So green

Hi everyone! Guess what? Cobalt and I moved to the western side of Washington! I got a new job (more on that later), so we packed up all our stuff and drove it + a sad kitty over the Cascades.

We’re finally settling into our place here, so this weekend we decided it was time to go on an adventure. We ended up spending Earth Day at Wallace Falls State Park with our friends Titanium and Iron. It was a gorgeous day and we had ourselves a nice 4.5 mile hike to see some falls.

You guys. It was so beautiful. Everything was green and alive. And it smelled so. good. I also enjoyed feeling my hiking boots squish through the wet dirt as we climbed up and up and up to see the falls and then turned around and went back home.

I brought two cameras so that Titanium and I could play with cameras together. She had my zoom/macro lens and I had my trusty prime (no zoom) 50 mm lens. So even if we took similar shots, they probably look quite different. I can’t wait to see what Titanium captured on her camera!

It was great having another photographer to hike with because Cobalt and Iron went ahead and then Titanium and I took pictures of everything all the way up and all the way down. I was in the moment hunting for things that could be cool to photograph. Usually it’s just me being awkward wanting to photograph stuff but not wanting to slow Cobalt down.

Anyway, that’s enough chatter. Let’s look at some pictures. Oh yeah… one note: I’m still in my tiny-things phase.

So we’ll start with some big things.

This was at the beginning of the trail. Such poky mountains in the distance… I like the way the powerlines draw your eyes to the mountain.
We hiked all the way up to this fall. There was another one even farther up but we were tiiiiiiiired.
Titantium had my wide angle lens on my other camera, so here’s the bottom of the fall from the previous picture. It’s more fun this way anyway. :) I like the mist!

Now we’ll work our way toward smaller and smaller things…

I like that this root looks like a hand. This baby tree is quite literally holding on for dear life. It was cool because it was growing out of an old redwood stump.
Same tree as above. Just different angle. I think this looks like a hand too, but reaching up to the sky!
So many baby trees sprouting out of dead trees. It was kind of magical. Plus I was obsessed with all those little fern-y guys along the bottom.
Ahhhh! So cute!

…until there is only a leaf left.

An Ode to Sprained Ankles

My ankles graduated from physical therapy yesterday. They’re still a little scar tissue-y but they’re getting their strength back and are ready to be on the move again. In fact, I got the okay to return to all normal sporty activities! Just in time for summer (bring on the hikes and some (gentle) trail runs)! It got me thinking about what a crazy 3.5 months it’s been and I wanted to share it with you.

Dressed up for a wedding + my sweet double boots 12 days after I fell…

I can’t tell you how many minutes hours I have spent now obsessing over that split second before I fell off the climbing wall. What could I have done differently? Why was I climbing at all when my toes were already sore? Why didn’t I fall differently? What would my life have looked like if I hadn’t fallen? and on and on and on and over and over and over again. Especially after I first fell, I would lie on the couch/my bed staring up at the ceiling being mad at myself for hurting myself really badly just in time to miss the entire season of spring soccer.

But you know what? I think overall it turned out okay. Not like I needed to fall or that I purposely fell or whatever you are thinking… Mostly I think that some good came out of it. I really learned to listen to my body for one thing. I tend to get stuck in my head a lot, especially when I am stressed out. The recovery process especially required constant awareness of how my ankles were feeling. Are they hurting? How badly? Should I ice them? Are they hurting because I’ve been lazy and forgotten to do all my PT exercises? etc. I think it’s good because it reminds me to connect with the world instead of freaking out about science in my head like I always do.

Second of all, it helped me learn how to deal with anger and sadness. I am a wiggly person – not even being able to frolic down the stairs in my house was a big thing for me to lose. Also I have a lot of anger at science right now because I am so done with this graduate school thing. I used to use exercise to physically wear myself out when I was angry. Sometimes I think it’s healthy to be able to run the anger out but sometimes I think it can be bad – leading you to not listen to your body telling you to stop because you’re SO FULL OF RAGE RIGHT NOW BODY, OKAY?! So while it was incredibly depressing to not be able to have my rage outlet anymore, I think it was useful because it forced me to find constructive ways to learn how to handle everything. I’m still learning but I think it was good anyway.

Back when I was only allowed to run for 10 minutes every other day, Cobalt and I successfully ran/walked a 5K.

Finally, I made some awesome PT friends – including some people who hurt their ankles in the same climbing gym in the same area as I did. It made me feel sad that we all had hurt ankles but it also made me feel better – that this is a common error and that I’m not alone. I also befriended all of the PT doctors who helped me go from a hobbling version of myself with double ankle braces on to the me who is pretty much 90% functional now. I know they were just doing their jobs but I am so grateful for everything they did – including calming me down when I was freaking out that I was going to be broken forever and pushing me to get back to normal. Yay ankles!

I celebrated my new found ankle freedom yesterday by throwing a football outside our science building on a beautiful sunny day with my friends. It was lovely. :)

Now it’s your turn – tell me about an injury you had and how you coped with it. Or tell me about something that’s driving you CRAZY right now. Or just tell me whatever. You know how it goes. :)

Exercising with the president

Cobalt’s mii leading a band where Potassium plays the tuba and President Obama plays the drums!

I’ve been planning this post for a while now but it seems fitting to post it now after the State of the Union last night! So when Cobalt and I got our wii a few years ago, we stayed up really late that night making a ton of miis. First we made Potassium and a Cobalt miis, then evil Potassium and Cobalt miis, and then Cobalt made a baristo mii and I made a scientist mii. Then we got really creative and decided to throw in a few presidents + film directors too. It was really fun at the time but I had no idea how much more fun it would be when the miis showed up in our various games – specifically our Wii Fit games. It’s hilarious to be running and have President Obama run past you… Also he looks so happy as he runs past you, you can’t help but enjoy your workout a little more! Well if the president is having fun, maybe this workout can’t be so bad…

Hehehe… Seriously though, I’ve been working on staying in shape more this winter. Generally, I am a summer sports girl – I love swimming and soccer and running on trails in the sun. Sure I go cross country skiing a few times in the winter but for the most part I just sit in my house feeling sad and cold. So this year, I joined a bouldering gym (that’s climbing but without the top ropes). It cost money so I have to go to make it worth it. I was worried I would be dragging my feet about going but it’s turned out to be so easy! It’s so fun to go climbing whenever I want to (instead of maaaaaaybe once a week) and it’s great to leave early if I am tired (because I can always go back tomorrow!). Plus I get really competitive with myself about various climbing problems that are hard for me (Come on Potassium, let’s go climbing and lick that purple one!) In addition to the climbing, I’ve been trying to bike to work (on non icy/snowy days of course). I got some pretty sweet winter biking gloves from my parents this Christmas so it’s been a much more comfortable ride.

It’s only January and we’ve started to get a lot more snow/cold weather but for right now, I think it’s working – I’m still cold but I am feeling much happier! I feel much more like myself and less of a tired, sad version of Potassium, which is awesome because I have been working some loooooooong hours in the lab.

Tell me: what do you do for exercise? Do you have winter sports in addition to summer sports? Also tell me about your weather right now! We went from 50 degrees and sunny on Sunday to 28 degrees and snowing on Monday and then when I woke up on Tuesday morning it was -4. Yikes! Luckily it’s supposed to be back up in the 50s tomorrow…