Skip to content

zoe & the beatles

just a twenty-something vegan navigating healthy, positive living with a little help from her friends john, paul, ringo & george!

Category Archives: climbing

before i dive into my latest rambling, i want to first acknowledge the horrific events occuring in japan. my positive thoughts go out to all the people affected. events like these make me feel badly for ever complaining. i know everyone has her own problems, but sometimes i feel shallow and stupid for worrying about what i worry about. my heart goes out to all the victims. i hope the healing process can begin soon…

(and on another side note, thank you all so much for your sweet, sweet comments. there were so thoughtful and heartfelt and i really appreciate them!)

i have never been a very independent person. i am shy, quick to over analyze, and grow anxious very, very fast in certain situations. i am hesitant to try new things alone and usually end up dragging a friend with me.

now, however, i see just how utterly important it is to erase the lines i’ve drawn around myself. two days ago, i had a breakthrough. and yesterday? i had a revelation.

breakthrough: thursday afternoon, i went climbing…alone. the only people i climb with are k and our mutual friend, joe. clearly k never lets me know when he climbs and joe never remembers (or chooses not to) inform me of his own climbing schedule so i generally get left out. i wallowed for a bit and grew anxious over the thought of rarely climbing again but then it hit me: i have myself. if people i considered friends suddenly want to leave me out of their lives, so be it. i have myself and i have legs that can take me to the wall. i have a voice to ask people for a belay. i have the ability to climb alone. so i did. and guess what? it was a blast! i almost chickened out, too. i’m so glad i didn’t! i cannot tell you the confidence i felt after climbing solo yesterday. i felt empowered and so capable.

revelation: i am the only person standing in the way of experiencing life. by doling out excuse after excuse, i am essentially denying myself opportunities — for fun, for growth, for learning. by sticking to the main road instead of carving out a new trail in a new direction, i am only deepening the grooves of paths i’ve walked a million and a half times. where’s the excitement in that? where’s the adventure? i’m so sick of not trying things i want to try simply because i am scared.

confidence comes from testing yourself. confidence comes from pushing past your comfort zones and truly discovering what you are capable of.

each day i’ve been trying to push past my comfort zone. i’ve been trying to listen to my inner voice and ignore the negative voice i tend to listen to more often. two days ago i went climbing alone. yesterday, i experienced a pretty powerful revelation. today? well…

today, i quit an hour long yoga podcast twenty minutes from the end. why? because i realized i hate baptise power yoga. because i realized the thought it of produced anxiety in my chest. because i realized i only pushed myself through it purely for a work out, not for a reconnection of mind and body. because when david farmer said “be true to you” i realized i wasn’t. so i stopped. i never stop a work out.ever. as a person attempting to calm my compulsive exercising habit, i think i just did myself a huge favor: i just acted out of self-love.

oh, and let me just reassure you — that was not easy. i am feeling an intense need to supplement with more activity. i’m judging. i’m uncomfortable.

yet…isn’t that what the road to self-love is?

aren’t we supposed to feel uncomfortable? isn’t that what moving past comfort zones is? i think so, and i intend to keep on keepin’ on. tomorrow? well, i have a special challenge for myself. i’m excited and nervous and feeling silly for even calling it a challenge. we all start somewhere though, right? i’ll show you tomorrow.

as for the rest of the day…it’s a bit sunny outside. i want to go out on a walk (originally planned pre-quitting yoga. not supplementing, promise!) to clear my mind and enjoy the patches of blue sky. it’s been nice recently, too…



hope you all have a wonderful saturday!

what have you done recently that’s “outside of your comfort zone”? what do you want to do if you haven’t? and what’s keeping you from doing it?!

namaste

zoe

hello loves. hope your mid-week hump day is treating you well. (you know, the fact that we call wednesday hump day is kind of off-putting. not a big fan. just sayin’ ;)).

last night ended on a sour note, i’m afraid. the mood seems to have carried over into this sunny, frigid day. i climbed inside my head last night and just stayed there. once i’m locked in, it’s difficult to break out. it takes a lot of effort. which i am applying as we speak.

the funk came about for a few reasons. i climbed last night. with k and a mutual friend. climbing was a blast — i climbed my first 5.10a at our home gym, a big accomplishment considering our gym rates their routes on some crazy ridiculous level. i’m definitely getting stronger and taking more risks. two nights ago i also went climbing (with k…) and bouldered my first v.2. success! it’s amazing to see how far i’ve progressed in such a short amount of time.

anywho, with all that awesomeness going down it’s surprising a funk happened. but it did. i started to doubt myself. i started to feel “fat” (ugh, that word needs to die) and really, really unworthy. i felt uncomfortable and, unfortunately, disgusting in my own skin last night. part of it had to do with k and part of it had to do with the fact that lately, it’s been really difficult to just feel comfortable at all. i’m not going to lie: i’m trying to lose weight. and i’m trying to do it healthfully. it’s almost ridiculous how well i eat, too. but the scale hasn’t budged and my pants haven’t loosened up. i’m really stuck despite my diet and well-rounded exercise habits (just about every day, though the intensity differs as the activity changes daily. example: yoga and climbing monday, climbing yesterday, long, long walk today and maybe some yoga later.). it’s starting to frustrate me. any tips would be welcome…

but back to last night. i went to bed a little weepy and discouraged. i woke up discouraged and very blah. it’s hard being friends because i miss k, but it’s the right thing to do. especially when i remembered everything that went down. i know this feeling will pass but it has settled over my day. hopefully a few things will clear up the air. because i don’t want to sit in company with this beast for very much longer.

a lunch visit with my mommy might help! i’m excited 🙂

and reading through my newest book that i cannot, for the life of me, put down. anyone else read it?

chuck palahniuk is such an engaging writer. i just finished lullaby right before invisible monsters. i seriously fly through his stuff (and i’m a slow reader) and have issues putting it down when i need to (say like…when i need to sleep. or clock back in from my lunch at work). i forgot how much i love reading! it’s so nice to be able to pick up whatever i want to read now instead of reading assigned things.

and, if the stars are aligned, i’ll hopefully make it to a club tonight with a friend and her boyfriend for dancing! little known fact: i love to dance. lovelovelove. i’m basically always moving to some beat in my head. i dance in public all the time. sorry if i’ve offended your eyes. i never said i was good at it 🙂 but i’ve been wanting to go dancing for daaays so i’m just banking on my energy levels not being low (i’ve been up since three. after sleeping for oh, four hours? i opened…). fingers crossed!

i’ve got more interesting things to write about, i promise. this is getting long and i don’t want to bore you all to death any more. things to look forward to (maybe? hopefully?): a fashion post (PROMISE!), a book review (kara, this is for you! it’s been a long time coming and i JUST got the book back!), and a challenge! keep your eyes peeled. until then, enjoy your hump day 😉

how do you cope with rotten moods and hard-to-shake mindsets?

update: i just finished an hour and fifteen minute vinyasa flow that completely restored me. i feel calm, steady, and refreshed. yoga is such a soul soother. savasana felt so nourishing and rewarding. yoga is such a present to the mind, body, and spirit!

namaste

zoe

i never used food to punish myself in the past few days. though completely stressed this entire week, binge eating rarely occurred (maybe once, and on a very low scale). healthy eats seemed to be all i wanted. my comfort foods = carrots and hummus. funny how comfort foods change after living a new lifestyle for a year and a half.

i’m enjoying running again. maybe because i’m running to feel alive instead of running to punish myself or simply to burn calories.

…i‘m not worried about the number on the scale, even though it’s ten numbers up from where i thought i should be. i only seem to shrug it off every time i step on it. maybe it’s time to chuck the damn piece of useless plastic, huh?

i’ve maintained my current weight for three months. without trying. clearly my body wanted to be here all along.

i’m kind of in love with my curves. i can’t fight my genetics anyway and this is so obviously how i am built. my 34 D boobs stayed 34 D no matter how small i got last year. an indication? yes, i think so. do i want to lose weight? no, not necessarily, but i do want to tone up. that being said, however…

i don’t, and won’t, force the issue. i’d rather focus on being happy instead of focusing on (and obsessing over) my appearance. if i happen to lose weight along the way, cool. really though: whatthefuckever.

plus all my clothes still fit, anyway. just differently. meaning, they actually fit instead of fall off.

i look forward to all my work outs. i no longer see them as a chore that must be done but as an opportunity to feel alive. the feeling i get after moving my body cannot be compared to much else.

i’m still a little anxious when i look in the mirror of put on a pair of jeans. but then i remind myself i’m healthy again, and that this is what healthy people look like. and then i feel better almost immediately.

the negative moods i always seemed to swim in in previous months rarely strike me. and yes, i am enjoying this reemerging surge of positivity i thought i lost a long time ago.

interestingly enough, life feels a lot brighter and lighter. yes, some days i struggle but those days pop up infrequently. i am feeling stronger and more brave each day. do i still have issues i need to work on? of course. everyone does. but the difference between the me now and the me of months passed is that i am choosing positivity instead of negativity. i’m choosing to focus on the things in my life that really matter. like health and happiness. not the size of my waist, hips, thighs and stomach. that’s all just too stressful, don’t you think?

and, interestingly enough, i don’t think i can answer this question so well…

well, ten years is a long time for now. i hate looking into the future simply because i don’t know what’s going to happen. i don’t want to assume, i don’t want to say ‘i hope to be doing x, y, and z’ because i know that i’ll be changing so much in those ten years. i’ve changed so much in the four plus years i’ve been out of high school. it’s astounding.

but, i guess to give you a general impression of ‘where i want to be’, i’d say i’d want to be in a comfortable place in my life where i am truly happy. where i am doing something i love. i want to be feel supported by the people i love in my life and vice versa. i want all these superficial worries of mine to be non existent. and i want to give — my time, my love, my heart, my compassion, my energy. will all this happen? i don’t know. but i sure think it will!

hope you’re all having a wonderful saturday. me? well, i got off work about an hour ago, just ate some lunch, and am about to shred it with jillian michales before i go rock climb with some friends and drive on home for a little visit with my parents and one of my best, best, best and oldest friends (2nd grade!). enjoy the sunshine! (if you can at least…if you can’t, well, enjoy a picture of a warm beach while you cuddle up with some tea :))

what interesting things have occurred to you recently? where do you ‘want to be in ten years’?

namaste

zoe

yesterday started out interestingly.

saturday my family threw a 90th (!) birthday party for my grandma. it was incredibly sweet and touching. one of my aunts (my g-ma had 6 kids!) is super tech savy and put together a video of my grandmother’s life, documenting her wedding and the birth of all six of her kids. she went on to include the photos of all the grandkids, including my brother and i. some photos showcases my younger (and much, much blonder) years. then came the present day pictures. she showed photos from about a year to a year and a half ago.

and all i wanted to do was cry.

why? because in those photos, i was much, much thinner. in those photos i saw the person i left behind and the voice in my head told me i failed, that i got “fat” (though, no, that word did not cross my mind in all actuality because i don’t use that word any more!), despite the fact that, in those photos, i was running myself sick and not eating. the worst part? instead of appreciating the video and the amazing and full life of my grandma, i stole a moment to sneak away into the restaurant’s bathroom to cry. yes, i am pathetic.

i returned home in a funk, naturally, and fell asleep with it by my side. when i woke up in the morning, i felt just about the same. then i heard the little positive voice in my head speak up. it said: “zoe, you can choose positivity. choose it! focus on all the love in your life!”

so i did. i choose to see the people who loved me and all the things i am grateful for and by ten thirty in the morning, i felt great. k came over and we shuttled down to the farmer’s market in my hometown where i bought veggies galore and ran into my favorite aunt and two cousins. following our little trip we headed into san francisco to go climbing (really, is anyone surprised?) for about five hours. despite surpassing my climbing plateau (climbed more 5.10’s and had some breakthrough bouldering sessions!) and being with the boy who makes my heart sigh, i found myself confront my negative voice about two and a half hours into our climbing session.

now, this happens a lot. morning time is the easiest time for me to feel the happiest and the most optimistic. it might be because there is new, fresh energy in the morning and it dips mid-day but, regardless, i am always my happiest in the morning and my least happiest mid-afternoon or at night.

the least happiest part of the day hit me when i started looking around and started doing something awful: comparing. the voice inside my head said things like: “everyone else here has a flat stomach. no one looks like i do. everyone here is so thin. so toned. why can’t i look like that?” the feeling of embarrassment replaced the feeling of happiness and my mood took a nose-dive. all smiles and laughter disappeared and i sunk into myself, a victim again of the negative voice in my head. at one point k called me sexy, a word i am not used to hearing, saying, or believing. i scoffed a bit and he asked me a simple question: “why do you laugh when i tell you that?” a good question indeed, one that took me off guard and challenged the negativity i found myself in company with.

this feeling of self-doubt and unworthiness followed me for about forty minutes. then, something happened.

i hopped onto a route i’ve been eyeing for months. it’s on the tallest wall in the gym and it’s never free. so when a spot opened up, i tied in as quickly as possible and got to climbing. if you’re not a stranger to the negative voice, you know how hard it is to accomplish anything. it tells you you’re going to fail, you suck, you can’t do anything right — and you believe it. usually, i do, too. but yesterday, something happened.

about half-way up the route, doubt started to creep in. i thought, or rather, my negative self thought, “you can’t finish this. you’re going to fall. you’re not going to make it to the top.” two words answered the flurry of negativity: “shut up.” they came out of no where and surprised the shit out of me. something in me was obviously so tired of hearing untruths and decided to fight back. the often ignored positive voice spoke up for me without me choosing for it to do so.

how did i feel? amazing. it was thrilling, telling myself to eff off. i said it one more time (internally) and this rush of positivity flooded me. suddenly, i was telling myself “you’ve got it! you can do this! you’re so close, don’t give up! you’re strong!” and a few seconds later, i found myself at the top of the route, accomplished, sweaty, and super pumped (a term describing the feeling in your arms/forearms when you climb really intensely).

k lowered me back to the ground and the rest of the day was spent in a cloud of positivity. i stopped caring what other people looked like because they’re not me. yes, i used to be thinner, but i used to be unhealthy. i used to punish myself with exercise and deprive myself of food. now, i am healthy. now, my clothes actually fit. my period is back, my skin cleared up, my glow is apparent and i am stronger than i have ever been. i am not the number on the scale, the number on the tag of my pants, or the reflection in the mirror. i am far more important things.

i feel good today, too. i just finished a massive veggie-packed juice (is it weird that all i was craving this morning for breakfast was vegetables? my usual breakfast fare did not sound appealing at all.) and am about to hop onto my mat (which has been neglected this past week) for some solid dave farmer power vinyasa. i am craving a sweaty yoga session today! i hope you all have a wonderful start to your week! and i hope you remember just how amazing you all are — just the way you are!

do you find it difficult to stay positive? what do you do to regain your positivity? have you ever told yourself off? no? try it!

namaste

zoe

(oh, also…keep an eye out for my first ever guest post over at i came to run! let me know what you think!)

i’ve made it no secret. i have a new love in my life. he’s earthy. and rough. and makes me all hot and sweaty (how inappropriate am i ;)). and i love it.

ladies and gentleman (if there are any?), allow me to introduce to you to my love: ROCK CLIMBING.

most of you have a vague idea of what rock climbing is. to you, the immediate image might be this:

all ropes and fancy harnesses and fake, plastic rocks and different colored tape on marking routes you don’t understand. but rock climbing is also more than this. rock climbing can look like this, too:

chris sharma, badass climber extraordinaire and professional piece of eye candy (but seriously. ladies who are attracted to guys (and you know what, for that matter, ladies who are attracted to ladies and guys who are attracted to guys!), you have not seen a body worth drooling over till you have seen a rock climber’s body. holy. god. yes, i am fifteen again). here this amazing, amazing climber is doing something called bouldering: climbing rocks without the support of a rope.

and so is this guy, alex honnold, but on a much more intense level. this guy free solos. everything.

including half-dome, pictured above. all 3568 feet of it. without a rope. this is an extreme version of rock climbing that only a small, elite group of people really participate in. this would scare me shitless. talk about bad.ass. for reals.

but let me step back and tell you my brief, yet passionate, love story with rock climbing. the first time i ever climbed, i was a kid, maybe seven or eight, and at a birthday party. as a young girl, i loved to climb everything. i climbed all over the playground, climbed up trees, climbed up rocks. heights never bothered me and still don’t, an advantage i have when climbing. at this party i only got to shimmy up the wall once or twice but i remember loving it. i remember loving the challenge and thinking about how fun it was.

though i loved the experience, i never did it again until college. well, until last semester, really. i am fortunate to have attended (still a weird concept for me. i cannot believe i am not in school any more…) a college with a pretty legit climbing wall. it’s small, yes, but not very many people climb there and the routes are super fun and challenging. can you all guess who got me into climbing? k, of course! he lives and breathes climbing. seriously. he’s amazing to watch on the wall or on the rock and has taught me so much in the past few months.

i remember the first day i went with him and another friend, some time during my junior year. it was scary and intimidating. all the people around me climbed so effortlessly and boasted muscles i only dreamed of. no way was i that strong. after that first day i went only one other time after getting belay certified (being the person with the rope at the bottom of the wall keeping the person climbing alive) and did so with another friend of mine, nate. well, i sucked at belaying and he kind of dropped a few feet, which spooked him a little. naturally, nate freaked out and kind of yelled at me in front of the whole gym. douchey move? hell yes. then he told me i shouldn’t be belaying if i don’t really know how. so i took that comment to heart and never stepped foot on the rock wall floor again.

…till last semester, that is. last semester, my entire life changed. i stopped running. i stopped living, essentially, in my school’s gyms. k bought me a pair of used, mismatched climbing shoes

(remember these?)

and i took a deep breath, found some cajones, and tied into my first route.

how was it? exhilerating. frightening. intimidating. i was scared to climb in front of all these people who seemed like climbing experts. i didn’t want to embarrass myself. what i found, however, was a group of thoughtful, encouraging, and incredibly helpful, kind people who wanted nothing for me but to succeed. like in yoga, climbers only want to see fellow climbers achieve their goals.

it took no time for me to fall in love with rock climbing. i replaced the old shoes with a brand spankin’ expensive new pair…

and bought a harness (choosing to forgo the light purple harness targeted towards women. what, women suddenly only have pink and purple to choose from? please.)

i found myself climbing outside with friends

(my friend charise, an incredible (and modest) climber, bouldering at goat rock)


(charise belaying k up a route, also goat rock)


(joe helping k repel down the side of a (giant) mountain in santa cruz. oddly enough also called goat rock…)


(finally, k beasting through a route at goat rock, santa cruz, ca)

i have fallen head-over-heels in love with climbing. and no, it is not because my boyfriend climbs. it is because i feel a strength when i climb unlike any other strength i have ever felt. i feel challenged and pushed to my physical limits. with each new improvement, each new monument in my climbing career, i feel empowered.

similar to yoga, climbing allows me to experience my body and all it has to offer. like yoga, climbing requires breath to movement, focus and concentration, a positive mind-set. climbing shows me just how amazing my body truly is and just how much i can accomplish if i put my mind to it.

some people run marathons to prove to themselves their bodies are amazing. me? i climb rocks.

oh, and to top it all off, look what i found the other day at planet granite?

oh yes my loves. that would be a chalk bag (chalk is used to soak up the sweat on your hands). but not any chalk bag. a beatles chalk bag. you would of thought i found a friggin pot of gold with the way i reacted. but no, i did not find a pot of gold. just the most badass chalk bag there ever was.

so if you’ve ever felt like climbing, please, just do it. no one is judging you. everyone is there to support you, actually. gift yourself the gift of climbing and discover the depths of your strength. ’cause you’ve got a lot pack into that little body of yours, believe me 🙂

have you ever climbed? did you like it? do you climb? do you want to climb? tell me about it!

namaste

zoe

weekend = amazing.

why?

friday day: a spectacular misty, rainy, foggy hike. nature woos me. always.


friday night: fun shenanigans with friends involving some adult beverages and children’s games. think uno and cranium. and silliness. lots and lots of silliness. and early morning baking adventures. and late morning kisses and confessions with a certain boy whose name starts with the letter k…

saturday day: cafe gratitude with my mama. wonderful food, soul-soothing company. we spent a good hour and a half chatting over our late lunch. i realize more and more just how lucky i am to have the parents i do.

especially when the first night of hanukkah present comes a little early:

can i describe to you in words the excitement i feel over this book? i don’t think i can.

saturday night: a short and lovely close at work (with said boy!) followed by a long and lovely night paired with a bottle of wine, apples to apples, and friends. and more kisses. lots more kisses.

sunday day: mid-morning brunch with boy followed by a trip to REI for NEW CLIMBING SHOES. gorgeous gorgeous climbing shoes. happiness spilled into the late afternoon and a three mile run turned into an unintentional, complete zen 10k. then family dinner. and lots of laughs and good vibes. which was washed down with two hours of rock climbing in my new gorgeous shoes with gorgeous boy.

sunday night/early morning: i am an idiot. i got boy’s car towed. karma karma karma. the universe smacked me in the face big time. 255 dollars and a monumental lesson learned later the boy and i had a big, big two hour conversation outside of the towing place regarding us and the future. to sum it up: he’s in a good place. i’m in a good place. we’ll be in a good place. we’re taking it slow. i am incandescently happy. (and a jane austen fan).

oh, and i’ve settled on my tattoo idea.

really though, are you surprised? not sure as to where i want this but it speaks to me and has since the moment i saw it on my first solo adventure into cafe gratitude earlier this year.

so even though it’s raining and all signs point to gloomy, i can’t help seeing the sunshine.

how was your weekend?

namaste

zoe

happy veterans day! did you enjoy your day off if you had one? i sure did. as you all know, this past week and a half has been a bit of a struggle. i’ve wrestled pretty intensely with my inner negativity and sometimes it won the battle. it kept me from going out last night, which i partly regret. it allowed me to doubt my self worth, which we all know is never a good thing. but i am starting to settle a bit today. partly because of this:

i got a little free therapy in the form of beautiful scenery today. and rocks. lots and lots of rocks. you see, i went climbing outside for my second time today! although i adore climbing inside, climbing outside is a completely different experience. the paths are not set and you get to be a bit creative. and i love being creative. the weather gods smiled down on our little group of four today, too. though it’s the middle of november, the sky remained rain cloud free. we only experienced blue skies and a full, warm sun.

true story though: i carried the mental back and forth battle with me all day today. i found it difficult to just breathe through my frustration at some points. but in the end i ended up victorious. if i felt anxiety coming on, i just remembered one thing:

let it be.

i also remembered to find my center.


i think you should start getting used to these photos…

we ended the day at a wonderful indian restaurant. i got a ridiculously delicious okra dish. spicy. warm. okra-ey. so good. currently i am waiting on a friend for a little night time yoga sesh. gotta stretch out these tight muscles! just know i am on the path to feeling better (i’m going to say aunt flo visiting today has a lot to do with this…) and thank you for all your kind words. i really appreciate them. have a wonderful weekend, loves!

namaste

zoe

(p.s: can someone tell me why my horoscope for the day told me the following: “A wave of powerful physical energy may wash over you today. You may feel sporty and full of life and want to take part in games and group exercise as you move through your day. Because your vitality is likely soaring, you may want to vent your energy by engaging in high-energy activities.” um. creepily accurate!!!!!)