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Yooo… It’s Turkey Day!!!


Well… First and foremost… Happy Thanksgiving!!!

I know that I haven’t posted in a couple of days. See, I got home really late on Monday, I didn’t really feel like posting anything. I was too busy running around my house yelling about how much I love it (true story). Tuesday was spent running a million and one errands and then spending some quality (and much needed) time with my mom and brother.

Yesterday (Wednesday) was alumni day at my high school. Honestly, last year at alumni day, I looked at all the alumni coming back to visit the school and thought, “Why the heck would any one ever want to come back here?” And then there I was, waking up at 8 to go to a school mass at my old high school.

I had a great day. I met up with two of my friends from cross country (we all tackle-hugged each other, it was great), and my absolute best friend in the world. We all went inside, saw people, went to mass, mingled, spoke to old favorite teachers. It was just such a great day and I am so glad that I made myself go to it.

Now, finally, onto today!

First off… Happy Thanksgiving!! (Did I already say this?)

I started my day off bright and early (ok it was actually 9, which really isn’t early at all), laced up, and headed off to my local turkey trot!

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I know that all towns have different forms of turkey trots, some being 5ks, some being longer. The turkey trot by me is a 5 miler and the proceeds to to muscle dystrophy and lymphoma research!

The turkey trot is something that I look forward to every year. It is such a fun run, and it is so amazing to see so many people out on a cold morning  and running together.

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I think that the thing that makes me happiest about races like the turkey trot, is all of the different aged people there. I saw  people running that were well over 70, and I also saw kids that looked no older than 10. Running is just such a universal sport. It really is for everyone. It makes me so happy.

I finished with the clock time of …. 42.01 … I’m kind of grossed out. Did I run it like a race? No. But still… two years ago I ran it with an average pace of 7:50…. I’m just kind of disgusted with myself and how fat and not in shape I feel. I know that a lot of it is supposedly just that little monster in my head making me see things that aren’t really there… but I can’t help but think these things.

After the race, I saw that they were giving out full sized Zico chocolate coconut water. Being the coconut water enthusiast and broke college student that I am…. I was sooo all over that. I waited in line and… the person before my got the last one! So sad.

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After the race, I showered, and then it was time to get to work!

So much baking. So much cleaning. So much rocking out to the Rolling Stones with my totally awesome mother.

Ever since my father passed away a couple of years ago, Thanksgiving has been a really small affair for us. It’s kind of just an open house over here. My grandparents and my grandpa’s brother come over, my neighbors (who happen to be my aunt, cousins, and great aunt) pop in at some point normally, and sometimes a couple of my mom’s brothers and their families pop in. It’s just a whole bunch of people coming and going. Sometimes it’s kind of sad, but at the same time, I love just sitting down with my grandparents and talking and hearing stories. I really am blessed to have the close family that I do have. I am so… well… thankful!

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The spread

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My plate… my favorite part was the brussel sprouts. I have such an unhealthily large love for brussel sprouts.

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I made these traditional turkey cupcakes!

I hope that you all had a great thanksgiving. I have so much to be thankful for. I have a wonderful mother and brother. I have a family that is super super super close. I have cousins that are like siblings to me. I have grandparents that I love to the moon and back and get to see all the time. I have legs. I can run. I can work out. I have a home. I have a couple of friends that are pretty much the greatest people in the world. I am so thankful. I don’t say it enough. None of us do. There is so much to be thankful for.

Remember that.

 

 

 

 

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All Signs Point North…


As I’m writing this, all I can think of are two things… How much my eyes hurts (long story) and how excited I am to go home tonight.

That’s right, at 7:15 tonight I will be on a plane heading back to the greatest person on earth… Long Island. 
I miss home so much, and the fact that things here at school aren’t exactly all rainbows and sunshine just makes me more desperate to be home where although things aren’t exactly wonderful either, I at least know that I have people that care about me.

Things aren’t great here. My roommates treat me badly… really badly. I want to eventually do a whole post about it, but I don’t want to do it yet just because I don’t want anybody (mostly them) to find it. Just know that it is really bad. Most nights I am forced to sleep on the floors of other people’s rooms. Last night was worst of all. I showed up outside of my friend’s room at 2 in the morning, crying hysterically, hence why my eyes hurt so much right now…

I’m just tired of it all… all I can think of to do is transfer. But I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to give up. I only have one good friend here, but at the same time I don’t want to leave that one friend. I want things to get better. I need things to get better. I’m not ready to run away yet, but at the same time I am. 

Ok. Enough of this sad, annoying, emotional-ness…

On the upside… I did a new workout on the treadmill yesterday and it was really fun!

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Wow. Erin does a Tone It Up workout… I know, it’s a shocker. 

This workout was so fun though! And so tough! I’m so out of practice when it comes to running on an incline. It made me miss cross country in the worst way. I changed the speeds up a little bit at the end (sped it up a bit) and wound up covering 3.15 miles. I’m definitely going to start doing this workout more often. So so so so so fun!

I then followed it up with the Love Your Abs routine x2 (I should have done more)

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Well, I have been blogging instead of packing so I should probably do that! I’ll probably wind up blogging from the airport later today. And if I don’t… next time I speak to y’all I’ll be home!!!!!!!

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The Best Day I’ve Had In A While…


Hello friends!

Today was actually one of, if not the, best days that i have had down here at college.

My friend Shannon and I went and did something that we have been talking about doing since we first came down here…

WE SAW THE WORLD’S OLDEST MANATEE

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Everybody…. say hello to Snooty.

Snooty is a 65 year old manatee that resides in South Florida Aquarium in Bradenton. He was born on July 21, 1948, and is the oldest manatee in captivity. He is also, more likely than not, the oldest manatee in the world. Manatees lifespans in the wild tend to be short. I had always read that they lived to be about 30 in the wild… recently the average lifespan has dropped to 5. This is due not only to boats (manatees are slow moving and are often hit by idiotic boaters that don’t pay attention to speed limits), but to cold water temperatures. Manatees need warm water to survive. When the water drops to 78 or lower, they can experience frostbite and other health problems.

Incase you haven’t picked this up from the little tangent that I just went on… I really love manatees. They have been my favorite animals for as long as I can remember. Every year, when I come down here to visit my grandparents in St. Petersburg, I go to the Lowry Park Zoo and visit their manatee hospital. I fell in love with the gentle giants at first sight and have been in love with them ever since.

Since coming to college, I have been lucky enough to become friends with someone who shares my deep love for manatees.

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This is my super pretty friend Shannon.

Anyway… I got to see the world’s oldest manatee. That in itself made today a great day. I mean, how many people can say that they got to see the world’s oldest manatee? Ok… thousands of people can say that… but still…

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I took A LOT of awkward, unattractive selfies with manatees today…

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And manatee statues…

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Yup…

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My personal favorite….

Manatees are pretty much the cutest things in the world by the way. Every time Snooty wanted more food, he would stick his face out of the water and shake his lip around. So stinkin’ cute.

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We ❤ Snooty!

The museum itself was pretty cool too… especially if you are someone who loves museums like I am. It was just basically a lot of stuff from the Bradenton area. I thought it was cool to see thing like what an operating looked like in the early 1900s and the different tools that they used for operating. They even had some examples of glass eyes that were used. So cool… and slightly creepy.

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I’m also a sucker for old cars…

After our little trip to the museum, we had planned on driving to Sarasota and doing some shopping. We didn’t realize how cute Bradenton would be, so instead we decided to just walk the River Walk.

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We also found a skate park right along the water… for real, in a perfect universe I would be a total skater (boi) chick… The people there just all seemed like my kind of people. They probably listen to my kind of music too…

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Shannon and I both agreed that we would love to live in Bradenton… Everybody that we met was so friendly and nice. It was a city, but still quiet and peaceful. There seemed like so much to do, even just along the River Walk. Plus, it was so amazingly beautiful…

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It really made me remember why I wanted to move to Florida for school in the first place… I wish that my campus and the area around it was more like Bradenton. If you live in Bradenton… I am very jealous of you.

I wonder how many times I have said Bradenton in this post…

We ended our wonderful little day trip with a trip to Cracker Barrel. Now, let me just say that we don’t have Cracker Barrel back home and it’s kind of one of the greatest places ever. It’s. So. Cute! Our server was also this really sweet guy who kind of resembled Ryan Goseling… We talked to him about manatees and the Hunger Games and he was so nice and funny. It’s so refreshing to meet genuinely nice people. Honestly, most of the people on my campus just don’t seem all that nice. A lot of people blame it on the fact that a large number of them are from the North. I’m from up north and I don’t find myself to be a rude person… I don’t know. It was just nice to be around kind people today…

I got a grilled chicken salad and it was super delicious and Shannon gave me one of her biscuits and it kinda-sorta made my day….

When I got back to campus, I quickly threw on my running clothes and went for a quick and easy three mile run. I know that I said that I was going to lay off running until my foot felt better, but I was running short on time and I was just really craving a run. Luckily, my foot didn’t hurt at all during my run! I also made sure to ice it as soon as possible after my run. Hopefully it still feels good tomorrow. I hate how often I’m injured…

Then finally…

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Obviously, every good day ends with froyo…

Right?

Questions 

Where would be your ideal place to live? 

What’s your favorite animal?

 

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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire


First thing’s first.

I wore real people clothes today (as opposed to the usual baggie, cross country shirts and leggings that I normally wear).

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Oversized (and by oversized, i mean oversized) flannel shirt – Forever 21

High wasted leggings – Forever 21

White t-shirt – Brandy Melville

Shoes – Vans: Off The Wall

Purse – RED by Mark Echo (Macy’s)

Today’s workout, staying true to my promise to take a few days off from running, I hit the elliptical for 45 minutes of HIIT.

Elevation = level 10

Warm up – 5 minutes

Peddling forward

5 minutes – starting at resistance 5, up resistance by one every minute

At highest resistance, peddle backwards for 2 minutes

peddle forwards 1 minute

bring resistance down to level 4 and SPRINT (steps per minute over 200) 1 minute

1 minute recovery

Repeat whole thing. This time peddling backwards.

Then I repeated it forwards again,

Woohoo!

About 5 miles accomplished!

After that I completed two Tone It Up Workouts (wow… shocker. I know.)

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The Cowabunga Workout

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And the Santorini Bikini Workout

Wow… I reeally didn’t do enough. I honestly just got really upset and self-conscious and anxious while I was doing my strength training and I had to leave the gym. I couldn’t handle it. Pathetic, I know.

On a lighter note…

Last night, at the lovely time of 8pm, I saw the “midnight” (not at midnight though) premiere of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

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Like the teenage girl that I am, I looove the Hunger Games. I read them years ago, before they were a popular thing (oh, oh so hipster of me). The concept of dystopias have been a topic of interest to me ever since I read The City of Ember back in Fourth Grade.

I went with my best (and pretty much my only) friend here at college, Shannon. She also read the book so after the movie we, naturally, launched into a discussion of book vs. movie.

*WARNING: THERE MAY BE SOME VERY MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD*

The Good

  • For the most part, they did a really good job with casting. I found Johanna to be absolutely perfect for the part. Shannon and I also agreed that Plutarch, Maggs, and Wiress, and Beetee were all perfectly cast.
  • The entire portion of the movie that took place in the arena was absolutely perfect. They did an amazing job on it.
  • I cried about 25 times… Why is this good? Well, I know a movie is good if it makes me cry… I’m not weird at all…. Pssh..
  • Katniss’ wedding dress turned mocking jay was absolutely INCREDIBLE.

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The Ehhh….

  • Ok. They WAAAAYYY overdid the whole Katniss-Gale-Peeta-love-triangle thing… Gale kissed Katniss about 5 minutes into the movie and the second that it happened me and Shannon gave each other complete “WTF” looks… THAT DIDN’T HAPPEN IN THE BOOK. The thing is… I hate when they try to Hollywood up great stories to make them more appealing to the teeny-boppers. The story really isn’t about love. Love is a part of the story, yes. But the main point of the story is revolution, hope, survival, and Katniss’ unceasing desire to protect her family.
  • It’s always hard to make a movie out of a book where the character is talking in first person. In the book, we hear Katniss’ thoughts. We can see her starting to truly care for Peeta in a new way. We can see all of her inner conflicts. Of course, this not being portrayed right really can’t be helped. It just happens in movies.
  • They left out the part where Plutarch shows Katniss his watch while they are dancing… That’s pretty darn major.

Over-all i really loved the movie. I think they did an even better job with this one than the first and I am way too excited for the next one. I can’t wait.

Now if you will excuse me… I’m gonna go do some online Christmas shopping. May the odds be ever in your favor y’all!

Questions:

What are your favorite types of books to read?

Have you seen Catching Fire yet? What are your feelings about it?

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The scariest thing and growing up


I am just going to start this post off by saying that after finally falling asleep last night, I was woken up at 1 and couldn’t fall back asleep so I am writing this as a sleep deprived, stressed beyond belief college student with a killer headache.

Grr.

I’ll start with the good. I only had one class today (ok i was supposed to have two… i slept through my 8:30…) because my health science teacher had a baby girl yesterday! She’s a new mommy and now I don’t have health science for the rest of the semester! Everybody wins here! I have to say though, I did really love my health science class. It is my only class that really pertains to my major and I was actually able to speak in that class (something that is really hard for me to do).

So I went to Psychology at 10. We learned about mental disorders and I really wish that I didn’t go to that class because it honestly made me so angry. My professor just really obviously doesn’t know anything truthful about mental disorders. All he knows is what he reads in his textbooks and it makes me so angry because the way he was teaching us is the reason that such horrible stigmas come with mental disorders. He even referred to people with mental disorders as, “crazy.” No. Having a mental disorder does NOT in any way, shape, or form mean that you are crazy. Your brain is sick and it isn’t your fault. I just left that class very angry.

And what is a good way to cope with anger…? Burn it off at the gym of course!
I forced myself to listen to my body and cross train instead of run today. I did 40 minutes of sprint and resistance intervals on the elliptical with a 5 minute cool down.

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Wow, I really apologize for how blurry my pictures are…

I followed up my workout with some leg work, Blogilates style! It’s been way too long since I’ve done any POP Pilates workouts. It felt good to hit the mat and do some of her crazy, crazy moves.

Wait, that’s a lie. I did her Abs on Fire workout yesterday… How could I forget that? Especially with the obscene amount of soreness that I am currently feeling in my abs.

Anyways…

I did Legs on Fire

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And an oldie, but one of my all-time favorites… the Saddle bag Shaver

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Legs are definitely my favorite things to work.

A huge thing that has been pressing in my mind is the grand ‘ol question of… well, what the heck I am doing with my life.

I am in college, yes. That should mean that I have a plan for my life. A set career path to follow… i don’t. I am majoring in exercise science. I would love to be a trainer. But is that practical? No. You can be a personal trainer with a high school diploma and a certification. Why put myself tens of thousands of dollars in debt to get a college education if I don’t need it? Is there a reason? How am I going to pay back my loans?

I’m just really stressed and scared. I don’t know what to do with my life. I don’t even know what I want to do. My dream would be to open my own training studio in New York City and run a company similar to Tone It Up. Those girls are the reason for my wanting to get into the fitness industry in the first place.

I want to change lives. Wow. Original. I know. I just want to make people feel ok about themselves. I want to provide an escape to people who need one. Running, fitness, they are my escape. My medication. I want to help people experience that same feeling of self accomplishment and pride that I felt when I would do well in a cross country meet.

I’m just scared about the future. I can feel the clock ticking and I don’t know how to move forward.

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A lot of words, not a lot of pictures..


Sorry to say that this post won’t necessarily be all that aesthetically pleasing…

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Although, i have to say, this picture from my run today isn’t all that shabby!

Today was another one of those draining days of class and homework and not much else. I had planned on waking up early to run this morning. Yeah… didn’t exactly happen. I really needed sleep, so I just went for a run after my 9am class instead. Geez Louise, is Florida humid. This entire week has been so overcast, so every time I go outside I just expect that it’s going to be cool out. It’s not. 

I just did an easy thirty minute run, only covering 3.37 miles. My plantar fasciitis is really acting up bad. I know that I need to take a break from running, but I just can’t. Honestly, I just feel so terrible about my body that I just can’t afford to be reducing my mileage… I’m going to do the bike tomorrow though instead of my planned speed work! I know that in the long run, it’s better to take some time off to recover than to keep running on an injury. 

By the way… my injured self rocked my compression socks under my yoga pants to class today. 

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Woohoo for blurry pictures whilst I walk down the stairs.

After class and my run, the rest of the day was really spent workshopping stories for creative writing. Our larger assignments (longer piece of writing at the end of each topic that we focus on) are presented in workshop. We all email our pieces to the professor and she forwards them to us. We then write up some feedback and discuss them in class. We workshop about four people a day. Today happened to be my day, and the focus was personal narratives. Honestly, what I wrote for this class was probably the most personal thing I have ever written. It was heavy, really heavy. I sent it in and then five seconds later wanted nothing more than to email my professor and beg her not to send it out to anyone. I was so scared for what people would think. Like I said, it was really heavy and personal.

I was shaking all throughout class, terrified. And by the time it came my turn to be workshopped, I was practically in tears. Not much was said, except for the fact that my piece made everyone cry. Wonderful. My teacher did tell me that it was a really great piece of writing and said I had some really powerful lines. It made me really happy, all my life I have dreamed of writing books. The fact that someone could enjoy my writing means the world to me. 

After class, I did some more working out. Ab work was more than necessary.

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Tone It Up‘s Sleek and Slender Abs With Karena

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POP Pilates Abs On Fire

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And finally… XHIT’s 5 Minute Abs (By the way… Can I just please be Rebecca Louise please?…hehe that rhymed!)

 

I really need to start doing more ab work. I will definitely be feeling the burn tomorrow.

My night ended with a Greek event for Sigma Chi’s derby days… long story short: I saw frat guys dressed in drag twerk.

I shall leave you now with that mental image in your head 😉

Wow… this post had more pictures in it than I thought it would. 

 

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A Weekend Off Campus…


Hello friends!

Once again, I spent a weekend without wi-fi. It stinks too, because I really had a lot to say.

I spent the weekend with my grandparents (again) at the condo that they are renting while theirs is being redone. There was flooding in their condo which caused mold. The entire thing had to be gutted. Seeing it makes me so sad. There are no walls or floors. Their condo has always been my favorite place in the world, so seeing it completely destroyed honestly makes me feel sick.

My grandparents came to pick me up on Saturday morning at around 11. There are no words for how happy I was to get off campus and escape the craziness here. Their condo is so quiet and peaceful.

After touching down at the condo, I laced up my running shoes and headed out the door. I was feeling really sick, so I did four very easy miles.

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Can’t beat running along the water…

My plantar fasciitis has also been acting up so, of course, I rocked my ProCompression socks.

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Typical running shoe selfie.

The rest of the day was spent sitting on the porch writing.

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Does this not look like the perfect place to do some quality writing?

9 and a half page personal narrative for my creative writing class – check!

It is so amazing actually be somewhere quiet. My campus is in the middle of the city, so obviously, there is always noise. Horns, sirens, traffic. Those I can deal with. It is the constant yelling of drunken teenagers all over the place and the yelling in the hallways. Being outside with no sounds but that of nature and the occasional golfer driving by? I couldn’t ask for much else.

Oh, and to make things even better, my grandma gave me a tray of vegetable.

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Veggie trays make me so much happier than they should…

Saturday was honestly just super chill. I walked up to Publix, baked for my friends (cake mix cookies), and went out to dinner by the beach.

Sunday, like Saturday was another nice and quiet day.

Started my day off with a seven mile run! Still not feeling that great, it honestly turned into more of a walk/run. I always feel so pathetic whenever I walk on one of my runs. I always need to remind myself that it is just part of being a runner. We all have good days and bad days. What matters is pushing through the bad days so that you can really really appreciate the good ones.

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Also, a beautiful view always makes a run worth while! It started drizzling about three miles into my run. I love running in the rain. Wow, the sentences in this post are so choppy. It’s awful.

I got back from my run, showered, and went to church. Then it was time for breakfast.

My grandma really wanted to try out this new place called Steam that we passed while driving home from the restaurant Saturday night.

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Egg whites are another one of those weird things that make me waaay happier than they should.

I got the “egg white scramble,” which was scrambled egg whites (uh, duh), mushrooms, and artichoke hearts over a bed of spinach. Oh! There were also balsamic drizzled tomatoes! So yummy and healthy! One of the things that I’m most looking forward to about going back home for Thanksgiving (besides the obvious being home and seeing my family thing) is cooking and juicing again. I need healthier foods in my life. I feel so disgusted by how few vegetables I get here…

I am back on campus right now, trying to fight the overwhelming desire to eat out of boredom. I do that far too much. It’s disgusting.

Sorry, ending this post on a negative note. Maybe it was the 5am fire alarm this morning =P

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