I Confess… Road Trip Edition

“I Confess” theme by Carissa

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I confess that every time I stop to get gas and clean my windshield, I seriously consider taking the squeegee to the entire exterior of my car. #somuchdirt

I confess that I still play the “Out of State License Plate” game. As of this morning, I had 42 states and 5 Canadian provinces. Stoked! I need some bitches from New England to get out west!

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I confess that I had planned to read so many books on this trip. Those 6 books on my kindle are still sitting there… I did finish my Teddy Roosevelt biography though. Finally.

I confess that if you’re going to be drinking alone, it might as well be with wine you bought at a gas station in the desert. They always say you do things you’d never normally do when you travel alone…

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I confess that while most people really hate Top Ramen noodles after eating it so often in college, I still kinda like it. I’ve had it a couple times. {widegrinemoji}

I confess that sometimes I’m ok with just 3.5 tent stakes. Sometimes you hit a rock with that 4th stake and I just leave it halfway. My tent has yet to blow away.

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I confess that the following items accompany me into my tent each night because I’ve seen way too many scary movies: a hammer, a knife, and a can of mace. Although I think spraying mace inside my tent would hit my eyes just as much as a would-be murderer so my plan is to use that after I whack somebody in the head with the hammer and cut them (hard) with my knife. Assuming Tango does nothing… which is unlikely. But at least there’s a plan.

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I confess that Tango and I ran a 3 mile trail yesterday in Boulder and I thought I was going to die. Lack of regular training + 5500 feet altitude = less than stellar performance. Running along the South Boulder Creek was pretty though.

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I confess that I stayed at a KOA campground. With wifi. And a hot tub. Both of which I took full advantage of. Cheryl Strayed I am not…

I confess that this failed silhouette shot (that makes it look like the sun shines out of my who-ha makes me laugh so I’m keeping it. Aaaaand posting it on the interwebs.

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I confess that I’m still figuring out my bluetooth phone camera remote. There are quite a few shots like this that get deleted daily.

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset It was freezing. I was just wearing several layers and my gloves were in my pockets. I’m not pregnant.

I confess that another schedule change is in the works for next week. It’s been too chilly/rainy for my liking and so I might just head up to see my man-friend a little earlier than planned. Not mad about that either.

I confess that this trip is still my best decision this year.

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Things That Are/Are Not My Jam: Road Trip Edition

It’s a hotel night! Yay for wifi!

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I’ve been traveling for just over 3 weeks now and we are having a blast. There are numerous things that are my jam. However, even though my instagram feed might look like everything is perfect, there have definitely been some things that are not my jam. So that we can end on a good note, we’ll start with the latter:

Things That Are Not My Jam: 

* My car being SO f***ing dirty. Between the dog hair, the sand, the dirt, the damn cashews that are everywhere because I dropped the open bag a couple weeks ago, it’s a MESS.

*Setting my tent up in the wind. #Imeeeeeean

*My sleeping bag’s shape. I sleep starfish-shaped. You can’t do that in a bag that’s tapered…

*Tangled hair. Between the crazy wind and the apparent dance party I’m doing in my sleeping bag each night, it’s a battle getting a comb through my hair in the morning. It’s a Katniss braid from here on out.

*Data use: My cell phone data use has skyrocketed since we’ve been on the road because I’m NEVER connected to wifi. I’m trying to only use my maps, weather and camping apps and I’ve turned off data to all other apps (so don’t be upset if I don’t respond to your facebook comment). I try to hit up a coffee shop once a day so I can post my instagram photo and check the weather forecast and email. It’s actually been good though. I need to be less reliant on my phone.

*Non-pet-friendly places. Living out of the car means Tango goes with me everywhere. This has been super fun, and also a bit challenging. My good friend, Jenn works for the National Parks and warned me that most national parks don’t allow dogs on the hiking trails. So the bummer is we were limited to just driving, and not hiking, through Arches yesterday.

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*Full Campgrounds. We’ve had great luck camping so far. I made resos for the popular sites for the first leg of our trip, but since I changed plans for this week, we got hosed when we got to Moab. EVERY campground was full, as well as the hotels in town. After a couple hours of driving around, we snagged the last spot at a KOA several miles out of town. Lesson learned.

*The several times every day I wish I had a certain person with me. I needed this trip whether it was alone or not. Whether it’s a sunset I wish my mom could see, a climbing route I want to do with my man-friend, or a diner I want to sit in with my BFFs, I would love to be able to share this trip with those I love.

 

 

Things That Are My Jam: 

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*The scenery. Holy cow, the scenery. No matter where you go out west, the view is amazing.

*Because of ^ that one, the photo opps. My instagram feed has gotten way better since this trip start. Call me Ansel Adams, bitches! (My stock will most likely plummet when the trip is over…)

*My sleeping bag. I know I complained about it above, but my zero degree bag has kept me nice and toasty this whole trip. I can’t sleep if I’m cold, so it’s been superb in that fashion.

*Waking up with the sun. After a decade of waking up BEFORE the sun is up, I’m reveling in this. The first couple nights of the trip I slept 10-12 hours. I thought that would subside, but I’m still sleeping between 9 and 10 hours per night. I’m ok with it.

*Having no schedule. I have a sorta-plan for this trip, but have already changed things several times. And it’s all good because there’s NO schedule!

*Not wearing make up.

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*Watching Tango run amok in the middle of the desert with nobody around. He was a little anxious the first few days of the trip but I think he’s mellowing out a little bit and rolling with it all. He’s certainly enjoying chasing the bunnies, lizards, and field mice that are everywhere.

*Reconnecting. Most of the trip has been solo, but it was great seeing a few old friends in San Diego while we were there. Now I’m headed to Denver and get to reconnect with some great friends for the next couple weeks.

*Letting go. The first couple days I kept feeling the need to get there. Whether it was my destination or a pit stop, I kept feeling rushed. I realized I’ve been way too amped up for way too long. It’s been nice to just let go and let things be. We don’t have to be anywhere now.

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I’ve gotten a few messages from others saying they’re now thinking about planning similar journeys.

Hell yeah.  

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Road Trip Part Two: California to Colorado!

The weather forecast in Colorado keeps showing cold and rain and so we decided to take a little more time to get there. I had to teach a couple TRX courses in Missouri last weekend and returned to San Diego on Monday. Tango and I wanted just one more day at the San Elijo campground to enjoy the amazing ocean sunsets and then we’d be hitting the road again!

First Stop: Joshua Tree National Park

From my first trip with Jenn and Jason in 2006, I’ve been in LOVE with this place. The entire park and surrounding areas look like something out of a Dr. Seuss book and it just has this funky energy around it. I’ve always come here to go climbing and bouldering, but with no room for a crash pad and Tango not quite knowing how to belay/spot me, this was a camping only trip. I scoured the campground for potential climbing buddies, but it was mostly couples and families. Being the third wheel was likely out of the question and the families weren’t climbing so Tango and I took a nice evening run to watch the sunset and catch some great photos in the amazing light.

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We are certainly not making any speed records with the amount of drag created by my rocketbox and mountain bike on the top of my car. Aerodynamic we are not…

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Second Stop: Lake Mead, Nevada

My man-friend recommended the Railroad Tunnel Trail to me earlier in the day so we decided to cruise there first for an out-of-the-ordinary trail run. We were stoked about it. You get to run the old train tunnels that were originally built back in the 30s for the sole purpose of delivering supplies to the Hoover Dam construction. The tracks have all been removed and you can run or hike through them all. When Fraser was first telling me about the tunnels I was imagining long, dark, creepy, abandoned tunnels that murderers would be hanging out in, ready to get us. He assured me they were not that scary so I trusted him and off we went. There are several of them, all pretty short, so no need to worry. You do, however, hear the squeaking of a few bats hanging above… this turned our trail run into tunnel sprints. ; )

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The temp had reached 87 degrees by the time we got there but the breeze was amazing.

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All finished!

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Next up: Utah!!  

We are thinking of heading to eastern/southern Utah next. Moab? Canyonlands? Bryce Canyon? There are so many amazing places to see in Utah. We’re not sure where we’ll head to next, but no doubt it will be amazing. Hoping to be in Denver by Sunday so see you whenever I get wifi again! You can keep up with us on Instagram by clicking here or searching the incredibly long hashtag, AmiandTangoRoadtrip2015. ; )

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Friday’s Letters

Friday’s Letters theme by Ashley S.

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Dear San Diego, I was only going to hang for a few days, but now I’m thinking a few more days are in order. #imeeeean

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Dear TRX Family, y’all are my jam. Enough said.

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Dear United Airlines, I’m super grateful for my first class upgrade, but I was bummed when we had to switch planes because of mechanical issues. My bummed-ness was forgotten though as soon as the club guy got me on another flight WITH the same upgrade. High five, guys. Day made.

Dear Missouri, I wasn’t planning on being back so soon, but I’ll be teaching two brand new TRX courses this weekend and I couldn’t be more proud of the company I represent and the content they produce. Get ready!

Dear Kentucky, I know it’s preposterous to be gone during Derby, but it could not be avoided this year. Know you’re in my mind and heart forever.

Dear Denver, your thunderstorm forecast is KILLING my plans for next week. I’ll still be headed your way, but might pit stop in some sunnier places first… #campingbuzzkill

Dear Santa Barbara, Joshua Tree, Red Rocks – Vegas, Zion, and Bryce Canyon National Parks, who wants me and Tango to visit them first? You’re the contenders for Place We Go Next.

 

Happy Oaks and Derby to everybody in Kentucky!! Happy Friday to everybody else!

I’m off to Missouri. See you soon!

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Road Trip Part 1: Kentucky to California

Holy cow. The past month has been such a whirlwind and these last couple weeks even more so. Tango and I left Louisville two weeks ago, today. Here’s what the first part of this huge trip entailed:

First stop: St. Louis

My Aunt Nancy lives in St. Louis and although it’s only 4+ hours away from Louisville it made for the perfect first day stop. I was absolutely shattered when I drove away from Louisville. I had about 5 days in a row of less than 5 hours of sleep prepping to leave. I had to be up early to get my last class in with my bootcampers, run last-minute errands, and load the car to be out of town early enough to miss rush-hour traffic in St. Louis. The morning was just manic. About two hours into my drive I think the adrenaline finally wore off, my emotions were just there, and I had a big cry. It had been raining throughout the morning, but right after I had my cry, the clouds literally parted and it was blue sky all the way to Missouri. I got a quick nap in as soon as I arrived and then spent the evening with my Aunt hanging on her back patio with Thai food. I slept about 10 hours that night then the 3 of us did a short, morning run through the neighborhood before we hit the road.

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Contents of my car: Tango’s Kennel (which takes up the most space), Yeti Cooler, two suitcases (the big one for shoes and outerwear for the cold places, the smaller one for the overnight stuff), my backpack, my workout gear, and my car emergency bag. See? Totes prepped for anything.

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Second Stop: Western Oklahoma 

I wanted to camp a majority of this trip. First, to get to sleep outside. It’s therapeutic. Second, to save money. It’s gonna be a long two and a half months of very little income so I need to make my money last. I wanted this day to be my longest driving time but to still stay around only 8 hours, for both my sanity and my dog’s. We made it to Foss State Park in Oklahoma around 7:30 that night, pitched the tent and caught the best sunset with hardly anybody around. Although it was SUPER muddy (good thing I didn’t get Tango’s bath before we left) we did a bunch of running, jumping, and dancing around to get out some energy before bedtime.

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Third Stop: Albuquerque

The great thing about being on East Coast Time and traveling west is that even with 10 hours of sleep, you can still wake up super early. We were wide awake at 6am so we packed it up and hit the road. We were in Albuquerque by 1:30 pm. After a quick stop at REI for a new tent (our old one had started leaking so we decided it was time to replace it) we set out to find mexican food and a nap. We decided to check out the National Petroglyph Monument park and arrived about 45 minutes before closing time. We decided (Tango and I have lots of discussions) to do the quick 2 mile loop to check out some petroglyphs. We would walk the trail on the way in and jog on the way out. We saw a few petroglyphs, pretended to see a few others, about died trying to jog in sand at that altitude, and called it a day.

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According to the sign, there was a petroglyph of some sort of deer or other 4-legged animal “straight ahead and halfway up this hill.” We looked for a few minutes and decided to move on.

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Fourth Stop: Sedona, Arizona.

This day’s drive was the best. It was pretty short, only about 5 hours or so, and absolutely beautiful. We camped at the Pine Flat campground in Coconino National Forest, where I’d made a reservation a week in advance. There’s a bigger campground called Cave Springs about a mile up the road, but the reserved spots were all taken when I went online. There were other sites that were first come, first served, but I decided not to chance it being full and reserved at Pine Flat. The entire place is gorgeous! We set up camp and had intended to do a hike but clouds moved in and it got a little chilly so we took a nap instead. When we got up we did a big drive around to check things out and then fell asleep around 7:30 that night. The night was a little cold so I got up at about 3 am to get some heat packs out of my car to stuff in my sleeping bag. The sky that night was SO amazing. Stars everywhere. Millions of them. I literally said, “wow” when I stood up out of my tent. Again, I slept about 11 hours that night, but woke up feeling like a million bucks. I thought about spending the day there wandering around, but I was really excited to get to San Diego so we left. I made a mental note though to do a weekend trip back there since it’s only about a 7 hour drive from SD.

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Finally: San Diego! 

The first thing we did once we got in town was get an oil change… because responsibilities. My good friend Brenna was kind enough to let us crash at her place. We had an awesome evening catching up in her backyard and at dinner. I got to shower up and in the morning, we set out to get settled in SD: setting up an account at our old bank, getting a P.O. Box for the next couple months’ mail, and getting to chill at the DMV for a few hours getting my car registered… all the fun stuff. After teaching a few classes at Barry’s Bootcamp we got to set up camp at the San Elijo State Beach Campgrounds for a couple nights in Cardiff by the Sea.

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First meal back: Fish tacos! It had to be done.

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I had to leave the next day for a 6 day training with my TRX crew up in San Fran and just got back to move my stuff into storage. I’ve got to head out again tomorrow morning to teach a couple TRX courses a few states away. Things have been absolutely non-stop since I left, but I’m house sitting today and had some wifi so I wanted to show everybody what I’ve been up to. When I get back on Monday morning I’ll be work-free for a couple weeks so things will finally slow down. Hopefully I’ll be able to post more in a couple days! Holla!

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Making My Long Distance Relationship Work

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I get asked all the time how I make my long distance relationship work with my man-friend. I’ve been asked twice this week! Then,  just yesterday, I received a message from a friend asking for advice on the subject. She wanted to know basically what our best practices were since we’ve been together this long… so I thought I’d write about it.

I live in Kentucky and my man-friend lives in Canada. It’s a two hour time difference, 6 hours worth of flights with a border crossing, or a 30 hour drive. So we’re legit long-distance. The good news? We have been making it work for about 2 and half years now.

This isn’t my first long-distance relationship. I’ve had a few before this one, all ending for different reasons. When people wonder how their relationship will weather the distance if somebody has to move or they meet somebody that lives somewhere else, I think you just have to look at the relationship by itself first. Is it really good so far? If so, it’ll be able to handle anything. If it’s just so-so, you could try it out and see how it goes. If things are already rocky, then abort mission! It’ll never work. You could force it, but both of you will be miserable so I’d let it go and let the distance be the excuse.

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When my friend asked for my biggest tips, here are the ones that stick out the most:

1: Communication. COMMUNICATION!! 

In any relationship, being able to talk to your partner about anything is imperative and vital to its success. When you add distance to the mix though, it’s even more important. I’ve always been horrible at talking about the hard things. In the past, I’d always hold things in, not wanting to rock the boat. I’ve had to work really hard at this over the years, but having a partner that I feel completely safe talking to has helped immensely. If there’s even the slightest issue, we discuss it right away, before it has the chance to grow into a huge ordeal. The best thing you can do is provide an environment where nothing is off-limits when it comes to conversations. If you scream, if you don’t let your partner talk, or if you criticize or down-play what they have to say, they won’t feel safe talking to you and eventually they’ll stop. So talk it out! Encourage the talking! Even if it’s hard every now and then…

2: Be Supportive. Genuinely. 

You can say you support your partner and you can go along with what they’re doing, but if don’t genuinely like what they’re doing, the distance will soon become your weapon to use against them anytime you’re upset. I have to travel a lot of weekends. I have to get up at 5am most days of the week, which means I go to bed early most nights. If my partner scolded me for any of these things, it’d leave me questioning if they really supported me or not. Sure, it’s not the most convenient schedule, but running my own business and calling my own shots is what allows me to have a job I love and a flexible vacation schedule, which is crucial for me. Sometimes work comes first and that’s ok. If I bitched my man out every time he told me he had to leave the country for work, he’d probably be on his way out. I feel so lucky to have somebody that understands my travel schedule, supports my work choices, and encourages me to invest in the things that make me thrive. And I’m happy to do the same for him.

3: Schedule Regular Date Nights

With awesome technology like FaceTime and Skype, we get to talk to and SEE each other every morning and every night. But just doing the day-to-day conversations isn’t enough. Dates night are in order! Sure these date nights might not happen as frequently as they would if your partner lived in the same city, but they have to be scheduled regardless. My man-friend and I have crazy schedules. We live in different time zones, we both travel for work, I run my own business, he has two little boys, etc. It’s all crazy, but we make it a point to schedule a date night every other week or so. We’ll rent the same movie and FaceTime while we watch it. We’ll sit and have dinner together while we chat. We’ll read the same book and then talk about it (this has only happened once and we’re still only halfway through it, but we’ll pick it up again later when things aren’t so hectic). It doesn’t matter what the “date” actually is, it matters that we’ve got uninterrupted time together. Usually these only last about an hour and a half or two hours, (because I wake up at 5am every day and I’m lucky to be awake past 10pm during the week) but it’s better than nothing. Just like any other relationship, if you don’t tend to it, it’ll suffer.

“Just Because” flowers are always a hit too… Big points were earned when these bad boys were delivered:

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moving on…

4: Have a life of your own. 

If I didn’t have my work, my hobbies, my family, or my social network, I’d be miserable sitting around all the time and waiting for him to call. He’s got a long work day during the week, and he’s busy with his kids at night and on the weekends. He also loves to be outside so when he doesn’t have his boys he’s out climbing, biking, or skiing. All of that is perfectly fine because I have a lot of similar things that take up my time and energy as well. We are each happy in our own lives so we’re not looking for somebody to “make us whole” or “fill that gap” in our lives. If you think having a relationship will fix everything that’s wrong in your life, you’ve got bigger fish to fry.

5: Have a limit. 

We make it a point to never go more than 4 weeks in between visits. Now sometimes this can’t be avoided and it goes over a little, but for the most part, we see each other once a month. I will travel to him, he will travel to me, or we get lucky and both have to be at the same fitness event. Either way, we knew this had to be part of the plan. There were some really long periods between visits when we first started and that made things difficult. It didn’t make us fight, it just made us really sad because it was emotionally draining not to be together. Once we realized how much it affected us, we made the 4 week rule.

6: Budget for it.

Now that I’m a little older, paying for visits has become easier than it was in college. Back then, it was saving to pay for calling cards and scrounging every penny to buy a plane ticket every few months, which made things way more stressful. Traveling so often can get expensive so I’ve just made it part of my budget and cut out non-necessities from my monthly spending. I also have a United Airlines credit card that I use for almost everything (bills, gas, groceries, business trips, etc) so that I can get the airline miles to help fund trips. If you know you’re gonna have to do the long distance thing for a while, you’ve got to find a way to make it happen, but without breaking the bank.

7: Have a plan. 

Hopefully, there’s an end in sight. Whether one of you had to move to finish school, do an internship, complete a work contract, or wait for immigration, you should have some sort of ultimate plan to be together in the future. If you don’t… then why are you spending all your time and energy on this person? My man-friend and I will live together one day, but since the immigration process for me to move to Canada is a big, huge beast of a process, we’ll go with the flow until we get the green light. Until then, we’ll just keep doing what we’re doing. Since it’s working. : )

 

Being desperately in love doesn’t hurt either…

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Are any of you guys in a LDR?

Any distance tips you’d like to add?

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My nephew’s gonna be a climbing monster!

Although I’m really excited about my upcoming move, I’m getting a little bummed about leaving all my friends and especially bummed about not seeing my family as much. I already don’t see them enough because of my travel schedule, so I’m trying to take advantage of every free evening! My usual Tuesday night clients were both out of town this week so I called my brother to see if it was cool if I picked up my nephew, Jaxson from school to hang out with him for the rest of the day. I’d taken him and my sister-in-law to the climbing gym a couple months ago and he loved it. A new bouldering gym just opened in downtown Louisville and I hadn’t been yet so I thought it would be the perfect time to try it out. Also, I was pumped about picking him up early from school. Even though it was only about 45 minutes from the end of the day, leaving early is still just as exciting. I’m not sure though which one of us was more excited about it…

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For those of you that didn’t know, Climb Nulu is freaking awesome. It’s absolutely huge. There are tons of routes, lots of variety in difficulty, and the walls go up to 16ft! I’m particularly fond of its hours: 11am-10pm. Here’s some quick info on it:

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Like I said, it’s huge! Their kids climbing area wasn’t opened yet, but he did just fine on the regular routes (V0s). The best thing though was that Jax is a natural! I showed him a few technique things on his first couple tries and he remembered them and put them into practice each route. He was super cute: “It’s kind of like figuring out a math problem!” He totally gets it. He even took a no-hands rest:

Going for the hard stuff…

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And taking a few falls. Yay for padded floors!

He’s matching hands, he’s switching feet. He’s down climbing like a champ and figuring out how to transfer his body weight with very little help from me. This climb he did several times to the top, but I caught his first go at it on my phone. Check out his moves!

(My phone was propped up on a chalk bag and fell over before he finished so you miss the rest of his down-climb and his big jump off… but it was a good one.)

We were super hungry afterwards so instead of going out to eat we came back to my house to cook dinner together. I’d bought the ingredients to make these Spaghetti Squash Burrito Bowls earlier in the week so that’s what we made. He’s going to be quite the good cooker one day. ; )

*I used to say cooker instead of chef when I was a kid, so that’s what we call it.



Taking him climbing with no ropes, giving him giant knives to use… #auntoftheyear

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All in all it was a pretty sweet day and I’m glad we got the chance to hang by ourselves.

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Workout Playlist: MJ, Jay-Z, and JT

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Love ‘em all!

So I smooshed them together in this playlist.

Get after it. Be a beast.

I made the above collage from these:
MJ Photo. Jay-Z photo. JT Photo
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The Plan: California, Colorado, Canada

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Apparently I’m only interested in places that start with a C… I’ve had a bunch of questions about where I’m going, what I’m doing, and where I’ll actually be living after Tango and I leave Kentucky next month. There is one long answer because I’m actually going a bunch of places… or at least that’s the plan. It could change, but here’s what I’ve got sketched out in my mind (and on my spreadsheets) at the moment:

 

1. California… by way of Texas. 

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I will leave here mid April to head out to San Diego to put my things in storage, since that’s where I will end up after my road trip. My good friend, Karley, last seen here, is getting married to her sweet fiance in their backyard in Austin, TX so I’m gonna go there first. It’s not entirely “on the way” but it’s only a 300 mile difference. So I’ll stop a night in Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas, since that’s the halfway point, then make a stop in Dallas to see a couple friends (plus, I’ve never been to Dallas, unless you count the airport), then head down to Austin for their nuptials. I’m hoping to catch Sara on either side of the city since our past blate attempts have never played out, so we’ll see on that one. After I leave Austin, I’ll make the long haul to Tucson, Arizona, (since camping alone on the border doesn’t sound like the safest thing to do)  to check out Saguara National Park. From there it’s a short 5 – 6 hour drive to San Diego.

I used to live right up the hill from San Elijo State Beach. I’d always wanted to camp there as it’s  right on the cliff on the beach but it never made sense to pay $35 to camp literally down the street from my place so I never did. Plus the campsites fill up fast and you have to reserve a spot well in advance, which I’ve already done!! So we’ve got 2 nights there.

I have to head up to San Fran for a 6 day training at TRX Headquarters so Tango is going to stay with my awesome friend, Danielle while I knock that out. I’ll come back down to San Diego just in time for my U-Box to arrive and I’ll toss everything in storage and we’ll head to our home for the month of May…

 

2. Colorado! And surrounding areas

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I’d been debating on moving to Denver, which is where this whole idea started. I’d always wanted to live there, I have quite a few buddies there, and it’s gorgeous! But San Diego was home for 4 years and I’ve just been feeling it pulling on me a lot for the past year so I ultimately chose it. I still wanted to spend a significant chunk of this trip in Colorado though so I will be cruising all around the state and using Denver as home base. I want to see Boulder, Breckingridge, Aspen, etc. Half the state of Colorado is pretty much all state parks so I plan on checking out as much of them as possible. Hopefully I can wrangle some climbing partners along the way and I’ve got a little side trip to Santa Fe, NM I’d like to sneak in there as well. I’ll have the whole month to wander so we’ll see how long gas money stays around… It’ll go by quickly but I’ll be pretty excited about my next section of the trip though:

 

3. Canada!! 

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My man-friend and I do a pretty good job of making sure that we never go more than 4 weeks between our visits, but we’re usually confined to 3-5 day visits because of work. This time though I’ll finally be able to go stay with him for most of the month of June! He’ll be working, but I’ve got several work projects I’ve needed to start hammering away at so that’s what I’ll be focusing on while I’m there. The good thing is that during the summer, that part of Canada stays light outside until around 10pm. So even after a full day’s work, you’ve still got time to go climbing, head out for a bike ride, or just hang out outside. I have a feeling that month will go by a lot faster than I want it to, but onward!

 

4. And ending up back to San Diego

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Although it will be hard to leave my man-friend, after all that time on the road I’m fairly sure I’ll be dying to get a paycheck and and to not live out of a suitcase. I’ll cruise back to San Diego via the western route (maybe… by that time I may be looking to save those extra 5 hours and go straight south) either the last week of June or the first week of July. I’ll get my things out of storage and move them into an apartment. I’m looking forward to getting back to teaching fitness classes and seeing some of my old clients and class attendees. Hopefully an 80s Friday will be in the cards for July! I’ll be super broke but the great thing about San Diego that I learned when I moved there the first time (when I was 21 years old, a week out of college, and with $200 to my name after I paid rent) the beach is FREE and you can spend as much time there as you want! I’ve been dreaming of getting to eat one of Ann’s famously delicious meals while shooting the breeze with her and Ted on their patio. And hitting up the Whistlestop for game night with Brian, going for a hike or climb with Brenna and Danielle, and drinking coffee and laughing with Julie. Saturday brunch at Colleen’s and the french toast… all me goodness!  I can’t wait to see ALL my buds there, experience regular Taco Tuesdays and happy hour margaritas, and carne asada nachos from the many available taco stands around the city. There’s a good chance I’ll gain 10 lbs the first month I’m back, but Barry’s Bootcamp will take care of that in a jiff. I’ll also get back to taking dance classes on a weekly basis. Culture Shock and APA both have plenty of daily open classes to choose from so I plan on getting my “Adult Jazz/Contemporary” and “Advanced Tap” on as quickly as possible. Ryan, I hope you’re ready!

 

It’s all still 4 weeks away, and all subject to change a wee bit, but there it is! The plan!

Will you be on any of my stops along the way?

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Investing In Yourself

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I’m very excited about my upcoming move/road trip with Tango. Not only does a couple months roaming around out west fill my “wanderlust” cup but it also gives me the opportunity to slow the hell down and focus on myself (and my dog) for a couple months.

One of the things I used to do a lot was invest in my professional education. When I lived in San Diego, I was lucky that so many great fitness companies were right there or within driving distance. I could go to a number of conferences and workshops every year and was continuously learning, implementing what I’ve learned, and becoming better. It’s not that I haven’t been to any conferences these last few years, but I’ve just working at them instead of learning at them. The same goes for most of my weekends spent teaching TRX Education. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE those weekends… but teaching instead of learning isn’t getting me anywhere farther. And it’s hard to forfeit a free weekend these days when I’ve had so many weekends away from home. So the fact that I’m quitting most of my work for 2.5 months will give me some much needed time to step away from things and focus on what I want to learn.

One of my resolutions this year was to take some of the fitness workshops I’ve been wanting to take for a while now. I’m excited to say that I’ve recently received my materials to study for the Precision Nutrition certification, I just signed up for the Barefoot Training Summit (barefoot training is a huge passion of mine), and I’m currently trying to find 3 weekends that I’ll be available to take the Muscle Activation Techniques certification. Booyah!

But wait! These certs and workshops cost money!

And if I’m not working, I’ll have less money! What the hell am I doing?!

Investing! You usually can’t get something for nothing, so you’ve got to earn it. You don’t have a well-paying job at 18 years old, but if you invest in your college education, you have a better shot at one. You aren’t guaranteed the top spot at your company the first day on the job, but if you invest your time and energy (and sometimes money) to learning all that you can about your field, you’ll have many more opportunities as you go along. Nothing in life is guaranteed, but you certainly have a better shot at doing well if you’ve made a conscious effort to learn more along the way.

 

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The Sacrifice.

So. All this ish costs money. It’s not like this money is falling out of the sky and into my lap right now. And this post isn’t me recommending that you drop everything you’re doing, abandon your family, and throw a bunch of ish on your credit cards. That’s the opposite of moving forward. It’s me saying that if you want to, plan it out and make it happen. A lot of planning has gone into this trip. Over a year’s worth!

After paying off all my debt, I’ve been saving like a madman these past several months to be able to make this trip (and these events) happen. I’ve set a strict budget so I don’t come back to reality a financial wreck. For the next several months I will not be spending money on anything but the necessities. Tango and I will be camping most of the time (which is ok by me, but I might smell if you get too close, so you’ve been warned). I’ll be eating only meals that can be eaten raw or cooked over a camp stove; soooo a lot of oatmeal, fruits/veggies, and peanut butter in my future. The car that I was hoping to buy at the end of the year will most likely have to wait another year or so, so that I can save more for my downpayment. No more eating out for dinner. No shopping. You get the picture…

But all that is ok because I know with all that time outdoors with my dog, I’ll get to hike and play and revel in the sunshine and the fresh air. I know that I won’t have to wake up at 5am! At night I’ll get to read my nutrition books in peace by the light of my headlamp. I’ll get to take the time to figure out my camera and take wonderful photos to show you guys where all I’ve been. While driving all over creation I’ll get to visit new places and take these courses that will fill these cups that have been clanking around for attention for quite some time.

So while some people may look at these future months of mine as homeless and broke, I will look at them as exploratory and rich. Investing in yourself and what you need is never a waste of time or energy. Being the best YOU you can be is beneficial to yourself as well as everyone around you. So if there’s a part of you that needs attention, please don’t ignore it. If you’ve got to invest time, money, or energy into making it happen, please do! Find a way to do it. Talk to those closest to you to see if they can help you out. You may not have the ability to take a couple months off but maybe you could take a night class once a week to get that degree you’ve needed for a raise. Maybe you could work some overtime to pay for a certification that will give you some new skills. Chat with a friend to see if you could swap child-care so you can have some alone time once a week. Whatever you need, GO FOR IT.

Only you can make things better for yourself. Be a beast at it.

What are you needing to invest in these days?

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