Have you ever looked fear in the face and said, “I just don’t care.”?

THE LIST for 2015 is FINALLY complete & I’m excited to start checking off all the fun things on it before 2015 is over. Last year I managed to check of 45 of the 99 things listed. This year will be even more.

Thankfully last night, I was able to make a dream come true & strike off one thing from the list as done!

I finally sprang for a class in Aerial Silks!

(cue the Glitter in the Air song)

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I will be honest, when I walked into the class my plan was to get some pictures & write a blog post about my introduction to aerial silks. Had a friend who signed up too & thought how easy to just snap a couple of action shots? Would have been had I not entranced from the moment one of the students hung up the contraption to the huge hook in the ceiling. The braided fabric beautifully falling the height of the room and puddling its excess on the floor.  I may have internally squealed as the teacher tested the stretch & give of the sash.
We warmed up and she went over a few basic stretching & things to know like terminology and facts like how much weight the humongous single piece of fabric could hold (note: no fears here. All 7 of us could have climbed on & it still wouldn’t have been strained from the weight!).

It was scary for sure, trusting that the fabric wrapped in a particular way would hold us from falling on the wooden floors. Not being the first to go was a practice in patience and helped to make it a bit easier to feel confident in the wrap. Once I did get my chance, it felt amazing! Although we might have looked graceful and at ease in the poses, they were challenging to get into. The tension in my muscles battled with the desire to stay swinging. The stress seemed to fall from my body as I inverted and let go of the fear of falling.

The names of the poses also thrilled me.  Mermaid.  Angel.  Star. Flamingo.  Peter pan. All great things in my eyes.  I left imagining signing up for as many classes as possible to fit in.

Today it all definitely crashed back down to ground. Seems there was some mix up from when I signed up. The studio offered a discount rate of $5 off when you signed up early. So in December I made the decision to go on and treat myself while I had the cash. Logged in to their website, found the class, entered my information & excitedly told friends about it in hopes they would sign up as well. Which worked.

I thought anyway. Tonight I get a voice mail with a snippy message saying that while they hoped I enjoyed the class, they wondered why I was there last night since they didn’t have me enrolled. Huh? It went on to elaborate how people had to enroll to go to any of the classes… blah blah blah. The point was very clear.

I called back as requested. Thankfully I had saved the email showing when & how I had paid. Unfortunately I also noticed I had been charged the full rate. The person on the phone went into some tirade about how I shouldn’t have been there taking up space last night since I wasn’t enrolled. Only after I mentioned the emailed receipt did she seem to realize I didn’t just show up & get a free class.  She could see their records showing that I had paid in December.  Are they used to people just randomly paying you without any expectations? Turns out their system will take the payment yet you still need to enroll separately.  She tried to explain how I had messed up.

No apologies. No refunds. No going back.

Certainly I had messed up.  In spending the cash to try something new and expecting their system to work.

Mercury is in retrograde and it feels like it for sure. Communication breakdowns left and right. I’m hanging on & trying to see the positives but at times I just want to scream. Tonight I am trusting that the wraps will hold tight and that tomorrow will be easier. At least I got to enjoy dangling for a little while.

As for getting back into the air? Thankfully the teacher runs her own company and holds classes in several locations around town.  Now I just have to make sure that next time, no one considers me as the tag-a-log extra freeloading. I may not have much cash at the moment, but I draw the line at stealing. Oh life. Why do you test us all so much?

Thankfully day 5 is in the books. Only 95 more days of working out & writing left to go. Then the real magic – Disney! For now, I will just strive to catch a few dreams in my sleep & hope that the morning light brings a new outlook. Until then…

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2015 Goals for Me

The past few years I have seen a lot of people who choose a word to embody their focus on the year ahead. I always wondered how they could pick just one word for 365 days and all the adventures in each of those 24 hours. The past couple of days I have been thinking about what I wanted to achieve in 2015. No real resolutions just goals to aim at. All this pensive planning has made one word in particular stand out.

EnjoyOriginal

My motivation behind all of the goals has been to enjoy life more. Sometimes the actions to get there aren’t the most fun choice, but in the end they will lead me to a place I can enjoy more.

Less stress. Less worry. Less letting myself go physically.

Time to enjoy the journey instead of constantly focusing on what is ahead and what I have left behind. Savor the seconds.

Some of my goals for the coming year are obvious to me – pass the certification exams to officially become a Certified Paralegal, keep lowering my A1c readings, lower my weight to my goal weight/size, get a job…

Others are more arbitrary – complete five 5Ks, read 50 books, try new things each week, attend at least one Panthers game (I was lucky enough to make it to TWO this year with great seats at both! Felt a bit spoiled!), finally clean out all the clothes that no longer fit or that I like.

What it all boils down to is becoming as healthy and as sustainable as I can be in order to enjoy my life.

Also would love to see my favorite team win the Super Bowl this year, but guessing I should stick with actions I actually have some control over. (BUT they are back to back division champions and have a real shot at Super Bowl rings this year! GO PANTHERS!)

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Just 98 Workouts To Go – #WorkItOut100

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The last couple of weeks I have watched the Panthers games with friends of a friend.  Started simple enough. Watched with him one week got invited to his friends to watch the next. Then with another set last week. Each time I had a blast and ended up meeting some great people and enjoying some delicious food. While I did a mad dash on the way to snag a bag of chip and some sort of dip to take at the last minute. (Hint: Cheese balls are surprisingly a hit because… well when is the last time you had one? Great childhood memories get brought up with these it seems!) In an effort to make sure I had something lower carb & natural, I took some grapes last time but overall I felt a little like I was being a slacker in the pile of homemade goodness. Still when you get a last minute, hey let’s go watch here… you don’t have time to plan ahead. This week I tried to get proactive.

So back to running to get a quick bag of cheese balls or something at the store! Second thought cheese sticks might be extra fun & a lot healthier. Will think of something or who knows. May just skip it all and hang out at a bar with another set of friends entirely.

Made a batch of sausage cheese balls last night. They taste like shit. See I got smart and found some turkey sausage which is healthier and makes these an option for me since I don’t eat pork and haven’t since the mid-90s. Problem is turkey sausage is a rarity it seems. While there are a variety of choices for pork sausage, turkey you are lucky to even find. So I add spices to kick it up flavorwise. Usually. Last night I was tired and forgot. So when I taste tested one I found it to taste bland. Not what I want to take to hang out with people I barely know.

On to the next test. I will find something that I can take that is healthier and tastier than a bag of chips. Something I can actually eat. Chips just don’t do much for me & are typically horrible carbwise (thus not so great on my blood sugar levels). All part of learning to deal I guess. Just adapt and make it work.

Which also applies to working it. Just adapt & make it work.

Needed a boost to push me to get excited about it all again. Thankfully just a few clicks online & there it is!

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The #WorkItOut100 Challenge!

The basic deal – work out 100 Days in a row. I need goals to reach for & some comisery, I mean others to inspire me towards that goal.  Amanda & Laura challenged themselves to work out 100 days straight & it worked so well they are motivating others to join them. Count me in!  I’m on day three today & looking forward to crossing in another block on my tally sheet. They provide inspiration and motivation all over – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram & even Pinterest, but you can learn all the details at their site, Work It Out 100. A workout can be anything that gets you up & moving so don’t feel like you have to run a half marathon each day. Just do what works for you & pushes you to grow and build the habits.

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So are you in? All it takes is starting & keeping the commitment to yourself. Use the hashtag #WorkItOut100 to join in the fun. You know I will be.

But first today is GAME DAY!  Panthers are up in Green Bay.  They KEEP POUNDING & so shall I!  CHEERS!

Comfort of Cousins

Spent this last week with family again.  Extremely grateful for family now more than ever.  This time family came up to my sister’s from South Florida for some girl time.  Wedding planning,shopping, catching up and of course lots of baby snuggle time.   There is no replacing Mom, but aunts can sure due when you need a dose of expert female advice mixed in with memories and that security of being with someone who has been there over the years and knows where you are coming from.  I only hope that one day, my nephew finds comfort in time together as much as I enjoy time with my aunts.

Had to laugh inside when my aunt surprised with a new glass!

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My cousin is OBSESSED with Tervis tumblers & my sister seems to love hers. To me they seemed like overpriced cups, something I had plenty of in my house.  My aunt did just like my Mom used to do when we all would go out shopping.  Sneaky buy something she thought might make you smile, just because.  Guess it runs in the family.  Which comforts me.

It didn’t escape me that I had been upset about a broken glass and now I was being presented with a new (nearly unbreakable) one that in a totally different way, was so very me.

Plus this one is proving to be incredibly useful in traveling in the heat.  Can’t believe it kept ice in a blazing hot car while we shopped.  Also loving that it I can take it to class and not worry about accidentally setting my notes or book on wet rings left on the desk top.

Cousins…  to me they are just siblings that aren’t around as much!  Giggles together just seem more pure and healing.  Felt great being with my sister & two of my cousins all weekend.  No big events, nothing we had to get done.  Just togetherness.

Yesterday brought me back home and to reality.

One of those realizations was that there are six weeks til the Electric Run 5K & it is time to formally lay out training schedule.  So I did.  But for me this isn’t about times or pushing myself physically as much as it is overcoming this danged fear of crowds.  Figure under the cover of night & with the distraction of the glow in the dark, fun party atmosphere, I can do it & have fun.  Still it is a 5K & part of it will be finishing without completely dropping dead on the track.  I have been less than organized about exercising.  Baby steps.

sorry for the blurry pic, but I was on a treadmill, unlike the pug

sorry for the blurry pic, but I was on a treadmill, unlike the pug

Unfortunately Baxter isn’t as excited and is going to be less than motivating.

Run Ali Run

OK I admit, I am not a runner.  Walking suits me just fine.  Running is one of those things I just never got into.  I don’t feel the need to be the fastest person on the block.  Maybe I read Aesop’s the Tortoise and the Hare a few too many times.  Still… there is something about it that intrigues me.  The runner’s high, the peace and therapy of a good run sound amazing.  Not to mention the health benefits that clearly come from developing the habit.

So starting small.  Training starts today.  The past have just been warm ups.  Now on to the good stuff.

I already mentioned that I have a jar of marbles previously.  At the end of 100 miles (1 per marble) I am treating myself to some bright colorful new sneakers!

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Girls have to strut in new shoes somewhere so I have decided on my place.

The ELECTRIC RUN!

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Because frankly the party looks amazing!

Volunteering at the Color My Run in Charlotte was a blast so I expect nothing but fun for this one as well.  Glow in the dark goodness!  This time I am all in.

Just so happens to also be National Running Day today!

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So here goes nothing!  Cheers.  Get out and get moving… or at least kick it on the treadmill for a while.  Do it now, because there will come a day all too soon where you just no longer can.  When that day comes, I want to sit back and laugh about all the memories I made!

So are you in?

Winter Magic…. sweaty style

Oh with a title like that what ever could you be expecting to find here?

Nope.  This isn’t one of THOSE blogs or websites.  I’m just not that girl.

But there are ways I wish to change the girl I am into who I most want to be.

Improve on what works.

Moving Beyond the Fear

Another day back in the saddle of work.  Fought the urge to stay late & knock out a few projects since it was night two of the pole dancing classes!  Part of me couldn’t wait to get back in action.

The other part kept thing – shorts.  shorts in March.  I am not ready for shorts in March.  Reality I am not into wearing shorts right now no matter what the month.  Just not a fan of my legs for now.  Silly I know.  Body issues just creep in like termites & take control sometimes.  I know I am not the same girl who had the dancer’s body years ago.  Even if I wish I did.  Facing that fact in full length mirrors that line the wall isn’t exactly a wish come true. But the reality is the more skin to grip the pole, the better you do.  So shorts it is. Gotta suck it up.

I freely admit that it took a klonapin to get me in that room.  Funny how one moment you can be so confident & secure, but the next you slip into self doubt and comparing your body to others.  We are all so different that never leads to good things.

Still I love that I have come this far.

Back in a dance class.  Pushing myself further & further into the areas that aren’t comfortable – physically & emotionally.  Doesn’t matter what it took to get there, I was there.  I stayed the entire class and worked my ass off.

I have the bruises, scraps & chipped toe nail polish to prove it!

Started to feel the limitations that my injured hand is going to cause.  Scared myself a couple of times thinking I was going to push myself into re-rupturing the tendon in doing pole slides, but I was lucky.  Hoping that through practice I can find ways to adapt and my arms will grow stronger.  I am learning that a lot of time you aren’t just gripping with your hands as you would think, but using your upper arms, thighs and any other body part that works for that maneuver.  So much of it is learning to trust your body.  Taking that trust that you will catch yourself as you fall into the spin.

Yes.  This class is becoming more than just a physical work out for me.

Also discovered a book last night that has my head spinning.  In a great way.  I needed something light, funny & having nothing to do with romance, dating or drama.  A good distraction.  Stumble into the bio section on Amazon & ended up having a book suggested called Agorafabulous!: Dispatches from My Bedroom.  Interest officially peaked.  I read the description and wondered if this insight into another agoraphobic’s life would be a good thing or push me back into old patterns.  The story certainly sounded all too familiar, anxiety issues that progressed into full blown agoraphobia.

I took the risk.  Started reading, fully prepared to laugh but I wasn’t so prepared for how real she describes a few things.  Perhaps I didn’t think that anyone else went through the physical reactions and fear that I did.  There is a certain comfort in reading the pain and torture but with a humorous twist.  If we can’t laugh at the things we do, we will never survive.  I know I try my best to laugh at the various predicaments that I worked myself up into.  The feeling of needing to hide or get out a situation IMMEDIATELY or you knew you just couldn’t trust your body.  Felt strange to read REAL account of agoraphobia instead of just another exaggerated Hollywood adaptation.

Hearing another woman’s story feels empowering.  She clearly made it to the other side and is dealing well.  The fact that she has such a sense of humor & is able to speak out about the experiences is truly inspiring.

I may have found a new heroine!  She is Agoraphantastic! At the very least I know I have found myself into a book that is going to be easy to finish.  Can’t wait to continue on the journey tonight & see how she goes from low point to on top of her game.

Perhaps one day I will share more of my stories from the horror within.  For now I am just going to celebrate how far I have come, keep pushing myself further and hope that all wounds do heal in time.

For now, I need to get something on these scraps & bruises, read a few more pages & get some sleep!