Be More

Life update: I have a day and a half left of my internship, start my new “real” job on Monday, and my tan is approximately at 7% of last years. Office life probs.

This summer has come with a lot of reflecting and looking ahead. I’ve struggled to find the “why” behind my discontent- why do I feel the need to constantly “be productive”? Not saying that this is a bad thing- I LIKE being productive and feeling busy. The issue I’m currently running into is…what am I training for? What do I have to be productive towards?

I read a blog post from one my favorites the other day, and she summed it up perfectly: “I am a do-er, not a perfectionist”. I am not one to nit pick on every single little detail, but am I am one that loves to look at the big picture. That involves creating training schedules that don’t account for stretching and foam rolling (or sleep), and always feeling AMAZING after a yoga class but never making the time to go.

My entire life I have been an athlete, and I have been fortunate enough to train hard and to travel the continent and excel in a high-performance setting. And as positive as I tried to be throughout the ordeal, breaking my foot scared the crap out of me. It’s been six months, and it still makes me angry and it still makes me sad that I didn’t get the opportunity to perform at my peak, as this season was by the far the best I have ever felt with my diving. I spent the rest of the winter doing rehab and competing on painkillers, spent all spring recovering and then training for Nationals. After a perfectly average, nothing outstanding Nationals performance, I’ve spent the whole summer working out to feel “back in shape”. I was/am convinced that my physical conditioning after the broken foot was the worst it’s been in years (which I completely understand comes with the territory of injury). I am not a dainty athlete- my strength in diving has always been my power over my technique or “rip” (entering the water without a splash). To have that taken away felt like a much bigger blow than it needed to be because that certain injury took away everything I was “good” at. I had to rely on the things I wasn’t as good at to get me through and I couldn’t stand it.

This summer, I have been getting up at 5:30am and working out before I had to go to the office, or would go straight to the gym from work if I didn’t make it before 8am. I don’t even have a meet to train for yet, as next years nationals haven’t been posted but I am assuming my next competition will be between December and February. And honestly? I am back “in-shape” at this point. I can squat, I can run, I’m doing just fine. And yet, the discontent remains. That burn is still there, lingering, from when I felt “out of shape”.

I am not training to be in shape anymore- I am training out of fear of feeling weak. It’s not always positive and it’s not always fun, and I’ve complained to my Dad about not wanting to become a cookie-cutter health blogger because I am not someone who goes to gym to do Pinterest workouts and writes running playlists (I will write about food however, 10/10 times). I want to be a force of nature. I want to be a hurricane of an athlete- strong and fierce, not weak and afraid.

I want to push myself, in every way possible. I want to surpass my standard of feeling “in shape”. I want to attempt harder dives, and lift heavier, and run further. I want to do more and be more and really see what I can do- what I’m capable of as an athlete. I am feeling that motivation to train harder, smarter, and to pay more attention to my nutrition and recovery.

Another quote from that same favorite blogger sealed the deal for me today: “You have to do decide who are to be, and just be it”. You cannot wait for Monday or next season or when you lose ten pounds to declare you are “starting”. This is life- you have already started. If you want to do something, train for something, be something, just go be it.

With that in mind, I’m on a mission. To do more and be morestay tuned.

Let’s Be Real

Let’s discuss some facts here:

  • I’ve gotten REALLY good at meal prepping. Like, it only took a month and it’s second nature now to pack all my meals ahead of time. While I’ve learned that I get sick of things if I eat them for a week straight, I’ve figured out a good cook-three-times-a-week system
  • I just celebrated a birthday! I was fortunate enough spend my birthday road tripping, experiencing a city I’ve never been to (Woooooo St. Louis) and getting to see TRAIN with Matt Nathanson and The Fray in concert!
  • The blog has gotten boring

The blog has gotten boring because I feel like I’ve hit a rut- not with writing or anything in itself but just a general RUT. Warning, rant ahead.

Exactly a year ago I was leaving to spend a month in Vietnam, teaching English and coaching soccer, without knowing a single other person there. I felt like a made a difference, even though I didn’t see how at the beginning, and I learned a ridiculous amount about myself and the world. After that I had my final year of college and college eligibility to look forward to- all the highs and lows and every glorious moment in between.

Currently, my life is working full time and working part time and working events on and off. While I comprehend how much I am learning in a professional capacity, and how fortunate I am to have an internship (and a job immediately following) right after graduation, I’m not feeling that spark of excitement and nerves. I’m feeling a mild buzz of excitement that accompanies wanting to do a great job and learn and excel- but am I really pushing my boundaries? Am I in a role that requires the characteristics I utilized in Vietnam, like thinking on my feet or simply adapting to my surroundings?

I find myself coming home from the office, day after day, and spending hours researching graduate programs, or international volunteer opportunities, or various certifications. I’m in all-in kind of person, and I’m struggling with finding “hobbies”. I don’t know how to “dabble” in things at all. If I run 3 miles one day I imagine training for a marathon. I’ve already made a spreadsheet comparing various Master degree programs, and yet another spreadsheet for international opportunities. I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing unless I’m doing it 110%.

So I come home and I write about what I packed for lunch that day because I am too indecisive to write about anything else. Before all my spare time (outside of training and class) was dedicated towards job hunting and preparing for camp. Check and check. Instead of feeling relaxed that there’s less on my plate I’m finding myself scrambling, looking for ways to better myself or create something tangible. I get so frustrated that I don’t come home at night and am super productive but I don’t even know what I would be doing with my productivity. Side note: I complain to my boyfriend that my morning workouts aren’t as long as I want them to and that I wish I was writing more and cooking more in the evenings and he responses by asking me why I feel like I have to be productive from 5:30am-10pm?

Constantly I find myself going over the possibilities: I could train for a marathon which would be a real challenge because I suck at running. I could apply to graduate school if I ever decided on what school is a good fit (I’m pretty set on what program is for me at least) (and figured out how to pay for it). I could book a flight to somewhere half way around the world just to feel like I’m nervous about something again. Nervous about a performance or an outcome that I have 100% control over, like how prepared I am for a competition or how adaptable I can be in a new role.

To quote my own speech to the Athletic Department last February, “I’ve learned that I can do hard things. That I can do seemingly crazy things…Leap, and the net will appear. Just jump and you can figure it out on the way down.”

“I am saying yes, to every opportunity, and trusting that I will be okay”

I am an “all-in” kind of person, but what happens when I want to do everything? When I find myself standing on the edge of whatever opportunity I choose to pursue, and I simply can’t decide what to do because I want to do all. I WANT to say yes to every opportunity- sign up for races and write a book and start a business.

I think what I’m trying to say is that I’m bored, and I don’t want to “try” things. I want to find a thing, and throw myself into it. I want a goal, or an end point, and I want to struggle and complain and find a way to get there because as it turns out that’s what I love. Working 40 hours a work in an office and 20 hours a week retail has taught me that I thrive on the idea that success is entirely based on my preparation. I need a moment, or an event, where all the work can be displayed. Where all the work is apparent and the success of that venture is a direct result of your hustle and your commitment to the goal.

My entire life I have been in school or training for a competition or applying to jobs. I’m not feeling nervous about anything upcoming, and that is perhaps the most unsettling and unfamiliar feeling I could imagine.

Dreams QuoteEnd rant.

Weeks 4, Maybe 5?

Whew I really fell off the blogging train for a bit. There’s been a billion things going on (isn’t that always the truth?) and I couldn’t be more thankful for the 3 day weekend. After camp wrapped up on Thursday, I took a four and a half hour nap and STILL slept for approximately 12 hours that night. For those who don’t know me personally, I’ve spent the past six months planning a five day dive camp that just wrapped- by far my largest professional project yet! 

With four weeks of my internship left, I can confidently say that I am in the swing of things in regards to meal prepping! They aren’t kidding when they say it takes 21 days to form a habit; the last week before camp felt like smooth sailing even though the stress was piling up pre-camp. I even tried new things- like protein donuts! Yes I paid $10 for a donut pan and I would do it again.

Not much to report this Sunday, besides just to let everyone know I am still alive, still meal prepping, and ready to step it up a notch :) My brain is buzzing with all sorts of new projects now that camp is off my plate- AND I’m extra inspired because my birthday is on Saturday!

Happy holiday weekend everyone! I’ll be back with more details soon :)