Thankful Thursday & Yoga Lessons

Thankful Thursday

Thanks again Jessie for hosting this every week! I love taking a little time every week to really appreciate all the wonderful things in my life, because there are lots and I take far too many for granted.

  1. This morning I was thankful for free coffee. It sounds silly but it’s little things like a free coffee coupon that really brighten my day. It’s been a long week (though to be honest it’s only long because I’m so close to Thanksgiving break, not because I actually have that much to do) and this little morning pick-me-up was just what I needed.

    The perks of when bakeries sponsor races, free goodies!

    I’m also thankful for Larry because he makes the best coffee. Seriously. Best. Coffee. Ever. I went with the Frank Sumatra blend. Loved it.

  2. The holiday season. I know that sounds cheesy but there is something so wonderful about this time of year, I mean when you get rid of all the ridiculous holiday stress and consumerism. Everyone seems to be in a better mood and I see more people reaching out to those less fortunate and just spreading the love more in general. The hippie in me is a big fan.
    Okay, I’m also a Christmas light junkie and a big fan all things gingerbread. Sue me.
  3. The beauty of nature, and how much I’m surrounded by. I joke a lot about how tiny Boone is and how, um, “eclectic” some of the people are (though I don’t have much room to talk) but and even though we don’t have a Target, we do have these:
    And this:


    And I think that beats out a Target. Most days (: Now if I can only keep these images in mind when there’s a foot of snow on the ground this winter.

  4. Running. Running is something that has never come easy for me, I think that’s why I’m so drawn to it. Almost every run is a challenge but it allows me to both see and appreciate my progress. A year ago from this weekend I ran my first 5K and I finished in 37:00, and now I’m less than a minute away from breaking 30-minutes. Up until last fall I could barely run for 5 minutes straight and this spring I ran a 10K. It took me an hour and 9 minutes, but I didn’t give up and I’m thankful that running has given me a tool to appreciate the progress I’ve made and to constantly challenge myself.

Yoga Lessons

I’m officially halfway through my goal of practicing yoga everyday in November. The past couple weeks of yoga have been such a rewarding experience and has had such a positive impact on my day to day life. So I want to share a couple of things I’ve learned so far in my 15-day (and counting!) yoga streak.

  1. You have to make important things a priority. One of the reasons I’ve royally failed at incorporating more yoga into my life in the past is that I didn’t make it a priority. I learned that you have to make time for important things, that time won’t just magically appear, I know that’s pretty obvious but it took me a while to really figure that out. Some days I go to bed 30 minutes later than usual because I want to squeeze in some yoga. Does that mean 30 minutes less sleep? Yes, but yoga before bed helps calm down my mind so I sleep better anyway, it’s a trade-off I make because it works for me. Though in general, I don’t recommend prioritizing things over sleep (some day I’ll actually practice what I preach) unless you like really that sleep-deprived zombie look. I hear eye-bags are this seasons biggest trend.
  2. Just Breathe. Sometimes shit is hard, and it sucks. Kinda like chair pose. When things get tough just breathe, stay strong and they will get better.

  3. In relation to number 2, discomfort can be an asset because it allows us to find tension in our lives and breathe through it. I was doing a Hip Opening podcast from Yoga Journal and Jason Crandall said something to that extent during pigeon and it really struck a cord with me. Sometimes you have to look at problems in a positive light, think about what you’ve learned by persevering through them, and become stronger because of it.
  4. Sometimes it just feels really awesome to be upside down.Maybe it’s a little silly but it’s cool to see things from another perspective and all that blood rushing to your head is pretty energizing.

    But headstands are still really hard and I can’t do one without a wall. Working on it!

What are you thankful for?

If you do yoga, what has it taught you?

And because we’re one week out from Thanksgiving (where has the time gone!?!) what food are you most looking forward to eating next week? For me it’s a 3-way tie between pie, sweet potato souffle and roasted veggies!

Creepy Crawlies.

This afternoon some friends and I went walking on the Price Lake Trail off the Blue Ridge Parkway.

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The trail was a 2.3 mile loop around Price Lake. The weather was nice and the lake was really pretty. The wildlife not so much.

It rained quite a bit yesterday so the trail was pretty muddy (Toms might have been a poor shoe choice). Apparently the rain made all the critters wanted to come out to play. We ran into:

A snake. Funnily enough, when we ran into it we were talking about all the crazy animals we’ve run into while hiking (there was a cow incident once). Snakes are a new one. And hopefully not a reoccurring one.

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When you go hiking with a biology major, you will have to stop while she catches tadpoles. And then she’ll make you take a picture of it.

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She was very excited about finally catching one. We found a hidden Mickey too.

There were lots of beaver dams:

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And other beaver evidence

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But no beavers.

 No Biebers either.

It’s probably a good thing we didn’t find and beavers (or Biebers), I’ve heard they’re surprisingly vicious.

Pure terror.

It was a nice little trek through the woods. Minus the snake. It was nice to get out while the weather was nice because it’s been pretty gross all week.

Tomorrow I’m going for a 5 mile run (yikes!), I’m staying positive, I will do it and it will be awesome. I’ve still got my eyes on a 10k in May. Then I’m chaining myself to my laptop and getting some work done. So much to do before the end of next week. Luckily next week is the last week of class! Good thing too, I don’t think I’m going to make it much longer. So ready for summertime! And sleep.

Upper Creek Trails

One of the best parts of living in the mountains? All the amazing (and FREE) hiking trails at your disposal. I try to get a hike in every weekend the weather’s nice. Beautiful sights with a built-in workout? I’ll take it.

Yesterday morning a friend and I ventured out to Burke County for a hike. We went hiking on Upper Creek Trails in Pisgah National Forest.

We followed a 1.5 mile loop past a gorgeous waterfall. You could start towards the upper falls or lower falls, each trail looped back around to the waterfall. Well, it was supposed to be a loop, we got lost at the bottom of the waterfall. Getting lost in the woods is a great way to start the morning. I exaggerate, we didn’t get that lost, the trail just mysteriously seemed to end and we couldn’t find anywhere that it picked back up again or any trail markers. Maybe we just have a bad sense of direction, but we turned around and went back the way we came. Which was uphill the whole way. My legs were on fire!

The highlight of the trail was this waterfall

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Which turned out to be much bigger than we realized as we hiked further down the trail

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So pretty. And you know it’s a good hike when you have to barefoot it at some points.

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Excuse the feet.

You had to cross the waterfall at the top to continue down the trail. The water was coldddd. But luckily no wipe outs.

Here’s so more pictures, because words don’t really cut it when it comes to nature.

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Rock-hopping across the waterfall.

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A leaf fell on this plant and the plant grew through a hole in the leaf. Plants are cool like that.

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Nature can be pretty fun sometimes.

You should always go hiking with a biology major, you learn a lot. Especially when they’re into herpetology (that word makes me giggle, I’m real mature), I’ve learned more about North Carolina salamanders than I ever thought possible.

Post-hike I had a pretty low key evening. I hit up Earth Fare for some groceries. I know, grocery shopping on a Friday night, what a party animal. I got a couple of fun things, including a pluot:

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I just discovered these last year, and they’re so delicious. But they never seem to be in season for very long, or at least where I am, they disappear after a couple of weeks. Sad. I would try to stock up but I’d probably eat them all in one day. It’s been known to happen.

Well I’m off to get started on my Saturday!

What are your plans for the weekend?