Enjoy Not Knowing

Just another American living in Sweden


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an ode to elizabeth

Otherwise entitled: Ode on Intimations of Running Immortality from Recollections of a Time When I Ran a Lot

There was a time when pavement, field and track,
Came up to meet my stomping feet.
Now looking back,
I’d not have survived without this treat.
Rip-stick thy name, carried via knapsack.
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Received one summer’s eve, I believeth,
Amazing healing powers,
Disencumbers.
A true friend helping me to run, Elizabeth.

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Inspired by Elizabeth, her amazing gift of the rip-stick, and William Wordsworth’s Ode on Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood. You know, the important things: friends, presents and William Wordsworth.

Seriously though, Elizabeth, that rip-stick you bestowed upon me but three years ago has been put to some seriously good use. Not only did it help me with my recovery when I did all that running that one time, but it’s also been used for the past three hockey seasons. This past season in particular it not only aided Evelina and I in our recovery, but also the rest of the team. So, thank you Elizabeth. SSK/Linden dam also thanks you. You’re so generous.

If you don’t already know what a rip-stick is, it’s this:

rip stick

You roll it along your aching muscles and it’s like giving yourself a massage. Also helpful in these efforts is a foam roller. This thing:

Foam roller

Both of these items aid in recovery. Or that’s what they’re said to do. And I tend to believe it. Another recovery/injury aid I use often, which Elizabeth also introduced to me, is KT tape. Or kinesiology tape.

Now’s as good a time as any to inform you all that I injured my shoulder in the last hockey game of the season. Without going too much into the dirty details, things are healing, but could also be better. The up side: I get to be professionally KT taped! Up until now I’ve been applying the tape myself, or relying on my kind teammates to tape me up. I’ve been pretty successful in these endeavors actually, but it doesn’t quite compare to a professional taping. My physio taped me up on Tuesday, alleviating a good amount of pain, and the tape is still sitting right where it should be! That’s quality care.

#mirrorselfie #shameless #killinit

#mirrorselfie #shameless #killinit

I know, I make this look good. Think good thoughts for my shoulder recovery!

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go skating on a bandy arena while it’s snowing

Just to be clear, it needs to be an outdoor bandy arena. Little did I know when I wrote this list, there are, in fact, indoor bandy arenas. The thing is, outdoor hockey rinks work just as well.

A couple of winters ago I was practicing with my hockey team on the outdoor rink.

outdoor rink

There’s something about being outdoors in the winter. Working up a sweat and having a blast with your teammates. It’s a feeling that’s hard to beat. I think working out and training during the winter is especially important. Especially when one lives in Sweden where the winters are dark like night for 6 months. Getting outdoors in the winter time can also be less than motivating. Which is why I highly recommend this activity.

Gliding along in a muffled world of white while snow sprinkles down from above. It’s truly an experience.

The thing is, there is no longer an outdoor hockey rink where we play. A second rink was built this past year, and finished for this season.

new rink

It’s a beautiful rink, fully equipped for sled hockey. We even have our very own sled hockey team here in town.

new rink

Check out those clear boards!

 

Luckily there’s still the outdoor bandy arena. So there really is no down side. It’s soon to be spring in Sweden, but don’t forget to lace up those skates next year and take the time to be outdoors in the winter. It’s worth it.

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precision nutrition

So I made the plunge. After years of reading the PN blog and getting all their free information – I finally did it. I’ve written about PN philosophies before, and now I’ve finally signed up for their coaching program for women. It would have been difficult to sign up for the men’s program, as I am not a man.

PN go time

Today officially concludes day 11, and I had an idea.

I’d like to share my journey with you readers. The ups and downs of this next year with the PN team will hopefully make for some fun stories, and keep you all entertained. Check out the new page at the top entitled “PN” (stands for Precision Nutrition – but you guys are smart enough to know that). I’ll be updating it from time to time with new posts about my journey. Whether or not they’ll be amusing remains to be seen, but I’m definitely expecting some change. So, keep tabs on that tab if you’re interested in my thoughts on the program from now on.

Hope to see you there!

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a yoga-cation

This past spring I headed over the Atlantic on a wedding celebration, that of my cousin Katy. (I’m sure you recall the previous post.) The destination was in Chicago, a wonderfully amazing city.

On the trip home I stopped off in the Greater Boston Area for a visit home. Of course. Can’t go crossing the vast expance of ocean and not stop by, right? It seems only polite. I spent eight days at my childhood home, and they were quite lovely.

I filled my days with shopping and yoga. It was quite the vacation. If you don’t do yoga, I would seriously recommend it. On vacation I did lots of hot yoga with my bother. In a beautifully lit room with the thermostat turned up to a million degrees we sweat our way to relaxation. If you can, though, I’d avoid doing two and a half hours of hot yoga straight. Or definitely bring a water bottle if you do.

Even more exciting than all the yoga was the wedding shower my family threw for me. It was a beautiful spring day and lots of friends and family were able to attend. Plus there were presents! Just kidding. Mostly. It really was wonderful to see so many of my friends and family all at once. Especially since I see everyone much less often now that I live an ocean away.

April Showers

Makes me think I should probably throw a party every time I come for a visit. That way I get all my socializing done at once. Good plan, no?

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precision nutrition

This is a website and nutrition concept I’ve mentioned in the past. Dr. John Berardi and his team take on clients every six months and work with them to figure out just what the best nutritional plan is for them.

The Precision Nutrition team just last week had their pre-release and took on new clients. It is now open to the public to sign up (if it isn’t already sold out). I put my name on the pre-sale list. But didn’t sign up.

PN pic

I was really tempted. I read the entries on the site and have even read their e-book (40+ pages of fun). On their website they often talk about how to change oneself and consciously form habits. this, above all else, is what I am most interested in.

They talk about making small extremely manageable changes, all working towards the final goal. In this case being more physically fit. I really like this whole concept. Have a goal? Write it down. Then consider what it takes to get to that goal. All the steps aren’t necessary, just the first one. The first, super easy step that, of course, is manageable. Start there, see how it goes. It goes great! Continue on to the next tiny, super manageable step. Not working out? Revise the first step, how can it be easier? Does the first step need to be in a slightly different direction?

These things seem so logical to me. Sounds like something I could do. So I really wanted to try it. Even better, it seems like something, a way of working with oneself, that could be applied to any subject matter. It doesn’t just have to be nutrition habits. or work out habits. It can be learning habits. Habits at work. Anything. Not only am I very interested in the nutritional field in general, but habit-forming is something I would love to learn more about. And I wanted to learn it from precision Nutrition.

I’m using the bast tense seeing as I did not sign up for the Lean Eating Program. I was fully ready to do so. But then I considered the price, and where I’m at financially right now, today, this week.

Although I’ve saved up for that big party I mentioned, and although I counted my 25 before 25 goal of saving money as complete, I’m not quite where I want to be. I’ve certainly made some steps in the right direction, but I want my Nest Egg to grow and accommodate an entire years worth of living expenses. I want to have a better cushion, and maybe save for a vacation or two. I examined my finances, and although I can afford the Precision Nutrition coaching, technically, I have decided to wait. At least 6 months.

I’m going to follow my savings plan perfectly for 6 months. If I am able to do so, THEN I will join the next group of Lean Eaters.

I’ll keep you posted.

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season’s ending

Not only does it feel like Spring in Sweden, but they hockey season is ending as well. As of my latest hockey update, around half way through our season, I discussed our team’s goals and expectations that we discussed last summer about what our expectations for the upcoming season were.

Looking back, I think we have had a successful season. Concerning the wordclouds I made, I would gladly say that we have found success in all categories…but one. Unfortunately this year we did not make it to AllEttan (take another look at the previous post for an explanation of AllEttan).
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Last year we were one win away from AllEttan. This year we were three wins away from AllEttan. But all was not a disappointment. We play in a tight league, and all the games this season were close competitions. So, really, when you look at the season over all it was certainly a good one.
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Not making it to AllEttan was a let down, but the continuance series was a success this year, as it was last year. As in the regular series we continued to play close games. The continuance series is six games, where the four teams who did not move on to AllEttan play each other twice. Of our six games four of them were taken to shoot outs, where we were able to take an extra point in two of them. Our team fought hard, and lead the continuance play in points throughout the series, unfortunately only up until the last game. The loss of the extra point gave us equal points with AIK, who had one extra point in goal differential and therefore won the series. Still an over all success for the team though.
photo 1 (3)
I’m proud of the work we have accomplished as a team, and look forward to start off ice training. (Accompanied by my marathon training of course.) I’m a little less proud of my personal statistics in the continuance series. photo 3 (3)I’m certainly glad I was able to score 2 shoot out goals, as well as another two goals and an assist in regular play, to land 4th over all in points. (First in decisive goals.) Decisive GoalsHowever, my penalty minutes are embarrassing. Before the game today I had 14 minutes in the box.
Penalty Minutes
Luckily I managed to get my act together for the final match up of the season, but as the most penalized player in the continuance series I can’t really count that as a win. In the off-season, as well as focusing on forward strides in my fitness, I’ll have to focus on clean play. I’ve yet to figure out how to work out for that, but I’m sure I’ll think of something.
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See you in the gym!
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spreadsheets and triple contractions – with a side of running

Don't be fooled by the rosy filter, it is cold in there.

Don’t be fooled by the rosy filter, it is cold in there.

After starting my marathon training I did what any sensible person would do. I made a spreadsheet. Okay, to be honest the absolute first thing I did was take an ice bath, because man my legs were not pleased with my decisions. Then I made a spread sheet.

I love spreadsheets. I almost considered being an accountant once, because I heard they get to make a lot of spreadsheets, and I want that to be my job. Nothing came out of that, so that’s neither here nor there, but it does emphasize my point that I love spreadsheets.

My spreadsheet is beautiful and catalogues the training I have completed and the training I plan to complete. For now, our ice times and schedule only come out one week in advance, so I haven’t planned very far into the future as of yet. Once the hockey season ends, and I am better able to gauge what I am capable of, I’ll be able to plan farther in advance.

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This is what I’m talking about:

Training Schedule Pic

You may notice a gap there in the training. I got sick at the end of January, and wasn’t up to training. I feel I should take something away from my getting sick so soon after starting my training. However, it’s still unclear if I jumped into too much training at once, or if I should focus on abstaining from allowing three year olds to cough directly into my air passages. Definitely one of the two.

I’m excited to see what will come of the spreadsheet in the future as I complete more training. Y’all’ll just have to wait and see! (Why isn’t a triple contraction acceptable in the English language? Triple contractions are another thing I love.)

Cheers!

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the new year’s tradition

Did you guys know that Ryan was here over New Years? Again. The first time he came for New Year’s he ended up belly dancing in a restaurant.

There's picture proof, so you know it happened

There’s picture proof, so you know it happened.

While that will be hard to beat, I’m glad he took my invitation seriously, and showed up this year as well.

#nye13

It was great having him. On #nye we enjoyed a home cooked meal at Evelina’s parents house, and then walked/ran down to the city in order not to miss the fireworks. We did not.

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I took some time off work, so we took it easy and ate a lot of fika. It was excellent.

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FIKA!

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Besides all the fika-ing we also spent a lot of time at the rink. Ryan got to try out his goalie skills in one of our practices, and I was thoroughly impressed. He also helped out the coaches as well as got some lifting time in the gym. We even ran together, seeing as I went a little crazy and signed up for a marathon. Ryan, consider this your official invitation to run the marathon with me.

Look who's in net

movies 3D style

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Movies were also watched, with HFR, hence the wicked cool shades.

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Having Ryan to visit is always a blast, and I hope we keep the New Year’s tradition going strong. In reminiscing about Ryan’s most recent visit, a summertime visit comes to mind. Both Ryan and Tyler came to Sweden the summer of 2012.

They had both just gone on a tour of Great Britain and Wales, and had had a great time.

lazing about

(Clearly not more fun than Sweden though)

Lucky for me they decided to stop by Sweden before making the trip back across the Atlantic. We spend the time riding bikes around Eskilstuna, and having fika. I hope you sense the theme. A day trip to the Natural History Museum was also in order.

The National History Museum

Where we posed creepily with the animals. Obviously.

There were serious moments as well:

the siblings

Ryan, Tyler, consider THIS your open invitation to visit Sweden the summer of 2014!

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what have i done?!

Do you ever ask yourself, in a panicked squeak, what have I done?

I keep asking myself this. In a panicked squeak in my mind. Why am I repetitively asking myself this? Because I have done something. Something I am not so sure about.

Yes, I question my motives. I question my decision making skills. My sanity.

I have signed up for a marathon. A long marathon. I’ve heard they’re 26.2 miles. That’s 42.2 kilometers. That’s far.

In preparation for my training I have turned to the internet. The internet can solve all your problems. I have learned this. I am here to pass on the knowledge. Surprisingly enough I have not found the perfectly tailored marathon training program to fit all my personal and individual needs. As previously mentioned on this blog I am an active hockey player. This means a schedule of three ice practices and two games per week, starting this week and continuing until the end of February. However, the fact of the matter is, today marks 140 days until the ASICS Stockholm Marathon. So it is training time. Time to go. It was time to go yesterday.

pre-marathon training

I got this t-shirt for marathon training activities. Hopefully I’ll look fitter once the training commences. (Yes, I was paid less for this photo since my face is cropped out.)

I just don’t know how to swing it.

Balancing hockey training and marathon training is going to be quite the act.

Tune in to see how I handle it.

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my resolutions – in a timely manner

Alright guys, here it comes.

2014

Last year I was a little late on the uptake, and posted my New Year’s resolutions a full eleven days after New Years. Poor form. This year I’m totally on the ball. (I tell myself, it’s good to give positive reinforcement, especially to oneself.) My New Year’s resolutions read as follows:

  1. Find a lasagna recipe that Evelina likes as much as I do
  2. Paint a painting
  3. Run a marathon
  4. Read 4 books off of Francine Prose’s List of Books to be Read Immediately
  5. Do a handstand push up

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Let me explain. The avid readers out there will notice my first two resolutions mirror, almost exactly, my first two resolutions from last year. Let’s be honest, so many of us repeat New Year’s resolutions year after year without ever getting anywhere. (Unused gym membership anyone?) I’m putting a stop to all that. This year I’m getting it done. Certainly 1 & 2. I’m going to set a specific date for my accomplishments, and track my progress once I start. And I’m telling you all about it. You guys are gonna hold me accountable, right?

  1. Lasagna. That bad boy has got to be accomplished before the end of winter. That means by March 20th I will have completed this task.
  2. Paint a painting – as with children, there is just never a good time, you gotta jump right it, and learn how to swim on the fly. Don’t let my wandering metaphor confuse you. What I’m trying to say is although I may not feel like I have a ton of time for painting, I need to just set a date, and get things done. I’m going April 1st on this one. Not because this is a prank, but because I may be taking a trip in April, and I want this one done before then.

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Oh no, I’m not stopping there. Setting a specific date for your goals is an important part of seeing them through to completion. I’m gonna go ahead and do it for the last three resolutions as well.

  1. Marathon. In my list of things to do in Sweden (found by the header) I’ve mentioned the Asics Stockholm Marathon. That takes place May 31st this year. It’s time for me to get my run on. When you visit their website they’ve posted that today there are 149 days until the marathon. I’m now nauseous.
  2. Books – I have acquired over my years the following titles, which appear on Prose’s list: Bleak House by Charles Dickens, Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger, Moby Dick by Herman Melville and Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. In following my book of the month posts/goal I will read each one of these books during the following months:
    .          January: Moby Dick
    .          February: Franny & Zooey
    .          March: Little Women
    .          April: Bleak House
  3. Handstand push up. This one seems a little harder to set a date for. Seeing as it is on my 25 before 25 list…oh wait, all of my resolutions/goals are from that list. Funny how that happened. Any who! Seeing as it is on my 25 before 25 list, I will give this task a completion date of one day before my birthday. June 15th here we come.

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Looks like I’ve got a busy 6 months ahead of me. Check back in for periodic updates on how my resolutions are going. That’s not all! I’d also love to hear from you, have you made any New Year’s resolutions?

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