Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Weights

If you caught my New Year's post (not linking it, it's only a few entries back) then you may remember that one of my New Year's resolutions was to have more balance in my life.  This is kind of an "all-inclusive" resolution, but one thing I definitely wanted to work on was adding a little more balance to my work-outs.  I wanted to do more cross-training (truth: any kind of cross-training would be more than I was doing last year) and I wanted to incorporate weights into my routine.  I have been successful with one of these and unsuccessful with the other.  


The cross-training has not happened yet.  I had the best of intentions today, but sometimes these things don't work out.  The gym I belong to in Charleston is pretty good.  There are a lot of locations all across the Low Country, so you're never far from one.  Which I like a lot.  They have a wide variety of classes offered all day.  Which I also like a lot (actually these are the two reasons I joined this gym, but I never really take advantage of these things).  Two of them have pools.  


So today I decided to skip my run and go for a nice swim instead.  I got all ready, packed my gym bag, and drove over to one of the locations that is advertised as having a pool.  Technically the gym does have a pool.  I mean there is a large-ish, in-ground pool-like structure, but in no way, shape or form was it the type of pool that I expected to find at a gym.  I was expecting lap lanes and found a place where you can splash around with your kids.  A few gym members were bobbing around on pool noodles and I knew that there was no way that I could swim laps there.  Pretty disappointing.  I think I'll give the other pool location a shot, but I think this time I'll do some investigative work before.


Ok, so the cross-training's been a total bust.  But the weight lifting has not.  And I'm excited about it.  A few weeks ago I bought a book on weight lifting for women.  More specifically I bought this book:


which you can purchase here
This book's pretty intense.  I don't know if I'm as weight-lifty as the guy who wrote it (ok, actually I do know that I'm not nearly as weight-lifty as he is.  Exhibit A: I said "weight-lifty").  But its full of great information and misconceptions about women and weight-lifting, comes with a nutrition section, and (here's the best part) SIX MONTHS of weight lifting work outs.  


It's broken down into stages and each stage is made up of two work-outs that you do for a certain amount of times.  In stage one, you do each of the two work-outs 8 times or a total of 16 lifting sessions.  The best part is that it's not a long, drawn out sequence.  Both sequences in stage one are only five exercises long.  Even when I really took my time today, I was done in less than twenty minutes.  Which is totally great and really manageable.  And if soreness is any kind of indication of effectiveness, it's totally working - I'm crazy sore from my Monday weight lifting session and I'm simultaneously looking forward to and dreading the soreness I'll feel tomorrow.


I think I'll take some before and after pictures, but I won't post them until I see a major difference.  So there's that to look forward to :)


Hope everyone's having a great week so far!

Election Season

I know this is going to sound a little strange, but we are in the middle of one of my favorite seasons - ELECTION SEASON!  I've always had a love of all things politics.*  Growing up, politics were frequently discussed at the dinner table - my dad representing one party, my mom the other.  


Although this isn't a "normal" way to grow up, I'm glad I grew up in this sort of environment. My parents taught me from a young age the importance of being invested and involved in the political process.  Since my parents didn't necessarily agree with each other most of the time I got to hear both sides of almost every argument on just about every issue.  


What started as family dinner conversation grew into a passion.  I don't think that The West Wing helped anything on that front.  I was OBSESSED with that show in 7th grade and used to chat about the story lines with my history teacher (as a side note, how great is the cast of The West Wing???  I mean seriously, look at that cast!  Rob Lowe! Allison Janney!  Martin Sheen!!).  In college I majored in Political Science, specifically I graduated from the American Government department.  


photo cred


Right now I am VERY excited to be in South Carolina.  Last night was the New Hampshire primary which means they are onto South Carolina!  Virginia is never an exceptionally important state in the primary process because it's usually one of the Super Tuesday states or the primary is so late that the candidate has already been decided.  But not now.  And what happens in South Carolina is going to matter.  And I'm going to be here to witness it.  I would just about die if I had the opportunity to meet one of the candidates.  


Even though I can't participate in the primary (I'm a registered voter in Virginia), I am so excited to have the opportunity to get to witness the process.  The ads are all over TV and I'm sure (and sooner rather than later) the candidates will start showing up in charming Charleston.  I love the democratic process.  And even more I love when people get excited about engaging in that process.  Here's to the next two weeks - can't wait to see what they have in store.


*As I love politics, I do have rather defined political views.  I enjoy talking about politics, but I try not to use this blog as a means of putting my political ideas out into the blogosphere.  This post is simply intended as a way of me sharing a passion with my readers without engaging in the political nitty-gritty.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year's

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!  I know I'm a day late, but I think we can all agree that being on time just isn't my style.  I rang in the New Year with some of my dearest friends.  Honestly, I was excited for 2012 to begin because 2011 was not the best year of my life.  Nothing really bad happened, but it was a difficult and trying year.  Needless to say I'm pretty excited to have a fresh start.  


Last year I only made three resolutions: to be optimistic, to finish a half marathon, and to take time for myself everyday.  How did I do?  Well, I finished the half back in February, but I don't think that I did very well on my other resolutions.  I struggled with some personal things and let a lot of things get to me in ways that I shouldn't have.  I also let school/work/other obligations eat into any time that I had earmarked for myself.  


So what's on tap for 2012?  Looking ahead - two more semesters of law school will be under my belt, hopefully a decent summer job, a few trips to visit friends over the summer, and I'm going to be a bridesmaid (I know, again) in October.


Now for resolutions.  There are only a few things that I want to accomplish this year.  First, and most importantly, I believe that I need more balance in my life.  This kind of transcends everything.  I need to make more of a point to enjoy myself during school (as in taking a break from the books on Friday nights and having some actual fun).  I need to make more time for friends.  I need to get rid of known stressors (like all of the clutter that is currently occupying way too much space in my bedroom).  I'd even like to become more balanced in my approach to working out (that's right - no more running only!  I'd like to incorporate free weights, swimming, and maybe even pilates into my life this year).  


Other than that, I'm going to stand up for myself a little bit more this year.  There had been several times over this past year where I let people do things that hurt me, times where I should have put my foot down and stood up for myself.  I could pick these moments out as they were happening, but let them slide anyways.  This year, I'm going to say something and not give people the opportunity and permission to do so.  


That's really it for this year.  I hope that 2012 is filled with love and joy; good times and memories; friends and laughter.  Happy New Year to you all, dear readers.