Self-Improvement

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Veterans. Giving thanks for all those who have sacrificially and faithfully served our nation to preserve our freedom.

Moves.

  • Friday morning swim with Abby. Swimming is probably the best workout I get these days, which is expected, because as I’ve been saying, air is more of a premium in this activity.
  • Saturday upper body strength
    • 3×15 TRX rows, 3×10 alternating atomic / pike pushups
    • 3×8-10 lat pulldowns, 3×1 min. plank
    • 3×10 bicep curl to OH press, 3×10 single leg box squats (R leg kicked back for balance only)
    • 3×10 DB shoulder abduction to horizontal abduction (raise side and then bring front), 3×8 weighted pistols on L leg only
    • 3×7-8 bodyweight dips
  • Sunday rowing
    • 5x500m row, 12 pushups between sets
    • 2×10 light L leg press (R toe contact only)
    • 10 minutes of abs (15 rounds of 30 sec on/10 sec off)

I was hungry and sluggish at the end of that last one, but it felt great to get the heart rate up!

Officially a stress fracture. Although I have known in the depths of my heart that I had a stress fracture in my femur, I only just received the official diagnosis from the orthopedist this past Friday.

*Orthopedist walks into room*: “Alison! You win the trophy! You have a stress fracture!”

Me: *kinda confused at his reaction* “Really!? Wow I wasn’t actually expecting to have one (at this point, because I am in virtually zero pain these days).” *laughs because shocked but also relieved and kinda still confused about why he’s smiling so big*

He seemed impressed that I self-diagnosed myself, especially since my stress fracture is in such a rare spot (the shaft of the femur), but he also knew that I am a PT student, so #ifyouknowyouknow.

His prescribed precautions: Crutches for one more week (unless it starts to hurt again). No running/super high impact exercise for 3 months. Biking and rowing are okay if it does not hurt. Strength training can slowly progress from light weight on machines and then free squatting in a month.

Honestly, the ramifications are not as bad as I thought for having a tiny crack in the strongest bone in my body. I am just amped to get the crutches outta my life by the end of this week! My left leg is going to be 2 inches larger in diameter by the end of this though, because it has literally been pulling most of the weight.

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Self-improvement. While my best friend and her husband are celebrating one whole year of marriage and adulthood stuff, I have been realizing more and more ways in which I am a) not a real adult yet, despite being > 18 years old; b) an uninformed potato. To combat my ignorance, I have started:

  • praying about little ways by which I can educate myself more without being overwhelmed with doing ALL THE THINGS and while still maintaining my priorities
  • listening to podcasts (various news, Stuff You Should Know, Freakonomics)
  • writing and (actually) checking my to-do list throughout the day
  • trying to shave off time from thinking “what should I do,” and just doing something

Date day. Food, studying, and Mass — the usual, but so much better with this sweet fella! We went to Gene’s Flatbread Cafe in Chinatown for their famous lamb cumin hand pulled noodles, and ooooo baby those noodles were doughy and delightful. The broth and lamb were so flavorful!

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“It was a v good day.” - @the_johnle

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Followed by conversation + studying at Starbucks and then Mass. Thank you for a wonderful day, John!

Hype girl. Shoutout to my friend, Megan, who will say to every person (when I am present): “alison underscore grooves… her instagram and blog game are SO STRONG.” Megan — you are the best hype girl out there. Thank you for the support! ♥︎

Brother. Happy 26th birthday, best pal. Miss your guts!

So tell me:

What are some ways you seek to self-improve currently?

Do you listen to podcasts (any recs)? What did you do this weekend?

I Would Like to (Actually) Blog Daily

I mean…this blog is called DAILY Moves and Grooves, is it not?

Here’s the thing: I have not blogged consistently for the past two years thanks to grad school. I am deterred from blogging because I feel like I need to have perfectly-themed and cohesive content in every post, and that takes TIME. But maybe that’s not entirely necessary…

I believe in the power of creativity, whatever that may be, as an outlet; it can be a tool for both personal growth and for fostering social connection. I also don’t want to let this hobby of mine die, not now at least. I’ve got less than a year until full-time, real-world work, baby, so I’m gonna soak up this time.

So how about some shorter posts? Posts with snippets of potentially relatable content that help you and I start a conversation, casual or deep. Or for you to just feel like you’re not alone. Or for me to process my life. All of the above?

I’ll try it out.

(Unfortunately, there will likely be limited to no photos in posts to come because ya girl has very little media storage space left. But perhaps take this as a break from image overload that you get on Instagram and Facebook anyway.)


Moves: If you watched my day in the life vlog from yesterday, you might have picked up on the fact that I was supposed to run a half marathon this past Sunday but decided it was in my best interest to NOT run it due to a (self-diagnosed) stress fracture in my femur. I’m walking, but running is not a happy time. I’ve been focusing on low impact workouts lately, and that’s just what I did yesterday.

20 minutes (5 rounds, 30 sec on, 10 sec off):

  • KB sumo deadlifts (50#)
  • modified v-ups
  • push-up to renegade row (15# DBs)
  • plank ➔ step to stand ➔ deadlift (15# DBs)
  • tabletop sit throughs
  • mountain climbers

I do not actually know if I have a stress fracture, but I will get it checked out ASAP because it’s been over 2 weeks now, and it hasn’t really made much progress. No worse, but no better either. (So…do not take this workout as something I would necessarily recommend based on the diagnosis of a stress fracture; this just felt good yesterday.)

Crying out of nowhere. I’ve been going through waves of feeling like I’m great and then feeling totally ashamed of all the crappy things I do in my life. Very clearly in my heart when I was feeling the latter yesterday (I was packing my backpack or something mundane like that), I felt like God was saying, “Hey, stop that. Stop. I love you.” And I started crying out of nowhere. I didn’t want to cry because I had just put on makeup, so tears were extremely inconvenient, but when the Spirit moves, He moves.

Hibachi. I had a date at a hibachi restaurant last night, and I think my sodium levels skyrocketed so much that I must have been borderline hypertensive. They squirt soy sauce on everything as if it’s the water that will put out the little onion volcano fire. I also couldn’t catch whatever the chef threw at my mouth. But it was fun and the company was lovely!

Family. I realize that I should call my family more often (hiiii, mom and pop and Ben).

Day off. Due to schedule shuffling thanks to the Monday holiday, I actually do not have classes today either! That just means catching up on all the things I should have done earlier this weekend.

Have a great Tuesday! Happy feast day of St. Teresa of Avila ♥︎

So tell me:

What do you think of this format of blog posting? Yay? Nay?

When was the last time you cried out of nowhere?

Have you ever gone to a hibachi restaurant? Do you like the food?

What did you do this weekend?

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Ate a Whole Humble Pie This Week!

Not just a slice. Like, God pie’d me in the face with the whole humble pie.

I’ve been home for only five days, and I feel like I have learned many humbling lessons. Let’s just say: If you ask God to humble you and teach you how to love others more deeply, He WILL. Not always in the way you expect/prefer, but He will.

Without boring you too much with all lessons I learned, I will share just one slice of this humble pie, which is my hip pain that I’ve been complaining about this past week. After consulting two physical therapists, we have concluded that it is very likely that I have a labral tear, which means I will not be able to run the Spartan Race in two weeks. I’m kinda crushed, but I am thankful for loving friends and family and the ability to still walk and move.

Time to get reacquainted with lots of yoga and Pilates!

Humble pie isn’t the only thing I ate at home (thankfully). There have been two birthday celebrations and much-needed family/friend time!

Thursday

Back in Boston, my day started with green banana silver dollar pancakes. Because I had time…

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…or so I thought. Until I left way too late for the bus station FOR NO GOOD REASON AT ALL and ended up having to run for the bus. I felt like such a dummy for leaving so late and almost missing my bus. I am often late to things, but this really woke me up. #humbled.

Thanks be to God, I juuuuuuuust made the bus and arrived to New York that night. My family welcomed me back with a belated birthday dinner at my favorite Japanese restaurant!

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fantastic fried calamari to start

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salad that came with my sushi dinner

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eel avocado, yellowtail, and tuna — all my favorites!

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“Ichiro Sushi Sandwich” — spicy tuna, lobster salad, crab, egg, avocado wrapped in soy paper

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Ben and Pop’s sushi and sashimi for two!

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celebrating 21 with a shiso leaf mojito — very tasty!

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We left full to the brim with sushi, so my dessert was a scrumptious mini pistachio muffin (made by my aunt) from our fridge.

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Friday

I started the day with Lori and Michelle’s great 18 minute plank workout, followed by a hearty breakfast.

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steel cut banana oats with cinnamon raisin pb + two eggs with veggies and sriracha

Madre and I went to get our nails done and then to shop at Trader Joe’s. It was a lovely mother-daughter date 🙂

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afternoon snack plate

We tag-teamed dinner — I made the brussels sprouts and she made the salmon (plus the leftover rice).

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Classic and so satisfying!

Saturday

Breakfast was small because there was a giant feast ahead!

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greek yogurt with bananas, cinnamon, and almond butter

Moves and grooves of the day included 45 minutes of YouTube yoga before we all got dressed up and headed to the Big Apple for Pop’s grand 50th birthday celebration! He wanted to go all out for his half-century on this planet, so we started with an uber fancy late lunch at Jean-Georges, a Michelin Star restaurant located in Columbus Circle. Ooooooooo la laaaaa.

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’twas such a gorgeous day!

After we took some photos outside, we stepped into the restaurant for our 2:15pm reservation.

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Pop wanted to do the spring tasting menu, which the waiter requested the whole table do. The birthday boy had spoken, so we went with the fixed spring tasting menu. It did not disappoint!

Bread basket: I went with a slice of the Swedish rye (smeared with butter), which was very textured and flavorful!

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Amuse bouche: sesame-crusted asparagus with yuzu sabayon + beet-cured salmon sashimi with chili pepper over sunflower seeds and yogurt + warm herbal tea. Everything on the plate was delicious on its own, and the herbal tea was more like broth, but very good!

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Course one: softly poached organic egg, caviar, whipped yogurt, herbs + buttered brioche stick for stirring and dipping. This was my favorite dish of the whole meal! That buttered bread stick with the soft egg and perfectly salty caviar — so unique and incredible.

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Course two: Madai sashimi, pastel radishes, nasturtium vinaigrette. This was very zesty and similar to ceviche. Refreshing and pretty to look at!

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Course three: warm green asparagus, sautéed sorel mushrooms, sherry vinaigrette. These were some of the best vegetables ever. Those mushrooms were so flavorful and meaty!

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Course four: slowly cooked bass, crunchy oat tuile, herbal lime dressing. Melt-in-your-mouth fish with great tangy dressing and some sort of pea puree. The crunchy oat tuile was so fun too!

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Course five: rack of lamb crusted with herbs, fresh chickpea puree, carrots, and aleppo pepper sauce. The best lamb I’ve ever eaten. The aleppo pepper sauce went so well with the meat, and everything on the plate just WORKED.

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Course six: strawberry gelée, frozen basil and vanilla morsels, crunchy tapioca pearls, strawberries. Insanely interesting. It was like the most sophisticated version of strawberry jello with dip ‘n’ dots you could ever imagine. I wouldn’t choose this dessert myself, but it was fun to eat and pretty tasty!

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Bonus dessert: Pop’s surprise chocolate birthday cake with raspberry filling

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Bonus dessert part two: homemade vanilla bean marshmallows, orange liqueur jelly, lemon curd-filled chocolates, basil chocolates, sesame caramels, chocolate liqueur-filled chocolate balls. They cut the marshmallows table side, which was the coolest. And all the chocolates minus the orange jellies were so interesting in a good way!

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he totally made his arm/hand positions perfect for my photo

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Utterly STUFFED. The food at Jean-Georges was ridiculously creative and well done, and the service was top-notch. Thank you, Madre and Pop, for letting us join in on this spectacular food experience!

After our long lunch, we gave Pop his cards…

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love how my aunt gave him a KIND bar in his card haha

 …and then walked over to Mass at St. Paul the Apostle Church, which is beautiful.

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Following Mass, we had another appointment at Minskoff Theater for the Broadway musical, The Lion King! We had heard rave reviews about it basically since we moved to New York, and this weekend was finally our time to see it.

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The show is really unlike any other Broadway musical I’ve ever watched. The characters are pulled off with ingenious costumes, humor and fantastic visual effects. And the singing and dancing is marvelous!

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Highly recommend 🙂 Such a heartwarming classic brought to life in an imaginative way.

Ben and I had a (literal) midnight snack at home and then we all hit the hay. What a wonderful day.

Sunday

Pop’s official 50th birthday! I slept in and then started on lunch for the fam. I needed a little snack though, so I ate some leftover salmon on a bed of spinach to hold me over.

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I grilled up some pancakes, roasted chicken drumsticks, and made Pop a chopped salad. Madre fried some plantains and helped me clean up a lot. What a team.

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After digesting, I laid low before doing a strength workout in the basement:

4 rounds:

  • 20 bentover rows (15# KBs)
  • 20 thrusters (36#)
  • 20 weighted setups (15#)
  • 20 donkey kicks each leg

(Walking and running hurt, but squats don’t hurt at all.)

Later that night, I met my high school dance friend, Susie, in the city for dinner! We met up at Cava, which is basically a Mediterranean version of Chipotle, except much better IMO. They give you so many toppings!!

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Susie recommended their juices, so we both got the strawberry mint lime. We tasted a bunch of them before deciding, and they were all so good!

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In my bowl: superfood greens, brown rice, harissa, eggplant feta dip, tzatziki, grilled beef meatballs, radishes, cucumber tomato salad, cauliflower quinoa tabouli, pita chips, and lemon herb tahini.

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RIGHT!? So much goodness! The company was the best part of the night though. It was so great catching up with Susie!

Monday

First thing in the morning, I dropped off Ben at the train station and then headed to the hospital I worked at last summer for one of my physical therapist friends to do a quick evaluation of my hip. She (along with my PT aunt) said that I probably have a labral tear. *sigh*

Head up, Alison!

I went back home for breakfast and a nap. I have been SO tired this week at home.

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greek yogurt, cinnamon, berries, chia seeds, purple corn flakes (!!), leftover pancake quarter, almond butter

The rest of my day involved Mass, some computer work and organization for school, and this Blogilates workout. I still want to move my joints and keep my muscles strong, but workouts are definitely very low impact and careful now.

At night, my high school friends Sam and Michael came over to hang out, which was so fun! We ordered pizza, and Madre (being the hospitable gem she is) fried up some egg rolls and TWO different kinds of pork.

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margherita

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veggie

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fried noms

And now it’s 1am and I should sleep, because next week I will be an 8-5 working human.

I hope you all have a lovely week! Prayers especially for all those in England and Europe in general ♥︎

So tell me: 

Which food in this post would you want to try!?

Two fun things you did this weekend.

What is your favorite musical?

Have you been humbled recently?

I Hurt Myself Doing Burpees

True story.

I have a whole weekend/orientation recap post ready for tomorrow, but I thought this story needed it’s own post. It’s just another one under my “I think I’m cool but I’m really not” experiences.

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I went on a walk with Michael earlier today, and of course, I had to do some burpees while we were at the park! First I used a bench to do some decline burpees, which was fun stuff. I also tried to teach Michael how to do pistol squats, for which he probably despised me.

Then we kept walking and I found a rock ledge that would be great for some “box jump” burpees. I’ll give myself a tiny bit of credit for at least doing a trial jump to make sure I could actually jump the height of the ledge. After doing that, I made it to 6 burpee box jumps. On the seventh one, I didn’t make it. My shin hit the ledge, which hurt of course, but I was too busy laughing at myself.

When I looked down at my shin, I saw a scrape…and a small hole. Like, a deep one. I may have used some colorful language.

Mike: “Oh man! That’s deep!”

Me: “…yeah….let’s go.”

The blood started comin’ so I took off both of my socks, tied them together, and then tied them around the wound. I felt like MacGyver!

Luckily, there was a festival going on at the park today, so a lot of ambulances were around to monitor the event. It was a quick hop/limp to the nearest one. A kind EMT got my shin all cleaned and wrapped, and my socks subsequently went in the trash.

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Me: “This is exciting.” // “At least my prom dress is long!” // “I still love burpees.”

Needless to say, we just walked the rest of the time. I also decided to be obnoxiously cheerful by waving to every car that passed us. I got some judge-y stares, some ignorance, but still lots of reciprocated waves, and I saw some of our friends drive by!

It’s kinda funny because before I left the house, my mom unusually warned me: “Ok…just be careful. Don’t hurt yourself and don’t run too fast.” I was confused because she was being vague, and she never says those kinds of things when I go out for a simple run at the park, but I just said, “Alllllright…I will be!”

And of course I had to hurt myself the day she warns me. Motherly instinct is a scary thing sometimes. When I told her about my injury, she yelled, “I TOLD YOU! I knew something was going to happen!”

Meep.

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The mother in Tangled is the reason I can’t watch that movie. She gives me nightmares.

I guess God just really wants me to calm down with the burpees.

The end.

So tell me:

Have you hurt yourself exercising before?