Goals

THANK YOU AL GORE FOR CREATING THE INTERNET!

I am a huge fan of technology because I am lazy and anything that accelerates my life and helps keep me organized is AOK in my Kindle. Today I created an account on mapmyfitness.com. I’m all about keeping track of what I’m doing since there is a goal to this whole blog- I am supposed to run 52 miles per month people! This website helps you not only to keep track of your workout goals, but also your nutrition goals… nothing like typing in “bacon cheeseburger” to make you feel like a real health fanatic. I also downloaded onto my phone their nifty running app because as they say, there is an app for that… this app uses GPS to track your workout, the time, and the calories burned based on your height/weight. Yes, I kind of felt like big brother was watching and it did kind of creep me out that this phone knows where I am at all times… but I’m a sucker for this stuff! I used it today on my run and it definitely helped me see where I am at physically since it allows you to compare and contrast prior workouts.

I also created a new goal- because one isn’t enough. I started out aiming to not only run 52 miles per month, but also to complete a 5K in September (see here). I have been running on average 2 miles/day, but ultimately I want to be up to 4 miles by the end of next month! Here we go!

Goals

So, my advice- go set a goal, any goal! Make it something that you believe you can do, something you will be proud of, and something that you can modify once it had been accomplished!

Now for the rest of my day I have a yoga session, a bike ride, and some tacos in the horizon… All of which I will be documenting on the app.

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The switch

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Today I was en route to run at the gym after serious self convincing.  I just wanted to sit in my workout attire, color, write, and complain.
I got to the gym and a yoga class was about to begin. Sorry treadmill…

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I broke my date with the treadmill for a chance with vinyasa yoga.

Anything you guys want to focus on today?
Hamstrings and hips!

My lucky day- I’ve never been more excited to do pigeon. When it was all done I was glad I skipped the run.  I needed the break and a good stretch.

I finished the day with a 2 mile bike ride on the boardwalk feeling fresh, revitalized, and ready for tomorrow.

Fear and Loathing in Long Island

This chick = a huge art appreciator.  I also love to draw and paint.  Problem?  I’m not that good.

I don’t want to come across as self deprecating, or a person who is fishing for compliments either!  Let’s be clear on this.

As a result I allow my fears of not being the best take over and ruin all of my fun.  I literally stopped enjoying painting and drawing for enjoyment because of the frustration I would feel.  Shame on me.

This year I am getting over my self-conscious nature and taking the plunge.  I have accepted that fact that being the best is not needed to play kickball, do art, blog, run, or anything else.  This past summer I have intentionally challenged myself and my fears every single day and I have been pleasantly surprised.

Last night we played our last kickball game of the season- yes I belong to an adult kickball league.  We lost the game 6-7 against an amazing team.  Before signing up I thought about joining the team way too hard.  What if I’m not good enough? What if I miss the ball? What if I get pegged? What if…what if…what if.  Guess what- I missed the ball, I got pegged, I kicked fly balls that got caught. I also caught a few, got on base many times, pegged a girl (sorry I’m not sorry), and bonded with many new friends that I adore and never would have met if it wasn’t for getting over my fears and signing up.  The simple act of joining a kickball team changed my outlook on so many things.  The league ended yesterday and I’m going to miss those crazy people I spent every Tuesday with in both a Spring and Summer league.

For being such an extrovert, I have so many fears that I have allowed to paralyze me for way too long.

This brings me to homework. dundundun.  I am currently enrolled in a post-masters art class.  I’m not quite sure how this applies to my degree, but I’m really enjoying it while simultaneously hating the fact that I am 25, have a masters, and I’m still somehow doing tedious homework.

One of my assignments was to analyze this quote and the artist who said it.

Life is merely a fraction of a secondAn infinitely small amount of time to fulfill our desires, our dreams, our passions.” -Paul Gauguin

How apropro to the theme I have going on.  I will be honest and tell you that I literally copy/pasted this guy and made some slight modifications adding on some analysis on Gauguin.  I’m such a bad student, I know.  But these are the quotes that make me think.  I want to live a life of passion- why should I allow ridiculous fears stop me from pursuing my goals? Side note- turns out Gauguin really lived up that quote by abandoning his wife and children in Europe to move around South America. Gauguin would eventually be sentenced to three months in prison, but died due to syphilis before the start of his prison sentence. Rumors circulated about his relations with pre-pubescent girls, many of whom were his subjects.

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Another assignment that I have been working on is about the Fauvist art movement.

Let’s hear from the Metropolitan Museum of Art on what this movement is…

Fauvism was the first of the avant-garde movements that flourished in France in the early years of the twentieth century. The Fauve painters were the first to break with Impressionism as well as with older, traditional methods of perception. Their spontaneous, often subjective response to nature was expressed in bold, undisguised brushstrokes and high-keyed, vibrant colors directly from the tube. 

Awesome- see how much easier it is to not reinvent the wheel.

New assignment for class?  Draw, paint, color, whatever, a fauvist self portrait or write about the movement.  I looked at this as an opportunity.  And voila!  Here I am in a supremely odd fauvist self portrait.

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And if you want to know the truth- I don’t care if you think it is good or bad.  This was some serious therapy!

Your homework for tonight?  Make a fauvist self portrait.  Thank me later.

True love.

These are my grandparents. In november they will celebrate 60 years of marriage. I loved listening to their stories and hearing about their lives before they met, when they met, their 20s, having kids (why my grandfather would not have kids if he could do it again…), traveling, etc. it was a great experience.

Here they are in all of their glory! Caption contest?

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Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Aesop was a liar!  Ok not entirely, so hear me out.

When I was a child I loved reading Aesop’s Fables.  These were the tales that taught us poorly behaved children valuable life lessons.  The story of The Tortoise and the Hare was one that always stuck with me.

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Since I’m not in the mood to summarize this fable, let’s hear from Wikipedia

“The story concerns a hare who ridicules a slow-moving tortoise who challenges him to a race. The hare soon leaves the tortoise behind and, confident of winning, takes a nap midway through the course. The tortoise gets tired but he keeps going. When the hare awakes, however, he finds that his competitor, crawling slowly but steadily, has arrived before him.”

Thanks, Wiki.

Ultimately we learn the valuable lesson that with perseverance we will ultimately win and that we should never give up in the face of failure.

Now, I partially agree with this.  I do believe that one should never give up before attempting a task (this is something I have been trying to convince myself for a long time).  I also believe that slow and steady is sometimes the best option.

Yesterday I was determined to pull in another 3 miles since my self proclaimed “I kissed two miles goodbye” speech.  I was also determined to beat my time from the day before.  I am a very competitive person- especially with myself.  I began my run at 6.0 on the treadmill, a speed that I had never before started at.  After the first mile I knew it was time to drop down so I lowered the speed to 5.5.  I ran it out for a little while until I had to drop it down to 5.0 before the end of the second mile.  So instead of my 3 fast miles, I ran 2 miserable miles.

Moral of the story?

Well, today I ran MY FIRST EQUIVILENT OF A 5K at 5.0 the whole time.  A lesson was learned.  Could I have gone faster? Maybe.  Sometimes it’s OK to slow down and look at the big picture.  What am I trying to accomplish?  At times I’m so concerned with being competitive against myself that I push myself and lose the race.

Would I win a 5K against some zealous rabbit, no.  Definitely not. But there is some truth to these stories. As long as the fables aren’t the same ones teaching little girls to wait for a prince to rescue her (ladies, be i-n-d-e-p-e-n-d-e-n-t do you know what I mean?), I guess they’re fine in my book.

The New Yorker

A day with my family revolves around our food schedule.  At breakfast we were discussing when we should have lunch and during lunch we were discussing dinner.  At some point I was discussing if and when I would fit in a run.  Today was appearing to be more of an if day.  Especially after this monstrosity, the New Yorker.

behold the New Yorker.

behold the New Yorker.

Florida in the summer is a complicated place and everything that I could say here has been said before-  It is humid and hot as hell outside, over air conditioned inside, and no one can drive.  I decided to stay off the road and head to the clubhouse for a swim.  After some serious debate over whether or not to pack my gym clothes I packed them up and headed to the pool for some R&R.

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I wanted to take a hotdog legs shot (see here: http://hot-dog-legs.tumblr.com/) but decided against it. Here are some of my new friends, wading in the pool, discussing the complexities of life.

After, oh, ten minutes, my attention deficit kicked in and I was bored.  I had already flipped through 2 magazines, texted friends ridiculous pictures, and gone in the water.  I knew what I should do, but the idea of running on a treadmill was paralyzing for some odd reason.

I walked into the gym and should not have been surprised to find this in a retirement community.

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Treadmills for everyone!

I followed this up with a 10 minute procrastination stretch session and then flipped through about 5 songs until I found THE song.  I don’t discriminate when it comes to music.  My Pandora stations include:

The Black Keys, Modest Mouse, Kings of Leon, Spice Girls, Hot Hot Heat, The Lonely Island, Florence + The Machine, Santana, Deftones, Tool, Swedish House Mafia, Sugarland, La Bouche, Sublime, Red Hot Chili Peppers, LFO, Bob Marley, 311, Beyoncé, Passion Pit, Rihanna, The Strokes, The Beatles… I’m done writing.  But you get the point.  Whether my tastes are good or bad, I am eclectic.

I then began my run and it just did not feel the same as the fresh outdoors, but I knew that today was the day that I was kissing 2 miles goodbye.

How did I know?  Because I felt empowered by Beyoncé and Rihanna.  I felt like a powerful black woman who could do anything!  I was a survivor… I wasn’t gonna give up.  I was crazy in love.  If anyone walked in I was having the time of my life.  At one point I was singing Rihanna’s “Hard” like I was convinced I was just Rihanna in the gym.

They can say whatever I’ma do whatever No pain is forever Yup, you know this
Tougher than a lion Ain’t no need in tryin’ I live where the sky ends Yup, you know this

This song was then followed by Bruno Mars and then B.o.B., who both convinced me I am a beautiful girl.

So there I was… a beautiful, powerful, black woman who could take on the world.  I walked out of the gym, 3 miles in the bag, looked in the mirror.  Still the same old white Jew from Long Island, but damn.  I did it!

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Luck Fupus

May of 2009 I created a team “The Lucky Thirteens” for the New York City lupus walk. This was the first time I can recall feeling ownership over this disease. I spoke openly about it, wanted people to understand what having lupus entailed, and wanted to bring awareness to a disease that is not well known but so many suffer from.

For so long I did not want to be associated with this word. It felt like a dirty word that could so easily define me. It was a label that I feared would define me.

Events shape our perception and through experience we learn. What I had learned from being open with people about having lupus was that I would be judged.

“Oh, I know someone who died from that.”
“You don’t look sick.”
“This woman I know can’t even get out of bed anymore.”
“Wow…so are you going to have kids?”

I don’t think that anyone meant malice by their words, but these were the conversations that shut me down. I began to fear that I would be unlovable or that I should not put someone in the position to be with a “sick” person, or a person who could possibly one day be unable to get out of bed. I developed irrational fears such as, if my job finds out maybe they wont want to keep me.

Confronting my fears head on were the initial steps that I took to be able to accept that lupus is a part of me, but it is not me. The Lupus Walk was a chance for me to rally support for something that is important to me. I was so afraid of putting myself out there, but I needed to.

At the time I was in college and I was broke. My friends were broke. How could I ask for money? I began a campaign for cans and I called it “Drinking for a Reason.” Classy. I know. The support I received was overwhelming. People were going out of their way to make sure that I got their cans. Messages over facebook, texts, calls, friends by association. People wanted to help. It was amazing, minus living in fear that the can collectors of downtown Albany would identify the ring I had going on and hunt me down for blood. They had a serious operation going on.

With the help of friends who dedicated hours, mini vans, and their time I was able to collect $250 in money just from cans. Think about that. $250 is five-thousand-cans. After writing that out I now realize I probably should have gotten tetanus shots.

I then decided that wasn’t enough. I spread the message and I began to advocate for my team. Sometimes you just have to ask people for help, and you would be surprised by how much people want to support your cause. As a team we were able to raise over $3000 dollars. We were a top team in the lupus walk that year. Most important to me were the people who came out and showed their support. Friends that came from Albany to Manhattan just to walk next to me, friends who I had not seen in years were there as well, I walked with my mom, my brother, a bulldog, and people that I can never thank enough.

So for the first time in my life I feel like I can say I have lupus. Pobody’s nerfect.

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Seeking a Friend for the End of The World

Recently I have become obsessed with the philosophical question: What is the purpose of life?

I had my quarter life crisis when I was 22, (ended a 4 year relationship, moved, began a career, dyed my hair brown) so this is not the cause of my new obsession. After my last flare I wanted to appreciate life more, because ultimately, what does this all mean? If there is nothing to look forward to when it is all over, then can I say I am satisfied with what I have done with the time I have been given?

Many of my recent fears stem from my lack of living out my early twenties. I never got a real case of the twenties which many people of my generation have experienced. Or maybe, many people in their twenties believe that they are entitled to experience. I am not going to complain- I can’t complain because I am fortunate in all that I have. However, I worked hard, I worked a lot, and I did not make as much time for myself as I could have. Maybe I wasn’t as silly as I could have been. What I’m trying to say is I only had my nose pierced for three months and I never got to dye my hair blue. Woe is me.

I wanted to take risks, but I was too afraid that if I traveled throughout Europe for a year, I could lose it all. If I kept my nose pierced on the interview maybe I wouldn’t get the job. If I was a little too loud or a little too crazy I would lose my job. Sometimes, I didn’t want to care, but I was so driven in my ultimate goals that I couldn’t break away from this script that I had planned out.

I began to feel like I was bursting at the seams and that my sense of purpose was skewed because I could no longer identify what truly made me happy. Is happiness being content? Is it making money? Achieving your dream job? Having a loving boyfriend, but you are unable to make time for him? I rationalized that if I put the time in now, it would pay off later. This was true, I was beginning to get everything I wanted because of my dedication, but the responsibilities began to grow, continued to grow, and the truth is, responsibilities will never stop growing.

My recent flare with lupus made me reevaluate so much about myself. Obstacles we encounter, as bad as they may be, aren’t always the worst thing for us. I needed a kick in the ass. I realized I needed to find my happiness and my sense of self. My mission led me to yoga, true friendships, an appreciation for myself, running, and now blogging. Through writing I find happiness, and knowing that I can reach even one person inspires me.

I recently became inspired by a movie Seeking a Friend for the End of the World. This movie did not get the best reviews, but I enjoyed it because it made me question my life. If we had two weeks to live, everything was about to end, would I feel fulfilled? How would I spend my time? Did I accomplish all I wanted to do? Am I happy? Isn’t this life we live in such an unbelievable journey? I finally feel like I am able to live.

I will leave you with this video. Click on the jellybeans and think about living.