Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Realistic Goals

I think this nearly six-month hiatus is the longest break I’ve taken from this little blog of mine. And while I am tempted to blame it on the fact that I just “didn’t have time,” the truth of the matter is, I was so ashamed that I had neglected fitnessandfroyo for months upon months upon months, that I couldn’t even bring myself to log onto blogger. I just couldn’t. I received emails now and again asking me to do a product review, and I wondered how my website could even possibly be getting any traffic. Just the other night I found myself shrugging and telling myself, “I guess it was just a phase, not something that was going to last forever.” I felt like I was so far gone that I was past the point of return. And my old goal of ten posts a month? Not going to happen. Funny enough, I think I was feeling the way some of my students feel on a regular basis. I get so frustrated when they sit there and won’t even try to do the work that I’m giving them. And when I talk to them about it, it’s because “I’m already failing so badly anyway that doing this won’t even help.” Okay, maybe that’s kind of true. But how about looking at it this way instead?

Doing it is a step in the right direction. It won’t erase all the assignments they didn’t do previously, and it won’t erase the months of nonexistent blogging, but doing it helps build a habit. And good habits are the stepping stones to success. And that’s how I’m going to approach this blog from here on out. That, and I ran into my principal in the hallway earlier today, and he said to me, “I saw that you have a blog.” To which I probably gave an embarrassed, “Yes … and I haven’t written anything … in months.” But I could feel my face light up while talking about my blog, and just that one 30-second conversation inspired me to set a new, more realistic goal for myself. Ten posts a month is a lot. But what about one post a week? Whether it’s my favorite Survey Sunday, a new recipe or workout, or just anything that comes to mind, one post a week is more than manageable. Lord knows I spend more time Instagram stalking the brother of a friend’s cousin’s sister’s boyfriend than I care to admit, and that time could easily be spent doing something a bit more productive.

So, what have I been up to while I haven’t been blogging? To start, I finished (!!!) my very first marathon. 26.2 miles through the city in which I was raised. I grew up hearing about the Houston Marathon, and I felt like a million bucks walking through downtown wearing a medal almost the size of my face around my neck. I met my goal of finishing in under four hours (just barely!), and I can honestly say that I loved every single minute of the race. The weather was perfect, the signs were laugh-inducing, the spectators were encouraging every step of the way, the beer at mile 21 was clutch, and while I spent most of the next day curled up watching Family Feud in bed, and much of the next month nursing a tender knee, I wouldn’t change one thing about that day. Though I did limit myself to the half marathon in 2017.

One of my students held this sign up for me at the race
I reentered the world of club volleyball – thanks, BPal, for luring me out of retirement – and though I frequently questioned my decision to tackle the whirlwind of club volleyball in the midst of an always stressful STAAR season while dealing with a new puppy, I can say without a doubt that it was more than worth it. Not just because of the extra travel money deposited into my bank account each month, but because I realized just how passionate I am about the game, as well as the opportunity to be a positive influence in teenagers' lives.

Beach practice
Ran into a few of my sweet Bellaire girls
It’s a big time commitment, though. I missed out on more than a few outings with my friends in favor of spending my Saturday inside a gym. And it made me so grateful for all the coaches I had growing up, who gave up time with their families and friends – and probably even some time spent on the couch watching Netflix, if we’re being honest – to help mold me into the person that I am today. Am I getting sappy enough for you guys yet?

I may be a Cardinal now, but Spartans forever
I survived my second year of teaching, and man oh man, was it ten million times better than the first year. Not that the first year was bad. But it was my first year. As you all know, I had my own classroom, I grew more comfortable with the curriculum, and I felt so much more confident this time around.

I wouldn’t say that I totally know what I’m doing, but I’m learning more and more every single day. And I love it. And I can’t imagine doing anything else. I sometimes feel guilty when I tell people that I have a job where I don’t dread Mondays, and I actually mean that. I’m challenged in so many ways, and I learn so much every single day from not only my colleagues, but also from my students. And let’s be real, when you’re around high schoolers all day, you’re never lacking in laughter. I heard you kind of start to figure things out in year three, so I’ll be sure and keep you guys posted on that front.

Thanks for putting up with me as I counted down to my birthday for three weeks
I moved to the cutest one bedroom apartment, and I L O V E living by myself. Okay, not totally by myself, because Mack has the energy of about three additional humans. But I actually think this move has caused me to make more of an effort to see my friends on a regular basis, because I know that it’s all too easy to stay home with a book and a blanket and shut out the rest of the world. So this has been great for my introverted tendencies.

If you don’t follow me on Instagram, Twitter, and we’re not friends on Facebook, I spent three weeks traveling solo around Argentina. And let me guess, you’re saying to yourself, “Wow! She went to Argentina all by herself?” I can’t tell you how many times I got that reaction. But I really did it! And it was awesome. I wish I had a better adjective to describe my time in such an incredible country, but awesome is all I can come up with right now. I’m hoping I’ll be inspired to write a couple of posts about my time there, because while I posted plenty of pictures, I would love to be able to put into words some of the incredible sights that I saw, the food that I ate, and the things that I did. I’ll leave you with a couple of sneak peeks, though if you follow me on any form of social media you have likely already seen them. But if you’re anything like me, you never tire of looking at them.

Houston --> Buenos Aires
Teatro Colon
Recoleta Cemetery 
Tango lessons
Biking the park
Fruit stands on every corner
The mountains are calling
Hook 'em from the top!
Cerro Campanario
Cerro Campanario

Biking Circuito Chico
El Caminito
Hotel Llao Llao Spa Day
Iguazu Falls
Empanada class
And I’ll also leave you with this now-laughable moment (that was only shared with my mom long after the fact): Thanks to an allergic reaction to lotion used during a massage (and they tell you to treat yourself), I was treated to a cortisone shot in the butt just minutes before boarding a flight back to Buenos Aires from Bariloche. Every trip has to have something, right? But in all seriousness, I fell in love with the culture and history and country of Argentina, and it will always hold such a special place in my heart. My first – and it won’t be my last – solo adventure abroad, and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to travel and experience what else this world has to offer.

I have watched some of my friends move to new cities, I have welcomed other friends home to Houston, I have walked my sweet pup to the point of exhaustion, I have tried new restaurants – and revisited my favs, I have completed over half of my 2016 25-book goal (goodreads link), celebrated my 24th trip around the sun, relived my soccer days – Clutch City FC third place chumps, served my first jury duty summons, been in two accidents (yes, in a brand new car), experienced the goodness and strength of a community in the face of an unimaginable tragedy, reconnected with old friends, shared endless laughs with my favorite people, learned, grew, failed, and have learned how to be intentional with and present in each day.

Houston Rodeo
Blading into 24
Beer and baseball in the bullpen with the bro (and we won!)

Let the good times roll(erblade)
Suite 1 forever
My best bud
Hopdoddy does Houston
And I look forward to all of the future posts to come. It’s a little bit nuts when you realize that it takes only one conversation to get that mojo back, but it makes you realize how much impact a single conversation can have on another person. And now I’ll have something else to think about as I run myself ragged in and around Hermann Park and the Rice jogging trail. 

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