This is What Real Fitness Looks Like

Who doesn’t want to be healthier/fitter/more confident and comfortable in their own body? Duh! Of course there are the select few who have already reached curvaceous nirvana and shall never want for a push up. But for many, a balanced diet and exercise combo is a great system for boosting physical and emotional well-being. 

Strangely, the fitness community, both online and in the “real world” is populated with the same naturally thin blondes in pink $120 Nike sports bras. This is the ideal that we, as people focused on physical fitness, are given to aspire to. But…when was the last time you perfectly contoured your face to go to the gym?

Exercise is sweaty, brutal, exhilarating, and fun! Fitness doesn’t follow a strict set of rules and isn’t confined to a snobby gym. Larger people aren’t necessarily unhealthy, and the reverse applies for their smaller counterparts. No one should feel pressured to be sexy or appealing when exercising–the focus is internal! Why don’t we see that in conventional representations? Surprise people! Not everyone capable of running a marathon is a 25 year-old, size 0 ballerina. 

If you’re thinking “damn straight!” then may I offer you a virtual high five. May I also introduce you to the wonderful world of This Girl Can, a British campaign aiming to end the judgment and shame many are often subjected to for simply wanting to be active! This Girl Can has created a network of women celebrating simply “doing it!” no matter how well/fast/accurately they happen to go about it.  Check out their incredible ad campaign below:

#THISGIRLCAN

Go forth and kick some ass,

xoxo

Life Updates: Brioche, Blume and A Mystery Novel

Hey all! Life is good! It’s summer, I’m happy, and I am currently eating a garlic knot! There’s so much going on in my world that I thought I’d share:

This morning, I just finished reading Judy Blume’s latest novel In the Unlikely Event. It’s one of her few novels “for adults,” centering around three plane crashes in Elizabeth, New Jersey in the early 1950’s. The novel has garnered mixed reviews–but I am on the side of praise. The novel follows a large, complex cast of characters and is incredible in its capacity to evoke time and place both mentally and physically. Just as a side note: this isn’t good airport reading.

So, after years of considering myself a semi-pro knitter, I finally learned to brioche. It only took about 50 different YouTube videos and online walkthroughts, but I think I finally got the hang of it. I’m currently working with some Rowan Silky Tweed to create a two-tone scarf.

I recently went home for a long weekend to visit my family, and needless to say it was swell. The real surprise was coming home to find my boyfriend had purchased me a vintage Remington Tab Master typewriter! It’s absolutely beautiful, if not delightfully noisy. I’ve been using it nearly everyday, which brings me to my next point:

I am currently halfway through writing my first novella. I plan on self-publishing by the end of the year (so yes that means you should get the eBook for all of your friends and family this holiday season). I’ve *attempted* many an extended work in the past, but I have such a great feeling about this one.

This week, my best friend forever is coming to stay with me for a few days! We have sensational plans that include, but are not limited to, seeing Ken Wantanabe in the living, breathing flesh on Broadway.

Speaking of said friend…we are going to Rhinebeck this year. Which reminds me…I better start knitting that sweater.

I love you all!

xoxo

How to be a New Yorker

I spent the past week visiting my hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It’s a medium-sized city known for it’s closely-knit, slightly more Appalachian than advertised community. There is a general attitude of friendliness that permeates even the grumpiest of rednecks. Often, a trip home is a welcome refreshment from New York City, but is quick to grow stale.

Yesterday, I was meeting with my sister and niece at a bookstore. I arrived almost 20 minutes early and decided to get coffee at the cafe next door. Two women were ahead of me in line for my medium soy iced latte. No one involved was in a particular rush. Customers were making small talk with the barista about a sign announcing the imminent Donut Day.

Though I could be counted among those in no particular hurry, I found myself growing impatient with every second the woman in front of me spent digging through her Polyurethane purse in search of a possible gift card. The whole scenario began and ended in the space of five minutes, and yet before it was over I had mentally huffed myself ragged.

I returned to the bookstore, stood in front of a display showcasing coloring books for adults, and reflected on the fact that I had officially become someone I would mock.

When did this happen, I wonder? How did I transform into a bitchy Manhattan werewolf without realizing it? Is this the official indoctrination into becoming a real New Yorker? Being an insufferable wombat of a human?

I have since returned to New York, and I am now sitting at a cafe on the Lower East Side, surrounded by others who all surely received their coffee in a timely manner, albeit without much discussion of the fact that today is now officially Donut Day.

Perhaps at one time I would have been delighted to fit in among this crowd, all typing aggressively on Mac Books or looking down at Instagram with heads tilted to take a bite of a croissant held in the other hand. To sit unnoticed among the calm, cool, Zara-wearing population is not a task mastered without time and practice.

Yet, today I feel like standing up and screaming, if only to be an individual among individuals. I resent the affected manner in which I drink my coffee and cross my legs. I wish I didn’t know the words to the Bon Iver song currently playing, and yet I am mentally singing along. How cruel that two other people in here are wearing the same shoes as me.

I never thought I’d hear myself publicly declare that I no longer wish to be a New Yorker. But upon further consideration, if it means retaining the capacity to breathe, I am content to remain a stranger in a strange land.

xoxo

currently reading + knitting + doing

Reading:

  • All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr: I received this book as a birthday gift months ago and had avoided starting it. After all, the concept of reading yet another WWII story can be a bit daunting after experiencing the American public school English curriculum. Nevertheless, something compelled me to open this book about a month ago and I have never torn through something so quickly. Every page was beautiful, romantic, mysterious, and elegantly written. It’s a completely unique story set against a familiar backdrop. I’ll stop all of this embarrassing gushing now–just go read it!
  • Yes Please by Amy Poehler: A cute, quick, and not-too-involved memoir(ish). Perfect for the train.
  • Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick: Void of sensationalism and opinion, this book is the most honest take I’ve ever come across regarding the history of modern North Korea. It follows students, doctors, relationships, mothers, teachers–each of their experiences unique.

Knitting:

  • Ski Mask: After the (possible spoiler?) Pussy Riot cameo in the new season of House of Cards, I had to. The yarn looks like vanilla ice cream with rainbow sprinkles and is squishy beyond compare. I have to finish up the eye hole area and of course add a redonkulous pom-pom, but after that–who’s down for a free pattern?
  • Baby Blue Pullover: Basically a conglomeration of various goofy 90’s Drops patterns–I was trying to formulate the perfect cropped, loose fitting jumper. I still have to sew it up and add the collar, so who knows what kind of results we’re talking.

Doing:

  • Glossier: The other Friday night, I was blessed enough for my bestie to come over with a brand new box of Glossier beauty products. We did the full facial routine and I think it’s safe to say we both felt like goddesses.
  • Bob Dylan Live 1966: My dad has a habit of mailing me CD’s of music he’s currently listening to. Earlier this week, I got this set in the mail without explanation. I’ve seen Bob Dylan in concert once, about five years ago, and I honestly couldn’t figure out a single song he was playing (except for at one point when someone threw a leopard skin pillbox hat onto the stage. Nice.). His early performances though? A++.

What are you into?

xxoo