This past friday I attended a mandatory lecture about how Dante saved this mans life. To be completely honest with you all, I was less then thrilled about it and would have much rather been getting ready to join my friends at the food truck gathering but with great reluctance I dragged myself into attendance. I am so happy I did as it was great; the speaker was not some scholarly old man as I was expecting but rather a completely relatable, 'mans man'.
Among numerous fantastic things he said, one quote that really resonated with me was that though you can't change others, you can change your view.
Later that night I really began to think of this in terms of my own journey. Having gone home recently for Easter Break I quickly got reminded how much happier I am at school. Don't get me wrong, my family is amazing and I love them dearly but they are no where near perfect. Having complained to my sister later that day she laughed and questioned how I wasn't completely distraught yet by all they make me deal with and thats when I realized swimming is what helped me shape my views.
As I have mentioned previously I adore swimming and the water and it wasn't until I began getting more into yoga and the self reflection associated with it that I realized this correlation. Many people find similar satisfaction through running, but these sports; swimming, yoga, running, what ever it may be, provide an outlet for us to think. Personally, swimming has often served as my escape from the real world. With my family being so nosy, I never felt comfortable keeping a journal and with a constant fear of rocking the boat, I never really spoke up and avoided causing trouble at all cost. My thoughts and feelings where often just contained inside me and those daily 2 hours of swimming, if anything served as a time to deal with those emotions and escape from the outside world. Similar to the feeling that yoga has provided me the past few months, those hours really helped to unite my mind, soul and body. The cap and goggles helped provide a physical barrier for me to hide behind. With the sense of hearing gone, swimming allowed me to really listen to myself and ultimately make sense of the outside world. As the speaker mentioned, this change in attitude has nothing to do with changes in the outside world but how I receive it. Everyone finds relaxation through different things, and I think that finding that calling is something essential to human life.
27f and iced waters, not exactly ideal rowing conditions, yet there is something oddly satisfying about the sound of oars slicing through sheets of ice.
Life's circumstances aren't a;ways ideal, yet happiness is finding the beauty in these crappy situations, at least that's what I told myself as I lost feeling in my ligamants
"Live the Life you Love, Love the Life you Live" Bob Marley
This is something I have always struggled with. Its time to stop doing things for others and do what makes you happy. This is your life and you only get to live it once so do it right!
"Not only was he falling in love, but he was falling in love with someone he loved; and while the first time, he also believed he'd be with her forever, he was too young to consider what forever meant.
Now here he was, truly on the first day of forever" BJ Novak, One More Thing
I have been trying to stay consistent with this blog, and obviously it is failing PRETTY badly so after some thoughtful consideration I realized my issue is with being a full time student-athlete and working 15 hours a week I don't have much time to sit down and write posts. I decided that a fun way to keep this up to date would be through a fun little series called "Notes to Self" These are exactly what they sound like... quick, quirky life thoughts I have. Some might be somewhat informative but for the most part they will probably be silly things.
I have never really been one for New Years Resolutions but rather ways to better myself in the new year.
As is probably obvious at this point by my instagram (@mel41594), I had the opportunity this winter break to go to Puerto Rico to visit my family, and as any group of 20-somethings would do at the beach, my cousin, her friends and I decided it would be a great idea to do some chicken fights (I never said I was an adult). I consider myself a bigger girl so when I play with my girlfriends back home I am usually the base, but with a few guys their, and my cousin who is also fairly large I had to be the chicken this time.... Its very safe to say it was a HUGE fail. I was flailing around everywhere, not because my opponent was succeeding in knocking me down, but because I was scarred. I am a very strong swimmer so it wasn't fear of drowning but fear from lack of trust.
This inability to trust people is something that has haunted me for my entire life. It takes a truly long time for me to consider someone a friend and I truly only have about 4 people I would consider my best friends (2 at school, 2 back home), and a handful more I would consider friends. As a result of being a reserved person (outgoing introvert) and some traumatic life experiences it takes a lot for me to trust someone to stick around and that has definitely affected my ability to let people into my life. This year though one of my top resolutions is to try to trust myself and others more. Life is to short and unpredictable to close your heart, so though this might lead to both pain and failure in the future, its about the experiences we live. My life motto is to life without regrets so I urge any of you who suffer from the same problem to open your hearts this year and truly live in the moment more and be happy ♡
"Forget all the reasons why it won't work and believe in the one reason it will"
I constantly get the question what stroke do I swim and when I answer that I am mainly a butterflier and was a distance freestyler for my high school team (apparently that’s punishment for my inability to kick) they look at me like I’m speaking a different language. Why fly, is always their question. Butterfly is without a doubt the most physically demanding sport in swimming. I am in no way bashing on the other strokes but this is just a fact. Swimming freestyle for 10 minutes burns 85 calories, backstroke burns 80 calories, breaststroke burns approximately 60 calories and butterfly nearly doubles all these numbers with 166 calories for 10 minutes of swimming.
Why did you choose fly is also another common question I get. I can’t speak towards everyone who swims or swam fly but I personally started swimming butterfly for the challenge. Butterfly was something that only a select few would do on my first team and I wanted to be one of those elite few. I had just started swimming and mainly swam backstroke at the time but fly gave me a way to prove myself. It was a challenge I had wanted to take and I would swim it any opportunity I had. I’m a pretty stubborn person so one of my greatest motivators is being told I am not capable of doing something. Of course this led to 5th grade me doing a 500 butterfly one day (it was a shorter pool so it was more like 350-400, but that’s still a lot for a chubby 5th grader). I’m not going to say it was a pretty swim but I finished it (take that coach!). When swam right fly just gives you this high that I have never experienced from any other stroke. There is no better feeling then between those strokes when you feel the glorious glide through the water. Though breastroke also creates a similar glide, butterfly is fast. Its this fantastic mix of great speed and glide that isn’t present in the other strokes. Yes the last quarter of the race SUCKS but that feeling is what makes all the hard work worth it.
Yes my shoulders are wider then most guys, and yes both my body and lungs tell me how much they hate me constantly when I swim practice butterfly but its all worth it when you're climbing out of that pool after a good race. I am a butterflier and I wouldn't change it for the world; that is why I fly.
This weekend was the first time in over a month where I have had nothing to do and let me tell you, that was MUCH needed. I guess I can be best described as an outgoing introvert. I am really loud around my friends but I need quite time. Something about being surrounded by people is exhausting to me, and when you are surrounded by the same people for 3 hours a day M-F and then 12 hours on Saturdays you need space.
Naturally on my glorious weekend off I decided to have a nice, little spa day. I can honestly say there is nothing more rejuvenating then going on Netflix, popping on a movie and doing NOTHING! My movie of choice this week was "Not Suitable for Children." If you don't have a netflix you probably havent heard of it since its an Australian RomCom, but though I don't suggest it for a younger audience (name might have some double meaning there!) I really enjoyed it. I am a sucker for lower budget or indie films and this fit just that. While watching it, I had to be doing something (ADD began kicking in) so I decided to paint my nails. Since I am on a college budget I don't really have the opportunity to get my nails done every week plus I find it extremely soothing to do my nails so I decided this week to give myself a mani-pedi and paint them Love Every Minute by Essie and Blood Sangria by Revlon. These are two very different shades. The Essie shade is a peach pink so its a lot more summer. I wouldn't typically wear this in the fall or winter months but I had the urge to paint my nails that color since its so pretty. Blood Sangria by Revlon is more of a plum color that is perfect for these cold months. I typically hate how red looks on me but I love this color. The color is so used that it is starting to go a little thick but I refuse to part with it. Another thing that is worth mentioning here is Seacret Cuticle Oil. The salons are always warning you not to mess with your cuticles this stuff makes such a difference between just painting your nails and actually giving yourself a mani-pedi. A little goes a long way with this and it leaves you fingers looking like a blank canvas for polish! One of my favorite parts about getting that pedicure is the leg scrub. As an athlete my legs are always banged up, bruised and incredibly dry so I love how they feel after the salon uses whatever that scrub is. A few months back at Sephora I decided to try Soap and Glory Flake Away and I can honestly say its a gift sent from God; I ADORE this stuff. It goes for about $25 but it has lasted me SOOOO long. I typically use it once a week and it leaves my otherwise reptilian legs feeling so soft and smooth.
Another thing I don't get to keep up with as much as I would like is my hair. In the summer I am in the water or sun pretty much 24/7 and in the winter I am in the pool 1-3 times a week and it kills my hair. Besides the color, one of the biggest differences I have noticed is my hair has become thinner since I started swimming full time in 8th grade. In a recent effort to grow out my hair I have decided to become proactive with my hair and two of the products that have made the largest difference is the Wet Brush and Keratin Renewal Spray by Biolage. My hair feels soooo much healthier thanks to these too. Another thing that I have been told makes a huge difference but I haven't found the right one is clarifying shampoo. I have had Malibu Un Doo Goo for a little over a year and try to use is once a month. Though I am not the biggest fan of it since its very watery and doesn't lather well, I can definitely tell the difference using it makes on my hair. It creates a completely different feeling of clean.
Though it is inarguable that being physically and intellectually fit is extremely important in leading a good life, one aspect that is often overlooked is being emotionally stable. For some reason this has been the happiest I have been in years, and though that is a bold statement for a 20 year old to say it has really reflected on my in sports as well as in the classroom. This emotional stability is what enables me to have a positive attitude which makes all the difference in my motivation to work hard. This happiness not only comes from having great friends and family, since I have always had that but from of the largest changes I have made this year, letting my guard down. Personally one of the scariest places for me has been my own head. Days off like yesterday really let me explore that and truly think about life. It allows me to clear my head, evaluate whats around me and generate this self awareness that is otherwise hard to sense. Though I don't believe that makeup and pampering is necessary to feel pretty, I always feel prettiest when I am put together. For me its not what the makeup does in changing my face and covering up blemishes because in reality I use minimal makeup but in the feeling of having it all together. If my nails are done and I look at least somewhat put together I feel like I'm doing something right.
Wow this post has gone just about everywhere, but below are some of the links to products I mentioned:
Not Suitable for Children: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1935065/
Seacret Cuticle Oil: http://www.seacretspa.com/nail-care-collection
(I just mentioned the oil but the buffing block is phenomenal and I currently don't have it cause my mom wouldn't let me take it from home)
Revlon Polish: http://www.target.com/p/revlon-colorstay-longwear-nail-enamel-bold-sangria/-/A-13940934
Soap and Glory: http://www.sephora.com/flake-away-body-polish-P294727
Wet Brush: http://www.thewetbrush.com/index.php/detangle/the-paddle/the-paddle-blue.html
Keratin Spray: http://biolage.matrix.com/advanced/keratindose/pro-keratin-renewal-spray
Malibu Un Doo Goo: http://malibuc.com/content/CN_Product_Detail.aspx?ID=2410
**Before you begin, lets take a minute to appreciate old Britney...OK done**
As I sit here gorging my chicken nuggets and sipping my tea I started thinking how am I considered a full adult. Not only how am I personally considered an adult, but how are college students in general considered adults.
You see this meal isn't a-typical for a college student, but tell an adult (i.e parents) about this and they will freak out for a. eating Monsters Inc. Chicken Nuggets and B. eating a second dinner at 9 o'clock. As I thought further into this observations, I began to notices that though there is this huge societal pressure to go to college, one thing that college neglects to do is allow you to grow up. In the efforts of trying to teach you how to be a "functional" adult they are sticking you with thousands of other children. This chicken coop of 18-22 year olds is a breeding ground for mistakes and upon exiting this you just blame them all on being "young and naïve" and society just accepts that to a certain point. So what if you went out and partied every weekend, as long as you got that 4.0. It seems like for those who didn't attend college though, they don't have these excuses and are forced to grow up faster. I'm not sure the validity of this statement but its just an observation I have had, and I'm just sort of questioning whether its a good thing that we are still not adults years after we are considered one by the government.
A few years back my great aunt and uncle where having a celebration for her 50th wedding anniversary. They where only 65 and 67 years old (meaning they got married at 15 and 17). At 15 years old I did not feel like I was old enough to be in a serious relationship much less was I thinking of marrying someone. Its 5 years later and marriage is still no where near the forefront of my mind. Even relationships seem to be a foreign concept to my generation (cough cough "the hookup culture")
College is a time where you are in this awkward phase where you are kind of an adult but at the same time, you still haven't left those childhood tendencies. Lets look back at those chicken nuggets and tea I just devoured. I would say chicken nuggets are a pretty childish food, but put them on a menu and there is a 75% chance I will order them, yet I am also sitting here drinking tea before bed. I would describe that as pretty adult (what child drinks tea??). The same thing seems to happen with what we watch and listen to.... we know a lot of the new teen singers yet some have managed to slip away.
It truly is a time where you find yourself. Hopefully classes are not only challenging but also intellectually stimulating. We are learning valuable skills for the workplace, but perhaps more importantly we are learning about ourselves. We learn the type of people we like surrounding ourselves with as well as the people who bring out the negative in us. I've only recently began to really discover the whole social learning of college but it has been something that has made a world of a difference for me personally. Involving yourself in clubs that you enjoy is a necessity (at least for me) to remain sane, but a lot of times you also join forced to do stuff that we don't necessarily like, but that's just life. We have to find that equilibrium where we are our happiest, most productive self.