The Big Apple

Alright, so if y’all read my last blog, you should know I went to New York City for the….I think it was the 6th or 7th time. I’ve lost count at this point. I had kept telling myself that I wasn’t going to keep going there and instead would vacation elsewhere, but when your dad buys you courtside tickets to the 50th Anniversary of the US Open, you go to the US Open. (More on that later, though.) I’m writing this blog to really just fill in my peeps (that’s you guys) on the things I did while I was up there. If anyone is going to NYC anytime soon, I highly recommend doing any of the same activities because they were all fantastic.

Fun fact: we did about 30 miles of walking from Friday to Tuesday. My feet have some lovely blisters to prove it.

We were staying at a hotel on the corner of Lexington and 48th, so on Friday, I planned for us to check out midtown. My dad hadn’t been to NYC in like 25 years, so things were much different for him. We walked to Central Park and spent quite a bit of time there before making our way down to Times Square and then to Rockefeller Center. Friday night was our night to go on a dinner cruise, so we dressed up nice and did that. Our dinner cruise gave us some breathtaking views of the city while feeding us amazing food at the same time. 10/10 experience.

 

Saturday, we spent the morning walking the Chelsea High Line then went to the Chelsea Market, both spectacular places to check out! Mars and some old family friends of mine met us at a restaurant nearby and we spent the remainder of the evening drinking local beer, chatting and catching up. It was a very wholesome day!

img_7554Sunday’s activities consisted of the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, tooling around in Brooklyn, and walking to One World Observatory by way of the Brooklyn Bridge. (Loads of walking!) If you ever want to walk the Brooklyn Bridge, I recommend wearing comfortable shoes…although I have done it in freezing temperatures wearing heels before, so to each his own. I like to wear nice outfits for the photos, so I was okay with suffering through the foot pain. That evening after having spent some time at the top of the tallest building on this side of the world, we had an appointment at the Color Factory, and although I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect with this event, I booked us spots anyways. (The weekend was on the verge of selling out when I booked on the Wednesday before.) Turns out, it was a fantastic time filled with creativity and picture taking and playing in a giant ball pit. Spectacular.

(Head over to my Insta for more photos of my NYC adventures.)

img_7694Monday. Monday was spectacular. We had front row seats at the US Open in the Louis Armstrong stadium all day long. I watched Nishikori’s sweat drip off him as he beat Kohlschreiber as well as having the same intense view watching 2014 US Open winner, Cilic beat Goffin later that day. Of course, I watched some women’s tennis too and let me tell you, women’s tennis is much more intense when you’re basically sitting on the court. Some other big names you might recognize that we watched play on other courts: Nadal, Federer, Millman, Sharapova, Djokovic, and so many more. It was a spectacularly long 14 hour day, but it was the experience of a lifetime.

Now, I hadn’t ever really tried to tackle taking the subway to get around, but my dad insisted we give it a shot, so after some resistance, I gave in. One of my best friends, Mars, lives up there and recommended an app called City Mapper to help navigate the city subway system, and let me tell you, it was a lifesaver. I owe both Mars and that app for my learning the subway system. By the end of our trip, I would consider myself pretty adept at navigating the subway. I surprised myself. 🙂

I’m aware that this blog is longer than usual, and I apologize. I tried not to ramble too much, but sometimes I just lose track of how much I’m writing. Anyways, hope you enjoyed my little vacation update. This is my third big vacation this year, and I absolutely love it. I love traveling.

Have a great Thursday!

xx – A

P.S. Videos from the Color Factory included below. More to come on my social media. 🙂

 

 

Honestly What is Motivation?

Okay, anyone that works out regularly can tell you this: relying on motivation is not real. Being motivated to work out every single day is a complete myth. Go find your favorite fitness Instagram account…go ahead….I’ll wait. Got it? Okay, let me tell ya something–they’re not always motivated. Hell, they’re probably not even motivated half the time.

If you want to be in a routine exercising routine, you cannot rely on being motivated to go work out every single time. It won’t happen.

So, how do you consistantly work out then? Well, I’ve got a few tips and tricks I can share with you. 🙂

Let’s compare working out to something mandatory that you do, like say, taking a shower. If everyone waited until they had the motivation to shower every time they needed to shower, we would all smell a lot worse. Showering is just something you do every day. Same with brushing your teeth and eating dinner–you just do it. Now, apply that same mentality to working out. Make it just a part of your daily routine. It’s definitely easier said than done, but trust me, once you’re in the routine of doing it and it becomes a solid part of your day, you will love yourself for it.

Another trick is to make sure you do take rest days and you don’t push yourself too hard. You can’t do a killer workout every single day of the week, your body will not handle it well. I shoot to workout about 5 days of the week, and I usually do something relative active the other two days. This gives my body time to rest and recoup after my more vigorous workouts. I tried working out every single day for a while, and I noticed that the intensity of my workouts started going down. My body was not able to perform at the level I was used to, and although that was discouraging, I realized that in order to improve, I needed to rest. My body needed rest. I’ve since come to a place where I have a very good balance of exercise and rest. I see improvements in myself more when I have a healthier routine. (Unsurprising, right?)

Now, I’m not some insane fitness nut, there are plenty of days where I come home from work, lay in bed, and a massive wave of exhaustion hits me. This insane urge to nap just swallows me. I know if I just avoided laying on my bed, it probably wouldn’t happen, but after a long day of work, sometimes I just need it. So, I allow myself to veg out for a bit. I get home at around 5:20, so I’ll tell myself “you can lay here until 6:00, then you get up and work out.” Weirdly enough, it works. If I give myself time to just completely zone out and be on my phone, take a quick nap, or do whatever, then I find it easier to get up and smash out a workout afterwards. You’ve got to give your mind time to rest. Mind and body go hand in hand, so if one is exhausted, the other will reflect.

So yeah, motivation is crap. Don’t rely on it for anything. It’s a scam! Prioritise working out and in time, you’ll get into a routine. That’s when you’ll start feeling the results as much as seeing them. You’ll notice “wow, the last time I did this workout, it was way harder.” Because if you’re working out regularly, you’ll be able to notice changes much easier.

My fitness journey has had its ups and downs, but I’m learning so much along the way. Hopefully you’ve found some help in this blog, because I truly enjoyed writing it.

xx – A

P.S. My next blog will be about my take on healthy and balanced eating, so stay tuned xx

Enjoy this vid of me ~ dying ~ doing burpees. (Sorry there’s no sound, I didn’t want everyone to listen to me wheezing.)

Fun, Fitness, Friday!

Wow, it seems like lately Fridays have been the only days I have time to blog. That’s kind of a bummer since I was posting two a week for a while. The lack of blogs is a result of me taking on more responsibilities though–I wanted to keep myself busier. (It’s working…I’m slammed.)

So today feels like a great day to do a fitness blog since I haven’t done one in a while, but I want to do a little life update. Quite a few things have transpired over the past week, and I’m quite excited about the weeks to come!
Two weeks from today, myself and a few of my closest friends will be taking off on a ROAD TRIP! We’re going to Destin, Florida for a few days to celebrate my birthday and the Fourth of July, and I could not be more excited. I’m already trying to buy more bikinis so I’m fully prepared, LOL. If anyone has been to Destin before and has recommendations of activities to do or sights to see, let me know! I’m going to be spending the next few days doing some research to hopefully get some solid plans locked down ASAP. (Gotta utilize the free time I have at work while I can, amiright?)
Another update, the volleyball team  I talked about in my last blog is officially locked and loaded. And yes, our team name is the Clever Beaches. It won the vote!! (I also pushed for it, whoops!) So we’re going to have two more practices for the coming two Tuesdays and our first game in on July 10! I’m hoping to kick some booty and have some fun. 🙂 It’ll be great. (I also think this is a pretty great resume booster.)
So that’s pretty much everything significant that happened over the last week.
On to fitness!

So if you weren’t aware or hadn’t read about it in any of my previous blogs, I joined a workout group called Keep It Cleaner, or KIC. This program has been absolutely amazing, and I could not speak more highly of it. I’m not going to go into a big long explanation about it, so read the blog I wrote about it and come back here if you need to. (LOL.) It’s really a fun group and everyone is so supportive and empowering. (I figured it was time to update y’all on my progress now that it’s been going on for a while.)
I first started this program on April 16, so I’ve been doing it for about 2 months now, and holy crap, you guys. It’s been amazing. I do a KIC workout 4-5 times a week, and I’m usually pretty active the other days of the week. The workouts are fast and fun, and they really motivate you to push yourself.
Aside from my physical health being at such a great level right now, my mental health is probably the best it’s been in a long time. A long time. I’ve never felt more confident in myself mentally and physically. I do everything with so much more gusto than I ever have. I decide I want to do something, and I make it happen. I’ve taken more leadership roles, I’ve fostered new friendships, I’ve developed healthier eating habits just because.
And to think, I’ve only been doing this program for two months. I can’t even imagine where I’ll be in another two months! Like crap! I almost have a 6-pack already and I haven’t had one of those in years, and I’ve always been fit.

I want to say that this program has been my saving grace, but I also have to give some credit to myself. This program didn’t do the work for me; it gave me the tools to succeed, but I did that myself. I held myself accountable and I have been holding myself accountable. I’m proud of how far I’ve come, and I can’t wait to see where I go from here. 🙂

Also, I got an iPhone x, so my photos are officially going to be so much better. I’ve never loved a phone more than I have this one!!
(Thanks, momma for the early bday prezzie.)

Happy Friday!

xx – A

Assumptions

You know what they say….when you assume, you make an ass out of you and me! (Bad joke? Oh well!)
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I was in the mood for a little blog, but my dilemma was that I really have nothing to write about right now. So, I did what any normal person would do in this situation–I googled. (I now have a nice long list of blog prompts written down for future moments when I’m motivated without inspiration.)
One prompt that kind of stuck with me (partly because it was highlighted on the page, partly because I liked the idea of it) was “Write about the assumptions people make about you.” (I linked to the inspo website I found.)

You would assume that I don’t have many assumptions made about me. I am an upper-middle class, blonde, white female. Fairly standard, I agree. I don’t have obvious race related things assumed about me, and I am in no way trying to demean those assumptions, I just want to talk about the irritating assumptions I have noticed that people have made about me.

The first thing that came to my head when I think about assumptions made about me is “dumb blonde”. If you’re blonde, at least once in your life, someone has made a joke about you being a dumb blonde. I can’t be the only one who hates this. My hair color has no relation to my IQ. Never has, never will. I am smart, clever, quick-witted, and everything opposite of being a “dumb blonde.” Stop insulting people’s intelligence by basing your assumptions of them on their hair color. It’s stupid.
Another thing, you can absolutely be pretty AND smart. It’s a thing. Just because you care about your appearance and you put time into how you look, does not make you less intelligent. (It should make you look more intelligent honestly, because everyone knows appearances matter.) This kind of ties into the “blonde” thing, but it’s so true. Again, I’m sick of not being taken seriously based on how I look. It’s so frustrating.

Moons

Now, for the sake of not ranting throughout the entirety of this blog, I’m going to convert to list form!! (I could honestly write a 3,000 word blog about this topic, for real!)

Things people assume about me:
  • That, because I’m middle class, I don’t struggle with money/finances. Wrong.
  • That, because I’m thin, I don’t eat. Wrong.
  • That, because I’m thin, I don’t work out and am not strong. Wrong.
  • That I live this “perfect life” based on what’s seen on social media. Wrong.
  • That, because I care about how I look, I’m shallow (or something). Wrong.
  • That, because I have and express feelings, I am weak. Wrong.
  • That, because I’m a woman, I am not as good at something. Wrong.
  • That, because I sometimes show off my body, I’m a slut. Wrong.
  • That, because my hair is an odd color (i.e. pink), I don’t deserve as much respect. Wrong.
  • That, because I’m young, I’m naïve and easily manipulated.
  • That, because I’m blonde, I am ditzy. (Had to say it again.) Wrong.
  • That, because I dress and look nice, I’m weak and can’t handle myself. Wrong. If I tell you I know how to play a sport, don’t laugh and try to explain to me that “it hurts when you get hit”. I know. I’ve played it.
  • That, because you’re a male, you know more than me. (See above.) Wrong.
  • That, because I’m being nice to you, I’m flirting. Wrong.
  • That, because you made assumptions, you think you know me. Wrong.

I’m sure some of you can relate to these assumptions being made about you, as well as plenty others that I’m sure have been made. It’s frustrating.

Hopefully this was even remotely interesting? LOL. Thanks for reading!

xx – A

 

 

Happy. Blissfully happy.

I realized something yesterday. Something amazing.

As I was finishing up my workout (courtesy of the KIC program), I started thinking about the rest of the things I had to do before I could go to bed–fold laundry, eat dinner, shower, paint my nails, tidy up, things like that. I got this warm feeling inside me, and I couldn’t quite place what it was until later. I was literally standing in the shower when it hit me: now, in this moment, is the happiest I have been in so long. Longer than I can remember. In that moment, I realized I am the least stressed, least dependant, most healthy, and happiest I have been in years. Not weeks. Not months. Years. I wish I was exaggerating about that too, but sadly, I am not.

This realization hit me like a freaking wall and it kind of shook me to my core. All of the things that used to stress me out regularly are no longer a part of my life, whether they were school-related, money-related, people-related, or whatever else. They’re no longer an issue. My life has gone from something I didn’t necessarily have full control over, to one that I am so proud to call totally and completely mine.
Don’t get me wrong, I still stress over stuff all the time, but the things I stress about are things I can control. So I fix them. I work through all of the things stressing me out until the stress is gone. I still stress about money, but working full-time makes that stress manageable compared to when I was in college and having less than $100 in my account was standard. I support myself, I control my life, I do the things I want to do and avoid the things I don’t, I have an amazing routine, and I. Am. Happy.

For so long, I struggled with pretty bad depression and anxiety (I still do), but I am getting a handle on those things now. The depression has gone from something I dealt with daily to something that just pops up every now and then. But I know how to handle it now. I know what to do to right myself and move past it. Anxiety is something I feel I will always deal with, but I’ve reduced the number of things in my life that cause anxiety, so I have a good handle on that as well. Guys, I have an actual handle on my life now. It feels amazing. I have so many things going for me, I can’t help but feel blessed.

Honestly, I owe part of this emotional success to a workout routine. I maintained my own routine for about a month before I joined KIC, and things have only gone up since joining. The community I am a part of is SO INSPIRING. It feels so good and so empowering to be a part of it. Working out hard helps me to keep my stress levels at a manageable level, as well as release those fantastic happy endorphins that I love.

I am living my life for me. No one else. Right now, in this moment, I am the best version of myself I have been in a long time. I am so proud of how far I have come.

xx – A

P.S. I dyed my hair pink and I want it to stay forever. And yes I was snapping and driving, but I was stuck in traffic. So it’s okay. 🙂