Thursday, October 13, 2011

Leave the Light On

It has been a long time. For a lot of things... A long time since I've posted, a long time since I've been home, a long time since I've taken the time to just slow down, take a deep breath, and just be.

So, I really want to write something smart, insightful, meaningful... something worthy of your time... but nothing is coming to me. And maybe that's why I've stopped writing. I don't know what to say. I don't have time to gather my thoughts, to think, to plan.

So I guess here's a short update of what I've been up to since July:

-Work trip to Nashville was exhausting by rewarding.

-Went on a work trip to Sturgis where I a ton about the motorcycle industry and history...

-I have been with a great guy officially for 9 months

-I love my job, my co-workers, and motorcycles

-I am finally a motorcyclist! Officially a biker babe! ;)

-Hiking excursion with Erika & Adam at Interstate State Park

-Camping on the Northshore

Finally got a pair of these:

And I will be completing my second ever half-marathon in just a few weeks.

Stay posted... hopefully for something insightful or for some inspiration.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Where has the summer gone??

OMG! Summer is half over already? Where did the summer go... I blinked my eyes and its the last week of July?

MN decided to be terribly hot and humid, so I'm going to keep this ULTRA short. Here is what I've been up to...

-I work for Victory Motorcycles. I love motorcycles... I want one.
-Soccer league on Wednesday nights
-Eric's family from Alaska and Pennsylvania were in town all of June... so we spent a lot of time going back and forth from St. Cloud.
-Kevin Utz got married... so happy for him!
-I am heading to Nashville for a week-long work trip... EXCITED!
-I signed up for a half marathon in October.
-Moving to uptown!
-Its harder to keep up with friends when you don't see them every day...

Well, that's all I have the energy for to write. Nothing inspiring, but maybe I will come up with something at the end of summer when it has cooled down a little bit. :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Working for [the man]

That's right. It's official. I am officially official at Polaris! [and I'm loving it!]. Despite my horrible nerves for my first day, my first few days have reassured me that I made the right choice, the best choice, and that I found a home. I am going to keep this short [because MN decided to be 100+ degrees today and even typing is exhausting] but let me tell you, it has been a long time since I have been this happy, this busy, this productive, this happy.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Summer [Loving], Had me a Blast!

Summer is finally here, and to stay [I think]! So with my last week of summer vacation coming to an end, let me update you quick on all of my recent shenanigans:

Friday : Drive to St. Cloud with Eric for the Sartell Apple Duathlon [Run, Bike, Run]. We [Eric, Karl and I] spent the night checking in, driving the course and getting everything set for the race in the morning. Eric's dad out-did himself [again!] with another amazing meal! And off to bed early for a 6am wake-up

Saturday : Duathlon! The guys took of at 8:36 sharp, as Dayna and I ran around cheering and taking action-pictures. Both of them finished strong and within 20-ish seconds of each other. It was a perfect day for a race 70and sunny with little wind. Eric got 3rd in is age group and Karl took 1st in his age group! Woot woot! We spent the rest of the day playing with Kelly [their Husky] and just enjoying the outdoors.

Monday : Eric and I tried to go to a Memorial Service but failed due to the weather. But the whole day wasn't a total loss; at about 4pm the clouds cleared and the sun came out! I immediately decided a new adventure, a trip to Minnehaha falls was in order!

Tuesday : Lake Calhoun! Liz and I decided that such a nice day could not be wasted, and a little bit of vitamin D was needed. Two hours of sunbathing later, we headed to Jamba-Juice and Target. Did I mention we made cookies?
Wednesday : Sculpture Garden adventures! I've been curious for 4 years, where is this fabled cherry and spoon that everyone has pictures with?? Well I finally made it there! We packed a blanket and snacks and made an afternoon out of it.

 Thursday : Lakeville. I spent the morning/ afternoon in Lakeville visiting my grandma! We had a delicious lunch and tested out her new Ford Focus. It has all the bells and whistles, so I think all of the technology may have been a little intimidating for her. We walked to the post office and had a great time catching up :) I love family! After that, I came home and met up with an old camp friend for happy hour. Emma was the counselor I ran a tent with with I was in the SDP program. It was so nice to catch up with her after 4 years [and she hasn't changed]. I love camp people!

 Anyway, that's been the end of my summer vacation. Not bad for cramming it all in to 1 week, eh?

What are your plans for summer?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Power of Thoughts

Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.
You  decide every day. What will you think about? What will you say? What will you do? Who will you be? Make a conscious decision everyday, to live up to your potential and determine your own destiny!

Reflecting on Fitness

What is fitness? FITNESS: The condition of being physically fit and healthy.

Does this mean it is it a way of life? A means to an end? A definition of how you should look, a weight you should be, certain sized clothes you should fit in? Is fitness the same for everyone? Should it be?

I have been struggling with this question for a while now, as I am sure a lot of people have. I have always felt certain pressures and judgments from my family, society, and myself to look, feel and perform a certain way.

Let me explain. My family is thin. Not super skinny, but naturally pretty thin. And we work hard to keep it that way. Growing up my dad witnessed a family member struggle with weight problems and depression as a result so he would constantly focus on instilling "healthy" habits in us with little reminders like: "Are you sure you want to eat that?" or "You're looking a little flabby Shan, did you work out today?".

Though he was full of good intentions, I have felt pressure my whole life to look a certain way, be a certain weight, and wear a certain size. And I have had tough competition from my petite and always fit mother. I was not truly aware of the extent of this pressure until the other day I was talking with my boyfriend. We were sharing what we had done that day and I admitted that I had not worked out and looked at him with guilt all over my face, waiting for him to chastise me. He just looked at me, with utter disbelief, and said, "Why are you ashamed of that? I don't care if you work out every day! One day won't kill you". And it was at that moment that I realized I was unhealthily focused on being healthy.

When had fitness become a way for other people to judge me? When did I start holding myself to other people's standards? Fitness is an individual definition, an individual goal and a unique journey for everyone. Only I can know when I am happy with the way my body performs, how it feels, or the way it looks. I want to be healthy for me, for the energy it gives me, for the way I want to look, and the activities I want to participate in.

Today is day one. The day I want to stop comparing myself to everyone. The day I start having a healthy outlook about being healthy.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Only a life lived for others is a life worth living.

If you are given a chance
to be a role model, I think you should always take it
because you can influence a person's life in a positive light,
and that's what I want to do.  That's what it's all about.

 This is my friend Laura, in a nutshell. She is the most amazing person I have ever met. She has the biggest heart, one that does not judge, one that does not complain, one that never tires; She is always ready to carry out whatever task she was called to do, and she serves with an amazing spirit that can't be explained with words.

I have had many moments throughout my life where something amazing has happened or someone amazing has come into my life and I think to myself: This can't possibly be a coincidence, this isn't just luck, this can't be left to chance, this was meant to happen to me. Meeting Laura was one of those moments. 

I first met Laura when we both worked for the SouthWestern Company in Michigan in the summer of 2008. Laura was a student manager and lived at the same HQ with me. She not only showed me the ropes of the job but also helped me grow personally and spiritually. Ever since that summer she has remained a constant positive influence in my life. Whenever I start to doubt myself or my purpose, she is right there assuring me that it will all work out. 

All in all Laura has been a great friend, an amazing role model, and someone I hope to have in my life forever. So this post is for you, Laura. For facing uncertainties, for living the life you were made for, and for being such a great mentor. I love you!

'Cause I don't want to live like I don't care
I don't want to say another empty prayer
Oh, I refuse

To sit around and wait for someone else
To do what God has called me to do myself
Oh, I could choose
Not to move but I refuse

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Graduate

That's me! I was not referencing the 1967 film... but that I have just [officially] completed my undergraduate career at the University of Minnesota! How does it feel to be a college grad? Not much different, actually. Besides that fact that I am making a budget, putting the insurance in my name, going over benefits options with my dad, and getting ready to be completely [fiscally] independent...

But really, not much has changed [yet]. I am still the same me, with the same quirks and silly personality... Which according to our speaker at the graduation ceremony (Chris Sacca), it is important to keep a sense of authenticity, keep on being your authentic, weird self. I thought his message was SO important, especially as a Carlson School of Management graduate. We are often lulled into believing that corporate, clone, money worshiping is the only way to go. And Chris did a great job dispelling those ideals. Happiness. This is the goal. And Happiness does not equal money. Money comes and goes, but its the relationships, the people, the love for what you are doing, the unique weirdness, your personality, that makes everything you do worth it.

So what do I want? I want to not lose sight of my personal goals in the midst and shuffle of transitioning to my adult life. So,it's time to get down to business. Goals and dreams are never achieved unless they are written down, and unless you are held accountable. SO, here goes the rest of my week's health/ fitness goals:

Tuesday: Ran 3 miles (it was 10pm and I was scared about running alone!)
Wednesday: Ran 4 miles and did abs
Thursday: Ran Quick 2.5 mile run before driving home to NB
Friday: Hills work-out (7 laps at Valley View) & 25 mile bike ride downtown Milwaukee (by lake)
Saturday: Ran 2.5 miles (had to get the house ready for family to come over!)
Sunday: Ran 3 miles before church.
Monday: Ran 3 miles and did Zumba
Tuesday: Day of Rest
Wednesday: Pilates and Core

I'll check back in periodically to update the actual results with the prescribed goals.

Friday, May 13, 2011

I spy...

I think Groupon and LivingSocial are spying on me, or at least my blog. Within a week of writing the post about my post-graduation goals (fitness, ballroom dance, photography) I get emails for 3 offers (one for ballroom dance, one for photography, and one for my favorite outdoor outfitters). Is this coincidence? I really hope so! If not, that's one hell of marketing group you've got over there, 'cause I've jumped at the chance for all of them!

For now, I won't complain because I've gotten great deals on a bunch of hobbies I wanted to pick up! But I'm watching you LivingSocial and Groupon. Sleeping with one eye open ;)

Thursday, May 12, 2011


BDC = Ballroom Dance Classes! I'm finally on my way to achieving one of my goals listed in the last post. LivingSocial had this great deal yesterday that offered 4 individual classes for $12 and 4 Couple classes for $22! Now that's a steal! I can't wait to start taking classes and learn some new moves!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Don't Count the Days, Make the Days Count

"Don't Count the Days, Make the Days Count"

I came across this quote today and was surprised at how obvious the advice was, but also how difficult it is to live up to. How many times have you said, "Only # more days until _________" or "I can't wait until _______"?

Every day is a gift, so why not treat it that way? It's so easy to get sucked into routine, the monotony and repetition of chores and work. We complain and "vent" to our friends and family instead of praising the gift that we have been given: a new day, a new chance, another mulligan. Do not become blind by seeing each day as a similar one; Each day is different and each day brings a miracle of its own, It's just a matter of paying attention to that miracle. What miracles will you find today?

Today I was given the chance to learn patience, share a moment with an old man lonely for conversation, and help students print, copy and research for final papers and exams... and all this before noon!

What will you do with your gift?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Summer = New Season = New Goals

April [snow] showers deter May flowers, but what do [belated] May flowers bring? Hopefully the dawn of a new season [summer!] and the start of a new chapter in my life... Adulthood.

Contrary to what the government thinks, and how they define an adult, 18 was not the turning point for me. Going to college right away allowed me to postpone growing-up and hold on to my youthful bliss of minimal responsibilities. But all of that is changing [And I finally believe I'm ready for it].

Step 1: Buy a car. This was a big decision and a lot of work. You want something reliable, but that is not too expensive and something with good gas mileage. I wanted a pre-owned car... but there's always a gamble in going that route. So after much research and a little help from my mom, I decided on an "electric blue" 2007 Chevy Cobalt with 15,000 miles. It's a great little car, but has put up a fight so far. [That's another story, that I will save for next time].

Step 2: Find a kick-butt bachelorette pad. Nothing too swanky, but something liveable and somewhere fun to start off my new life as a young professional. This is still in the works, but at least Nicole and I [my soon to be roomie] have decided on living in Uptown [which is actually South of downtown... go figure].

Step 3: Work. I start my trabajo el 6 de junio! Time to get ready for the ride of my life!

Step 4: Don't lose sight of my dreams, goals and ambitions [make time for fun]!
Running- Compete in anothe half-marathon.
Yoga: Sign up for Yoga classes!
Biking: Get a road bike!

Dancing: Pick up ballroom dancing again!

Photography: Find time to take a class or tutorial.

What are your goals for Spring/Summer 2011?

Do you have a bucket list for this summer?

Do you have any suggestions for starting a career out of college?

Mother['s Day]

Anna. The name, from biblical times, meaning Gracious, the One Who Gives, and in Native American traditions Anna means Mother. And to me, she has been all of these things.

Everyone obviously thinks their mother is the best, but it honestly takes an amazing woman to be a great mother. They must be selfless, putting their hopes and dreams on the side in order that their kids may have a better tomorrow. They must be the world's greatest cheerleader, a multi-tasking master and have an unlimited patience and a listening ear. Being a mother is a full-time job, but my mom managed to have another career on the side. She was nurturing, loving and inspiring and has been a driving force throughout my life.

I have loved how our relationship has grown into a deep respect and a true friendship, and all of the amazing laughs we have had together. Thanks for always being there for me mom, through hard times and success. Today is just an official day to recognize you for all that you have done, but I celebrate it every day. <3 Love you!

"I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living, my mommy you'll be."

Friday, May 6, 2011

How are you? Good! Yeah? Yeah! Yeah? Yeah!

Interpersonal skills are on the endangered species list. People don't know how to communicate in a meaningful way anymore! Most save the tough conversations for texting or fb chat instead of manning up and confronting someone with the difficult issues. Why is this? Because our generation was raised one of "we're all winners", and with delicate feelings. Grow a pair, people.

This is not a conversation:
Person 1: Oh my God! Hey, how are you?
Person 2: Good...
Person 1: Yeah?
Person 2: Yeah!
Person 1: Yeah?
Person 2: Yeah!

Take the time to talk to people, and actually listen! Everyone has a story to tell...

Monday, April 25, 2011

Weekend of Resurrections

I just want to give a quick shout out to Polaris Industries [my soon to be employer] for acquiring Indian Motorcycles. Check-out this article for full details. Long story short, Indian Motorcycles used to be a name to be reckoned with in the motorcycle industries, being the first ones to mass-produce motorcycles in America.

Hitting the road in 1901, Indian was not only the first American motorcycle, it was the world's best-selling bike!

Though they used to be quite iconic, the have since, almost become extinct. Leave it to Polaris to jump at the opportunity to resurrect such a legendary American brand!

Who's excited to start working for Polaris? >>This girl! <<

Sunday, April 24, 2011

We live and die; Christ died and lived!

"Let the resurrection joy lift us from loneliness and weakness and despair to strength and beauty and happiness. " ~Floyd W. Tomkins

This is going to be short, because no one needs me preaching at them. But let this Easter time be a time of family and remembrance, a time of reflection and change. Just because Lent is over, let's not slip back into our old ways, but continue to make changes for the better [as Christ would want it].

Happy Easter

Friday, April 22, 2011

Twenty-two and counting...

Cheers to my first post as a 22-year-young [I'm convinced saying "young" instead of "old" will help me stay young!] First item of business = birthday re-cap!

This birthday turned out to be one of the best yet! My mom came up to visit [and help me test-drive and purchase my first car!] the weekend before. Family is always the best birthday present, I think! Spending time with my mom always makes everything better; she has a way of making me feel like everything will work out, and somehow we always end up laughing the entire time we are together. :) What would normally be mundane tasks turn into a corny-joke session and giggle-fest...

On the eve of my birthday, Jordan took me to get a McDonald's sundae and a movie from red-box (Jack Ass 3), to spend a leisurely evening at home. Meanwhile, my roommates surprised me with fresh, home-made brownies [a generous donation from the "shared" food-shelf]. I have the best roommates!

So on my actual birthday, Monday, my dad, grandma, and godfather took me out for lunch to French Meadow Cafe in Uptown. Great organic, vegetarian and locally grown food! Check it out sometime: French Meadow Cafe

The rest of the day progressed as most normal Mondays do, with slight increase in texts screaming "HAPPY BIRFDAY Sha-mo" and an assortment of other nick-names [Most of which will remain unstated due to lack of appropriateness]. That night, the ladies and I headed to Psycho Suzi's [best pizza in town], where Nicole was conveniently working. After a few of their famous Tiki-drinks, great pizza, and memorable pictures [see facebook], we headed home. 

Monday the 18th of April, 2011, was the perfect way to kick-off my 22nd year of life! Great friends, and tons of laughs; who could ask for anything more?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.

Birthdays. A dreaded word for many, an avoided day for some, but overall just another mile marker, a sign that reminds us that life keeps moving. My birthday is fast approaching [it's tomorrow], and it has somehow snuck up on me.

My birthdays tend to fall on odd days for celebrating... like Mondays and Sundays, and this year is no different. So as tomorrow comes and goes, as any other normal Monday would, I am determined to at least make it a productive day of introspection. Milestones in life should be reflected on, and adjustments made. For me, 22 represents the departure of youth and adolescence. By-gone are the carefree days of college. The excuse "I'm just a college kid" goes right out the window. What lies ahead is the question everyone asks: What are you going to do with your life? What's next?

 So, as I enter this intimidating time of transition, it's time to reflect. I will be 22 [tomorrow]. What does that mean... It simply means: Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.

To me,  this year and the years that follow, will just be numbers. Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Even though years may wrinkly the skin, giving up your enthusiasms of youth wrinkles the soul. Therefore, this year, the year of the twin-two's, I refuse to give up on my passions, my goals, and re-assert that just because I'm growing older, doesn't mean I have to grow up. The fun is just beginning and I can't wait to see what my life as 22 will bring.

Celebrate life. It's the only one you get, so cherish it!  Live out loud, and don't regret getting older. Its a privilege that not everyone gets. And remember, everyone is the age of their heart. What age do you want to be?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Seven Golden Daffodils

“There is a garden in every childhood, an enchanted place where colors are brighter
the air softer, and the morning more fragrant than ever again.”
I do not have a mansion, and I haven't any land,
Not one paper dollar to crinkle in my hand.
But I can show you morning on a thousand hills,
And kiss you and give you seven daffodils.
I do not have a fortune to buy you pretty things,
But I can weave you moonbeams for necklaces and rings,
And I can show you morning on a thousand hills,
And kiss you and give you seven daffodils.
Seven golden daffodils, all shining in the sun,
Lights our way to evening, when our day is done.
And I can give you music, and a crust of bread,
And a pillow of piney boughs to rest your head.
And a pillow of piney boughs to rest your head.   

I was overcome by nostalgia on my walk him from class today. You may be wondering, "What triggered this?" Was it the realization that I am a senior and about to graduate college? No. Rather, it was the glimpse of a bed of daffodils that reminded me of summer nights gone-by, gathered around the camp fire or sitting in the sweltering lodge singing songs before lights out and taps. 

Every kid deserves the chance to be just that, a kid. And Phantom Lake was a haven, a magical place where kids were encouraged to grow, try new things, gain confidence, and escape the judgmental and often discriminating labels that develop at school.

I have many fond memories of Phantom Lake YMCA camp, and most of them are because of the amazing people I met. Its often hard to explain to "non-camp people" why a summer camp is so great, but honestly I can say it's because I will never forget the people I spent the summers with. I still remember all of the girls from my cabin when I was 11! That says something about this place, don't you think?

Phantom Lake will always be a second home for me, a place to look back on and smile, a reminder to constantly be working on the sides of the square (wisdom, stature, God, man), and an importance piece of who I am today.

By old Phantom's rippling waters, where the campfire's bright,
Keep the flames of friendship burning, in our hearts tonight.
Here we gather in twilight, loyal friends so true.
Building in our hearts fond memories, Phantom Lake, of you.

And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.- Luke 2:52

Monday, April 4, 2011

"The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing."

We all make mistakes. Some big, some small; some are deal breakers, but most are forgiven. How do you know how much repenting is required to atone your mistakes?

I have grown up forgiving readily and easily and apologizing quickly... I hate having people mad at me, and I equally dislike being upset with other people. I wear my heart on my sleeve, and will go to all lengths to make amends. For, in my life, having relationships or friendships that are out of balance is one of the worst tortures. I have always been the peace-maker in my family, so maybe that's where my yearning for harmony comes from.

But this is not the case for everyone, and this I have learned first-hand this weekend. I will not get into the details, but while intoxicated, I did some things to upset my boyfriend and my roommates. Though I agree that intoxication is never a valid excuse, I have no recollection of even doing said things. So in an attempt to make amends, I apologized to everyone multiple times, and cleaned the mess that was made. I thought this for sure would ease the tension and restore balance in the house. But I was wrong. I still feel like an outsider in my own house and am ignored by my own roommates. What more can I possibly do? I can't take it back, so all I can do is continue to apologize and promise it won't happen again. Hopefully this will all blow over soon. :(

Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it" ~Mark Twain

Friday, April 1, 2011

Chi Running

I love running. Its not only a great workout, but a great way to clear your mind, not worry about your to-do list, and escape the mundane of everyday. But guess what, my knees hate that I love to run. They complain the whole way and throw a tantrum when I am done. Bayer Aspirin and I have gotten to know each other pretty well over the past few months, and that's a friendship I would like to discontinue!

 Last weekend I went to Midwest Mountaineering for the Minimalist Footwear Class. They talked about barefoot running Five Fingers shoes and chi running. It was encouraging to know that many people with chronic running injuries have over-come them and continued running well into older age by converting to Chi Running form. So I figured, what the heck, let's give it a shot.

I am in the process of ordering the book and instructional DVD... and if those aren't enough, I plan to sign up for a class with a professional instructor. For now, my Internet research will have to suffice. So far, my attempts at mid-foot striking have been successful. My knees no longer scream in protest and my distances have increased drastically without much effort. However, the transformation is a slow one. My calves and Achilles tendon have definitely been worked harder then normal, and I had to take a day-off yesterday. At the class, I was warned about pushing myself to hard, too fast and being prone to injury. Chi Running depends on using and strengthening muscles that are not relied on in typical heel-striking running form, so I'm trying to ease into it.

Overall, I hope to be up and running and full speed and full strength by June so I can participate in my first half-marathon since Spain! (Minneapolis Marathon). Well, I am at work, so I should probably actually do some work! Happy trails, and Happy Friday!

What's your favorite thing about running?

Have you ever been injured from running?

What's your running goal?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The tassel's worth the hassle!

Graduation. Finishing college... Becoming an adult. Starting my career, shaping my life. This is a weird time, a time of transitions, a time of uncertainties, doubts, fears and opportunities. Everyone always tells you, "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined." But what if I don't know what that means? I haven't imagined my life past college. My life, until this point, has been school. Work hard in high school to get into a good college. Work hard in college to get an internship and graduate with job opportunities.

I have been working hard my whole life to get to this point, and now that it is approaching, I feel lost and adrift. What do I do now? What are my goals? What do I work for now? Just to move up some corporate ladder, move to the suburbs and start a family. ZZZZZzzzz. Does that sound boring and limiting to anyone else?

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both,
And be one traveler, long I stood,
And looked down one as far as I could,
To where it bent in the undergrowth,

As I look at my life, post-graduation, I can see many possible paths, choices I will make that will shape my life. I can see myself falling easily into the corporate world where you work to get ahead financially, measure success by the money you are earning or the number of promotions you've gotten, and falling into the lifestyle my parents had, and have always wanted me to have.

OR, I can see me dreading that, avoiding that like the plague. Running away from "responsibilities" and conventional opportunities. Starting fresh, starting somewhere new.

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

But I have chosen one path. Starting at a company, as planned, and going the conventional route. Maybe I will save the adventures for another day, but I doubt I will ever act. It only gets harder, as you get older, with more responsibilities, and more people that depend on you, to break away and try to live the life you've always wanted.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence;
Two roads diverged in a wood and I-
Took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

I just hope that when I look back one day (unlike in the poem), I can look back and say that I took the path most traveled by, and it has made ALL the difference.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Must have been the altitude

I am back from spring break and I am feeling refreshed, rested and trapped. You may be wondering how those three words fit together... refreshed and rested (makes sense), but trapped? Well, let me explain.

I spent the second half of my spring break in Boulder, CO, visiting my friend Christie. It wasn't only that I had no responsibilities and had the whole day to do what I like, but being there just made be feel free. With the mountains just a short bike ride away, endless paths and bike trails, and 75 degrees in March, Boulder is an amazing place to live. The scenery just cries out for you to explore it, and the residents are laid back and respect the environment. The kids at the business school don't worry about wearing 'business casual' everyday, and almost everyone rides a bike to class. Boulder has a small-town feel with an abundance of local small-businesses.

Overall, I think it was the relaxed pace and the easy-going demeanor of the city that reeled me in the most. People could be seen everyday (even during the week), out enjoying the weather and making the most of the awesome place they call home. Fitness isn't a second thought, but rather a way of life; this is the kind of place I would like to live.

I contrast that with, the hustling and bustling metropolis of the Minne-apple, and I yearn to go back out west. Don't get me wrong, I love Minneapolis. It is my home, and has been for 4 years, my friends live here, my job will be here, and family is only a hop-skip-and a jump away. But something about being out west, next to the majesty and awe-inspiring mountains, with outdoor adventures at your finger-tips has changed what I want out of life.

I guess I can't really place what it is, exactly. All I know is, that ever since I was a little girl and we took our first family vacation out west, a little part of me has always wanted to go back and make it my home.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Running & Training

It's been a while since my last post, and its because I've been having trouble pulling myself out of this "senioritis" slump. I don't seem to care about anything, I have no goals, and even little "bumps in the road" seem to get me super down.

So today, while totally wasting time (instead of being productive), I came across my friend Tiara's recently-started blog. She has been logging what days/ when she runs, how many miles and her mile-split times. This seemed like an awesome way to keep yourself accountable and keep track of progress. I know personally, my mile times/ distances can vary hugely with how I am feeling that day, so this method might actually help me regulate it.

So here are my goals/ schedule for this week:

: Hatha Yoga- Rec center- 6:45 AM. (this did not happen due to being in the deepest sleep ever, but I plan on trying again on Wednesday)

Tuesday: Yoga @ 7:30 am. Running at 8pm. (3 miles at an 8:45 pace)

Wednesday: Hatha Yoga... take 2!- 6:45 am.

Thursday: Yoga- 7:30am. Running at 3:45pm. (30 min @ 8:45 pace)

Friday: Yoga (60 min) & biking (60 min)

Saturday- Break

Sunday- Long run

I'll keep you posted about my progress... but really just to keep me accountable!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Senior Slide

The senior slide. According to urban dictionary, this slang's definition is as follows: "That magical part of your senior year when things get a little easier and nothing you do matters."

Now for me, I never thought I would succumb to this phenomena. Slacking just isn't in my nature; I'm an over-achiever to the core. So why, then, do I find myself struggling to do any of the "required" readings... or waiting until 11pm to start a paper that is due the next day?

Senioritis... and freshman level classes. My classes are all 1000 level (aka Beginner level) liberal ed. requirements. Although I do enjoy the challenge of thinking outside of the "Carlson" formula for success, these classes just simply do not have the rigor of the Carlson classes that have consumed my life for the last 4 semesters.

What do you mean not every week has a 100pt exam, 3 presentations, 300 pages of reading and two 5-page papers due? There is only 50 pages of reading, a quiz worth 5 points and flamenco dancing to practice... Who wouldn't take it easy?

The only problem with this is: I feel guilty! Why am I not insanely busy, barely keeping my head above water? Why am I not trying hard in my classes? Why do I end up watching 3 tv shows every-other night? Answer: Because I can. Is this what college is like for other students not in the business school?

How do I cure this sense of guilt? I put my energies into other things. Recently I have started running again with the goal if participating in some up-coming races and a triathlon. I have also decided to try my hand at rock-climbing and bouldering. Next up: Yoga. Who knows what hobby next month may bring...

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Art of Making Time

I believe this motto whole-heartedly. It was one of my goals for 2011, and I have been diligently trying to uphold this mission... the only issue is time. And for that matter, the lack of it. It is not that there is a lack of enough time in the day, but rather the proper allocation of time. Let me explain.

If something is important enough to you, you will make time; no matter what. No exceptions.

Instead of checking my email 30 times daily, or checking facebook 50 times daily, or watching a crappy TV show, I could be allocating my spare time (hours really) to maintaining and nurturing my friendships! And on Wednesday, I did just that.

Wednesday was a busy day from 10am-10pm... not stop running around, and one of the best days I've had in a while. You may be wondering: How can you be so happy when you had no time to relax, no time for yourself? And my answer is simple. I am happiest when I am giving back, helping others, making time for friends, or just being productive in general. The perfect example is Wednesday...

Wednesday started with working from 10am-12pm. Promptly at noon, I ran across the river to meet up with Molly for lunch (we both have the same break from 12-1:15). Molly and I have been roommates for 4 years, but that doesn't mean that we can just ignore our friendship and expect it to take care of itself! Friendships take time, commitment and energy, constant up-keep (no-matter how long you have been friends).

After lunch I had to run back across the river to my Music class. I slid into my seat just as the TA was handing out the quizzes. Class whizzed by, and before I knew it, I was following suit and zooming to my next class (marketing channels). As class drew to a close, I sprinted across the river (again) to Ben & Jerry's to meet Monika for our planned ice cream date. Monika is a girl (recent-grad) who had been in DSP with me. We had almost every class together last semester, and she has been a very loyal friend when I needed her most.

Example 1: last semester when my car was towed, she was the only one to offer to drive me to the impound lot.

Example 2: When I got in a horrible, screaming fight with Molly, she was the only one to answer my phone calls and take me in for the night.

So, needless to say, she is a great friend, one that I don't want to lose just because we've graduated!

At 6:15, I promptly left Monika (with the promises of meeting up for a grown-up date this weekend... one involving drinks instead of ice cream) and ran (back across the river) to my Flamenco dance class. Attendance is mandatory, and necessary if you want to keep up!

After class (7:45pm) I ran to the bus stop, and was home by 8pm. I grabbed Grandma's car keys, and went to pick-up Jordan. We have been friends since she lived next-door to us in the dorms, and also a great friend. She is always there, gives great advice, is non-judgmental, and is always down to try something new. I drove her to Roseville to pick up her recovered hard-drive from Best Buy because she doesn't have a car.

Despite all of the running (literal and the metaphorical representation of being busy), Wednesday was a great day. I was able to spend time with 3 GREAT friends, nurture our friendships, and help a friend in need. Days like this are what keep me going. I love my friends, and I love the art of making time. If it's important, you'll find a way.