#34

today was a good day.

i’m not going to lie, i was terrified of the next number in my life…34…i mean, it’s literally the mid-30s. and in case anyone is playing along, i’m still figuring out this whole life thing out.

sure, i have the basics set. but no, i’m not married (hah i’m actually very single…and very ok with it!). i don’t own a home. i don’t have kids (and i’m not sure i want them either).

but guess what? i love where i live. i adore my job. i have met some amazing people. i continue to get stronger — mentally and physically. i keep meeting people who are the sorts of people i want in my life. 90% of the time, i love every minute of my day. i have a great relationship with my mom and sister. i continue to set goals and work on knocking them down. i’m healthier and fitter than i have ever been in more ways than one. and i’m working on loving me.

i’d say that’s more than most people have going for them.

today i took a walk with some amazing ladies. one of them told me how 34 was her best year. how she felt the most empowered and strongest and owned her life at that age. it made me hopeful. and by the way things went today, i think i’m off to a good start. i think 34 will be good. i know i have more to grow and learn and experience and i’m looking forward to the knowledge and eagerness i can bring to each new experience.

keep moving, keep growing, keep pushing through obstacles, keep evolving,

34…let’s do this!

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life is a motherf*cking balance.

when i finally write my book, that will be the name of it.

life is a motherf*cking balance.

there isn’t a week that goes by that those words don’t come out of my mouth. ok, well not the “motherf*cking” part but you get my jist.

ironically, i didn’t always believe that though.

let’s backtrack.

back in…let’s see, 2010…maybe 2011. i asked my boss if i could go to a women’s coaching conference. what’s crazy about my memory, i remember so many things SO VIVIDLY, but there are so many things i have no recollection of…so i can’t even remember where this conference was held, but i remember so many parts of it so clear. i made so many fabulous connections and was able to vent. i was stuck in a coaching career which i “loved.” hah…apparently i didn’t know what love was back then. i had done an amazing job of convincing myself and EVERYONE around me and in my life that i LOVED my job…my career! my life.

here’s the truth. i was miserable. i had a boss i didn’t respect (for a 100 reasons, but mainly because he didn’t have a backbone). i didn’t have friends. i had NO life outside of my job. my success was based on the performance of 8-10 18-22 year olds on any given day. i wanted to be a head coach but didn’t have the experience. i wanted friends but didn’t have them. i stopped working on me. i was fat and overweight and out of shape. i rewarded myself with food. i loved to travel because there was nothing else i had to look forward to. i cried anytime i had to go back to work. things weren’t great folks. but i grinned and smiled through it all and did a convincingly amazing job relaying the message: “i love being a college coach! i was born to do this!”

so back to this conference. i learned so much and used it to fuel my plans to become a head coach somewhere. anywhere! however there was one day where we all picked phrases/words and had to talk about how they related to our life. when i closed my eyes to choose and open them, i frowned a bit when i saw, “life is a balance” starring back at me. at this point in my life, life was NOT a balance. my life revolved around work. and i LOVED it (please note that is said dripping with sarcasm!). i sat there trying to explain how this phrase mattered to me…”um i mean, i guess this is good because i work too much and don’t really have a life out of coaching. my friends are other coaches…and they are scattered across the country and i see them maybe 4 times a year at tournaments, dual matches and recruiting trips…so yea, i need to balance my life.” I said it with a smile trying to convince myself more than anyone else in the room.

well…aside from learning how to be a badass coach, mentor, manager, human that weekend, i got working on finding new spots for me to thrive. applying for jobs anywhere…everywhere…literally EVERYWHERE. i knew a new start would open up this “balance” i needed in my life. let’s just say what’s to follow is a whole chapter (or book!) of its own…but life doesn’t always work out the way we planned it (speaking of mantras, i remember once being told, “sometimes dreams change, and that’s ok” — another one i had to relearn once it applied to my life).

so after leaving the university i poured my heart and soul and LIFE into for 3 years, i ended up going back to california. i think this is what they call “hitting rock bottom.”

yea. i did that. let’s skip the middle part because again…different chapters.

and let’s come back to present day. life is a BALANCE.

would you believe i still have those words and see them every morning and every night?! would you believe it if i told you they mean more to me ever today than they ever did previously?

this week is national eating disorder awareness. sadly, my eating hasn’t been the only spot where i’ve needed balance. when i was 16-18, i spent hours training and consumed maybe 800 calories on a good day…or binged on cookie dough. i was the smallest i’d ever been. and then college came. and while i was a top d1 athlete, by my senior year i had managed to gain 20 lbs. and then i had nothing to work for. i wasn’t able to turn pro due to financial reasons. i had “nothing to train for.” so i didn’t. and years passed. and pounds packed on. and one day i was 28 and in a relationship with a man who told me i needed to go to the gym because i was fat. and i was depressed and not happy. and life blessed me with what at the time felt like a dagger but in all honesty was probably the BEST thing that ever could have happened.

i went home to california. i was depressed. i hated myself. i cried a lot. i yelled. i sulked. i applied for jobs. but i started working out again. i slowly started working on me. and i got into it. and i ate healthier. and i educated myself. and i learned. and while i was sad, it was something else to focus on.

and finally life turned around. i moved to the central coast. i found an actual dream job in the city i had always dreamed of living.

and i turned 30.

i began learning what a balance in life was. a little work, a little fun, a little sweat, a little play, a little here and there. time with friends, time on my own. running, lifting, tennis, off days. life became a balance. to this day, my life is a motherf*cking balance 🙂 of juggling me!

while every day i still struggle and deal with disordered eating, i’ve slowly gotten more comfortable with food and the balance of it all. somedays (like today) i run 6 miles and go to the gym and eat salads and chicken…and somedays i take a day off and enjoy wine and a bite (or 15) of cake. life is a balance.

and on that note, as much as i want to keep babbling on…i have to meet friends for dinner because yep, you guessed it…life is a balance. work hard, play hard…love the life you live.

xox

i’ll figure it out.

it’s been a tough week.

why? i’m not sure. i’d love to pinpoint what triggered it all. but somedays when you know what it’s like to feel completely down on yourself and depressed, it’s easy to get back there. and that’s what has happened.

i had an awesome weekend. fun with friends. time to myself. a long run. wine. i couldn’t ask for a better weekend! then the week started, and i let people who don’t matter bug me, and started worrying about what people think of me, and suddenly the voices crept back into my head. “you’re pathetic. and fat. and slow. and you suck at life. why do you even bother. you’re ugly. and your clothes don’t look good on you…” yea, i think you get the picture.

sadly, when it gets all the way to that point, it’s hard to escape. the tears are on the verge. the hate builds. and all of a sudden there is so much pain, you would do anything to stop it because you actually cannot stand the person you are in that moment. it’s hard to explain to someone who’s never experienced it. to explain to another human that you actually don’t like yourself, at all, in that moment — whether it be for an hour or a day or a week, or worst yet, a year. i know this feeling all to well. i’ve fled from this feeling. i used to live in this feeling. so seeing it come back this week was not something i wanted to deal with.

i don’t expect anyone to get it actually. lately people have been bothering me. somedays it’s like high school all over again. i like being an individual. and the people i spend my time with when i’m not at work are people i value and love and more importantly, people that understand who i am. but lately i feel like my life is on display for people to watch and critique. and i wish i didn’t care.

i was hoping to vent it all out tonight. but i will leave it here. somedays i worry when blogging on my actual thoughts and experiences hinders me as i have a constant fear of someone i don’t want to read my words, reading my words. it happens constantly on my instagram and facebook. i love to express myself on other avenues and i can be transparent and real on my instagram. however, lately i’ve found people are watching me, not liking or interacting with me, but talking about me or using that as ammo as if they “know” me and my life…i love trying to convey positive messages or reach out for support when i am struggling. but when people see what i’m doing and think they know me, or judge me, or are convinced they know what’s going on without ever consulting me leaves me just a little baffled.

on the positive, this week i had an amazing night with some pretty fabulous ladies. ladies who made me want to be their friends. ladies who struggle but still are strong and put a smile on and work on achieving their goals. ladies who are up before the sun and work hard to leave life better. i am excited to continue to get to know them and am thankful they have come into my life.

and for the rest of the week, i will do my best to turn this around and find the lesson in it all. work on being a better version of myself and work on being nicer to me. i know i need to love myself. it’s been something i’ve needed to work on for years. and i desperately want to get there. it’s tough because after an amazing weekend where i legitimately loved who i was and where i was and who i was with, i somehow spiraled downward the next day for two solid days.

keep on keeping on…i’ll figure it out.

xox

words I need for 2017…

1. Let go of all thoughts that don’t make you feel empowered and strong.

2. Let go of feeling guilty for doing what you truly want to do.

3. Let go of the fear of the unknown; take one small step and watch the path reveal itself.

4. Let go of regrets; at one point in your life, that “whatever” was exactly what you wanted.

5. Let go of worrying; worrying is like praying for what you don’t want.

6. Let go of blaming anyone for anything; be accountable for your own life. If you don’t like something, you have two choices, accept it or change it.

7. Let go of thinking you are damaged; you matter, and the world needs you just as you are.

8. Let go of thinking your dreams are not important; always follow your heart.

9. Let go of being the “go-to person” for everyone, all the time; stop blowing yourself off and take care of yourself first … because you matter.

10. Let go of thinking everyone else is happier, more successful or better off than you. You are right where you need to be. Your journey is unfolding perfectly for you.

11. Let go of thinking there’s a right and wrong way to do things or to see the world. Enjoy the contrast and celebrate the diversity and richness of life.

12. Let go of cheating on your future with your past. It’s time to move on and tell a new story.

13. Let go of thinking you are not where you should be. You are right where you need to be to get to where you want to go, so start asking yourself where you want to go.

14. Let go of anger toward ex lovers or family. We all deserve happiness and love; just because it is over doesn’t mean the love was wrong.

15. Let go of the need to do more and be more; for today, you’ve done the best you can, and that’s enough.

16. Let go of thinking you have to know how to make it happen; we learn the way on the way.

17. Let go of your money woes — make a plan to pay off debt and focus on your abundance.

18. Let go of trying to save or change people. Everyone has their own path, and the best thing you can do is work on yourself and stop focusing on others.

19. Let go of trying to fit in and be accepted by everyone. Your uniqueness is what makes you outstanding.

20. Let go of self-hate. You are not the shape of your body or the number on the scale. Who you are matters, and the world needs you as you are.

why my last run of the year reflected 2016 perfectly.

lately words have been spewing out of my head and i’ve had such an urge to write. but i haven’t. for a hundred reasons. sometimes just opening the laptop and letting the words come out takes more energy and work than i wish. sometimes the words are coming out of my head when i’m on a run and i just don’t have the energy to recreate them after the fact. sometimes i have things i’d love to write but know if certain people ever read them, their heart would break and that’s not worth it to me.

but i’ve been looking forward to this weekend all week. a weekend to reflect and gear up for 2017. a weekend to write! a weekend to collect thoughts and say things that need to be said.

2016 apparently wasn’t a great year for some. i’m impartial to it to be honest. but the last run i just went on PERFECTLY summed up my 2016.

it had just stopped raining, so definitely not sunny and warm, a mild 50 degrees…just warm enough to not wear gloves. i stepped outside, turned on my music and started up the hill. within a quarter of a mile, i realized i forgot a headband. i workout most days of my life, sometimes two or three times a day. i NEVER sweat without some sort of hat or headband. but there i was, just far enough away to realize this run would be done without the one thing i always have on a run.

2016 was a jumble for me. there were moments where i actually lost my mind. i started the year losing my wallet. let’s rewind. last NYE i moved into a new apartment. i had found an amazing place, bigger than my studio, cheaper than my studio, with front and back balconies and views of my favorite mountains…almost too good to be true. just a little dated, but hey i’ve always been into that vintage look! so last NYE i was reminding myself how to be me. how to be independent and on my own and solo. i had still been dealing with a breakup and wasn’t 100% myself. A week into the new year, i lost my wallet. if i explained the story, you wouldn’t believe it. i went to costco after work to pick up a few things. ran home to change and go meet some friends down town. when i was heading out to leave, i frantically couldn’t find my wallet. i panicked. crying. sobbing. hysterical. a complete mess. i called my mom literally losing my mind. i didn’t give a shit about what was in the wallet but it was a Louis Vuitton wallet, which meant the world to me. my mom convinced me to go back to costco and retrace my steps. i walked in crying and calmly asked if they had any wallets turned in. nothing that was mine. i went back to where i parked and laid on the ground searching in the dark for any sign of my wallet. finally, a lady who was collecting carts asked if she could help and suggested i check the carts. i walked over to the collection of carts, turned my flashlight on and dropped my jaw. my wallet was sitting in the cart. right where i had left it. i hugged the lady and thanked her at least 20 times. we both praised the city we live in and i instantly called my mom to explain. she reminded me to thank my lucky stars and pray that i had someone looking out for me.

i have never in my life lost something of that much value. but i did this year. and that’s how my year started…

scattered is always a word i use to describe myself but i took it to new levels this year. not because i meant to. i honestly think my head was just too full to let go of some things. it was a clear reminder to slow down in more ways than one.

anyway, back to the run…here’s how it was sounding in my head earlier…

my last run of 2016 was far from pretty but it was absolutely beautiful. it wasn’t as long as i wanted it to be, but it was still a great effort and was what i could do today. it wasn’t easy, there were lots of moments of struggle, but i got through them. i stopped to enjoy the views. i stopped to take pictures. i waved to strangers. i smiled at the fact that i found my stride and felt good doing so. i sang to the songs playing. i sweated and put in the work. and i was disciplined enough to get out there and get it done.

my year wasn’t pretty, but there were many beautiful moments.

i struggled. damn did i struggle, especially toward the end. but i got through it and i feel stronger because of it…at least i’m convincing myself of that part still.

when i look back at my year i realize i actually did a lot. i had fun. i smiled. i loved. i hurt a bit. i set goals. i broke through barriers. i shaped my body. i cried. i smiled. i made new friends and lost old ones. i found what means a lot to me.

but the one thing i realize i did in 2016 is i took a step back. for whatever reason, i hid parts of myself that i love from the world because i was worried about what “they” would say. i feel like at times i let my friends who say i’m super positive down because i pulled back from being positive on social media because i was worried what others would think. well for 2017 i say, f*ck that noise. i genuinely want to love me in 2017 and plan to be a role model and positive force to be reckoned with. love me or hate me, i am going to be me in the new year!

cheers, be safe, and let’s make 2017 an amazing one!

xox.

abusive relationships.

i am a strong woman.

physically. emotionally. spiritually.

if you asked me to list adjectives to describe me, STRONG would be in the top five.

i’m 5’11. i work out a lot. i have a big personality. i’m opinionated.

so when i tell you that i’ve been in a physically abusive relationship, that should shock you.

and sadly, i still don’t even know how to talk about it.

thanks to a little alcohol, i’ve slowly, one year or so later, opened up to some of my closest friends about being physically abused by my ex.

it rained today. and we planned to go wine tasting. just like we had that day…months ago. when i was dating him. when i loved him. when he was the center of my world. when he slammed me to the ground and i rose bleeding. and with tears in my eyes and a laugh in my voice and i convinced him it wasn’t his fault. it was definitely his fault. to this day, i can’t say that out loud. why? why do i blame myself. for being clumsy or my stupid shoes…why can’t i just admit it was him and his doing. and he knew it. and thats why he continued to freak out about it. the scar on my knee will forever be there thanks to my ex.

and that night we broke up. when the police came. when he put his hands on me. when i had to cover the bruises for the week to follow. and when he claimed to not even realize he touched me let alone hurt me.

how was i that girl? that woman? the strong female who was in a situation where a man could physically hurt her? i hate that part about me. i hate him. but i still hate that there was some part of me that loved such a person who could do that to me. someone who could tear down every ounce of me and make me insanely vulnerable to the point where they could actually hurt me.

to this day one of my biggest regrets is not reporting him to the police. when i sat there crying, bawling to the police and spelling my last name, i absolutely hate that I didn’t turn him in then and there. i hate that three days later when i was covering the bruises that i didn’t turn him in. i hate that about myself. and i hate that about him. and hopefully for my sake, i get over that. but i promise you and me that will never ever happen again.

in working on moving past this and forgiving myself, i will be volunteering for a group that helps with domestic and sexual assault. i couldn’t be more excited to get started as i think i need to feel good in my soul over this and start mending the past.

xox.

anxiety.

my anxiety is through the roof this week.

i can’t breathe. i can’t catch my breathe. i haven’t felt this way in years.

and i don’t know what is causing it.

forever ago (ok, 4 or 5 years ago) I knew what was causing it. I was lost. I didn’t have a job. I was stuck. I thought there was no way out. I was fat. I hated myself. I wasn’t happy. That all lead to my anxiety, which, granted I didn’t realize was actually anxiety until I finally did realize it was just that.

So what’s wrong with me now?! I’m not quite sure.

Today it hit me that, I may in fact, HATE THE HOLIDAYS. I repeat, HATE THE HOLIDAYS. Yes. This girl who prides herself on being holly jolly every november might just hate the holdidays. At least for this year.

How did I get here? Well…maybe it started when my sister, (my best friend) kicked me out of her house and berated me saying I was no longer welcome in her home. To which she later apologized and realized how wrong she was which was too little too late since I already had been swiftly kicked into a pretty solid depressive state. So it may be ironic (or not so much) that since that day I just haven’t been myself and just can’t seem to catch my breath.

And then maybe it’s the fact that every human I know is suddenly coupled up and can’t do anything without their significant other. Making me the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 1111th wheel in every situation.

So when I spent two hours venting to my mom about “life” and explaining how I am just frustrated with people, she told me “welcome to adulthood.” and that couldn’t be more true. Lately everyone makes jokes about adulating. But at 33, I’m f**king sick and tired of fake people, and people, and dumb people and all of the above and I’m done trying to be nice or fit in. So yes, I am actively working on saying NO to things that don’t provide me with ultimate happiness. If you happen to leave me feeling sad about myself, NO i’m sorry, I will no longer be spending time with you,

And so, after 32 christmas’ in this life…my mother gave me some great perspective after I told her how hard I am trying to get in the festive mood…”It’s ok not to feel super festive. some years it just isn’t there. and that’s ok.”

So, this year, I’m just not so festive. it’s december 10th and despite decorating and shopping and wearing my christmas tee…I’m still not feeling the christmas spirit. and that’s ok. i think. at least it is this year for me.

and in the mean time, i hope my soul settles and sorts itself out. as much as i wish everything was rainbows and butterflys, there’s a reason why it isn’t always that way, and when it comes back, that makes it even more worthwhile. so until then, i will persevere and toward for better days.

xox.

My happy looks different than yours. And that’s ok.

Yesterday as my sister and I were driving down the 210, tears began flowing from my eyes. Real tears. And lots of them. And suddenly my happiness bubble shattered. The weight of society and the rest of the world meticulously found a pin to burst my bubble. And burst it they did.

Tears. Because I’m in my 30s and single. Because I’m in my 30s and don’t make “a lot” of money. Because I’m in my 30s and don’t own a house…or have a dog…or a Mercedes…or a vacation rental. Because I don’t have kids. Because I’m not a size two or conventionally beautiful. Oh so many tears.

And I don’t know what was worst, the fact that those things on my good days NEVER make me feel sad or upset but rather empower me and make me feel badass. Or the fact that it was all true…

Let me rewind. Last Thursday, I was hit by a ton of bricks by something simple that jolted my soul without me realizing it (until the tears were flowing on the freeway). It doesn’t really matter what it was that was said but it kind of jolted me to my core…it definitely jolted me to my core. And then I began questioning everything I love.

I have worked my ass off my whole life. I have lived more than most. And I have enough stories and life experiences to fill a book. I love…or shall I say, loved, my life so much because I have literally been to hell in back in more ways than one. I have failed. Oh, I have failed so many times. And I’ve had to pack my bags and start fresh on countless occasions. Not because I am bad or dumb but because I’ve lived…and I’ve learned, oh have I learned! And all of those life lessons and experiences and relationships have helped make me who I am today. And today, I appreciate so much the life I now have and have somehow constructed. I love where I live. I adore my job. I am blessed to work for a company that allows me to be exactly me. I have always dreamed of living in the city I live in. I’m normally obsessed with the greatness of my life. That my weeks are filled with work I am passionate about and social gatherings and runs and hikes and trips to the beach and wine and laughter. And what makes me so unique and tick is that I don’t usually get where I’m going in life the conventional way. I’m a late bloomer, I take the road less travelled, but that’s what makes the journey so valuable and the end point becomes even more coveted. Which is why I am so upset that this one thing started eating away at me consciously and subconsciously. Why was I so easily being torn apart over this…

Money has never defined me, seriously. When I tell you I absolutely adore my job because I can be exactly who I am, it’s true. I’ve had jobs before that all I wanted to do was climb to the top and completely throw myself into work 15 hours a day…and I hated my life; I hated myself; and I hated that I had no friends. Finally finding a spot where I have just literally found my family and can geek out on things I love is invaluable in my eyes. And that’s the absolute truth. When you’ve been somewhere you hate and work for someone you don’t respect and cry at the idea of going back to work…that’s when you know the difference between what is right or wrong for you. And that’s why it’s so easy to show up every day excited and with a smile on your face.

Then, as far as relationships, yes I would love to find the right guy and be so sickening in love with him. No I am not a man hater. I often correct my mom and married sister when they generalize that “all men are jerks” to remind them that no, there are great men out there. I am looking forward to meeting one. But I also refuse to compromise and settle. After several detrimental and abusive relationships, I get that I have a pattern of finding the wrong guys for me. So this time around I am going to be cautious. And at the moment, being on my own and single actually does make me happy because I am not relying on someone else to make me smile. I’m not relying on a guy who can’t even be happy on his own to tear me down while I fester and try to build him back up…I’m not waiting for a guy that won’t even value me enough to treat me like someone special. And at this point in my world, I also know how life works for me. When the right person is meant to be in my life, he will show up and I won’t have to force it. I am going to value myself next time, so he has to as well. Period. So why was I instantly convinced my value as a human dropped because I’m not in a serious relationship or engaged or married…Why did it hurt me so much to see my own sister has a wedding board for me on Pinterest, but I don’t because that’s just not who I am.

Why is this festering in my mind. Why at 3 am was I wide awake thinking if I was worth more and if anyone would value me as so?

I’d be lying if I told you I have it all sorted back out in my head. I don’t. I wish I did. Because I’ve been in a funk and a bit sad about it all. Somedays I think if I had all those things, maybe it would be easier…maybe I would be happy…maybe I should try harder to get there…but honestly, maybe I would hate my life.

I’m normally the cheerleader in your life that reminds you how badass you are. How beautiful your soul is and how amazing your spirit is. Some days, I even believe that about myself. But this one deflated me more than I thought it would. And I’m working on getting back there. So this week I focus inwardly on figuring my head back out. Finding things I am thankful and grateful for. Going out of my way to do the things I love for me and only for me. Giving back to others. Smiling more. Enjoying the little things. And trying to not give a sh*t what anyone else in the world thinks because as long as it makes me happy, that’s enough.

And just because all those things aren’t for me right now in my life, doesn’t mean they aren’t for you. Do what makes you happy. Find what makes your soul shine and do that. And the people who love you and genuinely get you will totally understand that and want nothing but that for you and they won’t push you to be someone or something you aren’t.

While I haven’t figured it all out, I’ll leave you with this…

“Happy are they who take life day by day, complain very little, and are thankful for the little things in life.”

and…”The world is going to judge you no matter what you do. So live your life the way you f*cking want to.”

xx

 

Happier Fat?

Ok, that’s a vague title.

I’ve had a bit of an off week. I haven’t been writing for whatever reason. I haven’t found…scratch that, made the time. That’s the actual reason. Which is kind of a bummer because over the past few weeks I’ve thought of a lot of things to write on. But either way, not beating myself too much about it…here I am.

So aside from not writing, the past week or so has also handed me a few challenges. I strained my calf (the same spot that I tore almost 4 years ago when I was over exercising). I came down with a nasty cold (maybe the flu?). And yea, that was enough to throw me off. The calf thing had been building up and bothering me now for well over a month. And I had been run down and exhausted so I guess getting sick was also imminent. So I battled this week.

Monday, I wasn’t feeling great, but as I almost always do, I told my head to stop complaining, suck it up, and deal with it. I dealt with it in a way almost no one else in the world would. I ran 2 miles then hit the gym to do 100 thrusters and 100 hand release push ups. Normal, right? My head was killing me by 4pm and I dragged myself home and into bed where I remained for the next 24 hours.

I allowed myself a sick day, loaded with sleeping and rest and fluids and then gave myself said pep talk on Wednesday and got myself back into work. And back into the gym.

Despite not being able to breathe. Or taste. Or function without a throbbing headache, Thursday ran about the same as Wednesday.

By Friday, I was so excited I made it through the week. Went for a mile run to test my calf for the big run I had planned all week for Saturday and hit the gym hard, blowing my nose every 5 minutes, but completed my WOD and accessory work and was proud to have successfully made it through a tough week only giving up one day off.

And by Friday I felt like I had some swag back. I also felt like I was leaning out and doing good work in the gym and since I’d been sick, I was proud I didn’t really eat too poorly. Except by Saturday, I realized I didn’t really eat at all.

So let’s fast forward to today. Saturday. After taking almost 2 weeks off from any long runs, I was so excited to lace up my shoes and hit the pavement. It has been raining, so I planned this one perfect. Post-rain, it would still be wet but not too cold. I woke up without my alarm, made coffee, drank a glass of water, ate some eggs and got dressed. Threw on an ankle brace, compression sock and calf sleeve and was stoked to get going. I parked, picked my pandora station and I was off! The goal was between 5 and 6 miles, but I was hoping my body would be able to handle 6 no problem. I hit 3 miles and was ecstatic to turn around. Until, bam. I gingerly stopped. My right hamstring just balled up into a tiny pretzel before my eyes. Wait a minute?! What?! My fucking right hamstring is now giving me issues? You have got to be kidding me. I stopped then and there, unsure of what to do, with tears welling in my eyes not from the pain but the mere fact that I might be facing another injury. Unsure what to do, I crossed the street and started pounding my hamstring with my fist — I probably looked insane, but I have pretty tight legs and my mere pounding wasn’t even beginning to loosen them up. I started going through every hamstring stretch I knew…as sweat is pouring from my body. And then it hit me. It’s 85% humidity right now. I didn’t drink nearly enough water yesterday, let alone this morning and I sure as hell sweat most of it out in my first 3 miles….

I stretched and started my walk home. I figured I would be fine if I could somehow lengthen the muscle and get it to unknot. Jog. Stop. Stretch. Walk. Jog. Stop. Stretch. Walk…By the time I was a .75 mile away from my car, I jogged and told myself I could make it, I’d be fine and the faster I got to my car the faster I could hydrate and ice.

I made it to my car and inhaled 40 ounces of water like it was nothing. And my body wasn’t full. Then and there I realized despite all the warning signs to slow down and take care of myself all week hadn’t worked. Then I realized that eating one solid meal a day for the past week hadn’t worked. Then I realized forcing myself into a day off hadn’t worked. And then I realized how my head has been a bit more of a mess than I thought lately.

What’s the point of telling you all this? All morning I had been so proud of the “baby abs” I am starting to sprout. And how lean, but strong, my legs are looking. And how I did 5 pull-ups without assistance this week on a week I was sick. And how I felt like my core has been tightening. And my boobs might be shrinking. And my shoulders are looking stronger. And how I hadn’t over indulged at all all week. These are all the things I was so proud of. And yet my body was screaming at me.

I had a conversation with my sister the other day explaining to her how I hadn’t had anything pumpkin yet because of how many carbs and sugars are in everything. I love pumpkin. I love fall flavors. She said “I don’t care about carbs.” Is it bad that somedays, for some moments, I wish I didn’t either. I wish I could eat that brownie without feeling guilt. With remembering that life is a balance. I wish I could remember the last time I had a sandwich, with bread. I wish I knew the last time I had ice cream that didn’t have sugar alcohols in them. The only pumpkin items I’ve had have been sugar free. I swear I wasn’t like this a year ago. But I also swear I didn’t have “baby abs” a year ago too.

It’s frustrating. There are many days my head obsesses over what I will eat, when, where, what happens if I go out, what if I want to drink and no one has sugar free mixers, what if there is only beer and I don’t want all the carbs, what if we order pizza and that’s all there is to eat, and more importantly, what if i DO eat a cupcake or cookie or brownie?!…these are things that constantly rotate in my head. And then the next day it’s all about how many miles do I need to run to fix that mistake I made by eating that brownie, and is that going to be a hard enough or long enough workout, and how do I get my cardio in if I can’t run, and how many miles can I run after work, or should I hike, or maybe a trail run or HIIT sprints might be good, but I can’t tonight how will I fit that in if I have an obligation at 6pm. It’s exhausting.

While I know I wouldn’t be happier where I was 60+ pounds ago, somedays I wish my inner fat kid could just take over without my inner fit fanatic always being present. And the thing is, I know I need to find the balance, and I know that takes work. It doesn’t just happen one day. I need to practice it. One cookie won’t ruin a workout. One brownie won’t ruin a month of hard work. Run because you love to run, because you love the time alone and you love the sweat. Not because you ate pizza last night. Or had a beer. Or three. Hit the gym because that’s your version of therapy. And you love growing new muscles and being strong and looking strong. Not because you need to punish yourself for a day or two off. Or for not eating clean the day before.

Time to work on letting go a little because truth is…

Life is a mother fucking balance.

xx

sample story. 1st draft.

As a single 30-something living in a college town in the Fall, Friday night plans can either entail avoiding the 21-year-old-crowds Downtown before midnight, catching up with some friends while enjoying some wine at home, or maybe catching a local show at one of your favorite breweries. I’m not going to lie, on this particular Friday by 5pm I was ready for a hot date with my couch, a bottle of Pinot and Netflix, however I had agreed to entertain the idea of a couple beers and some live music at Bang the Drum.

I’ve been to Bang the Drum several times over the two years they’ve been in SLO whether for a beer with friends, a pub run or even to watch several of my talented friends perform; I love that spot — great vibes, a cozy patio that feels just hip enough that I don’t need to go to Urban Outfitters to buy a trendy new outfit to fit in, and always full of fun, friendly people. This Friday was no exception. While beer isn’t always my drink of choice, I’m a fan of their King Mate (Yerba Mate inspired) IPA and I know several friends who swear by their bourbon-barreled southern-inspired beer. What initially drew my friend and I to BTD that night was Dan Curcio. Both my friend and I had recently had an amazing time at the G. Love concert where Dan opened. I’ve been a big fan of Dan’s for years. Upon moving to SLO 3 and a half years ago, I was often lectured about the amazingness of Stilltime and quickly became a fan. So when I was at an event later and “discovered” this band that sounded just like Stilltime, I claimed Moonshiner Collective as one of my favorite local bands (obviously, since I could brag that I discovered them!). And of course, living in a small town, I quickly realized how many of my friends not only know but also appreciate Dan’s music (solo or otherwise). So after clicking interested in the Facebook event with The Suitcase Junket and Dan Curcio at work on Friday afternoon, I instantly began to find and listen to as much of this “suitcase” music as I could.

I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a music snob, but it is kind of my thing. I went to Coachella before people knew where or what Coachella even was. I toured around the country following a popular jam-band around for years. I often drive 90 minutes south for a legit concert or show whether it’s at the Santa Barbara Bowl or a tiny club on State Street. So after a listening to a few songs from The Suitcase Junket on YouTube, I was hooked and texted my friend, “OK, I’m in, let’s go — this other guy is going to be good!”

Dan set the stage perfectly for what was to follow. Through his set, I watched Matt Lorenz (or, the one man show known as, The Suitcase Junket). His fro of curly hair bopping along to Dan’s rhythm and vibing off the beer, the crowd and the tunes. Every so often, he’d begin scribbling in a notebook. Maybe it was inspiration or notes, words that sounded right together or possibly even a grocery list for his drive up to Hardly Strictly — either way, it was awesome to watch an artist dial into another artist’s music and enjoy the local scene. Dan finished his set and humbly thanked Matt for beginning to help him out with some “foot pedal stuff,” which he promised was sure to blow our mind during his set. At this point, the man sitting next to me began gabbing about the shenanigans I was about to see from this so-called Suitcase Junket. I’m not sure I believed him, but politely smiled and sounded stoked on the idea of it all.

Nope, he wasn’t kidding. The mustached and bearded man adorned in flannel, stripes and polka dots took the stage, played a note and everyone was mesmerized. His powerful sound echoed through the brewery and captivated us all. After a couple songs in, Matt Lorenz introduced his “band” and explained the funkiness of it all. How the front of his right foot plays an instrument he created, while the back plays a different one, same on the left side, and yes, said instruments consist of pieces such as a suitcase as well as a baby shoe hitting a pan, just what you’d expect from a standard 5-piece band right?! And then there was that whistle-sound he made, which he explained took him 5 years to master, but oh did he master it by creatively moving his tongue around in his mouth and coming up with an insane sound all his own. Oh wait, and did I mention his guitar came from a dumpster? Long story short, knowing this man was on his way up to one of the biggest Bluegrass Festivals of the year made it so much more of a treat as everyone was on the same page — this guy was not only insanely talented, but he makes amazing music that gets you tapping your foot, swaying and straight up ready to boogie down.

Once we were hooked and didn’t want his set to end, the man unplugs, stands in front of the crowd and serenades us with his amazing voice, ironic lyrics and squeezes beauty out of the once trashed guitar. I don’t know if it was the combination of it all — seeing a man make beautiful things out of the ordinary (or what some would even consider trash), or maybe his lyrics which literally spoke true to us, or the fact that this guy not only played and sang with passion to draw us in, but had the personality to pull it all off. While no one wanted the music to end, it was clear everyone wanted to grab a beer with this dude and chat his ear off for hours.

We left Bang the Drum stoked on the discovery of new music and we agreed we just witnessed an artist that undoubtedly will ‘make it.’ However in two years from now we probably will have to shell out $65 to sit a mile from the stage and enjoy his music instead of the $12 we spent that night to literally be 10-feet from this talented artist. Between you and me, I was slightly inclined to stay in the car and drive up to the Golden Gate Park, find what time and stage the Suitcase Junket would be playing and enjoy 3 days loaded with tunes at Hardly Strictly.

To wrap things up, if you live in SLO and don’t know Dan Curcio’s music, do yourself a favor and catch him live, I promise you will be hooked! Bang the Drum always provides a perfect backdrop for a low key Friday evening. And if you are a fan of soul, rock, blues, and/or all things creative then you will love The Suitcase Junket…just trust me on this one.