Pay it Forward Friday


Back in March, I wrote briefly about why I do these pay it forward Fridays, and as I work to create some organization to this blog of mine, I’ve decided to make it a regular theme each Friday. I don’t expect to always give the details of exactly what I choose to do on this day, although sometimes I might, but the goal is to spark the idea in the hopes that maybe someone who reads this might also choose to perform some random act of kindness as a result of stopping by my little corner of the internet.

For today, I have some thoughts running around my head on how I will take this on, and it mostly involves surprising a friend with something unexpected. I rarely see her since she moved to another state, but she has caught me by surprise on several occasions with completely random acts of kindness, and the joy that she gave still sticks with me even months and years later. My goal today is to grace her with that same feeling, and I think I know just how to do it.

Today, I direct you to Kindspring, which is a great spot to sift through hundreds of random acts of kindness ideas in a quick and easy format, some of which are so simple that it really is a no-brainer. What will you do on this pay it forward Friday?



Wednesday Quotables



Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.

-Marilyn Monroe

Sometimes You Just Need A Donut

Last weekend, I had planned a big weekend while my husband was in a class for two days. A big weekend of writing and of house projects, a big weekend of just taking care of myself. Well, I took care of myself, alright – with a visit to urgent care. After struggling through Saturday with an achy chest and lethargy, my Sunday morning doc visit confirmed that I had walking pneumonia. Let me tell you that this stuff is no joke, and the cough the came along with it might have been the worst of my life. After a week and two doctor’s visits, medicine on top of medicine, and lots of time on the couch, I am finally feeling better. Not in the “I can jump up and start working out now” feeling better way, but the “thank whatever god there is that I am not coughing to the point of choking and gagging” way.

One would think that I would’ve taken advantage of the time at home for writing and just taking it easy, but not so. Nearly every moment of every day and sleepless night (there were a lot of sleepless nights) was spent doing the work I get paid for as I’m under a tremendous deadline at the moment. I worked so much, that when I had to visit the doctor again on Thursday because I just wasn’t improving, he told me that it was time turn the computer off. Despite me thinking that working while laying on the couch counted as resting, it was causing stress to my system, which was having an adverse affect on my healing. When I emailed my boss that afternoon to tell him I had to shut down and try to force some rest, his response was “It took your doctor to get this through your head?”. I probably should’ve listened to my body, but the incredible weight of the work that needed to be done was hanging heavy on my shoulders, but I did finally stop and take a break. Between the forced rest, lots of water, and the wicked combination of cough meds, I finally started improving.

I may have had a hard time listening to my body screaming at me for a break, but I didn’t have any trouble listening to it tell me how much it wanted junk food while I was sick. I wasn’t eating much, but when I did I indulged in whatever my body told me it wanted. Ham sandwiches and salty potato chips, meatball subs, a cheeseburger, and donuts. Yes, I topped off my week of illness on Sunday

morning with donuts. I have been craving a good donut from my favorite local shop for a number of months, but have avoided it given my fitness goals. Well, I took advantage of my sick time to enjoy every bite of a lemon filled donut – plus one with sprinkles for good measure.


Showing my Carolina Panther pride!

Is there some grand lesson learned here? Not much more than needing to listen to my body and give it what it needs. Did I miss a week of workouts? Yes. Did I eat junk food all week? Yes. Do I feel guilty about any of it? Not one bit. Sometimes you just need a donut.



Where I Want To Be

I previously noted the name change to the blog, but why did this feel like the right choice for me? As I’ve already touched on briefly, a couple of years ago, I found myself stepping into a CrossFit box, and it terrified me. I had never been athletic, I always felt a bit awkward, and couldn’t even jump rope properly during one of my first on-ramp classes. My legs were kicking all over the place and I was struggling to breathe. Worse yet, I was in the class with just one other girl – someone much younger than me, who also happened to be a very well coordinated gymnast. It was downright embarrassing when the coach had to teach me how to jump rope and here she was showing off her mad skills on the rope, followed by a display of handstand walks as she obnoxiously tried to impress the coach, which fortunately didn’t seem to have the desired effect.  Seriously…I had to learn how to jump rope. Something I did all the time when I was a kid, it should be easy, right?  I wanted to run right out the door and never come back, but the coach was so supportive and encouraging, telling me that this is a common problem. I got the feeling that he may have just been trying to make me feel a little better, but either way, his support worked and I powered through despite Miss Gymnast’s antics, and came back for the next session. She, however, did not.

I continued to face fears with every class I attended, always feeling like I was never as good as anyone else, and I was sure that they would be making fun of me behind my back – but that was never the case. This wasn’t high school, after all. I remember the first day that I had to do a strict press with the barbell, I was just working with a 15 pound training bar to practice my form with the movement, and when it came time to add bumper plates to it, I was nervous. I built up the weight slowly and struggled a bit, but was so excited when I was able to lift 35 pounds over my head. It was pretty much all I could do at that time, but I couldn’t get over the thrill of what it felt like to lift weights. Picking up that barbell was, and continues to be, empowering. A level of confidence that I never experienced during my life started to creep in after spending some time with the weights, and seeing that I was capable of far more than I had ever realized continues to drive me to do even more with this life of mine. It isn’t always easy, I still struggle to maintain consistency with my workouts, and I clearly still experience anxiety from time to time, but when I think of lifting that barbell over my head for the first time, I am reminded of what it does for my soul.

The wanderings part of the new name really comes with the fact that this blog of mine is obviously a bit of a hodge-podge of me. Who knows where my journey through this life as a 40-something will lead me, but I have a pretty good idea of what I want out of it, and it definitely involves growth. Stepping outside of my box, facing things that scare me, and building myself into a strong and confident woman, this is where I want to be.

Weights and Wanderings

If you are one of the handful of people who actually reads this little corner of my world, you may have noticed a change. I’m still working on some of the other overall design updates (new photo, updated profile, etc…), but the name needed an update. My fitness adventure and just general ramblings need a good home, and after some sets of deadlifts in the garage last night, the name popped into my head. Beyond a Trace didn’t completely identify what this journey of mine is about – but Weights and Wanderings feels just right.