This Above All Series

This Above All: Smile Every Day, Laugh More Often

Reading Time: 5 minutes

It’s been busy over here and I didn’t have the urge to write. I think I lost track of time. I think that happens to most of us. We live day to day, but somehow manage to lose days. You wake up fresh and ready, but then the next thing you know the week is gone. It’s exciting and sad because you know the weekend will fly by just as fast.

You want to hold onto experiences, but you want also don’t want to wait around. I’m taking another break from studying because if I look at cell structures longer than five minutes, I’m going to go cross eyed.

I can tell you that proteins are made up of amino acids that are held together by a reaction called dehydration synthesis. It’s when a water molecule is removed that aminos can join together in a peptide bond. I can tell you that there starch is converted and stored glucose in plants and acts as long term fuel. In a plant cell there’s a cell wall to keep it’s structure and protect the internal structures, in animals it’s called a plasma membrane, but does the same exact thing.

I can tell you that carbohydrates are made up of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen at  1:2:1 ratio and because carbs have carbon in them. they’re considered organic. Even artificial sweetener is considered an organic compound because it has carbon in it – but obviously, it’s not natural.

I need a break and I’m doing that. I’m sipping on cups 12 to 14 of water and a mug full of pumpkin spice tea. I’m definitely panicking inside about my exam, but I also know what I know and I’m doing the best I can. We got midterm grades and I still have A, so really, I’m winning anyway. These chapters were interesting, probably because they were mostly about what makes up the foods we eat and we all know how I feel about food. I was also able to take what I already know from my own research and health/fitness journey and apply it.

I already knew that there are 20 amino acids, I knew that you’re body could only make 11 of them. That’s why nutrition is important. It’s also why if you don’t have well rounded nutrition, then taking a BCAA could be helpful to supplement what you aren’t getting from your food. It’s also why I don’t take BCAA’s.

In class we talked about enzymes and how they breakdown food and assist with optimal absorption. That’s why I researched it further and decided to add one to my daily supplements when I know I’m going to consume sulfur rich foods – they make me bloated big time.

Today, I’m smiling because I’m studying something that I’m interested in. I’m smiling because it reminds me that there’s a future waiting. Today, for the first time since I last wrote, I thought about what not competing will actually mean. It’ll mean that I’ve accomplished what I consider to be the physical transformation and interest side of my journey. It started out as weightloss for health and became sport. It became about pushing myself and seeing how far I could go. But as I’m labeling out parts of the cell – mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell you know, I’m thinking about the transformation my career is taking and my brain.

I’ve always been good at math, I never really thought science was cool though. I wish someone had talked to me about it like I talk about it now. I wish someone told that the nucleus tells the cell what to do. I wish someone told me that amino acids are broken down during your workout and by replenishing them you are helping contribute to cellular development and proper recovery. That replenishing amino acids is as easy as drinking a protein shake or having a rounded meal after you workout.

I can’t go back and learn things that I know now, but I can continue to keep learning and keep trying.

I’m trying to figure out ways to laugh a little more. I haven’t been doing that enough lately. Smiling is great, but I can’t remember the last time I laughed hard. I can tell you the last time I cried. It was yesterday and it was because I was reflecting on something else. Maybe JP and I need to plan a few more comedies when we’re getting settled down for bed, but I guess that means we may not fall asleep fast either.

I think laughing can be good medicine. It’s like crying. Sometimes you just need to get emotion out and getting a cramp in your side is necessary.

I think that’s my goal for the week – laugh a little more. I have my serious hat on more often than not, even in situations that I’m sure don’t require it. But part of me has this feeling that if I’m not serious than who will be? And if I don’t take myself seriously, who will?

I have always been bad this kind of balance. When do I switch hats? Can I switch hats?

I snapped my friend Sam and told her that after season I’m looking forward to changing up my health goals. I’m excited to back off slightly and reevaluate. I’m excited to focus more on coaching and school. I’m excited to be more flexible and maybe sleep in on a Sunday and go to the gym in the afternoon or not at all. I’m excited to create more experiences where I not only grin or smile, but I can laugh wholeheartedly. Please don’t read this and think “well if she’s not happy, then she should stop whatever it is she’s doing.” Oh that is most definitely not the case. I am so happy, but I’m also so happy to know there’s more possibilities out there.

In between my first and second season, I wasn’t really sure what to call myself (bikini competitor, lifter, etc.) and do with myself. I think I felt lost in between competition seasons. I have learned that I don’t need to categorize myself if I don’t want to, just like I can label myself too. I am a lifter. I am a foodie. I am a girlfriend. I am a student. I am a person with passion and fire. I have never felt so found. I have never felt so content with not fully having a completed plan – oh I have a loose one, but I don’t have a full road map. The past year didn’t have a huge road map either, but I knew my steps. Today, I’m just excited to be studying for an exam that full of questions that actually interest me. For once, I’m interested in today, I’m curious about the future, but my head isn’t fully there yet. That’s new for me. I always get ahead of myself.

So today – that’s where I am. I’m excited about the list of possibilities, but I’m excited to live in the moment. I’m excited to day dream about tomorrow, but I’m trying to not be in a rush to get there. I’m going to smile at little things and find more excuses to laugh, even if it means awkward stares from strangers in the line at Starbucks.

This above all.

<3 Cristina


1 thought on “This Above All: Smile Every Day, Laugh More Often”

  1. I think the science behind food and how our bodies work is amazing and wonderful. I regret never studying it before and it is one of my goals to do more research on it myself, so reading this was awesome! Thank you. 🙂

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