sure it wasn’t a PR. But I knew it was my best average wattage for a 100 meter row so I took a photo of it for my records.

To my surprise, when I got home and checked my records, I actually did PR! I took 4/10ths of a second off of my 100 meter row! I wish I had known that in class because I think I would have been happier with things instead of feeling annoyed that I couldn’t PR even with trying the hardest I could. I’m glad the hard work did pay off though! And I finished up on the floor where the first block was clean to press with weights, triceps with weights, and half squat swings. And the last block was a core blast with sit-ups and superman extensions.

I know I’ve said this the past month or so, but I don’t know how much longer I will need in this adjustment period. I know that my workouts are suffering a bit because of this but it will be worth it in the end. I’m working on my patience with myself and it does seem like it’s paying off in my strength and rowing work. And hopefully soon enough it will be paying off in my cardio and I’ll be back to running.

Sorry Not Sorry (or Another Abstract Monthly Challenge)

It’s only the second month of the year, but I’m already sensing a theme with my monthly challenges. And it’s a different turn with the challenges than I was expecting.

Last month, my challenge was to allow myself to be more selfish. It seemed like an odd challenge for me, but I tried to go into the idea with an open mind and see what happened. And I’m so glad that I did it because I realized that it was exactly what I needed to do. I was still friendly and helpful, but when there were circumstances that I could choose to do what I wanted or do something I didn’t because someone asked, I gave myself the freedom to pick what I wanted. Being selfish does have negative connotations, but to me this wasn’t about necessarily putting others last at all times. It was about letting myself be first from time to time when I knew deep down that it was the best choice for me.

There weren’t a ton of things that I was selfish about, but I did have some things where I debated putting someone else first over what I really felt was right. A good example was a date I had this past month. It was a perfectly fine date. He was nice, pretty cute, and we did have some things in common. But there was no chemistry there and I really felt like he wasn’t feeling a connection either. In the past, I would give him another chance and see if something could happen. And I even told a friend that was my plan. But he reminded me that if I didn’t feel anything I wasn’t obligated to see him again. I needed that reminder and I texted the date to tell him that while I had a nice time with him I didn’t feel the connection. And it felt like there was pressure taken off of me because I said what I wanted to. This guy might have wanted a second date, but why should I spend the time with someone I don’t care to see again? I have a feeling I’m going to keep working on this and finding when I can put myself first to make myself happier.

The idea of being selfish was a bit of an abstract one. There isn’t a great way to mark whether or not I was allowing myself to be selfish that day. When I had challenges like doing a lesson from an educational app or reading recovery books, I could easily say that I did it. I wasn’t selfish every day and that wasn’t the idea of the challenge. But the idea to remind myself that I had the option to do so was more of what I was tracking. I was surprised how much I liked having an abstract challenge. I usually love having ways to prove I accomplished something. But there was also a sense of freedom that a challenge didn’t require me to do it every day. So continuing on that theme, I came up with another abstract challenge for this month.

This month, I challenge myself to stop saying “I’m sorry” when I don’t need to. Women apologize all the time for things that don’t need to have an apology. If someone forgot to do something they told me they would do, I tend to apologize asking for it to be completed. That isn’t something I should feel sorry for. But I apologize because I feel bad that I am pestering them. I apologize for things that are other people’s fault. I apologize when maybe I should say “excuse me” instead because I am asking permission rather than apologizing after the fact.

This is a habit that I’ve been called out on in the past (mainly by male friends who don’t understand why I’m apologizing for something) and it’s been a tough habit to break. I don’t know when I started doing this all the time, but I know it’s been pretty much my entire adult life. It may be a self-esteem issue, I’m not sure. I do know that it does sometimes come out of embarrassment or wanting to not feel like I am bossy or demanding. But I also know that being bossy and demanding aren’t necessarily bad things. Sometimes those attitudes are needed and there isn’t a reason why I shouldn’t feel that way.

Just like my selfish challenge, I know that this one isn’t really just for this month. This is something that I want to work on for the long-term because I know I need to. But for this month at least, it will be a focus of mine and I’m going to work on how to fix this and be more aware of when it happens. And hopefully by the end of the month, I will at least have some answers about how to continue to work on this for the coming months.

Life Lessons From A Skiing Legend (or Somehow This Death Hit Me Hard)

I’m not the sort of person who usually gets upset over a celebrity death. Of course I’m sad when it’s someone who I admire or who did something incredible, but I’m not the type of person to visit graves or gets too emotional when the news breaks that someone passed away. It’s not that I don’t care, but I just don’t have the connection that some people have to celebrities that makes them feel like they know them.

But a death changed that this week. He may not be a celebrity to everyone, but Warren Miller was an incredible filmmaker that specialized in movies about skiing. He made over 500 films and had skiing films that came out right before ski season for the last 60 years. I grew up going to these movies with my parents. It was a tradition that we all loved and I have the best memories from going to those movies. For the 50th anniversary film, there was a contest where everyone got a fake ski bib with a number on it when they walked in. If you found someone with the same number, you got a free shirt. And I found the person with mine! It was awesome winning that shirt.

Besides seeing the films each year when they screened near where I grew up, we had a bunch of these movies on VHS (now we have a few on DVD). Whenever we were in Tahoe, it seemed like the entertainment for the evening was to watch a Warren Miller movie. We quote things from them from time to time and we still remember some of the funniest moments from the movies. They were a great combination of amazing skiing and ridiculous moments. They were pretty much the perfect movie to watch when you wanted to watch something on skiing.

When I saw that he passed away this week, I was so sad right away. It’s almost like the end of an era even though I hadn’t seen a Warren Miller movie in probably a decade. But it’s still something that was such a huge part of my childhood and now it seems like it is over. Warren Miller wasn’t actually making the films for the last several years, but I know with him gone they can’t even come close to being what they once were.

So I spent some time searching online for various Warren Miller things. I found some clips on YouTube, checked out the prices for digital versions of his movies (I think I’ll probably get one or two because they are pretty cheap), and read a couple of articles. And one of them was titled “Top 10 Warren Miller Quotes” and I think it hit me why this death seemed so bad.

Even though I hadn’t seen one of his movies in a decade, I’m sure that some of the things that he said are still deep in my subconscious. One of his common quotes that he said was “If you don’t do it this year, you will be one year older when you do”. That hit me hard because it is so true for so many aspects of life. I’ve told friends how I feel like my 20’s slipped away without me accomplishing anything. And I’m feeling a bit like that with my 30’s as well. I don’t want to keep waiting for next year to do it and then realize that I’m in my 40’s and still in the same place.

There are some good quotes from that page. I love “Don’t take life too seriously, because you can’t come out of it alive”. And of course since his movies had so much comedy in them there are some comedic quotes too like “If your parents didn’t have children, odds are you won’t either” and “They say it’s always darkest before the dawn. So if you’re going to steal your neighbor’s newspaper…that’s the time to do it”.

I think that some of these quotes were exactly what I needed to hear right now. I’m not necessarily in a rut, but I can feel like one is coming if I don’t change much. And of course whenever someone passes away it’s a reminder that life isn’t for forever and we need to enjoy it while we can. And that’s exactly what I’m going to do. I can’t go skiing to honor Warren Miller’s legacy, but I can live life to the fullest. I can enjoy the silly and stupid moments of life and make sure that I don’t wait to do things.

And I’ll probably watch some of his movies soon too. Sometimes you just need to have a great laugh at people falling off of a chairlift. Even though this isn’t the original narration with Warren Miller, it still has one of my family’s favorite quotes: “You want your ski? Go get it.”

One More San Diego Day (or I Don’t Know When I’ll Be Doing This Again)

This past weekend I did a day trip to San Diego for what will possibly be the last time for a while. My grandma is moving from San Diego to up north where she will be close to my aunt, uncle, and my parents. I’m super excited for my grandma because I think this move will be a really great thing for her. But it’s still a weird feeling that I won’t have any more family in San Diego anymore.

My entire life my grandparents lived in San Diego. They bought their house a year or two before I was born. Then a few years ago they moved to their apartment which was only a few freeway exits further from their house. When my grandpa died, my grandma moved to assisted living but it was in the same building as their apartment. So that move didn’t really feel like a big move. But now she’s doing the biggest move in my lifetime.

On my drive down I was trying to not think about how this was probably the last time I’d be doing this drive for a long time. I’ve been going to San Diego my entire life. And once I moved to LA, I started to do the drive on my own for visits with my grandparents and for Thanksgiving. I would guess that I probably did the drive 3 times a year on average for the last 16 1/2 years. So that’s about 50 times that I’ve done that drive. I have so many random landmarks that I look out for on that drive to help pass the time. And I’ve had a lot of random driving adventures on that drive as well.

I probably won’t be driving to where my grandma is moving to (it’s about a 7 hour drive for me) so I’ll be flying to visit her and for Thanksgiving. In some ways it’s nice to know that I won’t be doing that drive again because it is a bit tiring, but it’s sad to know that I can’t do a day trip to see my grandma and that I will have to do more planning when I want to see her.

For this last trip to San Diego, I went down to help with the prep for my grandma to move. 2 of my aunts where there as well as my parents (and the dog). There were so many people in my grandma’s place that it did get a little crazy in there, but I was just trying to help wherever I could. My dad and I put together boxes and got artwork off the wall. I didn’t really do any of the packing, but I also wasn’t going to be the person unpacking so I wanted to let others do that job. They would know what was in each box so I didn’t want to ruin their planning.

And the main job that I knew that I would have that day would be to be a distraction. While I think my grandma is excited to be closer to family, I think this move is a bit scary and overwhelming for her. We are doing everything we can to make it as easy as possible, but it’s still an unknown for her and I think she still sometimes struggles knowing that it’s just her and not her and my grandpa. But I made sure that my grandma was feeling ok throughout the day. And I joked to her how her only job was to sit back and enjoy us doing all the work.

We got a lot of stuff packed up while I was there. I went back home that evening but there were movers to help move all the heavy stuff the next morning (and there will be movers at the new place to help unload all the heavy stuff). Fortunately, my grandma’s new place will be just about the same size as her current one so we didn’t have to worry about downsizing her things. We’ve done that when they moved from their house to their apartment and then again when my grandma moved from the apartment to where she was living. It was stressful trying to do that and I know it made my grandma emotional deciding what to keep. So I’m glad that we didn’t have to do that part again.

On my drive home, I was a bit sad. I’m so happy for my grandma and I am so glad she won’t be as isolated as she has been in San Diego. But this is the end of something that has been a part of my life for my entire life. I am not someone who moves that often (it’s almost been 8 years since I moved into my house) and my parents still have the house that they got before I was born. So maybe I’m just not used to transitions like this. I do still have some friends who live in San Diego (although normally they come to LA to see me) so I know I’ll be back down there eventually. But for now, I’m saying goodbye to San Diego and closing the chapter of my life that has family living there.

Managing My Setbacks (or Taking My Time With Adjustments)

This past week of workouts were a bit tough for me. I had a few things that were preventing me from doing my best, but I knew that was going to happen ahead of time. I think knowing the week was going to be a bit of struggle before getting to each workout was actually an advantage because I set my expectations lower than normal and didn’t have to worry about reaching goals that probably wouldn’t be possible.

Monday’s workout was a 3G power class. Normally this would be an amazing workout to work on running, but that wasn’t the plan this time. First, this was my first class with taking my Vyvanse all in the morning instead of splitting it up between the morning and lunchtime. Also, this was my 4th class in a row because I had my normal classes the week before plus the special 500 class on Sunday. Because of those factors, I didn’t try to run at all. We had 3 blocks on each section and we switched between the blocks.

The treadmill was all the same pattern for all 3 blocks. We had a push pace, a base pace, a push pace, and an all out pace. I managed to use my normal walking speed and the inclines I’ve been using for a while so that seemed like a victory to me. On the rower, the first block was doing 15 pulls and seeing what distance we got. Then we tried to get to that distance in fewer pulls. The second block was the same idea but with 300 meters. And the last block was just rowing for distance. My rower was acting funny and it wasn’t doing the meters correctly so I just tried to row straight through each block. And on the floor we had 2 moves for each block. And those moves included lunges, push-ups, hop overs, lateral raises, pop jacks, and upright rows using weights.

Wednesday’s workout had its own struggle. It was the first day on a new dosage of Vyvanse. Fortunately since it was an afternoon workout it didn’t affect me as much as it did in the morning, but I still have to make sure my heart rate doesn’t get too high. It was an endurance day and I did start trying to run but realized that I couldn’t do my running intervals. So I stuck with walking with my normal walking speed and was able to do my inclines. The goal for the class was to get ourselves back to base pace (instead of increasing push or all out paces) so I tried really hard not to jump the rails on the treadmill during the workout. I did have to do it when my heart rate got a bit too high, but I was doing better than expected. On the floor, the first block was squats, hamstring work, and knee tucks. The second block was rounds of 200 meter rows with hammer curls in-between. And the last block was sumo squats, half squat swings, and plank jacks.

And just when I thought things would be a bit more normal, I had a new issue on Friday. This time, I had a minor freezing procedure on my foot so it was a bit tender. It wasn’t as bad as it’s been in the past, but again I knew I needed to stick with walking. This time it was a power day and all the blocks had rounds of push to all out paces. I stuck with my normal speed and inclines, but since I was on the treadmill I still felt pretty good. I debated about using the bike, but I know my treadmill workouts are better and I’m glad I was able to do that. And the floor had skaters, plank twists, deadlifts, alligators on the straps, mountain climbers, and plank dips. And the last block on the floor was the same pattern as the treadmills with push to all out paces.

Saturday’s workout was a bit better than the rest of the week. But of course when I was debating if I could run it ended up being a strength day so I didn’t want to run inclines. It was a 3 group class and I’m pretty glad that it was because this was a tough one! On the treadmill, we had rounds of 3 minute or 90 second hills. I wanted to try to get my inclines higher, but I was feeling a little light-headed so I stuck with my usual inclines. On the floor we had lunges, upright rows with weights, lateral raises, chest flys, and weighted ab work. And on the rower we had decreasing rows starting at 500 meters and between each row we had squats and push-ups.

This week I will be increasing my medication again so I have a feeling I will have a similar week to the past week. I need to be careful with my heart rate and I’m glad that I go to a workout that makes it easy to monitor it. This week should be the last medication increase and then it might take another week or two to have this dosage feel normal. I’m just going to keep focusing on trying to do my best and realize that I have setbacks that might not be allowing me to do everything I’d like to do.

Figuring Out Some Self-Care (or Working On My Physical And Mental Health)

I’ve been a bit too stressed out lately. A lot of it had to do with just being overwhelmed and trying to schedule myself, but that didn’t explain all of it. Reflecting back on it, I think that it’s possible that my panic and anxiety disorder came back. It wasn’t enough for me to feel like I needed to take medication or call my new therapist, but it was something I was aware of.

Like with so many other things in my life, being aware is a huge step for me and I consider that to be a win. But of course I wanted to make the stressed out feelings go away and not just be aware of it. Part of what I’ve been working on is related to my monthly challenge this month. I’m being a bit selfish and turning down invitations to things I don’t want to go to. I’m not committing myself to things that aren’t what I want to do socially and I’m not going insane when there is an event I want to go to but it doesn’t fit into my schedule. I’ve had to miss some fun things like birthday parties and baby showers because of work, but I’m not feeling guilty that I have to work because my friends understand.

Being selfish is a bit of self-care and I never really thought of that before. I think it has been a big step in my mental health although it isn’t fixing everything. But giving time to myself does allow me to think through the stress I’m feeling and figuring out what is causing it and what I can do to make it a bit better. And I know I’ve said this probably a million times, but I am also working on time management to work on my stress. I hate when I get to the end of the day and I still have so much to get done. I’m trying to work on doing stuff throughout the day and not just after work or after my workout.

But this time, I’m also working on my physical self-care too. I love to look at different beauty products, but I’m not always someone who uses them. But I decided to get a set of sheet masks from Amazon (they were pretty cheap) so I could work on my skin care. They are nice, but I look pretty creepy when I’m using them!

I’ve only used one so far so I don’t see a huge difference in my skin, but I think the mental break I get when I use those masks help too. It is time that I have to be still and relax, which I probably don’t do enough. I also found a nice new body cream at CVS on sale that I got that feels a lot more luxurious than my normal body lotion. Sometimes, it’s the little things like those that make a big difference.

I’ve been working a lot of doing these self-care things this week and I really have noticed my stress levels go down. I still need it to go down a bit more before I feel totally like myself, but I’m glad it’s getting better. I didn’t need to turn to medication (which I’d rather not use since it will make my Vyvanse less effective) and I’m not waiting it out and suffering. I’m taking action and figuring out what works. Or at least what works for me right now. I know that things will change all the time and what is working now might not work later this year. But at least I was productive in figuring out what I needed to do.

I know that this self-care is a positive step, but I still am working on how to stop the stress from getting to this level. I want to be able to stop it before it gets this bad and I start feeling overwhelmed. But as I’ve learned I have to look at the baby steps I take and not get frustrated. I can’t be expected to figure out everything right away so I need to appreciate that I figured out one small step toward figuring it all out. And hopefully next time, I’ll figure out the next small step.

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