on life, ambitions, and dreams


Posts Tagged ‘give thanks’

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

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.

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!

Happy Thanksgiving Turducken

Apparently I missed the memo that Thanksgiving weekend is National Unplug and Spend Time with Your Family weekend (as reported by multiple bloggers). I’ve written about unplugging before, and it’s definitely something that we all need in this day of electronic calendars, push notifications, and Siri, is that we need people to tell us to unplug.

Well, here’s me, the girl who will be offline and online over the next five days due to her commitment to blogging once a day saying, don’t.

Don’t unplug. Don’t get offline. Don’t respect your friends and family that you only see once a year for the holidays by abandoning Facebook, Twitter, and (gasp!) Google+.

Be that annoying grandkid who texts throughout dinner. Channel that angst that you got over when you graduated from high school and sulk. Check in, obnoxiously, from your mother’s kitchen, the kiddie table, and your grandmother’s punch bowl. Claim the mayorship of Second Thanksgiving. And – for the love of the Internet – tweet.

And when you’re done with your third helping of mashed potatoes and have reached the point of no return after your second dose of pie, poke someone on Facebook.

Now go get that turkey coma on.

Happy Thanksgiving!

P.S. Since you’re online, here’s some Thanksgiving fin from The Oatmeal: Thanksgiving as a kid VS Thanksgiving as an adult. Enjoy ☺

Photo Credit: Pam’s Pics-

I’m Thankful for Homemade Pies

In every family, there’s one thing that is your “thing” and it’s a right-of-passage to learn how to do it and how to do it well. It’s usually a trade secret and something you can whip out at parties and impress your friends with. Something that is passed down by generations and a mad skill that is like nothing for you when you do it. In my family, this thing is making pies from scratch.

These pies originate where my roots do, from the Midwest. One year when I was in high school, my parents, sister and I spent Christmas with our family on their farm in Iowa. My grandpa wasn’t doing so well, so all the aunts and their families came to spend some quality time together. We turned my grandma’s kitchen into a pie-lover’s dream.

We are pie-making machines

We had three stations: crust, filling, fruit processing. The first few pies went straight into the oven and straight into our mouths. The rest were slid into gallon zip-lock bags and stacked in the deep freeze in the basement, to give Grandma something quick and easy to give Grandpa if he was being finicky. Since that winter, it’s been an unofficial contest between my cousins as to who can mass-produce the most number of pies in one pie-making session. One summer they made something obscene like 15 pies due to a healthy crop of homegrown rhubarb. I can’t compete with that. (more…)

I’m Thankful for Everything that Happens for a Reason

Enjoy the view - Barcelona Spain - HDR

I’m going to echo the man who lives a life without pants and say that this has been one fucking incredible year, and one that I have so much to be thankful for.

2010 started off on a high note and there have been some amazing things that have gone exactly as I planned them to and others that went the complete opposite. I pride myself as someone who sets goals and achieves them, and everything that I have put in motion has caused ripple effects in parts of my life and others creating an impact that is bigger than I ever imagined it could be. And this year isn’t over yet. (more…)