“Don’t give up, I won’t give up.”

cannot handle overwhelmed gifThis image depicts some of the fun over the last two months. 

Shortly after my last post, I was diagnosed with infectious mononucleosis. That led to a frustrating couple of months, being forced to slow down. Slow down? I DON’T DO SLOW! Hahaha; really, that’s not my style. The process has been a test of my patience, if nothing else.

Slowing down meant no contact in derby, no kissing, required laying around while watching Netflix, and resting. In short, I was incredibly bored. Without realizing it, this forced down time was a good thing. It made me really take care of myself, physically and emotionally.  Being on skates at derby practice wasn’t an option, as my spleen became slightly enlarged as a side effect of mono. For the first time in months, I started getting consistent, quality sleep. My body severely needed it! I said no to additional announcing gigs offered, as well as invitations to social gatherings.

Between stress in the workplace, not being able to engage in derby hits (or aggressive exercise), and keeping a low profile, I felt kind of stuck. Luckily, my doctor’s office confirmed last week that I no longer have mono. My spleen isn’t yet back to its normal size, so I’m a few months out from those derby hits. Womp womp.

Despite all of that, I was able to participate in was the 2016 WFTDA Division 1 Playoffs in Columbia, SC! Here’s a fun photo that truly captures the personalities of our announcer crew (Thanks, T.I. Stills!). It was a pleasure to be a member of a fantastically talented team.

playoffs

Thankfully, the year is winding down for derby events. My last regularly scheduled gig was yesterday, broadcasting with NERDerby at Boston Roller Derby. It was a blast! Taking a break has also allowed me to take more time for myself, get out to brunch with friends, spend time with my puppy nephew, Thor, and for the first time in ages, go bowling.

Moving forward, I’ll be getting back to physical activity and focusing on better nutrition. The scale jumped up a few pounds due to lack of activity and eating too many carbs, but it’s nothing that can’t be turned around. Staying motivated is the key. The title of this week’s post is from Sia’s “The Greatest“, which is a song that helps keep me motivated.

What keeps you motivated? Feel free to share at bootifulbanshee@gmail.com or in the comments section.

There are many more awesome things happening before the year is up, and I can’t wait to share them with all of you. Thanks for reading!

❤ Banshee

“If You create the game then You create the rules…”

rules leslie knope animated GIF

 

Two words: self care.

Lately, I’ve thought a great deal about this topic. What exactly IS self care? Some say it’s taking time for yourself, whether to read a book in peace and quiet, enjoying a cup of tea (or another beverage of choice), getting a mani-pedi or something else you can do to pamper yourself.

It’s interesting, as I used to view self care the same way, and find all of the above acceptable. However, I think there’s more to it. Perhaps it’s something I’ve realized with age, but my interpretation of self care has evolved into overall caring for your own physical and mental well being. In short, doing what makes your heart happiest.

What makes your heart happiest can be a broad category, but it makes sense, as none of us are one-dimensional characters (I hope!). This weekend has been a great example of going what makes my heart happiest. Friday night, my BFF and I went to a T-Pain and 2 Chainz show, Saturday started with beach yoga and friends, followed by lunch with one of my derbies, dinner with another derby friend, followed by our monthly HOYH meeting. Today, I was able to make fresh apple, beet and carrot juice while handling some food prep before hitting up the skating rink before my shift at the radio station. Spending time with quality people and doing things we enjoy is a worthy use of a weekend, which makes me grateful.

A recent interview of Janet Mock by Sooo Many White Guys podcast brought up a really interesting piece of advice (watch it HERE):

“It’s about being stingy with your time, your body and with your talents. Not everyone is deserving of you, of your body, of your story, of your time. I wish that someone had told me ‘girl, you are everything’, you may not know it yet, but you don’t need to spend time trying to chase him, waiting on your phone, or dealing with this roommate, or all of these things, like, be stingy, you only have so much time in this world, in this particular body, in this particular experience; don’t spend it! Budget that shit! Budget how you spend your time, and the spaces you choose to occupy and who you choose to bring into your world.”  Janet Mock

This piece of advice was something I’ve found helpful, and it strikes me as a fantastic example of self care. I’d love to hear what you consider self care, whether it’s an activity, or a mindset. Hit me up at bootifulbanshee@gmail.com

This week, I focused on getting my eating back on track, cleaning up my act. All I have to do is stick to it!

Starting weight: 222 lbs

8/21/16 weigh-in: 203.6 lbs

8/28/16 weigh-in: 201.8 lbs

Weekly weight loss: 1.8 lbs

Total weight loss: 20.2 lbs

This week title is courtesy of India Arie’s Just Do You.

“I heard a voice that told me I’m essential
How all my fears are limiting my potential
Said it’s time to step into the light and
Use every bit of the power I have inside

So what’chu waiting on
Who You waiting for
If You don’t take a chance You’ll never know what’s in store.”

Have a great week! ❤

B

“If I had to do it all again…”

Hello there. It’s been awhile. Almost 6 months…oops!

Life overwhelmed me for a few months and maintaining the blog slipped to the back burner. It’s been a mix of amazing and some things less than. Here’s what you missed:

I found myself in a short lived relationship with a recently divorced father of two, still picking up the pieces. The bonus: his volatile ex-wife, with her history of stalking him and whoever he dated. Despite this, his aesthetic and fantastic conversational skills drew me in. When things fizzled, it wasn’t surprising and I’m grateful it set me free. Nothing against him, but I deserve better. What’s most important is realizing it.

In the midst of all of this, my schedule remained chock full of awesome derby announcing gigs, including WFTDA and MRDA tournaments. I was determined to not allow  anyone or anything derail what I set out to accomplish. My desire to turn the skills acquired from announcing roller derby into a paid gig was strong.

The ECDX 2016 announcer crew, courtesy of Sean Murphy Photography. 

I was accepted to this year’s East Coast Derby Extravaganza in Feasterville, PA, where I worked on the house call amongst some of the world’s best WFTDA announcers. This experience was overwhelming and incredible. One of those top announcers (a D1 Tournament Head) encouraged me to apply for the 2016 WFTDA International Playoffs. A derby friend had encouraged me to apply before attending ECDX, planting the seed. This encouragement is sincerely appreciated, and was a much needed push. I’m happy to report that my application was submitted upon my return home from PA, and I’m a member of the first all-female broadcast crew in WFTDA history at next month’s 2016 WFTDA Division 1 International Playoffs in Columbia, SC.

Earlier in the year, I noticed a lack of announcer training and that some experienced roller derby announcers don’t necessarily refresh their game call to match changes in the game or inclusive derby culture. This inspired me to pitch two class ideas for Northeast Derby Convention, 2016, run by Bruised Boutique. The event organizers liked my ideas and I was added to the roster of coaches at this year’s event. It was a great experience and I’m grateful to share helpful hints with others in the derby community.

The opportunity to record a radio demo reel was presented to me last year and I’ve been looking for radio work since. After many discouraging months, I took a chance and emailed the station managers of four local radio stations my demo reel and revamped announcing resume. A week later, one of the stations called me back! They invited me in for a meeting, which was less of an interview and more figuring out when they could begin training me. Training began during 4th of July weekend and my regular part- time Sunday night shift became official a few weeks later. My dream of working in radio is coming true, even in a small way. Thankfully, there’s much potential and it’s exciting to see where this road leads.

In the studio at FUN107 FM.

The quest at getting and staying healthy, mentally and physically, remains a work in progress.  As for weight loss, it’s been tough, as my workouts haven’t been consistent. Currently, I’m aiming for 3 workouts per week. Thankfully, the scale is still headed downward. It’s helpful to remember that quick weight loss doesn’t always have staying power.

 

Starting weight: 222 lbs

2/28/16 weigh-in: 207 lbs

8/21/16 weigh-in: 203.6 lbs

6 months weight loss: 3.4 lbs

Total weight loss: 18.4 lbs

 

Over the course of the last few months, my level of stress and anxiety became too much to bear. I’ve battled anxiety my whole life, without a diagnosis. A serious talk with an old friend about his experience with getting help and how it improved his overall quality of life was motivating. It was clear that I needed to face how anxiety affected me, and after consulting my LICSW sibling, I felt ready to ask for help. Luckily, I had an annual appointment with my PCP coming up, and had a frank discussion about how I’d been feeling. She prescribed meds, which I’ve taken for a few weeks now and notice small positive changes. So far, I’m happy with taking this step.

Today’s title track is Again, by Faith Evans:

Nobody knows what life may bring.It might make you happy it might make you sad. Sometimes, yeah, but I know there’s a reason for everything (but I know). That’s why I keep believing.  Whatever is meant to be its going to be.”

That’s been my summer, and I wouldn’t change it. I hope the rest of you are enjoying it!  As always, email me at bootifulbanshee@gmail.com with questions or suggestions.

PS- I’ll be back on Sunday. After all, I’m making up for lost time! 🙂

“I do what I love and I love what I do…”

The last two weeks have moved at LUDICROUS SPEED (haha), which resulted in skipping last week’s post. It’s been hectic, but super awesome.

My league, Mass Attack Roller Derby, had a visitor from our local radio station, Fun 107! Gazelle, from the Rock and Fox Morning Show, joined us as a skater in training, to learn what we do. He was even brave enough to take a few hits! Having Gazelle at practice was fun, and helps the league get some great exposure. The opportunity to work with him and help my league was excellent. Check out the blog and video about his visit!

As mentioned, I spent last weekend in Hatfield, PA, announcing at the Battle of the All Stars roller derby tournament. In addition to my experience as a roller derby skater, I’ve been a roller derby announcer since 2012. My experience has been announcing the game to a live, in-house audience. Battle of the All Stars offered an opportunity to announce to the house audience, as well as live streaming broadcast to the audience watching via New England Roller Derby Report‘s YouTube channel.

Thanks to Andrew Keyes Derby Photography for capturing Mr. Rat’s reaction to one of my puns. Haha.

The tournament had a fantastic crew of announcers, and our tournament head announcer paired the announcers based on their knowledge of the teams playing in the tournament. Lucky for me, Team Massachusetts is composed of many skaters I have played beside, against, or announced their games. In addition, Team Maine has quite a few familiar faces from previous game calls. Our tournament head assigned me to the broadcast calls for both teams. The idea of broadcast announcing was a bit intimidating, for concern of unkind commentary from fans at home. As a derby fan, I’ve witnessed some of the scathing commentary from fans. Taking the step and trying broadcast was far more positive than I expected, and the kind words and feedback were overwhelming. To those who showed support, please know I’m truly grateful. If you’d like to watch any of the tournament’s games, all are available for viewing in the NERDerby archive.

Serious face during my first broadcast call, Team Mass vs Team VA. Thanks, Jessica McAndrew!

Announcing a three day derby event is exhausting, but the sleep deprivation and hours on the road were totally worth it. Doing what scares you, and doing what you love are worth the sacrifice.

Getting back to the daily grind at the office, plus derby and life in general was a little rough. Thanks to lots of caffeine and the positive vibes from the weekend, pushing through wasn’t too bad. Eating on the go wasn’t the greatest, and I didn’t make the best food choices at times. Thankfully, it balanced out and I have made it a quarter of the way to my weight loss goal!

Starting weight: 222 lbs

2/14/16 weigh-in: 209.8 lbs

2/28/16 weigh-in: 207 lbs

Two weeks weight loss: 2.8 lbs

Total weight loss: 15 lbs

 

Goodbye, comfort zone!

Aspirations of sassiness, level: Karen Walker

Personal growth is one of the reasons why this blog began. In conjunction with going to HOYH meetings and really listening to my feelings, it’s been helpful and the process can be pretty humorous. One of my main struggles is interactions within interpersonal relationships. Simply put, I don’t know how to assert myself or get what I want in romantic relationships. Add that to being socially awkward, and it’s a freaking hoot.

Approaching persons of romantic interest is not something I do. Perhaps that’s been part of my problem. This week, as trivial as it may seem, I took a step. After a scrimmage, everyone went out for food and drinks, and a POI caught my eye. There were words exchanged, and I tried to convey in the most non-creepy way possible that he was quite attractive and introduced myself. On the way out, I gave him my number, including a little note, saying “I like your beard.” (Thanks, Ke$ha.) 😀 If he calls, great. If not, that’s fine, too. The whole point was to stop turning into the shy, twelve year old me. Achievement unlocked.

Realizing that I deserve to have a loving relationship with a future and a deserving partner was the first step. Putting myself out there is the next. Giving myself the grace to make mistakes, learn, and move forward makes it easier. We’ll see what happens.

Ellie Goulding’s I Love What I Do is this week’s title track.

“I do what I love and I love what I do
Stop me, stop me
I’m stopping you
Get the move right, baby, I’ll show what I mean
Don’t stop me, stop me, I like how it feels.”

As always, email me at bootifulbanshee@gmail.com with questions or suggestions.

Have a great week!

MA voters, don’t forget to get out and vote on Tuesday, 3/1!

B

 

 

 

 

 

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“Greatness is what we on the brink of…”

Life is indeed happening. It’s been a pretty exciting week.

BRRRR…it’s COLD out there!

Unfortunately, there aren’t any Toros or Clovers in the atmosphere. 😀  In my neck of the woods, the week kicked off with a snow storm. Shoveling is great cardio, with a touch of strength training, right? We’ve ended the week with record frigid temps. It’s not the most motivating kind of weather.To the contrary, most of us prefer snuggling in the comforts of home.

Cold, snowy weather was perfect for one thing: Polartec’s Big Air Event at Fenway Park! My sister and I attended the snowboarding competition on Thursday night. It was lots of fun, despite the cold. Check out the 140 foot ski jump set up inside the ballpark!

“Never shrink yourself for anyone.”

My dance instructor said this to me on Friday, while we worked on the foxtrot. A light bulb went off in my head, and I replied, “that’s solid advice, in dance AND life.” Of course, the wheels in my head started to turn. How many times in our lives have any of us stifled our true selves for others, and become ridiculously self conscious as a result? Sometimes it’s for a friend, family member, or romantic interest. It’s not right, but we have all done it at some point. There’s no reason why anyone should shrink themselves or dull their sparkle. Friends, I challenge you to shine brightly, for all of the world to see. You’re worth it!

Adventure awaits…

As previously mentioned, I’m a roller derby skater and coach. In addition, I’ve been a roller derby announcer since 2012. Calling derby games is lots of fun, includes travel, meeting new people, plus looking and smelling nice at a derby game (a stark contrast to skating!). Usually, I travel within New England to announce. Last year, announcing led me to upstate NY for the Mohawk Valley Cup and I had a blast!

Late this week, I was extended an invite to Battle of the All Stars tournament, in Hatfield, PA. This is a great opportunity to use my skills in a new setting. Thursday night, I’m hitting the road and will be sure to tell you all about it next week.

In the midst of the excitement and snow, I slacked on healthy eating. Womp, womp. Thankfully the scale was kind.

Starting weight: 222 lbs

2/7/16 weigh-in: 210 lbs

2/14/16 weigh-in: 209.8 lbs

This week’s loss: .2 lbs

Total weight loss: 12.2 lbs

Galentine’s Day Weekend!

If you’re a fan of Parks and Recreation, you’ve heard of Galentine’s Day. It’s a day to celebrate your female friends and tell them how great they are.

I was lucky enough to receive vegetarian kale soup from one of my favorite lady friends on Galentine’s Day, and made sure to bring her chocolate. Today, a group of us headed to the theatre to watch Deadpool, and enjoyed an excellent Mexican dinner.  Thank you for being my Galentines!

Don’t forget dessert; sweet chimichangas in honor of Deadpool. 

 

This week’s post title is from Nicki Minaj’s Moment for Life.

“This is my moment
I waited all my
Life, I can tell it’s time
Drifting away, I’m
One with the sunsets
I have become alive.”

As always, email me at bootifulbanshee@gmail.com with questions or suggestions.

Wishing you a great week!

B

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I just keep on dancin’…”

             Paul Rudd dancing is magical. Enjoy!

The week started with me fending off the sick of last week. Much to my dismay, this required slowing down. Per last week’s post, this is not something I’m good at. This made me think, “why do I feel guilty, lazy, or unproductive, when time to recover is necessary?” The problem is societal, as we live in a culture of busy. We’re not taught to be kind to ourselves, even when taking a much needed sick day.

Holding space

A friend recently invited me to attend a meeting for a women’s group called House of Your Heart. Last night, I attended the meeting, unsure of what to expect. Essentially, there’s a topic of discussion and participants can share what’s on their minds. The purpose of the group is to provide emotional support and tools to help women break unhealthy patterns of behavior and thought. We discussed what it means to hold space for ourselves and others, allowing us/them to be open and who we are. Throughout the discussion, a stark realization occurred: we are quick to hold space for others, but not ourselves. It really hit home. I left the HOYH meeting with a sense of clarity and a smile on my face. For more on holding space, check out this great blog from Heather Plett.

Skating, and more dancing!

My league’s new class of fresh meat started skating on Wednesday, and I couldn’t be more excited. Ten new skaters, eager to learn what they need to become scrimmage ready. What I love most about coaching is seeing all of the hard work come to fruition when a skill is perfected. “A-ha!” moments are the best. This group of skaters is especially determined, and I will enjoy observing their progress.

On Friday night, I had my first private dance lesson. One hour of learning to tango, foxtrot, rumba and swing is QUITE the workout, plus it’s fun. Also, how fabulous are these heels?

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My dance floor adventures will continue for another month. Hopefully, I’ll do Fred and Ginger proud!

Another day, another challenge.

As mentioned last week, I’m participating in a 21 day healthy eating and fitness challenge through my gym. This week, working out in addition to skating was a little difficult. I was feeling a bit run down from recovering, and didn’t push myself as normal. As a result, the scale didn’t change (see below).

Starting weight: 222 lbs

1/30/16 weigh-in: 210 lbs

2/7/16 weigh-in: 210 lbs

Amount lost to date: 12 lbs

This week, part of the challenge requires mapping out my workout plan for the week. I’ll sit down tonight and put it together. Meal prep is in progress, with cauliflower and sweet potatoes roasting.  A few snapshots of meals this week are shown below. This morning’s breakfast (protein waffles), were pretty damn delicious.

Ezekiel toast with avocado, accompanied by beet/apple/carrot juice; banana-egg protein waffles with a side of chickpeas sauteed with peppers, onions, and smoked paprika. 

A momentous occasion

Saturday was an exceptionally great day. Primarily because I eliminated a debt that’s been weighing on me for a few years. I am happy and grateful to say that particular debt is no longer hanging over my head. It was a debt owed to a family member, and the relationship became strained as a result. Free at last! 🙂

 

Ellie Goulding’s Keep on Dancin’ is the inspiration for this week’s post. Keep dancing, friends. As always, email me at bootifulbanshee@gmail.com with questions or suggestions.

Have a great week!

B

 

“Gotta slow it down, baby…”

Slow down?!

stop wait blackish tracee ellis ross black-ish

My body had other plans…

I was hit with the nasty head cold going around. That means it wasn’t really a choice to slow down. My body won, rightfully so.

By design, I’m a doer. Sitting still isn’t something I do often. When I partake in down time, there’s usually a guilty feeling that follows. It’s ridiculous, I know.

The week went pretty well, with open skate, derby practice and scrimmage. Overall, I’ve been sticking to the plan. With the exception of a post-scrimmage cinnamon roll, I successfully avoided added sugars. Thursday is when the sick hit me hard, and slowing down was necessary. This led to a day out of work, rescheduling my ballroom dance lesson, and avoiding any plans on Saturday.

Instead of stuffing my face with popcorn and binge watching Netflix, I sought other things to do. Chatting with a few prospects on Bumble, watching a couple of movies, and making plans for next week helped pass the time. Listening to your body, and giving it rest is really important.

The Universe tends to unfold as it should…

This week’s feel-good moment was a conversation with someone I spent a great deal of time with earlier last year. We had both let things go, without any closure. The opportunity to chat arose, and it was quite productive.  It’s really nice when you can discuss things in an adult manner, feel respected, and still admire someone when your relationship dynamic changes.

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Remaining open to possibility…

Last year, I was given a great opportunity to record a professional radio air check. This was a HUGE deal, as it’s been a long time dream to work in radio. In college, I was a communication arts major and had my own show at the school’s station. After school didn’t work out, I had almost kissed that dream goodbye. Thanks to roller derby announcing, I’ve had an outlet for this skill. While working part time as a bar trivia host, a local radio host heard the potential in my voice! He invited me to the studio and recorded my air check. For that, I’ll be forever grateful. Since then, I’ve been waiting to apply for radio jobs. The station where I recorded it didn’t have any part-time openings available, which left me a bit discouraged.

Recently, I saw a video of a motivational speech given to the audience of Family Feud by Steve Harvey. Watch it here. It made me think about my goals, overall. This led me to check another local station’s job listings, and noticed a listing for a part-time news reporter. Tonight, I took a step and submitted my resume. I jumped, now let’s see what happens! 🙂

Speaking of goals…my gym is running a 21 day challenge, starting 2/1/16. It’s based on the Beachbody 21 Day fix, but doesn’t require participants to adhere to the Beachbody program. There’s an accountability group on Facebook, which I’m looking forward to participating. My main goal is to do a yoga workout every morning, in addition to skating and eating right.

Here’s my week, according to the scale:

Starting weight: 222 lbs

1/23/16 weigh-in: 210 lbs

1/30/16 weigh-in: 210 lbs

Amount lost to date: 12 lbs

This week, I maintained. That makes me happy, as maintaining is better than gaining! Still, I soldier on. 🙂

The inspiration for this post’s title is The Spice Girl’s “Stop”. Enjoy!

Thanks again for reading, and feel free to send questions and topic ideas to bootifulbanshee@gmail.com.