Sore. The Most Satisfying Pain.

Hello Friends!

I have a new work out to add to my list of new activities! So I know we all see those work out DVD’s and think… I will look like such a goofball doing that stuff! Do they work? Can I do that?  Well the first one is true, but let me tell you… I haven’t been this sore from a work out in a long time!

What is this work out DVD I speak of?

Surprise! its not a DVD, its like the netflix of the work out world. Its called the Daily Burn. (http://dailyburn.com) It’s a streaming service that offers a plethora of work outs. Right now they are offering a free 30 day trial. (after that its 14.96) They also have a premium plan that gives you more content. (26.95 a month)

Out of all the different options, the program I chose was called Inferno. My boyfriends mom did the work out with me, and while I think that program was meant for people with a little more experience, we definitely had fun.

The work out was about 30 minutes. there were items you needed for the work out (like a step-box) but we just used our own body weight. That being said…I WAS SO SORE after the work out. It’s been about 2 days since I completed it and I’m just now starting to get the soreness out of my legs and arms.

While I did feel like a complete goofball, I had a ton of fun and the work out was extremely effective. I would like to try a couple more before I make up my mind on the service itself.

Here’s my list of pros and cons:

Pros: I’m sore aren’t I? That means it worked! It is super convenient, you can literally work out any time, any where with this service. It eliminates excuses about not having time;  30 minute work outs are extremely doable.

Also I like that it offers programs like yoga 🙂

Cons: I didn’t like that you had to have work out gear. If I’m doing a home work out, I don’t generally have a step-up box, or dumbbells, etc. It would have been nice for them to use household items, or no extra equipment. Now again, this video seemed to be for people who already know how to work out and are somewhat in shape so that makes me think those people probably have something like a home gym… but then the other side of me feels like those aren’t the people using this service….hmmmm. Things to think about.

I plan on doing a few more work outs, and then I will post a final review and also decide if I will keep the subscription or cancel it before my 30 days.

Keep on pushin’ for your goals,

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52 Weeks Of Gratitude: Week Four

Happy Tuesday!

Yeah yeah yeah… I know I said every MONDAY, but one of my good friends came into town so I slacked a little yesterday. 🙂

Today’s topic for 52 Weeks of Gratitude is:  A Family Member.

Last week I talked about gratitude towards family. This week I am going to write about a specific family member. This person isn’t technically family by blood, but they are definitely family in my heart. The person I am talking about is my boyfriend’s mom.

I am so grateful to have a person like her in my life. She is the kindest, most caring person I have ever met. She has treated me like one of her own from the beginning, and I know she is there for me 100 percent.

When I am upset, or venting about something she is always able to have an honest conversation with me, offer me a different perspective, or just support and listen.

She inspires me to be a better person; a more loving and understanding person.

She is so strong, and a lover of life. When she wants to do something, even if its scary, she pushes through and just does it. She motivates me to look past my fears to pursue the goals and dreams I have.

I am also grateful that she raised a man who, like her, is  caring, loving,  and understanding. I have never met someone who so openly loves me like he does, I think I have her to thank for that.

She has been there through a lot of my biggest steps forward in life, supporting me, motivating me, and always cheering  me on. She has been the one watching me work crazy hours, seeing me have meltdowns at the kitchen table during finals week, and cheering me one when I pull off good grades at the end of the semester.  I can’t wait for the day I graduate and have her there in the crowd celebrating with me.

I  wish I could express in more words how thankful I am for this woman, because I am so grateful and blessed to have her in my life.

Family isn’t always about blood, it can be about what’s in your heart.

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I Came, I Saw, I Made it Awkward.

Recap: I received an awesome opportunity to work in a yoga studio once a week, and in turn I get paid via unlimited hot yoga! It is called the the Yoga For Trade (YFT) Program. You can read more about how I got to my current point Here.

On Thursday I had my first training session at the studio. I was really nervous because no one knew what I looked like, and typically this program is for already established yogis. Needless to say, I am not an established yogi, nor do I have that physique.

Let’s just start with my drive there… I’m already nervous so I put the address in my GPS (I know generally where its at, but have not actually seen the studio in person) to find the quickest route. Well my GPS takes me to some random residential street and tells me I have arrived. –Siri, you are a dirty liar!–  Now I am panicking a little bit, because now I am getting short on time. I decide to just trust my own mind, and get myself to the shopping center where I have seen the signs for the studio. One would think that once you get into the shopping center, it would be simple to find the store you are looking for…Not so much. I drove around the entire center, and finally at the end I found the studio.-Nowhere near the street sign for it.- If you know me, you know that I am usually early everywhere I go, like 15-20 minutes early. Luckily, I had made it right on time.

OK! I’m at the studio, slightly stressed and nervous, but there. My trainer jumps right in, showing me how we have to go to each room and start the heater and humidifier so that the rooms are ready for the first classes in half an hour.

One problem, you cant wear shoes in the rooms…. and I happened to wear tennis shoes that day.

Great..now I’m this awkward chunky girl who is fumbling to get her shoes off, while the trainer stands there and waits patiently. OHMYGOSH WHY CAN’T I MOVE ANY FASTER! Finally the shoes are off, and we go into the room and do what needs to be done, now onto the next room.

…but wait, my shoes! Do I put them back on, just to repeat that whole fiasco down the hall? Do I just walk around barefoot? Is that weird? So I just grab my socks and stick my feet in the shoes and kind of shuffle down the hall until we get to the next room.

At last, we are done with the rooms! I decide the best plan of action is to put my socks in the cubby with my yoga mat, and then loosen my laces and just wear my shoes like slip-ons. Easy enough.  The rest of training went smoothly, and I didn’t have any more hiccups with my wardrobe.

After training, I was told I could take a class. I walk into the room and lay out my mat in the back of the room.-no on can see me struggle back here! So HA!-  yeah… so the class started to fill up and I noticed that no one is sitting on my side of the room…. Then the teacher comes in and sets her mat to the right of mine. Cool. I had the layout of the room wrong. So now I’m not only NOT in the back hiding, I am now in the DIRECT FRONT NEXT TO THE INSTRUCTOR. I really just want to cry at this point.

But then I said: “Self: Suck it up! The whole point of doing this is be better, and to get out of my comfort level. So what if I’m in front?! This is a hard class, and if someone has time to laugh at me for struggling, then they aren’t doing their best. So rock it, girl.” (<–That’s the legit pep talk I had in my head… you’re welcome for that insight.)

And just like that, I did an entire 60 minutes of hot yoga in front of a handful of people. You know what the cool thing is? I enjoyed myself. I felt energized and accomplished after the class, and I was able to laugh at myself for being so on edge earlier in the day.

Monday I have my second day of training, and will be added into the system so I can take classes regularly.

I think the moral of this story is: Don’t take yourself too seriously. You are not that cool. Also… put yourself out there. If you want to see change, only you can make that happen.

Stay awkward my friends.

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52 WEEKS OF GRATITUDE: WEEK THREE

Happy Monday!

Today’s topic for 52 Weeks of Gratitude is: Family.

This topic is a little hard for me to write about, but I guess that’s what makes this  a challenge! I am not close with the majority of my family but that doesn’t mean that I am not grateful for what they have taught me. I think  being grateful for the things we have no control over, is that’s an important lesson we should all learn.

Whether it was with money or  with mental/behavioral disorders, My family has taught me what it means to genuinely struggle. Because I was immersed in their setbacks and challenges, I was ultra aware of other people’s similar situations. After doing some self reflection, I think I get a lot of my empathy from those situations I saw my family go through.

On a more positive note, my family also gave me some of my coolest –and nerdiest–  personality traits.

My dad is a total goof-ball. We have a million inside jokes and are always laughing. He is also one of the most loving, and caring people I know. I am so grateful that he is my dad. He has taught me how to love, forgive and to always have a little fun.

My Aunt (my Dad’s sister) is also a goofball. Growing up, she was always there to listen to me, and never treated me like a little kid. I am grateful that I had her around when I was a teenager, because I really don’t know where I would have ended up if I didn’t have an adult I could turn to.

My grandma. Probably the hardest person to write about because she passed away back in February. Just writing one sentence… and Im already tearing up. She was one of the most influential people in my life, and I don’t think I even realized it until she passed. My grandma taught me that a girl can go camping, shoot a gun, collect rocks, and be intelligent.  I will be forever grateful for  all of the camping trips, the summers at her house, the trips to marine world and all of the minutes I got to spend with her (although it will have never been enough).

I am also very grateful for the newest family in my life. My guy’s family. I have been around for about three years, and its amazing to me how much they have accepted me into their lives. I am grateful for the love they have shown me. They treat me like family, and I know if I ever needed anything, they would be there in a heart beat with no questions asked. I have never really been able to rely on anyone like that so its still mind blowing that these people who aren’t even blood, can just swoop in and treat me like one of their own. I am so thankful to have them in my life.

Lastly, I am grateful for my best friend. We have been friends for 15 years, and this girl was probably the closest thing to family that I had for a long time. She drives me insane and we bicker like sisters and I wouldn’t have it any other way. She keeps me on my toes, and continuously reminds me that life is for living. I love her to pieces. She is a big contributor as to why I started this blog, and she was the first person I told.

I am grateful for the people I call family.

If you know me personally, you know that I have ‘Ohana’ tattood on my wrist…Ohana Means family, and family means no one gets left behind or forgotten.

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The Answer is Always ‘no’ When the Question is Unasked.

So the past couple weeks have been full of working and hiking, and no so much trying new things. I haven’t even followed up on my Spin class post! There’s actually a reason for it! About three weeks ago I hurt my shoulder while I was at work -I know… super lame.- I had to go to the doctors and everything. At first they thought I tore my rotator cuff, but after a couple physical therapy sessions, they were pretty sure I just strained the muscles in there.  Its starting to feel a lot better, and hopefully tomorrow the doctor will clear me to start using my arms to work out.

With that being said, I have found myself a new adventure! Something I used to do periodically while I lived  in Monterrey was Bikram Yoga. Its a 60 minute yoga session in a heated room -about 105°- with 40% humidity. Bikram is all about focusing on slow movements and your breathing. Each class consists of the same 26 movements, but the point is to become more flexible and be able to move deeper into the position.  It is a challenging class, but you feel so relaxed and refreshed –all while dripping sweat!- once the 60 minutes is up.

The reason why I could never commit to it, was because it’s so dang expensive!! I mean its understandable, they have to pay an electricity bill that constantly heats a room to the correct temp, they have to have be able to properly clean it and make sure there is no bacteria growing  (heat+humidity+sweat=yuck).

Frequently, I check prices at my local studios to see if they are doing any deals for students, or new sign ups, etc. Well,  the other day I stumbled across a program my local yoga studio has. It’s called Yoga For Trade. Basically you agree to work a four hour shift, once a week with a four month commitment, and for as long as you are there, you get unlimited yoga classes!! The down side was that you had to have already been a member with them for 6 months to be eligible.

I was so sad for a minute, but then I decided I would apply for the program, and in the “about me” area, I would explain to them why they should make an exception and allow me to participate in the program.

I was pleasantly surprised when the director of the program responded back with in 24 hours, and said that she would love to have me at the studio.

That’s right…I’M IN!

I am extremely nervous because: Number one: I just made a 4 month fitness commitment. Number two: They have no idea what I look like, and it makes me a little scared to walk in next week, not looking like your typical yogi-girl.-more like yogi-bear, ha ha-  And finally number three: Hot yoga is HOT, meaning the tighter the cloths, and the less you wear, the better off you will be… and lets just say there’s no way in heck that I’ll be wearing booty shorts and a sports bra…. I need to take a trip to target and get something that will work with the heat, but not completely expose me!

On a more positive note; This studio does more than just hot yoga. They have hot Pilates, a bunch of other types of yoga, and also heated and non heated boot camp classes.

So let’s review: I put myself out there and took a risk because I wanted something badly enough to not accept the first ‘no’… now I have opened my opportunities, to not just one new activity, but multiple!!

I start training on Thursday, and then from there out I can start participating in any of the classes! Yay!!

Namaste 🙂

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Into The Forest I Go, To Lose My Mind And Find My Soul.

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My new Hiking boots that are officially broken in!

My oh my, it has been a long week! Ever since my SO and I have set goals to hike Big Sur and Havasu, I have been really trying to stay dedicated to training for it. Even with these goals in mind, it was really hard for me to do anything this week because I have been working both of my jobs almost every day since last Thursday. I just put in just under 100 hours between both jobs. I am excruciatingly exhausted, but I feel proud of myself for getting through it without any meltdowns —Okay, maybe there was one meltdown.

Luckily, on Wednesday of this week I only had to work one 4 hour shift, so I got to go on a little hike in the morning! I have been fortunate enough to reconnect with one of my old friends recently, so when I told her I wanted to go hiking, she was all in! We have been friends for about 8 years;  and while we have never not been friends, we both have been hustlin’ in life and have been on different paths during the past year or so.

I am so excited we are finally getting into a rhythm where we have time to actually see each other on a semi-regular basis.–It’s almost as if we are adults or something! — One of the things I love about this girl is that no matter what is going on in life (or how busy we get),  when we do have time to catch up,  it’s like no time passed at all.

THAT my dears,  is a sign you have found yourself a true friend. I only have a couple people (that I have known long enough) where I can comfortably say they are true friends. Those people are quite valuable to me.

Anyways….Wednesday morning rolls around, and by 9am we are on the road –after a coffee stop of course! The trail is about a 30 minute drive from my house, and while I call this trail the waterfall hike, it’s actually a hike that leads up to the back of the North Fork Dam in Auburn, Ca. (and I think it’s official name is the Lake Clementine Trail)  In my defense, technically water falls from the dam, so therefore it is a waterfall (just not a natural one)!

Because it was a Wednesday, the trail was not busy, and there was only one group of people at the waterfall when we got there. We took turns using our phones for music, and just walked and talked and enjoyed the scenery.

The nice thing about this hike, is that any skill level can do it. The terrain is even for the most part, and while you do get a workout going uphill on the way to the falls, it’s not overwhelming. The Scenery is amazing! The trail is up above the river, so you get a really nice view as you are walking. The water was so clear we could even see fish!  You also get to pass under the Foresthill Bridge which is a pretty spectacular view in its own right.

We hiked around for a good two hours. The total hike (according to my GPS tracker) was 5.5 miles. Mind you it’s already 90° when we start hiking, so by the time we are done, we are all sweaty and hungry.

So what’s a couple of girls to do?

Yup, we went to our local mimosa house and had a nice little friend-date! -I know… nothing says ‘adult’ like two twenty-something-year-olds drinking on a Wednesday afternoon!–

I have been spending a lot of times with friends lately, and I am starting to see what a positive impact it has on my mood. Last semester all I did was work, go to school, and spend time with my SO. –And let’s be real here, if I didn’t live with him, I’m not sure how often I would have even seen him!– After moving around my work schedule, and taking the summer off to have some ‘me time’ I have realized that spending time with friends is me time. When school starts I won’t be working crazy hours like I did this week, and I will be making it a priority to maintain my friendships, because that helps maintain my sanity. 🙂

Stay sane in the brain,

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A rad shot I got of my bestie and the waterfall 🙂

Long Term Goals, Short Term Sacrifices.

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Do I want to go out and party and stay up all night with friends?  Duh.

Do I know that when I party, my emotions become unbalanced and I it takes me days to get back on track? Yes.

Do I also know that I will lose friends in the process of reaching my goals because I turn down social events to study, sleep or work? I do now…

But is my Future, and everything I want for my future, at the top of my priority list? ABSO-FREAKIN-LUTELY.

I know for me personally, it’s hard to balance life while still making strides towards my goal. The good news is: that as I start to see the light at the end of the tunnel, navigating my way through these tough decisions becomes easier and easier. A few years ago my priorities were not focused on reaching my goals.

I think sometimes we are so afraid of taking risks towards are dream because it makes us vulnerable to failure. Rather than take risks and put our words into actions…our goals and amazing ideas remain exactly that: Thoughts, goals, and just words.  It’s easy to make excuses on why you aren’t acting right now to set your goals in motion because if you let everything else get in the way, you can never fail, right? WRONG!

Why are we so afraid? Because we don’t want to fail? Aren’t we more afraid of living a monotonous life? Shouldn’t we be more afraid of never knowing what it feels like to accomplish something we are truely  passionate about?

All too often we let our goals take a back seat and let everything else in life get in the way of what we truly want. This is a call to action! If you want something, fight for it. Stop talking about it like its right around the corner. It’s right in front of you, so grab it! What did you do today, that gets you closer to where you want to be tomorrow?

I am done just talking about my dreams, its time to act on them.

Live a fulfilling life, not a fearful one.

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52 Weeks of Gratitude: Week Two

My SO and I celebrating our first year together

Last week I introduced the 52 week gratitude challenge and explained why I am incorporating it into my blog. Therefore I consider my post from last week to be “week one: Why start this challenge.”

That being said, Week two’s topic is: Spouse/Significant Other.

I am so incredibly thankful for my SO. Get your vomit bags ready, because he one of my favorite topics to write about! He is the bee’s knees, the peanut butter to my jelly, the ink to my pen.

I tell him quite often how thankful I am for his existence in my life, but I really don’t think he has any clue how much I truly appreciate him. Everyday he supports me and encourages me.

If it tell him I want to start a blog, and then almost spend FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS on a sketchy website, and then want to throw in the towel because “how in the world could I even have a sucessfull blog, If I can’t even set up the blog to start with”…he just laughs and tells me that I will find the right website (thanks WordPress!), and that I shouldn’t give up.

This man loves me unconditionally and apologetically. I know I’m a hot mess sometimes –okay more like most of the time!– yet, I never have to apologize for my emotions. One of the things I struggle with is that I am an emotional person; I wear my heart on my sleeve. Most days I hate being that way because many people around me view that trait as a weak one.

A couple weeks ago I was complaining to him about me always being a cry baby… and do you know what he says to me? He says that one of the things he loves about me is that I am not just passionate about one thing, that I am passionate about everything and that’s what makes me who I am. –This is the part where you make a vomit noise and grimace at the cuteness.–

The word “emotional” has such a negative connotation. It feels reactive, as if I have no control over it. –which I will admit.. I don’t always have control!– But the word “passionate” It is active. It is empowering. I am grateful for the way he empowers me.

When we first started dating I had just moved from Monterey, California to Sacramento, California. My life in Monterey was a mess –noticing a pattern here?…Im pretty much a mess of a person 24/7.– I was making poor decisions, and going nowhere in life. Regardless, it was still a hard move because: UM HI!?! I LIVED NEXT TO THE OCEAN!!! But also because I knew I was leaving a life of partying and moving forward to the unknown life of this thing called responsibility. –Yuck.–

Anyways… we had been dating for maybe a few weeks and I had told him how much I missed the beach, the next day he sends me a picture of a sea-side resort in Southern California with a text that says: we are going on vacation! But that is the kind of person he is. Thoughtful. Loving. AMAZING.

Even when the relationship was brand new I never had to wonder if he was seeing a bunch of girls, or if he was playing games. There was an immediate friendship with him, and therefore a deep trust was established. We are almost at our three year mark, and I am so in love with my best friend. Of course relationships are never perfect, things come up… but we continue to build on what we have through a lot of love, and a lot of communication. I will be forever grateful for my man. He saved me from myself, and showed me how a woman should be treated. And he continues to rise me up, and show me that I can be that better person I’m always striving to be.

Gratitude is so important in any relationship. “Thanks yous” are far and few between. Maybe if we spread more love and said thank you a little more often, people would see that you don’t always have to push someone else down to be lifted. I don’t know about you, but I feel great after giving a genuine thank you! Making people feel good, makes me feel good!
I’m thankful for the people that read this!

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These Boots Were Made for Walkin’

I have this really cool app called all trails;  it uses your smartphone’s GPS to give you a list of trails in the area. You can sort them by how close they are to you, the distance of the trail and also the difficulty of the trail. Today was my day off, so the boyfriend and I decided to go on a hike!

We chose a 4.2 mile trail that was listed as easy and close in proximity. We were on the trail by 10:30am. It was definitely a sunny day (I have the sunburn to prove it!) and although the trail is labeled at easy, the extra pounds that I carry around would like to argue!  By no means would I consider this trail a hard hike, but more like a long, hot, brisk walk.

I did however, enjoy it immensely. I have come to realize that I truly enjoy the outdoors. As my boyfriend and I were walking, I noticed that I was talking his ear off. Lately I have been a little closed off and stuck in my own head. Walking outside allows me to relax and just live in the moment. -which I often forget to do!

Sometimes the road to fitness isn’t always physical (although I did sweat a little bit today). Sometimes its about emotional fitness. When I lived in Monterey a few years ago, I used to go walking, for hours, when I was stressed out. It always seemed to slow down the millions of racing thoughts in my mind and put them into perspective.

The gym, and fitness classes are nice because they motivate me to keep pushing, but being outside helps me to slow things down and re-evaluate my wants and needs.

I especially enjoy hiking with my guy because it feels like it opens up our communication. I have noticed we are more perceptive of ideas when we are doing something productive together…its like we are on the same path or something… Get it? ‘same path’…because we are hiking? I’m funny. We got to day dream a little bit about some fitness goals we would like to reach together.

One of my biggest goals is to compete the half marathon in Big Sur. We would also like to train enough to that we can participate a mud run or Spartan race (He has done them in the past).

Overall it was a lovely day, and I feel at peace with myself.

I think we are going on another hike tomorrow. 🙂

Now… Take a hike!

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52 Weeks of Gratitude

I think something that I personally struggle with, and something my generation struggles with, is being consistently negative, and not being thankful for what we have. I saw an Instagram challenge called 52 weeks of Gratitude, and I would love to incorporate it into my blog.

I think it’s important for me on this journey to not only seek change within myself, but be thankful for the aspects of my life I can’t change, and recognize the aspects I don’t want to change.  Each week on Monday –Because who doesn’t struggle on Mondays… be sure to check back on my “52 Weeks of Gratitude” page to see my most current post!  I included a screen shot of the challenge, so follow along with me! I would love to see your submissions.  🙂

Let’s all focus on happiness, instead of hate ❤

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