September Rose & Thorns – A monthly recap of the highs and lows experienced throughout each month.
Rose: Running Further Than Ever
I started writing about my running journey last month. I was so proud of how fast I was able to push myself. This month, the temperature has begun to cool a little, (by a little I mean, a high under 90° F) I have been able to run further than before. I ran my first five-mile run in 50 minutes. The surge of happiness to my brain after I completed the run was like nothing I’ve felt before. I was so proud of myself for mentally focusing and pushing towards a new goal.
I had two thoughts as I was doing my post-run cooldown. The first, running is a mental game. When I get tired the little voice in my head whispers, “why don’t you just quit or just run three miles today”. Some days I feel like my brain is constantly attacking me. Thoughts of self-doubt or worrying about failing can make it difficult to want to go outside. Envisioning pushing this tiny devil off my shoulder has not only helped me improve my run but also improved the way I see myself. Days where I set a new standard or complete a task I didn’t think I could do, prove those negative thoughts are not reality.
My second thought was how lucky I am to run and stay healthy. The last two years have been all about staying healthy. Phases like social distancing and health mandates have become the norm. As I walked home, I felt grateful to have a body that allows me to move around so freely. I have an appreciation for being able to climb my stairs after a long run or the side of a mountain in faraway places. For women especially, our bodies are constantly under a microscope. Through my running journey, I’ve made more of an effort not to focus on appearance but the capability my body possess.
Thorn: Slowly Learning SEO
Regularly blogging is challenging. Creating the content is time-consuming. On top of everything, it has to fit inside the SEO box. This month, the weeks I did not create a blog post, I consciously spent time learning more about marketing and further my understanding of SEO. It’s not an exact science. Thousands of views don’t come pouring in after I plugged in the proper keywords. But, I have noticed a slight increase in web traffic since I’ve optimized my cornerstone post.
Behind the scenes, I’m working to figure out what I provide to my audience. Is it only travel guides and experiences? How do they respond to a non-travel-related post, like home decor and food-related post? I also have to take into consideration what post brings me joy to write about and learn to take a break when necessary. Everyone on the internet has an opinion on what’s best when it comes to content creation. It can become overwhelming quickly. The growth process is slow and at times boring, but I’m enjoying the challenge of learning.
Rose: Quality Time With My People
Throughout this month I was able to spend quality time with so many of the important people in my life. I started the month with a girl’s day in Sarasota at the Ringling Museum. Where I was able to spend the entire day learning about life in the circus. My best friend and I solved the world’s problems at the beach. Then last week Aaron was in town; where we were able to spend some much-needed quality time together. This was the recharge I desperately needed. My heart is full from being able to spend time with everyone.
Favorites of the Month
Purple Mattress – This has been a long time coming. I knew I needed a new mattress when I moved into my condo. I also knew I was going to get a Purple mattress since I experience the most comfortable sleep when I visit Aaron. He bought his mattress a little over two years ago; it’s still just as comfortable as the first day we rolled it out of the vacuumed sealed bag. Now I have my very own Purple Mattress! I opted for the Original Purple in the Queen size. No more tossing and turning because my arm had fallen asleep (my arm got more sleep than I did on my old mattress). During the day I catch myself thinking about the next time I’ll be able to swan dive into my bed. My only regret is not buying it sooner.
Hiking Boots – Aaron and I have a big hiking and camping trip planned for next month. In the past, my feet have paid the price for not being properly prepared (for reference see hiking for my birthday last year and hiking in the Sequoia National Park posts). Learning from my past mistakes, I’m determined to have the proper footwear for this trip. I took them on a test run in a local park. After hiking five miles my feet felt great afterward. I’m hoping to put a few more miles on them before our trip; as of now, I’m confident the investment for proper hiking boots will serve me well.
Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer – It’s that time of year, where the grocery store shelves turn orange and pumpkin-flavored. The only pumpkin flavor item I participate in is coffee creamer. When I make coffee at home I usually keep it simple with a touch of plain half & half. I make the exception for holiday flavors. Last year I went overboard with the varieties of Pumpkin Spiced Coffee creamers. I was on the hunt for the perfect combination of pumpkin flavor without being overly syrupy. This year I’ve found it! The Chobani Oat Coffee Creamer in Pumpkin Spice is all I will need to satisfy my cravings for this fall season.
September Blog Post Recap
In case you missed any posts this month:
The Best Places to Roller Skate in Tampa Bay – Find out my 6 favorite places to roller skate in the Tampa Bay area.
Girl’s Day at the Ringling Museum – Looking for a unique museum to spend the day? Look no further than Sarasota’s Ringling Museum.