Oh, hi there! You’re reading my blog! I really wasn’t sure if this would ever take off; I’ve been wanting to blog for a while now but never really had a real push or drive to do it. Like a lot of things in my life, I would get really excited and eager to get started, paint these grandiose schemes in my mind of being a real-life, full-time, legit blogger, maybe even map out how to make it happen, only to let life get in the way, put it on the back burner, and reminisce about “that time” every now and then.

Even when I really worked up the nerve and wanted to get going, I would constantly question myself and suffocate every step forward with doubt.

What would I even blog about? I have so many different and varying interests, committing to one and only showing that side of myself seemed like doing a disservice or injustice to myself. But shouldn’t blogs follow one continuous theme? (Says the woman who reads multiple blogs by people that encompass all aspects of life…) I dabbled with blogging when I went to Australia to student teach and when I had a short-lived blog for food reviews of local restaurants, but eventually those both fizzled out.

Who would even want to hear what I have to say? Let’s face it, I’m a very typical woman. My midwife during my second pregnancy described me as vanilla and, God bless her and her well-meaning heart, she was right. And while some may say I’m boring, which may be a little true, I do have some pretty interesting things about me that might be fun to share.

Am I even that good of a writer to have a blog? My husband, Dan, is so entirely and fully supportive of my writing and loves whatever I write so he’s been encouraging me to write for years. Like literally, he’s been telling me to get it together and just start writing. I did dabble in some creative writing classes in college so I have some writing credentials…kind of. Being a high school English teacher doesn’t automatically make me a good writer, but how can I be a hypocrite and encourage my students to write often and about topics that concern or interest them if I don’t do the same and lead by example? If there’s one thing I hope to never be, it’s a hypocrite.

So with all of these questions bogging down my brain and paralyzing my blogging progress, how did we get here? Well, it’s all thanks to my dear friend and Executive Producer of The Professional Casual Network, Tim France. Basically he said we’d have a blog on the web page, I offered to do it, and he said I could do it on what ever I wanted to write about for that post. Food, fitness, family, pop culture, what book I’m currently reading, you name it and I’ll write about it.

So let’s start things off with an official introduction and some background about me and how I got here. I’m Dani, some people call me Danielle but that’s kind of my “work” name; I usually joke that I know which area of my life a person is in (professional, personal, old friends, etc) by which name they use when they talk about me. I married my high school sweetheart, Dan, and work in the same school we graduated from. My classroom is actually the room where he asked me to be his girlfriend a really, really long time ago. It’s pretty cute and I like telling my students about it. The look on their faces when I tell them “yes, when I was your age, in this very room…etc etc.” You get it šŸ™‚

(Quick aside: My now-colleague who was our junior class advisor (and therefore in charge of prom) has a photo of Dan and me from our junior prom together hung up on her bulletin board, next to a more recent picture of us chaperoning a prom a few years ago. The students all see it and their minds are *poof* BLOWN!)

Dan and I have two amazing kids who inherited all of his (very blonde) genes and seemingly few of my (olive and brunette) ones, but that’s ok. Our daughter (8) acts just like me, but 34 year-old me and not 8 year-old me, which is very super (not really) and our son is only 2 so who knows!

I teach high school English and Dan teaches secondary science so we’ve both been home since schools closed back in mid-March here in upstate NY. I’m grateful every day that we’ve both been home; the first time Dan had to go to work for a few hours and I was alone with both kids, Dan came home to find me crying in the fetal position on our bed. It was a rough day. But that’s ok.

I love running and have done a few half marathons as well as countless smaller races. I was training for another half marathon when COVID hit; since that race has been postponed, my training has slowed down considerably. I figure it’s just as well, this gives me more time to train and build myself up slowly. Although I love love love running, my body really hates it (birth defect in my lower spine and lordosis [basically extreme curvature in my lower spine, not really a big deal], both of which make for a tilted pelvis, sciatica issues, and painful knees and ankles without regular chiropractic care). A little over 3 years ago one of my students (thank you Liz D., you’ll forever be my fitness angel!) was going to a crossfit-style gym and encouraged me to try it out. I did and fell in love. It was amazing to feel strong and capable, and to be deadlifting over 200 pounds on my first day when people at my old gym told me I shouldn’t squat over 60 pounds and I would never be able to do any kind of powerlifting because of my back issues. Well, fuck that guy. Since starting at that gym over 3 years ago I’ve hit tons of PRs, squatted 200 lbs, deadlifted almost 300 lbs, been able to string 3-5 pull ups together, and I’ve become so much more confident and aware of what I can really do when I set my mind to it. One thing I love about lifting, is that you won’t see results unless you put in the work, and even then it could take months to increase your strength and hit new PRs. I am traditionally a procrastinator and notoriously try to “cram” before big important things, but you can’t do that with lifting. I love it. I miss it. I can’t wait to get my hands on a barbell again and start slinging weights with my fitfam. Until I can get back in my happy place, aside from doing the at-home workouts that the owner of my gym writes up for us, I’ve decided to join the Beachbody fam and check out what they have to offer. I just signed on today but I’m really excited to explore their newly-redesigned website and the crazy amounts of unique programming they have to offer. Tl;dr for this section: I love working out, getting sweaty, and pushing my body to see what it can do.

Well I have a ton more to talk about but this post has gotten really long so I guess my other passions, including food and books, will have to wait!

Until next time, thanks so much for joining me and I hope you enjoyed the blog. Check out all the other great content available on our main web page, and think about becoming a patron on our Patreon!

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