Archive for Month: August 2015

Makeup and beauty

I love makeup, but I rarely feel like taking the time to actually put it on. It’s so much work, so easy to mess up, and a real pain in the as* to wash off afterwards.

As a true tomboy, I didn’t show any interest in makeup until after high school. Mostly because my schedule at the time, didn’t allow me to spend any more time in front of the mirror than necessary. But also because as an athlete, you can “get away with” looking like you just came from the gym — even on your day off.

From age 14 to 20, I worked out twice a day, six days a week… So in order to look “fresh” at all times, I’d have to put my makeup on three times a day. If you add full-time studies and 150 days of traveling each year, on top of all that, you don’t have to be a scientist to understand that makeup was not important enough to become a priority.

But now, a couple of years later, I actually enjoy embracing my inner girly girl every once in a while. It’s really quite refreshing to leave my “Groutfits” at home in exchange for a more sophisticated look – with makeup.

I do however, realize that there’s a certain power in makeup. When I posted the picture below on Facebook yesterday, the immediate response made me see that many can identify with the constant struggle of exterior beauty.

Even if I occasionally enjoy wearing makeup, it has its downsides. By the end of the day, I’ve usually forgotten that rubbing my eyes, scratching my face or pulling my sweater over my head, is bad news for my “makeup-mask” – so I don’t feel any different just because I happen to have my face covered in powder. But I often find that people treat me different, and that really provokes me!

I’m the same person! Just because I didn’t spend two hours in the bathroom that morning, doesn’t change the values, skills, opinions and emotions that I carry on the inside. And even if I did put makeup on that day, I do not think any less of you as a person, because you skipped the mascara that day.

In fact, if I see a woman who doesn’t wear makeup, I see a woman who radiates confidence and true beauty. She doesn’t let anyone’s opinions tell her how she should live her life.

So before we assume that “she doesn’t take very good care of herself,” or that “she’s lazy,” we should consider the fact that maybe she had something more important to take care of that morning?

I belive it’s time we stop nourishing the superficial mindset that seems to be stuck in people’s heads. How about we start giving people more compliments for who they are? We can all get better at promoting each other’s skills, talents, actions and personalities.

If I ever have a daughter myself, I hope I’ll be able to make her understand that true beauty comes from within. And that an absolutely stunning inside will get her a lot farther than a pretty face, big boobs and pointy hip bones will.

I’m not saying that wearing makeup, dressing nice, and keeping a good hygiene is a “sin” though. I’m just expressing the frustration I feel over the expectation many women feel in today’s society. Many are afraid that if they don’t look a certain way, they’re going to end up as single spinsters all together.

If I meet my future husband during one of the six days a week where I don’t wear makeup, I’ll think of it as a relief. Because then I’ll know he loves me for who I am, and not because I’m a good makeup artist.

I would encourage you all to zip your makeup bag at least once a week. Break out of your comfort zone, and remember that you’re just as important, talented, skilled and beautiful with makeup as you’re without.

Bless you all,
Maria

Jazz & Alcohol

As I mentioned in my previous post, I hung out with “Portugirls” last night. But what I didn’t mention, was that we later went to town to go “clubbing” haha! I never thought I’d even write that word down, because I kinda hate it. But this week the annual International Jazz Festival was held here in town, so I figured I’d give it (another) try.

I didn’t mind walking around by the marina in the fresh night air, listening to the Jazz music, and observing all the other creatures who were out “socializing.” But crawling up inside of a loud, sweaty night club with desperate creeps at every corner… nah, that, I can happily avoid.

I did however, show up with an open mind, and for a moment I actually thought I’d have a lot of fun inside of that dark hole with the damp air and deafening noise. I gave it a solid try.

Haugesund is a relatively small town with its 35k inhabitants, so the chances of meeting dozens of people you know, are pretty good. As expected, I stumbled upon a number of people from my middle school-class, high school and work. They all met me with a hug the same greeting: “Hey Maria, what are you doing HERE ?!”, “I never thought I’d ever see YOU in a place like this!” or “Whaaat?! Do you drink?!”

For the record, I can share that I was as sober as a judge yesterday. But even if I had been drinking, so what?

That stuck with me for the rest of the night, and I’ve been trying to figure out why practically everybody met me with the same question, rather than “How are you doing?” or “Nice to see you!”

First of all, I’ve never announced that I abstain completely from alcohol, because I don’t have rule saying that I can’t drink. The thing is just that I rarely want to, so I could as well be a Teetotalist. (At least in-between the one glass of wine I drink every third year…)

Through my previous posts, you have perhaps noticed already, that I’m a follower of Jesus. But my lack of interest in alcohol has nothing to do with my faith. If I suddenly decide I’ll have a glass of wine with my dinner tonight, then I’ll drink that glass without thinking twice about it. However, I haven’t had a zip of alcohol since 2013, so it’s not exactly something I do very often.

For a while, I used my training as an “excuse” for staying sober at every single party through high-school. But even later, when I’ve been injured, “off-season,” on vacation or whatever, I’ve never enjoyed the party-lifestyle anyway.

Besides, I don’t feel the need to be a party-punk when I can be as badass as ever during my photoshoots, lol!

In the past I’ve tried going to “bars” with and without alcohol in my bloodstream, and I don’t like either. Which is a little weird, because I really love to be social, be around lots of people, meet new people, and catch up with old friends and acquaintances. In fact, it’s one of my favorite things.

So after this weekend, I’ve not changed my mind about night clubs.

I’m not a quitter, but I’m officially done trying to find whatever it is that people like so much about “going out.” I don’t see why I would even want to spend any money on calories I’d rather eat in good company at a nice restaurant. To sit around a table and talk about life with a bunch of interesting and creative individuals, that’s more “my cup of tea.”

However, please note that I don’t care what other people do. I’m not judging anyone, and I have friends who look forward to every weekend, just because it gives them the opportunity to get yet another taste of the nightlife in town – and that does not make them any less a friend to me. But I don’t want to be a part of it.

Ah, enough opinionated writing for tonight.

Sleep well,
Maria Lavelle

Portugirls

It’s 1pm and I just woke up. I can’t remember last time I slept in this long, but it might have something to do with last night’s fun.

Yesterday I got to catch up with my “Portugirls.” I don’t expect you to understand what that means right away, but I’ll explain. When I was a young and promising track athlete here in town, we’d always go on training camps with the team. Most years we went to Portugal, and since these girls were my roomies, we founded “Portugirls.”

I’m the youngest in our group, which is why I didn’t know these cuties prior to the training camp, but I can promise you that after living together for two full weeks in the same sleepy Portuguese village, where all you do is “train, eat, sleep, repeat” – it’s impossible not to get to know each other inside out.

We still meet up every time we’re in the same town, and it never feels like we haven’t actually seen each other for moths.

Bless ya,
Maria

Coaching and swimming caps

I can’t believe the summer is almost over already! I’ll leave for the US in three weeks, man time flies !!

The weather here in Norway has been pretty awful ever since I got back here in May. In fact its been the coldest summer since 1946… but personally, I haven’t been in need of much nicer weather this year anyway. I’ve spent the majority of my time working, and I always feel it’s harder to spend lot of time indoors when the sun is shining, so I’m not complaining.

This week I coached the group of track athletes again. It was a lot of fun, especially when all the triple jumpers jumped over 60cm (2ft) longer than the first time I coached them. Progressssss 🙂

 

Then yesterday I went swimming again. Since I’m unable to work out without having some kind of a goal ahead of me, I always time my laps to see if I swim faster each week. Yesterday I sat four new personal bests, so I left the pool feeling pretty satisfied. Over the past eight weeks, I’ve shaved 2.5 miutes off my 200m time… which probably says more about how terrible I was to begin with, rather than how great I am now.

Turns out I even had a spectator taking snapshots of me, haha!

BUT, I did actually think I was pretty awesome for a while, because one day, all the other swimmers in the pool had started yielding for me. Some of them would even stop completely, and cling on to the edge if I was coming their way. At first I thought it was because they’d hardly want to interrupt this “pro athlete in her training for the Olympics” lol! But after some thinking I have (unfortunately) come to the conclusion that it probably has nothing to do with my swimming skills, but rather my “appearance” in the water. Because I do, unlike most of them, wear a one-piece swimsuit and a swim cap. (As opposed to a bikini and a pony-tail) You won’t believe how much more professional you look as soon as you pull that tight rubber thing over your head.

I have my reasons for that particular outfit though! I used to wear a bikini, but since my panties ended up around my ankles most of the time, and my top would be covering everything but my boobs, I gave up. My hair also went from brown to blonde because of the chlorine, so a swim cap simply became a necessity ^_^

Well, I should go and get something to eat, so I’ll talk to ya later,
Maria

Stress fracture update

This past weekend, when I was working at the National Track Championship, I got a lot of questions from my former competitors, teammates, coaches and parents about why I wasn’t competing, and how I my ankle was holding up. So I realized I might as well just write a post about it.

As you might remember, I got a “stress reaction” in my ankle earlier this year, and missed out on the entire outdoor track season. I was told that I’d only have to be in the boot for two weeks, and that I could resume to full training within six weeks. Things went according to the plan, until I suddenly started to get the same “toothachy” feeling in my foot again in June…

 

I went to the doctor here in Norway when I got back for the summer, and explained everything the American doctors had told me, bla bla bla. So I finally managed to convince them that I’d need a new MRI scan to see if the fracture had healed at all. But I didn’t get an appointment until September 2nd – which is AFTER I’ve gone back to the US. Apparently there was no way I’d get another appointment before then.

But I suggested I should at least get back into a boot or use crutches to let the bone heal while waiting – because the pain was just as bad as it was in April. Then the doctor just looked at me as if she didn’t understand why I’d even suggest such a stupid thing BEFORE I got the MRI. She followed up by telling my to wrap my ankle up with tape in the mean time. I almost got embarrassed on her behalf. Since when does some tape heal a fractured bone? **The Norwegian health care system** Don’t even get me started…

In the US I got an MRI appointment in less than 24 hours after the physiotherapist called. Two days later I got the results, was put in a boot, and got an eight-week rehab plan handed to me.

Well, on the bright side, I’ve had lot more time to work towards my goals as a filmmaker. I’ve also spent so many hours in the pool that I’ve become a pretty decent swimmer 🙂

God has a plan, and all I can do is to trust it.

Be blessed,
Maria Lavelle

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