Surrounding Yourself With Inspiring People & The Controversies of Drinking

I don’t know if it comes with the phases of the moon or what my deal is exactly, but randomly, I get into these grooves where I’m overly analytical about my life- the choices I make, the people I surround myself with, and all other sorts of heavy, complicated issues that don’t actually have questions or answers, but just take up a lot of space in my mind…

I’ve said this before, but just in case you’re just tuning in: I’ve changed a lot over the past few years. For no reason in particular, I’ll start with being a Freshman in college, just because that makes it easier to break down.
Freshman year, I was just like most other bright-eyed and bushy tailed 18 year old setting foot on a Big 10 campus.
I loved to work out but I also loved consuming outrageous amounts of alcohol and sharing “monster sized” orders of cheesy bread with my friends. Sophomore year brought some changes, but not really, as I drank more often but probably ate out less often, but still managed to polish off an entire box Kraft Macaroni and cheese.
I went to Arizona, and I came back, and landed back just where I started. I have no  idea what changed or what hit me, but it all just kind of stopped. Sophomore year was a social disaster; I spent my free time with toxic, selfish people who I will be perfectly happy if I never see again..
The random few weeks that I was at home and not going to school, just waiting to be back in Champaign (literally my life is a soap opera) I was an intern at a gym and had the luxury of a fancy body composition scale at my disposal. I worked with high school girls every day and worked out with them- it was part of my job. I was at the gym all day, every day, helping people with their work outs and giving them advice on living a healthier lifestyle.
Everyone’s evolution in on a continuum- there’s not just one, specific, defining moment in life that triggers the ever-lasting changes that mark the first day of the rest of your life. Actually, I take that back- maybe there is, but not for me, personally. At least not yet, and not right now.

I’ve always loved fitness. I’ve always been the “healthiest” person in my circle- but that doesn’t always really say much.
And now, I’m at this awkward cross-roads where fitness and nutrition and healthy living literally IS my life.
I’ve gotten my head OUT of my ass and I have never taken my health and fitness and nutritional goals more seriously than I have this past year or so. But when I look around me, I feel like I’m doing a bad job of either a) inspiring my loved ones to do the same and/or b) surrounding myself with people who share the same goals and passions.*

It doesn’t matter, really. I mean, at the end of the day, I still love my friends and family to DEATH, but I also feel that my “life style choices” hinder some of those relationships. I KNOW, I KNOW, “real friendships shouldn’t rely on meaningless stuff like early morning runs, vegetarianism, and other nutritional goals!” But unless you’ve experienced it, sometimes, it really, really does.

When I first read Emily’s post over at Daily Garnish  about her and her husband’s choice to quit drinking, I totally supported her until she mentioned that she lost a lot of friends and get-togethers weren’t the same. I literally did not get it. How could the fact that you have a drink in your hand or not change so many things? That was a few years ago when I read that.
And now? Now I get it.

I haven’t quit drinking, by any stretch to the imagination. I don’t plan to “quit drinking” because I’m really not all too sure how to go to Wrigleyville without enjoying a cold beer,

I love me some margaritas,

and my dad makes the BEST coquito (a type of Puerto Rican egg nog.) However, my social life, my fun, and my entertainment does not rely SOLELY on drinking. Call me an old lady, call me weird, call me whatever, but I can do without the drinks. More so of what I can do without is the BINGE drinking. I could probably drink a Summer Shandy every night for the rest of my life and die one happy woman, but to tip back multiple beers, multiple times a week? Exhausting. Not only do I sit there and start tallying up everyone’s consumed calories and add them together, and divide them, and do all sorts of weird math with them, and then try to figure out how many miles each person would have to run to be at a caloric deficit just from the beers alone- I also dread the morning after. I hate being tired- even worse, I hate being hung over. Ever since I got my concussion in 2009, my hangovers are TEN FOLD and debilitating. For that reason, I stay away from getting a hangover. Hangovers make me crabby, they make me unreasonably hungry and I will eat anything and everything in sight, and then I usually have to skip my workout that day. How is that fun? For me, it’s not.

I love to go out and enjoy a few drinks with friends- don’t get me wrong.
But lately, I feel a huge separation between the people in my life and myself. I don’t know why.
I get crazy excited to sign up for races and try new, fitness-y things. And the more excited I get, the less people I feel like I have to support me or tag along as a partner in crime. Maybe that’s my problem- I keep looking for someone to join me and train with me and race with me and do all sorts of outrageous athletic things with me- and I keep coming up short.
Yes, I’ve been able to talk a handful of people into running the Illinois Half Marathon this month- and for that I am grateful, but more for them because they are running a half and that is so exciting for them!  As much as training has been handing it to me- I can’t find a running buddy, or a triathlon training buddy, or a workout buddy at best back home (where I will inevitably be for the rest of my life a very long time) and it SUCKS. I can’t recruit anyone. And for that, I feel like I’ve done a bad job of a & b*, previously mentioned above.

I don’t NEED a running buddy, but it would be nice. I love to have someone to share my training with- physically and verbally. Someone to keep my accountable and vice versa. The blogging world is filled with so many inspiring people and I would love to be, one day, that inspiring person to someone AND surround myself with inspiring people. People that lift me up and believe in me and only add positivity to my life instead of take it away.

Maybe I just take my training too seriously. Maybe I need to stop day dreaming about lifting all day long and trying to figure out which protein powder works best for my body or if I should try a 30-day detox. But seriously, this is the stuff I think about all the live-long day.

Maybe once I start working at the gym I’ll meet some amazingly inspiring people who would rather meet up for an early morning, or hell, even a late night run or workout instead of booze-facing into the wee-hours of the morning.

I’m going to feel like an absolute ass clown the next time I come on here and say: “So I went out for drinks last night!”, but in my defense, I didn’t say I was giving up drinking. I just feel like the binge drinking has been phased out and replaced with binge-running and lifting- and I’m okay with that. And actually, after re-reading that, if I have to defend myself the next time I say “I drank a beer last night” then you missed my point entirely.


sorry for the out-pouring of emotion. I literally have no idea where this came from except for maybe that my relationship with the sometimes destructing effects that alcohol has on people is weighing far more heavily on me than it should.

In other news, check out for my newest, favorite obsession of a blog!

I have another job interview tomorrow..
and a tempo run.
And I’ll be back with a more upbeat attitude 🙂


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