I Can Run… Sorta (Part Two)

If TLC made a show called “Extreme List Makers,” I would be their first featured lunatic. I constantly make lists. Just looking around my room here at Purdue you can find several tools of the trade. Here is a sampling:

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Believe it or not, the little pad of white paper with the blue marker is my favorite. I pretty much always carry it around with me if I have a backpack of some sort.

Getting to the main point of this blog, today I have a list that I think is actually worth sharing. Most of my lists are about things I need to do, things I need to buy, etc…. Pretty exciting stuff, I know.

I made a mental list while I was running today. Yes, I am still attempting to run. No, it hasn’t gotten any more fun. But I have gotten a good list out of it! I started thinking about exercising tips. Keep in mind that I am an Animal Science major, so I am more qualified to tell you how to manage livestock than help you with fitness. If you are like me, it’s really hard to motivate yourself to exercise. While I will refer most to running, hopefully you can apply this to any form of exercise!

1) Keep up your posture. No matter how awkward and forced it feels, it helps a lot. Otherwise, you will end up doing more harm than good. My run started uphill. Typically I try to avoid going up hills, but I didn’t have a choice today. I find especially when I run up hills, I drop my shoulders and hunch over. This is bad because it ends up hurting my back and making me feel like I am suffocating because I don’t open up my lungs completely.

2) Have accountability. I find it easier when people know that I am making an attempt to exercise somewhat regularly. This isn’t because I want people to think I am awesome. If they actually watched me run, they wouldn’t think that. Example: Because I blogged about running, I should keep trying to exercise. If I don’t, someone may ask me how my running is going and I have to say, “Haha… About that…”

3)  Don’t use excuses. Leading up to my runs, I always have this internal battle where I try telling myself that I don’t like running so I shouldn’t do it. I then tell myself to suck it up and go. So what this means for you is that “I don’t like running” and “I am not very good at running” are both my excuses, and I don’t use them so you can’t either.

4) Listen to music and/or pray. If you hate music, then I guess you can disregard that point. But you can always pray. Sometimes, when I can’t get my music to play or even while my music is playing I will start praying. Generally my prayers involve asking God to help my knee not to give out or my body to not spontaneously combust from overheating. Frequently, I find myself needing to ask Him to give me the proper attitude about running and thanking Him for having two legs to be able to run.

5) Set mini goals while exercising to keep going. Today, it was really hot and I didn’t feel like going any further. To keep myself running, I would set little goals like, “Just get to that pole,” or, “When you make it to the roundabout, you can stop.” I found that when I would reach each place I had enough energy to keep going, so I wouldn’t stop. I know this probably wouldn’t work for everyone, but it is worth a shot. It works for me because I can trick myself into continuing to run since each little part it less daunting than the overall workout. Also, if you are legitimately about to pass out, Stop. I don’t want to be responsible for you hurting yourself.

6) Be easy and hard on yourself. I know that is a paradox. To elaborate, you should be mean to yourself by giving yourself a challenge, but be nice to yourself by making it more feasible and less miserable. In my case, my challenge is just simply running. I have had people ask me why I run rather than swim considering that I was a swimmer in high school. That is a perfectly reasonable question, and I would much rather swim. However, I know that if I go to the corec and swim, I won’t push myself as hard as I can be and need to be pushed.  I make running less miserable by trying to run at times when it isn’t hot, like in the morning. For me this makes it slightly more pleasant because I don’t enjoy extreme heat while standing, let alone running.

7) Think of things you could be doing that are less fun or even worse than exercising. Like studying physics.

8) Only wear comfortable clothes (i.e. running shorts, basketball shorts, yoga pants) on days where you legitimately plan on or have exercised. I have started doing this and it provides me with motivation for running and also makes me appear more presentable to society than is normal for me on days that I don’t run!

9) Combine exercise with things you want to/ have to/ need to do. For some, that could be watching TV and doing ab workouts during commercials. For me, it has meant running places that I need to go. At my current level of fitness, I check and make sure it isn’t more than 3 miles away. If it’s not, and I still need to exercise that day, then I run there. That has meant running to CVS, running to the post office, and running to Wal-mart. The good thing about this is that once I start going, it is further motivation to keep running because otherwise it will take forever and a day to walk there. I not only like making lists, I also like marking multiple things off my list at the same time. Tuesday and today, when I went to Wal-mart to buy things and then return something I didn’t need respectively, I ran there and took the bus back. I need to figure out the bus routes for the city buses that give rides to students for free, so I took a different bus back each day. Three things off my list both days!

10) If you combine exercise with other activities, order them so you do what you least like first. I am more likely to hop on a bus and figure out the routes than run. So, if I were to decide to ride the bus to Wal-mart and run back, I could see myself ending up just riding the bus both ways.

That’s my list! Hopefully you have either gotten something out of it, or at least enjoyed getting to see a famous Mallory list.

 

Coffee! Coffee! Coffee!

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Here is my concise list of the greatest inventions in the world: Birkenstocks, hair detangler, dresses with pockets, and coffee.

I would put equal weight on each of these, but the only one I am going to elaborate on is coffee.

Where would I be in my life without coffee? Probably asleep. I have quite possibly the lowest energy of any person you will meet. Ever. Sometimes I look at little kids and super bubbly people and I just don’t get it. Like, how even?

If you happen to fit in those categories, you should thank your lucky stars. It must be a genetic thing for me because my mom, uncle, and great-grandpa I never met all are (or were) nap takers. I do enjoy a good nap myself…

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This is why I depend on coffee to keep me going. I try not to overdo it because I don’t want to become desensitized to the effects of caffeine. But even still, I don’t think caffeine has nearly the same effect on me as it does on others. I don’t seem to reach that point in the day where I shouldn’t drink coffee or it will keep me up at night.

I am actually the only coffee drinker in my house. My dad and older sister can’t stand it. My mom and younger sister can tolerate it (normally with a bunch of sugar and creamer). I drink it black.

I will say that coffee is an acquired taste. I don’t think it is often that people just instantly love coffee. For me it started with AP chemistry in high school. I needed something to keep me coherent after swim practice so I could finish my mass amounts of homework. I would brew a pot of coffee and keep pouring myself cups of it. Laziness helped me reach the point where I could drink it black. I didn’t want to mess with adding creamer or sugar so I just wouldn’t. Sometimes the special drinks from Starbucks are too sweet for me, but I can do them occasionally.

College is a wonderful place for coffee drinkers. There are so many places to choose from! Greyhouse, Vienna, Cafe Royale, Cafe Literato… etc. Right now I am sitting at Cafe Royale because it is a 1 minute bike ride from my house, which is both great for me and dangerous for my wallet. They have a fantastic bar seat at the window so that while I am doing homework or whatever, I can people watch! Sunday afternoon coffee is my favorite. It is a great time to relax, reflect on my life, and think about God’s grace and power. If you want to join me, I would be all for it.

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If you are ever looking for someone to go chill at a coffee shop with you, I am your girl. Honestly, I don’t care who you are or if you even like me. I really love coffee, and for me, the best conversations are had over coffee.

 

 

 

 

And So it Begins…

Well. I am done with my first week of the second semester of physics. I can’t complain too much since I am not in the hardest physics class at Purdue, which I know at one point was one of the most failed classes in the nation. However, so far, I am not a fan of this whole electricity part of physics. I have told people that all I really care to know about electricity is that I flip on the light switch and it’s there. Nevertheless, I have to keep studying it.

This whole post isn’t going to be about physics, don’t worry. But before I move on, I do want to say God bless whoever is behind “the Physics Classroom” online. If you are in need of basic physics help, go there. NOW.

Here’s the link-  http://www.physicsclassroom.com/

Now you don’t have any excuses not to check it out. They explain everything in normal people terms, which is something that sometimes professors at Purdue can’t do. They are too smart for their own good.

Being at Purdue for Physics is really depressing after coming back from vacation. Particularly back from the last part of our vacation that I promised I would talk about. We stayed on a Mennonite farm in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Ironically, it was in Paradise, Pennsylvania. Staying on a farm might not be everyone’s idea of paradise, but it is mine.

We had previously been to Verdant View Farm about 6 or 8 years ago. I absolutely loved it, and so when my parents asked us where we wanted to go for vacation, it was my choice immediately. You can definitely see a difference in personalities between my sisters and I when you look at our vacation. My older sister, Alyssa, wanted a beach. My younger sister, Ellen, wanted something historical (Philadelphia and Valley Forge).

George's Crib at Valley Forge

George’s Crib at Valley Forge

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My future house and guest houses

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???

 

I wanted something Amish.

I have a great appreciation for the simplicity of Amish life. I would trade my car in for a horse and buggy in a heart beat if I could. I also wouldn’t mind Amish clothing, bonnet and all. It was so peaceful being in Lancaster County in general. The pace of life is fantastic and the undeveloped land with farms scattered about is beautiful.

We spent quite a bit of time in Lititz, which is called “America’s Coolest Small Town.” I am not going to argue with that. The main town strips were lined with historic looking buildings. They even had antique shops for my mom and me! We stopped by Juilius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery, which was apparently the first commercial Pretzel Bakery in America. Lititz is also home to Wilbur Chocolate Co., which in my opinion beats Hershey (also based in Pennsylvania). In case you are reading this Graham, thanks for the recommendation!

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Lititz!

I have actually played through a made-up conversation in my mind of me telling my parents that I am dropping out of school and moving to Lancaster. I told Emily this, and I think she is worried about me now. She won’t let me drop out, so I am pretty sure my parents wouldn’t go for that either.

Back to Verdant View Farm… they had cows, goats, chickens, rabbits, and a sheep. As I believe I have already mentioned, I love sheep, so I was super pumped! IMG_0694

The problem is that there has been a history of evil animals on the farm when my family comes to visit. The first time, it was an evil donkey. Go to the following link for proof of my previous statement and also to briefly see me in my chubby awkward stage!

The sheep wasn’t as evil as the donkey, he just wasn’t very friendly. Also, I am not going to blame the sheep for his behavior because as I have learned in school, sheep are flock animals, so they don’t act the best when they are alone. My mom wanted to get a picture of me with the sheep and all was fine until she told me that I should bend down next to it. Then it freaked out a bit.

Feisty Sheep

Feisty Sheep

 

Ellen later was standing next to it petting him, and boasted, “See! He likes me!!!” Then just after she said that, the sheep turned his head and hit her right in the gut. Our family farm trips just aren’t complete without someone getting attacked by an animal.

Here are some pictures of the animals for your viewing pleasure!

Battle of the Goats

Battle of the Goats

Goat Selfie

Goat Selfie

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Cattail Crick

I am back…  !!! for a new blog; 😦 for being back from vacation

I said I would finish writing about Pennsylvania, but I am going to keep up the suspense because I have other things to blog about first! I made a promise to Emily that I would write about yesterday.

Emily came up to Purdue to suffer through summer classes with me starting tomorrow. Her being here makes campus seem a little more normal, even though we aren’t living in the same house anymore. Since I have been up here practically all summer while she was back at Seymour, I hadn’t seen her since the end of Finals week, so we decided to catch up!

Emily is a super cool person and everyone should want to be her friend. I am super happy that we were able to have classes together in high school after Freshmen Geometry class because otherwise she would have forever mistakenly thought that I hated her and we never would have been friends. Emily even told me that she put my blog page in her bookmarks, which is in part why I am dedicating part of this blog to her! You can feel free to follow her example (I can’t guarantee I will blog about you though).

There is no better way to catch up than floating around a lazy river all afternoon at Tropicanoe Cove. I personally find their name quite clever. It’s much better than naming it Tippencanoe County Family Aquatic Center or something dumb like that. However, I didn’t much care for the name of the lazy river “Cattail Crick.” It would have been fine if they called it “Cattail Creek,” but no… they just had to go with the hick pronunciation. That’s something I would expect out of Vallonia, Indiana, not the home of Purdue University.

Speaking of cats… Friday was the one year anniversary of Finn Baby’s adoption! In case you don’t know his story or if you want to be reminded, then you can continue reading. If you hate Finn and are tired of posts about him, then you can just stop reading, I won’t be mad at you.

I have never been a cat person. In fact, I am still not. I am just a Finn person. I obviously don’t hate cats since I am going to be a vet, and I do think they are cute (not always), but I would chose a dog over a cat 98% of the time.

I worked in a mixed practice vet clinic last summer, and two litters of kittens were dumped off on the vet, who was nice enough to take them in and try to nurse them back to health. They were all in really rough shape with eyes matted shut and respiratory problems. I helped to clean out their cages, feed them, and wipe off the goo from their eyes. Some of the kittens didn’t mind us being there, but there were a few that were exceptionally skittish around people.

There was one cat in particular that they wanted me to work with so that it would get used to being handled. They maintained records for the weights and medicine given to the kittens and the one I was to work with was listed as “orange fluff.” Little Orange Fluff would just sit in the back of the cage shaking while his many siblings surrounded the food dish. I picked him up and he fell asleep purring in my hands, and it was just so cute I couldn’t even handle it.

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I quickly fell in love with Orange Fluff, and I told my mom I was going to bring home a kitten just to judge her reaction. Like I expected, she wasn’t particularly fond of the idea since we already had two dogs and two rabbits. Every day I would come home from work and she would say in her teacher voice, “Did you bring home a kitten today?” I don’t think she was really expecting me to do it, but after she asked me enough times I decided I would actually bring one home.

On June 13th, 2013, Finn (previously “orange fluff”) came home with me from the vet. I had to buy him eye ointment and antibiotics in hopes that he wouldn’t die on me. There were four really sick kittens, including Finn, that hadn’t moved from the “sick cage” to the “adoptable cage.” Had I not taken Finn home, he would have been euthanized the next day with the other three because there was no hope of them getting better without constant individual attention, and that wasn’t possible at the busy vet office.

I told my mom that if I had just wanted a cat, I wouldn’t have picked an extremely sickly one that could possibly lose an eye. He was a little timid when I first brought him home. I am also pretty sure he was convinced he was a parrot because he like to sit and sleep on everyone’s shoulders.

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Three days after I brought him home, I heard a loud bark and crash, and I ran into the other room to find a kitten with blood all over the floor. Finn had gotten too close to our dog while he was eating, and so Stokley turned around and bit him on the head. Stokley isn’t a mean dog at all, he is just sometimes old and grumpy and protective over his food. I was completely devastated when I picked up Finn and saw that his jaw was broken and bleeding. I called my mom hysterical over the incident and she told me that I could call the vet’s emergency line since they aren’t open on Sundays. When I called, the vet I worked for told me that since the kitten was so small they wouldn’t be able to wire it back or correct it in any way. I was just going to have to let it heal itself, and was told that it may forever look a little weird.

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So now I had a kitten with a decrepit eye and a messed up jaw with a snaggle tooth. He was not the cutest creature you have ever seen. Even still he was incredibly playful and energetic and acted as if there was nothing wrong.

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Eventually, Finn’s sneezing went away, his eye surprisingly cleared up, and his snaggle tooth fell out.

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Finn is one of strangest cats in the world, but he provides hours of entertainment. He is very hyper; however, he still has an extremely chill personality and lets me carry him around like a baby. I hate leaving him every time I have to go back to school, but my parents are gladly housing him until I can get an apartment that allows pets. While they weren’t initially thrilled that I brought a kitten home, now they aren’t looking forward to the day I take him with me because my whole family has gotten attached to him.

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Finn’s hobbies include running around the house randomly, attacking your leg as you walk by, sleeping, getting hight on catnip, bird watching, and sticking his paws into the holes of the laundry basket as you pull clothes out.

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I hope you enjoyed my Finn GIFs I made to commemorate the occasion. If you want to replay them, just click on it. Also, if you would like to see more pictures or videos of Finn being Finn, I have plenty to show you!

#PhillyJesus

Pennsylvania is the greatest state ever. But, before I expand on that, I guess I have to give a nod to Virginia. After an extended night-long drive on Tuesday, we arrived at Virginia Beach early Wednesday morning. We pretty much spent the entire day lounging on the beach, and for once in my life I escaped with only minor sunburns.

Beach Babes

Beach Babes

Story of My Life

Story of My Life

I generally fry like a egg on blacktop in the summer, and my mom makes me frequently reapply SPF 100 sunscreen even when I am in complete shade. My two sisters favor our Native American heritage more when I comes to tanning, especially my “little” sister who sometimes looks nearly African American in the summertime. However, for some reason, my older sister burned REALLY badly. Since I know how much Alyssa loves my shout-outs… IT WAS HER 21ST BIRTHDAY ON JUNE 5TH!!! She wasn’t too happy about being burnt on her birthday and having to stay out of the sun and kept declaring that it was the “Worst Birthday Ever.” She wasn’t really miserable, she just likes being dramatic (Hopefully I don’t get in trouble for that one- Love you Alyssa!).

Happy Birthday Alyssa!

Happy Birthday Alyssa!

 

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Sista Sista

 

The beach was great and all…. but, on Friday we headed out to PENNSYLVANIA!!! After a long drive through Delaware along the way, I determined that Delaware is the most worthless state (sorry, Joe Biden). The license plates there all boast that it was the first state, so the bar was set pretty low for the states that would come after.

After 5 hours and some minor squabbling in the truck, we made it it Philadelphia. Apparently Alyssa was under the impression that we were just going to hop out and see the Liberty Bell and then hop back in and drive on, so she didn’t bring proper walking shoes. As it turns out, we had planned to stay two nights in Philadelphia. Much to Alyssa’s surprise, there is more than the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, and while she remembered to bring a massive bottle of wrinkle release spray, she didn’t have proper walking shoes.

Proper walking shoes were a necessity, especially today. Alyssa happened to record our trek on an app, and in the end, we walked 16.5 miles. I fortunately had on my Birkenstocks, which are quite possibly the greatest, most comfortable shoe known to man. Even still, after 8 hours of walking, my ankles were looking more like cankles from being swollen. My whole family was huffing and puffing by the end of it, but we covered a lot of ground! We started out in the historical district, made our way to a cool and slightly creepy medical museum, and then ended with the Eastern State Penitentiary (and then ice-cream, of course 🙂 ).

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I really wish that I lived in Philadelphia back in the day. Those historic houses are adorable, and I would love to live in them. Also, I am sure Betsy Ross was a super cool lady, and we could have sat around and sewed together all day.

You may have been wondering this entire time, what on earth does #PhillyJesus mean. Great question! On Friday night, we were approximately 5 minutes into our little hunt for some famous statue, when we found it along with Jesus!

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We even got to talk to him!

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As it turns out, this is his ministry, and he doesn’t ask for money. He said that he uses the opportunity to dress up and stand in front of this statue as a way to plant seeds and talk to people about Jesus.  He just asks that you use the hashtag “PhillyJesus” on social media. Philly Jesus is apparently pretty well adjusted to our current culture. He was out again today when we walked by, so if you are ever in Philadelphia you should stop by and have a chat with Jesus!

Tomorrow morning we leave for the last stop on our vacation, which is the one I am most excited about. Stay tuned for my final Stuckwisch Family Vacation blog!

 

 

I Can Run… Sorta.

So all of this free time I temporarily have this summer has me doing the strangest things that I wouldn’t normally do (like blogging). The strangest of these is running.

I decided about a month ago to do the Insanity Month 1 workout schedule because I needed to stop being a bum. It was terribly great while it lasted. Yes, that is how I define Insanity- “terribly great.” When people would ask me how it was, I would always say, “It makes you want to cry, throw-up, and hide in a corner… but it is really good for me!”

When my month ended, I couldn’t just stop exercising all together, but I did take a short little fitness hiatus during dead week and finals week. Now that it is summer and I don’t have much going on, I begrudgingly decided to figure out some sort of workout schedule. For some reason, I settled on running.

Now you might be saying to yourself, “I didn’t know she could run!” Don’t worry, I haven’t been keeping secrets from you. I can’t run. I have gotten better now that I am running on campus Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and the occasional weekend. However, this sums up how I would define my running ability…

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If you ever happen to see me running, just do me a favor and don’t give me the pity clap. I got that once when I had to swim the 200 butterfly at a club swim meet, and I would rather not experience it again.

If you are into running or any other exercise where you are moving and listening to your Ipod, I suggest using the app “Map My Run.” It has been great for me to see how far I run, my pace, and calories burned (it is only off from my heart-rate monitor by a little bit). Just make sure to hit start once before going. This morning, I ran from campus to CVS and didn’t realize that I had accidentally hit the button twice so it was paused the entire time.

Today was my longest consecutive run at 1.74 miles, although I did run 2.44 the other day (with a break after 1.56 miles). I know this doesn’t seem like a lot to experienced runners, but for me it is pretty far. My knee is still pretty mad at me about the whole car accident 2 and a half years ago. It is only sending me slight signals to stop running, so I will keep going.