State of Kate Monthly Edition: February

This month has been an exciting one, all told. I don’t think that’s often the case for February, so I guess it’s right we let it have its dues. It feels like a lot of projects and goals moved from the initiation/prep/wouldn’t it be nice phase to the we’re doing this/this has an end date phase. It’s all scary and exciting.

The Physical


I started off February pretty low-key with the activity. My twice-weekly Kempo classes were my one constant, but I was floating along otherwise. Just last week, however, the Road to Brown Belt got a lot shorter.

My goal for the next two and a half months is to significantly up my cardio, so I can get through a five-hour testing session. As you can see by my trusty bullet journal–inspired tracker, my start is good but a little spotty. This is the time where pushing myself to go past what’s comfortable is going to be important.

Bullet journal inspired workout tracker
I’m writing this prior to my 2/21 workout, so don’t judge too hard. Also, that brown spot in the corner of the 23rd represents a full day of dancing. I’ll be performing at two different venues on Saturday, and then one on Sunday.

This test will push me to my limit. I know this going in, and I knew this when I asked to be scheduled. I’m hoping with this training schedule I can move my personal limit so it’s not quite as short as it is now. Which is still an improvement from when I started this journey two years ago.

LESSON TO LEARN: Pushing yourself is good. Necessary, even. If you don’t push yourself from time to time, you’ll never get anywhere. Just know the difference between pushing yourself to take a chance and pushing yourself to the point of doing damage. The line is fine sometimes.


I think I’ve said it before that I have a difficult time judging what is appropriate food consumption, given activity and lifestyle. I have a tendency to overeat when it isn’t necessary, and also to eat my feelings. There is also a lot of guilt and confusion around food, so I struggle.

All that being said, for the next couple of months, I want to make sure I’m getting nutrient-dense, healthy food as much as possible. In looking into training diets, the fitness world seems big into paleo and keto these days. Unfortunately, I’ve tried them both and they simply don’t work for me.

No Meat Athlete cookbook
I think I was convinced just by that beautiful bowlful of salad on the cover. Git in mah belleh!

Enter the No Meat Athlete. I’m not vegetarian; but I was for ten years. My husband is vegetarian, so we eat that way at home. I’m comfortable cooking in this style, and I feel healthy eating like this. It focuses on little to no processed foods, lots of fruits and veg, and even has recipes for “sports drinks” that don’t have any questionable ingredients. I’ve already made a couple recipes and they’ve been hits.

Am I still going to have my turkey sandwiches and the occasional burger? Damn skippy. But with these recipes and guidelines, I feel cleaner and lighter, which means it’s that much easier to run a mile. Right? Please tell me that’s true.

LESSON TO LEARN: Don’t worry about what the “going thing” is. If it isn’t right for you, don’t try to squeeze yourself into that box. Play to your strengths, and to what you know will work for you. Do that, and you’re already ahead of the game.

The Mental

Imposter Syndrome is going strong in me these days on all the levels, with all of my goals. It’s pretty much a daily (hourly) struggle to convince myself I’m not a complete hack and I should Keep Doing The Things.

I’ve been hearing a lot of tales about The Horrors of Tests Pasts from my fellow dojomates. Within those tales, though, is good advice; advice I am taking and running with, because I know they want me to succeed. So far, I’ve managed to keep the “what the fuck was I thinking?!” narrative down to a minimum. Mainly because I’m stubborn and I want to prove to myself I can do this.

The editorial classes have been coming along nicely, and I am still very much enjoying the work. I’m also convinced that I’ll never amount to anything, and I’d be better placed just taking a job at the local grocery store. This narrative seems to be a little harder to get past, so I struggle with it a lot. I love the work, and I think I’m good at it. Working with words has always been a dream of mine. But . . . it would also be a lot easier to just work at the local Hannaford and blog about how miserable I am.

LESSON TO LEARN: Imposter Syndrome is real, and it’s mean. It lies. It tells you things you don’t need to hear. It’s the bully inside your head that won’t effin shut up. Don’t listen to it. You CAN do The Thing. You can do All The Things, if you want.

The Emotional

It is February, so I’m officially in “fucking this fucking winter bullshit” mode. I’m over it, everyone I know is over it, and spring cannot come too soon. Unfortunately, we live in Vermont, so spring won’t be coming anytime soon.

I’ve been enjoying hanging out with my dance sisters over the last couple months, getting ready for our gigs this weekend. We all lead very busy lives, and its hard to get together unless we have something specific we’re working on. Being able to hang out, talk, and dance with them has made the first part of 2019 much better.

My husband and I have also been talking about getting away, but finding a house/pet sitter has proven difficult. We can’t leave Toby with just anyone; he’s fine and cute until he’s an asshole. We need to find someone we can trust, and someone who can handle a behaviorally challenged dog. We’ve got a couple leads, but the going has been slow. Not gonna lie, it’s been frustrating.

Toby, however, is completely fine with the situation and would be grateful if we just dropped it and kept on exactly as we have been.

Toby the old dog, unimpressed with a camera in his face.

LESSON TO LEARN: Find the joy where you can. If you can’t get away to tropical beaches, enjoy the sun as it comes. Even if it’s through a window while you’re cuddled under a blanket.

Final Lesson

Looking back on what I’ve written, I would say my final lesson is: Just keep moving forward. You’re doing better than you think, and that voice inside your head is lying to you.

It’s easy to fall back on “I’m not good enough,” “the weather sucks,” or “it’s too hard, I can’t do this.” The thing is, they’re all pretty pathetic excuses. Because if you want something bad enough, you learn to be better; the weather is irrelevant; and surmounting the difficulty spurs you on to greater heights.

Do the thing you think you can’t do.