So. Sometimes you intend to take a little break, and it ends up being an actually kind of large one.
I never meant to take so many weeks off of blogging, but life happened, and it was really big, and I kind of just had to participate. I have so many things to tell you about (I love my readers intensely, and truly missed writing here) but the abridged version is this:
I got married.
I went to Kauai for a glorious two week vacation.
I got my first book deal, a little something you will see on the shelves in the Summer of 2017.
I left my beloved Oakland. I am now an official, for-real Portland resident. There is a ton to say about ALL of these things, but first, I want to tell you about my wedding. I have some AMAZING pictures, from what truly was the best day of my life, and I am beyond stoked just thinking about the time we had. This post is long and picture heavy, but I promise, we will hop right back into fitness, feminism, vegan food, and all the other good stuff you have come to expect from my little corner of the blog-o-sphere really soon. I just had to share this first.
So first, let’s talk about getting ready. I am not a makeup girl. Like, at all. My face is generally bare, and half the time I sort of think I wanna be all fancy in the face and then I try to go about imagining how that would fit into my life and I feel a tremendous wave of overwhelm. For this reason I was STOKED to have a little help from my very talented friend, Lauren. I’m gonna be real, I felt really pretty on my wedding day, which is not a thing I have in my life a whole lot. (I usually feel more cute-goofy-tough-funny) It was nice to feel like the belle of the ball while people were celebrating my partnership around me. Although makeup can’t be an all-the-time thing for me, it is a definitely wonderful sometimes-accent. This is my friend Meg. She was my very first friend in college, and one of the first people to truly see the depths of my personality through very thick and very thin and still come out loving me. This is my crying my eyes out and saying “I am just so glad you’re here!”. I love my friends so much. If there are any wedding-day regrets I have, it is not getting a chance to talk to more of them more.
This is basically just a gratuitous calf picture. I work hard for my gunz and it shows mostly in the lower half of my legs. I’ll take it!
So, have you ever tried to put a dress on with a beehive and a full face of makeup? That shit is HARD. This is my mom and my sister helping me try to weasel my way into my wedding dress, and it very much not working. Laughs were had all around and finally I just kneeled down like a pauper being knighted while they lowered the dress down to the ground. Very classy.Like I said, more than ever in my life, on this day I felt really fucking pretty. It’s a good feeling!
Now, onto the wedding site!Kett and I were told we were supposed to do a “first look” to officially reveal ourselves in all of our wedding finery. Both him and I had a hard time wrapping our minds around having to conjure up emotions for the camera so early in the day, and decided that the only right way to do such a thing would be to have it take place in the matrimonial bounce house. I rolled up to the wedding site, waited a bit, and when I was given the okay, climbed my way into the bounciest carousel in all of Oakland. Where a very fly dude awaited my arrival. In case you couldn’t tell by the carousel, our wedding was super duper fun/carnival/block party themed. We had a bounce off, croquet, cornhole, a strongman high striker, bocce ball, horseshoes, and a potato sack race. Custom trophies were made. Table favors were red sun glasses, a button with our emblem (a flag with three hearts containing a barbell and a kale leaf, a cup of coffee, and a pencil and a paintbrush), old McDonald’s toys from the early 90’s, and a comic. Instead of flowers we had hollowed out dinosaurs with succulents.I immediately ripped my dress, of course, and strategically used my button to remedy the situation. You can paint a lady’s face and put her in a fancy dress, but that’s no guarantee that she’ll keep it clean and rip free!Costumes were very encouraged , and thus we had such esteemed guests as Boba Fett….Kamala Khan….…And a fantastically revealed Superman.Everyone basically looked amazing nailing the high striker.The bounce-off was so intense it was kind of hard to watch.
But nothing beats the potato sack race. NOTHING.This dude managed a double somersault and STILL came out victorious.Have I mentioned how amazing my friends are?Okay, so here’s the deal.
Kett and I didn’t know the exact moment we were to be wed. We entrusted our best friend with a wedding horn and asked her to give it a long and loud toot when she felt it was time for some sweet words and legally binding contracts. An hour or two into the ceremony, Monica blew the horn and Kett and I darted to the vista where we were to be officially wed.While Kett and I got a head start, our MC, Nishat, waved the flag and assembled the troops.A parade was lead up a little hill….where we waited, trying not to cry. Then, maybe the best part of the whole day, I got to talk about Kett.I love this man.
I love that he is patient, and has integrity and makes me laugh. I love that he supports me, and calls me on my shit, and let’s me cry when I need to. I love that we make art together. I love that I plan to become an old ass lady by his side, and that we can seal the deal with a tremendous high five.And a smooch, of course.HUZZAHHHH!Neither Kett nor I drinks or really likes cake, so the whole dessert thing was kind of a conundrum. After trying multiple non-cake dessert ideas, we came to what seemed like an obvious answer: coffee and donuts. Nothing says “love” more than donuts, especially when they are vegan and gluten-free.
Thank you so much for sticking with me through the long break, and the immediate schmoopy love fest. I am very much ready to be back in action around these parts, and can’t wait to write all the things that have been swimming around in my head for the past 8+ weeks.
Until next time!
(All photos by Holly Feral )
HI! I am writing to you from four days away from my wedding, six days away from my honeymoon, and about a month away from moving to Portland. I am (clearly) counting down the days in some ways, but in other ways I am so so happy right this second. These are the last few weeks I have in my beloved Oakland, and I am not taking them for granted. I love my life here. I love California. I love being close to my family, even if I don’t see them as much as I’d like, and I love being close to the ocean- even if I don’t see that much either. It has been a great five years back in the bay, and I am not forgetting just because I am about to leave.
Maybe this is a sign that I am actually becoming an adult (at age 31- late bloomer, perhaps?) but this is maybe the first time in my life that I am completely happy in a place and that I also know that it is time to go. Things are changing rapidly in the bay area, and the flow of the whole process is definitely nudging me to move elsewhere. My partner and my best friend have been here for years, and neither has ever really been thrilled with the place in general. I feel like I’ve watched them grow relatively sullen with their California prospects in a number of ways, and I’ve fought it, been pissed at them for not loving this place as much as I do, been sad that they can’t be on my same page, and then just accepted it. My family is unconventional, but they are still my family. If the fam is unhappy, it makes sense to move forward.
It’s a strange and unique feeling, this plain acceptance of what is. I kind of like it, because it just makes my life so much easier when I am not fighting tooth and nail to make things try to be the way I would like them to. As a person who has spent a lot of time taking care of themselves, it is truly marvelous to relinquish a little control.
Because Portland is good too.
Because I have an amazing apartment waiting for me there.
Because there is much possibility in change.
Because shaking shit up is occasionally good for the spirit, right?
On that note, I am taking a break! A break from working with clients, a break from podcasting and a break from blogging until September first. I haven’t taken a two day break from this job that I love so dearly in the two years that I have been doing it, and so I imagine two weeks will feel like an amazing, difficult, and much needed eternity. In the meantime, I want to tell you to find your body positivity at Rebel Grrl Living and The Militant Baker, and if you have time, read this article over at No Meat Athlete. It resonated with my personal life more than I expected, and is exactly what prompted me to keep my two week honeymoon completely work and regimen free.
I shall see you all upon my return!!!!!!
A lot has changed in the past few weeks. Many good, good things are on the horizon, and I am in this weird space, kind of suspended in between different phases of life. I know very soon I will have whole new surroundings (more on that below) and I am really trying to go slow and soak up what’s in front of me while I’ve got it. Transition is a truly strange thing! Honestly, it always makes me very happy and very sad at the same time.
So here’s what has gone down in the past few weeks:
1) I got my ACE personal trainer certification. HOLY SHIT did studying for that test throw me for a loop. I have had my nutrition certification for quite some time now, and my growing focus on different kinds of fitness paired with my client’s requests that I train them lead me to the conclusion that it was only logical to be trained to kick people’s asses in a consensual and structured manner. My dudefriend bought me all the text books and test vouchers I could ask for, and I set to studying, thinking the suggested six months of prep time was dumb and for people not already engaged in fitness.
I was wrong.
ANATOMY, Y’ALL. Shit is real.
Basically, within a month I realized that I may not pass, and as a type-A personality’d human with a hunger for achievement, I didn’t really react to that thought very well. It kind of surprised me to see how poorly I reacted to something not coming easily, in fact. I studied. I practice tested. I cried. I poney’d up some cash for a tutor. and then I passed. I walked out of that test room feeling like a gigantic weight had been lifted from my shoulders, and then there was….emptiness.
I know I am not the only one that feels fucking weird when a life accomplishment happens, when the subject of my focus naturally ends. After the test, there was a gigantic space where studying (and worrying) used to reside and the dip in “productivity” both confused me and threatened my sense of self. (Just like thinking I might not pass the test did. Huh. Imagine that.)
The part of my personality that needs constant achievement stimulation is something I’ll probably always have to work on, because I do not really enjoy the stress of it. What do I do when there’s nothing to do? Who am I when I am relaxing? How do I react when there is more space than busy work in my life? Existential questions for existential times, my dudes.
In the wake of all this space, I made a life decision- big change number 2)- that did not come easily and that I don’t take lightly.
Come mid-September I am leaving all that I love in Oakland, packing up my bags, and driving my life up to Portland, OR.
I am saying goodbye to my gym, which means a lot more to me than just the place where I do my fitness. I am saying goodbye to the community at PlantFit, where I’ve been training my own clients. I am saying goodbye to year round abundant local produce and farmer’s markets, my friends, my little shack, my vegan coffeeshop. It feels big and kind of heavy, but also just intriguing enough to make me move forward with the idea. I am a creature of habit, and there has never once in my life felt a perfect time to make big changes. Sometimes I just have to leap and know that the world will catch me.
Very little will change for Super Strength Health, and that’s one constant I am super grateful for. Most of my clients live remotely, so we can continue seeing one another no matter where I am, really, and I am already very excited about the people who’ve contacted me to train them in person once I arrive to the land of rain and wonderful coffee. My business will still be what it is now (maybe even better!) and I will have the added bonus of a centrally located two bedroom apartment that I can afford with just my dude (him and I have never once lived just the two of us in all our time together). Most of my best friends will be waiting for me when I arrive. I can’t micromanage every aspect of my new life (even though I want to)- but I can know that things will probably work out okay. I’m putting my best effort forward, and let’s face it- I chose a pretty cushy place to be a vegan woman who lifts.
With planning the move, my wedding (August 15th!) and my honeymoon (KAUAIIIIIIII) there is a ton of movement in my life these days. But for now? I’m just trying to be still. Let slowness overtake me. Take deep breaths of California air. Because I have often let future plans take me out of my present life, and even with cool, interesting, scary things on the horizon, right now has a ton of shit going on that I don’t want to miss.
So, that’s what’s new with me. What’s new with you?