Tuesday, November 27, 2012

It's a Date!

I have a date! Can you believe it?

I can't. Mainly because I asked him! Wow, I had to be on something to ask a guy out on a date! I guess I just couldn't live with myself if I had gone yet another semester up here at BYU-Idaho and still no dates. I assume that's what people mean by taking matters into your own hands.

Now for the story of how it all happened:

It was Thanksgiving break and I was planning to drive back to Rexburg on Monday because my classes didn't start until 2 that afternoon. But, Saturday night rolled around and I had a feeling that I wanted to go back up with my roommate Lara on Sunday after she got into the Salt Lake Airport.

Sunday morning arrived and I texted Lara and asked if it would be alright to caravan back up to Idaho with her. She was happy that I was going to come back with her but she said that there were some boys up in Bountiful that needed a ride and Lara thought she would let one of the boys ride with me.

I'm not great at talking to boys but a sheepishly agreed anyways.

We picked up Lara's friend John first because his family had made us some dessert for us and then we went over to pick us my passenger, DJ.

I have to shamefully admit that I was so nervous, I was terrified of not knowing what to say and the ride ending up being super awkward for the entire 4 hour drive. But as soon as we were packed up and in the car, the conversation came so easy, it was shocking to me.

In those short 4 hours, I learned a lot and I had so much fun. DJ, is really funny and really easy to talk to. There was honestly nothing to be nervous about and I have to thank him for that. But, anyways, we seemed to keep coming back to dating and he seemed genuinely surprised to hear that I had never had a boyfriend and had only gone on two "real" dates and I had never been asked out while up at school. He kept asking me about it and how I felt about not dating. We got pretty personal on certain subjects and I wasn't expecting that at all.

By the time we got into Rexburg he told me that I had to promise him that by Sunday I needed to have asked someone out (I avoided answering him) and when we got to his apartment and unloaded his things. Again he said, "Okay you promised, you need to ask someone out!"

I told him that I never promised and he kept egging me to promise him but had to remind him there were no guys in my classes because there are only girls in my classes. He then proceeded to tell me I could ask someone in my ward (did I mention he's in my ward?). Finally I caved and I ended up asking him if he would like to go on a date with me.

He said yes.

So now I am going on a date with DJ this Saturday! I can't tell you how excited I am!

I just thought I would let everyone know that I, Alyssa Wood, finally, have a date :) Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Runner's Tip: Shin Splints

This is a new section of my posts that will be about little tips and tricks for runner's and exercise in general, called Runner's Tip. This is my first one so be nice to me okay?

For many runner's, there is one injury among many that just about every one can get while running. This injury is painful and can be very hard to treat, it is shin splints. Shin splints cause a lot of pain in the muscle around the shins and they can happen at anytime, to anyone if you are not being careful. I would know because a few weeks into me training for my first half marathon, I seem to have started to develop them in my right leg.

I fear shin splints the most just because I am still getting into the hang of running and I am afraid that if I have shin splints, I won't be able to train for the half marathon and trust me-- I don't want to disappoint. So I asked around and I received a couple words of advice on how to help with shin splints.

First off, you need really good running shoes. One of the main causes of shin splints is because someone is wearing run down shoes that need to retire. Please, for your own good and safety, if your shoes are super old, they need to go!

Another thing, make sure you are wearing the right kind of shoes. Many people don't realize this, but many people in the world have misaligned joints in their legs and need shoes that would help correct that while you run. Check with the assistant at a sporting goods store about the different kinds of shoes to help get you the right pair. This also helps prevent shin splints.

The next thing that can help is stretching your muscles. Take this tip from dancers, to help protect their muscles and keep them nimbly on their toes, they use certain stretches. The stretch that can help is simple. Sit on the floor with your legs out stretched in front of you. One at a time, raise your right leg and flex your foot as far back as possible. Then point your foot all the way down as you can. To know how long you do this on each leg, try spelling out the alphabet all the way through on each leg.

Lastly, if you have already formed or they are forming, get the little bathroom Dixie cups and fill them with water. Then stick them in the freezer until they are completely frozen solid. Then peel the cup away about half way down and ice your shins that way. It really helps and it's much easier than trying to hold a whole brick of ice to your leg.

Hope these were helpful to you and I would like to say: Happy Running!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Hiatus Apology

Hello Beautiful People!

I would like to apologize for my long absences, for the times where I write a couple days in a row and then weeks go by with no new posts. I think about posting something everyday but at the moment especially, I have been having a hard time lately and it has been effecting a lot of things in my life including my writing.

I really am trying to be better at writing consistently and as soon as I get out of my terrible writing funk, there will be more posts that are much better but please be patient with me. I can tell you that I am still trying to figure out who I am and realize what my worth is. I just really need time to figure everything out but please keep coming back.

I can't express enough how much I appreciate everyone that reads my blog. It really makes me so happy that people care enough about me to read my stuff. Thank you so much! Hopefully I will start writing more this week. You people are the reason why I keep writing :)

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Things We Do

After having a truly rough week, it was time to have some ridiculously good fun. I don't think I have ever had a more entertaining and adventurous weekend in my life. By the close of Sunday, I can honestly say that it really did lighten my mood, as well as all my roommates (It had been hard on all of us and we desperately needed some fun.)

First, I had had a grueling amount of homework on Friday and was so tired that at about 7 pm, I got in the shower to get ready for bed. I had been playing music off my phone while I was in the shower when I got a text message. Looking at my phone I could see my roommate Lara's name at the top of the text message so I grabbed the phone and read what she had sent me. Apparently, some guys in our ward had invited she and I to go Ice Caving with them. I told her I would love to go but I needed to get out of the shower and then we could.

Half an hour later we walked out the door. We were ready to go with our boots, coats, hats, gloves, and flashlights. We hopped into the bed of the truck and drove out to St. Anthony. It was a rough ride out to the caves but it was one of the most amazing things I have experienced up here at school.

Now you are probably wondering what Ice Caving is exactly. Well, there are underground rivers out in St. Anthony just passed the Sand Dunes where there are these huge rocky craters. When it's really cold up here, which is most of the year, the water underneath the rock becomes frozen solid. We tried taking pictures of the caves but with the heat of our bodies combining with the cold ice, it was creating too much perspiration which in turn made the pictures too foggy to really see anything. But, the best way I can describe them is that if you have ever seen Ice Age where they are sliding down the ice, that is exactly how it was. You would be sitting either on your knees or bum, sliding down these tiny spaces. There were even sometimes where you would have to get on your belly or back to slide under the rock.
It was exhilarating and frightening at the same time because it is pitch black and you are having to slide under these tiny spaces between rock and ice but it was the best thing I have experienced. At the end you come to a huge wall of ice and at the bottom the is a sort of ice slide you slide down and then you slide your way back out of the cave. It was truly impressive and I recommend that if you have never gone, you should.

Then Saturday was  just crazy because I woke up at 7:30 am to take an exam and four quizzes and a little more homework that had to be done by 10 am and then Lara and I drove down to Winco in Idaho Falls to get some produce. Then when we came back and Lara did some studying and I did a little bit of laundry and reading during the afternoon. After dinner Lara, Kristina, and I went on our long run of the week and I was so happy, Lara and I were able to finally run 2.01 miles straight through without stopping and it felt so good and Kristina was tearing it up like a beast the whole time, it made me jealous:) Oh and my legs were so sore from ice caving the previous night that I really had to push myself to keep going the last little bit-- but we did it. I am so proud of us!

When we got back we got all squeeky clean and dressed up to have a Girls Night out on the town. We were going to go to Rigby to a Karaoke Bar to sing our little hearts out but before we left we helped our Roommate Carson throw a Surprise Birthday for her boyfriend Chase. And then we were off to Rigby. 

When we got to the karaoke bar though, it had been closed and we were all terribly bummed but don't worry, we had a back up.

We decided to drive back to Rexburg and go to Sammy's Cafe for a dance party. It has just a little thing but not to brag, but we were the life of the party and we even got up on stage and partied it out. My roommate Kayli even body surfed, that lucky girl!

 It was so fun but it ended at 10:45 pm and we definitely were not ready to stop so we drove to the local Applebee's where my roommate Sydni works and got free appetizers because we promised that we would sing to them. It was an extremely fun night and all my roommates were beautiful and their singing was heavenly. And then something strange happened....

I got the courage to sing... a solo.... acapella style-- IN A RESTRAUNT! What? Alyssa sings in front of people? No, but my roommates got me to do it, and I am never doing it again. But I sang "Cups" by Anna Kendrick from the movie Pitch Perfect. I forgot the tune to part of the song but I just kept going and everyone clapped and cheered for me so it made going out of my comfort zone totally worth it. I even had them record it so that I had proof that I did something I normally would never do.

We stayed out past curfew, singing long past every one else had left but the people that worked there, we are so naughty :) but when we got home Lara and I got ready for bed, set our clocks back for Daylight Savings and watched an episode of CW's Supernatural before heading off to bed. 

Sunday was also amazing. I don't think I have had a more inspiring, and uplifting Sunday in my life. The lessons were so powerful and after church I ended up walking up to the temple and praying to my Heavenly Father for a while. In all, my entire weekend was just amazing and there was a lot of fun and a lot of spiritual and it felt so amazing. I loved it.

Oh and did I mention I got a letter? From my missionary Nathan?  Well I did and I was over joyed. His letters always make me feel so happy and this one was really special because he wrote-- In his own words:

"So I just watched conference [....] I just thought I should tell you that IF you decide to go on a mission of your own you better leave as soon as possible because I don't want you gone too long after I get home. I have almost been out 6 months so IF you go you better get on it!"

I don't know about you but I was freaking out! I wish I could leave right now :(

But I hope you liked my really long post today and I will write again soon!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Those Who Come Into Our Lives

(Left to right: Carson, Kayli, Lara, Me, Sydni, Kristina)

I wanted to introduce some very special people to you. As you can see above there is a picture of my roommates and I. Yes, that's right, I wanted to tell you a little bit about my beautiful roommates. They have become sisters to me and I love them dearly.

(Lara Zenger and I)

So first off we have my wonderful roommate Lara Zenger from St. Louis, Missouri,  who I share a room with. We literally hit it off as soon as she walked through that apartment door--which doesn't happen too often since I am the "shy girl." I consider her the older sister I never had (seeing as I am the oldest in my family). She just turned 24 and she is a returned missionary. She served in Ukraine and spoke Russian and it's always a treat for me to hear her talk in Russian because it sounds so delicate and pretty coming from her, plus it's cool just to hear a different language spoken in the apartment. She is a huge example to me of what I should be and by her example, it has helped me decide to go on a mission.

(Kristina Nye)

Next we have Kristina Nye who is from Buhl, Idaho. She was the very first girl I met of all the roommates when I moved back up to Idaho this year and I can't say I have ever had a more warm welcoming than I did from her. She is is 21 and has the title of Miss Snake River Valley and going for Miss Idaho this coming summer. She is definitely the party and the most outgoing and she can cheer you up in the blink of an eye. She is absolutely fantastic to be around, plus she has a gorgeous voice which brightens up the apartment every day.

(Kayli Schwendiman)

Then we have Kayli Schwendiman, from Newdale, Idaho, who was the second person I met and again, so friendly and beautiful. Both Kristina and Kayli helped me move in all of my stuff on their way to the gym. Kayli just turned 20 and is one of the main reasons I have been so determined to run a half marathon because she does full 26.2 mile marathons and is helping me build my miles up. She has the title of Miss Southeastern Idaho and she is also going after Miss Idaho this summer. She is always so fun to be around and she is so kind to everyone she comes in contact with. She inspires me every day to be a healthier me and I couldn't be more blessed for it.

(Sydni Parkinson)

Sydni Parkinson is from Salem, Idaho and she is the same age as me (so 19 years old) but in terms of maturity in spirit I would say more like 25 years old. Her spirit speaks so loud and although she thinks she is quiet, she impresses more than she knows. She has a beautiful and soulful voice that always seems to always put a smile on my face and her passion to teach and share the gospel makes my testimony feel extremely inadequate and it makes me want to work harder at it. I am deeply grateful for her for that reason.

(Carson Duke)

Last but definitely not least we have Carson Duke from Scottsdale, Arizona. First off, I love her clothes and her fashion sense is absolutely impeccable, as well as all of my roommates (they are all like models, no joke). But anyways, Carson is 19 years old with Sydni and I and she plays Lacrosse and she is super outgoing as well. Honestly it is so nice to have such outgoing girls around. 

So there you have it! The most wonderful and beautiful girls I have ever lived with and there is seriously never a dull moment when I am with them and sometimes we have too much fun but I couldn't have asked for better roommates :)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

"You Are Only As Strong As You Perceive"

I feel that there is no greater feeling than that of being proud of yourself. No, not being prideful, but being proud and confident of yourself and the accomplishments that were the hardest to achieve for you.

Today I would like to take the time to express how happy I am and how proud I am in myself. A year ago, I was a freshman in college who was terrified to have her parents leave her in a place she had never been to.

At 18, I thought I was invincible and was now free to do what I wanted with my life. Which in one respect, meant eating terrible food choices and being lazy when it came to being physically active. I fell hard off my high horse months after when I finished the first semester and headed home for Christmas break and made an alarming discovery that I really wasn't invincible.

I got down on myself and I was having a truly painful struggle with trying to lose, what is considered to college students, the horrid Freshman 15. It was a very unsuccessful journey and to my dismay, my goals of becoming healthier and more fit, seemed to never get passed the first week before I caved and went straight back to where I started, ground zero.

It has never looked like my weight has been a problem and people would always tell me that they looked up to me as inspiration and a role model when it came to health and fitness, but inside I was dying. It killed me when people would say things like that because I understood that I was truly someone they looked up to and yet I was letting them down without them even truly knowing.

Now don't worry, this isn't a sob story, remember?

The reason why I mention this backstory is because of why I am so proud of myself today.

On October 18th of this year, I had the courage to sign up for my very first half marathon. For so long I have said countless times that I was going to run a marathon or a half marathon and then I would quit after a week into it.

This time around, it was different. I filled out an application, put down $58 for the entry fee and tied my running shoes on. I have had so much support from family, friends and especially roommates, that I truly am so proud to say that this is my THIRD week of training for the half marathon and I am starting to absolutely love running and can't stop. I have a feeling that I will be pulling through to the end this time around.

Now I would like to humbly take a minute to thank my beautiful super runner roommate Kayli for helping me set up a running schedule that would help me build up to run 4 miles straight to do a pre-training before the actual training begins. You are my inspiration. Thank you to my drop dead gorgeous cousin Brittney for being the first to agree to run the race with me, I am in debt to you for being so willing and positive to join me, although I am pretty sure you thought I was crazy when I first asked you. Thank you to my lovely aunt Jill for also agreeing to run with me. You are the other person who inspired me to do this as well as the fact that you are the biggest source of my motivation to not give up on this race. Also, I would like to thank my darling roommate Lara for *finally* signing up for the race with me and believing in herself. I know you can do it and I will be there every step of the way. Lastly I would like to thank my parents, Kent and Melanie, for believing that I can do this and I have their full support on this.

Not only have I been able to stick with this goal for once in my life, but I have also started my own team, to keep me going, and everyone else in the team. To be able to realize that if you don't finish what you have started, you are not only going to let yourself down but the rest of the team down-- it is at least my motivation to keep at it, one step at a time. I never want to feel like internally or externally that I am letting people down.

Man! I am so excited for June 8, 2013! And thanks again to my running team:

Jill Reed: Aunt

Lara Zenger: Roommate

Brittney Johanson: Cousin

Stay tuned for updates on our progress and I feel like I will be putting up a lot of inspirational things because of this so stay tuned for those as well. Thanks for reading!!