Why I work out

In the world we live in today, our culture lives and breathes for the idea that women need to be stick thin and perfect. Despite all the backlash that this stigma receives, it still exists. Our culture and especially our media seem to want our women to be twigs. 

When this new school year started, I decided to make a conscious effort to go to the gym as much as my schedule allowed. When I mentioned this workout routine to my boyfriend, he bombarded me with questions, mostly, why? He said “you don’t need to, you look amazing as is. I love your soccer calves. You’re going to be in better shape than me. I don’t want other guys looking at you while you work out. I love you the way you are.” Don’t get me wrong, this was all very flattering. However, none of this changed my mind. You see, my intentions of working out were not for him; they were for me.

Do you know how embarrassing it is to weigh more than your boyfriend? 

Growing up, all the movies and magazines showed couples where the man was big and tall and buff and the girl was significantly shorter and had a petite figure. While my boyfriend may have me beaten in the height category, I easily take the cake in the weight department (no pun intended). This was just my main reason to start throwing in some casual exercises into my daily life this school year.

My desired major is in kinesiology (aka exercise science) and it wasn’t until a class I had this semester with Dr. Stacey Ingraham that I realized that if this is my major and I am as passionate about it as I believe I am, why am I not living it? I am being taught by highly educated individuals what the benefits are for living an active life, and the consequences if I chose a sedentary lifestyle. For example, 90% of women over the age of 60 (I believe) cannot lift 10lbs or more above their head. This statistic alone has motivated me to add weight lifting into my exercise routine. Starting this school year, I had zero upper body strength. Now, almost three months into the semester, there is clear definition and muscle appearing on my arms (and not in the bulky, masculine way).

In class, we learned all about target heart rate zones and the general rules of thumb for a productive and beneficial workout. Stacey had us perform a series of cardiovascular labs utilizing a heart rate monitor to see just what activities provide what kind of caloric expenditure and how effective they are in our efforts to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Personally, by combining the use of the heart rate monitor as well as my new knowledge of these workout tips mentioned in class, I have been so far successful in my own endeavors. Although it may not show on the scale (which I would not know, I have yet to step on a scale since before the school year started), I physically feel more confident with my body. My jeans are starting to feel loose and like I mentioned before, my arms are showing results more than anything. 

So, I know society has this idea engraved in many people’s heads that women need to be tiny twigs and what not, but in reality, you just have to live an active life. Exercising 3-5 days a week for a total of 150 minutes of moderate exercise can significantly reduce your chance of developing so many different diseases in your future. Even if you are the smallest person weight wise, if you don’t exercise or eat right, that doesn’t mean you’re safe from these diseases. That doesn’t mean that body builders with muscle on top of muscle on top of muscle are safe either. Chances are, these bodybuilders are ingesting or taking in chemicals and other substances that are detrimental to their health and may ultimately cut their lives short. Now, I’m not an expert in exercise, this is just common sense if you really think about it, as well as things I have learned in some of my classes. 

Ultimately, I exercise for me and my health. I want to live my life to the fullest. This means that I want to be able to live until my final days running around and being me; not being reduced to a wheelchair or a hospital bed like so many individuals are. In order to do this, I need to take the initiative now to develop the habits that will ultimately follow me into my life after college. I am my own motivation; I am why I work out. 

5 Things My Grandpa Taught Me

     Being away from home has taught me just how much I really do miss my family, and all they do for me, especially my grandpa. After thinking about it for quite awhile, I realized I learned more from my grandpa than I ever realized. While many of these things may not be that “important” in my everyday life, they are a constant reminder to me of my roots and the little things in life.

1. There’s nothing like an early morning on the lake fishing.

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2. A photograph is priceless. Whether you’re photographing family, scenery, or just a random object you find beautiful. Take a picture of it, print it, and save it in a photo book.

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3. Hard work does pay off. You may go through the generic steps of receiving an education and not see any results, but as soon as you go above and beyond and expand your horizons, good things will come.

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4. There is nothing like Brewer’s baseball. Good season, bad season, it doesn’t matter! Grab your grills and cook up some brats at a pre-game tailgate at Miller Park. Watch Bernie Brewer slide down the yellow slide from his clubhouse as a firework display is launched into the air after a home run for the Brew Crew. Visit Hank in his doghouse out in left field and take some time to walk around and enjoy the history in the halls all over the stadium. And most importantly, don’t miss the Klement’s Sausage Race!

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5. Never put off doing anything you really want to do. You never know when your time here will expire, or your ability to do what you really want to do will no longer exist. Run will you still can walk, smile while you still have teeth, and speak up while you still have a voice to be heard.

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8 Things She Secretly Loves

JamesMSama.com

Now that we’ve discussed 8 Things Guys Secretly Love, we can’t forget the general theme of this blog – being chivalrous and romantic towards women. Striving to be better. Building healthier relationships.

That being said, what are some things that you may not realize make as big of an impact as they do?

Here are eight things that she secretly loves.

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Good morning texts.

A good morning text first thing doesn’t just say “good morning” – it says “you’re the first person I thought of when I woke up today.”

For over a year I have sent one of these to my girlfriend literally every single day without missing one. Small romantic acts aren’t just for the “honeymoon phase” of your relationship. Consistency is key.

Hint: This includes goodnight texts, too.

Play with her hair if you’re laying together on the couch or in bed.

Just do it. Trust…

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22 College Seniors On Their Advice To College Freshmen

Thought Catalog

From interviews with seniors at my college.
Go out, get drunk, hook up…but make sure that’s never the most interesting thing about you.
Do not ever underestimate your talent. On two different occasions, I came out of two professors’ office hours crying because both of them couldn’t believe my GPA was as low as it was. One was an English professor and the other was a journalism professor, and I was doing really well in both their classes. I will never forget the look of wild confusion on each of their faces when I shared with them the one detail that could prevent me from studying abroad. Both professors praised my work so highly and told me I was capable of so much more than the grades I was receiving. I walked out crying because, for the first time in my life, I believed them.

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The Problem with Grading Writing

What defines a good writer from a bad writer?

Sure, we have all read some pieces, for example something written by a young child, that have stuck out to us as bad writing. But the fact of the matter is, writing is writing. I know that I myself am not an award winning writer. I don’t use advanced vocabulary when I write, I start sentences with ‘but’ when I know for a fact that this is a no-no in writing, and I make grammar mistakes all the time. However, when it comes to writing academically, I have found that something that is supposed to be so open and unique to whomever is the author, is actually fairly limited.

Throughout my 14 years of education thus far, i have learned that writing is less of what the author wants, and more of what the teacher wants. When a teacher assigns a paper, even when it is a relatively open paper, the grading of this paper is from from it. If a student wants to actually do well on their paper, they must write to please the teacher and the rubric, if there is one given. 

In the seventh grade, my English teacher flat out told my class that every reader has their own idea of what is good writing, and what is not. With this being said, a student may write a paper that has the potential to be something great, but given to the wrong teacher, it could be ripped apart into smithereens. For this reason, the student may never appreciate the paper that they have written and may become deeply discouraged in their writing abilities.

Personally, I have had a mix of teachers that like my writing style, and some that don’t. Since I have had more that do not like my writing, there were periods where I was convinced that I just straight forward couldn’t write. It wasn’t until I began my college career, where papers made a bi-weekly appearance in some classes, that I realized I have potential. Just because I like to write with a more sarcastic tone, that doesn’t mean I cannot write at all. It just means that I have to work that much harder to write academically then freely.

With this realization comes another realization; Many children may stop writing in general because something they wrote academically was torn to pieces. Just because they may not be talented with formal writing, that does not mean they will succeed in their post-academic career writing something more freely.

I’m not saying this is true for every situation, but it is something that I ponder a lot. I think it is hard for teachers to grade papers, and for this reason, I do give them major credit for what they do. With this being said, I hope I haven’t offended anyone, or confused anyone with my opinion. This post was a lot of scattered thoughts flowing through my brain for months on end that I finally was able to somewhat type up and get out there.

stay golden

Accepting Defeat

If most people in the world are like me, they don’t like to lose.

I grew up playing sports; a prime example of where winning is the ultimate goal. No one wants to come home in any place but first. You put in countless hours, you and your parents put in the money, and you sacrifice so much just to be able to play the sport you love. What better payoff is there than a big win or a championship title.

Earlier this evening, my friend and I went back to our high school to watch our old team take on our old cross-town rivals. The game was expected to be a close one as both teams were undefeated on the season. As a matter of fact, my high school has been undefeated for, as of tonight, 69 games straight over the course of three seasons. (The previous two seasons ended with state championship titles) Since the home bleachers were filled to the max, my friend and I ended up sitting at the very top of the visiting student section. About four minutes into the game, five more of our friends from high school joined us. My dad is an avid sports follower and thus, he was at the game as well. He always sits on the visiting team’s side of the gym just to take it all in from a different perspective (or so I assume). Since he didn’t want to seem nosey and bug my friends and I, he moved across the aisle and down two rows and ended up sitting next to a lady rooting for the other team.

Throughout the game, the lady became very heated and was consistently up and down while cheering and booing. My dad is also a very active spectator and was equally as up and down as she was. However, it became fairly evident who was rooting for who as they stood at totally opposite times. About midway through the second quarter, as the visiting team started catching up and eventually pulled ahead of my school, the lady started not only standing up and cheering, but also making faces and nagging my dad. My friend Sammy was the first to notice it and I thought nothing of it at the time. However, towards the end of the game, when our team ended up pulling ahead and winning it after all, the lady continued to make these comments and faces at my dad who was minding his own business.

Finally, at the conclusion of the game, the lady decided to strike up a fight with my dad. The only problem was my dad wasn’t interested. He heard her out, let her nag all she wanted, complimented her team, and listened to her nag some more. She commented on his height saying that he was pretty short. Now my dad is not the tallest man out there. He’s probably around 5’8″. She then proceeded to tell him that his jeans were pretty tight and said he was a bit chunky. Now, this lady was a bit well-fed herself. I mean, she easily weighed more than my dad, not to be rude or anything; just stating a fact. This was when my dad decided to change the topic and tell her that her team put up a good fight and they were still a good team. One loss wouldn’t hurt them. She then went on blaming the referees for blowing the game when there were very few questionable calls at all. My dad was able to avoid any more scrutinizing from the lady by walking away to me as I was leaving.

The fact that this sort of bullying still happens between adults is ridiculous to me. Do we really need to put other people down just to feel better about ourselves? Do we need to make excuses for why we didn’t succeed rather than just admit it wasn’t our game and move on? Why can’t we accept defeat? Especially when it comes to high school athletics. I’m sorry, I don’t mean to offend anyone, but high school sports aren’t the most important thing in the world. Why can’t we all just enjoy a good game of basketball and let all the business be taken care of on the court between the players rather than off the court between the spectators. 

A Year in a Jar

2013, just like any other year, had its fair share of newsworthy events. On a global scale, natural disasters happened here or there, protests broke out, and well-known and respected individuals passed away. On a more local scale, so and so celebrity did this, while the stock market did that, and Congress did this and that. However, as all sorts of events occurred around the world, I had some events of my own taking place on a more personal level. 

Being the teenage girl that I am, I tend to spend a lot of my free time scrolling through Pinterest. Towards the end of 2012, I stumbled across this idea that I decided that I wanted to do for 2013. The idea was to take a jar, specifically a Mason Jar (a common find on Pinterest) and decorate it however you please. As the year rolled by, the goal was to place any ticket stubs or memories written on a piece of paper, or any trinkets that you acquired throughout the year. Once the year was over, you could open the jar back up and go through all the good memories from the last year. 

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On New Year’s Eve 2013, I sat down and went through all the slips and stubs and other memories recorded in the jar. 

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What I found not only reminded me of the good times i had throughout the year, but also how much my life has changed. It showed how my priorities changed and who was in my life and what not. Specifically, I had a lot of different items in my jar. There were movie ticket stubs, concert tickets, wristbands from county fairs, golfing scorecards, sporting event ticket stubs, parking passes, and written memories on post-it notes.

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I thought the idea of A Year in a Jar was pretty neat, but I never thought I would actually do it. Although I did miss a lot of events because I didn’t bring my jar to college with me, I still felt I had made a better effort than I could have even imagined. It’s simple enough to do and doesn’t take up a lot of space or anything. Thus, I would recommend to anyone who may be reading this to make a jar of your own. It doesn’t even need to be an actual jar. Maybe you just use a box or plastic tub or something, I don’t know. My point is, it is worth it. After all, what do you have to lose?