I am now physically capable of running a full mile.

Hi internet.

It has been about three weeks since I confessed to you guys that I couldn’t run a mile.

I can now run a mile.

Well that was fast.

It turns out that your body (or at least, my body) adapts to running pretty fast. All I did was run a half mile about every other day for the first week (walking another half mile), run 3/4th of a mile every other day the second (walking the last 1/4th) and run a full mile every other day the next week, with a five minute walking warmup and a five minute walking cool down every run-day.

Tada.

However, while it was conceptually easy to do, it was by no means a fun thing to do.

I stand by the fact that I absolutely hate running. Or at least, strongly dislike running, probably for all the same reasons that have been quoted and re-quoted over and over ad nauseum, amen.

I think it’s boring.

It makes my legs feel weird.

It makes my knees hurt.

I can tell the weird guy on the treadmill next to me is trying to look down my shirt.

I’m pretty sure if I touched the treadmill screen I’d contact a rare and fatal virus.

I could be doing nothing right now.

My thighs rub together sometimes and it makes me feel like an overactive lion seal.

Putting all those excuses aside, however, I think I’m going to try to run a 5k this summer.

Anyone care to join me?

 

I am physically incapable of running a full mile.

Hi internet.

You may be wondering how I’m doing with that whole “lose ten pounds” challenge.

Welllll…… Not great.

I’ve always thought of myself as a physically fit person. Not a skinny person. I don’t think I’ve ever been particularly skinny. Thin maybe once for a week or two, but definitely fit. I’m fairly active, if by active I mean I get an average of an hour or two of exercise a week. When I was in high school, I used to get an average of an hour or two of exercise a day and I was never skinny, so maybe skinny isn’t a realistic goal for me.

Don’t get me wrong – I love my body most of the time. I love that I’m curvy and that I don’t have sharp hip bones and that I have a large perky ass that you can (scientifically proven!) rest a beer can on, but yeah, I could stand to lose 10 (okay, 15) pounds.

However, I’ve been dotting the i’s and crossing all the t’s and that goddamn scale will not budge.

Have I upped my exercise? For the past month, I’ve been taken four power yoga or barre classes a week.

Is my diet healthy? Brussel sprouts, arugula, eggs, quinoa, barely any bread, no sweets.  Yes, I’ve had a few indulgences, but nothing that should break the bank.

So clearly, I need to do something different. I do yoga all the time. Maybe my body is bored, I thought. Maybe I need to do something radical.

That’s how this whole running debacle happened.

Okay, well first I went and bought a cute new pair of shoes, and then the running debacle happened.

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But seriously, I needed these. They are important to the process.

I’ve been in previous situations where I’ve run about 3 miles and my legs wanted to murder me the next day, so I figured I’d start small. I plotted out a mile long route around my neighbourhood, figured I’d be back in ten minutes or so, and went out. One mile. No problem, right?

It took about a block for me to want to die. One block. Singular. One huffing, puffing, wheezing, cramping block. Lungs burning, nostrils snorting, pretend-I-have-a-rock-in-my-shoe-so-that-other-runner-doesn’t-judge-me dying. One I could still turn around and pretend this never happened block. And no, I wasn’t sprinting. I was jogging so slow a mailtruck could have kept pace with me mid-route.

WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN TO ME?

I can do a power yoga class no problem, and no, not that nancy-pants stretchy yoga, but the 90 degrees, open-a-can-of-whoop-on-your-ass kind. I can carry a miniature fridge up 3 flights of stairs.

I. Am. Not. Out. Of. Shape. I’m fit, aren’t I?

Except that I can’t run a mile. I can barely jog-walk 37 steps.

I guess that means this is the new project I’ve been looking for.

I, Cassandra, Vow to run/walk/crawl everyday until I can comfortably run a mile.

Because seriously, girl, that panting thing is not cute.

I’m not old.

Internet, lately I’ve been feeling the exact opposite of young and carefree.

In the past year or so, I’ve almost completely stopped going out to bars and hanging out. In fact, I feel so disconnected from the person I was when I used to go to bars and and hang out that I have no idea what the point of going out to bars even is anymore. I barely drink. I go to bed early so I can get up early and have eaten brussels sprouts everyday for the past week.

Not to mention the job, the 401 K, and the crushing realization that my knees will probably just hurt all the time now because my joints suck and there’s nothing I can really do about it.

Yeah, yeah, I know I’m 24 and I have nothing to complain about, but lately I just feel dull. And boring. And old. 

At least until I heard this new song on the radio – Animals by Martin Garrix – and danced my ass off in my car in the parking lot outside my job, some punky techno song that has this one part that kept playing that makes me go ughhh yes play that one part song I love that one part. You know, the part that feels like the music is right in your bloodstream.

(The part starts at 1:30)

And then I calmly got out of my car and went back to work like a real person.

I guess the moral of the story is that oldness is what you make of it, and that lately I’ve been too stressed out and overworked to realize I can still go out and have fun like the idiotic, carefree young thang I still am, and that everyone has a song that will make them dance like they’re still 18.

So go out there and dance, internet. Because you aren’t old until you tell yourself you’re old.

 

Grief.

Hey internet.

Grief is a weird thing. First of all, it’s a weird word. Grief. Grief grief grief. It sounds like a grunt noise, like something that would accidentally come out of your mouth if you hit the ground at a funny angle or something.

Secondly, it hits you at really bizarre times.

Yesterday was the 3rd anniversary of the day my best friend Miks died. Which is horrifically morbid, but also something you don’t tend to forget. I’ll spare you all the gory details, except to say that she died of leukemia, and that her illness and her death were a defining point in my life that ultimately changed me forever. Probably for the better or whatever. Yet I digress.

My friend Kimchi and I had dinner (pork chops and quinoa) and drank Miks’ favorite booze (lambic) and it was all well and good and not even particularly sad. In fact, apart from a little sad tingle at seeing all the pictures of Miks floating around on Facebook, I actually managed to have a pretty good day yesterday.

That’s not to say that I’m not still grieving though. I still dream about her all the time. Constantly. Randomly, too. Like I’ll be at a dance in alternate China trying to stop a walrus from bathing in the punch (true story) and she’ll be there passing out cookies or dancing with a giraffe or singing in the background. Then I’ll wake up and experience that awful jolt of remembering she’s dead.

For the first year or so, I kept trying to call her. That was the worst, I think. I know I texted her at least twice about a month after she died. Or I’d find a song or a Youtube video I’d want to share with her and just about post it to her Facebook.

Birthdays are the worst. For obvious reasons.

Like I said, grief is weird and random, and it hits you hard when you you least expect it. Kind of like if a complete stranger hits you in the stomach when you’re walking down the street. It’s not really something you can control. You can’t decide when you get mad or offended or sick or sad, you can only manage how you deal with those feelings.

For right now, I guess pork chops and booze is a good way to go.

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Shoveling snow is a lot like having friends.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, internet, but we’ve had a lot of snow this winter.

Or at least I have. Not me, personally, but the Town-Where-I-Live.

You get it.

At any rate, my roommate Varenka and I are responsible for clearing out the sidewalk in front of our downtown apartment (sidenote – why do we call the people with whom we rent apartments our roommates when we don’t technically share a room? Is there a better word for this? The English use flatmates, but apartment-mates just sounds awkward. Just me?).

This is the first time that I’ve been responsible for regularly shoveling a walk, and while it’s not a horrifically arduous task given our sidewalk is only about 5 feet in length, it’s an annoying one. Especially given the fact that there have been many storms this winter that have required Varenka and I to shovel more than once a day. Sometimes three, four, or five.

Five.

My initial reaction to shoveling the snow was to wait until the snow had stopped falling to shovel the walk, because then I’d just have to shovel it once. There’s a city ordinance in Town-Where-I-Live that states that you get fined if the snow is still there 24 hours after a big storm, so I figured that as long as I did it after the storm I’d be fine.

Big mistake. I went outside to shovel the walk and realize that people had had to walk through the 5-inch deep snow in front of my house all day, which was conspicuously the only house on the block which hadn’t been shoveled. Which made me feel like an asshole, because it only took me two minutes to shovel my sidewalk, whereas those people who had to walk by my house probably had wet feet all day long.

I realized that shoveling the walk frequently during the storm is a courtesy, and while, yeah, I technically didn’t need to, not doing it makes me a selfish person. Who knows how many old ladies with canes need to walk by my house on a day basis? What if an old lady slips and falls and breaks her hip in the snow outside my house? THAT’S ON ME.

“But how does this relate to your very catchy blog title, Cassandra?” you’re probably asking. I’m getting there.

Friendship takes work. You can’t just check in with your friends when the storms are over. You need to be there for both the good times and the bad, the times that they are being really annoying, the bad breakups, and the clingy periods. Good friends are there for each other no matter what. Good friends always keep their sidewalks shoveled.

You know those people in your life who are supposedly your friends, but only seem to check in when they need something from you? Or when you’ve won the lottery or gotten a really lucrative job or are recently hot and single? Those are the people who only shovel their walk when all the snow has stopped falling. And you’re the old lady with the cane, whose hip is now broken because your friend is an asshole.

And so I say unto you, internet, shovel your damn walk. Check in with your friends. And maybe walk in front of different houses.

That last line is a metaphor for getting better friends. Also maybe a walker.

Well, Hello There Beautiful.

Ah, internet. I’ve come back to my poor, darling, neglected blog.

It’s funny, I thought writing less a week would mean I’d have more time to come up with incredibly awesome ideas to write about, but that has not proven to be the case. Instead, I’m finding that I have totally awesome ideas, but then I go back to playing Warcraft or watching Netflix or whatever and I just let that good idea go back to the idea graveyard or whatever.

However, I have been shamed back into action by Jennie Saia of Tip Of My Tongue, who is as funny, sweet, and refreshing as I am ironic, dramatic and punny. Check her out!

What have I been up to besides not writing and working my ass off? Well, I’ve been focusing on three things, mainly.

1. I went back to my Challenge to order out less and cook more. Yes, I wrote that post in early December and it’s now February. It’s been a bit of a hectic 2014, if you haven’t figured that out yet. I gave myself a ten-day no ordering food test last Tuesday, and so far I’ve done… decently. I have been doing a fair amount of cooking and eating what I’m making. Technically, I did eat takeout on Friday, but Captain Apollo got the food, so it wasn’t really delivery. Right?

Lemon rosemary chicken? Yum yum and four meals done.

Lemon rosemary chicken? Yum yum and four meals done.

2. On a related note, I’ve been working out a lot more as part of my initiative to lose a little weight. It has been going. Not great, not quickly, not even particularly efficiently, but going. It’s been great, but god it’s a timesuck.

3. I made this Bob Ross inspired lampshade. Because, y’know.

bobross

 

Anyways, I have been shamed, and I will make a bigger effort to make this a priority.

Still – A Poem (inspired by Pablo Neruda).

from below

the clouds in the distance
are one line
tracing their 2-d tracks across the sky
from point A to point B
arbitrary distinctions that make for
a horizon in your eyes

I watch you watch them as they crawl
as lazy as we are
almost still

as if to tell the birds
to hush their white noise chatter
and join the static scene

like this we could lay for a decade
and pass the time
by making daisy chains from soft words
and pitter patter drumbeats

all around us
the wind would still
in muted respect
and in harmony
the sun would slowly fade
and let the chromatic daylight

fade to grey.

ducklake