Saturday, March 31, 2012

When It Hurts

This might surprise some people, but for each good run that I have, when it seems effortless and easy and even fun, I have a crummy one.  One when my legs feel heavy and I'm counting down the seconds and I really believe that time has slowed down just to spite me.

Today was the latter.  For the past two weeks I've been battling a cold and haven't felt motivated to work out.  Today I got on the treadmill thinking I'd run a nice, easy five miles but it was hard.  My chest hurt and my legs felt heavy.  What was normally an easy pace for me felt like a sprint.  Worst of all, when I finally finished, I felt overheated and a little off.  Not at all what I was hoping for.  It did however, provide some nice inspiration for the blog below... my totally unofficial advice on what to do when it hurts during a run.

When You're in the Middle of a Run and You Want to Stop
Before you give up completely, try slowing down or even walking.  You might feel uncomfortable for a minute or two, but that's OK.  A lot of running is becoming OK with feeling a little bit uncomfortable.  Most times if I walk for five minutes or slow down a little bit, I feel OK speeding up again.

When You Get a Cramp
Keep running and change your breathing.  Breathe through your nose and out of your mouth or try inhaling twice for every exhale.  You might feel like you're doing a goofy version of Lamaze, but it does work.  You should be able to go back to breathing normally after a little while.

When You Feel Dizzy
Stop.  Absolutely, positively stop.  Get to shade, get some fluids and take it easy.  Get a ride home if you need one.

When Your Calf/Ankle/Shin/Quad Hurts
First see if you can run through it.  If you need to slow down, go ahead.  If the pain doesn't stop or gets worse, proceed with caution.  A pain could make you change your stride, which could set you up for a serious injury.  When you get home try stretching, icing, or anti-inflammatories to see what helps.  If you have to, take a couple of days off.  If that doesn't help, see a doctor.

When Your Stomach Hurts
For a lot of runners, this is totally normal.  All of the blood that would be used for digestion in your stomach is being pumped out into your arms and legs.  Over time you'll probably learn when your body feels best to run.  Maybe that's an hour after a heavy meal, or maybe that's first thing in the morning before you've even had your coffee.  In the meantime, try to run through it.  If you have to slow down, that's fine.  Any run is better than no run at all, even if you can't cover the distance or hit the time that you were hoping for.

When You Finish a Run and Feel Light Headed
Don't sit down or lie down, even though that is probably all you want to do.  Walk around slowly and catch your breath.  Let your body cool down.  Stretch.  Bend at your waist and rest your hands on your thighs.  Once your heart rate goes down and you start feeling a little better, sip some water.

Happy Running!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Pop of Color

Tonight I ended up at a fashion show for work, which is a little bit out of the ordinary for me.  I love clothes, and have come a long way from the 5 year-old that received a gray velvet dress from my great grandmother for Christmas and threw it on the floor in a full-out temper tantrum.  (Hopefully I have also become a much more gracious receiver of gifts...)  I try not to spend too much money on clothes and when I do shop, I look for sales or stores like TJ Maxx, H&M, and Ann Taylor Loft where every day feels like a sale.

I love clothes.  When I wake up in the morning, I always figure out what I'm going to wear before I get out of bed, which means if a piece of clothing isn't archived in my mental closet, there's a pretty good chance that it will never see the light of day.  Having new clothes makes the whole figuring out what to wear to work saga so much easier--especially when you have a job where work weeks can occasionally be 20-days long and it seems really weird to repeat outfits in that time.

I think I also love clothes because they seem so rife with possibility.  Like somehow I believe that putting on a well-chosen J. Crew suit will make me the put-together, sophisticated business woman that I have always strived to be.  The slouchy hunter green khakis from Gap will look perfect rolled up at the legs and paired with a white oxford shirt as I walk through the waves on a gray afternoon at the beach.  The gorgeous black Christian Louboutins  from Neiman Marcus will be perfect when I am magically invited to dine with Kate Middleton, who will naturally love my shoes and become my new best friend.

Sometimes I wonder how often we're shopping for the life we have, and how often we're shopping for the life we hope to have one day.  When we have exciting places to go, when we lose 5 lbs., when we finally find a way to make skinny jeans look flattering, when we can safely wear clothes without worrying about baby spit up.  Just a thought.

In the meantime, I will leave you with some of the trends that I saw tonight.  I'm sure the first one will horrify my mother.  Goodnight!

Colored Denim

A Pop of Color (Especially through accessories on an otherwise subdued outfit.)

Feminine Details (Frills, ruffles, and polka dots popping out in unexpected places.)

Sky-high heels  (Like these Louboutins.  A girl can dream, right?)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Have you ever felt like you’re totally stuck?  Maybe you’re in a relationship that isn’t quite right, but you love them and don’t know whether someone better exists out there.  Maybe you’re in a career that hasn’t turned out the way you thought it would, but it’s a bad economy and you’re afraid to leave.  Maybe you’re financially stuck dealing with a mortgage or day care bills that keep you from being able to make the choices that you might make otherwise.  Maybe you’re stuck in a routine that is so boring it’s making your eyes glaze over, or in a diet and exercise rut that keeps you from ever really feeling good about yourself.  Perhaps your stuck in the past, reminiscing on the days when things were easier, or dreaming about the future, when things will be so much better because you will (make more money/have lost 10 lbs./have found a spouse/be retired/have won the lottery/found your true calling/be on vacation/have been adopted by Oprah).

Sometimes it seems like the only way that you will ever be happy again is to do something drastic.  To quit your job, sublet your apartment and spend the next 6 months visiting every great breakfast spot on this side of the Mississippi.  To break up with your boyfriend and apply for the next season of The Bachelor with the secret career path plan of hosting your own late night travel TV show.  To send your otherwise charming children away to boarding school so you can have 5 whole minutes to yourself. 

Sadly, for most of us those just aren’t realistic options.  (Or maybe they are and we just don’t have the guts.)  Either way, that doesn’t mean that we are destined to a life of misery until we reach retirement, our kids turn 18, we get a huge payout for inventing a new breakfast cereal, and we have the body of a professional athlete.  Sometimes, one small change can be enough to shift our perspectives and make our otherwise predictable lives seem perfectly wonderful again.  It could be as simple as trying a new class at the gym, or as drastic as planning that trek across Asia that you’ve been talking about since you were a teenager.  Maybe it’s getting up 30 minutes earlier so you can sit and drink your coffee in peace before your kids wake up.  Perhaps it means getting away from your desk at lunch and spending 20 minutes outside.  Maybe it’s going on a real, proper date with your significant other. 

Whatever it might be, give the small change a shot.  It might just be like the first domino tipping over, taking you down a whole new path. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

At The Kitchen Table

The day before I started my first "real" job after college, I had worked myself into a bit of a tizzy.  I was beyond nervous.  I had no idea what to expect and I was terrified that my English major background hadn't done anything to prepare me for my new job in the financial industry.

I went over to my grandparents' house to drop off their weekly supply of orange juice, Swiss Cake Rolls, and Lebanon bologna and sat down next to my grandmother at the kitchen table.

I told her about my concerns.  I was nervous.  I was scared.  I didn't know what to expect.  She looked at me and simply replied, "What are you so afraid of?  They can't shoot you."

Her comment was so disarming that I couldn't help but laugh.  She was right.  Really, what did I have to lose?  

The table still sits in the same spot, flanked by rays of sunshine that come streaming through the windows every morning around 8 a.m.  It has stayed the same, even though both of my grandparents have passed away and Mike and I have taken over their rightful spots at the table.

It's amazing how grief can just sit on your heart.  Your everyday life goes on, but then something really exciting or really awful happens and you find yourself missing those people who always sat in your mental cheering section.  The people who rooted for you unconditionally and understood your heart, even when you didn't, and who knew what to say to you right when you needed it.

Sometimes I still find myself looking for clues in this house.  I want to find reminders of who they were or signs of how they might want me to handle the situations that I'm facing.  I want to be able to sit down at the table again and have my grandmother set me straight. 

For the moment, I guess I'll just have to settle for the memories.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Mixing Up Your Run

When you run a few times a week, it's easy to get bored with your route and routine.  Whether you're outside or on the treadmill, the miles can drag by and it's easy to spend your entire workout thinking about what you're going to do as soon as you're finally finished.

One of the things that helps me stay motivated is switching up my runs.  Hopefully some of the suggestions below can help you to do the same!

1) Musical Inspiration--Pick a time limit, then switch on your iPod.  When a slow song comes on, walk for the length of the song.  When a fast song comes on, run for the length of the song.  Continue until you've hit your goal time.

2) Scavenger Hunt--If you're running outdoors, start running the first time you pass something red.  Stop when you pass something orange.  Start again when you pass something yellow.  Continue going through the rainbow until you achieve your goal distance.

3) Ladders--If you're running on a treadmill, start your run at a speed that is comfortable for you.  After 5 minutes, increase the speed by .2 mph.  Continue to increase your speed every five minutes until you have gone up by a full 1.0 mile an hour.  Then work your way back down.  Finish off with a five minute cool down.

4) Sprints--Start running at a comfortable pace.  After every 5 minutes of your run, sprint for one minute.  Repeat until you hit your goal distance.

5) Hill Repeats--Find a big hill on a safe road.  Run to the top, walk to the bottom.  Repeat 10 times.

6) Circuit--After the first 5 minutes of your run, do step ups on a curb for one minute.  After the next 5 minutes of your run, do jumping jacks for one minute.  After the next 5 minutes, do squats for one minute.  Finally, run 5 minutes, then do lunges for one minute.  Repeat twice, then finish with a 5 minute cool down.

7) Work Your Brain--Find a safe, well-marked trail with changes in terrain.  You'll be so busy thinking about where to put your feet that you won't even be worrying about how much time you have left!

8) Friends with Benefits--Find a friend to run with.  As you catch up, the miles will fly by!

9) Free Your Wrist--Leave your watch at home.  Judge your run based on how you feel.  When you feel tired or your legs feel heavy, slow down.  When you feel energized, speed up.  Pay attention to your body.

10) Switch it Up--Run your "normal" route backward.  You'll be surprised how many new things you notice.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Things That Make Me Happy

Besides my husband, family, friends, Clyde and all of the obvious stuff... these are the little things that can make a rough day a little bit better.

1) Coffee (And my amazing Keurig coffee maker.  In a fire I would rescue it right after Mike, Clyde, and my jewelry and before anything else.  Don't judge me.)
2) Crossword Puzzles (Particularly out of Star Magazine.  I only get like 5 clues on the New York Times Monday edition.)
3) Driving with the sunroof down and the music up.
4) Not being on a plane.
5) Pedicures.
6) Finishing a workout.
7) Sunlight.
8) CW shows that I probably should have grown out of 10 years ago.
9) French toast.
10) Frozen yogurt.
11) Roasted brussel sprouts (a new addition)
12) Dinner out
13) Hot hot hot showers.
14) My Kindle.
15) Getting in the car and remembering the gas tank is full.
16) Gilmore Girls reruns.
17) Balega and Feetures! socks.
18) Uggs.
19) A nice glass of wine.
20) Sleeping in.
21) Massages.
22) Free weekends.
23) Mac and cheese.
24) Putting Peeps in the microwave and watching them grow into massive pink bunnies a la Monty Python.
25) Long hikes.
26) GummyVites.

What about you?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Please forgive my absence, I was traveling for work.

I spent the last four days in beautiful weather, lounging by the pool, walking on the beach, eating dinners at fancy restaurants, and talking to nice people.  But you know what?  I was so excited to come home to Mike and Clyde.  Even if I don't live next to a beach, have turn down service in my bedroom, or a cabana with a flat screen TV and a butler.  Now that's love.

Exercising when you're away from home can be a challenge, especially when a lot of your time is scheduled for you.  For me it's about getting a workout in wherever I am, even if it's not as long or as intense as it might be if I was at home.  One day that was a 50-minute walk on the beach followed up with 10 minutes of planks, sit ups, and push ups in my hotel room before taking a shower and getting ready for dinner.  Another day that was a 3.75 mile run on the treadmill before scrambling to get out the door and onto a bus.

It might not be an ideal workout, but it's something... which is more than I did today!  After eating about a pound of Whirled Peace frozen yogurt I'm now watching The Biggest Loser and listening to Clyde snore while Mike plays Draw Me.  Yup, it's true.  There's no place like home.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Summer Came Early

The weather has been gorgeous in Philadelphia for the past few days, reaching into the low 70s.  This is freakishly nice weather for Philly in March, when we’ve been known to have brisk temperatures and even some snow.  Combined with the extra hour of daylight each evening and you’d think it was summer around here.

On Tuesday I took Clyde to the paved 5-mile trail by our house after work and it was wonderful to see how many people were taking advantage of it.  Folks cruising on their bicycles like they were riding down the boardwalk at the Jersey shore, new parents with strollers trying to keep their eyes open, mothers with their teenage daughters talking about their day at school, high schoolers in training for spring sports, middle-aged men running in golf shirts, and middle-aged women speed walking in tight yoga pants with their coiffed Anna Wintour-esque bobs bouncing as they chatted away on their cell phones.

There were also a ton of dogs, much to Clyde’s delight.  His tongue was hanging out of his mouth the entire time like a big slice of ham.  (Mike and I are convinced it’s too big for his mouth.)  He got a little tired by the time we hit mile 4, but I bribed him with a trip to the pet store and he perked right up again.  (Yes, he absolutely knows the name of the pet store and if I try to get in the car after a walk without going to the pet store first, he wants no part of it.)

It was wonderful getting to enjoy being outside again without bundling up in 5 layers or worrying about getting rained on.  It reminded me of how much better everything seems in the summer, and how much more time you feel like you have in the evenings to run or hike or cook healthy meals on the grill.  (I’ve heard people cook healthy meals on the grill.  I have yet to actually try it myself.) 

If this is what we’re in for for the remainder of spring, I’ll take it! 

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Scary Peak Into My Brain

Things I thought about last night when I couldn’t fall asleep because of Daylight Savings Time:

1)      Work

2)      The different ways to put on a swim cap

3)      My days as a lifeguard

4)      Our honeymoon in the Cayman Islands

5)      Our upcoming trip to San Francisco

6)      Work

7)      What to wear to work the next morning

8)      Towels

9)      My sister’s birthday

10)   How I really wanted to be asleep

11)   Hypnosis

12)   My grandparents

13)   How tired I was going to be in the morning

14)   Work

15)   Breakfast

16)   Why I was so hungry

17)   This blog

18)   Working out

19)   Packing

20)   Work

21)   The Bachelor

22)   Clyde (he was snoring)

23)   How sore I was from Saturday Barre

24)   Work

25)   Wednesday Barre

26)   How much I love flying (not even a little bit)

27)   Why my nose felt stuffy

28)   Work

Fun times. 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The F Word

I know what you're thinking, and yes, this word has four letters.  Fail.  F-A-I-L.  Have you ever seen such an ugly word?  It conjures up images of a scarlet F written on a paper and circled for emphasis.  It says you've lost.  That  you're a loser.  That bad things are coming.  That you messed up.  That you didn't plan accordingly.  That you're not good enough.

For many people, failure is a fate worse than death.  It's embarrassing.  Sometimes heartbreaking.  It's the same reason that people are so afraid of public speaking.  They're afraid they will make a fool of themselves, or be embarrassed, or get laughed at.  They are afraid that they will show the world their weaknesses and look foolish.

I love the question, "What would you do if you knew you would not fail?"  I think if we're honest with ourselves, there is probably a lot that we would do.  What would you do?  Would you go skydiving?  Put a bid down on your dream house?  Move to a new country?  Go back to school?  Run a marathon?  Lose 50 lbs.?  Adopt a child?  Run a 5 minute mile?  Apply for your dream job?  Be a reality TV star?  Do 10 push ups?  The sky is the limit... what would you do?

I have a challenge for all of you, and for myself.  Today I would like you to fail at something.  It could be little, like not being able to finish the New York Times Sunday Crossword, or a big, fall-down-on-your-face blunder.  You get extra credit for one of those.  

Just go out and fail at something today, and then smile about it.  You know why?  Because if you practice failing, it loses all of its power.  In opening yourself up to failure,  you set yourself up to reach higher standards than you ever would otherwise.  If you're not afraid to fail, you're not afraid to take risks.  And you know what the most successful and interesting people that I know all have in common?  At one point in their life, they stepped up and took a risk.  A leap of faith.  I hear-by give you official permission to make a fool of yourself.  Get to it.

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Most Sane Relationship Advice You Will Ever Get

For the record, I am by no means an expert on this topic. My qualifications are solely that I read a lot of women's magazines and as I have previously mentioned, enjoy listening to call-in radio shows. I did not stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.  I also haven't really "dated" in more than 10 years, so feel free to take all of this advice with a grain of salt. (Extra points if it's around the rim of a margarita.  It is Friday after all.)

1) Don't stay with a man or woman who treats you poorly.

2) Don't write letters, emails, Facebook messages, or tweets to ex-girlfriends, mothers, sisters, brothers, best friends, or imaginary friends of your new beau.  Especially without his knowledge.

3) If you're upset, be honest about what you're upset about. If you're mad that you and your boyfriend have been dating for two years and he refers to marriage as “the M word” don't blow up at him because he left his dirty glass on top of the refrigerator. I know it’s easy to think that if you bring up these issues you’re being annoying or needy, but it's a lot more annoying when a guy thinks you're psycho because you're totally OCD about dishes.

4) Get a Life. It's not fair to expect someone else to be solely responsible for your happiness. Have your own hobbies, interests and friends. Do things that you enjoy. Not only will it help you be a well-rounded and confident human being (which is always appealing) but it will give you more interesting things to talk about than whether your jeans are pacific blue or navy.

5) Don't expect him/her to pay for everything. Don't expect to pay for everything yourself. Find a way to balance money issues so that you're both comfortable. Feeling used is not fun.

6) Don't hack into his/her phone, email, or Facebook. No good will come of it. Promise.

7) Don't let a man speak to you in a way that he wouldn't speak to his mother. If he wouldn’t say "Screw You" to his mother, he shouldn't say it to you.  Don’t let a woman speak to you in a way that she wouldn’t speak to her father.  If she wouldn’t say “Screw You” to her father, she shouldn’t say it to you.

8) As long as you are not behaving in a way that is dangerous to yourself or to others, don't let anyone tell you who you are, how you should act, or what your personality should be.

9) Have inside jokes.

10) Be kind to one another.

11) Fight fair.

12) Don't settle. Not because you're getting close to thirty, or because you like his mother, or because you want to have a baby, or because Valentine's Day is just around the corner, or because moving is such a pain.

If you have any additions, feel free to post them below.  Otherwise, Happy Friday!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Living Arrangements

I live 1.5 miles from the house I grew up in.  (Yes, I did look that up on Google maps.  Is there anything those Google folks can't do?  If only they could create calorie-free ice cream or a live feed of all past and present Bachelor couples at all times.  Priorities people.)

I'd like to believe that my proximity to my childhood home has more to do with convenience and really liking the area  rather than thinking I am totally boring and scared of trying anything new.  In my defense I did study abroad in Rome for a semester and spent 4 years a whole 3-hour car ride away (a full three and a half hours with traffic, thankyouverymuch) in State College, so that has to count for something, right?

Back when I first graduated from college, whenever I had a bad day at work I would go on Craigslist and look at apartments for a tiny town in Maine.  I think I secretly believed I could be the real life equivalent of Lorelei on Gilmore Girls, just without the child or the group of writers making up my life each week.  Each apartment had to be totally realistic. Within my budget, with cute pictures, and OK with dogs.  Then, inevitably life would get better, or the weekend would roll around, or I would remember that they get an unreasonable amount of snow in Maine and I wouldn't know anyone, and life would go back to normal again.

There is a part of me that wishes I'd had (or made) the opportunity to live in a big city as an adult after college.  I think there's something really cool about being able to immerse yourself in a totally new and prove yourself on a big stage that way.  Kudos to all of you who were brave enough to do it!

Now Mike and I are both fortunate enough to have most of our family members in the area, along with good jobs and a nice place to live and fun friends and a good yard with a golden retriever named Jake next door that Clyde can bark at all day.  If that weren't the case, we always say we would totally move to California or Florida, where there is gorgeous warm weather almost year round.

In an ideal world, where would you live?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

An Unexpected Discovery

After thirty years living every second of my life with myself, I’d like to think I know me pretty well.

I know that I will not win any contest that involves coordination and that I shouldn’t wear high heels on cobblestones.  I’ve learned that I can’t buy Nutella because I will eat the entire jar with a spoon in 2-days and coincidentally gain 5 lbs.  I know that I will not get out of bed early to workout (heck, I won’t get out of bed early to go shopping) and that my earlobes will hurt for at least a day after I wear earrings because I wear them so infrequently.  I have come to terms with the fact that I won’t be an Olympic gymnast or ice skater (I’m still holding onto hopes of an Olympic archer or curler though) and that my childhood dream of becoming a princess or a grocery store checkout girl probably won’t happen either.

Therefore, imagine my surprise when I stopped by a Fresh Market grocery store around 6 p.m. looking for a snack to tide me over until after my 7:00 p.m. haircut.  (Men probably assume I’d be done around 7:20, but women know it was closer to 9:20…)  The store was a good 40 minutes from my house, and had all sorts of nifty specialty products that I’d never seen before.  I grabbed a few apples, a bag of trail mix from a big wooden barrel, and a bag of popcorn.

Now I’ve had popcorn before.  To be honest, it doesn’t really do much for me.  I’m more of a sweet person than a salty person, but kettle corn never really tickled my fancy either.  The smell of cheese popcorn always reminded me of my elementary school cafeteria, and since elementary school children seem to throw up at lunch regularly for no particular reason, it wasn’t exactly my favorite smell.  I don’t even know why I picked the bag of popcorn up, really, except that maybe it was a wonderful karmic gift from God for paying my taxes and not stamping on anthills.

 In all fairness, this wasn’t your average, run-of-the-mill Jiffy Pop.  This was a “Chicago” mix of caramel and cheddar popcorn, and it may have been the best thing I’ve ever tasted.  Better than Whirled Peace frozen yogurt, better than a Whole Foods whoopie pie, better than Cadbury eggs.  The good news is, my Nutella addiction of 2002 did teach me something and I was able to put the bag away before eating my body weight in cheese and sugar.  The bad news is, I feel like I have awakened a popcorn-loving beast inside of me who will never be quiet again.   

 Of course, this led me to wonder what other things I might love that I haven’t given a fair chance.  Sumo Wrestling?  Cat Fancy magazine?  Nascar?  Bungee Jumping?  Bird watching?  Vampire movies?  Courtney from The Bachelor?  I might just have to find out.  (After I fly to Chicago and seek employment in a popcorn factory where I can “I Love Lucy” popcorn off of the conveyor belt.)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

In Demand On Demand

Yesterday, after spending an hour sitting in a bowling alley parking lot (my life is so glamorous you have no idea) I came home from work and did something I rarely do.  I picked out an On Demand workout video and went to town in my living room.  I usually try to exercise at work during my lunch break, run outside, or take classes at the gym, but since I spent most of my work day in New Jersey and the idea of hitting the post-workday rush at my gym and spending 20 minutes just looking for a parking space didn’t seem appealing, I figured I’d hang with Clyde and turn my brain off and let someone else tell me what to do for 45 minutes.
In truth, part of my motivation to workout was my newly acquired Lululemon crop pants (I totally thought it was pronounced with a Jamaican accent like lu-lule-mon for the longest time).  I swear, these pants are life changing. 

(Please note, those are not my legs… and sadly they are not my abs either.  I do have a nice pink pedicure though.  Take that torso-less woman!)

The pants are as comfortable as sweatpants but make me feel like a trendy teenager heading off to lacrosse practice.  I have noticed that I seem to be the only one in BarreAmped classes with writing on my t-shirt (old lifeguarding t-shirts, Phillies giveaways, race shirts) and am starting to feel like my workout wardrobe was supposed to graduate with me when I left my 20’s.  However, I can’t really justify spending an arm and a leg on new workout clothes when all I do is roll around on dirty mats and get sweaty in them, so for now I’m taking baby steps to workout wardrobe maturity.

Anywho, the workout I found included 4 circuits of cardio, abs, and weights.  The cardio and abs stayed the same for all four rounds (grapevines, walking squats, jumping jacks, double jacks, burpees, and mountain climbers followed by planks, crunches, scissor kicks, bicycle crunches, double crunches, and side crunches).  I am officially crunched!  After the first round there were a few different arm and shoulder exercises which seemed exceptionally difficult because the only weights that I have in my house are 9 lbs each, which means I can lift them above my head about one time before I feel like my arm is going to break in half.  The second round of the circuit was more arms, then the last rounds were squats, lunges, and donkey and sidekicks on the ground.  I felt like I was back in Barre Class.

 Mountain climbers were so much easier when I was in elementary school! 

The entire workout of four circuits took 41 minutes (not that I was counting) and was made only marginally more difficult by the fact that Clyde kept trying to lie on my mat or lick me while I was completing each exercise. I finished my workout with a mile-and-a-half walk outside as a reward for Clyde for letting me finish.  My reward was two hours of The Bachelor: Women Tell All, with built in commentary from my husband.  That’s love.

Oh Courtney, if only those tears were real...

Monday, March 5, 2012

Why I'm Here...

I want to thank everyone for your support and kind comments on this blog.  I started it for a few reasons, which I figured I’d share with you.
First, and foremost in my pre-sales rep life, I was a writer.  It’s something that I enjoyed, and while I’m no Shakespeare (hell, I’m no Danielle Steele) it’s something that I miss.  I think being able to put something out into the world is an incredible opportunity, even if “the world” turns out to mostly be members of my family or a random stalker who stumbles onto my page looking for updates on that random Jocelyn woman who is trying to turn her face into a cat’s face.  (I kid you not, by the way, she really exists…)


Secondly, I know there are some blogs out there that I enjoy and give me a break in my day and a peek into another world when I really need one.  Kristin Armstrong, blogger for Runner’s World posts once a week and I will refresh the Runner’s World webpage over and over again until I see her new column appear.  (At home of course.  I would never waste company time in such a frivolous manner.)  Kristin just manages to have the best outlook on life, running, and family.  She always looks at the big picture and as goofy as it sounds, I feel refreshed after I read her posts.

 The blog Peanut Butter Fingers is another one of my favorites.  I don’t know why I get sucked into reading about the lives of other people, but I do.  It’s like a mini reality TV show, but instead of having the “stars” of the show be rich, crazy celebrities still pretending to act like normal people trying to make it in the world while they are getting paid millions each year to invent drama, the “stars” are real people, who really are living normal lives.  I can relate to them.  They’re like friends. ( Maybe even people that I refer to as friends when I tell stories about things that happened to them in public.  Unless that makes me a crazy stalker.  Then I take it back.)

So that’s why I’m here.  I don’t think anyone wants to read what I had for lunch each day or the fact that I routinely drive into the state of New Jersey by accident,  but I hope that I can entertain people and let them know that we all think about and worry about the same things.  (We do all worry that we have tetanus, that we will become a sleep eater, and that our dogs are slowly morphing into fat gospel singers, right?  I thought so.)  

Or if nothing else, I hope to remind you all of the dangers of plastic surgery.  There’s such a thing as aging gracefully people…

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Hopes and Dreams

Mike and I are 31 and 30 respectively, which seems to be the prime time for making life's big decisions.  Who do you want to marry?  Where do you want to live?  When will you buy a home?  Do you want to have kids?  If so, how many and when do you want to start?  What do you want your career to be and how do you get there?  In your ideal world, would you choose daycare or a nanny or a stay at home parent?

For me (and I think most people) these are some intimidating decisions because as soon as you make them, you're kind of stuck.  If you buy a house and decide that you want to go live on a ranch in Montana, you can't just pack up and go on a whim.  If you have children, it's probably not realistic to quit your steady job as an investment banker and become a yoga instructor.  If you get married, you are promising to make decisions jointly on anything and everything important.  In some ways making these decisions means that you are locking in your life.

Of course, if you don't make any of these decisions you will end up living alone in a box on a beach somewhere with no home, family, or job, so I guess that's not a very realistic life path either.  It just seemed easier in my 20's.  It was totally reasonable to try a job for a year and quit and try something totally different if you didn't like it.  You could pick a guy to date and not have to automatically wonder if you could see yourself raising babies with them.  You could decide to pack up your whole life and move on a whim to a city you have never been to but always found appealing, and if you ended up crashing on a friend's (or your parents') couch for a few weeks, no one would judge you for it.

Now the stakes are higher.  The decisions are more important.  And while I certainly don't think that 30 is old and it's never too late to make changes in your life or do the right thing, the time is now to figure out who you want to be, where you want to be it, and who you want to be it with.

I guess all we can do is have faith, say our prayers, talk to our loved ones, and when the time comes--take the leap.  You only live once, afterall, and I'd rather not live in a box on the beach.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

A Black Tie Affair

I'm eager to go back to Barre Class today after missing Wednesday to rest my back (I just did normal cardio instead) and having a different instructor and a more stretching-based class last Saturday.  We have a black-tie dinner to go to tonight, so the rest of the afternoon will most likely be spent getting a pedicure and then trying on 65 different dresses to try to figure out which one is formal enough and doesn't make me look like I have spent the entire winter eating whoopie pies and sitting on my butt.
Mike will be wearing his wedding tux and I think I might have to break out my wedding shoes:
Love!  If only I could get away with wearing my wedding dress too.  Hard to believe yesterday was 8 months since I wore it down the aisle!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

My Secret Obsession

It all started innocently enough.  My favorite channel on my Sirius Satellite Radio (Cosmo Radio, Fun Kids Club Squad Team!) happened to start featuring Dr. Jenn Berman on their evening show, which was always playing when I drove home from work at night.

I loved listening to the caller's problems because no matter what was going on in my life, it wasn't nearly as bad as Jeff's problem with his wife who tried to climb out the window in her sleep, or Jill's problem with her Mother in Law who was determined to take her kids away from her, or James who was ending his relationship with his wife of 34 years because she didn't understand his passion for apples.

Now I've also found Dr. Laura on Sirius Starz.  At first, I found her a little scary.  She was not afraid to cut off callers.  She dismissed introductions and chit chat and didn't take BS from anyone.  She also didn't give sympathy to everyone either.  Surprisingly, I found that the callers I thought she was going to pounce on were usually the ones that she ended up being nice to and the ones I thought she would be nice to were the ones she ended up pouncing on.  While Dr. Jenn often gave the advice I would give, Dr. Laura gets to the heart of problems by asking questions that I would never even think to ask.  Even when she tells callers things they didn't want to hear, they can't help but agree with her.  I'm officially hooked.
What's your secret obsession?  Am I a bad person because listening to other people's problems makes me feel better about my life?