Whoops Hi Hello

When I wrote about how much I was loving life on August 27th, that was never meant to be a type of “Bye see ya never” post. NOT writing for two months was unintentional, and though I often sat down to write I never really knew what I wanted to say. Currently I’m drinking the world’s best cup of coffee, slept in till 10am (which is a rarity), and am procrastinating between either a lifting workout or a $5 Hot Pilates class. Procrastination is always the best motivation.

I do miss writing- and I want to bring that back in to my life. I DON’T miss being a “blogger”: the whole grow-your-following and bubbly-positivity-all-the-time started to bother the crap out me, and blogs I used to love don’t feel authentic to me anymore. It’s so easy to fall in the trap of page views and free crap and blah blah blah but that’s never what I wanted two years ago when I started to write, I just wanted to write about training and college athletics and food and traveling.

Turns out the key to anything in life is to start before you are ready. So here I am, writing again, because it’s good for me and it makes me happy and I genuinely enjoy practice my writing skills even though I can’t spell worth a damn. I don’t know what I will be writing about every time I plan on sitting down with my laptop, but I really don’t need to know right away. I just need to start.

I’ll post a recap of the last few months here in the next week or so, as I sloooowly get back in the swing of (writing) things! It’s nice to be back. My coffee mug is now empty and I’m feeling the squat rack over the yoga studio today, so I’m off to enjoy the rest of the weekend! Happy Saturday and Happy NOVEMBER everyone. My bad for being MIA.

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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 :)

Spring Break Link Love

Greeting from yet another state folks! I’ve been tucked away in Denver, Colorado for the past few days (where I am falling head over heels in love with the city). Spring break has been full of catching up on sleep, sending those emails you’ve always been meaning to get to, exploring, and really really good Colorado beer.

I figured I would share the links I’ve been loving this Spring Break and give you all some lovely reading this Hump Day! I’m also linking up with The Blonder Side of Life for the “Secret Blogger Club”: a weekly link-up focused on smaller and growing blogs!

One: This poem seemed appropriate after the hectic and emotion last month. The day after my college career ended, we watched the John Wooden TED Talk in my Sports Psychology class on the definition of success, and discussed this piece, The Road Ahead or The Road Behind, afterwards. Confession: after our lecture I went into the library bathroom and cried while I still was feeling all the emotions of a successful (injury or not) collegiate career.

“…Of dreaming there’s a goal ahead
Of hoping when our dreams are dead
Of praying when our hopes have fled
Yet losing, not afraid to fall
If bravely, we have given all…”

Two: This “Get That Life” post about yoga instructor superstar Sadie Nardini popped up on Pinterest early this month and I immdiately found my next girl crush. You know when the weather is freezing and you just want to pack up and go somewhere else where the weather doesn’t hurt your face? She did, by spinning a globe and putting her finger on where ever it landed! She left Iowa, but hey, no hard feelings.

“Most people think they need to figure the whole process of creating their dreams from start to finish. I say, just begin. Create. Put your message out there, even if the method or vehicle is imperfect. Start before you’re ready and learn as you go.”

Three: Speaking of yoga, can we discuss these six kick ass women IN THEIR 90’S who are still better at yoga than me?

Four: “Fifteen Mantras for Fierce Females” courtesy of my mother posting this article on my Facebook wall. My personal favorites? #4, #9, #11, and #15.

“Keep your passion concentrated and strong. Find the thing that stirs your soul and follow it through to the glory that awaits. It doesn’t have to be measured in likes, shares and comments.”

Five: This Buzzfeed article puts into words what I have been feeling for the last five years- too good not to share! The “17 Things That Happens When You’re A Canadian Abroad” really should have been at the top of the list, lets be real. Apparently this list went from serious to silly. That was unintentional, I could never be clever enough to organize my lists to that extent!

Secret-Blogger-Club-Button

Three Things, Third Month

My apologizes on giving you guys the update on Big Tens and leaving you hanging for over a week! Following coming home we hosted the Men’s Championship meet, so I was at the pool cheering 6 hours a day doing physical therapy every chance I could get. Contrast baths, towel workouts, resistance stuff…my foot felt totally recovered about five days after competing on it! Well in relative terms- it went back to how it felt pre-competing on it.

The good greatest news? There was no damage done diving on it, and it’s healing like it should! I got follow up x-rays last week and the bone is healing, slowly but surely. I’m still in the boot, yuck, but at this point it’s more to help heal the ankle sprain and to help it recover now that I’m going to try diving again.

Side Note: I didn’t even know I sprained my ankle until I saw the doctor again last week, but it makes perfect sense. I basically sprained my ankle so hard the bone broke. The bummer is that ankle will always be a little stretched out and a little weaker, but with adequate rehab and preventative measures it shouldn’t be a big deal from here on out!

So I suppose the first things to update you on this month is I DOVE ON IT YESTERDAY! I’m still in an outrageous tape job, doing therapy before and after, and am only allowed to train once a day, but practice went SO WELL! I actually got through all of my one meter dives, which took me two days and a lot of tears two weeks ago.

My jump is probably at 60-70% of my regular jump, and our athletic trainer did call me out for favoring it towards the end of practice. All-in-all however, optimism paid off and I was very pleasantly surprised  with how my first day back went. Oh! And another bright spot! I didn’t wake up this morning feeling like I couldn’t walk or was too sore to function- I feel normal and that’s really the goal at this point.

Okay that was a long first thing. ANYWAYS

2. I was invited into the Girls Gone Sporty Ambassador Program! Obviously health and fitness has been a driving force in my life, but I’ve been more involved in sport than fitness itself. I couldn’t be happier to represent a community that encourages women to live a healthy, sport-filled life. It creates networking opportunities for support, cutting-edge content to make sure you’re receiving the best information, and is uniting people who LOVE to be active!

3. You’ve heard me complain talk about my job search anxieties, mention plans after graduation, and mull over what in the world I’m going to do with my life. Well at this point I’m thrilled to announce I’ve accepted one two three different job offers! One’s a part time position that I’ll be working at on and off, more so in April when the seasons over, one is a position managing one of the diving camps I worked out so I spend the majority of my spare time on that, and one is ten-week summer internship with a baseball tournament operations and scouting agency! The official resume titles will be Nike “Athlete”, Camp Director, and Tournament Operations Intern.

Clearly the year isn’t going as planned, but that’s okay. There’s plenty of amazing things to come.

Future Quote

14 Things on Reflecting 2014

New Years is one of my favorite holidays- always has been and always will be. What other holiday promotes staying up late and drinking champagne, plus goal setting and working to better yourself? It’s the best of both worlds. There are many things to look forward to in 2015…but first and foremost I plan on kicking in the New Year properly (psssst, check back on January 1st when I take a look at the upcoming year!)

Last year I wrote this post, one of my favorites, on my Top 13 Moments from 2013. While I assumed I would take the same approach this year for my year in review, this year was different in so many wonderful and strange ways. There was a lot more change in 2014 than there was in 2013. Can I list 14 moments? In a heartbeat. In an instant, and I will, but there was a lot that went on this year that can’t be shortlisted. (Fair warning: there’s a touchy feely rant ahead. Impatient? Scroll down for the shortlist).

In 2014, I got incredibly lost. I fell and I stumbled and I screwed up, however I did it without panicking. I doubted all sorts of big decisions. I took more risks, and not always fun ones. I thought too much and overanalyzed things and (big surprise) it bit me in the butt. The year did not go according to plan, but that’s okay. I didn’t anticipate such a shift within me, when everything around me was new and unfamiliar. You simply can’t shortlist the ways you change and develop and grow as a person when you’re trying to find your footing in unknown territory, both figuratively and literally. It’s not like I woke up one day and decided “okay this is the new me.” There was never a new me and old me, it’s always been just Lauren. We are made, especially in this time of our lives, to be fluid and to expand and develop- that does not mean we have new and old personas but have simply altered our values and the direction we want our lives to go in. That is not a bad thing, and I spent the fall of 2014 convinced that it was. I had this idea that whatever was happening in my head and my heart was a negative, and I fought it, and I felt so horribly guilty for so much of that time because I simply wished I felt like I did before. Change is necessary, sometimes a necessary evil, and I feel sad that I spent so much time consumed with guilt about the natural progression of things.

2014 was the year of change. I changed apartments, I changed room mates, I entered my final year of college, and travelled constantly all summer. After the summer (where I’m sure if you’ve been around you remember my blogging *cough cough* sucked), where I practically lived out of my car for weeks working at camps in Iowa and Indiana, spending another incredible weekend in Chicago, and then traveling to Vietnam for a month, settling back into life as a student-athlete seemed impossible. While going through the motions seemingly helped, nothing truly got rid of that guilty feeling like embracing the change. Embracing the chaos. Becoming comfortable with my uncomfortable new reality.

New Years Quote

My motto for 2015

I am not dictated by my surroundings. I am the same girl that stayed up till Midnight December 31st, 2013- the same girl that ran a 10km (and cried) in April is the same girl that stood on mountain tops in Vietnam and Canada in August. I am comfortable but not content; happy but not satisfied. I’ll probably set New Years Resolutions like the majority of the population, and reach only a few of them (like the majority of the population). To be honest, I couldn’t even tell you what my resolutions for 2014 were! Whatever they may have been, I leave the year in a good place. I am happy, and am no longer overanalyzing the risks and rewards of life (okay, for the most part. I am a college girl still- overanalyzing is what we’re best at). And without further ado, in no particular order…

14 Top Moments of 2014

1. My two best friends, who have been there since that first day of college, came to Canada this past May. We flew from Chicago to Calgary and spent the week with my family, in the mountains, seeing the city, meeting my old friends. The three of us have been inseparable for the past four and a half years and the week was such an amazing tribute to that. From when we first bounced around the idea in the fall, to it actually coming to fruition, it was more than I could have asked for to show my two best friends my corner of the world. 

Jasper

Glacier Skywalk, along the Ice Fields Parkway. See 10 Reasons to Visit Alberta for my other go-to’s!

2. Like 2013, I got to spend a weekend (my birthday this time!) in Chicago! Chicago has become one of my absolute favorite cities, and I was so happy to be able to go back. In between a month of working at camps and a month away in Vietnam, it was the perfect getaway and a much needed mini-vacation. We got to see the Cubs play again, and explore Wrigleyville like before! We stayed right downtown this time which meant for more walks by the lake, closer to Michigan Ave and deep-dish pizzas, and even drinks at a bar on the 95th floor of the John Hancock building!

Wrigley

3. Indiana Diving Camp is sort of legendary- the entire diving community probably went at one point or another, and the whole five weeks is like one big social event for age group divers across the country (as well as college divers, college coaches, and a few international athletes!). I had the privilege of working as a House Counselor there this summer, and it was probably the most fun I have ever had at work. It felt like I was at summer camp- getting to dive in world class facilities, get to know divers from the around the country, organizing activities for the campers like slip and slide and charity washes and a “Field Day” that involved watermelons, baby oil, food coloring, and flour! I can’t even describe how fun it was, and I’m thankful for the friendships formed during those few weeks in Indiana.

Watermelons

The staff may or may not have gotten a hold of the watermelons…

4. Surprising my family for American Thanksgiving, again. Between spring break, May, August, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, I’ve been able to go home and see my family more this year than almost every other year I’ve been away at college! Even though it was a sort trip, from Wednesday afternoon to Sunday morning, it was completely worth it. 

Fam

5. My Senior Meet, the following weekend which my mother and sister were able to attend. I have loved being a Hawkeye from the day I signed my National Letter of Intent, and will remain a Hawkeye long after I walk the stage this upcoming May. Being a Hawkeye has been such a large part of my identity, and has given me the greatest years of my life. The relationships formed here, the lessons learned, the goals set and achieved. A night dedicated simply to acknowledge the part of ourselves that will always be Hawkeyes was just one more incredible opportunity and memory I will never forget.

Seniors  

“Is this really happening? Is it my Senior Meet already?”

6. In November of this year, I was given the opportunity to give a speech as a student-speaker for Iowa’ Athletic Department All-Staff meeting. It was Top 5 one of the most nerve wracking things I have ever done, and spent more time preparing than I have for many exams! The speech was on my student-athlete experience at Iowa and my experience in Vietnam. Despite the nerves, the speech went surprisingly well and I couldn’t be happier I said yes to the opportunity! It was so incredible to be able to share my experiences as well as being able to discuss the program with coaches and administrators further after my speech, when I was able to mingle and answer any additional questions. I received an interview request two days later, and you can find both the 12 minute speech and the condensed version in interview form on www.coachforcollege.org.

7. My hair started to grow again! This might seem like a minor thing for a Top-14 list, but those who know me well know that this has been a serious issue. Due to years of chlorine damage and wear and tear, in February of 2014 things had gotten so bad my hair had started turning white and simply stopped growing. I started wearing a cap to dive at the end of the month, started taking biotin and fish oils, anything that would help, and basically started treating my hair like precious gold. Th biggest difference by far has been wearing the cap- my hair is darker, the top (not damaged part) is thicker, and I’ve actually been able to GROW my hair for the first time in years and years.

xmas selfie

LOOK AT HOW HEALTHY AND DARK IT IS okay I just got a trim before I snapped a Christmas Day selfie, but you can tell it’s not gray or white. 

8. Okay, again, this one is sort of superficial, but I’ve officially converted to 100% Apple. In July I got a (free!) iPhone 5c and for Christmas/early Happy Graduation I got a MacBook Pro! I could not happier to have a computer that works and everything seems to be operating at the speed of light compared to my old HP (that really was lovely, if you like watching paint dry and glaciers melt). I’m really looking forward to figuring out how to sync my devices and enter 2015 magically more organized (you stop that eye roll right now).

9. Running in the spring- during 2014 I entered a four mile “Warrior Challenge” and a 10km road race! The four miler didn’t have particularly difficult obstacles (read about it here) and the 10km was a blast minus one particular hill (read about that one here). Two races in the spring hardly qualifies me as a legitimate runner, but I loved it. I’m still very much a seasonal runner, running from March through the spring and summer and that’s okay with me! I don’t put a lot of miles on my shoes and I’m not tempted to enter every 5km I see. With my college eligibility wrapping up here, I’m hoping to do a few more races than I’ve been used to- but I’m not spilling the beans till January 1st :)

10-14. Vietnam and Coach for College. Okay, lets be real, the reason I can get to 14 of my favorite things from the year so early is because I could think of 14 things from this trip alone. Heck I already started this list with The Top 4 Things I Miss About Vietnam (is recycling old posts for a year in review cheating? Not in my book). The kids were life changing. The city of Da Nang was amazing, and a place I certainly want to return. The towns we visited on the weekends, Hue and Hoi An, I would recommend to any traveller. THE FOOD. The connections I made with the other coaches and teachers, both American and Vietnamese (also see: “Reflecting Nam, Finally”). Vietnam and Coach for College was without a doubt the biggest leap of faith I have ever done. I took a leap, and the net appeared. I found my solid ground on the other side of the world.

Nam

And of course, you guys (okay I guess this could have been #14). Seeing lauren elyse CAN grow and develop has been amazing. Who would have thought that this post would have over 7000 views?? For reference, my next top two posts of 2014 were between 400 and 1000 views (this one and this one). I was incredibly thankful for guest posts over the summer, and kicked my own blogging butt over October. I have fallen in and out of love with writing, but I’ve got no plans to slow down on the blog now. I’ve got bigger and better plans for the blog when the season wraps up in March, and I can’t wait to take you lovely supportive folks along for the ride.

Happy New Year!!

Pajama Talk

Happy Boxing Day to my Canadians! And…what, Day After Christmas for my American friends? Is this a holiday for you guys? I live there, I should know this, but I’ve never been there over Christmas so…excuse me if I’m missing something.

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas Eve and Day! Here’s hoping lots of time was spent with friends and family and that Santa was good to you. My holiday season has been packed and busy like usual, but it’s always nice to catch up with people when I’m only home a few weeks out of the year. We’re big on holiday traditions here, starting with an annual caroling party this past Sunday and street hockey every Christmas Eve! Yes, we really do sit around my aunt’s living room every December and sing Christmas carols. The Christmas Eve street hockey tradition is one that’s been going on 22 years in the same house, and goodness knows how many years before that (Dad help me out here, 15?)

This Christmas has been unique in the sense that busy hasn’t all been social activities, but lots of errands due to last minute Christmas shopping and wrapping and my favorite sister being completely on crutches! So today, on Boxing Day, I slept till 10am and stayed in bed till 11. I stayed in my pajamas until 4pm, watching Pitch Perfect (a favorite) with the fam and now blogging on my new MacBook Pro! Thanks to my Mum and Grandma for a combined Christmas and early graduation gift, I’m finally situated on a computer that doesn’t take 20 minutes to turn on!

I’ve still got the weekend to spend at home with my family before I head back to school early on the 29th, where we head in to our three week training camp (cue half-hearted cheers of excitement) (okay it is an extremely useful training period- I just get SO. TIRED.)

My post-Christmas to do list is nearly as long as my pre-Christmas list, but it still varies greatly from my lists during the year. It involves finishing bottles of testing new red wines, maybe going to gym or doing yoga (I went on Christmas Eve and it was a gong show, yikes), going on dog walks, and sleeping in. I’m taking full advantage of the lack of schedule in my life to enter 2015 more grounded, relaxed, and recharged.

Happy Holidays readers! Any MacBook Pro users have some great blogging tips, apps, or software they can’t live without?