Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Welcome, and let me introduce myself...

I feel like I spend a lot of time on the Internet, mostly just passively reading, but someone recently asked me if I had a blog, and it made me think...maybe I should start one. I'm not sure if anyone will actually read this, but I figured now is as good a time as any to start blogging.

Major changes have happened in my life over the past 8 months. First of all, I got pregnant. Then my military husband got transferred to a new duty station. So, I quit my job, we moved nearly 400 miles, and now I am experiencing life as a stay-at-home wife, soon to be stay-at-home mom.

This blog won't be just about the mom life, though. Most of the blogs I have been following are Irish dance-related. You see, adults in Irish dance are a bit of an anomaly. Many adults involved in Irish dance enjoy the fitness aspect and the camaraderie of their dance classmates. I enjoy both of those features of Irish dance, but I also belong to the sub-group of adult Irish dancers who want to push ourselves to the limits, competitively and physically. My pre-pregnancy self loved being drenched in sweat after class, being out of breath after drills, and going home with the challenge of new, more complicated steps to work on. Competition drives me, and it drives me nuts that the adult category of Irish dance has fewer levels and cannot go on to regional or national competitions for solo competition. What is even more confusing and frustrating is that there is a level of competition known as "and-overs," which can sometimes be open to adults. "And-overs" (whether it is "15 and over," "17 and over," "20 and over," etc.) can work towards competing in the championship level and regional, national, and world championship competitions. So, depending on a variety of factors (age of starting Irish dance, teachers' opinion, regional rules or attitudes, personal goals), some adults competing in the "and over" categories may be the same age (or older) than some of the adults competing in the "adult" categories. If this sounds confusing, it really is. Someone wrote a post on the dance.net website at http://www.dance.net/topic/9150705/1/Irish-Adult-Dancers/A-Guide-to-Dropping-Down.html, which might explain it better. I am currently in the adult category of Irish dance, but hopefully at some point in the future, that will change.

My other fitness passion is running, though that is one that I sadly had to give up much earlier in my pregnancy. I had just run my best-ever 10K, with a time of 50 minutes, 49 seconds, in May. I was attempting to train for my fourth half-marathon, when I just got too busy, between work and a musical theater production I was in, and by the end of May, I learned I was pregnant. I completed a 2-mile race in August (though at a slower pace), but within a month, I had completely given up running due to sacroiliac joint pain and lower back pain.

So this blog will mostly be about my journey back to fitness, within the context of the stay-at-home mom life. One thing I have been doing a lot of in the past couple of months is trying to learn to cook, especially healthy cooking. I've tried many new recipes over the past 4 months, with various levels of success, many of which were vegetarian recipes. Some involve chicken or turkey, but I gave up eating beef and pork three and a half years ago.

Now that I've introduced myself and my blog intent, stay tuned for my list of 2016 fitness goals and my experience trying out a tofu cacciatore recipe.... 

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