Thankful for Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving! I am so thankful to be home with my family–I haven’t been home in months. Unfortunately M and I are spending the holiday apart because he has to work tonight. But he’s alright with the pups and I being gone–it means a quiet house for him. 😉

A quick recap of Elf4Health activities so far this week: Monday you read about my MeatlessMonday butternut squash soup and whole wheat herb and cheddar biscuits. Tuesday’s activity was to unsubscribe from those emails and catalogues that you don’t really read any more. I saw a lot of the elves unsubscribed to tons of emails, and that’s great. I didn’t really keep count of how many emails I unsubscribed from, but I can say that there were a few that felt great when I clicked “unsubscribe”–they were newsletters that I used to put together in my old job and emails I’d get for my old job. To unsubscribe from them was very therapeutic for me. I had been meaning to do this for quite some time, but never really got the gumption. I’m thankful for this challenge to make me do it.

Wednesday was to try a new workout. Since I was traveling for a good part of the day, I hit up the earliest class at Man O’War CrossFit. On board for the day was two WODs I had never done before: Elizabeth and Karen. (We had been doing benchmark girls all week.)

Elizabeth
21-15-9
Cleans
Ring Dips
Done in 8:03 w/65 lb cleans (95 lb Rx) and banded ring dips

Karen
150
Wall Balls
Completed as Rxd in 6:09

The best part of this morning butt-kicking workout? My 6:09 ended up being the best time in our box so far! I was able to put my name on “The Wall”! This is one of the few “girl workouts” I can do as prescribed and I was pumped. (Though I’m not sure how long that time held through the day, I’ll check next week. But for now, I’m darn proud of that time.)

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Today’s challenge is call up someone to chat. But since I’m at home for Thanksgiving, and we’ll be with family, I’m going to take the time to listen and talk with everyone, face to face, since I don’t get to do that very often.

This morning, though, I ran in the Drumstick Dash in Indianapolis! I was so excited when I discovered that I’d be able to run in this race, finally. It’s a 2.5 or 4.6 mile run/walk that benefits the Wheeler Mission, a group that helps feed the homeless. It’s the 6th largest Thanksgiving Day race in the country, and the 3rd largest race in Indianapolis (the Indianapolis 500 Mini Marathon and Susan G. Koman Race for the Cure are #1 & #2 respectively). I talked my sister and brother-in-law into walking the 2.5 mile portion, as well as my brother-in-law, so I was really excited about that. Then I found out my youngest cousin was running the 4.6 while my aunt and uncle were walking the 2.5 portion. So I ran the race with my little cousin!

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It was a very cold morning: Only 25* when we got to the race. We got there an hour early because we weren’t sure of the traffic, but that also meant spending a lot of time outside not moving much. By the time the gun sounded I couldn’t feel my toes! (I took my white fleece off and put it in my bag that my sister carried before we left for the starting line.)

My cousin usually runs at an 8:45 mile pace, and in the cold I told her I usually run 9-9:30 min/miles, but we decided to run together to motivate each other. It was pretty fun to run with her–we haven’t gotten to chat or hang out very much since we’ve gotten older, so it was a fun race. We were impressed with the firefighters running in full gear while carrying oxygen tanks, axes, and hoses. There were people wearing shorts (crazy!) but a lot of us were bundled up. We ended up finishing the race in 40:17! That’s an 8:30 min/mile average! That’s like my race pace personal record! (Same with Gretchen’s!) So awesome!

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We finished the morning with meeting my parents for breakfast (thank you to those people working restaurants on Thanksgiving) and enjoyed more family time.

I hope, wherever you are, you’re enjoy Thanksgiving with loved ones. I’m thankful for my family–the support and ever-ending love they’ve given me all my life, especially lately, has kept me going. I’m also thankful for those keeping us safe, even on a holiday, and our armed forces.

Your turn: What are you thankful for?

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Link Love: Good Reads on CrossFit, Running, & Depression

I haven’t done a Link Love post in quite some time, but I’ve spent a lot of time lately ignoring work reading some great new posts that I wanted to share with everyone.

LinkLove

10 Lessons Running Teaches You about Life (The Daily Runner): I love #1 (When things get tough, just keep going) and #7 (You define your own limits). I mean, seriously, how honest is that? You know that the middle of that steep hill is going to suck, but it’s not going to get any better until you push through and get to the top. Stopping in the middle of something difficult, such as working on an article (let’s say), is only going to prolong the pain/difficulty. If you push through, get the job done, you’ll be rewarded on the other side.

Weathering the Storm (Cesar’s Way): As someone who has a dog that is scared to pieces whenever thunder rolls and lightening strikes, I’m always looking for ways to help LaMesa weather the storms a little easier. We’ve purchased the ThunderShirt, but it doesn’t always help. However, I hadn’t thought of the tip in the article saying have her wear the ThunderShirt during calm weather so she associates that with calm more than storms. DUH! Why hadn’t I thought of that?? Read on to get more tips.

Why I WILL NOT Quit CrossFit (Running Wilder): Preach it, sistah!! I never said that CrossFit was for everyone, but I do believe everyone (that likes working out) should give it a good ole fashion try at some point. There are some of us who dive a little more into our passions. And I have become very passionate about CrossFit. I won’t judge you for what you’re passionate about, so please don’t judge me.

Guess Who’s Back in Town (Passion for Life, Love, and Health): I know how hard it is to post something so personal such as a battle with depression. When you’re in a slump, you don’t feel the motivation to do much of anything. There are weeks where I don’t feel like writing, and I don’t. So you’ll see some long stretches of no activity on here, but like Ashleigh, I’m still here and still fighting.

Great posts, great reads for a chilly week. I hope you enjoy them!

Your turn: What’s been one (or two) of your favorite reads this week?

Going Meatless for #Elf4Health

Happy Monday! And Happy First Day of Elf4Health!!

Today is the start of the 2013 edition of Elf4Health. Last night I “met” my elf for the first round, Tracie! Tracie is training for her first half marathon in February, and now that it’s gotten cold in upper New York she’s having to do most of her training on the treadmill (oi vey!). But I know she’s going to rock it!

The first challenge is to have a Meatless Monday. It’s exactly how it sounds: make all your meals meatless. Breakfast is pretty easy for me, as this morning all I wanted was something warm so I heated up some oatmeal after CrossFit. Lunch was a quick peanut butter and jelly sandwich with some cheesy broccoli I found in the freezer.

Now, for dinner. I’ve had a butternut squash laying around for a while, so I decided I wanted to try making butternut squash soup in the CrockPot. It’ll be served with a salad and homemade biscuits.

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Butternut Squash Soup

1 medium butternut squash, peeled & cubed
Freshly diced yellow onion (I only used a couple slices, since M isn’t a bit onion fan)
1 medium Granny Smith apple, peeled and cubed
32 ounces low-sodium veggie or chicken broth
Cinnamon, nutmeg, salt & pepper to taste

  1. Prepare your slow cooker (I spray olive oil before placing the ingredients inside)
  2. Peel & cube the butternut squash and apple, dice up the onion and place it all in the slow cooker
  3. Pour the broth.
  4. Cook in the slow cooker. 6-7 hours on low, or 3-4 hours on high
  5. Once everything is soft, use an immersion blender (or do what I did, carefully transfer  contents into a blender, in batches, and puree) to blend everything.
  6. Once thoroughly blended, add your spices to your taste. (I just added a little of everything, and then let everyone make it their own (do they like it extra sweet? Or a little more pepper?)
  7. Serve and enjoy!

I served this with some homemade whole wheat cheddar biscuits, adapted from an easy recipe I found online.

Whole Wheat Herb & Cheddar Biscuits

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
3 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup cold milk (I used fat free)
Italian spices to taste
Shredded cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 450* F. Prepare an ungreased cookie sheet and set aside.
  2. In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and Italian spices with a whisk or fork.
  3. Cut the butter into small pieces and mix those pieces into the flour. Continue until it resembles coarse crumbs.
  4. Pour the milk and mix all together.
  5. Drop the batter onto the cookie sheet.
  6. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until the bottoms are golden brown. With about 4-5 minutes left in baking sprinkle some shredded cheese on top each biscuit.

Here are a couple more Meatless Monday options, including what I made for last year’s Elf4Health:

Your turn: What’s your favorite Meatless Monday meal?

Recipe Adventures: Tuna Cakes

Ever just get a craving for one main ingredient and want to find a way to make it different? That’s how I was about tuna the other night. I just felt like having tuna, but I didn’t want to make the same boring tuna salad like I usually do, I wanted to make something a little more sophisticated. So I did a search of my Pinterest recipes, and then searched online until I found a tuna cake recipe that required only the ingredients I already had and went to work.

I used this recipe on AllRecipes.com as the base. When I finished making them, I decided to then incorporate a chipotle mayo for a sauce, just in case it needed to be kicked up a notch. So I used the recipe from the mayo from this tuna cake recipe (which I didn’t make because I didn’t have any Old Bay Seasoning, nor any panko), but substituted plain Greek yogurt for the light mayo.

The overall impression? It was a good base, but I need to add more to the tuna cakes for more flavor. I’m thinking maybe some minced garlic, or even just buying some Old Bay Seasoning. I also though about dicing up some green and red pepper to include, since I’ve had crab cakes with peppers inside that were delicious. The cakes I made held up well in the pan (after I make the patties I put them in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to firm up some, definitely don’t skip this step.)

I served the tuna cakes with some SteamFresh veggies with pasta and fruit for a well-rounded meal. I wish I had leftovers to flake into a big salad, but maybe next time?

Here they were in the skillet (I failed to get a photo of them on our dinner plates):

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Your turn: Share your most recent recipe adventure!

Fitness Friday: Workouts From the Week

I missed last week’s “Fitness Friday” so I’ll share the past eight workouts we’ve done at Man O’War CrossFit.

First off last week:

20131121-204645.jpgNovember has been all about heavy lifting. Taylor, our coach, was inspired by the last CrossFit competition (I’m guessing), so we’re upping our game with the weights. It’s been a lot of fun, and I’m looking forward to seeing how much I’ve improved from previous maxes. I’m trying to work on my split jerks, but it’s so hard to remember to drive forward with my front foot and not go too wide on my stance. (Note: Any tips?)

Thursday you’ll see the WOD called “Morrison”. This is a hero WOD, and those are typically butt kickers. Unfortunately, this was a day that no one else showed up for my 7:30 class so I had to do this workout by myself (with some cheering from Taylor, Natalie, and Tara, of course). Knowing that I just got over my fear of box jumps, I asked if I could switch up the order. So I did box jumps, then wall balls, then the kettlebell swings. Let me tell you…50 box jumps in a row is hard, no matter when you do them! We had a 30 minute time cap, but I felt like I could complete it all in those 30 minutes.

This was a hard workout to go through when you are still getting over a cold and you have asthma. There were times I was just breathing so hard while I was resting. The heavy breathing, plus the repetitious movements of my upper body turned out to be a bad combination. I was finishing my 20 box jumps when I started to feel a twinge in my upper right side of my back. I pushed through to finish the 20 and moved on to the wall balls. One throw of the ball and I was done–my back was in a complete muscle spasm and I couldn’t lift my right arm very high. I had about 8 minutes left when this happened, and I tried to work through it so I could finish. Taylor brought a lacrosse ball over for me to use, but it wasn’t subsiding. I ended up having to call it a day…as much as I hated it. I spent the rest of the day on the heating pad, took a muscle relaxer that night, but I couldn’t move the best Friday morning. So I skipped CrossFit that morning, but later went for a 2.5 mile run to help shake out the legs and my back. I think it helped because I was good to go by Saturday.

20131121-204700.jpgThis week we backed off on the weight, preparing for our max lifts next week. Monday’s WOD of overhead lunges was done with 45 pounds, but it was still killer. Tuesday we had way too much fun swinging around on the rings (hung low on the pull-up bar) to learn the movement of muscle ups. I don’t think I could see myself ever being able to do a muscle up for real, but it’s still fun to work on them!

I woke up Thursday morning with tight hamstrings–I’m sure that’s probably thanks to Wednesday’s squat jumps (65 pounds). Nothing a little bit of jump rope, foam rolling, and stretching couldn’t fix.

I’ve been running a little throughout the week as well–no real long distances, but just some nice runs with friends. I’m starting to run with another running club based out of downtown Lexington and out of a local brewery (yes, runners and beer are the best combination). I’ll post more about that later.

I’m appreciating the time Taylor has put into developing our strength program because I’m seeing improvements here and there.

Oh…and I plan on finishing Morrison soon. I will conquer that hero WOD!

Your turn: What’s been your favorite workout this week?

Healthy Holiday Challenge: Elf4Health

I’m so excited that Lindsay and Elle decided to bring back Elf4Health for the second year. If you’ve been reading my blog since last year, you’ll remember me sharing some of my adventures participating in Elf4Health. It’s a fun, free program created to encourage continuing a healthy lifestyle (or starting) in the weeks leading up for the holidays. Different “challenges” include Meatless Monday, cleaning out the closet, trying a new workout, workout with a buddy, etc.

I totally encourage you to sign up. It’s a great community (I think there’s already 400+ elves signed up, men and women) to support a healthy lifestyle. You’ll be paired up with another elf twice during the challenge, and those pairings can lead to a great friendship–I still chat with my elves Annica and Lindsay.

Here’s the gist of the challenges:

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Sign-ups are going on now until this Friday, Nov. 22. There will be a second round of sign-ups, but I recommend getting in on the action early! (Check out Lindsay’s blog for the sign-ups.)

You can follow along with me as I chronicle my Elf4Health Challenge via the blog, Twitter (@MLArszman), and Instagram (MLA317).

I hope you’ll join us!!

Your turn: Out of the challenges above, what one would you be looking forward to the most? 

Slow Cooker Love: Perfect for Cold Weather

I’d like to start off by saying my thoughts are with those in Indiana and Illinois affected by the storms yesterday. My family farm is in Central Indiana, and they were lucky with no damage, but communities just minutes away were not as lucky. Here in Kentucky, we just had a lot of rain (luckily).

Lately I’ve been in love with my CrockPot. I’ve always known it’s perfect for meals to be cooked all day. I mean, how awesome is it to come home from working all day and dinner already be done? But I don’t really take advantage of it until the weather turns cold…and I’m sure a lot of you are in the same boat.

The past couple of weeks I’ve made some pretty tasty meals in the CrockPot that I found on Pinterest, so I thought I’d share them with you. (Unfortunately I failed on the photo taking department with the meals, so you’ll have to bear with me.)

CrockPot Pineapple Chicken

I found this recipe on AllRecipes.com. However, I changed it up a bit and used boneless, skinless chicken breasts and cut the amount of brown sugar used (I figured the pineapple would be pretty sweet already). Using the boneless chicken breasts allowed me to be able to shred the chicken after it cooked for 3 hours (on high), which I really liked better.

photo-36

We served this on brown rice that I quickly whipped up before we ate. It was even better the next day!

*Make sure you use canned pineapple that’s only in pineapple juice, not syrup, for less sugar.

CrockPot Lasagna Soup

This was a recipe I originally found on Pinterest, but it’s listed on SparkPeople. This was another easy recipe that was pretty low fat and low in calories. I browned the ground turkey before putting in the CrockPot (some say you can put raw ground turkey in there, but it makes me wary). I did change up the recipe to go with what we had in the cabinets and refrigerator.

Here’s what I did:

1 pound ground turkey
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
4 cloves minced garlic
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 tbsp dried basil
1 14.5 oz can of Italian diced tomatoes
1 14.5 oz can low sodium diced tomatoes
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
Pinch salt and pepper to taste
Diced onion
Diced green pepper
2 cups whole wheat noodles (I used up 2 boxes–elbows and swirls)

Next time I’d love to use some zucchini, as suggested, but my CrockPot was full with all of this! Topped with some mozzarella cheese in the bowl, and it was delicious! Perfect after a cold run that night.

Chili

And who could forget the always-dependable chili in the CrockPot? This meal can be what you make of it–simple or complex. I don’t have any real set recipes for chili (but the hubby has one tried-and-true that he loves), so it’s hard to share.

One thing I discovered one time making chili might sound odd to you, but I actually really liked it. One night I really wanted chili, but we didn’t have much in the cabinets. I looked up different recipes and saw something about using celery in the chili. I had a can of black eyed peas I wanted to use, and my mom said that was ok. So I created a black eyed pea chili, with ground turkey, diced tomatoes, and diced celery. Seriously…try the diced celery. It adds a little crunchy and crispness to the chili. M wasn’t too sure about the meal when he saw the black eyed peas and when I told him there was celery, but he actually liked it.

I encourage you to play around with your slow cooker this winter, and share a favorite recipe! I’m going to try to do a new slow cooker recipe once a week–you never know what you might discover you love!

Your turn: What’s your favorite, go-to slow cooker recipe?

It’s My Birthday (And I’m Turning 31…eek!)

31Yep…today’s the big 3-1 for me. It’s really weird to say that I’m in my thirties. I’ve tried to come up with some sort of post like “31 Things You Learn Before Turning 31” or “31 Things to do Before Turning 31” but 31 just seems like a lot…

Turning 31 means I’m now in that stage of being in my thirties. I don’t know why, but last year, when I turned 30, it didn’t hit me as hard as I thought it would. But now, turning 31 has hit me like a ton of bricks. I’m one of the oldest in my CrossFit box, but yet still the youngest in my group of dog agility friends. I’m at the stage in life where my friends are almost all married, and most have kids or are planning to have kids. M and I? We’re still in the stage where we don’t know what we want, but we know we’re not able to be there yet.

So what does a young woman (wait, am I still considered “young” at 31?) do at age 31? Right now, not a whole lot of anything. We still have a lot on our personal plates before we even consider planning to have a family, but will it be too late whenever we can get our act together to do so?

I’m currently a freelance writer, looking for a new opportunity in the real world. (Can you tell I’ve practiced saying that a lot in interviews lately?) Never would I imagine my career would be at such a standstill and influx like it has been this year, especially at 31. I swear I thought I had it all together upon graduating from college, which was unlike so many others. And, yet, here I am almost 10 years later with everything in pieces.

So what have I learned about myself in my 31st year?

– I am strong. Not only physically (thank you, CrossFit), but in every other way. I have gone through so much this year, and yet I’m still standing. I’m still fighting. I’m still here. The events of the past year and a half might have made many crumble, but I have to thank my Scorpio, stubborn, competitive self that I am still fighting to win.

– I am loved. I’ve always known I was surrounded by such a loving, strong, supportive family, but the past year or so I’ve really come to appreciate it even more than ever. Without their honesty and support, who knows if I’d be able to say the above.

– I am more. I am more than what my past might say about me. I am more than what my bank balance or gas tank says I am. There is so much more to me that I need to discover, I need to embrace the coming years for exploration.

– I have talent. I grew up training my own horses and showing them. It some times surprised me what I could accomplish on my own with them–in 2004 I won the PHBA World Championship in hunter under saddle without a trainer. Now, because I can’t afford my horse habit at this time, I’m training and competing my dogs in agility, and somehow those talents have transferred to the smaller four-legged persuasion. I’ve qualified my Corgi, whom some said wouldn’t even be a champion, for the National Agility Championships for the third year in a row (oh, and she is on the verge of earning her second championship). I need to learn to use my talent for money-making purposes, though… Ha!

– I am better. I am better than any of those negative thoughts that creep into my head from time to time. I am better than when I start to think negatively about someone else, but I do so to try to help myself feel better. I am better than what my foes might think.

The best of both worlds: the mountains and the beach! (Lake Tahoe, 2012)

The best of both worlds: the mountains and the beach! (Lake Tahoe, 2012)

Now, here are 31 questions to get to know me better:

  1. What was your favorite food when you were a child? 
    I loved macaroni and cheese (still do) and Cheerios (still do).
  2. What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod?
    “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” by Eli Young Band–mostly because that’s my ringtone on my phone.
  3. What is one of your favorite quotes?
    “Don’t let fear get in the way of your dreams”
  4. What’s your favorite indoor/outdoor activity?
    Indoor: Baking, CrossFit
    Outdoor: Riding horses, hiking, walking the dogs
  5. What chore do you absolutely hate doing?
    Cleaning the cat boxes
  6. What is your favorite form of exercise?
    Right now it’s CrossFit all the way!
  7. What is your favorite time of day?
    I love mornings because I feel so accomplished when I finish my workouts before most are even awake.
  8. What is your favorite day of the week?
    I don’t have a particular favorite day of the week for me–they all melt together right now.
  9. What is your favorite month?
    October because it’s the start of Autumn, but still warm and pretty
  10. What’s your least favorite mode of transportation?
    Uhh…some times I just hate driving.
  11. What is your favorite body part?
    I love my legs–they’re so strong and carry me to do the things I love.
  12. What sound do you love?
    I love the sound of horses running, my dogs playing, the clinging of weights in the box (strange, I know)
  13. What’s your favorite smell?
    Fresh saddle leather, alfalfa hay, Autumn
  14. If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do?
    Pay off all of our debt!! Then I’d pay off my parents’ bills. Then we’d buy a farm with lots of land for horses and Corgis! LOL
  15. If you could know the answer to any question, besides “What is the meaning of life?”, what would it be?
    Is there really life after death?
  16. What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
    Euthanizing any of my animals–Mara this summer, my barrel horse, my Palomino gelding…there is a piece of me with each one of them that can’t be filled.
  17. What do you miss most about being a kid?
    Feeling so free to follow my dreams. I didn’t know the financial repercussions or the stress that came with following your dreams–you just did it and relished every moment. I miss spending hours on the backs of my horses being free and happy.
  18. What story does your family always tell about you?
    Probably the one about the “three bad boys” who punched a hole in the hallway wall. Spoiler: There was only one bad girl… 😉
  19. Your first car?
    My first car was actually a truck–and I’ve always owned a truck since then. It was a 1998 GMC Sonoma with a manual gear shift–my dad always said if we could drive a stick, we could drive anything, so my sister and I each had manuals for our first vehicles.
  20. Favorite sport to watch?
    I love watching football, especially college football (Go Irish! Hook ’em Horns!). Horse racing is right up there, too.
  21. Longest car ride ever taken?
    That would be the haul from Indiana to New Mexico. I was helping a family friend haul their horse to the National High School Finals Rodeo, so between the three of us, we drove 36 straight hours. It was actually a lot of fun and a trip of a lifetime.
  22. Nike, Adidas, or UnderArmor?
    Umm…all of them? I love my Nike Free Trainers for CrossFit, my Saucony Ride 5s for running, and if the workout clothes fit me right and I like them, I’ll wear them, whether they’re Adidas, Reebok, Brooks, UnderArmor, Nike, …
  23. Did you play any sports in high school?
    I played volleyball my freshman and sophomore year (plus club ball) and threw shot put and discus in track my junior year. All four years I competed in the National High School Rodeo Association and showed my horses, so my senior year I concentrated on that more than other sports. But I also coached volleyball and kickball at my old Catholic grease school.
  24. First job?
    Besides helping my dad some with his construction business, my first legit real job was working at Einstein Brothers’ Bagels my senior year of college. It was a lot of fun, until my boss kept scheduling me when I said I couldn’t work, including my graduation. So I quit.
  25. Mountains or the beach?
    I can’t choose. I finally got to see the beach, in person, last year on our honeymoon. Every night it was so peaceful sitting on our balcony listening to the waves crash against the sand. But the mountains are so beautiful, too.
  26. Were you in the school band?
    In grade school I was First Trumpet in our band for a couple of years–we were a pretty big deal. haha I tried to continue playing in high school, but after two practices with the pep band, I felt like it wasn’t meant for me any more, and quit.
  27. Favorite movie?
    Tombstone, Seabiscuit, Gone in 60 Seconds
  28. When did you last visit the zoo?
    Actually, M and I went during our day trip to celebrate our one year wedding anniversary last month to the Cincinnati Zoo.
  29. Do you like your handwriting?
    No–it’s so messy! That’s why I always type things out on the computer! I dreaded writing thank you notes after our wedding because I had to write slowly to make sure everything was legible.
  30. What’s one daredevil thing you’d like to do?
    I want to skydive!! I don’t know why, but I really want to! I know I’ll be a nervous, scared jumble of nerves all the way until I actually jump, but I’ll be so pumped once I’ve landed to probably want to do it again.
  31. What are some of your goals for the next year?
    Find my new niche for my profession. Run another couple of half marathons. Compete in a CrossFit competition.

Your turn: Answer one of these questions so I can get to know you better!

LaMesa’s 4th birthday

C’mon, how many bloggers do you know that celebrates their dogs’ birthdays for everyone to see?? What can we say? We just love our pups!

LaMesa is probably the closest to a child you can come, if you look past the fur-covered body walking on four legs. She has such a “baby girl” personality–she loves her daddy (M) and has such human expressions, some times it’s hard to remember she’s still a dog.

We call LaMesa a “chupacabra-honeybadger-baby-wolf-hybrid” because she looks that way some times! And, yes, I’ve seriously been asked a few times “Is she a baby wolf?”

Mesa-meme

Anyway, my little girl turned 4 years old at our agility trial over the weekend (Sunday, Nov. 10). And like a good mom, I made dog cookies for her to share with her agility friends. (Don’t worry, I’ll share the recipe on here soon–they were a big hit!)

_3880202Happy birthday my little pup!!

LaMesa and her birthday cookie!

LaMesa and her birthday cookie!

 

CrossFit Friday = Face Your Fear Friday

It’s been an up and down week as far as workouts go. I went to Man O’War CrossFit four times this week, with a 3.6 mile run on Wednesday morning. I’ve been battling a cold, but I always feel like I feel better after I sweat some of the sickness out, so I just pushed through the workouts…then rested at home afterwards. It’s been keeping my energy pretty level this week, which is a good thing.

Here were this week’s WODs:

20131108-093107.jpgWe’re really working on our strength this month at the box, which has actually been a lot of fun, and very challenging. Thursday’s partner WOD actually turned into a “threesome WOD” because we had 3 people there. So while one person ran the 100 m with a plate overhead, the other two did the box dips and knees to elbows. Then we’d rotate–1 run, 2 do the rounds. This lasted for 20 minutes, which is a really long time for WODs, and let me tell you–my shoulders are killing me this morning!

And, yes, today’s WOD included box jumps…after doing heavy front an back squats and with wall balls. You might recall that I’ve been working back up to the 20″ boxes after my accident in September. Last time we did box jumps, I was using the 12″ box with a 45 pound plate on top. But today I decided to just try it. Taylor was calling it “Face Your Fear Friday” and while I was just bullshitting with him, I casually jumped up on the 20″ box–no sweat! Could I do it for 10 rounds of 5, after 10 wall balls and all those squats? I was going to try…

Twenty minutes later, we did the WOD. And I did all 50 box jumps with no stubbed toes, no shaky knees, no second guessing–I just did them. Only a couple of times did I think to myself “Oh my gosh, my quads are burning…I’m so tired…” but I quickly shook that out of my head and just jumped. I took each jump one at a time, and smiled after each set was completed. I finished the WOD as prescribed in 9:35–BEAST!

20131108-093136.jpg(I even did a couple more so Taylor could take photographic proof!)

I’m so pumped!! I haven’t felt this proud of myself in the box in a long time. It might sound cheesy, but I’m just feeling badass right now…and I’ll keep it that way.

Your turn: Brag about it! What badass thing have you accomplished this week?