Writing prompt from my hero, Lauren Fleshman

Writing prompt from my hero, Lauren Fleshman

In her blog, Ask Lauren Fleshman, Lauren gives the writing prompt, to put pen to paper and write for 2 minutes. “What I really remember about that meal was…

…trying to eat with chopsticks, but anxiety making my hand shake so uncontrollably I could barely get food into my mouth.  I know this is where I belong, but this is not what I should be doing. Discounting my intuition makes me so unhappy.”

I’ve been searching for inspiration, and  am being drawn to the topic of anxiety, something I’ve suffered from without even noticing for years, even decades perhaps. I hope to use this medium to investigate the anxiety I feel and how to perform (in sport career, and life) despite fear and feelings of uncertainty. 

AoM #9 – Simply write about my day

AoM #9 – Simply write about my day

yesterday, like most weekdays, my I woke up to Tim Armstrong singing Wake Up at 5:30AM.  First things first, I go to the bathroom, drink a glass of water, then put the kettle on the stove for coffee.  I decided while moving to switch to french press coffee.  It is tastier, my counter is cleaner, but making it takes a decent fraction of my morning ritual.  While the water is boiling, I clean and prepare the press (and a little bit of the kitchen). For the 30 seconds I wait for the plumeria I hang like a ragdoll, feet shoulder distance apart, knees bent, butt on the cabinets, for a quick #hitreset. Stir the coffee, fill the remainder with water, and put the lid on.  About now, Badger gets up and comes to see what I’m doing.  I say, “Good morning!” and get some kisses and hugs.  He goes back to bed until I am ready to sit.  Once I pour my coffee, I grab my computer and go to the couch.  I didn’t write yesterday. Instead I read.  I read mostly about elite and professional runners.  Most notably, Like a Motherfuckerby Sara ‘Mac’ Robinson. She describes her journy running as a mother, feeling guilty for taking time for herself, away from her brand new human.  Her conclusion is that she better make the most of that time and run like a motherfucker, after all she owes it to her daughter and husband to run like a motherfucker. Now I have inspiration for my marathon trials posters (for which Mac is running)!

Now I realize that I’m cutting close on time so I need to shower.  Good thing its not hair washing day.  I shower, dress, pack my lunch and run out the door.  Thankful that its warming up (in the 50s this morning) and there is no condensation on the car.  My commute is becoming routine, I didn’t even need to look at GPS today.  I changed my route when my office location changed last week.  I get in and go straight to my office to begin the day.

I start work, editing a manuscript from the group that I am joining.  The software I requested is finally ready, so I begin install.  Later, around 8:25, I try to log in to watch the Center’s All-hands meeting.  My computer freezes, I decide to wait it out.  I continue editing on a hard copy I have of the manuscript.  Nothing is happening. Ctrl-Alt-Delete isn’t even doing anything.  Its been an hour, so I manually hard restart the machine.  I’m finally able to log-in.  I get into the Q&A at the all hands. Now my computer restarts on its own.  Okay.  Finally log back into the meeting, and its totally over. Awesome (<- sarcasm). At least I can add my edits to the digital copy.  I realize that I’m getting hungry, so I eat an apple and start my count down to lunch time.  Which is easy because my computer keeps prompting me to restart AGAIN.  After a game of being disrupted every 10 minutes, I set it to postpone for an hour and agree with myself to go to lunch then.

For lunch, I have cauliflower rice, 1/4 a huge ass baked sweet potato, leftover ‘carne asada,’ and an avocado.  Luckily the cafeteria below me has a microwave.  Once I go permanent, I think I will outfit my office with the luxuries of a minifridge to store my lunch in.   Surprisingly, I don’t finish lunch by the time I’m full.  This is good, I’ll have a nice second lunch later in the afternoon.  During lunch, I scroll through instagram.  One post catches my eye. An untranslateable greek work: meraki.  I do some googling about it and find this post and begin to notice a pattern of  what the universe is putting in front of me today.


After lunch, more editing.  Until I have to drive to another location for meetings.  Meeting 1 is about a project I can work on after this 3 month tour is up. Honestly, it sounds really interesting.  I will probably do it.  It is a good group, interesting work, and if it goes well can lead to collaboration (and funding) for part of my time in the future.  The second meeting is a required meeting for the program.  A more senior engineer, with a lot of initiative to make things happen, is presenting to all of us new professionals.  His main message is that if you find a gap of something you need, then take initiative to fill that gap.  We work for big brother, but our Center is supportive of people making things happen.  Awesome. (<-not sarcasm).

Take initiative.  Work/live with meraki.  Engineer/run/live like a motherfucker.  I get it.  I’ve taken a lot of time away from being passionate about my work.  I have been passionate about technology and making things happen, but not my work, not even my life.  I have taken some time to recover from grad school. I have been cautious, protected.  I am in a position now where I have opportunity at my finger tips.  Its time to go all in. Whole heartedly.  To love what I do, and be my best while I’m doing it.

I end my day with my second lunch and more editing.  When I come home, I feel totally drained.  I forgot my gym clothes in the morning, spent my evening at the grocery store. After coming home, I have intention of working out in our second room, but get distracted by planning dinner and reading about picky bars.

AoM #6

AoM #6

Today’s prompt was to pick a quotation about manhood and write about it. Well, I can’t relate to manhood so I tried to look up quotations on womanhood.  Ironically, many lists of quotations about womanhood are dominated by things men have said.  Go figure.  After searching, I found one that finally spoke to me:

“The best thing you can possibly do with your life is to TACKLE THE MOTHERFUCKING SHIT OUT OF IT.”  -Cheryl Strayed

Life is a wild ride.  We don’t have time to ‘act’ feminine, or manly, to seduce it.  We have to take what we have right now and use what we’ve got to go after what we want.  No one in adult life is going to tell you what you want or how to get it (unless you stay up too late watching infomercials).  Its up to you to decide, up to you to make the life of your dreams.

I chose this quotation because I’m still resonating with #womanup2016.  This year is about bravely chasing my dream life.  It won’t be easy, but I’m sure I can catch it!



Days 3& 4 prompts are to choose a positive habit you would like to have, and choose a bad habit you would like to lose.  I’ll put these two together.

One thing that I would like to implement is daily stretching. How am I going to do this? Well, I can make time by eliminating a bad habit- sitting on the couch watching TV.  After dinner, I (probably like most americans) sit on my ass and watch way too much TV.  As an introvert, especially when it is dark and damp outside, it is all too easy to just go home, eat dinner, and avoid quality conversation with my husband by becoming a zombie in front of the LED picture box (I almost put CRT, but what is this 2006?).  It is one of those habits I am embarrassed by, so I don’t talk much about it.  When I was so busy and gone all the time, a few precious hours to reboot were very nice to have.  Now, however, it is a bad habit that I would like to limit.

By implementing Operation get up and stretch, I’m sure this will help with my goals of being a fastie, running long distance, and NOT BEING HURT.  Somehow, I never do this though.  This is different from a goal, its more of making small changes to be a better person.  It is one of the steps that I will take to help my chances of successfully meeting my actual goals.

All in all, these are two things that I would like to change.  It doesn’t mean I won’t watch TV, but I can carve out some time to hit reset for my body by not vegging out on the couch.

AoM #2

AoM #2

Day 2: Continuing to work within that idea of constraints, try to write a 6-word memoir of your life so far. This idea is rumored to have originated from Papa Hemingway. The benefit is that with only six words, you really have to filter your life to what you deem most important. It may take you many iterations, but you’ll end up with something that speaks largely to who you are, if not in toto, then at least in this moment in time.”

Woman runs through life; curious, courageous.

The Art of Manliness Journal Challenge

The Art of Manliness Journal Challenge

Somehow a post from the Art of Manliness showed up in my twitter feed.  I believe that the Art of Manliness is a blog about some cool shit (such as, the ultimate pushup guide), they assume the majority of people interested in their topics are men. I don’t mind. I follow many websites/blogs/sports where the assumed audience is women-only. Its fine.

I digress.  This tweet led me to an entry on the topic of journaling.  It provides 31 journal topics meant to be a ‘roadmap’ to help one develop the healthy habit of journaling.  When I started this blog, I failed at following Blog-U. But new year, new attention span for Kari.  I hope to develop a healthy writing habit and am using you all as my audience.

Why am I doing a 31 day challenge? Several reasons. I want to develop a consistent writing habit. I want to have a space to clear my mind, so when I sit down to write at work (or here) there aren’t 500 million competing ideas all vying for my attention.  These are the two biggest reasons I want to write, and you can see are very closely related.  In fact, I dare to assert that the ladder is merely more of a why for the former.  Practicing writing is practicing communication. I often struggle with this. I have so much going on in my head, I think through a (fake) conversation in my head, and forget that I haven’t actually had that conversation with the other person and wonder why they don’t already know the information I’ve been thinking about telling them.  Its silly, I know.

Writing & communicating, like the rest of my life, needs to be simple. If I had to desginate a theme to the direction I am attempting to move my life towards, it would be simplicity. I am trying to organize my appartment, stop my addiction to stuff, be measured and calculated in my actions. I want the things that are in my life and take up my time reflect what I actually care about.  So what do I care about? I can go through a list of people that I care about, but what it boils down to is, I care about people. There are different levels: first my personal relationships, the safety of my fellow Americans, the safety of innocent people across the globe. I want to live simply, simply live to create a better space for those around me near and far. By the way, If you follow me at all you know that, yes, I do indeed include my dog when I speak generally about ‘people.’

So, why am I journaling a 31 day art of manliness challenge? As an exercise for me to be a better person for the world.

Do you see what happened there?  I started writing this and thought it was a lame, dry “here’s what I’m going to be writing about this month” that I would inevitably not follow through with (because life), and ended with a humanitarian devotion to selflessly make myself better.  I think this journaling thing is working!

Aside, my Believe training journal was delivered yesterday. Unfortunately its somewhere in the front house. I can’t wait to start journaling for my #womanup2016



Today I tweeted to Oiselle my goals for 2016:

  • Run Goal: run a 1/2 marathon in under 1:45:00
  • Personal Goal: stay injury free in 2016
  • Professional Goal: Be Principle Investigator on a project

Its good to have measureable goals that you can communicate in less than 140 characters, but I want to dig a little deeper into what each one means to me.  2015 was a year of change.  Our family moved across the country, back home to California.  This is where I feel in my element.  Life is easier, and more importantly, happier.  We are all set up for success, with a lifestyle that is easy to relax and be happy while we do it.

Run 1/2 Marathon in less than 1:45:00 – Pretty self explanatory, SMART goal for running.  I have signed up for the San Diego Craft Classic in July. Plenty of time to train, plenty of time to try again. This goal has been eluding me since 2012.  I know I can do it.  I am going to do it this year.

Stay injury free – This sounds easy, but while chasing my running goal it has a lot of small implications. I have to keep up with my PT exercises; I have to consistently do boring prevention strength training for core, hips, hammies, and glutes; I have to consistently stretch and do mobility (this is where I have consistently fell short in the past); I need to fuel and hydrate properly; I need to sleep enough.

Be PI on a project – This is ambitious. I am just starting a new job. I am not ready for this year’s internal funding competition.  I can either take over as technical lead on an ongoing project or pitch to outside funding sources.  Given that I have 6 months of projects before I can start my own work, it is a reach. But if I have this goal in my head, I can work towards it and be much closer than I have been to do this.  This is the scary one, the one that will really force me to step out of my comfort zone.

In addition to these goals, I have auxillary intentions of how I would like to shape my life and my being.

  • Spend time with my family
  • Be open to makeing friendship and put in effort necessary
  • Try new things (I want to skate in parks, ride a motorcycle, stand up paddleboard, surf, become a dog trainer, volunteer at an animal shelter)
  • Keep/get my family healthy

Onward & WomanUP!