Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Can't

There are actually a few things I want to say around the word "can't" and how it's been annoying me lately, but I'm actually going to write backwards and share about how I finally accomplished a "can".

There's this dog park near our apartment that Kai and I go to almost daily.  Being a Husky she needs to sprint it out at least once a day, and since she gets along well with other pups, dog parks are ideal.

Every Friday there's a 'dog adoption fair' for lack of a better words. Usually roughly 20-30 dogs (sometimes kitties too) are tied up/penned up outside of the dog park, with workers from the organization taking donations, helping the pups get adopted, or fostered.  After a few conversations with different volunteers there, I learned that this particular organization works through a foster network where the dogs go to homes for the week, and then back to the park every Friday to potentially be adopted by random or intentional passerby's.

The cycle makes me a little sad but on the plus side, being in an actual home might be better than being in a shelter. But then again who knows how long some of these dogs are passed around until they finally get adopted.

Anyways.

Friday rituals

Kai and I usually walk through and say hello to all the dogs, go play in the park, say bye to the dogs, go home, Last Friday there was a group of puppies tied to the bench, and one in particular caught my eye. Kai sniffed her nose, they said hello, and then we went on our way.

I had been telling myself for awhile that I would foster one.  We have the resources, I have the time, and we have a dog who loves all other furry creatures.... Kai even has an extra crate that is easy to pop up when we need it. So I couldn't help but think about that puppy a few more times throughout the day, specifically when I was leaving a coffee date with a friend.

So, I walked by the park on my way home... and she was still there...



Long story short, that's basically what happened. She was there on the bench, it was starting to rain and she was shivering.  Her two sisters she had been with were gone, and she looked pathetic and scared.  So I signed a paper in Hebrew probably promising I was competent or perhaps signing up for some cult who actually knows, and we went on our way.



I did it because I can. Not because we want another dog right now (eventually) or because I thought it would be easy (it's not, we quickly learned she wasn't potty trained) but because I can.  And while the first couple months here have been about 'adjusting' and 'settling in', 'getting comfortable with surroundings'.... I think I'm over that.

We are settled, we are happy, I've made our house a home.  And it's time for me to start turning some of my can'ts into cans.  I didn't necessarily think that would start with bringing home a random dog that keeps getting mistaken for a cat, but hey no one plans for these things.


So I'm going to try my best to get her adopted.  Starting with the semi-absurd amount of money we shelled out to our vet to get her the shampoo she needed for her skin issues that has left her with some missing fur.  Last night I baked them banana strips for dessert (basically dehydrated them at a low temp in the oven) as she's under-weight, and is going to eat like a Queen while she's with me.  Over the course of the past four days, I've gotten her semi-potty trained, (sometimes) sitting for treats, and shifting from being scared of Kai to being best buds. It's been fun, and while fostering can be emotionally hard, I feel really good about the decision to grab her and run last Friday.

More specifics around this mindset shift next time (I think), but for now I wanted to tell the story about Roo. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, that's her name.  She came without one, so we call her Roo because of her big ass kangaroo ears.


Anyways, if anyone in Tel Aviv is reading this and wants a cuddly four-month old adorable puppy whose crate trained and semi-house trained, hit me up.  If anyone is the U.S. wants her, it'll require you visit us first :)  

Happy hump day!
-Kait

Friday, December 9, 2016

Five

Once upon a time when I thought I was a real blogger and tried to link up with other blogs and become internet famous (not really but kind of) I used to do a "Five Things Friday" post, every Friday.

Personally now that I write whenever I want, about whatever I want, I enjoy writing much more, but I do think a Five Things Friday post is in order for today. Sound good?

1. I almost constantly have sand in my running shoes.

As my long runs are slowly becoming longer, I have been seeking out different running routes. While I love running the boardwalk along the beach, it's a stone surface and honestly I'm so paranoid about stress fractures that sometimes I think I can feel my bones screaming at me when I run on it.

So, I've slowly transitioned to throwing a few miles along the actual beach in there, on the packed down sand, just close enough to the water to feel the danger of possibly soaking my shoes with a surprise wave...


Which is awesome, but I pretty much always end up with a pile of sand in my shoes by the time I get home.

2. I have an irrational fear that a cat is going to attack me.  They are everywhere, always. Sometimes I'll look up and there will be one sitting on a wall, glaring down at me.  I just have this ingrained image of a cat randomly jumping at my head and going apeshit.

There is absolutely no reason to be sharing this but I just had to put it out there.

3.  My Our car is here!  It arrived in Israel about ten days ago, but the process of actually getting it to Tel Aviv and getting it registered and all that crap is taking forever.  Fingers crossed we can drive her by next week...

4.  I'm less paleo than I used to be.

This is random, but I've realized over the last month or so that I need a little more grain in my life than I've allowed in the past. I used to be pretty aggressively paleo during the week, yet now I'm much more prone to adding brown rice/quinoa to dinner, having some oatmeal with my breakfast, eating five pitas while out to dinner etc.  I think it's a good balance that my body needs, especially as my running mileage continues to go up.

5.  I think our dog is getting more Christmas gifts than me.

Which is fine, because some of her gifts benefit me :)  At the top of the list that Amazon is throwing our way is a running leash that will go around my waist. I've heard running further distances with dogs while holding onto a leash can mess up your gait (probably doesn't help if your dog psychotically chases pigeons) and so I'm interested to see if this leash helps us become better running buddies.

For the record, this is not Kai.  This is a random meme.

I'll report back on that one.

Anyways, there's your mindless Friday read if you were looking for one.  Have a fabulous weekend.

Cheers - 

Kait

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Crossfit Tel Aviv

It's pretty crazy to me that we are coming up on four months of living out here. A third of a year?? Time flies.

I like to frequently take time to reflect and make note of what's worked, and what hasn't. What was harder than I expected when moving to a new country, and what was easier than expected.

It surprised me how difficult I found starting at a new gym to be.  It wasn't like in the past; I wasn't going into crossfit with zero experience, and (for the most part) I felt confident that I knew what I was doing.


I don't know if it was the occasional language barriers, the overwhelming-ness of the move as a whole, or what.  But for the first several weeks, every other time Andrew and I had plans to go workout at a certain time, I had an aggressive internal battle with myself around why I didn't want to go.

Yet the quote 'Life begins at the end of your comfort zone' has continued to hold true throughout this transition, and the gym was no different. It took awhile, a few moments of awakening, but it began to get easier.


One day while walking home from a workout in deep reflection, I realized something important.  And it's obvious, but it's something that I lost grasp of somewhere along the way, and I think it's something we as athletes all need to be reminded of.

The "rules" of crossfit aren't just something that are sacred to your gym, or your region, or even your country.  The rules and expectations of crossfit apply worldwide.

You cheer on every last teammate - even if you know damn well they may not know English - clapping works right?  And you don't put your equipment away until every teammate has finished the workout.

 You will continue to be pushed outside of your comfort zone, whether you are a new or old athlete, and you don't take that personally.

And there's no feeling sorry for yourself.  Which believe me, I had moments where I tried.  The extreme attention to the details of lifting form took me awhile to get used to (and not take personally) and eventually I've slowly come to appreciate and value it.

But I won't lie, there were frustrating moments that had me on the edge of tears.  

Slowly the coaches are getting to know me; when I'm being a baby about heavy weight and when I actually may need to scale.  Just last week I was encouraged to do Grace at Rx weight (which as a side note, figuring out what I'm actually lifting in Kgs vs. Lbs has also been a struggle) and I surprised myself by finishing under 7 mins.


Yet if I've really been shown anything the past four months, it's been that the one thing that sets CrossFit apart (worldwide) is the instant induction into a community that cares about you.  Whether you fluently speak the same language or not, have the same president or not, have the same goals or not.  Without what has come to be the safety net of a little gym on the beach to go to every day, be greeted warmly, and work with others towards getting better... this move would have been a hell of a lot harder.

Cheers - 
Kait

Friday, December 2, 2016

Community

It's funny, because I almost published this exact same post after I first moved to Baltimore.  I even went back to my drafts to see if I had saved it; I'm sad that I didn't.

When you move to somewhere new you kind of get used to feeling invisible. Not in like a.... oh poor me I'm invisible feel bad for me sort of way, but simply because the odds of randomly running into someone you know when you in fact don't really know anyone is... low.  At least for the first month or so.

I'm out and about several times a day between part-time work, going to the gym, running errands etc. My doormen probably know me as the tall American who talks to her husky and wears shorts during 'winter.'  Yet outside of them, typically while walking the dog or lugging home ten tons of groceries in my backpack... I'm pretty much in my own little world.  Especially since I don't understand the language surrounding me 90% of the time; I just kind of zone out and do my thing, sometimes even sing country music out loud in hopes that it will catch on.

I run Kai along the beach on M/W/F mornings -  and by run I mean I usually am either sprinting, or dragging her at a snails pace as she tries to hunt pigeons. I'm really glad that I left my headphones at home this past Monday and opted for the Mediterranean waves soundtrack, because otherwise I might not have heard this -

"Kait!"

I pulled Kai to a screeching halt.  "WHAT no one here knows who I am and Andrew is at work this is confusing", said my brain as I turned around, half expecting to have misheard my name for perhaps some Hebrew word.

But alas, it was a fellow gym member who had recognized me.  Instantly I grinned and waved and then let Kai continue to drag me along.

(That stupid grin lingered for at least a half mile.)

Like I said, you just kind of get used to not running into people, not having random encounters and catch-ups with acquaintances. But when that starts to be broken - when you build those relationships, force yourself into awkward get-to-know-you situations that you may hate in the moment, but know it will eventually pay off...

When you start to randomly be recognized, and realize hey maybe I'm onto something here... it's pretty darn cool to slowly see the rise of what may be your next community(ies).


As a side note/plug, right here is also reason four million as to why I love crossfit - whether you want to be noticed or not, you'll be noticed, and accepted into the gym fam  :)

So yeah, I just wrote a blog post about how being recognized in public made me happy.  To wrap up, other things that make me happy: it's December, and it's actually cold and rainy here today.  Mother Nature must have taken my post earlier this week personally.

Happy Friday!
Kait