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GlitterGleeandGrit

The musings and life of a girly and uncoordinated want-to-be kickboxer.

Month

September 2014

Positivity Challenge: A Few Weeks Out

My apologies for not writing much the past month. We have been doing a lot of running around the U.S. from a concert in Northern VA to a row in Dallas, Texas. Between travel and keeping up at work it has been a wild ride to say the least…

Maybe it’s because in October Dion and I will hit our one year here in the US or maybe it because Dion and I have been on some great adventures over the past month, but lately my heart has been very full and I am more grateful than ever.

When you are a bit of a gypsy like myself you always leave a bit of your heart in each place you live; you unfortunately always leave friends as well. In my case, I have friends in every corner of the globe. ¬†A lot of people say that must mean that I have a place to stay no matter where I go but what it means to me is that I don’t see a majority of my friends as much as I would like to. But, when I do get the chance to catch up with friends, even if it is brief, I can’t help but be nostalgic and extremely grateful for my friends. It never ceases to amaze me how it feels like no time has passed, which I think speaks to just how bad ass the people I have in my life are ūüôā

So without further ado, here are five things that the past few weeks have left me flattened with gratitude for.

1) My Friends: Pittsburgh, Dallas, Washington D.C., New Zealand and beyond, you are all amazing. As I said, it never ceases to amazing me how quickly we pick up right where we left off. Over the past month Dion and I have run into Friends at concerts, grabbed margaritas in Dallas, gone for a row and swapped hugs and embarrassing stories and for that I am so very grateful.

2) My Husband: Ok, Ok I know I have put him before but this is for something different. As many of you know, Dion is a Kiwi, and sometimes I forget how new and different things are to him and that really he is still a tourist in it all. Every once in a while it hits me and I am filled with awe for the little things that I usually miss. Be it the beautiful bridges of Pittsburgh or trying fajitas for the first time, my husband has really pushed me to take a step back and recognize how fortunate we are and how special everything is.

3) Rowing: I know my series on failing to reach a goal really speaks to the struggles I have gone through with injuries and ending a rowing career but the recent weekend in Dallas with a huge group of former teammates was AMAZING! I always said that rowers are the weirdest people on the face of the earth and therefore the best people to have as friends. Being surrounded by those ladies reminded me how precious and positive my ten years as a competitive rower was. Our group truly spoke to how a common goal can bring people together no matter how diverse they may seem. I am so grateful for a sport like rowing that allowed us all to lower our barriers, strive for greatness and become friends.

Keep an eye out for my paleo cherry chocolate layer cake recipe that I will be uploading this weekend. It may have taken me a month but I think I finally sorted out the icing!

Failing to Reach a Goal: Part Two: The Fall

Sorry for the delay with Part Two everyone.¬†The period after I walked away from rowing I was pretty depressed and couldn’t figure out how to approach my experiences and my feelings. To avoid doing so, I would do anything to not be alone thinking. Which in all honesty, often meant going out and in general not being my true self. I consider this part of my life as lost, so this post was a hard for me to breakdown internally and structure. I hope to represent the shift in my world that occurred and speak to the trouble I had understanding it all …

These ladies have been my friends since grade school and have been there through any high or low.
These ladies have been my friends since grade school and have been there through any high or low.

As you do when your life takes a detour, I called a friend of mine that had some experience in the athlete to civilian transition on my way home from my trainer’s office. I wanted, and needed, him to tell me it was going to be alright and that I was freaking out for absolutely no reason. He had been a football player his entire life, until two knee surgeries led him away from the field. At that moment I had no idea how true his words were when he said, “You are not going to know who you are for the next year. You are going to make choices you never thought you would make. It is going to be confusing and frustrating.”

People set big goals that they feel passionately about. No goal is set with the intention to quit or to walk away, they are set with the purpose of succeeding. Once you fail you need to begin a new journey and  it can take some time to figure out what that journey will be. During that halt in forward movement, you take a step back in order to understand the person you have become. For some its easy to evaluate and move forward, for me it was not. I felt like I was falling and at that time I was totally incapable of figuring out how identify myself. The way I had related myself within the world had changed and that had a huge impact on my relationships with myself and basically anyone that had contact with me during the fallout.

The strong reaction of your family and friends that is caused by your own failure can be surprising and sometimes painful.  Some will come out of the woodwork to support you, some to celebrate your failure, some will attempt to keep you in that state of nothingness and some will abandon you all together. The vulnerability and frustration of failing to reach a goal is hard for those around you to understand and makes their words and actions more powerful than ever before.

As I said, there were those¬†that helped me and those that said some pretty hurtful things to me during this time. But people¬†have no idea how powerful their words are, how they stick with you and how they have an impact on your relationships with others¬†and yourself. Your goals may not have been as important to them and it is usually only yourself that had limited your identity to that one facet of your life. So when you come to the end of a journey many may not understand why you can’t ‘just get over it.’ Your friends may be stoked that you have more time to spend with them¬†and your family might be happy to see you ‘settle down.’ They will likely not understand the feeling of loss that you feel.

When you fail, you wonder how many people had expected it, or worse how many people are happy. In my mind, I was no longer the friend, daughter, cousin, etc. that was training for the Olympics and that meant I was not as important as I once had been. Fuel for self-doubt came from casual questions of¬†what I ‘did’ or when someone I love once said “We always wondered when you were going to get over that dream. We knew you would. It’s time for you to move on and settle down.” Not only did I not completely trust my own judgement at this time but I felt as though I couldn’t even trust the well intended but sometimes misguided support of those around me.

Through the fall I stumbled and fell as I tried to piece together  my life, my values and what I wanted. The fog finally cleared when I realized two things. First, that goals are amazing, exciting and of course motivating. However, it does you no good to pin your entire identity to one facet of who your are as a person. My pinpoint focus on my goal had prevented me from pursuing development in any other aspect of my life. I needed to re-explore myself and diversify. Secondly, I realized that I needed to rely on myself, not only for support, but also to define my self-worth and what success meant for me.

This failure would not define me and I needed to write the blueprint for a multifaceted, fun and love filled life.

Even if they may not always understand me, my parents have always surrounded me with love. This was one of our last nights before I moved to New Zealand.
Even if they may not always understand me, my parents have always surrounded me with love. This was one of our last nights before I moved to New Zealand.

Positivity Challenge Day Four and Day Five

Like all long weekends my husband and I spent more time running around than relaxing and I have a serious dislike for writing with just my phone. So I made the decision to hold off and just start the week off with the things I have been thankful for over Labor Day Weekend.

I have really enjoyed this positivity Challenge and I have decided that I am going to try and keep it up. Not every day but every week. So once a week look forward to a post about all things awesome in this world.

Day Four:

1) Sleeping In: On Sunday I did not have the chance to sleep in but it reminded me that sleeping in is something I savor when I get the chance to do it. For ten years I was up before 5am. Now, the two indulgences that I find so very decadent are not setting an alarm and/or hitting the snooze button. Now that I am married sleeping in is even better. I always tell Dion there is actually no better way to start my day than waking up and being able to linger in bed with him. We don’t get those moments often, but when we do, I spend the day a little happier and a lot more grateful.

2) Gluten Free Beer: This may sound shallow or stupid to some but I am so grateful that people figured out how to make some tasty GF beers. After my car accident I kept getting sick and found out that I had developed a gluten allergy through all the trauma and stress. That was right around the time that I had also realized there was more to beer than Coors Light. Gluten Free brewing was not really a thing yet or, if it had been, I didn’t know about it. I love good spirits and wine but sometimes you just want to chill out and sip on a beer like a normal person. When GF beers started popping up I couldn’t help but get excited. Every time I am able to order a beer at a bar there is a split second where I am just so stoked to be normal.

3) Meghan Trainor’s song ‘All About That Bass’: First of all, high five for spelling your name with a ‘H.’ Second of all, my poor husband has had to pay witness to me car dancing to this song far too¬†often this weekend. I recently saw an article that said she may have stolen the beat/melody from a K Pop artist and, although that’s a serious allegation, I love this song and do not care. The whole body positive movement is so freaking awesome. I wish I had grown up with images, songs and stories that empowered me to love my body for what it was capable of and not what mold it didn’t fit. I am very grateful that I will not be a sole voice of reason to our future super hero children about how strong and capable they are.

Day Five:

1) RibFest: I went to school in Texas and that made my love of meats, cooked low and slow over some hard wood, even stronger than before. When I lived in New Zealand BBQ Ribs were basically impossible to find. Dion and I did find them at two places and, while they were good enough to make it until the next visit home, BBQ is something the we (the US) do right. So when Dion and I found out that the RibFest was happening this weekend we knew we HAD to get our butts down there. On Labor Day we had a casual latte, made by yours truly via our awesome espresso machine, and suited up (ie: everything stretchy lululemon) to make our way to the festival. I bee-lined to a stall from Magnolia, TX and although I knew Texas brisket was heaven on Earth I got the combo (it is RibFest after all). It was glorious and the only way brunch should be done, getting a tan and eating yummy smoked meat and pickles.

2)Orange is the New Black: Dion and I are automatically suspicious of any critically acclaimed shows. Because of that we didn’t start watching GoT until this past Fall, and on a whim this weekend we decided to give Orange is the New Black a go. I was immediately hooked, Dion, not so much. However as we got a couple episodes in we both couldn’t help but get invested in many of the characters. So after attacking the RibFest we sat on our couch and watched a couple, ok probably three, episodes in a row. It was lazy and glorious and I loved it.

3) Clean Sheets: Seriously, is there any better tiny pleasure in this world? While Dion and I watched Orange is the New Black, we washed any and everything we could get our hands on in our apartment. The only thing better than taking all of your sheets out of the dryer is knowing that you will get to snuggle up in them later. After a day of RibFest, binge watching TV, working out, working and a family BBQ our clean sheets were crisp and amazing and the prefect end to a laid back long weekend.

For those of you that have continued to follow my Positivity Challenge, I hope it has inspired you to look for the little joys in life… and over see my grammatically challenged writing. Over the past five days I have found myself taking in even the smallest of things with more gratitude which is why I hope to continue posting weekly Positivity Posts.

Have a great week everyone!

 

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