Tuesday, June 26, 2012

[Girl♥Health]: Crickets

Things have seemed quiet over here in GirlHeartsHealth land lately, hasn't it?  Ever since the big back debacle of March and April, I haven't really given any indication of how things have been going for me health-wise, and maybe it's seemed that I've given up on the whole exercise thing.

Well, not so, my friends.  Not.  So.

Let's start with a brief update on my back.  Yes, I'm still deformed.  But my back and hip area aren't giving me pain any more, so that's a plus.  After my initial diagnosis, I started seeing a chiropractor regularly.  At first, adjustments were coming daily, then eventually only a few times a week, then only one day a week.  Eight weeks later, and I'm down to one maintenance adjustment a month, and regular self-care treatments like stretching every day.

All that's left of what went down a few months ago is the lingering fear that I'll twist or overextend or stretch or bend or move my body in such a way that I'll be on my back, staring at my bedroom ceiling with nothing but my own thoughts for company once again.

And that would suck.  Like, suuuuuck.

So I try not to think of it while simultaneously never forgetting it.  It works, for the most part.

As soon as my chiropractor gave the okay, I also began running again.  And I can't tell you how good it feels to do that -- which is something I didn't really ever think I would feel or say.  But there it is.  I love running.  Well, okay, maybe it's too soon for love.  Let's just say I'm really happy to be running, and to be running in a way that feels self-motivated, rather than guilt-motivated.  I'm currently training for an as yet to be determined race (I have a crazy friend who wants me to do this...and maybe I'm equally crazy because I'm not telling her no immediately), and probably another 5k in November.  For full disclosure's sake, I just started week 3 of this training regimen.

Side note: If anyone (and I mean YOU, little sister!) wants to run any of these upcoming races with me and said crazy friend, give me a shout and we'll make it happen!

I'm also swimming laps a few times a week, which is just the excuse I use to go to the university pool and sunbathe as often as impending skin cancer (a bad joke, but probably true) will allow.  The rule is no sunbathing without laps.  It works as well.

I'm trying to work pilates back into my routine, particularly for cross-trainings' sake on my non-running days, but that gives me and my weak ass back a bit of a pause when I think about some of the poses and the pressure it can create at the hip joint area.  I feel like a geriatric but, like, an inflexible one.  If pilates doesn't work out, then I may just cave and get myself a little (read: light) set of free weights -- the pretty, colored girl ones, obviously -- to use around the house.

But from here on out, barring any more insane injuries, it's full steam ahead!

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Things I Miss the Most...and a Happy Birthday Wish

These two:

One of my nephews and my niece.  Also known as Favorite Guy and Mini-Sis, because they're minors, because he is in fact my favorite guy (I tell this freely to all who will listen), and because she is the spitting image of what I imagine my older sister would have looked and probably acted like at this age.

It's both their birthday's this week, and once again I'm here, 2,000 miles away, when I wish I could be there eating chili and ramen (Mini-Sis's birthday dinner of choice) -- really, what is she thinking? -- or pinning the 'stache on the sensei at Favorite Guy's ninja themed party.

Kids really do have all the fun.

This has got to be the hardest part of being away -- missing the family dinners, the special occasions, the important moments.  My youngest nephew, we'll call him Little Warrior, is growing up so fast and I'm missing so much of it.  One second he's this round tub of baby, and the next he's babbling up a storm and all of a sudden mobile.  I get to be a part of it through iPhone pictures and voice memos, but it's not the same.

I miss them when I'm away.

So here is my birthday wishes for them:  I wish for you both everything in the world this year.  I wish you so much laughter your belly aches, so much love your heart seems to overflow, so much happiness you wonder why you were ever even sad.  I wish for you passionate battles of wills with your parents (because those are the most fun, and are the most likely to make you appreciate your aunts more!) over silly things like when it's time to quit playing Xbox, whether or not leaving your toys on the kitchen floor will really kill someone (remain unconvinced), how much candy is too much candy, and whether the dog should be able to sleep in bed with you.  I wish for you lots of time with Nana and Grandma, and even more time driving your other aunt up the walls.  I wish for you more soccer championships and hunting with dad, more singing LMFAO and pedicures with mom, more childhood, more wonder, more excitement and more adventures.

I wish for you both the knowledge that you are absolutely, positively, without a shadow of a doubt in the universe, loved beyond all measure.

Happy Birthday, kiddos.

Friday, June 22, 2012

It's Friday, and Camping is Good for the Soul

True story, camping is good for the soul.

So this past weekend, Nate and I packed up our car and went with a bunch of friends on our first camping adventure of the summer.  We headed up into the mountains, just north of Tahoe, to an area called Plumas National Forest.

It's breathtaking country up there.

Yes, there were mosquitoes this early in the season (we're newbs), but there was also beautiful sunsets, warm springs under a blanket of stars, the milky way, late night fireside chats, off-roading and trout fishing, lake swimming and hiking, visiting cute little tucked away mountain towns like Downieville, and just getting out and breathing the fresh air that you don't even realize you miss when you're in the city.

The Sierra Nevada's are one of my favorite things about California.  I can't wait to go camping again.

Wanna come with us next time?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Place To Be

Ten years ago, I graduated from high school.

Ten.  Years.

It probably seems like a long time to some people, and no time at all for others.  It seems like both to me.

I've been thinking a lot about the space, the distance (both literal and figurative), between who I was at 18 and who I am now, mostly because last week was my high school reunion and I missed it.  I didn't want to go for a number of reasons: I already see most of the people I really want to see from high school; a plane ticket back to Hawaii ain't cheap and, if I'm gonna spend the cash, I'd rather spend the time with my family; I honestly felt like I had better things to do last week (turns out I was right). 

Does that sound harsh?  I don't mean it to.  It really would have been amazing to get back on campus, that place that I literally lived for 7 years (I boarded there since the seventh grade...it did not take me that long to graduate from high school!  What am I, dumb?).  And it would have probably been equally great to see some of those people that I don't actively think about, but who were such a part of the canvas of my life when I was a teenager.  I'd like to know how they're doing, what they're up to, how they're making their mark on the world.

But I'm also a place in my life where I'm trying to figure out who I am right now, who I want to be, and putting myself into a situation where I'm surrounded not only by people who know me as a certain person, but also a place where I was a certain person, well, it just didn't seem like the thing to do. 

I think Emil Blunt said it best in The Jane Austen Book Club: High school is never over.

Don't get me wrong, I love Hawaii.  I love my family and my friends, my culture and heritage, my hometown, my history.  I love that I know the rhythms of that place, the sing-song of the voices, the trajectory of most stories and jokes.  I know Hawaii, you know?  That's comforting.

But I also know that it's not where I belong right now.  Maybe not ever.  It's not where I'm going to be the best version of me I can be.  I can't go there and surround myself with the kind of people I want to surround myself with (other than my family).  And I'm able to do that where I am now.  I'm able to be around friends who constantly push me to go for whatever it is I want, who inspire me to take that next step, who enjoy talking about that next step. I'm able to say, "Hey, next week I want to go on a road trip...how about Yellowstone?" and actually do that.  I have a freedom here I don't think I would have back home.  I'm able to be ambitious, to have that be realistic, and to know that I have the support I need to be successful too.

I know this all makes me sound a little selfish.  It does.  I'm aware.

But I'm okay with that.  Isn't it the time in my life when I should be selfish?

Monday, June 4, 2012

My Head and My Heart Explode and I Smile

Old friends.  New friends.  The Fillmore.  Strong drinks in solo cups.  Dancing.  Dancing.  Dancing.  Lost voices.  Drunken giggles.  The Head and The Heart.  Text messages with best friends.  Singing.  Laughing.  Jump, jump, jump.  Racing along San Francisco streets.  The Moondoggies.  Flashing lights and swirling rooms.  Grilled cheese sandwiches.  Wine.  "What's the best show you've ever been to?"  Cold air and warm bodies.  History lessons and impressive conversations.  Apples and show posters.  Sidewalk singers.  Energy drinks.  2 a.m.  Loving my life.

In case you haven't heard The Head and The Heart yet:

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