Work Hard, Play Hard

Work hard, play hard. My friend makes fun of me for talking about how I can’t do much else except work Monday-Wednesday and how my fun and chores are done Thursday-Sunday, because, “everyone has a job, Alisonnnn.” But I’m new to this and I am TIRED by 8pm when I get home! My friend Zoe and I have also started a 90-ish-day fasting “program” (for lack of a better term) inspired by something called Fiat 90. It’s a list of sacrifices/fasts leading up to Lent and including Lent. It’s not solely focused on food fasting, but more so on life and prayer habits. Zoe and I are doing a ~modified~ Fiat 90 to more feasibly fit our current lives while still challenging ourselves.

(One snack per day means only one snack in addition to my normal three meals! And fasting on Friday is just Lenten fasting — one normal meal and two smaller meals that do not add up to the big meal. By no means is this fasting related to my health choices… I would not fast from food for any reason except for spiritual growth and intentionality.)

Also, we are allowing ourselves to break the fasts on Sundays — the Lord’s Day and a mini Easter every time.

So since we’re working hard and fasting hard during the week, we are playing hard on the weekends and feasting hard on Sundays 🙂 Here is how the weekend went.

Moves. It is difficult for me to work out at the end of my long work days Monday-Wednesday, so I relish the time I get to move and groove Thursday through Sunday.

Thursday: Upper body focused / functional training day

  • 3 pull-ups, 3×5 pull-up negatives
  • Circuit x3 (8 devil presses, 8 bent over dumbbell rows to deadlift, 10 wall balls, 30 sec double unders)
  • Circuit x3 (10 TRX pike pushups, 5 TRX rollouts + 5 TRX tricep extensions [x3], 5 toes to bar)
  • Circuit x3 (10 bent over curl bar rows, 10 bottoms up KB presses each arm, 10 lateral DB raises)
  • Row sprints as fast as possible! (20 sec on / 40 sec recovery x10)

Friday: BKBX Athletics Class. This class was more intense than I was expecting given the advertisement of this class being about “metabolic recovery.” It consisted of a lot timed circuits including variations on single leg deadlifts, dumbbell snatches, bear crawls, box jumps, split squats, dead hangs, and slider planks. Then FAST burpees between each circuit.

Saturday: Rest because my pecs and lats had never been so sore in my life (or so it seemed).

Sunday: Leggies!

  • Increasing weight back squats until 5×3 and then 1×3 and 4×5 1.5 squats (burrrrrn)
  • 5×3 pistol squats each leg
  • 3×10 kneel to squat jumps

Simple but took lots of rest and my legs were still SHAKING by the end.

Salsa dancing. My friends Celine and Domenica invited me to come salsa dancing with them on Friday night, and I thoroughly enjoyed the spicy moves and grooves as a fun social and physical activity. It was CROWDED, but we had a blast. Besides actually dancing, watching people who are better than us is really entertaining. Fun fact: I learned how to do several types of ballroom and Latin partner dances when I was in middle school when my parents attended lessons.

Perfect. Ben, Casey, John and I went to Yume Wo Katare for ramen and dream sharing. We all finished everything in our bowls, warranting a “perfect” score from the restaurant *bows*.

A truly restorative Sunday. Throughout school, I have been pretty terrible at actually resting on Sundays due to constant studying. But now that I have a little less work to do on weekends, I have more wiggle room to have a truly restorative Sunday, and for that I am very grateful. Yesterday included a workout, Mass, lunch and dessert with friends, hanging out by a fireplace, and drinking hot cocoa. It was a beautiful time that made me feel refreshed for the next few days of hard work again!

Happy Monday, friends! If you have MLK Day off in the United States, enjoy!

So tell me:

Do you find it difficult to have truly restorative weekends / days off? Why or why not?

What was the most fun thing you did this weekend?

Have you ever been to dance lessons/a dance club?

Making More Time and Space

Moves. Some stretching and yoga type stuff in the evening before sleeps time. I got off work a whole two hours early yesterday, but I was s l e e p y as heck (and also forgot to bring workout clothes in my bag), so some mobility and control felt good.

Maximize time and space. I have shared before on this blog that I have a scrolling issue on social media, especially late at night when I’m beat and my brain seems to be flatlining. John told me that with the (relatively) new iPhone software, I can set time limits on specific apps. At first I was like, “Ehhhhh I can control myself.” But no, no I cannot. With Lent coming soon, I want to maximize time and space for things that matter — prayer, relationships, health — and I want to do something tangible yet reasonable given my blogging hobby. So I have a 20 minute time limit on both Facebook and Instagram, combined. Seems like a long time at face value, but it is shocking how quickly that time is used up throughout the day. But it’s good for me.

IMG_7830

throwback photo because ya girl has limited media storage space hehe

I’ve tried to make a habit of spending most of my time commuting looking up and not at my phone. Notes: A) You ever seen how many people are on their phones!? B) The things that fill my brain as a result are weird but sometimes lovely. Sometimes I think about dinner (obvi), sometimes I remember random people who I want to catch up with, sometimes I become a philosopher to myself, and sometimes I can wonder and imagine what people on the train are feeling and experiencing in this moment of their lives.

Night routine. I get it. I get why people post YouTube videos about nighttime routines. My night routine two nights ago fell to crap when I got home late, and then I ended up sleeping too late and being super tired yesterday. So I feel the need to tidy up my nighttime routine and, again, putting limits on my time “unwinding” OR doing truly restorative unwinding activities (e.g., praying, journaling, stretching, prepping food in silence #ASMR???). I’ll let you know if that routine comes together one of these days.

So tell me:

Do you use app time limits or time limits on any sort of mindless thing in your daily routine? How do you practice self-control otherwise?

How do you feel about your ability to do truly restorative activities when coming home from work?

Do you have a set nighttime routine?

 

 

How do you give responsibly?

Moves. And we’re back with your regularly scheduled programming! My illness has left me, and I got to moving and grooving again this weekend after effectively being a lump for five days. But as Rachel told me, “sometimes we just need to be a lump.”

Yesterday’s workout:

  • Warmup
  • Increasing weight front squats until max of 3×6 front squats
  • 3x barbell complex: 3 bent over rows + 3 deadlifts + clean + front squat + push press + back squat
  • A bunch of assisted pull-up work with a band + some dive bomber pushups
  • 4x finisher: 12 KBS + 8 concentric-eccentric deadlift to jump

Wow that’s a lot of words. You can find the finisher in my Instagram highlights!

12 hour work day. Currently commuting back from it as I type this! They’re long but not yet too brutal (she says after only one day like this so far). I work three of these plus a half day for the next four weeks, and I can’t complain about 3.5 day weekends. In my future career, I think I’d ideally like to work fewer long days during the week. It’s nice to have weekdays to do things…like shop at Trader Joe’s without baskets and carts jamming into your ribs.

The heat. The Northeast felt like April in January this weekend! It is a tease and a half, man, because it’s going from 70F this past Sunday to 26F next Sunday. HA.

For the fires. Yesterday I donated some money to a friend’s Facebook birthday fundraiser for WWF for the Australian bush fire relief. But then I realized that I don’t really know much about WWF or where their money goes exactly, etc. I’ve been wanting to research the most noble causes for the bush fires (and lots of other things, honestly), but I feel like I never have a fully informed perspective on the “best” ones. What do you do when researching to donate to an organization for a hot (no pun intended, I promise) cause in the world?

Goat cheese. I bought some recently for this lentil salad recipe and mmmmm baby, I forgot how much I love this stuff. It’s in my top three fave cheeses.

So tell me:

Any responsible donor tips?

Favorite cheese?

Would you rather work fewer long days per week or more normal-hour days?

How do you give responsibly?

Moves. And we’re back with your regularly scheduled programming! My illness has left me, and I got to moving and grooving again this weekend after effectively being a lump for five days. But as Rachel told me, “sometimes we just need to be a lump.”

Yesterday’s workout:

  • Warmup
  • Increasing weight front squats until max of 3×6 front squats
  • 3x barbell complex: 3 bent over rows + 3 deadlifts + clean + front squat + push press + back squat
  • A bunch of assisted pull-up work with a band + some dive bomber pushups
  • 4x finisher: 12 KBS + 8 concentric-eccentric deadlift to jump

Wow that’s a lot of words. You can find the finisher in my Instagram highlights!

12 hour work day. Currently commuting back from it as I type this! They’re long but not yet too brutal (she says after only one day like this so far). I work three of these plus a half day for the next four weeks, and I can’t complain about 3.5 day weekends. In my future career, I think I’d ideally like to work fewer long days during the week. It’s nice to have weekdays to do things…like shop at Trader Joe’s without baskets and carts jamming into your ribs.

The heat. The Northeast felt like April in January this weekend! It is a tease and a half, man, because it’s going from 70F this past Sunday to 26F next Sunday. HA.

For the fires. Yesterday I donated some money to a friend’s Facebook birthday fundraiser for WWF for the Australian bush fire relief. But then I realized that I don’t really know much about WWF or where their money goes exactly, etc. I’ve been wanting to research the most noble causes for the bush fires (and lots of other things, honestly), but I feel like I never have a fully informed perspective on the “best” ones. What do you do when researching to donate to an organization for a hot (no pun intended, I promise) cause in the world?

Goat cheese. I bought some recently for this lentil salad recipe and mmmmm baby, I forgot how much I love this stuff. It’s in my top three fave cheeses.

So tell me:

Any responsible donor tips?

Favorite cheese?

Would you rather work fewer long days per week or more normal-hour days?

A Slow Start to the Year

We are NOT coming in hot over here, let me tell you.

2020 started with a short but sweet family trip to Toronto to visit some relatives up there. It was fantastic to see grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins who I had not seen in ages it seemed.

View this post on Instagram

we're literally Maroon 5 #cousinlove #happyaccident

A post shared by Alison (@alison_grooves) on

Throwback photo of me and my cousins from 5 years ago (!!!) Now Kate is taller, I’m definitely heavier, and Iain has a mustache. Ben and Megan look the same.

Then I flew into beloved Boston last Saturday to get mentally and physically prepared for the start of my last batch of clinical rotations for PT school. I am currently working at an outpatient neuro PT clinic, which I am amped about!

IMG_9470

this pic is also from a few years ago, but the Citgo sign remains 🙂

Day one (Monday) was great! I’m looking forward to learning from my clinical instructor and also implementing my own knowledge and skill. It’s a bit daunting knowing that I need to be at an independent level of practice in these last clinicals, but with observation and some review of my notes, it’s all coming back (🎶 it’s all coming back to me no-o-owww 🎶 – Celine Dion). My clinical instructor seems very knowledgable and skilled, and all the staff at the hospital have been so friendly and welcoming to me, which is 99% of the happiness factor in a workplace, I think.

Day two (Tuesday) started off fine. It’s been an adjustment waking up at 5:30am for this night owl, but I’ve still been getting 7+ hours of sleep. During one patient’s evaluation though, I was excessively sleepy. Like, my eyes would shut and I would almost fall over (my CI was the one conducting the evaluation, so I was just observing). That’s when I started realizing something was off. I figured maybe I just needed a little food in me, but after lunch, it was downhill. I started to feel a bit nauseated, and standing felt more laborious than usual. It was rather interesting paying close attention to the increasing levels of aches and chills, honestly. After a one-hour treatment session, I went to the restroom…and I knew then that I was not well. I let my CI know, and she kindly told me that I could go home if I wanted to at that point, since there was only one more patient on her schedule anyway. At first I tried to push through for at least one more hour, but as I sat to rest, I knew I needed to go home.

Long story short, I’ve missed two whole days of clinical already in this first week due to a fever/stomach bug. I’m super grateful that my CI has been very understanding and gracious about giving me time to take care of myself (in addition to the fact that I can’t return to the hospital given my symptoms). My roommate bought me some Gatorade (thanks, Yuka!), and sleep has been my best friend. Most foods right now make me feel pretty queasy, and the GI symptoms are persisting, bleh.

Thank you to everyone who has listened to me complain, and to all those who have sent me get well wishes ♥︎

It’s been a slow start to 2020, but things could be worse. I hear a lot of people have been sick to some degree — colds, flus, fevers. Take care of yourselves and wash yo hands!!

Small setbacks like this definitely make me feel extra grateful for what my body and brain can normally do on a daily basis. For example, I just did 3 sets of very light, slow lunges in my room (the PT side of me is like “mooooove, so you don’t get deconditioned and atrophied!”) and subsequently needed to lie down on my bed to take a rest. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Builds compassion for my patients, that’s for sure.

That’s the update for now. All is well overall, and even though I’ve complained enough, I really should not. I’ve got many people supporting me and a good God who is allowing me to offer up these minuscule sufferings for those who are in a much worse place than I am.

Hope your week is going a little better!

So tell me:

Have you or has anyone in your family gotten sick over the holiday season? (Every single one of my family members has been sick once since Christmas).

How has the start of your 2020 been so far? What have or have you not accomplished that you wanted to?