running

2017 Goals Check In (#2)

The fact that we are already one week into July has me feeling a little bit like this:

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This always seems to happen. One minute you’re ringing in the New Year, the next you’re…ringing in the New Year. Everything—except lines at the DMV, clocks in an office building, and lethargic pedestrians—moves so fast! This year especially seems to be moving quick because I have so many goals I’m trying to keep track of.

Let me tell ya, if you ever want to live a year in fast forward, set a list of specific goals for yourself and watch the time fly by. Sure, it’s a little bit frightening, but it’s also exciting, because alongside all that time travel is a growing list of accomplishments.

Full disclosure: since my last goal update post I did make a spreadsheet to better aid me in my quest of tracking my progress. In other words, over the last three months I’ve leveled up in nerd. #noshame

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1) See Star Wars

1st Quarter Progress: 0%

Current Progress: 37.50%

That’s right, I’m down to the .5%, people! You thought I was kidding about the whole spreadsheet thing, didn’t you? You should know me better than that by now. Anyways, yes, I have watched the first three Star Wars movies—and by first three I mean Episodes 4, 5 & 6, because I was told to watch them in order of release date, not episode number—and you can read all about that experience here, here, and here. Did I like them, you ask? Well, let’s just say there’s a C3P0 keychain in my Amazon cart and a Death Star waffle maker on my wish list.

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2) See 5 WLRA’s

1st Quarter Progress: 3/5 (60%)

Current Progress: 3/5 (60%)

I was pleasantly surprised by how well I attacked this quest at the beginning of the year. My sister and I actually worked two WRLA’s into our previously planned road trip earlier this year which ended up being 100% worth it. As of now, I have a few oversized sites in mind to top off this year and am currently in the process of making that happen.

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3) Try this jean rug DIY

1st Quarter Progress: 20%

Current Progress: 20%

This has been kind of a daunting task all its own because, seeing as it’s a project that involves sewing, I have to, you know, learn to sew. And while sewing has been on my to-do list for quite some time—my family was even so generous as to buy me a sewing machine for my birthday last year—I’m still rather terrified I’ll end up sewing my lip to something. HOWEVER, this shall not deter me.

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4) Run 1,000 miles

1st Quarter Progress: 233.84 miles (23%)

Current Progress: 474.1 miles (47.42%)

After taking an entire week off during my vacation in March, I arrived home to find myself terrifyingly far behind schedule. To make matters worse, in that short amount of time, I somehow managed to fall slightly out of shape, so my first run back was frustratingly hard. As a result, I spent many a late night thinking about quitting. A part of me wondered if maybe I should just call it a wash and try again another year. But the other part of me—the competitive, can’t stop, won’t stop part of me—said “hell no.” So, after gaining very little ground in April, I welcomed May with open and determined arms. I was going to catch up and I was going to start immediately. That month, I ran 22 out 31 days, totaling just under 100 miles. It was by far the hardest month so far, but at the same time, the most beneficial. I’m more motivated than ever to accomplish this crazy goal I’ve set and have found myself more courageous and daring in my running than ever before. Plus, with the 500-mile mark right around the corner, I can already taste that Heisman.

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5) Complete The Ultimate Fit Bit Week

1st Quarter Progress: 0%

Current Progress: 0%

Yeah, nope. Still haven’t gotten around to this one.

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6) Volunteer (at least) 5 times

1st Quarter Progress: 0%

Current Progress: 40%

With the arrival of summer, and the beginning of a new outreach at my church, I was able to find a couple great opportunities to volunteer over the past couple months and already have a few more penciled in for the next couple months, which makes my heart happy. I always forget how rewarding volunteering is until I get back in the groove of it, then I want to volunteer everywhere all at once! In case you’re interested, the organizations I’ve worked with so far are Children’s Hunger Fund and Food Forward. I believe Food Forward only has locations in California, but Children’s Hunger Fund has a few branches across the country, so if you can find one near you, I highly recommend looking up opportunities to volunteer. Also, if you have any places you love to volunteer, I’d love to hear about them!

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7) Go to a sporting event of “every” kind (i.e. baseball, football, hockey, basketball, & soccer)

1st Quarter Progress: 1/5 (20%)

Current Progress: 1/5 (20%)

As I stated in the first progress post, I haven’t really had the opportunity to make progress on this one because most of the sports are out of season. However, I do have a soccer game on the calendar for July and football, hockey, and basketball will all be back in the fall.

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8) Try every class at the gym

1st Quarter Progress: 0%

Current Progress: 0%

Good news! My gym has finally resumed its workout classes. Thus, I can finally start making some progress on this goal a.k.a probably writing posts about how hard/painful the workout classes are. Stay tuned for whiny rants about how my fingers feel like they’re made of glass and how my legs have forgotten how to be legs.

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9) Do The Princess Diaries painting

1st Quarter Progress: 0%

Current Progress: 0%

Yeah, so, another goal full of goose eggs for me here. However, while I’ve made no progress on the actual painting, I have garnered some interest from friends who want to participate. So, if you happen to see a group of people throwing darts at easels, don’t worry, it’s just me and my friends achieving.

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10) Find and try the “Best of” restaurants in LA

1st Quarter Progress: 0%

Current Progress: 0%

Honestly, I have no explanation for why I’ve made no progress on this one. I mean, it’s a goal that involves FOOD. *shakes head in shame*

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11) Watch every film that has ever won Best Picture

1st Quarter Progress: 6/89 (6%)

Current Progress: 11/89 (12.36%)

Fun fact: Netflix DVD (who is not sponsoring me, but totally should) has pretty much every movie ever, so to make progress on this goal, I recently upgraded my subscription and it’s been great. My mailbox has been pleasantly surprised to receive little red envelopes containing musicals and romantic drama-dies from the 40s and I look forward to working my way up to present day Oscar winners.

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12) Learn to Longboard

1st Quarter Progress: 0%

Current Progress: 0%

The to-do list on this one remains firm:

1) Buy a helmet, elbow pads, and knee pads

2) Wear aforementioned safety apparel with pride

3) Lose all inhibitions.

When I’ve managed to do all three, I’ll have some progress (and probably bruises) to update you on.

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13) Learn to do a headband braid

1st Quarter Progress: 0%

Current Progress: 40%

I’ve watched this tutorial on YouTube a few times and have been working to improve my skills gradually. I expect it will still take me a solid while to get it, but at least I understand the concept now. I used to think it was 100% impossible unless you had three arms.

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14) Reach the 100,000-mile mark on my car

1st Quarter Progress: 99,720 miles (99%)

Current Progress: 100%

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THAT’S RIGHT! For those of you keeping track at home, you can officially check off #14. I wrote a whole post about my car, Jeffrey’s, big day which you can read here.

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15) Do a bar/pub crawl

1st Quarter Progress: 0%

Current Progress: 0%

There appears to be an inkling of a plan for this one to happen around my birthday. Stay tuned.

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16) Sing Karaoke

Current Progress: Complete!

Much to the surprise of my pre-2017 self, I’ve actually done karaoke 3 separate times now, all of which have been about 100 times more fun than I ever thought karaoke could be. That being said, while I’d never pressure anyone into doing something they don’t want to do, I highly recommend you give karaoke a shot. There are few things more freeing than belting out a Backstreet Boys song, knowing you’re hitting exactly zero notes, and yet not caring one bit.

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17) Complete Project Lightbulb

Current Progress: Same as Quarter One.

Due to scheduling/financial conflicts, it appears as though the trip that coincides with this project will not be able to take place until next year, thus preventing the goal in its original form from being accomplished. However, I’m planning on shifting it a bit, so as not to punish myself over unforeseen circumstances.  I figure, if we get the whole trip planned to the tee, with everything set and ready to book, if not booked for 2018, I’d call that a success in its own right.

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Adding all of that together, it comes out to about 29% complete. Which is kind of disappointing to look at, especially since it’s only 10% more than the first quarter. HOWEVER, I’ve done more planning and organizing in this second quarter than I did in the first, which has put me on a much better looking path for the second half of this year. So stay tuned folks! These next few months are going to be crazy. See you in September!

January/February Favorites

Do wappa do wappa do wappa do wappa

DUN

DUNDUNDUN

DUNDUNDUN

DUNDUNDUNNNNN

Wait, wait, wait, pause.

Okay, I thought I would be kind of epic if I started off this Favorites post with an Eye of the Tiger type vibe, but I can see now that it looks more like a post-wisdom teeth slur/stroke hybrid type of situation.

Apologies.

But hey, now that you know the intention behind the introductory gibberish, you can totally start this post over and get the full effect of the do wappa’s…

No? Well okay then, let’s just get started, here are a few of my favorite things from January and February:

 

Running!

running

Go ahead, roll your eyes. I deserve and accept the gesture. I mean, who wants to hear about someone that loves running, right? Running sucks! Except, well, I don’t think it does…at least not anymore. Maybe it’s because I’ve been doing it consistently for over two months now so my body no longer feels like it’s going to spontaneously combust (as it has done every other time I’ve ever decided to “become a runner”) or maybe it’s because one of my goals for 2017 is to run 1000 miles, so I feel like in a way I have to love it. Regardless, I’ve recently discovered that I do. Oops.


 

Nerd Wax

Speaking of running, have you ever noticed how completely annoying it is to run with glasses/sunglasses? There you are trying to get in the zone and there your glasses are, bouncing around your face like a drunk guy at a nightclub, causing you to break your focus and, depending on whether the glasses are prescription, sending you in and out of ranging levels of blindness. Enter Nerd Wax, stage right. Put a little on the bridge of your nose and your glasses will hang on tighter than a drunk guy at a nightclub, but unlike him, you’ll definitely want to take Nerd Wax home. (Find it here)


 

Books

When I’m not writing, I’m usually reading, (or running, or eating, or sleeping or asking my brother to clarify popular teenage slang terms or looking up new quesadilla recipes) but mostly reading, and so more often than not, when a favorites post comes around, I have multiple books that I’ve recently enjoyed, making the selection of just one, HARD. So, I’m just going to start recommending two. It’s a safe median, I think. It lets me give you a little variety without writing you a book…about books. So yeah, two. And I’ll do the same for movies and music. Onward!

Here are this months’ recommendations:

Nicola Yoon is quickly becoming one of my favorite new writers. I read her first book Everything, Everything (which is now a motion picture!) and loved it with my whole heart, and The Sun is Also a Star was no different. She just knows how to make your heart swell, and she tends to do so without your permission. (Find it here)

Anna Kendrick is arguably one of my favorite HBINM’s (Human Beings I’ve Never Met) (pronounced, hib-i-nims) and I was so excited to finally get to read her debut book, Scrappy Little Nobody. Long story short: I LOVED it. Throughout the process of reading it I was the physical embodiment of a LOL and I would highly recommend it. (Find it here)

 

 


 

La La Land & The Submarine Kid

As an artist, La La Land was an absolute dream to watch. As a lover of movies, La La Land was an absolute dream to watch. As a human being, La La Land was an absolute dream to watch. Honestly, there’s not much else I can say. (Find it here)

On a completely different token, The Submarine Kid is a story about a soldier suffering from PTSD. It’s told in an incredibly unique way, while still remaining honest, and is extremely well done, well acted and well, just go watch it! (You can find it on Netflix.)


 

James Arthur & Lauren Alaina

One of my favorite things about iTunes is the expressive language used by the reviewers to describe albums. Those people bring out alllll the adjectives, let me tell you. So I would feel rather unworthy trying to describe anything about these two albums. That being said, let me just leave with you with the names and a few words iTunes uses to describe them:

Back from the Edge by James Arthur: “energetically soulful”, “lusty neo-R&B”, & “gospel-tinged behemoth” (Find it here)

Road Less Traveled by Lauren Alaina: Hmm…the adjective guy keeps it brief here with simply: “crossover gold”, but it should also be noted that an iTunes user rated it as “the best thing that has ever happened”, so there’s that. (Find it here)


 

Cinnamon Bun Oreos

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I mean, this shouldn’t be that surprising, as this cookie was essentially my muse this month. But seeing as it’s still an incredible cookie that I have yet to go a full week without consuming, I thought it deserved another round of recognition. (Find it here)


 

Have anything you’ve been loving over these last couple months? Let me know! My Amazon cart is always open…

See my previous favorites post here.