Archive for ‘Gratitude’

November 24, 2011

I’m grateful for the hindquarters.

Okay. Sorry if I’m fixin’ to offend anyone. (Update: This post started out with the title: “I’m grateful for my a$$.” I chickened out.)

To preface this post, I’m very, very grateful for the many blessings in my life. I’ve written about this before, and I will again. I’m grateful for this country, for the way thoughtful eating has changed my life, for my so-wonderful-he-can’t-be-real Cave Husband, for my family, for the lifelong friends I’ve made through the Air Force, and for the exceedingly funny and clearly unintentional hilarity The Twilight Saga has brought to my life.

Edward: “I’m British. Dance awkwardly with me.”
Bella: “Did your hair get electrocuted?” 

I’m also grateful for the fact that my little blog has grown. A lot. I have an amazing platform from which to leap in almost any direction I choose, and I get to take you, reader (whether willingly or by force) (probably force), with me. And because it seems that two or three folks are actually listening to me, I’ve felt the bizarre need to retreat back into my little mistake-laden, failure-ridden, redemption-filled shell until I somehow figure out a way to become “Perfect” such that I may fulfill any lofty expectations any of you may have of me. Specifically, I’d prefer to disappear until my skin, hair, and hindquarters are utterly perfect.

You know that backwards mentality where you think, “I’ll join a gym…as soon as I lose 10 pounds.”

That’s how I feel. And for a long time, I didn’t feel that way. I was happy lifting heavy, eating well, enjoying life, and allowing the chips to fall wherever they fell.

But something changed a bit when I realized how grateful and fortunate I am to have a voice in this community. I look around me at these incredible men & women who, in my observation, have healthy eating, exercise, and being awesome all figured out. I won’t name names, but their names are Jen, Diane, Nom Nom, David, Robb, Bill, Hayley, Laura, my readers, and all the other folks in this Real Food movement who inspire and motivate me every day. You all are seriously my heroes.

I’m damn genuine about the things I do – eating well, lifting heavy, and using simple, non-toxic self-care stuff – but sometimes I think…I just wish I was better than I am. 

I’ve had a post in the works for awhile. Its working title: “Is My Ass Too Fat To Be A Paleo Blogger?”

After agonizing over this post for a month and compounding my anxiety by allowing my insecurities to get the best of me, I decided to change my tune a bit. Why? First, because my Ass isn’t a Paleo Blogger; and second, because I realized that I need to GET OVER MYSELF.

Some time ago, I wrote a post entitled, “The Day I Wore Teeny Tiny Shorts.” I discussed my priorities – the fact that I prioritize my sanity above self-judgment and make a (semi) constant effort to quell self-judgment and “on-wagon, off-wagon” thinking. A quote from this post:

“EVERYONE’S insecurities are completely unfounded and ridiculous. At the very least, they’re a complete waste of your emotional capital. Guess what? You’re not fat. Your hair is quite pretty. You’re special, and gosh darn it, people like you.”

Where did my convictions go in these weeks of indulging crippling insecurities? I forgot about my list of healthy-living mentors and started lamenting the fact that I wasn’t one of those lucky chicks who was just born lean and “skinny” and why couldn’t I just be a rail since childhood and take up CrossFit and Paleo and pack on muscle and look like some crazy success story doing handstands on the beach right nooowwwwww?

What happened to my gumption? My pluck? My perspicacity? What happened to my gratitude for the ground I’ve already covered, and my excitement for the road ahead?

I’m not sure. But I’m bringin’ it back. Today, in addition to being grateful for all the things outside of myself, I’m grateful for  the opportunity to be ME. I promise to use this life and this opportunity well. And to shut up about all the crap that doesn’t matter.

And let this serve as my reminder to myself: I’m grateful for my booty. It helps me haul sandbags and fill chairs and get cast in music videos. (Okay, that last one isn’t true.) Rock on, booty, thighs, and hammies. And thank you.

September 11, 2011

Remembering.

Now and always…

I remember every moment from That Day.

I remember the First Responders, the people covered in ash, the families seeking their missing, and the people lost.

I remember the military – from that first alert to the continuing battle of right-wrong-life-death-morality-religion-hate-love-peace-war.

Today, I remind myself to live my life in honor of the sacrifices made, the moments lost, and the instinct to protect and do right.

 

June 21, 2011

Champion.

I try not to let whole weeks lapse between posts, but this week – actually, this entire summer – is so full of Things That Are Awesome that I may have to slow down the blog pace a bit. But I pledge to you, reader, that – although the post frequency may decrease – I will make each and every post as spectacularly underwhelming as the last. You deserve nothing less than my full commitment to mediocrity.

If you’ve picked up the party line lately (or if you’ve unwittingly opened up your Twitter feed to me) you may have gotten wind of the fact that I was at the NorthEast Regionals for the CrossFit games this weekend with my Steve’s Original/PaleoKits family. If you don’t know CrossFit and you haven’t had the chance to watch their highest-level athletes perform, you’re missing out on the most spectacular displays of athleticism you’ll ever witness. Period.

I mean, heck – I’ve been throwing kegs around since college. I ribbon dance in my backyard. I draw the line at spending four hours at a time running, however, because it would impair my ability to watch a constant stream of reality television.

But I’ll drop everything – yes, I will turn off The Real Housewives of New Jersey mid-table flip – to watch the elite athletes of CrossFit snatch, deadlift, double-under and muscle-up. I’ve never seen that level of prowess across so many athletic disciplines before. And these folks have day jobs. So many CrossFit women (like Lindsey Smith, who is both a CrossFit Games athlete, a wife, and a mom with a day job) inspire me with their expressions of strength, fearlessness, and grit.

 

All images from the CrossFit Games facebook page. "Like" for 2011 games updates.

CrossFit is also doing its part to free countless reams of Lycra from a life of constant gym-based abuse with its culture of tiny workout clothes. Even though I will never stop stealing my husband’s gym shorts, I fully support a woman’s right to work out in tassles and a g-string as long as she’s proving that women should be lifting heavy weights on a regular basis. (Anything under five pounds are to be paperweights or doorstops. Unless you’re Fitness Lonnie.)

So in keeping with the raw displays of sheer guts I saw all weekend – from palms torn on the pull-up bar to folks collapsing across the finish line – I sustained a few injuries of my own. Not on the field of play, however. Which isn’t embarrassing at all.

First off, I stubbed my toesie on the chair in my hotel room. Hard. Still not sure whether it’s broken, but it bruised up something awful cute. Actually, every time I look at it I see a little swollen Jabba the Hutt.

Do you see it?

Next, I realized yesterday morning that my vocal chords have suffered some insult from all the cheering manic screaming I did for our affiliate team. As my early-morning Starbucks run is usually the first time I speak on a given day, I wasn’t aware beforehand that the words “iced coffee” would end up coming out like they did. It was a cross between Gollum and the noises a balloon makes when you let little streams of air shriek out the blow-up hole. Unfortunately for my husband, despite my vocal insufficiencies, he still hasn’t been able to get a word in edgewise.

It’s all right. I’m still riding high from the most amazing thing that’s happened to me in awhile (definitely since my wedding, possibly even since Spanxx were invented). My affiliate team walked onto the field of competition wearing CAVE GIRL EATS TANK TOPS. Yes, even the dudes broke the CrossFit Code of Shirtless Men and rocked my women’s racerbacks. It. Was. Awesome. Best surprise ever.

I love the CrossFit family. I was also able to force tanks upon some of my favorite people – photo left, Lisbeth of the inspiring CrossFit Lisbeth site; photo right, Liz of CrossFit A.C.T; and photo below, Kara and Lindsay of CrossFit Tribe. (Free Cave Girl Eats tank to the first person to tell me how pretty I am when I’m sunburned.)

I’m just so grateful for all the extraordinary things that have unfolded over the last year. So many amazing people have come into my life as a result of the small part I play in this community – from dear friends Bill and Hayley to the Paleo Parents, with whom I have a Farmageddon date this week. Thanks for reading my blog, thanks for supporting me and connecting with me in all the ways you have, and thanks for being awesome people.

Next week, I promise to return to the food stuff. *winky emoticon.*

June 14, 2011

Paleo Beach Bash

This past (passed?) weekend was one for the history books for several reasons. First, Cave Husband and I got to spend a day at the beach – the Jersey Shore, no less, in beautiful Stone Harbor – with our new friends Bill and Hayley of The Food Lover’s Primal Palate. Second, I did nothing to indicate to Bill and Hayley that I’m anything but a completely normal person. That is, except for this:

Confused? On the left is where I told my Vitamin D status to “get excited!” On the right is where the Sun told my Vitamin D status to “suck it.”

Yup, first sunburn in years. It’s okay, though. I ate Paleo and it went away.

So I wasn’t sure what to expect out of our day at the beach with The Food Lovers (hereafter referred to as TFL). Not because I doubted their awesomeness, but because this was my first trip to “the shore.” I’m not from Jersey originally, thus my image of the Jersey Shore had been tainted by the Voldemorts of the East Coast Shoreline – those over-tanned, MTV-sponsored walking Bump-Its who shall not be named.

As I’m sure you guessed, I was totally blown away by the lovely Stone Harbor. Not a spray tan or a Bump-It in sight; just the beautiful ocean, soft sand, lovely storefronts and delicious smells. Above all, the company was fantastic and we found our new Paleo Family. Our Paleo Peeps. (Paleos from another Maleo?)

When Paleo Magazine does its “10 Hottest Couples in Paleo” issue, TFL is going to be #1. I imagine the magazine spread will include a pic of myself and the CH just for a sad, perversely entertaining comparison. It’ll look a little like this:

Left: Bill & Hayley of Primal Palate (Photo by Kelli Ann Photography).
Right: Me and the Cave Husband (Self-taken).

After our day on the beach wherein we all got sunkissed (some more than others), we retired to the beach house. TFL began slicing, dicing and cooking an amazing dinner. Actually, more accurately – they finessed us an amazing dinner. While every recipe they blog is totally do-able for anybody (Lo Mein and Grandy Kyp’s Chicken Soup are my favorites) it takes real talent to keep a sense of order during the entire cooking process. Even the simplest recipes leave my kitchen looking post-apocalyptic, and I have never once not cut or burned myself. (Once I burned the INSIDE of my armpit on a crock pot. True story.)

No chaos here. The beach house looked like an angel puppy had licked it clean from the beginning of the process to the end, and everyone’s fingers were intact when dinner – clams, lamb burgers and grilled veggies – was served.

Truly, I couldn’t have asked for a better day. How many people are there on this planet who will discuss beet kvass, coconut oil and Bob Marley with equal excitement? TFL even spent a good hour trying to convince me to write a book, to which I replied that, unfortunately, a sequel to The Hobbit had already been written. But I still felt all warm inside.

I love the Real Food community. I’ve gotten to connect with some of the greatest people I’ve ever met because of it. Bill and Hayley, you guys have replaced coconut milk ice cream AND the flying monkeys from The Wizard of Oz on my list of favorite things. Thanks for an awesome day, and here’s to many more!**

**Please note: I will never cook for you. It would just cause pain and disappointment.

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May 8, 2011

To my mom.

It’s late on Mother’s Day and I’m thousands of miles from my momma. Thousands of miles from the woman who raised the most adorable Cave Baby in the history of time.

Being away from my Den Momma stinks for several reasons.

First, I miss the mom hugs. She makes a sound much like that of the horn of a diesel truck. “Uuuuhhk!”

Second, I miss forcing her to buy herself things. She deserves a million cardigans from Nordstrom and billions of new golf shoes, but I’m suspicious she’d forego all that to pay for a weekend trip home for me, my husband, and my ninety-five-pound, four-legged child.

Third – and most important – I really, really like my mom. Of course I LOVE her, but I also fundamentally like her. I like her as a person, as a mother, as a teacher, as a wife to my dad, as an athlete (a golfer, and a CrossFitter), and as an all-around wonderful example of true Womanhood.

My mom has been through a lot due to the adventurous – and marginally idiotic – tendencies of me and my Cave Sister. We forced her to be the Camerawoman for original shows like The Mighty Morphin’ Coward Rangers. We tap danced on the hood of the car. We ventured into black nail polish and hair dye, belly chains, house parties, over-plucked eyebrows, temper tantrums, Dr. Seuss hats, mall loitering, car wrecking and the like. We played sports, made the honor roll, and won spelling bees.

Then we graduated fifth grade and the fun really began.

I kid. But I truly can’t imagine what she must have been thinking as she observed these crazy antics. If she wanted to throw up her hands in exasperation, I never knew it. If she wanted to laugh at me, she never did (unless I wanted her to). She was tender when I needed it and harsh when I needed it more. I was never made to feel guilty or inadequate. I was totally and completely loved, utterly supported and, most importantly, my accomplishments were celebrated.

Mom cheered me on in everything I wanted to try, no matter how brief the foray. Theatre for Young America (I make a better prop than actress). Gymnastics. Basketball. Field Hockey. Swimming. Soccer. Yearbook. Tap. Ballet. Sorority. Study abroad. Piano. Art lessons. She also supported me through broken bones, broken hearts, league championships, giving up too early, persisting too long, teenage tantrums, and everything a person who thinks she knows Everything puts her parents through.

She also supported me when I began dating a military man, and was happy for me when I moved to New Jersey to start my life with him. She supports me in my nutritional endeavors and my writing dreams. She is the best. mom. ever.

I assume it’s natural to torture one’s parents from the age of 12 to about 25. Then, after millions of hateful words and back-talk, you realize how grateful you are and that you could never in a million years make up for the hand wringing, wallet emptying and curfew-breaking worry you caused. All you can say is…thank you, mom. You did a really, really great job.

Mom, I love you with all my heart. I’m proud that you’re my mother and honored that you’re my friend. Happy Mother’s Day!

(A few photos of the two most adorable, loved and lucky Cave Kids in the world. Me and my little sis.)

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