Friday, March 23, 2012

Summer, Summertime!

Okay, maybe it isn't summer yet but it sure felt like it this week! Isn't it funny what a difference a little sun and warmth does to everyone? People are in a much better mood and give each other the benefit of the doubt. There is a spring in everyone's step, strangers say hello to each other, and people smile more in general.

I'm going to run another 5K this year...my second one. Last year, my friend sucked me into a "Couch to 5K" training class...basically it is a running class for people who don't run...and in 8 weeks they are able to run a 5K. I dragged my body out of bed 3 days a week at 5:30 am and rain in the dark, cold, and heat throughout the spring. For the record, I absolutely hate early mornings, being cold, and cutting into my sleep. At the end of the second class as we were nearing the end of our run, one of the women in the class, bent over and hurled in the bushes?! Full on throw up, people! If someone had filmed my face at that moment, I'm sure my eyeballs came out of my head and I screamed a silent scream. I had to seriously ask myself what I was getting myself into on the way home that day. However, it all culminated with completing my first 5K which felt great and I'm ready to do it again, despite the crazy throw up in the bushes. So, this time, I have been running to get ready for my running class. Typical former Type A-er, right?

I traveled to DC for work the other day and took a nice jog around the White House. I'm a nosey person so I had a lot to look at and take my mind off the fact that my lungs were trying to jump outside of my body. I was able to push away the noise of myself breathing heavy and my legs begging me to stop. I was able to run for 30 minutes straight which was amazing to me! I was inspired when I got home so I ran the very next day. Somehow the 'hood just didn't do it for me and about a minute in I didn't think I could go any longer.

That's when the beauty of springtime cast its magic spell. Everyone I encountered...people walking their dogs, moms walking their kids to the bus stop, people out jogging...everyone said hello and smiled. If it was cold, people would have been huddled inside themselves and not even looked up. Instead we were saying "Good Morning!", "How are you!" , "Beautiful morning, isn't it?!"

That's when I came across my little old friend. A little old man....probably about 80 years old....shuffling along with his cane. He was cruising! I was towards the end of my run and I thought I just couldn't go a minute more and then I saw him. The sweetest little old man, looking very dapper, and shuffling like mad with his cane. He was obviously out on his morning walk and I give him so much credit for getting out and making such an effort. He stopped for a minute, looked over at me, and said "Good Morning, Young Lady!" First of all, it's been awhile since someone called me a young lady. And secondly, there is nothing like the good old fashioned manners of an older gentleman. Sweet little old men are my kyrptonite.

And then it hit me....how can I stop running right now if this sweet little man can shuffle along with his cane?? I decided at that moment that when I fell like giving up and stopping, i will think of him and remember that if he can get himself motivated to walk outside each day, when walking is a challenge, then surely I can run a few more minutes. Nothing like a little Grandpa to give you some motivation. Who needs the sun?!

Switching gears completely, just to give you an update on my 30 day challenge to wear something different every day, I have been doing really well. I have to say, I have come up with an additional new rule. Don't expect me to wear different work out clothes for 30 days. Don't even expect me to work out 30 different days. That's crazy talk. Other than that, I have worn a different outfit every day and I have been loving the challenge. I hope you are trying it too! I also hope you will find your own Little Old Man Motivation to get out do something outside your comfort zone. Happy Spring!

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Thirty Day Challenge

Well, my thumb has recovered but now Tim and the kids are calling me Thumbalina. I'm not sure I'll ever hear the end of not using the guard on the mandolin. Apparently it IS there for a reason.

But on to other things. A friend of mine told me about a woman she read about who was challenging herself to wear something different for 30 days straight. She asked if I thought I could do it. It's funny...for the first few months of this job, I felt like I wore a new outfit every day. Part of it was a result of being able to dress more casually, which opened up many more options in my closet. I could pair a t-shirt and jeans with a blazer or a skirt with a cardigan and fun necklace. The other part of it was that I was working in a creatively charged environment which inspired me to really try different things. Almost a year and a half in, I feel like I have nothing to wear, yet I still have all those clothes. I think we all get sick of our clothes after awhile and we lose sight of the creativity within our own closet.

So, I decided to take on the challenge and try to wear something different for 30 days. I am a creature of habit and when I find outfits that I like, I tend to wear them over and over. But, I am almost two weeks in and have found myself wearing things that had become invisible in my closet...and I like the outfits I'm coming up with. Just to back up for a minute to the "rules"...these are self-imposed rules, of course. Let's be honest, most of us don't have 30 pairs of pants or 30 different shirts..so my rule is that I can rewear items of clothing but I can't repeat the same outfit twice. I have to admit, this takes some creativity. And I wish my closet was a bit different but I doubt I will ever feel like I have all the right clothes.

I have very often been inspired by the JCrew catalog...I feel like they pair unusual colors together...hot pink with purple, bright blue with yellow and green, the combinations are so creative...and I wouldn't think them up on my own. I have looked there for inspiration lately. And of course, Pinterest, my latest obsession has some great ideas. One of my new favs is grey with coral. Can't get enough of it...well, according to my rules, I have to be very careful and not wear it too much because I'll end up repeating my outfits.

If you know me, you know I love a challenge...especially one against myself. This is forcing me to think more creatively, be more resourceful, and get out of my clothing rut. It's been great. Of course, I'm not quite 2 weeks in so let's see how I do in another week. Do you think you could do it? Hopefully I have inspired you to also take the 30 day challenge. Let me know how it goes!