Thursday, January 26, 2012

Freshen Up Your Work-out Routine

Everyone, meet Ginny. (She's the one between Susan and I on the left and middle photo strips).

Because I feel like I would do everyone that knows me a disservice by not introducing you to her. Because I love her and little does she realize, but she is a big part of why I am 100 times happier today than I was in October. She is a gem.

Ginny and I work together in the wonderful world of marketing automation. And on Mondays and Wednesdays she is my work-out buddy. And because not every woman wakes up with this insatiable desire to be an Ironman triathlete, they need a friend like Ginny. Who loves to get fresh air, take walks, and shame you into doing more challenging exercises.

My pitiful bi-ceps took a beating when she became my friend. And I can't decide if I love her or hate her for that.

This week we took on some new exercise territory, and I think we've both been limping around and secretly crying at our desks because of how sore we are. So I thought it would be fair to give all 3 of you that read this some good fodder for your next workout. Just on the off chance that you want to feel like your abs have been gouged out with an ice pick.


1. Planks on a Bosu ball. We did three different sets of bringing our knees straight up, out to the side, and then across our chest. They are pretty tough because the bosu ball means you're having to keep your core super tight in order to steady yourself and lift a foot off the ground. At the end I attempted to do a few push-ups but I only ended up going about halfway down for a solid 3 because my whole body was shaking. 
 2. Lateral burpees. And yes they are just as terrible as they look. Do as many as you can stand. Then stop and let your breathing get back to normal before doing another set.

3. Take a medicine ball or kettle bell and swing it slowly around your head. Keep your abs engaged the whole time and your feet firmly planted. Do 3 sets of ten in each direction.
 4. Single-Arm Hang Snatch. This exercise is tough. I feel it today in my arms, shoulders, glutes, and inner thighs. It has been a long time since my thighs hurt this much. I used a little heavier weight than I'd use for bicep curl, but not the heaviest I could stand. A 7-8 pound weight was perfect for me, and allowed me to do 3 sets of 10 or 15 on each side. 

Good luck with your next work-out! Feel free to shoot me any great exercises that you've found as I'm always look to improve my work-outs.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Colorado Highlights

Last week Patrick and I went to Vail, CO with my dad, Jill, Libby Gray, Walter, and Tom. It's a family tradition that has blessed me in countless ways and I feel incredibly blessed to get to go each year. And yes, I used the word "blessed" twice. Sorry Patrick. His word choice lessons have obviously failed me.

I wanted to give you a few iPhone snapshots I took while I was gone, because you've obviously been DYING to see what mountains and snow look like. Things that are completely foreign to Atlanta these days, unfortunately. Just envision what 4 degrees feels like while you read this...

The two highlights (that are not photographed below) were me riding a chairlift with some random folks that thought I was their friend Rachel, whom I have now deemed as my alter-ego. I got offered weed, and also included in conversations about what 10 hits of acid makes you do. Apparently Rachel has an acid problem. Or did have an acid problem. My dad was at the hospital getting an MRI (highlight #2) for his dislocated shoulder and torn rotator cuff, and was checking out next to a girl named Rachel who had a blown out knee. And when asked if there was anyone that could pick her up, she responded with "no one reliable." To which we obviously drew the conclusion that it had to be the same "Rachel." My poor dad has to have surgery in the next week to repair his shoulder, but should be fully recovered before next ski season. Not that his injury prevented him from skiing and enjoying this ski season. 3 cheers for dedicated skiers.

We look like ax murderers.

TERRIBLE quality but it's the only family shot I have, so I had to include it.

The ground in most of Vail is heated, so you can see which part is heated here and which part isn't.

Mine and Patrick's room after 2 days. This is only my stuff. Yikes.

There are several other pics that I didn't have on Facebook, but unfortunately my phone is currently rebelling against me and refusing to release them. So I'll be back to add a few more later. 

Happy sunshine everyone! I'm off to uncovering the mystery of APIs. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A mess at best.

The last few months have left me feeling very alone. And not the endearing kind of alone where you get a lot done and feel refreshed and rejuvenated and rested, ready to take on the world.

No, I've felt the real kind of alone. The ugly kind.

The way you'd feel if you moved to another state and no one called you, sent you letters, messaged you on Facebook, re-tweeted you, gave you a hug, said something nice to you, or even recognized your existence.

Yeah, I felt that kind of alone. isolated. empty. sad. depressed. unhinged. angry. fearful. All those sweet characteristics that make people come flocking towards you.

And it has been really hard. Because the more I have felt these things, the more I needed people. But people who are colorful, vibrant, confident, and steadfast don't want to be around lonely, sulking, sad people like me. And I felt like the more I reached out, the more distant people became.

So I just. stopped. trying. Like, really stopped trying. Stopped texting, calling, messaging, etc. Because I just couldn't do it anymore. I was too empty to reach out again.

Until one day I had a conversation with a friend, and found out she'd been feeling the exact same way. But if she's hurting, and I'm hurting, we both end up in our own dark corners cowering away from the world. Both of us alone. But so desperately in need of a friend. So with one conversation about her feelings of loneliness, a flicker of light came on in my brain. The thought had never occurred to me that other people might be hurting too. That there might be someone who needs me to come sit in their dark corner with them and give them a hand to hold. Maybe they can't get to me for the same reason I can't get to them.

So thus began the journey of getting out of my pit, so I could go find someone else stuck in their own pit and pull them out. Or at least tell them they'll be okay. And that everyone loves them. And that they can take their time. And that we'll be here when they're ready. And that no one really has it together. And that real love is messy, and it's okay.

I like to think of the anology of the redwoods. Redwoods are huge, but they have shallow roots, but roots that stretch out wide underneath the ground and interlock with the other redwoods' roots. So it's in the inter-locking that give the redwood trees their height. Not deep solitary thick roots like you'd imagine.

So my focus has now shifted. To interlocked roots. To authentic relationships that aren't afraid to get messy, because love can be both beautiful and brutal. It's tough as nails. It's honest. It's real. I want to make more time for people than I think I can manage, just in case things do get messy. Because sometimes it takes people time to open up and truly share what's going on inside them. And you can never plan for it. Vulnerability is rarely conjured up in one 47 minute sitting. And sometimes I have to be the first one to get gut-level honest, and that's okay.

I want to invest in the things that other people love. Even if it's not my thing. Them loving it should be enough for me to join them in it. I want to remind people why they're loved. Why they're different and valuable. I want to ask more questions and be a better listener. I want to be sacrificial and understanding, full of grace and empowerment.

Thanks Jessica for showing me that some of the best lovers of people sometimes look like the worst time managers. Because time restraints only hinder true love from happening. And Jessica, you never let time get in the way of your emotional availability. And I love that about you.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


About two weeks ago, the company I work for hit a big milestone. It's one we've been working towards for awhile, and there was all kinds of chatter as to what would happen when we actually got there. When it came, the day involved a champagne celebration at the office, with the promise of a smashing party to come.

And smashing it was.

We rented out Tongue and Groove, a swanky club/bar in Atlanta. The place was really beautiful. We had a DJ, killer food stations, alcohol flowing like milk and honey, and a few other little amenities pictured below. I'm fortunate enough to get to work with lots of folks close to my age, so we all have a great time together. And everyone is hilarious so that just adds volumes of value to these kickin' work parties.

The fire dancer and aerialist. And yes this happened. At a work party. And it was better than it looks.

 Ryan and Vincent killin' it on the raised platform where the fire dancer was dancing.

This is Ginny and I enjoying the music, food and drinks. Open bars are a wonderful thing. But not quite as wonderful as working with great friends.

This is Adam, our COO, handing out "Pundees" (like "The Office's" "dundees") to every employee.

Here are some great photos from the free photo booth available all night.

My award. "The Pardotter Globetrotter." And the trophy that everyone got was a symbol of the culture blog that me and a fellow co-worker started called "The Pardot Wave." 

And aside from our take-home trophies, we also got hoodies to sport because today is "National Hoodie Day."So if you're looking for a job with sweet parties, people that like to have fun, drink,  dance, trophies, flame throwers, and photo booths...then you should apply to work with me. Because it's awesome. And you'd be crazy not to love it.

And if that didn't sell you, the free catered breakfast each day might also pique your interest.