Category Archives: determination

The hard part

It’s hard to get out the door.
It’s hard to warm up in cold air, when my breath still hangs in front of me.
It’s hard to get moving, thinking about how badly I’d like to be inside.
It’s hard to keep pace and keep going.
It’s hard to keep from sprinting to the end so I can just be done.
It’s hard to keep my form sometimes . . . which means back and hip pain most often.
It’s hard to push further than 5 miles.
It’s hard to climb the stairs after a run.
It’s hard to will myself to stretch out.
And it’s hard to remember to hydrate and do some core exercises.

But as hard as it can be, finish lines, milestone runs and knowing that today I did just a little bit more than yesterday becomes so incredibly worth it.


The baggy

I'm not 135 -- not by a long shot -- but maybe someday I'll be closer to that. I think my happy weight is about 140.

I’m losing weight? I’m LOSING weight?! Whoa!

About a month ago, I started the Eat to Live plan with one of my best friends. The diet part was pretty straightforward — LOADS of vegetables, plenty of fruit, and healthy amounts and sources of protein, with limits on starches and grains and absolutely no meat/dairy. I gotta say, I was pretty stoked — I had energy, felt good, and I never once went hungry. But in the last couple of weeks, I’ve definitely strayed from the designated path — letting some half & half fall into my coffee, occasionally reaching for an Oreo as they’re left out on the counter at work . . . but this morning, my jeans were baggy. Are baggy.

These jeans, purchased just two months ago, fit then without being snug . . . but now? I’m having to hike them up when I stand. When I pull the top away from my hips, I can clearly see my undies. It feels awesome. But I haven’t stepped on a scale in weeks . . . I really have no idea what I’ve lost (if anything, I could be in that gaining muscle stage too) and I’m surprisingly okay with that . . .

I still eat a load of vegetables, take in healthy fats and proteins and I’m going to the gym because I enjoy the activities I’ve been doing (spin, climbing, running, yoga) — not because I feel obligated to do so. I haven’t hit the weights as much (okay, haven’t hit them at all), but if climbing isn’t strength training, I don’t know what is. Maybe I’ll do weights tonight . . . for kicks. 😉

Anyway . . . I feel healthy, I feel good about myself and my body, and it’s starting to show on the outside, too . . . which is really the icing on the cake, right? 🙂

Happy Friday!

The Morning Person Experiment

alarm clock

My alarm clock doesn't look like this -- it looks like an iPhone. But have you ever woken up to one of these? Frightening.

Good morning!! I promise, I haven’t been *completely* absent — last week, I posted about a diet/health book I’m test-driving with my best friend only to find WordPress had cut off half of my text. (Seriously? What gives?) Anyway, I didn’t have time at the time fix it, so closed my laptop and vowed to do it tomorrow . . . except tomorrow kept getting pushed back.

But here I am, already jumpstarting November’s experiment — being a morning person. Yesterday, without rhyme or reason, I got up around 5 am. I wasn’t “up” up, but the alarm went off at 5:05, and without fail, I flipped on my bedside lamp, rolled over and dozed for another ten minutes, when I got up and turned on the tea kettle to boil water for coffee (I use a French press), and then snuggled in bed for a few minutes more until the water was ready — hey, it was Monday.

I’ve never really been a ‘morning person,’ someone who rises before dawn and manages to accomplish half of their day’s to-do list before they even hit work or something else like that. I’m usually in bed until 7, when I finally decide that I *have* to get up because I *have* to go to work (a girl’s gotta pay bills, people… plus I really like my job — that helps).  I stumble about my day, caffeinating as necessary and find that when I get home, I have little energy to work out so I cook some dinner, work out a bit if I can muster it and collapse in bed later.

Yesterday, I took my new-found early riser status slowly — making coffee and toast, fixin’ my hair (oh yeah! I gotta post pics soon — I got it cut… reeeeeally cut), and ticking things off of my morning routine.

This morning, the alarm went off at 5:05, I snoozed for 1o minutes with the lights on and got up to make coffee. This is the part where I feel like my body’s been snatched — I put on a Core Fusion DVD. And then I did it — just a couple of segments (start small, Robyn, start small).

I am so confused. Who is this person inside me??? Why is she waking up so damn early? There’s something seriously the matter… isn’t there?

Obviously, the rest of the week hasn’t happened yet, but I’ll keep you posted. Last night, I was surprisingly defensive of my sleep — on the phone, I told Alex I’d catch him tomorrow right at 10 pm. Tonight, the goal is to be asleep by 9:30 — which will require some more complex maneuvering as I’m planning on taking a yoga class that goes from 7:30 to 9:00ish (they usually end a few minutes late).

For now, though, I think I’ll finish my coffee.

Are you a morning person or a night owl? Do you have a hard time getting out of bed first thing in the morning? Do you work out in the morning?

Climb on.


Don't bother asking me when I'll actually climb outdoors. Most days, I'm still working on getting myself to the gym.


I have a gym membership, but I don’t use it as often as I’d like. I seem to have found two great groups to join — a team of climbers who like to climb in the morning and a team that climbs in the evening, but I rarely get to the gym out of total insecurity.

Stupid, I know. Everyone has to start somewhere, right? But when you’re a rookie who pants at the top of a 5.6 (easy-to-medium difficulty) and your climbing buddy for the day is flying up a 5.11 (very hard), you feel a bit like a joke. Or at least, I do.

A couple of years ago, a careless mistake in a climbing gym (my mistake, no less) led to an accident — a 12-foot fall to the ground. I wasn’t properly clipped in and I fell hard. The fall knocked the wind out of me and left me with a couple of ripped fingers (I tried to grab the rope on the way down) and a twisted ankle. But mostly, it just left me shaken up. In a split second, my security was gone.

It’s the kind of thing that you just can’t even believe happened — frustrated with a route I was attempting to master, I unclipped myself to reevaluate my method. I stood back, worked out a new plan, and then went back to climb. I didn’t look. I didn’t see. I didn’t comprehend that my safety was at risk — that I had not properly clipped in and if I fell, nothing would stop me from plummeting to the crash-pad flooring, which is exactly what happened.

I picked myself up off the ground, gingerly put some weight on my hurt ankle to assess how badly I’d messed up and glanced at my fingers whose skin was opened up from the friction of the nylon rope. I caught my breath, got a sip of water and walked into the locker room, where I sat on the bench to process what had just happened.

And then, without even really thinking, I left the gym and I didn’t come back for over a week.

More than anything the experience was humbling — I saw just how quickly, easily my mistakes could take a fun experience and turn it into something that transformed me into a bundle of nerves. But my biggest mistake after the fall wasn’t that I beat myself up mentally (though I’m sure that didn’t help), it was that I didn’t immediately get back on the climbing wall.

When I did, I clipped myself into the auto-belay, took a deep breath and nervously grabbed the handhold. Then another. And another. My feet were probably 3 feet off of the ground — I’ve hopped off of counters higher than that. But I couldn’t shake the need to check my harness every .4 seconds. Clipped in? Good. Grab a hold. Clipped in? Good. Grab the next hold. But as I glanced down, I could actually feel the blood leaving my face. And then I put my foot on one hold lower, another hold lower, until I could step back down onto the ground. I was done after climbing 4 feet.

I tried climbing one more time that summer before deciding that I needed a break. My (relatively) fearless self became paralyzed by nerves and apprehension. Almost two years later, I joined a climbing gym in San Jose (actually, it’s in Sunnyvale, but whatever). I signed up determined to conquer whatever lingering fear was there — I’d been away from it for almost 2 years . . . that’s enough time to suck it up, right?

Well, I’m not there yet. I’m still incredibly nervous when I start climbing over my belay partner’s head. I still check my harness with almost every step up. And I still grip those handholds like my life depended on it — because when you’re climbing a 50-foot wall and you’ve had an accident before, you’re acutely aware that at such a greater height, your life could be dependent upon it (not to sound all dramatic, but it’s pretty true).

But in spite of all of my nerves and apprehension, I still love doing it. It exhilarates me and leaves me so proud of the accomplishment, even if it’s a lower-grade route.

For me, climbing has become more metaphorical than just a fun exercise, which is what it started off as. I started climbing when a dear, sweet friend‘s enthusiasm for the sport sparked a curiosity, an interest and eventually lit a flame for a new hobby I wanted to pursue.

Now, I’m learning how to fall back in love with the sport one foothold at a time as I’m working through releasing the fear and anxiety that come with climbing higher and higher. I guess the moral of the story is “Please don’t ever think you’re infallable . . . because you’re really not” “Always check. Always be careful. They don’t warn you about this stuff for no reason — especially when you’re taking on a hobby where safety truly matters.” (And the secondary moral would be, “Please bear with me — I’m still learning!”)

And I’ll get there — the grace of my climbing buddies and my determination to kick that anxiety to the curb will really help, I’m sure.

(And if you ever see me at the gym, hugs are always appreciated — they’re heart-healthy and have nerve-calming properties.)

Climbing? Climb on.

P.S. On a completely UNrelated topic . . . I came home to find one of my fish eating the other fish. I have a cannabal fish and I do not know how to process this (aside from being a bit grossed/freaked out.)

Know yourself.

I’m challenging myself and pushing myself trying to train for a marathon in October. I keep trying to inspire myself, keep my motivation up and trust that I’ll do it right, but it dawned on me tonight . . . I don’t know if I really know that I can do this.

Now, before you jump in with the pep talk, let me explain . . . I don’t know if I know myself WELL enough to say that I can do this. I believe that I can, I certainly would like to think that I can, but I’m trying to run the entirety of the race this time . . . so can I do it?

Well, I really, really, really hope so.  I really, really, really want to. But in the mean time, I don’t KNOW that it will happen – I trust that it will.

A college professor of mine once said, “Sometimes, you have to jump and trust that there’s a net to catch you.” She was so incredibly right. So here I am, rather confused by my own over-cerebralization of things (I may or may not have made that word up). Here’s what I do know about myself, though . . .

– I have never met a vegetable I didn’t like

– I’m really good with kids

– I’m pretty funny

– Somedays, I’m even smart

– Inspiration comes easily, motivation and determination are more difficult

– I love being a vegetarian – I doubt I will ever eat meat again

– I still miss sushi, though

– I’ve started rock climbing again – it’s helping me get over a fear of heights stemming from a climbing accident

– My biggest flaw is that I quit before I get started

– I know I can find motivation and determination to get me to the finish line – as Nike says, “Just do it!”

There’s probably some other stuff I could mention, but I’ll table it here – after all, I am still learning.

A slower start.

I need to flex my blogging muscles . . . I’ve been stalling, lingering and flipping back and forth over whether or not I’d like to follow through with this blog.

I do.  I want to.  I guess I’ve just balked at the idea of putting something out there that I can’t keep up with.  In the interest of not stretching myself too thin, I think I’ll set a preliminary goal of two or three posts per week.  I can always post more frequently, but until I find the niche that I really want to be in, I know I shouldn’t overdo it.

I’ve just started training for a full marathon in October, which is exciting, to say the least.  I’m also climbing more consistently, which is good and fun.  Granted, I’m not exactly flying up the walls (still working on my fear of heights stemming from an accident where I fell about 12 feet), but I’m slowly progressing and each time I climb, I know I’m getting closer and closer to one day lead climbing (a slightly terrifying someday-goal of mine).

Currently, I’m working on a vision board . . . one that will have loads of pictures of all of the wonderful things I want in life — to cultivate good relationships, to become a better blogger (being more consistent is going to do wonders for that one, I think), and to one day run the Boston Marathon.  Currently, I run a 12:30 mile pace, so clearly we’ve got work to do, but if I put it on my vision board I really do have faith that I’ll make that happen.

So here’s to starting . . . again.  Bear with me folks, I’m a work in well-purposed progress.

Inaugural post

Eeeep!  I’m stoked . . . Here it is — a blank page, a fresh start, a chance to put my message out there.

Lately I’ve been itching to start a wellness blog.  I had ideas to do one professionally (I work for a hospital), but it wasn’t really the right angle our department was looking for.  No hurt feelings, I’ll just do it myself.  I’ve always been a bit defiant, but in that not-really-bad, just-doin’-it-my-way kind of way.  You follow?  Right.

So what’s a semi-seasoned blogger to do?  Start a new blog — one with a goal.

I don’t know how this will evolve, but I’m excited to start.  Here’s to a new foray into blogging and to finding my way to wellness.