Thursday, July 10, 2014

#Realworldproblems #Summerschool #Assignments

  Since I know you all must be wondering where in the world is Crystal Coco these days?! Ive been surgically attached to my kitchen study chair, diligently doing my work for the three summer classes I was taking. Summer school is intense, cramming 15 weeks of school work into 6-8 weeks is insane! Taking three summer classes?! Cause for alarm, but sometimes you have to make sacrifices to get ahead. Things are finally slowing down since I’ve finished two of the classes- both with A’s thank you very much! Finishing up these last couple of weeks of Kinesiology alone is going to be a cake walk (and way less study time).

    So I thought it might be fun to share one of the assignments from this past week- that I thought was pretty cool, and that I did completely last minute on the due date (which happens to be today), oops. It took me HOURS! ( and I feel like it needs to be shared, if only for my own sanity, for wasting so much time on something that is only worth like 10% of my final grade- on an amazingly beautiful summer day- but that is a conversation for another post)

The assignment was to pick a functional activity that used all of the muscle groups we’ve learned about so far, and break it down. I chose the handstand. Now, I don’t really know how functional this activity is for “everyone” but it is an activity that I do regularly, along with those who do yoga, cross fit, or gymnastics.. So I just went with it.
(Totally borrowing these photos from the good old inter webs)

 The handstand uses practically every muscle group in your body to maintain balance and form while flipped upside down, making it an extremely complex functional activity. While there seems to be quite a bit of strength involved, the balance is where the work really comes in. The cooperative relationship of the muscles on both sides of the body achieve and maintain the alignment of the bones which allow us to balance our weight evenly over the base of our hands. 
    Starting bent over, the hands are placed on the floor shoulder distance apart with the fingers and thumb splayed apart to make for a wide and stable base. (Fingers abducted by: Dorsal Interossei, Abductor Digiti Minimi. The thumb is extended by: Extensor Pollicis Longus, Extensor Pollicis Brevis.) While simultaneously flexing the wrist, (Extensor Carpi Radialis Longus & Brevis, Extensor Carpi Ulnaris) pronating the forearm, (Pronator Teres, Pronator Quadratus) and extending the elbow joint, (Triceps Brachii- both heads, Aconeus). The shoulder is fully flexed and the arm slightly abducted to keep the arms “over head”, (Anterior Deltoid, Pectoralis Major, Posterior Deltoid, Supraspinatus) with the Coracobracialis helping to maintain the shoulders stability. The shoulder blades are in an upwardly rotated and protracted position with the contraction of Upper and Lower Trapezius and Serratus Anterior. 
    The Hamstring group flexes one of the knees, allowing that leg to act as a spring, catapolting the legs over head. Now the rest of the work begins! The trunk muscles together are responsible for much of the balance in this posture. Muscles are active on both the posterior and anterior aspects of the body to maintain the stability and integrity of the posture. 
    On the posterior aspect, the head, neck and spine are extended, Spenius Capitus and Spenius Cervicis have this action covered at the head and neck level. However they get help from all three of the muscles of the Errector Spinae group, Transversospinalis and Interspinales which are also responsible for the extension of the neck, but also the spine. On the anterior aspect, the Rectus Abdominis, External and Internal Obliques are contracting, keeping the trunk flexed to oppose the posterior muscles. Toss in the Transverse Abdominis, and all four of these muscles are contracting to compress the abdomen as you "draw the navel toward the spine" to achieve a solid core which will translate into balance.    
   As we move upward toward the legs, the hip is slightly flexed, legs are straight (as the knees are in extension) and drawn together as the feet reach up toward the sky.  Hip flexion is occurring with the contraction of Iliopsoas, Sartorious, TFL, Rectus Femoris and Pectineus. Pectineus works double time and helps in the adduction of the legs. The Gracillis, Adductor Longus, Adductor Brevis, and Adductor Magnus muscles also aid in the squeezing of the legs toward the midline. Finally the knees are in extension by way of the Quadriceps group, (Rectus Femoris, Vastus Lateralis, Vastus Intermedialis, Vastus Medialis).
    There you are, a handstanding pro! 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

3 Words

Beach at Dusk
 Tiny Tim Project
 Hide Your Face
 Engineers building fires
 Dirty Study Aids
 Perfect Summer Hair
 Tuna-Moose on water
 Pounds of Gummies
 Must Shoot Skeet 
 Ineffective Study Buddy
 Hold Me Human
 Waiting for Doctors
 Drugs are Bad
 Too Much Money
 Squishy Faced Selfies
 Comfy Pillow Pet
 Sun, Sunroofs, Boys <3 p="">
 ALL the Sushi
 Tuna-moose has Apparel 
 Running, Exhaustion, Happy.
 Roommate leaves notes
 Summer Shrimp Kabobs 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

First and most importantly:
I made it through Anatomy and killed it. Who gets a 100 on the final exam?! I was excited to say the least. I ended up with a 98 for the course- couldn’t have been much better. I’ll be honest, I’m going to miss the class. I absolutely had the best professor, ever. People (and puppies!) are definitely brought into your life for a reason. 
After my final exam, I came home to this
Love you Melinda! 
How awesome is this shirt?

<3 p="">
It was a beautiful day and I finished my exam early so I met up with Mikey for a little kayaking 
 Yup, it was gorgeous! Until.... we paddled around and ended up on the other side of the pond and the wind decided to pick up
Needless to say, I ended up completely soaked, frozen and cranky while we made our way back to the car.. Let me just clarify.. I didn’t help row back- I sat curled in a ball at the front of the kayak blocking all the water splashes from Mike as he paddled us back. Haha.. When we finally got back, he gave me his pants to wear because he’s a gentleman like that ;) Don’t worry he had another pair. 

We have been enjoying the warmer and sunnier weather around here for sure. 
 Tuna-moose is doing really well on the leash now that we have a new collar. He hates it but it keeps him in check.. And the more enjoyable our walks and runs are.. the more we go.. Win, Win- for him and I. Especially when he looks like this after
 Tired TM= Happy TM
I had a lot of stuff on my mind that I had to work out, so Tuna-moose and I went for a nice 5 mile run with a stop at the pond mid-way. 
 It was the very spot where Hydro learned to swim
Where He and I would go on many afternoons. He was always so happy when I took him swimming! 
Watching Tuna-moose sniff and drink the water (he is totally a baby and is scared of it, haha) made me smile. We have come full circle. I miss Hydro every day but I know he brought me to TM because we both needed each other, because without TM my life would be incomplete. 
He’s the fucking man. 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Bullet points-

   Almost and entire month since last I posted- not for lack of things to write about.. it actually quite the opposite- an overwhelming amount of things I should spend some time reflecting on... I’m convinced that more has happened in the last 30 days than in the last year.. How is that even possible?  So I’m turning to bullet points because it’s kind of easier.. and I really can’t give of these things attention at this point that. 

-Quit my job at Dunkin Donuts :)
-Started working at The Tree House Tavern again- going back to beg for a job at the place where I met RHS was a low blow to the self esteem. But being the bigger person and moving forward always wins out. (Or so they keep telling me)  :(  (In the bathroom at the restaurant, lol)

-Studying for DAYS :/ At least it’s been sunny and warm enough to study outside a couple of times! :)

-Bull Testicle anyone? ;)

-100 on my Lab Practical :)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
-92 on my Written Exam :)
-Runs with Tuna-Moose followed by “stretching” which is really TM just laying on my mat refusing to move :)


-Walks on the beach with Tuna-Moose :)

-Geek Glasses- and almost passing out during the glaucoma test. :/

- Tuna-moose finally learning how to be a proper co-pilot :)
-Dirty Heads concert with Mikey :)
-Wine and Cigar nights at the pond :)

-Picking up the last of the stuff at my house :(
-House closing canceled and pushed back :(
-Still haven’t closed on the house :( Set for April 30th as of today :)
-Easter worked- made shit money but ate AMAZING homemade coconut macaroons and drank an entire “coffee” of shots of espresso- the only way I can drink anything from Dunkin Donuts :)

-First holiday really alone :( but called James and met up for some drinks- so good to see him.. Made me think that there might still be hope that we will be friends someday.  :)

-Signed up for Summer and Fall classes :)
-My professor recommended me to be a tutor for anatomy :)
-Drank 3 million cups of coffee :)
-My roommate got accepted into a doctorate program :)!!!!!!!!!!
-She has to move to New Hampshire :(
-Fingers crossed that I find a new roommate so I can still live here, because I love it :)
-Rock climbing :)!!  

-The “other Tuna” making me smile when I’m sad or having a bad day :)

   Right now there are a lot of unknowns and when I really think about them, I’m completely overwhelmed. Learning to let go of control- I can not predict the future-  I can not will it to be the way I want it to be. I’m not exactly a "roll with the punches" kind of girl by nature. Freaking out about where I’m going to live, how much money I’m not making, will I have to give Tuna-moose away so I don’t have to live in my car? What he/she/they are doing and thinking.. What if I don’t get into the PTA program? What if my GPA from 10 years ago holds me back? What’s my plan B? The list goes on and on. And really- none of that is productive. I have allowed these questions, situations with friends, family, and whatever else distract me from what is really important. I need to re-focus on school- refocus on who I am and what I want. More importantly I need to be my own best friend. and keep aiming high..   


Monday, March 31, 2014


   I can’t concentrate. 
Everything is shifting.
And nothing is interesting. 

This is the beginning of the last week I can go to “Our house” 
Its funny that it has taken me almost an entire year to get the last of my stuff out of there... and even still at this very moment, there are just a few things left.. Surf Board (that I’ve used once).. A mountain bike (that isn’t even technically mine).. and the vintage sausage stuffer (that my grandfather gave to my father... who gave it to us... who I will have to return it to now- since we failed)  I just can’t bring myself to pick up just yet- even though I was at the house just yesterday.. Even though the house is literally 5 minutes away from where I live now... Even though I’ve had plenty of time... 

I'm sick to my stomach.
It really is completely over. 
Every last little shred.

I will always love him- and there is no person that I will love in that way- ever again. And I’m OK with that. I accept that. That part of me will forever be occupied, and I could never disrespect that. 

This has happened way faster than I could have anticipated.... and unfortunately it isn’t one of those situations that is better when you just “Rip the band-aid” to get it over with. Instead, it is almost too soon- ripping the flesh along with it- leaving a big, raised, purple scar. 

I’m consumed by confusion and sadness.
 Words and feelings have stopped making sense.
A blank coloring page- just an outline- empty inside- but I can’t find a marker, a crayon, a fucking pencil... 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Growing Pains

A few days before I went to Arkansas, James and my house was put on the market.

  (I signed the house over in the divorce- so I no longer have any rights to it.. But our system is so fucking fantastic- that my name remained on the mortgage- meaning that even though I have no rights to it, if James couldn’t pay the mortgage-  I would still be financially responsible for it.) We had agreed that whatever the house sold for we would split 50/50- profit or loss. 

Its funny, I haven’t lived in my house in almost a year, but when James told me that we had an offer on the house from the first (and only) people that looked at it (and that we were going to take it), I had such a crazy mix of emotions. I just wasn’t expecting to have to deal with it so soon. In the moment, I held on to “how much the house is worth” and “How much money we put into it” and the offer just didn’t seem like it covered all of that. After a lot of talking and crying (because I’m a big emotional mess over everything that changes in my life these days) I had to let it go- I have no rights to the house to actually fight anything anyway- and even if I did, what’s the point?

My sister-in-law had a good point, “Even if you got what you think the house is worth, would it make any difference?” 
The answer was an easy one.. 
No, of course not. 

It’s never been about the money for me. 

The truth of the matter is, that is my home. In all honesty, it is my first home. No, I don’t mean the first house I bought.. I mean, it is the FIRST place that has ever been my HOME. (I’m not saying that I didn’t have a nice place to live growing up.. but things in my life were really fucked up- and it was no one’s fault- it’s just how it was, maybe it was just my interpretation.) 

I remember the very first time I walked into that house. With the first step, this amazing feeling washed over me- and I knew in that moment that I needed to live there. It didn’t have the big kitchen that I said was a must, it didn’t have 3 bedrooms, it wasn’t in the town that I wanted to live in, it was a short sale... But it was my house.  All of that other stuff that seemed so important didn’t matter at all. We waited almost 6 months for our offer to be approved by the bank- and almost gave up on it towards the end when it seemed like we would never get an answer. But when we finally did get that approval, everything else went by in a flash... 

We had borrowed a friends’ trailer and started to pack our apartment into it.. and on the day of the closing, (which just so happened to be the absolute last day we could be in our apartment) our friend towed the trailer into our new driveway.  
And just like that.. we were home. 

In the four years that followed, every single decision from the color of the walls, the design of the kitchen, the appliances, the stupid plants and flowers outside... EVERYTHING was so thoughtfully decided. I mean it took me like a fucking month to pick my dishwasher! But it didn’t matter, you know? Because we were going to live there for a long time... if not forever. 

We started our own little traditions.. Pumpkin Carving Parties, Christmas eve with our entire families,  Etc... 
We redid the kitchen which was a complete nightmare... but when it was all done it was absolutely beautiful.. and everything that I could have ever wanted.. It was the first place that we lived where I actually attempted to make it homey.. pictures on the walls, etc.. 

And most of all, it was where our little family lived and loved. It was were Hydro lived his last days- where the blood spatters from his forever busted up tail still stain the walls... 

So when someone walks into my home, and expects and is going to get ALL of that... for the same amount of money that we paid..  Someone who has no fucking idea what those four walls mean to me... it makes me fucking angry.

 Because the last sacred thing that we had together (in my eyes- which is why I didn’t want any other “people” in my house...) is just a possession. It doesn’t mean a fucking thing... does it?

Nothing can replace the memories and feelings that I have tied to it. And even though it makes me incredibly sad right now, I know that I will always have those to hold on to...  and they will bring happy memories in time.. 

So the reality is.. Yes it is about the house.. but its more about a complete loss of everything that I ever held dear.. My best friend and partner, family, people I considered my friends.. I have literally lost almost every.single.thing. that has ever meant anything to me. 

And for those friends/family that have really showed up and have been there for me during all of this.. you really have no idea what you mean to me.. and how grateful I am to have you in my life. 

The closing is April 10... 

I know that in the end it is the best thing for us to do.. to take this offer.. to get the house off of our hands.. But man.. I wish it didn’t hurt so much.. I wish I could let go of all of the things that make me feel so abandoned; so disconnected; so replaced. 

I wish I could stop feeling... I wish I could move on as easily as everyone else has. I just wish I could stop... 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Arkansas Highlights

6 days is such a short time when your visiting family. The kids have grown so fast, that it really is impossible to keep up with- especially when you live 22 hours away from them. They are an awesome bunch of kids.. Seriously. I wish I could see them every weekend, or even every month.. because I really miss so much. 
The two older kids are in school so I spent a lot of the days with Ryker and Judah.
 One day we went to the zoo. Ryker is absolutely a little rockstar. I just can’t handle his adorableness! 
Not only does this kid have the most awesome hair, his personality is amazing. So loving and crazy… he has such an amazing spirit. 
Of course I’m the inappropriate Auntie taking pornographic pictures of the animals.. I’m sorry, it was just too funny! 
The tiger was pacing around like crazy, and even went for a swim in his little heart shaped pool 

One of my “Must Do’s” while visiting Arkansas was a trip to The Mean Pig
Ever since last year I have had ribs quite a few places.. but none as good as Mean Pig. I considered getting a whole rack of Ribs, but decided against it. Good thing too because it was a huge plate! 
Don’t worry, I had no trouble finishing my plate off..

Kenna was in school at the time, so we brought her a doggy bag. She was pretty excited about it! She’s a big fan of ribs too :)
Sarah got the idea to go horseback riding, since Judah was too young, she got him a sitter and we took Ryker.  He loved it! 
So did it! It had been at least 12 years since I’d been.. 
It couldn’t have been a better day! Our guide was awesome and it was so much fun! 
Luke’s smiles melt my heart. 
Judah the fruit bat. This kid can put away 3 bananas, 6 dates, and 5 clementines- and yogurts.. lots and lots of yogurt. He’s such a tiny little bean!  
It is always hard to say good-bye to everyone. Since it was nap time when I headed to the airport I missed the really sad goodbyes. 
My first flight from Arkansas to Washington D.C. was terrifying. The most turbulent flight I have ever been on. And of course the one other person on the plane that was scared was my neighbor. We were basically fighting over the middle armrest- like somehow holding on tight is ever going to save you from anything, hah. After the worst of it, we started chatting and kept each other calm for the rest of the flight. 
After we landed in D.C. I decided since I survived, I deserved some french fries.
Good god that was a huge plate of fries! Don’t worry I didn’t even eat half before tossing them, but they totally hit the spot. (I start the 21 day sugar Monday so got to get everything terrible in, haha)
After a 2 1/2 hour layover, I boarded my final flight to Providence. It was a short 40 minute flight and this time I got the window and took some pictures on the decent.

Flying is equally terrifying and amazing.