So This Nerd Walks Into a Gym…

I did it, I did it! I’ve worked out (in varying forms) for three days in a row. I knew I’d be busy Thursday and Friday, so I got in several work-outs while still balancing a social life.

Monday, Sept. 17th
Cardio Yoga – 20 minutes
I got an invite to join my roommate to take out our other new roommate, who happens to be straight from Germany. I didn’t want to say, “No, I’m going to the gym,” so I found a 20-minute work-out video on Hulu. I wanted something a bit more than just yoga, but nothing too high-impact. Cardio yoga sounded like a good in-between. Well, turns out, it was actually pretty challenging, and I ended up sweating into my own eyes in my own house. I cleaned up real nicely afterwards, though, and was still about to enjoy my [unhealthy] dinner.

Tuesday, Sept. 18th
At-home sit-ups and “kettleball” swings, plus stretches – 15ish minutes
What do you call those sit-up work-outs when you extend your legs out straight? Not V-ups… whatever. I did a bunch of those. And then instead of kettleball swings, since I don’t own my own, I just picked up two of my heaviest grad school textbooks and used those. Not even kidding. I just found a great usage for textbooks. I should get paid. And then I cooked dinner, played some piano, and booked my momma a flight home to the Philippines for next month.

Wednesday, Sept. 19th
CrossFit – Warm-ups, forward rolls, and WOD: “The Chief” – 1 hour total
Finally made it back in to the local box. The coach at this particular box is fantastic, and the team members are fairly easy-going. Now, I’m no strength trainer. Never have been. The prescribed weight for today’s Workout of the Day (WOD) was 95 lbs. for females during hang power cleans. Guess what I used? A 35-pound bar. And that was still difficult. It’s okay, though. Weights are something that I have always avoided. That said, I got through the work-out. It broke down to this: one round consists of 3 hang power cleans, 6 push-ups with hand release, and 9 squats; there were 5 segments at 3 minutes each; in those 3 minutes, you would complete as many rounds as possible. I got through 3 rounds each time, grand total of 15 rounds. Which at baby weight and slow-ish pace isn’t all that impressive, but it’s impressive for a chronically-injured ex-dancer… with asthma.

Yeah, I busted out the inhaler today. Cool, right?
Again, it’s okay. I’m making progress towards wellness and trying to get back in the routine of challenging myself.

Also, I wasn’t the worst at forward rolls, even though they were over only one shoulder and basically I had to quickly unlearn what took me so long to learn in forward rolls/somersaults.

Now, as I enjoy my lemon ginger tea, I look forward to a work day full of last-minute pre-Fall Quarter panic, a group dinner and game night, an Advising get-together on Friday, and a weekend spent in Seattle. Phew.

My Transcontinental Quarter-Life Challenge and Whatnot

Roz Savage wrote a recent article, “My Transoceanic Midlife Crisis.” It’s an interesting and somewhat inspiring article in which the author explores her transformative midlife crisis, which led her to row solo across both the Atlantic and Pacific. She’ll tackle the Indian Ocean next month, and if successful, she’ll be “the first woman to conquer the Big Three.”

Now that’s stuntin’.

But after reading the article, I thought to myself, “Thank goodness I had my breakdown and my ‘ah-ha!’ moments so much earlier.” Savage worked for about a decade in a job that was stable and predictable; basically, she took the safe way out to figure out what she wanted to do and didn’t get out of that phase.

When I realized what I was doing was not what I wanted to be doing–months after graduation–I took immediate action. Yes, it was a difficult year and then some that followed, but I had no husband, no mortgage, no set, established life to upset. I had a turbulent life that I proceeded to make even more turbulent.

And it made all the difference.

I’m studying a subject that prompts me to click on a flashlight and scribble down thoughts in a notebook at 1AM. I’m trying to secure an internship for the summer, and it’s stressing me out because there are so many options and approaches to get where I want to be–that’s better than feeling resigned. I’m attending conferences and connecting with people not to get ahead but to push myself to keep learning so I can be the best at what I do.

I said so long ago that I wanted to see the world, and through utilization of my networks (new and old), I am finding ways to make it happen. Someone said to me a few months ago, “I love traveling. It’s too bad I’m at that point where I’m just not going to have time to see much more.” He said that because he was resigning to the working world, making it a burden. I couldn’t have disagreed more, considering where I stand in life.

I’ve only explored the metaphorical tip of the iceberg when it comes to travel or my career or even life. I’m twenty-five years young, and the only things that can hold me back are finances and my own ambition.

“The ocean is scary and it’s daunting, and most of the time I wanted to give up” (p. 23, Savage, 2011). I’m sure we’ve all felt that way; just replace “ocean” with another word like “the job search” or “traveling by myself” or whatever scares you. I’m just thankful I didn’t give up when I wanted to because here I am, two terms into my grad career, with a whole slew of new cities and adventures I’ve conquered, and a whole bunch of possibilities in front of me.

That’s not daunting–it’s beautiful.

Define Me

Dec. 29th

Prompt: Defining moment. Describe a defining moment or series of events that has affected your life this year. (The Year the Swallows Came Early @KFitzmaurice)

My theme for 2010 was “Believe in the impossible.” Given that, my defining moments began with my travels to Europe and eventually blended into moving to a new city to go to grad school. I’ve said it before, but I was anxious about both traveling alone to Spain, as well as moving away and pursuing graduate studies. 2010 was about not letting myself shy away from challenges.

I remember getting on the plane in April and settling in for the transatlantic flight. I remember being stunned that I was actually doing this. I would have freaked a bit more, but I was Xanax’ed out because I’m not a really great flier. However, I remember feeling proud of myself for following through with the plan. And after I arrived in Madrid, I learned how to get along in a country whose language I did not speak very well, how to navigate a huge city, and how to reach out and network.

Right before going to the airport, thinking, "What am I doing?!"

It was knowing that I could accomplish my trip and do it well also helped me as I left the big city for a rural college town. While grad school has been stressful at times, I’m happy with the program I’ve chosen and the people I’ve met. It’s definitely a journey, and I look forward to the next several terms.

Carrying positive vibes into 2011 will help me adventure more and make the new year wonderful. I have accomplished what I once thought to be impossible– so why stop there?