Both Mental and Physical Healing

Moves. Some random single leg burpees with no rhyme or reason right before dinner in my apartment room.

Less mobility and the mind. This period of limited mobility has been difficult, because besides the high impact workouts, I can’t just pick up and even go on a nice brisk walk (one of my favorite things to do). Stairs are a hassle and taking the elevator to the second floor is more of a norm. People drive me places (so grateful!). Such is the nature of healing an injury in your leg.

But I’ve reflected a bit on how my mind has actually healed a lot in these past few years. When I was a freshman in college, I would likely be in a BIG tizzy if I were in my situation today. When I came to college, I did 50 squats every day while brushing my teeth. I only took the stairs. I could count on one hand the number of times I took the bus / train. My step count would be well over 10,000 every single day. I would do burpees as a study break. And this was not even including my formal workout. I fueled myself well, but I knew that I was moving so often.

Let me tell you, I’ve been moving a LOT less these days. I do what I can, and I stay active, but my body hasn’t experienced a “formal” workout in forever it seems. Bummed? Of course! But I have so much to explore in terms of what I can do with 3 of 4 limbs. I can put a lot of my mental effort into thinking about my…plank and pushup form. My left hip hinging motion in a pistol squat. Breathing when swimming.

I have so many resources available to me, so there is no real reason for me to complain. I can also be grateful to say that it’s temporary; not everyone can say that. And I can still eat to my satisfaction. Might be less than usual since I’m just not expending as much energy, but sometimes it’s the same amount of food as before my injury, and that’s okay. It helps me get out of the mindset of “workout = must eat more food, no workout = must eat less.”

“Why does Janice’s face look like yours?” Real quote from one of our (*cough* Asian) students in dance class last night. Like, what!? Boy, in that case, my face looks like yours too! It was comical and I’m not actually mad at this 5 year old boy, but Janice and I have definitely received a lot of comments and questions about our ethnicity and/or relation to each other, especially in St. Louis this past summer (I love STL but it truly has a different demographic and… disposition). Diversity (and general manners? even in adults, lemme tell ya) is a work in progress.

Halloween. I do not have a costume, but one of my favorite embarrassing costumes from the past is a flamingo one year. Oh, and a toucan the next year. Costco apparently stocked up on exotic bird costumes back in the day.

So tell me:

Do you ever have mental struggles when required to back off from exercise / movement?

Do you ever face comments of ignorance re: ethnicity / religion?

Are you dressing up for halloween this year? What are you!?

 

Troublemaker, People Pleaser

It’s been a minute (five whole days seems like a long time to not blog now)! I had a midterm ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Doctor’s orders. Regarding my femur, I had an appointment with the orthopedic specialist on Friday, and he told me, point-blank, “You need to get an MRI,” as well as, “Even if it’s just a stress reaction [vs. a stress fracture], I’d like you to be on crutches for about a month.”

Me: “But…can it be partial weight bearing at least?”

Him: “If you want this to heal quickly, it needs to be non-weightbearing or maybe toe touch for balance.”

Hmph. It’s not so easy being on the other side of the patient-provider interaction…

Troublemaker, part 1. Putting little to no weight through my right leg has proven to be challenging, both mentally and physically. Physically, I carry a CRAP TON of stuff throughout my day, and holding all of that with mostly my arms is like its own form of training (at least I have some alternative form of cardio?). Mentally, it seems silly because my right leg does not hurt at all when I walk short distances. So I can crutch on the sidewalks and then walk completely normally when I get home. I feel…fraudulent. But I know that it’s not about the pain; it’s about the process of healing. I do miss my usual moves and grooves as well.

I’ve been a troublemaker at times, weight bearing and walking on my right leg when I’m in class or in the Catholic center (my argument: “Doc said I can walk household distances without crutches!!”). But alllll my PT friends + John are on my TAIL about using my crutches as often as possible. As they well should be (and as I well should know to do).

People have been incredibly kind though. Strangers offering to carry my bags, people offering their seats on the train, friends walking slowly with me and opening doors for me, John helping me get groceries. The list goes on and on each day, and for that I am grateful. How can I not be happy!?

Physical therapists everywhere I turn. That was this past Saturday at the American Physical Therapy Association of Massachusetts annual conference!! I learned oodles and now have an ignited flame to advocate for PT in new and #innovative ways. PT is so much more than little Alison could have imagined when she entered into this program almost 6 years ago.

Troublemaker, part 2. Over this weekend, I for some reason felt acutely aware of all the times when I have failed others, either my friends, family, or strangers. I felt heavy and ashamed for all of the times in both the far and recent past when I have hurt people out of ignorance, selfishness, accident.

I’m a people-pleaser at my core, which is good in some respects, but my people-pleasing attitude has often been a BIG source of pride for me. Almost 3 years ago, I begged God to help me break down the walls of pride in my heart — to make me more humble. It’s been a slow and grueling process (that can’t stop, won’t stop, baby) of constantly learning humility through my own failures and shortcomings (along with all the usual embarrassments of my life). And of course, God humbles me in the best ways He knows how.

He has allowed (but not caused!) me to make mistakes and see the effects of my vices, which unfortunately results in others being hurt sometimes, in big or small ways. This has made me really dang familiar with big apologies and the sacrament of confession. But this has also made me realize that I cannot perseverate and bang my head over my failures. It’s easy for me to think it’s the end of the world if someone is mad at me or know that I hurt someone. But what ought to be the reaction? Sincerely apologize, make appropriate amends, and do better. Move forward. It’s not about me.

What does “doing better” mean to me? My people-pleasing tendency has not disappeared, but the way I view myself in relation to others has shifted… On the one hand, I understand more the effects of seemingly small instances of laziness or neglect in loving others. This brings me low in knowing my weakness as a human. On the other hand, it helps me to have a healthier sense of what loving others means. It’s not the big, “WOW THANK YOU ALISON” moments. Sometimes it’s silent refrain from certain words or actions on my part — things that the world will never notice but that are truly better in the end.

Food. To lighten things up here…

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I’ve been using leftover beer cheese dip in a lot of my dinners (perks of potlucks). On toast with an egg on top. In leftover rice with egg and sriracha on top. On a spoon.

The photo got cut off, but I tried a pumpkin mochi muffin for the first time with Lauren and Joy last week, and it changed my life. Gooey, underbaked-kinda-vibe that is what baked good dreams are made of. I want to make some!!

One day last week I ate, like, two bananas and 3 tbsp of PB total before noon.

Moves. Besides crutching everywhere (exhausting!):

  • Swimming with Abby. Also aqua jogging without a floatation belt — that’s WORK.
  • Upper body strength
  • Lots of yoga
  • Single leg strength on my unaffected side (my left butt is sore and my right side is just chillin)
  • I tried single leg rowing and that was doable but felt kinda weird
  • Core work up the wazoo

Whatever works!

Halloween costume? Janice may or may not have a boba costume made for me today. We shall see. If not, I’ll be a pirate or something with my crutches.

Wednesday already, what fun!

So tell me:

Have you ever had to use crutches or follow a protocol for something to heal in your body? Was it difficult?

Are you a people-pleaser? Has this affected you in any particular way?

What is a weird way you’ve spiced up leftovers?

Have you ever eaten a mochi muffin?

Do you dress up for Halloween? If so, whatcha gonna be this year!?

 

Sometimes I Can’t Stand Humans, But They’re Awesome

I forget that the end of daylight savings time means everything is darker sooner, which makes me a little sad.

But on some bright notes! It was a fun Halloween weekend (“Halloweekend”, whatever), the weather has been beautiful, I’ve {nearly} cried of joy several times this weekend, and God is super good.

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clouds doing cool cloud things on Friday

I didn’t even do anything on Halloween, but I did dance my butt off at a Halloween party hosted by the Catholic Center on Friday! I danced pretty much non-stop all night. I had been craving a dance party since the wedding I attended this summer, and dance parties always remind me why I named this blog daily moves and grooves.

Plus, I dressed up as my favorite thing ever…

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peanut butter!

…along with my best friend, Jelly (aka Rachel). Rachel was the one who suggested this duo costume, and it seemed perfect for several reasons. I probably emit the smell of peanut butter on a daily basis already, so I was halfway there from the get-go.

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Several cookies fueled my dancing for the night, but I didn’t even have any candy this weekend! I wasn’t avoiding it by any means; I just never encountered any candy that I wanted. Cookies, cake, dining hall desserts sounded better. #snobby

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On Saturday morning some of my friends and I from the Boston University Students for Life club participated in the Out of the Darkness Suicide Awareness and Prevention Walk. Suicide awareness is something near and dear to many of us in one way or another, so it was a blessing to walk with so many other people (especially college students) in solidarity and support.

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I look really tall in this picture, but that’s an optical illusion

Also, they had free Stonyfield “Oh My Yog!” yogurt at the walk. We all ate it and agreed that it was some next level yogurt. This was the gingered pear flavor. Ooo la la!

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trilayer? whole milk? CREAM TOP!?!?

Saturday night was wild and crazy with lots of studying with Rachel (or at least, a lot of attempting to study on my part). I can let myself get very distracted with social media, and I very much dislike myself every time it happens. But it was Halloween, so I made myself think I was justified.

{As I just come back from 20 minutes on my Instagram feed. HELP.}

Anyway, the other nooks and crannies of this weekend were filled with Mass, choir, eating, some exercise, and best of all, truly awesome people.
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Let me tell you something. I have three types of days when it comes to interacting with people:

  1. Normal day: Happy to see my friends, interact with strangers politely.
  2. Especially negative day: Yo, people are the worst. I want Jesus to be my only friend ever.
  3. Especially positive day: PEOPLE ARE AMAZING. HELLOOOOO, BEAUTIFUL STRANGER, YOU’RE GREAT!

If my especially positive days occurred all the time, I’d probably end up losing friends because of my insanity.

In all seriousness though, more of the negative, mundane, or irking interactions with that I can have with some people (strangers or not) have lately been transformed into meaningful and fruitful interactions. For example, I can learn about virtue, reflect on my faith life, or be urged to evaluate my actions. In addition, regular interactions with friends have been deepened.

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What is the “secret” to this transforming and deepening? I think it’s something I learned yesterday: shared life. 

In other words: sharing your experiences with others and being genuinely interested and excited about others’ experiences, and then learning and growing with one another as a result!

Grab a meal with someone. Ask someone what his idea of a perfect day is. Ask your gal friend how her heart is doing (figuratively, not the actual organ…but you could ask that too). Tell him about your dream job. Describe to her what made you happy or sad this weekend.

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Some people may not care about what you have to say, but that doesn’t mean you can’t care for another person. Humans are awesome, and sometimes they’re just waiting for someone to be interested in them (personally, not romantically…but that could be true too).

By no means is it easy for me to “share life” with others. I think I will always have those especially negative days/moments when I feel like I need to be in a bubble, please and thank you. Nevertheless, in general, by sharing more about myself and by being more interested in other people, I have learned a lot about myself and about other amazing human beings. It’s really cool.

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my girl Fiona shared this with me last night

P.S. That’s what makes blogging really cool!!!

So tell me:

Did you dress up or do anything in particular for Halloween?

Did you eat any sweet treats this weekend?

What made you happy or sad or angry or anxious this weekend?

I Was a Twerking Grandma This Weekend

…and I was loving every minute of it.

I grew a booty bigger than Nicki Minaj’s overnight (right, Arman?) just so I could be a grandma for Halloween. It took a lot of squatting and cinnamon rolls.

As much as I like that explanation, you might be more inclined to believe that my roommate had a few of those packaging bubble/balloon things and came up with the idea that I should put them inside my shorts underneath my dress to make it look like the earth revolved around my derrière.

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She’s brilliant! I was on a determined mission to find a costume that required minimal effort and $0, and I must say that I’m pretty proud of what we came up with. Perhaps this also means that I own a lot of grandma-oriented things.

But yes, that was my Halloween. I had a pretty awesome time bumping into people with my tush and attempting to twerk at the Catholic center party. I literally danced my booty off (I took out the bubble packaging halfway through the party), ate way too many pita chips (I don’t think I had a single piece of candy— just cookies), and got to spend time with some of my best pals. Then I slept for 9 hours, which made me young and fresh again.

On Saturday night, I played some indoor sports with friends. I showed off my talent of not being able to dribble a soccer ball effectively, but my friends were nice and still let me play. My accomplishment was making two shots into the basketball hoop using the soccer ball, which is lighter and easier to manage than a real basketball, but at least my hand-eye coordination is somewhat existent.

Then I went to my first Boston University hockey game ever (and probably my second hockey game in general)! I didn’t get to stay for the whole game, but we were not doing so hot against Providence when I left. 😦

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quality Asian friend time

It was also superhero night at this particular hockey game, so my friend Liz dressed up as Catwoman. Killed it.

The rest of my weekend consisted of studying, Sunday Mass, resting, and witnessing Boston’s first snow of the season! It was super wet and huge snow, so none of it stuck to the ground, but it was still an exciting event for the population.

I had much more than my fair share of sugar this weekend, but like I said before, none of it was in the form of candy. I just chose to get my sugar high on things like cookies and anything fruit crisp-y…a la mode of course!

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‘Twas a marvelous weekend indeed, and you should go over to Katie’s blog if you want to see what other people are finding marvelous this Monday!

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I hope you all have a rockin’ day!

So tell me:

Did you dress up for Halloween? What did you dress up as?

What was your favorite sweet treat of the weekend?

Behind the Scenes #32: I’m Just Weird

Hi!

It has been several weeks since I did a behind the scenes post (last time was my first week of college?!), so that’s what I’m doing right here and now. 🙂

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Head over to Spoons’ blog for more random thoughts this Thursday!

1) I had dinner with brother Ben on Tuesday night! It was a spontaneous dinner appointment, but those are the best, right? Especially when those dinners involve small-plate-sharing and carrot cake.

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eggplant with yu xiang glaze, puffed rice, and peach + spiced beef shank with tomatoes, seared halloumi cheese, chiles, and garlic

P.S. Thanks for waiting for me to take photos, Ben.

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Carrot cake with carrot marmalade, spiced frosting, and pecan brittle

I was all excited to take my brother out for dinner since I actually made a little bit o’ money this past weekend, but then I realized that I didn’t bring my wallet with me. The SHAME. I’ve promised to pay for the next two times we eat together.

2) Remember that planner I was so excited to use during college when I bought it this summer? Well, I think I’ve used it an average of once per week, and that’s really forcing myself. All my to-do’s and appointments are either in my iPhone calendar or on the white board in my dorm room, so the planner gets neglected. Oops.

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3) On the topic of school, can standing desks please be a thing sometime soon? Four hours straight of sitting in class is not cool. I’m not even worried about the whole “sitting is the new smoking” issue at this point. I just like to have circulation in my legs and to not fidget in my seat like a five-year-old. Just put one of these babies in the back of the lecture hall, and I’d be overjoyed:il_570xN.492795644_ejno

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4) I’m over halfway through with my first semester of college, wut.

5) Halloween is this Friday! There shall be candy {Reese’s} consumed, costumes worn, and monsters mashed. I was discussing my plans with Daliza yesterday:

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Yeah, we WILL turn up, Daliza. And I don’t know if I should be a ninja for Halloween, because I don’t want to dress up as something I already am in real life, ya know?….

6) My roommate and I kind of love this idea from Gina to dress up as Richard Simmons though.

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via la Fitnessista

Those shorts.

7) I’ve been trying out normal-people toppings on my pancakes and French toast like butter + honey, and I actually love it! Normally I put peanut butter on everything, but I’ve enjoyed mixing things up a bit. I even like to have eggs/omelets for breakfast now— who am I?!

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The butter in the dining halls is delicious— Cabot butter apparently. It’s strangely reminiscent of goat cheese… So maybe the fact that I love that on my pancakes still makes me weird.

8) I’ve become friends with the lady at the swipe-in entrance of the dining hall in the mornings, as well as the lady who makes the pancakes and French toast. They’re awesome.

9) The left side of my body is breaking or something. My left shoulder is grinding more than ever (remember when I brought that up way back when?), my left hip is always popping/feeling very tight, and yesterday my left knee started clicking when I was doing these kinds of sit-ups! I need a physical therapist (heh heh).

10) I hope you all have a wonderful day! Smile, sing your favorite song, and take a nap if you can. ♥

So tell me:

How do you feel about sitting for long periods of time?

What are your plans for Halloween?

What do you like to put on your pancakes/French toast/waffles?