Thursday, August 30, 2012

Life at the Lake

This is where I am:

Indian Lake, Ohio

This is what time I have been waking up:

My day consists of a little bit of this:

3 miles every day, followed by 30 minutes of plyos

Some of this:

Just call him "Duke" from now on.

Not so much of this: 

She has a tendency to abandon board, which leaves me swimming.

And none of this:

Seriously, who can study with the awesome weather and the lake at your back door?!
(which was the whole point of me being at the lake, but c'est la vie when you are dockside)

I am looking forward to these guys coming up on Friday:

Brett's lives in Chicago, and Eric's been living it up in London for the last year.  

For one last family get-together before life gets a little more hectic again. 

I made even splurge and get some of this before the weekend's out: 

In a mini, of course. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Bikinis and Backpacks

It’s always sad flying from Ohio back to Florida.

I was away this weekend for a friends wedding. 
I didn’t take nearly any enough photos, so I’m stealing this from FB (thanks Julie!), because Michelle looked beautiful.

Her dress is Justin Alexander, one of my favorite wedding designers, who, if I had to do it all over again I would wear this creation: 

About a month ago I was home (funny, how after almost three years, I still consider Ohio home), for this lady’s wedding:

The beautiful Mechs :) 
But I was in Sara's wedding, so this time I got to play “guest” and mingle!  It was so great to see and chat with all my girlfriends.  We are all in such different places in our lives, and some on more different paths than other, but we all come together like old times.

…. Speaking of old times: I ate like old times.  I swear if I still lived in Cincinnati there would be no way for me to be a successful bikini competitor.

Michelle’s wedding featured Cincinnati chili as the main meal (seriously, I love Cincinnati-style veggie chili), and the centerpieces were BonBonerie torts, each table a different flavor.  And finally she offered Graeter’s ice cream

Yes, the chucks of chocolate are that big!!!! 
I was actually pretty good, consuming no alcohol, a small salad and a small veggie two-way, a piece of Lemon Moon cake and about a third of a piece of White Chocolate Romance (possibly my new favorite, hint hint Mom, for my birthday or graduation), and only a scoop of black raspberry chocolate chip.

And none of it I regret.

I have been wrestling with whether to continue competing.

Am I terrified I will gain weight? Yes.
Am I terrified of becoming a quitter? Yes.
Do I like the physical challenge competing offers? Yes.
Do I like the community of women involved in the sport? Yes.
But most important: Is training and competing fulfilling?


Not competing scares me, but maybe I need to open myself up to something new. 

Not only is it not fulfilling, working out is no longer my escape.
Most days, working out is something I have to do.

Now, I’m not saying that I will never walk into a gym again.  But I want to work out for the purpose of a healthy life, not to have 10 percent body fat.

I do enjoy waking up in the early hours beating out a few squats and a run.  The early morning workouts ground me and prepare me for the day.

But with my master’s program almost finished, and four national board exams staring me in the face, suddenly competing doesn’t feel so important anymore.

Competing had its purpose, but even though I’m in the health and fitness field, competing’s purpose lacks substance now.  I don't really want my pro card, and even if I did there is no guarantee that if I looked flawless and more fit every time I step on a stage that I would get my pro card, even after years of competing. And it’s an expensive sport (How expensive?  Quality bikinis can start at $200, most on the pros are a few hundred).

I want to focus on my future outside the gym; both in my future career and in future endeavors.

Competing happened because it was on my bucket list.  I have other items on my bucket list.  
One of them is backpacking.  

I was reading a magazine article about a pair of backpackers who were on Isle Royale, a small island in Lake Superior known for it’s legendary, yet dwindling, wolf and moose populations.  Why so legendary?  Both happened to end up on the island via a 15-mile ice bridge from Canada 60 years ago.  Yet, come 2020, the wolves may be extinct.

The backpackers spend five days hiking and camping on the island, hoping to catch a glimpse of the nine remaining wolves that inhabit the island. While they spent two nights listening to wolves howl in harmony, they spend the following morning in their tent, listening to howls and branches break around them as a wolf (or wolves) were just yards away.  One backpacker was able to snap a quick photo of the wolf as it ran off in the misty morning.  A wolf belonging to a pack that could be extinct in seven years.

Reading the backpackers wolf encounter gave me chills of excitement.

I don’t get chills of excitement when reading Oxygen or FitnessRX (both publications I still love, nonetheless).

I want to climb Mt. Shasta.  

Backpack part of the Appalachian Trail. I’d love to take the Hubs to the Grand Tetons, backpack the Grand Canyon and the Narrows in Zion too.  

The Narrows
Physical fitness is necessary for these trips. Proper nutrition is needed too.  But I would be trading my bikini for hiking boots and two-a-day showers for possible two (or more!) days without one.

And that excites me.

Sunday, August 5, 2012


This is Hubs.

Doing his favorite thing. 
This is Hubs on his birthday.

Morgan eyeing the cakes

… which was July 16

Yes, I threw him a small pirate party...
Complete with Jack Sparrow

I have been busy!

With what?

Oh, you know.


(really, I look more like this:)

Being coming obsessed with this:

Lisa-Marie's body is slamming!

Studying for my one of my final finals.
Seriously, I only have one semester left (that equals four finals).
  for the rest of my entire academic career!

I may have taken a few study breaks ...

... Pinning this:

Halloween and Bengals?!  Represent

To be enjoyed with my bestie when she comes for a visit.

 I literally just got on summer break, and I am already wishing for fall. 

 I do plan on enjoying my late-summer vacation by road-tripping to Ohio to hang out at the lake for a couple weeks.

But fall is my favorite time of year.

Since there is no climate change in south Florida, I can’t enjoy the perks of crisp mornings & sweatshirt weather, so I buy extra apple & cinnamon candles.  Hubs will just have to get over it. 

And once competition season is over, I can't wait to indulge in some caramel apples and hot cider ...
 in the comforts of my air conditioned apartment.