Beautiful Disaster…

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Since this is the fitness blog, i’ll definitely tie this post in with my work out – eventually. However, I had a rather bi-polar day….therefore, she vents.

I wake up to the best cup of coffee my money can buy – key word is “my” here.  My money buys few things that are truly “the best.” I get ready for work & find myself randomly laughing about my night out with some friends – seriously, I reached a personal new low last night…it’s funny & not so funny depending on the audience. I see a McDonalds – which i’d have loathed on a normal day – but apparently today I whip my car across two lanes of traffic to pull in, order, & have my card declined…all in a matter of minutes. I am like a GPS at this point…”recalculating.” I get to my office & check my bank. I find that someone has taken a lot of money out of my acct., for the second time in less than 15 days. I immediately feel it coming – tears are soon to be streaming down my cheeks like freaking niagra falls. I don’t like dealing with money, I just like to make it, people.

I jump in the car to go meet with the president of our bank. While I am telling him – puhleeasse, more like blubbering to him – about what has happened, we start a conference call. By the end of our meeting the bank assures me all our money will be back in before the close of business. I took my fraudulent claim paperwork with me & scurried on back to the office.

It’s a matter of seconds before I am laughing with a co-worker about some funny shtuff. I had planned on heading to old cloverdale with a friend after work, but definitely had to take a rain check for that lil’ outing until this gets straightened out.

 I think the only rational thing to do is Yoga tonight.

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My roomie just got in and asked me how bad my day was.  Let me break down what that means: was it betty crocker bad or ghirardelli bad? I am certain this was a “ghirardelli bad” kind of day.  So we are now in the kitchen making brownies.

For those of you wondering – where is Jordan? Let me fill you in. He is on a sabbatical. It started with a ski trip, moving towards a hunting trip, and I assume he will make his way back to the deep south sometime at the end of March.

peace, love, & more peace,

-shells-

Children = Perfection.  All smiles after this video.

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I left work & met my bestie at the gym.  We did spin class & then headed upstairs to run.  I normally do an easy run – 2 or 3 miles – on the days I have spin, mainly because I am one sad story when I get off the bike.  I am so predictable…about half way through the class I start cursing myself for going. I walk in all confident making people think I can hang…but I rapidly become a hot mess once my feet start peddling up Mt. Everest. Acknowledging this about myself, I never get on a bike close to the door because i’m certain i’d leave at my weakest state.

After we finished spin & ran a little, I took said bestie to my office. I have a million things to document in a case, and I love to do work with a good movie going in the background, so I took her with to grab my shtuff. While at the office, I remembered we have a gym on the 3rd floor.  Thinking it may have mirrors, so we can recreate “Save The Last Dance,” we went straight to the gym.  Unfortunately no mirrors were to be found; HOWEVER, we did find the best 80’s work out equipment that money can buy.

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Remember the Gazelle? These are fab!

I suppose I should go tend to my domestic duties like a good lil’ housewife. I work two jobs, ya know. My day job is pretty much the best thing ever! And my night job…well, not so much. I am a part time domestic engineer. I’m certain I should be written up for slacking on my night job. Never thought i’d be the girl saying, “I want a house cleaner.”  Pretentiousness is my least favorite thing in life..but dear goodness those words are on the tip of my tongue.

I happen to be in luck because my friend called & is currently asking if I want to hang. Looks like the house will remain in its current state a lil’ longer.

Love to my peeps,

-shells-

All The While My Character Is Steel…

Resilient…

I told myself I would never become a marathon runner.  I think marathon runners are crazy to put their bodies through torture.  (never say never, shells)  I am now said crazy person.  When I was about a month in to training for the half, I said: “I will never run 26 miles; the half is the farthest I will run.”  (again, never say never, shells) I have fallen for running. I have this issue with pushing myself beyond all reasonable limits…and I am pretty sure that is what marathon runners are made up of.  I am bored with 5ks, and when I cross the half finish line, I may or may not be ready for a bigger challenge.

My sister and I co-blog about our training on this page.  It makes us feel closer (because she is in Korea -insert pitiful sad face- and we both LOVE to write).  We planned on crossing our first finish line together, but I’m curerntly treading uncharted territory with my life’s plans.  Since we may or may not actually finish this goal hand in hand – I am gearing up to run a half by myself (insert another pitiful sad face). I plan on taking a million pictures of my sad self at the finish line to send to Korea.

I have decided to only focus on the fitness blog for awhile, so I will definitely have much more to say in this space.  I will leave you with my new motto in life: when life is giving you the finger, lace up your shoes.

peace,

shells

Breaking New Ground

“Every time I work out, I pretend I am on the last episode of Biggest Loser.”
-Anna Allison

This is what I thought about at the gym today, &it makes me laugh every time.

February has been a crazy month.
It has been a mixed bag of ups &downs- hurting knees, doctor’s visits, lots of bedtime, &lots of Dexter.
My last logged run was 2.22 miles on January 29th.
I had been going to the gym &stationary biking to build up strength in my legs &glutes,
but since last week due to having a horrid case of tonsillitis I haven’t done anything.
&I definitely felt that this morning.
This past weekend I finally went &bought some new running shoes.
After extensive research, I found out that the shoes I had been running in-
aren’t actually made for running.
They are cross training shoes.
So you know I went &cop’d some new LunarEclipse running shoes.

If you know anything about me, you know I am super sentimental.
I wanted the first time I ran in these shoes to be special.

But like the Rolling Stones say- you can’t always get what you want.
Since I’ve had to come to work earlier this week &had a TON of work to do, today was the first day I could really work out.
When I woke up this morning, I woke up to nasty weather: misty, foggy, post-rainy, chilly ish.
Not ideal, but I will roll with it.
As I started to run, I got tired really quickly- which is not the norm.
So I decided to do some walking-running intervals.
Which kind of takes the fun out of letting loose &just running.
Oh &my knee started to hurt a little again.

I have a lot of work to do, &I need to get back on track.
Even though I feel like I have to start all the way over again.
Breaking in new shoes &breaking new running ground.
It won’t be easy, but since living in Korea, nothing ever is.

Black Toes & A Lot of Heart

PAIN!  This word circulated through my head all day today.  My toes are black from blood blisters.  I can barely move my right leg after a long run this morning with my running buddy.  I hit my big toe on a table and literally thought the toenail might fall off (which is the next step after they turn black i’ve read).  But in the midst of all this pain, I feel so awesome.  I am 27 years old and I am determined to be in the best shape of my life.

March 31 I am doing the Auburn, AL mud mania extreme endurance challenge.  Pretty stoked about this event.  I will run a 10k with my sister-in-law in Tyler, Texas.  And my biggest goal is to cross the finish line of a half marathon.  I will either do the Dallas Half Marathon, Nashville Country Music Half Marathon, or the San Francisco Half Marathon.  I am still deciding which race to enter.

Regardless of how miserable I get, I feel on top of the world mentally when I finish an intense workout.  I have such a long way to go before I can run long distances comfortably – is there even such a thing? – but I have a lot of heart in this and I am loving every minute.

-shells-

Because I actually like myself..

Don’t think I haven’t noticed women’s obsession with the way they look &how much they weigh.
Don’t think I haven’t heard people whisper, “She’s put on weight” or “She’s lost weight, she looks great..”
These two things I have noticed are not only detrimental to American society,
but I have also noticed it in my fellow Korean sisters.
When does it end?
Because I am beginning to notice a trend of never being satisfied with the way we look.

I choose to run not because I hate my body, I choose to run &work out because I love my body.
There maybe things I see that I think could be better, but I hope to grow past that.
&just be thankful that I have a healthy body.
I have legs that allow me to be active- to run &dance.
2 perfect arms with 10 fingers.
It isn’t for the stares or making men weak in their knees.  It isn’t for anyone else.
It’s for me.
This is only the beginning of a journey of learning to be happy with who I am &who I’m becoming.

Peace, Blessings, &Buff Muscles.
-a.free

 

What a feelin’ [dedicated to my fellow runners]

At 7:00 am this morning I begrudgingly  pulled my covers off when I heard my Korean alarm go off.
It really is a little toooo soothing to wake up to.

I started my laundry, put on running gear, &picked Matisyahu to start my warm-up.
I opened my door, &there was no turning back.

I usually see some other runners out &about in the morning.
There is a biking, walking, &jogging path along the river.
&every once in awhile I will share a moment with a fellow runner as they wave &pace by.

But there is this one woman.

I almost always see her in the mornings, especially now since I run to the ymca.
&this morning as I was jogging down my street,
she was running on the alley that intersects this road.
Just as she passed the road- she turned around &started jogging backwards.
With a smile on her face &her hand extended high in the air- she waved &then kept running.

I couldn’t help but feel so much more empowered.
Knowing that her &I, we are connected in our morning exercise routines.
No matter the cultural barrier or language barrier.
Running is something that we share.
&it is a strange thing-
Of everyone I have met in Korea, I feel closest to her.
Because she gets it.

What a feelin’
That moment will seriously be the reason I smile all day.

I have ran 7 miles so far this week, but I have 9 more to go.
My 3 mile was ran in 26 minutes &3 seconds.
Woot.woot. &my first 4 mile run is next Wednesday.
Can’t even begin to express how intimidated &scared I am about that.

But luckily, I am not in this alone.

 

Peace &Blessings
-a.free


Beach.Running.Relaxation

I took a 3 day mini road trip to the beach this past weekend. I left Friday after work and drove to Gulf Shores to stay with some friends.  We ended up on several different beaches across the Alabama & Florida coast by the end of the weekend.

Saturday morning my new friend, Nick, and I ran to the beach from the house. We chatted and got to know each other. Monday morning we woke up and played frizz on the beach. Then we decided to run down the beach to the pier, which was about 1.5 mi away. The run to the pier and back was a 5k. I am so sore from running in the sand, but I LOVE the feeling of sore muscles.  It means I did work!

I have been nervous about running a half marathon. I am worried it’s too much, that I won’t train well enough, that I will quit during the race…ect.

I told my girlfriend, Kayla, if I can run a 5k then I can run a 10k… and if I can run a 10k then I can run a half.  I ran a few 5k’s recently and I am driving to Texas to run a 10k with my sister-in-law.  I am on a personal path to defy my limitations.  I am getting older, and while many let themselves go, I am determined stay fit.  Once I run the 10k, I am signing up & paying for the half marathon.

I thrive by choice, not by chance. 

I’m [lazy] &I know it.

…. I work out.
NOT.

I think what makes this whole experience so great-
is the fact that it is a journey.

Nobody changes overnight.
Nothing comes easily.
Positive habits, behavior, &perspective take time to be cultivated-
in order for consistent good choices to made.
Like a strong building with a solid foundation.

I have not run since last Friday.
I finally broke down &bought a membership to the local YMCA for the cold months of January &February.
It is literally snowing &freezing- it makes it really hard to run outdoors.
There are honestly so many excuses I can make about why I haven’t been intentional about my goals.

But what it boils down to-
What it ALWAYS boils down to-
Laziness.
I am just lazy.

I don’t know how many people read this.
But what I do know is that Shells &I are trying to hold each other  accountable in this intense goal of running a 1/2.
I have made posts about all the days I have defeated,
all the bad moods, stomach aches, stuffy noses, crappy weather, unmotivated mindsets that I have pushed through to
finishing my scheduled runs &feeling victorious-

But there can’t always be a victory.
There are days when we simply lose.
There are days when I cower &give in to uncertainty.
Even  the Avett Brothers say that,
“You gotta lost a couple fights to win.”

In this journey, I hope that we learn not to take ourselves too seriously.
There are just some days we have to give ourselves some grace-
Grace in the sense that we are works in progress.
It is progression;
it is a continuum.

It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
&surely even in the race there will be rest stations where I can get some lemonade &catch my breath.

I have my Forever 21 bag packed for the gym after work.
I am not giving up on trying to really do this.
Just wanted it to be known that I am not always strong &defiant.

I still have off days.
Until running becomes my daily habit, like brushing my teeth &blinking.

I just gotta find my groove-
or the right pace that works for me.

 

harder.better.faster.stronger.

This past week I had a week vacation from work.

&in this vacation I had a passionate love affair..

..with my bed.

It may not be the most comfortable bed in the world, but it is mine.
&having the opportunity to sleep in it, lay in it, jump in it, watch movies in it, drink in it, eat in it, [&even cuddle in it] was one of the best feelings EVER last week. I didn’t want to ever leave this state of comfort.
I was SO comfortable &happy.

As I have gotten older &have had new experiences, my continual prayer  has been to be uncomfortable.
You know what they say- outside your comfort zone is where the magic is.
Something glorious  happens when you are forced to be out in the unfamiliar, completely vulnerable, &unsure of  yourself-
Growth.
&learning to once again depend on the Source of all things.

I realized this last night as I lied in bed, scared again,  of what the future holds.
I realized this again as I woke up at 8 am this morning, for my scheduled 2 mile.
I DID NOT WANT TO GO LIKE OHMYGOSH HATED ITTT.
I had to command myself gradually to get out of my state of comfort-
into the cold &into the uncertainty of what this run had in store for me.
I skipped multiple runs last week &I did not want to go this morning.
&Even as I started running, I knew my body was like, “What is happpeeenninng?AAHH.”
but I finished it.
2 miles in 17 minutes &18 seconds.
Not my best time, but definitely not my worst.

As I was running today, I had yet another epiphany.
I remember Sophmore year of college when I would go lift weights with some guy friends-
they would teach me about reps n’ what not. (number of times you lift.)
One time my friend Josh told me,
“On the last set, do as many reps as you can &when it starts to hurt so bad &you don’t think you can do anymore, do 5 more.”

This is the zone of being uncomfortable.
This is the part that hurts.
but will eventually build &cultivate more muscle.

Maybe it is like the extra mile that Christ teaches us.
It is when we grumble, our feet hurt, &we simply don’t want to do it-
where we find blessing &strength.

Running is not always comfortable. [if ever]
Life for so many isn’t comfortable.
Relationships get uncomfortable.
&if I have learned anything from the Bible-
discipleship is not comfortable.

But as Daft Punk would say:
“Work it
Make it
Do it
Makes us

Harder
Better
Faster
Stronger”

&it is inside of all us.

Peace &Blessings to all,
Alex