Thursday, January 26, 2012

Senior Spring

senior spring: a quest for happiness, avoiding senioritis, attempting to eat healthy, striving to stay active... and most importantly figuring out what do you do with a BFA in theater

it's absolutely crazy, Monday was my last first day of school. Aspects of college have gone by so fast, yet other parts feel so long ago-- almost like it wasn't my life because I'm so far removed from it. While a part of me is terrified of the "real world" I have been told horror stories about, this other part of me is so very ready to graduate and be done with college.

All break I answered the dreaded question about what's next. I always feel so self conscious answering that question as if people are judging my dreams and aspirations on the spot. There are a lot of paths and ideas that I currently have and frequently discuss with my parents to make sure I'm not crazy. There are a million things I want to do with my life-- live in a state that is not new york, live somewhere warm, travel, become a certified group fitness trainer, work for a gym, make my broadway debut, get paid to act, get a masters degree.
I am only 21 and honestly, i think I can accomplish a decent amount of the above. At this moment I am just unsure of the order to go about it.

It's the beginning of a new semester, and my last semester and I've set up some goals for myself and things I want to change in my last semester-- habits I want to instill before the "real world", and things that will hopefully make me far more functional

become one of those people that exercises in the morning
The reasoning behind this is more than just being cruel to myself. No one can schedule a rehearsal or a meeting at 7AM. If i can get one work out in before school, then its okay if something gets in the way after.

So far I am trying super super hard. Monday I don't start class until later, so taking "cardio groove" at 9:30 wasn't a struggle. Tuesday my bed was far too warm and cozy to think of leaving it at 6:15AM. Today I shocked myself and got out of my warm bed at 6:15AM for YOGA... yoga of all exercises. I hate yoga! i hate waking up early! but the combo actually worked-- after taking the hour long yoga class I was super warmed up and ready for my 9AM dance class. I've also felt really awake all day which is shocking considering I left my apartment before the sun was up. It's a start!

keep my apartment stocked with healthy foods
if there are fresh, healthy options for snacks, then I will eat these healthy options. I'm starting off small-- stocked my fridge with apples, hummus, baby spinach, strawberries and yummy salad dressings. I've accepted that I will never feel comfortable cooking, and especially not in my teeny tiny kitchen, but there are simple things I can prepare for myself that are also good for me.

So far I've been on top of thinking about all my meals and making good decisions-- not just resorting to carb heaven for every single meal. Have lots of fruits and hummus in my fridge has made snacking much easier and guilt free.

stop eating peanut butter out of the jar
it's simple, but a thoughtful way to change the way I eat. I can eat peanut butter in a sandwich or with veggies all I want, but no more sticking a spoon in there. So far, so good.

actually stay on top of my work
like all college students, I love to procrastinate, and I particularly love to procrastinate by treating myself to broadway shows and spending the night at the gym taking every fitness class offered. I will do everything in my power to do work before it is done, and memorize things well in advanced for class

read more
the stack of New York Magazine currently littering my kitchen counter needs to be read. Also, the growing list of books I've wanted to read

and lastly blog
I don't know why I'm fascinated by blogs, but I have been for awhile. Over winter break I got addicted to following various fitness and food related blogs. Am I particularly oh so brilliant and fascinating that people need to read about my life? Meh.
but at the very least I want to track my senior spring and my plunge into "the real world". In addition to my self centered reasoning there are other people out there- people who are terrified of their kitchen and raw chicken, people who are obsessed with group fitness class,  people who are addicted to peanut butter, college students trying to stay healthy, and of course musical theater lovers.

to the beginning of the end
end of the beginning.
whatever that means.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Kayla in the Suburbs: What I learned from Winter Break

1. The art of a "staycation"
I heard the words "Oh yeah, we met him at the hot tub the other night" come out of my mouth one night at zumba while I was being introduced to someone. It was then that I realized this winter vacation had truly become a vacation-- despite the frigid new york temperature, lack of palm tree, and sleeping in my childhood bedroom.
I spent the break making the most of the amenities my gym had to offer with my good friends. We swam in the pool, relaxed in the hot tub, sweated in the sauna, and danced to latin music in zumba. Because of this I felt like I was on a staycation. It didn't matter that I was stuck in Wesctchester instead of frying in the sun at Club Med Cancun. I had found that same state of relaxation mixed with activity at my gym.

2. Just Freaken Do It
During the school year it is easy to come up with excuses for why I can't go food shopping-- too tired, I'm holding too many books, its raining, blah blah blah. The same goes for returning phone calls, unpacking, etc.
This break I adopted the philosophy to just freaking do it. If i thought about a task and had time to accomplish it, I had to do it.
Despite how sweaty and tired I was post working out, if I needed to go to the mall, I went to the mall on the way home. If i thought about an email i needed to reply to, instead of marking it as unread I had to reply right then and there.
I hope to keep this going during the school year and put an end to avoiding food shopping and doing laundry 

3. have an overall goal for break, and accomplish it
It is really easy to get in the habit of doing nothing over winter break. Sometimes that is LOVELY, I've definitely spent my previous winter breaks home from college staying up until the sunrise in a friend's basement and then sleeping until 4pm. There is nothing wrong with this, but that is not the kind of break I wanted to have.
I decided to join a gym in Westchester one, because I DO enjoy working out and two, because it would give me purpose. I made it my goal to go to the gym basically every day unless I was out of town (AMERICAN IDIOT UTICA!) or fully booked all day. I even kept this vow while I was in the city and utilized both gym memberships a decent amount this break.
I never have this kind of free time during the school year to take every kind of gym class, and go to the gym consistently, so I am glad that I made working out my absolute priority this break.

4. Make the transition to school easier
I have avoided at all costs reverting to my natural nocturnal state-- staying up all night and sleeping all day, by forcing myself to go to early morning gym classes, and making plans earlier in the day than I normally would have. A year ago I never ever ever would have imagined waking up at 7:30AM to attend aqua zumba ON THE WEEKEND, but because I kept to this go to bed early, wake up early schedule, going back to my early morning schedule at college will be easy peasy. 

5. make it the break you want it to be
so I arguably did nothing this break except hang out at club fit, go to the diner, and other local restaurants, but that is exactly what I wanted this break to be.
I also did a few other things like 
--road trip with my boyfriend to Utica to witness the first ever performance of American Idiot on Tour (and introduce my boyfriend to my true love-- Idiot).
--I made HUGE strides in my newest trapeze trick-- the layout, which is SO CLOSE to being catchable
-- try out pound at crunch!
-- saw Lin Manuel Miranda's newest creation "the alexander hamilton mix tapes" 
-- learned how to solve a rubiks cube (SERIOUSLY!)
-- finally made a work resume (hire me!)
-- started planning out things for fall 2012- researching options and applying to programs

Winter break easily could have become a waste of time and a month of being a slug, but by being productive and having simple goals and aspirations for things to accomplish this break, it turned out to be an awesome, fitness filled month.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Kayla in the Suburbs: Socializing while you Sweat

me and my super tall, wonderful and pink clad gym buddies Sarah & Annica

I'm used to working out alone. As much as I love going to the gym and get obsessed with certain trainers and classes at Crunch, its hard to feel motivated to sweat when I just wanna sit around and watch Modern Family. 

Over this break I experienced for the first time true gym-buddies. Almost every day the three of us pictured above in obnoxious pink, would coordinate what classes we wanted to take (basically zumba, zumba and more zumba). Afterwards we would go out for lunch or dinner, and then sit down for an extremely long time at someone's house, exhausted from our gym-tivs.

I've never had gym buddies before, but I must say it's pretty awesome and I recommend it.

Perks of having gym buddies:

-- Going to the gym can feel like a hassle, and like I'm missing out on plans with my friends. By going to the gym with two of my closest friends, I didn't feel like I was missing out on anything.
-- I'm a bit terrified of swimming and avoid the water at the gym. If i had to pass the deep water class at day camp, I'd probably fail miserably. However, my two gym buddies are certified life guards and enjoy water classes. Going with them encouraged me to go to Aqua Zumba-- a hilarious and awesome variation of my beloved dance class.... And I felt super safe with even more life guards near by.....
-- I'm not a morning person, at all, but making plans to work out at 9AM with friends makes it worthwhile to wake up. There was someone to hold me accountable because I let them down if i decided to sleep in. It was nice when I felt like the only college student awake that early to get text messages from the other two while we got ready for super early morning aqua zumba
-- we soon made all our plans revolve around our favorite gym classes. during the summer we used to go out for dinner with all our friends every wednesday, but our favorite zumba class was on wednesday nights so we had dinner on tuesday instead.
-- we also knew when to split up, we loved taking group fitness classes together, but also knew when to do our own thing. Sometimes they would swim in the lap pool, and i would pretend I could swim in the shallow pool. We worked on different things in the weight room, but generally met up again to go in the hot tub or out to eat after.
-- because we were a mini group, we met other people as well. The first day of zumba we didn't know anyone, but now we've met a bunch of people who are as obsessed as we are.
-- the instructors started to recognize us and give us feedback since we travelled in a pack and were younger than most regulars. 

Sadly, Annica already went back to college in Pennsylvania, and I only have one more day of gym-tivs with Sarah, but we will be back at club fit, making friends with everyone, and being obnoxious soon enough.

I'm surprised actually how awesome of a winter break I've had when it's been pretty low-key and I've barely left New York State. I kept on track with my fitness goals, utilized both my gym memberships, and enjoyed mixing sweating with socializing.
I'm gonna miss having gym buddies and allowing my social life to revolve around Club Fit