A Balancing Act

Life this past week was a balancing act. A balance between doing what I should be doing, and doing what I want to be doing. But, truly, why can’t they be the same thing? Shouldn’t we be doing what we want to be doing? If you ask me, the answer is an obvious….YES!

So, I did do, what I wanted to be doing, because it is what I should be doing. :)

The beginning of the week started with some rest, because I was fighting a cold. Then, I hit my workouts hard. Then rested again, because my workouts wore me out. Then my best friend from college came to visit, and I spent every moment, focusing on spending time with her, catching up, and making memories.

I started out by letting my inner child out…

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I jumped off rocks for fun!

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Woohoo!

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There were lots of smiles :)

I got my butt kicked by a Sandstorm

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But at least I looked cute in my Coeur Team Kit and my Oakley Women’s Immerse sunglasses. :)

I got brunch with one of my old personal training clients from Chicago! I hadn’t seen Nikolina in 2 years, and it was sooooo much fun to catch up. Next time stay longer :)

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Nikolina and I at Honey’s, one of my fave brunch places.

Then Betsy came to town!!!!

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We started off with a lagoon loop run! Obviously :)

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Life really is a balancing act.

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Post run on the beach

We then hit up my absolute favorite café in all of San Diego….The Naked Café. Betsy and I ate brunch here 7 years ago, when we went on a 6 week road trip all around the U.S.

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We love this place!

We then made our way to Torrey Pines for some hiking!

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Besties <3

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Play time in the water!

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One of the best views in all of San Diego.

It was then girl’s night out. We met up with my friend Jené and Kelly at Bier Garden for some beers and dinner. And I got to wear out one of my new favorite StitchFix items, this tank. <3

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Ignore the evil eyes

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Always acting goofy

Since, Betsy is a foodie, it was time to introduce her to the famous Acai Bowl. So, brunch outside at Swami’s it was.

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One of the best meals, San Diego has to offer. Refreshing, filling, and delicious!

The last time I went perusing local shops was…????? It was so nice to just window shop, and/or purchase a few fun things. So, we strolled and just enjoyed some time post-brunch looking in stores.

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I bought this cute frame for my room. So…true!

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I love this!

And then after some fun strolling…we hit up the beach. Again, last time I just laid out and enjoyed the sun was in the BVI…it was time to do it at home! Enjoy all that San Diego has to offer!

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I love the beach!

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Jené joined us, and of course, we had to take the GoPro out for some action shots!

After a day in the sun, it was time to show Betsy our famous San Diegan sunsets, and of course celebrate with a little red wine. :)

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Sunset and wine. Yes please.

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Oh…forgot to mention….Miss Seal…she washed up on shore to do some Molting…which is shedding….and because of the latest storm, she somehow ended up being separated from her fellow seals, as they usually all molt together. Poor Seal. :(

Sunday morning, we went to brunch at Honey’s, and I indulged in an artichoke, chicken sausage omelette. YUM!

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Tasty!

After dropping Betsy off at the airport, I headed back to the beach, to top off the weekend of some fun in the sun! I couldn’t resist. Training was just going to have to wait til Monday.

 

 

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Although, I did get some beach running in, just a tad. :)

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In love with my new reversible bikini by Maaji Swimwear.

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My favorite purchases from the weekend.

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Last night’s sunset, reminded me of how in love with life I am.

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And this morning’s quote….was a great way to kick off this week!

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Cheers to last week, The Balancing Act. Ready to put in a hard week of training to continue my prep for Oceanside 70.3! Hope everyone had a great week!

The Triathlon Training Guilt Trip

My new attitude towards training, has really changed things for me. And by my attitude, I mean, taking triathlon a bit more lightly, enjoying it for the lifestyle it is, and just having fun. When I miss a workout, or I choose to be active in a different way, I no longer feel that guilt trip that I sometimes carry around with me. For the first time in a long time, I feel free. 100% free. I feel like I am enjoying myself, doing what I love, and having fun. Do I like challenging workouts? Absolutely. I have been doing some pretty hard run and bike workouts, but when a workout goes wrong, or a workout is missed, I do NOT feel guilty. It is a freeing feeling. 

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The really sweaty, I had to cut this workout short workout, because it was sucking, and what I thought was allergies, was actually a cold.

I know how many of us out there try to make up for workouts that were missed, whether because life, work, kids, being sick, being injured, etc. got in the way, and we do this because we feel guilty for missing those workouts. But, I tell you right now, do NOT feel guilty. Every day is a day to live. Every day, is a day to prioritize, and re-prioritize, over and over again. Some days that’s a problem at work, that has to be solved, and cannot wait. Some days, that is taking care of a sick kid. Some days, that is nursing an injury. And some days, it’s simply because you wanted to go out and spend time with friends or family, or your significant other. Whatever the reason, this is life. Live it the way you want to. 

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My favorite dinner staple, Kale Salad, from Seaside Market.

Personally, I want to live a life full of fun and happiness. Hard work can be fun. But nobody, and I mean nobody, feels good, when they feel guilty. So, let go of the guilt. I can tell you from experience, it feels, oh, so good.

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Where it all started. My first triathlon. My first ever open water experience.

I haven’t been happier with my training since I started in endurance sports. I remember finding ways to get workouts in, by including my friends or family, etc. And then some times, it became more about hitting my target HR, or certain paces, and it became more about numbers, than the experience. I am soooo happy to have that feeling of just freedom, and doing this because I love it, not because of hitting numbers, or podiuming, although of course, that is always nice, but the goal, the mission, is all about the journey, and not about the result for me.

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Running the Chicago Rock N’ Roll Half with my mom and sister! LOVED this!

With that, 4 weeks til Oceanside 70.3. All I know, is I’m going to be smiling and having a blast the whole race. Because, I’m having fun.

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Having a blast, prepping for Oceanside!

Learn to Love Your Selfie

I LOVE this campaign “Love Your Selfie” The Today Show has going on. It’s all about learning to love ourselves, and sharing who we are. Today is “love your selfie” no make up Monday.

I remember being that girl after about 7th grade, who would never go to school without wearing mascara. Like ever. I didn’t really wear any other kind of make up, but I didn’t feel pretty or confident without mascara. There is nothing, nothing more scary then letting people see the “real” you for the first time. But, being an athlete, really truly helped me build the confidence to love who I am, with or without make up. I’m the same me. I’m pretty with it or without it. I have never been one to fully cake it on, as then I don’t feel like myself at all, I feel totally fake, and that makes me well not feel like me.

But this movement, that we should be confident in who we are, and love ourselves, is fantastic. We all have flaws. None of us are perfect. I remember recently being in the Dominican Republic back in December with someone who I care a lot about, and getting a big fat zit on my chin. Seriously? I was only going to be there 10 days, seriously skin? I instantly felt embarrassed. I tried covering it up, but it pretty much just looked worse, and I had to bear it for what it was. I felt gross, and not pretty. And I remember Arturo saying to me, “who cares, it’s no big deal”. It was anything and everything a girl would want to hear. He thought I was pretty anyway, why didn’t I? Why did I care so much? I’m still me.

I think what we look like right when we hop out of the shower is something to be proud of. We are not perfect, nobody is perfect. Accepting our imperfections is beautiful. So, what if I have light eyelashes, and you can’t see them if I don’t wear mascara, and we can’t help getting zits every once in awhile, we are who we are, and it’s nice knowing that we all have imperfections.

Love who you are and embrace it.

I supposed it has gotten easier, when I swim 3-4x a week, and every time you see people at races in their swim caps, looking silly, and no make up. But, it makes you feel good at the same time. There is something so raw about people seeing you without any make up, and still loving you for who you are, and what you look like. Our culture puts so much emphasis on appearance, that is refreshing to take a step back, and show that it’s okay to be vulnerable and let our flaws and insecurities show. We all have them, and we should all love ourselves and each other anyway.

So, in honor of Love Your Selfie – no make up day. Here is my selfie – au natural – right out of the shower, pretty much. I literally just took these, in the moment, while writing this blog post. :)ImageImage

What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

I recently wrote a blog post about “Who I Am” and one of the things that is totally me, is “I am a DREAMER”. I love to dream about where I’m going to go in life and what I’m going to do. It’s kind of like the question we all get when we are little, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” I’m sure most of us would agree, that it changes. My dream changed every second, I wanted to be an Olympic gymnast, play on the National Women’s Soccer Team, be a singer, an actress, and then my dreams changed a little more to reality, an athletic trainer, a coach, a personal trainer, etc. There is a fire that is burning inside of us, that fire that makes us feel like we have a purpose in this life, is truly what drives us every day. This is a dream that you can fight for, this is a dream you can strive to achieve, this is a dream that fills a place in your heart that gives you a sense of accomplishment and confidence.

I’m finding now that I have multiple dreams that I want to be working towards all at once.

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Dream #1 – Director of Social Media/Digital Marketing

To be working in social media/digital marketing. I have LOVED this space since I joined Facebook in 2008, and I have been fascinated by it’s way of connecting people, brands, and it’s growth since then. My last job at an agency, was the perfect step towards building toward that dream.

Dream #2 – Project Neon

To grow Project Neon to be a place where people visit often and are inspired to workout, eat healthy, be happy, be free, try a new trend, be loving, be giving, and to live life to the fullest.

Dream #3 – Public Speaker

I have always dreamed of being a public speaker. I LOVE the energy I get when talking to a group of people. I embrace the fact that I am a sharer, and I would love to share stories of my life, in hopes that it inspires or helps people in theirs (and vice versa). I would love to go to high schools and talk to kids, and share some tips of how to overcome challenges in their lives. There are so many challenges that are unforseeable, and no one, prepared me for what I was going to face after I graduated high school.

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I remember finishing up my college soccer season senior year, and we were at the end of the season banquet. We were all giving out gifts, and saying thanks for 4 great years, and then suddenly, I had an urge to speak. I can’t explain it. But, I got up to the podium, and I just started talking. What I said came from a place of heart and love and passion, and to see everyone’s faces in the room light up, and share a moment with me, about the team I had trained with, and what DePauw Soccer meant to me, was empowering.

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There is no idea too small, or too out there. We all need to be challenging ourselves, as well as the world that we live in. I get so excited for those who are pursuing their passions; their dreams. Go after what you want, and don’t be afraid. And surround yourself with people who support your dreams and goals and passions, because behind every dream, there is a group of people guiding you, and giving you the confidence to go after it.

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Control

Have you ever felt your life slipping out of control? Where you have no clue what your next step might be, or you might feel like you have no clear picture of the future? Does that excite you? Or scare you? These are questions I started asking myself recently, because ever since I got laid off from my job 3 weeks ago. I was feeling like my life was out of control. It was a strange feeling.

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I remember when I moved out to California, and I was starting fresh, and recovering from heart break, I had a similar feeling. I had no clue what my next move would be once I got out here, and I was looking for something to hold on to. Something to bring me stability. So, when I got the news 3 weeks ago Monday, I was at a complete loss. I wanted more than anything to be able to see the positive, but I find that I honestly have to go through the lows, and seriously ride it out. I know I will come out of the downward spiral eventually, but it’s gonna take some time. This usually turns into a lot of emotional conversations, while I try to figure everything out. My coping mechanism for all things, seems to be to talk it out, this in turn helps me think it out. Everyone has their own way of dealing with problems, mine just happens to be to talk. This probably is never going to change, and I don’t want it to, because it makes me feel better, and eventually I come out of the dark place that I was in, and see the light.

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While I was going through this dark place, and trying to find the light, I was trying to hold onto anything that I could possibly grab a hold of to sturdy myself. But, I couldn’t seem to find anything. And the things I was reaching to for sturdiness, weren’t very sturdy. The worst part is while I was doing this, I was trying to control certain aspects of my life, that can’t be controlled, like relationships. I usually enjoy the adventure, the excitement of not knowing what’s going to happen next, but as soon as I didn’t have a job, I turned to that part of my life (love life), and I wanted to know what are we doing, where is this going, etc. Which truly wasn’t going to help me. I thought if I could just figure that part of my life out, it would give me a sense of security, stability, and I wouldn’t feel so out of control, and have no idea where my life is heading next. It would give me direction. Which is not fair, and makes no sense. Relationships are like a fire, you can’t smother them, they need air to breath and grow.

Have you ever tried to control something you can’t control? 

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So, while I’ve been sitting jobless, applying for jobs, and trying to find my next gig, I have been trying to give myself direction, by holding on too tightly, because I was afraid to lose something else too. But, that’s probably the worst thing I could possibly do. Naturally, though as the weeks went by, I started to see the light. I spoke to friends and family, and they really helped me relax, and get my head back to normal. Sometimes I feel like apologizing for my emotional craziness the past 3 weeks, but the truth is, I’m not going to apologize, because I needed to go through that, get all those emotions out to get to where I am now. We all go through low points, we all go through changes, and there is no right or wrong way for us to move past them, just as long as we do. What’s important is that we are there for each other when these changes or low points do happen, and that people see you, just as you are, the person you always are, and that this small bout of emotional turmoil is a part of you, but it’s not you, it’s you reacting to a hardship. What makes true relationships and friendships, great, are those people who are still there on the other end, after all is said and done.

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What’s amazing is how clear the mind is, once it is calm, and no longer worried. I have kept myself busy, but, my mind still continued to think, and think, and think, and think. And therefore, I talked, and talked, and talked, and talked.

So, while I apply for jobs, I have given my life a new focus, Project Neon, and it feels good! Project Neon is something I started, to share my passion for fitness, fashion, style, food, etc.. I wanted a place to write, and share, and inspire. Each month, I’m showcasing a fitness challenge, and encouraging people to join. Share photos of yourself participating in the challenge for a chance to win a prize at the end of the month. In addition, I will be sharing recipes, music, fashion, stories, etc. You name it. You can follow along at:

blog: http://projectneon365.wordpress.com

instagram: projectneon

twitter: http://www.twitter.com/project_neon

facebook: http://www.facebook.com/theprojectneon

All I know is smile. Because life is a beautiful journey.

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Keep smiling because life is a beautiful thing and there’s so much to smile about.

What It Takes To Be Happy

I was at Book Club last Wednesday night, and somehow we got on the topic of happiness. My friend, Jill, started referring to a documentary “Happy” and I instantly was intrigued. She said it was on Netflix, and so a couple days later, I crawled in bed, and started watching it. What drew me lately to learning about “happiness” and “what makes people happy” is that I’ve gone through some adversities in life, like we all have, and yet I still ultimately feel happy, even if circumstances made me sad for a short period of time. But I became curious as to what the foundation was to living a happy life.

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After watching “Happy”, I started talking to everyone I know about the documentary, and how they have to watch it. It’s fascinating. And so late night, after the Super Bowl, a few of my friends stayed and watched it again with me. Then my friend Kelly, who I went on a long bike ride with this past weekend, she sent me the following Ted Talk, which is also about happiness:

According to recent research, 50% of our happiness is genetic. 40% is based on the bullet points below, and 10% is based on the superficial things like status, and appearance, wealth, etc. When watching this documentary last night, we were all slightly shocked by the 50% genetic part, but yet partly it made a lot of sense. What was interesting then was what was the 40% that could help us all improve our happiness.

The 40%…

1. Do physical Activity

- For some this was simply farming, doing Tai Chi, or yoga, and others it was running, surfing, rock climbing etc. But be active.

2. Flow

- This is when people “get into the zone”. This is usually while people are doing physical activity, but could be as simple as cooking in the kitchen, or cleaning the house, while others it might be during a long ride.

3. Adversity

- We all must face challenges and low points in order to appreciate happiness, and feel true happiness.

4. Basic Needs

- Ultimately what they found is once basic needs are met, no amount of money can make you any happier. So, if your homeless or in a destitute situation, or you don’t know when you are going to get your next meal, and money can give you out of it, then money does make you happy. But once your basic needs are met, then money can’t buy you any more happiness. They found that that was a salary of $50,000 (for U.S citizens) a few years ago, when the documentary and study was done. Recently there was an article published that states the current salary is $62,000.

5. Personal Growth

- When we work on ourselves, and set goals, this makes us happy. Also, seeking new experiences is critical to happiness.

6. Community

- This one was huge and often touched on in all other aspects of happiness. One must have a solid community/support network. It is sooo important to cultivate our relationships, laugh with one another, cooperate with one another, etc. Humans are social beings, and they found that when a group of people are put together and they have the choice to compete or cooperate, everyone ultimately chooses to cooperate and work together, and this makes people happy.

7. Compassion

- When we are compassionate to others, as well as giving, and we offer our help, this makes people happy.

Sam Berns’ Philosophy to living a happy life :

1. Be OK with what you ultimately can’t do, because there is so much that you CAN do.

2. Surround yourself with people who you want to be around

3. Keep moving forward

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This ultimately got me thinking about my own life, and how to live the happiest life that I can. I’m generally a VERY happy person. But, when I go through bumps in the road…what CAN I do to sustain a happy life vs. focusing on the negative. It’s also important to have things to look forward to, like a trip, or a party, or a sporting event. And when adversity hits – learning to accept those things that we cannot change. Also, some wise advice was passed onto me recently which was “when things are bad, don’t be preoccupied, be occupied”. It’s sooo true. I’m happier when I’m focusing on all of the things above, and filling my days with social gatherings, and physical activity, and helping others.

And truly all I want in life is for others to be happy, which is ultimately, why I want to learn so much about what makes people happy, because hopefully in someway I can help others be happy. :)

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Puppies Fill Up the Heart

I woke up this morning, and couldn’t stop thinking about puppies. I had had multiple dreams last night of puppies, and all day today I haven’t been able to stop thinking about getting a dog. In fact, I have been thinking about getting a dog for quite some time, but the timing just hasn’t seemed right. But, I’m getting obsessed! This morning, I searched all over the internet for dogs. Just “oogling” puppy photos. I have always been in love with huskies. I just love them. I think they are beautiful, sweet, and I love that they can run. I always said if I didn’t get a husky, I would get a lab. Well, who knew how many husky mixes there are out there! It’s crazy! Hybrid/mixed dogs vs. pure breds. Honestly, after a lot of looking around today, I almost find the mixed ones cuter! They are also known to have less medical issues. So, what did I find?

There’s this little one. A miniature husky. How cute is he/she? And a mini husky? Might just be perfect for where I’m at in my life right now. A little less maintenance than a big dog.

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Miniature Husky

Then there’s this little one. A pure bred Siberian Husky. Look at those blue eyes. And that beautiful fur coat. I could just eat ‘em up!

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Siberian Husky

As much as I’ve always dreamed of a husky or a lab, there is the Puggle. That absolute cutest little pup. They practically look like a permanent puppy lab. Hard to resist.

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Puggle – Mix of a Pug and a Beagle

Here’s where the husky mixes come in to play though. This is a mix of a retriever and a husky. Look at that face!

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Golden Retriever/Husky Mix

Then there’s the lab/husky mix. This puppy probably makes a great running dog, and has a sweet demeanor. I do like the energetic puppies. I know they are a handful. But, I love ‘em.

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Lab/Husky mix

And finally…the winner of my heart so far in this venture is this little pup…

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Australian Shepherd/Husky Mix

This dog looks AWESOME! I know they are hyper dogs. But that’s perfect for a triathlete! I can take it running, swimming for a bit in the ocean, and just have a blast with it! I mean seriously. I have fallen in love with this dog. Now…where to find one…of this type of mix…:) Anyone know cost of this mix? Best place to get one? Etc. 

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In Need of a Change

After playing college soccer, and running four marathons (St. Louis 2x, Chicago, and Boston), I was instantly drawn toward Ironman. It started off as a “bucket list” item, but I ended up falling in love with the lifestyle, the challenges, etc. Yet, somehow I have fallen into the habit of only thinking of myself as an Ironman athlete, not necessarily a “triathlete”. After the LONGEST season ever last year, and doing two ironmans within two months, with a bad crash in between, I took a much needed 6 week break. Some days not being active at all, and some days mountain biking for 2hrs, or going for a run. After my break, and when training was about to start again, I realized that I’m just not ready for the LONG hours. But I definitely don’t want to do absolutely nothing. Am I signed up to do Oceanside 70.3? Yes. Am I signed up to do Ironman Canada in Whistler at the end of July? Yes. BUT. Honestly, what I want to focus on is short course right now. I feel like I’ve lost a lot of my speed, and right now the idea of sitting on my bike for 5-6hrs does not sound exciting, like at all.

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Am I burnt out from triathlon? No. Not at all. Am I ready for a change? Yes! It’s funny how sometimes we just have to change the way we look at something. I like having different focuses, and changing things up. I get bored, if I’m not changing, and honestly, right now, all I really want to do is speed stuff, and short stuff. It seems fun, and challenging in a different way. I like the way my muscles feel after an intense short workout. They are sore. Like actually sore. Not tired and fatigued. But, I mean truly sore. It’s a fun and different feeling, than what I’ve been used to the past three years.

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Ultimately, this is life, and we should LOVE what we are doing, every day. Yes, are there sometimes things we don’t want to do, but do them anyway? Of course. But seriously, if I don’t feel like riding my bike all day, then I’m not going to. Triathlon is a choice, and it should be fun! I want to keep it that way. I got started in it because I liked the challenge, and it was really fun to see my improvements each week. And I want to keep seeing improvements, but I don’t just want to see improvements with my ironman time. I want to see it with sprint, and olympic, and also, 10ks and half marathons. After Ironman Whistler, I plan on spending the second half of the year, having a little more play time, and doing a run focus. This is where my passion lies. I truly love to run, and I want to get fast. But most importantly, I’m over long stuff right now. It took me a while to accept it. I thought I just needed time, and I think I do. I’m sure I will do an Ironman again (I mean I have one in July), but for me, I think it might be an every other year kind of thing, after Whistler. And in between, focus on shorter stuff and speed. It gives me time to do other things as well. I’ve been hiking Torrey Pines, which usually I’m too tired to do. And going to the beach. And I want to mountain bike more, and go to yoga classes, and have time to drink wine with friends, and go out dancing, and not be too tired. I’ve written about balance before, and this is my balance. Sometimes focusing on one thing, and sometimes focusing on another.

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I honestly have soooo much respect for those people who do multiple ironmans every single year, year after year. It takes a special kind of person to do that. For me, I just like having flexibility and structure, all at once, ha! I’m constantly conflicted, and constantly changing my mind about flexibility and structure. Sometimes I want it, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I want to do short stuff, sometimes I want to do long.

So, what am I trying to say? Do what makes you happy. And that can change from time to time, and that’s OK. :)

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Quote by Marissa Mayer

Who I Am – Part II

In September of 2012, I wrote a blog post…Who I Am. I find that when things get tough, I remind myself “Who I Am”. Often times we define ourselves by our job, what we look like, if we are single or in a relationship, how much we have accomplished. But truly that does not make each of us who we are. What makes us who we are is not the superficial things, but the character we exhibit to the world from deep down inside. Think about…what makes you, YOU?

Who Am I?

I am STRONG

I am PASSIONATE

I am LOVING

I am FEARLESS

I am a RISK TAKER

I am DRIVEN

I am AMBITIOUS

I am a GOAL SETTER

I am a DREAMER

There is one that stands out here for me the most, I am FEARLESS. I want to find it within myself to believe this again. More than ever since I graduated college in 2007, there have been challenges in my life, that have slowly built up this fear inside me that I’ve never felt before. I recently wrote a post on fear, after my crash back in October. But fear comes in all forms. But, most of all what are we afraid of? For me, I’m afraid of getting hurt. This can be emotionally or physically. I know that’s the bottom line. But living a life afraid is never what I want, and so every day I make a choice, a choice to not be afraid and conquer my fears.

- I choose – to not be afraid of riding my bike. I know it is going to take baby steps. But that first step, was last weekend, stepping out the door, and riding for the first time here in California since Ironman Arizona. And it was beautiful. Peaceful. And for 2hrs and 15min, I felt nothing but pure bliss. I did not have that gut feeling of fear when going down hills, in fact, it was thrilling, it was fun. We can overcome fear. What a powerful feeling to have.

- I choose – to not be afraid of being laid off again. This is not in my control. It has nothing to do with Who I Am. I know I work hard. I know what I’m capable of, and I will not let that fear hold me back from finding another job. I have to trust in that company who is hiring me, and I have to believe that they have their employees best interests at heart.

- I choose – to not be afraid to fail. I take risks. I like to try new things, and so what if it doesn’t work out. I will get back up and try again.

- I choose – to not be afraid to try new things. Sometimes we get comfortable with the comfortable. It’s easy to stop trying new things, and sometimes we ultimately become afraid to try new things, because it is “unknown territory”, but this is how we grow. And growing is beautiful.

- I choose - to not be afraid to love deeply, and take chances, because we all know that when we truly love, and when we truly allow love in, it is one of the most beautiful things in the world. I am not afraid of love. I may be hesitant at first, but when I open myself up to that vulnerable state, is it scary? Yes. Am I afraid of not being loved in return? Yes. Am I afraid of whether the love will last? Yes. We all know love can hurt, but to never feel love again, due to fear, is a shame. But trusting our emotions in someone else’s hands, is scary. Yes. Yes it is. But, whenever I read this beautiful quote by Bob Marley, WOW. It inspires me to NEVER be afraid of LOVE.

“Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful. There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are. The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again. Colours seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all. A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face. In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby. Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon. You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life.”

― Bob Marley

My mom when I graduated high school made a scrapbook for me, and at the end it has “Who is Katie Morse?” And this is what she put:

My mom is truly my rock. She always has my back, and can help me out of any tough situation. Mom always knows best! This is my foundation. This is Who I Am. I will love with all of my heart. I will be a competitor, and ride my bike, and keep tackling triathlons. I will be a business woman, and continue to go after that dream job. And I will NEVER stop living a life of adventure with pure positive energy.

Who are you? And what do you choose to not be afraid of?

Dominican Republic Trip 2 and First Week of Work

When my boss emailed to tell me that she had to push my start date back one week, my head immediately went to…go visit Arturo in the Dominican Republic again! And so I did :) He had to work a lot at the bike shop, as it’s the busiest time of the year though, but we had fun mountain biking on the weekends, and he was prepping to do his first triathlon, so we did some swimming and biking. No running, because he’s dealing with IT Band Syndrome unfortunately :( I taught him how to do flip turns in the pool, which was fun! Most of all it was nice just spending time with him. Going out to eat, watching movies, and just chatting. It was the perfect way to finish out my two month break from being employed.

There were mountain biking excursions…

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Stopping to pet the horses!

Tree climbing!

Tree climbing!

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As the sun was setting…

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Beautiful!

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Post ride hang out!

There was new food trying…

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Trying the tail of a fish…it actually tasted like a cracker. It was good.

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Trying Chivo…which is like a goat.

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Fish! I’ve seen fish served as a whole, but never tried it myself.

There was baseball game watching…GO AGUILAS!

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There was Christmas tree viewing…

The Coca-Cola Christmas Tree.

The Coca-Cola Christmas Tree.

Dog cuddling…

Luna is Arturo's puppy. She is sooo sweet. Love her!

Luna is Arturo’s puppy. She is sooo sweet. Love her!

Mosquito catching…

Mosquito hunting

Mosquito hunting

And dancing!…

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Fun night out trying to dance salsa, merengue, bachata, etc.

I got in late Sunday night after nearly 15hrs of travel, mostly due to delayed flights and such, almost missed my last plane back to SD from Atlanta, but I was soooo lucky, and there were too many people missing from the flight that they held it. A-mazing! I started my new job at Internet Marketing Inc. this past week. I am a social media project manager. I’m super stoked about my position. I’m finally doing something that I ABSOLUTELY LOVE! And, my team is amazing, full of smart and talented women, who are positive, energetic, hard working, fun, the list could go on. BUT, immediately what I thought of after this first week, was how am I going to get my workouts in! I have had Holiday Parties, and friend get togethers, and tons of errands to run, that finding time to work out was HARD! Thank goodness I’m starting this job in my off-season, so that I can get accustomed to everything, and just focus on work.

My boss, Carrie, had a team holiday get together at her house on Wednesday. It was nice to get to know the girl’s better, and just chat outside of work.

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Holiday dinner at my boss, Carrie's house, with the social media team!

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