Little Victories

The holiday season and my lack of self-control both did some damage on my abs and waistline. I’m a fair bit fluffier, I’ll admit, but I know what to do to get back on track. I’ve still been going to the gym quite a bit, and I intend to pick it up a bit more in the coming weeks. I have another competition coming up, so it’s time to carve out time for four to five sessions a week, with a lot of deliberate skill work outside of class time. I’m going to have to push myself further than I previously have as I carve out new goals and milestones.

Speaking of milestones, I hit a very small one yesterday during a drop-in at the hometown CrossFit gym. Guess who can do frog stands now. That would be me. Having the balance to do these is a step in the right direction for me, the young woman who can’t quite get inverted not balanced in many cases. I even tested the stands outside the gym, at my mom’s home, and it’s confirmed–the skill I didn’t have several months ago is now a part of my skill set.

Small victories like this keep me going. PRs by five pounds, not feeling like death after a run, doing full push-ups, learning to climb a rope–these are all small victories. There are still many things on which to work, skills which require more strength, more coordination, more discipline and dedication. I’m a stickler for a good foundation, and while it will take me awhile to get up-to-speed in many regards, I know the long-term results will be not just better but also more rewarding; the effort I put in will be recognized–primarily by me–in the process.

That’s my philosophy in many aspects beyond CrossFit, too. I’m naturally a learner, so I play to that strength by gathering information and testing it out and building upon it to get to the next level. Hands-on work and drills are my method, but that’s not the only way to achieve goals. What it takes is getting in-tune with your own strengths, and also understanding your limitations in order to move past them–or even work with them.

As the new year approaches, don’t just make resolutions. Set your goals, then develop a strategy. Dig deeper.

I’ll be there right along with you.


Stronger than yesterday.

Make that two skills and Christine left before I pass the CrossFit HEL Basic Test. I need three consecutive chest-to-bar pull-ups and 25 unbroken wall ball shots (14lb. ball, 10′ target). Pull-ups are hopefully going to happen very soon, as I’ve gone from barely any movement during my first Basic attempt to only inches away this time around. Wall balls… are going to take a little bit longer. I have height working against me, and the shoulder to overhead motion is not my strength.

In fact, wall balls are my kryptonite.

The plan? Work with the 10′ target at the lighter weights until I get 25 unbroken shots. And 8′ shots with the heavier weights. I’ll get there; it’s just going to take some unpleasant work.

It’s time to face the demons.

When we get comfortable, we can–as a co-worker said today–get comfortably numb. There are scary things out there, but tiptoeing around those scary things never made anyone stronger. This goes not just for CrossFit, but for my professional and personal life outside of the box.

It is time to break into blossom.

Here goes nothing. (And a lot of frustrated yelling.)

A Short Thought

“Good intentions don’t excuse bad behavior.”

From Thought Catalog

Although I do hope that certain parties in my life see that and take it to heart, I also must say that I am to blame, in part, for my current state, in what I have done and what I have failed to do. I can do so much better in my thoughts and in my actions. I deserve so much better from myself.

It’s good to know that this little phoenix always comes back stronger.

And with that stronger self comes a potential partner who promises to love, to respect, to cherish, and to share an uncommon bond.



That last post wasn’t about anyone in particular. It was a PSA geared towards prospective suitors, as I occasionally place on this site. Most of them will never read it, but it’s published and out there. They can refer back to it like a Code of Conduct. And I can cite it! In APA format, nonetheless.

Furthermore, it’s just really hard to be positive and trusting after a series of bad situations and even worse excuses. I mean, seriously, Guy-Who-Was-Dating-Four-Other-People-The-Whole-Time? That really screwed up the whole “trust” thing, if you ask me.


It’s Wednesday. It means it’s time to recap Adventures in CrossFit with Ardith Laverne!

Let’s see. Got my butt kicked Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday. Perfect.

Thursday, we deadlifted and this happened:


Those scores basically state the load we all used during the first AMRAP, which was a 10-minute AMRAP with 3 deadlifts and 5 handstand push-ups. HSPU went fine; I tried banded HSPU for the first time and did fine, although I tried the lighter weight band at one point and tumbled out forward.

The second AMRAP was also an AMRAP10, with five deadlifts at a lower weight than the first AMRAP and then as many double-unders you can get. I was aiming to load my bar somewhere between 125-130lbs. Well, as we went through that workout, I couldn’t understand why 130lbs. felt so heavy and why I was falling behind so quickly. Coach K walked over about halfway to watch my form, and as I struggled through a rep, he said something along the lines of, “Great! What’s that… 140lbs.? Nice. Looking good at 140.” To which I said, “140?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!” With the structure of the workout, I only had time to toss the two 2.5lb. plates I had stuck on the end of the bar, dropping the load to 135lbs. After busting out way too many reps at the way wrong weight, 135 seemed pretty terrible, too.

But. I lived. And I got a funny white board result afterwards. So that’s okay.

Saturday was an away WOD at CrossFit425. Partner WOD, fun times, and sunshine. Plus a lot of skills work afterwards. Even taught a friend how to do cheer jumps to counts. ūüėČ

Monday, rack jerks, front squats, and hang clean & jerks. Matched my 95lb. personal best.

Tuesday, deadlifts. Matched my two-rep max, 195lbs. with another two reps. Attempted 200lbs. but was only able to move the bar about an inch. Time to work.

I’ve also been participating in another nutrition challenge with some folks at the gym. It’s more strict than the last one, and the second phase added in some Zone components. Now, not only do I have to think about what I’m eating, I have to do much more math. As we can see from the above example, math really isn’t my strongest point in everyday life. Oh well. Just two more weeks.

Hum… let’s see. This next week is going to feel super-long. I’m stressed out from multiple angles, but the good news is, my teammate does hair and I just got my layers trimmed up, and I must say, it looks great.


Declare Your Intent

I find myself saying something similar all the time in my current job, asking students to look forward–sometimes years ahead–to tell me what it is they want to do. Granted, in the context of a program or a degree, the intent is a little less vague. But what happens after that intent is uncharted.

Every now and then, I like to look at my very first blog post here. I occasionally log into my old Livejournal to read my much older musings. I also enjoy reading up on acquaintances’ blogs, relishing how much they have grown since I knew them in junior high science class. It is amazing to see potential grow–and how it grows in the most unexpected ways.

I try to remember to inspire myself week to week. I draft conference proposals. I wake up to write down research prompts. Sometimes I write clever comedy bits or chapters for a book in progress. I read travel magazines. I find myself mesmerized by the airplanes arriving and leaving Portland International Airport. I almost can’t wait to arrive at the airport and wait my way through security because beyond those metal detectors, my big shiny metal birds live, waiting to take me somewhere different, somewhere new, or somewhere beloved.

The other day, I explained to Snugz that it’s entirely surprising to myself that I crave travel so much. Just a few years ago, I was still afraid to leave my hometown, but bit by bit, step by step, I explored more of my corner of the world. And then, when I outgrew that corner, I sought out new adventures. Now, it’s nearly insatiable; it’s not always practical, given the real world of bills and responsibility and budgets, but that doesn’t stop me from dreaming. It doesn’t stop me from requesting tourism journals and browsing CouchSurfing for possible hosts and friends. It doesn’t stop me from connecting with others who have found their way across this world.

In other words, I have become unstoppable.

Tonight, as I pushed myself to finish the Work-out of the Day without stopping, without walking those torturous laps around the block, I showed myself that it’s not just one aspect of myself that refuses to keep going. I have had the sky open up and dump its worst on me. I’ve had the universe decide I was its punching bag.

Yet I’m still here.

So, thanks for sticking with me, even though this was supposed to be a career blog which then turned into a log of my Quarter-Life Crisis, and then my graduate capstone and academic recovery, and then my personal dumping ground, and now, a healing journal.

And here’s the thing: through it all… life just keeps getting richer and more meaningful and more wonderful.

Happy Friday.

“The Secret Lives of Women” by Deb Schmidt-Rogers, DePaul University (via WISA – KC)


"The Secret Lives of Women" by Deb Schmidt-Rogers, DePaul University So my WISA blog post was written and ready to be sent to Ann Marie for posting on Wednesday¬†and then just a few minutes ago I received a DM on my twitter account that read, ‚ÄúReally need some prayers for strength and perspective today.¬† Struggling more than I have in a really long time‚ÄĚ I had been struggling with this blog post since I agreed to write it. I am not really good at writing on demand. I have to somehow feel my subject and while I have … Read More

via WISA – KC

Wait Another Day

I will wait to love you
I will wait another day…
I will waste
another dream on you.

I am an impatient little lady.

With my world in chaos, I just want to crawl into a set of strong arms, and bury my little face in a broad chest. I want to feel tiny yet safe, vulnerable yet protected.

I know I’m not alone during this time. I have the best support networks possible–my mom, my extended family, my friends, my cohort, my supervisors, even my university. I’ll venture to say I even have myself. I have stories and memories that make me smile.

What’s missing is that stable rock. That foundation that’s going to look me in the eyes and not give a damn that I’ve been snotting all over his favorite sweatshirt because I’ve been crying for the past billion years. It’s not a “need,” though–just a “want.” I will get through this stage of life with who I have right now.

So, I will wait.
I will wait for you. Patiently.

And I will wait to love you, whoever “you” may be.

Creating a Theme

2011: “Create Beauty through Strength”

There it is– my theme for the new year. One year ago, my life started to change at an incredibly fast pace. I was a bridesmaid, my dad had a stroke, I got dumped, grad school acceptances started coming in, and I started planning to go abroad.

Now, at the beginning of my first term of grad school, many things are still incredibly uncertain. However, I believe in myself. And now, it’s time to take myself to a new level, to live and love without restrictions.

Create beauty through strength applies to different aspects of my life, which is why I ultimately settled on it. I can apply it towards my physical fitness– the stronger and fitter I become, the better I’ll feel (and look). I can apply it towards my work in grad school– if I put forth my best effort, I can create programs or ideas that may be life-changing for myself or others. That’s beauty. Beauty can even be seen in cultivating relationships, new and old. New relationships can be intimidating to navigate; staying strong is a way to confront that intimidation. And with old friendships, especially ones where we’re hundreds of miles apart, take work to maintain. That can be exhausting, but it’s worth it not to let those ties fail. Additionally, my theme may also be applied toward my family life.

It’s an overarching theme that I hope will directly affect my life and the choices I make.

So… here I go. New year, new theme, new goals.