What I’m Learning About Being a Twenty-Something Trying to Make Her Way in This World

Graduate college they said, it’ll be fun they said.

It is, but it’s not. Okay that sounds pessimistic but life after college takes a lot more brainpower than I would have thought. And that’s a crazy idea saying as college seemed to suck the life out of my brain, especially during finals.

One day you are in college, embracing every single opportunity, not thinking twice about much. You know that you have deadlines to meet, but realize that some of them are flexible. You know that you have friends down the hall who will meet you out every Friday night. Cooking your own food? Never. That’s what dining halls are for. Doing your own laundry? Pfft. that is what weekend trips home to mom are for 😉 College is sweet. College, in retrospective, is easy.

The real world is bat shit crazy at times, but it is also cooler than a popsicle 😉

Being someone who has been in the ‘real world’ for over a year now, here are a few conclusions I’ve drawn:

  1. You’ll never figure it all out. For example, these conclusions I’m drawing about figuring out life, I’m sure will change in just another short year. But for real, this is one of my biggest downfalls (and I’m figuring out that I have many), trying to figure everything out, all the time. Being twenty-something seems old once you get there, as soon as you get that diploma you feel like you’ve aged 10-15 years, or at least I did. And when you feel older you are already pressurizing yourself with feelings of having to figure everything out. Figure out tonight’s dinner, next week’s plans, next months budget, this summers vacation, your job, your friends, your family, your home, and soooo onnnn. Sometimes it’s hard not to. But why? At 23 years old I have 100X more things on my mind, more responsibilities that I feel I need to figure out than I did just 5 short years ago at age 18. The media publicizes so many opinions now-a-days, making you think you need to be this size, have this much in your wallet at this age, be ready for kids by now, blah, blah, blah. It publicizes people who have their shit together, or so we are led to believe. Like get real, Taylor Swift who Time Magazine has called the highest paid celebrity in 2016 is only 27- TWENTY SEVEN. Kendall Jenner, worth $18 million dollars, age 21. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olson, $300 million, age 30. These celebrities are our age, us twenty-something year olds, and the media publicizes them as people who have made it. And maybe they have, maybe Taylor Swifts extreme talent and the way she cares about her fans motivates me to dream BIG and never lose sight, but her, or their net worth doesn’t mean they have everything figured out, it’s just money.  Which leads me to my next point
  2. Your wallet doesn’t define you. I’ve had $200 in my wallet and I’ve had $0 in my wallet in any given month. Have I had nervous breakdowns when my wallet and my bank accounts get low and my credit card gets high? You bet. Does it take me awhile to realize how ridiculous this is and convince myself to be better next time, oh yeah. Do I do better next time? Eh only about 25% of the time. I feel old, and I feel like my wallet is small in comparison. But why? I DON’T KNOW. For goodness sake, I have no idea why I have all of these nervous breakdowns. I’m here right now telling myself that my wallet doesn’t define me, only 3 short hours after nervously checking my bank accounts wondering how I’m going to make ends meet. Finances are tough, for everyone. But guess what you are TWENTY-SOMETHING years old and most likely in student loan debt at the least, SO WHAT! They are just short term finances, and I’m learning that it’s better to feel in control of them, no matter how small they are, then to let them control you. You are not defined by money, and when you make millions someday, I hope you remember this.
  3. Don’t let your ego stop you from gaining work experience. I‘ve had many duties in my workplace already, many have been the exact things I want to do, few have not. But those duties that you might not want to do, aren’t the ones to say no to, because those duties are the ones that give you experience, real experience. Trust me on this. Applying yourself in a different way than you are comfortable, stepping out of your comfort zone, being humble and doing a job below you teaches you something about your work ethic, and it lets you reflect on your true career goals. Plus, sometimes these jobs are the ones you make the best connections with, you might find your next job reference, or someone who knows someone to get you into that dream job. You are TWENTY-SOMETHING years old, don’t let your ego hinder you. Being an intern is okay, starting small in a place where you can grow is okay. Work an underpaid job for a few months to appreciate the big job when you get it. But you have to be smart about your time-management with these jobs, which brings me to my next point.
  4. Jobs come and go, real experiences with friends and family don’t. I’m learning, and this is one thing that I can proudly say I’ve already gotten better at, is that over-working yourself and missing out on real life fun leaves you with nothing fun to look back on. Work hard at your job, appreciate it, and try to make strides in the workplace, but know when to stop, to clock out for the day and go home. You are TWENTY-SOMETHING years old, don’t waste it at your job. Being young in the workplace it is easy to be looked down on, to be viewed as an “intern” even if you have the same experience as your elder coworkers. If asked to go above and beyond your job duties, or hours, know when to say no. You are asked to go grab coffee for others, think about this. Am I going to get coffee for myself? If so, be kind and get others coffee. Am I already nose deep into reports and don’t have time to go to the bathroom? Say no, kindly. You are asked to pick up another shift, and then another, and then another. Know when to say no. Sometimes it’s right to say yes, you just need to. Sometimes you say yes because you absolutely love what the specific shift has to bring– and that is okay! But know that next time if it comes around and you have cocktail night planned, that it is okay to say no. Saying yes once, doesn’t mean saying yes all the time. Clock out early today, go spend time with loved ones, and do not feel guilty about it
  5. Your friends matter, your family matters. This is a short and easy one. These are the people that have always been there for you, and who will always be there for you, regardless of your place in the world. Use them for help, use them for shoulder to cry on, for an ear to listen. Have fun with them when the world feels like its hitting you hard. Don’t push these people away, they are your people, and they get you.
  6. Dive into recreational activities. This is one thing I am working on. Most likely, many of us are no longer athletes who have a coach and a team to report to 3-6 days out of the week. No, we are TWENTY-SOMETHING year olds who feel old. But we’re not! Find a rec volleyball league, basketball league, kickball league. Go painting once a week, join a book club (and this does NOT make you old, it makes you wise). Find something to immerse yourself in when everything else seems to be moving at top speed. These are the things that can slow your day down, put a smile on your face, and even introduce you to new people. Because let’s face it sometimes fresh souls are good for our own. They could be great new friends, future references, the person who knows someone who knows someone, or someone you actually don’t get along with, which is a learning experience in itself. Plus, it’s good for your health to stay active, go find a rec league, take a load off.
  7. Appreciate your elders. If not for anything else, but because they won’t be around forever. But these are also the people who you likely look at as ‘wise’, and how do you think they got wise? Listen to their stories, their personal experiences, listen to what made them the wise person they are and why. We won’t find that at our age, we just won’t. Being a TWENTY-SOMETHING year old gives us a lot less time for personal life experiences. Plus, sitting back and listening to their stories can put your life into a lot better perspective.
  8. You will fall flat on your face sometimes. You have to get back up. Every. Single. Time.

So one day you’re in college, but you know what, one day you are also in the real world, and that is pretty fricking awesome. You might not be able to meet your friends out on Thursday nights every week, but you can meet them out for cocktails on Wednesday night without a fake ID, because that is just the cool thing to do. You can stay at home on Friday with a glass of wine and watch your puppies run around, instead of watching school equations run off the paper you’re studying. You can buy a new vacuum and feel like an absolute rock star because of it, instead of feeling like a millionaire when you finally fill your tank all the way up (oh the typical college kid move, we all did it). Being in the real world has responsibilities, new experiences, new people, new stresses and excitements, but these are what shape your life, that shape you. Embrace them all. They’re your future.

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Hey You, You Can Do This

Hey you, you can do this!

But what ‘can’ I do?

Whatever today is bringing you, I’m here to remind you that you can do it! Roll out of bed with the attitude to take on the world. Step out your front door into the crisp air with the attitude to take on the world. Drive in your car, get to your destination, with the attitude to take on the world. Cook a nice meal, take a nice shower, and go to bed with the attitude to take on the world again tomorrow.

January 2, 2017. To many it is “A New Year”. The chance to start over, to start fresh, to set resolutions. To others a “New Year” is simply another turn in the calendar, and maybe you just keep trucking through life without any resolutions to be set. Regardless of whatever to day means to you, we are all somewhere in life, and we all have somewhere to go.

Maybe today you are starting a new goal, or maybe today you are still striving towards old goals. Maybe today you are saying hello to a new place, or maybe today you are saying goodbye to an old one. Maybe today you woke up and put on 2 left shoes that didn’t match with coffee spills on your shirt, or maybe today things are just going your way and your hair is on point. Maybe today your jeans are fitting a little snug, or maybe today you are reflecting on the 50 lbs you lost last year with desire to keep it up! Maybe today you are starting a new job, or maybe today you are ending an old one. Maybe today you are running on 2 hours of sleep with not nearly enough caffeine to get you through the day, or maybe today you woke up with the most refreshing nights sleep you’ve had in awhile. Maybe today you are hating on Monday, or maybe today you are ready to take on the world, take on the year.

Today you could be embarking on something new, continuing an old adventure, saying goodbye to a loved one, greeting a new born child, and the list could go on. But what is common about today for all of us? That we can do it. If you are setting resolutions I hope you light them with so much fire that even the biggest hurricane couldn’t burn them out. Feel that fire, feel that drive, and never let it go, because it is a wonderful feeling. If you are already feeling on top of the world- you’ve reached last years goals, you are on top of your job, of your fitness, of your life- if you just feel put together- walk around today with a humble attitude. Feel grateful for what you have and what you’ve accomplished. Heck, use that to encourage, motivate, and help others.

Everyone is at a different point in their life, in today, but we can thrive off each other. Build someone up today, I dare you.

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Fitness in 2017. What to Look Out For

New Year’s Resolution, long term habit, livelihood, etc. If fitness is in your 2017 plans, you might want to check out the predicted trends.

Using multiple sites, I cross checked and came up with the most common trends to see in 2017:

  1. Wearable technology
  2. Bodyweight training
  3. HIIT
  4. Educated and Experienced Fitness Professionals
  5. Strength Training
  6. Group Training
  7. Exercise is Medicine
  8. Yoga
  9. Personal Training
  10. Exercise and Caloric Restriction for Weight Loss
  11. Recovery

The first 10 of these come straight from the American College of Sports Medicine, and were also found in all of my other sites, as everyone credits the ACSM for the “new trends” list each year. There were definitely more categories from multiple sites that could have been included, but that list would have been well, exhaustive.

I did, however, want to add #11- recovery, as I think this is a HUGE up and coming area to focus on- as it needs to be!

For a look at both the ACSM and ACE Fitness lists (ACE not included as it had many differing trends, but still credible) you can follow the links here:

http://www.acsm.org/about-acsm/media-room/news-releases/2016/10/26/top-fitness-trend-for-2017-is-wearable-technology

https://www.acefitness.org/blog/6158/health-and-fitness-trends-you-ll-see-in-2017

Before You Set Your New Year’s Resolutions…

Before you set your 2017 New Year’s Resolutions, take a step back and allow yourself to think about. Sure, almost everyone sets some sort of resolution at the beginning of the new year, but how many stick to them?

Don’t make a resolution that you can’t stick to. Don’t make it too far fetched or out of this world. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Whatever your resolution might be, fitness, weight loss, relationship management, being smart with your finances, trying better at this, doing less of that, take time to think about it and plan it out.

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The reasons most people don’t stick to resolutions could be many- ‘falling off the bandwagon’, everyone seems to give up their resolutions within the first 3 months of the new year, or ‘not having enough support’, ‘setting a goal too big’, or ‘setting a goal too small it isn’t as rewarding to achieve’. But my ever favorite reason for not sticking to the resolutions is…. ‘I’ll try again next year’. NO what if there is NOT a next year?! Do this for you, do it now.

My suggestion? Take it one month at a time. Set an overall goal, but break it down into 12 segments, 12 months. As this is predominately a fitness blog, let’s take a fitness resolution for example:

First off all, let’s call these goals or dreams, ‘resolutions’ seems to have a weird vibe about it. As if everyone expects you to set one, but they also expect you to fail at them. Goals are awesome, dreams are awesome-er!

Say your goal is to exercise 5 days a week in 2017:

Take it one month at a time- pull out a calendar! Maybe in January your goal will be to try out different classes during that month to find your niche. You could sample many different classes and still find one to fit your schedule to make those 5 days a week work.

Using that calendar give yourself a sticker, a sharpie mark, or whatever you want to indicate the days you worked out. Hell, if you’re even following the top predicted trend of 2017 (blog about that to follow) and have invested in wearable technology- write your workout stats on each calendar day!

January could be your month to try fitness classes. February could be your month to bring a friend to class. March could be your month to try one day a week of working out on your own in the gym. April could be your month to try adding functional fitness in, rock climbing, gymnastics (hey it could happen), walking with friends- something that keeps you healthy that can also relate and help you realistically in your normal, everyday life. May could be your month for outdoor fitness. The ideas could go on and on.

Or if you find a class you like right in January just make it your goal to stick to it 5 days a week for your 2017 year!

Maybe fitness classes aren’t your thing, there’s always online programming, personal training, the buddy system, etc. The goal is to find something that will help keep you on track to your goal/dream!

Oh and another tip about goals. If you set a goal specific enough like working out 5 days a week, or even putting money into savings 4 times a month, going to church 4 times a month, etc. and you can’t make it work for those specific days every week of every month of the year, do not worry, do not give up! The beauty of goal setting is to learn to roll with the punches and to keep going when a lot of things are telling you not to.

So go set a goal, start thinking about it NOW, don’t let 2017 pass by, grab it by the horns and take action! And remember, your goals are for your life. Not everyone will understand or support them, ignore those people, they’re not your people anyway. Find your support system and run with them! You can do this, you will do this.

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12 Days of Workouts, Day 12

Warning: today’s workout is NOT 30 minutes like the rest, rather it is 55-60 minutes long IF you do it all. The trick is to see how far you can go 🙂

Day 12: Days 1-11 combined!

  • Squat reps to failure
  • Push up reps to failure
  • Elbow plank hold to failure

Rest 60 seconds

HIIT- upper body 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest

Round 1: 2X through

  • Jumping jacks
  • Push ups
  • Mountain climbers
  • Side plank hip dips –EACH!

Rest 30 seconds

Round 2: 2X through

  • High knees
  • Tricep dips
  • Plank jacks

Rest 30 seconds

HIIT- lower body 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest

Round 3: 2X through

  • Squats
  • Speed skaters
  • Line hops
  • Jump twist

Rest 30 seconds

Round 4: 2X through

  • Step forward lunges
  • Squat to leg abduction
  • Plank w/ glute lift

Full body HIIT- 20 seconds on, 10 second off

Round 5: 2X through

  • Inchworm to push up
  • Side step ups- right
  • Side step ups- left

Rest 30 seconds

Round 6: 2X through

  • Seat squats
  • Plank with leg lift
  • Box jumps or step ups

CORE- 20 seconds each, no rest in between

Round 7: 2X through

  • Birddog-R
  • Birddog-L
  • Side plank leg lift-R
  • Side plank leg lift-L
  • X-crunch
  • Butterfly crunch/sit up
  • Ab tuck up
  • Rope climb-R
  • Rope climb-L

Rest 60 seconds

EMOM: Every Minute On the Minute: 4 minutes (4 rounds)

  • 25 jumprope
  • 10 spiderman plank total
  • 5 sumo squats
  • Rest with remaining time

Rest 60 seconds

AMRAP 10 minutes:

  • 1 tuck jump
  • 2 wall walks
  • 3 inchworm to plank jack
  • 4 froggers
  • 5 burpees
  • 6 jump lunge each
  • 7 diamond push ups
  • 8 lateral hop squats
  • 9 mountain climber each
  • 10 shuffle touch total

Rest 60 seconds

AMRAP 5 minutes:

  • 30 total wacky jacks (15 each side)
  • Wall sit with 50 total front jabs (25 each hand)
  • Plank with 50 shoulder taps (25 each hand)
  • 25 lunge pulse each leg
  • Low push up hold to failure

 

12 Days of Workouts, Day 11

Today is actually fairly… simple 😉 As most of these moves have been done in previous workouts, actually all we have done in previous workouts in some form

Full body 

HIIT- 45 seconds on, 20 seconds off: 3 rounds and done!

  • Power lunge
  • High knees
  • Sumo squat pulse
  • Side shuffle
  • Burpees
  • Inchworm to rolling side plank
  • Switch lunge
  • Freestyle!

What are you waiting for?! Get to work!

12 Days of Workouts, Day 10

Get ready for some…. core & balance!

10 exercises, 10 reps each, AMRAP 30 minutes

  1. X-plank
  2. Single leg v-up
  3. Plank step through
  4. ½ Turkish get up
  5. Panther crawl
  6. Squat thrusters
  7. Crab crunch
  8. Plank inchworm
  9. Flamingo
  10. Plank hold with leg lifts

Exercises:

A1,2,3 & C1,2,3: plank step through (showing both sides)

B1,2: panther crawl

D1,2: squat thrusters

E1,2,3: 1/2 turkish get up

F1,2: crab crunch

G1,2,3: plank inchworm

H1,2: flamingo

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Exercise tips:

Plank step through- if your goal is to step the right foot through, your first action needs to be with your left foot. If you don’t bring the outside foot up and out, it does not leave a gap for your other leg to step through, and then the move will be awkward and incomplete

Panther crawl- is kind of hard to show in pictures, but basically you start in a plank position. You then move your right hand forward and your right leg as if you are crawling like an animal- as you move your knee needs to hover over the floor, don’t forget this!

Squat thrusters- starting in a plank position, you either step one or thrust both feet forward towards your hands and then look up as if you were at the bottom of a squat (because you are). Think of replacing your hands with your feet

1/2 turkish get up- make sure your right hand is in the air and your right knee is bent. The goal is to target that hand up towards the ceiling as you sit up. PLEASE use your outstretched left arm to help you get up- this is not cheating, it is doing it correctly!

Crab crunch- starting on all fours BUT facing the ceiling, you lift your right hand to left foot in a crunching motion and then switch

Plank inchworm- in a straight arm plank position, the only thing moving will be your arms moving forward. Think of inching your fingers/hands forward slowly and one-by-one

Flamingo- the best balance move of the day! balancing on one foot, bend over reaching towards your toes, and as you stand you bring your hands towards the ceiling and bring the leg that was balancing behind you (hovering) up with a bent knee

12 Days of Workouts, Day 9

It’s December 20th, so today we will play off of that 😉

20 exercises, at 20 reps each. See how fast (with good form!) you can get through all 20 exercises!

Go through it once and you’re done, or work yourself harder and go through again!

Workout:

  1. Vertical or tuck jumps
  2. Push ups
  3. Narrow to wide squats
  4. Mountain climber switch
  5. Tricep dips
  6. Straight leg side sit up-R
  7. Straight leg side sit up-L
  8. Shoulder push ups
  9. Front kicks each
  10. Squat to leg abduction (count the squats, 20 squats, 10 abduction each leg)
  11. Elbow plank walk
  12. Plank jacks
  13. Childs pose push up
  14. Curtsy lunge-R
  15. Curtsy lunge-L
  16. Standing mountain climber each
  17. Speed skaters each
  18. Walking plank
  19. Rolling side plank each
  20. Burpees

Exercises: 

  • A1&2: Mountain climber switch
  • B1&2: straight leg side sit up
  • C1,2,3,&4: elbow plank walk
  • D1,2,3,&4: child’s pose push up
  • E1,2,3,&4: rolling side plank

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Exercise tips:

  • The goal is to challenge yourself, so we are thinking speed here, but more importantly  we are thinking safety and good form!
  • Straight leg side sit up- feel free to use your outstretched arm (the one that is in contact with the ground) for assistance
  • Elbow plank walk- simply begin in an elbow plank, place right hand on the ground (picture C2), then place your left hand on the ground (picture C3), then return back to an elbow plank by placing your right elbow on the ground (picture C4)
  • Child’s pose push up- as you are pushing up from the bottom of the push up, you also aim to push backwards as if you were going to do a child’s pose. The catch your knees never touch the ground, so you hover the whole time and squeeze your abs!
  • Rolling side plank- simply go from straight arm plank, open to right side plank, back to middle plank, open to left side plank

12 Days of Workouts, Day 8

Day 8:

Squat reps to failure

Push up reps to failure

Quick burpee reps to failure (burpee no push up)

then:

AMRAP 20 MINUTES

  • 50 total wacky jacks (25 each side)
  • Wall sit with 100 total front jabs (50 each hand)
  • Plank with 50 shoulder taps (25 each hand)
  • 25 lunge pulse each leg
  • Low push up hold to failure

Exercises:

  • Wacky jacks: look like a standing oblique crunch in fast time. You take your right knee up and out to the side at the same time you are bringing your right elbow down to meet the knee. You then hop and switch to the other side- it truly looks wacky
  • Wall sit with front jabs: hold a wall sit and pretend you are jabbing or hitting someone in front of you, do 100 of thouse
  • Plank shoulder taps- in a plank position, lift one hand at a time and tap the opposite shoulder- 25 each hand
  • Lunge pulse- hold yourself at the bottom of the lunge and pulse up and down 25 times each leg. These are the same concept at a squat pulse which has been done in previous days
  • Low push up hold to failure- hold the bottom of the push up and hold until you can’t anymore

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From left to right: wacky jacks pictures 1&2, low push up hold picture 3

 

12 Days of Workouts, Day 7

Core

  • Round 1: 20 seconds each, 5 second transition /rest (6 minutes)
  • 45 second rest in between round 1 &2
  • Round 2: same moves, 30 seconds each, 10 second transition/rest (10 minutes)
  • 45 second rest in between round 2&3
  • Round 3: same moves: 40 seconds each, 15 second transition/rest (14 minutes)
  1. Mountain climber get up
  2. Plank jacks
  3. Birddog-R
  4. Birddog-L
  5. Side plank leg lift-R
  6. Side plank leg lift-L
  7. X-crunch
  8. Butterfly crunch/sit up
  9. Ab tuck up
  10. Rope climb-R
  11. Rope climb-L
  12. Elbow plank hold
  13. Side plank hold-R
  14. Side plank hold-L
  15. Straight arm plank hold

Exercises:

  • A1&2: Birddog
  • B1&2: side plank leg lift
  • C1,2,3&4: rope climbs
  • D1&2: ab tuck up
  • E1&2: X-crunch

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Exercise tips:

  • Mountain climber get up: do about 2-4 total mountain climbers, then hop both feet in to your hands, and stand up
  • Birddogs- make sure you are using opposite hand and opposite leg. This is great for both balance and ALL over core, meaning abs and low back. Stretch your hand and foot as far in each direction as you can
  • Side plank leg lift is a hard move- to modify, just hold a side plank 🙂
  • X-crunch- lay on your back with hands and feet extended out so your body makes a big X. Then crunch up opposite hand to opposite foot
  • Butterfly crunch- simply lay flat on your back, then pull your legs in so they are in butterfly position (sometimes also called pretzel) but with the bottoms of your feet touching, then just crunch your shoulder blades off the ground
  • Rope climb- actually use your leg as if it were a rope. Climbing up it with your hands, touch your leg in 3 different spots (each one higher than the last) and then return to starting position to repeat