Don’t tell me what to do

Recently I started wearing red lipstick. Not like, sheer red lip gloss. Like, RED. LIPSTICK.

see?

And I feel pretty great about it. Not only does it make me feel awesome, my beloved grandma Nancy wore red lipstick all the time and it makes me feel like I’m channeling her. And she was amazing so that’s great news.

But I got mad yesterday.
And here’s why:

I’m minding my own business at the check out line at the HEB and a guy remarks to me, “a little dressed up?”
I’m looking at my outfit like, “um, no.”
He’s like, “it’s just that the lipstick you’re wearing. It’s a lot. You probably shouldn’t wear it. I don’t like it.”
Me: *flames flying out of my ears* That’s a good thing. Red doesn’t really seem like it’d be your color.

OKAY, HERE’S THE THING: if you don’t like bright red lipstick, guy, then don’t wear it.
It is absolutely not your place nor any of your business what I, or anyone else, chooses to put on their body.  I am not here for your viewing pleasure.

And then I started thinking about it. And about how many times people have told me that I should/shouldn’t do something because THEY like/don’t like it.

How many times someone has said,
“you shouldn’t wear that dress”
“you shouldn’t be blonde”
“red isn’t your color”
“don’t get too muscular”
“don’t lift too much”

And the thing is, I’m not asking for their opinion.
I’m not saying, “hey, I’m thinking about wearing red lipstick, what do you think?” I’M WEARING IT ALREADY.
This is not an invitation for your unsolicited opinion about what you prefer me to do/wear/look like.
I’m wearing it/doing it because IIIIIII like it and IIIIIIII want to.
And if I had always listened to the people who told me “you shouldn’t” or “don’t”, I’d probably never accomplish anything I wanted to.

After talking it over with Mama Nancy, I’ve decided that there’s only one good response to people who tell me, “don’t…” or “you shouldn’t…”, etc.

So the next time someone tells me “you shouldn’t wear red lipstick”,
my only response will be a big smile and then to say “or else, what?”

A Word About Feminism

Feminism is getting a really bad rep these days. 

For some reason, I keep seeing women talking about being “anti-feminists” because “they don’t believe they should have to hate men” or “they don’t think women deserve special rights to put them above men” or because they “don’t think it’s okay to be a hate mongering asshole”.

Weird. Because I agree with all those things and I am, indeed, a feminist. 


1. I would love and respect my boyfriend, too. 2. I make my own decisions without being pressured. 3. I enjoy makeup and like feeling pretty. Also, I don’t need to be superior to men. I want to be equal.
“I need to be partnered”–Which is exactly why we should be equal.


So when people say this ridiculous shit, I channel my inner Inigo and say “I do not think that word means what you think it means.”

Imagine a world where there was actually a whole movement dedicated to equality of the sexes…oh wait.
Rights that you would, quite literally, not have without the feminist movement.



So here’s the skinny (strong?) about feminism:
It just means being equal. It means believing that a woman’s life is worth the same as a man’s life. 
I mean, I think we should all agree to that, right?

What feminism doesn’t mean:
Feminism DOESN’T MEAN you hate men. (uh, obvs, I’m a man lover over here).
Feminism DOESN’T MEAN you get special consideration. (Uh, because if you got special consideration, you’re not equal. See?)
Feminism DOESN’T MEAN you’re a hate mongering asshole. (I mean, you might be. But that doesn’t make you a feminist.)

IT JUST MEANS YOU WANT THE SEXES TO BE EQUAL. 

Herein lies the problem. A lot of women (and men) have become so accustomed to today’s lifestyle, they don’t really realize the part that feminism has played in where we are socially. 

Like, without strong women and men who supported equality of the sexes, a woman would still be considered a man’s property.

Without strong women and men who supported equality of the sexes, women would not be allowed to go to school.

Without strong women and men who supported equality of the sexes, women would not be so much as CLOSE to a computer, much less able to create a meme of their own image holding a sign declaring why they’re “anti-feminist”. 

See where I’m going with this?

So stop it. Stop holding women back and telling us to get back in the kitchen, take off our shoes and get knocked up already. 

Stop telling little girls that they can’t be strong or that they can’t be whatever-the-hell they want to be-whether it’s an astronaut, a stay at home mama, or a crossfit affiliate owner– because they freakin’ can. 

Stop telling girls that when men mistreat them on the street they should just “ignore it” or when a man yells some obscene thing at them that they should “take it as a compliment”. 

STOP. 

Your girls and your women are worth more. They are worth every bit as much as everyone else. And they should know it. 
Because you should tell them. 
You should encourage them to be strong.

Encourage women AND men to love each other.
And protect EACH OTHER.
And lift EACH OTHER up. 

Because the only way our society gets any stronger is if we all get stronger together.

It’s not you. It’s me.

Dear Reebok,

I hate to do this to you. Really. I swear it hurts me more than it hurts you and I’m doing this for your own good. But we have to break up.

I want you to know that I worked really hard at this relationship. I did. But things just aren’t working out. I was dedicated to you. I was all, “oh, I LOVE reebok! They’re the official apparel for CrossFit!” so I made literally every effort to support you.

But you don’t support ME, Reebok! And I can’t take it anymore.
Let me explain. 

It started at last year’s regionals. I bought your black, skinny strapped sports bra. You know the one with the little CrossFit triangle on the back and the “Reebok CrossFit” written in the neckline. So cute. I took out those weird little soft mold cups (wtf are those, anyway?) and I wore it really proudly to the 5 am workout and everything was good.

Until it wasn’t.

Our workout consisted of something involving box jumps and toes to bar. There could have been other movements, but honestly, I don’t remember what they were and I don’t care. What I do remember? Those eeny-meeny straps letting my boobs MANHANDLE that bra until the damn thing was at  my waist. Have you ever tried to do box jumps with your sports bra hanging out like a belt?! 
I was having to stop every 3 seconds to pull it up. I seriously considered chucking the damn thing and just winging (jiggling?) it.

I decided it was time for a break in our relationship. I was so mad at you.
So I took my nice, new, $60 bra and let it sit at the bottom of my sports bra drawer (Ace, you have a sports bra drawer? Yeah, I do).
For the rest of the year. 

This is the bra I’m talking about. Y U NO STAY ON ME, BRA?!

Fast forward to this year’s regionals.
I worked the event again so Reebok was really generous and gave us discounted apparel. And I was like, “AW REEBOK! YOU DO LOVE ME!” so I decided to welcome you back into my loving arms. I bought a cute regionals tank and some cute shorts…and then I saw them. NEW BRA DESIGNS. 

Gone were the days of skinny strapped bras! These new sports bras had thick straps. Some had double straps. I rejoiced! But not one to get beside myself, I approached with caution. I tried one on and, at the suggestion of my friend Kat, I came out of the dressing room and did a burpee. AND IT STAYED PUT. 

Had my double D prayers been answered? It appeared so, Reebok.

LOOK AT THOSE STRAPS, Y’ALL


I wore my bras all through regionals. I was jogging up stairs, running around like a chicken with my head cut off on the floor, doing all the things! And I was impressed with the bras.

But we both know this was a temporary fix to a much larger problem in our relationship (see what I did there?)
I got home and wore my brand new purchases to the box. 6:30 class. And sure enough. There I was adjusting. Pulling and pushing. Desperately trying to keep my dang boobs in my bra. And then there was the running–the SPRINTING. I almost flashed approximately 4 people and a dog on a 400m. run. 

It just wasn’t working out. And I knew that this was going to be another purchase that sits at the bottom of my sports bra drawer. 

I can’t do this anymore. The frustration. The power struggle. Who will win today? Will it be you or my bust line? Who even knows anymore? We can’t keep score like this! 

I’m exhausted, Reebok. I can’t support you and me by myself. It’s time I moved on and found something with a more restricting lycra blend. 
I hope you understand. 

And if, one day, you ever develop a more mature fabric that knows what it’s goals are and meets them. Give me a call.

Until then, this is not a farewell, just a “see you later”.

All my love,
Aislinn

15 Things I learned after college

It’s the Monday after Graduation Weekend!! A ton of my friends and former students are graduating from all kinds of programs, high schools, colleges, and graduate programs.

I am so proud.

I am very lucky to have graduated college, uh, a while ago and before going back to graduate school, I got to experience the real world for awhile. And no, I don’t mean the “I’m just working a part time while I study for [insert entrance exam to graduate program here] test so I can go to graduate school.”

When I finished undergrad I had ZERO intention of ever going back. So I jumped into the real world and was like, “HI! HERE I AM!”

Here are valuable things I learned after college:

1. You might not have a job in your field when you graduate. And if you don’t, it’s not the end of the world.



2. Even though you have a degree, you might have to work 2 (or more) jobs to make ends meet. This is also not the end of the world, but it can be really tiring.

3. You canNOT go 1:1 on bud lights and shots of fireball anymore. YOU. JUST. CAN’T.


4. Your bosses don’t care about how bad traffic was, how you’re having a bad hair day, or how your quads just could not fit in any of your slacks this morning. They only care about the money you’re wasting them by being late to work today. Leave the house early. Like, early, early.

5. Graduating from college makes you realize that, in real life, your friends are going to understand your need to take a damn nap on a Friday night instead of going to free drinks at Fred’s. Your very best friends will take a nap with you.

6. Most Some Friday nights are better spent on the couch with a book and a cup of coffee (the cheapest books come from goodwill. $0.25 for a best seller?! Best. News. Ever.).

7. Speaking of coffee, drink it. All the time. For the sake of everyone around you.


8. DO NOT pay your 6 month auto insurance all at one time on your credit card. Don’t. You’re not rich enough for that.

9. Guys suck. But you can also be really irritable and irascible. And wildly infuriating. Cut them some slack.

10. That being said: don’t put up with people’s bullshit either. They can’t bullshit a bullshitter. That’s not how things work around here.

11. Just like in college, Ramen is totally acceptable for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Now that you have a real job, drain the water out and sprinkle some parmesan cheese on it and eat it as a side next to chicken or something. You’re fancy now. (Also, dry ramen all crumbled up in scrambled eggs is incredible. Don’t think about it, just do it.)

12. I can almost guarantee that despite having a real job, you’re still broke. Sorry. 

13. It’s okay to change what you wanna be when you grow up. Change it every 5 years. Change it every year. Or don’t change it at all. 

14. Making questionable decisions about your love life happens. Learn from it and let it go. 

15. You don’t know what you’re actually doing with your life. That’s okay. Welcome to the club. No one else does, either.


And there you have it. Go out. Get drunk. Do stupid things. Do smart things. Learn to wake up at 7 am with a hangover to go your ass to work. Change your mind. Change your whole world.

Do shit! 
Congratulations, Class of 2014!


Personal Responsibility

Don’t do CrossFit because you’re going to get hurt.

What? CrossFit is going to hurt me? 

Since I started CrossFit almost 2 years ago, I’ve heard this–on average–about twice a week. Also in the “Heard Fairly Often” category:

“What if it pushes you too hard?”
“What if it makes you do things you’re not ready to do?”
“What if you can’t do it?”

Here’s my problem: CrossFit is not a person. It’s not a thing that lifts it’s infinitely heavy fists and demands that you snatch 205# 700 times for time. It’s a damn program. It’s a program that’s designed to be infinitely scalable for any one at any level of fitness. 

CrossFit doesn’t push. 
It doesn’t make me do things I’m not ready to do.
It doesn’t hurt me.

I DO. 
I have complete control over what I do every time I walk in the box. CrossFit has nothing to do with it. I have a responsibility to myself to keep my body safe and healthy. 

So when I walk to the white board and I see that the prescribed weight for cleans in the workout is 140# and I know that’s my 1 rep max…maybe it’s not the best idea for me to try to hit my 1 rep max 40 times. So I scale. 
Why? 
Because if I try to hit my 1 rep max 40 times, the chances of me hurting myself increases exponentially. 
BECAUSE COMMON SENSE.

CrossFit doesn’t hurt you. You hurt you. Your ego hurts you. 
You walk in and you know 140 is your max, but everyone else is doing it so you decide, “you know what, fuck it. I’m gonna do it, too.” 
Comparison is the thief of joy. In CrossFit, comparison is the thief of health. 
You were so busy trying to keep up with everyone and show that you’re Billy BadAss, you lost sight of your own personal responsibility to keep yourself safe. 
And now you’re sitting at home, 
injured,
blaming CrossFit. 

CrossFit can hurt you? 
You can get hurt walking down the sidewalk today. 
You can get hurt crossing the street. 
You can get hurt driving your car. 
You can get hurt drinking too much at an LSU tailgate and then trying to go taunt the visiting team.
But you take extra precautions doing those things so that you can avoid injury. 
Because you have a personal responsibility to protect yourself.
That responsibility doesn’t stop when you step in your box. 

I don’t have my shit together.

I don’t have my shit together.
What?

I don’t. 
I want to. I want to wake up everyday and know exactly what my purpose is and what paths I’m supposed to take to achieve my goal of all goals.

But I don’t.
What I’m doing now is not what I thought I’d be doing 10 years ago. Hell, it’s not what I thought I’d be doing 10 minutes ago. 

And I don’t really know if anyone knows what the hell we’re actually doing. For me, I take one day at a time, I look at the decisions in front of me and I choose the ones that I think are going to point me in the right direction. 

Sometimes those decisions are as big as starting a new job or deciding whether or not to pursue another degree. Sometimes those decisions are as small as keeping my mouth shut when I don’t want to (although my friends would argue that this is a pretty monumental achievement for me).

Everyday, I make decisions and I just hope that they’re the right ones that will get me to where I want to go.
And if they don’t, I hope like hell I can change them. 

So here’s to not having my shit together, taking each day a decision at a time, crossing off to do lists, and moving back to Texas in exactly 4 months (!!!). 

Getting out of the dark place

If you’ve been doing Crossfit for a while, you know about the dark place. 
It’s the place that we all have to go sometimes.

You see the workout and you develop your strategy. 
3…2…1…GO.
And then everything goes to hell.
You lose all control of everything.
Your abandon all strategy and it’s a freakin’ free for all.

You start to panic.
Everything is going to shit and everything’s closing in around you.

That’s when you have to go to the dark place.
It’s different for everybody.

My dark place is quiet.
I can only hear myself and the non-sound of time running out.
I can’t really see anything but my weights.
Usually when I get to the dark place, I’m beating myself up.
“why didn’t you stay on pace?”
“why did you think this strategy would work?”
“what are you doing?”
“just stop.”

But after a few seconds, my voice calms down.
“just keep moving.”
“just keep moving.”
“move.”
“move.”
“don’t look at the clock.”
“move.”

My dark place is painful. Everything hurts there.
It hurts to breathe.
Hurts to move.
Hurts to bend.
Hurts to run.
Hurts to think.

“keep moving. keep fighting.”

TIME.
It’s over.
I’m out of the dark place.

Back to regularly scheduled programming.
Until my next visit.

Source: Jayde Quilty