Dedication or Addiction?

It’s a new year and everybody seem to have entangled themselves into intricate new year’s resolutions; “Work out more,” “Eat healthier,” “”Lose weight,” “Run a 5K” and the list goes on.

I’ve never been a fan of so-called resolutions starting January 1st because I think the 364 other days are just as good for improving yourself. But after an extremely busy year where health and fitness became less of a priority for me, I now find myself tempted to join the wave of mainstream resolutions.

But I know better.

Not because I think I’ll fail at sticking to it, but because I’ve tried it and I know what it does to me.

– On April 1st 2005 I decided to stop drinking soda, and what happened? I just never started again, so I’m now going on my 12th year!

– On May 1st 2010, as a competitive long jumper, I wanted to get some technical advice on my lifting, so I joined a weightlifting club with the intention of doing 2-3 sessions with them before I moved on. Well, the next thing I know, I’m signed up for my first competition, and a year later I won Nationals, became a part of the National team and traveled to England to represent Norway in an international championship. Don’t misunderstand, I feel incredibly privileged to have that experience, but I got so carried away that it was very hard to let go when I realized that juggling two sports was too much.

– In 2012, when I had to quit track because of a stress fracture, I decided it was time to stop chasing athletic performance altogether. I signed up at a gym and was planning on working out twice a week. You know, just taking it slow and doing things the normal way; walking on the treadmill, doing Sumba and lifting those small pink and purple dumbbells covered in rubber. Well… before I knew it, I was on my way to the stage as a fitness athlete. The pink dumbbells and yoga pants had been replaced by callused hands, lifting-straps, protein shakes and muscles so ripped I could see veins on my shoulders. I had gotten completely carried away — again.

Before / After

– So, when I picked up jogging last year, I thought I was cured because I stuck with my three-times-a-week-regimen for longer than a month. Until I — once again — found myself wearing a start-number on my chest. I could, of course, have settled with a 5K or a 10K, but well … I ran a half-marathon and started planning my full marathon debut before I even finished the half one. Unfortunately (or luckily?) I woke up with plantar fasciitis the next morning and was unable to run for the next six months, which sucked, but maybe it was necessary for me to be able to focus on what’s actually important. I probably would have aimed for an ultra-marathon after the regular marathon anyway.

Brookings Half Marathon 2016. My dear friend Matthew is apparently just as weird as me. (Especially after I forced him to join me. Poor fella. He’s great btw)

It may sound like I used this post as an excuse to brag about my athletic merits, but my propensity towards the extreme in terms of training has caused me so much pain, frustration and expensive medical bills that I really should learn to moderate myself. I’ve had several stress fractures, and about a dozen other injuries caused by my ridiculous enthusiasm for sports. In my family, we sometimes joke about it, and whenever I tell my parents about my athletic plans, dad always says: “She’s back at the bottle” as if it’s an actual addiction.

Therefore, my resolution for this year is to not have one.

I’m not an athlete anymore, and I’ll keep telling myself there’s no point in putting in the effort of an Olympian when my dreams don’t include those five colorful rings anymore.

I’ll instead transfer the discipline of my inner athlete to the projects that matter, and limit my workouts to 30 minutes a day — regardless of how tempting those Ironman competitions, martial arts courses and cross-fit classes seem.

Filmmaking is, after all, more important to me.

Bless you,

Photo: Naras Prameswari

Fight or Flight

Hello all!

I’m writing this while laying on my parents’ couch. Ahh, I can’t remember last time was I able to lay down and just relax. I’ve already mentioned the fact that I’ve had less than five hours of actual free time since September, right? Well, anyway, my point is that I made it back to Norway! Yay!

But things didn’t look too bright when I checked in at the airport in Sioux Falls, and they told me I’d miss my next flight because of a two-hour delay, and that I’d have to get a hotel in Chicago before I could fly out the next day.

The next day?! Uh uh, I wasn’t in the mood for that, and you already know I’m too competitive for my own good, so what did I do?

Well, as soon as I landed in Chicago, I ran. And I mean — I RAN! I can honestly say I haven’t run that fast since before I quit track. I was also wearing a dress coat, boots, a scarf and a handbag, while wheeling my carry-on suitcase next to me, so yeah, things could have been more comfortable, to say the least!

My outfit looked something like this. Very athletic.


As I dug out my best stride, people started cheering, and I heard several “oh-my-God”s and “wow”s underway. Yup, it must’ve looked pretty bizarre, especially considering my clothes, but the thought of possibly having to wait another full day before I could even begin the 24-hour journey, made my primal instincts kick into full overdrive.

About a mile later, I nearly threw up out of exhaustion, but through blurred contact lenses I could see a lady waving a huge sign with “Munich” on it. She yelled, “just run, you’re almost there.”

The climax of this story is that I did make it. The gate crew had just locked the doors, but after quick phone call they let me in. I could feel sweat run down my back and I coughed for the next 20 minutes — but I was on my way home for Christmas!

About 20 hours later, the whole thing repeated itself. This time — because my luggage got lost in Oslo — and I had to run across the whole airport to get a ticket for the night’s last flight. But I’ll spare you the details of how I could feel the plane-food crawl its way up my throat and how I almost— okay, okay, I said I’d spare you, so, yeah. I got the last seat, and made it to Haugesund where my dear family was waiting. Hallelujah!

24 hours after I left Dakota I didn’t exactly feel at my freshest. #sweatyisthenewskinny

I can hereby confirm that the “fight of flight response” is real, and since we’re talking about airplanes I thought the title was appropriate. Consider this a follow-up to my earlier post: Sweaty is the New Skinny.

Bless you,

Opening Night, Homeless Awareness Week and Blizzards

Good afternoon darlings,

First of all, thank you for the incredible response on my last post! The number of views reached an all-time high, in fact, it doubled the previous record. Wow, I’m still a little blown away actually. Thank you!

Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week
Over the Bridge was screened at a Sioux Falls Homeless memorial on Wednesday. I had my hands full with tech rehearsals and was unable to be there, but I’m happy I could still contribute. Also, this is a great time to get involved in volunteer work for the homeless. If you live in the area, The Bishop Dudley House is the perfect place to start.

As a sidenote, I want to share that the winter came to Augustana today —

Trying to do a photoshoot during a blizzard was a bad idea, but Naras pulled it off. Photo: Naras Prameswari.

— I went running in shorts and a t-shirt just three days ago. Oh well, South Dakota…


Trying to look like I’m not choking on the wind #Blizzard Photo: Naras Prameswari.

Opening Night
Other than trying to cope with the weather, I’ve spent most of this week preparing for the “7×7 plus 1” show. If this is your first time reading the blog, I want to assure you that I’m NOT talking about a math contest. I’m actually directing my first play ever, and it will be presented as a part of the “7×7 plus 1” show this weekend. Opening Night is just hours away now!

This is my play! “Precipice” starring Anita Raile and Coleman Peterson.

Come to the Edit Mortensen Center Theatre at 7:30 PM tonight, Saturday and Sunday!

I’ve sacrificed my morning workouts for this, so that itself should be reason enough for you to come. But seriously, we’ve all worked really hard, and I’m excited to see all my theatre friends show their work!


Sweaty is the New Skinny

Good evening, dear readers!

Last time you heard from me I was out on the East Coast, but I’m back in Sioux Falls — with less free time than I thought was possible, haha. Like I mentioned earlier, I worked three weeks ahead on my homework before I left for LA, but I had to take all the midterm exams and do all the projects after I got back, so needless to say, I haven’t had much time to keep the blog alive. But you’re here, and that means you forgave me. So, welcome to you all!

I thought Over the Bridge was ready to be put to bed after LA, but I’ve been invited to show it at the Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell on Thursday, and then there will be two more screenings here in Sioux Falls before Christmas. I’ll tell you more about it later.

This is how we roll at Augustana 📷🎥#photography #class #photojournalism #canyouspotme hint: #whiteconverse 😏

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Another new thing is that I’m directing my first theatre show! This whole theatre thing has really grown on me — it wasn’t that long ago I thought it was a … rather… weird form of art, but after picking up a theatre minor to help me improve my directing skills, I’ve really learned to love it. It’s so much fun, and I’m very excited to present the play “Precipice” on the Augustana main stage next weekend. It’s a short play that will be shown together with seven other short plays, so it should be pretty cool. More about that later too.

Theatre does come in handy whenever Halloween is around the corner as well. Flashback to the past:

#halloween #throwback #maleficent #costume #2014

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Even if it’s tons of fun, I’ve been craving an hour of free time. You know, just one hour where you can relax, scroll through facebook, watch an episode on Netflix or go grocery shopping (Wal-mart makes me relaxed, I know it’s weird), but with all the projects and exams it seemed like a long shot. I was, therefore, delighted to learn that daylight-saving was coming up, and I got a whole extra hour! You’ll never appreciate something like that until you’ve skipped three weeks of the semester and have to catch up on the 504 hours you lost while traveling, haha.

Since this is not a fashion blog, I’ll also take the freedom to share a a time-saving tip I discovered last week:

I’ve been wearing running shoes and leggings everyday lately, because you see, walking to class, walking to meetings and walking to the cafeteria is simply too slow. I won’t get there in time if I just walk, so I’ve been running. Not only do I get to my appointments a little faster, I also save that hour I’d normally be spending at the gym. Win, win.

Paparazzi shot by: Naras Prameswari

And if you add the weight of your backpack, camera bag and theatre props in the plastic bag you get a full body workout!

We all know sweaty is the new skinny, right?


New York City

Good afternoon!

While I was in LA I thought it’d be impossible to find room in my heart to love another city to that same degree, but I guess it’s like having babies: there’s always room for more love. Not that I would know, but that’s what I’ve heard people say, so, heh.. it must be true, right?

I first visited New York two years ago, and after three days of holding onto the greasy poles inside the subway cars, walking through the hot steam from the sewers in the streets and feeling trapped beneath the tall skyscrapers, I told myself I’d never ever want to live in that city. But as with LA, I’m now in love with the place — I could move here in a heartbeat!

This City😍 #NYC #NewYork #TimesSquare

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Last time I’d just moved to the US a few weeks earlier, and at the time, I thought even Sioux Falls was huge, so no wonder I felt overwhelmed, haha. But now, two years later. I see the beauty in all that chaos.

2014: Yes, I was as exhausted as I looked. Photo: Karen Jøsendal.

So why am I here, you ask? Well, as senior at Augustana I have some big decisions to make, so I’m here for some meetings with NYU Tisch School of the Arts! I still have two more meetings before I’ll fly back to SD later this week. I’ll tell you more about all that later.

I’ve avoided all the typical touristy stuff because traveling across the whole continent in three weeks has put a toll on my financial resources, but I’ve found cheaper ways explore the city. Running, for example, is free!

Nothing like a #morning #run in #NYC 🗽

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In LA I was so busy I didn’t have time to eat much besides the vegan snacks and green juices they served everywhere, so I haven’t hesitated with trying out some less healthy treats this week. It’s cheap too!

The famous “cronut” is apparently a must-try in New York, and it was worth every single one of those calories.

Croissant + Donut = Cronut. Add me on Snapchat: Maria Lavelle
Supposedly “The best fries in the US” are found at Pommes Frites on Manhattan.

Now I’ll get ready for my meeting, so talk to ya later!

Be blessed,

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