Thursday, June 9, 2011

Workout Addict

Something has changed me -- I've become a workout addict.

Over the past 6 months I've been building to this... it's been a little rough at times, but I've made huge leaps (signed-up for a Y membership, ran a 5k) and I'm finally to the point where I need to be active everyday. My first two weeks of summer have really kicked my addiction into high gear. I wake up thinking about going to the gym and am tracking workouts on my google calendar (using my fav color, purple of course).

I feel like I can narrow my new addiction down to three basic causes: 1) Lately, I have chosen to surround myself by very active (and very happy) people. 2) Workout clothes are super cute and super comfy. 3) It's the summer... what else am I going to do with my extra time?

The best part of this new addiction is that it comes from a great place -- not a place of wanting to loose weight or look different -- it comes from a place of wanting to be happier, healthier, and more active... What a great place to be!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

It's Complicated...

I remember a few years ago when the phrase "it's complicated" became a relationship option on facebook -- I remember giggling. A lot. It didn't seem to occur to me at the time that there was something other than 'single' or 'in a relationship' or that people would be willing to publicize it! But now that I'm living out in the big dating world, I've come to the decision that all twenty-something relationships are complicated. When I think of all my friends who are single or in dating relationships (let's leave out marriages for now -- mainly because I don't know the first thing about being married!) they all have some sort of issue in their relationships; not enough to end a connection, just enough to make things complicated.

Even right now amongst my close friends, there is a seemingly endless list of complications... But, he's five years younger than I am. But, she lives half-way across the country. But, he just doesn't do relationships. But, we work together. But, she has an ex-husband. But, he has a daughter. But, he doesn't always answer my calls. And (my personal fav) but, he's nothing I'm looking for in a relationship.

As single twenty-somethings (honestly -- closer to thirty-something), we have already lived... some of us more than others. It's hard to merge our baggage with another person's; what if it doesn't all fit? Complicated seems like something that's impossible to avoid. But, I haven't yet admitted defeat -- I'm not ready to accept that I will be "it's complicated" with someone. I am going to hold out for that perfect situation.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


One of my favorite grown-up discoveries is watching a movie or reading a book I lovedwhen I was younger and finding a brand new way to appreciate it. Over Spring Break, I had a chance to watch the musical The Newsies and fall in love all over again....

The Newsies is based on the newsboys strike of 1899 -- the newsboys wanted to gain respect of the newspapers they worked for and wanted lower paper costs. So, inspired by the recent trolly workers' strike, the boys decided to go on strike and gain support for their cause. At that time, the only way to spread information/news in New York was through the papers -- if it wasn't in the papers noone knew about it and it didn't happen. (Here comes my favorite part.) The most powerful men in New York were Pulitzer and Hearst -- owners of the World and the Journal -- who didn't want to spread word of the newsboys strike, and refused to publish it. The newsboys all but gave up, they were too small to fight alone and had no way to spread word and gain support. As all good Disney movies do, The Newsies has a happy ending -- the newsboys found a way to publish their own paper encouraging all child labor to join their cause. Cue big singing/dancing finale.

My recent love of this movie comes fron recognizing how opposite our students have it now -- around the turn of the 20th century, those with money and power determined what was news; now, barely a century later, the average person has the power to share the news. Anyone can have a blog, or social media account. ranks it's online articles by reader popularity (not by publisher opinion). And just a few years ago on twitter, Ashton Kutcher (an Iowa boy) proved that one person can have more followers than the most popular news network in the world.

The possiblities are endless for our students -- they don't need to gain the permission of newspaper publishers to get out information about their cause. It's possible for them to spread the word and enlist help on their own. What a powerful concept. Social media is shaping their generation. Information has never been so readily available, and it has never been so easy for students to publish their own stories. However, (here comes the teacher twist) students need to be and deserve to be taught how to use this power responsibly.

Friday, February 25, 2011


All coaches (hopefully not just me) have a list of "things perfect coaches say in perfect worlds". One of the many phrases on my list is "you don't need anyone's approval; just knowing you did your best is enough."


We all look for approval. And more often then not, we let that approval -- or lack of -- determine our post-performance attitude. It shouldn't be that way, it's true that knowing you did your best should be enough. But life has never been that simple. Babies look to their parents after falling to determine whether or not they should cry. Elementary students show pictures to their teachers to find out if they're "art". Middle schoolers search the crowd for parents' faces after volleyball serves or free-throws. College-bound seniors look to their coaches for permission to celebrate an astonishing win. And, this weekend, I looked to a friend for approval of a job well done.

It should have been enough that my players were among the top four competitors in a difficult tournament. Or that they showed an improvement in their skills and self-confidence. It should have been enough that parents thanked me and other coaches shook my hand. It should have been enough that I left that tournament smiling and proud of my state-qualifying team.

Instead, my feelings were crushed when my fellow-coach's reaction wasn't excitement. No congratulations or enthusiasm. The face staring back at mine was full of disbelief and annoyance. Instantly my mood changed... all my excitement was gone. My great tournament finish was tarnished.


English majors should not be aloud to text message. We have been taught to take words way to seriously.

I treat every single message like a term paper. I save drafts. I revise. I edit. I ask others to revise. I ask others to edit. I revise again. (I haven't gone so far as to use a Thesaurus... yet.) I stress over every single word and every single punctuation mark. I make every decision intentional. I consider connotations and colloquialisms. I make every character count.

Then, as-if only to make matters worse, I analyze responses. I look for inferences. I carefully read and re-read my inbox. I stress over every single word and every single abbreviation. I consider every possible writing condition. I assume they mean every word.

I blame my degree. I have been taught to write; write well. In college, I honed in on my personal writing process. I know how I write best (quiet space and lots of reading aloud) and what I write best (commentary). As hard as I try, I can't turn the English professor in my head off. I don't know how to write a piece of writing -- even something as simple as a text message -- without preparing an argument for every intentional decision.

Even now as I write, I consider possible improvements and notice my short falls. I struggle to let go of a piece. Once it's out there, it's out there.

It only gets more complicated with my current struggle -- attempting to begin a relationship through text. Once I push send on a text, it's done. No more revisions or chances to explain 'what I really meant'. What if it wasn't witty enough? What if I came off to forward? What if the real me isn't coming across? I badly want to quickly call him up and say all the things I tried to imply -- but, instead, I diligently sit with my eyeballs glued to my phone laying on the desk. And hope for patience.