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Vision Boards May Be A Window to the Subconscious

Over the weekend, I sat down with a friend. We had wine, we caught up and we made vision boards.

My friend had already started one and it seemed like she could never finish it, and well, it was time for me to make a new one.

Hers was filled with images and words dealing with marriage and babies.

Mine said absolutely nothing about marriage or babies, or rings or wedding dresses. My board seemed to be more about self-esteem, encouragement, fitness, travel and me starting grad school next month. I did mention love and faith and spirituality, but nope. Nothing concrete about relationships. Which is odd, because it’s a prevailing thought in my mind, day in and day out.

So once we pointed out those differences in our boards, I went back to my house that night thinking, dang, I want love. So what’s up with that? Maybe I should be MORE specific.

Maybe I should devote a vision board strictly to love and relationships.

So Sunday, I put on some music, broke out the art supplies and old magazines and I got to work.

The border of my vision board, I wrote all kinds of words that I think are crucial to a happy, healthy, mutually beneficial relationship.

It seemed like I focused on the concepts of partnership, trust, honesty, courage, friendship, having fun together, traveling, trying new things, passion, respect.

I finished my very nice-looking board, and once again. No marriage, no mention of the m-word. No babies. I only used the words family and home. I cut out no photos of brides or babies or dresses or rings or flowers.

I did cut out a photo of a man and woman kissing and the woman was wearing a ring. The only other images I cut out were of a couple relaxing and sleeping together cuddled up in a hammock and another couple on a beautiful island, having a special, romantic dinner.

So after I finished, I looked at this board again surprised at my choices.

I don’t think it was conscious. I strictly wrote down things I felt, things that were most important to me and I cut out words and images that spoke to me, so that’s what made this exercise even more eye-opening.

What can I take away from this?

Do I want to be married? Ever?

Yes, I think I do eventually, but not now. I clearly need to feel completely secure in my next relationship and my focus is on building, building, building, feeling safe, feeling loved, feeling appreciated. I put down all of the things I knew I needed. And maybe in the past I hadn’t taken the time to really, really delve into the things I needed. I just hoped the person I was with could give me those things whether they could or couldn’t and I went along with the program. Maybe in the past I didn’t know all of the things I really needed.

Do I want kids? Ever?

If you’ve read my blog, you know I’m on the fence about having children. So it’s still a big question mark.

I’ve been telling a lot of my friends about the vision boards, and they’ve all been very interested and asking me how to do it. So here we go. There’s a number of ways you can go about it.

When I was working on my tee-shirt company and preparing for the GRE those were goal-specific.

I put down goals, and even deadlines for those goals. And I’d cross things I completed off. I’d paste words and pictures that were related and inspired me.

The boards I made this weekend were general. But I do think that the more specific your board, the more you can analyze it and drill down what you need to do in order to accomplish whatever your vision is. My general board showed me that I really want to be more physically fit, I want to do well in school and I want to travel and I want to be happy and feel good about myself.

The love board showed me a lot about myself and what I expect from a partner, which in turn might be a great thing to share with a guy who may actually have a chance. That board can serve as a reminder if any man I’m dealing with is lacking in certain areas, then I can articulate what I want and need.

So my suggestion is, for whatever kind of board you make, break out old magazines, glue, stickers all of that good stuff. Be relaxed and comfortable and devote some time to it. Don’t rush. I may have worked on my boards for two or three hours. If you don’t finish in one sitting, that’s okay too. I prefer finishing it so I can take a good look at it.

My friend made positive, affirming sentences out of some of the words and phrases she cut out. That’s also a good idea. The point is to pick out things that really stick out to you. I like taking things from magazines because you can’t predetermine what folks put in the magazine. What you see and how you apply it to your vision will be very unique to you and you’ll cut out certain words and certain images because it says something to you that someone else may not see.

So hey, if any of you make a vision board, please let me know how it goes and if you see something in it that you didn’t expect. This was really enlightening and it was a lot of fun and relaxing.

 

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Am I 20 Pounds Away From Mr. Right?

I had a startling thought as a handsome guy on Plenty of Fish straight up told me I wasn’t his type.

The first thought was damn homie.

The second thought was in some kind of way or another, I’ve rejected others just as harshly, despite trying my best to let them down as humanely as possible. I’ve hurt others who didn’t fit into my box and I justified it.

A friend told me online dating is an exercise in the superficial.

He’s right.

But it really made me think about my package and presentation. I think I’m a good-looking person, but in recent years I’ve struggled with my weight. As I get older, and as we use online dating more and more and people focus on photos as a hook, even though I get compliments from men I don’t find attractive, I’m getting fewer compliments from the ones I do.

In my college years and early years in the workforce when I was constantly on the run, I could hardly go anywhere without getting some attention. Now, it’s almost like I’m invisible.

I told a friend that I’d be really pissed if I drop a few pounds all of a sudden the wall will lift, the levees will break and here come the men. That would upset me deeply, because inside, I’d still have the same sense of humor, the same passion, the same smarts, accomplishments, same eyes.

Let’s get it right. I don’t want to lose weight for what I think may be a better pick of men who would be attracted to me. I do want to lose weight to look better, feel better and boost my confidence and wear what the hell I want without having to think twice about my stomach or thighs.

I’ve noticed I don’t take a lot of photos of myself these days, because I feel like most of them are unflattering. It’s interesting to see how things connect.

I’m hoping that going back to grad school will also help me lose weight from stress and just being busy and having to really compartmentalize my schedule and force me to prioritize. Isn’t that terrible?

But just like going back to school and not wanting to take the GRE but having to do it anyway, that example reminds me of getting back on a better fitness and eating regimen. I don’t want to do it, but I have to do it and I have to be consistent to get the things I want.

I think about how I used to be and how I fought for things.

There was a certain point in time I’d either get comfortable or tired and I stopped fighting. Then came the weight, then came the lower self-esteem. Then came the not taking care of myself and finding it easier to do nothing than to fight off that urge to do nothing and do something.

My life is on me. Period. What’s on the outside does count. What I’m doing to feel good and feel productive matters.

Good Things Come to Those Who WORK!

I’m pumped up today.

Not just because it’s Thursday and there’s a new Scandal coming on T.V. tonight.

I’m in great spirits because I had a great, challenging workout with my blog world-turned-real world friend.

She is a hard worker in the gym and in life and I totally respect that.

I was thinking in general of how I have really hard-working friends who inspire me, just off of their ability to set their minds to doing something and just doing it.

2013, I’ve decided is the year of “doing something.”

Sometimes, just doing something can be awfully hard to do, especially if you’ve failed before, or are in a funk, or diagnosed as depressed. As I always say, “Mental health is real.” You can quote me.

I have one dear friend who is unemployed.

She job hunts as if it is her job. Job hunting IS her job right now. Nine-to-five, everyday she is sending out resumes, revising her resume, custom tailoring-cover letters. I’ve seen her do it. She is constantly trying to figure out new ways to stand out and connect to the types of jobs she wants.

By happenstance, I recommended to her that maybe she should look into a condensed version of a particular program that may help her chances.

Not only did this friend find an online certificate program, she started it the same day and hardly a week later, she’s on her way to completing it and will add it to her resume.

Now, I don’t know if my hard-working friends work so hard out of fear, or an intense hunger or necessity, or because they are innately this way, or if it is a combination of all of the above, but it’s inspirational to me regardless.

The other friend, who is a killer in the gym–can’t state this enough– worked hard and lost a significant amount of weight. She doesn’t only inspire people by working hard and being an example, she helps others too. She smiles and cheers people on in classes, she gives them high-fives and her energy is contagious. When she jumps higher, others will follow and instead of grunt, they’ll smile. I’ve seen it with my own eyes.

I do hope that one day she creates some major fitness franchise. She’s off to a great start with her Facebook fitness group, where she shares tips on eating and exercise along with inspirational sayings with an emphasis on Bible scripture. I honestly think she should get with Heather Lindsay and do a health and fitness workshop at her next Pinky Promise convention. 2014! Do it, girl… I know you’re reading. 🙂

I often mention how my friends inspire me to be a better person. They each have talents and gifts that are unique to them, and I’m thankful I can see it and try to apply my own variation of it to my life and if I get off track, I have their example to show me how it’s done.

My unemployed friend is going to get a job, and a great one, because she’s working on it. Day after day. It has to happen, because you can’t put that much energy out there and not get a return.

My fitness diva friend is going to accomplish whatever goal she is seeking in the fitness world, professionally, and in her spiritual walk, because she works at all of those things, EVERYDAY.

These chicks taught me in a very real way that you can’t let up. You have to do something toward whatever your goal is EVERY DAY.

EVERY FRIGGIN DAY.

Because I’m tired of looking at all the extra I have around my waist and thighs, I’m going to do something EVERYDAY. It also did not help that one of my friends posted an uber sexy photo of me from South Beach in a bikini from 2003 recently, for “throwback Thursday.”

When I think about negative eating, and not working out, and gaining 30 pounds, I was great at it. Why? Because I was doing it EVERYDAY.

There were some days where I almost ate McDonald’s everyday, and maybe even twice a day.

Sweet tea? Always.

TV on the couch as soon as I got home from work? I had to watch my hour of Divorce Court to unwind!

EVERYDAY.

Missing breakfast?

I would do that EVERYDAY.

So from the way I see it, it takes a certain level of commitment, even if subconsciously, to even do negative things EVERYDAY.

Let’s take smokers shivering outside in the winter for example.

COMMITMENT.

Eating an entire pizza by yourself. (Which I have done) Couldn’t just stop at three slices. Oh no.

COMMITMENT.

Killing a family sized bag of chips during a one hour t.v. drama. Just not satisfied until it’s all gone.

COMMITMENT.

Staying in bed an extra hour instead of getting up to work out in the morning.

That takes commitment. It does.

Hell, I’m about to make a list of all of the negative things I have been committing myself to and next to it, I’m going to put a positive thing that I’m going to replace that habit with. At least five. I’m almost kinda perfect as you all know, but I think I can come up with five.

I think that I want to do all of the positive things for just one week to start and see how my life changes. Let me know if you try it out too! I’d love to hear your thoughts and feed back, especially if good things started to “magically” happen during or after your week.

WORK.

Because I am ridiculous and silly and an 80s baby, I bring you, Hot Sundae, from Saved By the Bell. Hmmm. I’m listening to the words. This song ain’t got a damn to do with working out. The hook ain’t got a damn to do with the rest of the song either… Enjoy anyway.

Never Satisfied

There are loads upon loads of things on my mind.

First, exercise, weight-loss and food. Lately, all I can think about is my weight, wanting to lose weight, and will I finally get a flat stomach again, and fit into my size 8 pants comfortably?

The answer to that last question is yes. Probably two months from now if I keep going the way I have been.

In comparison to other fitness kicks I’ve been on, I have been pretty consistent for almost two weeks,  doing some kind of physical activity in the morning and a few times a week, adding a physical activity in the evening.

I have been watching what I eat very carefully, and been mainly on a pescatarian diet. Today, I finally did introduce a small sausage and egg white wrap into my diet. I was a bit disappointed, but I needed protein and a good friend told me it was unrealistic to cut out meat altogether. As soon as I start to eat meat again, the weight will in fact return. So, now I’m aiming for common sense and moderation. And I’m going to have to stay away from fast food, period, point-blank.

The other thing on my mind has been my pseudo-non-relationship, relationship.

A few weeks ago, I was in quite the funk. I was in my shut down mode, so New Guy was getting agitated that my phone conversations weren’t very long and not as fun or engaging per the usual.

He said the best solution to the problem was for me to just call him and that he wouldn’t call me any longer, because he can’t anticipate when I’m going to be in a bad mood. He also said he didn’t want to pull teeth to have a discussion.

Issue one. He likes to call me when I’m working.

Issue two. As a veteran, long-distance relationship person, I understand that everyday phone convos are the life blood of the relationship.

He lives 40 mins away. Take me out during the week. And I don’t want to have to come up with ideas all of the time.

And when I did say in a text, “Gee, I’d love to blow off some steam, how about we go to Dave and Busters?” I get no real response on when to go.

After a few annoying and difficult conversations, we managed to go see a movie Sunday night, and we had a nice time. But the problem with relationships with no label is, neither party feels obligated to really pull for the relationship you both claim you are taking your time to head to and make sure it’s right.

I’m starting to believe that’s gar-baughe.

I already feel like we each have one foot out of the door.

He doesn’t want to be in a relationship right now because of his baggage.

I’m not rushing to be in a relationship right now because of my baggage, but for whatever it is we’re doing, I don’t want to be the one making sacrifices, or going the extra mile for someone who is waiting for the right time to decide they want to make sacrifices or go the extra mile for me, because that’s what people in relationships do.

Part of me feels like this situation is naturally headed into platonic friends territory, which would be fine by me. I’ve chased men, men have chased me. There has been intense mutual wanting to be in the oppostite person’s world, but this situation has become, meh.

So what am I doing folks?

It seems that if this nebulous situation continues, I may soon be discussing dating other people. Maybe I should have kept dating other people anyway to begin with.

To be frank, I don’t feel like I’m being courted, bad mood aside.

He wants to kiss me and do public displays of affection, but he’s completely shut down the courting. The same guy who brought me flowers for a lunch date at Panera a month ago, won’t take me to Dave and Buster’s when I clearly stated, I’m having a suckie time right now and maybe playing a little air hockey with you will brighten my day.

The one thing that saved him was the fact that he said it bothered him that I had been so down lately and that basically he really wanted to talk to me so he could make me smile and make me feel better and keep my mind off of the things bothering me.

From that exchange, I realized that I have higher expectations from local men than I do long distance. I need the face time, I need to be taken out and treated. I need hugs and snuggles and tickles and kisses. I need for the person in my life to take charge and if they see I’m down, they call me, then show up at my door and say hey woman, let’s go play indoor mini golf, or let’s see this show, or let me cook you dinner or bring my favorite food with a dvd or bottle of wine I’d like. Or I got nosebleed seats to our terrible basketball team. Let’s just get you happy.

I know one shouldn’t compare people, or situations. But we do naturally.

Am I high maintenance? For a local guy, I just might be. For a long distance guy, I’m probably not. Do I need to give local men a break?

Am I crazy? Or do I have some commitment issues myself?

For some reason, this old, old school song came to mind. It appears as of late, I’m “Never Satisfied.”  LOL. Please enjoy. Where are these chicks now??? Ahh, before there was Envyi of K.P. and Envyi–and even before them, Teena Marie (RIP)– there was Good 2 Go. These chicks were like the white TLC. God bless em! They jammed!

Tips to Get Non-Morning People Up for Morning Workouts

Hey, hey folks.

I’m so not a morning person. Ask anyone who has had the pleasure of trying to wake me up.

I’m always about that 10 more minutes life, that usually extend to 25. I do not want to move until I feel like it. Period.

But now that I’m trying to be a better me, and I can’t wait to have a super hot body so I can just feel good about walking around my house in shorts and a sports bra again, it’s time to get it in gear.

Interestingly enough, non-morning people will probably benefit the most from getting up early enough to get a workout in.

This is what I’ve learned from this last week, where I successfully got up, every morning, no matter how hard it was and got in at least about 30 mins of exercise, if not an hour.

1. If you always need 10 more minutes, then set your alarm 10 minutes earlier than you need to get up. You will trick yourself into believing you beat the system.

2. Turn on every light in every room. This will wake you up. I can navigate my house in the middle of the night in the dark and even with my eyes closed. So if you think you can get to the living room and turn on the t.v. and get that DVD player going, and not be in sleepy mode, without turning on a light to get there– you are kidding yourself. Turn on those lights.  All of the lights!

3. Make your bed. I read from another blogger that no matter what, she learned to make her bed right away. A loved one told her once how could she expect to get anything done in her day if she couldn’t get that basic thing right to start off. And making your bed basically lets you know, you can’t go back in it. There’s no turning back, handle business.

4. Keep your workout clothes for the morning out “where your hands can see. ” You don’t want to waste time. You want to be able to get your workout in without feeling rushed and be able to eat breakfast to get your metabolism going, and be able to shower and get out the door to go to work or in time to power up and set up shop for all you folks who work from home. Scrounging around for clothes is just going to waste more time and irritate you further, and you want to devote your energy to getting your workout in.

5. Brush your teeth. You just don’t want the yukmouth thing going on and all those funky tastes, and it also helps wake you up.

6. My personal preference for A.M. workouts are anything that involves cardio. I want to be jumping up and down, I want to be moving. The only non-cardio thing that I don’t mind doing is Pilates with my reformer bar or yoga, because of the stretching. I think good stretching also helps wake up the body.  One day last week, I made the mistake of starting my day with an ab dvd. It was a great workout, but my heart wasn’t in it, because I didn’t get moving enough. GOT TO MOVE IT IN THE MORNING.

I love this song… and if this doesn’t make you want to move and go get whatever it is you are trying to get in life, someone needs to check your pulse. Go Melanie!

Talking About Progress, People

Alrighty, so after my post about making promises to your self, even if it’s day-by-day, or week-by-week, I was asked to write about my progress.

This week taught me that you must have daily goals and you’ll feel better that you accomplished SOMETHING.

This week also taught me that if you don’t do every single thing you set out to do, as long as you accomplished something everyday, you are not a complete loser.

Mission one was to do an exercise in the morning and in the evening, everyday.

Ok. I did that on Monday. The other days, no dice. I started my period and things went to hell. But I did make sure, come hell or high water I have my morning workout.

Mission two was to be vegetarian all week to help jump-start the weight loss along with the everyday exercise.

Welp, I went pescetarian because I just needed more, um substance in my life and I was looking for good vegetarian recipes, but I wasn’t really inspired. Fish is my friend. In terms of food, I think I did really well this week with food choices. My snacks consisted of apples, baked Pepperidge Farms crackers and 80 calorie cheese sticks.

I said I was going to drink just water all week. Well, I went to the grocery store, so I picked up Tropicana 50 juice, almond milk and some orange juice, all low in calories. The majority of liquid I’m consuming is water, but I will have an ocassional glass of the low-calorie juices or the milk. All still good in my book.

So while I made some amendments to the promises, the point of training myself to live healthier daily is still prominent. I’m proud of myself. Especially today.

I’ve been bloated and angry, and this morning it was a struggle. For starters, things went wrong with my workout because I didn’t get up on time, so I felt rushed, and now I’ve learned in order to wake myself up morning workouts gotta be some form of cardio that gets me moving or some kind of yoga that allows me to do a lot of stretching.

No strength training, no abs (billy’s ab bootcamp workout is the truth!). So, even though I felt like today was a fail and I really wasn’t energetic or giving it my all, I pushed through. And I also realized what I needed to do to have an effective morning workout that would make me feel good about myself for the rest of the day. So it wasn’t a total loss although I was disappointed in my energy level and that I couldn’t lift it.

I learned an important lesson about myself.

Taking action on my fitness and eating has prompted me to take action in other ways.

I started looking for a new place and I found one that is bigger and more awesome at a price I’d be willing to pay, for a bigger spot. Now, pulling the trigger is something else, altogether.

I stopped waiting for that dream job to call me back and broke the promise I made to not apply for anything else until I heard a yes or no.

I saw two jobs I think I’d really like, (one of which would be totally different from what I do, and would be associated with a fantastic cause) and I went ahead and applied for them. There is no point in me just waiting and waiting and torturing myself. Would I like the “dream job”? Sure, but all of this inactive waiting is making me feel like I’m just standing still. And what’s today’s lesson?

Everyday, DO SOMETHING. ACCOMPLISH SOMETHING.

So by just sending out those apps two nights in a row, I felt better.

I did something. I took an action for my life.

For four days in a row, I exercised. I took an action.

Because I was tired of waiting on the dream job, I emailed the receptionist, with whom I believe I built a lovely rapport. I asked her if she heard anything. She told me there has not been an announcement about the position being filled just yet. She suggested I call the person I interviewed with to follow-up.  I may do that tomorrow.

From this, I deduce that either they are about to fill it, they’ve selected someone and the info just hasn’t gone public yet.

Or,

They haven’t filled it yet and they are still trying to figure it out.

Either way, all is not lost, just yet.

So that information still managed to be useful.

I took an action. I’ve been very cautious to not over kill on sending follow-up emails or phone calls, but I think I didn’t overstep my bounds in this instance.

So today’s point again is there is no progress without action. You have to take a step, you have to just do something. It may be painful, it may be risky, scary, uncomfortable, but doing something and knowing you put forth an effort does make you feel better and feel alive.

Even the King sang about action…

Making A Promise Week, By Week

This morning I got up and I did a Zumba DVD.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a morning person.

In my opinion, I don’t like speaking in full sentences until after 10 a.m. and no one should even be mad at that. The world should just accept it.

After eating like a stupid person the past couple of weeks, the scale has not been kind.

It’s been pretty mean.

So mean, that I’m officially the most I’ve ever weighed in life and it was a ridiculous wake up call.

I’ve had wake up calls before, but last night I prayed to God to remove the spirit of laziness and to please let me get up in the morning without a whole lot of moaning and groaning and ignoring, and at least do one 20 min Zumba rush DVD.

I got up and I did it. Then I made one egg for breakfast. I’m bad about eating breakfast.

I also decided to make another promise to myself and say another prayer to not be lazy and to not get discouraged quickly.

For one week, the only liquid I want to drink is water. Not even diet Snapple. Just water.

For one week, I want to go vegetarian. No meat. I may keep fish on the menu, but generally, I think I’d like to go straight veggie for just this one week.

The next promise I made to myself for just this one week, is to do two-a-days of exercise. One quick exercise in the morning, like the 20 min rush, or a yoga dvd or my new pilates reformer bar and then a more hard-core workout video when I get home from work in the evening for one hour.

Then I found myself deciding that I’d like to lose 30 pounds by April, and if I do, I get to take myself on a vacation somewhere awesome.

Do I want to join a gym? Eventually. But I’d rather wait until March when the rush dies down. I refuse to join a gym in January. It’s the worst. And I’d like to see if I can push myself at home. I have too many different types of dvds and I would get bored with them. I actually think I can create my own program by just mixing them all up so I don’t get bored with trying to stick with one plan. I just want to move.

I am also strongly considering buying a jump rope to use at work in one of the stair wells for a ten minute break.

I don’t have a husband, I don’t have kids. Nothing is consuming my time to the point where I shouldn’t be able to take an hour to exercise. But it’s so hard to make up your mind, shut yourself up and just do it.

There is a quote from Mark Twain that I really like and have spent the last few years trying to really apply to my life, but I get lazy.

“Do something everyday that you don’t want to do. This is  the golden rule for acquiring the habit of doing your duty without pain.”

So whoop there it is.

This is one song that pumps me up in my ipod for working out. It’s called “You Can Do It.” No Doubt. Yes, this is old school.

My Very First 5K!!!: A Retrospective

I’ve been wanting to write this post. But I’ve wanted to sort my thoughts and give you something great. So here we go.

I ran my very first 5K this past weekend and it was awesome. And for a first 5k, I couldn’t have picked a better one.

It’s called the Glo Run, and they do it at a number of large cities in the U.S.

I think it was a great race for beginners because:

1. It’s not timed.

2. It feels more like a party than anything else. There were dj’s at various points of the race. So people partied at the beginning, during and at the end. At the turnaround point, some folks stopped to do the wobble. It was pretty darn cool.

3. You can run, you can jog, you can walk, or dance.

So, even though I was nervous, I felt a lot better seeing all kinds of people-ages, races, shapes and sizes, participating. You should have seen all of the people lighting up the night in their glo gear! It was pretty darn awesome.

The event was held at the lovely National Harbor, a man-made mini metropolis filled with hotels, restaurants, shops and expensive condos, with an exceptional view of I’m guessing that’s the Potomac. It’s the go-to date spot for folks in the DC/Maryland/VA area. No one is going to say no to an evening at National Harbor.

The night was perfect. It wasn’t cold, it wasn’t hot. I wore shorts, but I put my race shirt over my Howard sweatshirt (had to rep).

The woman who originally said she’d do the race with me and had to bail, did show up with her daughter to cheer me on, and even baked me some amazing red velvet cupcakes (half a dozen, not a few, after all I was doing something healthy, she said).

So, being new to this I went to the back of the massive line. The front part was for the “real” runners. More on them in just a bit.

So yes, I was with the slower runners and walkers, which was fine by me. I refused to kill myself and I made sure to pace myself and just get a nice trot going.

So we get out of the gate, maybe five minutes into the race. We are still in the heart of the touristy areas with the shops and things and volunteers are warning our herd to stay to the right.

Then, out of no where, here they come. The professional runners. Yup. Keep in mind there were hundreds of people running in this thing. I’m sure there were a good 1200 folks. So it took some time to get everyone to start so they took batches of folks. Once again, I was toward the back.

We were warned to stay to the right because these folks, who must have been six-minute milers are trotting on like it’s nothing.

SIDENOTE: There’s a cool program called Couch to 5k. They have a bunch of followers on Facebook and a bunch of people sharing videos about their progress. It’s pretty reasonable and here’s the link to the website! http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_3/181.shtml

The folks in my group began to say, “hey, isn’t he going the wrong way?” And then it hit me, and it hit other folks, who responded, “Nope. He’s about to finish. He’s already made it to the turn around point and he’s come back.”

Everyone in the slow group started laughing, myself included. We marveled at the folks we started seeing in greater numbers already racing toward the finish line. 3 miles in less than 20 minutes. That’s just amazing. I’m no hater.

But, the one thing I did hate.

I understand we are a society of documentarians. We love to update stati, take pics, instagram and the like, but I nearly tripped over people six times, who abruptly stopped to document that they were actually participating in the race.

This was annoying as hell. You came to participate. Take your pics at the finish line. Like seriously. At mile one, all of a sudden there were just groups of people, stopping, posing and asking volunteers to capture the moment.

I kind of took this seriously, because I wanted to challenge myself. But, I did have to remind myself that I wasn’t crazy enough to go with the serious runners, so this is what I had to contend with.

Folks showed up with crazy colored lights on, costumes, tutus. Two guys ran dressed like Chippendale’s dancers. No shirt, a tie and black pants. Hellllo handsomes!

One heavy-set, jovial, bespectacled man said something really cute as the professional runners flew past us in the opposite direction as we were somewhere around mile 2. He said, “Now see, that’s a shame. It’s a beautiful night. They are just rushing through this. I mean, look at the atmosphere, and all of the nice, interesting people to talk to along the way. Those folks, really. They’re missing out.”

I have to admit, there were moments that really pumped me up. Getting to the first tent (there were about two tents, one with strobe lights which made me dizzy and another with other types of less seizure-inducing lights), getting to the turn around point was huge and then getting back to the area with the shops because I knew it was close. It felt like running through an olympic village. Racers who already finished were cheering us on, saying, “You’re almost there!” Little children stuck out their hands to give out high fives. They really energized me!

As I got closer to the finish line I felt myself getting faster, I had a huge smile on my face. I did it!!! I did it!!!

Oh the joy! Oh the euphoria!!!

Well, once I stopped moving to thank my cheerleaders, when it was time to start walking again…that’s when the pain came.

I could barely walk.

I tried to stop and stretch. That walk to the parking garage was the longest.

When I tried to pay at the machine in the garage waiting in line, I began to get dizzy and nauseous.

No bueno.

It was harder and harder to walk, lift my legs. Pain was shooting all up and down my calves and ankles.

So I stood by the garbage can near the elevators. I stood hunched over, as people do after exerting a lot of energy.

I just opened my car door and sat with my legs out. I waited for a while.

I drunk the bottle of Gatorade I had waiting for me.

Waited some more, and lifted my legs into the car.

By the time I got home, I really had to coach myself out loud the whole way out of the car and into my house. I have another appreciation for people who are disabled and that kind of pain is everyday or they have very limited use of their limbs or struggle. When your body says it’s done, it’s done. There isn’t much you can do. It’s a wild feeling. You aren’t in control. You just have to push through it, but, you are not really in control you got to ride it out.

I ended the evening with an Epsom salt bath, which my friends is a miracle salve. WOW.

I felt a whole lot better and I could actually move.

I went to bed thinking to myself, I don’t care. I did it. I ran/jogged/walked for three miles in about an hour and 10 minutes. I wasn’t last, I didn’t give up.

Now it’s time to figure out the next race! I really enjoyed it.

The Honda CRV commercial, perfectly illustrates my walk back to the car.

Confession Wednesday: I Kinda Like Planning Parties and Butterflies?

Hey folks.

What a week. I ran my first 5k ever, I seem to have lost 5 pounds, might have met someone who makes me feel all fuzzy, like may have the potential to put some fertilizer around my Grinch heart to make it grow again, and there was Hurricane Sandy.


GIFSoup

Oh boy.

I’ve been itchin to write the 5k post, but I need to take my time on that one, because I have some interesting thoughts and feelings on the whole experience, and this post may rival the infamous first Zumba class post that I wrote that actually led to me being Freshly Pressed, which still amazes me.

Even if I don’t get the same kind of love, I just want it to be good, because it was a great moment for me, and I can’t find the video clip of this car commercial that features audio texts that a woman gets after she ran a marathon and was limping back to her car. And I need that clip to really illustrate how crazy I was looking after the race when the adrenaline left the building.

So back to the confessions.

A good, good friend who I admire and love, her birthday is today. Halloween.

Since she’s taking her little one trick or treating, she has expressed that she’d rather celebrate over the weekend with a little get together at my home featuring our favorite “bad” movies and a little food and some sweets.

I’m all about it.

I instantly started looking up recipes for appetizers and have been in plan mode. It’s easy to get this way because, I love this person, but more and more I think I’m starting to realize that I do enjoy hosting and making sure folks have a damn good time.

I don’t do it often.

I don’t.

But when I do, I’m serious about it. And there is something about Fall and Halloween that make certain intimate gatherings even more fun and more intimate and you can have foods and drinks that warm you up and there’s just something about the hearth and home feeling you get. I really love Thanksgiving too. I secretly enjoy cooking when I don’t feel rushed and feeding people and having people like what I make. Oh so there’s another confession.

I have a feeling I’ll be shopping for goodies and surprises for my friend even though she said, not to make a big fuss.

So, she reads this blog.

Hunny, I’m going to go to the Dollar Store (the place where I go to stock up for all of my parties).  So see? No trouble at all!

Next confession.

This came out of no where as it often does.

I’m crushing on someone.

He’s younger. I’m usually anti younger, but he’s 28, that doesn’t count. Two years, ok. I can work with it.

The online wasteland actually coughed up something of interest.

He sends texts, but wait!

He actually calls, like we have conversations. Last night we talked from 9 p.m. til about 12:30 a.m. He even said, “Take your butt to bed, we gotta go to work tomorrow, but I don’t want to get off the phone.”

To which I replied, “Awww. I feel special.” I started singing that reggae song, “I’m so special.” I could feel him shaking his head through the phone as he kept saying, “Really?” “Really?”

I spared him from me doing this….

We have interesting conversations and we can even crack jokes. He gets my sense of humor and I think he’s pretty funny, which is crucial.

He seems smart, well-adjusted and has gone on enough of his share of bad dates too. We like the same types of music and he grew up in a religious family too.

He’s educated, seems to have a pretty good job, but he doesn’t lead with that.

Lives alone.

I actually like seeing his name in my phone. That’s a super good, good sign.

We have not set up a date yet, although he tried to convince me to ditch working online yesterday (while the rest of the east coast was off work, ahem) to join him at IHOP. Oh, I was tempted.

But I look forward to whenever we do actually hang out. I’m really hoping the chemistry is just as good in person.

This is refreshing, because I just never gave younger guys a chance. I did once, last year, he was 22. I was being absurd.

I gave him some and he wouldn’t leave me alone. Calling my house all times of night (typical college hours, but not grown employed folk hours).

So, I decided if months ago I could go 17 years older, what in the world is the harm of going two years younger?

I don’t want to get my hopes up. I don’t. But I can’t help but think, something is different about this one, which kind of by default is getting my hopes up.

Down hopes, down.

These are my confessions. Shhh. Don’t tell noooobody.

I leave you with some vintage Floetry. “Butterflies” Live!!!

A Random Rant On Zumba Subs

It’s been awhile since I wrote a Zumba post and a big part of that is I haven’t been in three weeks.

I’ve been running around like a maniac trying to see my friend who has been in the hospital (she’s out now!!) and when not exhausted, hanging out with my older gentleman friend for lovely meals.

Yesterday was my first day back. I was looking forward to it, because I know I always just feel better mentally and physically after class.

Well, I remember we got emails that there was a different schedule with different instructors because the regular instructors were on vacation.

So, yesterday was my first time with one of their subs.

It was a strange experience.

I think the Zumba instructor was good, but I don’t know if I wasn’t feeling her, or just not feeling her routine or I wasn’t receptive to change and of all places, my Zumba sanctuary.

So here was my main beef. The class did not feel challenging at all.

Usually, if I’ve been gone for two weeks, that first class back is hell. I feel it. So that let’s me know right there, we didn’t go in as hard as we could have.

Nope, it all felt rather pedestrian. There were moments I made myself jump higher or squat deeper, because I just wasn’t getting “there.”

Usually Zumba classes are always going to have a hip-hop song, latin song, Caribbean song, sometimes Bollywood and in general high-energy world music (I hate the term world music, but I’m sure you know exactly what I mean).

Usually all of the Zumba instructors follow a formula and always include some standard moves, so no matter who you take it with, if you’ve done it enough, the steps will be familiar and easy to pick up regardless of the song or the instructor.

So fine, the sub was doing all the moves, but she lost me when she played a rock and roll song from the 1950s.

I was irritated. The elderly women, whom I love dearly were doing their thang, but I felt like I was no longer in Zumba, but at Sweatin to the Oldies with Richard Simmons. A good friend actually took a class with the master himself, but she at least was actually sweating. And damn it Richard Simmons is entertaining as all get out.

Not only was I upset at the studio being momentarily transformed into a sock hop, I was further irritated that she swiped moves like the quickstep, which I identified from Dancing With the Stars.

I don’t claim to be a Zumba expert by any means. But I think she was really stretching the line. To me,  Zumba music has to be beat and rhythm driven, primarily with world music. Even when there’s too much popular music, I get a bit annoyed (“Move Like Jagger” is the only pop song I give a pass on).

The other part of the class that always makes me feel odd is often during the hip hop portion. Because I’m young and black, I think people assume I’m going to do those moves well and I feel people watching me.

But the other thing is, now that there are hip hop dance classes, (and the popularity of it growing on shows like So You Think You Can Dance, when it gets to the mainstream and in Zumba classes) sometimes the moves feel watered down to be consumed by the masses, and I sometimes feel goofy doing those too.

While I’m glad that hip hop is being accepted by the formal dance community, I won’t say it’s lost it’s edge, but it kind of feels like WalMart came to town and killed all of my favorite mom and pop stores.

I may have been a grumpy Gus yesterday and not receptive to change. But for all of my Zumba heads out there, have you ever had an instructor get a bit too experimental in terms of the music and their choices made you scratch your head in confusion?

 

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