Make It About Something

I know it doesn’t seem like I’m giving it my full attention. And to be honest, it’s not getting all the attention it deserves. At least right now. I’m working on a couple other projects this month that are taking my focus away from it. But it’s temporary. I love the Femoir world very deeply. I want it to be an extension of my own voice and to continue going on in many different capacities.

So even though it doesn’t always seem like it, this little show is a personal passion of mine. And I think about it often. It’s always somewhere in the back of my brain simmering. Trying to think of how to make it better. Trying to think of how to make it funnier. Trying to think of the best mediums through which to tell the story. Trying to think of how best to get my voice out to the world through Femoir.

The other day, I realized something major while in the middle of one of one of my recent breakdowns (which have been more frequent in many aspects of my life and I’m trying to see as positives because once you’re broken you can be built back up again as an even better version of yourself).

This is what I realized. I have been taking a bit of the Seinfeld approach to Femoir.

Which is similar to the Abbott & Costello approach.

Silliness for silliness sake. A series of sketches that makes sense because they’re an extension of the life I’m currently living, but not necessarily following any sort of theme. A series of characters put together to reside in the same space on stage for a short period of time. Or, in the case of the podcast, creating an arbitrary theme so that I can have a series of characters and ideas centered around it.

While I think there is some value to this process- mostly because I get to force myself to constantly write and come up with characters for no particular reason- I think it’s a selfish endeavor. I think it serves me more than the audience. I think the stage show and the podcast could be so much better if I told a story. And even better if that story came as the result of circumstances in my life that were real and important in that moment.

As of now, I’ve allowed myself to be vulnerable onstage and on the podcast up to a point. These are my words and my ideas and I’m sharing them with you in the hopes that you’ll like them and be entertained by them. There’s definitely a vulnerability in that.

But in the midst of all these intense shifts and changes in my life, I think I can do more. There’s a power in letting people share a journey with you. There’s a power in telling a story that means something. There’s a power in focusing on some real aspect of your life and letting that inspire the humor, rather than choosing something arbitrary and figuring out some aspect of your life that you can fit into it. I can’t ask the people in my world to let me be a part of their lives and to be vulnerable to me, when I admittedly hide my own story and vulnerability behind characters.

Granted, I’m good at characters. And I like doing them. And I want to continue doing them. But I need to push beyond. To challenge myself to find that something more. And I don’t know what it is yet, but I do know that this whole Femoir world is missing something.

It’s hard for me to shake some of the shiz that’s been on my plate lately. Doing arbitrary podcasts and sketches just to get something out there is possible- but maybe not the best use of our time. As one of my favorite improv teachers would say, “There is no wrong, but it’s a lower percentage choice.”

I think the higher percentage choice might be to open up a little more. To be more present in these podcasts. To tell a story through Femoir. To allow myself to let it be a story, rather than just a series of ideas strung together. To take the time to ask myself why I want to have all these particular characters or ideas put together. To create a theme based on my life right now and to let that theme be clear. In doing so, then I can more clearly (hopefully) relate to other people who are going through different aspects of their life. They can laugh with and at me. We can be frustrated or overjoyed together.

I’m not sure what all this means yet or how it will translate to podcast or stage. But I just want you to know I’m thinking about it. And it will come out somehow.

Let’s find out how together.

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Change, change, chaaaaaange

I feel weird admitting this, but I’m actually seeing changes in my body.

I started this short adventure focusing on weight lifting with the specific goal of trying to see change within my body. I had been running for a long time and while there are definitely some changes long-distance running creates in your body, I felt it had flat-lined a bit and I was working for hours every week without seeing the results I knew possible.

And I’ve been lifting about six weeks now and dagnabbit, I’m seeing some changes! For me, the most obvious place you can see change is in my abs. I have some definition coming through and there is definitely less fat being held there than before. My arms look a little stronger and more defined and even my tookus is smoothing out.

That’s right. I said tookus. Very scientific. You’re welcome.

These are subtle but exciting changes for me. They give me a little confidence boost that makes me feel extra sassy. Sure, my weight is the same as it has been for years (see my previous post “You Look Like You’ve Lost Weight”), but I genuinely think it’s changing over to more muscle and less excess fat.

And that’s pretty cool.

I’ve been doing the same few lifting routines the whole month and will continue to do them through next week. Mostly because they’re pretty simple, easy to do, well balanced, and work for me for now. I may change up my weights and reps within the routines- obviously- but for the most part the lifts will stay.

Because they seem to be working.

Sweet.

The Chipper

Once in a while, I get to go to a personal trainer. Long story short, it’s a sweet deal and I’m always grateful and excited when I get the chance to go.

Today was one of those days. We started with this series my trainer referred to as “The Chipper.” It sounds innocent enough, but it makes you feel like your body just went through a wood chipper.

I plowed through with all my heart. I had to take some serious rest breaks between and even during the exercises once or twice. I let out a few cuss words while doing the repetitions and I had to dig deep. When I was done, my trainer told me I did a great job. He said he’s been having all his clients do “the Chipper” and very few have done it as quickly as I did.

I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW I COULD GO SLOWER! I just took breaks when he told me to and started up again when he told me. I COULD HAVE GONE SLOWER?!

My reward for such great work? We did another intense 40 minutes of strength training. He emphasized during the strength training to rest up in between sets because he said he wanted me to go all out so I would feel it the next day.

I’m writing this post the same day, because I’m afraid even my fingers will be sore from that workout tomorrow.

In other news, I have a hint of abs trying to sneak through my stomach. Just a hint. Still exciting.

Daggum treadmills

For my training today (which I’m pretending to be all caught up on because I did one long run in one month… yikes), I had to run speed intervals. I’ve actually started to really enjoy these workouts. Maybe it’s because I can channel my inner former-sprinter and because I can talk myself in and out of stuff easier when it’s for shorter periods of time.

Whatever the reason, I was having a grand old run this early morning on a treadmill, when I started noticing that when my treadmill was at the running speed, it was shaking back and forth more than I’m comfortable with.

Quick – but important – sidenote: My gym is notorious for constantly having machines that are broken. At any given point, almost half the machines don’t work. A couple weeks ago I was running on one of the few supposedly “functioning” machines doing intervals only to find out that the belt was incapable of going faster than my jog speed. So…even the functioning machines often don’t work correctly.

Anyway, I’m doing one of my speed intervals and the treadmill is shaking intensely. I got nervous and switched treadmills. Not only was I nervous that the shaking would make the belt do something weird, but it also kind of made me feel fat-like the treadmill can’t handle my weight on it. And I see some BIG people on those things. Didn’t like that shiz one bit.

I stepped on the treadmill just to my right because the two to my left were both “Out of Order.” (See my above tirade.) When I went to do my fast speed on that treadmill, it was barely any faster than my walking speed.

I would like to take this moment to recognize that I could totally go on a badass ramble about how fast I run and how awesome I am to run so fast… but I don’t run all that fast really. It’s nowhere near the supposed capacity of a treadmill. I would love to pretend like “Man, I’m so awesome that even a treadmill can’t handle this speed,” but it’s more like “I run sometimes and sometimes I go faster than slow and any treadmill should be able to handle it because it’s very reasonable.”

To wrap up this epic interval story, I had to move to a treadmill right next to someone running (always an awkward move when there are so many theoretical options- but they were all out of order! It was my only option!) and I had to pick up the intervals halfway through where I had left off.

That treadmill didn’t shake and went what seemed like the right speed (felt very fast and I didn’t like it so I assumed it was the right speed) so I finished my run “successfully.” Technically.

I still felt awkward because I was the girl who kept switching treadmills every five minutes. Blarg.

Motivated Monday.

Alright. I had a few other priorities that started taking over my time. But, even with other priorities on my mind, I did two things that are “cray cray” as the kiddos say.

1. I bought a gym membership.

LA Fitness. Locations all over the country (and city!). Monthly fee. One time signing up fee. I’m stingy. These things are important to me. I bought it a month ago and have been a few times. Not as many as I would like, but that’s because I lacked a goal. I’d go and do stuff and get some muscles sore, but then didn’t see the point. My biggest motivations come from goal-oriented stuff. Which brings us to the second thing I did…

2. I signed up for the Carlsbad Half Marathon.

I’ve run three half marathons at this point in my life, so it’s not like this is groundbreaking. It’s still difficult when you’re out of running shape (like I am right now!) but it’s a goal (other than expensive- again with the stingy!). I difficult goal I can reach towards, work towards, motivate myself to do.

I like those things. Even though I complain about them endlessly.

Speaking of, this morning I went to the gym to start my half marathon training program. I focused mostly on strength training my legs and some stretching (like the program calls for). I already feel sore from just a few weighted squats and lunges.

Waaaaaahhhh. Let’s do this.