Category Archives: Self Improvement

SoML: Odd One

I’ve had anthems of strength, empowerment, defiance and even a little sugary pop. But what about a song for the awkward, the misfits, the outcasts? Enter Odd One…

Odd one, I wish I was you

You’re never concerned with acceptance
We are all desperately seeking out
And fitting in with anyone who will accept us
But not you, odd one

Continue reading SoML: Odd One

The Skinny on My Healthy Body

Body image has been on my mind a lot lately. Between my brief return to dating, recovering from my broken leg, I have spent a lot of time (unintentionally or not) thinking about my body and how it is perceived.

My struggle with body image is not typical. To give you an idea of where I’m coming from, I’ll give  a little history – I will try to keep it brief. Continue reading The Skinny on My Healthy Body

BJJ: Soaking Up Recovery Time

Last year, a new business opened up nearby: Float Harder Relaxation Center. You float in a room or pod with enormous amounts of Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) dissolved in the water. The concentration is so strong that even those with “negative buoyancy” like myself supposedly can’t help but float. There is also an added a sensory deprivation element as you relax in peaceful quiet and dim lighting. (Stranger Things fans, this is a ritzy version of the swimming pool that the gang set up for Eleven. Except you won’t be searching the Upside Down for missing people and scary creatures.) It was an instant hit with some of the guys at the Academy. They would go while were training extra hard to prep for an event or tournament. I’d only just heard that floating was a “thing” when a friend across the country raved about it. It’s getting very popular and, if you practice BJJ, anything that promotes recovery time is bound to get your attention.

But if you don’t have $65 to plunk down for one session of specialty relaxation… how about a couple of bucks and a bathtub?

To quote Cole: “Epsom Soaks are my jam.

Legs in a tub w/red mood lighting

Continue reading BJJ: Soaking Up Recovery Time

BJJ: It’s Good to be Bruised

On Labor Day, I finally got back on the mats. A mere seven months and three days after my surgery but who’s counting… who are we kidding, I was counting. I was probably driving people nuts with my Facebook posts and comments about how I missed it and how I’d be back “soon!” Six months of healing, one month of constant business trips, and one major move later, words finally became action. I walked into the Academy with a smile on my face and a gi in my bag. Continue reading BJJ: It’s Good to be Bruised

SoML: Windows Down, Volume UP

Lately I’ve caught myself spending too much time with the windows of my car rolled up and my stereo off or at a modest volume. Jamming out in the car was a piece of myself that I recaptured last summer. I’d gotten used to keeping the windows up to filter the air and keep the temperature at a set level. I sang along with the radio at a reasonable volume. Sounds like a simple, normal adult thing, right? But it isn’t my normal and it should never have become that way. Continue reading SoML: Windows Down, Volume UP

My 1st Tattoo: I Love It When a Plan Comes Together

Even before I turned 18, I’ve had the rough idea of a tattoo in my head that hadn’t quite formed into a design. With my 36th birthday in the not-too-distant future, I can honestly say that today was 18 years in the making. (I think that might be some sort of record for analysis-paralysis.) Continue reading My 1st Tattoo: I Love It When a Plan Comes Together

BJJ students lined up for the Shark Tank

BJJ: The Friendliest Shark Tank Around

In late April I finally made it to the gym to watch testing for the first time. The format was simple and I suspect it’s pretty universal among BJJ gyms.* The trainers sit at the front of the room and ask people to demonstrate techniques on the curriculum. Describing the reasons for the test and the focus for each belt color may not be standard but as a newbie, I appreciated it.  I doubt Jay’s brand of commentary is considered par for the course, but it would have felt like I was in the wrong place without it.

BJJ Stripe Test
Jay and Eli providing direction and color commentary

Continue reading BJJ: The Friendliest Shark Tank Around

Getting in the Gameness

Note: A briefer version of this story was going to be told on the Jay Jack Uncensored podcast when they talked about the need for gameness in women and how society typically squelched that trait. But, between my accident and the podcast’s “squirrel!” attention span for topics, I decided that I’d go ahead and publish this anyways. Maybe we’ll still go over the idea on a future JJU episode. But I needed to tell my story while the last bit was still fresh in my mind.

This all starts with a foolish summer fling in 2001. I met a guy working security at a concert, we hit off, we spent the summer having some fun together. I made it clear from the beginning that this was just going to be a summer thing, I was headed back to Ithaca in the fall for my junior year of college. I like to think that I ignored any signs that he was a little “off” because it was just a summer thing so it didn’t really matter. I wasn’t looking for a life partner. He was sweet, he was fun, and that was all that mattered at the time.

Continue reading Getting in the Gameness

SoML: Overplayed Pop Songs

So here I am, laid up and getting a little more time alone in the next two days than I usually do. I’ve been having a tough time of it the last few days. I consider myself pretty solidly an Alt Rock Chic, but sometimes a girl needs some fast, funny, and occasionally fearless pop. The kind of stuff that you can’t escape – it’s been in commercials, half-time shows, endlessly played on multiple radio and muzak stations. The stuff that you usually get sick of for a while even if you started out liking it. So I’m taking a day to indulge in some foolishness in the form of a Meghan Trainor station on Amazon Prime – at least until I get sick of it. (And I still skipped Single Ladies) Continue reading SoML: Overplayed Pop Songs

Julia Rue vs. Subaru

So I’ve realized that, even though 99% of my readers are friends and family who’ve heard at least a version of this tale, it might be a good idea to give people the full story about what transpired a few weeks ago. Especially since it’ll play a roll in some posts I had almost completed (but need to edit) and will provide an explanation if the number of typos and grammatical errors goes up (thank goodness for the WP app and text-to-speech since single hand typing is a pain at best). Continue reading Julia Rue vs. Subaru