Friday, August 22, 2014

My Dad

I don’t often write too many personal things on here; a lot of random thoughts and stories, sure, but 
nothing uber personal.

We are about to get personal, ready?

My dad is not someone who I have mentioned on here often; hardly at all actually.  But growing up he was a huge influence in my life, in a lot of positive ways. He supported and encouraged me, and is a large part of the reason I chose to pursue becoming a college athlete, and have continued to push myself in life afterwards.


I spy Jane hiding in the background
A bit over a year ago now my dad was diagnosed with younger onset Alzheimer’s. In short, it’s a more aggressive form of Alzheimer’s that people are diagnosed with before the age of 65. My dad just turned 59 about a week ago, and when diagnosed it was estimated that he may have had the disease for up to eight years at that point.

Equally difficult to watching my dad lose his memory and becoming increasingly confused has been trying to be there for my mom, as her role shifted from wife to full-time caretaker when she is home. On top of working a full-time job.


my amazing mom
The disease is staggering and life shattering, and it’s been especially hard trying to figure out how to be a support piece to my family halfway across the country. My mom’s family and dad’s sister have been amazing thus far through the battle, and I’m forever grateful for them. I’m also extremely grateful for Without Warning, a support group through Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center in Chicago. 

The center is one of 27 Alzheimer’s disease research centers across the country designated and funded by the National Institute on Aging. My mom attends the group on a monthly basis and it has helped her immensely through the struggle, reminding her that she is not alone in this, while receiving support and suggestions from other families going through similar experiences.




Since Younger Onset Alzheimer's is such an unknown disease, there are few resources out there around education and awareness. Recently, Without Warning launched plans to produce a special documentary and companion website with the goal of reaching a national audience and making it not so unknown.


So, just like the ALS movement, I’m asking that you give to this cause if you feel prompted to. They need to raise $80,000 to produce the documentary, which in the grand scheme of things shouldn't be hard to make happen, right? I’m not good at asking for money, or putting super personal things out here like this. But I owe it to my parents, my family, and everyone suffering. There is nothing fun related to this donation cause – I mean I guess if you want to dump ice water on your head, that’s cool, I dig that.  I don’t really care what you do; to be honest if you made it this far into the post I’m pretty happy that you’re at least aware. Now if you donate, that’s an extra cherry on top knowing that you’re helping out my family in an awesome way. 



Thanks for reading, and hearing me out.  I tried to keep the emotional throw-up to a minimum, but it’s by far the hardest thing my family has faced, and I could go on about it forever… but we’ll leave it at this.

Thanks Guys - 
Kait

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Thinking Outloud Thursday

I'm wondering if I've ever used this blog title before, but I'm too lazy too scroll back and find out.

Oh well.

I swam at the outdoor pool this week at Patterson Park. I’ve never dared to go there after work because it’s typically over run by neighborhood kids… so my coworker convinced me to go early with her when it opened; 6 AM. Per usual of 6 AM, I dragged myself there in a very crabby manner, but left feeling glad I got in a solid 30 minutes of cardio. Outside of the dead cockroach floating in my lane, I think I like swimming laps outside better than inside.

Also, morning swims = shower, right?
Driving to work with windows down = blow dryer, right?

I'm curious as to who made the call that new music is consistently released on Tuesdays? Whoever it was, I like them. Tuesdays are literally worthless outside of new albums/singles being released. 

THIS GUY, is killin' it.

I’m back to eating pumpkin in the mornings –I made a weird pumpkin chia pudding and kind of loved it. Don’t know what chia pudding is? Check this out.


I’m also back to chewing on my cuticles like a savage. I swore I would stop once I had a pretty ring on my finger AKA a legit reason to keep my hands looking nice. Yeah… that lasted about a month. Does ANYONE have ways that they’ve stopped chewing on their nails/cuticles without paying for gel manis on a bi-weekly basis… because I can’t afford that.

Crossfit was last night. My weird shy self is slowly making friends. I wrote about it over here

Anyways, there’s some thinking out loud for your Thursday. Make it great.

Cheers –

Kait


Friday, August 8, 2014

Embracing

Disclaimer: this is me rehashing a rant I had in my head this morning. While everyone may not necessarily fall into this mindset or agree with me, I’m going to stick to the whole ‘my blog my rules’ thing.

I’m a huge sucker for the ‘embrace life, find joy’ type of catch phrases. I’m a big believer in living this mindset out… but as they are pretty vague blanket statements, sometimes I feel myself getting stuck on them.  Embrace life? Ok, I mean I can try. But how do I do that, day in and day out, every.single.day.?


Recently I have been finding myself in situations where that voice in my head is saying ‘Kait, you live in an awesome, beautiful, fun city. You are 26, engaged, you should absolutely be loving life, no matter what life is bringing.’ And I mean that. But sometimes like I mentioned above, I’m not quite sure how to embrace it. I find myself getting stuck in the comfort of routine and 9 pm bedtimes…. And that’s ok, sometimes.

But nights like last night, when we found ourselves down by the water in Annapolis watching his talented cousins’ recital, I had an ‘Ok why not stay for a drink and embrace this Thursday with family?’ kind of moment.



And mornings like this morning, when that Thursday night drink in Annapolis gave me an extra late bedtime.... I would have loved to have slept in; loved to. But I was committed to trying November Project and making my morning count. Embracing the day and starting it off sweaty; one of my favorite things ever.

sweaty 6:30 AM high fives
More on November Project coming soon I'm sure.

What is my point? Hmmm, what is my point…

My point is,  I don’t think twenty-something is the time for me to ‘settle down’ and settle in (for some people it is, and that's just dandy) I mean, responsibilities-wise, do what you want, that’s your motif and I will always respect it. But while running up hills from hell this morning with 20+ other strangers, while blaring ‘Turn Down for What’ in the middle of my favorite Baltimore Park… I realized what an exciting time this is. 

Stressful? Sure. Hard? You bet. But this is literally the ONLY time in my life I will most likely be at my fitness prime, childless, engaged, living in an awesome city, with a great job... Pretty much able to do WHATEVER I want in my free-time.


And sometimes, that will mean ice cream, movie and a 9 pm bedtime. But I think when we are talking about the whole ‘embracing life thing’…. I think I would prefer that you more often find me enveloped in some intense debate with my fiancĂ©, down by the water enjoying a glass of wine. Or maybe yoga on a rooftop on a Saturday morning instead of still in bed. Or maybe an O’s game, feeling the love and the buzz of this little city on the harbor, that now has a place in my heart.



I don’t know. Sleep is important, rest is important. But in this moment, at a very happy 26 years of age, I gota say...

I’m just not too worried about it.

Sorry for the bluntness... but really I’m not. I’m off for a quick 3 miles and then to the Oriole’s game. It’s a perfect evening and summer is fading quicker than we think


Cheers my friends –

Kait



Monday, August 4, 2014

Wishing Time Away

The other night was one of those nights when I really needed a pep talk.

One of my BFFs Kar came to visit for a few days, and after a fun-filled weekend full of giggles and way too much pizza and country music, I found Andrew and I sitting down by the water, watching the sunset, eating peanut M&M’s, and having one of those deep life type of conversations.

It’s hard for me to grasp that it’s August. This summer has flown. Maybe it was getting engaged, maybe it’s been because almost every single weekend has been packed to the brim. August and September aren’t looking to be much different. I'm not complaining.

I came across this awesome picture on Pinterest the other day. And then I read the caption and realized it was Bear Lake up in Estes Park, where Andrew and I had snowshoed this past January.




I flipped back and forth between the two pictures for a while, and I became fixated on two thoughts.

1.  I’ve got to stop wishing time away. While I’m sad that the end of summer is almost in sight, I already keep finding myself babbling about fall and pumpkin and those stereotypical fall activities that all women seem to love  Time is flying. Flyyyyying. That hike in Estes Park seems like yesterday, but it was seven months ago. We already over halfway through 2014. What.

2.  I've got to do better at embracing change; all forms of it. Yeah... I don’t very well with it. I always have to sit and convince myself that it’s a good thing, and normally when something new presents itself, I have to drag myself to it/through it with dread. This summer has been a change kind of summer. For one, I’m preparing to change my last name… and that’s just scratching the surface. Yet when I look at both of those pictures – two completely different seasons, more changes in the scenery than we could list off - it’s beautiful right?  They are both beautiful. Change is good, it challenges us, and it almost always happens for a reason.

Time is flying, change is good.  I’m counting down to a wedding, but damnit I’ve GOT to embrace today, even if it’s just a normal Tuesday.   

That’s all I’ve got folks. Wait actually no, one more thing. I’m writing another blog. It’s not a life blog, it’s strictly a fitness blog, because what do ya know, I’m trying something new. And my friend over at Blue Crab Crossfit asked me if I was interested. So I said yes... I like to try to practice what I preach.


Cheers –
K8