on life, ambitions, and dreams


Posts Tagged ‘friends’

I am Thankful for Strong Women


I woke up at 7am today, forgetting that it was a holiday and thinking I was late to work. I wasn’t. Instead, I rolled out from under the cuddling-grasps of my sleeping husband, snuck (unsuccessfully) out of the bedroom and into my closet where I tossed on workout clothes.

Outside it was sunny and I had to scrape the ice off my windows. I hate scraping the ice off my windows, especially on a non-work day.

It’s Thanksgiving and I was meeting my team at the gym for the 6th annual CrossFit Cornucopia workout. This workout is brutal–t’s a total 8 movements at 200 reps each, split reps with your team of four, and it lasts for just over an hour.*

I have been going to CrossFit for as long as President Obama has been in office. Election night 2008 was one of my first one-on-one sessions. Over the years I have been at the top of my fitness game and super sporadic. Right now, CrossFit and I have a lukewarm relationship. It’s not that it doesn’t love me, it’s that I don’t love it. It’s a symptom of a 2-hour commute, long hours, and, to be frank, just being tired. I’ve gained weight (but every pancake has been worth it) and my shoulder is still not strong. And now my lower back and hip are freaking out. I’m too young for my body to revolt on me.

I may disappear from the gym for a few weeks, but I always come back.

Two weeks ago I got a text from one of my ‘6am Faithfuls,’ asking if I’d join their team for our gym’s annual Thanksgiving workout. The idea of doing the workout never crossed my mind. And it doesn’t matter how old you get, getting ‘chosen’ to be on a team always feels good.

My team this year was evenly matched in strength and ability. We each carried the team our respective movements and rested on the ones we weren’t.

Then we hit the burpees, movement 5 out of 8 and rep 800-1000, and each of us subbed in after 2 or 3 burpees each. Not even half-way through, say burpee #60, I hit the wall. I wanted to die. My body felt heavy as hell — I dropped fast and it took all-the-strength-in-the-world to push my body off the floor.

My lowerback was tweaking out each time I pushed up. I laid at the bottom of the burpee, chest pressed against the floor wondering, when did I get so heavy? and how could these extra 10 pounds feel like 50? I wanted to cry and never get up, but I didn’t. I couldn’t. This wasn’t just my workout.

I jumped up, clapped my hands above my head, and dropped back down to the ground, pushing myself up to a jump, completing another burpee.

That’s when Sara tapped in and I rested for 9 more burpees.

Strength being part of a community, part of a team. Strength is showing up. And if it wasn’t for these three ladies, I would have stayed on the floor.

Thank you for sharing your strength with me, Sara, Meredyth, and Linda.

Happy Thanksgiving.

CrossFit Cornucopia Team 2013 at Local's Gym/Lynnwood Crossfit

* The CrossFit Cornucopia Workout

  • 200 Dumbell/Kettlebell Snatches 35/25
  • 200 Deadlifts 85/65
  • 200 Wallball Shots 20/14
  • 200 Medball Cleans 20/14
  • 200 Burpees
  • 200 Pull-ups
  • 200 Thrusters 45/35
  • 200 calories on the rower

Teams of 4 for time
Break up reps as needed

Top Photo by Greg Westfall

The Value of Online Friendships and IRL

bff, by eflon

Two years ago at SXSW I met two people in real life for the first time. After meeting each other, we didn’t have that awkward “getting to know you” phase, instead we were chained to the hip debriefing about sessions and mapping out how each of us were going to make our impact in the world. When we’d meet new people and they asked how we met, we’d answer simultaneously, “On Twitter!”

“You mean you didn’t just meet here?”

Well, sorta. You see, the three of us had been talking for two years online and SXSW happened to be the first time that we were all in the same physical room together.

We joked that we were “IRL-ing,” which is the active verb of spending time “in real life” together as opposed to online. And it was fun, too.

Think about the closest friends that you have, the ones that you can share anything with. Now think about how long it took you to get to that point of comfort with your friend. Years, probably.

Friends vs. Friendship

Yesterday, Monica Guzman wrote about the term “friends” and how in the age of social media, are all of the “friends” that we have online actually friends, or just people we know who we call friends?

She writes about the difference between friends and the role of friendship:

How many people can I turn to in a crisis? A small group of family and close friends I’d think to reach out to — if I keep the trouble offline.

But if I take it online, if I decide that’s all right, it’s all of them plus an unpredictable number of other friends, acquaintances, professional contacts and even strangers who might help, maybe more quickly or more effectively than the people I know and see the most.

These tech-connected “friends” won’t ever replace the flesh-and-blood people with whom we form deep, enduring relationships. But they can act the part a time or two, and even audition for a permanent role….

So are people friends if they act like friends for a moment here, an hour there? Can we draw clean lines between our networks and our friends once and for all?

No, we can’t, and maybe we shouldn’t. Because when we’re so connected, the prevalence of friends doesn’t matter nearly as much as the prevalence of friendship.

The question about if a person is really a friend or not is something that we’ve all wondered for years (just ask any heart-broken teenager). But are the conversations and relationships we have and build online real or not?

Stop Valuing IRL Over Your Online Life

My friend Mouyyad of IRL-ing fame sent me this video of Alexandra Samuel’s talk at TEDxVictoria in which she gives Ten Reasons to Stop Apologizing for Your Online Life (video embedded below). She says:

We are so used to apologizing for our online reality that we actually have an acronym for it: I. R. L., in real life. And you see people all over the Internet itself using this acronym to say, ‘What I’m doing right now online does not count. It’s not real. Reality happens elsewhere.

Wait, so that conversation that I had with someone last week on Twitter that turned into a freelance project wasn’t real? And the person who I met two years ago online who’s turned into one of my closest most trusted friends, isn’t real?

Alexandra’s talk is centered on the idea of “Real Life Too,” a new acronym to embrace and properly recognize all those activities that we do online as being real.

That anonymous person who left a hateful comment on your blog? They’re real. That blogger you’ve been connecting with who lives on the other side of the world? They’re real. That person who lives in your same city who you’ve tweeted with at events but have never shook hands? They’re real, too.

Alexandra Samuel: Ten Reasons to Stop Apologizing for Your Online Life at TEDxVictoria

I still love the term “IRL” because to the friends who I have IRL-ed with, it’s a joke. After building up trust and being our real selves with each other online for years, we were able to skip the awkwardness that comes with meeting people for the first time and jump right into being “friends.” We know that where our friendship started, online, is as real as what happens offline.

I think about all of the “friends” I have on Facebook and how many of them I’m actually friends with, care about, or are just “friends” with because I’m curious to watch what they do in their life. All of that is real, and just because the interactions that we have with each other happen online doesn’t make it any less real.

What do you think, is online life as real as offline life?

Photo by eflon

2012: The Year of TEKST Artist

TEKSTartist in action

I’m psyched. Why? Because I just spent the last fifteen minutes consuming a website that just launched.

Wait – what? Yes, consuming.

It’s no secret that I have a love of words and language. And we all know that a picture says a thousand words. But what happens when the two marry and words create an image?

Meet TEKST Artist

TEKST is a 366-day experiment where each piece is a one-of-a-kind create made up completely of words.

Like this one he created for the band, Pepper, with the lyrics to their song, Wake Up; this video is the official music video for this song. And this one he created for Apple fans everywhere using the text from Steve Jobs’ opening keynote in 1983.

He creates each piece by doing what you and I do every day on our blogs, on Twitter, Facebook, and even the archaic action of ‘forwarding’ an email – by “remixing” ideas. In TEKST’s words:

This “remixing” of ideas can even be seen in each and every art piece. I use quotes, audio tracks, even imagery originally created by others. I have gone to great lengths to credit each source along the way. I believe that every facet of each piece has been created under what would be considered “fair use”. At no point was/is it my intention to outright steal content that doesn’t belong to me. I will happily add/adjust proper credit that is found to be incorrect or missing.

366 One-of-a-Kind Works of Art for Sale

Want to know the best part? He’s selling each TEKST art project for the price of the day of the calendarthat’s $1 on January 1, $2 on January 2, $3 on January 3, etc. with original text-inspired artwork that he’s already created for the first half of the year and artwork commissioned by you the second half of the year.

TEKST Calendar - May

Why I dig TEKST

TEKST Artist is a dear friend of mine. When we met last March, this project was an idea and didn’t even have a name yet. I love how it’s evolved over the past year and I admire TEKST’s decision to launch this project and invest everything he has into it:

Leaving a steady job to “shoot for the moon” and pursue a career as an artist (especially after almost a decade away from the craft) is something else entirely.  I decided there was only 1 way to get up to speed- I’m going to make and sell art for 365 days straight in 2012, create a video for each one, and feature it right here on the homepage.

But as with most successful people, he didn’t do it alone. Art Alternatives sponsored every single one of his canvases and made the 366-TEKSTs possible. He also has an amazing wife, mentors, and friends. We’re all bought into this project when it was still an idea. And now that it’s launched, we’re all glad we did.

Time to get your TEKST on

Seriously, go check out the calendar. January 1 to June 15 are pieces of artwork that he already created. And starting June 16, you can commission TEKST to create your own piece for $168 – which is a pretty amazing price for a commissioned art piece!

Go, before the entire calendar has been purchased.

You can purchase the classic Macintosh piece that was created in the video linked above on June 15 or a modern “Fail Whale” ala Twitter on May 19.

I just chose and purchased my TEKSTs, have you?

I am Thankful for You

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

This year, like every year, has been one filled with ups and downs, events that went down as planned and events that went awry, things that happened for a reason and surprises that revealed themselves at the most opportune times.

Today was perhaps the most perfect Thanksgiving ever. It started by John and I going out last night to the 10pm showing of The Muppets and coming home to finish making Pumpkin Whoopie Pies (thanks to a delicious recipe from Bill the Butcher). Then this morning started by going to CrossFit and doing a team WOD with two of my best CrossFit friends. Participating in today’s WOD was a big deal since I’ve been doing solo workouts and rehabbing my shoulder due to tendonitis and bursitis that I’ve had for a year and a half.

For Thanksgiving dinner, we went to my in-laws’ house. They were the hosts and we dined with them, my sister-in-law, her fiancé, John, my parents, and a family friend. The feast was complimented by laughter and now I’m home on the couch, blogging, while John and I are watching Harry Potter, which is kind of a tradition in this house.

It was the perfect Thanksgiving Day.

Thirty Reasons to be Thankful

In the tradition of last year, here is what I am thankful for this year:

  • John – my support, my rock, my heart
  • Building strength, physical and psychological
  • New friends
  • Old friends
  • Friends who have moved from professional to personal friends
  • Twitter BFFs and blogging buddies
  • You, my reader
  • My blog
  • My new job
  • My old job
  • Mentors
  • My family – my parents, my in-laws, my sisters, my brothers, my nephew
  • Going to celebrate my nephew’s first birthday next week.
  • Having control over my own schedule
  • CrossFit
  • My acupuncturist and my chiropractor
  • Celebrating hump day
  • Being a writer
  • Mustaches
  • Hipsters and the hipster-way-of-life
  • Dancing, just because we can
  • Cooking and baking at home
  • Cuddling (even though my husband has dropped 50 pounds in the past year thanks to CrossFit, his hipbones are still fun to cuddle with)
  • Listening to my gut
  • Putting things in motion
  • Not settling
  • The ability, drive, and ambition to fix things that aren’t right
  • Big ideas, implemented
  • Do-ers
  • Being comfortable in my own skin and appreciating who I am.

That last one is probably the biggest way to summarize all that has happened so far this year. 2011 has been a “building” year – personally, professionally, physically, and psychologically.

Thank you – for reading and being here; would not be what it is without you.

Thank you.

Post-Thanksgiving CrossFit workout

Now, I’m going to do what I told you not to do yesterday and log off to spend time with the first item on this list.

How to Cheat with, Impress, and Support Your Friends

Last night I cheated, twice. This first was by not posting a blog when I’m participating in National Blog Posting Month (and at this time I’m trying to figure out if I’m going to back-date this post or just make up for it later). The second was I ate non-paleo food and drinks.

But I have a good reason why – John and I spent the evening at a friends house helping them choose their signature cocktail for their wedding this spring.

And while I could have chosen a paleo-friendly drink recipe, what good would my taste buds have been if I didn’t taste all the other cocktails and vote for my favorite? And then, what kind of friend would I have been?

That’s right, I cheated last night because I was being a good friend. And when we came home past the stroke of midnight, I was in no place to be blogging. 🙂

Mojito Mixology

lamiki makes one mean mojito

Earlier this year, I decided to make homemade mojitos for the annual BBQ we host for our CrossFit friends. What I didn’t know was how impressive this skill would be until I posted a photo from the ‘dress rehearsal’ on Facebook and received a ton of comments about how hard it was to make a mojito at home and awe that I took on such a challenge.

I’ll let you in on a little secret – all I did was crack open a bar book that I received as a gift for my 21st birthday and choose the mojito recipe that was the easiest to make. I bought key lime and mint from the corner produce market, a gallon of Bicardi Rum at the liquor store, and everything else at the grocery store. Turns out that the key limes were key in making the drink sweet and not sour (which would have been the case if I used regular limes).

The recipe (parenthetic commentary are my own)


1 ounce fresh lime juice (fresh squeezed from key limes is best)
1 tablespoon superfine sugar
6 to 8 fresh mint leaves (roll each mint leaf in your fingers before dropping into the glass)
2 ounces light rum
3 to 4 ounces chilled club soda
Fresh mint sprig

Shaken, not stirred – Shake the lime juice, sugar, mint leaves, and rum vigorously with ice. Without straining, pour the entire contents of the shaker into a highball glass flamingo glass, and top with club soda. Garnish with the mint sprig. Complete with a straw.

Other than the mint sprigs, measure out each of the ingredients to keep the ratio (and taste) perfect.

Recipe adapted from the The Ultimate Bar Book: The Comprehensive Guide to Over 1,000 Cocktails (link to recipe).

The Secret to Impressing Your Friends

The thing that surprised me the most about serving about a gallon’s worth of mojitos at my party was how much people are in awe of special skills like cooking or following a recipe. I experience this whenever I bring a homemade pie to a dinner party.

From what some of my friends tell me, it’s like this – people who can follow a recipe usually can because someone showed them how to at one point in their life. And as I’ve learned from making pies and now cocktails from scratch, if you want to learn how to do something, all you need to do is find the directions and learn how to do it.

Violà! Instant party trick!

What’s the best cocktail you’ve mixed at home? And what’s the recipe?