Saturday, March 09, 2013

It's Awful, and then it's Over

Over Christmas, Lyndsie gifted me with 10 Crossfit classes at the place we normally do zumba.

"We can do them together!" we both exclaimed, and I pictured us walking in ourselves, and sauntering out these transformed, cut up, fitter than ever ladies.

The actual first day there was no sauntering whatsoever. We walked in together and the lady at the front desk was super nice, assuring us that Coach was nice and he took the time to teach you. That was comforting, but did not erase the butterflies in my stomach.

The class was unassumingly easy at first. Arm circles, stretching, touching my toes, "this will be easy I thought to myself."

And then, hmm, how do I explain this.

GRAPHIC explanation warning, shield your eyes if your are squeamish:

One of my favorite bloggers described that when she was in labor, the Awful happened. And the Awful was when they went to check her cervix for dilation, it was very painful.

Well, the Awful happened at Crossfit.

And no I don't mean cervix checking.


The Awful at Crossfit is lovingly referred to as Bear Crawl. Bear Crawl is where you get on all fours and then walk on your hands and feet with your butt in the air, like a bear. Except it's exceptionally hard for humans to do. Or at least this human. It kind of reminds me of wheelbarrow races, except your feet are on the ground, and I was never any good at those.

And it only got worse from there.

There were laps around the building (like ten or more, definitely at least a mile long), and pull ups (PFFT fat chance I was doing those, I basically just had to hang from the bar then jump up. That's it, that's all I got). And wall ball shots.

Oh, you don't know wall ball shots?

Wall Ball shots are where you take a 7 pound weight, and squat alllllllll the way to the ground with it, then on your way up throw the ball as high as you can against the wall in front of you. I really struggle with this one, because I cannot do a full squat. As I told Lyndsie, it's really difficult to move this much girth that low to the ground.

How was my first class of Crossfit you may wonder? Well, I have never been compelled to vomit and cry at the same time until that day. I will tell you that much. That first class, I think a tear or two did actually escape but I was sweating so hard trying to do the Wall Ball shots that the tear blended right into the my face.

But Lyndsie and I have been back two more times. And that is a major triumph.

"Do you enjoy crossfit?" someone asked me the other day.

"No," I replied honestly. "I hate it with the passion of a thousand suns. Every time I go I pray I will oversleep from my nap (these classes take place at 9pm) or the coach will be sick or a major catastrophe will wipe out all the roads in Renton. I hate it."

That is not to knock Lyndsie's gift. I just never pictured myself this out of shape or workouts this hard.

But you know why I keep going back?

Because, nothing NOTHING nothing, compares to how I felt after that very first class, and I was laying on my bed drenched in sweat, and even though I could literally not walk down stairs without pain, I could not help but think

"I did it. We did it. We survived and I did not die and I did not throw up."

And that's why I wrote this post. Because it's awful and then it's over.

And I don't just mean crossfit. I mean you might be in the trenches right now. The hellacious lows of an awful relationship. The drudgery and defeat of a job you cannot stand. The longest day with your kids (lord knows that happens, those are half the days I spend knowing Andrew and he is not even my child.)

But as much as I hated that class, and as much as I wanted to just die doing it (I know I am dramatic but at one point Lyndsie and I turned to each other and agreed we would rather be doing childbirth than doing crossfit. And I am pretty sure childbirth is the same pain level as breaking 20 bones), it was hard, but then literally not 60 minutes later it was OVER.

So I know I took the longest, round about way to say this, and it's not the most positive story I have ever told, but to all my chicas and relatives and co workers and friends who are struggling:

It's Awful, then it's Over.

And I love you.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

(A Little Late) 22 Memorable Things about my 22nd Year

1. Sled down my first snowy hill and did not like it very much (January 18th)
2. Gambled at a casino for the first time (did not win anything, then chowed down on the buffet, natch) (February 20th)
3. Started the first of several Big Girl job interviews ...and...
4. Finished my final classes for my Bachelor's Degree! (March 14th and 15th)
5. Started my actual Big Girl Job (April 9th)
6. Went to the Tulip Festival for the first time (April 22nd)
7. Met Julie Andrews at Costco (yes, Mary Poppins!) (gosh I wish I had a picture!) (April 28th)
8. Hiked in Issaquah for the first time! (May 5th)
9. Had an amazing photo sesh with Tres Birds Photography (June 3rd)
10. Graduated with my Bachelor’s Degree (June 10th 2012)
11. Celebrated the life of my Tata (June 17th 2012)
12. Visited the King Tut Exhibit (June 24th)
13. Worked a bit of over time (Summer 2012)
14. Visited the Lynden Raspberry Festival and ate a Dutch Pancake the size of a manhole (July 2012)
15. Had my first Winery Tour at Covington Cellars (August 5th)
16. Parents Celebrated their 26th anniversary (August 25th)
17. Saw Legally Blonde the Musical! (September 15th)
18. Teatro Zinzanni with Papa (September 18th)
19. Finding Nemo 3D and Boeing Open House (September 22nd and 23rd)
20. Got a terrible hair cut, then had to get it fixed (October 5th and October 9th)
21. Leavenworth for the Weekend (October 12th-14th)
22. Walked in the Heart Walk (October 20, 2012)

And that, my friends, is the benefit of having a planner :) A whole memory catalog of fun times! And now for a few fun things that have happened since turning 23.

My 23rd Birthday Party! (November 10th)
The star of the night was obviously my hair, tamed for once (mad photo props to Courtney)


Getting mah new car!
Meet Icey!

Yes, that's her name (yes, it's a she). I debated sharing her name on here since everyone hated the name I gave my Corolla, but I am hoping we are giving the gift of only positive comments this Christmas (sidenote: who besides me is shocked it is already December?). 2012 Toyota Rav4 and its 4 Wheel Drive. I can raise the volume of the radio on my steering wheel and the color is Pacific Blue. Also, she syncs my phone via Bluetooth so I can receive calls and play my iPod. That's all there is to it. OH, except that Mama van Ingen rode in it for the first time yesterday and agreed it was very spacious. And that we should take a road trip in it. I politely postponed that until further notice :)

Love, besos, and shellac manicures (except for the boys, unless that is your thing)!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Papa Said

"You used to write a blog, not any more though". So with that, I bring you the miracle that is two blog posts in two days!

This one is about gym bags primarily. Many moons ago (I am talking like June here) my friend Abeni rolled up to our thai food dinner date. She was carrying her gym bag with her.

When I think of gym bag, I typically think of something along the lines of this:

*Naturally mine would be pink but there is a multitude of colors available.

But our conversation went a little bit like this - 
Me: That is a nice Longchamp you have (not unlike the covetous tone reserved for Granny when she says "My those are nice teeth you have!" "Only the better to eat you with my dear!" [Sorry, but I have been watching a lot of Once Upon a Time])!
Her: Thanks, it's my gym bag.

Girlfran rolled up with one of these as her gym bag:
*Imagine in black like Abeni's 

That, my friends, is some stylish gym gear. In her defense, someone I know may or may not have acquired the gym bag below, but in their defense, it is an equally as cute carry on for traveling!

* It also came with a cute hand written thank you card.... er, I heard.

In completely reverse news to the gym bag story, I made a brie en croute yesterday. For the non fancy pants inclined, that is a brie wrapped in dough and baked. It's kinda what you need to do when you have leftover brie and no pretzel slims to eat it with.

*Fresh out the oven. Notice my keen foiling abilities so as to not get extra stuff dirty.

*Gooey and buttery.

And in completely non related news, I have turned a $6.99 purchase at Bartells into a stroke of genius. I went there purely to use an almost expired chinook book coupon with my friend Joyce and randomly saw a leopard print under bed storage bin. Since mama does not let me store anything under the bed (you will have to ask her why), I figured this would be a perfect opportunity for some organization

*Assorted contents: reusable bags, ear plugs and protective eye wear (long story), umbrella, towel with a fishie on it).

I foolishly did not take a before picture of my trunk, but if you can imagine it was kind of chaotic. The towel was laid flat under a mess of bags strewn everywhere and the Fred Mayer bag and umbrella would shift on every sharp turn. Enter my leopard print storage box and...


Everything is corralled into one spot, nothing shifts, and it looks so clean back there. Plus, if I ever need to fill my trunk, I can just take the box out in one fell swoop! That, my peeps, is a good idea for under ten dolla!

I hope everyone is well, healthy, happy, and (sometimes) thrifty. Leave me comments of your latest best purchase for under ten dollars or latest culinary adventure!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

2012 Heart Walk Update

I have said it before and I will say it again: I know some pretty awesome people. The 2012 Puget Sound Heart and Stroke Walk went off without a hitch. The highlights (for me): NO Rain!, the dog tag LAP Team necklaces my generous and thoughtful Aunt Adri sent, freebies (including a soy sauce flavored chapstick that tastes way weirder than you think), no rain (did I mention no rain), congratulatory lunch at Skillet afterwards, and doing my Tata proud. And I would do it all over again in a heart beat.

Individually, I raised $725! Not bad, not bad.

As a team, the LAP Team pulled together $1670!

And the entire AHA event, raised, drumroll please...

$1,533,467 as of 3:25pm on Friday afternoon

That is a whole lot of fundraising and research and survivors. And every single penny you sent, well wish you gave, thought you offered, propelled us all to reaching the finish line and donating to such a good cause.

Costco, I might add, was the second highest raising company in the entire walk!

But there's more!

Donations are still being accepted! The Heart Walk would like to reach their goal of $1,600,000 and they cannot do it without us. Please consider donating if you feel like you missed your chance or if you know someone who would have liked to but did not. The deadline to receive donations towards my fundraising page is November 7th, 2012 (the day before my birthday! More importantly, it is National Healthy Eating Day! The fact that I was going to go to L&L Hawaiian BBQ that day is neither here nor there). Though, I should add, the AHA will always accept donations and never turn them away.

Consider donating if you can, but more importantly pat yourselves on the back for a job well done! You are all LIFESAVERS!

*I have no pictures from the actual day of the event - because I am a silly pants - so let's all bug Papa van Ingen to email the pictures he took that day, he got some good ones. In the meantime, please admire this necklace I just purchased on Etsy. It says Semper Fidelis, Always Failthful (or Loyal) in Latin - the moto of the US Marines.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Pretty Woman, Give me Your Smile

The Playlist

I don't know if anyone else is having this feeling, but where has this year gone y'all?! I swear it was just March, and here it is practically October tomorrow and November is right around the corner, then December! I looked at the calendar Thursday, and was stunned (simply stunned!) that it was exactly one month until the 2012 Puget Sound Heart and Stroke Walk! I am super excited, and hope you will all keep me and the LAP Team in your thoughts and prayers come October 20th!

CD :)

So I have a favor to ask all of you, my lovelies! As part of a fundraising idea, I have made a playlist of 20 songs that are dedicated/about/remind me of my grandpa. I turned this into a mix cd and have also composed an accompanying list of the songs - about half of the songs include memories of my grandpa that link to them, plus each song has a quote pulled from it that I feel applies to the mix CD theme.

I have 5 of these combos available, and my idea is to exchange these for Heart Walk Donations. I would love a minimum $5 donation per mix CD + list, but really anything helps. Anything. So please give whatever you can, even if it's a dolla! 100% of the proceeds will go to the American Heart Association and the walk. I will mail these to whoever is interested in getting one, or drop it off with you if that is possible. This goes to a really great cause and I thank everyone who has supported me and the LAP Team so far! We could not do it without you!

The first five people to comment on this blog post expressing they would like a CD get priority, and I will take requests via text or facebook, but blog post comments get first pick and priority! Due to iTune playlist burning rules, I only have 5 copies. I can take donations for these in person, via snail mail, or pay pal!

If the songs on the playlist are a determining factor, I would be more than happy to email you the songs.

If you would like to visit my Heart Walk page, click here!

If you would like to visit the LAP Team page, click here!

And again, THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH for all your support with the LAP Team, and with my life in general :)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

This Story Begins with Tears (A Blog Post Wherein I Quote Myself, Wonder if it is Narcissistic, and then Decide I Don't Care)

I am not a very private person. I share things about my body, my brother, my health, and my defeats all over the internet, usually on this blog. I will write just about anything and not consider who is going to read it.
According to my baby book, he is my second favorite male figure after my daddy
Louis Pina January 13, 1941- June 17th, 2012

And then on June 17th, 2012, my world changed during an unexpected phone call over meatball subs. And my family had to find out on Father's Day that my beloved Tata had passed away. I had nothing to say, could not write, and let the information slowly sink in before I could even admit to others what had happened. I could not share pictures quite yet, or let the facebook world know, because I myself wasn't ready.
My beautiful grandparents. I wish I looked half as good :)

But then I decided the proper thing to do, and the only course of action I could take, was honor. Honor for a tall, dark, stubborn man who called me alternatively "Babe" and "Simba" (when I was younger and my curly mane was not even an inch within controlled). 

I decided to take Costco up on the offer of becoming a Team Leader for the Puget Sound Heart Walk. I created the LAP Team (Louis Arthur Pina Team) and hope to raise $3000 with hopefully 10 teammates (I personally have a $1000 goal and have become pretty passionate and invested in this goal. This became pretty evident when I emailed my dad and told him that the day of the walk I am going to put L-A-P-T-E-A-M-!-!-! on each of my nails along with garnet [for my grandpa's birthstone] and blue [his favorite color] nail polish). If you are interested in either being a team member or donating, please contact me! 

I leave you with a story, and the reason I decided to create LAP Team. I warn you, it is a long one (when are they not), but I had to write it.

Love to all my loved ones.
This story begins with tears. I say this not to gain sympathy, and Lord knows that my emotional spectrum runs high and wide: I have been known to cry on staff retreats and at ill-timed Keeping up with the Kardashians episodes (that episode where Rob's girlfriend left him for India that I watched during a particularly emotional time of the month left me in pieces). 
But those are not the particular tears I mean. I mean the racking sobs of a 22 year old granddaughter, driving along Martin Luther King Way after she has been told that her favorite person after her dad written down in her baby book lay sick in the hospital. The mute pained gasping tears as you wait and watch the hurting kidney and ¾ blocked heart duke it out for which will fail first. And the resolute tears that fall as you sullenly promise to get your body in shape, right now, right this second because you don’t want to have to worry about your own 22 year old daughter crying in a car 40 or 50 years down the road, wondering how much time she has left with her beloved family member.
            My beloved Tata was in and out of the hospital, worrying us. In his characteristic no nonsense manner, he seemed least worried of all. But on June 17th, we got the call that you always dread getting. On June 17th, on Father’s Day 2012, Louis Arthur Pina passed away. While not 100% sure it was from heart disease, heart disease touched our family and changed it without asking permission.
            On June 19th, I signed up to walk in the 2012-2013 Puget Sound Heart Walk, and created my own team to inspire, motivate, and change the face of this disease. Honoring my grandpa (Louis Arthur Pina Team), as well as a clever acronym for the many laps we will walk during this 5k (3.1 mile) walk, I intend for this team to make a difference.
On top of that, there are a few traits of my grandpa’s that will help us walk successfully and that might benefit how we approach heart disease in general. For one, I figured it was no longer time to be my normally shy self. Heart Disease and Stokes are not shy as they sweep silently through bodies and hospitals, and I cannot sit idly by any longer when there is so much I can do to find a cure and raise awareness.
            More importantly, my Tata was a stubborn man, and I loved him for it. I appreciate people who can stand by their convictions. But his stubbornness teaches me, and hopefully the team: that when you think you can’t finish the race, when you think you can’t give (time, talent, or monetary donations), or when you think you just can’t in general, you totally can. Because Louis Pina would have never let anyone tell him he can’t, and he wouldn’t let us either. Bring that stubborn person out of you and see how you triple the amount you think you can accomplish.
            Lastly, my Tata was a story teller.  He loved to talk, could talk for quite awhile, and if in the right mood, might know your whole life story in 10 minutes and wouldn’t you know it he had met someone you know to boot. I myself, despite being on the quiet side, once I get to know you will totally steam roll the conversation while trying to tell you three different stories I thought of because you said the word tangerine. And I always have to get the details right, “I was walking down, Cherry, I mean it was Madison, on Wednesday, no well I guess it was Thursday wearing this blue shirt…”, my dad always amusingly notes that I get that from my grandpa, but it is one of my favorite traits. And as if this whole story about him is no indication, I love telling stories and I love writing. And when we are facing that third hill in a row on the walk, or that hurdle in life, sometimes a simple story can get you through. And writing it out, getting it all down? That’s how I heal and how I share.
           This story, this walk, and this cause is dedicated to a whole bunch of people I would like to honor. It is for my grandpa of course, and my grandma Yolanda Pina who has also suffered a heart attack, other family members who have dealt with heart disease or stroke, and friends who have relatives battling the same thing. I am honored and excited to walk on October 20th, to donate my time, talent, and my treasure. And when my foot crosses that finish line, I’ll touch my heart (most likely in tears because remember the beginning of this whole thing) and he’ll know I did it for him.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Grad Swag Bags

Despite the excitement leading up to my graduation, there was one thing that I could not wait to unveil. Not me in my cap and gown, though that was a gratifying sight. Not my red diploma holders, one of which I forgot to hold up for the photographer after I walked across the stage :/ It was my party favors, which Mama and Aunt Adri carefully planned for several months and that I was so proud to give out. Here is a peek behind the process-
 Mama hand dusted every glass flute before she put it in the box like the true Mexi she is.
We lined the precious cargo up on our breakfast bar like an assembly line.

Each detail of this package was personalized from the monogrammed bags to the smiling girl graduate on the glass with my name, university, and graduation date. 

Despite the assembly line my mama and I had going (the boys stayed downstairs, surfacing only to assemble boxes and rid the room of trash), this was my all important job. That's right, I was relegated to  bow placement for my own favors. Not to downgrade myself, getting those little babies perfectly straight was no easy task :)

 At one point my dad walked in and goes, "People are going to think they are going home with swag!" and I replied, "They are going home with swag!" And he is also curious how I am going to top this for my wedding, while simultaneously trying to get out of paying it, haha.
The contents of the bags.
Close up of the label. It would not be from me without a picture of yours truly.
The workshop.
Notice I am also the background on mama's computer. It seemed funny at the time that a blown-up version of the martinelli's label was also on the screen.
Finished products!
The bags may have thrilled me, but the last four years have been a whirlwind. I have so much to be grateful for, and a Jesuit education that pervades my job, family, relationships, and life more than I ever thought it would. I have made lasting friendships, tested my ethics, crafted my relationship with God, and dragged my family through it all with me. Beyond anything else, I count my blessings and look forward to the next grand adventure. 

I can  100% honestly, truthfully, gratefully say that I could not have made it through these last four years without your love and support to get me by. Every paper I stayed up writing until 2am, every quiz I aced, every book I skimmed (ahem, read from cover to cover) was to show my family (related and otherwise) why they should be proud of me. Thank you for being my everything.

And to my parents, I honestly do not say thank you enough for the things you do for me, little and big. Thank you for creating a special life in me, and for always giving me a place to come home to, whether it is the lavender room you so lovingly painted or your hearts.

Love to you all!

*Major photo cred and mad props to Amber at Tres Bird Photography for the full size photo of me on the Seattle University seal. She always does an amazing job and the pictures prove that. Honestly, if you are in the WA area (or feel like flying her in to exotic locales, I am sure she wouldn't mind :) please look her up!