Last Minute Bowl Adventure (or A Very Hot And Humid Night Out)

With summer almost over, I realized that there was a good chance I wasn’t going to make it to the Hollywood Bowl this season. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to go this season, it’s just that I never got around to planning for it. When the season was announced, I had other things on my mind. And then as the summer went on, I just kind of forgot about it. I was a bit sad to think that I wasn’t going to get out there this summer when my friend Dani texted me.

One of Dani’s friends had extra tickets for the John Williams concert. Dani was taking one and she wanted to see if I wanted one too. This was just a few days before the concert, but somehow my schedule was free the night of the show (which wasn’t the case for so many nights this summer) and I said I wanted the ticket. It worked out so well that I probably couldn’t have planned it better myself!

Dani, her friend, and I met up to take the Bowl bus together. It was such a hot and muggy afternoon that we were happy to get inside the air-conditioned bus. I don’t know what happened, but in that very long drive (it was about an hour and a half) it got hot and humid inside the bus too. We were all starting to feel drowsy and ready to get off the bus. But it seemed to take forever for us to get there.

And once we arrived, it wasn’t much better outside. We were hoping that it would cool down once the sun was down, but it was still over 90 degrees out at almost 8pm. We aren’t used to the humidity either so that made things much worse. But we were just happy to be at the Bowl and get to our seats.

Once we were seated (and drank a ton of water and had some food) we were starting to feel better. I think we were probably all dehydrated from sweating so much and we needed to get something into our bodies to get into a better space to watch the show. It was still close to being unbearably hot, but it was better once I didn’t feel sick anymore.

And as always, the concert was amazing! We had some pretty great seats and the people with the seats next to us didn’t show up so we were able to spread out a bit more. That was nice since we didn’t have to be squished in our seats which would have probably made us feel even worse in that weather.

The first half of the concert was with another conductor, but he was great and the music was wonderful. But I think everyone was waiting for after intermission when John Williams was coming out. And he didn’t disappoint! He conducted the philharmonic in all the scores that we wanted to hear like Harry Potter, Superman, and of course Star Wars when everyone got their light sabers out.

But what we weren’t expecting was to have Kobe Bryant come out to read his poem “Dear Basketball” while John Williams conducted the score he created for it. It was very moving and as someone who isn’t a sports person I was surprised by how it ended up being a highlight of the evening. It was something that was special to get to witness and I love that there are always fun surprises whenever I go see this show.

Of the group I was with, I was the only person who had seen John Williams before. So when the evening was coming to a close, I told everyone else to stay seated because there are almost always 2 encores. And the finale song is always the score from ET. And it was exactly what I thought it would be (although the rainbow lighting that they normally put on the Bowl didn’t happen this year).

After the concert was over, it took some time for us to get back to the bus to head back home. It was still so hot and humid outside but fortunately this time the air conditioning in the bus was working. We were able to relax on the bus right home except when we saw the huge fire that was happening in the hills nearby from the freeway. We all knew the fire was happening, but to see it from the freeway and how bright it glowed at night was a little scary. Fortunately, it wasn’t that close to us and now the fire is getting closer to being totally out.

I’m so glad that I was able to make it to the Bowl this summer. I really didn’t think I’d make it and it really helped to make my summer feel more complete by getting to go. There are still a few more shows this summer, but I don’t know if I’ll make it out to another one. But I know I need to prioritize getting tickets next summer when they go on sale.

Another Day On The Lot (or Going Solo For The Podcast)

I wrote about how recently the podcast I work for started working on our 300th episode. It’s still so amazing to me that we are going to be releasing our 300th episode before this year is done. It feels like we were just doing episode 100 and 200!

Even though our 300th isn’t going to be until November or December, we started producing it early because it is a big episode that will involve multiple days of work. Typically, our episodes are pretty simple interviews that take about an hour or so and we edit them into 2 or 3 episodes. The interview time is minimal while post-production time is a bit more. But with this episode, we are doing multiple days of interviews and production plus we know that post-production will take even longer. So we wanted to get a head start.

We had an amazing day working on it previously, but we knew going into that day that we would be coming back to the studio the next week to continue working on it. But what we didn’t know at the time was that both of the hosts would end up being unavailable to return due to scheduling issues. We didn’t want to lose the day, so the hosts suggested that I go to do the interviews on my own.

I’ve worked on the podcast for a long time, but my voice has only been on the podcast a handful of times. Mainly it’s if you can hear me in the background during an interview. I’ve never conducted an interview on my own and I’ve never done any of the work outside of pitching potential guests on my own. But I knew how important this day was to our production schedule so I knew I had to do it. I was incredibly nervous about what I would do, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me.

I can’t share too much about what happened that day because we are still keeping things a surprise, but the main thing I got to do was be on set while there was some filming happening. I’ve been on set plenty of times as an actor, but I’ve never been on set when I wasn’t acting. Being an observer is totally different because you can focus on so much else happening on set. I was able to watch the writers and director work together while things were being shot and could listen to the discussion they had between takes. This was something that actors don’t get to see that often so it was totally a special treat for me.

Between filming, I was able to do a little bit of interview work. I’ve sat in on dozens of interviews and I know kind of how they go. But I felt very unprepared and that was totally my fault. I didn’t prepare in questions in advance but instead used what I observed that day to inspire what I wanted to ask. I’m sure that the interviews were fine, but I felt pretty disappointed in the lack of things I was able to discuss. But I know that the hosts are just so grateful that I was there to do the work because it needed to be done.

I was at the studio for several hours before the day for the cast and crew wrapped up. While I was waiting for an actor to walk me back to my car (we wanted to chat some more), I was able to wait in a trailer that wasn’t being used that day. It was so unbearably hot and they didn’t want me to have to wait in the sun.

While in the trailer, I just sat back and reflected on the day. I was proud of myself for doing the interviews, even if they weren’t as good as they probably would have been if the hosts were doing them. I got to learn so much while on set that I know I can use as an actor the next time I book a job. And I got to think about what it would be like if this was my life instead of a life that I was observing.

There is no question in my mind that acting is what I am meant to do. Even being an observer on set made me so incredibly happy. There is a sense of calmness and joy I get while on set that I don’t get anywhere else. And if I could experience that everyday, I would be so happy. That’s exactly how I want to feel all the time. I know that being happy and working as an actor won’t cure everything for me, but to feel like that in just one aspect of my life would be a dream.

I know that we are already talking about having more days at the studio for production of our 300th episode. Knowing that makes me so happy because that means I’ll get to have more days where I get to feel like I did that day. I just hope that the hosts will be able to come with me the next time so that we can all work together and I don’t have to be alone.

Learning To Love The Rower (or Creating My Own Challenge)

Since pretty much the beginning of my time at Orangetheory, I always want to start on the treadmill. Part of this is because I want to get the treadmill work done first because it’s the hardest for me most of the time. But the other part is that when I start with rowing and floor work my hip can be very temperamental on the treadmill. I almost always struggle on the treadmill after being on the floor, so I figured I should just try to always start on the treadmill to prevent this.

But this past week, I ended up challenging myself to start on the rower/floor each class. I didn’t start the week with the challenge, but after my first 2 workouts of the week starting that way I decided to keep going with it and seeing what happened.

Monday’s workout was a 3 group workout that had a mix of endurance, strength, and power. I had to start on the rower because I was running late, but it ended up being a good thing for me. We had kind of partner workout between the rower and the floor work which made the workout pretty interesting. When I started on the rower, I started with an 800 meter row and then I went to the floor to tag my partner. I then did pull ups on the straps and crunches before my partner tagged me and I went back to the rower for a 700 meter row. I finished that row and then time was called to switch.

Next I was on the treadmill where most of the work was endurance type work with longer push paces. I started out with running, but my hips were really tight and my ankle was bugging me so I ended up walking the entire treadmill work. The end of the treadmill time was work on inclines so I knew that walking those would be the only option for me with how I was feeling. It was frustrating that my body wasn’t letting me run, but I also knew that power walking is a good workout when I do it fast enough and at a high enough incline.

After the treadmill, I went to the floor where it was the partner workout again between the floor and rower. On the floor I did squats, hammer curls, skaters, and mountain climbers. And while I was on the rower I did the 600 and 500 meter row before the end of class. The second time doing the partner workout was a bit easier, but I think that was also because I knew how the partner work was going to go and had a better idea of how long I’d end up spending on the rower.

Wednesday’s workout was a power day, and I started on the rower not by choice. It was very weird what happened because there weren’t that many people who got to class before me but they couldn’t find the treadmill cards. But I figured again that starting on the rower was a good challenge for me. When you start on the rower and it is a 2 group class, you usually start with floor work.

The floor had 3 blocks. In the first block we had lunges, squats, and plank crunch work. The second block was froggers, situps, and superman work. And the third block was burpees, strap work, and situps. I went a bit easier on the floor than I’m used to because I knew I had the cardio still to go and I didn’t want to be too tired when I got on the treadmill.

The cardio work was a run/row with weights. It started with an endurance run that was supposed to be .6 miles. I decided to do that as a power walk so I did .3 miles at 6% incline. Then we did shoulder and tricep work with weights before doing a power row of 150 meters. Then back to the treadmill for a power run of .15 miles. Since that was a pretty short run, I decided to do it as a run and not a walk. Then the weight work again before going back to the rower for the endurance row of 600 meters. I just made it back to the treadmill to start the endurance run (or for me, power walk) when class ended.

Friday’s workout was an endurance day and I chose to start on the rower. I figured that I might as well challenge myself to do the rower as the start for the week and see what I could do. And not only did I start on the rower, it was a weird day for me because I did a morning workout! I don’t do mornings on Friday because of work, but I had to take the day off work (more about that later this week) so I was able to do a Friday morning workout. It was fun because so many of my Monday morning people were in that class so we were all cheering each other on.

This time, we had 2 blocks on the floor and 2 blocks on the treadmill and we switched between blocks. On the floor, the first block was squats, rows using the straps, pushups to plank work, and a 600 meter row. I ended up going slower than normal on the row and it took me over 3 minutes to complete it. I think I was being a bit too cautious and worried about overdoing it in the beginning of the workout, and I could have done better. But there wasn’t a lot of time to be upset since that was just the beginning of the workout. The second block on the floor was squats, triceps, abs, and pop jacks.

When I got to the treadmill, I had already made the decision to walk the entire time. I had a big day of walking ahead of me (again, more on this later this week) and I didn’t want to overdo it because I didn’t want to spend the day in pain. The first block was decreasing push paces that started at 3 minutes and went down to 1. I did all my push paces at 6% and my all out paces at 8%. The second block was increasing push paces starting at 1 minute and going up to 2 minutes. And I did the same inclines on the treadmill this time.

Saturday’s workout was one that I was really thinking about cancelling. I was exhausted and have not been sleeping well because of the heat wave. But it ended up being the perfect way to end my rower challenge so I’m so glad that I went. It was a 3 group power workout and again I started on the rower. But this time, we had been told that Water Rower, the company that makes the rowers we use, was going to donate $1 toward the Red Cross for hurricane relief for every 1,000 meters we row and post a photo of on social media. So when I started on the rower, I didn’t follow the plan and just decided to row the entire block without stopping. I got just over 2,000 meters and then moved on to the treadmill.

I tried to run on the treadmill, but had to move to power walking after about a minute of running. But that worked out ok because I ended up having a plan in my head with the rowing and wasn’t thinking too much about the treadmill. I then went to the floor where we had some weights and ab work.

Then it was back to the rower where I decided that I wanted to see if I could stay on for more than just the rowing block. Someone else in class was doing the 10,000 meter challenge and I thought that maybe I could get to 5,000 meters total. So I knew I had to row another 3,o00 meters and that would pretty much take me 2 blocks. Fortunately, there was space in the class for me to stay on the rower so I started rowing and tried to get into a zoned out state.

Rowing over 2,000 meters is pretty rare in class. And any time we have to row 1,000 meters is extremely tough and usually I have to take a break. But I knew my time was limited and I couldn’t take breaks like I wanted to. So I just tried to stay steady in my rowing and not look at the distance that often. I was at about 1,500 meters when it was time for my group to move to the treadmill, but I stayed on the rower. I never thought I’d skip the treadmill to keep rowing, but I was determined to get to 3,000 meters. And when that treadmill time ended, I just got to 3,000 meters and was able to get a total of 5,000 meters in class!

That’s $5 that Water Rower is going to donate to the Red Cross! It’s not a lot of money, but between everyone in my class I think we got probably $50 in donations. And when you add up all the classes in all the studios that is going to be a lot of money!

I think that I pretty much killed it in my rowing challenge this week. I don’t think that I will be starting on the rower regularly because this confirmed to me that it is still tough for me to run on the treadmill after rowing and doing floor work. But I won’t be as worried or nervous about it now that I’ve proved to myself that I can do it.

Working On Priorities (or Adding And Taking Away)

Happy September! The beginning of a month brings the end to one monthly challenge and the beginning to another. And this time, my monthly challenges are related to each other. When I started doing monthly challenges, they were such huge things. Now, I’m getting to where I’ve made a lot of major changes and now I’m focusing on the small things. Sometimes it’s tough for me to remember that small changes can matter as much as big ones, but I’m glad I’m able to focus on changing things in my life even when it’s on such a small scale.

My monthly challenge in August was to work on seeing what things I’m doing every day that isn’t making me happy anymore. This was a tough challenge to decide to do because I don’t like being a quitter and not doing something anymore makes me feel like I gave up on myself. But it was getting to a point in my life where I was looking at my daily reminders and it was stressing me out too much. And it’s not benefitting me if doing those things every day was causing me stress.

I tried to be as nonjudgmental as possible this past month to see what I wanted to keep and what I felt ok not doing anymore. And it came down to 3 things that I felt ok taking off my daily reminders. The first thing I got rid of was my daily reminder to weigh myself. I used to get some peace out of weighing myself every day and being able to track how fluctuations happen. But that stopped being a good thing after I stopped taking birth control pills. I now have weight fluctuations due to my hormones and I haven’t gotten my mind to catch up with that idea yet. And until that happens, I don’t want to feel guilty for not weighing myself every day. I do still weigh myself most days, but I don’t feel like I need a reminder to do it anymore.

The next one that I got rid of was a reminder to do yoga every day. I haven’t done this is a while and I had the reminder on my phone. It was making me feel bad that I didn’t do it because I know I should get back into it. But my schedule and life have been hectic lately and it comes down to not wanting to feel guilty about not doing it. So it is off my schedule now and maybe in the future I will put it back on. But I might change it to be from a daily reminder to something I remind myself to do a few times a week.

The last one I took off of my reminders it to be mindful before eating, specifically mindfulness before dinner. I have more recently added to take breathing breaks to my schedule. I put those on my reminders at the times that are usually the most difficult for me. Having those as a part of my daily reminders (and I do take those breathing breaks and they do tend to help) has made the mindfulness before dinner reminder not something as important to me.

While I spent this past month taking things off of my schedule, this month I’m focusing on adding something to my schedule. I’ve talked about wanting to be more active in SAGAFTRA several times in the past. And that’s what my challenge for September is going to be about. While I can’t control when meetings, mixers, or events happen; I can still stay active every day as a union member.

I thought about what ways I could be involved every day and there were a few ideas that came to me. But I want to start small while I figure out what the best option will be for me. So the idea that I came up with is sending out at least one tweet every day that is union related. That could be something like news, a victory the union has won, or something that is relevant for SAG-AFTRA members to know about. I have a feeling that most of the time I will be retweeting something I see, but that’s ok. The important thing is that I want to be putting out a positive message for SAG-AFTRA members (and all union members) every day.

I might use Hootsuite to schedule tweets to do this, but since things can change so quickly and the news cycle is not as long as it used to be I might just have to be more active on twitter in general to see what I want to share. This isn’t a bad thing for me since I have wanted to be more involved with twitter and not just be passive reading other people’s tweets. I want to be a good messenger and I think doing union related tweets daily will be a great way for me to do that.

Another NextGen Mixer (or A Fun Post-Election Hangout)

Even though the SAG-AFTRA election season is over, there are still so many awesome actor events for me to participate in! I’ve been getting registered for the upcoming convention and submitting interest in various committees. I’m getting so excited about both the convention and the committee opportunities. I know how much I loved the convention last time and I have a feeling that it will be just as amazing this year!

But I’m not just getting ready for future events, I’m going to some. And this past week was the big mixer event for the NextGen Performers Committee. I’ve gone to some of their smaller events, but this one is their biggest. It’s not just a NextGen Performers event, it’s also co-sponsored by New Filmmakers LA. I haven’t been to any of the combined mixers before so I was pretty excited to see what this one would be like.

It was held at the Federal Bar in North Hollywood, so it was a bit of a drive for me. But I was able to get there pretty close to the start time. But I had no idea how big this mixer was since I had only gone to the smaller ones. And when I arrived it was already pretty packed inside! There was a fun step and repeat to take photos at, but I decided to focus on trying to find some of my friends first.

Fortunately, within a few minutes of arriving I found a bunch of friends who were also a part of the slate that I ran on for the recent election. We were all so glad that the election season is over and we can focus on more union work now. And I also ran into some friends from the other slate and it’s nice to know that we are all past the campaigning and political stuff for now and can go back to working hard together.

With the bar being so crowded, I got a bit overwhelmed and when that happens I get a bit shy. So I ended up sticking with my friends for most of the night. I know that we were supposed to be networking, but that’s so difficult to do in a loud bar. It was so much easier to just catch up with people who I already know so I didn’t have to worry about offending them by saying that I can’t hear anything that they are saying. But it was a good mix of people I know through so many different things (even some girls from my Girls Night Out group!). So I wasn’t too isolated in the groups that I was talking to.

Since this was such a bit mixer for the NextGen Performers group, SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris was there to speak. I’ve been so fortunate to get to know Gabrielle over the past few years and she is truly incredible. She took over as SAG-AFTRA president after Ken Howard died and that was not an easy thing to do. But she’s done such a wonderful job with the union and I’m so happy that she was reelected. But one of the most amazing things about her is how much she cares about everyone. She is so happy to see people and always asked about how we are doing. When she found out my friend was working on his first union contract, she had the biggest smile and was so proud of him. Having a leader that cares that much is a rare treat.

After the speeches, the official time for the event was coming to an end. We had a reserved section of the bar plus there was some free food and drink tickets. I think we could have stayed there after the official time ended (it just wouldn’t be reserved for our group or have the free stuff), but once it was 9pm I was feeling ready to go. I had a pretty long day that day with working my day job and a doctor appointment, plus the drive to the valley is a bit long. I knew that I was already overwhelmed and adding being tired to that wasn’t going to let me make any good impressions on people. So I started to make my round of goodbyes, which always seems to take forever, and headed back to my car to head home.

I love all the NextGen Performers events. Usually they are much smaller than this one which is nice because I can spend the time getting to know new people and it isn’t as crazy. But having a big event is so fun and festival especially when it comes at the end of what was a bit of a stressful election season.

Back To Focusing On Health (or Back To Back Doctor Appointments)

In some ways, it seems like I took the summer off from my health. The last big doctor appointment I had been not really an appointment at all but my MRI for my liver back in April. I never saw my liver surgeon after the MRI, we just had a phone call that went over most things plus some follow-up emails with some blood work instructions. And I did get my eyes checked this summer, but that was something I had been putting off and wasn’t that big of a deal.

But now, it seems like doctor appointments are coming quickly for me. Some of them have been normal things. I had an appointment with a dermatologist recently and will be going back for a follow-up in a week. That’s something I pretty much do every year. And yesterday was my annual appointment with my OB/GYN, which is another pretty normal appointment. Although it does seem like I’ve seen her a lot lately since I had my IUD appointment and follow-up for that not too long ago. Again, seeing my doctor every year for my annual appointment is very routine for me.

And I’m assuming I’ll be going in for a mammogram again this year, which isn’t the most fun thing but I know I need to do it. It’s funny how a year ago I was so stressed about having a breast MRI because I hate IVs and don’t love MRIs. But since that MRI, I’ve had so many with IVs so now that seems like the easier option. But it’s much more expensive and not necessary for me to do every year. I don’t know how often I’ll be alternating the mammograms with the MRIs, but that’s something that will be worked out for me by my doctor and a geneticist that my doctor consults with.

But even though it seems like all the routine doctor appointments are coming at me quickly, I also have to add in my liver stuff too. I will be doing my next liver MRI in the next month or so and then I’ll have the follow-up that goes along with that. Obviously, my hope is that the tumors have continued to shrink so that I can just keep doing what I’m doing and hopefully I’ll just have to do another follow-up MRI in 6 months. If they keep shrinking or disappear completely, there’s a chance I’ll still have to do semi-annual or annual MRIs, but that’s not that bad. I could deal with MRIs every month if that meant I didn’t need to have surgery.

But of course, there is always the worry that the tumors have grown or stayed the same. If they are the same, I’m in a weird spot because I still could benefit from surgery but I could also wait longer to see if they shrink again. To me, having them stay the same is the worst case because there’s no clear answer on what I should do. And if the tumors have grown, I need to have surgery and that’s that. I don’t want surgery, but I also don’t want tumors in me that are growing because that can turn life threatening.

I’ve been doing my tumor visualization every day and I haven’t really changed much in my routine since I found out my tumors have shrunk. So I’m really hopeful that the tumors have shrunk. But I’m back to feeling a bit disconnected to my body since there is no way for me to know what’s happening until I have the MRI. I’m not going to stress about it because there is nothing I can do beyond what I’m doing. And if my MRI ends up being in October, I don’t want to spend all of September stressed about it.

It’s interesting how the timing of things worked out where it was pretty much a summer off of medical stuff. Considering how much medical craziness I’ve had lately, it was nice to have a break so I could focus more on my life and not on the what ifs with my body. But it’s time to buckle down and get back to making sure that I’m doing everything I can for my health and to make sure that I’m on top of all the things I need to concern myself about.

The Votes Are In (or An Uneventful End To The Election)

This past Thursday was the end of the SAG-AFTRA election. Technically, ballots had to pretty much be in the mail by Monday last week to arrive in time to be counted on Thursday, so the election season felt like it was over for a bit longer. But it officially ended on Thursday when the ballots were counted.

Last time, it was pretty much midnight when we found out if those of us who were running for delegates got a spot or not. So I assumed it would be similar this year and planning on being at the union late. I finished work around 3pm that day but hung around my house until about 6pm. I figured I would rather kill time at my house than at the union since I expected to be there so long. I liked watching the ballots being counted last time and was excited to get to watch that happen again.

I got to the union just before 6:3opm and started to fill out the forms I had to sign to be an election observer. I was just done signing the first one when a union employee told me that there was no need to do that because everything was done! I couldn’t believe it! I missed the entire counting process. I was handed some printouts that had both the national and local election results and the first thing I did was scan down the delegates list to see if I made it. Everyone is listed in order of how many votes we got and if it says Convention Delegate next to our name that means we were elected. Toward almost the very bottom of those who had the designation next to their name, I saw this.

I was elected again as a delegate! I was really nervous I wouldn’t get it but I’m so glad I did. I was about 9 from the bottom of who got a spot so I know I’m very lucky. Unfortunately, several of my friends who were running for delegate spots didn’t get them, but they were happy for me.

Since the ballot counting was done, I headed over to the restaurant next to the union where my slate was having a gathering. It was an interesting dinner since the election didn’t really swing to one slate or the other. It was a mix which might be a great thing for the union. Hopefully the slates can come together to work hard for the union as a whole and politics won’t affect things as much.

And while I was still sad that some of my friends that I helped to get into union politics weren’t elected, one friend said something that really made me feel better. He thanked me for getting him involved because even though he wasn’t elected he now sees where he can be more involved. He met some amazing people, got to see what union politics are all about, and he’s now looking at what committees he wants to be a part of (you don’t have to be elected to be a part of our committees). Knowing that I helped to get him involved and that he plans on staying involved really made me feel amazing. And he’s already said that he will be trying again in 2 years to be elected.

Since we all knew what the results of the election were at the gathering, the energy was much more upbeat and festive than it had been 2 years ago when we spent the time waiting for any results to come in. While there were people upset about not getting elected, overall it was a very positive gathering where everything was so happy for each other. And we are so excited that our national president candidate, Gabrielle Carteris, was elected to be the national president. She has been serving as the president since Ken Howard passed away and I think she’s done an amazing job. I can’t wait to see what she is able to do for the union over the next 2 years.

While I was at the party, I got my official email from the union letting me know that I was elected. Even though I had seen the results and knew I was a delegate again, it was nice to have the email to make everything feel even more official.

I ended up staying at the gathering pretty late. I think we actually were there past the closing time of the restaurant, but we were all so energized and talking about things we are looking forward to in the union and some of the ideas we have that we want to submit for voting at the convention. It’s all so exciting again to me and I can’t wait to be a part of the convention. And this time, I’ve still got a lot of time that I banked at work when I thought I was having surgery, so I might not have to work while at convention if I don’t want to (but I might do it anyway to save the hours for something fun).

I know there will be some slate meetings coming up before convention so we can be educated on what we will be voting on. But until we have those meetings, I’m just going to be happy and grateful that I was elected and that I get to participate at the convention again this year. And hopefully in 2 more years, not only will I be re-elected but my friends will be elected as well.

Routine Is Still Progress (or Proving I’m Improving)

This week of workouts seemed like a routine one for me until I looked back at what I did. Sometimes it’s tough for me to see that I’ve done some awesome things until I look at the week as a whole and that’s exactly how this week went. It also was a week where I took a moment to reflect on what I’m doing now that seems normal when not that long ago it seemed like it would be impossible.

Monday’s workout was a 3 group workout with switches plus it was a strength day. So that combination was a mix of something I like (switching and shorter blocks) with something that is really tough for me (inclines on the treadmill). There were 2 rounds so with the switches we had a total of 6 blocks in class. On the treadmill, the first block was 2 minutes of hills with flat base paces in between. And the second block was a 5 minute decreasing hill. I walked everything and for the decreasing hill I ended up doing all 5 minutes at 8%. I knew I wanted to take it a bit easier on the treadmill because I had Disneyland after the workout. But to think that walking for 5 minutes at 8% incline is taking it easy is huge progress.

On the floor, the first block was squats, lunges, and rows with weights. The second block was chest press, tricep, and plank work. And the rowing was decreasing distance rows. We started at 500 meters and decreased the row each time. In between the rows we had medicine ball work which included front presses, overhead presses, and front raises. The rowing felt a bit tough so again I tried to take things easy. I usually try to take it easier when I know I have Disneyland after a workout, but this time I was extra grateful that our Disney day ended up being a shorter one. Taking it easy is still pushing myself and I think I might have done more than I should have for a full Disney day.

Wednesday was a power day and it was an interesting workout. I usually do afternoons on Wednesdays, but because I had to be at FOX to work on the podcast that day I went to a morning workout. I’m not used to Wednesday morning classes, but it was fun because a lot of the people who are in my Monday morning class were in that class too!

The treadmill work was 5 blocks and we didn’t switch between blocks. The first 4 blocks had the same format. We started with a 5 minute block and each block was 30 seconds shorter. The blocks were a push pace, base pace, push pace to all out pace. The last block was just a 1 minute push pace to a 1 minute all out pace. I ran all the push and all out paces and tried to do them as push and all out speeds. But when it was a push to all out pace, I wasn’t able to increase my speed at all so I kept it at my push pace speed. But I had to remind myself that to be doing that much running is still impressive and progress from where I was a year or two ago.

The floor that day was one long block for the entire second half of class. Each round on the block started with 10 burpees, then we had increasing numbers of workout moves, and we ended with a 200 meter row. 10 burpees is a lot and it was tough to do that many, but I just took my time and got through several rounds of 10 burpees. For my rowing, my best 200 meter row was 39.2 seconds which isn’t a PR but it’s still pretty fast. And the moves that we added in between the burpees and rowing included planks with rowing, strap squats, tricep work, and plank jacks.

Friday was a strength day and I was ready to have a day of power walking on the treadmill. There were 3 blocks on the treadmill and each block had a similar pattern. The only time we had a push pace on a flat incline was at the very beginning of the first block so I ran that one. But all the other push paces and all of the all out paces were at inclines so I walked those. Each block had a push pace, a push pace to another push pace (changing the inclines), and a push pace to an all out pace. I pretty much kept a similar pattern with all my blocks with my inclines being at 6, 8, and 10%. It was a bit lower than the coach told us to do, but I also know that 10% incline is my limit a lot so I didn’t want to overdo things.

On the floor we had 2 blocks. The first block was squats, rows with weights, toe reaches, and roll outs on the ab dolly. The second block was a 90 second row for distance, lunges, hip bridges, torso rotation, and knee tucks. I made it to the 90 second row twice in class. The first time I did 330 meters which isn’t bad but I really wanted to get to 350 or more. So when I got back to the rower I went really hard and didn’t look at the computer to check my distance until my time was done. I was equally frustrated and amused that I did exactly 330 meters again. I don’t think I’ve ever had the exact same distance on back to back distance challenges before. At least I found a little humor in it instead of just being frustrated.

Saturday’s workout was another 3 group workout and it was an endurance day. I think I lucked out with power walking on Friday so that I was ready to go on Saturday. The treadmill was split into 2 blocks that were each 6 minutes. The first 6 minute block was 6 minutes for distance. I had it in my head that I wanted to do at least half a mile in 6 minutes. That’s pretty fast since I usually go at 4.5mph when I do any endurance work on the treadmill. But to get the distance I wanted, I needed to be at 5mph. I started at 5mph and decided that I would just see how it felt.

It did feel a bit fast to me, but not so unreasonably fast that I felt like I was at risk of falling off the treadmill or hurting myself. And when we got to the last minute, I decided to push it harder than I through I could to see how much I could do. I ended up being at about 5.7mph for that last minute and when it got to 6 minutes, I was so happy with my distance.

After I got home from class I did a bit of math and figured out that the average speed I was doing on this half mile was faster than the average speed for my best mile! And I felt better after this half mile than I did after that mile, so maybe I could do another mile PR soon. I’m so proud of myself and it’s been tough thinking that I’ve had some setbacks with my running. But this proved to me that I haven’t had setbacks, I just haven’t seen the progress I’ve made.

The second 6 minute block on the treadmill was more of a standard treadmill block, but I ended up walking it all. I know I pushed hard during the distance challenge and I had to take it a bit easier after that. But again I had to remind myself that I had just run for 6 minutes at a speed I usually only do for a minute. So I think I earned the walking.

Next I was over at the rower where we had distance rowing. We started at 600 meter rows and went down 100 meters each round. Between each rowing round, we had front raises and bicep curls. Because we didn’t have any recovery time on the rower, I had to take recovery time between the weights and rowing. So I didn’t make it as far down the rowing block as I thought I would do. And on the floor, we had 1 long block with squats, hop overs, situps, knee tucks, and planks. Everything was fine with those until almost the end of class when I hit my ankle bone on the weight bench. It wasn’t that hard of a hit, but it was the time of hit that takes your breath away for a second. And I now I’ve got a nice bruise as a reminder.

Overall, this was a pretty great workout week. I questioned my progress but then I proved to myself that I have been making improvements. I felt so strong each day and even having 4 workouts didn’t hold me back at all. Maybe being stuck in what feels like a plateau to me is really my body building strength and endurance so that when I need it I can do some amazing things.

 

More Ridiculousness In Online Dating (or I Think I’ve Been Ghosted)

My random online dating adventures have continued. It’s so weird right now because I’ve dated lots in the past, but this feels very different from it has before. Maybe I’m putting myself out there more. Maybe I’m realizing that I’m 34 and if I want to have a baby one day I need to start dating more seriously (and this is a big thing because I cannot use fertility treatments because of my liver tumors). Whatever the reason, this is very different from it has been in the past and that brings new and sometimes annoying situations.

I’m glad I’m having more luck with online dating. I’m having fun meeting new people and most of the time the guys I meet are good people. There are still some times that I’ve met some not-so-great guys, but if I’m getting to the point that I’m meeting them in person, usually I’ve vetted them a bit and I know they aren’t completely weird. Although there was a guy that I was supposed to meet and I technically stood him up after seeing him. He was looking very suspicious where we were supposed to meet and his photos were probably 10-15 years old. I didn’t feel comfortable meeting him and left. I messaged him after leaving and never heard back. So I’m guessing that something wasn’t right and listening to my gut was the right thing.

I’ve caught a few more cheaters recently and while those situations are horrible I’m getting better at catching them. And I’m getting smarter and taking screenshots of conversations because I have been sending them to their significant others because I feel like they should know that their guy is cheating. Most of the time they haven’t seen my messages because they are going into their filtered Facebook messages, but at least I know I’ve tried. And I’m hopeful that by calling out the guy for being a cheater (and sometimes using his significant other’s name in the conversation) that they will take a step back and hopefully not cheat on them. While I don’t have fun catching cheaters, I do take a bit of pride for being able to figure it out since that wasn’t always the case in the past.

When I share my dating stories online, it makes it seem like I only have negative experiences because that’s what I share online. But the positive ones aren’t as interesting unless it’s to say that I’ve met someone who has gotten me off of online dating. But there have been some great guys I’ve met and now dealing with another issue with modern dating.

I met a guy about a month ago. We have had a handful of dates and until recently we were texting each other every day. He was fun and I was having a good time texting him and seeing him. I didn’t know if it was going to lead to anything, but I was trying to stay open to the possibilities and let things happen. And now, I haven’t heard from him in a week. I don’t know what happened, but we were texting last week and he didn’t text me back after a question. I sent him another text this week just seeing how things are going and still no answer.

I’m not necessarily upset, more annoyed by this. I know that ghosting is a thing, but I don’t get it. If someone isn’t interested in seeing someone anymore, you should tell them. That’s what I’ve been doing with guys I’ve met that I don’t want another date with. And I’m aware that there can be reasons for someone to not text back for a week, but I also don’t care to play games. I don’t have the time for that and I’m not holding my breath for anything. If he texts me again, I’ll probably see him again because we have had fun. But I also will be cautious because I don’t want to be kept on the hook for anyone.

I’ve done online dating plenty in the past, but this is really the first time that I would consider myself ghosted. There are guys who have disappeared after the first date or before I’ve had the chance to meet them and that’s totally different. I still think that’s a stupid thing to do, but it’s way more common than disappearing after a month. But I guess I’m lucky because there are stories of people who have been ghosted after months or years of dating. And this guy was just a guy that I was seeing and we hadn’t had “the talk” of what we were. So I guess it’s more of a mini-ghosting? I have a feeling that as soon as this post goes up, I’ll hear from him or something just because timing is funny like that.  I don’t think he knows my blog, but I guess he could always google me and find it.

Despite my ghosting, I’m still optimistic and hopeful. There are other guys that I’ve met that I’ve continued to talk to. For some reason or another it hasn’t turned into anything more than just sporadic dating. And that’s fun, but I’m still hopeful to find something serious. And I have to just keep putting myself out there and taking chances for that to happen. There doesn’t seem to be another option besides that and at least I’m enjoying the ridiculousness online dating has brought to my life at times.

Another Happiest Place On Earth (or Working On Episode 300)

I spent Monday at Disneyland which is the happiest place on earth. I totally agree with that statement, but there is another place that makes me just as happy as Disneyland. And that is being on a studio lot. The best is being on a lot because I’m working as an actor, but that isn’t as often as I’d like. But anytime I get to be on a lot seems so magical and there is an energy there that I can’t get anywhere else.

I was lucky to get to spend a day on the FOX lot recently, and it was for a pretty special reason. We’ve officially started working on the 300th episode of the podcast I work for! It seems like it was just our 200th episode, but we will be releasing our 300th toward the end of this year. I can’t share too much about our episode yet, but it’s a pretty involved one that required us to start working on it this week.

Both of the hosts and I were able to be at FOX to work on the episode this week. And it was a pretty amazing day. The person who we are interviewing gave us a great tour of the lot. There are so many areas of the lot that I haven’t been to yet because I’m normally only on the lot for auditions (which are usually located in one area).

While we were getting our tour, we were also doing a bit of an interview which will be a part of the 300th episode. We got to check out various production offices and meet so many people who are a part of the show that the person we are featuring in the episode is a part of. I’m sorry for being so cryptic, but we aren’t releasing much information about this episode yet. But I have to say getting to watch Trevor and AJ interview people all day was really fun and I love the questions that were brought up.

There were so many highlights to our day on the FOX lot, but one of the coolest moments came when we were getting a tour of the wardrobe department. There is a room that has lots of costumes that were used in major projects and we were just in awe. But the biggest collection of costumes in that room were superhero movie costumes. Of course, we had to take advantage of the Deadpool costume that was in the room.

It was pretty crazy seeing all the costumes and seeing how tall or short various actors are. It was a bit overwhelming, but so much fun at the same time.

While we were on the lot, we also got to watch a table read for the show we are featuring. It is a show that I’m familiar with so it was fun getting to watch all the actors perform the script for the first time. And it was a very funny script and we were all laughing out loud so many times. It was a bit weird being in the room since we were guests and most everyone else was working on the show, but we were in the back and I didn’t feel like we were in the way so that helped.

We were on the lot for about 4 hours before we had to go. But this is only the beginning of working on our 300th episode. We are supposed to be on the lot again next week to watch some filming (and hopefully to interview more people) and there will be some things happening when we aren’t on the lot. It’s crazy to think that we are already working on this episode when it won’t go live until maybe the beginning of December, but this is a major episode and it will probably take all the time we can get.

I think the combination of getting to be on a lot for the day plus the excitement of our 300th episode coming up made this day such an amazing experience. I know that this is just the beginning and I can’t wait until we get to do more work on the episode and I get to have more days on a lot. It really proved that it is one of my happy places and I want to have more days like this one.