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?

There’s Something About…

There’s something about carrying three backpacks to campus that reminds me of front-packing in Italy.

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There’s something about carrying a large box of vegetables around all day that makes others stare a bit.

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My friend Lauren orders a box of produce from Ward’s Berry Farms every week, but she very generously gave me hers last week since she was out of town! This thing had SO MUCH PRODUCE. The only thing was that I had to pick it up in the afternoon, carry it to class, to a fitness class, to Trader Joe’s, and on the bus. Talk about functional fitness.

There’s something about taking a fitness class with fellow healthy living/fitness social media influencers that makes me feel empowered and humbled at the same time.

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Last Thursday, Colby invited me to take a “Firestarter” HIIT class taught by her friend, Sam (@wellbysamantha), at Equinox (holy LUXURY gym!) in the financial district. It was a quick, sweaty and super fun class!

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My dear friend Christina (@foodietunes) was also present and kicking butt!

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There’s something about pizza (even if it’s just a frozen one from Trader Joe’s) on a Friday night.

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There’s something about finding a beer you enjoy.

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There’s something about said beer that makes me slightly loopy (not the primary reason I enjoyed it, just a side effect).

There’s something about caring friends who give me bread rolls to eat when seeing me loopy.

There’s something about the Game of Things that makes my friends and me cry of laughter every time.

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There’s something about people who say thank you when you hold the door open for them that makes your day just *that* much better.

There’s something about eating a smoothie out of a bowl that makes it 10x more satisfying than drinking it from a glass through a straw.

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There’s something about getting random texts from your friends about little things like tacos (@Sarah) that makes me so grateful for friendship (and technology).

There’s something about boxing that is addicting. I don’t think I’ve loved a form of training so much so quickly!!

There’s something about vegan ice cream that seems wrong to me, but it is still very so delicious.

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Confession: I bought this for Colby on the fourth of July since she eats dairy-free, but she left before dessert, so I took it for myself.

There’s something about the Vermonster from Ben & Jerry’s on National Ice Cream Day that feels so right (slightly gross, but overall so right).

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Alright, so the Vermonster. Twenty (yep) scoops of ice cream, four toppings, four whole bananas, caramel, fudge, four cookies, a brownie, and a mountain of whipped cream. In a bucket.

It took six of us (although we definitely could have used 8-10 people) plus a lot of rallying from Ben to finish it.

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We got five flavors (four scoops of each), but they all muddled together anyway. It was a delicious mess.

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Gluttony? Yep. Good for your health? Depends on how you look at it. Happiness? Yep. Doing it again? Probably never.

This summer is bringing a lot of ice cream into my body.

There’s something about great friends who are great study buddies that makes school fun.

There’s something about listening to old songs I forgot I loved (Natasha Bedingfield’s “These Words” and “Love Like This“) that makes me smile.

There’s something (infinite things) about how God works that is mysterious, not always what I want at the moment, yet always more beautiful than I could imagine.

So tell me:

“There’s something about…”

Have you recently rediscovered any old songs you loved?

Did you celebrate National Ice Cream Day?

Day in the Life of a Second Semester Sophomore

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A Tuesday in the life of a second semester college sophomore…

8:10 AM // First alarm goes off. Shut it.

8:15 AM // Second alarm goes off. Snooze.

8:25 AM // Third alarm goes off. Roll out of bed. {Should not have spent useless minutes scrolling Insta so late the night before.Bathroom, brush teeth, put in contacts, etc.

8:35 AM // Morning prayer.

8:40 AM // Change into athletic clothes, just for the morning while I’m still studying (I try to wear real pants as little as possible).

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8:50 AM // Head across the street to the dining hall for breakfast! Work on my nutrition project while eating.

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hard boiled egg (with sriracha) + whole wheat toast with pb and banana + frozen blueberries

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9:40 AM // Go back to my dorm building and read biomechanics in the study room.

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10:20 AM // Head back up to my room for some foam rolling and a 30-minute yoga video.

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11:00 AM // Change into real people clothes, tweeze my brows, and put on makeup.

11:20 AM // Film this week’s “Five Minute Friday’s” vlog and re-watch it. It’s over five minutes, dang it.

11:35 AM // Leave the room and walk to another dining hall for lunch with Rachel and Kelsey!

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salad with beets, peppers, and some sort of marinated potatoes + grilled chicken with eggplant relish, sautéed collards, and couscous

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plus an orange!

12:30 PM // Nutrition lecture. We learn about the basics of digestion, which isn’t the most exciting, but the professor is still awesome.

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1:20 PM // Get out of lecture early! Walk outside to the river for some fresh air since I have 30 minutes to kill before my next class. Re-film my vlog to see if I can get it under 5 minutes (spoiler: didn’t succeed).

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THIS WEATHER!!!

2:00 PM // Behavioral biology of women lecture. Such a fascinating course! Eat a snack before the lecture starts.

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half pb sandwich packed into napkins during lunch #resources

3:30 PM // Walk to the Catholic Center for a meeting.

4:10 PM // Send some messages to people and study exercise physiology (gotta keep on top of that) in the CC study room.

5:00 PM // Attend daily Mass in the upstairs chapel.

5:40 PM // Descend into the basement for the beloved free Tuesday pasta dinner! Have a grand ol’ time catching up with friends.

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6:45 PM // Start setting up for our weekly “Catholics on Campus” talk.

7:00 PM // Kick off the talk. Last night, one of the most hilarious nuns I’ve ever met came to talk to us about Catholic Church history. She transformed a history lesson into something that had my abs and cheek muscles hurtin’!

8:15 PM // Help clean up after the talk and walk back to my dorm. Eat a peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookie (compliments of my Aunt Sharon from Christmas!).

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desperately need to do something about my nails/cuticles

8:45 PM // Shower, make appointments, write out my to-do list for Wednesday, brush teeth, chat with suite mates for a bit.

9:50 PM // Go up to the study room to take my online exercise physiology quiz.

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10:20 PM // Finish the (easy) quiz and curse myself out for getting one question wrong because the directions said “place in order from low to high glycemic load” and I put them in order from high to low. I deserved that.

10:30 PM // Start typing this blog post!

11:20 PM // Finish up the post, head back to my room, pray.

11:45 PM // Hit the hay. Feeling ever so slightly hungry, but I already brushed my teeth and I’m lazy. I DO THIS EVERY NIGHT UGH (9/10 times I just eat and brush again).


Every day is so different, but this is the gist of life right now. Some days I’m ultra productive, and other days I let myself get a little too distracted with friends/social media. Some days, it’s a nice balance of both. I like to think it’s “mental health”.

I’m having fun though! I’m feeling more comfortable with tackling the work in each of my courses, and I’ve been blessed to encounter so many people from whom I can draw inspiration and motivation. Including you guys!!

Some new Tori Kelly therapy for you all today:

Hope you all have a lovely Wednesday!

So tell me:

Do you have on and off days in terms of productivity?

What was the best thing you ate yesterday? The chicken with eggplant relish and couscous was pretty darn delicious!

A silly mistake you’ve recently made. (← for my own selfish, empathy-seeking purposes. 😀 ♥︎)

Another Embarrassing College Story for the Books

I’m currently typing this as I watch Grease LIVE on the telly.

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Did anyone else watch? I love it, and the cast is KILLIN’ IT. Holy smokes, what can’t Julianne Hough and Vanessa Hudgens do!?

In all honesty, I could be studying right now, but I’m taking a little blogging/mental break before hitting the books again.

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Thank you, Enlightened, for the tasty snacks!

Speaking of academics, I have a story brought to you by my exercise physiology lecture (of approximately 130 people).

*Professor talking about something that I’m trying so hard to understand.*

Professor: *looks toward my section of the lecture room* “Are you okay? Do you have a question? You look confused.”

*All the students in my area look around thinking, “Who? Me?”*

*Professor takes out her laser pointer*

Professor: *Points her laser pointer in my general direction* “YOU.”

*Students looking around at who the pointer landed on.*

My friend: “Alison, it’s you.”

Me: *SO CONFUSED* “Me?”

Professor: “Yes, did you have a question?”

Me: “…No.”

Professor: “Okay, yes, you can just come to office hours. Don’t worry about it. You just had a look on your face.”

*Everyone in the lecture looking at me and chuckling*

My friend: “Did you raise your hand or something?”

Me: “I DIDN’T DO ANYTHING. IT’S JUST MY FACE.”

I was too confused to even be mortified. She took out her laser pointer and pointed to me in front of the whole class. WHY. I mean, I was confused about what she was teaching, but I would have raised my hand if I had specific question. I think it’s hilarious in retrospect though.

In other news, the weather was gorgeous this weekend! No coats yesterday!

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This winter has been completely wack, and I can’t say that I’m displeased.

was displeased with being utterly “hangry” on Saturday during/after work. For some reason, my blood sugar was just not rising enough, despite my snacking throughout work. I was absurdly emotional while walking to get this lunch after work. It was bizarre, and I hated that I was letting it get to me so much, but I was too low on energy to hold myself together. #melodramatic

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It was the kind of hunger that resulted in lightheadedness and weakness. Honestly, I don’t know why I felt that way, but thankfully, it was a rare occurrence. Needless to say, I was mighty grateful for this delicious lunch.

I did attend dance conditioning the day before, which was taught by my modern dance teacher. I was already kinda sore that day, but I figured it would be a fun way to move after sitting in class for a few hours. WRONG. Not that I didn’t have fun, but it was a more intense workout than I was expecting. I didn’t want to activate my lower glutes ever again after that class.

I’ve eaten a lot of ice cream this week. It had been a while since I ate dining hall soft serve, so I guess this week was catch-up.

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Alrighty, time to read about exercise physiology so that I don’t look so confused in class.

Hope you all have a peachy Monday! Do the hand jive to ring in the new week (and month)!

So tell me: 

Any embarrassing college lecture stories?

Did you watch Grease Live?

Three things you did this weekend! Mass, mobile soup kitchen, and laundry 🙂

Day in the Life of a Second Semester Freshman

Hooray for day in the life posts! These are my absolute favorite posts to read, and luckily, they’re just as fun to write. Here’s what went down in the life (and noggin) of Alison yesterday:

6:15 AM— First alarm // “No.”

6:20 AM— Second alarm // *grooooooan* // check phone

6:25 AM— Out of bed, bathroom, change

6:35 AM— Eat a banana and some trail mix, pray, finish getting my stuff together for the gym

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6:55 AM— Trek it over to FitRec across campus

7:15 AM— Move and groove // Dirty Burpee Workout

7:50 AM— Walk back to the dorm // “So sweaty under this sweatshirt and heavy jacket, but it’s too cold to take them off ahhhh.”

8:10 AM— Shower and gather up my stuff for the day

8:40 AM— Breakfast, plus some reading and essay planning

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oatmeal with honey, shredded coconut, peanut butter, and banana + scrambled eggs doused in black pepper after this photo was taken

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9:30 AM— Discuss, listen, and learn in class // “I always need to pee every half hour after I work out.”

12:30 PM— Drop off a bag of donations for a clothing drive

1:00 PM— Lunch and blog reading

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salad with Greek dressing + roast beef, provolone cheese, and honey mustard sandwich on wheat

1:30 PM— Stop by my dorm room to exchange books in my backpack and start typing this post

1:50 PM— Go to the children’s library in the School of Education and to read picture books (they are sources for my writing course called Aesthetic Constructions of Childhood, aka a writing course about picture books 🙂 )

3:00 PM— Organic chemistry discussion class

4:00 PM— Walk to a place with a nice view to do homework // “Who knew picture books would consume two and a half hours of a single day?”

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4:50 PM— Snack on some Snap Pea Crisps and take a #basic sunset picture

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6:45 PM— Dinner! // “One of the best dining hall dinners I’ve had in a while!”

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turkey souvlaki pita + curry chicken

7:15 PM— Walk over to the Catholic Center to hear a talk about exorcism and deliverance // “This is so intense and now I want to bless ALL the things with Holy Water.” // But really, it was more fascinating and informational than freaky, promise.

9:00 PM— Back at the dorm for the night // Eat frozen banana and peanut butter

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9:15 PM— Emails, housekeeping stuff, finish up some homework, type this

10:40 PM— Get ready for bed because tomorrow (today) is another long day!

Hope you all have a fabulous day! You are awesome. BE NOT AFRAID.

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Joining Jenn’s jolly linkup!

So tell me:

Three random things you did yesterday…

Two things you ate…

And one way you moved and grooved!