Sunday, January 20, 2013

How Sofia Got Her Sparkle Back!

Woke up today knowing I've got my groove back. 

Last week was rough, between preparing for clinic, training, studying and changing my eating I was spreading myself pretty thin. On top of that I am convinced the moon or atmosphere was out of whack! 

Once I started reaching out, I was amazed by all the people around me who were ready to support, listen and care for me. I had a few negative interactions this week that were also pulling me down, but it's important to take those relationships and interactions with a grain of salt. I'm not going to please everyone or be liked by everyone. I know who I am and what I am interested in, and I need to keep seeking out the people whose interests align with my own. Luckily, there are tons of you down here in Tampa!! 

Even better, I have people all over the country looking out for me! Not only did my friend Blakeley send me this awesome text last night (which brought the biggest smile to my face!!), but my friend Courtney tagged me in this picture: 

Also brought a smile and even a few tears. I haven't seen either of these ladies in a very long time, but it feels great to have friends like them supporting me and encouraging me! 

Learned some lessons last week, but I am glad it is over! On to the next. Because this week I am going to have my very first client. EVER. I love this field because it leads to so many interesting conversations. Everyone has a story to share that somehow relates that what I am learning and the skills I am desperately trying to acquire. Last night was no exception. I met someone who told me about his mother's experience post-stroke with an SLP. It was an incredibly positive experience and he had nothing but praise for the profession. Stories like that simultaneously inspire and intimidate me! I can't wait until I make that impact in someone's life, but I'm terrified it will be awhile. Because I have no idea what I am doing. 

A professor, who completed her graduate degree at USF, said it perfectly: 

"Graduate school is like blindfolding yourself and being placed in a large, dark room. Then being instructed to find the door. The only way to find the door is to run full speed into the walls. And as your doing you keep asking why someone can't show you the door. And they say, 'We can't show you the door. This is the way you find the door.'" 

So I'm thrilled to be out of my funk and ready to focus trying to find the door this week. The bruises will be shortly forgotten because next weekend is: GASPARILLA!

Gasparilla is the celebration of the fictional pirate Jose Gaspar who was said to have operated out of the Tampa area in the late 18th century. This weekend was the children's parade. 

Parents went all out making cute "floats" like this one for their children to have while attending the parade. Thats right, the children in attendance had these! They weren't even in the parade. I'm not sure I still can appreciate how much Tampa loves Gasparilla! 

But I'm starting to get an idea! Met up with a friend yesterday morning to bike around to some boutiques in search for some Gasparilla themed garb. After a quick lunch (salad!), we mobbed over to the kids parade. This was at the beginning of the parade, within seconds we were surrounded by children (and cornered by strollers)! It was fun to see and hear all of the excitement in the children. I've never seen people so excited and competitive about getting pieces of plastic! I'm a little worried about what the adults are going to look like next weekend. 

I have no idea what Flamingos have to do with pirates, but the perks of the children's parade included live animals from the zoo. He was trying to encourage the children to take their picture with the Flamingo, but they were too scared. Obvi I had to jump in there! This Flamingo is 16 years old, and it turns out they can live to be over 45. Who knew? 

Anywhoo, next weekend is the big shindig - complete with pirate invasion (traditionally a Navy ship was used with pirate ships "attacking" it), parade, fireworks, morning parties and afterparties. Think Mardi Gras meets Pirates. For my Seattle people, its like Mardi Gras meets SeaFair meets Opening Day! The festivities last several weekends, including a night parade in Ybor that I imagine turns into Mardi Gras meets Vegas. There is something for everyone and I am ready to see what it is all about. 

Which brings me around to AdvoCare and my 24 Day Challenge. I was speaking to a friend yesterday, saying this might have been the worst time to start a "diet" especially one that is strick about the alcohol. But AdvoCare isn't a diet. Yes, there is a Challenge component here. And yes, it has some strict guidelines, but it is in no way a diet. My friend Emma put it well here: 

She is both a consumer and a distributor and has had amazing results with both sides of AdvoCare. Here's where I am going with this: I might not be "perfect" over the next few weeks, but that is ok. I'm not cheating or a cheater if I choose to make a non-AdvoCare choice. What I love about AdvoCare is it helps me think about all of my nutritional choices, because every time I put something in my mouth I make a choice - and as long as I own that choice everything is all good. I'm grateful to have focused on my nutrition right before the debauchery ensues next weekend, because I don't want to get sucked into getting out of control. I might indulge a little, but I don't want to let myself go overboard just because "I'll start next weekend." Life doesn't ever get paused, everything I do in this moment counts. I'm not dieting, I'm becoming intentional and conscious of my nutrition every day! 

And speaking of nutrition here is a little something I finally worked up the courage to make for myself: 

The Petite Athleat's Creamy Dreamy Protein Custard Oats 

I was scared of the eggs. 

But no need to be - they add extra protein a creaminess to my very favorite breakfast food. 

I used Trader Joe's oats I brought back with me from Seattle. Gluten free and yum-yum-yummy! 

Half a cup of oats, with just enough water to start floating (about 3/4 cup), zapped for two minutes in the microwave. Add two eggs and stir! Zap for 30 seconds, stir. Zap for 30 more seconds, then let sit for minute. A fun custard top will form (that I forgot to snap a picture of), and the extra minute will ensure that the eggs cook all the way. 

Have fun with the toppings! I only had blackberries on hand, but anything would be good with these oats. It was so rich, I couldn't eat the whole thing. But what I did eat stuck with me yesterday through my 35 mile ride and my fun ride through downtown Tampa before the kids parade! 


So I'm ready to move on, I'm taking the lessons of last week with me, but leaving the negativity. 

 Especially as it relates to my training. This last week sucked epically. But that is ok. I train for Sofia, and am accountable only to myself. I'm going to give myself the opportunity to build back up. 

 And my new Pure running shoes from Brooks could use some more miles and loving -- and they are going to get it! Stacking the miles early in the week so I can partake of the fun next weekend. Starting with a 50 mile ride + 20 min run tomorrow. I'd say wish me luck, but I don't need it!! 

So that is where I am at. These next few weeks are going to be tough! I'm going to keep throwing myself at the walls, in hopes of finding my miracle therapy door! I'm going to keep attacking my 70.3 training (with a smile on my face). And I'm going to keep reaching out to the people that have made it clear they care about me. I really have made some wonderful friends down here and I can't stress enough how grateful I am for their friendship. If you are reading this: thank you, thank you for putting up with my fogginess this week. I'm so excited to continue this adventure and to continue to grow and find myself. 

xoxo Sweat&Sparkle 

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