The Weekender: Cramming All the Fun

What an amazing weekend! I knew that August was going to be full of social commitments since it is my month off of Army drilling–but I had no idea it was going to be this busy. Turns out I’ll be heading back to the “lovely” Fort Leonard Wood for 7.5 weeks; 7 Sep-30 Oct. I am going to a course there that will be huge for my military career, and I am very fortunate!

That just means that I have to enjoy the few days I have left before I head back down to FLW. This weekend did not disappoint.

On Friday we actually had a pass day to go tubing down the Wisconsin River! I was skeptical about going because I have quite the to-do list to tackle before I leave work for almost two months. But I’m so glad I took the pass day to enjoy myself. Not much beats a 78 degree, not a cloud in the sky day to tube down the river with a few adult beverages. Note to self… use more sunscreen. I forgot I’m not a dark lifeguard like I used to be every August the past few years.

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Saturday I woke up before the sun, per usual. But this time it was for a super romantic ‘date’… my best friends in-laws live on a lake and own two kayaks. She met me there with Starbucks in tow and we did a sunrise kayak. It was very peaceful to be out there on the glass lake catching up with a best friend. Almost like all the madness and chaos in real life didn’t exist.

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After a quick nap I got ready for a weekend away in Illinois! My roommate from senior year (Ari) works in Chicago and J’s mom lives in a suburb of Chicago. Ari and I met and did some shopping at a nearby outlet mall, saw The Giver (which was amazing and I highly recommend everyone go see it while it’s still in theatre), and went out for sushi. Yum yum! I sure miss living close to her but we always pick up right where we left off.

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It’s funny how we used to be able to go out until bar-time and throw back the beverages; now us old ladies were in our pajamas by 10pm and only managed to have 4 beers out of our 6 pack. My how times change :p

This morning I was incredibly nervous… I was meeting J’s mom for brunch. Doesn’t sound like a big deal but I hadn’t met her yet and J obviously wasn’t there.

{{Side note: Really glad I had went shopping at the outlet mall and picked up an outfit from Banana Republic because the dress I brought to wear to brunch wouldn’t zip over my back…. }}

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Turns out I had not a single reason to be nervous to meet her. Right away she gave me a huge hug and I felt like I had known her for years… almost like I was included in the family already. The time flew and we had such great conversation. It was a bit bittersweet; another thing crossed off the list for when he gets home, but it really made me miss him extra much today. But I just keep busy and remind myself another day that passes since I’ve seen him is another day closer until I see him again :) 

The rest of the day has consisted of a workout, cleaning, and about to do more studying. It’s going to be incredibly difficult to study for my PT exam in November now that I’m going to this military course. Real glad that I have a re-take voucher just in case I can’t study enough. I always bite off more than I can chew–and now another huge opportunity has come my way too. Stay tuned for that one. It’s big!

Funny how things just work out when you let them.

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Real busy work week coming and my first CrossFit competition is next weekend–eeek!

How was your weekend? Big end of summer plans coming up?

 

Preventing Injury

No matter what sport you partake in-you are subject to injury. For some reason CrossFit gets this horrible reputation that you WILL get an injury if you do CrossFit, as if you sign up for it when you sign off for your membership. Sure there’s a higher possibility of injury if you don’t take care of yourself or never do your research in finding a good gym with high-caliper coaching, don’t pay attention to your form…. But it’s not a given.
The past few weeks my right elbow has been bothering me. Nothing alarming-just annoying. A dull annoying ‘pain’ and lots of clicking. Have I pushed through it before? Yes. But I know that that mindset can lead to injury and I will not become part of the ‘CrossFit Injury’ statistic. Not adding fuel to that fire. My coach watches my form daily and sees nothing that could lead to a bothersome elbow. He spends time with me after each WOD to wrap it (VooDoo floss-amazing!, worth the weird bruising) and helps me work on some mobility exercises. It has nothing to do with the coaching or the workouts, but it has a lot to do with mobility (or for me, the lack thereof).

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Tuesday morning was my first ever DNF; what a big ass piece of humble pie. I am incredibly competitive by nature not only with myself but with the other people at CrossFit in the morning so it took a lot of me to put the bar down and accept ‘defeat’.

But that’s the thing—it’s not defeat. I made the conscious and smart decision to stop after the 15 reps of 3-6-9-12-15-12-9-6-3 thrusters (65#) and bar facing burpees ladder WOD this morning. My elbow was tender in the front rack position and then flared more during the press. After a few minutes of being upset and feeling like I failed I was able to reel myself in and realize that I was a winner. I am doing what I can to prevent a further injury. I made the stronger and smarter choice by putting that bar down and avoiding further injury. Later in the evening I found this article about a CF coach kicking an athlete who was injured out of the box.

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One of the athletes at my box is also a PT/Sports Med Doc and he does monthly free 15 minute sessions for us. I lucked out and yesterday was the day. He worked on my elbow, scraped it (holy hell the best ‘hurts so good’ feeling ever) and did some manipulations of the elbow, shoulders, and neck. I left feeling like $100. From that brief assessment he seems to believe it’s a case of tennis elbow. My ‘treatment’ plan is to push where I can, when I can. But trust in myself to put that bar down when the elbow needs the rest. At least I can still work the legs and booty ;)

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So go ahead and ridicule CrossFit all you want that it produces injuries-but it’s no different than any sport. Bottom line is it comes down to how the athlete addresses it and takes care of their body.

Have you had tennis elbow/tendinitis? Recommendations?

The Weekender: Birthday and Fourth of July Edition

Why is it that weekends and holidays always go by so fast? Crazy to think that 5 days ago I was heading home for my birthday and holiday time off yet here I am gathering my things to head back to Madison for work. Blah.

I spent a lot of time waiting for a skype call from J. Unfortunately he’s been swamped with work over there (who knows what he’s actually doing…) so he has not been able to skype me. He did call last night though thank goodness!!

On Wednesday I had a half day of work because I had to go get pretty for a photo shoot. Like I’ve mentioned in previous posts I’ve found that breaking the 9-10 months into smaller increments makes the deployment go ‘quicker’ so I scheduled a photo shoot for fun. And it was SO MUCH FUN. Except for all the mosquitoes. That wasn’t fun….

During the photoshoot my roommate called and said that J had sent flowers. Luckily my parents house is only about a 50 minute drive from my apartment so mom and I hopped in the car and drove to go get them. There’s no way I was going to let them sit in an empty apartment all weekend. And they are STUNNINGLY beautiful. The guy can make this gal happy even 8000 miles away.

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Thursday, the 3rd, was my 24th birthday! I’m getting so old ;) My birthday is always kind of difficult because most people go up north with their families so no one is really around. But it was a great day spent with family :)
My dad and I started my birthday was a local diner with some bottomless coffee.

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The rest of the day consisted on day drinking and a BBQ with the family.

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My grandma didn’t know what to get me for my birthday so we went 50/50 on these amazing new shoes. My nano’s are getting a bit worn so naturally I needed to add another pair of trainers into the rotation. Just like when I ran I had countless shoes going–some things never change.

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Speaking of running. This gal is signing up for a half marathon in November. GASP. Yes, be shocked. I am. In all honesty, my speed on my PT test came when I was running distance and the only thing holding me back from that max PT test is my run time. So time to get my ass in gear.

Then my close girlfriend took me out for martinis on my birthday. Yum! Except they’re toxic. Two and I was…. quite buzzed.
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The Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays. I wish everyone was as patriotic everyday as they find themselves on the fourth but it’s still great to see all the red, white & blue out and about.
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Being that I don’t live on the lake and my friends in my hometown were all out of town I spent the morning cleaning out my car. After moving it so desperately needed a cleaning…. the things I found were entertaining.

The rest of the day involved more family time, day drinking, and another BBQ. Nothing exciting, yet the relaxation itself is amazing to me.

July 5th–helped my mom clean out our storage shed. Moving me made a mess everywhere since we did it in stages and now it’s so good to say everything is done. Stay tuned for pictures of the new apartment; I love it and don’t want to move out for a couple years if I can swing that with J.

More day drinking (I’m seeing a theme here..) and then the fireworks with my parents and the family I went to Colorado with.

All in all it was a great holiday weekend. I had fully intended to get some workouts in but July is going to be a step-back month for me. I’ve been going hard for a while now and with Annual Training coming up I’ll be out of the box/gym for 14 days anyways. Come August I’m focusing on Crossfit and those goals I have while J is gone, as well as my first CrossFit competition. And incorporating more running into my routine again too.

I came back to my apartment and got two awesome shirts from J for my birthday in addition to the flowers. One is from KANDAHAR CROSSFIT which is where he’s supposed to be, and another says BACON COFFEE FITNESS; the guy knows the way to my <3
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How was your holiday weekend? Can you believe summer is half over already?

Beauty in the Darkness

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photo 1As I’ve mentioned before, there are good times and bad times throughout this deployment. This past weekend was incredibly challenging for me.

I’ve spread myself pretty thin the past month—moving, not sleeping well (can count nights I’ve slept through since March on one hand..), moving, CrossFit 5 times a week, and Annual Training right around the corner. I think this past weekend was the straw that broke the camel’s back and led into an anxiety breakdown. But I got it out of my system so we’re moving forward :) 

Last night I was laying in bed during the storm watching The Princess Bride, one of J’s favorite movies that he recommended I watch. In my peripherals I could see a vibrant orange sky, which was really weird since the storms were outrageous {again…} yesterday. Kind of made me freak out a little bit. It was nothing I had ever seen before.

I ran to the balcony to have a completely breath taking view hit me. I have never ever seen a sky like this during a thunderstorm. It was like a sign from God, that I so desperately needed.

Yes, there are hard days, and unfortunately I’ve had quite a few of them lately. But just like the sun shines through the storms, the good days always outshine the bad ones.
Each day, be it good or bad, will be worth it when he’s home. God reminded me this in the sky last night.

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A Day in the Life: My New {Loved} Normal

My (week) days have changed quite a bit since the move. Here’s a look into the crazy schedule and how I balance 2 workouts a day while working full-time!

0430: The blaring of ‘No Sleep for Brooklyn’ as my first alarm clock. Begrudgingly stumble out of bed.

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0435: ‘Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy’ serves as a backup alarm on those really tricky mornings where I’m absurdly tired/sore and bed seems better. Between this second alarm and an internal dialogue I’m changing into my gym clothes in about 2 minutes and zombie walking to my car.

0445-0455: Blare FFDP Pandora station on my way to the box. Nothing like some angry music to motivate myself before a killer WOD.

*Favorite part of day from 0500-0645*

0500-0600: CrossFit WOD. I love being physically challenged and exceeding new limits but the mental strength I have gained in 9 months of doing CrossFit has changed me so much. I went from absolutely hating the build of my body, feeling weak and lacking all self-confidence to embracing my large quads, traps, and shoulders (for days).

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0600-0645: Sip my morning happiness in a cup, respond to J’s email that I received overnight, listen to a solid playlist, throw breakfast together.

I love this time of the day because it’s the closest to ‘normal’ that J and I can have while he’s away. 90% of the time I have an e-mail waiting for me either when I wake up or after CrossFit. I rely on those every day.

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0700-1600: Be on that work grinds.. e-mails, phone calls, teleconferences, meetings, etc. {someone pay to send me back to school so I can have a job that doesn’t sit at a desk all.day.long…} Some days I love my job when I’m busy but most days I have so much free-time I go nuts and work on studying for my Personal Trainer exam. While J is away it’s important for me to stay as busy as possible so this job hasn’t been the best to me since he’s been gone.

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1600-1800: Workout #2. I follow Krissy Mae’s strength training programming and try to get a second workout in 5 times a week. I don’t do it because I feel like I HAVE to but rather because I WANT to. I am happiest in the box/gym and working out. I’d rather be building bigger muscles than building a bigger ass sitting on couch watching the TV all night..although sometimes that happens too… ;)

1800-2100:  Make dinner, do some blogging, Pinterest, Netflix… just try to relax. Right when I crawl in bed I do some journaling in the journal J got me before he left. Writing has always served as therapeutic for me and it’s been helping me significantly.

So that’s that. It’s pretty boring and standard but it works for me. Routine is something I need being someone ridden with anxiety and increasing OCD. Eeee.

What’s your day like? Is there a certain way you love to start your day?

Globetrotting {& Updates}

Anyone still out there? For those of you keeping track the past three months have been crazy busy… but also amazing! I’ve been doing lots of traveling and then just moved as well. 


April: I spent a week in Colorado. It is definitely a state I would like to move to someday in the next 10 years. The scenery is breathtaking. The hiking, skiing and all the outdoor activities there will make it amazing for raising a family someday. Not to mention I’m not one to just lay around all day. I want to be active and outside and what better place than Colorado?! And I would kill to see a concert at the Red Rocks. Things to look forward to I suppose :)

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<3 land

<3 land

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my favorite 5 year old, Hannah Banana.

my favorite 5 year old, Hannah Banana.

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best part of CO: hiking in 72* weather with snow capped mountains in background

best part of CO: hiking in 72* weather with snow capped mountains in background

an old house I was obsessed with on a hike.

an old house I was obsessed with on a hike.

May: I took a long weekend down to El Paso/Ft Bliss, TX to see J before he left for his 9 month deployment. It was a perfect weekend taken right out of your favorite rom-com movie, even with 3 cancelled flights and a really bad head cold upon my return.

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The rest of the month I did a lot of heavy leaning on family & friends while adjusting to the incredibly long distance relationship I found myself in. 

June: I moved to the other side of town into a BEAUTIFUL apartment and gained a roommate. J recommended that I get a roommate not only to save some cash while he’s away but because there will be days where I need some company… and boy was he right. It’s only been about a week and a half but there’s been some tough days in there and it’s been so nice to just sit on the couch and have someone to talk to.

I also did more globetrotting and spent 4 days in Kansas visiting my best friend and her husband. We’ve been best friends since 2nd grade and I consider her my sister. Her husband is Active Duty Army and they just went through a deployment two months after getting married so her advice was so welcomed and appreciated.

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Despite all the craziness I still have a lot of fun stuff up and coming: 


July 3: My birthday, and I’ve been promised a Skype date 
July 12-26: two weeks of Army training {okay this part may not be fun at all… but more money!}
August: Toying with entering into my first crossfit (team) competition (even though I don’t feel like I can hold my own yet), weekend in Chicago visiting my roommate from college and meeting J’s mom, as well as a bridal shower & bachelorette party for an old friend

Now that I’m all situated in my new place and the major craziness has somewhat wound down, I fully intend on finally blogging some more (apart from my two weeks in the field for the Army). I have found my new schedule has opened up a ton of time in the evenings for me to get things done that I want to do finally :)

Getting Through Each Day

It’s been two short weeks with countless remaining, but dare I say I’m adjusting fairly well to this deployment and the long long distance relationship J and I are in. That’s not to say that it’s been easy… quite the opposite. The first week was filled with no appetite, no sleep, and LOTS of phone calls to family/friends full of tears.

In fact the biggest thing I’ve learned is that no matter what there’s going to be good and bad days. And virtually every day will include a (hopefully) brief moment of sadness. As much as I love this weather we have up here in WI I have found myself longing for nights grilling out, laughing and going on long walks outside. Instead I’m having a turkey burger on a paper plate (moving so soon!) and packing up more boxes. It’s hard not to think of what could be instead of living with the situation I’ve been dealt.

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That being said I have found some great coping mechanisms and strategies so far!

Set aside something to look forward to every 1-2 weeks.
Breaking things up into much smaller time segments is much easier than thinking of the big picture. I’ve made sure to put time towards something fun every week for the next 6 weeks. If I don’t I’ll lose my sanity thinking about how long remains. Some things I have coming up: moving and getting a roommate, parents visiting and helping me move, a weekend visiting my bestest friend/sister in Kansas, and a photoshoot for fun!

Lean on my support system… but also stand up on my own two feet. 
One of the things that J said that he really wanted me to do was spend as much time with friends and family while he’s away. In fact, he was the one who encouraged me to move and get a roommate. He also recommended that I also make time for myself… time to deal with the emotions I’m feeling, be it good or bad. And I’ve made sure to do just that. I think I’ve struck a perfect balance.

Make things fun.
Yes, it is impossible incredibly difficult to make a relationship through a deployment fun… BUT there are a lot of fun care package ideas. Just yesterday I sent out the first one and I had a lot of fun putting it together. Already have the next one all lined up–just have to be patient because mail takes for.ever. to get overseas. It’s difficult when I’d rather be spending time together but I’ve come to terms that that’s just not a possibility right now; so it’s time to suck it up and make the best of our situation.

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Cherish every second of each conversation.
I have become that girl who has her phone attached to her 24/7; and I wouldn’t have it any other way. IF I had a friend tell me it’s annoying then I wouldn’t want to be around them anyways. Cause anyone who supports me and understands will encourage me to have my phone in case he calls. The time difference and our schedules are complete opposite. But I have had a couple phone calls and they’ve been amazing. Every second counts. Luckily e-mails are exchanged every 1-2 days and they’re re-read countless times… makes it easy to hold onto until that next conversation.
Be positive.
I could be miserable everyday if I really wanted to. But instead of being bitter about all the time we are losing I choose to look forward to all the fun things that we can do together when he’s back. It has really brought an entire new perspective to me–I took for granted the time I could spend with people I dated in the past. I will never ever take time for granted again. You have to make the best of every moment you have with someone.

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The days will not get easier; it’ll never get easy to miss him….but they will get more tolerable. And each day is a step in that direction. Hoping that the upcoming move and my 2 week Army training will really make the next 6 weeks fly by. And the small small chance that he comes home early is also a nice little ‘pick me up’ when I need one :)