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The things we couldn’t do one year ago

There’s so much to say when nothing’s been said for so long. The problem is, where to start?

Let’s start with today. I went to see “Rock Of Ages” at the Marcus Center in Milwaukee. The show was amazing. The cast was adorable and talented. My co-worker/new best friend won the tickets so I even attended for free. Score! Rob went to his first Marquette basketball game of the season tonight.

When I got home, he said something that stuck with me: “We couldn’t have done anything we did tonight one year ago.” So much can change in one year. So much. New jobs; new place to live. Dexter doesn’t even have leash aggression anymore! It’s like Oshkosh never happened!

But it did. And we are reminded of it on days when I get to go to a nationally-touring musical and Rob attends a Marquette game.

This past weekend one of my friend’s got married in Illinois. Instead of taking off Monday (it was a Sunday wedding) we were able to be back in time for the work day. We live close enough to Chicago that it doesn’t take a day of travel to go down there and back.

In one year we’ve had four jobs, two apartments, one dog and 0 babies. For those keeping score at home, that’s 0 babies!

In a few weeks Rob will be starting a new venture. At the wedding this past weekend the first thing everyone asked after we told them about his new job was, “Does that mean he will be traveling less?”

“No, it means he’ll be traveling more.”

That’s what happens when you have more responsibility, unfortunately. In the last year Rob’s traveled to Colorado, Texas and Iceland. Yes, the country.

Each time he leaves I think it gets harder. How is that possible? So this will be a test for us, much like everything else this past year and some-odd months.

When we said, “I do,” I don’t think either of us could have imagined the life we lead. Yes, it’s difficult on some days but mostly we are doing great.

I think back about our nights spent in Oshkosh and I smile. But on nights when Rob goes to a Marquette game and I get to attend a Broadway show, I don’t need anymore reaffirmation that our decision to leave was the right one.

Rob’s new job will bring on new challenges and new opportunities. And it means our routine will once again be uprooted. But if there has been one constant in this short-lived union — it’s definitely change.

 

 

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CrossFit: What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…(seriously hoping this doesn’t kill me)

I walked past a gym near my building a hundred different times with Dexter. Loud pop music was always emanating from this industrial-looking building. Through the open door I would see men and women climbing ropes, flipping tires and bench pressing. As I leisurely walked past with Dexter the group would sometimes sprint outside and go right past me on the sidewalk.

I was slightly intrigued, slightly frightened by the amount of red faces and sweat-soaked humans coming out of this one building. The name of the gym is Badger CrossFit and to be honest, I had never heard of CrossFit. One day while walking by a woman with a water bottle in hand was going to her car. This woman was young, slim but not over-the-top in shape. It gave me the courage to ask her straight out, “What the hell goes on in there?”

She told me it was a CrossFit gym. You strength train, you have high-intensity workouts and as a woman, she’s never felt more empowered from a workout. And with that testimonial, I was sold.

That Saturday I went to the free class. Along with three other women we went through the basics of a push up, squat and burpee. We did a sample workout and I no joke, almost passed out. I stopped before the third round and had to sit down. I felt like a failure. Turns out, you need to eat before working out. But it was a Saturday morning and I rolled out of bed just 15 minutes before the class started. Lesson learned.

For some reason I wasn’t scared off and I signed up for the four-week elements class beginning the following Monday. Oh yeah, and did I mention that it starts at 6:30 a.m. every Monday, Wednesday Friday?

My first class I was anxious to say the least. I made sure I stocked up on a hearty amount of carbs before and walked to class (walking to the gym is one of the best perks about it).

I was also inspired by the all-female group that I worked out with during the free class. I figured if anything else it’s a good place to meet young professionals like myself. But during this 6:30 a.m. class it’s just me and one other guy who also happens to be a tennis pro at a country club and looks like he’s in incredible shape. Awesome. <– Sarcastic awesome.

We do our warm ups and review the squat and Tyler teaches us the push press. Near the end of the class we start our workout, which he explains is a “benchmark” workout to see where we are in our fitness level. We’ll do the same exercise on the 12th class to see how we’ve improved. Then he also weighed us and checked our BMI. Let me tell you how mortifying it is to have a man who can do an infinite amount of  pull ups and doesn’t eat sugar, grain or dairy check your BMI. Just for a second try to imagine the look on my face as he measured my stomach fat…

We’re doing this benchmark workout and I feel like I’m working hard but I’m managing. I’m pushing myself but I’m not passing out. All good things. My classmate is of course ahead of me in the round but I’m staying steady. Finally, it’s over and my heart is pounding. Eight minutes and 47 seconds of high-intensity and relief is settling in. I walk around the gym and take small sips from my water bottle when I see my classmate run to the bathroom.

Oh no…he’s not..he can’t be…really? That was the succession of thoughts going through my head when I heard him retching his guts out in the gym bathroom. Yup, dude totally blew chunks on my first day of class. And I swear my next thought was, “show off.”

When Tyler realized the turn of events he quickly walked over to reassure me the goal of this program was not to make you work so hard until you hurl. Thanks, that’s…comforting?

For some reason almost passing out and seeing a guy puke hasn’t turned me off from this new world of CrossFit. I’ve never worked harder or felt so out of shape before, but I am committed. I want to do this, I can do this.

Before each class I have heart palpitations because I’m anticipating the most challenging workout ever, but I’ve also never felt a bigger payoff than when it’s all done.

Since the first class I have been sore in places that I didn’t even know could be sore. Hopefully, by the end of 12 classes I’ll have results to share. No matter what though, I’ll definitely graduate this program a more empowered woman.

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world traveler.

It’s official. My passport is stamped and I’ve been yelled at by a customs agent. I can cross international travel off my bucket list.

Of course this is just the beginning. On the plane ride home from Mexico we were already talking about where to go next. Hopefully Switzerland with stops in France and Germany. Then, of course, Scotland, Ireland and England. The list goes on and on…

Mexico couldn’t have come at a better time for Rob and I. The first six months of marriage has been…interesting. You work so hard to plan a wedding, a honeymoon and then came the move to a new city and new jobs. You work so hard on everything else but your marriage and after six months, it starts to show. The mundane weekly routine of going to work, coming home, playing with the dog, making dinner, watching tv and going to bed takes its toll.

So, yes, there were fights. Stupid, stupid fights. The kind of fights you don’t tell your closest friends about because of course they will judge you and judge him (because even you are judging yourself for being upset about what it was.)

March 3 couldn’t have come fast enough for us. We went into the trip with the sense that this was so needed for us and we didn’t want to waste a moment.

The first three days were pretty uneventful, but that was the point. The cloudy skies and cooler temps (still in the mid 70s) made for the perfect lounge around weather. We ate great food and spent time at the poolside bar during happy hour. We took the shuttle into downtown Playa Del Carmen and walked around their “5th Avenue.”

Rob snapped this photo of me there without realizing I was supposed to pay the guy who owned the monkey for him to take the picture…whoops!

We walked along the beach and stopped at a tiki hut and drank a couple beers. It was everything I wanted for the week: to do nothing.

Wednesday the week picked up with a trip to Tulum, just outside Playa. The Mayan Ruins there are still being excavated and it’s adjacent to one of the most gorgeous beaches I’ve seen. That day it was too windy to walk down to the water, but the view was amazing.

 

Thursday, we traveled two hours to the city of Chichen Itza, home to a Mayan temple that is considered to be one of the Seven Wonders of the W0rld. But first, we bathed in a sink hole that Mayans used to cleanse themselves before entering the holy city more than 3,000 years ago.

The main temple was an incredible sight and both Rob and I felt a gravitational pull towards the structure. Pictures can’t do it justice, it’s truly breathtaking.

On Friday temps reached over 95 degrees and Rob and I were like two little lobsters by the end of the day. Instead of having one last nice dinner out we ordered pizza and watched a horrible movie on HBO. The week ended better than I could have planned, hanging out with my best friend, eating pizza and drinking a couple coronas.

Nothing is ever perfect, but that week we came pretty close.

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plotting out our lives at applebee’s

The last thing I wanted to do tonight when I got home was leave again. Work has been mentally and physically exhausting and oh yeah I haven’t worked out in forrrrreverr.

But Christmas with the in-laws is Sunday and so that means I need to actually start my Christmas shopping. So when Rob asked me if I wanted to make a trip to Best Buy to pick up a few cds I wanted to cry but I kept my black peacoat on and out the door we went.

“You’re driving,” I said to Rob, which in our marriage is code for “this is all your fault you’re making me do something I don’t want to do.”

“We’ll pick up fast food on the way,” he said.

Yes, I can be bribed with fast food. I would give anything to just have a McChicken in hand and not have to touch the dishes in the sink and actually cook something.

While Wauwatosa differs from Oshkosh greatly in many, many, many ways, one way Oshkosh scores points is the amount of readily available fast food places in all parts of the city.

Needless to say after our trip to Best Buy (where we also scored “Elf” on Blu-Ray) we failed to find a fast food place that was within a justifiable distance to travel to eat a breaded piece of “chicken” loaded with mayo.

At this point my hanger – hunger induced anger – was reaching detrimental levels and I can no longer be held accountable for giving the look of death or anything that comes out of my mouth.

Rob knew we were reaching emergency levels and decided to pull into Applebees. I won’t even mention what I said when he didn’t even think to order me an appetizer – couple that with both of our complete inability to order off a menu (why must restaurants offer so many choices?!) and it was not a very pleasant conversation.

Our server, Sam, arrived with buffalo wings and my hanger passed as quickly as it came and my ability to be a human being emerged.

On our way out the door before Best Buy I grabbed a reporter’s notebook. A couple nights before we had written down our Christmas lists along with our family members and I was going to review it at dinner. But a conversation about warm-weather trips at work today made me flip to a new page and start an entirely different list.

It’s no secret after you get married the most frequently asked question you hear is, “When are you going to start having kids?” Ugh. To be honest, I was very baby crazy before we got Dexter…

Oh, Dexter. Thank you so much for making me realize how out of my mind I would be to have a child right now. I love him, but he’s enough – for the next five years.

At least that’s what we decided at Applebee’s tonight. Our biggest priority: Get out of debt.

Which, by the way, sparked an interesting conversation about a new program that I want to head called, “Adopt A Young Family In Debt” program. Anyone with a net worth of $10 million or more donates $100,000 to a young family with student loan debt to be used solely to get out of debt and in turn be able to pump more money into the economy. Think about it! I’m on to something…

But after getting out debt our biggest priority is traveling. Rob and I have the same political views, core religious beliefs and values despite the fact that we grew up radically different. Rob’s family emphasized travel and seeing the world and I….went to Chicago? I love my family in Chicago but I’ve never traveled overseas. It’s something I want to.do.so.bad.

I know getting out of debt and traveling the world are two very opposite goals but I think we have a good plan in place.

While eating a spinach and shrimp salad I started to dream. Ireland. Mexico. Switzerland. Britain. Scotland. Australia. Egypt.

Our sisters live in Washington D.C. so we also want to do a mega New-England tour hitting Boston, New York City and D.C.

Ultimately, Australia and Egypt didn’t make the final list but I think the rest are doable. Then, our plan is to go back to San Fran on our five-year anniversary.

So, sorry world. NO little Eberts until 2016-ish. Besides, I don’t think our marriage would survive pregnancy hanger. Poor, Rob.

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