September 30, 2014
8 Tips on Dating a Triathlete

My boyfriend’s training for Ironman Cozumel, which is insane. I mean, really, who does that??

I hate running. I like biking, if it’s slow and scenic, and I’ll swim in open lakes and the shallow ends of an ocean when it’s warm enough, but I have no desire to ever train for a triathlon. And yet, I’ve found a guy who loves triathlons. On race mornings, you’d think it was Christmas day – his eyes light up, he talks really fast, and bounces around like a kid on a sugar-high. As I said, he loves it.

For those of you who don’t know what an ironman actually entails (because really, who do you know that would actually ever do one? Nobody ever!)… it’s a 2.4-mile swim, followed by a 112-mile bike ride, followed by a marathon 26.2-mile run. See, insane. But if you happen to be dating this somewhat-crazy competitive man or woman who can’t help but enjoy wearing wetsuits, eating liquid gels, and biking up mountains and swimming in open-waters, then here’s what you need to do:

1. Find your own hobby. 

Training takes up a lot of time. I mean, a LOT of time. Imagine he/she is a workaholic – he/she will stay out late and wake up at insanely early hours. Find your own hobby. Mine’s reading, writing, dancing on occasions, and taking way-too-expensive fitness classes. At least I stay busy. Plus, I enjoy my alone time, so that helps immensely.

2. Get acquainted with the jargon. 

I’m learning words I didn’t even know existed (and I was in English major). Suddenly, you’ll hear words like “aero bars,”  “century,” and “brick.” If you don’t know these words, you’re not alone and you’re not an idiot. But when you date somebody who uses them constantly, figure out what they mean or simply ask.

3. Be patient.

Your boyfriend or girlfriend will have a strict schedule during training, which means Saturdays may be consumed with 100 mile bike rides (a “century”) and drinking might mean sipping on redbull versus wine. If you follow #1, then this shouldn’t bother you as much, but I know, it’s a lot. Be patient with him/her and understand that in order to survive something like an ironman, he/she needs to train for it – and you want to see your boyfriend or girlfriend survive this, don’t you?

4. Pay attention.

Make sure he/she is eating enough to balance the cardio. Make sure he/she is eating the right foods. I’m lucky, because my boyfriend cooks his own food, but some might need a little direction. Be in the know. Also, make sure he/she is stretching and taking care of his/her body.

5. Follow a schedule.

This takes two. In order to make time for one another, you’re significant other must schedule you into their week of training, otherwise it will be very difficult to see each other. If you’re smart, you’ll make plans a week in advance. But make sure you both follow the schedule. Life will be easier if you do. And I realize this takes away from the spontaneity of dating, but you’d rather see each other than not see each other, right?  

6. Be supportive.

This sounds easier than it is, but being supportive means showing up to the triathlons (even at the crack of dawn on a Saturday or Sunday morning), holding his/her muddy shoes, and spending many nights in, because of recovery or preparation. Don’t discourage him/her, even if you think it’s crazy. It’s like telling your kid he can’t paint, even though he loves it. Give him some paint brushes, some paint and let him do his thing.

7. You don’t have to love it.

If you take an interest in triathlons after seeing them, great. If you don’t like them, that’s ok too! Having different interests is a good thing, so long as you’re willing to show up, be supportive, and recognize that even if it’s not your thing, it doesn’t mean it’s not worth the efforts. Once you and your significant other accept this, you’ll be better off.

8. Compliment and celebrate him/her.

I know I will never ever do an ironman, for many, many reasons, so I can’t really wrap my head around the idea of swimming, biking, and running for 14 hours straight. It doesn’t logically make sense to me, but whatever, some people like it. It’s important that you motivate your boyfriend and girlfriend - and celebrate the challenges that he/she has overcome, because it’s anything but easy and very few of us will ever do it. Let him/her know that you’re proud. 

And one last thought: The world of triathlons, cycling, open-water swimming, and competitive racing, etc. is a very strange world if you’ve never been a part of it. You’ll probably feel out-of-place, confused, and bored at-times, but that’s okay. You may never really understand it, but you will get used to it. And if you follow all of the tips above then your boyfriend or girlfriend should recognize and appreciate you for that.

I’m lucky. My boyfriend schedules me into his week, wakes up super early to get a workout in, and makes time for other things (like friends, family, events) - and he cooks for me! It’s not easy dating a triathlete but it’s not easy being one either. Put in the effort and if you’re with the right person, it will be worth it!

Now… only two more months until my boyfriend’s Ironman! Let the countdown begin ;)

September 29, 2014
Rejection

I don’t mind rejection. When you’re rejected, you’re noticed. You’re dismissed, sure, but at least you’re noticed. I’ve been rejected by employers, by schools, by guys, etc.

 We all get rejected at some point in our lives.

  • Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard and started a failed business, but eventually created Microsoft.
  • Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor because, “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” He then started a number of businesses that ended in bankruptcy. I think we all know what happened to him.
  • Socrates, in his own time was called “an immoral corrupter of youth,” and was sentenced to death because of his philosophies.
  • Teachers told Thomas Edison he was “too stupid to learn anything,” and made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb.
  • Oprah Winfrey was fired from a job as a television reporter was she was “unfit for TV.” I bet they regret that decision.
  • In Fred Astaire’s first screen test, the testing director of MGM noted that Astaire, “Can’t act. Can’t sing. Slightly bald. Can dance a little.” He sure proved them wrong.
  • The first book by Steven King, the iconic thriller Carrie, received 30 rejections, finally causing King to give up and throw it in the trash. His wife made him finish and re-submit. Look where that led him.
  • Steven Spielberg was rejected from the University of Southern California School of Theater, Film and Television three times.

What’s my point? Rejection is healthy. It motivates us to try again. It pushes us to keep going, to re-evaluate our lives, and to work harder.

This is why I don’t mind rejection…

Being ignored is a whole different can of worms. I’d rather somebody criticize my writing, dismiss me from an interview, and tell me, “not interested” in whatever it is I’m selling than ignore me.

As I’ve started on my job hunt, I’ve learned a few things. One of the most significant: rejection will happen, but people will also ignore you. You’ll think they never got your application. You’ll think they “forgot” to call you back after the interview, but actually, they moved on and they didn’t bother to tell you.

Don’t let that keep you down or you’ll never make it out there. Persevere. You are qualified, you are a great candidate, and you will find the right job, you just have to patient, tenacious, and willing to look like an idiot if it means getting noticed. 

September 27, 2014
My Saturday Tip: Take One Special Trip with Your Mom

I went to London in April for work. I was supposed to spend three days holding over forty meetings, which takes both mental and physical preparation. You have to prepare for every meeting. You have to know the stuff your pitching, and you have to keep yourself from getting sick, losing your voice, or going crazy. 

So when my mother asked to join me, I was shocked. I hadn’t considered bringing anybody with me. It was a work trip, not a vacation. So I hesitated. My mother hadn’t traveled much before. She had gone to Ireland and Mexico with my dad, but other than that, she stayed in the States. This was way outside her comfort zone… like one hundred miles outside her comfort zone! 

When she visited me in Boston, she took cabs and steered clear of the subway, unless I was with her. I was nervous, and you can’t blame me.

But I agreed, and she booked a flight just a few weeks before the trip.

The plan: meet at the hotel. People told me to wait for her at the airport, but I wanted to let her do it on her own… she needed to, and plus, it wasn’t difficult getting to and from the airport. 

Well, she made it all on her own to the hotel. And that week? Well, I hadn’t seen my mother as excited as she was when we sat in a small cafe in the middle of Sloan Square sipping on our tea and sharing a plate of dessert.

She rambled on about her day, about the strangers she met and the views she saw. Why hadn’t I ever seen my mom like this? Because she had never gone this far out of her comfort zone. She got married and had kids in her early twenties. She and I took very different paths and now she was experiencing something that I had already experienced - traveling alone in a foreign city. 

I was proud of her - like a parent of their child - when they figure something out all on their own and finally realize what they’re capable of. 

I’m so glad she came.

I’m glad I got to sip wine with her in the hotel and watch crappy British TV with her. I’m glad I got to meet up with her for breakfast before my exhausting days began. I’m glad I got to sit next to her when she saw Wicked for the first time - and cried. I’m glad I got to share many teas & pastries with her. I’m glad I got to wander the London streets and stand in the tube with her. I’m glad I got to share a trip with her… just her and I in the middle of the beautiful, quaint, and special “London.” 

I think every daughter should have one special trip with her mother… as grown women who can sip on wine, talk about the past, talk about the future, and embrace an unfamiliar world together.

September 26, 2014
Somerville, MA, Sept. 2014
Sometimes, you just need a “personal day.” A day to lounge, wander the city, shop, explore, and reflect. Today was my personal day. I took a whole day off work - I didn’t check emails, I didn’t do work, and I didn’t hang out with anyone else, because everybody else was working (win!). Instead, I slept in, I watched TV premieres on Hulu, I made myself breakfast, I used a face mask for the first time in a while, I went for a run, I went shopping, and I wandered the city.
Why did I take a personal day?
Because “mental health days” don’t exist.
Because I was feeling a cold coming on (no, really).
Because I’m sick of work and it makes going to work extremely difficult.
Because I wanted, no needed, a day to myself.
Because personal days expire on January 1.
Because it’s the perfect fall day.
Because I can (and so can you)… and why the hell not?
And now, I have a whole weekend to enjoy!
I think I did it right.

Somerville, MA, Sept. 2014

Sometimes, you just need a “personal day.” A day to lounge, wander the city, shop, explore, and reflect. Today was my personal day. I took a whole day off work - I didn’t check emails, I didn’t do work, and I didn’t hang out with anyone else, because everybody else was working (win!). Instead, I slept in, I watched TV premieres on Hulu, I made myself breakfast, I used a face mask for the first time in a while, I went for a run, I went shopping, and I wandered the city.

Why did I take a personal day?

  • Because “mental health days” don’t exist.
  • Because I was feeling a cold coming on (no, really).
  • Because I’m sick of work and it makes going to work extremely difficult.
  • Because I wanted, no needed, a day to myself.
  • Because personal days expire on January 1.
  • Because it’s the perfect fall day.
  • Because I can (and so can you)… and why the hell not?

And now, I have a whole weekend to enjoy!

I think I did it right.

September 26, 2014

Friday Flashback: Kit for Life’s Two Year Anniversary!

Holy cow, it’s been two years since I started this blog… and yes, I realize my posts have been lacking significantly, but to those of you who still read it, thank you! 

It’s amazing what can happen in two years. Two years ago, I was living in a smaller apartment, working at the same job (ugh), and single. I’ve gone through a lot in two years: boyfriends, interests, apartments, roommates, and oh, so many, trips! I’ve loved every moment… okay, maybe not every moment, but most of them.

I finally applied to schools and I got accepted! I got promoted twice at work. I went to Europe more than once… with my best friend, with my mom, and by myself. I moved cities. I endured plenty of breakups. And I fell in love.

I’m thankful for all the people in my life, for the support I’ve received, especially in my decision to go back to school. And I know the next two years will be very telling.

Thanks for keep coming back to read, I really appreciate it and I hope you’ve enjoyed some of my posts!

Happy Friday - happy anniversary to this blog - and thank you! 

September 22, 2014

micdotcom:

One comic shows what a lifetime of catcalling can do to a woman

Women have tried numerous times to explain why catcalling isn’t a compliment and why no woman wants to feel as if she’s just body parts. Ursa Eyer, a New Orleans-based artist and illustrator, is the latest woman to take on the challenge. Despite what the New York Post’s Doree Lewak recently wrote, not all of women “live to strut another day,” so Eyer has drawn a personal history of her own struggles with catcalling, highlighting the longevity of the problematic trend and how it affects women and girls of all ages.

See the final panel Follow micdotcom 

(via upworthy)

September 22, 2014
Banned Books Week 2014

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” -Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

"The books that the world calls immoral are the books that show the world its own shame." -Oscar Wilde

"I have survived. I am here. Confused, screwed up, but here. So, how can I find my way? Is there a chain saw of the soul, an ax I can take to my memories or fears?” -Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak

September 21, 2014

Exploring my city. September 2014.

Bunker Hill, Charlestown
Boson Commons, Boston

September 18, 2014

Let’s Talk About… Zosia Mamet

I don’t really watch HBO’s “Girls” – I have, but I don’t currently – and yet, I’ve fallen for the quirky, honest, and awkward Shoshanna. Why? Because she (Zosia Mamet) is not afraid to walk against the large Pumpkin Spiced Latte-loving crowd and be different (oh my gosh, different?)!

It’s not just her new platinum-blonde bob that I love, it’s the way she approaches her career. “To me, you should do something you love and are passionate about,” she says. And she’s certainly practiced what she preaches. The twenty-six-year-old Vermont-born actress chose a life of acting over a college education and hasn’t looked back since.

Having grown up with a Pulitzer-prize winning playwright for a father and a well-known actress for a mother, she had quite the childhood. And yet, she never watched American television shows… or hit “real” fame until her mid-twenties.

What does she do when she’s not filming? She plays in a band, she writes a column for Glamour magazine, and now she’s teamed up with Glamour and Bayer Healthcare to start the “Make Your Mark” campaign which inspires women to “make their mark” on the world (side note: applications are due October 1).

And yet, this all-too glamorous, awe-inspiring diva had a rocky childhood, just like the rest of us. In her recent column, she opens up about her eating disorder that has taken years to overcome… and will probably never really go away, not really.

"For years the voice inside me has gotten louder or quieter at times. It may never disappear completely, but hopefully one day it’ll be so quiet, it’ll only be a whisper and I’ll wonder, was that just the wind?"

By sharing her personal story, she hopes to challenge others to make a change. Start talking about the issues, she says, and maybe, just maybe, the media will start changing the way they portray women.

“I recently saw an ad featuring a nearly naked, thin model with the words love yourself written across her. Even this attempt at encouraging women to accept themselves was accompanied by an image telling us the opposite! We have to change the ideal.” And she’s right. We don’t need to change, the ideal needs to change. 

September 17, 2014
"It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting."

— Paulo Coelho (via velvetbluejay)