MIMM: On Turning 25 and Getting Back In The Saddle

If you read this on May 12, then it is my birthday!! 25 and cue the quarter life crisis. I’ve had many a ramble on this here Internet space about turning 25 and “OMG MY LIFE ISN’T WHAT I THOUGHT IT WAS AHH” and “all my friends have their lives together and I don’t!!!” 22-24 was totally fine, but 25 just seems like a different playing field, overall just different. 25 still freaks me out. I’m halfway through my twenties! Eek! Most of my life I’ve felt the number or stage didn’t reflect where I was. I remember doing a free write in high school creative writing class rambling that I couldn’t believe I was a senior. The seniors before me had been so old! They were so mature!  I didn’t feel I looked like they did, knew what they did, or were as cool/sophisticated (ha) as they were. How was I in their position so quickly? I felt being a high school senior was sprung upon me and I hadn’t met any requirements to prove I was ready yet no one had noticed and just made me play the part of one anyway.

I’m feeling okay about 25 (for now). Meanwhile my parents are freaking out more with every passing day. On Easter my dad leaned in to me at church and whispered, “You’re going to be 25 in less than a month. Are you ever planning on getting married? Will I ever walk you down this [church] aisle?” and every time my mom calls lately she asks if I’m “even trying” to get a boyfriend. Now I just roll my eyes and try to shrug it off at how they value 25. I’m a lot happier than I was on my 24th birthday, so that’s what I am using as my measuring stick. Life is long (hopefully) and now I just stick to what’s meant to happen will happen but am finally accepting I likely have to leave my house more for things to actually happen. 😉

Remember my spin class last year? Horrible memories…me being convinced I would die while standing up and spinning so I took off all of my resistance like a genius. Then I woke up the next day and could barely move. Good times! I still think spinning is a work-out I would like, but I’ve been too intimidated, haha. Rev Cycle Studio opened a mile from my house with Bmore’s top cycle instructors and people have the best things to say about it. I would be like “yeah, yeah, i want to go and try it!” and I honestly meant it but was scared. But luckily Rev dropped a great opportunity right at my feet. A beginners class. Free. Saturday afternoon. Boom. They took away every excuse I could think of. I pulled my usual stunt and booked my bike and picked the dead last row in the corner. I got there and they told me there were 10 people in the class so I could move up a few rows. I still wasn’t sure, but with 10 people in the class it would be uber weird to be by myself in the back corner, haha. A handful of staff and instructors showed up and helped us set up our Schwinn bikes. This was fantastic, since there were so few attendees each staff member could spend time with you explaining everything.

There were ultimately two instructors, Jim and Janet. Janet is a triathlete, and Jim is an accomplished cyclist. At the beginning of the class, Jim explained how to position your body on the bike. Janet primarily lead the class and Jim went around checking on everybody. I remember in the middle of the class thinking “Good God, these two are so kick-ass.” They were so awesome and it was such a great experience for beginners. We did a few climbs and .. guess what .. it was still hard but I managed it much better! I think the Schwinn bike made all the difference. I could see what gear I was at, how far I had gone, calories burned, RPM, etc. Seeing the gear number really helped me for the climbs. Still don’t like the climbs, but I can get through them more easily. I just really like the sitting down part, no surprise there. I still struggled a bit with adjusting my body to the bike. I told Jim (well if we’re being specific, I gasped and panted) that my shoulders hurt and was this normal or was I just being extra wussy? He explained it and helped, but I understand it will still take a few more rides. I walked there and back since it’s only a mile which was great until a thunderstorm rolled in when I was a half a mile from my house with a hoodless jacket. So bad at checking the weather. I sprinted the last few blocks home and my sunglasses fell out of my pocket somewhere which is sad. Anyway…it was marvelous and I am so glad I went! So if you are a Bmore resident who happens to read blogs and haven’t gone yet, go! I’m sure you will be better than I.

I took the day off from work and I’ll probably go back to Rev for a barre class in the morning, then grocery shop, food prep and do laundry. I’m just so crazy. I’ll send you a postcard from the wild side. My mom asked what she could get me for my birthday and I said “protein powder.” Oh how times have changed, haha. I’ll probably go to my favorite bar, get drunk and then ramble about being 25 over a big plate of nachos.

Thanks to Katie for hosting the link-up!

 

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I Spent Cinco De Mayo At The Bar(re)

I dunno what it is but…winter. I don’t want to do anything but hibernate in my house in sweatpants and fuzzy socks and just watch all the TV, eat all the bad food and read all the books. Then nice weather rolls in and I’m suddenly thinking “gahhh why are my pants tight?! Why haven’t I been going to the gym? Why have i instead just languished about? Why am I so lazy? SO MUCH TIME HATH BEEN WASTED. Gotta get MOVING.” I’d probably be starring in fitness videos by now if I lived in California.

It was Sunday, I was procrastinating picking out a work outfit and figuring out my work meals, when fellow Bmore healthy living blogger friend Mary posted that she was teaching her first SB Barre class the next day at a new location of my gym that had just opened…aaaaand it was 10-15 minutes away from work. I decided this was perfect because I’d been wanting to try a barre workout…and the best part…it was the first time the class was being offered at the new gym so it wasn’t like I would be a buffalo in a sea of prima ballerinas. It would probably be everyone else’s first time taking the class, too. Hooray.

But first! Before I went to class, I went to the beautiful shopping center across the street which included a Target. I had  a gift card to use, so I threw all this stuff in my cart, then at check-out, the cashier informs me the gift card is for way less than I had thought. Crap. Yes, crap. That’s what I wound up paying for on my credit card. Gahh. Oh well. Great story, yes?

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As described on the website, the Soul Body Barre class is an hour long class that incorporates “principals of Pilates, wisdom of yoga, grace of dance and the body sculpting benefits of traditional interval strength training.” And it was haaaaard. I had my usual “oh crap why did I subject myself to this public display of humiliation? Come on, come all, see the 20 something that can’t figure out how to move her body!” thought train that I have for the first 5-60 minutes of any fitness class I go to. It was pretty hectic for a first class. In the middle of it, a gym manager came in and said there were way too many people. At our gym, you have to register for a class a few hours beforehand (or it fills up), and then check-in 10 minutes before class. If you don’t check-in, the wait listed people will get in. Some registered people forgot to check-in, so a bunch of wait listed people filtered in. The manager sorted it out with who had not checked in and told them they couldn’t be at the barre, but it still was an unfortunate interruption for a few looong minutes. Growing pains for a new class and new location!

Mary pointed out something i’m always lazy about – triceps kickbacks. She reminded us “no swinging”, which is pretty much what I always do and then think “What was I thinking earlier on [in the class]? Exercise is easy, I got this, me so strong.” The barre part was crazy hard. She would tell us what to do, and then demonstrate, and I would think “oh look that’s not that bad”. And then I did…and..burn. Such simple, deceiving movements.  Haha.  I definitely want to keep going to her class. I’m so sore, in a good way! I’ve missed feeling this way.

 

1. barre- yay or nay?

2. how did you spend cinco de mayo?

3. think about how to bottle up the spring energy and hang on to it for winter consumption. your homework. go. 

 

Toned Up Premiere Party

Happy, happy Friday!

As you probably know, I’m a Bravo devotee so I was hugely excited about the new Tone It Up show “Toned Up.”

I officially joined Tone It Up a few weeks ago. I’ve done a few of their workouts before and really liked them, but the nutrition plan was pricey. I’ve been mulling over joining (via purchasing the nutrition plan) for a while because I  realize that nutrition is one of my big problems – mainly because I’m so uneducated about every aspect of it, and because I’m such a rookie in the kitchen with zero experience/culinary flair. TIU had a Cyber Monday deal involving the plan that was too good. I entered, deleted, re-entered my credit card info, deleted for most day of Monday, still hesitant to take the plunge, and then forgot about it. When they extended the deal to Tuesday, I was all ‘It’s a sign!’ Plus, I knew TIU has a huge crew here  in Baltimore and it would be a great way to meet more people here who could help keep me motivated and help me achieve my fitness goals.  Sooo it’s official! I’ve made a few recipes so far and they’ve been excellent. Except I ignored the “serving size” on one recipe(I’m an idiot) and have been eating mint chocolate chia pudding for three days now. It even served as my drunken post-NYE snack. It’s a better choice then pizza so I’m kicking off 2014 right, ha.

For last night’s Toned Up premiere on Bravo, we had an awesome premiere party at Rowhouse Grille (who also hosted our blogger meet-up in July). While walking to Rowhouse, I realized how I hadn’t been there since our last blogger meet-up (too long) and when I walked there in July, I was first to arrive with my straightened hair in a sweaty, tangled mess, and I was first to arrive last night with my straightened hair in a soaking, snowy mess. Has it really been 6 months since last time I was there? Crazy. I over-estimated how long my walk would take, so I was about 35 minutes too early, and just sat at the bar awkwardly nursing my Orange Crushes waiting for other patrons to clear out of our space. I wish I could say this wasn’t typical.

I had a great time seeing some familiar faces and meeting many new girls. In typical Baltimore healthy living crew style, a bunch went to yoga before walking over so it was really casual. I am not a yogi – I can’t even touch my toes so my one yoga class in college was a disaster and the teacher proclaimed I was the stiffest person she’s ever seen- buuut maybe I will make it over sometime.

All the girls were so so nice, and everyone was excited to be there. Rowhouse was like “hey this is great let’s make this a weekly thing.” I hope so because it was such a fun and relaxing evening. I am hugely excited to make new work-out friends. The show was adorable and my texts from friends (okay there was like 3) went something like this: “Can we seriously just be them?” Please God.

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always with the sorority girl pose.

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had to strike a work-out pose. 

Huge thanks to Kate for getting this together (also these pictures are hers) and to  Rowhouse Grille for being so supportive, fun and awesome.

Anddddd I want it on the record that I cannot stand snow that starts AFTER work, falls nicely for hours, and then stops a few hours before work the next day. What is the point? There is none. This snow does not get me any snow days, so I hereby render it useless.

The Road I’m On

I was thinking the other night about how happy I am when I go to the gym and that I work out. Weird. Have I fallen in love with fitness? I’m not sure I’d call it love yet, but right now, it’s definitely infatuation.  All I know is we’re in it for the long haul. Fitness has been trying to court me forever, and I’ve brushed it off with lame excuses that are the equivalent of “I can’t..I have to wash my hair” or flirting with it briefly then never calling it for months and months and diving out of the way when I see it on the street.  We’re going to have our highs and lows throughout the decades and I’m probably going to hate it and behave like a bratty Taylor Swift toward it from time to time. Lately, though, I’m starting to feel as if I’m getting in the groove.

I never was someone who liked working out. In college I’d take my Kindle to the gym and sit on an exercise bike going the slowest possible speed and would read.  Or I’d just go for long, slow walks on the most isolated part of campus when the gym was too crowded so I could be alone with my thoughts and my cheesy bad pop music on my I-pod. I never would attempt to work out very hard. I didn’t like how red my face got if I tried too hard. So unattractive. Of course another factor was that I was in such bad shape with virtually zero stamina so why would I want to embarrass myself and flaunt my pathetic status in front of my classmates? I didn’t like my body and knew I had to work out and eat better, but I had no interest in it. I didn’t want to try and set myself up for embarrassment or failure. I have a hard time sticking with things when they’re hard and give up on myself pretty quickly.

But after  starting a new chapter when I moved to a new city, I realized I was sick of coasting and so easily accepting that I was: overweight, not in shape, weak,  a horrible eater and resentful. I was too young to give up and just slot myself into the role of a person I didn’t want to be. I had such an opportunity for a fun life in my new city, I could start over here. I could be happy here. So I started a blog about it (my condolences to the Internet).

My fitness journey for the few months has found me going to a class or just ducking into the cardio cinema and doing strictly treadmill or elliptical because I didn’t know what else to do at the gym. But lately I have been hanging out in the private training area. It’s very isolated and I get to try out new circuits without feeling self-conscious or like everyone is silently mocking my slowness or noting that my arms start shaking 5 seconds after I get into a plank. I’ve had so much fun playing around on Pinterest and finding work-outs to do. I’ll find them the night before, save the pin to my camera roll on my phone, then watch a Youtube video on how to perform a certain move.  I, of course, forget how to perform that move when I actually get to the gym. BUT…I get really sweaty, have fun (will wonders never cease?) and afterward feel like the cat that swallowed the canary. The red face I used to dread is now worn as a badge of honor, of sorts. Like, yep, I worked out hard people. 

I love feeling my heart beat faster and the beads of sweat. I love getting my body moving. After years of only fueling it with poor nutrition, I love knowing I’m finally taking care of it.

apartment-house-quote

 

image from fellow bmore blend, kate. I LOVE THIS QUOTE. #hitshome 

Over the last few months, I’ve tried a lot of new things. I’m not particularly adventurous and am very intimidated at the idea of new things. Remember it took me two months to work up the nerve to go to Body Pump? And I LOVE it. I’ve tried CXWORX, which I liked even though I made a fool of myself, and I really look forward to definitely seeing improvement as I get stronger and not having such a hard time with the ONE piece of equipment the class uses [sigh]. Also I ran two 5ks.

I’m so glad I found  Brian, the Zumba instructor at the gym, and that I have such a good time at his class. I love that I can kinda run a little now- granted, it’s still pathetic and I’m slower than molasses, red-faced, panting, dying, cursing with my last breaths, etc., but I can do it. And I do do it. Slowly I’m learning to let myself revel in the fact that I do it, and not pay attention to how much faster everyone else is or how much longer they can go for, because just the fact that I am going at all is wonderful.  I love that I have the Bmore Blends and that we’re plotting out fun workouts. I love that I’m get to try classes like Body Combat but I especially love how gleeful I am  about trying these classes.

It’s also dizzily exciting how much I am looking forward to trying things out: I’m determined to compete in a half marathon sometime in the next 18-ish months. I want to try CrossFit. I want to try the bootcamp type classes my gym offers that right now I’m still too scared to attend.  And whatever else I decide I want to do.  It’s truly amazing that I now look forward to fitness classes and going to the gym.  I’m excited for all that’s ahead and working toward it.

Little Miss Sunshine

Sarah is oh so kind and nominated me for the sunshine award.  Hurr are my answers to Sarah’s questions.

sunshine

The Rules:

1.  Include award logo in a post or on your blog.
2.  Link to the person who nominated you.
3.  Answer 10 questions about yourself 
4.  Nominate 10 bloggers to receive the award.

1.     What was/is your favorite subject in school and why?

English. Always English. Mainly because reading is like, my favorite thing to do ever, and I’m so in awe of people who can write so elegantly and make it seem so effortless. And because that side of my brain that’s supposed to do the science and math is in a 24 year coma.

2.     Who is your role model?

Gahhh. Ellen Degeneres is one. I think she exemplifies a great lesson that if you’re nice and treat people respectfully, people don’t forget that. I feel like she gets a lot of exclusive news/gossip tidbits from celebrities because they feel so comfortable with her and because she’s so genuinely kind. Now, she’s comfortable with herself publicly, stays true to herself and makes no apologies [only jokes]. Others are J.K Rowling [FLAWLESS QUEEN I BOW DOWN], Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Mindy Kaling [when awkward, funny girls are successful, we all win], and Michelle Obama [nothing to do with politics—she’s just amazing].

3.     What is your favorite animal?

DOG! There is nothing like a dog’s unconditional loyalty, boundless love and that they’re always so, so over the moon excited to see you. I think the world would be a better place if everyone had dogs, but some people just aren’t worthy of them. If I had my way and were a millionaire, I’d buy a mansion [or build one, it depends] with like 10 acres and rescue like 10 dogs. They just make me happy. I up and quit rooting for the Eagles [I’m from PA, didcha know] because we signed Michael Vick and looking at his face makes me queasy. I also really like dolphins, pandas, koala bears, and penguins.

4.     What toppings do you put on your ice cream/froyo?

Haha, such a Sarah question 🙂 For the sake of accuracy, I mosey’ed on down to the fro-yo shop down the street and got some. I don’t want to mislead anyone on this important topic. Fro-yo: Oreos, strawberries , m & ms, rainbow jimmies. If it’s ice-cream, ALL OF THE FUDGE SAUCE.

5.     What’s your current favorite song? 

Selena Gomez- Slow Down (listen to it! So good).

6)    Describe your perfect day.

I’d wake up at 8:45 after getting a restful 10.5 hours of sleep the prior night. My hair would be perfectly coiffed like Kate Middleton. I am wearing this:

mint

I would go get a pedicure, manicure and my eyebrows waxed and the salon would not be crowded. I would then go to brunch and get an omelet with a mimosa. The restaurant would not be crowded. The omelet would have a lot of ketchup on the side. I would then walk to my house and read a book in the air-conditioned treehouse in my backyard.

treehouse

I’m only there for an hour before I go back out into the sunshine of my yard.

poolyard

yard

I would have Diet Pepsi Wild Cherry ice cold. After a while, my friends would come over and we’d hang out in my perfect backyard. We’d drink Malibu bay breezes, mojitos and strawberry daiquiris. The pitchers would be endless. It would be sunny with a nice breeze. I would not get sunburn, I would get tan. We’d have nachos loaded down with cheese. We play with dogs.

Abbey Burger Bistro (my favorite burger place ever, it’s in Baltimore, come visit me and we’ll go) would deliver our perfect burger and fries.

The love of my life shows up. He is charming and courteous to my friends. We all go to Bora Bora on a 25 minute flight and stay in a spacious over-the-water bungalow. I go snorkeling and am not scared. Justin Timberlake, Beyonce and Darius Rucker show up and perform a private concert for us on the beach. Britney Spears shows up in her 2003 form and does a duet with Justin. During this show, we have more mojitos, Malibu bay breezes and strawberry daiquiris. There is lots of dessert served. It all has 0 calories.

I go home and fall asleep.

7. What’s your favorite thing about blogging (I love hearing this question!)?

I know that everybody says this, but I think that’s because everybody is always struck by it. The people. I started blogging because I had just moved to a new city and was lonely and desperate for connection somewhere. The people I’ve met via blogging are unbelievably awesome and inspiring. It’s so, so nice to post one of my stupid posts and have people understand and be like ‘oh hey I’ve been there!’ So reassuring, so helpful, so wise, and I’m so grateful. 🙂 be my friends foreeeeever guise.

8. How many hours of sleep do you usually get a night?

6.5-7 ish. Wish it was more but lately I’ve been kicking butt at weekend naps and the occasional weeknight nap like last night, where I sleep like the dead for 3-5 hours. I guess my sleep is evening out then.

9. Describe your most embarrassing moment growing up.

Ha. I have posted this before. I tried to think of another but I can’t because this is just…the one. I’ll repost hurr since it’s been a while and I don’t want you to go throughout your day without this awfulness. Let’s all relive it again.

Setting: My summer job at a bakery when I was 19. I was a cake writing guru (thank you, Catholic school, for my perfect cursive).

Super cute boy at counter: Hi, could you please write on my cake?

Super eager Caitlyn: Sure. What would you like it to say?

Super cute boy: Can I have your number?

Super EXCITED Caitlyn: Sure.

Super excited romantic Caitlyn, thinking this is finally my big epic love story starting off with an adorable “meet cute” writes my phone number on the cake in blue icing.

 Super EXCITED Caitlyn with a heart going 9000 beats a second hands cake back to Future Husband / Super cute boy: Here you go.

Caitlyn stands there.

 Future Husband / Super cute boy: Thanks.

Future Husband / Super cute boy leaves. (????????) NOT IN THE SCRIPT.

 Future Husband / Super cute boy takes a few steps away (Caitlyn notcreepily watching), glances down at cake, stops walking, pivots to walk back to bakery (Caitlyn, still standing there watching him, rejoices).

 Future Husband / Super cute boy: Um, I’m sorry, there’s been a confusion. I need you to write ‘Can I have your number’ on the cake. It’s an inside joke for my friend.

Caitlyn (smile falls): Oh.  Okay. Sorry.

Future Husband / Super cute boyhands back cake, Caitlyn scrapes off her phone number with BURNING red cheeks, writes “Can I have your number?” on cake, all but throws cake at boy and runs and hides in the back.

cringing. forever. cringing.

snow white scared

10. What’s your favorite sport to watch?

Swimming and hockey. I only watch swimming in the Olympics but my roommates in college were on the swim team and I’d always love to go to their meets. I just love a close race although I really don’t know how to cheer. I just yell GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO which is stupid because, it’s not like they’re going to stop and they need to hear me remind them not to or PUUUUUUUSHHH which I’ve heard a few coaches yell and makes me think of a labor & delivery room and then I get all panick-y and no.

Answer one of the questions in the comments! Or consider yourself nominated by moi.