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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.

“Be a warrior, not a worrier.”

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As a platinum member of the frequent worrier club, I find these quotes as extremely helpful reminders on probably a weekly basis. I’m the type of person that stresses out about “what-if” situations, even though the majority of these hypothetical situations never actually occur in real life. Funny story though, because despite knowing that none of these scenarios ever occur, I still frequently worry and stress about these hypothetical scenarios. 

Fortunately though, I have this next month to teach myself and practice remaining completely or at least almost completely stress free/worry free/anxiety free/relaxed. I also have meditation and yoga to thank for reducing my levels of stress, worry and anxiety. I’ll write more about meditating and practicing yoga in another post in the future! 

I hope you all will also enjoy these happy quotes as much as I do! 

Quote: “Celebrate Every Tiny Victory”

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Just a happy Thursday night quote! I know for a fact that I need to follow this quote more frequently. I’m very critical of myself in everything that I do, and I know I need to stop after completing a task successfully and celebrate all of my efforts. 🙂 It’s definitely something that I’ve improved on recently! (And I’m celebrating my improvements!)

My college’s field hockey camp for middle schoolers and high schoolers starts tomorrow morning and goes through Sunday afternoon. I’m really excited to be reunited again with all of my teammates and to be surrounded by them these next few days and being able to play and teach the sport that we all love so much!

More updates on camp to follow this weekend, be sure to follow me on Instagram for more frequent picture updates!

My Body My Ideal

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A few of my other athlete friends at school began a Facebook page and I guess you could call it a movement, towards having a healthier body image by being happier with your own body. I was extremely surprised at the high participation among not only female student athletes at W&M but also female athletes from other school programs and even regular students from both my school and other schools. It’s very cool for such a big group of girls to come together and be happier with our images!

How it worked was that there were seven athletes from my school that started up “My Body My Ideal”, a swimmer, a tennis player, two volleyball players, a cross country runner, a track runner and a lacrosse player. They all posted a photo of them to the group and captioned it with physical characteristics that a “typical” model would have, or how a young female “should” look, followed by traits that they did have and were proud of. Of course everybody’s bodies shapes and sizes are different and everyone views themselves differently from others, but being about to watch so many people publicly post pictures of themselves (in most cases a sports bra and spandex) and actually write down their insecurities was amazing. Also in the caption was a “challenge” to their friends to do the same thing and to then challenge their friends to keep the reaction rolling.

One of the project’s founders was one of my housemates, so naturally she had challenged me and our other two housemates, along with some of her teammates and regular student friends. Because this project moved me in how awesome its cause is and how successful it was attracting young women to also post pictures of themselves while following through with their challenge, I decided to share it with all of my lovely readers!

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A lot of girls would use something from their sport as a prop in their picture to help easily identify what sport they played, so here was the picture I posted to the group. Just me in a sports bra and shorts (I don’t ever wear spandex unless I absolutely have to – or if I’m wearing a tennis skirt or running skirt) with my sneakers (shoutout to Under Armour for the awesome and comfortable Speedform Apollos) and awkwardly holding my field hockey stick. The basement of William and Mary Hall is the home to the Varsity Athletic Training Room, the Varsity Strength and Conditioning Weight Room (look out for blogs about these in the future!), and the locker rooms for the Varsity sports teams. There are also these cool, black, inspirational/motivational signs every eight feet or so that apparently were all installed as some sort of project for Tribe Athletics like ten years ago? I’m not completely sure, that’s just something I was told one time. As a lover of all quotes or inspirational or motivational value, I’m obsessed with (the majority of) these little signs. I mean almost all of them are very cool but some of them say things like “Fall seven times, get up eight.” Very original am I right?!

I digress; so on the My Body My Ideal page, I posted, “I’m a sophomore on William and Mary’s varsity Field Hockey team. I don’t have a thigh gap, thin legs, curves or tan skin. However, I am strong, happy, motivated and resilient. I think it’s definitely important to promote a healthy body image, especially since recently the media is playing such a huge role in portraying the ‘right’, ‘perfect’ or ‘ideal’ body image.”

I strongly believe that it is extremely essential for everyone (girls and guys) to have a positive self image and think positively of his or herself both physically but also as a person in general. If you want to look into the project a little more – or maybe even throw the page a like or share! – the link to the Facebook page is here!

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 – 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. 🙂

Happy Sunday and see you all tomorrow!

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a nice quote for late night Friday.

Also I want everyone who loves happy and motivating quotes to check out http://www.livelifehappy.com

I’ve had their website bookmarked on my browser for over a year now and love checking back everyday to see the new quote squares that are posted. Including this one! Much like my post from yesterday, it is always important to focus on the good.

Be happy, have a great weekend and always remember to be positive and of course focus on your strengths over weaknesses and good over bad.

🙂

THE ART OF DOING LESS

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“Do less with more focus”

“Let yourself rest”

“Have less, do less, be more”

Three awesome quotes that have taken a little over 20 years to fully understand and accept.

My entire life, I have always been a doer. I did (and continue to) do everything (or basically everything). I’m going to take you all for a little trip down memory lane. It is Thursday, after all, why not write a little TBT (Throwback Thursday)?!

In 10th grade, I was accepted into the “Leadership Institute” at my high school and was enrolled in a special elective class literally called “Leadership 1”. To cut to the chase, we read and analyzed and discussed one of my favorite books to this day, “Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens” by Sean Covey. Fun Fact: they guy that wrote this book is the son to the guy that wrote the infamous “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” – Stephen Covey. So as a very brief recap, there are obviously seven habits that are discussed throughout the book, each with a catchy phrase and exercises and stories to go along with the habit. At the time, 10th grade Samantha read the book and completed all of the analyses and necessary class presentations pertaining to each of the habits but it wasn’t until my freshman year of college did I actually begin to use everything I learned from this book and the information and exercises I still to this day have (fortunately) engrained into my brain.

Back to my TBT…. the final habit is to “Sharpen the Saw”. What does this even mean you might ask?? Well basically a guy wants to cut down a tree with a hand saw; after many hours of sawing back and forth he has the opportunity to stop and sit down, take a break and sharpen his saw, or he can continue to attempt to cut down the tree without taking the break. Moral of the story: it is more efficient to take a break when needed, and continue what you were previously completing after resting up versus trying to continue on with fatigue and a dull saw.

Every once a while I find myself having to sharpen my own saw, so I am able to return to my daily activities and routines with more energy and motivation. Maybe physically, my body needs a break from lifting heavy weights, running or completing high-impact exercises, or maybe emotionally or mentally or spiritually I need a me-day. Sometimes I only need a half-me-day. Being a constant-doer, you can see where the stubbornness fits snuggly into the equation. I never wanted to stop doing anything that I was in the middle of completing and I never wanted to finish a task or activity without immediately starting a new one.

Luckily, I have a really great teammate at school who has introduced me to practicing yoga consistently throughout the week, to help stretch my muscles and to give my mind a designated time to relax, and taking time off because (and she lives and breathes this quote onto me) “doing less is more”. Old Samantha would think, “this makes no sense… doing more is obviously more… what is she even talking about?”

As an NCAA D1 student-athlete, I have acquired quite a number of physical injuries; most recently, a knee problem in both knees, a concussion this past fall, and of course the compartment syndrome I now have for life in my anterior and lateral compartments, of both legs. I was lucky enough to survive high school without being forced to take any time off due to injury,with the exception of getting stitches (the plastic surgeon and ER doctors always instructed for no physical exertion the day after they put them in). After just two years of playing a college sport, I’ve been cut from the travel squad for games due to injury, I’ve had to stop playing in games before the end of the game due to injury and as you can imagine not being able to physically compete is not the most fun for anyone who loves their sport and loves to stay active, healthy and competitive.

New Samantha now diligently thinks, “Hmmm my legs/ankles/knees/arches/feet/etc have been hurting more than usual, I should let them rest and get better before I make matters worse.” Although, I would have to admit, I’m still working on the acceptance part of it all, I am WAY better at recognizing when my body needs a break so I can once again “do less” and hurt less and feel better than trying to push through and dig myself into a deeper hole or create an even larger problem than it originally was. In this way, my teammate was incredibly correct. Doing less is most certainly more.

And if you’ve made it this far down my article, here’s a nice aesthetic award; artsy quotes are my absolute favorite so I hope you can enjoy them as much as I do!

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