Get Healthy, Health and Fitness

March 30th | 17.4 & 17.5

It has been one week since the final workout was announced for The Open. The five weeks went by so fast, I can’t believe it. Each week was more and more exciting and terrifying all at the same time. I learned new strengths about myself and to just say fuck it and do whatever is handed to me. At times I definitely hated it, but loved it just as much. Of course, at the end of the day I am proud of myself and what I accomplished. I did two of five workouts rx’d and scaled the remaining. My deficiencies were apparent and I know what I need to work on. But that’s all apart of this journey. I am really looking forward to next year and to seeing how I improve over the year.

17.4 has so far been my favorite workout of The Open. Of the four movements it included three that I love, deadlifts, wall balls & rowing. Yes, I love rowing, no I am not crazy. Yes, I may learn to hate it, but right now I love it and would rather row than run. Straight Up. I don’t even wish that I was lying to you about that. 17.4 was a repeat workout and a lot of people seemed to be pretty excited, which I totally get. It was a second chance for people to try the workout and see how far they have come from last year. The prescribed weight for the women was 155 pounds, ten pounds shy of my PR weight of 165 pounds. Which by the way I maybe did three or times, and not like separate times, I legitimately mean four times in my life, haha. But, I wasn’t going to do the workout scaled, scaled would have been 95 pounds. Which, if I did scaled I probably would have finished the workout. Scaled for 17.4 was the 95 pound deadlifts, 10 pound wall balls and instead of handstand push-ups, push-ups with a hand release. Oh, and that was my subtle way of saying that I did not complete the workout. But, let’s be honest I wasn’t going to. Let’s start with the time cap, 13 minutes. So in 13 minutes I would have had to complete 55 deadlifts, 55 wall balls, 55 calories on the row and 55 HSPU’s. I got through the deadlifts, wall balls and about 75% through the row. Deadlifts I started out okay, I did 7 and then it slowly trickled down to 1 at a time, but I fought through it. During wall balls I could definitely start feeling everything in my knees, they were not happy. By the time I got to the row I had maybe a minute and a half and I jammed through that shit. I was rowing like nobody’s business. At first my pace was 10 calories per thirty seconds, so I knew and accepted that I would not get 55 calories before the 13 minutes was up. But I knew thirty was at least doable. Oh, I forgot to mention a kind of important detail, I was the only one working out in my heat. I like to go last, watch everyone else workout and then get to it. Well, I ended up being alone. So all eyes were on me, and Aurora. Thankfully baby girl worked out and had her own version of 17.4, I posted a video on my Instagram last week because I was so proud of her. She, of course, finished way before I did. So there I was kind of alone, all eyes on me for the next thirteen minutes. Everyone was cheering and keeping me going, which was awesome because it was a battle. My judge/coach, Tommy, helped me get through it too. When I got to the row, holy shit. I just felt the presence of men haha. I think I had four people yelling at me to not quit and to just finish strong. Two of my girls came to support me which was awesome too. It was nice to know they were there to cheer me on and support me along this little journey of mine. When I finished the row I thought I was going to pass out, my legs were shot. I ended up with 145 reps completed out of 220. Like I have said before I just have to keep reminding myself that I am on my fifth month of doing Crossfit.

17.4 – 13 minute AMRAP

  • 55 Deadlifts
    • 155 pounds
  • 55 Wall Balls
    • 14 pound ball
  • 55 Calorie Row
  • 55 Handstand Push-ups

The live announcement for 17.5 was really exciting to watch. They had Katrin Davidsdottir and Sara Sigmundsdottir, two beautiful and badass girls from Iceland go head to head. These girls finished the workout in less than 7 minutes, we were given a 40 minute time cap. Insane. They are so strong and it was incredible to watch. The workout itself was 10 rounds, 9 thrusters and 35 double-unders. I cannot do double unders quite yet. There was one time last month where I was able to link 10, which was miracle in my mind. But 350, I knew would not be able to do just yet so I chose to do the workout scaled, which was just your basic run of the mill single unders,also 35 times. The weight from the thrusters was 45 instead of the rx’d 65 pounds. I finished in 13 minutes and 6 seconds and I am good with that. I don’t really know what else to say. This workout was simple and to the point as far as movements go. As soon as they say “go”, you go and you don’t stop and you just power through.

17.5 – 40 minute time cap

  • 9 Thrusters RX’d: 65 pounds
    • Scaled: 45 pounds
  • 35 Double Unders
    • Scaled: 35 Singles

 

Thank you to everyone who supported me the past five weeks and continues to support me on this journey of mine. It means a lot to know I have all of you behind me and cheering me on. Thank you to my three awesome coaches who push me and motivate me to do my best. Thank you to my judges for all of the Open workouts, for keeping me calm and helping me get through movements I didn’t think I could. Thank you to the CFVOM community, I enjoyed cheering you all on and watching you all kick ass.

 

Standard
Get Healthy

March 16th 2017 | 17.2&17.3 Recap

Here we go, another week (or two) have gone by. More workouts, more school, and not enough coffee to keep me awake for it all. School has been fine, math is math. Incase anyone cares, which I’m sure you don’t but I’m telling you anyways, I’m in a lower level math class. I’m in a college skills math and all I have to say is THANK THE LORD. There was so much information that I did not retain from high school, it’s pretty embarrassing. I’m passing my class because thankfully it’s all coming back and I’m picking up on everything. But, damn, adding fractions, positive and negative numbers? None of that suck with me, but also I barely went to class so, haha, that’s also on me. Let’s say high school was not my cup of tea and I did not want to be there more than half of the time. College has been so much more enjoyable, especially at my age I appreciate it that much more. Just gotta get it done with.

Now, onto my FAVORITE thing to talk about here, CrossFit. Ain’t no shame in my game MF’s. I have completed 17.2 and 17.3 and now I get to sit anxiously waiting for 17.4, which is insane to think we are onto our fourth week of The Open. Every week gets harder, for me, mentally and emotionally. I’ve stopped comparing myself to everyone, which has helped me exponentially. That is a huge mountain to overcome for me to shut that part of my brain off. Instead, I’m looking at it in a much more positive light. I look once a week to see where I rank in the Northern California region and in the world and I’m right about in the middle, which to me is fucking awesome. I’m half as good as other people who are ridiculously strong and been doing this for much longer, I’ll take it and run with it. SEEE YAAA HATEEERRSSS ( just kidding, I don’t think I have “haters” just a lot of people who don’t give a shit)

17.2 was really fun for me, though I did it scaled. It included lunges, which I love. We used the dumbbells for the second week in a row and I wasn’t necessarily mad about it either. Dumbbells were something I used a lot at the beginning of my fitness journey so it’s nice to be using them again. We used them for power cleans and had to hold them on our shoulders for the walking lunges. The third movement for the workout was toe to bars and muscle ups. I am almost there with my toes to bars, but nowhere near a muscle up. So for 17.2 I did the scaled version which was knees to chest and a pull-up. I did a kipping swing pull-up and actually got a few, 24 to be exact but who’s counting? :). Each week I keep proving to myself that I CAN do these things and to not be afraid. I tore the crap out of my right hand though. Aurora’s dad was my right hand man for the workout. He was judging me and I am so glad he chose to be my judge and I his. He knows me a lot better than most people and he helped keep me going during those pull-ups. At one point I felt my hand getting sticky, like I would close it in a fist and then I would relax my hand it just stuck a little. Yeah, well I had two HUGE tears on my hand and both had opened up and the skin was just chilling, it’s healed now mostly and it looks pretty cool. I don’t even know how my left hand left the battle unscathed. So, anyways, he saw me look down and he knew immediately that I would want to mess with them and he was just like, no. He told me not to worry about it and to keep going. And if it was anyone else, I probably would have messed with them and then jumped back up on the bar. I hate scabs and blisters and want them gone ASAP. Which, I know you are not supposed to mess with them, but I do (gross, I know).

17.2 | 12 Minute AMRAP Rx’d 35 pounds | Scaled 20 pounds

  • 2 rounds
    • 50-ft Weighted Walking Lunges
    • 16 Toes to Bars | Knees to chest
    • 8 Power Cleans
  • 2 rounds
    • 50-ft Weighted Walking Lunges
    • 16 Muscle Ups | Pull-ups
    • 8 Power Cleans

 

17.3 was a different story. It ended up being a snatch ladder with pull ups in between. I did scaled again, so I couldn’t even tell you the rx’d women’s or the men’s but it was a crazy amount of weight, in my opinion. Just to break it down really quick, a ladder is basically when the weight increases for each set, like you are going up a ladder. The first set was 6 pull-ups and 6 snatches at the first weight, for three rounds. The next set of the ladder was 7 pull-ups and 5 snatches at the next weight for three rounds. And so on and so forth. The scaled weight started at 35 pounds and the next weight was 55 pounds, which is pretty much all I got to. I was not expecting to do well, but I was hoping to do a little bit more. But, it is what is. Well, not really because I thought it would be a really good idea to try it again. Mind you the first time I got a decent amount of reps, which I should have just accepted. But I am me and I’m stubborn and in my mind I thought I could do a little better. More so because I was one second away from hitting my last rep to get to the next round of the ladder. So annoying. I gave myself two days to rest, two days. Looking back, I didn’t even think of that. So dumb, 17.1 wrecked me and I needed almost a week to recover, why I thought two days was chill is so silly. Stubborn AF. I got through less reps the second time around, I believe, I think that’s what I heard Spenser tell me. The only plus side to re-doing my workout was that my mom got to watch me. So cute, I felt like garbage about how I did and she just gives me a hug and says “Oh my god, you did so good. I’m so proud of you.” Love little Diane.

17.3 | Ascending AMRAP

Rx’d weight: 65lbs, 95lbs, 135lbs, 155lbs, 175lbs, 185 lbs

Scaled weight: 35lbs, 55lbs, 65lbs, 75lbs, 95lbs, 105lbs

  • 8 Minutes to complete
    • 3 Rounds
      • 6 Pull Ups
      • 6 Squat Snatches @ First Weight
    • 3 Rounds
      • 7 Pull Ups
      • 5 Squat Snatches @ Second Weight

If you complete before the 8 minutes, you get 4 minutes added to your time, then you must complete..

  • 3 Rounds
    • 8 Pull Ups
    • 4 Squat Snatches @ Third Weight

If you complete that then you add another four minutes and do the fourth round and then if you finish that you get another four minutes and do the fifth round and then another four minutes and the last round.

Today, we’ll find out what 17.4 is. Everyone seems to think we are getting close to thrusters with dumbbells and handstand push-ups so we worked on that yesterday. We did two separate AMRAPS that included both and my shoulders are done. Halfway through hand stands they, as in my shoulders, hit a point where they were like, “eff you Brooke, I hate you” and just gave out. I would honestly love to see a video of myself in a handstand and then falling over because I am sure it is hysterical to watch my legs flailing trying to catch myself.

 

Standard
Get Healthy

March 2nd, 2017 | 17.1

I hope some of you out there watch Game of Thrones, if you don’t do yourself a favor and watch it before the new season to starts up again. I have decided to rewatch them all and the plan is to be ending season six right as season seven picks back up in the summer. It is so awesome to go back and watch the episodes and see ALL of the foreshadowing that occurs, it makes you realize how many small details you miss or bits and pieces of certain conversations that you skipped over because at the time it didn’t necessarily matter or make sense. It’s so good! I’m obviously watching Game of Thrones as I type this. I like having it as bakground noise, that and Lord of the Rings. When I’m doing homework or studying its much less distracting and I can actually get stuff done. While I at school, in lab, I listen to the Game of Thrones pandor station or the Lord of the Rings station. Very rarely do I listen to anything else, I lose focus.

Last Thursday, dressed in Givenchy because he’s fancy AF, Dave Castro announced 17.1 for the CrossFit Games Open. You gotta give the guy props, he’s a terrible actor and has a poor way of delivering the work outs. It’s almost like as if the words coming out of his mouth are foreign, even to him. But, he has a great way building everything up. He pauses before each sentence, making you creep closer to the edge of your seat in hopes that you’ll dislike him less, or maybe more. He, quite honestly, may be one of those people who thrive off of others dislike for him. Who knows for certain though. So, what felt like an eternity, he finally said the entire workout…

  • 10 Dumbbell Snatches
  • 15 Burpee Box Jump Overs
  • 20 Dumbbell Snatches
  • 15 Burpee Box Jump Overs
  • 30 Dumbbell Snatches
  • 15 Burpee Box Jump Overs
  • 40 Dumbbell Snatches
  • 15 Burpee Box Jump Overs
  • 50 Dumbbell Snatches
  • 15 Burpee Box Jump Overs

….20 minute time cap, rx’d weight was 50 pounds for the men and 35 for the women. They had 4 athletes go head to head live and they all completed it within 10-12 minutes. I knew I was never going to be able to accomplish that. First, because when we began work with the dumbbells I was using a 20 pounds and I had never actually done a box jump, I referred to old faithful, step-ups. That night a few of the guys I workout with had me try out the 35 pounds, they obviously had more faith in me than I did myself. I was surprised that I could actually do it and was told to do the prescribed weight. Now my only concern was box jumps, which is more of a mental thing for me than anything else. Friday morning I went about my usual schedule, shower for school, eat breakfast, get coffee and head off to Santa Rosa or Pysch class. It was pretty hard to stay focused, all I could think about was the workout. When I got home, I got all my stuff together, ate and took a nap. At this point my sore throat was only getting worse and when I woke up I felt so groggy. I headed to the gym and got a coffee and pretty much waited until the last class to do the workout. Walking into it I knew I wasn’t going to finish, I had attempted my first two box jumps before I started and could tell those were going to slow me down. I turned to my judge and told them that I would be somewhat satisified finishing three rounds at least. Get to the third set of burpee box jump overs and that will be a feat in itself, now a huge one, but a fairly big one to me.

I got in 188 reps out of a total of 225. I didn’t finish the workout but I got part way through the fifth round. That’s much higher than I expected to finish and that is what I have to remember. Of course, once I could see that I could do these movements it was a bit frustrating that I didn’t finish before the twenty minutes was up. But, there was no way I was going to do that over again. My back was wrecked through out the entire weekend and it didn’t start to feel normal again until yesterday. Tonight we will find out what 17.2 is, which should be interesting as Dave Castro’s clues were a statue of a man and a koi fish.

 

Standard
Adventures 2016, Get Healthy, Health and Fitness, Thoughts

My road to The Open

Going through the motions of trying to decide what to write or which of my many mock posts to choose from can be difficult at times. The Crossfit Open is now a day away, so sharing my thoughts and feelings on how Crossfit has affected me is a pretty obvious choice. But again, my insecurities surrounding my writing and choosing to be so open with people on the inner workings of my mind is kind of tough at times. No joke, I wrote this on Monday night…it is now Wednesday. But, the other night it kind of became clear to me what I wanted to, but not necessarily needed to, write about which is insecurities, more or less. Maybe.

A friend of mine, who I obviously respect or else I wouldn’t be writing about this, posted a status on facebook. Not political, nor was it one of his funny posts, but one that made me think, a lot. Like, a lot a lot. He simply just brought up the point that he doesn’t understand why people hold themselves back and don’t fully commit themselves to their dreams and goals. For most people, they will think nothing of this post and agree. One of his friends brought up a point that hit so close to home for me on a few levels, what about the people who are insecure with themselves? I tossed in my two cents in a very simple way with the least amount of words possible. I brought up that some people have higher hurdles to jump over, whether its emotional or mental. I also said that one bad experience can be a huge mind fuck for people and can be detrimental to future commitments or goals. Then a few more exchanges occurred and I said the light at the end of tunnel is sometimes so far and can seem unattainable and the light seems less bright the further you have to go down this path. His response, which for some people is very valid, was to just then push harder. Oh, my sweet friend, if only it was that easy. My heart sank a little and I didn’t respond, I just wanted to leave it a that. And as you can see, hours (days) later the response still hurts. How do you explain to someone through a computer screen that just about everyone with deep insecurities wishes it was just that easy. To be able to simply push through can seem so effortless to others. And I am speaking from a place of very real experience of having to fight my demons on a daily basis. I am now twenty eight and still have demons to battle with. I accepted a very long time ago that I always will have these struggles. I have been fortunate enough to have certain aspects, like Aurora, be my driving force to get through life. But, not everyone is blessed with things like that. So, how can I make people understand that?

I can’t.

I am not able to, in any capacity, sit here and make someone understand the struggle so many people face. It’s beautiful to know that there are so many people who are able to fight and make their way to their dreams and make them a reality, absolutely beautiful. But, we are all built so differently and need a better understanding of that. Even me describing my daily battle with myself won’t make people understand. It’s hard to understand something when maybe some people haven’t had to deal with it first hand. Not that anyone or everyone is not open minded, but when it comes to depression, social anxiety or insecurities these topics are hard for people to grasp. They can’t understand why people feel this way and just think they are throwing a pity party for themselves, which is the opposite a majority of the time. My depression and insecurities have been about me and only me. I try and do my best to cover those things up because I don’t want people to judge me for it. Sometimes that is easier said than done.

It is no secret how much Crossfit means to me. I have come to a point where I am willing to give up my social life and sanity and dedicate myself to Crossfit and be everything I can be. To eventually be the best and strongest version of myself. Now see how easy that was for me to sit here and type? It’s a nice thought. But holy shit, I am so good at talking myself out of those things and tend to a lot. It’s scary to think that way sometimes, to set a goal like that. Not because of the end goal itself but everything that will go into it and the endless questioning of my ability. Will I be good enough? Am I good enough? Am I wasting my time? Am I wasting my coaches time? Does anyone here actually like me? Did I make the wrong decision? And so on and so forth. I won’t say my weight stops me anymore that is not an insecurity for me at this point. When I began my fitness journey those insecurities slowly went away on their own. My weight doesn’t matter to me as much like it did in the past and it is no longer my main focus. I lost forty pounds and that’s all I needed to begin the process of being comfortable with myself. I don’t weigh myself anymore or necessarily care about those three digits because within four months I have gone from 162 pounds to 175 pounds (I weighed myself so I knew the actual number). Certain clothes are too big on me and things I purchased a size smaller months ago fit just right or are starting to get a little baggy. So what does that tell you right there?

That I am a mythical creature, duh.

No, but really, it just tells you I am still losing inches and possibly fat, but gaining a lot of muscle. My goals fitness wise have changed drastically due to Crossfit. Yes, I still want to lose weight, but I’m not exercising anymore, I am training. That mindset right there has changed so much for me. My goal is to lift more weight, to squat, snatch, and power clean with ease. I want to do a freaking pull-up and hand stands like it is second nature. I want to throw a weighted ball up a wall, catch it in a squat and throw it up again, repeatedly. I want to get to a point where I can do 20 burpees without stopping for a break. I want to be ridiculously strong, mentally, emotionally and physically. Okay, that tangent is over. But, you get the point. My insecurities with weight are gone, but that doesn’t mean I don’t face any others. I just began Crossfit and I have to do everything I can to NOT COMPARE myself to the other athletes I am training with. You know how tough that is? I can barely thrust or even just hold two 35 pound dumbbells over my head, but other girls can do it with ease. I have to constantly remind myself to not look at what they are doing and focus on my own shit. I get so into my own head and that’s when the light at the end of the tunnel starts to dim and seems unattainable. That sprint towards my goal is practically gone, I trip over my own thoughts and struggle to get back up and running. I cried last week during a workout, which was terrible. I think I hid it well, but I don’t know. I’ve had a lot going on in my life and was struggling to do front rack lunges with 75 lbs. I was whipping my arms so incredibly bad with the jump-rope because I could not hit my double unders. I felt like, in that moment, that I wasn’t good enough, like maybe I am making the wrong decision. Maybe I shouldn’t be doing Crossfit, maybe I’m not an athlete. That thought occurs on a daily basis. More-so now with The Open upon us and it sucks. Do I need to get over everything and “push” through it, duh…I don’t really have a choice. I signed up as soon as the registration opened up on purpose. Once I registered and paid, I couldn’t back out. I mean I could, but then I would be out of twenty bucks. So, pushing through is something I have to do, but to be able to be at that point mentally is huge. A few years ago, I would’ve just said fuck it and not done it and let that time and money go to waste. This is something that has been four years in the making. This all didn’t happen over night, it doesn’t quite work that way. It would be awesome if it did. So push through it I shall. I had a great WOD yesterday and was probably one of the only people excited to do it. This year Dave Castro gave the hint that there will be dumbbells used in The Open. We have been using them to better prepare ourselves, which is why I seemed annoyed earlier when I mentioned not being able to use the 35 pound weights. For time we need to do the following

Sit-Ups

50-40-30-20-10

Dumbbell Thrusters

5-10-15-20-25

I got that done in 13:21, I was ecstatic. Yes, I used 20 pound dumbbells, but I got through it bruises and all. (My shoulders are so tender right now, it’s ridiculous). So insecurities aside, I am really excited for Thursday’s announcement. But this is just another step up my emotional ladder and I only hope that everyone else dealing with insecurities can find the same courage to break through those barriers, at their own pace. Do things on your own time, and not what other people think. Make yourself happy, forget everyone else.

 

Standard
Get Healthy, Thoughts

New love.

Two months have gone by and a lot has changed, both good and bad. But, I’m just going to focus on the good today.
I love Crossfit. I am madly, deeply in love and slightly obsessed with Crossfit. I really wish it didn’t take me so long to just go and do it. I really had no reason to be intimidated  by the actual workouts or anyone there. I have been going to the gym and working out for, what, four or five years now consistently? That sounds about right. This has been hands down one of the best experiences on my journey. First of all, there is no judgement, everyone is on a different level and its okay. If you’re one of the last people finishing a workout people cheer you on and support you. No ones yelling at you for not working hard enough, they are rooting for you to push through and complete the workout. Just finsish the workout and give it your all, that’s all that is expected. Now don’t get me wrong, I have loved my past gyms for several reasons. My first gym was where I found my love of working out and my badass Zumba instructor, Lauren, who has truly been a blessing to me and great motivation. Though my daughters dad is very much still involved, she has been my everything through learning how to be a single parent. There were days where I felt like I had no time for myself and was very focused on Aurora, as I should be. But, she’s one of the people who let me know its okay to take an hour for myself and that I NEEDED to to stay sane. I honestly wouldn’t be where I am on my fitness journey if it wasn’t for her. My previous gym before I switched to Crossfit is awesome in regards to the classes it offered, I tried Spin and fell in love with yoga there. I am still considering keeping my membership there so I can get my fill of both and I miss the people there as well.  The equipment is beyond amazing, but both gyms didn’t have what I need emotionally from a gym. Which just sounds strange, but its true and the best way for me to put it. The sense of community at a Crossfit box is entirely different than your standard gym atmosphere. I recommend my previous gym to everyone I meet though. You want state of the art equipment and effing amazing classes taught by awesome people, you’ll want to go there. But I needed more from it. I guess I’m not sure how to explain the sense of community at Crossfit in comparison to a gym aside from that everyday you have the same goal, the same workout to finish as everybody else. It’s not a competition against everyone, its you challenging yourself and being surrounded by people going through the same motions as you. Do people like to get better times or PR’s than other people? Duh, but its more so out of fun. I walk in for class and am greeted by people and have started to build relationships with these people. It is something you need to experience first hand, because I am doing a shit job explaining it haha. Anyways….so I love my “box”. There have been aspects of it that are challenging, such as all the different movements. But, I don’t hate any of it. Everyday presents itself with a new workout and new challenges. Double unders, hand stands and anything with the pull-up bar has been anything but easy for me. But, I will say double unders I am getting better at and just had to find the right rhythm and timing. Yes, I am doing 1-1-2-1-1-2 for the time being, but its better then doing a million singles during a workout. Hand-stands I just need to get my feet to the wall before my ass and I’m good. I end up laughing at myself a lot when doing hand stands. But, laughing at yourself is good, right? Now before I go into pull ups, I will throw out there that my upper body strength is not where I want it to be. A lot of my strength is in my legs, so squats and all of that haven’t really ever been an issue. So when it comes to pull-ups it is just sad. I scale down to jumping pull-ups most of the time, which is fine. I finally got down kipping swings, which will be helpful when I can do everything else. At first my brain was not understanding kipping swings at all. When I finally understood how to do it I wanted to kick myself a little because the movement itself is pretty simple. I was standing to the side one day and was watching everyone else do it and then it hit me, I had my ah-ha moment. I was usually facing everyone straight on and didn’t necessarily see the swinging movement and having my upper body forward while my legs are behind me. So I can now swing and get my knees to my chest, so hopefully in a few months I can actually get my toes to the bar. Another awesome thing about Crossfit is my child. Aurora goes with me sometimes to the classes and she loves it. She likes to be around everyone and jump in on the warm ups. Of course she would love to work out too, but she knows she has to be a lot older to do so. Spencer and Alicia, the owners of Crossfit Valley of the Moon, are so patient and accommodating with her. They let her hang out with them and “coach”. She is always so excited to go back and hates when I go without her.
Which, speaking of little, I have a five year old and it trips me out. Aurora has two Broadway Bound Kids productions under her belt and recently took hip-hop. Which was probably the cutest thing ever. She may or may not have had a mini crush on her teacher and I don’t blame her because he was so awesome with all the kids (and duh, he’s totally cute). My family loves music and to dance, so to have her share that same passion is so much fun, especially now when she throws down all of her new moves. Throw in the fact that she practices squats and burpees at home, she melts my heart. She’s way too cute for her own good and unfortunately she knows it. Last week we took our holiday pictures and she was a total ham! The morning was rough, like I said above we are going through some changes and some mornings are harder than others. That morning was just not good, we had a few tears and I was starting to get worried that I was about to waste money. But, thankfully she pulled through, she loved our photographer and we got some amazing shots of not just her but the two of us. Every moms dream right? A few pictures that make us look like we actually have our shit together?! I’m just going to go ahead and answer yes because some days we definitely don’t have it all together. But, I have her by myside to get through this crazy life and sometimes that’s all I need. Well, that and coffee. Aurora, coffee and crossfit.

Standard
Get Healthy

Happiness…

Well here we are and I am at the end of my second week at school. I don’t hate it yet, which is a really good sign. I am actually enjoying all my classes and teachers as well. My fourth class is a late start, so that has yet to be decided how I feel about it, but I guess I’ll stay optimistic about it.

Thank you, by the way to the people who reached out to me about my previous post, it was greatly appreciated. Like I said, I don’t go looking for attention, if anything I want other people to feel comfortable with themselves and talking about the things that aren’t easy to talk about. I love you amazing, beautiful people.

The world has a crazy way of bringing us bad news and then following those events with lessons. My lessons from the passing of beautiful girl and depression is coming through the way of my English class. Of course, right? Well, anyways our focus is happiness. The first book we are reading from is called the Pursuit of Happiness. The cover is pretty cute, it has a basket full of puppies. Did you get that? A BASKET FULL OF PUPPIES. My teacher wasn’t impressed, but I find it funny, what’s better than a basket full of puppies, think about it. I’d take a basket full of puppies over a cup of coffee or even free tacos. That’s right, I said it, deal with it. Ugh, but really, I want a puppy, I want a golden retriever or lab. Anyways, so the pursuit of happiness. We are all on some sort of pursuit to find happiness and be happy. Me, I always say I’m going to Neverland. That’s my happy place, my thoughtful spot as Pooh Bear puts it. The first essay we read from was an excerpt from “How Happy Are You and Why?” by Sonja Lyumbomirsky. Honestly, it wasn’t my favorite thing to read and I feel like I didn’t get much from it. She focused A LOT on the scientific studies of why we are happy and how scientists try to determine why or why not we are happy. Some scientists believe we are born with the “Happiness Set-Point”. The Happiness Set-Point at birth is 50%, 10% of our happiness will be determined by life circumstances and 40% by Intentional Activity (I.E. what’s under our control). While that is definitely interesting, I’m not very certain that I can back that up 100% or agree with it. I don’t know if being a mom changes how I feel about it, but seeing my baby girl I couldn’t imagine her being born with anything less than 90% for her Happiness Set-Point. Leaving 10% for the other two. So much is out of her control and circumstances are hard to determine. In my opinion at least, but also I am no scientist, so who am I to say. Sonja also discussed how they believe genetics have a lot to do with it as well. They did studies on twins, both identical and fraternal, and no matter what was going on for both in their lives and where they were, they still felt the same about life which was pretty cool.

Celestino Fernandez gave a lecture at SRJC a couple years ago and our first assignment was to watch it and take notes on it. I loved his lecture and what he had to say about happiness and I recommend people to watch it. If, that is, you want some better understanding on happiness and discover that people have been studying happiness since the beginning of time. While he did talk a lot about statistics, he kept reinstating the fact that we have the ability to determine our happiness. We can change our current life circumstances, we can do so many things to help us become happier people. He said and studies have shown that social interaction, going outside, listening to your favorite music, being healthy, it all can lead to happiness. Fact, unhappy people watch 20% more television than the average people. Now, I know Netflix is changing the game a bit and we all have a binge day. But, what they are getting at is people who sit inside in front of a television for hours, every day, with no social interaction and don’t go outside and enjoy nature are unhappy. If you know me I completely agree that people change their intention activity. Circumstances can be hard to change, but they can be for sure to an extent of course. It took me a very long time to accept my demons and find my Neverland. So when I am around people complaining about mundane things or things that are easily fixed or attainable I get so irritated. Life is there and ours for the taking and some people just let it waste away, how awful.

I was 205 pounds people, I am the last person you want to tell that it’s hard to lose weight. I lost 45 pounds don’t tell me how hard it is, I know very well how hard it is…but I also know how fucking easy it is. I had someone who I love very much come to me and ask me for advice and that made me so happy. It’s not easy coming to terms and saying I want to make a change and asking people for help. That doesn’t make me irate, it’s when people talk about it and do absolutely nothing. Don’t be a “DNB” (do nothing bitch) as Ronda Rousey so kindly puts it. Don’t tell the single mom who was working full time that you don’t have time to work out. Don’t tell the woman who has two mouth to feed that’s it hard to buy, eat, and cook healthy food. I’ll give everyone that it is hard to cut out foods, but it’s totally do-able. And please don’t blame it on your heritage. I’m Italian, Spanish and Portuguese. My favorite foods consist of Italian and Spanish faire. I could eat tacos and pizza all day. It is so easy to make alternatives and it inspires me when my friends find healthy twists on some of my favorite foods. My sister, is a smoothie master and so incredibly good about drinking green tea. I try to get on her level, but I’m not there yet. Green Tea is taking some time for me to adjust to since I am not normally a tea drinker, but I’m getting there. My girl Jenna has been feeding me delicious and bomb-ass soups. Soup is so versatile and you can literally throw anything it and she does. Goddamn does she make soup like a goddess ha. Seriously though you can throw anything in a soup, like kale. Oh my god, kale in soup is so good and a great way to enjoy it if the taste is way too intense for you. Kate, makes sweet potato tacos and zoodles like a goddamn boss. Her spiralizing and cooking skills are out of this world. Momma Jenna & Kate, I’m hungry now! Ha-ha. Also when it comes to substituting foods, it is hard at first but you have to stick with it. When I first started taking away dairy for my diet (and diet as in what I eat on a normal basis, not diet for losing weight purposes) and my coffee drinks, it took a good 2-3 weeks before soy tasted semi normal. You can’t try something once or twice and then give up, did you give up riding a bike or tying your shoes because it didn’t click the first two times? No. Now you are, hopefully, a bike riding and shoe tying boss. Now I have switched to almond milk and find soy too sweet. Your taste buds and stomach will and do adjust, you just have to give it time. You put time into so many aspects of your life, your friends, family, and school. So I can’t wrap my mind around the thought of people not putting or taking the time to look at what they eat and see what changes they can make to be healthier all around.

The topic of being healthy came up a lot in the happiness discussion and I can back that up 100%. Not so much because I have lost weight, but because my overall health has improved. I have a healthier mind and look at my curves and love the shit out of them. I’ve grown to love my thick thighs and calves. I may not love my stomach, but I still appreciate my body because of the hard work I put into it. When you work incredibly hard at something the end results are so much better and satisfactory. You’ve pushed yourself further then you thought you could and pushed your body to do things you didn’t think it was capable of doing. Your body is a like a car, you have to take care of it or else you’ll run it straight to the ground. Even with my four year old, I have so much more energy than I did in high school. I honestly could sit here and talk about health has become such a part of my journey to being a much happier person and how it has helped fight my demons, but then I might really start to bore you. But either way, find your happiness people. It’s out there, it just isn’t going to come to you out of thin air.

Standard
Get Healthy

Bye, Bye, Bye…2015

Saying goodbye. No one truly enjoys it and sometimes it can be hard. Saying good-bye to twenty-fifteen and trying to leave everything in the past has been, well, trying. Every year is a good year, there will always be ups and downs, but you have to focus on the positive. Which is what I always, always try to do, focus on the positive. I look for the best in situations and in people. That seems to be where I get myself into trouble though. Maybe trouble isn’t the best way to describe it, but it’ll do for now. I’m pretty good with good byes and “letting go”, but still each one leaves a little mark on your heart.

I had a friend and like all my friends, I want the best for them. I look for the best in anyone and want to only lift them higher. I want them to see everything I see in them. Their beauty, their strengths, even their weaknesses because we all have weaknesses and flaws. That’s what makes us all so beautiful, our flaws and imperfections. People need to learn to appreciate these things instead of being ashamed of them. But, anyways, so this particular friend, of course, was a guy. I enjoyed my time spent with him, laughing and talking, what have you. I always saw potential for the friendship to grow and it seemed like he would hold back if I got too close. Things would be good and then they’d be weird. It drove me crazy, like bat shit insane crazy. It was this back and forth thing between us that eventually led to him not wanting to lead me on and telling me twice “I deserved better”. That is such a cop out for people to say and I hate it. Who are you to decide what I deserve in this life? More than anything, to me, it meant that he wasn’t ready or in his mind, maybe,  I was the one undeserving of him and his time. I couldn’t hate him for his opinion though, but it seemed more like his way of pushing me away. Cool. I get it, you get your heartbroken and it’s scary to jump into something new. But, just because one person hurt you doesn’t mean I will be the same or the situation will. This was always frustrating me, with him, that I couldn’t understand his thought process. If you’ve been hurt in the past, be open with people about it. If you’re not ready for a relationship or don’t see me in that way, then tell me. I’m not going to be mad, if anything I will be appreciative for the honesty. You just saved us both time. But, instead, people choose to avoid those conversations and drag things out. I know – it seems like I have high expectations, but damn it, why wouldn’t I? I have a daughter to think about and though I am never looking for a Dad for her, I want this person to not only be amazing in my eyes, but great in hers too. My expectations were high because I saw what this person had to offer and could give. I also saw something in them that I don’t think they saw in themselves. Long, long story short…he got his way. He pushed me away by being someone that I feel deep down into my veins, my marrow that he isn’t. I wouldn’t say this was heartbreaking for me, but more-so heartbreaking to witness. How could someone who is loved by a lot of people, and just a great guy not see that about himself? Or I could just be lying to myself to make myself feel better and maybe he is a jackass. He isn’t though and I wish that one day he does find whatever it is he is looking for and is happy. I’ve never been confident or been aware of my worth, but this situation showed me what I had to offer. I feel like I am pretty awesome person. My body is improving, it’s not perfect but I think I’ve got great curves, so whatevs. Haha. But, seriously this person, without knowing it, has taught me so many things about myself that I didn’t know. They will never know, but I am thankful for that. I am thankful for him putting me through hell sometimes and for being an asshole, and I mean that in very loving way of courseJ. I know what I want from the man I’m potentially with. I don’t want someone who will give me excuses or try to feed me beautiful words served to me on a rose-gold platter. I want honesty and someone who’s not scared to tell me how they really feel. To tell me about their fears or how they have been hurt in the past. I want the raw emotions and someone who isn’t scared of their feelings and for having feelings.

The other part of twenty-fifteen that was hard to let go was job of three and a half years. I had many wonderful memories made there and met amazing people. I have been so lucky to have walked away with those friendships. A few of us are in a group chat and it is pretty hilarious. We have shared our ups, and some downs but most importantly, laughs. It’s been a challenge to find something comparable to Viansa, but I don’t doubt something will come a long. I start school in less than a week and I wouldn’t be at this point if it wasn’t for not being at the winery anymore. I’m still bouncing back and forth between two majors, I am undecided as to where I want my education and career to take me in life. It’s a scary and exciting time. Little is making the switch into preschool from her daycare and I am so excited. My siblings and I all went to this preschool in town and my mom has taught there for forever pretty much. She will be retiring after the year so it will be fun have her last year be with Aurora. There is just so much paperwork, holy shit. I understand why the need it…but to be honest I can’t remember exactly when we started potty-training her or other things. Aurora hit big milestones on the younger side of when kids are supposed to. Guess, I’ll have to pull out those baby books I started. Key word, started. You tell me how many people you know with completed baby books before you pass judgment onto me ha-ha. I don’t even think my mom finished mine. That may be something to complete this year. Okay, maybe that’s clearly me being ambitious…never mind. Sorry Aurora!

With goodbyes, come new opportunities, new hellos and new challenges to face. With twenty-sixteen I am so excited for everything that is coming my way, goals I have for myself and things I want to accomplish. One of my dearest and best friends and I have set a pretty cool goal for us to accomplish this year and I am so, so, so excited for it! We are embarking on a 12 month journey of our beautiful valley and bay area. One new hiking trail and one new restaurant a month. 12 hikes, 12 restaurants. This makes me so happy. I am almost 27 and have been blessed to grow up in this beautiful valley with amazing food. So, it’s time to get out there explore and I am excited to have my friends at my side for the journey. I will, of course, be documenting this and telling you all about it.

Till next time! xoxo

Standard