Live With Passion

“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” – Albus Dumbledore

This was not some rebellious teenage decision. This was not an impulsive move. This was not for all the wrong reasons, but for all the right ones. This was totally out of character. This is the story of the day I got my tattoo.

In reality, this story started about five years, but let’s just jump to last January when I actually resolved to get a tattoo. It was at that point when I finally came up with an idea and placement that held a deep meaning for me. Over spring break, Hilary tried to convince me to do it then, but I started having second thoughts. After a few more months of flip-flopping on ideas, I made the commitment to go through with it this past weekend.

I had already been talking with Michelle about making a trip to Jacksonville, because she’s about to move back to Minnesota and she’d never been to Jacksonville. We decided to make it a beach day–tattoo adventure. The decision to get the tattoo in Jacksonville also meant that it would be somewhat convenient for Hilary to drive up from Gainesville to come watch.

On Saturday morning, Michelle and I woke up and hit the road for Jacksonville. First stop — the Riverside Arts Market.

IMG_2344

The market is basically a farmers and artist market that is held weekly under one of Jacksonville’s main bridges. There were TONS of vendors of all kinds and live entertainment. When we arrived, we were amazed at how big the market was! The location was also perfect. The bridge provided shade and the market butted up against the water.

When we made it to the other end of the market we stumbled upon the start of a live concert. I actually sorta knew the band, so we stayed and watched for a while. Live music by the water on a cool Saturday morning is a great way to start our adventure.

SAM_7809

After enjoying the concert my tummy started to rumble, so our next stop was Angie’s. It’s been two years since I’ve had a delicious Angie’s sub with peruvian sauce and it was just as good as I remembered.

IMG_2346

Post-Angie’s, we hit up the beach. The beach was super crowded, but the weather was great. The breeze kept the temperature at the beach cool and I didn’t even get sunburned. I call that a win!

IMG_2347

Hilary met up with us in preparation for tattoo part of our adventure. It was so good to see her. Even though I saw her at the start of April, I really missed her, so I’m glad she could drive up and be part of this experience with me.

IMG_1327

Once we were done with beach time, we headed to the tattoo shop.

Funny story: I still had not quite decided how I wanted the tattoo to look or where I wanted to place it by the time we reached the parking lot.

IMG_5975

As silly as it seems, the indecisiveness was part of my incentive for getting the tattoo. When it comes to making decisions, whether big or small, I tend to spend a lot of time thinking about it, weighing my options, and debating various outcomes before I ever act on anything. So by getting the word “live” tattoo on my ankle, it’s a reminder than I need to spend more time living in the present. Some people need to learn how to think before they act, I need to learn how to act before I over-think.

IMG_5978

After settling on a font and design, it was time to make this a reality.

I had quite the motley crew of supporters there to watch this momentous occasion. Michelle came to witness and support me. Hilary was there for the same reasons, as well as to document the whole process. Matt and Tommy also came to watch. Although, I’m pretty sure the guys didn’t think I’d go through with it or that I’d cry, so they only came to see how I’d react.

The tattoo shop came as a recommendation from Matt, who’s been to one of their other locations before and said they have a good reputation. While I can’t say I’ve ever been in another tattoo shop before, I was very impressed by the cleanliness of the shop.

IMG_5979

I told the guy what I wanted and he drew up a sketch accordingly. Then I gave my seal of approval and he told me to go over to the table.

He cleaned the area and put a carbon copy-like version onto my ankle.

IMG_5980

Looks good! Now let’s get this over with!

IMG_5984

I’d say the actual tattoo process felt like a sharp, slightly painful tickling. It wasn’t necessarily enjoyable, but it really wasn’t all that bad.

IMG_5987

IMG_5996

IMG_6006

About 10 or so minutes later, the tattoo was finished!

IMG_6007

Voila! Success!

IMG_6016

I really liked Angelo, the tattoo artist. He was really friendly and very patient when it came to dealing with our ridiculous group. Hilary even asked him to pose for a picture with me.

IMG_6017

A group shot post-tattoo, minus Michelle, who was taking the picture.

IMG_6018

So, what does the tattoo mean to me?

As I mentioned above, it’s a reminder to myself to live in the moment. There were lots of phrases and quotes that I really liked, but I couldn’t commit to just or or I didn’t want the whole thing written on my body, so I decided just to go with the simple word “live.”

Then, as I was deciding the design I realized that just the one word looked unfinished. I ended up adding the three stars at the end as a subtle homage to Harry Potter.
Side Note: In the American Harry Potter books, chapter titles are surrounded by three stars on either side and I loved the way they looked.

Finally, I wanted the tattoo to be somewhere that I could see it and since my feet allow me to run and go on adventures, the foot/ankle seemed like the right place to put “live.”

IMG_6033

So there you have it — the story of my tattoo.

live tattoo horizontal

I am here to live out loud.

It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.

Live in the moment.

Live for today.

Live fearlessly.

Live with passion.

The PhD Balancing Act: One Year Down!

Papers, assignments, and coursework complete — Check!
Pass end of the year reviews — Check!
Grading and grades complete for teaching — Check!
Pass my own classes with a 4.0 — Check!

First year as a PhD student — CHECK!

SAM_6868

It’s hard to believe that I’m already a year into my PhD program and I’ve been back in Tallahassee again for nearly a full year.

This past school year flew by in a whirlwind of school work, social activities, and lots of shenanigans, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I feel more satisfied and comfortable with my life here, than during either of my two years in Washington.

SAM_7471

As the year wrapped up, some of the first year student were talking about whether or not our experiences this past year lived up to our initial exceptions and I can safely said my life here is exactly as I imagined and hoped. Sure, there were moments when I was stressed out and frazzled, or other moments when I was frustrated by various people or the system, but overall there have been no curve-balls, only serendipitous moments.

Looking back on the Letter to a Future PhD Student, that I wrote in August prior to school starting, I’d say that everything I wrote about and the emotions that I anticipated were spot-on. I certainly experienced many, many instances of feeling “stupid” or “not getting it,” and yet I persevered. I even had a moment recently where I felt frustrated because I couldn’t see the progress that I’d made this year. But then as I worked on a paper for one of my classes, I used a theoretical lens to support my own analysis and I realized I’ve actually come a long way since last August.

IMG_1760

Overall, this year has been quite the PhD balancing act. Sometimes I succeeded in balancing all the different facets of my life and other times I failed miserably, but just as grad school is about the process not the product, so is life.

IMG_9449

One of my major successes involved taking my own advice and creating a network of friends, both so I could reached out for help when I needed it and as a means of social interaction.

IMG_2217

IMG_2269

Sometimes I get the feeling that making friends and having fun isn’t always viewed in a favorable light in academia, but after my MA and two years in Washington I knew that in order to keep myself in a balanced and happy place, I need to get away from school and enjoy life every so often.

SAM_7597

Then on the flip side, one of my failures for this past year was my lack of a regular exercise routine. Despite running two half marathons, I never quite established a schedule for my running and strength training goals and as a result they were sidelined.

IMG_2133

Therefore, this summer and next year, I am going to focus more on incorporating fitness into my life.

After my first semester, I made a list of goals for spring semester, which included avoiding procrastination, being more social, and finding a roommate. For the most part, I managed to accomplish all of the tasks that I set out for myself.

While I aimed to be more social, in reality I think what I really wanted was to make some real friendships. In hindsight, I was social during fall semester, spring semester I ended up making real friends.

IMG_2302

But you know the problem with making friends in grad school? They end up leaving eventually.

SAM_7766

For the past few weeks, it’s been an endless stream of farewell dinners, goodbye lunches, end-of-the-semester trivia nights, and “we survived our first year” parties.

SAM_7788

SAM_7800

Although I’m not quite ready to say goodbye to the friends I’ve made this year (or those who only left for the summer), I am really looking forward to next year. Instead of starting over, I already have an established group of awesome friends. And while I know that school won’t necessarily be “easier,” I at least have a pretty good idea of how to handle the chaos that is the PhD balancing act.

Recent Posts:
It’s Just a Jump to the Left and a Step to the Right — My road trip with friends to see the Rocky Horror Picture Show at American Stage in the Park.
Weekend Forecast: Torrential Downpour and a Wicked Good Time — The story of Meatfest 2012.

It’s Just a Jump to the Left and a Step to the Right

Continuing the idea of how much I love traditions, growing up one of my favorite activities was attending Shakespeare in the Park by American Stage.

Every year they put on a Shakespeare play in Demen’s Landing park. Patrons were encouraged to come two hours before the show and bring a picnic dinner. My family would go with a group of my mom’s friends and we’d make it a big potluck. I have fond memories of attending as a little kid and then when I got older, I carried on the tradition with my high school friends.

SAM_7730

In 2009, I was lucky enough to get a chance to work on the Park show. By this point, the company had switched from doing Shakespeare plays to musicals, but the fun atmosphere was still alive and well.   

IMG_0840

Working the Park show remains to be one of my favorite experiences from the theatre. The friendships I made during those 10ish weeks showed me a whole new side of St. Pete and I loved working on an event that I’d grown up attending.

2903_543133479063_7201859_32667601_3549706_n

When I left for Washington, I was sad that I wouldn’t be able to see the park show. But now that I’m back in Florida, I made it a point to get a group together to go see Rocky Horror Picture Show in the Park.

By some miracle everyone’s schedules aligned during finals week and five of us were able to road trip down to St. Pete. Our plan was to arrive around lunch time and then spend the afternoon exploring downtown before the show.

First stop: Moon Under Water for lunch.

SAM_7691

Then we walked down Bayshore and went to the Pier.

SAM_7696

E saw a pelican and tried to take a picture. We pointed and stared as she did it.

SAM_7699

SAM_7704

The Pier was pretty rundown and filled with all sorts of weird machines, stories, and knick-knacks.

SAM_7706

SAM_7707

SAM_7709

Faux-photobooth!

SAM_7710

After the Pier, we met up with S and kept wandering downtown.

This next series of pictures are recreations of other pictures and I find them particularly amusing.

SAM_7715

SAM_7716

SAM_7719

Also, can someone explain this statue to me? We passed it several times and were collectively confused by it each time we passed.

SAM_7720

After our explorations, we stopped by a Publix and created a hodge-podge picnic for ourselves and made our way to the park.

SAM_7724

We had a lovely picnic and then played card games while we waited for the show to begin.

I also got a chance to say hello to some of my old coworkers and friends. I think this was the first time I’ve actually missed working in the theatre. I wish I would have another chance to work a park show, but I don’t foresee that happening anytime soon.

SAM_7734

Anyway, the show was a lot of fun. I’m not super crazy about the Rocky Horror Picture Show in general, but the park setting made the campy nature of the show feel appropriate and fun.

I really enjoyed showing the girls my hometown and one of my favorite activities. I’m hoping there will be more opportunities for road trips to St. Pete in the next few years.

Weekend Forecast: Torrential Downpour and a Wicked Good Time

If you know me, you know I’m a sucker for tradition. I tend to resist change and embrace tradition. One of the reasons why I was so drawn to this school and program is because I knew the past grad students were a tight-knit group with various yearly and weekly social activities, like the weekly safety meetings.

So when I found out about the yearly spring Meatfest, which has been happening for more than a decade, I was stoked to experience my first meatfest.

When I told my family and friends that I was going to an event called Meatfest, they laughed.
“Uhh, Meatfest? But you’re a vegetarian. I don’t understand.”

Then I explained that Meatfest wasn’t just a weekend of consuming the most ridiculous themed meat-on-meat creations, but it was also a weekend of camping out in the middle of nowhere. The laugher continued.
“HAHAHAHAHAHA. You? Camping? Meat? HAHAHAHAHA.”

It’s okay though, because I had a BLAST at Meatfest.

SAM_7609

A few weeks ago, on a Friday afternoon, a group of wild and crazy grad students headed out to the middle of nowhere and set up their own camp ground to celebrate the yearly event that is Meatfest.

SAM_7612

The first order of business involved pitching tents and setting up the hang out area. Remember how my family and friends laughed at the idea of me camping? Well I’ve only really been camping three times. Twice as a kid in North Carolina and once about six years ago with friends. Each of those instances involved someone else pitching the tent for me (and a camp site with running water, toilets, and electricity near by).

Thankfully S and K were kind enough to give E and I a crash course in how to pitch a tent. We set up our behemoth tent that I dubbed the Harry Potter tent. It’s the red one in the picture above. It had two separate rooms!

SAM_7614

After the tents were set up, we created a camp fire area and a cooking/food area.

SAM_7615

Meatfest is quite the event and everything was planned out with meticulous detail.

SAM_7621

By sundown, we had a fire blazing and food on the grill. The first night was really chill. We ate food, hung out, made s’mores, and relaxed by the campfire.

SAM_7662

The next day involved more of the same. For next year, I need to remember to bring a book. I was so panicked about what to bring that I forgot to bring any sort of entertainment for myself and most of Saturday morning/afternoon involved being lazy around the campfire.

SAM_7630

Then in the afternoon, we got word that a big band of rainstorms were approaching. We set up a whole system of tarps to cover the campfire area, the walk way between the food and fire and a cover for our latrine.

SAM_7632

SAM_7635

SAM_7636

Then the rain hit. It was your typical Florida rain, which meant it was hard and heavy.

SAM_7642

Thankfully, the elaborate Occupy-esque trap trails kept the hang out area dry and we were able to enjoy the afternoon, despite the rain.

Although, I probably should have realized our tents were in trouble when we had to keep “dumping” the accumulating rain from our tarp system.

SAM_7651

Once the rain cleared, some of the other people went out to inspect our tents. A bit later, S called out to me and broke the news that my tent had collapsed during the storm. Not only did the tent collapse, but we ended up with about six inches of water inside the tent and most of our stuff soaked.

SAM_7655

But not even a flooded tent could put a damper on our weekend and the fun continued for the rest of the afternoon and evening.

SAM_7669

When it came time to go to sleep, I wasn’t sure where I was going to end up sleeping. E and I had debated a few different options during the afternoon, but never settled on a plan.

Then the super-awesome K came and told us that she and a few other people had pitched new a tent for us to sleep in. She was able to pitch a new tent in complete darkness and even more amazingly, the tent withstood the second torrential downpour that came in the middle of the night on Saturday.

SAM_7678

I did discover two downsides to the weekend: My legs are covered in angry, itchy mosquito bites and I’m craving faux-meat.

All in all, Meatfest was an awesome weekend. So despite the flooded tent, the lack of showers, running water, electricity, and being surrounded by meat all weekend, I can’t wait for next year.

A Reminder To Be Grateful, Because Life Is Fragile

When life gets crazy, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day crises and lose track of the bigger picture. We forget to acknowledge everything that we have, instead of lamenting what we don’t. We forget to tell the people in our lives that we appreciate and love them on a regular basis. We forget that life can change in the blink of an eye and we should cherish every moment.

This weekend my friends and I experienced a scary moment that reminded me how precious life is and how grateful I am for my friends, family, and the opportunities I’m afforded.

SAM_7490

A while back a group of my friends expressed an interest in going to a home baseball game. We’ve all been really busy and because we’re in different programs our schedules don’t always align. We finally decided to go a game after spring break and this Sunday’s game seemed like the perfect choice.

The day was gorgeous! It seemed like perfect baseball weather. Everyone met for lunch the game and after we finished, we made plans to caravan to the baseball stadium. Also, being the silly people that we are, we even put our hands into a circle and called “BREAK” before departing.

Literally minutes later, as I was driving to the stadium I passed this horrible accident. One car was on the sidewalk and another was scratched up and completely flipped onto it’s roof. The traffic slowed down as people rubbernecked at the upside down car. During my own rubbernecking moment, I realized that the car’s plate and car looked familiar. After a quick phone call to my friend who was following behind me, we both confirmed each others fears that it was most likely our friend, even though neither of us were 100% sure. Since the stadium was just a minute away, we continued driving to the stadium, where we could gather the other members of our group and figure out what to do.

After we’d parked, I received a call from one of the other girls who confirmed that indeed the car belonged to our friend. We were told that she only had a few cuts and scrapes, but was otherwise completely fine. We were told there was nothing that we could do to help, so we should just go on to the game.

In the end, everyone made it to the game as planned.

SAM_7494

So, despite the super-scary turn of events, we all still had a good afternoon together, just with the extra reminder to appreciate every moment.

Prior to the game, the rest of my weekend revolved around grading papers.

IMG_2200

Normally I’d complain, but going along with a similar vein of this post, I’ll say that I’m thankful I was able to sit outside on my porch (and at random coffee shops) while I did most of my grading.

Also, you’ll notice that my weekend of grading means that I did not participate in any St. Patrick’s day shenanigans.

IMG_2204

This town’s a bit crazy when it comes to the holiday. All the bars opened at 6am, and obviously if the bars open at 6am, that’s a good enough reason for the undergrads to get out of bed on a Saturday morning. One of my weekend grading locations gave me a prime vantage point to observe lots of drunk behavior. I also heard several ridiculous stories from other grad students who were out and about this weekend, including a greek tragedy-esque scene that play out in front of the theatre building and involved a lack of shoes, mascara running down the face, and lots of screaming between a boyfriend and girlfriend.

I feel like after witnessing the insanity that was St. Patrick’s day and then the freak car accident today, my life lesson for this weekend is not to “sweat the small stuff.” As my next two weeks get intense, I’m going to focus on not getting too stressed out and instead focus on the big picture.

So, I challenge you this week: go out and tell someone who is important to you that you love them or appreciate them, take pleasure in the day-to-day parts of life, be thankful for what you have, not what you don’t have, and always wear your seatbelt!

Leaping Through February

It’s already halfway through March and I only have five weeks left of school. Where the heck did this semester go? Where the heck did February go?

As I expected, February was non-stop! School kept me super busy. My social life kept me super busy. Life kept me super busy.

Here’s a glimpse of what I did:

I spent lots of time at coffee shops.

IMG_2115

Two of my weekends involved helping out with incoming freshman auditions.

IMG_2118

Lots of time in the FAB. Thankfully the silly art students have a sense of humor and provide me with a laugh.

IMG_2023

I made a road trip home:

IMG_2061

Hilary and I did the inaugural St. Pete Rock n Roll Half Marathon:

IMG_2037

SAM_7466

SAM_7469

We were woefully undertrained but we managed to run nearly the entire thing!

IMG_2052

I also carried that banana in my pocket for the entire 13.1 miles. Ring, ring, ring …

IMG_0927

BANANAPHONE!

IMG_2059

IMG_0932

After the race I had to drive back to Tallahassee, which was really not cool. Sitting in the car for five hours made the lactic acid build up and the next day I was in pain!

IMG_2073

Ashley came to Tallahassee to visit me and see The Full Monty! Since she came on opening weekend she was able to go to a Classy Safety meeting.

SAM_7471

The next night I hosted the first official party at my place — game night!

SAM_7473

Celebrity was a wild success!

SAM_7483

As was Cards Against Humanity…

IMG_1152

And Ashley’s Dance Party Music Video DVDs.

SAM_7484

Other February shenanigans included pretending to be a soccer mom for the theatre IM soccer team.

IMG_2102

IMG_2107

The team praying to Thespis! They actually made it to the playoffs. Take that theatre stereotypes!

IMG_2110

And finally, guess what my new favorite activity is? Trivia night!

IMG_2122

Our team is actually pretty good. We’ve placed nearly every time we’ve gone and even won first place overall a few times!

IMG_2124

And that my friends, was February in a nutshell!

So far, despite a week of spring break, March has been rather uneventful. I’m going to try and get back on a regular blogging schedule.

Check back soon! 🙂

Workin’ For The Weekend

My Monday through Thursday consisted of the usual. School is definitely picking up pace and this week I have my first major assignment due, followed by another big assignment the next week, and my first round of papers (to grade) were turned in on Thursday. Whew!

Most of my classes take place in one of two rooms and the rooms in the building are weirdly shaped and contain remnants of decades of past theatre students. I find the following picture particularly amusing. Someone felt the need to write “Brick” on the brick walls. Thanks, Captain Obvious.

IMG_1958

On Friday I took care of several adult errands that I’d been putting off for a while. First up was filing for my homestead exemption — done! If I’m lucky it’ll lower my taxes and my monthly payments. I’m not counting on it, but it’d be a nice surprise!

Next up, I went to the bank and closed my accounts. One of the tellers who I originally worked with was still there! It made me a bit sad because she was desperate to retire when I was there, which was over four years ago, and that clearly hasn’t happened yet.

IMG_1965

Being at the bank was also a good reminder to always keep perspective when life gets tough. I am so happy to be where I am and nothing is a better reminder to appreciate life then to look at where you used to be and know that you can never be as miserable now as you were then.

Friday also meant that it was time to tackle my reading stack for the next week. I [almost] finished my Monday reading assignments on Friday.

IMG_1967

As I was leaving Starbucks, I saw this bizarre sight. That’s not something that you see everyday.

IMG_1969

On Saturday I took a trip to the Tallahassee Museum, which is actually quite the misnomer. There are no paintings or traditional exhibits. Instead, the “museum” is really a combination wildlife preserve, farm, and a collection of historical buildings.

IMG_1974  

They also had this neat “yard” art display through out the property. The dinosaurs were made out of old car parts. It was very cool.

IMG_1977

IMG_1978

IMG_1979

Check out the wild bobcat! It looked just like the Cheeto! It was also interesting that the behavior and mannerisms of the wild cats were nearly identical to Charlie’s usual behaviors.

IMG_1983

IMG_1985

This morning I went to the brand new independent coffee shop that just opened up next to the theatre building. I’m definitely a fan. They have a full menu of food and coffee and lots of seating! I spy a new favorite hang out spot!

IMG_1987

Today concluded with a rockin’ 8 mile run! While I know I am woefully ill-prepared to run the half marathon in a few weeks, the fact that I was able to complete the 8 miles and felt AWESOME during the run is a promising thought. I mixed in lots of walk breaks and I think with a flat terrain and more walking, I’ll be able to [slowly] complete the 13.1 miles on February 12th!

And now we’ve come full circle. It’s nearly Monday once again! Back to the grind.

IMG_1963

Weekends: Brought To You By Instagram

Soccer games, auditions, and studying, oh my!

With school picking up the pace, I’m trying to negotiate how to be social and stay ahead with my work. This weekend was particularly difficult because my assistantship responsibilities spilled over into my Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and that cut into my usual work time. I’m pretty sure next weekend I’m going to need to go into hermit mode. I have a few big assignments coming up and I need to work ahead on them.

Anyway, Thursday night started with a trip to the fancy new intramural fields to check on the theatre soccer team! I don’t think I’ll ever play on a group sports team, but I always enjoy being outside and cheering on the team.

IMG_1919

A few of the other theatre grad students and I decided to be soccer moms for the team. I brought gatorade and someone else brought orange slices and freeze pops.

IMG_1932

Then my Saturday and Sunday mornings were spent assisting with auditions for incoming students.

IMG_1944

Campus was DEAD on Sunday morning. It was very eerie.

IMG_1943

Watching the audition process was an interesting moment for me. I’ve never once auditioned for any sort of part or performance, so I had no idea what the whole process was really like. IMG_1939

These kids are putting their heart and soul on the line and it’s heartbreaking because there are so many of them and only a few number of open spots. It’s also crazy that I may have witnessed the next Broadway sensation. 😉 Highly unlikely, but possible. In reality, it was more like watching an American Idol audition.

The music building also had some amusing fliers posted that provided entertainment while I milled around the hallways looking for lost parents/students.

IMG_1947

The rest of the weekend revolved around reading and library visits.

IMG_1953

Oh, and can you tell that I’ve recently discovered Instagram? It rocks!

Live (Fearlessly) and My Runniversary

Yikes! I almost forgot to write about my five year runniversary!

IMG_8318.JPG

Five years ago, on MLK day I took my first steps as a wannabe runner with an uncertain goal of finishing a 5k at the end of March. A few months later I completed that goal, and now five years later, I’ve finished a couple half marathons, a full marathon, and countless races in between. Ridiculous!

I think it’s awesome that I’m back in Tallahassee, where it all began. It’s great motivation to keep pushing myself and to remember how far I’ve come in this journey. It’s also important to celebrate the fact that I am able to run and not take that for granted.

IMG_1825

In honor of my runniversary, I dug up this old journal entry from my private journal.

Reliving my first time running:

I went running today for the first time, umm, ever. I don’t honestly think that I’ve ever been consistently running for as long as I was today, which wasn’t very long, but whatever. I am so pumped and thrilled with how well I did. I honestly thought that I wouldn’t be able to run for more than a minute, but I jogged for 3 laps around the track, which is 3/4 mile and took about 9 miles [minutes?]. Then I walked a lap and then rested for a bit. Then did another 3 laps and a walking lap. Then concluded with 1 more running lap around the track. Ran a total of 7 laps, walked 2. Which means I ran 1 3/4 mile and walked 1/2 mile. At one point I got a cramp in my side because my breathing was all funky, but after it went away I was able to start running again. Don’t get me wrong, I am not the best runner by any means and I am actually pretty slow… but I am still astounded by the fact that I did way better that I ever would have imagined. Plus, the experience was pretty exhilarating. I have the confidence that I need to do the 5k now. I know that I can work up to running 3 miles in 10 weeks… that won’t be an issue. I’ve also been doing reading on running and such and there are a lot of health benefits aside from the obvious weight loss and such… for instance, it helps with diabetes, heart disease, depression, concentration and a bunch of other stuff. Although I definitely need to be careful that I don’t hurt myself, because that would suck. And right now I’m already sore…

IMG_4694.JPG

Then I also found this, a post from GirlGoneRunning, my old running blog about my two year runniversary!

It was a big weekend in running for me! Thursday, January 15th was my two year running anniversary. I know that sounds rather cheesy, but I really feel like when I started running it was like the opening of a new chapter in my life. I had never been athletic and hadn’t found any form of physical activity or exercise that I enjoyed, but I fell in love with running. I love thinking of myself as a runner. I love the challenge that running gives me. I love that it’s hard and it hurts. I love that it gives me something to talk to other people about. I love that it connects me with a community of people. I love the opportunities it opens up to me. I love running. So happy two year running anniversary to me!

IMG_8329.jpg

Finally, somewhat in conjunction with my discovery of running, I’ve been toying with the idea of getting a tattoo for about five years. I think I’ve finally decided what I want and where I want it.

I’ve always wanted words or a phrase that had to do with running, but would also serve as a larger reminder to myself to take chances. I’ve settled on live (fearlessly). I like the idea of “live” because it can mean both live, as in a live event, something happening right now, or I am alive, and live, as in live your life to the fullest. Then I want to put it on my foot, because my feet carry my on adventures and through running, I feel alive.

Now, I just need to figure out when I’m going to bite the bullet and get it done!

Questions: Do you celebrate any important anniversaries that are unrelated to relationships or birthdays? Would you ever get a tattoo? What would it be?


Friday the 13th!

I think Wordless Wednesday accurately sums up my typical Monday-Thursday, or you know, my life as a grad student. So many words, books, and pages!

Anyway, with the MLK holiday today and no Friday classes, I had an extra long weekend. As a reward for all my reading (and because the semester is getting off to a slow start) I decided to be super social all weekend long. Hooray! I have a life outside of my books. 🙂

So what all did I do? Well, I had tea with friends, had a tarot reading (or is it had my tarot cards read?), went to Safety meeting, went to the Rocky Horror Picture Show, saw Contagion and promptly wanted to sanitize my life, did my reading with friends at a coffee shop, and then tonight I helped kick butt at trivia!

Rocky Horror was probably the biggest event of the weekend and our group went on Friday the 13th, although I’m not one for superstition and nothing out of the ordinary happened.

IMG_1891

A big group of us went to the midnight showing, not really sure what to expect. With the exception of myself and another girl, no one had been to a live showing before, so right when we walked in the door they group marked everyone with V’s for Virgin.

IMG_1877

They weren’t sure what to think. The other patrons were also dressed in some very, umm, interesting costumes. For instance, several girls had duct tape on their breasts, but were otherwise topless. Weird.

IMG_1874

At this point, we were all still shivering with anti—- say it! — pation!

IMG_1880

It turns out, that the hosting group and their MC were very meh. They were very amateur-esque and took weird liberties when it came to the evening and their acting out of the movie.

IMG_1890

It also turns out that I am just too old for Rocky Horror. The movie didn’t start till after 1am and by that time I seriously contemplated just walking out. I wanted to go to bed!

IMG_1894

All in all, it was an okay evening, but being up so late really screwed up my Saturday. I was ultra lazy all day as a result.

Cut to today:
As an end to my weekend, a group of 11 of us went to the Tomahawk to play trivia. We had done something similar at the beginning of fall semester, but once school really got going, we were unable to go back. So one of the girls twisted our arms and told us we had to come out, since it was our last free Monday night for a while.

IMG_1903

I’m so glad I went. It was a lot of fun and we nearly took home the first place overall position again, sadly we missed out by two measly points!

IMG_1904

I do think we had a bit of an unfair advantage over the other teams though… Eleven grad students to groups of between two and four is quiet a difference in knowledge pools.

IMG_1907

And on that note, I must go to bed. I have another busy, but shortened week ahead of me.

From here on out I think my weekends have been planned out for me with school and work obligations, so hopefully I’ll still find some time to have fun between now and spring break!

Hope everyone has a lovely week!