Quarantine Day 10-12

Quarantine Day 10

  • I have virtually stopped going on facebook except to check my notifications and my one badass group that makes things fun. There is so very little that is positive out there right now, so I’ll stick with Instagram. It’s so much better.
  • Another hike today, and it was relatively short at 2 miles, but man was it challenging. I had never been there before, and I said “I hope it’s a challenge” to the girl I’ve been texting. FAMOUS LAST WORDS.
  • What was I thinking by saying such a thing. The first part of the hike was basically two-thirds of a mile straight up. My cardio is getting better at least because I only had to pause and not really stop a few times. At the end of this I may still have a pudge, but my cardio should be pretty on point.
  • I came across this vine that looked like something right out of the Secret of NIMH, and it was so cool. I thing I really dug about this trail system is there was minimal trail maintenance. If a tree went down they basically either made it into a step or they just left it. Mountain bikers might not like this feature, but I thought it was badass. There was one tree pictured below where they gave up trying to chainsaw it. The tree was that big that they gave up. The trail crew was like fuck this; the hikers can crawl over it. We are done with his.
  • I think and feel that this hike gave me a better workout than the 6 mile one. Does anyone have any thoughts on that? I know I’ve got some fitness gurus on here
  • How could NONE of you have any pointers about flirting? You guys have failed me. 😉
  • the appliance guy is coming tomorrow at 11, and I am going to do my best to remember to answer with a bra on this time.
  • I go home and I am starving. I still have a bit of stirfry left over, and I had some black beans. Then I decide to make my own fajitas. They were delicious…yum. That was a good impulse buy at the last grocery shopping I did.
  • I think buffy and x-files are the two greatest tv series in the 1990s and 2000s. Fight me. They still hold up incredibly well.
  • Online dating is so…weird. But intriguing how it makes connections and such.
  • Princess Diaries 2 is a much more feel good movie than the first one. Lilly was kind of a jerk in the first one, and that’s accurate for high school bullshit drama. Good storytelling, and I love the transformation that happens. PD 1 is the better overall movie, but for a feel good movie basically from start to finish, gotta give to PD 2
  • Yes I am that bored. Also when I am exercising as much as I have been, I tend to have a lot of reflective thoughts. Both self and overall.
  • I legit love how my brain processing problems sometimes. It’s so logical.
  • I thought the ultimate test of my tetris (packing) skills was illustrated best by the gear in my car. but no it is in my tiny kitchen. Except when I pull out one thing, other things often come flying out, if I am not careful
  • How are you guys all holding up? What has been helping you keep it together, and if you lost it how did you get back up? This situation is so weird and unusual. I think the only thing keep people together in all this is: alcohol (if that’s your thing), memes, and zoom. Yup you heard it hear first. Apocalypse thwarted thus far by the trio hero of inanimate objects of alcohol, memes, and zoom. Those are the three things that are keeping people together and sane in all this. I am really not kidding about this, and especially the memes and zoom. It’s a way to stay safely connected

Quarantine Day 11

  • Today seemed to go on forever. Like this morning seems like it was like three days ago
  • Which in this case, isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It was a pretty productive day
  • Repair guy came and fixed my oven. I put on a bra, a shirt with buttons, and actual pants. He better have appreciated that 😉
  • I had to remove my collection of bags of bags (how did that become a thing where we now have bags of bags?) that was next to my oven for him to replace the part. They were surprisingly well organized, and I consolidated them into something even better. I think quarantine might have finally gotten to me
  • There are four things that should not be in my house ever because they don’t last long: beef jerky, chips, gummi bears or sour patch kids, and roasted chick peas. Once the oven got repaired, I figured I’d test it out. I made a can of roasted chickpeas. I swear they are the best snack ever. After they were done, I eat the whole container in an hour. Recipe in the comments
  • I had a chat with my boss, and let’s just say it was an interesting chat. It’ll work out
  • I cleaned my apartment, which felt really good.
  • O rings should last longer (for those who don’t know what they are, they are gasket things that keep things from leaking). The original on my mop lasted like three years. I’ve been through at least three in the past six months. I need an industrial o-ring, and I am NOT going to the hardwear store for a damn o-ring in the middle of the plague. I just mopped really fast.
  • My internet went out. During a plague. They couldn’t get someone here until MONDAY. Where would the memes come from?! I started freaking, and rightly so. I then texted my downstairs neighbor, and hers was working. She hooked me up. Thanks Dawn!
  • I have been trying to do hiking or yoga every day, or at least every other day. I think I’ve missed a day or two, but for the most part, I’ve stuck with that. Yoga today was holy abs and thighs batman, I’ll keep you posted on my progress tomorrow. Everyone has their outlet that has kept them (hopefully) sane during this temporary and difficult new normal we’ve got going on here. I’ve got no judgment about what yours is. You do you, boo.
  • I’m going to move onto pilates soon because I think I’m getting strong enough for that. Thanks for the heavy discount Sphericality for the online classes, and can’t wait to tackle the next challenge.
  • Things I’m grateful for: my health (including my family), that’s it’s April and not January; newly rediscovered discipline for fitness; my Arbonne business; connecting with women online and then offline (don’t worry not in person yet), and getting back in the habit of writing daily. This has been a reset for me in many ways, and I think it was been for most people.
  • Here’s what I will never take for granted ever again: hugging, dancing, paddling, people living our “normal” lives, and daily human in-person interaction. What will you never take for granted again?

Quarantine Day 12

  • I do not think I have hiked this much in about ten years, since I started really getting into paddling. For me, hiking is not enough of a challenge for my brain and not enough of a puzzle. Which is probably why I liked backpacking, because that is a challenge both physically and mentally. I really might get into mountain biking soon if I can find a cheap bike because hiking isn’t quite cutting it for my problem solving skills or as a challenge
  • New place for hiking today, and I was pleasantly surprised. I was looking to maximize my exploring and practicality into one trip. When I pulled up to this place, it’s a little more crowded than I would like, even if it’s a not a plague. However, I am stubborn and wanted to explore this area. If it turned out to be too crowded, I would turn around and find somewhere else. I was pleasantly surprised! Judging by the area, I thought for sure I was going to be going on more of a walk then a hike. I was pleasantly mistaken 😀 It is like an oasis right outside the city with lots of hills, and a boulder garden. I ran into Johnny who is a mountain biker, which was cool. All in all, it was a very satisfying hike
  • this year I really want to kick my fear of heights, as I was thinking as I climbed this boulder to look down at the valley. Nope, I wasn’t scared at all.
  • I found the weirdest and random thing I have ever seen while hiking. It looked like a very small concrete retention pond, but it was initially covered. Erosion has made it partially open, and I have no idea what the purpose would have been for. I was trying to think back to my environmental classes, and I got nothing. There was a cute frog in it, which made me happy
  • I hit the farmers market after my hike, and stocked up on a ton of produce. The fruit stand had heavily discounted their berries, and I took full advantage. I went a little overboard on the strawberries, but I’m sure I’ll be able to eat them.
  • I went to the store on my way home, and for the first time in about two weeks, I got comfort food. I got chips, hummus, and I even got gluten-free cookies
  • Hummus is going on that list of things that should not be in my house; it doesn’t last very long.
  • What monster makes the serving size of 2 cookies? That’s just absurd. If you have that kind of willpower, that is awesome
  • I was putting the stuff away I got at the store in my freezer. My freezer is packed, and I’m trying to think of what the hell is in there, so I am pulling stuff out. I find a bag of ice in my freezer. Why the hell do I have a bag of ice in my freezer? Who does that? Maybe I was camping and didn’t have enough of those blue packs? Which is not true either because I have about a bazillion of those too. I take it out, and put it in my sink. I feel bad about wasting the water, but I need the room.
  • I thawed a tuna steak, and made dinner with a ton of veggies. It was delicious, and made this cherry tomato salad with Bibb lettuce that was on point.
  • I’ll be eating that for a few days. Leftovers are a wonderful thing


Quarantine Day 4-6

Quarantine Day 4

  • Productive day today. I called the gas company about the gas problem. They said, do you know if there’s a problem. I said, “um, the gas keeps shutting off”. Them: “we can’t send someone out until we know there’s a problem.” The gas keeps shutting off, that would indicate a gas problem, right?
  • I call the landlord and fill him in. He basically says, find someone who is not going rape me with a service call charge. Me, um okay? I guess
  • I call a few appliance services. One says, it’s $140 just to come out. Another says, “basically screw you, I’m not coming” (honestly can’t really blame him). The third guy says, “I’ll call you later. Calls later, I’ll be out there tomorrow. I’m paid for my time.” DONE DEAL DUDE.
  • Another hike! Yay! I am epically grateful for any time spent outside. I miss my paddling time. I miss that connection, and more than anything I miss the challenge of nailing lines that are a bit outside my comfort zone. For those that don’t know me very well, get your mind of out of the gutter. When I refer to paddling, I mean canoeing, this time. 😉
  • At least I’m getting my ass in shape. It is getting better than a week ago, but still got a ways to go.
  • I am on quarantine day four. Holy schnikes to you guys going on two weeks. This shit is a challenge for sure. To those of you who are single and quarantined, PM me. Let’s chat about how challenging this is, and do it together.
  • Sigh, I finished the plantain chips.
  • On my way back from hiking I stopped by CVS. I was looking for antiseptic for someone in one of the groups I belong to. Her husband is an essential employee, and they don’t provide it. They didn’t have it, and I am not surprised at all.
  • However, remember the thing I said about gummi things (e.g. sour patch kids) being my kryptonite. If someone can figure out a more eloquent way to say gummi things, please tell me. I’ll just refer to them as sour patch kids because that’s what I buy 95% of the time. I figured this was my chance to get some. I was vulnerable, hungry, and it’s a fucking pandemic. I want sour patch kids. Those tricky bastards at CVS put tables in front of the counter. Six feet worth, and I am impressed for a couple of reasons. Numero uno : I can’t get to the smallest bag of sour patch kids. Since I really don’t want to crawl underneath a table, I need to grab a bigger bag. Now, I’m a scientist by trade. I’m weighing my options. A bag of sour patch kids or a pint of ice cream? I choose sour patch kids because they are cheaper, and I get more for my buck. So I get the smallest bag of sour patch kids, and go to the counter. The safety aspect of the tables is impressive too.
  • You know what it says on it? 3.5 servings! What kind of savage does that? Good for you if you can resist the power of sour patch kids. I finish the box in the time it takes to get home. I have some willpower; I didn’t get the bigger box.
  • I will either end up chiseled or 20 pounds heavier with a drinking problem. I shit you not.
  • We had a facebook messenger chat with video of mostly my paddling friends, and it was really awesome to connect, even if it has to be temporarily virtually. It was chaotic, awesome, and so human. I loved every minute of it.
  • I love my tribe of badasses. Tonight we talked with a variety of people who could not have been more different, and yet we were all the same. We are all challenged by this new normal. Mel rocks by being vulnerable, and saying this shit is tough, let’s get together.

Quarantine Day 5

  • The appliance guy is coming at 1, so clean up around the stove and kitchen area. I have this collection of corks that I have been gathering for years, and I actually put them into mugs. I briefly consider if he’ll judge, and promptly conclude I don’t care.
  • He comes, early I might add. What service guy comes early? I’d highly recommend this guy, and his name is Steve Houseknecht. Very professional, and also won’t waste your time. And of course it didn’t do the thing it has been doing. He says, look this happens all the time. I will tell your landlord that you are not crazy. He leaves around 1:30.
  • I SWEAR this is the universe being like, stop trying to bake bitch, and stick to your stir-fry and your amoeba pancakes. Because you are really good at improvising there.
  • I leave the oven on because I KNOW it will happen. Before he leaves, he says take a pic or video of when it happens. It clicks off at 1:45. I call him, and say, “I’m sure you are on your way to your next call, but it just clicked off.” I sent him the video. He called my landlord, and we are waiting on parts.
  • I belong to this amazing fb group that is literally just a bunch of women supporting women, and having FUN. The best thing about this is who knew such a thing could exist on FB with NO drama might I add. It’s glorious, and I am grateful just about every day for its existence. It’s become a sanctuary in the vast negativity that is facebook right now.
  • This whole plague is really cramping my dating life, but I am getting to know people better before meeting them. So that’s cool, but I’m ready for real-life interaction. Stay the hell home so I can get do that.
  • I do have a virtual date tomorrow. If anyone has any pointers for this, please let me know. This is such an odd, new normal. It’s temporary, and I’ll be grateful for the lessons. That’s the attitude I’m striving to remember.
  • No hiking today because it was miserable out. I did however do a yoga session that kicked my abs, and I took my Arbonne hydration and after workout to help alleviate the agony of tomorrow. I will keep you posted. You guys better not be on point with the memes.
  • I am a little under a half into my potato lasagna, which I’m going to freeze now. If I can find any room in my freezer, anyway. The struggle is real right now. I’m so glad I didn’t buy the bigger bag of sour patch kids
  • Improv dinner! What I had thawed seemed a tad past due, and if it was any other time, I would have cooked it. But I don’t need to get food poisoning during a plague.
  • I really like Brussels sprouts drizzled in oil olive and sautéed with garlic and some other spices. Due to the lack of a protein, and what I had in my fridge, I figured I’d do bacon-wrapped Brussels sprouts. If you like Brussels sprouts, DO NOT DO THIS. You will be ruined for life. They were ridiculously good. I really thought I snapped a pic of the delicious little nuggets, but apparently I ate them too fast. They were a great appetizer before my main stir-fry course with about a bazillion veggies.
  • Stay safe, stay sane, and stay safely connected. That’s my new slogan for this quarantine for the plague. All three are essential for us to get through this.

20200328_235053645852268190262698.jpgQuarantine Day 6

  • I’m really enjoying doing these. It’s a great way for me to get back into the daily habit of writing
  • I love my business. I was making breakfast and listening to a training at the same time. It was awesome. Voxer for the win
  • I made chocolate chip protein pancakes this morning, and they are looking more oblong than amoeba-like. They were also banging. Super dark chocolate for the win 😁
  • Progress! See universe I listened. I’m sticking with awesome stirfry combinations and breakfast for the moment
  • I showered, put on clean clothes, a bra, and makeup today. It’s the first time I’ve done all four of those in awhile. According to my tribe of ever supportive badass women, I looked radiant 😀
  • First virtual date was just like most other first dates, but for sure a little weirder. It was a little awkward; a little strange, but overall decent, I think. Not sure if there’s chemistry, but it might be hard to gauge virtually. She’s smart, and the conversation flowed pretty well. So at the very least, I’ll probably end up with a new friend. I’ll take that too. The new normal for dating. I’ve waited long enough to be truly myself, and embrace finding love. I’ll be damned if I let this plague get in the way. I love a challenge
  • Did I mention I have the best group of friends and community on the planet? The amount of support, love, and comments regarding my virtual date made me tear up. I almost cried this afternoon. I am so incredibly grateful to have found another empowering group of women. I am very humbled and very grateful today. You all rock.
  • I am so epically glad it will be sunny tomorrow.
  • You know what the weird thing about dating in general, even before this whole worldwide plague, is how there are like a bazillion women out there to sort through rather easily. It only takes a handful to figure out what you are looking for, and conversely what you are not looking for. I guess that was always dating was like. It’s just easier, but at the same time harder to make a genuine connection than it ever was. I don’t know…I’m not in the convincing business. I’m in the sorting business. Trying to convince anyone of anything is not a good way to go about doing things. Especially when regarding personal relationships. Deep thoughts by me
  • I was chatting with someone, and totally forgot to eat dinner. Until I went downstairs, and was like I really need to eat something. Turkey jerky it is. I really regretted freezing that lasagna at that moment, that was would have been useful. Oops
  • Most of you are on like day 15+ of this quarantine. I am on Day 6. In the tri-state area, we basically got told today that this is going to last a lot longer than expected. This nation and world we are tough. And we will get through this. Hopefully we’ll learn the lessons
  • This was basically Earth telling us, all of you have been a bunch of greedy assholes for too long. I am putting you ALL in time out. The earth always wins. You know what? It’s working. Fossil fuel emissions are down. Air pollution is down dramatically. For those of you who said we couldn’t cut greenhouse emissions. Well clearly we can. It’s a matter of doing it effectively and strategically.
  • We did this quarantine because if we didn’t the affects would be catastrophic, and if we did the worse thing that could happen is people bond. WHY CAN’T WE APPLY THIS LOGIC TO CLIMATE CHANGE. The data is just, if not more terrifying, than the long-term affects of covid-19
  • Remember that yoga class I took? My abs are a little sore today, but not terrible. I have a feeling tomorrow it will hurt to laugh. In this case, I’ll take a little pain. It means I was doing the exercises right. A little change to the cliché, no pain, no appreciation of the work to achieve progress.
  • I love that people are playing board games, jigsaw puzzles, and everything other family game I played as a kid. It’s awesome.
  • Can we get a collective shoutout to all the first responders, medical personnel (in every industry and category), vet techs, group home workers, grocery store retailers, truckers, manufacturers, etc that are still busting their asses every day. Sometimes jeopardizing their own safety in the process, and in some cases I’m not even referring the virus. There are so many people out there trying to keep this increasingly serious situation from getting worse.
  • To the unsung heroes beyond those listed: the stay at home moms (or dads) and teachers that are improvising on the fly to make this work. You guys all rock my socks off, and I have so much respect for you. I had respect for you long before this, but I’m sure it crystalized respect for teachers for a lot of people
  • I am epically grateful to have soo many socks, and they are almost all mismatched. You are welcome. Life is too short to match socks, fight me. Heather, sorry if that triggered your OCD.


Pilates, Resilence, and Grit

Grit. It is what you become, turn to, and evolve into when times and circumstances get hard.  Grit will help you get through the hard times, it will push you forward, and it will define your success or failure.

kelly and I

Last night and then again this morning I did Pilates, and the class was with Tammy.  Tammy is like a fluffy drill sergeant who doesn’t take crap from anyone, who will push you to the brink, and make you feel good about all of it, while simultaneously wanting to curse her name, sort of kidding.  She has been away for awhile, and Kelly has been teaching her class.  They have very different styles of teaching, and both are wonderful in different aspects.  Tammy, her class is like an hour of core work.  There are legs, arms, etc. mixed in, but it seems primarily attached to core.  Kelly’s class is a lot of about balance work, which is so important to me personally.  Yes, I realize they are both involve core.  They just seem different somehow, Tammy’s are more intense and Kelly’s seem more fluid.  Both really good workouts for different reasons.

I did not realize on signing up for the two classes that they were the same class, and as soon as I realized it this morning, I was like “oh no.”  I stayed in the class and pushed through the kick-ab workout (see what I did there?) because that is what it’s about.  It’s about pushing through when you don’t necessarily want to do something because you know deep down that it’s for the best.

My abs were not sore this morning, but they were a little tight.  My abs are a little sore now, so I can’t even imagine what they will feel like tomorrow morning.  I am manifesting for them to be fine, and drinking lots of water.  The grit comes in when you are on your last couple of exercises, and your abs and legs are screaming no more.  You push through, you finish the class, the workout, the dream, the homework to get to your goal.

I have several goals I am working towards, but none more important than my next qualifying for my next promotion in Arbonne.  I have never felt more strongly about completely a goal.  Are there doubts?  Sure.  I have addressed the current ones, and I am positive there will be more.  I will knock them down one at a time, just like I have any other obstacle that has come into my journey.

I will do this.  It’s not for me.  My mentor told me (verbatim), “you are incapable of doing things for selfish reasons.”  I need to do this for other people.  I need to paint the way, be the inspiration, and show them that it can be done no matter who you are.  Introvert, extrovert, or introverted extrovert (me).  I am getting this done, and it’s just the beginning.

Ankles, Balance, and Improvement

I have had weak ankles since my first sprain, and the many subsequent sprains.  I have high arches, small feet, and am five and half feet tall.  All of those things are not helpful for ankle strength, and I had previously thought I was doomed to have weak ankles forever.  One of the many unexpected consequences of this fitness journey has been the improvement to both my coordination and balance.  These have occurred in a relatively short period time, especially since I picked Sphericality and started taking classes on a regular basis.  All of which seem to involve balance and coordination.

I have loved almost every single class, the instructors are great, and liked the boot camp (the pace was a bit over my head).  The instructor that has helped my balance the most has been Kelly.  She seems to stress it the most, and does many what she calls “balance challenge” exercises every class.  For me, they are definitely challenging and for anyone that knows me, I love a challenge.  I may have to reset, flex my ankle, and restart the pose.  I do not quit, which she pointed out to me.  I am a stubborn person when it comes to challenge, and I do not rest until I at least get better at it.  When you push your limits, you grow EVERY TIME.  No matter what area of your life it is, and your confidence grows along with it

Weekend and Beyond

I spent the weekend paddling, hiking, and with family.  It was the quintessential perfect weekend, the only thing missing was live music.  I paddled approximately 12 miles, hiked about three miles on Sunday, and then spent the majority of Easter playing with my three year old cousin.

On Tuesday though, I was looking for a kick-your-ass workout.  Paddling and hiking are workouts, but they are different. They are generally short bursts of energy followed by lackadaisical energy depending on the conditions of the trail and/or water body.

Enter Sphericality.  I have made the determination that I will attend the 9:40 AM Pilates360 class on Tuesday because it stops me from goofing around all morning.   I love the instructor Tammy.  She is full of get your ass in gear, but in  a tough love kind of way.  She is all about form (which I am super happy about) and taking it one step further.  In anything, if you don’t push yourself past your limit that you thought possible, than you are playing small.  If you are playing small because of some fear of failure, the only person that hinders is you.  As they say, get your big girl panties on and deal with it.

dorian and I

Dorian, the owner of  Sphericality, and I after a Barre Class

After the class, I realize there’s a TRX class after that also with Tammy.  So, I also stayed for that.  It was my first doubleheader, and now I realize I have official become exercise-crazed.  As my friend says, that’s a high-class problem.  I was surprisingly not too sore the next day, just a touch in the arms.

One of my main focuses lately has been improving my balance, coordination, and getting my ankles stronger.  I have little tiny feet, high arches in my feet, and I’m not small.  All of those things lead to a need to improve the above.  My ankles have always been a weak spot.  I basically look at them wrong, and they go out.  Since I’ve been taking these classes, I’ve noticed them getting a little stronger.  I’m not sure how much my balance has improved yet, but I know that my coordination is.  It’s really satisfying to know that what I am doing in these classes not only improves my overall health, but also is having some positive unanticipated affects in the above categories.

Exercise, Music, and Pushing limits

I will admit that I am totally, 100% addicted to exercise in a way I never thought possible.  If I go a two days without it, I’m like Jonesing for a fix.  It’s weird, but it’s a good weird.  Every time I go to Sphericality, I reminded that I made a good choice.  I finally had the chance to take a class with the owner of said gym, Dorian, and she did not disappoint.  Like most of the other classes I have taken there, there was a focus on form.  Dorian seemed to take it a step further, and went around the class and tweaked our movements if need be.  Kelly also did this.  This is one of the reasons I am coming to love this gym.  It’s almost perfect for me.

I love music.  I don’t play it, or sing it, I just thoroughly enjoy it.  It is apart of my soul.  Yesterday, my friend Jenny had her first open mic at her place in Bath, PA.  There were a couple of firsts for me.  I read poetry (okay, I had done it once before), and I played music for a genuine first.  I played the cymbals.  Yes, I know that’s not much.  For me though?  It was HUGE.  I have always thought I didn’t know how to keep a beat, at all.  Yesterday I proved myself wrong, because I was according to Jenny able to keep a beat.  I also felt like I could before I asked her.  It was a night of firsts, bonding, and just celebration of a new, eclectic space.

I pushed through a few boundaries, reading my poetry in public and playing music.  For me, there are very few things more vulnerable than those two things.  Reading my inner-most thoughts out loud to the public is something that I am working on overcoming this year.  This was a first step.  Was it uncomfortable?  Hell to the Yes.  Was it worth that feeling?  Hell to the yes.  Happiness and freedom lay outside your comfort zone, and that is where I am pushing this year.

I am a different person than I was last year, and I’m pushing myself to be even more different next year.  When I say different, I don’t mean a caricature  of yourself.  I mean that you are becoming the best version of yourself, and finding your true calling in life.  Which may be so different than you ever thought it could be (like mine).  Be in love with who you are, or at the least be working on loving yourself.  I know it sounds weird (guilty) and new-agey, but trust me when I tell you when you feel peace with yourself and your mission, there is a peace inside of you that rivals no other.

Barre Boot Camp

This is my second boot camp class, which I enjoyed significantly more than the first.  It was less militant, more intense actually, and left me sweating.  I usually am not much of a sweater.

This is also the first class where I got progressively more sore as the day went on.  Is this supposed to happen?  My friend Jenny, who has been into health and fitness all of her life, said that sometimes it take up to two to three days for full soreness to set in.  I have proven her correct.  I was actually pretty excited when I woke up today because I wasn’t nearly as sore as I thought I’d be.  I had some soreness in my glutes and hip flexors, but very little in my quadriceps.  This has been evolving, especially as I reached 7 PM tonight.  This thought has actually been a relatively common occurrence throughout this journey, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised each time by how not sore I have been.

This has not been one of those times.  When I say this class thoroughly kicked my ass, I am not exaggerating.  I may not have drank enough water beforehand, but still.  The soreness I feel right now is both reassuring (for some reason) and a reminder of how far I still have to go.  It’s reassuring because it means I’m pushing myself past the limits that I thought I could go.

I think it’s like personal development.  One doesn’t simply reach the pinnacle in fitness nor in personal development.  There’s always another milestone, another goal, and another obstacle.  I am loving what all this has brought to my life.

I am truly craving it now.  I went three days without going to a gym, and my friend Maria and I both said on Sunday we were going to do 6 flights of stairs.  Yes, six flights.  Both of us willingly did them because we were craving exercise.  This is a high-class problem that I am loving.

Fitness, welcome to a permanent part of my life.  Love, Lex.

20 Gyms in 30 days-summary

It turns out the 20 gyms in 20 days was a bit unrealistic, but you never know unless you try.  It’s better to aim high and fall slightly short, then aim low and miss completely.  This challenge did as I intended it to do, which was develop discipline, get toned, and in shape to go along with the weight loss through the Arbonne nutrition and clean eating program.  Now part one of my mission is complete.  I have picked out a gym, it’s Sphericality in Flemington, NJ.  In the end it came between Cornerstone Fitness and Sphericality.  Here are my synopses of the two.

 Cornerstone Health and Fitness in New Hope, Doylestown, and Warrington, PA.


This was my first gym I went to, and if the location was more convenient to where I am moving to shortly, I would join this gym in a heartbeat.  It’s about 30 minutes from where I currently live, but will be almost an hour from where I am moving to.  I can’t travel an hour to a gym, no matter how good it is.

Here are my reasons why it would be my first choice.  It has both kickass classes, and your traditional style gym.  The gym I joined in Flemington seems to be class based, and not open at anytime with equipment I can just use whenever the gym is open.  This could be a misunderstanding on my part for Sphericality.  It is also locally owned, very affordable for everything you get with your membership, and it has a definite community feel to it.  This is amazing since I only attended one class.  I truly do like the place, and if things were different would be joining there instead.  The atmosphere, camaraderie, the people, and energy of the place is perfect.  The locations are just not convenient for my life right now.


There are a few things that pushed Sphericality ahead of Cornerstone.  The convenience of the location, 5 minutes from where I work, the schedule of classes was convenient, and the overall vibe of the place.  I’ve taken two classes there now, and when I came back tonight the instructor, Kelly, said, “I’m soo glad you are back!”  It made me have a huge smile.  I had told her what I was doing, the 20 gyms in 20 days things.  She said, “you will come back here because we are the best.”  She didn’t mean it in a bragging, superior way.  She said it from a place of knowing her worth and the gym’s worth.  It played a role in my decision.

I will keep you guys apprised of my progress with the gym, results, and affects in my life.  I am truly hooked now.  I went like 2.5 days without going to a gym, and I was practically tweaking for a gym fix.  It’s one of the reasons I started to do this, to develop discipline and commitment to something outside of paddling and Arbonne.  I have found another niche to love and develop.  I can safely say, I don’t think I’ve loved my life more than I do right now.  It feels damn good.

Day 18, Gym 17

My friend Krissy is an instructor kickboxing at Freedom Xtreme Fitness in Branchburg, NJ.  I had done a one kickboxing class at Sweat Like a Girl which incorporated other things, but this would be a strict kickboxing.  I was both a little nervous and excited at the prospect of it. 

post workout

A much needed Arbonne After Workout drink to prevent soreness.

The class did not disappoint, and it kicked my ass.  I’m not just saying that because she’s my friend.  If the class was less than stellar, I’d still be writing this and saying so.  One of the best workout classes in terms of whole body workouts, cardio, abs, and oh my fizz legs.  There was an abundance of leg work.  Favorite quotes of the class:  you can do anything for 30 seconds; no one brags about a small butt, and when it hurts that’s when growth happens.  We did everything, squats, lunges, burpees, pushups, laps, and of course bag work.  The class pushed me to my limits, and past them at times.  It is dead true that it is when growth happens, and not just in terms of the physical..  She was great mix of motivator and encouragement without being military style about it.  She was full of tough love, encouragement, and “hate me now, love me later” attitude.

If you are in the area, and enjoy something that is both fun and sweat-inducing, this is for you.  The drop-in fee is usually a very reasonable $12 for an hour class.  You will not regret dropping in for this.

Day 17, Gym 16

I attended pickup volleyball at Central Jersey Volleyball Academy (CJVA) in Flemington, NJ.  It reminded me of everything I loved about sports, and everything I did not like about sports.  I did not like the cliqueness or the pressure when I didn’t feel good enough.  I have always loved the camaraderie, friendship, and community when you met the right people who were laid back and liked to help you get better.

I found both at CJVA.  I got there and was quite excited since I haven’t played volleyball since college, and then it was recreational.  There were mostly young people there, a couple older, and then some kids (aged 13ish).  I started off with the young people, where they were rotating on and off, but then I noticed that there was a court where there was no one waiting.  So, I went over there.  There I found my laid back happy group.  There was a couch, Lynette, Jerry her husband (I think), then me, and on the other side of the court were the three girls she coached there.  I had a blast with them.  I never really felt like an outsider, at the beginning I felt a little sheepish because clearly they were better than me.  I got over that pretty quickly, and was actually improving in my skills by the time we were done.  It’s a great workout, you are running, bumping, diving, and twisting your body in all sorts of ways.


kit n kaboodle

my ritual after working out.  Yay to no soreness

We broke up into larger groups again, and the cliqueness returned.  I was over it by that point, and have spent too much time on myself to feel like an outcast.  I saw one of the thirteen year olds I was playing with practicing her skills, so I went to go practice with her.  I saw a lot of myself in her, the shyness, awkwardness of youth, and a slight self-confidence issue.  But she’s tough, and quite good.

I found another purpose for my journey though.  It is to provide a place where kids can play sports without cliques, pressure, or anything like that.  I loved sports growing up, was never very good at them.  As I got older, all those things above infiltrated the sports field.  I felt intimidated, alone, and an outcast.  If I can prevent that for any other kid who loves sports as much as I did, but got pushed out due to their own insecurities, that’s what I’m going to do.