Archives for posts with tag: Failure

My fitness motivation has a tendency to wax and wane. Christmas and winter and warm brownies and a cuddly hibernating poodle and the Polar Vortex sent me into a serious waning phase. When I come home from work all I want to do is sit on the couch. My body collapses before I even have a chance to argue. It’s bad folks. My pants don’t fit like they did a few months ago. I’ve become less flexible. It takes me six days to recover from my one weekly workout.

What I should have learned from this: NOT working out causes me to suffer.

What I HAVE learned: Working out is the worst and sitting on my couch is the best. I mean look at that awfulness:

Ok. It wasn't so bad.

Ok. It wasn’t so bad.

But I’m not quitting. Not yet.

Crossfit has been one fitness plan I’ve been able to stick to since leaving the military. Since ever. I’m much more likely to succeed if someone just tells me what to do. When I don’t show up for a week, or two, I’ll hear about it. My gym-friends will tease me, the coach will laugh at my excuses, and we’ll all bitch about the way winter can suck out your soul. Then we’ll lift some heavy thing and raise our heart rates and all feel a little better about ourselves. I need that. I need to remember how easy that can be.

Just lift that weight up. Just get your ass to the gym. Easy. Wish me luck tonight… I make no promises.


This is a bit embarrassing but I figure I might as well start off the new year with honesty. I, Elizabeth Merritt Abbott, could not finish a book. Specifically, I could not finish this book:


Don’t get me wrong, Bobcat by Rebecca Lee is well written. The sentences are lovely. Lee draws a portrait of the Midwest college campus unlike any I’ve seen before, both loving and critical.

But that’s where the topics and settings stagnate. Each protagonist is either professor or student or administer in a 1980s Midwestern college campus. I spend my week days on these college campuses, I don’t want to spend my reading hours there too.

Putting a book down isn’t as traumatic for me as it once was. I don’t feel like I’ve wasted my time with the first 141 page and I feel no longing for final 67 pages. We simply didn’t click, this book and I. That’s ok.

Happy New Year, dear ones.

Ok, here I go. No big deal. However, I must confess, I’m a quitter. It’s true. I quit this book, Colum McCann’s This Side of Brightness:


There I said it.

My love for Colum McCann only goes so far. He pulled me in with a detailed depiction of life under New York, life digging the Brooklyn Tunnel. Sign me up for some historical trauma and beauty. Then he jumped back to the present (or perhaps the 80s) and I’m lost. Who are these people? Why should I care about them and how are they connected to the past? Sure these answers might have come if I’d stuck around a little longer but I just couldn’t do it.

Maybe it’s Colum’s fault and maybe I’m not making enough time in my life to read. For now I think I’ll just blame Colum. That’s easier.

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