Lioness' Literatim

Letter for letter, the thoughts in my head.

30 Day Writer’s Blog Challenge

So, those of you that know me in real life, not just as an internet entity, know that next week Pikachu and I are headed to Vegas for my big birthday adventure. And to see his family, but I’m nervous about that, so we’ll focus on the birthday adventure, ’cause that’s exciting. But, when we return from our trip, I intend to start a new blog solely for heath and fitness stuff, rather than throwing that in the loop here. This blog will continue to be my more personal stuff. My random rants and whatever I feel like posting. And, to challenge myself to write everyday, I’ll be following this 30 day writers challenge. It’s coming. Keep an eye out for it.

30 Day Writer’s-Blog Challenge List:

  1. Five ways to win your heart
  2. Something you feel strongly about
  3. A book you love
  4. Bullet your whole day
  5. Things you want to say to an ex
  6. Your views on mainstream music
  7. Five pet peeves
  8. What you ate today
  9. How important you think education is
  10. Put your music player on shuffle and write the first ten songs that play
  11. Your family
  12. Five guys whom you find attractive
  13. Your opinion about your body and how you comfortable you are with it
  14. What you wore today
  15. Your zodiac/horoscope and if you think it fits your personality
  16. Something you always think “what if …” about
  17. Something that you are proud of
  18. A problem that you have had
  19. Five items you lust after
  20. Your fears
  21. How you hope your future will be like
  22. Your academics
  23. Something that you miss
  24. Five words/phrases that make you laugh
  25. Something you’re currently worrying about
  26. Things you like and dislike about yourself
  27. A quote to try to live by
  28. Somewhere you’d like to move to or visit
  29. Five weird things that you like
  30. One thing you’re excited about

 

6 April 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

YAYOG Day 4 and lazy meals

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Fayetteville, NC

My pepper seeds are sprouting! My pepper seeds are sprouting! And my pansy plant has baby buds! And my chocolate mint plant is still alive! Still can’t see any progress on the herbs, but hopefully something will poke through the soil soon!

YAYOG Day 4 – Legs/Core

Today’s workout felt great, for the most part. The side lunges were a little awkward because the stance is wider than I’m used to, but I hear it gets easier, and the side crunches just felt awkward in general, but I’m going to chalk that up, at least in part, to my general dislike of crunches. Once I master the extra wide stance on the side lunges, I think they’re going to be amazing. Most of the ones I did today were stationary – I stayed in the wide stance instead of returning to the starting position after each rep – because getting into and out of the wide stance made me come very close to falling flat on my face a few times. Will definitely be working on that. The 1L RDLs felt amazing today, but I seemed to be having some issues with balance today. I’m expecting my hamstrings to protest getting out of bed in the morning. The squats – oh lord the squats. Today’s squats came with the instructions to pause for 1-3 seconds at the bottom. So I did. A full 3 seconds on each rep. So much pain, but damn they felt good. As for the side crunches, I think next week I’ll replace them with something else, because they really did just feel awkward. I felt like I should’ve been doing either full fledged oblique crunches or bicycles instead of the hybrid version that the book calls for. No matter though. I’ll change it up a little and it will still be good. Tomorrow starts week 2 of this journey into body weight, and I’m ready for it.

Food:

Today was not the best day, food wise. Breakfast was a chocolate chip muffin. You know, the kind you buy in a 4-pack at the grocery store? Yeah….I forgot I bought them yesterday, but there they were this morning, sitting on the counter just waiting to be devoured. After breakfast I had to go on post to do laundry because my dryer is still out. While I was waiting for it to finish, I walked over to starbucks. Grande white chocolate mocha with an extra shot. On the plus side, after the laundry was done I went to the commissary and everything that I bought is healthy. I have fresh fruit and veggies, a couple of chicken breasts, a salmon fillet, and peanuts to make another batch of boiled peanuts with. I got home and did my workout, then followed it with a banana. A few hours and a couple glasses of juice later, I had a handful of strawberries, then decided it was dinner time and I didn’t feel like cooking. Cue beanie weenies.

25 March 2012 Posted by | Health + Fitness | Leave a comment

New Gear and Unnecessary Sweets

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Fayetteville, NC

Today, I ordered a pull up bar. Unfortunately, there’s not enough room to the sides of any of my doors to get one of the over-the-doorframe varieties, so I’m going to test out a tension bar. I ordered a cheap one, so I’m not expecting greatness, but I want to see if a tension bar will actually stay up before I invest too much in a good one. Also, I finally bought a jump rope! I’m excited to start incorporating that into my new body weight routine. Maybe on leg days? Or perhaps on an in-between day. I’m also going to start stretching a lot more. All of my non-YAYOG days are going to focus on stretching for at least 10 minutes, though 20 is the goal. I’ll be following the guidance of Viperid on Fitocracy. He posted up a blog about some of the stretches that he does for flexibility: How to Become Flexible: A Practical Guide. So, I’m excited. Pull up bar should be here by Wednesday or Thursday, so I can start working on my pathetic lack of pull strength, and I finally have a comprehensive guide by a trustworthy source on stretches for flexibility. This should keep me very occupied for the next week and a half while I’m anxiously awaiting the long weekend where I finally get to go home and see my mom for the first time since I’ve been home from this deployment. I’ll also get to see my little brother, my sister, her mom, my grandparents and my best guy friend. And did I mention it’s Florida? Because that means some beach time! And then, I drive home on Monday and pick up my soldier from the airport! I’m so excited! Wanna make bets on when I start getting the excited jitters? Oh wait…I was talking about fitness gear…talk about going off on a tangent…So anyway – new fitness gear. If the pull up bar is a success I may look into getting some straps so I can do some TRX suspension training, ’cause that just looks fun.

Food:

Oh boy…I should have known it was going to be a rough day when I started the morning by finishing off that damn bag of Whoppers…granted, I followed it up with eggs and toast, and some delicious coffee, but the whoppers were still the start of it all…Lunch was good. I’m proud of lunch. It was a sandwich. Turkey, smoked gouda, and granny smith apple slices. Oh. My. God. The gouda and apple combination was….amazing. It’s like they were meant to be paired together. I will definitely be doing that again. Tomorrow, if I remember to pick up more apples…and gouda…So then I was good until I decided to go to Wal-Mart to look at pull up bars. While I was in there I ended up remembering a few other things that I wanted to get, so between that and spending entirely too much time in the fitness aisle, I was there longer than I had intended. Which meant I got hungry. In my defense, most of what I got is actually healthy. Yogurt, juice and the like. But then I saw the frozen dinner aisle. More specifically, Stouffers Manicotti. Now, manicotti is one of my all time favorite meals. And it was delicious. Not as good as home-made, but it served its purpose, and it wasn’t the least healthy option. At least it wasn’t a TV dinner. What I REALLY didn’t need to get though, were the Mounds ice cream bars and the pack of York peppermint patties. I’ve had one ice cream bar, and actually forgot about the Yorks until I just mentioned them. Crap. Will now do everything that I can to stay away from them. I’m going to the commissary tomorrow for actual grocery shopping, so the fridge will be restocked with fruits and veggies, and I can start up another batch of boiled peanuts, because they turned out SO well last time. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be able to stay away from the sweets….

25 March 2012 Posted by | Health + Fitness, Long distance love, Surviving a deployment, That thing called Love | Leave a comment

YAYOG Day 3

Friday, 23 March 2012

Fayetteville, NC

YAYOG Day 3 – Push/Pull

I’ll admit that when I saw day three was exactly the same as day one, I lost a little bit of motivation. My wrists hurt so bad after day one that I was kind of scared to attempt the same thing again. But I did. With a high rate of success. I did my incline push ups on folding chairs instead of my gorilla box, and I think that made a big difference for my wrists. The padding on the seat isn’t as slippery as the plastic on the box, so I was able to have my hands flat instead of gripping the edge, but the height was still low enough that it was a challenge. Let Me Ins were a little bit easier, but my hands were still in a great amount of pain by the end. A buddy on Fitocracy suggested I use a towel to hold onto instead of the actual doorknobs (because I’m not smart enough to take the suggestion straight from the book…) so I might give that a try next time. Good news is that I was actually feeling my muscles work on these today. Dips still hurt my wrists, which I really don’t understand. The height of the folding chairs is the same height as the benches that I did them on in the gym in Kuwait, and I never had this problem there. Maybe it’s just a result of not working out for a few weeks and then suddenly jumping back into it? I don’t want to stop doing dips, because I love them, but if this pain keeps up I won’t have a choice. I surprised myself with the Let Me Ups today. Better form (still not perfect, but I’m working on it) and more reps. And they felt amazing. By the time my timer went off, I could barely lift my arms to grab the edge of the desk. I’m looking forward to being sore tomorrow.

Food:

Breakfast was a large grapefruit and a cup of coffee again. I didn’t want to get back in the habit of drinking coffee everyday, but I love it so much. Is it really so bad if I’m drinking it because I love it and not because I need it? Maybe I should switch to decaf to emphasize that point… Lunch was two Nathan’s hotdogs and a big scoop of sauerkraut. I know hotdogs aren’t the healthiest things, but they’re quick and easy and I was in a rush. Got home from running errands, did my workout, and dinner consisted of an apple, a banana, and a handful of raspberries. ‘Twas quite delicious, and I succeeded in not touching the open bag of Whoppers Robin Eggs.

Upcoming additions to this lovely training log: Action shots of workouts, links to Fitocracy so you can see the workout in all it’s point gaining glory, links to other relevant things perhaps, pictures of food, and recipes when I really start cooking again. Other things you’d like to see? Let me know.

23 March 2012 Posted by | Health + Fitness | Leave a comment

It’s all in the details

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Fayetteville/Ft. Bragg, NC

Surprisingly not sore today. Legs and lower back have been a bit stiff and needed some thorough stretching, but no deep reaching soreness like what followed my first push/pull day.

 

Today wasn’t really a training day, but with the amount of physical labor I did today, it might as well have been. I got tasked for the detail to set up and clean up for a corps retirement ceremony today. Which meant, setting up tents, chairs, podiums, flags, refreshments, blockades, etc, and then taking them all back down again, all in 80-degree, sunny weather. I have bruises all over my body from being hit with tent poles or flying debris (gotta love those leaf blowers), tripping over this that and the other, carrying too many chairs in exactly the same position, etc. I carried so many chairs today I feel like they should count as dumbbell shrugs! But it was good. The ceremony went off without a hitch, everything looked great and ran smoothly and aside from a few minor bumps and bruises, no one got hurt. It was fun, and I can definitely say that working out steadily and gaining some significant muscle makes being on details like this a lot more fun. I actually enjoyed the physical labor as opposed to sitting in the office all day. That’s something that I couldn’t have said before I deployed. I used to hate details, but I may actually find myself volunteering for them now. Within reason, of course.

 

Food:

Today has been full of healthy food, though given how much I was working, I probably didn’t eat enough. Breakfast was three fried eggs sprinkled with crushed red pepper and two pieces of toast. Lunch I’ll admit was nothing more than an apple. Dinner is actually still in the oven, but I’m hoping it’s as delicious as it looked when I was making it. A chicken breast on a bed of spinach, surrounded by onion chunks, carrots, tomato and garlic with some spices thrown in on top, wrapped in foil and stuck in the oven. I’ll let you know how it turns out. Edit: It was delicious. Carrots need to be cooked separately and longer so they actually get soft, but it was definitely good.

22 March 2012 Posted by | Health + Fitness, This Army life is crazy | Leave a comment

YAYOG Day 2

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Fayetteville, NC

YAYOG Day 2: Legs/Core

I’ve got to be honest here. Today didn’t feel like much of a challenge. I didn’t reach the top of a ladder of any of the four exercises. Lunges and squats I may have been getting close, but I still hit the top of a 12 set ladder before the timer went off. 1L RDLs took a few tries to get used to, but I think I love them. As prescribed by YAYOG, 1 rep consisted of touching each hand to the ground once. However, the YAYOG Basic Program specifies alternating 1L RDLs, which I did not do. I did 7.5 minutes on my left leg, then 7.5 minutes on my right leg, reaching the top of a 10 set ladder on each. On all of the first three exercises, I could have kept going. I wanted to keep going. But I listened to that damn timer and stopped. The swimmers though….how I hate them. I thought I’d never see them outside of PRT. I don’t get the point of them. I feel nothing but annoyance when doing them. I reach set 6 on my ladder and stopped because I was bored. I will definitely be looking for something to substitute here for upcoming weeks where swimmers are included. I’m actually surprised that I was able to do as many of the back lunges as I did. Lunges are normally a bit of a weakness for me, between my terrible balance (how did I not fall flat on my face doing 1L RDLs?) and my bum knee, but although I was starting to sweat a bit, I wasn’t struggling with them. My knees were popping every time I did a squat though, and I’m pretty sure they were going further forward than they’re supposed to. I’ll have to do a form check next time I do them. Actually, on that note, I might try to take some “action” shots of my workouts to include in my journal. But, between this morning’s 4-mile ruck march carrying about 41lbs (I thought it was only 25!) and this evening’s YAYOG experience, I’m curious about how much pain I should expect to be in when I wake up. Hopefully not too much – I’m on a detail tomorrow that I have to be able to move around for.

 

Food:

I started the morning off with a large grapefruit and a cup of coffee – the breakfast of champions. Delicious and nutritious, and only two spoonfuls of sugar between the coffee and the grapefruit. Lunch was leftovers from the Thai restaurant I went to last week. Not the healthiest, but it was delicious and I didn’t want it to go to waste. At least I didn’t eat the whole meal in one sitting though, right? Dinner was…kind of non-existent, and my stomach will remind me of that in the morning. I got home from work and made a smoothie: banana, strawberry and pineapple. Even though I’ve gotten to where I like eating bananas, I apparently still don’t like them in things. I couldn’t even get through a quarter of that smoothie. So then I just ate a few strawberries and bites of pineapple, then remembered I had coconut hiding in the cupboard. Yes, I made a virgin pina colada. With chunks of pineapple and coconut flakes. And milk and coconut extract. And ice. It was delicious. And actually, rather nutritious! Needs some refining, but I think I’ll definitely be making it again. I do have a confession though…I stopped by the store on my way home this afternoon to get fruit, and I also came home with a bag of Whoppers Robin Eggs. Freaking Easter candy, catching a ride home with me. I’ve had a small handful of them, and right about now I’m wishing I was strong enough to throw away the rest of the bag instead of reaching in for another one. And yes, it was stress that drove me to buy them. It’s just been one of those days, and what do you know, I’m just not strong enough yet to resist the urge to eat sweets and junk food when I’m stressed.

21 March 2012 Posted by | Health + Fitness | Leave a comment

New training approach, YAYOG/Food Journal day 1

Monday, 19 March 2012

Fayetteville, NC

I’m starting You Are Your Own Gym (YAYOG) today. I’ve been back from Kuwait for two weeks and haven’t worked out at all with the exception of morning PT, and that doesn’t even begin to count as a workout. Between living in a hotel for my first week back, trying to find a place, get settled in and unpacked (which I’m still working…as indicated by the multitude of still-packed boxes crowding the living room), and readjusting to the time difference, changes at work, and the culture shock of being around the average American again, I haven’t had the motivation to drag myself to the gym. I’ve thought about it; nearly every day, actually. Then I’ve looked around, seen everything that I still had to do, and didn’t go. Morning PT is practically a joke. That doesn’t mean I don’t struggle with it sometimes – especially the runs, as I’ve never been a strong runner – but it can’t stand alone as my workout. I need more than that, but I realized today that I need something that I don’t have to drag myself to the gym for. As much as I love lifting, I know that when Pikachu gets home, I’m going to be even harder pressed to find the motivation to spend time at the gym if he’s waiting for me at home. So, I decided today that I’m going to start focusing on bodyweight routines. I’m going to work on mastering my own body. If I get the urge to go lift something heavy, I’ll do it. In fact, I may use the two extra hours that I have on Wednesday afternoons (we get off at 1500 on Wednesdays for “family time”) to go to the gym and get my lifting fix. But for now, the rest of the days, I’ll be following the Basic Program in YAYOG. And, now that I have my own kitchen again, I’m going to be very conscious about what I’m fueling my body with. I’m also going to work on keeping a detailed workout and food journal, because writing is something that I care a lot about and haven’t done nearly enough of lately. Hopefully, combining it with fitness and health – two other things I care a lot about – will help me get back into it, full swing.

Post-workout thoughts to follow.

YAYOG Day 1: Push/Pull

YAYOG may actually kick my ass. I’ll admit that I was expecting the program to be easy at first. You know, nothing my prior workouts haven’t prepared me for. I was pleasantly surprised. My arms are shaking, and I have a feeling I’ll be more sore in the morning than I’ve been in a while. The incline push-ups were surprisingly difficult. I need to find a better place to do these though. I’m not sure if I was doing them lower than I should have, or if I’m really just that weak, but by the end of it my palms were on fire and my wrists were killing me. Let me ins took some getting used to. I’ll be honest and say that I didn’t actually feel these in my arms or back at all. Initially, I felt them in my quads, but that stopped after a few of the lower sets. Muscle wise, I probably could have completed higher ladders, but my hands were sweaty and slippery and not strong enough to hold that grip any longer. Bench dips started hurting my wrists again. By the end of the ladder, my whole body was shaking from trying to keep perfect form throughout the set while trying to accommodate my screaming wrists. I had to do the let me ups with an underhanded grip from under my desk. It felt odd doing them with bent legs, but I can definitely see why the program starts you out that way. I think it’s safe to say that I would not have been able to complete the ladders that I did if I had to do them with my full body weight.

So the verdict is, YAYOG may actually kick my ass, and I’m looking forward to it.

Edit: 20 MAR 2012 – OW! So freaking sore this morning! But it’s a good pain! It means I did something right yesterday!

19 March 2012 Posted by | Health + Fitness | Leave a comment

Awesome Stuff #3

The tail end of an eternity-long countdown. It started off slow, each day ticking off as slow as frozen molasses. Then you hit a certain point on the far side of the halfway mark and suddenly the days are speeding by and you’re almost at the end. Depending on the situation and atmosphere, the last few days may drag on or disappear in the blink of an eye.

Then there are the stacked countdowns. You know the ones. There are __ days until this, and then __ days until this. The second one seems so far away until the first one is over and the second one can step up, but when it does, the excitement is almost too much to control.

“The greatest thing about a countdown? No matter how long or stressful each day is, the number still gets smaller once it’s done.” – Pikachu

28 February 2012 Posted by | Awesome Stuff | , , | Leave a comment

2011; Ready for Review

Well people, it’s that time of year again where I find myself sitting down and reviewing the past year. So much has changed this year. As with every year, 2011 had its ups and downs. There were periods that dragged on and periods that raced by, all culminating with a New Year’s Eve spent sitting in the office waiting/praying for the phone to ring. All things considered though, this holiday season was much less stressful than last year’s, despite my current settings.

So, without further ado, 2011 in a nutshell:

January

After the most stressful holiday season I’ve ever experienced, I made myself get back on a plane to the middle of Nowhere, AZ because I’d signed a contract that said if I didn’t, I’d be in big trouble. I spent most of January rethinking my reasons for joining the Army, debating every day about whether I wanted to quit or continue on. These debates were fueled by the new knowledge that my darling husband, the kid that convinced me to join the Army in the first place, didn’t want me in.

February

Started hanging out with this one guy in my class who would later become a lot more important to me than I ever thought was possible. In February, I got my second tattoo – an infinity cross with rosebuds and butterflies – and that guy I was hanging out with a lot, he was there. At some point during February, he earned himself the nickname Pikachu. I think it’s safe to say that in February I started being more comfortable in my own skin and more confident about who I am.

March

In March I got the second piece of my back tattoo – a half opened rose with a butterfly – and guess who was sitting right beside me, holding my hand. At this point there was no question that he was my best friend. There was hardly a time when we weren’t together. At the end of March I found myself wishing I could slow down time because, although I was anxious to get out of TRADOC and all the bullshit it brought, I wasn’t quite ready to leave the familiarity of Ft. Huachuca and face the real Army. Especially since in the real Army there were things to deal with like orders that placed me halfway across the country from my husband. In March I also had to face the fact that, despite missing my husband, Pikachu and I had a connection that scared me.

April

In April, Pikachu took me out to my favorite restaurant in Nowhere, AZ to celebrate my 20th birthday with delicious Greek food and Baklava. I graduated at the top of my class out of 120 new analysts and headed home, spending my first week of ‘freedom’ showing Pikachu some of my favorite things about Florida life. I was finally reunited with my husband and after sending Pikachu back to his faraway home I made my way to Ft. Bragg, had a very disappointing first night in my new apartment and began settling into the life of a wife.

May

In May I began my work at the 1st Sustainment Command (Theater). It didn’t take long to figure out that the 1st TSC doesn’t function quite like most other units. It’s a beast of a different color. In May I sat my husband down and told him that something had to change, because I didn’t feel he was treating me the way he should. Things changed, for a few hours. A few days later I sat him down again and told him that things really needed to change because I didn’t appreciate him walking all over me and taking advantage of me being there. I was his wife, not his maid. Again, things changed for a few hours, and this time I made up my mind. I deserved better than what he was giving me and if he couldn’t make an honest effort to treat me right, he didn’t deserve me. So I left. In my new Jeep. Which I love.

June

In June Pikachu came out to Ft. Bragg before he deployed to help me get settled into my new apartment. It was a bittersweet visit because neither of us knew what to expect with his deployment. We’d kept in touch pretty well since graduation, and he was the one that was keeping me sane during the initial stage of my separation. He was who I called when the hubby and I decided we wouldn’t be trying to work things out but would instead be filing for a divorce. But, Duty called and he left for that strange place we call Afghaniland. Luckily, we still able to talk fairly frequently, so my sanity didn’t suffer too terribly.

July

In July I drove from Ft. Bragg to PA to visit my sister that I hadn’t seen since my BCT graduation. My dad retired after 30 years in the Marine Corps and I was lucky enough to get time off of work to be there. In July I admitted that I’d fallen in love with Pikachu. In July, we decided to tackle this long-distance relationship thing that neither one of us really wanted to try. You’ve heard them say “long distance never works” I’m sure. We thought we knew what we were getting into. I got lonely and brought baby Kiwi into my life – silly kitten. In July I went through the Army’s Driver’s Training Course to get my license on the HMMWV. Events being what they were, insecurities and jealousies surfaced and we began to realize what makes long distance relationships so hard. But we fought through it.

August

I started going to the gym a couple times a week with some of the guys from work. I reconnected with God in a way that confused me, but I find this connection to still be strong and true. In August I fought with the depression that comes with the territory of being the girlfriend of a deployed soldier. Constant worrying, not enough sleep and increasing stress at work threatened to break me. The only thing that kept me going was knowing he was coming to see me at the end of the month and he’d be all mine for two whole weeks. That and the fresh pain from my fourth tattoo – a scorpion on my ankle.

September

Pikachu was home for the first part of the month, and putting him back on a plane to Afghaniland was the hardest thing that I’ve ever done. I had a bit of an emotional breakdown at PT the following morning, and as a direct result, gained a significant amount of respect for the G2’s new SGM. I learned, about three weeks out, that I’d be deploying to Kuwait the first weekend of October, and so the frenzy began. Packing things up and trying to get everything settled before it was time to leave was a new challenge, but I met it. Barely.

October

We left the first of the month and spent more time sitting on the tarmac than we did in the air. We got stranded overnight in Germany and arrived in Kuwait a full day later than we were supposed to. Training was quick, frustrating and confusing, and then it was over and the old team was gone. It didn’t take too long to get settled into our daily routines. A couple weeks in, Pikachu and I managed a phone call, not knowing it’d be the last time we’d hear each others’ voices for a couple of months. I started working out regularly under the guidance of the boss, and when I wasn’t at work or the gym, I was glued to Yahoo, hoping he’d be able to continue answering my emails. Towards the end of the month there was a rather intense, eye-opening email conversation that spanned the length of several days and sleepless nights. But then we heard that he’d be going home early, and that was pushed to a backburner.

November

The beginning of November was tough, learning that rather than going home early he’d be relocating to someplace else in Afghanistan instead. In November I become addicted to working out – became a true endorphin addict. Now I can’t help but wonder if this would still have happened if Pikachu and I had more regular contact. I know I often found myself heading to the gym after being disappointed by an email that didn’t come or contained only a few short words. The gym became my ‘happy place.’ I had my second Thanksgiving surrounded by uniforms and found myself thanking God for all of the amazing men and women I’d had the honor of meeting and serving with so far. And then immediately following Thanksgiving I fell prey to the depression again, but it was worse this time.

December

The combination of being away from home for the holidays and the minimal amount of contact that Pikachu and I were able to maintain had me in a rapid downward spiral to depression that came within an inch of breaking me many different times. Endorphins or not, I was beginning to question the strength of our relationship and whether we’d actually be able to make it through the deployment. I did my best to make sure no one knew what I was going through. And then we talked – and I mean really talked – for the first time in a month and a half or more, and he made me remember why I love him and helped me rediscover the strength I had hidden away that would get me through the rest of the deployment. Christmas came and went, my first away from home, celebrated with an early morning 5k run.

And now, here it is, New Year’s Eve. Less than an hour until the New Year hits and I’ve spent my evening sitting in the office waiting/praying for the phone to ring (and finally getting to talk to Pikachu!) and writing this post. No plates of snack food, sparkling grape juice or champagne. No Times’ Square ball or movie marathons. No family, no New Year’s kiss since the only person I’m interested in kissing is a couple of countries away. In some ways, it’s kind of a bleak ending to a crazy year. In other ways, it’s kind of peaceful. But maybe that’s just my subconscious comparing the stress of last year’s holiday season with the slightly painful ease of this year’s. Either way, it’s been a crazy year with a lot of blood, sweat and tears, and I can’t wait to see what 2012 has in store for us. It’ll be difficult, with Pikachu changing AOs on me and not knowing how much communication we’ll have during the next few months, but we’ll be home before we know it!

Happy New Year!

31 December 2011 Posted by | Confessions, In the hands of God, Life's what we make it, Sleepless Night Ramblings, That thing called Love, This Army life is crazy | Leave a comment

Because you get what you work for, so do it right.

‘We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an action, but a habit.” – Aristotle

It’s almost 2012, and we all know what that means; Millions of people around the world making resolutions to start something, change something, do something, be something.

But why wait until the new year gets here? Why not start today?

My ‘new years resolution’ is to make a better me.

To be the girl that I was too lazy to be yesterday.

To know, everyday that I am better than I was yesterday, but not as good as I’ll be tomorrow.

To do something every day that my future self will thank me for.

My resolution is to commit.

How many resolutions every year get started, only to be abandoned because it’s ‘too hard’ or there’s ‘not enough time’ to do it? I won’t become one of those people. If there’s time for facebook and pinterest, if there’s time for Bones and How I Met Your Mother, there’s time to workout. ‘It’s too hard’ isn’t a valid excuse and neither is ‘I’m too tired.’ Even on my worst days, I can do something. I can always do something.

I’m going to run. And not only will I run, but I’m going to run like I stole something. Why? Because running might be a pain in the ass, but it sure as hell gives you a nice one. I’m going to stop feeling sorry for myself and hit the road, because running is cheaper than therapy and the road is an excellent listener. I’m going to run, and I’m going to earn the downhill. I’m going to run through the fat days, through the frustrations and loneliness. I’m going to run through the fits of self doubt, because I’m stronger than I think I am, and I’m going to prove it.

I’m going to lift. I’m going to work muscles I didn’t know I had. I’m going to get comfortable with being uncomfortable, because it’s the ones that hurt that count the most. I’m going to make the iron beg for mercy, but I won’t give it any. I won’t be afraid to lift heavy – to be ‘that chick’ in a gym where the guys lift and girls stick to abs and barbie weights. They may laugh at me now with my muscles shaking on the lower weights, but it won’t be long before they’re staring in awe. I will take the pain, and I will push through it because pain is just weakness leaving the body – pain is essential, but suffering is optional.

I will stop competing with others and start competing with myself, because I am my greatest adversary. I will not allow myself to become my own obstacle. I will not limit my challenges – I will challenge my limits. I will push a little harder and hold a little longer, because the harder you work, the better you get. I will redefine my ‘impossible.’ I will wake up each morning and work for the success that others will only dream of. I will sweat like a pig and work like a horse so I can look like a fox.

Today, I will do what others won’t, so that tomorrow, I can do what others can’t.

It’s hard to beat a person that never gives up, but if I am beaten, I will return better.

At the end of the day, my feet will ache from kicking so much ass.

I won’t stop when I’m tired; I’ll stop when I’m done.

Quitting is not an option, because I know it’s mind over matter, and when my mind tries to tell me it’s had enough, I’ll shut it up with more.

I will be unstoppable.

I will be a beast.

Perfection isn’t the goal – excellence is.

10 December 2011 Posted by | Health + Fitness, Life's what we make it | 1 Comment

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