Change

Change.
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It’s something most of us, myself included, really fear.

Just when I think I have a plan in place and am ready to move forward, a wrench is thrown right in the mix. Everyday I’m figuring out how to adapt to a new situation or possibility.

Rewind to January. I wanted to share some big news with you all (no I’m not engaged or pregnant!) for a while but I wanted to wait until it was certain. And I’m glad I waited.

Back in January J and I had an opportunity to rent a nice house for a very affordable price. On the surface everything sounded great. 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, fenced in yard so we could finally get a dog, centrally located with our families, barn with weights… the problem is it was 90 minutes away from where I’m currently working and in an isolated small town.

I was going to take another huge leap of faith– I was ready to quit my job and find something that made the bills in the area. We decided to take the chance and follow through with it. My ‘D-Day’ to put my two weeks in was March 16. I was incredibly anxious about the entire situation, but also really excited.  This was a fresh new start for J and I–one we really deserved after starting the relationship with a deployment and now reintegrating everything.

On March 2, two days after we paid 2 months of rent, we found out that J also got a job in Madison. The house was still an option, but by no means the right option. A daily 3 hour commute just wasn’t worth it.

While we are currently out approximately $2k, J and I have rented a condo in Madison, I just accepted a new position (!!!!) Monday, and everything really worked out for the best.

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It was certainly a learning experience. I let my anxiety get the worst of me a handful of times the past couple weeks. There was tears, swearing, screaming..J calms me down but I need to learn to deal with change independently because no matter how planned out something is, it can change so quickly. Not always will it work out this wonderfully, but without trying, I never would have known.

Embrace change.
Learn to love change.
Complacency breeds mediocrity.

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The Perfect Getaway

Ever since J got back mid-December our weekends have been packed with visiting friends and family. Yes, we had some ‘us’ time but it was sandwiched between busy schedules and traveling. What better time to get away than Valentine’s Day?
Every Wisconsinite knows the beauty that is Door County, WI, particularly in the summer and early fall months. For all you non-Wisconsinites…Door County is the peninsula of Wisconsin, from Sturgeon Bay all the way up to Washington Island more or less. The thing many tourists don’t know is the hidden treasure that Door County is in the winter months.  The small, quaint towns more or less shut down during the winter months. But I’ll have you know the wineries stay open ;) The views are impeccable, sunsets are still gorgeous when setting over a frozen blustery Lake Michigan. The resort we stayed at had an harbor facing balcony, full kitchen, fireplace, and Jacuzzi tub. It was perfect and affordable considering all the amenities we got with the room.
The Town Hall of quaint little Ephraim, WI

The Town Hall of quaint little Ephraim, WI

Friday we got up Ephraim, WI around 3pm and decided to go out for a nice Valentine’s Day dinner. J took us to a steakhouse up the street where I got an amazing 5 course meal: Cabarnet, Sweet and Spicy Shrimp Cocktail, House Salad, Gorgonzola Tenderloin (to.die.for) and carrot cake to go!
Not going to lie, knowing that most shops close down during the winter months I was hesitant as to the quality of this steakhouse but it sure surprised me! And the atmosphere was outstanding. Low lighting and couples on all walks of life enjoying dinner as well.
Saturday was the main ‘attraction’ of the Winter Wonderland package I purchased for this get away. At 9am we drove 30 minutes and hopped on a trolley! The trolley took us to 3 wineries, an Inn for lunch, and was supposed to take us to a sleigh ride as well. Being that it was 1 degree and 30mph wind gusts, the sleigh ride was cancelled. Instead we were taken to a log cabin den for a drink on the trolley company! Nothing better than spending your Valentine’s Day day-drinking at local wineries <3 I may have scored quite a few bottles of Door County wine, some amazing olive oils, and two Master Cheese Crafted cheeses—only in Wisconsin I tell ya do we have master cheese crafters..
The Goods!

The Goods!

On our way back to our resort we drove through the Peninsula State Park for me to snap some pics with my DSLR.
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That is NOT fog.. that is snow blowing off the harbor in the 30 mph gusts. So. Cold.

That is NOT fog.. that is snow blowing off the harbor in the 30 mph gusts. So. Cold.

Saturday night we did a whole lot of nothing-which was the purpose of our getaway. I schooled him in multiple games of Yahtzee and a game of monopoly, we’re talking I won 7 of the 9 games we played of Yahtzee. We cooked up some turkey and spaghetti and just relaxed.
No TV. No distractions. Just us.
We decided we wanted to stay an extra day since I had off Monday for President’s Day. After sleeping in until 9, all we did was veg out. J ran to the store to get some whiskey and made an amazing breakfast. Around 4pm I finally changed into some warm clothes and went exploring to take some more pictures. Other than that I spent an hour in the Jacuzzi eating cheese, crackers and wine. Not a bad day :)
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I'd be embarassed to admit how many attempts it took me to capture this hipster [artsy fartsy] photo.

I’d be embarassed to admit how many attempts it took me to capture this hipster [artsy fartsy] photo.

Leaving Monday morning was definitely difficult. After the serenity and peacefulness I was dreading going back to work. But only a few more weeks left and then some big big changes are coming. Stay tuned!
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The Longer the Wait… The Sweeter the Kiss.

It feels like forever ago now that I posted about finding my Mr. Forever and quickly had to send him away. As someone in the military myself, I understand how when Duty calls, you must respond. If I had a different say (or any say for that matter..) in it, he never would have had to leave for Afghanistan much less so quickly after we started dating.

On May 17th he left and he wasn’t due to be back until March of 2015. After thinking how I was going to have another horribly difficult Christmas (was broken up with Christmas Day of 2013..) I ended up getting the best early Christmas present a girl could ask and dream for.

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On December 13 I got to greet J back into Wisconsin. All the difficult months spent apart were worth that moment…. seeing him walk into the terminal, smile, cry, laugh and everything in between. Until someone experiences it, the feeling when you finally see your significant other after a deployment is so surreal. It truly is/was a fairy tale.

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I wasn’t the only person excited to see him. His immediate family as well as the Wisconsin Army and Air National Guard state leadership (hellllo Generals…) were also there waiting at the airport and once I finally could let him go he made his way to them.

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As to be expected there’s been some bumps in the road, but they’re all worth it. Him and I have some very exciting opportunities coming our way in the next couple months and I can’t wait for them to pan out and to share them.

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In the end it was all worth it, I’d do it again, although I’m certainly hoping I don’t have to :)

A Big Return

HELLLO! It’s been a long long time, in fact, I think the only reason I am able to write this is because WordPress remembered my password, cause I sure didn’t ;)

It was a chaotic fall–I went through a bit of a funk. Lost, dazed, confused… but J is back from Afghanistan now and things are sure looking up! I’ll write more about that later. But first I wanted to cut to the chase…

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It’s the start of a new year and everyone is writing up their resolutions/goals posts… I tend to make goals and not resolutions. I’m not looking to make any drastic changes because we all know that those are difficult to make and not likely to stick. Instead I’m vowing to make 2015 my year and chase down some of the things I’ve been too scared to actually do.

First and foremost, I will get a new job this year. I never have enjoyed my job… it’s gotten to the point where I cry most nights in bed on work nights now. A big opportunity did just present itself to me {and J…} so I’ve been applying in this area like crazy… police departments, correctional officers, different admin positions; you name it! Cross your fingers.. and toes ;)

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Second, I really intend to consistently blog again. I know I’ve said that before but I have found myself so down in the dumps with all the free-time I do have in the evenings. I’ve struggled lately with not having any friends around anymore, that’s the downside of being in the Army; we’re all scattered. So why not use that downtime and get some of my thoughts out, share recipes, workouts, etc.?! Plus, I’ve missed my own little corner of the interwebs.

Third, get back on my grind of CrossFit and lifting. Ever since I got back from my military training in November and then J returning, I have not been on my A-game… or anywhere near it. I am thinking of getting into power lifting meets come 2016 so I have to get my strength back up there. Hopefully I can find that passion again, I miss it but the motivation is just lagging.

Screen shot 2015-01-05 at 7.22.12 PMLastly, I am going to do another half marathon sometime this year! Probably shoot for the fall since winter training is brutal in Wisconsin.

And it’s not a goal but I’m really really looking forward to what 2015 has in store for J and I. He is so deserving of good things, and I think I deserve it too–it’s been a rough past two years. Here’s to seeing what happens :D

What are your goals for 2015?

Dreams Come True

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It won’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s been around a while that I am not 100% happy with the job that I have. I work full-time for the National Guard and while it has great incentives and I do have some awesome co-workers, working in HR/Admin is not something I want to make a career out of. I’m not meant to sit at a desk all day typing away and answering phone calls.

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A few weeks ago I had a conversation with my incredibly wise mother. She told me not to feel defeated; that I’m young and that the right job will come along for me in time but for now I should wait to make any big decisions until J is back from his deployment. I was quick to respond, quite snarky I’ll add, “mom, a profession I want is not going to just fall into my life… I have to be proactive about it“.

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Well about a week later one heck of an opportunity really did just fall into my lap. I was just doing my thing at my CrossFit box and one of the coaches confronted me asking if I ever thought of coaching. My mouth got ahead of me and I blurted out HELL YES.

Wellll….my CrossFit box is going to pay 50% of my CrossFit Level One certification fee! There’s a possibility I’ll be attending the certification in September when I’m down at Fort Leonard Wood but otherwise will have to wait until November But that’s right y’all… I’m going to be a CrossFit coach and I cannot tell you how excited that makes me.

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While it is just part-time, and I will not get paid for it, it’s a HUGE resume booster for a career I do wish to pursue in the fitness industry. I may not be getting paid but I get to do something I’m passionate about; help people become better athletes! Additionally, I will have a key to the gym so I no longer have to pay memberships at my box or my Anytime Fitness and I can go in and work on my olympic lifting at my leisure. Could it get any better?!

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The best things come to those who fight day in and day out for what they want and truly believe in. Never give up on your dreams cause you never know just how close you are to achieving it!

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?