Monday, December 30, 2013

Subie Deux

                                                                          I was finally able to pick up my new car tonight!! I'm guessing the dealership was motivated to get it out the door before the end of 2013, but I'm not going to argue. It will never be my Subie, and it might not be a Volvo, but I think my new Subaru Crosstrek is pretty slick. Sunroof, XM Radio, built-in GPS, heated seats. Oh and the first time I put it in  reverse? Yeah, that's how I learned about the back up cam.  Yeah, I'm pretty excited. 

Welcome home, Subie Deux. You've got a lot to live up to!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Wyatt wouldn't let me put up a Festivus Pole...

So we settled on a Christmas tree.

We'll be spending our first MN Christmas by ourselves. I'm looking forward to a quiet few days, but will miss seeing my grandpa, and I'm sure W will miss spending time with his fam.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, and A Festivus for the Rest of Us!


Friday, December 13, 2013

Can't a girl get a break?

As if totaling my beloved Subie and living with chronic, explosive, facial pain wasn't bad enough, everything else seems to be conspiring against me as well.

Insurance took so long sorting out the value and issuing a check, that actually finding a new car is becoming near impossible. I'm now on a waiting list, fingers and toes crossed, that the car I want is available by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, my boss is laying an egg over the fact that I don't have a car yet. Oh. And he is less than pleased that I didn't go with his suggestion. Because apparently a Volvo wagon is the only acceptable job with which one can do the job.

I'm trying to dig deep and get through these last few weeks of 2013...

Monday, November 18, 2013

The day my dear Subie died.

There are so many things I am seeing and learning in this city, some of which are pretty okay, many of which make my head want to explode. But for the purpose of this post, I will stick to the facts.

Minnesota drivers are the worst drivers I've ever encountered.

Last week I was heading to an appointment downtown'ish, when a mini-van ran a red light and drive straight into me. Fortunately it was on side streets and no one was driving very fast. By some stroke of luck, after they pried off the door of my car, I was able to walk away without so much as a scratch.

I wish I could day the same thing about my dear Subaru.

I know, technically, it's just a car. But to me, it's so much more.

My Subaru and I had been partners in crime since October 2003, when I walked to the dealership to pick it up on Halloween day. And if a 10-year relationship wasn't enough to tug on my heart strings, my grandparents helped me pick out and pay for my car. It had sentimental value far beyond the the memories that I made driving it.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Trigeminal Neuralgia

What could possibly be more stressful that attending a sales meeting with a major account? How about developing inexplicable, uncontrollable pain while at said meeting.

After flying half way across the country with my creeper boss, and spending the afternoon walking around LA with him (because apparently I need a babysitter...), I finally head to bed. And being that I have the hotel room all to myself, I am beyond excited to settle in for a snore-free night of sleep. But that was not the case. I was woken up by searing pain in the right side of my face. So random. So painful.

After a restless night of sleep I head into the first day of meetings. My brain is throbbing and the side of my face feels like I am being stabbed or electrocuted. Maybe both. I'm trying so hard to grin and bear it, because this is my first time meeting one of our major lines. 

This pretty much sums up my LA business trip.

W picks me up from the airport Thursday afternoon and we head straight to the ER. An hour later I've been diagnosed with a Trigeminal Neuralgia and have a fist full of drugs to cope with it.

From what I understand, Trigeminal neuralgia is a nerve disorder that causes a stabbing pain in parts of the face. TN is sudden, intense pain in the Trigeminal nerve, the same nerve effected by Bells Palsy,  typically on the right side of the face (check, check, check).  The pain can last a few seconds or a few minutes (check and check). 

In most cases, like mine, there is no known cause of the disorder. An treatment varies greatly. At this point I'm taking an anti-seizure medication and some serious pain meds to get by. 

I guess only time will tell how this effects me on a daily basis.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Run Faster...

Moonshine, banjos and feral dogs. This should be interesting...

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Ragnar TN or BUST!

After only two days, week one at the new job is officially in the books. Technically, I have work to do while I'm out of the office this weekend, but my mind is already in Ragnar-mode.

I am currently at the airport, waiting for my flight (ew, Southwest) to Nashville for SWAT for Ragnar Tennessee. As much as I enjoy being a part of a Ragnar Relay team, I think I have come to enjoy working the events even more. Is that weird?

I wish I could say that I am flying to a beautiful, tropical, destination, but Nashville will have to do this weekend. Tennessee is a beautiful state, don't get me wrong, but the daily high is only in the 50's this weekend, with the nights dipping into the 30's. Brr. At least it will be sunny. There has been a serious lack of sunshine in MN the past few weeks and I am in desperate need of some vitamin D!

I was SUPER spoiled at Ragnar GR that my shifts were all during the daytime, so it's no surprise that for Ragnar TN they have me working straight through the night. Seriously. 4pm Friday until 5am Saturday. Seeing as I am NOT a night person, this should be interesting. 

If you need me, I'll be piloting the struggle bus from Chatanooga to Nashvile this weekend...ALL ABOARD.

Let's do this!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Fears, Nerves, and Advice Needed

I'm not going to lie. As excited as this new opportunity is, there are a lot of things I'm really nervous about. There's the standard issue new-job-jitters, but this is more than that.

I'm nervous about seedy motels and lost luggage. I'm afraid of getting sick or injured on the road. I'm nervous about long, lonely drives, especially at night, and car troubles. I'm afraid of driving through really awful weather (did you hear about the 50+ inches of snow the Dakotas got last weekend?!). I'm afraid of my car getting broken into. And so on.

I have vicariously lived the life of a traveling rep for the past 5yrs through W. He totaled a car in northern Wisconsin, passed kidney stones at a hospital in Indiana, had his car broken in to in Nebraska, and was stranded in Minnesota because of a late season blizzard. He's driven through the night to get to places, driven 8-12-14 hours alone on the road to get somewhere. Having worked on the road for over a decade he's pretty much experienced it all. And if he hasn't, I have other friends and colleagues that have. 

When I accepted the position, and this new adventure, I knew all these things, and to some extent accepted it. That comes with the territory (no pun intended).

But what I can't seem to wrap my head around is how to balance life on the road and an active, healthy lifestyle. I'm afraid I'm going to stop exercising, eat like crap, and end up morbidly obese and miserable. 

Now I realize that this is actually one component to life on the road that I can actually control. I can choose to exercise and run. I can seek out healthy restaurants and make smart food choices. It all sounds good and empowering on paper.

But how? How do you stay motivated? Find the energy? Make the most of a food per diem? 

It's great in theory to look up running routes of Crossfit gyms in the cities you're in, or to ask for suggestions online, but after a long day of travel, visiting accounts, and then catching up on office work, how does it actually work? 

I'm hoping that someone out there can relate and share some real life advice...

Thursday, October 3, 2013

A New Adventure

It was about this time last fall when W decided to pursue a new career, which eventually brought us, for better or worse, to the Twin Cities earlier this year. I would argue for worse, but that is left to be seen I suppose. 

Starting in late October 2012 I began feverishly applying to every job that even slightly aligned with my skills and interests in the greater Twin Cities area. People kept telling me how many amazing opportunities there would be for me up here. Liars. By the time we loaded the UHaul and hit the road, I was no closer to be employed than the guy on the street corner waving a "Will Work for Food" sign. 

With little else to do, and a very empty piggybank, I conceded to work part-time at a local(ish) bike shop that an industry colleague of mine was managing. It was sort of fun to get my hands dirty and wrench on bikes again. At least for a bit. And planning their shop expansion, brands, and floor plan was right up my alley. I loved networking with the reps and talking product. But being on the sales floor long term is not for me. 

Mid-summer I applied for an intriguing job with a rep group I have known, and competed with, for years. I applied...I followed up...I followed up again. Nothing. By the end of August I had given up hope and was thoroughly put out by the situation. So imagine my surprise when at the END of September I finally got a call to interview. 

I interviewed last Thursday, and I knew it went well. I mean, it should have gone well, they did give me the interview questions ahead of time. And yes, I studied and pre-answered the questions. Who wouldn't? I was confident that I would get a second interview. But what I was not expecting was to receive a job offer on Tuesday. 

I officially accepted the job yesterday, and gave my notice to the shop today. And it felt good.

They say always do it in writing...
My new adventure as a territory rep starts on October 21st. Wish me luck!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Crossfit: Week 2

Better late than never, here is the recap of my second week of Crossfit.

Tuesday, being my 5th time at the box, I felt confidant in coming in and starting my warm up. Run 400m, 10 sit ups, 10 push ups, 10 pullups, 10 back extensions, 10 squats. I got this. Dare I even say that pull ups were starting to feel better. Granted, I was still doing jump-ups, but the motion itself felt so much better. Like my muscles knew where to go.

After the warm up we started working on the new skills for the day, which included back squats, wall balls, wall climbs and hand stands. I opted not to attempt a handstand, although I'm fairly certain I can actually do one, because I was really self-conscious. The idea of my shirt creeping up and exposing my flabby, white, muffin top was enough to sideline that. I did, however, try and succeed at the wall climb (basically walking your feet up the wall into a handstand). 

300m Row
15 Wall Balls
10 Push Ups
5 Pull Ups

While I won't be recruited to a rowing team any time soon, I can hold my own on the rowing machine. If I concentrate, I even have decent form. Wall Balls, are another story. At a whooping 6lbs, I was given the littlest, lightest medicine ball at the box. I'll fully admit that even that felt heavy by the third round, but even more than that, I am still struggling with my squats. Some combination of lack of mobility and lack of strength, makes squatting really hard for me (can any other runners relate??).  Keeping my knees wide and my butt out is haaaard. Jump ups and push ups (from my knees) rounded out the workout. I was really pleased to not be the last to finish. I wasn't first by any means, but came in somewhere in the middle of pack at 12:27.

The biggest upset of the day was learning that Tuesday's instructor, Dori, was teaching her last day for the summer. I really liked Dori's softspoken, yet motivating personality. Plus she is really observant and kind. Great instructor! Turns out, in summer she stays busy with her own Paddlesculpt business...looks like I'll have to check that out this summer, too!!  

Wednesday, despite tired legs and swampy air, I headed out for a short 3m run. It was National Running Day, I couldn't not run. It ended up being my fastest, best run in MONTHS. I came homing feeling pleasantly exhausted and like I was actually making progress. Maybe there's something to this crossfit thing?!

I should back up and mention that at some point Tuesday I noticed that my abs were feeling more than sore. Given the wrong movement,  like a sit up, I was noticing a sharp pain in my right lower ab. Since it didn't consistently bother me, I pretty much ignored it. 

Thursday is when the wheels seemed to completely fall off the track. The day's warm up included 400m run, 10 GHD sit ups, 10 extensions, 10 wall squats, 5 pull ups, 5 broad jumps. On my very first GHD sit up it felt like someone stabbed my in the ab. Sharp, searing, awful pain. Rather than say something, I moved to the floor to do regular sit ups. Still painful, but I did them anyway. Because I'm stubborn and stupid. Broad jumps hurt. Even my jump up pull ups hurts. 

I knew I had pulled or tweaked something, but didn't want to say anything. Skills for the day included ring work, lateral hops and rope climb. On the rings we worked on stability holds, ring dips, ring rows and ring push ups. Let it just suffice to say that all things ring-related are hard, but the push ups are impossible. At this point, even the act of engaging my core to support a movement was becoming unbearable. But I still did my best to keep up, and not say anything.

Oh, the rope. I haven't gone near one of these since like middle school. And it wasn't good then, either. The crossfit claim is that rope climbs have nothing to do with upper body strength, that it's all in the legs. I would argue that if you don't have the strength to hold on to the rope, and I don't, it doesn't matter if your legs can propel you up the rope or not. But I tried. And then settled in Up-Downs instead, which were more than difficult enough for me.

10 Minuites, on the Minute
3 Back Squats
20 Lateral Hops

Starting at 0. and the top of every minute, meant another round of 3 back squats/20 lateral hops. I kept the weight low on my squats and focused on form because of my squatting difficulties and my sore ab, but holy shit, do lateral hops add up fast.  After only a few rounds I moved from the 12" hurdle to just hopping over a line in the mat. And that was still exhausting.

After everything was done, I decided I should probably ask about my abs and what sort of modifications I should make to let things rest and heal. Jill forbid me from doing any sit ups, and had me try a plank. After less than 10 seconds I had to stop because the pain was back. That's when she said her best, non-medical, advice was full rest for a few days. No running, no crossfit, no anything. I left knowing she was right, but wanting to cry. I had just started to build some momentum and feel like I could actually maybe do crossfit, and now this?

Who seriously pulls their ab msucles?!

The next 48hours were miserable. Coughing hurt. Sitting up was near impossible. Laughing was out of the question. I was waking up every time I rolled over. As much as I wanted to go to crossfit on Saturday I knew the smart decision was to keep resting.

Two steps forward, one step back.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Crossfit: Week 1

The last week of May was jam-packed with highs and lows--and busy! Started an "until something better comes along" job (with an unruly commute), unpacked more, planted our veggie garden, ran a little, and committed to month of crossfit.

After my exhausting crossfit intro class, I took a few days to think it over and recover. I looked at training plans and thought about to balance running, biking, maybe swimming, the occasional yoga class AND crossfit. And rest days, don't forget the rest days. It seemed like a daunting task, and June will be put to the test, but I've been told it can be done. And I'm going to try. So I took the plunge and registered for the beginner month at Tangletown Crossfit. I decided I really needed to commit 100% to the month to really know if crossfit was a good fit for me. So for 4-weeks I will be doing ridiculous things I never thought I was capable of doing 3-times a week. I'm also assuming I'll be sore for most of the month of June...

Crossfit: Week 1

Tuesday started off with me standing awkwardly aside at the box, while everyone around me seemed to know what to do be doing. It's a 4-week cycle, but not everyone is starting new at the same time. So there I was, the new girl. Tuesday's instructor, Dori, is a little ginger firecracker! Super friendly, pint-sized with a punch. After an exhausting warm up (400m run, 30sec L-sit, 10 sit ups, 10 wall squats, 10 pull ups, 10 broad jumps), we learned the ins and outs of the strict press and a basic kettle bell swing.

And then the WOD began.

12min AMRAP
5 Press
10 Kettle Bell Swings

I was sharing a station with another girl, and we agreed on a 33lb bar and a 10lb kettle bell. When the giant, intimidating, stop watch on the wall hit zero we had completed 10 rounds. I got busted for not using a heavier kettle bell, but was definitely feeling it by my last set of presses, so I think it worked out.

The weight I used for the WOD must not have been heavy enough, because my upper body wasn't sore at all after that. My quads and hams, however, were angry for several days. Too many squats.

Thursday I came into the box with a little better idea of what to do and where to go. Jill, another pint-sized, super-powered instructor, was really friendly and encouraging. I worked my way through another exhausting warm up (400m run, 10 GHD sit ups, 10 pull ups, 10 extensions, 10 broad jumps) and then worked on dead lifts, followed by 5 sets of 5 DL working towards a 5RM. I never found my 5RM because I was really unsure on how much weight to add at a time.

Pull Ups
Sit Ups
Kettle Bell SDLHP (Sumo Dead Lift High Pull)

I honestly wanted to throw up when I saw the work out. I can't do one pull up, let alone 21, 15 or 9. And certainly not 45. There aren't enough giant rubber bands at the box to propel me over the bar for a pull up. I had no idea what I was going to do. Jill was nice enough before the WOD began to talk me through pull ups and how to engage my lats to make it "easier." Mind you this entire conversation took place while she was effortlessly doing pull ups, occasionally hanging by one arm so she could gesture with the other, and never missing a beat. Or being out of breath. I'm not sure if I want to hate her, or be her.

My first set of 21 I started out pulling myself up maybe 3/4 of the way, with the help if a red and green band, but even that lasted only 14 or 15 reps. Eventually it was determined I would do jump-ups, and work on controlling the down motion of the pull up, with the help of a giant rubber band. Sit ups and SDLHPs challenging but doable, but those f'ing pull ups made me want to cry

I was definitely the last to finish this WOD. By like a minute or so. I don't even know what my final time was. Slow? I left the box exhausted and defeated, really wondering what I had gotten myself in to.

Saturday's class is led by Darcy, the box owner, who was the one who convinced me to give it a try in the first place. She claims to be 40 with two kids, but her six-pack showing through her fitted tank, would tell you otherwise. It started out with a similar warm up (400m run, 10 GHD sit ups, 10 pull ups, 10 extensions, 3 GHD extensions, 10 wall sits) followed by a demo on strict press, push press and push jerk.

Strict press, I can handle. Push press requires some thinking, but doable. Push jerk, however, requires way more coordination than I have. Luckily we focused on determining our strict press 5RM, and put the other two on the back burner...until the WOD

5 Rounds
3 Press
3 Push Press
3 Push Jerk
10 Sit Ups
15  Air Squats

We used 65% of our 5RM (mine was a measly 45lb) from our drills for the workout or, in my case, just the 33lb barbell. Once the timer started all I could think about was not wanting to be last, again. Anything but last. I found that I concentrate so hard on getting the lift just right that I tend to slow myself way down, but I suppose speed will come with practice and time.

There is also the fact that my quads still felt like they were going to explode from Tuesday's WOD. So that didn't help either.

I finished the WOD in 11:35, just 3 seconds before the last person.

And then, rubbery arms and all, we went outside to learn how to properly swing a sledge hammer into a giant tractor tire. I can't even make this stuff up. I would, however, recommend giving me plenty of room when I'm swinging a sledge hammer.

Week 1 is in the books and I am honestly excited to go back for week 2. I'm hoping that it will start to get easier with some time and practice, and that I will start to be more comfortable in my skin eventually. What this first week has taught me is that crossfit will never get boring, and that while some things may get easier, there will always be something challenging. And if someone as uncoordinated and weak as I am can do it, anyone can.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

You want me to pull what up?

Pull me up? Like, by my own strength? That's not going to happen.

And so began my foray into crossfit.

Truth be told, I've been curious about this cult-like fitness explosion for some time. The  people I know who partake, swear by it. The people I know who oppose it, swear against it. Where does this leave the people like me, no strong opinion, but a desire for a high and tight(ish) bod?

Back my good old days in Madison I had reached out to a few of the local crossfit boxes. Generally run out of oversized storage unit-like spaces, the rates seemed astronomical (still do) and the trainers intimidated the shit out of me. So I never took the proverbial plunge and tried it. Also, I should mention, I love me some carbs and sugar, which seems to be against crossfit's very being, so there's that.

In moving to Minneapolis I was talking with a my (only Minneapolis) friend's boyfriend who had just recently started crossfit at Tangletown Crossfit. I was shocked when I saw him because his pants were literally falling off him. After his intro month of 3x a week beginner crossfit classes, and "eating healthy," he had noticeably trimmed down. I was further convinced to test the waters when he told me about the all female trainers at his box. Ok, fine, I'll go to a free intro class.

On Monday I went to my intro class with the owner, Darcy, who according to her online bio is a runner and former competitive triathlete. I can dig that. She was super friendly via email and made it not entirely scary to come in. After a quick tour around the storage unit box, I was put to work.

Warm Up.

400m jog. Got this. BAM.

Pulls Ups. Here, use the fatty band to launch yourself up there. Nope. Ok, jump just enough to get yourself up, and control the down. I suppose if you ignore my flailing limbs, I accomplished the later. But it wasn't pretty. And that set of 10reps, made me want to die.

Ring Dips. Er, maybe we'll start with ring holds. Ahhh, maybe if we create a bouncy sling with the fatty band you'll be able to hold yourself up. Yep, that did. I found this one frustrating though, because given stationary surfaces, I can do tricep holds and dips. Rings? Not so much.

These first two exercises took me so long I missed the double-unders and push ups of the day's warm up. Oops.

WOD (workout of the day). Grace: 30 Clean & Jerks. Have you Olympic Lifted before? Nope, but I took weight training in high school. 13 years ago. Heh. In that case, here's a completely weightless piece of PVC pipe for you to practice with. And so with my PVC pipe in hand, I learned just how uncoordinated I really was. Good god, it was entertaining.  After 15 or so minutes working on my form and the general movement, I was upgraded to the baby bar, 11lb mini-weight bar, to start to get serious. After another 5 or so minutes, I even got to put weight on the baby bar. 10 whole pounds.

Then she programed a giant stop watch on the wall (not intimidating at all), circled us all up (also not intimidating), and told us to get ready for the WOD (wait, the last 20mins wasn't a part of it?!). Shit.

And the clock started.  Apparently the goal is to complete the WOD as quickly as possible, 12mins being the max. This is where my inability to multitask was truly tested because not only did I have to attempt to remember all of the steps and proper form of the clean & jerk, but I had to count. And move quickly. Heh. Right. I finished the the clock hit 12 minutes. That's right. My 21lb baby bar and I took the full 12mins to do 30reps. Granted, I was focused so hard on doing them correctly, I didn't count the ones that weren't correct. So in all fairness, I probably did more like 45-50. But who's counting (not me, obviously)?

The real humiliation was when Darcy, who's a TOTAL MILF btw, walked over to the giant dry erase board and added my name, time and weight to the list. Really? Was that necessary? I'm not even a paying member.

And that concluded my first ever crossfit attempt. As I type this, four days later, it still hurts to lift my arms over my head. And my triceps damn near explode anytime I push off them. But whatever.

Would I go back? Absolutely. Everyone was really friendly and encouraging. And despite my complete lack of coordination and strength, I had a good time. I left feeling thoroughly worked over (still do).

Can I afford to go back? Nope, not so much. Turns out there's a serious downside to funemployment. Womp womp womp.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Great @UHaul Debacle of 2013

I wish I would say that our move to Minneapolis was uneventful and easy. I wish I could say that we were able to throw some money at the move and have someone doe it for us. I wish I could say that is was stress-free.

But I'd be a liar.

As much as I begged and pleaded to hire movers for this move, the fact of the matter is that with an unplanned move like this, we just couldn't afford to. So as so many people do, we decided to rent a a truck and do it ourselves. Exhausting, dirty work, but by no means a mistake in and of itself.

The mistake we made was renting a truck from UHaul (the Atlas Ct. location in Madison, if you are looking for specifics).

So bright and early on Saturday April 27th, we drove over to our local UHaul and picked up our 26' truck and motorcycle trailer. We headed home and spent the next day and a half loading that truck to the brim. And let me tell you, schlepping boxes and furniture and all of your odds and ends turns out to be back-breaking work.

Mid-Sunday afternoon, after the last of the items had been wedged in the truck, our friend Ryan happened to notice a rather sizable puddle under the front of the truck. With his boy-knowledge he was able to identify the puddle as antifreeze. We popped the enormous hood of the truck to find, sure enough, a completely empty radiator (again deduced by his boy-kowledge). While this didn't initially mean that much to me, I was informed that without antifreeze the engine the engine would overheat and and go boom. Or something like that. Technicalities aside, this was not a good sign.

At approximately 2:45pm we called UHaul, who despite the truck being in our driveway less than a mile from the rental location, directed us to their roadside assistance. Before transferring us to roadside assistance, UHaul assured us that even if it meant towing the truck to MN for us, they would have of us there in time for our Monday afternoon final walk-through and close.

Roadside assistance was there within an hour to confirm our diagnosis of a broken radiator. They however had more bad news. This wasn't going to be an easy repair, but a pull and replace as the radiator was completely shot, and unfortunately this was not something they were able to do for us at that time. Well, that's going to be a problem. And that, my friends, is where any and all customer service from UHaul ends.

For the next 6hrs we got the run around from UHaul. We would call explain the situation and our timeline, and would be told someone would call us back in 15mins. Wash, rinse, repeat. Not once did someone call us back. Finally, at nearly 11pm we were presented with two options: they could give us a different truck in the morning (for us to unload/reload) or they could send someone out who would be able to replace the radiator. Seeing as there is NO WAY we were going to unload and reload a 26' truck, we went with the later option. We were assured we would have a fully functionally truck by 9am.

Riddle me this. What if we hadn't noticed the puddle under the truck in our driveway? What if this had happened on the side of the road? Would they have left us sitting on the side of the highway for 6+ hours? Overnight? Where would our belongings have ended up? Would we have been better off if that had been the outcome?

At 7am we get a call from the repair shop saying they'll be there to do the work in 30 or so minutes and that we should have the repaired truck back in 3-4hrs. Even elementary skool children can see that those numbers do not add up to 9am.

We finally got the truck back at nearly 12:30pm.

Given this several hour delay we had no choice but to reschedule our walk-through, and consequently our close, and book hotel rooms for the night. Thank you very much, UHaul.

At that point, there was nothing we could do but get on the road and hope this fine piece of well maintained machinery would get us to Minneapolis.

Drive, sleep, walk-through, close, unload, etc.

Fast forward to Wednesday. When we went to return the truck, the UHaul place up here had not been told the truck would be returned a day last, as they were supposed to be, and the guy was a major asshole to us. After some negotiations  we were able to convince him not to charge us for an additional day. Nice of him, right?

Despite Wyatt's many calls to UHaul at this point, and many promises of return phone calls, we still had not heard from them. It wasn't until I took to Twitter that we got our first response...

These tweets went round and around, as did the phone calls, with no resolution offered.

Finally, someone at UHaul tells us we need to speak with the manager of the location we rented from. In case you are wondering, the manager of the Atlas Ct. Madison UHaul location is Kerry Moes, and he is a deceitful, unprofessional, rude human being.

Despite the fact they his UHaul location RENTED US A BROKEN TRUCK he decided there was no refund necessary. That is of course after he lied about having any knowledge of our situation, which was not the case as he had made notes in the UHaul computer system on our case before speaking to us.

At some point in this process, Paul Cotton, a member of their very active social media team, authorized a refund of our unexpected hotel expenses, but I'm not actually sure we ever received this refund to our credit card.

So here were are now, nearly a month after this incident began, still with no resolution, refund or response from UHaul.

I cannot begin to tell you how appalled I am by UHaul's lack of customer service and professionalism. I'm also concerned by the fact that they rented us a BROKEN truck. Do they not look over their trucks before renting them out? Especially trucks that they know are going out of city, not to mention out of state.

If you can relate to what we went through with UHaul, or have a similar UHaul story to share, I encourage you to do so! Share it in the comments, tweet about, get the word out! I'd also love it if you would help me spread our UHaul experience by sharing this post far and wide. This sort of behavior is unacceptable and we as consumers shouldn't be victims of it.


Friday, April 26, 2013

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Over the past six months I've struggled with family, work, weight, anxiety, and life in general. But when something as senseless as the bombing of the Boston Marathon finish line happens, it really puts things in perspective.

I am still able to appreciate the sunshine, go for a run, and hug the ones I love. I will go on to run races and cheer for my friends at others.

Sadly there are those that cannot say that after yesterday. And that breaks my heart.

For most runners, toeing the line of the Boston Marathon is a dream come true. Something they worked and trained for for years. For their family and friends who are there supporting them, this is a heartwarming and proud moment for them. The kind of moment that erases all of the time without their loved one because they were training. The kind of moment where pictures will be snapped, tears will be shed and sweaty hugs will be given.

Someone had the audacity to senselessly attack the spectators and participants of the Boston Marathon. And that makes me mad.

But like so many runners, I will lace up my shoes today, this week, next week, and I will #runforboston. I will wave to my fellow runners. And I will know that I am a part of a resilient and pretty amazing community that will keep moving forward. One step at a time.

Original image from Shape

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.

Or so society would have you believe. I, however, would disagree.

I just don't understand society and our unhealthy obsession with body image, especially when it comes to women. In fact, I would go a step further than not understanding to say that I find society's expectations disgusting and infuriating. From a young age girls are

Be sexy, but not too sexy.
Be skinny, but not too skinny.
Be flawless, but not too flawless.

I am fortunate, most days, to be the advisor of my college sorority. I see smart, ambitious, outgoing young women working together to achieve some pretty amazing things. The friendship and sisterhood they share keeps my belief in the goodness of the organization alive. However, I also see the damaging effects of the unrealistic standards of society. Beautiful, intelligent young women thinking they need to lose weight or wear a shorter skirt to be confident and liked. And in the scheme of things, it's probably true.

I wish I could tell these young women, and even myself really, that there is so much more to size of your jeans, your perfect highlights, or whether or not you have the much coveted thigh gap, and really mean and believe it. I mean, in my oversized gut, I know how much more there is not be a good person than what's on the outside, but that does mean it's easy to be a female and turn the other cheek to society's expectations.

When will society embrace healthy? Intelligent? Ambitious? When will we celebrate the accomplishments of the less than beautiful by putting their smiling faces on the cover or magazines? When will the leading lady of must see sitcom or blockbuster movie be a perfectly normal size 10?

If we put half as much energy into creating a healthy society as we do idolizing the skinny, sexy flawless models and starlets, think of where we could be.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

365 Days of Healthy

I realized just before Christmas, like really realized, that I was not at all happy with my body. That I had in fact reached an all time high on the scale and that my clothes were much less flattering than they could be. This is the sort of realization that made me want to eat a Culver's turtle sundae using French fries as my spoon. But that sort of coping mechanism is, in part, what got me here.

Sure, 2012 was a bastard. It kicked me more than once when I was already down. The past few months have been a shit-storm of stress. And sleepless nights. And finding comfort in food. By at the end of it all, I'm still stressed and now I'm fat.

Something had to change.

That's when I decided that I needed to start making better decisions. Eat smarter, sleep better, move my body more. And so, day by day, I am trying to do that.

So my New Year's
ResolutionCommitment is to be healthier.

Eat Healthier. Make better food choices, watch my portions, count my calories, be accountable.

Move More. Run, swim, bike, lift, bend and walk my way to a healthier me.

Stress Less. Heh. Right. But I can try to breath more and focus on what's important.

If I can commit to making better decisions every day I know that I will achieve my goals not only of a smaller number on the scale, but of a healthier, happier me.

So here's to 2013 and my 365 Days of Healthy.

- Typos courtesy of my iPad