Results

I’ve always taken pride in my ability to get things done quickly, but with efficiency. I always anticipate results to manifest as soon as possible. Call me a control freak, but I have to admit that I try to do everything in my power to make sure that the results that I want to happen will happen. Unfortunately, I never take into account the fact that things don’t always go the way you expect them to. You can’t control certain situations.

It’s actually counter-productive to be “too hands on”. I convince myself that constantly holding hands every step of the way actually drives me further away from the results that I want. I guess this is why I’m so consumed in running and training for races. I’m in complete control of how far and long I run. I can plan every week with how much I want to get done and if I fall short, then I have no one to blame myself.

Yet, even in running, you still can never predict what your results will be. Even after all of the hours, days, weeks, and months of training that I put into a race, things can still go wrong along the way. I don’t know why I can’t accept this truth when it comes to life.

After the countless number of races that I’ve ran ever since I first started running, I’ve come to understand that things happen outside of my control. Over the years, I’ve let go of beating myself up if I don’t get the time that I want. I used to be really hard on myself in cross country and track when I was in high school. Thankfully, I’ve matured since then. I just wish I could grasp this level of maturity for the rest of my life already. I can simply apply this understanding to relationships, work, etc…but I don’t. And I don’t know why.

I look back on every relationship I’ve ever been in and I’ve tried to control every single one of them. And where has this brought me? Nowhere.

I continue to drive people away with my continuous anxiety, impatience, and over-eagerness. I don’t know how to remove myself from the situation and just let things fall together (or apart) as they should.

It’s so easy for me to write about this, but applying my understandings to the other areas of my life seems like an impossible task.

It’s ironic that what I really need to do to progress is just slow down, not speed up. Results will always come in time.

My First Medium Post: Food and Happiness

The day has come

Two days ago, I finally received my invitation to write on Medium.

A friend of mine had told me about this new writing platform several months ago, and ever since then, I have been striving towards being able to write for them.

Yesterday, I posted my very first entry titled, “Food and Happiness, How our food choices affect our mind and body”

Below is the full text. I hope that you all enjoy this read!

Link: “Food and Happiness”

Growing up as a kid, I’ve always had a hearty appetite. I come from a Filipino ethnic background, which played a significant role in my eating habits. The Filipino food culture revolves around two main food groups: Protein and Carbohydrates (and to be more specific: Meat and Rice)

My parents raised me to never be picky. I always finished the food that was put on my plate and was immediately encouraged to take second servings afterwards. Unfortunately, this transformed into a habit that has translated into my early adulthood, up to present day.

As a runner, the nutrients that I consume are detrimental towards my performance. The food choices I make before and after a race, or even just a light workout, is a tremendous factor in the results that I both see and feel in my body.

Humans, and animals alike, need specific nutrients to fuel their daily activities. A lion’s diet is completely different from that of a squirrel. In turn, a long distance runner’s diet is completely different from that of a competitive bodybuilder’s.

The similarity, however, lies within the affects that these diets have on us.

You may have heard the phrase, “You are what you eat.”

Well, it’s true.

We are a product of the food that we consume. Our body and mind reacts a certain way to these nutrients . When you eat things that are unhealthy, your performance is going to dwindle and your level of happiness is going to decline. This is a constant struggle for me.

You would naturally assume that someone who exercises frequently is also a relatively healthy eater.

This is not true.

For a lot of people, running or exercising frequently is motivated by their food choices. For example, when I binge on a large dinner consisting primarily of carbohydrates such as rice or pasta, I know that I need to run an excessive amount of miles the next day in order to counterbalance. However, the root of the problem stems from the predisposition that I think I can eat whatever I want because I run so much.

This is a distorted mindset.

It’s a constant struggle for me between the foods that I want to eat and the foods that I should eat. Sometimes after a run, I just want to eat everything, but the kitchen sink. Whenever that happens though, I just end up feeling worse about myself and having the urge to make up for it the next day. There’s no balance. And in life, balance is the key to happiness.

We (especially me) need to keep that in mind for the next time we decide to go on an eating rampage. In the long run, what we eat affects how we feel, both in the mind and the body.

By: Lindsey Lazarte

Things I’ve learned since living in New York City

Last night, I had a difficult time sleeping. At the maximum, I probably tallied around 2-3 hours of sleep in total. I’ve been restless, stressed out, and agitated lately. A lot has been on my mind and I’ve been feeling like I’m going slightly insane. My scapegoat: New York City.

After having a heart-to-heart with my roommate, I was reassured that temporary insanity is quite normal when you live in the city long enough.

As a result of this realization, I made a short list of things I’ve learned since I moved here. It’s a random list, and most certainly on-going, but this is what I came up with so far…

– Every man for himself
– Know what you’re going to order at a deli, bar, coffee shop, etc. before getting to the register
– Personal space doesn’t exist
– One minute can make all the difference between being 15 minutes late or 15 minutes early
– It’s never been so easy to completely stop talking to someone
– The city isn’t as big as you’d think, aka, you can still run into people you know ANYWHERE
– Walking fast is necessary
– Dating sucks
– Buy groceries in New Jersey
– Happy hour is still expensive
– Cheap food, however, does exist
– There are a million free things to do and still have fun
– Have your metrocard ready prior to going through the turnstile
– Taxi drivers hustle you
– TIMING IS EVERYTHING
– It’s easy to feel completely alone even in a fully crowded bar
– Cockroaches are everywhere
– When looking for an apartment, you have to compromise no matter what (unless you’re filthy rich)

Again, this is definitely an on-going list. I’ve only been living in New York City for 8 months, but I’ve learned a lot about people and about myself. I’m still trying to figure it all out though.

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Practice

Last night,  my sister and I performed at an open mic at Caffe Vivaldi in the West Village. This was the first time we sang in public together since around February. After months of sporadic rehearsals, we finally chose a time and place. At first, I was pretty confident since we had just practiced the night before and sounded on point. Of course,  it’s always the last few minutes prior to the actual performance that really shakes my nerves.

Open Mic Night @ Caffe Vivaldi (July 22, 2013)
Open Mic Night @ Caffe Vivaldi (July 22, 2013)

Once we got on stage, I could feel my voice starting to tremble. We made it through the first song with hardly any flaws, but I became gradually more nervous as I  looked around at the audience.

The second song was our downfall, which didn’t make sense because it was a song that we had performed together a handful of times before in the winter

After our set was done, I kept re-playing the second song in my head, nit-picking every mistake that I knew I had made. At that point, there was nothing I could really do except tell myself that it was already over and we just have to practice more for next time.

Singing isn’t a priority for me. If anything, it’s basically at the bottom of my to-do list. It’s just something I do for fun to take my mind off of the more important things in my life.

After hearing the other performers play and sing their original songs, I was envious of just how good they were. Then I thought, “These people probably spend hours upon hours constantly writing music, practicing, and playing open mics on a weekly or probably daily basis”

My friend, who came to watch and support my sister and I, said to me “You know, for a while Amy [a mutual friend] used to come here every single Monday night just get practice performing on stage”

I thought to myself, “Well I don’t really have time for that”

Then I realized, it’s really just a matter of making time for it.

I do love music and singing, but there are also things that I care about much more (and here is where I start talking about running again)

I know that if I spent half as much time practicing making music as I do running and exercising, then I could be as good as the other performers who played at the open mic last night.

I’m currently not training for a specific race at the moment, so I decided that I’m going to try distributing my time into other areas of my life (singing and writing) and see just how far I can go with it. I’ll continue to run and go to the gym of course, but I want to become better at other things as well. After all, that’s how you grow.

Routine

After a mini-hiatus from blogging and running,  I’m now refreshed and ready to get back into a routine again.

It’s interesting how intertwined these two areas of my life are. It always seems that the amount of miles I run heavily impacts that amount of writing I produce (More miles = more blog entries)

I recently ended a 39-day running streak, courtesy of the Runner’s World Run Streak, that I participated in.

For the past few weeks, I was counting down the days until I could stop my legs from moving that fast. Once July 4th hit, I wrapped up my last day of the running streak with an easy 4-miles in Central Park. The next day, I relaxed more than I have in the past few months. This continued until the following Wednesday.

Taking a step away from running and writing gave me the time I needed to break out of my routine, kick up my feet , and not worry about logging any runs, re-arranging my schedule, or missing out on events due to my running streak.

It was nice to take a breather.

Alas, I’m back and in the right mindset again.

I’d say that the longer I stay away from running, the more chaotic my life seems to get. It’s definitely the glue that holds everything together for me.

Happy Miles 🙂

New Goals

If there’s one thing that I can say I truly loathe, it would have to be stagnancy. Well, there are actually a few other things that I also strongly dislike, but I’ll leave those unmentioned. Right now, I’m focusing on stagnancy. I’m not religious about horoscopes or astrology, but I can agree with the description given for my astrological sign, which is Sagittarius. According the Daily Horoscope App on my iPhone, it describes me as this:

“Restless energy and the need for personal independence keep a Sagittarian moving in many directions. They become experts at adapting to the culture or climate of their immediate environment. Always ready to travel for business or pleasure (and sometimes because of an overwhelming urge to escape) Sagittarians are all too willing to break free of the confinements of responsibility and work”

Usually, I find horoscopes to be vague and applicable to almost any scenario, but in terms of personality traits, this pretty much hits the nail on the head for me.

I hate being stagnant. I get bored easily. I hate staying in one place. I need to constantly be moving or mentally engaged in something. I embrace change.

Side note: I don’t think I have Attention Deficit Disorder, but I’ve never been tested for it.

I think it’s mostly the way I am as a person. I enjoy being active. I hate to rest. And this is probably why I get sick so much. I hate to slow down (see blog entry “The Sick Girl Journal”)

When an area of my life starts feeling stagnant, I begin panicking. When multiple areas of my life start feeling stagnant, I completely lose my mind.

My half marathon/marathon training is now over and I have no immediate races coming up in the near future, so in terms of running and exercise, I’ve just been maintaining my fitness. As the days go by, I’m starting to get an itch to train again. I need something to look forward to.

But, that’s just one thing.

Now, for the big one: My career.

This is where most people usually start to lose it.

Feeling stagnant in your career can definitely drive an individual to temporary insanity. On a scale of 1-10, I’d say I’m at an 8.5

In approximately 3 weeks marks my one-year anniversary at my company. I can’t even believe it’s already been a whole year since I graduated college. I’ve accomplished so much in this past year.
As I look through my Facebook News Feed, I’m seeing an abundance of graduation pictures and status updates from friends. I feel a tidal wave of nostalgia come crashing at my face. I’m taken back to that moment for me and I feel happy. I feel happy for my friends who are graduating because they are embarking on a new chapter in their lives. For me, I’m already in that chapter and I’m eager to start another already.

Throughout college, I’ve always had an upcoming assignment that would dictate my future towards graduation- an exam, a paper, a presentation.

Similar to college, work is like that too, only you’re not graded.

When it comes to excelling in your career, you have to create it. You have to set a new goal. Apply for a new position. There are no professors who guide you. It’s in your hands. It’s in my hands now. I’ve been brainstorming ways to leverage writing into my career. I know it’s going to be tough and very competitive, but I’m willing to do what it takes.

Setting new goals in life is necessary. Similar to how I train for a race, I hate to skip a beat and I hate to slow down. I carry this mentality with me throughout my work and my life and pray to God that I get where I want to be.

Express Yourself

I’ve become accustomed to labeling myself as runner slash writer lately (apart from the title I carry with my regular nine to five office job in Midtown-Manhattan) Today, I read a blog which mentioned the shift in standard long-term lateral jobs that people used to hold for the rest of their lives. The time of being a master of one craft has ended. Now, being a jack of all trades is highly regarded.

People are striving to make the most of their time and taking more risks in their lives, but really we’re scared. A lot of us are delaying the inevitable. Growing up. And when I’m say this, I’m strongly acknowledging the twenties age group because that’s where I currently am, of course.

I read another blog today about a woman who is in a different age group than me, but going through completely different life changes that I couldn’t even possibly think of in my current state of mind. Frankly, at every age group, there is some sort of struggle to deal with. After all, it’s a new chapter of life. New experiences, new challenges to face, new decisions to make. But in the end, we grow from it.

Where I am right now, I’d like to invest my time into writing and running. As I’ve mentioned before, runners and writers alike are the same types of people. Usually, they go hand in hand. I know a lot of runners that really like to write and a lot of writers who have taken up running. It’s because runners and writers, similar to painters, and ballerinas, and anyone else who participates in a hobby where it’s you and you alone, share the same quality. That is, they value their alone time.

I’d say I’m quite the social butterfly. I talk a lot. Ironically, I lost my voice yesterday and am unable to speak, which is why I’m blogging two days in a row.

I have a lot to say and I like to get it out, but often times, I can’t find the right person that I want to share certain things with. So instead, I run. And if I can’t run, I write.

I never understand people who don’t want to engage in meaningful conversations. I have a lot of friends that just don’t want to venture into that uncharted territory. They’re all about having a good time and keeping the positive vibes. Don’t get me wrong now. I’m a very positive person (most times) But there are times when I think a lot, almost too much for my own good. I think about everything. These are the times when I need to get it out. So I run. Or I write.

The thing that I admire most about creative types, the people who express themselves through art or poetry or some other form of these things, is that they can say what they need to say without saying it.

Losing my ability to speak was a good thing. Silence is what I needed right now. Writing is what I needed right now.

In the end, sometimes you just need to express yourself. Whatever your feelings may be, it will manifest in some form or another.

Renaissance [Wo]man?

This is an extension off of my last blog entry (which I would hardly call an entry at all)

I’m a firm believer in the idea that the key to happiness is balance. All parts of your life must be balanced in order for you to feel at peace. I’ve mentioned in a past entry that it is imperative to have everything in moderation; I was referring to food when I wrote that though, but either way, it can be said for all things in life.

Anyways, in terms of balance, I’d say that I do a decent job at keeping the various parts of my life in check. I recognize when I am feeling too overwhelmed with one particular thing, therefore I take my mind off of it and focus on something else- or just take a break.

The thing that I often wonder though is this:

In order to be extraordinary at one particular skill, job, sport, etc, don’t you have to somewhat throw balance out of the window?

I’m sure that Steve Jobs didn’t keep balance in mind when he was striving to build the powerhouse brand that we have come to know as Apple. I’d probably know the certainty of this statement if I had actually read his biography, but from what I hear, he was a bit of a nutcase (in a good way though)

I think and write a lot about sacrifice. Pardon me if I often repeat myself and sound like a broken record in my entries, by the way.

Sacrifice is necessary to achieve greatness. A great novelist spends hours among hours of his day on perfecting his words, the structure of his sentences, the flow of his stories. Even then so, it’s never perfect until it’s perfect.

This leads me to my next point:

Mediocrity.

That word. That taunting word. It just screams, “Hey, you’re not that good!”

It’s something I fear, something I’ve always feared ever being or becoming because really, who wants to be average?

Would it sound horrible if I said, I do?

Now, don’t get me wrong here. I don’t necessarily want to be average or “mediocre”

I’m just very content and confident in the person that I am right now along with the things that I have accomplished. Of course, I’m not done living. I still have yet to accomplish many more things that I want to do in my life, but I know that it will happen over time.

I started this blog to become more serious about writing and it has honestly helped. I get very excited at the ability to publish my thoughts whenever they come to me. I know that I can just do that with my notebook, but I care about feedback and I hope that people genuinely enjoy reading what I have to contribute to the world.

Here’s where it ties together:

I’d say that I’m an intelligent individual. I have a strong set of skills, I’m motivated, hard-working, and I strive to succeed.

I don’t concentrate on just one thing though. I allocate my time accordingly so that I can spend time on multiple things

I dedicate some time to running, some time to writing, some time to my friends, and the rest of the 40+ hours goes to my actual job, which in turn, contributes to the future of my career.

Ultimately, my point is this:

Is it really a bad thing to be just good at something.

It’s an anomaly really- the things I want.

I want to be a great writer. I want to be a great runner. I want to be a great something.

In order to do this though, I have to throw balance out of the window and kind of put all my eggs in one basket, so to speak. But where do I find the time?

To sum up this post (because I have to tie this to my title, for my own peace of mind), the definition of a “Renaissance Man”, according to Merriam-Webster is this:

Definition of RENAISSANCE MAN

: a person who has wide interests and is expert in several areas

Right now, I think I can deal with that. I may still want to add a few things to those “wide interests” though.

Factors

As suspected, I’m doing quite a horrendous job at keeping up with my goal of writing a blog entry every day. I was a bit over-ambitious when I conjured that up, but my intentions were there. It’s safe to say, it’s quite easy to veer off track when there’s so much to do and so little time. I clearly need to prioritize my time better when it comes to writing. That being said, I’d like to ask the question, “Can you do it all?”

Time management has always been a skill that I’ve been slowly, but surely improving on from high school up until present day. I like to put a lot on my plate, to the point where things are about to spill off the edges. Fortunately though, I always find a way to contain everything from overflowing.

In high school, sports defined me. I defined myself through my accomplishments in how far I’ve come after hours of hard work and practice. Naturally, running was a perfect way to define myself in that aspect. With running, you reap what you sow- or in simpler terms, you get out of it what you put in. This, of course, can apply to an endless amount of scenarios and situations. It’s a motto for life. But let’s get back to running.

I’d say that I’m a talented athlete. I’m good, definitely not spectacular and definitely not graced with the X-factor to become an Olympic athlete. But I’ve come about as close to “spectacular” in my own definitions of myself due to the dedication that I’ve given to the sport. After high school, the dedication fizzled out because I wanted to experience college on my own time, by my own rules. I couldn’t stay away though.

I continued to sign up for various 5Ks throughout college- about one per season just to make myself feel better and to keep the spark alive. However, I wasn’t fully committed. As stated before, time management became an essential skill for me. Between juggling academics, a social life, fitness, mental health, etc., running wasn’t at the top of my list. But I couldn’t stay away.

I yearned for the thrill of competing and I missed the feeling of training for a race.

You really have to sacrifice your body, your mind, your time, your energy, your life when it comes to seriously training for a race. Even the slightest factors can make the difference in shaving off minutes.

When I first signed up for the Big Sur International Marathon, I was just excited to say that I was even running it. I didn’t take it seriously. I didn’t care about time or if I skipped a run here and there. But as time is getting closer and I’m getting deeper into training, I’m beginning to realize how much this race actually means to me.

Factors play a significant role in running and in life. The decisions that we make day to day create a path for how the rest or our day, week, month, year, and so on turns out. You can choose to go out for a run, you can choose to eat something that you know is bad for you, you can choose to hate instead of love. Whatever your decision may be in life, think about how it will make you feel afterwards.

In closing, I found a random quote which I thought applied to this random collection of thoughts that I’m publishing here. Here it is:

“We all make choices, but in the end our choices make us”