Well, if nothing else, my post about dealing with disappointment was a great reminder of just how wonderful my support system is. Many of my friends reached out to me, but not just to try to bolster my own confidence. They also shared their own stories of feeling inadequate, increasing my confidence that, you know, sometimes we just feel this way.
In one of these conversations, a friend of mine remarked, “You’ve just accomplished too much before 30.”
That thought struck me for some reason. For pretty much all of my life, I’ve defined myself by my goals, projects, and what I’m working toward. Right up to your early twenties, that path is almost mapped out for you with school, job hunting, starts of serious relationships, etc. After you hit your mid- to late-twenties, though, there isn’t really a map anymore.
Sure, you can start thinking about kids, but you don’t have to. Yes, you can buy a house. But a lot of people also don’t.
Basically, for the first time ever, I don’t really have a five-year plan. Lately, I feel pretty good if I can tell you where I’ll be in a year.
But maybe it’s better to be aware that that’s what’s bothering me. So I can add it to my goal of “letting things go” more. (Yup, only I could make a goal of not relying so much on goals. It’s a sickness.)
Anyway. I just didn’t want my most recent post to be such a downer. You know, in case I get hit by a bus or something before I can update again.
How creepy will it be if I get hit by a bus after writing this? I’m going to be extra careful on my commute home.
I think, mostly, I just want to go back to feeling awesome. Feeling like I know what I’m doing and where I’m going and that I have it all together. Not feel like a fraud in any of those things. Basically, I think I need to reignite the Happiness Project. That’s a goal I can get behind.
The point is, I’m in a better place a couple of days after writing that other post. I know everything will be fine. It pretty much always is.
Would you describe yourself as someone who handles disappointment well?
Until recently, I think I would have. I’m pretty resilient and adaptable, with enough grit to plow my way through just about anything. Sure, I needed to work on letting things roll off my back a bit more, but in general, I thought I’d outgrown letting other people how I should feel about myself.
But lately, I haven’t been so sure.
A few things have happened that have been, for lack of a better word, disappointing. Nothing terribly tragic or disastrous has happened. A few things in my life have just unfurled in unexpected and undesirable ways.
And, you guys? It’s messing with my head.
I’ve experienced a lot of personal growth in the last five years overcoming most of my insecurities, and for the first time in a while, I’ve felt them start to creep back. And I don’t like the reminder of how I used to feel and think.
In my first draft of this post, this is the point where I actually listed a few of them out. But the shame I felt at even seeing the words was a bit too much for me to share with you guys. Suffice to say, I think they’re things everyone feels sometimes. Suffice to say, I feel a lot like that unfortunate dude in the photo above.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with doubting yourself from time to time. I think it’s normal. The problem is when it starts to become a weight to carry. The problem is when it starts affecting your will to try again.
Whenever these feelings start creeping in, I always reread my Happiness Project post. I remember even when I was writing that thinking, “There is going to come a time when this is not going to feel so easy. There will be a day when I am so down, I will feel stupid for even writing these words. When I’ll scorn my own hubris at thinking I can control my happiness.”
But I still wrote them. And I still published the post. Because even when those two sides of my are at war, I want it on record that the most rational part of me sides with the optimist.
And I’m trying to keep perspective. I am so incredibly fortunate to have a great support system around me who love me and believe in me even when I stop believing in myself. Plus, like I said, what I’m dealing with are disappointments, not tragedies. If I was talking to me, this is the point when I would gently take my own hands and say, “I am both sad and happy for you that this is the greatest struggle you’re going through right now.” Because I know and love so many people going through so much worse.
So, I get it. I get it. I’m just wondering…how do you deal with disappointments?
I knew training for a marathon was going to be time-consuming, but I’ve still been surprised how little free time I’ve had over the last month.
This is my public service announcement to my friends: If you only see me once (or less) between now and April, I still love you. I’m just running somewhere. Your best chance to see me is signing up for a cross-training class with me. (Seriously, get a Classtivity pass and we’ll book something together. We can do something not-exercise-related afterwards, I promise.)
Anyway. Another side effect? Running so much has the training hungers kicked into high gear (running torches calories, yo). And running for hours has me especially craving comfort food. But rather than simply consuming all the calories I’ve spent time burning, I like to find options that taste decadent but are still healthy.
Something I can’t get enough of lately? My friend Diana‘s Truffle Avocado & Ricotta Toast recipe.
Diana invented this recipe a few weeks ago, and it’s one of those things that sounds good, but when you actually bite into it: magic. She also gave permission for me to feature it here. (Because she’s just that good of a friend.)(And probably because she doesn’t have her own blog.) The point is, this is a great (healthy) option that still provides that comfort food punch because of the cheese and avocado — exactly what I’ve been needing lately.
Here’s what to do:
Truffle Avocado & Ricotta Toast
1-2 slices of whole wheat toast (or gluten-free bread, if you’re Diana)
1-2 T white truffle oil
3-4 T ricotta cheese
1 avocado, peeled and sliced
sea salt or flavored salt (Diana uses Lawry’s seasoned salt) to taste
1. Toast the bread.
2. Drizzle bread with truffle oil.
3. Top with ricotta cheese.
4. Add slices of avocado.
5. Salt to taste. Enjoy!
Not surprisingly, training for the marathon is giving me flashbacks to training for my first half.
Mostly because, starting yesterday, almost every long run is going to be the longest distance I’ve ever run at one time.
When I trained for the half, that meant it was the first time I’d ever run five, six, eight, ten, twelve, and, finally, 13.1 miles. Training for the full means the first time running 14, 16, 18, 20 (twice), and, finally, 26.2.
My brain has a hard time aligning those figures with the actions required to accomplish them. When I start thinking about the number of hours in the cold, foot strikes on the cement, and energy burned, it can be a little overwhelming.
My running partner, Diana, and I talk a lot about the “games” runners play to make the long runs more bearable. You’re not running ten miles. You’re running five miles out, and then five miles back. You’re not just running for two hours; you’re burning enough calories to eat whatever you want for dinner.
Sometimes the mental games work. Sometimes you dig deep, grit your teeth, and just grind out another few miles.
Plus, as everyone east of the Bay Area knows, it’s pretty dang cold out. (Yeah, marathon training in the winter may not have been the smartest choice.) I find I don’t even fret about the distance anymore so much as I dread the cold.
That walk from my apartment to the subway to get to the park? Worst part of my week.
I like to think that by the time the real race rolls around (and spring weather with it), I’ll be so thrilled to be able to feel my face and fingers, the whole thing will be a breeze. (Right?)
I hope so. Because the worst part of Saturday’s 14-miler was easily the sub-30 temperatures. And, you know, when it started to snow during the last half-mile. That was just the cherry.
Overall, though, it has been interesting to see how training changes my perceptions on things. It used to kill me to run more than two miles. In fact, I can remember a time when running two miles sounded like torture.
On Saturday, when I hit nine miles, my first thought was actually, “Yessss, only five more!”
Who am I, you guys?
I’ve mentioned a few times how, ever since I started working in the city again, Joey has taken on a lot of the cooking.
It’s great for me because I’m usually exhausted at the end of the day, great for him because he actually really enjoys it, and great for us because it saves money and we don’t have to wait until 10 o’clock at night to eat.
If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen a few examples of me
braggingsharing the things Joey has made, and because my Kitchen Adventures have become few and far between, I thought it could be fun to start sharing his recipes on the blog.
I’m accepting recommendations for what we should call this segment. So far, all I’ve got is “Joe on the Range.” (Yup, this from a girl in marketing. Sigh.)
We’re kicking off with Joey’s Cinnamon Crunch Toast Waffles, the perfect choice for a day-off breakfast.
When we found out we both had the same day off of work, I requested a lazy-day brunch of waffles. Joey set to work. Here’s how to make ‘em.
CINNAMON CRUNCH TOAST WAFFLES
2 cups pancake mix (Joey used Aunt Jemima)
1 cup water
1/2 cup egg nog
2 t brown sugar
1 T cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling
1/2 c crushed graham crackers
1 banana, sliced
1. Turn on waffle iron. Spray lightly with cooking spray.
2. Combine pancake mix, water, egg nog, brown sugar, and 1 T cinnamon in a mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly.
3. Once waffle iron is hot, pour half cup of batter mixture and cook waffle to desired crispness.
4. Plate cooked waffle and sprinkle with crushed graham crackers and cinnamon. Top with banana slices and maple syrup if desired.
What’s your favorite lazy-day breakfast recipe?
It’s kind of ironic that I’m a runner because I tend to get bored with the same kind of workout if I do it for weeks on end.
I guess I stick with running because, when you’re training for a race, you’re always striving for different distances. If the end goal changes, it’s a little easier to stay focused.
For other workout classes, though, I’ve never been able to do the same thing for more than a year. So I was pretty intrigued when Diana introduced me to Classtivity.
For $99, you get ten classes that you can redeem at basically every boutique gym in the city. (They’re also in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Seattle, and D.C.) You can “spend” all ten classes at the same gym, or try ten different ones. There’s a whole range of classes from yoga and pilates to boot camps and spin, so it’s impossible to get bored.
The cost breaks down to about $10 per class, which, in this city, is an amazing deal. (The average class you take would typically cost around $40-$50.)
A big part of training for the marathon is cross training my legs and strengthening my core and upper body, so clearly this kind of deal interested me.
And just so things don’t get monotonous around here, I thought it could be interested to share what I think of the new classes I’m taking. Maybe not. But maybe? I’ll rate the gyms and the classes? Eh?
Here we go!
Last night, I took a Core Fusion Barre Class at Exhale New York in Soho.
Space: The gym was on the second floor of the building. The overall space wasn’t exceptionally large (the lobby was downright cramped as one class files out and the other files in), but the actual studio was fine. There are two dressing rooms with curtain doors and one bathroom. You keep your belongings in cubbies.
Cleanliness: Super clean. You spend a couple of minutes before class wiping down the barre, weights, mats, etc. They also have fancy soaps and stuff in the bathroom so you can wash your face, which I always appreciate.
Attitude: Excellent. Not a snob to be found. My teacher, Erin, was incredibly sweet and encouraging but still pushed you to push yourself.
Difficulty (Out of 10, 1 being “could do it in my sleep” and 10 being “omg I can’t walk”): Easily a 9. This class. This class is so hard. I am not a weak person, and I never wimp out on finishing sets, and I had to wimp out so many times. Remember how sweet I was saying Erin was? Behind that pretty smile, there lies a drill sergeant. She told us mid-class that a professional dancer friend of hers once almost threw up in the middle of her class. So…don’t feel bad if it’s tough for you. (Each move can be modified, though, so don’t be too scared!)
Experience: This one was a great workout. Every part of my body felt strengthened, and you get that ballet/pilates feel of stretching all your muscles while they’re strengthened. Just go in expecting it will be hard, but totally worth it. (Plus, each of the workout “sets” only takes about three minutes, and then you stretch. It just feels like an eternity.) And I don’t know about you, but I always feel significantly fancier working out with a ballet barre. So there’s that.
Afterburn (how I felt the next day): As soon as I left the class, I already felt that muscle “buzzing” feeling that I get after a long run. My body is a little sore this morning, but not in a bad way. I’m glad the overall soreness isn’t too bad because I have to run ten miles in a few hours.
Final grade: A+! I’m definitely planning to do this one again.
Ok, so was that helpful? Have I convinced any of you to join me next time? I’m taking another new class tomorrow, so maybe that will be a post later this week.
Have a great weekend!