Tag Archives: gym

spring is the time of plans and projects

Morning, chickens.

The sun’s shining, and even though it’s not even thirty degrees today, it’s the first day of spring, and that means we’re marching toward something a little brighter. My friend MC took this beautiful picture the other day, and it’s really a light spot in my is-it-ever-getting-warmer musings.



Maggie Cassidy, capturer of beauty

Last night, my pal LM convinced me to head to the gym, even though it was really the last thing I felt like doing after a long, frustrating-at-the-end day.

I’ve been having too many of those kind of days, you guys.


I hit the treadmill again, and again, it was not pretty (not even in the least), but I’m just going to keep on trucking.

Eventually, my legs are going to remember what it is to keep moving for more than three minutes.

Until then, I’m gonna be patient.

I’m probably not actually going to be patient, but I do promise to at least try not to overdo it and hurt myself.

Moving slowly is hard work, chickadees.

Up today: work, work, work, getting ready for B’s weekend visit, and heading to the most needed bells class in recent history.

Sometimes, a diversion in attention in the form of a tiny, loud, encouraging Russian is just what you need to get everything back into the place it needs to be.

Let’s cruise through this one to the other side, pals.


Filed under Chicago, Did I really do that?, Near Disaster, Running, Weather

Well I know what’s right/I got just one life

You guys.

More beautiful, uplifting speeches last night.

And that’s all I’ve got to say about that.

In any case, I’ve got Fleetwood Mac and Tom Petty on my playlist this morning, and I couldn’t love it more.

I was up before six and had done over four miles before seven.

It was a solid, non-rhino breathing four miles, for the first time in a long time.

It’s gonna be a good day, chickens.


In other news, my lovely, funny friend JK is flying into town this evening, and I am beyond pumped.


This picture is from many moons ago, but I think it properly showcases my level of excitement over this weekend’s visit. After a long couple of weeks of meetings and trying (read: pretty much failing) to get myself together in time for my upcoming trips, I’ve decided that what I really need is to laugh until it hurts.

JK’s pretty much perfect for that kind of thing.

Up next: getting through this morning, figuring out how little laundry I can get away with doing before I leave my home for 9 days, and trying to make a plan.

The plan is to come out on the other end of this trip triumphant.

Or at least unscathed.

I have my doubts.

Luckily, that’s never stopped me.

Enjoy the sunshine if you’ve got it chickadees!

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Filed under Chicago, Good times, Politics, Running

letting it languish.

Welcome to Friday, chickens.

That feels good, right?

Also, say hello to my new chicken.

I picked up this little guy a couple weeks ago, brought him home, and tasked him with guarding the butter.

A prestigious job in the Palluzzi/Wagenschutz household, if you ask me.

I thought it was about time for an introduction.

Last night, I successfully hit the gym for the second night in a row, this time with a pair of socks.

I love when I get it right.

My only mishap was when I got a little too feisty on the treadmill and my left foot flew off the machine.

Luckily, I righted myself quickly.

I’m almost sure no one saw.

So I’m letting you all know.

In any case, I am so very much looking forward to the long weekend and the last three official days of summer.

I would ask everyone where on earth this summer went, but it’s quite obvious that it was full of hot days, beaches, and trips to the beach.

I can’t complain too much about that kind of set up.

I can only hope to fit in some more time outside before the season blows the whistle and sends us all back to school.

Or back into my cubicle, I guess.

Either way, enjoy the three days, chickadees!

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Filed under Chicago, Reflections

i’ve got my nose to the ground.

Good morning, chickadees.

I am happy to report that last night, I finally made good on my promise to myself to get a run into my schedule.

However, in the Nikki-iest of fashions, I arrived at the gym, rummaged through my bag, and realized I had forgotten socks.

Oh come on, I said to myself.

I searched some more.

I’ve been dubbed with the title “worst looker ever” by my husband, a label that just might sort of be true.


After finally just dumping everything out on the floor of the locker room and picking through it, I realized, that no, there didn’t seem to be a sock in the mix.

I also knew if I went home there was no way that I would ever darken the doors of the Y again.

And by that I just mean for the night.

So I decided to just don my sneakers and go it sans socks.

No one will know, I thought, looking down at my feet. Maybe people would think I was wearing no show socks.

I forget, chickens, that in the end everyone knows all my business because I just can’t keep my mouth shut.

My intention, you see, is to make the world (or my small piece of it) more comfortable with the fact that we do silly, embarrassing things every day.

And live to tell the tale, even.

In the end, I trekked up to the treadmill, ran a little over four miles, acquired myself a blister on my unprotected foot, and then headed to Lululemon, where I rewarded myself with two new brightly colored tanks and a headband.

You better believe the first thing in my tote this morning was a pair of socks.

The trick is to just keep on moving, chicks.

Enjoy the sunshine if you’ve got it.


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Filed under Chicago, Did I really do that?, Near Disaster, Running

laying it down.

All right, chickens.

We’ve hit dead center of the work week.

I’m feeling good about powering through the middle of it.

I admit, however, that the run I’d scheduled last night was postponed in lieu of a new blazer from the Gap, a glass (or three) of wine, and a settling down to lay my eyes on the RNC.

Yes, I know it only makes me mad.

But I can’t look away.

In the spirit of trying not to get into it too much at such an early hour, in such a lovely venue, I will only say this:

No First Lady could be cooler than Michelle Obama.


I’m glad we had a chance to clear that up, just in case you were wondering.

Up today, I finally.will.go.to.the.gym.and.run (I promise. It’s in writing, you can all see it), and as a reward, I will take my recently acquired giftcard straight to Lululemon, the athletic retailer under whose spell I’ve fallen.

I know it is silly to pay $52 for a tank top. Actually, it’s probably more than silly, it’s probably outrageous.

I just want you guys to know I know.

And to please forgive me, because I’m 100% planning on doing it anyway.



Technically, that one’s less than $50…

After my Monday yoga class, in which for some unknown reason I chose to throw on a cotton tank top, and was punished for this action by being dragged down by a 10lb soaking wet shirt, I decided it was time to take action.

With overpriced, brightly colored workout clothes.

Please keep in mind my giftcard, which I’m hoping makes this shopping a trip just a little more justified.

Otherwise, I’m ready to take the flack.

And maybe go back to my Target fleet of t-shirts.

I’ll report back.

Enjoy the day, chickadees!



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Filed under Chicago, Did I really do that?, Politics, Reflections, Yoga

and I won’t give them up to you this time around

We’re making progress in this week, chickens.

Even though it’s looking pretty dark out there again, isn’t it?

You can’t win them all.

This morning, I dragged myself out of bed, half asleep, to the gym after a night of cheap vodka sodas and donating money to fighting cancer, where I did some cross training until I was sweaty and felt almost like a normal human being.

This took almost in an hour, in case you’re wondering how long it takes to go from asleep to nearly-a-human around here.

I’m trying to take the day in stride though, since my plans tonight include heading to the Mumford & Sons concert at the Chicago theater.

In a last minute music miracle, Ky’s friends secured free tickets, so we’re headed to both a VIP party and the concert.

I’m looking forward to seeing these guys up close.


Their new album comes out in September (specifically, on my wedding anniversary- happy marriage to me?), and I’m pumped to hear them play us some new tunes tonight.

They better be playing us some new tunes tonight.

And with that, I’m headed off to a land of cubicles and long meetings- here’s hoping I make it through the commute today, since it’s pretty much nighttime out there this morning.

And the chances of me finding an umbrella, are, as always, slim.

I leave you with this, chickens.


Filed under Chicago, Good times

I tried to go back, as if I could

Good morning, chickens.

Despite it being another day off over here, I was up at 7:15, listening to the rain hit my apartment and willing it to stop in time to dry up before our Ravinia concert tonight.

Ahh, yes, I’m headed back to Ravinia tonight.

In my defense, I did take a couple of weeks off.

This weekend of performances, however, is my mostly highly anticipated, since both tonight and tomorrow, I am slated to lay eyes on James Taylor, who most of you know is basically my biggest celebrity crush of all time.

I don’t care who knows it.

My grandma, mom, aunts, cousins and I all love him.

He’s got a cross-generational appeal.

If you don’t think so, I implore you to keep your opinions to yourself.

You won’t change our minds anyway.

Tonight’s crowd is slightly smaller than tomorrow’s, so we’re going to spend the morning frying up chicken to bring to Saturday’s larger party.

When I explained the difference in attendance for both nights, my brother looked at me and said, “So Friday’s just the dress rehearsal, then?”

I guess that’s one way of looking at it.

In any case, last night, at 10:00 pm, after several hours of cocktails and conversation, we set to applying a spice rub to four giant, cut-up chickens.

My grandma cut them up like a champ. I’ve never seen such beautifully butchered chickens.

Anyway, my sister, brother and I whipped up a spice rub of salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika, onion & garlic powder, and then put MJ in charge of coating chicken pieces in it.


I’m probably going to smell like peanut oil for several days.

And I couldn’t be happier about it.

Now I’m off to make some breakfast, hit the gym, and get out to the suburbs, but I leave you with one of my favorite James songs for your listening pleasure.

Enjoy this day, chickadees.

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Filed under Chicago, Good times, Things that are delicious

falling into the place it goes.

All right, chickadees.

It’s Friday morning.

I hit up the gym by 6:15 AM.

I replaced my Y card.


The membership associate didn’t charge me the $5 fee (I wonder how many times I’ve donated $5 for a new Y card. I imagine when I move out of my apartment I’ll find them all cowering in a corner somewhere).

And the man who swiped my card was pleasant (and in three days this week, my Y nemesis hasn’t been spotted. Maybe he decided customer service wasn’t his gig?)

I’ve got an excellent feeling about this weekend.

Or at least the day I’m staring down.

My plans involve getting back into my routine after several weeks away from it, which means hitting up bells class (and probably regretting it for the rest of the day), getting to the market (just even guessing at what kind of bounty they have at this point in the season is improving my mood), and whipping my home into shape.

The dust, chickens.

It’s a frightening proposition to battle it all, but it must be done.

Thank you for listening to my pep talk to self.

Only 9 hours stands between me and an evening of dinner and hanging with JW, and that, as I see it, is a very good thing.

Get out into that day!



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Filed under Reflections

Hitting reset.

And it’s already, thankfully, the middle of the week.


The past couple of days, when I haven’t been out until the wee hours of the morning, drinking too much wine and waking up bleary-eyed, I’ve been focused on Getting.Back.On.Track.

Which means that after my struggle with last week’s 8k, I decided it made sense to re-focus myself on, as Fergie would say, my fitness.

I started Monday by heading back to the gym (which I barely recognized) and hitting the treadmill for 50 continuous minutes.

I admit, I did not run for all of them.

And I huffed and puffed and moved a little slower than I’m used to moving.

But it was a start.

Yesterday, despite my under-slept and over-served ways the night before, I packed a bag of all of my swimming gear and headed into work with determination to hit the lake.

I actually wriggled into my swimsuit in a panic at 7:00 AM, just to make sure it still fit.

Thankfully, it did.

Sort of, anyway.

We trekked out to Ohio State beach after work, looked at all of the swimmers in tri-training, and felt, maybe, that this could be a difficult journey back into the water.

But it was 100 degrees out.

And some of us were wearing wetsuits.

So we had to get in the water or sweat to death on the shore.

After a year of not wearing a wetsuit, it is easy to forget how un-graceful it is to struggle into one.

I remember now.

CJ, EH, VB and I all hit the water for a half mile, and while it took me a few minutes to get back into a rhythm (and 1/2 mile felt a little bit like eternity), I’m glad to say that I remember why I like it so much.

Here’s to hitting that reset button, chickens.




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Filed under Chicago, Reflections, Running

settle down, it’ll all be clear.

Good morning, chickens.

And happy Monday to you.

I woke up this morning with stiff limbs and bruised legs, all products of a well-spent weekend at the lake.

It turns out that I’m as impatient with waterskiing as I am with everything else.

In an effort to haul myself up several beats too fast, I went flailing over my skis and the result were two large, purple marks across the tops of my legs.

I still loved every second of it.

My legs are still making up their mind.

I spent the weekend floating, wave running, eating, and enjoying the company of my friends.

On the drive home, J & V took JW and I to Jim’s Original, where we stood outside and ate Polish sausages and pork chop sandwiches (yes, of course I ate a pork chop sandwich) in the shadow of the skyline.

It was the perfect way to end the weekend.

That and the hours I spent on the couch, wondering if it was possible that my eyeballs were sunburned.

They probably were.

And now, I’m off to a hot commute into a cool office, a return to the gym (and yes, I need to replace my Y card again), and a goodbye dinner (I know- another one), in honor of my lovely, dear friend Courtney.

It’s a reflection-having sort of day, chickens. Enjoy every second of it.


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Filed under Did I really do that?, Good times, Near Disaster, Reflections