Fitness-Title Boxing

Time to get serious about my upper body/core strength. I’ve dabbled in boxing before, but have yet to attempt a Title Boxing workout. That is until yesterday.

They offer one free class, but you have to buy the $10 hand wraps.

It was an hour long. 15 minutes warm up, 8 rounds of 3 minutes of punching, 1 minute rest in between, 15 minutes abs.

They have a 45minute and 85 minute class. Of course I’m getting on that when I can.

Pros-

  • Engaging, I didn’t feel like checking the clock for time endured but mostly for that “when is this round over I’m exhausted” check.
  • Cute men.
  • Early class times (5:30am M+F)
  • Core, core and core
  • Community seems ok
  • I would definitely stick with it

Cons-

  • Form not really emphasized or taught during class.
  • Groupies-there are some people that seem all-in. I guess that’s not terrible, but sometimes I roll my eyes and say they have you hook, line and sinker
  • E-x-p-e-n-s-i-v-e. I think we’re talking $119 a month.
  • I felt dizzy at one point 😦 I think I need to gauge my effort better
  • Not sure if it’s enough to get me to a pull up.

I thought I’d walk out of there 100% sold but I wasn’t. I was ready to buy a membership, but when they didn’t really teach form and a lot of people I saw were there doing it haphazard I kinda lost faith.

I had a really good discussion with the assistant manager about this and we had real talk. I told her I was a personal trainer and spin instructor, she told me she became involved with boxing after her boyfriend died and she stopped powerlifting and gained weight (yeah, for some reason people confess this stuff to me often). She made me feel better and told me I get a complimentary 30 minute form training session with my membership.

After thinking about things more I emailed her asking about getting something to cover me now until Sept. 1st. I figure that’ll give me a month to get settled, get form, and really experience the gym before I commit. Then I go on vacation for two weeks, then I’ll come back and make a long term commitment in mid September if that’s what I decide is right.

I get $150 reimbursement from my health insurance and maybe I can ask my parents to give this to me as my Christmas gift this year.

Of course, all I naturally do is beat myself up for not making more money for this to not be an issue. Then I beat myself up for not wanting to spend money on my health. Sigh, what a catch-22. My rent is going up by $300 a month and my income is going down because I’m not working my side gigs as much (by choice). I’m really beating myself up about my finances. Need to start to get educated and organized again. My thoughts are all over the place. I could work more side gig to make up for it. But I don’t know if I want to.

I need to analyze my budget is what I need to do. I’m going to wait until August because of a cool reason which I will let you on about as soon as I hear officially. 😉

God, what do you think?

Faith-Weddings are hard

What a crazy couple weeks it’s been! Re-cap: WI-MA-CO-RI.

I’ll be doing more posts about my adventures, but I wanted to start with last night’s-my friend’s wedding.

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This picture was taken before the reception and after the ceremony. Yes, I look beautiful (despite the few things I could point out I don’t like) and genuinely happy.

What you don’t see is me fifteen minutes earlier crying in the car ride because I was going to another wedding that wasn’t mine. Crying because my friend has miraculously found her soulmate and I’m being bitter about it. Crying because I’m so mad at myself for being bitter. Praying desperately to release this hurt to God, only to feel like He isn’t listening. Yelling at God about my frustrations.

I don’t know what to do to get out of this funk. I’m trying a lot of different things, like keeping busy, reading God is a Matchmaker, reminding myself of all the couples I know who met later in life, listening to John and Lisa Bevere’s most recent (and appropriately timed) podcast about desolation, being active on dating apps, and conversing with my friend Steph.

I was about to say healing takes time and I should have more patience, but I’m not really healing from anything. Loneliness was the only hurt Adam experienced before sin entered the world.

Steph and I share a lot of the same struggles. We’re both very driven and have our life together. We’re used to having control the ability to go and get what we want and make things happen. This is the one area in our lives that we really can’t do anything but sit back and wait.

God has proven so many times in my life that he will make things happen as they are supposed to when they are supposed to. Why am I so discouraged in this?

Honestly I know I could be married tomorrow if I really wanted. Ok, not tomorrow, but within the year. I could settle for some guy who isn’t a man and live the rest of my life in misery over it. My self image is too high for that.

Listening to Ed Sheeran somehow gives me all kinds of comfort. There’s something about his energy and lyricism that brings me great pleasure. Maybe it’s because I live vicariously through his love life. One lyric, in “New Man” stands out to me:

“When you’re with him, I know you’re lonely”

My friend who was married yesterday reminds me that you can be in a relationship and be lonely, too. I learned that with my last relationship. It still doesn’t help what I’m feeling.

I know I need to resign this to God and stop putting so much pressure on the things I am doing-like going out on dates and conversations on dating apps.

While I was at my business conference in WI the leader said “What question are you afraid to ask God because you want your plan to be the answer?” That for me is marriage. Maybe I’m not supposed to get married.

Then I listen to “ask and you shall receive.” Is that only applicable to certain things? Or am I asking the wrong questions? Is it about my desires or is it about asking for God’s will?

So many unanswered questions. So much more to learn.

Pray for me and my future husband, please.

Finance and Fitness-Side hustle number 6, Spin teacher

My journey to teaching spin began when I started working at the front desk of the YMCA. My fitness game needed a boost and I was able to attend classes because they’re included in membership and all employees get memberships. I had heard great things about spin, so I tried it out.

I fell in LOVE. The instructor, Jenna, had a lot to do with it. She was really organized and motivational. I still use a lot of programs she used.

I asked the group exercise director if I was certified could we add more classes. She said she’d have to see about the budget, but get certified first. On that small hope I went and certified.

I was certified through Madd Dogg, which has been rebranded to Spinning.  The course is all day and there are four one hour rides scheduled. We only did three, thank goodness. It was intense! Especially for someone who had only been spinning for three months. I also learned a lot about technical skills like proper form and bike setup.

Jenna ended up leaving that fall and thus began my permanent class at the Y. I was terrible at first. Learning how is one thing, applying is totally different! I had some friends come and support me for my first couple classes which was really great of them, I’m sure I was terrible. Over time I grew my skills and this morning when I subbed there was a woman who attended simply because she saw my name on the schedule. If that doesn’t warm an instructor’s heart, I don’t know what will.

Getting certified in spin was a no-brainer. I almost doubled my hourly pay at the YMCA, going from $10/hr to $19. Then I was recruited to another gym, the JCC, by the wellness director. They pay $40/hr. That’s a more typical pay rate. I would sub as often as I could while I was paying off my debts. Sometimes I’d work 5 classes in a week, $200 extra that week for working out. I get a workout and get paid at the same time. It keeps me accountable to staying in shape. I highly recommend to anyone to get certified.

However, I will say that I put myself in a good position to get experience. Had I not started by working the front desk at the Y, I would not have built a relationship with the group exercise manager. She was thankfully willing to give me a chance to build my skills at the YMCA. Not all gyms would give newbies a shot. I’m not sure I would’ve been able to start somewhere fresh from getting certified if it weren’t for that.

This shows how valuable taking a low paying job can be. You never know where it can take you!

Fitness-Goal Achieved

In my head, anyone who runs a sub 30min 5k is a really fast runner. It’s a sub 10 minute mile and it sounds so fast. Since I started running races that was my goal.

My first ever race, the one I ran in my bio picture, was a 35:55.

Tonight, under insane circumstances, I ran a 29:57.

As the start gun went off, this was the warning that flashed on my phone.

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I went out really really fast, but felt really strong. I was caught behind a bunch of people but the pack was moving pretty quickly. Then I miscalculated and thought 20mins was actually 30mins. When I realized what I did, I petered out BIG TIME and practically gave up, but stayed strong. That was craziness about this PR 1.

Craziness about this PR 2 was that at about the same time it started raining, then it started DOWN POURING. I mean, DOWN POURING.

This is the best picture I could muster while huddled under a building.

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So. Wet. This is the puddle I left behind on the train.

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The rain slowed me down a lot because I kept sliding in my shoes. Or so I thought. I either smashed the first 2.5ish miles, or I didn’t slow down as much as I thought for the last 1 ish.

It doesn’t matter. I did it.

It took me six years. SIX YEARS to accomplish this. Never give up.

I’ve been really hard on myself lately. About my weight, my career, my singleness, my finances, my fitness, everything.

I think God knew I needed this. He knew I needed a big win under my belt.

It’s also a bit of release. My other huge goal is to do a pull up. It’s almost like God’s saying ok, enough with the cardio obsession, you can take a chill pill and go lift weights.

We’ll see.

Fitness-Portion Control

Tonight I went on a date in Assembly Square. We went to Earl’s Kitchen which has a really diverse menu. Sushi, sandwiches, steak, seafood, tacos, noodle bowls, etc.

I ended up picking the Dynamite Roll for a couple reasons. One, I haven’t had sushi since before my study (August of last year). Two, it’s way easier portion control. It’s still a satisfying amount, but I don’t walk away stuffed.

Bonus reason, LOOK HOW GOOD THIS LOOKS. And spicy mayo. Ok two bonus reasons.

It ended up being perfect. It was delicious. Service was fantastic, the waitress kept my water cup full the whole time which is difficult because I drink a lot of water and the cup was small. A+ for service.

We sat on the porch and it was nice except the sun was in my date’s eyes most of the time. Whoops. Still such a newbie sometimes. He could’ve said something I guess.

I didn’t take that picture or any pictures because, well, I didn’t want to be that person. Next time I go.

I knew myself well enough to know I’ve been struggling with portion control lately and I didn’t work out today. So I ordered accordingly, and it was delicious. Make healthy decisions easier to make before you have to make them. Like ordering a dish with a small portion size. It’s ok to do that.

I bet you’re all dying to know how it went. I’ll let the suspense keep you reading.

Fitness-Boston Brunch Runners

Options. We’re overloaded with them. Since moving back to Somerville I’ve found myself overwhelmed with all that comes with city life. What Mass do I go to? What grocery store? Which gym, if any, should I join? Which fitness groups do I join? What Young Adult group do I start attending?

The last thing I wanted to do this morning was run. This is a growing trend. Thankfully, that inner voice reached out to me and said “go”. So I went and checked out this running group that is a spin-off of The November Project. NP is a group of people who work out every Monday at a different location, every Wednesday at Harvard Stadium, and every Friday at Summit Ave at 6:30 am. I am off to work at 5:45 am every day, but I’m exploring the idea of attending. No harm to try once, right?

I discovered the spin-off group, Boston Brunch Runners, probably through Facebook somehow. I’ve been meaning to check them out as one of my many fitness options. They went to Winter Hill Brewing Company a few weeks ago but I was at the bachelorette party. This week they went to NOCA Provisions, a new cafe in NOrth CAmbridge which happens to be directly across the street from where my ex lives. The good news was I am familiar with the running route it takes to get there. The bad news, mixed emotions. I’m trying to be that person that makes new memories instead of belabors on the old, but it’s hard.

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Anyway, they started at 9am ish, and they had a few routes to choose from. Walking, 3 miles or 6 miles. I chose 3 miles, since it was already a 2 mile run there and then I’d have to get back.

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I ended up pairing up with a girl named Brooke who kept me company and pushed my pace. It was warm but not super uncomfortable. Here we are!

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After we were done I ordered a greek yogurt bowl with coconut granola and strawberries. It was delicious and only $6.29. I forgot to take a picture, but the one sitting on the counter looked similar.

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Here’s a picture of the whole group.

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I was feeling pretty depressed after the run so I called my friend Lisa to talk about things, which made the two mile walk back enjoyable and quick.

I didn’t quite feel like I belonged, but I also didn’t make a huge effort to be outgoing so it was mostly my fault. I think I’ll go again. So 7 miles and a nap it was for me today.

 

 

Faith-The Dating Game

I use a dating app called Coffee Meets Bagel. I have had the most success with this app.

If you read anything about dating today you probably hear a lot about how hard it is. Here’s an example of why.

This guy was oddly familiar. He is conservative, shoots guns, and rides motorcycles. He asks for my number, which is odd to me because every other guy has asked me on a date before asking for my number. So I told him no, he has to earn it. Conversations close after a week, which basically puts pressure on the two of you to make moves. Our conversation lapses and honestly I’m a little relieved because I’m not that excited about him. He ends up using points (you get a certain amount) to open our conversation back up. He then says “did I earn your number now?” What the heck? Because you used points on an app to open a conversation after it lapsed because you didn’t have the guts to ask me on a date by now? Where do men get these ideas from, honestly?

Here’s the conversation that ensues.

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Well at least we’ve established I’m smart and I know what I’m talking about? Ok moving on from here. He finally asks me out on a date and I offer up Saturday lunch or Sunday dinner. I then realize that’s very committal and intense, so I back track and say we can just do drinks at either time. He replies with “let’s do Saturday”. Then the following occurs…

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First of all, be decisive and take the lead Mr. Conservative. We’re already talking about doing date 2 and date 1 hasn’t even happened? Do I have a say here? He doesn’t end up picking, he talks more about his surgery. Then this was last night, Friday, almost like an after thought.

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I thought it was in some dating 101 manual somewhere that women want men to plan dates aka take the lead. Did that get taken out? Again, I was put in-between a rock and a hard place. I look like a witch for backing out the day before, but if this is any indication of how the relationship will go I want none of it. I hope the way I said this was loving enough. I gave him a chance to say he didn’t see the message, I gave him the chance to say I didn’t know that’s what you wanted, I gave him the chance to fix it, and he didn’t reply.

Men seem to want this hybrid conservative/pro-woman woman that let’s them get away with doing no work. Keep looking, my friends. A woman is still a woman at heart. She wants to feel beautiful, be pursued, and to be lead even if she is the CEO of her company.

Finance-Cooking Class

I’ve been meaning to take a cooking class for a long time. When I was looking up things to do in Somerville, going to Shiso Kitchen was one of the top suggestions in TripAdvisor.

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I emailed Jess, the owner and chef, and she responded with a couple open classes. She didn’t have enough people registered for today, but eventually my friend Gillian and a couple registered so we were in! Today was the Provencal French Dinner. “Get a taste of Southern French fare with a menu featuring regional favorites such as: Spring Greens with Champagne Dijon Vinaigrette, Socca de Nice (traditional French skillet flatbread), Peppered Beef with Herbs and pan sauce, Ratatouille OR Provencal Vegetable Tian, and Caramel Glazed Berries with Vanilla Cream.”

It was really fun. There was a lot of hands-on work obviously so not a lot of picture taking options. Here’s us making the Vegetable Tian. We learned basic knife skills and she shared that Shun Knives are her favorite. The company will sharpen the knives again for you if you send them in.

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The whole thing was pretty complicated and I’m not sure that I would be able to do it alone or again. I personally cut the onion, eggplant, and strawberries, made the caramel, whipped the cream, made the pan sauce, and assembled the Tian. Here are some pictures of the final products. I loved that we made our own salad dressing.

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Although I would have a hard time reproducing the entire dinner, I can now use a knife better, cook steak, and make my own vinaigrette. I’m going again next Friday for Asian Bao Steamed Buns & BBQ.

The price was $89, but I was discounted $13 because I am going again next week. I added $11 gratuity. Well worth it for a fun, rainy Friday night activity. I’m glad I paid off my debts so I can do these activities guilt free.

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Bon Appetite!

Faith-Rock and a hard place, times two

I’m a little nervous about posting this, but thankfully I have close to zero followers and I’ve hidden the identity of the other person.

This other person, we’ll call him Bob, has been floating in my life for almost a year. We met at a young adult Catholic group. After the first night we met, Bob asked me to eat dinner with him (if you’re curious about what his intentions were, so am I). We ate dinner, hung out once more one-on-one if I recall correctly, and then drifted apart after that. He pursued meeting up a couple more times, specifically inviting me to other Catholic young adult stuff, but I declined because it truly was a busy point in my life and I couldn’t.

I heard from him again, this time a simple reach-out text. He asked how my life was going. At the time, I was trying to find new housing, my grandmother was sick, I was in trouble at work, I was lonely, and things were generally stressful. I replied “It’s going ok”. He replied “Come on, can’t you give me more than that?”. This time, I wrote a full-on confession essay of all the things mentioned above. Well, what does he do but replies like any man does and lectures me on how to fix/feel better about all aforementioned ailments.

I reply to him and say, watch this video:

To which he replies with another lengthy text about how I should fix myself. Before I flip out on him, I give him one last chance and tell him I don’t need him to fix me, I’m not broken. He texts me back one last time and says something to the effect of “Haha you should listen to my advice”.

I about lost it. I didn’t lose it on him, it wasn’t worth it, but in my head I lost it at him. Honestly I don’t remember how the conversation ended, but I know he knew I was upset with him.

He texts me while I’m in my last relationship and I told him we couldn’t talk because I’m in a relationship. I have this belief that men and women can’t be friends. It has been proven to be true in my experiences time and time again, but that’s another blog post.

He texted me today. I told him I was doing well and that my ex and I broke up. Here’s how he replied.

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A couple things to note. I have high standards for relationships and a low tolerance for being treated like crap. In these situations I bring up my feelings with the other person in as loving as a manner I can. Often times, because society is all “I’m the way I am and if you don’t like it eff off” even if the person is wrong, people react negatively to this feedback. This is also because egos exist. In these instances I will remove the person from my life. So far, the people I have done this to have tried to re-enter my life, because, and I’ll brag a little here, I’m awesome and I treat people very generously, I uplift, and I live with integrity. Bob is exhibit B. Exhibit A was a landlord/roommate who financially screwed me over. Another blog post for another time.

The next thing to note is this lack of intentionality again. This whole “catching up” thing. What for? So I can be a good influence on your life and you can use me? So we can be friends? Not sure where this is going…

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This will rule out any positive influence argument. It also clarifies my feelings on so-called “platonic” relationships. Here’s the rest:

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Ahh, bingo. Got to the root of it, he wants to go on a date. Huge turnoff that it has taken him this long to ask, but whatever I get it.

Now I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place for two reasons. One, I keep having ping pong brain about whether to say yes or no. On one hand, he would treat me really well, and I know this because of how we’ve interacted before. From my last relationship, I learned that I should value this more than some other things and vowed to take that more seriously when dating (I’ll get to this further in a second). On the other hand, he is missing a lot of things I am looking for (again, I’ll get to this further in a second) and I don’t want to lead him on thinking he doesn’t have eight thousand obstacles to overcome before I would consider seriously dating him.

I tried as gently as I could to turn him down and give him a good reason (see situation from before, where he dismissed my feelings). I also try to hint at these other reasons I wouldn’t seriously consider dating him by sending him the link to this article “How to Catch a Wife”. It’s a really straightforward article about how men can get their acts together to marry a woman. Disclaimer, I do not agree with all it has to say, but I do think a majority of it holds true.

Then comes the second rock and hard place. After denying him, he practically guilt trips me, even if unintentionally. “You didn’t even give me a chance, you’re wrong about me, but whatever that’s your choice” is how I interpreted his reply. Now, I have the ability to respond and go into all the other reasons why I won’t date him and hurt his ego, or I can leave it be. What’s the loving thing to do? I’m not so sure, but at least he should know I felt guilty for saying no. I wish he would’ve said “I respect your choice” and left it at that.

Now, for the harsh honesty. There are two big barriers in my dating him. One, physical fitness and two, financial prosperity. I’ll quote the article, which was written by a man:

“Money, Power, Status. If you can get more, do so. Women love money, power, and status, and it’s real convenient for family formation.

Physical Fitness. Don’t be fat. Don’t be skinny. Be strong. Train with barbells. You need to be able to throw her around and impress her with your physique.”

I have very personal reasons why these things are important to me. You can believe all you want that they are superficial, but to me they hold infinite value. Couples argue most often about money. I would like to be a stay at home mom. Bob makes less than half of what I make in a year, and I don’t make a lot. My dad had to have heart bypass surgery in his early 50s. I’m scared neither of my parents will live long enough to see me have kids because of their health. My partner needs to prioritize his health. Bob does not.

Is it important that he knows this? Is it my role to tell him? I don’t know. This is something I struggle with a lot. This is why I value the mentors and friends in my life. They have full permission to tell me when I need to improve. And they do. Sometimes I don’t listen and learn things the hard way, and sometimes I listen after some time to analyze it, but I still listen and appreciate them pointing out how I can be better. They do it with love.

I think as long as I’m always doing it with the intention of love, God will know, and that’s what matters.

Men, if you’re reading this, become the person you want to attract. It’ll become way easier to date. And please, please try not to guilt women when we reject you.