For Christmas, one of my stocking stuffers from my husband Zeb (oh yeah, I’m married! I suppose we do have a lot to catch up from since my last blogging phase from 2011-2018!) was a cute rom-com fiction book called “Love, Lists and Fancy Ships.” The main character is a 29-year old yacht stewardess who created a list of 30 things to accomplish before she turned 30. While reading the book, I was 28 and about to turn 29 myself. The number “30” startles my gag reflex. It’s an age that sounds so much farther in the distance for me than it really is. I feel like I just finished college still. I know I’ve hit the major adult milestones in my 20s – bought a house, got married, and found out I was pregnant with my first baby. But I still don’t feel “adult” enough to qualify for the 30s club just yet.
To make the new decade more palatable, I decided to copy the main character from this novel and write my own bucket list to make the most of the rest of my 20s.
The morning of my 29th birthday, Zeb and I went to brunch together at a local spot here in Idaho. I started a new note in my phone and began listing activities I hoped to do before my next birthday. By the end of our brunch, I had 17 items I would commit to doing over the next 365 days. We brought the note back out at dinner with my parents that night and rounded out the 30 items.
And here it is:
30 Things To Do Before Turning 30
- Visit a National Park
- Stand-Up Paddle Board
- Run a Half Marathon
- Visit a Museum
- Sing Karaoke at a Bar
- Do 30 Push-ups in a Row
- Officiate a Wedding
- Read ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’
- Try Caviar
- Fit Back into my Wedding Dress
- Volunteer at an Event
- Plant a Garden
- Catch a Fish
- Practice Calligraphy
- Watch All of the Harry Potter Movies
- Give Birth
- Make Homemade Bread
- Sled Down the Bruneau Sand Dunes
- Attend a Concert
- Swim in an Ocean
- Learn New Winter Sport
- Hike a New Trail in Idaho
- Visit a New Country
- Make a Coffee Table Scrapbook
- Ride a Roller Coaster
- Take a Dance Class
- Play 18 Holes of Disc Golf
- Jump in a Pool with all my Clothes On
- Go Tent Camping
- Travel to 3 Different States
Zeb says its cheating to add “give birth” since I’m nine months pregnant as I wrote this list (oh yeah, another catch-up moment for those blog readers that haven’t heard from me in 3 years. Surprise!) but I think it’s a pretty momentous occasion during my 20s that I should get some kind of credit for on this list of activities!
I plan to create a journal/blog entry for every item on this list as I cross it off and document the year through the photos and stories this brings up. So stay tuned to see how we work our way through this list before I turn the big 3-0 on February 12, 2023!
A lot of my internal conversations revolve around goals. I’ve blogged about my fondness of lists and my aspirations for the future and my mind that just won’t shut off. Much of this comes from a deep desire to constantly better myself, continually look for opportunities that will help me with a successful career, and a genuine passion for living a happy life.
Most recently I used this passion to go after an internship that didn’t yet exist —> “You Get What You Work For”
So there are many times I ask myself “How can I improve?” As a student, a friend, an intern, a daughter. But today I’m specifically speaking about improving fitness. Because that is what this blog is all about, isn’t it? You don’t come here to read about another 20-something’s wanderlust and “dreams.”
I’ll give my personal goal as an example for these areas of improvement that can be applied to anyone:
Area of improvement: I WANT TO BE A FASTER RUNNER. (I think that is the goal of every runner. To be faster.)
Unit of Measurement: 3 mile time trial (weekly.) AKA Tempo Tuesdays. I’ve been running the same 3-mile course at 5am for the past 3 Tuesdays and here’s how it’s going:
Week 1: 18:39 // Week 2: 18:45 // Week 3: 18:42
I’m nothing if not consistent! Overall, I’m not unhappy with these times…but they don’t represent the downward trend I am striving for. So, cooling down from my 6:14 average pace this week, I asked myself “HOW can I improve?”
We cannot expect to see improvement in our fitness level if the effort is not put in to justify it.
If something doesn’t change in your your diet, exercise, sleep or mental health, you cannot expect to grow and become more fit.
Nutrition: I love talking about nutrition. You already know this. I do not pretend to know everything or have a perfect diet. But I do believe I make a good balance of clean whole foods, healthy nutritious meals, and splurges here and there. You can read about my typical daily diet here.
Things to consider:
- Are you eating enough before a workout to fuel yourself? Are you eating enough afterwards to recover?
- Are you eating too much, to sabotage your efforts?
- Can you cut back on soda/fried food/processed snack consumption?
- Do you eat breakfast?
- Do you keep a food journal?
- Are you getting a good balance of protein, carbs and healthy fats?
- Do you warm up before each workout? Do you include dynamic stretches before exercise and static stretches after?
- Could your routine benefit from more variety? If you are a cardio junkie (guilty!!) then try scheduling a couple strength-based training sessions into your weekly agenda. If you are camped out in the weight room, try venturing over to the pilates class. Sometimes we hit a plateau in our training and it’s important to incorporate variety into a training program.
- Are you resting enough? You might even have to CUT BACK on workouts. If you are in the gym and on the treadmill 7 days a week every week then your energy could be depleted faster than it can handle. Rest days are recharge days so schedule them wisely!
*For my goal to improve my 5k time, I am adding a weekly speed workout. 400 meter, 200 meter, and 100 meter sprints at “interval” pace. (All out.) I’m also going to be more diligent about post-workout static stretches!
This only requires one easy question: are you sleeping enough? If you constantly feel fatigued or tired, your body needs more hours of sleep before you can expect it to perform.
How is your attitude? Positive?
Do you look at fitness as a challenge or a chore?
Are you happy with your body, your energy level and your diet?
- Do you believe that your goal is attainable or does doubt cause you to get off track?
Mindset has a lot to do with results. It’s not just some cheesy cliche – the body achieves what the mind believes is as accurate as it is cutesy. Fitness and health should have a positive connotation, not viewed as a laborous chore to suffer through. In the end, it’s up to YOU and your own mind to motivate you to reach the goal.
*Achieving a mindset that is intrinsically motivated is a habit that I have formed over years of being the Straight-A Student, the Scholar Athlete, and the Over Achiever. I don’t work hard for a reward or for attention or any other tangible reason. It just makes me happy.
Assessing the different areas in your life and setting goals is part of lifelong happiness. And of course once you CONQUER a goal, the feelings of pride and accomplishment will only increase your motivation to do better. That is what lights my fire to run.
Tempo Run Tuesday:
Last week I reintroduced “Tempo Tuesdays” into my weekly running schedule. The morning starts like this: wake up at 4:36am, down a half a cup of coffee with almond milk, lace up the tennies, turn on the Garmin and jog a warm up mile. It’s dark for the first 20 minutes which I love.
Lucky for me, my daddy/pacer/crossing guard rides along on his bike. It seriously helps to have someone out there with me! He rides a few meters ahead, which gives me someone to chase!
My pace for the first 3-mile tempo of the summer was a good starting point. 18:39 for three miles (average 6:13 mile). By end of August I will be in the mid-17’s which will put me in good cross country racing shape :)
As for now, I will take it one Tuesday at a time and keep shaving off a few seconds each week!
BUT waking up at 4:30am and evening gym sessions are wearing me out. Time to listen to the body and give it a little break tomorrow!
Which is perfect timing because I have a very exciting day ahead.
I’M MOVING INTO MY NEW APARTMENT!
Well….I’m moving my stuff in. I have a great full-time job at home for the rest of the summer so the celebration in the new digs will be short-lived. But still……it means picking up keys, buying furniture, setting up my space and getting everything cleaned. Very grown up, no? ;)
My past week has been FULL of grown-up” (i.e. NOT FUN) chores like signing a lease, paying rent, setting up insurance, gas and electricity. Exciting stuff. Very exciting. I would like to eat some skittles for breakfast and relive my youth again now please.
Fueling the Future:
To me, thinking about the future is so……exhilerating. I can’t stop researching graduate schools, Masters programs, sports marketing internships, potential jobs, and new cities like Boise and Charlotte.
Everything in my life through senior year of college was part of a plan. I knew in advance what city I would be in, where I would be living, who I would be living with, what I would be doing, how I would earn money. It had a feeling of safety knowing that I was guaranteed 4 years in college with the support of my parents being a full-time student.
The day I graduate college (10 months and counting!), all of that “safety” goes away. But for some reason I am not scared at all. I am thrilled. Not knowing if I’ll have a job, where I’ll have a job, where I will live. This is the first time in my life when I don’t have a plan to tell me what the future looks like.
At the same time…that just means so many POSSIBILITIES.
A few things are certain:
Wherever I am, I will always be a runner (so the city better be pretty!).
My plan is still to race 1 marathon each year. :)
I will adopt a dog. A new running buddy, roommate, best friend.
My passion for health, fitness, exercise, nutrition, exploring, and enjoying scenic beauties will only grow.
A far-off goal is to become a personal trainer or fitness class instructor as a hobby because I love sharing all of the POSITIVE aspects of working out.
It’s funny because my family watches House Hunters…a lot. I remember going on a recruiting visit to Chico State during senior year of high school. The coach had me stay with some seniors on the cross country team, who had a “pasta party” and meet-n-greet. After everyone left, I made up my bed on the couch and watched a couple hours of House Hunters with my hosts. Scandelous first college experience right? ;)
The show has me excited to do my own search for a home (well, apartment but same difference) and I’m loving the East Coast right now thanks to several amazing posts by Julie at PBFingers.com and Taralynn at Simplytaralynn.com!
I think all of this anxiousness and urgency is natural for such a transitional period in our lives.
From dependent to independent. From student to worker. From a plan to the unknown.
And now I will stop day dreaming about my future, refill my mug with some Vienna Cinnamon brew from Sprout’s and get back to some important projects.
What are you daydreaming about today?