You Gotta Have Heart

All you you really need is heart.

Another competition in the books. This time, it was a team competition (Capitol City Throwdown) down in Salem, Oregon at CrossFit Salem. It was an all-scaled event, meaning it was intended for athletes that usually do not perform WODs Rx’d. Four of us who “grew up” at CrossFit HEL and are now at different boxes in Portland and Seattle decided to band together to light yet another fire underneath ourselves. (Also to spend quality time with each other!)

The disadvantage to being far apart and at various gyms is that our time physically training together was limited, and we also had to form our WOD strategies on our own. However, these ladies are all incredibly amazing people; we are all growing in this sport, and this was a great opportunity to test not just our physical limits, but also present us the opportunity to come together and work together mentally.

And of course, it was a blast.

We didn’t finish first, and we definitely didn’t finish last. We did the very best we could, flipping tires that weighed over 400lbs., performing what I’m sure was nearly a thousand box jumps, snatching kettlebells over and over, and setting PRs on several heavy lifts. And the whole time, there were high-fives, terrible jokes, and lots of positive encouragement (and yelling).

I’m excited for the Squat Squad (a.k.a., Magical Whiskey Unicorns, a.k.a. TBO&KS) to continue seeking out competitions in various formats and iterations. I’m also excited for us to watch each other progress through our different training programs with our respective gyms (which, by the way, are all full of super-awesome people. This community seriously blows me away.).

Thanks for being amazing, ladies. Let’s go places.*

Squat Squad!

Squat Squad!

Pretty much sums us up.

Pretty much sums us up.

The socks!

The socks!

This is my PR face. Lovely.

This is my PR face. Lovely.

 

*And cause some trouble. (Train for chaos, right?)

Some Simple Things

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Just things that make me smile, including a view at work, a very inefficient packing job by Sephora, and my competition team for the Capitol City Throwdown. Below, an exchange between a friend and I regarding the awful yet amazing CrossFit staple, the bear complex. I’ll hopefully have more to say about the bear later, but I’ve been super busy and blogging has been a bit tough.

That said… This life is good. Real good. Keep pressing on.

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The Best Summer Ever

“Here’s to the best summer ever.”

That’s the mid-year theme I’ve come up with. And why not?

I spent the solstice and the following weekend with so many people, reminded that there is so much to be said for the magic in friendships. I got to see two of my closest friends whom I’ve known for nearly a decade now, as well as friends who are newer and full of surprises. I even got to make new friends. We confirmed this with a Facebook message reading, “We are friend [sic]?” “We are friends!”

I got to share my current city with my friends, as well, and it was the perfect combination of relaxation and chaos–something we seem to have perfected over the years. It’s always a treat to share something like Pine State Biscuits with your friends and watch their reaction. It’s also fun to share my CrossFit gym with my visiting friends, not just for our set-up and programming but also for the people.

This summer is dedicated to more moments like those found this weekend, whether those moments are in Portland, Seattle, Wenatchee, or any other city I might find myself. So, just get ready for a lot of bad jokes, good food, questionable dance moves, and real good music.

Here’s to the best summer. Ever.

Days of Summer

Such Great Heights

What a weekend.

It was the first really sunny weekend this year, and it started out with happy hour on Friday. We celebrated the end of another successful quarter in advising, and took the time to swap funny stories and enjoy some good food. After a bit of socializing, I headed north to Issaquah. I made decent time, although I had to make about a two-mile loop near Bellevue because I couldn’t merge onto the I-90 East ramp due to, like, twenty cars and a semi that were going way too slow. Oh well. What can you do other than whine about it on your blog?

On Saturday morning, three of us went to CrossFit 425 where–surprise!–CrossFit Games workout 13.4 was programmed in as part of the morning WOD. Part. I had attempted 13.4 at the prescribed weight, 95lbs., on Thursday, and I hadn’t even broken into double digits. (I did, however, set a personal record for clean-and-jerk, and I did hit my first set of toes-to-bar that night.) So, because I had already done my Rx’d attempt, I scaled and went quite light, down to 65lbs. Then there was more after that first 7 minutes. We did some jump-roping, and some push-ups, and some kettlebell work. And there was a short 400m run followed by as many burpees as possible (if you finished the run in under two minutes, which I did; I got two burpees in).

After my friends finished killing it during the competitors’ 13.4 attempt, we spent some time in the sun. Yes, we just stood outside the gym in our sports bras and pants. We made Hubsly take some pictures, too. We’re quite attractive.

Seriously, attractive.

Seriously, attractive.

After CrossFitting and eating way too much frozen yogurt (and mini peanut butter cups), I made my way to Ellensburg. My aunt and uncle celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a get-together of family and friends. This aunt is my dad’s little sister, and I love her and my uncle to pieces. I surprised everyone by showing up, primarily because I wasn’t even sure if I would make it, but I did! My half-sister was there, too, so it was fun to catch up with her. We all went to Cousin Jim’s after the party for cornbread and chili. I had a bunch of homemade cheese crackers (well, they’re more like cheese cookies), which also were not anywhere close to paleo nor clean. But they were delicious and worth it. Family time is some of the best time in my world; I’m a lucky one.

Aunt Mac and Uncle Don

Aunt Mac and Uncle Don

After stuffing myself stupid on chili and cheese cookies, I drove back to Issaquah. A few of us congregated at Lot No. 3 where the guys were working the bar and slingin’ drinks like they are known to do. There was a lot of popcorn thrown that night. Apparently, I’m twelve.

Easter Sunday suddenly showed up (about four hours after I finally went to bed), and four of us decided a hike was in order. (Well, actually, we were invited on Saturday, and I woke up fifteen minutes before we were supposed to leave, and there was really going to be no backing out of the deal, plus it was super-sunny out and as a PNW’er, I had to take advantage.) Mt. Si was the destination, a four-mile ascent to the top of the hill. My legs burned for a good portion of the hike, primarily my calves, but I endured.

And then, there was this:

Looking out over Bellevue and Seattle (in the distance)

Looking out over Bellevue and Seattle (in the distance)

Summit 2

That's Mt. Rainier.

That’s Mt. Rainier.

Sometimes, you just have to take the holy day outside and near the sun. Sometimes, you just have to go outside and remind yourself, I’m alive. Sometimes, you just have to be unstoppable.

Hope you all had a fabulous weekend, friends. More goodness to come!

Maybe

Maybe

Maybe it’s not me who’s missing my opportunities for true love.

Maybe it’s you.

Maybe it’s not me who’s running and untethered and a feather on the wind.

Maybe it’s you.

Or maybe it’s both of us.

And maybe it’s impatience and subjective perspectives of time slowly wearing me down.

Where are you, Love? Where are you off to now?

(Could I interface with you?)

Returning to the Stars

“One may tolerate a world of demons for the sake of an angel.”
from Doctor Who (Series 2, Ep. 4 – “The Girl in the Fireplace”)

Does anyone else remember my letter to the Universe from 2011? It’s a perfect glimpse into my life when all that was seemingly good shattered, one thing after another. That pattern continued, and it continued for months afterwards.

Now, nearing the end of 2012, I still walk cautiously through many of my adventures. I am learning more about myself, primarily in terms of finance and budgeting, as well as health and wellness. I am much more aware and in-tune with my mood shifts (not swings, thankfully), and luckily, I am nurturing a new-ish relationship in which I can admit to not always being sunshine and rainbows. I talk about how I’m feeling more openly, which is scary, but it’s almost scarier seeing how it comes so naturally.

When you’ve dealt with so much utter crap over the past few years, you almost expect the worst. However, my transition to Portland has been very good for my soul. I still have some nights when I want to curl up and do nothing and just hope that I win the lottery in the morning; despite that, I persist. I persist because I have good people in my life, and I choose to focus on the good. Something I have realized about myself is that I have little tolerance for toxic people, and my biggest disappointments come when I realize someone I trusted and cared for ends up being a soul-sucker. The thing is, those people are gone from my life.

And I know for others, I’m a soul-sucker; there are some people with whom I will always have negative energy, and although we may be on good terms now, there is no need to be friends nor to revisit the bad moments in my head every time I see them. They are freed from my life, and while I miss certain aspects, it’s better to lead separate–and separated–lives.

It’s much better to put effort into keeping life-givers around. For example, one of my best friends lives hours and hours away (by plane); we logged on to FaceTime to catch up this weekend, and it was just as good as when we were in college and met every week to get coffee together. It’s not easy to keep relationships sound and meaningful across time zones, but it’s incredibly worth it for the right people. It’s also worth it to put for the right effort for the right people regardless if they live a block away or half a world away. Friendship, then, is becomes transcendent of time and space; it becomes something ethereal.

Whose energy keeps you going in this lifetime? And why is it important to continue to grow those relationships?

What Do You Want

I was asked to explain what I want recently. I was asked by an almost lover and my counselor, strangely enough. One asked what I wanted in a friend; the other asked what I wanted in a partner.

Well, you know what I want? It looks the same for a lot of it.

I want someone that makes me laugh, and I want him to laugh at me, too.
I want someone that’s excited when I call or when I share a stupid story or when I say, “Guess what? I have today off! Let’s hang out!”
I want someone that has a handle on where he might go in life, and talking partners, I want him to at least be done with a Bachelor’s degree and out of college (grad school’s a different story).
I want him to support my academic and professional hopes and dreams. And I want him to know I support his aspirations, too.
I want him to have a life of his own, where he’s not co-dependent on anyone else.
I want him to blurt out to his friends, without thinking, “She’s just so cool.”
I want him to recognize how lucky he is to have me in his life, to want to spend time with him, and be a part of each other’s lives.
I want inside jokes.
I want spontaneous drives to the top of a hill to catch the sunset.
I want someone to put up with my inane love of animals and deal with my squeals of delight at the zoo or aquarium.
I want someone who respects the fact that I am spiritual and that it means I am constantly making meaning and searching for “something deeper.”
I want him to respect my quieter moments and understand that I’m not always always always my loud, brash self; I am an artistic type, an amateur writer, a decent musician, a clumsy yet passionate dancer. I am the shy poet whose best work is secret because my worst work is public.
I want him to understand that I feel larger than life sometimes, and other times I feel like I could curl up and sleep for days.
I want a companion that can agree to join me on an adventure or a trip, or at least want to.

Really, the big difference between “friendship” and a “partnership” for me is chemistry. I want to feel my soul settle around him. I want to feel my heart quicken when he walks into a room. I want him to hear the music I play, and I mean this literally. (I have been shy about my piano skills around most suitors. There has been an exception.)

I want to feel validated, knowing that the love I bestow on this man is reciprocated and valued, and I want him to know I feel the same way.

I have so much love to give.

Right now, though, the most I can do right now is be a friend who cares, who listens, who supports. The surplus of love I hold onto will have to go to only me.

I want to be allowed to break into blossom. I am stifled, but I can only be held back for so long.

GIFTS!

Dec. 30th

Prompt: Gift. This month, gifts and gift-giving can seem inescapable. What’s the most memorable gift, tangible or emotional, you received this year? (Waxman Literary Agency @hroot)

What did I get this year?

I don’t know. I’m really stuck on this prompt.

I suppose I got the chance to go back to school, and with that came the opportunity to make new friends and head off in a new direction. That’s a good gift.

And actually, I’ve just been really lucky with the gift of friendship this year. Old friends, new friends– it’s been a whirlwind year, and it’s been full of changes.

So, there you go. Short, to the point, and now it’s time to keep cultivating friendship into the new year.

*high five*