Guess Who’s Back

You guys, I went and did it.

2018-08-01 CrossFit Cert

I signed up to take my CrossFit Level 1 Coaching Certification!

This has been on my bucket list for a while, and I noticed I had no kids and no plans yet for Labor Day weekend. So I got inspired to check out the CrossFit website and see when the next certification weekends were taking place. While I didn’t find any within the Bay Area, I did see that there was one in Park City, UT that weekend. What if I made a fun weekend of it? Cashing in some of my airline miles and a quick Airbnb reservation later, and I’m going to CrossFit Camp in the mountains over Labor Day!

Meanwhile, I haven’t been to CrossFit in over 3 months. And I took a break for what seems to me like the silliest reason – my ex-husband still attends the gym, and I just didn’t want to run into him. Even though I’m a morning exerciser and he has set days in the evenings that he goes, I still felt icky-weird when I walked in for my usual 6am class and saw his name on the board from yesterday’s WOD. But I really, really missed it. At home I would lift on my patio when the mood struck me, I signed up at the local 24Hour Fitness, and I picked up running again. I looked into maybe attending at another gym, but they’re all a good half hour drive from my home, and I know that turning a 1-hour time commitment into a 2-hour time commitment will not work for me. But I miss MY gym. I miss the intensity, the community, and the variety. I miss being pushed to develop skills that I just don’t think to do on my own. I miss the expertise and knowledge of the coaches, having that resource available to advise on a modification or teach a new mobility exercise.

I knew I wanted to get back to the gym. My gym. And I know that it’s a small town, and I can’t be able to avoid the ex forever. So I worked really, really hard to clear out my stuff. I went to therapy, support groups, and classes when I could. I read books, developed my own “Divorce Recovery” program, and worked it one day at a time. I knew that I wanted to get on the other side of this beast with love and compassion for all involved. And I wasn’t perfect. The snarky text to him would slip on occasion. I found myself in the victim role more than a few times. But every time I would reset my focus on the goal to get on the other side with love and compassion.

After doing this work for several months, I went back to CrossFit last week. I took it easy considering I’ve lost a lot of strength, and it felt great to be in the class again. We did a deadlift-power snatch complex and a 12-min AMRAP with barbell lunges, pike push-ups, and double-unders and my life was complete and thank you and goodnight. And that icky-weird feeling, while still there a little bit, was overpowered by my excitement and satisfaction on being back.

I still have a long way to go and a lot of work left to do, but for now I’m happy with the progress I’ve made. I can start to live my life again and enjoy the things that make me happy. Even if those things mean I have super-sore glutes for like three days 🙂

Go make it a great day, kids!

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A Worthy Opponent

(Edit: don’t worry, Mom, everything is fine!)

Just for Today, I will try to live through this day only, and not tackle my whole life-problem at once. I can do some things for twelve hours that would appall me if I felt I had to keep them up for a lifetime.

– Frank Crane

Last week, I recognized that I had slowly sank into a depressive state. It was nothing scary, dramatic, or cause for alarm. I was simply noticing that every morning it was increasingly harder to get out of bed, every day it was tougher to focus at work and to stay on task, and I found myself avoiding texts and calls and flaking on events, preferring to sit alone in silence. As much as I love my alone-time, I could tell that this particular alone-time wasn’t restorative. If you were to talk to me during this time, you would probably have no idea. I’m able to be exuberant and engaging in front of people, then close the door and allow everything to shut down.

It took me a while to recognize this as depression. It feels so different than what I had experienced in the past. Instead of the dark cloud of hopelessness that told me to just give up, this is sort of a blanket of fatigue and fuzziness. It’s warm and comforting but at the same time wholly unnatural. I should want to do things I enjoy doing. I should want to get up and enjoy my peaceful mornings during these long summer days. I should want to call and meet up with my friends. But I simply kept saying “no” to myself. That I was too tired. That it wasn’t the right time. That what I need is to be alone right now. When in all actuality, being alone is the absolute worst thing for depression.

The hardest thing in the world to do when you’re in a depressed state is to reach out. The phone weighs a million pounds, and coffee with a friend is far too daunting of an operation to try and coordinate. You battle the demons that tell you that you’re really okay, and you don’t want to burden anyone else with your troubles, and all your friends are super busy and you’d had to interrupt them. But I know if it were me that my friend is calling and telling me they’re having a rough time, I will drop everything to be there. I know now how important it is. So I made the call, my friend and I had a gorgeous hike as we talked stuff out, and my load feels so much lighter now. I was able to clear some of the space to “do the next right thing,” as Glennon Doyle says.

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And this new-to-me trail we discovered did not suck.

I still have work to do. We always will. And sometimes just picking up the phone and taking that first step to say, “this is really hard right now” is the hardest.

If you suffer from depression, or even from something and you don’t even know (or want to know) what to call it, you’re not alone. It’s a frustrating, deceptive disease that I will probably spend the rest of my life trying to get on top of. I gladly accept this challenge, because I know I am a worthy opponent.

Go make it a great day, kids!

If you are struggling with thoughts of self-harm or suicide, do not hesitate to call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.

Jet Lag and Playing Small

Hello and happy Wednesday! I’m still recovering from jet lag over here. I just returned from my surprise work trip to Sydney, Australia on Sunday, and though it’s 5:15am here on the U.S. West Coast, my brain and body want me to believe it’s actually 10pm. I am quickly running out of coffee. Send provisions.

But my trip was AMAZING. Most of it was work, but I stayed an extra day so I could do some touristy things. I would have felt shattered if I didn’t travel to the other side of the planet and not see at least ONE koala.

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Also, the hotel I stayed at had hands-down the most awesome hotel gym ever. It was actually a REAL gym/health club that hotel guests could use for free. I forgot how nice it was to have a gym in the same building!

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I am SO NOT COMFORTABLE with public gym pics

Okay, time for some real talk, y’all. The past few years have been tough. I started this blog seven (!!) years ago with the intention of defining myself as a “fitness” person. I thought that if I blogged about my workouts and diet I would magically become all fit and healthy and find a voice and tribe and be a prominent leader in the blogosphere. I absolutely love and enjoy reading blogs, and writing for my own is super fun for me. But I get hung up on the wrong things. I constantly get swept up in the comparison trap, trying to mimic the bloggers I admire when I’ve never been one to fit in any sort of mold. I immediately jump to “oh, I should monetize my blog and try to make money, or it’s not worth my time,” instead of enjoying the process as a hobby for what it is. And worst of all, I get stuck in Impostor Syndrome, feeling that I have nothing of value to share, and “what do I think I know” and “who do I think I am” and all the other crazy negative self talk that comes with trying to lay the guard down and put yourself out there.

The truth is, I think about blogging every. single. day. In my head, I narrate events in my life for a future post. But that post is rarely written. And often, I half-write a draft and it just sits there until it’s no longer relevant and I end up deleting it. I just don’t make the time. And quite honestly, I’m scared to, as well. I’m scared to be real about my struggles and faults and Real Life stuff. Because I don’t like only showing the glossy good days and upsides; it’s not real, and you deserve real. You deserve to read something relatable and authentic, because there’s enough of the “everything is amazing and look how awesome I am” content out there. And the biggest of all, I’m tired of hiding parts of myself. I’m tired of separating and isolating the “personal me” with the “public me” with the “professional me”. While there is a line between what’s personal and what’s intimate, and there is a time and a place for disclosure and sharing, I am tired of being so cautious about how I present myself here, in my own freakin’ space on the internet that I pay for. I shouldn’t be afraid to be honest with who I am and what I’m up to. I’m tired of playing small.

I want to blog more. Whether I actually get down to making the time for it or not is yet to be witnessed. But I wanted to throw it out there, see what the Universe has in mind for this little corner of the internets. Odds are pretty good that I’ll keep writing half-draft posts every month or so that never see the light of day. Or maybe my blog will take a new direction, with whatever inspiration comes my way. Whatever the case, if you made it reading down this far, thank you for hanging in there with me while I sorted out my thoughts.

That was a lot. Here, I will share an amusing meme with you that I had posted to Instagram last week:

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Now go make it a great day!

Happy Donut Day!

Happy National Donut Day, everyone! I would like to play it off like I totally knew about this and had everything planned, but the truth is we showed up at our usual Friday donut spot and were informed of our festive contribution by the large publicity poster.

So we celebrated, like the good Americans we are.

Meanwhile, on the home front, everything is crazy. I’ve been traveling a lot lately for various reasons, and with my upcoming trip to Australia nothing is going to change anytime soon. My apartment is a mess, and I finally did laundry which means there are now 4 clean loads piled on my bed. The kids have been complaining, “I don’t have any underwear in my drawers!” To which my reply is, “go look in The Pile!” I’m sure I’m the only irresponsible adult that does this and no one can relate. 😉

But I am a creature that prefers to thrive in order rather than chaos, so I did clean out one corner of my bedroom as my “clutter sanctuary” and finally got around to setting up the hanging pot for my sad neglected philodendron. Is it too cliche to name him Phil?

Workouts from the Week

Since I’m now in running training mode, I want to start logging my training from the past week. This will be the boring part of the post, so you can stop here if you’d like.

Saturday 5/26: C25K run, Week 5 Day 1 of the program. Run/walked 2.09 miles in 31″ up around my folks’ neighborhood in Oregon.

Sunday 5/27: Recovery day with a 4 mile hike along the Rogue River to Rainie Falls.

Monday 5/28: Drove home from Oregon, but I did stop at a couple of rest stops to stretch and work on my mobility to break up the drive.

Tuesday 5/29: C25K run, Week 5 Day 2 of the program. Run/walked 2.23 miles in 31″ in my neighborhood. I was crunched for time, otherwise I would have zipped over to Lake Chabot, which is way more scenic than the auto repair garages and medical buildings that dot the landscape of my backyard.

Wednesday 5/30: I had some bodywork done with my chiropractor. Holy cow, they went to town on my glutes.

Thursday 5/31: Example of “You fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Stayed up super late on a work project, so I slept in and the whole day was a rushed blur. Collapsed into pizza, beer, and a movie with the kids for the evening’s activities. Note to self: you’re never too tired for a little living room yoga or a few kettlebell swings!

That’s all for now, go make it a great day!

Koala Hug Dreams

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Oh. My goodness you guys. Life just keeps on keepin’ on. Late last week, I looked at what I had coming up on my calendar for the next month. Which was nothing. I had a whole month of just routine and chill. The gears started turning, and I started to ponder all sorts of projects I could fill that empty slots with. I’m already starting my marathon training (by way of completing my couch-to-5k), so maybe yoga? Another much-needed Whole30? Do some new decorating/reorganizing in my apartment, or at least clean it?Maybe book some weekend getaways with the kids?

But the Universe, as usual, had different ideas. I interviewed for a new client, and they asked me if I was available to travel. Usually I can make that work for the right project, so I said yes.

“Great,” they said. “We’re flying to Australia on Saturday. Go ahead and book your ticket.”

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So I’m going to Australia. Traveling to the other side of the planet. Next weekend. Not freaking out at all.

Plus, my house looks like this right now.

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Yeah, that’s not changing any time soon. Just make sure you wear your Level C PPE when you come to visit for the time being.

On the bright side, I visited my parents in Oregon over Memorial Weekend, and we had the most fabulous hiking day ever!

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We hiked the Rainie Falls trail along the Rogue River. It’s just under 4 miles out-and-back along some gorgeous river scenery.

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The trail itself was pretty rocky and a little technical. But it had a steady pace of rolling ups and downs, so it made for some good exercise with plenty of lulls to enjoy the views.

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The weather was hot and sunny, but the trail was along the southern shore of the river and well-shaded, so it was at a reasonably pleasant temperature.

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It was a great way to kick start a (hopefully!) long season of hiking around the Bay Area, and southern Oregon when I have the opportunity! And the perfect way to blow off chores for another weekend.

Did you have a good Memorial Day Weekend?

Any plans for getting outdoors this summer?

Go make it a great day, kids!

 

Reality Sets In

Happy Wednesday, friends! How is your week shaping up? Mine is utter chaos. It’s good to know that life is full of consistency.

At least I got out of bed and squeezed in a run this morning.

I say “squeezed in,” but really I meant “accepted that I’m going to have a two minute shower and still be late for work.” Because goals, people.

I had a moment of panic the other day, realizing that I signed myself up for a half marathon wth am I thinking everything hurts when I run holy cow. So I need to take this seriously if I want even moderate mobility left come mid-November. My ailments are nothing unusual, just your basic I-spend-12-hours-a-day-sitting symptoms. I saw a PT about it a while back, and the recommendation was to work on core strength and hip mobility. Of which I’ve done none of it. Because core work annoys me. And I forget to stretch. Buuuut, I think I have to be a big girl now and work it in, because being able to functionally move >> sitting around. Or so I’m told.

In other news, I bought a new car last month, and I just found out it has the most perfectly sized snack holder in the door. I like it when the Universe has my back.

That’s all for today, go make it a great day!

She Did What Now??

What is up, beautiful people? I’m taking advantage of the downtime that resulted in a delayed flight to say hi and check in. How are things going?

I traveled to central Oregon this week for my company’s offsite retreat. We had gorgeous weather, and I had such a great time getting to know all of my coworkers better and participating in all the activities and shenanigans planned. And my hotel was GORGEOUS.

You couldn’t beat the view from the back porch.

Since I had a bit of downtime between sessions, I took advantage of the fitness center while I was there. I forgot to pack my gym shoes, so I decided to work out in my Converse and see how I liked it.

The verdict? I kinda liked it.

They’re actually quite comfy, and stable.

I hadn’t been working out consistently in a while, so it was great to have a full fitness facility at my disposal. I just roamed and played around with kettlebells, dumbbells, and even found an oly bar. I finished up with some core work and a good stretch.

I think I need to join a gym, since it’s hard to work out at home; I get too distracted with all the other millions of things I should be doing. And CrossFit has been difficult because my schedule gets weird and I can never make the class times. If I joined the local 24 Hour Fitness, I would have the distraction-free fitness focus with the flexible hours just 10 minutes away. And there’s a facility near me that has child care too, so on the days I have the kids that might be an option to me.

Oh, in other news, I signed up for a half marathon.

WHO AM I WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME??

Realize the last half I ran was four years ago, and I have yet to finish my full Couch-to-5k plan. So I’m going with the strategy of putting money down on a deadline, and see if that gets me motivated. Plus one of my friends is also signed up for the same race, so I can use the accountabili-buddy system as well.

Amy tips for easing back into a consistent running routine? I just know I’m going to go too hard too soon and end up with overuse injuries. Wish me luck!

Go make it a great weekend!

Back to the Lab Again

I’ve been feeling more like my old self lately. Well, not exactly like my old self. Like, enhanced version 2.1 of my old self. Anyone that’s been through a major phase of personal growth might be able to relate.

I started my new job this week, and I am loving it! I forgot how much I enjoyed working in downtown SF from when I used to live here, and my new office is just right up the street from some of my old haunts. Plus, I now get to try out and experience new things that I didn’t have the opportunity to check out before. Like Sushirrito, the sushi burrito lunch spot. Yes, that is a thing, and it is new favorite.

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I’m also gearing up to get my Project Management Professional (PMP) credential, so any free time I have I’m trying to squeeze into preparing for the upcoming 4-hour exam. Which usually involves waking up with the alarm clock begins with a “4” on the days I have the kids so I can have a solid block of uninterrupted time without having to break up “s/he took my toy” disputes and distribute snacks. Prayers and study tips are welcome.

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I find a candle helps set the mental focus

Just a few more weeks of this and I should be able to settle into the new routine. I know I’m going to take some extra naps this weekend!

Go make it a great day!

 

Trust the Process

Breaking my Social Media Break for a “life events” update. Don’t worry, it’s good news!

Back in early January, my company was acquired and I was laid off as part of the merger. You know, because of course. Thanks, Universe.

But as my dear friend Brittany said, the Universe wanted me to have a clean slate. And apparently I work better with eviction notices anyway! I chose to not stress too much, and to just see where this journey takes me.

I made sure to view this time as an opportunity to hang with my kids more, discover a new yoga practice, plan more lunch dates and hikes around the lake with friends, and do some of the stuff I couldn’t do before while working the 9-5. Like napping. Omg, #bringingnapback

And I hit the job search hard. I had many wonderful friends offer contacts and leads, and I just had fun with looking back at all the things I loved about my career so far, all the fun stuff I got to do and the cool people I had the pleasure to work with, and just enjoyed the process for what it was: a chance for me to unabashedly brag about myself!

The fruits of my unemployed labor were soon rewarded when I received not one, but TWO incredible offers. Really great opportunities that I knew I would totally enjoy being a part of. It was a very difficult decision to make (I may have cried a bit), but after completing my first day in my new role, I feel like I made a great choice, and I can’t wait to dig in deeper with what they have in store for me.

Now, it wasn’t all puppies and rainbows and freshly baked bread. There was more than one moment that I wondered how I would pay rent next month, and let’s just say I’m a leeeetle bit in credit card debt right now. But I kept faith that things would work out, that just enough money would be there when I needed it, and I just needed to trust in the process and know that it’s being taken care of as long as right now I do the next right thing. Because if I chose to stress and freak out, it wouldn’t change the amount in my bank account, or help me ace that interview. My situation was going to remain my situation whether I laughed or cried. And I do love a good laugh.

If the past year has taught me anything, it’s that life happens for a reason. Sometimes drama happens and it’s hard and it sucks and it’s not what we want, but it gets us to where we’re supposed to be going, as opposed to where we think we should be. And the more we fight the process and the circumstance, the more we miss the simple joys and the lessons it has the potential to give us. There is purpose to the pain.

Trust the process. Trust the pitfalls. Trust that the crap going on in your life right now is there for a reason, even if the reason is to remind you how much you hate crap. Maybe if that’s your context, it’s time for a change?

Go make it a great day, kids.

The Life and Times of Unemployment

Whew! Has this time flown by, or what? It’s hard to believe that a little over a month ago I was laid off, and now I’m looking at accepting an offer and going back to work this week! As much as I can’t wait to get into money makin’ mode again, I’ve really enjoyed this little break from the 9-5. It’s given me a lot of time to do things I enjoy doing, and some perspective on the classic line, “wherever you go, there you are!” Even when I don’t have a job to go to and a whole day is stretched out in front of me, it still fills up pretty fast. I joked with a friend that I felt busier unemployed than I did when I had the structure of a job to frame my day!

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Take a typical day in Unemploymentville for me. On days where I don’t have the kids, I lay in bed for like an hour and a half after I wake up just zoning out on my phone, not ready to get out of bed yet mostly because I can, and the day is WIDE OPEN so what’s the rush? Then when I feel like I’ve exercised my reluctant laziness enough I stumble downstairs to make my beloved coffee. Favorite mug in hand, I return to my computer to check my email and respond to any job posting replies. I’ll also look at my planner and review my to-do list for the week to see if I feel like doing any of the options on there. I always throw stuff like “clean out the closet!” or “get a car wash!” in case I want to take care of chores on a whim. Haha, probably nope.

After I feel like my email and job search leads are well handled, I will do some sort of exercise. It’s either a run in the park or yoga. I found an ah-mazing yoga studio near my apartment, so I’ve been practicing 2-3 times a week. It’s kundalini yoga, so more of the meditative/woo-type rather than the sporty fitness type, which is exactly what I need these days. If I can’t fit a yoga class into my schedule, I’ll do my couch-to-5k run at nearby Lake Chabot. I keep restarting my program because I’m not super consistent, and when I try to amp up the mileage all my old injuries start to nag me, so I’ll do a few weeks, then back it down again to Week 1. I’m not seriously considering any actual races in the near future, so it’s more of a semi-structured tool to get me outside and moving.

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After exercise, it’s back home to get cleaned up, eat some lunch, and prepare for any interviews or appointment I have for the day. If I don’t have any interviews, I’ll either run errands, do more email/job searching, or take a nap. Because let’s be honest, if you’re not napping at least once a week when you’re at home, I don’t think you’re doing it right, and it does all those people who wish they could nap in the middle of the day a disservice. So I nap for those who can’t.

At dinnertime and in the evening, I usually try to be social. After sitting around alone all day trying to not stress about my current life situation, I know it’s good for my mental health to get out. I’ll go to a friend’s house for dinner, pick up a yoga class, or meet up some friends at local event. Anything to get me out and around people, and not sitting at home polishing off a bottle of wine I can’t afford while watching reruns of Netflix shows I’ve already seen. Not that that doesn’t happen now and then, but I try not to let it become the default setting. I’ll save the couch-and-wine for the nights I really need to introvert it up.

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Overall it hasn’t been a terrible experience being unemployed. I’ve been very lucky that I had enough savings and residual income to keep the lights on and rent paid, and being out of work for six weeks is not at all bad considering most people in my situation end up job hunting for months. It’s been quite the blessing to be able to slow down, take care of myself, do some fun stuff with my kids that I don’t normally get to do when I’m working, and trust that everything will work itself out in the end.

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Go make it a great day!