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Brief April Update… More to Come!

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Wow such a long time since my last post! It’s crazy that I love blogging so much, yet I never found the time to return to this passion until April….

Since my last post I have many new changes and will briefly discuss most of them below. Please be patient with all of this; I promise to set aside more me-time to blog more often.

I love my classes again this semester; I’m in Marketing Research, Consumer Behavior, Data Visualization and Simulation, Operations Management, Six Sigma Toolkit and Applied Statistics. I have a passion for the core of all of these, whether it be a math, business analytics or marketing class. I love my Six Sigma class because my professor is so smart, experienced, and helps guide the shape of my future during office hours. I will end this semester as a certified Yellow Belt (not much, I know, but definitely a step in a positive direction). I also love my Consumer Behavior class; my professor is like a cool mom. She has kids a little younger than us but knows what’s in and not and can hold humorous conversations with the class members during lectures.

I’m training for a half marathon – the Zooma Annapolis Half Marathon – on June 4th. I’m excited to complete it with my sister, however training for this has definitely made me realize how much I dislike running. I guess it’s more of a love-hate. I love running, just hate the lonely long distance runs (outside surrounding pollen and struggling to breathe.)

I’m finally beginning to feel more emotionally stable again – HALLELUJAH!! The medicine and therapy is definitely helping and I am choosing to do more activities that boost my mood (like yoga) and less activities that kill my mood. I’m extremely excited to graduate in a year and physically, mentally, and emotionally move on. College has not been the best experience for me, although it was much needed, as all of my struggles have help strengthen and build who I have become today. (ROMANS 8:18 “The pain that you have been feeling cannot compare to the joy that is coming.”)

I’ve also began the 100 Days of Happiness Challenge! #100happydays In case you have been living under a rock (and not followed my Instagram account – @strongandsmiling) than you would be unaware. I am committing myself to post something that makes me happy everyday for 100 consecutive days in hopes to further improve and stabilize my mood/emotional state. So far, I honestly feel that I have become the slightest bit happier, simply because everyday I am forced to take a picture of and cherish something happy so I am able to post and write about it that day. Today is day 21, so I’m only a fifth of the way done!

My goals for this week are to keep up with my yoga/lifting/running plans, sleep for at least eight hours each night and to smile for one minute every day – even if it’s by myself in my room. I’m hoping these three goals will help improve (or at least maintain) my physical, emotional, and spiritual health.

Vacation Round 2

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This morning my mom, Lila and I packed up the car and left to head down to the beach in North Carolina. What we thought would be an easy six hour trip quickly turned into an eight hour trip, and then a lengthy ten hour trip. It wasn’t bad though; we made an out-of-the-way pit stop at my house at school to drop off some IKEA furniture boxes and the Saturday beach traffic lining the East Coast surely didn’t help our cause either. 

All in all, we made it here safely and were even able to go for a walk on the beach, dip our feet into the warm ocean water, and go grocery shopping for the upcoming week. 

  
I’m especially looking forward to relaxing and laying out on the beach for the next week, before I really need to lock down and prepare for my fall semester and my D1 field hockey preseason. 

  
Stay tuned for some healthy food posts and beach exercising posts on both my blog and my Instagram account! P.S. If you don’t already, I recommend you follow my Instagram account (@strongandsmiling ) for daily posts about fitness, happiness and being healthy. 😊 Happy Saturday!

More Slacklining Adventures and Some Gymnastics

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The slackline in our front yard is once again set up and back in action!!

My youngest sister, Lila, and I are both very competitive and home during the day, so naturally we never left the slackline all day yesterday and constantly competed to see who could take more steps, who could dismount off of the line higher off of the ground and who could stay on the line for a longer period of time. I don’t mean to brag, but I beat Lila in both number of steps, and beat her to walking across the entirety of the line without stepping off from the slackline.Β With her extreme competitive nature and naturally athletic capabilities, she could easily beat me with a few more hours of practice though!

We also had one of our other sisters take pictures while we posed together on the slackline at the same time. I’m not going to lie; slacklining is hard enough by yourself, so now imagine trying to balance on a two inch wide line of webbing with another person and their weight causing the line to wiggle around even more. Don’t tell my athletic trainer this, but I figured that slacklining would be enough ankle strengthening and could replace my “rehab” exercises for today. I also tried slacklining while wearing my ankle braces, hoping they would assist in my ankle stability and overall balance, keeping me on the line for a longer period of time. Surprisingly though, they made no difference.

I included some pictures from our slacklining fun! Even though it just looks like two crazy girls walking in the grass with their arms up in the air, we are actually intensely concentrating on not falling from the thin webbed line! The picture that looks like we’re sitting with our backs to each other, we are actually both balancing on the line, hovering just inches off of the ground, before we both lost balance and fell off. I will also have to give credit to Lila for doing a handstand on the slackline too! And of course, what fun is the slackline if the cat (Beau) doesn’t join in on the fun?! If you are interested in following his own Instagram account for more pictures of him doing cat things, it’s @beaubeauthecat

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Besides the obsessive slacklining, today was a big day in my gymnastics improvements!

When I was younger, I competed in gymnastics for many years. Always relatively flexible, many of the moves came easily to me and I was able to quickly progress. However, once my parents introduced me to contact sports like soccer, lacrosse, and field hockey, I gave up the balance beam and bars for running up and down the field and scoring goals. I’m glad that I stuck with these sports because I love running and playing all of these sports better strengthened my love for being a part of a team. I digress. A small flame has been forever burning inside of me with the want to pick up some of the more easily executed gymnastics moves (the harder ones hold a greater risk at injuring myself and most of them contain landings with too much unnecessary impact on my feet, shins and knees). Lila (introduced earlier in this post), with her competitive natural, loves to do EVERYTHING. This includes (but isn’t limited to) lacrosse, field hockey, running, singing, dancing, gymnastics, and any other activity where she can compete at and there is a winner and a loser. Lila is also my go-to girl when I want to learn something new.

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SO HERE’S THE PART OF MY STORY YOU’VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR…. I went to Lila and told her my goal was to learn how to do a back walkover as well as a front walkover. Lila and I are both fast and dedicated learners, so I was able to quickly learn the technique and execution of the front walkover. And I did my very first one!! (As a twenty year old.) We caught it on camera and my reaction is so priceless! Stay tuned on my Instagram account (@strongandsmiling) for my video; however here is a sneak preview picture of how ecstatic I was after successfully landing. πŸ™‚

I hope you’ve all enjoyed reading about these athletic endeavours and I look forward to sharing more about our summer adventures!

work every single day

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I apologize that you don’t get some super lengthy and detailed post about what I was up to today (in brief: studying and working out, more on the specifics later this week!) because I’m doing some last-minute reviewing for my first exam/test/quiz for my summer school class about Human Biology. If you weren’t already aware of my studying today, I think you should check out my instagram and maybe even give me a follow! I post everyday what I’m up to – usually working out, eating healthy or getting motivated by awesome quotes, such as the one that started off tonight’s post. I’m @strongandsmiling –Β https://instagram.com/strongandsmiling/

I wanted to share this picture because it not only applies to working out, it also applies to eating healthy, building relationships, and getting tasks done. Think about it. You can’t have a killer body, strong heart and ripped muscles (or any other variations due to exercising and working out) by just going to the gym once, or even just a handful of times and thinking that will help you reach your goal. Trust me on this one, it just won’t. To get strong, fast or in your ideal shape, you have to constantly work towards it. And once your reach your goal, you also can’t just stop working towards it because guess what? I can tell you what will happen; you’ll end up back at square 1.

This same simple picture also applies to eating healthy; if you eat clean or healthy or however you want to call it for a meal, or maybe a day, or maybe even a week, it doesn’t mean that you will suddenly lose weight or look more toned. It takes time; but also during this time you can’t sit around and wait to reach your goals, you have to consistently eat healthy in order to fully and effectively reach your goals.

I’m not going to keep repeating myself for the other points because hopefully by now you all can see the big picture and understand the recurring theme. To reach your goals (being healthy/working out, eating clean, building strong relationships, completing a difficult or lengthy task, etc) you must consistently work hard. Did you catch all of that? You must be (1) consistent, meaning if you really want to achieve your goal you must work towards it everyday or almost everyday and (2) you must work hard. This means no half-assing. As the brilliant Ron Swanson once said, “Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing.” I believe this applies to this situation very well.

Lastly, it’s important to not burn yourself out by remembering to have fun, and always “sharpen the saw” when it’s necessary. P.S. if you’re currently asking yourself what this girl means when she wants us to sharpen a saw, I suggest you scroll down a little and read my previous posts. πŸ™‚

Happy Sunday and see you all tomorrow!