Starving

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It’s 4am in my Seattle hotel room, overlooking downtown and Elliot Bay. 

The city is actually quite still. Minus 2 pedestrians on opposite blocks and one lonely car making it’s way through the rare absence of traffic. There are no longer flashing blue lights from the oversized plasma TV’s across from me or balconies full of people. Just the same dim and reassuring light in every other space. 

My black boots are slumped over in the corner, sad and silently mocking me. I sigh at the thought of wearing them around the city yesterday and almost falling twice. These used to be my favorite walking boots with just the right amount of heel. I’ve walked hundreds of miles in them, but it seems they are terribly worn out from my last few trips and so am I. Everything eventually falls apart.

You never really know what kind of shape you are in until you get outside of the gym. Walking 4 or 5 blocks up and down hills causes a swift realization that yes, you did actually gain 25 lbs last year. That actually happened. Several tight corners that I remember sliding through the last time I was here, I could now feel my hips touching. “Excuse me, excuse my huge ass please.”

 The good news is that I lost 6 lbs this month so far. The bad news is that yesterday I had 3 steak tacos, BBQ pork chop on a stick, crab Rangoon, divinity cookies, an entire bottle of wine, one beer (not light beer) and a value size bag of munchies, minus the pretzels. I can’t tell you today I’ll do better, because I’ve got plans. Plans to eat. It is a mini-break after all. Go on, judge me. 

I actually did buy some ambrosia apples and cherries as well, I didn’t mention those bc that’s healthy! That’s also about $25 here at the Pike Place market. $25 on fruit?! Yes, because I live in Alaska where every piece of fruit tastes like cardboard soaked in a different flavor of Capri sun. So whenever I get the chance to actually pluck a cherry from it’s overpriced, organically grown stem or pierce the flesh of a crisp, ripe apple with my teeth, I relish that opportunity. It’s the little things in life. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love Alaska. It’s where I lost myself 3 years ago, where I found myself too. It’s where my non-biological family lives, where my roots are stable and where I’ll grow old and die. Still complaining about the produce situation all the way to my grave. Yes, Alaska is my home and my sanctuary.

 Except in January when it’s dark and cold ALL of the time. In January, Alaska is the frozen tundra I need to escape from. Seattle is the perfect city for that escape. It’s just a 3 hour plane ride directly into the middle of a magazine, and lots of last minute deals make it cheap. I don’t have to be real here, anyone with a major credit card and bad habits are more than welcome. 

Escape is necessary. I needed to get away from my routine and all of my stuff or I felt like I was going to just lose it. 

Losing it is a familiar term for most adults. Losing it is when you don’t want to get out of bed, but you don’t want to deal with the consequences of not getting out of bed either. You are irritable, quick to snap, over caffeinated and sleep deprived. You can’t remember where anything is. Your entire life has become so busy trying to fix everyone else’s problem that your “self” is flat out starved. You’re starving to do/eat what you actually want to for just a day, starving to see the sunset instead of going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark. Starving for sleep, for life, for water. Losing it.

The human body is over 50% water. If you take a glass of water half full and leave it in freezing cold temperatures for just a few hours, it becomes solid ice. If you do the same thing in temperatures too hot with high humidity, it slowly evaporates. 

It’s no wonder we are all starving for the same things when we are made up of the same parts.

Embrace your appetite.

Xoxo 

-Kat

Reflection – 2016 Year End

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Earlier this year, I decided my word for 2016 would be “Present”, as in being actively present in life and all parts of it. The good and the bad. As a result, I believe 2016 has felt like one of the longest and most intense years of my life. If this year were a cocktail, I’d call it Crazy Mary. Yes, that is a Pearl Jam song.

“One night thunder cracked. Mercy backed outside her windowsill.
Dreamed I was flying high above the trees over the hills.
Looked down into the house of Mary.
Bare bulb on Newspaper covered walls. And Mary rising up above it all.
Oh… Oh… Oh…
Next morning on the way into town saw some skid marks and followed them around.
Over the curve, through the fields, into the house of Mary.
That what you fear the most could meet you halfway.”

That last line strikes a true chord in me. “That what you fear the most could meet you halfway.” Whether you are terrified of success or failure, love or heartbreak, what you know for sure and what you know nothing about at all; whatever it is, it could meet you halfway. That’s  both a frightening and reassuring statement to consider. It’s like saying whatever happens, it’s going to hurt eventually because it matters… but if you are willing to go for it, if you’re willing to really put yourself out there (balls to the wall), then it could meet you halfway. Isn’t that better than never having it? Never knowing? Living the same day over and over again like a bad Justin Bieber song….for the love, someone change the station!!

Oh wait, it’s you, you have to change the station if you want to experience something new. You may not like it, it could even be worse, but it will be different. Change is good. Change is always good because we learn from it and knowedge is infinite.

I learned a lot this year…. some things I had to learn more than once. That’s just me. I’m very thorough you see. I don’t make the same mistake twice, I like to make it three or four times JUST to be sure ! (As the saying goes…) I’m also very stubborn and I wouldn’t want to be any other way.

With that said… let’s re-cap the 2016 Bucket List

1.) Go to Prom – Check!

Not only did my prom date kick ass, but Salt-N-Peppa were there to help us dance the night away in the proper decade! This was an awesome night and proves some of the best nights are worth the wait.
salt-n-peppa

 

2.) Road trip in a convertible – Check!

We were so excited about cruising around in the convertible that I never actually took any pictures of the car itself. Note: It was a Ford Mustang and a fabulous addition to this road trip!

3.) Go on tour with Pearl Jam – Check!

What better excuse for a road trip than to follow Pearl Jam around for a week? Alright, alright… so I know that doesn’t classify as actually going on tour with Pearl Jam …but just let me have this one, because it’s probably as close as I’ll ever get!

From Miami to Tampa with 2 of my favorite girls and my favorite band.

These shows were E P I C as always. I love you Pearl Jam! I love you Eddie! #yourbiggestfan

4.) Complete a half-marathon – Check!

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Anchorage Mayor’s Half Marathon, 2 hours and 38 minutes. I am very proud of this accomplishment and I’m even contemplating a full marathon in the future. I said contemplating… don’t get all excited just yet.

5.)  Go somewhere in Alaska I’ve never been – Check!

Homer, Alaska. Beautiful waters, great halibut fishing and good times all around.


 

6.) Find a rainbow Eucalyptus tree – Check!

Maui, Hawaii


 

While we were in Maui, I also checked off:

#7: Travel the road to Hana and #8: Visit a new island.

My friend drove the road to Hana for us and I have to say it wasn’t as bad as people make it out to be. However, if you are easily car sick, this is not the drive for you. With that said, it’s a fine ride with the appropriate dose of Dramamine and the right people. That is until you pass Hana of course, and then you are basically SOL in a rented SUV. The previous twists and turns makes what lies after Hana look adorable. We turned around a mile or so away from the Seven Sacred Falls. Some things just belong on a post card! Here’s a bit of what we did see…


9.) Publish first novel – Epic fail. I did not do this for many reasons. Did I finish the book? Yes, I did. I just haven’t figured out if that’s how I want to end. I’m just not done. I don’t know if I ever will be as what’s in this book is all a very intricately weaved web of days gone by and days not yet had. More to come…

I didn’t really have a number 10 this year. I was just going to fly by the seat of my pants and see where things took me. Here’s how that has worked out:

  • Started backpack initiative for keeping the homeless warm. Donations have been received to date for this project and distribution is in the works with a local charity.
  • Set out to lose an additional 10 lbs, only 25 to go! Yes, I gained quite a bit of weight this year but I’ve also never felt healthier or happier. You win some, you lose some. Not always in pounds.
  • Brought my sister to Alaska for the first time! It was so much fun to introduce her to my beautiful world. I love her so much and so glad she got to see where I call home.
  • Fell in love. ❤ He’s like Christmas morning. Every time I see him, I feel like I’ve been waiting my whole life.
  • Let go of toxic relationships. If people in your life are consistently handing you the scissors, cut the chord.

So that’s where I am in Living Out Loud. Where are you? Do tell.

It’s been a great year! I can’t wait to see what 2017 holds.

xoxo

❤ Kat

Kat On a Hot Tin Roof

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What is the victory of a cat on a hot tin roof,  I wish I knew.... just staying on it, I guess, as long as she can.:

 

Fear.

It is the ultimate barrier between you and everything you have ever wanted. It is the top enabler of invisible limitations and my own personal favorite… procrastination! It fuels doubt and insecurity like a well oiled machine. Fear finds its way into your mind and your heart even when you sleep. It is relentless. That son of a bitch!

My first race of the summer is this Friday. Twilight 12k which is in celebration of the upcoming summer solstice. For those of you who may experience normal sunrise and sunset in the summer time, solstice for Alaska means … YAY FOR MIDNIGHT SUNSETS!!

Evening Glow Sunset - Alaska P.s. simple quest for everyone) Why did Bill die?:

A 12k is about 7.5 miles. The race is at 7:00pm in downtown Anchorage. That all sounded doable about a month ago.

That was a bad idea. I am in NO way ready to run 7.5 friggin miles…. I needed to boost my workouts last week and get some good 5 mile runs in at the very least to feel even close to ready! That was my plan to conquer this weeks goal. That WAS my plan!

So, of course, right on cue…(whenever I have an upcoming goal) I took ill. Yep, so sick to my stomach I slept for 2 days and couldn’t eat anything for the first day at all. No significant illness could be detected. I had no fever or anything like that, I just felt like I had been hit by a truck and then it came back for me a few times… just to make sure I knew where my place was. That place was in the dark and buried under covers on the 2 prettiest days we’ve had so far. I missed a week worth of runs. That’s 20 miles or more.

I do recall being fairly anxious the week before, dizzy when running, forgetting to eat the right things..” Oh wow… did I just have bacon and wine for dinner again? Dammit!”

Even though that fits right into my calorie goal if I do it right, that is not exactly a runners diet. Bacon is awesome! Don’t get me wrong here, I’m fairly confident that bacon with wine is the answer to all the problems in the world. However, I do know better. Eggs, tuna, quinoa, kale, lean protein, whole grain bread and fruit. That’s what I’m supposed to stick to, and most days I have! Except for well…  Saturday, Sunday, Wednesday and most Friday nights!

My point is, I am not where I should be for this race. I am not where I wanted to be physically. I didn’t change enough of my habits to get there and in a way I probably made myself sick cutting out the right foods so I could fit in the wrong ones. This did not help me get ready. This did not properly fuel my workouts. My choices were not the best. Getting sick is not the only excuse I have. I have millions of excuses. Good ones too! I won’t list them here. No, I’m not cancelling the run even though if we are being perfectly honest… I want to. I want to throw myself down a flight of stairs instead of climbing set after set to build up my glutes!

Why? Because I am scared. I have never done this before!The most I have ever run in a race is a 5k. Those are simple and over fast, like a good one night stand! In and out, nothing to gain and nothing to lose. These runs are different. These runs require commitment to the distance. A few extra miles have never seemed so long to me. I am scared. I am scared I will fail, I am scared I will be last, and mostly I am scared about what that means for all the other goals I have set for myself. Am I aiming too high? Do I ask too much of myself? Should I set limits? I don’t know. I don’t have the answers.

I do know I am running this race Friday the best that I can. I do know I will likely be slower than most people there. I know the weekend after that I’m running 5 miles for breast cancer fundraising. The week after that it’s 13 miles for the Mayor’s Annual Marathon. 13 miles is only half. The fear continues, but so do I.

That’s the important part I guess. Trust me, when I’m at the gym running in front of other people or on a trail, I do not feel like a gazelle when I am doing it. I feel like an obese cabbage patch doll who just ate nachos. (Damn I love nachos..) I DO want to give up, I DO want to stop. The only problem with that is I want to succeed more. I want to finish more than I want to give up.

So think of me this Friday night when you are out with friends or relaxing at home, think of me as I move at turtle pace mile after mile. My thighs are already killing me from the stairs I climbed today and my ass feels like a brick HOUSE. Even so, I’ll be there. No matter how slow I go, I’ll be faster than the couch.

A little more confidence, a little less fear. Day by day. Race by race. I got this… 

xoxo

46 Quotes From Reddit That Will Change Your Life For the Better: Words can move you, make you happier, and motivate you.

 

 

 

 

January in Alaska.

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Many people I talk to around the world often ask me the same question, “Is it really dark there right now, for 6 months right?”. Well, yes and no. We actually start to gain light slowly in January. While there is light, it is often very cloudy, which makes everything look much darker than it actually is. Seasonal depression has a way of showing up and making life seem that way too.

I hate that part. The part when you can’t see the light and even when it shows up for a little while, you don’t recognize it anymore. You hold your arm up over your eyes and it takes you a while to remember the joy the sun brings. ESPECIALLY when you are trying to drive and it’s shining directly into your eyes and beaming off of the bright banks of snow. It’s the whitest light you have EVER seen and it can seriously start to piss you off!

It’s a tough time of year for us all I think. We just spent the holidays with loved ones and now it’s back to 5 days a week, 9-5 grind, trying to focus on whatever our “New Year, New Me” goals are.

I’ve started working out in the mornings, and I am NOT a morning person. However, I am working towards running a marathon in June and in order to do that, I’ve got to achieve certain fitness goals. So that means not missing workouts and morning is the one time I am too tired to make excuses. But holy fuck, I am tired. I am tired in my bones. I am the kind of tired they say sleep can’t fix. Which is why I’ve got to keep getting up, going out into the dark and cold weather, making it to the gym, etc. I’ve got to be relentless about the promises I made to myself. These are the most important promises we make. If you don’t keep them, who will?

What I am trying to say is, I get it. It’s hard. We are all going through something, and that just means we are going somewhere right? Right! Keep your head up beautiful.

XoXo

What happens if you don't:

 

 

 

Moving Forward

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Earlier this year, I released my bucket list items with great hesitation. It seemed that I begin to fail almost as immediately as I started. Due to sustaining a minor knee injury, I missed the Reindeer run. My other plans to do the mud run didn’t work out because I couldn’t get enough people together to form the group like I had envisioned. In addition, I quickly realized my goals far exceeded my available funds and I wasn’t going to be able to do the Bahamas AND experience Denali park. First world budget problems, you know?

Instead of feeling completely defeated and giving up, I decided to set out to accomplish as much of the bucket list project as possible and stay focused on the main goal, to live life each day to the fullest extent possible.

One of the things I’ve always wanted to do since I moved to Alaska was hike a glacier. What’s this nonsense you ask? This is an adventure where instead of admiring this magnificent mass of historic ice from afar, you experience it like all the best things in life, from the feet up! Yes, it’s cold, it’s difficult and it’s absolutely one of the most magical things I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing.

Matanuska Glacier is between Palmer and Glennallen Alaska. It is approximately 26 miles long and 4 miles wide.

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You may think a glacier is just a giant block of ice, but there is SO much more to it. Our tour guide described it best as a “block of swiss cheese”. For example, what may appear as a tiny puddle of glacier water is actually a very deep sink hole that you could drown and freeze to death in, all in a matter of seconds. This is the reason we hired a tour guide! You think you know, but you have NO IDEA. The image below is a picture of a “Moulin”, also known as a glacier mill. You can actually hear the water running through it. It was so peaceful and such an intricate part of the glacier itself. There are several of these throughout the glacier.

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Every single inch of this glacier is magnificent.

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If you are considering visiting Alaska near the Palmer or Anchorage area, check out Mica Guides for a similar ice trek tour. Their guidance was invaluable and we would not have had the same experience without the knowledge they shared. We hiked up to a high point of the glacier and actually tasted glacier water from a small water fall. Shortly after having lunch on the glacier, we did a little ice climbing practice too! No extra charge. How’s that for a bucket list worthy?

Glacier hiking