Success, and Why I’m Obsessed With It

Success.

I haven’t been very much of a prolific blogger lately (yikes). I had been away at the beach in the no man’s land of no internet. Being cut off from the world made me a prolific writer. It also made me incredibly lonely with my thoughts when events were going on.

Lately, I have been so obsessed with measuring success and progress. I thought I left that world behind when I finished college applications, but I suppose not!

Okay, to get the full picture, these are my high school hobbies:
-Writing -Lacrosse -Tennis -Running
-Piano
-Swimming -Volunteering -Costume-making

Not really in that order.

I love doing everything. I am addicted to learning about new hobbies.

The problem is, I love being successful at everything. I push myself to my limits and beyond. This can be amazingly helpful (I received a Most Improved medal for my first year on the lacrosse team!), but it can also be frustrating, and utterly exhausting. I thought I’d brought the pressure down to a manageable level, but it’s started to creep into my exercise.

In the past two days, I’ve spent at least two hours a day exercising. I’m beginning to break in my hiking boots (on the treadmill, unfortunately, because I don’t live near trails).

I have been diligent about recording every minute I’ve been working out.

Diligence is good, right?

Well, the pressure grew to the point where I would get really frustrated if I swam for 18 minutes instead of 20, or something like that. I started measuring everything and stacking things up against how they would prepare me for my hiking trip (upper body strength, etc.) or my half-marathon.

I also did not have a very relaxing vacation, due to a number of reasons, but tensions were high as I returned home. I sort of collapsed with the exhaustion and then I was swept up again in college preparations. The two issues piled up against each other and it was causing me a lot of stress.

Sometimes I guess I just have to take life as it comes.

I swam today. No stopwatch. No goggles. Just me and even breathing.

It was kind of meditative…something I’ve been experimenting with after dinner lately. My family meditates for a few minutes after eating. We all gather on the living room floor. I don’t think it’s really meditating–my dad counts; my mom flits through the day; I stretch. It’s a start.

I know I have plenty of time to get in shape for the Disney Princess Half-Marathon (which I am now officially registered for! YAY!). There’s no turning back after paying that entry fee, haha!

And the hiking trip…I’ll be okay. Pressure, get out of my exercise routine!!

Have you tried meditating? What about yoga? If you don’t–how do you wind down your day?

Have you run without a watch lately? Or the equivalent, if you don’t run?

Terrific Trip Tuesday

I love to travel.

As you’re reading this, I’m on my way home from D.C.!

I have a ton of trip photos just hangin’ out, so I thought I’d use Tuesdays for a while to talk about my past adventures.

During August 2009, I went to Chicago.


(Land of amazing architecture!)

(I loved it.)


(A trip is not complete without a cheesy photo in front of the bean.)

(Hangin’ with a pirate at The Field Museum of Natural History.)

(The museum is most famous, though, for “Sue.” This dinosaur is famous for being the largest, most complete t-rex ever found.)

I also enjoyed The Museum of Science and Industry, where there was….


(Harry Potter: The Exhibition is fantastic. I saw it again when it came to New York, where it stays until September before going on an international tour. I highly recommend it!)

(We even ate in a pizzeria where writing on the walls was encouraged! Whoa.)

I loved Chicago. The residents were friendly, the food was fantastic (and reasonable!), and the architecture was amazing. I’d love to travel back someday, and I’d even consider living there…if it weren’t so darn cold in the winter. *shiver*

Definitely yay, I love road trips and I’d love to do one on my own someday. Maybe to Louisiana (I’ve never been!), Florida (I love FL, from southwest to central and just all over), or even west to Texas (I’ve been to San Antonio, but I’d love to visit more of the state) if I’m feeling a little braver.

Road trips! Yay or nay?
I (almost) never get bored between reading, playing license plate games, and staring out the window. Singing your favorite songs helps, too. Belting out Broadway on the highway is the best!

What Writing Is….

The lovely Cat Hellisen over at Inarticulations posted about what writing is. I’ve been thinking lately about why I started blogging. Probably so I could have a reason to take even more delicious photos of food.

(Some great Thai in Chicago. I’ve been on a Chicago photo kick lately. Great city.)

Don’t forget to photograph dessert, too!

(Cheesecake cake pop. Mmmm.)

Or maybe it was because all the cool cats were doing it, and I wanted to get in on the fun!


(Those are my friend’s kittens. That kitten in the back corner is actually blogging. I. Know. He’s so talented.)

Truth is, I love entertaining people. I don’t hesitate to crack jokes and blurt out my life’s story in person…so why not combine it with writing? I like to write novels, but I love the idea of writing for an audience in real time. It connects people in ways I never thought possible. I get to read slices of life from all over–Puerto Rico, Utah, Florida, and even in my own backyard, NYC. I probably would have never encountered these wonderful people without blogging. I’m a fiend for tracking my exercise, and I love to watch progress. And…I like to talk. Writing novels will always be my passion. There’s nothing like finishing a draft and going, “Oh, thank goodness that’s over,” but blogging is an exciting aspect of writing that I wish I had discovered sooner.

As Cat said, the lows of writing novels (and the beast that is publishing) can be very low, and it’s nice to have feedback from non-industry people. Now that I’m not working on the school newspaper, I need to keep my skills fresh. Blogging is a great way to do that. What’s writing to you? So as you all read this, I’m cooped up in the car! Hopefully rereading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows right now…what’s on your to-read list?

How NOT to Run, and the Amazing Blogger Award!

Wisdom is doing something and going, “Oh, dangit, now I know!” Workout-wise, the past few days were…interesting.

My Saturday, aka: How NOT to Run

First, decide that you’re not going to run today! Nope, you are definitely not running. You are having a relaxing day at the beach. Get ready to slather on the sunscreen!

As a result of you having a nice relaxing day, have a HUGE breakfast.
Lots of fiber. Grilled peanut butter and apple sandwich. With two apples. Oh yeaaah. This is the kind of breakfast you’d like to sleep off on the beach.

Ten minutes before you leave, make a snap decision! You’re running! And it’s going to be a long run. Oh boy.

Make sure your Garmin’s not charged! Hasn’t been charged in a while? EVEN BETTER.

Throw everything you think you need into your backpack. Make sure you forget your headband so your hair flops crazily all through the run! It’s the latest fashion, you know.

While you’re at it, leave your Body Glide at home, too.

Arrive at the beach at approximately 11 am. Decide to start your run at the hottest part of the day. Luckily, you HAVE packed sunscreen.

Run your four miles! =D

All joking aside, this run was actually awesome!! There are some days I just get the itch to run like crazy. This was my first official 4 mile run ever! Yay! I kept it slow and steady, so I had 4.03 in 49:45.

Did I learn, though? NAH! The day after, I ran two miles in the rain (24:52), effectively destroying my phone.

Bad move on my part. Darn rain. Now I know–next time, my phone’s going in a plastic baggie. The run was peaceful and fun, though, so at least that was good. =D

In other news, the lovely Paola over at Sol de Luna tagged me for the Amazing Blogger Award! Thanks, Paola! Her blog is absolutely awesome, definitely check it out!

1) Favorite cartoon character?

(I love
Stitch. “O’hana means family,” is a sucker line for me every time. Lilo & Stitch remains one of my favorite movies.)

2) Favorite thing to photograph?


(I do enjoy photographing food, of course. Deep dish pizza in Chicago!)

(But I truly love photographing architecture while I travel. In front of the Louvre in Paris, France.)


3) Favorite thing to cook?
I do love breakfast. I rarely photograph it, because it’s similar. I love egg with salsa over brown rice, or a grilled pb sandwich with an apple. YUM.

4) Favorite way to exercise?
Running, swimming, and biking! I love all three! =D They each teach me a new appreciation for what my body can do.

(I get the kookiest looks on my face when I run, though. I can’t help it–I’m so happy.)


5) Favorite movies:
After Lilo & Stitch, I love Catch Me If You Can. The musical is just as awesome.

(Why hello, Leo. His Broadway counterpart, Aaron Tveit, portrays Frank Jr. fantastically.)

6) Favorite clothing:
Sundresses!


(Often layered over something else. In Chicago.)


7)Favorite flower?
Sunflowers and carnations. They tied.

8) Favorite breakfast?
Scrambled egg with cheddar inside two waffles. *swoon*
Really, I could eat breakfast food all day long. I love almost all kinds of breakfast food, it’s hard to pick!

9)Favorite book?
I love many, but lately I’m loving Invincible Summer by Hannah Moskowitz. Stop making me cry, Hannah!!

10) What is your least favorite food?
Peas. I like sugar snap peas, but regular peas…ick. I try to be an equal opportunity vegetable lover, but peas are a skip every time for me. Who knows why….

(I sure don’t.)

11) What would your dream job be?
I want to be an event planner for Walt Disney World. I admire their gold standard of customer service, and I love the area of hospitality.


(But first, I would love to intern here!)

12) What is your favorite salad topper?
That’s easy! Black beans!

(Though from that photo, you might think it’s grapes….)

13) Do you have a running mantra?
Yes! Mine is: “Keep moving forward.” No matter how slow I’m going, as long as I keep going, every step is a success. As long as I continue my exercise ventures and try new things, I’ll discover things about myself and the world around me I never would have if I had sprawled on my couch.

It’s a shortened version of this quote, because the short version is easier to chant:

“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards very long, we keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious…and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

–Walt Disney

Have you had a bad workout recently? Did you learn anything from it?

Because I’m about to go on vacation…what was one of your favorite places to visit on vacation?

Serendipity!! (Adventure in the City)

Sorry I’ve fallen off the blogosphere lately! I just had college orientation, and I’m still catching up on my workouts.

A regular post about food and exercise will be back tomorrow (the lovely Paola from Sol de Luna was kind enough to tag me in the Amazing Blogger Award! I’m so psyched to fill it out.) But the past slew of days has been such an adventure. Orientation! Celebrating the 4th! And, of course, yesterday’s incredible adventure in the city.

First off, college is going to be great! I’ll be heading upstate for school. Mountains, anybody? Mountains mean mountain biking, trail running, and college means easy access to a gym! Woohoo! I was lucky enough to meet my roommate and new friends.

So, since college is coming quickly, a friend, M, and I decided to visit one of our friends at NYU. I hadn’t been to Greenwich Village in a while, so I decided to find all the places I’d been hearing about….

Peanut Butter & Co. had too many tempting options! I finally settled on the Peanut Butter Sampler. The best picks? Dark Chocolate Dreams (imagine Nutella laced with addictive substances and dipped in magic. Here you go.) and White Chocolate Wonderful.

(It’s a shame I’m not a huge celery fan. Apples with pb all the way, for me.)

I ended up having half of M‘s Peanut Butter Cup sandwich, aka pb and Nutella. YUM. The sandwiches were surprisingly filling. Thanks, chica, and my growling stomach that rules my mind thanks you, too.

And then THIS happened:
“So are you two hanging out in the city after?” (The true life of a suburbanite: Manhattan = ‘the city.’)
“Yup, we’re going to The Strand and then Insomnia.”
“Well, at 6:30 I’m meeting Meg Cabot!”

WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT. So, of course, we accompanied her to the NYU bookstore, where the fantabulous Meg Cabot was giving a presentation on her new novel, Overbite. I love her novels!! She’s just as nice and hilarious in person as I thought she’d be! It was a small presentation, and it was worth the wait. The whole time I couldn’t believe it was happening.

(PROOF.)

I called my mom right after, saying, “I just met Meg Cabot! Yes, THE Meg Cabot!”

Not gonna lie, we felt just a bit like rockstars.

Earlier in the day, after trekking around in the Village, we headed to The Strand. Success! $1 for the Narnia sound track and an illustrated, colored version of The Little Prince. I actually found a pop-up version, and believe me, I was very tempted to bring it in to my English class! College is great already because The Little Prince is on my reading list. =D

Insomnia is so tiny. Only three stools inside! I would’ve walked right by if M hadn’t spotted it. I bought a PB Cup cookie, but truth be told, I was pb’ed out! Too much pb, though I never thought I would say that. I did have pb this morning, though, so don’t worry, it’s a temporary condition! 🙂 We also relaxed in Washington Square Park, which I had never actually been to before! (Bad New Yorker, bad.) Seeing the fountain made me want to dance around like in Glee.

I will settle for an ice cream sandwich, though.

(I am dangerously attractive after a long day of walking in the heat and stuffing my face.)

I had a delicious dinner of london broil sandwiches, (yes, plural. THEY WERE AWESOME.), bbq chicken, macaroni salad, watermelon, and a cupcake. Thanks, M, they were delicious.

Hope you all had a great 4th of July! I sure did.