There are days when I am very happy without knowing why. Days when I am happy to be alive and breathing, when my whole being seems to be one with the sunlight, the color, the odors, the luxuriant warmth of some perfect sunny day. I live for these days, and on these days I like to wander alone into strange and unfamiliar places.

Monday, February 13, 2012

CrossFit High...and Low

I might be taking baby steps, but it's a lot of baby steps in different areas, so I'm pretty excited about it. I've come home from a few workouts recently on a total high, like a runner's high but longer-lasting.

I think the two big things that stand in my way are my lack of flexibility and self-doubt. Despite the baby steps forward, I don't know why I still doubt myself all the time. I am not that way at work, and I know myself well enough to know how I feel about stuff (so usually doubt is a sign that something's not right). So why here? I've confused nervousness with doubt in the past, and now I can tell the difference. It's a sequence of feelings...nerves start in the stomach and then get in my head, but doubt starts in the head and travels everywhere else. I hear the doubt more often these days, and I'm not sure why. I don't feel like I'm past my rut just yet, but at this point it's purely mental.

Each day I go in trying to adopt a can-do attitude, and then I start the doubting...mix that with excitement and happiness to be there and you've got yourself a weird combo of feelings. 

Talking out nerves helps me, rather than staying quiet. If I get the nerves out in the universe, I get them away from me. However, I've been doing that with the doubt, and that's not the way to get it out of my mind. What I need to do is just say (to myself)...well...what can I say? It's never easy or not-tiring or I feel like a fake saying something to the effect of I'm going to kick this WODs ass. Let's be honest, it's my ass that always gets kicked (but isn't that the whole point?). So what can I say? I guess it's a confidence thing. Must work on it! So feel free (any of you) to tell me to shut up and get moving. I suppose I should focus on the things I am getting better at (and just keep practicing the rest). At least the flexibility I work on more easily (though not, I repeat NOT, less painfully). Boy am I pathetic when it comes to stretching. I get stuck more often that I care to admit. Will be adding morning and night stretches to my day, dog obstacles and all.

In other news, I am a bit nervous to see the results of this Paleo Challenge. I have lost a bit of weight (but that wasn't really the goal, and I don't care about that), but what I really want to see is a lower body fat percentage and more muscle definition. I think (THINK) I'm starting to see that...which is kinda cool. I actually thought my arm was swollen the other day, but actually that's some muscle popping through (yes...laugh it up). I just had never noticed it before, so it surprised me. And officially, my favorite pair of jeans does not fit well any more. Sadness. My hands have also healed up and no longer hurt just gripping the bar (woo!). I think they've toughened up more too.

As far as food goes, I'm back on track this week. I got a crock pot and now have no idea how I ever lived without one. Especially for someone who really struggles to prepare meat well (I panic and overcook it, just in also skeeves me out to handle a lot, though I'm getting better). I got it and threw in a piece of beef with some onions and spices, left it overnight, and bam! Um...I wanted to eat the whole two pounds right then and there. Holy crap. Paired some shredded beef with green beans for dinner that night.

I attempted to make "red velvet" cupcakes with beets and applesauce...but they turned out funky. I mean...the texture was awesome, and I liked the icing (who knew cashews could turn into icing???), but they still tasted like...beets. And I like beets, BUT, I wanted a cupcake. I successfully made yellow paleo cupcakes, but these I'm going to have to work on. Oh well! Live and learn.
It looked better than it tasted
 I also made some keylime pie that did turn out pretty good (I just wanted a lime-ier kick, so I'll add more lime juice next time). Tried out a pumpkin chocolate and lemon-blueberry tart as well. The crusts I winged and used a mix of finely ground walnuts and some almond meal mixed with coconut oil, cinnamon, and nutmeg. The pumpkin chocolate version had no added sugar at all (no honey, agave, fruit, etc.), but then I threw a few dark chocolate chips on top. The lemon-blueberry had a tsp. of honey in it, as did the keylime.

Oh, and beet and sweet potato chips with babaganoush is about the best little snack ever (after apples with almond butter).

Not a whole lot else to report at this point. I'm signed up for the CrossFit Open, which starts February 22nd, and is five weeks long with a new WOD each week. I can post my scores and see how I compare to the rest of the country. Should be fun! I'm planning to attend the CrossFit Games in July (the culmination of the Open, after Regionals, etc.) in California to see those incredible athletes compete. I'm already itching to compete again, so this will be a blast!

And finally...a big thank you to my fellow all are an amazing group of people, and I look forward to seeing everyone at the gym (and outside it) each week. 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

WODfest and the Halfway Point

It's been four weeks since I started the Paleo challenge, and this past week was rough. Due to WODfest last Saturday the 28th (more on that soon), I spent Sunday catching up on sleep and taking care of my poor, sore body. This means I did not cook at all, and therefore had little food ready for the week ahead. Saturday's eating threw off my pattern (I snacked minimally all day and feasted late), and I barely ate Sunday. The entire week consisted of me piecing together bits of food to form meals (kind of), and for whatever reason, I was starving all week, but nothing was appealing. Because of this, I found it hard to eat, but then I'd get so hungry I'd need something immediately, and I didn't have much prepared, so I got to the point of being too hungry to eat. It was a bad, cyclical combo.
Protein balls (popular snack at WODfest)
Not only that, but I didn't sleep well (or enough), and the one day I got to the gym, we did the death by pullups wod, and my hands hurt just touching the bar. I spent most of the time trying to tape up more, but by minute ten, I had ripped and had to stop. I did my own home WOD on Thursday since I didn't want to get stuck in the snowstorm, and that was decent (other than tripping over my jump rope and dogs) at least. By Saturday, I had called the week a wash and decided it would be better to start fresh on Monday. At least I made one good dish this week!
Beef, zucchini, sweet potato casserole
I'm not sure why this week was so rough for me. I think I was still a little let down from Saturday's competition and let that get to me more than I should have. The actual competition, being there, having others from D-Town competing, supporters showing up...all of that was wonderful. I'd spend every Saturday like that if I could. It made me miss all of the competitions I used to go to (swim meets, horse shows, softball games, etc.) and how much I enjoy competition. The only competitive events I've done in the last seven or so years have been running races, and I'm typically flying solo on those. I go, I run, I leave. I'm not much of a "stay for the after party" kind of girl when I came alone in the first place. Running is solitary for me, and I prefer it that way, so it's hard for me to switch gears and become social after a race. This competition though, was a chance to meet other CrossFitters and also hang with and cheer on my fellow D-Towners.

After seeing the workouts posted on Tuesday (the 24th), I spazzed, realizing that all of the workouts were similar and had some of my weakest skills in them. I went back and forth and back and forth, and back and forth again about dropping down to the scaled weight division (instead of the prescribed weight division that I was in). I wanted to be competitive, and I knew I wouldn't be in prescribed weight, but since I was already signed up for it, I felt like I would be chickening out or giving up by dropping down to scaled (even though scaled is still a hell of a workout and NOT easy). After sending some panicked texts, and having nightmares about the WODs, I decided to stay at prescribed weight (Rx) even though I knew I probably wouldn't finish the workouts in the time allowed. I felt like I had trained for a half-marathon, but was signed up for a marathon. By that Friday, I had relaxed (outwardly) about the whole ordeal and figured it wouldn't kill me, either way. I just didn't want to be the jackass who couldn't finish while everyone else is done. Trainers assured me that I would not be the only one struggling. HA! is what I thought.

I won't into major detail about each workout, but I started at 8:15 a.m, poorly warmed up and nervous as hell. This workout I thought I'd at least finish, but I got stuck on round one with repeated efforts that weren't counted (some rightly so). I will say that at least I didn't lose my cool. I stayed smiling instead of crying or yelling, and despite my shoulder screaming in pain, I kept going. That I can be proud of, but I'm not proud of how crappy my form was and how slowly I moved.


My second workout, I hit the ground running and pushed from the beginning. I got stuck on ring dips, which I knew would happen, but dammit, I finished the first round of them at least. It was really frustrating to get so close to some reps but not be able to lock out my arms that last bit. I was trying to push myself, but every time I was not "ready" but went for it anyways, I failed, so I got incredibly frustrated. I went from upset to angry within two dips.
Awesome bruising from ring dips

I was not about to be no-repped on thruster
By the third workout (around 4:00 p.m.), I was spent. I did my wall climbs, surprisingly well, and then got stuck on pullups, only finishing one at a time instead of linking them.

All in all, I was disappointed with my overall performance. I know I pushed myself, but I feel like I did it at all the wrong times, and wasn't able to when it mattered. I was incredibly proud of my teammates though. It was amazing to watch them push and compete like the beasts that they are. I have the utmost respect for each of them for their abilities and efforts. We also had about 15 people from D-Town show up just to support us, which was incredible. I would not have been as "composed" (HA) as I was without having all of them there. We all went to dinner afterwards (Fogo de Chao, compliments of D-Town's owner), and again it was great to be around such a fantastic group.

 *So this week, I'm starting over again. I have food prepared, a shopping list, and four days signed up in the gym. I'm also trying to get running back in the mix since that hasn't happened much since I started CrossFit, and I miss it. Maybe that will help clear my head and get back on track. 

P.S. I finally got up enough balls to shave down my calluses so I don't tear so much at the gym. AGH! Freaks me out.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Paleo Foods and Recipes

Nearing the end of week three of this Paleo challenge, and I have tried so many new recipes that I just why haven't I eaten like this before? I don't necessarily feel more energetic, but I don't get drained as easily (even on the really long days), and I will say my stomach definitely has not felt upset for any reason. I also haven't been letting myself get overly hungry, and when I do start getting hungry, I'm reaching for one of my many prepared snacks.

In particular, I am surprised how much I like the baked goods I've made. Not using mounds of sugar and bleached flour doesn't make things any less tasty, that's for sure! And if you know me, you know how much I love to bake, so quite a few of the new recipes are for baked goods.

A few of the recipes I will use repeatedly are:

No-Bake Protein Bars

2 cups nuts (I used almonds, macadamia, and hazelnuts)
1/2 cup flax seed
1/2 cup almond or sunbutter
1/2 cup pure whey
1/3 cup dried fruit
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 tbs vanilla

Put nuts, flax, sea salt in food processor and chop up (some big chunks remaining work well).
Melt coconut oil, almond butter, and vanilla together.
Pour the nut mixture into the melted oil/butter/vanilla and add whey and dried fruit.
Mix everything evenly and pour into a 10x8 inch (ish) pan.
Stick it in the fridge for an hour.

You can also add 1/2 cup shredded coconut, but my spin was adding 1/4 cup chopped, freeze-dried bananas.

If you want a chocolate kick, either add dark chocolate chips to the mix or melt some dark chocolate and coconut oil on the stove, pour over bars and cool in the fridge.

The bars will keep better in the fridge, but they travel fine without staying cool. They are great for a snack when you are on the go, and are easy to change up and create your own version.

For the baked version, simply add 3 eggs, 2 more tbs vanilla, 1/2 cup almond meal, and bake at 350 for 15 minutes. I like the no bake version better because they stay moist, whereas the baked ones tend to dry out.

These are more expensive to make (the nuts in particular are pricey), but they are definitely less expensive than buying your own protein bars! Plus, the recipe yields 12-18 bars, and are much healthier.

Zucchini Noodles

2 small zucchinis
1/4 tsp salt
3 eggs
1 tbs almond mealflour
1/2 tsp coconut oil
1 clove garlic

Julienne the zucchini and place in a colander or wire strainer and toss with the salt until coated. Allow to sit for 20 minutes to drain excess water, then rinse and pat dry with paper towels.

Heat a pan over medium-high heat. Mix the almond flour with the coconut oil, sprinkle it with a smidgen of salt, then sauté in the pan, stirring often with a wooden spoon, until it’s toasty brown, about 1 minute. Remove from pan and save for garnish.

Return the pan to the heat and add the zucchini noodles. Sauté until just tender, about 1-2 minutes. Push the noodles to the side of the pan, and reduce heat to medium-low. Wait a minute; it’s essential that the pan cools down before adding the eggs. Add the olive oil and garlic. When the garlic is fragrant, about 20 seconds, pour in the eggs and allow them to cook until just beginning to set a tiny bit. Mix the zucchini noodles into the egg and continue to stir gently and continuously until the egg is set and clinging to the noodles. Add the almond crumble mixture to the top and salt/pepper to taste. Fresh parsley is good on top too. This one is amazing...I do NOT miss pasta with this option lying around.

Buttery leeks with eggs

2 leeks
2 eggs
Bacon, sausage, or chicken
1 tbs coconut butter (could use real butter too)
1/2 tsp white pepper (or really any seasoning you like)

Cut leeks lengthwise and then in 1/2 inch segments. Melt butter in pan on stove (low-medium heat) and add leeks. Saute leeks for about 10 minutes until tender (not brown). Prepare eggs however you like them and add the white pepper to these (I prefer scrambled).

Put leeks down on a plate, add eggs on top, add meat on top of that, and indulge. I paired mine with some warm berries and walnut crumble.

Gingerbread Cake (this is a good splurge cake)

1 cup pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
1 cup almond butter  
1/4 cup honey
1 tbs pure maple syrup
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

Melt the honey and almond butter together in a large bowl. Mix together and slowly add the rest of the ingredients. Mix until smooth. Bake in a cake pan (either round or 8x8) at 350 for about 25 minutes (make sure center is cooked all the way through).

If you're feeling like you need icing...

1/3 cup coconut butter
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Melt all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk (or use hand beater) until the mixture becomes whipped. Pour on top of cooled cake (the cake HAS to be completely cooled or else it will be a mess!) and garnish with walnuts or almonds or cinnamon or all of the above.

Egg Cupcakes

10 eggs
1 zucchini
1 cup spinach
1/2 cup meat of your choice (bacon or sausage is best)

Put zucchini and spinach in food processor and chop until fine. Pour into a bowl, add eggs, and whisk  together. Add meat of choice. Ladle mixture into a well-oiled cupcake tin (seriously...I oiled mine and these still stuck like crazy!), or use cupcake liners, at about 2/3 the way full. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. These can freeze and be reheated and you're more than welcome to experiment with veggies and spices!

All in all, I'm liking this style of eating. It's not nearly as limited as I had originally thought (in fact, I'm pretty sure you can find a way to make almost anything). They key is to prepare stuff ahead of time. So I've been spending my Sundays grocery shopping, prepping, and cooking for the week ahead.

  It makes for a cozy rest day :-)
Ready to cook/eat celery, bacon, radishes, leeks, turnips, and protein bars. 

I've also found some great recipe blogs that give me ideas, if nothing else, of foods and preparations to try. ChowStalker is great! Not all of the recipes are Paleo, but most are. This blog has some tasty recipes as well (where I got the gingerbread cake recipe).

Other things I've made include my own jerky (turned out better than I expected), cupcakes (YES), curried almond chicken (yum!), root veggie chips, chicken soup, and curried bacon. I never knew how delicious curried bacon was until I ate some at the was so good I had to go to the store immediately to buy stuff so I could make my own.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Goals/Paleo Cooking

There are 3 workouts that we completed the first week of the Paleo Challenge that we will repeat at the end of the challenge, in 8 weeks to see what the new diet (and hard work) can do. 

Our first WOD to redo at the end of the challenge was to row 1000m, do 50 thrusters with 35lbs, and then 30 pullups. I completed this at Rx in 12 minutes and 47 seconds. The pullups definitely were my weakness here, so hopefully I can get faster at those.
Kipping pull-ups

Our second WOD was the CrossFit total, which is to max out on deadlifts, back squats, and shoulder presses. I did 245lbs for the deadlift, 195 for back squats, and 90 for the shoulder press, for a total of 530. I am pleased with this total, aside from the shoulder press. I did 95 one day and haven't been able to do it since, so there's work to be done.

Our third WOD was the filthy fifty: 50 box jumps, 50 jumping pull-ups, 50 lunges, 50 toes to bar, 50 wall balls, 50 burpees, and 50 double unders. This I completed in 34 minutes and 45 seconds (in my opinion, slowly). I hit a wall during this WOD and almost didn't finish. I struggled with double unders, even though I've been doing them fairly well, so I actually did 200 singles instead. Not a shining moment for me, so in 8 weeks it will be much better.

I am in decent shape right now, but my goal is to be in peak condition. Right now I look like this:

Throughout this eight week process, I'm hoping to lose 3-5% more body fat and gain a little bit more muscle. I'm also working on mobility, and have started physical therapy sessions to help with that. After a week of eating Paleo, I have lost almost three pounds, and I do honestly feel good. I am enjoying shopping for and preparing new food, but it's definitely not easy when you get home late and are starving! 

In the past two weeks, I've made many meals at home, including my own protein bars, muffins, hash browns (not potato!), and berry crumble.
Protein bars
Leeks, eggs, and bacon
Strawberry, banana, spinach, almond milk smoothie
Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and almonds in almond milk (Paleo cereal!)
Leeks, tomato bacon scramble, chicken spinach sausage, and berry crumble
Celery, almond butter, figs (great snack)
Chicken egg drop soup  

I have several more recipes in mind to try in the next few weeks, including my very own jerky! In going through my food journals, I apparently need to switch up my eating pattern and get more good fats and protein at breakfast rather than all later in the day. I haven't missed bread at all, and I've been surviving without my normal coffee. I'm mainly missing candy for my serious sweet tooth, but that seems to be more of a habit than a serious craving. I was very strict for the first week, but I do need (and yes, want) my little cheats here and there. I found that freeze-dried fruit is a great candy substitute, and I'm using very dark chocolate for any baking.  I also found a fruit, coconut milk, and cane sugar sorbet that cures a sweet tooth with a few spoonfuls. Even though that is not strictly Paleo, it's a much better alternative to my typical candy/ice cream/cheesecake I love so dearly. 

All in all, I'm doing all right. I think I've gotten over the initial tiredness of losing the sugar/dense carbs from my diet. It's a process, for sure, and a lifestyle I think I can stay with. I'm eager to see where the next six weeks take me...stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

New Challenge for a New Year

Let the games begin, if by games you mean the Paleo Challenge. Most CrossFit gyms have Paleo challenges throughout the year, but what better way to start a new year than with a new challenge? For those of you who don't know, the Paleo diet is not a "diet" in the traditional sense, more so the how and what you eat (see link for a Paleo flow chart): a lifestyle. It is a way of eating based on our ancestors, eating primarily meats and vegetables along with some fruits and nuts. The diet excludes dairy, grains, sugars, and anything processed. For me, the elimination of sugars and processed foods makes sense, but the loss of grains and dairy sounded...well...scary! However, I want to know what it feels like to be free of foods that cause most of the general population digestive problems (among other ailments).

So I signed up for the challenge at D-Town. Eight weeks of pure Paleo with food journals, body measurements, photos, and repeated WODs to see how the diet affects our well-being. If nothing else, this is a great excuse for me to eat real meals and actually cook for a change rather than eating pieces of foods and never putting anything together. I realized, when planning out a few grocery lists based on recipes, that I haven't eaten a full meal at home in a very long time. Not to say I don't eat "healthy", but I don't think my diet has ever boosted my energy or made me feel, necessarily, better. I am not really sure, so this is what the eight weeks is for. I want to feel the difference, and see how I perform with the right fuel. If I really feel that good, then I will stick with it and make it my lifestyle.

I invested in a few Paleo cookbooks, cleaned out my pantry/fridge/freezer to get of anything non-Paleo, and started fresh with new food. I'm already happy with the almond or coconut milk and almond or coconut meal for eating and baking. Textures might be different, and I can't simply replace the former dairies and wheats with these items in recipes, but the items I've tried have certainly not lacked in taste. I'm quite excited to try new things and get out of my small corner of the food world. I think the food I will miss the most (and crave the most) during this challenge will be my caramel macchiatos. I think those are laced with drugs: I'm that addicted.

I've already realized you have to plan ahead to maintain the Paleo diet. Otherwise, you'll get hungry and go for the closest thing to you, which will undoubtedly be processed. Over the weekend, I cooked chicken and bacon, made meatballs, baked protein nut bars...
Protein bar
...and filled my fridge with fresh leeks, kale, spinach, jicama, tomatoes, cauliflower, carrots, turnips, beets, spaghetti squash, apples, grapefruit, kiwi, strawberries, blueberries, avocados, green beans, and then beef, chicken, tilapia, eggs, almond milk, almond butter, and a variety of spices. No excuses! We'll see what unfolds from these delicious ingredients.

My Fridge
Almond and Coconut Flour (in bulk) and Cilantro
Tonight I ate a bacon, lettuce, tomato, and avocado burger (and the burger was made with spinach). Whoever thinks Paleo isn't delicious is definitely wrong!


 I'll be adding more meals and updates on the progress along the way, so stay tuned!

Monday, November 28, 2011


Yep. I'm addicted. To CrossFit and every WOD, or for those not CrossFit savvy, Workout of the Day.

Sometimes they (the WODs) make me feel strong. Sometimes they make me feel weak. But they always make me feel good (you know, after the feel like puking/dying bit). I guess that's why I keep going back for more.

I love it. I love hating it. I love the cuts and bruises, the aches and pains, the ripped hands, the weights crashing to the ground when I fail. I even love the frustration because I know that if I keep trying, I'll get it eventually. And I love that there is no end game. There are goals, but no pinnacle. You reach one goal and you just set another. That's my kind of lifestyle. I'm not the type of person to reach a goal and then rest on my laurels. I'm always looking for the next step. Sure, it feels amazing to reach a goal. I'll smile smugly for a little while, but then the next WOD kicks my butt, and I feel weak again and make a goal to work on something else.

My Birthday WOD

Halloween WOD
CrossFit brings out all kinds: lawyers, students, physical therapists, teachers, chefs, people in real estate, finance, military, and the veterinary fields. We are all ages, all stages, but all with the mindset of grinning through the pain and wanting more. It is never easy, but it is never not rewarding. I have never regretted going to a WOD, even on my worst days when I have to convince myself to get up and get moving.

CrossFit is one of the few places where I fit in.

Despite all of our differences, we have more in common than a typical gym group. I enjoy trying new things, but I generally hate looking weak or uncoordinated or downright ridiculous in front of other people, especially a big group. A CrossFit gym is not a place to go to feel comfortable or content or to get the warm and fuzzies or to relax. It's a place to work. CrossFit has made me not care about looking silly anymore. I get so focused on the task at hand that I forget and forgive myself for not being a whiz at new "trick" or new weight. It also helps that everyone is supportive of each other and is willing to share tips and advice. The CrossFitters I've gotten to know are great people.

I've given up other things for CrossFit because of the way it makes me feel. It has made my runs easier, bike rides smoother, rock-climbing more manageable, and given me more endurance snowboarding. It also makes me freakishly hungry and really in need of the right amount of sleep every night, so I'm learning to adapt and give up other things to make sure I am in good shape for the WODs.

Let me tell you though, despite many calling us crazy (at least they do me), it is all worth it.

Remind me that next time I am lying on the ground sweating buckets and gasping for air...

Thursday, November 24, 2011

So much to be thankful for

I love this time of year. It's always a whirlwind, and hectic, and stressful...and wonderful. This time of year is for family, for remembering how lucky we are, and for celebrating the joys in life. It's all too easy to forget during the daily grind how many reasons I have to be thankful, so I thought I'd create a list to make sure I don't forget.

This year I am thankful for...
1. My wonderful parents who love and support me no matter what I decide to do.
2. My old friends who stay in touch and stay close even though I am far.
3. The friends I've grown closer to in the past year.
4. The new friends I've made recently at my job, at the gym, and by chance.
5. Trying new things, even if I'm afraid.
6. Sunny, cold days.
7. People who encourage and support me.
8. Nights all to myself.
9. The Pumba, my darling bully with more stubbornness and personality than she can handle.
10. Loving my job.
11. Caramel Apple cupcakes!
12. Getting to know new people.
13. Pain.
14. Cooking blunders, because I know it will be better next time.
15. T. S. Eliot, a true mama's boy.
16. Kind smiles from strangers.
17. Having the ability to take risks.
18. Snow.
19. Getting to see a dear friend get married this year.
20. People trying to cheer me up when I'm down.
21. Knowing if I really needed help, I could get it.
22. Not needing help.
23. Sporadic gatherings. 
24. Being able to be there for clients and their pets.
25. My beautiful little goddaughter.
26. The days I get to hug someone.
27. Crossfit.
28. Random emails from friends that make me laugh.
29. The little moments of contentment I get.
30. Understanding that contentment is not my style (and accepting that).
31. Thinking I might be ready to trust someone again.
32. Politeness.
33. Feeling comfortable in not knowing the answers.
34. People who put forth effort, even when it's difficult or they don't want to.
35. Making tough decisions that I know are right.
36. Healthy debates that provoke deeper thinking.
37. Simple and unnecessary thank yous.
38. Remembering that a small thank you can go a long way.
39. Having options and choices.
40. New challenges.
41. Feeling the healthiest I have in years.
42. Having outlets for frustrations.
43. Realizing my frustrations are at least good ones to have.
44. Crushes that make me giddy/red-faced.
45. Living in the most beautiful state.
46. Those who protect others.
47. Feeling safe.
48. Failure, because it reminds me to keep pushing.
49. A warm bed after a long day.
50. Knowing I have so much more to be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Hope you are all with loved ones and making each day count!