Fitness-Float

Today I tried a new relaxation therapy-Floating, at  Float Boston. Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re thinking, I can do that in a pool and not pay $60. This is SO different. Basically there’s a giant tub of Epsom salt and you float in it for 60 or 90 minutes (or longer if you buy more sessions, but those are the standard).

First you put in ear plugs, it’s really annoying getting swimmers ear normally, imagine how it is with dense liquid. They provide silicone ones for you. It’s best to put them on when your ears are dry. I don’t think I did it quite right but it worked fine. Here’s a picture with the prep material. Ear plugs, petroleum jelly for cuts, make-up remover.

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Then you have to shower. The bath water is sanitized using UV rays, but obviously that can’t zap out dirt.

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Finally, you get in the tub, disguised as a chamber. Or vice versa?

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It took me what felt like forever to relax my head. They give you floaties you can use (see the blue thing hanging from the wall in the shower picture?) but my ego was like “nahh I’ll be able to relax”. Well I regretted not grabbing it because it felt like by the time I was going to be able to relax I’d have to get out. Thankfully the guy gave me tips to move my arms around, which I did, and I ended up putting them behind my head as a little support. This helped, but then when I’d take them away it was still really stressful. Eventually I turned my attention to other things. After what felt like 45 minutes my body adjusted and relaxed and it felt like I was in a zero gravity chamber but had this even pressure on the backside of my body.

Then it felt like another 45 minutes passed…. and another 45. Sitting still for an hour is not my strong suit. I was pretty bored so I started trying to sink my different body parts, pushing myself from one end of the tub to the other, stretching my back. I thought about leaving early, but the fact that I paid for it made me stay. And I wanted to get the full experience. There’s music that plays that cues you to leave. I was able to truly relax and it did feel nice. I didn’t feel like sleeping, just felt restful.

Finally the music played and I hopped out. The liquid is pretty slippery and it makes your body and the tub slippery. I was clumsy trying to open the hatch, it’s kinda heavy. Then you shower again and head on your merry way. I didn’t think to bring a hair brush, but thankfully I live a five minute walk away so it wasn’t long before I had one.

I don’t know that I’d do it again, but I gave it a shot. Actually, that’s a lie, I can totally see myself doing that when I am pregnant. I do feel relaxed, but I’ll have to report tomorrow if there’s any more noticeable difference. My muscles did feel more relaxed on the whole while in there.

Tips

  • Definitely DO NOT shave. I made the mistake of shaving my arm pits, and even that bothered me for a while when I was in there.
  • Definitely bring conditioner/hair brush
  • Don’t stress yourself out trying to relax, just let it happen by taking your mind off it
  • Have fun! I played with the buoyancy, it was cool
  • I would probably keep my hair loosely tied next time. Mine was down.

 

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Faith-Friendship

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This is my friend Steph and her boyfriend Chris. Steph was coordinator of the bachelorette party I went to over the weekend and introduced me to the friend getting married.

Steph is one of the sweetest people I know, but she also packs a punch when she has to. She reminds me to live as none other than a daughter of God.

She invited me to a bible study tonight at her place. We read Matthew Chapter 1 which includes the genealogy of Jesus and Joseph’s dream. Joseph had to be told by God in a dream to not be afraid, he didn’t have all the courage needed to take Mary in. I can’t be so hard on myself when I feel scared. It’s normal.

After bible study we went and watched fireworks. Because Somerville has their fireworks on June 29th, as you do. She lives a ten minute walk from me, I walked to her place. I love living in the city again.

I’m happy for her, and I’m happy I can say I am happy for her. Today was a great day.

Fitness-Exploring Somerville

I didn’t feel like going out today, but I knew I had to. To incentivize myself I picked a place in Somerville that I had not seen yet but was listed as a place to see when I googled “things to do in Somerville”. It was 1.2 miles away, so I figured at the very least I could get a half hour ish run in (which is where my fitness journey started). I’d be stupid not to enjoy the beautiful weather. I knew I’d feel better. What else was I going to do anyway. I should be grateful God gave me two working legs (among many other things) to enable me to use. Get my point? For every lame excuse I could come up with I had to come up with at least one other to get me out the door. Usually it takes more than one reason. The destination is the most helpful, I’ve found.

This is because I’ve vowed not to become my parents. Come home from work, cook dinner, sit on the couch and watch T.V., and go to bed. Growing up I felt so sheltered and bored. I work really hard to not turn into that.

I was in a “I could give two Fs” attitude, which essentially means crossing a lot of crosswalks without the walking man sign. I only almost got hit once. Well that attitude works until you come across one of these:

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Which in fact doesn’t care whether you give an F or not, because it does not care what you think. I was literally standing under it looking to see if I had time to beat the train as the bar came down. Wtf was I thinking? The people in the cars must’ve giggled as I dodged back to the road.

I made it to my first destination, the Somerville Round House

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Thrilling, right? 1.2 miles down. Without really thinking about it, I continued onto the river. Running is one of those things that once I start I don’t want to stop (most of the time).

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Made it! 2.5 miles. Check another place off my bucket list-some pedestrian bridge over the river. Then I ran the last 2.5 miles back.

I think tomorrow I’ll go visit The Micro Museum

Maybe I’ll grab a Union Square Donut while I’m there.

I highly recommend checking out the website Atlas Obscura. I heard about it from a Podcast I listened to featuring the author. It’s essentially an encyclopedia for not-your-average tourist attractions in different areas. It’s a cool way to learn about interesting places to check out!

Fitness and Faith-The hippie in me

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Supposedly there have been studies that show getting out in nature is a mood booster. I could use some mood boosting. Thankfully, we have been blessed with decent weather and I had time between my two jobs to visit Cutler park yesterday.

Maybe I make fitness and health look easy, but it’s not always. I did not want to do this yesterday. I had tripped and fell over a root at this same park a couple weeks prior, I am still nervous about my calf strain/pull, I mostly felt like going home and sleeping, and I knew I would use the time to converse with God over things I was upset with Him about. I’m not sure what causes me to say yes to these things despite my excuses. If I figure it out maybe I’ll write a book, or a blog post.

This park is beautiful and the weather was near perfect. I try to be in the moment and not take pics, but I couldn’t help but take one of the incredibly luscious woods I was surrounded by. There’s also a beautiful pond and a really cool marsh. Maybe I’ll update this with more pictures.

I started out my walk with an Our Father, it’s my default prayer I use to get my attention on God. Then I proceeded to get in arguments with Him, cry, get distracted, ask a lot of unanswered questions, the usual.

At one point I hear myself apologize. Apologize for not having more Faith in Him. In His plan.

The reason I started walking was because my friend was meeting me to run. When she arrived we both decided to keep walking instead of run. We walked for two hours. She reminds me of me. She’s looking for someone who will make her better, trust her, and she agrees you’ll know within six months if someone is the one.

After all was said and done, I walked 6.5 miles. Contrast that with today-I came home, took a two hour nap, and was going to check out this running club but it started thunder storming I was worn out.

Yesterday, I felt happy and relieved I went for a walk. Today, I felt happy and relieved I didn’t put a ton of pressure on myself to get out.

There’s no “perfect” answer. There’s the best answer for you at the time and in your situation. Whatever your decision, don’t beat yourself up over it (easier said than done).

Faith-God Wink

Today was another tough day. Beside feeling the full spectrum of emotions, I guess nothing really difficult happened.

Typically when I get to the JCC I grab the newspaper so I can fill in the Soduko and exercise my brain (get it?). My ex boyfriend and I started doing the cross word together, too. I thought about not grabbing the paper today, but I should try to return to normal.

One of my spin students, an older gentleman, uses the exercise machines every Monday. He has seen me doing the cross word before and knows I struggle. Today he stops and helps me a little then leaves. Next thing I know he comes back in and has  it completed and told me to use it if I get stuck.

In some small way I believe that was God reminding me I’m not in this alone. When God drops in your life like this my friend uses the term “God Wink”. They’re cute signals between you and Him that only you would really understand are special.

They don’t magically make everything all better. They offer a tiny dose of comfort in an otherwise uncomfortable day.

Here is my lame attempt vs. the completed one.

(This is not to say that he doesn’t remind me every day that I’m not alone. I cannot tell you the support I’ve received from numerous friends. But this was extra special, and this was especially unique)

Faith- Fasting is not only for food

When I was a baby Catholic I had only thought about fasting in the context of food. As I grew in my faith I learned fasting could be applied to many mediums- social media, porn, dating, music, etc.

I’ve struggled with my emotions around food so I’ve avoided fasting in the traditional sense. I may try experimenting with this again soon, but I have fasted from other things.

In an attempt to have realistic relationship expectations I fasted from watching romantic comedies and chick flicks while I was dating someone. In the beginning of the relationship I did have some unrealistic expectations. For example, when he would go home for the weekend he would leave Friday directly after work and not return until Sunday night. I remember thinking “maybe this one time he’ll come home early on Sunday so he can see me”. Another time, I was having a particularly tough day (which he knew about) and I was making him dinner. I had hoped he would bring wine with him to my place, but he didn’t.

Eventually I became more grounded in my expectations. As with any personal growth, it didn’t happen over night or because of one strategy. For one, it helped that I fasted from chick flicks. For two, I would ask my friend if my expectations were too high and she’d tell me yes. And for three, I have found over time that I am more thoughtful on average and I should not fault others for not being.

The friend I was on the phone with when I was crying said “The one thing you should avoid right now is watching chick flicks”. This is very limiting on Netflix, I have to tell you.

I’ve also fasted from spending money on food for a month. I’ll write a blog post about that one day. I fasted from spending money on clothes for a couple years.

I’m sure one day I’ll be able to watch chick flicks and not feel terrible about my love life. I wish there was a rule I use for when I know I’m ready, but usually it’s when I don’t throw a pity party for myself after watching one. For the time being I’ll keep watching obscure movies like Chocolat and any other recommendations you may send my way (that are on Netflix).

I’m trying failing at fasting from social media. I now take walks at work instead of social media breaks, which helps. I wish I could get to a place where seeing posts wouldn’t make me feel bitter/sad/resentful instead of having to fast from it. I guess there’s still a lot of work to be done on myself. Or God could just provide me with a husband… 😉

Faith-The struggle is real

“I bought a gift for my girlfriend’s bachelorette party and they didn’t even have a box for me to put it in” I said sobbing into the phone to my friend.

I was walking out of the crazy busy mall in 88 degree, humid weather. Earlier that day I stopped at Market Basket to grab fruit salad to bring to a lunch with a different friend and stepped in gum. Shortly after leaving the store I received a text about bringing fruit salad to a brunch the next day. And now, I was walking out of a mall without gift wrapping for a gift. It felt like life became exponentially harder all in one day.

From the other end of the phone, in the only way a friend could ever do something like this to make me feel better, all I hear is chuckling and I immediately start laughing at the absurdity of my reasoning for crying. He then asked me what was truly wrong.

I attempted to give him the aforementioned obstacles in my day, to which he replied “so you need to stop at another store, big deal”. Again-only in a way this friend could say to me to make me laugh. He knew there was something deeper that spurred this, because he knows me well enough to know I don’t get upset over trivial things (more on this later). Then I proceeded to tell him what really triggered it. (pro tip- the first answer people give is rarely the most truthful).

While I was waiting in line forever-only to find out there wasn’t a box for my gift-I was flipping through Facebook as you do. There was a post from three of my friends from back home, all with their significant others, going to an event I was supposed to go today. It hit me, I’m back at square one, watching everyone live their life with their best friends and I am flying solo.

Then, like any good friend, he went into empathy mode and reminded me it’s ok to cry and be upset. He said all the things a good friend should say, but that I don’t necessarily currently believe (and that’s ok).

The one thing he said that struck me the most was “It’s so peculiar to hear you crying. You’re always so upbeat and optimistic. The whole time I’ve known you I don’t think I’ve heard you cry once”. (We’ve known each other ten years… Holy crap. Ten years!) Instinctually I thought, “I don’t want to be known as that person who pretends to be happy all the time, and who people think never has any problems”. Then I realized these are two different things.

I have been authentically happy for a very long time. Every now and again I have mood swings as any girl does and throw myself pity parties, but on the whole I am consistently happy and I should be proud of it. It takes work to be this way. I read a lot, don’t watch the news/t.v. shows, listen to podcasts of successful people, work out consistently, pray, maintain great friendships, eat healthy, surround myself with positive people.

The struggle of life is real. I have struggles, you have struggles, we all have struggles. Life’s about responding to these struggles with a good attitude, because that’s when it’s hardest to have one and when I have to draw on security and stability from God the most. I’m not perfect yet, as I was reminded by today’s experience, but I’m a lot farther than I’d be without preparing myself.

Champions do not become champions when they win the event, but in the hours, weeks, months and years they spend preparing for it. The victorious performance itself is merely the demonstration of their championship character.

My friend told me today that I’m the best break up handler she’s ever known. I’ll take it.

Faith-Learning Values Part 2

The following are values that I wasn’t aware that I valued until I started dating someone for the first time.

  1. Truly honest communication even if you’re going to hurt the other person. I know that sounds funny, but let me elaborate. For example, I asked at the beginning how we should go about paying for things. He answered that he would pick up a majority of the time, but it would be great if I picked up once in a while. Well, it turns out he really wanted it to be a 50-50 split, but didn’t want me to think of him as cheap. From my perspective, I have been on my own for 27 years and can handle myself. I understand men don’t *have* to be providers anymore. I also appreciate frugality and good money habits. Had he been honest in the beginning, it would’ve avoided a disagreement down the road. Another example is when he suggested we take his motorcycle to Newbury street, but had no intention on actually doing so. He explained that it’s a really big risk to have me on the back. I asked my male friend what the deal was with this, and he said sometimes he promises his wife things without thinking about the consequences and in reality it would be a bad idea. He apologizes when he recognizes he does that.
  2. Grace. This was already on my list, but I have a new perspective. Grace for yourself. In my point on honest communication, there are going to be times you feel angry/resentful/dishonest/shameful and you need to be honest about that with your partner. It’s ok to have those feelings. Let’s figure out what’s causing them and have the respect and grace for each other to know we’re human and will feel those things and let’s work toward fixing it.
  3. Expecting the best out of people. I understand this can’t be helped depending on how you were raised. I come from a family where everyone we knew was a friend/trustworthy until proven otherwise. Sure, we get burned sometimes, but in the long haul it pans out. I don’t think this is a deal breaker, but it does manifest itself in odd ways.
  4. Empathy. I thought I was really terrible at this. While that may be true, it turns out I still have a pretty good head on my shoulders.
  5. Having a high self image. I often thought that if only a man were not intimidated by me it would solve all self image issues we would have. (I have none. *sarcasm*). I discovered that the man has to believe he is lovable, which is why it is important to love yourself before you get into a relationship. The hamster wheel and I were bffs as I was constantly running to make him feel like I was truly interested in him for being him, and not because I had been single for 27 years and was desperate. I know relationships are work and about choosing to love, but I learned that you can’t teach someone to love themselves.
  6. “The only man that deserves you is the one who thinks he doesn’t” This quote has long been a pet peeve of mine. I understand the sentiment, but I’d rather a man with the self confidence and self image to say “I’m awesome, I deserve her” than one I have to constantly work to build up (similar to 5, but I wanted to break it up)
  7. Consistency. In one minute, I was criticized for making him feel like a wallet. In the next, I was told not to put so much pressure on myself to figure out my retirement/being a stay at home mom situation because there would be a male in the picture to help some day. In one minute, I’d be told I was too productive and should take some downtime, and in another I was told I wasn’t productive/ambitious because I wouldn’t work toward advancing my career skills. It’s hard to hit a moving target.
  8. Who doesn’t keep score. Love is 100/100, not 50/50
  9. Someone who doesn’t treat me like a chore/obligation
  10. Someone I feel comfortable being honest with. I started out being honest (at times brutally) and would learn his reactions to things. It became harder and harder to be honest and I had to start making decisions about whether I would bring things up or let it go. One weekend we were going to an event near my parents’ house. I thought it would be cool if my parents could join us. However, when he met my parents, he made a comment about how meeting them was a huge deal like it was a big sacrifice he was making for me. I was hesitant to bring up having them come to the event, even though I knew they’d enjoy it.

Disclaimer-This list isn’t my comprehensive values list, it only consists of values I didn’t know I had until this relationship developed.

Faith-Learning Values Part 1

During my 27 years of being single I have had a lot of time to develop what I thought was the perfect checklist for my soulmate. Honesty, good money management skills, healthy habits, helps me slow down, Catholic, with a side of tall, handsome, and athletic.

I’ve also done my fair share of reading about/observing relationships. If your man does x,y,z you should get over it. A, b, and c are red flags. L, m, and n are things that could change over time. D, e, and f are deal-breakers. I’m breaking up with him because g, h, i. He brings me flowers so I love him forever. The following are values that were confirmed are important to me.

  1. Apologizing. It was a big step when he took the time to apologize for something that he did wrong, all without my prompting him to
  2. Thoughtfulness. There was a weekend we were apart and he had something going on late into the night. He took the time to step away from the obligation to call me before I went to bed because he knows I go to sleep early.
  3. Chivalry. One of my biggest personal growth points is to let a man do things for me. It’s been a big change from being the strong, independent, I can do anything woman my parents raised me to be. He bought me flowers, he would help me with my technology issues (even though I could have figured out most of them myself, I wanted to let him feel masculine), carry my bicycle up the stairs, cook dinner, and walk on the outside of the street.
  4. Adventure/spontaneity. I’m such a planner, and while sometimes it is really difficult to adapt to someone who is not, it turned out to be fun setting off and not really having expectations for what would happen.
  5. Good food sharer
  6. Can make me laugh
  7. Is smarter than me in some ways
  8. Compliments me/notices when I try to impress him
  9. Asks me about my comfort-This played an important role in many situations and I was really glad he was concerned about it.
  10. Good conversation. We almost never run out of things to talk about
  11. Can stand silence. Even if we did, we were comfortable in the silence.
  12. Is willing to try new things.
  13. Is handy. He could fix his own car/motorcycle, to me that is super sexy
  14. Financially conscience. Knew to invest in index funds/Roth IRA. Man after my own heart.

Disclaimer-This isn’t everything, it doesn’t include some basics like family-oriented, into healthy habits, Catholicism, but I figure those go without saying based on my blog.