Work It

It may have taken me about 11 years of trying different things, but I have finally found a workout routine that I can stick with, and in the process, checked off number five on my 30 Before 30 list. If I had to describe what I do, I would say that I just live a generally active lifestyle, because I do a little bit of everything. I’m not a Bar Method devotee or a runner, I just try to mix it up and do what I can when I can.

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I have a gym membership, where I usually do cardio and weights and the occasional class. I have a coworker who is a former NFL strength coach, so I meet him at Red Rocks 2-3 times per week for intense stair/sprint/bodyweight training. On the weekends, my mom and I walk when we catch-up, usually one or both days. The days we walk, I will also go to a class or do cardio, but since we’re socializing, it doesn’t feel as painful as two-a-days usually do. Lastly, I love finding Groupon deals for fun workouts that last a month or so to supplement what I already do. I just finished a Pilates equipment deal and last week I bought a deal for Orange Theory at the recommendation of another co-worker, which I’m going to start the first week of July.

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Here is what the last week looked like for me, which is pretty typical:

Tuesday: 1.5 hour brisk walk in my neighborhood

Wednesday: Gym- 40 minutes of cardio, 20 minutes of weights

Thursday: Red Rocks with Coach

Friday: OFF

Saturday: Gym- Pilates sculpt class, 1.5 hour brisk walk in my parents’ neighborhood

Sunday: Red Rocks with Coach, 1.25 hour brisk walk in Washington Park

Monday: 1.5 hour brisk walk in my neighborhood, 20 minutes of swimming

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Pretty views at Red Rocks help when you’re about to collapse

There is a lot of variety there, which I know would drive some people crazy, but I like always having something different to do and needing to have a schedule to keep me straight on what I’m supposed to be doing. The best part about my routine is that it’s very sustainable. I could see myself keeping this routine for years, and if I get burned out on one thing, I’m not back at square one, I just have to find something to replace one activity.

It really is all about making being fit a lifestyle, and not just something you do before a big trip (which is what I always used to do). It took me months to get into this groove, which began in November when I joined my gym, and has been tweaked in the months since. I will continue to post follow-ups about things that change, but overall, I will continue to just be active.

Donation

Last Thursday I checked something off my 30 Before 30 list! I donated platelets!

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I added this to my list after hearing how important platelets are when my aunt was very sick with cancer in 2007. Their shelf life is short, so most hospitals are undersupplied. I’ve wanted to donate for a while and finally found an opportunity this month.

Thursday was one of the two days those of us in administration had off for spring break, so I took advantage of having lots of spare time and made an appointment for the donation. All in all, the process took about 2 hours. It took one hour for me to fill out the paperwork, answer questions about things that raised red flags (certain medication history, travel outside of the US), have my vitals measured, and then get hooked up to the machine. The machine tells you how long it will take to draw what it needs and counts down, and my time was 59 minutes. They take excellent care of you, offer food and drinks before, during and after your draw, have TV’s you can control and lots of magazines. I felt a little bit cold, which is normal, and was glad they bundled me up in a blanket, but otherwise didn’t experience any other side effects.

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It was an emotional experience, especially being back in the same wing where my aunt was cared for, but I plan to donate at least a few times a year.

30 Before 30 List: Checking In

The panic is beginning to set in a bit. Last Saturday, my mom’s birthday, was also my half birthday. Which means I have 2.5 years until I turn 30 (scary!) and 2.5 years until my 30 Before 30 list needs to be completed. If you’ve been following along, you can see I haven’t made very much progress.

I do have a few things in the works to check off, which I am very excited about, but I’m beginning to worry about how I’m going to fit in four big international trips in 2.5 years. Especially when the places I want to go are a little bit off the beaten path, but I have faith I will be able to find friends to accompany me on some of these adventures. (Megan, I’m looking at you!)

In related news, I’m happy to report that I have inspired three other people to create their own lists. My friend Kristin created her list this summer and has made progress on reaching her goals, and Megan and Katherine created theirs in January. Another blogger liked the idea, and you can find her list here. They all have lots of fun things on theirs, so I’m hoping we’ll work on our lists together and get things checked off and make fun memories.

On March 15th I will be running my first 5k and I am so excited! I’ve never been a runner, so it’s very exciting to see the distance and time go by when I’m on the treadmill. The next two weeks will be very intense trying to prepare, but I’m confident I’ll be able to fully run the race and enjoy it. After the race, I will have to elaborate on why running any amount of distance is a pretty big deal for me.

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In the meantime, I will continue reading this monstrosity. I wish I could count it’s 700+ pages as more than one classic, but that would be cheating.

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Surprise!

I just returned on Monday from a week in New York! It was a wonderful trip, with lots of different highlights, and I will be sharing more soon. But, in the meantime, I had to update that I was able to check something off my 30 Before 30 list. A large part of the reason we made the trip at this time was to see a few of the games my cousin’s basketball team was playing. My mom and I surprised him on the court at the first game in Binghamton, and it was awesome!

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Red Rocks

Tuesday night, I checked something off my 30 Before 30 list. I attended my first concert at Red Rocks, and it was amazing.

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As a native Coloradan, it’s pretty crazy that I’d never been to Red Rocks. But it was worth the wait! The venue is incredible, with amazing views, great sound and a really cool atmosphere. I saw three bands that I’ve never listened to before, Frightened Rabbit, Local Natives and The National, and I was so caught up in the experience that it didn’t matter. I’ve since bought the albums of all three and would definitely recommend checking them out.

5 U.S. Cities to Visit

I’ve been to a fair amount of places in the U.S., but there are still a few cities I’ve never visited that I would like to. I’m hoping that in the next few years I will be able to check some of these off.

San Francisco

Everyone I know loves San Francisco. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything bad about it. I love the idea of a booming metropolis right along the water, and I think I would fall in love with the cable cars, different neighborhoods and of course views of the bay. This is also on my 30 Before 30 list, so hopefully I will be visiting soon!

Seattle

I’ve always heard great things about the Pacific Northwest, and loved Vancouver when I visited in Fall 2010. With lots of well known spots, like Pike Place Market, the Space Needle and all of the places you can visit via the ferries, I think this would be a perfect spot for a weekend visit. (Update since I originally started writing this post: I am visiting Seattle this weekend!)

Portland

I’ve heard that Portland is a food lovers paradise. Enough said.

Newport

After watching the old movie “High Society” when I was younger, I’ve always wanted to visit Newport. With the sailboats dotting the ocean, a nice beach and beautiful homes and museums to tour, it seems like a great spot to visit in the summer.

Santa Fe

I love the Southwest. With lots of family in Arizona, I’ve spent a lot of time in both Phoenix and Tucson, and love the art, jewelry and history. Santa Fe has perhaps “more” of all of these things. Ranked 3rd in the U.S. for museums, behind New York and Boston (wow!!), there is a lot to see and learn there. In my mind a perfect trip would also include an afternoon at one of the gorgeous spas in the area, as well as delicious southwestern food!

Do you have any U.S. cities you’ve been wanting to visit?

(images via wikipediaseattle.gov, tripadvisor.com, cityofnewport.com, wikipedia)

Perfect Little Vegas Trip

Love it or hate it, a trip to Vegas is always an experience. I’ve been about once a year for the past 7 years or so, usually in October for an annual sorority reunion with my pledge class. With so many college friends still in L.A., Vegas is a convenient meeting place and some friends and I decided it would be fun to go during the summer and enjoy the pool scene more than we can in the fall. It ended up being one of the best Vegas trips I’ve ever been on, with fun nights out, a lot of catching up and enjoying a day club.

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Before Tryst, Surrender and XS, though we only ended up making it to Tryst

 I unexpectedly ended up marking something off my 30 Before 30 list this weekend. I have always wanted to go Rehab at the Hard Rock, the original daytime Vegas pool party, but didn’t think we’d have time this trip since it’s on Sunday. Turns out, there are now numerous day clubs, and we ended up going to Encore Beach on Saturday. I didn’t partake in any beverages, because I needed a break from the night before, but the whole scene was really fun, with everyone hanging out in the pool dancing, chatting and having fun. Might have to make a summer visit an annual trip as well…

5 Days

Things have been pretty crazy around here. After interviewing twice the week before Memorial Day, the Tuesday following the holiday I was offered a full-time job! I have been job searching for a while, and I’m so glad to not just have a “real” job, but to have gotten this particular position. I started this past Monday, and am really enjoying it!

Of course, that means I had very limited time to accomplish a lot of things I thought I would get to during my “underemployment,” such as organizing our closet and clearing the guest room of clutter. As we  know, however, I am a big list person, and I love having a time frame on things. So, I made a list of everything I wanted to do in the 5 days I had before starting.

Some things were easy, like hanging out with Lily, while others were quite difficult and time consuming. As a person who hates getting rid of things, I tried to really go through everything as I organized, and set aside for Goodwill things I no longer like or need. Consequently, this had led to me making progress toward checking some things off another list, my 30 Before 30 list.

After going through my closet, my dresser drawers and the guest closet, I found 22 things to give away. It’s a start!

30 Before 30

Last summer, as I was preparing to turn 25, one of my friends posted an image on Facebook of a list of 30 things she wanted to do before she turned 30. I immediately liked the idea and decided to make such a list for myself. In true Ann fashion, I had the list completed in about 2 weeks, (it’s actually rather difficult to think of goals that are a reach, yet attainable) but then proceeded to not really think about it for the last few months.

It was only after I realized that I’ve checked a few items off that I dug it out of it’s place in my desk and decided to share it to make myself a bit more accountable. So, I have added a new page in the top center of of the homepage, where I have detailed my list and will update as I cross things off. You can view the list by clicking here.