06 July 2014

The appointment where I got not so great news

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Random

So here’s how Thursday at 10:45am CT went:

Doctor: “You have a stress fracture. It’s right here [points to a bright white line on my MRI].”

Me: [Silence]

Doctor: “I don’t know when it happened, but it’s likely that it was your injury back in May.” [the one where I continued to run after, including that 10 mile race]

Me: “But I don’t have bone pain, I have muscle pain. And that pain has been better lately.”

Doctor: “Your muscles are likely compensating for the fracture, to protect it. It’s not like a normal fracture where the pain gets worse until you can’t walk.”

Me: “So…..now what?”

Doctor: “We will give you a boot to help the leg rest and start the six-week healing process now. No weight-bearing exercise, so only swimming and biking, but if biking hurts you have to stop.”

Me: [Silence]

And thus, I left with a new accessory and with a general dazed/stunned look on my face.

The thing is, I know it could be worse. I could have a full break, or be bed ridden, need crutches, or need surgery. But that doesn’t give me a TON of comfort just yet.

I just can’t…fucking believe it.

It is just setback, but sometimes, the dark part of my mind wanders and feels like…it’s just not fucking fair. I have friends who are FAR LESS active than me and they can just walk outside and run 5 miles like it’s no big deal. And I train and take care of myself and this happens. Why can’t this just happen for me???? And then I want to quit and say fuck it.

But, to keep that dark part of my mind at bay, I’m focusing on what I can do for now. It is only six weeks, maybe a little more. It’s not a full break, and it could be so much worse. This sucks. But it’s not the end. It’s just…another set back.

So Thursday night I cried, watched some of my favorite movies, listened to emo music and wallowed in a pool of self pity. And then Friday I got up and started to practice doing my daily stuff with the walking brace. Looks easy but trust me, it’s exhausting.

And the countdown to July 25 for a three-week check in is on. And I will be checking out the water workouts at my gym in the meantime. This should be hilarious.





11 June 2014

Time of change

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Random

Spring has been a fickle b*tch in Chicago so far, but I can still tell a season of change is coming up.


Blah, I can go on for awhile about how I dislike some parts of change. It’s necessary but sometimes, it just sucks.

Lately, my friends are going through a lot of change, and I feel like I’m standing still.

They’re meeting guys (or girls), moving, moving out of state for a few, and recently, a lot of close friends have changed jobs. That has been the hardest change. Going from seeing them every day to maybe a text 1-2 times a week (if we remember) and sometimes, wondering what we have to talk about since we can’t gab about how much we dislike certain things at work.

And sometimes, you realize in that effort to keep in touch or find something else to talk about, you just don’t.


A lot of my close friends are from work. We spent a lot of time there and thus, form close bonds. And the idea of not seeing some of them around, or being part of the next journey with them, like I was for this, is a bummer.

And it makes me kind of sad.

Looking around a coworker’s going away part last night, it struck me how many people I won’t see around the office soon. And in having a moment of being like, “dude I’m really gonna miss you.” The response wasn’t exactly the same. Not in a bad way, but they have their own stuff going on now, competitions for their time and other things they need to focus on.

So I indulged my sadness by listening to emo music on the bus ride home in the rain and remind myself of things I learned in therapy about friendships and times of change.

I don’t know what’s ahead for me, minus starting French classes again and marathon training. Maybe it’s a season of change for me too, just a tad delayed.



27 May 2014

10 miles??!

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Random

If we happen to be connected on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, the cat is a bit out of the bag on this post, but I can dive in to what it felt like to run 10 miles in more detail here.


Ten!!!! One year ago, I was preparing for my first-ever 5K, and now, this.

I successfully completed the Soldier Field 10 Mile race in Chicago, which is the coolest fucking race I’ve done so far. Expensive? You bet ($70 for early bird registration), but it is 100% worth it.

Why would something that sounds like torture and cost that much money be worth it?


Even this Packers fan thinks that’s awesome.

A week before the race, I was having a lot of doubt, battling some calf tightness/pain and general stamina issues, perhaps due to switching to a more Paleo/gluten-free lifestyle. So my goal was honestly just to finish, and not even think about time (although under a 12 minute mile would have made me happy).

And, I finished and with an official time of 1:55:26, averaging an 11:30 mile.

My body needed to run on every single cylinder and it did. It felt amazing and so empowering.

The entire time, I just kept thinking in blocks of time so it didn’t feel overwhelming. Run 5, walk 2, eat every 45 minutes and just chill out. And take deep breaths.

When I hit mile 8, I started struggling. I was feeling tired, dizzy, and thinking OMG I ONLY HAVE TWO LEFT, TWO LEFT!??! THIS ISN’T OVER YET? So, that’s when I started telling myself, “YOU CAN DO THIS.”

And when I hit mile 9, I had to really tell myself that. People were screaming “keep going,” but if I needed to walk, I did. I was gonna keep going, I just had to pace myself. Because when I turned the corner and saw the Soldier Field concourse, it was on. I started cheering with others running beside me because I could see it.

I could see the light leading to the field and hear people leaning over that entry screaming for the runners, banging against the overhang to cheer us on and it was the coolest fucking thing.

And hearing them screaming gave me the last kick of energy I needed because I TOOK OFF for the finish line, cutting around people and just pushing my legs and body faster than I thought I could after everything they had done already.

And then it was over. I got my medal and I felt this overwhelming sense of pride.

I did it.

Marathon training starts this week, but I’m taking a few days off to just relax and chill out before the discipline starts up again.




20 May 2014


By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Random

Specifically, bullying in the workplace.

I know what cyber and school bullying are, but for me, bullying in the workplace is more difficult to define. So when it came up in some meetings last week, I found myself asking (out loud) a rather dumb question. “What is bullying at work?”

And I wasn’t trying to be an asshole, I honestly did not know.

It’s not like a senior manager body checks me into a wall when I walk past him or her, or I pour milk in a team member’s lap while laughing. To me, this is harder to define.

Probably because it’s more emotional than physical. And when you deal with emotions, let’s just say, no two people are generally alike.

I remember being bullied as a kid in school. Walking home with my brother, kids from school throwing crab apples at us. Sometimes they missed, but sometimes they hit, my head, shoulder and backpack, to name a few places. And let’s just say, a crab apple bouncing off your head isn’t fun. I remember the queen bees taunting me as I matured early, grabbing at my shirt at pointing at my teenage boobs and laughing in front of class.

But as an adult, it’s a little different. To me, adult bullying is a series of calculated, personal attacks on someone. Finding weakness and exploiting it, breaking them down mentally and emotionally to make them do what you want them to, because they’re too insecure and frightened to make a mistake.

Oh wait, that was my 2012. I posted here at the end of 2012, opening up about how horrible of a year that was. Where I was bullied to the point of a complete emotional breakdown. And then bullied again about six months after that, with a low point being someone screaming at me, “are you fucking stupid?” Actually, no, I’m not. And as an adult, you don’t really bounce back from that. It takes a lot of time.

So what worries me the most about workplace bullying is that tough definition. Bullies should not be allowed to continue to torment people, but whose to say that word can’t be used as a weapon, to hurt people who don’t deserve it? Maybe that’s just bullying in general.

This is why I love lifestyle blogs, you can blog about something silly like farting at the gym, and then tackle something a little tougher.

12 May 2014

MWF Seeking BFF – Get out of my brain

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Random

I’m not really a “reader.” I read magazines but only really indulge in books while on vacation. So in prep for my most recent vacation, I took the advice of my fabulous cube neighbor Gloria and finally downloaded MWF Seeking BFF, a book she and my brunch buddy Nikki have talked about several times as a must-read.

Here is an official description of the book (from the website), “When Rachel Bertsche first moves to Chicago, she’s thrilled to finally share a zip code, let alone an apartment, with her boyfriend. But shortly after getting married, Bertsche realizes her new life is missing one thing: friends. Sure, she has plenty of BFFs—in New York and San Francisco and Boston and Washington DC. Yet in her adopted hometown, there’s no one to call at the last minute for girl-talk over brunch or a reality TV marathon over a bottle of wine. Taking matters into her own hands, Bertsche develops a plan: she’ll go on fifty-two friend-dates, one per week for a year, in hopes of meeting her new Best Friend Forever.”

So why would this relate to me? Well, minus the “M” part (married,) I can relate to Rachel, a lot. When I moved to Chicago, I was 25 years old and has zero friends. And didn’t really make one for six months. And now, as a 30-something woman, I’m going through another friend crisis of sorts. Friends are getting married, moving to the suburbs, moving away from Chicago for work, family, etc. and….I’m still here. Not that I mind, I love Chicago, but the idea of being in the city I love with not a solid group of friends is scary! How do I….start over?

And it’s not easy in the city. People have established groups of friends, boyfriends, or people they know, and it’s easy to just stick with that crew. And as you get older and dynamics in life change, your friendships change too. They aren’t the person you hang with 24/7, life gets in the way. And by the time you are hanging out again, you are looking at the next friend date being in two months because of…life.

In dating as well as friendships, I’m much  more shy in putting myself out there. Fear of rejection sucks. Or the shallow, “yeah let’s totally meet up!” and then when you reach out, they never respond. Is that always the case? No. But as I’ve gotten older, it’s more difficult to find people who are at that same kind of life spot as me.

So what did I learn from this book? I’m not alone! There are a lot of other people my age (or close to it), struggling with the same thing, and when we share our sorrows (or those who choose to), I keep trying to put myself out there, meet new people, find people with similar interests and just see what happens. I won’t have the 24/7 BFF I’ve always wanted, at this point in my life at least, but finding those who compliment me, and working to really establish a good base of people here is a challenge I’m up for.

What about you? Have you read the book? Or had similar troubles finding and making friends?


  • Early holiday decorations (not before Thanksgiving!)
  • Muffin tops (not the bakery-kind)
  • Bar Louie restaurant
  • Laundry machine hogs
  • County sales tax (10.25 percent - come on!)
  • Michael Scott
  • Harry & David
  • Chicago meteorologists