Friday, December 14, 2012

My Happy Place

It has been a long, long time now that I have wanted to join the Crossfit movement.  Unfortunately, back home I was so far from any gym...not to mention, my crazy work schedule made it difficult to do anything outside our own gym at work.  But, here, it's like the universe made it perfect for me!  Our apartment is literally less than 1.5 miles away from a Crossfit gym!  They give free introductory classes, which I think is awesome, so I went to one on October 2nd.  I was ready to sign up then...but, to become a member you have to go through Elements, which is where they teach you the basics, and the right way to do the movements, and then of course you workout.  The cheapest Elements option is the group option, which is twice a week for a month, and it starts the first Monday of every month.  The day I went to the intro class was the Tuesday after the October Elements had started...they were giving a percentage off if you signed up and came the following day, Wednesday, for the second class of the group...but, that day was Jas's birthday.  So, I waited a month.  At the end of October I went back for a intro class.  After the intro class I signed up for November Elements.

So my November consisted of going to group Elements every Monday and Wednesday night.  The awesome thing is that you can also go to as many regular classes throughout the month at no extra cost. But, I was a little overwhelmed, and nervous, so I wanted to give myself time to learn.  Saturday of my second week in Elements I went to my first regular class, with my gym buddy from our Elements group.  Regular classes are basically just the WOD (workout of the day).  The rest of the month we came pretty regularly...and on the last Wednesday of the month we had our "graduation, which consisted of this wicked WOD called "Fight Gone Bad" that left us all on our asses.  It was awesome.

This month is my first real month as a member.  There are 5 gym locations on this island, and I can go to any of them.  I go 5 days a week, and on the other days I have to make myself rest.  I miss it when I'm not there!  I knew before I started that crossfit was the best thing for me.  I get so bored in normal gyms.  I walk in, I don't know where to start or what to do.  And then once I start, it's just boring.  I like being surprised by the WOD everyday.  I love being challenged.  I love sweating my ass off, and leaving there knowing I put in work.  And, I love the fact that there is always someone next to me getting there ass kicked too!  It's sounds corny, or cliche...but it's such a family feeling.  From that first night I walked into the gym, heard the music, and saw everyone working hard, I knew I was in the right place.  The fact that I want to go there ever day just supports my choice.  It's not the cheapest gym option, but, when something's right for you, I don't think money should be what stops you.

Part of our Nov Elements group after our "graduation" workout...pic courtesy of Crossfit Oahu

part of our "graduation" workout...pic courtesy of Crossfit Oahu

my gym buddy for November!

"Fight Gone Bad"...our "graduation" workout in a collage...pic courtesy of Crossfit Oahu

I could go on all day...if you know anyone else that does crossfit, they can probably go on all day too...but I'll stop there.  The only other thing I have to mention, is that, that first day I went to an intro class, it was important to me that I did it alone.  I'm not scared to be alone.  Most times I prefer it.  But I tend to get shy in large groups, and around people I don't know, which sometimes makes it hard for me to do a lot of social things alone.  This was a big step for me.  And of course, I became gym buddies with the one person from our Elements group that was moving back to the mainland!!  So, since becoming a full member, I've been "alone" again.  I say "alone" because everyday I meet someone new.  And everyone is so welcoming and helpful.  I started this alone, and I'm thankful for was good for me...but I never feel alone there.  It's my happy place through and through.

And from now on...I plan to not miss out on things because I'm waiting for someone else to do it with me.  Life lessons...we never stop learning.

And the adventure continues...

Stay tuned...

The Color Run

Since moving here, I've found there to be no excuses to not dedicate myself to being physically active.  Back home there was no good place to run.  Dogs were always out running lose.  I would end up running on busy roads, etc.  But here, it's like this island was made for active people.  I got back into running pretty hard, and I was looking forward to doing all the runs I had missed out on for different reasons within the last few years.  Mostly because no one else was running at the time, even though EVERYone is running now!  But, I will not go on a rant about that.

The first run that came up was The Color Run, aka the Happiest 5k on the planet!  It's literally a 5k where they throw this colored powder at you at different points of the run.  At the end, there's this color party, where there's just music, dancing, and color.  Cool right?  As if that wasn't enough, the money from each run in every different location, supports different causes.  The one here benefited Ocean Lotus Hawaii, which is a non-profit organization that provides after school tutoring, and weekend activities for homeless/underprivileged youth here.  So, not only did we get to run this awesome 5k, but we got to support an awesome win!

This was a fun run, so I tried to keep my competitive side quiet.  A lot of people came with their kids, or just walked the course.  I ran the whole thing, but I didn't run it like I would have if it was a race.  I'm pretty competitive by nature so that was a little weird for me.  But it was an awesome time!  And I look forward to the future runs, and obstacle courses I plan to do!

I love color!



before... and....after

And the adventure continues...

Stay tuned...

Holidays in Hawaii

We have now spent two of the major holidays on this beautiful island.

Hau'oli Ka La Ho'ola'a! or Happy Halloween!

For Halloween there were a few options.  The Saturday before Halloween there was this block party in Chinatown.  You paid like $15 and you got a wristband that would get you free entry into like 7 different bars.  Pretty awesome, our regular bar, Manifest, was one of them.  So, last minute we decide to partake in Halloween, after some prodding from our bartender friends at Manifest.  I decided to finally go with my natural born costume.  I have been told I look like Wednesday Addams as far back as I can remember.  So, on Saturday, since we waited till crunch time- I made a trip to Goodwill, Walmart, and finally, try and find a suitable Wednesday outfit.  I got a wig from Kmart, braided it, and voila! Jas had no idea what she wanted to be, so while at Kmart she picked up a banana costume.  But just being a banana wasn't enough for her, so she also picked up some zombie make-up... this of course, was after I convinced her not to do all of these other things she suggested, like a banana devil, or a banana with a sword, or some ridiculous ideas!  A zombie banana was still a reach, but I am a zombie fan, so I could accept it.  Of course I got stuck doing her make-up...I should say, I have never done Halloween make-up, and I can be sure after trying, that I should NOT quit my day job!

After we were finally ready, and I freaked us both out with how much I actually looked like Wednesday, we were off.  Just outside our door we started to hear these sirens going off.  A guy that was crossing the street was nice enough to tell us the sirens were tsunami warnings.  "Oh, ok, thanks" we said, as we continued walking to the bus.  Long story short, we get to Chinatown just as they were evacuating it.  Perfect!  We decided to walk home, since we knew the buses would be packed.  After we were home, and out of costume, I got word that there was still a bar open not too far from us.  So off we went, and the night wasn't a waste after all.  Oh, and thankfully, no tsunami.  Although, Hurricane Sandy did hit the east coast the next day which was very difficult to see being so far from my family and friends.  But I digress...

We didn't get to show off our costumes, so on Halloween day, we got dress and were off again.  It was pretty fitting, since I was Wednesday, and it was on a Wednesday.  Chinatown was having the wristband deal since it got ruined on Saturday so we went to several bars, and eventually landed at our regular.  There, we met THE cutest Aussie couple ever, and introduced them to several things, like laffy taffy's, captain crunch, and the bartenders!  They told us if we make it to Australia that they would take us out, and we plan to take them up on that wonderful offer!

So now, I'm sure you're wanting to see our costumes...enjoy:

Wednesday Addams

wouldn't you want to go to a bar where these people worked

Hau'oli La Ho'omakika'i! or Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving was the next big holiday, and is always an especially difficult one for me.  My madrina (godmother) was the Thanksgiving queen.  She was amazing in the kitchen, and loved to cook...even when it meant making 6 different things, because each grandkid wanted something different.  Thanksgiving has been hard since she passed, but this year, being so far from my family made it even the fact that it was the first time I was making the Thanksgiving meal!!!  I was very nervous.  My mom, bless her heart, helped me prepare by phone, text, and video, and I so appreciated it.  Before I knew it the day was literally.  I didn't realize it was so close, and ended up shopping for the food just a few days prior.  Pernil (pork shoulder) seems to be scarce on this island, so that ended up being an adventure too.  But let's cut to the important part...

Three days before Thanksgiving, I was up at 1:30 in the morning seasoning the pernil.  Two nights before, I was up seasoning the turkey.  And finally, Thanksgiving day, I woke up around 7:45, caught a 9am WOD at my gym (I'll speak about that later!), and got back home before 11.  I showered, took some time for myself, and then it was to the kitchen.  When it was finally time to eat, I can honestly say I was proud of myself.  I made, red rice, pernil (and cuero), turkey, all for the first time, plus mashed potatoes, and broccoli.  Jas made rolls and sweet potato and pumpkin pies.  I was so worried I would screw something up, and since I was making the whole actual meal, I would've been devastated.  But, thankfully, I think as far as my family is, they were actually right there next to me, especially my madrina, helping me every step of the way.  And I can honestly say I think she would've been proud.

Up next is Christmas.  And then New Years...which I am more excited for, because we'll have a guest!!!

And the adventure continues...

Stay tuned...