From 2017 to 2018, Just Show Up

This year has been a blur in many ways.  Heck, the last four months have been a blur and it really wasn’t until Tuesday while in line at In ‘N Out that 2017 started to soak in.  Typically my strokes of brilliance strike when I’m running, in the shower, or driving for long stretches of time but I guess waiting for food works too.   First tangent (or as my Dad corrected me, “vector”…but that’s a conversation for another day and I’m going to continue to use “tangent”) is that despite being back for 4 months, this was the first time having In ‘N Out and I wasn’t super super impressed.  Does that make me a bad Californian?

Anyways, back to 2017.  I’m a very Type-A person that loves lists, but hates to assign big goals for fear that I won’t accomplish them and be considered a failure. Well, after following a few bloggers that I respect, I decided to take the plunge and list some things out.  Last year I was super inspired by this NPer’s post in 2016 and tried to mirror some of it.  Ok, some of it is directly taken from her but imitation is the sincerest form of flattery right?

>> Focus on the present more, worry about the future less ~ make more eye contact and look at your phone less ~ chill more, stress less ~ listen more, talk less ~ accumulate less material things and take on more experiences ~ play big ~ be more YOU ~ say yes to more opportunities and worry less about outcomes << 

Then I caved and made a few concrete list items because well, Type-A:

  • Learn to run for fun (while also attempting to reduce the amount of #RBF)
  • Volunteer or spend more time with what you are passionate about
  • Work hard and stay humble
  • Run marathon #2
  • Find a new job
  • Relocate to California
  • Watch the Boston Marathon (again)
  • Travel more
  • Do the work

If I list it out by the numbers and scroll through my pictures (<< because content everything) or attempt to piece it together through my sporadic blog posts, I think the last 12 months were a smashing success.

~ November Project NYC and BRTC (bEAST river track club) workouts in rain, snow, and sunshine ~ celebrating Chinese New Year ~ snow days and almost getting stuck in a snowpocalypse (I’ve had my fill of snow for awhile…) ~ training for marathon #2 in the dead of winter ~ bagel sandwiches for days ~ Nashville for Lindsay’s birthday ~ #runtoeat and city explorations ~ quick trip to Philly for a half ~ running the streets of Paris with Maura (then making a pact we wouldn’t sign up for another for some time) ~ watching the Boston Marathon for the 2nd time in person ~

~ Gallivanting around Central Park for my 26th birthday with my favorite people and following it up with too much rose in a dog-friendly bar ~ agreeing to run 21 miles in the Cape Cod Ragnar ~ November Project Summit in Boston MA + family visit to NYC ~ Macy’s 4th of July fireworks ~ girl’s trip to the swampland of Washington D.C. ~ saying so long to the Big Apple and hello to the city of stars ~ participating in Questival (24 hour scavenger hunt) ~ long runs with Republic ~ Hiking our way through Peru ~ Watch the Dodgers get SO close to winning the World Series ~ Exploring Los Angeles and making new friends with November Project Los Angeles ~ Quick trip to San Francisco for the North Face Endurance Challenge ~

2017 By the Numbers
25 books (or 26 if I finish another one this weekend…)
8+ unique travel destinations
1 new job
8 running races (+ a couple relays)
1 fresh half marathon PR
Endless experiences

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Now for 2018.  Just Show Up. 

The phrase “Just Show Up” has a special place in my heart and life.  Sure, for those of you who have been to November Project, the phrase is practically the face of the movement.  People get scared off and think that they have to be in tip-top shape but that’s SO not the case.  It is a free fitness group that welcomes people in of all fitness levels and builds a community in a hustle and bustle world that so often leaves people isolated or high and dry.  If anything, what do you have to lose?  So just.show.up.

But beyond showing up to a workout, the phrase reminds me to show up in life.  Be the best person I can be.  Be kind.  Reach out and ask if people need help.  Ask for help when needed (something I am NOT good at).  Be present and so on.  Some of the below are recycled from 2017 but hey, if they are that good, why remove them?  Plus, I still have eons to learn.

  • Say yes to more opportunities, worry less about the outcome
  • Be bold, fear less
  • Ask for help (something I need to learn how to do)
  • Yoga + strength 1x per week
  • Eat more greens, eat less sweets
  • Channel optimism/excitement over regret/fear
  • Focus on eye contact and less on screen time
  • Travel more
  • Spend more time with people and less time on your phone
  • Explore your surroundings (#LAdventures)
  • Think outside the box #plancoolshit (pardon my French…swear less shoooould be on the list…)
  • Be unapologetically you
  • Just Show Up

Fitness wise, I’m really going to hone in on this November Project community.  Sure I want to sit down and brainstorm some goals for the Los Angeles tribe but today I’m going to do something I’ve never done before – write out my personal fitness goals for the world wide web to see.  Actually, my fellow co-leader already did that in a  goals-oriented post last week but I’ve re-written them on my race page and will probably post them for myself on the wall next to my bed.

Oh and there’s something special on the calendar for next year – the Chicago Marathon.  Even though I wasn’t lucky enough to be selected in the lottery, I had my heart on the race and opted to fundraise for a charity called Marley’s Mutts.  This is a non-profit that rescues and rehabilitates death row dogs from Kern County’s high-kill animal shelters.   I will be fundraising over the next 9 or so months and would love your support if you are so inclined to donate (Marley’s Mutt’s Chicago Team Page Here).  Additionally, if the timing with work and November Project work out, I will try to document the journey like I did with my 2016 NYCM.  Buuuut, that’s a few months away and a million memories to create in between.

So there you have it.  I kept my promise to myself to recap 2017 and set out some goals for 2018.  I’ve been riding the high of the last three months – a new job, meeting so many amazing people, exploring new locations and enjoying the daily variety of workouts.  Alright 2018, let’s make this year/life great and #JUSTSHOWUP.

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“Life is what you make it. Always has been, always will be.”  ― Eleanor Roosevelt

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A Los Angeles Fall ~ 2017

So it may not be time for the “look back at 2017 and ahead to 2018” type of post but as we edge closer to the beginning of the 12th month and the close of 2017, I thought I would look back at what I had seen, experienced, and accomplished or at least in the last few months.  (*Being type-A, “accomplished” tends to be one of my favorite words).

Moving back to California has been a phenomenal change of pace – something that isn’t always guaranteed with a big move.  I had acquired a job back in July/August-ish and had an idea of some things I wanted to do when I got back.  I wanted to move closer to the west side of LA, I wanted to see what November Project was like out here, and I wanted to join my sister’s running club.  As you can see, I still seem to work and workout so some more “fun” might need to be added in.

Los Angeles isn’t entirely new since I grew up near Pasadena but it is entirely different when you are 26 versus 10 or even 18.  My job is much better for me in terms of environment and content.  I still encounter the daily stresses but it keeps me on my toes and I have a stand-up desk so some days I literally am on my toes.  For about 6 ish weeks, I was living at home and that meant driving 80-90 minutes each way day.  Traffic – the double edge sword of living in a car congested county like this.  Anyways, there was no way I was going to plop down and sit at a computer for even more time to detail out my (what I think is boring to read) day.  So then there was the question of if I blog on weekends.  Maybe?  But over the last few months I’ve been so busy that again, sitting down to take time to blog hasn’t been the first priority.

I started this blog as a way to fill my 2012 summer if I didn’t have an internship but it slowly melded to become my travel journal and a means of keeping in touch while living across the country.  I still see it as a creative outlet but as I’ve most definitely mentioned before, I am 100% focused/addicted/interested/obsessed/addicted (yes twice for emphasis) with Instagram.  It’s a quick picture/video and a few words and boom, you’ve got widespread media that people from all over will consume.

** some pictures of November Project shot by fellow tribe members (always important to share photo creds) 

For those of you who have followed me over the last few years, you’ll know how much November Project means to me.  Well, thank goodness for tribes located around the world (44 currently to be exact) because I was able to start showing up to workouts when I touched down in LA.  It’s true that I knew a few friendly faces from when I would #justshowup during the holidays but leaders had changed, people had moved away, and it was a pretty new start for me.  Somehow I decided to start working out at the 5:27 and 6:27 group to see more faces.  As in New York, each workout has a different vibe.  Both are amazing but it’s great to see the differences and get to know so many people.  This is tough remembering names since 4 workouts means 2x the number of people but thank goodness for Facebook and the ability to just re-ask (at least once or twice).

When you move to a new place, you have the ability to re-invent yourself in a way.  You can take the parts of yourself you want to change (not like in a superficial way, but then again this is Los Angeles…) and lean into the person you want to be.  No one is forcing you to act like you did in high school or even college.  Unless you were a nice person and then don’t ever stop being a nice person.

So re-inventing yourself.  For me, I wanted to be that strong and positive person I had grown to become in New York.  When I arrived in LA, I thought hm, most of my friends back east called me Kait and there’s already a girl at NP named Katelin and I wouldn’t want to make it confusing for people.  So I introduced myself at NP and my running club as Kait.  That really threw Meghan for a loop and even confuses a few people when they are on Facebook and see “Kaitlin”.  Basically, call me anything and I’ll answer.  I have no preference and it just felt really comfortable to be known at November Project as Kait because my best NP_NYC friends called me that.

Now of course I’ve begun to type a novel when I only meant to drop a few lines.  Who knows, maybe I’ll check in a bit more frequently in December or 2018 😉

“What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” ― Sheryl Sandberg

Life of Late ~ July 2017

Let’s all have the mind-blowing realization that we are pretty much halfway through summer.  The heat and humidity have rolled in full force and we are about 7 weeks away from the start of football season.  For some reason football and fall are synonymous with one another, even if it doesn’t really cool out on the west coast.  I can recall going from cross country meets or soccer matches to football games, sweating through every single item that I owned.  Ah the good times. 😉

July has been a blast thus far filled with beach days, rainy days, and time spent in the park.   This week has actually been the first week in a long time that I was in the office ALL 5 days.  Between various summer Fridays and other PTO days, I’ve enjoyed my casual 4, 3, and even 2 day weeks!  I’m gallivanting down to D.C. this weekend, entering the swamp, and expecting to sweat out half my body weight.  Pretty much like the episode of “I Love Lucy” where she tries to steam down her weight.  Yep, totally safe.

prospect park 4th

summer friday

Current Workouts:

  • Back on the November Project schedule.  Maybe I’m not hitting up every workout but it’s good to see some friends in the morning and I really love the new co-leader’s enthusiasm.
  • SPIN!  After watching the triathlon last week I was inspired to get back on the bike.  It’s definitely healthier to balance with running and so back to some Equinox classes and Soul Cylce I go.
  • Water aerobics – Because when you don’t schedule any sort of trips on your three day weekends, you use Friday to attend water aerobics.
  • Barre + Weight Training Classes #blessed – Not sure why I need that hashtag but thank goodness for the wide array of classes offered at Equinox.  I’m trying to vary my workouts and increase those non-running muscles.  Or rather I’m trying to strengthen those muscles so when I catch the running and racing bug again, I’ll be stronger than before (here’s to hoping…)
  • Yoga and I JUST LEARNED CROW POSE!  It’s taken me about 3+ years to get there and I’ve told myself my bottom half is too heavy and I don’t have enough arm strength but I did manage to balance for about 2 seconds.  The excitement is real.  Now comes the trick to balancing for longer.

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The other day at track, I was thinking about what it means to feel normal.  Sure there is the mental side of things like going day to day with no stress or too much stress?  But then there is the physical side of things.  What does it mean to run without feeling like you are running through a swamp?  Or actually have boundless amounts of energy?  What did my legs feel like last year prior to marathon training?  Oh I could go on and on and on.  Just some food for thought.

np with jess

Currently Listening to…LOTS OF PODCASTS!:

  • Gatorade + Gimlet “The Secret to Victory” – My friend Cait works at Gimlet and got me hooked on this.  Using her own words because well, she works in marketing 😉
    •  The premiere episode of The Secret to Victory is live now! It’s Gimlet MediaGimlet Creative‘s first SPORTS POD with Gatorade. This week, we talk to Eli and Peyton Manning. But not about how Eli is still the only QB to beat Tom Brady in a Super Bowl (twice, sry), or how Peyton is considered by some to be one of the best QBs of all time (and pretty funny in those Papa John’s commercials). We talk to them, and even Archie about the disappointment of both of their rookie seasons with the NY Giants & Indianapolis Colts, and how it only fueled the fire that lead to greatness.  
  • Ali on the Run
  • ESPN’s 30 for 30 – This might be a direct competitor of the above Gimlet production but still cool stories and I’m an ESPN girl through and through.
  • Body Kindness by Rebecca Scritchfield – Because we all need a little more of this in our lives.
  • Mike & Mike on ESPN – These guys have been my morning go to for the last few years.  Sometimes when I wake up and am running or getting to the gym, I just don’t care for music, so I turn to sport’s radio.  Anyways, turns out these guys are calling it quits or moving in different directions this year and I’ll miss their banter.

Currently Watching:

  • The Kennedy’s on Hulu and I AM FASCINATED!  With every episode, I spend at least an hour diving into articles online, Wikipedia pages (don’t judge, they are millennial’s form of a basic encyclopedia…) and more.  For some reason this part of time always draws me in.  If you have any good books on the subject, PLEASE comment!
  • Bring it On – Just a random movie I decided to watch this week.  I’d actually never seen it.
  • Seinfeld on Hulu.  This is another classic show that I’m working my way from start to finish.  The episodes are perfect for one or two before bed and more if I’m lazy.  My mom would go to bed watching them every night so I’ve heard some of the jokes but having lived in the city, now I really GET the humor.  Not only that but I picked up a ticket to go see Jerry Seinfeld next week!  Very pumped about that.
  • OJ Simpson Hearing – Yep, I was one of those people curious to hear what happened.  Oh! I was also watching the OJ Simpson: Made in America series on Hulu.  Wow I DEFINITELY think he is guilty and am also fascinated by these turn of events.

Currently Reading:

  • The System: The Glory and Scandal of Big-Time College Football – Yeah…I like sports.  It’s something I grew up around and something that brings me a lot of comfort.  That being said, this book is intriguing.  I didn’t realize the extent coaches and teams went to recruit and some of the behind the scenes action players got themselves into.
  • My Not So Perfect Life – Beach read for sure but also funny to compare with today’s social media obsession.
  • Stormy Weather – Not entirely what I was expecting but still a good historical read about Lena Horne, an American jazz and pop singer, dancer, actress, and civil rights activist.

beach day

Tasting Table ~ “Modern Tiki Trends” ~ I’m all about hosting summer events and creating a theme around it.  Ok, maybe I’m just all about the IDEA of themed summer parties.  I don’t exactly have the space to host or even prep but having these Tiki Themed tips is giving me ideas… If you don’t know already, I’m obsessed with anything Hawaiian, tropical, or Polynesian.  Thank you Dole and Tasting Table for that.

 C’est Christine ~ “Notes on Defining Success” ~ Broken record but Christine always puts it so eloquently.  She referred to a quote that said “comparison is an addiction to losing”.  We compare compare compare and while this can be good to get yourself moving, ready to take action and work towards your dreams, it can also cause a bit of anxiety and disappointment.  People are always going to share their opinion with you – what you should do, where you should live, etc.  It’s up to you to define what makes you happy and stand by that decision.  I also loved how she ended the post, her goal to obtain “a more intentional type of success, a focus on thriving instead of just striving”

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^^ This was year #2 celebrating the 4th of July in the city and I have to say, rooftop game was on point.  I actually happened to have a 5-day weekend and really just bopped around town.  Sure I had my fair share of FOMO, looking at people’s outdoor pictures (even those who I didn’t know…lovely social media) but made the most of the weekend in my own special way.

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^^ On the hunt to sample all the classics in the city and this was a SUCCESS!  I actually made a pitstop after cheering folks in Take the Bridge: Manhattan Bridge edition.  We had gotten caught in an extreme downpour and while my friends decided to go home, I waltzed in and ordered a scoop of Taro while dripping water everywhere.  #runtoeat #eattorun

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^^ I tested out the talked about DAYBREAKER and have to say, I wasn’t that impressed.  Maybe I’m not a rave gal and can’t go for that DJ music at 7am in the morning but it wasn’t my jam.  I had woken up at 5:15 to make it for 6 am yoga (meh) and then packed as many snacks away to make up for the $35 fee.  #sorrynotsorry  In the end it was an experience and maybe would have been better if I had a huge group of friends there OR was completely solo and wanted to dance/jam out on my own.

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^^ What a view at last week’s NYC Triathlon.  I ran up with a friend, grabbed a bagel sandwich and cheered on some friends in the run portion of the race.  This is one race I had/have no FOMO over.  Swimming in the Hudson filled with dead bodies and sewage?  No thank you.  Even though I heard the 0.9-1 mi swim took people about 15 minutes to finish.  If you aren’t familiar with timing of swims, it takes me about 30 minutes in the pool to swim a mile.  Still, I don’t think I would commit to that water…

With these rambles complete, here’s to the weekend!

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“You are remembered for the rules you break” – Douglas MacArthur

Where I Have Been

Oh hey there.  Looks like it’s been a hot minute since I’ve dropped in and I swore I would never be that person to just “check in” buuuuuut here I am.  Where have I been?  Location wise it’s stayed the same – New York/East Coast.  There was an itty bitty trip to California last weekend – my first in 6 months – but more on that later.  The point is that I haven’t been very present on the blog and I’m trying to work out what that means for me.  My job is one of the many million in the world that requires me at a desk underneath fluorescent lights.  While it’s a good environment, it means that I don’t always have the drive to come home and plop down to sit in front of another screen.  I know that I don’t have to apologize for not posting but it was really making me feel guilty.  So, this is me posting to tell myself it’s ok not to post all the time.  🙂

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Life of Late ~ 5.12.17

As you read this I will be en route to start my 5th (or 6th since I can’t really remember) Ragnar Relay.  Back in high school and college I ran the annual Wasatch Back Relay with some friends in Utah.  Since that particular race happens in June, it was always a “fun” way to wrap up the school year.  I put that in quotes because most people would 1) call that insane and 2) it really is somewhat of a 24 hour suffer-fest.  My coworkers actually have started to just assume every PTO day I take or “vacation” is running related.  So far this year they aren’t wrong. 

Anyways, being a runner, I forgot what the pain was like and decided to do it again.  This time around has been a bit more intense since I’m actually helping the captains get ready for the race and let’s just say the universe was very against us running.  Between finding an additional 7 runners, runners dropping due to injury (total of 4 runners dropped), issues with driving insurance, and more injury, it’s been a fun time.  I don’t start until later this afternoon and then I will embark on a total of 22 miles (9 + 3 + 9).  Now if I don’t get kicked off the finish line (there’s a slight chance we may not make it based on timing…) it’ll be a grand success.  I’ll have to check back in next week to let you know the result.

As for now, sit back and enjoy this week’s edition of Life of Late.

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