on tri and strength.

This weekend I completed an Olympic distance time trial with the rest of the Texas Tri team to prepare us for Nationals in April. During the race, one of my favorite things began to happen…

Everyone started working to lift each other’s spirits up.

1500 meter open water swim, 25 mile hilly (SO HILLY) ride, and a 10k run under the warm sun can start to wear a person out.

But in transition, on the bike, and especially on the run, the triathletes begin to become so supportive of each other. Don’t get me wrong, everyone is so awesome on a daily basis, but there’s just something about the camaraderie of a race that really makes people shine.

If you come out to a triathlon, I’m willing to bet that you’ll start hearing the triathleteres tell each other things like:

“You’re doing great!” or “You’ve got this.” and “You’re almost there!”

But I’ve got to say, one of my personal favorites is:

“You’re looking strong!”

How beautiful.

Isn’t that what we all want? To be strong inside and out?

I wish that we could all convey this motivation to each other on a daily basis. Hey, you’re strong today.

Life can be hard. School, work, personal life can all get really rough. We can feel tired and dreary and ready for an escape. Sometimes we feel like Atlas and we dare not to shrug.

During a race, it can make a world of a difference to be cheered for, smiled at, and just ultimately supported. No matter how fast or slow you are going.

In triathlon, we cheer for each other because we know the struggle. Getting off a bike and starting to run is not the most pleasant feeling, so we cheer for others because we relate! We work to ease each other’s discomfort.

The spectators cheer out of pride and excitement and support.

But in life, we are both the spectators and the participants.

We have the capacity for hurt, but also for so much strength. And we should share it.

Just something I’ve been thinking about since yesterday.

(Also, I should be doing homework right now.)

Love,

Juliana

Newest Addition

Hello everyone! I’d like you to welcome the newest addition to the family…









Those beautiful New Balances on the far right!

Saucony Echelon 2: August 2010 – 300 miles

Asics Gel Cumulus 15: December 2013 – 400 miles

Asics Gel Cumulus 16: July 2014 – 500 miles

New Balance Fresh Foam 980: March 2015 – 3.33 miles 😉

That’s right! I finally have new running shoes! And after almost three full weeks of zero running, today I ran ~5K in them! 🙂 No pain! It was cold but sunny and I was smiling and dancing to my music and so completely overjoyed!



(I like to do handstands when I’m really happy.)

Also, ya dig the nerdy capris and socks combo? 😉

When I told my dad about my new shoes, I said I was going to run on the trails with them  ASAP and he said, “You’re going to get them dirty on the first day?”

OF COURSE! ❤

Happy Thursday, friends! Life is so good!

Love,

Juliana

peponi.

(Disclaimer: This post kind of got away from me. The usual. I can never follow one thought for too long.)

(Also, TITLE REFERENCE! 

)

Yesterday at work I was talking to a coworker about age.

I was telling her how some freshman in my Spanish class asked me if I felt old for turning twenty this May. It was the first time anyone had ever asked me if I felt old — I wasn’t asked that when I turned 16 or 18!

We talked about how I’ll be launching into The Twenties. We talked about how there seems to be a timeline for when to settle down and have a house and a career and etc..

At the time I didn’t think much of it, but today as I was swimming and staring at a pool floor for a few thousand yards my mind went to it.

It is the absolute truth that there is a semi-unspoken timeline placed on us the day we are born. And if you don’t prescribe to that belief, you probably at least acknowledge that there is a LOT of pressure to be stuff.

A college graduate.

A working adult.

A wife/husband.

A perfect friend to all.

An espresso chugging busy-bee.

A kombucha drinking yogi.

A mom/dad.

Basically, anything that popped into your head while reading this list.

But guess what… You don’t have to be any of those things.

I recently watched a video of a montage of three years of travel. In it, the narrator said that we don’t have to do anything. We only need to do the things we decide to do.

Yes. YES YES YES! What a freeing thought!

You do NOT have to be best of the best. You do NOT have to be the perfect being, because you aren’t!

Being in a college, I’ve witnessed some people have a small mental freak out about what they’re doing with their lives. I hear the word ‘should’ all the time.

“I should be getting an internship. I should be taking more classes. I should sign up for summer school. I should work harder. I should relax more. I should I should I should.”

Should is a dangerous word. It’s haunting, in my opinion.

There has been, and will never be again, a day like today. You only get one. This doesn’t mean that you should do anything.

It means that you get to.

Our lives won’t last forever. The number of days are limited. But guess what, you get today.

That is so beautiful.

I don’t feel old for turning twenty. I refuse to feel old when turning ninety. I live in today.

And what a magnificent day it is.

Stop being so afraid of what is ahead. Stop planning so hard. Stop trying to be something you’re not.

Go with it.

Stand in the rain. Let the cold air bite your skin.

Don’t fix your hair when the wind blows it askew. Don’t be afraid to sweat if it means you are soaking up the sun.

Get your hair wet. Smile as much as you possibly can.

Dance. ALWAYS! When you’re sad. When you’re so happy you could explode.

Life will throw you hurdles. Keep your head up. Front flip right over them.

Scraped knees are okay. Scars are glamorous.

Refuse to see life as anything less than wonderful.

Because it IS wonderful.

Happy happy happy Sunday night.

You’re a rockstar.

The week ahead of you is your stage.

good thoughts

Love,

Juliana

“Only light can do that.”

Today I was supposed to run the Austin Marathon. All 26.2 miles of it.

IMG_0339

But I didn’t.

Remember a couple weeks ago when I wrote about my IT Band giving me grief? Well, it never fully healed.

I started the morning really pumped and totally ready. After all, I trained hard for this and physically and mentally was in shape to do it.

IMG_0335

Around mile 8, I felt a pain in my hip/butt more severe than anything I had felt before. It immediately had me in a limp/hobble. I panicked immediately but decided to remain as calm as I could.

At mile 10 my leg seized up to the point that I couldn’t extend it fully to touch the ground and I thought I was going to fall a few times. I moved to the side of the path, put my head in my hands, and cried. I cried out of pain and fear.

The Austin Marathon is known for being very hilly, but I looked forward to the hills because I was in the least amount of pain going up them. I had zero muscle fatigue and felt great, but my IT pain was so overbearing. The more I ran, the more it hurt and felt like I needed to stop. But when I did stop, even to tie my shoe, the pain would be worse when I started up again. It was a vicious cycle that I couldn’t escape.

At mile 16 I actually thought to myself “I only have ten more miles of this hurt!” Let me tell you, when a thought like that runs through your head, you ow you’re in a messed up situation.

I kept telling myself to stay positive and to focus on good things. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that.”

My gait started to seriously suffer because I was overcompensating on my other leg and that’s never a good thing.

At mile 17.5 or so, a paramedic on a motorcycle came up to me and my mom (she was walking by me at this point) because he noticed that I looked like a wounded animal (that’s my guess). He stopped me and asked what was going on. I explained that it was just my IT being tight and that I could finish the last 9 miles.

Unfortunately, he (as well as many other people) didn’t think that’d be a good idea. If you don’t let it heal, ITBS can become chronic and can sideline a runner for months. Of course I didn’t want that, but I also didn’t want to leave the race. The paramedic spoke with finality and followed my mom and I until we were off the course and walking to her car.

And I cried.

Not only from pain, but because running is my thing. The worst part is that if it hadn’t been for this stupid band in my leg, I would’ve crushed this race. I was ready to negative split.

But you know, life doesn’t work that way. I trained for months and months and it just didn’t work out.

I don’t run because everyone else does, I don’t run because it’s good for you, I don’t run because I want to win anything.

I run because I really and truly love to. I run because it actually brings me joy.

Today has been hard because I’ve kind of had that stripped away from me. It sucks to work so hard for something that you don’t get to achieve.

IMG_0338

Let me tell you something though, I may be down, but I am not out. Not from running. Not from training. Not from life.

We have options in this world believe it or not. Sometimes IT bands bring you to your knees in tears and pain. Today I learned how to get back up.

Today was not a failure. It was not a loss. It was a victory. I walked away from that race a better person than when I started it. It’s not the mileage that’s important. It’s not the medal that counts. Did I want those things? Absolutely.

But another reason that I love running is because it teaches you so many lessons, even if you don’t realize it.

Today I pushed through 10 miles of extreme suffering. 10 miles. And not once did I allow myself to believe I would fail. It took a medical professional to get me off that course.

Running taught me how to fight. It taught me how to keep on going.

And I’ll utilize that lesson until the day I die.

I’m going to let my leg heal and rest, but the next time I step outside to run… It’s going down. Don’t doubt that for a second. (This Is War by 30 Seconds to Mars came on as I wrote that and it was pretty awesome.)

IMG_0336

Love,
Juliana

P.S. With all that being said, I’d still be down for a bunch of hugs.
P.P.S. (Or P.S.S.?) Afterwards, I went to Chipotle with my family and it helped ease my woes. (Miss you, Sabrina and Mathew!)

IMG_0337

2014: To be fearless.

2014 is almost over. It’s unbelievable. It feels like just yesterday I was planning out my 2014 New Year’s Resolutions… So silly!

See last year I had one resolution. To be fearless. My goal was to do one thing every single day that was out of my comfort zone. To do one thing that scared me. Unfortunately, like many New Year’s resolutions, my exact idea was short lasted.

Luckily for me, it bloomed into much more than I could’ve ever hoped for.

2014 taught me many things. But ultimately, this year I learned what it means to be fearless. Contrary to what the word itself suggests, it does not mean having no fears at all.

No no no, what it means is to not let those fears into every nook and crevice of who you are.

I think that fear is healthy. And pretty dang incredible. It taps into one of our most primal instincts: fight or flight.

This year I learned how to look my fears, my demons in the face. And laugh.

IMG_0201

I did things I would’ve never thought possible for me. I met incredible people. I laughed. I cried. I smiled. I woke up every single day with a fire in my heart. On some days it wasn’t quite so bright. But I learned how to feed it.

I traveled. I adventured. I sought out adrenaline rushes. I crossed borders. I discovered my physical limits and pushed past them. I made incredible friends. I discovered who I am, who I want to be.

IMG_0012

I learned how to be unafraid. I learned how to live.

IMG_0265

I wanted to round up as many pictures as I possibly could for a visual depiction of my years, but I found it was hard to do so for two reasons:

1. I didn’t take many pictures. I embraced moments instead of capturing them.

2. Honestly, there are no pictures or words to describe this crazy, beautiful year of my life.

Nonetheless, I have some!

IMG_0044IMG_0149IMG_0205IMG_0263IMG_0084IMG_0259IMG_0260IMG_0262IMG_0264

And my personal favorite…

IMG_0261

It’s been the best year of my life. I can say that with no hesitation.

I guess as 2015 approaches, there’s one thing I want everyone (myself included) to remember…

The ticking of a clock. The flipping of a calendar page. A number changing from 4 to 5… None of that changes who you are. It doesn’t grant you another opportunity to start afresh.

And that’s because it’s all up to YOU. Who do you want to be? What do you want to accomplish? Do you want to keep being afraid of the life you’re leading?

You get to choose. You get to choose happiness. To choose a different path. To choose who you do or do not want in your life.

It’s yours. Get after it. No hesitation. No fear. Just choose.

As you count down the clock on the 31st, I hope you know that it won’t make anything different.

You have to make things different. How? You just do. It happens the moment you just decide.

Live openly. Live freely. Live fearlessly.

Love,

Juliana

P.S. When I was getting ready to fly to Portland, I was scared. Flying kind of terrified me. However, I decided to tell myself that I was not afraid. Over and over and over I repeated it in my head until I actually believed it. After that, it was truth. I wrote a poem on the plane and I always felt as thought it would be better spoken aloud, but I’m going to write it here anyway, because it helped me actually crush a very legitimate fear of mine. ABSOLUTELY CRUSH IT.

Haha, this is the whole journal entry:

“Bear Cub” 12.15.14 @ 7:33 p.m.. Somewhere over TX.

I like fear.

I like it because I think the only thing we’re actually afraid of is who we become when we are afraid. when we’re fearful. when we’re scared.

We turn into these people that we don’t want to be: pitiful, hesitant, stressed.

We let our fear consume us.

We let it eat us whole.

It doesn’t even need to chew.

One second we’re alive and well and the next?

The next second you’re in the belly of the beast.

No survivors.

Our fears are a seemingly incurable disease – destined to attach to a host and suck the life out of it.

We are those hosts.

Sometimes we think we’re safe.

We think we’ve worn repellent.

We think we’ve washed our hands.

But the fear is like a tsunami. A tidal wave. A riptide.

Your pool floaties won’t save you.

How discouraging. What a lost cause.

Not exactly.

You see, we all have the ability to squash our fears like bugs.

You know they say that if you’re ever being attacked by a shark – poke it in the eye.

Big bad Jaws will get his feelings heart and

will

swim

away.

When a grizzly bear is preparing to attack you, you’re supposed to go into the fetal position.

You’ll seem weak.

Like a baby. A cub.

The big, scary bear should

leave

you

be.

Because in that moment, you are not you.

You are telling yourself over and over:

“I am a bear.”

“I am a bear.”

“I am a bear.”

“I am a bear.”

When the fear us about to swallow you alive:

You are a bear.

You are a bear.

You are a bear.

I am a bear.

I am not afraid.

I am not afraid.

I am not afraid.

You tell yourself that over and over and over and once you believe it – fear sure as hell will too.

You are a bear.

I am a bear.

I am not afraid.

I like fear.

.

.

.

Because I am NOT afraid.

To succeed.

I’ve been scrolling through Pinterest quotes for the last hour because I had two cups of coffee after 4… While I was reading, this quote caught my eye:

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/741/56750851/files/2014/12/img_0256.jpg

And it bothered me greatly. Maybe it’s because lately I’ve talked to a lot of people about what they want to “do” with their lives. Maybe it’s because after every conversation I’ve realized how little I think about the money I’ll make when I graduate and get a job. Maybe it’s because I don’t agree with many’s definition of success.

Because what does it mean to succeed? To have the money to buy whatever your heart fancies?

To be honest, that sounds plastic.

I think that, yes, success is different for everyone. But I also think that it should not be defined monetarily. And I think that it’s completely up to you whether you’re successful. It shouldn’t be relative.

Sometimes I think about my major. I think about what my first job will be like. I think about the work I’ll do. I think about the people I meet.

I don’t think about my paychecks.

Maybe you think I’m naive.
But here’s the thing, here’s what I want to “do” with my life:

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/741/56750851/files/2014/12/img_0255.jpg

I’m not going to school to be rich. To have a large house. To wear the fanciest clothes.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/741/56750851/files/2014/12/img_0257.jpg

I go to school to help cultivate my ideas. To figure out what I can do to help.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/741/56750851/files/2014/12/img_0258.jpg

I see my glass as half full. Being filled. Until my cup runneth over.

I can’t envision my future self. I can’t see numbers on a bank account. Because I’m too busy with the now.

I can do something every single day. And to me, that’s joy. And in my opinion, that’s better that any kind of success.

Coffee Date!

Hi 🙂 happy Wednesday!

Let’s pretend we are having a coffee (or tea or HOT CHOCOLATE) date! We need to catch up.

So, if I was sipping an almond milk latte (with an extra shot):

I’d tell you: The temperature has significantly cooled down here in Austin and the wind has picked up in strength. Ultimately, the weather is beautiful and it feels like fall!

IMG_0566.JPG

I’d tell you: I have an organic chemistry test tomorrow that I haven’t studied yet for, so I’ll be up late tonight working on that. Nonetheless, I don’t feel too stressed. Life is good. Really really good.

I’d tell you: Today I had running class in the freezing cold, but I felt strong and happy the whole time. (We did 800 sprints… In case you were wondering!) Afterwards, I put on a funky, colorful sweater that I got last year, my favorite pair of jeans, and some riding boots. Then my roommate braided my hair in a fancy way, so I felt like a princess!

IMG_0572.JPG

🙂

I’d tell you: Also, I was recently inspired by the beautiful, wise, talented, and overall amazing Marissa Stutz to try to disconnect from the amount of time I spend on my phone. Last night I turned off push notifications for all my social media apps and it’s been pretty peaceful. It’s only been a few hours, but I’ve already started to forget about checking all my various accounts. Try it!

I’d tell you: Another random tidbit: Yesterday my roommate and I made a winter vegetable soup in the crockpot and it was so fun to come home to after a long cold day! We don’t have many spices, so it wasn’t as flavorful as can be, but that was easily remedied by eating it with toast slathered with Earth Balance “butter”!

IMG_0565.JPG

IMG_0561.JPG

The soup had white potatoes, carrots, sweet potato, red bell pepper, kale, delicata squash, cauliflower, and vegetable broth! I had considered throwing some tofu in there, but in all honesty, I was too lazy to cut up the block. 😉

I’d tell you: My dad is coming to Austin this weekend! We’re going to adventure around and enjoy the weather. (Fathertron, if you’re reading this, make sure to bring warm clothes so that we can play outside.)

I’d tell you: The semester is nearly over! Whaaaaaaat! After this week, we have 2 weeks and 3 days of class left… I’m so looking forward to winter break (helllooooo PORTLAND) but I’m going to miss this semester! I love my classes and my undergraduate assistant position.

I’d tell you: I sent in my resume for an internship, but I’m going to keep what it actually is on the hush for now. Let me just say, it would be AMAZING.

I’d tell you: Marathon training is going swimmingly! Saturday morning is a 13 miler, so cross your fingers I don’t turn into a Popsicle!

I’d tell you: I feel alive with passion as of late. I can’t keep a smile off my face either. It’s the best.

I’d tell you: I really really want to get Malala Yousafzai’s book to read on my way to Portland.

I’d tell you: I’m glad you have spent the time to sit down with me 🙂 and then I’d invite you over to see my apartment because it’s already decorated for Christmas.

If you were sipping your favorite warm beverage, what would you tell me?

Love,
Juliana